COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 21 04:40

Amazon’s Creepy Facial Recognition Doorbell Will Surveil the ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD From People’s Front Doors

At first glance of Amazon’s new patent application, one would be tempted to think it no more than a built-in “smart” security system.

But no, this facial recognition surveillance doorbell does a lot more than record would-be thieves. It will surveil the entire neighborhood from people's front doors, identify everyone, and then save that information to the cloud.

Dec 21 01:21

Data Storage Issues (And Solutions)

Ten to fifteen years ago, we would struggle to fill up those seemingly huge 20 GB disks that were available for a rather high price. For many of us, all of our accumulated resources, including music, videos, and photographs could easily fit on modest DVD discs.

Today, the hundreds of gigabytes of storage on our computers, smartphones, and tablets, and in the cloud are not enough for us. We are constantly buying additional external drives and cloud space to fill them with things that we collect all the time. But this growing volume of data creates can create more problem than benefits. In this post, we explore those issues and discuss what can be done.

Too much data for storage and backup

Dec 20 18:52

'White hat hacker' talks directly to man through his Nest to inform him that the security camera was compromised after his password leaked online

A Phoenix man thought he was getting robbed when he first heard an unfamiliar voice inside his home.

But Andy Gregg was even more startled when he realized the voice was coming from the Nest security camera he had installed at his front window.

The voice informed Gregg that the very camera he installed to make his home more secure had actually been compromised after his password was exposed online.

Gregg had been hacked.

Dec 20 18:49

Facebook gathers private data from popular apps including Tinder, OkCupid and Pregnancy+, report claims

Popular apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Pregnancy+ may be siphoning off private user data and sharing it with Facebook.

The apps were found to be collecting data like users' religious affiliation, dating profiles and healthcare data, according to a report from German mobile security initiative Mobilsicher, which was first spotted by BuzzFeed.

Mobilsicher tested the Android version of religious apps like Bible + Audio and MuslimPro, health-related apps such as Pregnancy+ and Migraine Buddy, as well as dating apps including OkCupid and Tinder and found Facebook collects data from them.

In total, Mobilsicher concluded that some 30 percent of all apps in Google's Play Store 'contact Facebook at startup and transmit user data.'

'This way, the company knows which apps you use and when you use them – including apps related to religion, sexuality or health,' the firm explained.

'For users, this data-transmission is entirely invisible.'

Dec 20 17:00

Amazon Sends Couple's Intimate Alexa Recordings To Wrong Person

Amazon accidentally sent the wrong person approximately 1,700 audio files and a PDF containing transcripts of intimate conversations - all recorded over the company's in-home echo assistant.

In August 2018, a German Amazon customer took advantage of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to request whatever personal data Amazon had on file about him. Several months later, he received a link to download a 100MB ZIP file, according to German news outlet Heise.

About 50 of the zipped files contained data relating to everyday things like Amazon searches, but there were also around 1,700 WAV files and a PDF cataloging unsorted transcripts of Alexa’s interpretations of his voice commands. Schneider was extremely surprised to find these files as he doesn’t use Alexa and doesn’t own any Alexa-enabled devices. He listened to some random sample files but didn’t recognize any of the voices they contained. -Heise

Dec 20 11:43

We Should Replace Facebook With Personal Websites

Personal websites and email can replace most of what people like about Facebook—namely the urge to post about their lives online.

Dec 20 11:01

'ZUCKERBERG MUST RESIGN NOW': OUTRAGE AFTER REPORT SHOWS FACEBOOK LET CORPORATE PARTNERS READ USERS' PRIVATE MESSAGES

Just hours after civil rights groups called on Facebook's top executives to step down from the company's board for allowing "viral propaganda" and "bigoted campaigns" to spread on the platform, demands for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to resign intensified after a bombshell New York Times report late Tuesday detailed a "special arrangement" the social media behemoth had with tech corporations that gave them access to users' data and private messages without consent.

