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Privacy

Your House Is About To Be Photographed 491

An anonymous reader writes "Photographers from a Canadian company are going house to house, shooting pictures of every house in America, in hopes of building a giant database that can be sold to banks, insurance companies, and appraisal firms. While this activity is legal (as long as the photographers don't trespass on private property to get their shots), there are obviously concerns about security and privacy. Considering that an individual can be detained and questioned by the FBI for photographing a bridge in this country, why should this Canadian company get a free pass? Tinfoil hat aside, something seems very, very fishy here." From the Arizona Star article about the photographing of Tucson: "'The [handout given to people who complain] made it sound like they're doing it for law enforcement, when in reality they're doing it for sales and marketing,' said [a City Council aide], who received several calls about the company."
The Internet

Vista a Threat to Internet Freedom? 479

BBC columnist Bill Thompson warns readers that new DRM technology, especially that found in Vista, is damaging the freedoms that the internet was based on. "The freedom of expression that was once available to users of the Internet Protocol is being stripped away. Our freedom to play, experiment, share and seek inspiration from the creative works of others is increasingly restricted so that large companies can lock our culture down for their own profit. [...] governments and corporations around the world are making a concerted effort to dismantle the open internet and replace it with a regulated and regulable one that will allow them to impose an 'architecture of control.'"
Media

Fight DRM While There's Still Time 424

ageor writes "It seems (not only) to me that DRM is about far more than intellectual property. It's also about monopoly and freedom of choice. It's one of those cases where we, the consumers, must decide against accepting the new industry's rules, which care only about control and making money. The whole matter is very well put in DRM, Vista and your rights, where you can follow the subject as deeply as you like through the numerous relevant links."
GNU is Not Unix

MySQL Changes License To Avoid GPLv3 311

munchola writes "MySQL has quietly changed the license it uses for its database to avoid being forced to move to the forthcoming GPLv3. CBRonline is reporting that Kaj Arno, MySQL VP of community relations, revealed the license change on his blog, noting it was made 'in order to make it an option, not an obligation for the company to move to GPLv3.'"
Privacy

Social Network Users Have Ruined Their Privacy 308

Steve Kerrison writes "'There's little point in worrying about ID cards, RFID tags and spyware when more and more people are throwing away their privacy anyway. And the potential consequences are dire.' I've written an article on the dangers of social networks and how many users seem to forget just how public the information they post can be. This follows a warning sent out by the CS department of Bristol University, advising students that they risk lost job opportunities, getting in trouble with their parents and more, if they don't take care. The warning, however, really applies to all social network users, be they college students or over-zealous blog posters."

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