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[Source: This article was published in techdirt.com By Julia Angwin, ProPublica - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dana W. Jimenez]

The East German secret police, known as the Stasi, were an infamously intrusive secret police force. They amassed dossiers on about one quarter of the population of the country during the Communist regime.

But their spycraft — while incredibly invasive — was also technologically primitive by today's standards. While researching my book Dragnet Nation, I obtained the above hand drawn social network graph and other files from the Stasi Archive in Berlin, where German citizens can see files kept about them and media can access some files, with the names of the people who were monitored removed.

The graphic shows forty-six connections, linking a target to various people (an "aunt," "Operational Case Jentzsch," presumably Bernd Jentzsch, an East German poet who defected to the West in 1976), places ("church"), and meetings ("by post, by phone, meeting in Hungary").

Gary Bruce, an associate professor of history at the University of Waterloo and the author of "The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi," helped me decode the graphic and other files. I was surprised at how crude the surveillance was. "Their main surveillance technology was mail, telephone, and informants," Bruce said.

Another file revealed a low-level surveillance operation called an IM-vorgang aimed at recruiting an unnamed target to become an informant. (The names of the targets were redacted; the names of the Stasi agents and informants were not.) In this case, the Stasi watched a rather boring high school student who lived with his mother and sister in a run-of-the-mill apartment. The Stasi obtained a report on him from the principal of his school and from a club where he was a member. But they didn't have much on him — I've seen Facebook profiles with far more information.

A third file documented a surveillance operation known as an OPK, for Operative Personenkontrolle, of a man who was writing oppositional poetry. The Stasi deployed three informants against him but did not steam open his mail or listen to his phone calls. The regime collapsed before the Stasi could do anything further.

I also obtained a file that contained an "observation report," in which Stasi agents recorded the movements of a forty-year-old man for two days — September 28 and 29, 1979. They watched him as he dropped off his laundry, loaded up his car with rolls of wallpaper, and drove a child in a car "obeying the speed limit," stopping for gas and delivering the wallpaper to an apartment building. The Stasi continued to follow the car as a woman drove the child back to Berlin.

The Stasi agent appears to have started following the target at 4:15 p.m. on a Friday evening. At 9:38 p.m., the target went into his apartment and turned out the lights. The agent stayed all night and handed over surveillance to another agent at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. That agent appears to have followed the target until 10:00 p.m. From today's perspective, this seems like a lot of work for very little information.

And yet, the Stasi files are an important reminder of what a repressive regime can do with so little information.

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was published in ibtimes.co.uk By Anthony Cuthbertson - Uploaded by the Association Member: Robert Hensonw]

A search engine more powerful than Google has been developed by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), capable of finding results within dark web networks such as Tor.

The Memex project was ostensibly developed for uncovering sex-trafficking rings, however the platform can be used by law enforcement agencies to uncover all kinds of illegal activity taking place on the dark web, leading to concerns surrounding internet privacy.

Thousands of sites that feature on dark web browsers like Tor and I2P can be scraped and indexed by Memex, as well as the millions of web pages ignored by popular search engines like Google and Bing on the so-called Deep Web.

The difference between the dark web and the deep web

The dark web is a section of the internet that requires specialist software tools to access, such as the Tor browser. Originally designed to protect privacy, it is often associated with illicit activities.

The deep web is a section of the open internet that is not indexed by search engines like Google - typically internal databases and forums within websites. It comprises around 95% of the internet.

Websites operating on the dark web, such as the former Silk Road black marketplace, purport to offer anonymity to their users through a form of encryption known as Onion Routing.

While users' identities and IP addresses will still not be revealed through Memex results, the use of an automated process to analyse content could uncover patterns and relationships that could potentially be used by law enforcement agencies to track and trace dark web users.

"We're envisioning a new paradigm for search that would tailor content, search results, and interface tools to individual users and specific subject areas, and not the other way round," said DARPA program manager Chris White.

"By inventing better methods for interacting with and sharing information, we want to improve search for everybody and individualise access to information. Ease of use for non-programmers is essential."

Memex achieves this by addressing the one-size-fits-all approach taken by mainstream search engines, which list results based on consumer advertising and ranking.

 us internet surveillance DARPA TOR Memex dark web

 Memex raises further concerns about internet surveillance US Web Home

'The most intense surveillance state the world has literally ever seen'

The search engine is initially being used by the US Department of Defence to fight human trafficking and DARPA has stated on its website that the project's objectives do not involve deanonymising the dark web.

