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RIAA Takedowns Backfire as Pirated MP3s Now Surface on GitHub

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-11-05 02:50
Two weeks ago the RIAA asked GitHub to remove the open-source stream-ripper software youtube-dl. This request wasn't well-received by developers, many of whom retaliated by posting copies of the code. Yesterday, things went from bad to worse when a user with the name 'FuckTheRIAA' uploaded three MP3s of the songs the RIAA mentioned in its takedown notice. TorrentFreak reports: A few hours ago we spotted a new GitHub user named 'FuckTheRIAA' who uploaded a copy of youtube-dl as well as a 'FuckTheRIAA' repository that includes three songs. These songs from Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Icona Pop, were not chosen randomly. The same tracks were mentioned in the RIAA's original takedown request, as the YouTube videos were highlighted in the youtube-dl code. This is yet another example that shows how the RIAA's takedown request has actually made things worse for the music group, at least for now. After nearly a day the three MP3 files are still available on GitHub. [I]t seems likely that it will send another DMCA takedown request to remove the tracks from GitHub. Whether the RIAA will also file takedown notices to remove all of the new youtube-dl forks has yet to be seen. For now, its takedown efforts have only made things worse, so they may let things cool down for a while first while exploring other options.

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Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited To US But Can Also Appeal

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-11-05 00:50
The Supreme Court in New Zealand ruled that file-sharing site mogul Kim Dotcom can be returned to the U.S. to face copyright charges -- but has also overturned another lower court's decision granting him the right to appeal. The BBC reports: The court ruled that Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused were liable for extradition on 12 of the 13 counts the FBI is seeking to charge them with. But it also ruled that the Court of Appeal had erred in dismissing judicial review requests from Mr Dotcom, and granted him the right to continue with them. The FBI alleges that Megaupload facilitated copyright infringement on a huge scale, but Mr Dotcom's lawyers argue that the website was never meant to encourage copyright breaches. If he is extradited, he faces a lengthy jail term. Dotcom tweeted a statement from his lawyers which read: "For the Dotcom team, and especially for Kim and his family, it is a mixed bag." "There is no final determination that he is to go to the United States. However, the court has not accepted our important copyright argument and in our view has made significant determinations that will have an immediate and chilling impact on the internet."

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Proposition 24 Passes in California, Pushing Privacy Rights To the Forefront Again

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-11-04 23:30
California voters approved on Tuesday a ballot measure designed to beef up consumer privacy protections, according to unofficial returns published by the state's secretary of state. From a report: Proponents of the measure, known as Proposition 24, say the initiative would close a loophole in the state's current privacy law that lets major tech companies continue to target ads with user data, even when users opt out. The proposition is the brainchild of Alastair Mactaggart and Californians for Consumer Privacy, his advocacy group. "We are at the beginning of a journey that will profoundly shape the fabric of our society by redefining who is in control of our most personal information and putting consumers back in charge of their own data," Mactaggart said in a statement Wednesday. The proposition's success will let consumers opt out of data collection in a powerful way, Mactaggart said in an interview, supporting companies with business models that don't require data collection to turn a profit. Those businesses will "feast on the companies whose model is pervasive tracking," Mactaggart said.

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Massachusetts Voters Overwhelmingly Pass Car Right-to-Repair Ballot Initiative

