(CorbettReport) – Aidan Monaghan of 911Blogger.com joins The Corbett Report to discuss his tireless efforts to uncover government documents about 9/11 via Freedom Of Information Act requests. We discuss some of the information he has uncovered and how others can follow in this fruitful area of research. Continue reading
(AntifascistCalling) – The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual’s internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.
In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, The Washington Post reported last month that “the administration wants to add just four words–‘electronic communication transactional records’–to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval.”
Under cover of coughing-up information deemed relevant to espionage or terrorism investigations, proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) would greatly expand the volume of private records that can be seized through National Security Letters (NSLs). Continue reading
(MotherJones) – Last week the Wall Street Journal ran a terrific series of stories called “What They Know.” The general subject was personal privacy—or the lack of it—in the digital world, and the first article in the series explained how websites routinely track your movements on the web and collect a genuinely astonishing amount of personal information about you in the process. The Journal examined 50 sites using a test computer and discovered that these sites collectively installed a total of 3,180 tracking files—an average of 63 tracking files per site:
The state of the art is growing increasingly intrusive, the Journal found. Some tracking files can record a person’s keystrokes online and then transmit the text to a data-gathering company that analyzes it for content, tone and clues to a person’s social connections. Other tracking files can re-spawn trackers that a person may have deleted.
….Some of the tracking files identified by the Journal were so detailed that they verged on being anonymous in name only. They enabled data-gathering companies to build personal profiles that could include age, gender, race, zip code, income, marital status and health concerns, along with recent purchases and favorite TV shows and movies.
A full list of the sites they examined is here. The most intrusive were dictionary.com and msn.com, which installed over 200 tracking files each. The least intrusive were craigslist.org and wikipedia.org. Continue reading
(WallStCheatSheet) – The Information Age is hardly out of the womb. It’s still gasping for first breaths while we clean it off to get a better look.
However, many people and businesses act as if the Information Age is ready for Long Term Care Insurance. Don’t buy what they’re selling.
Recently, Google (GOOG) and Verizon (VZ) started lobbying to end net neutrality. Essentially, they want to create multiple lanes of information traffic, and each lane will have different delivery speeds (see their clever loophole below). This is great for the companies because they want to better price discriminate among their customers. This is horrible for the Internet (in current form) because we have no idea how badly we will choke information and innovation if we cut the cloth this early in the game. Read entire article
(Gigaom) – WikiLeaks, the crusading anti-secrecy organization that just published 90,000 pages of secret government documents about the war in Afghanistan, has gotten a lot of attention for its campaign to become the world’s repository of whistle-blowing and embargo-busting information, and leader Julian Assange has become the star of the political talk show circuit. But the most interesting thing about WikiLeaks and the release of the secret Afghan documents isn’t the details of the U.S. campaign — it’s what the incident says about the evolution of a truly distributed and dis-aggregated new media ecosystem. Continue reading
See Also: (WND) – Obama pal filing rash of media lawsuits? – Group launches 80 copyright infringement claims against websites, bloggers – Read More Here
(Wired) – The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future.
The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”
The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event. Continue reading
(NLPC) – Recent email communication between White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin (in photo), who is Google’s former head of Global Public Policy, and multiple outside individuals raise new questions about the official’s alleged circumvention of federal ethics and recordkeeping rules.
McLaughlin’s communications with Google officials and others about issues that directly benefit the company appears to be more extensive than indicated by a May White House report, which resulted in an official reprimand of Mr. McLaughlin. Click here for a 12-page pdf of the McLaughlin emails.
Administration rules expressly prohibit former lobbyist company officials like McLaughlin from involving themselves in federal policies that materially impact their former employer. But the new emails, which NLPC obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, show a continued pattern in which Mr. McLaughlin communicates with another apparent Google lobbyist, the leader of a Google-funded organization that lobbies in support of Google’s primary area of federal interest, and the head of a nonprofit that works closely with Google lobbyists. Continue reading