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May 26, 2015 | Strategic Culture FoundationA recent release of Edward Snowden-provided classified PowerPoint presentation from the National Security Agency (NSA) provides a rather detailed description of how the FIVE EYES signals intelligence alliance of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand has conspired with the promoters of social media-based revolutions, such as the "Arab Spring", to bring about the collapse of democratically-elected or otherwise stable governments. However, the PowerPoint slides were partially redacted in key areas by the dubious censors of First Look Media, financed by e-Bay founder and multi-billionaire Pierre Omidyar.
The PowerPoint slides illustrate how, in November 2011, the NSA; Canada's Communications Security Establishment (CSE), now Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) of Australia, now the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD); New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB); and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) developed a method for not only monitoring but taking control of cell phone and social media networks used for socio-political uprisings.
The program, known as "Synergizing Network Analysis Tradecraft", was developed by the FIVE EYES's Network Tradecraft Advancement Team or "NTAT".
... ... ...
The slides show that among the countries where mobile application servers were targeted by the FIVE EYES were France, Cuba, Senegal, Morocco, Switzerland, Bahamas, and Russia. The information targeted by the Western signals intelligence partners included "geolocation and network ownership information for each IP address" that consisted of "network owner name, carrier name, ASN (advanced service network), continent, country, region, city, latitude and longitude, and any other related details". Not of interest to FIVE EYES were such applications as Google, mobile banking, and iTunes.
Mar 29, 2015 | Zero HedgeSubmitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.
The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.
And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic - a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors', and over time readers might avoid those sites.
- From the New York Times article: Facebook May Host News Sites' Content
Last week, I came across an incredibly important article from the New York Times, which described Facebook's plan to provide direct access to other websites' content in exchange for some sort of advertising partnership. The implications of this are so huge that at this point I have far more questions than answers.
Let's start with a few excerpts from the article:
With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.
Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them. Facebook has been trying to allay their fears, according to several of the people briefed on the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements.
Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.
Facebook has said publicly that it wants to make the experience of consuming content online more seamless. News articles on Facebook are currently linked to the publisher's own website, and open in a web browser, typically taking about eight seconds to load. Facebook thinks that this is too much time, especially on a mobile device, and that when it comes to catching the roving eyeballs of readers, milliseconds matter.
The Huffington Post and the business and economics website Quartz were also approached. Both also declined to discuss their involvement.
Facebook declined to comment on its specific discussions with publishers. But the company noted that it had provided features to help publishers get better traction on Facebook, including tools unveiled in December that let them target their articles to specific groups of Facebook users, such as young women living in New York who like to travel.
The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.
And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic - a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors', and over time readers might avoid those sites.
And just as Facebook has changed its news feed to automatically play videos hosted directly on the site, giving them an advantage compared with videos hosted on YouTube, it could change the feed to give priority to articles hosted directly on its site.
Let me try to address this the best I can from several different angles. First off, what's the big picture plan here? As the number two ranked website in the world with 1.4 billion users, Facebook itself is already something like an alternative internet where a disturbing number of individuals spend a disproportionate amount of their time. The only thing that seems to make many of its users click away is content hosted on other people's websites linked to from Facebook users. Other than this outside content, many FB users might never leave the site.
While this is scary to someone like me, to Facebook it is an abomination. The company doesn't want people to leave their site ever - for any reason. Hence the aggressive push to carry outside news content, and create a better positioned alternative web centrally controlled by it. This is a huge power play move.
Second, the New York Times righty asks the question concerning what will publishers get from Facebook for allowing their content to appear on the site seamlessly. Some sort of revenue share from advertisers seems to be an obvious angle, but perhaps there's more.
While Facebook isn't a huge traffic driver for Liberty Blitzkrieg, it isn't totally irrelevant either. For example, FB provided about 3% of the site's traffic over the past 12 months. This is despite the fact that LBK doesn't even have a Facebook page, and I've never shared a link through it. Even more impressive, Facebook drove more traffic to LBK over the same time period than Twitter, and I am very active on that platform. So I can only imagine how important FB is to website editors who actually use it.
This brings me to a key point about leverage. It seems to me that Facebook has all the leverage in negotiations with content providers. If you're a news website that refuses to join in this program, over time you might see your traffic evaporate compared to your competitors whose content will load seamlessly and be promoted by the FB algorithm. If a large percentage of your traffic is being generated by Facebook, can you really afford to lose this?
One thing that FB might be willing to offer publishers in return other than advertising dollars, is increased access to their fan base. For example, when I try to figure out through Google analytics who specifically (or what page) on Facebook is sharing my work, I can't easily do so. Clearly this information could prove very useful for networking purposes and could be quite valuable.
Looking for some additional insight and words of wisdom, I asked the smartest tech/internet person I know for his opinion. It was more optimistic than I thought:
This could be a huge shaper of news on the internet. or it could turn out to be nothing.
Other than saying that I don't really know how to predict what might or might not happen, and I sort of don't care much because it is in the realm (for now at least) of stuff that I don't read (mainstream news), on a site that I never see (Facebook). However, the one thing I wonder in terms of the viability of this is whether in the end it may drive people away from FB.
Back in the day, probably when you weren't so aware of the nascent net, there were two giant "services" on the Internet called Compuserve and America Online. They were each what you are thinking that Facebook is heading toward; exclusive, centralized portals to the whole net. They were also giant and successful at the time. Then people outside of them started doing things that were so much more creative and interesting. At the same time, in order to make everything fit inside their proprietary boxes and categories, they were making everything ever more standardized and boring. Then they just abruptly died.
Given the enormity of what Facebook is trying to achieve, I have some obvious concerns. First, since all of the leverage seems to reside with Facebook, I fear they are likely to get the better part of any deal by wide margin. Second, if they succeed in this push, this single company's ability to control access to news and what is trending and deemed important by a huge section of humanity will be extraordinary.balolaloI think this shows how desperate both parties are. The MSM is dying. Facebook has plateued. However the risk is great to both parties. What happens when users hijack the message? And how do they control feedback? I think this will shoot both of them in the foot in the end. BLOWBACK BITCHEZ.
Do you see any of your code on Facebook?
Did I use any of your code?
What? Match.com for Harvard guys?
You know, you really don't need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this.
If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook.
And honestly, the "goy" version of this, classmates.com, had been around for ages stinking up your spam folder. Thank God the MBAs didn't win this battle. They would have monetized it to death. And YOUR opinion has benefited. YOU have been given a voice.