"Facebook is evil, folks."
—Jeet Heer, The New Republic

"An incredibly damning indictment of Facebook, every single paragraph," Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, wrote of the Times report, which is the latest in a long line of recent revelations about Facebook's intrusive—and possibly illegal—data practices.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Anyone else hear that big sucking sound?!?

It's going to be interesting to see how this company unravels, and what - if anything - "the Zuck" can do to protect those private fortunes he has amassed to date.

Dec 20 10:53

Don't Take the DNA Test You'll Probably Get for Christmas

On the face of it, these tests seem like the perfect stocking stuffer. They’re pegged as a novel, exciting experience, one that might even bring a family closer together by revealing their shared genetic past. But in this humble writer’s opinion, consumer DNA kits are one of the last presents you want to unwrap on Christmas morning. Why? Because they can still be laughingly imprecise, are barely regulated, and most worryingly of all, could expose your identity to people you’d rather not know anything about you.

As more people take these tests and add their DNA to companies’ databases, the accuracy and specificity of these tests should get better. But that improvement comes with its own drawbacks, namely a loss of privacy.

Dec 20 10:43

HOV LANE DISCOUNTS TO BE REPLACED WITH A CUSTOMER REWARDS SPYING PROGRAM

A recent article in the Dallas News titled "HOV rewards to replace discounts on Dallas Fort-Wort tolled lanes" is basically a rewards program for government spying.

How is this a rewards program for government spying?

The article claims that the "Council of Governments" plans to spend $24 million to replace HOV discounts with a rewards program.

How does VeriRide track drivers and passengers?

Carma Technology's VeriRide app first started in 2008 and has quickly spread across the country and the world.

According to Carma's "What We Do" webpage, "VeriRide provides real-time passenger information and smart ticketing systems." And Carma's "Toll Roads Discount" webpage, reveals that drivers and passengers are monitored continuously.

"VeriRide's continuous monitoring and post trip analysis insures 99% accuracy."

Carma's app does much more than provide real-time driver and passenger information to DOT's.

VeriRide turns vehicles into Bluetooth beacons

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That DOES it!

I'm turning Amish, and buying a horse and buggy!

Hey, you've got to admit, THAT would be a sight to see on Oahu!!

Dec 20 10:39

SOCIAL MEDIA GIANTS CENSOR USER CONTENT AT ISRAEL’S REQUEST

Social media giants are collaborating with Israeli authorities to censor user content, according to a new update by legal rights centre Adalah.

Adalah is continuing to demand that Israel’s state attorney’s office closes its “Cyber Unit”, which works with companies like Facebook and YouTube to remove posts.

According to official data, in 2016 the unit submitted 2,241 content removal requests, of which 69 per cent of posts were duly removed. In 2017, the unit submitted a massive number of 12,351 content removal requests, 85 per cent of which were removed.

Adalah maintains that there are “constitutional and legal flaws inherent in the Cyber Unit’s activities”.

“The state attorney’s authority in such issues is limited to the possibility of retroactively appealing to the courts and bringing suspects to trial,” Adalah stated.

“The court is the only body authorised to determine whether a particular social media post constitutes a crime and to order punitive measures,” it added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised at this revelation.

THAT is why, if you want the real news on what Israel is doing, you need to do so with the independent medial (like WRH).

Dec 20 10:15

Peak Deep Fake - Nvidia's Scary AI Generates Humans That Look 100% Real

Believe it or not, all these faces are fake. They have been synthesized by Nvidia’s new AI algorithm, a generative adversarial network capable of automagically creating humans, cats, and even cars.

The technology works so well that we can expect synthetic image search engines soon - just like Google’s, but generating new fake images on the fly that look real. Yes, you know where that is going - and sure, it can be a lot of fun, but also scary. Check out the video. It truly defies belief:

Dec 20 10:12

Amazon error allowed Alexa user to eavesdrop on another home

A user of Amazon’s (AMZN.O) Alexa voice assistant in Germany got access to more than a thousand recordings from another user because of “a human error” by the company.

The customer had asked to listen back to recordings of his own activities made by Alexa but he was also able to access 1,700 audio files from a stranger when Amazon sent him a link, German trade publication c’t reported.

