Category Archives: Privacy and Security

IoT security

Dealing with Infrastructure Disruption: IoT Security

Editor’s intro: The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a hot topic because of unprecedented cybersecurity problems that have caused massive outages of key Internet services. IoT devices can help improve the lives of individuals, but lack of market incentives has led to huge cybersecurity vulnerabilities that threaten to undermine national infrastructure and public trust. Prof. Kevin Fu was invited to a U.S. House Hearing by Chairman Greg Walden of the Subcommittee of Communication and Technology and Chairman Michael Burgess of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade to discuss IoT vulnerabilities and what might be done about them. We are pleased to present a copy of his testimony. Continue reading

Time Cook meets Saint Peter.

Tim Cook at the Pearly Gates

By now almost everything that can be said about the Apple-FBI riff has been said. The FBI wants to open the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook wants to secure iPhones everywhere. It is a defining struggle that we knew would eventually take place as the U.S. government (USG) deploys every counter-terrorism technique they can think of, and Apple deploys every privacy and security technique they can think of. Continue reading

The Backdoor is a Victory for Terrorists. iStock.com/Guillaume Louyot

The Backdoor is a Victory for Terrorists

When authorities realized the Paris terrorists used strong encryption to send messages to one another they went off the encryption deep end. Now, many nations are considering legislation to ban strong encryption. If strong encryption is banned, only terrorists will have it. Moreover, restricting strongly encrypted speech over the Internet would be a victory for the terrorists. After all, one aim of terrorism is to scare us into giving up our freedoms. Once we give up our freedom to communicate privately we are sliding down the slippery slope of despotism—and the terrorists win. Continue reading

Government Surveillance

Government Surveillance Will Fragment the Internet

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), in the role of protector of U.S. citizens, wants to watch over the Internet and its users through backdoor mechanisms and/or code breaking. This “weak encryption” policy has its “strong encryption” opponents who argue government surveillance of Internet companies, users, and foreign governments violates the fundamental constitutional rights of privacy and liberty. Continue reading