Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Thai media rebuked over Facebook live of child murder

April 26, 2017


© AFP/File | Facebook has been urged to move more quickly to take down clips of grisly crimes and killings

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thai media came under fire Wednesday for publishing images of a man killing his infant daughter in a Facebook Live video, a grim case that sparked outrage and raised fears of copycat killings.

The video, filmed Monday on the southern resort island of Phuket, showed Wuttisan Wongtalay hang his 11-month daughter from an abandoned building before taking his own life, according to police in charge of the case.

The footage was online for hours before it was removed on Tuesday, prompting cries for Facebook to move more quickly to take down clips of grisly crimes and killings.

At least one major Thai daily also printed images of the suicide on its front page Tuesday.

A media body has since slammed some news outlets, which it said showed graphic and “inappropriate” images of the crime.

“The News Broadcasting Council of Thailand received complaints about reporting on a man who killed his child and himself via Facebook Live,” the organisation said in a statement.

“Those reports were inappropriate,” it added, warning channels and newspapers against giving graphic coverage to similar crimes because they “may lead to copycats with the understanding that those actions will draw attention.”

Police said they believe the killing was motivated by a “family feud” and that the father was unhappy with his wife’s child from another relationship.

“His wife has a boy aged about four years old from her previous relationship,” Jullaus Suvannin, the case officer, told AFP.

In a statement late Tuesday Facebook described the incident as “appalling”.

“There is absolutely no place for content of this kind on Facebook and it has now been removed,” the social network told AFP.

The killing was only the latest grisly crime to be published on the social network.

Last week Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg vowed to work to keep the site’s live-streaming function from being used to propagate harrowing acts after a man in the US state of Ohio broadcast footage of himself shooting a stranger dead.

The killer went on to fatally shoot himself after a massive manhunt and police chase.

During a speech last Wednesday Zuckerberg conceded that Facebook had “a lot of work” to do on the issue.

“We are going to work on building common ground, not just getting more opinions out there,” he added.

Facebook already has a 24-hour team of moderators who decide whether to remove content that is reported to them. Suicides and crimes are prioritised.

But the network says they are limited by how quickly they can respond to the sheer volume of content posted online each day.

They add that there have been instances where reported videos of a suicide attempt have resulted in a person being saved by local law enforcement, including such a case in Thailand in January.

Malaysia: Battle Over Syariah Courts Continues — PM Najib to Sue Tony Pau

April 23, 2017

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Tony Pau

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is suing Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua for posting a defamatory live video against him on Facebook relating to the PAS Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.

Najib said Pua had on April 6 made a statement at the Parliament lobby area and recorded it, containing slanderous words on his position as the Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

The 2-minute, 21-second video, he said, was uploaded on Pua’s Facebook, which was accessible to Internet users worldwide.

His lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun confirmed to The Star that the civil claim was filed at the High Court registry on Friday.

In his statement of claim, Najib said that Pua had malicious intent to slander him although he knew that the publication would affect his reputation.

Image result for Najib Razak, photos

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak gestures while addressing an event

The premier said the words implied that he had abused his power to give directives through the Cabinet to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to give way for the tabling of the Bill by the Marang MP to amend the Act known as RUU355 and set aside other Bills.

Najib said the words meant that he is a leader who practised dirty politics to ensure he stays in power.

Besides that, Najib said that those words had portrayed him as having conspired with PAS to create split Malay votes among the opposition parties.

Apart from that, he said, the words implied that he continuously cheats the people in a scandal involving 1MDB.

In his court papers, Najib said the words also meant that he had robbed the people’s money and was untrustworthy and not fit to hold his position.

He said the words implied that he misused his power for self gain.

In elaborating, Najib said the words had caused him to be brought to public scandal, odium and contempt in the country and abroad.

His solicitor, he said, had sent a notice of demand dated April 11 to Pua seeking an apology, a retraction of the slanderous statement, an undertaking not to publish those words and payment of damages; but the DAP politician failed to respond to his request within seven days.

The Pekan MP is seeking general, additional and exemplary damages for slander and libel.

On top of that, Najib is also applying for an injunction to stop Pua from publishing the slanderous words against him.

Najib wants Pua to publish a written apology in at least two mainstream newspapers and magazines to be identified by him later.

Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president, said he is suing in his personal capacity.

In his lawsuit, Najib is also asking Pua to immediately remove the live video from Facebook, and pay costs and further relief as deemed fit by the court.




 (Wall Street Journal)



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Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi of Universiti Malaya


Syariah courts’ jurisdiction still limited by constitution

Civil and syariah court judges have seemingly forgotten that the latter’s jurisdiction is limited by the Federal Constitution, a law expert said. Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi of Universiti Malaya, said this has made syariah courts behave as though they are immune from civil courts.

Shad highlighted how Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution states that syariah courts are not subject to civil courts only “of any matter within the jurisdiction of the syariah courts”.

“But very conveniently many syariah court judges and civil judges have forgotten the word ‘in matters within their jurisdiction’. “This means syariah courts have become totally exempt from the jurisdiction of civil law. That’s not what the law was (meant to do),” Shad said at a lecture in UM yesterday evening.

He said clause (1A) was added to Article 121 to prevent civil courts from ruling on matters concerning Muslim family law, such as when it comes to inheritance. Under the constitution he said, syariah courts only had jurisdiction over 24 matters regarding Muslim family law, and one criminal matter where Muslims committed an act “against the precepts of Islam”.

He further argued that just because syariah courts are exempt from civil judicial review in some matters, does not make it on par with civil courts. Shad then stressed how syariah courts only have jurisdiction over Muslims, and that a non-Muslim can not opt to choose to subject themselves to syariah courts.

“I would like to subject myself to the (military) court martial. But the martial can’t hear my case because I’m not in the military.

“Jurisdiction doesn’t come from my consent, jurisdiction come from law,” Shad said.

He said this while commenting on the custody battle between kindergarten teacher Indira Gandhi and her ex-husband Mohd Ridhuan Abdullah, who had unilaterally converted their three children. Some have argued that the matter of custody should have been heard in the syariah courts.

The government, in an attempt to stop the unilateral conversion of children, had sought to table amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act.

However, the amendment was deferred at the 11th hour in the last parliament meeting. Meanwhile, in an effort to solve jurisdictional disputes between syariah and civil courts, Shad briefly proposed that a judicial committee for the Conference of Rulers be established.

He said if a dispute arises, the attorney-general can refer it to the committee, who will then advise the Conference of Rulers on how to decide on the matter. This he said, would be similar to how Britain’s Privy Council used to advise the British monarchy on legal matters.- Mkini

Paris gunman who killed police officer known to security forces — Spent 15 years in prison for shooting officers — On watch list after recent arrest — Informants last month said he was ‘seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen’

April 21, 2017


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Paris Police secure the Champs-Elysees after one police officer was killed and another wounded in a shooting in Paris, France, April 20, 2017. REUTERS – Christian Hartmann

French security services are today facing troubling questions as to how they failed to prevent an ISIS gunman from slaughtering one policeman and wounding two other officers when he was already on a terror watch list.

Champs-Elysees killer Karim Cheurfi had been detained only last month, it has emerged, after informants said he was ‘seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen’.

But the 39-year-old, who used the war name ‘Abu Yousuf the Belgian’, had to be released because anti-terror police did not have enough evidence to hold him.

The homegrown fanatic, who officials confirmed was a French national despite his nickname, had also been released early from prison – where it is thought he was radicalised – having been jailed for 20 years in 2005 for trying to kill two policemen.

Cheurfi opened fire five times with a .38 revolver following a car chase in 2001, leaving the officers and a third victim wounded.

He had fled on foot before the driver of the other car and the passenger – a trainee police officer – caught up with him. He fired twice, seriously wounding both men in the chest. All three survived the attack in Roissy-en-Brie, in the Seine-et-Marne department of northern France.

Cheurfi was arrested and placed in custody under a false name. Two days later he seriously injured an officer who was taking him out of his cell, seizing his weapon and firing several times.

Two French officials said this morning that Cheurfi was detained in February for threatening police before being freed, although a warrant for his arrest is dated March 6.

