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Download With Caution: Romney, Obama Campaign Apps Have Privacy Flaws

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the why-would-you-not-want-supreme-leader-watching? dept.

Android 106

puddingebola writes "Apps released by both the Obama and Romney campaigns have been found to have 'privacy issues.' From the article: 'Experts at GFI Software looked at the Android versions of both apps, discovering both to be surprisingly invasive. Obama for America and Mitt's VP request permissions, access to services and data and capabilities beyond their core mandate.'"

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106 comments

Flaw? (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41199963)

Assume this to be a feature - not a bug.

You are the crop they are harvesting.

Re:Flaw? (1, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200027)

"Flaw" was not used anywhere but the Slashdot headline. Yes it's intentional, paging Captain Obvious to story 3088225. Both the privacy invading features, and the troll-tastic headline. And you fell for at least one.

And I'll keep scripts disabled until this sort of shit improves. I have good enough karma to "disable advertising", but I don't do that. Any interesting story with a well-edited submission and no hyperbole or other misleading wording, and of course slashvertisements are disqualified, get a temporarily enable scripts and reload. There, you got your advertising eyeball. Until then, my visit is no reward.

Re:Flaw? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201269)

There, you got your advertising eyeball. Until then, my visit is no reward.

I would not even go that far. That image is being served by people who are tracking your browsing habits regardless of Javascript being enabled. At this point, NoScript, ABP, and HTTPSEverywhere are basically must-have extensions (or their equivalents in other browsers).

Unfortunately, an increasing number of website won't even use plain HTML links anymore -- forget form submission, now basic hrefs are becoming a thing of the past. Soon we will not be able to browse at all without disabling whatever meager security precautions we are taking with our browsers. I have no idea what the disabled will have to do.

Re:Flaw? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201403)

I have no idea what the disabled will have to do.

Sue. The ADA applies regardless of whether you're talking about ramps to national monuments, or screen reader accessible websites for the blind. (At least here in America.)

Re:Flaw? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201429)

There is no guarantee that a court would interpret the law that way, especially when lobbyists from companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. waltz in and claim that the cost of creating ADA compliant websites will place on unreasonable burden on them.

Re:Flaw? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202751)

I have good enough karma to "disable advertising", but I don't do that.

Ditto, I live in Australia, I'm careful about my private email address, I don't get much spam in my 15yo private account. However somehow the Obama campaign did get hold of it and sent me convention spam signed by various dignitaries, the pattern of "senders" was interesting, it went something like...
Michelle
Michelle
Obama
3-4 Mayor's in quick succession.
A "last chance" mail from the organizer of the conference.

I find it kind of comical but would still like to know where they scraped my email from. The lack of a corresponding increase in other spam does seem to indicate they don't "share" the mailing list I'm on.

PS: I know, bad form to cut in at the top of the thread, but most of the posts below are OT "us vs them" arguments.

Re:Flaw? (2)

contrapunctus (907549) | about a year and a half ago | (#41204841)

most likely your email address is in the contacts (address book) of someone who has your email they download an app on their phone that scraped your email address?

Re:Flaw? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41203133)

Assume this to be a feature - not a bug.

You are the crop they are harvesting.

Obama and Romney have been found to be flawed pirates. FTFY

this is what is called a "meta-joke" (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#41199991)

request permissions, access to services and data and capabilities beyond their core mandate

submitter is a republican if the subject of the joke is financial policy, because democrats want the government in your wallet

submitter is a democrat if the subject of the joke is social policy, because republicans want the government in your bedroom

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200111)

request permissions, access to services and data and capabilities beyond their core mandate

submitter is a republican if the subject of the joke is financial policy, because democrats want the government in your wallet

submitter is a democrat if the subject of the joke is social policy, because republicans want the government in your bedroom

And you are a fool if you think there is any difference between them. Both sides want power, and job security. Neither side cares about health care or social security, since they have a better plan for themselves. Vote Kodos...

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200203)

there is a difference. you are a mindless cynic

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201329)

The differences are inconsequential. The Democrats want tax and spend. The Republicans want tax and spend, they just want to borrow first, and tax their kids when they are dead. One fights for freedom of religion (as long as it's *their* religion) and the other fights for freedom from religion.

For an average wage earner, there is no functional difference between the two. Only the edge cases see a difference (self-employed, people whose primary income is not earned, and some others).

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (2)

amRadioHed (463061) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201681)

One fights for freedom of religion (as long as it's *their* religion) and the other fights for freedom from religion.

That sounds like a pretty major difference to me.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201951)

I didn't go into details, but the religious claim that freedom from religion violates freedom of religion, which could make them identical in the eyes of some people (neither embrace the idea of Sharia law used for localities that choose to do so, and doesn't that violate the freedom of religion?).

