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  1. #1 The House That Spied on Me 
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    The "internet of things" is about spying.

    The House That Spied on Me
    https://gizmodo.com/the-house-that-s...-me-1822429852

    In December, I converted my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco into a “smart home.” I connected as many of my appliances and belongings as I could to the internet: an Amazon Echo, my lights, my coffee maker, my baby monitor, my kid’s toys, my vacuum, my TV, my toothbrush, a photo frame, a sex toy, and even my bed.

    “Our bed?” asked my husband, aghast. “What can it tell us?”

    “Our breathing rate, heart rate, how often we toss and turn, and then it will give us a sleep report each morning,” I explained.

    “Sounds creepy,” he said, as he plopped down on that bed, not bothered enough to relax instead on our non-internet-connected couch.

    I soon discovered that the only thing worse than getting a bad night’s sleep is to subsequently get a report from my bed telling me I got a low score and “missed my sleep goal.” Thanks, smart bed, but I know that already. I feel like shit....

    I installed internet-connected devices to serve me, but by making the otherwise inanimate objects of my home “smart” and giving them internet-connected “brains,” I was also giving them the ability to gather information about my home and the people in it. The company that sold me my internet-connected vacuum, for example, recently said that it collects a “rich map of the home” and plans to one day share it with Apple, Amazon, or Alphabet, the three companies that hope to dominate the smart home market. Once I made my home smart, what would it learn and whom would it tell?

    ...
    The author of the article had a friend set up a router so he could see all of the information that was being collected from her home. Here is what he writes:

    ...After Congress voted last year to allow ISPs to spy on and sell their customers’ internet usage data, we were all warned that the ISPs could now sell our browsing activity, or records of what we do on our computers and smartphones. But in fact, they have access to more than that. If you have any smart devices in your home—a TV that connects to the internet, an Echo, a Withings scale—your ISP can see and sell information about that activity too. With my “iotea” router I was seeing the information about Kashmir and her family that Comcast, her ISP, could monitor and sell...

    ...Since the router was set up at the beginning of December, there hasn’t been a single hour of complete silence from it, even when there was no one in the house.

    ...I could tell when the lights were being turned on and off. And even when Kashmir’s family wasn’t using them or weren’t home, those smart plugs were constantly talking to their home servers. One of them checked in erratically, around four times per day at random intervals. The other smart plug, that promised insights about how much electricity you were using, was far more chatty, pinging home almost every hour....

    The camera was constantly sending huge amounts of data, which makes sense given it’s sending video. But good news—it was all encrypted, so someone monitoring your network will not get access to what the camera sees, including nude videos....

    ...When the data streams were unencrypted, which was the case every time someone watched Hulu on the Vizio smart TV, I could see exactly what was being sent. When they were encrypted, as the majority of the data turned out to be, I could see only the metadata—the volume of data being sent and to where, which is like seeing the outside of an envelope but not being able to read the letter inside. But sometimes, metadata is the message. I know, for example, when the family wakes up, because the Amazon Echo usually starts playing songs from Spotify between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., even if I don’t know which songs. I also know that Kashmir likes to use the Alexa Sounds app—which loops ambient sounds such as rain, oceans, and fireplaces—between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., which is when she puts her 1-year-old daughter to sleep...

    ...The thing in the smart home that most fascinated me, because of its value to advertisers, was the television. In Kashmir’s house, it doesn’t get turned on every day, but when it does, it’s usually between 8pm and midnight...When the TV is on, it’s usually tuned to Netflix or Hulu. I couldn’t see what they watched on Netflix because Netflix encrypts streams. But I discovered that Netflix doesn’t encrypt images, so I could see the shows being recommended to them, which is revealing in that it shows what Netflix thinks they should like...Meanwhile, Hulu sends its traffic unencrypted, so I could spy on exactly what they watched...

