I've noticed several articles that seem to touch on topics we raised (and definitely did not resolve) yesterday. Here they are in no particular order...
This article hits several points (including the unstated: lots of money attracts lots of big players)
GE launches eHealth, hopes for early adopters
by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore October 30, 2009 12:26 PM PDT
The government's $19 billion incentive package to compel doctors and hospitals to digitize their inefficient paper record systems is nice and shiny. But until a platform exists to support the easy yet secure flow of highly sensitive personal information, that promise could also be empty.
Seeing a business opportunity, General Electric unveiled on Thursday its new unit, eHealth, a suite of solutions that aims to provide the necessary infrastructure. (GE reports that it is investing $90 million to launch eHealth.) It is a daunting task, but if it works, a digital record system that streamlines connectivity between clinicians and patients would eventually cost less, work faster, and reduce medical errors, some of which can be fatal.
(Related) This ties because so many of the players are not covered by HIPAA. (Okay, it's not a perfect match but read the first page of the paper and use your imagination.)
Article: From Privacy To Liberty: The Fourth Amendment After Lawrence
Thomas P. Crocker has an article (pdf) in the current issue of UCLA Law Review. Here’s the abstract:
This Article explores a conflict between the protections afforded interpersonal relations in Lawrence v. Texas and the vulnerability experienced under the Fourth Amendment by individuals who share their lives with others. Under the Supreme Court’s third-party doctrine, we have no constitutionally protected expectation of privacy in what we reveal to other persons. The effect of this doctrine is to leave many aspects of ordinary life shared in the company of others constitutionally unprotected. In an increasingly socially networked world, the Fourth Amendment may fail to protect precisely those liberties—to live in the company of others free from state surveillance and intrusion—the Constitution should protect. Against the background of the third-party doctrine, we guarantee our privacy only by avoiding ordinary acts of interpersonal sharing. By contrast, the Court in Lawrence explains that intimate conduct occurring within protected personal relationships constitutes a private sphere wherein government may not intrude. Because the third-party doctrine views privacy narrowly, this Article develops a framework for revising Fourth Amendment jurisprudence in light of Lawrence’s protection for interpersonal liberty. By following the lessons of Lawrence, this Article proposes a way to reorient Fourth Amendment jurisprudence away from its focus on privacy in order to protect interpersonal liberty.
Hat-tip, Concurring Opinions.
(Related) After all, government has repeatedly demonstrated its command of Computer Technology.
In Congress, a call to review internal cybersecurity policies
Ellen Nakashima and Carol D. Leonnig report:
House leaders on Friday called for an “immediate and comprehensive assessment” of congressional cybersecurity policies, a day after an embarrassing data breach that led to the disclosure of details of confidential ethics investigations.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said they had asked the chief administrative officer of the House to report back to them on the policies and procedures for handling sensitive data as a result of the breach. The inadvertent disclosure of a House ethics committee document, obtained by The Washington Post, summarized the status of investigations into lawmakers’ activities on subjects such as influence peddling and defense lobbying. [...]
In the breach, the report was disclosed inadvertently by a junior committee staff member, who had apparently stored the file on a home computer with “peer-to-peer” software, congressional sources said. The popular software allows computer users to share music or other files and is easily available online. But it also allows anyone with the software on a computer to access documents of another user without permission, as long as the users are on a file-sharing network at the same time.
Read more in the Washington Post.
(Related) Another potential downside of huge government databases...
Woman Loses Job Due to Error in FBI Criminal Database
By Kim Zetter October 30, 2009 3:57 pm
A Maryland woman lost her accounting job after a background check performed through the FBI’s criminal database indicated, erroneously, that she was unsuitable for the job, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Would this be an issue if the targets had made a real effort to remain anonymous? The flip side is that the “defamation” would be taken far less seriously unless there was independent confirmation – i.e. it was true.
Swartz v. Does: American and Canadian approaches to anonymity in internet defamation cases
Matthew Nied, a law student at the University of Victoria, writes:
A recent case illustrates that American jurisprudence is increasingly coalescing around a uniform approach to determine whether a plaintiff may compel the disclosure of an anonymous defendant’s identity in internet defamation cases. As discussed below, the Canadian experience has been different.
In Swartz v. Does (“Swartz”) (see: judgment) a Tennessee state court held that plaintiffs were entitled to discover the identity of an anonymous blogger that published allegedly defamatory statements about them. The case arose when the plaintiffs subpoenaed Google, the parent company of the blogging service used by the anonymous defendants (see: news article). [...]
Swartz is yet another American case that has followed the increasingly prevalent Dendrite standard. Unfortunately, Canadian jurisprudence has yet to begin coalescing to the same extent. The scarce Canadian law on this issue, most of which comes from Ontario, indicates that plaintiffs have two ways to compel online service providers to reveal the identities of anonymous defendants….
Read more on Defamation Law Blog.
[From the blog:
The decision is notable for Justice Brothers’ survey of the various standards previously applied by American courts and his ultimate application of the standard most protective of internet anonymity. This
Cyber War I still suspect this is an example of the first stage of a binary cyber-weapon. Once the first stage is as close to ubiquitous as possible, the second stage delivers the payload. Of course, this is a very primitive example and was easily detected – if not so easily stopped.
