The Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act, AKA CISPA, has once again passed in the US House of Representatives. Reminder that this bill gives government agencies and their other agencies access to personal, private user data to help monitor for the presence of hackers.
Now, when CISPA was first passed, Senate said NO! Also, President Barack Obama has said that he’d veto the bill if it came through his office. Because of the different privacy issues, many advocates against this bill will fight it to the end.
This bill has been backed by bigwig business for a long period of time, almost since the beginning of the talks of this bill. Maybe it could be the big government contract ($$$) for these big businesses that seem attractive or maybe could be the fact that these business truly believe to end hackers’ abilities.
Will it completely stop hacker initiatives? Probably not. However, it would provide the ability to try to limit some of the bigger initiatives.
Government sectors of China, Russia, etc. are a bit of a cyberthreat to the United States, information access is what the US will need if it wants ahead of the game. Do you agree?
Of course the president of the US doesn’t want it passed if it violates the rights of citizens. But, in the end, realize that if money among other things, like personally-identifiable-information were to be stolen every year — and people would realize this, then people should have no problem with their data being accessible to US authorities rather than hackers.
The bright side would be, is if government authorities have access to your private data, it isn’t going to spread around like wildfire, unlike what’d happen if a hacker got a hold of it.
It’s easy to do an Internet search for lists of email addresses, and pull up loads upon loads of private email addresses that hackers posted in public to humiliate those that haven’t been smart enough to keep it secret.
Spammers and phishers, all the time, access your private information on Facebook, if you accidentally click the wrong link or follow a malicious email link – which asks you to ‘enter your Facebook username and password to continue.’
Some people argue that the government doesn’t care for internet users but rather cares for the money they’d get. Well, actually, if you think about it, the government is paying these big businesses to participate in the information sharing process, so the American people’s pocketbooks/wallets can be protected, and their own privacy.
Who else has protested this? Anonymous:
Even the Reddit co-founder is urging the US Government to NOT pass it.
What should be our take? You decide. My vote is neutral. I see this bill as a good thing in spots (because of potentially ending hacker initiatives and malware/virus threats), however, it poses a major privacy threat. For most advocates of privacy, I agree with them.
Your opinion matters too! Contact your local senator and let your voice be heard. It’s usually best to write a letter, which provides good results. Providing written documentation of a fair but firm protest is the best way to go.
Facebook has announced the expansion of their alliance with antivirus companies in hopes to better secure its users and promote good privacy… here is a quick scope of the details:
Today, we are excited to announce the expansion of our AV Marketplace to include 7 new partners to our growing coalition of security companies. Starting now, Facebook users will be able to download software from – avast!, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda, Total Defense, and Webroot. Not only do we have new partners but also many of our existing partners – Microsoft, McAfee, Norton, TrendMicro, and Sophos – will begin offering anti-virus software for your mobile devices. You can visit the AV Marketplace now to download your free anti-virus software for PC, Mac and Mobile.
Our new anti-virus partners bring with them both the latest software and comprehensive intelligence. As with our existing partners, these seven companies will help protect Facebook’s community of over a billion users by improving our URL blacklist system. This system scans trillions of clicks per per day, and before each click, the system consults the databases of all our AV Marketplace partners to make sure the website you are about to visit is safe. This means that whenever you click a link on our site you are protected both by Facebook and 12 of the industry leaders in computer security. We will be cooperating with these partners more in the future, and look forward to announcing new tools soon.
Read more now at the Facebook blog
Boy, nothing beats reading right? Reading on your Kindle? You’d say so. But what if big brother’s watching? Yeah, it’s frightening potentially. It’s time to unmask this.
What if you were aware that your Kindle or other e-reader (like the Nook) was spying on what you read, how you read it, and sending this data to market research companies?
Here is some of the information that you could be providing to your e-reader without knowing:
- “E-reader technology presents significant new threats to reader privacy. E-readers possess the ability to report back substantial information about their users’ reading habits and locations to the corporations that sell them. And yet none of the major e-reader manufacturers have explained to consumers in clear, unequivocal language what data is being collected about them and why,” says the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has collated a guide to the privacy policies of certain e-readers.
