from the well-that's-great dept
To me, that seems like a broken system.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 2nd 2015 6:21am
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 2nd 2015 3:18am
We have been notified by Experian, a vendor that processes our credit applications, that they have experienced a data breach. The investigation is ongoing, but what we know right now is that the hacker acquired the records of approximately 15 million people, including new applicants requiring a credit check for service or device financing from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015. These records include information such as name, address and birthdate as well as encrypted fields with Social Security number and ID number (such as driver’s license or passport number), and additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment. Experian has determined that this encryption may have been compromised. We are working with Experian to take protective steps for all of these consumers as quickly as possible.I happen to be a T-Mobile customer, and I look forward to the usual bullshit response of a year's worth of credit monitoring and promises that this will never happen again. You know, until it does.
by Glyn Moody
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 11:18pm
As part of President Obama's BuySecure initiative, US merchants and the public are being encouraged to adopt the Chip and PIN technology for credit, debit, and other payment cards. As the announcement in October last year noted, these Chip and PIN cards have been used for some years in other parts of the world, notably Europe and Canada. For all the technology's vaunted security, there are inevitably still weaknesses that can be exploited, as with any system. That was true five years ago, and it's still true now, as shown by this story on the BBC Web site about one company's idea for reducing Chip and PIN fraud:
One of the biggest payments processing companies has revealed it is developing a chip-and-pin terminal that includes facial recognition technology.
The company admits that the system is unlikely to be perfect:
Worldpay's prototype automatically takes a photo of a shop customer's face the first time they use it and then references the image to verify their identity on subsequent transactions.
Worldpay is not suggesting that shoppers be blocked from making payments if its computer system failed to make a match.
It's only an experimental idea at present, but Worldpay says it could roll it out to the 400,000 retailers that use its system within five years if there's sufficient interest. That would obviously create rather a large collection of facial biometrics, which raises questions of how they would be stored. But don't worry, Worldpay has got that sorted:
Rather, it suggests that tills would display an "authorisation needed" alert, prompting shop staff to request an additional ID, such as a driving licence.
The firm says it would store the captured images in a "secure" central database.
Well, that shouldn't be a problem, then -- provided you remember to change your face when that database gets broken into….
by Michael Ho
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 5:00pm
by Tim Cushing
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 4:00pm
The Freedom of Information Act does open up the government to closer examination by taxpayers. The ideals of the law are rarely achieved, though. It requires agencies to respond in a reasonable amount of time, but far too often it takes a successful lawsuit to force an agency to give up the documents requested.
FOIA requesters are at the mercy of government agencies. If an agency wishes to punish a particularly tenacious FOIA requester, it can do so by unceremoniously dumping requested documents into the public domain, robbing him of any exclusivity. If an agency wants to wait until media heat dies before releasing incriminating/embarrassing documents, it can string along the requester for months or years without fear of reprisal. It's not that there aren't FOIA staffers who truly want to assist requesters, it's that there are far too many reasons agencies might want to stall the release of documents, if not withhold them altogether.
For instance, FOIAed documents can be withheld to allow government agencies to get out ahead of a negative story.
Two top Army generals recently discussed trying to kill an article in The New York Times on concussions at West Point by withholding information so the Army could encourage competing news organizations to publish a more favorable story, according to an Army document.There's not much out there that's uglier than the government burying facts to control a narrative. And, of course, we'd know nothing about it if it weren't for another FOIA request. The biggest problem with how the Army handled this is that the FOIA side of agencies is supposed to be wholly divorced from its other goals. It should be a politically-agnostic process, with the only considerations being whether or not the requested information can actually be requested. The point of the law is to make the government accountable to the public. The process is never supposed to be subservient to the political/PR desires of government officials.
During a Sept. 16 meeting at the Pentagon, the Army surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, recommended to the superintendent at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., that the Army delay responding to The Times’s request, according to the document. General Horoho then suggested trying to get The Wall Street Journal or USA Today to publish an article about a more favorable Army study on concussions.
“I recommend you let us publish this article BEFORE you release the FOIA to the NYT reporter,” General Horoho is quoted as saying in the summary, using an acronym for the Freedom of Information Act.