The statement reads: "The program is specifically not interested in proposals for the following: attributing anonymous services, deanonymising or attributing identity to servers or IP addresses, or accessing information not intended to be publicly available."

Despite this, White has revealed that Memex has been used to improve estimates on the number of services there are operating on the dark web.

"The best estimates there are, at any given time, between 30,000 and 40,000 hidden service Onion sites that have content on them that one could index," White told 60 Minutes earlier this month.

Internet freedom advocates have raised concerns based on the fact that DARPA has revealed very few details about how Memex actually works, which partners are involved and what projects beyond combating human trafficking are underway.

"What does it tell about a person, a group of people, or a program, when they are secretive and operate in the shadows?" author Cassius Methyl said in a post to Anti Media. "Why would a body of people doing benevolent work have to do that?

"I think keeping up with projects underway by DARPA is of critical importance. This is where the most outrageous and powerful weapons of war are being developed.

"These technologies carry the potential for the most intense surveillance/ police state that the world has literally ever seen."

Categorized in Deep Web

[Source: This article was Published in theverge.com BY James Vincent - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jennifer Levin] 

A ‘tsunami’ of cheap AI content could cause problems for search engines

Over the past year, AI systems have made huge strides in their ability to generate convincing text, churning out everything from song lyrics to short stories. Experts have warned that these tools could be used to spread political disinformation, but there’s another target that’s equally plausible and potentially more lucrative: gaming Google.

Instead of being used to create fake news, AI could churn out infinite blogs, websites, and marketing spam. The content would be cheap to produce and stuffed full of relevant keywords. But like most AI-generated text, it would only have surface meaning, with little correspondence to the real world. It would be the information equivalent of empty calories, but still potentially difficult for a search engine to distinguish from the real thing.

Just take a look at this blog post answering the question: “What Photo Filters are Best for Instagram Marketing?” At first glance, it seems legitimate, with a bland introduction followed by quotes from various marketing types. But read a little more closely and you realize it references magazines, people, and — crucially — Instagram filters that don’t exist:

You might not think that a mumford brush would be a good filter for an Insta story. Not so, said Amy Freeborn, the director of communications at National Recording Technician magazine. Freeborn’s picks include Finder (a blue stripe that makes her account look like an older block of pixels), Plus and Cartwheel (which she says makes your picture look like a topographical map of a town.

The rest of the site is full of similar posts, covering topics like “How to Write Clickbait Headlines” and “Why is Content Strategy Important?” But every post is AI-generated, right down to the authors’ profile pictures. It’s all the creation of content marketing agency Fractl, who says it’s a demonstration of the “massive implications” AI text generation has for the business of search engine optimization, or SEO.

“Because [AI systems] enable content creation at essentially unlimited scale, and content that humans and search engines alike will have difficulty discerning [...] we feel it is an incredibly important topic with far too little discussion currently,” Fractl partner Kristin Tynski tells The Verge.

To write the blog posts, Fractl used an open source tool named Grover, made by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Tynski says the company is not using AI to generate posts for clients, but that this doesn’t mean others won’t. “I think we will see what we have always seen,” she says. “Blackhats will use subversive tactics to gain a competitive advantage.”

The history of SEO certainly supports this prediction. It’s always been a cat and mouse game, with unscrupulous players trying whatever methods they can to attract as many eyeballs as possible while gatekeepers like Google sort the wheat from the chaff.

As Tynski explains in a blog post of her own, past examples of this dynamic include the “article spinning” trend, which started 10 to 15 years ago. Article spinners use automated tools to rewrite existing content; finding and replacing words so that the reconstituted matter looked original. Google and other search engines responded with new filters and metrics to weed out these mad-lib blogs, but it was hardly an overnight fix.

AI text generation will make the article spinning “look like child’s play,” writes Tynski, allowing for “a massive tsunami of computer-generated content across every niche imaginable.”

Mike Blumenthal, an SEO consultant, and expert says these tools will certainly attract spammers, especially considering their ability to generate text on a massive scale. “The problem that AI-written content presents, at least for web search, is that it can potentially drive the cost of this content production way down,” Blumenthal tells The Verge.

