Evil, your phone number is exposed…

Your phone number, Facebook and Evil: a recent trilogy to be aware off.

Probably most Facebook users aren’t aware, but his/her phone number is probably out there, exposed and ready to be collected by anyone. Evil project “randomly displays the private phone numbers of unsuspecting Facebook users”.

Another USB drive stolen

Unfortunately, nothing new! ‘Just’ another USB stolen in a school in Woodbridge, Virginia, USA. The content: personal information about students. What I couldn’t understand was this phrase in a letter to parents from the Principal of Lake Ridge Middle School: “Unfortunately, it is difficult to prevent the loss of confidential data resulting from unanticipated criminal activity.” Well, fortunately, it is simpler than he thinks to protect confidential data: encryption! There are some free tools out there that every school principal, teacher and even student should know about, such as, TrueCrypt.

Facebook: simple privacy controls soon

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said today, in an Editorial of the Washington Post, that simple privacy controls are coming in a few weeks. Apparently he realised that Facebook “missed the mark”, after several protests from users and after pressures from regulators.

The Hacker Highschool project

“The Hacker Highschool project is the development of license-free, security and privacy awareness teaching materials and back-end support for teachers of elementary, junior high, and high school students.

Today’s kids and teens are in a world with major communication and productivity channels open to them and they don’t have the knowledge to defend themselves against the fraud, identity theft, privacy leaks and other attacks made against them just for using the Internet. This is the reason for Hacker Highschool.” (Source: The Hacker Highschool Project)

I think these two paragraphs explain quite well the project. Although started several years ago, it is sufficiently interesting to justify a reading.

Digital recorder stolen by Portuguese MP

A Portuguese MP suddenly interrupted an interview and took the digital recorder from the journalists. He is now being charged with robbery and affront to free speech and free press.

The recorder can contain protected information and a privacy violation will probably be discussed in court.

You can see a short video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_CylnffuTA

Phone-tapping scandal in Portugal

In what seemed to be a regular police investigation, ended in a phone-tapping scandal. Almost six months ago, during a regular police investigation, José Sócrates, the Portuguese prime minister, was among those whose telephone calls have been recorded. The suspect under investigation would talk several times with the prime minister but the recordings would be considered illegal and couldn’t be used in court.  Only the president of the Portuguese Supreme Court is allowed to authorise an investigation to the prime minister, and he considered the authorisation from the judge, invalid (although it would be impossible for the judge to know in advanced to whom would the suspect be talking to). Only after six months were the recordings destroyed, after what seemed to be a huge debate regarding privacy and law issues and the use of recordings in courts, particularly those from politicians. In the meanwhile, for the first time, a Portuguese prime minister has to answer to a parliamentary investigation commission.

Privacy vs Tax Revenue (Portugal)

Some Portuguese MPs want to publish citizens declaration of income on the Internet. They say that national tax revenues will increase, by reducing tax escapes. Other MPs, including from the same party, disagree, and some opinion makers already classify the intent as mere “voyeurism”.