4th Amendment Summary by the EFF

Searching...(<a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/europedistrict/3947140949/sizes/s/in/photostream/>source</a>)
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You can't use rights you don't know about or don't understand. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted a summary of your 4th amendment rights to deny the government permission to search you or your belongings (digital or otherwise).

It's good to know what you can and can't do since you should know that even when you've done nothing wrong, you may still get yourself into a lot of trouble if you are careless with your privacy.

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TSA Nude Scanners Coming To American Malls

You're kidding, right?
You're kidding, right?

So…

Wait.

What now?

A Yahoo article says that because women's cloths sizing is hard, they're going to nude scan them to figure out what they can wear. Seriously!?

Ms. Shaw, the entrepreneur, is chief executive of a company called MyBestFit that addresses the problem. It is setting up kiosks in malls to offer a free 20-second full-body scan — a lot like the airport, minus the pat-down alternative that T.S.A. agents offer.

Lauren VanBrackle, 20, a student in Philadelphia, tried MyBestFit when she was shopping last weekend.

“I can be anywhere from a 0 at Ann Taylor to a 6 at American Eagle,” she said. “It obviously makes it difficult to shop.” This time, the scanner suggested that at American Eagle, she should try a 4 in one style and a 6 in another. Ms. VanBrackle said she tried the jeans on and was impressed: “That machine, in a 30-second scan, it tells you what to do.”

That's cute. A strip search in the name of getting something to wear? So instead of wasting millions on this disrobing plan, why not standardize women's clothing and use inch measurements like men's clothes? How's that for an idea?

How long until someone hacks these poorly protected machines to record copies of all women scanned and the photos show up on the Internet? Will you put your teenage daughters in them?

This is so, so stupid, I can't believe it's actually true. I really hope this doesn't catch on because if it does, my faith in humanity will suffer yet again.

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5 Minutes Posing as a 14-year-old On Social Site

A police official in the UK signed up a new account with a girls name and used data and a photo that suggested he was a 14 year old girl.

Within 90 seconds, a middle-aged man wanted to perform a sex act in front of me.

I was deluged by strangers asking stomach-churning questions about my sexual experience. I was pressured to meet men with whom I'd never before communicated.

If you plan to let your kids use sites like these, you have to know what they're getting into. Make sure you have the name and password to their account (being friends with them is not enough) so you can see what they see and talk to them about it. Also bone up on safety precautions like learning the proper way to secure your account.

Update

I decided to try this out myself and created a fake account with a girly sounding name, age 16 from Texas. I entered only a high school, an age, a fake picture, and a few favorite movies, TV shows, and bands. Then I waited to see what would happen.

For over a day, nothing did. In that amount of time a retraction was posted showing that the social site used for the original experiment was not Facebook, but something else. For various reasons, they didn't mention which site, but really, does it matter? The fact that predators use these things like menus is not in question. Tell your kids to be careful and make sure you know what they're doing.

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Some US Schools Fingerprint Students

Schools have our kids confused with criminals [<a href=http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/2010/01/another-school-starts-fingerprinting-students.html>img src</a>].
Schools have our kids confused with criminals [img src].

In a recent newsletter, the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes:

Despite complaints from privacy advocates and parents, schools in states across the country are considering using fingerprint scans to track students. Kids at Sandlapper Elementary in Columbia, South Carolina, have their fingerprints scanned to pay for their breakfast and check out library books, while officials at the Hope Elementary School District in Santa Barbara, California, have just announced similar plans to use finger scans to charge students for their lunches.

Let's be clear about this: People need anonymity. It is up to the individual to decide whether to disclose that they were at a particular place, associate with particular people, or are involved in particular events. That's what it means to be innocent until proven guilty.

This is really simple folks: Criminals lose all their rights, law abiding citizens retains them all. For the necessity of investigation, people who can be reasonably suspected of being involved in wrong-doing can be looked at more closely (with a warrant), but other than that, no government body should be tracking, monitoring, or data mining information about anyone.

Privacy invading technology must always be resisted when it comes to kids because if they grow up with it, they'll never realize they're being treated like cattle or common criminals. They'll get used to it and then it will become the norm.

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