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Supreme Court To Consider Racial Discrimination Case Against Comcast

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 18:50
The Supreme Court will consider whether a black television producer can pursue racial discrimination claims against Comcast for declining to carry his programming channels on its cable system (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). The Wall Street Journal reports: The Comcast case stems from the cable operator's decision not to carry Pets.TV, Recipes.TV and other channels from Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. The Los Angeles company is solely owned by Byron Allen, who gained celebrity as co-host of "Real People," a 1980s reality show. Comcast has carried channels owned mostly or substantially by African-Americans, such as Magic Johnson's Aspire and Sean "Diddy" Combs's music channel, Revolt TV, as well as Black Entertainment Television, whose African-American founder, Robert Johnson, sold to Viacom in 2001. The suit, filed under Reconstruction-era law affording "the same right" to contract "as is enjoyed by white citizens," alleges, however, that Comcast discriminated against "100% African American" owned media such as Entertainment Studios. A federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed the suit to proceed. "If discriminatory intent plays any role in a defendant's decision not to contract with a plaintiff, even if it is merely one factor and not the sole cause of the decision, then that plaintiff has not enjoyed the same right as a white citizen," Judge Milan Smith wrote for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Comcast denies the allegations and says it was concerned the Entertainment Studios programming wouldn't draw enough of an audience to justify allotting it bandwidth. The cable operator argues that federal law requires the plaintiff to show that he or she would have gotten the contract absent racial bias.

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Categories: Privacy

US Customs and Border Protection Says Traveler Photos and License Plate Images Stolen In Data Breach

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 18:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed a data breach has exposed the photos of travelers and vehicles traveling in and out of the United States. The photos were stolen from a subcontractor's network through a "malicious cyberattack," a CBP spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. "CBP learned that a subcontractor, in violation of CBP policies and without CBP's authorization or knowledge, had transferred copies of license plate images and traveler images collected by CBP to the subcontractor's company network," said an agency statement. "Initial information indicates that the subcontractor violated mandatory security and privacy protocols outlined in their contract," the statement read. he agency first learned of the breach on May 31. When asked, a spokesperson for CBP didn't say how many photos were taken in the breach or if U.S. citizens were affected. The agency also didn't name the subcontractor. The database that the agency maintains includes traveler images, as well as passport and visa photos. Congress has been notified and the CBP said it is "closely monitoring" CBP-related work by the subcontractor.

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Categories: Privacy

G20 Agrees To Push Ahead With Digital Tax

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:10
Group of 20 finance ministers agreed over the weekend to compile common rules to close loopholes used by global tech giants such as Facebook to reduce their corporate taxes, a copy of the bloc's draft communique obtained by Reuters showed. From the report: Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other large technology firms face criticism for cutting their tax bills by booking profits in low-tax countries regardless of the location of the end customer. Such practices are seen by many as unfair. The new rules would mean higher tax burdens for large multinational firms but would also make it harder for countries like Ireland to attract foreign direct investment with the promise of ultra-low corporate tax rates. "We welcome the recent progress on addressing the tax challenges arising from digitization and endorse the ambitious program that consists of a two-pillar approach," the draft communique said. "We will redouble our efforts for a consensus-based solution with a final report by 2020." Britain and France have been among the most vocal proponents of proposals to tax big tech companies that focus on making it more difficult to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions, and to introduce a minimum corporate tax.

