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Friday Cyber News, April 29 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 4/23 - 4/29:

1. The recent popularity of news about chatbots foreshadows the rise of autonomous systems, and attendant concerns about where the tide of jobs will ebb and flow. Others argue that bots are not the future, and that there will be a second wave of better software that will allow us to retain control while operating more efficiently. For now, we may be asking too much of immature bots--including asking that they provide legal perspective--without considering the security implications of asking users to interact conversationally with software they haven't verified they can trust. [Foretellix; DanGrover; Wired; Bloomberg; Mashable]

2. The Supreme Court signed off on changes to Rule 41 of federal criminal procedure, putting the ball in Congress' court. The rule currently prevents judges from signing warrants for searches of computers outside their home jurisdiction, which places awkward restrictions on investigators who may not know exactly where data resides, while being able to access it from almost anywhere. Related: "a spectre is haunting Fourth Amendment law..." [; Yale Law Journal]

3. Burr and Feinstein, authors of a much-maligned encryption bill in the Senate, penned an op-ed to defend their stance. They argue, as did Comey earlier this week, that critics of law enforcement access to encrypted communication underestimate the importance and potential consequences of intercepting terrorism communication. [WSJ]

4. Multiple forms of malware were found in a German nuclear plant, and airplane cockpits are regularly scrubbed of Android malware that makes it onto the plane via techs charging their phones in the cockpit. [Security Week]

5. The Deputy Secretary of Defense revealed last week that we're "dropping cyber bombs" on ISIS, and David Sanger has the story of what that might mean. [NY Times]

6. Google, Ford, Uber, Lyft, and Volvo have created a lobbying group to push for the adoption of self-driving cars. The group wants regulation in the form of federal standards that will make it easier to introduce autonomous vehicles to the market. [The Verge]

7. New paper from Initiative co-director Dan Boneh: protocols for private service discovery and private authentication will help IoT devices communicate while preserving their, and your, privacy. Related: the internet of things needs design, not just technology. [; HBR]

8. Google's search rankings and Google Trends data are so good at predicting elections that we could use them in place of elections. Should we? For more, see Raw Data episode 5. [Quartz; Cyber Initiative blog]

9. Verizon's latest Data Breach Investigation Report is out. Breaches are primarily the result of external attacks, financial motivations are by far the most prevalent, and the time required to compromise and exfiltrate data is decreasing. [Verizon]

10. A study from Georgia Tech shows that people trust robots, following them in an emergency rather than using their previous experience as a guide, even when those robots have shown themselves to be defective or inefficient. [Georgia Tech]


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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