COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 12 15:08

‘FULL EXTENT’ OF RUSSIAN MEDDLING ON GOOGLE IN 2016? $4,700 SPENT ON ADS

Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that the “full extent” of so-called Russian meddling activity that took place on the platform during all of 2016 was $4,700 spent on some digital advertisements.

Dec 12 15:00

HERTZ IS NOW USING FACIAL RECOGNITION TO CHECK OUT CARS

Want to rent a car on your next trip? You may be getting your face scanned in order to do so.

Dec 12 13:09

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Searching Travelers' Devices At An Alarming Rate According To Gov't Watchdog

By Aaron Kesel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are searching the electronic devices of travelers at an alarmingly increasing rate a new watchdog report has found, Associated Press reported.

The government watchdog — the Office of the Inspector General for Homeland Security — found there were 29,000 devices searched at a port of entry out of 397 million travelers to the U.S. in the year 2017, up from 18,400 the year before from 390 million travelers.

The agency further found that several searches conducted by Customs and Border Protection officers were not properly documented, and the data was not properly secured as per protocol...

Dec 12 12:26

Facebook Files Patent To Calculate Your Location - In The Future

Facebook has filed several patent applications for technology with the USPTO which would use your location data to predict where you're going to go next, as well as when you'll be offline, reports BuzzFeed's Nicole Nguyen.

Facebook's response when asked about the applications was essentially: "we file patents on tons of stuff we never actually implement."

"We often seek patents for technology we never implement, and patent applications — such as this one — should not be taken as an indication of future plans," said company spokesperson Anthony Harrison.

Dec 12 12:19

The Next Generation Of “America’s Thought Police” Is Being Birthed On Our College Campuses

If you want to understand the zeal with which social media platforms are now being censored, all you have to do is to look at what has been happening on our college campuses. There is a national movement to combat “offensive speech”, and this movement has been working very hard “to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense”. And these days, just about anything that you might say or think is probably going to deeply offend someone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I find your being offended to be highly offensive!

Dec 12 12:17

The U.S. is Worried About China Spying via Huawei Because it Did the Same in the Past

When Lotus Notes sought to sell its products abroad, the National Security Agency leaned on it to use a weaker version of cryptography in its product, according to Stephen Levy’s book Crypto. After years of discussions, the NSA allowed Lotus Notes to ship its product for export using 32-bit encryption, compared with a 64-bit version in the domestic version. At the time, cracking 64-bit encryption through brute force (computers cycling through ever possible key combination) was seen as just about impossible.

But 32-bit encryption was far more vulnerable, especially against the NSA’s supercomputers which, even then, could easily crack such codes within days, according to Levy’s book. The 32-bit version was so weak that even well-resourced thieves could break the encryption within 60 days using personal computers—a timeframe that everyone knew would get shorter as computing power became cheaper, faster, and more widely available.

Dec 12 12:13

Crackdown in Beijing: “Using Twitter is more dangerous than street demonstrations”

By Oiwan Lam

Authorities in Beijing have launched a nationwide crackdown on mainland Chinese Twitter users.

The December 5 release of 42 testimonies collected by China Change, a Chinese human rights advocacy site, details the ordeals of hundreds of Twitter users who have been detained and interrogated by national security police officers since September 2018. In most cases, police have asked — if not forced — these users to delete their posts or accounts...

Dec 12 09:42

LOCATION TARGETING: Your phone apps are tracking every step you take and every stop you make (and then selling it)

You’re being watched constantly, at least if you have a cell phone with apps on them. A recently published report showed how seemingly innocuous apps were gathering information about how a person goes about their day. They refresh constantly, collecting data about your location.