- What’s sad is that it can track what parts you may skip out in reading.
- According to the Wall Street Journal: “Kindle users sign an agreement granting the company permission to store information from the device—including the last page you’ve read, plus your bookmarks, highlights, notes and annotations—in its data servers.”
- The EFF publishes an eBook Buyer’s Guide to Privacy. This shows e-readers in terms of their privacy and data collection policies. According to the EFF’s site, it appears that Amazon can share your e-reader data with law enforcement, civil litigants, as well as within other Amazon products.
These privacy problems are likely to continue, and it looks like Amazon among other companies are doing the data collection in secret.
- Readers’ privacy is under threat in the digital age (guardian.co.uk)
- Is Your e-Book Spying on You? (eogn.com)
Only need to say a few words here… do not click on these ads, as they are potential exploits leading to malware/viruses:
Protect yourself from ads automatically with Kaspersky Products:
The Anonymous group AntiSec has claimed to have mined around 12 million Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) from a FBI laptop, after the hack was claimed to have been part of a Java vulnerability. News has been booming with Java vulnerabilities lately, so this is a very believable story. AntiSec published their list to prove the group had the data. The data is used as identifiers for iPhone and iPad devices.
AntiSec’s reason stated includes that it wanted to expose the FBI’s tracking of Apple device users.
However, the FBI has came back with a press release statement:
The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed. At this time, there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.
Therefore, all this was just a tactic to draw attention to themselves.
- FBI: We Weren’t Hacked, Never Had Apple Device IDs (mashable.com)
- AntiSec Claims to Steal Apple UDIDs from Gov. Laptop, FBI Says No (dailytech.com)
- FBI denies AntiSec’s Apple UDID database claims (h-online.com)
- FBI calls out AntiSec, claim they had nothing to do with stolen Apple IDs (slashgear.com)
A consumer group in Germany has alleged over Facebook App Center about violating privacy laws.
According to the Washington Post, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations has given Facebook one week to stop automatically giving user information to third-party applications without explicit consent.
Legal action is possibly to Facebook, if these solutions are not met to fix privacy flaws, by September 4, 2012.
According to the New York Times about two week ago, “The company’s use of analytic software to compile photographic archives of human faces, based on photos uploaded by Facebook’s members, has been problematic in Europe, where data protection laws require people to give their explicit consent to the practice.”
Officials say this investigation and alleged charges are related to the Google Street View investigation, and similar actions can be taken, if necessary, to resolve the problem.
For the App Center, it’s put in place, some speculate, to help the Facebook mobile market and increase revenue for the company. With its competition against Apple or Android stores, it’s trying to gain attention quickly as an app store itself.
What makes governments and privacy experts nervous, is when Facebook developers make users opt-out, instead of opt-in. This means that new, potentially problematic, features are turned on by default. This requires too much work on the user, and an unfair advantage for Facebook.
- Facebook given one week to stop breaching privacy laws (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)
- German consumer group sets Facebook privacy ultimatum (reuters.com)
- Facebook’s new app bazaar ‘violates’ punters’ privacy – lobbyists (go.theregister.com)
Facebook launched a new feature this past Sunday, which was a location tracking feature that allowed users to see which of their friends were nearby. This feature has been quickly removed, after quick evaluation. The executive team at Facebook seems to not have their head on straight, or maybe the risk platform is too high right now, but it’s time to get the act together in thinking about the security and privacy of every human user of Facebook.
The feature, like all other strange features, turned itself on by default. Which means anyone and everyone would be vulnerable. This type of feature can easily broaden the range of stalkers and make it easier for people to track your location.
Or let’s see it in Facebook’s eyes: “We’re always testing new features”. IS THAT THE KEY TO YOUR BUSINESS PLAN? For what it’s worth, Facebook, there are a lot better ways to stretch your business without hurting the privacy of others. WHY does every new feature have to do with privacy? Hello! The target of social networking is to bring people closer mentally/emotionally (already connected public friends), but not physically closer.