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Privacy and Politics: The Hypocrisy of the Surveillance Statists

Privacy and Politics: The Hypocrisy of the Surveillance Statists

. by Thomas L. Knapp The New York Times reports that at least six members of the Trump administration used personal email accounts to discuss White House matters. Given president Donald Trump’s campaign and post-campaign harping (as the Times puts it) on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server and […]

Privacy: J. Edgar’s Not the Hoover You Need to Worry About Any More

Privacy: J. Edgar’s Not the Hoover You Need to Worry About Any More

. By Thomas L. Knapp Is your vacuum cleaner spying on you? Hamza Shaban of the Washington Post reports that iRobot, maker of the “autonomous” Roomba vacuum, may eventually sell the internal maps of your home the device builds to facilitate its work to the makers of other “smart home” devices. In the latest phase […]

Want Privacy? Washington Isn’t Where You’ll Find It.

Want Privacy? Washington Isn’t Where You’ll Find It.

. By Thomas L. Knapp On April 4, US president Donald Trump signed a bill repealing some of the previous administration’s rules on Internet Service Providers’ handling of user information. Privacy advocates raised Cain over the legislation, but let’s put it in perspective: The rules in question were only created last October and hadn’t even […]

The End of Privacy is on Sale, and We’re Buying

The End of Privacy is on Sale, and We’re Buying

, By Thomas L. Knapp Like it or not, these days the reason for the season seems to mostly be: Shopping. Even if you weren’t among the millions lining up outside brick and mortar establishments on “Black Friday,” you’ve probably got your eyes peeled for holiday deals on the web. The hottest bargains this year […]

Government & Technology: A Modest Proposal

Government & Technology: A Modest Proposal

By Thomas L. Knapp Twitter’s making it just a little bit harder for the US intelligence community to surveil your online activity.  As Kevin McCoy of USA Today reports, the company “told Dataminr, the business partner that sifts through and provides access to the full output of Twitter’s social media postings known as tweets, that […]

Strong Crypto: An Offer in Compromise for President Obama

. . By Thomas L. Knapp For months, US president Barack Obama played coy on the developing controversy over law enforcement bureaucrats’ demands that American tech innovators be required to build “back doors” into their products. That changed on March 11. In a talk at the Austin, Texas SXSW Interactive festival, Obama warned against “an […]

Google unveils simpler portal for users to delete data it has about them

Google unveils simpler portal for users to delete data it has about them

By Paresh Dave Unending scrutiny from regulators is keeping pressure on Google to get better about explaining how it tracks users and how they can tinker with privacy settings. On Monday, Google unveiled a website at privacy.google.com that answers questions more clearly than ever. In case you didn’t know, Google keeps a record of what […]

Canute’s Courtiers Condemn Consumer Crypto — Feds to end encrypted data?

Canute’s Courtiers Condemn Consumer Crypto — Feds to end encrypted data?

. . By Thomas L. Knapp In 1818, Jeremiah Chubb collected a reward of £100 (a fairly princely sum back then — depending on how the inflation is calculated, perhaps upward of half a million US dollars today) from the British government. After a major dockyard burglary, the government ran a competition to produce a […]

Brown vetoes numerous curbs on drone use; approves one

Brown vetoes numerous curbs on drone use; approves one

. Despite shooting down a series of bills intended to restrict the private use of drones in public airspace, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a fourth bill that restricted the use of drones around and above private property. “The law expands the state’s definition of invasion of privacy to include sending a drone over private property to make a recording or take […]

Drone bill shakes up CA startups

Drone bill shakes up CA startups
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