Looking Forward and Back at the US Court Ruling on the NSA Data Mining

In a groundbreaking and precedent-setting decision, United States District Judge Richard Leon on December 16 found that the NSA’s previously secret program to capture the “metadata” in every single telephone call made by every single U.S. person, then to store and analyze that data presumptively violated the provisions of the Fourth Amendment and constituted an…

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Don’t Spy On Me, I’d Rather Be Safe

In this space, guest contributor Gail Bronson defended the NSA’s mass surveillance program, taking the side of former NSA General Counsel Stew Baker against that of Georgetown University professor David Cole.  By posing it as a confrontation, the audience is invited to take sides.  A more productive method might be to see where the parties…

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Legal Issues in Penetration Testing

When I was a kid growing up in the Bronx, a high school buddy got a job as a “security tester” at the Alexander’s department store on Fordham Road. His job was to shoplift. This was to see whether the security personnel were doing their job, or were asleep at the switch. On his first day at work,…

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Distributed Denial of Service Attacks – Who is Legally Liable?

It seems that the Obamacare website, http://www.healthcare.gov, has had a spot of trouble lately.  However, obscured in all the debate over the policy of the Affordable Care Act and all of the technical problems with the site is the fact that opponents of the universal (well, semi-universal) health insurance portal have taken to social media…

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Privacy for Sale

It recently was revealed that AT&T was selling call data to the CIA for $10 million a year. This is in addition to the millions of dollars the company was paid by the NSA for participating in the NSA’s FISA telephony metadata whereby the company, together with other U.S. telephone companies, routinely provided the NSA with…

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Data Privacy and Security; Is it Only Hackers You Should Worry About?

As we approach the Internet of things, more and more things are keeping tabs on me. My toaster is watching me, and the blender is looking at me funny. Increasingly companies that collect data will have to have robust privacy policies about what they collect and store, who they share it with, and what each of…

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