What do the Mafia and web forums have in common, besides colorful insults and threats, and tortured misuse of English? As of December, they are both subject to the RICO anti-racketeering laws, creating harsh, life-ruining penalties for even minor participants.
The National Security Agency’s (NSA) surreptitious surveillance activities are staggeringly alarming in their scope and size. The more you learn about them, the more you’re filled with implacable repugnance. All the agency does, it seems, is try and figure out new ways to stalk people with its perennially askance gaze. But in case you are not done being disgusted and alarmed by the many NSA excesses exposed by Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA surveillance story in 2013, has published a 272-page book that contains a number of “never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.”
Google has announced that Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection, encryption was implemented back in 2010 as a default option, for users sending and checking their email starting today. According to Google, this means that no one will be able to listen in if using Gmail on public Wi-Fi, phone, tablet, or computer.
A number of websites such as Reddit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have put up banners urging Internet users to join one another in an effort to fight back against mass surveillance. The anti-spying initiative has been dubbed 'The Day We Fight Back' by a broad collection of activist groups, companies, and online platforms that are also seeking to honor and celebrate the late Aaron Swartz, an activist and technologist who helped spur a victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago.
Rovio responds to reports of NSA taking advantage of leaky apps
Several news agencies on Monday reported that the National Security Agency and its U.K. counterpart (Britain's Government Communications Headquarters) have been working together to collect data from dozens of so-called "leaky" smartphone apps, including Rovio's popular Angry Birds game. Top secret documents claim these apps transmit all kinds of user information over the web, which spy agencies scoop up and store. Having been called out specifically by several reports, Rovio issued a statement denying it collaborates with any spying organization.
Snowden: "I think a person should be able to [...] send an e-mail without worrying what it will look like on their permanent record."
NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden held a public Web chat on Thursday during which he answered questions sent in from hundreds of curious citizens via Twitter. This was Snowden's first live chat since June of last year, and during the broadcast viewers became privy to some of the outspoken leaker's opinions, especially that of the NSA and their previous actions.
Surely by disconnecting your PC from the Internet and bashing your cable modem with a hammer you'll be safe from the prying eyes of the National Security Agency (NSA), right? Wrong. Like a bad sci-fi movie that keeps unveiling unlikely technologies, it's now being reported that the NSA has been using radio waves to tap into offline PCs since at least 2008.
By far the biggest revelation of 2013 was that of the U.S. government's overreaching National Security Agency (NSA) and its PRISM surveillance program. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the government's ability to spy on various forms of communication by leaking several documents to the press, and since doing so, new information keeps coming out. One of the most recent reports claims the NSA routinely intercepts computer deliveries in order to exploit vulnerabilities to aid with spying.
Revisiting the top tech headlines of the past year
Another year is in the books and you know what? The PC isn't dead! Not that we ever thought our beloved platform was ever in jeopardy, though you wouldn't know it if you listened to analysts and market research firms predicting all kinds of gloom and doom for the desktop. We're happy to say the sky didn't fall, and as we look ahead to 2014, we're more excited than ever about all the advances in technology -- 3D printing, wearable computing, and advances in storage are just some of the things gaining momentum as we head into the new year.
Before we look too far down the road, however, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the biggest news stories of 2013. We've put together a list of the most popular happenings of the past year based on a variety of factors including traffic, reader engagement, and of course editorial discretion. Some are included here because of their lasting impact on the industry, and others because they piqued the interest of you, our readers, and sparked lively debates.
Ready to get nostalgic with us? Then off we go as we relive the top 13 news stories of 2013!