"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces
that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA
over the domestic spying program.
posted by crayz
on Jul 8, 2012 -
In admitting that they have no expertise in running a corrections system, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that officers have unfettered authority to conduct full strip searches
of any arrested individual, even for the most minor of offenses and in situations where officers lack any suspicion of contraband. The ruling comes days after the NY Times ran an analysis suggesting that the current supreme court is the most conservative court
in modern history.
posted by GnomeChompsky
on Apr 2, 2012 -
The amazing, disturbing things your gaming console can learn about you.
Consider the Kinect, the Microsoft console that sold 8 million units in its first 60 days of release. This inexpensive, book-sized panel has the ability to create a realistic, virtual likeness of the player. In doing so, it creates a delightful interface to play games—instead of hitting a button to kick a ball, you kick your foot and the digital character on screen mimics your movements. How does the Kinect produce this dazzling immersive experience? By capturing every move you make.
posted by Strass
on Mar 7, 2012 -
Is Privacy Dead? A conversation.
"For the entirety of human history, we have operated on small scales and in relative anonymity. Our words are heard by the few people close to us and most are quickly forgotten. We walk down the street without passers-by knowing our names or history. The internet has started to change that. Our words and actions can easily be shared with billions of people around the globe and archived indefinitely. The details of our lives can be found simply by typing our name into Google.
We need to understand the risks of this type of technology so that we can fully gain its benefits. We need protections, both technical and legal, so that a small mistake cannot devastate our lives. We also need education to help us function in a world where privacy is no longer the natural state of being."
posted by Sebmojo
on Mar 4, 2012 -
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled yesterday
[.pdf] that a citizen's refusal to decrypt encrypted drives is protected by the Fifth Amendment, at least under some circumstances. In doing so it reversed the district court's contempt order entered against a John Doe defendant after he refused to decrypt his laptop hard drive and five external hard drives in response to a subpoena. This decision arguably conflicts with an earlier decision
in which a district court in Vermont required a defendant to provide the password to his encrypted drives. The Eleventh Circuit distinguishes the earlier case on the basis that the government in that case knew of the existence of the files and simply couldn't access them, while in the recent case the government did not know the names of files or even whether or not files actually existed on the encrypted drives.
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Feb 24, 2012 -
"The Fraley plaintiffs sued Facebook, alleging that its 'Sponsored Stories' feature, which displays ads on Facebook containing the names and pictures of users who have 'Liked' a product, violated California’s Right of Publicity statute. The statute forbids the commercial use of an individual’s name or likeness without consent. Integral to the plaintiffs’ claim was the assertion they had been injured because they were “celebrities” to their Facebook friends, such that their endorsements of the products in the Sponsored Stories held economic value—economic value that they were deprived of when Facebook published their Stories without their consent." - Famous for Fifteen People (Stanford Law Review)
: Celebrity, Newsworthiness, and Fraley v. Facebook (Citizen Media Law Project)
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective
on Feb 10, 2012 -
The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government.
- Justice Anthony Kennedy
John Geddes Lawrence
, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case
that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary
posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
posted by rtha
on Dec 28, 2011 -
The concept behind VoyURL
is simple: A browser plugin records your every click, which you can then choose to share publicly in a real-time feed. Their website analyzes
and shows you your online history in customized infographics
, to identify patterns, recommend content and help you learn more about the way you use the internet. You can see the browsing history of all users in one giant timeline or follow a specific user. The service is currently in beta, but you can slip in here
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 16, 2011 -
: Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. "It's just not invasive of privacy," said Stephanie Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest City. "There are no risks to privacy, so I don't see why anyone would opt out." (Consumers can opt out by turning off their phones
posted by Blake
on Nov 23, 2011 -
Facebook has been criticized repeatedly for how it treats its users' privacy (this topic
to MeFi), but with the introduction of OpenGraph
) earlier this year, some are arguing that Facebook has gone beyond general privacy concerns and has become Malware
Now, we've shown that Facebook promotes captive content on its network ahead of content on the web, prohibits users from bringing open content into their network, warns users not to visit web content, and places obstacles in front of visits to web sites even if they've embraced Facebook's technologies and registered in Facebook's centralized database of sites on the web. [more inside]
posted by Kimberly
on Nov 22, 2011 -
The Socialbot Network
- A UBC study suggests that many Facebook users will friend total strangers. Researchers said they collected 250 gigabytes of information from Facebook users by using socialbots — fake Facebook profiles created and controlled by computer code (sic)
. The researchers said they got the approval of UBC’s behavioural research ethics board. The data they collected was encrypted and anonymized and deleted after they completed their data analysis. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Nov 6, 2011 -