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Government Ditches Web Surveillance Plans, Uses Facebook Instead

UNITED KINGDOM – Relenting to public outcry, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the government will ditch controversial web surveillance plans and just friend people on Facebook instead.

The snooper’s charter was met with fierce criticism due to serious privacy fears, prompting the government to turn to the popular social network to do “pretty much everything we were planning anyway.”

The Home Office hailed the new scheme was vital to “investigate serious crime, terrorism,” and most importantly “knowing when an individual changed their relationship status.”

New plans

Under amended surveillance plans, ministers would friend everyone in Britain to gain the ability to see who a person had been in contact with, what sites a person visited and what the weather was like outside a person’s window at any given moment.

Home Secretary Theresa May earlier confirmed the existing Communications Data Bill would be replaced with Facebook’s privacy policy, admitting there was “no point in reinventing the wheel”.

She said the government wanted to avoid the backlash from concerned Britain’s while still enabling the government to find out every last detail of what you get up to on the internet.

And in direct response to privacy advocates, May suggested worried citizens start using Google+ if they wanted complete and utter privacy.

‘You can trust us’

David Cameron backed the proposals as “crucial to combating a new age of criminal threat that we must be ready to deal with” before leaning over to Nick Clegg and asking how to friend London.

Mr Cameron went on to say: “We acknowledge the criticism of the Communications Data bill but this government remains committed to providing security services with new powers to monitor internet activity.”

“Of course we understand the notion that someone would be keeping a constant watch on all online activity would cross the line into a dark place where the expectation of privacy is a thing of the past.”

He assured the public that “those plans have been halted and we’ll just follow you on Facebook”.

The Prime Minister was confident criminals now had no place to hide from the consequences of their illegal activities, “or their office Christmas do”.

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Joy As Millions of New Yorkers Now Able To Charge Their iPhones

NEW YORK – After the most devastating natural disaster to hit the state, returning power to Lower Manhattan has allowed thousands of residents to finally charge their iPhone.

It’s thought as many as 10,000 iPhones, Android and Windows phones were lost to low battery status on the first day of the storm, and the number continued to rise at an alarming rate.

The Federal Statistical Office said they would know how many Blackberry users were affected once they could find enough people who would admit they owned Blackberrys.

Storm is over

Sandy-related power cuts affected millions of customers and the devastating scenes saw many locals wandering flooded streets in search of a working power outlet or USB socket.

Those affected by the super storm called it the worst disaster since leaving their phone in the back of a cab that one time.

With no working phones nearby, entire neighbourhoods were forced to communicate face to face for “unrealistic” lengths of time.

Reports says several families long ran out of talking points and had been struggling maintain conversation while awaiting the return of power to continue ignoring each other while downloading updates to Angry Birds.

After days of no service, cheering people took to the streets and began download 99 cent apps for no reason.

Renewed hope

Sarah Folks, from the Lower East Side, described the lost feeling “everyone is going through right now” and addicted she was not sure how long the community could survive without access to free downloadable games.

“Oh it was bedlam here,” she said after going five days without updated her Facebook.  “A lot of people tried to take matters into their own hands and started hooking their iPhones to potatoes.”

“Some of us were down to 10% battery before the power came back on.  I don’t know what we would have done if the outage went on any longer,” she said tearfully.

Despite the joy felt over the returning power, the state confirmed it would seek to take action against electricity companies for their slow response.

Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to hold Con Ed and others to account for their failings resulting in “me losing three different games of Words With Friends.”

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Oldest Undeciphered Text “May Be First Ever Terms of Service Agreement”

OXFORD – Researchers have indicated that the world’s oldest undeciphered text could be the first recorded instance of a Term of Service agreement.

The unintelligible writings, which have so far defied attempts to uncover its true meaning, is close to being deciphered according to university academics.

“I think we’re finally on the point of making a breakthrough,” said director of the Ancient World Research  Jacob Dahl, who warned it could be a while before his team understood the agreement, and even longer to determine how it applies in the real world.

‘What’s ancient Iranian for “Yes, I Agree”’

From the information gleaned to date, the proto-Elamite text appears to be an agreement for the use of agricultural land, which could go some way to explaining why so many people went hungry.

“When our team started looking at the writings over a decade ago, we believed them to be a log detailing everyday observations of a civilisation previously unknown to us in these modern times.”

“But it was just too bloody difficult to follow without skipping straight to the end and chiseling ‘Agree’ into the  stone.”

“That we realised we had uncovered the earliest Term of Service known to man.”

He went on to point out: “Without computers, you would have had to read the entire text and understand the majority of it before agreeing to anything.  But that’s how it was in those backwards times.”

Head scratcher

In an attempt to aid the decoding process, fragments of the ancient agreement are being scanned with the most complex equivalents available to researchers: Facebook and iTunes Terms of Service.

Dr Dahl hopes there may be similarities in both old and new unnecessarily complex examples of language that could help them simplify the convoluted Bronze Age contract to “something my mother could understand.”

