I’ve been hearing a lot about Tor these days (with a shoutout on House of Cards!), but I’m not entirely sure what it does or why I’d ever use it. What exactly does Tor do?
We’ve talked a lot about Tor over the years because it’s the easiest way to browse the web anonymously, but it’s not always clear why that matters or why you’d need to use it. Let’s take a look at what Tor does, who uses it, and perhaps most importantly, what Tor doesn’t do.
Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.
In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.
It’s no secret that apps like maps or local weather know your current location, and you’re probably cool with that because you want to use the handy services they provide in exchange. But chances are there are many other apps on your phone, anything from dictionaries to games, that are also geolocating your every move without your knowledge or permission. Now researchers are developing a new app to police these smartphone spies, by tracking which apps are secretly tracking you, and warning you about it.
Do you have an Android phone with Facebook installed? Like most people, I blindly clicked “accept” when prompted for new permissions on Facebook’s Android App update today (Jan 27). Something caught my eye, and after I cancelled the update, I look a screenshot. I figured maybe other people might be interested in what they agreed to earlier today if they updated:
The Facebook “Find Your Account” page is designed as service to help users recover the passwords or email addresses associated with their log in. The only problem: any user can enter information about any other user, and uncover potentially revealing information. Author Adam Tanner put the feature to the test for a story in Forbes,
Google Chrome users are no strangers to speech recognition software — heck, the internet browser has “Ok Google!” voice recognition built right into its URL navigation bar. But that recognition is triggered to “listen” only when you’ve opened a new tab or navigate to Google’s homepage, and the expectation is that the browser isn’t able to listen in otherwise. Not so, says speech recognition program developer Tal Ater, who discovered an exploit in Chrome’s speech recognition that enabled unscrupulous websites with speech recognition software to listen in when users aren’t expecting.
Most Facebook users know that they could take steps to protect their profiles from prying eyes, but they aren’t sure where to start. However, it’s easier than you might think. InformationWeek published a blog post this week detailing three simple steps Facebook users can take to immediately make an impact on their online privacy.
In what one expert on Internet privacy calls “a worst-case scenario,” a Massachusetts man was jailed for sending his ex-girlfriend (who had a restraining order against him) an email invitation to join Google+.
But Thomas Gagnon contends he didn’t send it; Google did, without his knowledge or consent.
When his ex-girlfriend received the invitation, according to the Salem News, she went to the police, complaining Gagnon had violated the restraining order by sending her the email. Police agreed and arrested him, the News reported. He was jailed then released on $500 bail.
Data collection is a fact. Whether or not you’re spooked by the NSA releases this year, data collection is a thing and it’s here. No matter where you are on the spectrum, you should be aware that you store data on the internet.
You should also know that no company is perfect, so it’s smart to take your data into your own hands when you can, and to know the fail points of the companies whose services you use.
As an entrepreneur, I like to control as much of my business as I can. Call me paranoid, a control freak, or whatever, but whenever you give up data in exchange for free services, you give up a limited amount of control as well. It’s a short-term trade off that has a long-term negative value.