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Submission + - U.S. plans to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances (

concealment writes: "The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates."


Submission + - Dangerous: European Courts Considering Requiring Search Engine Filters Over Emba (

concealment writes: "That did not stop Mosley, however, who first used the recent "Leveson Inquiry" (a response to the later story of News of the World hacking into phone lines) to push for new rules requiring search engines to delete the photos from ever being found online. And thus began phase two of Mosley's response to the article: he went on a campaign against search engines, believing that if he could somehow force search engines to ignore the photos from that original story, the world might forget about it. Even though, in the Leveson hearing, Mosley admits that he was warned that by taking this issue to trial in the first place, it would renew interest in the issue, including putting such private information into official public court documents:"

Submission + - How Google Plans to Find the UnGoogleable (

concealment writes: "If Google is to achieve its stated mission to “organize the world's information and make it universally accessible,” says Wiley, it must find out about those hidden needs and learn how to serve them. And he says experience sampling—bugging people to share what they want to know right now, whether they took action on it or not—is the best way to do it. “Doing that on a mobile device is a relatively new technology, and it’s getting us better information that we really haven’t had in the past,” he says.

Wiley isn’t ready to share results from the study just yet, but this participant found plenty of examples of relatively small pieces of information that I’d never turn to Google for. For example, how long the line currently is in a local grocery store. Some offline activities, such as reading a novel, or cooking a meal, generated questions that I hadn’t turned to Google to answer—mainly due to the inconvenience of having to grab a computer or phone in order to sift through results."


Submission + - Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook posts (

concealment writes: "As India's financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were "due to fear, not due to respect." A friend of hers hit the "like" button.

For that, both women were arrested.

Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday."


Submission + - Why big data could sink Europe's "right to be forgotten" (

concealment writes: "Europe’s proposed ‘right to be forgotten’ has been the subject of intense debate, with many people arguing it’s simply not practical in the age of the internet for any data to be reliably expunged from history.

Well, add another voice to that mix. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has published its assessment of the proposals, and the tone is sceptical to say the least. And, interestingly, one of the biggest problems ENISA has found has to do with big data."


Submission + - Senate bill rewrite lets Feds read your e-mail without warrants ( 1

concealment writes: "A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge."


Submission + - How the SEC Almost Shut Down Wall Street (

concealment writes: "Computers owned by the Securities and Exchange Commission Trading and Markets division were brought by SEC staffers to a hacker convention. They contained unencrypted, step-by-step instructions to shut down our financial trading system. Essentially: A Hacker's Guide to our Financial Universe.

Sophisticated algorithms or complex malware were not required to crash the world's largest exchanges (and with them the world economy). No need for security clearance. A common thief could have hit the lottery with these babies."


Submission + - How RapidShare Plans To Avoid MegaUpload's Fate (

concealment writes: "On November 27, RapidShare will start putting a tight cap on outbound downloads for its free users. Paid members will still have 30 gigabytes in outbound downloads per day, but everybody else will be capped at one gigabyte. The change is expected to further deter pirates from using RapidShare to distribute copyright material on a large scale."

Submission + - Google loses Australia 'gangland' defamation lawsuit (

concealment writes: "A jury in Australia has found Google liable for damages after a complaint that its search results had linked a local man to gangland crime.

As a result of the attack Mr Trkulja said that entering his name into Google Images brought up images of other people beneath which his name appeared.

He said some of these figures were allegedly murderers and one a drug trafficker. In addition the caption "Melbourne Crime" appeared beneath several of the photos, including one of Mr Trkulja himself, which he had alleged might lead users to believe he was a criminal."


Submission + - Facebook tries cloaking probe into data leak involving 1 million accounts (

concealment writes: "Risk Assessment / Security & Hacktivism
Facebook tries cloaking probe into data leak involving 1 million accounts
Blogger who bought e-mail addresses for $5 told to keep discussions private.

by Dan Goodin — Oct 29 2012, 1:12pm CDT

        The Web


Facebook officials told a blogger to keep their discussions with him private as they investigate claims he acquired names and e-mail addresses belonging almost one million account holders for $5 through a publicly available service online.

"Oh and by the way, you are not allowed to disclose any part of this conversation," member's of Facebook's platform policy team said during a tape-recorded telephone conversation, according to a blog post published by Bogomil Shopov, who describes himself as a "community and technology geek" who lives in Prague, Czech Republic. "It is a secret that we are even having this conversation."

Shopov said Facebook officials set up the conversation after an earlier blog post claiming he purchased data for one million Facebook users online for just $5. The blogger said it was impossible for him to determine exactly how recent the data was, although several of the entries he checked contained accurate e-mail addresses for people he knew. In addition to containing names and e-mail addresses, the cache he purchased also contained profile IDs. In an e-mail to Ars, Shopov said he suspects the data came from a third-party developer."


Submission + - Deanonymizing You: I know who you are after 1 click online or a mobile call (

concealment writes: "Matching a user's mobility trace to their identity "can provide information about habits, interests and activities—or anomalies to them—which in turn may be exploited for illicit gain via theft, blackmail, or even physical violence," stated the research. It's worth a read to see how the researchers used Wi-Fi hotspots on a university campus, captured chats via instant messengers, as well as Bluetooth connectivity to show inter-user correlations. In these social network side channel attacks, they were able to strip out privacy and deanonymize users via their mobility traces with an accuracy of 80%. And this flyer claimed that the "proposed algorithms to quantify information released in location traces, using social networks as a side-channel, are within 90% of the optimal.""

Submission + - Pirate Bay Moves to The Cloud, Becomes Raid-Proof (

concealment writes: "The Pirate Bay has made an important change to its infrastructure. The world’s most famous BitTorrent site has switched its entire operation to the cloud. From now on The Pirate Bay will serve its users from several cloud hosting providers scattered around the world. The move will cut costs, ensure better uptime, and make the site virtually invulnerable to police raids — all while keeping user data secure."

Submission + - Can Google base ads on e-mails sent to Gmail accounts? (

concealment writes: "A new lawsuit targets Google for reading e-mails to target ads, according to TechCrunch. But the issue isn't that Google is reading e-mails from registered users; rather, the company is using e-mails sent from other services to Google users to target ads as well.

Google has gotten the side-eye a few times in the past for using e-mail content to serve context-based ads to its Gmail users. And for those Gmail users, Google's hide is covered: the terms of service explicitly state that users' e-mail content determines what ads they see."


Submission + - MPAA chief admits: SOPA and PIPA "are dead, they're not coming back." (

concealment writes: "Dodd sounded chastened, with a tone that was a far cry from the rhetoric the MPAA was putting out in January. "When SOPA-PIPA blew up, it was a transformative event," said Dodd. "There were eight million e-mails [to elected representatives] in two days." That caused senators to run away from the legislation. "People were dropping their names as co-sponsors within minutes, not hours," he said.

"These bills are dead, they're not coming back," said Dodd. "And they shouldn't." He said the MPAA isn't focused on getting similar legislation passed in the future, at the moment. "I think we're better served by sitting down [with the tech sector and SOPA opponents] and seeing what we agree on."

Still, Dodd did say that some of the reaction to SOPA and PIPA was "over the top"—specifically, the allegations of censorship, implied by the black bar over Google search logo or the complete shutdown of Wikipedia. "DNS filtering goes on every day on the Internet," said Dodd. "Obviously it needs to be done very carefully. But five million pages were taken off Google last year [for IP violations]. To Google's great credit, it recently changed its algorithm to a point where, when there are enough complaints about a site, it moves that site down on their page—which I applaud.""

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten