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Getting a New Mobile Number in China Will Soon Involve a Facial-Recognition Test

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-10-08 01:30
China is taking every measure it can to verify the identities of its over 850 million mobile internet users. From a report: From Dec. 1, people applying for new mobile and data services will have to have their faces scanned by telecom providers, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a Sept. 27 statement. MIIT said the step was part of its efforts to "safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in the cyberspace" and to control phone and internet fraud. In addition to the facial-recognition test, phone users are also banned from passing their mobile phone numbers to others, and encouraged to check if numbers are registered under their name without their consent.

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The Privacy Trade-Offs of Cheap Android Smartphones

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-10-08 00:10
Fast Company highlights some of the "privacy nightmares" surrounding low-cost Android smartphones, which can be very attractive for those on a tight budget. One example is the MYA2 MyPhone: According to an analysis by the advocacy group Privacy International, a $17 Android smartphone called MYA2 MyPhone, which was launched in December 2017, has a host of privacy problems that make its owner vulnerable to hackers and to data-hungry tech companies. First, it comes with an outdated version of Android with known security vulnerabilities that can't be updated or patched. The MYA2 also has apps that can't be updated or deleted, and those apps contain multiple security and privacy flaws. One of those pre-installed apps that can't be removed, Facebook Lite, gets default permission to track everywhere you go, upload all your contacts, and read your phone's calendar. The fact that Facebook Lite can't be removed is especially worrying because the app suffered a major privacy snafu earlier this year when hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users had their passwords exposed. Philippines-based MyPhone said the specs of the MYA2 limited it to shipping the phone with Android 6.0, and since then it says it has "lost access and support to update the apps we have pre-installed" with the device. Given that the MYA2 phone, like many low-cost Android smartphones, runs outdated versions of the Android OS and can't be updated due to their hardware limitations, users of such phones are limited to relatively light privacy protections compared to what modern OSes, like Android 10, offer today. The MYA2 is just one example of how cheap smartphones leak personal information, provide few if any privacy protections, and are incredibly easy to hack compared to their more expensive counterparts.

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US Supreme Court Rejects Amazon Warehouse Worker Wage Appeal

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-10-07 18:50
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Amazon's bid to avoid a lawsuit seeking to ensure that warehouse workers for the e-commerce giant get paid for the time it takes them to go through extensive post-shift security screenings. From a report: The justices, on the first day of their new term, turned away an appeal by Amazon and a contractor of a lower court ruling reviving the workers' claims under Nevada state law. The decision comes five years after the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case that barred similar claims under federal law. A group of Amazon warehouse workers who package and ship merchandise filed a proposed class action lawsuit in 2010 against the contractor, Integrity Staffing Solutions, which provides some of the hourly employees for Amazon. The workers sought compensation for submitting to what they called mandatory "post-9/11 type of airport security" screenings that are aimed at preventing employee theft. The workers have said the screening takes around 25 minutes to complete. Amazon called the plaintiffs' description of the protocol "grossly inaccurate" in court papers.

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US Supreme Court Snubs University of Wisconsin Appeal in Patent Fight With Apple

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-10-07 17:28
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by the University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple in a fight over computer processor technology that the school claimed the company used without permission in certain iPhones and iPads. From a report: The justices, on the first day of their new term, declined to review a lower court's 2018 decision to throw out the $506 million in damages that Apple was ordered to pay after a jury in 2015 decided the company infringed the university's patent. The licensing body, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), filed suit in 2014, alleging infringement of a 1998 patent on a "predictor circuit" to help speed the way processors carry out computer program instructions. The patent was developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students at the university, located in Madison, Wisconsin. WARF, which helps patent and commercialize the university's inventions, claimed that Apple incorporated the technology in its A7, A8 and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad tablet. Apple disputed the claims, saying its processor worked differently based on the specific language spelled out in WARF's patent.

