Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 81

December 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

After a two week hiatus (thanks mostly to the holidays and Andrew's self-imposed exile to a small town in Kentucky) we return with Super Podcast Action Committee Episode 81! On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the Killer Instinct DRM that popped up during a recent competition at a NYC college, the EFF's annual Wish List, and investors suing EA over the shaky Battlefield 4 launch. Download Episode 81 now: SuperPAC Episode 81 (1 hour, 17 minutes) 88.4 MB.

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RSA Denies Allegations About NSA Deal

December 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this week we reported that Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, had publicly canceled a talk (entitled, "Governments as Malware Authors") at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 in protest of news that the RSA received $10 million to make an NSA-favored random number generator the default setting in its BSAFE crypto tool.

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Google Online Rights Petition Surpasses Required 100K Signature Milestone

December 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Google passed along a note letting us know that its petition on the White House web site has surpassed 107,000 signatures. The "We The People" petition calls for the White House and lawmakers to give the stuff we store online the same legal protections (Fourth Amendment) as the stuff we store offline. The petition only needed 100,000 signatures to ellicit a response from the White House at some point in the future, so it is good that it has passed this particular milestone.

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Verizon Plans to Publish Regular Reports on Data Requests from Law Enforcement, Government Agencies in 2014

December 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Verizon says that it wants to disclose all of the various requests it received from law enforcement and intelligence agencies this year, but it has to negotiate with the U.S. government. The company's announcement follows a request by shareholders last month to disclose its dealings with the NSA.

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Presidential Committee Delivers 300-Page Report on NSA Spying Programs

December 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A committee put together by President Barack Obama in August to investigate the government's vast surveillance operations and how it goes about collecting information here and abroad, delivered a 300 page report outlining why U.S. surveillance programs are "broken" and what can be done to fix them. The committee was put together following damaging document leaks about the NSA's various secret spying programs from former NSA contractor Snowden.

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PSA: Credit Card Info Stolen From Target

December 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

If you shopped at U.S. retailer Target on Black Friday, you may want to pay close attention to the following story from the BBC.

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UN Approves Resolution on Privacy Rights in the Digital Age

December 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

This week 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a UN privacy resolution called "The right to privacy in the digital age." The resolution was introduced by Brazil and Germany and sponsored by more than 50 member states. The goal of the resolution is to uphold the right to privacy for everyone around the world. No doubt the resolution is in response to spying activities being conducted by the United States and the United Kingdom.

Here's an excerpt from the resolution:

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Report: Hackers Ramp Up Attacks Against New Consoles

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Consumer Affairs report says that hacking attempts against the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are ramping up. According to the report, which is based on information from security firm Kaspersky Lab, hackers have launched an average of 34,000 attacks per day across the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and other game platforms. Kaspersky also says that it has found 4.6 million pieces of gaming-focused malware against the various game systems to-date.

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Government Defends Heavily Redacted Brief in FISC Case Filed By Tech Companies

December 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The United States government defended a heavily-redacted response to surveillance requests at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) made by multiple software technology companies including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook and LinkedIn. These companies have been petitioning the special court to allow them to disclose government requests. Under the law these companies cannot disclose this information because it has been deemed "classified."

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Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Apple in Class Action Lawsuit

December 2, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A federal judge last week ruled that a class action cannot hold Apple responsible for apps on the iPhone and iPad that sold their users' data to advertisers. Jonathan Lalo was the lead plaintiff on a class action filed in 2010 claiming Apple had approved apps for the iPhones and iPads that intercepted personal information and tracked users' habits without authorization.

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Microsoft Launches Kinect Privacy Policy Page

November 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft, trying to get a grip on the controversy surrounding just what its Kinect peripheral will capture, collect, and save, has released a page dedicated to explaining just what it will do when it is connected to the Xbox One launching later this month. Microsoft hopes that these disclosures related to the Kinect and its privacy policies will ease consumers who are concerned about the security of their information and activities recorded by Kinect.