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Categories: Privacy

Police Use of DNA Leads To Backlash, Policy Change For GEDmatch

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 21:44
Police investigators have used popular online DNA databases to solve at least 50 open murder and rape cases, reports the Associated Press. But now, "complaints about invasion of privacy have produced a backlash, leading the Florida-based database known as GEDmatch to change its policies." The nonprofit website's previous practice was to permit police to use its database only to solve homicides and sexual assaults. But its operators granted a Utah police department an exception to find the assailant who choked unconscious a 71-year-old woman practicing the organ alone in church. The assailant's DNA profile led detectives to the great-uncle of a 17-year-old boy. The teen's DNA matched the attacker's, and he was arrested. GEDmatch soon updated its policy to establish that law enforcement only gets matches from the DNA profiles of users who have given permission. That closed off more than a million profiles. More than 50,000 users agreed to share their information -- a figure that the company says is growing. The 95% reduction in GEDmatch profiles available to police will dramatically reduce the number of hits detectives get and make it more difficult to solve crimes, said David Foran, a forensics biology professor at Michigan State University... The American Civil Liberties Union and other critics say granting law enforcement exceptions that violate a website's policies is a slippery slope. They also believe broad genetic searches violate suspects' constitutional rights. While many people instinctively support the technique if used to catch serial killers or rapists, they might feel differently about their DNA profiles being analyzed to pursue burglars and shoplifters. The site's co-founder tells the AP they've now sent an email to users encouraging them to opt-in to police searches.

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Categories: Privacy

A Wave of SIM Swapping Attacks Targets Cryptocurrency Users

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 17:40
"Numerous members of the cryptocurrency community have been hit by SIM swapping attacks over the past week," ZDNet reported Monday, "in what appears to be a coordinated wave of attacks." SIM swapping, also known as SIM jacking, is a type of ATO (account take over) attack during which a malicious threat actor uses various techniques (usually social engineering) to transfers a victim's phone number to their own SIM card. The purpose of this attack is so that hackers can reset passwords or receive 2FA verification codes and access protected accounts.... [D]espite a period of calm in the first half of the year, a rash of SIM swapping attacks have been reported in the second half of May, and especially over the past week... Some candidly admitted to losing funds, while others said the SIM swapping attacks were unsuccessful because they switched to using hardware security tokens to protect accounts, instead of the classic SMS-based 2FA system.

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Categories: Privacy

Are Amazon's 'Ring' Doorbells Creating A Massive Police Surveillance Network?

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 15:41
"Police departments are piggybacking on Ring's network to build out their surveillance networks..." reports CNET, adding that Ring "helps police avoid roadblocks for surveillance technology, whether a lack of funding or the public's concerns about privacy." While residential neighborhoods aren't usually lined with security cameras, the smart doorbell's popularity has essentially created private surveillance networks powered by Amazon and promoted by police departments. Police departments across the country, from major cities like Houston to towns with fewer than 30,000 people, have offered free or discounted Ring doorbells to citizens, sometimes using taxpayer funds to pay for Amazon's products. While Ring owners are supposed to have a choice on providing police footage, in some giveaways, police require recipients to turn over footage when requested. Ring said Tuesday that it would start cracking down on those strings attached... While more surveillance footage in neighborhoods could help police investigate crimes, the sheer number of cameras run by Amazon's Ring business raises questions about privacy involving both law enforcement and tech giants... More than 50 local police departments across the US have partnered with Ring over the last two years, lauding how the Amazon-owned product allows them to access security footage in areas that typically don't have cameras -- on suburban doorsteps. But privacy advocates argue this partnership gives law enforcement an unprecedented amount of surveillance. "What we have here is a perfect marriage between law enforcement and one of the world's biggest companies creating conditions for a society that few people would want to be a part of," said Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California... Despite its benefits, the relationship between police departments and Ring raises concerns about surveillance and privacy, as Amazon is working with law enforcement to blanket communities with cameras.... "Essentially, we're creating a culture where everybody is the nosy neighbor looking out the window with their binoculars," said Dave Maass, a senior investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It is creating this giant pool of data that allows the government to analyze our every move, whether or not a crime is being committed." On a heat map of Bloomfield, there are hardly any spots in the New Jersey township out of sight of a Ring camera. Tajsar says in some scenarios "they're basically commandeering people's homes as surveillance outposts for law enforcement," and the articles notes that when police departments partner with Ring, "they have access to a law enforcement dashboard, where they can geofence areas and request footage filmed at specific times." While law enforcement "can only get footage from the app if residents choose to send it," if the residents refuse, police can still try to obtain the footage with a subpoena to Amazon's Ring.

