• NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records
• $250m-a-year US program works covertly with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products
• Security experts say programs ‘undermine the fabric of the internet’
- Google encrypts data amid backlash against NSA spying. By Craig Timberg in the Washington Post. Here are earlier reports on NSA spying at the Post. Bonus link.
- The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back. By Bruce Schneier in The Guardian. Subhead: “The NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet – and now we have to fix it.” Bonus link: Explaining the latest NSA revelations – Q&A.
- Majority of Tor crypto keys could be broken by NSA, researcher says. By Dan Goodin in Ars Technica.
- Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age. The book @StevenLevy gave us half a generation ago. Related…
- Welcome to the end of secrecy. By Jeff Jarvis in The Guardian. Subhead: “The real lesson of the Snowden leaks is not the threat to privacy. It is the NSA’s losing battle against the new agents of openness.” Pull-quote: “Openness is the more powerful weapon. Openness is the principle that guides, for example, Guardian journalism. Openness is all that can restore trust in government and technology companies. And openness – in standards, governance, and ethics – must be the basis of technologists’ efforts to take back the the net. Secrecy is under dire threat but don’t confuse that with privacy. “All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret,” Gabriel García Márquez tells his biographer. “Secrecy is what is known, but not to everyone. Privacy is what allows us to keep what we know to ourselves,” Jill Lepore explains in the New Yorker. “Privacy is consensual where secrecy is not,” write Carol Warren and Barbara Laslett in the Journal of Social Issues. Think of it this way: privacy is what we keep to ourselves; secrecy is what is kept from us. Privacy is a right claimed by citizens. Secrecy is a privilege claimed by government… what this story teaches is that it takes only one technologist, one reporter, one news organization to defeat secrecy. At length, openness will out.”
- South Africa Passes Comprehensive Personal Data Protection Legislation. By Hutton & Williams LLP.
- Barack Obama raises possibility of new legislation to curb NSA powers. Subhead: President defends NSA but acknowledges ‘legitimate questions’ about the agency’s role, especially with advance of technology. By Ewen MacAskill in The Guardian.
- Yahoo will start releasing transparency reports, too. by Meghan Kelly in Venturebeat.
- About the Data. Data Broker Acxiom reveals what it has on you. I recommended they do this years ago, when I consulted them. Pull quote: “Before You Opt-Out, Consider This: Opting out of Acxiom’s online and/or offline marketing data will not prevent you from receiving marketing materials. Instead of receiving ads that are relevant to your interests, you will see more generic ads with no information to tailor content. For example, instead of getting a great offer on a hotel package in your favorite vacation spot, you might see an ad for the latest, greatest weight loss solution.”
- Over one-fifth of people use ad-blocking software—and it’s beginning to hurt. By Leo Mirani in Quartz.
- Developers Scramble to Build NSA-Proof Email. By David Kravets in Wired.
- Perfect Forward Secrecy in the Netcraft Extension. Particulars: “Netcraft has added a Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) indicator to the Netcraft Extension for Firefox, Chrome and Opera. This lets users see which websites would allow encrypted traffic to be decrypted en mass at a later date if the site’s private key were to be compromised — a danger previously highlighted by Netcraft in June. PFS, when implemented correctly, ensures that if the long-term private key of a site served over SSL is compromised, historical encrypted traffic cannot be decrypted in bulk. Instead, an eavesdropper would have to break each individual connection independently, which would be incredibly time consuming. With the recent revelations from Edward Snowden that the NSA is able to read encrypted internet traffic, PFS support is very desirable for privacy-conscious internet users, particularly in countries that also have key disclosure laws.”
- Handy (and daunting) rundown of copyright terms in the U.S. By the Cornell Copyright Information Center.
- Consumers Want a Single Source for Video and TV Content: Ericsson. By Michelle Maisto in eWEEK. There’s an annoying slide show, but the headline says it all. Bonus link.
- Story of Menes the white stork. Sad ending.
- How QR Codes Can Deliver the Internet of Everything. By Melissa Tolentino in Silicon Angle. Leverages this piece I put up in HBR. Fingers SquareTag as one solution.
- Why the next Steve Jobs will come from Kickstarter. By Dylan Love in Business Insider.
- The real reason women are leaving Wall Street. By Margo Epprecht in Quartz. “The trajectory of the business, enabled by technology, has favored transactions over relationships, the quant over the researcher, the brash over the reflective.” Required reading, because this is also true of most tech-heavy business today. The bottom lines: “‘The business has changed,’ she muses, ‘It is not as intellectually challenging as it used to be. It’s more like cage fighting. Long-term investment today means a month; mathematicians convince themselves they can quantify risk in their arcane products that no one can understand; and fee structures are out of line with investor returns. No wonder people are cynical about Wall Street.'” This is the same reason we have an advertising business that also cares hardly a speck about privacy.
- Linux vs. Bullshit. By yours truly in Linux Journal. Relates to the above.
- All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces By Bill Gurley (@bgurley) in Above the Crowd. Read before starting a company.
- Summary of The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi. By Asad Zaman in the WEA Pedagogy Blog. “The central theme of the book is a historical description of the emergence of the market economy as a competitor to the traditional economy. The market economy won this battle, and ideologies supporting the market economy won the corresponding battle in the marketplace of ideas.”
- Where my own podcast will be when I get my act together.
- Submitting a podcast to iTunes. (Which I haven’t done yet.)
- Danny Gatton‘s Cruisin’ Deuces. The title track is the best rockabilly instrumental of all time — and the bumper music I just cleared rights for. I urge you to buy the Amazon mp3.