The Internet of Things that Talks About You Behind Your Back – Schneier on Security

This is seriously  creepy stuff.

SilverPush is an Indian startup that’s trying to figure out all the different computing devices you own. It embeds inaudible sounds into the webpages you read and the television commercials you watch. Software secretly embedded in your computers, tablets, and smartphones pick up the signals, and then use cookies to transmit that information back to SilverPush. The result is that the company can track you across your different devices. It can correlate the television commercials you watch with the web searches you make. It can link the things you do on your tablet with the things you do on your work computer.


Movie Review – Red, starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich

Watched the Movie Red recently.

After trading in his professional past as a black-ops CIA operative for a new identity, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is basking in normality. But he’s forced to return to old habits when an assassin puts a target on his back and goes after the woman (Mary-Louise Parker) he loves. Helen Mirren and John Malkovich co-star as former members of Frank’s team who reluctantly reassemble to save his life in this Golden Globe-nominated action-comedy.

via Netflix: Red.


Rather ok exciting, shoot everyone with crazy old people shooting assassins and a little tiny love story.

And a rather predicable ending.

Only you think you have free speech

My son, a co-worker, both have gotten in some trouble via comments on Facebook. I have tried to explain to both that what you say on Facebook is not,NOT private. if you don’t have the guts to walk up to that person and say whatever it is that you want to say, than do not put it on Facebook.

Also if your company does not allow you to disclose company information, do not post anything on Facebook about your company,NOTHING. There are so many ways to speak about, complain about, and discuss, find another way to get it done, one with a little bit of plausible deniablity.

Here is the article that kicked off my train of thought.

Yes, insults on Facebook can still get you fired | Politics and Law – CNET News

Yes, insults on Facebook can still get you fired
by Declan McCullaghA federal agency recently brought a complaint against a Connecticut medical-services company for allegedly firing an employee over a Facebook post.

But it may not be wise to take that as carte blanche to go online and type in exactly what you think of your boss.

The general rule is that employers can still fire workers for off-color or unsavory things they say when blogging (or facebooking or tweeting) on the job or about their job.

“It would be a mistake for people to say that, ‘Just because I’m on Facebook, I can say whatever I want,'” said Charles Cohen, senior counsel at the Morgan Lewis law firm in Washington, D.C. “That’s the main point.”

There are exceptions to that rule. Union employees with a contract are often protected from being fired without “just cause.” Being fired because you disclosed your religion or sexual orientation on a blog is likely illegal.

Finally, organizing a union has long been protected under federal law–which is the right that the National Labor Relations Board is seeking to expand to social-media sites in its new complaint filed against American Medical Response.

The complaint says (PDF) that AMR employee Dawnmarie Souza “engaged in concerted activities with other employees by criticizing respondent’s supervisor…on her Facebook page” on November 8, 2009. Souza was fired on December 1, 2009. (An administrative-law judge will hear the NLRB’s allegations on January 25, 2011.)

Note the key phrase “concerted activities.” That’s a reference to a 1935 federal law called the National Labor Relations Act. Section 7 of the law says employees have the right to organize labor unions and “to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”

CNET has obtained copies of Souza’s Facebook posts. In one, she called her supervisor a “dick.” Another said “he’s a scumbag as usual.” One reply said: “I am sorry, hon! Chin up!”

Invoking scatological language when describing the relative merits of your job is, of course, a time-honored American tradition. So is firing employees who do it to your face. But is a Facebook post calling a supervisor a “scumbag” necessarily done “for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection?”

Perhaps not. Or, at the very least, it may not be exactly what the drafters of that 1935 federal law–billed as promoting “the flow of commerce by removing certain recognized sources of industrial strife and unrest”–had in mind.

A 1978 Supreme Court case, Eastex v. NLRB (PDF), said employees could distribute a union newsletter (during nonwork hours) that took explicitly political positions. Federal law, a majority of the justices said, encompasses that newspaper distribution as a type of “concerted activity.”

But the majority also acknowledge that “some concerted activity bears a less immediate relationship to employees’ interests as employees than other such activity.” That kind of activity, the justices said, “cannot fairly be deemed to come within the ‘mutual aid or protection’ clause” and could be legally punished by an employer.

“We’re trying to adapt that law to the modern workplace,” Tony Wagner, a representative of the NLRB for new media, told CNET. “This is really the first case we’re aware of that directly involves a social-media component.”

Complicating the complaint that the NLRB filed against the Connecticut company is that it’s not just about a few Facebook posts: Souza allegedly requested union representation during an internal AMR disciplinary process and was refused. That dispute apparently is what led her to vent online.

The NLRB’s complaint against the company stresses that point, alleging that AMR “has been discriminating in regard to the hire or tenure, or terms and conditions of employment, of its employees, thereby discouraging membership in a labor organization,” in violation of the law.

For its part, AMR says the case is really unrelated to Facebook.

“The real issue here doesn’t have anything to do with Facebook,” said John Barr, a partner at the Jackson Lewis law firm who represents AMR.

Even in the absence of the Facebook posts, “the employee most likely would have been fired,” anyway, because of repeated complaints about her “rude and discourteous behavior.”

AMR doesn’t monitor Facebook posts, Barr said. Instead, “the way AMR finds out about it is that one day, the supervisor has personnel from the fire department call him up and say, ‘What’s this on Facebook?'” Moreover, he added, AMR has not disciplined other employees for their out-of-school Facebook conversations.

