The Winners and Losers This Week in Online Privacy
Congress: The U.S. House of Representatives presented a bill to prevent warrantless government surveillance. This is in direct response to growing tension over government requests to tech companies to create back doors. The government has asked many smartphone makers to weaken their product’s encryption by creating these backdoors, which in theory, would only be accessible by state run agencies. The Full Article
Europe: Google will finally start to scrub search results for “right to be forgotten” requests. Citizens in Europe have the right to ask for the removal of irrelevant or inadequate information when searching their name. However, Google will only scrub the information by geographic locations. If you are in France and you don’t want certain websites or articles attached to your name, you can make a request to be forgotten, but that correlation will still remain outside of France. No word yet on this right extending to Americans. The Full Article
NSA: The NSA is merging its two major divisions into one single directorate. The NSA has two divisions, one is offensive (attacking other people’s systems) and one that is defense (making it hard to break into our systems). The Catch 22 is that the higher you set the cryptographic bar, the higher the standards become and the harder it becomes to break into foreign systems. By merging the two divisions, there is no longer the integrity of dual purpose. It will be much easier to promote weak standards in order to break into foreign networks with greater ease.“The Snowden leaks showed that the NSA did cheat: they deliberately tried to introduce weaknesses into crypto standards so they’d be able to break into foreign networks. This makes their merger of offense and defense a big problem.” The Full Article
Apple: Tim Cook has been bashing Google and Facebook for their lack of data integrity. However it has come to light that Google has paid Apple 1 Billion Dollars to continue the use of it’s search bar on Apple devices. Even with Google’s extensive data tracking that Apple has publicly opposed. What does Google track? You may be surprised. Depending on what google products you use, Google can tie account information like: email you have written, your location, places you have been, voicemail’s, online purchases, all to your search activity. More Information
What Can You Do?
Hardware: Use online privacy devices like eBlocker
Software: Use a browser that does not track or store personally identifiable information like: Search Incognito