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GCHQ says ‘Use easy passwords” (please?)

GCHQ says ‘Use easy passwords” (please?)

GCHQ bosses suggest users should get rid of overly complex passwords

Britain’s cyber intelligence agency, the GCHQ, has released new guidance suggesting people should avoid complex passwords for their online accounts.

In a departure from the conventional belief passwords should be complex, the snooping agency said such passwords fail to protect against cyber hackers.

The GCHQ intelligence agency, which is based in Cheltenham, specialises in cyber communications for the British army and government.

Only today (12th Sept) was it revealed British GCHQ spies have discovered ISIS cyber criminals have hacked into senior government ministers’ emails.

Really?

Name, emails and passwords of Foreign Office and council staff ‘hacked by Isil’

7:51PM BST 12 Aug 2015

*cough*

Microsoft is downloading Windows 10 to your machine ‘just in case’

Microsoft is downloading Windows 10 to your machine ‘just in case’

By Chris Merriman

MICROSOFT HAS CONFIRMED that Windows 10 is being downloaded to computers whether or not users have opted in.

Microsoft told us: “For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade.

“When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.”

In other words, if you are patching via Patch Tuesday, as you should of course be, then you are going to get a big hefty folder on your hard drive ready so you can update to Windows 10 on demand.

Whether you believe it’s to avoid fragmentation or to spy on you depends on how much pot you smoked in college, but it now appears to have gone from ‘over keen’ to ‘needy’ and you have to wonder why and whether it’s going to blow up in the company’s face.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2425381/microsoft-is-downloading-windows-10-to-your-machine-just-in-case

IDs to be linked to bank accounts from 2018 – (Turning Japanese?)

IDs to be linked to bank accounts from 2018 – (Turning Japanese?)

Under changes to the so-called My Number system, personal ID numbers can be linked to people’s bank account numbers from 2018. Although such links will be made initially on a voluntary basis, the government is considering making it mandatory from 2021.

The revision will also expand the use of ID numbers to track records of vaccinations and health checks.

Under the My Number system, all residents, including non-Japanese, will be assigned a 12-digit identification number starting in October.

The government is set to start using the ID from January next year for administrative purposes such as taxation and social welfare benefits.

The change will allow companies to use massive amounts of personal information, dubbed “big data,” for commercial purposes.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/03/national/politics-diplomacy/number-law-revised-ids-linked-bank-accounts-2018/#.Ve4iNPlViko

I would track immigrants like FedEx packages

Refugee Crisis – Czech Police Ink Numbers on Skin

 

 

New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone

New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone

The site of a lavish new downtown stadium for the Sacramento Kings in California are being monitored by drones and software that can automatically flag slow progress.

Once per day, several drones automatically patrol the Sacramento work site, collecting video footage. That footage is then converted into a three-dimensional picture of the site, which is fed into software that compares it to computerized architectural plans as well as a the construction work plan showing when each element should be finished. The software can show managers how the project is progressing, and can automatically highlight parts that may be falling behind schedule.

At the Sacramento project, video is being captured by a drone-operating company called ImageInFlight. The software developed by the University of Illinois team can show how different subcontracting teams are working together.

The University of Illinois team is currently testing a system that will allow drones to attach cameras to locations across a building site, so that activity can be monitored continually. In experiments, they are also using a crowdsourcing platform to categorize workers’ activities in video footage. A manager can then see how different tasks are being performed overall, and how much time each individual is spending on a job.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/540836/new-boss-on-construction-sites-is-a-drone/

Windows 10 might get BANNED in Switzerland for abusing peoples privacy!

Windows 10 might get BANNED in Switzerland for abusing peoples privacy!

By Jennifer Baker

Switzerland’s top data cop says Microsoft has “gone too far” in abusing people’s privacy.

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Jean-Philippe Walter, told Le Temps on Sunday that he was prepared to take Microsoft to court if it does not alter its privacy policy for Windows 10.

