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Original author: 
Cyrus Farivar

The Washington Post

It’s worse than we thought.

Just one day after disclosing a secret court order between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, The Guardian and The Washington Post both published secret presentation slides revealing a previously undisclosed massive surveillance program called PRISM. The program has the capability to collect data “directly from the servers” of major American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo. (Dropbox is said to be “coming soon.”)

The newspapers describe the system as giving the National Security Agency and the FBI direct access to a huge number of online commercial services, capable of “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.”

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Original author: 
boesing

sha

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/04/telephone-calls-reco...

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Original author: 
Scott Gilbertson

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is deceptively simple — plug in a website and you can see copies of it over time.

What you don’t see is the massive amount of effort, data and storage necessary to capture and maintain those archives. Filmmaker Jonathan Minard’s documentary Internet Archive takes a behind the scenes look at how (and why) the Internet Archive’s efforts are preserving the web as we know it.

The interview with Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, especially offers a look at not just the idea behind the archive, but the actual servers that hold the 10 petabytes of archived websites, books, movies, music, and television broadcasts that the Internet Archive currently stores.

For more on the documentary, head over to Vimeo. You can learn more about the Internet Archive on the group’s website.

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Original author: 
Bryan Bishop

Htc_first_facebook_home_hands1_1020_verge_super_wide_large

Yesterday Facebook announced its newest mobile initiative, Facebook Home — and today the company has posted a lengthy set of answers in an attempt to address any privacy concerns potential users may have. Simply entitled "Answering Your Questions on Home and Privacy," the document ranges from whether users will have to continue to use Home once they install it — as shown yesterday, it can be turned off — to what information it collects.

Obviously, the company collects any Facebook-related information like likes or comments, but it also keeps track of what apps you have installed in Home's launcher. "We store this information in identifiable form for 90 days and use it to provide the service and improve how it works," the page...

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A more honest “Like” button. Image: Webmonkey.

Social sharing buttons — Facebook “Like” buttons and their ilk — are ubiquitous, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good idea.

Designers tend to hate them, calling them “Nascar” buttons since the can make your site look at little bit like a Nascar racing car — every available inch of car covered in advertising. Others think the buttons make you look desperate — please, please like/pin/tweet me — but there’s a much more serious problem with putting Facebook “Like” buttons or Pinterest “Pin It” buttons on your site: your visitors’ privacy.

When you load up your site with a host of sharing buttons you’re — unwittingly perhaps — enabling those companies to track your visitors, whether they use the buttons and their accompanying social networks or not.

There is, however, a slick solution available for those who’d like to offer visitors sharing buttons without allowing their site to be a vector for Facebook tracking. Security expert (and Wired contributor) Bruce Schneier recently switched his blog over to use Social Share Privacy, a jQuery plugin that allows you to add social buttons to your site, but keeps them disabled until visitors actively choose to share something.

With Social Share Privacy buttons are disabled by default. A user needs to first click to enable them, then click to use them. So there is a second (very small) step compared to what the typical buttons offer. In exchange for the minor inconvenience of a second click, your users won’t be tracked without their knowledge and consent. There’s even an option in the preferences to permanently enable the buttons for repeat visitors so they only need to jump through the click-twice hoop once.

The original Social Share Privacy plugin was created by the German website Heise Online, though what Schneier installed is Mathias Panzenböck’s fork, available on GitHub. The fork adds support for quite a few more services and is extensible if there’s something else you’d like to add.

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Today's video is an interview with the Corporate Alliance Director and the Chief Technology Officer of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a non-profit organization that claims it is "...the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community and resource, helping practitioners develop and advance their careers and organizations manage and protect their data." In other words, it's not the same as the much-beloved Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), but is -- as its name implies -- a group of people engaged in privacy protection as part of their work or whose work is about privacy full-time, which seems to be the case for more and more IT and Web people lately, what with HIPAA and other privacy-oriented regulations. This is a growing field, well worth learning more about.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Image: W3C

The W3C, the group that oversees web standards like HTML and CSS, recently held W3Conf, an annual conference for web developers. If, like me, you couldn’t make it this year, fear not, videos of all of the talks are now available online.

Among the highlights are Eric Meyer’s talk on Flexbox, and the future of sane layout tools — what Meyer calls “the Era of Intentional Layout.” Meyer’s talk is also notable for the reminder that, in Mosaic, styling a webpage was something users did, not page creators.

Another highly recommended talk is Lea Verou’s “Another 10 things you didn’t know about CSS.” The “Another” bit in the title refers to a talk Verou gave last year entitled “10 things you might not know about CSS 3.” Also be sure to read our recent interview with Verou for more on the W3C and web standards.

There are quite a few more videos available over on the W3Conf YouTube page, including Jacob Rossi’s talk on Pointer Events, which we linked to in yesterday’s Pointer Events coverage.

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Loophole4All, Paolo Cirio

How much would you pay for an offshore tax haven in the Cayman Islands? Without the slightest hint of irony, Paolo Cirio says he’ll sell you one for 99 cents.

Cirio isn't a troll — he's more what you might call an information performance artist. His works, like "Face to Facebook," which "stole" public profile pictures and then posted them onto a fake dating website, borrow heavily from the realm of PR sensationalism. And for good reason: like renowned culture-jamming provocateurs The Yes Men, his almost-plausible schemes, no matter how absurd or exaggerated, always seem to illuminate something critical about privacy, politics, and the way we look at data as it exists within different contexts.

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Facebook Android login screen (stock)

In the wake of growing debates over mobile privacy, the US Federal Trade Commission has urged mobile platform and app developers to make users aware of what personal information is being collected and how it's being used. In a new report, the FTC notes that mobile devices "facilitate unprecedented amounts of data collection," since they're virtually always turned on and carried with a single user. To stop information from being collected and spread without users' knowledge or consent, the FTC says platforms and developers should require agreement when sensitive information like geolocation is accessed, and that they should consider doing the same for less sensitive but still personal data like photos or contacts.

That last point is an...

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Girl, Computer, Thinking, Job Search, Browsing Internet, Student, Working

Today is Data Privacy Day, it seems.

It's a totally invented "holiday," but its spirit is one we can get behind – don't be an idiot with your information online.

There are a number of tips and tools you can use to ensure that your private data stays where it belongs. We've rounded up some of our favorites here.

Be smart about what you share in the first place.

Don't want random friends and strangers calling you? Don't put your phone number on Facebook.

Just exercise your common sense here – make sure you're comfortable with everyone knowing something before you share it online with someone.

Safe Shepherd will remove whatever data is already out there.

There are companies that collect and sell your personal information, like your age and address, and Safe Shepherd makes it a snap to connect with these companies and get your data removed.

We've previously reported on Safe Shepherd and you can learn more here.

Sgrouples is an extremely private social network.

Sgrouples pairs with Facebook and Twitter to keep your updates as private as you like. It's also a standalone social network all its own with completely intuitive privacy controls that make it easy to control who sees what as you post photos and updates.

We've previously reported on Sgrouples and you can learn more here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow SAI: Tools on Twitter and Facebook.

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