PATH: BS | Privacy

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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Stephen Colbert Weighs In On HBGary Scandal

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Stephen Colbert explains the details of the recent scandal involving a private security firm who was working on attacking Wikileaks in order to discredit them... which backfired horribly..

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Julian Assange Talks About WikiLeaks

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[News Media]
In the wake of controversy over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange being called everything from a terrorist to the last true journalist, we revisit an interview he gave earlier this year where he discusses how his organization works and why it's so important.

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New Apple Products Keep Constant Tabs On Their Customers

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Your GPS location coordinates, Wifi access point and GSM tower data is constantly saved by Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Snow Leopard and Safari browsers (also Windows version) and sent to Apple in batches every 12 hours...

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Lifelock CEO Victim Of Identity Theft More Than A Dozen Times

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Apparently, when you publish your Social Security number prominently on your website and billboards, people take it as an invitation to steal your identity.

LifeLock CEO Todd Davis, whose number is displayed in the company's ubiquitous advertisements, has by now learned that lesson. He's been a victim of identity theft at least 13 times...

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I Bet I Can Find 1,000,000,000 People To Cough Up Their Privacy

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Someone won't friend you on Facebook and you want to stalk them, or maybe find out more personal info?

No problem. Due to Facebook's new "features", here's a clever way to gain access to their profile as if you were their friend!

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The Dark Secret Of Copy Machines

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What if almost every copy machine made in the last year has a secret in it? That undermines everyone's privacy and personal security...

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New Facebook "Feature" Exposes Everyones Personal Info

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This past week, Facebook announced Instant Personalization, whereby select websites would "personalize your experience using your public Facebook information." The initial sites are Pandora, Yelp and Microsoft Docs. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained, this means that when you visit "Pandora for the first time, it can immediately start playing songs from bands you've liked." Pandora, and other partners, can also link your real name and other Facebook information with everything you do on their site.

More specifically, these sites "may access any information you have made visible to Everyone ... as well as your publicly available information. This includes your Name, Profile Picture, Gender, Current City, Networks, Friend List, and Pages." On Monday, Facebook announced a transition where a "new type of Facebook Page" will make the "current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests sections of your profile" publicly available after you go through the transition tool (or those items will be deleted).

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Energizer USB Battery Charger Has Secret Access To Your PC

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[Faulty Products]
That cool USB-based battery charger you connected to your computer? Who knew it secretly installed software on your machine that allows someone to connect and control your computer remotely without your knowledge?

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Chinese Hack Google Through Government Snooping Back Door

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Google made headlines when it went public with the fact that Chinese hackers had penetrated some of its services, such as Gmail, in a politically motivated attempt at intelligence gathering. The news here isn't that Chinese hackers engage in these activities or that their attempts are technically sophisticated -- we knew that already -- it's that the U.S. government inadvertently aided the hackers.

In order to comply with government search warrants on user data, Google created a backdoor access system into Gmail accounts. This feature is what the Chinese hackers exploited to gain access.

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Congress Makes Operating WiFi Dangerous And Potentially Illegal

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.

That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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....

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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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Man Sues 1-800-Flowers for Uncovering Affair

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A married man is suing 1-800-Flowers for $1 million for revealing that he was cheating on his wife. Just deserts? Sheer stupidity? Or the worst customer service ever?

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All New US Passports Will Include Hidden RFID Chips

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Starting in 2008 all U.S. Passports will have an RFID chip hidden within them, allowing your personal information to be read secretly through the air without you even knowing. Can you do anything about that? Maybe.

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DEFCON Blows The Lid Off Undercover NBC Reporter; Sends Her Away

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[News Media]
Let's say you're a blond producer for NBC, and you think you're going to disguise yourself and infiltrate one of the country's largest conventions of computer hackers & security professionals and try to get people to confess to committing crimes.

What happens then, when you're sitting in the audience and they announce a fun new game for everyone to participate in, called, "Identify the undercover NBC reporter trying to make us all look bad."

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US Wants Your Religion, Politics, Sexual Pref To Enter Country

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Highly sensitive information about the religious beliefs, political opinions, and even the sex life of Britons travelling to the United States is to be made available to US authorities when the European Commission agrees to a new system of checking passengers.

The EC is in the final stages of agreeing a new Passenger Name Record system with the US which will allow American officials to access detailed biographical information about passengers entering international airports.

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Dry Grass And It's Your Ass

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[Mean People]
A 70-year-old Utah woman has been released from jail after being arrested for failing to water her lawn and refusing to give a police officer her name. A police officer enforcing Orem, Utah's nuisance ordinance against neglected yards (it's unclear which ordinance might cover the roughing-up of little old ladies) knocked on Betty Perry's door a couple of day's ago and she opened up to see what was going on. Big mistake.

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Homeland Security Department Loses Employee Data

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The Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees.

On the bright side, the TSA has promised they'll enroll their employees in a free credit-monitoring service. Woot!

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If You Shopped At TJ Maxx or Marshalls, Time For New Credit Card

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
At least 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen by hackers who broke into the computer systems at the TJX Cos. in Framingham and the United Kingdom and siphoned off data over a period of several years, making it the biggest breach of personal data ever reported, according to security specialists.

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eBay Scammers Are Out Of Control

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
The legitimate eBay community is apparently up in arms about a recent infestation of scams and fraudulent activity online. Rumor has it every time the mainstream media tries to do a story on this issue, the story suddenly disappears and then you see a bunch of eBay commercials on the network *cough* CNN *cough*

A special "eBay phish kit" is now being sold on the black market. This kit is complete with all the tools a scammer needs to set up a phony eBay look-alike site to skim peoples user IDs and passwords. It even includes assorted product images for fake auctions to get the unsuspecting user to click his identity away (or whisk the user off eBay and to whatever nefarious site you want to promote).

The new technique is called "Pharming" and it is rampant and after more than four months, the folks at eBay seem incapable of stopping it.

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FBI Constitutional Privacy Violations May Top 3,000

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The Justice Department's inspector general told a committee of angry House members yesterday that the FBI may have violated the law or government policies as many as 3,000 times since 2003 as agents secretly collected the telephone, bank and credit card records of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals residing here.

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FBI Wiretapping Scandal Widens

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A front-page Washington Post article reports that the FBI's illegal use of wiretap/record requests was known inside the FBI but continued anyway.

In essence, the FBI and our nation's telecommunications companies have secretly created a framework whereby the FBI can obtain -- instantaneously and without limits -- any information it asks for. The Patriot Act already substantially expanded the circumstances under which the FBI can obtain such records without the need for subpoenas or any judicial process, and it left in place only the most minimal limitations and protections. But it is those very minimal safeguards which the FBI continuously violated in order to obtain whatever information its agents desired, about any Americans they targeted, with literally no limits of any kind.

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Canadian Company Wants To Photograph Every House In U.S.

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Photographers from a Canadian company are going house to house, shooting pictures of the roughly 300,000 houses in metropolitan Tucson, Arizona.

It's part of an effort to photograph and appraise every house in the country, creating a database that can be sold to banks and insurance companies.

I wonder if everyone is particularly keen on this Canadian company taking pictures of their house and selling them to the highest bidders?

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-02-07 14:49:47 | Comment on this Article

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