“White Shoes” nude photography series highlights slavery’s roots in NY Financial District

NONA-900 on Wall Street
Photo source: Nona Faustine
Photographer Nona Faustine was drawn to shoot a series of self-portraits she calls “White Shoes”, which feature shots of her naked on sites associated with the slave trade in downtown Manhattan, NYC’s Wall Street area.

The Village Voice points out, “New York was the capital of American slavery for more than 200 years.”

Huffington Post author Priscilla Frank writes,

Revisiting the spaces haunted by such atrocious tales, Faustine drapes her body across the implicated grounds like a bold protestor or a spiritual medium. Her bare flesh recalls the stories of so many strangers that went untold, simultaneously raising questions about why bodies matter and, more specifically, which bodies matter. read more

Blogger Bob Braun rips testing giant Pearson’s privacy invasion practices wide open

Creepy Parson spying on meWith amplification from Diane Ravitch (where you can also read the text of Bob’s original post if his website is still inaccessible), Washington Post, Daily Kos, a growing number of local news portals and now The War Report radio show, Bob Braun has busted wide open the practice of standardized testing giant Pearson Education to spy on and oppress students using Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx. It’s more than shocking.

Bob Braun’s Ledger reported the exclusive story that Pearson is monitoring students’ social media accounts during PARCC testing … and that both Pearson and the NJDOE called for the punishment of a student who had tweeted after taking the test, although school authorities knew – and had reported – that the student did not share any sensitive information. This Watchung Regional High School District Superintendent’s letter was leaked to Braun and started the snowball rolling. read more

Take control of your privacy & end surveillance

Google privacy

Google privacy
Jon Fox, Global Advocacy Manager for Access points out that we have the power as individuals to curtail mass surveillance and data collection and comments, “Here are four things you can do today to keep your online activities private and secure from snooping eyes.”

1. Secure Browsing: Access recommends using the Tor Browser Bundle which provides access to blocked websites, and prevents others from tracking you online or watching what sites you visit by obscuring your online communications. Tor also prevents websites and others from collecting data on you – most importantly your physical location. read more

Where does Google Voice fit into the privacy spectrum these days?

Google - do not disturbBeing gifted a spectacular MotoX Adroid phone from my brother saddled me with the obligation to sort through privacy options I had avoided confronting until now by staying away from smart phones and as much as possible, the public observation grid. I use a client-side email application connected to a private email service, which means my mail isn’t being stored on Yahoo or Google’s servers or monitored by them (as most people’s e-correspondence is). And I use a client-side calendar as well NOT synched via the cloud, which is another layer of privacy protection I’ve got that many people gave up a long time ago. read more

Be vigilant in the twilight against oppression & loss of privacy

EPIC privacy word cloud 2013

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

EPIC privacy word cloud 2013On 23 August 2013, UK’s Mail Online reported

Newly published top-secret documents show that the United States government has reimbursed tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft millions of dollars each year for their participation in the National Security Agency’s clandestine Prism surveillance program that was made public earlier this year by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. read more

NAACP’s police interaction guide: The 411 on the 5-0

411 on the 5-0 pamphlet

411 on the 5-0 pamphletThe NAACP advises that the “war on crime” fought by police, sometimes results in innocent people needlessly surrendering constitutional and civil rights which they are not aware they have. The NAACP and its members support just and effective law enforcement, and also believes that people must learn how to exercise our constitutional rights to ensure that law enforcement, and law officers, work as they should: to protect all United States citizens and visitors regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration or economic status. read more

Stop telemarketers with 6 words

National Do Not Call RegistryDo telemarketers bug you? Can’t get them off the phone? They’re not deterred by you hanging up, politely asking them not to call you anymore, and they don’t seem to care when you tell them your baby’s crying or your dinner is burning and you have to go.

There’s an answer to your woes so simple, you won’t believe it works until you try it out and see for yourself. I did it again just now and the results are always gratifying. This is what you do: next time a telemarketer calls, interrupt them with this phrase, “Take me off your call list.” read more

Christie erodes privacy through NJMVC

Update May 9, 2012: Implementation of this law is on hold following an injunction filed on Friday, May 4 by ACLU officials and advocates for homeless, immigration, minority and women’s groups on grounds that the state imposed the new requirements without publishing details or soliciting public comment.

