Privacy / Featured Blogs

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»

Are There Countries Whose Situations Worsened with the Arrival of the Internet?

Are there countries whose situations worsened with the arrival of the internet? I've been arguing that there are lots of examples of countries where technology diffusion has helped democratic institutions deepen. And there are several examples of countries where technology diffusion has been part of the story of rapid democratic transition. But there are no good examples of countries where technology diffusion has been high, and the dictators got nastier as a result. more»

Internet and the Telecommunication Acts of 1900

On his blog Bruce Schneier recently published a post called "Power and the Internet". An article that most people in the western world will agree with. Internet freedom against Internet safety and security, the powerful have a lot of power to wield and the rest is at best ad hoc organised or fairly powerless lobby organisations. So who is likely to win? Vested interests, he warns. more»

Pandora's Box - New US Cyber Security Bills Create a Worm Hole in the Internet Galaxy

There are two Bills that are floating through the corridors of power on the Hill that could potentially change the course of civil and political rights within the United States and the world. One was introduced through the House of Representatives and the other through the Senate. The two Bills touch on a common thread that are premised on "national security" however there are interesting challenges that will surface should the Bills be passed that affect global public interest that require further examination, introspection and discussion. more»

Beyond Smart Cards and Guns in Schools

On January 8, 2013, a Judge from the United States District Court in Texas ruled against a high school sophomore's refusal to wear a smart identity card embedded with a radio frequency chip which is part of the school's smart ID card student locator project. The Judgment show the Testimonies of Superintendent and the Principal in stating that the sensors do not give exact readings nor are they able to pinpoint the exact location of the students. more»

CircleID's Top Ten Posts of 2012

Here are the top ten most popular news, blogs, and industry updates featured on CircleID during 2012 based on the overall readership of the posts for the past 12 months. Congratulations to all the participants whose posts reached top readership and best wishes to the entire community for 2013. more»

Cyber Security: A Duty to Care?

Yesterday, in my post on three new threats in one day, I posed the question whether it was necessary to develop regulations that would set a minimum standard on cyber security for devices that connect to the Internet. I'm having second thoughts here, which I'll explain in this post, but also try to look at a way forward and ask you to engage. more»

Why Vint Cerf is Wrong

At the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, I made an intervention on behalf of NL IGF, reporting on the recommendations given by the participants of Workshop 87... I concluded that more regulatory and law enforcement bodies need to become part of the IGF discussions, as they are an integral part of governing the Internet from a safety and security perspective. Mr. Cerf responded with a one-liner: "I can't help observing, if we keep the regulatories confused, maybe they will leave us alone". more»