Google's decision to notify law enforcement of a Gmail user sharing indecent photos of children reignited questions around what privacy the company provides, but Google has stepped forward with new details on how, exactly, its monitoring system worked. A Houston man was arrested last week after Google informed police in Texas that he had been sharing child pornography with his Gmail account; that content, Google says now, has a special digital fingerprint which distinguishes it from other materials.
It is always a reason for rejoicing when technology is applied to bring law offenders to justice, but there is a difference between use and abuse. Google might be treading that very thin line again when it alerted authorities that a certain man's emails contained explicit content of a child, eventually leading to his arrest by Houston police.
The latest squabble over the use of drones is coming from the Los Angeles Police Department, which has said that hobbyists should avoid flying camera-equipped drones over its various stations. This comes after one man was accused of trespassing via the sky.
Twitter has published its latest transparency report, and in it we see the continual struggle tech companies face when it comes to the balancing act between government and users. The company has pushed for permission to publish more detailed information on national security requests, but still has not gained it.
While some welcome the European Union's ruling popularly known as the "right to be forgotten", with some even waiting for a similar implementation in the US, there is, unsurprisingly some dissenting voices even within the Union. A committee from the UK's House of Lords has called out the EU for its new policy, claiming that the Directive on which the ruling was based, as well as the EU Court's interpretation of that directive, is outdated.
BitTorrent, the company, will perhaps forever be remembered for creating bittorrent, the file sharing protocol. However, the concept of a serverless system of sending packets to and fro the Internet isn't just useful for downloading large videos and files, legally acquired or otherwise. It can also be used to ensure secure and private communication lines, as Bleep, BitTorrent's latest product, tries to demonstrate.
In a bid against spying, Russia has tossed out the idea that Apple and SAP should fork over their source code to relevant government agencies, which would prove their products aren't facilitating spying. The proposal was made known to both companies last week via the nation's Communication Minister Nikolai Nikiforov.
If you've ever gotten that eerie feeling that someone might be snooping in on your calls, then this app might just be the right fit for you. Open WhisperSystems has just made available their open source Signal app for iPhone that will encrypt your voice calls so that no one can eavesdrop. It won't even cost you a single cent.
Russia has added another item to its list of controversy, with its interior ministry announcing a bounty for research that will allow them to unmask Tor users. To the lucky one(s) who come up with a method, the sum of 3.9 roubles will be given.