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Privacy


ProPublica: You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi.

This article, written by Julia Angwin, was originally published by ProPublica on Feb. 11. The East German secret police, known as the Stasi, were an infamously intrusive secret police force. They amassed dossiers on about one quarter of the population of the country during the Communist regime. But their spycraft, while incredibly invasive, was also […]

Lawmaker Tries To Label Journalist As Thief In Order To Quiet NSA Reporting

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published the initial reports on the National Security Agency’s spy tactics, was accused by a top lawmaker on Tuesday of personally profiting from selling the information provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “For personal gain, he’s now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it…. A thief selling stolen material […]

Critics: Obama Likes His NSA, And He’s Keeping It

President Barack Obama’s announced changes to the National Security Agency Friday were dismissed by many privacy advocates, tech companies and politicians as do-nothing measures to preserve the surveillance state status quo. Instead of the strong renouncement of the National Security Agency’s intrusive spy tactics critics had hoped for, the President delivered a handful flaccid half […]

Report: NSA Bulk Data Collection Has Had No Real Impact On Terror Prevention

Report: NSA Bulk Data Collection Has Had No Real Impact On Terror Prevention

Based on an analysis of 225 al-Qaida-linked people charged with terrorism in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, a public policy nonprofit contends that the embattled National Security Agency’s bulk collection of digital communications data has done little to protect the Nation from terrorists.

Yikes! Yelp Critics Lose Anonymity

“Takes you to court if he doesn’t like your anonymous Yelp review. He will literally make a federal case out of it.” That was a review of Hadeed Carpet posted on Yelp today, in light of a ruling by the Virginia Court of Appeals confirming a lower court’s decision that Yelp must provide the names […]

15 Minutes Of Fame, Courtesy Of Google

The words “shared endorsement” sound fairly benign. But in fact, it’s a scheme cooked up by Google to feature users’ names, photos and profile information in advertising. The Google Terms of Service, under the heading “Your Content In Our Services,” state: If you have a Google Account, we may display your Profile name, Profile photo, […]

Facebook Sued For Storing, Sharing Private Message Data

Facebook Sued For Storing, Sharing Private Message Data

A lawsuit against social media giant Facebook alleges the company has been secretly capturing and storing the contents of users’ private messages in order to share that information with third parties to craft targeted advertising tailored to appeal to members’ most intimate tastes.

My… What Big Ears You Have, Disney!

A year ago, it might’ve been cool. What child doesn’t want to hear Mickey Mouse say “Happy birthday, Johnny!” without first having to be prompted by Mom and Dad. It’s the magic of Disney, after all. Only in today’s post-National Security Agency scandal world, it isn’t cool. In fact, it’s downright creepy. Disney plans to […]

Privacy

I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ (subscription required) in 1969. The following is an excerpt from the January 1996 issue in which I discussed the dangers of the growing surveillance state.

Privacy is directly linked to personal survival. You can’t survive, and you can’t be private while being totally dependent on the system. Since we can’t find another country, our goal is to survive with privacy right here under the nose of the government. Privacy and survival is a moral and legal right, and in fact, a duty to posterity. Our greatest challenge to privacy and survival is to escape the propaganda of government and its politicians. The amount of personal freedom that you have in the next few years in America will be in direct relationship to how sophisticated you become in techniques of privacy and survival.

A Plan For Broader Anti-Surveillance Action

This post, written by Cindy Cohn and Katitza Rodriguez and Parker Higgins, was originally published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Dec. 17. Last Monday, eight of the largest Internet companies took the unprecedented step of publicly calling for an end to bulk collection of communications data. Then on Tuesday, a coalition of over 550 […]

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