The WSJ Journal Bucket

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TheWSJ Journal Bucket


Issue:Police Access to Gmail Account

Genre:Political Diary

Title:A Worrisome Ruling

Source:WallStreet Journal

Author:Glenda Toma

Published:July 22, 2014


Inthis article, Glenda Toma examines the extent to which policeofficers can get into the access a suspect’s Gmail account. Tomatries to explain the impact of the ruling Gabriel Gorenstein, a U.S.Magistrate Judge that gave the police the access to Gmail account ofa suspect in the search of evidence, records and emails. According toToma (2014), the Post-NSA surveillance by the government is raising atrend of the limitation and reduction of the digital privacy. Whilesome judges have denied such intrusion on personal emails, thisparticular magistrate allowed it on the basis of investigating moneylaundering.

Fromthis article, I learned that the police can be empowered to carry outdigital search for personal emails, which tends to go against thecommon personal privacy. From the article, I realized that the needfor justice and protecting the public supersedes that of the personaldigital privacy. This mostly happens when the police are convinced orhave valid reasons to believe that such digital platforms holdevidence or case records.

Incloser reflection, this article influenced my thinking about theextent that the law empowers the law enforcement in the search forevidence against personal privacy. After reading the article, I amnow thinking differently in relation to the application of the law inthe new technological platform. In my opinion, I think searches onthe personal digital space are justified if the suspect is using thedigital space to commit and or to conceal a crime.

Inthe article, Toma cites the ruling that is made by the GabrielGorenstein, a U.S. Magistrate Judge. The ruling was made to give thepolice the access to Gmail accounts to get information such as emailsand records. The ruling by the magistrate forms the basis of theargument of the article. The article also cites the rulings andstatements of two other magistrates, David Waxse in Kansas City, andJohn Facciola in Washington, who denied access to personal emails tothe police (Toma, 2014).


Issue:Internet technology


Title:What You Can Do About Facebook Tracking.


Author:Geoffrey A Fowler

Published: Aug.5, 2014


Inthis article, Geoffrey Fowler offers advice to Facebook users tominimize the instances of tracking by the company. Facebook does notsell the personal information of its users. However, it allowsmarketers to access it at a fee. Since a user cannot stop the adsfrom Facebook, they can only keep Facebook from directing specificads to them. Facebook is able to direct specific ads to its users bychecking out their personal information on their profiles.

Ihave learnt how Facebook uses cookies to invade the privacy of itsusers even when they are offline. This form of surveillance raisesquestions on the issue of consumer privacy. The fact that Facebookhides the clause in its 9000- word Privacy policy creates moresuspicion.

Thearticle has changed my thinking in that I will now think twice beforerevealing my location on Facebook. I have also changed my adpreference list to ensure that I do not receive any more specificads. As the writer says, the thought of being followed around byFacebook is one of the “Creepiest things about social media.” Ithink what Facebook is doing is a total violation of the consumer’sprivacy.

Thearticle cites an illustration for Facebook’s Privacy Policy byRobert Neubecker. This gives the article the evidence to support thearguments of the author towards the Facebook users. The author alsocites the use of cookies, as the tools that monitors the websitesthat a particular user likes to visit even when not on Facebook.Moreover, the article cites the practical steps of finding out whatFacebook knows about a particular user and how to stop the Companyfrom sending specific ads.


Issue:Fighting tracking on social media.


Source:TheWall Street Journal

Author:Geoffrey A. Fowler.

Howto quit Facebook and other questions about fighting tracking

Published:August13 2014


Inthis article Geoffrey explores the ways any social media platformFacebook user would use to limit tracking by the company and how tostop receiving irritating ads while using Facebook. This is reallyinfluenced by the user’s choice of action that is whether to quitthe platform permanently or just avoiding the tracking (Fowler,2014).He proposes a number of ways to do this. Deactivation of a Facebookaccount or permanently deleting the account and subsequently copingsome of their important data is one way.

Fromthis article I have learnt that many social media users are prone totracking by the company providing these services. It is thereforeprudent that every user has general information on how to protectthem from such tracking by using the proposed procedures enumeratedin this article.

