Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Will we soon have enough information to begin analyzing humans like Asimov's PsychoHistory?

Online tracker claims to have data on 8 million Australians

October 5, 2010 by Dissent

More on online tracking, this time from Julian Lee of The Age:

The online behaviour of millions of Australians is to be tracked and auctioned to advertisers by a new generation of internet businesses setting up shop here.

The world’s largest ”data exchange”, the Californian company BlueKai, boasts it already has the computer addresses and ”purchasing intent” of 8 million Australians it knows are in the market for cars, holidays and online shopping.

Read more in The Age. In an earlier story, they provided additional information on specific web sites in terms of how much information is collected.

Here's one more fear. Opting out of the Smart Grid opts you out of grid. No data, no utilities!

Privacy on the Smart Grid

October 5, 2010 by Dissent

Ariel Bleicher writes:

Back in 2007, when the Dutch government announced that all 7 million homes in the Netherlands would be equipped with smart meters by 2013, it anticipated little resistance. After all, who wouldn’t welcome a device that could save both energy and money? But consumers worried that such intelligent monitoring devices, which transmit power-usage information to the utility as frequently as every 15 minutes, would make them vulnerable to thieves, annoying marketers, and police investigations. They spoke out so strongly against these ”espionage meters” that the government made them optional.

A report released this past April by the New York City–based consulting companyAccenture found that the Dutch are hardly alone. Of more than 9000 consumers polled in 17 countries, about one-third said they would be discouraged from using energy-management programs, such as smart metering, if it gave utilities greater access to data about their personal energy use. And in a comprehensive report on smart grid privacy released in September, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) compiled a list of scenarios that consumers fear if their energy data got into the wrong hands.

Read more on IEEE Spectrum. Via @PrivacyProf.

Not a big deal, just change from wholesale to retail. Your computer will generate 100,000 copies of the paperwork just as easily as the first copy. (Didn't I tell you that the Porn Industry was a leader?)

Porn BitTorrent Lawsuits Run into Serious Problem – Lawsuits Must be Filed Individually

October 5, 2010 by Dissent

Slyck Tom writes:

You know, there’s this funny issue called joinder – which in essence means that additional defendants can be added to a single complaint. This has been a hot button issue in the Far Cry and Steam Experiment lawsuits, where Judge Rosemary Collyer is currently pondering whether to order the US Copyright Group to file each lawsuit independently. Considering that the Far Cry lawsuit currently has over 4,000 defendants clinging to one complaint, a ruling in favor of the John Does could have a detrimental effect on the USCG’s effort to create an alternative revenue stream.

Beside the USCG lawsuits, which mainly focuses on small, independent producers creating mediocre movies (yet wondering why they don’t sell), there is another genre of file-sharing lawsuits against those supposedly sharing adult movies. Following the same playbook as ACS:Law, Gallant Macmillan, and the USCG, a law firm called Steele Law has filed nearly 1,400 lawsuits against suspected porn file-sharers. One of their clients is First Time Videos, LLC, and as luck would have it, they might be the first time losers.

In an order issued on October 1, Judge Ruben Castillo dismissed the case, without prejudice, due to misjoinder. Holy Moses – has precedent been set? Here’s the ruling….

Read more on Slyck.

Wow, that Fifth Amendment thingie turns out to be pretty useful after all. Or maybe not.

UK: The right against self-incrimination is not a right to remain encrypted

October 5, 2010 by Dissent

A teenager has been jailed for 16 weeks after he refused to give police the password to his computer.

Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool, was arrested in May 2009 by police tackling child sexual exploitation.

Police seized his computer but could not access material on it as it had a 50-character encryption password.

Drage was convicted of failing to disclose an encryption key in September. He was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Monday.

Read more on BBC. Apparently, it’s an offense under RIPA to refuse to provide the password. This is not the first case of its kind in the U.K.

