by on June 15, 2018
A company run by former officials at Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm brought down by a scandal over how it obtained Facebook users’ private data, has quietly been working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election effort, The Associated Press has learned. FILE - In this May 31, 2018, Brad Parscale, campaign manager for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election, boards a bus after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018, to motorcade back to th...
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by on June 11, 2018
Privacy is a hot-button issue nowadays, and it should be. Information bloodsuckers like Facebook and Google are having a heyday selling your browsing habits to the highest bidder day in and day out. The truth is that’s really how these companies make their money. In case you didn’t know, as soon as you connect to the internet and visit your favorite site you’re virtually getting raped by hundreds of corporate vampires who want to suck every last bit of personal information out of you.   ...
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by on June 5, 2018
A new report raises questions about just how much Facebook data phone manufacturers could access. A new report in The New York Times contains a startling fact: Working with a 2013 BlackBerry device, a reporter was recently able to use special access Facebook had granted the phone manufacturer to glean some identifying information about 294,258 people. Facebook said this special access to data existed only for old devices that did not have a native Facebook application. These people wer...
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by on May 25, 2018
Rockstar’s Simon Ramsey mentoring students at the DreamYard Prep School. The gaming community has something to celebrate today, with the New York Videogame Critics Circle’s recognition as a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. Based in Manhattan, the New York Videogame Critics Circle is a multicultural organization comprised of the finest videogame critics, writers, reporters and bloggers and in the city. Members of organization give back to their communities by providing community outreach to...
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by on May 21, 2018
Is there anything robots can’t do? They can perform our jobs, get periods and now . . . grow human organs. Scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine have developed an automated system that uses robots to produce human mini-organs from stem cells. According to Science Daily, the ability to mass produce “organoids” promises to expand the use of mini-organs in basic research and drug discovery. “This is a new ‘secret weapon’ in our fight against disease,” the universit...
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by on May 14, 2018
It’s taken months to pull together a vote to save net neutrality from the FCC guillotine, but the moment is finally upon us. Senate Democrats announced today that they’ll force a vote to keep net neutrality protections in place on Wednesday, May 16. Support in the chamber is just one vote shy of passing the resolution, but Democrats see a win no matter what the outcome. Last December, the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Title II protections that preserv...
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by on May 12, 2018
With constant surveillance and technological advances, could the U.S. see the rise of an omnipresent social credit system? It’s one of those Black Mirror episodes that blurred the lines between fact and conjecture. “Nosedive,” the season three premiere of the popular sci-fi TV series, follows Lacie, a prim, proper woman who’s obsessed with how the world views her, as she struggles to maintain her social rating. In her society’s social scoring system, each pleasant personal interacti...
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by on May 5, 2018
Cell tower interceptors, often called "stingrays" or "dirtboxes," mimic traditional cell towers. A coalition of civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups has penned a letter in support of a state bill that would force California police and sheriff agencies to disclose all of their surveillance gear, as Oakland this week approved similar requirements through what may be the strongest city surveillance ordinance in the country. Supporters say they believe the legislation will propel oth...
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by on April 6, 2018
  In today’s installment of "I’m Not Terrified, You Are," Bloomberg Law reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject “Media Monitoring Services.” The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press i...
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by on March 22, 2018
Robert Mueller’s team has taken over the investigation of Guccifer 2.0, who communicated with (and was defended by) longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft. That foren...
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by on March 20, 2018
Facebook is having to face the music both in the United States and the United Kingdom after The New York Times and The Observer of London revealed Cambridge Analytica received and employed data harvested from 50 million of the social network's users without their permission. The Federal Trade Commission is launching an investigation.  NYT:  The F.T.C. investigation is connected to a settlement the agency reached with Facebook in 2011. The agency had accused the company of deceivin...
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by on March 6, 2018
There's a fly in the ointment of 'smart government': The emerging problem of biased algorithms. Politicians are struggling to catch up. Late last year, a St. Louis tech executive named Emre Şarbak noticed something strange about Google Translate. He was translating phrases from Turkish -- a language that uses a single gender-neutral pronoun “o” instead of “he” or “she.” But when he asked Google’s tool to turn the sentences into English, they seemed to read like a children’s book out of th...
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