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202485)

The differences are inconsequential.

While Democrats are far from ideal and *mostly* as bad as Republicans, I have one word for you -- Santorum!
That someone like Santorum was seriously considered as a Republican presidential contender, tells me that Republicans and Democrats are not the same just yet.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41203331)

there is a difference. you are a mindless cynic

OK, Democrats can sleep around and not get fired, and republicans can't.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41203391)

And that would be....? The same lobbyists hand out the checks year after year, the usual suspects are at the top of the check writing lists year after year, hell the closest you can come to a difference is which corporate booty they like to kiss more, the Ds love the taste of big media booty, the rs love the taste of defense contractor booty, and both have permanent kneepads sewn on for blowing Wall Street.

Or as the late great Bill Hicks said more than 25 years ago "I believe the puppet on the left shares MY beliefs, well i believe the puppet on the right has MY interests at heart....hey wait a minute, there's one guy working both puppets!" and sadly the man's words are even more true now than when he uttered them a quarter century ago.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41205407)

No there isn't, and you are a fucking idiot.

Next time you post one of your rants (that always feature a complete lack of punctuation or spelling), try backing up ANY of the claims you make with JUST ONE citation. I have never seen you do this.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200483)

Both sides want power, and job security.

At the very least, that part is true. The basic aim of any politician is, and should be, to get into power, amass as much power as they can, and keep it. Which is all well in an ideal (emphasis) democracy, since power comes from the people, and the better off the general populace is, the better off politicians are, and the more likely they are to be kept in power.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200683)

There are important differences between them. Most of their platforms can be reduced to answers to philosophical problems like "Is it more of a problem to have a system that might unjustly punish someone or to have a system that might unjustly reward someone?"

Where the two parties are alike is that they both fail to understand the validity of both answers to questions like that. They both build up all of these belief structures that reinforce their choices and deny the validity of the opposition's choices.

And that's the sad part. They engage in all of these machinations and spin to win elections because they start to believe that victory for their party's platform and defeat for the opposition's platform will genuinely solve problems. The reality is that this kind of behavior is destructive because they're making decisions that involve tradeoffs while ignoring one end of the tradeoff which ends up resulting in decisions that push things into the corners of the configuration space. That's not how you make things better. That just makes a pendulum that's always going to be swinging from extreme to extreme, never seeking more habitable middle ground.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200753)

The fools are the brainwashed GOP followers like you. When the willfully ignorant are backed into a corner about gas and oil party they come back with the old, tired out "they're both the same" routine. Yep, the Democrats want us to go back to the days of racism, no rights for women, husbands beating their wives and getting away with it, no clean running water, healthcare and education for only the rich and whites, hatred towards gays and lesbians, and total deregulation for the banking system. Oh, hold on, that is what the GOP and their faithful brainwashed libertarians.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (3, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200837)

Yep, the Democrats want us to go back to the days of racism, no rights for women, husbands beating their wives and getting away with it, no clean running water, healthcare and education for only the rich and whites, hatred towards gays and lesbians, and total deregulation for the banking system.

What has Obama done about the racist drug war?
http://www.newjimcrow.com/ [newjimcrow.com]

Where is the Democratic outcry over Obama's due process free assassination program? Even when it targets Americans?

Where is the Democratic outcry over Obama's signature on the due process free detention law?

What has Obama done about toruturers and murderers?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer [guardian.co.uk]

And why was it such a personal struggle for Obama to finally come to the Dick Cheney level of morality with respect to gay rights?
http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/05/gay-gop-group-obama-took-the-cheney-position-122968.html [politico.com]

You claim the GOP is evil and Democrats are not. You are fucking liar.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200847)

Darn, to have waited half a second before posting. To make it clear -- half liar. Yes the GOP is evil. The Democrats equally so.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41201201)

What has Obama done about the racist drug war?

The drug war itself is just. The problem stems from the good-ol boys that are supporting the GOP, which in turn are itching to return the Jim Crow laws and keep women barefoot and pregnant, with no rights.

Where is the Democratic outcry over Obama's due process free assassination program? Even when it targets Americans?

Where is the Democratic outcry over Obama's signature on the due process free detention law?

What has Obama done about toruturers and murderers?

Regurgitation lines from talk radio, conservative brainwashing institutes (community colleges) such as Ivy Tech. and Fox News will not help your failed position.

And why was it such a personal struggle for Obama to finally come to the Dick Cheney level of morality with respect to gay rights?

Yep, Obama wanted to create a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages nationwide. No wait, that was the GOP that led by their cracker leader Pat Robertson that wants to .

You claim the GOP is evil and Democrats are not.

Because my claims are backed by facts while you are simply parroting lines from in-bred conservatives. Not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are Republican.

