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john albrich Aug 20, 2011, 07:00am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Apr 13, 2012, 04:01am EDT

Replies: 38 - Views: 15344
.
I'm editing this top post to provide a preface because this is now verified as on-going and not a virus (original concern of this thread). It is a progressive occurrence on internet websites.
(For continuity, I've kept the Original Post below in its own section, but it can be disregarded. All reading it would do is confuse the growing effort on websites to require a Facebook ID with my original concern about a possible virus.)

Accordingly, this thread now includes a collective list of separate news, tech industry, and security items that taken separately may generate some concerns...but when viewed in totality paint a very disturbing picture to me.

PREFACE

I started noticing multiple news and information websites without warning suddenly REQUIRING the user to login using a Facebook ID in order to submit a "comment" to any arbitrary article or discussion. This started happening on a relatively large percentage of un-related ownership websites I routinely visit...ranging the full political spectrum from those considered "Ultra-Conservative" to "Ultra-Progressive". I could find no pattern.

In 2011, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) had multiple meetings at the White House...and more websites continue to replace their own registration and login systems with the centralized Facebook access control.

These things, coupled with an on-going (as of 15Nov2011) push in Congress by the US Department of Justice to prosecute lying on websites as a federal crime, raises some questions and concerns. Among them are:

1) This leaves a SINGLE GATEKEEPER in charge of the US citizenry's ability to participate on the internet in a meaningful way. If Facebook unilaterally (at their sole unappealable discretion) decides a user's account is to be suspended or closed, then YOU instantly lose your ability to participate in discussions on hundreds (for now) of key political, news, and social websites. Think of the consequences if Facebook suffers server outages, is hacked, etc. And...what happens if "The Gatekeeper" implements a political agenda and unilaterally starts "zapping" IDs based on your information (where you live, your political party affiliation, your positions you may have shared on the site on various government agenda or legislation, etc)?

2) What happens if/when banks or other financial institutions, health providers, insurance companies, retail and commercial purchasing websites, government agencies, etc. begin to require and use Facebook IDs to conduct business?

3) Does this have the potential to give the government a back-door "Kill-Switch" to citizen internet participation? More specifically...bypassing Congress entirely?
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/internetprivacy/2011-02-15-k...itch_N.htm
All it would have to do is "ask" Facebook to lock out the sign-in system (a single action) and all Facebook IDs instantly become inaccessible, unverifiable, and useless to hundreds (for now) of websites.

4) As the internet is considered a national security asset, could Facebook be forced under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security?
Will Facebook become a defacto Real_ID (again...bypassing Congress)?

5) The loss of the ability to provide a public pseudonym for anonymity to protect your job and/or family. People DO lose their jobs when their employer discovers they've said something online the employer doesn't like...even when it's not work-related. People DO get threats against them and their family from individuals and some powerful organized groups. Under this law those crackpots and groups would instantly know your actual name AND could then track down everything you've posted to any of the growing numbers of websites that use Facebook's ID sign-in. Those people could quickly and easily put you and your childrens' lives at very real risk. Some organizations have people in most major cities so even geographic separation might not help.

6) What happens when you make a typo/mistake or you forget to keep your information updated (as required by the Terms of Service). Are you "detained", subject to arrest, and incur legal fees at a minimum?

7) What does this mean for existing (e.g. privacy watching Diaspora) and future competitors?

8) Will Facebook become "too big to fail"? Will Congress enact taxpayer provided Facebook subsidies or direct part of the inevitable "internet sales tax" to support Facebook's need to maintain and grow?

9) This can give the government/DOJ a single-point from which to obtain without a warrant a record of all the websites in which a user has tried to participate, no matter which ISP has been used, where the user was, etc. For details on this item, see the post at: http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/77877/?o=20#594079

10) What will you do when Facebook changes its Terms of Service (ToS) in a way that uses (or shares) your personal data in a way that is no longer acceptable to you? Facebook has been in the news a number of times for using or sharing member data in what some people consider highly questionable ways. In some instances, Facebook has changed their terms of service OR their practices to somewhat address the publicity. What happens when it decides to not do so? Keep in mind that Facebook effectively may become the single Gatekeeper. Assuming you currently accept Facebook's ToS, what happens in the future when you are faced with an "unacceptable" change in Facebook's ToS or practices? Will you be willing to give up your ability to participate in hundreds of websites?

