FBI Takes Down Dark Web Site Deep Dot Web

Image Source: TechCrunch

The FBI has recently seized a dark web site and marketplace, Deep Dot Web, and has arrested several suspects thought to have connections to the site’s marketplace. The agency posted their notice on the website, revealing their warrant for the domain seizure.

Authorities arrested two individuals in Israel as well as others in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The administrator of the site was taken into custody in Brazil. Those arrested in Israel were accused of helping facilitate weapon purchases and drug distributions via Deepdotweb dark site referrals as reported by The Times of Israel.

Admins of the website made millions from referring other users to purchasing illegal items on other sites.

This website take down comes after the Wall Street Market – another large scale dark web marketplace – was shut down by authorities in the U.S. and Germany. The marketplace was said to harbor illegal drugs and weapons as well as stolen user credentials.

YouTube Can Help You Track the Time You Spend Watching Videos

So you found yourself on an endless spiral of adorable animal videos on YouTube. It seems like it’s become the point of no return. Lucky for you, YouTube has come up with a new tool to help you combat those video-watching habits.

On Monday, the company announced a string of new updates to its application that could make people more conscientious of the time that passes while watching videos — this as part of a wellness movement for users.

The digital well-being trend has recently been a focus for large tech companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook. Back in June, for example, Google introduced an update to its app Datally — a tool to assist in users’ data saving habits and to discourage smartphone addiction.

YouTube released its own update to its app that now keeps track of the amount of time one spends watching content. Users can see the breakdown of time by day or by week. The update even allows one to limit the amount of notifications received, silence such notifications, or set a reminder to take a break.

Source: YouTube

“It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun,” a blog post by YouTube explains. And what can be more fun than watching a video of baby pandas rolling down a hill?

While watching YouTube videos grants us access to a world of entertainment, the company explains how their new update is meant to “help people better understand their tech usage, focus on what matters most and disconnect when needed.”

In a time when there’s strict reliance on technology use for leisure, it’s nice to know tech companies are assisting users through means of application updates (such as this) that are ultimately beneficial for one’s well-being.

As Chris Welch from TheVerge puts it:

“[A]cting on the information [and updates provided] is up to you, but at least it’s now readily accessible.”

Microsoft Allows Office 2013 License Transfers

In reaction to feedback from its users, Microsoft has amended its Office 2013 license agreement. Now users can transfer the license to another machine once every 90 days. This comes in handy if your computer breaks down, and you would like to transfer the license you purchased to a new computer.

The agreement covers Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013, and all other Office 2013 standalone applications. Previously, only licenses on PCs which had failed under warranty were allowed to be transferred.

CISPA Bill to be Revived

CISPA, short for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act will likely be brought back for voting in Washington after recent reports of cyber espionage attempts against U.S. targets. Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, claims that “American businesses are under siege,” making the controversial bill a necessity. Today hackers are considered the new terrorists and the head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, believes a “cyber 9-11” is probable if no cyber security legislation is enacted.

While we doubt that the threat of a nationwide crippling infrastructure cyber attack is near, businesses large and small should be taking the necessary precautions to prevent security breaches from hackers more interested in gaining valuable information. Recent targets have included several U.S. banks, the Federal Reserve’s website, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and The Washington Post. Most of these attacks have been traced overseas to China.

Image courtesy of PCWorld.com

If passed, CISPA would grant immunity from privacy laws to companies and federal parties which share customer information that relates to “cyber security”. The issue of course, is how easy it is for companies to cross the fine line between “sharing” this information for security purposes and misusing this immunity for spying. CISPA was passed by the House of Representatives last Spring, but never made it to the floor after a veto threat was issued by the White House. President Obama is reportedly preparing to issue an executive order on cyber security after the Union Address scheduled for February 12.

So how could this affect us? Overall, if the bill passes with restrictions on the use of “sharing” information and companies act within those boundaries, the bill would work for its intended purpose of preventing cyber attacks from overseas. This seems unlikely though, and it would also increase the government’s surveillance abilities, making most uncomfortable. However, it is unlikely that the bill will pass through the House it’s second time around without major changes, and we hope the President’s plans to address cyber security will create more options for better security without compromising privacy.