EFF’s Annual Report: Which Company is Protect Your Information from the Government

EFF In the United States we are supposed to have certain rights under the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

However in today’s world most of us don’t write letters and our “papers and effects” are online. They are on the social media sites we are members of and the websites we visit. So if the FBI comes knocking at the door of the ISP you use, your favorite search company or social media sites you visit and request they hand over your information to them. Will the company simply hand over the information or do they request a warrant.  Another words which company has your back and which company does not.   That is what the (EFF) Electronic Freedom Foundation investigated. This is the third year they have publish this report.   They took a look at 18 tech companies and looked into their terms of service, privacy policies, advocacy, and courtroom track records, to see how they stack up. They looked at the following 6 criteria

  • Requires a warrant for content
  • Tell users about government data request
  • Publishes transparency reports
  • Publishes law enforcement guidelines
  • Fights for users privacy rights in court
  • Fights for users privacy rights in Congress

 

Out of the 18 companies they investigated only two companies received all six stars, Twitter and Sonic.net. Two companies MySpace and Verizon received zero stars. A full chart is available at the EFF website along with a PDF explaining what they looked for and how they evaluated it. According to the EFF they have notice some progress over the three years they have been doing the report, more companies are now letting individual know when a government entity is requesting information about them. It is nice to see that some companies are doing their part to protect our information from the government. Hopefully next year more companies will have more stars

GNC-2011-10-17 #717 Mixing it Up!

Time to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting. Watch and see :) Lots of great commentary tonight. Times are a changing and it is going to be an amazing time to watch it all go down. I will be on the road for the next two weeks, will likely have guest hosts for the next two shows enjoy.

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Anonymous Plans November 5th Facebook Attack – Needs to be Stopped

The following message showed up on YouTube. I have transcribed:

Attention citizens of the world. We are anonymous. We wish to get your attention hoping you heed the warnings as follows. Your medium of communication that you all so dearly adore will be destroyed. If you are a willing activist, or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information, then join the cause and kill Facebook for the sake of your own privacy. Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so they can spy on people from all around the world.

Some of these so-called “White hot infosec” firms are working for a formatarian governments such as those of Egypt and Seria. Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your “Privacy” settings and deleting your account is impossible – even if you delete your account all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time.

Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more private is even a dilusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family. You cannot hide from the reality in which you – the people of the internet – live in facebook – is the opposite of the anti-sec cause.

You’re not safe from them nor any government.

One day you will look back on this and realize what we have done here is right. Think for a while and prepare for a day that will go down in history.
November 5th 2011. We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us.

Why Nov 5th, 2011?

Guy Fawkes Mask

Guy Fawkes Mask

This is Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates when Fawkes and others placed explosives under the British House of Lords in 1605. Fawkes is the mask Anonymous wears. Therefore, they chose this date to bring a social network down.

Joke or Reality?

That is tough to say. Anonymous is an established group, so the attempt can be taken a little more serious. Since we don’t know who makes up this group, it makes this harder to determine. For all we know, several of the members used to work for Facebook. Possibly even a programmer that might have created a secure back door to initiate this attack.

Bottom Line: This Needs to be Stopped!

This is a terrorist action and Anonymous should be treated as such. There is a famous term that most of us take to heart – We shall not succumb to terrorist threat. Violence does not beget violence.

If Facebook is doing what Anonymous says, then they need to be prosecuted in a court of law. No one group gets to decide their fate.

What will be next? Google+? Twitter? Your website?

Zero Tollerance – FBI Needs to Get Involved.

Think about it – You take down a giant in Facebook like that and it has a major economic effect. People build business around Facebook and with the site forcefully taken down like that, people can literally lose millions. Bringing in a new financial crisis to an already unstable economy.

We do not know how this organization will bring Facebook down – and that is the most important part. We assume that it’s going to be something like a DDoS or major virus. What if it’s a physical attack on their server farms or offices?

Remember: Guy Fawkes Organization used explosives to take down the British House of Lords.

This is not the way to do it. With these actions, Anonymous might find that they are protecting the one thing they want to bring down. A threat is a threat, whether a joke or not.

Facebook has many protocols in place to prevent such an attack. I would suggest, however, that Facebook change some policy and review their systems just to make sure there is no back door. Then make sure they have security in place on November 5th.

This is never something you should joke about. I hope they take Anonymous down. Period.

Egypt’s Crackdown of the Net and Mobile Services

The Internet Gives and the Internet Takes away is probably how I can sum up the situation in Egypt. What is crazy about the internet shutdown in Egypt was the absolute cut-off that has occurred. When drafting this 90% of Egypt is disconnected from the rest of the world.

Makes you want to make sure you hold on to some old school modems and hope that some ISP’s in other countries have services you can connect to with dial up have that list of ISPs handy. With the precedence the Egyptian Government has made in shutting down mobile and Internet service it really makes you think.

Not saying it could happen here in the United States, but if I was a doom and gloom type person these actions would make me want to hang on to some modems and keep a land line, things would have to get pretty bad for any government to shut down regular telephone service. Keep this in mind, if they are willing to kill the Internet I am sure it will not be long before they would kill international calling as well.

The only sure fire way to stay online would be to have a Satellite Internet connection connected to a service provider in another country.  I am sure what we see post shut down is going to shock us, as the digital age where everyone has a camera in their pocket is going to record everything that happened. The news is going to get out regardless but this crackdown is Egypt’s way of trying to prevent people from organizing.

Can you imagine this happening in America? People would be exercising their rights to carry and bear arms.

GNC-2010-03-05 #557 SXSW in my Cross Hairs!

Heavy into planning for SXSW the show goes on the road for about 20 days starting with Thursdays show. Lots of exciting things in the pipeline, we made a major announcement today over at blog.blubrry.com getting our podcast communities ready for the revolution / evolution of the website. Details to all of you as soon as I can put the word on the Street! iTunes appears to be updating pretty quickly as well. If you want to get in on the Swag offer get subscribed to the newsletter!

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FTC Kicks Off Operation Spam Zombies

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 35 government partners from more than 20 countries are targeting illegal spammers who take remote control of unwitting users’ computers to serve as spam transmission zombies. By hijacking home and business computers, spam can be routed through them, thereby hiding the true source of the spam and making the enforcement of antispam laws more difficult.

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