Dec 12 09:11

THE US WANTS TO BRING BACK THE SHAH OF IRAN

Iran has been under severe US-imposed economic sanctions for 40 years. The US has been threatening Iran with war and “all options are on the table” for decades. The US has also instigated instability inside Iran and supported external attacks by terrorist groups such as Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK. [*]

The US project to destroy Iran’s economy has had a devastating impact. The husky Secretary of Defense Mike Pompeo said that it is up to Iranian’s leadership “if they want their people to eat”.[*] Because of the US, Iran lacks sufficient funds that it would like to invest in human resources and social programs. Iran’s constitution guarantees healthcare and free education for all, as well as protections of civil rights. As reflected in the drafting of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, the vision of the economic order was:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing for the US government to do, is, unfortunately, zero guarantee that they won't do it.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is advocating for a full-on US military attack against Iran, of course, only to be purchased by American blood and American money.

Should Iran get attacked, I would rather count on Russia's Putin, to bring his military into the fray on Iran's side; and we have seen, with what Russian troops did in Syria, the capabilities of both Russia's military and its weaponry.

It is disconcerting to me in the extreme, that President Trump's BFFs in the Middle East, are Saudi Arabia's King Mohammed bin Salman, the Butcher of Yemen, and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Butcher of Gaza.

I therefore strongly caution the President about thinking that an invasion of Iran would "be a cakewalk", where our soldiers would be embraced as liberators; because at this moment in its history, the US military doesn't have the troop strength; the money; the weaponry; or the manufacturing, to insure a positive outcome from a war with Russia.

And if none of his "advisors" have told him this, it is high time that he knew.

You are welcome, Mr. President.

Dec 12 08:39

GIANT BLAZE RIPS THROUGH GOOGLE’S OFFICE IN ‘CHINA’S SILICON VALLEY’ (VIDEO)

A roaring fire burst through the roof and caused mass evacuations at Google’s office in Beijing’s Zhongguancun tech district – known as China’s Silicon Valley.
The fire, which broke out at 11 am local time, burned through the roof of Google’s glass-fronted office building, sending a plume of thick, black smoke into the air.

Huge fire this morning on top of the building in Beijing’s Zhongguancun tech district that houses Google’s office. Employee tells me that everyone was evacuated for 20 mins but are now being let back in. Cause still not known. pic.twitter.com/Gvh6DejlLU

— Raymond Zhong (@zhonggg) December 12, 2018
Employees inside were evacuated from the building, but allowed to return later on, tech journalist Raymond Zhong reported. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; was this generated by growing anger in China at the intensely restrictive "social credit system", which is already in place, to the utter shock of average Chinese citizens, or is a warning from people who understand that once "Dragonfly" is unleashed, there will be no privacy left for them whatsoever?!?

Even the Google people working on this have gone public that they do not want it to become operational, for moral and ethical reasons. Google employees publicly rebel against building a a dystopian new search engine

Dec 12 05:38

DRAGONFLY: Google Employees Publicly Rebel Against Building a Dystopian New Search Engine

More than 1,400 Google staff, many journalists, and human rights organizations are calling on Google to halt its controversial project called Dragonfly.

Dragonfly is a search engine specially built for China. It would unleash more censorship on a mass scale by selectively blocking certain search terms, apparently at the behest of China’s government. Human rights groups are blasting the company for aiding and abetting China’s mass surveillance and rights violations which could result in potential imprisonment.

It turns out Google’s employees had been unwittingly working on this project for a while until 2017 without knowing its intended purpose. News of this highly secret program finally leaked and no one is letting it get swept under the rug.

Dec 12 04:05

Russian media watchdog ready to block Google if fines prove ineffective

Russian laws can be changed to impose tougher sanctions on foreign internet companies reluctant to abide by the country’s legislation, deputy head of the Russian media watchdog Vadim Subbotin told TASS. "In case fines fail to make a foreign company change its ways, there is a chance that the legislation will be changed, which will make it possible to block access to Google in Russia," he pointed out. According to Subbotin, such a measure is not possible under the current legislation. "Blocking will be the toughest measure," he noted. Subbotin pointed out that at first, the minimum fine of 500,000 rubles ($7,500) was imposed on Google, while the next will be 750,000 rubles ($11,200). The Russian media watchdog earlier fined Google for its non-compliance with the Russian legislation. The watchdog said that under Russian laws, search engine operators were obliged to remove links to websites containing banned information from search results.

