Monday, December 24, 2012

The question is, what will the computer do with email that it flags as potentially terrorist or mentally ill gun nut or music pirate or Libertarian or … Otherwise, I kinda agree with the article.
Article: Can a Computer Intercept Your Email?
December 23, 2012 by Dissent
Bruce E. Boyden has an article in Cardozo Law Review (Vol. 34, No. 2). Here’s the abstract:
In recent years, it has become feasible for computers to rapidly scan the contents of large amounts of communications traffic to identify certain characteristics of those messages: that they are spam, contain malware, discuss various products or services, are written in a particular dialect, contain copyright-infringing files, or discuss symptoms of particular diseases. There are a wide variety of potential uses for this technology, such as research, filtering, or advertising. But the legal status of automated processing, if it is done without advance consent, is unclear. Where it results in the disclosure of the contents of a message to others, that clearly violates the federal law governing communications privacy, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). But what if no record of the contents of the communication is ever made? Does it violate communications privacy simply to have a computer scan emails?
I argue that automated processing that leaves no record of the contents of a communication does not violate the ECPA, because it does not “intercept” that communication within the meaning of the Act. The history, purpose, and judicial interpretation of the ECPA all support this reading: interception requires at least the potential for human awareness of the contents. Furthermore, this is not simply an accident of drafting or an omission due to the limited foresight of legislators. Under most theories of privacy, automated processing does not harm privacy. Automated processing may in some cases lead to harm, but those harms are not, in fact, privacy harms, and should be analyzed instead under other legal regimes better adapted to dealing with such issues.

This is news?
The NSA was originally supposed to handle foreign intelligence, and leave the domestic spying to other agencies, but Presto Vivace writes with this bit from CNET:
"'The National Security Agency's Perfect Citizen program hunts for vulnerabilities in 'large-scale' utilities, including power grid and gas pipeline controllers, new documents from EPIC show.' 'Perfect Citizen?' Who thinks up these names?"
"The program is scheduled to continue through at least September 2014," says the article.
[From the Cnet article:
One job description, for a senior penetration tester, says the position will "identify and demonstrate vulnerabilities," and requires experience using security-related utilities such as Nmap, Tenable's Nessus, Libnet, and Netcat. Raytheon is required not to disclose that this work is being done for the NSA. [Interesting list of tools. Same ones we teach our Ethical Hackers. Bob]

So there must be a business here somewhere...
Get Ready For The Rise Of Personal Drones
Drones can be used for more than just war.
Already, companies like FedEx are counting the days until drones are admitted to standard US airspace.
FedEx wants to be able to use drones to transport packages, rather than having to rely on passenger planes.
… Meanwhile, there's a growing community of amateurs who build and fly their own drones. The drones typically have two-foot long wings and weigh about two pounds.
… Since launch, DIY DRONES has grown to a community of 33,000 active members who fly drones that they have either been made themselves, or purchased from companies like 3D Robotics.
… Anderson also compares the rise of personal drones to the rise of the personal computer.
"[Computers are] in a class of technology that previously existed and then people started adding the word personal to it," Anderson says. "The user and the new class of users are what revolutionized the industry, not the computer itself. Democratization of technology is not about technology, it's about who uses it."

Clear and simple. Who wrote these?
December 23, 2012
UK - Interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media
Interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media, Issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions on December 19, 2012
  • "These guidelines set out the approach that prosecutors should take when making decisions in relation to cases where it is alleged that criminal offences have been committed by the sending of a communication via social media. The guidelines are designed to give clear advice to prosecutors who have been asked either for a charging decision or for early advice to the police, as well as in reviewing those cases which have been charged by the police. Adherence to these guidelines will ensure that there is a consistency of approach across the CPS."

Ask yourself how many your local school is implementing.
A new infographic sheds light on six of the biggest pieces of emerging technology you should know about. From cloud computing to personal learning environments, there’s a lot to know and the future is bright.

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