Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Redundantly defining “Everything” Perhaps it would be quicker to list the bits NSA doesn't bother with. Oh wait, they collect “Everything!!”
Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani report:
The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.
Read more on Washington Post.

(Related) We actually did mean “Everything” but if it will cost us votes, we'll pretend we didn't.
Government Responds to EPIC’s Supreme Court Challenge of NSA Telephone Record Program
“The Solicitor General has filed a response to EPIC’s challenge to the NSA’s telephone record collection program. In July, EPIC petitioned the Supreme Court to vacate the order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that requires Verizon to turn over all telephone records to the NSA. EPIC argued that the Intelligence Court exceeded its legal authority and could not compel a telephone company to disclose so much personal information unrelated to a foreign intelligence investigation. Legal scholars and former Members of Congress filed briefs in support of EPIC’s petition, including privacy and national security scholars, constitutional scholars, federal courts scholars, and members of the Church Committee. Congressman James Sensenbrenner, the primary author of the Patriot Act, has said that the telephone records collection program was never authorized by Section 215. For more information, see In re EPIC.”

Some background for the Big Data Privacy: Business & Government seminar on Friday, October 25, 2013 (shameless plug, I know) This article includes Abstracts.
Some recent articles on privacy and surveillance, available on SSRN, that you may want to add to your to-read list:

With DNA and a 3D Printer I can print a copy of the Playmate of the Month!
New on LLRX – DNA Evidence: Brave New World, Same Old Problems
Criminal law expert Ken Strutin guides us through the critical facets that comprise the backbone of investigative forensics in the 21st Century – the database. Ken states that of all information gathering techniques, genetic databanking has become the holy grail of prosecutions and the last resort for exonerations. It is both the cause of and solution to many problems in the administration of justice. Thus, DNA forensics highlights the longstanding tension between scientific understanding and legal reasoning. While DNA’s scientific reputation is very near to magic, its forensic applications are subject to the faults and limitations of every kind of evidence offered as proof in a court of law. Ken’s article collects research on the law and science of genetic evidence at the pre-conviction stage. It focuses on the role of DNA in identification, investigation and prosecution of crime, social and privacy issues, and to some degree exculpation or evidence of third party culpability.

Important when we're talking history but in most computer fields, a few months is as good as “Never.”
New university consortium service allows users to create citation links that will never break
Perma.cc is a service [Built and Run by Libraries], currently in beta, that allows users to create citation links that will never break. When a user creates a Perma.cc link, Perma.cc archives a copy of the referenced content, and generates a link to an unalterable hosted instance of the site. Regardless of what may happen to the original source, if the link is later published by a journal using the Perma.cc service, the archived version will always be available through the Perma.cc link. Readers who click on a Perma.cc link are taken to a page that lets them choose to go to the original site (which may have changed since the link was created) or see the archived copy of the site in its original state. Perma.cc is an online preservation service developed by the Harvard Law School Library in conjunction with university law libraries across the country and other organizations in the “forever” business. Why use Perma.cc: In a sample of several legal journals, approximately 70% of all links in citations published between 1999 and 2011 no longer point to the same material. Broken links in journal articles undermine the citation-based system of legal scholarship by obscuring the evidence underlying authors’ ideas. As Internet usage becomes more widespread and web citations in legal scholarship become more common, the problem of link rot will become increasingly important. Using Perma.cc ensures that material cited by authors will always be accessible to readers, preserving the foundation of legal scholarship online.”

When Mr. Zillman creates a list, he creates a VERY BIG list. And usually very useful.
New on LLRX – Education and Academic Resources on the Internet
Marcus P. Zillman’s guide links researchers to a wide range of reliable resources for all professions and skill levels. Marcus covers topics including: education, chemistry, economics, mathematics, philosophy, engineering, MBA and PhD/Dissertation/Thesis/Academic Writing resources, as well as increasingly popular MOOCS/Open Courseware (OCW) resources.

For my student minions in my Website class...
– when designing websites, it helps the designer to have placeholder texts which can be placed where the real text is going to go. Normally this text is called Lorum Ipsum. But now you can have Minions Ipsum, based on the upcoming movie, with the text coming from what the characters say. It’s Lorum Ipsum with a twist.

Something for the student Bike Club?
How to Make Your Own Dashcam For Your Car or Bike

I was thinking “Ethical Hacker Blog” but maybe we want to toss in a few Tweets before the data gets stale.
How to Write Tweets That Your Followers Will Want To Retweet

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