Skype Hides Your IP in Effort to Protect You

We’ve all heard or seen about Swatting, but for those who haven’t let me explain its principle. Normally it happens when you find someone online, usually in the process of streaming a video or even them record themselves playing a game. As they are online you use software to track down their IP, this information tells them where you are in the world. Using another piece of software, you ring the police and state that you are in danger at that address, wait a few minutes and you see police appear all over your screen and begin to laugh at your accomplishment.

Swatting is not a joke though and while it is also a waste of police time, it is also extremely dangerous. In an effort to help protect against online trolls (people who cause grief to others online), online services are acting to do just that, such as the latest update which allows Skype to hide your IP.

In the latest update to the global service, IP addresses will be hidden by default. This means that once you’ve updated, you can be sure that you protected that little bit more from those who would seek to cause you pain or have a laugh at the expense of your happiness.

I think this is a great update, protecting users from all kinds of problems. Online services have a duty to protect their users and Skype is doing just that with this update.

US Cop Fired For Racial Abuse on Xbox Live

A Deputy from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has been fired after being caught on camera making racial threats over Xbox Live. Former Deputy Michael Slater abused a man known only as “David”, who was deliberately trolling Slater, while the two were facing off playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

An argument between the two men escalated, to the point where Slater shouted, “You about to come to a f*****g paid police officer’s house. I get paid to beat up n*****s like you.” Slater then, to prove his credentials as a police officer, gave “David” his badge number. Smart.

A spokesperson for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that it was Slater’s voice in the video and that his position has been “terminated immediately after the sheriff became aware of the video.”

Source: Kotaku

Petition Urging Twitter To Rethink Blocking Policy

On Thursday Twitter changed their privacy policy, making it possible for blocked users to follow the blocker who in turn can no longer see any “Tweet” activity by the blockee. Since these changes rolled out an online petition  urging Twitter to rethink its new blocking policy has attracted over 600 signatures in less than an hour (current total at time of printing is 1,936). As soon as Twitter rolled out its changes Twitter users began to express their displeasure and worries about how this new change to policy could in fact help blocked users start stalking or could enable stalkers/trolls.

Twitter came out saying that “The new policy was implemented to discourage trolling, and that it had always been possible for anyone — even someone who was blocked — to see Tweets on any public feed/profile”. Although blocking someone on Twitter used to be an easy way to stop trolling or spamming, with this new policy change the blocking feature is now more like a “muting” feature. None of the blocked users Tweets will show up in the blockers feed, however according to Twitters new blocking policy they wrote “If your account is public blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline”

In a statement from Twitter to CNET they said “That the new policy was actually meant to help people from being trolled by those they’ve blocked. What Twitter had found was that when someone blocked another person, the blockee would often be upset when they would discover it, and would go on to troll the blocker in other ways, often aggressively”. With this new policy change blockees have no idea that they have been blocked and those doing the blocking will no longer see any Twitter activity from the blockee that they are trying to avoid.

Yes many people are upset with this new policy change, however Twitter’s position is that even when someone was blocked there was no way to stop that person from seeing the blockers profile. To simplify Twitter is saying that even because logged-out users and people that have never even signed up to Twitter before can see public accounts, blocking did not previously keep anyone logged-out or non users from seeing someones public Tweets.

If your worried about you Twitter privacy feel free to sign the online petition here.

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information.

Iage courtesy of TechWeekEurope.