Security. Privacy. Shopping. Travel. |

April 2014

Bloomberg says that the NSA knew about Heartbleed for years

By |April 17th, 2014

According to Bloomberg News, the NSA knew of the existence of the Heartbleed bug for at least two years and kept it secret from the infosec community.
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

The NSA is denying these allegations and we still do not know who the two people familiar with the matter are. But, what we do know (since the Snowden revelations) is that […]

IRS employees politicking, while on the Job

By |April 11th, 2014

There is a new politicking Scandal in town.The Washington Post reported yesterday that some Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees was urging callers to vote for President Obama (from work), during the 2012 election cycle. According to a federal ethics watchdog, the IRS employees also wore pro-Obama swag to work.

Using a government position to garner votes for a candidate is ethically wrong. Since the IRS is under The U.S. Department of the Treasury (executive branch), the Hatch Act strictly prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in partisan political activity.
Persuasive Politicking
Ironically, under the Proposed Guidance For Tax-Exempt Social Welfare […]

Iceland: Respects Online Privacy

By |April 3rd, 2014

Online privacy is not dead yet.
Government Surveillance
Every day in America, we read about how US government surveillance programs have crept into our private lives and snapped up all our online communications. As scary as the Patriot Act and FISA Amendment Act, (along with FISC , the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) operating under a heavy blanket of secrecy (while favoring government intrusions over individual rights) — we still carry on. Though, XKeyscore, along with other government systems has the capability to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity — we still believe that online privacy has a right to coexist on the digital highway.
Iceland: […]

March 2014

Is it time to store your data overseas?

By |March 26th, 2014

Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admit we’re on a rather slippery slope. Recent hearings regarding the IRS have us trying to determine whether the organization used its powers to harm various political groups. Ex-Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, Lois Lerner, asserted her right to avoid incriminating herself by pleading the fifth . I don’t know about you, but to me when government officials are avoiding self-incrimination, it becomes clear that somebody’s liberties may be at stake.
Tipping point
While I’m not judging whether there has been a direct violation of the constitution, I do find that we […]

Malware – Yes, it’s come a long way baby!

By |March 21st, 2014

Though malware has been around since the Brain boot sector virus (released in 1986) -It’s come a long way baby since then. Fast forward twenty-eight years: from legacy floppy disk viruses to 2013, where, according to the  2013 Panda Security Annual Report, 82,000 new malware threats appear on a daily basis. Like ubiquitous sugar ants – Trojans lead the way, where a mind-bending 20 percent of all malware that ever existed was created in 2013.  

Malware with a ticker
One of the most infamous threats of 2013 goes to CryptoLocker. This is a malicious Trojan that not only hijacks and encrypts user documents, but […]

February 2014

Your Smartphone location data leads the trail…

By |February 24th, 2014

If you carry a smartphone your data trail can always be monitored in real time. USA Today reported late last year that the government is not the only entity secretly collecting your data —125 police agencies in 33 states also collect your private data.

Approximately one in four police agencies perform cell phone tower dumps
 Approximately 25 police agencies own a Stingray

In the wrong place at the wrong time?
It’s a gorgeous Saturday morning filled with spectacular sunshine and you have list of fabulous yard sales to check out. You figure, at most it should take you 3-4 […]

Today We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

By |February 11th, 2014

Today thousands of websites are protesting against the U.S. governments mass surveillance program and we are proud to be part of this group effort.

David Moon of Demand Progress has this to say about this important day in American history:

We understand the United States to be a democracy, founded upon a Constitution that affords us critical rights, and governed by the rule of law.

Yet for years, the NSA has exploited secret legal interpretations to undermine our privacy rights — thus chilling speech and activism, and thereby threatening to subvert the very underpinnings of our democracy itself.

We are demanding that decision makers remedy this by:

Passing the […]

January 2014

Use privacy tools to mask your identity

By |January 30th, 2014

This month The Guardian reported that only 28% of the online population (415 million) people use privacy tools to mask their identity or location. When it gets down to content blocking, censorship, and concern over online privacy (government and corporate tracking) – many users are driven to find solutions in the realm of anonymity tools.
The gathering crisis of trust around consumer web services and the fallout from Edward Snowden’s revelations is fuelling a significant uptake in anonymity tools, new research shows, as internet users battle censorship and assert their right to privacy online. – The Future of Retail | PSFK Report […]

Why We Love Privacy (And You Should, Too!)

By |January 20th, 2014

Privacy can be elusive to those who surf the web in the raw. Myriad websites across the globe are made aware of our presence from the moment we query a search engine, login to a social media site, read a blog post, or search for a product at Amazon. Our digital footprint can spread far and wide via all of the devices that we utilize to access the Internet too. Today, corporations and government may know more about our daily habits than our partner or best friend does.
Online Privacy Defined
Though the definition of online privacy differs from person to […]

Shopping, with the click of my mouse

By |January 8th, 2014

Online Shopping
With the click of my mouse, I can buy almost anything online today. I’ve been an avid Amazon shopper for the past two years due to my subscription to Amazon Prime. With free two-day shipping, streaming movies, and a Kindle lending library – I’ve been residing in Amazon heaven. With 14 states in the US that house 39 fulfillment centers – it’s too easy to use Amazon. Though the convenience is astounding, I do not appreciate the one product that I abandoned in my shopping cart stalking me around the Internet.
A case in point
When my daughter ran out […]