Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Current Affairs

How Zello Became a Lifeline for Venezuelans Under Maduro

I have written several times about the private communications app called Zello. See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+zello&t=h_&ia=web for my past Zello articles. Zello has many uses , especially in catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, forest fires, traffic jams, and more. It has also been used to coordinate anti-government activities in Russia. Now the Venezuelans are using Zello as a crucial tool for Venezuelans protesting widespread hunger and political oppression under dictator Nicolás […]

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At Least 200 Federal Websites Have Expired SSL Certificates

UPDATE: A few hours after this article was published, an agreement to allow unpaid Federal workers to go back to work and be paid was announced. Obviously, that is great news even though it is only a temporary agreement. However, do not expect immediate resolution of the problems detailed in this article. The employees face a big backlog of work to be done that probably will require days, or even […]

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Why You Might Want to Give Up Your Landline Phone

Millions of people are cutting the cords of landline phone service and have switched to cellular or VoIP (internet calling) services. You might think, “That’s nice, but I like my wired landline phone. I plan to keep it forever.” I bet you will change your mind before long. You may not change it today, but I suspect you will change within a very few years. When you do, you probably […]

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Predicting Household Demographics Based on Image Data

Our friends (?) at Facebook have submitted a patent application for technology that claims it can predict who your family and other household members are, based on images and captions posted to Facebook, as well as your device information, like shared IP addresses. The application, titled Predicting household demographics based on image data, was originally filed May 10, 2017, but made public this week. The system Facebook proposes in its […]

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Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now

Interesting reading: excepts from an article by Siva Vaidhyanathan in the Slate web site at http://bit.ly/2PWUQa6: “The leaders of Facebook can no longer pretend they are special people running a special company. Facebook is now just another normal sleazy American company run by normal sleazy executives, engaged in normal sleazy lobbying and corporate propaganda.” Later in the article: “All of the scandals and crises the company has facilitated in recent […]

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Ads Will Soon Appear in WhatsApp

Bad news: Advertisements are coming to WhatsApp. Like we need more advertising on the Internet? I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. WhatsApp once was a successful freeware and cross-platform encrypted messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) product that treated its customers like real human beings. Then the company was bought out by Facebook for approximately US$19.3 billion. Since then, the encrypted service has been abused by various groups. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WhatsApp#Reception_and_criticism […]

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