Sep 302014
 September 30, 2014  Posted by  Business, Govt, Online, U.S., Youth & Schools

Julian Hattem reports:

Privacy advocates are criticizing the Federal Trade Commission for what they call lax oversight of laws designed to protect children’s privacy.

The Center for Digital Democracy and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood on Tuesday filed comments with the FTC accusing AgeCheq — a company offering a service that lets parents allow websites to collect some information about children under 13 years old — of deceiving customers and violating the law.

Read more on The Hill.

Sep 302014
 September 30, 2014  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

Tim Cushing writes:

Issued in 1981, updated in 1991 (to consolidate power, basically) and continuously expanded (mostly unofficially) since 2001, Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333) is what grants surveillance powers to our nation’s intelligence agencies.

Foreshadowing the severe twisting of the English language that follows (see also: NSA-to-English dictionary), the opening paragraphs note that what certain wording sounds like isn’t actually what it means. [pdf link]

In spite of the constraining appearance of all the requirements, under E.O. 12333, DoD Directive 5240 .IR, and DIAR 60-4, intelligence activities conducted by the DHS currently have much more latitude and potential for effectiveness than they have had for quite some time.Looks like “constraints” but in practice is hardly anything at all.

Read more on TechDirt.

Sep 302014
 September 30, 2014  Posted by  Online, Surveillance, U.S., Youth & Schools

Daniel Rivero reports on a story previously noted on this blog:

An alleged phone call from the NSA prompted public school officials in an Alabama school district to launch a surveillance program to monitor students’ online activities, administrators of the Huntsville City School District now admit.

The NSA allegedly took an interest in the Lee High School student body after Auseel Yousefi, a straight-A student, posted a series of questionable tweets about getting into fights and hitting a teacher. Yousefi claims the tweets were intended in jest, but school security officials searched the student’s car and found a weapon, which he says is a “jeweled dagger from a Renaissance fair.”

That was all the evidence school authorities needed to expel Yousefi for the semester and launch a district-wide information-gathering program aimed at discovering security threats and identifying gang members. The subsequent investigation led to a series of expulsions of students who were found posing on social media holding guns or throwing gang signs.


Thanks to Joe Cadillic for this link.

Sep 302014
 September 30, 2014  Posted by  Featured News, Laws, U.S., Youth & Schools

AP reports:

Gov. Jerry Brown has approved what supporters say will be the nation’s toughest law in protecting students’ privacy rights.

The governor announced Monday that he had signed SB1177.

The bill by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento, prohibits companies from using students’ personal information for profit.

Read more on News10.  Common Sense applauds Governor Brown, as does!