Who's Watching Who: Microsoft's Questionable Rewards Patent for Xbox One

June 3, 2013 -

This TechDirt article details a Microsoft patent application related to the Xbox One console that might give you a little pause. The patent, "Awards and achievements across TV ecosystem," uses (what we assume is) the Kinect camera and sensors to tell whether a person is watching an advertisement.

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Screw Privacy: English Version of Data Dealer Launches

May 31, 2013 -

The English language version of Data Dealer, a Facebook and web game about data privacy, has been released. Developed to teach about the perils and pitfalls of data mining, the 2013 Games for Change Awards nominated game puts players in the shoes of a data mining company that uses various internet services to collect and resell both legally and illegally obtained information. Players do this through social networks, sweepstakes, mobile apps, the web, dating sites and more.

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German Commissioner Expresses Concern over Xbox One's 'Always-On' Kinect

May 28, 2013 -

Update: This Kotaku story citing an unnamed Microsoft rep. notes that the Kinect does not have to be on all the time:

"Yes, you can turn the system completely off," the Microsoft rep said. "This would use no power and turn everything off. We’ll share more details about how it all works later."  Article author Stephen Totilo speculates that this involves pressing the console's power button.

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The FBI Seeks Overbroad Expansion of Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

May 24, 2013 -

A New York Times article from earlier this week about the FBI's attempt to expand the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the subsequent response to it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) should raise alarm bells for anyone that does anything on the Internet.

Texas Politicians Fast Track CISPA-Like Law Through House, Senate Vote Expected Soon

May 16, 2013 -

Liberal-flavored site Burnt Orange Report sheds some light on a Texas bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans in the House that gives law enforcement in the state broad powers to look at private Internet data without much justification.

The bill was sponsored by Texas Republican Reps. John Frullo, Allen Fletcher, and John Carona; and Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson. House Bill 2268 is described as follows:

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Civil Liberties Groups Send CISPA Opposition Letter to Members of Congress

April 17, 2013 -

Thirty-four civil liberties groups have signed onto a letter urging lawmakers in the House of Representatives to vote against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) when it comes up for a vote on the floor either today or tomorrow. The letter lays out the collective groups' continued opposition to the bill after a secret markup hearing last week was held and amendments put forward that would have added privacy protections for Americans were soundly rejected by hearing members.

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ACLU to Congress: Keep the Military Out of Cybersecurity Efforts

March 13, 2013 -

The American Civil Liberties Union had a simple message for Congress today about CISPA or any other plans for sharing internet user information between corporations and government intelligence agencies: keep cybersecurity information sharing out of military hands.

Anti-CISPA Petition Surpasses 100K Signature Threshold

March 12, 2013 -

The deadline for a petition submitted to the White House's "We The People" site to stop the passage of the newest version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is March 15, but the petition has already passed the 100,000 signature threshold needed for the White House to recognize it. The petition expresses concerns that citizens and privacy groups have over the privacy implications of the bill sponsored by Reps.

Who Currently Supports CISPA?

March 11, 2013 -

ReadWriteWeb has an excellent article that gathers the names of all of the organizations and individuals that are either for or against the newest draft of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. While many technology and Internet firms are marked down as supporting the bill, a number of them do so as long as privacy concerns are addressed first.

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Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Friends Introduce Bipartisan ECPA Reform Bill

March 6, 2013 -

Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Ted Poe (R-TX) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) have introduced bipartisan legislation that seeks to modernize the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The changes focus on providing better protections for those who utilize new technologies in the internet age like cloud computing and location-based services. Lofgren was one of a handful of lawmakers that strongly opposed SOPA and PIPA from the very beginning.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 41

February 18, 2013 -

Happy President's Day! You know, the made-up holiday where we honor two presidents with one half-assed holiday. Don't President Lincoln and President George Washington deserve separate days to be honored properly? Apparently not. Anyway.. on this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the file-sharing case headed to the Supreme Court, the President's executive order on cybersecurity, the latest poll results, and more. Let freedom ring.