The master plan is nothing new.
What happens when users hijack the message?
Yes, this is all about control of the 'message'. They are loosing control, this is one option they've chosen and they'll attempt to vilify any and all alternate sources.
This attack on RT is another skirmish in the war for your minds , http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/244401-media-eu-nato-us/ , maybe lesser known sites will just be disappeared.Who REALLY Controls The Mainstream Media?
Imagine FaceFuck controlling all the information delivered to the sheep on say ….hmmm, Russia for example.
"they" have lost control of the narrative. Can't even get a good game of cowboys and indians going anywhere in the world any longer.
When despite all their insane raving about him, even Putin comes off looking more of a statesman than anybody in the West, its obvious the stories no longer hold together into a believable storyI'm gonna twitter this shit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBCUCJNWimoPaveway IV"...With 1.4 billion users..."
Yeah, and I account for a dozen of those. I can't remember the username or password or email account that I made up the last time I was forced to use it so I just make up another one. Which I promptly forget again because I never use it.
When you hear your teenage kids say, "Facebook?? Facebook SUCKS" you know it's over for them.
MSM want's to funnel their feces through FB? Hey - I'm all for it. More power to them. I would rather have ALL the knuckle-draggers self-confined to their own little cage somewhere on the periphery of the internet than wandering around loose and showing up on worthwhile sites. Like I would ever even bother to make up yet another fake account on Facebook to read somethign like the NYT, WSJ, WaPo, Bussiness Insider, etc., etc., etc.
This sounds exactly like America Online back in the 90s. They tried to create their own self-contained Internet, too. It didn't exactly end well.
Half the people I know already ditched FB for Instagram. The other half were smart enough never to join FB..
October 1, 2014 | nixCraft
in Open Source, Security
Nowadays, privacy does not hold much value when it comes to the privacy of our data on our digital devices or on the internet. In the past few weeks, we learned that everyone who tries to maintain privacy on the net is under suspicion which is all the more reason to try to keep our data, contacts, communications, and whereabouts on the internet anonymous and hidden from prying eyes as much as possible. This holds true even more for people that are more exposed like human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and even doctors. Some of the distributions that try to assist us with this build on the Tor network.
One of these distributions is Tails, based on Debian Testing. It had a formidable boost when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed, that he used Tails to stay anonymous. The latest release is Tails 1.1 which was released on July 22. We are going to show you how to set it up on a device like a USB memory stick or a SD card. The term 'installing' is used by the Tails project in this context, but technically this is only partially correct. The easiest way of using Tails is to just copy the bootable image to the device using the linux command dd as opposed to real installations to USB devices. If you want a read-only device for anonymously surfing the internet, that will suffice. If you need a setup that you can also write to and save your work on, the setup is a little bit more complicated, as the Tails installer only works from inside Tails.
We will test both ways of 'installing' Tails.
March 26, 2015 | The GuardianThe European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from US security services, finding that current Safe Harbour legislation does not protect citizen's data.
The comments were made by EC attorney Bernhard Schima in a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, looking at whether the data of EU citizens should be considered safe if sent to the US in a post-Snowden revelation landscape.
"You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one," Schima told attorney general Yves Bot in a hearing of the case at the European court of justice in Luxembourg.
... ... ...
Schrems maintains that companies operating inside the EU should not be allowed to transfer data to the US under Safe Harbour protections – which state that US data protection rules are adequate if information is passed by companies on a "self-certify" basis – because the US no longer qualifies for such a status.
The case argues that the US government's Prism data collection programme, revealed by Edward Snowden in the NSA files, which sees EU citizens' data held by US companies passed on to US intelligence agencies, breaches the EU's Data Protection Directive "adequacy" standard for privacy protection, meaning that the Safe Harbour framework no longer applies.
Poland and a few other member states as well as advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland joined Schrems in arguing that the Safe Harbour framework cannot ensure the protection of EU citizens' data and therefore is in violation of the two articles of the Data Protection Directive.
... ... ...
Facebook declined to comment.
techcafe CompleteBullShit 27 Mar 2015 21:16
read this: NSA poised to control the internet, by Julian Assange, 1996
techcafe, 7 Mar 2015 21:08
The European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from US security services…
unfortunately, facebook only allows you to 'deactivate' your account-but not delete it. in other words, with farcebook, you may check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
i 'deactivated' my facebook account a few years ago, and asked to have my account permanently removed, but facebook won't even respond to my repeated requests.
Loquito 27 Mar 2015 20:16
Facebook is the ultimate expression of the infantile, shallow and narcissistic approach a lot of people take to their lives nowadays. People who like to be watched and spied. People who thoroughly enjoy being stupid.
Raytrek 27 Mar 2015 19:53
I want to be spied on, the spies may learn a thing or two.
Joseph Jessup 27 Mar 2015 19:48
The EU is just a vassal for the US anyway, not sure why everybody is complaining here. The EU is pretty much controlled by the US in all aspects. "If the US says Bark, roll over", the EU does it faithfully, and demonstrates it daily in every sphere of foreign and domestic policy.
EU citizens have no right to complain until they start showing a little pride and independence, because now, it is is just a marionette.
CaptCrash -> BlancoDiabloMagico 27 Mar 2015 19:36
Oh... I filled in a form to close the account, with a reason of "duplicate account". Gone within 48 hours I think.
Zooni_Bubba 27 Mar 2015 19:16
This is the most of course story ever. The US government is breaking all sorts of laws, why would anyone put their information under in their domain. People should also not use any US based software products or email servers.
It is illegal to look through someones mail and therefore should be illegal to look through email, phone records, cookies etc.
GiovannidiPietro0714 27 Mar 2015 19:09
Leave Facebook . . .
more like leave planet earth, right?
That "Collect it All", "Process it All", "Exploit it All", "Partner it All", "Sniff it All" (tm) mindset, which by the way was started by U.S. IT companies, won't ever be abandoned by "freedom-loving" politicians and police.
... ... ....
Scott Gordon Scott Gordon 27 Mar 2015 17:39
Scott Gordon 27 Mar 2015 17:36
there is a story from a few years ago stating a cia agent helped fund facebook
ChristopherPrice Bob Howie 27 Mar 2015 16:23
There's a difference between secrecy and privacy. Having "nothing to hide" is good (which means you are likely a non-secretive, law abiding citizen), and it goes under the category of being transparent with regards to the rule of law. However, your ethical right to privacy is an entirely different discussion. Would you mind if the gov authorities placed a camera inside of your home and took pictures of your unclothed wife?
robertthebruce2014 27 Mar 2015 13:56
The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and useful instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organisation of production is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.
State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management
(Benito Mussolini, 1935, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, pp. 135 / 136)
egbertnosausage -> SusanTorveldtt 27 Mar 2015 13:51
You're being spied upon all the time.
Turn off location services and use on an as needed basis then turn off again.
You're phone is a walking microphone telling companies like Google where you go and who you meet.
Dunnyveg 27 Mar 2015 12:50
Europeans should be just as concerned with keeping their private information away from EU authorities. Both Washington and Brussels are controlled by the same liberals who have declared war on their own citizens.
Alan Tasman 27 Mar 2015 12:20
I agree with this assessment 100%
Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users "dumb fucks" for trusting him with their data, published IM (Instant Message) transcripts show. Zuckerberg has since admitted he made the comments.
Zuckerberg was chatting with an unnamed friend, apparently in early 2004. Business Insider, which has a series of quite juicy anecdotes about Facebook's early days, takes the credit for this one.
The exchange apparently ran like this:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fucks
leveut2 27 Mar 2015 12:04
This is almost funny. More correctly put: "EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private".
Facebook's business plan is:
- get people to put as much as their personal information as possible on Facebook,
- figure out out to screw them over but good using that personal information, and
- screw them over but good.
By putting your information on Facebook you lose any right to complain about snooping by anyone.
uzzername 27 Mar 2015 10:48
Why don't the EU make Facebook put its server farms for European users within the territory of EU.
This way traffic from EU citizens won't leave its borders.
Kelly Trujillo 27 Mar 2015 10:48
So European nations have figured out that they don't want to be part of the U.S. nazification of the whole world. How long before the so called American "intellectual property" companies like Facebook become irrelevant?
BaffledFromBalham -> SirDemilo Brewer 27 Mar 2015 09:02
Who cares if FB is spying on you; if you don't have anything to hide what's the problem?
What if you do have something to hide? What if you were a member of some protest group in your student youth but now wanted to go on holiday to the US ... maybe you might want not want the US government to see all of your old posts of "down with this sort of thing" in case they got touchy and banned you from entering the country.
BaffledFromBalham -> Mike Kelligan 27 Mar 2015 08:52
just look at the contract and what it stipulates
It's not just what's in the contract; the NSA were using the data sent over the wire to by these apps.
BaffledFromBalham -> amberjack 27 Mar 2015 08:48
If the spooks can just suck your data out of the wires, it doesn't really matter which social network you're on.
Indeed, that's why GCHQ were tapping into the undersea internet cables. I guess the only defence then is https.
ID8246338 27 Mar 2015 08:40
One would have to be very stupid to think that any on-line communication is 'safe' or 'private' unless one takes specific steps.
Security has been a concern since the internet started to develop. From the beginning hackers were beavering away to find ways of accessing government systems - many of them very successfully. Many of them became employees of the governments who they were once hacking.
Combine this with the resources available to governments around the world nowadays and the cooperation of social media giants and other providers and its not hard to understand the risks one takes by using the internet.
Although we may think that we are doing nothing that the authorities would be interested in, the fact is that those authorities like data. They can analyse it and do all kinds of projections and discover trends in society which may be a threat to their power. That is the reason - not as much of that analysis is related to crime as they say it is.
Its common sense not to put anything on the internet you do not want others to see - no matter how private you think it is.
Wharfat9 27 Mar 2015 08:05
The idea of spying, snooping, entering into ... is rather against the idea of ´private´. Of course, if a phenotype puts a photo of self, 3/4´s naked, and then starts to blab his/her intimacies ... considering the platform, he/she has somewhat unlatched the locks, cut the barbed wire and otherwise ´invited the world on in.´
We are, aren´t we? .. pretty exhibitionist creatures.
Where we want to ´be seen´ ´heard´ ... offers the silly putty of our little ego´s up for those who want to snoop.
The people at Bluffdale, NSA, FBI, CIA have never had it so good. The kind of data collection they get as freebie, swooping it up by the ton - from willing bedmates throughout the social networks - is the kind of data collection they could only have dreamed of .. if Hoxha could have had this, Albania might be poised to take on the world!
What happens if there comes a day when we just simply turn these things off? What would be gained? What would be lost? The ´puter .. as someone in the U.S. said to me, "can´t live with ´em, can´t live without ´em." Is that really the way it is?
There is lingering curiosity, too: why in the world do governments want to snoop so badly? Beyond simple, grade ´b´ perversity, what is it? The United States, my country, has had as close to zero-success in snooping as has any country in the world, free, unfree, or oblong.
What´s the deal?
.. millions of bucks, snooping .. failure after failure .. what´s the deal?
Everything that could have gone wrong vis-a-vis terrorism, has.
Maybe U.S. officials want to talk about the ´ones they thwarted.´
"Oh, if only you knew!"
.. that, children, would require a leap of faith that he who writes here is not willing to take-make.
Reading the great Malinowski, his investigation of the Trobriand Islanders, one notes a complete, integral society, at work, at play, celebrating, mourning, living. Less than a hundred years ago. The stunning clarity of his writing portrays an integral society. If the society is whole, the community - as sub-strata, is whole, as well. Or, at least, can be ...
One can´t get over the fact that the ones who took the flying lessons before whacking the WTC´s (if this is really how it went) went into small town ´flying schools´ .. being very foreign, and .. ? .. ! .. and, the terrible serial killer who lived next door, ´was such a quiet boy.´
If we have lost it, the integrity, the integral part .. the rest is left-overs, bits ´n pieces, bacon bits, halal. And spying is the least of us. Lord help us.
david wright 27 Mar 2015 05:33
The 'right to be forgotten' legislation, however well-mening, was drafted in fairly complete ignorance of various technical realities. It provides very litle - if any - meaningful protection, beyond a comforting illusion. Would you care to be protected in shipwreck by an illusory life-jacket? Thought not.
General point being that absent accurate, timely and clear technical briefing of lawyers and parliamentary draughters, such laws will be effective purely by chance.
