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Displaying items by tag: Privacy


Last week while most people were more concerned about anti-gun bills and then the bombings in Boston, The US House of Representatives passed one of biggest threats to online privacy that we have ever seen. The Bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was presented under the guise National Security, but in reality opens up a loop hole for companies that collect personal information about their users and in some cases want to trade of even sell these to other companies for money or other services. As you can imagine many corporations were eager to see this bill passed including the movie and recording cartels as this is a great way to track users’ movements over the internet.

Published in Editorials

Remember the news we brought you about the FBI and other law enforcement agencies wanting more power to dig into your electronic communication? Well we have been forwarded an interesting follow on article today that looks like an opening shot in the campaign to get laws passed to extend these powers. The article was published on cnet and raises concerns about what our government is willing to do to get their way and require ISPs to put in real-time monitoring hardware and systems. These systems could potentially allow for broad harvesting of electronic communication without the need for a warrant (if CISPA and other bills are passed as well).

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When you think of Privacy issues two names come to mind; Facebook and Google. For some reason both of these companies feel they have the right to mess with their users’ right to privacy. In some cases, like Facebook, you see services that are set to opt-out suddenly popping up or a collection and use of personal data that is not clearly defined (like the use of personal pictures in ads). For Google this has been an ongoing issue and one that has gotten them into a great deal of trouble in the EU. Not that long ago Google was asked to fix this and it seems that they have not only maintained their course, but have also made things worse by their inaction

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 16:23

You got a warrant for that?


When I was a little kid I used to watch the cop and spy shows on TV. They were always full of exciting exploits where the good guys always triumphed over the bad buys without ever impugning on their morals. As I grew older the shows started turning more and more dark. The good guy still won, but they were more in the mold of anti-heroes than the white hats I watched a few years ago. The idea of doing morally questionable things in the name of good became more and more popular. Even in books this theme was growing, two one of my favorite fictional characters were very much unethical (yet in some ways moral), one was a criminal, The Stainless Steel Rat, and the other was Elric of Melnibone’ who helped sack his own kingdom to get his Fiancé (there is more to the stories if you want to read them).  Now TV and movies are full of this type of “hero” we see them in real life, people who break the law in the name of good. One of the biggest examples of this is the collective known as Anonymous.

Published in Editorials
Monday, 25 February 2013 06:14

Firefox 22 without advertising cookies


Although Firefox already supports the "do not track" option for cookies, which informs some advertisers to stop tracking your activities on the web, for version 22 they are preparing options that go a step further. It seems that the popular browser will refuse cookies from third parties by default, typically these cookies are from various advertising networks.

Published in News
Monday, 28 January 2013 21:39

Surveillance cam killers in Germany


They spy on us in the virtual world, which is no problem for them to do, and now they do it more and more in the physical world. Every once in a while a new surveillance camera sprouts up somewhere. Germans, especially those who live in Berlin, which is full of surveillance cameras, are sick of this trend. To do something about it they organized Camover 2013 competition, a kind of game in which you destroy CCTV cameras.

Published in News

The collection of personal data has reach an all-time high (or low as the case may be) today as it has been announced that a massive database of voter personal information has been released for the expressed purpose of advancing a political agenda. According to a statement made by the political action group OFA (Organizing for Action) the Obama campaign has given them access to their database of voter information. The database has more than personal information of more than 4 Million Donors and millions of other voters. The data is a collection of personal information including Facebook interactions (Friends and likes) Cell Phone numbers and more.

Published in Editorials

A few days ago the Chinese government issued new regulations that further restrict the freedom of their Internet users. Users in China will now have to give their real names to ISPs and ISPs are obliged to delete forbidden posts and submit their own reports on such activities. In other words, the term "great Chinese firewall" just got even bigger.

Published in News

Christopher Chaney, a 36-year old office clerk from Florida, pleaded guilty to hacking into e-mail accounts and interception in nine cases, although he was actually sued in over 50 e-mail account hacking cases. Among his victims were well-known actresses Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and singer Christina Aguilera. He has to pay a total of $ 66,179 to the victims of his work.

Published in News
Thursday, 08 November 2012 15:33

Should we be more concerned about privacy now?


The election is over and nothing much has changed as far as the balance of power in the US, which makes us wonder if we should be concerned about a free and open internet more than ever. We know that the head of the MPAA Chris Dodd has close ties to the Whitehouse and also to many members of Congress. To make things worse Dodd will be free to openly interact with all of his former buddies sometime in February of 2013. We know that he has, and still is, pushing for laws to monitor and control the internet to protect the interests of the other members of his cartel. However, there is more to this dynamic than we first saw last year during the barrage of ignorant and oppressive laws trying to limit communication (and technological advances) and it has to do with a particular mindset.

Published in News
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