    The conclusion:

    After two months of data collection, I was able to pick up a bunch of insights into the Hill household—what time they wake up, when they turn their lights on and off, when their child wakes up and falls asleep—but the weirdest one for me personally was knowing when Kashmir brushes her teeth. Her Philips Sonicare Connected toothbrush notifies the app when it’s being used, sending a distinctive digital fingerprint to the router. While not necessarily the most sensitive information, it made me imagine the next iteration of insurance incentives: Use a smart toothbrush and get dental insurance at a discount!

    The larger pattern that emerged about the smart home was that all of the devices phoned home daily, even if they hadn’t been used, telling the companies that made them, “Hey. I’m still here. I’ve still got power. Have any updates for me?”

    An exaggerated version of this was seen in the Echo and Echo Dot, which were in constant communication with Amazon’s servers, sending a request every couple of minutes to http://spectrum.s3.amazonaws.com/kin...stub-echo.html. Even without the “Alexa” wake word, and even when the microphone is turned off, the Echo is frequently checking in with Amazon, confirming it is online and looking for updates. Amazon did not respond to an inquiry about why the Echo talks to Amazon’s servers so much more frequently than other connected devices.

    The funniest “conversation” that happened over the two months was a week in January when Kashmir was out of town. I could tell the house was empty because the amount of data being sent out slowed, but her home remained active despite being empty. All of her devices, from her TV to her WeMo smart plugs, continued to send out information every day. But the Behmor Connected coffee machine seemed to miss its inhabitants because it completely freaked out. The coffee machine, which typically pings its servers a few times a day, phoned home over 2,000 times on Thursday, January 24th...

    ...Overall, my takeaway is that the smart home is going to create a new stream of information about our daily lives that will be used to further profile and target us. The number of devices alone that are detected chattering away will be used to determine our socioeconomic status. Our homes could become like internet browsers, with unique digital fingerprints, that will be mined for profit just like our daily Web surfing is. If you have a smart home, it’s open house on your data.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    Stuff I want no part of, installment 783.
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  3. #3  
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    Having a career in IT as a Software Engineer and a good deal of it in R&D, I have been warning people about this going back to the late 80's when I first figured out the power and capability of what we and I could do. At first it all seemed so good as our first applications improved and gave us data about things we could not have otherwise developed in real time. MUCH good has come from this and example that most of you can understand is the computerization of auto drive lines. Today we have engines in our car that have more horsepower and torque and get far better mileage that anything we could have done without the power of computers.

    We have the ability for a bureaucrat to sit at a desk in Wash DC, and look at 123 Maple St, Anytown USA and adjust your AC temp or shut it down completely if you are keeping your house to cool or to warm. Wife and I looking at new fridges the other day and yes you can buy a fridge with an internet connection and an internal camera supposedly so you can see inside your fridge while grocery shopping.

    Do you really want a SMART house

    As the saying goes: Absolute power corrupts Absolutely.
    Don
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    Conservative, Constitutionalist, Capitalist, Christian. I speak: John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere...
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  4. #4  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    We are being assimilated. Our thoughts and unique habits are being added to the Collective. Resistance is futile.
    Liberals! The real fascists.
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  5. #5  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    What to see something scary? Enter this link into your android phone and watch what happens,
    https://www.google.com/maps/timeline
    Liberals! The real fascists.
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  6. #6  
    PORCUS STAPHUS ADMIN Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    What to see something scary? Enter this link into your android phone and watch what happens,
    https://www.google.com/maps/timeline
    If they were surveilling me it would be like spying on a tree.
    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
    Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
    And clever in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21 NASB

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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Cowboy View Post
    Having a career in IT as a Software Engineer and a good deal of it in R&D, I have been warning people about this going back to the late 80's when I first figured out the power and capability of what we and I could do. At first it all seemed so good as our first applications improved and gave us data about things we could not have otherwise developed in real time. MUCH good has come from this and example that most of you can understand is the computerization of auto drive lines. Today we have engines in our car that have more horsepower and torque and get far better mileage that anything we could have done without the power of computers.

