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Hotel Room Spying on You?

In his 2016 interview with Vice in Moscow Edward Snowden pointed out that “in any world capitol where  you’re in a major business hotel, if the hotel rooms aren’t pre-wired for surveillance they can be wired almost immediately”.

This is a disturbing statement that I think we would all like to make him take back so that we don’t have to consider how many times we have been bugged and spied on in a hotel room.  Unfortunately we can’t put that cat back in the bag.  The only thing we can do constructively at this point is deal with it.

Here are 5 tips to avoid being compromised in your hotel room.

  1. Do not talk about things you don’t want the world to know in your hotel. (Not just the room…the building)

 

  1. The TV is watching you. Just assume that and throw a blanket over the TV.

 

 

  1. Do not use the phone in your hotel. This is just common sense.

 

  1. Don’t bother looking for bugs. Unless you have advanced equipment or you intend to disassemble everything in the room to find the wires you are wasting time that could be used to get a good night’s sleep.  Unfortunately that’s about all you can use the hotel room for now.

 

 

  1. Wi-Fi use in a hotel room at this point would be worse than using the phone. Whatever you say on a telephone only leaves voice information for one-time surveillance.  If you leave your electronics vulnerable, they can be compromised for multiple uses and your trail is hot for as long as you have that item.

This is a terrible thing for us all to deal with, but this is the world we live in.  My final piece of advice is to stay with friends when you can.  It’s much safer.

Here is the Vice interview with Snowden for those interested:

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5 Ways to Drone-Proof Your Home

spying drone

When the framers of the US Constitution created the fourth amendment, they envisioned a world in which a person could be secure and free from unwarranted surveillance in their own home.  Unfortunately as technology has advanced, attorneys and judges have stepped up their game of excluding these rights and creating an open window into the lives of unassuming individuals.

Drones have no place flying into private spaces for the purpose of surveillance any more than a law enforcement officer or private citizen has a place invading a private residence without a warrant.  Yet, no one seems to be stopping these invasions.  The only solution is to protect yourself.

Here are 5 quick ways to Drone-Proof Your Home:

  1. Cover any skylights

The days of enjoying the sun’s light coming into your home are unfortunately over.  You will need to either replace your home’s skylight with more roof or place a tarp over it.

  1. Get some curtains

Every window in your home needs to be completely covered.  Any cracks leave an opportunity for drone  voyeurs.  If you are low on money, for now, start with your bathroom and bedroom windows and refrain from any intimate activity outside of protected areas in your home.

  1. Keep solid doors closed at all times

It is best to make sure the solid part of your door is closed and not just a screen or storm door.  Also cover any glass around your doors that would allow a drone to see through.  This applies to garage doors too.  Close them.

  1. Cover your car or any other vulnerable items outside

Drones can also fly through your yard and driveway picking up valuable data by looking inside your cars, trash and other items that should be protected, but are not.

  1. Start a neighborhood Watch for Drones

This is probably the best thing you can do.  With lots of sketchy people using drones now it is best to get the whole neighborhood involved.  It’s also a great way to be on good terms with your neighbors.  All should agree to the dangers involved in allowing drones to spy around the neighborhood.  If you meet resistance you can easily show your neighbor some of the horror stories of bathroom/bedroom watchers, and people who stalk children using drones.  Just formulate a plan with your neighborhood residents to track down drones in the area and either call law enforcement (recommended) or destroy the drone causing the problem (not recommended but you will be my hero!!).

drone_shooting

Go F**k Yourself Judge!: Woman tells Judge “Go F**K Yourself” Was this necessary?

kangaroo-and-zebra

  Local governments are typically big enemies of personal privacy from all angles.  They don’t like private property, private travel, private ownership of personal property or even self improvement on private property.
     Recently I found a commentary on the video of a local Ellis County Texas resident addressing the unearned raise of a county judge to $70,000 per year.  Amy Hedkte ended her presentation to the Ellis county commissioner’s court by telling Judge Carol Bush to “take your insane expensive pay raise, buy a huge dildo and… go f**k yourself.”
     While I commend Mrs. Hedkte for her courage in facing the establishment and I also agree that a county judge should not be earning more than many of the struggling families across America, I must admonish her tactics.  Many people are angry right now because the government at all levels has positioned itself to take advantage of the average citizen and as the economy has collapsed over the past 8 years the slack in tax income from workers, businesses and sales has been picked up by police action.
     As a growing number of average citizens take the time to read the laws and understand that many of their local governments are bullying them, the momentum of change is rising.  It is my humble opinion that as we begin to shine light on the truth and make changes that we maintain the moral high ground.  We must control our anger and understand that there are many non-violent and non-abrasive ways of addressing corruption.  Some of these methods may not be as gratifying as cursing out these individuals but they end up being more effective.
     There is always a tipping point on change.  Some of the corrupt individuals will start losing their positions and others will be disbarred or arrested.  Then many of them turn from their evil out of survival instinct.  The polite paper trail and video documentation when possible is the key to ending corruption.  There is no path to success by offending somebody, no matter how corrupt they are.
     So be nice and take advantage of legal opportunities to expose corruption.  That’s the meanest thing you can do!
Here’s the video by Brett Sanders. BEWARE: ADULT LANGUAGE!

