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  1. Facebook's modified Messenger Kids app is now available on Android, having been already available on iOS and Amazon Fire tablets. The application is aimed at 6- to 12-year old children and lacks in-app purchases or Hide options so that parents can have more control over any unsolicited messages. Messenger Kids The app gives kids the ability to have more fun, the listing on the Play Store claims. Facebook added kid-appropriate stickers, GIFs, frames and emojis to help kids “creatively express themselves.” There are also one-to-one video calls with interactive AR masks. Unlike the regular Messenger app, the Kids version does not ask for a phone number or need a Facebook account. Parents and approved grown-ups can use their profiles to verify the Kids account and can also check up what is going on through the regular Messenger. Kids can block contacts and report inappropriate content in the app. When they do that, the parent or guardian will be notified. Messengerkids.com Gsmarena.com
  2. Horrifying: Facebook Users Are Reporting Getting Friend Requests From The Dead Back from the dead: Facebook users getting friend requests from deceased family members and friends What happens when you get a friend request on Facebook from someone you know; however, this someone in this case is not alive? You will be stunned, petrified, scared, etc. right? That is what is happening to some of the users of Facebook who have reported of getting friend requests from dead friends and family members. While dealing with a closed one’s death and handling their Facebook accounts after their death in itself is horrifying, and with such friend requests coming in, it is only causing more grievances for such people. However, what is more worrying is the fact that cyber-criminals and scammers are using this social media platform to trick people to steal money from them or for running some other frauds. So, how does this whole thing work? Basically, such friend requests are likely the result of cloning or hacking scams. For instance, the first method involves cloning someone’s account (in this case, the profile of the deceased) and stealing all the information in that profile, which is then used to setup a new account that is actually controlled by someone else. Further, the other method involves hacking into a deceased’s Facebook account and taking control of that account. In both the cases, the scammers have a complete hold over the account, which allows them to send messages, while pretending to be someone’s friend. Then, the scammer sends friend requests to the friends of the account they cloned or hacked into, in the hope that a number of them will accept the request under the thinking that it is the friend that has either created a new account of that they were accidentally deleted and being duly re-added. Once an invitation has been accepted, the scammer can now see information on that account. The scammer can then carry various kinds of scams, hoaxes and cons on the person who accepted the friend request. For example, the trick known as “friends in crisis” scam, where a person claims they are stuck somewhere and need money to get out of a problem. Or the fake account may be used to send users links to malicious websites that will attempt to install malware onto their computer when visited. Or they will be sent to a survey scam, which gather personal information by luring them into completing intrusive questionnaires. Or the fake account may be used to check on a person’s statuses and other information to impersonate them or steal from them. The above tricks and scams are applicable for those Facebook users who are alive too. If you too come across such a horrifying friend request on Facebook, please submit a request to either have the account of the dead to be memorialized (so that it will still be visible on Facebook, but no one will be able to log into it) or deactivated. This request can be made by filling the contact form given here. You can also find more information on how to report a deceased person or memorialize an account on Facebook by clicking here. Source
  3. Used An iPhone And Social Media Pre-2013? You May Be Due A Tiny Payout Twitter, Instagram, and others are stumping up $5.3m to settle a privacy suit with implications for those who used social-media apps on an iPhone in 2012 or earlier. Given the millions who downloaded the social-media apps in question, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. Eight social-media firms, including Twitter and Instagram, have agreed to pay $5.3m to settle a lawsuit over their use of Apple's Find Friends feature in iOS. The main problem that complainants had with the accused firms was that their apps, which used Apple's Find Friends, didn't tell users that their contact lists would be uploaded to company servers. The lawsuit alleged the privacy incursions occurred between 2009 and 2012, the year the class action suit began. Instagram, Foursquare, Kik, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Yelp, Twitter, and Path have agreed to pay in to the settlement fund, which will be distributed to affected users via Amazon.com, according to Venture Beat. Yelp had previously argued it was necessary to store user contact lists to enable the Find Friends feature, which consumers understood would occur in the context of using a mobile app. However, US District Judge Jon Tigar countered that the key question was whether Apple and app developers "violated community norms of privacy" by exceeding what people reasonably believe they consented to. "A 'reasonable' expectation of privacy is an objective entitlement founded on broadly based and widely accepted community norms," said Tigar. If the judge approves the settlement, Apple and LinkedIn would be the only remaining defendants among 18 firms originally accused of the privacy violation. Given the millions of people who downloaded these apps, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. However, people who took part in the class action suit could receive up to $15,000 each. Source
