Friday, July 23, 2021

How Fear of Government Surveillance Influences Our Behavior

How Hannah Arendt's Fans Misread The Post-Truth Presidency

No one is safe”: phone numbers of 14 world leaders on Pegasus List

The Washington Post on Tuesday revealed that three presidents, 10 prime ministers, and a king are among the more than 50,000 individuals whose phone numbers appeared on a leaked list of potential targets of Pegasus, the military-grade spyware licensed by Israeli firm NSO Group, prompting human rights defenders to call for a global crackdown on the surveillance industry’s invasive technologies.... 

This is a sobering thread about the realities of Covid & the Delta variant. Vaxxed or no, we're in for a long haul. "With Delta, it's unlikely that Covid will ever go away, or be held at low levels."

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health said yesterday that the country will stop administering the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech once its current supplies run out, amid mounting evidence that the vaccines have limited efficacy against the Delta variant that is currently ravaging Southeast Asia.

They will switch mainly to Pfizer.  Thailand also will not be relying on Sinovac, and Turkey and UAE are moving in similar directions.  Here is the article, via Rich D.

I Kid You Not. Reminiscence of the Future And see here.

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, July 18, 2021

US legal eagles representing Apple, IBM, and more take 5 months to inform clients of ransomware data breach Those affected get free protection services – but only if their Social Security numbers were exposed

Subject: Cellebrite Phone-Cracking Tools Used to Target More Journalists
Source: Gizmodo

The firm, whose data extraction tools are a police favorite, is facing intense scrutiny for the ways in which its products are abused by governments. Ahead of its planned IPO in the U.S., Cellebrite faces fresh flames after its phone-cracking tools were yet again used to violate the privacy of journalists.

Subject: Twitter Verifies Six Fake Accounts Including This Cat
Source: Gizmodo

Twitter accidentally verified at least six accounts that were likely part of a spam botnet, according to a researcher of disinformation and a new report from the Daily Dot

How Fear of Government Surveillance Influences Our Behavior

Literary Hub: “If surveillance doesn’t make us act differently, explain this: The psychology department’s coffee room at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom offers coffee and tea on the honor system: users put their money in a box. The department decided to rotate different price list signs as part of a research study. One week a picture of flowers was featured at the top of the list; the next week a photocopied picture of human eyes aimed directly at patrons reading the sign. On the weeks in which the eyes were displayed, people paid nearly three times as much for their caffeine fix as weeks when the flowers were shown. According to researchers in this and several other studies, the gaze of staring eyes—even a drawing or photograph—changes people’s behavior. Feeling watched is a powerful tool for social control, causing people to censor their behavior and conform to what they take to be the desired outcome. security expert Bruce Schneier says the function of omnipresent surveillance is to control a population. “The fact that you won’t do things, that you will self-censor, are the worst effects of pervasive surveillance.”…

Jonathan Penney of Oxford University offers empirical evidence supporting the premise that the existence of a surveillance state results in self-censorship, fostering fear and conformity, so that we refrain from acting in ways or saying things that may arouse suspicion…”