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Category Archives: surveillance

China Bans the Letter ‘F’


China recently mandated that Green Dam, a client side application that filters pornography and political content, be installed on all computers manufactured in China starting July 1, 2009. One way the application blocks access to sites is to kill the browser window when it tries to visit an offending site. The above video demonstrates that […]

Grey Surveillance Talk


Ethan Zuckerman wrote up a talk I recently gave on looking at Google’s AdWords as a network of grey surveillance.

Viral Conversations Updates Reviews Policy


Viral Conversations has updated its FAQ to no longer suggest that companies let reviewers keep products and to suggest that reviewers disclose within reviews if they are allowed to keep the products they are reviewing. In a previous post, I pointed out that the site’s policy of encouraging companies to gift reviewed products to reviewers […]

Update on Chinese Circumvention Tool Snooping


Peter Li from the Global Internet Freedom Consortium has responded in the comments to my post about snooping by Chinese circumvention tools: We apologize for the confusion here. The anti-censorship ranking service is provided by one of the GIFC partners. It only publishes the popularity ranks of destination websites users visit through our anti-censorship tools. […]

Popular Chinese Filtering Circumvention Tools DynaWeb FreeGate, GPass, and FirePhoenix Sell User Data


Update: The site hosting the data for these tools has now removed the faq entry offering to sell the data. Please read my subsequent update for responses from the tool developers and further thoughts. Three of the circumvention tools — DynaWeb FreeGate, GPass, and FirePhoenix — used most widely to get around China’s Great Firewall […]

Viral Conversations: Community Based Production of Biased Reviews


Update: Viral Conversations has changed the language in their FAQ not to encourage gifting of reviewed items and to encourage reviewers to disclose whether they are keeping reviewed items. I just ran across a new site called Viral Conversations. The basic idea is to serve as a brokerage between companies with products they want reviewed […]

Google Ad Planner: Advertising Surveillance of the Internet


For a long time, the only free source of data about site traffic online has been the Alexa Top Sites list, but the data for the Alexa list is based on the very skewed sample of folks who run the Alexa toolbar, and who the heck runs the Alexa toolbar these days? When I’ve needed […]

Where are the AdWords jingles?


I’ve been reading up on the history of media and advertising lately, including a book by Stephen Fox on the history of advertising called Mirror Makers. Fox’s core argument is that advertising strategies are cyclical over time, varying between straightforward, plain text advertising that describes the price and value of the product to atmospheric advertising […]

Surveillance Project Blog


We’ve started a blog for the Berkman Surveillance Project. I’ve been posting all of my surveillance stuff there, including the following stories: Narus: Security through Surveillance Best Western Data Breach as Shell Game CALEA Status

Google Privacy Interview


Here’s an interview on google privacy issues I did last week for IT Business Edge.