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Security & Privacy

Student Suspended For Creating Hashtag About School Budget

Kids are rotten online, this has been sufficiently established, we think. Teens in particular can be bullying, threatening and just all around vile some days – and we cheer online when they get in trouble for it, don’t we?

Well, we should get just as chatty about the flipside: A teen facing a foolish punishment for creating a hashtag on Twitter that wasn’t bullying, threatening or in any way vile, but it ticked school administrators off – and they apparently can take whatever action they want, without consequence.

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Twitter Hacks: How to Avoid Being Punk’d in the Age of Social Media

There has been a flurry of twitter account hacks recently, what with our neighborhood villains over at the Syrian Electronic Army phishing every media outlet in the Western pond. NPR, BBC, Associated Press, and even The Onion (is nothing sacred?) have all fallen victim to their hacktivist wiles.

The good news: In response to the AP hack that sent the stock market for a loop nearly a month ago, Twitter has instigated a brand-new two-step authentication option that makes it much harder for hackers to worm their way into Twitter accounts. But how many of our nation’s celebrities had to suffer before this new and improved system was put into effect? Well, a bunch of them. Read on to find out what hackers had to say when they assumed the voices of America’s sweethearts and rock stars in 140 characters or less.

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Syrian Electronic Army Strikes Again! Where’s Batman When You Need Him?

As the web cries out, yet again, after an attack by the Syrian Electronic Army, those of us fond of 80′s superhero shows feel like we’re watching an episode unfold. And it’s pretty fantastic.

Any minute now, the SuperFriends will come to the rescue.

Either that, or the hacks will just continue. It’s more fun to imagine the former. Ka-pow!

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Bahrain Sends Six To Prison For A Year For ‘Insulting’ Tweets

There are consequences for what you tweet – particularly if you live in Bahrain. A court there just sentenced six people to jail time for posting insults.

Yeah, you’d probably be looking at a life sentence for the stuff YOU tweet. I know I won’t be visiting that lovely locale any time soon!

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Saudi Government Seeking Workaround To Intercept Tweets

Twitter does what it can to protect users’ privacy, requiring governments to go through legal channels to obtain private information – but some governments aren’t fond of rules.

If you live in Saudi Arabia, it seems your tweets aren’t being intercepted yet – but it’s really only a matter of time. And if you don’t live in Saudi Arabia, don’t be fooled into thinking your safe. Just because other governments aren’t as (unwisely) attempting to recruit folks to intercept tweets and getting publicly busted for it, doesn’t mean they’re NOT doing it.

Yes, I took my paranoia pill today.

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People Are Live-Tweeting Everything, Including Births – Are There No Limits?

How many times each day do you see something on social media that makes me marvel at people’s lack of personal boundaries? Pretty often, we’re guessing.

One way folks feed into this ‘too much info’ (TMI) mentality is through live-tweeting.

Yes, live-tweeting can be great for breaking news and such, but do we want to read live tweets from someone pushing out a baby? If you’ve ever heard someone recount even a bit of the birthing process, the answer is a resounding NO. But someone did it. And we’re guessing that’s only the tip of this TMI iceberg.

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Internal Documents Reveal The FBI Can Read Your Twitter DMs Without A Warrant

The White House just hired its first Chief Privacy Officer – straight out of Twitter, no less – but the privacy they may be protecting is that of the FBI, not the American people.

According to new internal documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) through a Freedom of Information Act request, the content of your emails, Facebook chats, Twitter DMs and all other forms of digital communication chould be at the disposal of law enforcement agencies, even without a warrant.

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Another Day, Another High-Profile Twitter Hack: E! Online

The Syrian Electronic Army, the group behind the April 23 hacking of the Associated Press Twitter account, and more recently CBS, hacked into the E! Online profile on Saturday.

The hackers tweeted a fake “exclusive” allegedly from Justin Bieber announcing that he was gay, which prompted more than 1,000 retweets and more than 350 favorites.

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Russia Pleased With Twitter Censorship? Be Afraid

Governments know they can’t get user data out of Twitter without a warrant, but they CAN do something that’s almost as bad: censor people with Twitter’s blessing.

Granted, Twitter has (fast and loose) rules around this as well, but you have to wonder WHAT is going on when the Kremlin, a place that isn’t known for embracing freedom of expression, is praising Twitter for blocking tweets.

If they’re happy with the response they’re getting, you shouldn’t be.

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Chennai Police Using Twitter To Fight Crime (And Hopefully Not To Censor People)

Chennai, like most places in the world, has a crime problem.

What it also has, that most places do NOT (though it’s only a matter of time) is a police force tasked with monitoring social media sites, like Twitter, to help fight back.

But are they planning to use it purely to fight crime – or will they use it to crush political dissidents and other naysayers as well?

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