Category: Internet

Is Someone Watching You?

Is Someone Watching You?

December 7, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

Is Someone Watching You?
It Could be the Federal Government

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.   (Matthew 12:36)


If you thought that clicking on that email attachment couldn’t hurt you, please read on. . .

The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has a special phishing team that exploits weaknesses in email and computer hardware. What does that mean to you? It means they may actually be able to use the camera on your computer to spy on you — without you ever knowing it.Big Brother is Watching You

Years ago I was a television repairman. Back in those days, I would drive a service van to a customer’s home, haul in my big case full of tools, tubes and transistors, and repair their television set.

More than once people asked me a question like, “Can people see me through the picture tube while I’m watching them?” Repair people like myself used to laugh about that. Surely the customers had been reading too much in George Orwell’s 1984, where such things routinely took place, right?

In Orwell’s Oceania, the ubiquitous telescreen (transceiving television set) monitored the private and public lives of the population. What’s creepy is that Orwell wrote that book back in 1948, when most people had never seen a television.

Fast forward to 2013. Although the FBI says is uses the technique sparingly, the fact is they have an ongoing program of spying on citizens through the use of computer malware. Malware is “bad” (mal is a prefix meaning evil) software. Examples are that attachment in your email you shouldn’t have opened, and others too numerous to list here.

It turns out the FBI can secretly turn on a computer’s webcam to spy on the person without even lighting up the indicator light.

Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico — said, “The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer’s camera — without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording — for several years, and has used that technique mainly in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations.”

“Because of encryption and because targets are increasingly using mobile devices, law enforcement is realizing that more and more they’re going to have to be on the device — or in the cloud,” Thomas added, making reference to remote cloud services. “There’s the realization out there that they’re going to have to use these types of tools more and more.”

The government is getting better and better at their art as computer users move away from old-style computers (to tablets, smart phones and the like). Users are also getting more careful about disguising their locations and identities.

Most Americans are conflicted about the possibilities for abuse that are inherent in their government having such power, much less the willingness to use it against citizens. “Fine, but just use it against criminals,” someone might say. But Americans are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We are already seeing Christian behavior criminalized in many parts of our country. Witness the Oregon baker that refused to make a cake for a homosexual wedding. In our society, he’s now a criminal. Not just any criminal, but a Hate Criminal.

Two scriptures suffice as warning to the unwary Christian:

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.  (Luke 16:8)

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.   (Matthew 10:16)

These words, from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself, exhort us to be careful in the presence of our enemy. Like a roaring lion, Satan roams about, seeking whom he may devour.

[ Note: Read the Washington Post article ]


The Internet Pedophile: Seek and Destroy

The Internet Pedophile: Seek and Destroy

September 10, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

Trapping the Internet Pedophile

Software developers in Spain, at the University of Duesto, are using virtual people to seek out and destroy child predators.

The virtual people are what we call chatbots, or chatterbots. That’s a short term for chattering robot. If you want to see an example of a chatbot, check out Malicia on this website. In Malicia’s case, I’ve added video. A normal chatbot has no video.

A little background. A chatbot is not a person. It’s simply a program that responds to questions in predictable ways. That is, you ask the question, “What’s your name?” and it will respond with “Bob,” or whatever you’ve trained it to say.

Here’s the important thing: A properly trained chatbot can very closely mimic a real human being. In a chat-room, where people “talk” to each other by typing text back and forth to each other, it is almost impossible to distinguish between a virtual person and the real thing.

The Spanish chatbot developers have designed a chatbot to impersonate a fourteen year-old girl. As they describe “her,” a “virtual Lolita” to trap pedophiles.

They call her Negobot, and she’s designed to convince predators into believing she’s a real person. Put her into a forum, a chat room, where a pedophile is suspected, and she goes to work.

She starts off as a very passive, neutral type of character.

As time passes, and the conversations become more suggestive, more sexually explicit, the chatbot begins responding in ways intended to lure the predator in. She may appear to be petulant or offended, in order to solicit personal information from the suspected predator.

Negobot is even designed with something of a split personality. She has seven different conversation patterns. She’s designed to use typos, abbreviations and bad grammar to convince the predator she’s just a young, impressionable teenager.

Predators beware!

Dr. Laorden, one of Negobot’s creators, says, “Negobot has already been implemented and trialled actively on Google’s chat service and could also be translated into other languages,” he added. “We do not discard the possibility of bringing it to new channels in the future and we believe it could be a very useful tool for social networks to incorporate.”

She’s still fairly limited. It’s difficult to get a chatbot to “take the lead” in a conversation. But the chatbots are getting better and better. I put Malicia together in a couple of days. Imagine how real things could get with a team devoted to catching pedophiles.

Amazing. The future is now.

Make Your Own DIY Book Trailer

Make Your Own DIY Book Trailer

June 30, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

Make Your Own DIY Book Trailer — at home!

All the experts say, “Give people a reason for coming to your website.” That’s one of those things you don’t really need an expert to tell you. So here we go. . . I’m going to tell you how I made a trailer for my book, Friend Me. Click that link (or this one), so you can decide if it’s good enough for you to spend your time on.
Read More