Net 10 Wireless Burner Phone Review

I am in the process of experimenting and reviewing the different phone services available that can be used for burner phones.  Over the next few months I hope to bring you the inside story on all the phones that I personally experiment with and use in the privacy field when it really matters.  Today I’m sharing my experience with Net 10 Wireless. ..net 10 wireless phone burner

If you have any questions about the frame work and necessities of a burner phone I recommend you read the blog I wrote called “What is a Burner Phone? How Can it Help Me?” https://privacyliving.com/2016/05/17/what-is-a-burner-phone-how-can-it-help-me/

I initially spent around $70 at a dollar store buying a ZTE smart phone and a Net 10 phone card that would give me 1000 minutes.  (I like the ZTE because to me it seems easy to navigate and the price is usually reasonable on the ones with the small screen.  I just hate spending a lot of money on a phone that I know is going to end up in the bottom of a swamp soon.)  However, this is strike one for Net 10 because it turns out that the 1000 minute phone card was not “compatible”.

How Did I Figure Out Compatibility?

Here comes strike 2.  The way you activate the Net 10 plan is by either logging into a website or entering a code on the back of the phone card or by calling a 1-800 number and doing the same.  The problem is the phone is not active when you get it.  So you have to either use a separate computer or phone to activate the account.  Since I think Waffle House is the last place on the planet that actually has payphones in its parking lot anymore, and I was nowhere near a Waffle House, I had to use the laptop computer of a trusted source in order to attempt to activate the account.  That unfortunately created a link between my friend and my burner phone.  This is no good.  All Net 10 Wireless would have to do is create 611 access on all of their phones prior to activation and this way a new purchaser could use the actual burner phone to activate that specific phone without establishing a trail.

I then had to use one of my old burner phones to make contact with customer service and find out why my phone card was not compatible. (Yet, another trail leading to a phone that may or may not be mine. Not good)  As it turns out, they don’t do a minute plan for smart phones and I was required to buy another unlimited phone card for $50 more.  Then I was able to return to another computer (another trail) and activate my phone.

The next problem came when my internet service was not working at all.  This forced me to call 611 and speak to customer service. (This of course leaves an opportunity for someone to trace my voice).  Customer service at Net 10 Wireless was excellent and I give them a good grade for their technical support.  The only problem is that this again, was not necessary and my internet should have been active from the day I activated the phone.  If I had been in a jam I wouldn’t have had the time to sort this out and it could have ruined an entire operation.

There is one last problem.  I was smart enough to make the call from a very busy intersection next to an interstate highway and another major highway but for some reason they needed my address to remotely work on the phone.  I didn’t find it suspicious at the time because this is just an experiment.  But how scared I would have been if I was in the middle of something big and I had to risk my safety so that my internet could be repaired.

Some of the issues I had could have been prevented and If I were to start over right now, I believe I could get the same phone to be anonymous but it would still require some creativity.  Just remember that with Net 10 you can use a friend’s computer or phone to activate it and as long as that friend doesn’t crack under interrogation, then you have a good anonymous burner phone.  If you don’t think that is possible then maybe Net 10 is not for you.  As far as using the web, I can’t say if that was business as usual for them or if you won’t have any problems.

I give Net 10 Wireless a grade of C+ because even in the conditions I described here, it will still shield you from most trouble.  There are a few things they could do better but I am glad there are companies out there like Net 10 that don’t involve giving a name and address.

9 Questions You Need To Answer Before Moving Abroad

Here’s a great follow up blog to our last one about bugging out to Ireland. Check it out!

Dream Chaser

Before moving to Manchester, my only experience with living abroad was the ERASMUS semester I spent in Malta. But that was a completely different story – I was there temporarily, and didn’t need much. However, when you move to another country to live and work there, and to build a new life, things get more serious. And before you do that – you have to make sure you know what you’re doing and what you’re in for. Sharing from my experience – questions to ask and answer before the big move.

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Billboards Are Watching You!

“Pass a billboard while driving in the next few months, and there is a good chance the company that owns it will know you were there and what you did afterward.

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, which has tens of thousands of billboards across the United States, will announce on Monday that it has partnered with several companies, including AT&T, to track people’s travel patterns and behaviors through their mobile phones.”

Read more about the frightening future of spying that AT&T, Clear Channel, PlaceIQ and Placed have in store for you: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/29/business/media/see-that-billboard-it-may-see-you-too.html?_r=1billboard spying

 

Americans, Apple and The FBI

Read more about what’s going on with the FBI and hacking the new IPhone.

“This tool would be dangerous, whether used by a black hat hacker who might infiltrate Apple systems, a future FBI investigation emboldened by this week’s order to apply the precedent in other less compelling settings, or a dictatorship looking for new ways to oppress people that might cite the company’s compliance with this FBI demand as a reason to comply with those of its own intelligence agencies.” EFF, Shahid Buttar, February 20, 2016.FBI Agent

Full Article: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/apple-americans-and-security-vs-fbi