Both generals acknowledged the authenticity of the summary, but said it misrepresented their discussion.Well, OK then. But accountability is better served by putting the incriminating information in the public's hands and dealing with the consequences, not burying it until after the advance force spin team has had a chance to work its narrative magic.
by Tim Cushing
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 2:43pm
Towards the end of 2013, IP-Watch -- along with the Yale Media Freedom and Access Center -- filed a FOIA lawsuit against the USTR for its refusal to release its TPP draft documents. The USTR spent a year ignoring IP-Watch's William New's request before telling him the release of draft agreements would "harm national security."
What trade agreements have to do with "national security" is anyone's guess (especially since the USTR has cloaked the entire TPP proceedings in opacity), but the conclusion being drawn by this refusal is that the USTR feels the public has no right to know about trade agreements that affect the public.
A ruling has finally come down in the FOIA lawsuit and the court has granted the USTR the right to remain opaque.
As government negotiators dig into perhaps the final round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations this week in Atlanta, they may take comfort in knowing that nothing they are doing has to be shared with the public they represent until years after it is over. That’s because a federal district court in Manhattan decided this week, in a closely watched Freedom of Information Act case brought by Intellectual Property Watch, that draft texts of the trade deal can be kept secret.The very small upside of this decision is that the court did find some of the USTR's arguments for secrecy suspect. While it did side with the USTR's arguments on the withheld draft agreements, it found the agency did not present credible justification for its use of some FOIA exemptions in regards to requested communications.
First and foremost, USTR’s declarations rely purely on conclusory statements from the agency itself, which simply proclaim that disclosure would complicate USTR’s future efforts. Even the sole piece of evidence meant to represent the views of actual private-sector actors comes from the agency’s declaration, and this too is vague and conclusory…The court also noted the USTR's arguments in favor of withholding information under Exemption 4 were undercut by wording in the agency's own policies.
Critically, none of USTR’s explanations are document-specific, nor even category-specific. They are blanket assertions meant to cover all withholdings made under § 2155(g)(1) and Exemption 4…
[The] USTR’s bare assertions reporting secondhand concerns from the private sector constitute only weak evidence, at best.
In response to Plaintiffs’ argument that the withheld commercial or financial information is not “confidential” because it has already been shared among all ITAC members, USTR argues only that ITAC members are sworn to secrecy and cannot use information they receive via ITACs outside of those committees. But the obvious reply, absent from USTR’s briefs, is that USTR’s own Operations Manual states that information subject to Exemption 4 withholding will be kept from other ITAC members.And if the USTR can't keep its own secrecy arguments straight, there's a good chance it has not performed the thorough examination of the contested documents it claimed it had.
As Plaintiffs argue, USTR’s failure to make this simple response raises questions about whether the agency has wrongly withheld information under Exemption 4 that has already been shared with other ITAC members. Finally, although the Court does not question USTR’s good faith in responding to this FOIA request, Plaintiffs are also correct to point out the troubling nature of USTR’s first round of responsive disclosures here, which apparently withheld 149 pages in full and redacted portions of 413 pages improperly, despite sworn declarations attesting to a line-by-line review of all the documents.That being said, the court still won't be ordering the USTR to release draft TPP documents. The only thing it has done is order the agency to present documents explaining its withholding of certain communications under two FOIA exemptions. The bulk of the trade agreements will remain hidden away from the public -- this time with the court's blessing and thanks to the administration's advocacy on behalf of continued opacity.
by Karl Bode
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 1:48pm
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said in the e-mail. "It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."Hilarious. Except it's up to developers to embed Chromecast support into their services and apps, and both Google and Apple publish open software development kits that allows any application to be utilized on both devices. In other words, it's Amazon's choice that Chromecast and Apple TV won't play nicely with Amazon Prime Instant Streaming. It has nothing to do with the devices not "interacting well" with Amazon's services. Bloomberg even helps prop up this nonsensical explanation further by repeating the idea that Prime Video "doesn’t run easily on rival’s devices."
