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ACLU Releases Cell Phone Tracking Documents From Some 200 Police Departments Nationwide

What we have learned is disturbing. While virtually all of the over 200 police departments that responded to our request said they track cell phones, only a tiny minority reported consistently obtaining a warrant and demonstrating probable cause to do so. While that result is of great concern, it also shows that a warrant requirement is a completely reasonable and workable policy. - ACLU

"People condemn targeted advertising for its “creepiness” but the real issue is that we are giving private companies more power."

- The Atlantic

"CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher"

- Wired

"#Pirate? Tracking modern buccaneers through Twitter"


Even lions need their privacy too. Here’s the latest video about lion that ate a security camera. In the mean time, here’s another lion chumping on a camera courtesy of Anton Seim and

"Six suspected leaders of the international hacking organization known as Anonymous were charged by U.S. authorities of computer crimes, dealing a major blow to the loose-knit group that has wreaked havoc on the websites of government agencies and major corporations."

- The Baltimore Sun/Reuters

Tor v. HTTPS and Eavesdroppers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation released an interactive infographic that allows you to see what data is visible to eavesdroppers when you’re using Tor and HTTPS. Click here to go to infographic.

"In retaliation for the arrest of twenty-five suspected members of the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous, the group briefly took down Interpol’s website on Tuesday."

- Homeland Security Newswire

"Twenty-five suspected members of the loose-knit Anonymous hacker movement have been arrested in a sweep across Europe and South America, Interpol, the global police agency, said on Tuesday."

- New York Times | Those arrested, who ranged in age between 17 and 40, are suspected of planning coordinated cyber-attacks against institutions including Colombia’s defense ministry and presidential Web sites, Chile’s Endesa electricity company and national library, and other targets.

A history of the increasingly correlated activities of Anonymous and Wikileaks

Wikileaks and Anonymous Collaborate to Expose Inner Workings of Private Intelligence Firm

Anonymous and Wikileaks started dumping thousands of over five million emails from a global intelligence company Stratfor, a self-ascribed “subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis.” Anonymous had obtained these emails during a hack in December and passed the data on to Wikileaks for publishing, according to Wired. 

According to Wikileaks’ press release, the emails reveal that the company has used bribery to gather information; has spied on activist groups in the interest of large corporations and that the company “cultivates close ties with US government agencies and employs former US government staff.”

Wikileaks said it’s partnering with 25 international media organizations who will release stories resulting from the leak in the coming weeks.

Anonymous told Wired that they formed this partnership with Wikileaks because Julian Assange’s organization had “great means to publish and disclose” and that “they work together with media in a way we don’t.”

The hacker group also told Wired that there could be more collaborations between the online activists in the future. 

In a public statement, the Texas-based company Stratfor said that, “some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either. “

A beautiful video by designer Mark Rigley on how much the cloud knows about us. 

Via Robert Krulwich’s science blog!

Here’s what you missed: Feb. 18 - Feb. 25 Headlines

The Atlantic: Who Do You Trust Less: The NSA or Anonymous?

Seattle Times: Google agrees to provide ‘do not track’ button on Web browsers

Wall Street Journal: FBI Turns Off Thousands of GPS Devices After Supreme Court Ruling

New York Times: Drones May Set Off a Flurry of Lawsuits

NPR: Online Privacy Act’s No. 1 Principle Is ‘Individual Control’

Baltimore Sun: Online privacy issues: Baltimore lawyers chase Facebook; Md. Attorney General challenges Google

Huffington Post: Online Privacy Fears Stoked By Google, Twitter, Facebook Data Collection Arms Race

Wired Magazine: DOJ Urges Supreme Court to Halt Challenge to Warrantless Eavesdropping

SmartPlanet: GPS shoes help track people suffering from Alzheimer’s

The Alarm that Keeps On Ringing

Online privacy Bill of Rights legislation is once again at the top of Congress’ agenda - thanks to the avalanche of privacy concerns over the last year.

The most recent cause of concern is, of course, Google, who had a double whammy: 1) announcement of its single privacy policy that will track your data across all its products 2) circumventing privacy protections on Safari and mobile devices (Score for Stanford’s Jonathan Mayer). WHAM! In fact, Google’s actions prompted 36 attorneys general to write a letter of concern, calling Google’s new privacy policy “troubling.”

While we can go on and on about who’s fretting and who’s filing injunctions and lawsuits, let’s skip over back to this online privacy bill, which the White House pushed out in the wake of the hoopla.

According to President Obama, “American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online. As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy. That’s why an online privacy Bill of Rights is so important.”

With the Consumer Privacy Bill, as detailed here, the White House asks for the following rights:

  • Individual Control:  Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data organizations collect from them and how they use it.
  • Transparency:  Consumers have a right to easily understandable information about privacy and security practices.
  • Respect for Context:  Consumers have a right to expect that organizations will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
  • Security:  Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
  • Access and Accuracy:  Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data are inaccurate.
  • Focused Collection:  Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
  • Accountability:  Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

Last year, similar legislation was introduced by Senators John Kerry and John McCain called the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights.