PATH: BS | Privacy

Who's Reading Your Communication And Where?

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Believe it or not, the government is outsourcing surveillance of Americans to two Israeli companies.

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FEMA Investigates Katrina Victims' Personal Data Put Online

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Personal information on people who applied for disaster aid after Hurricane Katrina was recently published on the Web without authorization, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

FEMA is investigating the unauthorized posting of the names, Social Security numbers, telephone numbers, addresses and other personal information that the agency collected from applicants, FEMA announced in a news release dated Dec. 19 and modified Dec. 23. FEMA was alerted Dec. 16 to a Web site posting of a spreadsheet that contained 16,857 lines of personal information about Hurricane Katrina evacuees from the Gulf Coast to Texas, the news release states.

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Feds Say Air Fresheners Are Now Probable Cause

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Federal appeals court ruled that motorists can be stopped for 30 minutes and searched if they are nervous and use an air freshener.

Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson. A federal appellate court ruled last week that police can delay a routine traffic stop as long as necessary to conduct a search for drugs. In its decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the validity of a thirty-minute traffic stop in Maryland because the arresting officer claimed the nervous driver had an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror and had previously been spotted driving in a run-down neighborhood.

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2009-11-17 00:12:15 | Comment on this Article

Have You Used A Phone In The Last Five Years?

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The ACLU wants you to know something...

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All Of Congress Covers Up Administration's Crimes

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For six years, the Bush Administration and the nation’s communication companies have been illegally spying on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails. They did this in direct violation of the Constitution’s 4th Amendment and a federal statute – FISA. Both laws emphatically forbid such surveillance unless the government first obtains a warrant from an independent (eg, FISA) court.

Your Congress, including the Democrats are now working to give the companies that colluded with the administration immunity for these crimes.

By the way, both Barak Obama and John McCain sold out on this one. Obama voted for it; Every single republican voted for it. McCain was too much of a coward to even vote, but we all know which way he would have voted - certainly not against party lines.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2008-07-16 21:38:41 | Comment on this Article

Charter To Sell Your Web Surfing History To Other Companies

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Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable system in the United States, has started telling its high-speed Internet customers that it is going to keep track of every site they visit on the Web.

The cable company will sell the data to a firm called NebuAd, which in turn will use it to show ads to Web-surfing Charter customers that are meant to be related to their interests. (Visit a knitting site yesterday and see yarn ads today.)

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-05-18 09:58:40 | Comment on this Article

Uncle Sam Wants Your Newborn's DNA

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President Bush last week signed into law a bill which will see the federal government begin to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the U.S. within six months, a move critics have described as the first step towards the establishment of a national DNA database.

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Fighting the Advil menace, one strip search at a time

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There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who think it's perfectly reasonable to strip-search a 13-year-old girl suspected of bringing ibuprofen to school, and the kind who think those people should be kept as far away from children as possible. The first group includes officials at Safford Middle School in Safford, Arizona, who in 2003 forced eighth-grader Savana Redding to prove she was not concealing Advil in her crotch or cleavage.

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2009-03-01 07:42:09 | Comment on this Article

FBI Caught Doing Widescale Improper Surveillance

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Senior officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation repeatedly approved the use of “blanket” records demands to justify the improper collection of thousands of phone records, according to officials briefed on the practice.

The bureau appears to have used the blanket records demands at least 11 times in 2006 alone as a quick way to clean up mistakes made over several years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a letter provided to Congress by a lawyer for an F.B.I. agent who witnessed the missteps.

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Bush Declares He Can Open Your Mail

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President Bush quietly has claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant.

Bush asserted the new authority Dec. 20 after signing legislation that overhauls some postal regulations. He then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open mail under emergency conditions, contrary to existing law and contradicting the bill he had just signed, according to experts who have reviewed it.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-03-13 01:25:39 | Comment on this Article

BillBoard Liberation Front Makes AT&T Ads Truthful

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A rogue activist group that adds creative touches to advertising campaigns has announced their new target: AT&T

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Hillary Clinton Campaign Rented Out Her Donor Mailing List

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Political campaigns spend thousands, even millions of dollars to acquire good mailing lists.

Last year, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton took the unusual step of renting out some of her lists. The transaction once again highlights the Clintons' connections to a businessman who now faces questions from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Sears And K-Mart Installing Spyware On Users' Computers

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Visiting Sears.com (and Kmart.com) a few weeks ago, a user was offered a chance to join My SHC Community, for free, but what they received was, from a privacy perspective, very costly.

Sears.com is distributing spyware that tracks all your Internet usage - including banking logins, email, and all other forms of Internet usage - all in the name of "community participation." Every website visitor that joins the Sears community installs software that acts as a proxy to every web transaction made on the compromised computer.

Sears' response? ..It also states in simple English that if you don't want to participate, you don't have to and you can opt out at any point... Uh huh...

If this wasn't bad enough, now there are ways you can see everything your neighbors have ever purchased at Sears!

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Why You Should Always Install It Yourself

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It seems that a man in Pennsylvania brought his computer in to Circuit City so that he could have a new DVD burner installed. It was when the techs went to test the new burner, searching for video files to make a test burn, that they discovered the child pornography videos on the hard drive....

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-12-26 13:53:21 | Comment on this Article

AT&T's Internet Tapping: Massively Unconsitutional and Illegal

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Chris Dodd sat down with AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein. He’s the technician who revealed that the NSA has secret rooms for sweeping up massive amounts of electronic communications on the internet.

Klein is calling on the Senate to not grant telecommunications companies retroactive immunity. He's also testifying to the scale of the Bush administration's electronic surveillance:

"Everything you could imagine you use the internet for flows through these cables. It's not only international traffic, but a huge amount of domestic traffic too."

Watch the video of Klein talking about why he opposes retroactive immunity.

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Microsoft Is Secretly Updating PCs Without Permission

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Even if you have Windows Updates turned off, people are discovering that their operating system is still contacting Microsoft and downloading and installing software on the system behind your back. And nobody really knows what's going on...

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TD Ameritrade's User Database Compromised

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Financial trading company, TD Ameritrade announced that some of its databases may have been compromised. The company discovered the security breach after their customers complained that they started to receive spam.

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"Storm Worm" Takes Over Millions Of Computers

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The authors behind a specific strain of malware are trying every trick in the book to get users to succumb to their ill-meaning plans. You name it, they've used it: weather news, personal greetings, reports that Saddam Hussein is still alive, reports that Fidel Castro is dead, sexy women, YouTube, and even blogs. The group seems hellbent on creating the largest botnet to date, and as long as users are stupid enough to click on things without thinking, they just might do it.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-09-03 15:44:29 | Comment on this Article

Nobody Knows What's Going On With The U.S.'s "No Fly" List

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The government's terrorist screening database flagged Americans and foreigners as suspected terrorists almost 20,000 times last year. But only a small fraction of those questioned were arrested or denied entry into the United States, raising concerns among critics about privacy and the list's effectiveness.

Supposedly more than 230,000 names are on the list and there are many stories of innocent people getting snagged on the list, but nobody knows how to remove innocent people from the list.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2008-08-18 05:42:48 | Comment on this Article

Monster.com Site Hacked; 1.6 Million Users Compromised

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Web site Monster.com has suffered an online attack with the personal data of hundreds of thousands of users stolen, says a security firm.

A computer program was used to access the employers' section of the website using stolen log-in credentials.

The most amusing part of this is that Monster.com didn't even know about this until a security company noticed phishing spam with stolen customer information within and contacted Monster.com.

As usual, it's the European press which break stories like this. Why do I have to read in English papers what happens to U.S. companies? Never mind, don't answer that. We all know why.

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