- In order to send the Guardian the cables, WikiLeaks encrypted them and put them on its website at a hidden URL.
- WikiLeaks sent the Guardian the URL.
- WikiLeaks sent the Guardian the encryption key.
- The Guardian downloaded and decrypted the file.
- WikiLeaks removed the file from their server.
- Somehow, the encrypted file ends up on BitTorrent. Perhaps someone found the hidden URL, downloaded the file, and then uploaded it to BitTorrent. Perhaps it is the "insurance file." I don't know.
- The Guardian published a book about WikiLeaks. Thinking the decryption key had no value, it published the key in the book.
- A reader used the key from the book to decrypt the archive from BitTorrent, and published the decrypted version: all the U.S. diplomatic cables in unredacted form.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Friday, September 02, 2011
- Prohibit employees from posting pictures of themselves in any media, including the Internet, which depict the company in any way, including posting featuring a company uniform or corporate logo;
- Prohibit employees from making disparaging comments when discussing the company or the employees' superiors, coworkers or competitors;
- Generally prohibit, in the application to social media, offensive conduct and rude or discourteous behavior;
- Prohibit inappropriate discussions about the company, management or coworkers;
- Prohibit any use of social media that may violate, compromise or disregard the rights and reasonable expectations as to privacy and confidentiality of any person or entity;
- Prohibit any communications or posts that constitute embarrassment, harassment or defamation of the employer or its employees, officers, board members, representatives or staff members;
- Prohibit statements that lack truthfulness or might damage the reputation or goodwill of the employer, its staff or employees;
- Prohibit employees on their own time from using social media to talk about company business, from posting anything that they would not want their manager or supervisor to see or that would put their job in jeopardy, from disclosing inappropriate or sensitive information about employer, or from posting any pictures or comments involving the company or its employees that could be construed as inappropriate;
- Prohibit employees from using the company name, address or other information on their personal profiles;
- Prohibit employees from revealing personal information regarding coworkers, company clients, partners or customers without their consent; or
- Prohibit the use of employer’s logos and photographs or of the employer’s store, brand or product without written authorization.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A La the Lower Merion School District case, finding a stolen laptop does not require you to read the users mail or look at their pictures?
"Embarrassing thieves by exposing them using laptop recovery software makes for fun tech stories, but what about a case of a person being literally exposed after cops and a software company got their hands on naked photos she exchanged with her long-distance boyfriend, not realizing the machine was stolen? (She bought it for $60 so she should have known, but still). The case is going to trial in Ohio in September. The plaintiffs argue that the software company had the right to get the computer's location in order to recover it, but that it should not have intercepted the nude photos and shared those with the cops. Seems like a legitimate complaint and the plaintiffs are especially sympathetic in not realizing the device was stolen."
Good luck with that guys...
"After some rumors of this last month, Pakistan has now officially told all of the country's ISPs that they need to block all encrypted VPNs since content running over such services cannot be monitored by the government."
Twitter Starting to Make SSL Encryption the Default
Heads up for your Computer Security manager...
New Worm Preys On Weak & Helpless Passwords For Windows Remote Desktop
Like many previous worms, this new threat is not technically sophisticated but remains effective due to its persistence. While only a small number of systems may be accessible with the passwords that Morto tries, the worm uses every infected machine to scan for additional targets and spreads itself relentlessly. One infection on a network can quickly turn into a full-blown PC plague. Infected machines also have their security software discreetly terminated, making the worm more difficult to find and remove.
… Protection against Morto is simple. Disabling Windows Remote Desktop will cut off its means of infection. Alternatively, a strong password containing random letters and numbers can thwart the worm.
Just a reminder...
You’re only as secure as your business partners
… Almost every company could be owned just as RSA and Sony were, even firms that embrace the security best practices I’ve advocated for the past 20 years, including better end-user education, faster and more inclusive patching, stronger authentication, improved monitoring, and quicker response to incidents. Of course, my regular readers have been taken all these important measures for a long time — but how about your partners? If they haven’t, they might well be putting your organization at risk.