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-11-04 22:50
Massachusetts overwhelmingly voted to extend its automobile right to repair law, in a huge win for consumers. From a report: Question 1 was the most expensive measure battle in Massachusetts history with the auto industry (and independent repair companies) spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying, according to the Boston Globe. The measure is an essential win for independent mechanics, auto-repair shops, and consumers, as it will require car manufacturers to continue to make diagnostic tools available for years to come. Under the law, car manufacturers will be required to use an open-data system in cars using telematics. This means mechanics will have access to wirelessly sent repair data -- whether they are associated with an official car dealership or an independent shop. While cars currently use a wired connection for diagnostics, there was concern among independent repair professionals that car manufacturers would switch to a wireless system in order to circumvent a 2012 right to repair law that required car dealers make wired repair codes universal. As new car models are produced in coming years, the thought is many will ditch physical diagnostic ports and instead, cars will wirelessly send repair information. Tuesday's ballot measure closes a loophole in the 2012 law that would have exempted wireless diagnostics from the law. Right to repair advocates have hailed the measure. iFixit's Kevin Purdy wrote of the significance of the vote, "that means that independent repair shops will have a level playing field with car makers and dealerships, which have turned increasingly to locked-down wirelessly collected repair data, or telematics. Car owners, too, will be able to see their cars' maintenance information through a smartphone app. And it opens the door for innovations, like wireless diagnostic apps for iOS and Android."

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Police Will Pilot a Program To Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-11-04 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: This is not a drill. Red alert: The police surveillance center in Jackson, Mississippi, will be conducting a 45-day pilot program to live stream the Amazon Ring cameras of participating residents. Now, our worst fears have been confirmed. Police in Jackson, Mississippi, have started a pilot program that would allow Ring owners to patch the camera streams from their front doors directly to a police Real Time Crime Center. The footage from your front door includes you coming and going from your house, your neighbors taking out the trash, and the dog walkers and delivery people who do their jobs in your street. In Jackson, this footage can now be live streamed directly onto a dozen monitors scrutinized by police around the clock. Even if you refuse to allow your footage to be used that way, your neighbor's camera pointed at your house may still be transmitting directly to the police. Only a few months ago, Jackson stood up for its residents, becoming the first city in the southern United States to ban police use of face recognition technology. Clearly, this is a city that understands invasive surveillance technology when it sees it, and knows when police have overstepped their ability to invade privacy. If police want to build a surveillance camera network, they should only do so in ways that are transparent and accountable, and ensure active resident participation in the process. If residents say "no" to spy cameras, then police must not deploy them. The choices you and your neighbors make as consumers should not be hijacked by police to roll out surveillance technologies. The decision making process must be left to communities.

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Movie Industry: VPNs and Tor Pose a Threat to Legitimate Streaming Platforms

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-11-03 20:58
The Motion Picture Association says that circumvention services such as VPNs, DNS masks and Tor networks can pose a direct threat to legitimate streaming services. In comments submitted to the US Trade Representative, the movie industry group highlights PDF various other piracy challenges around the globe.

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GitHub Warns Users Reposting YouTube-DL They Could Be Banned

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-11-03 02:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TorrentFreak: On October 23, 2020, the RIAA decided on action to stunt the growth and potentially the entire future of popular YouTube-ripping tool YouTube-DL. The music industry group filed a copyright complaint with code repository Github, demanding that the project be taken down for breaching the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. While this was never likely to be well received by the hoards of people who support the software, the response was unprecedented. [...] One of the responses was to repost the content to Github itself, where hundreds of YouTube-DL forks kept the flame alight. A copy even appeared in Github's DMCA notice repository where surprisingly it remains to this day. Now, however, Github is warning of consequences for those who continue to use the platform for deliberate breaches of the DMCA. As previously reported, Github is being unusually sympathetic to the plight of the YouTube-DL developers. Most platforms are very happy to simply follow the rules by removing content in response to a DMCA complaint and standing back while declaring "Nothing to do with us folks." Github, on the other hand, has actively become involved to try and get the project reinstated. Unfortunately, however, there is only so far Github can go, something the company made clear in a statement posted to its DMCA repository this weekend. "If you are looking to file or dispute a takedown notice by posting to this repository, please STOP because we do not accept Pull Requests or other contributions to this repository," wrote Jesse Geraci, Github's Corporate Counsel. "Please note that re-posting the exact same content that was the subject of a takedown notice without following the proper process is a violation of GitHub's DMCA Policy and Terms of Service. If you commit or post content to this repository that violates our Terms of Service, we will delete that content and may suspend access to your account as well," Geraci wrote. This statement caused an update to Github's earlier DMCA notice advice.

