Legal & Security

05 July 2015

Humans are the weakest link when it comes to encryption The Observer

"Encryption works," said Edward Snowden in June 2013, in reply to a question from a Guardian reader about how he could protect his communications from NSA/GCHQ surveillance. "Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on." Mr Snowden is a smart and thoughtful guy and he chooses his words with care. So note the qualifications in that sentence: "strong crypto" and "properly implemented".

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03 July 2015

European Police to Target Islamist Radicals on Social Media Accounts New York Times

Europol, the European police agency based in The Hague, will create a new unit next month to discover and dismantle social media accounts used by Islamist radicals to spread their message and recruit foreigners, the agency announced on Wednesday.

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02 July 2015

Facebook Wins a Round in Austrian Court Case New York Times

A court in Vienna has rejected a class-action suit against Facebook that centered on how the social network collected and used data on its 1.4 billion users.

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01 July 2015

VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think Endgadget

VPNs (virtual private networks) are a popular choice for sidestepping censorship and geographic restrictions on services like Netflix with more than 20 percent of Europeans using them. However, researchers at the Queen Mary, University of London recently examined 14 of the region's most popular VPN providers and found nearly all of them leaked information about their users to some degree. These leaks ranged from minor, ie what site you visited, to major infractions including the actual content of your communications.

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US Ruling That Apple Led E-Book Pricing Conspiracy Is Upheld New York Times

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that determined Apple to be the leader of an industrywide conspiracy among book publishers to raise prices of digital books.

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22 June 2015

Islamic State web accounts to be blocked by new police team BBC News

A Europe-wide police team is being formed to track and block social media accounts linked to Islamic State.

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In China, Illegal Drugs Are Sold Online in an Unbridled Market New York Times

Ordering illegal drugs from China is as easy as typing on a keyboard.

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20 June 2015

Estonian News Site Can Be Held Liable for Defamatory Comments, Court Rules New York Times

One of Europe's top courts has ruled that an Estonian news organization can be held liable for defamatory comments posted on its website.

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18 June 2015

Shock European court decision: Websites are liable for users' comments Ars Technica

In a surprise decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has ruled that the Estonian news site Delfi may be held responsible for anonymous and allegedly defamatory comments from its readers. As the digital rights organization Access notes, this goes against the European Union's e-commerce directive, which "guarantees liability protection for intermediaries that implement notice-and-takedown mechanisms on third-party comments." As such, Peter Micek, Senior Policy Counsel at Access, says the ECHR judgment has "dramatically shifted the internet away from the free expression and privacy protections that created the internet as we know it."

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17 June 2015

Bing Moving to Encrypt Search Traffic by Default Bing Blog

At Microsoft, we're committed to helping users keep their data safe and secure.

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15 June 2015

Cyber attacks: More than 3,500 breaches in April and threats set to increase, Australian police say ABC News

More than 3,500 cyber attacks on Australia from foreign countries and criminals were reported in April, the Australian Federal Police says.

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Global cybercrime has infected the very soul of capitalism with evil The Guardian

As we lug our heavy satchels on to the stage, there is a moment of mutual recognition. A cop, a security specialist, a man in the electronic-payments business and a journalist: we've all learned that you don't check your laptop into a cloakroom, no matter how swish the venue.

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12 June 2015

Virus Hunter Kaspersky Becomes the Hunted Der Spiegel

The Russian IT security firm Kaspersky Lab has discovered a new, powerful cyber weapon, apparently a successor to the notorious Duqu software. But this time the virus hunter itself is a target. Now experts are scrambling to identify who's behind it.

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11 June 2015

Cyber attack on German parliament still active, could cost millions: media Reuters

A cyber attack on the German Bundestag lower house of parliament reported last month is still stealing data and could force officials to spend millions of euros replacing the entire computer system, German media reported on Wednesday.

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Cyber-Espionage Nightmare: A groundbreaking online-spying case unearths details that companies wish you didn't know about how vital information slips away from them. MIT Technology Review

On a wall facing dozens of cubicles at the FBI office in Pittsburgh, five guys from Shanghai stare from "Wanted" posters. Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui are, according to a federal indictment unsealed last year, agents of China's People's Liberation Army Unit 61398, who hacked into networks at American companies -- U.S. Steel, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies (ATI), Westinghouse -- plus the biggest industrial labor union in North America, United Steelworkers, and the U.S. subsidiary of SolarWorld, a German solar-panel maker. Over several years, prosecutors say, the agents stole thousands of e-mails about business strategy, documents about unfair-trade cases some of the U.S. companies had filed against China, and even piping designs for nuclear power plants -- all allegedly to benefit Chinese companies.

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07 June 2015

With a series of major hacks, China builds a database on Americans Washington Post

China is building massive databases of Americans' personal information by hacking government agencies and U.S. health-care companies, using a high-tech tactic to achieve an age-old goal of espionage: recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary, U.S. officials and analysts say.

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The government won't say what was in the hacked federal database, but experts have suspicions Washington Post

Here's what we know from federal officials about the database that was hacked, compromising the personal information of 4 million current and retired employees: It is kept in a data center at the Department of the Interior.

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06 June 2015

U.S. Was Warned of System Open to Cyberattacks New York Times

The inspector general at the Office of Personnel Management, which keeps the records and security clearance information for millions of current and retired federal employees, issued a report in November that essentially described the agency's computer security system as a Chinese hacker's dream.

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US government responds to latest hack: give us more power over data collection The Guardian

Congressional leaders are warning the latest major government data hack proves the Senate should hand the US government greater cybersecurity powers - even as the stalled legislation to do so would place even more consumer data into the hands of the same government that could not secure its existing information.

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Cyberwar: hacking attacks between nations are difficult to prove The Guardian

It is a story that is becoming all-too-familiar: the US government had to admit on Thursday that one of its key personnel databases, containing the records of up to 4 million staff, had been compromised in a large-scale hacking attack. Officials speaking off the record laid the blame at China's door, though did not immediately provide any evidence for this claim.

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05 June 2015

Data Breach Linked to China Exposes Millions of U.S. Workers New York Times

The Obama administration on Thursday announced what appeared to be one of the largest breaches of federal employees' data, involving at least four million current and former government workers in an intrusion that officials said apparently originated in China.

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03 June 2015

The US Supreme Court just made the Web even more hostile for women Washington Post

You have to mean it before it's a crime. So said the Supreme Court in a ruling this week about online threats of violence. The opinion reverses a lower court's conviction of a man who fantasized on Facebook about killing his ex-wife. That may ease the fear many of us have about inadvertently putting something on the Internet that gets misconstrued. But the finding is a major setback for those trying to make the Web a less hateful and hostile place, particularly for women.

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30 May 2015

Silk Road drug website founder Ross Ulbricht jailed BBC News

The founder of online illegal drug marketplace the Silk Road has been sentenced to life in prison in the US.

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29 May 2015

North Korean hackers 'could kill', warns key defector BBC News

North Korean hackers are capable of attacks that could destroy critical infrastructure and even kill people, a high-profile defector has warned.

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28 May 2015

Obama administration asks U.S. top court to decline Google copyright appeal Reuters

The Obama administration on Tuesday sided against Google Inc and said the U.S. Supreme Court should not hear the company's appeal in a case against Oracle Corp with wide implications for the technology industry, according to a court filing.

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