Dave Butler 27 Mar 2015 05:05
As a UK citizen who is already spied on more than any other country in the world what can the Americans find out that GCHQ , the thousands of camera's and the tracking of my phone, plus following my fancy new bank cards purchases is not already in the public domain.
Of course if you have something worth hiding you may feel different......
dralion 27 Mar 2015 04:54
Never joined, it or any other of the anti social networks.
Still can't understand this need to spread its life all over the net to thousands of so called friends. Croaks (as opposed to tweets) are reliable news for many and decision are based on rumours, false information...
There is no need for any of this. People are no more than cattle for those companies, milked out of their money, their time, their liberty of thinking; drone consumers...
ID3547814 -> Khoryos 27 Mar 2015 04:51
Not even FB deleting your account removes everything, from that FB help page;
"Some of the things you do on Facebook aren't stored in your account. For example, a friend may still have messages from you even after you delete your account. That information remains after you delete your account."
This means some incriminating posts you may have made will be stored on your FB friends accounts. Better still, you'll need to get all your friends to make a request to delete their FB accounts too, and their friends as well. Ad infinitum until the only account still using FB is Mark Zuckerburg's.
Денис Панкратов -> Khoryos 27 Mar 2015 04:44
Unfortunately, this is not quite true. By these actions, you can close your page for users, but not for US intelligence. But if you do not intelligence agent, not a politician, not a businessman, but simply communicate on the network, no need to worry. Special services are not interested in you. By the way, not only the "Facebook" is watching you. It is actively engaged in "Google", almost all social networks, file sharing, porn sites and sites for storing files.
The principle is the same: you want to keep confidential information, do not spread it to the network.
amberjack -> BaffledFromBalham 27 Mar 2015 03:54
Would you really trust a social media site set up by a governing organisation? Surely it would be way too tempting for them to fit backdoors for EuroPol to log in and search through all data, public and private.
That could be addressed by using a free open-source product like Diaspora. If everyone can see the code, back doors are easily detected and publicised. And it's a distributed system, so if you're really paranoid, you can install it on your own server and operate it on a peer-to-peer (pod to pod, in Diaspora jargon) basis.
The drawback is, of course, that as sdkeller72 and others have pointed out, once the information is transmitted between different pods/countries, it becomes vulnerable to third parties. If the spooks can just suck your data out of the wires, it doesn't really matter which social network you're on.
If you just don't like Facebook using your private information to pump you full of ads, though, a distributed, democratic system like Diaspora is the way to go.
monostatos 27 Mar 2015 03:44
has anyone found a way to delete a FB account in the real sense of 'delete' and not just abandon. I couldnt find a definitive answer in the comments. The offcial procedure on FB has very little effect on your data.
Its probably best to assume that anything ever uploaded to FB will exist forever right?
Khoryos NoahDiff 27 Mar 2015 03:39
You can delete it, they just make it as hard as possible to find -
NoahDiff 27 Mar 2015 02:57
So the EU is urging people to close their Facebook accounts if they are concerned with possible privacy breaches. Sounds reasonable enough. I agree.
There's just one gotcha. Currently, it seems, there is NO way to actually close your Facebook account. You can deactivate it, but that doesn't actually delete it. All deactivating does is makes your account invisible; all your data is still there.
The closest you can get is to delete every last bit of data in your Facebook account -- and that means sitting there and deleting perhaps years worth of posts to your wall and the like, contacts, and any other services you have used on Facebook. The deactivate it and hope you and no one else trips over it in the future.
If there is anything the EU could demand, it would be to require that FB provide a means to truly delete an account. I mean, it is ridiculous that this is not available, given that this is doable on virtually every other site on the web. Not just ridiculous, outright lazy and irresponsible.
ramacaida58 27 Mar 2015 02:49
Are people naive?
"Face Book" National security project made by National security agencies.
We all applauded well done you clever boy how did you come out with such clever ideas.
But this is democracy we do have the choice to "shut it down or keep it open". We, who are the peaceful ordinary citizens of this word. Have nothing to worry about. May be even it is good for our security. At the end most of us we have nothing to hide.
orag -> Cumming madeiranlotuseater 27 Mar 2015 02:48
No, Facebook is where people post news that the mainstream media are reluctant to publish. It was the first place, for example, where people were extensively warning about NHS privatisation, or about the terrible effects of benefit sanctions.
It's also great for finding links to really interesting science sites, or culture that you may be interest ted in.
argonauta -> madeiranlotuseater 27 Mar 2015 02:46
My dog has 12 friends on FB. She's popular among my friends. I have no FB but my dog loves me anyway. And I love her friends, because the friends of my dog are my friends, chiefly when they were my friends in the first place. It's a win-win-woof situation
Brian -> Haughan Ellenrocr 27 Mar 2015 02:44
We all need to use an instant messaging solution like Cribble where messages can only be decrypted by the intended recipient. That way it doesn't matter where the servers are located because the governments can't read your messages anyway.
John MacKenzie -> tempodulu 27 Mar 2015 02:43
One of Edward Snowdons revelations was never to use Dropbox, ever. Continously monitored apparently.
John MacKenzie 27 Mar 2015 02:40
Can I suggest that, if you want your privacy protected, download Ghostery and ZenMate. Ghostery blocks 'trackers,' essentially online ads and tracking apps that run in the background mining data. For example, at the moment, on the Guardian site, Ghostery is blocking the following -
Double Click (ads)
Facebook Social Graph
Krux Digital (ads)
Net Ratings (analytics)
Zenmate is a VPN.
Ghostery does make the internet so much better as the pages load faster. They don't need to load ads and trackers all the time.
Just a thought.
March 12, 2015 | In These TimesThe hidden price of Google, Twitter and Facebook.
Your decision to click-and even the amount of time you spend reading or watching-is a piece of data for which the advertiser will pay good money.
What are we prepared to give up in the name of convenience? Throughout Jacob Silverman's capacious study of the world we're in and the world we're making-or rather, allowing tech companies to make for us-it's demonstrated repeatedly that billions of us are happy to surrender our privacy to save a few keystrokes. Why not log in to that other website with your Facebook or Twitter or Google ID? Why not use your real identity and photograph, with a record of your movements, all across the web? You have it on Google's word that they're not "evil"; what could be the harm?