We’ve covered the landmark court battle between the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and the Aussie ISP iiNet in great detail here at TorrentFreak.
AFACT wants to hold iiNet responsible for the copyright infringing activities of their users, but they have been unsuccessful thus far.
Interestingly enough, a Wikileaks cable that was just released reveals that the MPAA (thus the American movie studios) are a main facilitator of the legal action.
Sounds like they have a point (or two)
"The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed for a rehearing in their case against DHS regarding airport body scanners. In their latest court filing (PDF), EPIC argues that last month's ruling requiring a public comment period but no other changes was based on incorrect information. From TFA: '"The court overstated the effectiveness of the body scanner devices and understated the degree of the privacy intrusion to the travelling public," stated EPIC President Marc Rotenberg. EPIC's petition challenged the Court's finding that the devices detect "liquid and powders," which was never established and was not claimed by the government. EPIC also argued that the court wrongly concluded that the TSA is not subject to a federal privacy law that prohibits video voyeurism. The panel found that TSA body scanner employees are "engaged in law enforcement activity," contrary to the TSA's own regulations.' Note that this is a request for a rehearing with the same court that rejected their request to stop TSA's use of body scanners. It is not an appeal to a higher court. Is EPIC likely to obtain a more favorable ruling from the same court?"
One more tail twitch from the snake that wouldn't die?
"The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has just affirmed the District Court ruling in SCO v Novell (PDF) in its entirety. The decision is quite a good read and lays out the reasons why the court has rejected, in toto, SCO's attempt to re-argue the case before the Court of Appeals. Is this the last gasp for SCO or will they try to appeal this to the Supreme Court? The betting lines open at 11..."
Realistically this is the end of the line for the case.
Increasingly, this sounds like HP is still in the game – or at least they want to keep their manufacturing arm going until they can spin them off...
"HP has announced a limited manufacturing run of Touchpads to be available in the next few weeks. The HP employee making the announcement posted 'I think it's safe to say we were pleasantly surprised by the response' to their massively discounted, sold-at-a-huge-loss tablet."
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Right up there with death and taxes on “Ye olde inevitable list.” But fear not. A password will protect these records for hundreds of years...
"German paper Der Freitag claims it has uncovered a batch of online unredacted diplomatic cables that came from WikiLeaks. Editor Steffen Kraft said he found a 'password protected csv file' that contained a 1.73GB cache of diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks. Its pages contained 'named or otherwise identifiable "informers" and "suspected intelligence agents" from Israel, Jordan, Iran, and Afghanistan.'"
(Related) ...or maybe not. Interesting that the US Government concluded that this deal was in the country's best interest. (Or perhaps Oracle's lobbyists were earning their pay?)
"Cables leaked by Wikileaks have revealed that the U.S. Government actively pressured the EU Competition Commissioner to approve Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The cable reveals that the U.S. went to great lengths to discover how the competition commissioner felt about the 'pro-competitive' nature of open source software and whether this would represent a threat to the US$7.4 billion deal."
Interesting because this suggests that Privacy is valued or perhaps one billionaire (Bloomberg) has found a way to stick it to another – even if it is for a paltry $27 mil...
Murdoch Loses $27 Million Contract With N.Y. Schools
… According to The Huffington Post, Michael Mulgrew and Richard Iannuzi, respective heads of New York City’s and the state’s teachers’ unions, protested the proposed contract with Murdoch’s company earlier this month: “It is especially troubling that Wireless Generation will be tasked with creating a centralized student database for personal information even as its parent company, News Corporation, stands accused of engaging in illegal news gathering tactics, including the hacking of private voicemail accounts.” —ARK
Interesting speculation? The ultimate Christmas present? A victory for content over hardware?