“It’s as if they don’t want us to know what they’re trying to say,” he suggested.

“Can I use a borrowed sickle to harvest wheat crops on the third Sunday after a full moon or not?!  Why can’t these things be clearer?”

“Thank God we can just skip through this stuff now else we’d get nothing done nowadays.”

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A Response Letter From Joseph Kony

CENTRAL AFRICA – The following letter to internet users was delivered today on behalf of Joseph Kony:

Dear internet users,

By now you are no doubt aware of the highly inflammatory claim made by many on your “social network” websites.  Ever since a certain video went viral I have had to face continuous accusations and frankly, enough is enough.

The slanderous images being spread on your Facebook and your Twitter have further hindered my credibility and it is this witch-hunt that has left me with no option but to issue this definitive denial:

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Facebook Updates Terms of Service, Will Require User DNA

SILICON VALLEY – Facebook have unveiled an update to their terms of service which will required users to submit a DNA sample to continue using the service.

Set to be phased in over the next few weeks, the changes will be accompanied by updated privacy settings to “make it easy to restrict the amount of genetic information you share with your friends.”

Facebook’s announcement comes on the back of rumors rival service Google+ will require new users to submit a copy of house keys when signing up to the social network.

‘Hair, blood, or semen is fine’

The requirement is thought to be part of a new feature set known internally as “Project X Y”, which would match each profile to a set of chromosomes for level of service that previous only came with a criminal record.

“We want to make the awesome Facebook service even more awesomer and to do that we need a better understand of what makes users tick – literally,” said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

He also confirmed the changes were opt-out and advised users who did not wish to continue with the service to make their preference clear before the changes were rolled out and user DNA was collected “because otherwise it’s just awkward.”

The company has pointed users to the following section of its terms of service to better understand the coming changes:

You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, worldwide license (with the right to place at crime scenes) to (a) use, clone, stream, scan, reconstitute and splice any DNA you provide to the Facebook Service subject only to your privacy settings or our whim in the heat of the moment and (b) to use your X and Y chromosomes (as a pair or individually) and genome sequencing for any purpose, including commercial, advertising or general mad science, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.

Facebook’s CEO assured users that “we’re not taking DNA to profit from you, and stressed that third-party apps must ask for permission before gaining access to any genetic information a user has not set as open to “everyone.”

All your DNA are belong to us

“We make it super easy to control how much of the information we learn from your DNA is shared,” explained Zuckerberg.  “So if you don’t want to share information like your probability of contracting diabetes,  That’s OK.”

“Or maybe you only want friends of friends to know the likelihood of your future child developing Cystic fibrosis?  You can do that with a simple setting.”

“We give you total control so it’s definitely not creepy.”

Despite assurances from the company, the changes have been met with criticism from some users, privacy advocates and repeat offenders who question whether the new changes gone too far.

“I’m not sure how I feel about this,” said one unsure user.”I mean, right now they only ask for my name, gender, phone number, home address, email address, work history, employment history, relationship history, likes, location, and mother’s maiden name.”

“…Actually, maybe it not all that bad.  Forget I said anything.”

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US Iran Relations At “All Time Low” After Facebook Poke

NEW YORK – The relationship between America and Iran has hit a new low after Iran is alleged to have poked them on Facebook, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton admitted today.

Speaking in front of the UN Security Council, Mrs Clinton describes how Iran launched a long-range poke during a Facebook session originating from a Tehran internet cafe.

This latest show of aggression shown by the Ahmedinejad regime has been met with a strong response from the White House who labelled the poke an “aggressive provocation that borders on an invitation to open conflict.”

Strained relationship

The situation represents the closest any two nations have come to open conflict since Argentina sent Brazil a friend request on MySpace in 2011 – an incident in which the repercussions are still being felt.

Mrs Clinton was direct in her condemnation:  “I mean really, who sends pokes anymore?” She said before issuing a warning that should Iran continue down this path of provocation, “the United States would be left with no choice but to unfriend them and would call for members of this council to do the same.”

However, it’s thought that China and Russia would be hesitant to take such drastic action due to the “cool links” Iran often posts on i’s wall.

In response, Iran have claimed their account was hacked after admitting it could not remember if it logged out properly from its last session.

Ali Akbar Saleh, Iran’s foreign minister, told state television that “sometimes there are so many browser windows open you forget to close them all.”

‘All options are on the table’

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad echoed this statement, adding that the poke “could not have come from Iran,” because “we hate pokes as much as we would hate Israel if we recognised their existence.”

The explanation however, has failed to convince the Obama administration who remain ready to retaliate by adding Iran to groups without their express permission.

“We do not believe this was an accident,” a statement read.  “The poke functionality is clearly marked so this must have been a deliberate strike at the United States.”

“If Iran are capable of launching pokes, it is only a matter of time before they get nuclear weapons.”