Dec 20 09:28

Mayday! NASA Warns Employees of Personal Information Breach

According to the agency, any NASA Civil Service employee who joined, left, or transferred within the agency from July 2006 to October 2018 may have had their personal data compromised. NASA currently employs roughly 17,300 people.

Dec 20 09:22

Facebook Like, social sharing buttons on your website may land you in GDPR hot water if data goes a-wanderin'

In a case being considered by the European Court of Justice (CJEU), Advocate General Michal Bobek argued on Wednesday that website operators should share some responsibility with providers of embedded web widgets for ensuring that any data collection complies with legal requirements.

In other words, if you embed a Facebook 'Like' button or similar on your site, it's on you to make sure information collected through that button is all above board, in terms of legal privacy obligations, or else you're on the hook.

Dec 20 08:56

Facebook Inc. took a second stab at convincing its 2.3 billion users that it didn't allow more than 150 other companies to misuse their personal data

Facebook Inc. took a second stab at convincing its 2.3 billion users that it didn't allow more than 150 other companies to misuse their personal data on Wednesday night after its valuation fell by more than $28 billion on the stock market.
"In the past day, we've been accused of disclosing people's private messages to partners without their knowledge," Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, said in a post on the company's blog. "That's not true — and we wanted to provide more facts about our messaging partnerships."

Dec 20 08:14

What will you get with a Microsoft 365 consumer subscription?

Once again, a job listing on a public website has accidentally given away details of an unannounced product Microsoft is developing. My colleague Mary Jo Foley had the details last week in her post, Microsoft is readying a consumer Microsoft 365 subscription bundle .

This development shouldn't be surprising. As I noted at the beginning of 2018, Microsoft has been actively looking for ways to milk more revenue profit out of its Windows cash cow . PC sales are down, and Windows OEM licensing revenue is flat, so the monetization opportunities have to come from somewhere.

Dec 20 07:34

Rand Hindi: Human-Like Artificial Intelligence is Never Going to Exist

Dr. Rand Hindi says that without emotional intelligence machines will never be able to obtain human-like artificial intelligence. Reminiscent of Data on Star Trek Next Generation, Hindi says that despite the impressive ability of machines to learn from other machines and to solve logic problems better than humans, most decisions humans make are actually emotionally driven and machines simply don’t have an emotional IQ.

Dec 19 23:25

Amazon might have a Cambridge Analytica-size problem

When you make an order on Amazon, your personal data including name, address, and basic credit card information and purchase details are passed through to the seller. The seller also needs to have a receiving account, so they can receive the proceeds from your purchase. Amazon requires that the receiving account is linked to the country where the seller is operating.

For this reason, many Chinese sellers use big payment processing companies based in China such as Pingpong, and Lianlian. The payment provider needs access to the seller's Amazon account to set up their receiving account, and here is where the data privacy issue occurs.

A seller has a couple of options for how a third party can plug into their Amazon account. The highest level of access is using the seller's secret key. Someone with a seller's secret key can access all the same data as the seller themselves, including customer data of people who have ordered from the seller.

Dec 19 19:46

How to delete your Facebook account

If you're tired of a new privacy data breach from Facebook every ... single ... month, you might be ready to #deleteFacebook. We don't blame you.

Dec 19 18:43

FB STOCK PRICE FALLS AFTER FACEBOOK REPORTEDLY SHARED YOUR PRIVATE MESSAGES WITH NETFLIX, SPOTIFY

As of 12:50 p.m. EST, shares were down more than 6 percent from the opening, and by the market's close it was at $133.24, down 7.25 percent. The downward trend for Facebook's stock price is not new. In the past six months, the company's shares have fallen nearly 5 percent. Its stock price reached a high over the summer, hitting $217 on July 25.

Documents obtained by the Times showed that "Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages."

The report also alleges that Facebook allowed Amazon to get usernames and contact information and Yahoo to view friends' posts.

