Your privacy in the news

December 2, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More

Here is some recent news I learned from links posted by Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Carrier IQ’s code is raising lots of questions:

“Consumers need to know that their safety and privacy are being protected by the companies they trust with their sensitive information,” Franken said Thursday.
“The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling. This news underscores the need for Congress to act swiftly to protect the location information and private, sensitive information of consumers. But right now, Carrier IQ has a lot of questions to answer.”

Amazon’s new browser, Silk, is raising concerns. (Senator Ed Markey is asking some good questions here):

Amazon told a Massachusetts congressman that the Silk browser in its Kindle Fire tablet doesn’t pose a privacy threat to consumers, but the lawmaker wasn’t ready to give the online retailer a pass.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the co-chairman of a congressional caucus on consumer privacy, on Tuesday released the retailer’s responses to questions he had put to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in October about Silk and the data it collected.

Markey wasn’t happy with Amazon’s answers.

“Amazon’s responses to my inquiries do not provide enough detail about how the company intends to use customer information, beyond acknowledging that the company uses this valuable information,” said Markey in a statement.

New outrageous bill invites government to snoop.

The bill would allow a broad swath of ISPs and other private entities to “use cybersecurity systems” to collect and share masses of user data with the government, other businesses, or “any other entity” so long as it’s for a vaguely-defined “cybersecurity purpose.” It would trump existing privacy statutes that strictly limit the interception and disclosure of your private communications data, as well as any other state or federal law that might get in the way. Indeed, the language may be broad enough to bless the covert use of spyware if done in “good faith” for a “cybersecurity purpose.”

EFF is an excellent source of new on the issues of privacy and censorship.  Here is an excerpt from the About page:

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people’s radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.


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Category: Censorship, Privacy, Spying

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Razorsedge says:

    I’ve often wanted to hear a law school moot court debate various phrasings of a 28th Amendment to US Constitution enumerating an explicit “citizen’s right to privacy”. Are corporations citizens as well as being persons?
    One way or another, this darkness got to give.

  2. Razorsedge says:

    Syria is using Blue Coat internet spying hardware filters, initially developed for corporate cybersecurity, to monitor political dissent.
    Blue Coat’s initial response was “duh, wut?”

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