27 October 2009

CIA to monitor Twitter?

America's top spy agency has started investing in a software firm that develops programmes to monitor social media.

In-Q-Tel, the rather coyly named investment department of the CIA, has begun investing in Visible Technologies, a US software company that produces social media monitoring programmes.

According to Wired, Visible Technologies screen over half a million social media sites a day, trawling over a million posts and conversations from blogs, open social networks such as Twitter and Flickr, as well as online forums, and even Amazon user reviews.

Subscribers to Visible's service are offered a streamlined feed of what is being said online about them online. Visible's technology does not extend to "closed" social networks like Facebook.

The CIA has described this move as an extension of part of an existing program it calls "open source intelligence" — monitoring information that is already publicly available, which essentially means anything that is published or broadcast.

"Anything that is out in the open is fair game for collection," Steven Aftergood, an intelligence analyst for the Federation of American Scientists told Wired, although he considers the harvesting of such data by the CIA as "problematic".

"Intelligence agencies or employees might be tempted to use the tools at their disposal to compile information on political figures, critics, journalists or others, and to exploit such information for political advantage. That is not permissible even if all of the information in question is technically ‘open source."


Phone fraud

There are real fears thousands of mobile phone users are being exposed to the risk of identity fraud, which could end up costing them thousands of dollars.

Charlie Brown joins the show with the risks involved.

1. The first risk is our increasing exposure to identity fraud through mobile phones

  • Mobile phones that are lost, stolen or recycled are exposing thousands of people every week to identity fraud.
  • According to recent data, there are approx 19 million mobiles in service and another 16 million stored away. Aside from those phones that are traded in, figures show almost 3200 mobile phones are reported lost or stolen each week.
  • When people trade these phones in or sell them on eBay they rarely think about protecting their identity and the identities of their friends who reside on the phone.
  • Experts warn that we should ensure that data stored on an unwanted mobile is erased, first by deleting the information and then by restoring the phone to its factory default settings.
  • We are also warned that when disposing of a mobile, we need to destroy its SIM card by snapping it down the centre before disposing of the phone.

2. The second issue ties in with the issue of identity fraud and has to do with a technological breakthrough that will allow text messages from mobile phones to be retrieved five years after they were deleted.

  • The new device, called an "XRY FORENSIC DEVICE" mines old SIM cards for long-erased nuggets of personal information.
  • Companies which handle mobile forensics for Australian police, private companies and suspicious individuals have started using the technology and say old text messages can be easily found within minutes.
  • The XRY forensic device costs $25,000

How the device works:

  • The XRY System can read SMS messages, phone numbers, address books, pictures, videos and much more from the mobile phone memory and the SIM-card .
  • You simply insert the SIM card into the XRY device, which is shaped like a hockey puck and connected to a computer..and it brings up deleted items from the phone onto the PC.
  • The tool supports more than 800 phone models and SIM cards and is easily connected to your PC.
  • The Sunday Telegraph tested the abilities of the XRY forensic devices last week and were able to retrieve hundreds of messages from a seven-year-old SIM card, including a "Merry Christmas" from December 25, 2005.
  • They were able to ascertain the owner's date of birth, home address, brother's name and high school attended - all from deleted messages.

How can deleted items be retrieved?

  • When you delete an item from your phone, it does not actually remove the item, but rather deletes the pathway to the item. The mobile phone you are using has just "forgotten" where on the drive that information is sitting but it is still there.
  • This information can last forever, depending on whether new information is copied over the top of it or not.
  • The problem is that we do not know when our deleted items have been replaced and when they are still in our phone, but unable to be retrieved by us.

Below are some examples of information that can be retrieved - even after they have been deleted:

  • Telephone books with names, numbers, etc.
  • SMS messages that have been sent, received and archived
  • Pictures
  • Calendar information
  • Sound files
  • Call logs
  • Multimedia messages

Wider implications

  • In decades past, phone memories could only handle text messages and a contacts book however the latest smartphones offer GPS, Wi-Fi connectivity and can download emails directly to the phone.
  • Consequently, there is now a vast amount of personal information that can be obtained using the forensic device.
  • People have always trusted their mobiles and have therefore been willing to feed personal information into them.
  • They often store their bank details, Tax File number etc. in their phones so there is a real threat of identity threat.
  • However, this new technology is incredibly effective for police, private companies and suspicious individuals keen to catch wayward spouses!

26 October 2009

KFC records 'purged' since allegation

Sales records and CCTV footage of purchases made at a Sydney fast food outlet the day a customer claimed she developed salmonella poisoning have been purged, a court has been told.

Monika Samaan, now 11, is suing KFC - through her father Amanwial Samaan - claiming she developed salmonella poisoning from a Twister he bought her at a KFC restaurant at Villawood on October 24, 2005.

KFC denies being responsible for her illness, maintaining there is no sales data to prove a Twister was purchased by Mr Samaan at the time he claims it was.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Monday, Mr Samaan's barrister, Anthony Bartley SC, told the court he believed a "substantial volume of documents" kept by KFC had been purged.

