Thursday, December 26, 2013

For my Computer Security and Ethical Hacking students. You can see that keeping our “academic efforts” below a couple of million BPS won't even make their list.
Digital Attack Map displays global DDoS activity on any given day
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 25, 2013
“The Digital Attack Map is a live data visualization of DDoS attacks around the globe, built through a collaboration between Google Ideas and Arbor Networks. The tool surfaces anonymous attack traffic data to let users explore historic trends and find reports of outages happening on a given day.”

Another fine nit to pick. Sic 'em, lawyers!
Orin Kerr discusses an interesting question and ruling:
A recent case, United States v. Young (D. Utah, December 17, 2013) (Campbell, J.), touches on a novel, interesting, and quite important question of Fourth Amendment law: Assuming that e-mail account-holders generally have Fourth Amendment rights in the contents of their e-mails, as courts have so far held, when does a person’s Fourth Amendment rights in copies of sent e-mails lose Fourth Amendment protection?
To understand the question, consider Fourth Amendment rights in postal letters. Before a letter is sent, only the sender has rights in the letter; during transmission, both the sender and recipient have rights in the letter; and once the letter is delivered at its destination, the recipient maintains Fourth Amendment rights but the sender’s rights expires. But how do you apply this to an e-mail? By analogy, a sender loses Fourth Amendment rights in the copy of the e-mail that the recipient has downloaded to his personal computer or cell phone. But does the sender have Fourth Amendment rights in the copy of the e-mail stored on the recipient’s server after the recipient has accessed the copy? And does the sender have Fourth Amendment rights in the copy of the e-mail stored on the recipient’s server before the recipient has accessed the copy? At what point does the sender’s Fourth Amendment rights in the sent copy expire?
Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.

Hotels don't have to, but they can. All that suggests is that hotels could sell the data to anyone who wanted it. (Police, paparazzi, divorce lawyers) Perhaps asking police to pay for records would limit the gathering?
Joe Palazzola reports:
While federal courts in New York and Washington mull the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records, a panel of judges in California has answered another weighty Fourth Amendment question: Do we have an expectation of privacy in our hotel guest records?
No, we do not, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
But hotels do have an interest in keeping their records private, and so, in a gift to privacy advocates, the appeals court struck down a Los Angeles ordinance that required operators to produce information about their guests to police officers, upon request, without a warrant. The information included a guest’s name and address, the number of people in the party, vehicle information, arrival and checkout dates, rooms number and method of payment.
Read more on WSJ.
I’m glad we got something, but I still detest the third party doctrine that says we lose our expectation of privacy by turning over our information to a business. The business has a property interest/privacy expectation, but we don’t. That needs to change.

(Related) Not sure I agree that gathering “suspicious activity reports” is ever a bad idea. It's what happes after the tip that could be a waste of time.
New Report: Police Intelligence Gathering Lacks Standards, Threatens National Security and Civil Liberties
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 25, 2013
“Gaps in local-federal intelligence sharing systems jeopardize national security investigations and threaten Americans’ civil liberties, according to a new Brennan Center report. National Security and Local Police, the most comprehensive survey of counterterrorism policing since 9/11, finds that police are operating without adequate standards and oversight mechanisms, routinely amassing mountains of data – including personal information about law-abiding Americans – with little or no counterterrorism value. The Brennan Center’s findings are based on dozens of freedom of information requests, in addition to surveys and interviews with police departments, Joint Terrorism Task Forces, and data sharing centers nationwide. The Brennan Center’s new report shows how the lack of consistency and oversight in local counterterrorism programs directs resources away from traditional police work, violates individual liberties, undermines community-police relations, and causes important counterterrorism information to fall through the cracks. The Boston Marathon bombing exemplifies how critical information can get lost in a din of irrelevant data.”

My interest in how poorly the “Music Industry” (actually music labels) has incorporated technology is matched by how smart individual bands seem to be... Note that this makes no money for the music label, only for the band itself.
How Iron Maiden found its worst music pirates -- then went and played for them
… A U.K. company called Growth Intelligence aggregates data on U.K. companies to offer them a real time snapshot of how their company is performing. They capture everything from real-world data, like hiring of employees, to online indicators like email to online discussion.
Its stats were compiled for the London Stock Exchange "1000 Companies That Inspire Britain" list. On that list were six music firms that outperformed the music sector, one of them being Iron Maiden LLP, the holding company for the venerable heavy metal band.
… Enter another U.K. company called Musicmetric, which specializes in analytics for the music industry by capturing everything from social media discussion to traffic on the BitTorrent network. It then offers this aggregated information to artists to decide how they want to react. Musicmetric noticed Iron Maiden's placement and ran its own analytics for the band.
… In the case of Iron Maiden, still a top-drawing band in the U.S. and Europe after thirty years, it noted a surge in traffic in South America. Also, it saw that Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile were among the top 10 countries with the most Iron Maiden Twitter followers. There was also a huge amount of BitTorrent traffic in South America, particularly in Brazil.
Rather than send in the lawyers, Maiden sent itself in. The band has focused extensively on South American tours in recent years, one of which was filmed for the documentary "Flight 666." After all, fans can't download a concert or t-shirts. The result was massive sellouts. The São Paolo show alone grossed £1.58 million (US$2.58 million).
And in a positive cycle, Maiden's online fanbase grew. According to Musicmetric, in the 12 months ending May 31, 2012, the band attracted more than 3.1 million social media fans. After its Maiden England world tour, which ran from June 2012 to October 2013, Maiden's fan base grew by five million online fans, with a significant increase in popularity in South America.

A real exercise for my Computer Security students. If you really want to understand your “Internet footprint” this will help.
How To Make Yourself Disappear Online Completely
If you’re looking to drop from the Webosphere completely in an attempt to remain anonymous, we can help. The process is arduous and there are several key steps you’ll need to take along the way.

I need more time!
The Best Free Education Web Tools Of 2013
… Thankfully, the folks over at Edublogs have put together this great that is filled to the brim with the best education tools, and the best part is that they’re all free!

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