privacy

Hulu will face privacy suit in court

Hulu will face privacy suit in court

Hulu has been fighting to get a case thrown out that as to do with it allegedly sharing the viewing habits of its users illegally. The plaintiffs in the case claim that Hulu illegally shared viewing habits of its users with Facebook and comScore. Hulu had gone before a US Magistrate Judge named Laurel Beeler in an attempt to get the suit dismissed.

Continue Reading...

RSA denies NSA collusion over backdoor code access

RSA denies NSA collusion over backdoor code access

Security firm RSA has categorically denied colluding with the US National Security Agency (NSA) after allegations that the company accepted $10m of government cash in order to make compromised code its default. Reports late last week suggested RSA had been paid by the NSA to adopt a random number generator that the agency had purposefully left backdoor access to, something the company strenuously denies.

Continue Reading...

Verizon will begin issuing transparency reports on government data requests in 2014

Verizon will begin issuing transparency reports on government data requests in 2014

There has been a lot of talk going on around the country on the number of requests that the government is making for call data held by wireless carriers like Verizon. Verizon has announced that it will start publishing transparency reports on government data requests in 2014. Verizon will be the first wireless carrier to publish this sort of report if it follows through with the promise.

Continue Reading...

Google accuses governments of attempting search censorship

Google accuses governments of attempting search censorship

Google has released its eighth Transparency Report, its public disclosure of how much content governments request be removed from the search giant's database. 3,846 government requests were filed between January and June 2013, Google says, covering a total of 24,737 items of content. That, Google legal director Susan Infantino wrote today, is a 68-percent increase over the preceding six months. As Infantino points out, it's a sign of a "worrying trend" that remains.

Continue Reading...

AT&T patents anti-piracy measures to “protect” file sharers from selves

AT&T patents anti-piracy measures to “protect” file sharers from selves

AT&T has been awarded a patent that would let the company track subscriber browsing behavior, assign them a "reputation score", and then block "high-risk" subscribers from being able to access file-sharing services. The patent is called "Methods, devices and computer program products for regulating network activity using a subscriber scoring system". In other words, the blocking system could rely on tracking software installed on subscriber computers. The patent was spotted by TorrentFreak and relayed by Gigaom.

Continue Reading...

Snowden sitting on 1.5 million more documents, NSA estimates

Snowden sitting on 1.5 million more documents, NSA estimates

And now for your weekend Snowden update. Edward Snowden, as you may know if you haven't been living in Plato's cave, is the 30-year-old former NSA employee who stole and leaked "thousands" of documents revealing some of the incredible extent to which the NSA and other international spy agencies go to spy on Americans, Chinese, Germans, and the rest of the world. Last month the NSA said Snowden had leaked 200,000 documents to journalists. Now we're hearing estimates from the NSA itself that Snowden is sitting on 1.5 million additional documents -- but the agency admits even that figure is more-or-less a shot-in-the-dark.

Continue Reading...

Pension fund sues IBM for torpedoing China sales with NSA spy program

Pension fund sues IBM for torpedoing China sales with NSA spy program

A pension fund has sued IBM for $12.9 billion in revenue losses caused by the recent revelation of its partnership with the US Congress and the NSA to spy on Chinese customers. Many of China's companies pulled out of business arrangements with IBM after it became known that IBM was using its technology to collect customer information for the NSA. The suit cites IBM's open lobbying effort to persuade Congress to pass the bill allowing the spying program known as Prism.

Continue Reading...

Boston police halt license plate scanning due to media leak

Boston police halt license plate scanning due to media leak

The Boston Police Department has suspended their use of license plate scanners for now. It seems the optical character recognition technology was working just fine, but the department wasn't following up on all of the hot crime fighting leads the technology was generating. The scanners collected about four million plate IDs a year, prompting onlookers to ask whether the inherent privacy issues were outweighed by the law enforcement benefits.

Continue Reading...

Twitter turnaround on block backlash highlights social shortcomings

Twitter turnaround on block backlash highlights social shortcomings

Twitter's decision to make an abrupt about-face on blocking policy after user outcry has highlighted little-understood shortcomings in how social services handle privacy and bullying, sending the 140-character message service back to the drawing board to refine its procedure. Twitter had thought it was improving the relatively blunt blocking process users were offered when it quietly changed the system on Thursday morning; by the evening, however, the company had been forced to restore the old approach, following criticisms that the amended tools in fact victimized those affected by bullying, rather than the bullies themselves. Meanwhile, the turnaround raises questions around the blocking and privacy tools other popular social networks offer their users.

Continue Reading...

Android slammed for removed privacy permissions tool

Android slammed for removed privacy permissions tool

A beneath-the-scenes change in Android 4.4.2 has prompted questions around Google's opt-out policies for personal data, with power users and privacy advocates angry that an accidentally included tool was removed. Google's decision to quietly remove the so-called "App Ops" permissions feature, which had allowed more granular control post-installation of what data on the phone or tablet third-party applications could access, saw it blasted as a result by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which accused it of overlooking a "massive privacy problem."

Continue Reading...