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    LizMcIntyre

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    [–] Pinterest mobile app is phoning home every ten seconds LizMcIntyre 5 points ago in privacy

    Here's a tip for eradicating the Pinterest Internet weed from your search results:

    When you search for something that might return a Pinterest result -- which is pretty much anything that might have an associated picture -- use the "minus" "-" sign in your query.

    For example, if you're searching for

    best family room ideas

    but don't want any Pinterest results, search like this:

    best family room ideas -Pinterest

    I know this works at Startpage.com, but it likely also works at DuckDuckGo. This has saved me so much aggravation.

    [–] Hidden microphone in RJ45 Cable. LizMcIntyre 3 points ago in privacy

    Right. Just give someone a compromised USB that loads malware.

    [–] Hidden microphone in RJ45 Cable. LizMcIntyre 0 points ago in privacy

    Good to know. I'd still be careful about where I get equipment, like cables, USB's etc.

    [–] Hidden microphone in RJ45 Cable. LizMcIntyre 0 points ago in privacy

    Would be good to know. At the very least, this shows the mic in the cord is possible.

    [–] Hidden microphone in RJ45 Cable. LizMcIntyre 27 points ago in privacy

    That should be illegal. Period.

    When consumers buy something, they shouldn't be "given" additional features that could compromise their privacy and security. This wouldn't just apply to rogue microphones. Items with things like embedded RFID tags and Bluetooth communication devices should be clearly labeled.

    [–] Comcast is reportedly developing a smart speaker that would track your bathroom habits LizMcIntyre 4 points ago in theinternetofshit

    Here's a headline that's made for "TheInternetOfShit." It's not just a headline that's full of sh.t. The idea is full of it, too. ;-)

    Chris Welch reports at The Verge:

    Comcast is reportedly working on a device designed to closely monitor a user’s health. That’s according to CNBC, which says the conglomerate is set to begin piloting the product sometime this year before a full launch in 2020. Having one of the most powerful telecom empires in the world tracking your health and lifestyle sure has an unsettling, dystopian ring to it.

    “The device will monitor people’s basic health metrics using ambient sensors, with a focus on whether someone is making frequent trips to the bathroom or spending more time than usual in bed,” CNBC’s report says. “Comcast is also building tools for detecting falls, which are common and potentially fatal for seniors.”

    ...

    [–] Comcast is reportedly developing a smart speaker that would track your bathroom habits - The Verge LizMcIntyre 3 points ago in privacy

    Marketers spend a great deal of time coming up with ways to justify tracking people. They want the data, but they also realize people won't want to simply hand it over.

    This is why there are SO many ridiculous IoT proposals. If marketers can make up even a flimsy use case and make it cool, they've scored a victory for data siphoning.

    [–] Broadband Monopolies Are Acting Like Old Phone Monopolies. Good Thing Solutions to That Problem Already Exist LizMcIntyre 24 points ago in MarchForNetNeutrality

    Ernesto Falcon reports at EFF:

    ...

    Americans Have Been Here Before

    AT&T’s telephone monopoly lasted for generations because states and the federal government both allowed and tolerated it. Prior to government intervention, private industry failed to challenge the dominance of AT&T because the incumbent monopoly regularly took extraordinary steps to cut off competitors. The tide began to shift once states, the FCC, the courts, the president, and eventually Congress took dramatic steps to end the monopolization of telecom services.

    Many of the provisions in the 1996 Telecom Act that exist now come from solutions tailored by the litigation, regulatory, and state efforts to promote competition among phone companies. For example, it was California and New York states’ efforts to open up competion in local phone calls that inspired Congress to adopt a federal approach of “unbundled network elements (UNEs)” requirements. And those rules—with roots in fighting anticompetitiveness in phones—have helped create several small ISPs that exist today. The requirement for networks to “interconnect” under federal law stemmed from a Department of Justice antitrust action to mandated interconnection decades earlier. These and other federal provisions in law are still disliked by the major incumbent ISPs as AT&T and Verizon are actively asking the FCC today to eliminate UNEs and Comcast is suing California’s net neutrality law because of its interconnection provisions.

    This is why the major ISPs have waged such a long war against net neutrality, because all of the federal provisions that involve curtailing the power of monopoly by promoting competition also empower the FCC to enforce net neutrality.

    ...

    [–] Ajit Pai May Have Lied To Congress About FCC's Failure To Address Wireless Location Data Scandals LizMcIntyre 4 points ago in netneutrality

    Karl Bode reports at Techdirt:

    ...

