Database Shows Information on School Shootings in US

Two postgraduate students in California have put together an unusual database. It has information on every school shooting in the U.S. over the past 50 years.

One of the database creators, David Riedman, says his site allows you to search 16 different categories, ranging from suicides to fights. He calls his database a good tool for school administrators building budgets and making plans for school security.

You can learn more in a video on the WIVB-TV web site at: http://bit.ly/2OhNrCl.

How to use Zello, the Walkie-Talkie App people are Downloading Ahead of Hurricane Florence

If Hurricane Florence is coming to your area, you need to download Zello in your smartphone. Details may be found in an article by Avery Hartmans in the Business Insider web site at: https://read.bi/2OgeBFG.

Also, see the earlier articles about Zello published here in the PrivacyBlog by starting at: https://privacyblog.com/?s=zello.

Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

“The privacy of the voting booth?” There’s not much privacy there.

The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them. In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had “provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

Even worse, the company previously lied about the capability to remotely access election-management systems.

A few details and links to the various references mentioned may be found in the Slashdot web site.

Comcast Starts Throttling Mobile Video, Will Charge Extra for HD Streams

Well, that didn’t take long! Net neutrality was killed by the FCC only a few weeks ago and now one company has already raised its prices and will slow any streaming videos from its competitors.

Are you surprised at what the bureaucrats and politicians provided for you?

The sad details may be found in an article by Jon Brodkin in the ArsTechnica web site at: http://bit.ly/2KsoJNH.

Voices of Millions of UK Taxpayers Stored By HMRC

The voices of millions of taxpayers have been analyzed and stored by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) without consent, privacy campaigners say. Big Brother Watch says HMRC’s Voice ID system has collected 5.1 million audio signatures and accuses the department of creating “biometric ID cards by the back door.” The Voice ID scheme, which was launched last year, asks callers to repeat the phrase “my voice is my password” to register. Once this task is complete, they can use the phrase to confirm their identity when managing their taxes.

Details may be found at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44601468.

 

The Russian Government wants to Block Zello, But Can It Really Do that?

I wrote about Zello, the free walkie-talkie emulation software for cell phones, a few days ago at http://bit.ly/2Ej5vlB. It is a great app that gives users excellent one-to-one and one-to-many communications capabilities. Now the Russian government thinks that Zello is an evil thing. Well, it is evil in the eyes of a repressive government. The Russian government wants to block all usage of Zello. It seems that Zello is another example of the type of secure communications service which the Russian regime is determined to stop its people from using.

The regime of President Vladimir Putin sees apps like Zello as being a threat rather than a vital communications tool. That is because apps of this nature are frequently used by opposition groups to coordinate protests and opposition to the Putin regime.

There is but one problem: blocking all Zello users within the country will be a difficult, maybe impossible, task.

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