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Signal Now Has A Standalone Desktop App

The app is now available for Windows, macOS, Debian-based linux distros. You should be using Signal if you ever talk about anything to anyone.

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iOS 11 has a ‘cop button’ to temporarily disable Touch ID

Now that’s what I call usability.

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Yahoo Files Suit Demanding Greater Accountability from the U.S. Government

I doubt it’ll do much good, but I’m really glad to see Yahoo! trying something.

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Stop Watching Us

The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.

Sign the letter to congress, follow them on Twitter.

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Verizon forced to hand over telephone data

The Guardian:

The US government is collecting the phone records of millions of US customers of Verizon under a top secret court order.

Funny how government only uses the word “patriot” when they want to do something awful, isn’t it?

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How To Protect Against Laptop Webcam Hacking

Someone should make a removable 3D printable bracket that does this, maybe with some optional padding to kill a mic as well?

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Every Time You Torrent, Feds Log Your IP in Just Three Hours

Gizmodo:

Anyone who has downloaded pirated music, video or ebooks using a BitTorrent client has probably had their IP address logged by copyright-enforcement authorities within three hours of doing so. So say computer scientists who placed a fake pirate server online—and very quickly found monitoring systems checking out who was taking what from the servers.

A honeypot for government and entertainment industry (aren’t they basically the same now?) spies that they just couldn’t resist.

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Twitter Implements Do Not Track Privacy Option

Another big privacy / security win for Twitter. They’re using a new feature in Firefox called, appropriately, “Do Not Track“:

Do Not Track is a step toward putting you in control of the way your information is collected and used online. Do Not Track is a feature in Firefox that allows you to let a website know you would like to opt-out of third-party tracking for purposes including behavioral advertising. It does this by transmitting a Do Not Track HTTP header every time your data is requested from the Web.

Can anyone even imagine Facebook doing this? I hope this finds its way into WebKit. “Do Not Track” is also available as an option in Safari 5.2, which is available to developers right now. (thanks, Jesper)

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TextSecure

Sounds good:

TextSecure is a replacement for the standard text messaging application, allowing you to send and receive text messages as normal.

Why isn’t this built-in to Android? or iOS for that matter? or everything?

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Ghostery

A browser plug-in that automatically blocks covert ad trackers, tracking pixels and other hop-ons.

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Evercookie

I am intrigued:

evercookie is a javascript API available that produces extremely persistent cookies in a browser. Its goal is to identify a client even after they’ve removed standard cookies, Flash cookies (Local Shared Objects or LSOs), and others.

evercookie accomplishes this by storing the cookie data in several types of storage mechanisms that are available on the local browser. Additionally, if evercookie has found the user has removed any of the types of cookies in question, it recreates them using each mechanism available.

Ars Technica did an an interview with the creator. All via Andy Baio.

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A REAL Facebook privacy issue: Email addresses NOT listed on Facebook are getting indexed by Google

Cory Watilo:

So what’s happening here? Well, Facebook’s “Opt out of emails from Facebook” page is getting indexed by Google.

That means that the email address that Facebook shows you on the page is also indexed. Meaning it is spam-harvester heaven. The hits just keep on coming.

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Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options

What is longer than the US Constitution and is comprised of over 50 settings and 170 options? Facebook’s privacy settings.

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Facebook’s Descent Into Unknowing Parody

Their deactivation page is emotional blackmail at its most absurd:

The National Lampoon was way ahead of Facebook in this department, as evidenced by this January 1973 issue of the magazine:

The Lampoon was joking, of course. Facebook not so much.

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Orson Welles on Privacy, the Passport and Personal Rights

A transcript taken from one of Welles’ Sketchbook shows for the BBC. 1955’s passport gestapo seems like a cakewalk compared to 2010’s passport gestapo, yet the more things change…

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An Inbox Is Not a Glove Compartment

Disturbing news from the federal courts today, as a federal judge ruled that “government can obtain access to a person’s inbox contents without any notification to the subscriber.” which means anyone with a job in government can read your email without telling you.

Analysis at the link above, here’s a PDF of the actual ruling.