Tag Archives: WhatsApp

The side no one seriously looks at

There was an issue, in the Guardian voiced it less than three hours ago as: ‘WhatsApp ‘hack’ is serious rights violation, say alleged victims‘, yet in all this, in all the banter, in all the accusations, the one side not heard is the one not mentioned in any newspaper, why is that? (the article is at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/01/whatsapp-hack-is-serious-rights-violation-say-alleged-victims)

We all see: “More than a dozen pro-democracy activists, journalists and academics have spoken out after WhatsApp privately warned them they had allegedly been the victims of cyber-attacks designed to secretly infiltrate their mobile phones“, in equal measure we see “malware sold by NSO Group, an Israeli cyber weapons company” yet no one discusses the main frame of the mind. No one discusses the fact that WhatsApp got hacked, the fact that a software solution found the software hackable.

We see Facebook, WhatsApp, Pinter, Twitter and no one makes a larger leap on the How. How are these solutions so hackable? There is one voice in the article giving us “One referred to Facebook as “the world’s greatest privacy violator”” At this point you might think that it is merely a way to look at someone else, but it is not. These software vendors are all about sellable and resalable technologies, so they want to make a deal with large corporations who can mine that data to their hearts content, the problem is how to do it without the overbearing amount of oversight, neither side wants that, it would result in uneasy questions and questions that have answers that a lot of people would not want to work on until forced.

And how do you think that NSO technology, a company etched in cyber intelligence and software solutions to find counterintelligence loops would design a way to get into places like WhatsApp and Facebook?

  1. There is a need
  2. There is the opening
  3. Both one and two represent a massive amount of money.

It is that simple and whilst we all want to shout ‘foul, foul’ are we shouting at the right people?

Are we shouting at WhatsApp and Facebook for allowing these gaps to appear in their software? No we do not and we need to wake up. Did you learn nothing from Cambridge Analityca?

The movements of people is worth a lot of money, whilst we all seem hell bent in locking out governments, we open up to commercial enterprises like there is no tomorrow, like there is no hassle there, but that side is the largest hassle of all, they sell some form of access directly to insurances for ‘advertising’ to healthcare clinics for the same reason and they do not care how that knowledge is used. And there is no reason people forget that a company is often no more than its mission statement:  “People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them” The Facebook corporate vision statement in its direct form. There is no mention of data security, there is no need for data arbitration, and none of it is there. The same could be stated about WhatsApp “Our messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption, meaning that no third party including WhatsApp can read or listen to them. Behind every product decision is our desire to let people communicate anywhere in the world without barriers” there we see no security affix in regards to from who to who(m). And let’s be direct here the part ‘to let people communicate anywhere in the world without barriers‘ is quite sincere, there is no hiatus on KNOWING who is speaking to who, do they?

That are merely tow basic parts that are ignored and they are open and for sale, places like NSO technology fixed their views on getting to those parts of the equation for their customer. Basically Facebook and WhatsApp let them, that is the part you remain ignorant about and that is why it is happening again and again.

You did not think it was going to be easy did ya!

All these issues would fall away when the stage for secure apps would actually be secure, that is the one part that would stop a lot of this and with smaller apps it will happen, when the app comes to a size of distribution where a few hundred million users will be using it, the need for a secure app will be out in the open, well over a dozen of these apps are out in the open and there is not solution, not until that changes and if it were up to the politicians it will never change, because they need that data too.

So if you want a secure App, you will just have to stop using the one you have until they make a secure edition of the App, now there are a whole range of ideas on how that will be, for example that App will not be free, or in case of Facebook where data is their brainchild, they will figure something out, but until they do none of your data is allowed to be secure.

Doubt my words?

Consider that three programmers were at the foundation of NSO Technology Niv Carmi, Omri Lavie, and Shalev Hulio figured out what internal programmers clearly knew but did not stop to realise and these three founded software to combat terror and crime, Three programmers could see what the 150+ programmers could clearly see in the halls of Facebook and WhatsApp and now we see “the lawsuit described the alleged attacks as an “unmistakeable pattern of abuse” that violated US law” instead of the question: “How was this possible in the first place?

The need to be able to answer that question will reside far and wide in the scope of software developers, it will reside far and wide in the heads of those using these solutions, but not as much in the heads of the developers or the politicians, they know what was there, they knew what was for sale. And in all this the brief reads “More than a dozen pro-democracy activists, journalists and academics have spoken out after WhatsApp privately warned them they had allegedly been the victims of cyber-attacks designed to secretly infiltrate their mobile phones” and no one wonders why there are no politicians on that list? Or perhaps they are the ‘academics’ in all this.

In all this and no one is asking the question ‘Why was the weakness there to begin with?‘ and in all this the entire how come that the pattern of abuse is the one violating US Law and the weakness in the software is not?

Consider that for a moment! #JustSaying

 

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The first changes

We have arrived at the point of the first changes; the next 12 months will give a much larger view of the consumers and the changes that they are willing to accept. The Huawei P30 Pro is the beginning of this; at $1249 this choice is a lot cheaper than its competitor Samsung $1849 (a difference of 32.5%, whilst the Apple at $1999 will set you back an additional 37.5%, this adds up to a lot! Yet the price is not the issue, the fact that the Huawei now comes without YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail among other software, it also does not feature Google’s Play Store. It is an Android game changer; Huawei has pre-loaded new alternative apps of its own. It was the step we expected, the trade wars with China and the persecution of Huawei and the discrimination against Huawei was actually THAT stupid. Now that we are confronted with the changes we will see a new optional change. When an equal mobile is well over $500 cheaper we see the changes that matter. As the people get accustomed to other apps, apps that replace social media solutions we see a shift of consumers, I personally believe it will be a lager change. I do recommend that there will be an upgraded LinkedIn and a new Facebook available, yet there is a situation where the Asian population in Australia will embrace the Chinese solutions, there is in addition a larger need for affordable phones, so there will be a larger shift. Yes, most will hate being without Facebook, yet the credibility Facebook has lost in the past, the people might just keep these solutions on their laptop/Desktop. Yet there is already word that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp would all be available via Huawei’s own store, called the Huawei App Gallery, so all is not lost, but the fact that Google will lose millions of people who will now go via the Huawei App Gallery is almost a given. The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49754376) also gave us: “He added that the firm had set aside $1bn (£801m) to encourage developers to make their apps compatible, and said more than 45,000 apps had already integrated the firm’s technology. But he did not name any of them“, so $1,000,000,000 to corner a market and get a handle into the Chinese app user market. It will be found and it will create momentum. I changed my mobile less than a year ago, so I have no need to change for now, yet there is every indication that the upgrade to a new Android version will see me change as well and why would I not do that? Perhaps I am part of the population that thinks “Maybe they’re just trying to ride it out in the hope that they eventually get access to those Google services later“, I am most likely on that fence, however when I check the amount of options that I desperately want on my Mobile, I am limited to WordPress and LinkedIn, and they are not essential, merely a nice to have on my mobile. I can do either on a desktop. I am not alone, as thousands will shift from one side to the other month by month, Google will feel the pinch. Consider that there will be a close to immediate shift on YouTube metrics, implying that the Google Ads department will start requiring new metrics to keep their push going, we see a larger impact on Google, it will not be immediate, but it will be there and growing from the beginning, even as Google and the US will debate on how wrong the metrics are, they too realise that the American corporations will see the impact on their business, it will be visible and direct, merely because a war on greed by flaccid politicians and surpassed technologists was stated to be in denial.

The US did not to its homework, it neglected the choirs they have and are now pushing their losses on other markets. Even as we contemplate what the impact of “side-loading” Google’s apps onto the handsets and that phone store staff would advise customers how to do that. They are wondering how it would limit its impact as long as the usage impact remains close to 100%, when that falters a few times the consumers will be offered alternatives that are 100% and that is where we see the shift towards Chinese commerce.

Now that Huawei has been informed on my 5 parts of IP (hopefully bringing me decent funds too), there might be a larger shift as the issues in 5G cybersecurity and propagating 5G commerce is still lacking at least 3 elements, I feel that I will win in the long run. All the players that are behind ‘T-Mobile gets closer to launching nationwide 5G on low-band spectrum‘, I have seen that Sprint, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telstra, as well as BT have not implemented certain parts and even what they designed lacks certain small business needs, as such I feel a lot more confident on my IP. They had 3 years to look at it and they have the same short minded and shallow approach to business ignoring the Small businesses (a little over 400 million of them) to the larger degree. All elements that were clearly visible moved from the 4G premise of ‘Wherever I am‘, to 5G ‘Whenever I want it‘, that failure alone gives Huawei an additional push. As the numbers rack up towards Huawei and Chinese innovation, we will see a larger change towards the business needs and so far none of the non-Chinese solutions have addressed these changes.

