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Ever since Edward Snowden leaked details on how the government had forced various IT companies to disclose information (or secured their willing cooperation), companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have been desperate to regain their users' trust. Six months ago, Microsoft announced that it would reengineer... Read more...
In a lot of ways, the public is resigned to the fact that almost nothing is truly "private." We're given identification numbers from birth, nearly everything about us is volunteered online, and even our mobile devices have GPS modules in them. In a lot of ways, those things are worth the hassle, and worth giving up... Read more...
Today, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on data privacy, holding 9-0 that neither police officers nor federal law enforcement have a unilateral right to search cell phones without first procuring a warrant. Prior to today, the government had previously argued that the police could search a cell phone under... Read more...
Sometimes, it's just better to build something yourself - even microprocessors. That's something that Russia proved this week as it was announced that the government would be funding a project to build a custom CPU, codenamed Baikal. The deal is worth "dozens of millions" of dollars, and supercomputer designer... Read more...
Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding. According to Ars Technica, Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren... Read more...
When it comes to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, opinions vary, with some people viewing him a traitor to the U.S. and others viewing him as a hero for shining a light on the shadowy practices of the government. Former vice president Al Gore is on record with his take on Snowden, and although he wouldn’t... Read more...
Facebook rolled out a new mobile feature that uses your device’s microphone to “hear” a song you’re listening to or a TV show you’re watching so you can append that item to a status post. Predictably, a lot of people believe that this is a feature designed for snooping and are not happy... Read more...
Our innocence lost, we now know that the National Security Agency (NSA) effectively strong arms technology companies far and wide into dishing out our personal information. It's a bum rap, and it may make you think twice about firing off that email to a friend or family member criticizing one of the government's... Read more...
It's time to say 'goodbye' to TrueCrypt, the popular open-source full disk encryption software, which was abruptly shut down earlier this week by the anonymous developers who built the program. According to a message on TrueCrypt's website, the software is no longer secure and may contain unfixed security issues. "The... Read more...
From Apple to Yahoo, tech companies have a great deal of our data in their hands, and thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, we know that the government wants as much of it as possible--and has been too successful in that regard. In some cases, there’s just nothing much a company can do when the NSA comes... Read more...
Earlier this week, Apple released an updated set of legal guidelines spelling out exactly what it can and cannot access on your iDevice, what material it will turn over to the police, and under which circumstances it will surrender it. What's particularly interesting is the split response we've seen from different... Read more...
The news of two truly horrible security breaches broke this year; one was the NSA’s shadowy data grabbing and surveillance program, and the other was the Heartbleed bug that left about two-thirds of the Internet utterly exposed to any bad actor. According to a Bloomberg report, these two stories have merged, as “two people familiar... Read more...
As Seth covered earlier today, Bloomberg has accused the NSA of benefiting from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug. The NSA denies this in fairly strong terms. I'd like to draw attention to a different facet of the topic -- first, by discussing the semantics of the NSA's denial and then the wider impact of how that denial is... Read more...
As both the general public and CEOs of Internet companies seethe in the wake of NSA spying allegations, some researchers at MIT are working on a tool called Mylar that they claim would essentially spy-proof web applications. The pain point, according to the team, is the server. Every web application relies on servers for processing and storing... Read more...
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