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Friday Cyber News, March 18 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 3/12 - 3/18:

1. New work from Columbia, NYU, and Microsoft Research connects the dots on recent and emerging labor technologies to describe a program of limitless worker surveillance. Tracking technologies like those described in the paper create and reinforce algorithmic behaviors in ourselves, creating strange personality traits designed to placate machines. But some algorithmic behaviors are improvements: the National Bureau of Economic Research released a study of taxis and Ubers, and found that Uber provides more efficient capacity utilization. [SSRN; IASC; NBER]

2. What kinds of surveillance tools should we provide to law enforcement? No one wants "back doors", but is talk from GCHQ director Robert Hannigan and others of "front doors" just linguistic window dressing? MIT's Danny Weitzner explores the second wave of crypto debate, as purveyors of end-to-end encryption, the logical next step for Apple, are now in the DOJ's crosshairs. [Lawfare; EFF]

3. NATO's Cyber Defense Center of Excellence has written a book on international cyber norms, for your weekend perusal. The book takes on legal norms, political norms, and private sector reactions. [CCDCOE]

4. Technology is helping us track wildlife: binoculars that automatically identify bighorn sheep, data processing software that works with wilderness cameras to identify flora and fauna trends, and automatic deterrent systems to keep predators away from ranchers' herds. Surveillance of the wild has the ultimate goal of helping it, but are we actually just encroaching on systems that would be better without our interventions? [NYTimes]

5. Korea and Sweden are making moves toward a cashless society, noting that fewer and fewer purchases are being made with cash--but should we allow a single point of failure to block all our access to money? [Bloomberg]

6. San Francisco legislators are using secure messaging app Telegram to communicate with one another, to avoid public records disclosure laws like FOIA. At some point, the range of inconsistent stances on encryption within the government will collapse in on itself, creating a black hole that the head prosecutor of Paris is already worried about. (Ok, he thinks its cause is encryption itself). [The Information; The Hill]

7. NPR does a deep dive into the UC cybersecurity debate over the privacy of researchers' communications and UC Berkeley President Janet Napolitano's program to monitor and (temporarily) store network activity. As a Cal alum, I can say that the choice of a former Homeland Security secretary to lead a famously protest-happy university was an interesting one. [NPR]

8. The tech community is still trying to find ways to deter extremists online; Twitter continues to remove ISIS-associated accounts, and Google is looking at ways to block ISIS searches, so presumably everyone named after the Egyptian deity has already started going by Izzie. Other attempts seem more misguided: Venmo is delaying payments that mention "Iran" or "Persian" even in the context of "Persian holiday Nowruz". [CSM Passcode; Niac]

9. NIST published new cryptographic guidelines this week, and still no mention of EdDSA, Curve25519, or Curve448, who have been passing "NIST, do you like us? [Y] [N]" notes all school year. []

10. John Oliver, the Bill Nye of foul-language science explaining for adults, spends eighteen minutes going over what encryption means, particularly in the Apple v. FBI case. [Wired]


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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