Apple has Recruited a Former Employee and Vocal Critic of Facebook to Join its Privacy Team

Of all the major corporations in the computer industry, Apple appears to be the one leading the fight for individual privacy, challenging both government spies and the corporations that collect and sell private data of their customers. Now Apple has recruited a former employee and vocal critic of Facebook to join its privacy team.

Sandy Parakilas

Sandy Parakilas, who spent a year and a half monitoring privacy and policy compliance by software developers before leaving Facebook in October 2012, will reportedly become a privacy manager on Apple’s policy team.

When working at Facebook, Mr. Parakilas warned senior executives of the potentially damaging consequences of the company’s data-sharing policies, but felt his concerns were played down. He soon left the company, apparently because he was unable to change Facebook’s predatory practices.

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Veteran Tech Journalist Walt Mossberg Quits Facebook, Because Yeah

I have been an avid reader of Walt Mossberg’s articles for years and once traveled 500 miles one-way just to sit in the audience when he delivered a great presentation about technology in today’s world. I also follow the various security problems, privacy problems, and other issues surrounding Facebook. I wasn’t surprised to learn today that Walt Mossberg is leaving Facebook and deleting his account there.

“I am doing this — after being on Facebook for nearly 12 years — because my own values and the policies and actions of Facebook have diverged to the point where I’m no longer comfortable here,” Mossberg said in a Facebook post.

That is a significant decision by a person who has 266,185 followers on Facebook!

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Phil Zimmermann joins Startpage.com

Phil Zimmermann

Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), has joined Startpage.com “to spearhead its product innovation and crypto-development.”

In 2013, an article on Zimmermann’s Law quoted Phil Zimmermann as saying The natural flow of technology tends to move in the direction of making surveillance easier, and the ability of computers to track us doubles every eighteen months. You can read more about Phil Zimmermann on Wikipedia.

Startpage.com CEO Robert Beens revealed that Zimmermann will advise the company on its search product but that Zimmermann’s main focus will be the “development of the company’s next-generation PGP-encrypted email service”.

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Michael Cohen had 16 Cell Phones Seized by the FBI

I’m jealous! Security experts often advise politicians, business executives, movie stars, professional athletes, and others to always have a second cell phone in addition to their primary phone. The second phone, sometimes called “a burner phone,” should receive little use. The owner is advised to use it only when he or she might want to hide something from law enforcement personnel or Border Patrol or perhaps is in danger of having news reporters or business competitors snooping through the person’s affairs. In fact, another good use might be to hide something from a curious spouse!

If the owner’s primary phone is later examined by someone else, the text messages, installed apps, and recent phone call information contained within the burner phone will not be found. Hiding a second phone that is used only for highly-sensitive purposes can be a big help when it comes to keeping secrets.

However, we may have a new record in burner phones! Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, reportedly had as many as 16 cell phones when the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room!

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Entire Trump Family Reportedly Switches to Encrypted Tutanota Emails

After the recent scandal revealing that Trump campaign aides have had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence in 2016, the entire Trump family apparently turned towards encryption to protect their private communications amongst themselves and possibly with others. Several encrypted Tutanota mailboxes were registered yesterday alone with distinct names of Trump family members.

trumpfamily

Now the Trump family seems to have learned from those early mistakes during the presidential electoral campaign. They have learned that everything that happens online will be copied by the NSA and can be read and analyzed at a later stage.

The Secret Service or perhaps some other US agency captured the email messages and telephone calls between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russians, as reported the New York Times. Then the FBI asked the NSA to collect as much information as possible on this, and analyze troves of previously intercepted communications. We can assume that the captured information includes some email messages made by or received by Donald Trump or members of his family. Now the new President and his family reportedly are switching to encrypted email messages.

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Pompeo Confirmed as Head of the CIA Head, Raising Surveillance and Privacy Concerns

The new head of the CIA believes the agency should even expand its present capabilities to monitor the online and offline activities all US and foreign citizens.

mike_pompeo

Mike Pompeo will lead the Central Intelligence Agency, after the US Senate confirmed his nomination Monday evening in a vote of 66 to 32. Pompeo has supported rolling back reforms on US surveillance practices that were put in place after Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA documents revealed spy programs that caught up US residents. At his confirmation hearing, Pompeo also said he wanted to track information from social media accounts.

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