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Big ISPs Worry DNS-Over-HTTPS Could Stop Monitoring and Modifying of DNS Queries

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-10-07 01:59
"Big Cable and other telecom industry groups warned that Google's support for DNS over HTTPS (DoH) 'could interfere on a mass scale with critical Internet functions, as well as raise data-competition issues,'" reports Ars Technica. But are they really just worried DNS over HTTPS will end useful ISP practices that involve monitoring or modifying DNS queries? For example, queries to malware-associated domains can be a signal that a customer's computer is infected with malware. In some cases, ISPs also modify customers' DNS queries in-flight. For example, an easy way to block children from accessing adult materials is with an ISP-level filter that rewrites DNS queries for banned domains. Some public Wi-Fi networks use modified DNS queries as a way to redirect users to a network sign-on page. Some ISPs also use DNS snooping for more controversial purposes -- like ad targeting or policing their networks for copyright infringement. Widespread adoption of DoH would limit ISPs' ability to both monitor and modify customer queries. It wouldn't necessarily eliminate this ability, since ISPs could still use these techniques for customers who use the ISP's own DNS servers. But if customers switched to third-party DNS servers -- either from Google or one of its various competitors -- then ISPs would no longer have an easy way to tell which sites customers were accessing. ISPs could still see which IP addresses a customer had accessed, which would give them some information -- this can be an effective way to detect malware infections, for example. But this is a cruder way to monitor Internet traffic. Multiple domains can share a single IP address, and domains can change IP addresses over time. So ISPs would wind up with reduced visibility into their customers' browsing habits. But a switch to DoH would clearly mean ISPs had less ability to monitor and manipulate their customers' browsing activity. Indeed, for advocates that's the point. They believe users, not their ISPs, should be in charge... [I]t's hard to see a policy problem here. ISPs' ability to eavesdrop on their customers' DNS queries is little more than a historical accident. In recent years, websites across the Internet have adopted encryption for the contents of their sites. The encryption of DNS is the natural next step toward a more secure Internet. It may require some painful adjustments by ISPs, but that hardly seems like a reason for policymakers to block the change.

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TSMC Accuses GlobalFoundries of Infringing 25 Patents For Node Processes

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-10-06 15:34
AmiMoJo quotes ZDNet: Semiconductor manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd (TSMC) has filed multiple lawsuits against its competitor GlobalFoundries, saying the US company allegedly infringed upon 25 patents related to its node processes. TSMC said on Monday that the lawsuits are seeking injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries from manufacturing and selling semiconductor products that allegedly infringe upon the patents in question... The 25 TSMC patents in the complaints relate to technologies such as FinFET designs, shallow trench isolation techniques, double patterning methods, advanced seal rings and gate structures, and innovative contact etch stop layer designs, TSMC said. These technologies are used to create TSMC's 40nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm, and 12nm node processes.

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Fake News Posters In Singapore Will Face Fines, Prison Sentences Under New Law

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-10-05 22:34
dryriver quotes CNN: Singapore's sweeping anti-fake news law, which critics warn could be used to suppress free speech in the already tightly controlled Asian city state, came into force Wednesday. Under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, it is now illegal to spread "false statements of fact" under circumstances in which that information is deemed "prejudicial" to Singapore's security, public safety, "public tranquility," or to the "friendly relations of Singapore with other countries," among numerous other topics. Government ministers can decide whether to order something deemed fake news to be taken down, or for a correction to be put up alongside it. They can also order technology companies such as Facebook and Google -- both of which opposed the bill during its fast-tracked process through parliament -- to block accounts or sites spreading false information. The act also provides for prosecutions of individuals, who can face fines of up to 50,000 SGD (over $36,000), and, or, up to five years in prison. If the alleged falsehood is posted using "an inauthentic online account or controlled by a bot," the total potential fine rises to 100,000 SGD (around $73,000), and, or, up to 10 years in prison. Companies found guilty of spreading "fake news" can face fines of up to 1 million SGD (around $735,000).

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Libertarian Accused of Faking 1.5M Net Neutrality Comments Using Data-Breached Addresses