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The killer was known to security services in France, according to reports this evening

The killer was known to security services in France, according to reports this evening

One police officer was shot dead and two more seriously injured by a gunman carrying a Kalashnikov in Paris this evening

One police officer was shot dead and two more seriously injured by a gunman carrying a Kalashnikov in Paris this evening


Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France's Interior Ministry, confirmed that one police officer was dead and two seriously wounded following the 'targeted attack'

Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry, confirmed that one police officer was dead and two seriously wounded following the ‘targeted attack’

The arrest warrant issued for Cheurfi before he was detained at the beginning of last month

The arrest warrant issued for Cheurfi before he was detained at the beginning of last month

The ISIS killer is believed to have been released in 2016 following the triple assassination attempt, at a time when he was known for drug offences, car theft and robbery.

Despite having the nickname ‘Abu Yousuf the Belgian’, Cheurfi was a French national, Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon told public broadcaster VRT.

It has been claimed Cheurfi was making dark threats on messaging app Telegram before launching his attack on the Champs Elysees in Paris last night.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the atrocity, which was carried out with a Kalashnikov weapon. A female foreign terrorist was also injured when a bullet ricocheted off the police car before Cheurfi was shot dead.

The fatal incident unfolded as presidential candidates, including National Front party leader Marine Le Pen, debated on a TV show nearby before Sunday’s election.

French President Francois Hollande said he was convinced it was a terrorist attack, adding that he would hold a security cabinet meeting this morning.

The French-born killer lived in Chelles, a commuter town close to Paris in the Seine-et-Marne department.

In 2003 he was sentenced to 20 years inside a high security prison following the attacks in Roissy-en-Brie, also in Seine-et-Marne.

But he was let out early following an appeal ruling, giving him the freedom to carry out tonight’s attack.

Gunshot-like noise forces BBC crew in Paris to run off the street


The app makers have boasted of security settings which keep messages safe from 'snoopers'

The app makers have boasted of security settings which keep messages safe from ‘snoopers’

Telegram is a messaging app which focuses on speed and security, according to its makers.

It allows users to send messages, photos, videos and files to groups of up to 5,000 and broadcast to unlimited audiences.

A statement on Telegram’s website about security says: ‘Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years.

‘Their marketers managed to convince the public that the most important things about privacy are superficial tools that allow hiding your public posts or your profile pictures from the people around you. Adding these superficial tools enables companies to calm down the public and change nothing in how they are turning over private data to marketers and other third parties.

‘At Telegram we think that the two most important components of Internet privacy should be instead:

  • Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc
  • Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc

‘This is what everybody should care about, and these are some of our top priorities. Telegram’s aim is to create a truly free messenger, without the usual caveats. This means that instead of diverting public attention with low-impact settings, we can afford to focus on the real privacy issues that exist in the modern world.’

Cheurfi was the registered keeper of the grey Audi used in last night’s attack. A raid on his home later found guns and ammunition, intelligence sources said.

He had targeted a parked patrol car full of traffic control officers working to the Paris prefecture.

The officer killed was at the wheel and was having an evening snack at the time of his death.

French television network BFMTV reports that Cheurfi had used the Telegram internet messaging service, which extremists have previously been claimed to favour because of its encryption.

Police are searching the home of the shooter in eastern Paris, and following the attack French presidential candidate Francois Fillon has called for the election campaign to be suspended.

Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry, confirmed that one police officer was dead and two seriously wounded following the ‘targeted attack’.

He said a ‘car pulled up just after 9pm’ next to a police patrol car which was parked up on the busy avenue.

Police search the car reportedly used in Paris attack

Intelligence sources said the dead assailant was a known radical on a so-called S-file, for 'State-security'

Intelligence sources said the dead assailant was a known radical on a so-called S-file, for ‘State-security’

Police officers searched the home of the suspected gunman in east Paris following the attack in the capital on Thursday 

Police officers searched the home of the suspected gunman in east Paris following the attack in the capital on Thursday

Officers searched the home of the suspected gunman on Thursday evening after they travelled to his home in the east part of the capital 

Officers searched the home of the suspected gunman on Thursday evening after they travelled to his home in the east part of the capital

A man jumped out with a weapon and started firing indiscriminately into the police vehicle, hitting the unidentified officer who died directly in the head.

The assailant then ran off, pursued by other officers. Two of them were wounded as they killed him.

Mr Brandet said ‘all lines of investigation were being pursued’, while intelligence sources said the dead assailant was a known radical on a so-called S-file, for ‘State-security’.

