Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know

With all of the controversy swirling around the topic of Net Neutrality, it can be hard to know what to trust and what to take with a boulder-sized grain of salt. For an issue that threatens to impact almost every aspect of our increasingly electronic daily lives, Net Neutrality remains relatively obscure, and thus ripe for manipulation and disinformation.… [Read more]

Freedom Tastes of Reality

I know what you’re driving, what you pay every month, and when your lease expires.  I know what bank you got a loan from and the interest rate.

I know your house payment and if you like red shoes.  When you go online I can have a banner appear that shows your favorite brand of coffee.… [Read more]

Tips To Protect Patients From Medical Identity Theft

A high-profile medical identity theft case in Florida finally came to a close on January 24. Michael Ali Bryant pleaded guilty to selling an FBI informant stolen medical records which were supposed to be used to file fraudulent tax returns. The stolen data resulted in over $775,000 in false claims being filed with the IRS, according to the Florida Sun Sentinel.… [Read more]

A Big Step Forward in Cloud Security and Internet Privacy

A landmark decision in New York is setting a precedent for intellectual property on the internet. Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan, overseeing the ongoing case of Debra Schatzki v. Weiser Capital Management, found that stealing data stored in the cloud from a business competitor constitutes a crime.

Weiser Capital was found liable for downloading confidential information about over 12,000 of Schatzki’s clients during proceedings in early December.… [Read more]

Snowden, Surveillance and Snooping: How Private is Your Phone?

That mobile phone you love using may be spilling your secrets. Earlier this year, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, we learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) is watching our phone use and who we talk to, and listening to our conversations. Is this legal? Does this infringe on our privacy? Are there ways around being watched?… [Read more]

How Your Online Life Can Affect Your Offline Life

It seems like our online and offline lives are getting increasingly difficult to keep separate. Particularly with so many of us owning smartphones, it’s as if we’re never truly disconnected from the lives that we’ve built on the internet. Yet, most would still be willing to make a distinction between the virtual online world and real life, thus the debate continues to be (at least for the time being) how the virtual world affects our reality.… [Read more]

Don’t Kill The Messenger

Since Edward Snowden‘s ‘confessions of an NSA analyst’ I’ve been feeling like I’m trapped inside Tony Scott’s 1988 flick, Enemy of the State. Irony is it’s fifteen years later. In the last two weeks I’ve read and heard Snowden called everything from a terrorist to spy to a narcissist. I’ve even listened to an elected official call for the prosecution (with a straight face) of the journalist who interviewed Snowden.… [Read more]

Spies Like Us

Despite all the Ludlum-Jason Bourne film genre adaptations, Americans are pretty “Johnny-Come-Lately” lame for the snoopery schtick. For all the hype over the exposé from The Guardian (a newspaper NOT yet owned by “Rupert From Oz” Murdoch) over National Security Agency snooping of your Verizon call information, Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald is a bit too tidy for Hollywood’s typecast scruffy, twenty-something Brit journalist with a hipster messenger bag meme getting snuffed by a Central Intelligence Agency hitman in London’s Victoria Station for his scoop.… [Read more]

‘Special Powers’ Allows for Trampling on Women’s and Civil Rights

Before the sequestered budget cuts redirected attention to our elected officials’ inability to work towards a goal beneficial to most Americans, the news cycle contained stories about other items of importance, such as foreign policy and even issues such as the right to privacy. Many of these issues have something in common: the potential for governmental overreach of its authority.… [Read more]

Somebody IS Watching Me…and You, Too.

I’m just an average man with an average life I work from 9 to 5, hey, hell I pay the price All I want is to be left alone in my average home But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone and

I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me And I have no privacy Oh, oh, oh, I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me Tell me is it just a dream

I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me And I have no privacy Oh, oh, oh, I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me Tell me is it just a dream*

Those lyrics came to mind when the story of the Raytheon Corporation’s latest development was revealed.… [Read more]

RFID School Tags: A Slippery Slope to 24-7 State Surveillance

On Tuesday August 4, 2009 Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli gave a speech at the National Conference for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools addressing the issue of truancy in public schools and the need for diverse and unconventional solutions.

Attorney General Holder really drives home to all of us that when we think about law enforcement, we need to think broadly….I know that your goal is education, but schools also play a key role in law enforcement in any number of ways.… [Read more]

We’ve Got the Power

You used your voice to speak up for what you believe in.

You exercised your power and your rights by voting on election day.

You’ve signed petitions that were delivered to local and national representatives in support of human rights, a clean environment, privacy laws, and even a system that protects consumers from predatory banks and corporations.… [Read more]

Privacy: Not Everyone Is Watching, But Some Are

There’s a lot of fear-mongering going on in the world right now. So, I am going to preface this article by telling you not to worry. Don’t get upset. Don’t panic. Maybe, just maaaaaaybe, be a little concerned. Why? Because, earlier this year, Christian Paetsch robbed a Wells Fargo bank in Aurora, Colorado.

This is not a public service announcement about banking safety.… [Read more]

Thoughtcrime – Future Pandemic?

Some have seen Minority Report, the film based on a Philip K. Dick science fiction short story centered around a protagonist of the future crime division in charge of apprehending criminals. The twist is that said criminals have yet to commit the crimes. Some have no clue of what they are about to do yet, under the authority in the future setting of this story, it is entirely legal to be arrested prior to committing a crime.… [Read more]

Act Now by Saying ‘No’ to ACTA

Tomorrow in Europe, the protest posters and banners will state it clearly: “Say YES to an Open Internet by Voting ‘NO’ on ACTA.”  For those who aren’t aware, ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that is entering its final vote in the European Union’s parliament.

What’s the big deal? Unless it is voted down, online privacy as we know it will cease to exist.… [Read more]

It’s A Wrap – Week In Review February 12, 2012

This week ended with the passing of an icon, music legend Whitney Houston. At 48 years of age, the amazingly talented Ms. Houston leaves behind a legacy filled with publicly documented personal ups and downs — but history books won’t soon forget the impact she had on the music industry and song stylists everywhere; she touched the hearts of millions of people around the world and her voice will live on forever.… [Read more]

The New Google Privacy Rule: One (7 page) Policy, One Google Experience

In hearing that Google was changing their privacy policy and switching it to “one single policy”, I decided to check it out.  When I logged into my Gmail account, a page appeared that prompted me to either, a) move on to my Gmail account (this option was a bright blue button) or, b) read the new policy (this was a gray button that blended almost into the background.)

I clicked on the option to read the new policy and was surprised when confronted with a page full of text, not one simple sentence stating the new policy.… [Read more]