Dec 12 04:01

McInnes banned from YouTube

‘Proud Boys’ founder Gavin McInnes banned from YouTube days after being booted from conservative TV network

YouTube has banned the founder of the Proud Boys, a far right wing self-described "chauvinist" organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"McInnes had amassed more than 220,000 subscribers on YouTube before the ban, but now both his YouTube profile and channel on YouTube show up as deleted," The Daily Beast reports.

The YouTube ban comes just two days after McInnes was booted from his online conservative TV network gig at CRTV. The company merged with Glenn Beck's The Blaze, and McInnes found himself de-platformed one week later.

Blaze Media no longer has a relationship with Gavin McInnes, and per company policy, cannot comment on personnel matters.

— BlazeTV (@CRTV) December 9, 2018

>>>

Dec 11 16:16

Now Facebook wants to know where you're going NEXT: Controversial patent uses the location data of you and your friends to try and predict places you'll visit

In a series of patents, the social media giant describes how it would use your location data to predict where you'll be going in the future, as well as when you're most likely to be offline.

As part of the technology, it would also potentially look at other users', such as your friends', location data.

Dec 11 11:00

Google staff wanted to strangle far-right site Breitbart's access to advertising cash on 'moral' grounds after Donald Trump's inauguration

Google employees considered banning far-right news outlet Breitbart from Google AdSense on 'moral' grounds - which would have stopped it taking in advertising revenue, internal leaked emails reveal.

Employees expressed concerns in February 2017 about 'hate speech' and 'fake news' appearing on Breitbart - a commentary website founded in 2007 which became closely associated with .

They urged other staff to squash its revenue by blocking it from AdSense, Google's advertising program which dominates the digital advert market.

Dec 11 06:33

US, Britain, EU do not recognize production of malware as a crime

The United States, Britain and EU countries go to great lengths in resisting the idea the production of malware should be recognized as a crime, the deputy director of Russia’s National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents, Nikolai Murashov, told a news briefing on Tuesday. "As a matter of fact, no bans exist on the production of such malware whatever country one may look at. Moreover US, British and EU representatives at international forums devoted to international information security firmly oppose the adoption of any recommendations for criminalizing such activity," he said. Murashov recalled that according to experts one in eight software vulnerabilities was critical or highly dangerous. "The costs such vulnerabilities are fraught with rest heavily upon our shoulders. In most cases the manufactures are not responsible for the reliability and safety of their products.

Dec 11 06:30

LOCATION TARGETING: Your Phone Apps Are Tracking Every Step You Take and Every Stop You Make

You’re being watched constantly, at least if you have a cell phone with apps on them. A recently published report showed how seemingly innocuous apps were gathering information about how a person goes about their day. They refresh constantly, collecting data about your location.

These companies are tracking every step you take, every stop you make, and then selling it to the highest bidder.

Dec 10 16:11

Australia’s horrific new encryption law likely to obliterate its tech scene

Australia‘s government signed a bill into law last week giving law enforcement agencies the right to force technology companies to reveal users’ encrypted messages. Another way of putting it: Australia‘s tech scene will soon be located on the Wayback Machine.

The law was introduced as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, but now it’s official. And there’s a lot to be concerned about, even if you don’t live or work in Australia.

Dec 10 16:09

New Documents Show That Facebook Has Never Deserved Your Trust

The documents include some of the internal discussion that led to Facebook Messenger’s sneaky logging of Android users’ phone call and text message histories. When a user discovered what Messenger was doing this past spring, it caused public outrage right on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica news. Facebook responded with a “fact check” press release insisting that Messenger had never collected such data without clear user permission.

