HOUSTON – Senior intelligence officials and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden say the NSA is watching over online contact lists around the world. Also, privacy advocates are concerned about Google’s new ad policy. This and more in today’s Tech Talk…
== NSA harvesting online contact lists ==
The Washington Post reports the National Security Agency is intercepting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world. The agency reportedly does this by intercepting e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from messaging services as they move across international data networks. NSA analysts look over the data to try and make connections and map relationships among foreign targets.
== Google facing the heat ==
Google’s recently announced “Shared Endorsements” plan has privacy advocates (and some on Capitol Hill) on edge. CNET reports the new feature will place some Google+ users’ profiles, names, and photos alongside product listings and search results. It’s similar to what Facebook does as users “like” certain brand pages. Google says it’s easy to opt-out if you just go to your account privacy settings.
== Yahoo! Mail going secure, finally ==
Years after Microsoft, Google, and many others made Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security the standard for their Web mail systems, Yahoo says that it too will modernize Yahoo Mail's security. SSL is a cryptographic protocol that encrypts Web mail as it travels between Yahoo's servers and your computer's browser. Yahoo says that it will activate the protection for all Yahoo Mail users on January 8, 2014, reports CNET.