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Posts tagged privacy

Apr 11
Hey, neat: we could have gotten a 2-year head start on changing our passwords if only the NSA had warned us. #jerks #heartbleed #privacy #landoftheNOTfree #policestatesofamerica #sheesh

Hey, neat: we could have gotten a 2-year head start on changing our passwords if only the NSA had warned us. #jerks #heartbleed #privacy #landoftheNOTfree #policestatesofamerica #sheesh

Apr 29

PROOF That Google IS Evil!!!!!!!!!!!


FCC report marks Google low - “The lone engineer who was blamed by Google for its most controversial breach of online privacy told others in the company far more about the affair than Google has previously disclosed…”

Full article over at

Wow, if an entity as corrupt as the US government thinks you’re bad…!

(via podcaster-deactivated20121217)

Apr 20


CISPA, a bill many are calling the return of SOPA and PIPA, heads to a vote Monday in Congress. Opponents say if it passes, you should kiss your privacy on the web goodbye.

Hey Newsweek, I know this is Tumblr, but care to add some details?  I mean, I see RT news reports embedded a lot these days, but aren’t they a Russian News org?   You know, Russia, where journalists are murdered for telling the truth?  How trusted can RT be when we can’t trust Fox News to tell the truth (and they’re America’s “#1” news source, apparently)?  How about giving us some of your own research?

In thirty seconds of Googling (!) I found the wikipedia page for this bill which states: “the most recent version of the CISPA bill has removed any reference to intellectual property”.

So, I’m not sure what all this IP stuff this RT lady includes in the video story above has to do with anything.  

That said, it looks like the EFF is against it.  Go here for more from the EFF:

But notice, the on the eff page I link to above, they still mention IP.  According to, “House Cybersecurity Bill Backs Off On IP Theft Provisions" so... Also, I hope it’s obvious to everyone that CISPA legalizes what the government already did during the Bush years.  In fact, what the Bush Admin did doesn’t immediately appear to be illegal since all they did was ask companies to give up our data, which almost all of them did.  Where’s the law that is broken?  All CISPA does is codify the USG’s ability to do this.  

Of course, it indirectly violates the Bill Of Rights—specifically, the amendment that prohibits unlawful search and seizure. But hey, companies have been doing that for years now, with our too-busy-to-pay-attention-to-the-fine-print permission.

I still wish news orgs, orgs like EFF and just regular people gave more of a crap about the NDA of 2012 that Obama signed into law on New Year’s Eve 2011.  That thing essentially removes a suspect’s right to contest being arrested in the first place. Without that right guaranteed, a person can be detained indefinitely.  This is a huge blow to human rights.

What’s wrong with us?  Our priorities are seriously screwed!

Jul 31

100 Million Facebook Users Data Collated into One Giant-Ass File

The harvest has begun.. Ron Bowes is from Canada, and he is a security consultant. Just this week, Mr. Bowes changed the world as we know it, perhaps ever damning the word “privacy” into the trash heap of history. And how did he do it? Using the very data that people knowingly and happily gave up themselves on Facebook..

Bowes collated 100 million Facebook users’ names, addresses, and unique ID numberson a single 2.8 gig file and posted it online..Facebook also enabled this grand release of private data.


I would quit Facebook in a New York second if only I could convince my family and friends who treat the site like a religion to quit, too.

Maybe I should bite the bullet and set the good example.  The problem with that is simple: FB as lame as it is, is great for networking.  Plus, it saves me money on business cards—I barely give them out. I just tell them the socnets I’m on and they find me if they want to.

I just wish Zuckerberg wasn’t such a douche with our stuff.

Jun 18

HTTPS Everywhere

Link: HTTPS Everywhere


HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your communications with a number of major websites.

I’m trying this add-on with Firefox on my Ubuntu netty. We’ll see how it goes!

