Archive for the 'National insecurity' Category

Love trees? Hate meat? You too may be a terrorist.

Read any good spy stories lately? It’s all I’ve been doing for the past five days. Thanks to a 29-year-old disgruntled security geek named Edward James Snowden, we all know quite a bit more about what our nation’s spies are probably doing than we did just a few days ago. While the details are still […]

Love Pentagon II: Electric legal bugaloo

Poor Jill Kelley. All she wanted was fame and fortune, and all she ended up with was fame and misfortune. But that last part may soon change, if she wins the civil suit she and her husband just filed against the US government for the “willful, malicious, and unlawful violation of [their] constitutional and statutory […]

Online security? It’s dead, Jim. Now what?

A couple of days ago I received a scary sounding email from Twitter. It started like this: Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter. We’ve reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account. My first thought was that this email was bogus […]

Share a hyperlink, go to prison?

Don’t look now, but there’s a crime wave surging across the Webbernets. Everywhere you look people are recklessly sharing dangerous and illegal hyperlinks. Lock up your children, barricade the doors and windows, throttle your broadband connection, and pray that the FBI gets to these scofflaws in time.  Am I being a bit too sarcastic? Maybe. […]

Privacy after 9/11

Last week I was in Germany, as a guest of the IFA Berlin consumer electronics show. That means, of course, that I had to perform the airport security samba. I took off my shoes and my belt; stuffed my watch, keys, cell phone, and loose change into the pockets of my jacket; took my laptop […]

2011: The year of the hacker

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This will be the year of the hacker – or rather, the year hacking goes mainstream. It’s been brewing for quite some time. According to McAfee, a team of Chinese hackers has been infiltrating computer networks for the world’s largest oil and gas companies. Last week […]

The 10 dumbest tech moves of 2010

It’s been quite a year. And in what has become a tradition here in Cringeville, it’s time to honor the most malicious, obnoxious, offensive, or nonsensical behavior in technology. This year’s winners include captains of industry, titans of technology, sultans of sweat, and a number of other people desperately in need of a clue. Among […]

Google’s BP moment: The WiFi spying incident

While it doesn’t quite rank up there with dumping 100’s of millions of gallons of crude oil into the ocean while your CEO goes yachting, Google’s huge WiFi spying "oops" may become the search giant’s BP moment. To recap: Last month, Google admitted that its Street View vans — the camera-festooned vehicles that roam highways […]

WikiLeaks: The Spy Who Leaked Me

It’s like a Hollywood thriller. A military spy is arrested, betrayed by someone he thought to be a comrade in arms — a brilliant yet mentally unstable hacker. A journalist is on the run, hunted by the authorities who want to know what he knows. All we need is to add a love interest and […]

The Google-China plot thickens

It’s been just two days since I last wrote about the Google China soap (not soup) opera, and yet it feels like weeks, so much has happened in the interim. To wit: Earlier this week, Google’s US executive bio page suddenly displayed in Chinese. (A "bug, Google called it. Yeah, right.) On Wednesday, YouTube, Twitter, […]

Google Hits the Great Wall

So Google finally made good on its promise to uncensor its Chinese search engine and/or leave the Chinese market back in January. And China is now making good on its promise to make Google very sorry for ever bringing it up. Gotta say "the G" were pretty clever about it. Redirecting Google.cn to Google.com.hk seems […]

Is privacy making a comeback?

Privacy is all over the news these days, including social networks, where it seems the Feds like to play.

Wikileaks: Yet another ‘enemy of the state’

I just received an email from Wikileaks editor Julian Assange that’s pretty wild. It accuses the US government of deliberately trying to take the whistle-blower site down two years ago. As proof, Wikileaks has posted a 32-page classified document [PDF] from the Department of Defense Intelligence Analysis program, dated March 2008, which details "the counterintelligence […]

Information Imperialists unite! You have nothing to lose but your gmail.

Yes, "information imperialists." That’s what the People’s Republic of China is calling us now, thanks to Google and the US State Department. Hey, it’s as good a description as any. The blowback against Google’s announcement that it was hacked by Chinese cyber agents– and in response would be lifting the restrictions that keep users of […]

Facebook, Google, and China

So far, 2010 has started off with a bang. Google decides to take on Apple in the ultra-smart phone market, while Apple appears on the verge of creating yet another new market for touchscreen tablet PCs. Google says "bite me" to China, after Chinese cyber-attackers target it and three dozen other tech firms. Yahoo chimes […]

The spy that lives inside your pocket

Location, location, location. It’s not merely the key to success in retail. It’s also the key to your privacy — or what little is left of it. And that too is rapidly disappearing, thanks to that wondrous gizmo you probably carry with you at all times: the cell phone. Earlier this week, security researcher and […]

Using technology can put your life — not just your data — at risk

Microsoft may have recovered most of Sidekick users’ missing data, but the bigger point remains: We’re deeply dependent on tech. When it screws up, lives can be lost.

Power to the People

The residents of Cringeville had some strong opinions about my “turn out the lights” blog post last week. Here’s what some of them had to say.

Cyber Wars: Turn out the lights, the party’s over

Is the power grid under cyber attack? US spooks say yes. Better hunker down before Russia or China pull the plug.

All the best cowboys have Chinese spies

By now you’ve probably read about GhostNet, the vast spy network that was uncovered after the office of the Dalai Lama asked researchers at the University of Toronto to examine their computer networks for malware. The researchers not only found nasties there, they uncovered an entire network that connected almost 1300 computers in 103 countries […]