Email / Spam / Phone / Wireless / Messaging
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Feb 02, 2014 PSA: Missed Call From A Mystery Number? Be Careful.
QUOTE: But this is the first time I’ve seen them boil it down to a simple missed call. It plays on the ubiquity of smartphones, and that… no one really calls each other anymore....How To Avoid Gettin’ Scammed:
TechCrunch Jan 17, 2014 Obama Outlines Calibrated Curbs on Phone Spying
QUOTE: in a speech at the Justice Department that seemed more calculated to reassure audiences at home and abroad than to force radical change, Mr. Obama defended the need for the broad surveillance net assembled by the N.S.A. And he turned to Congress and the intelligence agencies themselves to work out the details of any changes.
New York Times Dec 16, 2013 Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records
QUOTE: A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.
New York Times Oct 29, 2013 Lawmakers propose USA Freedom Act to curb NSA’s powers
QUOTE: Dozens of lawmakers from both parties introduced legislation Tuesday to rein in the National Security Agency's spying powers. The USA Freedom Act, which has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate and more than 70 in the House, would end the agency's massive phone record collection program — one of the most controversial revelations from the leaks by Edward Snowden.
The Hill Oct 01, 2013 Google Accused of Wiretapping in Gmail Scans
QUOTE: Google, must defend itself against accusations that it is illegally wiretapping in the course of its everyday business — gathering data about Internet users and showing them related ads. The accusations, made over several years in various lawsuits that have been merged into two separate cases, ask whether Google went too far in collecting user data in Gmail and Street View, its mapping project.
New York Times Sep 26, 2013 Is Yahoo Doing Enough To Protect Sensitive Emails?
QUOTE: ...Yahoo announced that it would give away inactive email addresses and Yahoo IDs. They would only do so if the address had been inactive for at least a year. The idea was that Yahoo’s loyal users would be able to get more desirable email addresses....People began criticizing Yahoo’s move pretty much right after it was announced in early summer. Security experts warned of privacy and cybersafety issues that could arise from the initiative.
WebProNews Jul 28, 2013 Momentum Builds Against N.S.A. Surveillance
QUOTE: a plan to defund the National Security Agency’s telephone data collection program fell just seven votes short of passage. Now, after initially signaling that they were comfortable with the scope of the N.S.A.’s collection of Americans’ phone and Internet activities, but not their content, revealed last month by Edward J. Snowden, lawmakers are showing an increasing willingness to use legislation to curb those actions.
New York Times Jun 27, 2013 NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama
QUOTE: The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans...under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days"... The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.
Guardian Unlimited May 01, 2013 Cellphone Thefts Grow, but the Industry Looks the Other Way
QUOTE: new nationwide database for stolen cellphones, which tracks a phone’s unique identifying number to prevent it from being activated, theoretically discouraging thefts. But police officials say the database has not helped....Some law enforcement authorities, though, say there is a bigger issue — that carriers and handset makers have little incentive to fix the problem.
New York Times Mar 08, 2013 Skype's Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It
QUOTE: a conflict between Microsoft’s advocacy of privacy rights and its role in surveillance....When Internet users in China try to access Skype.com, they’re diverted to the TOM-Skype site. While the Chinese version bears the blue Skype logo—and provides services for online phone calls and text chats—it’s a modified version of the program found elsewhere in the world. The surveillance feature in TOM-Skype conducts the monitoring directly on a user’s computer...
BusinessWeek Nov 15, 2012 The Real Reason You Should Care About the Petraeus Affair: Privacy
QUOTE: Once you've opened an email or your Facebook account, you've provided your personal information to a third party. The government can then ask that third party—Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Friendster, or whatever—for your information, and they don't necessarily need a warrant. The Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. It doesn't stop third parties from sharing personal information you willingly give them.
Mother Jones Jul 19, 2012 It's legal: cops seize cell phone, impersonate owner: Court says sending texts using a seized iPhone doesn't violate privacy rights.