As the Chinese app user market explodes in activities between now and December 2020 we will see a larger shift. With Huawei market share at 19% and Oppo at 9.5%, we see a larger growth towards 5G, as Apple is now declining to 37%, we see that Apple in 5G will lose close to 15% all these parts matter, because it does more than increase the market share for Huawei, it actually gives China a larger option to grow in a few directions that it had no real option to grow in previously, the anti-Huawei steps were THAT stupid and now we start seeing the impact. The only way to stop this is for American brands to start offering their phones at the same price as Huawei is. And that is how we see it, Google took that step and offered the Pixel 3XL at a mere 16% extra and that might be a reason to switch to Google, but in the end the others are now pushing themselves out of the race quicker and quicker.

There is a larger need to consider, as the US is getting its thanksgiving and as we are all facing Christmas (and the Dutch will get Saint Nicholas as well) the consumers will have a limited option, yet an essential need to tickle themselves, when you consider that place, would you accept the $1249 that gives you what you need, or would you spend 37.5% for what others market you towards your needs? When you realise that the essentials can be done on the smaller budget, in a time when budgets are still tight and the dangers of recession remains, can you really afford to spend those hundreds of dollars more?

The bulk of the people I know cannot afford them, they often will accept a more expensive contract, yet in the stage when 5G is about to come, would you really want to tie yourself down? And when all the small business owners realise that the current stage will hurt their business for 2-3 years, would they really want to take that chance when the commerce slice is the one everyone wants, at that point can they tie themselves down?

The first changes are here, but they also signal larger changes towards a stage where commerce will be the deciding factor and the bulk of them merely looked at their needs to sell, they to a much larger degree forget to consider what their consumers needed in the 5G environment, that failure will rear its ugly head soon enough, as I see it, Huawei is finding themselves ready for that shift. In the end that is the third stage of innovation that lazy Americans ignored, I wonder how much that will cost them this time around. As I personally see it, 400 million small business owners was too large a group to leave in the cauldron of non-decisions, yet that is exactly what they did in Europe and the US.

Forbes

So as Forbes gives us ‘Shock New Google Warning For Anyone Buying Huawei Mate 30‘, we see how the writer Zak Doffman gives us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/09/20/shock-new-google-warning-for-anyone-buying-huawei-mate-30) “Despite impressive hardware innovation, the media write-ups went straight to the lack of full-fat Android, the lack of YouTube and Gmail and Google Maps, the lack of the Play Store” which opposes the BBC, who did give clear mention and as implied so did Huawei. So there we are, already we see issues with the media bringers. After that we see the barricade “24-hours post launch, the reality of the Mate 30 is firming up. It seems highly unlikely there is any Google workaround” yet the reality is that these users get a first glimpse that it is possible to be without Google on their mobile, we do not have to get bothered every minute on news we did not need. In addition with a functional browser we still get what we need, we just will not get it via an app (for now), and believe me when the numbers start slashing into the Google needs, they will want a workaround as desperately as possible. The writer even ends with: “And so for any of you enamoured with the Mate 30 hardware who can live without Google for an unknown amount of time, maybe this is a risk worth taking” which is at the heart of the matter, not the heart we choose and not the one Google choice, because when the numbers start proving that there is real life after google, those numbers will give growth to an exponential growth of people accepting Chinese apps and accepting non-Google solutions. I feel certain that it will happen, merely because the browser is still going to be there and it will show that there is a larger need in people, even if it is to show that the want to prove that dependency on Facebook and Google is a solution, even if it is a mere point of ego, they want to prove that they are not the slave of their mobile. That alone will be a driving factor as well.

No matter how we slice it, within the next 12 months we will see an almost polarised population, those who want the best and fastest and those who need some Google solution, both will have their own validity and merits, yet in the end as small business owners see that Huawei 5G solutions can cater to both, they get to win and that is the real victory, soon thereafter the US will change the blacklist, the moment that there is a clear invoice to the losses and Google will hold the US government accountable to these tax deductible losses, at that point will we see a strong push to find some middle ground, the US will have to give is with every additional billion dollar loss and market shift towards China. They basically have no options left, their inability to deal with Iran is one view, their inability to deal with Syria is a second stage of evidence, and within the next 12 months we will get several other pieces of evidence get released to the larger audience. And that is not the end of it, as the cases regarding Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Purdue Pharma, OrbCare, Insys Therapeutics Inc and their bankruptcy issues are rising, they matter to the regard that the US government is seeing the pinch from 3 directions at present, and that is only whilst California is able to keep its head above the waterline. All these impact are also the impact on 5G propagation, installation and implementation. When you doubt that, consider the Government tech source hat gave us “5G won’t roll out to much of Southern California for a few more years, but companies such as Verizon and AT&T are beginning to install the necessary infrastructure, including those small cells pole by pole, across the region” last April, the fires and other calamities only made things harder, so whilst we see the FCC stepping in, we only see more hindrance for these people, not less and that is the impacting issue from Pasadena to Huntington Beach, and that is only the most visible one. The infrastructure is getting a second hit as we are shown that “the Federal Communications Commission is now restricting how much cities can charge the companies to install equipment: $500 for up to five cells, $100 a cell after that and a $270 annual access fee for each cell“, it is a loaded issue no matter how you slice it and whilst they are trying to figure out how to resolve it, the truth of the matter is that Huawei had this issue solved already and that is how California (and other states) end up getting limited 5G for 2-3 years, all whilst the Huawei case is growing more and more outside of the USA. It is a situation where the technology is not up to scrap and the diminished amount of funds available allows for no alternatives either; now add to this the consumers shifting to some degree away from Google who relies on Google Ads more and more and a near perfect storm is created, a storm that slams the US and gives growth upon growth to China and Chinese interests.

As the EU is accepting Huawei and as Huawei is now embracing a shift towards cloud systems, and as it grows the needs, and sets the growing stage towards 21Vianet, we see a much larger shift and in all this, the first changes brought a push in directions we never considered before. It was only a day ago when Microsoft President Brad Smith requested that the United States should end its blacklisting of Chinese giant Huawei Technologies, we might not realise it, yet the changes allowed for Huawei to look into a partnership with 21Vianet, which will directly impede Microsoft Azure business that is not in Chinese hands (outside of China), in this stage 21Vianet will have a direct option to offer services to European players, as it will not be their solution, but a Huawei solutions and the group of small businesses that are in Europe (a nice slice of 400 million companies) they too will select ‘the other’ Chinese solution. All instigated by a Huawei war that was not based on facts or on reality, it was to address the need of greed and now that it bites back, the US will find itself at the dinner table where only humble pie is to be served. When they buckle (and they will) the shift becomes larger and faster, because at that point the consumers will have the additional questions that will be met with denial on every level conceivable.

Huawei would need to do one additional thing to make that wave a lot larger, I wonder if they will do just that before the end of this year.

