Saturday, July 28, 2012

You should forgive them. They're a tiny corporation with no resources to ensure they follow their legal obligations...
Google ‘in breach’ of UK data privacy agreement
July 27, 2012 by Dissent
From the BBC:
Google has admitted that it had not deleted users’ personal data gathered during surveys for its Street View service.
The data should have been wiped almost 18 months ago as part of a deal signed by the firm in November 2010.
Google has been told to give the data to the UK’s Information Commissioner (ICO) for forensic analysis.
The ICO said it was co-ordinating its response with other European privacy bodies.
Read more on BBC.
In a statement issued today by the Information Commissioner’s Office, a spokesperson said:
“Earlier today Google contacted the ICO to confirm that it still had in its possession some of the payload data collected by its Street View vehicles prior to May 2010. This data was supposed to have been deleted in December 2010. The fact that some of this information still exists appears to breach the undertaking to the ICO signed by Google in November 2010.
“In their letter to the ICO today, Google indicated that they wanted to delete the remaining data and asked for the ICO’s instructions on how to proceed. Our response, which has already been issued, makes clear that Google must supply the data to the ICO immediately, so that we can subject it to forensic analysis before deciding on the necessary course of action.
“We are also in touch with other data protection authorities in the EU and elsewhere through the Article 29 Working Party and the GPEN network to coordinate the response to this development.
“The ICO is clear that this information should never have been collected in the first place and the company’s failure to secure its deletion as promised is cause for concern.”

If it's good enough for revolutionaries, is it good enough for lawyer-client communications?
This Cute Chat Site Could Save Your Life and Help Overthrow Your Government
Twenty-one-year-old college student Nadim Kobeissi is from Canada, Lebanon and the internet.
He is the creator of Cryptocat, a project “to combine my love of cryptography and cats,” he explained to an overflowing audience of hackers at the HOPE conference on Saturday, July 14.
… Cryptocat is an encrypted web-based chat. It’s the first chat client in the browser to allow anyone to use end-to-end encryption to communicate without the problems of SSL, the standard way browsers do crypto, or mucking about with downloading and installing other software. For Kobeissi, that means non-technical people anywhere in the world can talk without fear of online snooping from corporations, criminals or governments.
… When he flies through the US, he’s generally had the notorious “SSSS” printed on his boarding pass, marking him for searches and interrogations — which Kobeissi says have focused on his development of the chat client.

(Related) If you can't be secure, you should at least try to detect eavesdroppers.
How To Bust Your Boss Or Loved One For Installing Spyware On Your Phone
July 28, 2012 by Dissent
Andy Greenberg reports:
… In a talk at the Defcon hacker conference this weekend, forensics expert and former Pentagon contractor Michael Robinson plans to give a talk on how to detect a range of commercial spyware, programs like MobileSpy and FlexiSpy that offer to let users manually install invisible software on targets’ phones to track their location, read their text messages and listen in on their calls, often for hundreds of dollars in service fees.
Robinson tested five commercial spying tools on five different devices–four Android devices and an iPhone. In most cases, he found that uncovering the presence of those spyware tools is often just a matter of digging through a few subdirectories to find a telltale file–one that often even specifies identifying details of the person doing the spying.
Read more on Forbes.

What are the implications of Apple-Twits?
The NY Times reports that Apple has internally discussed an investment into Twitter to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. From the article:
"There is no guarantee that the two companies, which are not in negotiations at the moment, will come to an agreement. But the earlier talks are a sign that they may form a stronger partnership amid intensifying competition from the likes of Google and Facebook. Apple has not made many friends in social media. Its relationship with Facebook, for example, has been strained since a deal to build Facebook features into Ping, Apple's music-centric social network, fell apart. Facebook is also aligned with Microsoft, which owns a small stake in it. And Google, an Apple rival in the phone market, has been pushing its own social network, Google Plus. 'Apple doesn't have to own a social network,' Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said at a recent technology conference. 'But does Apple need to be social? Yes.'"