“It’s the company’s position that the Facebook posting was not protected activity” under Section 7, Barr said.

While this appears to be the first time that the NLRB has taken action against an employer based on social media, it has addressed the topic before. In a memorandum sent to Sears in December 2009 (PDF), the agency said the company’s Internet policy did not violate the law.

Sears’ policy prohibited the “disparagement of company’s or competitors’ products, services, executive leadership, employees, strategy, and business prospects” through social media.

That’s remarkably similar to AMR’s Internet policy, which says: “Employees are prohibited from making disparaging, discriminatory, or defamatory comments when discussing the company or the employee’s superiors, co-workers, and/or competitors.”

This is hardly the first time someone was fired for Facebook comments made at work (or about the employer), and it won’t be the last.

Last year, a U.K. employee was fired for saying her job was boring. So was a Swiss insurance worker who was fired after claiming that she was so sick, she couldn’t use a computer but was caught logging on to Facebook from home.

“We don’t have the contours yet, vis-a-vis, this medium,” said Cohen, the employment lawyer in Washington, D.C. “We have a lot of analogies from the past.”

Update November 10: The NLRB itself has used its Facebook page to discuss this case. An excerpt: “What’s the line? When do Facebook comments lose protected concerted activity status under the National Labor Relations Act? A four point test applies: (1) the place of the discussion; (2) the subject matter of the discussion; (3) the nature of the employee’s outburst; and (4) whether the outburst was, in any way, provoked by an employer’s unfair labor practice.”

Cable One: Unsecured network won’t excuse piracy

This stuff just makes me sick, these ISP’s  charge you for crappy slow service, and then do not aid the technology challenged customers in securing and protecting the technology that they are providing these users.

Cable One: Unsecured network won’t excuse piracy | Media Maverick – CNET News

November 10, 2010 1:40 PM PST
Cable One: Unsecured network won’t excuse piracy
by Greg Sandoval”My wireless network isn’t secured and I don’t know who downloaded that movie.”

Lots of people accused of illegally sharing the Iraqi war film, “The Hurt Locker,” and several other indie films have said this or something similar in e-mails to me. Indie studios this year began waging a litigation campaign against thousands of accused film pirates.

The courts have yet to decide who is legally responsible for copyright violations committed on an unprotected network, but some smaller Internet service providers don’t seem to care. As far as they’re concerned, if it’s your network you’re on the hook.

Cable One, which claims to be the country’s 10th largest cable provider, reportedly terminated the service of an elderly woman this week in Albuquerque, N.M., after someone downloaded a movie from her network.
“What will happen is because they’re using your modem, it’s going to come back to you.”
–Cable One manager

According to a report on KOB-TV, Dora Gonzalez’s Cable One service was canceled after the company was notified by a film studio that someone downloaded a copyrighted film using her network. Gonzalez told the company that she doesn’t even know how to download movies. After talking to Gonzalez, Cable One representatives guessed her wireless network was probably unsecured. But it didn’t matter. She got the boot, according to the KOB report (embedded below). Cable One representatives were not immediately available for comment.

“What will happen is because they’re using your modem, it’s going to come back to you,” a Cable One manager told the TV station.

Cable One, which operates in 19 states, is one of a handful of ISPs that will drop customers for allegedly pirating movies, music and other copyrighted content. They include Cox, Qwest, and several smaller regional bandwidth providers.

Content creators have tried to convince ISPs for years to terminate, or at least suspend service, of those who illegally share music, movies, software, and other intellectual property. Two years ago, the Recording Industry Association of America walked away from suing individuals for file sharing and turned its efforts to enlisting the help of ISPs. The RIAA wants ISPs to adopt a “graduated response:”

First, an ISP would send out a series of warnings. The wording in each of the messages might become more urgent for repeat offenders. The RIAA would like to see ISPs turn off service to those who ignore the threats. Some of the big players, such as AT&T, however, have instead ignored the RIAA’s appeals.

Cable One is trying to help by equipping customers with modems that support WPA-PSK security technology, considered by many to be superior to WEP.

Philosophy Now | Does Surveillance Make Us Morally Better?

A great article on Surveillance, and in my opinion why we do not need any more of it.

Philosophy Now | Does Surveillance Make Us Morally Better?.

Imagine that right after briefing Adam about which fruit was allowed and which forbidden, God had installed a closed-circuit television camera in the garden of Eden, trained on the tree of knowledge. Think how this might have changed things for the better. The serpent sidles up to Eve and urges her to try the forbidden fruit. Eve reaches her hand out – in paradise the fruit is always conveniently within reach – but at the last second she notices the CCTV and thinks better of it. Result: no sin, no Fall, no expulsion from paradise. We don’t have to toil among thorns and thistles for the rest of our lives, earning our bread by the sweat of our brows; childbirth is painless; and we feel no need to wear clothes.

Facebook privacy (or lack there of)

Happy as a monkey has an interesting post The language is not rated G, so be warned.

I agree with what he says about the solution, they are going to (already have) make privacy settings easier to control, but that was not the issue, the issue was that they changed the rules of the game in the middle of the game. When I set my privacy settings to very private, I do not expect when they make a change or add a feature that they should set it all that different from what I have currently for my so-called locked-down settings. Instead they add a feature and set it wide open and unless you are paying attention that day you do not know anything really changed.