In newly revealed documents from 2015, however, Facebook employees discuss plans to coerce users into upgrading to a new, more privacy-invasive version of Messenger “without subjecting them to an Android permissions dialog at all,” despite knowing that this kind of misrepresentation of the app’s capabilities was “a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective.”

Dec 10 16:04

Facebook, Google scramble to contain global fallout from ACCC plan

Facebook and Google are scrambling to respond to tough new Australian recommendations over privacy and data collection they fear will have global ramifications and limit their market dominance.

In a 374-page report released on Monday - which reveals several ongoing investigations into potential misuses of market power by the digital giants - the competition watchdog proposed sweeping controls over the handling of personal data, and the advertisements consumers are shown online.

Declaring the digital giants have "substantial" market power, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants to create an ombudsman to investigate complaints from consumers, media companies and marketers about Google and Facebook over issues such as defamatory comments and fake ads.

It further calls for the introduction of a new regulatory body to monitor how the digital platforms drive traffic to publishers, and the prices they charge for advertising.

Dec 10 16:00

Australia’s horrific new encryption law likely to obliterate its tech scene

Australia‘s government signed a bill into law last week giving law enforcement agencies the right to force technology companies to reveal users’ encrypted messages. Another way of putting it: Australia‘s tech scene will soon be located on the Wayback Machine.

The law was introduced as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, but now it’s official. And there’s a lot to be concerned about, even if you don’t live or work in Australia.

Dec 10 15:52

Shocking report reveals hundreds of top apps track your every move and share the data with advertisers

Hundreds of popular apps are collecting location data that they claim is anonymous, but further analysis shows it can be easily linked to specific users.

These apps include ones like the Weather Channel, GasBuddy and WeatherBug, many of which inform users that they collect location data, but not necessarily how the data will be used, an investigation from the New York Times found.

The findings have raised both privacy and security concerns as advocates say many users are unaware how much they're being tracked.

Dec 10 15:48

Spies, spies everywhere

The government, through its alphabet soup agencies and its surveillance apparatus, are terrorizing the American people. Terrorizing by government cannot survive against a well-armed citizenry. That is why the elected class have pushed so hard to disarm the populace and why the surveillance state is being expanded at breakneck speed.

Dec 10 15:44

Google+ bug revealed the personal info of 52.5 MILLION customers last month, Google admits - and says it is killing off the service sooner as a result

Google has admitted to a second massive bug in its Google+ social media service.

It affected 52.5 million Google+ accounts, including those of some business customers, for six days after it was introduced last month, Google said.

However, Google said in a blog post that it found no evidence that any other apps had accessed the data, such as name, email, gender and age, using the latest bug.

It says that in light of the latest flaw, it will shut down its Google+ social media service in April, four months ahead of schedule.

Dec 10 10:22

Google Approves App For Muslims To Report People Who Commit Blasphemy

A new Android app has launched with the focus of allowing Muslims to report individuals who commit blasphemy, or insult Islam.

No, this is not a joke. The app, “Smart Pakem”, which launched in Indonesia last month at the request of the Indonesian government, will allow users and government officials to uphold Sharia law and target and report people who hold “misguided” beliefs in violation of Islamic law, which forbids insults of Islam, insults against the Prophet Mohammed, or the recognition of any other religion besides Islam.

Dec 10 09:01

China Is Data Mining DIRECTLY FROM THE BRAINS of Workers

Can you imagine being at work and having your every thought or feeling recorded and shared with your employer?

China has a new program that mines data DIRECTLY FROM THE BRAINS of workers who are required to wear a special helmet when on the job. This picks up thoughts and emotions.

Companies requiring the use of this tech are seeing a HUGE profit, which means we can expect something similar here at some point in the not so distant future.

Dec 10 08:23

Five Eyes Against Huawei

Washington has asked Ottawa to arrest Meng Wanzhou and to extradite her. This young woman is the financial director and daughter of the founder of Huawei, the Chinese Telecom Giant. She was arrested on 6 December in Canada.

