Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tomorrow is the Privacy Foundation's May Seminar.

Perfect for the heated election in November. Induce a bit of overheating, toss out all the votes in precincts you are likely to lose...
"Tests of a number of electronic voting machines that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of votes in some South Bronx voting precincts to go uncounted. WNYC first reported on the issue in December 2011, when it was found that tens of thousands of votes in the 2010 elections went uncounted because electronic voting machines counted more than one vote in a race. [Probably not what they meant to say... Bob] A review by the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S found that these 'over votes,' as they’re called, were due to a machine error. In the report issued by ES&S, when the machine used in the South Bronx overheated, ballots run during a test began coming back with errors."

This must be one of those North Carolina articles originally written in an obscure Martian language and then mis-translated into English.
UNC-Charlotte breach affects 350,000
May 9, 2012 by admin
Remember that breach that the University of North Carolina at Charlotte disclosed back in February? Well, they’ve finally released some details and it’s a doozy. Chris Dyches reports:
An investigation into the incident shows that financial account numbers and approximately 350,000 social security numbers were included among the exposed data.
The exposure has been remediated, [Perhaps they mean to say that the security hole has been fixed? The exposure is still there... Bob] officials say, and the University is acting to alert people who may have been affected by this exposure.
Due to a system misconfiguration and incorrect access settings, a large amount of electronic data hosted by the University was accessible from the Internet.
There were two exposure issues, one affecting general university systems over a period of approximately three months, and another affecting the University’s College of Engineering systems over a period exceeding a decade. [“No one was looking” is more likely than “We never noticed” Bob]
Read more on WBTV.
Remember when UNC-Chapel Hill tried to fire a professor whose mammography research database was hacked? They demoted her instead, but to a lot of people, their response seemed harsh and inappropriate. Now we have two data breaches at UNC-Charlotte, one of which went undetected for over a decade, and these breaches affected more SSN than the mammography incident. So what will UNC do now? [Something unprecedented Bob]
And what, if anything, will the U.S. Dept of Education do in response to these breaches?

Surveillance tools for the masses?
KLIK, The Face-Detecting iPhone App, Heads Into Production
KLIK, the real-time, facial recognition iPhone camera app from, has released its official 1.0 version today. (The previous version, which debuted in January, was a beta). The production version of the app includes significantly enhanced recognition capabilities as well as – you guessed it! – photo filters.
… The app lets you take a picture of your friends, which it automatically recognizes, using Facebook as its photo-sourcing database. Of course, that means if your friends aren’t active Facebook users, it will have more trouble ID’ing them – but you’ve got to start somewhere.
… KLIK only recognizes faces’ belonging to your friends [Get to work, Ethical Hackers! Bob]

Wouldn't it be better if the Senators just read the reports instead of calling a bunch of people together to tell them what it says?
Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Privacy Reports
May 9, 2012 by Dissent
Dan Kahn of Covington & Burling has a concise recap of a Senate hearing today on privacy:
Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing to seek the views of the Federal Trade Commission and the Administration on privacy issues. Discussion at the hearing, entitled “The Need for Privacy Protections: Perspectives from the Administration and the Federal Trade Commission,” focused in significant part on the privacy reports recently released by the FTC and the Administration.
Read more about the hearing on InsidePrivacy. Of concern, the new FTC chair does not seem to be in step with the privacy community. As Kahn notes:
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, who was not with the FTC at the time of the release of its privacy report, commended the FTC’s enforcement record. She also praised the FTC report’s “privacy by design” principle and stated her support for data security legislation. She expressed concern, however, that the report went too far in moving away from a tangible harm-based approach. She also stated that if consumers are presented with a clear choice prior to information collection, it can be assumed that they will exercise that choice in an informed way.
“Assumed?” Obviously, she never saw “The Odd Couple” and what became one of the greatest and classic courtroom scenes of all time:

Yet another privacy paper...
Stanford Law Review Online: How the War on Drugs Distorts Privacy Law
May 10, 2012 by Dissent
The Stanford Law Review Online has just published an Essay by Jane Yakowitz Bambauer entitled How the War on Drugs Distorts Privacy Law. Professor Yakowitz analyzes the opportunity the Supreme Court has to rewrite certain privacy standards in Florida v. Jardines:
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon determine whether a trained narcotics dog’s sniff at the front door of a home constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. The case, Florida v. Jardines, has privacy scholars abuzz because it presents two possible shifts in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. First, the Court might expand the physical spaces rationale from Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in United States v. Jones. A favorable outcome for Mr. Jardines could reinforce that the home is a formidable privacy fortress, protecting all information from government detection unless that information is visible to the human eye.
Alternatively, and more sensibly, the Court may choose to revisit its previous dog sniff cases, United States v. Place and Illinois v. Caballes. This precedent has shielded dog sniffs from constitutional scrutiny by finding that sniffs of luggage and a car, respectively, did not constitute searches. Their logic is straightforward: since a sniff “discloses only the presence or absence of narcotics, a contraband item,” a search incident to a dog’s alert cannot offend reasonable expectations of privacy. Of course, the logical flaw is equally obvious: police dogs often alert when drugs are not present, resulting in unnecessary suspicionless searches.
Read the full article, How the War on Drugs Distorts Privacy Law by Jane Yakowitz Bambauer, at the Stanford Law Review Online.

