Foxes Built This Henhouse: How Hackers Affect Our Privacy and Security

There’s an insanely fun and addictive nonsense website called Basically, it sets up a black, old-time looking DOS-type screen, and all you have to do is bang on the keyboard and a string of code-looking green letters comes up. It looks exactly like what “hackers” would do in movies from the 1990s, or, really, […]

Quettra and Advertisers: Privacy Rights as a Commodity

Capitalism is not necessarily a zero-sum game. There are always winners and losers, but the system in and of itself is not inherently designed to force choices in terms of results. What it does do, however, is force people within it to choose priorities. It becomes a question of who is entitled to what, given […]

A Billion Served: Russian Hackers, The NSA, and the Dangerous Banality of Giant Numbers

It was reported on Tuesday that a Russian Hacker Gang has accumulated over 1.2 billion pieces of ID data– usernames, passwords, credit card information, and other means of personal identification in cyberspace. This was discovered by a Milwaukee-based firm called Hold Security, who then shared their information with the New York Times. The New York Times then hired an investigator […]

P.F. Chang’s Data Breach Demonstrates Reach of Hackers

  You probably know what to expect when going into a P.F. Chang’s, the semi-upscale chain of Chinese restaurants mostly found at large suburban malls. Probably some horses outside a faux-Oriental entranceway, solid food that isn’t too challenging, but can satisfy the need for mild exoticism, and a price that makes you feel like you went […]

Canada Accuses Chinese Hackers of Intrusion

When we think of cyberwarfare, we generally think of Russia and China targeting the U.S., or the U.S. targeting one of them, or perhaps Iran. Most people probably imagine only these countries being the victim/perpetrator, because it is easy to imagine only high-level villainy and Hollywood-style heavyweights slugging it out. But this is a wrongheaded way […]

Patrick Leahy Proposes Dramatic NSA Reforms in Senate

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) has interests outside of government, which for an institution so hidebound and insular marks him as something of a radical. One of his great loves is Batman, a passion for which has led to a couple of cameos in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. In the former, he […]

The Right to Be Forgotten: The Flip Side of Privacy

In the introduction to Milan Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting, the great Czech author tells the story of when Communism came to Prague. The new leader was giving a stirring speech in Wenceslas Square in the winter, ushering in a new age (what Kundera didn’t know at the time, but as a contemporary reader […]

Is Total Privacy Viable? If So, Is the Notion Desirable?

There’s always been a strain in human thought, social creatures that we are, that a higher calling would be a life of solitude. From Byzantine holy men like Simon Stylites sitting on raised platforms for years at a time trying to commune with God, to not-anywhere-near-as-ascetic pond-wanderers like Henry David Thoreau and those who followed, misinterpreting his […]

Judge Allows Gmail Account to Be Read in Criminal Investigation- Effects for Privacy?

One of the tricky things about legal precedent is that the precedent is so often set around the actions of criminals, or at the very least people accused of being so. This inherently- unfairly maybe, but generally unavoidably- militates against sympathy, and helps to excuse far-reaching actions that could one day affect everyone.

Does Your Small Business Need a Chief Information Security Officer?

Running a small business is about balance, and about making sure that money is going to the right areas. You have to decide what expenditures make sense, and which ones are just throwing money out the window. A classic example of this is advertising: is spending the money for a TV ad going to bring in […]