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.

Whatsapp Enables End-to-End Encryption for Hundreds of Millions of Users

On Tuesday, Whatsapp announced that it’s implementing end-to-end encryption, an upgrade to its privacy protections that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to read users’ messages—even the company itself. Whatsapp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and never leaves his or her device. The result is practically uncrackable encryption for […]

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Twitter’s Entire Archive of Public Tweets is now Indexed and Searchable

Twitter has announced via its engineering blog that it’s making its entire public tweet archive searchable to everyone. Previously it had only made the archive accessible to select partners. Twitter’s search engine will index roughly half a trillion tweets, including every public Tweet since 2006. The move means historic tweets will now be accessible to everyone through Twitter’s public search. You can read the details in Twitter’s Engineering Blog at […]

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FREE: Wiper Offers Encrypted Cell Phone Calls and Text Messages You Can Erase Later

Wiper is not the only cell phone app that sends secure texts, photos, and and then deletes them from the recipient’s phone later. However, it is unusual that it also creates encrypted voice calls over wi-fi connections. Wiper is available free of charge for both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) devices. Most apps delete the messages a set time after they’re read, but Wiper lets you remove […]

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Walgreen Verdict of a $1.4 Million Verdict Sets Health Privacy Precedent

A Marion County, Indiana, jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the Indianapolis lawyer who argued the case. The disclosure apparently was done by a Walgreen employee without the knowledge or approval of her manager. “This is the first published court […]

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Wyoming Legislative Committee Endorses Proposed Privacy Amendment

A state legislative committee voted Friday to recommend changing the Wyoming Constitution to specify that individuals have a right to privacy. Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, is chairman of a digital privacy task force that recommended the change. He told members of the Joint Corporations, Elections and Politics Subdivisions Interim Committee in Cheyenne that it’s necessary to establish the state respects personal privacy as more information becomes computerized.

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AT&T Stops Using ‘Perma-Cookies’ to Track Customer Web Activity

In late October, researchers discovered that AT&T and Verizon had been engaging in some unsavory customer tracking methods, using unique identifying numbers or “perma-cookies” to track the websites that customers visited on their cellular devices to deliver target advertisements. See my earlier article at http://goo.gl/hK6qcv for details. Following significant negative attention from the media, AT&T has now told the Associated Press that it is no longer injecting the hidden web […]

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I Received a Fake IRS Telephone Call

I received a phone call this week from the Internal Revenue Service. At least, the caller on the pre-recorded message said she was calling from the officer of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) in regards to my case of being in default for payment. In the pre-recorded message, “Officer Julie Smith” asked me to call a certain telephone number to make immediate payment. She said I could […]

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