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A New Idea: Replacing Daylight Saving Time With 'Universal Solar Time'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-11-02 10:34
Most clocks are handled automatically by computers, points out Tora (Slashdot reader #65,882). So in lieu of daylight saving time, "what about shifting time each month, rather than twice a year?" On Medium developer Brandon Gillespie offers the details of "Universal Solar Time." The clock is adjusted up by 10 minutes every month for the first six months, and then down by 10 minutes in the same manner, and can be offset by your timezone. The computerized systems can handle the time shift the same on the 1st...just like they currently do twice a year. The benefit of such an automated system is the day cycle stays perceptibly the same — the sun is up roughly at the same period each day for any given month. While there are many challenges to such a system, such as what to do with all of the analog clocks, the advantages of a system like this should give all of the positive benefits of Daylight Savings, without the negative impact on a person's day.

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In World First, Slovokia Plans To Test the Entire Country For COVID-19

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-11-02 01:38
The BBC reports: Slovakia has begun an ambitious project to test everyone over the age of 10 for Covid-19, but the president has said she thinks the idea is "unfeasible". The operation to test four million people is to last over two weekends. Infections have soared in Slovakia and officials argue the only alternative would be a total lockdown. President Zuzana Caputova called for a rethink of the plan after armed forces chiefs said there were not enough trained health workers to carry it out. So far only 70% of the 20,000 staff needed to administer the nasal swab tests have been recruited, according to the defence minister... From dawn on Saturday, soldiers and medics were due to fan out across the country, from the vast Petrzalka housing estates of Bratislava, to tiny hamlets in the shadows of the Tatra Mountains, to the mostly Hungarian-speaking towns dotted along the Danube plain.... The plan is to test almost four-fifths of the population, using rapid antigen testing that has an estimated 30% false negative rate. Results will be delivered in a sealed envelope within 30 minutes. "It's the army's biggest logistical operation since the country became independent," said Defence Minister Jaro Nad... Slovakia's numbers are far lower but government modelling predicts a catastrophic overload of hospitals by mid-November if nothing is done. "There's no alternative — it's either mass testing or harsh lockdown," Mr Nad told the BBC.... While testing is voluntary, those who refuse must self-isolate for 10 days. Breaking that quarantine will be punished with a hefty fine. A negative test result, however, will serve as a "free pass" from a curfew due to be introduced from Monday... If it works, other countries might soon follow suit.

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Support Grows For Universal Basic Income Trials in UK

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-11-02 00:42
On the U.K. political scene, support may be growing for new tests of a Univerisal Basic Income. The Guardian reports: A cross-party group of MPs has called on the government to allow councils to run universal basic income trials in response to mass unemployment triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. A letter to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, signed by more than 500 MPs, lords and local councillors says pilot schemes are urgently needed as the pandemic unleashes widespread economic disruption and drives up redundancies at the fastest rate on record this winter... "We must trial innovative approaches which create an income floor for everyone, allowing our families and communities to thrive. The pandemic has shown that we urgently need to strengthen our social security system. The creation of a universal basic income (UBI) — a regular and unconditional cash payment to every individual in the UK — could be the solution," the letter states. One UBI option flagged by the group would be to launch an initial £48 per week payment. [Roughly $62.08 in U.S. dollars] Demands for such an intervention have gathered pace since the onset of Covid-19 as governments around the world increase spending to help businesses and workers. There have been UBI trials in Finland and Scotland in recent years.

