Real news from the privacy world

Online Freedom and Internet Security Stories in Brief:


Once again, we bring you a weekly update of trending online privacy and internet freedom news.


Get a VPN and prepare for the ‘Netflix Tax,’ After the metadata retention laws have been passed, Australians have been hit with the reality of how much the ‘anti-terrorism’ bill will cost to them. For those in online security world, data retention seldom catches the bad guys- instead, the surveillance to the everyday folk increases, and it’s not free either. Add to the mix the arrival of  Netflix stirring copyright law discussions and a 10% tax  is expected to be added towards the digital services bill in the near future. The government is keen to impose the current Goods and Services Tax (GST) on “intangible” services, including iTunes purchases, Uber rides and overseas streaming services, such as Netflix.. Read More

New Zealand

New Zealand ISPs with build in VPNs are targeted in New Zealand. The bigger established companies are arguing that copyright laws are being breached when ‘global mode’ is allowed by some of the entertainment providers with a VPN in New Zealand.  Arguments in the media are that this is nothing more than a recognition that the internet really is global and attempts to pretend otherwise are pretty fruitless. Of course, whether or not offering such a service technically violates copyright law is kind of besides the point ..Read More

United States

AT&T  settlement reached for data-breach in back in 2013 and 2014. More than 40 employees at the three contract call centers, in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines, sold customer information, including names and partial Social Security numbers, to criminals who used the information to unlock stolen smartphones. More than 279,000 AT&T customers were affected by the data breaches in 2013 and 2014, FCC said. The settlement amount raised questions on accountability for user data and punishment severity in cases when it is compromised. Read More 


Shapeshifting malware that changes its identity up to 19 times a day to avoid detection has been deactivated by Europe’s Cybercrime Centre and the FBI. At its height in September 2014 the malware, called Beebone, was controlling 100,000 computers a day. Criminals used it to help steal passwords and download other programs to the infected computers. Around 12,000 victims are being asked to use new online clean-up tools to remove it. .. Read more 


Turkey’s social media blackout earlier this week received some harsh criticism. Bans on social media networks are “not appropriate” according to basic democratic standards, said European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who held meetings with a number of senior officials in Turkey, adding that he expected “meaningful answers” from Ankara on the issue..Read More   Regardless, many say internet users have sidestepped the ban and within hours, the twitter handle #TwitterisblockedinTurkey  was trending worldwide, as hordes of social media users, seasoned by past Web crackdowns, sidestepped the blackout to lampoon the government. Proving again that Turkey’s government is no match for the country’s savvy Internet users.. Read More

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