 

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The wider field

There is a wider field, the field is ignored by many because it overlaps in several ways and most people (read: media) tend to stare at one element. We can argue whether it is bad or good, but it does mean that the bulk of the information is not there. To get this view we need to look at several sources. First we get the International Business Times, they give us two headlines. The first is ‘Samsung Expecting Profits Slump For Q2‘ as well as ‘Huawei Ban Helps Company Earn More‘, in one way we get an increase of revenue due to the Huawei events in the US, yet there is still a Q2 slump. There are several plays that apply, but it is not about the play as such. The firs realisation is that 5G is currently being ‘advertised as here‘ by several players and at present there is an increased question on which phone is 4G and/or 5G and most people are holding off on phones this year until that field has a better view on what is available. Most people cannot afford to buy a new phone when some new models are $1800, most people cannot afford a step like that and being tied to any provider at present is an increasingly bad step to make. Even as Huawei is 20% cheaper, it remains a lot of money, and the Google (Android) issues are still there, so people are hesitant. I might have committed myself to Huawei, but that is in part because I renewed my phone in the beginning of the year, so it has to last me 2-3 more years (I have principles towards blatantly buying new phones) and I am happy with my phone.

then there is the new stage hat is now evolving when we see CNN Business give us (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/04/tech/huawei-us-ban/index.html) ‘US government asks judge to dismiss Huawei lawsuit‘, they are rightfully scared because the claim: “Huawei had filed the lawsuit in March, arguing that a law preventing US federal agencies from buying its products violates the US constitution by singling out an individual or group for punishment without trial” is almost a given, the US government made sure that every media outlet on the planet took great painstaking effort in illuminating that and now it becomes the anchor attached to their legs as they have to swim across the Pacific river (or Atlantic river). If the case goes through and discrimination is proven, the impact will be monumental, especially as no evidence was ever brought forward and if we are a nation of laws, the impact will be large, moreover, at present Huawei is still growing its pool of 5G contracts and should the Case fall on the side of Huawei, the impact on Europe will be much larger, it could signal a much larger run on trying to get a quick deal with Huawei, not because they are nice people (they optionally are), but because Huawei 5G equipment is more advanced and all the telecom players know this. Ericsson and Nokia fear that side, they had a good run due to the escalations, but Huawei is still on par to have well over 50% of 5G by themselves and that is what the US fears, that large a disadvantage because its pool of CEO’s and CTO’s were increasingly stupid, flaccid and complacent in an age where pushing innovation was essential.

The issue is not out of the room yet because there is the larger issue that everyone has not been looking at. There is still the Google issue around Android. Consider that Huawei’s Oak OS is now 60 days away from release, it is the start where people who were initially ‘forced’ to dump Android, they now will be part of the Oak OS group, a data core that involves millions from adding data to the Oak servers and no more to the Google servers. The impact seems small, but it impacts the US to a much larger degree, this stance has given China a much larger boost than ever possible. For the users it will only be a temporary setback, as apps will be supported through Oak/OS, these players will continue, yet the overhaul as people push away from android is much larger than the interaction of IOS versus Android. Consider what you need. The bulk of all android apps we use will almost immediately be available, leaving us with optionally some issues regarding LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Now there is a new stage where Chinese options could be considered and for the most when we can address who we need, we might not care on where we are. The idea that advertisements might initially fall away will be a massive reason to do that. I am certain that there will be a Facebook Oak and LinkedIn Oak, the rest remains open, the usage is huge but that too might be a reason to try something new, people love new things, especially if it comes with cool additions and new we see a different stage, it is not the US that matters, it is whether China has options that appeal to India and Europe, these three represent 3 billion people and there is the data crunch, they will not all go the Chinese solution, but even 10% would be massive, it would be a an intense gut punch to Google, more important over time as word of mouth make more people switch, the damage will increase for Google. Make no mistake, it will merely impact the total, it will not sink Google, it is too large, but in light of their predictions when they have 20% less data points to make predictions with, granularity becomes an issue for the professional side and there too there will be an impact, Chinese app owners will have their own digital advertisement agenda and business dictates that you cannot ignore that population, so budgets will be shortened to cover an audience as large as possible.

All that because of the Huawei ban, which was shown to be short-sighted from the very beginning. Consider that we were given in June: “Huawei can no longer pre-install Facebook apps on its smartphones after Facebook fell into line with a US ban on exporting software“, now consider that suddenly millions are offered a pre-installed WeChat and they are willing to try it, the impact on Facebook will be seen in less than 60 days, the fact that Facebook had been playing games with its mobile users for a much longer time will also entice users to give it a try. Not all will stay, but some will and the dimension of ‘some’ will imply a drop of Facebook of several million user. In addition we see “Chinese users spend an average of over 70 minutes a day within the app. All this makes it one of the most popular choices for businesses looking to get started with social media marketing in China“, yes it was overwhelmingly Chinese, yet in the shift it will now have optional access to a large Indian and European following. In addition the shift we optionally see when we realise: “WeChat allows for one-to-one personalized interaction between brands and users. This allows brands to communicate directly with their followers through the messaging functions on their account. This also allows brands to provide customer service directly through their WeChat account. It’s due to this reason that many companies in China don’t even operate traditional websites instead of focusing their efforts on constantly improving their WeChat official accounts” direct granularity towards the user, not mass marketing, but adjusted marketing for the individual, and then consider players like Tableau, Salesforce (now one and the same), SAP, Sony and Microsoft all wanting to address the person, not the masses, do you think that they will ignore this group of users? These people invest hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a day towards addressing their growing need of users, all revenue that is soon lost to Apple and Google. It goes beyond merely Facebook; Twitter and Snapchat, all have a Chinese version that now has the option to surpass (read: close the gap) towards their competitors. Surpass is perhaps the wrong word, the fact that people will consider the alternative in the immediate is a risk for these players, it sets the dangers of schools of users to switch to another pond, so those fishing for ads, visibility and awareness, they will all have to adjust the way they operate. There now are now only two parts where I have no idea how it will play out. Youku Tudou is the Chinese version of YouTube, but YouTube is so strongly placed that I have no idea how that will go, the same for LinkedIn. these are the two we cannot predict, no one can, but if they remain absent from Oak/OS something will have to budge, the question becomes how much do you need LinkedIn to be on your smartphone when you can just catch up daily at home, or in the office. I personally do not believe that its equivalent Maimai will be embraced as strongly as Maimai would hope, but that is my speculation on the matter.

Only YouTube as it is and remains the behemoth of Google, is too strong an app to ignore, it is too strongly desired, especially on smartphones, some might give Youku Tudou a try, but the library of YouTube increases with 300 hours of material every minute, there is no real competing with that, no matter how you slice that. There is no denial that their Chinese competitor will grow, but there the impact is less than a mosquito bite for YouTube, it is perhaps the one part of Google that no one seemingly can be without.

Is there another side?

Well there is always the option that everything in Google will be accessible on Huawei phones and that is for Google the best solution, but at present that part is just not a given, and when many Huawei smartphones are between 20%-40% cheaper, they will have an advantage and only because of US stupidity that impact is now optionally becoming much larger. And now the shift is changing faster, the Observer gave us on Saturday ‘UK mobile operators ignore security fears over Huawei 5G‘, when we consider the quote “The Observer understands that Huawei is already involved in building 5G networks in six of the seven cities in the UK where Vodafone has gone live. It is also helping build hundreds of 5G sites for EE, and has won 5G contracts to build networks for Three and O2 when they go live“, we see how things are escalating away from the US. the massive part in all this is “a firm line against the company amid claims, strongly denied, that it is controlled by the Chinese government and that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies” all from the point of view that clear evidence was never provided and the commercial corporations need to remain on top or drown and that was the larger flaw the US never seemingly understood (or blatantly ignored). Yet the other side also matter, as the numbers are given: “The consultancy Assembly suggests a partial to full restriction on Huawei could result in an 18-to-24-month delay to the widespread availability of 5G in the UK. The UK would then fail to become a world leader in 5G – a key government target – costing the economy between £4.5bn and £6.8bn” (source: the Guardian). People tend to get nervous at a loss of millions, so the loss of £4,000,000,000 plus is something that can start cardiac arrests all over the telecom boardrooms. More important as Huawei is still ’embraced’ in Germany, the German players will get the upper hand over other European players giving a larger technological shift. The final straw was the consideration of “They have taken note of what happened last December when the O2 4G network went down for 24 hours due to problems with technology provided by the Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson“, a danger as this was 4G technology that should have been clear and non-problematic, now consider that this happened to established technology, so what optional risks are Ericsson users exposed to when in involves 5G, a technology that Nokia and Ericsson is still trying to figure out?

In all this, Huawei has not stopped adding pressure. Now that we see that less than 24 hours ago we were notified that Huawei has completed the contracts with Msheireb Properties. It seems small and insignificant, but it is not. With a smart experience centre in Qatar, it is my expectations that they are ready to approach and upgrade Al Jazeera to 5G, it is speculative but it will be the first time that Al Jazeera surpasses CNN technology (as well a Fox News), It might not matter to most of us, but to people like Nasser Al-Khelaifi (beIN Media Group) it matters a lot, so when we are informed that Al Jazeera getting ready to offer 5G streaming during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Huawei as a Chinese company is mentioned everywhere in Tokyo, you better believe that these two are on top of making this work as fast and as quickly as possible, so when I created my base station IP, I never considered this, but it fits and that is another notch that some miss out on. Half the planet goes nuts for sports on a regular day, how nuts do you think the planet goes when ‘their nation‘ is fighting its fight (against up to 205 other nations) to be the best at the Olympics? When you get to watch that live, streaming it all at 5G, do you really think that people will care who brings it as long as it is true 5G? In several nations the brand jump was huge when 4G became real and some were not up to scrap, I believe that this time around the jump will be close to 300% larger than before, and the Tokyo Olympics will be a clear driver on that part. When 206 nations fight for the laurels (gold medals) every nationally driven sports fan tends to get a little (read: abundantly) nuts, and at present that group of people is well over 3 billion people, all factors some players did not consider when they were playing the short game, Huawei never played the short game, it gives them an advantage in several ways.