And if the spammers’ aim is simply to generate traffic, then fake news articles could be perfect for this, too. Although we often worry about the political motivations of fake news merchants, most interviews with the people who create and share this context claim they do it for the ad revenue. That doesn’t stop it being politically damaging.

The key question, then, is: can we reliably detect AI-generated text? Rowan Zellers of the Allen Institute for AI says the answer is a firm “yes,” at least for now. Zellers and his colleagues were responsible for creating Grover, the tool Fractl used for its fake blog posts, and were able to also engineer a system that can spot Grover-generated text with 92 percent accuracy.

“We’re a pretty long way away from AI being able to generate whole news articles that are undetectable,” Zellers tells The Verge. “So right now, in my mind, is the perfect opportunity for researchers to study this problem, because it’s not totally dangerous.”

Spotting fake AI text isn’t too hard, says Zellers, because it has a number of linguistic and grammatical tells. He gives the example of AI’s tendency to re-use certain phrases and nouns. “They repeat things ... because it’s safer to do that rather than inventing a new entity,” says Zellers. It’s like a child learning to speak; trotting out the same words and phrases over and over, without considering the diminishing returns.

However, as we’ve seen with visual deep fakes, just because we can build technology that spots this content, that doesn’t mean it’s not a danger. Integrating detectors into the infrastructure of the internet is a huge task, and the scale of the online world means that even detectors with high accuracy levels will make a sizable number of mistakes.

Google did not respond to queries on this topic, including the question of whether or not it’s working on systems that can spot AI-generated text. (It’s a good bet that it is, though, considering Google engineers are at the cutting-edge of this field.) Instead, the company sent a boilerplate reply saying that it’s been fighting spam for decades, and always keeps up with the latest tactics.

SEO expert Blumenthal agrees, and says Google has long proved it can react to “a changing technical landscape.” But, he also says a shift in how we find information online might also make AI spam less of a problem.

More and more web searches are made via proxies like Siri and Alexa, says Blumenthal, meaning gatekeepers like Google only have to generate “one (or two or three) great answers” rather than dozens of relevant links. Of course, this emphasis on the “one true answer” has its own problems, but it certainly minimizes the risk from high-volume spam.

The end-game of all this could be even more interesting though. AI-text generation is advancing in quality extremely quickly, and experts in the field think it could lead to some incredible breakthroughs. After all, if we can create a program that can read and generate text with human-level accuracy, it could gorge itself on the internet and become the ultimate AI assistant.

“It may be the case that in the next few years this tech gets so amazingly good, that AI-generated content actually provides near-human or even human-level value,” says Tynski. In which case, she says, referencing an Xkcd comic, it would be “problem solved.” Because if you’ve created an AI that can generate factually-correct text that’s indistinguishable from content written by humans, why bother with the humans at all?

Categorized in Search Engine

 [Source: This article was Published in seroundtable.com By Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Google is now sending out newish, not 100% new, alerts for changes in your top queries for your site. This is an email from Google Search Console that will show you either large increases or decreases in your ranking positions according to Google Search Console data.

The emails read with the subject line "change in top queries for your site." Then it says "Search Console has identified a recent change in the top queries leading to your site from Google Search. We thought that you might be interested to know these changes. Here is how some of your top queries performed in the week of." It then lists out the example queries and how it changed.

Here is a screenshot from Eli Schwartz on Twitter:

click for full size

This is not 100% new, Google sent out alerts via Search Console for changes in clicks and impressions. This is a variation of that.

Here are more screenshots of this:

Dawn Anderson@dawnieando

           Is this new @rustybrick ?

View image on Twitter
                 SEO Alive@seo_alive

          Google Search Console ? podría estar probando el envío de informes sobre cambios en el rendimiento de las keywords más importantes.  

          En breve, publicaremos un artículo en el blog: https://seoalive.com/blog/ 

          cc. @rustybrick @googlewmc

View image on Twitter
Eli Schwartz
@5le

Google Search Console now has push emails about query performance. Is this new? cc: @rustybrick

View image on Twitter
 
Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in hannity.com By Hannity Staff - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Google and other American tech companies were thrust into the national spotlight in recent weeks, with critics claiming the platforms are intentionally censoring conservative voices, “shadow-banning” leading personalities, and impacting American elections in an unprecedented way.

In another explosive exposé, Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe revealed senior Google officials vowing to prevent the “Trump Situation” from occurring again during the 2020 elections.