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-10-05 20:34
BuzzFeed says they've identified two firms which "misappropriated names and personal information as part of a bid to submit more than 1.5 million statements" pretending to oppose net neutrality regulations: The anti-net neutrality comments harvested on behalf of Broadband for America, the industry group that represented telecommunications giants including AT&T, Cox, and Comcast, were uploaded to the FCC website by Media Bridge founder Shane Cory, a former executive director of both the Libertarian Party and the conservative sting group Project Veritas. Cory has claimed credit for "20 or 30" major public advocacy campaigns in recent years, including, he says, record-setting submissions to the IRS, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and "probably a handful of others." On Media Bridge's website, the company has described itself as having expertise in "overwhelming government agencies" with avalanches of public submissions, and has publicly dubbed its approach to marshaling comments the "Big Hammer." In the FCC campaign, Cory was working for Ralph Reed -- a high-powered political strategist and titan of the Christian right who himself was working for Broadband for America. Cory, in turn, enlisted LCX Digital to find the commenters... BuzzFeed News ran large samples of the email addresses in those files through Have I Been Pwned, a website that identifies whether an address has been exposed in any of hundreds of major data breaches. The results were stark: In one particular group of 1.9 million comments, according to BuzzFeed News' analysis, 94% of the email addresses belonged to people who had fallen victim to a hack known as the Modern Business Solutions data breach, in which millions of people's personal information, including full names, birthdates, home addresses, and email addresses, had been stolen... All these comments were uploaded by Cory, using his Media Bridge email address. (Some of the comments were full duplicates; after removing them, there were just over 1.5 million comment-and-email combinations.) In its letter to BuzzFeed News, Media Bridge contested the idea that email addresses showing up in breached databases were a sign of improprieties. In fact, it said, a "high match rate" is a sign of validity, since most Americans appear in breached databases.... Two of the commenters were named Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett -- and yet mysteriously "the names and street addresses were exactly as they appeared in that breach... A separate spot check by BuzzFeed News of 100 randomly selected Media Bridge comments revealed a similar pattern -- even down to a street address that used underscores instead of spaces." In addition, Buzzfeed found that "almost all" of the remaining 6% appears to just be "recycled" identities drawn from comments left in 2016 when the FCC was considering a new rule that would allow cable consumers to use their own set-top boxes -- a regulation that the cable industry opposed. "One year later, 99.9% of those exact same names and addresses appeared on the FCC's website, weighing in on an entirely different policy debate -- net neutrality. They were uploaded by Media Bridge."

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New Universal Basic Income Experiment Finds 40% of Money Spent On Food

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-10-05 17:34
"The first data from an experiment in a California city where needy people get $500 a month from the government shows they spend most of it on things such as food, clothing and utility bills," reports the Associated Press: The 18-month, privately funded program started in February and involves 125 people in Stockton.... But critics say the experiment likely won't provide useful information from a social science perspective given its limited size and duration. Matt Zwolinski, director of the Center for Ethics, Economics and Public Policy at the University of San Diego, said people aren't likely to change their behavior if they know the money they are getting will stop after a year and a half. That's one reason why he says the experiment is "really more about story telling than it is about social science." Plus, he said previous studies have shown people don't spend the money on frivolous things. "What you get out of a program like this is some fairly compelling anecdotes from people," he said. "That makes for good public relations if you are trying to drum up interest in a basic income program, but it doesn't really tell you much about what a basic income program would do if implemented on a long-term and large-scale basis." The researchers overseeing the program, Stacia Martin-West at the University of Tennessee and Amy Castro Baker at the University of Pennsylvania, said their goal is not to see if people change their behavior, but to measure how the money impacts their physical and mental health. That data will be released later.... Since February, when the program began, people receiving the money have on average spent nearly 40% of it on food. About 24% went to sales and merchandise, which include places like Walmart and discount dollar stores that also sell groceries. Just over 11% went to utility bills, while more than 9% went to auto repairs and fuel. The rest of the money went to services, medical expenses, insurance, self-care and recreation, transportation, education and donations.... "People are using the money in ways that give them dignity or that gives their kids dignity," Castro-Baker said, noting participants have reported spending the money to send their children to prom, pay for dental work and buy birthday cakes.

