Tag Archive: Facebook


Defiant Apple, Facebook, other firms to inform public of govt surveillance requests

Published time: May 02, 2014 01:07
Edited time: May 02, 2014 06:42
Reuters / Eric Thayer

Reuters / Eric Thayer

The same technology companies that the US intelligence community has relied upon to disclose email records are now refusing to keep surveillance requests secret and informing customers when they are the subject of such requests.

In the nearly ten months since former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed extensive surveillance efforts on everyday Americans’ online activity, the companies that were forced to facilitate that surveillance have come under harsh public scrutiny.

The embarrassment ignited a series of comments from executives at Google and Facebook, among others, calling on the NSA and other agencies to either stop forcing them to provide the communications that customers trust them with, or allow them to be more transparent.

Now, according to a Thursday report in the Washington Post, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have updated their policies to routinely notify customers when law enforcement has requested information about them.

Yahoo enacted such a change in July, with the Post reporting Thursday that companies “have found that investigators often drop data demands to avoid having suspects learn of inquiries.”

 

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Apple, Facebook, others defy authorities, notify users of secret data demands

Major U.S. technology companies have largely ended the practice of quietly complying with investigators’ demands for e-mail records and other online data, saying that users have a right to know in advance when their information is targeted for government seizure.This increasingly defiant industry stand is giving some of the tens of thousands of Americans whose Internet data gets swept into criminal investigations each year the opportunity to fight in court to prevent disclosures. Prosecutors, however, warn that tech companies may undermine cases by tipping off criminals, giving them time to destroy vital electronic evidence before it can be gathered.

Graphic

How the NSA is infiltrating private networks

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

How the NSA is infiltrating private networks

Fueling the shift is the industry’s eagerness to distance itself from the government after last year’s disclosures about National Security Agency surveillance of online services. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all are updating their policies to expand routine notification of users about government data seizures, unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority, officials at all four companies said. Yahoo announced similar changes in July.As this position becomes uniform across the industry, U.S. tech companies will ignore the instructions stamped on the fronts of subpoenas urging them not to alert subjects about data requests, industry lawyers say. Companies that already routinely notify users have found that investigators often drop data demands to avoid having suspects learn of inquiries.

“It serves to chill the unbridled, cost-free collection of data,” said Albert Gidari Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie who represents several technology companies. “And I think that’s a good thing.”

The Justice Department disagrees, saying in a statement that new industry policies threaten investigations and put potential crime victims in greater peril.

“These risks of endangering life, risking destruction of evidence, or allowing suspects to flee or intimidate witnesses are not merely hypothetical, but unfortunately routine,” department spokesman Peter Carr said, citing a case in which early disclosure put at risk a cooperative witness in a case. He declined to offer details because the case was under seal.

The changing tech company policies do not affect data requests approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which are automatically kept secret by law. National security letters, which are administrative subpoenas issued by the FBI for national security investigations, also carry binding gag orders.

The government traditionally has notified people directly affected by searches and seizures — though often not immediately — when investigators entered a home or tapped a phone line. But that practice has not survived the transition into the digital world. Cellular carriers such as AT&T and Verizon typically do not tell customers when investigators collect their call data.

Many tech companies once followed a similar model of quietly cooperating with law enforcement. Courts, meanwhile, ruled that it was sufficient for the government to notify the providers of Internet services of data requests, rather than the affected customers.

Twitter, founded in 2006, became perhaps the first major tech company to routinely notify users when investigators collected data, yet few others followed at first. When the Electronic Frontier Foundation began issuing its influential “Who Has Your Back?” report in 2011 — rating companies on their privacy and transparency policies — Twitter was the only company to get a star under the category “Tell users about data demands.” Google, the next mostly highly rated, got half a star from the civil liberties group.

 

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Penny Eims

Dog News Examiner
Saved by good Samaritans
Via Facebook

April 29, 2014

On April 24, a 19-year-old man from Brasil posted a desperate ad on Craigslist pleading for someone to adopt his dog from an animal control facility in northern California – the ad read:

FREE DOBERMAN (san mateo) CA
PLEASE HELP MY DOG
my Doberman/pitbull has been captured by the aspca when she got away one night when I was on a trip unfortunetly they capture my 9 yr old boxer too (I love her to death)
I could only pay the fee for my boxer to get out witch is $90 (im paying for)
but my biggest concern is that since they have been there for a while tthey want to charge me $150 just for my Doberman and if we don’t nothing about it my 4-24-14 by 4:00 they will put her to sleep
I can’t afford to take both of them out so im posting this asking anyone out there if you want the Doberman for the impound fee of $150
but the final day would be at 4-24-14 at 4pm any later than that they will put her to sleep
the Doberman is less than a year old she doesn’t like cats but she is very sweet to kids, and other dogs please reply as soon as possible

Rescuers in the area saw the ad and they took it upon themselves to make sure that the dogs were not killed – several women went to Facebook with a plea for funds and within hours, enough money had been raised to spring the dogs from the animal control facility.

