Tag Archives: privacy

At This Startup, Everyone Can Read Each Other’s Email | WIRED

After the Sony mega-hack, protecting email privacy may seem paramount. But at digital payments startup Stripe, email isn’t kept all that private in the first place.

Recently, Stripe openly detailed the internal system it uses to achieve what it calls “email transparency,” saying “almost all” messages inside the company can be read by all employees. Private emails at Stripe aren’t forbidden. But they are the exception.

No, these emails can’t be read by people outside the company. But it shows that privacy isn’t always as important as we think it is. Stripe’s system is part of wide-ranging effort to build services that seek to make our communications more public, not less—an effort that includes everything from familiar consumer services like Facebook to business tools offered by the likes of Slack and GitHub.

As far as the technology goes, open email at Stripe isn’t that complicated. Employees are asked to CC any work-related emails to topic-specific mailing list archives managed through Google Groups. Project lists are the most common, but categories range from individual countries to a “crazyideas@” list. Via the lists, all email becomes public and searchable inside the company. Stripe now has 428 lists in all.

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Now Everyone Wants to Sell You a Magical Anonymity Router. Choose Wisely | WIRED

Maintaining your privacy online, like investing in stocks or looking good naked, has become one of those nagging desires that leaves Americans with a surplus of stress and a deficit of facts. So it’s no surprise that a cottage industry of privacy marketers now wants to sell them the solution in a $50 piece of hardware promising internet “anonymity” or “invisibility.” And as with any panacea in a box, the quicker the fix, the more doubt it deserves.

Last week saw the fast forward rise and fall of Anonabox, a tiny $45 router that promised to anonymize all of a user’s traffic by routing it over the anonymity network Tor. That promise of plug-and-play privacy spurred Anonabox to raise $615,000 on the fundraising platform Kickstarter in four days, 82 times its modest $7,500 goal. Then on Thursday, Kickstarter froze those pledges, citing the project’s misleading claims about its hardware sources. Other critics pointed to flaws in Anonabox’s software’s security, too.

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How Google Can Repel the Attack of the NSA Quantum Computer | WIRED

Edward Snowden — the ex-government contractor who exposed the NSA’s efforts to spy on the web’s most popular services — offers a simple answer to this sweeping online surveillance campaign. The way to combat NSA eavesdropping, he says, is to encrypt data as it moves across the wire.

That’s what he told the tech heads at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas last week, appearing by way of a video feed streamed across the net from Russia, where he’s been granted temporary asylum from the U.S. government. Properly implemented, he explained, today’s encryption techniques work: The NSA has no way of cracking them. The onus is on the tech world to actually use them. “You guys who are in the room now are all the firefighters,” he said. “And we need you to help fix this.”

The good news is that the giants of the net — including Google and Microsoft — are already working to encrypt data, not only as it moves across the public internet but as it travels through private lines that run between the massive data centers that underpin their many web services. According to leaked government documents, the NSA has ways of tapping these lines, opening a backdoor to the internet that even those at the heart of the tech world hadn’t thought about. If the Googles and the Microsofts encrypt the data moving between their computing facilities, they can go a long way towards answering Snowden’s call to arms.

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88% have creeped an ex’s Facebook | Life | Niagara Advance

“I wanted to see how breakup distress is related to Facebook use,” said Veronika Lukacs, who next week will defend her Masters thesis, called, It’s Complicated: Romantic breakups and their aftermath on Facebook.

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Bianca Bosker: Is Facebook About to Crash Its Own Party?

Having attracted 900 million users to the biggest party in history, Facebook now has to sell them stuff — without being a buzz kill.

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Minority Report Is Coming | Cryptome

The two-year, $9 million project will create a suite of algorithms that can detect multiple types of insider threats by analyzing massive amounts of data — including email, text messages and file transfers — for unusual activity.

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Fabian Stelzer Uses Neuroscience To Make Your Website Stickier | Fast Company

5 seconds.

That’s about how long I have to capture your attention on this website and convince you to stick around.

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