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Alphabet Google and the Gmail Ad Matter

August 27, 2016

Did you know that the Alphabet Google thing manages or provides email for about one billion users. No that’s not a record, search has that many “prospects” for advertisers.

I noted this story: “Google Faces Legal Action over Data Mining Emails.” In theory, humans at the Alphabet Google thing do not read one’s emails. I know that when I sent an email to a Googler, that person did not read the email. So there, doubting Tabithas and Tommies.

I learned from the write up, which I am confident is as valid as any other Internet news item:

… the US District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order denying Google’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by plaintiff Daniel Matera which alleged that Google violated federal and state wiretapping laws in its operation of Gmail. The Wiretap Act prohibits the interception of wire, oral and electronic communications.

I circled this passage as well:

In this latest twist, Judge Koh found Google’s policy of intercepting and scanning emails before they reach the inbox of the intended recipient may violate the California Wiretap Act and denied Google’s motion to dismiss Matera’s lawsuit. Matera is not a Google customer but claims that the “ubiquity of the email service” means that Google has still intercepted, scanned and analyzed his and many others’ emails [Matera] seeks to represent non-Gmail users “who have never established an email account with Google, and who have sent emails to or received emails from individuals with Google email accounts.”

The  Alphabet Google thing is certainly in the midst of a number of legal hassles. We love Google and its relevant search results. I have concluded that there are some folks who cannot hop on the Alphabet Google bandwagon. Cue up John Phillips Sousa remix, “The GOOG and Alphabet Forever.”

Stephen E Arnold, August 27, 2016

Russia Versus Alphabet Google: Mr. Putin May Use an iPhone

August 24, 2016

I read “Out-Of-Court Settlement Between Google & Russia Won’t Happen.” I assume the write up is accurate because everything on the Internet is true blue. The Alphabet Google thing has been jousting with a mere nation state over its approach to Android’s market methods.

Alphabet Google tried for an out of court settlement to negotiate the matter. Whipping out the checkbook is one part of the Alphabet Google business strategy when nation states become too big for their britches.

According to the write up:

In this case, the issue is that Google’s licensing rules require manufacturers to include a number of Google applications should they wish to install and use Android, the open-source operating system, on their smartphones and tablets. Google’s Russian competitor, Yandex, complained to the authorities in 2014 that Google was forcing manufacturers to both include the Google Search and other services along with the Google Play Store on Android-powered devices, but also that Google blocked manufacturers from installing competitor services.

Short summary: Bad, bad Alphabet Google. The fine for this flaunting of Russian laws is around US$6.5 billion. Russia seems to want cash and the Alphabet Google matter to go away for a short time.

I do not understand why mere nation states like Russia cannot get with the Alphabet Google program. Is the new Alphabet Google going to impose trade restrictions on Russia? Will Alphabet Google accuse Russia of violating human rights because companies are people too? Will Alphabet Google ask Android users to protest in front of the FSB office in Moscow? Does Mr. Putin use an iPhone?

So many questions.

Stephen E Arnold, August 24, 2016

Technology That Literally Can Read Your Lips (Coming Soon)

August 19, 2016

The article on Inquisitr titled Emerging New “Lip-Reading” Technology To Radically Revolutionize Modern-Day Crime Solving explains the advances in visual speech recognition technology. In 1974 Gene Hackman could have used this technology in the classic film “The Conversation” where he plays a surveillance expert trying to get better audio surveillance in public settings where background noise makes clarity almost impossible. Apparently, we haven’t come very far since the 70s when it comes to audio speech recognition, but recent strides in lip reading technology in Norwich have experts excited. The article states,

“Lip-reading is one of the most challenging problems in artificial intelligence so it’s great to make progress on one of the trickier aspects, which is how to train machines to recognize the appearance and shape of human lips.” A few years ago German researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology claim they’ve introduced a lip-reading phone that allowed for soundless communication, a development that was to mark a massive leap forward into the future of speech technology.”
The article concludes that while progress has been made, there is still a great deal of ground to cover. The complications inherent in recognizing, isolating, and classifying lip movement patterns makes this work even more difficult than audio speech recognition, according to the article. At any rate, this is good news for some folks who want to “know” what is in a picture and what people say when there is no audio track.

The article concludes that while progress has been made, there is still a great deal of ground to cover. The complications inherent in recognizing, isolating, and classifying lip movement patterns makes this work even more difficult than audio speech recognition, according to the article. At any rate, this is good news for some folks who want to “know” what is in a picture and what people say when there is no audio track.

 

Chelsea Kerwin, August 19, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden /Dark Web meet up on August 23, 2016.
Information is at this link: https://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Hidden-Dark-Web-Meetup/events/233019199/

The Alphabet Google Thing: The Russia Glitch

August 15, 2016

I know that Alphabet Google is the darling of the Sillycon Valley set. I noted the allegedly accurate factoids in “Russia Fines Google $6.75 Million for Android Antitrust Violations.” No alleged I assume.

