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Privacy

Ask Slashdot: Explaining Cloud Privacy Risks To K-12 Teachers? 168

Posted by timothy
from the use-a-car-and-donut-analogy dept.
hyperorbiter writes "With the advent of Google Apps for Education, there has been a massive uptake by the K12 schools I deal with on signing students up with their own Google powered email address under the school domain. In addition, the students' work when using Google Apps is stored offshore and out of our control — with no explicit comeback if TOS are breached by Google. It seems to me that the school cannot with integrity maintain it has control over the data and its use. I have expressed a concern that it is unethical to use these services without informing the students' parents of what is at stake e.g. the students are getting a digital footprint from the age of seven and are unaware of the implications this may have later in life. The response has often been that I'm over-reacting and that the benefits of the services far outweigh the concerns, so rather than risk knee jerk reactions by parents (a valid concern) and thereby hampering 'education', it's better to not bring this stuff up. My immediate issue isn't so much about the use of the cloud services now, but the ethics over lack of disclosure in the parental consent process. Does anyone have ideas about defining the parameters of 'informed consent' where we inform of risks without bringing about paranoia? (Google Apps is just an example here, I think it applies to many cloud services.)"
United States

Number of Federal Wiretaps Rose 71 Percent In 2012 84

Posted by timothy
from the transparent-is-the-right-word dept.
cold fjord writes "Looks like last year was pretty busy. I wonder how many were leaks and media? From the Washington Post: 'The number of wiretaps secured in federal criminal investigations jumped 71 percent in 2012 over the previous year, according to newly released figures. Federal courts authorized 1,354 interception orders for wire, oral and electronic communications, up from 792 the previous year, ... There was a 5 percent increase in state and local use of wiretaps in the same period. ... There is no explanation of why the federal figures increased so much, and it is generally out of line with the number of wiretaps between 1997 and 2009, which averaged about 550 annually. There was also a large number of wiretaps in 2010, when 1,207 were secured. A single wiretap can sweep up thousands of communications. One 30-day local wiretap in California, for instance, generated 185,268 cellular telephone interceptions, of which 12 percent were incriminating, according to the report. The vast majority of the wiretaps in both federal and state cases were obtained as part of drug investigations, and they overwhelmingly were directed at cellphones ... Only 14 court orders were for personal residences. Most jurisdictions limit the period of surveillance to 30 days, but extensions can be obtained.'"
Government

NSA Revelation Leads FTC To Propose "Reclaim Your Name" Initiative 82

Posted by timothy
from the agency-vs.-agency-vs.-reality dept.
First time accepted submitter clegrand writes "Julie Brill, a member of the Federal trade Commission, has proposed a voluntary big data industry initiative to allow consumers access to their personal records and the ability to correct them. She has coined it 'Reclaim Your Name.' While some big data companies such as Acxiom already allow such access, it is not an industry-wide practice. She sees this campaign as a natural extension of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a logical partner for the ongoing effort of the Do Not Track mechanism currently under standardization review with the W3C."
Education

L.A. School District's 30,000 iPads May Come With Free Lock-In 232

Posted by timothy
from the crony-capitalism-in-its-native-habitat dept.
lpress writes "The Los Angeles Unified School District will spend $30 million over the next two years on iPads for 30,000 students. Coverage of the announcement has focused on Apple winning over other tablets, but that is not the key point. The top three proposals each included an app to deliver Pearson's K-12 Common Core System of Courses along with other third-party educational apps. The Common Core curriculum is not yet established, but many states are committed to it, starting next year. The new tablets and the new commitment to the Common Core curriculum will arrive around the same time, and busy faculty (and those hired to train them) will adopt the Pearson material. The tablets will be obsolete in a few years and the hardware platform may change, but lock-in to Pearson's default curriculum may last for generations."
The Internet

AT&T Gets Patent To Monitor and Track File-Sharing Traffic 75

Posted by timothy
from the phone-company-is-the-isp-and-vice-versa dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Internet provider AT&T has patented a new technology that allows the company to accurately track content being shared via BitTorrent and other P2P networks. The company explains that the technology can be utilized to detect pirated downloads and combat congestion on its network. Whether the company is already using the system to track infringing content, or has plans to do so, is unknown."
The Media

FBI Paid Informant Inside WikiLeaks 458

Posted by timothy
from the anything-to-keep-the-nsa-off-your-mind dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: "On an August workday in 2011, a cherubic 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur 'Siggi' Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in Reykjavik, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange. Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000. The FBI flew him internationally four times for debriefings, including one trip to Washington D.C., and on the last meeting obtained from Thordarson eight hard drives packed with chat logs, video and other data from WikiLeaks."
Robotics

DARPA-Funded Software Could Usher In the Era of Open-Source Robotics 17

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-skynet,-either-one dept.
malachiorion writes "The best thing to come out of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, so far, isn't the lineup of nifty rescue bots being developed by teams around the world, or even Boston Dynamics' incredible Atlas humanoid. It's the pumped-up version of Gazebo, the free, open-source robotics simulation software whose expansion and further development is being funded by DARPA. This article has a look at how the software was used in the recent virtual leg of the competition, as well as how it could change the way robotics R&D is conducted (and create more roboticists, with its low-cost, cloud-based architecture)."
Input Devices

Apple Files Patent For New Proprietary Port 282

Posted by Soulskill
from the any-old-port-in-the-storm dept.
rwise2112 writes "Apple proposes a solution to multiple port requirements within limited space: the two in one port. The port is described as a 'Combined Input Port,' where two different interfaces could be in one port. The input port includes an outer wall defining a receiving aperture, a substrate positioned within the receiving aperture. One set of contacts is configured to communicate with a first connector and the second set of contacts is configured to communicate with a second connector. Looks like another addition to the special Apple cable lineup."
The Courts

Teenage League of Legends Player Jailed For Months For Facebook Joke 743

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-very-unwise-joke dept.
Kohath writes "Eighteen-year-old Justin Carter of Austin, Texas was arguing with a friend on Facebook about League of Legends back in February. After being called 'insane,' he responded with 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.' Below that, he wrote 'lol' and 'jk.' He was arrested March 27, 2013 and has been in jail since that time. A hearing to review his case is scheduled for July 1, 2013. His parents have launched a change.org petition to convince the authorities to release their son."
The Courts

Boston Marathon Bomber Charged With Using 'Weapon of Mass Destruction' 533

Posted by Soulskill
from the 30-counts-ought-to-do-it dept.
New submitter bunkymag writes "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been indicted on over 30 charges relating to his part in the Boston Marathon bombing. Of particular note however is a charge of using a 'Weapon of Mass Destruction.' It's a bit out of line with the commonly-held perception of the term, most notably used in justifying the invasion of Iraq. However, U.S. criminal law defines a 'weapon of mass destruction' much more broadly, including virtually any explosive device: bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles, mines, etc. The question arises: is it wise for Tsarnaev to face such a politically-loaded charge? From an outsider perspective, it would seem easy enough to leverage any number of domestic anti-terror laws to achieve anything up to and including the death penalty if required. Why, then, muddy the waters with this new WMD claim, when the price could be giving further ammunition to groups outside of America that already clearly feel the rules are set up to indict them on false pretenses, and explicitly use this sense of outrage to attract new terrorist recruits?"
The Military

U.S. Army Block Access To The Guardian's Website Over NSA Leaks 331

Posted by Soulskill
from the lalalalalala-i-can't-hear-you dept.
New submitter crashcy writes "According to a spokesman for the U.S. Army, the military organization is 'blocking all access to The Guardian newspaper's reports about the National Security Agency's sweeping collection of data about Americans' email and phone communications.' The spokesman goes on to state that it is routine to block access where classified materials may be distributed. The term used was 'network hygiene.' 'Campos wrote if an employee accidentally downloaded classified information, it would result in "labor intensive" work, such as the wipe or destruction of the computer's hard drive. He wrote that an employee who downloads classified information could face disciplinary action if found to have knowingly downloaded the material on an unclassified computer.'"
Privacy

Richard Stallman Speaks About Back Doors After NSA Documents Leak 332

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Google are scrambling to restore trust amid fresh litigation over the PRISM surveillance program. Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and a newly-inducted member of the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame, speaks about not only abandoning the cloud, which he warned about 5 years ago, but also escaping software with back doors. 'I don't think the US government should use operating systems made in China,' he says in this new interview, 'for the same reason that most governments shouldn't use operating systems made in the US and in fact we just got proof since Microsoft is now known to be telling the NSA about bugs in Windows before it fixes them.'"
United States

FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today said it has won a $7.5 million civil penalty – the largest ever — against Mortgage Investors Corporation, one of the nation's biggest refinancers of veterans' home loans for allegedly violating 'Do Not Call' requirements. According to the FTC’s complaint, Mortgage Investors Corporation called consumers on the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, failed to remove consumers from its company call list upon demand, and misstated the terms of available loan products during telemarketing calls."
Government

Tesla Faces Tough Regulatory Hurdle From State Dealership Laws 309

Posted by timothy
from the those-darn-monopolists-at-the-statehouse dept.
First time accepted submitter vinnyjames writes "States like Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts and North Carolina either have or have recently added legislation to prevent Tesla from selling its cars directly to consumers. Now there's a petition on whitehouse.gov to allow them to sell cars directly to consumers." Laws that protect auto dealerships aren't newly created for Tesla, though, as explained in this interview with Duke University's Mike Munger.
Crime