New Jersey MVC chairman Raymond Martinez Martinez announced that beginning May 7 2012, New Jersey will be the ninth state requiring the controversial “Tru ID” driver’s licenses, which are a form of national identity card opposed by civil rights and privacy advocates around the country. To obtain a new license or renew an old one, “proof of legal identity, proof of lawful presence in the US, proof of Social Security number, and proof of principal residence,” will be required. read more

BIGGER attacks on internet freedom

People have a right to privacy and also a right to develop our own minds and make thoughtful decisions. Every time major corporations and governments acquire one more way to track our activities and interests, compile statistics about what we like and what we do, and use that information to control our behaviour by limiting us, selling us and brainwashing us, our independence as autonomous beings is eroded. Privacy is not something we can give up on fighting for.

They’re still trying to pass a version of SOPA/PIPA – under the national radar

Why did Congress back off of trying to pass SOPA/PIPA legislation? In case you don’t understand how bad SOPA/PIPA are, here’s a fantastic explanation of what it’s all about for “privacy, liberty loving American(s)”. I guess it wasn’t because we scared politicians with massive protests and the blackout of many internet sites. Only days later, individual states are beginning to pass the same laws on a state by state basis. Believe me, this is a planned campaign and Hawaii is only the first. Monied interests are not going to give up the right they see as G-d given to make money on everything we do and to buy real estate inside our heads where they can camp out and dictate needs and wants to us. Make no mistake, this is more than a fight: it’s a war. read more

Who Has Your Back on The Web?

Internet privacy is a matter of online civil liberty.

Friends, we have an ongoing need to educate ourselves about what privacy means in the Internet environment and take action to protect it. The Internet “space” we live in today is a pioneering world where people’s rights haven’t yet been fully determined. The EFF is one of the organizations the general public knows little, or nothing, about which is working behind the scenes every day at no charge to us to protect the privacy of all netizens. Other organizations are the ACLU and Public Citizen. read more

Hide your list of email recipients

This morning I received a hoax email forward and was disgruntled, but not surprised, to discover that my friend, along with many previous senders, had made visible to each recipient the long list of other people to whom that email was forwarded. I wish my friend had checked to see if the email were true before forwarding it to me. I also very much wish she had hidden my email address from view.

There are good reasons to hide recipient’s addresses when you sent an email broadcast. Here are a few to think about: read more

No user privacy on iPhones & iPads

Did you know that data is collected by Apple applications running on iPhones and iPads, and is transmitted to the applications’ owners, without you knowing about this? Craig Michael Lie Njie of KismetWorldWide learned while creating an application for his own company that reports are created every day by applications used on these devices detailing

every action a user takes within an app: every button click, every page viewed, every table cell viewed, and the time a person took between each action, all sent back to the server without any notification or customer access to that information. read more

Family sues school for spying on student

In a tale that mirrors the crushing privacy violations and vitriolic penal environment of Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter’s world, high school administrators in the Lower Merion School District of Pennsylvania used school issued computers, and software supposedly installed to protect students, to invade the privacy of the students homes and family lives.

Installed webcams were activated to spy on students and their families. This blew up in their face when a school administrator disciplined one student for “engaging in improper behavior in his home,” (that’s the language used in the family’s lawsuit) – and had the audacity to back her claim up by showing the photograph the webcam took of the Robbins boy as evidence. read more

Sold out for $8359.00. Are we worth more?

Congress last week reversed its March decision to not allow immunity to telecomunications providers who have allowed phone wiretapping without court orders and voted to approve S2248, the FISA Amendment Act 2008. The senate vote is expected as soon as today. Yesterday a test vote showed strong support in the senate to approve the FISA bill with the amendment granting immunity to telecom providers for 6 years of wiretapping without the knowledge or approval of a secret court which was set up expressly for the purpose of reviewing and approving applications for surveillance. read more

No Quechup Please – say “no” to invites

I was surprised to receive an invitation from a colleague to join the quechup.com network so we can continue our [non-existent] friendship there. I figured G had sent out a notice to everyone in her address book without first removing the people she doesn’t really want to “be friends” with. I only got part of this right.

Every one in G’s address book did get an quechup.com invite, but those invites weren’t sent by G. I’ve been following up on this story since then. read more