This means he would have been under surveillance, because he was a known risk to the country.

Mr Brandet later said a possible accomplice had turned himself over to Belgian police, but it was ‘too early to say’ if he had played a significant part in the attack.

President Hollande, speaking from the Elysee palace close to the scene of the shooting, said: ‘A national tribute will be paid to this policeman who was killed in such a cowardly way.

‘A passerby was hit. The assailant was neutralised by other police officers. The entire area has been cordoned off. The people present have been evacuated.’

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Updated 9:35 PM ET, Thu April 20, 2017

Paris (CNN)  A man who killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees Thursday night was known to French security services for radical Islamist activities and had shot and wounded an officer in the past, a source close to the investigation told CNN.

The suspect, who was shot dead by French police, was the subject of a “Fiche S” surveillance file and was on the radar of the French domestic security service DGSI, the source said.
The man was a French national who shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police car, the source said. He was taken into custody but while being questioned grabbed another officer’s gun and shot him three times, the source said. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said.
The source said French investigators now believe this was in all likelihood a terrorist attack. They believe there was just one attacker, and the danger is likely over, the source said.
ISIS issued a statement saying an Islamic State “fighter” carried out the attack. The ISIS claim comes via a statement released by the group’s media wing, Amaq. The ISIS statement identified the attacker and called him “the Belgian.” CNN has not confirmed the attacker’s association with Belgium.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said he will reveal the shooter’s identity on Friday at a news conference. He said officers are searching the man’s residence in Chelles, Seine-et-Marne, a Paris suburb, and are trying to determine if he had accomplices.
The shooting has not officially been declared a terrorist act but anti-terrorist forces are leading the investigation, French President Francois Hollande said.
“The people who were present have been evacuated and we are convinced that the leads which point us to this case, and which will allow us to uncover the truth, are of a terrorist nature,” he said.

Elections on Sunday

The shooting happened about 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) when a car stopped at 102 Champs-Elysees in front of a police van, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said.
A man emerged from the car and opened fire on the van with an “automatic weapon,” killing one officer instantly, he said. The man “then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two other policemen. Other policemen engaged and shot and killed the attacker,” Brandet said.
The slain officer was 30 years old, Molin said. One of the wounded officers was critically injured but is improving, he said. Also wounded was a female tourist.
The shooting shut down the famed Champs-Elysees, one of Paris’ top tourist attractions and home to the iconic Arc de Triomphe monument. The avenue was clear of residents and tourists but teeming with security officers Thursday night.
It comes three days before French voters start elections for a new president. Candidates went ahead with a debate Thursday night.
France has been in a state of emergency since the 2015 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead. Parliament voted in December to extend the extraordinary provisions to ensure the protection of upcoming presidential and general elections.
Security has been tight because of the vote. Just two days ago French authorities arrested two men in Marseille who were allegedly planning an attack in a run-up to the election.

Police officers block access to the Champs-Elysees.

At least three underground train stations of the Paris Metro — the Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau, George V and F. Roosevelt stations — have been “closed off” near the site of the police operation on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, BFMTV reported.

Trump: ‘What can you say?’

Paris resident Daoud Kal, 29, said he was walking in the area near a metro station when he heard four to five shots. He looked around, but couldn’t identify where the shots were coming from. People panicked and ran away from the scene and he joined them.
The CNN Paris bureau is on this street and staffers reported hearing a dozen shots. At least 20 police vehicles were seen on the street.
Officers could be seen forcibly removing innocent citizens from the area as they attempted to get them to safety.
President Donald Trump, speaking at a news conference in Washington with the visiting Italian Prime Minister, offered condolences to the people of France after the shooting, saying it “looks like another terrorist attack.”
“What can you say? It never ends,” the President said.
The Champs-Elysees is a main road lined with restaurants, cafes, exclusive designer boutiques and tourist shops. At one end is the Arc de Triomphe, surrounded by a several-lane-wide roundabout, and the other end stops at the Place de la Concorde, known for its obelisk monument.
The presidential palace, the Elysee, is a few blocks away.
French police tweeted, “Police intervention underway in the area of the #ChampsElysees avoid the sector and follow the instructions of the police forces.”