Thisarticle has opened my eyes on a couple of things I need to do toavoid the constant ads I receive while using my Facebook platformtoo. I have learned that social media company is always on thelookout for every information I post and therefore requires my utmostdiscretion on my privacy user policy to avoid posting any implicatinginformation that would later become problematic.

Thearticle cites a few sources who have done research on the matter too.It has cited Reed Albergotti a wall street journal writer who did aninvestigation on Facebook privacy policy. He cites Android’sFacebook app user agreement was 1.28% of Google’s mobile platform.Moreover, the author cites the use of ad blockers like Adblock plusand privacy plug-ins like Ghostery. At the same time, the authorcites the function of turning off ads of specific topics on Facebookpage and the changes that staying keen on privacy policy impacts ontracking done by Facebook.



Title:Facebook`s Fine Print Includes Permission to Track



Published:Sept.23, 2014


Thearticle talks about how Facebook includes a clause in its terms andconditions that allows it to track users even when they are notonline, for advertising purposes. Facebook achieves this task byplacing a cookie on the computer of users that communicates with thepixel code installed on many popular websites. Companies use thepixel to redirect Facebook traffic to their websites. The pixel codealso reveals to Facebook the kind of websites that its usersfrequent. The information is essential in determining the appropriateads for a particular demography of Facebook users. However, Facebooksays that it does not share the data with outside sources. Users canfind out what Facebook knows about them.

Fromthis article, I learned that indeed Facebook tracks its users for thepurposes of advertisement. I used to hear people talk about it, butthen I thought it was just a conspiracy theory. The primary questionthat the article raises is, “What happens to those Facebook usersthat do not need or hate to see the ads?”

Thearticle changes my perspective of privacy while accessing Facebook onmy internet device. It sounds like a violation of my privacy toaccess any website I deem fit. I also could not help but wonder whatwould happen if such private information fell into the hands ofhackers since no system is entirely secure.

Thearticle draws its information from the Facebook Terms of Service asthe main source of information about its use. The article cites theactivities of online retailers who buy Facebook ads to capturepotential buyers. This information gives a case lost customers whowere intending to purchase items from their online shop but somehowgot distracted and ended up on Facebook instead. Moreover, thearticle cites the use of the &quotx&quot or the &quotv&quotfeatures of the advertisements on Facebook for users to place adpreferences.


Issue:Economic security


Title:Does Alibaba’s Shopping Spree Make Sense?



Published:Nov.18 2015


Thearticle talks about the major acquisitions by Alibaba, A Chinesee-commerce giant company. The firm has bought a wide variety ofbusinesses in different sectors of the economy. They range fromfootball clubs to dating sites. The move did not go well withinvestors. Alibaba’s share price is one third of what it used to beabout a year ago. The main reasoning behind the massive acquisitionsis to fend off rivals and increase Alibaba’s portfolio. However,some of the acquisitions turned out to be futile due to the lossesincurred thereafter.

Ihave learned that Alibaba has interests in numerous sectors of theeconomy. Its strategy of building an e-commerce empire is throughbuying rival and or complimentary businesses. The company uses theAlibaba e-payment method to determine the credit worthiness of itscustomers. However, the acquisition brings up numerous concerns. Forinstance, how will the company manage all these acquisitions? Thecompany has also ventured into areas it has no expertise in henceraising the question of the credibility of these acquisitions.

Afterreading the article, I think that company needs to slow down on itsrate of acquisition. 24 acquisitions in a period of 2 years are toomany for any company no matter the level of prior research.

Theauthor cites Weibo, an online publication, Alibaba Pictures group,Twitter @LiYuan6 and the European Press Photo Agency. In addition,the author cites the major acquisitions include the Meizu Technology,a mobile device company. In this information, the company acquired a20% stake in the electronics retailer, four fifths of a video sitecalled YoukuTudou and the Sunning Commerce group.




GoogleExecutive Calls for Swift Industry Response to Ad Blocking



Published:Oct.20 2015


AlistairBarr talks about the speech of Google’s senior vice president ofadvertising and commerce at the Wall street Journal conference. Hiscore plea was for firms to make their adverts less disruptive and donot use a lot of bandwidth. He says that the advent of ad blockers isdue to the numerous ads that some browsers find offensive or toorepetitive. The senior vice president suggested that marketers shouldcreate advertisements that meet the sustainable ad standard. However,some ad blocker sites allow the advertisement of certain websites aslong as their ads meet the “sustainable ad standard”.