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Massachusetts Votes on Expanding Access To Car Data, 'Could Set the National Standard'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-11-01 23:36
On Tuesday Massachusetts will vote on expanding the state's right-to-repair law to include more access to car data, in an initiated state statute known as "Question 1." Wired reports: The measure is meant to address how data sharing will work as cars start to suck in and share more wireless data. The Coalition for Safe and Secure Data, backed by giant automakers, is urging state residents to vote No, arguing that easier access to this data poses security risks. At the core of the issue is the not-insignificant question of what expanded access to wireless car data might look like and how secure that is. It's not just a question of who can repair a car and access the data, but who owns the data in the first place. The answer could ripple across the industry for years to come, which is why both sides of Question 1 have poured millions of dollars into the fight. And because the U.S. has been slower to address these issues in federal legislation, Question 1 could have impact beyond Massachusetts state lines. Ultimately, the measure "could set the national standard for cars," according to Kyle Wiens, the founder of California-based iFixit and a vocal right-to-repair advocate... If a majority of Massachusetts residents vote Yes on Question 1 this fall, carmakers would have to install standardized, open data-sharing platforms on any cars with telematics systems starting with model year 2022. "Owners of motor vehicles with telematics systems would get access to mechanical data through a mobile device application," the ballot summary reads... Early polling suggests the state of Massachusetts will vote overwhelmingly in favor Question 1... "Hopefully this means we have an open-standard development process," Wiens tells Wired, "with all cars in the U.S. using the same standard, and a new world of innovation around mobile apps."

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Zuckerberg Acknowledges 'Risk of Civil Unrest' After US Elections, Promises Newsfeed Updates

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-11-01 18:34
ZDNet reports: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts on a conference call Thursday evening that the company plans to post notices at the top of users' news feeds on November 3rd discrediting any claims by either candidate in the U.S. presidential election that they have won the election if the site deems the claim premature... The move, said Zuckerberg, is being made because "There is a risk of civil unrest across the country, and given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we've done before." The conference call with analysts followed a third-quarter earnings report Thursday afternoon in which Facebook's results topped expectations, helped by gains in active users that also were higher than Wall Street expected. Zuckerberg said Facebook "helped 4.4 million people register [to vote] exceeding the goal that we set for ourselves this summer."

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Why Do We Keep Setting Our Clocks Back an Hour?

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-11-01 09:34
"Its that time of year again," writes long-time Slashdot reader rufey: Millions of people around the world will be adjusting (or have already adjusted) their clocks... Over the years it is apparent that most people who have spoken about the twice-yearly clock change oppose it. So I ask, why are we still changing clocks in the year 2020? Long-time Slashdot reader thegreatbob believes the answer is: inertia. Personally, I am less opposed, and much more indifferent to its continued existence. One thing (arguably good) that it does do is provide distinct, specific temporal reference points that the gradual changing of seasons does not, by forcing people to take some sort of irregular action. Do I think this in any way helps cancel out the harm caused by upsetting the sleep cycles of a huge portion of the population? Absolutely not. But Slashdot reader Anonymouse Cowtard argues they're grateful for the time change — because "I was sick of the sun waking me at 5 a.m." Since it is that time of year again, share your own thoughts in the comments. And why do we keep setting our clocks back an hour?

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Trump's TikTok Ban Temporarily Blocked by US Judge

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-11-01 01:44
Forbes reports that TikTok "cannot be shut down in the United States next month, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Friday afternoon, the latest setback in President Donald Trump's push to force the Chinese-owned app to be transferred to American ownership." In an August executive order that labeled TikTok a national security threat, Trump required Beijing-based tech company ByteDance to sell its popular short-form video app to an American firm by Nov. 12, or else the federal government would enforce restrictions on data transfers that effectively make the app unusable. Pennsylvania Judge Wendy Beetlestone blocked that order Friday, issuing a preliminary injunction while the court considers a lawsuit brought by several TikTok content creators. Beetlestone said Trump probably doesn't have the power to block TikTok: he tried to force a sale using a 43-year-old law that gives him broad power over international transactions that pose threats to national security, but that law exempts "informational materials" like artwork and news, a category Beetlestone said includes TikTok videos... The U.S. Department of Commerce plans to comply with Beetlestone's injunction, but it will "vigorously defend" Trump's executive order from this legal challenge, a spokesperson told Forbes.

