SIgn Of the Times: Calif. Privacy Protections Signed Into Law 41

The EFF reports a spot of bright news from California: Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act. CalECPA, says the organization, "protects Californians by requiring a warrant for digital records, including emails and texts, as well as a user's geographical location. These protections apply not only to your devices, but to online services that store your data. Only two other states have so far offered these protections: Maine and Utah." The ACLU provides a fact sheet (PDF) about what the bill entails, which says: SB 178 will ensure that, in most cases, the police must obtain a warrant from a judge before accessing a person's private information, including data from personal electronic devices, email, digital documents, text messages, and location information. The bill also includes thoughtful exceptions to ensure that law enforcement can continue to effectively and efficiently protect public safety in emergency situations. Notice and enforcement provisions in the bill provide proper transparency and judicial oversight to ensure that the law is followed.

Rookie Dongle Warns Parents When Their Kids Are Driving Too Fast ( 153

An anonymous reader writes: Dongle Apps, a Belgian tech company, has introduced a new system which alerts a car owner if the vehicle's driver is breaking the speed limit. Initially designed for parents and guardians to keep an eye on their young ones behind the wheel, the 'Rookie Dongle', connects to the vehicle's on-board diagnostics (OBD II) port, internal GPS and mobile technologies to push real-time data to the cloud and send notifications to car owners via email or text when the driver is speeding, suddenly accelerates, brakes hard or has high RPM levels.

Software Defined Smart Battery Arrays Extend Laptop Life 42

An anonymous reader writes: A Microsoft research paper, titled 'Software Defined Batteries', outlines a radical charging alternative which uses a smart battery system to keep consumer-grade gadgets going for much longer than the current norm, by monitoring user habits. Making use of existing technologies, the engineers place multiple battery control under the duties of the operating system to create a software-defined approach optimized for different scenarios, such as word processing, email or video streaming.

Google Lets Advertisers Target By (Anonymized) Customer Data 58

An anonymous reader writes: Google's new advertising product, called Customer Match, lets advertisers upload their customer and promotional email address lists into AdWords. The new targeting capability extends beyond search to include both YouTube Trueview ads and the newly launched native ads in Gmail. Customer Match marks the first time Google has allowed advertisers to target ads against customer-owned data in Adwords. Google matches the email addresses against those of signed-in users on Google. Individual addresses are hashed and are supposedly anonymized. Advertisers will be able to set bids and create ads specifically geared to audiences built from their email lists. This new functionality seems to make de-anonymization of google's supposedly proprietary customer data just a hop, skip and jump away. If you can specify the list of addresses that get served an ad, and the criteria like what search terms will trigger that ad, you can detect if and when your target searches for specific terms. For example, create an email list that contains your target and 100 invalid email addresses that no one uses (just in case google gets wise to single-entry email lists). Repeat as necessary for as many keywords and as many email addresses that you wish to monitor.

Ask Slashdot: Best Country For Secure Online Hosting? 112

An anonymous reader writes: I've recently discovered that my hosting company is sending all login credentials unencrypted, prompting me to change providers. Additionally, I'm finally being forced to put some of my personal media library (songs, photos, etc.) on-line for ready access (though for my personal consumption only) from multiple devices and locations... But I simply can't bring myself to trust any cloud-service provider. So while it's been partially asked before, it hasn't yet been answered: Which country has the best on-line personal privacy laws that would made it patently illegal for any actor, state, or otherwise, to access my information? And does anyone have a recommendation on which provider(s) are the best hosts for (legal) on-line storage there?

Office 2016 Proving Unstable With Apple's El Capitan 137

An anonymous reader writes: Users of Microsoft Office on the Mac are reporting widespread instabilities and conflicts after upgrading to the latest version of the Apple desktop operating system, El Capitan. The first indications that El Capitan and Office 2016 were not working well together came in a now epic thread at Microsoft Community. Many users have surmised that new restrictions in file permissions in El Capitan caused the problems initially, though nearly all agree that Office's Outlook email client is the critical point of failure in the current round of application crashes and loss of functionality.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Is Shipping 94

jones_supa writes: Microsoft's mail and calendar server package Exchange Server 2016 is being refreshed and is now out of preview, along with the 2016 revamp for other Office products. The new Exchange tries to simplify the software's architecture while still adding new features and working better with other Office products. You can now use links from Sharepoint 2016 and OneDrive for Business as email attachments, instead of having to upload the actual file, leading to more robust file sharing and editing. Add-ins have been introduced, which allows extensibility similar to extensions on a web browser. Microsoft is providing a 180-day trial for free.

Patreon Hacked, Personal Data Accessed 79

AmiMoJo writes: In a blog post Jake Conte, CEO and co-founder of Patreon, writes: "There was unauthorized access to registered names, email addresses, posts, and some shipping addresses. Additionally, some billing addresses that were added prior to 2014 were also accessed. We do not store full credit card numbers on our servers and no credit card numbers were compromised. Although accessed, all passwords, social security numbers and tax form information remain safely encrypted with a 2048-bit RSA key."

Rosetta's Comet Is Actually 2 Comets Stuck Together 45

astroengine writes: Scientists have solved the mystery of why the comet being studied by Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is shaped like a rubber duck — it started off as TWO separate comets, a new study shows. Ever since Rosetta sent back pictures of its twin-lobed target more than a year ago, scientists have debated whether the comet, known as 67P/Churyumov-Garasimenko, could be the result of two comets that merged together during the solar system's early years. The other option is that the so-called "neck region" between 67P's two lobes experienced some particularly active and still unexplained outgassing over the eons, eroding its more spherical shape into a body that resembles a rubber duck. "Our study rules out the possibility that the comet shape is the outcome of erosion," planetary scientist Matteo Massironi, with the University of Padova in Italy, wrote in an email to Discovery News. Rather, the neck region is where two independent bodies collided, analysis of high-resolution images taken by the orbiting Rosetta spacecraft shows.
The Internet

Government Finds New Emails Clinton Did Not Hand Over 348

PolygamousRanchKid writes with this Reuters report that The U.S. Defense Department has found an email chain that Hillary Clinton failed to turn over to the State Department despite her saying she had provided all work emails from her time as Secretary of State.The correspondence with General David Petraeus, who was commander of U.S. Central Command at the time, started shortly before she entered office and continued during her first days as the top U.S. diplomat in January and February of 2009. News of the previously undisclosed email thread only adds to a steady stream of revelations about the emails in the past six months, which have forced Clinton to revise her account of the setup which she first gave in March. Nearly a third of all Democrats and 58 percent of all voters think Clinton is lying about her handling of her emails, according to a Fox News poll released this week.

Clinton apologized this month for her email setup, saying it was unwise. But as recently as Sunday, she told CBS when asked about her emails that she provided 'all of them.' The emails with Petraeus also appear to contradict the claim by Clinton's campaign that she used a private BlackBerry email account for her first two months at the department before setting up her account in March 2009. This was the reason her campaign gave for not handing over any emails from those two months to the State Department. The Petraeus exchange shows she started using the account by January 2009, according to the State Department.

Legislation Requiring Tech Industry To Report Terrorist Activity Dropped 30

itwbennett writes: John Ribeiro reports that 'the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has dropped a provision that would have required Internet companies to report on vaguely-defined terrorist activity on their platforms.' The draft legislation, which was unanimously passed by the Committee in July, was widely derided by the tech industry for its technical difficulty and by users for invasion of privacy.
Your Rights Online

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Recover From Doxxing? 370

An anonymous reader writes: I've been doxxed on a popular forum, by one of the moderators no less. The forum owner doesn't care, the hosting company doesn't care. I'm getting bombarded by email and social media, even via GitHub. How does a person recover from this? I don't want to create a whole new identity or shut down all my web sites, social media etc. Can't really change my real name either, at least not without an incredible amount of hassle. The police don't care, and since the forum owner is on the other side of the world it's unlikely there could be any legal consequences, and even if they were they would probably only draw more attention to me. I've tried to clean up Google's search results about me. How do I fix this? What does a fix even look like?
United States

Obama Invites Texas Teen To White House After "Bomb" Clock Incident At School 657

The Grim Reefer writes: In a followup to this morning's story about the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb, President Obama has invited the teen to the White House via Twitter. The President tweeted: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great." The Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas sent an email to parents about the incident asking students to: "immediately report any suspicious items and / or suspicious behavior."

Followup: Library Board Unanimously Supports TOR Relay 95

Wrath0fb0b writes: Last week, the administrators of the Kilton Public Library in New Hampshire suspended a project to host a Tor relay after the DHS sent them an email asking them to reconsider. At a board meeting yesterday, the exit node was reinstated by unanimous vote. Board member Francis Oscadal said, "With any freedom there is risk. It came to me that I could vote in favor of the good ... or I could vote against the bad. I’d rather vote for the good because there is value to this." Deputy Police Chief Philip Roberts said, "We simply came in as law enforcement and said, 'These are the concerns.' We wanted to inform everyone so it was an educated decision by everyone involved." Deputy City Manager Paula Maville added, "This is about making an informed decision. Whatever you need to do, we’re here to support that."

