Weblog Entries: Privacy

Congressman Voices Internet Privacy Concerns

Senator Brownback of Kansas, America yesterday introduced a bill which appears to address the privacy concerns voiced by many internet and P2P users over the RIAA's recent campaign against online music piracy.  Read more »

Gator isn't Spyware. No, Really.

Several weeks after Gator Corp filed an action in defamation against PC Pitstop, a prominent anti-spyware software provider, the parties settled out of court. Gator alleged that the defendant misrepresented their advertising plugin software for Internet Explorer as a form of malicious spyware.  Read more »

Cover Your Tracks: EFF Releases New Log Deletion Tool

San Francisco, CA — Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (‘EFF’) released logfinder, a software tool to help people reduce the unnecessary collection of personal information about computer users. Often computer network servers automatically log information about who has visited a website and when, or who has sent and received email. Such data tells a lot about users’ browsing and email habits and could be used in privacy-invasive ways.  Read more »

The Right Response to Employee Blogs

'Once upon a time, Web logs were benign: a person just sharing his idle, diary-like thoughts on the World Wide Web, a Haight-Ashbury of cyberspace. But nothing so simple and refreshingly naive lasts long, says attorney Michael P Maslanka. When an employee blogs a C-level executive's company, what's the response? There are two mind-sets: the first, opportunistic and business-based (let's learn, channel and leverage); the second, repressive and legalistic (let's regulate, squash and punish).'  Read more »

Critics Attack Internet Wiretapping Proposal

The federal courts may soon face the first round in a battle over the Justice Department's demand that federal wiretapping requirements be extended to Internet services. The Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others are weighing whether to challenge an FCC requirement that VoIP services accommodate the taps in their designs and applications. Critics say the FCC decision is based on a flawed interpretation of a 1994 law.

Originally by Law.com Legal Technology, 4:28 PM  Read more »

Web Privacy Not Respected by Online Retailers, Study Shows

CNET reports, ‘[i]t may not come as a surprise to many online shoppers, but a new study released this week shows that many major American companies misuse information they collect from consumers over the Web.’  Read more »

Vic Ombudsman granted phone tapping powers

The Federal Government has granted phone tapping powers to the Victorian Ombudsman.

Originally by ABC News: Politics, 11:46 PM

EFF Defends Right to Read Public Web Pages Without Getting Sued

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief this week in support of one of its previous court opponents, DirecTV, arguing that a federal appeals court should throw out a lawsuit against the company for accessing a public website.  Read more »

Human Rights Not Protected by Counter-Terror Laws: HREOC

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) president believes the Federal Government's counter-terrorism bill needs to be reconsidered because it does not have the same protections available under international human rights laws.

Originally by ABC News: Politics, 9:46 PM

Email Monitoring Law Changes in NSW and Victoria

In what was a significant week for privacy law, new email monitoring laws were introduced in NSW and foreshadowed in Victoria. Tim Dixon reports on the changes.

Originally by CCH Australia, 9:58 PM

Sony DRM is Spyware, say Computer Associates

According to this Associated Press article, the copy-protection software used by Sony on its consumer audio compact discs is secretly sending usage data from internet-connected computers when a disc is played:

The software transmits the name of the CD being played to an office of Sony’s music division in Cary, NC. The software also transmits the IP address of the listener’s computer, Computer Associates said, but not the name of the listener.  Read more »

Law Requires Italian Web Cafes to Record ID

'Armadni General writes "CNN is reporting that a new Italian law requires that all businesses offering public internet access, such as web cafes, to identify and record all customers. While supporters of this law trumpet its anti-terrorism potential, still others see no such advantage and bemoan this invasion of personal privacy.'  Read more »

Admissibility of Cellphone Tracking Evidence Being Tested

'stupefaction writes "The New York Times reports on recent successful court challenges to police use of cellphone tracking information in the course of an investigation. From the article:'  Read more »

Protecting Genetic Privacy

CCH Australia is running an article about impending federal privacy legislation that would protect genetic material from employers. In response to a recent report on genetic privacy, the law would prevent employers obtaining information about an employee's genetic disabilities without their consent.

