Monday, November 19, 2012

“We haven't done anything for so long that we're beginning to think we should worry about it.”
November 18, 2012
Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions
CRS - Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions. Eric A. Fischer, Senior Specialist in Science and Technology, November 9, 2012
  • "For more than a decade, various experts have expressed increasing concerns about cybersecurity, in light of the growing frequency, impact, and sophistication of attacks on information systems in the United States and abroad. Consensus has also been building that the current legislative framework for cybersecurity might need to be revised. The complex federal role in cybersecurity involves both securing federal systems and assisting in protecting nonfederal systems. Under current law, all federal agencies have cybersecurity responsibilities relating to their own systems, and many have sector-specific responsibilities for critical infrastructure. More than 50 statutes address various aspects of cybersecurity either directly or indirectly, but there is no overarching framework legislation in place. While revisions to most of those laws have been proposed over the past few years, no major cybersecurity legislation has been enacted since 2002."

I would worry that any Cyber Attack could be interpreted as an act of war. (So make sure you use someone else's system so the drones strike far away.)
"If your computer has been cracked and subverted for use by a botnet or other remote-access attack, is it legal for you to hack back into the system from which the attack originated? Over the last couple of years three legal scholars and bloggers have debated the question on The Volokh Conspiracy weblog. The linked webpage collects that debate into a coherent document. 'The debaters are:
  • Stewart Baker, a former official at the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson with a large cybersecurity practice. Stewart Baker makes the policy case for counterhacking and challenges the traditional view of what remedies are authorized by the language of the CFAA.
  • Orin Kerr, Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law at George Washington School of Law, a former computer crimes prosecutor, and one of the most respected computer crime scholars. Orin Kerr defends the traditional view of the Act against both Stewart Baker and Eugene Volokh.
  • Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, founder of the Volokh Conspiracy, and a sophisticated technology lawyer, presents a challenge grounded in common law understandings of trespass and tort.'"

Isn't that the “Smart” way today? It is how we write acceptable use policies so we can do anything we want at any time. (All modern legislation is based on Catch 22)
"The WSJ catches up with FIRE's Greg Lukianoff and his crusade to expose how universities have become the most authoritarian institutions in America. In Unlearning Liberty, Lukianoff notes that baby-boom Americans who remember the student protests of the 1960s tend to assume that U.S. colleges are still some of the freest places on earth. But that idealized university no longer exists. Today, university bureaucrats suppress debate with anti-harassment policies that function as de facto speech codes. FIRE maintains a database of such policies on its website. What they share, lifelong Democrat Lukianoff says, is a view of 'harassment' so broad and so removed from its legal definition that 'literally every student on campus is already guilty.'"

You would think the Record Labels (RIAA?) would have a “white list” to promote sales, but then they would have difficulty suing people who got their music from a site on the list. Perhaps the artists themselves would create a list showing how much they benefit from sales by legitimate sites. (I sense a business opportunity here!)
Ask Slashdot: Which International Online Music Stores Are Legit?
"I'm an American lover of music who is interested in buying legally music from other countries. How do I know which CD/online music stores are legit and actually benefit the artist? I'm very cost-conscious and prefer indie music anyway, but the types of international music for sale on Amazon/iTunes tends to be from the bigger labels. Suppose I wanted to buy music from Pakistan/Ukraine/China/Brazil/Chad. What's the best way to identify which labels or online stories are authorized to sell them? Perhaps all I need is a list of the best known online music stores for each region (, etc)."

Perspective Maybe you should be hiring the old geezers that are teaching the 20-somethings?
New submitter NewYork writes with this chestnut from an article about the role of age in the high-tech workplace: '
The shelf life of a software engineer today is no more than that of a cricketer — about 15 years,' says V R Ferose, MD of German software major SAP's India R&D Labs that has over 4,500 employees . 'The 20-year-old guys provide me more value than the 35-year-olds do.'"
The article features similar sentiments from Mukund Mohan, CEO of Microsoft's India-based startup initiative.

Innovative, so she must be a 20-something? More likely, some kid on her staff suggested she follow the President's example “This will make it look like we actually listen to voters!”
Congresswoman turns to Reddit for legislative advice
… California Rep. Zoe Lofgren is trying something different -- she's turning to Reddit.
Lofgren will be tuning into Reddit tomorrow to ask people for ideas on how to best protect Web sites accused of copyright infringement, according to political news site The Hill. The congresswoman is working on new legislation that would notify Web site owners blamed for copyright violations. The law would also halt the government from shutting down Web sites until the owners were able to defend themselves.

(Related) Meanwhile... “This will make it look like we actually listen to lobbyists!”
GOP flip-flops over supporting digital copyright reforms
In an bizarre policy flip-flop, a group of more than 160 House Republicans appeared to endorse extensive digital copyright reform on Friday, then disavowed its position the next day.
… Multiple news reports attributed the RSC's volte-face to pressure from lobbyists for the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, which have lobbied for decades to expand copyright law and were the principal forces behind SOPA and Protect IP. An MPAA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
The RIAA did not respond to questions about what conversations, if any, it had with the RSC.

What the future of education might be? Certification for those who do not have college degrees that they know something well enough to be useful. Organizations don't need to hire generalists if they can get someone with the specific skills they need at half the cost.
Degreed Wants To Jailbreak The College Degree
There’s a lot of buzz about how new education platforms are making it easy to acquire the kind of skills that, traditionally, have been reserved for the hallowed halls of higher education. These services, whether it be Khan Academy or one of the countless new MOOCs or MOOC hybrids, want to make it easy for students young and old not only to learn but also to get hired.
One new San Francisco startup, Degreed, is on a mission to “jailbreak the degree” and give learners a new form of academic credentialing. The startup’s free service essentially scores and validates a host of different learning inputs, whether they be from formal institutions, like the University of California, or informal platforms like Khan,, iTunesU, Coursera and so on.
The startup recently came into a $100K grant from the Gates and MacArthur Foundations after winning the “Digital Media and Learning Competition.” Now the company is looking to raise another $100K to help get off the ground and create what it hopes will be a “lifelong diploma-granting” platform
… As Smarterer, LearningJar, and the coming of next-gen collegiate experiences like Minerva, there’s plenty of need to develop new ways to measure how and what we’re learning so that employers and institutions can get a better understanding of what we actually know. There are more and more who are willing to expand their definition of learning and assessment, and if Degreed can really create what it hopes will be a “FICO score” for education, then there’s reason to think that these guys will be around for awhile.

More and more of my students have tablets, so this is timely.

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