Monday, September 02, 2013

In the highly polarized Washington of today, asking Congress to take a stand is smart and sad at the same time. Smart because failure to support the President will require explaining why we should allow more gassing of civilians. Sad because apparently vacation time is more important than resolving the issue.
Congressional Authorizations of War: A Brief History
Via The Atlantic: All the Previous Declarations of War – Congress has formally declared war only 11 times in U.S. history, and authorized the use of military force 11 times. “As we head into a period of vigorous congressional debate over whether to authorize the use of force against Syria, it’s instructive to look back at America’s history of congressional war declarations. The Congressional Research Service put together a great mini-history in 2011, “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications,” by Jennifer Elsea and Richard Grimmett, which is worth a read at this juncture.”

I bet those NETWARCOM guys have been doing this for years.
Richard Chirgwin reports:
It’s easier to identify TOR users than they believe, according to research published by a group of researchers from Georgetown University and the US Naval Research Laboratory (USNRL).
Their paper, Users Get Routed: Traffic Correlation on Tor by Realistic Adversaries, is to be presented in November at November’s Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in Berlin. While it’s been published at the personal page of lead author Aaron Johnson of the NRL, it remained under the radar until someone posted a copy to Cryptome.
Read more on The Register.

For my Computer Security students.
Phishing Activity Trends Report
“The APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report [published July 23, 2013] analyzes phishing attacks reported to the APWG by its member companies, its Global Research Partners, through the organization’s website, and by e-mail submissions to APWG also measures the evolution, proliferation , and propagation of crimeware by drawing from the research of our member companies. The APWG also tracks the number of unique phishing websites. This is now determined by the unique base URLs of the phishing sites. (A single phishing site may be advertised as thousands of customized URLS, all leading to basically the same attack destination.) APWG additionally tracks crimeware instances (unique software applications as determined by MD5 hash of the crimeware sample), as well as unique sites that are distributing crimeware (typically via browser drive-by exploits). The APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report also includes statistics on rogue anti-virus software, desktop infection rates, and related topics.”

I doubt it is an error in translation. Facebook is all about your face!
Loek Essers reports:
A German privacy regulator is astonished that Facebook has added facial recognition to a proposed new privacy policy it published on Thursday.
“It is astonishing to find the facial recognition again in the new proposed privacy policy that Facebook published yesterday. We therefore have directly tried to contact officials from Facebook to find out if there is really a change in their data protection policy or if it is just a mistake of translation,” Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar said in an email on Friday.
Read more on PC World.

We know that, but it never hurts to remind the clueless... (See Big Data below)
Devin Coldewey reports:
Everywhere you go, your phone is sending out signals that can be assembled to form a picture of your movements. You can’t turn them off, and companies have begun to pick them up, often without any indication that they’re doing so. As this trend develops, smartphones could spell the end of real-world privacy.
“It’ll get worse before it gets better,” mobile industry expert Chetan Sharma told NBC News. “Unless leaders step up and work on a framework that works for all consumers, it’s going keep getting worse and worse until it is unbearable.”
Read more on NBC News.

(Related) ...and your pulse rate, blood pressure, etc.
Twenty of the most popular health apps transmit information – usually without user knowledge – to a web of nearly 70 companies, according to research conducted by Evidon for Financial Times. Read more here (sub. required).

Somehow I think this is going to be difficult to follow.
UK Surveillance camera code of practice comes into force
“The code sets out guidelines for CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems to ensure their use is open and proportionate and that they are able to capture quality images that give police a better chance to catch criminals and cut crime. It follows Andrew Rennison’s appointment as the first surveillance camera commissioner last year. The commissioner will encourage all operators to comply with the code and report back to parliament with any concerns. Crucial tools - The principle of surveillance by consent is at the heart of the new legislation – meaning the public can be confident cameras are not there to spy on them but to protect them.” August 12, 2013.

How to avoid controversy? Pass the buck!
Joseph Goedert reports:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a final rule setting standards for health plans operating in state health insurance exchanges, has dropped a proposed requirement that privacy and security incidents be reported within one hour of discovery, while at the same time noting it is still required by other regulations.
Read more on HealthData Management.
[From the article:
CMS noted that many commenters to the proposed rule issued in June found the one-hour provision to be not practical or workable. But, while dropping the provision, what CMS decided to do in the final rule may not be much of a change. CMS apparently decided the provision wasn’t needed because it’s already in existing legal agreements.

Data is gathered on a “We can, therefore we must” basis, but there is still a “Now what can we do with it” question to be answered.
Accenture – Data Monetization in the Age of Big Data
Monetizing Big Data is on the mobile operators’ agenda. Mobile operators want to know how to harness the potential of Big Data. They are talking about when and how to sort, analyze and manipulate the data to put it to use. In today’s climate of convergence, in which new technologies and networks are blurring industry lines, the mobile phone has become the hub of insight into consumer behavior. The volume and richness of the data now uniquely accessible to mobile operators offers a veritable gold mine of insights and applications. And even as mobile phones have become the primary device through which consumers get their information; those very same devices have begun to facilitate new types of information, including extremely precise, real-time, geolocation information.”

Something for my multi-platform students.
Manage eBooks and webtexts in one place. Read ePubs and webtexts in one reader. Import RSS feeds. Collaborate, discover, and share. Share your highlights and comments. See what your friends are reading. Create an archive of your read knowledge. Organize and archive all your texts. Find your thoughts and favorite passages quickly.

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