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Category Archives: Privacy

That One Privacy Guy’s Guide to Choosing the Best VPN

The following is intended to be a detailed guide to answer the question, “How do I choose the best VPN (for me)?” The reason this is a hard thing to help people with, is that their needs and level of technical knowledge vary greatly – there is no one perfect VPN, they all have at least some flaws and some will just flat out be better for different people. I very well might have forgotten to add a section I intended to, said something that needs clarification, or was just sleepy when I wrote parts of this guide, so I intend to update and expand it as needed. I’m assuming that if you’re reading this far, you have at least SOME knowledge as to the basics of what a VPN is, so I won’t cover that here. This will be heavily emphasizing the need of a VPN for privacy, but I will echo and expand on other use cases as well towards the end.”

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities, GAO-17-440T: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2017. “GAO has consistently identified shortcomings in the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of federal information systems and cyber critical infrastructure as well as its approach to protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII). While previous… Continue Reading

Microsoft Corporation v. DOJ on sneak-and-peek searches

Via Bloomberg – “Microsoft Corp. persuaded a judge not to let the U.S. government out of a lawsuit alleging the company’s free-speech rights are violated by a law that blocks it from alerting users to the clandestine interception of their e-mails. The judge said Microsoft has at least made a plausible argument that federal law… Continue Reading

The Right Tools: Europe’s Intermediary Liability Laws and 2016 General Data Protection Regulation

Keller, Daphne, The Right Tools: Europe’s Intermediary Liability Laws and the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (February 8, 2017). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2914684 “The so-called “Right to Be Forgotten” established by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014 is about to change. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which goes… Continue Reading

Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website

Washington Post, February 3, 2017:  “The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities. In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which… Continue Reading

Politico – Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump

Via Politico: “Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda. Whether inside the Environmental Protection Agency, within the Foreign Service, on the edges of the Labor Department… Continue Reading

Reporters Committee releases report on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

February 2, 2017 – “U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch does not have an extensive history of cases involving free speech, free press, and freedom of information issues, but the opinions he authored or joined during his more than 10 years on the Tenth Circuit that do touch upon those issues reflect the application of… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Search Warrant Issued For Amazon Echo Data

Via LLRX.com – Search Warrant Issued For Amazon Echo Data – An Amazon Echo device is the subject of a prosecutor’s search warrant related to an Arkansas murder case. Nicole Black illuminates how such devices are complicating issues related to consumer privacy and vendor responses to search warrants. The ubiquity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in homes… Continue Reading

ProPublica – How to Protect Your Digital Privacy in the Era of Public Shaming

Americans face unprecedented threats to the digital safety of their personal information. “We offer nine tips to foil hackers, ransomware, online trackers, data brokers and other menaces,” by Julia Angwin, ProPublica, Jan. 26, 2017. “We are living in an era of widespread hacking and public shaming. Don’t like your political rivals? Beg Russia to hack… Continue Reading

FTC Releases New Report on Cross-Device Tracking

“The Federal Trade Commission has released Cross-Device Tracking: An FTC Staff Report that describes the technology used to track consumers across multiple Internet-connected devices, the benefits and challenges associated with it, and industry efforts to address those challenges. The report concludes by making recommendations to industry about how to apply traditional principles like transparency, choice,… Continue Reading

Report – Fostering The Advancement of the Internet of Things

Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force & Digital Economy Leadership Team report, Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things, January 2017. “The Internet of Things (IoT) – in which connected devices are proliferating at an unprecedented rate–is a technological development that is transforming the way we live and do business. IoT continues the… Continue Reading

Human Rights Watch World Report 2017

“In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power… Continue Reading