Daily Archives: August 12, 2015

IT Worker Harvests Non-public Data From Facebook – Video


Facebook has been urged to tighten its privacy settings after a software engineer was able to obtain data about thousands of users by generating random mobile phone numbers. The developer shows how he harvested the names, profile pictures and other data of users who had linked their mobile phone numbers to Facebook, but had not chosen to make them public
source http://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2015/aug/07/it-worker-harvests-non-public-data-from-facebook-video

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Cigars

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Motorized glider flies over prison, sparks slow-speed aerial chase

Ron Nagin, 67, in a motorized paraglider as seen from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department/Facebook video screenshot

CASTAIC, Calif., Aug. 11 (UPI) — Authorities in California said a man in a motorized paraglider prompted a slow-speed aerial chase by flying over a prison.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said a helicopter unit was dispatched when Ron Nagin, 67, flew his motorized paraglider near the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Deputies said officials were concerned the man may have dropped contraband into the prison yard.

“We have several open compounds, so there was concern that somebody might be dropping contraband or there could be some crazy escape attempt. It was really hard to say,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen told KABC-TV.

A slow-speed aerial chase ensued until Nagin landed at Tapia Canyon Paintball Center about 6:05 p.m.

Nagin told deputies he had been carried toward the prison by the wind and he did not immediately respond to the helicopter crew’s instructions to land because his loud motor drowned out the sound of the chopper’s PA system and sirens.

“At first I thought they were just looky-loos, just trying to investigate the sport, but I figured when they cut in front of me twice, I’d better turn around and land,” Nagin said.

The sheriff’s department said Nagin was released without a citation.

“Deputies watched and did not see the pilot drop anything from the motorized hangglider,” the department said in a statement.

continue http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2015/08/11/Motorized-glider-flies-over-prison-sparks-slow-speed-aerial-chase/9231439297396/

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The A to Z of Alphabet, the company that now owns Google

So here’s the gist: Google has spun off Google, renamed itself Alphabet, which now owns Google. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will run Alphabet as CEO and President, respectively, while Sundar Pichai will run Google as its new CEO. Got it? Good. So let’s talk about Alphabet.

In the announcement blog post and subsequent SEC filing, we have a somewhat vague idea what companies will be housed under the Alphabet umbrella. (There’s also a new placeholder site, abc.xyz — alphabet.com is owned by someone else.) Not every letter has a company (yet), nor do we know where all of Google / Alphabet’s pieces will fall (e.g. Google Auto). So without further ado, here are the companies that make up Alphabet’s, erm, alphabet:
continue https://www.theverge.com/2015/8/10/9128123/alphabet-subsidiaries-google-fiber-nest

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Disdain for bioethics ignites controversy

Harvard star performer and leading American public intellectual Steven Pinker has set the cat amongst the bioethicists. In an op-ed in the Boston Globe Pinker argued that bioethicists should just “get out of the way” of life-saving research.

Blogs by bioethicists started to light up like Christmas trees. The controversy even prompted a summary report in Nature. But, surprisingly, quite a few academic bioethicists agreed with the drift of his argument.

Julian Savulescu, a utilitarian ethicist at the University of Oxford, and editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, also felt that bioethics was holding up life-saving biomedical developments. “What we need is less obstruction of good and ethical research, as Pinker correctly observes, and more vigilance at picking up unethical research. This requires competent, professional and trained bioethicists and improvement of ethics review processes.”

Alice Dreger, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, a respected bioethicist and a public intellectual, also agreed, with some caveats: “As an historian of medicine and science, I’d have to agree that people have often been wrong about the supposed doom that will befall us when we achieve new biomedical technologies.”

CONTINUE http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/disdain-for-bioethics-ignites-controversy/11516#When:09:13:00Z

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Mandatory Reporting of User Content Chills Speech and Violates Privacy Rights

EFF joined a broad coalition of 31 organizations in sending a letter to Senate leadership opposing an unconstitutionally vague bill that would require Internet companies to report to the government when they obtain “actual knowledge” of any “facts and circumstances” related to “terrorist activity.” Section 603 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (S. 1705), which does not define “terrorist activity,” raises significant First and Fourth Amendment concerns, including the chilling of protected speech and the warrantless search and seizure of private electronic content.

First Amendment Concerns

The most obvious flaws in Section 603 are its vagueness and overbreadth: it will chill wholly legal speech and conduct. The key reason is that there is no clear agreement in U.S. society about what counts as “terrorism” (and triggers mandatory reporting). The single, tiny island of clarity in the term “terrorist activity” is one non-exclusive reference to 18 U.S.C. § 842(p), which makes it unlawful for a person to distribute information relating to explosives if the person has knowledge that the recipient intends to use the information to commit a violent crime. Otherwise, Section 603 is a Rohrschach blot.

Because Section 603 leaves both companies and users uncertain as to what exactly triggers the mandatory reporting requirement, this vague obligation to report will encourage service providers to broadly implement the law and will, in turn, encourage users to self-censor to avoid being reported to the federal government as possible “terrorists.” Without further clarification, the bill will likely put innocent political activists, journalists, engaged citizens, professors and students participating in wholly lawful debate and research under a cloud of suspicion. For many, the risk of being put on a mysterious government watch list will more often than not outweigh the benefit of speaking.

With limited context for, say, a tweet or private direct message, service providers will err on the side of over-reporting and submit First Amendment-protected speech through content-flagging or automated monitoring systems. Section 603 includes a “protection of privacy” subsection, which clarifies that nothing in the provision “may be construed to require [a] service provider…to monitor any user…or the content of any communication.” Yet this “protection” does little to counteract the pressure on intermediaries to monitor their users’ behavior and content. While intermediaries often rely on content-flagging systems that enable users to report apparent unlawful or abusive activity of other users, this mechanism is prone to fraudulent notices. An automated monitoring system based on keywords would allow intermediaries to avoid having to themselves make decisions about their users’ content. But because it’s not obvious what constitutes “terrorist activity,” a user could be reported any time she uses a buzzword related to terrorist groups, the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, or a particular political ideology.

Fourth Amendment Concerns

Section 603 not only chills lawful speech, it also tries to evade constitutional barriers that protect against unreasonable searches and seizures of private communications by the government.

EFF has consistently argued that a warrant based on probable cause is required for compelled government access to content stored by “cloud” service providers. In United States v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit held that the government cannot access email content without a warrant because users have a Fourth Amendment-protected reasonable expectation of privacy in the email content that they store with these intermediaries.

While Section 603 does not permit the government to demand the production of content, it does require Internet companies to report content—including private content—reflecting “terrorist activity.” There is no question that this kind of mandatory reporting statute is subject to Fourth Amendment scrutiny, not unlike the ordinance found unconstitutional in Los Angeles v. Patel.

The applicability of the Fourth Amendment is particularly important given the amount of private content the government will acquire under this provision. As noted above, this mandatory provision will encourage companies to over-report both public and private content to the government. This will enable the government to evade normal due process requirements—including meeting legal standards such as probable cause and submitting to judicial review—while collecting much private content protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Future Action

Section 603’s constitutional implications have not gone unnoticed in Congress. On July 27, the Senate was set to pass the bill by unanimous consent until Sen. Wyden objected to this expedited procedure. The Senate will now have to engage in the normal process of debate and amendment, or remove this provision from the bill to prompt Sen. Wyden to withdraw his objection and enable the bill to pass by unanimous consent. The government should not be permitted to evade constitutional limits by turning private companies into watchdogs with no leashes. We urge Senate leadership to withdraw Section 603 from the intelligence authorization bill.

Post co-authored by EFF Legal Intern Erica Fisher.
source https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/08/mandatory-reporting-user-content-chills-speech-and-violates-privacy-rights

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Privacy Badger 1.0 Is Here To Stop Online Tracking!

Privacy Badger 1.0 – New Ways to Stop Sneaky Trackers

EFF is excited to announce that today we are releasing version 1.0 of Privacy Badger for Chrome and Firefox.  Privacy Badger is a browser extension that automatically blocks hidden trackers that would otherwise spy on your browsing habits as you surf the Web.

More than a quarter of million users have already installed the alpha and beta releases of Privacy Badger. The new Privacy Badger 1.0 release includes many improvements, including being able to detect certain kinds of super-cookies and browser fingerprinting—some of the more subtle and problematic methods that the online tracking industry employs to follow Internet users from site to site. Other enhancements in Privacy Badger 1.0 include: significant UI improvements, translation into 4 different languages (with more on the way), easier customization of your Privacy Badger settings, improvements to stability, and support for Version 1.0 of EFF’s recently announced Do Not Track Policy.

continue and get it https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/08/privacy-badger-10-here-stop-online-tracking

Categories: internet, technology | Tags: , , ,

Microsoft Can Disable Pirated Games And Unauthorized Hardware In Windows 10

Windows 10 is finally out now and has already started to raise quite a lot of privacy concerns, the latest one is the updated “Services Terms Agreement” which states that Microsoft can prevent the user from playing counterfeit games and even disable unauthorized hardware. The agreement is applicable to all Microsoft services like Office 365, Outlook.com, Xbox Live, Skype, OneDrive, Bing and MSN. Also software using a Microsoft account is covered by the terms meaning the terms also affect most Windows 10 users.

While Microsoft could have done this with existing setup on older Windows OS’s by delivering the kill-switch via “Windows Update” and which they have already done in the past with KB971033 to disable 70+ Windows Activation Hacks, but they have now made it explicitly clear and include other software’s and games which could have some serious consequences. In the terms the company states it might, “download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.” It should also be noted that no longer Windows 10 updates are optional.

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