White House Releases Cybersecurity Executive Order

February 13, 2013 -

The White House yesterday revealed details on President Obama's executive order intended to ramp up the fight against cybersecurity threats to U.S. interests including businesses, the government and critical infrastructure. Surprisingly, the executive order lacks all of the issues associated with the House cybersecurity bill (commonly referred to as CISPA). For one it offers a one-way information sharing provision, meaning that the U.S. government's various intelligence agencies can share information with corporations and businesses that handle critical information.

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Business Roundtable Endorses Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

January 10, 2013 -

Trade organization the Business Roundtable issued a 32-page report this week backing the approach taken by the House of Representatives to fight cybersecurity threats. That approach, the bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), passed the House. The Senate proposed another bill called the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. The House bill passed, but the President didn't think it offered enough protections for American Internet users' privacy rights.

ISPs Avoid Class Action for 'Targeted Ad Spyware'

January 3, 2013 -

It looks like two Internet service providers accused of installing spyware on their customers' computers in order to serve up ads to them will not have to worry about a class action suit filed against them going any further, according to this Courthouse News report.

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FTC Updates Child Online Safety Regulations to Deal with Social Networks, Apps

December 19, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has updated its ten-year-old rules on children's online safety but came just short of adding changes that would sanction or hold responsible platform holders like Facebook and Apple, reports All Things D. The new rules hope to tighten privacy and sharing restriction rules for children who might use social networks or mobile apps.

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SpongeBob Diner Dash Yanked From Apple Store After Complaint to FTC

December 18, 2012 -

Nickelodeon has removed the SpongeBob Diner Dash app from Apple's iTunes after advocacy group The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) filed a formal complaint with Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The CDD said that the app starring the popular cartoon icon collected email addresses of children without getting parental consent.

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FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing Practices of Kid App Developers

December 11, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday that came to the conclusion that the majority of mobile apps aimed at children collect and transmit data that they shouldn't such as the device being used - and they do not disclose this fact to the parents. According to the report, around 60 percent of 400 popular kids’ apps made for phones and tablets running Android and iOS transmitted information about the device to the app’s developer or to a third party such as an ad network.

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Harry Reid, BSA Lament The Death of Cybersecurity Bill in 2012

November 15, 2012 -

The Inquirer reports that the the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is lamenting the death of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) after its Senate counterpart - the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was voted down in the Senate. Prior to that the bill could not get past a filibuster because it didn't have the required 60 votes to overcome it. The latest action on the bill puts the issue to bed for 2012 - at least.

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Survey Says: UK Consumers 'Very or Extremely Worried' About Online Security

November 14, 2012 -

nFluence media has released a survey that it commissioned about the concerns of consumers when it comes to online security and privacy related to mobile and broadband usage in the United Kingdom. Before sharing the results, it should be noted that nFluence is in the business of providing software solutions to consumers that allow them to take control of their personal data.

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United Nations Report Calls for More 'Anti-Terror' Internet Surveillance

October 23, 2012 -

A new United Nations report calls for internet surveillance in the name of fighting terrorism, reports C|Net. The report points out the lack of international agreements on the retention of data, and concerns about open Wi-Fi networks in places like airports, cafes and libraries that are likely prime spots for terrorists and cyber terrorists chatter.

Millions of PlaySpan User IDs and Other Data Leaked Online

October 10, 2012 -

According to a report on Develop, World of Tanks, Guild Wars and Eve Online players have been hit by a huge security breach. According to the report the personal information of millions of PlaySpan Marketplace users has been leaked online including user IDs, email addresses and encrypted passwords.

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Megaupload Founder: U.S. Government Spied on Me Illegally Through Global Spy Program

October 9, 2012 -

Two weeks ago New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security revealed that the government had illegally spied on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Specifically he said in his report that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out illegal surveillance on Dotcom, because the agency is only allowed to carry out that kind of action against foreign targets. When the news became public, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key apologized to Dotcom.

