View Full Version : Facebook is scaring me

Ed Jewett
09-26-2011, 05:15 AM
Facebook is scaring me

By Dave Winer on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM.Yesterday I wrote (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/23/twitterShouldFearFacebook.html) that Twitter should be scared of Facebook. Today it's worse. I, as a mere user of Facebook, am seriously scared of them. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9595)Every time they make a change, people get angry. I've never myself been angry because I have always assumed everything I post to Facebook is public. That the act of putting something there, a link, picture, mini-essay, is itself a public act. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9596)This time, however, they're doing something that I think is really scary, and virus-like. The kind of behavior deserves a bad name, like phishing, or spam, or cyber-stalking. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9588)http://scripting.com/images/2011/09/24/lucyCharlieFootball.gif (http://scripting.com/images/2011/09/13/lucyCharlieFootballBig.gif)What clued me in was an article (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/read_in_facebook_social_news_apps.php) on ReadWriteWeb that says that just reading an article on their site may create an announcement on Facebook. Something like: "Bull Mancuso just read a tutorial explaining how to kill a member of another crime family." Bull didn't comment. He didn't press a Like button. He just visited a web page. And an announcement was made on his behalf to everyone who follows him on Facebook. Not just his friends, because now they have subscribers, who can be total strangers. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9589)Now, I'm not technically naive. I understood before that the Like buttons were extensions of Facebook. They were surely keeping track of all the places I went. And if I went to places that were illegal, they would be reported to government agencies. Bull Mancuso in the example above has more serious things to worry about than his mother finding out that he's a hitman for the mob. (Both are fictitious characters, and in my little story his mom already knows he's a hitman.) http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9590)There could easily be lawsuits, divorces, maybe even arrests based on what's made public by Facebook. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9591)People joke that privacy is over, but I don't think they imagined that the disclosures would be so proactive. They are seeking out information to report about you. That's different from showing people a picture (http://www.google.com/search?q=anthony+weiner+penis+picture) that you posted yourself. If this were the government we'd be talking about the Fourth Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution ). http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9597)Also, I noted that I had somehow given access to my Facebook account to ReadWriteWeb. That's puzzling because I have no memory of having done that. And when I went to see what other organizations I had given access to my graph, there were lots of surprises. I think there's a good chance that by visiting a site you are now giving them access to lots more info about you. I could be mistaken about this. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9592)And, until Facebook owns the browser we use, there is a simple way to opt-out, and I've done it myself. Log out of Facebook. And if Facebook had a shred of honor they would make their cookie expire, right now, for everyone, and require a re-log-in, and a preference choice to stay permanently logged-in. With a warning about the new snooping they're doing. Probably a warning not written by them, but by Berkman, the EFF or the FTC. (Yes, dear Republicans (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/19/toughLoveForRepublicans.html), I trust a bureaucrat more than I trust a tech exec in Silicon Valley.) http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9593)One more thing. Facebook doesn't have a web browser, yet, but Google does. It may not be possible to opt-out of Google's identity system and all the information gathering it does, if you're a Chrome user. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9594)PS: There's a Hacker News thread (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3033385) on this piece. It's safe to click on that link (as far as I know). http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html#p9599)Update: Nik Cubrilovic says (http://nikcub.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough) that logging out of Facebook is not enough. http://scripting.com/images/2001/09/20/sharpPermaLink3.gif


Magda Hassan
09-26-2011, 05:47 AM
Logging out of Facebook is not enough25th September 2011# (http://nikcub-static.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough)Dave Winer wrote a timely piece this morning about how Facebook is scaring him (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html) since the new API allows applications to post status items to your Facebook timeline without a users intervention. It is an extension of Facebook Instant and they call it frictionless sharing. The privacy concern here is that because you no longer have to explicitly opt-in to share an item, you may accidentally share a page or an event that you did not intend others to see.
The advice is to log out of Facebook. But logging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the web application, a number of cookies (including your account number) are still sent along to all requests tofacebook.com. Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.
Here is what is happening, as viewed by the HTTP headers on requests to facebook.com. First, a normal request to the web interface as a logged in user sends the following cookies:
Note: I have both fudged the values of each cookie and added line wraps for legibility

Cookie:datr=tdnZTOt21HOTpRkRzS-6tjKP; lu=ggIZeheqTLbjoZ5Wgg; openid_p=101045999; c_user=500011111; sct=1316000000; xs=2%3A99105e8977f92ec58696cf73dd4a32f7; act=1311234574586%2F0The request to the logout function will then see this response from the server, which is attempting to unset the following cookies:

Set-Cookie:_e_fUJO_0=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlyc_user=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlyfl=1; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlyL=2; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlylocale=en_US; expires=Sun, 02-Oct-2011 07:52:33 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.comlu=ggIZeheqTLbjoZ5Wgg; expires=Tue, 24-Sep-2013 07:52:33 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlys=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlysct=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlyW=1316000000; path=/; domain=.facebook.comxs=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/; domain=.facebook.com; httponlyTo make it easier to see the cookies being unset, the names are in italics. If you compare the cookies that have been set in a logged in request, and compare them to the cookies that are being unset in the logout request, you will quickly see that there are a number of cookies that are not being deleted, and there are two cookies (locale and lu) that are only being given new expiry dates, and three new cookies (W, fl, L) being set.
Now I make a subsequent request to facebook.com as a 'logged out' user:

Cookie:datr=tdnZTOt21HOTpRkRzS-6tjKP; openid_p=101045999; act=1311234574586%2F0; L=2; locale=en_US; lu=ggIZeheqTLbjoZ5Wgg; lsd=IkRq1; reg_fb_gate=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Findex. php%3Flh%3Dbf0ed2e54fbcad0baaaaa32f88152%26eu%3DJh vyCGewZ3n_VN7xw1BvUw; reg_fb_ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Findex.p hp%3Flh%3Dbf0ed2e54fbcad0b1aaaaa152%26eu%3DJhvyCGe wZ3n_VN7xw1BvUwThe primary cookies that identify me as a user are still there (act is my account number), even though I am looking at a logged out page. Logged out requests still send nine different cookies, including the most important cookies that identify you as a user
This is not what 'logout' is supposed to mean - Facebook are only altering the state of the cookies instead of removing all of them when a user logs out.
With my browser logged out of Facebook, whenever I visit any page with a Facebook like button, or share button, or any other widget, the information, including my account ID, is still being sent to Facebook. The only solution to Facebook not knowing who you are is to delete all Facebook cookies.
You can test this for yourself using any browser with developer tools installed. It is all hidden in plain sight.
An ExperimentThis brings me back to a story that I have yet to tell. A year ago I was screwing around with multiple Facebook accounts as part of some development work. I created a number of fake Facebook accounts after logging out of my browser. After using the fake accounts for some time, I found that they were suggesting my real account to me as a friend. Somehow Facebook knew that we were all coming from the same browser, even though I had logged out.
There are serious implications if you are using Facebook from a public terminal. If you login on a public terminal and then hit 'logout', you are still leaving behind fingerprints of having been logged in. As far as I can tell, these fingerprints remain (in the form of cookies) until somebody explicitly deletes all the Facebook cookies for that browser. Associating an account ID with a real name is easy - as the same ID is used to identify your profile.
Facebook knows every account that has accessed Facebook from every browser and is using that information to suggest friends to you. The strength of the 'same machine' value in the algorithm that works out friends to suggest may be low, but it still happens. This is also easy to test and verify.
I reported this issue to Facebook in a detailed email and got the bounce around. I emailed somebody I knew at the company and forwarded the request to them. I never got a response. The entire process was so flaky and frustrating that I haven't bothered sending them two XSS holes that I have also found in the past year. They really need to get their shit together on reporting privacy issues, I am sure they take security issues a lot more seriously.
The Rise of Privacy Awareness10-15 years ago when I first got into the security industry the awareness of security issues amongst users, developers and systems administrators was low. Microsoft Windows and IIS were swiss cheese in terms of security vulnerabilities. You could manually send malformed payloads to IIS 4.0 and have it crash with a stack or heap overflow, which would usually lead to a remote vulnerability.
A decade ago the entire software industry went through a reformation on awareness of security principals in administration and development. Microsoft re-trained all of their developers on buffer overflows, string formatting bugs, off-by-one bugs etc. and audited their entire code base. A number of high-profile security incidents raised awareness, and today vendors have proper security procedures, from reporting new bugs to hotfixes and secure programming principals (this wasn't just a Microsoft issue - but I had the most experience with them).
Privacy today feels like what security did 10-15 years ago - there is an awareness of the issues steadily building and blog posts from prominent technologists is helping to steamroll public consciousness. The risks around privacy today are just as serious as security leaks were then - except that there is an order of magnitude more users online and a lot more private data being shared on the web.
Facebook are front-and-center in the new privacy debate just as Microsoft were with security issues a decade ago. The question is what it will take for Facebook to address privacy issues and to give their users the tools required to manage their privacy and to implement clear policies - not pages and pages of confusing legal documentation, and 'logout' not really meaning 'logout'.
Update: Contact with FacebookTo clarify, I first emailed this issue to Facebook on the 14th of November 2010. I also copied the email to their press address to get an official response on it. I never got any response. I sent another email to Facebook, press and copied it to somebody I know at Facebook on the 12th of January 2011. Again, I got no response. I have copies of all the emails, the subject lines were very clear in terms of the importance of this issue.
I have been sitting on this for almost a year now. The renewed discussion about Facebook and privacy this weekend prompted me to write this post.

Peter Lemkin
09-26-2011, 06:39 AM
Such cookies [or similar code as a trojan or virus or just hidden in your computer somewhere in other software] could be used by other programs / websites / etc. to monitor all of one's browsing behavior - and report it to anywhere it chooses - even to the very center of information evil itself - TIA [or whatever they now call it]. Very scary times and only the advanced computer geek would know how to secure one's computer completely. For most of us, we live in various states of involuntary information sharing.
Flatly put - we are being increasingly spied upon. :hitler: :darthvader:

Ed Jewett
09-26-2011, 06:49 AM
.. only the advanced computer geek would know how to secure one's computer completely....

a) Send one to my house.
b) Hold a seminar.
c) Point to locations, plans, tools, costs, and levels.

Peter Lemkin
09-26-2011, 08:16 AM
.. only the advanced computer geek would know how to secure one's computer completely....

a) Send one to my house.
b) Hold a seminar.
c) Point to locations, plans, tools, costs, and levels.

I am aware of some countermeasures, but they are not all easy [understatement!] to employ successfully or easily...or without disrupting, in part, the usual internet experience. Proxy servers that continually change their apparent location and your IP address are one technique...but they have their downsides too...and some are run by the bad guys. Very powerful Internet Security programs and anti-hacking software, are another. The better ones are a bit difficult to configure.

