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Old February 24, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Default The Kill Switch Comes to the PC

"Google responded swiftly. It flipped a little-known kill switch, reaching into more than 250,000 infected Android smartphones and forcibly removing the malicious code. “It was sort of unreal, watching something like that unfold,” says Kytömäki, who makes dice simulator apps. Kill switches are a standard part of most smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. Google, Apple, and Amazon all have the ability to reach into devices to delete illicit content or edit code without users’ permission. It’s a powerful way to stop threats that spread quickly, but it’s also a privacy and security land mine."

The Kill Switch Comes to the PC - Businessweek

more totalitarian police state tech sold under the guise of "protecting and keeping you safe"
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Old February 24, 2012, 01:27 PM
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The reluctance of tech companies to set explicit policies for when they will and will not use kill switches contributes to the fear they’ll be abused.
This is what's at the heart of the great majority of privacy issues (current legislation included). The folks with their fingers on the "trigger" either don't commit to any policy regarding use, or the stated policy is filled with weasel legalise designed to offer the broadest possible interpetation.
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Old February 24, 2012, 03:06 PM
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more totalitarian police state tech sold under the guise of "protecting and keeping you safe"
Oh please. Get over it.

They basically sent out packet of code that eliminated a known threat. Between that and having a virus on my phone, I'll take the work around any day of the week.
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SKYMTL View Post
Oh please. Get over it.

They basically sent out packet of code that eliminated a known threat. Between that and having a virus on my phone, I'll take the work around any day of the week.
I think they are talking more along the lines of just the ability to go into your machine/phone/device without your consent or knowledge.

That ability means they could in theory nuke anything on your machine that they deem bad or just don't want. I certainly do not want something like this on my home PC. The idea of anyone reaching into my machine without consent, for ANY reason, is bad and I will never accept it.

It is not what they did this time that is concerning, it is the ability to do it that is concerning.
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:52 PM
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Yeah, the example they used was a "recall" on all purchased copies of a certain ebook.... basically they deleted it from folks who had aquired the book in good faith.
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Old February 24, 2012, 05:06 PM
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It is not what they did this time that is concerning, it is the ability to do it that is concerning.
Yup, combined with the gov't wanting the ability to look into our Internet histories without a warrant... it's not hard to see how this all turns into the RCMP leaning on Google or your ISP to give them temporary root access to your phone and filesystems, without any requirement to notify you about it. I'd prefer to have the only set of keys for my own front door, thanks.

Even if you trust the RCMP and friends to only go after legitimate targets, and history would show that to be naive, there's still the matter of the underpaid low-level staffers at these orgs collecting and selling info out the back door. There's lots more money to be made in corporate espionage and blackmail than there is working a desk at gov't rates.

Just give me proper judicial oversight and auditing, and I can (maybe) live with it. But no warrant, no knock, no notice after the fact? That's not a free society.
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Old February 24, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Even if you trust the RCMP and friends to only go after legitimate targets, and history would show that to be naive, there's still the matter of the underpaid low-level staffers at these orgs collecting and selling info out the back door. There's lots more money to be made in corporate espionage and blackmail than there is working a desk at gov't rates.
That's why good 'ole syslog exists. If you knew someone who had access to the ICBC database, you could pull up personal information from the person's license plate. People were being assaulted by those who obtained information from their insurance broker friends that had access to the database. So there's strict logging in effect for anyone that accesses records, and stiff penalties for people that don't exclusively access their clients records.

If the VPD can get in sh1t for looking at boobies during work, you don't think they can't view the logs of who is accessing what in their database? AAA protocol and strict network policy are all you need to maintain Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. Chief Information Security Officers ensure separation of duties so that not one single individual has complete control of any aspect of the network security scheme.
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