Dec 042016
 
 December 4, 2016  Featured News, Surveillance

Joshua Kopstein writes:

The line of people moving down Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s SoHo district on Tuesday night could’ve easily been confused for a product launch. It was pouring rain, and the mostly-young crowd was slowly shuffling past designer handbag stores and into a shiny, brightly-lit storefront reminiscent of Apple’s trademark retail destinations.

Unbeknownst to them or anyone casually passing by on the street, their smartphones were being tracked. An array of cylindrical Yagi antennas pointed outward from the storefront’s windowed entrance, recording the positions and unique MAC addresses of every WiFi-enabled device that wandered by—a setup reminiscent of the “Stingray” fake cell tower devices secretly used by police to track cellphones en-masse. Inside, a huge screen displayed a map of those devices as their owners sauntered about the space, consuming hors d’oeuvres and cocktails with cheeky cyber-themed names like “The Firewall.”

The “store” isn’t actually a store, of course. This was the opening party for The Glass Room, a pop-up digital privacy space that’s free and open to the public through December 14, courtesy of Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, and the Tactical Technology Collective, a Berlin-based activist group known for interventions in online security and digital rights.

Read more on Motherboard.

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