Blogging the 2012 Internet Bus Tour

October 9, 2012 -

Zachary Cohn dropped us a note to let us know that he has been on the Reddit sponsored bus tour to promote Internet freedom. The tour, the "Internet Bus Tour 2012," has been traveling between the debate locations to promote and highlight the ultra importance of Internet freedom. With both democrats and republicans providing support for the concept in their party platforms this year, Reddit and other advocates of freedom online want to push the issue to the forefront of the presidential policy debate.

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Fake 'Bad Piggies' Google Chrome App Installs Adware

October 9, 2012 -

According to a Joystiq report citing an independent investigation by security firm Barracuda Networks, over 80,000 Google Chrome users have been affected by fake versions of Rovio's new game Bad Piggies. The fake versions of the game are accessed from the Chrome web store, which apparently installs a plug-in that displays advertisements for popular web sites.

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Report: Seized Megaupload Data to be the Subject of Future U.S. Court Hearing

October 5, 2012 -

After the parties involved in the Megaupload case failed on multiple occasions to negotiate some way to relinquish legitimate and legal data to Megaupload users left in the lurch, a Federal judge has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter. The one caveat is that the parties involved must come up with a format and the judge has not set a definitive date. Still it's forward motion in a situation that has been stalled by trade groups like the MPAA and the U.S. government.

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CleanIT Act Makes SOPA and PIPA Look Tame in Comparison

October 1, 2012 -

A new bill being secretly passed around to certain members of the European Parliament is making headlines today because of its eerie similarities to legislation like SOPA, CISPA and ACTA. The bill is called "CleanIT," and it is currently in the early stages of being refined. But the draft has been leaked to the public, much to the chagrin of its main supporters and it has a lot of horrible provisions.

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Reps. Darrell Issa and Anna Eshoo Stump for the 'Declaration of Internet Freedom'

September 18, 2012 -

In an opinion piece on Politico, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA.) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA.) make the case for open internet policies. They open the opinion piece by noting that both political parties have some language paying homage to the concept of a "free and open Internet" and explain what it all means in terms of what is going on in Washington. You may remember that Congressman Issa was at the forefront of fighting against SOPA when it was in committee.

Report: Blizzard Can Track WOW Users Through In-Game Screenshots

September 11, 2012 -

This story on Slashdot Games reveals that screenshots taken in World of Warcraft have secret watermarks that can be used by Blizzard to track users - particularly when they are engaged in behavior considered to be illegal or that violates World of Warcraft's terms of service.

The story began a few days ago when a World of Warcraft players noticed that there was an odd mark on a screenshot he had taken in-game:

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ArenaNet: Beware of Guild Wars 2 Phishing Schemes

September 10, 2012 -

The Guild Wars 2 Wiki warns Guild Wars 2 users that they need to be on the lookout for phishing schemes pretending to be official emails from ArenaNet asking for personal information.

"Account Security Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and collected through spyware, and are systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts," reads a lengthy post on the Wiki. "To protect yourself, use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you've never used anywhere else!"

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Report: Draft of President's Cybersecurity Executive Order Being Passed Around in D.C.

September 7, 2012 -

The Hill is reporting that, despite the setbacks with cybersecurity legislation in the Senate last month, the White House is continuing to push forward on a "go-it-alone" path to enact some sort of measures that they feel are an imperative to protect critical infrastructure from hackers and other nefarious individuals.

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Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - http://ow.ly/RwXYT08/29/2015 - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - http://ow.ly/RwVeT08/29/2015 - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - http://ow.ly/RwSCd08/29/2015 - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm
Big PermI actually need to look into a new headset. I have those green razer krakens and I would not suggest them. Though maybe they're better for people without glasses08/28/2015 - 11:32am
Big PermI've never heard if Apple was dominant in Japan.08/28/2015 - 11:25am
E. Zachary KnightBeats by Dre? If music videos are anything to go by, they are the only headphones in existence.08/28/2015 - 11:21am
Big PermI wonder what kind of headphones she has08/28/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenMy favorite fighter character/costume of late is Lucky Chloe from Tekken 7.08/28/2015 - 10:59am

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