Thursday, 28 May 2015

Adult Friend Finder: When Bad Websites Happen to Good People


Adult Friend Finder


Two weeks ago, Adult Friend Finder was just a place where “you can finally be who you are and be accepted.” Now, its users aren’t so sure.

Last week, the UK’s Channel 4 News revealed that hacker ROR[RG] had released stolen data from Adult Friend Finder, including email addresses, birthdates, postal codes and sexual preferences and desires. To date, compromised users have received phishing emails; many are also confronting the collision of their online and in-person selves. 

According to “Kim,” a user interviewed by CNNMoney, "This is not something that just goes away. People will know you're the guy into swapping partners with your wife. Or you're the burly football player who's bisexual. I wish we lived in a world in which your personal preferences didn't matter. But we do, and it sucks."

Initially, ROR[RG] appeared to be motivated by little more than an airing of secrets; more recently, however, the hacker offered to sell the complete set of data—a possible source of credit card information—as well as his hacking services.

Nearly 4 million users of Adult Friend Finder are unquestionably victims of ROR[RG], yet it’s hard to lay blame on this individual. Technology has outpaced policy, a fact that gives the average ROR[RG] considerable power over the average dating website user.

As such, it’s easy to adopt the attitude that you only have yourself to blame when your information is exposed. In response to the discovery that many users, including government employees, registered for Adult Friend Finder accounts with work email addresses, CSO reported, “Rather amazing that people would do such a thing…I will offer that if you’re going to sign up for a service like this that you make use of a throw away email and limit what information you do share.” Don’t want your boss to find out about your online dating habits? Create a new email account on your lunch hour.

Blaming user indiscretion, however, overlooks the real problem: a lack of accountability for companies to keep their users’ data secure. In 2012, the Electronic Frontier Foundation rated the privacy and security practices of online dating websites including Adult Friend Finder, eHarmony and Match. The takeaway: security is bad. If you care about your personal information, don’t ever login from shared internet. 

Which is why the modern lover is stuck. He has a human right to privacy, his peers support his choice to reveal an intimate glimpse of himself to a select group of people (59% of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people) and yet he can’t find a website to trust.

Adult Friend Finder is no exception. Not only was it slow to post a rather discrete link to information on the ‘security incident,’ it may have ignored initial warnings about the hacked data altogether. Data Breach Wall of Shame posted email correspondence revealing that Adult Friend Finder was first alerted to the security breach on March 12. Adult Friend Finder maintains that it never received this notifying email, despite issuing a read receipt in response.

Ultimately, Adult Friend Finder will find itself faced with data protection lawsuits. May these provide the opportunity users need to hold companies accountable for products that compromise consumer rights.

SumRando’s Brazil Server: Better! Faster!

The Randos have spoken: they want their daily dose of Orkut, 4share and Globo.
As one of our most popular locations, SumRando’s Brazil server needed some room to grow. In response, we increased the server’s bandwidth this past Monday, which means you will experience faster speeds and reduced latency—all the content you want without the wait.
Did you hear about the Italian mafia boss arrested in Brazil? Or what Dilma Rousseff has been up to? Get the latest straight from Sao Paulo with our Brazil server.
Surf secure and stay Rando!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

South Korea Mandates the Installation of Monitoring Technology on Minors’ Smartphones


Middle school students in Seoul, South Korea

Imagine a land where roughly 80% of youth under the age of 19 own a smartphone. These minors’ phones are monitored by their parents’ phones, which are capable of tracking websites and apps accessed, as well as when and for how long. Parents aren’t alone in these efforts, however; telecommunications companies and software developers track data and inform parents when the system isn’t working.
 
That land is South Korea. A new law requires one of 15 monitoring apps to be installed on the new smartphone of anyone under the age of 19; already, the apps have been downloaded nearly 500,000 times.

This is a law with loopholes, as it only affects the owners of new Android phones. Minors who already own a smartphone or who buy a new iPhone are not required to install a monitoring app. Furthermore, it is only the installation and not the use of an app that is required. However, if an app is deleted or rendered inoperable, parents will receive monthly notices about such matters.

Furthermore, according to the AP, teenagers have already found ways around the law: 17-year-old Paik Hyunsuk will simply wait until he is 19 to buy a new phone. Cho Jaehyun and his parents decided to uninstall the app once he reached high school.

Regardless, the push back from civil liberties defenders has been strong. According to Open Net Korea’s briefing on the law, “The Decree is unconstitutional as it infringes on children’s privacy and parental rights, increases the risk of data breach, and overburdens both the business and the parents.” Open Net is currently in the process of appealing the law on these grounds.

Cybersecurity experts have also contributed to the criticism. Some fear that a precedent has been set that could lead to the monitoring of adults’ private data in the future; others predict that the state-sponsored monitoring apps might exist for government spying purposes. 

Regardless of future fallout, those who are guaranteed to suffer from this law are young children and the society of adults they will one day become. In 2013, roughly 3/4 of elementary school-aged children owned a smartphone. This law invites them to grow up knowing nothing but internet surveillance; today’s teenagers question and rebel against the law, tomorrow’s teens may simply accept it. As Open Net’s Kim Kha Yeun pointed out, “We are going to raise people who are accustomed to surveillance.” If South Korea wants a populace capable of free and independent thought, it should rethink the mandatory installation of monitoring technology on minors’ phones.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

SumRando’s New York Server Goes VIP


New York, USA
What’s that? You wish SumRando would give you an even faster connection to US-based content from anywhere in the world?

You got it.

SumRando’s New York node is officially VIP, providing you with the access you’ve always wanted, whether you’re in Midtown or the Middle East.

As with our VIP server in Sweden, the New York VIP node is available exclusively to SumRando Gold and Platinum members. In celebration of this upgrade, we are offering 1 year of either paid plan at 50% off. Just go to https://sumrando.com/plans.aspx, select a plan and enter promo code 50OFFNYC by May 31. Take advantage of this opportunity to experience the VIP difference!