Silverman's new book, Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection, does a thorough, if sometimes long-winded, job of explaining what the harm is and what it could become. He begins with an analysis of the philosophy, variously termed "techno-utopianism" or "cyber-libertarianism," that drives the major social media companies. The ideology should be familiar in essence, if not in name-we've been soaking in it for the past decade. Media theorists, long before the advent of Facebook, were calling it "the Californian ideology." It's what happens when youthful rebelliousness and a countercultural, anti-authoritarian spirit meets gobs of cash and untrammeled power. It's the myth-tirelessly peddled by optimistic tech, business and culture reporters and embraced by the customers who line up for new gadgets-that a corporation that calls its headquarters a "campus" and equips its offices with slides, snacks and free daycare is something other than a capitalist entity, with motives other than profit.
To be fair, the big tech companies-Google and Facebook are the stars here, with Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn singing backup - do have goals beyond their bottom line. They want to do the kinds of things that beauty-pageant contestants want to do: cure diseases, end terrorism, go to the moon. They share a disdain for government - Mark Zuckerberg is committed to the idea of "companies over countries" - but also share a zeal for surveillance.
For Silverman, the harm of social media is both specific and philosophical. It turns journalism into a clickbait race, for instance, but it also radically changes our concepts of privacy and identity. He considers the fate of those who are chewed up and spat out by the Internet's nano-fame cycle (nobody gets 15 minutes anymore), whose embarrassing or self-aggrandizing antics, captured on video, do the rounds and attract a quick, overwhelming torrent of derision or rage. But while we might shrug our shoulders at the fate of an Antoine Dodson or a Taylor Chapman (respectively a viral hero and villain), Silverman argues that we should be aware of the numbing and alienating consequences of the viral instinct. Not only does it frequently make clowns of those who are seriously disadvantaged, and destroy reputations and careers, it also molds the larger media world in its own image. Hate-watching a two-minute video of a reality show contestant's racist rant is a sign that you'll give attention to this kind of content-and the site that hosts the video, beholden to its advertisers, traffics in your attention, not your intelligence or humanity.
Headlines have always been composed to grab attention, but now they can gather intelligence too. Your decision to click - and even the amount of time you spend reading or watching-is a piece of data for which the advertiser will pay good money. As Silverman describes it, the urge to gather endless data about all of us - from our spending habits to the pace of our heartbeats - is a huge, lucrative industry, driven by the fantasy that correlation is causation, that because you did X activity, you'll buy Y product.
It may be foolhardy to make predictions about the fast-evolving tech world, but Silverman offers some chilling evidence that the world of "big data" is beginning to affect the choices available to us. Some healthcare companies will lower your premiums if you use a fitness-tracking app (and share that data, of course). Data about what you eat and buy is increasingly being used like your credit score, to determine if you are worthy of that job, that car or that home.
So what? A good citizen who eats her greens and pays her bills has nothing to fear! And if she worries that some misstep-glancing at an unsavory website, running a red light, suffering a computer hack-will damage her, she can just pay protection money to one of several companies that exist to safeguard their clients' online reputations. Silverman has no solution to these linked problems, of course, since there is far too much money driving this brave new world and far too little government will to resist. Mass surveillance is the present and the future. But if information-meaning data points-is corporate power, then knowledge and critical thinking may be citizen power.
Silverman is too cautious and self-conscious a thinker to inspire a revolution. Instead, he advocates a kind of lowlevel "social-media rebellion" - messing with, rather than rejecting, the digitally networked world in which we live. Putting up a cartoon monkey as your online avatar might not feel like much of a blow to the Facebook assault on privacy, but it's an annoyance to the booming facial- recognition industry-and perhaps a few million determined annoyances can disrupt the techno-utopia in favor of the common good.
Joanna Scutts is a freelance writer based in Queens, NY, and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her book reviews and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, the New Yorker Online, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal and several other publications. You can follow her on Twitter @life_savour.
March 10, 2015 | RT USA
Researchers working for the CIA were involved in a "multi-year, sustained effort" to crack security measures and undermine encryption on Apple devices, The Intercept reports, citing top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
The documents were presented at one of clandestine annual security conferences known as the "Jamboree." The CIA-sponsored forums took place annually for nearly a decade, while the leak covers the period of 2006 to 2013.
Though the report does not provide the details of any successful operations waged against Apple, the documents describe several methods US intelligence officers were using to attempt to infiltrate the tech giant's products.
One of the most egregious revelations detailed by The Intercept was an attempt to create a dummy version of Xcode - the tool used to create many of the apps sold the Apple App Store. If successful, this could allow spies to insert surveillance "backdoors" into any app created using the compromised development software.
The docs also claim that the CIA was actively working to crack encryption keys implanted into Apple mobile devices that secured user data and communications.
The news has spurred backlash amongst security experts on Twitter and will likely prompt heighted security audits from Apple developers. The revelations are expected to strain already tense relations between the company and the US government.
A spokesperson for Apple pointed to previous statements by company CEO Tim Cook on privacy, but did not comment further on the breach.
"I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services," Cook wrote last year. "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will."
Previously Apple was said to have cooperated with the US government's Prism program, a legal backdoor which allowed the NSA and other security agencies to obtain user information.
However, following the first batch of Snowden revelations about NSA surveillance, Apple said it ramped up its efforts to protect user privacy aiming to restore user trust. Last fall, the company changed its encryption methods for data stored on iPhones, a move it said meant it had no longer had a way to extract user data, even if ordered to with a warrant.
Security researchers warned that the tactics would set a dangerous precedent for mobile privacy.
"Every other manufacturer looks to Apple. If the CIA can undermine Apple's systems, it's likely they'll be able to deploy the same capabilities against everyone else," Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins cryptographer, told The Intercept. "Apple led the way with secure coprocessors in phones, with fingerprint sensors, with encrypted messages. If you can attack Apple, then you can probably attack anyone."
US President Barack Obama as well British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed disapproval at such measures, cautioning that increased privacy for users may prevent governments from tracking extremists planning attacks.
26 Nov 2013 | telegraph.co.uk
A 14-year-old Italian girl was allegedly gang-raped by at least eight men after a former friend set up a false Facebook page saying the girl was 'available to anyone'.
After the teenager's name, mobile telephone number and other personal details were posted on Facebook "as a joke", she was contacted by the men, aged from 16 to 25, and raped in a park in the port town of Molfetta in the southern region of Puglia
The horrific assault, the latest example of the perils of social media, took place in April but the girl only recently plucked up enough courage to report the attack to police.
