Monday, January 18, 2016

Strange, since the FBI loves publicity.
Sam Biddle reports:
In the summer of 2014, anonymous hackers flooded the internet with private nude photos of major (and minor) celebrities. Two years later, new details show the FBI thinks they identified Jennifer Lawrence’s hacker. But no one’s facing charges.
[…]… court documents obtained by Gawker, including a search warrant and sworn affidavit, show that the FBI had another suspect in the breaches. In October of 2014, the FBI fingered Ed Majerczyk, another Chicago man with a similar laundry list of cloud-based invasions.
Read more on Gawker.
[From the article:
As in the case of the other guy accused of pilfering celebrity nudes via iCloud, large questions remain unanswered. Why would a prolific nude robber savvy enough to hijack celebrity accounts en masse not take simple precautions to protect his IP address? Even more puzzling: Why has this investigation gone completely quiet? An FBI spokesperson would not comment on whether either man is a suspect or person of interest, replying only that “it’s a pending investigation” and that they have “not been made aware of any public developments.” This is the same line I was read nearly a year ago—there have been no arrests associated with this case.
Even acquiring these court documents was more difficult than usual. The entire docket had at first been placed under seal indefinitely to give the FBI time to comb over seized computers and hard drives, which is routine. But they remained under seal, without explanation, only to be placed under “restricted access” and unavailable to anyone not inside the Northern District of Illinois courthouse. Only after a long exchange with the courthouse was I able to procure the court docket—and the investigation remains nearly as opaque as it was in 2014.

Probably simpler to list agencies that do not want the data. Similar to the US list? Probably.
Gone are the days of keeping things to ourselves – now it is literally as if Big Brother is watching us at every turn. This afternoon the Federal Government has released a list of more than 60 federal, state and local government agencies that have applied to access metadata of Australians.
The list, released under Freedom of Information laws, showed agencies that have sought to access telecommunications data without a warrant.
Shockingly, as well as numerous federal departments, requests were also made by Harness Racing NSW, Australia Post, Roads and Maritime Service NSW and RSPCA VIC.
Read more on Starts at 60.

What we need is someone familiar with both Privacy law and Anti-trust. Fortunately, Prof. Soma at DU's Sturm College of Law is a perfect fit. (and I've been training him for years!)
European Union to Scrutinize Usage of Big Data by Large Internet Companies
The European Union is considering whether the way large Internet companies, such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google or Facebook Inc., collect vast quantities of data is in breach of antitrust rules, the bloc’s competition chief said Sunday.
“If a company’s use of data is so bad for competition that it outweighs the benefits, we may have to step in to restore a level playing field,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, according to a text of her speech delivered at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany.
“We continue to look carefully at this issue,” she said, adding that while no competition problems have yet been found in this area, “this certainly doesn’t mean we never will” find them in the future.
Her comments highlight the increased focus that regulators give to the use of so-called big data—large sets of personal information that are increasingly important for digital businesses, even though people generally hand over the information voluntarily when they use free services.
… “But if just a few companies control the data you need to satisfy customers and cut costs, that could give them the power to drive their rivals out of the market,” Ms. Vestager said.
… Ms. Vestager said the commission would be careful to differentiate between different types of data, since some forms of information can become obsolete quickly, making concerns of market dominance moot.
She also said the EU would look into why some companies can’t acquire information that is as useful as the data that other competing firms have.
“What’s to stop them [companies] from collecting the same data from their customers, or buying it from a data-analytics company?” she said.
… Ms. Vestager also said she would publish a preliminary report in the middle of the year, as the next formal step in an investigation into whether Internet commerce companies, such as Inc., are violating antitrust rules by restricting cross-border trade.

(Related) Is this the real concern?
Netflix’s Global Growth Faces New Threats
When Netflix Inc. won rights to premiere gothic TV drama “Penny Dreadful” in several European countries, local media companies that lost out were miffed.
They were growing increasingly frustrated that the streaming juggernaut is scooping up exclusive rights to top shows as it pursues an aggressive global expansion, locking them out in their home markets. It was time to mount a response.
Shortly after the “Penny Dreadful” deal in late 2014, senior executives at French pay-television group Canal Plus and rival operator Sky PLC met to discuss jointly bidding for TV shows, a way to counter Netflix, people familiar with the discussions say.

Have we come full circle? Humans no longer write cursive so we have machines do it for us? (Will the recipient have a machine that can read cursive?)
With This Startup, a Handwritten Thank You Note Is a Click Away
… There’s just something about someone actually taking the time to personally write and mail something that carries more weight that an email or text would, says Lizzie Post, an author and spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, an organization that provides advice on etiquette. For that reason, there’s been more of an emphasis on the gesture.
… Think of someone you’d like to send a thank you to, go to or use its mobile service, write out the message, pick out some stationary and a handwriting style (or use your own), submit the note with the name and address of the person you want to send it to and when it should be delivered and you're done.
… At $3.50 a note or about $2 or $2.50 for businesses with larger orders, Bond’s services are quick, easy and accessible. Another invitation-only service, Bond Black, offers concierge service to clients through a mobile app, able to send notes in their own handwriting on custom stationery for $1,200 a year.
The majority of clientele are from people in business, ranging from CEOs of large Fortune 500 companies, real-estate brokers or startups founders.

Useful for documenting processes? (It doesn't have to be a failure.)
Try This Built-In Windows Tool to Record System Issues
PC problems would be easier to solve if the person helping you troubleshoot them remotely understood your descriptions of the problems. Why don’t you show him what’s really going on with your PC instead of telling him.
The Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) is here to help you do just that. This tool is a screen recording utility that you can find in Windows 7 and above. To access it, search for psr in the Windows search bar. Once launched, hit the Start Record button and go about recreating the steps that lead up to the system issue or error that you’re experiencing.
The tool won’t record your keystrokes though, so you’ll have to add any necessary comments along the way using the Add Comment button.

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