Money Drifts to Square for iPad, iPhone and Android users

Starbucks Coffee Shops will allow Apple customer to pay using their devices.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | AUGUST 9, 2012

The network of cafés has decided to invest $ 25 million in the revolutionary payment system that focuses on mobile devices. Starbucks will use Square at its 7,000 stores in the United States, and will add more services that the company offers.

With this, Jack Dorsey is on track to becoming one of the entrepreneurs with more flair for his success in recent years. After being one of the founders of Twitter, Dorsey embarked on the Square adventure, a platform designed to enable mobile devices as a tool to pay for products and services. Square is Jack Dorsey’s second bet, which continues to grow rapidly and seems to have the potential to be as much of a success as Twitter has.

Given Square’s success, one must ask, how about security and privacy concerns? Given the fact that both Google and Apple have confessed they actively track users behavior through implanted software in the phones and other electronics, wouldn’t the two companies be able to track purchases and transactions made with iPhones and Android based devices?

Right now, Square seems to continue to gain members and partners that can help to finally establish a consolidated payment system. That system, it seems, will initially use the existent credit and debit modes, but it will surely evolve into an even more artificial form of payment, perhaps where information contained in user accounts will directly provide funds and information without the need for a credit card company or a bank.

But enough about the conveniences. Let’s be mindful of how Square works and compare benefits against the down sides. As explained in this article, Square “is essentially a small magnetic reader that plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone. When a credit card (or a debit card) is swiped through the reader, it reads the data and converts it into an audio signal. The microphone picks up the audio, sends it through the processors and then is routed to Square’s software application on the iPhone. From there the encrypted data is transmitted using either Wi-Fi (for iPod touch) or a 3G Internet connection to back-end severs, which in turn communicate with the payment networks to complete the transactions.” Lots of convenience here, but also lots of potential for lost or stolen information. That potential is even more realistic if we take into account Dorsey’s statement that “we don’t store any information on the devices.”

Haven’t we heard this kind of speech before? Didn’t it come from Apple and Google before discovering that they did store user information? Besides, WiFi and 3G connections are far from being safe enough to swipe credit cards on magnets and transferring them through them.

In the case of Starbucks, it was the coffee company that decided to rely on the Square payment system. That opens the potential for lots of concerns, as Starbucks networks could be easily hacked into. However, the two companies have signed an agreement for the 7,000 Starbucks coffee shops in the United States. This will allow card payments through Square. Besides being able to pay with their credit cards, Starbucks customers who use Square may also make payments from their mobile devices. Thus, through IOS or Android, with the Pay with Square app users can use their phones as authentic purses.

The agreement marks an important step for Square, which increases its presence in one of America’s favorite business and greater international projection. In fact, it is common to see pro-Square propaganda printed on magazines and newspapers all over the world, even in countries that doesn’t even have a reliable wireless internet or phone service.

The agreement also provides that Starbucks becomes part of Square directory, which provides customers with information on the premises where they can afford with this system.

As if all these possibilities were not enough, Starbucks wanted to show its support for Jack Dorsey more deeply. To do this, the company has confirmed it will invest $ 25 million on the platform, a clear sign of trust that Square will become a benchmark. Starbucks investment is accompanied by the entry of its CEO, Howard Schultz to the Square corporate board. Thus, the Starbucks will also pinch a share of the revenues obtained by Square. Who knows if in the future people will have their cash deposited in their Starbucks bank account.

Wikileaks Publica Documentos sobre a Indústria Global de Espionagem

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
1 de Dezembro 2011

Dezenas de empresas em uma indústria não regulamentada localizadas principalmente em países desenvolvidos fornecem tecnologias para militares e agências governamentais. Esta tecnologia permite que as agências de espionagem entrem em computadores e telefones e criem perfis que permitem identificar o paradeiro de qualquer pessoa.

Wikileaks publicou a primeira parte da informação confidencial que revela um sistema de espionagem global completo que opera em 25 países. O fundador do site Wikileaks, Julian Assange deu uma conferência de imprensa revelando os segredos da indústria.

O site já publicou cerca de 287 documentos em seu banco de dados, obtidas de 60 empresas de inteligência internacional. A base de dados inclui documentos internos de empresas como Gamma do Reino Unido, Ipoque da Alemanha, Amesys VUPEN da França, VASTech da África do Sul, a ZTE Corp na China, Phoenexia na República Checa, SS8 e Blue Coat em os EUA.UU., entre outros.

Este é apenas o primeiro passo pela organização Wikileaks de publicar seus arquivos do projeto criado para expor as empresas que estão fazendo bilhões de dólares vendendo ferramentas de hacking para controlar a atividade em computadores e telefones celulares. A indústria está completamente desregulamentada e cuja tecnologia moderna criada em países desenvolvidos pode facilmente encontrar o seu caminho em qualquer lugar do mundo.

De acordo com os dados filtrados, os dispositivos produzidos por britânicos, franceses, sul-africanos e chineses foram usados pelos regimes de Hosni Mubarak no Egito e Muamar Kadafi na Líbia para monitorar e controlar todos os movimentos dos cidadãos desses estados.

“As agências de inteligência das forças militares e policiais são capazes de silênciosamente obter informação assim como interceptar e gravar esta informação sem a ajuda ou conhecimento dos provedores de telecomunicações”, diz o comunicado oficial do WikiLeaks. “A localização física dos usuários pode ser encontradas através dos telefones celulares mesmo em modo de espera ou desligado.”

Os programas criados por empresas de espionagem são capazes de “seqüestrar” os computadores pessoais e telefones móveis populares, incluindo aqueles com sistemas operacionais tais como Android, IOS e Blackberry.