Dec 19 18:35

Pinterest bans natural medicine information but allows minors to view pornographic and violent content

The extreme censorship of vaccine safety information by tech giants and social media companies is nothing short of astonishing. Pinterest has now banned GreenMedInfo’s account to prevent them from posting scientifically-validated vaccine safety information that could help save lives. Yet at the same time, Pinterest openly allows minors to view pornographic content and violent content that can harm developing minds.

Dec 19 18:31

Houston, we've had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants

A server containing personal information, including social security numbers, of current and former NASA workers may have been hacked, and its data stolen, it emerged today.

According to an internal memo circulated among staff on Tuesday, in mid-October the US space agency investigated whether or not two of its machines holding employee records had been compromised, and discovered one of them may have been infiltrated by miscreants.

It was further feared that this sensitive personal data had been siphoned from the hijacked server. The agency's top brass stressed no space missions were affected, and identity theft protection will be offered to all affected workers, past and present. The boffinry nerve-center's IT staff have since secured the servers, and are combing through other systems to ensure they are fully defended, we're told.

Dec 19 18:28

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is

Someone claiming to have worked to Microsoft's Edge team has alleged that Redmond ditched its own browser engine, EdgeHTML, in favor of Google's Chromium was mainly because "Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn't keep up."

The netizen, Joshua Bakita, gave as "just one example" the appearance of a seemingly useless empty HTML div tag in YouTube videos that had the effect of slowing down the Edge browser. According to the intern, that tag caused "our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail" with the result that the browser's speed advantage over Google's Chrome disappeared.

He also claimed that shortly after the appearance of the div tag, Google "started advertising Chrome's dominance over Edge on video-watching battery life" before concluding: "What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower."

Dec 19 18:25

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE

Microsoft today emitted an emergency security patch for a flaw in Internet Explorer that hackers are exploiting in the wild to hijack computers.

The vulnerability, CVE-2018-8653, is a remote-code execution hole in the browser's scripting engine.

Visiting a malicious website abusing this bug with a vulnerable version of IE is enough to be potentially infected by spyware, ransomware or some other software nasty. Thus, check Microsoft Update and install any available patches as soon as you can.

Dec 19 13:30

Gen Z trolling culture is the backlash to Millennial outrage culture.

The Cultural Significance of TikTok
"Generation Z are rebelling against the compliant Millenial

Dec 19 10:01

Scott Adams talks about Flynn, the Wence, Trump Charity, Sargon and Patreon, Climate, and Coffee.

Scott also talks about his 1997 book,The Dilbert Future, prediction of the media using assassination for ratings.

Dec 19 09:08

CHINA ACCUSED OF "HUGE HACK" OF THOUSANDS OF EUROPEAN DIPLOMATIC CABLES

Step side Russia: the new global hacking bogeyman is now officially China.

But how do we know it's China this time and not, say, North Korea, Moscow, or some basement dwelling supporter of Julian Assange? Well, according to Oren Falkowitz, CEO of Area 1, he had “absolute confidence” that a Chinese group was behind the attacks, because of an extensive analysis of their techniques... the same way CrowdStrike had "absolute confidence" Russia hacked the DNC server without, of course, allowing the FBI to also investigate it independent. He linked the hacks to the Strategic Support Force of the People’s Liberation Army.

In a hack surprisingly reminiscent of how "the Russians" got access to John Podesta's email, Area 1 said the hackers initially accessed the system using unsophisticated phishing techniques, sending an email with a malicious link or attachment to people inside the ministry in Cyprus.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This smells like more demonization of China.

And we all know what demonization, coupled with sanctions means; it is, most generally, a prelude to a shooting war.

I would very strongly caution President Trump against war with China, either now, or in the very near future. And I say that because, at this point in its history, the American military doesn't have the weaponry; the troop strength; the manufacturing; or the money to insure a positive outcome in such a conflict.

Dec 19 09:03

Google Lens is turning into what Google Glass never was

Years ago, Google Glass was pitched as a magic eye on the real world. I wore one. It never did what people really thought it could do.

The crazy thing is, Google is getting to that magic world fast... through phones. The latest updates to Google Lens -- demoed at this week's Google I/O developers conference, and coming soon to end users -- are closer than ever to what we thought magical real-time augmented reality would be. And, maybe, this is the stepping stone to where future AR headsets are destined to be.

