As the tangle of privacy and security issues tightens in the aftermath of Sept. 11, Jack Palmer forges ahead, claiming to put a kinder, gentler face on Big Brother.Palmer is the CEO of ICaughtYou, a private Bonita Springs, Fla.-based company that allows corporations to monitor their employees' Internet usage. His company has been one of the unsuspecting beneficiaries of the terrorist attacks. Even before Sept. 11, the downturn in the economy led to a heightened interest in worker productivity and Internet security. Now, a new emphasis on national security has put corporate security in the spotlight and has led to a quadrupling of hits on the ICaughtYou Web site.The company was born two years ago, when a tech guru for a government agency suspected his wife was cheating on him. He recruited fellow programmers from America Online and Coca-Cola to help him figure out a way to monitor her instant message sessions. The technology fulfilled its mission and became the core product of … [Read more...] about Big Brother’s watching
Big Brother, a push/pull client/server program, queries monitored services on your network and provides at-a-glance status on a central machine. A green light in the program's browser-based BBDisplay utility indicates that servers are operating flawlessly; yellow means something requires attention; red denotes failure. The server portion of Big Brother runs either on Unix/Linux (v1.8b3) or in a scaled-down capacity (v2.2g) on Microsoft Windows NT 4 or 2000. Clients are available for a wide range of systems ranging from Unix to Windows to NetWare. BB monitors DNS, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, NNTP, POP3, SSH, SMTP, and telnet services by default but can be configured for other kinds as well. A powerful combination of packages, BB can be set up to show Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) statistics on the same page. BB is distributed under a proprietary license that allows free use as long as you do not provide services based on BB's technology. … [Read more...] about Big Brother
"Big Brother" entered into the lexicon and so vividly into the public imagination through George Orwell’s 1984. The main character, Winston, lives under totalitarian rule in a country named Oceania. His every movement and even thought are under surveillance. Any involvement by a government in what its citizens believe to be a private exchange is inevitably viewed in the context of this dystopia. Technology, particularly social media, augments the modes and means of communication—but also the ease with which it can be monitored—causing privacy, the law, and public opinion to clash. This is further complicated by the tools of protest and the ways of quelling it also being one and the same. Among those inserting themselves into the fray is Anonymous. On November 5, in what it's calling "Operation Fox Hunt," Anonymous is seeking retaliation for "Fox News' propaganda" regarding Occupy Wall Street by taking over the cable channel's website. The chosen date is a nod to plots … [Read more...] about Anonymous and Big Brother: Spy vs. Spy?
Over the weekend Google deployed its so-called "kill switch" against the Android malware that had infected possibly thousands of phones. Google's action remote-wipes any of the identified malware from any Android phone and reinforces protections against subsequent infection. "Kill switch" is an apt, if unfortunate, description of the procedure, as the same term has been recently used to describe what the Egyptian and Libyan governments have done to Internet access in their countries. Is it just me or should we all feel slightly creeped out by Google's move? Certainly, the company had to act, and act swiftly, which it did. Not only did it remove the malicious apps almost the minute it heard about them, but it deployed a fix within days. Considering the number of devices and versions of Android that need to be addressed, that's impressive. But going into my phone and erasing software—no matter how bad it may be—strikes me as a vaguely Orwellian thing to do. Maybe I'm being … [Read more...] about Google Goes Big Brother with the Android ‘Kill Switch’
Edward Snowden, the famed NSA whistleblower currently living in asylum in Russia, has called on President Vladimir Putin to not sign a law that Snowden says could violate individual privacy and freedom. In a tweet on Saturday, Snowden called the Yarovaya Law the "Big Brother law," adding that it was an "unjustifiable violation of rights" that would harm "every Russian" and ultimately "take money" from them. As reported by The Guardian, his comments came after Russia's lower house of parliament voted 325 to 1 to adapt the law, which includes wide-ranging amendments to privacy laws that supporters say will ultimately improve the country's ability to fight terrorist activity across the country. Related Articles Russian Hackers Infiltrate Democratic National Committee But the legislation requires Russian citizens to inform the government whenever they believe they have "reliable" information on a possible terror attack, uprisings, and a slew of other crimes, The Guardian notes. … [Read more...] about Snowden Slams Russian ‘Big Brother’ Internet Legislation