    Last week during a Congressional FCC oversight hearing, several lawmakers criticized Pai for failing to hold carriers accountable or even publicly mentioning the scandal. And while the FCC has supposedly been conducting an investigation for the better part of the last year, Pai's fellow commissioners say they've been stonewalled when they've asked about the progress of the inquiry. When Representative Anna Eshoo pressed Pai on whether he was withholding information from his fellow commissioners, he refused to answer the question:

    "Can you tell us today that you’re going to share information with two full-fledged members of the commission?” Eshoo asked at one point. “You’re saying you can’t tell us, but will you tell them?”

    “Congresswoman, this is not a ‘yes or no’ question,” he said.

    Cute. Again, both of Pai's fellow Democratic Commissioners (Geoffrey Sparks and Jessica Rosenworcel) say they requested the “letters of inquiry” sent out by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau at the investigation’s outset but were repeatedly stonewalled by Pai and his leadership team. But when pressed by Congress, Pai stated he was "not aware" of any such requests, suggesting the FCC boss lied to Congress.

    ...

    [–] Broadband Monopolies Are Acting Like Old Phone Monopolies. Good Thing Solutions to That Problem Already Exist LizMcIntyre 13 points ago in KeepOurNetFree

    Ernesto Falcon reports at EFF:

    ...

    Americans Have Been Here Before

    AT&T’s telephone monopoly lasted for generations because states and the federal government both allowed and tolerated it. Prior to government intervention, private industry failed to challenge the dominance of AT&T because the incumbent monopoly regularly took extraordinary steps to cut off competitors. The tide began to shift once states, the FCC, the courts, the president, and eventually Congress took dramatic steps to end the monopolization of telecom services.

    Many of the provisions in the 1996 Telecom Act that exist now come from solutions tailored by the litigation, regulatory, and state efforts to promote competition among phone companies. For example, it was California and New York states’ efforts to open up competion in local phone calls that inspired Congress to adopt a federal approach of “unbundled network elements (UNEs)” requirements. And those rules—with roots in fighting anticompetitiveness in phones—have helped create several small ISPs that exist today. The requirement for networks to “interconnect” under federal law stemmed from a Department of Justice antitrust action to mandated interconnection decades earlier. These and other federal provisions in law are still disliked by the major incumbent ISPs as AT&T and Verizon are actively asking the FCC today to eliminate UNEs and Comcast is suing California’s net neutrality law because of its interconnection provisions.

    This is why the major ISPs have waged such a long war against net neutrality, because all of the federal provisions that involve curtailing the power of monopoly by promoting competition also empower the FCC to enforce net neutrality.

    ...

    [–] Question about SearX & StartPage LizMcIntyre 3 points ago in privacy

    Here's an article that should help: Can I make Startpage.com the default search engine on my mobile device?

    You get better search results by adding Startpage.com to your homescreen. That takes you to the mobile-friendly responsive desktop version with the latest features and best search results. :-)

    [–] Over 90% of data transactions on IoT devices are unencrypted - A report from Zscaler reveals some troubling facts about the risks posed by network-connected IoT devices LizMcIntyre 1 points ago in privacy

    Lucian Constantin reports at ITWorld:

    A new report that looked at millions of connections from IoT devices present on enterprise networks found that over 40% of them do not encrypt their traffic. This means a large number of such devices are exposed to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks where hackers in a position to intercept traffic can steal or manipulate their data.

    ...

    [–] Hackers Are Holding Baltimore Hostage: How They Struck and What’s Next LizMcIntyre 1 points ago in technology

    Niraj Chokshi reports at The New York Times:

    More than two weeks ago, hackers seized parts of the computer systems that run Baltimore’s government.

    It could take months of work to get the disrupted technology back online. That, or the city could give in to the hackers’ ransom demands.

    ...

    A copy of a digital ransom note, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, stated that the city could unlock the seized files for a price: three Bitcoins (nearly $24,000) per system or 13 Bitcoins (about $102,000) for them all.

    ...

    [–] Over 90% of data transactions on IoT devices are unencrypted - A report from Zscaler reveals some troubling facts about the risks posed by network-connected IoT devices LizMcIntyre 3 points ago in theinternetofshit

    Lucian Constantin reports at ITWorld:

    A new report that looked at millions of connections from IoT devices present on enterprise networks found that over 40% of them do not encrypt their traffic. This means a large number of such devices are exposed to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks where hackers in a position to intercept traffic can steal or manipulate their data.

    ...