The IT infrastructure office at the Department of Health and Human Services has some serious security problems. This after the office received a less than satisfactory security report card from the Office of Inspector General this week.
After reviewing the security controls at HHS’ Office of Information Technology Infrastructure and Operations, or ITIO, OIG officials found significant security deficiencies in several areas that could impact data security at multiple divisions of HHS.
- Gary Davis’ tips on how to protect yourself from phishing scams: https://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/phishing-quiz-results
I recently attended a talk on the topic of intellectual privacy by Neil M. Richards, Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, and author of the recently published book, Intellectual Privacy: Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press). The underlying message of his talk was bracing and cautionary. Privacy breaches, unethical hacking, and other invasions of data privacy so often lead to the establishment of guardrails and restrictions that limit our ability to experience greater convenience, enjoy more personalized consumer experiences, benefit from greater customer self-service, or learn from data that we now have access to. We don’t want to surrender our freedoms. We want the freedom to do with “our data” whatever we damn well please. Our intentions are good — upward and onward for the greater benefit of mankind, or for users of the next personalized mobile application.
On Monday, Washington state passed a new law requiring police to get a warrant before they use cell-site simulator tracking devices, known commonly as Stingrays. The devices have been widely deployed by law enforcement groups throughout the country but kept largely secret thanks to non-disclosure agreements and parallel construction techniques. The new Washington state law will be one of the most aggressive anti-tracking measures in the nation, although Virginia and Minnesota have adopted similar measures. It will also have an immediate effect on the Tacoma Police Department, which has been using a Stingray device in 2008.
The Justice Department on Tuesday withdrew its appeal of a lower court’s December ruling that said it was illegal for police to attach a webcam to a utility pole and spy on a suspected drug dealer’s house in rural Washington state for six weeks.
The government did not comment on its decision to drop the appeal in a brief filing to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.