privacy

Blackphone maker Silent Circle distances itself from criminals

Blackphone maker Silent Circle distances itself from criminals

Rampant spying by governments, spates of large scale hackings, and a general atmosphere of vulnerability over the Internet and mobile networks has made many look at heavily encrypted services and devices just to feel safe even while swimming in this digital age. Silent Circle has been one of the loudest voices in that market, putting out not only encrypted communication services but also an encrypted communication device: the Blackphone. Sadly, one of its most recent endorsers is one that the startup could do without, the Islamic State, more notoriously known as ISIS. 

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Report: Facebook AI could alert parents when sharing kid pics

Report: Facebook AI could alert parents when sharing kid pics

Facebook could be working on a feature that would alert parents when they share a photo of their children on the social network. The feature seems to be geared toward safety, making parents aware, when applicable, that anyone can see the shared images of their children. This is part of Facebook’s larger work with deep learning and artificial intelligence, something that has been used to create other photo-centric features.

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Facebook’s latest report shows jump in government requests

Facebook’s latest report shows jump in government requests

On Wednesday, Facebook released its newest government requests report, revealing an increase in government requests of both the blocking and snitching sort. This latest report spans the first half of 2015, and covers data on both the number of content that governments wanted restricted and how much data requests governments submitted. As well, this report also details any info that can be revealed about National Security Requests received from the US government during that period.

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Vizio Smart TVs may be watching you while you watch it

Vizio Smart TVs may be watching you while you watch it

Earlier this year, Samsung was accused of eavesdropping on owners of its Smart TVs, or at the very least transmitting data to hits servers in an unsafe manner. Although the issue has since then died down, we might actually have something far worse but thankfully probably less widespread. Vizio, a brand associated most with digital displays, has recently launched its new line of smart TVs. And with those come a smart feature that gathers data about your viewing habits, which Vizio can then sell to the highest bidder.

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Belgium: Facebook must stop tracking Internet users

Belgium: Facebook must stop tracking Internet users

In less than 48 hours, if Facebook fails to comply with the orders of a Belgian court, it will be fined as much as $269,000 every day until it does. This is the verdict that the court has imposed on the social networking giant on behalf of the country's privacy watchdog, the Belgian Privacy Commission. The crime? The widespread tracking of any Internet user who, willingly or otherwise, ventures into any Facebook page, regardless of whether said user is registered on Facebook or, which is the contention of this case, not.

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FCC can’t, or won’t, impose Do Not Track on Google, Facebook

FCC can’t, or won’t, impose Do Not Track on Google, Facebook

The FCC is sometimes seen as the enemy and sometimes as the advocate of consumer rights and interests, depending on which side of the fence you're on. Or on which issue. Recently, its new net neutrality rules have put it on not so friendly terms with some in the Internet and tech businesses. But this latest statement might earn it back some points, at the expense of irking some privacy advocates. It has said that it won't be imposing rules on Internet companies that would block or hinder them from tracking user's online activities.

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Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

When it comes to staying away from the prying eyes and eavesdropping ears of spies and hackers, perhaps no one knows better than Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has spilled it all and is now also trying to stay away from said people's reach. So when he openly endorses on Twitter (yes, he is on Twitter, of all places) WhisperSystem's Signal app, now on Android, then you know, with a bit of confidence but perhaps also a grain of salt, that your text messages and voice calls will be secure and private.

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Snapchat is not selling most of your replays

Snapchat is not selling most of your replays

Last week Snapchat revealed a new set updates to their Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, which of course threw users into a tizzy. In fact, not a whole lot is different this time around compared to any other update over the past couple of years. The big differences come in the sales of Replays and the way the Terms and Privacy Policy were written. They're easier to read now than they were before. Of course, to some people, that means it's time to panic.

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Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

It seems that Apple won't be able to take a breather even after a case it has been dragged into has practically been closed. In a drug-related case in Brooklyn, federal Judge James Orenstein formally asked Apple's input regarding the Department of Justice's request to order Apple to unlock the defendant's iPhone. Apple naturally argued against it. The whole matter would have been moot since the defendant plead guilty to the charges, but the DOJ hasn't retracted its application and the judge himself is puzzled by it.

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Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor, whose name amusingly once stood for The Onion Network, has become the software of choice when keeping your identity on the Internet anonymous and protected. As such, it has also become the bane of those, like some government agencies, who would prefer to have everyone's private comings and goings within their grasp. Adding to the project's arsenal of tools, which already includes a web browser, is Tor Messenger, an instant messaging software that tries to offer both convenience and privacy over an established network protocol like XMPP.

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Keep your BlackBerry PRIV, I’ll stick with Nexus 6P

Keep your BlackBerry PRIV, I’ll stick with Nexus 6P

I want to root for the underdog - I want BlackBerry to return to prominence, I really do. But if I'm trying to be objective about the BlackBerry PRIV and its chances in the market amongst some of the other top-guns that it'll be released alongside, I can't imagine most modern consumers really wanting a device from the business-oriented smartphone maker. It might be great for a BlackBerry user from way back - even someone that's been forced to use touchscreens for several years even though they prefer hardware keyboards. But for any iPhone or Android device consumer, the appeal may be lacking.

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Senate approves controversial CISA bill in 74-21 vote

Senate approves controversial CISA bill in 74-21 vote

In an overwhelming number of votes, the US Senate has given the thumbs up to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, more popularly known as CISA, though it definitely has less flattering nicknames. While the bill will still have to go through a joint committee of House and Senate, the show of majority support is already quite telling. Naturally, privacy interest groups are raising their voices high in continued opposition, calling the bill a huge step backwards in the fight for privacy rights and an ineffective weapon against cybercrimes.

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