You are fucking liar.

Another statistic as to why laws against inbreeding were written so long ago. So why don't you go back to the sister that you illegally wed after dropping out of Jr High and listen to ol Rush Limbaugh for more talking points.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41204033)

The drug war itself is just.

The drug war itself is a useless waste of money designed to put non-violent offenders in prison for putting substances that certain people don't like in their own bodies. If you find that "just," you're morally depraved and disgusting.

Republicans are evil. Democrats are evil. There, done. If you play the left-right politics game, you're an imbecile.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41205435)

The drug war itself is a useless waste of money designed to put non-violent offenders in prison for putting substances that certain people don't like in their own bodies.

Repeating lines from low-life libertarians is not going to help your position. If a lowlife dealing in drugs lives next to your family, that criminal is attracting other pukes, other dealers and is always running the risk of causing a violent, armed encounter due to the nature of his or her asocial lifestyle. The crimes surrounding the use and dealing of drugs provides means for rational minds the needed evidence of why you don't want dealers or any other criminals operating in family neighborhoods. For law-abiding citizens, keeping low-life criminals out of your neighborhood IS YOUR BUSINESS. As for the racism of the drug laws thank the republican and libertarian drones.

If you find that "just," you're morally depraved and disgusting.

Republicans are evil. Democrats are evil. There, done. If you play the left-right politics game, you're an imbecile.

I can understand why a GOP apologist like you distract others from the truth by repeating the "they're both equally as corrupt" like a scratched record. After all, you were programmed to by your mommy and daddy "Who just so happen to be your aunt and uncle as well" to vote and think along the same lines they do. Plus your mommy also taught you how to smoke your first cigarette at the age of 9 and she has your cousin just lined up for you.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41201227)

Commentators on both the left and right have been pointing out the lack of meaningful distinction between the R's and the D's.

Chomsky is probably the one most responsible for turning this into an meme.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (2)

zer0sig (1473325) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202437)

That you think that libertarians are part and parcel of the GOP shows that you really don't understand US politics.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205107)

That you think that libertarians aren't part and parcel of the GOP shows that you really don't understand libertarianism.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41205419)

That you think they are shows that you had no idea what a libertarian was before 2009 or so, when the Tea Party started to co-opt some of the libertarian parties' ideas.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205921)

A power vacuum is always filled.

The TP knows the value of libertarianism in growing the partnership between corporation and state.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201837)

And you are a fool if you think there is any difference between them. Both sides want power, and job security. Neither side cares about health care or social security, since they have a better plan for themselves.

This is a such unmitigated bullshit. There are tremendous, meaningful differences between the parties. Romney and Ryan are campaigning on Ryan's plan to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system which, by all accounts, will cover only a fraction of senior citizens' health care costs.

If you think there's no difference, it's because you're an egotistical little shit who doesn't give a flying fuck what happens to other people.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41203127)

And you are a pot-smoking libertarian if you claim there is no difference.

Sure they both hover near the center but that is exactly where they should be hovering, certainly better than around your extreme views.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41204039)

Neither one of them seems to care about rights. TSA, free speech zones, Patriot Act, and all that other "sacrifice your freedom for safety" nonsense. There are differences, but they're not meaningful to me. All people seem to care about is the economy and feeling safe from the big, evil terrorists.

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205129)

To the rest of the world, the democrats and the republicans are right wing, and libertarians are cuckoo.

(Except perhaps to the UK, which has become so right wing in the past couple of decades that it has ended up failing almost as hard as America.)

You got that right! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200163)

I looked at it as both parties being corporate America's-big money's pocket.

All the shit about entitlement programs or social values or whatever the bogus "issues" that each party publicly campaigns on is just distraction "issues" for the head line-none critical thinking-watching 6 plus hours of TV a day general public.

The general public doesn't give shit about issues like internet freedom or privacy - they only care about "issues" that are spoon fed to them by the powerful elite.

While the politicians are helping their buddies and owners, they say, "Look over there! Abortion! Guns! Gay marriage!"

You want to do something bad? First make a bill that's about legalizing or banning: abortion, guns, gay marriage, or anything else that gets the social conservatives' panties in a twist. Then while they're glued to TV and Talk Radio, you create another bill to fuck'em all over.

Rinse and Repeat.

It happened in California. Instead of dealing with their budget and fiscal issues, they all got in an uproar over gay marriage. People sure as hell came out for that! And then those Utah cult members had to stick their noses and money into it.

It happened in 2008. While everyone was arguing over social bullshit issues - many folks walked away with billions of dollars in tax payer money - Democrats and Republicans - actually they were of the 1% Money party. Fuck up the country, go into huge amounts of debt, and your buddies in Congress will bail you out, pat you on the back for being a "job creator" and you give yourself a 100 million dollar bonus - all paid for the US taxpayer. Romney did it. He didn't get rich by working hard: he got rich fucking the little guy and then lying to them.