May 24

"Zuckerberg needs your data…"

“Zuckerberg needs your data. His business is built upon it. The most important thing to understand about Facebook is that you are not Facebook’s customer, you are its inventory. You are the product Facebook is selling. Facebook’s real customers are advertisers. You, as a Facebook member, are useful only because you can be packaged up and sold to advertisers. The more information Facebook can get from you, the more you are worth. In response, a FB spokesman told me: “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

Lyons, on Facebook (via newsweek)

But isn’t this the same with any ad-supported service? MySpace? GMail? Etc?  Hell, even advertising on the old TV is built this way. It’s our behavior that is the product.

All that said, I wonder if most people understand this dynamic.  No one is getting “free hosting services” for their pics and status updates—they are getting hosting services in exchange for their pics and status updates.  Maybe not the literal content, but the behavior patterns behind the content is sold to advertisers.  How else are these sites supposed to remain “free”?

Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing

Link: Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing



“I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before,” he said. “That means that people are using Facebook, and the applications and the ecosystem, more and more.”

Call it Zuckerberg’s Law.

We think sharing is great! Except maybe not so much when you’re being pushed to do it by large corporations whose business model depends on convincing you to not value that information you’re sharing as much as advertisers do.

Yeah, for me this has always been about control, not privacy.  I’ll share what *I* want and keep private what *I* choose.  Thanks.  Facebook has just proven that we need to question what we post to any network.  Like anyone else’s bottom line is different from Zuckerdouche’s?

May 17

8 ways the World Hates Facebook, why you should, too (it’s not about privacy—but control) and my solution!

OK, this post is a long time coming.  Facebook has been the whipping boy in the press lately and rightfully so. The people behind Facebook are effectively liars, assuring us one thing when we sign up but changing things around later.  This is why I don’t think it’s about privacy, since so much of us don’t care about privacy.  We *want* the world to see our content—BUT when we can’t control how it is used that is absolutely a bigger issue than privacy.  So, don’t let anyone say “I don’t care about the privacy thing with Facebook.” Correct them.  Do they want to control their own content?

Here are eight ways the world is quickly coming to hate Facebook. Some of them may even be relevant to the way *you* use the site (stay tuned after for what I think we should do, rather than delete our FB accounts):

1)  Here’s an IM convo between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and an unnamed friend from the very earliest days of the new network:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.

That’s via an article last week on reporting on how these IMs won’t help Facebook’s PR much.  I first came across the comments on Brent Billock’s Tumblr. It’s a nice example of how Zuckerbergs morals have always been questionable—it’s not a matter of him selling out later, but that he was a dickwad even when he was 19.

2) Here’s an excerpt from an Aaron Sorkin-scripted screenplay for a movie that is slated for release this October:

Nice and brutal—that comes from a Newsweek blog post from May 13, 2010 that details a number of slings and arrows being thrown at Zuckerberg and Facebook.  Not only is “The Social Network" movie coming out in October of 2010 going to be a total hit-piece on FB and Zuckerberg, but the Newsweek post talks about a letter from concerned Senators, a filing from 15 privacy groups and a lot more. It’s definitely worth a read.

3) is getting into the act and has given us a new thing to “move on” from: Facebook (remember when we were supposed to “Move On” from presidential infidelity? GOOD TIMES!). presents a petition you can sign demanding that:

"Sites like Facebook must respect my privacy. They should not share information about me or my friends with other companies without my explicit permission"

Sounds reasonable enough—and here’s a chart they include with the petition showing you what is now defaulted to public on your Facebook account:

What a mess!  Want to see how to clean up that mess? That’s #4.

4) Via my favorite chart-supplying blog, comes this amazing flowchart that explains just where all of your privacy settings are.  Originally it came from I’ve reposted it below (and on my Flickr) for your uh, pleasure (if you happen to be a flowchart masochist, that is):

5) An opinion piece on calls Facebook out for what it has done: gone rogue!  What’s better is that the piece calls for an open-source Facebok alternative.  NICE.  The good news is, someone’s already answered the call for an open-source Facebook alternative. See #6.