The controversy dates back much further. In the fall of 2018, The SEO Tribunal published an article detailing 63 “fascinating Google search statistics.”

The article shows the planet’s largest search engine handles more than 63,000 requests per second, owns more than 90% of the global market share, and generated $95 billion in ad sales during 2017.

1. Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day.

(Source: SearchEngineLand)

That’s the average figure of how many people use Google a day, which  translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. Pretty impressive, right?

2. 15% of all searches have never been searched before on Google.

(Source: SearchEngineLand)

Out of  trillions of searches every year, 15% of these queries have never been seen by Google before. Such queries mostly relate to day-to-day activities, news, and trends, as confirmed per Google search stats.

3. Google takes over 200 factors into account before delivering you the best results to any query in a fraction of a second.

(Source: Backlinko)

Of course, some of them are rather controversial, and others may vary significantly, but there are also those that are proven and important, such as content and backlinks.

4. Google’s ad revenue amounted to almost $95.4 billion in 2017.

(Source: Statista)

According to recent Google stats, that is 25% up from 2016. The search giant saw nearly 22% ad revenue growth in the fourth quarter only.

5. Google owns about 200 companies.

(Source: Investopedia)

That is, on average, as if they’ve been acquiring more than one company per week since 2010. Among those there are companies involved in mapping, telecommunications, robotics, video broadcasting, and advertising.

6. Google’s signature email product has a 27% share of the global email client market.

(Source: Litmus)

This is up by 7% since 2016.

7. Upon going public, Google figures show the company was valued at $27 billion.

(Source: Entrepreneur)

More specifically, the company sold over 19 million shares of stock for $85 per share. In other words, it was valued as much as General Motors.

8. The net US digital display ad revenue for Google was $5.24 billion in 2017.

(Source: Emarketer)

Google statistics show that this number is significantly lower than Facebook, which made $16.33 billion, but much higher than Snapchat, which brought in $770 million from digital display ads.

9. Google has a market value of $739 billion.

(Source: Statista)

As of May 2018, the search market leader has a market value of $739 billion, coming behind Apple, which has a market value of $924 billion, Amazon, which has a market value of $783 billion, and Microsoft, which has a market value of  $753.

10. Google’s owner, Alphabet, reported an 84% rise in profits for the last quarter.

(Source: The Guardian)

The rising global privacy concerns didn’t affect Google’s profits. According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the quarterly profit of $9.4 billion exceeded estimates of $6.56 billion. Additionally, the price for clicks and views of ads sold by Google rose in its favor mostly due to advertisers who pursued ad slots on its search engine, YouTube video service, and partner apps and websites.

Read the full list at The SEO Tribunal.

Categorized in Search Engine

 [Source: This article was Published in zdnet.com By Catalin Cimpanu - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen]

Extension developer says he sold the extension weeks before; not responsible for the shady behavior.

Google has removed a Chrome extension from the official Web Store yesterday for secretly hijacking search engine queries and redirecting users to ad-infested search results.

The extension's name was "YouTube Queue," and at the time it was removed from the Web Store, it had been installed by nearly 7,000 users.

The extension allowed users to queue multiple YouTube videos in the order they wanted for later viewing.

EXTENSION TURNED INTO ADWARE IN EARLY JUNE

But under the hood, it also intercepted search engine queries, redirected the query through the Croowila URL, and then redirected users to a custom search engine named Information Vine, which listed the same Google search results but heavily infused with ads and affiliate links.

Users started noticing the extension's shady behavior almost two weeks ago, when first reports surfaced on Reddit, followed by two more, a few days later [12].

The extension was removed from the Web Store yesterday after Microsoft Edge engineer (and former Google Chrome developer) Eric Lawrence pointed out the extension's search engine hijacking capabilities on Twitter.

eric lawrence

Lawrence said the extension's shady code was only found in the version listed on the Chrome Web Store, but not in the extension's GitHub repository.

In an interview with The Register, the extension's developer claimed he had no involvement and that he previously sold the extension to an entity going by Softools, the name of a well-known web application platform.

In a following inquiry from The Register, Softools denied having any involvement with the extension's development, let alone the malicious code.

The practice of a malicious entity offering to buy a Chrome extension and then adding malicious code to the source is not a new one.