French candidates respond

The US State Department put out a cautionary tweet, saying: “If you’re in #Paris, monitor local news. #ChampsElysees has been closed. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area after a shooting.”

One police officer was killed in a shooting on the Champs-Elysees.

The shooting comes three days before French general elections and Paris was already in a state of heightened alert. French politicians immediately reacted on social media.
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen tweeted, “My emotions and solidarity for the police, once again targeted.”
Conservative French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon tweeted, “Paying homage to police who give their lives to protect ours, #ChampsElysees.”
Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: “Paying homage to the policeman killed on the champs elysees. Thoughts are with his family. Solidarity with his injured colleagues and those close to them.”
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy tweeted: “To our law enforcement: support, strength, courage. They are paying again a heavy price. Our Nation’s tribute must be total NS”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “We won’t give up, not bow and remain united facing these odious and insidious threats that weigh on our cities.”
She also extended a message of solidarity and thanks to the retailers on the Champs-Elysees who gave people shelter during the attack.
This developing story has been updated to clarify details about the attacker’s nationality.

Why Facebook blocks porn — but lets you watch a murder

April 19, 2017

Jonathan Taplin — director emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC and author of a new book, “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy” — spoke at a Lotos Club reception for his book on Monday. Here are some of his remarks during a Q&A moderated by Jeffrey Toobin, as well as a subsequent interview with The Post’s Ian Mohr, on the dangers of YouTube and Facebook:

“There is a kind of nefarious block of the ‘safe harbor’ act — the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — that basically says that nobody, no musician, no individual can sue Facebook or Google, or YouTube, for posting stuff that they don’t have permission to. So this is why there are 55,000 ISIS videos on YouTube. Right? They claim, ‘We have no responsibility . . . it’s First Amendment rights. We don’t know.’ The only pushback they’ve gotten is from advertisers. Procter & Gamble said, ‘Hey, we’re not so comfortable with our advertising being on terrorist videos. Stop it, please.’ Now they say, ‘Oh, there’s too many videos being uploaded to YouTube, we can’t control it.’

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“But you notice there’s no porn on YouTube. So why is that? That’s because they have A.I., artificial intelligence algorithms, that when someone tries to upload porn, it sees a bare breast and it stops it and puts it into a separate queue where a human looks at it and says, ‘Well, is this National Geographic video? Or is this porn?’ And if it’s porn, it doesn’t go up, and if it’s National Geographic, it does go up. Well, they could do the same thing with ISIS videos. As you well know — any of you who’ve ever used [the music recognition app] Shazam — they can do the same thing with every tune, every movie, that someone doesn’t want up there, in three seconds the audio signature would tell them, ‘This is something we don’t want’ and stop it.

“But that’s not their business model. Their business model is that, ‘We want everybody on there and we want all the content so we can sell more advertising.’ And of course these are by far the largest advertising companies in the world. Google dwarfs the Walt Disney Company with all its ABC, ESPN networks. Google’s like five times as big. So we just don’t realize that these companies are the giants. Tom [Freston] and I were talking about when he was running Viacom, everyone was worried, ‘There’s only seven media companies in the country. They’re dominating everything.’ Last year, Facebook and Google took 78 percent of all digital advertising money. In the whole year. So that’s a monopoly.”

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Zuckerberg vows work to prevent next ‘Facebook killer’

April 18, 2017


© GETTY/AFP | Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the social network has a “lot of work” to do in the fight against the spread of grisly images like the murder of a grandfather in Cleveland over the weekend

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday vowed to work to keep the world’s leading social network from being used to propagate grisly acts like the murder of an elderly man on Easter Sunday.

Zuckerberg’s comment came during the opening of Facebook’s annual developers conference in the heart of Silicon Valley, where he focused on technology tools intended to promote stronger communities.

“We are going to work on building common ground, not just getting more opinions out there,” Zuckerberg said.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin, Sr.. We will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”

He conceded that Facebook has “a lot of work” to do.

The US man wanted for killing Godwin in Ohio and then posting a video of the murder on Facebook fatally shot himself Tuesday after a brief pursuit in neighboring Pennsylvania, police said.

Steve Stephens, 37, had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt in the wake of Sunday’s killing in Cleveland.

