Glass Houses is primarily about privacy and security issues. It may venture elsewhere, but helping you understand how to protect yourself online is the primary goal.

By: Bert Knabe on September 16, 2011 - 6:00am - Add new comment

Mathew Ingram at GigaOM reports that the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has ruled unanimously that citizens recording police in public with their cell phones are protected from arrest and prosecution by the First Amendment. I can't find a better quote than the one Mathew used. It is from Judge Kermit Lipez:

By: Bert Knabe on September 14, 2011 - 2:53am - Add new comment reports that after 2 years the FBI has finally returned Mark Short's computer. In 2009 Mark informed the Leanda ISD that their web site was vulnerable to attack because their welcome page included images with usernames and passwords. The ISD's response was to call the police and the FBI, who treated Mr. Short's report of a vulnerability as evidence that he is a dangerous, malicious hacker.

By: Bert Knabe on September 12, 2011 - 6:00am - Add new comment

Wisconsin recently passed a voter ID law. Voter ID shouldn't be a problem, provided it's done properly. Unfortunately, Wisconsin appears to have done it wrong. No, they don't appear to, they have. Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board website has a lot of information about the law. Everything seems fine until you check the link to the information on how to obtain an ID card (if you are a resident of Wisconsin) from the Wisconsin DOT.

By: Bert Knabe on September 7, 2011 - 3:19am - Add new comment

Tim Cook's sexuality is 'nunya'

By: Bert Knabe on September 5, 2011 - 6:00am - Add new comment

I was reading a post about Google+ on The Burnman Experience, and it made me think about current trends, Google, and Facebook. Burnman's position is that the Google+ name policy is not the biggest threat to privacy or online safety coming from Google, Inc.

By: Bert Knabe on August 31, 2011 - 3:02am - Add new comment

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.
———— 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission*

By: Bert Knabe on August 31, 2011 - 3:01am - Add new comment

Google's new Google+ (G+) service was off to a roaring start. In it's first few weeks it gained 20 million users and is reportedly currently at 25 million. But it has done one thing that could turn that impressive growth rate around. Requiring your "common name" on your account. This is a serious issue for a large number of people. People with serious illnesses, jobs that don't allow employees to express their opinions online, views that differ from their community, etc all may be harmed if they can't use a pseudonym.

By: Bert Knabe on August 29, 2011 - 6:00am - Add new comment

Whitelisting defends computers from malware by only allowing programs from a pre-approved list of known safe programs to run. The opposite technique, blacklisting, doesn't allow programs from a list of forbidden programs to run.

Whitelists can be an excellent addition to your security strategy. Unlike a blacklist, a whitelist only changes when you want to add a new program. Even if an attacker manages to load a malicious program onto your computer it won't run because it's not on the list of approved programs.

By: Bert Knabe on August 26, 2011 - 6:00am - Add new comment

Jack Wallen put out an Android phone security primer on Tech Republic. I don't have an Android phone, but a lot of people do, so I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of the steps here.

The first best thing you should do is set a pin to unlock it. Then lock the phone. There are still ways to get at the data on your phone, but that will stop the casual pickpocket/guy who picked up your phone when you left it at the bar.

By: Bert Knabe on August 24, 2011 - 1:08pm - Add new comment

Today the Justice Department announced that Google is paying half a billion dollars for allowing Canadian pharmaceutical companies ads to show up in US browsers, enabling the illegal international sale and importation of controlled and uncontrolled substances.

I don't know how many people made those purchases, but if the USDJ decided to go after them, everyone could be charged and possibly convicted of illegal purchase and/or possession of controlled substances.