Privacy

On The Media

Google Plus Dropped Its Real Name Policy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three years after launch, Google Plus users can use (almost) whatever fake name they want.

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On The Media

Online Agitprop! Everyone's Doing It!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On the most recent TLDR, I spoke to Max Seddon, foreign correspondent for Buzzfeed, about some recently unearthed documents that show a massive online pro-Russia propaganda effort with ties to The Kremlin

In that interview, Max made it clear that Russia is far from the only government that does this sort of opinion influencing, citing an AP report from a couple months ago about US efforts to sway public opinion in Cuba by creating its own "fake twitter." from the interview:

USAID set up an entire fake social network for cuban people to get around all the internet filters to Cuba that was meant to create some sort of thing that they could use to influence popular opinion in Cuba, which is closed off to the US, and it's very difficult to do well. because On the internet, people are smart, it's very easy to compare things, and use multiple sources of information and come to the right conclusions. They can tell when something is fake.

On Monday, Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept produced another example of this governmental internet meddling, this time from Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). 

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On The Media

Do Not Track Declared DOA

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A few years ago, there was a strong initiative to create a "Do Not Track" option on the internet, which would keep advertisers from following you from website to website, watching your every browsing and spending move. The hope was that with a single browser option, consumers could block advertisers from following them around the web. On the Media even did a relatively lengthy look at the initiative as proposed by the FTC in 2010.

three and a half years later, the Do Not Track initiative looks like an ambitious, but spectacular failure.

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On The Media

All The Worst People Would Like the Internet To Forget Them

Friday, May 16, 2014

A child pornographer; a disgraced politician; an attempted murderer. These are the first people who've shown up in the wake of an E.U. court ruling, to get information about themselves removed from the internet.

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On The Media

Not-So-Private Metadata

Friday, March 21, 2014

The NSA has defended its controversial surveillance program by arguing that it just collects metadata, and therefore doesn't violate the privacy of individual Americans. But computer scientists at Stanford Security Lab have conducted their own simulation of the NSA's program, and found the metadata to be inherently revealing. Bob speaks with Jonathan Mayer, one of the researchers on the project, about how much can be learned just from the numbers.

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On The Media

Company Starts Offering Anti-Google Glass Recognition Services

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Google Glass has been crazily divisive in San Francisco, where businesses are banning its usage and fights have erupted over people who are wearing it. A company called Reputation Management Consultants says it has found an elegant solution - Anti Glass, a service which will stymie people from using the device to look you up online.

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On The Media

Invasive Cavity Search at the Border

Friday, February 28, 2014

"Jane Doe" is a 54-year old US citizen who was crossing into the US at the Juarez/El Paso border when agents took her aside for secondary screening. The screening ended up being 6 hours of invasive cavity searches—which yielded nothing and left her traumatized. Bob speaks with Laura Schauer Ives, an ACLU attorney for Jane Doe about what happened at the border that day.

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On The Media

Device Searches at the Border

Friday, February 28, 2014

The border is a legal gray area where the same constitutional protections one expects inside the country don't necessarily apply. When graduate student Pascal Abidor had his electronic devices searched and seized at the border back in 2010, he filed lawsuit against the federal government. But in December, a federal judge upheld the government's right to search travelers' devices at the border without a warrant. Brooke speaks with Pascal about his experience at the border and the lawsuit.

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On The Media

My Detainment Story or: How I Learned To Stop Feeling Safe In My Own Country and Hate Border Agents

Friday, February 28, 2014

Back in September, OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman, her family, and her friends were detained for hours by US Customs and Border Protection on their way home from Canada. Everyone being held was a US citizen, and no one received an explanation. Sarah tells the story of their detainment, and her difficulty getting any answers from one of the least transparent agencies in the country.

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On The Media

A Stranger Can Find Out Where You Are By Getting You To Open An Email

Monday, February 10, 2014

This afternoon, I stumbled across this free Gmail plug-in called Streak. If you send someone an email, Streak will tell you if they opened it, when they opened it, and, most creepily, where they were when they opened it. 

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On The Media

4.6 Million Snapchat Accounts Have Leaked And It's Actually Not That Important.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

4.6 million Snapchat usernames and their associated phone numbers were leaked this week.  (If you use the service, there’re a few single serving sites where you can check to see if your information’s out there.)

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On The Media

How much is your privacy worth? About five bucks.

Friday, December 27, 2013

There’s a $16 billion market out there for app developers willing to offer consumers their privacy back.

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On The Media

Journey to the Center of the NSA

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Sunday's 60 Minutes profile of the NSA was almost universally reviled. But 60 Minutes is not the only outlet that has spent time at the agency's headquarters in Maryland. Brooke talks to Daniel Drezner, who wrote about his trip to the NSA's headquarters and the agency's new PR push for Foreign Policy.

Shigeto - Ringleader

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On The Media

No One Outside the NSA Seems Particularly Happy with the 60 Minutes NSA Story

Monday, December 16, 2013

The piece doesn't include any on camera interviews with critics of the NSA, and interviews with NSA employees were overseen by a team of minders.

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On The Media

Why Facebook Messenger Wants Access To Your Phone's Microphone

Friday, November 29, 2013

There's an Infowars story that's beginning to circulate widely about a seemingly very Orwellian move by Facebook. 

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On The Media

The US Keeps Getting Caught Spying on Allies

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On Monday morning, I wrote that allegations the NSA had intercepted French phone calls weren't actually very important. My logic was that allies spy on each other routinely. When they get caught, there’s a lot of ceremonial outrage and apology that amounts to very little.

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On The Media

The NSA Probably Has Your Buddy List

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Washington Post reports that the NSA harvests the email addresses and contact lists of millions of people globally, many of them Americans. They don't have permission from the email providers to do this, the agency just snatches the data as its transmitted across the world.

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On The Media

Facebook Reduces Its Privacy Options (Again)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yesterday, Facebook announced that users who've asked for their timelines to be unsearchable will now searchable. 

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On The Media

The Owner of An Encrypted Email Service Says "No" to the FBI (In a tiny, tiny font)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Yesterday, a federal judge unsealed records from the case of Lavabit, the privacy-first email service used by Edward Snowden, versus the government. It's a compelling read, and it's a rare story because it shows a company refusing to comply with demands to give up a customer's privacy. 

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On The Media

California Bans Revenge Porn

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Last night, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that makes revenge porn illegal. Typically, attempts by well-meaning lawmakers to legislate the internet don't end well. These laws often end up restricting free speech without actually stopping the activity they're meant to. But if you're going to pass a law like this, California's looks pretty good. 

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