  4. Facebook Bans Devs From Creating Surveillance Tools With User Data Without a hint of irony, Facebook has told developers that they may not use data from Instagram and Facebook in surveillance tools. The social network says that the practice has long been a contravention of its policies, but it is now tidying up and clarifying the wording of its developer policies. American Civil Liberties Union, Color of Change and the Center for Media Justice put pressure on Facebook after it transpired that data from users' feeds was being gathered and sold on to law enforcement agencies. The re-written developer policy now explicitly states that developers are not allowed to "use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance." It remains to be seen just how much of a difference this will make to the gathering and use of data, and there is nothing to say that Facebook's own developers will not continue to engage in the same practices. Deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook, Rob Sherman, says: Transparency reports published by Facebook show that the company has complied with government requests for data. The secrecy such requests and dealings are shrouded in means that there is no way of knowing whether Facebook is engaged in precisely the sort of activity it is banning others from performing. Source
  5. Facebook Makes Its Privacy Settings Much Clearer Facebook has made lots of changes to its privacy settings over the years, usually in a bid to make them simpler to understand and use, yet many people just stick with the defaults. Facebook’s new Privacy Basics aims to make it much easier for people to find the tools they need to control their information on the social network. Created, Facebook says, using user feedback, Privacy Basics puts all of the top privacy topics and frequently asked questions within easy reach. There are 32 interactive guides available, in 44 different languages. It provides tips for securing your account, and understanding who can see your posts, what your profile looks like to others, and so on. The update comes as part of Data Privacy Day, which takes place every year on January 28. Source
  6. Facebook Is Ready To Censor Posts In China -- Should Users Around The World Be Worried? Facebook's relationship with China has a tense and turbulent history. The social network is currently banned in China, and this clearly takes a huge chunk out of Facebook's ad revenue. In a bid to keep Chinese authorities happy, Mark Zuckerberg has been involved in the creation of software that can be used to monitor and censor posts made by users. In terms of playing by China's rules, this is clearly great news for Facebook, and it opens up the possibility of the social network operating in the country. While there is the slight silver lining that Facebook's censorship tool does not amount to a full blackout (as the Guardian puts it: "The posts themselves will not be suppressed, only their visibility"), the new program does raise a very important question: if Facebook is willing and able to create such a censorship tool for China, what’s to stop it doing the same for other markets, or even for its own benefit? The answer, of course, is 'nothing'. Facebook has shown time and time again that it is more than happy to fly in the face of popular user opinion and do whatever it wants. We have already seen some of the ways in which the social network is willing to tinker with users' newsfeeds. Increasingly controversial algorithms have been used for some time to tailor news and posts in a way that Facebook says is in users' interests. There is nothing to stop these algorithms being further tweaked to prevent the appearance of certain posts, certain types of content -- be that at Facebook's whim, or at the behest of governments around the world. Of course, the counter argument is that it would not be in Facebook's interest to introduce censorship outside of China. Except the Chinese case has very much indicated that it is in Facebook's interest to use censorship tools. In China, it is a matter of bowing to governmental demands in order to -- hopefully, in Facebook's view -- be allowed to operate in the country once again. The real driving force here is, as mentioned, money generated through advertising; this is the very reason why we should be wary of Facebook's development of a censorship tool, and fear its use elsewhere. Just as with the covert activities of the NSA, there would be nothing to stop Facebook from using a censorship tool without making it clear to users. After all, Facebook is free to do whatever it wants to do with content that is posted, so long as it is in keeping with the law. It is not a stretch to imagine a high profile advertiser applying pressure to Facebook to put a damper on certain opinions and to threaten withdrawal of advertising. Money talks, so it is hardly inconceivable that Facebook might at least be tempted to comply with such a demand -- and users would be none the wiser. What’s happening in China -- and, indeed, in Russia and other countries -- is great cause for concern. Facebook does not have a great track record when it comes to maintaining user trust (just look at the fake news problem), and as news of tools such as this starts to spread, any trust that does remain is only going to be further undermined. Source
