Items tagged with Privacy

The FBI ultimately dropped its suit against Apple involving the now infamous iPhone that was connected to a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting, but the quest to set a legal precedent marches on. FBI Director James Comey hinted as much when said this week there would be more legal battles over encryption and with regards to forcing tech companies to help law enforcement access data on electronic devices.It's not game over, in other words. Though the FBI ultimately didn't need Apple's help in extracting data from the iPhone 5c model it confiscated from a dead terrorist who had locked the handset... Read more...
Internet privacy is kind of like a VCR or CD player, in that one day our kids will ask us “you used to have that?” It’s staggering how much of our online activity is tracked, catalogued, and used for a wide array of purposes, most of them related to commerce. But if you’re a dissident, journalist, someone who lives in a country where the Internet is restricted, or just want to browse the web without being tracked, your options are becoming increasingly limited. It’s likely the situation will only get worse in the future, as companies devise more sophisticated ways of tracking our every move online.... Read more...
Tinder, a popular mobile app that purports to help "meet interesting people nearby," is testing a new feature called Tinder Social. The concept behind Tinder Social is to bring together groups of friends and it works the same way as finding dates—swipe and match with other groups that are also headed out to do something interesting. That's fine and dandy except that Tinder users are automatically opted into Tinder Social; if you're using Tinder on the down low (or simply don't want to advertise your participation to your friends), you'll have to opt-out before you're discovered. Naturally Tinder... Read more...
It's beginning to look a lot like no website on Earth can be trusted with our important data, as attackers are attracted to any service that has a huge number of users. They're even attracted to websites that seek out attractiveness, apparently, as BeautifulPeople.com has had its mammoth user database stolen. Are you unsightly and want revenge? Good news! The database is for sale. As its name implies, BeautifulPeople.com is a site dedicated to hooking up good-looking blokes and gals. That makes it quite an exclusive site, especially thanks to the fact that you have to be approved by the community... Read more...
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's comprehensive spying efforts a few years ago, some might have thought that the agency (along with others) would cool their jets. After all, they were caught red-handed prying into our lives without our knowledge. As recent months have shown, however, the government, and especially the FBI, has no qualm about prying into our mobile devices if the desire is there. The FBI apparently even found a way into iPhones without Apple's help (which Apple has chosen to ignore). Fortunately for us, many software solution providers are capitalizing on consumer... Read more...
If you've ever tried to link someone to a Google Maps URL, you'll undoubtedly understand the benefit of URL shorteners. With them, we can take grossly long URLs and shorten them to a mere fraction of their original length, allowing your Facebook status update to retain a clean look and actually put a few words alongside a URL in a tweet. There's a reason services like Google Maps and Twitter offer their own URL shorteners... they're convenient and useful. According to a new report released out of Cornell Tech, however, we should be showing some concern over the use of URL shorteners. There's a... Read more...
As we grow increasingly dependent on various online services that contain information about our personal lives, the need for privacy is paramount. This has major tech companies at odds with the U.S. government, the latter of which would like unfettered access to all things digital. Rather than give in, Microsoft is fighting back by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice over a law that allows its to request customer emails without their knowledge.Microsoft is fighting for customers' right to know when a government agency obtains a warrant to read their emails. As it currently stands,... Read more...
It's no secret that law enforcement agencies and governments at large want to have access to our personal data whether we like it or not. Hot on the heels of the FBI managing to bypass security measures that should have protected the data on a terrorist's iPhone 5c, we see that the case is definitely not closed. As many had suspected, now that the floodgates are open, agencies like the FBI are not content to let this one win be the last. This week, draft legislation leaked out of the U.S. Senate that to some highlights the government's ignorance about encryption. Within the bill is an... Read more...
The Oculus Rift has finally begun shipping to fans that have been eagerly anticipating their pre-orders.  For many, the Rift is the virtual reality device beat despite the best efforts of HTC, Sony, and others.  According to some, however, the Oculus Rift may come with a greater cost than its $599 pricetag and we aren't talking about the beast of a gaming machine you'll need to adequately power it.  Instead, these concerns stem from Facebook's ownership of Oculus.  These concerns have been heard before, of course, back when Facebook acquired the company two years ago, but now... Read more...
The FBI dropped its case against Apple yesterday claiming it had extracted the contents of the now infamous iPhone 5c model that belonged to Syed Farook, the terrorist involved in the San Bernardino shooting, with the assistance of a third-party. It's as much a win for Apple as it is for the FBI, though instead of celebrating, Apple released a statement saying the matter should never have went to court to begin with. "From the beginning, we objected to the FBI's demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of... Read more...
Over the past couple of years, law enforcement at large has ramped up its efforts to try to gain access to communication mediums, which can include being able to browse unlocked smartphones. As it stands today, most jurisdictions do not give a member of law enforcement the ability to gain access to a smartphone without a warrant, and because a PIN code is personal information, it cannot simply be asked of someone to provide it. That hasn't halted efforts to get rid of such roadblocks, though. Even if it requires brute force, agencies like the FBI want in, especially in high stakes, high profile... Read more...
Last week, we learned about the company teaming up with others, such as Microsoft and Yahoo, to make SMTP 'Strict Transport Security' a reality, a protocol that would make it even harder for malicious users to gain access to our email. In a new blog post, the company draws our attention to SMTP STS as well as a couple of other recent (and not so recent) ways the company has improved our security. On Safer Internet Day, which happened a month-and-a-half ago, the company introduced a new Gmail feature that highlights when email is received or being sent to a domain... Read more...
Apple and the FBI have locked horns with one another over an iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, but what seems like a suddenly contentious relationship may have roots that go even deeper. If a new report is to be believed, Apple's distrust of the U.S. government runs so deep that it's started designing its own servers to avoid any shady tampering. Citing a paywalled report published by The Information on Thursday, ArsTechnica says Apple has long been suspicious that servers it orders get intercepted prior to delivery. As the story goes, Apple believes that third-parties... Read more...
With agencies like the NSA and FBI wanting to peer into our personal communications at will, we have to be proactive about keeping ourselves safe. But what if there's a fault we can't work around and simply have to live with? Unless you're a skilled developer, you have to rely on other to come up with an improved solution. All of us want to stay a step ahead of those who want to intrude on our digital lives, and thankfully, many major companies do too. The latest example is with an improvement of SMTP, an extremely popular email protocol that lets you interact with your email in real-time, unlike... Read more...
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