Oct 182011
 

Yet another reason to choose a Facebook photo that’s hotter than you really are.

With Carnegie Mellon’s cloud-centric new mobile app, the process of matching a casual snapshot with a person’s online identity takes less than a minute. Tools like PittPatt and other cloud-based facial recognition services rely on finding publicly available pictures of you online, whether it’s a profile image for social networks like Facebook and Google Plus or from something more official from a company website or a college athletic portrait. In their most recent round of facial recognition studies, researchers at Carnegie Mellon were able to not only match unidentified profile photos from a dating website (where the vast majority of users operate pseudonymously) with positively identified Facebook photos, but also match pedestrians on a North American college campus with their online identities. … ‘[C]onceptually, the goal of Experiment 3 was to show that it is possible to start from an anonymous face in the street, and end up with very sensitive information about that person, in a process of data “accretion.” In the context of our experiment, it is this blending of online and offline data — made possible by the convergence of face recognition, social networks, data mining, and cloud computing — that we refer to as augmented reality.’ http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/09/30/1422217/Cloud-Powered-Facial-Recognition-Is-Terrifying

But then again, who really pays attention to dry academic studies? The FBI, for one.

“The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov. The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI’s existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.” http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/07/2342240/FBI-Plans-Nationwide-Face-Recognition-Trials-In-2012

Sep 202011
 

Flickr FTW; Facebook WTF.

The Flickr circles you draw on your map are refreshingly intuitive.

Flickr, the granddaddy of online photo sharing, has introduced some refreshingly simple privacy controls designed to limit who can see where your photos were taken. Facebook, please start your photocopiers.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/KZ2MRAa0E7E/

Sadly, Facebook seems to have botched its approach to privacy yet again.

Blogger Dan Tynan was one of the recipients of the new privacy controls that Facebook promised last week. The bad news: They still don’t work, and may even be worse than before. ‘Using Facebook’s new improved privacy controls, you can tag someone else in photo and then keep them from seeing it,’ says Tynan. ‘It’s pretty simple; just change the sharing option so they don’t see what you posted. So if you want to tag a picture of some jerk with your friend’s name on it and make it Public, everyone on Facebook will be able to see it except one — the person whose name is on it.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/29/1644259/Facebooks-New-Privacy-Controls-Still-Broken

Sep 112011
 

Governments and vigilantes are using Facebook and other social media to identify and jail protesters–even if they never left their keyboards.

A Chat With Zavilia, a Tool For Identifying Rioters

“Social media isn’t just great for starting ‘social unrest,’ it’s proving to be quite helpful for quashing it too. Not long after the bricks began to fly in London’s latest kerfuffle, locals angry over raging mobs scrambled to assist the police in their attempt to identify street-fighters and free-for-all hooligans … Now with more than 1,000 people charged over the chaos, a few citizen groups continue to provide web-based rioter identification platforms, in hopes of being good subjects, maintaining the country’s pursuit of order, and keeping their neighborhoods safe.”

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/08/19/0248220/A-Chat-With-Zavilia-a-Tool-For-Identifying-Rioters

In Britain, a Meeting on Limiting Social Media

Government officials and representatives of Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry met to discuss voluntary ways to limit or restrict the use of social media to combat crime and periods of civil unrest.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=bc98f459d24fe76a1cb358676020620b

UK Men Get 4 Years For Trying to Incite Riots Via Facebook

“In addition to the 12 arrests from last week, a judge has sentenced 20-year-old Jordan Blackshaw and 22-year-old Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan to four years in prison for their failed attempts to use Facebook to incite riots in the UK. The judge said he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent. The two men were convicted for using Facebook to encourage violent disorder in their hometowns in northwest England.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/18/0224214/UK-Men-Get-4-Years-For-Trying-to-Incite-Riots-Via-Facebook

Slashdot / Soulskill nonprofiteer writes “A bunch of vigilantes are organizing a Google Group dedicated to using recently revealed facial recognition tools to identify looters in the London riots. While Vancouver discussed doing something similar after the Stanley Cup riots, the city never actually moved forward on it. Ring of Steel London, though, is far more likely to incorporate FRT into its investigative work.” A related article points out how development of face-recognition technology has been kept under wraps by some organizations, but we’re getting to the point where it’ll soon be ubiquitous.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/10/062225/The-London-Riots-and-Facial-Recognition-Technology

When police and vigilantes fail, there’s always PayPal.