11) Provides an additional possible vector to infect a user's system via malware that can be spread by a server that uses the single Facebook login system. Thus a common registration system might be able to more easily infect millions of computers that would not have been exposed if not required to use a common login resource used by multiple websites.

12) Is it possible that Facebook is being setup to become a cyber-"beard" so that the government will be able to claim this deep level of access and ID control "is being managed by the private sector"? (e.g. nothing to see here...move along)

13) See also link re: SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/78099/#595399


US Department of Justice Position
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57324779-281/doj-lying-on-ma...e-a-crime/
(summary )
The Justice Department argues that it (the Federal US DOJ) MUST be able to prosecute violations of Web sites' often-ignored, always-unintelligible "terms of service" policies. The law MUST allow "(federal) prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar (PRIVATE) CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT with an employer or provider,"--Richard Downing, the Justice Department's deputy computer crime chief. The US DOJ is defending computer hacking laws that make it a (federal) crime to use a fake name on Facebook or lie about your weight in an online dating profile at a site like Match.com
A Couple Examples Of Websites That Made This Change
Please note that requiring Facebook to login is seen as improvement. (I suggest it may be the technically better thing to do from a site administrator's work and cost perspective...but is it the right or smart thing to do?)
http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/1011/Obama_loses_Hulk_Hoga...ml?showall
We’re currently testing the Facebook commenting system on our blogs...Remember, you MUST be logged into Facebook to comment...
From an email I received...
"You've received a community alert from kcra at KCRA 3 u local Community. We wanted to take a moment to tell you about an important site improvement that WILL affect the way in which users comment on news stories on our website. Following a site improvement on October 20 commenting on news stories will require signing in through a Facebook account. This improvement will allow even more of the community to engage in news story commenting and provide a better overall site experience for all of our users. Because of the transition, existing commenting accounts will no longer be able to login."


------------------------------------------------
ORIGINAL POST
------------------------------------------------


(note: in this thread "Facebook ID" means entering the user's login ID and password. It also must assume your Facebook privacy settings allow such sharing. Plus, I don't know what else the required Facebook privacy settings might allow besides sharing your "screen name". It should be noted that using alternate IDs to login to a different website DOES in some websites share MORE than just your "screen name". )

1) Has anyone seen this happen recently on their Firefox (or any other browser)?

2) Anyone know if this is possibly due to a "Facebook ID" or "Facebook Login" virus recently being propagated?
(Note: I've searched with negative results the net and security firms for any notices about such a virus, and with 2 updated AV programs don't detect any anomalies on my system).

3) Or, has Facebook simply finally almost gained control of the entire f-ing internet?

4) I also refer you to
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/77954/
"What The Hell Is Wrong With These People?"...
referencing where United States elected representatives (Congress) attempted to make "lying" on sites such as Facebook a...FELONY.


I used Firefox 4 (even tried going back to 3.6 and non-updated plug-ins, too...same results)

A couple days ago I started noticing multiple news and information websites without warning suddenly REQUIRING the user to login using a Facebook ID in order to submit a "comment" to any arbitrary article. This started happening on a relatively large percentage of un-related ownership websites I routinely visit...ranging from those considered "Ultra-Conservative" to "Ultra-Progressive". I could find no pattern. I should also point out the first time I noticed this "change" starting to appear on over a dozen websites, Firefox 4 had been continuously running for 2 weeks, and there are NO automated updates (so it's not like I reloaded Firefox and during startup Firefox installed some plug-in updates, etc that might explain such a drastic and unacceptable change).

DETAILS
-First noticed on a couple websites a few days ago. Have now seen it on at least a dozen different websites.
-Symptoms continue even after deleting all cookies and LSOs and restarting Firefox...and on different versions of Firefox...so it doesn't seem to be due to any transient setting.
-This Facebook ID requirement is absolute and can NOT be bypassed.
-Even using the user's unique website login is disallowed eventually forcing the user to enter his/her Facebook ID just to enter a comment on the arbitrary article.
-Even using any of the multiple alternate logins (when provided) is disallowed. The user might have an alternate ID on systems like Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc. And, those options ARE STILL LISTED in a drop-down menu on the affected website, and when you try to use them it STILL takes you through the perfectly normal alternate login sequence and APPEARS to accept it...only to find that when you return to a "enter your comment" field, that when you begin to try to enter a comment, the "Facebook ID" pop-up immediately prompts you to enter your Facebook ID assuming you even have one. Coincidentally the drop-down "alternate login" choices option has now disappeared.