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 12:46pm
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 11:39am
by Karl Bode
Thu, Oct 1st 2015 10:31am
"(Digicel is) deploying ad control technology at the network level on its networks across the globe to ensure a better experience for customers and to encourage the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo to help connect the 4.2 billion unconnected people across the globe. Ad control technology benefits both consumers and network operators alike. With ads using up as much as 10% of a customers’ data plan allowance, this move will allow customers to browse the mobile web and apps without interruption from unwanted advertising messages."What sweethearts. Of course, the notice then proceeds to make it clear what this is really about. And that's Digicel and billionaire owner Denis O'Brien's belief that they are owed a cut of content company ad revenue simply because content company traffic touches their network:
"Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in. Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves. That’s unacceptable, and we as a network operator, are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets and play a real role in improving the opportunities for economic empowerment for the global population.”"O'Brien's been mentioned by Techdirt previously for attempts to sue satirists for so much as joking about him, so hopefully he doesn't take offense when I note that both he and Digicel are utterly full of crap here. The cornerstone of the ISPs' flimsy entitlement argument almost always involves claiming that companies like Google, Netflix, and others get a "free ride" on ISP networks. We've debunked this idea time and time again, even going so far as to urge these folks to pay Netflix's bandwidth bill for a month if they truly believe content companies don't pay for bandwidth and transit. Strangely, we've yet to be taken up on the offer.
Explore some core concepts:
|10:26||Daily Deal: Two-Year Subscription For Private Internet Access VPN (8)|
|09:32||As Comcast Broadband Usage Caps Expand, Company Still Refuses To Admit They Even Have Caps (19)|
|08:28||Secret Service Agents Dug Through Personal Info To Discredit Legislator Investigating Agency Wrongdoing (27)|
|06:20||John Oliver Would Like You To Replace Your Bogus Facebook Copyright Privacy Statement With His Own (41)|
|03:19||Business With Shady History Sues Former Employee For Calling It Shady (11)|
|23:16||EU Orders Makers Of DieselStormers To Change Name Because Diesel Clothing Trademarked Diesel For Everything (27)|
|17:00||DailyDirt: Next-Generation Fission Energy? (18)|
|15:49||FOIAed DEA Disciplinary Action Log Shows Very Little Discipline, Lots Of Inaction (11)|
|14:33||Judge Tosses Defamation Case Of The Sleepy Yankees Fan (6)|
|13:13||Blaming Facebook For A User's Content Is The Least Crazy Thing About This Lawsuit (16)|
|11:44||Tennessee Voraciously Defends Its Right To Let AT&T Write Awful State Broadband Laws (29)|
|10:41||The Increasing Attacks On The Most Important Law On The Internet (149)|
|10:36||Daily Deal: Mac Users, 15 Apps Just For You (0)|
|09:30||Man Gets $35k Settlement After Arrest For Posting 'Fuck The Fucking Cops' On Department Facebook Page (33)|
|08:27||Microsoft 'Addresses' Windows 10 Privacy Concerns By Simply Not Mentioning Most Of Them (73)|
|06:12||Canada Wants To Cut Price Of 'World's Most Expensive Drug'; US Manufacturer Sues To Stop It (74)|
|03:14||Zuckerberg Tells Angela Merkel Facebook Is On The Hate Speech Censorship Case (42)|
|23:13||New Jersey Supreme Court OKs Warrantless Searches Of Vehicles (31)|
|17:00||DailyDirt: Water On Mars (Again!) (5)|
|16:02||Court Smacks Prosecutors For Refiling Identical Charges In Hopes Of Keeping Evidence From Being Suppressed (15)|
|14:43||Inspector General Says Postal Service Surveillance Program Being Handled Just About As Well As You'd Expect (12)|
|13:27||FTC: 'Roca Labs Has An Adversarial Relationship With The Truth'; Suggests Plans To Crack Down On More Gag Clauses (11)|
|12:20||Techdirt Podcast Episode 44: Why The Freedom To Tinker Matters (3)|
|12:15||Daily Deal: Using Python For Data Analysis And More... (4)|
|11:18||Russia 'Investigating' Apple Over The Diabolical Menace That Is LGBT-Friendly Emojis (28)|
|10:01||You Can Now Turn Off Ads On Techdirt (127)|
|08:18||UN Broadband Commission Releases Questionable Report On 'Cyber Violence' Against Women (59)|
|06:19||DRM Still Breaking Games Nearly A Decade After Purchase (74)|
|03:20||Colombia Shows How Not To Regulate Drones (18)|
|23:13||Gosling's Rum Forgoes Free Promotion Of Famous Cocktail In Favor Of Trademark (27)|