Mrs Clinton called for swift action as “Iran has clearly developed an advanced grasp of Facebook features.  Which was no small feat as they change the damn thing every week.”

“What the hell is Timeline anyway?!” She added.

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Framed Ronald Reagan Photo Becomes New Republican Frontrunner

AIMES – In a late twist in the race for GOP nominee, a framed image of Ronald Reagan has jumped to the top of the polls, hours before the crucial Iowa caucus.

The 8.5×11” framed image of the former president has enjoyed an unexpected surge in polling numbers ahead of the first round of voting.

Political analysts say the painting ticked all the right boxes for a candidate in that it resembled the 40th United States president, was taken in front of an American flag, and was printed at a resolution of 300dpi.

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Facebook Backtracks On Plans To Rifle Through User’s Garbage

PALO ALTO – After an unexpected public backlash, Facebook has reserved its decision to begin looking through the garbage of its users for personal information.

The hugely popular social network rolled out the change to its privacy policy only 48 hours ago but was surprised to discover many of its 500 million active users more protective of discarded rubbish than it expected.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier argued that having access to such a level of personal information was something that would “vastly improve the Facebook experience.”

Step too far

“It’s all about sharing,” said the 27-year-old CEO.  “Sharing makes everything more awesome and sharing garbage would just be another step to make our awesome service even more awesomer.”

The change was initially discovered by one user spotted a Facebook employee in her back yard at 1:17am.

“I asked the guy what he was doing rummaging through my trash cans,” recalled Michelle Hunter. “He told me he was from Facebook and I should check the new privacy settings.”

Mrs Hunter checked her privacy settings soon after and noted that the Allow us to pick through your garbage option had been checked.

She was reportedly so angry over the privacy breach that she started a Facebook group, leading to an eventual climb down from the company.

Despite originally defending the privacy change, Zuckerberg announced today that the Facebook would halt the collection of user garbage for the time being.

“We got a lot of feedback about the recent changes and what it means for all the trash you throw out,” said Zuckerberg in an explanatory post.  “Based on this feedback, we will return to our previous terms while we try to resolve the issue people have with us going through their garbage.”

It’s thought they would return the feature, but with more granular settings allowing users to determine which pieces of trash to make available for examination.

‘Maybe it was a bad idea’

Unsurprised at the latest privacy misstep, technology blogger Robert Scoble commented that Facebook “make this mistake over and over when it comes to privacy.”

“They should’ve realised that people would want control over how and when Facebook goes through their trash and made it opt-in at least.”

However, despite the privacy considerations at the company deteriorating to a point at which they felt it ok to go through personal trash, many said they weren’t concerned “just as long as they don’t mess up the news feed again.”

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Google Unveil New Way To Steal Your Private Information

CALIFORNIA – Online search giant Google have launched a new social network that it believes will “totally change the way we think about invading your privacy.”

Already a leader in the search space, the company now expects to know every thing about it’s users that it didn’t already know, “and then some.”

“Online privacy violations needed a serious re-think, so it’s time we get started,” said Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google.

‘All your data are belong to us’

In April, Google were forced to backtrack on the rollout of it’s previous social networking effort Google Buzz, after fears it wasn’t exposing enough user information.

Gundotra continued: “Buzz was a good start but we felt we could get more information from the people that use Google services, so we went back to the drawing board and really thought about innovative ways to  get users to reveal their most intimate secrets.”

“With Plus, we’ll know who you are, what you like, what you’re thinking, who you talk to, where they are, where you are, where you’re going, what you’re thinking right now and what you will be thinking next Wednesday at half eight.  The list is endless.”

The executive was confident it could now challenge Facebook or at least give users options in choosing who steals their personal information.

However, analysts reception has been muted on what is believed to be a big mountain to climb when it came to converting people already comfortable with having their data stolen by Facebook.

“Asking people to create another backdoor to compromise details about their private lives will be a challenge,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with research firm eMarketer.

“Google will need to come up with a more interesting way to compromise privacy if it wants people to seriously consider switching.”

Socially challenged

Technology blogger Robert Scoble echoed this sentiment, saying that Google+ was not doing anything new in the field of circumventing the implied trust of it’s user base.

“What they really need is new ways for people to unwittingly give up the personal information they haven’t already given to other social networks, like…err…umm…well I’m sure they can think of something. They’re the smart ones.”

Although no official statement has been issued, Facebook is expected to make an announcement that it will soon begin looking through users’ trash in a bid to maintain it’s position as number one privacy violator.

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G8 Achieve Significant Progress In Posing For Photographs

DEAUVILLE – Members of the G8 hailed the most recent summit as a significant success, dismissing claims of irrelevance after managing to secure a number of ‘amazing’ photos over the two days.

While no firm commitment on how to deal with Libya, the economic crisis or Afghanistan were achieved, the gathering heads of state did manage an incredible amount of pictures posing as if they were thinking really hard about the issues that currently plague the world.

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