Special programs that watch cookies and other computer processes help...but take some advanced knowledge to interpret. For example, two such programs called 'Hack This' and 'Hijack Hunter' are very good....but most persons can NOT interpret the useful results...and they don't really provide a teach-yourself primer. Snort (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snort_(software)) is another set of programs, very good, but very complex to set up. The cyber world now demands advanced skills for those of us posting or just looking at information at odds with the propaganda line.

Microsoft has long been suspect as having built in a trap-door in the programs...but this has not been proven.....but I believe it likely. I'd suggest switching to Ubuntu or other Linux system for starters....security is still needed, but more available and not needed at the same level, usually....unless you are a 'target'....as many of us on this Forum would logically be....along with a million others.

Jan Klimkowski
09-26-2011, 08:34 PM
Facebook is a fascist wet dream.

I will never have an account.

Greg Burnham
09-26-2011, 11:17 PM

I couldn't agree with you more! I will never have an account. Unfortunately, the feeble minded, dumb-downed, American youth--so full of themselves to be convinced that their every act on this planet is incredibly entertaining and very worthy of publication--have fallen head first into a trap that forever sacrifices their right to privacy. They are technologically savvy, but politically imbecilic.

Peter Lemkin
09-27-2011, 08:47 AM

Ed Jewett
09-29-2011, 02:42 AM
A List of Creepy Things Facebook Will Remember Forever (http://weeklyintercept.blogspot.com/2011/09/list-of-creepy-things-facebook-will.html)

Gawker (http://gawker.com/5844725/a-list-of-creepy-things-facebook-will-remember-forever?utm_source=Gawker+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b98dd9a529-UA-142218-2&utm_medium=email#viewcomments)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xfaelf5kedI/ToOeV9DrHzI/AAAAAAAACvg/corPDO625dE/s320/xlarge_zuckgraph.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xfaelf5kedI/ToOeV9DrHzI/AAAAAAAACvg/corPDO625dE/s1600/xlarge_zuckgraph.jpg)
Delete all you want, but Facebook never forgets. At least when it comes to your defriendings, pokes, and RSVPS, it doesn't. And it also has a keen memory for what computers you've used, and who you were sharing those computers with. Your Facebook dossier can easily run to hundreds of pages, as some European citizens have learned.

Across the pond, where regulators (http://gawker.com/5572058/the-pathetic-punishment-of-twitter) have teeth and where corporations don't get to rewrite the legal definition of "privacy," citizens can force Facebook to send them a dossier of everything it knows about them. Two anonymous Europeans have shared their database dumps (http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/Data_Pool/data_pool.html) publicly,Forbes reports (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/09/27/facebook-keeps-a-history-of-everyone-who-has-ever-poked-you-along-with-a-lot-of-other-data/). One of them ran to 880 pages.

For a user who joined the site in 2007, dubbed "LB" by Forbes, Facebook's data included the following:

Records of all friend requests LB rejected.
Records of the 12+ friends LB has unfriended over the years.
A list of devices from which LB logged in to Facebook, plus a list of other users on those machines. Meaning Facebook knows who spent the night at your place last night.
Records of more than 50 incoming "pokes" since 2008, including most often by a friend named "T.V."
Some 75 event invites, along with 38 RSVPs.
A history of messages and chats.
Facebook really does have us all by the nuts. Which is why it's comforting that the company routinely (http://gawker.com/5426176/facebooks-great-betrayal) acts in the best interest (http://gawker.com/5794025/facebook-is-worried-about-too-much-free-speech) of its users (http://gawker.com/5829979/whats-facebook-doing-with-all-the-numbers-in-my-cell-phone) and their privacy (http://gawker.com/5549276/facebook-to-advertisers-new-privacy-controls-immaterial), even when it means sacrificing revenue (http://gawker.com/329419/does-facebook-beacon-spy-on-you-without-asking?tag=valleywagtechyourprivacyisanillusion). Yay Facebook!


Dawn Meredith
10-05-2011, 02:31 PM
Facebook is a fascist wet dream.

I will never have an account.

My husband Erick feels the same way. Up until recently I have enjoyed sharing news stories with other like minded individuals and keeping up with old not- seen -in decades friends and family.
It became addicitive. But now they are doing very weird stuff. Like sending out things I post to others, annoying the other whe did not want to receive a Ron Paul video. So I am
not using it much now. I think I will take a fb holiday. I don't have a clue how to do the tech stuff like deleting cookies and the constant changes are beyond annoying. I had liked fb as I met many other
aware people that I would not otherwise have met. It gave me a (false?) hope that more were waking up to what really goes on in our world. Alas. The trade off is too high.


Magda Hassan
10-05-2011, 02:52 PM
In-Q-Tel (http://www.iqt.org/) was formed by the CIA in 1999 as a private, not-for-profit venture capital firm with the specific task of delivering technology to America’s intelligence community. Publicly, In-Q-Tel markets itself as an innovative way to leverage the power of the private sector by identifying key emerging technologies and providing companies with the funding to bring those technologies to market. In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.In-Q-Tel has generated a number of stories since its inception based on what can only be described as the “creepiness” factor of its investments in overtly Orwellian technologies.This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett presenting documented facts and cases on the CIA’s privately owned venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, in which well-connected board members drawn from the private sector profit from the investments made with CIA funds that come from the taxpayer.

VIDEO HERE (http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2011/10/05/the-eyeopener-exposing-%E2%80%98in-q-%E2%80%93tel%E2%80%99-the-cia%E2%80%99s-own-venture-capital-firm/)

Ed Jewett
10-05-2011, 09:32 PM
In-Q-Tel (http://www.iqt.org/) was formed by the CIA in 1999 as a private, not-for-profit venture capital firm with the specific task of delivering technology to America’s intelligence community. Publicly, In-Q-Tel markets itself as an innovative way to leverage the power of the private sector by identifying key emerging technologies and providing companies with the funding to bring those technologies to market. In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.In-Q-Tel has generated a number of stories since its inception based on what can only be described as the “creepiness” factor of its investments in overtly Orwellian technologies.This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett presenting documented facts and cases on the CIA’s privately owned venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, in which well-connected board members drawn from the private sector profit from the investments made with CIA funds that come from the taxpayer.

VIDEO HERE (http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2011/10/05/the-eyeopener-exposing-‘in-q-–tel’-the-cia’s-own-venture-capital-firm/)

Wonderful video there, Maggie, troubling as it is...

Thanks, to you, to James Corbett, to Sibel Edmonds... which only underlines the obvious trend that subscription-based news and information are the future. [Perhaps a sideline thread would be a discussion of which are worthy of our time, and how we might collaborate to jointly insure access to those deemed worthy.]

Ed Jewett
10-06-2011, 12:48 AM
Appearing in near-simultaneity with the not-unexpected death of Steve Jobs [http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/steve-jobs-apple-computer-co-founder-dies/2010/09/21/gIQAc14aOL_story.html ] [ I wonder if my old iPod Classic has a built in GPS beacon*]:

Introducing Siri: DARPA’s Ghost in Apple’s Machine (http://cryptogon.com/?p=25289)

October 5th, 2011So their eyes are growing hazy
cos they want to turn it on
so their minds are soft and lazy, well…
give em what they want
—10,000 Maniacs – Candy Everybody Wants (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M9ncAkKSNM&ob=av2e)
One of the stocks that I used to kick around in the 1990s was that of a now long dead company called General Magic. Back then, I looked into the company and learned that it was, in essence, divested from Apple in 1990. It was made up of former Apple employees and Apple held 10% of the company.
Apple has been thinking about the post PC era (that we’re actually entering now, according to them) since the 1980s. Here’s Apple’s Knowledge Navigator concept from 1987:


This wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, so they spun it off into General Magic.
If you’ve seen Apple’s Siri in action, that’s the type of thing that General Magic wanted to do back in the 1990s. With the old Portico system, users called into the service, rather than the service running on the phone, as is the case with Siri. Here’s an almost unwatchable promo for General Magic’s Portico product (circa 1997):


If you’re interested in Siri, definitely read Wired’s, Bill and Andy’s Excellent Adventure II from 1994 (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.04/general.magic.html). The point is that Apple and Apple alumni have been beating around this bush for a very long time.
Flash forward to what Apple unveiled yesterday:


Now, what’s in a name?
Look closely at the name: Siri. What letters stand out?
See it yet?
S i R I.
SRI = Stanford Research Institute.
It turns out that Apple’s Siri used to be SRI’s Siri, and SRI’s Siri is… Are you ready? A spinoff of DARPA’s PAL (Perceptive Assistant that Learns) program, which SRI called CALO (Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes).


This is SRI’s CALO information page (http://www.ai.sri.com/project/CALO):
SRI International is leading the development of new software that could revolutionize how computers support decision-makers.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), under its Perceptive Assistant that Learns (PAL) program, has awarded SRI the first two phases of a five-year contract to develop an enduring personalized cognitive assistant. DARPA expects the PAL program to generate innovative ideas that result in new science, new and fundamental approaches to current problems, and new algorithms and tools, and to yield new technology of significant value to the military.
SRI has dubbed its new project CALO, for Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes. The name was inspired by the Latin word “calonis”, which means “soldier’s servant”. The goal of the project is to create cognitive software systems, that is, systems that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they are doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.
The software, which will learn by interacting with and being advised by its users, will handle a broad range of interrelated decision-making tasks that have in the past been resistant to automation. It will have the capability to engage in and lead routine tasks, and to assist when the unexpected happens. To focus the research on real problems and to ensure the software meets requirements such as privacy, security, and trust, the CALO project researchers will themselves use the technology during its development.
SRI is leading the multidisciplinary CALO project team, and, beyond participating in the research program, is also responsible for overall project direction and management and the development of prototypes.

Here’s more from Venture Beat, Shadowy Government Project Spins Off Siri to Help Direct Your Affairs (http://venturebeat.com/2008/10/13/shadowy-government-project-spins-off-siri-to-help-direct-your-affairs/):
Conspiracy theorists will love this one: A computerized assistant that can help you manage your day to day life, built atop an artificial intelligence platform developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the United States’ internal military research group. Siri, the startup building the assistant, is today announcing $8.5 million in venture funding.
As befits its spookish origins, Siri isn’t saying a great deal yet about what it will do. Co-founder Dag Kittlaus, who licensed technology from DARPA’s CALO (Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes) project, calls it “a smarter, more personal interaction paradigm for the Internet.” Unfortunately, that’s about as specific as calling Google “a thing that finds stuff.” Those who want a sneak peek at Siri will instead have to look to CALO.
So here’s what we know about CALO: It’s a concerted effort to take the first real step toward artificial intelligence, with five years of work and $200 million in funding to date. Rather than being immediately useful, it learns about the user over time, much like a real personal assistant would. As it learns, it becomes capable of making logical associations and initiating its own actions.

http://cryptogon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/siri.jpg (http://cryptogon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/siri.jpg)Siri, Apple's Implementation of DARPA Sponsored Artificial Intelligence Technology

People are going to pay a lot of money to have their asses tracked to within a couple of meters by a device running a civilian version of DARPA’s soldier’s servant software.
The most disturbing aspect of this is not what the iPhone 4s is going to be phoning home to Apple (which is unknown), or the invasion of The Complex (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004KAB6P4/ref=nosim/cryptogoncom-20) into most aspects of our lives, but the fact that, in general, people would think that you were nuts for having these reservations at all. I mean, what could possibly be wrong with re-purposed DoD AI software running on a mass market consumer device that persistently reveals the user’s location to the state?
Ah well, give em what they want.
Posted in Coincidence? (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=23), COINTELPRO (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=36), Covert Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=27), Dictatorship (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=22), Economy (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=8),Elite (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=39), Rise of the Machines (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=3), Surveillance (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=4), Technology (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=12), War (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=28)

Ed Jewett
10-06-2011, 12:51 AM
* I was going to suggest that we have some kind of mechanism everyone would be required to wear... an IFF beanie... that transmitted in the background and in an ongoing manner the full array of self-labels, information consumption trends and tendencies, the results of psychological screening tests, one's tendencies or proclivities....

or, it appears, we could simply carry an android that would do it for us.

'mere C3PO...

Peter Lemkin
10-06-2011, 07:04 AM
* I was going to suggest that we have some kind of mechanism everyone would be required to wear... an IFF beanie... that transmitted in the background and in an ongoing manner the full array of self-labels, information consumption trends and tendencies, the results of psychological screening tests, one's tendencies or proclivities....

or, it appears, we could simply carry an android that would do it for us.

'mere C3PO...

I believe there are a few experimental supermarkets that read your preferences [from past purchases and other information on you] in your store card with RFID chip in your wallet; as one walks down the isles a soft synthetic voice talks to you, making suggestions, telling you your favorite items are on sale, etc. I never get store cards, but if I even encountered such a store, I'd run out....but then there are those who have had microchip RFID implants in their bodies....becoming C3PO's themselves.

Magda Hassan
10-06-2011, 09:32 AM
Facebook's Privacy Lie: Aussie Exposes New 'Tracking' Patent
By Asher Moses, Sydney Morning Herald05 October 11 http://www.readersupportednews.org/images/stories/alphabet/rsn-F.jpgacebook has been caught telling porkies by an Australian technologist whose revelations that the site tracks its 800 million users even when they are logged out have embroiled Facebook in a global public policy - and legal - nightmare.Facebook's assurances (http://nikcub.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough#comment-319881438) that "we have no interest in tracking people" have been laid bare by a new Facebook patent (http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20110231240.PGNR.&OS=dn/20110231240&RS=DN/20110231240), dated this month, that describes a method "for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain".Nik Cubrilovic's blog post (http://nikcub.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough), which revealed that tracking cookies monitor Facebook users (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/facebook-tracks-you-even-after-logging-out-20110926-1ksfk.html) whenever they surf websites with a Facebook 'like' button, has led to political outrage in the US and Europe.An Illinois man has filed a lawsuit (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/facebook-sued-over-claims-it-tracks-users-activity-20111001-1l2qv.html) over the tracking on behalf of Facebook users in the US and he is seeking class action status.Facebook said certain cookies were tracking users in error and made several changes (http://nikcub.appspot.com/facebook-fixes-logout-issue-explains-cookies) in response to Cubrilovic's revelations. However, it didn't stop tracking users altogether, maintaining that it needed the ability to track browsers after they logged out for safety, spam and performance purposes.In new posts over the long weekend, Cubrilovic published instructions (http://nikcub.appspot.com/howto-setup-secure-and-private-facebook-browsing) on how to setup secure and private Facebook browsing. His latest post contains new revelations (http://nikcub.appspot.com/facebook-re-enables-controversial-tracking-cookie) that indicate Facebook has not switched tracking off at all.Facebook said tracking cookies were only installed when users accessed Facebook.com but Cubrilovic found they were set by all sites that contained Facebook widgets.In fact one of the tracking cookies used by Facebook, called "datr", tracks users "even if the user had never been to the Facebook site, and even if they didn't click a 'like' or share' button", Cubrilovic wrote. The cookie was previously disabled following revelations (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704281504576329441432995616.html) in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year but has since returned.Cubrilovic is not convinced by Facebook's assurances that it does not use the cookies to track users."If you set a cookie on a users machine from one website, and then read that cookie from that persons machine from another website, that is tracking," he wrote.Facebook's assurances have been put further in doubt following the discovery of a Facebook patent filing on user tracking dated just days before it told the world it had "no interest in tracking people".The patent (http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20110231240.PGNR.&OS=dn/20110231240&RS=DN/20110231240), "Communicating Information in a Social Network System about Activities from Another Domain", specifically refers to tracking users outside of Facebook.com.It describes maintaining a "profile" of each user as they move around the web and "logging the actions taken on the third-party website".A Facebook spokesman said the patent was not intended to track logged out users. The patent, on "careful reading", actually described a fundamental part of the Facebook platform - "creating social experiences across the web without logging into Facebook repeatedly or third party sites at all".It gave as an example its social plug-ins which mean, for instance, that Facebook users can see content friends have "liked" on a third-party site without having to log in to that website. Facebook said current functionality and future business plans shouldn't be inferred from its patent applications."Like many technology companies, we patent lots of ideas. Some of these ideas become products or features and some don't," Facebook said.In the US, a group of privacy advocates and consumer rights organisations sent a letter (http://www.democraticmedia.org/privacy-groups-ftc-investigate-redress-facebooks-latest-threat-its-user-privacy) to the Federal Trade Commission calling for a probe into Facebook.It came just days after two US congressman made similar calls, arguing in a letter that when users log out of Facebook they are under the impression that Facebook is no longer monitoring their activities and "this impression should be reality".The FTC has yet to say whether it will begin an investigation.Dutch MP Kees Verhoeven called in parliament for Facebook to be held more accountable after it had "been repeatedly linked to privacy violations". Other MPs echoed his remarks and called for changes to the law to address Facebook privacy.In Ireland, where Facebook has its European headquarters, the data protection commissioner is planning a "detailed audit" of Facebook's activities outside the US and Canada, the Financial Times reported.It comes on top of political outrage directed at Facebook in other countries including Britain, Germany and Japan.Last week, the Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, said he was not going to investigate the Facebook tracking issue as the site had assured him it had rectified the matter. But Pilgrim has yet to comment on the revelations in Cubrilovic's latest blog post or the tracking systems outlined in Facebook's patent filing.Separately, the rollout of Facebook's new Timeline feature, designed to turn profiles into a chronological scrapbook of major events in the user's life, is being delayed by a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Timelines.com.The site's other major change, "frictionless sharing", whereby user activities are published on their profiles without any prompting by the user, has also sparked controversy.The feature enables, for instance, users to automatically inform friends when they play a song on Spotify, but it has also led to more unfortunate disclosures such as one user inadvertently telling friends they visited a porn site.Cubrilovic - and many privacy groups - fear that Facebook could combine "frictionless sharing" with the data it gets by tracking users around the web, risking significant unintended disclosures."These changes in business practices give the company far greater ability to disclose the personal information of its users to its business partners than in the past," the privacy advocates wrote in their complaint letter to the FTC."Options for users to preserve the privacy standards they have established have become confusing, impractical and unfair."In announcing the new features, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg referred to "Zuck's law" - his belief that Facebook users double the amount of information they share on the site each year.

Ed Jewett
10-06-2011, 10:36 AM
* I was going to suggest that we have some kind of mechanism everyone would be required to wear... an IFF beanie... that transmitted in the background and in an ongoing manner the full array of self-labels, information consumption trends and tendencies, the results of psychological screening tests, one's tendencies or proclivities....

or, it appears, we could simply carry an android that would do it for us.

'mere C3PO...

... a few experimental supermarkets ... then there are those who have had microchip RFID implants in their bodies....becoming C3PO's themselves.

I have read the stories about such stores; I think they fell into the "wave of the future" category then, but the future is arriving as we speak. At my most recent visit to the electrophysiologist at the big downtown famous clinic at the crossroads of modern technology and medical mecca-ville, I was told by the nurse at the clinic who specializes in and checks out the onboard Porsche in my chest -- my boss and cardiologist were also mailed copies of the article on the shielding of it to outside interference by remote attackers with microwave or other nefarious means -- that my new unit (arriving in about 18-24 months and which will be gifted to me when the battery on the old one wears out, along the re-placement of the second lead) will enable WiFi reading and tracking anywhere on the globe by satellite.

Ed Jewett
10-08-2011, 05:47 AM
Paper: "Detecting Emergent Conflicts Through Web Mining and Visualization." (PDF (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B5N9zLfW3MDUMjNjZjljZDktYjZhNy00NGJiLTg2MDU tNzgyOTMxODY5Zjk3&hl=en&pli=1 http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=105352))

Posted by Shlok Vaidya on Friday, 07 October 2011 at 08:50 AM | Permalink (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2011/10/links-october-6-2011.html)

The paper has five authors, all from the Swedish Defense Research Agency...

Albert Doyle
10-09-2011, 03:26 PM
So if you go to a JFK conspiracy site does the Facebook technology send a message out saying "Joe is reading material on how the CIA killed president Kennedy"? Or "Joe is reading on the ever-increasing privacy-invading police state software at Facebook"?

Magda Hassan
10-11-2011, 09:29 AM
Facebook’s Hotel California: Cross-Site Tracking and the Potential Impact on Digital Privacy Legislation

Tracking of Logged Out UsersFor its 800 millions users, logging out of Facebook is not something done idly. Closing the Facebook tab won’t do it. Closing your browser won’t do it unless you’ve adjusted the settings in your browser to clear cookies upon closing. And Facebook has buried the log-out button so that it isn’t apparent from your Facebook main page or profile page. This doesn’t mean that logging out of Facebook is difficult; it’s not. But this does indicate that when someone logs out of Facebook, they are doing so purposefully. They aren’t just stepping outside of Facebook; they’re closing the door behind them.
On September 25th, 2011, Nik Cubrilovic, a hacker and writer, published a blog post (https://nikcub.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough)1 (https://www.eff.org/2011/october/facebook%E2%80%99s-hotel-california-cross-site-tracking-and-potential-impact-digital-privacy#footnote1_qwxg6ne) that showed that a particular Facebook session cookie wasn’t being deleted after a user logged out. He noted that the session cookie included your Facebook user id number, which would presumably facilitate Facebook associating any data they collected about your browsing the web with your Facebook account. Cubrilovic’s review showed that, based on what the cookies were transmitting, Facebook could easily connect some of your browsing habits to your unique Facebook account.
This set off a storm of media coverage, but much of it lacked a detailed analysis of what Facebook is actually tracking and an understanding of how this could influence pending privacy legislation in Congress.
What Does Facebook Really Track?Facebook sets two types of cookies: session cookies and tracking cookies.

