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China Has Abandoned a Cybersecurity Truce With the US, Report Says

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-02-20 04:10
Cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike says China has largely abandoned a hacking truce negotiated by Barack Obama as President Trump embarked on a trade war with Beijing last year. "A slowdown in Chinese hacking following the cybersecurity agreement Obama's administration secured in 2015 appears to have been reversed, the firm said in a report released Tuesday that reviewed cyber activity by U.S. adversaries in 2018," reports Bloomberg. From the report: The report comes as the Trump administration seeks to reach a trade deal with China, including provisions on intellectual property theft, ahead of a March 1 deadline. Trump has said he may extend that deadline and hold off on increasing tariffs on Chinese imports if there's progress in the talks. China's hacking targets in 2018 included telecommunications systems in the U.S. and Asia, according to Crowdstrike. Groups linked to Iran and Russia also appeared to target telecommunications, a sector that yields "the most bang for your buck" for hackers due to the large number of users that can be accessed after breaching a single network, Meyers said. The findings align with concern in the U.S. about telecommunications security as the country transitions to the next generation of mobile networks and the Trump administration seeks to secure so-called 5G technology from foreign intelligence gathering. The administration has expressed particular concern about the spread of products made by the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. The report also mentions the increased cyber activity in other parts of the world. "Iran focused much of its cyber activity on Middle Eastern and North African countries while Russia engaged in intelligence collection and information operations worldwide," the report says. "North Korea deployed hackers for financial gain and intelligence collection, while China targeted sectors including technology, manufacturing and hospitality."

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Hollywood Tries To Cripple Several Alleged Pirate TV Services In One Lawsuit

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-02-20 01:30
The major Hollywood movie studios last week filed a copyright infringement suit against Omniverse One World Television Inc., which provides streaming video to several online TV services. Omniverse claims to have legal rights to the content, but the studios say it doesn't. Ars Technica reports: The complaint was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. The studios previously used lawsuits to shut down the maker of a streaming device called the Dragon Box and another called TickBox. The studios' new lawsuit says that Omniverse supplied content to Dragon Box and to other alleged pirate services that are still operating. Services using Omniverse content are advertised as "Powered by Omniverse." Besides Dragon Box, they include "SkyStream TV, Flixon TV, and Silicon Dust's HDHomeRun Service," according to the lawsuit. SkyStream, for example, offers more than 70 live TV channels for $35 a month, while pricier packages, according to the complaint, also include premium channels such as HBO. SkyStream's website says its service "is delivered In Cooperation with Omniverse One World Television." According to its website, Omniverse "partners with key distributors across the USA to empower end users with the ability to view their favorite TV channels with no contracts, no credit checks, and no long-term obligations." [T]he movie studios' lawsuit alleges that Omniverse has no rights to distribute their video content. While Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube TV, and other legitimate streaming services purchase rights to the content, Omniverse has not, the lawsuit said. The complaint asks for an injunction shutting the company down and damages of up to $150,000 for each infringed work. "Defendant Jason DeMeo and his company, Omniverse, stream Plaintiffs' copyrighted movies and television shows without authorization to an already large, and rapidly growing, number of end users," the lawsuit said. "Defendants are not, however, just an infringing, consumer-facing service, akin to Dragon Box. Defendants operate at a higher level in the supply chain of infringing content -- recruiting numerous downstream services like Dragon Box into the illicit market and providing them with access to unauthorized streams of copyrighted content. Defendants function as a 'hub' of sorts, with the enlisted downstream services as the 'spokes.' Omniverse's offering is illegal, it is growing, and it undermines the legitimate market for licensed services."

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Trump Directs Pentagon To Create Space Force Legislation for Congress

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-02-19 22:10
President Donald Trump signed a directive on Tuesday that ordered the Department of Defense to create a Space Force as a sixth military branch. From a report: With a directive signed Tuesday, Mr. Trump was positioning the Space Force much as the Marine Corps fits into the Navy, officials said, with the result being lower costs and less bureaucracy. The plan would require congressional approval. Mr. Trump is to propose funding in his proposed 2020 budget, and spell out a goal of eventually establishing the Space Force as a separate military department, a senior administration official said. "Space, that's the next step and we have to be prepared," said Mr. Trump, who added that adversaries were training forces and developing technology. "I think we'll have great support from Congress." The order Mr. Trump signed, Space Policy Directive 4, calls for a legislative proposal by the secretary of defense to establish a chief of staff of the Space Force within the Air Force. That officer would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an outline. There also be a new under secretary of defense for space to be appointed by the president. The proposal calls for the Space Force to organize, train and equip personnel to defend the U.S. in space, to provide independent military options for "joint and national leadership" and "enable the lethality and effectiveness of the joint force," according to the administration's outline.

