Secrecy / Security
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 25, 2016 State Department email audit faults Hillary Clinton
QUOTE: Hillary Clinton and her team ignored clear guidance from the State Department that her email setup broke federal standards and could leave sensitive material vulnerable to hackers, an independent audit has found. Her aides twice brushed aside concerns, in one case telling technical staff “the matter was not to be discussed further.”
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Mar 25, 2015 Iran Case Is So Secret It Can't Go On
QUOTE: When only the government gets to speak, and does all its talking in secret, there's no check over its actions. Who is a district judge to stand up to the anonymous director of some anonymous intelligence agency? The result is not just bad for the rule of law. It's an embarrassment to the entire judiciary.
Bloomberg View May 17, 2014 Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA
QUOTE: A web of deception has finally been untangled: the Justice Department got the US supreme court to dismiss a case that could have curtailed the NSA's dragnet.
Guardian Unlimited Jan 17, 2014 Connected TVs, fridge help launch global cyberattack
QUOTE: a global cyberattack launched from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, televisions and at least one "smart" refrigerator. It's being called possibly the first proven cyberattack to originate from connected appliances -- the so-called "Internet of Things."
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 12, 2014 Court Orders Yelp To Identify Anonymous Reviewers
QUOTE: The Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled on Tuesday that Yelp has to reveal the names of seven reviewers who left anonymous, negative reviews of a business, which maintains that the names are critical in pursuing a defamation case against the reviewers over what it claims were false reviews from non-customers....from a Yelp spokesperson: “We are disappointed that the Virginia Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that fails to adequately protect free speech rights on the internet, and which allows businesses to seek personal details about website users — without any evidence of wrongdoing — in efforts to silence online critics,”
WebProNews Nov 13, 2013 Meet the Punk Rocker Who Can Liberate Your FBI File: Ryan Shapiro's technique is so effective at unburying sensitive documents, the feds are asking the courts to stop him.
QUOTE: Invoking a legal strategy that had its heyday during the Bush administration, the FBI claims that Shapiro's multitudinous requests, taken together, constitute a "mosaic" of information whose release could "significantly and irreparably damage national security" and would have "significant deleterious effects" on the bureau's "ongoing efforts to investigate and combat domestic terrorism."
Mother Jones Sep 15, 2013 The Banality of Systemic Evil (THE STONE)
QUOTE: Clearly, there is a moral principle at work in the actions of the leakers, whistle-blowers and hacktivists and those who support them. I would also argue that that moral principle has been clearly articulated, and it may just save us from a dystopian future. In “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” one of the most poignant and important works of 20th-century philosophy, Hannah Arendt made an observation about what she called “the banality of evil.” One interpretation of this holds that it was not an observation about what a regular guy Adolph Eichmann seemed to be, but rather a statement about what happens when people play their “proper” roles within a system....A good illustration of this phenomenon appears in “Moral Mazes,” a book by the sociologist Robert Jackall that explored the ethics of decision making within several corporate bureaucracies.
New York Times Aug 18, 2013 Glenn Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act
QUOTE: "This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," Greenwald said. "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ. The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere."
Guardian Unlimited Aug 02, 2013 A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor
QUOTE: You could spy on your ex-lover, by placing the sensor boxes near the places the person frequents, or your teenage child, or the residents of a particular neighborhood....“I haven’t done a full deployment of this because the United States government has made a practice of prosecuting security researchers,”...
New York Times Jul 28, 2013 Momentum Builds Against N.S.A. Surveillance
QUOTE: a plan to defund the National Security Agency’s telephone data collection program fell just seven votes short of passage. Now, after initially signaling that they were comfortable with the scope of the N.S.A.’s collection of Americans’ phone and Internet activities, but not their content, revealed last month by Edward J. Snowden, lawmakers are showing an increasing willingness to use legislation to curb those actions.
New York Times Jul 11, 2013 Internet trolls: What to do about the scourge of the Web?
QUOTE: "You can't easily taxonomize trolling behavior," she said. "A lot of trolling is about mischief and harmless, silly pranks. But really extreme behavior -- attacking friends and families of kids who have died, for example -- that seems to be a behavior with a different motivation."
