Cyber Law, Tech and Policy
- Scholars Warn of NSA Loopholes — summary in The Boston Globe of the academic paper “Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad“ by professors Axel Arnbak (Harvard) and Sharon Goldberg (Boston University):
“Arnbak and Goldberg said that the NSA could increase its surveillance of Americans by modifying overseas communications networks so that they would intercept data being transmitted between destinations inside the United States. As soon as the data passes through a foreign server, the NSA could legally monitor it, they said. ‘There are all sorts of things you can do to change the flow of traffic,’ Goldberg said.”
Internet traffic rerouting, swaps and sharing of intelligence with foreign intelligence services, etc. – all these loopholes serve to make vigorous Congressional and judicial oversight of permitted U.S. intelligence activities of prime importance. See also, by the paper’s authors, ‘Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution’, the NSA Statement, and Our Response at Freedom to Tinker.
- With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility – Om Malik:
“’You should presume that someday, we will be able to make machines that can reason, think and do things better than we can,’ Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in a conversation with Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla. To someone as smart as Brin, that comment is as normal as sipping on his super-green juice, but to someone who is not from this landmass we call Silicon Valley or part of the tech-set, that comment is about the futility of their future . . . . [T]he new machine age is already underway, unseen by us. ‘It is not really just a human world,’ said Sean Gourley, cofounder and CTO of Quid who points out that our connected world is producing so much data that it is beyond human cognitive abilities and machines are going to be part of making sense of it all. So the real question is what will we do and what should we — the technology industry and we the people do?”
- How to Digitally Avoid Taking It to the Grave – practical advice in The New York Times on planning for your heirs’ control of your personal digital (including online) information after you die.
One of my favorite recurring web features is The Millions’ semi-annual books preview. The latest version – Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2014 Book Preview
At Nate Silver’s 538, a great, multi-part series on the search for America’s best burrito – start here. Lots of burrito joints across the U.S.A. to bookmark.
On the (Very Smelly) Trail of the Skunk Takeover – Pet-friendly American Suburbs Make Ideal Habitats for Skunks, and Populations of the Bushy-tailed Moochers have Exploded in Recent Years – Outside magazine
Nature’s Most Perfect Killing Machine — Leigh Cowart writing in Hazlitt on the ebola virus.