The Switchboard: Snowden wants to help develop privacy protecting tech


A piece of wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 lies in a poppy field on July 20, 2014 in Rassipnoye, Ukraine.  (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from The Switch team.

Did the Ukrainian rebels even know they were shooting at a civilian aircraft? As the investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight 17 continues, the Switch's Brian Fung asks if Ukrainian separatists knew if they downed a civilian plane -- suggesting that "they were trained just well enough to operate the controls but lacked the sophistication to distinguish between different transponder codes."

Snowden seeks to develop anti-surveillance technologies. Jim Finkle at Reuters reports on former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's talk at hacker conference Hope X.  "Snowden, who addressed conference attendees on Saturday via video link from Moscow, said he intends to devote much of his time to promoting such technologies, including ones that allow people to communicate anonymously and encrypt their messages."

Is Kindle Unlimited worth it? Our own Hayley Tsukayama does the math on Amazon's new unlimited e-book service. "If you're habitually spending money on more than one book per month, then it's a service to think about." However, according to a Pew Internet and American Life Project survey, the typical American read five books in the past year.

WSJ's Facebook Page Hacked With Fake Air Force One News. "A false report about the loss of Air Force One was posted to The Wall Street Journal's Facebook page early Sunday morning," reports Jonathan Ellis at Mashable. "The newspaper later said its page had been 'compromised.'" The incident is similar to one last year when the Associated Press's Twitter account was hacked to share a false report about explosions at the White House.

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit card numbers. Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica submitted a Freedom of Information Request on data collected by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on his international travel. In return, he got 76 new pages of data, covering 2005 through 2013, including old IP addresses, his full credit card number and notes on his phone calls to airlines. 

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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