Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’


Android App Aims to Allow Wiretap-Proof Cell Phone Calls « The Firewall –

In Links on 2010-05-27 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: , , , , , ,

On Tuesday, an independent hacker and security researcher who goes by the handle Moxie Marlinspike and his Pittsburgh-based startup Whisper Systems launched free public betas for two new privacy-focused programs on Googles Android mobile platform: RedPhone, a voice over Internet protocol VoIP program that encrypts phone calls, and TextSecure, an app for sending and receiving encrypted text messages and scrambling the messages stored in their inbox.

via Android App Aims to Allow Wiretap-Proof Cell Phone Calls « The Firewall –


LifeLock CEO’s Identity Stolen 13 Times | Threat Level |

In Links on 2010-05-18 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: , , ,

Davis’ history as an identity-theft victim would seem to call into question the company’s ability to protect consumers from a similar fate.

via LifeLock CEO’s Identity Stolen 13 Times.


Google set for probes on data harvesting

In Links on 2010-05-18 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: ,

Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday moved towards investigating Google following the internet group’s disclosure that it had recorded communications sent over unsecured wireless networks in people’s homes.

via / Technology – Google set for probes on data harvesting.


Party Election Broadcast – Charlie’s Diary

In Quotes on 2010-05-05 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: , , ,

I don’t know much about UK politics, though I’ve started to watch it a wee bit out of some sort of “citizen of the world” type interest. But I did love one line in particular out of Charles Stross’s overall entertaining Party Election Broadcast:

“However, the big political-philosophical question hanging over the 21st century is how we, as a society, are going to deal with having complete access to information about everything and everyone under our noses at all times. This is a social consequence of the technological changes now unfolding, but it has barely begun to impinge upon our politics at a national policy level. The problems of maintaining privacy and human autonomy while living in a panopticon are very real, and the risks of getting it wrong are enormous.” (emphasis mine)

We’re there now. We just have to figure out how to deal with it.


Yahoo, Feds Battle Over E-Mail Privacy

In Links on 2010-04-15 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: , , ,

The  legal dust-up, unsealed late Tuesday, concerns a 1986 law that already allows the government to obtain a suspect’s e-mail from an ISP or webmail provider without a probable-cause warrant, once it’s been stored for 180 days or more. The government now contends it can get e-mail under 180-days old if that e-mail has been read by the owner, and the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections don’t apply.

via Yahoo, Feds Battle Over E-Mail Privacy | Threat Level |


Google rolls out privacy reset for Buzz

In Links on 2010-04-05 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: ,

Google has said that it will begin to roll out a privacy reset for its controversial social network Buzz.

The search giant will ask all its users to confirm or change their privacy settings, starting on 5 April.

The firm was forced to make a series of changes to Buzz just days after launch, following a backlash from users worried about privacy intrusions.

Last month, US Congress members urged regulators to investigate the service and the private information it exposed.

The latest tweaks will also show every aspect of a user’s profile, from public settings to the websites users are connected to, and who they are following or being followed by.

via BBC News – Google rolls out privacy reset for Buzz social network.


Towards development of an Internet Operating System

In Essays on 2010-04-01 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: , ,

Alien Organics (Smoke "Art") by PixelPlacebo

This follows on my link yesterday to Richard Hamming’s talk on research and the idea that, to do great work, you must work on great problems.

I read with great interest Tim O’Reilly’s extensive and thoughtful essay on The State of the Internet Operating System.

(The rest of this post just consists of my own musings on his article.)

Moving away from the operating systems for individual computers (e.g. Linux, Windows, Plan 9, etc.), he talks about higher levels of abstraction needed for the sorts of infrastructure services we build today. O’Reilly outlines some needed subsystems, like:

  • Search
  • Communications
  • Identity and the Social Graph
  • Payment
  • Activity Streams
  • Time
  • Image and Speech Recognition

He also rejects the idea of the browser as OS and muses on additional things this sort of infrastructure platform might need, like synchronization and garbage collection.

I wish he’d addressed privacy and security a little more explicitly, though a few of his issues touch on this tangentially. But the concept — application developers using APIs or some analogue thereof to accomplish these tasks rather than redeveloping over and over — has obvious worth.

Do the things I do contribute to the development of the “new world infrastructure”? Or am I just tinkering with irrelevancies? The stuff I do tends towards the operational rather than developmental, but I don’t know that I will stay in this mode. My immediate future will stay in incident response and security, since that pays the bills pretty well and has lots of value in itself.

But I’ve also started chewing on Hamming’s idea to slightly shift fields of focus every seven(ish) years, and this article just fed right into it. I need to go brew this stuff in my head together with everything else I’ve dumped into my brain lately so that I can figure some things out for my own future.