Archive for the 'politics' Category

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 […]

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. […]

A few semi-coherent thoughts about this election

I don’t usually write in a serious way about politics, and this essay may prove an excellent example as to why. But these thoughts are banging around inside my head and I need to get them out before next Tuesday. If naughty language puts your knickers in a twist, please don’t read any further. I […]

When privacy collides with politics, privacy loses

At this point in this especially insane political season there’s still no telling who will end up winning it all next Tuesday. But it’s very clear to me who has already lost: You and me. More specifically, what little personal privacy we may once have had. The amount and scope of data collection employed by […]

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 […]

Are the Feds snooping on your Skype calls?

Tap, tap, tap. I’m sorry, could you please speak up? the Federal employees playing monkey in the middle on our Skype call couldn’t quite make out what you were saying. In case you missed the headlines in the New York Times this morning, or all the me-too stories in the blogosphere cranked to varying degrees […]

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 […]

Apple gets tough on iPhone leakers

What do you do when one of your employees takes your company’s top-secret prototype and leave it behind in a beer garden, only to have it end up in the hands of a gadget blog? Call in the authorities and let them play the heavy. The whole Gizmodo iPhone prototype story just got a whole […]

Net Neutrality meets Nut Neutrality

Have you heard the news? Passing Net Neutrality rules will result in the loss of 340,000 jobs in the broadband industry and up to 1.5 million jobs overall by 2020. And if you don’t believe it, I have a fancy-schmancy report that says as much right here. Per IDG News’ Grant Gross: If the FCC […]

FCC goes down for the count

Well, the FCC just got kicked in the gonads. A US Circuit Court has ruled the agency does not have the jurisdiction to punish Comcast for throttling down its customers’ Bit Torrent connections without telling them.  This throws a huge spanner into the national broadband plan as well as the hopes of getting some kind […]

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 […]

The Latest on Webcamgate: Film at 11

Though it’s not getting quite the 24/7 cable news treatment it got when it first hit the wires, the Web cam scandal in Southeastern Pennsylvania (aka "Webcamgate") is still twisting and turning in unpredictable ways. We still don’t know exactly what happened, but we do know there are lessons here for everyone concerned about IT […]

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: Going down for the last time?

We have interrupted our nonstop coverage of Apple iPad mania to bring you this important word about the freedom of information. And, more specifically, Wikileaks.org. I’ve written about Wikileaks several times over the last few years, in part because it’s a classic example of why the Internet is such an extraordinary telecommunications tool. Wikileaks is […]

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 […]

Twitter attack: From Russia with hate

The DDOS attack on Twitter shows not only how vulnerable the microblog is, but also how dependent we’ve become on it. That’s a dangerous combination.