Ihave learned that ad blockers are making money from the same websitesthat they are supposed to protect the browser from. The issue of adblocking raises many concerns. Are the ad blockers sabotaging otherpeople’s businesses or they are just protecting the consumer fromannoying and dangerous ads?

Ithink the fact that many people have installed ad blockers speaksvolumes about the constant disruptive ads on the internet. Inaddition, they are repetitive and annoying. The plan by Google’ssenior vice president to make ads more consumers friendly could savethe online advertisement industry from collapsing.

Theauthor cites the guidelines that were released by the InteractiveAdvertising Bureau (IAB) as the body sought to limit customers’ability to block ads. Theauthor also cites the guidelines that the ads should be small notinterfere with the primary function of the website page and shouldsupport consumer privacy. The author also draws information from WallStreet Journal’s WSJ Live conference. To advance his point, theauthor cites arguments by other writers that some advertisements are“small files, encrypted, support consumer privacy and should not bydefault cover content or play sound”.




Title:Publishers That Say No to Automated Ad Sales



Published:Sep.30 2015


Thearticle talks about web- publishing rebels. These rebels are a newcrop of web publishers that opt to advertise their content withoutemploying ad tech firms. The ad tech firms create software that makesautomated ad sales. Apparently, the ad tech firms are to blame forthe incessant and disruptive ads that don many computer screens. Thefirms also act as middlemen thereby reducing the earnings meant forweb publishers. However, critics say that the web-publishing rebelswill revert to ad tech firms after some time because they are boundto lose a significant amount of revenue.

Ihave found out that the ads on various sites are not created by thepublishers themselves. The ad tech firms control a huge chunk of theonline advertising revenue. The advent of web- publishing rebelscomes with a few concerns. Despite the ad tech firms crowding themarket with annoying ads, their ads have managed to reach many targetcustomers. The question I found out is on whether, if the webpublishers adopt less aggressive methods, they will maintain the currentlevels of income.

Ithink the idea of independent advertising by web publishers is boldand risky at the same time. Since they do not have experience inautomated ad sales, their revenue is likely to drop before they learnthe ropes. If their plan succeeds, they will bring sanity to theonline advertising industry. As it stands, it is all chaos due toconstant disruptive and annoying ads.

Thearticle cites data from the e-Marketer, which represents theprogrammatic ads in 2013. In this citation, the author presentscomparison of digital ad spending against the market share in thedigital ad space. This projects the gains from the digital adbudgets. The article draws illustrations from e-market and the wallstreet journal. The author cites the opinion of the publishers, whoare looking forward to creating their own technology of onlineadvertising without involving expensive third parties.




FTCAppoints an Online Privacy Advocate


Author:Angus Lotens



TheFTC is a body that champions consumer rights. The article exploresthe decision of FTC to employ Lorrie Cranor, an expert in internetprivacy and security. Since the agency does not have the mandate ofcontrolling online privacy, it has released recommendations forsafeguarding consumer data on internet- connected devices. The agencyis worried about the intended use of larger volumes of consumer datacollected by businesses.

Thearticle brings to light the existence of a body that protects theprivacy and security of consumers while on the internet. However, itsnarrow scope of authority raises questions regarding its capabilityto protect consumers from unscrupulous business people. Apart fromhiring an internet security expert, the agency needs to do more onsafeguarding the privacy of consumers.

Ithink the issues raised by the agency are credible. Internet privacyand security is a dream, far away from reality. However, the agencyhas no mandate to enhance stringent measures of ensuring internetprivacy and security. Legislation to increase the mandate of theagency could go a long way in ensuring the safety of consumers whileusing internet- connected devices.

Theauthor cites faculty information for Ms. Cranor from the CarnegieMellon university website.He also cites the Guardiannewspaper story feature about the leakage of government surveillanceprogram data by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The leakagerevealed the possibility of sensitive consumer information fallinginto the wrong hands.