After 1 Year, Conficker Infects 7M Computers
Posted by Soulskill on Friday October 30, @08:04PM from the happy-anniversary-now-run-an-antivirus dept.
"The Conficker worm has passed a dubious milestone. It has now infected more than 7 million computers, security experts estimate. On Thursday, researchers at the volunteer-run Shadowserver Foundation logged computers from more than 7 million unique IP addresses, all infected by the known variants of Conficker. They have been able to keep track of Conficker infections by cracking the algorithm the worm uses to look for instructions on the Internet and placing their own 'sinkhole' servers on the Internet domains it is programmed to visit. Conficker has several ways of receiving instructions, so the bad guys have still been able to control PCs, but the sinkhole servers give researchers a good idea how many machines are infected."
(Related) Could this be another attack on the Internet.
Miley Cyrus: Twitter should be banned
by Chris Matyszczyk October 30, 2009 3:51 PM PDT
I will be watching this one closely!
Contest To Hack Brazilian Voting Machines
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday October 31, @12:09AM from the hack-the-vote dept.
An anonymous reader writes
"Brazilian elections went electronic many years ago, with very fast results but a few complaints from losers, of course. Next month, 10 teams that accepted the challenge will have access to hardware and software (Google translation; original in Portuguese) for the amount of time they requested (from one hour to four days). Some will try to break the vote's secrecy and some will try to throw in malicious code to change the entered votes without leaving traces."
It's good to be an anti-spam lawyer, lots (and lots and lots) of evidence, predisposed (angry?) juries, and many useful precedents.
Facebook Awarded $711 Million In Anti-Spam
Posted by Soulskill on Friday October 30, @01:46PM from the yet-another-spam-king-dethroned dept.
An anonymous reader writes
"Facebook is on a never-before-seen legal rampage against high profile internet spammers. Today Facebook was awarded yet another nine-figure settlement, this time for over $700 million. Facebook also has a criminal contempt case on Wallace, which means a high likelihood of prison, a big win for the internet and a milestone in cyber law. 'The record demonstrates that Wallace willfully violated the statutes in question with blatant disregard for the rights of Facebook and the thousands of Facebook users whose accounts were compromised by his conduct,' Jeremy Fogel wrote in his judgment order, which permanently prohibits Wallace from accessing the Facebook Web site or creating a Facebook account, among other restrictions."
Oh look, Congress noticed that Internet thingie... Let's hope someone (preferably someone born in the last 25 years) explains it to them. NOTE: It looks like these arguments could have come from the RIAA and ISP lobbyists.
House, Senate get separate bills to kill net neutrality
With the FCC launching a rule-making proceeding on net neutrality, a pair of bills have been introduced to Congress that would bar the FCC from issuing "any regulations regarding the Internet."
By Nate Anderson Last updated October 30, 2009 12:50 PM CT
Real argument about "network neutrality" is fascinating stuff, provocative and well worth anyone's time if they care about the Internet. Unfortunately, Congress isn't great at having intelligent arguments, and net neutrality is rapidly on its way to becoming the latest victim of the Sound Bite Wars.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have each introduced an anti-net neutrality bill into their respective chambers. McCain's is known as the "Internet Freedom Act of 2009," but Blackburn's is billed as (seriously) the "Real Stimulus Act of 2009" (PDF).
This "real stimulus" consists of a single line, which is identical in both bills: "The Federal Communications Commission shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services." While the bills target network neutrality, they appear to go much further by banning any sort of new rules on all IP services.
(Related) This video claims the economics of the Internet will break in 2015. Perhaps that is why Comcast (et.al.) want to limit volume/user.
(Related) Interesting opinion piece on the UK's three strikes proposal.
Denying physics won’t save the video stars
Technology is making file sharing easier and easier. It will take more than unfair laws and harsh punishments to stop it
From The Times October 30, 2009 Cory Doctorow
(Related?) The Cory Doctorow article mentioned he was talking at this “Festival” Looks like lots of interesting videos are available.
What happens when the Twitter world gets video? Ego-world become narcissist-world?
Stealth Startup Zkatter To Launch Real-Time Broadcasting Site To Capture “Live Moments”
by Leena Rao on October 30, 2009
For the Hacker Folder, several ways around geographic blocks. Thank you Washington Post
On The Internet, Nobody Knows You're Not In The USA
Nik Cubrilovic TechCrunch.com Sunday, October 4, 2009; 11:25 PM
A large number of web services are geographically restricted, such as Hulu, Pandora and Spotify. The reasons are usually to do with content licensing restrictions, or because US visitors (or visitors from other advanced economies) are of a higher value from a monetization perspective. A web application can only guess at the location of a visitor based on an IP address and other information, such as browser language and regional settings.
… If you find yourself outside of the USA and wanting to watch Hulu, outside of the UK and wanting to checkout the BBC, or wanting to rig a web poll, here are some tips:
For the Hacker Folder
Traverse Corporate Firewalls
Censorship has never been popular with American citizens. Unfortunately, censorship is very popular with American corporations.
… Some of these techniques will require a reasonable degree of computer knowhow. They also could get you fired (or worse) so use caution. But for those undaunted, here's our guide to circumventing internet censorship.
Literature for geeks? Plagiarism reduced to cut & paste?