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Pursuing adoption of free and open source software in governments

By Andy Oram
March 25, 2014

Free and open source software creates a natural — and even necessary — fit with government. I joined a panel this past weekend at the Free Software Foundation conference LibrePlanet on this topic and have covered it previously in a …

Four short links: 6 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 6, 2014

Repo Surveillance Network — An automated reader attached to the spotter car takes a picture of every ­license plate it passes and sends it to a company in Texas that already has more than 1.8 billion plate scans from vehicles …

Big data and privacy: an uneasy face-off for government to face

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2014

Thrust into controversy by Edward Snowden’s first revelations last year, President Obama belatedly welcomed a “conversation” about privacy. As cynical as you may feel about US spying, that conversation with the federal government has now begun. In particular, the first …

The technical aspects of privacy

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2014

Thrust into controversy by Edward Snowden’s first revelations last year, President Obama belatedly welcomed a “conversation” about privacy. As cynical as you may feel about US spying, that conversation with the federal government has now begun. In particular, the first …

How did we end up with a centralized Internet for the NSA to mine?

By Andy Oram
January 8, 2014

I’m sure it was a Wired editor, and not the author Steven Levy, who assigned the title “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet” to yesterday’s fine article about the pressures on large social networking sites. Whoever chose the title, …

Four short links: 9 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 9, 2013

Reform Government Surveillance — hard not to view this as a demarcation dispute. “Ruthlessly collecting every detail of online behaviour is something we do clandestinely for advertising purposes, it shouldn’t be corrupted because of your obsession over national security!” Brian …

Security After the Death of Trust

By Simon St. Laurent
October 2, 2013

Security has to reboot. What has passed for strong security until now is going to be considered only casual security going forward. As I put it last week, the damage that has become visible over the past few months means …

Strata Week: Why we should care about what the NSA may or may not be doing

By Jenn Webb
June 14, 2013

It’s a question of power, not privacy — and what is the NSA really doing? In the wake of the leaked NSA data-collection programs, the Pew Research Center conducted a national survey to measure American’s response. The survey found that …

Strata Week: Wireless body area networks bring humans into the Internet of Things

By Jenn Webb
June 7, 2013

Collaborative sensor networks of humans, and your body may be the next two-factor authenticator There has been much coverage recently of the Internet of Things, connecting everything from washers and dryers to thermostats to cars to the Internet. Wearable sensors …

Strata Week: Court case sheds light on FBI stingray surveillance

By Jenn Webb
April 12, 2013

FBI and IRS push privacy envelope Details about how the FBI uses stingray or IMSI-catcher technology — and how much more intrusive it is than previously known — have come to light in a tax fraud case against accused identity …

Strata Week: The social graph that isn't

Strata Week: The social graph that isn't
By Audrey Watters
November 10, 2011

In this week's data news, Pinboard founder Maciej Ceglowski challenges the notion of a "social graph," Cloudera and Kaggle raise money for big data, and the Supreme Court looks at GPS and privacy issues.

Strata Week: The social graph that isn't

By Audrey Watters
November 10, 2011

In this week's data news, Pinboard founder Maciej Ceglowski challenges the notion of a "social graph," Cloudera and Kaggle raise money for big data, and the Supreme Court looks at GPS and privacy issues.

Strata Week: The social graph that isn't

Strata Week: The social graph that isn't
By Audrey Watters
November 10, 2011

In this week's data news, Pinboard founder Maciej Ceglowski challenges the notion of a "social graph," Cloudera and Kaggle raise money for big data, and the Supreme Court looks at GPS and privacy issues.

Open Media Boston forum examines revolution and Internet use in Middle East

By Andy Oram
April 1, 2011

I came away convinced that Internet sites — Facebook in particular — were crucial to the spread of the revolutions.

Computers, Freedom, and Privacy enters 21st year at a moment of hot debate

By Andy Oram
March 28, 2011

Lillie Coney of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Jules Polonetsky of the Future of Privacy Forum, cochairs of CFP this year, talk about what makes the conference unique and how it will illuminate the pressing issues of Twitter revolutions (or whatever role the Internet may play), surveillance and tracking, security of personal health data, and more.

Susan Landau explores Internet security and the attribution problem

By Andy Oram
November 29, 2010

Landau, a noted privacy advocate, is seeking new technologies and new policies to identify people on the Internet without onerous effects on privacy.

Four short links: 12 May 2010

By Nat Torkington
May 12, 2010

The Ten Commandments of Rock and Roll (BoingBoing) -- ten rules that should be posted in every workplace as a guide to how to fail poisonously. Snapscouts -- rather creepy sousveillance site. It's up to you to keep America safe! If you see something suspicious, Snap it! If you see someone who doesn't belong, Snap it! Not sure if...

Being online: Forged identities and non-identities

By Andy Oram
December 26, 2009

Creating a fake identity used to be more popular than it is now, but some people have still hidden who they are when going online. This section of the identity article covers some ways they do it.

Being online: Your identity to advertisers--it's not all about you

By Andy Oram
December 22, 2009

Advertisers collect information on us for two reasons: to target us as individuals and to place us in collective categories of consumers. This section of the identity article coves a few of their techniques.

Judith Krug: heroine of libraries, Internet, PATRIOT Act resistance

By Andy Oram
April 19, 2009

Consider giving a donation to your local public library this week in honor of Judith Krug, whose death at the age of 69 was announced this morning. Krug defended libraries and the Internet from censorship, and advised librarians how to protect their patrons from government spying on their reading habits.

A code of ethics from Brian McConnell concerning employee rights

By Andy Oram
September 4, 2008

My colleague Brian McConnell has a story about employer abuse guaranteed to make you scared and angry. But finding something constructive and beneficial in an incident that was personally devastating, he offers a Code of Ethics concerning workplace privacy that seems to me simple, fair, and both technically and legally capable of being implemented. A call for privacy is particularly well-timed in this election season, when the Republicans publicly spat on the Bill of Rights at least three times last night.


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