Report from the prison-industrial complex's leading trade show

The Guardian's Rupert Neate attended the 35th annual American Jail Association conference in Austin, and came back with a report on the way that the contractors for America's carceral state talk about their business when they're among themselves. Read the rest

Algorithmic guilt: using secret algorithms to kick people off welfare

A wrenching and beautifully argued essay by Virginia Eubanks describes the inevitable consequences of letting secret, unaccountable algorithms decide who is eligible for welfare. Read the rest

TSA trained Disney World's plainclothes in its voodoo "terrorism detection" methods

SPOT, the TSA's billion dollar "behavioral detection" mind-reading program, is now apparently in use at Walt Disney World, Seaworld and other Florida attractions. Read the rest

Bruce Schneier's Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

No one explains security, privacy, crypto and safety better.

NSA uses Google's tracking cookies to target and "exploit" their subjects

A new set of leaked NSA slides from the Snowden trove was published in the Washington Post today, detailing NSA/GCHQ's use of Web cookies (including Google's PREF cookie) to uniquely identify people as they move around the Web, in order to target them and compromise them.

They also report on an NSA program called HAPPYFOOT that uses mobile phones to do very fine-grained tracking of targets.

Ed Felten, an eminent computer scientist and security researcher, has written a lengthy comment on the disclosures, exploring the different options companies have if they want to safeguard their tracking cookies from being hijacked by the NSA. His primary recommendation is that these cookies should only be sent over SSL. Read the rest