Russia Requires Popular Bloggers to Register

Russian president Vladimir Putin cranks down further on internet and press freedom by quietly signing into law a new “Blogger’s Law” on Monday.

According to the NY Times, the new legislation states that “any site with more than 3,000 visitors daily will be considered a media outlet akin to a newspaper and be responsible for the accuracy of the information published” and must register with the government.

What this means is that any blogger with a large following will have to register and tie what used to be somewhat anonymous speech with verifiable identification. In doing so the Russian government will be able to more closely monitor (and control) what it’s citizens are saying on the internet.

Along with reports of increased monitoring and filtering of Russian TV, news media and newspapers, this is yet another move by Putin to control free speech. And with the recent mass protests in Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine it makes you wonder if those “Pro-Russian” forces in Eastern Ukraine really understand what system that they are embracing.

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Removing your Location and Personal Details from “Spooky-o” (Spokeo.com)

Spokeo.com is one of the coolest websites on the web when you are trying to find someone, but it can also be very creepy. In most cases Spokeo lists your name, relatives, location and even a picture of your house. Available to anyone on the web.

But how do you get out of their database?

If you live in the US and want to find information about someone, just go to Spokeo.com, put in their name and state and you can find a lot of information about them including the location where the person lives and past locations going back years!

This has led some people to nick-name the search site, “Spooky-o.com” as at times it indeed can be pretty spooky.

But how does it work?

So, if you search for Bill Gates in the US you find this:

Spokeo 1

There seems to be a lot of Bill Gates in the US.

But what about Bill H. Gates in Medina, Washington?

Well, that narrows down the search quite a bit. One of the returns shows this:

Spokeo 2

Without a Spokeo account, you can see parts of the address, phone and e-mail address. But with an account you can get a lot more information. This is something that a lot of people probably won’t want to be publicly accessible.

So, how can you get out of Spokeo’s database?

Thankfully, Spokeo provides an opt-out page which will remove your information from their database. Simply look up your name in spokeo and copy the url of the page you want removed. Then, surf to:

http://www.spokeo.com/optout

And fill out a small form including the spokeo url and your e-mail address.

Once Spokeo receives the form, they do in fact remove that record from Spokeo.

If you have multiple records listed, unfortunately you have to do it multiple times.

Social Engineers use sites like Spokeo to gather information about a target. If you want to remove your information from Spokeo, hopefully this will help provide you with a little more internet privacy.

Granted your personal information is still out there, the form does not remove you from the sources that Spokeo uses, but at least it removes it from one location!

How to Surf the Web Without being Tracked

Great video from Tinkernut.com.

I’ve played with the services that the video recommends and am fairly impressed.

The Ghostery plug-in is great! If you are familiar with NoScript (You use that right?) it works fairly similar. When run it shows all the tracking programs that the website you are viewing is using. You have the choice to block them all or individually.

GhostVPN seems to be a quick and easy to use VPN service that offers a bandwith limited free account and claims that they do not track you at all.

If you are concerned about your internet privacy, check out the video above!