• China uses stolen software in its new Internet censorship scheme

    The Chinese government will impose strict Internet censorship beginning 1 July; the software the Chinese will use for filtering Web sites was stolen from California-based Solid Oak Software; the Chinese piracy was exceedingly clumsy: a file containing a 2004 Solid Oak news bulletin has been accidentally included in the Chinese filtering coding

  • NYCLU sues DHS over mid-Manhattan surveillance scheme

    DHS wants to build a $92 million surveillance system in Lower Manhattan; civil liberties organizations sues DHS over plans to expand plan to mid-Manhattan

  • Identity fundamentals. pt. 1: Who cares who you are anyway?

    Identity can be defined as a combination of the uniqueness of an individual (or device) and the attributes which are associated with that uniqueness; in the absence of a standard unique personal identification number, personal names are often used to build a single view across different unconnected applications

  • House limits whole body imaging

    Worries about privacy lead Congress to vote, 310-118, to ban whole body imaging at airports; the bill would ban TSA from using whole-body imaging instead of metal detectors as the first-screening device at airports

  • Court: use of GPS to track criminals requires warrant

    The New York State’s supreme court ruled that the police cannot use GPS to track a criminal suspect without a warrant; majority decision said: “the use of these powerful devices presents a significant and, to our minds, unacceptable risk of abuse”

  • U.K. information commissioner: data collection trend will be reversed

    Richard Thomas, the outgoing U.K. information commissioner: “If you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it does not make sense to make the haystack bigger”

  • Hackers break into UC Berkeley health-services databases

    Hackers began breaking into the databases back in October, and continued to steal information until breach was discovered on 9 April; about 160,000 individuals believed to be affected by breach

  • European Court: Scottish DNA database system is "fairer and proportionate"

    the European Court of Human Rights ruled the DNA databases in Britain, Wales, and Northern Ireland “could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society”; the European Court considered the system in Scotland “fair and proportionate”

  • Britain to remove some DNA profiles from database

    About 5.2 percent of the U.K. population is on the national DNA database, compared with just 0.5 percent in the United States; the European Court of Human Rights rules that Britain’s DNA database is incompatible with the requirements of democracy, and the Home Office says it will begin to remove the DNA of innocent citizens

  • Growing problem: Private security companies pose risk to privacy

    Government mandates in the U.K. now require more and more businesses to collect more and more information about individuals who use these businesses’ services; private contractors are hired to handled the collection and handling of the personal information collected; these contractors are not bound by the tight rules governing the government handling of such information (not that the U.K. government is doing a very good job following these rules)

  • Hackers made off with more than 285 million records in 2008

    Hackers managed to steal 285 million private records in 2008; 93 percent of all compromised records in its study came from the financial sector

  • U.K. Tories charge government's legal dodge over Comms database debate

    The U.K. government last year revealed plans for creating a massive central database of e-mail, Web browsing, telephone, and social networking data; U.K. law mandates that such a database be approved by parliament; Tories charge that the government is using the European rules obliging data retention by ISPs — rules which come into effect today — to begin assembling this centralized system, or its prototype

  • Privacy advocates: fusion centers threat to civil liberties

    U.S. intelligence fusion centers — in which federal, state, and local authorities collaborate in collecting, analyzing, vetting, and disseminating intelligence to first responders on the ground in an effort to disrupt terrorist or criminal activity — have grown dramatically since 9/11: DHS now recognizes 70 such centers, and they engage 800,000 state and local law enforcement officers; privacy advocates worry

  • Full-body imaging systems deployed to airports

    Millimeter wave and backscatter technologies may be a popular alternative to searches, but privacy remains an issue

  • U.K. government plans to monitor online social networks

    For the last three years, intelligence services in the United States and the United Kingdom have been examining the idea of keeping a close tab on communications made among members of social networks; the U.K. Home Office denies having plans for such monitoring, but critics are not convinced