Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats
Deborah Yao of Associated Press reports that:
Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids’ online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children’s chat messages - and sell the marketing data gathered.
Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.
Read more on Dallas News.
There is something appealing about this. Kinda like John Wayne asking you to join the posse. Downside might be in convincing the courts that all the evidence is real...
Symantec Wants To Use Victims To Hunt Computer Criminals
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday September 04, @03:48PM from the cyber-vigilante-network dept.
Hugh Pickens writes
"Business Week reports that security experts plan to recruit victims and other computer users to help them go on the offensive and hunt down hackers. '"It's time to stop building burglar alarms to keep people out and go after the bad guys," says Rowan Trollope, senior vice-president for consumer products at Symantec, the largest maker of antivirus software. Symantec will ask customers to opt in to a program that will collect data about attempted computer intrusions and then forward the information to authorities. Symantec will also begin posting the FBI's top 10 hackers and their schemes on its Web site, where customers go for software updates and next year the company will begin offering cash bounties for information leading to an arrest. The strategy has its risks as hackers who find novices on their trail may trash their computers or steal their identities as punishment. Citizen hunters could also become cybervigilantes and harm bystanders as they pursue criminals but Symantec is betting customers won't mind being disrupted if they can help snare the bad guys. "I'm convinced we can clean up the Internet in 10 years if we can peel away the dirt and show people the threats they're facing," says Trollope.'"
Interesting twist. Imagine a search engine that used an avatar based on pictures of Mom. Would you be comfortable searching for porn?
People Can Be So Fake: A New Dimension To Privacy And Technology Scholarship
Ryan Calo at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society has a thought-provoking article, “People Can Be So Fake: A New Dimension To Privacy And Technology Scholarship.” Here’s the abstract:
This article updates the traditional discussion of privacy and technology, focused since the days of Warren and Brandeis on the capacity of technology to manipulate information. It includes a novel dimension around the impact to privacy of anthropomorphic or social design.
Technologies designed to emulate people—through voice, animation, and natural language—are increasingly commonplace, showing up in our cars, computers, phones, and homes. A rich literature in communications and psychology suggests that we are hardwired to react to such technology as though a person were actually present. Social interfaces accordingly capture our attention and improve interactivity, and can free up our hands for other tasks.
At the same time, technologies that emulate people have the potential to implicate long-standing privacy values. One of the well-documented effects of interfaces and devices that emulate people is the sensation of being observed and evaluated. Their presence can alter our attitude, behavior, and physiological state. Widespread adoption of such technology may accordingly lessen opportunities for solitude and chill curiosity and self-development. These effects are all the more dangerous in that they cannot be addressed through traditional privacy protections such as encryption or anonymization.
The unique properties of social technology also present an opportunity to improve privacy, particularly online. Careful use of anthropomorphic design might one day replace today’s ineffective privacy policies with a direct, visceral notice that lines up our experience with actual information practice.
The full-text article is available as a free download from SSRN here.
It is much cheaper to qualify for “Broadband” funds if “Broadband” is defined as “Not-So-Broadband” – perhaps even “What-You-Already-Have-band” It also allows them to charge you the “Broadband” rate.
MG Explains Why ISPs Want To Lower The Definition Of Broadband
by Erick Schonfeld on September 4, 2009
What’s the deal with Comcast, Verizon, and other ISPs petitioning the FCC to lower the definition of broadband? It’s all about money—broadband stimulus money—MG Siegler explains on G4’s Attack of the Show.
As the Obama administration looks to expand broadband access to rural and urban areas that are still under-served, the ISPs want to lower what constitutes broadband so that they can get some of the billions of dollars in stimulus money without shelling out as much to actually deliver the broadband access the stimulus package is designed to create.
Those phone and cable companies are tricky. Watch the video above.
Old story, new technology?
Cop cops plea for e-mailing nude pics to woman he arrested
A small-town Kansas cop e-mailed naked pictures of himself to a woman he pulled over for drunk driving, offering a sexual relationship in exchange for helping her avoid the charges. A local problem became a federal case after investigators found that his e-mail servers were located in other states.