List of symptoms:
Go to website XYZ. Attempt to enter any text in the "comment field", and you either;

1) using your personal login for that website (which worked fine a few days ago) and website still lets you "login" and everything appears normal (website shows that you are logged-in under your UNIQUE ID for that website).
But when you begin to try to type in the "enter your comment" field, the Facebook login pop-up prompt appears, and prevents contributing ANY comment unless you login using a Facebook ID (assuming you have one).

or

2) you login using one of the alternate IDs from a list of approved systems (Yahoo, AOL, etc).
Again, the website shows that your login using that alternate UNIQUE ID was successful (it shows that website's logo and your "screen name" from that website in the "comment by" field). For example, if you login with the alternate method, using your Yahoo! ID, then it shows the Yahoo! logo paired with your Yahoo! "screen name".)
But again when you begin to try to type in the "enter your comment" field, the Facebook pop-up login prompt appears, and prevents contributing ANY comment unless you login using a Facebook ID (assuming you have one).



Note: there are some "conservative" websites I can't see the owners EVER requiring their user to have a Facebook ID. I believe the apparent "progressive" politics of Zuckerberg and major support of the current President's Administration alone are so antithetical to some conservatives there is no way they'd knowingly impose such a requirement, let alone expose their readers to some of the alleged Facebook privacy and use of user data concerns that have been reported in the press.

edit:
added info re: the impact of using "alternate" website logins

edit to add:
added item #4 to "link" the two threads as I believe they are related and contain mutually significant concerns



edit:
added item 8 concern to Preface after a 20111115 usatoday.com article.
edit:
expanded beyond one sentence on item 4.
edit:
added item11 after 20111130 security alert from CSIS on Facebook vector malware
edit:
added item 12


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~Vel Aug 21, 2011, 12:25am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
I'm aware of Facebook Connect for commenting on certain sites like the Gawker Network among others but I haven't heard or seen anything like this. It sounds pretty bizarre to me, what are some of the sites that you've encountered this with so I know what to stay away from?

Meats_Of_Evil Aug 21, 2011, 02:57am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
I've seen many websites that you can use facebook to log in and comment but it's not a requirement just an option.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Everything I write is Sarcasm.
john albrich Aug 21, 2011, 04:12am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 21, 2011, 04:14am EDT

 
>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
.
That's what I'd seen until just a few days ago...when it started becoming a requirement.

It's happening to me on just about every significant major media website; msnbc, fox, cbs, abc, huffington, drudge, wnd, guardian (UK), etc. It doesn't seem to be biased for or against any particular political leaning as it's encountered on websites running a broad spectrum of Left to Right websites.

It's not a problem on youtube, HWA, tomshardware, etc. but then none of these allow the user to comment by logging in using another website's ID alternative. It may not be related but that's the only common factor I've seen so far...if a website offers the option to sign in using another website (including Facebook), then this damn thing pops-up.

Kind of why I was thinking it was some sort of bizarre virus...maybe even some weird variant of a "Denial of Service" attack. But instead of denying access by overloading the systems, it lets people access the sites but simply keeps people from participating on media websites thus disrupting political discussions and keeping people from sharing information...UNLESS they sign in using their Facebook ID. And, since Facebook tries to ensure people use their REAL ID. Since everything is in one nice convenient website, it makes it easier to track them down (for whatever reason one might have).

I could think of several reasons certain people/governments might like that.

~Vel Aug 21, 2011, 05:06am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
Just tried to leave a comment on msnbc.com. I get asked for a name and an email, but that's it. Nothing about requiring a Facebook login. Firefox 6, AdBlock and Ghostery off.

Leave a Comment:
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john albrich Aug 27, 2011, 09:07am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID

Here's a specific webpage as of a few minutes ago...

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Clark-Gables-Grandson-...79268.html

Dr. Peaceful Aug 27, 2011, 08:00pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
LOL, just as we talked about Laser in the other thread... XD

Anyway, I have no problem opening that link, i.e. no asking of any Facebook credentials. I guess it's a high probability that you have some kind of spyware trying to hijack your facebook ID. You're probably right about that.

