Privacy / Featured Blogs

Spin Doctoring from FBI in the Apple Case

It is rather amazing to follow the reporting on the FBI vs Apple case in relation to the FBI's order to Apple to provide them with software that would allow them to crack the security code on all Apple phones. In some of those reports spin doctoring from the FBI -- especially through the public media -- led you to believe that Apple is not willing to assist the FBI in the San Bernardino murder case. This is, however, blatantly false. more»

ICANN Update on Whois, New gTLD Program PDPs, ICANN CEO and Privacy Accreditation

As promised, 2016 is off to a busy start at ICANN, with important discussions about Whois/Registration Directory Services, subsequent rounds of the New gTLD Program and internet governance already underway, and more to come. Brand owner concerns will be front and center in the coming months, as community stakeholders set priorities and begin discussions of key challenges and desired results. more»

Security, Backdoors and Control

Encryption is a way to keep private information private in the digital world. But there are government actors, particularly here in the US, that want access to our private data. The NSA has been snooping our data for years. Backdoors have been snuck into router encryption code to make it easier to break. Today at M3AAWG we had a keynote from Kim Zetter, talking about Stuxnet and how it spread well outside the control of the people who created it. more»

India's Net Neutrality Win: Lessons for Developing Countries

On 8th February, 2015, Internet users celebrated news that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had passed regulation prohibiting ISPs from discriminating access to data services based on content". This directive follows similar developments in the U.S, E.U, Chile et al, and is a huge milestone in the fight for Net Neutrality: the principle that ISPs should treat all Internet traffic the same way. Meanwhile, Net Neutrality issues are not unique to India. more»

Federal Data Crisis: Unreliable Federal Databases are Destroying Opportunities for Small Businesses

Databases are the infrastructure of the modern administrative state and data is its lifeblood. When the data is contaminated with errors, federal agencies have difficulty performing even the most basic administrative functions such as managing its inventory of office space and protecting the personally identifiable information (PII) of social security number holders. The federal dissemination of unreliable data doesn't just waste money; it undermines public trust in government and leaves it unmanageable. more»

The Shadow of the Web

I believe in the Internet As an ideal. As a web of human minds. As a wonder of the world, not built through totalitarian control but rather through fierce coopetition. As a technological pillar held up by a newer, better, governance structure. As the facilitator of knowledge sharing and communication on a level so advanced that it would appear supernatural to folks living just a century ago, or less. I worry for the Internet While it has been a major disruptive force, it is also susceptible to the existing paradigm. more»

The WSIS+10 Outcome Document - Some Initial Thoughts

The final outcome document of the WSIS +10 Review was released late last night. I thought I would give you some initial impressions as we enter the week of the WSIS+10 Review at the United Nations in New York. The text endorses the central tenet of the multistakeholder model of governing ourselves on the Internet and re-commits to the Tunis agreement. It extends the mandate of the IGF for 10 years recognizing the role that this Forum plays in bottom up governance processes. more»

Encryption = good : Backdoor = bad

Every time there is a tragic attack on people or property, there is a cry from various authorities or politicians for law enforcement to get unfettered access to all kinds of communication tools. But that would cause far more harm than good, and is a really bad idea. The argument goes something like this: 'These bad actors hide behind encrypted communications to plan their evil deeds...' more»

The Networked Society and Personal Freedom

Given the current debate around mass surveillance which is undertaken by both governments and (social) media companies, the recurring question is what is happening to our hard-fought personal freedom? In the case of government-based mass surveillance there isn't an opt-out option, and in reality opt-out is also not a valid solution to services provided by Google, Apple, Facebook and the millions of apps that we all use to some extent or another. more»

Officially Compromised Privacy

The essence of information privacy is control over disclosure. Whoever is responsible for the information is supposed to be able to decide who sees it. If a society values privacy, it needs to ensure that there are reasonable protections possible against disclosure to those not authorized by the information's owner. In the online world, an essential technical component for this assurance is encryption. If the encryption that is deployed permits disclosure to those who were not authorized by the information's owner, there should be serious concern about the degree of privacy that is meaningfully possible. more»