The incident was the latest grisly crime posted on Facebook, reviving questions about videos posted on the world’s largest social network, and how — or if — they can be monitored. The footage was later taken down.

Social Media Networks Facilitate Identity Theft and Fraud — Fraudsters need just three details to steal your identity – and most of it can be found on Facebook

April 13, 2017

How Social Media Networks Facilitate Identity Theft and Fraud

Article by:

Kent Lewis EO Portland

Kent Lewis
EO Portland

Recent research reveals that identity theft affects millions of people a year, costing victims countless hours and money in identity recovery and repair. What causes this pattern of online theft and fraud? It’s a combination of factors: a lack of consumer knowledge regarding protecting your identity online; growing comfort with, and trust in, social platform providers; the need for social platforms to generate revenue; and a lack of standards or policing of these standards. Although this issue is not yet in the mainstream consciousness, it likely will be sooner rather than later.

Fueling the Fire

Social media sites generate revenue with targeted advertising, based on personal information. As such, they encourage registered users to provide as much information as possible. With limited government oversight, industry standards or incentives to educate users on security, privacy and identity protection, users are exposed to identity theft and fraud. Additionally, these platforms have a ton of confidential user information, and are likely vulnerable to outside (or inside) attack. On the marketing front, Google recently patented an algorithm to rate individual’s influence within social media. Once publicized, it will likely encourage greater participation by active users in order to boost their influence score.


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Crimes of Opportunity

With the increased global use of social media, there are more opportunities than ever before to steal identities or perpetrate fraud online. For example, status updates posted on Twitter, Facebook and many other social media sites can be used by criminals. If you post that you’re out of town on vacation, you’ve opened yourself up for burglary. If you mention that you’re away on business for a weekend, you may leave your family open to assault or robbery. When it comes to stalking or stealing an identity, use of photo- and video-sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube provide deeper insights into you, your family and friends, your house, favorite hobbies and interests.

That being said, social networking sites have the greatest potential for abuse. While everyone knows they should never share their social security number and driver’s license, many social networking sites ask for, if not require, similar sensitive information that can be used against you in a variety of malicious ways. The following profile elements can be used to steal or misappropriate your identity:

  • Full name (particularly your middle name)
  • Date of birth (often required)
  • Home town
  • Relationship status
  • School locations and graduation dates
  • Pet names
  • Other affiliations, interests and hobbies

A Facebook mural

A third of adults have social media profiles that include their full name and date of birth CREDIT: JEFF CHIU/AP

Horror Stories

You’re probably asking why sharing your pet’s name, high school graduation date and membership to an organization with the public is a potentially dangerous move. There are a variety of reasons why you should keep personal information confidential, or at least closely managed. Below are just a few examples of how this information can be used to compromise your identity:

  • Phishing attempts using this information can be used to gain trust in order to obtain non-public information through online conversations. A Portland, Oregon, USA, company was recently attacked with false Better Business Bureau complaints in order to obtain additional information about the company and its employees.
  • GPS-enabled phones sharing your location can reveal sensitive information like your home address, work address and the places you visit.
  • Ninety-five percent of Facebook profiles have at least one application, many of which are not reviewed and can be used for malicious and criminal purposes.
  • False profiles can be used to fuel resume fraud or defamation of character. A Canadian reporter recently was defamed via a false profile that included misleading posts, poorly considered group memberships and intellectually inconsistent political positions.
  • An American soldier abroad in Iraq discovered his bank account was repeatedly being accessed online and drained. A security expert was able to replicate access with nothing more than his name, e-mail and Facebook profile.

Best Practices

Before you jump online and cancel all of your social media accounts, consider that there are ways to be smart about what you share and who you share it with. By following the best practices outlined below, you can enjoy the benefits of social media without making yourself a target for criminals.

