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privacy wars

privacy wars

Sell Hack Swears It Didn’t Mean to Steal LinkedIn’s Info

(Photo: LinkedIn Blog)

After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from LinkedIn, the programmers behind Sell Hack are apparently feeling contrite.

Sell Hack is a free browser plugin that enables users to access the email addresses of LinkedIn members to whom they aren’t connected – something even Premium LinkedIn users can’t do. LinkedIn was pretty peeved upon learning about Sell Hack. They issued a statement asking users who downloaded Sell Hack to delete it, and implying that such third-party programs could be used to sell information. Read More

privacy wars

Snowden Biographer Claims His Text Would ‘Self-Delete’ When He Wrote About NSA

Newly employed! (Photo: File)

The journalist Luke Harding’s book, The Snowden Files, came out earlier this month. But judging by Mr. Harding’s assertion that his words were somehow deleting themselves while he wrote about the NSA, it’s a wonder it came out at all.

While he was working on the book about Edward Snowden’s exploits, Mr. Harding writes in the Guardian, the sentences he wrote about the NSA would periodically garble or delete themselves. Read More

privacy wars

Gov’t Spied on 12,000+ User Accounts in Six Months, Google Says

Google has released Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) information requests for the first time thanks to a lawsuit filed last year, says Google’s blog.

“Under FISA, the government may apply for orders from a special FISA Court to require U.S. companies to hand over users’ personal information and the content of their communications,” the blog reads. “Although FISA was passed by elected representatives and is available for anyone to read, the way the law is used is typically kept secret.”

Per the data, the government made content requests to peek at 12,000 to 12,999 users or accounts during the peak period of July to December 2012. Those requests appeared to build in number since January 2009, with another one or two thousand being tacked on every six months. Read More

privacy wars

Here Are The Highlights Of Obama’s NSA Speech

A giant photo of Barack Obama so that everyone you work with will know you're reading something smart. (Photo: Getty)

President Barack Obama said, oh, 5,038 words this morning about security, privacy and the NSA. You could read the whole thing by clicking here, or check out the New York Times‘s analysis here. Or you could just read the highlights below, bulleted and accompanied by easily digestible Betabeat commentary.

Basically, you can kill, roast, skin and eat an entire pig — or just down some hot dogs. We think we know what your choice is going to be. Now grab a hold of your buns because there’s a whole lot of frankfurter coming your way. Read More

privacy wars

Obama Will Likely Request End to NSA Metadata Storage Today

Hey bud, cool Blackberry. (Photo: Getty)

President Barack Obama will suggest that maybe some other people should try and figure out how to tackle this pesky NSA matter today in a press conference at 11 a.m.

The President is going to call for an end to the National Security Agency’s ability to store Americans’ phone data, USA Today reports, and he’s going to ask Congress, the Justice Department and the intelligence community to decide who should be holding the records instead of the U.S. government. Read More

privacy wars

A Federal Judge Decided NSA Surveillance Is Legal So We Can All Chill Now

Holla. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Weirded out by the thought that the government could be listening to your mundane conversations about your day or — even worse — perusing your mundane sexts? Too bad. A federal judge has decided it’s legal, thereby dismissing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a written opinion that the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone records “represents the government’s counter-punch” to prevent terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reports. Read More