QUOTE: Mobile phones exist in a constitutional grey area. The law has well-developed doctrines protecting the privacy of our desktop computers, landline telephones, and filing cabinets. But modern cell phones perform all of these functions, and more. If the police are free to rummage through any cell phone that falls into their hands, every arrest would automatically give the police access to a treasure trove of private data that they would otherwise need a warrant, based on probable cause, to obtain.
Ars Technica Jul 13, 2012 That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker.
QUOTE: Thanks to the explosion of GPS technology and smartphone apps, these devices are also taking note of what we buy, where and when we buy it, how much money we have in the bank, whom we text and e-mail, what Web sites we visit, how and where we travel, what time we go to sleep and wake up — and more. Much of that data is shared with companies that use it to offer us services they think we want.
New York Times Mar 31, 2012 Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool
QUOTE: Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show. The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too...
New York Times Jan 25, 2012 Build Up Your Phone’s Defenses Against Hackers
QUOTE: Technology experts expect breached, infiltrated or otherwise compromised cellphones to be the scourge of 2012. The smartphone security company Lookout Inc. estimates that more than a million phones worldwide have already been affected.
New York Times Nov 30, 2011 Is your phone telling the carrier everything you do?
QUOTE: the XDA-Developer site noticed that a preinstalled mobile app, named CarrierIQ, was logging all smartphone activities with no way to opt out....Although consumers are buying smartphones — and assume they have ownership — are the handsets theirs to do with as they please, without the carriers or handset makers know what they’re doing?
GigaOM Nov 19, 2011 Document Trove Exposes Surveillance Methods (Censorship Inc.)
QUOTE: a retail market for surveillance tools has sprung up from "nearly zero" in 2001 to about $5 billion a year, said Jerry Lucas, president of TeleStrategies Inc., the show's operator. Critics say the market represents a new sort of arms trade supplying Western governments and repressive nations alike. "The Arab Spring countries all had more sophisticated surveillance capabilities than I would have guessed..."
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Oct 26, 2011 When Secrets Aren’t Safe With Journalists (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: operational computer security is still not taught in most journalism schools, and poor data security practices remain widespread in news organizations....Until journalists take their security obligations seriously, it will be safer to leak something to WikiLeaks — or groups like it — than to the mainstream press.
New York Times Oct 10, 2011 Secret Orders Target Email: WikiLeaks Backer's Information Sought
QUOTE: The court clashes in the WikiLeaks case provide a rare public window into the growing debate over a federal law that lets the government secretly obtain information from people's email and cellphones without a search warrant. Several court decisions have questioned whether the law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, violates the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Aug 19, 2011 Your Voice Mail May Be Even Less Secure Than You Thought
QUOTE: AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile do not require cellphone customers to use a password on their voice mail boxes, and plenty of people never bother to set one up. But if you don’t, people using a service colloquially known as caller ID spoofing could disguise their phone as yours and get access to your messages. This is possible because voice mail systems often grant access to callers who appear to be phoning from their own number.
New York Times Aug 11, 2011 Court: Clogging email and voicemail systems can be legal: Court ruling means it's OK for protesters to shut down a company's communication systems under certain circumstances
QUOTE: The ruling can be viewed a victory for free speech because it means people can continue to freely launch legitimate protest campaigns against business and politicians alike via email and phone calls. But it also means that groups with questionable aims can engage in similar practices under the guise of fighting for a greater good when, in fact, they're acting out of selfish interests.
InfoWorld Jul 07, 2011 Murdoch paper suffers new blow in hacking scandal
QUOTE: the latest blow to the British Sunday tabloid [News of the World--Ed.] that has been accused of illegally eavesdropping on the messages of murder and terror victims, celebrities and politicians. Prime Minister David Cameron Wednesday backed calls for an independent inquiry into the scandal
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 06, 2011 How Did News of the World Hack Victims' Cell Phones?
QUOTE: The alleged actions of the tabloid's cell phone-hacking employees may beggar belief, Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and CTO of mobile security firm Lookout, told PC Mag Wednesday. But their techniques for accessing other people's private mail boxes were probably very simple.
