In California, a registered sex offender uses the Megan's Law database
as a source for potential dates. He searched for men in the database, and then sent several men a letter looking for sex or friendship, explaining how they could look up his
profile in the same system.
Turns out that it is illegal for a registered sex offender to access the database of registered sex offenders.
(first FPP for me)
posted by stevil
on Feb 4, 2005 -
Carnivore, the gold standard for conspiracy theory, has apparently been mothballed.
An interesting element of this is that Carnivore has been removed from service not because it is invasive of civil liberties, but rather because it has failed to perform against commercially-available monitoring technologies. Of course, since we do not know what those technologies *are*, it may be that they have built into them considerations of individual rights to privacy that Carnivore could not be altered to respect. However, given the drift of the US on matters of data privacy, this seems unlikely...
So, what are the programmes that do it better than Carnivore? What do they have to offer that Carniviore doesn't, or is it just the ISPs are now offering information straight to the government? And does this mean that it is no longer fashionable to append long strings of exciting-sounding nouns to emails?
(Apologies if this is old news to the more plugged-in - this report has only just been released under FOI)
posted by tannhauser
on Jan 16, 2005 -
A Marketing and Promotional Urinal Screen
- I mean - WTF?
Is there nowhere I can go and not be bombarded by advertising
...now when I go for a 'slash' I can be detected 'visiting' the urinal, and a pre-recorded voice can 'interact' with me while I read the graphics
Honestly, I never, ever, ever wanted to interact whilst standing at a urinal...please don't make me start interacting in there!
posted by mattr
on Nov 11, 2004 -
All watched over by machines of loving grace
is Adam Greenfield's take on the consequences for designers of ubicomp. Setting moral guidelines seems critical in these early days of technological encroachment-- but how long can decency hold out against the promise of profit? I was forwarded a recent email from the CEO a major bookseller that made it clear that it's possible for them to track everything I do in their stores and online, and thank goodness they choose not to take advantage. But how long will that last? And with homeland security crumbling our civil liberties, article's like Adam's that remind us about our responsibility are even more important than ever.
posted by christina
on Oct 30, 2004 -
Proposal to have companies rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police
"A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police. The FBI's request to the Federal Communications Commission aims to give police ready access to any form of Internet-based communications. If approved as drafted, the proposal could dramatically expand the scope of the agency's wiretap powers, raise costs for cable broadband companies and complicate Internet product development." Read more about the FBI's proposal at Cnet.com.
But where is the actual proposal?
posted by fluffycreature
on Mar 15, 2004 -
Docusearch settles claim for 75K
with family whose daughter was killed
by a stalker
her personal information from them -- a killer whose intentions were described on a Googleable website. The NH Supreme Court
determined last year
, the company who sold Amy Boyer's
work address and SSN to her killer could be held liable
for her death, even though some of that information was publicly available. An "Amy Boyer's Law" intended to increase privacy by restricting the display, sale or use of SSNs received negative reviews
by privacy organizations and ultimately was removed
from an appropriations bill. In a statement, Amy's parents encourage others to use the Internet to keep track of who may be keeping track of their kids. "If only we had typed our daughter's name into any search engine, the Amy Boyer Web site that was posted by her killer would have come up, and we could have called the police...This may never have happened.
posted by jessamyn
on Mar 11, 2004 -
Do no evil...
it looks like Orkut would like to 0wn your data. And although the piece is heated, everyone did get incensed over Microsoft's near-identical passport policy. And I know you invited
types like Orkut...
posted by bonaldi
on Feb 5, 2004 -
Seven years in jail and a $150,000 fine.
That's what domain owners will get if HR 3574 makes its way into law. HR 3574 will require all domain owners to make their current home address, telephone number and email address publicly known. Mr. Haughey's stalkers need no longer fear how to find him.
posted by ed
on Feb 5, 2004 -
Howard Dean seems to be on record
as stating that citizens should be required to use a government-issued ID before they can log on to the Internet. He also seems to say that PC manufacturers should be required to add card-readers to all of their PC products to facilitate this. Read for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
posted by DWRoelands
on Jan 27, 2004 -
: "The federal government is planning to overhaul its employee drug testing program to include scrutiny of workers' hair, saliva and sweat, a shift that could spur more businesses to revise screening for millions of their own workers."
posted by troutfishing
on Jan 16, 2004 -
newspeak from disney: we at the Walt Disney Internet Group are dedicated to protecting your privacy and handling any personal information we obtain from you with care and respect. How is your personally identifiable information used and shared?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht
on Nov 16, 2003 -
We've discussed it before
, but RFID
, that fun-loving little radio transmitter that can be attached to everything from that stereo system to a carton of milk, is plowing ahead faster than you can say "unregulated." Earlier this year, Wal-Mart issued a mandate
that required its top 100 suppliers to include RFIDs on their merchandise by 2005, bringing new meaning to the phrase "panties in a bunch."
