Tagged: Facebook

Social networks scan for predators — sort of

On March 9 of this year, a piece of Facebook software spotted something suspicious.

A man in his early thirties was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day.

Facebook’s extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.

Officers took control of the teenager’s computer and arrested the man the next day, said Special Agent Supervisor Jeffrey Duncan of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alleged predator has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of soliciting a minor…

Facebook is among the many companies that are embracing a combination of new technologies and human monitoring to thwart sex predators. Such efforts generally start with automated screening for inappropriate language and exchanges of personal information, and extend to using the records of convicted pedophiles’ online chats to teach the software what to seek out…

Like most of its peers, Facebook generally avoids discussing its safety practices to discourage scare stories, because it doesn’t catch many wrongdoers, and to sidestep privacy concerns. Users could be unnerved about the extent to which their conversations are reviewed, at least by computer programs…

NSS.

Barring a wave of costly litigation or new laws, it is hard to see the protections getting much tougher, experts said. Instead, the app and location booms will only add to the market pressure for more freedom on youth sites and greater challenges for parents.

…Said the FBI’s Brooke Donahue. “The free market pushes towards permissiveness.”

A free nation tends to push towards permissiveness, as well. The presumption being that as education becomes pervasive, probably more sophisticated – young individuals feel themselves more capable of making sophisticated decisions. Without someone looking over their shoulder. The only folks easily fitting the definition of OK to guide, overlook, regulate, of course are parents.

With more and more single parents that ain’t getting easier anytime soon. With a crap economy improving to just crappy, time for family life ain’t getting any easier.

Might be nice if there really was sufficient education, access to information beyond superstition and cultural foibles. You might think it a copout to only take the time to point young people in the direction of answers. But, I’m not confident even that much is easily available.

I think we need a Socrates or Mr. Chips-level Google.

Oh, the FBI? I trust ’em about as far as I can throw them uphill into a heavy wind.

Macho idjit bounty hunters pull the OOPS of the day


Brent Farley

It was a case of mistaken identity worthy of reality television. And it could have had deadly consequences.

Eleven bounty hunters looking for a fugitive Tuesday night mistakenly targeted the home of Phoenix police Chief Joseph Yahner while following a tip they received via social media…

Two fugitive-recovery companies working in tandem kept watch for two hours before swarming the darkened house at about 10 p.m. NorthStar Fugitive Recovery owner Brent Farley, 43, is facing charges of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct…

When police officers arrived, they found Farley’s employees and those of Delta One Tactical Recovery surrounding the home. One man banged on the door with an unholstered weapon and engaged in a verbal confrontation with the chief inside, police said. The bounty hunters’ vehicles were parked on the property, the headlights glaring as the man at the door shined his flashlight inside, Phoenix police said.

Several outside the chief’s home were armed, and police said Wednesday that they were serving a search warrant for the weapons. Riding alongside the armed bounty hunters was an 11-year-old and an adult relative of one of the employees, police said.

The tip that sent the bounty hunters to Yahner’s home, according to a NorthStar employee, was from an Oklahoma number. The fugitive at the heart of their search remains wanted out of Oklahoma on drug charges…

“After awakening him (Yahner) from a dead sleep, he comes out in protection mode,” Crump said. “And when he does come out and he challenges them, I think they quickly come to realize (the mistake), with the exception of one of them.”

Crump said Farley refused to leave the property and continued to give commands to Yahner until another bounty hunter pulled him aside…

John Burns, former president of the Arizona Bail Bondsmen Association, said Arizona is one of the few states that don’t require bail bondsmen or fugitive recovery agents to be trained or educated. Burns has been working to push a bill that would require both, he said.

Weak laws, he said, allow virtually anyone to be “John Wayne all day long, without any education or training.”

Idjits like this should stick to their kindergarten militia camping trips in the woods. Raiding a house on the basis of a tip on Facebook is like continuing to be a Republican post-Reagan.

BTW, after Farley was busted for his gullibility and ignorance – turns out he’s also a convicted felon and therefore not allowed to play with firearms. One more charge added to the list.

Beat Instagram and Facebook’s female nipple ban? Use male nipples!

subversive anatomy

Social media has spoken, and nipples aren’t OK. At least, not if they’re a woman’s. This was the motivation behind artist Micol Hebron’s nipple template designed to cover images of women’s nipples with a man’s, thus making them social media “appropriate”.

It’s all about equality.

The Autoplay Arms Race


Click to enlarge

I find autoplay video or audio commercials so offensive my automatic response is to click away from the page. It is the advertising dross-du-jour. Not only Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are devouring their young with the tech, WordPress has leaped with both feet into this disaster.

I have complained to the powers-that-be, here at WordPress, and my eventual choice appears to be a request for no advertising at all on my personal blog.

Thanks to re/code

NSA makes up for loss of surveillance powers — returns to Facebook


Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty

The National Security Agency is compensating for the expiration of its power to collect the American people’s personal information by logging on to Facebook, the agency confirmed on Monday.

The director of the N.S.A., Admiral Michael S. Rogers, said that when parts of the Patriot Act expired at midnight on Sunday, intelligence analysts immediately stopped collecting mountains of phone metadata and started reading billions of Facebook updates instead.

“From a surveillance point of view, the transition has been seamless,” Rogers said.

While the N.S.A. has monitored Facebook in the past, it is now spending twenty-four hours a day sifting through billions of baby pictures, pet videos, and photographs of recently enjoyed food to detect possible threats to the United States…

Citing one possible downside of the new surveillance regime, Rogers said that some N.S.A. analysts who now do nothing but monitor Facebook all day report feelings of worthlessness and despair. “I remind them that they’re doing this for America,” he said.

