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Category Archives: E-Mail

Political spam is out of control. Now Gmail is about to make it worse.

Washington Post: “Brace for a potential midterm meltdown in your inbox. Emails from certain federal candidates, parties and political action committees will soon be allowed to bypass the spam filters on Gmail and go straight into your inbox. To banish them, you’ll need to click a new unsubscribe button on each and every sender. (I’ll show you how in this video.) Google says it’s a pilot program — so far, not being used by any other email providers — to surface campaign emails that some people might want to see. But this plan is outrageously hostile to the majority of us, who could be forced to dig through a lot more political spam. Who even asked for this? Why, politicians, of course. Democracy depends on a free flow of information. But in our inboxes and on our phones, democracy is becoming annoying — and dangerous. We the users don’t want to be overwhelmed by unwanted political emails, text messages and robocalls — nor do we want to be targeted with misinformation and misleading fundraising appeals. Google’s plan to help politicians spam you gives us an opportunity to rethink what’s gone awry about campaigning online. “The spam finds its way into my inbox, too,” said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub (D) of the Federal Election Commission, who helps police America’s campaigns. “The politicians who write the rules have exempted themselves from a lot of the rules that could apply,” she told me. How do we fight back? Rather than give politicians special end runs to our attention, we need to find ways to make politicians more accountable for how they treat our inboxes and our data — and what they say in direct communications with us…”

Inside Mar-a-Lago: Pardons, White House Emails, Legal Bills

Bloomberg via Yahoo: “The thousands of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida home included a mix of government, business and personal affairs, including analysis about who should get a pardon, call notes marked with a presidential seal, retainer agreements for lawyers and accountants, and legal bills, according to newly disclosed logs created by… Continue Reading

The Best VPNs to Protect Yourself Online

Wired: It won’t solve all of your privacy problems, but a virtual private network can make you a less tempting target for hackers. “A virtual private network (VPN) is like a protective tunnel you can use to pass through a public network, protecting your data from outside eyes. Whether you’re worried about hiding your browsing… Continue Reading

GAO – Federal Agencies Lack Senior Leadership to Effectively Implement Privacy Programs

EPIC: “A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, prepared in consultation with privacy experts including EPIC Senior Counsel John Davisson, canvassed 24 federal government agencies and found that most have failed to fully implement statutory privacy requirements. The GAO found that despite the massive amount of personally identifiable information (PII) collected by these agencies and the… Continue Reading

U.S. Agencies Are Buying Access to Bulk Internet Records

Gizmodo – “Sen. Ron Wyden urged inspectors general at three departments to investigate the military’s purchases of large swaths of data: “Multiple military intelligence offices have paid a data broker for access to internet traffic logs, which could reveal the online browsing histories of U.S. citizens, Sen. Ron Wyden said in a letter Wednesday, citing… Continue Reading

Tracked: How colleges use AI to monitor student protests

The Dallas Morning News, Arijit (Ari) D. Sen [subscription or online database access. Note – they are also making public nearly 3,000 documents, covering more than 56,000 pages from these schools]: “The pitch was attractive and simple. For a few thousand dollars a year, Social Sentinel offered schools across the country sophisticated technology to scan… Continue Reading

20 SPAM Statistics for 2022

DataProt: What’s On the Other Side of Your Inbox: “Did you check your spam folder lately? It’s like walking into a giant shopping mall where everyone wants you to buy their products, hire their services, or marry a Nigerian prince. Thousands upon thousands of emails, all encompassed under a common denominator. Spam. We’ve compiled 20… Continue Reading

You’re being tracked through your email. Here’s how to stop it.

Vox: “…While it’s creepy to think of your email reading habits being tracked, that’s not the only reason why you should consider taking a few extra steps to protect your email. Your email address has become one of your best and most persistent identifiers, and data brokers and marketers will match what you do with… Continue Reading

Yes, it’s a scam: Simple tips to help you spot online fraud

Washington Post: “Nobody is immune to scams. Criminals are constantly changing them to fit the latest headlines, target our insecurities and slip through even the most well-honed BS detectors. That means everyone, young and old, can benefit from a refresher on how to spot a text, phone or online scam and what to do next.… Continue Reading

The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score

The New York Times:”…Architects, academic administrators, doctors, nursing home workers and lawyers described growing electronic surveillance over every minute of their workday. They echoed complaints that employees in many lower-paid positions have voiced for years: that their jobs are relentless, that they don’t have control — and in some cases, that they don’t even have… Continue Reading

How to unsend an email in Gmail

ZDNet: “With this Gmail feature, you have up to 30 seconds to catch and unsend a grammar mistake, a misspelled name, or even the wrong recipient before it’s cast into someone’s inbox abyss. Gmail has an Undo Send feature that gives you up to a 30-second grace period after you send an email, so you… Continue Reading