Internet defamation and the 'age of humiliation'

As many have argued, the internet etches an indelible tattoo upon the reputations of those whom people tag, ridicule and ‘out’ — be they cat women, dog poopers or just obnoxious celebrities. But this is probably nothing new:

All of us now live under the threat of easy and instant humiliation. It’s no longer just celebrities and business executives who need to think about aggressive reputation-protection and face-saving techniques.

“Human nature hasn’t changed,” says Jonathan Bernstein, a crisis consultant in Los Angeles. “There have always been people whose aim in life was to cause pain to others. If they saw people embarrassing themselves, they got pleasure in sharing that information. Before the Internet, they had to gossip with their neighbors. Now they can gossip with the world.”

Others argue that there has been a ratcheting up of meanness—that the changes in technology have made us nastier and more cynical. “It’s like a blood sport,” says Mr. Fink, who runs a crisis-management firm in Los Angeles. “It feels like everyone has their cellphone out, ready to take a photo that will hurt someone else.”

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 »

Facebook accidentally exposes members' dates of birth

During a public beta test of its new user interface, social networking website Facebook has accidentally exposed personal information — at this stage limited to the date of birth and age — of all its members.

According to Sophos, which created a YouTube video illustrating the flaw, as many as 80 million dates of birth have been disclosed, even of users who opted to keep it hidden. The flaw was probably caused by the new site template not adding the proper privacy hooks to the birthday field, causing it to be displayed regardless of a user’s privacy preferences.  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

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 »

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

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

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 »

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 What's News Technology, 10:44 AM

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 »

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