I think this is satire. Harder to tell, nowadays.

Dumb crook of the day

Joey Patterson

An Idaho fugitive was caught Saturday after he made a post on Facebook inviting friends to join him at batting practice in Boise.

KTVB TV station in Boise says…that Caldwell police officers showed up at the softball field after seeing the post on social media and arrested 22-year-old Joey Patterson.

He was wanted on a felony warrant for violating his probation on a fraud case out of Twin Falls. Patterson was booked into Canyon County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

Caldwell Police Sgt. Joey Hoadley says police often use social media to track down a fugitive. Hoadley says “even fugitives can’t keep from updating their Facebook status, and it leads to some great arrests.”

Har!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. You don’t become a petty crook because you’re extra smart.

Who can sort out your online world after you shuffle off this mortal coil?

image

Facebook…has finally decided how to handle the photos and friend requests of its deceased users. In Facebook’s settings, people can now appoint a friend or family member to be in charge of their legacy. The person gets to make one last public post, download all their loved one’s Facebook photos, and respond to friend requests.

The decision was applauded by estate planners—especially because it gets around the issue of needing a password to get into people’s accounts. Yet it doesn’t solve all the problems around online information after death.

For example, what happens if a user dies, and family members want to see private messages to get clues about whether it was a suicide? Using their password to get into the account, which is banned by Facebook’s terms of service, would violate federal privacy laws, says James Lamm, a principal at a Minnesota firm in charge of estate planning. Appointing a legacy account handler on Facebook also isn’t legally binding and doesn’t transfer any of the intellectual property on videos or poetry the person may have posted, he said.

For attorneys such as Lamm…the infrastructure of the digital world has created countless barriers for clients seeking to access bank accounts, find answers surrounding a death, or simply collect all the memories they can about the person they lost. Passwords, terms of service, encryption, and cloud storage all complicate the search for information required after a death.

Inconsistency – therefore uncertaincy – remains through the breadth of online providers. The article goes on to note a few and makes suggestions. My own unqualified advice is to sort out reponsibility, administrative rights, by assigning someone the rights to your intellectual property just as you would with real property.

It’s a new world; so, a new set of questions has to be answered. As usual in our society, the questions become pointed when dealing with something of value.

Dumb crook of the day

Police caught up to a man trying to flee assault charges because he posted a selfie on Facebook while sitting on a Greyhound bus out of town…

We like it when dumb criminals assist us in our investigation,” Ambridge police Chief James Mann told the Beaver County Times…

Mann told The Associated Press that the suspect, 22-year-old Donald Harrison, had been living in the borough about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh when he was charged with assaulting a woman and refusing to let her leave her apartment after an argument on Jan. 24.

An hour after the woman called police, police learned that Harrison, who is originally from Spartansburg, South Carolina, posted the Facebook message, “IT’S TIME TO LEAVE PA.”

Police couldn’t find him right away, but Mann said the woman called him Sunday afternoon after she noticed the Facebook selfie with the message saying, “OMW TO SPARTANSBURG SC SAY A PRAYER FOR ME.”

Mann said the picture appeared to show Harrison sitting in a bus or airplane and, acting on a hunch, he called the Greyhound bus terminal in Pittsburgh and learned a bus to Spartansburg had left 15 minutes earlier. After learning it would stop in Youngstown, Ohio, Mann explained the situation to Greyhound and arranged for Youngstown police to arrest Harrison on a warrant he faxed them.

The woman Harrison assaulted has several fractured vertebrae…and Chief Mann expects to add charges of aggravated assault when they complete extraditing his sorry butt from Ohio. He’s already charged with simple assault, unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment.

Creep!

Tech giants lobby to curb NSA — before Congress gives away privacy altogther

Trade groups representing Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are pushing the Senate to pass legislation limiting National Security Agency spying before the Republican majority takes control of the chamber.

A coalition of Internet and technology companies, which also include Google and Twitter, support a bill the Senate plans to vote on Nov. 18 to prohibit the NSA from bulk collection of their subscribers’ e-mails and other electronic communications. Many of the companies opposed a Republican-backed bill the House passed in May, saying a “loophole” would allow bulk collection of Internet user data.

Members of the Consumer Electronics Association “have already lost contracts with foreign governments worth millions of dollars,” in response to revelations about U.S. spying, Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of the group that represents Apple, Google and Microsoft, wrote in a letter sent to all senators yesterday.

The clock is ticking. If a final bill isn’t reached this year, the process for passing legislation would begin over in January under a new Congress controlled by Republicans, many of whom support government surveillance programs.

U.S. Internet and technology companies are confronting a domestic and international backlash against government spying that may cost them as much as $180 billion in lost business…

The issue emerged in June 2013 when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed a program under which the U.S. uses court orders to compel companies to turn over data about their users. Documents divulged by Snowden also uncovered NSA hacking of fiber-optic cables abroad and installation of surveillance tools into routers, servers and other network equipment…

The Senate bill, S. 2685, would end one of the NSA’s most controversial domestic spy programs, through which it collects and stores the phone records of millions of people not suspected of any wrongdoing. In addition to curbing data collection, the legislation would allow companies to publicly reveal the number and types of orders they receive from the government to hand over user data.

RTFA for all the gory economic details. No, you won’t see any participation from tech companies dedicated to skimming the cream off the vat of money tied to the military-industrial complex. And you won’t find a clot of Blue Dog Democrats standing in line to vote for privacy.

Like their peers in today’s Republican Party, conservative Democrats aren’t likely to fight for the personal liberty they all blather about. The concept of “Libertarian” in Congressional politics is thrown around a lot. Mostly by hustlers who read one or two books by Ayn Rand. Perish the thought they stand up to be counted alongside ordinary citizens.