If the message isn’t already clear enough to Internet users it’s about to get a lot clearer, its that NO Government wants you to have any privacy no matter who you are or where you live … in spite of technology that makes this possible and practical for almost any user.
Companies like RIM have used encrypted email and the privacy it offers as its business model and now governments want to target these guys and force them to open their network to government snoops at their whim.
RIM CEO, Jim Balsille recently stated “We’ve made it clear that we are respectful of government needs and fully co-operating to comply with lawful requirements on an industry standard basis, but we cannot compromise the security architecture of the BlackBerry enterprise solution”.
Lets hope he can stick to his guns when a new bill reaches Congress next year.
The New York Times said the bill would require all online services that enable communications to have interfaces built into their networks so that they could comply to a wiretap order. Providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype would all be affected.
Security officials say the new regulations are necessary because crooks and terrorists are moving their communications from phones to online.
FBI lawyer Valerie Caproni said “We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts. We’re not talking about expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”
Facebook has a network of about 500 million users, and 100 million of them use Facebook apps from Iphone or Android.
As more and more computer users move away from the desktop to smartphones and other mobile devices, this section of the web is becoming a test of which manufacturers can deliver the best combo of hardware, software, and apps for the user.
Free software producers such as Facebook and Google leverage their user traffic by displaying ads to earn revenue. Facebook already does this and has people on its team who helped create software for both Iphone and Android.
In a Techcrunch report it is suggested that Facebook is at work developing software which will be deeply integrated into the Facebook database that no other competitor has access to. The software will run on an Android based smartphone specifically engineered for Facebook.
Facebook has denied they are building a smartphone but the denial was worded in a such a way that it’s still possible the software above is being developed, but because they aren’t actually building the hardware they can deny they are building a smartphone.
It should be remembered that Google denied it was building a smartphone to while it was quietly creating the Android software.
Maybe there’s more than meets the eye here and explains why Apple and Facebook couldn’t agree to provide Apple’s new iPhone4 users direct access to Facebook via an API.
Cyber crime is a growing problem on social networks. Online security experts say some Australian companies are blocking access to Facebook and Twitter because of their fear of malware infections, amongst other problems.
This is in spite of the positive results that word of mouth marketing on the social networks can create for a company. Unfortunately the sharing that goes on in Facebook or in Twitter Tweets can also share some undesirable elements with corporate networks.
Panda Security specializes in corporate network security and from a survey of companies it did in July has come out with what it calls the Social Media Risk Index.
The data collected from 315 small and medium size businesses indicated 33% of them had been infected from a virus or malware passed to them from a social network. 23% had employee privacy violation issues resulting in losses of sensitive information. One third of those infected also said it resulted in financial losses of $5000 or more.
Twitter was the biggest problem for privacy violations with Facebook and You Tube ranking one two in that order for malware and virus infections.
According to Panda Security these problems can be managed successfully with up to date network security tools and by properly educating the work force.
In spite of the problems with social networking 78% of respondents reported that they use these tools to support research and competitive intelligence, improve customer service, drive public relations and marketing initiatives and to directly generate revenue.
We all know how big a deal social networking has become and the growth of Facebook is an in your face example. On Wednesday Steve Jobs announced the new ping service that has been integrated with their Itunes store and thus opened the door to social networking with music as a common element between all users.
The ping system used by Apple is a way for those with like minded musical tastes to find each other and enter into a conversation. It is a more laid back system then Facebook uses. You can pretty much cruise around and see what’s available and join if you want but you don’t have to give up much privacy or info about yourself unlike say the Facebook scheme.
It was only natural that Itunes Ping would be compared to Facebook and the two companies evidently recognized how much their customers would appreciate it if all users could “connect” directly between the two networks. The two discussed how this could be done and perhaps were close to a deal right up to Jobs’ announcement … but things didn’t get worked out in time.
During the demo Jobs did of the Ping service there was a tab shown for Facebook on the screen that suggested a link was available. In fact some of the first users of the new Itunes 10 software claim they could connect to Facebook.
The Facebook people we are told were a bit afraid of the demands a direct hookup to Itunes users could put on their servers. They didn’t want to experience crashes like other service vendors have suffered at the hands of Apple when they have released a new product. The latest being AT&T with the intro of Iphone 4.
Facebook has some rules about who can connect to them and how. Any network that makes more than 100 million information requests a day have to get their permission first and work out an api access agreement. This was a big problem for Itunes with a 160 million subscribers. So with no agreement in place Itunes couldn’t connect to Facebook on the Ping launch … but did that stop them from trying?
Word is that in lieu of an agreement with Facebook, Itunes tried some tech magic and for at least a while some of their users did make the link. The folks over at Facebook however detected the hookup and soon cut off all Apple users.
Maybe now the Apple logo will show a second bite taken out of it.
Organizing a trip to Italy should be much easier now that travel lovers can access ItalyItalia information through social networking venues such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Users of these social networking sites can now get special offers and the latest news about Italy.
Facebook features a monthly newsletter for ItalyItalia customers containing information about the various regions of Italy, hotels with discounts, and a list of events.
Twitter users can view ItalyItalia’s own page there which is regularly updated with special offers, travel guides and posts.
LinkedIn has a company profile on ItalyItalia describing all the features and activities of the well known travel portal and its tour operator, Imperatore Travel.
ItalyItalia is also planning to have a new improved version of the travel port on line in the near future that will have better navigation and travel guides, along with a section for users to leave comments.