Session cookies are set when you log into Facebook and they include data like your unique Facebook user ID. They are directly associated with your Facebook account. When you log out of Facebook, the session cookies are supposed to be deleted.
Tracking cookies - also known as persistent cookies - don’t expire when you leave your Facebook account. Facebook sets one tracking cookie known as 'datr' when you visit Facebook.com, regardless of whether or not you actually have an account. This cookie sends data back to Facebook every time you make a request of Facebook.com, such as when you load a page with an embedded Facebook 'like' button. This tracking takes place regardless of whether you ever interact with a Facebook 'like' button. In effect, Facebook is getting details of where you go on the Internet.
When you leave Facebook without logging out and then browse the web, you have both tracking cookies and session cookies. Under those circumstances, Facebook knows whenever you load a page with embedded content from Facebook (like a Facebook 'like' button) and also can easily connect that data back to your individual Facebook profile.
Based on Cubrilovic’s recent findings, there was also a period of time when you kept a session cookie after logging out of Facebook, allowing Facebook to easily associate your web browsing history and your Facebook account. Facebook says they’ve addressed this issue, and that now all session cookies are deleted at log out.
But there have been other concerns around Facebook tracking, including an issue that has surfaced three times in the last year. Dutch doctoral candidate Arnold Rosendaal, independent security researcher Ashkan Soltani, and Stanford doctoral candidate and law student Jonathan Mayer have each discovered instances in which Facebook was setting tracking cookies on browsers of people when they visited sites other than Facebook.com. These tracking cookies were being set when individuals visited certain Facebook Connect sites, like CBSSports. As a result, people who never interacted with a Facebook.com widget, and who never visited Facebook.com, were still facing tracking by Facebook cookies.
But there’s yet another layer to this, a layer often glossed over by mainstream coverage of this issue: Facebook can track web browsing history without cookies. Facebook is able to collect data about your browser – including your IP address and a range of facts about your browser – without ever installing a cookie. They can use this data to build a record of every time you load a page with embedded Facebook content. They keep this data for 90 days (https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=17512) and then presumably discard or otherwise anonymize it. That's a far cry from being able to shield one’s reading habits from Facebook.
Facebook’s ResponseFor its part, Facebook admits they collected the data through the accidental setting of tracking cookies and the failure to delete session cookies upon log out - but says these were oversights. They say that the issues are now resolved. They expanded their help section (https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=176591669064814) and sent us this statement:

Facebook uses cookies to provide customized content, measure the performance of our products, and protect individual users and our service. We do not track people across the Web to sell that information or use it to target advertisements. In recent instances, when we were made aware that certain cookies were sending more information to us than we had intended, we fixed our cookie management system immediately.
Our intentions stand in stark contrast to the many ad networks and data brokers that deliberately and, in many cases, surreptitiously track people to create profiles of their behavior, sell that content to the highest bidder, or use that content to target ads on sites across the Internet.
The Trust GapFor users concerned about privacy, this statement is small consolation. It’s clear that Facebook does extensive cross-domain tracking, with two types of cookies and even without. With this data, Facebook could create a detailed portrait of how you use the Internet: what sites you visit, how frequently you load them, what time of day you like to access them. This could point to more than your shopping habits – it could provide a candid window into health concerns, political interests, reading habits, sexual preferences, religious affiliations, and much more.
Facebook insists they aren’t misusing the data they are collecting. The question is then: do we as Internet users trust Facebook? Do we trust them not to connect our data with our Facebook profiles, sell it to marketers, or provide it to the government upon request? If Facebook’s business model becomes less profitable in the coming years, do we trust them to continue to not connect tracking data to profiles? If the government brings pressure to bear on Facebook, do we trust Facebook to stand with users and safeguard the data they’ve collected? And, do we believe that Facebook isn’t actually connecting browsing data to profiles now, given their history of mistakes when it comes to tracking and the clear market incentive they would derive from that sort of connection?
This is the “trust gap”- the space between what Facebook promises they are doing with the data they are collecting and what we as Facebook users can reasonably trust them to do. And, when it comes to safeguarding the sensitive reading habits of millions of users, the trust gap is pretty wide.
Could Privacy Snafus Spur Privacy Legislation?If you are uneasy with Facebook’s cross-domain tracking, you aren’t alone. This has led to acall from lawmakers (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393825,00.asp) as well as privacy advocates (http://epic.org/privacy/facebook/EPIC_Facebook_FTC_letter.pdf) to have the FTC investigate whether Facebook deceived users by tracking logged-out users. And a group of 6 Facebook users has filed suit (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394032,00.asp)against Facebook over this issue.
This newest privacy snafu could prod legislators into moving on one of the many online privacy bills (http://www.privacywonk.net/2011/08/112th-privacy-legislation.php) that have been introduced this year. Users’ unease with the quickly-evolving technical capabilities of companies to track users, combined with the abstruse ways in which that data can be collected (from social widgets to super cookies to fingerprinting), has resulted in a growing user demand to have Congress provide legal safeguards for individual privacy when using the Internet.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook hopes that its brand of data collection through ‘like’ buttons won’t be subject to federal regulation. According to AdAge (http://adage.com/article/digital/sens-john-mccain-john-kerry-intro-online-privacy-bill/226948/), Facebook sent an “army of lawyers” to Washington to convince Senators McCain and Kerry to carve out exceptions to their recently introduced privacy bill so that Facebook could track their users via social widgets on other sites (dubbed the "Facebook loophole (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/04/well-meaning-privacy-bill-rights-could-codify)"). But while Kerry and McCain may have acquiesced to Facebook's requests, Senator Rockefeller did not. He introduced legislation (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/05/privacy-groups-applaud-senator-rockefellers-do-not-track-bill.ars) that would empower the FTC to create rules around how best to protect users online from pervasive online tracking by third parties.
Facebook seems keen to influence future legislation on these issues. They recently filed paperwork (http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/183951-facebook-forming-own-pac-to-back-candidates) to form a political action committee that will be "supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."
We hope that these efforts to influence politicians won't come at the cost of strong protections for user privacy on the Internet. As the situation currently stands, the resources available to governments and corporations to track users across the Internet far outstrip the resources of the average user to fend off such tracking. And from all appearances, self-regulation by industry is failing.
What You Can DoIf you find yourself creeped-out by being tracked by Facebook on non-Facebook sites, then you have a few options to protect yourself and voice your concerns.

Install Firefox addons like Ghostery, (http://www.ghostery.com/) ShareMeNot (http://sharemenot.cs.washington.edu/), Abine’s Taco (http://www.abine.com/preview/taco.php), and/or AdBlockPlus (https://adblockplus.org/en/) to limit online tracking. None of these is perfect and each works a little different; check outthis guide (http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6730) for a discussion. Also consider installing the Priv3 Firefox extension (http://priv3.icsi.berkeley.edu/), which is still in beta.
Use private browsing mode.
Adjust the settings in your browser to delete all cookies upon closing. Clear your cookies when leaving a social networking site, and log out of Facebook before browsing the web. You should consider having one browser strictly for logging into your Facebook account and one browser for the rest of your web usage.
Send a quick complaint to the Federal Trade Commission via their online web complaint form (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/). The FTC uses its complaint form to gauge what issues concern consumers and may launch investigations if there is sufficient user interest.
Support privacy legislation like the Rockefeller Do Not Track bill, which will give users a voice when it comes to online tracking.

1. (https://www.eff.org/2011/october/facebook%E2%80%99s-hotel-california-cross-site-tracking-and-potential-impact-digital-privacy#footnoteref1_qwxg6ne)According to his blog, Cubrilovic says he’s been trying to inform Facebook of these issues since November 14, 2010

Carsten Wiethoff
10-12-2011, 06:25 AM
* I was going to suggest that we have some kind of mechanism everyone would be required to wear... an IFF beanie... that transmitted in the background and in an ongoing manner the full array of self-labels, information consumption trends and tendencies, the results of psychological screening tests, one's tendencies or proclivities....

or, it appears, we could simply carry an android that would do it for us.

'mere C3PO...
I am reading e.g. here: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/ that SIRI sends some or all of your audio to servers by "Nuance Communications" for analysis and receives back the analysis.
Imagine: What can anybody know and do if he has access to every word you speak into your mobile, plenty of your voice samples together with accurate location? It makes it very easy to : 1. Identify your voice, e.g. on a normal phone connection, 2. Synthesize your voice for any purpose, 3. Use the content of your words for any purpose (advertising being the most innocent of them).
The perfection of the elimination of privacy and identity is stunning.

Ed Jewett
10-13-2011, 06:58 PM
Facebook Reportedly Can Track Web Browsing Without Cookies (http://cryptogon.com/?p=25460)October 13th, 2011This is related to browser uniqueness. See How Unique – and Trackable – Is Your Browser? (http://cryptogon.com/?p=13480?) and Network Device Fingerprinting (http://cryptogon.com/?p=19024) for the background on how this works.
Again, Facebook widgets must be blocked from loading by default, unless, of course, you’re ok with this nonsense.
Ghostery is the easiest solution. AdBlock+ and NoScript will also work. The article below mentions other tools as well.
Via: Reader Supported News (http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/317-65/7854-facebook-can-track-web-browsing-without-cookies):
The Electronic Frontier Foundation cites a September 25th, 2011 blog post by hacker and writer Nik Cubrilovic that proved Facebook’s session cookie was not being deleted upon log-out. Facebook responded with a “fix-it,” but it raises serious concerns about whether one can effectively log-out of Facebook and whether or not Facebook can track users without the benefit of cookies.
According to Cubrilovic, he waited for a year to hear from Facebook on this privacy issue that he discovered, emailing them and reaching multiple dead-ends.
Two days later, on September 27th, Cubrilovic noted, “In summary, Facebook has made changes to the logout process and they have explained each part of the process and the cookies that the site uses in detail … They want to retain the ability to track browsers after logout for safety and spam purposes, and they want to be able to log page requests for performance reasons etc.”
EFF, however, is unequivocal in stating, “Facebook can track web browsing history without cookies.”
“Facebook is able to collect data about your browser – including your IP address and a range of facts about your browser – without ever installing a cookie. They can use this data to build a record of every time you load a page with embedded Facebook content,” added the EFF.
This ability to track users outside of Facebook is particularly troubling.
EFF states, “It’s clear that Facebook does extensive cross-domain tracking, with two types of cookies and even without. With this data, Facebook could create a detailed portrait of how you use the Internet: what sites you visit, how frequently you load them, what time of day you like to access them. This could point to more than your shopping habits – it could provide a candid window into health concerns, political interests, reading habits, sexual preferences, religious affiliations, and much more.”
That Facebook keeps this data on file for 90 days (before it’s discarded or made anonymous) is a legitimate privacy concern and it could certainly be useful in the event U.S. intelligence services desires to build a profile of a particular user’s web browsing.
This sort of ability has already raised concerns amongst lawmakers and privacy advocates.
Research Credit: noncompliant
Posted in Surveillance (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=4), Technology (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=12)

