Online PC Support

OPS Technical Solutions : +1(833)-522-1003


Google’s “Hot News” comes under Scanner

The internet is a place you could find anything from news to music, because of it the media industry is suffering, but is it a problem that the government has to solve? The Federal Trade Commission has been told by Google. The most used search engine responded to the FTC’s draft proposal, which was released last month. In the draft proposal The Federal Trade Commission is supporting the media business and journalism. The document is proposing to change the intellectual property laws to protect news entities from big companies.

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government formed in 26th September 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Its goal is to promote consumer protection and the elimination of forced monopoly by the big corporations.


Google Inc. is an American Internet company whose stated mission is “to organize” the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful to everyone. Google is based in the city of Mountain View, California. As of July 15, 2010 in Google there are about 21,805 employees. The company has thousands of servers worldwide that handle millions of queries every day and about 1 petabayt user data every hour. The companies was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, while they were students at Stanford University and were trying to devise an efficient algorithm (machine) to search for web pages by keyword.

Who is Pablo Chavez

Pablo Chavez isn’t the Mexican footballer who plays for Necaxa. He is a public policy director who post on the Google Public Policy blog saying that the most used search engine (a.k.a. Google) is “optimistic about the news industry’s future.”, but he also said there are a lot of disagreements about the draft proposal from The Federal Trade Commission. The biggest disagreement is about the “hot news doctrine”. What is the “hot news doctrine”? Well, in it is said that ordinary people can’t report the same facts as the traditional publisher for some time after the news event. What will happen? The news will spread slower than before a lot of news sites will lose readers. Even thou that there is no guarantees that the Federal Trade Commission’s draft proposal will become legislation Pablo Chavez is worried that this will hurt Google News.

History of the “hot news”

It all started in 1918 it a case. Associated Press newswire sued her competitors for republishing their information and causing them financial damage by distributing their rewritings using a telegraph. Associated Press won the case and the “hot news” concept was born.

Pablo Chavez’s worries

Chavez’s worries about the new “hot news” law that they “would not only hurt free expression, but also the very profession of journalism that the proponents of hot news say they support.” In what way will Google be affected? This new law will make it impossible for corporations like Google News to operate in the same way that they do now.

Settlement Over Privacy Breaches Between Twitter and FTC

Twitter has arranged the settlement regarding the Federal Trade Commission charges about the said site. The privacy of users is placed at risk because of the lack of security with users’ personal information.

One of the biggest social networking sites, Twitter, will soon be establishing a security program. This security program will be evaluated by another company. The Federal Trade Commission news release has stated that Twitter “will end up being barred for nearly twenty years from misleading its consumers about the extent to which it retains and protects the security, privacy as well as the confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information.”

In order to prevent this, Twitter is required to establish and maintain a strong information and security program. But to ensure maximum security of the privacy program, this will be evaluated by an independent professional auditor every other year for the length of 10 years.

The Federal Trade Commission fights for the rights of every user to keep any personal information secured and private. But users can still share chosen information on social networking sites such as that of Twitter. This statement is according to the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck.

Security Breaches

Security breaches have occurred twice in January and April 2009. According to the FTC, a hacker made use of an application that guesses passwords in order to control of the admin. The password was said to be in lowercase and is such a common word. The hacker then changed many passwords and posted them on other sites.

With the use of the hacker’s new passwords, many other people have gained unauthorized access to 9 users of Twitter. These people were able to send fake tweets. And the worse thing about this issue is the use of President Barack Obama’s account. The fake tweet from the president stated that people can win $500 of free gasoline. The culprit was a 23-year-old French hacker.

For the second security breach, another hacker used a Twitter employee’s personal e-mail after miraculously getting the password. A password was found in plain test and has been used to reset other passwords of Twitter users. This hacker also manipulated nonpublic user information and tweets.

Steps to Prevent the Recurrence of the Problem

According to the complaint, Twitter has failed to protect the personal and private information regarding the users. In order to prevent this from happening again, some step should be followed and these are the following:

•    Administrative passwords should be hard-to-guess and should not be used for any other program, site or network.
•    The administrative password access should be disabled when the attempts of entering the correct password failed.
•    Administrative passwords should expire every 90 days.

Twitter’s Response

According to Alexander Macgillivray, the Twitter’s general counsel, the unwanted breaches happened a long time ago when they only have 50 employees. Twitter has already fixed the security problems and the affected user was notified as soon as possible during the January hacking incident. With regards to the April incident, the hacker’s administrative access was removed in less than 18 minutes. The general counsel explained that even before the FTC’s complaint arrived, they have implemented certain security actions for Twitter.