6) reports on a group of NYU students who are working on an open-source Facebook alternative called Diaspora. They’ve already set up a website: and it looks like they’re a bit overwhelmed by the support being shown toward them. I hope they get programming FAST.

7) I suspect that even more folks will be Joining the Disaspora(.com) after checking out, a site, I found thanks to a article from yesterday. What does is show you just how easy it is to search Facebook and find content that many users might consider personal or private or both.  Just do a search for “drunken mess” and see what comes up!

8) Finally, we have and their piece covering Quit Facebook Day.  Yep, that’s right, May 31, 2010 is Quit Facebook Day and you can read more about it at Not the most clever of names, but certainly a good idea. I’m all for a diaspora away from Facebook and always have been.  However, I don’t think we should all delete our accounts.

Here’s my solution for dealing with the Facebook problem:

I am calling for a service that will post an update to my Facebook status every time I post somewhere else on the Internet.  The status update should read like this:

I just posted something really cool on [SITENAME]!  Why night head over, sign up and follow me there?

That’s it. No link, no content, or even an excerpt—just the message that I am posting on a network OTHER than Facebook.

What better way to flip off Facebook and put pressure on your friends to join you? Not only does it function as a reminder to your Facebook friends that you are somewhere else, but it’ll be more effective than deleting your account and leaving nothing behind.  On top of that, it’ll get your Facebook friends back for putting you through all those stupid Mafia Wars invites and idiotic “what Dawson’s Creek character are you” quizes.  And NO, I don’t want to “like” something just because YOU do. STOP RECOMMENDING SHIT TO ME.


Of course, it’s nice to have one place to share everything with everyone.  Without Facebook, it’s back to the wild, wild west-style Internet.  One friend will be on Flickr, another on Photobucket, while your brother is over on some other damn photo site. I get that.  But the only other solution I think we have at our disposal is to do what I’ve been doing ever since I joined Facebook: I lie.

Yes, that’s right, my last name isn’t really “Smith” and I’m not really 64 years-old.  What I need to do now is take all my photos down and replace them with photos I don’t own of people I don’t know and add captions like “he’s me having sex with the president.”

Maybe someone should put up a site called “” that would encourage folks to fill their Facebook accounts with copyrighted content.  Well, it’s ALL copyrighted content, isn’t it? It’s just that we individual users don’t have the money to hire a lawyer to send a C&D to Facebook.

So, in the end, am I going to leave Facebook?  I don’t know yet.  I just might.

May 16

May 7

More Facebook “Fun” making it tempting to Stop Facebooking… (not that I was that active, anyway)

Facebook Glitch Brings New Privacy Worries

Published: May 5, 2010

On Wednesday, users discovered a glitch that gave them access to supposedly private information in the accounts of their Facebook friends, like chat conversations.

Not long before, Facebook had introduced changes that essentially forced users to choose between making information about their interests available to anyone or removing it altogether.

Although Facebook quickly moved to close the security hole on Wednesday, the breach heightened a feeling among many users that it was becoming hard to trust the service to protect their personal information.

“Facebook has become more scary than fun,” said Jeffrey P. Ament, 35, a government contractor who lives in Rockville, Md.

Mr. Ament said he was so fed up with Facebook that he deleted his account this week after three years of using the service. “Every week there seems to be a new privacy update or change, and I just can’t keep up with it.”


This has been my attitude toward Facebook for, what feels like, years now. These latest problems, a Gizmodo rant I posted about the other day, and, quite honestly, the stories of others who share the same “can’t keep up” feelings as myself, are making me consider leaving Facebook. Or at the very least, emptying all of my content from them and no longer posting there. Thanks to Rohit Khare’s post over at TechCrunch today, I’ve learned that there are a few ways to leave Facebook.

I’m sick of this sheeple mentality from other folks who just roll with the tide and put up with anything just because something is convenient. Facebook is NOT convenient when every few months they move everything and change the ToS. Speaking of Facebook’s Terms of Service, did you know Facebook is trying to make violations of it’s ToS a crime??

I think I smell this week’s EFFYOU.

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