NEWS ABOUT: privacy

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'Upskirt' Pics Now Illegal in Massachusetts

After court ruling, lawmakers worked up a quick bill, and the governor signed it

(Newser) - If you were outraged by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that deemed "upskirt" photos legal , you can turn that frown upside down. Just a day after the decision, state lawmakers voted yesterday to outlaw photos of "sexual or intimate parts" secretly snapped in public in an "... More »

Court: 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Massachusetts' highest court says current laws don't apply

(Newser) - Women who ride the Boston subway will not be pleased to hear that the state's highest court says it's legal for someone to take "upskirt" photos of their privates. The state Supreme Judicial Court thinks it should be illegal, but the justices say current laws don't... More »

4 Big NSA Changes Obama Is Considering

New privacy rules could extend to non-citizens, for one

(Newser) - With a presidential speech on NSA reforms coming as soon as next week, the Wall Street Journal has the inside track on President Obama's thinking. Changes could come as a combination of executive and legislative action. Among possible major changes to the way the agency works:
  • A review panel
... More »

Snowden: Our Kids Will Never Have an 'Unrecorded Thought'

NSA whistleblower has Christmas message for anyone feeling happy

(Newser) - On the off chance that the NSA was taking an eggnog break from listening to you rip open your Christmas gifts, Edward Snowden has a new Christmas message out. And it's not exactly chock full of rainbows and unicorns, notes Politico . Speaking in a YouTube video with British Channel... More »

Private Spying Companies Sell Lists of Rape Victims

Along with people with HIV, dementia, more

(Newser) - Secretive data companies are tracking almost every American's every move online—and compiling and selling disturbingly targeted lists based on that spying, a new Senate Commerce Committee report concludes. That includes lists of rape victims, people suffering from ailments including HIV, AIDS, and dementia, and people with substance abuse... More »

Judge: NSA Spying 'Almost Certainly' Unconstitutional

Meanwhile, White House says no amnesty for Snowden

(Newser) - The NSA's massive collection of phone metadata is "almost certainly" unconstitutional, a federal judge declared in a blistering statement today. Judge Richard Leon issued an injunction banning the agency from spying on the plaintiffs in the lawsuit he was reviewing—legal analyst Larry Klayman and one of his... More »

Government Ruined My Life Over Auto-Complete: Suit

Man alleges that inadvertent search led to death threats, harassment

(Newser) - Jeffrey Kantor says the federal government mercilessly harassed him and got him fired over an accidental Google search. In a lawsuit spotted by Courthouse News , the Virginia man explains that he was trying to search for "How do I build a radio-controlled airplane?" But when he got as far... More »

NSA Collects Huge Troves of Cellphone Location Data

Washington Post: This might be the biggest threat to privacy yet

(Newser) - The editor of the Guardian suggested that lots more Edward Snowden scoops are in the works, and, sure enough, the Washington Post obliges with what may be the biggest one yet. Its report says the NSA tracks the locations of hundreds of millions of cellphones around the world each day... More »

Nobel Peace Chief: We Need Spy Laws to Protect People

Thorbjorn Jagland says Snowden leaks make this clear

(Newser) - The man who handed President Obama his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 thinks the world needs protection from Obama's spies. Thorbjorn Jagland, head of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, says the Edward Snowden leaks make clear the need for international spy laws to protect people's privacy, reports the... More »

Google Working on Real-Life Tracking: Report

It'll keep tabs on you, and sell data to advertisers

(Newser) - What if tracking cookies didn't just track your web activity—they tracked your every movement and reported it back to advertisers? A program Google is beta-testing does just that, ad industry sources tell Digiday . The program would track consumers' smartphone GPS data even if they didn't have any... More »

Accused Peeping Tom: 'Upskirt' Photos Free Speech

Says people in public can't expect privacy

(Newser) - A Boston man is making the case that the Constitution allows him to secretly take photos up women's skirts in public. The lawyer for 31-year-old Michael Robertson argued that her client's actions in the Boston subway are protected by the First Amendment and that women "cannot expect... More »

Gore Blasts NSA's 'Crimes Against the Constitution'

He predicts NSA will be forced to rein in 'absurd' surveillance practices

(Newser) - Al Gore is definitely not among those buying the line that US surveillance practices are above-board and business as usual. Among the words he used to describe the methods unveiled by Edward Snowden in a speech last night in Canada: "absurd," "outrageous," "crimes against the... More »

States, Sick of Waiting for Congress, Take on Privacy

Companies worry about patchwork regulations

(Newser) - It's been more than a year since the White House proposed a sweeping new set of consumer privacy regulations, and in that time Congress has done exactly nothing with it. So frustrated state legislatures are taking up the issue instead, the New York Times reports today, highlighting the efforts... More »

Journo Asks Hackers to Spy on Him—With Scary Results

Took control of his wife's computer, got into his bank account, cracked all his passwords

(Newser) - Some 14 years ago, journalist Adam Penenberg wrote an article for Forbes in which he paid a private detective to investigate him, starting with nothing but his name. This year, he decided to repeat the experiment for the 21st Century, asking an "ethical hacking team" to do the same... More »

Zuckerberg Buys Up Neighbors' Homes for $30M

He'll lease them back to same families; this is a privacy safeguard

(Newser) - One perk of being a multibillionare: You can buy privacy—and buy your neighbors out of their homes. That's what Mark Zuckerberg has done, spending $30 million on four houses next to his own Palo Alto abode, the San Jose Mercury News reports. He doesn't have any crazy... More »

Erosion of Privacy Is Killing America

It will change how we think, speak, and act as a people, writes Peggy Noonan

(Newser) - The government's sweeping surveillance programs might be protecting America, but they are also fundamentally un-American, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal today. "The end of the expectation that citizens' communications are and will remain private will probably change us as a people, and a country,"... More »

Snowden Gathered NSA Dirt While at Dell

Snooping began far earlier than had been reported

(Newser) - Looks like Edward Snowden began snooping around the NSA long before he started work at Booz Allen Hamilton: He began downloading related records in April of last year while working at Dell, insiders tell Reuters . That's almost a year earlier than had been reported, Reuters notes. An electronic footprint... More »

ACLU: Millions of Innocent Drivers Being Tracked

Vast databases store info on your plate, movements

(Newser) - You know about speed cameras and red-light cameras. But did you know about plate-reading cameras? Few people do, and that's a worry for the ACLU, which says the cameras are infringing on our civil liberties. Unlike the speed and red-light cameras, which are activated only when someone violates a... More »

Your Phone Is Helping Stores Spy on You

Retailers tracking your location, patterns

(Newser) - These days, it's not just online retailers that are tracking consumers' every move: Physical stores are doing it, too, thanks to video footage and the smartphone in your pocket. Companies want to know which customers are returning, which sections they're visiting, and even which way they turn after... More »

Why Do Stores Keep Asking for Your ZIP Code?

They're compiling a secret marketing database on you

(Newser) - When store clerks ask for your ZIP code at the end of a transaction, it's not always to validate your credit card or keep track of where customers are coming from. Several "direct marketing" software services require only your name—gleaned from your card—and ZIP to figure... More »

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