FTC Has Cleared Twitter For The Incident Of Obama Hacking

It has been announced by the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday that seven of the security vulnerabilities had been addressed by Twitter which had allowed the hackers to gain access to many of the accounts during the previous year. The accounts to which hackers got access also included that of then-candidate Barack Obama. The agreement has ended the probe which could lead to the fines of almost $16,000 for one infraction, if Twitter would be disobeying the resulting consent order. Along with the security vulnerabilities, it is also claimed by FTC that Twitter has also misled the users with the help of making promises to them that their accounts had been secure when actually they were not. However, all seven of the security vulnerabilities have been shored up by Twitter to the satisfaction of feds and has also said that it had solved most of the problems just after the accounts had been breached during the months of January and April in the year 2009.

David Vladeck’s comment

The director for the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection David Vladeck has said in one statement that when a promise is made by any company with the consumers that it would be securing their personal information then it must live up to that promise. He further said that although the consumers using the social networking web sites can share some of their information with other users yet they still have a right that their personal information would be kept private as well as secure.

The decision is most likely to be finalized as a consent order after a pro forma period of 30 days for the public comment.

Problems with Twitter accounts

During the month of January in 2009, a hacker was able to guess the administrative password which was all in lowercase which was actually a word. With the help of this password he could gain access to many of the accounts of Twitter which also included that of Barack Obama. The passwords of those accounts were reset by him and also posted some of the new passwords over online. Nine accounts, out of all those hacked accounts, were used for sending the messages. For example, the Twitter followers of Barack Obama had received an offer for an amount of $500 for free gasoline. According to FTC, the account of Fox News was also used for sending at least one of the fraudulent messages.

FTC’s comment

It has been said by FTC that some of the changes had to be made by the social network in order to get the clean bill of health security wise. It had to ask the employees for using such administrative passwords that are hard to guess and should not be used for other programs or websites. FTC also prohibited the employees from storing their passwords in the form of the plain text in their email accounts or suspending or disabling their passwords after some reasonable amount of the unsuccessful logins. It also said that period changes to the administrative passwords should be done in order to ensure security.

Safeguarding the Web through Internet Fraud Alert System

Another successful invention from Microsoft, Internet Fraud Alert system, is designed to facilitate security researchers. With the help of this mechanism, researchers can report about stolen information to respective providers or organizations. So far, there was no technology which can quickly inform about these compromised or stolen credentials to the service source. Hence, Internet Fraud Alert system is truly an advantageous technology introduced by Microsoft-led coalition.

Security researcher is an essential element of various fields such as financial services, retail, government, technology, consumer advocacy and academia. They often come across with stolen details like password, user name or login information. Sometimes, this information contains credit card numbers that are compromised. Now it has become effortless to alert the proper institutions like bank, about these credentials. Microsoft technology controls the centralized alerting system which is actually designed in favor of this program. This centralized alerting system will immediately report these stolen credentials to companies or banks so that they can take correct steps towards the security of their customers.

As far as the factors like security and expediency are concerned, no other technology can challenge Internet Fraud Alert system. It will be a progressive step in the field of Cyber crime. Considering this fact, Microsoft has handed over this technology to National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance. This organization will manage this program. In addition, many standard associations across the world such as eBay, PayPal, Federal Trade Commission, Citizens Bank, are all set to involve themselves in this program. This list also includes National Consumers League, Anti-Phishing Working Group, Accuity and the American Bankers Association too.

According to the authorities of Microsoft, people who exchange information through fake or compromised identities get profit and share by using stolen credentials. But now, Microsoft has made it by developing techniques to oppose this thievery of identities. Because of the great amalgamation of latest technology and momentous partnership, Internet Fraud Alert system quickly warns institutions in order to take some serious actions to fight crime.

Officials from Risk Management Policy also support Internet Fraud Alert system. They say an important link is provided by Internet Fraud Alert system, which connect National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance and security researchers who encounter some stolen credentials while investigation. As they find out any suspicious data, they inform it to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance; and then that particular customer is protected from any possible harm.

On the whole, this Internet Fraud Alert system is really powerful and expedient technology. Security researchers agree to the need of such a vigorous system. Assistance of Internet Fraud alert system has really made their work much easier. This system has also proved itself. Anti-Phishing Working Group has taken a delivery of over 410,000 phishing emails praising its work and expediency. Cyber crime is becoming more and more dangerous now days as terrorist activities are becoming part of it. Thus using internet for financial transactions or for exchange of important documents has become risky. As far as cyber security issues are concerned, efforts of Microsoft are really paid off.

