An interview with William Binney, former NSA analyst and whistleblower

A few days ago, I posted my notes on Keith Alexander’s talk at MIRcon about the NSA. Today, here’s a blog post about the opposite point of view. Yesterday, I came across an interview with William Binney, a former NSA analyst who resigned from the agency in 2001. He is a whistleblower who, unlike Edward…

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Former NSA Director Keith Alexander speaks at MIRcon 2014

Last week, I attend MIRcon, Mandiant’s conference on Advanced Persistent Threats. One of the keynote addresses was given by Keith Alexander, the former head of the NSA. I enjoyed his talk, it was a good one. What Others Are Saying Here is Kelly Jackson Higgins’ take on his talk, from an article on DarkReading. Everything…

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Does psychology explain why people are upset about NSA spying?

8 months ago, I wrote a blog post about how I am more concerned about being hacked by malicious spammers than I am about being spied upon by the NSA. In the year since Snowden, my views haven’t changed much. I understand that it’s a concern but I am more-or-less ambivalent about it [1]. I…

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Microsoft, the NSA, the Backfire Effect and how we all make bad decisions

A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post on the Wall Street Journal where they were commenting on comments made by Brad Smith, Microsoft’s top legal counsel. His comments were in response to latest revelations that the NSA sometimes sniffs network traffic between data centers: Microsoft’s top lawyer compared the National Security Agency…

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I worry more about being hacked than being tracked, and I am in the majority

This is going to be a long post. Please read through the whole thing before you comment. I have been following this NSA spy-story for several months now ever since Edward Snowden started revealing back in the summer that the US government was spying on everyone. At the time, I wasn’t sure how I felt…

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10 Simple Things you should do to Protect your Privacy

A couple of months ago, Kashmir Hill over at Forbes published an editorial on 10 simple things you should do to protect your privacy. I thought I would repost them here. I’m not going to go into detail about the specifics because they are available at the article (and I am too lazy to retype…

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Facebook switches your email address and lands in a little hot water

In case you didn’t notice, this past week Facebook changed your default email address.  I wrote about this a couple of years ago in that Facebook was rolling out @facebook.com email addresses which let users communicate within its own messaging service to people outside of Facebook.  However, use of this feature was optional (and judging…

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What do ordinary people think of the Gmail man?

A couple of days ago, I posted a link to a video by Microsoft parodying Gmail – the Gmail man.  In it, the video pokes fun at Google’s habit of making advertisements more relevant to its user base by extracting keywords from emails and using them to serve ads that match those keywords. I decided…

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The Gmail man!

I have to admit that this advertisement by Microsoft, poking fun at Google and Gmail – with an advert for its Office 365 service – is pretty funny. In it, they take shots at Google’s habit of scanning your email messages and extracting keywords and tokens in order to better target advertisements that cross your…

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Some more on the Stratfor/Anonymous hack – protecting user data

Okay, this is my final post on the Stratfor/Anonymous hack.  Probably. I’m a subscriber, and yesterday we all got a note from Stratfor founder George Friedman about the hack.  You can read it here if you so desire.  In it, he describes the motives for the attack: The attackers thought that Stratfor was part of…

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Keeping my email address private

Last year, in response to the rising costs of owning property, I joined the board of my homeowner’s association where I live.  Now instead of being randomly hit with increases in my fees, I get a little bit of notice before everyone else is also hit with the same fees.  At least I know where…

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Facebook vs Google – the pot calling the kettle black

In case you missed it a few days, a story broke that said that Facebook was caught hiring a PR firm to spread stories about Google about how they invade people’s privacy.  From The Daily Beast: For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a…

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Ontario woman sues Sony over data breach

2011 is turning into the year of the security breach. We can’t go two weeks without an organization revealing that hackers broke in and stole data.  As if things couldn’t get any worse for Sony, breach twice in a span of less than two weeks, users whose data they were supposed to protect are adding…

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The Google-China Detente Continues

Investor’s Business Daily had a Friday story about how China renewed the Internet search king Google’s license to operate in China for another year: China and Google reached an uneasy truce Friday as the country with the most Web users renewed the Internet giant’s operating license. But the censorship issues that caused the rift remain…

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When did it all begin?

Continuing on from my theme of Futurama-related posts, most people who watch the show will no doubt know that the show is very clever for the amount of humorous inside jokes referring to science and mathematics.  For example, one time Bender has a nightmare and sees ones and zeroes, ones and zeroes… and he awoke…

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