  7. German Officials Order Facebook to Delete WhatsApp User Data Facebook was infringing data protection law Needless to say that WhatsApp users weren't pleased with the new feature and they quickly found a workaround that allowed them to disable the sharing feature within 30 days from installing or updating the app on their phones. The measure would pose some security and privacy concerns, which meant that WhatsApp had to update its terms and privacy policy, which it did for the first time in four years. WhatsApp is one of the most secure chatting applications out there, with default message encryption and self-destruct messages that make sure that no one can access conversations between users. Since the app is focused on privacy and security, it's only normal that users were concerned by this measure for sharing information with Facebook. It seems that users from Germany no longer need to worry about this, since the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information ordered Facebook to delete user data shared from WhatsApp. Facebook is willing to work with the Commission to resolve the issue The report by Reuters mentions that Facebook was infringing data protection law and WhatsApp's 35 million users in Germany didn't provide effective approval for sharing their information. "After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured that data will not be shared between them," commissioner Johannes Caspar said in a statement. "The fact that this is now happening is not only a misleading of their users and the public, but also constitutes an infringement of national data protection law," Caspar added. The Commission also said that Facebook and WhatsApp are independent companies that should process user data based on their own terms and conditions. Facebook issued a statement saying that the company is working with the Hamburg DPA to resolve any concerns. Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion two years ago. Source More info on this news - Alternate Source - Germany bans Facebook from collecting WhatsApp users' data
  8. Facebook Post Tagging Scam Steals Your Login Credentials Latest Facebook scam is spreading like wildfire and it uses a Chrome app to steal login credentials — So watch out. Facebook is the most used social media platform around the world with 1.65 billion users and that’s what makes it a lucrative target for crooks, hackers and online scammers. Today, HackRead got to know about a dangerous scam spreading on Facebook like wildfire, thanks to Assaf Megidash for the alert. It begins with a notification on Facebook that a friend of yours has tagged you (potential victim) in a post. The post is actually a video that uses victim’s profile pic as its thumbnail which is quite a shocker for everyone seeing their picture on an unknown video and likely tempt them to click on the video post. Screenshot shows a user has tagged their friend on a video with their profile picture However, truth is far from reality, the tagged victim is tagged is not a video neither photo file; it is rather a link to a malicious website which looks like Facebook and once victims click the link they are taken to that malicious site whose address is “u1dmofz3.todayonlynews (dot) com” and several others. Once on this domain, the victims are redirected to yet another domain “bebetter500 (dot) com” where the actual scam is hosted. Once on the BeBetter500 website, victims can see a fake yet authentic-looking Facebook page asking them to view a video but in order to do so, they have to install a chrome extension labeled as Ozuji. As mentioned above, the page looks real and it also shows several comments from authentic Facebook users which can trick victims into installing that chrome extension. The extension can read your browser history and change the data on sites you visit. That can include changing of your financial details or Facebook login credentials. An exclusive screenshot from the scam site The description on the extension page is “Ozuji blue ipugo nuva ufiso ayivez,” which is in Cebuano language, an Austronesian regional language spoken in the Philippines. This indicates that the scammers may be from the Philippines. Upon adding the extensions it was noticed that no software was downloaded to our device. However, a Facebook profile made specifically for our test showed that ten friends were instantly tagged that means the extension was quick to gain control of our test profile. The good news is that at the time of publishing we noticed that Google has removed the Ozuji extension from its chrome store. However, it is unclear if there are more extensions on the store – serving the same scam. Ozuji extension has been deleted by Google however it’s still showing on Google search results The users most targeted by this scam were Israeli, but the Internet has no borders and you may soon become the next victim of this scam. That is if there are extensions other than the now removed Ozuji. If you have received a notification such as this, it simply means that your friend has fallen victim to this particular scam. Source
  9. Facebook Messenger Chatbots Can Leak Your Private Information Facebook Messenger chatbots jeopardize privacy: Report Facebook’s attempts to bring chatbots to its FB Messenger were appreciated by tech pundits as well as users. While businesses are making new attempts to woo customers with better experience, Facebook Messenger chatbots go a long way in making FB users life more comfortable. But this comes at the risk of your privacy according to a new research. According to tech website Venture Beat, businesses which are switching to Facebook Messenger for all service interactions will soon regret their decision because of possible customer information leaks. If people want to get the tracking information of their orders online, chatbots are a perfect solution for a successful communication, but the story is not same when it comes to sensitive data like bank account information or insurance company details. “Conversations with these businesses can be complex, emotionally-driven and often require sensitive and personal information to pass between the two parties. Consumers of these organizations need frequent and ongoing interaction,” the report notes. Venture Beat says the privacy and security needs for such sensitive communication and transactions are very high and trusting Facebook chatbots will be a big challenge for customers. As it is, Facebook users dont trust the networking giant with their data. Another reason for Messenger chatbot failure is the desire of businesses of owning the data. When hopping to Messenger to take advantage of the new technology, businesses have to share the exclusive data with the social networking giant. And it is only natural that Facebook will use this information for its own gains. Companies will have to realize that by giving away the vital proprietary data and information to Facebook, they are also giving up control of the customer. “Facebook openly says it is using the data flowing through its Messenger for Business platform, companies using it would be right to enter that relationship with skepticism,” the report said. With that data in the hands of the company selling ads to your competitors, the result could be detrimental, the report noted. Source
