Listen in to the three-judge-panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, hearing oral arguments on that little matter of Net Neutrality rules repeal. In the audio, you'll hear Federal Communications Commission attorneys fumble their way through their poor defense of the repeal of FCC Net Neutrality Rules. A Phenom, eh? Enjoy.
Within the 18th of December's Facebook reportage on the pages of the New York Times, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Michael LaForgia and Nicholas Confessore have written a classic piece dé resistance of investigative journalism. In which, we learn the bitter truth of machinations and shenanigans committed by Facebook executives in their efforts to satiate their founder's greed, and the executive ranks desperate need to wrest the power of the interwebs and make of it a monster fed by the Facebaggery of the company's Mark 'I-Didn't-Do-It' Zuckerberg. Just shameful, and worthy of an opportune long sentence in the hoosegow, eh?
"The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond." - via the New YorK Times reporters Gabriel J.X. Dance, Michael LaForgia and Nicholas Confessore
Woo Hoo! December's Feet of Clay Award has been summarily bestowed upon those nearly perfect examples of corporate scumbaggery: Verizon/AOL! Congratulations (and a $4.95 Million Fine) are in order targeting the sellers of our children's innocence! Read It And Weep for Our Descendents.
"The Attorney General’s Office found that AOL conducted billions of auctions for ad space on hundreds of websites the company knew were directed to children under the age of 13. Through these auctions, AOL collected, used, and disclosed personal information from the websites’ users in violation of COPPA, enabling advertisers to track and serve targeted ads to young children. The company has agreed to adopt comprehensive reforms to protect children from improper tracking and pay a record $4.95 million in penalties, the largest penalty ever in a COPPA enforcement matter in U.S. history." - via the Office of New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood
Why are both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) still permitting clearly ill-conceived user tracking via applications marketed and sold on each company's customer-facing app stores? Surely your privacy and freedom means more to you than the false-and-temporary-convenience of finger, voice and script actuated conveyances of information best retreived in another manner.
via Lawrence Abrams, writing at Bleeping Computer, comes news of a the most recent Attorney's General - The Gathering, colaescing into a brilliant coterie of top Law Enforcement Officials for their individual States. In which, Mesdames et Messieurs Procureurs Généraux demanding Somthing Be Done about Robo-Calls (cetainly the 1st, 2nd and perhaps 3rd World Scourge of Telecommunications) in a missive to the Federal Commmunications Commission (FCC).
Now, whilst I do enthusiastically laud the Advocatus Generalis' cumulative effort to stem-the-tide of robotic-calling systems - that enthusiasm is tempered by the herculean proposition it is to make such a request of the FCC, as Charman Pai of the Commission is far too busy casting his Reese's Peanut Butter Cup soaked visage for former employer Verizon and the other telcos' interests, rather than the People's Business.
"As these illegal telemarketing scams are estimated to have stolen 9.5 billion dollars from consumers, the letter urges the FCC to push for new protocols that can further help to battle these scams. These protocols are STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) and can be used by telephone providers to identify legitimate calls and those from bad actors..." - via Lawrence Abrams> , writing at Bleeping Computer
via Cyrus Farivar, plying his trade at ArsTechnica, regales us with the sorry tale of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) nearly continuous falsehoods surrounding the data it retains. In this case, your location data. This issue has triggered a lawsuit that may, very well affect thens of millions of users. Today's Must Read.
via The Outline's author, Paris Martineau, comes this tale of opt-in/opt-out, GlaxoSmithKline 23andMe. and of course, The Goods - , your DNA. Of which, results in a nagging question: Why would I (or you for that matter), agree to hand over my uniquely identifying DNA data to a commercial enterprise (that only answers to it's shareholders, and only has it's best interests in mind) to use as they see fit? Oh, and a couple of other questions: Do you trust a big-pharma corporation with your own personal Map of Life? What about the future use of that data, once it's in the slipstream of artificially intelligent genetic-testing-reliant health insurance companies? Food for Thought or just Paranoia? You be the judge; after all, it's your DNA, right?
"In short, most — if not all — of the information 23andMe has on its users has probably been shared with someone that isn’t 23andMe itself, and money might have even changed hands. Which is all perfectly within the company’s rights to do, since they agreed to it (probably blindly) when they signed up." - via The Outline author Paris Martineau in the well crafted post 'How To Sign Away The Rights To Your DNA'
via Cyrus Farivar, writing at Ars Technica, comes evidence of skullduggery at Zuckerberg's Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), this time, in the guise of failing to answer Senatorial queries, simply by ignoring such impudence.
"Notably, Facebook declined to promise to share the results of its post-Cambridge Analytica investigation with the public or even Congress. The social media giant also wouldn’t say if it had ever turned off a feature for privacy reasons." - via Cyrus Farivar, writing at Ars Technica
Senators - this is why the use of subpoena is such a powerful tool, especially against this form of stonewalling; further, don't Senate staffers cover the appropos use of subpoena in your freshman year term classes on *How To Behave Senatorialy? - Mxh (ed.)
Through Simon Sharwood, writing at El Reg, we learn of newly-minted egregious modifications of Microsoft Corporation's (Nasdaq: MSFT) EULA and Service Agreements. In which the company will begin terminating accounts that create Office 365 documents (and presumbably email in Outlook and other Office365 content creation software) which violate the Company's EULA and Service Agreements (the use of offensive language is barred, for example). So good to know that Satya is looking out for our well-being (yet continues to release sub-par product with designed-in vulnerabilities) no?