• 02 FEB 17

    The Terrorist in Your Toaster: The Next Generation of IoT Hacking

    When I was five, my parents got me a robot. Connected to a wired controller, I could move it back and forth, raise its arms, flash lights and plenty of other awesome things that would spark any child’s imagination. I loved that robot even though it sucked in a few different ways.

    It made me want to improve it and I would dream of ways it could be better, like having it talk to other robots and machines (I was a tad too young for The Terminator at this point) or making it do things for me. Thanks to the internet and the advancement of robotics, my boyhood dreams are coming true.

    We are at the dawn of this era and the Internet of Things (IoT) explosion is the foundation for this advancement. Sadly, though, we must take the good with the bad. As we make our lives more convenient with IoT devices, we must also take notice of the increasing cybersecurity threats and issues accompanying this evolution. SNIP

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    • 26 JAN 17

    The Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerability to malware hackers

    As Australia rapidly rolls out the smart electricity grid with smart meters for every household as an essential part of the $17 trillion Internet of Things (IoT)technological ‘revolution’, little heed is given for the grid/meters vulnerability to hackers. Already there have been reports of household wi-fi enabled appliances being hacked and there are concerns over the vulnerability of smart meters to being hacked.

    A Brave New World or Hackers Heaven? Read on.

    Excerpt

    “The [Mirai] malware… spreads to vulnerable devices by continuously scanning the Internet for IoT systems protected by factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords,” explained KrebsonSecurity. “The insecure IoT devices are then loaded with malicious software, transforming them into “bots” and forcing them to report to a central control server, which is utilized to launch massive DDoS attacks in an effort to knock websites offline.”

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    • 06 JAN 17

    When smart meters get hacked

    From Nick Hunn’s blog Creative Connectivity

    June 8th, 2014 | Published in Smart Energy |

    There‘s a lot of talk about grid security and data privacy in the energy industry, but very little about the consequences of what happens if smart meters go wrong. By going wrong, I don‘t just mean people attempting to hack their meters to reduce their bills.That will probably happen.I‘m more interested in the nightmare scenario when several million electricity meters suddenly disconnect……In other words, it could happen. It doesn’t need to happen now. Once they’re deployed, utilities aim to update the programs in these meters as new functionality is developed or bugs fixed. So at any point in their lives, new malicious code could be inserted…. SNIP

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    • 02 NOV 16

    More on the 5G rollout in America from Tom Wheeler-industry lobbyist and FCC Director

    From Kevin Mottus, CA Brain Tumor Association

    I am sorry it seems like one crisis after another but they are moving so fast on this 5G project; Tom Wheeler is trying to get it done before he leaves office in January. He and the FCC are using the process they used to deploy 4G to deploy 5G even faster. Soon you will have a small cell transmitter near your house as will others but then it will be too late.

    There will be no opportunity for push back, no public notice, and no one on state or local level you can go to because they will be preempted. It will be deployed on public property but they are also working on getting rights to deploy on private property like they did with smart meters. So I need help to wake up the smart meter groups and mobilize them before they deploy because once they do it will be too late. SNIP…read on.

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    • 01 NOV 16

    America’s next president on 5G and the Internet of Things.

    I am assuming that the outcome of the current election circus will be a Clinton win – A Trump win is simply too scary to contemplate, unless you happen to be a simpleton that is. However, assuming Hillary gets in, here are some of her policies on 5G and the Internet of Things. Its even clearer now why Obama appointed industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler to head the FCC.
    SNIP

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    • 28 OCT 16

    Wireless pollution ‘out of control’ as corporate race for 5G gears up

    From Joel Moskowwitz

    The ECOLOGIST

    Wireless pollution ‘out of control’ as corporate race for 5G gears up

    Lynne Wycherley

    27th October 2016

    EXCERPT

    With the UK’s Digital Economy Bill set to be finalised today, new 5G microwave spectra are about to be released across the planet without adequate safety testing, writes Lynne Wycherley. Global neglect of the Precautionary Principle is opening the way to corporate profit but placing humans and ecosystems at risk, and delaying a paradigm shift towards safer connectivity.

