Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I would be a lot more comfortable if this question didn't keep coming up.
Is It Possible to Wage a Just Cyberwar?
In the last week or so, cyberwarfare has made front-page news: the United States may have been behind the Stuxnet cyberattack on Iran; Iran may have suffered another digital attack with the Flame virus; and our military and industrial computer chips may or may not be compromised by backdoor switches implanted by China. These revelations suggest that the way we fight wars is changing, and so are the rules.
This digital evolution means that it is now less clear what kind of events should reasonably trigger a war, as well as how and when new technologies may be used. With cyberweapons, a war theoretically could be waged without casualties or political risk, [The belief that “political risk” is minimized or eliminated is freightening, since war occurs only between two polities... Bob] so their attractiveness is great -- maybe so irresistible that nations are tempted to use them before such aggression is justified. This essay identifies some important ethical issues that have been upturned by these emerging digital weapons, which in turn help explain why national cyberdefense is such a difficult policy area.

“It's like they are one of us!”
Google to Warn Possible Victims of State-Sponsored Spying
Two years ago, Google took the unusual move of going public with information that its network had been hacked and that the intruders were interested in getting into the Gmail accounts of political activists.
Now the company has taken the unprecedented move of providing online security warnings for users who might be the target of state-sponsored spying.
In a blog post published Tuesday, the company said that for a “subset” of users who the company believes may be the target of state-sponsored attacks, they would be providing a message, in black type on a pink background, that will appear at the top of the user’s account page.
… This raises the obvious question, of course–how Google can determine that the activity is state-sponsored. Google anticipated the question:
“We can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis—as well as victim reports—strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.”

Ubiquitous surveillance. Perspective. With the current US population at 311,591,917, that means there is surveillance on about 1 in 10,000... Sound like a reasonable number?
"U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith estimates in a new paper (PDF) that 30,000 secret surveillance orders are approved each year in U.S. courts. 'Though such orders have judicial oversight, few emerge from any sort of adversarial proceeding and many are never unsealed at all.' Smith writes, 'To put this figure in context, magistrate judges in one year generated a volume of secret electronic surveillance cases more than thirty times the annual number of FISA cases; in fact, this volume of ECPA cases is greater than the combined yearly total of all antitrust, employment discrimination, environmental, copyright, patent, trademark, and securities cases filed in federal court.' He also adds a warning: 'Lack of transparency in judicial proceedings has long been recognized as a threat to the rule of law and roundly condemned in ringing phrases by many Supreme Court opinions.'"

Ubiquitous surveillance. What the well dressed patrol officer is wearing this year.
Police Body-Worn Video Evidence Hits the Cloud
With body-worn video cameras only being used by little more than 6 percent of police nationwide, VIEVU is looking to make the technology more affordable and practical by storing video evidence in the cloud.
… Body-worn cameras, about the size of a pager that clips onto a lapel or belt, are said to be more effective than in-car cameras, providing a “‘police perspective’ and factual accuracy into critical incidents while dismissing erroneous ‘eye-witness’ accounts, and offers the only foil against the staggering monetary lawsuits brought against law enforcement agencies nationwide,” VIEVU said.
The company cites a study sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (PDF), which finds that in 93 percent of police-misconduct cases where video is available result in the officer’s exoneration, and half of complaints are immediately withdrawn when video evidence is used. It also said 94 percent of citizens support the use of video.

Soon we won't need Lawyers at all!
"It's not unusual for a freelance Web designer or developer to be burnt when a client refuses to pay up, citing one excuse or another. And what can you do about it? If a contract only amounts to a few thousand dollars, litigation to recover your fee can be far too expensive, and an increasingly vituperative exchange of emails is often not enough for client and contractor to come to agreement over who owes whom what. Into this gap steps A start-up founded by Peter-Jan Celis that aims to provide internet-based, legally binding arbitration services — a 'small claims court' for the internet — with a particular eye on settling the conflicts that arise over freelance development and Web design."

For those of us who occasionally need to be a Twit...
The Twitter website interface has undergone a number of changes since its inception, and some would argue that the current Twitter interface is all good and dandy.
But then there are others, like me, who don’t particularly enjoy using Twitter’s home interface. Whether it’s due to aesthetic reasons (it’s ugly!) or simply a matter of inconvenience (I have to keep that tab open!), you may want to look into a more standalone solution – a desktop Twitter client.
These free desktop Twitter clients will allow you to interact with all of Twitter’s goodness without having to pop open a new browser tab. These programs run in the background and continually update with new tweets and messages. And the best part is that you won’t have to pay a cent.
If you’re looking for Twitter clients for other platforms, check out these lists for Mac, Linux, and the iPad.

Websites for young loopy managers...
It doesn’t really matter how you got into IT management, you still need to know both how to manage well and how to lead a team of geeks.
As far as online entertainment goes, this means your ideal morning RSS feed should contain both management gems and important news in the world of IT.

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