In a similar case here, the government convinced a court to order a defendant to provide an unencrypted version of the hard drive. Although civil liberties groups argued that requiring such production implicated Fifth Amendment protections, the judge held that because the defendant had already admitted owning the hard drive and because the government already knew the location of the documents on the drive (if not their precise content), the defendant could be compelled to produce the unencrypted files.

For my Ethical Hackers. Spy like the Big boys

US Marshal Service’s Electronic Surveillance Manual

October 5, 2010 by Dissent

Chris Soghoian writes:

Last week, the FOIA fairy delivered 25 pages of internal rules that outline when and how the US Marshal Service uses electronic surveillance methods. According to the cover letters accompanying the documents, the policies are “obsolete” and that “the office is preparing to rewrite/revise it, which could take 30 days or longer to complete.”

The full document can be downloaded here (pdf)

Read more on Slight Paranoia.

Politicians will never allow this. Ignorant (even technologically ignorant) people make up most of their constituency – why else would they vote for them?

Should ISPs Cut Off Bot-infected Users?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday October 05, @04:16PM

"There's no doubt that botnets are a major threat to the safety and stability of the internet — not to mention the cleanliness of your inbox. After years of failure to act, could we finally be seeing ISPs waking up to their responsibilities? While ISPs can't prevent users getting infected with bots, they are in a superb position to detect the signs of infection. Contractually, the ISP would be reasonably justified in cutting off a user from the internet, as bot infection would be contrary to the terms of the ISP's acceptable-use policy."

(Related) Do two impossible things before connecting?

Stop. Think. Connect. - New Web safety campaign kicks off

In 2009, President Obama called for the creation of a public awareness program that would focus on cybersecurity. The program created, called Stop. Think. Connect., is supposed to work like the Click It or Ticket campaign, creating an instant brand for Web safety.

… the links below point to the various security resources offered by the Stop. Think. Connect. members.

When we figure out how t make the ads really REALLY annoying, we'll be able to charge even more!

Google Patent Proposes $2 Fee To Skip Commercials

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday October 05, @11:31AM

"A day after Google debuted its new Google TV website, the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 7,806,329 to the search giant for its Targeted Video Advertising invention. Among other things, the patent proposes having viewers take 5-10 minutes to 'fill out a consumer survey and perhaps to provide additional information such as a mailing address survey before starting the program' to avoid having to watch 10 minutes of commercials. 'As another alternative,' the patent continues, 'the broadcaster may offer the users an option to pay $2 (such as through a micro-payment system, such as GBuy) to exchange for skipping all commercials.' More from the patent: 'The system may allow a user to skip all of the promotions that they want to skip, but may also require the user to fully watch at least four promotions before the program will continue. Likewise, the system may require the user to follow activities that generate a certain amount of advertising revenue or advertising points (e.g., that may correspond directly or indirectly to advertising revenues) before the program will continue.'"

Who teaches the teachers?

Google Apps Now In A New York State Of Mind

Google sees the adoption of Google Apps at schools and colleges as vital to the growth of the productivity suite; an outlook that Microsoft also seems to emulate as well. The strategy makes sense; not only do educational institutions represent a huge market for Google Apps and other productivity suites, but schools and colleges are where many people get trained, start relying on, and form brand allegiances to productivity apps. Today, New York is the fifth U.S. state to adopt “Google Apps,” joining Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, and Maryland.

… Google Apps for Education, which is used by 8 million students, faculty and staff at educational institutions, is steadily catching up to Microsoft’s education suite, Live@edu, which has 11 million users.

Shows how to encrypt your drive...

The Office Worker’s 101 Guide to a USB Thumb Drive [Download]

Flash drives today are not just about storing your important files: you can use them to run programs and even entire operating systems.

In MakeUseOf’s latest free PDF guide “The Office Workers Guide To A USB Thumb Drive” you will learn the full potential of what you can do with flash drives and what type flash drive is right for you.

Download: The Office Workers Guide To A USB Thumb Drive


Read it online on Scribd

No comments: