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Voters Consumed With Political Spam Messages

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Several campaigns have taken to aggressive, last-minute tactics — like blasting their constituency districts with spammy text messages.

ZDNet has seen reports and tweets of screenshots of text messages from several New York-based candidates in the past few days, pushing local residents to vote for a particular candidate or calling for campaign donations.

 

That drew ire from one local resident, who said the unsolicited message could influence how they would vote Tuesday.

For years, state and federal election candidates have used text messages as a way to solicit votes or contributions from their constituents. Use of text messaging first rocketed during the 2008 presidential campaign and has only escalated in size and scale — no more so than during last year’s election.

But the law is clear: it’s illegal for companies to send text messages to individuals who haven’t given prior consent.

Craig Engle, an attorney at Washington DC.-based law firm Arent Fox, said that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act protects consumers from receiving unsolicited political calls and texts to cell phones unless the sender has obtained prior consent.

But there’s a catch: political emails and text messages are considered non-commercial and are exempt from the law.

After all, these campaigns aren’t trying to sell you anything — they just want you to donate or vote for them.

But questions remain over how residents’ phone numbers are obtained by campaigns.

A Brisport campaign spokesperson told ZDNet that the phone numbers used to send two separate text messages by the campaign were obtained from New York’s Board of Elections.

 

One former senior staffer for a presidential candidate’s campaign (who did not want to be named for the story) told ZDNet that phone numbers are often traded — bought and sold — like a commodity.

Lists of long-codes of people’s phone numbers, of people who’ve opted into text messages, can be purchased. Anyone could buy a list that’s legally opted-in and send a message.

People almost never read the terms of service. “When you signed in to some social app or when you shared your phone number with your bank, any of those folks could’ve sold on your information,” the person said. “But it doesn’t mean that people remember.”

And as frustrating as unsolicited text messages are, political campaigns tend to stay within the lines of the law — even if they have to be reminded of the rules from time to time.

“Campaigns are very risk averse in pushing those boundaries because they don’t want to get caught or kicked off the ballot, so they won’t do something too sketchy,” the person said.

Engle said that the best action to take is to simply respond to unsolicited text messages with “STOP.”

“That, in theory, should take you off the list,” he said. “If that doesn’t work, a complaint could be filed with the FTC.”

Political campaigns are in no hurry to stop using text messages in their campaigns. President Obama’s successful 2008 campaign set the gold standard for using text messages in his winning campaign, a departure from John McCain’s use of robocalls.

Text message blasts could help voters remember a candidate’s name in the voting booth, but is a pesky spammer really the best person for the job?

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Phishing Attacks Targeting Gmail Customers

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A phishing technique targeting Gmail and other services has been gaining popularity during the past year among attackers. Over the past few weeks there have been reports of experienced technical users being hit by this.

This attack is currently being used to target Gmail customers and is also targeting other services.The attacker will send an email to your Gmail account. That email may come from someone you know who has had their account hacked using this technique. It may also include something that looks like an image of an attachment you recognize from the sender.You click on the image, expecting Gmail to give you a preview of the attachment. Instead, a new tab opens up and you are prompted by Gmail to sign in again. You glance at the location bar and you see accounts.google.com in there. It looks like this….

You go ahead and sign in on a fully functional sign-in page that looks like this:

GMail data URI phishing sign-in page

Your account has been compromised once you complete sign-in.

Google Has Been Told To Hand Over Their Foriegn Emails

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For Those out there with the luxury of privacy, well Google has been told to hand over  emails stored outside the country in order to comply with an FBI search warrant.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter ruled on Friday that the act of transferring emails from a foreign server did not qualify as a seizure.

The judge ruled there is no “meaningful interference” with the account holder’s “possessory interest”, going on to assert that any privacy infringement occurs “at the time of disclosure in the United States”, rather than when the data itself is transferred.

Rule 41

They Say It Was Weiner’s (Laptop)Metadata

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  • FBI officials knew in early October that Anthony Weiner’s laptop contained emails that were sent to or received from Hillary Clinton’s secret server 
  • However, agency head James Comey wasn’t informed of this development until Thursday, writing a letter to congress Friday that the emails existed
  • Republicans, including Donald Trump, pounced on this news suggesting the FBI must have found a smoking gun in the new email trove 
  • Democrats have pushed back suggesting it was inappropriate for Comey to write to congress without knowing what the messages contained 
  • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid today said he believed Comey may have violated the Hatch Act 
  • What the FBI officials used to make their determination that Clinton emails were on the laptop was the metadata 

Read About It here

More Here

Yahoo Admitted 500 MillionAccounts Hacked: However, This Is News To Verizon

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Yahoo admitted that back in 2014 there was a theft of 500 million accounts. However, Verizon who recently acquired Yahoo in July for $4.83 billion has not finalized the acquisition and says this is news to them, they’re just learning about this.

Google & Unencrypted Emails

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Google has a pair of new security features that will warn users when they should be cautious about revealing sensitive information over email.

Users will be shown a small red unlocked padlock icon in the upper right-hand corner of a message to let them know that someone they’re sending messages to or receiving email from doesn’t support TLS encryption that would keep information from prying eyes in transit. The majority of email that users see on a regular basis likely won’t contain one of these warnings, as most major email providers like Microsoft and Yahoo already support TLS encryption.

 

Gmail’s Undo Send Feature

 

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Gmail has a undo sent mail feature

Gmail’s Undo Send Instructions Here

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