Ed Jewett
10-17-2011, 03:59 PM
Facebook Accused of Violating U.S. Wiretap Law (http://cryptogon.com/?p=25531)October 17th, 2011I know. You get it re: Facebook already. Ok, one more: Why Facebook Is After Your Kids (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/magazine/why-facebook-is-after-your-kids.html).
Via: Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/14/facebook_tracking_lawsuit/):
A Mississippi woman has accused Facebook of violating federal wiretap statutes by tracking her internet browsing history even when she wasn’t logged onto the social networking site.
In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in federal court in the northern district of Mississippi, Brooke Rutledge of Lafayette County, Mississippi, also asserted claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, trespassing, and invasion of privacy.
The complaint, which seeks class-action status so other users can join, comes three weeks after Australian blogger Nik Cubrilovic published evidence that Facebook “Like” buttons scattered across the web allowed Facebook to track users’ browsing habits even when they were signed out of their accounts.
“Leading up to September 23, 2011, Facebook tracked, collected, and stored its users’ wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to portions of their internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook,” the 17-page complaint stated. “Plaintiff did not give consent or otherwise authorize Facebook to intercept, track, collect, and store her wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to her internet browsing history when not logged-in to Facebook.”
Related: Facebook Reportedly Can Track Web Browsing Without Cookies (http://cryptogon.com/?p=25460)
Posted in Economy (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=8), Surveillance (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=4), Technology (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=12)

Magda Hassan
10-17-2011, 11:58 PM
* I was going to suggest that we have some kind of mechanism everyone would be required to wear... an IFF beanie... that transmitted in the background and in an ongoing manner the full array of self-labels, information consumption trends and tendencies, the results of psychological screening tests, one's tendencies or proclivities....

or, it appears, we could simply carry an android that would do it for us.

'mere C3PO...
I am reading e.g. here: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/ that SIRI sends some or all of your audio to servers by "Nuance Communications" for analysis and receives back the analysis.
Imagine: What can anybody know and do if he has access to every word you speak into your mobile, plenty of your voice samples together with accurate location? It makes it very easy to : 1. Identify your voice, e.g. on a normal phone connection, 2. Synthesize your voice for any purpose, 3. Use the content of your words for any purpose (advertising being the most innocent of them).
The perfection of the elimination of privacy and identity is stunning.
Yes, I've been seeing quite a bit recently about Siri and the implications are quite stunning to say the least.

Ed Jewett
10-18-2011, 01:23 AM
I am reminded of an old favorite poem of mine I found in a volume of poetry I received in the 8th grade for winning the summer reading contest. I used to keep it written down and folded up in my wallet for a very long time until it finally entered into me via osmosis. My middle name begins with the letter E, so it was particularly special to me.

To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e e cummings (http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/e_e_cummings/)
US poet (1894 - 1962)

Ed Jewett
10-20-2011, 08:43 PM
Facebook Is Building Shadow Profiles of Non-Users (http://cryptogon.com/?p=25568)October 20th, 2011Via: Slashdot (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/18/1429223/facebook-is-building-shadow-profiles-of-non-users):
“As noted previously, Max Schrems of Europe Versus Facebook has filed numerous complaints about Facebook’s data collection practices. One complaint that has failed to draw much scrutiny regards Facebook’s creation of Shadow Profiles. ‘This is done by different functions that encourage users to hand personal data of other users and non-users to Facebook… (e.g. synchronizing mobile phones, importing personal data from e-mail providers, importing personal information from instant messaging services, sending invitations to friends or saving search queries when users search for other people on facebook.com). This means that even if you don’t use it, you may already have a profile on Facebook.’”
Posted in Surveillance (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=4), Technology (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=12)

Ed Jewett
10-29-2011, 01:27 AM
Facebook Subversion Seminars Come To Armenia (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/facebook-subversion-seminars-come-to-armenia/)
27102011[SEE: Lukashenko Has A Plan–Belarus Keeps Social Networks, Prosecutes Those Who Promote Sedition (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/lukashenko-has-a-plan-belarus-keeps-social-networks-prosecutes-those-who-promote-sedition/) ; A Glimpse Inside of Hillary’s Subversive “Intern Factory” (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/a-glimpse-inside-of-hillarys-subversive-intern-factory/)]
Yerevan to host Facebook Workshop video seminar for media (http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/81998/)http://media.panarmenian.net/media/issue/81998/photo/81998.jpgOctober 27, 2011 – 12:09 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - On October 31, Yerevan will hostFacebook Workshop free video seminar on integration of mass media in social networks as well as Facebook-provided media possibilities.
The rapporteurs, Facebook Russia growth manager Yekaterina Skorobogatova and Facebook Russia and Eastern Europe development manager Angela Tse will brief the audience on transformed means of communication, modern use of media content as well as a number of alterations at Facebook platform and the way media partners may benefit from it.
The seminar will be held in Russian and English languages (simultaneous translation provided).
Video seminars with Yerevan, Moscow, St. Petersburg, (Russia) Kiev (Ukraine), Astana (Kazakhstan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Chisinau (Moldova) and Tomsk (Russia) have been scheduled.
The event is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of RIA Novosti news agency.

Keith Millea
11-03-2011, 03:59 PM



Keith Millea
11-04-2011, 04:40 PM
OK,probably not going to happen.......:shrug:

Anonymous does not support killing Facebook on November 5

By Emil Protalinski | August 10, 2011, 8:20am PDT
Summary: Some Anonymous members are looking to kill Facebook, but the larger hacktivist group does not appear to support their cause.


Albert Doyle
11-04-2011, 08:08 PM
CIA monitoring Facebook:



Bernice Moore
11-06-2011, 02:10 PM

Albert Doyle
11-06-2011, 02:43 PM
Why would anyone have a problem with such a patriotic organization that kills presidents and other progressive figures, cooperates in a huge shift downward in government with war crimes and torture, and are such nice guys otherwise?

Hopefully we'll have a spring that's been long coming and more than they bargained for. I think it would be poetic justice for them to receive their final notice from the people through their wiretapping...

Bernice Moore
11-07-2011, 03:06 AM
Yes they are such Angels.....:pirate::bike:

AP Exclusive: CIA following Twitter, Facebook


Carsten Wiethoff
11-09-2011, 01:30 PM
From http://i.imgur.com/WiOMq.jpg


Peter Lemkin
11-19-2011, 03:40 PM
Ruling Allows US Authorities Unwarranted Access To Any Stored Data

November 18, 2011 by Eric Doyle

A court ruling ordering Twitter to hand over an Icelandic MP’s private data has broader repercussions

The WikiLeaks Icelandic saga contined with a US judge ruling that Twitter must hand over the tweets of three Icelandic citizens, including parliamentarian and former WikiLeaks affiliate Birgitta Jonsdottir.

More than this, the Virginia district court judge also ruled that other files, such as social network entries, that are held on US soil could also be accessed by the US authorities without notifying the people concerned.
No US-stored data is secure

The implications are likely to create a shockwave through the online social networking world and could have implications for UK companies that store their business data in US data centres. The precedent has been set for privacy agreements between cloud providers and SaaS to be overruled by law enforcement organisations.

Jonsdottir (pictured) said, “With this decision, the court is telling all users of online tools hosted in the US that the US government will have secret access to their data. People around the world will take note, and since they can easily move their data to companies who host it in locations that better protect their privacy than the US does, I expect that many will do so. I am very disappointed in today’s ruling because it is a huge backward step for the United States’ legacy of freedom of expression and the right to privacy.”

Jonsdottir and co-defendants Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp only found out that the US authorities had requested access to their accounts because Twitter notified them of the court order. In future, companies hosting data may be gagged and prevented from notifying their customers of such privacy breaches.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have represented the defendants in court, has urged other companies to follow Twitter’s lead and promise to inform users when their data is being sought by the government, as part of its Who Has Your Back? campaign.

“When you use the Internet, you entrust your online conversations, thoughts, experiences, locations, photos, and more to dozens of companies who host or transfer your data,” said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn. “In light of that technological reality, we are gravely worried by the court’s conclusion that records about you that are collected by Internet services like Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Google are fair game for warrantless searches by the government.”

Ed Jewett
11-20-2011, 06:10 PM
Time for a yard sale.... "We're moving..."... or maybe it will be an estate sale.

Peter Lemkin
01-27-2012, 05:28 PM
Twitter announced today it had perfected a way of censoring any twitter account they wanted to by person, location in the world or content. Hurray for technology in the service of the fascist state security!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/money/twitter-announces-censor-tweets-activists-worried-article-1.1012804 :hitler:

Peter Lemkin
02-07-2012, 09:57 AM
Occupy Wall Street Protester Laughing Off Twitter Subpoena

By Joe Coscarelli

Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street movement lift a police barricade at Zucotti park in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. New York police stood prepared for tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators to descend on the Financial District, and ringed the area with metal barricades to deter crowds from reaching their goal of surrounding the New York Stock Exchange. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One of the 700 or so criminal cases from Occupy Wall Street's day on the Brooklyn Bridge back in October is against the writer Malcolm Harris, the same guy who takes credit for starting the rumor that Radiohead was performing at Zuccotti Park. Harris, who was charged with disorderly conduct in the march, is now fighting in Manhattan court against a subpoena that demands Twitter provide "any and all user information" related to his account @destructuremal. "This is the legal equivalent of busting a party with loud noise and demanding my phone records for 3.5 months to see if I helped plan it," Harris wrote dismissively.

The New York Times reports:

The lawyer, Martin J. Stolar, filed a Notice of Motion to Quash in Manhattan Criminal Court saying that the subpoena did not comply with federal laws governing requests for information from electronic communications services and remote computing services, and that it failed to comply with procedural requirements for delivering a subpoena to a witness outside of New York State.

In addition, Mr. Stolar wrote, the subpoena was overbroad, issued for an improper purpose and constituted an abuse of the court process.

In his motion, Mr. Stolar wrote that the request for “any and all information” could be interpreted as asking for private messages between Mr. Harris and others, as well as a host of data collected by Twitter, including e-mail addresses and phone numbers used by Mr. Harris, Web pages he has visited and information about his physical location at different times.

In the meantime, Harris appears confident in his case and unconcerned with his public face. "Until an officer actually gets lit on fire, I don't want to hear any nonsense about anarchist violence toward the police," he wrote today from the account. His bio reads, "ALL TWEETS PROPERTY OF TWITTER, INC."

Keith Millea
02-07-2012, 04:59 PM
February 07, 2012 http://www.counterpunch.org/images/printer.gif (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/07/facebook-follies/print)

Going Public
Facebook Follies


The big business news last week was that Facebook is going public with an initial public offering (IPO) that is likely to place the market value of the company in the range of $100 billion. This price would put Facebook among the corporate giants in terms of market value.

