March 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As federal authorities accelerate plans to license thousands of surveillance drones over U.S. soil by late 2015, some legal experts and lawmakers are warning that unmanned aircraft could threaten privacy on an unparalleled scale. An opening shot in an expected battle to limit use of domestic drones came Wednesday when 24 civil liberties and privacy organizations submitted a formal petition to U.S. Customs and Border Protection demanding that the agency stop flying 10 unarmed Predator drones along the Mexican and Canadian borders until clear guidelines are established.
March 19, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced legislation Tuesday that would give stronger privacy protection to emails. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013 would require the government to obtain a search warrant before secretly gaining access to email and other electronic communications stored by companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft. It also would require the government to notify an individual whose email has been accessed and provide that individual with a copy of the search warrant.
March 11, 2013 |
Attention Facebook users: Do you "like" Mozart, science, "The Colbert Report" and curly fries? Chances are you've got a high IQ. Have you clicked the thumbs-up icon for Tyler Perry, Harley-Davidson and Lady Antebellum? Perhaps you're not quite as cerebral. What you endorse on the popular social media website may say a whole lot more about you than you intended, researchers from the University of Cambridge in Britain have found. You may not think twice about your fondness for NASCAR, "The Bachelor" and Oklahoma State University, but those affirmations fit the pattern of a person who's conservative and less open to new things, they reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
March 11, 2013 |
This is not the kind of news Harvard University would like: First, an allegation of widespread cheating, then an internal hunt for an email leak at the university, and now, a partial apology by the administration for searching the correspondence of resident deans. The story begins in 2012, a dark time for Harvard University. More than 100 students had been accused of cheating on a take-home exam for an introductory-level class on Congress -- a humiliating scandal for the institution, whose graduates so often become the elected officials their undergraduates study.
February 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - No one can sue the government over secret surveillance because, since it's secret, no one can prove his or her calls were intercepted, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, throwing out a constitutional challenge to the government's monitoring of international calls and emails. The 5-4 decision is the latest of many that have shielded the government's anti-terrorism programs from court challenge, and a striking example of what civil libertarians call the Catch-22 rule that blocks challengers from collecting the evidence they need to proceed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO-- Delving into an area once reserved for science fiction, state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) has introduced legislation that would prohibit the unauthorized collection, analysis or transfer of an individual's genetic information. The California Genetic Information Privacy Act, SB 222, is in response to research that is expected to make genomic sequencing and testing affordable to the public and routinely used in medical care, Padilla said. “I strongly support and believe in the promise of genomic research to improve public health and our quality of life," said Padilla.
February 15, 2013 |
What if the black box in your new car becomes a tool to invade your privacy? What if, on the other hand, it winds up saving your life after an accident? Those are some of the questions being raised this week over black box data event recorders in cars. Privacy advocates worried on Thursday that the data could be misused. Safety advocates argued on Friday that a watered-down version of the recorders would slow safety innovations. In the former camp is the Electronic Frontier Foundation and this scenario: The friend you loaned your BMW to decides to create his own ultimate driving experience, and your insurance rises because of his 120 mph freeway jaunt.
February 15, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- A new Facebook feature that lets users pay to promote their friends' posts is raising privacy concerns. The promoted posts abide by privacy settings, but users have zero control over which posts friends promote. There is no way to opt out of it. The feature is the latest in a series of gimmicks to generate revenue for Facebook. For a $7 fee, friends can select "promote and share" from the drop-down menu on the top-right corner of a friend's status update. Facebook says it is rolling out the feature because there was demand for it. The feature is supposed to benefit users, allowing friends to draw attention to good deeds, achievements or milestones, such as fund-raising for a charity, starting a new job or having a baby.
February 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - While a national debate has erupted over the Obama administration's lethal drone strikes overseas, federal authorities have stepped up efforts to license surveillance drones for law enforcement and other uses in U.S. airspace, spurring growing concern about violations of privacy. The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it had issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007, far more than were previously known. Some 327 permits are still listed as active.
February 12, 2013 |
Kate Middleton and Prince William's recent baby-moon in Mustique wasn't as relaxing as they might have hoped. The Duchess of Cambridge, 31, whose baby is expected in July, was photographed bikini-clad on the private Caribbean island and showing her new and very slight baby bump . The images are expected to be published in an upcoming issue of the Italian magazine Chi, which also published topless photos of Middleton last September. A statement from St. James's Palace said that the royal family is "disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas.