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The Insidiousness of Facebook Messenger's Mobile App Terms of Service. Corrections/Updates (4:45pm EST 8/11/2014): A previous version of this post contained inaccurate and outdated information about Facebook's Messenger app for Android devices (Facebook has provided its own response to concerns about the app here).

The Insidiousness of Facebook Messenger's Mobile App Terms of Service

The post incorrectly equated the app's Terms of Service to its Android-specific permissions language, and the permissions language it originally quoted has since been updated by Google. These changes are now reflected in the post. How much access to your (and your friends') personal data are you prepared to share for access to free mobile apps? I suspect the amount is significantly less than that which you actually agreed to share when blindly accepting an app's Terms of Service or the default permissions required by a given operating system for an app to function.

The Facebook Messenger app is a standalone version of the instant chat feature within the social network. Your Computer and Phone Cameras Are On. Meet the 'Spy Smurfs': Here's how the NSA, GCHQ target iPhones, Android devices. British and American spy agencies are able to gather vast amounts of personally identifiable information, including age, location, and even sexual orientation and political persuasions, according to the latest documents leaked by former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden.

Meet the 'Spy Smurfs': Here's how the NSA, GCHQ target iPhones, Android devices

The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica working together each published claims that smartphone apps "leak" data from iPhone and Android apps, which are then piggybacked by Britain's GCHQ and the U.S. National Security Agency. Senator Franken Wants Us to Know When Our Apps Are Tracking Us: Cyberstalking apps and geolocation apps can track a mobile-device user’s location—and this information can then be shared with third parties such as advertisers, or with jealous spouses—often without the user’s knowledge that this is happening. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publicized its concern over apps installed on children’s phones that tracked the children’s location and broadcast it to advertisers and third parties without proper consent by, or notification to, parents or children.

Senator Al Franken wants to do something about this. Moreover, he is also concerned about mobile applications that allow other people to surreptitiously track another person, again using geolocation. The Senator recently proposed legislation that attempts to require that companies that develop and sell such mobile apps must get our consent before such programs are installed on our mobile devices. Students Refusing Tracking ID Cards Unable to Vote for Homecoming? Privacy and Security Fanatic: HOPE 9: Whistleblower Binney says the NSA has dossiers on nearly every US citizen. This weekend in New York City was a three-day hackers' conference called HOPE Number 9 which is only held every two years; HOPE stands for "Hackers on Planet Earth" and there's always a lot of great info that comes out of it.

Note to Self: Siri Not Just Working for Me, Working Full-Time for Apple, Too. The U.S. joins China in censoring the Internet. A Senate committee passed an act recently called the Protect IP Act but then, just as quickly, a Senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden, put the bill on hold because as he said, it would “muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth.”

The U.S. joins China in censoring the Internet

The latest piece of internet blacklist legislation, known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives, was introduced by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) who claims it is for the purpose of shutting down foreign sites that post intellectual property created by U.S. firms, goes even further than the Protect IP Act.

The act would allow the US Justice Department powers to punish and shut down websites, both in the U.S. and anywhere in the world and go after companies that provide support for them, either technically or through payment systems. Court Says Warrantless Mobile Phone Tracking Is Unconstitutional. In an amazingly short and to the point ruling (embedded below), a judge in a district court in Southern Texas, Lynn Hughes, ruled that letting the government get mobile phone data without a warrant was unconstitutional: When the government requests records from cellular services, data disclosing the location of the telephone at the time of particular calls may be acquired only by a warrant issued on probable cause.

Court Says Warrantless Mobile Phone Tracking Is Unconstitutional

U.S. Fmr. Fox News Executive: Americans' Phones Were Hacked. 0zDIw.jpg (JPEG Image, 960x767 pixels) Microsoft Patents 'Legal Intercept' Technology, Will Skype Have A Backdoor? — Microsoft and Skype may represent a match made in mobile heaven but they’ve been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late.

Microsoft Patents 'Legal Intercept' Technology, Will Skype Have A Backdoor? —

Skype outages have become a norm rather than an exception. Skype protocol has been cracked through reverse engineering and published as an open source project. And now a newly patented Microsoft technology called ‘Legal Intercept‘ that would allow the company to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls is stoking privacy concerns. The technology would allow Microsoft to silently record communications on VoIP networks such as Skype. While some believe it’s no reason to panic, others believe it gives Microsoft or government officials a license to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls while they are doing the unmentionable. The Legislation That Could Kill Internet Privacy for Good - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics. An overzealous bill that claims to be about stopping child pornography turns every Web user into a person to monitor Every right-thinking person abhors child pornography.

The Legislation That Could Kill Internet Privacy for Good - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics

To combat it, legislators have brought through committee a poorly conceived, over-broad Congressional bill, The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. It is arguably the biggest threat to civil liberties now under consideration in the United States. The potential victims: everyone who uses the Internet. House panel approves broadened ISP snooping bill. Internet providers would be forced to keep logs of their customers' activities for one year--in case police want to review them in the future--under legislation that a U.S.

House panel approves broadened ISP snooping bill

House of Representatives committee approved today. The 19 to 10 vote represents a victory for conservative Republicans, who made data retention their first major technology initiative after last fall's elections, and the Justice Department officials who have quietly lobbied for the sweeping new requirements, a development first reported by CNET. A last-minute rewrite of the bill expands the information that commercial Internet providers are required to store to include customers' names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses, some committee members suggested. JSaRu.jpg (JPEG Image, 450x337 pixels) - Scaled (77. Aurora critics can remain anonymous, judge rules. In a decision with broader implications for online privacy, a judge has ruled not to force the identification of anonymous bloggers who wrote critical web posts about former Aurora mayor Phyllis Morris.

Aurora critics can remain anonymous, judge rules

The Ontario Superior Court ruling, which Ms. Spying On The Home Front. What did you do for AT&T?

Spying On The Home Front

How long did you work there? I worked at AT&T for 22 and a half years. My job was basically to keep the systems going. They were computer systems, network communication systems, Internet equipment, Voice over Internet [Protocol (VoIP)] equipment. I tested circuits long distance across the country. Petewarden/iPhoneTracker @ GitHub. This open-source application maps the information that your iPhone is recording about your movements.

petewarden/iPhoneTracker @ GitHub

It doesn't record anything itself, it only displays files that are already hidden on your computer. Download the application. FBI: Customers Might Sue If They Knew Companies Were Helping With Wiretaps. Breaking News on EFF Victory: Appeals Court Holds that Email Privacy Protected by Fourth Amendment. ACLU of Northern California : Don't Hide Your Gun in Your iPhone(?!) In a case with chilling privacy implications, the California Supreme Court recently held that police officers can search the entire contents of a cell phone whenever they arrest someone, no matter how small the suspected crime or how relevant the cell phone contents might be.

One Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans. TSA Groping Out Of Control. Facebook's Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live audience yesterday that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December. In a six-minute interview on stage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Zuckerberg spent 60 seconds talking about Facebook's privacy policies.