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Sep 28, 2012

My Facebook is Deleted. Twitter is Next. Here's Why.

Yesterday I made an announcement on my personal Twitter account and my personal Facebook page that I had made the decision to get rid of my personal social networking accounts. The only two I really use are Facebook and Twitter. I have a Google+ account but I never use it. This somewhat drastic change prompted my own mom to call me up, obviously concerned. In our modern society social networking is the new normal. Not using it is strange.



The thing about these social network sites though is that the CIA, KGB and the multitude of other three letter agencies around the globe would have killed for something like Facebook back in the 60's, 70's and 80's. It basically does all the work for them when it comes to surveillance. They get a daily play-by-play of your personal life, and your activities. Not only that but it creates a ready to use database of all your known contacts and associates. All they have to do is sit back and collect it.

So let's say you are like my wife who basically says, "who cares? I have nothing to hide. Let them read about how many diapers I had to change today, or the funny things our kids say." The idea that you have nothing to hide is not the point here. The point is that if the Government is using your personal data to keep tabs on you and to develop a database of your entire life, that alone is the problem. They shouldn't be doing that. Period.

The fact that you readily, freely, and often times eagerly put your personal information out there just makes the Government's job super easy. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano said this about the Government's surveillance activities:

Think of it this way--if we have to look for a needle in a haystack, it makes sense to use all of the information we have about the pieces of hay to make the haystack smaller. 

I deleted my Facebook account and will be deleting my Twitter account this upcoming week to make my needle a little smaller for Janet's haystack. Why make it super easy on them?

"But Paul, the Government can't be spying on us Americans. That is just a conspiracy theory!" - All My Friends and Family

Is it? Check out this video from the New York Times, a reputable journalist publication (Despite their left-wing spin) about former NSA Agent William Binney who is now a Government whistle-blower because he believes that what the Government is doing against Americans is wrong, and is no different than what happened in East Germany when it became a totalitarian state.



With laws like FISA, this type of surveillance is legal and accepted under the guise of national security. Not to mention laws like NDAA and Obama's upcoming Cybersecurity Executive Order, things are only going to get worse. The Government is already preparing to scale up on their surveillance with the NSA's Utah Data Center.

If you want to follow my lead, I know you may be reluctant. For years you have shared your photos and such on Facebook. I felt the same. I had a lot of pictures I wanted to keep. I used a tool called Photograbber to download all of my albums before I deleted my account. After I had my images it was a little easier.


Okay, you have a backup of your pictures, now what? Well a site called Delete Your Account makes it easy as they show you exactly where to go to delete your account on any site you want.

If you still want to follow Bauer-Power on Facebook, I am leaving up the fan page. I have also created a new Twitter account for Bauer-Power as well, and you can follow us there. If you want to chat, you can add me to your Gtalk with my email paul (at) bauer-power (dot) net. However I will probably only carry on extended conversations if you use Pidgin with Pidgin-Encryption. If you want to email me, I'm going to start limiting my email conversations to those who use PGP/GPG. You can grab my public key here.

Otherwise, you can just stay up to date with my professional stuff here on the blog. If you have any questions, comments, or complaints feel free to sound off below in the comments.

Sep 27, 2012

Former NSA Agents Say That The Government is Spying on All Americans

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You probably don't hear this stuff a lot on the news because corporate media is in the pockets of the politicians. You see the Republicans only in a positive light on Fox News, and you see the Democrats in a positive light on every other media stream. It's all bull shit!

You may hear stray bits and pieces of Americans losing their rights on places like Twitter or Facebook because average people will spread that word. You won't hear about it in the main-stream media because it might damage the image of their candidate. It's a shame really because word of mouth doesn't travel as fast as the airwaves.

Not to mention the fact that the media is too busy reporting on useless crap like an international bacon shortage or something else that is stupid, but will keep the mindless drones from paying attention to real issues like losing the rights our founding fathers gave us. Well here is another story you probably didn't hear about.

According to RT, former NSA agents and current Government whistle blowers are reporting what many people were afraid of when the Patriot Act was put into place by the Bush Administration, and then renewed by the Obama Administration. The fact that EVERY American is being spied on by the US Government.

One of the NSA whistle-blowers is former NSA Technical Director William Binney who said this about what the Government is doing:

Domestically, they're pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country and assembling that information, building communities that you have relationships with, and knowledge about you; what your activities are; what you're doing. So the government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it's a very dangerous process.