Meats_Of_Evil Aug 28, 2011, 11:26pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 29, 2011, 02:52pm EDT

 
>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
^^^ ^^^
^^^LOL^^^

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Stephen Thurmon Aug 30, 2011, 01:15pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
I started having this same problem just a bit before you did. I was using Facebook to sign in previously to comment on Worldnetdaily.com , a conservative website. I noticed that some of my posts, which did not have anything in them to cause moderation and was not informed of that, would simply disappear.

It got so bad that I cancelled my Facebook account as I suspected what you did, the politcal activism at Facebook. It takes 14 days to cancel Facebook and has to be done in a certain way which I did. When I try to login on that site using Yahoo, when I type the 4th word, the Facebook log in box appears requiring a log in which I don't do because if you do before the 14 days Facebook will renew your account.

Esssentially, I'm locked out of commenting because of Facebook and cannot find a fix for this. Have you discovered anything new since your post here? Please let me know, I'm at wits end about this. I believe we could have a suit against Facebook or whoever is causing it, perhaps we could join in on one if necessary. It is a First Amendment violation to do what is happening to us, in my opinion.


Stephen Thurmon Aug 30, 2011, 01:24pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 30, 2011, 01:53pm EDT

 
>> Re: Virus? Many Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
John, I just thought of something that may help.

I had a different problem on Worldnetdaily.com and complained of it to Joseph Farah by e-mailing him. I got a reply from him personally about it, he is concerned about matters like this one. I believe if we went to Worldnetdaily.com and complained to Mr. Farah, the owner, he would get something done about it. I'm sure that he would want to know about it and with his resources and clout it would get resolved. I'm going there now to send the e-mail and encourage others to do the same. I would suggest scrolling down to the "Contact" button and then sending it to the menu choice "News tips....etc." and addressing it to Joseph Farah.
That way it accomplishes two purposes, it brings it to his attention and the newsrooms' attention as this may be a very big story.

john albrich Oct 19, 2011, 10:43pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Moving Related Discussions To This Thread
I'm moving part of a discussion from http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/78004/#593722 to here so as to not hijack the "AMD FX..." thread.

Meats_Of_Evil said:
...Care to post some links on pages you're having the problem?

I thought I'd already provided a few, but the latest one was a contest on TigerDirect.com Clicking on the "entry button" for the "Unlock your core" sweepstakes took me directly to:
http://www.facebook.com/TigerDirect?sk=app_172479526148725

I'll try to remember to make a list of news sites, etc. I run into that still have this issue in the next few days.

edit to add 201110132130UCT:
http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/1011/Obama_loses_Hulk_Hoga...ml?showall
We’re currently testing the Facebook commenting system on our blogs. To find out more, please visit our FAQ. If you’d like to report spam or abuse, click the X in the upper right hand corner of the offending post. Remember, you MUST be logged into FACEBOOK to comment.

john albrich Oct 19, 2011, 10:49pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 20, 2011, 11:41am EDT

 
>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
.
I just got this email from KCRA (Sacramento, CA) website. Please note that they see REQUIRING Facebook as an "important site improvement".
You've received a community alert from kcra at KCRA 3 u local Community.
-----
We wanted to take a moment to tell you about an important site improvement that will affect the way in which users comment on news stories on our website. Following a site improvement on October 20 commenting on news stories will require signing in through a Facebook account. This improvement will allow even more of the community to engage in news story commenting and provide a better overall site experience for all of our users. Because of the transition, existing commenting accounts will no longer be able to login.


I also refer you to
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/77954/
"What The Hell Is Wrong With These People?"
...
referencing where United States elected representatives (Congress) attempted to make "lying" on sites such as Facebook a...FELONY. Never mind they rescinded making it a felony for now (so now it's what...just a misdemeanor?)...it will come back. BTW, jurisdiction would apply only if you're in the USA.

So, any attempt to post even pseudo-anonymously on all these internet sites will be illegal.

NO protection for your family, your job, etc. (You do know you can be fired or your career side-tracked for sharing the "wrong" personal opinions on websites, right?)



edit to add 201110200425UCT:
Just got email from WLWT (Cincinnati, OH) website that's identical to the earlier one from KCRA Probably owned by same group.