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Categories: Privacy

Why Doesn't the U.S. Build More Earthquake-Proof Buildings?

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 09:34
schwit1 shares a report from the New York Times flagging America's surprising low usage of an engineering technique protecting buildings from earthquakes: Chile, China, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Turkey and other countries vulnerable to earthquakes have adopted the technologies to varying degrees. But with notable exceptions, including Apple's new headquarters in Silicon Valley, the innovations have been used only sparingly in the United States. Seismic safety advocates describe this as a missed opportunity to save billions of dollars in reconstruction costs after the inevitable Big One strikes.... The debate over whether to build more resilient buildings in the United States has been held largely out of public view, among engineers and other specialists. But at stake is whether places like Silicon Valley, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco or Los Angeles might be forced to shut down after a direct hit -- and for how long. A federal study last year found that a quarter of the buildings in the Bay Area would be significantly damaged after a magnitude-7 earthquake, a disaster that would be compounded by the fact that 9 out of every 10 commercial buildings and 8 out of 10 homes in California are not insured for earthquakes. "Cities won't be usable for many months, if not years," said H. Kit Miyamoto, a member of the California Seismic Safety Commission, a government body that advises the state Legislature and the governor on earthquake issues. "Throwaway buildings equal a throwaway city." In a severe earthquake, most American buildings are designed to crumple like a car in a head-on collision, dissipating the energy of the earthquake through damage. The goal is to preserve lives, but the building -- like a car after an accident -- may be useless. Ron Hamburger, an American structural engineer who is perhaps the leading authority on the building code, estimates that half of all buildings in San Francisco could be deemed unoccupiable immediately after a major earthquake.... Evan Reis, a co-founder of the U.S. Resiliency Council, a nonprofit organization, says the biggest impediment is that unlike in Japan, buildings change hands frequently in America and the developers who build them do not see the incentive in making them more robust. "Short-term thinking is absolutely the biggest villain," Reis said. The article also points out that California's governor vetoed a bill last year that would've required buidings to be functional after an earthquake.

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Categories: Privacy

YouTube's Crackdown on Violent Extremism Mistakenly Whacks Channels Fighting Violent Extremism

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 11:34
AmiMoJo shares an article by Cory Doctorow: Wednesday, Youtube announced that it would shut down, demonetize and otherwise punish channels that promoted violent extremism, "supremacy" and other forms of hateful expression; predictably enough, this crackdown has caught some of the world's leading human rights campaigners, who publish Youtube channels full of examples of human rights abuses in order to document them and prompt the public and governments to take action.... Some timely reading: Caught in the Net: The Impact of "Extremist" Speech Regulations on Human Rights Content, a report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Jillian C York: "The examples highlighted in this document show that casting a wide net into the Internet with faulty automated moderation technology not only captures content deemed extremist, but also inadvertently captures useful content like human rights documentation, thus shrinking the democratic sphere. No proponent of automated content moderation has provided a satisfactory solution to this problem." A British history teacher living in Romania complained Wednesday that his YouTube channel had been banned completely from YouTube, possibly over its documenting of propaganda speeches from World War II. He tweeted that he was frustrated that "15 years of materials for #HistoryTeacher community have ended so abruptly." Later that same day, his account was restored -- but he's still concerned about other YouTube accounts. "It's absolutely vital that @YouTube work to undo the damage caused by their indiscriminate implementation as soon as possible," he tweeted Wednesday. "Access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort."

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Categories: Privacy

Better Broadband Lowers Unemployment Rates, Study Says

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 09:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Researchers from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Oklahoma State University this week released a new study again tying better broadband to lower unemployment. The study tracked broadband availability and unemployment rates across 95 counties in Tennessee from 2011 to 2016, and found that counties with access to high speed broadband had a 0.26 percentage point lower rate of unemployment compared to low speed counties. Early adoption of faster speeds also aided unemployment rates, researchers found. The researchers concluded that "better quality broadband appears to have a disproportionately greater effect in rural areas" that have been historically neglected by private ISPs, many of which received countless billions in taxpayer subsidies over the last decade. Disinterested with the slow return on investment, many private ISPs have let their networks literally fall apart.

