Surprise! We’re Being Scored

By: Friday April 11, 2014 6:13 pm

Our lives are an open book, and we may be the only ones who don’t know it.

We all know about FICO scores by credit agencies, and if we’re smart we download and examine our free reports annually. But did we know we also have a social media influence score (klout score)? How about a Job Security score? Fraud Risk score? We may even a Brand Name Medicine Propensity score that indicates how likely we’ll purchase generic drugs.

#DropDropbox Movement Starts in Response to Condi Rice Board Appointment

By: Friday April 11, 2014 10:29 am

As new information comes out on the Bush Administration’s torture program and people are more concerned about their internet privacy in the post-Snowden environment, Dropbox, a company that seeks to access user data for profit, has decided to put former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on their board. Needless to say it is not inspiring confidence.

IBM Develops Algorithm to Predict Where You Live Based on Your Last 200 Tweets

By: Friday March 21, 2014 1:18 pm

BM researchers have developed an algorithm they claim can determine your home location with 70% accuracy, based on your last 200 tweets.

The Tug-of-War Over Metadata

By: Friday March 14, 2014 12:05 pm

This has been an interesting week in our surveillance state, with a tug-of-war between the FISA Court (FISC) and the DoJ over an ability to keep — or a requirement to dispose of — collected metadata.

DiFi draws a line “now it affects me!”

By: Wednesday March 12, 2014 1:30 am

For years there have been few more reliable excuse makers for the intelligence agencies snooping into your life than Dianne Feinstein.

Hands Off My Metadata!

By: Friday March 7, 2014 3:59 pm

Are you still hearing, “But they’re just collecting metadata!” when the subject of the NSA’s rampant collection of information about us comes up? There is no such thing as “just metadata.” With enough different data points, your life becomes an open book that a variety of government agencies can examine at will. “Just metadata” is a big lie that supports the surveillance state, and makes a mockery of our expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.

The Self-Serving Statements of Clapper on Secrecy & the NSA’s Phone Records Program

By: Tuesday February 18, 2014 4:59 pm

The self-serving admission by Director for National Intelligence James Clapper that the government should have never kept secret a program under the PATRIOT Act to collect the phone records of all Americans may be further affirmation of the fact that former National Security Agency Edward Snowden is a whistleblower.

It also reflects unwavering confidence in the government position that the collection is entirely legal, constitutional and not wrong at all so, therefore, it probably could have been made public without upsetting Americans.

NSA Collection of Citizens’ Phone Records Shouldn’t Have Been Secret, Spy Chief Admits

By: Monday February 17, 2014 6:29 pm

DNI Clapper’s admission that basic details on the existence of the program should not have been kept secret coupled with his regret that the NSA did not make the right decision to be a bit more open is another result of Snowden’s disclosures for which Snowden deserves credit. It is another argument for why he is a whistleblower.

Is Our Freedom a Small Price to Pay?

By: Friday February 14, 2014 6:27 pm

The myths surrounding the revelations by Ed Snowden about the unchecked surveillance state are like zombies that never die. After I posted the Day We Fight Back information on my Facebook timeline on Tuesday, a friend replied with the following comment:

“I’m sorry but I believe it’s a small price to pay for our protection from evil.”

NSA Targets Cell Phones Through Games Like Angry Birds

By: Tuesday January 28, 2014 6:47 am

According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, are working on ways to use weak security for smartphone games like Angry Birds to spy on people. The games contain information both about the phone being used and the user – location, gender, age – which would allow the spy agencies to track someone and run the information they suck out through their surveillance infrastructure.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.