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UK May Crack Down on Newspapers Publishing NSA Leaks

October 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Reuters is reporting that the UK government is threatening to move to stop papers in the country from publishing further leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. According to Reuters, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that his government was "likely" to move towards putting a stop to newspapers from publishing "damaging leaks" from Edward Snowden unless they started to "behave more responsibly."

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Microsoft Updating Xbox Live Terms of Use This Week

October 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will launch an updated "Terms Of Use" for Xbox Live this week requiring users to commit to keeping personal information up to date. According to an announcement on the Xbox Wire, the new Terms Of Use are currently rolling out and will appear when gamers log onto Xbox Live.

The main change to the Terms Of Use is that Microsoft will now request that players ensure their personal information is current. This new requirement, claims Microsoft, is for security purposes, and that this information will be used as a check for other apps that connect to Xbox Live.

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Accessory Promises to Block Xbox One Kinect Cameras

October 28, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Video games accessory maker PDP has created a Kinect TV mount that comes with a "privacy cover" to block the device's RGB and IR cameras. The device, which is listed on Amazon (found by NeoGAF users) costs $20 and promises that it will "fit almost any TV and requires no tools for installation."

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Edward Snowden Breaks Silence to Endorse StopWatching.Us Rally Oct. 26 in Washington D.C.

October 25, 2013 - James Fudge

In a rare public statement yesterday, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (now exiled in Moscow) urged American citizens to take part in a protest in Washington D.C. this weekend being put on by the members of the Stop Watching Us coalition. The group includes the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mozilla Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, social news website Reddit, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Demand Progress, Students for Liberty and the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA).

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Watchdog Group Sues Canadian Government for Overbroad Domestic Spying Activities

October 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While watchdog groups, activists, and everyday citizens are speaking out about the NSA's domestic surveillance programs in the U.S., it turns out that our neighbors to the north have one of their own engaging in very similar activities. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association claims that the Attorney General of Canada violated the country's Constitution by authorizing CSEC to intercept emails, telephone calls, text messages, and other data using the country's anti-terrorism act. The Civil Liberties Association has sued the government in B.C. Supreme Court.

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Daniel Ellsberg and Maggie Gyllenhaal Team up for Anti-NSA PSA

October 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

US Rep. John Conyers Jr., “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal are taking part in a new PSA calling for an end to mass "suspicionless" surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). The new short video released by the StopWatching.us coalition was directed by Brian Knappenberger (We Are Legion: The Story of the Hackivists) and produced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

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Rights Groups Take Aim on NSA Spying Tonight at Manhattan Rally

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new video detailing the National Security Agency's (NSA) broad spying programs on Americans will be on display tonight at 9:00 PM ET in Manhattan, projected onto a building for everyone to see. Internet freedom groups Fight for the Future and Demand Progress have teamed up with Golden Globe nominee Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit) to produce a 5-minute crowd funded video that explains the NSA’s surveillance programs and calls for an end to them.

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Republican Senator: CISPA-Like Senate Bill Close to Being Introduced

October 8, 2013 - James Fudge

Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said today that the Senate is "very close" to introducing legislation that would encourage the private sector to share information with federal agencies. A counterpart to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that passed the House in April of this year, the as-of-yet unnamed bill would also provide blanket immunity to corporations that share data so they wouldn't have to worry about getting sued by customers.

2009 Order From FISA Court Slams NSA Data Collection Practices Over a Three-Year Period

September 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to newly declassified documents, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge slammed the National Security Agency in 2009 for what he called "flagrant violations" of the privacy rights of U.S. citizens over a three-year period of searches of telephone records.

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Guardian Reporter's Partner Detained at London's Heathrow Airport for Nine Hours

August 19, 2013 - James Fudge

Update: Politico is reporting that the White House knew that David Miranda would be stopped at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened, but it also denied any involvement in the incident.

"This is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.

White House Says Known Liar Will Establish NSA Review Group But Won't Lead or Be Part of It

August 13, 2013 - Andrew Eisen, Contributing Editor

Earlier today, we reported that the White House had appointed the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, a guy who has by his own admission lied to Congress about the NSA spying on Americans, to "establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" to assess the NSA's surveillance efforts.