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 11, 2012 Officials Say F.B.I. Knew of Petraeus Affair in the Summer
QUOTE: The new accounts of the events that led to Mr. Petraeus’s sudden resignation on Friday shed light on the competing pressures facing F.B.I. agents who recognized the high stakes of any investigation involving the C.I.A. director but who were wary of exposing a private affair with no criminal or security implications.
New York Times Jul 25, 2012 Are cruise lines 'dumping' sick passengers?
QUOTE: I asked Royal Caribbean about its policy on dropping off passengers and whether the Claussens could have done anything differently. It declined to answer. Walker says that cruise lines keep their policies on emergency care confidential.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Jul 24, 2012 First they came for Wikileaks, then the New York Times
QUOTE: There are signs that the U.S. government wants to target mainstream journalists and media outlets for the same kind of investigation that WikiLeaks has been subjected to for publishing classified information, which makes it even more important to defend WikiLeaks’ status as a media entity.
GigaOM Feb 10, 2012 The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read
QUOTE: a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going.
Rolling Stone Dec 22, 2011 U.S. Report Faults Two Sides in Deadly Pakistan Strike
QUOTE: mistakes by both American and Pakistani troops led to airstrikes against two Pakistani posts on the Afghan border that killed 26 Pakistani troops. But two crucial findings — that the Pakistanis fired first at a joint Afghan-American patrol and that they kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops — were likely to further anger Pakistan and plunge the already tattered relationship between the United States and Pakistan to new depths.
New York Times Oct 25, 2011 How the Patriot Act stripped me of my free-speech rights
QUOTE: the government implausibly claimed that if I were able to identify myself as the plaintiff in the case, irreparable damage to national security would result. But I did not believe then, nor do I believe now, that the FBI’s gag order was motivated by legitimate national security concerns. It was motivated by a desire to insulate the FBI from public criticism and oversight.
Washington Post Oct 07, 2011 What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs
QUOTE: In the days after Steve Jobs' death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He's been hailed as "a genius" and "the greatest CEO of his generation" by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man's reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.
Gawker Sep 19, 2011 In Small Towns, Gossip Moves to the Web, and Turns Vicious
QUOTE: In rural America, where an older, poorer and more remote population has lagged the rest of the country in embracing the Internet, the growing use of social media is raising familiar concerns about bullying and privacy. But in small towns there are complications. The same Web sites created as places for candid talk about local news and politics are also hubs of unsubstantiated gossip, stirring widespread resentment in communities where ties run deep, memories run long and anonymity is something of a novel concept.
New York Times Jul 05, 2011 U.S. to Prosecute a Somali Suspect in Civilian Court
QUOTE: The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would prosecute in civilian court a Somali accused of ties to two Islamist militant groups. The decision to fly the man to New York for trial, after interrogating him for months aboard a United States naval vessel, is likely to reignite debate about the detention and prosecution of terrorism suspects.
New York Times Jun 26, 2011 U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors
QUOTE: Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it....In response to the drumbeat of criticism, a federal health official said doctors need not worry because the data would be kept confidential.
New York Times May 31, 2011 Web Hackings Rattle Media Companies
QUOTE: latest examples of what security experts call “reputational attacks” on media companies that publish material that the hackers disagree with. Such companies are particularly vulnerable to such attacks because many of them depend on online advertising and subscription revenue from Web sites that can be upended by the clicks of a hacker’s keyboard — and because unlike other targets, like government entities and defense contractors, they are less likely to have state-of-the-art security to thwart attacks.
New York Times May 25, 2011 How Can Congress Debate a Secret Law?
QUOTE: Legal scholars, law professors, advocacy groups, and the Congressional Research Service have all written interpretations of the Patriot Act and Americans can read any of these interpretations and decide whether they support or agree with them. But by far the most important interpretation of what the law means is the official interpretation used by the U.S. government and this interpretation is - stunningly -classified.