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Categories: Privacy

EU Laws Requiring Audible Warning Sounds For Electric Cars Take Effect July 1

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 06:00
Starting July 1st, electric vehicles with four or more wheels must be fitted with an "Acoustic Vehicle Alert System" (AVAS) if they want to be able to legally drive in the European Union. With AVAS, vehicles would make a continuous noise of at least 56 decibels if the car's going 20 km/h (12 mph) or slower. New Atlas reports: Designed to address the public's fear of quiet electric vehicles, the new laws require cars -- not motorcycles -- to make some kind of noise at slower speeds. The noise, which isn't prescribed to be any particular sound, must rise and fall in pitch to signal whether the vehicle is accelerating or decelerating. Fifty-six decibels isn't particularly loud, mercifully -- it's about the sound level of a running air con unit or electric toothbrush. A diesel truck, for example, will make about 85 decibels when it passes, and the rules state that the warning sounds can't be any louder than 75 decibels, or about the noise level of a regular dinosaur burning car. So the AVAS systems will make no difference at all to people who walk around with earphones in. Jaguar has decided to go with a "weird kind of spaceship sound," while BMW has gone with something that sounds more like a traditional engine. Nissan "seems to have gone for a bit of a jet airliner feel," writes Loz Blain for New Atlas.

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Categories: Privacy

Bloomberg To Put $500 Million Into Closing All Remaining Coal Plants By 2030

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 22:10
In what marks the largest ever philanthropic effort to combat climate change, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pledging $500 million to close all of the nation's remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy. The New York Times reports: The new campaign, called Beyond Carbon, is designed to help eliminate coal by focusing on state and local governments. The effort will bypass Washington, where Mr. Bloomberg has said national action appears unlikely because of a divided Congress and a president who denies the established science of climate change. "We're in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years," Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement before the announcement, which he made in a commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we." A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg said most of the money would be spent over the next three years, though the time frame could be extended. It will fund lobbying efforts by environmental groups -- in state legislatures, City Councils and public utility commissions -- that aim to close coal plants and replace them with wind, solar and other renewable power. Part of the cash also will go toward efforts to elect local lawmakers who prioritize clean energy. The campaign will be based on the need to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change, but will also emphasize the economic benefits of switching to clean energy.

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Categories: Privacy

Maine Governor Signs Bill Banning ISPs From Selling Consumer Data Without Consent

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 20:50
Maine Governor Janet Mills has signed a law banning internet service providers from using, selling, or distributing consumer data without their content. The Hill reports: The Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information would prohibit any ISPs in Maine from refusing to serve a customer, penalizing them or offering a discount in order to pressure consumers into allowing the ISP to sell their data. The law will take effect on July 1. Mills described the new law as "common sense," adding that "Maine people value their privacy, online and off." "The internet is a powerful tool, and as it becomes increasingly intertwined with our lives, it is appropriate to take steps to protect the personal information and privacy of Maine people," Mills said in a statement. "With this common-sense law, Maine people can access the internet with the knowledge and comfort that their personal information cannot be bought or sold by their ISPs without their express approval." Some privacy activists say the Maine law is even stronger than the law California passed last year because it mandates that ISPs require explicit consent from customers to sell their personal data, while the California law requires consumers to request that their data not be sold by their own volition.