Here's that report I couldn't locate yesterday...
May 09, 2012
Google - First Amendment Protection for Search Engine Results
Google - First Amendment Protection for Search Engine Results, April 20, 2012. Eugene Volokh and Donald M. Falk [This White Paper was commissioned by Google, but the views within it should not necessarily be ascribed to Google.]
  • " engines produce and deliver their speech through a different technology than that traditionally used for newspapers and books. The information has become much easier for readers to access, much more customized to the user’s interests, and much easier for readers to act on. The speech is thus now even more valuable to customers than it was before. But the freedom to distribute, select, and arrange such speech remains the same."

Of course, if someone points a loaded phone at the police, they may just shoot.
Illinois Barred From Enforcing Police Eavesdropping Law
Citing First Amendment issues, a federal appeals court is barring Illinois from enforcing a law prohibiting the audio-recording of police officers.
The decision Tuesday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes two weeks ahead of a NATO summit in Chicago that is likely to draw throngs of protesters May 20-21.
The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the 1961 eavesdropping law that makes it a felony to audio-record a conversation unless everybody in that conversation consents. Violators faced a maximum 15-year prison term if a police officer is recorded.
“The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests,” the Chicago-based appeals court wrote (.pdf).
… “In order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents — especially the police,” Harvey Grossman, the ACLU’s legal director in Illinois, said in a statement. “The advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish.”

(Related) How about “Them” surveilling “Us”
May 09, 2012
EPIC Stresses Need For Privacy Evaluation in Drone Testing
"In comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), EPIC emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in drone operations, and recommended the development of privacy protections before drones are more widely deployed in the US. The FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking set out proposed criteria for drone testing. Congress has tasked the FAA with facilitating the use of drones in the domestic airspace. February, EPIC, joined by a coalition of more than 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, petitioned the FAA to conduct a rulemaking on the privacy implications of domestic drone use. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones."

If you don't know how to deal with it, you better find out quick. (Should we tell them that it is also difficult to know where cash has been?)
FBI Fears Bitcoin’s Popularity with Criminals
The FBI sees the anonymous Bitcoin payment network as an alarming haven for money laundering and other criminal activity — including as a tool for hackers to rip off fellow Bitcoin users.
That’s according to a new FBI internal report that leaked to the internet this week, which expresses concern about the difficulty of tracking the identify of anonymous Bitcoin users, while also unintentionally providing tips for Bitcoin users to remain more anonymous.
The report titled “Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit Activity,” (.pdf) was published April 24 and is marked For Official Use Only (not actually classified), but was leaked to the internet on Wednesday.

Add these to you “complete e-library”
Yer A Kindle, Harry! Amazon/Pottermore Offer All 7 HP Books In Kindle Lending Library
Potter fans will now be able to download all seven Harry Potter books from Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library, a service offered free for Amazon Prime users.

Every profession has its dinosaurs...
I still often hear teachers say that they don't allow students to use Wikipedia for anything. That's too bad because Wikipedia articles, particularly the sources cited at the end of the pages, can be good places for students to start researching a topic. The reason why some teachers don't allow their students to use Wikipedia for anything is due to a lack of understanding of how Wikipedia works. Common Craft has a good explanation of how it works. You can watch the video here or as embedded below.

Has potential for answering student questions more efficiently than a long email. Perhaps for podcasting the Privacy Seminars too.
Spreaker is a service for creating podcasts and broadcasting them to the world as live or recorded productions. If you want to simultaneously broadcast live and record your podcast for re-release later, you can do that too. The Spreaker virtual mixing board provides tools for mixing in buffer music and editing voices. The video below provides a brief introduction to Spreaker.
… Spreaker has free Android and iOS apps that your students can use to record too.

For my artsie-fartsie, old school, or 'anything but homework' students... (Amazing how often I'm seeing Kickstarter)
Etcher Turns Your iPad Into an Etch A Sketch
Etcher is a Kickstarter project that has the blessing of Ohio Arts, the manufacturer of the original Etch a Sketch. If the Kickstarter effort takes root, Krupnik & Associates may even work with Ohio Arts on product development.

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