The motive for the war undertaken by Washington against Huawei is deep-rooted and spurious are the justifications.

The heart of the problem is that the Chinese firm uses a system of encryption that prevents the NSA from intercepting its communications. A number of governments and secret services in the non-Western world have begun to equip themselves exclusively with Huawei materials, and are doing so to protect the confidentiality of their communications.

Dec 08 11:57

What Ohio’s Tax Gimmick Really Means for the Blockchain Industry

By Max Gulker

Quickly browsing the headlines on November 26, you might be forgiven for having thought some much-needed good news for Bitcoin had hit the wire. “Ohio Becomes First US State to Allow Taxes to be Paid in Bitcoin” was the headline at CoinDesk, echoed in many other media outlets. Even a quick look shows, however, that this was merely a feel-good piece of legislation that bundled a user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that companies could have easily accessed on their own with electronic tax filing.

But when is a gimmick more than just a gimmick? Behind the tax announcement and a few other seemingly cosmetic measures, Ohio might be communicating something of substance to the nascent blockchain industry...

Dec 08 11:35

NEW ORLEANS HOMELAND SECURITY CREATES “PLATINUM” SPY ON YOUR NEIGHBORS CAM-SHARE CLUB

Looking for that special gift for your family this holiday season? Why not signup for New Orleans Homeland Security’s “Platinum” spy on your neighbors cam-share club?

Dec 08 09:26

TSA’s Roadmap for Airport Surveillance Moves in a Dangerous Direction

By India McKinney

The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel,” and the right to anonymous association with others...

Dec 07 17:38

Unity4J To Mark 9 Years Since Julian Assange Has Been Arbitrarily Detained Without Charge, As Ecuador Continues Trying To Force Him Out The Embassy

By Aaron Kesel

Live stream tonight 8-11 EST

Ecuador’s President, Lenín Moreno, is continuing to try and force WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the embassy where he has stayed now for 9 years in arbitrary detention without charge despite two UN rulings stating he should be freed. Meanwhile, activists are planning to honor Assange in a specially planned live stream of Unity4J, echoing calls for his freedom and safe passage...

Dec 07 11:15

Bitcoin crashes to new 2018 low as crypto market continues nosedive

Bitcoin plunged more than 12 percent on Friday, falling below $3,400, its lowest point in over a year. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is worth six times less than it was last December, when it traded at $20,000.

Dec 06 16:56

22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor

Almost two dozen apps with more than 2 million downloads have been removed from the Google Play market after researchers found they contained a device-draining backdoor that allowed them to surreptitiously download files from an attacker-controlled server.

The 22 rogue titles included Sparkle Flashlight, a flashlight app that had been downloaded more than 1 million times since it entered Google Play sometime in 2016 or 2017, antivirus provider Sophos said in a blog post published Thursday. Beginning around March of this year, Sparkle Flashlight and two other apps were updated to add the secret downloader. The remaining 19 apps became available after June and contained the downloader from the start.

Dec 06 16:53

Australia passes ‘dangerous’ anti-encryption law after bipartisan compromise

Australia’s controversial anti-encryption bill is one step closer to becoming law, after the two leading but sparring party political giants struck a deal to pass the legislation.

The bill, in short, grants Australian police greater powers to issue “technical notices” — a nice way of forcing companies — even websites — operating in Australia to help the government hack, implant malware, undermine encryption or insert backdoors at the behest of the government.

If companies refuse, they could face financial penalties.

Dec 06 16:46

Wintel dust up: Intel supply woes vs Win10 demand

The PC industry is trapped in a battle between the immovable objects that are Intel shortages and crap consumer demand, versus the unstoppable force of enterprises upgrading to Windows 10.