    In Drowning in a Sea of Microwaves, the late geneticist Dr Mae-Wan Ho – a visionary voice who opposed GMOs – identified pollution from wireless technologies as a pressing issue of our times….SNIP

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    • 26 SEP 16

    When even your socks are connected to everything else

    The Hype Surrounding 5G and Connecting “Everything” Wirelessly
    Posted on September 24, 2016 by SkyVision Solutions
    by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

    The-hype-surrounding-5g

    There has recently been a lot of hype surrounding the planned deployment of 5G wireless technologies in the United States and elsewhere. 5G is considered the next major phase of mobile telecommunications and is expected to be much faster than the currently deployed 3G and 4G communications networks [1]. More importantly, however, 5G is expected to extend far beyond people just communicating on their smartphones; it is planned to connect literally “everything” as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

    SNIP

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    • 19 SEP 16

    How digital devices are building anxiety in our kids

    From the Sunday Tasmanian, September 18, 2016

    TIME’S UP ON SCREENS

    How digital devices are building anxiety in our kids

    TASMANIAN parents are being urged to help their children unplug from mobile devices amid concerns our hyper-connected world is adding to their anxiety and impacting on mental health.

    One of the nation’s leading mental health services for schools says the saturation of online games, information and social media is resulting in young children suffering “FOMO” — the “fear of missing out”.

    The Principals Australia Institute, which delivers the mental health program KidsMatters and MindMatters in schools, has observed increased levels of anxiety in children and urges parents to let kids understand “it’s OK not to know”.
    SNIP

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    • 18 SEP 16

    Modern life is killing our children: Cancer rate in young people up 40 per cent in 16 years

    The Telegraph, Science (UK)

    Excerpt

    Modern life is killing children with the number of youngsters diagnosed with cancer rising 40 per cent in the past 16 years because of air pollution, pesticides, poor diets and radiation, scientists have warned.

    New analysis of government statistics by researchers at the charity Children with Cancer UK found that there are now 1,300 more cancer cases a year compared with 1998, the first time all data sets were published.

    The rise is most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 24, where the incident rate has risen from around 10 cases in 100,000 to nearly 16.

    Researchers say that although some of the rise can be explained by improvements in cancer diagnoses and more screening, the majority is probably caused by environmental factors.

    Dr Denis Henshaw, Professor of Human Radiation Effects at Bristol University, the scientific adviser for Children with Cancer UK, said air pollution was by far the biggest culprit, accounting for around 40 per cent of the rise, but other elements of modern lifestyles are also to blame.

    Among these are obesity, pesticides and solvents inhaled during pregnancy, circadian rhythm disruption through too much bright light at night, radiation from x-rays and CT scans, smoking during and after pregnancy, magnetic fields from power lines, gadgets in homes, and potentially, radiation from mobile phones…. SNIP

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    • 11 JUN 16

    Anti-Choice Groups Use Smartphone Surveillance to Target ‘Abortion-Minded Women’ During Clinic Visits

    May 25, 2016, 6:52pm
    Sharona Coutts

    Women who have visited almost any abortion clinic in the United States have seen anti-choice protesters outside, wielding placards and chanting abuse. A Boston advertiser’s technology, when deployed by anti-choice groups, allows those groups to send propaganda directly to a woman’s phone while she is in a clinic waiting room.

    Excerpts:

    Last year, an enterprising advertising executive based in Boston, Massachusetts, had an idea: Instead of using his sophisticated mobile surveillance techniques to figure out which consumers might be interested in buying shoes, cars, or any of the other products typically advertised online, what if he used the same technology to figure out which women were potentially contemplating abortion, and send them ads on behalf of anti-choice organizations? SNIP Flynn’s targeting of women seeking abortion presents a serious threat to the privacy and safety of women exercising their right to choose, as well as to abortion providers and their staff, a Rewire investigation has found. But due to weak and patchwork laws governing privacy and data collection in the United States, the conduct appears to be perfectly legal. SNIP

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    • 09 JUN 16

    Technology is making us blind: The dangerous complacency of the iPhone era

    Following is an oldie (2014) but goodie from Salon.com which is quite relevant to recent postings on “A Brave New World”.
    Don

    *********************

    The rise of smartphones and social media has ushered in a new age of techno-optimism. And that’s a big problem
    Charles Howarth
    Nov 30, 2014

    Excerpt

    The technology pages of news media can make for scary reading these days. From new evidence of government surveillance to the personal data collection capabilities of new devices, to the latest leaks of personal information, we hear almost daily of new threats to personal privacy. It’s difficult to overstate the implications of this: The separation of the private and public that’s the cornerstone of liberal thought, not to mention the American Constitution, is being rapidly eroded, with potentially profound consequences for our freedom.

