January 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - In the week since President Obama called for ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of U.S. telephone data "as it currently exists," telephone carriers have uploaded customer calling records to NSA computers just as they have since the program was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The daily transfer of Americans' telephone toll records to a government database is likely to continue at least for the next 18 months despite the president's speech last Friday and a growing debate over the legality and effectiveness of the once-secret operation.
January 18, 2014 |
Inside a small TV studio in Los Angeles, Ondi Timoner is absorbed again in the making of documentaries. She's on the phone discussing editing options for one project, then planning for the fundraising event of another. Standing nearby is director Patrick Creadon, her guest this afternoon on "B.Y.O.D. " (for "Bring Your Own Documentary"), Timoner's weekly online chat show for TheLip.tv. They have much to talk about. Timoner, 41, twice won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary feature at Sundance: for her explosive 2004 rock doc "Dig!"
January 16, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - California regulators decided Thursday not to consider the need for tougher privacy protection for smartphone users. In a 3-2 vote, the Public Utilities Commission denied a petition from consumer groups asking it to investigate the need for stronger privacy standards. It would have been the PUC's first attempt to update 2-decade-old phone privacy protections in effect since the dawn of the hand-held cellphone era. Siding with phone companies, Commissioner Mark J. Ferron opposed new privacy regulations and said there was "a lack of documented examples of actual breaches of customer privacy.
January 15, 2014 |
Privacy-minded users may want to keep an eye on Blackphone, a device that promises to deliver privacy like no smartphone before it. Blackphone is a device that claims it will be able to keep users' phone calls, text messages, video chats and Web browsing private using a modified version of Android called PrivatOS. "There has never been a time in the world where privacy has become such a commodity, and none of the other devices in the world have been built around giving privacy back to the user," said Mike Janke, Silent Circle chief executive, in a video introducing Blackphone.
January 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama plans to announce new guidelines for government surveillance operations but will not end or order strict limits on the most controversial domestic programs exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, including the bulk collection of American telephone records. White House aides said reforms proved far more difficult than they initially appeared, and Obama has struggled to find middle ground between those who warn that government surveillance is excessive and could lead to abuses and national security officials who contend that the programs are critical for counter-terrorism and already have passed congressional and judicial review.
January 10, 2014 |
Businesses have the tools and know-how to keep our personal information safe. They just don't do it. "It's expensive," said Nick Mancini, a partner at Tech Consultants, a Woodland Hills information technology firm. And that, in a nutshell, is why big companies that should know better routinely issue red-faced notices that they've been hacked and that customers' confidential info is on the loose. Target took it on the chin again Friday when it revealed that up to 110 million customers - not just the 40 million it originally reported - may have had their names, addresses, credit and debit card numbers and other information stolen.