April 14, 2014
After a litany of startling revelations about the National Security Agency's bulk collection of e-mail and more, most Americans will be surprised that their electronic communications are in some ways more vulnerable to snooping by garden-variety government officials. A woefully outdated law allows agencies ranging from local district attorneys' offices to the IRS to pore over the contents of e-mails without seeking court approval. The law governing e-mail access dates back to the primordial age of the technology, in 1986, when the few who used it had to download messages onto their gigantic home or office computers.
March 21, 2014
How strange and yet fitting that, as the World Wide Web clicked past the quarter-century mark last week, the technology world fixated on a virtual appearance by expatriate digital-privacy vigilante Edward Snowden - the National Security Agency leaker's face looming like Big Brother from huge screens at the annual Austin, Texas, tech-arts extravaganza South by Southwest. Snowden rightly decried the pervasive government snooping that's driving proposed reforms at the massive spy agency.
January 1, 2014 |
The University of Pennsylvania Health System revealed Monday that some patients' privacy was accidentally breached because of misprinted bills. One of Penn's billing vendors, RevSpring of Wixom, Mich., had a malfunction in its printing operation. As a result, some patients received bills containing both their own correct information and an unrelated patient's information on the reverse side of the statement. The inadvertent information included the unrelated patient's name, physician, types of services and tests, and amount owed.
September 6, 2013 |
Sometimes, it hits you after you've openly posted comments about a product or a politician. Other times, it strikes you after an online transaction, such as buying an airline or concert ticket, or a Web search about a disease or a dance step. Twerking fans, you know who you are. Every day, those of us who live increasingly online are adding to a digital footprint others can access. And a study due out Thursday from the Pew Research Center suggests that many of us are increasingly wary of that prospect and are trying to regain a measure of control.
August 29, 2013 |
FOR A MOVIE STAR, Eric Bana is largely a private person, living away from the Hollywood spotlight with his wife and two children in his native Australia. So, although he works frequently ("Black Hawk Down," "Hulk," "Munich," "Star Trek," etc.), he does not choose his projects lightly. A simple studio meeting means a 19-hour flight each way. Finding the right projects, therefore, often depends on timing and luck as much as talent, and that's how Bana ended up starring in "Closed Circuit," a movie about, among many things, privacy.
July 16, 2013 |
REGULAR READERS of this column know that Tattle is no fan of the "faux reality" TV empire built on the breasts and buttocks of Kim Kardashian and her whiny, overindulged family. But no matter how much attention she craves, no one except her doctors should have access to her medical records. So it's encouraging that hospital-to-the-stars Cedars-Sinai has reportedly fired half-a-dozen employees, according to the Los Angeles Times , for hacking patient records, including those of North 's mama.
July 11, 2013 |
LONDON - Outside the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, the global media hordes on Royal Baby Watch have marked their turf with duct tape and stepladders. But starved for material in a world where Mother Nature and Buckingham Palace are the last two holdouts from the 24-hour news cycle, loitering reporters trying to set a tone of breathless anticipation have resorted to interviewing each other. Perhaps nothing could be more appropriate. As Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, prepare to carve out a new life for their budding family in the glare of the spotlight, the press is poised to be a major part of the story.
July 1, 2013
D EAR ABBY: When we married, we both drank and smoked. My husband quit smoking five years ago, and I have continued to smoke off and on. If he catches me with a cigarette it becomes an argument, and it's either I quit or we're done! I love my husband, but I don't see the big deal if I smoke a cigarette. He sometimes makes me feel like a teenager hiding it from my parents! Any advice? - Closet Smoker in Wisconsin DEAR SMOKER: Surely you know that smoking isn't good for you, and it upsets your husband because he loves you. This is less about a contest of wills than the fact that you are addicted to nicotine and can't stop using.
June 19, 2013
I SPENT SEVERAL days reading everything I could on the National Security Agency collecting phone records (not listening to calls, we think ), the Prism program plucking emails from servers (but only from overseas sources, we think ) and the noble or ignoble efforts of gender-confused Pfc. Manning Bradley and high-school dropout Edward Snowden to safeguard American rights ( we think ). I asked a lot of people what they thought - left, right, middle of the road - because privacy vs. security is a paramount issue of the day. It goes to how we define ourselves, how far we are willing to go to protect ourselves against our most dangerous enemy - radical Islam and the sharia-loving jihadis it spawns, foreign and domestic.
May 13, 2013 |
CLEVELAND - The three women rescued from a house a decade after they disappeared asked for privacy Sunday, saying through an attorney that while they are grateful for overwhelming support, they also need time to heal. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight remain in seclusion, releasing their first statements since they were found May 6. They thanked law enforcement and said they were grateful for the support of family and the community. "I am so happy to be home, and I want to thank everybody for all your prayers," DeJesus said in a statement read by an attorney.