PC Magazine May 12, 2011 Why gadget makers wield a 'kill switch'
QUOTE: When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don't give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do we give that permission to software companies? Most popular smartphone operating systems and other electronic gadgets include what security researchers refer to as a kill switch. This capability enables the company that makes the operating software to send a command over the Web or wireless networks that alters or removes certain applications from devices.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 08, 2011 Suit Opens a Window Into Google
QUOTE: In the smartphone market....“Google has the same problem today that Microsoft had 20 years ago, when Windows started to take off in the personal computer market,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “It needs to maintain the integrity of its technology, and control it.”
New York Times Apr 25, 2011 Email users still running amok despite years of warnings: A survey shows that email remains a major source of corporate data leakage, as users continue to break the rules
QUOTE: Despite years of regulations, fines, corporate policies, and data leakage prevention tools, companies are still remarkably vulnerable when it comes to employees' inappropriate use of email.
InfoWorld Mar 21, 2011 Google says Gmail problems designed by Chinese government
QUOTE: "There is no technical issue on our side. We have checked extensively," said a Google spokesperson. "This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail…” The word "Jasmine" and terms relating to the anti-government protests in the Middle East can no longer be searched for on the country's microblogs. China has also responded by arresting activists, harassing foreign journalists and deploying large police forces to prevent unrest.
InfoWorld Mar 04, 2011 Hacked e-mails show Web is increasingly useful tool in dirty-tricks campaigns
QUOTE: But many experts say the shadowy political intelligence business has become larger and more sophisticated as corporations, trade groups and political parties increasingly turn to computer sleuths to monitor and, in some cases, harass their detractors. The work almost always goes undetected and has been made easier with the rise of computer networks and social media sites with relatively lax safeguards.
Washington Post Dec 21, 2010 F.C.C. Approves Net Rules and Braces for Fight (Media Decoder)
QUOTE: The new rules [approved by the FCC-- Ed.] are, at best, net semi-neutrality. They ban any outright blocking and any “unreasonable discrimination” of Web sites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers, but they afford more wiggle room to wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.
New York Times Dec 13, 2010 How spammers will poison your social network: Spammers wrecked e-mail, then they ruined search, and soon they'll go after your friends and family
QUOTE: your social graph is the next ripe target for shady marketers. As services increasingly enable you to search for things influenced by your social graph, spammer types will try to infiltrate your social group and sway the results. Here's how they'll do it:
InfoWorld Oct 27, 2010 Satisfied with Google's promise to restrain Street View, FTC drops privacy-breach probe
QUOTE: The federal government has ended an inquiry into a privacy breach involving Google's Street View service, satisfied with the company's pledge to stop gathering e-mail, passwords and other information from residential WiFi networks as it rolls through neighborhoods.
Washington Post Jun 25, 2010 Cellphone Charges, Rung Up by a Thief (The Haggler)
QUOTE: When a credit card company notices spending patterns way beyond a customer’s norm, it suspends the card until it’s sure the card is in the customer’s possession. Shouldn’t a cellphone company do the same?
New York Times Jun 22, 2010 Tips for Using Your Cellphone Abroad
QUOTE: one way to reduce the international bill, at least for travel to some countries: Call your mobile service provider ahead of time and temporarily change your phone plan.
New York Times Jun 18, 2010 Supreme Court rules on employer monitoring of cellphone, computer conversations
QUOTE: A hesitant Supreme Court waded cautiously into a question that arises daily in workplaces and offices across the country: whether employers have the right to look over the shoulders of workers who use company computers and cellphones for personal communication. In the first ruling of its kind, the justices said they do, as long as there is a "legitimate work-related purpose" to monitor them.
Washington Post Jun 09, 2010 Lies, damned lies, and technology hype
QUOTE: in this age of short attention spans, where stories flare up and die off on the Web in the matter of hours, it could well be a tactic. Get the headlines first, correct the mistakes later, hope nobody notices.
InfoWorld Jun 02, 2010 Thrifty Wi-Fi That Travels With You
QUOTE: The cost-cutting solution might be to create your own Wi-Fi hot spot, a cloud of Internet connectivity for wherever you go....There was no one solution that was best for all users in all situations.
