"2021 State of the Onion" will be online on November 17 and will be available for viewing on Tor's YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Posts tagged as “privacy”
Changes to Firefox's add-on policies that were announced on Wednesday, focus on privacy and security and will go into effect on December 1, 2021.
Google Chrome's new API, Idle Detection, knows when you've been sleeping, it knows when you're awake, and it knows if you've been bad or good.
For the seventh year in a row, the search engine that promises not to stalk your online moves puts its money where its mouth is, this year by donating $300,000 to organizations that work towards online privacy.
The search engine DuckDuckGo isn’t Google — in more ways than one. For starters, its whole premise is to not follow you around as you surf the web. It’s also not rich, so it doesn’t have gazillions of dollars to throw at whatever project strikes its fancy. However, the people who run the little search engine that can are very generous with what money they do have.
As they have for the last seven years, this year they’ve been busy handing out money again.
An unadorned search page that loads fast. Search results combined from a number of sources. No sponsored search results to get in the way of…
First it was the NSA, the FBI and every big city cop shop on the planet insisting we need legislation to force safe, secure and for their eyes only back doors in damn near every device on the planet, presumably including light switches, garbage disposals and dishwashers. Eventually they came to see that doors, hidden or not, are merely temptations for hackers to break on through, and just decided to go on the down low for a while so they could pull a sneak attack later when we least expect it, which is a favorite trick of government types.
There are plenty of reasons to be anticipating the arrival of GNU/Linux phones and tablets. Verizon Wireless has given us another.
On March 7, the FCC slapped a $1.35 million fine on Verizon in a privacy case, a move that’s being hailed as a victory by some privacy advocates. If so, it would seem to be a hollow victory. For starters, the fine is too low to be much of a deterrent against a company which last year had annual gross income of over $63 billion. But there is much more wrong with the agreement the carrier reached with the FCC than merely the price tag.
The case revolves around Verizon’s use of a supercookie — a cookie that uses a variety of techniques to make it nearly impossible to remove or disable — which the carrier began placing on its customers’ phones in 2012. The cookie gathered information that combined a person’s Internet history — whether through browsers or apps — with their unique customer information. The company ran afoul of the law because of the way it shared the information it gleaned with third parties.
Google is getting ready to migrate all Gmail users to Inbox, which should be something of a concern for those worried about privacy, but no one seems to be noticing. The current efforts seem to be directed at users of the Gmail mobile app, but it’s my guess that desktop users of Gmail will be getting be getting the same treatment soon.
Except for those using a free version of Android such as Replicant, and who install apps from free and open software sources such as F-Droid or Fossdroid, the protection of privacy on mobile devices, by design, is hopeless. Users have come to accept that most apps from Google’s store demand a whole slew of privileges whether they need them or not, and even when not being used, many apps happily go about the business of collecting and reporting everything they’re permitted to find out about us.
Free tech is about much more than free software. It’s more than just being able to see and modify code and deeper than the rivalry between proprietary and FOSS or Windows versus Linux. It’s not just about computers. Free tech is also about freedom and rights, and keeping our lifestyle from being destroyed by the misuse of technology.
Each day our news sites offer more evidence that this is happening. Collectively, we shrug and think there’s nothing to be done. This dragon is too huge to slay.
On Friday, Ars Technica and other sites reported that the town of Paradise Valley, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, is hiding license plate readers (LPRs) inside artificial cactuses. Ho-hum. The cameras aren’t very well hidden and there’s really nothing new here. LPR technology has been around for a while — cops love it because it makes their jobs easier — and other jurisdictions have been hiding them too.
Besides, the town is so inept that there can’t be much danger here. The town manager told a local TV station that the cameras weren’t active, although the local gendarmes had announced a few days earlier that the cameras had scored their first hit and that a motorist had been subjected to a traffic stop but not arrested. Another ho-hum. This would seem to be another case file from “The Dukes of Hazzard.”