  10. Hacker Wins Bug Bounty After Exposing Critical Facebook Security Flaw A hacker from California has revealed a trick which could allow him to hack into a user’s Facebook account and gain complete access to it. Learning to hack a Facebook account is one of the first things people want to learn. Many try their hand at this to gain complete access to someone’s Facebook profile. One California-based hacker tried his method, and subsequently discovered a method that exploits Facebook’s password reset mechanism to hack into anyone’s Facebook profile. Gurkirat Singh has revealed that he discovered a way to gain access to anyone’s Facebook profile using a flaw in the social networking site’s password reset mechanism. He said that the only way for anyone to reset their Facebook password is to use a randomly generated 6-digit code which Facebook provides them with once they request a password reset. The algorithm behind it produces a truly random number. But the fact that it is a 6-digit code means that there are a possible 106 = 1,000,000 combinations. These remain the same until they are used. Gurkirat exploited this fact. According to him, Facebook needs to store duplicate codes for multiple users if more than 1,000,000 users request a password reset. This means that more than two people have the same passcode. To use this for his purpose, Gurkirat Singh devised a way to send in 2 million password change requests to Facebook He mentions that doing so is not simple, for it requires a way to change your IP to avoid being blocked by the company, as well as access to 2 million Facebook IDs. Since Facebook IDs are 15-digit long, Singh used 1,00,000,000,000,000 and made queries to Facebook Graph API to see which IDs were valid. This can only be done through authorized apps, and once a match is found, you can enter the ID in the URL like www.facebook.com/[ID]. The URL then automatically changes the ID to the username. This data was compiled into a JSON by Singh. To handle the problem of IP changing, Gurkirat Singh simply used a proxy server that listened to HTTP Requests and then assigned a random IP address to each request. He used a multithreaded script to simulate user behaviour when a passcode is required. The script requests a passcode to every user in the JSON file created earlier. Then the scripts were run to make the requests. It looked like this: After doing so, the 6-digit passcode needs to be matched using the Brute force technique. Singh added ID to the key ‘u’ and the successfully matched passcode to the key ‘n’ in the URL as www.beta.facebook.com/recover/password?u=…&n=… Doing so returned a match. Doesn't get any simpler! #Hacking #Facebook https://t.co/2vi14s1Qtp — Gurkirat Sin @GurkiratSpeca) August 25, 2016 Once this was done, Singh added this matched passcode to the URL and was redirected to the password reset page. Therefore, he was successful in gaining access to a user’s account using this method. Singh said that the bounty offered to him was a mere $500, as Facebook considered this as a low priority finding. Source
  11. Blurry Previews And Facebook Phishing Here’s a Facebook phish which uses the incredibly old technique of blurring the supposed page underneath the login prompt. This is designed to tantalise victims with what they could see if only they hand over login details. This tactic has been around from Facebook and Tumblr all the way back to Myspace, most typically in the form of the infamous “See who visited your page” scams of yesteryear. The site, located at fb-log(dot)890m(dot)com, looks like this: Logging into the page would eventually direct the victim to the below “exploit” themed website: The site seems to be offering up a “remote way to hack”, alongside asking if the visitor has tried their application. Well, okay. We downloaded the .APK on offer, fired it up and… …it simply opens up the webpage in Android. If you were already viewing the site on an Android, this would be vaguely confusing. Sploitception? Anyway. Clicking into the various Scams / Xploitz / SMS tabs suggests we need to be registered to view whatever content is on offer. An interesting diversion, but the primary focus should be on avoiding the phishing page in the first place. If you think you’ve been caught by this scam – or indeed any other Facebook phish – then set about changing your password as soon as possible, and follow the safety tips listed on their Privacy Basics page. Source
  12. Information Commissioner To Investigate Data Sharing Between WhatsApp And Facebook WhatsApp's plans to share user data with Facebook are to be investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK. The change in privacy policy goes against a previous public commitment not to share data in this way. The ICO has the power to regulate how companies make use of data belonging to people located in the UK, even if the companies themselves are located elsewhere. A key concern is whether there will be compliance with data protection laws. Users are particularly upset about the data sharing plans because when Facebook acquired WhatsApp back in 2014, the company said clearly that data would not be shared in this way. The backlash on social media has, predictably, resulted in many people complaining that they will stop using WhatsApp. It has also been suggested that in sharing private data from WhatsApp, Facebook will be violating an agreement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission. Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: Anyone who is concerned about their privacy is reminded that they can use WhatsApp's instructions to prevent data sharing. Or they could stop using WhatsApp... Source
