Zero Phone

ZeroPhone

Hackaday blog: There are several open source phones out there these days, but all of them have a downside. Hard to obtain parts, hard to solder, or difficult programming systems abound. [Arsenijs] is looking to change all that with ZeroPhone. ZeroPhone is based upon the popular Raspberry Pi Zero. The $5 price tag of the CPU module means that you can build this entire phone for around $50 USD.

Features:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero in a PCB sandwich
  • No proprietary connectors, hard-to-get parts or chips that are tricky to solder
  • All the specifications for making this phone yourself will be available
  • Python as the main language for developing apps (aiming to add other languages later)
  • UI toolkit making development quicker and easier
  • Numeric keypad, 1.3" 128×64 monochrome OLED screen (with screen header supporting other types of screens)
  • 2G modem for phone functions, can be replaced with a 3G modem
  • WiFi (using an ESP8266), HDMI and audio outputs, a free USB host port
  • GPIO expansion headers for customization
  • RGB LED and vibromotor – for notifications
  • Tons of Pi Zero-related hacks that were discovered along the way, that I'll share with you as the project goes =)

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Raspberry Pi’ & Phones for the people

Also, build a Raspberry Pi VPN Router w/ PIA →

Craft and creativity

ZeroPhone: a $50 Raspberry Pi smartphone

A Pi Zero-based open-source mobile phone that you can assemble for $50 in parts.

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E-115
Miscellany

Crypto is hard: The secret cryptographic features of Barbie typewriters

The Barbie Typewriters are low-cost electronic typewriters developed as a children’s toy by Mehano in Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia) and sold worldwide by Mattel.

Crypto Museum: Apart from a range of typesetting features, such as letter-spacing and underline, this children’s toy was capable of encoding and decoding secret messages, using one of 4 built-in cipher modes. These modes were activated by entering a special key sequence on the keyboard, and was explained only in the original documentation.

E-115 interior

When the E-115 was adopted by Mattel as an addition to the Barbie™ product line, it was aimed mainly at girls with a minimum age of 5 years. For this reason the product was given a pink-and-purple case and the Barbie logo and image were printed on the body. As it was probably thought that secret writing would not appeal to girls, the coding/decoding facilities were omitted from the manual. Nevertheless, these facilities can still be accessed if you know how to activate them.

German manual for E-118

(via @mwichary)

See also

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The Art of Security

A postmodern infographic.

The Art of Security

Jack Leonard: The design of this infographic is a tribute to swiss modernism & the postmodern movement. It features Bauhaus style type & distorted illustrations and makes for heavy use of images.

I chose to incorporate pictures of faces and people to play on the stark dissonance between security and people.

See also other posts tagged ‘security’ and ‘infographics’.

Life on the Internet

The Art of Security

“This infographic distills the Art of Security. Dissimilar from the Art of War in the information security world we will never know our enemy and our battle is not one that can be won. So how can we ensure that we don’t lose that battle?”

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Conceptual rendering of a “battery case” style introspection engine, piggybacked on an iPhone6.
Shape of things to come

The Introspection Engine

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been working with hardware hacker Andrew “bunnie” Huang to develop a way for smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions.

“Trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.”

The Intercept: Since a smartphone can essentially be made to lie about that state of its radios, the goal of Snowden and Huang’s research, according to their post, is to “provide field-ready tools that enable a reporter to observe and investigate the status of the phone’s radios directly and independently of the phone’s native hardware.” In other words, they want to build an entirely separate tiny computer that users can attach to a smartphone to alert them if it’s being dishonest about its radio emissions.

Snowden and Haung are calling this device an “introspection engine” because it will inspect the inner-workings of the phone. The device will be contained inside a battery case, looking similar to a smartphone with an extra bulky battery, except with its own screen to update the user on the status of the radios. Plans are for the device to be able to sound an audible alarm and possibly also to come equipped with a “kill switch” that can shut off power to the phone if any radio signals are detected. “The core principle is simple,” they wrote in the blog post. “If the reporter expects radios to be off, alert the user when they are turned on.”

Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance, paper by Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang and Edward Snowden:

Our introspection engine is designed with the following goals in mind:

  1. Completely open source and user-inspectable (“You don’t have to trust us”)
  2. Introspection operations are performed by an execution domain completely separated from the phone’s CPU (“don’t rely on those with impaired judgment to fairly judge their state”)
  3. Proper operation of introspection system can be field-verified (guard against “evil maid” attacks and hardware failures)
  4. Difficult to trigger a false positive (users ignore or disable security alerts when there are too many positives)
  5. Difficult to induce a false negative, even with signed firmware updates (“don’t trust the system vendor” – state-level adversaries with full cooperation of system vendors should not be able to craft signed firmware updates that spoof or bypass the introspection engine)
  6. As much as possible, the introspection system should be passive and difficult to detect by the phone’s operating system (prevent black-listing/targeting of users based on introspection engine signatures)
  7. Simple, intuitive user interface requiring no specialized knowledge to interpret or operate (avoid user error leading to false negatives; “journalists shouldn’t have to be cryptographers to be safe”)
  8. Final solution should be usable on a daily basis, with minimal impact on workflow (avoid forcing field reporters into the choice between their personal security and being an effective journalist)

See also

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This ‘Tor Flow’ visualization shows information flow between relay servers of the Tor network for a selected day.

The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers (relays) that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

(via Boing Boing)

See also: Drone strikes: an infographic; Edward Snowden on freedom; ‘1984’ stealth fashion for the under-surveillance society; Paranoid Android: Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2.

Life on the Internet

Tor Flow: Mapping the Tor network

“Torflow is a visualization of the vast amounts of traffic streaming between its many nodes, delineating a map of the internet as it can’t otherwise be seen.” — Rob Beschizza, Boing Boing

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Silent Circle logo

Silent Circle Blackphone 2

On the surface, the phone looks like your standard 5.5-inch screened smartphone—the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus. The original Blackphone had an odd rounded back cover and “Blackphone” embossed into its plastic, and the Blackphone 2 is almost anonymous by comparison. The Silent Circle and Blackphone logos are subtly printed on its back and easily covered by a case for those who prefer not to drop a phone that screams, “I am carrying a secure phone!” into a security checkpoint x-ray machine basket.

[…] it might not have a stylus, the fastest processor, or the most powerful graphics engine, but it will serviceably perform as a smartphone while not giving you up to surveillance. The Blackphone 2 is the phone your chief information security officer will want your CEO to carry.

See also:

Shape of things to come

Paranoid Android: Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2

“Silent Circle—founded by Phil Zimmerman (creator of PGP), former Entrust Chief Technology Officer John Calas (the man behind much of the security in Mac OS X and iOS), and former Navy SEAL and security entrepreneur Mike Janke—bought out Geeksphone and absorbed the joint venture. The company hired a new CEO (former Entrust CEO and Nortel President Bill Conner), renamed and rebuilt its Android-based operating system, upgraded the infrastructure of its encrypted voice and text communications network, and built an entirely new hardware platform based on a somewhat more industry-standard chipset. All of that has led the team toward Blackphone 2.” — Ars Technica

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ZXX_ABC

z-x-x.org – an experimental typeface designed by Sang Mun to raise awareness of surveillance issues.

The name ZXX comes from the Library of Congress’ Alpha-3 ISO 639-2 — codes for the representation of names of languages. ZXX is used to declare No linguistic content; Not applicable.

“Just like the animals we need to start adopting new ways to conceal ourselves from the autocratic predators, in this case governments and corporations.”

See also:

Shape of things to come

ZXX: A typeface to open up governments

“Over the course of a year, I researched and created ZXX, a disruptive typeface. I drew six different cuts (Sans, Bold, Camo, False, Noise and Xed) to generate endless permutations, each font designed to thwart machine intelligences in a different way. I offered the typeface as a free download in hopes that as many people as possible would use it.” – Sang Mun

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Shape of things to come

Anti-paparazzi dazzle scarf

The Flashback Collection: garments made from highly reflective thread — perfect for anyone who doesn’t want his or her picture taken, or for photobombers who really want to make a lasting impression.

