Category - Privacy & Security News

The new Swiss surveillance law or the false choice between privacy and security

It happened on a Sunday, September 25th, a day which will probably go down in history. That is when Swiss voters approved a new surveillance law granting their national intelligence service greater powers to spy on “terrorist” suspects and cyber criminals.

A good initiative in theory, when put to practice, this new law would allow the authorities to tap phones, snoop on email and deploy hidden cameras and bugs, thus monitoring any potential suspects.

Of the 5 million voters, 65 percent supported this legislative initiative. The other 35 percent will just have to deal with this situation and find solutions for not being tracked (you can always try our free VPN, available on any platform).

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Any resemblance to the NSA is purely coincidental

Does this new law remind of the already notorious data-gathering machine developed by the NSA and revealed by Edward Snowden?

Not to Yannick Buttet, a politician and Christian Democratic Party vice president, who declared: “This is not generalized surveillance. It’s letting the intelligence services do their job.” Guy Parmelin, Swiss defence minister, said that with the new measures Switzerland was “leaving the basement and coming up to the ground floor by international standards”.

Until now, phone tapping and monitoring emails were banned in Switzerland.

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: the Opera server hack, NY students get a Privacy Officer and more

The start of autumn anticipates an interesting last quarter of 2016, especially as online privacy begins to be taken more and more seriously. For instance, we were quite intrigued to discover that the New York State Education Department has appointed its first Privacy Officer charged with the task of protecting confidential student information. Discover more below:

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Opera resets users’ passwords after web service gets hacked

The Norway-based internet browser maker has declared in blog post that it “quickly blocked” an attack to its sync system. As a measure of precaution, all the Opera sync account passwords have been reset. Users have also been informed about this incident and asked to change their passwords. If you want to reset your password, go to this link.

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: major change in Whatsapp’s ToS, Facebook’s app for teens goes full-on public and more

Summer is coming to an end, but privacy issues continue to be sizzling in the heat of new apps emerging, terms of service changing the rules of the game or Big Brother-like investigations taking place. Here is, in short, what online privacy news caught our attention this week:

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WhatsApp changes terms of service, shares users’ phone numbers with Facebook

Acquired by Facebook two years ago for the staggering amount of $19 billion, WhatsApp has just changed its terms of service.

According to the new user agreement, WhatsApp will give the phone numbers of people using the service to Facebook. Furthermore, WhatsApp will also reveal other analytics such as what devices and operating systems are being used.

Before, the two did not share any information, since WhatsApp used to promote itself as a “privacy oasis”.

Read more here.

Tip: apparently there’s a way to opt out of the new terms.  When the pop-up emerges, don’t click “agree” –but navigate to the smaller “read more” option and untick the box that says “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook”.

 

Facebook’s video selfie app for teen can be seen by everyone

Facebook hits the news yet again with the release of Lifestage, a new app aimed at teenagers. Dedicated only to those aged 21 or under, it’s designed to make it “easy and fun to share a visual profile of who you are with in your school network”.

However, the app currently has no tools for controlling who sees the content posted. So, basically, anyone has access to the young users’ videos.

Find out more at this link.

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: Your battery is spying on you, iOS 10 to have stronger ad tracking control and other privacy news

The first week of August saw some interesting developments in the field of online privacy. Stay informed about this hot topic with CyberGhost, your online security expert, always here to safeguard your web surfing experience.

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No longer just a supposition: our phone’s battery is used to track us online

What was first an assumption has turned into a fact. According to researchers from the Princeton University, there’s a little-known web standard that lets site owners know how much battery a mobile device has left.

This was apparently intended to allow site owners to run low-power versions of the sites, as their device was running out of power, but now gives access to very sensitive personal information.

Get the full story here.

 

The release of iOS 10 comes with extra perks concerning ad tracking

iOS fans from all over the world are all looking forward for the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, anticipated to arrive in September.

This release comes with some good news for privacy aficionados, as well. The “Limit Ad Tracking” option in the iPhone’s Privacy Settings will be more effective, making sure that users are no longer targeted or tracked by many ad networks across sites.

Read more here.

Our battery is spying on us & iOS 10 to limit ad tracking better. Get all the #CyberGhost #PrivacyUpdates! Click to Tweet

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: VPN usage gets banned in UAE, Paramount ends geoblocking & more privacy news

The last week of July has seen quite some important updates in the field of online privacy. Read our privacy news below and share them with the friends interested in such a hot topic!

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Use a VPN in the UAE and you could end up in prison

The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has passed a new law concerning the use of a VPN. Those using such a service to access regionally blocked sites could end up in jail. Fines range between $136,000 and $545,000.

Currently, the services unblocked in the UAE with the help of a VPN are WhatsApp, Snapchat and others that use the Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. This is very much frowned upon by telecomms operators, who are said to benefit most from this law.

Read more here.

Paramount ends geoblocking & UAE turn #VPN usage into federal crime. Get more #PrivacyUpdates from #CyberGhost! Click to Tweet

Cybersecurity, more important than online privacy to Americans

According to a recent analysis published by the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), “Americans are increasingly concerned about online security and privacy” and “these concerns are prompting some Americans to limit their online activity.”

However, the NTIA data show that American Internet users are more concerned about online security than online privacy.

For all the details, go to this link.

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WikiLeaks gets blocked in Turkey, but you can access it with CyberGhost

According to Reuters, following the publication of nearly 300,000 ruling party emails, Turkey has blocked access to the WikiLeaks website. The telecoms watchdog obtained the material, dated between 2010 and 2016, a week before the attempted coup in Ankara.

As a result to Turkey’s decision to ban WikiLeaks, we have added it to the list of websites from our Unblock Basic Websites profile. Download the CyberGhost VPN app from here and search the WikiLeaks AKP email database at this link.

Unblock #WikiLeaks and get access to nearly 300,000 #AKPemails using #CyberGhost. Click to Tweet

Thanks to CyberGhost, you will be able to access the site through servers from Romania, that are closest to your country, so that you get the best surfing speed.

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Photo source: https://wikileaks.org/akp-emails/

Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: Sharing online passwords becomes federal crime, EU-US Privacy Shield goes into effect & more

Online privacy remains a hot topic this July, stirring as much debate as ever. Find the most important headlines of the week from the CyberGhost blog, updated with fresh news every Friday. Jump in the conversation or simply quench your thirst for hot-off-the-press info.

But, most importantly, always surf anonymously with the CyberGhost apps for Windows, iOS or Android.

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Sharing Netflix and HBO passwords is now a federal crime… but not so much

On July 5th, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that found, in part, that sharing passwords can be grounds for prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

This might turn millions of people who share passwords of streaming websites such as Netflix or HBO into “unwitting federal criminals”.

However, Netflix representatives declared in the past that they do not track the number of people sharing account passwords, since that poses difficulties and can also beneficial to them.

FBI raises eyebrows by collecting 430,000 iris scans

Size makes no difference when it comes to cutting-edge surveillance technology. At least that’s the case of San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, servicing 2 million citizens with the help of 1,800 officers, as The Verge draws attention.

Quietly, however, this department has collected iris data from an estimate of 434,000 arrestees, of the last couple of years.

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