  13. WhatsApp Is To Hand Your Phone Number To Facebook Roses are red, violets are blue, Facebook knows all that you think, say and do WhatsApp has updated its terms and privacy policy for the first time in four years as part of parent company Facebook’s plans to generate cash through app users' data. While WhatsApp has been a separate service from Facebook since its acquisition for $16bn two years ago, the companies are now going to enjoy a cosier relationship. If you’re a WhatsApp user you can expect the app to soon export more of your information to Facebook as the megacorp seeks to bleed some revenue from businesses by allowing them to advertise to you, without using third-party banner advertisements and spam. This will not affect the privacy of the content of users’ messages. As WhatsApp integrates the Signal messaging protocol, messages are protected with end-to-end encryption. “We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others,” the business stated today, “including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share or give your phone number to advertisers.” This suggests that WhatsApp might yet offer itself as a platform for business to contact you through, but the company itself has announced that “by coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.” That sounds lovely, of course, until the statement continued: “And by connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you've never heard of.” Users are not able to opt out of this data sharing, although you can choose not to allow to be shared for the purpose of improving their experience with advertisements and product experiences on Facebook. WhatsApp is seeking to integrate features that regularly take place over SMS at the moment: "Whether it's hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so." Source Related Alternate Source Articles: WhatsApp to Share Your Data with Facebook — You have 30 Days to Stop It Use WhatsApp? Get ready to receive marketing messages from firms WhatsApp to give users' phone numbers to Facebook for targeted ads WhatsApp to share your user data with Facebook WhatsApp to share user data including phone numbers with Facebook WhatsApp does about face, will serve ads in Facebook-owned app WhatsApp to Share User Phone Number with Facebook For Advertising Block WhatsApp from sharing (most) data with Facebook
  14. This Is What It Looks Like When The NSA Hacks Into Your Gmail And Facebook Do you know how it looks like when the NSA hacks into your Gmail and Facebook? Find here This is the first time ever that a target of the NSA’s controversial Prism program has been recognized. Based on documents provided by Edward Snowden – the whistleblower, Tony Fullman, a New Zealand citizen who was born in Fiji, had the contents of his Facebook and numerous Gmail accounts intercepted by the NSA, reports the Intercept. Unfortunately, Fullman has a sob story. A pro-democracy activist who opposed Fiji’s military ruler, New Zealand spies suspected that Fullman was planning a violent revolution in Fiji. Therefore, in 2012, spy operations from New Zealand and the NSA raided Fullman’s Australian home, his passport was revoked, his foundation’s telephones were bugged and he was put under top-secret NSA surveillance. During this time, New Zealand spies asked the NSA to a keep a watch on Fullman’s communications through his Facebook account and his Gmail accounts. To conduct the electronic eavesdropping, the NSA turned to one of its most controversial surveillance programs, Prism, which was also the second major revelation to come out of the Snowden leaks. The agency uses Prism to secretly obtain communications that are processed by major technology companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo. In 2013, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook CEO had written that “Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers.” Google has also refused to accept that it is in “cahoots with the NSA.” No evidence was found that proved Fullman was planning to overthrow the Fiji government even with the intercepted communications. However, we can now see what Prism can access in someone’s Gmail or Facebook account. Here’s what the spies saw: This is a picture of Tony Fullman in NSA files taken from his Facebook. It has the EXIF data created by the camera he took it with. This top secret document shows a picture of Fullman’s station wagon uploaded to Facebook. “US-984XN” is the code for surveillance under Prism, according to the Intercept report. This email taken from Fullman’s Gmail includes an attachment defining his bank account. Here’s an email Fullman received from someone looking for a job with his resume attached. Here’s a Television New Zealand interview with Tony Fullman: Read the entire Intercept report here. Courtesy: Business Insider Article Source
