Easier Ways to Protect Email From Unwanted Prying Eyes - NYTimes.com
Decent overview of new user-friendly email encryption tools.
security  en 
11 days ago
Obama administration says the world’s servers are ours | Ars Technica
Global governments, the tech sector, and scholars are closely following a legal flap in which the US Justice Department claims that Microsoft must hand over e-mail stored in Dublin, Ireland. In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas. It's a position Microsoft and companies like Apple say is wrong, arguing that the enforcement of US law stops at the border.
surveillance  privacy 
13 days ago
Forensic DNA databases: Ethical and legal standards: A global review
This article was written by one of our grantees, Gene Watch UK and the Council for Responsible Genetics

Here is some background:

The Forensic Genetics Policy Initiative (www.dnapolicyinitiative.org) is a civil society-led project which aims to set human rights standards for DNA databases around the world, by establishing best practice and involving experts, policy makers and members of the public in open debate. The authors have collected a comprehensive data set of information on the state of forensic DNA profiling and the development of DNA databases for policing purposes in more than 100 countries. The information is available in wiki which can be expanded, updated or corrected by interested persons (http://wiki.dnapolicyinitiative.org).
DNA  Genetics  profiling  human_rights  data_protection  hjd 
7 weeks ago
Cyber Failures Spark Search for New Security Approach | SecurityWeek.Com
The old notion of using anti-virus software, which updates itself based on new malware "signatures," is rapidly losing credence.

A 2012 study by the security firm Imperva said most software only detected around five percent of malware. Another firm, FireEye, concluded last year that 82 percent of malware disappears after one hour and 70 percent exists just once.

"With the half-life of malware being so short, we can draw the conclusion that the function signature-based AV (anti-virus) serves has become more akin to ghost hunting than threat detection and prevention," said a blog post by FireEye's Zheng Bu and Rob Rachwald.

Ullrich said that over time, companies need to invest more in information security and develop strategies before the problems subside.

"Security will never prevent every single breach," he said. "You want to keep it at a manageable level, to stay in business. That's what security is all about."
8 weeks ago
BBC News - Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists
OA term used improperly to refer to problem with Wikipedia. Need to guard against backlash to OA as a result of this article.
OA  Wikipedia 
8 weeks ago
Eveny Morozov ‘The Naked Future’ and ‘Social Physics’ - NYTimes.com
NYTBR review of
What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?
By Patrick Tucker
268 pp. Current. $27.95.
How Good Ideas Spread — The Lessons From a New Science
By Alex Pentland
10 weeks ago
podcast: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck : Planet Money : NPR
Fascinating short podcast - a case study of how Big Data is reshaping labour.
FutureOfWork  podcast 
10 weeks ago
Privacy Group Challenges Surveillance Practices in Britain - NYTimes.com
British privacy advocates [Privacy International] introduced a legal challenge on Tuesday against one of the country’s intelligence agencies, saying the agency illegally hacked personal computers. The case follows revelations that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, or G.C.H.Q., developed so-called malware that allowed the government to turn on computer microphones and cameras without the owners’ consent.

Privacy International said it filed the complaint with Britain’s investigatory powers tribunal, a court that handles legal cases against the country’s intelligence agencies. The group said that intelligence agencies did not have the right to conduct such surveillance and asked that it be stopped.
10 weeks ago
the role of civil society in the EU ACTA debate
ACTA  mh 
10 weeks ago
Defending the Open Internet - NYTimes.com
As the F.C.C. prepares to address "net neutrality," one of the most influential voices is Tim Wu, the professor who coined the phrase.
10 weeks ago
Tim Hartford - Big data: are we making a big mistake? - FT.com
Recall big data’s four articles of faith. Uncanny accuracy is easy to overrate if we simply ignore false positives, as with Target’s pregnancy predictor. The claim that causation has been “knocked off its pedestal” is fine if we are making predictions in a stable environment but not if the world is changing (as with Flu Trends) or if we ourselves hope to change it. The promise that “N = All”, and therefore that sampling bias does not matter, is simply not true in most cases that count. As for the idea that “with enough data, the numbers speak for themselves” – that seems hopelessly naive in data sets where spurious patterns vastly outnumber genuine discoveries.
“Big data” has arrived, but big insights have not.
april 2014
Tom Carothers - Closing Space: Democracy and Human Rights Support Under Fire - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
After seeing its reach increase for decades, international support for democracy and human rights faces a serious challenge: more and more governments are erecting legal and logistical barriers to democracy and rights programs, publicly vilifying international aid groups and their local partners, and harassing such groups or expelling them altogether. Despite the significant implications of the pushback, the roots and full scope of the phenomenon remain poorly understood and responses to it are often weak.
april 2014
Ethan Zuckerman Wins Zócalo’s Fourth Annual Book Prize
We’re delighted to award the fourth annual Zócalo Book Prize to Ethan Zuckerman for Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. In the view of our distinguished panel of judges, Zuckerman wrote 2013’s most illuminating and compelling nonfiction book about community and human connectedness. The Zócalo Book Prize comes from an integral part of our mission: to talk and think about how diverse societies cohere. In the past 11 years, we haven’t come up with all the answers—but we’ve done what we can to encourage scholars, writers, and thinkers to keep considering the questio
EZ  Rewire 
april 2014
BBC News - Instant e-libraries for Myanmar universities
Universities in Myanmar have been given e-libraries with hundreds of thousands of digital books and academic journals to help them catch up after decades of isolation under military rule. <…>
Oleksandr Shtokvych, of the Open Society Foundations, which supported the project, says it would not have been practical or affordable to wait for a traditional library of printed volumes. There was an immediate need for up-to-date materials.
Susanna Lob, of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), a foundation that worked with the universities in creating the e-libraries, says: "Online resources were the obvious way to go." <…>EIFL negotiated with publishers to reduce the cost of the online library, with the titles provided worth $1.5m (£900,000).
Burma  EIFL  libraries 
april 2014
Immigrants from the future: Special Report on Robots | The Economist
Nor do robots have to become fully autonomous in order to be able to do a far wider range of interesting and useful things than they do today. For the most part they are not replacements for humans; they are better seen as extensions. Humans can come together to do things they cannot do alone; in future they will increasingly come together with robots to do things they cannot otherwise do so easily, or in some cases at all.

Robotic extensions will come in a variety of forms. But just as the need to work at a range of tasks in the human world can force robots into a humanoid shape, so the need to work with humans in that world means that many of them will become, to some extent, socially humanoid.
robots  automation 
april 2014
LIGTT | LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies
came to me through Kumar Bekbolotov (ex OSF-KYRG), re tech for land rights.
poverty  hardware 
march 2014
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