Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Web-Based Anonymizer Discontinued

July 19, 2007

With no fanfare, and apparently no outcry from the privacy community, Anonymizer Inc. discontinued its web-based Private Surfing service effective June 20, 2007. No reason was given, either on the Anonymizer web site or on founder Lance Cottrell’s privacy blog. Private Surfing customers are now required to download a anonymizing client that handles all TCP traffic, but the program is Windows-only (with Vista support still a work-in-progress). And of course it’s closed-source, which means it has few advantages over several other alternatives.”


Software Lets Parents Monitor Kids’ Calls

July 10, 2007

“In March, 15-year-old Joshua Brumfield got a shiny new BlackBerry Pearl, and his parents got a new way to watch out for their son.

The Brumfields signed up to be early users of Radar, software designed to let parents monitor incoming calls on their child’s mobile phone. Anytime Joshua gets a call from someone not on a call list approved by his parents, they will receive a real-time text alert on their cell phone or online.

For example, during the first two days on the phone, Joshua got six calls from a stranger within a few hours–and the Brumfields got six text alerts. So they asked Joshua about the calls, and he told them they were from a man looking for his ex-girlfriend who didn’t believe that her number had changed. The stranger had grown more aggressive with each call, thinking that Joshua was a new boyfriend.

“Radar really helped us see this was definitely a problem, one our son wouldn’t have said anything about,” said Lisa Brumfield, a Laguna Hills, Calif., mother of three boys. Joshua’s father called the man to straighten out the situation.”


TorrentSpy Crumbles Under The Pressure, Removes Copyrighted Content

June 26, 2007

“TorrentySpy has implemented an automated filtering system, FileRights, that removes links to copyrighted material amidst a court order that was filed last year by a handful of Hollywood Studios, which now requires TorrentSpy to track user activity.”


Is Google Too Big?

June 19, 2007

“With its empire expanding, the search giant can have an unprecedented breadth of knowledge about you. Can we trust it with so much data?

From search to e-mail, from calendars to spreadsheets and text documents, more and more of what PC users read and create flows through one firm: Google.

Google’s pending purchase of online advertising giant DoubleClick (the deal awaited Federal Trade Commission approval as we went to press) will give it access to yet more information: the Web browsing histories collected by millions of DoubleClick cookies. Combine that data with what Google already knows through its homegrown services–Google Apps, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Desktop, and many others–and the company has the potential to know more about you than any one entity ever has. (See the chart, “What Google Knows About You.”)


FBI: More Than 1 Million Computers Infected

June 14, 2007

“More than 1 million computers – possibly yours, too – are used by hackers as remote-controlled robots to crash online systems, accept spam and steal users’ personal information, the FBI said Wednesday.The government has no way to track down all the computers, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, that hackers have massed into centrally controlled collections known as botnets.But the FBI has pulled the plug on several botnet hackers, or zombies. One man was charged this week in a scheme that froze computer systems at Chicago-area hospitals in 2006 and delayed medical services.”


AT&T To Start Scanning Their Network For Pirated Material

June 13, 2007

“In a move that could send ISPs tumbling down a slippery slope toward serving big media companies before consumers, AT&T has decided to start targeting pirated content being moved across its network. How exactly they’ll do that isn’t clear, but there doesn’t seem to be any real way of them detecting what materials being sent are copyrighted without them prying into every file people send online. But hey, what’s wrong with that? We should trust AT&T! It’s not like they spy on us for the government already or anything.”


An Easy Way To Record Your Phone Conversations

June 13, 2007

“…can’t remember what you did 5 minutes ago…anyway, just find a reason because Logitec announces the LIC-TRA056SD, an audio MP3 voice recorder that can be plugged directly to your telephone and is equipped with 128MB of flash memory (worth 50hrs of blabla).”


Google Video Security Flaw Could Expose Private Username & Password Information

June 12, 2007

“Google Video may be exposing the username and passwords of users who post videos to their MySpace accounts and serving this information over unsecure Internet protocol, with an http URL and not https.”


Which ISPs Are Spying On You?

June 11, 2007

“The few souls that attempt to read and understand website privacy policies know they are almost universally unintelligible and shot through with clever loopholes. But one of the most important policies to know is your internet service provider’s — the company that ferries all your traffic to and from the internet, from search queries to BitTorrent uploads, flirty IMs to porn.Wired News, with help from some readers, attempted to get real answers from the largest United States-based ISPs about what information they gather on their customers’ use of the internet, and how long they retain records like IP addresses, e-mail and real-time browsing activity. Most importantly, we asked what they require from law-enforcement agencies before coughing up the data, and whether they sell your data to marketers.

Only four of the eight largest ISPs responded to the 10-question survey, despite being contacted repeatedly over the course of two months. Some ISPs wouldn’t talk to us, but gave answers to customers responding to a call for reader help on Wired’s Threat Level blog.”


MPAA Accuses TorrentSpy Of Concealing Evidence

June 11, 2007

“The courts have for the first time found that the electronic trail briefly left in a computer server’s RAM, or random access memory, by each visitor to a site is “stored information” and must be turned over as evidence during litigation, according to documents seen by CNET Jacqueline Chooljian, a federal judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles, issued the decision while presiding over a court fight between the studios and TorrentSpy, the BitTorrent search engine accused of copyright infringement in a lawsuit filed last year by the film industry. On May 29, Chooljian ordered TorrentSpy to begin logging user activity, including IP addresses, and turn the data over to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).”