FlashRouters Privacy News Link Roundup (August 2014)

FlashRouters Privacy News Round-UP August 2014At FlashRouters, we take online security very seriously. That’s why we partner with a great deal of VPN service providers and make sure that all of our routers enhance your VPN experience.

That said, it seems there’s always some new internet threat cropping up these days. From the PRISM leaks of 2013, which showed just how deeply the NSA has infiltrated our private lives, to the Russian Cybervor hacks of the past month, which endangered just about everyone’s passwords, it’s hard to stay ahead in terms of online security.

In that spirit, we thought it’d be wise to compile some of the most interesting and important recent news in the world of internet privacy and freedom, just to keep you updated on both the positive and negative developments.

Internet Privacy & Security News

German Digital Espionage – Ever felt paranoid about the idea that your Facebook or Twitter feed was being monitored? Well, no need to feel that way, because the BND, which is a German foreign intelligence agency, is planning to improve their technology so that they may better monitor social media platforms. It’s not clear how local media obtained the documents that revealed this information, but sinisterly and unsurprisingly, the BND has refused to comment.

Digital Afterlife – Estate planning moved beyond the material realm once we developed password protected e-mail accounts and Facebook pages, but lawmakers are still having trouble making determinations about what should happen to a person’s private internet life after he or she dies. A plan recently endorsed by the Uniform Law Commission would give access to, but not control of, a deceased loved one’s online materials unless otherwise instructed in a will. Privacy advocates are, you guessed it, not so hot on this idea.

UK Emergency Surveillance Bill Rammed Through Parliament – Citing a ruling that struck down European data retention powers in April, the UK government is doing everything in their power to get a controversial emergency surveillance bill through Parliament without much oversight. This new law, the Data Retention and Investigation Powers bill (or, appropriately, DRIP), has also raised the hackles of privacy experts and advocates.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Hacked 3 Times in 3 Years – Well, this one ought to set your teeth chattering: it seems the Nuclear Regulatory Commission – that would the governing body in charge of oversight for  US nuclear power providers – has been hacked three times in as many years, and two of the hacks were from foreign countries. Feeling cozy yet?

Your Laptop Can Be Hacked with a Mere Touch – Continue freaking you out with more unsettling hacking news, you say? We couldn’t agree more. How’s this work for ya: a paper from Tel Aviv University details how you can hack a laptops cryptography keys simply by touching the laptop. We’ll let them explain:

This potential can be measured by a simple wire, non-invasively touching a conductive part of the laptop (such as the metal heatsink fins or shielding of USB, Ethernet, VGA, DisplayPort and HDMI ports), and connected to a suitable amplifier and digitizer. The chassis potential, thus measured, is affected by ongoing computation, and our attacks exploit this to extract RSA and ElGamal keys, within a few seconds.

Scary, yes, but also kind of impressive.

British Intelligence Hunts for Cyber Security Talent Through Online Spy Game – The fight against malevolent forces on the internet rages on every day, so what better way to fight the battle than to appeal to younger recruits with cyber security potential than through a video game? You youngsters like video games, right?

Internet Freedom News

FlashRouters Rounds Up Privacy News, including big news from Twitter

FlashRouters Privacy News Roundup – Big Changes Coming to Twitter

The Rise of Local Streaming Option – This one isn’t so much news as it is an op-ed, but it’s an illuminating look at the ways in which countries without Netflix Instant streaming are working around that lack with local options like Quickflix.

Changes Coming to Your Twitter Timeline – Remember when your Facebook feed was only full of content provided by people you know? We can barely remember either. Now it’s all pages you liked once upon a time and people you barely know interacting with people you don’t know at all. What we’re saying is we’re afraid the same basic thing is about to happen at Twitter.

General Internet News

FlashRouters Privacy News Roundup includes stories about internet speeds on the rise.

FlashRouters Privacy News Roundup: Internet Speeds on the Rise

Internet Connection Speeds Quicken Globally, Except in the US – Despite the roundly acknowledged best intentions of American ISP providers, and the almost hallucinatory fog of sarcasm I’ve just created, the US is not keeping pace with rising internet connection speeds around the globe.

The First Gay Space Online – And finally, for the nostalgic among you, take a look back at net.motss (which would eventually become soc.motss), a discussion forum started in 1983 on the Usenet newsgroup system. Might not sound like much, but it’s credited as being the first space online dedicated to the gay and lesbian community, hence “motss (Members of the Same Sex)”.

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