Outro ramo da indústria são as ferramentas de reconhecimento de voz que ajudam a identificar e localizar um indivíduo pela sua única “impressão vocal”. A CIA, acredita-se, usa essas ferramentas para analisar dados de voz reunidos por aeronaves não-tripuladas Predator no Oriente Médio e na identificação e localização exata de indivíduos procurados.

Na nova realidade não há necessidade de os serviços de inteligência estejam focados em localizar uma pessoa de interesse. Eles têm acesso a informações relevantes sobre qualquer pessoa sensível, em que pode se interessar no futuro.

Os documentos desclassificados estão disponíveis no site oficial do projeto.

 

Wikileaks Publica Documentos sobre la Industria Espía Global

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
01 de Diciembre, 2011

Decenas de empresas en una industria no regulada que se localizan principalmente en países desarrollados proveen tecnologías a agencias militares y gubernamentales. Esta tecnología permite a las agencias espiar en computadoras y teléfonos así como crear huellas vocales e identificar el paradero de cualquier persona.

Wikileaks ha publicado la primera parte de la información confidencial que revela un sistema completo de espionaje mundial operando en 25 países. El fundador del sitio Wikileaks, Julian Assange ofreció una conferencia de prensa, revelando los secretos de la industria.

El sitio ha publicado unos 287 documentos en su enorme base de datos, obtenidos de 60 contratistas de inteligencia internacional. La base de datos incluye documentos internos de empresas tales como la Gamma en el Reino Unido, Ipoque de Alemania, Amesys y VUPEN en Francia, VASTech en Sudáfrica, ZTE Corp en China, Phoenexia en la República Checa, SS8 y Blue Coat en los EE.UU., entre otros.

Este es sólo el primer paso por parte de la organización WikiLeaks en su proyecto de publicación de archivos, creado para exponer a las compañías que están haciendo miles de millones de dólares vendiendo herramientas de espionaje para rastrear actividad en computadoras y telefonos celulares. La industria está completamente desregulada y la tecnología moderna creada por las empresas comerciales en los países desarrollados puede encontrar fácilmente su camino a cualquier país del mundo.

Según los datos filtrados, los dispositivos producidos por británicos, franceses, sudafricanos, y la corporación china fueron utilizados por los regímenes de Mubarak en Egipto y Gadafi en Libia para seguir y controlar cada movimiento de los ciudadanos de esos estados.

“Las agencias de inteligencia, las fuerzas militares y policiales son capaces de silenciosamente, y en masa, interceptar secretamente y archivar información sin la ayuda o el conocimiento de los proveedores de telecomunicaciones”, dice el comunicado oficial de WikiLeaks. “La ubicación física de los usuarios puede ser encontrada a través de sus teléfonos móviles, incluso en su modo de stand by o apagado”.

Los programas creados por las empresas de espionaje son capaces de ‘secuestrar’ los ordenadores personales y teléfonos móviles populares, incluyendo aquellos con sistemas operativos Android, iOS y Blackberry.

Otra rama de la industria son las herramientas de reconocimiento de voz, que ayudan a identificar y localizar a un individuo por su única “huella de voz”. La CIA, se cree, utiliza estas herramientas para el análisis de datos de voz recogidos por aviones no tripulados Predator en el Medio Oriente y la identificación de la ubicación exacta de los individuos más buscados.

En la nueva realidad no hay necesidad de que los servicios de inteligencia se centren en localizar a un individuo de interés. Ellos tienen acceso a la información pertinente sobre cualquier persona sensible, en los que pueden llegar a interesarse en el futuro.

Los documentos desclasificados están disponibles en el sitio web oficial del proyecto.

WikiLeaks Releases ‘Global Surveillance Industry’ Documents

Unregulated industry allows companies in developed countries to provide technologies to military and government agencies. This technology allows such agencies to hack into computers and telephones and come up with voiceprints and to pinpoint anyone’s whereabouts.

Russia Today
December 1, 2011

WikiLeaks has released the first portion of sensitive data revealing a new global surveillance and interception industry spanning 25 countries. Site founder Julian Assange held a press conference, revealing the secrets of the industry.

­The whistleblowing site has published some 287 documents from its huge database, collected from 160 international intelligence contractors. The database includes internal documents of such companies like Gamma corporation in the UK, Ipoque of Germany, Amesys and Vupen in France, VASTech in South Africa, ZTE Corp in China, Phoenexia in the Czech Republic, SS8 and Blue Coat in the US, among others.

And this was only the first step of the WikiLeaks Spy Files project, established to expose companies, which are making billions of dollars selling sophisticated tracking and surveillance tools. The industry is completely unregulated and modern technology created by commercial companies in developed nations can easily find their way to any country of the world.

According to the leaked data, the devices produced by British, French, South African, and Chinese corporation were used by the regimes of Mubarak in Egypt and Gaddafi in Libya to track and monitor every move of those states’ citizens.

­“Intelligence agencies, military forces and police authorities are able to silently, and on mass, and secretly intercept calls and take over computers without the help or knowledge of the telecommunication providers ,” says the statement on the official WikiLeaks Spy Files sites. “Users’ physical location can be tracked if they are carrying a mobile phone, even if it is only on stand by.”

­The pieces of software created by surveillance companies are capable of hijacking personal computers and popular mobile phones, including those with Android, iOS, and Blackberry operating systems.

Another branch of the industry is voice recognition tools, which help identify and track down individual by his unique “voiceprint”. The CIA is believed to be using those tools for analyzing the voice data collected by Predator drones in the Middle East and identifying the exact location of most wanted individuals.

In the new reality there is no need for intelligence services to focus on tracking down an individual person of interest. They have access to relevant sensitive information about any person in whom they may become interested in the future.

Declassified documents are available on the project’s official website.­