There Is Much to Fear

By: Monday September 29, 2014 9:03 am

One of the exceptional things about Post-Constitutional America is how instead of using the traditional tools of an autocracy– secret police, torture, mass round ups– the majority of Americans have given up their rights willfully, voluntarily, almost gleefully. The key tool used by government to have accomplished this is fear-mongering.

 

Are Privacy Concerns Generational?

By: Sunday September 21, 2014 6:55 pm

On Monday I came across a post at Techdirt about the reaction to Apple putting a U2 album in iCloud users’ storage space. The post described how after a backlash, Apple created a bit of code that would allow iPhone users to delete the unwanted freebie.

A bit of background: On September 9th, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the mega-band U2 decided to release its latest album free on iTunes…

NSA Extorted Yahoo’s Compliance With PRISM With $250,000 Per Day Fine Threat

By: Friday September 12, 2014 1:17 pm

While many in the tech industry appear to have no trouble collaborating with those illegally spying on American citizens, it is instructive to see what happened to the companies that even put up mild resistance to the NSA’s mission of “collect it all.”

Yer New iPhone

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 10:12 am

Apple unveils their new iPhone today. Here’s your 2014 America in a nutshell:

Be poor, Black, Muslim or expressing a political opinion and the cops will run you off the sidewalk (if not taser or kill you.)

Wait overnight on the sidewalk as a good consumer to buy the new iPhone and the cops’ll watch over you like guardian angels.

Researcher Discovers Intentional Security Back Door For Apple iPhones And iPads

By: Wednesday July 23, 2014 6:45 am

Apple has been under increasing scrutiny regarding its civil liberties record after security researcher Jacob Applebaum showed evidence gathered from an NSA whistleblower that a program called DROPOUT JEEP existed to gain access to a user’s iPhone. Applebaum postulated that developing this system would have been nearly impossible without Apple’s involvement. For its part, Apple denied it was involved.

Majority of Fortune 500 Using Offshore Tax Schemes to Hide $90 Billion

By: Friday June 6, 2014 2:16 pm

According to a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the majority of America’s Fortune 500 companies are cheating the tax man to the amount of approximately $90 billion by using offshore tax havens. That cheating leaves the rest of US taxpayers on the hook to make up the difference.

Apple Directors Overrule Shareholders on Spy Lockout as Woz Joins Movement

By: Monday March 3, 2014 7:25 pm

At Friday’s Apple shareholder meeting, Apple’s directors overruled an urgent, popular shareholder resolution entitled Spy Lockout, aimed at improving security and keeping NSA surveillance and other intruders out of Apple’s products and systems. The same morning, Apple co-Founder Steve Wozniak endorsed the SkyLockout initiative.

Tech Notes for Friday

By: Friday February 28, 2014 12:25 pm

Bitcoins, which exist in electronic form, depend on a network of computers that solve complex mathematical problems to verify and record every transaction. Investors deposit their bitcoins in digital “wallets” at various exchanges. Bitcoin deposits have no government-backed insurance as bank accounts do. Instead, customers have the same legal remedies as anyone who entrusts property to an institution that fails to protected it adequately.

Mt. Gox was the largest exchange, but it and other exchanges halted withdrawals after a series of cyber attacks. Customers were unable to access their accounts.

Silicon Valley Makes Another Attempt to Dodge Taxes With G20

By: Monday January 20, 2014 10:06 am

Silicon Valley likes to present itself as some hub of boot strapping entrepreneurs, nothing could be further from the truth. The entire economy is built on government subsidies and protection. As Steve Blank notes in his famous presentation The Secret History of Silicon Valley the place would not even exist without the Department of Defense which, in partnership with former World War II intelligence workers at Stanford University, provided the capital and infrastructure for high tech economy. That support continues to this day both from the Pentagon, the National Science Foundation, and also a number of other government funders.

NSA Software Program Bugs iPhone

By: Wednesday January 1, 2014 7:29 am

Spy different. During the 30th Chaos Communication Congress Jacob Applebaum revealed the existence of an NSA software program known as DROPOUTJEEP which turns a user’s iPhone into a surveillance device for the government. The revelation suggests Apple may have created a backdoor for the NSA.

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