  15. AdBlock Plus Blocks Facebook's Ad-Blocker Buster: It's A Block Party! Web advertising arms race intensifies The makers of Adblock Plus (ABP) have already found a way to defeat Facebook's anti-ad-block tools. An updated filter list for ABP will disappear web ads on Facebook's desktop site – including banners the social network said it would force people to see even if they are using ad-blocking tools. Those ads are specially crafted by Facebook to circumvent ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus. The social network argues that it is balancing out the force-fed-nature of the ads by also giving folks tighter control over what information can be shared with advertisers and what topics the targeted ads will cover. Now, thanks to quick work by its developer community, ABP will be able to block those new Facebook ads as well. The Facebook filter can be manually added to the list of blocked ads, or users can wait for a coming update that will automatically add the script. ABP says that update will be distributed automatically in "the next day or so." "Two days ago we broke it to you that Facebook had taken 'the dark path,' and decided to start forcing ad-blocking users to see ads on its desktop site," wrote ABP head of communications Ben Williams. "We promised that the open source community would have a solution very soon, and, frankly, they’ve beaten even our own expectations." The move now puts the ball back in Facebook's court, leaving the social network to decide whether it will allow AdBlock Plus to carry on using its new blocking scripts or engage in a back-and-forth battle with the plugin over the display of ad content. According a statement provided to El Reg, that is exactly what Zuck and company plan to do. The California web giant also warned that the filter will remove legit posts, too. "We're disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don't just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages," Facebook said. "This isn't a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue. Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we've instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people's hands." Game on. Source Alternate Source - Adblock Plus has already defeated Facebook's new ad blocking restrictions
  16. Password Sharing Is a Federal Crime, Appeals Court Rules One of the nation’s most powerful appeals courts ruled Wednesday that sharing passwords can be a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a catch-all “hacking” law that has been widely used to prosecute behavior that bears no resemblance to hacking. In this particular instance, the conviction of David Nosal, a former employee of Korn/Ferry International research firm, was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who said that Nosal’s use of a former coworker’s password to access one of the firm’s databases was an “unauthorized” use of a computer system under the CFAA. The decision is a nightmare scenario for civil liberties groups, who say that such a broad interpretation of the CFAA means that millions of Americans are unwittingly violating federal law by sharing accounts on things like Netflix, HBO, Spotify, and Facebook. Stephen Reinhardt, the dissenting judge in the case, noted that the decision “threatens to criminalize all sorts of innocuous conduct engaged in daily by ordinary citizens.” In the majority opinion, Judge Margaret McKeown wrote that “Nosal and various amici spin hypotheticals about the dire consequences of criminalizing password sharing. But these warnings miss the mark in this case. This appeal is not about password sharing.” She then went on to describe a thoroughly run-of-the-mill password sharing scenario—her argument focuses on the idea that Nosal wasn’t authorized by the company to access the database anymore, so he got a password from a friend—that happens millions of times daily in the United States, leaving little doubt about the thrust of the case. The argument McKeown made is that the employee who shared the password with Nosal “had no authority from Korn/Ferry to provide her password to former employees.” At issue is language in the CFAA that makes it illegal to access a computer system “without authorization.” McKeown said that “without authorization” is “an unambiguous, non-technical term that, given its plain and ordinary meaning, means accessing a protected computer without permission.” The question that legal scholars, groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and dissenting judge Stephen Reinhardt ask is an important one: Authorization from who? Reinhardt argues that Nosal’s use of the database was unauthorized by the firm, but was authorized by the former employee who shared it with him. For you and me, this case means that unless Netflix specifically authorizes you to share your password with your friend, you’re breaking federal law. “In the everyday situation that should concern us all, a friend or colleague accessing an account with a shared password would most certainly believe—and with good reason—that his access had been ‘authorized’ by the account holder who shared his password with him,” Reinhardt wrote in a powerful dissent that was primarily concerned with “the government’s boundless interpretation of the CFAA.” “The majority does not provide, nor do I see, a workable line which separates the consensual password sharing in this case from the consensual password sharing of millions of legitimate account holders, which may also be contrary to the policies of system owners,” he wrote. “There simply is no limiting principle in the majority’s world of lawful and unlawful password sharing.” Notably, Reinhardt appears to have a commanding knowledge of what constitutes “hacking,” something that comes up over and over again both in the media and in the courts. He said that the decision “loses sight of the anti-hacking purpose of the CFAA.” “There is no doubt that a typical hacker accesses an account ‘without authorization’: the hacker gains access without permission—either from the system owner or a legitimate account holder,” he wrote. Using someone else’s password with their permission but not the system’s owner isn’t “hacking,” but that’s what the court is treating it as. Reinhardt noted that all 50 states have their own more narrow computer trespassing statutes, and that the case would have been better suited for civil, not criminal, proceedings. What does this mean for you? In the short term, unless Netflix or HBO seek to get federal prosecutors to go after many of its customers, probably nothing. So far, neither of those services have shown any inclination to do so, and have made it easy to share your accounts with others. But it does set a scary precedent that should give anyone who shares passwords some pause. The Ninth Circuit covers much of the West Coast, including Silicon Valley—many tech cases are brought there. The decision will be binding in that circuit, and will be looked at to guide decisions elsewhere in the country. Cases like these do come up with some regularity. A decision is expected soon in a case called Facebook v Power Ventures, in which a company scraped information from Facebook with permission from its users, but not from Facebook. Once again, the question of “authorization” will come into play. Source