Re:You got that right! (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200251)

The general public doesn't give shit about issues like internet freedom or privacy - they only care about "issues" that are spoon fed to them by the powerful elite.

All I know is I hold the general public to a much higher esteem than the absolutely brain dead mental vomit you find from self appointed know-it-alls like you that we find on the Internet.

You're trying to tell me people are unable to care about topics on their own? They are only able to regurgitate what someone else says they should care about?

You've done a good job of hitting that perfect brown note between unbelievably dumb and condescending asshole. It's hard to fake such worthlessness of thought.

Thank you, Internet.

Re:You got that right! (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200543)

You should take a minute to read up on Pavlov's work, and others. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of write ups on why people act against their own interests. Some them were there in Europe during the rise of Nazism. Couldn't ask for a better laboratory to work in. Your support of the ruling party (republican/democrat) isn't baffling at all. It's something everybody carries with them. And then, there are some who have the strength of character to overcome it, and act according to their conscious, as opposed to just following the herd.

Re:You got that right! (2)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200769)

You should be careful telling other people what their interests are. How are you in a position to know that better than them? Have you even considered the possibility that different world views, experiences and philosophies might lead to different interests? For example, it's very difficult to make a purely economic argument for owning a hybrid car as the cheapest and most efficient form of private motorized transportation. Any number of alternatives offer a lower cost of ownership. Shall we regard anyone buying or leasing a hybrid vehicle as an idiot, acting against their own interest (economic in this case)? Few things annoy me more than people who make the argument that others are incapable of understanding the positions that they take and why they take them and that any person who takes a position that's "against their own interest" is an idiot or under the influence of brainwashing. Refusal to understand the viewpoints of others and treating them as inferior is very likely to lead to violence, not conversion to your point of view. In spite of this, it remains one of the most quintessential, and frankly disgusting, qualities of the elitist intellectual left here in America who seem to have forgotten the virtue of humility in their quest for knowledge and truth.

Re:You got that right! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202303)

Again, read up on it. Fascism is a psychological phenomenon, not a political, or economic one. The Nazis and fascists get their power from popular support. And the reasons for their successes are not at all difficult to understand.

Re:You got that right! (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202469)

So what, anyone who doesn't see things your way (i.e. the right way) is a fascist? Again, people are not psychologically impaired because they don't agree with you or hold positions to which you would never subscribe. As for promising to give people things or make certain things happen in exchange for political support, well, as you said, that's nothing new and certainly not unique to Fascists, Nationalists, Socialists, Democrats or indeed any other political group or individual. It's a tactic designed to garner support, not a position.

Re:You got that right! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202793)

Making impossible to keep promises is indeed very effective.

It's a tactic designed to... ...exploit psychological weakness and distress. Did you know that sex deprivation (a fundamental tool of fascist leaders) will make you just as crazy as sleep deprivation? Well, it does. That should explain to you the irrational support of your various mainstream religions, and nationalism in general. It's why people dismiss facts and physical evidence out of hand.. Freud, Jung, and Reich, and Hitler's Mein Kampf *(the operating manual of our present day fascism lite) itself have already explained it much better than I can.

Sane, healthy people do not vote for fascism. They have no desire to impose their will. They are very much 'live and let live'. And they are very productive. You have to put them under duress to cloud their minds. You have to create monsters and convince them they are under attack. This is why we are presently at war, for instance. This is why we now have Americans that openly advocate the practice of torture, and spying (If you see something, say something), and the curtailment of free speech rights. It's why people approve of giving all our money to the banks, instead of those who need it. Everything I've seen so far is a textbook case of manipulation. And is also why I remain very suspicious of opposition political parties. They are frequently the biggest manipulators. As was the case with the man with the funny mustache. He made many populist sounding promises, and he won. Don't take that as implied support for the ruling party, it must be routed out. But the society needs therapy, or the replacements will be no better.

Freedom isn't a matter of opinion. It's something that must be protected at all costs. It has nothing to do with what I agree with.

* and Goebbels:
The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

Re:You got that right! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41203443)

Explain the tar paper shacks all across the south with Romney signs in their front yard. Name a single thing the republicans have done that have helped those so poor they live in tar paper shacks. These are the people most likely to be on aid, to be using free or low cost medical care, yet they are also most likely to vote against the very programs that keep them alive. If that isn't voting against your own interests i don't know what is.

Re:You got that right! (0)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year and a half ago | (#41204223)

Explain the tar paper shacks all across the south with Romney signs in their front yard... If that isn't voting against your own interests i don't know what is.