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Categories: Privacy

Comcast Broke Law 445,000 Times In Scheme To Inflate Bills, Judge Finds

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 20:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Comcast yesterday was ordered to refund nearly 50,000 customers and pay a $9.1 million fine when a judge ruled that it violated Washington state consumer protection law hundreds of thousands of times. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Comcast in August 2016, accusing the nation's largest cable company of tricking customers into buying a "near-worthless 'protection plan' without disclosing its significant limitations." Buying the $5-per-month plan ostensibly prevented customers from having to pay each time a Comcast technician visited their home to fix problems covered by the plan. But in reality, the plan did not cover the vast majority of wiring problems, the AG's lawsuit said. Moreover, Washington state attorneys said that Comcast led customers to believe that they needed to buy a Service Protection Plan (SPP) to get services that were actually covered for free by the company's "Customer Guarantee." In yesterday's ruling, King County Superior Court Judge Timothy Bradshaw found that "Comcast violated the Consumer Protection Act more than 445,000 times when it charged tens of thousands of Washingtonians for its Service Protection Plan without their consent," Ferguson's announcement said. Each wrongful monthly charge was a separate violation, so there were multiple violations per customer. Washington state attorneys sought more than $171 million, asking the judge to order Comcast to pay $88 million in restitution to customers and $83 million in fines. The $9.1 million fine Comcast was ordered to pay is a fraction of the amount sought by Washington. But Comcast's refunds to customers are separate from the fine, and it's not clear exactly how much they'll amount to.

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Categories: Privacy

Russia Says It Will Soon Begin Blocking Major VPNs

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 19:30
Russian telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor will start blocking major VPNs including NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish and HideMyAss, following through with its threat back in March. At the time, ten major VPN providers were ordered to begin blocking sites present in the country's national blacklist -- but almost all of them didn't comply. TorrentFreak reports: When questioned on the timeline for blocking, Roscomnadzor chief Alexander Zharov said that the matter could be closed within a month. If that happens, the non-compliant providers will themselves be placed on the country's blacklist (known locally as FGIS), meaning that local ISPs will have to prevent their users from accessing them. It is not yet clear whether that means their web presences, their VPN servers, or both. In the case of the latter, it's currently unclear whether there will be a battle or not. TorGuard has already pulled its servers out of Russia and ExpressVPN currently lists no servers in the country. The same is true for OpenVPN although VyprVPN still lists servers in Moscow, as does HideMyAss. Even if Roscomnadzor is successful in blocking any or all of the non-compliant services, there are still dozens more to choose from, a fact acknowledged by Zharov.

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Categories: Privacy

Google Must Face Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Bias Against Conservatives, Judge Rules

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 18:50
Google will have to face a California lawsuit accusing the company of bias against conservative job candidates as part of a legal challenge first brought against the company by James Damore, author of the infamous 2017 "Google memo." The Verge reports: Damore exited the lawsuit last year and entered arbitration with the company. But the suit, which argues Google's hiring practices are biased against white and Asian people, conservatives, and men, will move ahead after surviving a dismissal motion from the company. In a statement, the law firm representing the plaintiffs said the suit will now move into the discovery phase. The plaintiffs in the case are seeking class certification to represent others they believe have been discriminated against, a decision the court will make at a later date. In legal filings, Google has disputed that conservatives are an identifiable class under the law. In a decision, the judge on the case said the court "indeed has doubts" about the viability of the idea, but it is, for the time being, letting the case move ahead. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.

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Categories: Privacy

Quest Diagnostics, One of the Biggest Blood Testing Providers In US, Says Up To 12 Million Patients May Have Had Info Stolen

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 20:50
JustAnotherOldGuy writes from a report via NBC New York: Did your personal, medical, or financial data just get hacked? Quest Diagnostics, one of the biggest blood testing providers in the country, warned Monday that nearly 12 million of its customers may have had personal, financial and medical information breached due to an issue with one of its vendors. In a filing with securities regulators, Quest said it was notified that between Aug. 1, 2018 and March 30, 2019, someone had unauthorized access to the systems of AMCA, a billing collections vendor. "The information on AMCA's affected system included financial information (e.g., credit card numbers and bank account information), medical information and other personal information (e.g., Social Security Numbers)," Quest said in a filing.

