privacy

Privacy watchdog finds NSA program ineffective and illegal

Privacy watchdog finds NSA program ineffective and illegal

Just a few days after Obama's awaited, and disappointing to some, speech about the NSA's program, an independent federal body came out with its own rather scathing analysis of the divisive program. According to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the NSA's phone record collection spree in the name of counter-terrorism is not only ineffective but also illegal and needs to be shutdown.

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Chrome browser may be listening in (but don’t burn your mic yet)

Chrome browser may be listening in (but don’t burn your mic yet)

Google's Chrome browser is under fire after speech recognition researchers identified a vulnerability that allows websites to clandestinely record users through their computer's microphone, though some have questioned quite how serious the exploit actually is. Google has known about - and even had a working fix - the flaw for four months, Tal Ater claims, but for the moment sites that are given permission to access the user's microphone can go on recording from it even after the primary tab is closed.

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Microsoft to let foreign customers store data on non-US servers following NSA debacle

Microsoft to let foreign customers store data on non-US servers following NSA debacle

Microsoft has made a decision that runs afoul of many tech companies' sensibilities -- allowing foreign customers to have their data stored on non-US servers. Such a decision was prompted by the NSA hoopla over the past months and concerns about customers' privacy. Spying revelations caused a backlash across the globe, and tech companies became the focus of much of that ire, spurring actions such as this.

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Verizon’s first transparency report shows 320,000 requests in 2013

Verizon’s first transparency report shows 320,000 requests in 2013

Verizon has published its first ever transparency report, and in it we get a glimpse of how many requests the carrier received for data, including a general range for number of National Security Letters it was sent. In total, the carrier was hit with about 320,000 requests over the course of last year, which is further broken down into the types each request falls under.

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Hacker accesses 70,000 Healthcare.gov records, says website is 100% insecure

Hacker accesses 70,000 Healthcare.gov records, says website is 100% insecure

The Healthcare.gov website has had its fair share of troubles since launch, and one that has been persistent among them is claims of security vulnerabilities. TrustedSec's CEO David Kennedy has been vocal about these issues, though little has been done to address them. Perhaps to make a bigger point, he took advantage of the vulnerability in recent times and managed to access 70,000 records over the course of four minutes, saying, "Seventy-thousand was just one of the numbers that I was able to go up to, and I stopped after that."

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Nest commits to opt-in personal data model with Google, not opt-out

Nest commits to opt-in personal data model with Google, not opt-out

This of you looking to continue using Nest devices in the future now that Google owns the lot will find a comment from the company's founder to be particularly inspiring this morning. This week at the DLD 14 conference - Digital Life Design, that is - Nest founder T Fadell made a commitment that any change to use of personal data after the Google acquisition is finalized will be opt-in, not opt-out. This message comes from event attendee Rob Moffat - UPDATE: full interview also posted by DLD 14.

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NSA goes on declassification spree ahead of Obama reform

NSA goes on declassification spree ahead of Obama reform

US National Intelligence director James Clapper has thrown open the books on hundreds of previously classified documents detailing national and international surveillance, as President Obama's scheme to reform the NSA goes into operation. The new batch of declassified files brings the total number of released documents to around 2,300 pages, DNI Clapper wrote, including orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), documents the NSA and others have previously submitted to Congress, and data about the legality of the ways in which the NSA collects telephone metadata and other programs currently operating.

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Obama NSA reform plan revealed

Obama NSA reform plan revealed

President Obama has defended the NSA's spying actions, arguing that the continuing pace of technological advancement means surveillance is essential, though revealing a "series of concrete and substantial reforms" he believes will address public concerns. The proposals, already being picked apart by privacy advocates, include changing the controversial section 215 metadata program, and what Obama described as the "unprecedented" extending of rights around monitoring to non-US citizens outside of America.

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