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Facebook taken to court over privacy

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Facebook is being taken to court by the Belgian privacy commissioner over claims it tracks people across the web. The country’s Privacy Protection Commission (CPP) also accused Facebook of tracking the browsing habits of non-users, as well as its own members. The action follows criticism of Facebook by the same body in May. Facebook said it was surprised that the CPP had taken the “theatrical action” because it was due to meet the watchdog this week to discuss its concerns. The CPP said it took the decision because Facebook did not provide “satisfactory answers” to the questions it raised last ...

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The American police state has grown large enough

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We’ve been conditioned to believe all of this surveillance is “for our own good,” so many Americans have just accepted that as true Forget George Orwell’s “1984,” the prophetic 1940s novel that “predicted” pervasive government surveillance would eventually become the norm. Even Orwell could not have imagined just how widespread – and accepted, at least in some circles – such surveillance has become. The latest calls for camera installation – in the cockpits of commercial airliners and Amtrak trains, the latter in response to the recent derailment outside Philadelphia that is still being investigated – are a sign that they ...

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Hacked government records have shown up – on the Dark Web

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX10ZB5

“Whoever now holds OPM’s records possesses something like the Holy Grail from a [counter-intelligence] perspective.” – Former Counterintelligence Officer John Schindler Remember the 4.1 million records of government employees, past and present, the Chinese allegedly hacked and stole last week? Well, they’ve shown up on the Internet. Sort of. According to reports, the records are now emerging on the so-called “darkweb,” says a tech firm that monitors the private online network that is so often used by criminals, terrorists and creeps around the world. Credentials to log into the Office of Personnel Management are being offered just days after the ...

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NSA targeting of foreign hackers does not infringe on privacy

National Security Agency sign outside the NSA building in Washington, D.C.

By Walter Pincus – The Washington Post WASHINGTON — What better way to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Edward Snowden’s first leak about the National Security Agency’s operations than to have the latest story from his cache of stolen government documents create another misleading public understanding of an NSA program, this one aimed at catching foreign hackers. As with the initial Snowden-generated story about the NSA’s collection and storage of American telephone metadata (every call, date, time and duration) the newest story does not report any violation of law or misuse of the data that the NSA collected – only ...

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Privacy fight is far from over

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By San Jose Mercury News The Senate’s passage of the USA Freedom Act last week marks the first time since the Nixon administration that Congress chose to rein in a powerful intelligence agency such as the NSA. Ending the National Security Agency’s ability to collect data wholesale was a significant step toward reclaiming Americans’ privacy rights. But Congress is not close to restoring a presumption of privacy — or to rebuilding trust in digital communication, the foundation of the tech industry that drives the American economy. The cost to the tech industry as a result of NSA spying is estimated ...

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Privacy Protection and Security: We Can Have Both

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008.      REUTERS/Larry Downing      (UNITED STATES)

By Lanny Davis – The Hill We are again facing the fallacy of the false choice. Those who are concerned about protecting the privacy rights of Americans (including this writer) should not have to choose between protection of those rights and avoiding another 9/11 terrorist attack. The National Security Agency went too far when it established a program to collect the bulk metadata of all telephone calls made by Americans, on the thin reed that such collection was “relevant,” as that word was used in Section 215 of the Patriot Act, to finding and preventing terrorist acts in the U.S. ...

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Don’t look now but ‘1984’ has arrived

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With so much surveillance and digital treachery these days, two things are apparent: Our founding fathers suspected government could some day move to usurp our privacy rights, which explains the Fourth Amendment; and George Orwell may have been channeling them when he wrote his prophetic book It is almost a cliché anymore to compare the modern-day surveillance state with George Orwell’s prophetic classic tome, “1984.” Written in 1948, Orwell’s work of “fiction” essentially describes the world in which we currently live, especially his description of the myriad of ways the powers that be are using technology to monitor and track ...

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