  • Never, ever give out your social security number or driver’s license numbers.
  • Consider unique user names and passwords for each profile.
  • Vary your passwords and change them regularly.
  • Don’t give out your username and password to third parties (even if it helps you connect to others and build your network).
  • Assuming you plan to be active in social media, minimize the use of personal information on your profiles that may be used for password verification or phishing attacks.
  • Avoid listing the following information publicly: date of birth, hometown, home address, year of high school or college graduation, primary e-mail address.
  • Only invite people to your network that you know or have met, as opposed to friends of friends and strangers.
  • For password security verification questions, us a password for all answers (rather than the answer to the specific question, like “What is your mother’s maiden name?”).
  • When age-shifting to protect your real birthday, keep the date close; otherwise, you may expose yourself to age discrimination.
  • Watch where you post and what you say, as it can be used against you later.
  • Google yourself regularly and monitor your credit using the free annual report or monthly monitoring services.

Consumers need to be educated on the proper use of social media as it relates to protecting privacy and security. Social networks need to also understand the impact of not addressing security and privacy issues. If the information becomes corrupted, it not only casts doubt on the social network, but on your real-life personality, as well.​

See also:

Fraudsters need just three details to steal your identity – and most of it can be found on Facebook    (The Telegraph)

Industry, academic partners team up to fight fake news

April 3, 2017

© AFP/File / by Rob Lever, with Glenn Chapman in San Francisco | The News Integrity Initiative will launch with $14 million from Facebook, the Ford Foundation, Mozilla and others will work to combat the spread of “fake news” and improve public understanding of journalism

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A global alliance of tech industry and academic organizations unveiled plans on Monday to work together to combat the spread of “fake news” and improve public understanding of journalism.The News Integrity Initiative will launch with $14 million from Facebook, the Ford Foundation, Mozilla and others, based at the City University of New York’s journalism school, which will coordinate research, projects and events.

“We want to bring the conversation past just talking about media and to bring the public in,” said Jeff Jarvis, who heads CUNY’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

“We want to go beyond the fake news discussion and get to what I hope is a flight to quality.”

Fake news became a serious issue in the US election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated on social media, potentially swaying some voters.

Concerns have been raised since then about hoaxes and misinformation affecting elections in Europe, with investigations showing how “click farms” generate revenue from online advertising using made-up news stories.

– Better tools –

Facebook and Google have stepped up efforts to root out misinformation, Jarvis said, adding that helping the public understand the difference between fraudulent news and serious journalism will constitute an important element of the effort.

“We have to equip the public with better tools and better discussions,” he said.

The initiative’s mission is “to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world and to better inform the public conversation,” a statement said.

The founding funders include Facebook and the Craigslist founder Craig Newmark’s philanthropic fund along with the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks.

Campbell Brown, a former NBC and CNN journalist hired early this year to head the Facebook news partnerships team, said the social network is looking at the issue “holistically.”

“We think news literacy is a global concern. It is important for people to be able to identify misleading news content, be discerning about the news that shows up on Facebook and everywhere else,” she said.

“This is not a problem that we could ever solve alone.”

Facebook and Google have already taken steps to cut off advertising revenues to news sites promoting misinformation.

Facebook has also ramped up efforts to flag news stories that may be false, and has launched a “journalism project” that aims to support the news ecosystem.

“We have to look at this globally, so we are going to be supporting a lot of organizations around the world addressing the challenges,” Brown said.

Facebook joined the project as part of its effort toward “helping people make more informed decisions when they do encounter false news,” she said.

Other partners include Arizona State University, the International Center for Journalists, the News Literacy Project, the Trust Project, and the public relations group Weber Shandwick.

Denmark’s Constructive Institute at Aarhus University is also taking part, along with the European Journalism Centre in the Netherlands, the Colombia-based Fundacion Gabriel Garcia Marquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano, the Hamburg Media School and Hans-Bredow-Institut in Germany, the Polis media department at the London School of Economics, France’s Sciences Po university, the Hong Kong-based Society of Publishers in Asia, the Walkley Foundation in Australia, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and UNESCO.

The move is one of many efforts to crack down on fake news.

In February, a group of 37 French and international media outlets, supported by Google, launched “CrossCheck,” a fact-checking platform aimed at detecting fake information that could affect the French presidential election.

by Rob Lever, with Glenn Chapman in San Francisco

Chris Christie takes on role in Trump’s fight against opioids — “I am pro-life and that means we believe in the sanctity of human life.” — “Everyone has a right to the help that they need.”

March 29, 2017


The Hill

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Chris Christie. Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will take on a role in President Trump’s White House to combat the country’s opioid epidemic, ABC News reported, citing White House officials.