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Emoji Are Showing Up in Court Cases Exponentially, and Courts Aren't Prepared

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-02-19 13:00
An anonymous reader shares a report: Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the evidence was a series of Instagram DMs (direct messages) he'd allegedly sent to a woman. One read: "Teamwork make the dream work" with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end. Prosecutors said the message implied a working relationship between the two of them. The defendant said it could mean he was trying to strike up a romantic relationship. Who was right? Emoji are showing up as evidence in court more frequently with each passing year. Between 2004 and 2019, there was an exponential rise in emoji and emoticon references in US court opinions, with over 30 percent of all cases appearing in 2018, according to Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has been tracking all of the references to "emoji" and "emoticon" that show up in US court opinions. So far, the emoji and emoticons have rarely been important enough to sway the direction of a case, but as they become more common, the ambiguity in how emoji are displayed and what we interpret emoji to mean could become a larger issue for courts to contend with.

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Return To Sender: High Court To Hear Undeliverable Mail Case

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-02-18 20:05
New submitter bluekloud shares a report: Mitch Hungerpiller thought he had a first-class solution for mail that gets returned as undeliverable, a common problem for businesses that send lots of letters. But the process he helped develop and built his small Alabama technology company around has resulted in a more than decade-long fight with the U.S. Postal Service, which says his solution shouldn't have been patentable. The David vs. Goliath dispute has now arrived at the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the justices will hear Hungerpiller's case, which involves parsing the meaning of a 2011 patent law. "All I want is a fair shake," said Hungerpiller, who lives in Birmingham and is a father of three. Hungerpiller, 56, started thinking seriously about returned mail in 1999 when he was doing computer consulting work. While visiting clients he kept seeing huge trays of returned mail. He read that every year, billions pieces of mail are returned as undeliverable, costing companies and the Postal Service time and money. So he decided to try to solve the problem. He developed a system that uses barcodes, scanning equipment and computer databases to process returned mail almost entirely automatically. His clients, from financial services companies to marketing companies, generally direct their returned mail to Hungerpiller's company, Return Mail Inc., for processing. Clients can get information about whether the mail was actually correctly addressed and whether there's a more current address.

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'Digital Gangster' Facebook Intentionally and Knowingly Violated UK Privacy and Competition Rules, British Lawmakers Say

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-02-18 03:00
British lawmakers on Sunday accused Facebook of having "intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws" in the country, and they called for investigations into the social media giant's business practices. From a report: The sharp rebuke came in a 108-page report written by members of Parliament, who in 2017 began a wide-ranging study of Facebook and the spread of malicious content online. They concluded that the United Kingdom should adopt new regulations so lawmakers can hold Facebook and its tech peers in Silicon Valley accountable for digital misdeeds. "Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like 'digital gangsters' in the online world," U.K. lawmakers said in their report, "considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law."

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Researcher Scans All IP Addresses of Austria, Finds a Ton of Things That Shouldn't Be Online

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-02-18 02:18
Christian Haschek scanned the entire Austrian IP space and found IP cameras, printers, and industrial control systems and a range of other devices that should not be online.

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Google Fixing Chrome API To Prevent Incognito Mode Detection

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-02-18 01:09
AmiMoJo writes: When browsing the web with Google Chrome, some sites are using a method to determine if a visitor is in a regular browsing session or in incognito mode. As this can be considered a breach of privacy, Google will be changing how a particular API works so that web sites can no longer utilize this technique. Chrome supports the FileSystem API, which allows sites to create a virtual file system that lives within the sandbox of the browser. This allows sites that utilize large assets, such as online games, to download these assets to a virtual file system so that they do not have to download them each time they are needed. Currently the FileSystem API is not available in incognito sessions, because it leaves files behind and could be considered a privacy risk. Currently the API doesn't work in incognito mode, offering sites a way to check for it. In a Chrome Gerrit post started this week and updated earlier this morning, Google has stated that they are changing the FileSystem API so that it can be used in incognito mode, without the risks to privacy.