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The Man 'Who Lied to Congress About NSA Spying' Will Be In Charge of Independent Review Board

August 13, 2013 -

On Friday President Barack Obama promised to create an outside and independent review board to look into the NSA's surveillance efforts. Today we have learned that the person who has been selected to oversee this undertaking is less than credible. In a letter obtained by TechDirt (thanks EZK), we learn that it's the same old same old in D.C.

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'NSA Parent': Writer Details His Decade of Spying on His Children Online

August 8, 2013 -

You've heard of "tiger moms," "helicopter parents," and "soccer moms," but writer Mathew Ingram is what I'm going to call an "NSA parent." In part two of a series on keeping tabs on your children's online activities ("Snooping on your kids: what I learned about my daughter, and how it changed our relationship"), Ingram details his decade-long surveillance of his three daughters' online

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Germany Proposes Tough Love for U.S. Companies that Don't Protect Private Data

August 7, 2013 -

According to an Ars Technica report, Germany’s justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said on Monday that she favored even stronger European Union rules that would enhance data protection and that companies in the United States who don't abide by those standards should be barred from doing business in the European Market.

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EFF Warns Americans About the Trade Promotion Authority

August 5, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning American citizens that something foul is happening in D.C. related to trade agreements and copyright laws. According to the EFF, U.S. lawmakers want to pass a bill that limits their own ability to improve or remove language in agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Yes, you have read that correctly.

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NYT: Other Agencies Complain that NSA and FBI Do Not Share Collected Data

August 5, 2013 -

While revelations about the NSA's domestic spying programs are alarming and scary for anyone that cares about privacy, it could be worse. The New York Times explains why the NSA's collected data could be shared across just about every other agency in the U.S. government - if it let it happen.

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Filmmaker Says Facebook is a Public Utility

July 31, 2013 -

Libertarian publication Reason.com offers an interesting interview with filmmaker Cullen Hoback, who says that Facebook and other internet services are a lot like public utilities.

Hoback is working on a new documentary about digital privacy in the Internet age called "Terms and Conditions May Apply." The title was inspired by the privacy policies we all agree to when we uses services such as Facebook, Google, AT&T and any other notable or popular digital service in 2013.

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Vote Set for Tonight on Amendments to Defund NSA

July 24, 2013 -

Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash is proving to be a worthy adversary against the Republican establishment and the White House when it comes to national security issues, and he seems to have no problem throwing his enthusiastic support behind causes to stop the NSA's clandestine spying programs, much to the chagrin of hawks on both sides of the aisle.

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Amendment Seeking to Defund the NSA Survives House Rules Committee

July 23, 2013 -

Libertarian-themed political website Reason.com is reporting that the Amash Amendment has survived the House's Rules Committee process. The Rules Committee voted late last night to allow several anti-NSA amendments to the $598.3 billion defense bill to be voted on this week.

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quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
quiknkoldA Mother will fight to protect her children or her mate. This does not mean they are any different then males when it comes to destruction and mental illness. A Woman has just enough opportunity to be sick like a man. The difference is they will focus10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
quiknkoldsociologist. I've spent years observing and I've come to the conclusion that a big reason men and women are different is because Women are Protectors. Women wont wantonly kill because they are all about protecting what they care about. They are wired this10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
james_fudgeYeah having a penis probably doesn't have a lot to do with it10/24/2014 - 9:32pm
quiknkoldIts Mental Illness. Nobody who is actually sane would willingly walk into a school and commit that. its Mental Illness topped with Teenage Angst. and I'm going to say something that may be construed as sexist, but I dont mean it as such. I mean it as a...10/24/2014 - 9:29pm
Matthew WilsonIt is a worth while discussion, but I dont agree with here premise. I dont belive it has anything to do with masculinity.10/24/2014 - 9:13pm
Andrew EisenAgreed but it's not untrue either. I think it's worth examining and discussing why mass shootings are almost always (if not literally always) committed by males.10/24/2014 - 8:57pm
 

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