"ron wyden"

Wyden's "Mind Your Own Business Act" would force online services to respect Do Not Track

Do Not Track was a standardized way for browsers to tell services that their owners did not consent to having their activities and usage logged; however, it was subverted by Big Tech and big media companies and turned into a useless tick-box that had virtually no impact on your privacy. Read the rest

IRS admits it audits poor people because auditing rich people is too expensive

Nine years ago, Republican lawmakers gutted the IRS's budget, but didn't relax its requirement to conduct random audits: in response, the IRS has shifted its focus from auditing rich people (who can afford fancy accountants to use dirty tricks to avoid paying taxes) to auditing poor people (who can't afford professional help and might make minor mistakes filling in the highly technical and complex tax forms), until today, an IRS audit is just as likely to target low-income earner whose meager pay entitles them to a tax credit is as it is to target a filer from the top one percent of US earners. Read the rest

All your NRAs belong to Russia says new Senate report

Another report out of the US Senate declares the National Rifle Association acted as a Russian asset in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections.

NPR:

The National Rifle Association acted as a "foreign asset" for Russia in the period leading up to the 2016 election, according to a new investigation unveiled Friday by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Drawing on contemporaneous emails and private interviews, an 18-month probe by the Senate Finance Committee's Democratic staff found that the NRA underwrote political access for Russian nationals Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin more than previously known — even though the two had declared their ties to the Kremlin.

The report is available here.

Read the rest

Senate Intel releases report on Russian interference in 2016 election

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the first volume of its bipartisan investigation report on Russia. This volume of the report deals with election security. Read the rest

Zuckerberg claims lack of U.S. action on 2016 Russian election interference inspired Iran and others

Looks like Facebook has decided that going on the offensive is better when it comes to government regulation. Read the rest

Hackers stole a US Customs and Border Patrol facial recognition database

Data from facial recognition scans performed by US Customs and Border Patrol on travelers crossing at an unnamed lander border point (an anonymous source says it's a US-Canada crossing) have been stolen by hacker or hackers unknown. Read the rest

NSA domestic surveillance debate returns to Congress with 'Ending Mass Collection of Americans’ Phone Records Act'

“It’s time, finally, to put a stake in the heart of this unnecessary government surveillance program and start to restore some of Americans’ liberties,” Wyden said in a statement.

Wyden to Trump: End NSA domestic phone spying program permanently.

The National Security Agency is reportedly considering ending the mass surveillance program that gathered data about hundreds of millions of telephone call records each year, including ones by Americans. Read the rest

Google says it won't remove Saudi government app that lets men track and monitor their wives and domestic employees

Absher is a kind of Saudi equivalent to China's Weibo, an all-in-one service that manages payments, interaction with government services, and, key to the Saudi system of sadistic, totalitarian medieval patriarchy, it lets men track the whereabouts of their wives, daughters, and employees, sending alerts to "guardians" when women use their passports. Read the rest

Ios and Android app stores both host Saudi government app that lets men track their spouses' movements

Senator Ron Wyden has publicly denounced both Apple and Google for hosting mobile apps that connect to Absher, a Saudi government service designed to allow Saudi men to track their spouses and employees' whereabouts at all times. Read the rest

Analyst: Apple's poor earnings will recover now they've switched from innovating to rent-seeking

Apple just had a really poor Q3 earnings report, with hardware sales falling off as people figure out that they just don't need to get a new phone every year or so; writing in Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky tries to soothe investors by pointing out that Apple is still seeing growth in "services" and that there's plenty more growth to be realized there. Read the rest

Senator Wyden proposes 20 prison sentences for CEOs who lie about data collection and protection

Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] (previously) has introduced the Consumer Data Protection Act, which extends personal criminal liability to the CEOs of companies worth more than $1B or who hold data on more than 50,000,000 people who knowingly mislead the FTC in a newly mandated system of annual reports on the steps the company has taken to secure the data. Read the rest

Sen. Wyden confirms that police Stingray cellphone surveillance gadgets disrupt emergency services

Cops use Stingrays—fake cellular towers that fool cellphones into connecting to them instead of the real thing—to track people and hack into their devices. Sen. Ron Wyden, in a publicized letter to the U.S. Department of Jusice, exposes the fact that these devices disrupt and disable attempts to call emergency services.

Senior officials from the Harris Corporation—the manufacturer of the cell-site simulators used most frequently by U.S. law enforcement agencies—have confirmed to my office that Harris’ cell-site simulators completely disrupt the communications of targeted phones for as long as the surveillance is ongoing. According to Harris, targeted phones cannot make or receive calls, send or receive text messages, or send or receive any data over the Internet. Moreover, while the company claims its cell-site simulators include a feature that detects and permits the delivery of emergency calls to 9-1-1, its officials admitted to my office that this feature has not been independently tested as part of the Federal Communication Commission’s certification process, nor were they able to confirm this feature is capable of detecting and passing-through 9-1-1 emergency communications made by people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled using Real-Time Text technology.

The EFF:

It is striking, but unfortunately not surprising, that law enforcement has been allowed to use these technologies and has continued to use them despite the significant and undisclosed risk to public safety posed by disabling 911 service, not to mention the myriad privacy concerns related to CSS use.

It's a cliché, but it's true: the cops are out of control. Read the rest

Here's the report that showed the FCC lied about being hacked and then lied about lying

Yesterday, the FCC published an admission that it had lied about a supposed hack-attack that it blamed for the collapse of its public comments portal that led to the agency eventually shutting down public comment and announcing that it would give equal weight to obviously forged anti-Net Neutrality comments and the pro-Neutrality comments it received. Read the rest

Leading voting machine company admits it lied, reveals that its voting machines ship backdoored, with pre-installed remote access software

Election Systems and Software is America's leading voting machine vendor, a category notorious for buggy, insecure software and rampant manufacturer misconduct. As the 2018 elections loom, voting machine companies are coming under scrutiny, and when veteran security reporter Kim Zetter asked them, on behalf of the New York Times, if their products shipped with backdoors allowing remote parties to access and alter them over the internet, they told her unequivocally that they did not engage in this practice. Read the rest

Governments all over the world buy spy products that let them track and eavesdrop on global cellphones, especially US phones

Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] has sent a letter to the DHS with his view that "nefarious actors may have exploited" the cellular phone system "to target the communications of American citizens." Read the rest

The CIA is psyopsing America to help torturer Gina Haspel get the job of CIA boss

Gina Haspel is the evidence-destroying torturer whose Senate confirmation hearings for CIA chief were so frightening to her that she tried to bow out of them (she went, and bullshitted her way through). Read the rest

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