Project censored has released their annual list of news stories that should have been more relevant in 2009, but were largely ignored by the American media.

The term “censored” doesn’t mean some government agent stood over newsrooms with a rubber stamp and forbade the publication of the news, or even that the information was completely out of the public eye. The stories Project Censored highlights may have run in one or two news outlets but didn’t get the type of attention they deserved.

Top Censored Stories of 2009/2010

While still incarcerated, Francis “Frank” Janosko hacked into the prison system’s computer that had been provided for inmates to perform legal research. He obtained sensitive information on prison employees, including their dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, telephone numbers, home addresses and employment records.

The computer he used was a so-called thin client computer that simply connected to another machine on the network and did not store any data itself, prosecutors said in Janosko’s indictment. The only program it was supposed to run was the prison’s legal research application.

However, Janosko found a way of “exploiting an idiosyncrasy in the legal research software” so he could access other programs via the terminal. He even found a way of downloading Internet video, prosecutors said.

Janosko plead guilty, will serve 18 months in prison, followed by three years supervision, which includes a prohibition of computers.

eSecurity Planet has a handy list of 40 open source tools that you can use to help protect your privacy. They include programs for anonymous browsing, anonymous email, anti-spyware, backup, data protections, compression, developer tools, education, encryption, file transfer, file sharing, gateway security appliance, intrusion detection and protection, mobility, network firewall, pdf tools, passwords, personal information manager, and proxy servers.

If you’re interested in protecting your privacy online, this is a great place to get started.

A CCTV image that goes too far

The British government has committed a gross invasion of privacy when they turned their CCTV towards a bedroom. Transport for London manages more than 1500 CCTV cameras and have a live feed of someone else’s bedroom. These cameras are supposed to be focused on the roads in London, so what purpose would a live feed of someone’s bedroom serve?

It would be bad enough if this was simply the view seen by some pathetic, voyeuristic CCTV operator who couldn’t wait to get home to study their collection of magazines. But it was not.

He – or possibly she – pointed a live traffic cam into a couple’s bedroom and, as a result, this view could be seen by anybody on Planet Earth who clicked on the feed from that particular camera at 10.21 on 18th December, 2009. The Tfl website identifies where the house is. One can only hope that, as it will be easy to work out which house this is, the couple are supposed to be in each other’s arms.

Considering this is a second floor window and 180 degrees away from the road, there’s really no reason for the camera to ever be pointed in this direction.

I post the information here to prove the same point the original author did. There must be facts to back up the claim that the CCTV operators are abusing their position. If you cannot provide proof of abuse, then a complaint cannot be registered with the local council or police to stop such actions from occurring again. I have also provided the picture with the personal information blacked out. The original and google map of the location is out there, however, I believe that the above photo provides all the evidence of abuse by the CCTV operator that is necessary.

Fortunately, this time the bed was empty. What if it was your house and your bed and you had no clue that you were being watched when you assumed you were safe inside?

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