That is merely my view on the situation at present.

 

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Game of Pawns

Most people have heard of the Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece filmed and shown by HBO. Its final season will come in 2019 and the air is filled with teasers, speculated spoilers and optional fan made false trailers. Yet have you heard of the game of pawns? This goes directly towards the entire Australian Encryption Bill. I spoke about it 2 days ago in ‘Clueless to the end‘, where we are introduced to the misrepresented views of Peter Dutton. On how he plays the system on getting the FAANG group to help him a little, which is exactly what the FAANG group is unwilling to do. In addition to what I wrote there is the voice of Paul Brookes, chair of Internet Australia. He gave us: “it is important for law enforcement to find ways to improve their capabilities for intercepting criminal activities through the communications sectors, “they must not do so via hastily enacted legislation which fails to consider the legitimate concerns and advice of global technology experts, and carries the very clear risk of creating more problems than it solves”“, in this Paul is right and the issue is growing on other settings too. In the last three days we have been made privy to: ‘Hackers stole millions of Facebook users’ highly sensitive data — and the FBI has asked it not to say who might be behind it‘. Optionally because they cannot unsubstantiated blame Russia again, yet in the much larger setting it seems that they do not have a clue. In addition, we see evolving today: ‘PS4 Users Are Claiming That Malicious Messages Are Breaking Their Consoles‘. The last one seemingly has a solution as reported by Kotaku: “It does seem that the exploit is purely text-based, so changing your PlayStation messenger privacy settings should prevent it from happening. You can do that by going to Account Management in your console Settings, heading to the Privacy Settings submenu, and changing Messaging settings to “Friends Only” or “No One,” meaning that only your pre-selected friends or no one at all can message you“. Two attacks, the second one without knowing the extent of the attack in a setting that could not have been prevented by the encryption bill, the fact that the authorities have been grasping in the dark gives a very clear view on how short the authorities are on the ability to stop these events. All the BS short-sighted attempts to access data whilst the entire communication system is flawed beyond belief shows just how clueless the governmental players have become.

So as this week is likely to be about: “It appears to be the worst hack in Facebook’s 14-year history“, many will all go into the blame game against Cambridge Analytical, ye the foundation is that the internet was always flawed, and again we see a setting where the failing of non-repudiation is at the core of certain events. A setting where ““access tokens” – essentially digital keys that give them full access to compromised users’ accounts“, done through hacks into vulnerabilities into a setting of ‘authentication’, where the optional ‘non-repudiation’ might have optionally prevented it. That basic flaw has been around for over a decade and the tech companies are unwilling to fix it, because it makes them accountable in several additional ways.

Non-Repudiation

In a setting where you and you alone could have done certain things, is stage against the setting of someone with the claimed authority has staged the deletion of all you created. That is the stage we are in and the damage is increasing. As more and more vulnerabilities are brought to light, the lack of actions are beyond belief.

The NPR reported something interesting that the initial sources did not give me. They give us: “the hack exploited three separate bugs in Facebook’s code. No passwords were compromised, but the hackers were able to gain “access tokens” that let them use accounts as though they were logged in as another person“, as far as I can speculate, non-Repudiation might not have allowed that, making non-repudiation a much larger priority for social media than ever before. The fact that the data captures are getting larger makes the change also a lot more important. If the value of Facebook is data, keeping that secure should be their first priority, the Encryption bill would also be a void part if non-repudiation becomes an actual part of our lives. The dire need of Common Cyber Sense is seen everywhere and we need to give less consideration to people who cannot keep their Common Cyber Sense.

You see, the issue is becoming a lot more important. The fact that these accounts are now sold on the dark web, with the by-line: “If sold individually at these prices, the value of the stolen data on the black market would be somewhere between $150m and $600m“, we are certain that this will get a lot worse before there is any improvement. It is my personal view that actively seeking a non-repudiation setting will hasten that process of making your data more secure.

It is in addition the setting that the Dream Market offers, which by the way is useless. The Chinese vendor offering the data, could in the end merely be an expelled student from any US university living in Dublin, there is at present no way to tell who Chernobyl 2550 actually is.

Finding and exploiting three bugs in Facebook gets you optionally half a billion, the governments are that far behind and there is no indication that they will catch up any day soon. When going back to the Facebook setting, we also saw “Facebook said third-party apps and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram were unaffected by the breach“, yet another source gives us: ‘WhatsApp Bug Allowed Hackers To Hack Your Account With Just A Video Call’ (at https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/10/whatsapp-bug-video-call-fixed/) implying that Facebook users are in a lot more peril then shown from the different media. We are given: “A security researcher at Google’s Project Zero discovered a strange bug in WhatsApp that allowed hackers to take control of the app if they just knew your phone number. All they had to do was placing you a video call and getting you to answer it. Though the WhatsApp bug was disclosed only on Tuesday, Google researcher Natalie Silvanovich had discovered and reported it to the Facebook-owned company back in August“. So even as it seems that Facebook is not giving us ‘faulty’ information; the mere fact on the existence of the flaw as seen with: “She disclosed the WhatsApp bug to the public only after the company fixed it via a software update. Silvanovich wrote in a bug report that heap corruption could occur when the WhatsApp app “receives a malformed RTP packet.” The bug affects only the Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp because they use the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) for video calling” is showing a dangerous setting where a number of failings within this year alone gives rise to the flaws in security and proper testing of apps and the stage of security is failing faster than we should be comfortable with.

So even as CBS News was all about hacking elections last week, giving us: “These cyber-attackers are driven by a variety of motivations, says Andrea Little Limbago, the chief social scientist at data security firm Endgame. “As long as attackers find it in their best interests or find the motivation to want to have some sort of effect … they’re going to think about what they could do with that access,” she says. “Especially China, Russia, and Iran.”“, the failing we see that there is a flaw in the system, it is not merely on pointing at the wrong players, it is about the flawed setting that some systems were breached in the first place. The larger setting is not the hack, it is access and the need for non-repudiation is growing at an alarming rate, in a setting where none of the players are ready to accept non-repudiation, we see a faulty authentication approach and that is the cost of doing business. So when you consider it a sign of the times, consider that I personally witnessed a bug that Whatsapp showed over 27 years ago, when a financial package on DEC VAX/VMS has something called Ross Systems. An intentional illegal action would crash your terminal program and leave any user in the VAX/VMS system with supervisor rights, with total access to every file on the server and every drive. Would it be nice if certain lessons were learned over a quarter of a century?

That is the issue sand the opposition of those who want to push out new features as soon as possible and that danger will only increase in a 5G setting, so when your mobile becomes your personal data server and someone does get access to all your credit card and health data, you only have yourself to blame, good luck trying to sue the technology companies on that. Actually that is exactly what Google is facing with class actions against both the Pixel and Pixel 2 at present. Should they lose these, then the ante goes up, because any case involving flawed data security, when flagged as inappropriately dealt with could cost Google a lot more than they are bargaining for, and it is not just Google, Apple, and Facebook will be in equal settings of discomfort.

If only they had properly looked at the issues, instead of seeking the limelight with a new fab. In the end, are we mere pawns to them, to be exploited and under secured for their short terms needs of clicks and sales pitches? What happens when it falls? They will still get their golden handshakes and a life without complications for decades, what are we left with when our value in data is sold on?

We are merely pawns in a game and no one wants the throne, they merely want to be the second fiddle and walk away overly rich (or own the Iron Bank), we enabled this, and we get to live with the fallout that comes next, all because non-repudiation was too hard for these players.

 

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Clueless to the end

That is quite the statement is it not? The question that follows is is the writer clueless (aka me) or the presenter of certain statements (aka Peter Dutton, current Home Affairs Minister). I will leave that to you as I am merely presenting the facts as I see them.