You mean the ones that have been there since before the Johnson Administration and the Great Society programs and that are still there today? You cannot lay all of that at the feet of Mitt Romney, a man who hasn't yet even been elected to national office. What of all the false promises that Democrats made to those people over the decades? Perhaps they're tired of hearing false promises of handouts as being the way to a prosperous middle class lifestyle and are willing instead to try something else. After all, they have little to lose besides their poverty by giving up big government dependance. It's in their interest to try hard to get out of the tar paper shack and some of them believe, wisely in my opinion, that Romney offers them a better opportunity to do that. If you ask these people what they really want it's a chance not a handout. The Republicans promise nothing more than an equal opportunity, a fair chance at success. That's a promise that can be kept, unlike the Democratic promises of prosperity through redistribution which have failed for decades to lift these people out of poverty.

Re:You got that right! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205315)

As long as you remain in the shallow politics, there is no hope of getting through. You fit right in as a perfect object of the studies. Your response is Pavlovian to the tee, and confirms everything in the journals and books written on the subject. You have a single party of authority, only differentiated by a thin veneer of style. Yet there you are, actually believing whatever falsehoods they broadcast on the TV. Your faith is a strong, impenetrable, fortress. Your great 'leaders' depend on on that faith for their power over you. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Re:You got that right! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205599)

The sad part is you actually stop and talk to those in the tar paper shacks and its the classic "crabs in a bucket" where they will happily vote to hurt themselves if that vote also hurts some race they don't like, usually black or latinos. Kinda sad that the "southern strategy" still works nearly 50 years later and still keeps pretty much the entire south voting party line no matter what the party does.

What we desperately need is multiple parties, but the MSM are so bought and paid for that they'll make even the idea of having multiple parties look like the talking of crazies, meanwhile the same two corrupt entities just switch back and forth while the guys on the top laugh and laugh.

Re:You got that right! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205843)

I wish people would leave the politics behind, and go after the root of the problem....

What we desperately need is multiple parties...

:-) Sorry. But I'm trying to point out that you will make no progress in limiting the discussion to politics, which is nothing more than a manifestation of deeper psychological anomalies. What is needed is introspection on our own part. We have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, what am I doing that enables a corrupt system that only brings harm to others? And, How can I stop?* The list is a long one. With a sufficient amount of that, the politics will sort itself out quite nicely

* only there will you find true religion

Re:You got that right! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41210299)

Well you can have an "Arab spring" but as we've seen those tend to be rather bloody and you end up with just another dictator taking the slot, would you prefer that?

Personally I don't think it is gonna matter WHAT you or I think, a full blown collapse and world war is inevitable. The entire fiat money system is a house of cards, a giant ponzi scheme that requires the governments of the world to throw ever more money in to keep the financial men enjoying their inflated salaries until one day like Zimbabwe the whole thing comes crashing down and the only thing a hundred dollar bill will be good for is wiping your ass.

Look at the graphs in this video [youtube.com] and it couldn't be more obvious. look at where the market was in 29, 120% of GDP. That collapse brought about nearly 30 years (29-54) of global worldwide depression and helped a madman take over most of Europe and kill hundreds and millions worldwide in the ensuing war. Now look at where it is now, its at 430% GDP and climbing which means when this bubble bursts it'll make the great depression look like a bad weekend. You are talking a planetwide Zimbabwe situation, no banks, money, credit, loans, the whole thing will come crumbling down.

Re:You got that right! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41205493)

Yes, what you describe is exactly the issue, but with the caveat that those with Obama signs are no better off. And, as in the past, most of the so-called opposition parties try to use every psychological trick in the books to 'incite a rebellion' of sorts. Extra care must be taken with them. As history has shown, they go after the deepest instinctive fears and anxieties. I will admit that the republican faction is doing precisely that with their 'southern strategy' (hey, it still works to this day, ok?), and the other side is countering with, "The opposition is nothing but a bunch of loons". But in the case of the republicans, they are not crazy. It is a very well thought out plan of exploitation... probably by the democrats to discredit any real, focused opposition to either and diffuse the blame. Thus the party wins. We give them what they want on a silver platter. To do otherwise will bring down such wrath to make god himself look like a 98 pound weakling. That's the side we have yet to see.

I wish people would leave the politics behind, and go after the root of the problem.... Be a Radical, from Late Latin radicalis "of roots" and from Latin radix "root"... - wiki

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200595)

Adorable. The Republicans and the Democrats both want the government in your wallet. They just differ on how they take the money out, and what they want to spend it on (though mostly they agree on what to spent it on - the only big difference is Republicans now want to eradicate the social safety net. Dems and Reps both love military spending).