Huffington Post Apr 26, 2011 Sony Says PlayStation Hacker Got Personal Data
QUOTE: An “unauthorized person” had obtained personal information about account holders, including their names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and PlayStation user names and passwords. Sony warned that other confidential information, including credit card numbers, could have been compromised.
New York Times Apr 25, 2011 Email users still running amok despite years of warnings: A survey shows that email remains a major source of corporate data leakage, as users continue to break the rules
QUOTE: Despite years of regulations, fines, corporate policies, and data leakage prevention tools, companies are still remarkably vulnerable when it comes to employees' inappropriate use of email.
InfoWorld Apr 19, 2011 Stripped of Dignity
QUOTE: [airline security] system does not seem smartly tailored to focus on dangerous people rather than “good, law-abiding people.” So kids, seniors and those with disabilities, joint replacements and other medical conditions — things they already feel embarrassed about — end up getting harassed.
New York Times Mar 27, 2011 Ethical Quandary for Social Sites
QUOTE: The photos had been removed because he did not take the images himself, a violation of the site’s community rules… “That is totally ludicrous,” he said. “Flickr is full of accounts with photos that people did not take themselves.” Human rights advocates have also criticized Facebook for not being more flexible with some of its policies, specifically its rule requiring users to create accounts with their real names.
New York Times Mar 04, 2011 Hacked e-mails show Web is increasingly useful tool in dirty-tricks campaigns
QUOTE: But many experts say the shadowy political intelligence business has become larger and more sophisticated as corporations, trade groups and political parties increasingly turn to computer sleuths to monitor and, in some cases, harass their detractors. The work almost always goes undetected and has been made easier with the rise of computer networks and social media sites with relatively lax safeguards.
Washington Post Feb 16, 2011 New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users
QUOTE: But some simple software lets just about anyone sitting next to you at your local coffee shop watch you browse the Web and even assume your identity online... But a free program called Firesheep, released in October, has made it simple to see what other users of an unsecured Wi-Fi network are doing and then log on as them at the sites they visited.
New York Times Feb 10, 2011 Ex-C.I.A. Agent Goes Public With Story of Mistreatment on the Job
QUOTE: He contends that the events broke up his marriage and destroyed his career, and that C.I.A. officials abused the State Secrets Privilege doctrine in an effort to cover up their own negligence.
New York Times Jan 18, 2011 In Knotty State Secrets Case, Justices Ponder Telling Litigants to ‘Go Away’
QUOTE: The contractors sued, asking to keep the money and seeking $1.2 billion more. They said their work had been frustrated by the government’s failure to share classified technology. The government disputed that, but would not explain why, invoking the state secrets privilege.
New York Times Jan 09, 2011 Twitter Shines a Spotlight on Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas
QUOTE: THE news that federal prosecutors have demanded that the microblogging site Twitter provide the account details of people connected to the WikiLeaks case, including its founder, Julian Assange, isn’t noteworthy because the government’s request was unusual or intrusive. It is noteworthy because it became public.... the government — in the course of conducting inquiries — has been able to look through much of the information without the knowledge of the people being investigated.
New York Times Jan 06, 2011 Software security: Honesty is the best policy
QUOTE: Admitting to flaws in your code can be embarrassing, but OpenBSD's hunt for a backdoor proves the alternative could be much worse
InfoWorld Jan 03, 2011 A Clear Danger to Free Speech
QUOTE: THE so-called Shield bill, which was recently introduced in both houses of Congress in response to the WikiLeaks disclosures, would amend the Espionage Act of 1917 to make it a crime for any person knowingly and willfully to disseminate, “in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States,” any classified information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States.” Although this proposed law may be constitutional as applied to government employees who unlawfully leak such material to people who are unauthorized to receive it, it would plainly violate the First Amendment to punish anyone who might publish or otherwise circulate the information after it has been leaked.