A collaboration between DJ Chris Holmes and Betabrand, where this Flashback range is currently being crowdfunded.

Unisex Reflective Scarf

(via)

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Onion Pi

Feel like someone is snooping on you? Browse anonymously anywhere you go with the Onion Pi Tor proxy. This is fun weekend project that uses a Raspberry Pi, a USB WiFi adapter and Ethernet cable to create a small, low-power and portable privacy Pi.

Using it is easy-as-pie. First, plug the Ethernet cable into any Internet provider in your home, work, hotel or conference/event. Next, power up the Pi with the micro USB cable to your laptop or to the wall adapter. The Pi will boot up and create a new secure wireless access point called Onion Pi. Connecting to that access point will automatically route any web browsing from your computer through the anonymizing Tor network.

See also:

Life on the Internet

Onion Pi: Use a Raspberry Pi as a Tor proxy

A fun weekend project that uses a Raspberry Pi, a USB WiFi adapter and Ethernet cable to create a small, low-power and portable privacy Pi.

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Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters

Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”

(via Boing Boing)

The Affair
Shape of things to come

‘1984’ stealth fashion for the under-surveillance society

It’s all a little hipster for my tastes, but I appreciate concept for this Nineteen Eighty-Four themed clothing Kickstarter.

The Affair - 1984 collection

Big Brother is real and he’s watching. Become untrackable and unhackable with UnPocket™ enabled stealth fashion. #GoDark

The UnPocket

I particularly like the UnPocket, which protects the contents from water as well as surveillance…

The Affair - Unpocket

Every piece in the ‘1984’ collection is built around a removable stealth pocket made from police-grade shielding fabrics that securely block all Cell, WiFi, GPS and RFID signals to ~100 dB.

We’re calling it the UnPocket™ in homage to Orwell because it works much like Winston Smith in the bowels of Minitrue: simply pop your phone, passport and bank cards inside and become invisible to Big Brother within seconds.

I know a tin would probably do the job just as well, but I’m thinking of backing at the £18 level to just get one of these.

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PirateBox
Shape of things to come

PirateBox: Your own Internet in a box

PirateBox is a DIY anonymous offline file-sharing and communications system built with free software and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware.

PirateBox

PirateBox creates offline wireless networks designed for anonymous file sharing, chatting, message boarding, and media streaming. You can think of it as your very own portable offline Internet in a box!

When users join the PirateBox wireless network and open a web browser, they are automatically redirected to the PirateBox welcome page. Users can anonymously chat, post images or comments on the bulletin board, watch or listen to streaming media, or upload and download files inside their web browser.

To get started you will need one wireless router, a USB flash drive, an Ethernet cable and a computer with ethernet port, with an optional 5V/USB Battery.

piratebox.cc

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Cory Doctorow portrait by Jonathan Worth
Shape of things to come

How to talk to your children about mass surveillance

Cory Doctorow:

So I explained to my daughter that there was a man who was a spy, who discovered that the spies he worked for were breaking the law and spying on everyone, capturing all their e-mails and texts and video-chats and web-clicks. My daughter has figured out how to use a laptop, phone, or tablet to peck out a message to her grandparents (autocomplete and spell-check actually make typing into an educational experience for kids, who can choose their words from drop-down lists that get better as they key in letters); she’s also used to videoconferencing with relatives around the world. So when I told her that the spies were spying on everything, she had some context for it.

“How can they listen to everyone at once?” “How can they read all those messages?” “How many spies are there?”

Then I talked about not reading everything in realtime, and using text-search to pick potentially significant messages out of the stream. When I explained the spies were looking for “bad words” in the flow, she wanted to know if I meant swear words (she’s very interested in this subject). No, I said, I mean words like “bank robbery’’ (we haven’t really talked about terrorism yet – maybe next time).

