Huge DDoS Attack Ongoing, and Another Breach at Adult Dating Site

Happening now: several Denial of Service attacks are ongoing against DNS provider Dyn, knocking down major websites including Twitter and GitHub.

Furthermore, CSO Online reported a few hours ago on another huge compromise of private information from adult dating and entertainment sites:

Penthouse, Adult FriendFinder databases leak, at least 100 million accounts impacted

Databases recently obtained by LeakedSource, as well as source code, configuration files, certificate keys, and access control lists, point to a massive compromise at FriendFinder Networks Inc., the company behind AdultFriendFinder.com, Penthouse.com, Cams.com, and more than a dozen other websites.

UK Age Verification Proposal Omits Privacy Protections

Even as the American organizations CDT and FSC work to promote consumer privacy for adult websites, UK authorities continue to plow ahead with their ill-conceived plan to require mandatory age verification for consumers to access adult material. (A similar plan in the US was defeated in court partly over First Amendment concerns regarding the right to receive controversial speech anonymously.) The UK has designated the British Board of Film Classification to perform age verification, but astonishingly, the law makes no provision to protect the privacy of adult-website visitors.

As described in this petition, “The Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament will introduce compulsory age verification without guaranteeing privacy protections for subscribers. This omission risks users’ personal details and private sexual preferences being exploited for commercial gain and/or leaked into the public domain.”

Discussion of the Digital Economy Bill by The Independent

Update: adult industry stakeholders held a protest outside Parliament today against the bill, which they say “imposes state censorship and surveillance of consensual adult sexual content in the U.K.”

Groups Aim to Improve Adult-Site Privacy

In the aftermath of ongoing revelations about mass surveillance and enormous data breaches, consumers have rightly become more concerned with online privacy and security. As Xbiz reports, the Center for Democracy and Technology has partnered with adult industry group Free Speech Coalition to promote the use of privacy-enhancing https technology by adult websites to reduce the erosive effects of indiscriminate dragnet monitoring programs. (This website has not yet adopted https technology because of hosting company limitations but plans to do so as soon as it is feasible.)


FSC Pushes to Make Adult Sites More Secure

The Free Speech Coalition and the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital civil liberties group, have agreed to work together to advocate use of the encryption protocol HTTPS for adult sites. Read more>>

US Candidates on Internet Policy

Ars Technica has posted the most comprehensive article I have seen thus far about the four US presidential candidates’ positions on Internet law and policy. I was surprised that Donald Trump confuses Net Neutrality with the completely unrelated 20th century radio and television “Fairness Doctrine,” and I am disappointed that he feels that ISP’s can effectively self regulate on price and service in the absence of meaningful competition. Hillary Clinton says that she champions Net Neutrality and consumer protection, but the fact that she accepts money from anti-competition ISP lobbyists calls into question the sincerity of her commitment.

Libertarian Gary Johnson strongly opposes governmental surveillance but otherwise believes that ISP’s should be completely unregulated, regardless of the potential harm to consumers. Green Party candidate Jill Stein, although a medical doctor, promotes pseudoscience claims including the dubious assertion that WiFi radiation is a health hazard. She also holds peculiar views on gender and censorship.