Recognizing text and translating or copying it. Recognizing objects and searching for related matches. Seeing posters and popping out videos and related news. Getting directions and information that floats in front of my vision.

Dec 19 08:55

Charter Spectrum to pay record $174 million fine and give huge refunds to New York customers

Charter Spectrum will pay a record $174 million and refund customers in New York $62 million in a settlement over claims it defrauded internet subscribers.

The settlement announced Tuesday with the New York Attorney General's Office is the largest consumer payment by an internet provider in U.S. history, and Charter Spectrum has agreed to provide some premium cable channels for free to customers as part of the deal.

“This settlement should serve as a wake-up call to any company serving New York consumers: fulfill your promises, or pay the price,” Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

“Not only is this the largest-ever consumer payout by an internet service provider, returning tens of millions of dollars to New Yorkers who were ripped off and providing additional streaming and premium channels as restitution – but it also sets a new standard for how internet providers should fairly market their services.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good.

Here on Oahu, Spectrum/Time Oceanic Cable is a monopoly, and their quality of service, most generally, is lousy, even if the people in their Customer Service department, are generally quite nice.

Dec 19 08:25

The frantic, unprecedented race to save 700,000 NSFW Tumblrs for posterity

GeoCities, Vine, Friendster–communities live, thrive, and often die on the net. But the two-week timeframe in which content will disappear from Tumblr is unprecedented, says Jason Scott. He cofounded Archive Team, a volunteer project running software that scarfs copies of endangered websites for posterity.

They are now scrambling to preserve an estimated 700,000 Tumblr blogs that are expected to partly or entirely disappear due to a new, broadly defined ban on “adult content” announced on December 3. That makes Monday the 17th D-Day, when images, GIFs, and videos flagged as verboten by Tumblr’s AI will disappear from public view–and probably from the reach of archivists.

Dec 19 07:55

Intel to Expand Operations in Israel as Part of Global Plan

Intel has announced Monday a global expansion of its manufacturing capabilities, as part of its shift from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company. The company is now in the early planning stage regarding the expansion of its sites in Israel, Ireland, and Oregon, and expects to start construction in 2019, with the process spanning several years.

Intel has not provided financial details about the planned expansion, nor additional information about the scope and nature of the expansion. Final details could depend on incentives given by the Israeli government, as in the case of Intel's already planned $5 billion overhaul of its fab facility in Kiryat Gat, a small town in southern Israel, announced in May.

Dec 18 12:47

Berkeley scientists developing artificial intelligence tool to combat ‘hate speech’ on social media

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are developing a tool that uses artificial intelligence to identify “hate speech” on social media, a program that researchers hope will out-perform human beings in identifying bigoted comments on Twitter, Reddit and other online platforms.

Scientists at Berkeley’s D-Lab “are working in cooperation with the [Anti-Defamation League] on a ‘scalable detection’ system—the Online Hate Index (OHI)—to identify hate speech,” the Cal Alumni Association reports.

Dec 18 11:15

Kroger starts using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries in Arizona

U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co said on Tuesday it has started using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries Scottsdale, Arizona in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro.

The delivery service follows a pilot program started by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro's R1, a custom unmanned vehicle.

The R1 uses public roads and has no driver and is used to only transport goods.

Dec 17 12:48

London Begins Testing Facial Recognition In Public Despite Being “Staggeringly Inaccurate”

By Nicholas West

It appears that London is ready to roll out the gift of surveillance to its citizens this holiday season. The Met has announced that several areas around central London will be part of a field trial to be conducted today and tomorrow, despite previous reports that the tech is “staggeringly inaccurate.”...

Dec 17 11:30

New computer chip vulnerabilities discovered

With the new flaw, technologists found they were able to damage the on-chip communications system and shorten the lifetime of the whole computer chip significantly. This was achieved by adding a malicious workload. Such a code would include the actions of an electronics manufacturer in sending software updates that intentionally slow down earlier models, as so to encourage consumers to purchase new products. This is something both Apple and Samsung have been accused of.

