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Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

Submission + - EU Data Regulations Will Disrupt Online Advertising Business Model

Presto Vivace writes: New EU Data Regulations Will 'Rip Global Digital Ecosystem Apart'

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) doesn't come into force until May 2018, but when it does it will have a profound effect on businesses. The regulation will apply to data about every one of the EU's 500 million citizens, wherever in the world it is processed or stored. ... ... Put simply, targeting and tracking companies will need to get user consent somehow. Everything that invisibly follows a user across the internet will, from May 2018, have to pop up and make itself known in order to seek express permission from individuals.

Submission + - Social media is not your friend

Presto Vivace writes: Of 8 Tech Companies, Only Twitter Says It Would Refuse to Help Build Muslim Registry for Trump

The Intercept contacted nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Donald Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no.

Submission + - SPAM: Audit the ballots

Presto Vivace writes: Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots

The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence—paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.

Submission + - Google on the Trump Transition Team

Presto Vivace writes: Google is among the many major corporations whose surrogates are getting key roles on Donald Trump’s transition team.

Joshua Wright has been put in charge of transition efforts at the influential Federal Trade Commission after pulling off the rare revolving-door quadruple-play, moving from Google-supported academic work to government – as an FTC commissioner – back to the Google gravy train and now back to the government. ... The Intercept has documented how Wright, as a law professor at George Mason University, received Google funding for at least four academic papers, all of which supported Google’s position that it did not violate antitrust laws when it favored its own sites in search engine requests and restricted advertisers from running ads on competitors. George Mason received $762,000 in funding from Google from 2011 to 2013.

Submission + - How Republicans can make the net neutrality rules go away 1

Presto Vivace writes: Republican FCC or Congress could get rid of Title II and net neutrality rules.

But once the FCC is in Republican hands, the agency will have multiple options for taking the rules off the books. One is “forbearance.” Wheeler used the legal tool of forbearance to avoid applying the strictest types of Title II regulation (such as rate regulation and tariff requirements) to consumer Internet service providers. ... Basically, forbearance is a way for the FCC to enforce some parts of a statute but not others. Republicans could decide to forbear from the parts of Title II that were used to impose net neutrality rules, eliminating them without reversing the Title II reclassification. A Republican-led FCC could also reclassify ISPs again, removing Title II from the residential and mobile broadband markets entirely.

Submission + - From NIST: Public Draft - Cybersecurity Framework Manufacturing Profile

Presto Vivace writes: From the NIST email:

A draft manufacturing implementation of the Cybersecurity Framework, or Profile, has been developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish a roadmap for reducing cybersecurity risk for manufacturers. The Profile focuses on how cybersecurity can support typical manufacturing business objectives and is aligned with industry best practices, including NIST Special Publication 800-82 Guide to Industrial Control System Security . The Manufacturing Profile can be used by organizations to express desired state, as well as assess current state. It provides a voluntary, risk-based approach for managing cybersecurity activities and reducing cyber risk to manufacturing systems. The Manufacturing Profile is meant to enhance but not replace current cybersecurity standards and industry guidelines used by manufacturers.

Cybersecurity Framework Manufacturing Profile (PDF)

Please send you questions and comments, including reviews of the Manufacturing Profile, to NIST at csf_manufacturing_profile@nist.gov .

Public comment period: September 7 through November 4, 2016

Submission + - Weapons of Math destruction

Presto Vivace writes: Welcome to the Black Box

So much of the discussion about the potential harms of surveillance and data collection are unfocused, and often when you’re in one of those conversations you end up with nothing more than a vague notion that that someday, maybe, bad things will happen. But destructive algorithms — “weapons of math destruction” — already exist and are already harming us. ... I designate “weapon of math destruction” as algorithms with three primary characteristics — they’re widespread, mysterious, and destructive. Widespread because I only care about algorithms that affect a lot of people and have important consequences for those people. So if the algorithm decides whether someone gets a job, or goes to jail for longer, or gets a loan, or votes, then it’s a big deal. ... I call WMDs mysterious because the algorithms I worry about are secret. They come from hidden formulas owned by private companies and organizations and are guarded as valuable “secret sauce.” That means the people targeted by their scoring systems are unaware of how their scores are computed, and they’re often even unaware that they are being scored in the first place.

Submission + - Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines

Presto Vivace writes: Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections

"Canadians have until October 7, 2016 to provide their feedback to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which is studying the possibility of national online voting, along with having consultations about using electronic voting machines in national elections."

Please Canada, don't be stupid like the US.

Submission + - Navy commits to OASIS for services

Presto Vivace writes: Federal Computer Week

According to the memorandum of understanding, the Navy is expected to obligate more than $500 million to the OASIS and OASIS Small Business contracts from February 2016 to December 2017. Navy officials said they will use the contracts for services related to program management, management consulting, logistics, engineering, and scientific and financial activities.

Submission + - Surveillance Capabilities of Future Employee ID Badges

Presto Vivace writes: Bosses can take biometrics of employees with an ID badge that monitors motion and listens.

In the Washington Post, Jeff Heath tells the story of Humanyze, an employee analytics company that took technology developed at MIT and spun it into identification badges meant to hang off employees' necks via a lanyard. The badge has two microphones that do real-time voice analysis, with sensors that follow where you are and motion detectors that record how much you move while working.

A report in Bloomberg reveals the origins of the company. In 2014, 57 stock and bond traders "lent their bodies to science" by allowing MIT finance professor Andrew Lo to monitor their actions in a conference room. The study subjects were given a $3 million risk limit and told to make money in various markets. Lo discovered that the successful subjects were "emotional athletes. Their bodies swiftly respond to stressful situations and relax when calm returns, leaving them primed for the next challenge." Traders who encountered problems "were hounded by their mistakes and remained emotionally charged, as measured by their heart rate and other markers such as cortisol levels, even after the volatility subsided."

Submission + - How to Take Down the Internet

Presto Vivace writes: Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don't know who is doing this, but it feels like a large a large nation state.

Submission + - Police forces are stockpiling massive databases with personal information

Presto Vivace writes: The Post and Courier

A person can end up in one of these databases by doing nothing more than sitting on a public park bench or chatting with an officer on the street. Once there, these records can linger forever and be used by police agencies to track movements, habits, acquaintances and associations – even a person’s marital and job status, The Post and Courier found in an investigation of police practices around the nation. ... What began as a method for linking suspicious behavior to crime has morphed into a practice that threatens to turn local police departments into miniature versions of the National Security Agency. In the process, critics contend, police risk trampling constitutional rights, tarnishing innocent people and further eroding public trust.

Submission + - State-by-State ISDS Liability

Presto Vivace writes: ISDS: Expanding Corporate Power to Attack Laws in Every State

The United States has largely avoided ISDS attacks because past treaties were with nations that did not have many investors here. But the TPP and a similar deal with European nations, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), would change that. Under existing U.S. treaties, other countries have paid nearly $3 billion to corporations for toxics bans, water and timber policies, land-use rules regulatory permits, and more. Another $70 billion in claims are now pending against climate and energy laws, medicine pricing policies, pollution cleanup orders and other public interest policies. ... Nationwide, the TPP would roughly double U.S. exposure to ISDS attacks and a TTIP would quadruple the exposure, spelling an unprecedented increase in U.S. ISDS liability.

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