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Tampa Bay Times hit with Ryuk ransomware attack

Florida newspaper The Tampa Bay Times suffered a Ryuk ransomware attack Thursday, making it the latest major victim of the notorious ransomware family that continues to rise in popularity. Curiously, the paper is at least the third Florida-based Ryuk victim in the past year. The attack, which The Tampa Bay Times reported on itself, did not result in any breached data. Sensitive customer … [Read more...]

Deepfakes laws and proposals flood US

In a rare example of legislative haste, roughly one dozen state and federal bills were introduced in the past 12 months to regulate deepfakes, the relatively modern technology that some fear could upend democracy. Though the federal proposals have yet to move forward, the state bills have found quick success at home. Already three states—California, Virginia, and Texas—have enacted deepfake … [Read more...]

Rules on deepfakes take hold in the US

For years, an annual, must-pass federal spending bill has served as a vehicle for minor or contentious provisions that might otherwise falter in standalone legislation, such as the prohibition of new service member uniforms, or the indefinite detainment of individuals without trial. In 2019, that federal spending bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), once again included … [Read more...]

Online privacy in 2019: a legislative review

For decades, the United States treated data privacy like an aging home, patching individual leaks and drafts only when a new storm hit. The country passed a law protecting healthcare-related information, and not much else. It then passed a law protecting video rental information, and not much else. It continued this way, repeatedly passing sector-specific laws while failing to address a problem … [Read more...]

New Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA) would empower American users

Despite the already dizzying number of comprehensive data privacy proposals before the US Senate—nearly 10 have been introduced since mid-2018—yet another bill has entered the conversation: the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act. This time, the bill, called COPRA for short, is sponsored by a Democratic Senator from Washington whose name has rarely been cited in the country’s ongoing debate as … [Read more...]

Please don’t buy this: smart doorbells

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, the two shopping holidays were just precursors to the larger Christmas season—a time of year when online packages pile high on doorsteps and front porches around the world. According to some companies, it’s only logical to want to protect these packages from theft, and wouldn’t it just so happen that these same companies have the perfect … [Read more...]

“Data as property” promises fix for privacy problems, but could deepen inequality

In mid-November, Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang unveiled a four-prong policy approach to solving some of today’s thornier tech issues, such as widespread misinformation, technology dependence, and data privacy. Americans, Yang proposed, should receive certain, guaranteed protections for how their data is collected, shared, and sold—and if they choose to waive those rights, they should … [Read more...]

Malwarebytes teams up with security vendors and advocacy groups to launch Coalition Against Stalkerware

Today, Malwarebytes is announcing its participation in a joint effort to stop invasive digital surveillance: the Coalition Against Stalkerware. For years, Malwarebytes has detected and warned users about the potentially dangerous capabilities of stalkerware, an invasive threat that can rob individuals of their expectation of, and right to, privacy. Just like the domestic abuse it can enable, … [Read more...]

Stalkerware’s legal enforcement problem

Content warning: This piece contains brief descriptions of domestic violence and assault against women and children. In the past five years, only two stalkerware developers, both of whom designed, marketed, and sold tools favored by domestic abusers to pry into victims’ private lives, have faced federal consequences for their actions. Following a guilty plea in court, one was ordered to pay … [Read more...]

ACCESS Act might improve data privacy through interoperability

Data privacy is back in Congressional lawmakers’ sights, as a new, legislative proposal focuses not on data collection, storage, and selling, but on the idea that Americans should be able to more easily pack up their user data and take it to a competing service—perhaps one that better respects their data privacy. The new bill would also require certain tech companies, including Facebook, … [Read more...]