A draft order, obtained by Politico, talks about forming a commission to make recommendations related to treatment and law connected to opioid addiction.

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The president often talked about tackling the country’s opioid epidemic during his campaign.

Christie was a strong supporter of Trump after dropping his own presidential bid last year. He headed Trump’s transition team for some time before being ousted from that role shortly after Trump’s victory and replaced with Vice President Mike Pence.


“My brother Fred was a great guy. He had everything. I mean, the most handsome guy, and then he got hooked — and there was nothing, there was nothing we could do about it.”

— Donald Trump


He has been long rumored for a job in the Trump administration and said last year that he turned down several offers to serve in the White House.

During an interview earlier this year, the New Jersey governor said he doesn’t expect to be asked to serve in the Trump administration.

“I have absolutely no intention, nor any understanding, that I will be asked to be in the administration in the years to come,” Christie said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“My view is, I have got a job to do as governor, and then my intention is to go off to the private sector and to help support my family.”

The president told The Wall Street Journal during a past interview that “at some point, we’re going to do something with Chris.”

Last month, the New Jersey governor dined with the president at the White House, where they discussed the country’s opioid epidemic.

Christie last month signed a series of bills related to the crisis, including one requiring state-regulated insurance plans to cover treatment for opioid addiction.



Image may contain: 1 person

Chris Christie. AP Photo

Chris Christie appeared Wednesday morning, March 29, 2017, to talk about his new role working for President Trump in the effort to find solutions for America’s opioid epidemic. Christie said he believes in the worth of every human being and the sanctity of human life — that every human being has some spark of God within. He said this means he is pro-life and we, as a people, should not turn our backs on the addicted, the aged or anyone else.


Hospital patient's hands folded in lap, close-up

“We cannot leave the elderly behind.”




As Amazon, Facebook Rev Up in India, They Find China’s Way Ahead of Them

March 29, 2017

While American tech companies look to boost local subsidiaries, Chinese firms pour money into startups

US consumers likely to lose privacy protections for their web browsing history

March 29, 2017

Congress voted to kill rules meant to prevent internet service providers from selling users’ web browsing histories and app storage histories to advertisers

By Olivia Solon

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and screen

Without these protections, ISPs are free to track your browsing behavior and sell that data to advertisers without consent. Photograph: Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

US politicians voted Tuesday to kill privacy rules meant to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from selling users’ web browsing histories and app usage histories to advertisers.

The planned protections, proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and scheduled to take effect by the end of 2017, would have forced ISPs to get people’s consent before hawking their data.

Republicans in the House of Representatives followed their colleagues in the Senate with a vote – of 215 to 205 – to approve a resolution that uses the Congressional Review Act to prevent the privacy rules from taking effect.

Without these protections, ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are free to track your browsing behavior and sell that data to advertisers without consent. This represents a huge treasure trove of personal data, including your health concerns, shopping habits and visits to porn sites. ISPs can find out where you bank, your political views and sexual orientation simply based on the websites you visit. The fact that you’re looking at a website at all can also reveal when you’re at home and when you’re not.

“Give me one good reason why Comcast should know what my mother’s medical problems are,” said congressman Mike Capuano during the hearing before the vote, explaining how he had researched her condition after a trip to the doctor. “Just last week I bought underwear on the internet. Why should you know what size I take? Or the color?”

“Consumers should be in control of their own information,” added congressman Jared Polis. “They shouldn’t be forced to sell it to who knows who simply for the price of admission to access the internet.”

Others argued that repealing the privacy rules would be anti-competitive and give more power to a handful of companies.

Democrat Ro Khanna pointed out that Americans already pay much more for broadband than Europeans thanks to “monopolistic, anti-competitive practices”.

“Instead of making the industry more competitive, what this bill wants to do is give these four or five ISPs even more power,” he said.

“These companies are not going broke,” Capuano added. “The internet is not in jeopardy.”

Those in favor of repealing the privacy rules argued that it levels the playing field for internet service providers who want to get into the advertising business like Google and Facebook. According to ISPs, scrapping the rules will allow them to show the user more relevant advertising and offers, which would give the companies better return on the investment they have made in infrastructure. They argue that web browsing history and app usage should not count as “sensitive” information.

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