Officers from the paramilitary Carabinieri police arrested four men on Monday – one aged 20, two aged 21, and another aged 25.
Four other young men, who were under the age of 18 at the time of the attack, are being investigated.
- Facebook promises to repond faster to controversial content
29 Nov 2013
- Facebook hacker jailed after falsely accusing boyfriend of rape
06 May 2010
- Cyber anarchists blamed for unleashing a series of Facebook 'rape pages'
16 Oct 2011
The teenager was lured to a public park in the town, which lies to the north of the regional capital of Bari, by the men after they befriended her.
"After inviting her to follow them into the park on the pretext of having a chat, they violated her one by one, heedless of her cries for help. Once the gang rape was over, the girl was abandoned there," prosecutors wrote in a 12-page document presented to a court in Trani, a nearby town.
The teenager told investigators that the attack had been witnessed by a park warden. "He told me that even though he heard my screams, he didn't intervene because he thought it was none of his business," she said.
The men ordered her not to reveal the attack to anyone, threatening to tell her family and anyone else who knew her in the town that she was "easy".
The intimidation continued throughout the summer, with at least two more rapes and other acts of intimidation.
The girl was so terrified that she destroyed the SIM card of her mobile phone in the hope of cutting off all contact with the gang.
The former friend who set up the false Facebook account denied responsibility for the attacks, telling police that "everyone in Molfetta knew she was an easy girl."
The 14-year-old eventually confided in a relative, who insisted she file a report with the police.
"This is a distressing and squalid affair," said Francesco Giannella, a prosecutor who led the investigation.
It showed that "many young people do not take into account the consequences of abusing social media networks," he said.
WARNING: What you are about to read could be shocking. If you are not aware of this phenomena , You would probably not believe what I say. What you find here are my observations and analysis based on my own experience.
I have been a victim of 24/7 covert electronic surveillance and psychological harassment , manipulation and mind control for 4 years now. This is also called organized stalking. I got to know this in 2010 while I was working for an email company. However the surveillance had begun long before the second phase of the harassment occurred. I experienced a strange situation when I worked there. This phenomenon is called workplace mobbing. Soon, I realized that it was a carefully coordinated psychological harassment carried out by an organized group. They were trying to humiliate me, control me , harass me, manipulate me and change my thought process . But I must say that everyone is not bad. It appeared that some people from one particular group want to destroy my life. This is no touch torture. My life has completely changed and harassment continues ever since. They may have put me on a watch list as this author describes here.
Most large corporate workforce and many smaller ones have already been brought wholesale into this Network through 'Occupational Health and Safety' laws that require employees and employers to report anything in the workplace that might be considered suspicious or threatening activity. Anyone who is reported on is assessed (without their knowledge) to determine if they should be put on a 'watch list'. Watch lists are a key aspect of the Network's operations, and will be discussed further on. – The network(version one) by Anthony Forwood
Also see ACLU spy files article. http://www.aclu.org/spy-files/more-about-fusion-centers
The following research article describes this situation below. This is the story of my life. This is exactly what I have been going through for last 4 years.
This phenomenon has been called "mobbing," "ganging up on someone" or psychic terror.It occurs as schisms, where the victim is subjected to a systematic stigmatizing through, inter alia, injustices (encroachment of a person's rights), which after a few years can mean that the person in question is unable to find employment in his/her specific trade. Those responsible for this tragic destiny can either be workmates or management.
case study – Leif case :
Leif could not keep his job, nor could he get another one, as his medical history could be only too clearly seen in his job applications. There was nowhere in society where he could turn for help. He became totally unemployable - an outcast. One of the ironies of this case is that Leif had previously been employed by a number of companies where he had performed well, had been a good workmate and had been given good references by his employers. (We have found similar cases in Sweden, Denmark, Western Germany, England,Austria, USA, and Australia.)
Psychical terror or mobbing in working life means hostile and unethical communication which is directed in a systematic way by one or a number of persons mainly toward one individual. There are also cases where such mobbing is mutual until one of the participants becomes the underdog. These actions take place often (almost every day) and over a long period (at least for six months) and, because of this frequency and duration, result in considerable psychic, psychosomatic and social misery. This definition eliminates temporary conflicts and focuses on the transition zone where the psychosocial situation starts to result in psychiatric and/or psychosomatic pathological states.
Phase 2: Mobbing and Stigmatizing
Many of the communicative actions which can be observed occur fairly often in everyday life. But within the framework of the harassment phenomenon, they have an injurious effect,as these actions are used consistently and systematically over a long period, with the intention of causing damage (or putting someone out of action). All the observed actions have the common denominator of being based on the desire to "get at a person" or punish him/her.Thus manipulation is the main characteristic of the event. What is shown to be manipulated is:
1. The victim's reputation (rumor mongering, slandering, holding up to ridicule).
2. Communication toward the victim (the victim is not allowed to express him/herself,
no one is speaking to him or her, continual loud-voiced criticism and meaningful
3. The social circumstances (the victim is isolated, sent to Coventry).
4. The nature of or the possibility of performing in his/her work (no work given,
humiliating or meaningless work tasks).
5. Violence and threats of violence.
Important note in preface to Heinz Leymann, "Mobbing and Psychological Terror at Workplaces," Violence and Victims 5 (1990), 119-126. http://www.mobbingportal.com/LeymannV%26V1990(3).pdf
This is from another article.
A few common ways in which harassment is expressed
1. Making rude, degrading or offensive remarks.
2. Making gestures that seek to intimidate, engaging in reprisals.
3. Discrediting the person: spreading rumors, ridiculing him, humiliating him, calling into question his convictions or his private life, shouting abuse at him or sexually harassing him.
4. Belittling the person: forcing him to perform tasks that are belittling or below his skills, simulating professional misconduct.
5. Preventing the person from expressing himself: yelling at him, threatening him, constantly interrupting him, prohibiting him from speaking to others.
6. Isolating the person: no longer talking to him at all, denying his presence, distancing him from others.
7. Destabilizing the person: making fun of his convictions, his tastes and his political choices.
In the workplace, employees who are psychologically harassed or psychologically tortured are often described as having the wrong interpretation of events, or having a "perception problem", a "bad attitude", and the wrong view of reality. They are then asked to consult a medical professional, a psychiatrist, and are then usually subsequently discredited and classified as having a psychological problem or mental illness.
PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT INFORMATION ASSOCIATION - http://www.psychologicalharassment.com/psychological_harassment_at_work.htm
Gradually the harassment at work place turned out to be a community mobbing. The perpetrators have been systematically destroying both my personal and professional life. They have isolated me from the society. It is extremely difficult to make friends. Whenever I meet someone or a group of people, the preps approach them and poison them with negative thoughts. (But I believe some people also try to help me. The real perpetrators are so cunning and they can deceive those who try to help me). So gradually, the preps take control of friendship or relationship and manipulate my friends. Still I try to stay positive. I decided to upload some videos of my own experience at public places to social networking media like YouTube and let other people know what I have been going through. One of my goals is to educate people about this crime against humanity. If you are not a targeted individual, it would be very difficult to understand or believe what I say.
Harassment tactics :
I am under 24/7 electronic surveillance. My personal phone conversations are listened. My phone is illegally wire tapped. My personal computer is hacked. My personal emails are read. My every move ( even inside my apartment) is watched. Those who monitor me, share my very personal information, weaknesses, fears, likes, dislikes with my friends, co workers, managers and even strangers so that either other people or I get offended or have negative feelings towards each other. The stalkers spread lies, twisted rumors and half truth. I don't have any privacy right now. This is an organized well-coordinated psychological harassment. The perpetrators use racial, religious stereotypes as well as any other differences to turn people against me. They could use anything such as race, religion, color, age, gender, region, profession, political opinions etc. They try to break all my support systems. The perpetrators try to sensitize me to certain objects, sounds, words, that are related to a previous stalking incident. After they successfully sensitize me, they ask my friends, co-workers to use these words while we are talking. The stalkers try to make me look like a crazy and paranoid person. Lots of people participate in this stalking game. Some of them think this is just a simple joke. As they don't see the complete picture, they don't fully understand the sinister side of this program. Let alone dating it is extremely difficult to make any friends now. The perpetrators try to convince other people that I am anti-social or I am a loner. The truth is the perpetrators use civilians to harass me and bully me whenever I try to socialize.
Gas lighting, slander campaign, brightening (flashing lights by random drivers at nights), staging car accidents, crowding at public places, invading my personal space by strangers at public places, manipulating traffic lights while driving, creating artificial traffic on the roads, financial losses, noise campaign such as door slamming or banging walls by neighbors, rubbing car or motor cycle engines loud inside my apartment complex, synchronization, monitoring and electronic harassment by neighbors, mail tempering , delaying service at public places, keeping me waited in long lines, anchoring, baiting, black mailing, mimicking, sabotaging my job opportunities , blacklisting me in the job market, ruining my financial , professional and personal life are some of the other harassment tactics.
Who is behind spying:
They are everyday citizens. Apparently many community organizations like neighborhood watch, some large corporations, religious organizations, city utility workers, senior citizens, fire fighters , police officers , some officials/local law enforcement officers from local fusion centers participate in this stalking game. Many of them are deceived by the perpetrators. Vast number of people have no idea that they are being manipulated to harass and intimidate innocent people. Also criminals, drug dealers and street thugs seemed to be involved with this stalking game. For some reason, one group can do more harm compared to another group. This does not mean everyone who participate in this stalking game do bad things to me. Everyone in a group/organization/neighborhood watch is not necessarily bad either. But some people actively engage in these stalking activities for various reasons. There are people who try take advantage of my situation. There are people who are trying to degrade the quality of my life. There are people who want to destroy my life. There are people who try to black mail me. Another thing I noticed is even if I go to another country, still the perpetrators can track me. So apparently this is an international network.
Like I said before everyone is not bad. But even those who used to support me have sidelined now because of what evil people do. I know I am not the only one who is going through this. If you read this, please educate your friends and family about this crime against humanity. No human being is deserved to be treated like this.
Foe further information please watch my personal videos on YouTube. Also please read "psychological harassment and psychological manipulation" and "coercive persuasion and mind control". I have posted links on the top right side of this blog.
New York Times
Claire E. Miller, a 44-year-old publishing executive in Manhattan, recently stripped her nameplate from the tenant directory at the entrance to her Kips Bay apartment building, where she has lived for more than 11 years. She has also asked the landlord to disconnect the buzzer and is in the process of changing her phone number.
Drastic measures, all, for an otherwise cheerful and outgoing person. But Ms. Miller has been unnerved by a sudden and, since last September, steady onslaught of unsolicited and lusty phone calls, e-mail messages and even late-night visits from strange men - typically seeking delivery on dark promises made to them online by someone, somewhere, using her name.
"I wouldn't even try to guess at the motivation behind this," Ms. Miller said.
She is being harassed - cyberstalked, by modern definition. The term has by now found its way into dozens of state legislatures, police reports and talk-show lineups, joining other unsavory byproducts of the Internet age.
State legislatures took notice around 1999 and began passing laws that make cyberstalking a crime. Three months ago, President Bush signed federal anti-cyberstalking legislation. But cases like Ms. Miller's make it clear that the problem is not easily legislated away and show how devastating it can be to individuals caught in its web.
One profile posted at the "adult personals" site iwantu.com included Ms. Miller's full name, address and phone number, along with a solicitation for eager suitors to call or drop by her home. "My name is Claire E. Miller," the ad began. It concluded: "I can make you very happy and satisfied. In my den of love pad."
It is the online equivalent of scrawling "for a good time, call Jane Doe" on a bathroom wall, but the reach of the Internet has made such pranks - if they are only that - far more sinister. And the problem is only likely to grow, fueled by the availability of personal data online and the huge growth in social networking and dating sites, which are attracting investment from big companies.
"Cyberstalking is the hidden horror of the Internet," said Parry Aftab, an attorney and executive director of WiredSafety.org, a network of 9,000 volunteers who patrol the Web and assist victims of cyberstalking, child pornography and other online ills. "Nobody talks about it. They think they have to live with it."
Ms. Miller suspects that her perpetrator is a stranger who may have found her personal information while snooping around in the AOL e-mail account of an old high school friend. But late at night, in the topsy-turvy churn of an anxious brain, all kinds of people - old lovers, acquaintances - become possible culprits.
"That's when the self-doubt and fear comes in," Ms. Miller said.
There are no statistics on how often this particular breed of online impersonation takes place, but Jayne A. Hitchcock, the director of Working to Halt Online Abuse, an organization that assists victims of Internet harassment, says it is common enough.