  17. Facebook Behaves Like North Korea Says Ex Employee Former Employee Compares Facebook’s Culture To North Korea’s Dictatorship Facebook has often been accused of being a sexist workplace with the CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg ruling the workplace like a dictator. After the issue of an alleged bias towards lefts and liberals and clamping down on conservative and right wing news articles in its trending topics, Facebook has now been accused of behaving dictatorially like North Korea. Antonio Garcia Martinez, an ex-Facebook employee wants people to know Silicon Valley is way different in reality than it is actually portrayed. “It’s often painted as a very meritocratic sifting of the best and the brightest,” Martinez told CBS. In fact, he says, “It’s all connections, happenstance, sheer luck, fate, etc.” The employees at the social media site’s office have nicknamed Zuckerberg ‘the little emperor’ as he has a KGB-like internal police force called ‘The Sec’ monitoring every move of the staff, according to Martinez. Martinez, a former Facebook advertising manager who was fired two years ago from Facebook, claims that working at the social network was like being in a mainstream similar to North Korea with Zuckerberg its unchallenged leader. The former (and fired) Facebook product manager today released a book called “Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley.” Zuckerberg had apparently asked staff to paint his office and sent an expletive email when he discovered they had carved rude drawings onto his wall. He allegedly fumed: “I trusted you to create art and what you f*****g did was vandalise the place.” When one employee leaked details of a new product, the Facebook creator apparently lost his cool and sent an email to every employee with the title “please resign” – designed to send shockwaves through the company. Zuckerberg also attacked the culprit who had leaked the details in the email for their “base moral nature” and said they had “betrayed the team”, according to Martinez. Sexism is also allegedly rife within Facebook headquarters with women facing extra scrutiny because of the strict Facebook dress code for females, according to Martinez. Human resource managers gave a speech during initiation for new employees in which they told women that there was a dress code which they had to stick to. Women who worked at Facebook would get reprimanded if their skirts were too short or if they wore distracting clothing to the men — such as booty shorts. An intern who looked about 16 years of age often came to Facebook wearing booty shorts, which became a problem. However, men do not appear to have been given the same treatment, according to Martinez’s book. Martinez, who was sacked by Facebook in 2013 after two years working on targeted advertisements, explains how new employees went through a series of talks to welcome them into the company’s way of thinking. In excerpts published by the Daily Mail, he writes that the company has a KGB-like security force called the Sec that monitors employees’ actions. The author recalls being told by Chamath Palihapitiya, one of the stars of Facebook: “Look, we’re not here to f*** around. You’re at Facebook now and we’ve got lots to do.” After 20 minutes more of lecturing he finished off with another missive: “Just f*****g do it.” But “doing it” had its limits. Martinez says that Facebook’s Human Resources told them that the policy on asking co-workers out was that you got one try and if they said no you had to leave it. As for Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Martinez characterizes her as somebody who both knew her boss inside and out, as well as a leader who could get a fractious group on the same proverbial page. “She can take a roomful of cats and get them all to go in one direction,” said Martinez. He added that Sandberg took the ball on advertising because Zuckerberg was less interested – if at all – in that aspect of the business. “Facebook has a lot of long term value. It knows who you are and every device you touch and that’s the marketer’s holy grail since forever,” said Martinez. “And that value is not going to go away.” Facebook declined to comment on either Martinez or his tell all book. Source
  18. Photo Reveals Even Zuckerberg Tapes His Webcam And Microphone For Privacy What do you do to protect your 'Privacy' and keep yourself safe from potential hackers? Well, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just need a bit of tape to cover his laptop webcam and mic jack in order to protect his privacy. Yes, Zuck also does the same as the FBI Director James Comey. Zuckerberg posted a photo on Tuesday to celebrate Instagram's 500 Million monthly user milestone, but the picture end up revealing about another security measure he takes to ensure that nobody is spying on him – and it's surprisingly simple. Some eagle-eyed observers quickly noticed that the MacBook Pro on Zuckerberg's desk in the background of the image has the tape covering not only the webcam, but also the laptop's dual microphones. While some tried to argue that it was not Zuckerberg's desk, Gizmodo pointed out that Zuckerberg has