The debate about online privacy and end-to-end encryption that has been raging for years since informant Edward Snowden leaked information about the U.S. National Security Agency’s secret surveillance of American communication to the press in 2013 continues.
Privacy organizations like Electronic Frontier Foundation they are in arms over two bills before the United States Senate claims to combat the sexual exploitation of minors online. They claim that the laws violate the Constitution and weaken both national security and online security for individuals.
One the EARN IT Act of 2020would allow the government to force online service providers to violate online encryption. The other, the Legal access to the Encrypted Data Actwould allow the Department of Justice to ask manufacturers of encrypted hardware and software, communications providers and others to create backdoors for their products or services.
Meanwhile, organizations fighting the sexual exploitation of minors argue that cryptography facilitates the activities of predators; a growing problem, with 18.4 million reports submitted last year to the American National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
At Facebook’s annual general meeting on May 27, nearly 13% of the actions voted were in favor of asking the company to assess the risk of an increase in the sexual exploitation of children as it develops and offers additional privacy tools such as end-to-end encryption. to-end.
Law enforcement agencies claim that encryption facilitates criminals and terrorists.
In this mix, colorful and fugitive cybersecurity experts are born from the Internal Revenue Service of the United States, John McAfee, who founded, then sold, the cybersecurity company that bears his name.
Users will not be traceable and untraceable, according to McAfee. The service is slated for a global launch in December.
The Ghost cell phone data service is part of a larger ecosystem that includes McAfee’s Ghost cryptocurrency and Exchange GhostX for private cryptocurrency exchange.
“The Ghost brand will include a range of practical and real tools to help people protect our rights and take back our privacy,” said McAfee. “Privacy is a human right”.
McAfee invited media members to test the service beta. They should contact mcafeeghostphone [at] gmail.com if they wish.
“Ghost Cell Phone Data Service is likely to provide a suite of anonymity services, but it is one thing to say that you make certain things more anonymous and another to ensure complete anonymity, whatever you do,” Roger Grimes, evangelist of data driven defense KnowBe4 told TechNewsWorld.
“Anyone who promises this should be suspect.”
It is possible to track users “a myriad of different ways that have nothing to do with your physical connection,” Grimes noted, and “if this service is really great for perfect anonymity and becomes known to law enforcement agencies. , you can expect him to be outlawed. Most governments in our world don’t tolerate perfect anonymity that really works. ”
How McAfee Ghost Works
The service, which is data only, uses ESIM so the phones can connect to its network without the need for a SIM card, which is traceable.
Provides coverage in 35 countries.
Users can manually select from over 2,000 IP addresses in these countries to access the service, making it difficult to locate their location. They can change IP addresses as often as desired.
All network traffic will pass through multiple anonymous servers and cannot be accurately tracked to the customer.
The service is designed to obscure the user’s location and “a track on your phone will show you where you are not”, Rob Enderle, principal of The Enderle groupTechNewsWorld said.
Ghost provides a free app for the service for both iOS and Android.
The service supports Google Pixel 3, 3XL and 4 XI; Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 +, Fold and Galaxy Z Flip; the iPhone 11 family, as well as the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Other phones that support eSIM technology may also work on the network.
The core service package will offer access to Ghost networks and 1 GB of data transfer. Additional data can be purchased as an add-on.
To use the data network, simply scan a QR code provided when purchasing the service for owners of a supported phone. No personal information is required for registration and the entire service is prepaid without a contract, according to McAfee’s Ghost.
Voice services are not included, but the data plan fully supports VoIP services such as Skype.
This is a potential crack in Ghost’s armor.
VoIP services “keep call logs and Skype in particular has shared that data with the NSA in the past,” Paul Bischoff, privacy defender with ComparitechTechNewsWorld said.
“Even if your data connection is private, you can still be monitored if you access your accounts or use a web browser with cookies enabled.”
Two sides of the tracking coin
Law enforcement agencies claim that anonymity and online encryption protect criminals and terrorists and facilitate their actions, but privacy organizations have stressed that bad actors can easily move their operations to the Dark Web and have used means. alternative communications or developed their own encrypted applications.
“While a service like this will surely be attractive to the world’s bad actors, it will also be of great use for legitimate uses such as journalists, human rights activists and other users in countries where the government is known for monitoring and limiting online activity.” , Chris Hauk, consumer privacy champion at Pixel PrivacyTechNewsWorld said. “I can’t wait to see more services like McAfee’s in the near future.”