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U.S. to issue terror alerts on Facebook, Twitter

“The U.S. government may start issuing terror alerts using Facebook and Twitter, according to a news service report.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working to overhaul the current color-coded terror alert system. The new system, according to the report, would have only two levels of alerts — elevated and imminent.”

From Computer World

An App For Stalkers: ‘Creepy’ Geo-Locates Based On Social Networking Activity

“Yiannis Kakavas, a 26-year-old Greek graduate student at Germany’s Technischen Universität Darmstadt, has spent his tenure in academia studying such privacy issues, and is currently completing his thesis on critical infrastructure protection. Vehement about the importance of information security, Kakavas created a fascinating app tailor-made for stalkers: “Creepy” is a cautionary prophecy against the gradual diminishment of privacy in today’s digital age.

Described by Kakavas as a “geolocation information aggregator”, Creepy analyzes a user’s tweets, Facebook posts, and Flickr stream, generating a map of where that person is, as well as the specific locations they frequent. Though the notion of creating such an app may sound creepy in and of itself, Kakavas points out in an interview with tech site Thinq_, that if Creepy works, it’s the fault of the user.”

From The Huffpost Technology

Spammers Using Facebook Events to Trick Users

“Spammers are using Facebook Events to trick users into completing online surveys, taking part in online contests and perform other tasks which allow spammers to generate commissions.

According to multiple security firms, spammers using Facebook Events to promote their links have been highly successful in their efforts to dupe unsuspecting users thus far. According to a report from TrendMicro,”tens of thousands” of users had mistakenly registered for one spammer’s event. Meanwhile, Sophos found an example where over 10 million Facebook users had been targeted, and over 165,000 had accepted.”

From The New York Times

Sudan’s cyber-defenders take on Facebook protesters

“(Reuters) – Medical student Ahmed Widaa was content to support Sudan’s ruling party from the sidelines for years, until the uprisings in Tunisia and neighboring Egypt made him worry that Sudan could be next.

With revolutionary zeal, the 21-year-old now lobbies online to defend the status quo — one of many pro-government youth taking to the Internet to hit out at anti-government protests in the oil-producing country.

“We want to get our message out — that we don’t have to go out and protest,” said Widaa, who says he is convinced that the still small protest movement in Sudan is just a front for the unpopular Communist party. “We’ve seen what’s happened in Egypt and Tunisia and things are worse after the protests.””

From Reuters

Facebook drops uprising page after Israel protest

“Facebook on Tuesday removed a page calling on Palestinians to take up arms against Israel, following a high-profile Israeli appeal to the popular social-networking site.

The page, titled “Third Palestinian Intifada,” had more than 350,000 fans before it was taken down. It called on Palestinians to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising. “Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews,” a quote from the page reads.”

From The Globe and Mail

Facebook user jailed for message supporting Arab revolutions

“Zimbabwe–Reporters Without Borders condemns Internet user Vikas Mavhudzi’s detention for the past month on a charge of advocating the government’s overthrow in a message he posted on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Facebook page. He is to remain in prison until his trial, for which no date has yet been set.

Mavhudzi, 39, posted a message highlighting the impact of Egypt’s revolution and indicating his support for peaceful protests.”

From Reporters Without Borders

Sudan warns it will send cyber jihadists to curb protests

“The Sudanese government has warned protestors that it will send out cyber jihadists to “crush” anti-government sentiment.

The National Congress Party took power in Sudan in 1989 after a military coup, but now its 22 year reign is under threat as dissent grows across the country.

Protests have been ongoing since January, similar to those held in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, and the Internet is a major tool being used by protestors to organise anti-government campaigns.”

From The Inquirer

Social media capitalise on Russia’s history of censorship

“Globally, blogs have been losing the battle with social networks, but in Russia they are holding their ground much better, although, Mr Chistov admits, the peak of their popularity was reached in the 2000s.

Mikhail Geisherik, social media department director at Grape Advertising Agency, says that the main difference between the Russian and Western blogospheres is the fact that the Russian one “is hugely politicised”.

“Basically, it is the most active part of the [global] blogosphere,” he says.”

From BBC News

EU to force social network sites to enhance privacy

“The European Union is to enshrine a “right to be forgotten online” to ensure that, among other things, prospective employers cannot find old Facebook party photos of someone wearing nothing but a lampshade.

In a speech to the European parliament, the EU justice commissioner, Viviane Reding, warned companies such as Facebook that: “A US-based social network company that has millions of active users in Europe needs to comply with EU rules.”

In a package of proposals to be unveiled before the summer, the commissioner intends to force Facebook and other social networking sites to make high standards of data privacy the default setting and give control over data back to the user.”

From The Guardian

US spy operation that manipulates social media

“The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet.”

From The Guardian