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privacy

Evidently some low-level torrent trackers are banning Windows 10 due to paranoia over the new OS.

When it comes to the world of bittorrent, you cannot sidestep the big red flag that the majority of its usage is for sharing copyrighted material. Sure, torrents have legitimate uses, but let's not kid ourselves that most users are trading music, movies, games, and comics.

Putting that background into context and it is understandable that people running private trackers like iTS are slightly paranoid. After all, their business can be one fraught with lawsuits and criminal penalties.

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Microsoft is getting a ton of support for its stance on not disclosing emails stored on one of its servers in Ireland to the US government. A number of major tech companies, including some of Microsoft's direct rivals such as Apple and Amazon, have submitted "friend of the court" briefs today, in support of the company's decision to keep the content of those emails private.

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A congressional advisory committee will be taking the initial step Thursday to discuss the legal ramifications of protecting Internet privacy. Prompted by the recent hacks resulting in the leak of nude photos of celebrities like the high profile case involving actress Jennifer Lawrence, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will be discussing the topic of privacy and the legal remedies against hackers, websites, and those partaking in revenge porn.

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No one likes ads, even if they are what powers our web economy. The debate over ad blockers is always a tough one, even more so since it even affects our site too. Without the revenue, we do not get money, which means we cannot pay our writers, which means we do not have employees. Still, there are selective uses of ad blocking that is useful, and we will show you how to do that in IE11 for Windows 8.1.

Internet Explorer 11 cannot do traditional plugins like Chrome or Firefox, which is a big gripe for many who would like to use it as their main browser. As a tradeoff, though, IE11 has fewer security issues, and it is gentler on your battery, which is important for tablets, laptops, and the Surface. However, there is a way to block ads within IE11 even without plugins, and it does not involve any hacks or modifications. Yes, Microsoft has given you the tools directly.

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The UK government is looking to reinforce powers of security services to require internet and phone providers to maintain records of customer email and calls. Emergency laws are to be introduced into the Commons next Monday, following private talks and gaining support of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be new board to oversee the functioning of new powers. The move is an effort to continue protecting UK citizens from external threats.

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Cutting out a lot of the legal jargon, Microsoft is now simplifying its Microsoft Services Agreement (MSA) in an effort to make the terms easier to read and understand for consumers who are non-lawyers. "Part of that is also making sure our service agreements are as easy as possible for everyone to understand," Microsoft said, and that these terms will apply to services like OneDrive, Outlook.com, Bing, and MSN.com.

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Microsoft has been heavily involved with other tech companies in fighting for customers' privacy rights in the courts and congress in the US. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which publishes a Who Has Your Back report each year, has awarded Microsoft (among a handful of other companies) with top marks when it comes to protecting user data against government officials.

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If the government demands your personal, private email or other data, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are reportedly taking steps to notify you faster and more frequently than they did in the past. That's putting them at odds with prosecutors who believe such notifications can interfere with ongoing investigations and evidence gathering.

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Microsoft, along with other companies have been in the news surrounding the US National Security Agency (NSA) and general privacy concerns that government agencies have easy access to customer data. Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, recently published a blog post detailing now is the time for an international convention on government access to data.

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It's no secret that Microsoft's at war with Google when it comes to email. Redmond has continuously attacked Google for crawling through emails that are believed to be private to provide better targeted advertisements to consumers. Microsoft has launched Keep Your Email Private, a new campaign to fight Google regarding this very concern. Do you use Gmail and/or are concerned about activities carried out by the Search? Read on past the break.

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Microsoft is teaming up with Google (no, you read that correctly) to sue the US government and win the right to reveal details surrounding official requests for user data. The two tech giants announced the lawsuit yesterday, taking the battle over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to a whole new level.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and other US government bodies utilise the mechanism to collect data on foreign Internet users, which has been in the news recently with activity through the likes of PRISM leaked to the media. Microsoft previously responded to the NSA controversy, stating the company is not spying on consumers.

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In a world where people don’t feel like being monitored 24/7 and the NSA just might have control over your devices with the snap of a finger, Xbox One’s always on Kinect was a big issue for many consumers. Yesterday Microsoft announced that the company would be doing another 180 on their policies and allow the Xbox One to be used without a Kinect plugged in to the unit.

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ZEN & TECH is our mobile lifestyle podcast, focusing not just on our phones, tablets, and gadgets, but how we can use technology to help us live better, richer, happier lives. It's how we center our inner geeks! Since it's security week on Talk Mobile 2013, Georgia and Rene talk about everything from camera phones in the locker room to wiretaps on the internet and how we, as private people, can cope in an age of where everyone from friends to family to strangers to governments may be spying on us.

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