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Hong Kong Announces Ban On Masks, Face Paint That Helps Protesters Evade Facial Recognition

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-10-05 01:30
The Hong Kong government is banning masks and face paint in an attempt to stop the pro-democracy protests that have been raging since June. "The new 'emergency' order was announced by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam at a press conference today and will go into effect at midnight local time, 12:00 pm ET," reports Gizmodo. From the report: The new law bans "any facial covering that is likely to prevent identification," during public demonstrations. Anyone arrested under the new rule will face up to a year in prison and a fine of roughly $3,200 U.S. "We believe that the new law will create a new deterrence effect against masked violent protesters and rioters," Lam said at a press conference that was carried live online. "Hong Kong is not in a state of emergency," Lam assured citizens. "But we are indeed in a location of serious danger." Hong Kong protesters, upset about Beijing's political incursion into the region, wear masks primarily for three reasons. First, protesters want to keep from being identified by cameras around the city that use facial recognition software. Second, the protesters don't want to be identified by police forces on the ground, allowing authorities to target them later when they arrive home. And third, the masks can shield protesters from teargas, which has become a common weapon deployed by police. Lam said at today's press conference that bans on face coverings were "something which has already been introduced in a number of jurisdictions around the world" and defended the move as something that could help to restore peace and order in the region. Lam notes that the new law is exempt for people who need to cover their faces for their jobs. What this means is that police will likely be allowed to wear masks, while the average civilian will not.

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Tesla Is Being Investigated For a Software Update Meant To Limit Fire Risk

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-10-05 00:50
The NHTSA is investigating a software update Tesla shipped earlier this year that was meant to address a few reports of battery fires. "Some owners have said the update, released in May, noticeably decreased the ultimate range of their Teslas," reports The Verge. "A few have even sued the company for alleged fraud over the issue." From the report: The NHTSA received a "defect petition" in September from a lawyer who represents some of these customers. He requested that the NHTSA investigate the software update in order to figure out if Tesla was hiding a defect in its cars that could have caused the reported fires earlier this year. "Tesla is using over-the-air software updates to mask and cover-up a potentially widespread and dangerous issue with the batteries in their vehicles," he wrote. Defect petitions require more information than the typical complaints the NHTSA receives. Crucially, they also force the agency to act more conclusively: following the investigation, the NHTSA has to either issue a recall for cars affected by the alleged defects, or else publish its findings on the federal register explaining the decision not to. The NHTSA will now attempt to put a finer point on this issue by trying to figure out precisely what Tesla did with that May software update. The petition that the NHTSA is reviewing specifically claims that Tesla should have recalled 2,000 Model S and Model X vehicles because of the issue. At the time when Tesla issued the May update, the company said the update was out of an "abundance of caution" and that it would affect charge and thermal management settings.

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Montreal Law Firm Looks To Launch Class-Action Lawsuit Against Fortnite Developer

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-10-04 23:30
Dave Knott writes: A Montreal legal firm has requested authorization to launch a class-action lawsuit against Epic Games, makers of the widely-popular video game Fortnite. The legal notice, filed on behalf of two minors, likens the effect of the game to cocaine, saying it releases the chemical dopamine to the brain of vulnerable young people who can become dependent on playing. Much of the suit is based on a 2015 Quebec Superior Court ruling that determined tobacco companies didn't warn their customers about the dangers of smoking. Jean-Philippe Caron, a lawyer at Calex, said the firm was contacted by several parents whose kids had become addicted to the game. Last year, the World Health Organization classified addiction to video games as a disease. It defined the disorder as "a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increased priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences." According to Caron, Fortnite was designed by psychologists to make it more addictive. "They knew that their game was very attractive, yet they did not divulge the risks to the population. It's a little like tobacco."

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US, UK Sign Pact To Share Electronic Evidence in Criminal Cases

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-10-04 16:01
The US and UK signed an agreement this week that will allow law enforcement officials in both countries to demand tech companies in the other's country to furnish electronic evidence for use in criminal investigations. The agreement is the first approved under the controversial CLOUD Act passed by Congress last year. From a report: The agreement between the two counties "will dramatically speed up investigations by removing legal barriers to timely and effective collection of electronic evidence," the US Justice Department said in a statement. The pact will allow investigators to gain access to data on serious crimes such as terrorism, child sexual abuse and cybercrime without encountering legal obstacles. "Only by addressing the problem of timely access to electronic evidence of crime committed in one country that is stored in another, can we hope to keep pace with 21st Century threats," US Attorney General William Barr said. The CLOUD Act, which stands for Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, updated the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet. It also lets the US enter into agreements to send information from US servers to criminal investigators in other countries with limited case-by-case review of requests.

