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Tom Briant

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Articles from Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth

The next Steve Jobs might be in school detention right now

A new study shows that rebellious adolescent behavior is a positive indicator for success as an entrepreneur—as long as you’re a man, and you don’t get caught.




Obama's Apple Rescue

In June, the U.S. International Trade Commission banned the import of older iPhones and iPads, ruling that the devices infringed on one of Samsung's most basic patents, regarding the way cell phones connect to a network. On Friday, however, the Obama Administration came to Apple's rescue and vetoed the ban.

Had the Obama Administration not stepped in, the ban would have gone into effect this week.  The ban would have derailed Apple's current strategy of selling older models to compete with Samsung's cheaper line of phones.




The History Of Apple's Lobby Spending




Apple Gets Its Day in Courts

An update about two legal conflicts:  Apple vs. Samsung phone patents, and Apple's E-book price fixing trial.




Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.

I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen.

And we got a visit from the anti-terrorist forces.

if I’m going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I’m not doing it online.

I’m scared. And not of the right things.




It’s time Google came to grips with how it enables the surveillance state

Google, more than perhaps any other company, is aggressively putting sensors and the software to activate them into our environment.

1. Governments can listen in on just about anything…

2. … and if they can’t, they can always force companies to give it up

One reason Google and other internet companies periodically erase old data they have gathered about us is that they know that simply having that data around is a liability. If data exists, governments can compel internet companies to give it up. As Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt put it, when it comes to complying with national laws, however much Google doesn’t like it, “they have guns and we don’t.”

Is the simple act of recording ever more data morally defensible when there is always the possibility it can be mis-used for ever more intrusive surveillance?

US federal agencies want NSA data to help nab copyright violators

The primary defense of the necessity of the US National Security Agency’s broad spying powers ........ is that its activities are necessary to protect against terrorists and violent criminals. But ........ federal agencies with far more mundane mandates are unable to resist the lure of the NSA’s vast trove of data.

Such as copyright violators.




U.S. drug agents use secret NSA intercepts

A report cited at least one case where a DEA agent misled a prosecutor about the origins of an investigation, prompting the prosecutor to not file charges when he discovered the information came from a National Security Agency intercept.




NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls

Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications




On Friday, president Obama announced a plan to reform NSA surveillance.

The author of the editorial at the link below wrote:

"Don't expect much of anything to come out of it.  It's a dog and pony show designed to make people feel better as opposed to any solid measures as to how much data government collects on everyone."




How a simple three-digit number helps websites stick it to online censorship

Error 451 freedom of speech not found

Error 451 Unavailable for legal reasons




It's Getting Harder to Stay Anonymous, Facial Search Study Reveals

Technology is making it easier to find data about a person, without even needing the person's name.  With facial recognition search, personal information can be uncovered from just a photo.

Alessandro Acquisti took photos of random students on his college campus and then ran the photos through a free facial recognition program that sifted through Facebook profiles and other websites.  He was able to quickly identify many of the students and uncover their personal data, even including social security numbers in some cases.,-Facial-Sear.aspx




I've been reading some good things about a search engine called

Here's some info about it.

     So don't get tracked when searching.

     Use DuckDuckGo instead.



And here's another private search engine.

The people who run it say:

"Our company is based in The Netherlands, Europe."

"Given the strong protection of the Right to Privacy in Europe, European governments cannot just start forcing service providers like us to implement a blanket spying program on their users"

"When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google ourselves. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy."


Here are two articles about




Worried about the Mass Surveillance? How to Practice Safer Communication




US cloud computing firms worry Edward Snowden is wrecking their business, but the Patriot Act was already doing that




Cloud fears could drive new growth sector

Did you hear that the NSA tracks, reads, listens and records nearly everything you do on "the cloud"?

Of course you did, thanks to Edward Snowden.

I've seen many articles since then proclaiming the "Death of the Cloud".

But you have to "Flip It" once again. Is there any stopping the movement to the cloud?

Privacy is going to be a huge growth industry in coming years and will eventually provide us with some great alternative investment opportunities.




Hacking Roundup for Sunday August 5, 2013





Bad News: Hackers Are Coming for Your Tap Water

Trend Micro [a company that sells anti-virus software] set up the decoys to draw attention to the state of critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

Ten of the cyberattacks, including the Chinese attack, were deemed "critical"—meaning that, in a real-life scenario, a hacker could have altered or turned off a city's water supply -- or so Trend Micro says.




Lavabit, email service Snowden reportedly used, abruptly shuts down

Lavabit's founder and operator Ladar Levison wrote:

"Without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States."

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