It may not be an April Fool's Joke, but it sounds like one. Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have moved to assure customers that while Congress has officially passed a law stripping privacy protections from internet users, their data will not be sold and they won't be spying on customers. This begs the question — why did they need the law passed in the first place?
This Week in Tech News
The Senate has voted to overturn an FCC regulation that was designed to protect customer privacy. The regulation that was put out in October of last year said that internet service providers would have to ask for customer permission before selling personal data, such as browsing history, current location, and more.
Read more at WashingtonPost.com
With the entire computing industry moving away from Flash, Fedex is jonesin' to get users to continue to use it. The problem is, Apple, Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge don't support it anymore. You can still install and activate it, but by default, it either doesn't come with the browser or it's turned off.
Fedex's problem is that their website really doesn't work without it. So Fedex is offering to pay you $5 to turn it on. Leo says that Flash is a huge source of security issues, malware, and phishing scams. So he advises not to take the bait and leave it off.
The Turkish Crime Family is threatening to release hundreds of millions of iCloud account names and passwords if Apple doesn't pay them a ransom of millions of dollars. To prove it, they gave ZDNet 54 samples to confirm it. Apple, however, says they have never been hacked. But Leo says it's important for iCloud users to change their passwords just in case. While you're at it, if you haven't turned on two factor authentication, it would be a good idea to do that as well.
Leo says that while Tim Cook has turned Apple into the most valuable company in the world, the one thing he has yet to provide is a successful original product launch. Leo says that's why Cook talking up augmented reality is so key. Could Apple be planning to launch AR with the next generation iPhone? Time will tell.
The FBI has arrested a Twitter troll who was uploading an animated GIF that would trigger epileptic seizures of those he didn't like. They were able to look into his account and show how he was bragging he would to do it. The charge is cyberstalking.
The police department in Edina, MN has secured the right to look at people's Google Search history to look for information about a fraud case they were investigating. The legal brief is to cover anyone who searched for the name of the suspect and case, and it could be the entire community.
Leo says it's crazy and that Google should fight this tooth and nail. It's classic government overreach. Leo says he doesn't mind Google's algorithm putting custom ads on his search results, but for a government to ask who searched for something and to get a list is frightening.
24% more heart attacks, increased traffic accidents, and a wholesale lack of productivity is the byproduct of continuing to use Daylight Saving Time. Leo says it's an outdated concept whose liabilities outweigh the benefits, and we should simply get rid of it. It's important to know what is more high tech and what isn't. Your phone will automatically reflect the change, but your alarm clock will not. Change.org even has a petition to rid the world of Daylight Saving Time.
Most of the exploits and listening techniques reported by the information from Wikileaks Vault 7 indicate that the CIA can use to eavesdrop are mostly targeted tools, and not the blanket surveillance hacks that were originally reported.
Wikileaks has announced Vault 7, a massive collection of documents that show how the CIA uses malware and other hacking techniques to spy online. Some of the techniques includes using smartTVs as a spying device since they use cameras and microphones built into the TVs. Samsung warned of this in their terms of service for their TVs last year. But Leo says that the CIA doesn't really have a switch to turn on all TVs, and if they did, the data they'd receive would be so massive and 99.9% of it would be useless. It could be used for targeted eavesdropping, though.