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  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crimson Hexagon, , , , surveillance   

    Facebook is facing yet another privacy problem 

    Facebook is facing yet another privacy problem

    Once again Facebook finds itself embroiled in controversy over the possible abuse of user data. If you’ll recall, Facebook was admonished by both the US and UK governments when it was discovered that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly obtained the personal data of 87 million Facebook users. Now, Facebook has suspended a research firm from accessing its data over surveillance concerns.

    Over the weekend, Facebook suspended its contract with research and marketing firm Crimson Hexagon. This was in response to a Wall Street Journal article that claims Crimson Hexagon has contracts with entities that have ties to US and Russian government agencies. Facebook has suspended Crimson Hexagon’s access to user data over fears that the data is being used to conduct government surveillance on Facebook users. Crimson Hexagon denies this claim and says they only get their information from public Facebook posts. However, it is a bit disconcerting that Crimson Hexagon has over 1 trillion of these posts in their databases.

    Besides the fact that this may be another case of Facebook being unable to keep track of who has its data, there’s another concern here. Facebook is only reacting to these potential breaches only after its brought to their attention by the media. By the time Facebook becomes aware of the problem, the data is already in questionable hands. Is Facebook not properly vetting these data collectors, or does Facebook just not really care about our privacy as long as they’re being paid for our information? Then again, the Cambridge Analytica scandal didn’t seem to hurt Facebook so it’s unlikely this latest kerfuffle will either. What will it really take before the American public realizes that Facebook’s only interest is in itself?

  • Geebo 12:58 pm on December 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Archive.Org, , , Internet Archive, surveillance   

    Archive.org heading to Canada over Trump concerns 

    Archive.org heading to Canada over Trump concerns

    (Disclaimer: This post is not intended to espouse one political party over the other)

    A number of us are familiar with the Internet Archive at Archive.Org. It’s where we go to see what websites looked like in the early days of the internet thanks to their Wayback Machine.The Archive is so much more than that though as according to Wikipedia, “It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including web sites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books.” It can almost be considered a public service to the whole of the internet.

    Recently, the curators of the Archive made their intentions known that they plan to create a new backup center in Canada. Normally this is just good security to have all their data backed up in off site storage, however that’s not the main reason as to why they’re backing up north of the border. According to reports, the digital library said they were using a Canadian site for backup over fears of surveillance during the upcoming Donald Trump presidency.

    “On November 9 in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long term, need to design for change,” said a blog post from Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian at the organization.

    While the Internet Archive is a private entity and are free to back up their data anywhere they see fit , to some this may seem like a sour grapes move after the election didn’t go the way they may have wished. For example, one of the biggest and most sweeping surveillance programs in US history, PRISM, took place under the Obama administration, yet there were no massive tech runs to the border at that time. Sadly, this sounds an awful lot like all those people who claimed that they were moving to Canada if Trump won the election, but again there are no massive rushes to the northern border.

    While President-Elect Trump may want to put some surveillance program in place that are reminiscent of the McCarthy era, he still has an uphill battle as far as enacting any of his supposed Bond Villain-like plans. Not only will the Democrats in Congress oppose him at every turn but he has also disenfranchised many within the GOP. While the outlook may indeed appear bleak to many, there is no guarantee of dystopia.

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