PayPal Joins London Police Effort

“PayPal has joined a music copyright association and the City of London police department’s bid to financially starve websites deemed ‘illegal.’ When presented with sufficient evidence of unlicensed downloading from a site, the United Kingdom’s PayPal branch ‘will require the retailer to submit proof of licensing for the music offered by the retailer,’ said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s latest press release.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/22/2345217/PayPal-Joins-London-Police-Effort

Meanwhile, Egyptian activists are getting in trouble for what they post on Facebook.

Egyptian Charged For Threatening Facebook Post

“The Egyptian Military Prosecution has charged 26-year-old activist and blogger Asmaa Mahfouz for allegedly defaming the country’s ruling generals and calling for armed operations against the military and the judiciary. Mahfouz, a prominent activist, was accused of using Facebook to call for the assassinations of Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) members and certain judges.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/15/0156222/Egyptian-Charged-For-Threatening-Facebook-Post

Mar 052011
 

Over the past month, new media scholars have spilled a lot of digital ink arguing whether the Internet actually fostered the 2011 revolution in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Middle East countries–or whether it simply created a dependency that governments can shut down to stymie protesters. Here’s a “Middle East Internet Scorecard” showing where and when governments have cut off their citizens’ access to the net. 

How hard would it be for, say, President Beck to shut down Google, Facebook, and the like in the US of A? Read this Middle East censorship roundup to find out what Egyptians, Libyans, and the rest of us can do to safeguard access to a global electronic network.

Continue reading »

Feb 142011
 

Italian net artists Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico scrape 250,000 Facebook profiles to create a social network you can search by looks.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/HxiiTzDPpSQ/ via Byline A new online dating site debuted this week, with ready-made profiles for an unwitting quarter million Facebook users. Facebook’s not amused with the scraping, but the site’s founders say it’s just art intended to expose data usage in the age of social networking…. Moreover, it’s a bit funny hearing Facebook complain about scraping of personal data that is quasi-public….

[Ironically,] Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder, made his name at Harvard in 2003 by scraping the names and photos of fellow classmates off school servers to feed a system called FaceMash. With the photos, Zuckerberg created a controversial system that pitted one co-ed against another, by allowing others to vote on which one was better looking.

Invasion of privacy? Maybe for net artists, but evidently not for lawyers trying to pin something on you in court.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/02/02/1525203/Facebook-Private-Info-Increasingly-Used-In-Court?from=rss “Making the content of your Facebook account private can thwart the social network’s plan to share as much information possible with advertisers, but may not keep out lawyers looking for material that will contradict your statements in a court of law. US lawyers have been trying to gain the permission to access the private parts of social network accounts for a while now, but it seems that only lately they have begun to be successful in their attempts. And this turn of events is another perfectly good reason to think twice about what you post online.”

Feb 012011
 

In January Facebook staff realized that the Tunisian government had installed software that tracked its citizens in unconscionable ways. Fortunately Facebook has now repaired that glaring security hole, and returned to its usual routine of tracking its own users in unconscionable ways. Like putting your face on Starbucks ads without your permission.

Continue reading »

Jan 212011
 

Just when you thought it was safe to use a Mac. Well, I guess it’s still pretty safe if you don’t click on that suspicious Facebook link.

Java: write once, spam everywhere.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/19/mac_linux_bot_vulnerabilities/

(via Bruce Sterling)

“The bot was discovered spreading over Facebook posts that planted the following message on infected users’ Facebook pages: “As you are on my friends list I thought I would let you know I have decided to end my life.” An included link leads recipients to a cross-platform JAR, or Java Archive file that can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Once the recipient is infected, his Facebook page carries the same dire warning.”

