- SSL in outbound links from search engines
EFF has a great post that discusses how search engines could help our privacy even further by linking to encrypted versions of pages in their results where possible rather than the plain text. Not surprisingly, the privacy conscious search engine, Duck Duck Go, is already doing this. I switch the search engine in my browser some time back to DDG and each new announcement of the concrete steps they are taking to protect my privacy makes me feel that much better about my choice.
- New book on Canadian digital copyright is out, including a free electronic edition
Cory shares the news from Michael Geist about this book from Irwin Law. At over six hundred pages, this is a considerable commitment to the subject. The focus is primarily on the most recent copyright debates in Canada, centered on the hotly contested bill C-32. The free PDF version is available under a Creative Commons license making the wealth of material available to, as the cover blurb suggests, be used freely to improve directly the quality of the discourse.
- The BBC covers the crowd funded plan to build a working analytical engine, BBC via Hacker News
- FSF launches a hardware focused initiative
According to the H, the “Respects your Freedom” program is an endorsement based on a device using free software, being built with free software, and allowing user installation of modified software. This reminds me of Neuros’ Unlocked mark from a couple of years back as it is also trying to draw attention to manufacturers that support end user freedom, an increasingly important issue when anti-jail-breaking stories seem to be showing up with increasing frequency.
- Government admits to Facebook spyring, Slashdot
- Suit claims Facebook leaked real names of users to advertisers, The Register
Slashdot links to a Forbes article highlighting the work of Moxie Marlinspike with the anonymizing Firefox plugin, GoogleSharing. In addition to a reminder of how the plugin works by scrambling requests across all of the users using it, Forbes explains the recent update that addresses a question I certainly had when the plugin was first released. What if you don’t trust the administrators running the service that makes GoogleSharing work?
So when Google introduced encrypted search last May, Marlinspike saw an opportunity to solve that trust problem. Now that Google can accept encrypted search terms, he’s set GoogleSharing to scramble its queries and pass on the data in encrypted form. That means whoever is running the GoogleSharing server can see only identifying details like a user’s IP address, not the content of his or her online activities. And as has always been the case with GoogleSharing, Google can see only a user’s activities, not his or her identifying details. “Neither one of us gets to see the complete picture,” Marlinspike says.
This is excellent news if you just cannot give up Google for searches. If you are concerned about your search privacy, I would suggest you also consider checking out DuckDuckGo which has increasingly been offering more privacy options. There isn’t a technical assurance that DDG won’t track you, but there is a pretty strong policy statement. And for anyone else who might eavesdrop on your searches, DDG runs a Tor exit node and just recently added a Tor hidden service. (And to be clear, I have no affiliation with DDG, I am just a happy user.)
- DuckDuckGo search engine errects Tor hidden service
Slashdot shares news that DuckDuckGo has made it easier to use their search engine without leaving the privacy preserving penumbra of the Tor network. Previously, the search engine set up a dedicated exit node which actually allowed searchers to keep their search traffic encrypted. Tor’s hidden services eliminate the need to start on the regular, unencrypted network at all before switching over to access services via encrypted traffic.
- Competition produces vandalism detection for Wikis, Slashdot
- An open response to the USPTO, Groklaw
- Samuelson’s latest call for copyright reform
Groklaw, among others, also linked to this short article at the SFGate to which Cory linked in his discussion of Boyle’s and Jenkin’s new copyright comic book. It is a very accessible explanation of why reform is needed, prompted by the disruptions digital copying has wrought and the ensuing norms. It concludes with a brief recap of suggested areas for change that Samuelson has explored more fully in her academic writing.
- Meego on Android hardware, Make
- Ubuntu 9.04 approaches end of life, The H
- Pew Research Center report on trends in technology journalism, ReadWriteWeb
- Censored maps hard-wired into Chinese iPhones, ReadWriteWeb