Amazon could sell 5 million tablets next quarter
… Sharing her thoughts in a blog post yesterday, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said that if Amazon can launch a tablet below $300 and provide enough supply to meet demand, it could sell anywhere from 3 million to 5 million tablets in the next quarter.
Earlier this month, Taiwanese news outlet CENS cited information that claimed Amazon was already planning to order anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million tablets per month from August through October from supplier Quanta Computer. An Amazon tablet could launch as early as October, according to Epps.
… Whatever device surfaces, a price point under $300 means Amazon would sell the tablet at a loss. But the goal would be to turn a healthy profit from all the digital books, music, videos, and apps sold to tablet users rather than from the hardware itself.
To Blog or not to Blog...
August 29, 2011
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper - The Impact of Economics Blogs
The Impact of Economics Blogs, David McKenzie and Berk Özler, August 2011
"There is a proliferation of economics blogs, with increasing numbers of economists attracting large numbers of readers, yet little is known about the impact of this new medium. Using a variety of experimental and non-experimental techniques, this study quantifies some of their effects. First, links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers. Second, blogging raises the profile of the blogger (and his or her institution) and boosts their reputation above economists with similar publication records. Finally, a blog can transform attitudes about some of the topics it covers."
I'll tuck this away for my next Presentation Class (and send it to a few of my PowerPoint Challenged colleagues...
In the two minute video below Kawasaki shares his advice for delivering an effective presentation. In the video he is speaking to a tech/ business audience, but 98% of what he says applies to any audience.
Now we're getting to the point where an entire education (K-PhD) can be stored on one device. Don't forget to backup your life!
"During Display Taiwan, Transcend and Taiwan's ITRI displayed a finger-long USB stick that reportedly offers 2 TB of storage. That's no typo. It somehow holds up to 2 terabytes worth of information. So far neither company has released anything official in regards to specs or a simple introduction, nor does the high-capacity USB 3.0 stick appear on Display Taiwan's website. But as seen in the video below, the 'Thin Card' thumb drive is even smaller than a thumb, measuring slightly thicker than a penny. It offers a minimum of 16 GB and a maximum of 2 TB."
This is not a trivial Infographic – there are many layers. I would like to see it a bit less cartoonish but perhaps that is appropriate for my students.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
One of the challenges that every student faces at one time or another is conducting focused and efficient research. The folks at the Kentucky Virtual Library know this and put together an interactive map of the research process for students. The map, titled How To Do Research, walks students through the research process from start to finish with every step along the way. One of the things about this map that school librarians will like is that it is not focused solely on web research. How To Do Research includes a good section about using library catalogs, books, and magazines.
Monday, August 29, 2011
A service for its ad customers?
"Eric Schmidt has revealed that Google+ is an identity service, and the 'social network' bit is just bait. Schmidt says 'G+ is completely optional,' not mentioning that Google has admitted that deleting a G+ account will seriously downgrade your other Google services. As others have noted, Somewhere, there are two kids in a garage building a company whose motto will be 'Don't be Google.'"
August 28, 2011
The PII Problem: Privacy and a New Concept of Personally Identifiable Information
The PII Problem: Privacy and a New Concept of Personally Identifiable Information (July 8, 2011). New York University Law Review, Vol. 86, 2011. Paul M. Schwartz and Daniel J. Solove.
Personally identifiable information (PII) is one of the most central concepts in information privacy regulation. The scope of privacy laws typically turns on whether PII is involved. The basic assumption behind the applicable laws is that if PII is not involved, then there can be no privacy harm. At the same time, there is no uniform definition of PII in information privacy law. Moreover, computer science has shown that in many circumstances non-PII can be linked to individuals, and that de-identified data can, in many circumstances, be re-identified. PII and non-PII are thus not immutable categories, and there is a risk that information deemed non-PII at one point in time can be transformed into PII at a later juncture. Due to the malleable nature of what constitutes PII, some commentators have even suggested that PII be abandoned as the means to define the boundaries of privacy law. In this Article, Professors Paul Schwartz and Daniel Solove argue that although the current approaches to PII are flawed, the concept of PII should not be abandoned. They develop a new approach called “PII 2.0,” which accounts for PII’s malleability. Based upon a standard rather than a rule, PII 2.0 is based upon a continuum of risk of identification. PII 2.0 regulates information that relates to either an “identified” or “identifiable” individual, and it establishes different requirements for each category. To illustrate their theory, Schwartz and Solove use the example of regulating behavioral marketing to adults and children. They show how existing approaches to PII impede the effective regulation of behavioral marketing and how PII 2.0 would resolve these problems."
