privacy

US telecoms sold 1.1 million cell records to law enforcement in 2012

US telecoms sold 1.1 million cell records to law enforcement in 2012

The major US telecoms delivered at minimum 1.1 million cell phone records to law enforcement at all levels of government in 2012. The records include voicemail and text content. The telecoms earned $26 million from the transactions. Many of the fulfilled information requests legally required no warrant, no subpoena, and no probable cause. These and other irresistible revelations come compliments of US Sen. Edward Markey, whose voluminous correspondence with the involved telecoms revealed the information. They include US Cellular, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, MetroPCS, Verizon, AT&T and C Spire Wireless.

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Google, Microsoft, Apple & more demand government surveillance reform

Google, Microsoft, Apple & more demand government surveillance reform

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and other big names in tech have joined forces to protest government surveillance worldwide, calling for "Global Government Surveillance Reform" to better balance keeping citizens safe while also preserving their privacy. The group, which also includes AOL, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo, sets out five principles for transparency, oversight, accountability, and respect, penning a collective letter to President Obama and the US Congress in which they allege the balance of power has tipped too far away from the people and too much toward the state.

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K5 security robot resembles a non-weaponized Dalek

K5 security robot resembles a non-weaponized Dalek

Technology start-up Knightscope last week debuted a prototype security robot that looks a lot like a Dalek (of Doctor Who infamy.) The K5 Autonomous Data Machine stands five feet high, rolls around on wheels, can sense a variety of potential security threats through an array of sensors, and can instantly notify the police in the event of an emergency. It was shown at the Plug and Play Winter Expo this week, gaining a top-three mention from a panel of 101 Silicon Valley judges.

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NSA tracking “billions” of cellphone locations

NSA tracking “billions” of cellphone locations

The NSA is using billions of cellphone location records every day to track potential suspects worldwide, according to the latest leaks from government agency data, including the movements of US citizens despite not specifically going out of its way to collect them. "We are getting vast volumes" of information on cellphone location - amounting to records for hundreds of millions of individual devices - an NSA senior collection manager confirmed to The Washington Post, pointing to the agency's taps on international data cables that form the physical backbone of cellular networks.

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Syme social network offers encryption in a world full of spying

Syme social network offers encryption in a world full of spying

Online security is a topic that has never been as popular as it has since Snowden leaked a variety of documents revealing widespread spying by the United States government. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and other such networks have all been targeted by the NSA , and as such many users may no longer feel comfortable using them. This is where Syme, a new social network currently in beta, comes in.

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Google breaks Dutch privacy laws says watchdog

Google breaks Dutch privacy laws says watchdog

Google's unified privacy policy and its sharing between services have seen it fall foul of another European country's data protection rules, with Dutch authorities accusing the search giant of breaking the law. "Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without our consent" the Dutch data protection authority said today, revealing that it has invited representatives to attend a hearing after which possible sanctions or other enforcement measures will be decided upon.

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Apple iPhone-tracking lawsuit dismissed

Apple iPhone-tracking lawsuit dismissed

A lawsuit against Apple over iOS location tracking and infringed privacy has been dropped after two years, with the same judge that recently awarded the Cupertino firm $290m in damages from Samsung ruling that outraged iPhone users hadn't demonstrated any legitimate violations. The case, filed back in 2011, saw four iOS users complain that their smartphones were transmitting location data even when the feature was ostensibly turned off, with devices storing up to a year of records in an undisclosed log file.

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Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Earlier today, sources spoke to The New York Times about a suspected tapping of fiber optic cables as the means by which the NSA managed to gather vast amounts of Internet data. Following this, sources -- which may or may not be related to the NYT's sources -- told the Washington Post that Microsoft is rapidly boosting its encryption plans in light of concern that the NSA could be intercepting its traffic.

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NSA tapping fiber-optics for Google and Yahoo data suggest insiders

NSA tapping fiber-optics for Google and Yahoo data suggest insiders

Fiber-optic cable taps, not clandestine agreements with big cloud data users like Google and Yahoo, may have given the NSA its treasure-trove access to internet traffic, insiders suspect, with the government agency potentially targeting interconnects rather than data centers themselves. While data centers are heavily secured, the fiber-optic cable links between them are traditionally unencrypted, sources familiar with Google and Yahoo infrastructure told the NYTimes, fingering Level 3 Communications as the most likely target for NSA attention.

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Twitter unveils forward secrecy in bid to stymie spying government eyes

Twitter unveils forward secrecy in bid to stymie spying government eyes

As with many tech companies, Twitter has been caught up in the government spying fallout, and has taken steps to protect its users' data, the latest of which was an announcement on the company's blog this evening: forward secrecy. With forward secrecy, Twitter has essentially enabled a contingency plan against the possibility of some agency recording encrypted traffic and at some point in the future decrypting it with Twitter's private keys.

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