Alphabet Google, according to the write up:

…The country’s [Russia’s] Federation Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) said that Google forced mobile phone manufacturers to include Google search on the home screen of all Android devices and bundling other services with Google Play, while preventing manufacturers from pre-installing competing services. The case was opened in February 2014, when one of those rivals, Yandex, filed an official complaint against Google. Last year, the authorities decided that it had broken Russian competition law. The ruling was upheld again in March, when Google lost an appeal.

What’s interesting is that Google has a never-say-nyea attitude. I learned:

While Russia’s fine against Google is tiny, an order from the FAS demanding that the ad giant change the restrictions it places on device makers in the country could prove to be more damaging. Google is appealing against the order, with a hearing scheduled for August 16.

Does anyone care about Alphabet Google’s travails in Russia? One person. Margrethe Verstager, the EC’s competition commissioner. Just eight years ago, a Googler was supposed to hitch a ride on Russia’s Soyuz flight to the International Space Station. Since then, Russia seems to be taking a more critical look at the search advertising giant.

Stephen E Arnold, August 15, 2016

The Reach of Cyber Threat Intelligence Companies

August 10, 2016

The social media monitoring complex appears to be gaining a follower. LittleSis News shared an article highlighting their investigative findings, You are being followed: The business of social media surveillance. This post not only reveals the technology companies engaged in surveillance and developing tools for surveillance, those at LittleSis News also filed freedom of information requests to twenty police departments about their social media monitoring. The article concludes with,

“Because social media incites within us a compulsion to share our thoughts, even potentially illegal ones, law enforcement sees it as a tool to preempt behavior that appears threatening to the status quo. We caught a glimpse of where this road could take us in Michigan, where the local news recently reported that a man calling for civil unrest on Facebook because of the Flint water crisis was nearly the target of a criminal investigation. At its worst, social media monitoring could create classes of “pre-criminals” apprehended before they commit crimes if police and prosecutors are able to argue that social media postings forecast intent. This is the predictive business model to which Geofeedia CEO Phil Harris aspires.”

In addition to Geofeedia, the other cyber threat intelligence companies listed are: BrightPlanet, ZeroFOX, Intrado, LifeRaft, Magnet Forensics, Media Sonar Technologies, Signal Corporation Limited. These companies specialize in everything from analyzing deep web content to digital forensics software. Ultimately data is their specialty, not people. These technologies and their applications will undoubtedly stir up questions about the relationship between people, the data they produce on social media, and state actors.

 

Megan Feil, August 10, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden/Dark Web meet up on August 23, 2016.
Information is at this link: https://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Hidden-Dark-Web-Meetup/events/233019199/

 

Dark Web Purchases Potentially More Challenging Than Media Portrays

August 8, 2016

German TV journalists recently discovered acquiring weapons on the Dark Web may be more challenging than media coverage suggests. Vice’s Motherboard published an article on this called TV Journalists Try Buying AK-47 on Dark Web, Fail. Producers for German channel ARD, working for a show “Fear of terror—how vulnerable is Germany” lost about $800 in bitcoin during the attempted transaction through a middleman. We learned,

“It’s not totally clear if this was because the seller wasn’t legitimate, or whether the package had been intercepted. Regardless, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise: The dark web gun trade is rife with scammers. One con-artist previously told Motherboard he would ask legal sellers to send him photos of weapons next to a piece of paper with his username. From here, he would “just send a bag of sugar,” when an order came in. And undercover law enforcement agents also sell weapons in order to identify potential customers.”

Motherboard is careful to reference cases of successful Dark Web gun sales. Not that readers would be so quick to assume guns cannot be easily purchased on the Dark Web after seeing numerous media coverage that is the case. For the average reader, is the knowledge of the Dark Web from media or personal experience? We see a lot of articles reporting number of web sites that exist, perhaps because of the inability to accurately report a number of users on the Dark Web. While that may not be retrievable, perhaps the number of Tor downloads may be.

 

Megan Feil, August 8, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden /Dark Web meet up on August 23, 2016.
Information is at this link: https://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Hidden-Dark-Web-Meetup/events/233019199/

 

Legal Drugs Turned Illegal Primed for Dark Web Marketplaces

August 3, 2016

A few drugs that were once able to be legally sold will be outlawed in Britain. Express released an article, Legal high dealers to be forced onto DARK WEB by blanket ban, top police officer warns, that shares the story. Several deaths were linked to substances called “spice” and “hippy crack” which led to a ban on the sales of these items. The article’s source, a police chief Commander Simon Bray, says because of the future unavailability in brick-and-mortar stores, he suspects users will turn to the Dark Web to purchase these drugs. The article tells us,

“Commander Bray of the National Police Chiefs Council added: “Clearly, there will be some movement onto the dark net. “People find it lucrative to sell substances and where people are going to buy them. But of course, it is not going to be so easy for the average person to get hold of them.” Other experts have warned the ban will just drive use and sale of the drugs into the hands of criminal gangs. Tejinder Reehal, who manages Scorpion, a shop that has sold legal highs, said: “We have seen it before with mushrooms and mcat.”

