As if the issues of an ill-informed electorate, media smear campaigns, and partisan politics weren’t enough to make elections difficult affairs, there is a not-so-new twist in the plot that will — at the very least — undermine many informed voters’ confidence in the system. Enter — from somewhere hidden offstage — the hackers who may well have more control over the outcome of November than any voting bloc could hope for.
Legislators can pass laws requiring background checks and putting undesirables onto “no fly, no buy” lists all day long. But they will have precious little impact when people have the freedom to purchase the increasingly sophisticated hardware and software to make their own weapons at home.
George Orwell may have imagined a world of total surveillance, but even his fertile imagination and acute understanding of totalitarianism did not foresee a world where the citizens demand, purchase, install, and configure devices to conduct the bulk of the surveillance on themselves and others. He also did not foresee the incestuous — if sometimes less-than-harmonious — relationship between government and business that would bring about the surveillance state. In the digital age, we have a state of total (or near total) surveillance that makes 1984 look like child’s play.
Recently released e-mails show that Hillary Clinton's decision to use her own e-mail server directly threatened national security. During a period of multiple weeks in 2010, technical problems with Clinton's server — and her unwillingness to stop using it — led to State Department IT staff disabling security features on government computer systems.
It is now nearly certain that Hillary Clinton will be announced as the Democratic nominee at the convention in July. But how has she managed to gain the nomination with a campaign and a career steeped in scandal? The short answer appears to be that Hillary has friends in high-tech places.
Over the past few months, Microsoft has maintained a course that continues to anger and alienate users. Having converted the Windows operating system into a suite of spyware tools designed to harvest users’ data through recommended updates that it has forced on users, the Redmond giant has given many of those users reason to abandon Windows for another operating system. As Windows continues to lose users, Microsoft — rather than adjust course —has instead ramped up the very tactics that angered users in the first place.
Facebook has been fighting allegations that the social media site harbors a political bias against conservatives, but on Monday, the company announced that it would send employees for retraining and discontinue its practices that have been charged as politically biased.
As Microsoft continues its trend of converting Windows into an operating system of spyware, more and more computer users are discovering the security, privacy, and liberty of Linux. Now, the company behind the world’s most popular Linux distribution has publicly pledged that there will never be any back doors built into its product.
Facebook has a long and checkered past concerning the way the company decides what a user sees in his or her timeline. Now, the social media giant is changing the formula again, and this time it will impact whether or not users will see articles shared by their friends. The method by which Facebook will do it involves another controversial issue that has dogged the company: data-mining.