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North Korea test-fires ballistic missile in defiance of world pressure

Top Reuters News - 2 hours 28 min ago
SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea unsuccessfully test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday from a region north of its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea's military said, defying intense pressure from the United States and the reclusive state's main ally, China.

John McAfee Just Announced the Most Private Smart Phone Ever: Here’s How it Works

LibertarianInstitute - 3 hours 19 min ago

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

 

In an exclusive interview, head of MGT Capital Investments and former presidential candidate John McAfee spoke with Anti-Media Thursday night about an issue at the forefront of many people’s minds these days: privacy.

McAfee, a pioneer in the realm of antivirus software, has a new product coming to market later this year that takes on the subject of personal privacy with an item that’s become a significant part of most people’s daily lives — smartphones.

“There are very few apps that do not ask for excessive permissions,” McAfee told  Anti-Media radio host S.M. Gibson, pointing out that long before the public was aware, technology companies were recording and selling customers’ data to third parties through their products.

It’s the user’s agreement to these permissions that makes it all legal, notes McAfee, though by agreeing, most apps get access to parts of the person’s phone that have nothing to do with the apps’ function. As he explains:

“If you have a bible reading app, which basically takes text and synthesizes it and it’s a text and speech synthesizer, all you need access to is your speaker. And yet most of those apps, at least when they first came out, wanted access to your camera, your microphone, your email, your contacts, your wi-fi, Bluetooth, and your geolocation. They wanted to know everything that you did. They wanted to know what you were Googling, what you were searching for. And you could access all this if you, as the user, agree to those terms.”

Most of these apps are free, McAfee points out, because people will be more likely to download them. The more downloads, the more data software companies get access to — data that, again, can be sold to third parties.

McAfee considers this practice to be innocuous since users have the choice of whether or not to agree to the terms. But the intentions of others, such as “black hat” hackers, are anything but.

“They want to steal from you,” said McAfee. “Your identity, your credit cards, your Bitcoin wallet, they want to know what your social security number is. The password for your bank account. And so most people are completely unaware their movements are being monitored.”

The problem, McAfee says, is rooted in the software.

“Do you think that when you power down your phone, that it’s actually powered down?” McAfee asked the Anti-Media audience Thursday. “I would say that 25 percent of you, everybody who’s listening, have malware that intercepts the software function that calls the power down. They intercept it, make the screen go blank, turn off the lights, and you think your phone is powered down. But it’s not. It’s still alive, it’s listening to you, transmitting information.”

The hackable nature of software means the battle between security companies and hackers is always “seesawing ” — sometimes the black hats are up, sometimes it’s the companies. This is because the battle is “software fighting software, and all software has flaws.”

That’s why encryption services like Signal are largely useless, McAfee says, because there’s no one in the middle actively listening. Now, data is mostly recorded via keystroke and then viewed at terminals at hard locations.

The key, according to McAfee, is to go back to the hardware and root phone functions in hard switches — which is exactly what MGT is doing:

“With our smartphone, with our privacy phone, we have first and foremost put into the hardware all of those features which are required to guarantee that if I choose not to want people to know where my location is, that they cannot do that. Period. No matter how much your phone is hacked.”

McAfee’s privacy phone will also include an “anonymizer” function that prevents search engines like Google from seeing what users are looking for. Additionally, the phone will have a detector for Stingrays — devices that disguise law enforcement departments as legitimate cell towers and can even send pushes to connected phones, something McAfee considers a form of malware.

The phone will even include a function that will randomize your location. This could come in handy in a slew of situations, says McAfee, such as for someone trying to escape an abusive spouse or — if you’re like him — someone who trashes the F.B.I. and the corporate media on a regular basis.

McAfee says incorporating software into smartphones made work for the hardware manufacturers easier, but it’s the customers who paid the price via lost privacy. As to the “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” argument, McAfee says that’s just flat-out illogical.

“I have never heard a more naïve understanding of human nature,” the MGT head told Anti-Media.