It all started on a simple Wednesday (2 days ago) when I was confronted with the statement ‘Coalition calls on Google and Facebook to get on side with encryption bill‘, just another political yada yada moment and I was about to ignore it and more to the next page when I noticed ‘the internet giants have a responsibility to help combat organised crime‘, which woke me up nice and widely. So the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/10/coalition-calls-on-google-and-facebook-to-get-on-side-with-encryption-bill) gives us: “Australia’s law enforcement agencies have been prevented from infiltrating paedophile networks and other organised crime groups because the messages they send over encrypted electronic messaging services, such as Wickr and Whatsapp, cannot be intercepted by authorities“, in light of Australia being America’s minion in the anti-Huawei activities is admitting that mere app decryption is beyond their ability? And they have the loudly shouted notion that Huawei is a 5G risk whilst ‘basic’ skills are not in their arsenal? Apart from making a case that Huawei is now basically a political fuelled exploitation game and a setting of bias (and optionally nepotism), we are interested in learning that certain skills are beyond Australian Intelligence. I am certain that Paul Symon, Mike Burgess and Duncan Lewis would have been delighted to learn of this revelation via the Guardian, but that was merely comical relief anecdote, let’s get down to the brass of it all.

We get to see the first part in “He said a new report from the Australian Institute of Criminology, released on Wednesday, estimated the cost of serious and organised crime in Australia in 2016–17 was between $23.8bn and $47.4bn, and showed how sophisticated internet-based crimes can be“. So as we take a look at that report (attached), we take a first look at the end (just like any detective story, starting at the end we see the revelations we needed to see if the story adds up). So there we see: “This paper sought to estimate the cost of serious and organised crime in Australia for the 2016–17 financial year. It was not possible to undertake new empirical research to provide more accurate baseline data to support the estimated costs, so in most cases uprating using the RBA (2018) inflation calculator was used in conjunction with the most recent reported crime statistics to assess the prevalence of the various crime types examined“, which gives us another part. The first is on page 3 where we clearly see (in bold) ‘$31.5 BILLION for the cost of serious and organised criminal activity as well as the serious and organised component of conventional crimes‘, so now we see in opposition an amount against ‘between $23.8bn and $47.4bn‘, which I admit remains a truth, yet when we do the math, we see $15.9B for prevention and $31.5B for the so called organised and serious criminal activity, which gets us to $47.4B. At this point we could surmise that Peter Dutton passed his basic math test, was it not that the same page 3 (just like in the Sun, for the longest of times) gives us an additional $8.6 on organised Fraud (debatable), and $6.5B, $9.6B, $4.1B and others adding up to almost $2.7B, so in total we have the $31.7B, yet here is the problem, the individuals cannot clearly represent 100% of organised crime. We are now getting to the miscategorised and the miss set properties of certain players, which also deflates the issue. It becomes a larger setting when we consider the ABC, who reported in May 2017: “the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, and the reported losses from online scams across the nation come in at around $300 million“. So here we get the second part. We see ‘online scams‘ and I am willing to accept that, yet against ‘PURE CYBER CRIME‘ the question becomes what is what and where are the definitions and this gets us to page 18 where we see: “It extends the conventional understanding of organised crime groups by adding all serious crime of an entrepreneurial nature or committed to support a criminal enterprise, whether by a group or an individual“, now the entire setting changes. It optionally includes all the entrepreneurial naughty people in places like Wall Street does it not? Good luck getting anything done at that point!

Then we get to the illicit drug activity. Now, I am not debating the number overall. I do not have the data to do so, yet consider the part on page 10 where the three costs are included namely Medical costs, Lost Output and Expenditure on drugs. The items are fine, it is how you set your filter, I get that, yet in all this when we consider the numbers and the setting whilst we also have been treated to the longest time to those individuals in caravans in the middle of nowhere making their acid/ecstasy junk. So when we look at Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), we can see that it is a serious crime and that we are given a dangerous setting, no one denies that, yet in all this, those singular people who do something with gallons of cough syrup (as It was presented at one point) we should also see that at this point that Peter Dutton had all the elements added together and presents it like a Ponzi scheme, or should I say that it looks like an Amway sales presentation (the one I saw at least)? You know, the one where someone states ‘replicate, don’t reinvent‘ it is a good sales pitch, no one denies that, and it is here that we see the flaw and failing of Peter Dutton.

You see his presentation adds up ‘perfect’, these numbers add up, whilst a millennia of history shows us that numbers never add up, not in any criminal enterprise; to do that I have to teach you a little data basic. The best comparison is the use of a cross tabulation. Let’s take gender and shoes. For example we see 6 men and 14 women bought shoes. We also see that 24 women and 25 men did not buy shoes. So far we get the table on the left, yet now we also get the setting that a cross tabulation will not deal with.

For example the fact where we know that shoes were bought, yet the gender is unknown or we see a gender reference and that something was bought, but we cannot see if they were shoes. These are called missing values and they will not show up in that cross tabulation and there we see the first part. It gives us the setting of crimes but not by whom, they are serious in setting but that is not enough is it? You see Peter Dutton gave us ‘help combat organised crime‘, yet not all serious crime is done by organised crime and now we have a $47 billion dollar question and in addition the failing that we are now introduced to is a much larger failing. In this we now see that we saw in the beginning when we went to the end of the story. It is seen with: ‘estimated the cost of serious and organised crime‘ and that is not enough. We could argue that it should be, we can argue that (the amount involved) is way too big, but the setting is not merely that Tech companies should ‘help’, it is the prosecution setting. The setting that there is too much junk attached and the prosecution will fail in the bulk of all those cases because the evidence relies on loaded and unproven data. It is the part that we have faced for well over 7 years. The court barristers will give every jury the speech of authentication versus non-repudiation and the second one cannot be proven (in most cases), so we end up not merely not having ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, there will be a high and likely chance that the courts will not even be able to prove ‘on the balance of probabilities‘ or ‘is it more likely than not‘ and it is here where we see that Peter Dutton could be optionally wasting millions upon millions of costs to set the stage of presentation that will have little to no results and that is a much larger problem. The additional play is that any smudging of any presented evidence will give us the stage that a case will be thrown out of court, how is that helping anyone?

So whilst we ponder this, we need to review the statement “And it should be noted the same companies who protest about having to help police with the encryption problem, operate their business in less democratic countries and accept a compromise on privacy to allow their presence in those growth markets“. We are not those countries are we? so at this point, we get the impression that Peter Dutton is merely a minion for the intelligence services who according to him were unable to ge to places in the first place, which implies that certain players have much larger problems and the serious cirme part, which is not on their plate is already beyond them, so there!

At this point we get to the final part where we see: “It is important that tech firms understand and embrace their responsibilities to the community that has helped enrich them“, I actually do agree with that part, yet that should be set in taxation law. A flaw that I reported on yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/11/taxation-solved-the-old-way/) which I charmingly called ‘Taxation solved the old way‘ (pun intended). So when we now consider the biggest organised crime master in Common Law (Al Capone), who funny enough got scuttled not by crime fighters but by tax laws. How we get to relearn the lessons of old, do we not?

It gets us to the quote: “Currently our police and intelligence officers who have a warrant may be able to covertly recover an email or a photo or other evidence of a crime from someone’s computer, but they can’t crack encryption, which is why it is now being exploited by criminals“, so these are criminals and not organised crime. Or in a simplistic setting that every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. It is at that point that I will teach Peter Dutton the one lesson he never learned (optionally he merely forgot the lesson).