Such incidents have been first seen as early as 2014, and as recently as 2017, when an unknown party bought three legitimate extensions (Particle for YouTube, Typewriter Sounds, and Twitch Mini Player) and repurposed them to inject ads on popular sites.

In a 2017 tweet, Konrad Dzwinel, a DuckDuckGo software engineer and the author of the SnappySnippet, Redmine Issues Checker, DOMListener, and CSS-Diff Chrome extensions, said he usually receives inquiries for selling his extensions every week.

konrad

In a February 2019 blog post, antivirus maker Kaspersky warned users to "do a bit of research to ensure the extension hasn't been hijacked or sold" before installing it in their browser.

Developers quietly selling their extensions without notifying users, along with developers falling for spear-phishing campaigns aimed at their Chrome Web Store accounts, are currently the two main methods through which malware gangs take over legitimate Chrome extensions to plant malicious code in users' browsers.

COMING AROUND TO THE AD BLOCKER DEBATE

Furthermore, Lawrence points out that the case of the YouTube Queue extension going rogue is the perfect example showing malicious threat actors abusing the Web Request API to do bad things.

This is the same API that most ad blockers are using, and the one that Google is trying to replace with a more stunted one named the Declarative Net Request API.

eric

This change is what triggered the recent public discussions about "Google killing ad blockers."

However, Google said last week that 42% of all the malicious extensions the company detected on its Chrome Web Store since January 2018, were abusing the Web Request API in one way or another -- and the YouTube Queue extension is an example of that.

In a separate Twitter thread, Chrome security engineer Justin Schuh again pointed out that Google's main intent in replacing the old Web Request API was privacy and security-driven, and not anything else like performance or ad blockers, something the company also officially stated in a blog post last week.

justin

justin schuh

 

Categorized in Internet Privacy

 [Source: This article was Published in searchenginejournal.com By Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by the Association Member: Martin Grossner]

Google says the June 3 update is not a major one, but keep an eye out for how your results will be impacted.

Google has just announced that tomorrow it will be releasing a new broad core search algorithm update. These core updates impact how search results are ranked and listed in the Google search results.

Here is Google’s tweet:

searchliaison

Previous updates. Google has done previous core updates. In fact, it does one every couple months or so. The last core update was released in March 2019. You can see our coverage of the previous updates over here.

Why pre-announce this one? Google said the community has been asking Google to be more proactive when it comes to these changes. Danny Sullivan, Google search liason, said there is nothing specifically “big” about this update compared to previous updates. Google is being proactive about notifying site owners and SEOs, Sullivan said, so people aren’t left “scratching their heads after-the-fact.”

casey markee

When is it going live? Monday, June 3, Google will make this new core update live. The exact timing is not known yet, but Google will also tweet tomorrow when it does go live.

eric mitz

Google’s previous advice. Google has previously shared this advice around broad core algorithm updates:

“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.

As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.

There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

 

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in thesun.co.uk By Sean Keach - Uploaded by the Association Member: Anna K. Sasaki]

GOOGLE MAPS has invented a new feature that will warn you if a rogue taxi driver is taking you off-route.

It could put a stop to conmen drivers who take passengers out of their way to rack up journey charges.

 When you input a destination, you can choose new safety options

The "off-route alerts" will flag to users when you're sidetracked from a journey by more than 500 meters.

The feature was first revealed by tech site XDA Developers, who spotted it in the live version of Google Maps.

However, the feature appears to be stuck in "testing" right now, which means not everyone can use it.

But if it comes to Google Maps more generally, it could save Brits loads of cash.

 One of the options lets you receive warnings if you go off-route

 One of the options lets you receive warnings if you go off-route

 Google Maps will alert you if you've strayed more than 500 metres from the fastest route

Google Maps will alert you if you've strayed more than 500 meters from the fastest routeCredit: XDA Developers / Google Maps

First, simply select a journey you want to take when making a taxi ride.

Before you hit "Start", you'll see a new option called "Stay Safer" that you can press.

Inside you'll find another option to "get off-route alerts", which promises: "Get an alert if your taxi or ride goes off route."

When you start the journey, it will tell you if you're still on route.

And if you go off the route by more than 500 meters, you'll receive an alert on your phone.

That would prompt you to ask your driver why you're going the wrong way – and whether or not the route can be corrected.

But if the feature became popular, it could put rogue drivers off from even trying to illicitly extend your trip in the first place.