Originally by CCH Australia, 2:37 PM

<em>Gilmore v Gonzales</em>: US Plaintiff Contests Compulsory Identifiation Checks

'Tech-boom multimillionaire John Gilmore cut an appropriately iconoclastic profile last week as the centerpiece of a notebook-wielding gaggle in front of the 9th Circuit. A star of the electronic privacy movement, Gilmore has been at the [centre] of an increasingly strange piece of litigation for the past three years since he sued the government, claiming that the requirement to show identification before boarding a plane is unconstitutional.'  Read more »

Attorney&ndash;General Announces National Privacy Review

The Australian Federal Government has announced a review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Attorney–General Philip Ruddock says the Australian Law Reform Commission will look at existing laws and practices across the country and consider changes in technology since the Act was introduced in 1988.  Read more »

Workplace Cybersnooping Law in Need of Reform, Say Analysts

Cybersnooping legislation regulates when it will be permissible for employers to monitor the electronic activities — such as email, web surfing and outbound data transmissions — of their employees. Currently, however, the regimes adopted among the states differ widely, making it all but impossible for national employers to confidently establish a uniform monitoring protocol:  Read more »

Google Ordered to Hand over Data

Well, Google is certainly making the headlines at the moment. This time, a federal United States judge stated that he intends to order Google to divulge user search and email records to the United States Justice Department. Fortunately for Google (and its users), the judge appears to have accepted Google’s request to confine the terms of the disclosure to only a small subset of the requested data.  Read more »

Court Challenges FCC on Web Wiretaps

A US appeals court challenged FCC rules making it easier for law-enforcement authorities to wiretap Internet phone calls.

Originally by WSJ.com: What's News Technology, 10:44 AM

Judges Challenge IP Wiretap Rules

WebHostingGuy writes to mention an MSNBC article on an appeals panel harshly challenging the Bush administration's wiretap policies. New rules from the FCC would make it easier for police and FBI agents to wiretap IP-based phone conversations. From the article: "At [one] point in the hearing, Edwards told the FCC's lawyer that his arguments were 'gobbledygook' and 'nonsense.' The court's decision was expected within several months.  Read more »

FCC Affirms VoIP Must Allow Snooping

MarsGov writes "The FCC released an order yesterday that requires all broadband providers and all "interconnected" VoIP providers to implement CALEA — in other words, law enforcement can snoop on your online conversations, both voice and text. While this is no surprise, it makes encryption for VoIP even more urgent."

Originally by CowboyNeal at Slashdot: Your Rights Online, 10:52 AM

Microsoft Is Pushing for Privacy?

Like a diaper in a swimming pool, Microsoft makes an impression at a privacy conference. This time, the company isn't collecting a Big Brother Award. Kevin Poulsen reports from the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Originally by Wired News: DAT's Entertainment, 10:54 AM

Bloggers Targeted by New Clauses in Employment Contracts

After a few corporate embarrassments caused by webloggers last year, certain companies look set to outlaw the practice — both at home and in the workplace. According to one recently-published book, an employer can do so by means of inserting new limiting provisions into employment contracts:  Read more »

Unconstitutional Eavesdropping

A United States judge has ordered its government to halt the National Security Agency's policy of domestic eavesdropping, holding that it violates the United States Constitution.

Originally by ABC News: Politics, 9:14 PM

2008 Cybersecurity Year in Review -- Part I: Data Security

It should come as no surprise that 2008 was an eventful year for online security pundits. Record instances of data breaches, identity theft, vulnerability disclosures and hotfixes were seen throughout the year. Both state and non-state actors were involved — on the public side, cyberwar in Georgia and alleged Chinese cyber-espionage; in the private sector, new low-level DNS exploits, SSL flaws and routing bugs were uncovered.

In a series of posts, I summarise the eight top cybersecurity issues for 2008 and their likely outcome in 2009, beginning with data security.

  • Data breaches up 69 per cent in 2008
    In July 2008, researchers at the Identity Theft Resource Centre reported 342 data breaches since January, up 69 per cent compared with 2007. Most breaches affected government or military entites, followed by education and business sectors.  Read more »