Analyst house IDC has forecast shipments to Western European channels - distributors and retailers - to shrink 3.3 per cent this year to 76.3 million PCs and by another 3 per cent in 2019 to 74 million.

Dec 06 16:43

UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'...

UK spies are planning to increase their use of bulk equipment interference, as the range of encrypted hardware and software applications they can't tap into increases.

Equipment interference (EI) – formerly known as computer network exploitation – is the phrase used for spies poking around in devices, like phones or computers, and media like USB sticks.

It allows them to gather up info they claim would otherwise be "lost" as it can't be obtained other ways – crucially, it means they can access encrypted data they cannot grab via the more traditional route of interception.

Dec 06 16:41

Incoming! Microsoft unleashes more fixes for Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Users of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, rejoice! Microsoft has slung out a hefty patch to, er, fix a whole bunch of stuff that was broken in the Update of the Damned.

Released last night, KB4469342 is packed full of updates, with two notable changes lurking at the end of the list of tweaks. The failure of mapped drives to reconnect after starting and logging into a Windows device – which was a showstopper for many enterprises and consumers with home servers – has been fixed, as has the mysterious issue that prevented Win32 program defaults being set for certain file and app combinations.

The other items in the long, long list of fixes include sorting out the brightness slider for the screen resetting to 50 per cent on restart, dealing with Bluetooth headsets dropping audio input after a few minutes and sorting borked display settings on a multi-monitor configuration for some users.

Dec 06 10:27

New Adobe Flash Zero-Day Exploit Found Hidden Inside MS Office Docs

The vulnerability impacts Adobe Flash Player versions 31.0.0.153 and earlier for products including Flash Player Desktop Runtime, Flash Player for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. Adobe Flash Player Installer versions 31.0.0.108 and earlier is also affected.

Researchers reported the Flash zero-day exploit to Adobe on November 29, after which the company acknowledged the issue and released updated Adobe Flash Player version 32.0.0.101 for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS; and Adobe Flash Player Installer version 31.0.0.122.

Dec 06 10:07

Facebook tumbles from top spot on Glassdoor's best places to work list as damning report claims employees have a 'bunker mentality' following slew of scandals

As Facebook battle new scandals every day, employees are revolting - and the firm has dropped dramatically from its top spot on Glassdoor's annual list of the best places to work.

After ranking No. 1 last year, Facebook now ranks seventh, dropping from a 4.6 to 4.5 award score out of a perfect 5.

Dec 06 10:06

In a Letter To The EU, European Film Companies and Sports Leagues Disavow Article 13, Say It Will Make Big Tech Stronger

By Cory Doctorow

A coalition of some of Europe’s largest film companies and sports leagues have published an open letter to the European Union officials negotiating the final stage of the new Copyright Directive; in their letter, the companies condemn “Article 13,” the rule requiring all but the smallest online platforms to censor their users’ videos, text-messages, photos and audio if they appear to match anything in a crowdsourced copyrighted works database...

Dec 06 10:03

Is NOTHING private any more? Shocking extent of how big firms harvest your data – from children's voice recordings, passport info and even pregnant mothers' due dates

The disturbing scale of the personal data harvested and traded by multinationals can be revealed today.

Health details, children's voice recordings and copies of passports can be at risk when customers tick an online consent box.

Analysis by the Mail found that Marriott International, Facebook, Asda, Paypal, BT and Tesco engaged in hidden data harvesting and sharing.

Giant firms can use personal data to build a profile of customers for targeted adverts or to pass to other organisations.

Dec 06 10:00

Facebook accused of striking 'secret deals over user data'

Emails written by Facebook's chief and his deputies show the firm struck secret deals to give some developers special access to user data while refusing others, according to MPs.

A cache of internal documents has been published online by a parliamentary committee.

It said the files also showed Facebook had deliberately made it "as hard as possible" for users to be aware of privacy changes to its Android app.

Facebook had objected to their release.