New York Times Nov 28, 2010 Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy
QUOTE: A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
New York Times Nov 05, 2010 What happens when Internet Explorer breaks big-time: Much like a bad antivirus signature file, Microsoft's browser is flagging harmless sites and blocking access to them
QUOTE: Much like a bad antivirus signature file, Microsoft's browser is flagging harmless sites and blocking access to them
InfoWorld Jun 27, 2010 Travelers, be wary of 'data passing' online
QUOTE: "Data pass" refers to a shady practice of sending credit card information along to a third party at the end of a transaction without the buyer's explicit approval. In years past, travelers often found themselves unwittingly enrolled in clubs that automatically charged a monthly enrollment fee while travel companies raked in millions in profits, according to investigators and consumers.
Washington Post Jun 25, 2010 Justices say petition signers should not expect their names to be kept secret
QUOTE: Those who sign referendum petitions should generally not expect to keep their names secret, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting the argument of an anti-gay-rights group that disclosure would violate their First Amendment protection of political expression.
Washington Post Jun 18, 2010 Supreme Court rules on employer monitoring of cellphone, computer conversations
QUOTE: A hesitant Supreme Court waded cautiously into a question that arises daily in workplaces and offices across the country: whether employers have the right to look over the shoulders of workers who use company computers and cellphones for personal communication. In the first ruling of its kind, the justices said they do, as long as there is a "legitimate work-related purpose" to monitor them.
Washington Post May 27, 2010 The Magic Behind Rating Apps
QUOTE: The customer-review process isn’t perfect. Occasionally, it can be abused, or manipulated. But this week, I came across something I’d never seen before: an app that had earned dozens of one-star (terrible) ratings — yet the written reviews were ecstatic.
New York Times May 10, 2010 Social networking raises legal, regulatory issues for businesses: Companies are finding...too valuable as sales-lead generation and marketing to block
QUOTE: many businesses are attempting to simply block all access to social networking sites for employees who would fall under regulatory scrutiny, such as broker-dealers and sales and marketing representatives, even though these employee are finding the sites invaluable.
InfoWorld Mar 24, 2010 Law Enforcement Appliance Subverts SSL
QUOTE: Normally when a user visits a secure website, such as Bank of America, Gmail, PayPal or eBay, the browser examines the website’s certificate to verify its authenticity. At a recent wiretapping convention however, security researcher Chris Soghoian discovered that a small company was marketing internet spying boxes to the feds designed to intercept those communications, without breaking the encryption, by using forged security certificates, instead of the real ones that websites use to verify secure connections.
Wired Sep 22, 2009 Netflix Prize 2: (Privacy) Apocalypse Now?
QUOTE: security researchers found a way to link the anonymous movie recommendations with data from other sites in order to identify individual Netflix users.
Ars Technica Sep 18, 2009 Threat Level Privacy, Crime and Security Online Court: Disloyal Computing Is Not Illegal (Threat Level)
QUOTE: A federal appeals court says employees are not liable for damages under anti-hacking laws for accessing their employers’ computers for disloyal purposes.
Wired Aug 31, 2009 How we’re losing our privacy online
QUOTE: As we slip further into the Internet era, they [computer experts] argue that we are every day surrendering more of the private us to the public domain
Christian Science Monitor Aug 31, 2009 Keeping genes out of terrorists' hands: Gene-synthesis industry at odds over how to screen DNA orders.
QUOTE: A standards war is brewing in the gene-synthesis industry. At stake is the way that the industry screens orders for hazardous toxins and genes
Nature Aug 27, 2009 ACLU chapter flags Facebook app privacy (The Social)
QUOTE: The Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has put out a campaign designed to raise awareness of the privacy implications of Facebook's developer platform.
CNET Aug 26, 2009 Debate on lithium batteries reignites
QUOTE: Pilots are calling for a ban on all lithium-based battery shipments on passenger and cargo jets.
USA TODAY Aug 25, 2009 Businesses Reluctant to Report Online Banking Fraud (Security Fix)
QUOTE: many victimized companies [of online banking fraud] are reluctant to come forward out of fear of retribution by their bank.
Washington Post Aug 20, 2009 Splashing, and clashing, in murky waters: Piracy and private enterprise
QUOTE: for strategists grappling with the diminished safety of the world’s seas... figuring out a sensible and workable division of labour between navies and private firms is not easy.
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