Dec 17 11:23

US ballistic missile systems have very poor cyber-security

No data encryption, no antivirus programs, no multifactor authentication mechanisms, and 28-year-old unpatched vulnerabilities are just some of the cyber-security failings described in a security audit of the US' ballistic missile system released on Friday by the US Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG).

Dec 17 11:11

Fit Bits: Online Retailer Unveils Images of First Smart Condom

Ever wondered how your sexual experience compares to others? Well, wonder no more and say hello to the i.Con Smart Condom.

That's right, techies have invented the first smart condom, which, according to distributor British Condoms, can give users measurements of their girth and average skin temperature, as well as calculate calories they've burned and record details about their lovemaking skills, including speed of thrusts and even average velocity of thrusts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh, come ON now!

Dec 17 08:33

'Bomb threat' scammers are now threatening to throw acid on victims

Talos said that as soon as their bomb threat campaign appeared to hit a dead end, the group switched to another one.

"The attackers have returned to their empty threats of harming the individual recipient," Schultz said. "This time, they threaten to throw acid on the victim." A copy of an email carrying this latest threat is available below.

Dec 17 08:31

US ballistic missile systems have very poor cyber-security

No data encryption, no antivirus programs, no multifactor authentication mechanisms, and 28-year-old unpatched vulnerabilities are just some of the cyber-security failings described in a security audit of the US' ballistic missile system released on Friday by the US Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG).

The report [PDF] was put together earlier this year, in April, after DOD IG officials inspected five random locations where the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) had placed ballistic missiles part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) --a DOD program developed to protect US territories by launching ballistic missiles to intercept enemy nuclear rockets.

Dec 17 07:10

Privacy fears as report reveals advertisers track which EMOJI you use to determine your emotional state

Since 2016, Twitter has offered advertisers the ability to see which emojis users are sending in the app.

That data turns out to be a gold mine for advertisers, which look at your emojis to determine your emotional state, then deliver highly targeted ads depending on your current mood, according to Vox.

Dec 17 07:01

Android phone facial recognition security ‘tricked by 3D printed head’

Popular Android smartphones can be broken into by using a 3D printed head to get around facial recognition technology, according to a Forbes report, revealing its limitations as a security measure.

Forbes reporter Tom Brewster says he managed to successfully break into four Android phones by bypassing the facial recognition software with a 3D printed model of his head that cost £300 to make.

All four Google Android phones opened thanks to the head made of gypsum powder. The iPhone, however, wasn’t fooled.

Dec 17 06:58

'Bomb threat' scammers linked to earlier sextortion campaign

Researchers with Cisco's Talos say that the rash of emails floated yesterday demanding that recipients pay a Bitcoin ransom or face the possibility of a bomb attack on their offices are simply an evolution of the scare-tactic extortion scam that surfaced in October of this year.

In that scam, the sender copied passwords from a for-sale list of stolen credentials then sent them to a target claiming to have installed malware on their computer. The victim was told to send money or have compromising videos leaked. Of course, those videos did not exist and there was no malware.

Dec 17 04:30

Why Did Google Choose NOW to Remove “Don’t Be Evil” Clause from Its Code of Conduct?

Google used to have an iconic clause in its code of conduct that said, “Don’t be evil.” Yet the clause was recently and quietly sent down the memory hole.

Given the recent House Judiciary Committee hearing involving Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify on issues like the secretive Dragonfly project that would install a special censorship search engine for Chinese citizens…it’s a little creepy.

Dec 16 11:12

UK: GOVERNMENT’S COUNTERTERRORISM IS LIMITING TEXTS AND TOPICS STUDENTS CAN ACCESS, EXPERTS SAY

A counter terrorism strategy has created a “culture of fear” across UK universities where freedom of expression and open debate is being stifled, experts and campaigners warn.

