Tag Archives: Social media

N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images

N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images

The New York Times
May 31, 2014


The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents.

The spy agency’s reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show. The agency’s ambitions for this highly sensitive ability and the scale of its effort have not previously been disclosed.

Read the full article at… Direct Link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/nsa-collecting-millions-of-faces-from-web-images.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance

Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance


The New York Times
by Charlie Savage
August 21, 2013



The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with researchers working on the project.

The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of government-financed development. Although the system is not ready for use, researchers say they are making significant advances. That alarms privacy advocates, who say that now is the time for the government to establish oversight rules and limits on how it will someday be used.

Read the full article at… Direct Link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/us/facial-scanning-is-making-gains-in-surveillance.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130821

Who’s Built a Better Search: the NSA or Facebook?

Who’s Built a Better Search: the NSA or Facebook?

The Atlantic Wire

by Philip Bump
July 31, 2013

Who's Built a Better Search: the NSA or Facebook? (AP/Atlantic Wire)
Who’s Built a Better Search: the NSA or Facebook? (AP/Atlantic Wire)

The NSA’s XKeyscore program, revealed in a new report from The Guardian today, allows agency analysts to run quick searches for people that match certain criteria. In fact, it looked familiar: It looked an awful lot like Facebook’s Graph Search.

So we figured we’d see how the two compare. We took searches from the NSA presentation (it’s here) and ran them through the Facebook search tool.

Map users

We started with an easy one.

Here’s what Facebook gives us when we search for people who like Google Maps and use email. Everyone who has a Facebook account uses email, of course, but we added it as a search term just to make extra sure.

Some of these people (not the ones shown) have public email addresses, NSA. Point for Facebook. (We’ve blurred the faces and hidden the names. Facebook, of course, does not.) 

Unusual language speakers

One of the identifiers the NSA uses to look for what it calls “anomalous events” is “Someone whose language is out of place for the region they are in.” It offers a specific example.

Like so!

Privacy advocates

Another identifier the NSA uses is “someone who’s using encryption.” (See our primer on encryption if you, too, would like to be suspicious.)

“PGP” is “Pretty Good Privacy,” an encryption tool. Facebook’s results?

Point NSA.

But enough of this easy stuff.

Cutting to the chase

Or, more broadly:

But Facebook Graph Search does have its limitations.

Remember when people argued that you share more on Facebook than the NSA can see? Yeah, well, they kind of had a point.


Related article: How to make your Facebook posts private.

Direct Link:  http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/07/which-better-nsas-search-or-facebooks/67838/

Where Teens Go Instead of Facebook (and Why You Should Too)

Where Teens Go Instead of Facebook (and Why You Should Too)

Yahoo News / Upgrade Your Life
by Becky Worley
June 19, 2013


Where Teens Go Instead of Facebook (and Why You Should Too)
Where Teens Go Instead of Facebook (and Why You Should Too)


Remember a few years back, when teenagers left MySpace in droves for this new thing called Facebook? Grown-ups soon followed suit (not that they were ever much on MySpace), and joined Facebook by the hundreds of millions – which made it far less cool for their kids. So where on the Web are teens going now, and what can you learn from them?

A recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 94% of American teens still have a Facebook account, but they’re using it less, and using it more carefully. More than half have tightened down their privacy settings and regularly delete or edit previous posts.

But even with tightened privacy settings, teens have realized that Facebook is more like a family picnic than the private party they want it to be. They still share photos and use Facebook messaging, but they are increasingly turning to newer social networks to fill the function of traditional status updates. So which sites are they using – and why?

**  Link to Article Video



While teens do seem to understand privacy much better now than in the early days of social media, they still have a desire to put themselves out there in a public way. And that’s where microblogs like Tumblr and Pheed come in. The culture that has evolved on these sites is more slanted to creative self-expression than Facebook’s life-casting (telling all the mundane details of your day).  Both are deeply skewed towards mobile use, and there are tons of clever and thematic blogs, think Texts from Hillary or Reasons My Son is Crying.Neither are particularly teen-oriented, but there are clear differences in style and content between a Tumblr and a Facebook feed.

Twitter saw a doubling of teen users last year. And young people use it more publicly than they do Facebook; while teens with Facebook accounts typically keep their postings private, visible only to their friends, only 24% report keeping their tweets private. Since Twitter feels more instant than Facebook, it’s a good one to consider if your musings are topical and timely.

Increasingly, the hot sites among the younger set create private networks, ones that automatically restrict who can see your updates, like Path, which limits your friend list to 150 people.This built-in privacy makes everything feel more personal – though if you have 151 real-world friends, you’ll just have to choose.


Image Sharing

Instagram is pretty good for photo sharing, especially if you like using their funky filters. Teens thought that it great, until mom and dad showed up there, too.

So then came Snapchat, a way to send pics that self-destruct after being viewed. Except that assuming what you send will really disappear is fraught with peril, since the recipient can grab a permanent screen shot of a picture before its deleted. Still, Snapchat is hot – to the tune of 150 million snaps a day – for good reason: it is a fun way to share casual, goofy pics that aren’t meant to signify deep meaning in your life. Just remember that, as with anything you post digitally, “deleting” may not really mean it can’t come back to haunt you.

[Related: True/False: Never Sell Your Old Phone]



Messaging Services

If you’re paying as much as $20 a month (or really, any amount over zero) for texting on your phone, think about these alternatives: Kik and WhatsApp have bitten into Facebook messaging, especially here in the US. Globally, services like WeChat in China, KakaoTalk in Korea, and Line in the Middle East and Asia, are all on the rise. Using these services may eat a tiny bit into your data usage, but should enable you to reduce what you spend on your cell phone overall.

[Related:Slash Your Cell Bill: How to Make Free Calls on Your Smart Phone]


Direct Link:    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upgrade-your-life/where-teens-go-instead-of-facebook–and-why-you-should-too–152302249.html

The computer hackers and phishing experts ‘on our side’

The computer hackers and phishing experts ‘on our side’


BBC News
June 21, 2013


The computer hackers and phishing experts 'on our side'
The computer hackers and phishing experts ‘on our side’


Article Related Viseo :    The computer hackers and phishing experts ‘on our side’

If you have been hacked it means someone somewhere is watching your computer’s every move. Hackers deploy a variety of tricks to gain access to your computer but a fight-back has begun. Some companies are now even paying hackers to test their own firm’s security.

LJ Rich meets some professional hackers who are on the right side of the law, explains how people go about trying to get inside your computer and has some useful tips on how to stay safe from unwanted invaders.


Watch more clips on the Click homepage. If you are in the UK you can watch the whole programme on BBC iPlayer.

Direct Link:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23008088