Re:this is what is called a "meta-joke" (3, Funny)

kat_skan (5219) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201205)

Lest anyone think he is kidding, let's have a look at the permissions for each app.

Obama for America [google.com]

RECEIVE DATA FROM INTERNET
Allows apps to accept cloud to device messages sent by the app's service. Using this service will incur data usage. Malicious apps could cause excess data usage.

That's money out of your pocket my friends. Typical Democrat.

Romney-Ryan [google.com]

CONTROL VIBRATOR
Allows the app to control the vibrator.

So it should be obvious that the Register has good reason to be up in arms.

Snore. (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41199999)

Is this much of a surprise? This sort of "app" is specifically designed for the designated politico to "leverage" the mindless sycophants that install such apps. As to leading people to "bad" parts of town, that's subjective and poor people can vote, too.

Re:Snore. (2)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200455)

Has anyone here actually gone and looked at the permissions required by these apps?

They are really pretty mild and ordinary. Wow, they want to detect your location and they want Internet access - OMG!

TheRegister is a rag, and the headline of the linked article "Don't download that app: US presidential candidates will STALK you with it" is sensationalist exaggeration. Why are we falling for it?

There are tons of apps out there that require permission to read all your contacts and your SMS, and that have no business doing so. Check out Uber, the taxi service, or Hookt messanger (which starts contacting your contacts as soon as it harvests them from your phone). Neither of the presidential campaign apps require those critical permissions.

The Washington Post did a study a year or two ago (sorry, can't find the link) in which they analzyed lots of high profile apps on Android & iOS. iOS was a bit worse but on both platforms they found that most apps violated their own privacy policies and tracked users without warning - mostly for purposes of advertising.

My point, again, is that the apps that have offended the Register are pretty mild, and when we freak out about the mild ones, we lose our perspective and take our eyes off the important issues (and permissions).

No one here has to, GFI Labs already has (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201197)

Mild?" [gfi.com] Sure the permissions are relatively mild, like where the Romney app has access to record audio and control the camera. Writing to storage as well.

One auto-update and it can capture anything you do and upload it to the Romney campaign.

Obama's app does not have audio or camera permissions. But it does give you a list of registered voters in the area so you can go hound people into voting for your candidate. It also reads your phone contacts so it can tell if you have a registered voter in your contacts. It can also read your call history, to see if you have called any numbers that match those people in your contacts.

This might as well apply to any mobile app, but since these are getting a lot of attention, it makes sense to call them out directly. Now I dare you to insist that this is no big deal, without resorting to "other apps are worse so it's okay".

Re:No one here has to, GFI Labs already has (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201633)

But it does give you a list of registered voters in the area so you can go hound people into voting for your candidate. It also reads your phone contacts so it can tell if you have a registered voter in your contacts. It can also read your call history, to see if you have called any numbers that match those people in your contacts.

But these things are *exactly* what the "app" was designed to do, and these are the reasons the people who install it do so.

Now, *I* wouldn't want these features, and that's why I'm not going to install the "app", but there are serious "campaign supporters" who want exactly these features.

I mean, people, this is *NON-NEWS*.

The two campaigns have built an "app" that does things their "hard core" supporters want. This does not effect *YOU* except that one of these drones might come knocking on your door.

Re:Snore. (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200775)

specifically designed for the designated politico to "leverage" the mindless sycophants that install such apps

So that would be just about anyone with a Facebook account, right?

Re:Snore. (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201039)

Oh jeez. If somebody is enthusiastic about something you're cynical about, they must be a "mindless sycophant". Get over yourself.

And no, I don't install political apps. I'm just aware that plenty of people have interests that others find silly [bit.ly] .

Surprisingly Invasive (4, Funny)

Crasoose (1621969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200007)

I think the most surprising part of the summary for me is that someone found it surprising.

Why am I not surprised? (0, Flamebait)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200025)

The Android market aka Google Play is home to apps that seem to have been made on a lazy afternoon. The amount of pings they make to various web servers ( I checked it via a request sniffer) is astounding. This isn't a problem specific to the campaign apps, but a lot of Android apps in general. Google has been hesitant to enforce a strict set of standards akin to Apple, and the results are beginning to show.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200177)

You sound like my grandmother talking about computers.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (4, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200305)

Google has been hesitant to enforce a strict set of standards akin to Apple, and the results are beginning to show.

Do Apple's policies limit "the amount of pings [apps] make to various web servers"?

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200343)

No, Apple's just as bad, but if you flame Apple on /. you get modded to oblivion.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200641)

Are Apple's (or anyone else's) policies verifiable, or meaningful in any way? No, on both counts. We need to create a white list of permissible...er.... hosts(?)* that the app can contact..

* Betelgeuse!
Betelgeuse!
Betelgeuse!