“Known as Trojan.Jnanabot, or alternately as OSX/Koobface.A or trojan.osx.boonana.a, the bot made waves in October when researchers discovered its Java-based makeup allowed it to attack Mac and Linux machines, not just Windows PCs as is the case with most malware. Once installed, the trojan components are stored in an invisible folder and use strong encryption to keep communications private.

“The bot can force its host to take instructions through internet relay chat, perform DDoS attacks, and post fraudulent messages to the victim’s Facebook account, among other things….”

Jan 062011
 

Your parents probably are more likely to talk nice about family, while you’re probably more likely to cuss about music or sex. And that’s why you’re more likely to be popular on Facebook, according to one read of Facebook’s recent statistical correlation of user comments and number of friends.

Continue reading »

Oct 102010
 

New in the “They Can Do That?” Department: Your Facebook friends can add you to groups without your approval, and the only way to make sure that never happens is to *have no friends*. Oh, and the FBI can bug your car without a warrant. While it’s in your driveway.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/10/08/1358232/Lighthearted-Facebook-Friends-Could-Make-You-Join-NAMBLA-Group?from=rss via Byline mykos writes “The Facebook groups feature is causing bit of a stir with its users. TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington was allegedly added to a group about NAMBLA, and in turn, he added Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It’s all in good (albeit tasteless) fun, except when a harmless joke goes awry and you find yourself being detained by customs when a friend decided to drag you into a mock terrorist group. Facebook representatives are aware of the matter, but are dismissive of it. A Facebook spokeswoman said, ‘If you have a friend that is adding you to Groups you do not want to belong to, or they are behaving in a way that bothers you, you can tell them to stop doing it, block them or remove them as a friend — and they will no longer EVER have the ability to add you to any Group.’ In somewhat related news, guillotines ensure you won’t have dandruff on your shoulders anymore.”

Did I mention the guy with his car bugged was a college student? The FBI was pretty keen to get it back, too.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/10/08/1413240/College-Student-Finds-GPS-On-Car-FBI-Retrieve?from=rss via Byline mngdih writes with this excerpt from Wired: “A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do. It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back … His discovery comes in the wake of a recent ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals saying it’s legal for law enforcement to secretly place a tracking device on a suspect’s car without getting a warrant, even if the car is parked in a private driveway. … ‘We have all the information we needed,’ they told him. ‘You don’t need to call your lawyer. Don’t worry, you’re boring.’”

Sep 022010
 

So in the 1950s you could buy real products (air rifles) advertised alongside imaginary entertainments (comic book stories). But now you can buy imaginary entertainments (Farmville credits) advertised alongside real products (at Target). My brain hurts!

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/02/031223/Target-To-Sell-Facebook-Credits-As-Gift-Cards?from=rss via Byline Julie188 writes “Target will begin selling Facebook’s virtual currency as gift cards on September 5, becoming the first brick-and-mortar retailer to do so. Facebook Credit gift cards will be available in $15, $25 and $50 denominations at the retailer’s 1,750 stores. That’s right, you can now spend real dollars to get fake ones so you can buy imaginary items for games like FarmVille, Bejeweled and 150 other FB games or apps. If that interests you, please contact me. I have some swamp land in Florida I’d like to show you.”

May 182010
 

Facebook Logo Upside Down thuPeople are hungry for a privacy-respecting social network. So hungry that four college kids announce they are going to make an open version of Facebook, and pocket $100,000 in donations in the first two weeks.

Read on to find out why so many are steamed up about Facebook and what they intend to do about it.

Continue reading »

Apr 152010
 

Bookmark this category

This Slashdot comment sums it up:

this is finally a thing that really made me thinking of just closing my Facebook account. Not just opt-out from the new features again and again, since they just seem to always be more and more privacy intrusive.

