Privacy

Privacy, digital or not, is arguably one of the most pressing issues facing the world today. It's a prerequisite for identity, free speech, and democracy. But what even is privacy?

Digital Payments Are Not More Private Than Credit Cards

Digital payments have taken the world by storm. Nowadays, nearly every major smartphone supports some sort of contactless payment system, and there are no shortages of services—most notably Android Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo, PayPal, and Bitcoin—which make use of the technology. Digital payments have been heralded as more »

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Snapchat: a New Idea, an Old Concern

Before Snapchat became the nearly universal communication platform for digital natives, it was an app which promised friends—but more often lovers—a seemingly private environment in which they could communicate intimately. In more crude terms, sexting. The allure of the app was its disappearing messages feature, which ensured that »

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Not All Drones are Military Drones

There is little doubt that drones are a groundbreaking military technology Their advantages over traditional aircraft are well known: they allow for the execution of surveillance and strike operations without risking the life of pilots. Unlike traditional airborne surveillance, which relies on high-altitude aircraft taking photos from miles above, drones »

Signal is Not a Magic Solution to Privacy

Signal is considered the gold standard in mobile encrypted messaging by governments and dissidents alike. The app, which is completely open-source, allows its users to securely text, call, and videochat each other. Signal has become ubiquitous among privacy enthusiasts and journalists, and derives much of its popularity from its frequent »

What the 'Vault 7' CIA Leak's Coverage is Missing

This morning, WikiLeaks published what appears to be the largest leak of CIA documents in the agency's history. The documents included in the leak describe cyberweapons which allow the CIA to remotely control computers, turn any phone or TV into a listening device, and bypass encryption before it was even »

Facebook Isn't Opt-In

For as long as I've known the internet, I've tried to restrain myself from creating a Facebook account. I was successful until recently, when I needed to make an account in order to run a Facebook ad. I avoided Facebook on principle: I did not want to contribute my information »

Hide So That Hiding Doesn't Stand Out

The phrase "I have nothing to hide" is inherently flawed. It implies that the speaker is a completely complacent citizen, incapable of opinion or any sort of activism that would be met with government resistance. It also implies that the speaker has never had confidential information shared with »

The Social Media Paradox

It is undeniable that social media has reshaped how we communicate with one another. It has allowed for friends living across the world from one another to remain in close touch, but there is little control as to who sees what, elevating even our most distant friends to social intimacy. »

If Not You, Then Who?

It has been awhile since a leak pertaining to suspicionless surveillance has been at the forefront of the mainstream media, but cognizance of the United States' domestic spying activities remain as important, if not more, under Donald Trump. Juxtaposed with the extreme jingoism (and borderline chauvinism) that we have recently »

Hacking Is Part of It. Hacking Isn't All of It.

When you hear 'privacy,' what comes to mind? This story is a work in progress. Whenever I would ask this question, I would almost always hear something along the lines of "strong passwords" and "good online habits"—and rightfully so, this is all good advice. »