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Egypt Used Google Play In Spy Campaign Targeting Its Own Citizens

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-10-04 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Hackers with likely ties to Egypt's government used Google's official Play Store to distribute spyware in a campaign that targeted journalists, lawyers, and opposition politicians in that country, researchers from Check Point Technologies have found. The app, called IndexY, posed as a means for looking up details about phone numbers. It claimed to tap into a database of more than 160 million Arabic numbers. One of the permissions it required was access to a user's call history and contacts. Despite the sensitivity of that data, those permissions were understandable, given the the app's focus on phone numbers. It had about 5,000 installations before Google removed it from Play in August. Check Point doesn't know when IndexY first became available in Play. Behind the scenes, IndexY logged whether each call was incoming, outgoing, or missed as well as its date and duration. Publicly accessible files left on indexy[.]org, a domain hardcoded into the app, showed not only that the data was collected but that the developers actively analyzed and inspected that information. Analysis included the number of users per country, call-log details, and lists of calls made from one country to another. IndexY was one piece of a broad and far-ranging surveillance campaign that was first documented in March by Amnesty International. It targeted people who played adversarial roles to Egypt's government and prompted warnings from Google to some of those targeted that "government-backed attackers are trying to steal your password." Check Point found that, at the same time, Google was playing a key supporting role in the campaign. According to Lotem Finkelshtein, Check Point's threat intelligence group manager, one of the ways the attackers evaded Google vetting of the app was that the analysis and inspection of the data happened on the attacker-designated server and not on an infected phone itself. "Google couldn't see the info that was collected," he said. IndexY was one of at least three pieces of Android malware that Check Point tied to the campaign. "A different app purported to increase the volume of devices, even though it had no such capability," reports Ars Technica. "Called iLoud 200%, it collected location data as soon as it was started. In the event it stopped running, iLoud was able to restart itself. Finkelshtein said that that app was distributed on third-party sites and was installed an unknown number of times." v1.apk was another app that communicated with the domain drivebackup[.]co and appeared to be in an early testing phase.

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EFF Wins Access To License Plate Reader Data To Study Law Enforcement Use

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-10-04 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) have reached an agreement with Los Angeles law enforcement agencies under which the police and sheriff's departments will turn over license plate data they indiscriminately collected on millions of law-abiding drivers in Southern California. The data, which has been deidentified to protect drivers' privacy, will allow EFF and ACLU SoCal to learn how the agencies are using automated license plate reader (ALPR) systems throughout the city and county of Los Angeles and educate the public on the privacy risks posed by this intrusive technology. A weeks' worth of data, composed of nearly 3 million data points, will be examined. ALPR systems include cameras mounted on police cars and at fixed locations that scan every license plate that comes into view -- up to 1,800 plates per minute. They record data on each plate, including the precise time, date, and place it was encountered. The two Los Angeles agencies scan about 3 million plates every week and store the data for years at a time. Using this data, police can learn where we were in the past and infer intimate details of our daily lives such as where we work and live, who our friends are, what religious or political activities we attend, and much more. EFF and ACLU SoCal reached the agreement with the Los Angeles Police and Sheriff's Departments after winning a precedent-setting decision in 2017 from the California Supreme Court in our public records lawsuit against the two agencies. The court held that the data are not investigative records under the California Public Records Act that law enforcement can keep secret. "After six years of litigation, EFF and ACLU SoCal are finally getting access to millions of ALPR scans that will shed light on how the technology is being used, where it's being used, and how it affects people's privacy," said EFF Surveillance Litigation Director Jennifer Lynch. "We persevered and won a tough battle against law enforcement agencies that wanted to keep this information from the public. We have a right to information about how government agencies are using high-tech systems to track our locations, surveil our neighborhoods, and collect private information without our knowledge and consent."

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Google Contractors Reportedly Targeted Homeless People For Pixel 4 Facial Recognition

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-10-04 02:50
From a report: In July, Google admitted it has employees pounding the pavement in a variety of US cities, looking for people willing to sell their facial data for a $5 gift certificate to help improve the Pixel 4's face unlock system. But the New York Daily News reports that a Google contractor may be using some questionable methods to get those facial scans, including targeting groups of homeless people and tricking college students who didn't know they were being recorded. According to several sources who allegedly worked on the project, a contracting agency named Randstad sent teams to Atlanta explicitly to target homeless people and those with dark skin, often without saying they were working for Google, and without letting on that they were actually recording people's faces. Google wasn't necessarily aware that Randstad was going after homeless people, but a Google manager reportedly did instruct the group to target people with darker skin, one source told the Daily News.

