Google has recently joined a consortium of companies and individuals in calling for reform with the Patriot Act over in the US. Google argues that the mass collection of data should be limited. I whole heartedly agree with this however what does stick in the throat somewhat is the fact that Google seem to believe that they are entitled to carry out their own surveillance on people through nefarious means.
Recently Google had appealed a decision against the right for European people to have the right to sue them over the fact that they had collected data bypassing the security settings within the Safari browser (commonly used on Macs, iPhones and iPads). According to the article on the BBC Google’s 2 principal arguments against the right to sue were as follows.
No financial loss caused by the privacy breach can be proven by any affected people.
Google is a US company and should not be sued in the UK.
I find it quite ironic that Google would like to be seen as a company championing the rights of the people however flagrantly disregarding the rights of the consumer.
This is not the first time that Google has been embroiled in privacy breaches. In 2010 Google had been found collecting data from unsecured wi-fi while capturing street view images. It was also found that they had also not deleted the data once found as they had promised to do so. In this case not only did Google “accidentally” capture the data but they also “accidentally” kept some of the data. Appears Google are quite clumsy.
As things stand at present we are the product Google sells, be it to webmaster’s or advertisers the data about what we do, the pages we visit and what we buy is invaluable to them. While this model continues Google will have little regard for privacy.
This of course is not an issue limited to Google. Many other companies such as Facebook have a similar disregard to privacy.
WordPress is currently (and has been for a long time) 1 of the most popular tools for creating blogs and web sites on the internet. Due to the level of popularity that WordPress has gained it has been a target for hackers looking to deface the website, send spam or make the site a part of a bot net (and of course many other things).
The attackers use vulnerabilities that are found in the core code, plugins and yes even themes.
Recently there have been many SSL certificates revocated due to the heartbleed issue. Yesterday, for the first time, I came across a warning advising the information for a certificate was not available. Once reading and accepting the revocation I continued on my merry way.
Today however I received another revocation notice when using the java updater.
Has Java forgotten to remove a revocated certificate from their servers?
Interestingly I had carried out a search simply for sjremetrics.java.com (the certificate was created for this URL) and lo and behold the very first response was for a post on the Oracle Forum which detailed Java having exactly the same issue back in 2010.
Side note. On looking at the details of the SSL certificate I see that it was issues on 17th September 2013 and was due to expire on the 17th November 2014. A 14 month certificate? I did not know that was possible. Or was it revoked in 2013 as well?
I have tried to submit a bug for this issue however Oracle’s bug reporting process is atrocious.
I have received an email stating that the report “will be evaluated”. Don’t think I will bother next time.
Recently I updated the Better WP Security plugin. The developers have decided to rename it to iThemes Security. After a while I kept getting banned from the blog (I just kept getting a page stating “error”.
After doing some digging I found that the problem had been caused by the “default-user-image.png” image that was set in the All In One SEO Pack. I had changed the name of my wp-content folder (as per 1 of the recommendations in iThemes) however the links to this file were still leading to wp-content.
After installing iThemes make sure that you modify the location of the default user image in “All In One SEO” >> “Social Meta”. The setting you are looking for is “Default OG:Image”. Simply change wp-content to the new name that you have given the folder.
On a side note when looking for the issue I came across a red herring. In the main plugin script (all_in_one_seo_pack.php) a couple of constants are defined to state the name of the wp-content folder. When questioning this in the support forum I was advised they are not used any more. Begs the question why are they still there?