Consider: “When sarcasm bounces it is merely irony“, a lesson that has a much wider application that the honourable youthful young Dutton might not have contemplated yet. However, we have to consider he was only reappointed his seat on August 24th, so he has time to settle in. And the lesson does not end, the second part of the lesson is not from me, it comes from Lizzie O’Shea who gives us: “they were united for the first time in their opposition to the government’s encryption bill“, when we see united tech giants, how short sighted was this encryption bill in the first place? It gets to be a larger issue when we add the setting from World Animal Day (pun intended) when we see the two parts “Telstra has won a $8.2 million contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the landing of the Coral Sea Cable System” and “Chinese technology giant Huawei was originally set to build the 2.5TB-cable linking Australia to the Pacific island nation back in July 2017. However, following concerns that Huawei’s involvement posed a security risk, the Australian government stepped in to fund the multi-million-dollar project from its foreign aid budget“, whilst clear evidence has never been presented and in that stage we see optional nepotism and ego and not fact and science based solutions. We are supposed to trust any of the reporting parties on any of this? The articles are different on different settings, yet the entire mess as it is now shows a much larger failing and a setting of doubt, not one of justified confidence and in that we see the second part of the reason why the tech giants are uniting. A certain play performed by adjusting to the notion of stupid and short sighted whilst the captains of industry have been getting their A-game in gear and others never did. It is merely another stage of the impact of iterative exploitation and profit founding, that whilst Huawei, Google, Apple and Samsung are no longer going iterative, they are now making larger leaps over the next 5 years as they want the largest slice of 5G pie possible and in an iterative setting the others can catch up and that is where we see the clash, because these hardware jumps will also prevail in software and data jumps and some players are in no way ready to play that game. That is where this so called balanced report strikes out as well. this is seen on page 21, where we see: “Because information and communications technologies are used widely throughout society and are instrumental to government, business and consumer activities, there is considerable overlap between the estimated costs of cybercrime and the costs of other crime types— particularly economic crimes, banking and financial crimes, transnational crime, online commerce and internet-facilitated crime such as consumer fraud, online dissemination of child exploitation material and intellectual property infringement“. You see in that stage we see the mention of ‘economic crimes, banking and financial crimes‘. Here we see that Financial institutions and Wall Street come into play (perhaps ‘entrepreneurial bankers’ is a much better term). This is not organised crime because Wall Street never committed any crimes did they, yet they are at the centre of a group of people in that classification are they not? And there we see not merely the adaptations of block chains, we see that organised crime will go there (as soon as they possibly can) whilst the bulk of all the players will not be ready and any encryption bill will hinder the progress of new technology as other players are not anchors of stability, they are concrete blocks of deceleration, another part not considered in any of this.

So yet, the tech companies are uniting and there is a second part in all that. When they strike a deal with Saudi Arabia and set a large part in the city of Neom; when Saudi Arabia accepts certain concessions towards the FAANG group? I personally believe that as soon as the benefit is clearly shown to the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the headway that they could make, they will adjust whatever they can according to Islamic Law, and at what point will governments realise that their only option of control will be isolation and a loss of economy? We are not that far away from that point. Even as we were told yesterday “A senior executive who works for Google’s parent company and a former US secretary of energy have dropped out of a Saudi Arabia tech and business advisory board following international outcry over the disappearance and alleged murder of a dissident Saudi journalist“, yet as Google cloud picks up more and more banks, how long until they reverse the setting? In this the Financial Times also gave us (a day earlier): “A radical blueprint to transform Saudi Arabia through socio-economic reform and ambitious development projects is persuading banks to return to Riyadh“, so at what point will we realise that Saudi Banking is growing and that all players want them as customers? It all boils to dollars and crime is merely a cost of doing business. It is that side that shows the missing data part (going back to the cross tabulation comparison). Corporations have always been about the privileges that come with a certain network and the most facilitating one is the one they will choose, that is in the heart of the flaw that I saw regarding Peter Dutton’s claims here. A bill that stops facilitation and stops optional business on much more levels, as banks need to show more and more profit. The greed driven business model will always be destructive in nature, learning that lesson 10 years ago would have made a difference, now it no longer will.

That is part of the heart of the “$40bn of foreign money is expected to flow into the stock market as a result of Saudi Arabia gaining MSCI emerging markets index status next year“, that against a flawed encryption bill, it was a bad play, played even worse on the surface of all the facts shown and I did not even bother going all the way when it comes to the initial ‘sought to estimate the cost‘, it almost reads like ‘the lady gains weight and we are trying to determine whether she is pregnant, or if she really likes pizza‘, how was that ever going to go? Perhaps asking her: ‘Have you been screwed (over) lately?‘ It could give you a truth and a lot more non-truths. That is the problem with data, whilst moulding data in one direction, you tend to open a door in another direction too, I learned to see and seek those doors, oh and that is before we consider the estimates and the application of weights to a data file, which I do not know whether it happened. this we should have consider with the statement on page 2 ‘Where data were not available for this period, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) (2018) inflation calculator was used to uprate estimated costs from earlier periods‘, the part ‘uprate estimated costs‘ would have gotten us that part, also the fact that it is not data merely a ballpark idea on what the data could be, it is not the same, is it?

 

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The Validity of Targeted Killing

This is not some euphemism like the trials and tribulations of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. This is not a game, nor is it some romantic twist. It is the harsh reality of a government that didn’t get it to begin with and now as the body count ads up, it has painted itself into a corner and until it wakes up and gets active, its citizens will be placed into immediate harm. The undeniable consequence of a flaccid government set to inaction. The nice part is, is that governments at large are all on the same boat. The US, nominated as the most stupid one, followed by the European Community at large, the Commonwealth and a few more nations. It seems that in this specific case China is the only clever participant (in this specific case).

To give you the connections at hand, we need to realise what exactly is Targeted Killing. In this case it is the ‘Assassination by a state organisation outside of the judicial procedure or a battlefield’. Yet in this, the existing definition is not complete or correct. In this day and age, assassination is done in a multitude of ways, not always corporeal being lethal, but in some cases that might actually have been an act of mercy if it ended that way. So what is this about?

You might think that it started with ‘WhatsApp privacy backlash: Facebook angers users by harvesting their data‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/25/whatsapp-backlash-facebook-data-privacy-users), but you would be wrong. This is not the start, but it might be the end of the beginning. You see, the one part that people forgot is that data once captured will be an entity onto itself, it will take on a life of its own, your shadow self, but a part you no longer have control of. You see, you still control your shadow, you step away from the light and it moves your shadow, when all the light is gone, your shadow is dead, because it only lives through your indirect interaction with light. The link we have initially is: ‘WhatsApp to give users’ phone numbers to Facebook for targeted ads‘, which the Guardian published 2 days ago. You see, the subtitle “Messaging service will begin sharing private information with Facebook and is preparing to allow businesses to message users” gives us the consequence. Our data is no longer our own, we gave that right up and as such, data is now starting to get shared with people we did not consider it could be shared with. So even if we see that this reflects on ‘phone numbers’ this first step is more than that as we see ‘sharing private information‘, when you consider the quote “They will have 30 days to decide whether to opt out of their information being used for ad targeting on Facebook, but will not be able to opt out of their data being sharing with the social network“, you might get a first idea of how bad things could possibly become. The quote “Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls“, this quote seems nice, but that is not the information some are looking for. Consider how often you called a health professional. Now consider that the insurance agencies start digging into all the calls they can get their hands on. They can data-mine it by linking that to all the health professionals that work through them. Let’s put that into a state of reference you will understand.

Any person is likely to be connected to health professionals and pharmacies. Like your GP (physician), a Chemist and perhaps a Medical Clinic. Now consider that if you have called any of these places in total 4 times or more this year, your insurance could go up by 10%, and an additional 2% for any additional call in that time period. This will be worth Millions to that insurance agency, because they will get the data that involves 10% or more of their customer base. Now, this last part is a little speculative. The reason is that clear information is not out there. Some state that WhatsApp has 8% coverage in the US, whilst another source states 34%. There is no clear number we can trust because those behind WhatsApp are also aware that high numbers will cause concern, so we get bombarded with specific information, not giving us an exact picture. Yet for the US, we see that the number of users is between 26 and 79 million, which is too large a fluctuation, yet in other places like South Africa, where the usage is 68% and 72% in Brazil. Now we have another matter, because insurance agents, in these areas can form a health hazard image with much greater precision, it maximises their profits and changes a health entity into a ‘milking solution’ of healthy people, the others can sit on expensive bills and die of their own good accord.

That is what the article does not bring forth and that is what is only just below the surface. It is all happening because of two sides. On the one side, political players left too many backdoors open, meaning that in reality these players will never be prosecuted in any way. On the other side, a clear information pass to all people alarming them of the dangers that data collection brings was not in the cards either. Here, the governments get a little bit of leeway as no one truly saw the impact that social media would have, Facebook changed it in many unimaginable ways.