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How TV Pirates Accidentally Pushed a 25-Year-Old Indie Song to the Top of the Charts in Japan

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-02-17 21:16
Last week, an alt-rock mystery puzzled the music press. Almost 25 years after its release, the Dinosaur Jr. song "Over Your Shoulder" appeared at number 18 on Japan's Hot 100 chart, beating out major new releases like Ariana Grande's "7 Rings." Here's what drove the popularity of the old song: More than 15 years ago, it was used on a Japanese reality show about boxing bad boys. Six years ago, Billboard started counting YouTube plays. And just days ago, YouTube apparently began recommending pirated episodes of that reality show to Japanese users, who seemingly binged it in the thousands, playing "Over Your Shoulder" over and over again in the process.

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Relative's DNA Solves A 1993 Murder Cold Case

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-02-17 07:34
A 44-year-old living in Maine has just been arrested and charged with committing a murder when he was 18, the Washington Post reports: The April 1993 slaying of Sophie Sergie, an Alaska Native, was one of the state's most notorious cold cases until Friday, when authorities announced that DNA genealogical mapping helped triangulate a genetic match... Police recovered the suspect's DNA from Sergie's body. At the time, the district court filing said, DNA processing technology had not been introduced in Alaska. A DNA profile confirming the suspect as male was uploaded in 2000, but it did not match anyone in the FBI's database. The case went dormant for years... Then the alleged "Golden State Killer" was captured [after searching commercial online genealogy databases for relatives who matched DNA found at a crime scene]. The publicity of the feat, state troopers said, sparked the idea for investigators in the Sergie case. Why not try the same? A forensic genealogist prepared a report on Dec. 18, comparing the suspect's genetic material from the crime scene to likely relatives. A woman's DNA profile emerged in the search. Investigators found their link: She was an aunt of Downs's. Downs had been a student at the college where the murder took place. He's also been charged with sexual assault -- and with being a fugitive from justice for the last 25 years.

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Lobbyists Demonize 'Right To Repair' Legislation

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-02-17 00:34
"New Hampshire lawmakers got an early taste last week of the arguments that manufacturing, technology and telecommunications lobbyists will use to try to hobble and defeat right to repair legislation in 16 states this year," writes long-time Slashdot reader chicksdaddy. The Security Ledger reports: Curious children could find themselves dismembered by run-away washing machines. A phalanx of illegally modified lawn tractors and leaf blowers will belch pollution in defiance of the EPA, darkening the sky... At least, that's the scene painted by representatives from some of the U.S.'s biggest industry groups. At a hearing before the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs February 5, they painted a dire picture of the consequences of passing a proposed Digital Fair Repair Act, HB 462, saying the proposed legislation would stifle commerce, leave New Hampshire consumers vulnerable to cyber crime and even physical harm at the hands of clueless owners and inexperienced or unethical repair professionals. "There is a lot at stake when it comes to Right to Repair, and you could feel those stakes in the room," wrote Nathan Proctor, the head of the right to repair campaign at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), in an email statement. "Legislators have their work cut out for them sifting through all the frantic opposition and their deceptive, and at times bizarre, arguments," he wrote. HB 462 would require original equipment manufacturers that do business in New Hampshire to make the same documentation, parts and tools available to device owners and independent repair professionals as they make available to their licensed or "authorized" repair professionals. Similarly, documentation, tools, and parts needed to reset product (software) locks or digital right management functions following maintenance and repair would also need to be made available to owners and independent repair professionals on "fair and reasonable terms."

