Senate Votes To Save Net Neutrality But the Battle Hasn’t Been Won Just Yet

Good news from the U.S. Senate! Consumers win another battle. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to reinstate the net neutrality protections the Federal Communications Commission decided to repeal late last year.

However, the battle isn’t over. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for action and if it is approved there it will need President Trump’s signature. If all that happens, Internet service providers will have to continue following rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

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Huge new Facebook Data Leak Exposed Intimate Details of 3 Million Users

As if Facebook didn’t already have huge security and privacy problems, still another privacy breach has occurred. Academics at the University of Cambridge distributed the data from the personality quiz app myPersonality to hundreds of researchers via a website with insufficient security provisions, which led to it being left vulnerable to access for four years! Gaining access illicitly was relatively easy.

You can read more at:

The Truth about PGP’s So-Called Email Bug: It Isn’t Much of a Problem

Word has been circulating in recent days that PGP has a major bug called Efail can can lead to encrypted emails being decrypted. Details about the problem have now been released and it seems the problem is not with PGP itself. It is with the way that some programmers implement PGP in their various email systems. PGP itself is not the problem.

In fact, decrypting PGP-encrypted email messages with Efail is a difficult task, at best. It probably is not practical for most hackers although NSA or agencies of other governments with access to high-powered computers and sophisticated software tools might be able to decrypt your email messages.

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9 Alternatives to Whatsapp that Actually Respect Your Privacy

According to an article in the MakeTechEasier web site:

“When social media giant Facebook purchased everyone’s favorite mobile messenger Whatsapp, users were promised their data would be private and that they wouldn’t be subject to the shady things that Mark Zuckerberg and crew are known for. That promise is all but gone, leaving many of us seeking alternatives.

“As time has gone on, more and more privacy has been taken away from Whatsapp users in the name of “analytical data.” Gone are the days when you could trust this app to be totally private and not expect to get data mined for valuable information – information that could easily be sold to advertisers.

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Facebook Sued (Again!) Over Collection of Mobile Call and Text Data

Do you know what data Facebook is steali… uh, collecting from your Android cellphone? Probably not. It seems that Facebook never told you what data it collects. It is collecting a lot more data about you than you know.

A new lawsuit seeks to hold Facebook liable for allegedly violating the privacy of all Android users who installed a Facebook app while the data collection occurred. Facebook reportedly collects metadata about calls and texts such as the recipients of text messages, and the time and duration of phone calls. What’s worse, Facebook never told you or anyone else about the collection of the personal information.

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US Appeals Court Rules Border Agents Need Suspicion To Search Cellphones

Traditionally, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Border Patrol searches at the border didn’t require any suspicion on the theory that the government has a strong sovereign interest in regulating what enters and exits the country. But there is caselaw indicating that some border searches are so invasive that they do require some kind of suspicion. When the courts first applied the Fourth Amendment to border searches of computers, they held that searches of computers were ordinary searches that required no suspicion. As a result, border agents traditionally have been free to seize anyone’s cell phone and examine anything and everything stored within the phone with no reason required.

Now a new case before the Fourth Circuit has resulted in a ruling that at least some suspicion is required for a forensic search of a cell phone seized at the border.

Details may be found in an article by Orin Kerr in the web site at

Skype Alternatives

Skype is a telecommunications application software product that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches via the Internet and to regular telephones. It is one of the more popular methods of making voice calls (emulating telephones) over the Internet.

Microsoft purchased Skype from a privately-owned company in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. At the time, Skype was very popular, primarily because of its high audio quality and ease of use. Skype also was believed to be very secure at the time. While never officially stated, the advertising for Skype hinted that conversations between two Skype users (not traveling over public telephone lines) could not be wiretapped in its distributed, peer-to-peer network.

In the years since the acquisition, the ease of use in Skype has gone away, replaced by a very awkward user interface that is obviously designed for corporate use. The audio quality remains rather good. The original peer-to-peer network has been replaced with a more-or-less standard network that uses Microsoft servers to establish connections. The new network appears to be less secure than the previous peer-to-peer implementation.

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