posted videos, live streams and images from there before, so it seems like a safe assumption. So, Zuckerberg joins FBI director James Comey and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who admitted that they tape their webcams. Although some called this move paranoid, taping up your webcam is a simple and excellent precaution that cost nothing and has appeared many times in the past. Keeping aside the controversies over Zuck's move, tapping your laptop's webcam is a good take away for you to adopt, because we know the ability of spy agencies, including the FBI and NSA (National Security Agency), to turn on webcam to spy on targets. Edward Snowden leaks revealed Optic Nerve - the NSA's project to capture webcam images every five minutes from random Yahoo users. In just 6 months, 1.8 Million users' images were captured and stored on the government servers in 2008. However, putting a tape over your webcam would not stop hackers or government spying agencies from recording your voice, but, at least, this would prevent them watching or capturing your live visual feeds. Source Alternate Source
  19. Things You Should Not Do To Avoid Getting Banned On Facebook You should know what all is banned on Facebook to avoid getting banned We should all agree that Facebook is a whole new different type of ecosystem than what we usually encounter. Its members are normal people, activists, freedom fighters, drifters, drug addicts, politicians, etc. and keeping your sanity and posts within the realms of what is allowed is a big job. We have had 3 students livestreaming their sexacapes on Facebook, a student livestreaming a movie premier earlier. But what caught everybody’s notice was a recent murder of a 28-year-old Chicago man was captured live on Facebook. One minute the man was hanging out with friends and livestreaming on Facebook. The next, there are sounds of gunshots and screaming. Watching this gruesome spectacle on Facebook raises questions about how can the network giant allow such livestreaming. He was shot Wednesday night, and yet Facebook hasn’t pulled the video from its platform, which begs the question: Why not? According to Facebook, the video doesn’t violate its community standards because it doesn’t believe the video celebrates violence. According to the Facebook gods, its falls under a different category: Raising awareness. Therefore instead of removing those types of videos, Facebook marks them with a user warning. Now consider another post in which an ISIS sympathizer killed a police commander and livestreamed it earlier this week. Facebook immediately pulled off that video. As said above, it is really a thin line which you have to adhere to prevent getting banned or suspended. Facebook’s community standards are broken into eight categories, including attacks on public figures, bullying and harassment, sexual violence and regulated goods. But exactly what it allows and when isn’t clearly defined and may rest solely in the hands of someone at Menlo Park. The community standards state that it “aims to find the right balance” to keep people safe, encourage respectful behavior, acknowledge cultural diversity, and empower people to control what they see in their feeds. But you should remember that while a video of a murder is OK by Facebook’s standards, showing a woman’s nipple isn’t. The company does, however, “always allow” photos of women showing post-mastectomy scarring or actively engaging in breastfeeding. Although some genuine breastfeeding posts have been removed. More so before 2014, moms had been complaining that their breastfeeding pics were removed. In 2014, Facebook relaxed its breastfeeding policy a bit to allow for these types of non-sexual images. However that took considerable effort and a hashtag movement, #FreeThe Nipple, which brought Facebook’s attention to the banning of female nudity on sites like Instagram and Facebook. Facebook does allow nude paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nudes — but sometimes it gets it wrong. Facebook has in the past removed many paintings which it deemed as gross including an artwork depicting Donald Trump’s babydick. Similarly a Facebook post by Lee Rowland of the ACLU was removed because it contained a photo of a nude statue. Facebook’s head of policy management Monica Bickert later accepted that the photo didn’t actually violate Facebook’s policies but was just a mistake. Facebook draws a hard line on selling prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms and ammunition– which it says are prohibited on the platform. But you are allowed to post photos of, say, yourself smoking marijuana out of a bong. Facebook, like other online communities, relies on a mix of user reports and internal moderation to flag inappropriate or illegal content. That means Facebook has 1.65 billion people helping enforce its standards — but what’s considered “appropriate” is far from universal. Source
  20. MENLO PARK, CA (WFSB) - An officer from Los Angeles County took to Twitter on Friday when Facebook users called for help to report that the social media website was down. Sgt. Burton Brink, the public information officer in La Crescenta, CA, posted a Tweet reminding people about the reasons for calling them for help. "#Facebook is not a Law Enforcement issue, please don't call us about it being down, we don't know when FB will be back up!" he wrote. Users who tried to get on Facebook around noon EST were greeted with an apology. "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can," the site posted. A message posted by a Facebook's developer around noon said the site "is currently experiencing an issue that is affecting all API and web surfaces. Our engineers detected the issue quickly and are working to resolve it ASAP. We'll update shortly." Facebook returned about an hour later. Source: http://www.wfsb.com/story/26174225/police-do-not-call-us-if-facebook-is-down
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