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Wireless Networking Government

Pirate Activist Shows Politicians What Digital Surveillance Looks Like 81

An anonymous reader writes How to make politicians really understand the dangers of mass digital surveillance and the importance of information security? Gustav Nipe, the 26-year old president of the Swedish Pirate Party's youth wing, tried to do it by setting up an open Wi-Fi network at the Society and Defence National Conference held in Sälen, Sweden, and collecting and analyzing the metadata of conference attendees who connected to it. Nipe set up an open wireless Internet access point named "Open Guest" and over 100 delegates used this particular unsecured Wi-Fi network to go online. The collected metadata showed that, among other sites, they visited those of daily Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Swedish private ads website Blocket, eBay, and tourism sites. "This was during the day when I suppose they were being paid to be at the conference working," Nipe noted for The Local.
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Pirate Activist Shows Politicians What Digital Surveillance Looks Like

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  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday January 15, 2015 @02:03PM (#48821825)

    The problem with these laws is the idea that THEIR Organization is the good guys they figure they will not misuse the information...
    However they forgot that their organization is full of people and every person has a slightly different agenda in life. So the gray area between good guy and bad guy will be at different spots.
    For some vegans they equate dairy as rape, so they will see they guy who wants a real cheese pizza as some sort of monster who must be stopped.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday January 15, 2015 @02:15PM (#48821979) Homepage

      For some vegans they equate dairy as rape

      And, as a long term vegetarian .. this is why I view PETA and most vegans with some contempt. The rhetoric and crazy gets dialed up to 11 straight out of the gate.

      Slightly more on topic, I'm glad someone is demonstrating what "just the metadata" really translates into. People have been hoodwinked into thinking this isn't as severe as it really is.

      • Not to mention made them second guess who was controlling every other conference wi-fi labeled "Open Guest" that they had connected to over the years. These were not just politicians some were supposed security experts.

        • by TWX ( 665546 )
          Or perhaps they decided that since they weren't doing anything untoward and were visiting unencrypted magazine and newspaper websites, that there wasn't really much of a problem if someone listened in?

          If you want to freak them out, based on to whom they're connecting to alone, publish a list of what politicians use what banks. All you need to do is to figure out the identity of the user based on their surfing habits, then disclose the name of the bank whose website the visited. Don't need to know anyth
      • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Thursday January 15, 2015 @02:33PM (#48822179) Journal

        The rhetoric and crazy gets dialed up to 11 straight out of the gate.

        Same reason I stay away from churches and religion in general. Each have their own agenda, whether the people who belong realize it or not.

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

          Same reason I stay away from churches and religion in general. Each have their own agenda, whether the people who belong realize it or not.

          What a silly thing to say. Of course they have agendas. Every person on the planet has an agenda. My 1 month old has an agenda to eat and poop.

          Just because people have some kind of agenda doesn't mean you should avoid everybody. Use your brain. Find out what the agenda is before you dismiss it.

          • Just because people have some kind of agenda doesn't mean you should avoid everybody.

            They didn't say they were avoiding everybody, just those associated with churches or religion. That isn't everybody, just a large subset of everybody.

            Talk about not using your brain.
          • There is a kind of agenda to which all churches and religion can be lumped under, and that is the discouragement of skeptical inquiry in favor of promoting an unverifiable belief system. I suspect that is what the GP meant in indicating they have an "agenda".

            While it is true every entity which has a desire also has the agenda to fulfill that desire, when someone highlights the existence of an agenda within a class of entities, they are carving out a set of agendas which are typical among class members
            • by Anonymous Coward

              > There is a kind of agenda to which all churches and religion can be lumped under, and that is the discouragement of skeptical inquiry in favor of promoting an unverifiable belief system.

              Why would you expect me to believe that you've actually investigated every religion in an uncritical fashion when it's unverifiable?

              • It is the nature of skeptical inquiry to erode the belief system. It can hardly be called a "religion" if there is no belief system being promoted and no dogma being encouraged to be bought into. In this case apriori definitions are sufficient and complete empirical investigation is unnecessary.

                Can you think of any organization which would be accurately described as a "religion" which encouraged each person be skeptical of all beliefs, to challenge them and erode them? This would include challenging a
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Coren22 ( 1625475 )

              Your statement is kind of funny. Religion started Science as a way to better understand God's world/works. Therefore, the Catholic Church (to be specific) has encouraged skeptical inquiry (science) since science was founded.

              Therefore, you lie.

              • Everything you said is hilarious.

                • by Coren22 ( 1625475 ) on Thursday January 15, 2015 @06:02PM (#48824511) Journal

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

                  Much of the scientific method was pioneered first by ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians, Indians, and Sumerians. Later during the middle ages the Catholic church was responsible for saving much of the scientific knowledge from these civilizations, thus allowing the scientific method to develop in Europe during and after the Renaissance and through the enlightenment period.

                  Researched historical information can be funny, but many times it is true. If you don't like WP, feel free to click any of the citations at the bottom.

