a wise and real examination of the up coming election.
Daily Archives: July 22, 2015
Next time you’re talking trash, or talking about sensitive business matter, double-check your cell phone—because if you’ve accidentally butt-dialed someone, it’s perfectly legal for that person to record everything you say.
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that accidental phone calls aren’t private. You might not have intended for the recipient of the call to hear what you were saying, but you still called, and that means the recipient is entitled to listen—and even to record the call, the court said.
A pocket- or butt-dial is comparable to leaving your blinds open, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court said—it’s not an invasion of your privacy for someone to look in the open window.
On Tuesday the Apache Stronghold activist community arrived in Washington D.C. for two days of ceremony and protest in front of the White House. The Apache Stronghold is made up of members of the San Carlos Apache tribe as well as supporters from across the country.
The tribal members are protesting the sale of 2400 acres of sacred land at the Oakflat campground in Arizona. The sale was done under the Southeast Arizona land exchange, a bill that has failed several times over the last few years but was ultimately attached to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. The NDAA 2015 was passed into law by the U.S. House and Senate with the support of Arizona Representatives Paul Gosar and Ann Kirkpatrick, as well as Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
Under the NDAA 2015 a land exchange was approved which will allow a new project by Australian company Resolution Copper Mining. The Apache Stronghold is determined to stop the sale and destruction of land that they consider to be sacred to their people and way of life. The group says the copper mine would leave a crater nearly 2 miles wide and threaten streams, springs and wildlife habitats.
A security researcher has abruptly cancelled next month’s scheduled unveiling of a privacy device designed to mask Internet users’ physical locations. It’s a move that has both disappointed privacy advocates and aroused suspicions.
Ben Caudill, a researcher with Rhino Security Labs, took the unusual step of saying he no longer plans to release the software or hardware schematics for his so-called ProxyHam box. He said the devices already created have been destroyed. Caudill has offered no explanation for the killing of the project, but he has reportedly ruled out both intellectual property disputes and Federal Communications Commission licensing concerns.
That has left some people to speculate a secret government subpoena known as a National Security Letter is at play in the decision to kill the project. That speculation seems unlikely because NSLs are a very specific legal process typically served on e-mail providers, phone companies, or the like for specific information, Electronic Frontier Foundation General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director Kurt Opsahl said.
“It’s not clear to me how that could possibly map to the product you described,” he said after Ars explained how ProxyHam worked. “It’s not a catch-all letter by which the government can obtain any action for anybody.”
One of my favorite features in Google Chrome is the noisy tab indicator and the early trial feature that mutes noisy tabs with one click. Now, that same feature is coming to Mozilla Firefox—or at least, we hope it is. Mozilla developers are actively testing and designing a noise indicator that appears on a browser tab when audio is playing.
Whether the noisy tab indicator will actually make it to the mainstream version of Firefox is unclear. But I was able to grab an early test build of Firefox to see how the feature is developing.
Hands-on with Firefox’s very early mute noisy tabs feature
Similar to Chrome’s implementation, Firefox’s early trials display a noise indicator in your browser tab. If you want to mute the audio, you hover over the noise indicator, right-click it and select Mute Tab. Boom! No more noise. The mute feature also works even if the noisy tab isn’t the active page.
Obama announced plans to provide free Internet to some 275,000 low-income families.
Capitalizing on his huge expansion of the Obamaphone program that gave millions of low-income Americans a free cell phone, President Obama is now angling to give millions of Americans free Internet access.
On Wednesday, Obama announced plans to provide free Internet to some 275,000 low-income families in 28 communities across the country.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program is to work in cooperation with local governments, a group of telecommunications companies, and nonprofits.
“While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends,” the White House said in a statement.
“This ‘homework gap’ runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education,” the White House added.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has long been known as a protector of the free Internet, but the organization can’t do it alone. One of the EFF’s greatest strengths is its ability to rally people behind its causes, which of course isn’t terribly difficult since the group’s causes always benefit Internet users.
With the EFF’s latest project, the organization has created a new open source tool that makes it easier than ever for Americans to contact their Congressmen and women and make their voices heard. And just as important, the tool will also allow the EFF to hold members of Congress accountable.
One look at Reddit and you’ll see that there are legions of Internet users who are very passionate about keeping the Internet open and free. But how many of them actually put in the effort and try to make their voices heard?
It’s not always easy… or at least, that used to be the case.
According to Tech Fellow Sina Khanifar, the EFF spent a year building Democracy.io. The new open source website is designed to simplify the process of identifying and contacting one’s representatives, and it really couldn’t be easier to use.
Simply enter your address on the site’s homepage and it will return a list of representatives for your region. Choose which ones you’d like to write to, and Democracy.io will display a form where you can type your message and include your contact information for responses.