Privacy

U.S. President Obama to 'rebalance' NSA surveillance program, but is that enough?

President Barack Obama announced changes to the large-scale electronic surveillance program that has been undertaken by the NSA in an effort to make the program more transparent. Calling it a "rebalancing" of the program, the President announced that the government will be taking steps to make sure that the program isn't being abused and is applied narrowly.

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Apple's Tim Cook, other tech leaders meet with U.S. President Obama, discuss NSA spying concerns

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, as well as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf (no Larry Page or Eric Schmidt?), as well as other leading technologists, civil libertarians, and concerned parties regarding the recent controversy surrounding NSA spying on citizens via the services they use. The meeting was held behind closed doors, but Tony Romm and Michelle Quinn share the following on Politico:

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Private email service Lavabit chooses to quit rather than submit

Lavabit, a private email service currently best known for being NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's communication medium of choice, has suddenly and unexpectedly announced it's shutting down, hinting it would rather do that than comply with something it claims it's not even allowed to talk about. Ladar Levison, owner and operator, on the Lavabit home page:

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ZEN & TECH 57: From NSA to cameras everywhere: Coping with privacy violations

ZEN & TECH is our mobile lifestyle podcast, focusing not just on our phones, tablets, and gadgets, but how we can use technology to help us live better, richer, happier lives. It's how we center our inner geeks! Since it's security week on Talk Mobile 2013, Georgia and Rene talk about everything from camera phones in the locker room to wiretaps on the internet and how we, as private people, can cope in an age of where everyone from friends to family to strangers to governments may be spying on us.

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Apple and other large companies coming together to call for more NSA transparency

An alliance has been formed of some of the United States largest companies, including Apple, that is calling for more transparency from the NSA and its surveillance efforts. The group which also includes Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook, will be publishing a letter sometime today calling for Internet, telephone and web-based service providers to report national security related requests with greater specificity. From AllthingsD:

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Stores using our phones to track our movement, behavior while we shop - clever... or creepy?

While online retailers like Amazon can collect and analyze an incredible amount of behavioral data via accounts, cookies, page-views and other web technologies, real world stores aren't so lucky. If you run in, pay cash, and run out, they're pretty much "blind". That is, until American fashion retailer, Nordstrom, decided to use our phones and their Wi-Fi signals to try and get in on the customer analytics game. Stephanie Clifford and Quentin Hardy writing for the New York Time:

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UK Border Police can take your phone, and everything inside it

What Governments are doing in relation to our phones is a hot topic at the moment, but a new report out of the UK claims that the Border Police can seize your phone and download all the data within it. The procedure can be applied under a domestic anti-terror law, with a blanket power so broad that reasonable suspicion doesn't even need to be established before hand. The report comes by way of UK newspaper The Telegraph:

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Apple releases public statement on customer privacy, over 4,000 requests in a six month period

Apple has gone public with a statement on how they handle requests for customer data from Government agencies. Reiterating their stance first and foremost that a court order is required for any data to be handed over, the release goes on to say that Apple received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests for customer data over a six month period to May 31 2013.

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How to easily encrypt external drives in OS X Mountain Lion

OS X has long let you encrypt external drives, and even your Mac HD. Mountain Lion has actually made it even easier to encrypt external disks with just a few clicks. It's sometimes a good idea to do so on items such as backup disks. This way, if they ever fall into the wrong hands, no one should be able to access your data without the password you have set to decrypt it.

If you aren't sure how to encrypt your data, follow along and we'll show you how.

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How to disable website tracking in Safari for Mac

There are lots of reasons browsers use website tracking. There are also lots of reasons you would want to turn it off.

If you use Safari for Mac, you can do just that with just a few simple clicks.

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