So the long-promised education post became an onerous task after the hacking of my computer and iPhone in mid-July - hence the delays. While my iPhone is still working, it is clear that problems remain and they have curbed my indulgence in podcasts (sadly, I am a retro girl - but podcasts are a really time-effective way of catching up on news, latest education materials, & other info)
The incident brought to a head issues that have existed on and off since I commenced using Apple products for my journalism work. Faraday shields are a worthwhile cause, and it is true that removing the sim temporarily, is relatively easy with Apple products.
I think Apple security issues are an important aspect for working journalists. Some would say that I'm shooting myself in the foot here, but TDM's all about education and reform. So... it's important to note that while the functionality of iPhones makes them an awesome, handy device to work with, they can also be a liability to your security. There, I said it.
Ultimately, this could then have a flow-on effect on other aspects of security, whether you carry an iPhone thereafter or not. Mine had been immediately replaced with an android unit prior to any physical confrontations.
The persistent security issues that are subsequently - now - under my microscope (thanks baddies, for leaving such a lot of invaluable evidence), seem to revolve around cyber exploitation of the same device's IMEI number - like Assange says, "a mobile tracking device, that also has a phone function" (forgive the paraphrasing).
Most people are conditioned to the simple good-guy, bad-guy myth that the mainstream media has, of course, propagated for centuries.
The reality is that security threats can originate from a variety of sources and, increasingly so as time goes on and technology expands. So this type of very basic good-guy, bad-guy myth, may be helpful to the govt for reaffirming a 'developmental' PR-boosting image. However, mainly and more significantly, it obscures the real plethora of risks involved in reporting on important issues that protect the quality of our society's democracy (that is, the 'Fourth Estate' journalism mandate, for all you non-journo readers). The risks come from a wide spectrum of sources, governmental and non-govt.
Plus, most mainstream journos (and others) just don't have access to tech support of the calibre that will ensure their security and privacy. Staff techs may know how to do any number of tasks - play with a graphic or run an anti-virus, but cyber threats can come from people with myriad resources. Intrusions can be every bit as subtle, persistent and penetrating as... investigative journalism. Luckily for me, I have brilliant tech support & learnt very early on from terrific journalism experts, to back everything up in multiple ways.
Despite hackers' malicious intent, they surreptitiously exercise their misconceived idea of entitlement over information. This extends to not just what they as hackers can have, but who else can have it, read it, learn from it, and know it. At the heart of all attacks, is an endeavour to control society. In my case, a great deal of damage, loss & disruption were caused seemingly just to delete two folders of photographs to prevent the public from having free access to those images and the knowledge/power that would have come with them.
In a global context, the same restrictions are placed on education - who can access knowledge, who can have power and what oppressed groups must serve an elite after being deprived of information and opportunity.
Almost daily, court reporters diligently catalogue the incidence of data breaches by public officials giving important, private and powerful information to unauthorized parties. Regularly, money is the impetus.
This apparent routine exploitation of the public's confidential data is the tip of the iceburg in view of:
- The ridiculous numbers of agencies entitled to invade an individual's privacy (as divulged in Senate Estimates 2 years ago - even the most irrelevant of non-govt goups can obtain basic email data and subject lines);
- Inherent government corruption with limited safeguards;
- Terrible public sector and contracted agency recruitment practices;
- Rapidly advancing communications and social media technologies and
- Security overload for the average punter, unable to keep up.
= hackers' field day.
Though govt propaganda depicts evolving groups people like Anonymous, as Public Enemy Number 1, not all hackers are socially-minded activists with lofty ideals trying to emancipate society. The dark net evidences this fact, with ratted webcams, mobile cameras and other surveillance equipment captures, a marketable commodity that few know about - including govt law makers.
Now, about that education post... Where's that back-up...