And immediately she shot back, “That silly! What if I just wrote ‘I played bank robbery this afternoon’ in a message. Why should a spy get to read it?”

Locus Online: How to Talk to Your Children About Mass Surveillance

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Edward Snowden
Shape of things to come

Edward Snowden on freedom

Today, an ordinary person can’t pick up the phone, email a friend or order a book without comprehensive records of their activities being created, archived, and analysed by people with the authority to put you in jail or worse. I know: I sat at that desk. I typed in the names.

When we know we’re being watched, we impose restraints on our behaviour – even clearly innocent activities – just as surely as if we were ordered to do so. The mass surveillance systems of today, systems that pre-emptively automate the indiscriminate seizure of private records, constitute a sort of surveillance time-machine – a machine that simply cannot operate without violating our liberty on the broadest scale. And it permits governments to go back and scrutinise every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever spoken to, and derive suspicion from an innocent life. Even a well-intentioned mistake can turn a life upside down.

To preserve our free societies, we have to defend not just against distant enemies, but against dangerous policies at home. If we allow scarce resources to be squandered on surveillance programmes that violate the very rights they purport to defend, we haven’t protected our liberty at all: we have paid to lose it.
Edward Snowden

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Light-based media

The subversive blockbuster

Playfully subversive and countercultural, the Lego Movie satirises surveillance culture and our modern-day neoliberal struggles, says Ben Walters.

Lego Bad Cop

The film’s exuberant, kid-friendly larks – Wild West! Robot pirates! Unicorn kittens! Batman! – are laced with satirical digs at surveillance culture, built-in obsolescence and police brutality, as well as inane positive thinking. Its opening sequences show a world in which a pliant, consumerist populace, mollified by overpriced coffee and dumb TV shows, is exploited by cynical leadership; political and corporate power are conflated in the villainous figure of “President Business”.

Our screens have been filled with images of urban collapse and apocalyptic destruction, dystopian wastelands and zombie hordes. But, like Washington and Westminster, Hollywood has been better at scaring us with the threat of calamity than inspiring hope for the new.

The Lego Movie – a toy story every adult needs to see – The Guardian

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NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander had a lavish Star Trek room built as part of his “Information Dominance Center”. Pictures from the DBI Architects, Inc. website.

It’s a 10,740 square foot labyrinth in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The brochure touts how “the prominently positioned chair provides the commanding officer an uninterrupted field of vision to a 22′-0″ wide projection screen”

The glossy display further describes how “this project involved the renovation of standard office space into a highly classified, ultramodern operations center.” Its “primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies.” It gushes: “The futuristic, yet distinctly military, setting is further reinforced by the Commander’s console, which gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship”.

Inside the mind of NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander

It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.
NSA director modeled war room after Star Trek’s Enterprise – pbs.org

Just incredible.

Shape of things to come

The NSA’s Star Trek room

NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander had a lavish Star Trek room built as part of his “Information Dominance Center”

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Alan Westin
Shape of things to come

Alan Westin’s four states of privacy

In her post explaining her reasons for shutting down Groklaw, Pamela Jones excerpts a passage from a book by Janna Malamud Smith which in turn references Alan Westin’s four states of privacy, outlined in his 1967 book Privacy and Freedom:

Safe privacy is an important component of autonomy, freedom, and thus psychological well-being, in any society that values individuals. Summed up briefly, a statement of “how not to dehumanize people” might read: Don’t terrorize or humiliate. Don’t starve, freeze, exhaust. Don’t demean or impose degrading submission. Don’t force separation from loved ones. Don’t make demands in an incomprehensible language. Don’t refuse to listen closely. Don’t destroy privacy. Terrorists of all sorts destroy privacy both by corrupting it into secrecy and by using hostile surveillance to undo its useful sanctuary.

But if we describe a standard for treating people humanely, why does stripping privacy violate it? And what is privacy? In his landmark book, Privacy and Freedom, Alan Westin names four states of privacy: solitude, anonymity, reserve, and intimacy. The reasons for valuing privacy become more apparent as we explore these states.

