The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity

Archive for March 2008

VoIP: Who Might Be Spying on Your Communications? (Hint — It’s Not Just the NSA) – VoIP NewsThis somewhat simplistic article makes the case that one should not consider VoIP to be a secure replacement for land line phones. It too is vulnerable to a number of governmental and criminal interception attacks.

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Swiss bank in Wikileaks case abruptly abandons lawsuit | The Iconoclast – politics, law, and technology – CNET News.comIn a follow up to the earlier story, it seems that the judge finally realized the implications of his actions to free speech, and the fact that his injunction was almost completely ineffective. This is a really good thing. If the ruling had stood under appeal and become precedent, it would have significantly changed the Internet landscape.

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Bruce Schneier’s Security Matters: The Myth of the ‘Transparent Society’This is a nice little article arguing against the idea of Brin’s Transparent Society as a solution to the privacy problem. I suspect David Brin would object to the characterization of his work as presenting it as a panacea, but many do so argue.Bruce argues that the relative power disparity makes for un-equal results in the two direction of observation. From my perspective, the idea of enabling the public to watch the government surveillance apparatus is completely unrealistic. It would enable our enemies (and as a nation the US does have real enemies) to reverse engineer and avoid our surveillance. The best one can realistically hope for is very rigorous oversight (which has also seemed unrealistic of late).At the same time the spread of cameras, facial recognition, RFID, etc., is rapidly increasing the level of surveillance of the general population. The only place where observation and recording by the people seems to be really effective is in issues of corruption or abuse of power. Rodney King being an obvious (and ambiguous) example. 

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