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News Archives 5001-5020
Number Title Post Date
5001 Was Julian Assange Right About Facebook? 01/10/2011 10:34:43
5002 Are HPV vaccines safe and effective? 01/10/2011 10:35:32
5003 US Food and Drug Administration lashes pharmaceutical giant CSL over vaccine practices 01/10/2011 10:36:47
5004 Irish swine flu Health Minister defends damaging vaccine 01/10/2011 10:39:44
5005 Narcolepsy and Swine Flu Vaccine: Is this the vaccine we use today?/ BBC 01/10/2011 10:41:32
5006 #OccupyWallStreet spreads: around 70 protests planned in the following weeks 01/10/2011 10:42:58
5007 One Click Stats, September 2011 01/10/2011 10:44:12
5008 Facebook sued over post-logout tracking 03/10/2011 14:15:56
5009 Big Government Breaks Bad in Drug War 03/10/2011 14:18:05
5010 Parents win fight to refuse drugging daughter 03/10/2011 14:20:42
5011 Patients question god-complex doctors 03/10/2011 14:22:07
5012 More than 1 in 10 informed consent parents refusing vaccines 03/10/2011 14:27:41
5013 Rebellious Media Conference launches interactive website 03/10/2011 14:29:29
5014 Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 October 2011: London, Trafalgar Square 06/10/2011 09:37:19
5015 Whistleblowers anonymous mobile phone delight from Tesco's 06/10/2011 09:38:22
5016 Gary Johnson: Marijuana smokers may be largest untapped USA voting bloc 06/10/2011 09:39:44
5017 Did You See This? Police Morph Into Military 06/10/2011 09:41:47
5018 #ows Takes Foley Square With Union Brothers And Sisters 06/10/2011 09:43:07
5019 This year's flu vaccine: Setting things straight 06/10/2011 09:44:42
5020 GlaxoSmithKline Pandemrix vaccine victims to receive compensation 06/10/2011 09:45:33

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Was Julian Assange Right About Facebook?
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Was Julian Assange Right About Facebook?

OK, that headline is probably over the top, but after reading Dave Winer and Nik Cubrilovic's warnings this past weekend about Facebook's new "frictionless sharing" system, I was left wondering if Julian Assange of WikiLeaks wasn't on to something when he said that "Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented."

Assange was talking about how Facebook collects information that people actively share about their relationships with each other (thus making such data prey to US intelligence prying), whereas Winer is raising the alarm about Facebook's new policy of proactively sharing information about what websites people are visiting, without them even affirmatively entering any kind of data onto their Facebook page. Winer offers this hypothetical scenario:

...just reading an article on [a] site may create an announcement on Facebook. Something like: 'Bull Mancuso just read a tutorial explaining how to kill a member of another crime family.' Bull didn't comment. He didn't press a Like button. He just visited a web page. And an announcement was made on his behalf to everyone who follows him on Facebook. Not just his friends, because now they have subscribers, who can be total strangers....There could easily be lawsuits, divorces, maybe even arrests based on what's made public by Facebook.

Cubrilovic builds on Winer's warning by demonstrating that even if you log out of Facebook, the site keeps tracking you. "The only solution," he writes, "is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions." This is hardly a tenable approach for most Facebook users, of course.

Could this be the tipping point--the moment when Facebook's force-marching of its users towards ever-increasing levels of personal transparency really backfires?

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Related Links:
* WikiLeaks' Assange Calls Facebook 'Most Appalling Spying Machine Ever'
Leslie Horn, PCMag
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