When Visiting Political, Religious, Sexual, Drug-Related, or other Controversial Web Sites, Always Use a VPN

This is a bit of a follow-up to the previous article, Trump Administration Demands Data on over a Million Visitors to anti-Trump Site.

The Trump administration is demanding web host provider Dreamhost turn over the logs of over 1.3 million visitors to an anti-Trump website it hosts, the company has revealed. The demand asks for the IP addresses and other information that could be used to identify anyone who visited the site. “The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website,” the company said in its blog post. The warrant, DreamHost argues, would also require it to hand over any communications that are even tangentially related to the website.

Such a request has a chilling effect on the rights of free speech, the rights of association, and numerous other rights that Americans have enjoyed for more than 200 years.

The request probably is illegal and also displays an appalling ignorance of the technology involved. In short, the politicians apaprently are not aware that anyone who uses a VPN (virtual private network) or Tor networking has a hidden IP address.

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In Less Than Five Years, 44 Billion Cameras Will Be Watching Us

As jaw-dropping as that figure is, it doesn’t seem so crazy when you realize that today there are already about 14 billion cameras in the world, according to data from research firms such as Gartner. Next to phones, other camera-hungry products will include robots (including autonomous cars), security cameras, and smart home products like the new Amazon Echo Show, according to LDV Capital, a VC firm that invests in visual technologies such as computer vision.

Is there no privacy left? Read the article by LDV Capital at http://www.ldv.co/insights to learn more.

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5 Ways Your Security Is at Risk in the Office

Dan Price has written an article that I will suggest should be required reading for anyone who uses an employer’s computer(s). 5 Ways Your Security Is at Risk in the Office at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ways-security-at-risk-office outlines some risks you should be thinking about.

I especially agree with a recommendation near the end of the article: “don’t keep any personal data on your employer’s network.”

Again, the article is available at: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ways-security-at-risk-office.

Saturday is Data Privacy Day

dataprivacydayJanuary 28 is the yearly Data Privacy Day or Data Protection day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices and it is observed in the US, Canada, India and Europe. This day offers an opportunity to inform citizens about their rights with regards to their personal details as used by various governmental and private organizations.

Data Privacy Day’s educational initiative originally focused on raising awareness among businesses as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking. The educational focus has expanded over the past four years to include families, consumers and businesses.

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Edward Snowden Says Privacy is the Most Important Right

edward-snowdenEdward Snowden, the American NSA whistleblower, who’s currently living in Russia, joined via a webcam a Q&A for a screening in New York City of the new Oliver Stone-directed film “Snowden,” about Snowden’s life and his decision to leak NSA documents in 2013 exposing the extent of government surveillance on private citizens.

“The common argument we have — if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear — the origins of that are literally Nazi propaganda,” Snowden said. (Note: While the quote is widely attributed to Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, its exact origins appear to be unclear.) “So when we hear modern politicians, modern people repeating that reflexively without confronting its origins, what it really stands for, I think that’s harmful,” he continued.

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Based on Its History, Apple Had No Choice But to Refuse to Cooperate with the FBI’s Request

In his dystopian book 1984, George Orwell predicted a worst-case scenario, a society in which Big Brother watches our every action and listens in on our every conversation. It might seem ironic, now, to remember that it was Apple, under the leadership of Steve Jobs, that ran that iconic TV commercial, aired in 1984, in which one brave soul challenged Big Brother.