Cambridge Analytica is Tracking the Personal Information of Millions of Americans

Your secrets may be well known to Cambridge Analytica. The firm helped Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by selling your personal information to the campaign and has now been suspended from Facebook.

Facebook wrote in a statement on March 16, 2018 that it was “Suspending Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group from Facebook.” Cambridge Analytica uses “psychographic” data, meaning it uses data points culled from the internet to create personality profiles of people to use for targeted purposes, such as in an election. The Facebook statement was signed by Paul Grewal, VP & Deputy General Counsel.

The company’s website says that “CA Political will equip you with the data and insights necessary to drive your voters to the polls and win your campaign. We offer a proven combination of predictive analytics, behavioral sciences, and data-driven ad tech.”

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Encrypted Email Service ProtonMail is Being Blocked in Turkey

I have written before about encrypted email provider Proton Mail. In fact, I used Proton Mail last week when I was in China as it was the only email service I could find that was not blocked by the Great Firewall of China. (I bet that changes soon!) Now the government of Turkey isn’t allowing its citizens access to the privacy-enabled email service.

See for the details, unless you are in Turkey in which case the article is blocked.

Graphite: the Google Docs Competitor with Heavy-duty Privacy

Graphite is the first truly decentralized and encrypted replacement for Google G-Suite and Microsoft Office. Nick Douglas writes in the LifeHacker web site:

“My favourite thing about Graphite, the new blockchain-based Google Docs competitor, is that it’s so much faster. Docs used to be the lightweight alternative to MS Word; now it feels similarly slow and bloated. While I still use it for collaborative work, I’ve been leaning toward Apple’s Notes app in all my solo writing; it’s much faster but has some stupid design choices, such as a bad default font and bright yellow link text. (My second favourite thing about Graphite is that it looks crisp and handsome.)

“Graphite is a web app for documents, spreadsheets, and an email alternative called “conversations”. Its creator Justin Hunter emphasises its security and privacy features: Graphite can store your documents on your own servers or on Blockstack, a recently released decentralised network that uses the blockchain to securely distribute encrypted data. As Hunter explains on Product Hunt, your data is encrypted on your computer before it’s sent to any servers. And unlike Google, Graphite never knows your password.”

You can read the full article at:

Signal, WhatsApp Co-Founder Launch ‘Open Source Privacy Technology’ Nonprofit

One of the first messaging services to offer end-to-end encryption for truly private conversations, Signal has largely been developed by a team that’s never grown larger than three full-time developers over the years it’s been around. Now, it’s getting a shot in the arm from the co-founder of a rival app.

Brian Acton, who built WhatsApp with Jan Koum into a $19 billion business and sold it to Facebook, is pouring $50 million into an initiative to support the ongoing development of Signal.

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Tresorit’s Super Secure Online File Storage

NOTE: This is an update to an article I published in 2015. Tresorit recently made some major updates to the service and this article reflects those changes.

The big news in technology these days is “the cloud.” In fact, the cloud offers many different services but the most common one for consumers is file storage. Companies like Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, OneDrive, and others provide off-site backup services and also allow users to access their own files on desktop, laptop, and tablet computers or even on cell phones. The file storage business has skyrocketed in the past few years as consumers have learned how useful such services can be.

Many consumers are reluctant to trust these services, however. Real and imagined security concerns have made many people slow to adopt file storage technology. Most of the concerns revolve around access to personal information by hackers as well as by government hackers and by anyone outside the government who wishes to steal personal information and identities. Experience has proven that any file storage service in the U.S. will quickly provide any and all personal information to any law enforcement officer who shows up at the company’s door with a court order. That willingness to share is a valid concern for anyone who values privacy.

One company solves the problem. That company’s product encrypts all data on the consumers computer BEFORE it is sent to the company’s servers. Nobody, not even the company’s own employees, can read your data. In addition, the company is based in Switzerland and has all of its servers in that country or in the European Union. Both Switzerland and the European Union have very strong laws about protecting the privacy of individuals. Swiss laws forbid the release of personal information to any government agency, not even to the Swiss government. A court order from a US court is useless in Switzerland and in the European Union when the data is stored on servers there.

That company has the strange name of Tresorit.

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