By comparison, Goldman Sachs, of vampire squid fame, has a market value of $55 billion. Ford’s market value is less than $16 billion. With its current market value near $106 billion, Facebook would even give a serious run to Verizon, the giant telephone company.

While the implied value of Facebook is impressive, a question that was raised in several stories was whether the company would really be worth this much money. Some simple back of the envelope calculations show that Facebook would have to gain an enormous share of advertising expenditures over the next 5-10 years in order to generate the sort of profits needed to justify this current price.
Of course that doesn’t mean it’s impossible; Google went public with a very high market capitalization in 2004. Less than eight years later its stock price has gone up by a factor of six. Someone would want to do some serious homework before ruling out the possibility that Facebook is actually worth its current stock price.

At the same time, there have been numerous cases of companies becoming market darlings when they were most definitely not worth the price. The best example of a failed market darling is probably the Internet giant AOL, which had a peak market value of over $220 billion in 2000. The price tag for AOL today is $1.8 billion.

In the case of AOL, the founders managed to cash out before things went sour. It used its stock to buy Time-Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world. In effect, AOL got Time-Warner to sell itself for nothing, since the value of the AOL stock used in the purchase would soon be a tiny fraction of the value of Time-Warner.

The big losers in that story were the shareholders of Time-Warner, who saw a big hit to the value of their holdings. Needless to say, the executives who engineered the give-away of Time-Warner did just fine, walking away with tens of millions of dollars.

And the top executives at AOL, most notably Steve Case, its co-founder, also did fine. The deal allowed Case to walk away with billions of dollars, making him one of the country’s richest people.

Suppose that Facebook ends up looking more like AOL than Google; who would be the losers and who would be the winners? Well, the losers would be the people who jumped on the stock near its peak. If it turns out that Facebook is just an overnight sensation that is either unable to hold onto its market share or to effectively turn its massive social networking franchise into a money making outfit, then people buying its stock near its IPO price will have thrown much of their money in the garbage.

If individual investors knowingly take this risk and end up losing, that is the way markets are supposed to work. Insofar as the purchasers are institutional investors who end up losing money for pension funds, university endowments, or mutual funds in 401(k)s, it will raise serious questions as to whether the managers of these funds were doing their homework or just got caught up in investment fads, as they have so many times in the past.

On the other side we have the early Facebook employees who will walk away with millions, and of course its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who stands to walk away with tens of billions. At a time when there is new attention being focused on inequality and the 1 percent, it is interesting to ask what Mr. Zuckerberg — who stands to rank at the very top of the 1 percent — has done for his money.
If it turns out that Facebook goes the AOL route, then Zuckerberg will effectively be the P.T. Barnum of the social media economy. He will have succeeded in creating incredible excitement and buzz that led people to voluntarily give him their money for nothing.

The result will be that many people will be somewhat poorer and Zuckerberg will be incredibly wealthy. He will be able to buy whatever he and his friends and family might want as long as he lives. He will be able to promote whatever philosophy he likes (e.g. school reform based on test scores) through charitable donations and political contributions. And, the media will treat him as a person with brilliant insights for the rest of us on how to run the country and live our lives until the day he dies.

This is a process whereby we redistribute money upward to the very rich. In this case, the key actors are highly paid money managers who don’t know anything about managing money, just as in the AOL case it was incompetent executives at Time-Warner. In a properly working market economy these people would pay an enormous price for such disastrous incompetence, but that doesn’t describe our current economy.

Of course we can always hope that Facebook is really worth its market price.

Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He is the author of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0981576990/counterpunchmaga)and False Profits: Recoverying From the Bubble Economy. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0982417128/counterpunchmaga)


Peter Lemkin
02-07-2012, 05:33 PM
Ah, but advertising will pale next to revenues selling to government and business [if there be a difference at this point] info and connection details of their victims [members].......:wavey:

Magda Hassan
02-12-2012, 11:24 AM
Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web; Here’s How to Stop ItOver the weekend, Dave Winer wrote an article at Scripting.com (http://scripting.com/stories/2011/09/24/facebookIsScaringMe.html) explaining how Facebook keeps track of where you are on the web after logging in, without your consent. Nik Cubrilovic dug a little deeper (http://nikcub.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough), and discovered that Facebook can still track where you are, even if you log out. Facebook, for its part, has denied the claims (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-denies-cookie-tracking-allegations/4044). Regardless of who you believe, here's how to protect yourself, and keep your browsing habits to yourself.
The whole issue has stirred up a lot of debate in privacy circles over the past few days. Here's what the fuss is about, and what you can do to protect your privacy if you're worried.
The Issue: Facebook's Social Apps are Always WatchingFor quite some time now, Facebook's user tracking hasn't been limited to your time on the site: any third-party web site or service that's connected to Facebook or that uses a Like button is sending over your information, without your explicit permission. However, Winer noticed something mostly overlooked in last week's Facebook changes: Facebook's new Open Graph-enabled social web apps all send information to Facebook and can post to your profile or share with your friends whether you want them to or not.
Essentially, by using these apps, just reading an article, listening to a song, or watching a video, you're sending information to Facebook which can then be automatically shared with your friends or added to your profile, and Facebook doesn't ask for your permission to do it. Winer's solution is to simply log out of Facebook when you're not using it, and avoid clicking Like buttons and tying other services on the web to your Facebook account if you can help it, and he urges Facebook to make its cookies expire, which they currently do not.
Digging Deeper: Logging Out Isn't EnoughNik Cubrilovic looked over Winer's piece, and discovered that logging out of Facebook, as Winer suggests, may deauthorize your browser from Facebook and its web applications, but it doesn't stop Facebook's cookies from sending information to Facebook about where you are and what you're doing there.
Writing at AppSpot (http://nikcub.appspot.com/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough), he discovered that Facebook's tracking cookies-which never expire, are only altered instead of deleted when a user logs out. This means that the tracking cookies still have your account number embedded in them and still know which user you are after you've logged out.
That also means that when you visit another site with Facebook-enabled social applications, from Like buttons to Open Graph apps, even though you're a logged out user, Facebook still knows you're there, and by "you," we mean specifically your account, not an anonymous Facebook user. Cubrilovic notes that the only way to really stop Facebook from knowing every site you visit and social application you use is to log out and summarily delete all Facebook cookies from your system.
Why You Should CareIf you're the type of person who doesn't really use Facebook for anything you wouldn't normally consider public anyway, you should take note: everything you do on the web is fair game. If what Cubrilovic and Winer are saying is true, Facebook considers visiting a web site or service that's connected to Facebook the same thing as broadcasting it to your friends at worst, and permission for them to know you're there at best.
Facebook says that this has nothing to do with tracking movements (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-denies-cookie-tracking-allegations/4044), and that they have no desire to collect information about where you are on the web and what you're doing. They want to make sure that you can seamlessly log in at any time to Facebook and to sites and services that connect with it and share what you're doing.
In fact, a number of Facebook engineers have posted comments to Winer's original post and Cubrilovic's analysis pointing this out. There's also some excellent discussion in this comment thread at Hacker News (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035153) about the issue as well. Essentially, they say this is a feature, not a problem, so if you have an issue with it, it's up to you to do something about it.
What Can I Do About It?Whether or not Facebook is tracking your browsing even when you're logged out, if you don't want third-party sites to send data to Facebook, you have some options. You could scrub your system clean of all Facebook.com cookies every time you use Facebook, but a number of developers have already stepped up with browser extensions to block Facebook services on third-party sites. Here are a few:

Facebook Privacy List for Adblock Plus (http://www.squirrelconspiracy.net/abp/facebook-privacy-list.html) is perfect for those of you who already have AdBlock Plus installed (get ABP for Chrome (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cfhdojbkjhnklbpkdaibdccddilifddb) or Firefox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/)). Just download the subscription and add it to AdBlock Plus to specifically block Facebook plugins and scripts all over the web—including the Like button-whenever you're not visiting Facebook directly.
Facebook Disconnect for Chrome (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ejpepffjfmamnambagiibghpglaidiec) keeps Facebook from dropping those tracking cookies on your system in the first place, and disables them when you're finished using Facebook-enabled services. It's essentially an on/off switch for third-party access to Facebook servers, meaning you'll still be able to log in to Facebook and use the site normally, but when you're visiting another site or using another application, that site or service won't be able to use your information to communicate with Facebook.

Full size (http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/17/2011/09/disconnect-chrome.png)
Disconnect for Chrome (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jeoacafpbcihiomhlakheieifhpjdfeo?hc=search&hcp=main) and Firefox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/disconnect/) is a new plugin from the developer behind Facebook Disconnect, but it doesn't stop with Facebook. Disconnect takes protection to a another level and blocks tracking cookies from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Digg, and Yahoo, and prevents all of those services from obtaining your browsing or search history from third party sites that you may visit. The app doesn't stop any of those services from working when you're visiting the specific sites, for you can still search at Google and use Google+, but Google's +1 button likely won't work on third party sites, for example. The extension also lets you see how many requests are blocked, in real time as they come in, and unblock select services if, for example, you really want to Like or +1 an article you read, or share it with friends.

Ultimately, the goal of all of these tools is to give you control over what you share with Facebook or any other social service, and what you post to your profile, as opposed to taking a backseat and allowing the service you're using to govern it for you. What's really at issue is exactly how deep Facebook has its fingers into your data, and how difficult they-and other social services-make it to opt out or control what's sent or transmitted. That's where extensions like these come in.
However you feel about it, Facebook likely won't change it in the near future. If you're concerned, you should to take steps to protect your privacy. As a number of commenters at Hacker News point out, it's not that there's anything inherently "good" or "evil" about what Facebook is doing-that would be oversimplifying an already complex topic. It's really an opt-in/opt-out issue.
What do you think of the assertions? Do you think Facebook has a vested interest in knowing as much about you and your browsing habits as possible, or is this much ado about nothing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Update: Nic Cubrilovic has posted an update to his story (http://nikcub.appspot.com/facebook-fixes-logout-issue) after discussing the matter with Facebook engineers. They have agreed to make changes to the way their cookies are stored and handled so your account information is not present when you log out of Facebook.
However, while Facebook has changed its cookie-handling process, the cookies are still retained and not deleted after logout, and do not expire. They remove your account information when you log out, but they still contain some non-personal data about your browser and the system you're using. Nic still recommends you clear your Facebook cookies after every session, and we still suggest that if you're concerned, that you do the same, and try one of the extensions above, or Priv3 or Firefox (http://lifehacker.com/5844186/priv3-selectively-stops-third+party-sites-from-sending-your-info-to-facebook-google-twitter-and-more) to protect yourself.


