Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Data Privacy Day!

Interesting concept. Can they execute?
In response to a spate of cyber attacks targeting retailers nationwide, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced on Monday that it would help its members improve their cyber defenses by launching a new initiative to address cyber threats and promote further safeguards to protect payment data.
The initiative is organized around three major components.
1. Strengthening Overall Cybersecurity:
2. Improving Payments Security:
Eliminate the Mag-Stripe:
3. Addressing Consumer Privacy:

You may need to physically seize a server, is that approval to logically seize all of the email on that server? If clients were after security, are they “guilty by association?” Do you have “no expectation of privacy” on “secure email services?” Would this be similar to seizing one of those private “post office box” services because one client was shipping drugs, and then looking at everyone's mail?
Kevin Poulsen reports:
While investigating a hosting company known for sheltering child porn last year the FBI incidentally seized the entire e-mail database of a popular anonymous webmail service called TorMail.
Now the FBI is tapping that vast trove of e-mail in unrelated investigations.
The bureau’s data windfall, seized from a company called Freedom Hosting, surfaced in court papers last week when prosecutors indicted a Florida man for allegedly selling counterfeit credit cards online.
Read more on Threat Level.

So if the government made 1845 requests, companies could say “less than 2000.” Or they could say, “More than 1000 and less than 1845 thousand.” How does the exact number aid or comfort an enemy?
US Allows Tech Giants to Reveal Spy Agency Demands
Facing a legal challenge and a furious public debate, Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the companies would now be allowed to disclose figures on consumer accounts requested.
Under the agreement filed with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the companies will be able to disclose the numbers, within ranges.
They will have an option to reveal within bands of 1,000 the numbers of "national security letters" and specific court orders. Another option will be to disclose, in bands of 250, all the national security requests, lumped together.
The reports will have a six-month lag time, so data for the second half of 2014 may be published in mid-2015, according to the agreement.

Perspective. Not what I would have guessed.
Homicide In The U.S. Known To Law Enforcement, 2011
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 27, 2014
Homicide In The U.S. Known To Law Enforcement, 2011. Alexia Cooper, Ph.D., Erica L. Smith. December 30, 2013. NCJ 243035
“Presents data on homicide trends from 1992 to 2011. The report describes homicide patterns and trends by age, sex, and race of the victim. It explores weapon use, with a focus on trends in firearm use and homicide trends by city size. It also includes special discussions of missing offender data and firearm use in nonfatal violent victimizations. The data are from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports, with summary data from Crime in the United States, for homicide data prior to 1980. Data on nonfatal victimizations are from BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey, 1993 to 1995 and 2008 to 2011. Highlights:
  • The U.S. homicide rate declined by nearly half (49%)
  • From 2002 to 2011, young adults ages 18 to 24 had the highest homicide rate of any age group and experienced the greatest rate decline (down 22%) over the 10-year period
  • The rate of homicides involving a firearm decreased by 49% from 1992 to 2011, while the percentage of homicide victims killed by a firearm (67%) remained stable.
  • Large cities of 100,000 or more residents experienced the largest decline (23%) in homicide rates

Perspective. That sounds like a lot until you realize that 815.3 million people flew in 2012. So that is 0.0002224 percent of passengers, or roughly 1 in every 449696. Don't get me started on how many standard deviations below average that would be... From their chart, Denver (the wild west) was lowest and Atlanta was highest.
1,813 People Tried to Bring Firearms Through TSA Checkpoints in 2013

Dilbert points out that it's not just technological ignorance that is bliss.

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