"I think I've seen everything," Ms. Hitchcock said. Participants in online fantasy football leagues, angered by some nuance of the competition, silently turn on and anonymously harass one another, and in eBay auctions, either the seller or the buyer turns stalker, she said. They channel that "Internet road rage," Ms. Hitchcock said, into a variety of anonymous vendettas.
After receiving informal requests for information about cyberstalking from the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies, Ms. Hitchcock's group began tracking demographic details in 2000. In February, the group - which she says handles an average of 50 new cases each week - released a five-year analysis of data on the victims and, to the extent possible, the stalkers. The data is sketchy; victims volunteered to fill out a questionnaire, and harasser data is, in most cases, provided by the harassed. But there are some insights. For example, increasing numbers of men appear to be applying for help, and overt threats of offline harm occurred in about a quarter of the cases last year.
In about half the cases, victim and perpetrator appear to be strangers. For the rest, it can be deeply, disturbingly personal.
Earlier this month, a Suffolk County police officer, Michael Valentine, was indicted on 197 counts of stalking, unauthorized use of a computer and other charges after hacking into the Yahoo e-mail account of a woman he had briefly dated and posing as her in online communications.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's office also charges that Mr. Valentine, of Lake Grove, accessed the woman's personal profile on the dating site Match.com, sending electronic "winks" and other communications to 70 different men on the site. At least two showed up at the woman's home for dates.
That case, and Ms. Miller's, echo that of Gary S. Dellapenta, of Los Angeles, a former security guard who spent the summer of 1998 trolling chat rooms and personals sites posing as his ex-girlfriend. He posted rape fantasies under her name and, providing her home address, begged strangers to deliver on them.
Six men arrived at the former girlfriend's door before Mr. Dellapenta was eventually tracked down. He was sentenced in 1999 to six years in prison under California's then-new cyberstalking law.
J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist and the author of several books on criminal personalities, said that the universe of cyberstalkers runs the gamut, from "jokesters and pranksters to people who have clear criminal intent." He called this particular brand of harassment - in which the perpetrator deploys third parties, wittingly or not, to haunt the victim - "stalking by proxy."
"With any new technology that comes along, you have the shadow of criminality that follows," Mr. Meloy said, although he added that the Internet, with all its distance and anonymity, provided a unique vehicle for the unleashing of hidden furies.
"It's a much more veiled, shielded, disinhibited way of communicating," Mr. Meloy said, "and much more raw in the expression of aggression."
Mari J. Frank, an attorney and privacy consultant who specializes in cases of identity theft, called Ms. Miller's situation "identity theft for revenge."
"I speak about it all the time," Ms. Frank said, adding that the rise of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, where young people often naïvely divulge too much information to a world of potential stalkers, has made the situation worse. "Even teens are becoming the victims of cyber ID theft and cyberstalking," she said.
About 45 states now have laws similar to California's. And the new federal law - tucked into the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act - updated telephone harassment law to include computer communications.
Some advocates of civil liberty have complained about what they see as overly broad language of the federal update, which prohibits not only anonymous communications intended to threaten, abuse and harass, but also those intended to "annoy" - a term that might characterize a wide range of anonymous Internet banter that falls far short of cyberstalking.
Others, though, have argued that such banter would be protected by the First Amendment, and only cyberstalkers have anything to fear.
That is, of course, if they can be found.
Ms. Miller filed an initial complaint with the New York City police department in October, but said she was not contacted after that. Using a number provided by a friend, she called a detective with the department's units on computer crimes last week, and is now working with investigators there. (A deputy chief, Michael Collins, a police spokesman, said a clerical error in the processing of Ms. Miller's initial complaint apparently delayed her case.)
Ms. Miller has also found two dating sites where her name has been used - imatchup.com and iwantu.com - and had the profiles either removed or hidden.
According to Ms. Hitchcock, the director of Working to Halt Online Abuse, federal cyberstalking legislation can provide needed leverage in pursuing what are often complicated cases. Perpetrator and victim might reside in different states, for instance, and the evidence might be in the hands of Internet companies all over the country, or the world. The law also gives the F.B.I. and other federal law enforcement agencies greater purview over cyberstalking.
But getting that far, Ms. Hitchcock said, is a long road.
Using a Web site usually involves leaving tracks in the form of an I.P. address, which can be traced back to an Internet service provider and perhaps the computer of a stalker. Under most circumstances, a subpoena or a search warrant is required to obtain that information from an online service, so filing a police report is crucial.
After that, contacting an organization like WiredSafety.org or Working to Halt Online Abuse, at haltabuse.org, can help. They work with both victims and law enforcement to help move cases forward.
Ms. Miller has taken all these steps - and worked diligently on her own.
Late last month Ms. Miller asked the support staff of iwantu.com, which has offices in Seattle and Canada, Costa Rica and Britain, for data that would reveal the Internet service provider of the person who set up the account there.
On April 3, the company put its position succinctly in an e-mail message to Ms. Miller: "Please note that unfortunately, we cannot supply I.P. addresses. Sorry."
That is precisely what they should have done, said Mark Brooks, an online personals industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch, an industry newsletter. "They can't possibly give that out to another user," said Mr. Brooks, who is a former executive of dating and social networking sites like Cupid.com and Friendster. "It might be a stalker calling to get that information."
Executives for iwantu.com did not return phone calls or e-mail messages seeking comment, and the contact number provided on the imatchup.com Web site for the media relations representative and "Romance Director," Dan Levine, connected to the customer service department instead. A representative reached last weekend said he was not sure why that number was listed, and suggested sending an e-mail message or a letter.
These are delicate issues for an industry that is in the throes of a debate about client safety and security. Several states are considering legislation that would require online personals services to disclose whether they conduct background checks on their members.
According to Mr. Brooks, most members of the industry are sensitive to issues of online safety, but argue that background checks - which must rely on third-party commercial data brokers with spotty information - are expensive and by no means foolproof.
And yet one service, True.com, has quickly become one of the most popular personals sites by conducting background checks on anyone seeking to make a connection. Its staff promises to prosecute those who misrepresent themselves on the site - a concept that Ms. Miller might endorse. She said she planned to pursue her tormenter until he is found.
"I do feel that the Internet is a wonderful tool," she said. "I just want to make sure it's kept safe for everyone."
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The Last but not Least
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Last modified: July 26, 2018