Amazon just announced their new product: Kindle fire – a tablet that runs Android with a little touch from Amazon. What is interesting about this new tablet is the browser it comes with, called Silk. Amazon crafted this browser having in mind both speed of mobile browsing and battery life and how it does that, is by using their Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud also known as EC2 that would behave as an intelligent proxy. Silk will use the power of EC2 to retrieve the pages and pre-render the objects in a way that won’t require too much power from the tablet.
That means, all your traffic will go via Amazon rather than directly to the pages you want to access, which of course raises some privacy alarms: all your habits, history, basically all you data will transit Amazon. Google is watching you, Facebook keeps all the data you give them, but Amazon just went to a new level and will see EVERYTHING you do online.
Also the Silk’s Terms and Conditions states that your IP and MAC address will be logged and retained for 30 days. To make matters worse, as an US company Amazon meaning that the company could be asked by an US court to intercept and record you secure communications.
Ok, the good news is, that Amazon will support an “off-cloud” mode for Silk, letting users to opt-out EC2. So… is that 1-2 milliseconds faster web worth trading your privacy in?
Privacy in Canada is also at risk. The Government is trying to create a new set of laws that would permit the authorities to access private information of any Canadian, whenever, no warrant needed.
Which means? Spying on email, messaging, IP and so on.
This is more intrusive even more than the laws in the USA and that’s why a new campaign started on the web in Canada informing every citizen thru funny, but explicit videos, what those laws mean and how they could affect their lives.
Also the videos encourage people to sign a petition that can be found at http://stopspying.ca/
The videos are listed below for you to watch them.
Maybe you don’t know, but when you visit a website, that has Facebook widgets, even the Like button, Facebook already harvest information about you. No, you don’t have to click or to interact with the widget … it’s enough to visit a page with such an implementation and Facebook “see’s” you.
So what did heise.de do to prevent Facebook from collecting information about their users? They implemented a script, called Facebook 2-Klick-Button, which requires a user, who wishes to interact with Facebook, to click twice: once for activating the Facebook script and once for interacting with Facebook. All seemed good until Tina Kulow of Facebook Germany accused haise.de that their script violates Facebook’s Platform Policies, which states:
8th You must not use or make derivative use of Facebook icons, or use terms for Facebook features and functionality, if such use could confuse users into thinking that the reference is to Facebook features or functionality.
But how exactly the heise.de solution violates this Policies is not clear yet. What is clear, is that Facebook doesn’t like it and is asking websites, that made such an implementation, to remove it.
Later on Tina Kulow revealed Facebook’s reservations. In a tweet, she wrote: “To clarify: a 2-click button is not ideal – but not a problem. Only a Like button that merely visually pretends to be one is not OK. That’s all.” Since heise changed the design of the button for the first click that activates the Like function, there should now be no obstacles on Facebook’s part to further use of the 2-click button by heise online and other websites.
So what we at CyberGhost want to inform you guys about, is that we are planning to implement the heise.de solution as well.
PS: the title is ironic.