Magda Hassan
02-12-2012, 11:26 AM

http://ycombinator.com/images/y18.gif (http://ycombinator.com/)
Hacker News (http://news.ycombinator.com/news)http://ycombinator.com/images/s.gifnew (http://news.ycombinator.com/newest) | comments (http://news.ycombinator.com/newcomments) | ask (http://news.ycombinator.com/ask) | jobs (http://news.ycombinator.com/jobs) | submit (http://news.ycombinator.com/submit)
login (http://news.ycombinator.com/newslogin?whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33 %35%31%35%33)

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035153&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
Facebook Disconnect (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ejpepffjfmamnambagiibghpglaidiec) (google.com)

301 points by jmonegro (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=jmonegro) 139 days ago | comments (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035153)

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035170&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
mdasen (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=mdasen) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035170)

The author of Facebook Disconnect (Brian Kennish) has written another Chrome Extension called "Disconnect" (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jeoacafpbcihiomhla... (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jeoacafpbcihiomhlakheieifhpjdfeo?hc=search&hcp=main)). Disconnect not only deals with Facebook, but also Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and Digg tracking.-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035396&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
conradev (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=conradev) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035396)

Also, he gave a great talk at DEFCON about his current project, attempting to document what websites do with your browsing data.http://disconnect.me/db/

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3036624&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
Havoc (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=Havoc) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036624)

Kinda weird that this extension requires more access to your data (e.g. history) than the previous one. Surely they do the same thing? Note that I'm not questioning the authors motives/integrity...it just strikes me as somewhat random & ironic.-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035180&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
budwin (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=budwin) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035180)

Just as an FYI, disconnect causes a number of login problems on a few of said sites rendering them unusable.-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035235&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
drivebyacct2 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=drivebyacct2) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035235)

What? I've been running Disconnect for probably over a year now and experienced zero side-effects and I use all of those services (minus Yahoo).-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035184&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
Urgo (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=Urgo) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035184)

Yeah I just installed the firefox version, saw it blocked even google charts, and uninstalled it. If it had adblock like control to whitelist domains it might be ok but as it is, cool idea, but no thanks.-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035317&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
abraham (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=abraham) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035317)

Have you reported the issues to the extension author?-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3046314&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
karlzt (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=karlzt) 136 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3046314)

https://blogs.windowsclient.net/wyvern/archive/2011/03/07/di... (https://blogs.windowsclient.net/wyvern/archive/2011/03/07/disconnect-vs-ghostery-vs-chromeblock.aspx)http://www.reddit.com/r/software/comments/epzhu/disconnect_o... (http://www.reddit.com/r/software/comments/epzhu/disconnect_or_ghostery/)

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3037830&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
muyuu (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=muyuu) 138 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3037830)

Sweet.Another thing you can do is opening an incognito window for all your facebook/google sessions. Obviously, one must be sure to have deleted all cookies/etc after the last time one logged in to Google/facebook (that includes youtube).

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035293&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
orijing (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=orijing) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035293)

"This extension can access: Your data on all websites"This part made me chuckle a bit. We are so afraid of Google and Facebook tracking our searches/web pages, yet we freely install plugins from 3rd party developers that can easily gather everything that Google and Facebook can get, and more. In theory, I could make a Facebook Disconnect 2, which secretly sends data back home about what pages have been visited, and nobody except the most vigilant (enough to read the source of the plugin) would know.
Why do we not trust large corporations who have billions of dollars at stake, but trust independent developers who have little skin in the game? Is it because we are those developers, so there's some form of camaraderie?

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035370&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
archgoon (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=archgoon) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035370)

My first thought when I saw this was: "I should check out the source first and see what it does". Here is the source:
const DOMAINS = ['facebook.com', 'facebook.net', 'fbcdn.net']; /* Determines whether any of a bucket of domains is part of a URL, regex free. */ function isMatching(url, domains) { const DOMAIN_COUNT = domains.length; for (var i = 0; i < DOMAIN_COUNT; i++) if (url.toLowerCase().indexOf(domains, 7) >= 7) return true; // A valid URL has seven-plus characters ("http://"), then the domain. } /* Traps and selectively cancels a request. */ if (!isMatching(location.href, DOMAINS)) { document.addEventListener("beforeload", function(event) { if (isMatching(event.url, DOMAINS)) event.preventDefault(); }, true); } I am not concerned with this plugin. It may break websites, but it does nothing malicious. It is no more dangerous than any other chrome plugin.-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035435&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
Murkin (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=Murkin) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035435)

Yup, until the author uploads a new, more 'clever' version and chrome auto-updates your browser, without you knowing it (since permissions didn't change).-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035520&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
kiiski (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=kiiski) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035520)

You can copy the source code and make your own plugin from it ;)-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3035832&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
ams6110 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=ams6110) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035832)

If you want to shut down facebook on your computer without a plugin just put those domains in your /etc/hosts: facebook.com facebook.net fbcdn.net-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3036166&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
orijing (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=orijing) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036166)

I thought the goal of this plugin is to neutralize Facebook Connect (i.e. facebook on 3rd party websites), not to disable Facebook altogether?-----

http://ycombinator.com/images/grayarrow.gif (http://news.ycombinator.com/vote?for=3036302&dir=up&whence=%69%74%65%6d%3f%69%64%3d%33%30%33%35%31%35% 33)
ams6110 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=ams6110) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036302)

Indeed, but my view is that if you don't trust Facebook, you don't trust Facebook.-----

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eli (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=eli) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036000)

Not quite. That won't block www.facebook.com or static.ak.fbcdn.com-----

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ams6110 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=ams6110) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036071)

Yeah, [unfortunately?] wildcards don't work here, so you can't do something like *.facebook.com.You could either list out all the domains or use something like dnsmasq or another DNS proxy that lets you define more sophisticated rules.
Edit: the advantages of the /etc/hosts approach are it's simple, and it works without additional software.

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baddox (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=baddox) 138 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3038002)

If you want to avoid facebook completely, why not just deactivate your account, or completely log out and clear all cookies, then never log back in on your machine? I thought that point of this plugin was to let you use facebook normally without worrying that another site would post on your wall.-----

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alexro (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=alexro) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035479)

It looks like we need another plugin which will track the source changes of other plugings and report them.-----

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sjs (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=sjs) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035844)

Who will watch the watchmen?-----

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MostAwesomeDude (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=MostAwesomeDude) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035510)

You already trust Google to not do bad things inside Chrome; why not trust this guy, as well?-----

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e40 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=e40) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035949)

Because if google doesn't something that people find out about, there will be a firestorm. If this guy does... will it rise in the headlines anywhere? I doubt it.-----

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orijing (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=orijing) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036163)

Thumbs up. That's exactly what I did. It seems innocuous enough, I thought, but it's still interesting that we trust fellow developers so much. I just wanted to point that out, in case people missed it.-----

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alexgartrell (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=alexgartrell) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035314)

People don't trust Facebook because they don't know what we (fellow Facebook Engineer[0]) know about what it's like on the inside. They don't believe that people are just legitimately interested in making stuff that people will like and use, that we obsess over the stats to make sure that we're making stuff that people and use (they think it's tracking them), and that ultimately, we just want to give people ads that they don't hate (for some reason this is called "selling data to advertisers").Ultimately though, the opinions of Hacker Newsers (a group with which I've proudly associated for ~3 years now) are only a hint at how much we're helping (or hurting) the world, and while we should always keep it in mind, we need to recognize that this is a group which is accustomed to the IRC style of social networking.
I don't blame anyone at Hacker News for thinking "we" are evil, because we do a shitty job at communicating what we're actually doing and why[1] (and we can't really communicate everything anyway). Instead, we've just gotta try to address the problems that are legitimate and be as transparent as possible.
Shortly, if you call tin foil hat theories tin foil hat theories (even with sound logic as to [I]why they are tin foil hat theories), all you're going to do is convince the tin foil hat theorists that it's yet another elaborate step in manipulating them into believing The Corporate Directive.
And, everyone else, for what it's worth, I'd much prefer it if we could just go back to hacker news on here. I'm a C Hacker first (before being assimilated, I contributed to open source projects like Chromium and Mongrel2, because I loved the problems (coincidentally the same reason I allowed myself to become assimilated into facebook -- I work on code that's hit my millions of users billions of times a day[2])
[0] Cache Infra in 1050 B2
[1] We've enabled applications to write to our network as they wish without introducing much friction or overhead (a single approval), but we've managed to communicate that in such a way that instead of leading people to believe that we've put the onus on developers (and users, as they must ultimately know which apps to trust), we've instead "put our tentacles" into yet another area and are again sharing without reason.
[2] memcache protocol stack stuff, we issue lots (and lots and lots) of requests per page load :)

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grovulent (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=grovulent) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035547)

And I believe that you believe that argument. I believe even that Zuckerberg believes it. Very rarely is there a Gargamoyle sitting in a tower plotting the downfall of the smurfs. Most times it's just someone with the best of intentions.In this case your argument is that you just want the information so as to provide people what they want.
Okay - fair enough. But there is a very obvious counter-argument - which has already been mentioned many times. It's that you don't make it easy for people to choose not to allow you to track this information if they don't want you to. And you KNOW that most people wouldn't opt-in to let you track them this way. So at best you make it opt-out - if you let people opt out at all. So - assuming that people know what they are doing and are making a rational decision about their choices, then you aren't ACTUALLY serving their desires at all.
And next comes the only real reply that's available to you. Either people are irrational for wanting to block information gathering that would help you satisfy their first order desires, or that facts like people keep using the service without trying to figure out how to opt-out, shows that they really don't have a problem with privacy issues - even if they state they do. And therein lies the paternalist rub of Facebook's decisions.
Now - you don't state anything directly paternalistic in your reply. To be honest - it's not that consistently thought through. But the germ of it is there when you state to the effect that - people can't understand what we do or why we do it. And thus you relegate them as other - as less informed, or less capable of choosing than the mighty facebook crew.
Sorry you need to try harder to see this from the other point of view. That's not going to be easy for you - because working at facebook must be an incredible experience. Who wouldn't want it to be a ethical easy zone. But you exhibit the clearest signs of someone who has too much of a vested interest to be able to critical engage with this ethical conundrum.
The first of these signs is the fact that you don't address the very obvious counter argument I just laid out. No one at Facebook ever seems to. It's such an obvious reply, and is mentioned so often - it appears disingenuous to continue to ignore it. I don't believe that Facebook consciously avoid replying to it. But the fact that they don't - while keeping the assumption that they mean well - suggests to me that their vested interest has clouded their judgement.
The second such sign of critical impairment is the fact that you are marginalising your opponents as "tin foil hat" people - or as ignorants who couldn't possibly understand. When you do this to a group of people who represent a particular point of view opposed to your own - you've ceased to engage with them - you've ceased to listen.
And that's exactly why people have their backs up. And if you can't see the intuitive force behind that - then people are going to start treating you in kind and start marginalising you in return. And of those who do subscribe to the tin foil hat view - that's exactly why they do.
It's a shame because Facebook probably has a lot to contribute. But if your PR folks (including yourself since you've just spoken for the company on HN) can't recognise the degree to which the discourse is becoming poisoned in this way - then things aren't going to go to well for you in the longer term.