If you take what Binney said at face value then it makes perfect sense why President Obama would want to sign a Cybersecurity Executive Order. It would not only make it easier for the Government to continue to do what it is already doing, but will also make it perfectly legal. That my friends is super scary.

Another former NSA senior official Thomas Drake has also said that there was a

  "key decision made shortly after 9/11, which began to rapidly turn the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for dragnet blanket electronic surveillance.”

The saddest part about all of this is that we all LET this happen. Many of us, me included, were blinded by what happened during the attacks on 9/11/2001 and we gave the Government carte blanche to do whatever they needed to do in the name of National Security. Now we are losing everything.

Sep 24, 2012

Not Only is The Government Watching You With NGI, They Will Also Be Listening.

FBI Badge & gun.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm telling you, developments in the loss of our rights and privacy with this government keeps getting better and better. I mean that facetiously of course. How can the loss of our liberties be even the slightest bit funny? Still though, many Americans have not woken up to the fact that the country we were given by our forefathers is slipping right through our fingers, and they are doing nothing about it.

I reported a little while back about the FBI's nationwide facial recognition system called Next generation Identification (NGI) that is almost fully armed and operational. I did not tell you about their latest big brother project which is a nationwide voice database. Yep, they will be listening and identifying Americans's voices. Via RT:

‘Voice Grid Nation’ is a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. Brought to the US by Russia’s Speech Technology Center, it claims to be capable of allowing police, federal agencies and other law enforcement personnel to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices.

This can be down right scary. The article goes on to say:


The definition of ‘suspect’ has been known to be loosely interpreted by US law enforcement agencies in the past. What with the FBI branding people as ‘terrorist suspects’ for buying waterproof matches or flashlights, and the Department of Homeland Security urging hotel staff to notify authorities immediately if a person has tried to use cash and/or hung a ‘do not disturb’ sign on their door, it’s easy to see why many are spooked by the idea that not only can the government see you at all times, it can also hear you. 
In fact, combined with the capabilities of TrapWire, this would give law enforcement agencies an unprecedented ability to effectively dismiss both the country’s founding documents and any notion of privacy you may have had.

All of this stuff is being shoved down our throats under the guise of homeland security. It's complete nonsense! This is nothing more than a power play by those in government seeking to gain more control over the population. Wake up America!

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Sep 21, 2012

Police State: New Jersey Bans Smiling in Driver License Photos

2007_drivers_license
 (Photo credit: neilfein)
A few days ago we reported on the FBI's new nationwide facial recognition system that is over 60% complete. It is basically a science fiction type sytem that is being made into reality. Basically a new system for "Big Brother" to keep an eye on US Citizens. It's just another cog in the police state we are all now living in.

Falling nicely into line, New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commision has implemented a new rule for people getting their drivers licenses. Now you can no longer smile when getting your driver's license photo taken. This is because smiling interferes with new facial recognition software. From ABC News:


The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has cracked down on drivers smiling in their driver’s license photos because their smiles could interfere with new facial recognition software. 
New Jersey resident Velvet McNeil told the Philadelphia Inquirer Thursday that when she went to get her license at her local New Jersey motor vehicle center, she was told she could not smile for her photo. Shocked, McNeil said she walked out of the center.

Whether the New Jersey facial recognition system will be a part of the FBI's NGI system is unclear, but it's still kind of eerie to think that this is where our government is headed. A spokeswoman from the New Jersey MVC said that the facial recognition software will check the photos of New Jersey's 19 million faces to make sure each driver has only one driving record and the person getting their picture taken is who they say they are. We'll see if that is all it's used for.

Via Patch.com:

The law has actually been around since January. According to the report, it was put into place because of new face recognition software the state has implemented. The software can recognize licenses with identical faces, but with different names, helping to flag those attempting to commit fraud. But exaggerated expressions—and smiles—can help prevent the software from picking up the similarities.

Our freedom, and privacy from the Government is slowly being taken away. You should start to worry about this. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.


Sep 19, 2012

9/11 Explosive Evidence

English: United Airlines Flight 175 crashes in...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I know that I have been doing a lot of political writing lately. The reason I have been though is because I am really upset with our government's power grabs, and the fact that we are slowly losing our rights in this country. The latest act that has chapped my hide is the news that President Obama is going to bypass congress by signing a Cyber Security Executive Order that will essentially turn private companies into spys against US Citizens.

If you couple that with indefinite detention of US Citizens under NDAA, well then you have a Gestapo like environment brewing. All someone from the government will have to do is simply accuse you of conducting terrorist activity, which may only be a simple act of harmless protesting, and they can haul you off and stick you in a hole forever. No more due process, and with the Cyber Security EO, they don't even need a warrant to gather information about you, or your activities.

I think it's important to look at where this all began. This all started happening after the attacks on 9/11 in 2001 when terrorists flew plains into the World Trade Center buildings. After that it has been a downhill spiral of laws, and bills that take away rights. Bills like the Patriot Act for instance.

Anyway, what do we know of the attacks on 9/11? Honestly, we only know what the media and the Government told us. Time and time again we have learned that we can't trust either of these sources to tell the truth. There are just too many things with the 9/11 attacks that don't add up, and it appears that the questions about these inconsistencies are starting to go mainstream. Check out this documentary from PBS that takes a scientific approach to try to answer the question of what REALLY happened:



So what do you think really happened? Was it just like the media and the Government says, or do you think it was an inside job in an effort to subvert the American way of life and impose more control over US Citizens? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Do You Really Know What is Going On? [Infographic]

Every single day, especially during election time you see posts by your friends on Facebook with links to various news articles on this candidate or that candidate. This one sucks and has ruined the economy, that one only likes rich people. Whatever, you get the point. I am guilty of it too. The problem is, do we really know what we're talking about?  I mean we all just regurgitate everything we see on the news, or read in our papers. We only know what they want us to know. We only think the way we do because they control the information. The troubling thing though is only six major corporations control everything. Check out this infographic:

Media Consolidation Infographic

We have to ask ourselves when we hear something in the news, is this really true? We need to not take it at face value. We need to look past the story to see why they are telling us what they are, and who is behind the information. After all, as Edgar Allen Poe once said, "Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear."


Source: Frugal dad

Sep 18, 2012

Obama's CISPA Bypass Executive Order Doesn't Address Privacy Concerns.

President Barack Obama signs an executive orde...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hopefully by now you have read, or heard about Obama's latest attempt at grabbing even more power for the federal government by bypassing the stalled CISPA bill in congress and signing his own CISPA like executive order. I even wrote about it here: (Obama Bypass CISPA)

Well I hate to tell you, but it doesn't get any better. You know how everyone hated CISPA because it didn't offer any protection for your privacy as an American? Well, neither does Obama's latest dictator-like act. According to RT:


A copy of the cybersecurity executive order currently being written by the Obama administration has been leaked to the Web, and the contents do little to calm the fears of those who suspected their privacy concerns wouldn’t be considered. 
Only days after journalists with both Federal News Radio and TechDirt.com claimed to have come into possession with a copy of a cybersecurity executive order being readied by the White House, a draft assumed to be authored for the president has been leaked, and in it the Obama administration lays down the groundwork for interim cybersecurity measures following Congress’ failure to come to agreement on legislation of their own. But while the alleged executive order does not discuss the specifics of what the White House has in mind for protecting the country’s e-grid, it also fails to provide any safe guards for making sure that any sharing of personal information does not raise privacy concerns or cause any civil rights violations.

The post goes on to say:

Under earlier cyber legislation considered by Congress, private-sector entities, including businesses and telecom providers, would be offered federal incentives for openly providing the government with personal details offered up by their customers — the American public. Although the leaked copy does not describe any specific-handouts, it heavy handedly avoids explaining anything that will be done to handle the privacy concerns that were caused by earlier attempts at cyber bills.

This is a scary time for America people. How is this anything other that an act of a dictator? Obama so far has been the worst offender of using executive orders since WWII, and I fear for another 4 years with him as president.

Do you agree or disagree? Are you okay with this? Please voice your opinion about Obama abusing his power to bypass congress on CISPA in the comments.

Sep 14, 2012

How To Fully Encrypt Your Dual Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 Hard Drive

Cryptographically secure pseudorandom number g...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am a huge proponent of full hard drive encryption. There are lots of stories in the news of major security breaches caused by lost or stolen laptops. Breaches that could have been avoided if the hard drives on those laptops were protected with encryption.

My problem has always been that I like to dual boot my laptop with Windows and Ubuntu Linux. The problem with most full hard drive encryption programs like Truecrypt or Compusec is they don't support encrypting drives with both Windows and Linux on it. The same goes for the standard full hard drive encryption you get with Linux, widely known as LUKS. Therefore, in order to make your dual boot setup secure you need to do a workaround.

Here is what you will need:


First boot up with Bauer-Puntu and run GParted. Create three partitions formatted as follows:

/dev/sda1 NTFS
/dev/sda2 EXT4
/dev/sda3 EXT4

/dev/sda2 only needs to be 1 GB and will be our /boot partition which we will get to later. /dev/sda1 will be our Windows 7 partition and will be half of the remaining space. /dev/sda3 will later be "re-carved" for our encrypted Ubuntu system. The only partition not encrypted will be /dev/sda2, but since it only holds boot files that should be relatively fine security wise.

Next reboot and boot up with the Windows 7 install DVD and when prompted select the pre-formatted NTFS partition and click next to install. The reason we did it this was is so that the install DVD doesn't create the useless 100MB reserved partition. This setup seems to have a problem with that. When Windows is finished installing go ahead and install Truecrypt, but don't encrypt anything yet, just reboot and boot up with the Ubuntu Alternate Install disk.

Go through the install but when you get to the disk partitioner select manual. Set /dev/sda2 as /boot, select to reformat it with EXT4, and mark it as bootable. Delete /dev/sda3 as that was really just a place holder. Now select the Configure encrypted volumes option and select /dev/sda3 as your encrypted volume. Once that is setup, configure the drive inside as a LVM volume, and configure two logical volumes inside the LVM. Create one that is twice the size of RAM and use that as swap. Use the rest for the / partition. Continue with the install as usual, but when you get to the part to install Grub select no, and manually install Grub to /dev/sda2. After you are finished you can reboot and you will see the Grub menu.

Select Windows 7 and boot up to that. Go ahead and open Truecrypt and select to perform a system encryption. Select the option to encrypt the Windows partition and select the single boot option. This will install the Truecrypt boot loader. Now when you reboot you will get the Truecrypt login screen. Now when you put in your Truecrypt password you will get to the Grub menu, you can then select Windows or Ubuntu. Windows will boot up normally, but Ubuntu will still need the LUKS password.

Also, if you boot up to the Truecrypt boot loader and click ESC you will get the Grub menu, but when you try to boot to Windows you will get an error, and if you select Ubuntu you will still need the LUKS password. Still though, your files will be secure.

Sep 13, 2012

Hiding Your SSID Will Only Give You A False Sense Of Security

Español: Logo WiFi Vectorizado
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a military veteran I bank at one of the greatest banks in the United States, USAA. It is a company that offers many different services to active duty, and former active duty military personel and their families. They have no bank fees, and they have excellent customer service. If you are in the military, or were in the military you really should check them out.

Anyhoo, enough of my endorsement and on with the topic of this post. My wife and I received the USAA Magazine recently that they send out to members and my wife happened upon an article they wrote about former FBI Cybercrimes Assistant Director, Gordon Snow, and his tips on network security.

I have to say that 99% of his advice was completely sound, and you should certainly follow his advice, but the one thing that I had to question was that the article mentions that he recommends hiding the SSID of your wireless network at home. I have heard that from other people as well, and I get the whole security by obscurity, and security in layers concepts, but in reality hiding your SSID from somone capable of hacking into your wireless network is the equivalent of blocking a tank with a piece of tissue paper. Here is what the article said:

Snow prefers a hard line to a wireless network (though he does have one). He sets his wireless router so it doesn't display his network's name. In addition, his router only allows devices to access his wireless network if Snow has manually entered the gadget's Media Access Control address, which is essentially a serial number unique to every device.

The reason I say this is, when hacking a wireless network hackers don't use the built in wireless software in Windows or Mac which only shows unhidden SSID's to find their targets. They use tools like Kismet, Airodump-ng or Netstumbler to find the SSID of their targets. Guess what? Hidden or not, these tools will display your SSID.

The moral of the story is that you can hide your SSID if you want, but don't think by doing so you are going to stop a hacker from finding your access point and keep them from trying to hack it. It simply won't.

If you want to read some of Gordon Snow's suggestions, you can read USAA's shorter blog post about Gordon Snow here: (6 Security Strategies from a Top Cybercrime Cop)

What do you think about hiding your SSID? Do you recommend it too? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.



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