DailyPost - October 17, 2017

6 min read

I've been thinking and rethinking how I use Twitter. I've been on the service for a while, but I am increasingly uncomfortable with the service and the company. Between Twitter's blatant failures at curbing abuse, curbing the spread of misinformation, and the general privacy issues that plague corporate social media, I will be leaving Twitter at some point in the future.

However, I still have interesting conversations on Twitter. I still learn things. I still meet people I wouldn't meet otherwise. So, while I am staying on the site for now, I am also looking at things I can change to make leaving Twitter easier - which brings us to this post.

I use Twitter as a way of storing links I will read later. I'm going to change that, and store information in a space I control, in a format that works for me. I'm hoping that this will also make be a better reader and sharer - rather than skimming and being superficial, I will spend a little more time selecting what I want to retain. For now, I'm thinking I'll keep a running list of information I encounter during the day, and rather than spin it out on Twitter over the course of the day, I'll collect them into a list, with short commentary.

This isn't revolutionary - really, it's what a whole bunch of people did before Twitter, back in Ye Olde Days of the Blogge. I see myself putting out posts like this every few days. Over time, we'll see what develops.

Collection of data in the UK

In the UK, there appears to be widespread collection of data from social media accounts:

It remains unclear exactly what aspects of our communications they hold and what other types of information the government agencies are collecting, beyond the broad unspecific categories previously identified such as “biographical details”, “commercial and financial activities”, “communications”, “travel data”, and “legally privileged communications”.

It's unclear if this information is collected via publicly available information, or via some type of access granted by the company.

Old, but always timely: How to Write a Tom Friedman Article

From 2004, but, unfortunately, timeless. How to Write a Tom Friedman Article.

What’s important, however, is that we focus on what these events mean [on the ground/in the street/to the citizens themselves]. The [media/current administration] seems too caught up in [worrying about/dissecting/spinning] the macro-level situation to pay attention to the important effects on daily life. Just call it missing the [desert for the sand/fields for the wheat/battle for the bullets].

You too can write like intellectually lazy hot takes. Because we need more of those.

InfoSec Pros Among Worst Offenders of Employer Snooping

Who knew? Information Security professionals often access information they .

And it turns out that IT security executives were the worst offenders of this snooping behavior, compared to the rest of their team, according to the Dimensional Research survey commissioned by One Identity.

Executives are more likely to engage in unethical behavior than lower level employees. Shocking.

More on Harvey Weinstein

We will be hearing about Harvey Weinstein for a good long tiome, I suspect. The latest is that he fired a director and recast the lead in movie because the director's choice "wasn't 'fuckable'".

“I was furious after being kicked off my film and I told them all about what happened, I told them about the harassment claims and I said here is your quote: ‘I don’t cast films according to Harvey Weinstein’s erection,’ and they just laughed,” Caton-Jones said.

And, of course, the press knew, and other people knew, and no one did anything. We shouldn't kid ourselves that the attention on Harvey Weinstein is fixing the root of the problem. Weinstein deserves everything he gets, but if you think Weinstein is unique, or that Hollywood is unique, think again. Harassment is pervasive. When women speak, we need to believe them.

More on Insecure IoT Devices

Many IoT devices use Bluetooth Low Energy to connect. Sex toys are no exception, including the occasional butt plug.

This is the final result. I paired to the BLE butt plug device without authentication or PIN from my laptop and sent the vibrate command.

I hope that we can look past the butt plug (figuratively) to see how many standard IoT implementations are hopelessly insecure.

No One Reads Terms and Conditions

From 2016, but still relevant.

What we did is we went to the extreme, and we included this - a firstborn clause suggesting that if you agreed to these policies that as a form of payment, you'd be giving up a first-born child. And 98 percent of the participants that took the study didn't even notice this particular clause.

I know parenting is hard, people, but seriously -- pay attention.

OpEd by a Student on Navigating White Educators

The author is a black student who has been taught by predominantly white teachers.

(s)tudents of color make up 85 percent of the population... Our teaching staff is proportionally opposite: more than 85 percent white. That racial disparity between students and staff is a problem. There are subliminal and subconscious micro aggressions, uncomfortable questions about black hair, attempts to invalidate students' experiences of racism and constant assumptions about their backgrounds.

We need to listen to students, even if it makes us uncomfortable -- or especially when it makes us feel uncomfortable.

Privacy and Tracking on State Department of Education Web Sites

Doug Levin has started what looks to be like a great series on State Departments of Education and how they respect (or don't) the privacy of people who visit them.

(t)he web is not—nor will ever be—static. New technologies, tools, and services routinely offer up innovative new capabilities and personalized experiences. And, with every new digital experience that may amaze and delight website visitors, potential new threats can be introduced. While not frequently on the cutting edge of technology, school websites and information technology systems are not immune to these larger trends

This work will be coming out over the next few days/weeks - I look forward to seeing where it leads.

Google Serves Fake News Ads on Fact Checking Sites

You can't make this stuff up. Google AdWords was used to spread misinformation on sites dedicated to debunking information. As usual, Google provided no information about how their system was exploited, or how much money they made from ads placed by these fraudulent sites.

Google declined to explain the specifics of how the fake news ads appeared on the fact-checking sites.

As I and others have written about, Google is complicit in this, and Google and other adtech vendors profit from misinformation.