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Categories: Privacy

Apple Introduces Privacy-Focused 'Sign in With Apple' Button For Sites and Apps

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 14:10
Apple today announced a "Sign in with Apple" button -- that is similar to sign-in buttons from Twitter, Facebook or Google that allow users to quickly login to a range of services using their social media account. But unlike any existing solution, Apple is focusing on privacy. From a report: More importantly, you can choose to hide your email address, and Apple will generate a random email ID visible to only to that particular app that'll forward all emails to your main email ID. Plus, this method creates a unique random email for each app, so that they can't track you and your personal data. The new sign-in feature is available across MacOS, iOS, and websites.

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Categories: Privacy

YouTube Star Who Gave Man Toothpaste-Filled Oreos Sentenced To Prison

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 23:34
CNET reports on the prison sentence given to "the YouTuber who reportedly filmed himself tricking a homeless man into eating Oreos filled with toothpaste." Barcelona prankster Kanghua Ren, 21, known to his followers as ReSet, was sentenced on Friday to 15 months in prison for his crime against the "moral integrity" of the homeless man, according to El Pais newspaper. The court also reportedly ordered Ren's YouTube and other social media channels to be shut down for five years and said he must give the victim 20,000 euros ($22,305) in compensation.... Ren was 19 when he filmed the prank in early 2017 after being challenged by one of his 1.2 million followers, according to the Times. He also gave the homeless man a 20 euro bill. Ren called the video just a bad joke, but the judge noted that he earned more than 2,000 euros in ad revenue generated from the video, the Times said. It's unlikely Ren will actually serve time behind bars, The New York Times reports, because Spanish law usually suspends sentences under two years for first-time offenders.

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Categories: Privacy

To Protect Secrets, US Won't Charge Assange Over Exposing CIA Tools, Reports Politico

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 18:25
Some interesting news from Politico. America's Justice Department will still prosecute Julian Assange for allegedly assisting Chelsea Manning, and for 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act -- but "has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA's most secret spying tools, according to a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case." It's a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors' recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA's most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak -- one of the most devastating in CIA history -- not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them... [P]rosecutors were worried about the sensitivity of the Vault 7 materials, according to an official familiar with the deliberations over whether to charge Assange. Broaching such a classified subject in court risks exposing even more CIA secrets, legal experts said.

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Categories: Privacy

Scammers Try Elaborate Fake Job Interviews On Google Hangouts

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 15:34
Ars Technica documents "a new breed of digital fraudsters" using a complicated scam to prey on white-collar job-seekers. It involves setting up a fake job interview process and the promises of high-paying work: Like most successful cons, this one involved gaining the willing consent of its victim through some combination of greed, fear, or desperation... The recruiter was responding to the application I had submitted a day earlier for a remote-work tech writer position at a biotech firm... The following day, I logged onto Google Hangouts, properly dressed and groomed for the video chat I'd been preparing for. To my surprise, I learned that the interview would be conducted using Hangouts' text messaging service... After a long briefing about the company, its research, and the oncology treatments it was developing, Mark began the formal part of the interview by introducing himself as the assistant chief human resources officer of the company and describing the duties I'd be expected to fulfill... But there were two questions that seemed out of place. They wanted to know which bank I used and whether it supported electronic deposits, a process in which you deposit checks by taking pictures of them with your Smartphone. It seemed like an odd thing to ask, but I told them that my bank did accept electronic deposits and moved on to the next question... Within a few minutes of submitting my answers, Mark informed me that I'd passed the interview and would receive a formal offer to work from my home as a copywriter/proofreader. My pay would be $45/hour during my one-week training and evaluation period, stepping up to $50/hour when I became an employee. The scammer even assigned fake work -- editing a monograph on cancer treatment protocols following the company's style guide -- while casually promising to send along a check to purchase the necessary high-end equipment for the job. The job-seeker was instructed to scan their deposit receipt and then email the image to the scammers. (And the check was issued from a private Catholic girls' school in Southern California -- while the job-seeker was instructed to make their purchase from "preferred vendors.") Though the scam ultimately wasted 'more than two days worth of my time," at least it revealed something about today's online job sites. "After some more digging, it quickly became apparent that the False Flag Employer scam I nearly fell for is an increasingly common type of cybercrime."

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Categories: Privacy