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.

Legal Affairs

Researchers Find Google Play Store Apps were Actually Government Malware and Spyware

Security researchers have found a new kind of government malware that was hiding in plain sight within apps on Android’s Play Store. More than 20 malicious apps went unnoticed by Google over the course of roughly two years. Experts told Motherboard the operation may have ensnared innocent victims as the spyware appears to have been faulty and poorly targeted. Legal and law enforcement experts told Motherboard the spyware could be […]

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Russia Orders Major VPN Providers To Block ‘Banned’ Sites

This is a case of government censorship at its worst: During the past few days, Russian telecoms watch Roscomnadzor says it sent compliance notifications to 10 major VPN services with servers inside Russia — NordVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, VPN Unlimited, VyprVPN, Kaspersky Secure Connection, HideMyAss!, Hola VPN, and OpenVPN. The government agency is demanding that the affected services begin interfacing with the FGIS database, blocking the sites listed within. Several […]

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The Mounting Federal Investigations Into Facebook

According to an article by Cecilia Kang in the New York Times: “Facebook now faces investigations into its business practices from a variety of federal agencies. Officials have opened inquiries into possible civil and criminal violations of laws related to privacy, corporate governance and discrimination.” The article then goes on to list the many current investigations being conducted by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice […]

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FTC Fines Four Operations Responsible For Billions of Illegal Robocalls

I hadn’t thought about this issue until I read that four companies that made billions of illegal robocalls have now been caught and fined. I don’t think my phone has received a robotic robocall for the past several days. (I never answer calls from phone numbers I don’t recognize. If the caller hangs up without leaving a voice message I assume it was a marketing caller, probably a robo-caller.) The […]

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Vigilant, Its Customers, Police, and the State of California Are Lying About ICE’s Access To License Plate Records

Can you believe that companies, police, and even state governments are lying to the public? What a concept. (Irony intended.) Everyone’s hooking up ICE with automatic license plate reader (ALPR) data. And everyone’s misleading the public about it, starting with ALPR manufacturer, Vigilant. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been investigating California law enforcement’s data sharing claims with relation to its Vigilant ALPRs and finding their public statements are directly contradicted […]

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Is DNA Evidence Reliable?

DNA has become a major tool for use by police in solving cold cases of murder and other violent crimes. In the past year, about 50 cold cases have been solved nationwide using public genealogy websites. But is this evidence alone reliable? James H. Manahan, J.D., has written an article in the Lake County (Minnesota) News-Chronicle that tells why DNA evidence alone can be misleading. Manahan cautions that DNA is […]

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Facebook Settles Case Involving Organizations Targeting Consumers By Ethnicity

More shenanigans at Facebook. Is there no end? (Oh, right. There is no end.) Facebook is paying about 5 million dollars in fines to settle lawsuits that claim the social media site allowed organizations to target consumers based on ethnicity. Facebook doesn’t allow advertisers to filter based on race, but consumers can be targeted through criteria called “ethnic affinity”. You can find dozens of articles describing the reasons why Facebook has […]

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