Dec 06 09:57

U.S. House passes SMART IoT Act without acknowledging security risks associated with IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is used to connect multiple devices to the Internet. According to countless security experts, IoT is vulnerable, dangerous, stupid, and shitty. For example:

Dec 06 09:49

Facebook's value plunges by $9.5BILLION as soon as markets open following document leak which showed the company was 'anti-competitive'

Shares opened around 2.5 per cent down, wiping an estimated $9.5billion off the company's $379billion value, but rebounded slightly to 1 per cent down 90 minutes after trading started.

The documents showed Facebook 'aggressively' pursued competitors, used its platform to cripple rivals, and leverage developers for advertising money, setting up conflicts with regulators and politicians around the globe.

Dec 06 09:18

Homeland Security Creates Exclusive “Platinum” Spy On Your Neighbors Cam-Share Club

By MassPrivateI

Looking for that special gift for your family this holiday season? Why not sign up for Homeland Security’s “Platinum” spy on your neighbors cam-share club.

According to an article in The Advocate, DHS and New Orleans law enforcement have just created a “platinum” spying program that encourages homeowners and business owners to spy on everyone in real-time...

Dec 06 08:52

These Confidential Charts Show Why Facebook Bought WhatsApp

In February 2014, Facebook purchased the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. The acquisition price was staggering for an app that made little money and was largely popular outside the United States.
Now, newly published confidential Facebook emails and charts show exactly why CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a small fortune for the messaging app. For months, the company had been tracking WhatsApp obsessively using Onavo, a VPN and data analytics app, whose data showed that the messaging app was not just a rising competitor, but a potential Facebook killer.

Dec 06 06:58

Biometric Scanning Has Rolled Out in Atlanta International Airport: “One Look And You’re In”

Atlanta airport’s Terminal F has become the “first biometric terminal” in the United States.

And Detroit is next…

International passengers will be able to use facial recognition scans from “curb to gate” to get through every facet of their air travel.

While the face scans are lauded as a great way to save time, they really aren’t as you’ll see in the article.

Dec 05 18:39

The Creepy Line: A New Documentary on the Immense Power of Tech Giants

By Ryan McMaken

The Creepy Line, a new documentary by director M.A. Taylor, is now streaming at Amazon Prime. It takes a disturbing look at how Google and Facebook influence their users’ view of the world, and how the companies have pioneered new ways of doing business. It’s a business model in which personal data harvested from users is exploited so as to offer targeted advertising to third parties.

The Creepy Line takes its title from a description of Google once uttered by Google executive Eric Schmidt who said Google’s mission was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”...

Dec 05 18:24

Alameda and Contra Costa County Sheriffs Flew Drones Over Protests

By Dave Maass and Mike Katz-Lacabe

“We don’t want to use them when people are exercising freedom of speech,” Orlando Police Sgt. Jeffrey Blye told the audience during the best practices portion of his talk. “Because that will destroy your program quickly.”

That is excellent advice for police departments, but sheriffs in the San Francisco Bay Area have chosen not to follow it...

Dec 05 17:11

Facebook exposed: Docs dumped by UK show FB whitelisted user data collection for cherry-picked firms

Facebook’s change of platform in 2014-2015 allowed it to enter into “whitelisting” agreements with app developers, giving them access to user data, in particularly how users are linked as friends within the platform. The documents didn’t reveal what policy Facebook used to decide which firms were worthy of the privilege and which were not.

The increased exposure of private data generated more revenue for app developers, and this outcome was the key driver behind the changes made by Facebook. The social network itself received data about how people were using third party apps in return.

The data-hungry mammoth wanted to know how people used their mobile phones, so it changed Facebook’s mobile app to enable it to harvest more information from devices it was installed on. It deliberately made it harder for users to be aware of this happening in order to avoid bad PR, the MP stressed.

