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Category Archives: Internet

ProPublica – Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

Julia Angwin: “When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.” And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts. But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools.  The change is enabled by default for new Google accounts. Existing users were prompted to opt-in to the change this summer…”

Extensive botnet DDoS attacks take major sites offline

TechCrunch: “Several waves of major cyberattacks against an internet directory service knocked dozens of popular websites offline today, with outages continuing into the afternoon. Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Shopify, and other websites have been inaccessible to many users throughout the day. The outages are the result of several distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the DNS provider… Continue Reading

New satellite image database maps the dynamics of human presence on Earth

EU Science Hub: “Built-up areas on the Earth have increased by 2.5 times since 1975. And yet, today 7.3 billion people live and work in only 7.6% of the global land mass. Nine out of the ten most populated urban centres are in Asia, while five out of the ten largest urban centres are in… Continue Reading

An experimental new podium on Google

Google Posts: “Every day millions of people search on Google, many of whom are looking for information about prominent individuals and organizations. Now we’re experimenting with a new way for users to hear directly from select entities they’re searching for on Google. Verified individuals and organizations can now communicate with text, images and videos directly… Continue Reading

Crowdpac – How liberal or conservative is your Twitter handle?

“Crowdpac’s mission is to give politics back to people – to make it easier for citizens to learn about politicians, run for office, and to find and support political candidates that match their priorities and beliefs. We want to help end the stranglehold of big money donors and special interests on the political system. Crowdpac… Continue Reading

DOT Cybersecurity Incident Handling Is Ineffective and Incomplete

DOT IG Report – October 13, 2016 DOT Cybersecurity Incident Handling Is Ineffective and Incomplete Project ID:  FI-2017-001 “An effective response to cyber incidents minimizes disruptions to information systems and data losses. We conducted this audit because of DOT’s large number of information systems that contain sensitive data as well as the high number of… Continue Reading

Privacy International challenge of UK hacking operations

PCWorld: “The U.K.’s spy agencies breached the European Convention on Human Rights for years by secretly collecting almost everything about British citizens’ communications except their content, a U.K. court has ruled. However, now that the U.K. government has admitted what it is doing, the collection is legal, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled Monday. It has… Continue Reading

Paper – Using metadata actively

Using metadata actively, Colin Bird, Simon Coles, Iris Garrelfs, Tom Griffin, Magnus Hagdorn, Graham Klyne, Mike Mineter, Cerys Willoughby 2016, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 76-85 doi:10.2218/ijdc.v11i1.412 “Almost all researchers collect and preserve metadata, although doing so is often seen as a burden. However, when that metadata can be, and is, used actively during an… Continue Reading

Technological Neutrality: Recalibrating Copyright in the Information Age

Craig, Carys J., Technological Neutrality: Recalibrating Copyright in the Information Age (October 14, 2016). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 5/2017. Available for download at SSRN: “This Article aims to draw the connection between how we conceptualize legal rights over information resources and our capacity to develop technologically neutral legal norms in the information… Continue Reading

Websites around the world disappear as HTTPS certificates mistakenly blocked by root authority

Via The Register: “GlobalSign has performed a postmortem examination on how, as one of the world’s root certificate authorities, it managed to break a chunk of the web. The New Hampshire, US-based biz has to date sold 2.5 million SSL/TLS certificates to websites around the world. This week, it inadvertently smashed its own chain of… Continue Reading

USSS Faces Challenges Protecting Sensitive Case Management Systems and Data

“We performed this audit as a follow-up to a September 2015 Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation regarding United States Secret Service (USSS) employees improperly accessing and distributing sensitive information onthe agency’s Master CentraIndex (MCI) mainframe system. Our objective was to determine whether adequate controls and data protections were in place on systems to which… Continue Reading

Fortune – Publishing Hacked Private Emails Can Be a Slippery Slope

“It may be hard for the media to resist a big email dump, but there are long-term risks. Regular dumps of classified documents and other internal communications have become a fixture of modern life, thanks in part to stateless—and frequently lawless—entities like WikiLeaks. But is publishing those leaks always the right thing to do? That’s… Continue Reading