According to Walter, the installation procedure does not properly inform users about the scope of the default settings. In France, the data protection authority CNIL issued public advice on how to set up privacy controls for Windows 10 earlier this month, but CNIL’s Swiss counterpart is feeling more combative.

“If necessary, we will issue a recommendation,” he warned – a recommendation which could be for the authorities to ban the sale of Windows 10 in Switzerland.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/25/swiss_privacy_watchdog_growls_at_microsoft_and_threatens_to_get_windows_10_banned/

Privacy issues:

http://loucollins.uk/2015/07/30/windows-10-here-are-the-privacy-issues-you-should-know-about/

How your entire financial life will be stored in a new ‘digital vault’

How your entire financial life will be stored in a new ‘digital vault’

By Dan Hyde – Telegraph

Every detail of people’s finances could be collated and stored in a digital “vault” under plans being developed by the Government, financial firms, Google and Microsoft.

A prototype for the new scheme, which is being called a “digital passport”, should be ready by the end of the year, industry sources say.

If an agreement can be reached, the data service could eventually include: people’s address, phone numbers, tax details, where they are registered to vote, driving records and benefit claims, as well as information about their mortgages, pensions and bank accounts.

The plans are understood to have been driven by the Tax Incentivised Savings Association, a not-for-profit membership association operating within the financial services industry, and a subsidiary arm called The Savings and Investment Policy Project.

These trade bodies for the financial services industry are funded by 145 banks, insurance companies and other financial service providers.

Calais migrant crisis means ID cards are now “essential”

Calais migrant crisis means ID cards are now “essential”

Remember this from 2 days ago?

Are you angry enough over migrants yet for me to impose the ID laws I’ve got prepared?

Well it’s in the pipeline

Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch

Migration Watch UK said “radical action” was needed and also called for a full search of all trucks as they arrive at Dover.

The think tank, which campaigns for tighter immigration restrictions, said the crisis in Calais is the culmination of “long-standing and growing weaknesses in the immigration system”.

The report said: “In the longer-term we must return to the introduction of ID cards.

French officials have repeatedly claimed the absence of ID cards in the UK and access to the unofficial jobs market are major factors in drawing migrants to Calais.

 

Hayden Smith

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/calais-migrant-crisis-means-id-6243331
Are you angry enough over migrants yet for me to impose the ID laws I’ve got prepared?

Are you angry enough over migrants yet for me to impose the ID laws I’ve got prepared?

By Rowena Mason – Guardian

Yvette Cooper calls for UN intervention over escalating Calais migrant crisis

“I’m calling on the prime minister to agree with President [François] Hollande for the UNHCR to be brought in to register those people camping out at Calais, and go through a proper process of managing asylum applicants.”

or – set up camps?

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/08/how-do-you-solve-refugee-crisis-calais

use military force?

French police say time to ‘bring in British Army’ to Calais to tackle illegal immigrants

With thanks to TheresaMay tweeter for the headline

 

Queen planning a palatial new home for her pigeons

Queen planning a palatial new home for her pigeons

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 00.22.04

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 00.55.44

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11793075/Queen-planning-a-palatial-new-home-for-her-pigeons.html

Pigeon PIE ?

After publishing secret spy docs, German news site investigated for treason

After publishing secret spy docs, German news site investigated for treason

A well-known German political and tech news website has received (English translation here) a nearly unprecedented letter from the German Federal Public Prosecutor, saying that two of the site’s top editors are being investigated for treason after having published secret government documents earlier this year.

“We leaked some internal documents of the secret service of Germany in the spring, documenting that they are building up a mass surveillance on social networks with lots of new jobs and new capabilities,” Beckedahl added. “And this wasn’t in public and there wasn’t a debate, two years after Snowden, whether to have more control of secret services.”

“We see it as attempts to threaten us and others,”

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/after-publishing-secret-spy-docs-german-news-site-investigated-for-treason/

Hat tip to Alun and Ian on twitter