"The purge means we will never have the documents that might allow us to refute there was not a single Twister sold after 3pm on October 24 (2005)," he said.

"If we had those we would be able to match the amount of chicken cooked with the amount of chicken sold."

The court heard the sales records and CCTV footage of the sale were destroyed at the commencement of proceedings.

"We weren't able to find it in May '09," Mr Bartley said.

Mr Bartley is seeking to have KFC's computer records analysed, which he estimates will take three months and cost $100,000.

"We have to deal with these documents that should have been produced, at the latest, in May," he said.

Mr Bartley requested the case's hearing date of November 30 be rescheduled, to allow more time for the purged documents to be accessed and examined.

Justice Stephen Rothman asked for the request to be put in writing, so he can decide whether or not to adjourn the hearing date.

Lawyers for KFC applied to the court to amend its defence to deny that a Twister was bought by Mr Samaan.

"KFC emphatically rejects the suggestion of counsel for the plaintiff that any documents relevant to KFC's sales data have deliberately not been made available by KFC," KFC general manager Angus Armstrong said in a statement on Monday.

"These are totally unsubstantiated suggestions and appear to be an attempt to distract attention from the real issue, which, in light of the sales records, is proving Mr Samaan actually purchased the Twister from the store in the first place."

aap 26 Oct 2009

Show me the money!

Fun fact: women who consistently negotiate their salary increases earn at least $1 million more during their careers than those who don’t. Enticing?

Here are six easy steps to negotiating your next pay rise:

Step 1. Don’t wait to be offered
It’s time to stop being so polite; if you feel an offer is unfair, you should speak up. What’s more, negotiating only what your employer is presenting is silly in this day and age. Consider added benefits like further education, a laptop, a car or days in lieu.

Step 2. Talk yourself up
Have you noticed that those who are good at self-promotion get better jobs and more pay – even if they are not as good as you? Learning to "toot your own horn" is important. Ensure that if you are doing a great job that you let those who matter know about it.

Step 3. Learn about salary negotiation
Have you read any books or taken any courses on salary negotiation? Without this it is likely you lack confidence with salary negotiation, as you don’t now the rules or where to start. Start by educating yourself on the subject.

Step 4. Practice makes perfect
Role-plays, practicing in front of the mirror or in the car are easy ways to improve your negotiating skills. Ensure you adopt powerful and active language and remember there is always the option of a Negotiation Coach if you feel you need a little more support.

Step 5. Value yourself
Be clear about the value that you bring to your employer, the skills that you have and where you excel. Don’t take your expertise for granted - value yourself and others will also. Know your worth!

Step 6. Putting it all together
Begin with points one to five, research what the job market is paying in your sector, and have clear examples of where you have excelled at and why your employer should pay your more. A well-prepared business case is more likely to lead to a pay rise. Good luck, girls!


Another misrepresentation perpetuated by the mass media.

Influences NOT talked about in the article :
Company Politics or Masonic Influences,
which DO dictate whether ones gets a salary increase or NOT .

This perpetuated information gives the teenagers a nice and fuzzy feeling, and by no doubt does work, in the lesser significant positions.

NO ONE is irreplaceable in their position, and if they are replaced , more often than not by a cheaper worker.

Hollywood studios to ban stars using Twitter during productions

Cameron won't be tweeting about the next Shrek (Getty)

Executives for some of the American film industry's biggest studios are allegedly preparing to draft Twitter and Facebook clauses into the contracts of Tweet-happy Hollywood A-listers.

In a pre-emptive attempt to curb social media leaks from some of Hollywood's biggest stars and studio creatives, film executives and their legal advisors have begun tailoring confidentiality clauses to include Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media.

Speculation that contracts were being altered to include potential breaches of confidentiality via social networking sites increased when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney had inserted just such a clause into its new talent contracts, specifying that confidentiality extended to "interactive media such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other interactive social network or personal blog."

"This is just the beginning,” a top talent lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Hollywood has a long history of controlling what talent says in the media. This is just a new area of media that hasn’t been controlled yet."

Until recently, it had been assumed that existing confidentiality agreements were expansive enough to include social media, but recent Twitter incidents involving actors, sportspeople and TV personalities have been enough to prompt entertainment lawyers into singling out social media platforms.


As mentioned in Eminiems song "We're the ones that made you"

You are a NOBODY. It's Hollywood that markets you to the masses, IRRESPECTIVE of your 'talent'.

If you are part of the 'club' then you have the million dollar salaries.

It's not only Hollywood that is unable to control what people write.

Governments also have little control over what people write, and 'free' speech is myth.

The control is exercised via the mass media which dos not post comments which it regards as 'dangerous'.

ps. Who really cares 'bout an actor posting about a movie.. Obviously people with no lives do.

The comments were sent to ninemsn. Lets see if they post them.


Update: Channel 9 has NOT published the above comment on the story.