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41202233)

* Betelgeuse!
Betelgeuse!
Betelgeuse!

Heh. Is *that* guy still around?

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200355)

If the "app" asks your permission, and you just click on through, clicky clicky clicky... Who's to blame?

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200429)

And how is one to know if failing to make a certain click will render the app null? And how is an ordinary schmuck to know?

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200547)

And how is one to know if failing to make a certain click will render the app null? And how is an ordinary schmuck to know?

If an "app" says it needs permissions to do something, and you don't want it to do that something, maybe you SHOULDN'T install it? Hmmm?

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200717)

Either you are to master self control or master Eclipse Java programming and do out yourself
then.

Apps have conditioned us to give away information in exchange for goodies in ways no 1990's trojan or shareware ever could. And it is mostly for the ad companies

We dont have a choice. Some features just have no willing FOSS programmer.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200945)

Hello, Anonymous Coward,

Apps have conditioned us to...

...Be a moron? And that's the "app's" problem?

We dont have a choice.

You *DO* have a choice: Don't install apps that have behaviors you don't like.

Good grief, are you saying you are "helpless" in the face of some "app" that has click-though dialogs SO FUCKING MUCH LIKE HEROIN that you just can't help yourself?

Sad, very sad.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41201361)

Who's to blame?

Google.

Blackberry has had a solution to this problem for some time.
I have a Galaxy S3, but I miss the ability to have actual control over app permissions (ie. PDroid [google.com] - which is a pain to get working on newer ROMs).
Between that, and the horrible calendar and dialer support in Android - I'm seriously considering a switch back; hell, Android only got encryption support in ICS.

If Blackberry had a decent browser, and more compelling devices, I probably never would have left.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200537)

Android users are smart enough to not download that crap in the first place.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201367)

Google has been hesitant to enforce a strict set of standards akin to Apple

Freedom comes in proportion to risk. Yes, if your nanny controls your computer, you run less of a risk of having your privacy or security violated. You also lose your freedom -- the freedom, for example, to run a program that makes fun of the president (after all, it might offend the other party's supporters!). Which would you rather have?

(Personally, I'll take freedom any day. Make a device that has a ROM fallback, so that I can kill whatever malware winds up on it if things get really bad, and then leave me and my ability to use my computer alone. Computers are a vital communication tool, and communication tools need to be controlled by their users in any free society. Apple's model is more appropriate for Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, or Bahrain.)

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201451)

Yes, if your nanny controls your computer

No one is in control of your computer. The Android market is hosted on Google's servers which is managed by Google employees, providing a service to you free of charge. By agreeing to use their service, you're signing away any rights that you think you have. I'm a privacy buff as well, but I'm not going to delude myself into thinking I'm somehow entitled to anything when I'm on logged onto the internet. You're at the mercy of the legal terms you agree to. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201539)

No one is in control of your computer

Experience has shown otherwise:

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html [nytimes.com]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OtherOS [wikipedia.org]

You're at the mercy of the legal terms you agree to. Nothing more, nothing less.

  1. That is not how most people use their computers. I am the only person in my social circle (i.e. those people I communicate with IRL and not just online) who actually reads terms of service and software licenses and who actually hits "reject" if I see something I do not like. Most people have no clue what they agree too, and will violate unreasonable agreements -- everyone knows this, including the companies that write these agreements (why do you think so much work goes into license enforcement systems?).
  2. Which jurisdiction would the laws you are referring to be in, anyway? The Internet is global, and for the time being, it has no well-defined borders. ITU may want to change that, but right now, you only need to contend with your country's laws, maybe, and that is assuming you can even figure out what the laws are saying (is entering a URL manually the same as unauthorized access to a protected computer system?).

I used to agree with your sentiment, really: I used to blame users for behaving the way the behave. Then I looked at computer security, and saw a pattern of blunders: systems that are designed in a way that ignores human psychology and common behavior. You see that pattern in the law as well, and it is a disaster. You cannot claim that people should be bound by long terms of use agreements that they do not read and which may not even have a legal basis in their locality, just like you cannot blame people for ignoring TLS warnings.

Old, even by Slashdot's standards. (1)

Fritzed (634646) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200055)

I try not to be the guy calling Slashdot out for covering old news. Honestly though, this was on the local tv news over a week ago.

This is not news (1)

dwillden (521345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200091)

And how is this different from nearly every other free app out there? They all want universal access to your device. Non-story here.

Working as Intended (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200123)

This is no different then what a lot of newspapers are doing. I'll read an article and want to make a comment so I'll attempt to login using an OpenID or other type of login using my Google ID but it'll say it's requesting access to my contact list so I reject it and cant comment. They want the contact list for a couple of things. Data mining being the first Spam being the second. People should just read what access the app is requesting and if they want access to something that you don't want them to have then reject them. Simple as that.