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Report That Tesla Autopilot Cuts Crashes By 40% Called 'Bogus'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-02-16 21:39
Remember when America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported Tesla's Autopilot reduced crashes by 40%? Two years later the small research and consulting firm Quality Control Systems (QCS) finally obtained the underlying data -- and found flaws in the methodology "serious enough to completely discredit the 40 percent figure," reports Ars Technica, "which Tesla has cited multiple times over the last two years." The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate. But when QCS focused on 5,714 vehicles whose data didn't suffer from these problems, it found that the activation of Autosteer actually increased crash rates by 59 percent... NHTSA undertook its study of Autopilot safety in the wake of the fatal crash of Tesla owner Josh Brown in 2016. Autopilot -- more specifically Tesla's lane-keeping function called Autosteer -- was active at the time of the crash, and Brown ignored multiple warnings to put his hands back on the wheel. Critics questioned whether Autopilot actually made Tesla owners less safe by encouraging them to pay less attention to the road. NHTSA's 2017 finding that Autosteer reduced crash rates by 40 percent seemed to put that concern to rest. When another Tesla customer, Walter Huang, died in an Autosteer-related crash last March, Tesla cited NHTSA's 40 percent figure in a blog post defending the technology. A few weeks later, Tesla CEO Elon Musk berated reporters for focusing on stories about crashes instead of touting the safety benefits of Autopilot.... [T]hese new findings are relevant to a larger debate about how the federal government oversees driver-assistance systems like Autopilot. By publishing that 40 percent figure, NHTSA conferred unwarranted legitimacy on Tesla's Autopilot technology. NHTSA then fought to prevent the public release of data that could help the public independently evaluate these findings, allowing Tesla to continue citing the figure for another year.... NHTSA fought QCS' FOIA request after Tesla indicated that the data was confidential and would cause Tesla competitive harm if it was released. Last May the NHTSA finally clarified that their study "did not assess the effectiveness of this technology." Ars Technica also points out that the data focused on version 1 of Autopilot, "which Tesla hasn't sold since 2016."

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Hoaxer Behind 2,400 Fake Bomb Threats Caught After Gaming Site Breach

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-02-16 19:34
20-year-old Timothy Dalton Vaughn from Winston-Salem, N.C now faces 80 years in federal prison, reports KrebsOnSecurity.com: Federal authorities this week arrested a North Carolina man who allegedly ran with a group of online hooligans that attacked Web sites (including this one), took requests on Twitter to call in bomb threats to thousands of schools, and tried to frame various online gaming sites as the culprits. In an ironic twist, the accused -- who had fairly well separated his real life identity from his online personas -- appears to have been caught after a gaming Web site he frequented got hacked... [T]he real-life identity of HDGZero remained a mystery...as there was little publicly available information at the time connecting that moniker to anyone. That is, until early January 2019, when news broke that hackers had broken into the servers of computer game maker BlankMediaGames and made off with account details of some 7.6 million people who had signed up to play "Town of Salem," the company's browser-based role playing game. That stolen information has since been posted and resold in underground forums. A review of the leaked BlankMediaGames user database shows that in late 2018, someone who selected the username "hdgzero" signed up to play Town of Salem... The data also shows this person registered at the site using a Sprint mobile device with an Internet address that traced back to the Carolinas. This week America's Justice Department released an indictment of Vaughn and co-conspirator George Duke-Cohan for spoofed bomb threat emails to more than 2,400 schools, according to Krebs, adding that the government also alleges the two reported a fake hijacking of an airline bound for the United States. "That flight, which had almost 300 passengers on board, was later quarantined for four hours in San Francisco pending a full security check." The two now face charges of conspiracy and eight additional felony offenses, "including making threats to injure in interstate commerce and making interstate threats involving explosives."

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Free Software Foundation: Dating Is a Free Software Issue

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-02-16 18:34
"I've been making the argument that everything is a free software issue for a few months now," writes the campaigns manager for the Free Software Foundation, in a new essay sharing thoughts on "the issues proprietary technology poses in dating and maintaining romantic relationships": Many dating Web sites run proprietary JavaScript... Proprietary JavaScript is a trap that impacts your ability to run a free system, and not only does it sneak proprietary software onto your machine, but it also poses a security risk. Any piece of software can be malicious, but proprietary JavaScript goes the extra mile. Much of the JavaScript you encounter runs automatically when you load a Web site, which enables it to attack you without you even noticing. Proprietary JavaScript doesn't have to be the only way to use Web sites. LibreJS is an initiative which blocks "nonfree nontrivial" JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is either free or trivial. Many dating apps are also proprietary, available only at the Apple App and Google Play stores, both of which currently require the use of proprietary software. The essay also warns about the proprietry software used for restaurant reservations, ride-sharing apps, and chat applications. (Not to mention the non-free software behind gift shopping on Amazon.) And even if you decide on a romantic evening at home, "you might find yourself tempted by freedom-disrespecting, DRM-supporting streaming services like Hulu and Netflix...." "These are all proprietary tools, and the act of using them restricts our freedoms. When the ways we connect with one another are proprietary, we're trusting our secrets, intimacies, and relationships to technology we cannot trust."

