In the brave new world of cloud computing, where data is stored off-site in massive server farms instead of on a user's local hard drive, privacy and security are paramount in the consumer's mind. Unfortunately for privacy advocates, their concerns are essentially moot thanks to the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which a key Microsoft official said recently permits the U.S. to spy on data stored within cloud servers across the European Union. The revelation of transcontinental spying, which has long been suspected, came from Gordon Frazer, Microsoft U.K.'s managing director, speaking at an announcement event for the company's new suite of office software. Frazer's admission was caught by ZDNet reporter Zack Whittaker, who's long covered data security issues as they relate to the Patriot Act.
Tag Archives | Security
While the TSA is busy being as thorough as they possibly can, it seems other aspects of the airport personnel are not up to par. Via The Gothamist:
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While the Transportation Security Administration may or may not be making old ladies take off their Depends during screening, there’s this: A Nigerian man managed to board a Los Angeles-bound flight at JFK Airport without a valid boarding pass or valid identification. Olajide Olwaseun Noibi used a fake ID and an expired boarding pass to get onto Virgin America Flight 415.
WCBS 2 reports, “The FBI says Noibi sat in the main cabin and when a flight attendant asked him to show his boarding pass, he produced the expired pass. Noibi was still allowed to get off the plane when it landed in Los Angeles.” Great! And how did Noibi get the pass?ABC News explains:
“On that pass was the name of a man with the initials M.D.
The hacker group Lulz Security has claimed it has brought down the public-facing website of the US Central Intelligence Agency. The alleged attack on CIA.gov occurred on the same day the group opened a telephone request line so its fans could suggest potential targets. On its Twitter feed, the group wrote: "Tango down - cia.gov - for the lulz". The CIA website was inaccessible at times on Wednesday but appeared to be back up on Thursday. It was unclear if the outage was due to the group's efforts or to the large number of internet users trying to check the site. The CIA would not confirm if it had been the victim of an attack. In a statement, a spokesperson told BBC News: "The CIA's public web site experienced technical issues that caused it to respond slowly for a short time yesterday evening. Those issues are now resolved."
DFW airport board member Betty Culbreath says while it may have been a prank, it sent the wrong message. “It’s not funny. It’s not going to happen again as far as I’m concerned. It should not have happened because it gives the perception the airport is sitting out there unguarded and that’s why I was concerned, and am still concerned.”
A bill that would criminalize TSA agents who conduct airport patdown searches was scuttled Tuesday night after the federal government threatened to ground all flights out of Texas. The proposed law would have levied misdemeanor charges against security agents who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person." An earlier version of House Bill 1937 would have made such action a felony. [Story continues]Fox 7 reports:
The Financial Times reports:
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Senior executives at Cisco Systems worked closely with Chinese government security agents to tailor hardware and software they knew would be used to track, detain and torture followers of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, according to a US federal lawsuit filed last week.
The suit accuses the networking company’s chief executive John Chambers and leaders of Cisco’s China business of close collaboration with Beijing, citing statements on company websites, at trade shows and in internal documents.
The 52-page complaint was brought by the Washington-based Human Rights Law Foundation, which has handled other legal issues for Falun Gong followers, on behalf of residents in the US and survivors of some said to have been killed in China for their participation in Falun Gong activities.
Cisco has faced criticism in the past for allowing its routers, which have the greatest share of the world market by revenue, to play a crucial role in China’s massive internet blocking and surveillance.
Mark Milian writes on CNN:
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When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don’t give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do we give that permission to software companies?
Most popular smartphone operating systems and other electronic gadgets include what security researchers refer to as a kill switch.
This capability enables the company that makes the operating software to send a command over the Web or wireless networks that alters or removes certain applications from devices.
Apple, Google and Microsoft include this function in their platforms, along with a few lines in their usage agreements describing the policy. Google and Apple executives say this feature is important in order to protect against malicious software.
“Hopefully we never have to pull that lever, but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs told The Wall Street Journal in 2008.
No, it’s not an Onion headline. Indiana Republican Dan Burton wants to encase the House of Representatives within impenetrable Plexiglas for protection from the outside world. CBS News writes:
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An aide to Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) tells CBS News that the Indiana Republican plans to introduce legislation next week that would encase the House Gallery in “a transparent and substantial material” such as Plexiglas that would keep members of the public from being able to throw explosives or make other attacks on members on the House floor.
Burton has introduced similar legislation in the past. It reads in part, “The Architect of the Capitol shall enclose the visitors’ galleries of the House of Representatives with a transparent and substantial material, and shall install equipment so that the proceedings on the floor of the House of Representatives will be clearly audible in the galleries.”
A past version of the legislation, which will be reintroduced in the wake of the shooting of Rep.
Brummie: a native of the British city of Birmingham.
— Oxford English Dictionary
Whilst the WikiLeaks founder was languishing in a prison cell in London, a storm was brewing in England’s second largest city Birmingham, where leaked emails reveal the lengths that advocates of surveillance cameras will go to further their agenda. The BrumiLeaks may appear less controversial than the WikiLeaks that have dominated mainstream headlines in recent weeks, but they do more to lift the lid on just how the surveillance state continues its steady creep forward and why eternal vigilance is required by freedom loving citizens. A perfect example of what is happening the world over – for Birmingham read a town near you.
The Birmingham story so far …
Last month Birmingham City Council was named and shamed as the UK local authority that had spent the most on surveillance cameras between 2007 and 2010 . The council and police in Birmingham also found themselves embroiled in a public relations disaster after they failed to properly consult residents about the installation of hundreds of CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in leafy Birmingham suburbs – part of a project named ‘Project Champion’.… Read the rest