What Congress' New Email-privacy Bill Means For Your Inbox 90

erier2003 writes: The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act has a simple and vital purpose: making it harder for the government to get your email, instant messages, and Facebook chats. It amends a decades-old law to require government agencies to get a warrant to access the contents of any email or other electronic record—no matter how old those communications are. Sen. Mike Lee, one of the bill's cosponsors, told the Daily Dot why it matters. "The bill adds a warrant requirement for communications that were previously considered so old as to be irrelevant to their participants and unworthy of privacy protections. Right now, emails and other electronic messages older than 180 days are considered to have been “abandoned” by the people who sent and received them. Law-enforcement agencies don't need to get a warrant to force a company like Google or Facebook to turn over those communications." The act also requires the government to notify people whose records it has acquired, though they can delay that notice for 90 or 180 days if they feel sending it will put somebody at risk.

First Library To Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Halts Project After DHS Email 130

An anonymous reader writes with an update to the news we discussed in July that a small library in New Hampshire would be used as a Tor exit relay. Shortly after the project went live, the local police department received an email from the Department of Homeland Security. The police then met with city officials and discussed all the ways criminals could make use of the relay. They ultimately decided to suspend the project, pending a vote of the library board of trustees on Sept. 15. DHS spokesman Shawn Neudauer said the agent was simply providing "visibility/situational awareness," and did not have any direct contact with the Lebanon police or library. "The use of a Tor browser is not, in [or] of itself, illegal and there are legitimate purposes for its use," Neudauer said, "However, the protections that Tor offers can be attractive to criminal enterprises or actors and HSI [Homeland Security Investigations] will continue to pursue those individuals who seek to use the anonymizing technology to further their illicit activity." ...Deputy City Manager Paula Maville said that when she learned about Tor at the meeting with the police and the librarians, she was concerned about the service’s association with criminal activities such as pornography and drug trafficking. "That is a concern from a public relations perspective and we wanted to get those concerns on the table," she said.
GNU is Not Unix

Interviews: RMS Answers Your Questions 246

The Free Software Foundation will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on Oct. 3rd. Recently, you had a chance to ask its founder Richard Stallman about GNU/Linux, free software, and other issues of public concern. Below you'll find his answers to your questions. Learn more about how you can join the FSF here, and help fight the good fight.
United States

John McAfee Pondering Presidential Bid 184

An anonymous reader writes: Since this U.S. presidential election cycle clearly isn't chaotic enough already, it seems John McAfee is now considering a campaign as well. Wired reports that McAfee hasn't decided for sure yet, and he's hoping to persuade somebody more charismatic to run with his backing. He said his advisors are pressing him to run, adding, "I have many thousands of emails saying please run for President. It's not something I would just choose to do on my own." What would his platform be? It actually sounds pretty simple: "It's clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyber science, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications." He'd be a strong proponent for privacy and autonomy. We should know in a few days whether McAfee is in or out — Wired says he "seems far more concerned with having his voice heard on one particular issue than with taking a seat in the Oval Office." Something seems to have changed his mind about politics: in a 2014 interview here, McAfee said. "I would never run for office, neither would I want to be in office, of any kind. I would rather drive a nail through my foot." According to the paperwork McAfee has filed, he is founding a new party (PDF).

Law Professor: Tech Companies Are Our Best Hope At Resisting Surveillance 115

An anonymous reader writes: Fusion has an op-ed where Ryan Calo, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Washington, argues Google, Apple, and Microsoft pushing back against government surveillance may be our only real hope for privacy. He writes: "Both Google and Yahoo have announced that they are working on end-to-end encryption in email. Facebook established its service on a Tor hidden services site, so that users can access the social network without being monitored by those with access to network traffic. Outside of product design, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft have sent their formidable legal teams to court to block or narrow requests for user information. Encryption tools have traditionally been unwieldy and difficult to use; massive companies turning their attention to better and simpler design, and use by default, could be a game changer. Privacy will no longer be accessible only to tech-savvy users, and it will mean that those who do use encryption will no longer stick out like sore thumbs, their rare use of hard-to-use tools making them a target."

US Government's Pirate Movie Bootlegger Gets 24 Months Probation 83

Solandri writes: Ricardo Taylor, a former supervisor at the U.S. Department of Labor, ran a bootleg DVD operation for seven years, copying DVDs and selling them to other employees via the Department's internal email system. You know — exactly the sort of thing our draconian copyright fines were meant to prevent. He made more than $19,000 from these pirated movie sales in 2013 alone. His punishment? 24 months probation. Apparently, using the Internet to share Copyrighted materials at no personal profit is a more serious crime than selling copyrighted works for profit on physical media. More details on this local NBC site with auto-playing video.