Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

There are currently two versions of a bill in Congress that would protect a  journalist’s right to keep his or her sources confidential, effectively banning the government from forcing journalists to reveal whistleblowers. One version though–the House version–gives an incredibly stupid definition of journalist that excludes not only bloggers, but freelancers, independents, and nonprofit journalists as well. For the most part, the Senate and House agree on what a journalist’s duties are and what journalism are:

“the regular gathering, preparing, collecting, photography, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.”

The house version though adds this to the description of a journalist:

“for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.”

This will eliminate freelance journalists (no boss) anyone who does it as a hobby or public service this includes most blogggers who are not paid. The government then has the right to force you to tell who told you anything that you might report about much like they tried to do with journalist Judy Miller under the Bush Administration.

A new method of phishing attack is starting to rear its head up to try and gain sensitive information from unsuspecting users. This new method goes back to the warning I have given out for years now. Do not have a sensitive page (ie, your bank, paypal..etc) open while browsing. What this new threat does is it will attack a vulnerable website and injects a javascript code into the site. When you visit the now infected site and have a window open to your bank it causes a popup to come up that tells you that your session has timed out and you need to relog in. Make sure you log out of sensitive sites before browsing. If you have a website make sure you are secure and check for any changes in coding. That is what happened to this site and some others I am hosting. It wasn’t a threat to capture your information but we did get attacked by the yahoo counter script. The first things we noticed was the fact that our rss feeds were broken. Then doing a source search we found yahoo counter starts at the bottom of the page before the closing body tags. I do not know what the exact code is that this one places into websites but will attempt to find it. I feel as a responsible website owner I should try to stay on top of the situation and even moved my sites to a more secure server.

Here is what explains about the sophisticated attacks:

“An in-session phishing attack occurs while the victim is logged onto an online banking application and therefore is much more likely to succeed. A typical attack scenario would occur as follows. A user logs onto their online banking application to perform some tasks. Leaving this browser window open, the user then navigates to other websites. A short time later a popup appears, allegedly from the banking website, which asks the user to retype their username and password because the session has expired, or complete a customer satisfaction survey, or participate in a promotion, etc. Since the user had recently logged onto the banking website, he/she will likely not suspect this popup is fraudulent and thus provide the requested details.”

To protect themselves from in-session phishing attacks, Trusteer recommends that users:
1. Deploy web browser security tools
2. Always log out of banking and other sensitive online applications and accounts before navigating
to other websites
3. Be extremely suspicious of pop ups that appear in a web session if you have not clicked a hyperlink

Congress has finally gave in to the Presidents threats of a veto and passed a new FISA bill that give immunity to the telecoms without even knowing if they did anything wrong. President Bush has praised it as he signed it into law. As it stands now we may never know the extent of illegal wiretapping that was going on under the administrations direction. In my opinion everyone who gave in has cheated the people of the truth.

As the debate on extending the Protect America Act goes on now would be a really good time to contact your Congress man or woman and tell them to not vote for amnesty for the telecoms. I just watched Bush and his rhetoric on it and the economy. Him telling me that there is not a recession on the horizon tells me there surely is as I no longer believe anything he has to say. If he were to tell me it was raining outside I would have to go look for myself before I would believe it.

The Protect America Act basically gives them the right to spy on communications that pass through or originate in the U.S. onward to foreign destinations. The only problem is they have been spying on us domestically also. They were not limiting the scope of the spying to foreign communications but were capturing all the communications. Yours and mine along with every American were being copied to a huge master data base or so it seems.

I have already been ringing the phone off the hook in the Washington office of my Congressman Bob Inglis. Telling him to not give amnesty to the telecoms. Bush’s logic of “they won’t assist us in the future” is not going to float with me. I know that given a warrant they not only will assist in the spying but are bound to by law. They will be reluctant to hook up illegal wiretaps I am sure, as they should be.

It is very easy to contact your congress person as they all have pages from the House of Representatives once there at the top left of the page is a locater. All you do is enter your zipcode and it will give you your Congressperson name and link you to their page. If you care about the direction this country has gone since the Bushies have taken over then you should call today before it is too late. Letters are great but telephone calls get their attention right away.

??? Keith Olbermann really lets loose on Bush with both barrels. He gives a great account of how Bush has lied to us and Congress. I have been seeing through those lies for the past 7 years but have mostly kept my opinions to myself. Or actually I was somewhat outspoken about him but limited myself in the number of people I was speaking to. Anyhow he [Keith Olbermann] out and out calls George Bush a fascist and a liar and not even a good liar anymore. Bush said that without the Protect America Act that Americans lives are at risk. Yet he said he would veto any extension of the Protect America Act that did not give immunity to the telecoms who have (or so it appears) broken the law in their spying on Americans without a warrant. Ted Kennedy said, “If we take the President at his word, he is willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies” Myself I think it is not just the telecoms he is trying to shield with this immunity but another method of hiding his involvement in illegal spying. Under Bush we have gotten closer to the Orwellian state of 1984. It is looking like George Orwell was right but his dates were wrong.

??? Anyhow the video, while being a little long (9 min) brings out some very valid points. You should watch the video, read the text if need be, and contact your Representative in the House of Representatives and tell them to stand up to the President and his lies and do not grant immunity when we don’t even know what if any laws have been broken. He won’t say what was done he just wants immunity for everyone involved and thats not good for the country. You can also sign the ACLU petition with its “Facts Over Fear” campaign.