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The NSA now thinks the phone surveillance program it once defended isn’t worth it anymore

The National Security Agency appears to have done a complete about-face over the controversial electronic spying program that whistleblower Edward Snowden brought to light almost six years ago now, involving the bulk collection of metadata related to Americans’ phone calls and text messages.

The NSA once defended the program — which was secretly launched during the George W. Bush administration without court approval — as vital to US national security interests. The nation was still reeling from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and officials later said tools like this program help the nation’s espionage professionals deal with the new realities of [...]

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Facebook ‘Unintentionally Uploaded’ Email Contacts of 1.5 Million Users Without Their Consent

Reason #45,327 to delete your Facebook account: The social network collected the email contact info of 1.5 million users without their knowledge or consent and used the data to improve Facebook’s ad targeting, build Facebook’s web of social connections, and recommend friends to add.

Business Insider reports Facebook began collecting the the information in May 2016 when new users opened a new account on the social network.

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Microsoft reveals Outlook hackers were able to gain access to private emails

In the latest of a seemingly endless string of high-profile hacks, Microsoft confirmed to TechCrunch over the weekend that a “limited” number of people who use Microsoft’s email platforms — including Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail — had their accounts compromised. Microsoft sent an email to the affected users last Friday, alerting them that hackers had potentially been able to access a trove of information, including the subject lines of their emails and the names of the people they’ve emailed, “but not the content of any e-mails or attachments.”

As serious as this sounds, the hack was even worse than Microsoft first let on, as Motherboard [...]

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Google Location History explained: How police are broadly using Android geo data to solve crimes

Location data taken in aggregate can power useful features, with Google leveraging that history for traffic updates, recommendations, and ads. A new report today reveals how U.S. law enforcement is increasingly requesting that data as part of criminal investigations. While useful, privacy advocates argue that such overbroad practices risk “snaring the innocent.”

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