Is it illegal to receive what others are broadcasting? Should the police stake out every open WiFi node in the US?
Is it legal to use Firesheep at Starbucks?
November 1, 2010 by Dissent
Gregg Keizer reports:
People using the Firesheep add-on may be breaking federal wiretapping laws, legal experts said today.
Or maybe not.
“I honestly don’t know the answer,” said Phil Malone, a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School as well as the director of the school’s Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Malone also served for more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Firesheep, which was released just over a week ago and has been downloaded nearly half a million times since, is an add-on to Mozilla’s Firefox browser that identifies users on an open network — such as a coffee shop’s public Wi-Fi hotspot — who are visiting an insecure Web site. A double-click in Firesheep gives its handler instant access to the accounts of others accessing Twitter and Facebook, among numerous other popular Web destinations.
Read more on Computerworld.
[From the article:
"There are two schools of thought," said Jonathan Gordon, a partner in the Los Angeles office of law firm Aston + Bird. "The first is that there's no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public insecure Wi-Fi connection."
Gordon, who regularly counsels clients on their Internet business practices, cited the U.S. statute pertaining to wiretapping, which states that it's not a violation of the law "to intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured to that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public."
"But the second [school of thought] is that when people are accessing their social network [account], they have an expectation that whatever they're doing is governed by the privacy settings in that network," Gordon said. In other words, the fact that accessing a site takes place in an insecure environment is beside the point.
… But privacy laws were not crafted to cover scenarios where the owner of the data -- in the Firesheep example, people accessing their Facebook accounts at an insecure hotspot -- didn't take steps to protect their information.
Any investigator (not just the computer forensics team) should be able to use the tools any teenager can use.
UK Police To Get Facebook Lessons
Posted by samzenpus on Sunday October 31, @03:30PM
"The police are to receive training on how to use Facebook and Twitter to catch people committing serious crimes. The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) will overhaul its training modules to include sessions on the social networking sites for detectives. 'This programme is a vital part of the career pathway for detectives and the new training covers sensitive areas of policing where limited guidance existed previously,' said deputy chief constable Nick Gargan, acting head of the NPIA, in a statement to the Press Association. 'These improvements are exactly what detectives need to tackle the challenges and complexities of modern policing effectively,' he added. 'The changes underline the importance to having a national agency to provide guidance and train detectives to a single high standard so they can work on investigations in any part of the country and give their colleagues and the public the best quality service in fighting crime.'"
How should management react to this?
October 31, 2010
New Survey Reveals Extent, Impact of Information Overload on Workers
From Boston to Beijing, Professionals Feel Overwhelmed, Demoralized: "An international survey of white collar workers reveals that information overload is a remarkably widespread and growing problem among professionals around the world, and one that exacts a heavy toll in terms of productivity and employee morale. The survey of 1,700 white collar workers in five countries – the United States, China, South Africa, United Kingdom and Australia – found professionals in every market struggling to cope and looking to their employers for customized solutions. On average, fifty-nine percent of professionals across the five markets surveyed say that the amount of information they have to process at work has significantly increased since the economic downturn. Given the rising tide of information, it is not surprising that a majority of workers in every market (62%, on average) admit that the quality of their work suffers at times because they can’t sort through the information they need fast enough."
Texas Supreme Court Cites Mr. Spock
Posted by samzenpus on Sunday October 3
"We always knew that Spock was wise and would probably make a pretty good judge, so perhaps it's a good thing to see the Texas Supreme Court citing Spock in a recent ruling, noting his wisdom in stating that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.""
For my students (to use OFF CAMPUS!)
FreeOldies: Extensive Old Game Database
Computer games are made in greater numbers than you would think. Unfortunately a lot of these games are abandoned by their owners for a variety of reasons. These games then become “abandonware”. Free Oldies is a old game database that lets you search and download these abandoned computer games.
Free Oldies is a great website that lets its visitors play abandonware games for free. You can browse the available games alphabetically, according to their release year, or genre-wise.
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