How to see Google's map tracking everywhere you've been

Here's what you need to know...

There are several ways to check your own Google Location History.

The easiest way is to follow the link to the Google Maps Timeline page:

This lets you see exactly where you've been on a given day, even tracking your methods of travel and the times you were at certain locations.

Alternatively, if you've got the Google Maps app, launch it and press the hamburger icon – three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other.

Then go to the Your Timeline tab, which will show places you've previously visited on a given day.

If you've had Google Location History turned on for a few years without realizing, this might be quite shocking.

Suddenly finding out that Google has an extremely detailed map of years of your real-world movements can seem creepy – so you might want to turn the feature off.

The good news is that it's possible to immediately turn Google Location History off at any time.

You can turn off Location History here:

However, to truly stop Google from tracking you, you'll also need to turn off Web & Activity Tracking.

You can see your tracked location markers here:

Unfortunately, these location markers are intermingled with a host of other information, so it's tricky to locate (and delete them).

To turn it off, simply click the above link then head to Activity Controls.

From there, you'll be able to turn off Web & Activity Tracking across all Google sites, apps and services.

Of course, some taxi drivers know shortcuts that can shave time off a Google Maps route, so don't immediately panic if you find yourself in a cab going the wrong way.

And it'll probably get on the nerves of seasoned cabbies who will hate being second-guessed by phone-wielding Brits.

It's not clear when Google will roll the off-route alerts feature to all phones.

We've asked Google for comment and will update this story with any response.

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in msn.com By JR Raphael - Uploaded by the Association Member: Edna Thomas]

Google Maps is great for helping you find your way — or even helping you find your car— but the app can also help other people find you.

Maps have an easily overlooked feature for sharing your real-time whereabouts with someone so they can see exactly where you are, even if you’re moving, and then navigate to your location. You can use the same feature to let a trusted person keep tabs on your travel progress to a particular place and know precisely when you’re set to arrive.

The best part? It’s all incredibly simple to do. The trick is knowing where to look.

Share your real-time location

When you want someone to be able to track your location:

  • Open the Maps app on your iOS or Android device
  • Tap the blue dot, which represents your current location, then select “Share location” from the menu that appears. (If it’s your first time using Maps for such a purpose, your phone may prompt you to authorize the app to access your contacts before continuing.)
  • If you want to share your location for a specific amount of time, select the “1-hour” option, and then use the blue plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the time as needed
  • If you want to share your location indefinitely — until you manually turn it off — select the “Until you turn this off” option
  • On Android, select the person with whom you want to share your location from the list of suggested contacts or select an app (like Gmail or Messages) to send a private link. You can also opt to copy the link to your system clipboard and then paste it wherever you like.
  • On an iPhone, tap “Select People” to choose a person from your contacts, select “Message” to send a private link to someone in your messaging app, or select “More” to send a private link via another communication service. Your phone may prompt you to give Maps ongoing access to your location before it moves forward.
  • If you share your location within Maps itself — by selecting a contact as opposed to sending a link via an external app — the person with whom you are sharing your location will get a notification on their phone. In addition, when you select “Location sharing” in Maps’ side menu, you will see an icon on top for both you and the person you’re sharing with. Select the person’s icon, and a bar at the bottom of the screen will let you stop sharing, share your location again, or request that the person share their location with you.

To manually stop Maps from sharing your location:

  • Open the Maps app, and look for the “Sharing your location” bar at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap the “x” next to the line that says how and for how long your location is being shared

Share your trip’s progress

When you want someone to be able to see your location and estimated arrival time while you’re en route to a particular destination:

  • Open the Maps app, and start navigating to your destination
  • Swipe up on the bar at the bottom of the screen (where your remaining travel time is shown), then select “Share trip progress” from the menu that appears
  • Select the name of the person with whom you want to share your progress or select an app you want to use for sharing

If you want to stop sharing your progress before your trip is complete:

  • Swipe up again on the bar at the bottom of the screen
  • Select “Stop sharing” from the menu that appears

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in money.cnn.com By David Goldman - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore]

Some things just shouldn't be connected to the Internet. With Shodan, a search engine that finds connected devices, it's easy to locate dangerous things that anyone can access without so much as a username or password.

Traffic light controls

hack red light
This is why Caps Lock was invented.

When something that literally anyone in the world can access says "DEATH MAY OCCUR !!!" it's generally a good idea to build some kind of security around it.