By Nate Anderson Last updated September 3, 2009 12:05 PM CT
(Related) On the other hand... Lending someone a phone is no longer simply lending someone a phone.
Judge dismisses suits over nude photos
Yet another court case involving nude photos on a cell phone.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a woman claiming Culpeper police officers distributed nude photos of her found on a cell phone seized when her boyfriend was arrested.
U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon of Charlottesville ruled Thursday that Jessica Casella did not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” because she lent the phone to her boyfriend more than two months before it was seized and offered no evidence that she took measures to ensure the photos were protected.
“She therefore lacked possession, control, and dominion over the phone, as well as the power to exclude others from accessing the information and pictures stored on the phone,” the judge wrote.
Casella and her boyfriend, former Culpeper schoolteacher Nathan Newhard, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville in March against former Sgt. Matt Borders, police Chief Scott Barlow, “unnamed town of Culpeper police officers” and the town of Culpeper Police Department after Newhard was arrested on DUI charges.
Read more on Fredericksburg.com
Is the ethics policy flawed? Why else would you need “exemptions” for such trivial reasons? (Gee Bob, perhaps the reasons aren't all that trivial? Perhaps the exemptions should never have been granted?)
September 04, 2009
Executive Agency Ethics Pledge Waivers
White House: "We have previously reported six limited waivers that have been granted by the White House pursuant to the President’s Executive Order on Ethics for Executive Branch personnel – the strongest ethics standards in U.S. government history. Three of these waivers involved lobbying-related issues and three did not. We blogged about them here, here, and here. Several months ago, the public interest community suggested that we also make available in a central place limited waivers granted by other federal agencies besides the White House. Today, we are releasing all ten such agency-granted waivers (none of which involve lobbying). The President’s Executive Order calls for an annual report to be completed in early 2010 that will include all waivers granted pursuant to the Order. We are, however, pleased to make all of the pledge waivers granted to date by this Administration available now--more than four months early."
Presidential Transition - Executive Agency Ethics Pledge Waivers: "The following appointees serving Executive Branch agencies have received limited waivers from Designated Agency Ethics Officials (DAEOs) to the Ethics Pledge required by Executive Order 13490 of January 21, 2009."
For my website and forensic students. Each JPEG contains metadata.
EXIF Browser & Picture resizer
Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif) - is a specification for the image file format used by digital cameras.
The metadata tags defined in the Exif standard cover a broad spectrum:
Date and time information. Digital cameras will record the current date and time and save this in the metadata.
Camera settings. This includes static information such as the camera model and make, and information that varies with each image such as orientation (rotation), aperture, shutter speed, focal length, metering mode, and ISO speed information.
A thumbnail for previewing the picture on the camera's LCD screen, in file managers, or in photo manipulation software. - Descriptions and copyright information.
Tools & Techniques Identity Theft, anyone? (You might also search this site for “surveillance”
USB Snoop Stick
September 1st, 2009 by Edwin in PC Gadgets, Spy Stuff, USB Gadgets
Do you wonder what people are always up to on your computer whenever you are not around? The USB Snoop Stick comes in handy then, as long as you leave it plugged in discreetly. We would say that this works best when you’re running a desktop (a notebook would be wayyyy to obvious), especially when this is a machine that is nestled away in a dusty corner of your cubicle with a mess of wires providing enough coverage.
All that’s required is to slot the Snoop Stick into a USB port and run the installation program that appears. To remotely monitor your PC, all you need to then to is to insert that same SnoopStick in any Internet-capable computer’s USB port and choose “Connect and View Remote Activity.” The SnoopStick will then start displaying what the computer is accessing on the web, or any IM conversations, as well as email activity and software used. You can also download and view the activity logs that the Snoop Stick software has recorded. Snoop Stick can also take screenshots automatically at pre-set intervals, or whenever websites are accessed. You can also send messages to anyone using the computer, and you can also remotely cut off Internet access, log off all users, or shut down the computer. It’s also possible to set up the Snoop Stick to watch out for certain key words or to monitor when specific websites are being accessed.