Dec 16 09:37

US Medicare-For-All & Big-Tech: The Future Of Mass Patient Surveillance

As tech executives continue to be grilled in front of Congress, the growing Bernie Sanders-wing of the Democratic Party is preparing to push its misnamed “Medicare for All” into the political mainstream after its political gains in the midterms. While these two stories seem to have very little in common, it’s not difficult to imagine a not-so-distant future where the two are dangerously connected. After all, so long as the scope of government grows, the continued politicization of all aspects of life will follow – the inevitable consequences of which could be quite horrific.

Dec 16 09:34

Robot Trucks Coming To US Army in 2019 

The US Army has recently stated that two transportation battalions will receive a fleet of autonomous leader-follower vehicles by summer 2019. This is a developing theme in the service of 'take the man out of the machine’ has led to a new era of autonomous systems entering the modern battlefield as the Pentagon prepares for the next series of conflicts.

“The Ground Vehicle Systems Center’s work with the Robotic Operating System – Military (ROS-M) covers a spectrum of autonomy and robotics, including small explosive ordnance disposal-assist robots that have been fielded as part of the advanced leader-follower capabilities that Soldiers in two transportation battalions will see by summer 2019,” said an article published in the January – March 2019 issue of Army AL&T magazine.

Dec 15 13:08

Move Over Facial Recognition Tech, They’re Now Data Mining Directly From Our Brains

In this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth goes over the latest Orwellian news as China is now data-mining info directly from the brains of workers in order to “increase productivity.”

Dec 15 11:38

‘WE’RE SORRY THIS HAPPENED’: BUG CAUSES LEAK OF 7 MILLION FACEBOOK USERS’ PHOTOS

he relentless stream of controversy at Facebook continues unabated as the social media giant has revealed that a bug in its software gave third party apps access to photos belonging to nearly seven million users.
The bug gave the external operators far greater access to Facebook users’ images than the tech firm normally allows. Permission usually only extends to the public photos that people share on their timeline.

However, due to the API glitch developers were given access to other images belonging to users, including ones on Facebook stories, Marketplace and even photos that had been uploaded onto the social media site but that users had decided not to publish.

The API malfunction existed for nearly two weeks from September 13 to 25 this year. Facebook developer Tomer Bar said in a blog post on Friday that the only apps that had access to the hidden photos were those to which users had already granted access to their public images.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I haven't read Facebook's "terms and conditions" in a long time, but one has to wonder: will Facebook be hit with a class action lawsuit, because of this bug?!?!?

Dec 15 10:13

The EFF Gift Guide: What Technology Is Creeping Us Out

By Hayley Tsukayama

EFF doesn’t endorse products. But as Internet-connected products proliferate, ads for them bombard holiday shoppers with promises of a more streamlined life. And they do so without always divulging that they’re tracking you more than a jolly fat man who sees when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake.

So, we are taking a different approach to the holiday gift guide: highlighting products that raise red flags for us, as privacy-conscious digital advocates. Here are some gifts being pushed this year that, from a privacy or security standpoint, are on our naughty list...

Dec 15 08:16

Free Speech Social Network Gab Starts Accepting BTC

By Kevin Helms

Gab, a social network dedicated to preserving freedom of speech, has announced that its store now accepts BTC directly after banks and payment processors denied the platform service. “Literally no one can no-platform our new crypto shop,” Gab announced. The platform integrated Btcpay Server after it was refused service by Coinbase and BitPay...

Dec 14 18:21

Oh the irony #GoogleHearing

Dem congressman complains to Indian-born Google CEO: I call tech support & get somebody I can’t understand.

Dec 14 17:30

Firefox add-on: Facebook Container

Prevent Facebook from tracking you around the web. The Facebook Container extension for Firefox helps you take control and isolate your web activity from Facebook.

Dec 14 15:17

LOUISIANA ADOPTS DIGITAL DRIVER'S LICENSES

Louisiana is rolling out a new digital driver's license app, called LA Wallet, that will let retailers digitally verify the age of their customers, if required. "According to IEEE Spectrum, Louisiana's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is expected to announce that bars, restaurants, grocery stores and other retails are allowed to accept LA Wallet as proof of age, according to the app's developer, Envoc."

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