Cyberculture agenda: Twitter sues U.S. Justice Department over surveillance requests… Firechat…

US Spy Programs May Break the Internet if Not Reformed, Google Leader Says

You own your data. And the government needs to start respecting that.

Twitter sues U.S. Justice Department for right to reveal government surveillance requests

In a blog post titled “Taking the fight for #transparency to court,” Twitter today announced it is suing the Department of Justice for the right to report “the actual scope of surveillance of Twitter users by the U.S. government.

The most interesting app in the world right now is, unfortunately, another bit of commercial malware from siliscam valley.

It’s FireChat from Open Garden.


FireChat is an app that you can download to your smart phone.  Once installed, it lets you build ad hoc networks using your cell phone’s wifi and bluetooth connectivity with other nearby phones that have the app running.

Cartoon by Matt Bors for (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).Cartoon by Matt Bors for (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Nathan Freitas and Oiwan Lam contributed to this article.

On Monday, September 29, social media enthusiasts and western media outlets unleashed aflurry of stories about pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong using the chat app FireChat. Although it appears that many of these accounts exaggerated the popularity of the app, activists and security researchers close to the situation believe it is important to make public information about what the app is — and what it is not.

The Great Facebook Migration to Ello

Ello“Your social network is owned by advertisers”.

Why Google Is Following Facebook’s WhatsApp Gambit

The rise of the dead-simple, dirt-cheap, emerging-market-friendly mobile messaging app continues. On Friday, as the European Union rubber-stamped Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of mobile messaging startup WhatsApp, The Economic Times of India reported that Google is building its own WhatsApp competitor, with plans to test the app in India and other emerging markets. Google declined


Google’s new In the news box for search results is surfacing some non-traditional “news” sources, including Reddit. Search Engine Land noticed that Reddit links were showing up in Google’s new search results field. Google confirmed that it was populating the field with more than traditional news sources. It told Search Engine Land, “We will be pulling from all over the web which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users to the answer they are looking for.” Of course Reddit being Reddit, when you currently search for “TSA,”

The Steve Jobs Industrial Complex


“This is a very strange business and a very strange endeavor of life,” Steve Jobs once said in a candid interview about his legacy in 1994. “All the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time that I am 50.”


The lifespan of the tracking cookie is about to expire. With the rapid emergence of mobile devices, the big three — Facebook, Google, and Apple — have turned to new and more potent methods for advertisers to keep track of you across multiple devices.

FBI Pays Visit to Researcher Who Revealed Yahoo Hack

FBI Pays Visit to Researcher Who Revealed Yahoo Hack

Jonathan Hall was trying to help the internet. Earlier this week, the 29-year-old hacker and security consultant revealed that someone had broken into machines running inside several widely used internet services, including Yahoo, WinZip, and Lycos. But he may have gone too far. Hall—the president of a security firm called Future South Technologies—went out of


KeepItReal650Facebook continued to mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a note on the Facebook Security page from site integrity engineer Matt Jones, detailing the steps taken by the social network to eliminate fake profiles and fraudulent activity.

google-bayIn the hope of steering prospective customers away from pirate sites, copyright holders are overloading Google with DMCA takedown notices.


HONG KONG — During these past few days of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a communal spirit has bloomed under the overpasses and on the highways. Groups of people play cards, laugh and relax under shared umbrellas. Stalls have popped up, providing necessities to those who need it — free of charge. People help each other build beds from newspapers and plastic sheets. Hair cuts are offered — gratis.


Facebook Won’t Stop Experimenting on You. It’s Just Too Lucrative

Did you hear the one about Facebook charging $2.99 per month for access? Recently, the Facebook fee hoax started circulating on, yes, Facebook, and you didn’t have to be an investigative journalist to debunk the thing. You just had to look at the company’s revenue numbers. Facebook’s 1.3 billion users are so valuable as advertising

America Must End Its Paranoid War on Hackers

America Must End Its Paranoid War on Hackers

Lawyer Tor Ekeland, who represents some of the highest profile hackers in the US, says the US should follow the UK and Ireland’s approach in meting out punishment proportionate to the actual harm done.

Hong Kong Protesters Shore Up Mobile Communications Tools in Face of Technical Threats

Students gathered in numbers on September 29 outside Sogo Department store in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay to continue the fight for democracy in what being called the Umbrella Revolution. Photo by Pete Walker. Copyright DemotixStudents gathered in numbers on September 29 outside Sogo Department store in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay to continue the fight for democracy in what being called the Umbrella Revolution. Photo by Pete Walker. Copyright Demotix

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