Oops - no. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to put traffic light controls on the Internet. Making matters way, way worse is that these controls require no login credentials whatsoever. Just type in the address, and you've got access.

You'd have to know where to go looking, but it's not rocket science. Security penetration tester Dan Tentler found the traffic light controls using Shodan, a search engine that navigates the Internet's back channels looking for the servers, webcams, printers, routers and all the other stuff that is connected to the Internet.

Traffic cameras

hack traffic camera
Hey, that's my car!

You know those cameras that snap photos of you speeding through a red light? Yeah, someone put an entire network of them on the Internet.

Made by a company called PIPS, a division of 3M (MMM), the "Autoplate" technology takes photos of cars going through intersections and loads their license plate numbers on a server. Those servers are intended to be accessed by police departments. They're definitely not supposed to be connected to the greater Internet without any log-in credentials.

That's what happened, though, and any Web lurker could check out who was zipping through the photo zones in the spot Tentler found. Added kicker: Autoplate actually records photos and registration information for every car that goes through the intersections it's watching -- not just speeders.

3M spokeswoman Jacqueline Berry noted that Autoplate's systems feature robust security protocols, including password protection and encryption. They just have to be used.

"We're very confident in the security of our systems," she said.

Tentler notified the FBI about the particular system he found.

A swimming pool acid pump

hack pool
Are you sure you want to get in the pool?

Swimming pools have acid pumps to adjust the pH balance of the water. They're usually not connected to the Internet.

At least one of them is, though. So, exactly how powerful and toxic is this acid pump?

"Can we turn people into soup?" wondered Tentler.

Tentler said there was no distinguishing text in this app to tip him off to where the pool was located or whom it is owned by, so the owners haven't been contacted. Enter at your own risk!

A hydroelectric plant

hack turbine
Wait, does that say kilowatts? 

French electric companies apparently like to put their hydroelectric plants online. Tentler found three of them using Shodan.

This one has a big fat button that lets you shut off a turbine. But what's 58,700 Watts between friends, right?

It's not just France that has a problem. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security commissioned researchers last year to see if they could find industrial control systems for nuclear power plants using Shodan. They found several.

Tentler told DHS about all the power plants he found -- actually, DHS called him after he accessed one of their control systems.

Once the controls were brought up on a Web browser, anyone could put lights into "test" mode. Seriously, do not try that at home.

Tentler declined to say which city put its traffic controls on the Internet, but he notified the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about it.

A hotel wine cooler

hack wine cooler
How cold do you like your champagne, exactly?

Okay, fine, there's no danger in putting a hotel wine cooler online. It's pretty strange, though.

Tentler also found controls for a display case at a seafood store, which included a lobster tank.

This wine cooler is still online at a large hotel in New York. So if your bubbly is a little toasty, you'll know why.

A hospital heart rate monitor

hack heart rate monitor
Beep ... beep ... beep ...

U.S. hospitals have to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Here's a violation: One hospital put its heart rate monitors online for the whole world to see.

Although this was a read-only tool -- you couldn't defibrillate a patient over the Internet -- it's still a major, major breach of the privacy law.

Tentler said that another security researcher reported this hospital to DHS' Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team last year.

A home security app

hack home control
Honey, did you leave the garage door open?

new wave of home automation tools offer a great way to control everything from your door locks to your alarm system online. But it's a good idea for your security system to have some, you know, security built into it.

Not this system. Anyone can change this home's temperature, alarm settings, and, yes, open its garage door.

Tentler said he has no idea who built this app, because there was no distinguishing text or information associated with it.

A gondola ride

hack gondola ride
Hey, why are the doors opening?

A gondola ride over a ski resort is a fun way to enjoy the mountain view. But not if you stop in the middle of the ride and the doors open.

Anyone could do that with a click of a button, even if they were sitting thousands of miles away. That's because this French ski resort put the control systems for the gondola ride on the Internet.

Attempts to contact the company was unsuccessful.

A car wash

hack car wash
Actually, I would like that undercoating!

Seriously, there is a car wash on the Internet.

By clicking through the control options, anyone in the world can adjust the chemicals used in the wash and lock someone inside. Or you could be nice and give every customer the works.

Tentler said he has no idea who owns the car wash or where it is. But if you happen to pass through this one, your next wash is on him.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

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