Re:Working as Intended (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201493)

People should just

Never assume that people are capable or willing to do anything; first take a look at how people react to a situation, then design your software accordingly. Anything else is going to be vulnerable.

If you ask my mother if she wants to allow an app full access to the network, she will shrug and say "yes" -- she wants the app, not the dialog that is standing in her way. That is how most people will react to this. The system should be designed with that in mind (say, not allowing an app to access both the network and local storage unless the user configures the device to allow it -- and disallowing any app from automatically changing that configuration).

If you want an example of software that at least attempts to follow this principle, look at OTR. It has a simple, unintrusive "unverified" label if the user has not explicitly verified a key, and it has non-fingerprint-based methods of performing such verification. While a determined, active attacker can defeat this, it is still better for users than PGP, and far better than no crypto at all -- which many people try and then give up on when they see warning upon warning.

Remember, good attackers will exploit human psychology as often or even more often than technical problems. You cannot fix human psychology; you have to work with it.

The bigger question is... (3, Insightful)

blackt0wer (2714221) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200145)

Who downloads a campaign app? What do you gain from that, that you cannot find on the news, twitter, or Youtube?

Re:The bigger question is... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200513)

Brainless college students that just found leftism via their University professor and old people concerned about a lack of God in the classrooms?

Re:The bigger question is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200583)

CEOs and the rest of the 1% concerned that their tax cuts and corporate welfare might end?

Re:The bigger question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41203147)

Gee if college students are brainless, people who don't go to college must be flaming morons. I am proud to live in a country where that is not the case.

Re:The bigger question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41202937)

It's not really meant for the general public. It's meant for campaign volunteers to help them coordinate phone calls, canvassing, etc.

Romney, Obama Campaign Apps Have Privacy Flaws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41200285)

Hmmm... much like Romney and Obama themselves. Romney won't release his tax records starting from when he realized he was going to try to run for President, to say nothing of the whole idea that he has plans for how to fix things, but he's keeping them private, under wraps until after it's too late not to elect him, if we should do that.

On the flip-side, Obama promised open government, and proceeded to keep a lot of things hushed up and closed-door, back-room, and under the table despite his promises to the contrary, including setting up a website where people could petition the government online, unless of course, his administration doesn't want to have to answer the question, at which point they close the poll, revealing what has been obvious to many all along, it's a lightning rod for people to vent impotently about things that are bothering them. That's all to say nothing about the fact that it seems he's also planning to sell us all down the river if and when he wins reelection, or so he told that Russian guy. Remember from a few months back, "...this is my last election, I'll have more flexibility after..."

I wonder in what way specifically he's planning to fuck us all over. Guess we'll find out by about mid November.

This article is retarded (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200505)

Both apps have permissions necessary for a social networking application. This is a "security" company looking for some press, ie. advertising.

When checking out this particular feature, it told me to go canvassing in part of town locally known for a higher crime rate.

Oh noes! Clutch those pearls harder!

With politics (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41200571)

The only useful app is one that can place and track your bets on intrade, or with your local sports bookie (hell plain old SMS will work for that).

Irony Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41201045)

Yeah...

Reputable? (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year and a half ago | (#41201057)

From TFA: "Even reputable sources like the official presidential campaigns may encroach on what many of us consider a reasonable expectation of privacy and limitations on data collection."

Journalists today, silly kids. Presidential campaigns "reputable"? Now, get off my lawn...

So that explains it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41201467)

I received a spam text message from StandUSA.com advertising their new religious propaganda film this week on my new cell phone number, and the ONLY way they would have gotten this information is from an App on someone's smartphone (some of my friends were delegates at the RNC). It was totally unsolicited. Has anyone else ran into the same bullshit? Regardless, I filed an FCC complaint, but if both parties are complicit in this invasion of privacy, I don't expect any charges to be filed.

Are There Apps That Don't Violate Your Privacy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41201829)

Every app I've seen uses more permissions than what the app is supposed to do.

Re:Are There Apps That Don't Violate Your Privacy? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41202637)

Every app I've seen uses more permissions than what the app is supposed to do.

Yeah, sorry about that. Blame the Platform, not the app. They don't give us granular enough control over what I need the app to do, like connect to a single website to post some game data, BLAMO, I can access any website. The same goes for phone state, and contacts, etc. Granted, some applications do more than they absolutely need to in the name of advertising. However, many applications are listed as doing everything under the sun, and all they do is play Angry Birds with a banner advertisement... It can read certain kinds of phone state even if it never actually does so.

I read the above submission as: Google, Apple, WTF, give the app devs some options, the people are going nuts over here!

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