destroy ugly, create beautiful

allowing good while stopping the bad

Hippogriff takes pride in having the skills available to protect and promote the Human Right to privacy. Illegal actions against individuals and companies are not only carried out by criminal cells, but also state-sponsored agencies and their non-governmental contracted propagators. Hippogriff is able to grant System Protection, Continuity, and Contingency Planning - along with Network Security Testing and Evaluation capabilities to slow down and make unlawful espionage against innocents more difficult. Legitimate business operations are being affected by such revelations; this means profits will continue to be hampered if economic activity isn't left alone by the misuse of information technology systems.

Hippogriff is available to fill the demand of exponential technological growth; a need for Cyber Security services is paramount. Too many companies are unaware of the dangerous that await them as they navigate the global economy. Most organizations at this time are infected at different levels of their network infrastructure. Most organizations employ an ill-equipped internal IT department or outsourced IT services that DO NOT specialize in the areas that Hippogriff is currently assisting in. The future will be even more hectic than things are now. Make sure your organization's systems are prepared to deal with emerging threats and changes to infrastructure.


Belgian Court Orders Facebook to Stop Collecting Data

Belgian media say a Brussels court has ordered Facebook to stop collecting data about citizens in the country or face fines for every day it fails to comply.

The daily De Standaard reported Friday that the court upheld a Belgian privacy commission finding that Facebook is collecting data without users' consent.

It said the court concluded that Facebook does not adequately inform users that it is collecting information, what kind of details it keeps and for how long, or what it does with the data.

It has ruled that Facebook must stop tracking and registering internet usage by Belgians online and destroy any data it has obtained illegally or face fines of 250,000 euros ($311,500) every day it delays.


Facebook's Free VPN Acts Like Spyware to iOS Users in the U.S.

You would think that if a free VPN were being offered to the masses, then safeguarding so many users" privacy would be a great thing. Except it is Facebook doing the offering, and the free VPN is designed to track everything a user does.

U.S. Facebook users running the Facebook iOS app will see "Protect" in the navigation menu. Clicking on it takes users to Onavo Protect – VPN Security in the App Store. As was reported by TechCrunch, Facebook acquired Onavo Protect in 2013, but not so much for the security protections it offers as for its spyware-like features.


Seattle Spends Five Years Failing to Come Op with a Privacy Policy

Five years after activists forced Seattle's mayor to return the city's surveillance drones to their manufacturer, the city has announced that it is terminating its warrantless mass-surveillance program altogether.

The DHS gave the city a $3.6m grant to build out a mesh wireless network that could be enjoyed by the public and also provide communications services during emergencies - but it was also specced to do continuous location-based surveillance as well as CCTV surveillance from lightpoles all over the city.

Five years on, the police and city were unable to articulate an answer to these questions, and so now they're spending $150,000 to tear all the gear (including the mesh networking access points) out, rather than accept any limitations on their use.


Your ISP is Probably Spying on You

To give some background - most, if not all major ISPs source their customer premise equipment (CPE) from third party vendors. ZyXEL in my case. That is, they purchase pre-built, out of the box solutions to manage customer routers. This may include everything from the delivery of branded hardware, to the back-end systems that centrally manage the vast number of devices.

Why? It normally comes down to cost. It doesn't really make sense to start from scratch, hire your own developers, worry about support, etc... when you can just outsource the whole thing for a fraction of the cost. This doesn't inherently have to be a bad business model; you don't see too many people building their own cars to get to work. Though on the flip side, it's absolutely critical that a company thoroughly understands what they are purchasing and that they have the in house technical expertise to actually follow up and challenge the vendor. You don't just go to a dealership and purchase a car because the salesman said it was the best thing since sliced bread. You need to do your homework.


Google-Nest Merger Reawakens Privacy Worries


After two years of the thermostat company doing lukewarm on profits, Google trying to sell it in 2016, and Alphabet's reporting "meh!" fourth-quarter earnings earlier this month, Nest and Alphabet last week announced that the Nest and Google Hardware teams would be smushed back together.

The goal is to "supercharge Nest's mission," Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz said. That mission is to "create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it."

Yes, Google wants your home to be thoughtful, as in, your home will be thinking about you, and it will have artificial intelligence (AI) to power all that thinky-think data crunching.


How Surveillance Intermediaries Affect Small and Midsize Law Enforcement Agencies

Companies that collect information about their customers have both incentives and resources to resist law enforcement efforts to obtain this information. Policy-makers, commercial entities and legal scholars have all begun to reckon with this resistance and its impact on individual privacy, public safety and national security.

However, analyses of the role that digital communication companies play in mediating law enforcement access to information have so far ignored a key issue: The law enforcement agencies seeking information vary tremendously, and this variation may have a substantial impact on their ability to obtain information from digital communication companies. Different law enforcement agencies face different challenges and have different resources at their disposal. Consequently, efforts to restrict law enforcement access to data collected by digital communication companies may unexpectedly impact communities differently.


German Court Rules Facebook Use of Personal Data Illegal


A German consumer rights group said on Monday that a court had found Facebook's use of personal data to be illegal because the U.S. social media platform did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users.

The verdict, from a Berlin regional court, comes as Big Tech faces increasing scrutiny in Germany over its handling of sensitive personal data that enables it to micro-target online advertising.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzvb) said that Facebook's default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law, and that the court had found parts of the consent to data usage to be invalid.