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

Tim Berners-Lee calls Internet Privacy Rollback ‘Disgusting’

The inventor of the web isn’t happy about what’s happening to his baby. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the world wide web, has hit out at lawmakers rolling back internet privacy laws in the US. Speaking to The Guardian after receiving the Turing award (often described as the Nobel Prize of computing), Berners-Lee said politicians’ attitude toward the internet was “really appalling” and that users were in danger. Details […]

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Trump Administration Considers Far-Reaching Steps for ‘Extreme Vetting’

Big Brother is getting bigger. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, visitors from other countries visiting the U.S. could be forced to reveal their mobile phone contacts, social media passwords and financial data. Travelers who want to enter the U.S. could even face questioning over their ideology. You can read the article at http://on.wsj.com/2nIEaSo although a Wall Street Journal subscription is required.

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Facial Recognition Database used by the FBI is Out of Control

Yes, Big Brother is closely watching you, me, and everyone else, as if we didn’t know that already. The House oversight committee claims the FBI’s facial recognition database is out of control, noting that “no federal law controls this technology” and “no court decision limits it.” At last week’s House oversight committee hearing, politicians and privacy campaigners presented several “damning facts” about the databases. “About 80% of photos in the […]

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Banned in Germany: Kids’ Doll My Friend Cayla is Labeled an Espionage Device

“Cayla ist verboten in Deutschland,” says Jochen Homann, the president of Germany’s Federal Network Agency (the Bundessnetzagentur), announcing a ban on a doll called My Friend Cayla in Germany on Friday. His agency oversees electronic privacy as part of its telecommunications mandate; Homann also cites a special obligation to protect the privacy of children, calling them the most vulnerable members of society. Details may be found at: https://goo.gl/rFKgwU.

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Russian Cyberspies Blamed For US Election Hacks Are Now Targeting Macs

A Russian hacking group, known under different names including Fancy Bear, Pawn Storm, and APT28, participated in last year’s interference in the presidential election. The group has long been known for its advanced range of tools for penetrating Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. Now, researchers have uncovered an equally sophisticated malware package the group used to compromise Macintosh systems. It is believed the Russians infected Macs by exploiting a […]

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How to Opt Out of the Most Popular People Search Sites

I have written recently about Family Tree Now and Radaris.com, two web sites that claim to be genealogy services. In reality, these two sites and many others simply gather public domain information about you and everyone else, then sell your personal information to anyone willing to pay for it. Addresses, family members, and known associates are available for anyone to find. You can demand these sites remove your personal information […]

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Family Tree Website Reveals Personal Address, Family Information

Snopes.com reported on a family tree website that is causing a lot of alarm to the general public as it reveals a lot of personal information. FamilyTreeNow.com claims to be a family history and genealogy web site but seems to be primarily a site that publishes public information about individuals. In fact, there are a number of other web sites that do the same (Spokeo, Intellius, BeenVerified.com and perhaps a […]

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Is Your Windows System Infected with Globe3 Ransomware? A Free Tool Could Help You Decrypt Your Files

The Globe3 Ransomware only infects Windows computers. It will encrypt a victim’s files and then display a ransom note. If the computer owner doesn’t pay, the files are locked up forever, unless that owner has backup copies of the files made before the computer was infected with Globe3. Comment: Why doesn’t EVERYONE make frequent backups? It is so easy to do. Many of today’s backup products will make periodic backup […]

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Why Not Shut Down Yahoo Mail Immediately?

From an article in NextGov: What’s the Argument for Not Shutting Down Yahoo Mail Immediately? “In light of these massive security lapses, a number of questions are being asked, such as: Is the Verizon deal dead? How do you close your Yahoo account? And actually—why doesn’t Yahoo just do everyone a favor and close itself down?” Yahoo recently broke its own record for the biggest security breach ever, when it […]

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Donald Trump’s Stance on Encryption, Privacy, and Surveillance

Digital privacy advocates and civil liberty groups are preparing for the worst under a Trump administration. Trump will arrive at the White House at a time when mass surveillance and hacking by the U.S. government is more expansive and unchecked then ever. The FBI under the Trump administration will be able to hack into the computers of hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans with a single warrant, due to the […]

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