PATH: BS | Privacy

Best Buy Was Paid By FBI To Report On Customer's Computers

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Records posted Tuesday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation following a freedom of information lawsuit filed last year reveal that federal agents would pay Geek Squad managers who pass on information about illegal materials on devices sent in by customers for repairs.

The relationship goes back at least ten years, according to documents released as a result of the lawsuit.

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Hacker Statements Regarding Ashley Madison "Affair"

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[Beating Dead Horses]
It's widely known now, that a group of hackers calling themselves, "The Impact Team" has apparently infiltrated the computer networks of the parent company of adultery-promoting web site, AshleyMadison.com. They originally demanded the company shut down their sites or risk having their customers' personal information made public. The hackers have apparently followed-through on their promise, and all around the world, regional groups and media have grabbed the data and made various discoveries based on its contents.

What may not be so clear is exactly why this group did this? It appears to be about more than just AshleyMadison.com. Here are some of the statements made by the hackers from the data they released. And just exactly what data do the hackers have? They give a few examples that we've sanitized so you can see without compromising anybody's privacy.

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Hackers Compromise Adultry/Human Trafficking Web Sites

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There's no other way to put it. The shit has hit the fan on this one...

Large caches of data stolen from online cheating site AshleyMadison.com and sister sites have been posted online by an individual or group that claims to have completely compromised the company’s user databases, financial records and other proprietary information. The still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37 million users of the hookup service, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

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User Mutiny: The Great Reddit Blackout of 2015

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There's a huge mutiny in progress over at Reddit.com. This is an Internet-first as far as I know and it'll probably be big news soon. The company fired an employee that was responsible for helping a bunch of moderators of different subs, and left them in chaos. They decided to make their part of Reddit private, and then in solidarity hundreds of other moderators joined and have been turning off parts of Reddit one-by-one since yesterday.

This is going to be very interesting... Imagine if everybody on YouTube or Facebook suddenly made all their content private? That's what's in the early stages of happening on Reddit. It will be very interesting to see how the company reacts. On one of my subs,we're having a discussion as to whether or not we'll join what they're calling the "Great Blackout of 2015"

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Facebook Faces Class Action Over Scanning Private Messages

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Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users' privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes, a U.S. judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Tuesday dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users' messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.

But Hamilton said Facebook had "not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business."

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Apple's SIRI System Stores And Shares All Your Queries

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It came as a surprise to some folks at a recent SXSW talk that Apple’s Siri “personal assistant” isn’t just working for us, it’s working full-time for Apple too by sending lots of our personal voice and user info to Apple to stockpile in its databases. Take a peek at Siri’s privacy policy (which, by the way, is pretty difficult to find) and you’ll realize what’s happening behind the scenes.

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Senior US Federal Attorney Is Outed On Public Messageboard

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The US Attorney General for Louisiana, Jim Letten, announced today that one of his top prosecutors has been using the handle "Henry L. Mencken1951" to criticize a local landfill owner and a raft of other local and national figures, including federal judges, in the comments section on Louisiana's Times-Picayune website. Perricone "readily admitted" using the pseudonym, and the matter has been referred to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, Letten said.

And what does a US Fed utter when he thinks he's protected by anonymity? Will this issue create a controversy over whether or not someone commenting publicly under an alias can be construed as an ethical conflict of interest?

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Symantec Asks Users To Disable Their Products For Protection

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Symantec, one of the world's largest purveyors of "security software" asked its users to disable pcAnywhere, unless it is needed for business-critical use, because malicious users with access to the source code could identify vulnerabilities and launch new exploits.

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OnStar's New Plan To Collect/Sell Your Personal Info

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Jonathan Zdziarski writes, "I canceled the OnStar subscription on my new GMC vehicle today after receiving an email from the company about their new terms and conditions. While most people, I imagine, would hit the delete button when receiving something as exciting as new terms and conditions, being the nerd sort, I decided to have a personal drooling session and read it instead. I’m glad I did. OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to sell your personal GPS location information, speed, safety belt usage, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement. To add insult to a slap in the face, the company insists they will continue collecting and selling this personal information even after you cancel your service, unless you specifically shut down the data connection to the vehicle after canceling."

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GPS Units Caught Sending Speed Data To Government

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It appears every gadget in your possession is tracking your location. First it was the iPhone, then Android phones and now it's your bleedin' sat-nav. TomTom, perhaps in a pre-emptive strike against its own user-tracking scandal, has admitted its sat-navs can track users and inform third parties about how fast they're going.

The sat-navs in TomTom's Live range all feature built-in 3G data cards, which feed location and route information back to a central server, which allows TomTom to create a map of congestion hotspots. It's now emerged that this data, however, along with a user's speed, is being made available to local governments and authorities.

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