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.
When FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler launched the opening salvo in the battle to regulate the Internet, he said time and time again that Net Neutrality would not be used to regulate rates. Now he is arguing that restricting the FCC from regulating Internet rates will kill Net Neutrality. Brace yourselves: Rate regulation is coming and Net Neutrality and those who supported it are to blame.
The release of Ubuntu 16.04 last week is good news for computer users who are upset over the recent development of Microsoft turning Windows into an operating system that is essentially spyware. As an open-source Linux distribution, Ubuntu is a great operating system for users concerned about privacy.
After months of legal battles, a public relations war, and congressional testimony over whether Apple should help the FBI break into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI accessed the iPhone without Apple's assistance. And — as The New American predicted — the agency has now admitted that nothing of value was found on the phone. While that was being reported, an anti-encryption bill was introduced in the Senate.
Last week, a major player in the social media forum world used a legal hack to alert its subscribers that it had been served a National Security Letter (NSL). NSLs are a legal tool used by federal agencies when those agencies are seeking information about an American company's customers or subscribers. Part of all such letters is a “gag order” forbidding the company from disclosing the existence of the NSL.
After a month of claiming — in court documents, sworn testimony, and public statements — that “Apple has the exclusive technical means” to access the data on the encrypted iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI has now dropped the case. The agency claims it “discovered” a “new” method that allowed investigators to access that data without forcing Apple to build a backdoor into the iOS platform.
The FBI and Apple will not get their day in court. At least not yet. The hearing over whether Apple must weaken the safeguards around its own encryption at the behest of the government — scheduled for Tuesday — was postponed by the Justice Department at the last minute. The FBI is now saying what tech experts have been saying all along: There may be a way to get into the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter without forcing Apple to create a backdoor.
In the FBI vs. Apple battle over encryption, Apple's lawyers have said that the company will take this all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. The big question looming over the case is: What will Apple do if it loses before that court? The answer is that the company will obey the order, but its engineers may not.