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Global Surveillance: Towards Convergence?

Built for the most part during the Cold War, surveillance systems on a global scale were considered a vital necessity with the onset of nuclear weapons, if only to keep Mutually Assured Destruction at bay. Today, these systems are also used for domestic surveillance and universal data harvesting, including on one's own citizens. Should we still consider these systems with the same reverence as if we were, say, in the midst of some Cuban Missile Crisis? more»

Paths of Glory: Privacy Still Matters

The world has changed dramatically for the better over the last 15 years, mainly due to the commercialization of the Internet. That is what I would like to believe. Unfortunately, I am no longer sure. True, the Internet connects all of us with every corner of the world... For the rest, the times may be changing, because there are those who believe that the Internet should be molded to fit those same old bureaucracies and corrupted institutions that have plagued humanity for decades, if not centuries. The solution, many times, feels far out of reach. more»

How to Manage and Secure Big Data

Several developments are coming together in cloud computing that are creating shockwaves throughout society and in the economy. Over the last five years we have seen the debate about cloud computing hotting up. There was the hype around the new development at the same time as warnings regarding security and privacy, and for a while the market seemed subdued about the new development. However the economic reality of cloud computing meant that enterprises and government bureaucracies had little choice but to move ahead with cloud computing... more»

INET DC, Weds, July 24: Surveillance, Cybersecurity and the Internet's Future (Livestream available)

Are you concerned about the recent reports about government surveillance programs? Are you concerned about security and privacy online? If so, you may want to attend (in person or remotely) the INET Washington DC event happening on Wednesday, July 24, from 2:00 - 6:00 pm US Eastern time at George Washington University. Sponsored by the Internet Society and GWU's Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute, the event is free and open to the public and will also be streamed live on the Internet for those who cannot attend in person. more»

Here's Looking at You…

Much has been said in recent weeks about various forms of cyber spying. The United States has accused the Chinese of cyber espionage and stealing industrial secrets. A former contractor to the United States' NSA, Edward Snowden, has accused various US intelligence agencies of systematic examination of activity on various popular social network services... These days cloud services may be all the vogue, but there is also an emerging understanding that once your data heads into one of these clouds, then it's no longer necessarily entirely your data; it may have become somebody else's data too... more»

Urgent Need to Revisit Internet Governance (WCIT-12)

Developments over the past few months - and especially the revelations about the spying work of the NSA on friendly governments and their people and businesses - show how important it is to try and establish some high-level strategies relating to managing the governance of the internet. While companies like Google have been lobbying hard against WCIT-12 - basically because they are opposed to any government interference in the internet - the reality is that, clearly without their knowledge, their own American government through the NSA is already directly interfering in their network. more»

The Internet Is Designed for Surveillance

The current implementation of the Internet is hierarchical in that we get IP addresses from providers and then use a DNS that is rooted. We go even further in requiring that we conform to conditions on our intent (AKA our use) of connectivity in order to get a temporary lease on something so fundamental as our identity in the guise of a DNS name. We go further by accepting the idea that we communicate within pipes owned by service providers who can dictate terms in order to extract a rent. more»

NSA, Prism and Internet Exchange Points in Canada

As the operator of the registry for the .CA top-level domain and the domain name system (DNS) infrastructure that supports it, I am uncomfortable, though not surprised, with the knowledge that a government is monitoring the activities of Internet users. And while recent reports about the National Security Agency's top-secret PRISM program actively monitoring Internet users in the United States and (by default) citizens of other countries - Canada included - are on the front page of newspapers around the world, Internet surveillance is not exactly new. more»

Provoking National Boundaries on the Internet? A chilling thought…

The impact of the recently revealed US government data collection practices may go well beyond the privacy ramifications outlined in the Internet Society's statement: expect a chilling effect on global, resilient network architecture. As governments of other countries realize how much of their citizens' traffic flows through the US, whether or not it is destined for any user or service there, expect to see moves to curtail connections to and through the US. more»

Government Hacking: Proposed Law in the Netherlands

In 2012 I wrote a blog on CircleID called State hacking: Do's and don'ts, pros and cons. In this post I give some thoughts to the concept of a government "hacking back" at criminals. The reason for this was an announcement by the Dutch government that it contemplated law along these lines. The proposed law is now here: the Act Computer Criminality III. more»