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Academics Confirm Major Predictive Policing Algorithm Is Fundamentally Flawed

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-02-16 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Last week, Motherboard published an investigation which revealed that law enforcement agencies around the country are using PredPol -- a predictive policing software that once cited the controversial, unproven "broken windows" policing theory as a part of its best practices. Our report showed that local police in Kansas, Washington, South Carolina, California, Georgia, Utah, and Michigan are using or have used the software. In a 2014 presentation to police departments obtained by Motherboard, the company says that the software is "based on nearly seven years of detailed academic research into the causes of crime pattern formation the mathematics looks complicated -- and it is complicated for normal mortal humans -- but the behaviors upon which the math is based are very understandable." The company says those behaviors are "repeat victimization" of an address, "near-repeat victimization" (the proximity of other addresses to previously reported crimes), and "local search" (criminals are likely to commit crimes near their homes or near other crimes they've committed, PredPol says.) But academics Motherboard spoke to say that the mathematical theory that is used to power PredPol is flawed, and that its algorithm -- at least as pitched to police -- is far too simplistic to actually predict crime. Kristian Lum, who co-wrote a 2016 paper that tested the algorithmic mechanisms of PredPol with real crime data, told Motherboard in a phone call that although PredPol is powered by complicated-looking mathematical formulas, its actual function can be summarized as a moving average -- or an average of subsets within a data set. "The academic foundation for PredPol's software takes a statistical modeling method used to predict earthquakes and apply it to crime," reports Motherboard. "Much like how earthquakes are likely to appear in similar places, the papers argue, crimes are also likely to occur in similar places. Suresh Venkatasubramanian, a professor of computing at the University of Utah and a member of the board of directors for ACLU Utah, told Motherboard that earthquake data and crime data are, naturally, collected in different ways." "I would say in our mind, the key difference is that in earthquake models, you have seismographs everywhere -- wherever an earthquake happens, you'll find it," Venkatasubramanian said. "The crux of the issue really is that to what extent are you able to get data about what you're observing that is not also totally on the model itself." "If you build predictive policing, you are essentially sending police to certain neighborhoods based on what what they told you -- but that also means you're not sending police to other neighborhoods because the system didn't tell you to go there," Venkatasubramanian said. "If you assume that the data collection for your system is generated by police whom you sent to certain neighborhoods, then essentially your model is controlling the next round of data you get."

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18,000 Android Apps Track Users By Violating Advertising ID Policies

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-02-16 02:50
18,000 Android apps with tens or hundreds of millions of installs on the Google Play Store have been found to violate Google's Play Store Advertising ID policy guidance by collecting persistent device identifiers such as serial numbers, IMEI, WiFi MAC addresses, SIM card serial numbers, and sending them to mobile advertising related domains alongside ad IDs. Bleeping Computer reports: AppCensus is an organization based in Berkeley, California, and created by researchers from all over the world with expertise in a wide range of fields, ranging from networking and privacy to security and usability. The project is supported by "grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Data Transparency Lab." By highlighting this behavior, AppCensus shows that while users are being offered the option to reset the advertising ID, doing so will not immediately translate into getting a new "identity" because app developers can also use a multitude of other identifiers to keep their tracking and targeting going. Google did not yet respond to a report sent by AppCensus in September 2018 containing a list of 17,000 Android apps that send persistent identifiers together with ad IDs to various advertising networks, also attaching a list of 30 recipient mobile advertising related domains where the various IDs were being sent. While looking at the network packets sent between the apps and these 30 domains, AppCensus observed that "they are either being used to place ads in apps, or track user engagement with ads." In a statement to CNET, a Google spokesperson said: "We take these issues very seriously. Combining Ad ID with device identifiers for the purpose of ads personalization is strictly forbidden. We're constantly reviewing apps -- including those listed in the researcher's report -- and will take action when they do not comply with our policies." Some of the most popular applications found to be violating Google's Usage of Android Adverting ID policies include Clean Master, Subway Surfers, Flipboard, My Talking Tom, Temple Run 2, and Angry Birds Classic. The list goes on and on, and the last app in the "Top 20" list still has over 100 million installations.

