Archive for August 2011
It looks like Microsoft got caught using “evercookie” or “supercookie” technologies to recreate tracking cookies even after users have tried to delete them from their browsers.
In theory, your Amazon wish list should allow people to buy you gifts, but should not reveal anything but the list of items you want.
Evidently, if you buy something for someone off their list, you can then see the delivery address in the order reports in your account.
Solution is to remove the delivery address from your list. Your friends and family would have to enter the delivery address manually, but one hopes that they already know it. A good description of the process is in the above linked article.
Brian Krebs has an interesting blog post on how all of the credit card information was stolen by a hacker from a website that sells stolen credit cards.
This is in the “don’t know whether to laugh or cry” department.
Back in February, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech where he strongly opposed the censorship and crack down on protesters in Egypt.
For decades, some have argued that stability required highly controlling regimes, and that reform and openness would put that stability at risk. So, the argument went, countries like Britain faced a choice between our interests and our values. And to be honest, we should acknowledge that sometimes we have made such calculations in the past. But I say that is a false choice.
As recent events have confirmed, denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability, rather the reverse. Our interests lie in upholding our values – in insisting on the right to peaceful protest, in freedom of speech and the internet, in freedom of assembly and the rule of law. But these are not just our values, but the entitlement of people everywhere; of people in Tahrir Square as much as Trafalgar Square.
Now, with the riots in England he feels that restricting access to social media, and censoring free speech is necessary to maintain order.
Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers. Police were facing a new circumstance where rioters were using the BlackBerry Messenger service, a closed network, to organise riots. We’ve got to examine that and work out how to get ahead of them.
It is easy to condemn censorship in others, but it seems expedient when one is trying to control one’s own population. When in power, the difference between justifiable actions and tyranny is largely a matter of “us” vs “them”. “We” are good and would not abuse this power while “they” use censorship to keep the boot of oppression on their people.
The trouble is, it is very hard to know when one has moved past the tipping point, and powerful self justification comes easily to intelligent leaders and their advisors. As has been said many times “no man is the villein of his own story”.
This is a Rubicon I hope the UK can hold back from crossing.
Researchers analyzing results from the ICSI Netalyzer project have found ISPs redirecting traffic bound for Yahoo! and Bing to third parties like Paxfire, Barefruit, and Golog. According to this EFF article:
Netalyzr’s measurements show that approximately a dozen US Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including DirecPC, Frontier, Hughes, and Wide Open West, deliberately and with no visible indication route thousands of users’ entire web search traffic via Paxfire’s web proxies.
This appears to be done by returning the IP address of the intercepting server rather than the true IP address when you do a DNS lookup of the server (www.yahoo.com for example). Your browser then connects to Paxfire or one of the other companies, rather than yahoo, allowing them to collect data on your activity and possibly modify the results.
There are some things you can do to protect yourself. If your connection to the website is using SSL, or if you have a VPN, your ISP can not intercept or modify your connection.
If you are running FireFox you can install the “HTTPS Everywhere” extension, which will ensure that your connection uses SSL for most of the most popular sites on the Internet.
Using Anonymizer Universal will ensure 100% of your traffic goes over an encrypted connection which will prevent this kind of interception for all websites.
I encourage all of you to visit the ICSI Netalyzer website to test your connection and your ISP for this kind of interception, and to contribute information for their research to detect this kind of strange and/or nefarious activity.