judgecorp writes "Privacy groups have accused British ISPs of a 'conspiracy of silence' over the impact of the UK government;s proposed Communications Data Bill or 'Snooper's Charter.' The letter accuses the SPs of allowing themselves to be 'co-opted as an arm of the state' — and of not telling their customers what they are up to. Under the bill, ISPs can be ordered to store their users' communications data (the who when and where but not the content of emails etc) for police to search through."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
An anonymous reader writes "Former diplomat to Belgium and the European Union Brendan Nelson describes his astonishment at his inability to get any response from Facebook when trying to get a diplomatically damaging fake page taken down. The social network ignored official protestations from the department of foreign affairs and security agencies."
New submitter Rideak writes with this excerpt from CNet about an ITC ruling against Motorola in their case against Apple for violating a few of their proximity sensor patents: "The U.S. International Trade Commission today ended Motorola's case against Apple, which accused the iPhone and Mac maker of patent infringement. In a ruling (PDF), the ITC said that Apple was not violating Motorola's U.S. patent covering proximity sensors, which the commission called 'obvious.' It was the last of six patents Motorola aimed at Apple as part of an October 2010 complaint."
Bismillah writes "Excite Mobile in South Australia also set up a fake debt collection agency, and a fictional complaints body for late-paying customers. The company sent fake debt collection letters to 1074 customers, even going so far as threatening to confiscate the toys of their customers' kids if they didn't pay up. From the article: 'South Australian mobile phone provider Excite Mobile has been found guilty of false, misleading and unconscionable conduct by the Federal Court after the ACCC took action against the company for faking a debt collection agency, creating a fictional complaints body, and misrepresenting scope of mobile coverage.'"
schwit1 writes "The Obama Administration and a federal judge in San Francisco appear to be headed for a showdown over the controversial state secrets privilege in a case about the U.S. government's 'no-fly' list for air travel. U.S. District Judge William Alsup is also bucking the federal government's longstanding assertion that only the executive branch can authorize access to classified information. From the article: 'The disputes arose in a lawsuit Malaysian citizen and former Stanford student Rahinah Ibrahim filed seven years ago after she was denied travel and briefly detained at the San Francisco airport in 2005, apparently due to being on the no-fly list. In an order issued earlier this month and made public Friday, Alsup instructed lawyers for the government to "show cause" why at least nine documents it labeled as classified should not be turned over to Ibrahim's lawyers. Alsup said he'd examined the documents and concluded that portions of some of them and the entirety of others could be shown to Ibrahim's attorneys without implicating national security.'"
DavidGilbert99 writes "For a completely online movement, the lack of an official Anonymous website is certainly strange. The reason, according to Anonymous itself is down to the lack of a hierarchical structure. However, one Anonymous-linked group could be about to change all that, having succeeded in securing $55,000 in funding for a website. Is this the beginning of Anonymous going mainstream? From the article: 'The @YourAnonNews (YAN) Twitter account has over one million followers and has leveraged its popularity to successfully raise over $55,000 (£34,000) through a crowd-funding campaign on the Indiegogo website. The funding drive was established to allow those behind the YAN account to set up a website of its own which will allow it "to collect breaking reports and blog postings from the best independent reporters online."'"
judgecorp writes "Germany's privacy regulator has fined Google €145,000 over its Street View cars' harvesting of private data — but the official has complained that the size of the fine is too small, because of limits to the fines regulators can impose. German data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar said the fine was too low, for 'one of the largest known data breachers ever,' saying, 'as long as privacy violations can be punished only at discount prices, enforcement of data protection law in the digital world with its high abuse potential is hardly possible.' In 2010 it emerged that Google's Street View cars captured personal data from Wi-Fi networks as well as taking pictures — since then regulators have imposed a series of fines — the largest being $7 million reportedly paid to settle a U.S. government probe."
SternisheFan writes "ArsTechnica reports: 'While the whole country is relieved that this past week's Boston Marathon bombing ordeal and subsequent lockdown of the city is finally over, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told the Washington Post that the department's facial recognition system "did not identify" the two bombing suspects. "The technology came up empty even though both Tsarnaevs' images exist in official databases: Dzhokhar had a Massachusetts driver's license; the brothers had legally immigrated; and Tamerlan had been the subject of some FBI investigation," the Post reported on Saturday. Facial recognition systems can have limited utility when a grainy, low-resolution image captured at a distance from a cellphone camera or surveillance video is compared with a known, high-quality image. Meanwhile, the FBI is expected to release a large-scale facial recognition apparatus "next year for members of the Western Identification Network, a consortium of police agencies in California and eight other Western states," according to the San Jose Mercury News. Still, video surveillance did prove extremely useful in pinpointing the suspects.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Silicon Valley tech firms, banks and other powerful industries are mounting a quiet but forceful campaign to kill an Internet privacy bill that would give California consumers the right to know how their personal information is being used. A recent letter signed by 15 companies and trade groups — including TechAmerica, which represents Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other technology companies — demanded that the measure's author, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, drop her bill. They complain it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits."
hypnosec writes "Authorities in Japan are presumably worried about their inability to tackle cybercrime and, in a bid to stem one of the sources of anonymous traffic, the National Police Agency (NPA) is asking ISPs to block Tor. The recommendation comes from the special panel formed by the NPA after a hacker going by the name Demon Killer was found to regularly use Tor to anonymize his online activities, like posting of death threats on public message boards."
