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.

Online Privacy & Security

GoldenSpy: Chinese Bank Requires a Foreign Firm to Install App With Covert Backdoor

Here is another reason to never use Windows: A large, multinational technology company got a nasty surprise recently as it was expanding its operations to China. A local bank required the company to install another program that contained an advanced backdoor. The cautionary tale, detailed in a report published Thursday, said the software package, called Intelligent Tax and produced by Beijing-based Aisino Corporation, worked as advertised. Behind the scenes, it […]

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Google to Auto-Delete Users’ Records by Default

Google is changing its default settings to automatically delete some of the data it collects about users. Web and app activity, including a log of website searches and pages visited, as well as location data, will now be wiped after 18 months. YouTube histories – including which clips were watched and for how long – will be erased after 36 months. The changes apply to new accounts only but existing […]

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Fed Up With Facebook? Here Are 5 Alternatives

“Facebook is unparalleled as a tool for social connection and organization. The same massive scale that makes it so useful, though, also makes its privacy issues, constant tracking, security breaches, and general dominance extra-concerning. That’s probably why you are looking for Facebook alternatives.” You can read a lot more in an article by Andrew Braun in the MakeTechEasier web site at https://www.maketecheasier.com/facebook-alternatives-social-networks.

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Handshake Goes Live With an Uncensorable Internet Browser

From an article by Daniel Kuhn in the CoinDesk web site: Handshake set out to disrupt the World Wide Web of internet names. Now it’s looking to reinvent browsing. Today, as the Handshake Network records its 1 millionth transaction, HandyBrowser will go live. It’s a dedicated way to access the uncensorable internet ecosystem made possible through the distributed Handshake Network, as well as anything else you would normally search for. […]

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Multiple “CIA Failures” Led to Theft of Agency’s Top-Secret Hacking Tools

Your tax dollars at work: the CIA developed all sorts of (mostly illegal) tools to spy on Americans and foreign citizens alike and the unwittingly allowed those tools to fall into the hands of anyone and everyone in the world. In early 2017, WikiLeaks began publishing details of top-secret CIA hacking tools that researchers soon confirmed were part of a large tranche of confidential documents stolen from one of the […]

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How to Get the Most Out of Signal and Encrypted Chat

Of all the popular text messaging, voice conversation, and 2-way video services available today, Signal is probably the one that offers the best privacy, using end-to-end encryption on all information sent and received. Assuming you are interested in such privacy concerns, you will want to read Brian Barrett’s article, How to Get the Most Out of Signal and Encrypted Chat, in the Wired web site at: https://www.wired.com/story/signal-tips-private-messaging-encryption/.

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There Has Never Been a Better Time to Quit Facebook

There is interesting reading in an article by Dave Smith in an article in the Business Insider web site. The article provides a lot of food for thought. Here are a few extracts: I quit Facebook in December 2019. I don’t miss it, and I know I’m better off without it. You probably are, too. Facebook refuses to police information on its own vast network, despite being the largest media […]

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Signal Launches Face-Blurring Tool as US Protesters Embrace Encrypted Messaging

Law enforcement officials across the U.S. have already revealed that they will leverage facial recognition technology to retroactively target protesters following the killing of George Floyd, with police asking the public for footage and photos. Against this backdrop, Signal is introducing a new feature that can automatically obfuscate faces shared within the encrypted messaging app, as the company says it’s “working hard to keep up with the increased traffic” from […]

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Zoom Thinks Law Enforcement Should Get Access to all Your Calls (Unless You Pay)

When I first read that Zoom was planning to add end-to-end encryption, I was delighted. Then I read this article in the Android Authority web site: https://www.androidauthority.com/zoom-encryption-1125396/.  I immediately became very disappointed. Oh well, I will continue to use Signal for one-on-one video calls because (1.) it is free and (2.) it encrypts all text, audio, and even video conversations. For Chats with groups of users, I will use whatever […]

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