Dec 05 13:34

Have you posted your pictures on the internet? Invasive surveillance technology awaits

We’ve all done it at one point or another, posting our pictures of ourselves, family and friends on websites and social network portals such as Facebook. Whether it be submitting your picture to output a cartoon or aged version of yourself, or uploading your personal snapshots to Facebook, marketing campaigns are aggressively being pushed by digital media corporations to obtain your facial biometrics. However, most people are completely unaware of the deceptive nature of these campaigns and their intentions.

Dec 05 11:08

Assange Case: U.S. Espionage Act Is Illegal, Says John Kiriakou

“The only thing that can save Julian Assange is jury nullification,” says whistleblower John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee based in Virginia, in an exclusive talk to this reporter.

U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradited from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S. Criminal charges against WikiLeaks’ founder were accidentally revealed in early November, when Assange’s name was found on the court filing of an unrelated case, suggesting that prosecutors had copied a boilerplate text and forgotten to change the defendant’s name.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that

“due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Attempting to make a martyr out of Assange will have the polar opposite effect than that which the government wants to see happen.

When the truth becomes illegal to disseminate, the country in which this has happened, has gone completely fascist.

Dec 05 10:46

John Stossel On Censorship: Google & Facebook Cross ‘The Creepy Line’ Daily

John Stossel has recently said that Google and Facebook aren’t just guilty of censorship, but they cross “the creepy line” of suppression of speech daily. Both companies have an obvious agenda, and they have proven that they will silence those who dissent.

Dec 05 10:20

Hackers could spy on your children using security flaw in tablet used by thousands of kids around the world

A tablet aimed at children aged between three and nine years old has a severe security flaw which allows hackers to spy on the children.

Known as the InnoTab Max or the Storio Max and available for £115 ($120), the 'safe' tablet allows parents to approve a website before their children can visit it.

But, it has been revealed, customers with affected devices are at risk of criminals taking control of the popular gadget and snooping on the vulnerable youngsters.

Accomplished hackers can monitor children, listen to them, talk to them, have full access and control of the device and even watch them through the webcam.

Dec 05 09:59

Political Decentralization: Freeing the Internet From Monopolists With Crypto-Tech

Op-Ed by Jonas Sevel Karlberg

The Internet was born from an ideal for information to be shared by all, with all, and was seen as the archetypal decentralized system. Today, however, commercialization by monopolistic and powerful actors has created a system in which we are shown information paid for by the highest bidders, and can only access what the wealthy and powerful permit. Giant tech companies, big businesses, and even governments now act as sentries who not only control what we can do, but have unprecedented capabilities to watch us do it...

Dec 04 16:05

The end of the browser wars? Microsoft to kill off its Edge browser and create new app based on the same technology as Google's Chrome

The edge browser, which was supposed to replace Internet Explorer and was hailed as being far faster, has struggled to attract users - despite being free in every copy of Windows 10.

Now, according to Windows Central, it is being killed off.

'I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, which uses a similar rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser known as Blink,'' the site says.

Dec 04 10:31

Wells Fargo computer glitch blamed as HUNDREDS lose their homes and the bank offers an apology - but no real explanation

Wells Fargo has revealed a computer glitch is behind an error that led to more than 500 customers losing their homes.

Last month the bank announced that an underwriting error had caused it to incorrectly reject some 870 home loan modifications, resulting in the bank foreclosing 545 homes.

The errors have left the banking community, legislators and, of course, the affected homeowners asking how this happened.

Dec 04 08:37

Friend of Khashoggi sues Israeli spyware company

Saudi activist Omar Abdulaziz filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber warfare company NSO Group in Tel Aviv on Sunday, on the basis that the company’s malware intercepted conversations between the activist and slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The lawsuit alleges the spyware company violates international law through selling its software to oppressive regimes that use it to violate human rights, CNN reported.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, where he was killed and dismembered by a hit squad sent from Saudi Arabia.

After a number of attempts at muddying the waters, Saudi Arabia eventually admitted the Washington Post columnist was slain inside the building.

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