Time to start looking over your shoulder a little bit more often, since the FBI has released a flyer warning employees of coffee shops and Internet cafes to be on the lookout for "suspicious" activities, including not showing random people your computer screen, surfing DIY websites and paying for things with money.
It's unfortunate that Internet regulation worldwide tends to be in the hands of people who know very little about the Internet and altogether too much about regulation. At the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, hackers have come up with a new idea: their very own space-based Internet service.
Google makes a quarter of its money by watching where you go and what you do on the Internet, and then serving you ads that it thinks you'll be interested in. Now, credit card companies want to do the same kind of thing, using all the information they have about you, and everything that you buy. Goodbye, privacy.
Watch out, Verizon just flipped a major privacy switch and it's not exactly anything to smile about. According to its new policy, Verizon will use data it collects to improve marketing reports and to provide more relevant ads to its customers. This is going to upset a lot of people.
A browser plugin called WhoIsLive is looking to make the experience of Web browsing a whole lot more social — adding live chat and more to sites that didn't have it previously. The idea is sound, and could be either awesome or awkward, depending on what site you're on. Here's how it works.
The music, movie, and newspaper industries have all stumbled under the weight of digital democratization, but in due time every institution we hold dear will be minced into unrecognizable puddles of archaic nostalgia goo. It's just a matter of when, not if. To that end, the global hive mind seems to already have its sights set on its next victim: filthy filthy lucre. In the not too distant future, one online enterprise aims to transform the entrenched concept of a "bank" into adorable grandpa babble. Two-year old virtual currency service BitCoin gives individuals the ability to remain anonymous with their financial transactions, thus sidestepping centralized authority (and regulation) altogether and upping the anarchic ante considerably. Following increased notoriety, the system is beginning to show some structural faults such as when hackers recently attacked a popular venue for exchanging bitcoins, thus plummeting their value dramatically (see more inside). However, if BitCoin is able to shake off its growing pains, this experiment in people power will either completely free humanity from its self-constructed shackles or entirely obliterate civilization as we know it. Either way, this is what's happening. Get ready for an exciting ride!
Even if you're not aware of it, your actions are being watched and recorded — everyone online is, in some fashion. For most of us, our online behavior is less of interest to Big Brother than it is to Big Madison Avenue. Still, it's kind of freaky. With that in mind, we present to you part one of our rough guide to remaining anonymous online by using free technology widely available to all. Aside from shielding behaviors from nosy marketers, the power to remain anonymous can be a matter of life, death, or jail time for a wide variety of groups such as human rights advocates and political dissidents all the way down to pirates and criminals — Anyone who exists outside the blessing of the authorities, with good reason or not. Anonymity is just a tool, one that helps protect Robin Hood as well as the common Sherwood ruffian. To put it another way: think of this guide like Yoda teaching Luke all manner of Jedi trickery. But in the end, which side of the Force you go to is entirely up to you. Choose well, young Skywalker.
Our time's pretty much all hogged up between Facebook and Twitter, but that isn't stopping ex-MySpace Music CTO Dmitry Shapiro from forming a new social network built around enhanced privacy controls for users — a problem Facebook always slams into with every new major update. The question is, is that enough for a switch?
Last week, it was discovered that iPhones have been secretly recording all location data and storing it on both phones and computers said phones have synced with, all without encryption. Someone emailed Steve Jobs asking what the deal was, and he denied it completely. Um, Steve?
Facebook is lighting the web on fire again with changes to its "Like" and "Share" buttons. In a move to make the Like button even more prominent and ubiquitous, Facebook will be ending development for the Share button, with the Like button taking over from here on out. So what's the fuss? Privacy and confusion.