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Zuckerberg’s Harvard Professor Says Facebook Shouldn’t Compromise in China

“Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg shouldn’t bow to Chinese censors to win access to the world’s biggest Internet market, one of his Harvard University professors said.

The former Harvard College dean said Facebook, whose service is inaccessible in China, should liken its stance on free speech to that of Google Inc., which pulled its search engine out of China last year in opposition of the country’s self-censorship rules. The government bans pornography, gambling and content critical of the ruling Communist Party.”

From Bloomberg

Facebook temporarily disables sharing of user addresses, phone numbers with apps, websites

“Facebook is temporarily holding off on sharing its users’ addresses and phone numbers with developers and websites after a bit of frustration from its users and security experts.

But the move to grant access to such information to external websites and applications isn’t going away altogether, Facebook said in a post on its Developer Blog on Tuesday morning.

Graham Cluley, a security expert at Sophos who writes for its Naked Security blog, described the decision on Facebook’s part to enable the sharing of such information as a “move that could herald a new level of danger for Facebook users.” ”

From Los Angeles Times

Why have global spam levels declined?

“Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, thinks there are several reasons for the recent decline of Rustock’s, the botnet responsible for a large amount of global spamming, activity.

“One of the biggest reasons Rustock’s spamming activity has declined is that the affiliate programme, Spamit, which supplies lots of the content for the pharmaceutical spam emails it sends, has shut down. So in effect, Rustock needs to find a new large client to send spam on behalf of.

The other trend in this area which analysts have noted is that spammers have started to attack social networks, such as Facebook, much more, rather than email services.”

New Facebook Messaging Continues to Block Some Links

“Facebook says that content censorship policy isn’t changing, even as its new Facebook Messages service gives users e-mail accounts and encourages them to communicate even more through Facebook.

‘We have systems in place to prevent abuse on Facebook and prevent spam which we’ll continue to deploy with the new Messages,’ a Facebook spokeswoman said in a written statement. “We don’t share specifics on those systems.’ ”

From Wired News

Attacker That Sharpened Facebook’s Defenses

The cyber security spotlight is currently on the Koobface worm. Koobface is a malicious software that infects the computers of Facebook users by exploiting the website’s vulnerable social network interactions. The joint Citizen Lab and Sec Dev research group, Information Warfare Monitor, has just published a report on the malware network entitled “Koobface: Inside a Crimeware Network”. Citing the Information Warfare Monitor researchers Rafal Rohozinski, Ron Deibert and Nart Villeneuve, The New York Times discusses the lack of law enforcement protocol required to press charges on malware creators. The article also features what steps Facebook is taking to mitigate the malicious effects of Koobface.

From The New York Times

Groups applaud push to boost policing of web privacy

“Advocacy groups have welcomed reports that the US government plans to boost the policing of online privacy with new laws and a new watchdog.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration was set to unveil its new strategy in the coming weeks.

A more hands-on approach would mark a break from previous governments that relied on industry self-regulation.”

From BBC News

Germany considers ban on using Facebook for hiring

“Germany is considering a law that would ban employers from mining information on prospective job candidates from social networking sites such as Facebook to protect people’s privacy.

According to a draft of the bill, employers would be able to use publicly accessible information about applicants drawn from the Internet but not from social networking sites that serve “communication purposes.

Germany has been aggressive in analyzing online services given the country’s strict privacy laws, which came as a result of intense secret surveillance by the government during the Nazi regime.”

From Reuters

Facebook Fights Privacy Concerns

“The launch of Facebook Inc.’s ‘Places’ location service this week sparked new privacy concerns about the popular social network, but the company’s efforts to mollify critics before the launch stemmed some of the blowback.

‘Places’ is a feature that lets users share their physical locations with Facebook friends, but it also allows users to identify friends at those locations. By default, each Facebook member can be tagged at a location by friends until the member changes his or her account’s privacy settings.

Facebook, which changed its privacy controls following a torrent of criticism in May, defended the new feature and said it had consulted a dozen privacy and safety groups before it went live on Wednesday with ‘Places’.”

From The Wall Street Journal

Young will have to change names to escape ‘cyber past’, warns Google

“The private lives of young people are now so well documented on the internet that many will have to change their names on reaching adulthood, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has claimed.

“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” Mr Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal.

The 55-year-old also predicted that in the future, Google will know so much about its users that the search engine will be able to help them plan their lives.

Earlier this year, Google was condemned by the privacy watchdogs of 10 countries for showing a “disappointing disregard” for safeguarding private information of its users.”

From Telegraph.co.uk

World is losing grip on privacy: watchdog

“The world has less than a decade to make the protection of personal information and online privacy a priority before the concepts are lost forever, warns Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner.

Ann Cavoukian says legislation meant to safeguard privacy already can’t keep pace with the flow of information and advances in technology.

Cavoukian’s call comes as Facebook, Google and other companies have been forced to examine how they handle personal data. She said online privacy problems will worsen if governments don’t take a hard stance.

Several tools are already being used by hackers to steal personal data by tricking consumers into viewing websites infected with worms and viruses, and there are still no laws in place forcing private companies to disclose when personal information, such as credit card details, has been breached.”

From The Vancouver Sun