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Software Freedom Conservancy: Microsoft Should Resign from RIAA Over Youtube-DL Takedown Demand

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-10-31 18:34
"We believe that youtube-dl has substantial non-infringing uses," argues the non-profit Software Freedom Conservancy. But while that software faces a DMCA takedown notice from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), GitHub's owner Microsoft is also a paying member of the RIAA. The Software Freedom Conservancy argues that this leaves Microsoft "stuck between their industry association's abuses of the law and the needs of FOSS projects for which they provide infrastructure." While under current law (which we object to), complying with the takedown notice is admittedly the fastest way to limit Microsoft's liability, we view Microsoft's membership in the RIAA as a much bigger liability to our community, now that Microsoft controls GitHub. We call on Microsoft to resign from the RIAA and remove their conflict of interest in this matter. This is an important opportunity for Microsoft to stand up for the values of software freedom... To build a strong community of FOSS developers, we need confidence that our software hosting platforms will fight for our rights. While we'd prefer that Microsoft would simply refuse to kowtow to institutions like the RIAA and reject their DMCA requests, we believe in the alternative Microsoft can take the easy first step of resigning from RIAA in protest. We similarly call on all RIAA members who value FOSS to also resign.

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Therapy Patients Blackmailed For Cash After Clinic Data Breach

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-10-31 17:34
"Many patients of a large psychotherapy clinic in Finland have been contacted individually by a blackmailer, after their data was stolen," reports the BBC: The data appears to have included personal identification records and notes about what was discussed in therapy sessions. Vastaamo is a nationwide practice with about 20 branches and thousands of patients. The clinic has advised those affected to contact the police. It said it believed the data had been stolen in November 2018, with a further potential breach in March 2019... About 300 records have already been published on the dark web, according to the Associated Press news agency. On its website, the clinic calls the attack "a great crisis". It has set up a helpline and is offering all victims one free therapy session, the details of which will not be recorded. According to the article, the blackmailer claims Vastaamo refused to pay the 40 bitcoin ransom — so they are instead blackmailing individual patients. And one patient even complained that while his therapist took notes in a physical notebook, "he had not been told these would be uploaded to a server."

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SpaceX Will 'Make Its Own Laws On Mars'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-10-31 09:00
schwit1 writes: SpaceX will not recognize international law on Mars, according to the Terms of Service of its Starlink internet project. Elon Musk's space company will instead reportedly adhere to a set of "self-governing principles" that will be defined at the time of Martian settlement. Musk revealed plans to create a self-sustaining city on Mars last week, though no timeframe is yet to be put in place for its development. Any future colony created by SpaceX would likely use constellations of Starlink satellites orbiting the planet to provide internet connection to people and machines on the surface. "For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonization spacecraft, the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities," the governing law section states. "Accordingly, disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement." Space systems engineer Erwan Beauvois said SpaceX's position was reminiscent of a declaration put forward by the Earthlight Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to preparing for the expansion of humanity beyond Earth. The Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Humanity in the Universe states that space should be "considered free, by all, for all and to all."

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Russian Hackers Targeted California, Indiana Democratic Parties In Repeat of 2016 Attacks

