John Lister's picture

Congress: Internet Firms Can Share (Sell) Your User Activity

Congress has voted to ditch rules that would have made it harder for broadband companies to share personal user data with third party companies. The vote means Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations will not take effect. The rules were ... adopted by the FCC last October and covered broadband and wireless providers, but not websites such as Google or Facebook. Had they taken effect, the rules would have meant Internet providers could not share key data - for example with advertisers - without the explicit consent of customers. This data included browsing history, details of the apps ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Fake Tech Support Scam Gets New Twist

A newly-publicized take on a long-running scam involves on-screen messages that falsely appear to be from a user's Internet service provider. It's a trick with a variety of ways to profit from the customer. For many years, scammers have been calling ... people on the telephone claiming to work for Microsoft or other computer companies, saying the person receiving the call has a virus. The scammer will then usually try to get the victim to pay for bogus tech support services. While most people realize it's a scam, the idea is to call enough people so that even a small percentage of ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Government To Enforce 'Net Neutrality' Principle

Should websites like Netflix pay extra fees to deliver their Internet-based services to the public? The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says no. Tom Wheeler says that broadband should be treated like a utility, such as phone ... services; in doing so, it will help to protect Internet freedoms. Critics, however, suggest that such a plan would be unworkable. Tom Wheeler's announcement has to do with the principle of net neutrality . That's the idea where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all Internet traffic (except for illegal content) equally. In other ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Google Fiber Fastest ISP in US: Netflix

Video streaming service Netflix has named Google Fiber the fastest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in America. Unfortunately, at the moment Google Fiber's service remains limited to the Kansas City area. High installation costs make it likely that ... Google will take its time about expanding its super-fast service to other geographical areas. Netflix has an interest and expertise in high-speed Internet service because it sells access to its huge catalog of movies and television shows only through Internet-connected computers, video game consoles, DVD or Blu-ray players, and streaming set-top ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

New Web Provider To Defend Against Gov't Snooping

A man who wants to launch an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that puts privacy first has raised more than $40,000 in a single day. However, he says it will take at least $1 million before the company can get off the ground. The project, known as the ... Calyx Institute, was stimulated by a 2004 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) request for an ISP to provide information about its customers, accompanied by an order not to reveal that such a demand had been made. Nicholas Merrill was running that ISP, and he was stunned by the request. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Free Tool To Test The Integrity Of Your ISP

As part of a "Test Your ISP" Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is reportedly releasing "Switzerland," a software tool for customers to test the integrity of their Internet communications. The idea is the result of a Federal ... Communications Commission (FCC) action against Comcast for violating the FCC's net neutrality principles. Comcast was recently caught interfering with its subscribers' use of BitTorrent, Gnutella, and other common file-sharing protocols employed by millions of Internet users. In an effort to disrupt certain protocols commonly used for file-sharing, Comcast ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Block Remote User from Probing my PC?

Infopackets Reader "Jessie" writes: " Dear Dennis, I play Yahoo pinochle quite often. Someone recently told me that they could track my ISP from inside the game room; I assume this could be done by clicking on my name while I'm in the game room. ... What kind of program would they use so that I can block my ISP to it and/or track their ISP? Thank you. " My response: Just to clarify: ISP means Internet Service Provider. For example: Bell Sympatico provides DSL Internet access to its customers. On the other hand: IP means Internet Protocol. Additionally, an IP Address is a number (like a "mailing ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Can I track down a hacker?, Part 2

Yesterday's Visitor Feedback asked, " Can I track down a hacker ?" My answer to that question was a passive one -- mainly based on the fact it would take an inconceivable amount of time to prosecute each and every hacker who tries to wallow his way ... into your computer system. An algorithm for a typical Hacker might look something like this: Randomly select a computer to hack; Attempt to gain access to randomly selected computer; If access is granted, deliver a payload (send virus/trojan, delete files); If access is not granted, disconnect from this computer; Repeat process. With the ... (view more)

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