• Sony hit by hackers again, 93,000 accounts compromised

    Once again Sony has been the victim of a major cyberattack. This time as many as 93,000 accounts have been compromised from Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network, and Sony Online Entertainment

  • Major breakthroughs in facial recognition, cause for concern?

    Technological advances could soon make identifying an individual in a crowd as simple as taking a photo with a smartphone; researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College have developed PittPatt, a software tool that can take a snapshot of a person and track down their real identity in a matter of minutes

  • GAO: poor security procedures put sensitive government data at risk

    A recently released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that poor information security practices at U.S. government agencies have put sensitive data and servers at risk

  • Can citizens legally -- and secretly -- record police officers in action?

    Technological advances have raised questions concerning the constitutionality of new police methods (for example, attaching a GPS device to a suspect car without the police first obtaining a warrant to do so); there are legal issues on the other side of the equation — that is, whether or not citizens are constitutionally protected when doing video or audio recording of police officers in action

  • Supreme Court to rule on age of "Big Brother" surveillance

    This November the Supreme Court is gearing up to hear a landmark case which will decide how far law enforcement agencies can pry into an individual’s private life; federal judges argue that the use of GPS surveillance by law enforcement is an “Orwellian intrusion” into private life and violate the Fourth Amendment; meanwhile police say GPS tracking is simply a more efficient way to tail a suspect’s car or track their movements, things they can currently do without a warrant

  • Facebook could mean the end of undercover ops

    Law enforcement officials have begun using Facebook to identify criminals and gather information about their habits, but the technology has the potential to be a double edged sword; an undercover officer could successfully infiltrate a gang only to have their cover blown after their photo is recognized and their Facebook profile carefully scrutinized

  • Judge dismisses parts of lawsuit filed by partially naked man at airport

    On Tuesday a federal judge dismissed most of the constitutional claims of a lawsuit filed by a man who was arrested at an airport after he stripped at a security checkpoint in protest of enhanced screening measures

  • Expert warns facial biometrics could compromise privacy

    As facial biometric technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, IT experts warn that these systems can easily be abused and therefore require stringent privacy policies and data encryption

  • DHS's new terrorist database rankles privacy groups

    A new DHS plan to create its own version of the FBI’s terrorist watch list that is exempt from the Privacy Act has privacy groups concerned; under the proposed plan, DHS would create the Watchlist Service which would bring the FBI’s suspected terrorist list in-house and expand on it

  • China's big surveillance push

    In China’s latest push to keep tabs on its citizens, police in Beijing have ordered supermarkets and shopping malls throughout the city to install high-definition security cameras; the recent order comes as part of a broader expansion in monitoring technology which includes the addition of millions of surveillance cameras over the past five years and large increases in domestic security spending

  • Identifying Canadians from their date of birth, postal code

    Researchers find that 97 percent of Canadians can be uniquely identified from their date of birth and postal code; this means that if these to items of information, plus gender, exist in any database, even if it has no names or other identifying information, it would be possible to determine the identity of those individuals birth

  • Face recognition software may reveal one’s social security number

    Researchers demonstrate ability to predict social security numbers from people’s faces; “When we share tagged photos of ourselves online, it becomes possible for others to link our face to our names in situations where we would normally expect anonymity,” one of the researchers said

  • China further limits Internet access

    In its continuing efforts to control the Internet, Chinese officials are now mandating that all cafes, hotels, and businesses in central Beijing install surveillance technology for Wi-Fi users; the new software would allow government officials to check the identities of users and monitor their activity at public computers; those who do not cooperate will face fines or even closure

  • Law enforcement and privacy concerns in Vancouver

    Last month, the police in the otherwise sedate Vancouver had to use tear gas, pepper spray, and flash bombs in downtown Vancouver to try to disperse angry rioters who set cars on fire, looted stores, and taunted police officers after the Canucks’ 4-0 Stanley Cup final loss to the Boston Bruins; the police wants to use facial recognition technology to identify the rioters, but privacy advocates are worried

  • Law enforcement and privacy concerns in Massachusetts

    Massachusetts has a plan: create a database which could map drivers’ whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour — and store that information indefinitely so local police, state police, federal agencies, and prosecutors could access it as they choose; privacy advocates are worried