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Feed Schneier: Big Data Surveillance Results in Bad Policy (schneier.com)

Evgeny Morozov makes a point about surveillance and big data: it just looks for useful correlations without worrying about causes, and leads people to implement "fixes" based simply on those correlations -- rather than understanding and correcting the underlying the causes. As the media academic Mark Andrejevic points out in Infoglut, his new book on the political implications of information...

Feed Schneier: Protecting E-Mail from Eavesdropping (schneier.com)

In the wake of the Snowden NSA documents, reporters have been asking me whether encryption can solve the problem. Leaving aside the fact that much of what the NSA is collecting can't be encrypted by the user -- telephone metadata, e-mail headers, phone calling records, e-mail you're reading from a phone or tablet or cloud provider, anything you post on...

Feed Schneier: How Apple Continues to Make Security Invisible (schneier.com)

Interesting article: Apple is famously focused on design and human experience as their top guiding principles. When it comes to security, that focus created a conundrum. Security is all about placing obstacles in the way of attackers, but (despite the claims of security vendors) those same obstacles can get in the way of users, too. [...] For many years, Apple...

Feed Schneier: Sixth Movie-Plot Threat Contest Winner (schneier.com)

On April 1, I announced the Sixth Mostly-Annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest: For this year's contest, I want a cyberwar movie-plot threat. (For those who don't know, a movie-plot threat is a scare story that would make a great movie plot, but is much too specific to build security policy around.) Not the Chinese attacking our power grid or shutting off...

Feed Schneier: Is Cryptography Engineering or Science? (schneier.com)

Responding to a tweet by Thomas Ptacek saying, "If you're not learning crypto by coding attacks, you might not actually be learning crypto," Colin Percival published a well-thought-out rebuttal, saying in part: If we were still in the 1990s, I would agree with Thomas. 1990s cryptography was full of holes, and the best you could hope for was to know...

Feed Schneier: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence Defends NSA Surveillance Pro (schneier.com)

Here's a transcript of a panel discussion about NSA surveillance. There's a lot worth reading here, but I want to quote Bob Litt's opening remarks. He's the General Council for ODNI, and he has a lot to say about the programs revealed so far in the Snowden documents. I'm reminded a little bit of a quote that, like many quotes,...

Feed Schneier: Privacy Protests (schneier.com)

Interesting law journal article: "Privacy Protests: Surveillance Evasion and Fourth Amendment Suspicion," by Elizabeth E. Joh. Abstract: The police tend to think that those who evade surveillance are criminals. Yet the evasion may only be a protest against the surveillance itself. Faced with the growing surveillance capacities of the government, some people object. They buy "burners" (prepaid phones) or "freedom...

Feed Schneier: US Department of Defense Censors Snowden Story (schneier.com)

The US Department of Defense is blocking sites that are reporting about the Snowden documents. I presume they're not censoring sites that are smearing him personally. Note that the DoD is only blocking those sites on its own network, not on the Internet at large. The blocking is being done by automatic filters, presumably the same ones used to block...

Feed Schneier: Security Analysis of Children (schneier.com)

This is a really good paper describing the unique threat model of children in the home, and the sorts of security philosophies that are effective in dealing with them. Stuart Schechter, "The User IS the Enemy, and (S)he Keeps Reaching for that Bright Shiny Power Button!" Definitely worth reading. Abstract: Children represent a unique challenge to the security and privacy...

Feed Schneier: NSA E-Mail Eavesdropping (schneier.com)

More Snowden documents analyzed by the Guardian -- two articles -- discuss how the NSA collected e-mails and data on Internet activity of both Americans and foreigners. The program might have ended in 2011, or it might have continued under a different name. This is the program that resulted in that bizarre story of Bush officials confronting then-Attorney General John...

Feed Schneier: How the NSA Eavesdrops on Americans (schneier.com)

Two weeks ago, the Guardian published two new Snowden documents. These outline how the NSA's data-collection procedures allow it to collect lots of data on Americans, and how the FISA court fails to provide oversight over these procedures. The documents are complicated, but I strongly recommend that people read both the Guardian analysis and the EFF analysis -- and possibly...

Feed Schneier: SIMON and SPECK: New NSA Encryption Algorithms (schneier.com)

The NSA has published some new symmetric algorithms: Abstract: In this paper we propose two families of block ciphers, SIMON and SPECK, each of which comes in a variety of widths and key sizes. While many lightweight block ciphers exist, most were designed to perform well on a single platform and were not meant to provide high performance across a...

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