You wouldn’t tell absolute strangers intimate details of your daily life, McAfee points out, so why would you make all that information available digitally? Wanting privacy has nothing to do with being a bad person, he says; it’s simply human nature.

“Everyone has a different privacy filter for every human being. I want you to think through this, and look at yourself, and tell me I’m wrong. Because I’m not. Given that, why on Earth would our brain power be allocated to such a sophisticated function of privacy? It’s called self-preservation.”

Asked to comment on how he feels about whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, McAfee said that in the end, it comes down to whether or not you want to actually know — and be conscious of — the fact that you’re constantly being spied on:

“Would you rather live in a world where you’re kept in the dark, and the government says we’re safe because no one knows anything? Or would you rather live in a world where there are people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who I’m sure struggle with this issue, because they’re putting their life on the line. Their own security on the line. And say, do we as American citizens have the right to know, for example, that the N.S.A. is spying on us? An unconstitutional act. Do you want to know that or not? That’s all I’m saying.”

Or, in other words, McAfee said Thursday:

“Do you want to live in the dark? And if you do, then Edward Snowden was a traitor, and we should collect Julian Assange and do something. But if you want to live in the light, how will you do it without people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange?”

People interested in purchasing a privacy phone can go to mgtci.com and get on the waiting list. The price is around $1,100, which McAfee admits is expensive.

“My apologies,” he says, but “to change a paradigm in hardware isn’t cheap.” In any case, McAfee says, there’s a far more pertinent question at stake than money:

“What is your privacy worth?”

The post John McAfee Just Announced the Most Private Smart Phone Ever: Here’s How it Works appeared first on The Libertarian Institute.

John McAfee Just Announced the Most Private Smart Phone Ever: Here’s How it Works was first posted on April 28, 2017 at 5:29 pm.

Holocaust comments drag on Le Pen's French presidential bid

Top Reuters News - 3 hours 53 min ago
PARIS/CHATELLERAULT, France (Reuters) - Marine Le Pen's bid to defy the odds and win the French presidency risked a setback on Friday when her designated stand-in as National Front party leader stood down to defend himself against charges he shares the views of Holocaust deniers.

Iran presidential candidates square off in first TV debate

MiddleEasteye - 4 hours 3 min ago
Language Undefined

President Hassan Rouhani, who is running for re-election, faced scathing criticism from other candidates

North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch failed: report

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 7 min ago

North Korea fired another ballistic missile early Saturday local time that appears to have failed, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported citing the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff. The missile test comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula with North Korea pursuing the development of intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the U.S. President Donald Trump has also taken a hard stance, promising stern action if the North Korean regime continues to threaten global peace with its nuclear weapons program.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Fitbit: 'External forces' caused alleged Flex 2 explosion

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 14 min ago

Fitbit Inc. said Friday an initial investigation into a Fitbit Flex 2 that allegedly exploded on a wearer's wrist concluded that the company's device didn't malfunction, and that testing showed "external forces" had caused the damage. "We have not received any other complaints of this nature and we want to assure our customers that they can continue to enjoy their Flex 2 and all Fitbit products with confidence," the company said. A Wisconsin woman had claimed her Flex 2 band exploded on her wrist, causing second-degree burns, and Fitbit launched an investigation earlier this week. Shares of Fitbit, which have lost more than 21% so far this year and 68% in the last 12 months, were up 0.4% in late trading Friday. The S&P 500 Index has gained 6.5% in 2017 and 15% in the past 12 months.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Apple asks California regulators to change self-driving car policy: Report

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 35 min ago

Apple Inc. has asked California regulators to make changes in the state's proposed policies on self-driving cars, according to a Reuters report Friday that cited a letter from the company. The company earlier this month joined a growing list of tech companies, car makers, and other ventures racing todevelop driverless cars and applying for testing their vehicles on California's public roads. Earlier this week, Tesla Inc. and other companies asked the regulators to relax some of the state's proposed rules for testing driverless cars, including allowing testing of vehicles without pedals or steering wheels.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Turkish army says it clashed with Syrian Kurdish militia