With WhatsApp now surpassing the 1 billion user market we now have a player that has global coverage, making that data worth a lot to some players, the insurance world is only one of them. Consider the interaction of Mobiles and the internet and what other information is being collected. That is now becoming clear and as certain cases saw in the past, data might be deleted, but will never be wiped, so as such we now have a massive issue and this is only the beginning. You see, even as the people at WhatsApp are trying to put your fear to sleep. The quote “WhatsApp said: “We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.”” should not diminish that fear. You see, “we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number” is not the art that matters. What does matter is what unique identifier will be shared and no matter what the foundation of that number is, once it is decomposed to its core and can be made uniquely identifiable, it will start the next push towards the epitaph of privacy.

So how does this relate to targeted killing?

You see the plain fact is, is that we no longer have a correct view on how politicians view ‘the long term’. You see, ‘for the good of all’ is now a hollow statement, especially when we consider the latest president of the US and more important, the impact that whomever comes next has. We can see that in the following links ‘Corporate tax reform is vital to boosting America’s growth‘ (Financial Times), where we see “In the intervening years, nearly every developed country has reformed its tax codes to make them more competitive than that of America. Meanwhile, the US has allowed its tax code to atrophy“, which is one way to tell the story. What is the crux is that for too long tax breaks were given to large corporations. Tax breaks that allowed them to operate for nearly free, making the revenue they obtained, to be ‘the profit they got’. In addition we see ‘Treasury Department Criticizes EU on Corporate Tax Probes‘ (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/treasury-department-criticizes-eu-on-corporate-tax-probes-1472059767), here we see “U.S. officials also see a potential risk to the federal budget. Under current law, U.S. companies owe U.S. taxes on the profits they earn around the world and get tax credits for payments to foreign governments. To the extent they pay more in Europe, they could pay less to the U.S. when they repatriate the money or when Congress imposes a mandatory tax on their stockpiled foreign profits“. Here we could go into ‘Yay, America, good for you mode‘, but the truth is that part of 325 American Consumers (many of them being non-consumer) is nothing compared to the billions of consumers companies like Apple are getting their profits from. The linked White paper (added at the end) states “Beginning in June 2014, the Commission announced that certain transfer pricing rulings given by Member States to particular taxpayers may have violated the EU’s restriction on State aid. These investigations, if continued, have considerable implications for the United States—for the U.S. government directly and for U.S. companies—in the form of potential lost tax revenue and increased barriers to cross-border investment. Critically, these investigations also undermine the multilateral progress made towards reducing tax avoidance“, a paper that comes from the US Treasury. Perhaps people there like Jacob J. Lew and Sarah Bloom Raskin should have realised the long term consequences that they thrust towards others and are now thrust back onto them. If the treasury would not have been so stupid to send a member of the USC (United States of Cowards), namely President Obama to make a presentation in The Hague in 2013, where we see a refusal to back international taxation laws to allow for tougher calls on digital companies. The official quote was “senior officials in Washington have made it known they will not stand for rule changes that narrowly target the activities of some of the nation’s fastest growing multinationals“. I dealt with this in my articles ‘Delusional‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/04/07/delusional/) and ‘Ignoranus Totalicus‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/04/24/ignoranus-totalicus/), which I wrote on April 7th and 24th of this year. So perhaps hoping for as they state it an “unforeseeable departure from the status quo” was not the best idea to have, especially as maintaining the Status Quo screwed up Greece for economic life and it got them Brexit! Two elements that will push taxation changes in the European Union even further.

So how stupid were they?

Well, from one side we could state ‘extremely so’, yet that would ignore the part that is ignored by many. The truth is that players like Apple, Google and Facebook now have powers that exceed many governments and they have the benefit of not being in debt. So it amounts to Facebook giving a presentation to these so called ‘Senior Officials’ in Washington with on the last slide they see ‘Monkey see, Monkey do!’, and the presentation, minus the final slide gets send around by so called senior officials. Our lives now firmly in the hands of non-elected officials.

That is the crux, because it can only stop with massive changes to the taxation system, with the dangers that it will break the back of national economies. It is that regard that made Brexit a necessary evil and when official discussions start in 2017 as Article 50 comes into play, the line of taxation will change even more. All because those who needed to advocate change were unwilling to clearly speak out and now hell comes for its pound of flesh.

Now we can complete the targeted killing part that was unclear. You see the definition should be: ‘The Assassination by a ruling organisation outside of the Judicial procedure or a battlefield‘, which now puts Facebook in play. You see, when Brad J. Bushman Ph.D. wrote ‘It’s Time to Kill the Death Penalty‘ (at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-psyched/201401/it-s-time-kill-the-death-penalty), he forgot a few parts. Now, this is a good article and seeing the sides he discusses in the frame it was written is well worth reading. Yet, when he states “The Death Penalty Models the behaviour it seeks to Prevent” is about the act of corporeally killing a person. Then we get ‘You Might Kill the Wrong Person‘ which is a valid argument any day of the week. Now consider those who would kill you in different ways. When Facebook bans you for life, it stops you from interacting and as such you become a social pariah, an outcast and you are withdrawn from social circles, yet their model is not about your limit to interaction. When they sell on your data you run the risk to get barred from certain rights. Rights to medical support as insurance agents find you a risk and make the monthly fee no longer affordable. It will potentially change your data as you are a risk to finances and limit or stop creditability for a house. Algorithms will stop you to move forward. You will be dead in the soul as the rightful interactions for your way of life are removed from you, mostly all from predictive modelling, an expected future, not a given fact. You become guilty until proven incorrectly processed. It is still targeted killing, but one of a different kind. And in all this Facebook would never be made accountable for any of this. That is the part that all seem to ignore. Those who do prosecute it will try to get a large fine out of it, yet the people wronged will still be regarded as ‘executed’.

Now in light of all this and all of you would have seen, consider the statement that the ACLU gave “The capital punishment system is discriminatory and arbitrary and inherently violates the Constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment. The ACLU opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, and looks forward to the day when the United States joins the majority of nations in abolishing it“, being excluded from healthcare as insurers make certain paths unaffordable is certainly discriminatory, especially as the true vetting of the data that is used against the people cannot be verified and is forced upon a ‘victim’. In addition, the isolation that results from these actions can be regarded as torture.

So how was there not a stronger level of protection? That part is harder to argue as it was your personal freedom to join up to these services and once the data is given, when the service changes its foundational work, we have no say over the removal of already collected data. So when we consider the quote “The service will not be merged with Facebook’s other chat-based service Messenger or photo-sharing service Instagram. But all services under Facebook will gain access to WhatsApp users’ phone numbers and other account information, and it can be used to suggest contacts be added as friends“, so now we see the dangers that professional contacts become social contacts (read: ‘friends’). I have seen that this could end up being a great way to kill your own career and in this day and age, those without a job tend to lose a lot more than just a job. An efficient and bloodless way to expedite targeted killing whilst not leaving any blood on the floor or a corpse. They are true fears beyond the death sentence in this day and age, a fear which cannot be altered as taxation dollar to support these people are not coming in any day soon. It is a potential nightmare to many registered users. If only the right laws had been enacted to prevent this from happening. So even as there might not be any validity in targeted killing, we are now in a place where it can happen, and it is not considered as such, as there is no corpse to process and in the corporate spreadsheets validity is not an actionable point, it merely is not illegal, making it valid and legal for all pushing towards an economy of data sales.

Have a great evening and do not forget to update your status to ‘it’s complicated‘, because it truly is about to become that for plenty of registered social media users.

White-Paper-State-Aid

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Within the realm of privacy

We all have an inherent need for privacy, we want things to be at our leisure of contemplated sharing. Yet, what is privacy? On one side we want privacy, but the next moment ladies will share whether their carpet is a landing strip or a martini glass, I for one do not care. If they want to share certain parts that’s fine with me. I am not too much about sharing. On the other side, apart from a few MP3 files, there is nothing interesting on my mobile. I reckon that my mobile is one of the dullest ones around.

So when I initially heard about the FBI wanting to access the iPhone of Syed Farook, I shrugged my shoulders and went ‘whatever!’ meaning that I was not opposed and I did not care. It was the techdirt site that has an interesting fact from the court case.

