All posts tagged privacy


The company on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco against five of its most aggressive spam enablers.

The defendants include JL4 Web Solutions, based in the Philippines and referred to in the suit as “TweetAttacks.” Other defendants include Tennessee-based Skootle Corporation, referred to as “TweetAdder”; “TweetBuddy”; and the individuals James Lucero and Garland Harris.

The lawsuit takes aim at the people building spamming tools, such as software that latches on to trending topics and starts injecting irrelevant marketing messages into the mix.

[Read the whole article]


Arizona is faced with a dilemma: to possibly curb free speech or be left in a pre-digital age.

The state’s legislature has been under fire the past few weeks for a bi-partisan bill that would revise its telephone harassment and stalking laws, according to the Associated Press. The law was written before the influx of computers and smartphones, and updates would add this modern technology into existing legislation.

On one hand, advocates of this law say it would make it easier to criminalize perpetrators who stalk their victims online or with text messages; but, on the other hand, free speech advocates say the law’s language is too broad making any “annoying” or “offensive” comment made on the Internet illegal.

[Read the whole article here]


Visa, Mastercard and Discover have warned that credit card holders’ personal information could be at risk after a security breach.

The firms said there had been “no breach” of its own system, instead blaming a third party.

Security blog KrebsOnSecurity, which first reported the story, said industry sources believed more than 10 million cards may have been compromised.

Reports suggested the stolen details had been obtained in New York.

The Wall Street Journal quoted its own industry sources as saying card-processing firm Global Payments was the company that suffered the breach. Shares in the company fell by more than 9% on Friday.

Global Payments has not responded to requests for comment.

[Read the whole article here]


Thursday marked a victory for Google users who want more control over their personal data online.

Bloomberg reports that Google will join a host of other web companies that have pledged to enable a “do-not-track” button on a range of web browsers. This privacy option is intended to give users an active hand in the kinds of information companies like Google collect.

Do-not-track is similar to the Do Not Call registry, which lets people opt-out of telemarketing calls. When do-not-track track is activated a user’s browsing history can not be sent to third-parties or used to customize the ads they see to their search habits. However, Consumer Reports points out that if you search the web in Google’s Chrome browser while signed in to a Google account, your data will still be used for targeted ads — even if you’ve activated the do-not-track” button. The Wall Street Journal also notes that Facebook will still be able to track users’ Likes across the web.

[Read full article here]


California’s Office of the Attorney General has gotten agreements from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and Research In Motion to improve privacy protections on mobile apps.

Under the agreement, the companies will ask developers to include privacy policies in their apps so that users will be informed about the data that apps will access and what will be done with the data before they download the apps.

[Read full article here]


Thousands of people have taken part in co-ordinated protests across Europe in opposition to a controversial anti-piracy agreement.

Significant marches were held in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta).

Around 200 protesters gathered in central London outside the offices of rights holder representative groups.

Demonstrators argued that Acta will limit freedom of speech online.

However the agreement’s supporters insist it will not alter existing laws, and will instead provide protection for content creators in the face of increasing levels of online piracy.

The treaty has to date been signed by 22 EU members, including the UK, but has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament. A debate is due to take place in June.

[Read full article here]


Twitterers have a message: Tomorrow, turn off the tweets.

Users of the social media site are planning a Twitter boycott to protest the company’s new ability to censor tweets on a country-by-country basis.

Twitter announced Thursday that it can now block tweets, as well as individual accounts, from appearing to users in specific countries, and that it may use the feature to comply with governments’ request to censor information. Before, Twitter could only block tweets and accounts globally.

[read full article here]


In the United States, a massive Internet protest last week led by Wikipedia and Google drove congressional leaders to place controversial anti-piracy legislation on hold.

But in other parts of the world, another proposal to increase copyright enforcement is gaining momentum, despite protests from opponents concerned about Internet censorship.

On Thursday, the European Union and 22 of its member states signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA — a major step toward enforcement of the copyright treaty. Eight countries, including the United States, had signed the agreement this past fall.

[read full article here]