Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BIG Government, Edward Snowden & internet privacy. Ladar Levison of Lavabit

 The US Federal Governmet has been in a bit of hot water lately for privacy rights infringement of both its citizens as well as foreign allies. Edward Snowden brought much of these controversial policies of the NSA and US Government to light. Whether you support or condemn his actions, it goes without saying that what he did will have long term repercussions.

One related story connected to Edward Snowden was about the private email service called Lavabit. Ladar Levison is the entrepreneur who developed the service that provided valuable secure email for it's clients. Apparently once the US Federal Government discovered Edward Snowden used this service, they initiated contact with Mr Levison and inevitably ordered him to hand over the encryption keys to ALL of his user's accounts.

This interview by Leo Laporte of the TWiT network is an excellent discussion with Mr Levison about his experience dealing with the FBI and the US 

You can use the links below to stream or download audio and video of this same broadcast. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Google implements controversial EVERYONE opted IN ad endorsement program.

You may have heard about the recent controversy over Google's ad endorsement program. Basically, anyone with a Google account can be used in their ads without permission by default. It can include you (your image, name & information) in ads across the web, saying you like or 'endorse' a product. This comes from data Google has from products you may have liked in the past such as a movie or an item you purchased.

The Google user does not get paid for this 'endorsement' and they are not notified when and where these ads appear. I saw this on the news numerous times as a headline, but I did not see any of the reports show how to OPT OUT.

Some have made the point that Google and other social media outlets give us these tools for free at great cost to them. It goes without saying that without ad revenue, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others would go away pretty quickly.  I think most do understand this, but the objection is more about privacy concerns and that it's not been made really clear how to access the opt out area of the user's accounts. For others who are less concerned about privacy - the issue comes down to why they don't get to share in the 'involuntary endorsement'

Anyone who wishes to OPT OUT of this program can watch the video I created below, or follow text instructions below that if you prefer.

If you rather skip the video. Here are the instructions.

Log into your google account.

Go to this address.

Uncheck the box at the bottom. Click Save, then continue.

That's it. Unless you don't mind others seeing what you like and approve anywhere on the web, this is probably a good idea.

Contact me if you need any more info and share to anyone you think can use it.

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