              • Your statement is kind of funny. Religion started Science as a way to better understand God's world/works. Therefore, the Catholic Church (to be specific) has encouraged skeptical inquiry (science) since science was founded.

                Therefore, you lie.

                I think Galileo and Descartes might disagree with your proposal. Once the sacred cows start being threatened, the pretense of endorsing skeptical inquiry evaporates as well.

                Is the statement "God exists" genuinely up for skeptical inquiry to a Catholic? Most attempts at questioning the existence of God on the part of the religious has been laughable. They can't see all the assumptions that have been made in their conceptualization and linguistic process. Real skeptical inquiry requires questionin

            • Acts 17:11 NIV

              Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

              Malachi 3:10

              Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

              Those do not speak of a "discouragement of skeptical inquiry" to me.

        • Religions are a group of people with a similar (but perhaps not identical) agenda as you.
          Each religion/sect may be working off a particular translation.
          Avoiding them because they misaligned with yours means you are closing your mind off to alternative ideas.
          Religions had people thinking nearly about issues that are common to the human condition for thousands of year. Most of us, can only think about these things in part time. So going to church to listen to these ideas are enlightening.

          Now you don't need

          • So going to church to listen to these ideas are enlightening.

            Now you don't need to agree with them, but to say I avoid these places because these people think differently than you, is really stupid. You should skip school as well, especially if you don't like your teacher.

            I spent enough time in churches while growing up to know what they offer. Expecting anything different after 20 years would be a bit silly. I ended up not going to churches because what they were telling me eventually became stupid in my estimation.

            And if I want stupid, there's always Duck Dynasty or Here comes Honey Boo-Boo.

      • by Falos ( 2905315 )
        I sympathize. Many groups have overzealous individuals, and seeing them wave your banner is a bit of a drag, a phenomenon frequent enough that I want a word or phrase to refer to it. But at least some people indulge the benefit of the doubt - I'm willing to believe in the existence of prudent bronies and good dubstep, out there somewhere.

        Somewhat relevant [smbc-comics.com]
      • It would have been more severe if he did the experiment in the evening, where porn might have been involved.

      • The larger question is, what is their definition of metadata? The way three letter orgs and governments in general reclassify things to suite them worries me.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Slightly more on topic, I'm glad someone is demonstrating what "just the metadata" really translates into. People have been hoodwinked into thinking this isn't as severe as it really is.

        Since a former NSA director admitted that they kill based on metadata [slashdot.org] it doesn't really matter how trivial the metadata is.
        If they only gathered data on what color your socks usually are on Wednesdays not even I would care but if they kill people based on that data it suddenly becomes a pretty big problem.
        Now, these organizations shouldn't gather data at all, but if someone is about to be killed I'd prefer if the data that led to the decision is a bit more complete than "metadata"

      • To be fair, dairy cows are artificially enseminated without consent, so technically it is rape.
    • That's what I always point out in these threads -- it is trivial for a political operative, a G. Gordon Liddy type, to listen in on conversations of political opponents of his boss, to say nothing of using metadata to track who they call -- knowing donors or supporters is valuable info and the government can target them.

      It has nothing to do with the other 999 agents. You cannot build a panopticon.

      We need to carry forward out protections into our virual life, instead of letting the government get away with

    • For some vegans they equate dairy as rape

      Only if it is still inside the cow.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday January 15, 2015 @02:07PM (#48821887)

    >> be at the conference working

    No one goes to a conference to do work. You're generally only doing work if you get called into an issue from home base.

    • by Rinikusu ( 28164 )

      Just don't crack a joke about a dongle.

    • Some conferences are good work material. Some of them are an excuse to have the people you'd like to talk to all show up at the bar where the important conversations happen. (Back during the 80s, a surprising number of Unix-related companies started as conversations at the bar at Usenix conventions.) And some conferences are of course opportunities for networking, i.e. for finding your next job, so they might be "work" related, just not for your current employer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2015 @02:10PM (#48821927)

    Thar be politians sailing on the WiFi seas!!! Man the harpoons!!!! Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrr!!!!!!

  • Views of the World (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2015 @02:20PM (#48822033)

    Too many people think everyone sees the world as they do. This won't get the politicians to do anything about mass surveillance. What it'll do is push them more towards making hosting your own network illegal. Anything not coming from an approved ISP is untrusted and thus for the safety of all should be banned.

    It gives more teeth to hotels and other companies that say they need to actively block and ban unknown networks.

    • Too many people think everyone sees the world as they do. This won't get the politicians to do anything about mass surveillance. What it'll do is push them more towards making hosting your own network illegal. Anything not coming from an approved ISP is untrusted and thus for the safety of all should be banned.

      It gives more teeth to hotels and other companies that say they need to actively block and ban unknown networks.

      Old saying, "never try to embarrass the people that make laws. They'll just make you illegal" (also applies to never make the people with guns look stupid)

  • In Freedomtown USA, you'd be charged with felony wire tapping, and they would use your own phone and internet records against you. Probably your healthcare history and grade school report cards too.
  • It hasn't even been 12 hours, it's even still on the front page!

    http://mobile.slashdot.org/sto... [slashdot.org]

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