Online Ad Industry Threatened by Security Issues

Most people use ad blockers because they’re irritated with some of the intrusive ways ads are presented. But there are also compelling security arguments behind ad blockers. By blocking ads, consumers are better insulated against security risks from malvertisements.

The social media site Reddit, which can be a rich traffic source for publishers, warns users of links to content that demand people to disable their ad blockers, including publishers such as Forbes and Wired.

“Warning! Disabling your ad blocker may open you up to malware infections, malicious cookies and can expose you to unwanted tracker networks,” Reddit’s warning says. “Proceed with caution.”

I don’t know whether to be glad or worried by this.
It may be considered unsocial of me, but I use adblockers. Continue reading Online Ad Industry Threatened by Security Issues

UN privacy head slams ‘worse than scary’ UK surveillance bill

Two points in this caught my attention.

Cannataci also argued forcefully that mass surveillance was not the way to
handle the threat from terrorism and pointed to a report by the Dutch
intelligence services that argues that point. “To get real terrorists, you have
to go for good old-fashioned infiltration,” he argued, wishing that the security
services would spend less money on computers and more on real people who go out
and get real, actionable intelligence on what people are up to. “It’s time to be
realistic and actually examine what evidence shows.”

Where have I heard that before?
Oh, wait:

If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t
understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology
Bruce Schneier

Essentially what he’s saying is summed up by another Schneier quote:

People often represent the weakest link in the security chain and are
chronically responsible for the failure of security systems
— Bruce Schneier, Secrets and Lies

Continue reading UN privacy head slams ‘worse than scary’ UK surveillance bill

Purpose unclear. Why are the FBI *really* trying to subvert encryption?

Tim cook says Apple will fight a federal order to help the FBI hack an iPhone.  

An earlier version of this page has a paragraph which seems to have been deleted later;

It was not immediately clear what investigators believed they might find on Farook’s work phone or why the information would not be available from third-party service providers, such as Google or Facebook, though investigators think the device may hold clues about whom the couple communicated with and where they might have travelled.

Is that “Whom” grammatically correct?

This does raise a ‘why’ in my mind.
Cant the other service providers (who would it be, AT&T, Verizon?) supply the ‘traffic analysis of who they communicated with? Isn’t this the sort of “metadata” that the government spies are supposed to be collecting?

Opening the phone won’t give the content of the messages past, they are gone like the snows of yesteryear[1]. Dead as the author of that famous quote.

So what are the FBI looking for? The address book? I’m not sure how helpful that will be and its likely to cast suspicion on innocent parties. Continue reading Purpose unclear. Why are the FBI *really* trying to subvert encryption?

”My dog knows you don’t look like me”

So do my cats. But so what?

Does this mean that DARPA/USGov will finance the supply of advanced biometrics with every PC from Microsoft or Apples and every Tablet and smartphone? Perhaps eyeball recognition like in “Minority Report“.

And I’m sure there are _other_ ways to hack that than the one mentioned in the movie.


Enhanced by Zemanta

RIM vs. Indian government continues

… and the UAE.

RIM is between a rock and a hard place.
They say no to this and they loose a market; and the Indian market is big. They say yes to this and the customers don’t trust them, so why should they buy RIM rather than some other insecure service? Continue reading RIM vs. Indian government continues

On the one hand …

On the one hand there this:

and on the other, when it comes down to practice, there’s this

Now please don’t think I support p0rn.
But surely …

One of the principles of good home economics is to pay down your most expensive (usually credit card) debts first. Surely there’s an analogue here about applying censorial leverage where its most effective.

Sadly, the media, and hence the government and also the “do something about it now” pressure groups, are very good at making use of broad, overly inclusive labelling. It saves having to deal with fine issues, use discernment and judgement and making people actually stop and think about things rather than have an emotional reaction.

So where does pornography begin and end? Continue reading On the one hand …

A Ralph Nader for the 21st Century?


Hanni, who lives in California, is the founder of the Coalition for an
Airline Passengers Bill of Rights, the group that’s spearheading efforts
in Congress to prevent airlines from imprisoning passengers on delayed

In a lawsuit filed in Houston Tuesday, she claims that Delta Air
Lines was behind the hacking, accusing the world’s largest carrier
of conspiracy and invasion of privacy.

Hanni believes Delta wants to crush her attempts to force better
customer service on the airline industry, which has fought mightily
to ensure it can treat passengers shabbily.

Perhaps this isn’t on the same scale as cars that are designed to explode and kill the passengers, but the model is the same. Can we see Hanni standing for the Presidency in a couple of decades? No, seriously, there does seem to be some skulduggery here that impacts privacy.
Continue reading A Ralph Nader for the 21st Century?