privacy

WikiLeaks suggests questionable database of verified Twitter users

WikiLeaks suggests questionable database of verified Twitter users

WikiLeaks, a website that once stood for the disclosure of private and secretive government documents but has since gone a bit crazy, has come up with the bizarre idea of creating an "online database" of verified Twitter users and their financial, occupational, and even personal information. The idea was proposed on Twitter, of course, by the WikiLeaks Task Force, an official account of the organization, and was subsequently met with concern.

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How to opt out of Facebook ads that track you

How to opt out of Facebook ads that track you

Facebook has an opt-out page which shows how they track users for Facebook ads across the entire planet. This page lists the ways in which Facebook works with data providers that "help businesses connect with people who might be interested in their products or services." These are the the groups that show an advertisement of a movie ticket sales site to people that've been searching for information about which movies are out in their area. For the Ron Swanson in you, this is your page, this is how you get out.

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President Obama’s Russia sanctions response to election-related hacking

President Obama’s Russia sanctions response to election-related hacking

This afternoon President Obama issued an executive order to expand upon response to cyber threats - in this case against Russia. The original Executive Order (13964), "Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities", was issued on April 1st, 2015 by President Barack Obama. This order was expanded to allow sanctions to be ordered against people who fiddle with United States election processes or institutions.

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Behold: This North Korean tablet is the worst tablet of all time

Behold: This North Korean tablet is the worst tablet of all time

Let me introduce you to the worst tablet ever made - a new tablet by the name of "Woolim" made for citizens of North Korea. This isn't the sort of device you'd be able to pick up at a local Electronics Department Store - nor is it available to every citizen of the country's totalitarian dictatorship. Instead, made for what would appear to be "someone with money," according to researcher Florian Grunow, suggesting that this tablet is not meant for "the normal working class."

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Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

How reliable a witness is Amazon's Alexa? The voice-controlled assistant, star of the Echo smart speaker but increasingly spreading to other connected devices, has become the unexpected informant in an Arkansas murder investigation set to go to trial come 2017. According to police, and freshly-unearthed warrants filed by investigators, the always-listening Echo could hold crucial evidence in the case.

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Signal’s private chat app uses Google to stay uncensored

Signal’s private chat app uses Google to stay uncensored

Signal, the encrypted messaging app endorsed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, just received rather significant update. No, we’re not referring to the new stickers and doodling functionality. Those are just a front for the real meat of the update. In almost a similar fashion, Signal now uses a “front”, specifically a domain front utilizing Google.com, in order to circumvent current and future government censorship that would block an app that is reported to be in popular use among activists, advocates, and even dissidents.

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Senator urges Uber to add in-app location tracking controls

Senator urges Uber to add in-app location tracking controls

US Senator Al Franken has fired off a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick urging the company to update its privacy policy and add in-app controls regarding its recently announced background location tracking. Though Franken says it seems the update is “well-intentioned,” he expresses concern about the change and urges Uber to ‘amend [its] privacy statement to reflect the company’s public assurances and justifications related to the most recent app update.”

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The EU just smacked down the UK’s “Snooper’s Charter”

The EU just smacked down the UK’s “Snooper’s Charter”

A new ruling from the European Union's Court of Justice in Luxembourg is opening up the potential to challenge the UK's Investigatory Powers Act, which was passed earlier this year. Otherwise known as the Snooper's Charter, the Investigatory Powers Act has proven to be quite controversial as it requires ISPs within the UK to keep records of the websites their users visit for a full year. Today, the EU's judgement is saying that's illegal.

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Apple, Google, Uber join tech giants in refusing to create Muslim registry for Trump

Apple, Google, Uber join tech giants in refusing to create Muslim registry for Trump

Apple, Google, and Uber went on record on Friday stating that they would have no part in building or contributing to a "Muslim registry" that was proposed by President-elect Donald Trump during his election campaign. Buzzfeed received statements from spokespeople for all three tech giants, each iterating that they were against the idea of, and would in no way participate in creating such a registry for the Trump Administration.

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Evernote backtracks, makes employee peeking opt-in

Evernote backtracks, makes employee peeking opt-in

Well that was quick. Just as Evernote's privacy mess escalated rather quickly, its resolution came quickly as well. Whether forgiveness and redemption will also quickly follow remains to be seen. Sensing that a inconsequential apology from CEO Chris O'Neill wasn't enough to quell flaring tempers, Evernote has quickly followed with a statement that they are revising their stance. Sort of. They will still offer users the "privilege" of enhancing their experience by letting employees read snippets of notes. This time, however, they're making it optional by default rather than the other way around.

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Why Yahoo’s latest hack doesn’t matter

Why Yahoo’s latest hack doesn’t matter

It's my opinion that Yahoo's biggest account breach ever does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Yahoo Mail users don't seem to care - they're still searching for "yahoo mail" about 10x as much as any other term according to today's Google Trends. After the query Yahoo Mail, the most popular search term related to Yahoo is Yahoo Finance. This hack is not a big deal to Yahoo users, and I don't expect that it will be any time soon.

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Evernote’s apology changes nothing

Evernote’s apology changes nothing

This morning Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill sent an email to apologize for and clarify this week's Privacy Update blunder. This apology suggests that two factors make what they're doing OK in their eyes. One of these factors is the user's ability to opt-out. The other is the idea that "select" Evernote employees may see "random content" from Evernote users. This is not good enough.

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