Apple has the technical ability to disclose a wide range of information about a user upon the request of the authorities – from the person’s name and contact information to their photos and e-mail content.
This refers to the new company policy of cooperation with the law enforcement agencies. If there is a valid search warrant and the serial number of the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad the Cupertino-based company may extract some types of data, even if the device has a password.
In particular, this refers to the user files created with proprietary applications. These include SMS-messages, photos, videos, contacts, and call history records. In case if the iOS-device is password-protected, the Apple cannot disclose the contents of the e-mail, calendar plans or the data of the third party applications.Read more
LAST year, I spent more than $2,200 and countless hours trying to protect my privacy. Some of the items I bought — a $230 service that encrypted my data in the Internet cloud; a $35 privacy filter to shield my laptop screen from coffee-shop voyeurs; and a $420 subscription to a portable Internet service to bypass untrusted connections — protect me from criminals and hackers. Other products, like a $5-a-month service that provides me with disposable email addresses and phone numbers, protect me against the legal (but, to me, unfair) mining and sale of my personal data.
In our data-saturated economy, privacy is becoming a luxury good. After all, as the saying goes, if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. And currently, we aren’t paying for very much of our technology.Read more
The revelations of Edward Snowden keep on coming. The Guardian reports on a hacking program of the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) codenamed Optic Nerve. The program intercepted Yahoo webcam chats collecting and storing images of millions of users, even when individual users were not suspected of wrongdoing.
The leaked documents revealed that GCHQ secret files date from 2008 till 2010 and in the first 6 months Optic Nerve collected the still images from 1.8 million users globally. One of the files estimated till 11% of the content categorised as "undesirable nudity”.Read more
Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google on Monday began publishing details about the number of secret government requests for data they receive, hoping to show limited involvement in controversial U.S. surveillance efforts.
The tech industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns about their involvement in vast, surreptitious surveillance programs revealed last summer by former spy contractor Edward Snowden. The government said last month it would relax rules restricting what details companies can disclose about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders they receive for user information.Read more
Representatives of Obama‘s Administration continue to insist that spying on Americans is not a violation of constitutional rights of citizens and carried out exclusively in the interests of national security.
However, Chris Kitts, the father of beforeitsnews.com, believes that the obtained information is used not only for security purposes.
According to Chris Kitts, Washington creates “The machine for the implementation blackmail. Now they have access to the emails of people who are in the data store in Utah.Read more
DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, served over 1bn searches in 2013 after a huge surge in interest following the Snowden revelations. Until Edward Snowden's files detailing the extent of state surveillance, the search engine received around 1.5m queries per day. But in the weeks and months following the Guardian's publication of the NSA files, the number of users more than doubled.
By November, more than 4 million people were using the site every day, and on Tuesday 7 January the site had its biggest day so far, serving 4,452,957 queries in a 24-hour period. "Needless to say, it was a great year for us," DuckDuckGo said in a blogpost. "We're looking forward to similar greatness in 2014.Read more
Since the first of many leaked documents showed that the NSA has been gathering phone records as part of its anti-terrorism program, there's been an ongoing fight over just what these records reveal.
To supporters, the metadata collection is a limited system that's rarely queried and doesn't contain enough information to be considered an invasive search: the NSA has said it doesn't collect either the content of calls or the names attached to phone numbers.
As many technology and legal experts on the other side say, though, metadata matters, and a Stanford Security Lab project demonstrates that removing names from a database doesn't effectively mean much.Read more
Over 2 million passwords for popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as Google and Yahoo accounts have been stolen and posted online, with Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki also featuring on the hitlist.
Internet security firm Trustwave exposed the extensive data hoard, saying in its blog that the responsible botnet – dubbed Pony – had harvested information from thousands of vulnerable computers on a global scale.
The information included login credentials, email addresses and passwords. In total, 1,580,000 website login credentials were stolen, alongside 320,000 email and 41,000 FTP accounts.Read more
Government requests for data soared from 3,580 in 2009 to 10,918, Google said on Thursday -- and those are only the data demands the web giant is allowed to publish.
A 2013 Transparency Report described on the Internet giant's Public Policy blog is the latest in an ongoing effort to provide a window into worldwide governmental efforts to tap into the digital profiles Google builds and the digital communications it relays. The report revealed a tremendous increase worldwide in government efforts to mine Google’s data.
The company has used the periodic disclosures as an opportunity to push back against those government demands, many of which Google is banned from even discussingRead more
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.
The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind.
The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers.Read more