New York Times Jun 01, 2010 Antiradiation Products With Some Science in Them
QUOTE: There is still no definitive evidence that electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices like cellphones and Wi-Fi networks is hazardous. But many companies are profiting from public concern about the issue, most by selling unscientific placebos, usually pendants or decals that do nothing to stop the radiation.
New York Times May 13, 2010 Recording Customer Service Calls to India
QUOTE: Last month, I wrote a Bucks post, “When and Why You Should Record Customer Service Calls,” with resources and guidelines for recording customer service calls....in this age of outsourcing, customer service representatives are often in other countries, like India or Ireland or a few other places. Which begs the question: What recording guidelines should one follow if the customer service representative is elsewhere?
New York Times May 02, 2010 Web’s Users Against Its Gatekeepers
QUOTE: With the majority of Internet traffic expected to shift to congestion-prone mobile networks, there is growing debate on both sides of the Atlantic about whether operators of the networks should be allowed to treat Web users differently, based on the users’ consumption.
New York Times Mar 31, 2010 Federal Judge Finds N.S.A. Wiretaps Were Illegal
QUOTE: A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush.
New York Times Mar 24, 2010 Mobs Are Born as Word Grows by Text Message
QUOTE: so-called flash mobs have taken a more aggressive and raucous turn [in Philadelphia] as hundreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property.
New York Times Mar 12, 2010 Apple’s Spat With Google Is Getting Personal
QUOTE: Google and Apple had worked together to bring Google’s search and mapping services to the iPhone...Mr. Jobs, Mr. Schmidt and their companies are now engaged in a gritty battle royale over the future and shape of mobile computing and cellphones, with implications that are reverberating across the digital landscape.
New York Times Mar 02, 2010 Fraudsters hone their attacks with spear phishing
QUOTE: The next generation of phishing messages, which is still prevalent today, strongly resembles legitimate messages from our banks, cable companies, online electronic payment services, and credit card companies. Everything in the emails looks legitimate, including the graphics that originate from the real company's Website.
InfoWorld Mar 01, 2010 Misdials help 'crammers' ring up millions in phone bill scam
QUOTE: sneak small, unauthorized fees onto thousands of monthly bills and hope the charges would go unnoticed, court documents state. The scheme, known as "cramming,"...
Washington Post Feb 13, 2010 Justice Dept. defends warrantless cell phone tracking
QUOTE: The FBI and other police agencies don't need to obtain a search warrant to learn the locations of Americans' cell phones, the U.S. Department of Justice told a federal appeals court in Philadelphia on Friday.
CNET Oct 21, 2009 Tweets from the jury box: jurors using Twitter jeopardize trials
QUOTE: in an age of citizen journalism and Web publishing, a growing number of jurors are tapping away at their BlackBerries and iPhones from the jury box and the deliberation room – potentially putting trial outcomes into jeopardy.
Christian Science Monitor Sep 27, 2009 Truckers Insist on Keeping Computers in the Cab: Driven to Distraction
QUOTE: The issues raised by truckers [on in-cab computers] show the challenges facing advocates for tougher distracted-driving laws, given that so many Americans have grown accustomed to talking and texting behind the wheel.
New York Times Jul 23, 2009 Hacker Says iPhone 3GS Encryption Is ‘Useless’ for Businesses (Gadget Lab: Hardware that Rocks Your World)
QUOTE: Apple claims that hundreds of thousands of iPhones are being used by corporations and government agencies. What it won’t tell you is that the supposedly enterprise-friendly encryption included with the iPhone 3GS is so weak it can be cracked in two minutes with a few pieces of readily available freeware.
Wired Jul 23, 2009 UAE cellular carrier rolls out spyware as a 3G "update"
QUOTE: ...Blackberry users in the United Arab Emirates have had a spyware package placed on their devices through the actions of their carrier...
Ars Technica Jul 09, 2009 Typing In an E-Mail Address, and Giving Up Your Friends’ as Well (Shortcuts)
QUOTE: this [Internet tactic] is generally called contact scraping. Once you enter your credentials, like your user name or password, the company sweeps through your contact list and sends everyone an invitation to join the site.
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