Those are my tax dollars! (Well, maybe not all $8 Billion) Perhaps this is a case of “What's the worst they can do to us?” I still point to a HBR article that claimed no IT project that takes longer than six months should ever be funded.
"The Federal Times has the stunning (but not surprising) news that a new audit found six Defense Department modernization projects to be a combined $8 billion — or 110 percent — over budget. The projects are also suffering from years-long schedule delays. In 1998, work began on the Army's Logistics Modernization Program (LMP). In April 2010, the General Accounting Office issued a report titled 'Actions Needed to Improve Implementation of the Army Logistics Modernization Program' about the status of LMP. LMP is now scheduled to be fully deployed in September 2016, 12 years later than originally scheduled, and 18 years after development first began! (Development of the oft-maligned Duke Nukem Forever only took 15 years.)"

It is easier for the Judge to remind the witness than for Tony Soprano's soldiers to show up at your home and point out your failing memory. “Youse didn't see nothin!”
Science of Eyewitness Memory Enters Courtroom
Science has prevailed over injustice in the state of New Jersey, where all jurors will soon learn about memory’s unreliability and the limits of eyewitness testimony.
According to instructions issued July 19 by New Jersey’s Supreme Court, judges must tell jurors that “human memory is not foolproof,” and enumerate the many ways in which eyewitness recall can be distorted or mistaken.

“Look, we already own everything. We let you pretend you own it, but you only rent it (pay taxes) until we want it again.” Any Government
Feds: We Can Freeze Megaupload Assets Even if Case Dismissed
The United States government said Friday that even if the indictment of the Megaupload corporation is dismissed, it can continue its indefinite freeze on the corporation’s assets while it awaits the extradition of founder Kim Dotcom and his associates.
Judge Liam O’Grady is weighing a request to dismiss the indictment against Megaupload because (in Megaupload’s view) the federal rules of criminal procedure provide no way to serve notice on corporations with no U.S. Address. At a hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, he grilled both attorneys in the case but did not issue a ruling.
O’Grady speculated, with evident sarcasm, that Congress intended to allow foreign corporations like Megaupload to “be able to violate our laws indiscriminately from an island in the South Pacific.”
… But Judge O’Grady seemed skeptical of these argument. He noted that the “plain language” of the law required sending notice to the company’s address in the United States. “You don’t have a location in the United States to mail it to,” he said. “It’s never had an address” in the United States.
And Megaupload pointed out that the government hadn’t produced a single example in which the government had satisfied the rules of criminal procedure using one of the methods it was suggesting in this case. Most of the precedents the government has produced were in civil cases, which have different rules. And most involved serving a corporate parent via its subsidiary. That’s a very different relationship than, for example, the vendor-customer relationship between Megaupload and Carpathia.
… Hollywood, at least, seems nervous that Judge O’Grady might buy Megaupload’s argument. In a conference call held Wednesday in advance of today’s hearing, a senior vice president at the Motion Picture Association of America argued that the dismissal of the case against Megaupload would have little practical impact, since the company’s principals would still be facing indictment. And he rejected Kim Dotcom’s efforts to frame the case as a test of internet freedom, describing Dotcom as a “career criminal” who had grown wealthy stealing the work of others.

Looks like someone has figured out how to evolve from paper to digital...
Financial Times: Our Digital Subscribers Now Outnumber Print, And Digital Is Half Of The FT’s Revenue
A milestone reached as the world of old media continues its push in a digital direction: the storied, pink-sheeted daily newspaper the Financial Times, read by 2.1 million readers daily, today said digital subscribers now outnumber those in print, and that digital revenues now account for half of all sales in the FT Group. And what’s more, sales actually grew rather than declined.
… The positive numbers are a pointer to how the FT’s freemium model, mixing limited free content with tiers of wider content access for those willing to pay, can work (those tiers are here; in the UK they are £5.19 or £6.79 per week). The lowest tier in that model is, predictably, the most popular at the moment: registered site users — you can register on for a limited amount of free content monthly — were up by 26% to 4.8 million.

This is looking more 'do-able' every day. Still takes some analysis and geeky-ness
"More and more people are joining the ranks of 'cord-cutters' — those who cancel their cable TV subscriptions and get their televisied entertainment either for free over the airwaves or over the Internet. But, assuming you're going to do things legally, is this really a cheaper option? It depends on what you watch. Brian Proffitt contemplated this move, and he walks you through the calculations he made to figure out the prices of cutting the cord. He weighed the costs of various a la carte and all-you-can-eat Internet streaming services, and took into account the fact that Internet service on its own is often pricier than it would be if bundled with cable TV."

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