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In Germany journalists uncovered that the browser add-on Web of Trust (WOT) saves users' surf history to sell this data. While the company claims that the data being sold is anonymized, the journalists were able to identify several users, among those journalists, judges, policemen and politicians of the German government. The politicians reacted shocked when they were confronted with the findings from the journalists. The data contained all websites people visited, for instance traveling information or porn websites. In one case the journalists could even access banking details and a copy of an identification card all stored in an unencrypted online storage service. This opens the door for blackmail and identity theft The German politician Valerie Wilms (member of the Bundestag) was shocked when confronted with the data. It contained information such as journey routes, tax data as well as ideas about her political work. The politician said that this kind of data “can be very harmful. It can open the door for blackmail”. She would feel “naked”. Other politicians called for laws against such data mining if the companies mining the data could not be trusted. How does it work? The journalists explained that the data they received contained information collected by the browser plugin Web of Trust. This plugin verifies that each website a person is visiting can be trusted. For doing so the plugin sends information about every visited website to their server. This data is stored and a profile of the user is being created. While the company claims that it only sells the data in an anonymized form, the journalists said it was rather easy to figure out who the person in question was. For instance, the data contained information such as email addresses or login names that made it easy to conclude the user's name. Mass surveillance should be illegal. The politicians reacted shocked when they were confronted with the data that showed what websites they were visiting. Their statements proved one thing: The politicians being monitored did not feel secure. And they all agreed on one thing: That such a surveillance should be illegal. We at Tutanota agree completely. This is why we encrypt all user data end-to-end. We want to thank the investigative journalists at NDR for their great research. We hope that journalists - and politicians! - will more and more understand what the consequences of all-round surveillance are. Whenever there is surveillance the data can - and will - find its way into the wrong hands. We have to stop any form of monitoring in the first place. We can win the battle for privacy. When politicians start fighting along with us, we can win this battle and take back what belongs to us: Our personal data. Because no one is allowed to accumulate our data and sell it. As for now we can be smarter than the data miners when using the internet: Encrypt as much information as possible. Use only very few browser plugins and make sure they do not collect your data. Use privacy-friendly services that do not collect and sell you data. Pay for your online services, instead of paying with your data! Article source
SpyDetect Free is a free program for Windows that answers the two simple questions "Am I being spied on" and "Am I being monitored" when you run it on your device. There are numerous ways to track users, from built-in operating system or software features to borderline-malicious tracking apps and programs that are outright malicious in nature. It is difficult to find out whether you are being tracked -- chance is quite good that you are to an extent -- and even more so for users with little computing experience. While it is possible to limit the effectiveness of tracking, for instance by cutting off computers from the Internet, it is usually not feasible to do so. SpyDetect Free has been designed to quickly detect certain forms of spyware running on a computer system. In particular, it detects whether keystrokes are recorded on the system, and whether activity is monitored when the computer is being used. Download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the application from the developer website and run it after you have extracted the executable file on the system you want to run the program on. The program does not need to be installed and can be run from any location. Please note that you may get an UAC prompt when you run it. Click on the "check now" button to start the scan and wait 60 seconds for it to complete. In fact, the "Am I being spied on" check completes nearly instantaneous while the "Am I being monitored" check takes 60 seconds to complete. Make sure the window of the program stays active in that time as it is required to complete the scan. While there are not many information to go by in the program itself, it seems that the spying test detects processes known to record keystrokes, while the monitoring test whether the program's own window title is grabbed by one of the running processes on the system. Information on the program's homepage reveal additional information: Am I being spied on searches for processes "that have installed HOOKS on your keyboard". Am I being monitored detects the "most common practices among monitoring software present on the market". Results are displayed directly in the interface, and will always be either "probably not" if the program did not detect any spying activity, or "probably yes", if it did detect something during its scan. Closing Words SpyDetect Free detects common keylogging or monitoring processes on devices running Windows. While it won't detect all variants, it can still be useful especially since it is portable and does not take long to run. SpyDetectFree - Free Spyware Detector Article source