Jan 312015
 January 31, 2015  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Surveillance, U.S.

Matthew Barakat reports:

A federal judge expressed skepticism Friday about the constitutionality of the government’s no-fly list, suggesting that those who find themselves on it ought to be allowed a meaningful opportunity to clear their names.

The lawsuit challenging the no-fly list, filed by Alexandria resident Gulet Mohamed, has been winding its way through federal court for four years, and U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga has consistently rejected government efforts to get the suit tossed out.

Read more of this AP story on ABC.

Jan 312015
 January 31, 2015  Posted by  Business, Surveillance, U.S.

Suzy Strutner reports:

There’s something utterly delicious about hotel beds… and towels… and robes. They’re so decadently fluffy and epically cozy, we’d totally steal them if we could.

And much of the time, we do. Towels are among the most-stolen items in hotels, The Telegraph reports. We could’ve guessed that.

But we never would’ve guessed that hotels can tell when you’ve stolen a towel (or robe or duvet cover for that matter). It’s all thanks to a tiny, M&M-sized tracking device that thousands of hotels have embedded in their linens — a device that lets them know where their towels, robes and bedsheets are at all times.

Read more on Huffington Post.

Thanks to Joe Cadillic for this link.

Jan 312015
 January 31, 2015  Posted by  U.S., Youth & Schools

From the the-road-to-hell-and-all-that dept.:

Greta Iverson reports:

Bryn Mawr College is under fire for an email intended to promote personal health that ended up offending dozens of students who felt wrongfully targeted for their body type.


In an apology email to the student body, officials with the school claim to have designed the program to assist students with indicators of “potential health risks.”

“I sincerely apologize to anyone who has been upset or offended by our communications, and I want to reassure the community that we will rethink our approaches and our assumptions moving forward,” read the apology email sent to students who were “eligible” for the Fitness O.W.L.S.

The program has been offered three times in the past, but this is the first time school officials received complaints, Gray said.

The students impacted by the email plan to protest the school for invading their privacy.

Read more on NBC.

What do you think? Is it a privacy intrusion or is the college just doing a Good and Permissible Thing? Or should they have asked students at enrollment whether they wanted to opt-in to offers of programs and services that might be of benefit to them? I tend to prefer that last strategy.

Jan 312015
 January 31, 2015  Posted by  Breaches, Business

From the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.:

When you think of privacy and security in the Internet of Things, don’t forget the sex toys.

Thomas Fox-Brewster reports:

For whatever reason, someone thought it wise to manufacture sex toys that connect to the internet. To Ken Munro, who heads up security firm Pen Test Partners, this has provided an opportunity to flex his own penetration prowess. Of the digital, not the physical, kind.

He’s been looking at the Nora and Max toys from Lovense, designed for women and men respectively (different sexual preferences don’t seem to have factored in the company’s marketing strategy). They allow users to try out different functions via an app. But for extra fun they also allow another user to give commands to a partner’s toy from afar. Someone in rural Berkshire, for instance, could titillate a lover in Timbuktu just by tapping some buttons on their Apple or Android phone, or over their PC. It’s all done over something called “teledildonic software”.

Read more on Forbes.