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-10-31 02:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The group of Russian hackers accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election earlier this year targeted the email accounts of Democratic state parties in California and Indiana, and influential think tanks in Washington and New York, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The attempted intrusions, many of which were internally flagged by Microsoft Corp over the summer, were carried out by a group often nicknamed "Fancy Bear." The hackers' activity provides insight into how Russian intelligence is targeting the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election. The targets identified by Reuters, which include the Center for American Progress, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said they had not seen any evidence of successful hacking attempts. Fancy Bear is controlled by Russia's military intelligence agency and was responsible for hacking the email accounts of Hillary Clinton's staff in the run-up to the 2016 election, according to a Department of Justice indictment filed in 2018. News of the Russian hacking activity follows last month's announcement here by Microsoft that Fancy Bear had attempted to hack more than 200 organizations, many of which the software company said were tied to the 2020 election. Microsoft was able to link this year's cyber espionage campaign to the Russian hackers through an apparent programming error that allowed the company to identify a pattern of attack unique to Fancy Bear, according to a Microsoft assessment reviewed by Reuters. The thrust of espionage operations could not be determined by Reuters. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in August here that Russian operations were attempting to undermine the campaign of presidential candidate Joe Biden.

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Privacy Investigation Finds 5 Million Shoppers' Images Collected At Malls Across Canada

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-10-30 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CTV News: Without customers' knowledge, more than five million images of Canadian shoppers' were collected through facial recognition software used by Cadillac Fairview, a parent company of malls across the country, according to an investigation by privacy officials. The federal privacy commissioner reported Thursday that Cadillac Fairview contravened federal and provincial privacy laws by embedding cameras inside digital information kiosks at 12 shopping malls across Canada, and captured users' images without their consent. The facial recognition software installed in Cadillac Fairview's "wayfinding" directories was called "Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) and through cameras installed behind protective glass, was used in Canadian malls for a brief testing period in 2017 and then was in-use between May and July of 2018. The software took temporary digital images of the faces of any individual within the field of view of the camera inside the directory and converted the images into biometric numerical representations of each face and used that information to compile demographic information about mall visitors. According to a statement from Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien, the company said the goal of its cameras was to "analyze the age and gender of shoppers and not to identify individuals." The corporation said that it did not collect personal information because the images were briefly looked at and then deleted, however the information generated from the images was being stored by a third-party contractor called Mappedin, which Cadillac Fairview said it was unaware of. "Cadillac Fairview -- one of the largest owners and operators of retail and other properties in North America -- 'expressly disagreed' with the investigation's findings, telling the commissioners that there were decals placed on shopping mall entry doors noting their privacy policy," the report adds. "These stickers directed visitors to visit guest services to obtain a copy of the company's privacy policy, but when the investigators asked a guest services employee at the Eaton location in Toronto, the employee was 'confused by the request' and so Therrien found the stickers to be an 'insufficient' measure."

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Brave Browser First To Nix CNAME Deception

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-10-30 02:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: The Brave web browser will soon block CNAME cloaking, a technique used by online marketers to defy privacy controls designed to prevent the use of third-party cookies. The browser security model makes a distinction between first-party domains -- those being visited -- and third-party domains -- from the suppliers of things like image assets or tracking code, to the visited site. Many of the online privacy abuses over the years have come from third-party resources like scripts and cookies, which is why third-party cookies are now blocked by default in Brave, Firefox, Safari, and Tor Browser. In a blog post on Tuesday, Anton Lazarev, research engineer at Brave Software, and senior privacy researcher Peter Snyder, explain that online tracking scripts may use canonical name DNS records, known as CNAMEs, to make associated third-party tracking domains look like they're part of the first-party websites actually being visited. They point to the site https://mathon.fr/ as an example, noting that without CNAME uncloaking, Brave blocks six requests for tracking scripts served by ad companies like Google, Facebook, Criteo, Sirdan, and Trustpilot. But the page also makes four requests via a script hosted at a randomized path under the first-party subdomain 16ao.mathon.fr. When Brave 1.17 ships next month (currently available as a developer build), it will be able to uncloak the CNAME deception and block the Eulerian script. Other browser vendors are planning related defenses. "Mozilla has been working on a fix in Firefox since last November," notes The Register. "And in August, Apple's Safari WebKit team proposed a way to prevent CNAME cloaking from being used to bypass the seven-day cookie lifetime imposed by WebKit's Intelligent Tracking Protection system."

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