TN Man Indicted For Romney Blackmail Attempt: Wanted $1M In Bitcoins 92

Posted by timothy
from the ok-ok-one-hundred-beeeeeeelion-in-bitcoin dept.
OakDragon writes "A Franklin, Tennessee man has been indicted for his attempt to blackmail Mitt Romney. Michael Mancil Brown allegedly claimed his intent to release some of Romney's pre-2010 tax documents unless one million dollars was converted to Bitcoins and deposited into an account which he specified. Demand letters were sent to Republican and Democratic Party offices in Tennessee, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (whom he claimed to have stolen the documents from). Pricewaterhouse Coopers denies that he ever obtained such documents. Brown was also attempting to "sell" the documents to others (presumably the Democrats or other interested parties) for the same amount. And yes, he was apparently well aware of the Dr. Evil reference."
Privacy

Automated Plate Readers Let Police Collect Millions of Records On Drivers 276

Posted by timothy
from the carry-on-citizens dept.
schwit1 writes with a report on just how extensive always-on license plate logging has gotten. The article focuses on California; how different is your state? "In San Diego, 13 federal and local law enforcement agencies have compiled more than 36 million license-plate scans in a regional database since 2010 with the help of federal homeland security grants. The San Diego Association of Governments maintains the database. Unlike the Northern California database, which retains the data for between one and two years, the San Diego system retains license-plate information indefinitely. Can we get plate with code to delete the database?"
United Kingdom

Meet PRISM's English Little Brother: Socmint 76

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-know-winston-smith-in-real-life dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a story at Ars Technica, according to which "For the past two years, a secretive unit in the Metropolitan Police has been developing the tools for blanket surveillance of the public's social media conversations. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere. ... Surveillance operations often require a ministerial sign-off or permission from a superior, but it is unclear whether targeting of public social media data requires the same level of oversight, as head of research at Privacy International Eric King points out."
Crime

RC Plane Attack 'Foiled,' Say German Authorities 233

Posted by timothy
from the they've-got-bruce-schneier-in-the-batcave dept.
garymortimer writes with this excerpt from Sky News as carried by Yahoo UK: "German authorities are holding two men of Tunisian origin who they say are facing possible charges for the 'preparation of a serious, state-threatening act of violence.' Prosecutors say the men are suspected of 'procuring information and objects to commit Islamic extremist explosive attacks with remote-controlled model airplanes,' prosecutors added. Police investigating the terror plot on Tuesday launched a series of raids in Stuttgart and Munich in southern Germany and Saxony in the east. They also carried out one raid in Belgium. No-one was arrested. The suspects had been under surveillance for more than a year and authorities had recently detected 'an increased interest in explosives and model aircraft,' according to an unnamed security source quoted by a German news agency."
United States

Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act 1073

Posted by timothy
from the totally-bringing-on-the-apocalypse dept.
12 U.S. states have adopted same-sex marriage over the past decade, and many other states have adopted legislation specifically intended to prevent same-sex marriages from being performed or recognized within their borders. The landscape has just changed on that front, though: the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages, has been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court; here's the ruling itself. From the NBC News version of the story: "The decision was 5-4, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. “'DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,' the ruling said. 'The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.'" One major area this affects is tax law; that's one of the salient points in U.S. v. Windsor, the case that drove the court's conclusion. There's more on the story at many major news outlets, and at law-centric sources like SCOTUSblog. The Boston Globe is also live blogging various reactions.

Update: 06/26 16:58 GMT by T : In a separate decision, the court disappointed supporters of California's Proposition 8, a law passed by voter initiative, under which "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The court ruled that the private parties which had taken up the Prop 8 banner did not have standing to do so; as the story says, "The 5-4 decision avoids, for now, a sweeping conclusion on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional "equal protection" right that would apply to all states."
Image

Former Scientologist: CoS Told Brin It Wanted Only "Good" Search Results 205 Screenshot-sm

Posted by timothy
from the refusing-to-clam-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Former Scientologist at the highest level Geir Isene reveals that he was brought in to educate top Scientology officials about the Internet, and learned that they had met personally with Google's Sergey Brin (YouTube video), asking him if it were possible for the search giant to filter results so that only positive information about the church would be returned on the word 'Scientology.' You can imagine how that went over. Isene also says that he begged the church's officials to give him a full day to explain the Internet to them before they met with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had regularly criticized the church for its stands against Internet freedom. Apparently, the church is missing Isene's counsel, because just a few days ago, the EFF put the Church of Scientology into its 'Takedown Hall of Shame.' Last month Geir published his journey 'From Independent Scientologist to Just Me' under the GPL v3 license, recognising how being an open source advocate helped with that."

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