Earlier this week, EFF published a scorecard for rating Obama's NSA reforms. Now that the reforms have been announced, it's time to measure them up. They don't fare well, I'm afraid. Here's a roundup of commentary from privacy leaders around the world, expressing disappointment (if not surprise) at Obama's half-hearted reining in of the surveillance state.
3. No data retention mandate.
Obama’s review group recommended that the telephone metadata surveillance program be taken away from the government, suggesting that a third party or even telecom companies themselves be responsible for maintaining a searchable list of our calling records. This approach—mandating companies act as Big Brother’s little helper—won’t alleviate the serious privacy concerns with maintaining a digital record of every call we make.
We had hoped that Obama would make clear that he would reject any form of mandatory data retention. Instead, Obama acknowledged some of the concerns with a data retention mandate but called for “options for a new approach that can match the capabilities and fill the gaps that the Section 215 program was designed to address, without the government holding this metadata itself.” He never specifically rejected the idea of forcing companies or a third party to hold this data, and so he does not receive a point in this category.
5. Stop undermining Internet security.
The NSA’s systematic efforts to weaken and sabotage the encryption and security technology make us all less safe. But in contrast to his review group’s recommendations to stop those practices, Obama was silent on the issue. That silence is disappointing, as this is a critical problem that has not just undermined the privacy of millions around the world, but poisoned our collective trust in institutions that depend most on it. Zero points.
Rating Obama’s NSA Reform Plan: EFF Scorecard Explained
The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They’ve assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was “We stand on guard for thee.”
In a paper for IEEE Security, researchers from Cyberpion and Israel’s College of Management Academic Studies describe a “Password Reset Man-in-the-Middle Attack” that leverages a bunch of clever insights into how password resets work to steal your email account (and other kinds of accounts), even when it’s protected by two-factor authentication.
U.S. Girl Scouts as young as 5 years old will soon be able to earn their first-ever cybersecurity badges. 18 of these merit patches will be launched by the Girl Scouts of the USA starting in September, 2018.
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]