Snowshoeing: small-batch spam that's less targeted than spear-phishing

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Snowshoe spam has a "small footprint" -- it is sent is small, semi-targeted batches intended to sit below the trigger threshold for cloud-email spam filters, which treat floods of identical (or near-identical) messages as a solid indicator of spam. Read the rest

Spanish-language broadcasting titan Univision buys controlling interest in The Onion

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<insert ¡Ay, caramba! joke here> Read the rest

India's Internet activists have a SOPA moment: no "poor Internet for poor people"

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My latest Guardian column, 'Poor internet for poor people': India's activists fight Facebook connection plan, tells the story of how India's amazing Internet activists have beaten back Facebook's bid to become gatekeeper to the Internet for the next billion users. Read the rest

Dear Comcast: broadband isn't gasoline

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Comcast's CEO Brian Roberts has been doing a lot of spinning lately to explain his company's plan to increase its prices (already some of the highest in the developed world) by turning on usage caps and charging up the wazoo for people who exceed them. Read the rest

Tools, ads, and bad defaults: Web bloat continues unabated

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The Website Obesity Crisis, Maciej Ceglowski's (previously) Web Directions talk, documents the worsening epidemic of web-site bloat, and dissects the causes. Read the rest

Facebook's FUDdy, full-page anti-Net-Neutrality Indian newspaper ads

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Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate. Read the rest

IETF approves HTTP error code 451 for Internet censorship

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The 451 HTTP error code, first proposed in 2012 as a tribute to Ray Bradbury's classic novel is now an IETF standard and is the preferred error message for a server to send to a browser when content is blocked for legal reasons. Read the rest

New EU rules would ban under-16s from social media

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A last-minute change to pending EU data-protection rules will ban under-16s from using social media without explicit parental consent -- the rules are up for a vote on Tuesday. Read the rest

IXmaps: a tool to figure out when the NSA can see Canadians' data

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Canadians' data requests overwhelming flow through US cables, even when the communications are within Canada. Since the NSA takes the view that it is legally entitled to collect, inspect and retain foreign communications, this means that almost all Canadian communications are being spied on by a foreign power. Read the rest

European Commission resurrects an unkillable stupid: the link tax

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Meghan writes, "You've probably never been kept awake at night worrying about a European Commission communication. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be. Today the Commission published its roadmap for EU copyright reform, and despite the fanfare around portability of Netflix, it's clear that the bad idea known as 'ancillary copyright' has come back -- from the dead! -- to haunt us." Read the rest

China's top Internet censor: "There's no Internet censorship in China"

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Lu Wei is chief of China's State Internet Information Office, a man they call "the gatekeeper of the Chinese internet." According to him, the world's most notorious and ambitious system of Internet censorship is actually just "management." Read the rest

Wikipedia Russia suspends editor who tried to cut deal with Russian authorities

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A Wikipedia editors has been suspended after he organized a meeting with the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (as well as Rospotrebnadzor, a consumer rights watchdog, and Roskomnadzor, a media watchdog) to set terms under which "the expert opinion of authorized government bodies" would be inserted into Wikipedia entires on “socially sensitive” topics. Read the rest

Veronica Belmont on being overtaken by a meme

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A long time ago, Veronica Belmont was featured in a blooper reel for her old TV show in which she clowned around with a Cthulhu t-shirt, wiggling back and forth and saying "So lifelike." A creepy Internet person turned the moment into a GIF that has followed her around ever since, so that other creepy Internet people post it every time she opens her mouth online, and creepy Internet porn companies use it in their ads. Read the rest

Not just Lenovo: Dell ships computers with self-signed root certificates

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Last February, Lenovo shocked its security-conscious customers by pre-installing its own, self-signed root certificates on the machines it sold. These certificates, provided by a spyware advertising company called Superfish, made it possible for attackers create "secure" connections to undetectable fake versions of banking sites, corporate intranets, webmail providers, etc. Read the rest

How browser extensions steal logins & browsing habits; conduct corporate espionage

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Seemingly harmless browser extensions that generate emojis, enlarge thumbnails, help you debug Javascript errors and other common utilities routinely run secret background processes that collect and retransmit your login credentials, private URLs that grant access to sensitive files, corporate secrets, full PDFs and other personally identifying, potentially compromising data. Read the rest

Yahoo blocks some users from accessing email until they turn off ad-blocking

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The company says it's not policy to do this -- yet -- but they're testing locking Yahoo Mail users out of their accounts unless they turn off ad-blocking. Read the rest

Seriously, try "view source" on google.com

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This week's XKCD has a hell of an Easter Egg, and it's not even in the tooltip. Read the rest

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