At a bigger-picture level, this story is interesting in that it is one more artifact that lends toward the perspective that illegal activity will take place on the Dark Web when it cannot take place elsewhere. This may in fact happen, but what about the illegal activity that takes place in real life outside of brick-and-mortar stores?

 

Megan Feil, August 9, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden /Dark Web meet up on August 23, 2016.
Information is at this link: https://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Hidden-Dark-Web-Meetup/events/233019199/

 

Getty Images: Why Are Free Range Chickens Coming Home?

August 2, 2016

I don’t know anything about Getty Images. Well, I think I recall at someone involved with Microsoft may have applied the magic touch to the outfit. Frankly I don’t know and I don’t care.

I think about Getty Images when a snappy headline draws my attention to an outfit selling rights to art, images, and probably lots of other “intellectual property.”

Navigate to “Getty Sued for $1 Billion for Selling Publicly Donated Photos.” Someone believes that Getty did them wrong. Who knows if it is true. I find the idea interesting.

According to the write up:

The Seattle-based company, which owns and licenses a collection of over 80 million images, has been sued by documentary photographer Carol Highsmith for ‘gross misuse’, after it sold more than 18,000 of her photos despite having already donated them for public use. Highsmith’s photos which were sold via Getty Images had been available for free via the Library of Congress. Getty has now been accused of selling unauthorized licenses of the images, not crediting the author, and for also sending threatening warnings and fines to those who had used the pictures without paying for the falsely imposed copyright.

What a clever idea. Take images from a public source and charge money for their use.

Extending this idea, perhaps Getty-type outfits would like to dig through the printed volumes in the Vatican Library, scan them, and sell those. Why not reach out to the digital crowd and suck down the video snippets which are free to use. Heck, there are some free photo services out there too.

I think that clever is definitely a great business angle. Oh, that billion dollars. How long will an  individual be able to feed legal eagles if Getty has some deep pockets outside its door.

I admire MBA think. I wonder if roosting chickens leave behind a mess. I know roosting chickens have a nifty odor on hot days in those comfy coops in Maryland.

Stephen E Arnold, August 2, 2016

Jurors for Google v. Oracle Case Exposed to Major Privacy Violation Potential

August 1, 2016

The article titled Judge Doesn’t Want Google to Google the Favorite Books and Songs of Potential Jurors on Billboard provides some context into the difficulties of putting Google on trial. Oracle is currently suing Google for copyright violations involving a Java API code. The federal judge presiding over the case, William Alsup, is trying to figure out how to protect the privacy of the jurors from both parties—but mostly Google. The article quotes from Alsup,

“For example, if a search found that a juror’s favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird, it wouldn’t be hard for counsel to construct a copyright jury argument (or a line of expert questions) based on an analogy to that work and to play upon the recent death of Harper Lee, all in an effort to ingratiate himself or herself into the heartstrings of that juror,” he writes. ” The same could be done… with any number of other juror attitudes…”

Alsup considered a straightforward ban on researching jurors, but this would put both sides’ attorneys at a disadvantage. Instead, Google and Oracle have until the end of the month to either consent to a voluntary ban, or agree to clearly inform the jurors of their intentions regarding social media research.

 

Chelsea Kerwin, August 1, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

The Surprisingly Diverse Types of Cybercriminals Threatening Your Business

July 29, 2016

The article titled BAE Systems Unmasks Today’s Cybercriminals- Australia on BAE Systems digs into the research on the industrialization of cyber crime, which looks increasingly like other established and legal industries. While most cybercriminals are still spurred to action by financial gain, there are also those interested more in a long-term strategy of going after intellectual property and selling the data on the black market. The article states,

“Some cyber criminals are becoming even more professional, offering skills and services, such as “project management” to other criminal organisations. They are writing their own software that comes with service agreements and money-back guarantees if the code gets detected, with the promise of a replacement. This ‘industrialisation’ of cyber crime means it has never been more important for businesses to understand and protect themselves against the risks they face,” said Dr Rajiv Shah, regional general manager, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.”

The article pinpoints six profiles including career criminals but also internal employees, activists and, and what they call “The Getaway,” or underage criminals who won’t be sentenced like adults. Perhaps the most insidious of these is The Insider, who can be a disgruntled employee or a negligent employee with more access than is good for them or the company they work for.

 

Chelsea Kerwin, July 29, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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