FTC versus IoT

For the Internet of Things (IoT) to be useful, some sensing device has to collect data, and transmit that data over the Internet (typically) to a cloud server (typically) that will store and analyze that data and allow the user to see that data, and/or use the data to effect some change in the device…

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Share and Share Alike in the Context of the Reported Russian Hack

In preparation for sanctions against hackers from the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) and Russia’s main intelligence agency known as the GRU, the Obama administration released information that it alleged showed the responsibility for the “highest levels” of the Russian government for hacking into servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and email of…

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I’m Not Reading Your Email – I’m Just Reading the Other Guys – Court Approves NSA Interception

A federal court in San Francisco on December 5th, approved of the government’s interception and use of emails and other communications in a terrorism case involving the so-called Portland Christmas Tree Bombing case.  In that case a Somali-American was caught plotting a bombing on the Christmas tree lighting after his parents repeatedly asked the FBI to…

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Russia, the DNC, Cyberwar and the Attribution Problem

Was Russia responsible for hacking the DNC and John Podesta, and releasing their communications as part of a concerted effort to impact the US electoral result and get their favored candidate elected president?  Yes.  And no. And maybe. This question, and the various questions subsumed by this question, have much broader implications for how we conduct…

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Hands Across the Water – DOJ Permits US Judges to Authorize Foreign Searches

One problem with modern computer or computer related crime: it’s international in scope.  But governments are limited by their borders, their authority, and their sovereignty. A proposed change to the federal rules of criminal procedure that authorize US judges and magistrates to permit searches is either a minor tweak of a procedural rule designed to deal with a growing problem, which…

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Backdoor Politics 2017

One of the most hotly contested issues in information security is whether the government should encourage the ubiquitous use of strong encryption to protect data both at rest and in transit, or whether the government (and by this, I mean any government) should require users to use only “government approved” encryption. That is crypto algorithms…

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