 

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Internet users told to change ALL passwords in security alert over ‘catastrophic’ Heartbleed bug

  • Online security breach is described as ‘catastrophic’
  • Alert is result of internet bug Heartbleed being uncovered
  • Heartbleed is able to bypass websites’ security measures to access passwords and personal information

By Rebecca Evans and Tania Steere

Internet users have been warned to change all their computer and phone passwords following what could be a ‘catastrophic’ security breach.

Major technology firms have urged the public to immediately update their online security.

The alert is the result of the discovery of an internet bug called ‘Heartbleed’, which is able to bypass computer security settings.

LastPass Heartbleed Checker warns if a website may be at risk. It also reveals websites that aren't affected

LastPass Heartbleed Checker warns if a website may be at risk. It also reveals websites that aren’t affected

 

HOW TO BEAT THE BUG

If a password is in any dictionary in any language then it will take just three minutes to crack, warned computer expert Tony McDowell.

The worst passwords are the likes of ‘password’, ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’, or your child’s name. Using the same password for every site can leave you even more vulnerable to hackers, he added.

His advice is to use a phrase rather than a word. For example, use ‘nameisabella’ rather than just ‘Isabella’ – and use a mixture of letters and numbers.

A password of ‘name!saBe1la’ would take a year to crack, said Mr McDowell, managing director of Encription Ltd.

‘Most hackers give up after 24 hours unless it is something they really want to gain access to,’ he added.

WHICH MAJOR SITES ARE AT RISK?

Potentially vulnerable sites:

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Google, Gmail, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, Santander

Safe sites:

Bing, Yahoo, Flickr, LastPass, DuckDuck Go, Natwest, GitHub

The tool is a guide to affected services; it is not a definitive list.

Sites listed as vulnerable may use unreported servers, meaning their status can’t be officially verified.

As a result, personal information such as passwords and credit card details has been accessible.

 

Read More Here

 

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Heartbleed test

 

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 photo facebook-nsaspying_zpsd164f9c0.png

Desert Rose Creations  (C)  2014

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Snowden Docs Expose How the NSA “Infects” Millions of Computers, Impersonates Facebook Server

democracynow democracynow

Guests

Ryan Gallagher, reporter for The Intercept.

New disclosures from Edward Snowden show the NSA is massively expanding its computer hacking worldwide. Software that automatically hacks into computers — known as malware “implants” — had previously been kept to just a few hundred targets. But the news website The Intercept reports that the NSA is spreading the software to millions of computers under an automated system codenamed “Turbine.” The Intercept has also revealed the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. We are joined by The Intercept reporter Ryan Gallagher.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to our last segment, the latest on leaks from Edward Snowden. TheIntercept.org reported last week the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process. The Intercept also revealed the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive.

Joining us now is Ryan Gallagher from The Intercept, co-wrote the piece, “[How] the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware.” Explain, Ryan.

RYAN GALLAGHER: Hi, Amy. Yeah, and the story we wrote last week, really, the key thing about it is the extent to which these techniques have really rapidly escalated in the last decade. And what we can see and what we reported was that, since about 2004, the National Security Agency has expanded the use of what it calls these “implants,” which are sort of malicious software implants within computers and computer networks, and even phone networks, to basically steal data from those systems. About 10 years ago, they had, they say, about a hundred and a hundred and—between a hundred and 150 of these implants, but within the last decade that expanded to an estimated 100,000, in some reports, and they’re building a system to be capable of deploying “millions,” in their own words, of these implants.

AMY GOODMAN: The revelation around the issue of Facebook has led Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to call President Obama on Wednesday and demand an explanation. He later wrote in a blog post, quote, “I’ve been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the US government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.”

RYAN GALLAGHER: Yeah, and Mark Zuckerberg was definitely very agitated, we think, about the report and seems to have got on the phone to Obama. And interestingly, the NSA later issued a—actually claimed that they hadn’t impersonated U.S. websites. However, their own documents actually say that they pretended to be the Facebook server for this particular surveillance technique, so their denial sort of doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny when compared with their own documents. And there’s a bit of sort of a—you know, there’s questions to be asked about that.