    As much as we may register a certain level of dismay at this, in practice, our reaction is often indifference. How many of us have taken to the streets in protest, started a petition, canvassed a politician, or even changed our relationship with our smartphone, tablet or smartwatch? The question is why are we so unconcerned?

    We could say that it’s simply a matter of habit, that we have become so used to using devices in such a way that we cannot imagine using them any differently. Or we could, for example, invoke a tragic fate in which we simply have no option but to accept the erosion of our privacy because of our powerlessness against corporations and governments.

    These are, however, retrospective justifications that miss the kernel of the truth. To reach this kernel, we have to excavate the substratum of culture to uncover the ideas that shape our relationship with technology. Only here can we see that the cause is a profound ideological shift in this relationship.
    READ ON….

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    • 06 JUN 16

    Elon Musk’s Brave New World: Become cyborgs or risk humans being turned into robots’ pets

    Elon Musk envisions a future “Brave New World” where, in order to keep up with advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, future humans (those who can afford it that is) will have to have a “neural lace”, embedded within their brains, becoming cyborgs, or super humans, in order to keep pace with the technology. An interesting concept worthy of the best of SiFi writers but consider that such technology would not come cheap. No coverage through medical insurance, ensuring that only the elites of the world will be able to afford having a neural lace implanted within their brains.

    Essentially what Musk is envisioning is an Olympian super race – part human/part AI, essentially populated by only those who can afford it – the 1 % of the world’s population who now owns half the world’s wealth. As for all those who cannot afford joining the lofty Olympians with all their neural lace emplants, what future for them? A high-tech serfdom perhaps?
    Read on…,

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    • 19 MAR 16

    A Brave New World Part III: Google’s Surveillance Capitalism

    Excerpy
    The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

    Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?
    Google surpassed Apple as the world’s most highly valued company in January for the first time since 2010. (Back then each company was worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500 billion.) WhileGoogle’s new lead lasted only a few days, the company’s success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?
    SNIP

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    • 18 MAR 16

    A Brave New World Part II: Wi-Fi Aware

    Excerpt

    WI-Fi Aware, sounds like an activist group but far from it. It is essentially a concept of social engineering where the corporations designing and building the Internet of Things (IoT) are creating a social order where humans will be totally immersed in a microwave saturated virtual IoT matrix, unable to function outside of it and perhaps with everyone implanted with a RFID chip to always stay connected, even without a smart phone. As Google has said, people who attempt to opt-out will be viewed with suspicion and will need “special attention”.

    But at least we will have all these wonderful toys to play with, at least to the IoT becomes self aware…. Interesting reading here is from the IT tech online magazine: Information Age: Insight and analysis for IT leaders The autonomous Internet of Things: how the IoT will become context-aware and self-sufficient….. Wi-Fi Aware, sometimes shortened to just Aware, is the culmination of a lot of research and development by some of the biggest companies around the world. We’re talking Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Cisco, and all the other participating members of the Wi-Fi Alliance….. It’s a refined example of the Internet of Things, an idea that describes a network of interconnected devices where all the devices are constantly sending information back and forth without any human involvement.
    SNIP

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    • 14 MAR 16

    A Brave New World: The Internet of Things (IoT)

    In Aldous Huxley’s classic 1931 SciFi novel Brave New World he envisions a dystopian society where human life has been almost entirely industrialized — controlled by a few people at the top of a World State. A future where human beings are socially conditioned (or programmed) according to the society’s strict caste system, an antiseptic and dehumanized society.

    And now consider another brave new world as envisioned by Google’s Eric Schmidt(1) and Jared Cohen (2) in The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

    (1) executive chairman of Google
    (2) director of Google Ideas
    SNIP

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