An anonymous reader writes "What do you get mugged in Central London and the local police are too incompetent to find a mugger even with his address and photograph? You may not be able to get to the laptop, but you still own the photos and data on it, so you set up the NSFW Plumpergeddon blog which gives details of the subsequent 'owner's' 'Brick House Butts' fetishes. Now of course later the IT media might get interested and offer an interview with a promise to let him review the article and keep his name secret. luckily our hero is not so innocent and demonstrates the value of using a false name on the internet as well as planting your own monitoring software on your laptop."
New submitter JoeyRox writes "On 3/22 the Senate approved a non-binding proposal to allow states to tax online sales to residents outside their state. That vote was a trial balloon to gauge the support for the Marketplace Fairness Act. This week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture to allow the law to be voted on for real this time. The vote may occur as soon as tomorrow. eBay is attempting to rally Americans against the bill via a massive email campaign."
First time accepted submitter thejezus writes "A spy cabinet has been exposed on a public road in The Hague, the Netherlands (Google translate here). The cabinet was disguised as telecom-cabinet and was detected by the maintenance crew of Ziggo (a triple-play provider) because it was not listed as a property of the company. Upon opening, it was revealed the cabinet contained a camera and UMTS equipment. Later that day, the cabinet disappeared. 1984 much?"
An anonymous reader writes "My Skype account was hijacked, which I discovered after Skype suspended it for suspicious activity, including a number of paid calls and an attempt to debit my card. Now that I've secured the account again, I can see the call history — there are several numbers called in Senegal, Mali, Benin and Philippines. Obviously I could call them myself and create a bit of havoc in their lives, but ideally I'd like to trace the hijacker himself — perhaps with some kind of 'social engineering' approach. Or is it just a waste of time?" How would you do this, and would you bother?
New submitter trims writes "The TSA is now in the public comment stage of its project to roll out Advanced Imaging Technology (i.e. full-body X-ray) scanners. The TSA wants your feedback as to whether or not this project should be continued or cancelled. Now is your chance to tell the TSA that this is a huge porkbarrel project and nothing more than Security Theater. You can comment at http:///www.regulations.gov and reference the docket ID TSA-2013-0004." Note: the backscatter X-ray machines are being phased out, in favor of millimeter-wave systems; the linked documents give the government's side of the story when it comes to efficacy, safety, privacy, and worth. The comment period runs until June 24.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A woman who complained about an unpaid £146 invoice is facing a libel battle that could cost her more than £100,000. Lesley Kemp, 55, took to Twitter claiming that a company based in the Middle East had failed to pay her promptly for transcription work. Now the firm is suing Mrs Kemp, of Milton Keynes, for defamation, claiming up to £50,000 in damages and a further £70,000 in costs. The company, Resolution Productions, based in Qatar, has yet to comment."
Blug_fred writes "For the first year the Digital Freedom Foundation (ex-SFI) is organizing Hardware Freedom Day. With 66 events worldwide split over 36 countries, they are not yet covering the whole world but it is a good start. So if you have always been wondering about hacking your own stuff, be it a piece of wood or some more complex electronic gears then it is time to join an open door day type of event. Sixty-six events is definitely less that the total number of hackerspaces around the world and you can check for other events happening in a hackerspace near you if none are celebrating today. Hopefully they will join the movement next year."
Should Boston have been put in a state of lockdown on Friday as police chased down Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? Pragmatic Bruce Schneier writes on his blog: "I generally give the police a lot of tactical leeway in times like this. The very armed and very dangerous suspects warranted extraordinary treatment. They were perfectly capable of killing again, taking hostages, planting more bombs -- and we didn't know the extent of the plot or the group. That's why I didn't object to the massive police dragnet, the city-wide lock down, and so on." Schneier links to some passionate counterarguments, though. It doesn't escape the originator of a recurring movie plot terrorism contest that the Boston events of yesterday were just "the sort of thing that pretty much only happens in the movies."
alostpacket writes "The New York times reports that statistical scoring by the standardized testing company Pearson incorrectly disqualified over 4700 students from a chance to enter gifted / advanced programs in New York City schools. Only students who score in the 90th percentile or above are eligible for these programs. Those in the 97th or above are eligible for 5 of the best programs. 'According to Pearson, three mistakes were made. Students' ages, which are used to calculate their percentile ranking against students of similar age, were recorded in years and months, but should also have counted days to be precise. Incorrect scoring tables were used. And the formula used to combine the two test parts into one percentile ranking contained an error.' No mention of enlisting the help of the gifted children was made in the Times article, but it also contained a now-corrected error. This submission likely also contains an erro"