GtoX (capt Guns) Oct 20, 2011, 10:15am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 20, 2011, 10:16am EDT

 
>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
In sweden, we've been facebook-ified.. even though im a user myself, i just feel like puking all over that f*cknig sh*t... people take facebook so damn f*cking serious here, and you can notice it everywhere..

starting off, 90% of swedish webpages requires facebook login to leave a comment.. this applies to tiny websites, to our biggest news websites.. its ridiculous.. i hate it, which is why i dont leave comments anymore..


oh yea, even most companies here are on facebook and stuff.. like i said, its OVERDONE!

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john albrich Oct 21, 2011, 01:47pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 21, 2011, 01:48pm EDT

 
>> Facebook Building 'Shadow Profiles' of Non-Members?
Facebook Building 'Shadow Profiles' of Non-Members, Experts Allege
By Gene J. Koprowski, October 21, 2011
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/10/21/facebook-building-sh...ts-allege/
Eight hundred million users are not enough. Facebook, the world's biggest social network, is now building profiles of non-users who haven't even signed up, an international privacy watchdog charges."

Stephen Thurmon Oct 21, 2011, 02:28pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
And of course this is proceeding unabated, right in line with the loss of many other Constitutional rights lately. If we accept it, then we will be accepting a tyranny. To far too many this would be acceptable, but it is not to me.

BoT Oct 23, 2011, 08:37pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
i don't think it is as serious as it may sound like even thou i very well understand many of th concerns mentioned here.

Facebook as well as Google (Google+) have released their Account verification API's and promoting it strongly to large and busy websites. Microsoft had their API out for a while.
The process and implementation has been streamlined drastically since the beginning of this year for all three. so now it is much easier for just about anybody to implement it in their website. I actually have Google Friend Connect on my site.

It's much more a concern of the website/ host you are visiting then Facebook, Google or Windows Live. the websites/ hosts want to track visitors and they want to do it well beyond google analytics. it's primarily to improve SEO and website traffic.
the more they know about you, the more they know what is needed on that website.

is that good? depends on how you see. security and privacy certainly come to mind as mentioned.

You can either be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
Codisha - http://www.codisha.com
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Stephen Thurmon Oct 24, 2011, 11:54am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 24, 2011, 11:56am EDT

 
>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
My issue, as stated earlier, was that I had posts that were outright deleted, not for moderation, there was nothing in them that would trigger that. It was purely political, a way of keeping out information that was not good for Obama, not just the Left/Right paradigm stuff, which is allowed, but things which are in his background which can be documented to show that he is a very dangerous man. There would be no reason to delete those posts unless the truth is too harmful to him. It is frightening for an organization like Facebook to have the power to censor on matters that affect this country and it's people. When we cannot speak of these things, we cannot cause a change in them, and to not be able to cause a change in things which cause us harm, by our ignorance, then we are doomed to continue down a path of destruction.

This is more than gathering information for betterment of a website or for advertisers, it is a serious violation of our right to communicate important information so that we can promote awareness of the criminality of our leaders and our government. Does anyone doubt that this is how we ended up in our present situation, financially, politically? Does anyone think we should just let that go, and assume the censorship benign? I think that we better rethink that issue, and that is my point in having posted here.

john albrich Oct 24, 2011, 03:35pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> The All-Encompassing Single Gatekeeper
Stephen Thurmon said:
...Does anyone think we should just let that go, and assume the censorship benign? I think that we better rethink that issue, and that is my point in having posted here.


If people have been concerned about the increasing corporate and/or ideological consolidation of "The Press" (aka Mainstream Media, part of the Fourth Branch of Government, the Voice of the People, the Watchdogs of Liberty, etc), then people should be very concerned about the increasing possibility of a for all practical purposes all-encompassing single Gatekeeper...ie: the Facebook ID internet validation and access model.

...assuming they even know that it is happening.

john albrich Nov 09, 2011, 05:06pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/zuckerberg-google-microsoft...-8221/5111
Summary: In a recent interview, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained how Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft collect data on users “behind their back” while the social network is more transparent.

~Vel Nov 10, 2011, 02:39am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
I had to facepalm while reading that last one.

BoT Nov 11, 2011, 11:12pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Increasing Numbers Of Websites REQUIRING Facebook ID
shouldn't be throwing with rock if he is sitting in the glass house

You can either be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
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