It's like eye-witnessing, but with augmentation. Police cameras in their cruisers and Red Light or Speeding cameras are just the reverse...
Even in a country and a world where copyright can be claimed as an excuse to prevent you from taking a photo of a giant sculpture in a public, tax-paid park, and openly recording visiting police on your own property can be construed as illegal wiretapping, it sometimes seems like the overreach of officialdom against people taking photos or shooting video knows no bounds. It's a special concern now that seemingly everyone over the age of 10 is carrying a camera that can take decent stills and HD video. It's refreshing, therefore, to read that a Federal Appeals Court has found unconstitutional the arrest of a Massachusetts lawyer who used his phone to video-record an arrest on the Boston Common. (Here's the ruling itself, as a PDF.) From the linked article, provided by reader schwit1: "In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the wiretapping statute under which Glik was arrested and the seizure of his phone violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights."
...but what if it's all a marketing ploy, like changing the Coca Cola formula?
"If Apple's looking for a seamless transition, advises the NYT's James B. Stewart, it definitely shouldn't look to Hewlett Packard. In the year after HP CEO Mark Hurd was told to hit-the-road-Jack, HP — led by new CEO Leo Apotheker — has embarked on a stunning shift in strategy that has left many baffled and resulted in HP's fall from Wall Street grace (its stock declined 49%). [Would the people who get huge stock price based bonuses do that to themselves? Bob] The apparent new focus on going head-to-head with SAP (Apotheker's former employer) and Oracle (Hurd's new employer) in enterprise software while ignoring the company's traditional strengths, said a software exec, is 'as if Alan Mulally left Boeing to join Ford as CEO, and announced six months later that Ford would be making airplanes.' Former HP Director Tom Perkins said, 'I didn't know there was such a thing as corporate suicide, but now we know that there is.'"
How about that! My extensive reading of SciFi has made me an IP resource!
Sci-fi tech as prior art: Tablets are just the start
Samsung's latest salvo against Apple and its attempts at barring the company from selling its line of Galaxy phones and tablets in the U.S. involved a bold trick earlier this week: saying Apple's iPad design patent should be tossed on the grounds that others have gotten there first.
The proof for that claim? Science fiction, of course.
Samsung last week cited Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey" wherein two of the astronauts watch video on two separate tablet devices while eating a meal. In its brief, Samsung says those tablets share design similarities with the tablet depicted in a granted Apple design patent, and the patent should therefore be tossed from Apple's effort.
That very idea opens up a wealth of other gadgets to scrutiny of "what came first?" Without further ado: a handful of gadgets that could be targeted for trailing their fictional media counterparts.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
One of those slow news days. Perhaps everyone is filling sandbags before the hurricane hits?
Another confusing case. It's illegal, but if you have good intentions you will be acquitted?
When can you eavesdrop on police? Chicago case exposes legal gray area.
A Chicago woman was acquitted Wednesday of felony eavesdropping charges for recording two police officers on her BlackBerry phone without their consent.
The case points to a legal gray area, in which the recording was clearly against state law, but a jury acquitted Tiawanda Moore because it felt she was trying to expose wrongdoing within the department. The two internal affairs investigators were allegedly trying to pressure her to drop a complaint she had filed against a Chicago police officer who she said had fondled her and given her his personal phone number after he responded to a domestic disturbance call in her home.