This doesn’t use any kind of login button but shares the data automatically to a website when you visit it, so they instantly know who you are along with other data. IP data is still anonymous enough (from the view point of website operator – they don’t know who you are without going through police with a valid reason), but now the third party website owners have your name and other details without you never giving them those.

And just wait until every website will start to require you to use this. A good path for throwing all the anonymous cowards off the net and to get everyone comment and visit websites under their real name.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/6isJsO8s7FY/Facebooks-Plan-To-Automatically-Share-Your-Data

Apr 152010
 

This Slashdot comment sums it up:

this is finally a thing that really made me thinking of just closing my Facebook account. Not just opt-out from the new features again and again, since they just seem to always be more and more privacy intrusive.

This doesn’t use any kind of login button but shares the data automatically to a website when you visit it, so they instantly know who you are along with other data. IP data is still anonymous enough (from the view point of website operator – they don’t know who you are without going through police with a valid reason), but now the third party website owners have your name and other details without you never giving them those.

And just wait until every website will start to require you to use this. A good path for throwing all the anonymous cowards off the net and to get everyone comment and visit websites under their real name.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/6isJsO8s7FY/Facebooks-Plan-To-Automatically-Share-Your-Data

Mar 092010
 

Facebook Founder Accused of Hacking Into Rivals’ Email Slashdot – kdawson Published Mar 7, 2010 8:28 PM

An anonymous reader notes a long piece up at BusinessInsider.com accusing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of hacking into the email accounts of rivals and journalists. The CEO of the world’s most successful social networking website was accused of at least two breaches of privacy. In a two-year investigation detailing the founding of Facebook, Nicholas Carlson, a senior editor at Silicon Alley Insider, uncovered what he claimed was evidence of the hackings in 2004. “New information uncovered by Silicon Alley Insider suggests that some of the complaints [in a court case ongong since 2007] against Mark Zuckerberg are valid. It also suggests that, on at least one occasion in 2004, Mark used private login data taken from Facebook’s servers to break into Facebook members’ private email accounts and read their emails — at best, a gross misuse of private information. Lastly, it suggests that Mark hacked into the competing company’s systems and changed some user information with the aim of making the site less useful. … Over the past two years, we have interviewed more than a dozen sources familiar with aspects of this story — including people involved in the founding year of the company. We have also reviewed what we believe to be some relevant IMs and emails from the period. Much of this information has never before been made public. None of it has been confirmed or authenticated by Mark or the company.” The single-page view doesn’t have its own URL; click on “View as one page” near the bottom.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/wOLWZBARD0w/Facebook-Founder-Accused-of-Hacking-Into-Rivals-Email

Mar 092010
 

Bookmark this category
Facebook Founder Accused of Hacking Into Rivals’ Email Slashdot – kdawson Published Mar 7, 2010 8:28 PM

An anonymous reader notes a long piece up at BusinessInsider.com accusing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of hacking into the email accounts of rivals and journalists. The CEO of the world’s most successful social networking website was accused of at least two breaches of privacy. In a two-year investigation detailing the founding of Facebook, Nicholas Carlson, a senior editor at Silicon Alley Insider, uncovered what he claimed was evidence of the hackings in 2004. “New information uncovered by Silicon Alley Insider suggests that some of the complaints [in a court case ongong since 2007] against Mark Zuckerberg are valid. It also suggests that, on at least one occasion in 2004, Mark used private login data taken from Facebook’s servers to break into Facebook members’ private email accounts and read their emails — at best, a gross misuse of private information. Lastly, it suggests that Mark hacked into the competing company’s systems and changed some user information with the aim of making the site less useful. … Over the past two years, we have interviewed more than a dozen sources familiar with aspects of this story — including people involved in the founding year of the company. We have also reviewed what we believe to be some relevant IMs and emails from the period. Much of this information has never before been made public. None of it has been confirmed or authenticated by Mark or the company.” The single-page view doesn’t have its own URL; click on “View as one page” near the bottom.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/wOLWZBARD0w/Facebook-Founder-Accused-of-Hacking-Into-Rivals-Email