Archive for January, 2020

Patriot Act Section 215 gets a quiet reprieve

January 30, 2020

Don’t feel bad if you missed it. Some allege that that was the idea. Late last year, Congress quietly extended Section 215 of the Patriot Act by burying it in the Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2020.  “Most famously,” reported Harvard Law School’s Jolt Digest, … Section 215 authorizes the bulk collection of telephony metadata, or call detail records [...]

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Fiserv Relieves Gas Pains

January 27, 2020

Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show: Payment at the gas pump just got cooler I once heard a statistician characterize Las Vegas—at, of course, a convention in Las Vegas—as “a monument to people who do not understand probability and chance.” To her point, gambling profits indeed built the town. Reno, about 400 miles to the north, [...]

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TBT: Oh what a tangled (dark) web we weave

January 23, 2020

Originally posted October 10, 2017 How the U.S. government helps hackers When you email or visit a website, your computer leaves behind a calling card in the form of its IP address. Short for “Internet Protocol,” the IP address helps devices locate and recognize each other, thus speeding communication. People, too, can identify senders and visitors by [...]

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How Facebook retains users, and why it’s not the best method

January 20, 2020

As of this writing, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t budging: Facebook will still run but not fact-check political ads. Not to worry, however: it will continue suspending users for remarks and images its algorithm deems unseemly. This isn’t the first time that Zuckerberg and his brainchild have stepped on a steaming pile of bad PR. Not to be overlooked [...]

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Payment fraud takes a ride on public transit

January 13, 2020

While public transit lets riders save on gas and turn commute time into reading, work, or Candy Crush time, it lets fraudsters test stolen data. Readers of this blog are doubtless aware that no shortage of account numbers, complete with names, passwords, maiden names, SSNs, PINs, fingerprints, and other personal data, are available for sale on [...]

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