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Friday Cyber News, April 15 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 4/9 - 4/15:

1. Microsoft is suing the US government over its right to tell customers when the government has requested access to their emails. The company is currently not able to disclose the government's requests made under ECPA, and argues that this violates their free speech rights and the customer's fourth amendment rights to know about searches. Relatedly, the Email Privacy Act passed the House this Tuesday, aiming to eliminate the "180 days or older" loophole allowing access to old emails without a warrant. [Reuters; Daily Dot]

2. "If work is digital, why do we still go to the office?" Just as the promised productivity increases associated with technology haven't shortened our workweeks, the ability to take work anywhere you can take your laptop hasn't led to the elimination of offices. [Harvard Business Review]

3. Teams of internet moderators are defining the ways we can and can't communicate online, in an effort to reduce online harassment, among other problems that crop up on social media. E.g., weapons bazaars on Facebook. Bad for free speech, but good for preserving human decency? [The Verge; NY Times]

4. Canadian police have had a global encryption key for Blackberry phones--enabling them to read any message sent between the phones--since 2010. [Vice]

5. Israeli company Cellebrite--now said not to be responsible for getting the FBI into that iPhone, by the way--is developing a textalyzer that would allow police to determine if a driver was texting or using his phone immediately before an accident. Related: current challenges and future research areas for digital forensic investigations. [Washington Post; Ars Technica; Arxiv via University College Dublin]

6. Chinese apps let you rent a friend, rent a travel guide, or a "temporary boyfriend/girlfriend." Is this a logical part of the remote-work sharing economy, or a technological loophole facilitating prostitution? [Foreign Policy]

7. Parents can use apps to spy on their kids while texting and posting on social media. Dating apps can spy on your real-world interactions to better understand you and suggest new pairings. It's tempting to get as much information as possible, but should we set better privacy boundaries? [Nautilus x2]

8. President Obama formed a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, with members including Stanford's Herb Lin, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Uber CSO Joe Sullivan, and former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. [EnGadget]

9. Ignoring the Streisand Effect, UC Davis spent $175k to remove references online to campus police pepper-spraying student protestors. [Sacbee]

10. Terrorism, mass surveillance, and civil liberties: pick two. An explainer video on electronic surveillance and privacy. Related: Killer robots (drones) and the possibility of meaningful human control. [YouTube: Kurzgesagt; Human Rights Watch]


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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