The essence of solitude, and all privacy, is a sense of choice and control. You control who watches or learns about you. You choose to leave and return.

Intimacy is a private state because in it people relax their public front either physically or emotionally or, occasionally, both. They tell personal stories, exchange looks, or touch privately. They may ignore each other without offending. They may have sex. They may speak frankly using words they would not use in front of others, expressing ideas and feelings — positive or negative — that are unacceptable in public. (I don’t think I ever got over his death. She seems unable to stop lying to her mother. He looks flabby in those running shorts. I feel horny. In spite of everything, I still long to see them. I am so angry at you I could scream. That joke is disgusting, but it’s really funny.) Shielded from forced exposure, a person often feels more able to expose himself.

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Life on the Internet

The 10 Immutable Laws of Computer Security

Scott Culp’s “10 Immutable Laws of Security” from Microsoft c.2000, but still highly relevant today.

  1. Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  2. Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  3. Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  4. Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to upload programs to your website, it’s not your website any more.
  5. Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security.
  6. Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.
  7. Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as the decryption key.
  8. Law #8: An out of date virus scanner is only marginally better than no virus scanner at all.
  9. Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn’t practical, in real life or on the Web.
  10. Law #10: Technology is not a panacea.

Further reading: Revisiting the 10 Immutable Laws of Security

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Danah Boyd
Humans and other animals

Teens, social media and privacy

Danah Boyd:

Yesterday, Pew Internet and American Life Project (in collaboration with Berkman) unveiled a brilliant report about “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.”

My favorite finding of Pew’s is that 58% of teens cloak their messages either through inside jokes or other obscure references, with more older teens (62%) engaging in this practice than younger teens (46%).

Over the last few years, I’ve watched as teens have given up on controlling access to content. It’s too hard, too frustrating, and technology simply can’t fix the power issues. Instead, what they’ve been doing is focusing on controlling access to meaning. A comment might look like it means one thing, when in fact it means something quite different. By cloaking their accessible content, teens reclaim power over those who they know who are surveilling them.
Danah Boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research

Fascinating post, worth reading in full. The first half of the article discusses the different ways African-American and White-American teens use social media.

(via @tomstandage)

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Act of Terror

While filming a routine stop and search of her boyfriend on the London Underground, Gemma suddenly found herself detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest.

Act of Terror tells the story of her fight to bring the police to justice and prevent this happening to anyone else, ever again.

Life on the Internet

Technopanic: The Movie

Disconnect claims to be a film that “explores the consequences of modern technology and how it affects and defines our daily relationships”, but Jeff Jarvis says it’s the Reefer Madness of our time.

Disconnect begins by throwing us every uh-oh signal it can: online porn; people listening to their headphones instead of the world around them; people paying attention to their phones (and the people on the other end) instead of the boring world in front of them; skateboards; people ruining office productivity watching silly videos; kids wearing Hooters T-shirts; sad people chatting with strangers online; people gambling online; people getting phished into bankruptcy; and worst of all, kids using Facebook. Oh, no!

Trailer afte the jump →

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A camouflaged cell array in Brooklyn
Shape of things to come

Preliminary atlas of gizmo landscapes

A preliminary atlas of gizmo landscapes, the mines (extraction), factories (assembly), server farms (collation) and cell towers (transmission) that invisibly make our magical devices be what they are and do what they do.

Until we see that the iPhone is as thoroughly entangled into a network of landscapes as any more obviously geological infrastructure (the highway, both imposing carefully limited slopes across every topography it encounters and grinding/crushing/re-laying igneous material onto those slopes) or industrial product (the car, fueled by condensed and liquefied geology), we will consistently misunderstand it.
Rob Holmes (2010)

There’s also a 2012 follow up post, an atlas of iphone landscapes, which references (the later disgraced) This American Life episode Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory. I’m not sure why he’s picking on the iPhone; the same observations are true of any smartphone.

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