Anonymous – Good, Bad or What?

 There’s a good chance if you’ve been reading or listening to the news you’ve heard tell of a mysterious group called ‘Anonymous’.  They have no leader, answer to no one and for the most part are a complete enigma when one considers how groups work.

The group has been linked from topics as far ranging as ‘TitStorm’ in Australia (the attempt to block pictures of small breasted women) to the freedom uprising in Syria & Egypt with a collection in between.  The US government has a few times been at both ends of the stick and a few over-inflated corporate egos (HB Gary, The Tea Party, Visa, PayPal & MasterCard to name a few) have had a good slap.  You’ll want to read the Wikipedia article that covers some of their history.

So you might ask, why talk about this on LogicITy?  I want people aware of something called ‘False flags’.  The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colours; that is flying the flag of a country other than one’s own.  Governments and corporations do this regularly and it’s a mainstay in political battles.  Malware often tricks you pretending to be from someone you would trust, this is the same principle.

Anonymous has uncovered some very sneaky and dirty stuff going on in the internet, it would serve some governments and corporations to have you not listen to what they have to say.  I’m suggesting you listen to that faceless group before dismissing them as hackers, cyber terrorists or punks.

Oh.. and don’t worry about FaceBook on November 5th.. Anonymous has never been about ‘shooting the messenger’.

Geo-Tagging from your Phone

When you take a picture from your cellphone you can tell people a lot more than the date stamp.

GPS information can be recorded as part of the Exif, or exchangeable image file format, that is has been the de facto digital photo standard since 1998. Among the other information it saves is what allows you to see a thumbnail of a photo you’ve taken or a photo’s date and time.  It can be found with a simple right click on the properties section of the picture, and it’s easily accessible in a number of places on the Internet, but not all, where people share their photos.

Some social networks don’t accept location information or Exif information at all. So when you upload it, even if it does have location information, it’s not going to show it to anybody.  Facebook strips the location information but other social networking sites are a different story.  Services like Flickr do allow location information, so does the popular Twitpic.  The good news is you can protect yourself. Most sites have some sort of privacy control, allowing you to manage the information that gets out there.

To avoid having your friends reveal your location on Facebook.

  1. Go to your Facebook account.
  2. Click Account in the top right corner.
  3. Click Privacy Settings.
  4. Click Customize settings in the Sharing on Facebook section, 
  5. Scroll to Things others share and make the option next to Friends can check me into Places read “Disabled.”

 To disable tagging on handhelds and phones: provides step-by-step instructions for disabling geotagging on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Palm devices.