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A coalition of tech companies and civil liberties organizations issued a letter slamming a proposal that Customs and Border Protection officials could begin collecting social media and mobile device passwords as a condition for travelers to enter the United States.
The letter's signatories also include individual tech and legal experts from universities around the world, as well as 50 groups representing journalistic, digital privacy, constitutional and religious interests.
When Ryan Lackey travels to a country like Russia or China, he takes certain precautions: Instead of his usual gear, the Seattle-based security researcher and founder of a stealth security startup brings a locked-down Chromebook and an iPhone SE that’s set up to sync with a separate, non-sensitive Apple account. He wipes both before every trip, and loads only the minimum data he’ll need. Lackey goes so far as to keep separate travel sets for each country, so that he can forensically analyze the devices when he gets home to check for signs of each country’s tampering.
US Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has informed Congress that the DHS is considering requiring refugees and visa applicants from seven Muslim-majority nations to hand over their social media credentials from Facebook and other sites as part of a security check. "We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say?" he told the House Committee on Homeland Security on Tuesday. "If they don't want to cooperate, then you don't come in."
The Meitu selfie horrorshow app going viral through Western audiences is a privacy nightmare, researchers say.
The app harvests information about the devices on which it runs, includes invasive advertising tracking features and is just badly coded. But worst of all, the free app appears to be phoning some to share personal data with its makers.
There is little doubt that the web is the greatest gift that any intelligence agency could have ever asked for. Security agencies and commercial entities can easily collect information about users. Every internet user is being monitored.
Thankfully, you’re still free to do as you like in the physical world, unencumbered by constant observation—right? Well, not for long.