This Week in Tech News

TSA & Customs Are Asking for Social Media Passwords

Episode 1365

TSA

Recently, privacy advocates have become aware that US Customs and the TSA are demanding travelers turn over passwords to their social media and demanding travelers open up their laptops and mobile devices to gain your data. Leo says that is clearly a violation of privacy and the fifth amendment. That passwords and fingerprint ID should be protected. Leo recommends turning off all your devices while you're re-entering the country. But they may detain you until you do. So be ready to call a lawyer.

FCC Backs Away From Allowing Personal Set Top Cable Boxes

Episode 1360

Ajit Pai being sworn in as FCC Chairman

With the new chairman and his anti net neutrality views, the FCC has changed direction on a rule that would require cable companies to allow users to use third party set top boxes. Leo said it was a great idea, but in reality, cable companies were starting to see the handwriting on the wall that cutting the cable is gathering speed. The FCC has also allowed for zero rating, where you can get free data if you watch streaming from partnered services.

Tech Companies Respond to Trump's Immigration Order

Episode 1359

Protests broke out at airports across the country in response to Trump's executive order to ban people from certain countries. The reaction from the tech community was loud as well. One of the founders of Google, Sergey Brin, went to San Francisco International Airport to protest. Google CEO Sundar Pichai made a statement as well, and nearly 200 Google employees were affected by this. Google is considering a recall of all employees currently outside of the country. Other tech companies responded equally to the ban.

Leo Gets Warning From Comcast for Exceeding Bandwidth

Episode 1359

Leo has Comcast at home and he got a warning that he has exceeded his bandwidth cap of 1TB. Leo says he hasn't done anything different than before, however, and he wonders if the metering is accurate. Additionally, Leo has discovered that Comcast uses a man in the middle scheme and can take over his screen if they so desired. That's bad news because privacy issues abound.

Ransomware Attack Targets Hotel Door Locks

Episode 1359

Ransomware has always been a terrible plague of the internet, where bad guys inject software into your computer through phishing emails. They usually trick you by saying it's from your bank, the IRS, or even your boss asking you to open something. When you do that, it's an application that runs and scrambles all of your data and asks you to give them money to get the data back.

WhatsApp Not Vulnerable to Hacking, Experts Say

Episode 1357

WhatsApp

Many publications including The Guardian reported that the messaging app WhatsApp was insecure and hackable. The creator of that encryption protocol, Moxie Marlinspike from Open Whisper Systems, posted on his blog that this was incorrect. Now a large number of security professionals have written an open letter to The Guardian asking them to retract the story. There is no back door in WhatsApp, and the article was wrong. It was written in a sensational way to drive traffic.