Category Archives: Privacy

Is privacy a lost cause?

When I see the frequent news stories about theft of personal data, such as the recent theft of medical records of more than 160,000 individuals from the University of California at Berkeley, I start to fear that Scott McNealy, former … Continue reading

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Surveillance state

A WIsconsin appeals court has issued a decision (HTML, PDF) that it is acceptable for the police to surreptitiously plant GPS tracking devices onto the cars of suspects without getting warrants, because doing so is not a search or seizure.  … Continue reading

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Google Latitude privacy

Google has taken steps to address the privacy concerns over their Latitude service, and most people seem to be satisfied.  One thing I’m slightly surprised about is that no one seems to be particularly suspicious of what their statement Google … Continue reading

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Suboptimal new computer experience — privacy vs. Mac OS X

I just got a refurbished Apple Mac mini, with the 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It is mainly intended for use compiling my open source programs such as Nonpareil for Mac OS X. I am extremely surprised at … Continue reading

Posted in Mac OS X, Nonpareil, Privacy, The Suboptimal Way | 4 Comments

Personal data theft

Yesterday I received a mailed notice from, stating that their database had been compromised, including my contact information. Fortunately I had not provided them with any information that I consider sensitive. Given how many such cases of personal data … Continue reading

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SSN Database for Sale

Thinking about starting a lucrative career in identity theft? Don’t rely on stolen backup tapes! Buy our new database containing nearly one billion Social Security Numbers, many of which are actually valid. The list includes the Social Security Numbers of: … Continue reading

Posted in Blog/website/news comments, Privacy | 10 Comments

Your world, delivered… to the NSA, MPAA, and RIAA

AT&T now claims that they will deploy some kind of filtering to keep copyrighted content off their network, effectively spying for the MPAA and RIAA. No one has developed a reliable way to even identify copyrighted content, but even if … Continue reading

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Warrantless wiretaps not justified by national security claims

In Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), Justice Douglas gives a concurring opinion in which he expresses serious concern over warrantless wiretaps: While I join the opinion of the Court, I feel compelled to reply to the separate … Continue reading

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MPAA and RIAA ask Congress for permission to commit fraud

The HP “pretexting” scandal was publicized in such a way as to make people think it was a new problem, and required new legislation.  Apparently it didn’t occur to anyone that the very term “pretexting” is a euphemism to disguise … Continue reading

Posted in Blog/website/news comments, Copyright, Privacy | 1 Comment

Airport security theater: forgetting to remove laptop from bag

At the security checkpoint, they usually tell you to remove your laptop from a bag and put it in a bin to be xrayed separately from the bag. And to take your shoes off, etc. Yesterday they didn’t tell me … Continue reading

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