Office 365 declared illegal in German schools due to privacy risks

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 16 July 2019
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Although the press release specifically targets Office 365, it notes that competing Apple and Google cloud suites also do not satisfy German privacy regulations for use in schools.

The Hessian commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HBDI) isn't just saying that schools would prefer not to use Microsoft, he's stating that their use of Office 365 is outright illegal.

In addition to the physical geography of the cloud, the HBDI is unhappy about telemetry in both Office 365 and Windows 10 itself. Neither can be disabled by end users or organizations, and the content of both remains undisclosed by Microsoft despite repeated inquiries.

Microsoft has since the beginning ignored any questions about privacy when it comes to telemetry and refused to make it possible for the user to turn it off completely. So, yes, it serves them right.

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

Found on The Register on Monday, 15 July 2019
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An interior design tools startup called Mosss on Wednesday sued Google to get it to restore its data after someone at the startup accidentally deleted the firm's G Suite account.

"[W]hile clearly an urgent matter, to our dismay, our case was not escalated, and no action was taken for nearly three days!" the filing says. "From a business point of view, we had no access to emails and lost all contact with our clients and users."

Mosss (Musey) said while investors have put $1.5m into the firm, it's not seeking monetary damages.

So, in other words, Mosss raked in $1.5m from investors, but still failed the most basic and most essential IT lessons: make backups. This case should be laughed out of court, along with this stupid reliance on "cloud" services.

Facebook 'to be fined $5bn over Cambridge Analytica scandal'

Found on BBCNews on Saturday, 13 July 2019
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The consumer protection agency the FTC began investigating Facebook in March 2018 following reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of tens of millions of its users.

Facebook had been expecting this. It told investors back in April that it had put aside most of the money, which means the firm won't feel much added financial strain from this penalty.

As was common with apps and games at that time, it was designed to harvest not only the user data of the person taking part in the quiz, but also the data of their friends.

Too much? By far not enough.

Front-end dev cops to billing NSA $220,000 for hours he didn't work

Found on The Register on Thursday, 04 July 2019
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A software developer employed by two different IT subcontractors participating in separate National Security Agency (NSA) contracts has pleaded guilty to submitting false claims about the number of hours he worked, according to the US Department of Justice.

Unsurprisingly, the NSA keeps track of the comings and goings of people at secure facilities. According to the plea agreement, the agency's tally of Smego's time on-site fell short of his claimed work hours.

How stupid do you have to be when you try to cheat on the monitor-everything NSA?

Woman knocked down while on phone wins payout from cyclist

Found on The Guardian on Wednesday, 19 June 2019
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Judge Shanti Mauger, at Central London county court, said the cyclist was “a calm and reasonable road user” and that Brushett was looking at her phone when she walked into the road in front of him.

The judge’s ruling found that the parties shared responsibility, so while Brushett is guaranteed a payout, she will get only half of the full value of her claim.

People have to learn to look ahead. Yes, the cyclist might have done better, but walking around like a blind zombie and staring at your phone should be reason enough to dismiss any claims. People dumb down more and more and expect others to be responsible.

Porn trolling lawyer jailed for 14 years

Found on BBC News on Monday, 17 June 2019
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Paul Hansmeier shared copies of pornographic films online and then sued people who downloaded them, for copyright infringement.

The scheme was unmasked because some victims refused to settle, and decided to fight the copyright claim in court.

The judge has also ordered Hansmeier to repay $1.5m to 704 victims of the scam.

Took long enough, but at least this troll got what he deserved.

Parliament gets its knife out for veggie burgers

Found on Politico on Wednesday, 15 May 2019
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MEPs in the European Parliament's agriculture committee are now pushing to enshrine into law that only meat products can use words such as "steak," "sausage," "escalope," "burger" and "hamburger."

Needless to say, environmentalists and vegetarian food providers see an outright assault on increasingly popular plant-based foods.

If you need to give your food a meat-connected name, then you are not really supporting the idea behind it. As long as you need to lie to yourself (or worse, your customers), you might as well drop the farce and eat real meat. However, if you see a vegan life as an enjoyable alternative, you do not need to stay tied to what you want to leave behind.

Deputies Destroy House, Lives To Recover $50 Of Marijuana And A Single, Unbottled Pill

Found on Techdirt on Wednesday, 01 May 2019
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The total haul in contraband from the drug raid was less than $50-worth of marijuana. In addition, an officer claimed he found a loose pill containing a controlled substance.

The Almonds were directed to open the safes. Inside the safes, the members of the drug task force claim to have found ONE LUNESTA PILL outside of the bottle in which it had been prescribed.

Using that one pill, the department charged the couple with felony drug possession, on top of the misdemeanor marijuana charge.

Everything that was in the safes disappeared into the Department's hands. So did a bunch of other stuff around the house, along with the cash Greg Almond had in his wallet. The warrant inventory contains far less then the Almonds claim the deputies took. The full list includes the firearms from the safes, $8,000 in cash, wedding rings, medications, antique guitars, a coin collection… pretty much anything the officers felt might have resale value.

"Land of the free". Sounds more like organized crime.

Federal Agent: Using A Taped Box To Send Stuff Overnight Via FedEx Is Suspicious Behavior

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 25 April 2019
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The filing lets us know what the government finds suspicious in terms of packaging and sending stuff around the country: everything. If you like using FedEx and their new boxes, but apply a bit too much tape, you might be a drug dealer.

Somehow, seizing cash is supposed to cripple drug cartels. Seeing as civil forfeiture has experienced no serious income dips over the past 30 years, it's safe to say this process is doing nothing but enriching government agencies who prefer cash to preventing crime.

Everything is suspicious for the government. Especially if the voters are involved.

Facebook fights to “shield Zuckerberg” from punishment in US privacy probe

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 21 April 2019
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Federal Trade Commission officials are discussing whether to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally accountable for Facebook's privacy failures, according to reports by The Washington Post and NBC News. Facebook has been trying to protect Zuckerberg from that possibility in negotiations with the FTC, the Post wrote.

The FTC reached a settlement with Facebook in 2011 over charges that it deceived users by failing to keep privacy promises. During the lead-up to that settlement, the FTC "considered, then backed down, from putting Zuckerberg directly under order," the Post wrote. "Had it done so, Zuckerberg could have faced fines for future privacy violations."

Just lock him up already; everybody knows that Zuckerberg never ever really wanted to protect the privacy of anybody as long as it brings in money. Well, except for his own.