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Even Years Later, Twitter Doesn't Delete Your Direct Messages

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-02-16 02:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Twitter retains direct messages for years, including messages you and others have deleted, but also data sent to and from accounts that have been deactivated and suspended, according to security researcher Karan Saini. Saini found years-old messages in a file from an archive of his data obtained through the website from accounts that were no longer on Twitter. He also reported a similar bug, found a year earlier but not disclosed until now, that allowed him to use a since-deprecated API to retrieve direct messages even after a message was deleted from both the sender and the recipient -- though, the bug wasn't able to retrieve messages from suspended accounts. Direct messages once let users "unsend" messages from someone else's inbox, simply by deleting it from their own. Twitter changed this years ago, and now only allows a user to delete messages from their account. "Others in the conversation will still be able to see direct messages or conversations that you have deleted," Twitter says in a help page. Twitter also says in its privacy policy that anyone wanting to leave the service can have their account "deactivated and then deleted." After a 30-day grace period, the account disappears, along with its data. But, in our tests, we could recover direct messages from years ago -- including old messages that had since been lost to suspended or deleted accounts. By downloading your account's data, it's possible to download all of the data Twitter stores on you. A Twitter spokesperson said the company was "looking into this further to ensure we have considered the entire scope of the issue."

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GAO Gives Congress Go-ahead For a GDPR-like Privacy Legislation

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-02-15 23:32
An independent report authored by a US government auditing agency has recommended that Congress develop internet data privacy legislation to enhance consumer protections, similar to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). From a report: The 56-page report [PDF] was put together by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), a bi-partisan government agency that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for Congress. Its reports are used for hearings and drafting legislation. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which requested the GAO report two years ago, has scheduled a hearing for February 26, during which it plans to discuss GAO's findings and the possibility in drafting the US' first federal-level internet privacy law. If the committee's members would be to follow GAO's conclusions, a GDPR-like legislation should be coming to the US.

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Copyright Office Refuses Registration for 'Fresh Prince' Star Alfonso Ribeiro's "Carlton Dance"

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-02-15 21:33
The U.S. Copyright Office is skeptical about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro's ownership claim over the signature "Carlton Dance," which became famous after a 1991 episode of the Will Smith series. From a report: In correspondence last month that was surfaced on Wednesday in California federal court, Saskia Florence, a supervisory registration specialist in the Office's Performing Arts Division, told Ribeiro's attorney that registration must be refused because his claimed "choreographic work" was a "simple dance routine." [...] Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the game NBA 2K, is now seizing upon the refusal in support of the argument that movements for the "Carlton Dance" are not protectable. Ribeiro is suing Take-Two as well as the publisher of Fortnite over special features that allow game players to have their avatars perform the dance. In a dismissal brief, Kirkland & Ellis attorney Dale Cendali makes some of the same arguments she did earlier in the week in an attempt to reject a similar lawsuit over Fortnite from the rapper 2 Milly. But there are particular contentions specifically directed at Ribeiro's claim.

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Venezuela's Government Appears To be Trying To Hack Activists With Phishing Pages

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-02-15 18:55
Hackers allegedly working for the embattled Venezuelan government tried to trick activists into giving away their passwords to popular services such as Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and others, according to security researchers. From a report: Last week, the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for citizens to volunteer with the goal of helping international humanitarian organizations deliver aid into the country. President Nicolas Maduro is refusing to accept aid and has erected blocks across a border bridge with Colombia with the military's help. The volunteer efforts were organized around the website voluntariosxvenezuela.com. A week later, on February 11 someone registered an almost identical domain, voluntariosvenezuela[.]com. And on Wednesday, users in Venezuela who were trying to visit the original and official VoluntariosxVenezuela website were redirected to the newer one, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab, as well as Venezuelan users on Twitter.

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