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Internet Freedom Movement
The page formerly known as "Stop SOPA"
The page formerly known as "Stop SOPA"

Internet Freedom Movement's posts

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The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted narrowly to repeal regulations requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy.

According to the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October under then-President Barack Obama, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.

It isn't known at this time when the House of Representatives will take up the measure. I'll try to keep you in the loop...


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Court Orders no longer necessary?
The FBI cracked a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone with the help of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau at least one previously unknown software flaw. The new information was then used to create a piece of hardware that helped the FBI to crack the iPhone’s four-digit personal identification number without triggering a security feature that would have erased all the data. The researchers, who typically keep a low profile, specialize in hunting for vulnerabilities in software and then in some cases selling them to the U.S. government. 

They were paid a one-time flat fee for the solution.

In the poll from a few weeks ago, most were in agreement that Apple should not comply with a court order to provide software to unlock the phone. It appears that the FBI has found another way in. What do you think of this new tactic?


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They're in
Law enforcement’s ability to now unlock an iPhone through an alternative method raises new uncertainties, including questions about the strength of security in Apple devices. The development also creates potential for new conflicts between the government and Apple about the method used to open the device and whether that technique will be disclosed. Lawyers for Apple have previously said the company would want to know the procedure used to crack open the smartphone, yet the government might classify the method.

The feds received man requests from people all over the world for an attempt at unlocking it. It looks like they succeeded. But will the goverment tell Apple how they did it? Not likely.


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The basics from both sides.

Video via The +Washington Post 


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Who's watching you?
Along with some great background and info on "trackers" +The New York Times tests and reviews four of the best free privacy tools: Ghostery, Disconnect, RedMorph and Privacy Badger. If you use one, we'd love to hear what you think, and if you know of other free (and safe) tools that are out there, feel free to share!



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Should Apple comply with a US Department of Justice order to unlock the iPhone belonging to the San Bernadino shooters/terrorists?

The court said that Apple must create new software that would bypass security features on the iPhone used by the terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook. That would allow the FBI to unlock the device and retrieve the pictures, messages and other data on it. The ruling was based on the All Writs Act of 1789, which is used to require people or businesses not involved in a case to execute court orders. Apple has refused.

What say you?
115 votes
votes visible to Public
Poll option image
No way!
This time, yes. Special circumstance.
Yes. It's a court order so they have to.
No way!
This time, yes. Special circumstance.

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Google CEO chimes in on Apple v. FBI
"Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy.  We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism. We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent. Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue."  - Google CEO, Sundar Pichai ....on Twitter.

Not as strong of a stance as Apple's... It'll be very interesting to see how this all develops over the coming months.

+Ars Technica  #Apple  

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Apple Defies Government Order on iPhone Data
Apple is opposing a judge's order to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters, calling the directive "an overreach by the U.S. government."

""The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers -- including tens of millions of American citizens -- from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals."

What say you? Is this "overreach"? Should government be able to access personal data in instances like this, or should it always be off-limits? 

The entire letter from Apple can be found here:

(Thanks to +The New York Times)

Roger K.

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From the Newsroom... N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Is Illegal

"In a 97-page ruling, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a provision of the USA Patriot Act known as Section 215 cannot be legitimately interpreted to allow the bulk collection of domestic calling records."

The bulk phone records program traces back to October 2001. After the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the N.S.A. to begin a group of surveillance and data-collection programs, without obeying statutory limits, for the purpose of hunting for hidden terrorist cells. Over time, it evolved.

“Without commenting on the ruling today, the president has been clear that he believes we should end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it currently exists by creating an alternative mechanism to preserve the program’s essential capabilities without the government holding the bulk data.”

It is not clear what other bulk data collection programs the government may have... though we can all probably take some great guesses.


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Just for fun...
Check your data speed with CNET's free Bandwidth Meter Test

Is your broadband fast enough? Are you getting what you've paid for? Find out now with CNET's free Bandwidth Meter Speed Test. You can compare your speeds with friends on other ISPs to see whether you're getting the best value you can from your broadband subscription. 

Broadband tips:
For the most accurate results, run the Bandwidth Meter Speed Test a few times. Try it at different times of day to find out when network performance is best.

Make sure your machine is free of unwanted software, adware, or malware -- these resource hogs are often responsible for slowdowns -- either network or in general.

When it finishes, it'll give you a chance to get yourself a new plan with of the big providers... which leads us back to the previous post. :)

I maxed out at 70.28 Mbps. Not bad.

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