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Privacy / News Briefs

Website Monitoring Practices Taking Advantage of Critical Loopholes in Privacy Protection

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information have released a report raising concern over website monitoring practices which appear to be taking advantage of critical loopholes in privacy protection. According to the study, most popular websites in the United States "all share data with their corporate affiliates and allow third parties to collect information directly by using tracking beacons known as 'Web bugs' -- despite the sites' claims that they don't share user data with third parties." more

C-SPAN Interview: Internet and Cybersecurity

C-SPAN interviews professor Gene Spafford from Purdue University on the topic of cybersecurity and how the current Internet is a conduit for all types of "cybercrime". He also talks about the much discussed article "A New Internet?" by John Markoff in the February 14, 2009, New York Times in which he was quoted. The piece argued for a new type of Internet that is more secure with the trade-off of users giving up more of their anonymity. Professor Spafford talks about alternative solutions and he responded to questions via telephone calls and email. more

TV Warehousing: Comcast’s 500-Terabyte Storage Development for Advanced Advertising

Comcast has sketched out plans for a gigantic database called "TV Warehouse," able to store a full year of statistics gathered from digital set-tops in more than 16 million households nationwide, according to an industry executive familiar with the project. TV Warehouse, envisioned as having a massive 500 Terabytes of storage, would then feed up to a database even broader in scope operated by Canoe Ventures, the advanced-advertising venture formed by Comcast and five other large MSOs. more

Government Net censorship Plan Facing Backlash in Australia

As opposition grows against the Government's controversial plan to censor the internet, the head of one of Australia's largest ISPs has labeled the Communications Minister the worst we've had in the past 15 years. Despite significant opposition from internet providers, consumers, engineers, network administrators and online rights activists, the Government is pressing ahead with its election promise of protecting people from unwanted material, this week calling for expressions of interests from ISPs keen to participate in live trials of the proposed internet filtering system. Michael Malone, head of iiNet, Australia's largest ISP, said he would sign up to be involved in the "ridiculous" trials, just to show how impractical it is. more

Investigation Reveals Massive Security and Privacy Breaches Affecting Chinese Version of Skype

Canadian human-rights activists and computer security researchers have released a report on the extensive surveillance system in China that monitors and archives text conversations that include politically charged words. The research group, called Information Warfare Monitor, is a joint project of The SecDev Group, and the Citizen Lab, at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto. The following are introductory excerpts from the study... more

EFF Says Stop Illegal Surveillance; Sues NSA, President Bush, and Vice President Cheney

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies today on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the alleged illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. The five individual plaintiffs are also suing President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other individuals who have ordered or participated in the domestic surveillance. more