MiddleEasteye - 4 hours 38 min ago
Language Undefined

Ankara describes Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters as terrorists, while the US views them as partners in war against IS

Smart Global Holdings files for initial public offering

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 41 min ago

Smart Global Holdings Inc. on Friday filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. The specialty memory chip company reported a loss of 13 cents a share and revenue of $331.3 million during the six months ended Feb. 24. It had lost 41 cents a share on revenue of $238.6 million in the same period a year earlier. Smart Global Holdings is seeking to raise up to $50 million through the IPO and will trade on Nasdaq under "SGH." The company was formed in 2002 in Brazil and is the largest manufacturer of memory chips in the Latin American country.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Republicans begin final push on killing Obama-era regulations

Reuters US Politics - 5 hours 25 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers, lobbyists and interest groups are making a final push in their fight over regulations enacted during former President Barack Obama's last months in office, with the financial services industry working hard to kill a rule on retirement plans run by states.

Trump pledges fealty to NRA gun lobby

Top Reuters News - 5 hours 36 min ago
ATLANTA (Reuters) - President Donald Trump pledged to uphold Americans' right to possess guns on Friday in a speech that he used to revisit some 2016 election campaign themes from his vow to build a border wall to dismissing a Democratic senator as "Pocahontas."

Trump pledges fealty to NRA gun lobby

Reuters US Politics - 5 hours 36 min ago
ATLANTA (Reuters) - President Donald Trump pledged to uphold Americans' right to possess guns on Friday in a speech that he used to revisit some 2016 election campaign themes from his vow to build a border wall to dismissing a Democratic senator as "Pocahontas."

U.S. stocks end lower, post weekly and monthly gains

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 5 hours 43 min ago

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday,though the main indexes posted solid weekly and monthly gains, driven by upbeat earnings. With about half of the companies on the S&P 500 having reported, more than two-thirds beat estimates by an average 5%, according to FactSet. The S&P 500 closed 4.59 points, or 0.2%, lower at 2,384.18. The benchmark index gained 1.5% over the week and ended the month 0.9% higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 40.82 points, or 0.2%, to 20,940.51. The blue-chip index gained 1.9% over the week and 1.3% over the month. The Nasdaq Composite ended fractionally lower, having touched an intraday all-time high. The tech-heavy index settled a point lower at 6,047.61. The index outperformed other benchmarks over the month, gaining 2.3% and finishing the week 2.3% higher.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Venezuelan opposition activists march to Leopoldo Lopez' jail

Top Reuters News - 5 hours 45 min ago
LOS TEQUES, Venezuela (Reuters) - Hundreds of activists marched on Friday to the hilltop jail of Venezuela's best-known detained opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in the latest of a month of protests against the socialist government.

Supporters urge Canada to bring jailed academic Hassan Diab home

MiddleEasteye - 5 hours 51 min ago
Language Undefined

French judges have order the Canadian professor's release due to lack of reliable evidence tying him to 1980 Paris synagogue bombing

Trump’s first 100 days: Pro-Israel hawks disappointed by unfulfilled promises

MiddleEasteye - 5 hours 53 min ago
Language Undefined

Despite campaign rhetoric, Trump is approaching Israel-Palestine as conventional Republican president

U.S. NSA stops some warrantless surveillance of American messages

Top Reuters News - 5 hours 58 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has halted a form of surveillance that allowed it to collect without a warrant the digital communications of Americans that mentioned a foreign intelligence target, the spy agency confirmed on Friday.

Trump's faulty trade math may not make America greater, or richer

Top Reuters News - 6 hours 2 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - By U.S. President Donald Trump’s math, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and other deals will largely pay for the massive tax cuts his cabinet laid out earlier in the week.

Trump's faulty trade math may not make America greater, or richer

Reuters US Politics - 6 hours 2 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - By U.S. President Donald Trump’s math, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and other deals will largely pay for the massive tax cuts his cabinet laid out earlier in the week.

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