Microsoft Donates ‘Internet Fraud Alert’ Program to Financial Services

Cyber Crime has rised much above the accepted level today. Banks and other websites that process financial and other secured transactions of mammoth proportions on a day-to-day basis, find it extremely challenging to protect and preserve highly confidential data of their customers. Thanks to the advancements  of the Web Technology, cyber criminals pose a great threat to the confidential data by means of Phishing, Electronic Eaves dropping, Fiber tapping, Keystroke logging etc.,

To put an end to these nefarious activities on the Internet, Microsoft has pioneered a program called ‘Internet Fraud Alert’ recently. This first of its kind program is a joint effort by Microsoft with various other organizations like National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), The American Bankers Association, eBay Inc, Anti-Phishing Working Group, Citizens Bank, Federal Trade Commission, National Consumers League and PayPal. Microsoft’s Internet Fraud Alert Program will assist the online service agencies and Banks to safeguard their vital credentials that are often liable to threat. This application will gather and pass on the much-needed report about the exposed records to the respective online Banks and organizations and lend a hand to the security researchers.

This program offers trusty and highly effective defense mechanisms that help the security agencies and investigators to report compromised credit card numbers and stolen user accounts like User name and password discovered on the internet to the particular bank or to the online companies.  Microsoft has customized the concept of centralized reporting system specifically for the Internet Fraud Alert Program to curb the cyber frauds. Based on the ‘Quick alerts’ given by this program, online companies, Institutions and Banks can take evasive action against the online fraudsters and thereby guard their customers secure data.

With a systematic and secured approach, the Internet Fraud Alert program will help the online retailers, government bodies, academic institutions to effectively manage and deal with the highly secured credential accounts.  Instantaneous warnings about phishing and other malicious attacks will be routed to the corresponding organizations.

Backed by significant alliances, Microsoft has donated this exclusive application to NCFTA , which play a major role in fighting the Cybercrimes and shielding the most important customer records online. Internet Fraud Alert program is a blend of marvelous technology and easy-to-follow techniques. When Cyber frauds and fraudsters are becoming much more complicated with their wide network, it is crucial to a take the first and the most important step against these forces in order to augment consumer’s confidence while using the online services.

This novel framework from Microsoft will come into effect immediately to aid the monetary, academic institutions, Government bodies to tackle the cybercrime rapidly.

Apple to be Investigated by FTC

With the intention of harming its competitors in the mobile software market, Apple is illegitimately using its position. In a major report that has been published in the recent journals, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started a probe against Apple. It will clearly find whether Apple has taken App Store as its weapon to hurt its competitors.

Apple’s Malpratice

Apple has made a sharp twist in its Apple Store Rules. Few of the developer tools which are used to create applications in iPad and iPhone has been prohibited by Apple. Now Google’s AdMob and other dependent mobile ad networks have been blocked from accessing applications on the iPhone. While Apple was asked about this, it has not straight away respond to it. By changing the tools that are being employed to write apps sold in App Store, it seems that this time Adobe is its specific targeter. Now the developers are unable to use other platforms like Novell’s Monotouch and Adobe’s Flash platform.

Developers who are sharing their data with mobile operating system or an advertising service provider other than Apple have been banned by Apple. Admob which is owned by Google is the most high-flying mobile- advertising service provider affected by this. But Google is using Android platform to create a better place in the mobile software market.

Controversial Trends of Apple

This is not the first time that Apple has caused a controversy. It has been functioning always in the path of controversy. It created an iTunes Store monopoly for iPod and iPhone and thus blocked them into iTunes. Apple’s FairPlay DRM System has not been licensed with any other company. Hence it prevents the other manufacturer’s devices to use the contents purchased from iTunes. But competing company’s DRM free music can be heard on Apple devices.

In Europe the customers can purchase goods from any of its state. But Apple is forcing the customers to buy iTunes only. It forced the users in some countries to spend more money by restricting the content purchases to their country. It disables Google Voice Application on iPhone. It has given an explanation that the functionality of iPhone has been altered by Google application. Within two months after the release of iPhone, it reduced its price by $200 and it was criticized by everyone.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which was set up by the Federal Trade Commission Act in 1914 is an self-governing agency of the United States Government. “Consumer Protection” is its motto. It helps to eliminate and prevent harmful business practices that are anti-competitive. FTC is able to achieve this by some merger plans, non-merger plans that may mess up the competition and enforcing antitrust laws. The civil enforcement of antitrust laws is handled by FTC.

When Google purchased AdMob, FTC examined them for several months. Hence being familiar with the mobile ad market, it has now got the job of investigating Apple. Thus FTC investigation is the most up-to-date in a sequence of explorations into Apple’s business practices.

Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003