Sunday, March 13, 2016
The inability to read encrypted communications does not mean you have no information. Who talks to who? Where are they located? How often do they talk? Who starts the communication? Is the message long (detailed plans) or short (execute!)? I know the government knows all of this, they taught me.
WASHINGTON — While the Justice Department wages a public fight with Apple over access to a locked iPhone, government officials are privately debating how to resolve a prolonged standoff with another technology company, WhatsApp, over access to its popular instant messaging application, officials and others involved in the case said.
No decision has been made, but a court fight with WhatsApp, the world’s largest mobile messaging service, would open a new front in the Obama administration’s dispute with Silicon Valley over encryption, security and privacy.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, allows customers to send messages and make phone calls over the Internet. In the last year, the company has been adding encryption to those conversations, making it impossible for the Justice Department to read or eavesdrop, even with a judge’s wiretap order.
As recently as this past week, officials said, the Justice Department was discussing how to proceed in a continuing criminal investigation in which a federal judge had approved a wiretap, but investigators were stymied by WhatsApp’s encryption.
… Some investigators view the WhatsApp issue as even more significant than the one over locked phones because it goes to the heart of the future of wiretapping. They say the Justice Department should ask a judge to force WhatsApp to help the government get information that has been encrypted. Others are reluctant to escalate the dispute, particularly with senators saying they will soon introduce legislation to help the government get data in a format it can read.
… Businesses, customers and the United States government also rely on strong encryption to help protect information from hackers, identity thieves and foreign cyberattacks. That is why, in 2013, a White House report said the government should “not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial encryption.”
No doubt the pendulum will swing too far the other way now.
Doctor Wanted Germanwings Co-Pilot to Be Hospitalized
Two weeks before a Germanwings co-pilot intentionally crashed a jet into the French Alps in March 2015, a doctor recommended psychiatric hospitalization but didn’t alert authorities out of fear of breaching Germany’s strict privacy laws, according to a draft of the final report by air-safety investigators.
Investigators are expected to recommend that such privacy laws both in Germany and across Europe need to be reassessed by aviation authorities in cases where a “threat to public safety” should trump medical confidentiality.
Definitely something to start my next Data Management class with. Interesting article. Not sure I agree or even understand it, but it is interesting.
“The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism”
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Mar 12, 2016
von Shoshana Zuboff, March 3, 2016: “Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?… Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?”
[From the article:
It is an unprecedented market form that roots and flourishes in lawless space.
… Cyberspace was its birthplace because, as Google/Alphabet Chairperson Eric Schmidt and his coauthor, Jared Cohen, celebrate on the very first page of their book about the digital age, “the online world is not truly bound by terrestrial laws…it’s the world’s largest ungoverned space.”
For my students who read.
Literature Map Helps You Find Authors You Might Like
Finding books that kids will like can be a difficult task. Literature Map is a tool that might make that process easier. Literature Map provides a web of authors you might like based on authors that you already enjoy reading. To use Literature Map just type an author's name into the search box and webbed list of authors will be displayed. The authors' names closest to the author whose name you entered are the authors whose work you're most likely to enjoy.
Another resource for my Math students.
Underground Mathematics – University of Cambridge
From the University of Cambridge comes Underground Mathematics which started in 2012 as the Cambridge Mathematics Education Project (CMEP). The site provides a library of rich resources for age 16+ students with the aim of “Enabling all students to explore the connections that underpin mathematics”. Underground Mathematics is being developed by the University of Cambridge, funded by a grant from the UK Department for Education. The resources are free for all users; you can read more about the team and their philosophy here.