Footnote 7, on page 18 details four possible ways that Apple and the FBI had previously discussed accessing the content on the device without having to undermine the basic security system of the iPhone, and one of them only failed because Farook’s employers reset the password after the attacks, in an attempt to get into the device“, so the boss went into ‘auto-moronic’ mode and did not check? He acted without knowing? So when we see “The ‘owner’ of course, being the San Bernardino Health Department, who employed Farook and gave him the phone. Basically, what this is saying is that if the password hadn’t been reset, it would have been possible to try to connect the phone to a ‘trusted’ network, and force an automatic backup to iCloud — which (as has been previously noted) was available to the FBI. But by ‘changing’ the password, apparently that option went away“, should we consider that his boss was stupid, or that his boss was scared he had done something wrong and this was his/her way of covering the mess up? (at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160219/17463033656/footnote-reveals-that-san-bernardino-health-dept-reset-syed-farooks-password-which-is-why-were-now-this-mess.shtml).

For the record, that was clear speculation on my side!

What happened was that Apple, the firm that initially ‘screwed over’ its customer base with error 53. A few days ago, the Guardian reported ‘Apple ordered to decrypt iPhone of San Bernardino shooter for FBI‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/17/apple-ordered-to-hack-iphone-of-san-bernardino-shooter-for-fbi). In there we see the important quote: “In 2014, Apple began making iPhones with additional encryption software that they said they could not unlock, even if faced with a court order. Apple said this was done in the name of consumer privacy and cybersecurity, but the company has been locked in a public feud with the FBI since“. I understand that there is a need for privacy. My issue is why THIS level of privacy is needed. One could speculate that this is to keep the financial adviser’s customer base happy. I reckon that those people look for other means the moment their actions could be monitored, or investigated afterwards. Again, speculation from my side.

You see, I do not comprehend why law abiding citizens are so in fear, of what the government finds out. Most people can’t stop selfie themselves, their fashion and body parts to social media on a global scale. They tend to Facebook all details, especially when they are far away from home to ‘all’ their friends, so that the department of discreet entry and removal operations can empty their homestead in the meantime. With so much sharing, what privacy do you think you still have?

So back to the Granny Smith of automation, the next article (again the Guardian) gives us ‘FBI escalates war with Apple: ‘marketing’ bigger concern than terror‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/19/fbi-apple-san-bernardino-shooter-court-order-iphone), here we see the subtitle ‘Court filing from Department of Justice says Apple is more concerned with ‘its marketing strategy’ than helping FBI unlock San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone‘, which is fair enough when we consider that a failed marketing equals an alleged death in those houses. The quote “Cook called for public debate and has been backed in his fight by some of tech’s biggest names, including Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai, WhatsApp and whistle-blower Edward Snowden“. I think that this is less about Americans and more about the 7 billion non-Americans that have this false fear of the CIA and the NSA. Yet in all this, the only true group to fear this is the 0.0001% of the population, I do not even register and in that regard most do not even register. Like the previous mass surveillance marketing ploy, simple fear mongering.

Now, let it be said that I have nothing against a person’s privacy and there is nothing wrong with wanting privacy, yet when we consider the 1.5 billion on Facebook, the 100 million on Instagram, the 307 million on Twitter and over 100 million users on Pinterest, we have well over 80% of the iPhone users on social media all sharing from mere events attended up to the grooming of the most private of parts, Which makes the shout for privacy a little too hilarious.

So how does this fit legally?

Well first there is the part that the DoJ is now relying on. It is the All Writs Act of 1789, which states “The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law“, which sounds rather nice,

Yet the fact that the DoJ needs to rely on an act that has, according to several press sources, only been used thrice is a little too novel.

When we consider that the ‘self-destruct’ was enable by Farook’s boss (making the device useless to thieves), only leaves the DoJ without options. What is interesting is when the last cloud backup has happened, had it happened at all? Too many question that are all in the realm of speculation and none of it gives way to legislation. The question becomes should it be? I am not opposing the FBI, CIA or NSA. Yet these alphabet groups do know that they are fishing in murky waters. You cannot expect a corporation to set a product meant for 1,000 million to have options for the internally build exemption of 5,000-7,000 users. The math just does not add up!

I was talking about the legality, so let’s continue there.

In McCabe v British American Tobacco Australia Services Ltd,’ and the appeal, British American Tobacco Australia Services Ltd v Cowell (Representing the Estate of McCabe (deceased)), exposed some of the difficulties that plaintiffs who sue large corporations may face in litigation involving access to documentation. The Victorian Court of Appeal reversed the first instance decision which had struck out the defence of a tobacco company (‘BAT’). The basis for the first instance decision was that BAT had systematically destroyed documents that might have been relevant to the plaintiff’s case. It important to state WHO destroyed documents. You see, in case of Farook it was the boss who ‘destroyed’ the options for information retrieval. The important issue is that INTENT becomes near impossible to prove. In addition that case gives us: “The High Court declined the opportunity to clarify the law in this important area by refusing leave to appeal. The effect of this case, absent statutory reform, is that corporations may destroy potential evidence provided that their actions do not constitute an attempt to pervert the course of justice or a contempt of court. These are notoriously difficult to establish” (source: Playing for keeps? Tobacco litigation, document retention, corporate culture and legal ethics by Matthew Harvey and Suzanne Lemire. The reason for going towards this case is that the entire approach to mobile architecture and auto-backup could instigate updates where the mirror is encrypted extern from Apple. Which means that any phone would have an XML set-up and data object, but the object would be irretrievable. The ‘responsibility’ for proper password maintenance would be kept with the ‘client’ or end user. Taking Apple out of the equation leaving the DoJ with the apple pie made from the famous Granny Smith (AKA Janet Abigail Doe).

This takes the entire cyber conversation towards Spoliated Evidence, where we see “a party is faced with the fact that certain key evidence has been destroyed, altered, or simply lost“, destroyed implies intent, but proving that is next to impossible (which got us the tobacco case. Altered is basically what the DoJ faces as the boss decided to reset the password, again malicious intent becomes next to impossible to prove, whilst lost is not in play in this case but could clearly complicate the issue if that was the case, as the DoJ would have no implied evidence at all.

This entire endeavour goes even further south when we consider Federal Insurance Co. v. Allister, 622 So. 2d 1348, 1351 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993), where the Fourth District decided to set forth five factors to consider before imposing sanctions for spoliation of evidence. They were:

  • whether there is prejudice;
  • whether the prejudice can be cured;
  • the practical importance of the evidence;
  • the good faith or bad faith surrounding the loss of evidence;
  • Possible abuse if the evidence is not excluded.

As bad faith is now linked to the degree of wilfulness, we get back to intent. If mere ‘negligent loss’ does not cut the cake and the cake cannot be devoured without the essential evidence, the entire issue goes nowhere really fast. Basically, it boils down to the boss of Farook having one set of glasses on with the limiting mindset of cost if his mobile was ‘abused in usage’, leaving Apple in the clear shrugging their shoulders going ‘not my problem now’, whilst in all this we are left with no evidence linking to intent or malice. That small scope that was available will in all expectations to be diminished further. It basically solves all of Apple’s problems.

In the need for privacy we have gone from exceptionally rare to just hilariously ridiculous. The Guardian article (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/20/apple-fbi-iphone-explainer-san-bernardino) shows in equal measure another side. Which comes from Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat from Oregon. Here we read “Some are calling for the United States to weaken Americans’ cybersecurity by undermining strong encryption with backdoors for the government,” he wrote on Medium on Friday afternoon. “But security experts have shown again and again that weakening encryption will make it easier for foreign hackers, criminals and spies to break into Americans’ bank accounts, health records and phones, without preventing terrorists from ‘going dark’“, as such correctly implying that the medication will end up being a lot worse than the disease they face. In addition to that, should Farook have relied on another path, for example receive orders and message a ‘guild’ within a Facebook RPG game, the wasted time on the iPhone becomes nothing more than an iconic episode of the Comedy Capers. With these games receiving billions of messages a day, parsing though 1 of a dozen games would take years. The fact that none of this required any encrypted android or IOS system, just a mere desktop like millions of students use makes for the case against the Alphabet teams. When looking at Extremetech, we see a quote that is important in all this, the quote: “how terrorist organization uses social media to spread its message and radicalize curious readers. GWU’s research found that while ISIS uses a wide range of services, including Facebook, Google Plus, Kik, WhatsApp, and Tumblr, Twitter is the social media site of choice. Twitter already patrols and bans the accounts of ISIS supporters“, it casually forgets the 3-4 dozen accounts that do not raise any flags, the accounts that ACTUALLY bring details of the attacks to the transgressors.

 

 

 

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