Issue:National Security


EUWants U.S. Firms to Help Mitigate Data Protection Concerns


Author:NataliaDrozdiak and Stephen Fidler

Published:Nov.12 2015


Thearticle talks about the move by the EU countries to safeguard theprivacy of European online users. The proposition requires allAmerican businesses to report requests by the US intelligenceregarding data for European online users. The government’s accessto the personal data of online users came to the light when Googlewon the legal suit to publish the government’s involvement in thetransfer of personal data. The EU is yet to come to an agreementabout the data transfer method for American businesses regarding theUS intelligence requests.

Ihave learned that indeed the government has access to personal dataof online users. The government cites national security as theprinciple reason behind this invasion of privacy. The main concernthat the issue raises is the extent to which the intelligenceservices can access personal data. Another issue is the measures putin place to ensure ethics while accessing personal data of citizens.What measures has the government put in place to ensure that theintelligence personnel do not use the personal data for individualand non-official purposes?

Ithink that the EU has done the right thing in protecting Europeancitizens from rogue intelligence officials. The EU’s demands willmonitor the data requests made by the US intelligence.

Inthis article, the authors cite the wall street journal when reportingabout Vera Jourova’s plan to negotiate a data transfer deal with USbusinesses. The authors also cite the EU Justice commission toillustrate their role on the topic. The article explains that underthe leadership of Ms. Vera Jourova, the commission seeks to negotiatea plan through which the businesses will be submitting theinformation.


Issue:SocialMedia and National Security.


Source:TheWall Street journal

CongressEyes Social-Media Companies as Terror Fears Mount.

Author:Damian Palleta.

Published:Dec 9th2015


Inthis article, Damian looks into the bill introduced in the US Senateby the senate intelligence committee chairman about the collaborationof social media companies with security agencies on tracking andreporting security threats like terrorism posted on social media. Hefurther explores the various responses given by differentstakeholders on the issue. The twitter company spokespersonhighlighted the need to follow user policy rules touching onterrorism. Facebook failed to comment on the same. One senator wasagainst the bill, citing less reporting of terrorism threats by thesecompanies for few of being incriminated in law breaking(Palleta, 2015).

Fromthis article I have learned that the social media company has a rolein national security and utilizes their database of communication toconvey any terrorist comments or communication. This however has notbeen a compulsory act on their part, since there was no law requiringthem too. This has been just collaboration.

Thisarticle gave me a snapshot on the importance of social collaborationwith security agencies on matters pertaining to terrorism. The socialmedia companies play a crucial role in preventing some of thesethreats because as seen in the past terrorists have a tendency tocommunicate through the internet where tracking is quite difficult todo as it would if communicating through calling.

Theauthors cite the December 2ndevent of the San Bernardino, California shooting, where theshooter used Facebook to post his allegiance to the Islamic State. Byproviding such a citation, the authors reinforce their argument aboutthe need for the concern of the Congress on the activities of thesocial media. The article further cites thesocial media websites as sources like Facebook and Twitter Inc. ForTwitter, the authors cite about the report where a spokesperson forthe firm hinted at the need for collaboration with security onsecurity threat issues especially the defaulters of their userpolicy. Sen. Ron Wyden disagrees with the bill.


Albergotti,R., (2015). Facebook`sFine Print Includes Permission to Track.Retrieved from,&lt December, 2015

Barr,A., (2014). GoogleExecutiveCalls for Swift Industry Response to Ad Blocking.Retrieved from,13 December, 2015

Drozdiak,N., Fidler, S., (2014). EUWantsU.S. Firms to Help Mitigate Data Protection Concerns.Retrieved From&lt December, 2015

Fowler,G. (2014). Howto Quit Facebook and Other Questions About Fighting Tracking.TheWall Street Journal.Retrieved From, 12 December, 2015

Fowler,A.G., (2015). WhatYou Can Do About Facebook Tracking.Retrieved from,12 December, 2015

Palleta,D. (2015). CongressEyes Social Media Companies as Terror Fears Mount.TheWall Street Journal, Retrieved From, &lt December, 2015

Toma,G. (2014). AWorrisome Ruling,&lt, 2015

Lotens,A., (2015). FTCappoints a new privacy advocate.Retrieved from,12 December, 2015

Shields,M., (2015). PublishersThat Say No to Automated Ad Sales. Retrievedfrom&lt December, 2015

Yuan,L., (2015). DoesAlibaba’s Shopping Spree Make Sense? Retrievedfrom& December, 2015


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