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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Combating Foreign Influences: The FBI’s New Initiatives to Protect the US from Online Threats

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

The FBI recently announced the launch of a new webpage that aims to help spread information about foreign influences and how they can be minimized. The Combating Foreign Influence page aims to raise public awareness on how other nation states are taking advantage of the online world to sway US events and politics in their favor.

Why Is the Combating Foreign Influence Page Necessary?

Foreign entities have always tried to influence events in other countries to produce outcomes that favor their own interests. It has happened since the early days of statehood and still occurs all over the world today. Despite this ever-present reality of international conflict, recent technological advances have opened up a range of new and more powerful techniques for countries to exert their themselves.

Countries use the internet to influence and attack each other in a range of ways. These include spreading online propaganda, targeting the government and businesses with cyber attacks, hacking into organizations or individual accounts, providing illegal campaign financing or criminally suppressing votes. All of these actions can stifle democracy and cause both political and economic harm to the US.

 

These advances in influence techniques need to be addressed by taking the appropriate security measures. These can range from simpler measures like creating effective policy and raising greater public awareness, to implementing better password management and encrypting all sensitive information.

What Are Some of the Biggest Threats?

The most recent example of foreign influence and the likely catalyst behind these FBI initiatives is the series of Russian attacks against the US that became evident around the time of the 2016 presidential election.

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Kick Your Privacy Up a Notch with Tor

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Online privacy is becoming more important as our lives increasingly migrate to the internet. With government surveillance intensifying, you may have come across the term Tor as a way to protect yourself. So what exactly is it?

The Onion Router (TOR), is an open source project that aims to provide anonymous communication for its users. The underlying technology was initially developed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory in the nineties as a way to protect communications within the intelligence community. Tor has since moved over to the open source community, supported by a range of volunteers, privacy advocacy groups, various US government departments and others.

Tor - The Onin Router

Tor allows web browsing, messaging and chat, as well as access to .onion websites, which are a secretive side of the internet. Unfortunately, Tor cannot give a user complete anonymity, particularly from government level surveillance. This is because these entities have the capability to correlate the traffic that goes into Tor with the traffic that exits. Despite this, it is still a useful tool that can help to enhance privacy in a range of use cases.

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