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EU Court: Facebook Can Be Forced To Remove Content Worldwide

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-10-03 22:50
New submitter sysrammer writes: "The European Union's highest court ruled Thursday that individual member countries can force Facebook to remove what they regard as unlawful material from the social network all over the world -- a decision experts say could hinder free speech online and put a heavy burden on tech companies," reports The Associated Press. "The ruling essentially allows one country or region to decide what Internet users around the world can say and what information they can access," said CCIA Europe senior manager Victoria de Posson. "What might be considered defamatory comments about someone in one country will likely be considered constitutional free speech in another. Few hosting platforms, especially startups, will have the resources to implement elaborate monitoring systems." Another turn of the screw in the interaction between privacy and free speech.

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France Set To Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-10-03 17:31
France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a secure digital identity -- whether they want it or not. From a report: Saying it wants to make the state more efficient, President Emmanuel Macron's government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November, earlier than an initial Christmas target. The country's data regulator says the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France's highest administrative court. It took a hacker just over an hour to break into a "secure" government messaging app this year, raising concerns about the state's security standards. None of that is deterring the French interior ministry. "The government wants to funnel people to use Alicem and facial recognition," said Martin Drago, a lawyer member of the privacy group La Quadrature du Net that filed the suit against the state. "We're heading into mass usage of facial recognition. (There's) little interest in the importance of consent and choice." The case, filed in July, won't suspend Alicem.

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Government Plans To Collect DNA From Detained Immigrants

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-10-03 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Trump administration is moving to begin collecting DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people booked into federal immigration custody each year for entry into a national criminal database, an immense expansion of the use of technology to enforce the nation's immigration laws. Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that the Justice Department was developing a federal regulation that would give immigration officers the authority to collect DNA in detention facilities that are holding more than 40,000 people. The move would constitute a major expansion of the use of a database maintained by the F.B.I., which has been limited mainly to genetic data collected from people who have been arrested, charged or convicted in connection with serious crimes. Immigrant and privacy advocates said the move raised privacy concerns for an already vulnerable population that could face profiling or discrimination as a result of their personal data being shared among law enforcement authorities. The new rules would allow the government to collect DNA from children, as well as those who seek asylum at legal ports of entry and have not broken the law. They warned that United States citizens, who are sometimes accidentally booked into immigration custody, could also be forced to hand over their private genetic information. Homeland security officials said the new initiative was permitted under the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005. "Up until now, immigrant detainees have been exempt from the law, they said, because of an agreement between Eric H. Holder Jr. and Janet Napolitano, who served as attorney general and homeland security secretary, respectively, under President Barack Obama," reports The New York Times. The new program "would provide a comprehensive DNA profile of individuals who are tested, as opposed to the more narrow test that was used only to determine parentage," the report says. "And unlike the testing under the pilot program, the results would be shared with other law enforcement agencies."

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Iraq Shuts Down Internet Access As Mass Protests Turn Violent

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-10-03 02:50
dryriver shares a report from Euronews: Iraq's government shut off internet access, imposed curfews and deployed elite forces to secure key facilities on Wednesday amid widespread protests aimed at toppling the country's regime. Five people were killed and more than 200 were wounded in the largest display of public anger against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's year-old government. Domestic instability could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Abdul Mahdi's fragile coalition government, sworn in last year as a compromise between rival factions after an inconclusive election. Counter-terrorism troops were deployed to Baghdad airport where its men fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters, preventing them from storming the facility. They were also deployed in the southern city of Nassiriya after police "lost control" when gunfights broke out between protesters and security forces, police sources said. Curfews were later imposed in Nassiriya and two other southern cities, Amara and Hilla, the police sources told Reuters, as protests that began on Tuesday over unemployment, corruption and poor public services escalated. Demands on Wednesday included the "fall of the regime" and government and political party buildings set ablaze in two other southern provinces. According to blockage observatory NetBlocks, internet connectivity has fallen below 70% in the capital Baghdad. Additionally, social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as WhatsApp, all appeared to have been disabled across Iraq except in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region which has a separate internet infrastructure.

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