    We have the ability for a bureaucrat to sit at a desk in Wash DC, and look at 123 Maple St, Anytown USA and adjust your AC temp or shut it down completely if you are keeping your house to cool or to warm. Wife and I looking at new fridges the other day and yes you can buy a fridge with an internet connection and an internal camera supposedly so you can see inside your fridge while grocery shopping.

    Do you really want a SMART house

    As the saying goes: Absolute power corrupts Absolutely.
    It's interesting to hear both sides of this. They put "smart meters" in San Diego homes a couple of years ago and, every month, I get a statement from SDG&E screaming at me that I am using more energy than my neighbors. Considering I don't use heat in the winter, am away from home most of the day, and all of my neighbors have two or more people living in their units, I cannot imagine that I am using more energy than anyone around me. I also wonder who the mysterious "neighbors" are to whom I am being compared. By the way, ALL of my neighbors are getting the same kinds of notices.

    This is what the smart meters are about: yelling at people to use less energy.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    It's interesting to hear both sides of this. They put "smart meters" in San Diego homes a couple of years ago and, every month, I get a statement from SDG&E screaming at me that I am using more energy than my neighbors. Considering I don't use heat in the winter, am away from home most of the day, and all of my neighbors have two or more people living in their units, I cannot imagine that I am using more energy than anyone around me. I also wonder who the mysterious "neighbors" are to whom I am being compared. By the way, ALL of my neighbors are getting the same kinds of notices.

    This is what the smart meters are about: yelling at people to use less energy.
    I will all some advice: Soon you will not be able to not buy a "smart" pencil sharpener, everything that has an electric cord will provide data points from the time you turn it on till you turn it off and a LOT in between.

    If it sounds cool to you that you can sit in the office and looking inside your fridge or watch the dog play while you are gone and a ton of other things to give you bragging rights at the water cooler. Then go for it.

    But for the rest of us, do not connect it to your smart fone or the internet or anything except the wall plug and remember they can still see what it is and what its doing, but hook to the internet and they will know more about it than you will and your dogs name too...

    Had the Trane HVAC engineers out here while back for a problem I have been having that none of the HVAC folks could solve. The engineer had just gone to some classes over in Tyler where they make them and he blurted out that soon you will be able to control it completely from your fone anyplace in the world or your computer at work. He also told me that the dealer will be able to do the same and instead of a service call, the dealer will log into your HVAC unit, diagnose the problem and send a guy out with the new part if needed or make adjustments from the dealers office.
    Don
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  9. #9  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    A statement and a question:

    When they jack me up and drive my new pacemaker in later this year they will be able to monitor it and tune it up over the landline.

    Going back to the OP, what would it take for me to be able to make the same analysis of my internet traffic as discussed there?
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
    It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    A statement and a question:

    When they jack me up and drive my new pacemaker in later this year they will be able to monitor it and tune it up over the landline.

    Going back to the OP, what would it take for me to be able to make the same analysis of my internet traffic as discussed there?
    If you want to see what traffic you have like this for example

    Process Name, Sent Bytes, Rcvd Bytes, Sent Packets, Rcvd Packets, User
    MS Word, 3k, 7k 168 244 J Doakes





    There are a lot of free tools to do that with: I use Activity Monitor which lets me look at CPU, Memory, Energy, Network, Cache etc. You may well have one that came with your operating system like mine did. Note this only shows what YOUR computer did over the internet, if you want to see ALL traffic in your house if you have multiple computer users, the you can see that at the Router level. Contact the Router mfg and or if you bought the router you can use the software that came with and it may give you an option to see internet traffic, or you can get a program that does that.

    Here are 20 of the best free tools for monitoring devices, services, ports or protocols and analyzing traffic on your network.

    https://www.quora.com/Which-app-can-...e-WiFi-network
    Don
    Major US Army Infantry (RET)
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    Conservative, Constitutionalist, Capitalist, Christian. I speak: John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere...
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