Unwanted remote updating and installing of apps on phones

Micromax is remotely installing applications using a “Software Update” program.

US map of effective states based on US Dollar movement


Theoretical physicist Dirk Brockmann used the dollar bill tracking site Where’s George to see how money moves, and create new state boundaries based on our economies. The darker the blue lines, the less likely it is a dollar bill will have crossed it.

Syria turning off the internet

Nice article by CloudFlare with a video of Syria turning off the internet for the country.

CDNet on how Egypt did the same thing.

Windows Event Viewer scam

Article from ARSTechnica detailing a phone scam where the caller uses the errors and warning messages shown in Windows Event Viewer to demonstrate the existance of “viruses” on the computer.

Certificate authority network

Researchers at Berkeley created a map of Certificate Authorities.


The EFF SSL Observatory also tracks Certificate Authorities and has a downloadable MySQL table of them.


Also ICIS Certificate Notary system by Berkely


Places-Players-Perils: Privacy Framework

Jim Adler writes about a new framework, or way to think about the privacy concerning practices of companies. His Places-Players-Perils framework is designed to help decide whether a company’s data practices are creepy and why we might perceive them to be so.

Journalist fired over a photo of her at Occupy Wall Street

Excellent article by a journalist who participated in Occupy Wall Street, had a photograph of her taken while holding a sign, and was subsequently fired because she had “violated every ethic of journalism.”


Journalists obtaining phone data

Interesting article on a phone “hacking” scandal. From what I can tell this was a case of widespread insider attacks and no “hacking” was involved.


Intersting quotes:

Research by the lobbyists Big Brother Watch shows that between 2007 and 2010, 904 police officers and staff across Britain were subject to internal disciplinary offences for breaches of the Data Protection Act, which governs access to personal information. Of these cases, only 98 led to the dismissal of the person involved.


The offences include incidents where staff accessed sensitive information with the intent of passing it to third parties, as well as staff browsing material for personal interest. The records include 137 gross violations, defined as “serious breach of contractual terms … which makes any further working relationship and trust impossible”. Only 27 staff lost their jobs.

Are we liable for what others say on Facebook?

Interesting case in which a student who was shadowing a medical employee observed some concerning behavior. She asked her family how to proceed with the problem but gave out no personally identifying details of the employee. The family members then told a friend, who told a friend, and so on, until someone posted it on Facebook. The school administration then claimed that the student had breached a code of ethics because the information had ended up on Facebook even though the student themselves did not post it. The student is now suing the school for wrongfully forcing her to withdraw from her program.

Rental computers spying on users

A Wyoming couple is suing Aaron’s Inc. for using a rented computer to spy on them without their knowledge. Apparently they rented a computer form Aaron’s and later an Aaron’s employee showed the couple a photograph of them using the computer in their own living room. The computer apparently came pre-installed with software that can log key strokes and remotely activate the web cam.

This is similar to an earlier law suit by the family of a Pennsylvania high school student against the high school. In that case the school had issued laptops to students and had pre-installed software that could remotely activate the web cam. The issue came to light when a principle caught a student eating “pill looking objects” at home and accused the student of doing drugs. The student claims that the “pills” were candy. But the larger issue was the fact that school staff were observing the student in the privacy of his own home without even informing the parents that the laptops could be remotely activated.