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Displaying items by tag: Privacy

Sunday, 08 September 2013 21:37

Google improved end-to-end data encryption

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In a statement to the Washington Post, Google announced that they have significantly accelerated their program and implementation process of end-to-end encryption of data which is exchanged between their own data centers.

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It’s been said that if you have something that you don’t want the entire world to hear, don’t say it online.  In today’s world, online privacy is a vanishing commodity and perhaps nowhere is that privacy more at risk than Facebook.  When you combine a site that contains personal information on over one billion people with the highest traffic of any site on the Internet (sorry, Google), concerns are bound to rise.  The latest privacy issue to come to public attention is facial recognition, specifically in Europe.

Published in News
Monday, 12 August 2013 20:57

The Pirate Browser hits the high seas...


The most famous search engine for torrent files, The Pirate Bay, these days celebrated 10 year anniversary of successful operation, despite the efforts of many anti-piracy campaigns, organizations and governments of various countries to completely disable their function.

Published in News
Monday, 12 August 2013 20:53

Smart garbage cans to violate your privacy


100 "smart garbage cans" were placed during the Olympics 2012 in London that are having screens on which various listings are displayed. These days the company Renew upgraded bucket system called Renew Presence ORB, which detects pedestrians and users of smartphones and tablets with WiFi turned on.

Published in News

The US Government is trying very hard to shatter any illusions that we might have about the right to privacy on the internet. They are currently in the process of going after a few of the smaller privacy oriented email services with the intent of getting user information out of them; very specific user information. Right now the current focus is on the company Lavabit who has the unfortunate distinction of having been used by Edward Snowden on multiple occasions to send email to the press and others. This distinction has gotten them into some hot water and now they are actually closing their doors in order to not comply with a government request to hand over the contents of Snowden’s email (and possibly others). This incident has sent a shiver through the small yet strong market for private email and web services.

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The news is all abuzz with the compromise of the Tor (Originally The Onion Router) Network. This network has been used by a wide variety of people who are looking for a degree of anonymity. It relies on the use of different entry and exit point to prevent someone from identifying your exact IP Address or MAC address. In-between these point there are different hops that further confuse the trail. In basic terms your system is masked by the exit point which is selected randomly by the system. Now in addition the anonymity services for individual users there are also servers that host websites and even anonymous email services. Some have called this the “dark net” or “deep web” although that is not actually the case (the dark net is something else entirely). Many of these sites are legitimate sites that need to protect their readers from less than understanding authorities, but there are a larger number that are not above board at all including many sites that host child pornography.

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Yesterday there was a vote on one of the more important pieces of legislation to go through Congress this year. Despite its importance there was very little media coverage outside the internet and the few sites that are still determined to fight for people’s right to privacy. The bill was named HR 2397 and was introduced by Representative Justin Amash (R MI) and was intended to deny funding to the NSA for any program that allows for broad (warrantless) spying on US Citizens.

Published in Editorials
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Microsoft is taking great exception to the reports of their cooperation with the NSA. It seems they do not feel the reports that they have given encryption keys, created backdoors or unrestricted access to their servers is fair. Instead they are releasing some information in the hopes that they can prove they did not do anything wrong. Sadly, as is always the case, what they leave out of their statements is as important as what is in them and there is some fairly eye opening information in their actual statement.

Published in Editorials

Google at the beginning of 2012 changed their policy regarding the privacy of users of their services. Despite the fact that months earlier they warned users about future changes, users did not have too many choices, they could continue to use the service under the new rules or cancel the services.

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Over the last couple of weeks the new has been flooded with articles about the US Government’s surveillance program called PRISM. It is possibly one of the largest invasions of privacy that has been leaked to the general public. What makes this program all the more concerning is that the NSA appears to have cooperation from each of the companies involved. This apparent breach of consumer trust has caused quite a stir and almost all of the companies that were shown in the leaked power point about PRISM have released statements claiming they only cooperate within the limits of the law. This raises an interesting question though; if a broad request is approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court wouldn’t a company be within the law to grant access?

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