(Incidentally, Wal-Mart was also the benign corporation that ushered in bar codes for mass consumption in the late 70s and early 80s
.) With no regulations on the table, the New York Times
reports that the Defense Department plans to issue a statement requiring all suppliers to use RFID
. Hitachi has even offered to put it in your currency.
Imagine a store a few years from now that can track all of the objects in your cart, and that, thanks to a microscopic RFID stuck to your shoe when you slide through the doors, can determine how many seconds you or your children react to a display. Imagine a world that tracks exactly where each one of your dollar bills go. (So much for the anonymity of johns and porn enthusiasts.) Is this the kind of world we want to abdicate to large retail corporations? Is this the kind of information that governments or private institutions are entitled to know? Discuss.
posted by ed
on Sep 29, 2003 -
Postal ID Plan
A government report urges the U.S. Postal Service to create "smart stamps" to track the identity of people who send mail. [more inside]
posted by Irontom
on Aug 13, 2003 -
Here's an interesting story for people who like to write and post stuff on the internet
Judge Diana Lewis of Circuit Court in West Palm Beach issued an order that forbids Mr. Max to write about Ms. Johnson. That prohibition is not limited to his website
. She ruled on May 6, before Mr. Max was notified of the suit and without holding a hearing. She told Mr. Max that he could not use "Katy" on his site. Nor could he use Ms. Johnson's last name, full name or the words "Miss Vermont." The judge also prohibited Mr. Max from "disclosing any stories, facts or information, notwithstanding its truth, about any intimate or sexual acts engaged in by" Ms. Johnson. Finally, Judge Lewis ordered Mr. Max to sever the virtual remains of his relationship with Ms. Johnson. He is no longer allowed to link to her Web site.
All this as a result of a lawsuit in which Ms. Johnson maintained that Mr. Max had invaded her privacy by publishing accurate
information about her.
posted by magullo
on Jun 2, 2003 -
Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with?
Remember when we discussed this
before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU
to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here
is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link.
Thank god for the ACLU.
posted by aacheson
on Apr 25, 2003 -
"Perhaps the time has come to recognise this dominant search engine for what it is - a public utility that must be regulated in the public interest." Bill Thompson from the BBC tells me that Google puts a cookie on my computer that can't be deleted till 2038: "This means that Google builds up a detailed profile of your search terms over many years. Google probably knew when you last thought you were pregnant, what diseases your children have had, and who your divorce lawyer is. It refuses to say why it wants this information or to admit whether it makes it available to the US Government for tracking purposes." Are they "a secretive, hyper-competitive company with no respect for the personal privacy of its users"? Are other search engines better behaved? And is this the beginning of search ethics
posted by theplayethic
on Apr 14, 2003 -
Nominate the world's stupidest security procedure.
UK-based watchdog group, Privacy International, is accepting nominations until March 15th from the general public about the most annoying and invasive security measures with the lowest effectiveness in protecting individual safety. What would you nominate?
posted by jonp72
on Mar 6, 2003 -
Thought you were rid of the telemarketers?
Perhaps not. It looks like they're fighting back to items like the TeleZapper
that fake telemarketers into thinking your phone is disconnected by playing the three tones you get if your phone doesn't work. Castel, Inc
claims their DirectQuest software defeats devices like Telezapper by reading the connect messages delivered by your public switched telephone network. Fave quote - “It’s a privacy arms race.." Will this ever end?
posted by djspicerack
on Feb 27, 2003 -
So, we all know the Patriot Act
allows for the monitoring of library and computer usage. Big deal, right? I mean how many people can they watch and what are the odds?
Maybe not as good (or bad, depending on your view) as you might think
,"A St. John’s College Library visit by a former public defender was abruptly interrupted February 13 when city police officers arrested him about 9 p.m. at the computer terminal he was using, handcuffed him, and brought him to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, police station for questioning by Secret Service agents from Albuquerque."
posted by cedar
on Feb 26, 2003 -