Jan 312012
 January 31, 2012  Posted by  Business, Online

Tony Fromm reports:

Google is pushing back against complaints about its new privacy policy, saying users can still prevent the company from linking all the data it collects about them by turning off their search history, by skipping some of Google’s offerings or by using different Google accounts at different times.

In a letter to lawmakers who have raised questions about the new policy, the company says users will have plenty of ways to control how their personal data is collected and used — even though they can’t opt out of the privacy changes altogether.

Read more on Politico.

Update: A copy of the letter is available here.

Jan 312012
 January 31, 2012  Posted by  Online, Surveillance, U.S.

Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh report:

One of the most curious aspects of the U.S. government’s case against MegaUpload is the large number of the company’s internal communications acquired by the FBI.

In one exchange, MegaUpload managers fretted via Skype IM chat in 2007 that founder Kim Dotcom wasn’t “safe with his money” and “the current situation is a bit risky,” according to documents U.S. authorities filed with a New Zealand court this month as part of their criminal pursuit of the embattled cyberlocker service.

While it’s still not clear how federal investigators gained access to the conversations of founder Kim Dotcom and other top managers, there are hints that the FBI managed to place government-issued spyware on the defendants’ computers.

Read more on CNET.

Jan 312012
 January 31, 2012  Posted by  Breaches, Business

Matt Liebowitz reports:

A batch of corrupt Android apps once again has been found lurking in the official App Market, and up to 5 million customers have already had their data stolen right under their noses by the Trojan-hosting apps.

Security software maker Symantec identified 13 apps containing “Android.Counterclank,” a Trojan that can silently steal device and user data, monitor phone calls, open up a backdoor on devices and act as part of a botnet, receiving malicious commands from a remote source.

The infected apps include spoofed versions of “Counter Elite Force,” “CounterStrike Hit Enemy,” “Hit Counter Terrorist,” “Stripper Touch Girl,” “Sexy Girls Puzzle,” “Sexy Girls Photo Game” and “Deal & Be Millionaire,” the last of which has been downloaded between 1 million and 5 million times in the past 30 days. The apps are from three developers: iApps7 Inc., Ogre Games and redmicapps.

Read more on Tech News Daily.

Jan 312012
 January 31, 2012  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

Iulia Filip reports:

A nonprofit government watchdog claims the FBI refuses to release information on “the government’s identification and surveillance of individuals who have demonstrated support for or interest in WikiLeaks.”

The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and National Security Division, and the FBI, in a FOIA complaint in Federal Court.

It claims the Justice Department and FBI refuse to disclose a single record of their tracking of people who are sympathetic to WikiLeaks.

Read more on Courthouse News.

Related: Complaint (pdf)