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Princess Louise dumped at construction site

February 22, 2014

Today, the pup who was dumped at a construction site in central California is known as “Princess Louise,” but yesterday, she was just another abandoned, unwanted cast-off of society.

Thanks to Facebook networking, this little princess has been saved.

The plea for help came on Friday afternoon with the following words issued to hundreds of people:

Puppy dumped at construction site, badly broken leg needs vet care asap. Person who found puppy at the site can not take dog home due to already taking 3 dogs that were dumped previously and is at max for household.

The response was swift…perfect strangers coordinated to pick up, meet and pass off – the rescue efforts necessary to save one precious soul’s life.

The latest update on “PL” reveals that she has been seen by a veterinarian and plans are in the works to guarantee a safe future:

Little PL will spend the night at the vet to watch her since she’s lethargic. The break is older, the leg is atrophied, growth plate is broken just above the knee, so there is nothing to reattach it to. amputation is a highly likely outcome. She also has a scratch on her eye that is going to be treated. BUT she will heal and go on to a forever home.

Anyone hoping to contribute to this little girl’s veterinary expenses can do so with the information below:

Donations can be called into Adobe Animal Hospital 4470 El Camino Real Los Altos, CA 94022 or call in 650-948-9661 under Carrie Colet “New dog” the name will be changed to Princess Louise.

If you would like to continue receiving the latest animal related news, tips and advice, please click the “Subscribe” icon which is located near the top, left portion of this column. It is free and anonymous to sign up.

Follow the National Dog News Examiner on Facebook and Twitter!

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Senior German shepherd at California animal control

12 yr old GSD

12 yr old GSDPetharbor.com

Petharbor.com

 
February 17, 2014

Growing old can be hard…aching muscles, tired bones and weary eyes can make everyday life difficult.

Aging dogs who enjoy the company of a loving guardian are able to enjoy their senior years with the help of good veterinary care, soft beds and comfortable surroundings.

Imagine, for a moment, a senior dog without those comforts…a dog who has nothing familiar to gaze upon, no loving voices to listen to and a lonely kennel run without a special, cozy bed.

Since Feb. 2, a 12-year-old German shepherd named “Dixie,” has been calling a kennel run at the Long Beach Animal Care Services facility in Calif., “home.”

The intake photo of Dixie shows a dog who is confused and afraid…her ears are back and her eyes are downcast and sad. Dixie is not with her family…she is not in her home.

For 15 days, Dixie has been without the people and the things, that she knows and loves.

Please take a moment to network on Dixie’s behalf:

  • Petharbor link here
  • ID#A515677
  • Age 12
  • (562) 570-7387
  • Facebook thread here
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Eight ball needs a home

Eight ball needs a homeVia Triumphant Tails FB Page
February 18, 2014

Since early January, a handsome, mature dog named “Eight ball,” has called the La Porte Animal Shelter in Texas, home.

The Newfoundland/Retriever mix has been behind bars since Jan. 3, and to date, he has had no one who has expressed any interest in giving him a home.

Triumphant Tails, Inc., is hoping that they can help facilitate an adoption for this friendly boy – and soon. On Tuesday, the following information was shared on their Facebook page:

Not one inquiry has come in for this poor guy. Space is limited at this small facility and time is NOT on his side. Due to the length of his stay, he will be at the top of the list when there are no kennels remaining. By the Grace of God, we have been able to move many other dogs out of there to buy Eight Ball more time – but it’s time for Eight Ball to leave now, too. He is much too large to spend his days in a small, confined space. He’s not happy there.

Eight Ball is described as gentle and very friendly – he gets along with other dogs who are not confrontational. Please take a moment to help this older boy find a family, before he is lost forever.

Contact information:

Facebook thread here

Phone: 281-842-3700 or Inquiries@TriumphantTails.net

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Suzy

February 17, 2014

On February 7, a gentle senior found herself in an unfamiliar kennel run at the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control facility in Baldwin Park, Calif.

The nine-year-old dog, named “Suzy,” lost her home after her guardian died.

United Hope for Animals shared the following words about this homeless older girl:

Suzy is a tranquil, low-energy lady who has clearly been a cherished pet up until now. She is a darling, loving lap dog whose favorite place is in your arms!

Suzy has been alone at the facility for ten days now. Please take a moment to network her information – without the assistance of her beloved guardian, she is in need of a helping hand from strangers.

