Monthly Archives: February 2014

Snowden files: GCHQ NSA collecting webcam user data

British spy agency GCHQ intercepted webcam images from millions of Yahoo users around the world, according to a report in the Guardian. Yahoo denied prior knowledge of the alleged programme, describing it as a “completely unacceptable” privacy violation. According to leaked documents, sexually explicit images were among those gathered – although not intentionally. The […]

Android phone joins Apple in adding biometric scanner

The next iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone range will feature biometric security, the company has announced. In a similar way to Apple’s iPhone 5, the main button on the front of the device doubles as a fingerprint scanner used to unlock the device. Security has been a major theme at Mobile World Congress in […]

CA police chief and officers illegally sold impounded vehicles

The acting police chief and two officers in a rural California town have been removed from duty after being arrested and accused of selling vehicles seized from poor residents. After a six-month inquiry, Monterey County officials also arrested an ex-King City police chief in the scheme. The officers sold or gave away vehicles seized […]

Swiss investment bank conceals 12 billion to avoid US taxes

Credit Suisse “helped its US customers conceal their Swiss accounts” and avoid billions of dollars in American taxes, a report has alleged. It claims the bank opened Swiss accounts for more than 22,000 US customers, with assets totalling $12bn (£7.2bn) at their peak. The report alleges bankers helped clients create offshore shell entities and […]

US Supreme Court says protester can’t use protest area

The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled against an antiwar protester who was convicted of breaking federal law by entering an area set aside for protests near the main entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base.   The court’s opinion, by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., involved the interpretation of a federal law that […]

US and Canadian fertilizer use causes dangerous algae bloom

A United States-Canadian agency called on Wednesday for swift and sweeping limits on the use of fertilizer around Lake Erie to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the water and creating a vast blanket of algae each summer, threatening fisheries, tourism and even drinking water. In a report on the algae problem, the agency, […]

Venezuelan intelligence implicated in protest deaths

Seven members of the intelligence service have been charged with murder in the shooting deaths of a demonstrator and a government supporter after a major protest march in Venezuela. The announcement of the charges appeared to contrast with repeated claims by top government officials that the political opposition was responsible for violence accompanying a […]

FCC wants cellphone service providers to reveal user locations

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing rules on Thursday that would require wireless phone companies to transmit specific location information for 911 calls, down to the longitude and latitude on a floor in a multistory building. “The commission has tentatively proposed unrealistic targets for location accuracy indoors,” AT&T said in a statement. A report […]

New World Order internet lie detector to be Truth Police

A lie detector for social media is being built to try to verify online rumours. The system will analyse, in real time, whether a posting online is true. It will also identify whether social media accounts have been created just to spread false information. The project grew from research based on the use of […]

Google’s Android smartphones to 3D map user’s surroundings

Google has unveiled a prototype smartphone with “customised hardware and software” that enables it to create 3D maps of a user’s surroundings. The device’s sensors allow it make over 250,000 3D measurements every second and update its position in real-time. Google said potential applications may include indoor mapping, helping the visually-impaired navigate unfamiliar indoor […]

Linksys and Asus router backdoors become apparent

Serious security failings in home routers are getting more attention from researchers. In recent weeks, attacks have been mounted on Linksys and Asus routers via loopholes that thieves could exploit. In Poland, reports suggest one gang has successfully adjusted router settings in a bid to steal cash. A separate study found many of the […]

Venezuela threatens to expel CNN for propaganda

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to expel the US news network CNN from the country over its reporting of recent protests there. Mr Maduro said he would take action if CNN did not “rectify its coverage”. Earlier, Mr Maduro said he was sending troops to the western state of Tachira, where there has […]

US operatives die on ship made famous in film Captain Phillips

Two former Navy SEAL members who had been hired to protect the container ship that was attacked by Somali pirates in 2009 — an episode that became the basis of the Oscar-nominated film “Captain Phillips” — were found dead while the ship, the Maersk Alabama, was docked in the Seychelles, officials said Thursday. The […]

Colorado and the nation salivate over marijuana tax dollars

In Colorado, where recreational sales began on Jan. 1 with hourlong waits, a budget proposal from Gov. John W. Hickenlooper estimated that the state’s marijuana industry could reach $1 billion in sales in the next fiscal year, with recreational sales making up about $610 million of that business. “It’s well on its way to […]

100 tons of radioactive water leaks from tanks at Fukushima

About 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one of the hundreds of storage tanks at the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said on Thursday, calling it the worst spill at the plant in six months. The operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the leak, discovered on Wednesday and stopped on […]

Brazilian police state kills five citizens every day

In Brazil, police officers kill an average of five people every day. 351 in São Paulo, 20 percent of all homicides in the city. In 2012 1,890 Brazilians were killed by the police, according to a security report from the Brazilian Forum on Public Security. A Brazilian Forum on Public Security report found that 70 […]

T-shirt maker and consumer advocacy group face down NSA

Dan McCall, operator of the website Liberty Maniacs, uses the National Security Agency seal on T-shirts and mugs that say “Spying on you since 1952” and “The only part of government that actually listens.” He also sells merchandise with a “Department of Homeland Stupidity” logo. The N.S.A. took umbrage at these parodies and informed the […]

Snowden Files: NSA aids corporations in industrial espionage

The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers. A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm […]

Google Plus tracks users across Google internet services

Google Plus is central to Google’s future — a lens that allows the company to peer more broadly into people’s digital life, and to gather an ever-richer trove of the personal information that advertisers covet. Some analysts even say that Google understands more about people’s social activity than Facebook does. The reason is that […]

Piers Morgan connected to phone hacking scandal in UK

CNN host Piers Morgan has been interviewed by British police investigating suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails. The Metropolitan Police said that a 48-year-old journalist was “interviewed under caution”  by officers investigating phone hacking. No arrest was made. The Metropolitan Police is linking the questioning to a specific inquiry into phone hacking at Mirror […]