Category - Privacy & Security News

Article 13 – Changes in EU copyright law can end your freedom of expression online

Update, June 21st: 

The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs voted in favor of Article 13 yesterday.  This isn’t a final vote, but since the committee decided to push Article 13 forward, it seems there is only one small step to the final stage of the legislation process.

Changes in Article 13 won’t become official until next month, when the general assembly of the Parliament gives the last vote. One way to reverse the decision would be if all 751 MEPs agree to dissolve the controversial article and let the world wide web the way it is.

So, there is still time. Convince your MEP to vote against Article 13!

Update, June 18th: 

Several digital activists have been warning us about Article 13 from EU’s copyright law since last year.

If you think it’s nothing important, think again! This could highly impact your entire web experience.

Imagine you have to pay a fee to online platforms and websites for every little piece of content you take over from them. Whether you use short snippets of text from an original article as part of a link in one of your posts (it could be blog article or social media post) or upload a photo or a video on your platform. Up until now it was considered fair and legal to simply mention the source. However, Article 13 wants everyone to pay for all these small bits of content everyone is supposed to be free to use.

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The end of net neutrality knocks on our doors

Update, May 18th: 

Two days ago, the U.S. Senate has made a successful first step in the long battle towards restoring net neutrality. The Senate achieved a 52-47 vote in favor of an equal and open internet for all American citizens. Senators succeeded by invoking the CRA (Congressional Review Act) which allows them to revoke recent decisions of government agencies.

This is good news and instills hope for all Americans who opposed the FCC and have been fighting against the repeal of net neutrality. This is the result of the ongoing efforts of several organizations and activists that chose to not give up and defend their rights. And we applaud that!

Yet, as mentioned, the winning battle is just starting!

The next step: members of the House of Representatives have to pass their vote as well. To get a positive outcome, a full majority of House members have to support the reinstatement of net neutrality. If that will happen, the final move is for Donald Trump to sign and have the policy reversed. Everyone knows the White House always backed FCC’s decision in dissolving net neutrality.

But let’s not lose hope! Good things can still happen. Many probably didn’t dare to believe net neutrality is actually important for American senators. They proved they care. We should all continue to fight for it.

Here are useful resources if you want to follow more updates on this topic:

Update, December 15th: Despite everything, the inevitable occurred and the FCC’s final vote for dismantling net neutrality took place yesterday. U.S. ISPs have now full power to block websites, suppress services, and censor online content.

After the vote, it appears that several Republican voters declared to be against the resolution to put a stop to net neutrality. In addition, many attorney generals and state officials including members of the Congress plan to sue the FCC over the repeal.

The effects of the end of net neutrality will become official in a few months so maybe there is still hope.

However, CyberGhost VPN can still help you enjoy internet freedom like you used to and access any website you please.

As recently announced, the FCC had to come up with the final proposal regarding net neutrality until November 22nd. Yesterday, Ajit Pai announced that it will dismantle net neutrality rules, giving giant telecom and web companies full power on deciding what online content to deliver to their customers. Additionally, the end of net neutrality would mean that ISPs can either slow down or speed up web services at their own will. Clearly, only big companies will afford to offer the best connections to consumers.

FCC Chairman mentioned the new proposal would actually mean restoring internet freedom since it forces ISPs to be transparent on the costs they require users for each web service they provide. Customers can simply choose a service plan according to their needs and preferences. Basically, American citizens will pay different costs for a basic internet service and will have to pay more if they want to access music or movie websites, for example.

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Russian Internet users cling to their privacy as Telegram ban is announced

Update, April 18th:

Just 4 days after Russia’s telecommunications watchdog banned Telegram, the organization has now blocked around 16 million IP addresses. The decision came as a response to Telegram’s move that transferred a part of its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud servers.

Around 1.8 million IP addresses that belong to Amazon and Google infrastructure are now blocked.

However, Roskomnadzor’s move has led to secondary unwanted effects since it also blocked other web services including online games, mobile apps or cryptocurrency services. Read More

7 Ways to look at the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal

Clearly, Facebook is living its worst time since its founding. Everywhere you turn and each webpage you open, you will see a different angle of Cambridge Analytica’s scandal in which Facebook had a leading role.

As Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg declared, Facebook suffered “a huge breach of trust”.

You probably realized a while back that Facebook is not just a “socializing” platform. But the backlash Facebook faces these days is clearly at one of its lowest levels.

Facebook deceived you and million others. What now?

Here is what Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said after the Cambridge Analytica scandal:

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: A cyberattack disrupts the Winter Olympics ceremony and more

Hackers continue to do what they know best, whether they’re trying to steal money online or make a statement. However, there is a piece of good news, as Germany has recorded another triumph over Facebook’s policy that compels users to reveal their real name.

Read below to find out more about what happened lately in terms of online threats and vulnerabilities.

India’s digital identity database can be easily hacked

India has a national digital identity project called Aadhaar that registers and archives nationals’ financial and personal data. Reporters from The Tribune discovered a loophole as they tested the system and managed to access information regarding any Aadhaar cardholder. Due to their discovery, journalists have been accused of forgery by Indian government agencies.

More on this news.

Germany wins a fight with Facebook over users’ right to use fake names

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: the NSA just got an extension on their right to online monitoring and more

2018 has nearly started but don’t think for a second that hackers waste any time. Malware attacks will definitely continue to be on hackers’ list this year and the future doesn’t sound bright for Americans in terms of digital privacy.

Here are some of the major online risks that happened so far:

Hackers still search for credit card information

LockPoS started to make damages since 2017, but was only recently discovered. Constantly looking for data that looks like credit card details, LockPoS malware steals payment card information from the memory of computers; and it has been doing that so well that it was quite difficult to detect.

Read more on this news.

Americans’ human rights diminished even more

Online privacy in the United States is simply sinking deeper and deeper. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted in favor of extending the NSA’s right of extended online surveillance for the next six years.

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WPA3 – the new Wi-Fi security protocol to be launched in 2018

Remember the Krack Wi-Fi vulnerability from October last year that has put all internet users to a dismay? Well, the good news is that it’s very possible we won’t have to go through that risky situation again.

Just a few days ago, during the annual CES event (one of the biggest technology and innovation shows), the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the launch of a new wireless security protocol—Wi-Fi Protected Access WPA3 this year.

WPA3 will replace the current WPA2—the security protocol that all Wi-Fi networks have been using for over 15 years.

Why is WPA2 considered vulnerable?

The main insecurity issue of WPA2 is given by the “unencrypted” open Wi-Fi networks that makes it incredibly easy for anyone who uses the same network to access other devices.

Secondly, one of the WPA2 protocols is that the same password is used by clients and business owners when joining a Wi-Fi network (for instance the clients of a coffee shop and the owner of the coffee shop).

Due to these vulnerabilities, hackers can intercept Wi-Fi traffic and steal online data quite effortlessly.

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