‘Cue the techsplainers’, or, how to antagonize domain experts.

I let out a long sigh as I read the following tweet: “Cue the techsplainers”

sad and lazy

Which may be in reference to this article.

‘splaining – The missing manual

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of “splaining”, it comes from the term “mansplaining”, in
which a man will explain something to a woman because he feels that she’s incapable of understanding
without his explanation. While this does happen, the pejorative term is used frequently by the
regressive left as a way of dismissing any argument. It’s an attack, whether merited or not, on the person
providing information, denoting them as an asshole. In this case, it’s the technically inclined assholes
that could drop some knowledge on a lazy journalist that is being preemptively dismissed.

The Backstory…

This tweet in particular may be in response to an earlier post that I wrote, expressing my
frustrations with the Halifax Examiner. This isn’t the first time that I’ve taken issue
with the lazy reporting that’s in search of a sexy headline.

Also, this particularly snarky comment may have nothing to do with that exchange, and Tim is just used
to be taken to the mat for lazy technical descriptions and attempting to quell the comments by signaling
how he will label anyone that takes issue with the story.

Back to the issue at hand…

So, subscribers of the Halifax Examiner, is this the kind of “reporting” that you want to keep paying
for?

Why would a “journalist” bait the tech crowd in such a way? Honestly, I’m not really sure. Notice that
I use the term “journalist” rather than journalist. Since the inception of the Halifax Examiner, it has
morphed from a news site to an opinion site with the occasional piece of journalism thrown in. The
problem with that is that you never know which is which, and that reduces the utility of the articles
to almost zero. Open hostility toward subject matter experts is very endearing either. Maybe he’s been
pulling pages out of the small-handed man to the south’s playbook? Who needs reason when you have
rhetoric?

A nice long piece of conjecture… At least he’s honest at the front, which negates the value of the
remainder of the paragraph.

I don’t have any proof of it, but I highly suspect that the CSEC operation coincided with the 2012
Halifax Security Forum, and was run with the cooperation of the Stanfield International Airport. That
just makes sense to me: we’ll show off our superspy stuff to the big name Americans while they’re here,
and no one at the airport will object because it’s Halifax.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of “splaining”, it comes from the term “mansplaining”, in
which a man will explain something to a woman because he feels that she’s incapable of understanding
without his explanation. While this does happen, the pejorative term is used frequently by the
regressive left as a way of dismissing any argument. It’s an attack, whether merited or not, on the person
providing information, denoting them as an asshole. In this case, it’s the technically inclined assholes
that could drop some knowledge on a lazy journalist that is being preemptively dismissed.

So, if you want some ‘techsplaining’ here we go:

  • The wireless provider at HIAA is Bell, just for clarity’s sake.
  • They are tracking the MAC address on the wireless ethernet interface of your mobile device.
  • To avoid being tracked, you turn the wireless interface OFF.

Those are the three points that can quickly sum up what’s going on, and how to combat it. Simple, right?

Furthermore there’s a quote from an earlier CBC article, from January of 2014, which really has no
follow up, which is damning considering what we know now about Stingray use in Canada.

Items that are very important to the conversation that were never mentioned:

  • Stingray use, which tracks the IMEI of your phone. This is not mitigated by disabling your wireless interface.
  • If you use something for “free”, you are the product.
  • Pervasive tracking online that is correlated to Google mapping all access points when conducting “Street View” surveys.
  • People visiting other airports are ticketed, which gives access to much more robust data than wireless access points.

Part of me is sympathetic to the plight of the Halifax Examiner for the expectation of a daily article filled with meaningful
content that’s designed to elicit subscription- that must be damn hard work. However, when you half-ass it, and then actively
draw attention to the sloppiness of your work, you get what you deserve.

bye!

(I’ve only canceled once, after the blackmail article.)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Invisible Threat authored by Invisible Threat. Read the original post at: https://www.invisiblethreat.ca/post/wifi_tracking/