Information:

  • Petharbor link here
  • ID#A4674512
  • (626) 962-3577
  • Facebook thread
  • 17 pounds
  • Jack Russell terrier mix

Watch Video Here

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Mercury the Kitten Has No Front Legs But Gets Around Like a Pro

An weed-whacker accident left him a double amputee at four days old, but youth saved him.

 |  Feb 3rd 2014  |  


 

 

So, look, I’m kinda short. I’m not even five feet tall. When I want to get my favorite top-shelf beer at the market, I have to ask for help, and then folks look at me as if I’m not old enough to buy it. I always have to get my “petite” length jeans tailored, even in five-inch heels I’m barely average height, and when stepping down from the bus I have to leap from the last step to the curb. 

Sometimes it’s a pain in the butt, but I remind myself that I’m very lucky to have everything in functioning order — even if it’s in a smaller scale. There are animal friends like Mercury out there (he’s missing both his front legs and all but one toe on one of his hind legs) who make living in a world not designed for them look like a piece of cake.

 

Mercury has no trouble being sassy.

 

No one can beat his T. Rex impression.

Mercury’s injuries occurred when he was a mere four days old. He’d been accidentally hit with a weed whacker. Rather than put the kitten down, the veterinarian who tended to Mercury’s injuries referred the kitten to his current human friends, who have experience working with bottle babies.

 

He can still pounce with the best of them.

 

It’s like he doesn’t even know he’s missing limbs!

 
 
 
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Raising Mercury  is on Facebook.

To connect with Raising Mercury, sign up for Facebook today.

Cover Photo
Raising Mercury

Raising Mercury

6,832 likes · 5,214 talking about this
Community
Mercury was found at a little over 5 ounces, with his eyes still shut, missing both front legs and all but one toe on one of his back legs. We brought him in to bottle feed, and this is his journey.
 
 
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S.C.G. News

Posted by S.C.G. February 12, 2014

Rather than grovel and beg for the U.S. government to respect our privacy, these innovators have taken matters into their own hands, and their work may change the playing field completely.

People used to assume that the United States government was held in check by the constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and which demands due process in criminal investigations, but such illusions have evaporated in recent years. It turns out that the NSA considers itself above the law in every respect and feels entitled to spy on anyone anywhere in the world without warrants, and without any real oversight. Understandably these revelations shocked the average citizen who had been conditioned to take the government’s word at face value, and the backlash has been considerable. The recent “Today We Fight Back” campaign to protest the NSA’s surveillance practices shows that public sentiment is in the right place. Whether these kinds of petitions and protests will have any real impact on how the U.S. government operates is questionable (to say the least), however some very smart people have decided not to wait around and find out. Instead they’re focusing on making the NSA’s job impossible. In the process they may fundamentally alter the way the internet operates.

1

Decentralized Social Media – Vole.cc

Anyone who was paying attention at all over the past several years knows that many of the top social media websites Facebook and Google have cooperated with the NSA’s surveillance program under PRISM, handing over the personal information that they’ve been hoarding over the years. Many of us have grown to despise these companies but continue to use their services due to the fact that no real competitors have presented themselves. Yes there are a few sites oriented towards the anti-government niche but nothing that has the potential of opening up the kind of reach that’s possible on Facebook or Google plus. The underlying problem here is that the server technology to run a site even a fraction of the size of Facebook is highly expensive, and to build and maintain a code base that can handle millions of users requires a full time team of highly skilled programmers. What this means is that anyone who wants to launch a real competitor to these sites would have needed to be well funded and have a sustainable business model. But what if someone came up with a system that removed the need for massive centralized servers? That’s just what vole.cc is working to accomplish. Vole.cc is a decentralized social media system in development based on bittorrent and Ember.js which completely cuts the server out of the equation and allows users to build social media networks without exposing their personal information to “authorities” or data mining companies.

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Getsync Decentralized and Encrypted File Sharing – A Dropbox Alternative

With the revelations that data in Apple’s iCloud was available to the NSA as part of PRISM it has become clear that any centralized file sharing service is vulnerable, and any information that you upload to services like dropbox may end up being inspected by government agents. The folks at Bittorrent didn’t like that idea, so they decided to build a viable alternative, one that doesn’t depend on a centralized server at all and encrypts your data to make it difficult if not impossible to open without your permission. The service claims to already have amassed over 2 million users. Interestingly the vole.cc social media project uses Getsync to manage the social media data on your computer.

 

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Decentralized & Encrypted Communications – Bittorrent Chat

Don’t like the fact that the NSA has been rummaging through your skype chats, emails and other instant messaging services? Well if you were a bit tech savvy you might have opted to set up your own mumble server or IRC channel, but this route will likely never be approachable for the average citizen and the reliance on a centralized server brings security vulnerabilities. However work is currently underway on a protocol that will completely remove the need for a centralized server and cut the NSA out of the loop entirely.

 

Read More Here

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