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nknight (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=nknight) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035342)

> People don't trust Facebook because they don't know what we (fellow Facebook Engineer[0]) know about what it's like on the inside.Bull. We don't trust Facebook because of its actions. Beacon, account deletion, random modification of privacy settings and policies. Facebook has done virtually nothing to earn trust, and taken several clear, conscious actions that violate trust.
Your perception of Facebook's intent does nothing to change what Facebook has actually done to its users.

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pclark (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=pclark) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035430)

I bet - as someone that respects what Facebook has crafted but really has no vested interest in their long term success - that Facebook internally feels that it has done a ton at demonstrating it's awareness and empathy towards users and their privacy and has concluded that actually, users as a meaningful percentage, do not give a crap about what Facebook does or doesn't do wit their data.-----

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presty (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=presty) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035530)

Also, it's not just what Facebook is currently doing or has done, but also what it _can_ do with my data.-----

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hello_moto (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=hello_moto) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036054)

Many of my friends trust Facebook.I'm starting to think that those smug bloggers are in it for the traffic.
It all depends on your perspective I suppose.

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curiouskat (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=curiouskat) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035376)

A few weeks ago a close friend sent me a message on Facebook asking what I've been up to, and I told him about the startup I am working on.As soon as I hit send I was hit with the impulse that I shouldn't have sent those kind of details over FB messaging -- thinking back to warnings such as (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cdrCYrZIvI).
And sure enough a day and half later I received an email from a Facebook recruiter wanting to talk to me about a job.
Normally that would be fine, but the timing is so suspect. I asked around if anyone had heard of FB mining/reading users messages, and no was certain but reminded me that the FB privacy policy states that they own your data and an ex-FB employee said that many engineers have access to the DB.
Does FB mine or read user messages, and why doesn't it do more to prevent so many engineers from having access to the DB?

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nbm (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=nbm) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036008)

There's no chance that the recruiter contacting you had anything to do with the message you sent.I have some insight into the safeguards in place to prevent any abuse of any access that an individual might have due to the nature of their work, and the character of the people who maintain them, and if I had any issues with either of them, I would not still be working at Facebook.

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curiouskat (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=curiouskat) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036860)

What type of safeguards? And are you saying Facebook messages are off limits from data mining?-----

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nbm (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=nbm) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036914)

Unfortunately, I don't feel I'm qualified to represent Facebook on this beyond what I've said (don't want a tech news article/blog post misconstruing something I said into something bad about the company).-----

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comice (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=comice) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035539)

You simplify a complex situation into "good" and "evil" and characterise those suspicious of you as tin foil hat wearers.Way to win our trust.

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gurkendoktor (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=gurkendoktor) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035463)

> people are just legitimately interested in making stuff that people will like and useEven the best intentions won't help when FB is hacked, sold out to idiots or forced to hand out data to your gov't.

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damoncali (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=damoncali) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036218)

People don't trust facebook because they (you) try to tell everyone what we are doing without our permission. It's really that simple. Stop it, please.-----

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DanBC (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=DanBC) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035533)

> and that ultimately, we just want to give people ads that they don't hate (for some reason this is called "selling data to advertisers").As an aside: I'm happy with ad supported stuff. I never run any ad-blocking extensions or hide my data. But still many ads are lousy.
Any chance of a HN karma style thing to vote up / down ads? ("I hate this ad, it makes me want to leave the page -1", vs "I don't hate this ad, whether I click it or not +/- 0" vs "I like this ad whether or not I click it +1")
And I always like websites that allow paying members to turn off ads.

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ArchD (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=ArchD) 138 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3038396)

I'm guessing a -1 button would be only as attractive to FB as a dislike button.With a -1 and dislike button comes a visible downside to being present on FB, especially for organizations, the potential to be unpopular in a tangible, measurable, way. Organizations would then think twice about being on FB when before it's might have been a no-brainer. Even if the number of dislikes is not publicly visible, it may be to the owner of whatever it is being unliked, or owners may request for it, and when an owner sees that number, may decide that it's bad to have a FB presence.
Considering the downsides of a -1/dislike button, why would FB want it from a revenue and growth point of view?

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nextparadigms (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=nextparadigms) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035711)

Yeah, Google doesn't really get it how to set permissions properly. They do this on Android, too, and freak people out when they see permissions that at least seem so general - like giving a SMS app "full Internet access" or "full SD card access" and so on.The problem with naming them like that is that showing the permissions becomes pointless, because people will install them anyway seeing how 95% of the apps have that permission, so they might miss the malicious one that has that, too.

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eli (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=eli) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036005)

In order to block Facebook, this extension is injecting javascript into every page you load. It absolutely should come with a large warning.-----

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brown9-2 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=brown9-2) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035729)

I believe this is a problem with the extension API, where the extension needs to request "your data on all websites" in order to be able to run JS code in the context of the page/tab.Technically if it's able to do this, then it is able to access the data on that page as well, whether or not the extension is doing so.

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goblin89 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=goblin89) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035456)

We freely install these plugins, yet we can't force ourselves to simply log out of Facebook[0], can we.How ambivalent is that.
[0] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3033385
Upd: They say now logging out is not enough (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035418), which partly invalidates my point.

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power78 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=power78) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035338)

He actually is doing this. Take a look at the source code. He has tracking javascript right at the bottom. Its sort of ironic...-----

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archgoon (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=archgoon) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035360)

I'm looking at the source code, and I'm not seeing what you're talking about. The code is only in content.js, and nothing is being talked to as far as I see. How is he sending out tracking data?-----

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power78 (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=power78) 138 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3037970)

Edit: I'm sorry guys, I guess the file that the install button links to is not the addon itself like the Firefox addon site does, so saving it does not give you the addon. I'm retarded. He does not have tracking cookies, I apologize.-----

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jonknee (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=jonknee) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035362)

Where? The source is exceedingly simple and there is no tracking JS:http://code.google.com/p/byoogle/source/browse/trunk/google/... (http://code.google.com/p/byoogle/source/browse/trunk/google/chrome/fbdc/content.js)

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Luyt (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=Luyt) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035185)

Also see http://www.ghostery.com/ if you don't want to be tracked by web beacons in a more general way, i.e. not only by Facebook.-----

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exit (http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=exit) 139 days ago | link (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3035542)

when i want to log in to fb i open an incognito window. i haven't looked into this myself but the assumption is that cookies from incognito will not leak into my normal session.it would be great if chrome allowed users to create a separate "sandboxed" browser session in each window. i'd like to maintain just one session for each service i log into, including google/gmail.
hmm, maybe that's why they haven't implemented this.

More (http://news.ycombinator.com/x?fnid=ZulrOdc2Q2)

Peter Lemkin
02-26-2012, 08:21 PM
Facebook Has 25 Employees to Handle Requests for User Information from Law Enforcement
February 25th, 2012

Via: Forbes:

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world and Joe Sullivan would be head of Homeland Security.

The dirt Facebook holds on its users makes it as attractive to cops as to criminals. Among Sullivan’s responsibilities are daily decisions about how much user information to give to law enforcement when it comes calling. And, as a digital nation’s DHS, Sullivan and his team actively police the site for user data worth volunteering to the authorities. Still, he says, “we err on the side of not sharing and have picked quite a few fights over the years.”

Most of his security team is based at headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. and sits at clusters of desks close enough to take dead aim at one another with Nerf darts. Broken roughly into five parts, the team has 10 people review new features being launched, 8 monitor the site for bugs and privacy flaws, 25 handle requests for user information from law enforcement, and a few build criminal and civil cases against those who misbehave on the network; the rest are handling security situations as they arise and acting as digital bodyguards protecting Facebook staffers (“We have someone trying to hack an employee’s account every day,” says Sullivan). If you include the physical security guards who patrol Facebook headquarters, Sullivan’s team numbers 70 people.

Greg Burnham
09-15-2012, 11:36 PM
Because Facebook and other forms of social media are the rage of the next generation (and some of the current gen, too) refusing to participate can be devastating for a business.
My wife and I own a real estate firm. I am of the mind that the service and expertise we offer is absolutely independent of our participation or lack thereof in social media. I've had
my real estate license since 1982 and have demonstrated my abilities since long before there was even an internet! So, our suitability to represent clients in real estate transactions
is unaffected by our company's "social media" status.

Having said that, social media is now one of the most essential means of advertising one's business because, for one thing, without a "powerful social media presence" a business isn't
even ON THE MAP as far as "Generation Text" is concerned. It makes no difference to them that such a presence is irrelevant to their actual needs because their perception runs contrary
to that fact in any event.

It is also true that at least 90% of home buyers begin their search on the internet these days. Unless these potential clients already have an agent, they will gravitate to the company and/or
specific agent that has an easy to find "cyber-presence". Social media greatly drives search engine optimization whether we like it or not. And that equates to exposure.

Bottom line: Social media is here to stay. Get on board if you're in business or your business may very well languish. However, take as many precautionary measures as are available to
protect your privacy and other personal interests. Because business involves risk by definition, one needs to be wise enough to manage it vigilantly and with great vigor.

So, why did I start various business social media accounts? In a word: Survival.

Check us out: www.BurnhamResidential.com (http://www.BurnhamResidential.com)

Dawn Meredith
09-17-2012, 02:13 PM
Greg I got a message that the page could not be opened. For your limk I mean.


Greg Burnham
09-17-2012, 03:35 PM
Greg I got a message that the page could not be opened. For your link I mean.


Interesting. It works fine for me.

It will not open in internet explorer but then I clicked further and it opened fine. Nice site. I hear it's lovely there. But pricy.

How did Dawn edit my post?

I'm not really alarmed, just curious.

Keith Millea
09-17-2012, 04:52 PM
It worked for me when first posted,but doesn't work now. :shrug:

Phil Dragoo
09-17-2012, 10:33 PM

Sensational. A total upbeat vs. the standard (tired) sell.

An added plus. The tie & scarf is the tennis electricity, something tabloids fail at faking.

Facebook is the Ronco Salad Shooter of social media.

Privacy? Security? Start with sanity--oops! 404 Not Found @ Facebook

A simple redirect to your site, rather than deal with the buggy cumbersome cascade of Spambook.

GM would kill for your brand attraction.

Keith Millea
09-17-2012, 10:58 PM

That's It......

Greg Burnham
09-17-2012, 11:00 PM

Sensational. A total upbeat vs. the standard (tired) sell.

An added plus. The tie & scarf is the tennis electricity, something tabloids fail at faking.

Facebook is the Ronco Salad Shooter of social media.

Privacy? Security? Start with sanity--oops! 404 Not Found @ Facebook

A simple redirect to your site, rather than deal with the buggy cumbersome cascade of Spambook.

GM would kill for your brand attraction.

Many thanks, Phil.