privacy

China’s anti-terrorism law does what US, UK could only dream of

China’s anti-terrorism law does what US, UK could only dream of

The US and the UK have only been planning and talking about it for years, but China has already done it. Unsurprisingly, despite strong criticism and outcry from the US and tech companies, China has passed a law that practically requires technology companies to have backdoors to encrypted systems and to hand the Chinese government keys to those doors should they be required by law. Almost ironically, the US' arguments against that law sound similar to the ones used by tech companies against the US' similar proposal.

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Alleged hacker charged with stealing scripts, celebrity IDs

Alleged hacker charged with stealing scripts, celebrity IDs

An alleged hacker has been charged with stealing television scripts, celebrity social security numbers, explicit personal videos, and more through the use of phishing techniques and malware. None of the victims have been named, however they’re said to include a comedy film, “hip-hop biopic,” professional athletes, and actors, among others. The data theft came to light after the alleged hacker reportedly tried to sell some of the content to a well-known radio host.

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Yahoo’s warning users of state-sponsored spying, too

Yahoo’s warning users of state-sponsored spying, too

Yahoo’s Chief Information Security Officer Bob Lord has announced that Yahoo will now inform its’ users when they’re the subject of a state-sponsored attack. The notifications will be provided if the company “strongly suspect[s]” an account has been targeted by a state-sponsored actor of some sort, giving the user a chance to protect his or her account.

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Now the TSA can force you to go through the body-scanner

Now the TSA can force you to go through the body-scanner

Your next flight might include a mandatory trip through the body scanner, with the US government quietly changing the opt-out rules for searches. In a document published earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security outlined an update to the Advanced Imagery Technology protocols used by the TSA at US airports, adding a clause which allows officers to insist travelers go through the controversial machines.

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Apple speaks out against UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

Apple speaks out against UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

Apple, and many privacy advocates, might be facing a losing battle against governments pushing for a backdoor to encrypted devices and Internet services. The UK might be on the verge of passing a proposed Investigatory Powers Bill into law, which would require even non-UK companies like Apple to hand over keys to its otherwise well-protected products, even if such keys do not technically exist. If matters do take that turn, Apple will be forced to completely disable encryption on iPhones and iPads, iMessage, and FaceTime, which could have severe and adverse implications in more ways than one.

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Hello Kitty community breach leaves 3.3m users vulnerable

Hello Kitty community breach leaves 3.3m users vulnerable

The online community SanrioTown.com has suffered a data breach, and as a result 3.3 million user accounts have been left vulnerable. The website is a site for Hello Kitty fans, and as such many of the users are likely children. That didn’t stop someone from accessing the site’s user database and posting it online, though. Several other Hello Kitty websites were targeted, too.

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Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

A bill has been introduced that, should it become law, will force tech companies like Facebook to report ‘terrorist activity’ to law enforcement agencies. The bill was introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Chairman Richard Burr, who stress that such companies won’t have to “monitor customers or undertake any additional action” to hunt down suspected terrorists. The new bill was spurred by reports that the San Bernardino shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.

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The FTC just put an EFF board member in charge of explaining tech

The FTC just put an EFF board member in charge of explaining tech

Things at the US Federal Trade Commission could take a sharp turn toward pushing privacy, as the government agency makes a high-profile EFF member its Chief Technologist. Lorrie Cranor, who sits on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has been named the new Chief Technologist for the FTC, where she will be "primarily responsible for advising Chairwoman Ramirez and the Commission on developing technology and policy matters."

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Google refute’s EFF’s “spying on students” allegations

Google refute’s EFF’s “spying on students” allegations

This is quickly going to be a he/she said, he/she said case. Google has naturally responded to privacy watchdog EFF's accusations that the search company is semi-secretly tracking students' online comings and goings, despite promising not to do so and going against the law. Google even cites the support of some of the very people who penned the Student Privacy Pledge, saying it is confident that it isn't doing anything illegal or even morally long. And naturally, the EFF has also responded, saying its critics are missing some critical points.

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EFF claims Google spies on students with Chromebooks, Google Apps

EFF claims Google spies on students with Chromebooks, Google Apps

The FCC may have decided not to impose any standard Do Not Track rules on services like Google or Facebook, but that doesn't mean that their tracking activities will remain unfettered, especially from the sanctions of a different government agency. Privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF has filed a formal complaint against Google with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It's beef? That Google has been collecting students' private information through devices like Chromebooks and services like Google Apps for Education (GAFE), despite promising not to do so.

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VTech says 6.4 million kids affected by recent hack

VTech says 6.4 million kids affected by recent hack

In a statement issued today, VTech announced that 6.4 million kids were affected by the data breach disclosed last week. This is the latest update to the hack, which has grown in scope over the last few days. On Friday, VTech had stated that 4.9 million adults were affected by the breach, which targeted the maker’s Kid Connect messaging system and Learning Lodge app store.

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BlackBerry exits Pakistan amid demands for backdoor access

BlackBerry exits Pakistan amid demands for backdoor access

The folks at BlackBerry have announced that they're leaving Pakistan as soon as possible. Apparently the government in said country isn't too keen about BlackBerry keeping their cellular information to themselves, and want full, unfettered access to the information about and within BlackBerry's BES e-mail and BES BBM messaging systems - all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic. BlackBerry will be doing nothing of the sort. They won't hand over access to the systems to the Pakistani government, so they'll be leaving the country very, very soon.

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