How will internet governance change after the ITU conference?
Fri 7 Nov 2014, 18:00

Is the United Nations trying to take over the internet? Read anything in much of the western media about the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and you might think so, especially in the lead-up to the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 just wrapping up in Busan, Korea.

Jailbreaking Is Not A Crime—And EFF Is Fighting To Keep It That Way
Thu 6 Nov 2014, 22:20

If you own a phone or a tablet, you should be able to run whatever software you want on it. It seems like a simple truth, but there are a surprising number of hurdles in the way. Most pressingly, if the manufacturer of that phone or tablet wants to, they can misuse the law to limit your control over the device long after your purchase. This week, EFF has filed a petition with the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office to extend and expand the exemption that allows you to "jailbreak" your phone from those restrictions, without running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

That's important because jailbreaking (or "rooting," on Android devices) has real-world implications for users' ability to use their phones and tablets effectively and securely. It may be a necessary step before installing security updates after a device has stopped being supported by the manufacturer. In other cases, it may help users install accessibility software that allows them to use a device despite disabilities.

Hackers using complex crimeware to drain money from online bank accounts
Thu 4 Dec 2014, 04:40

There is an increase in use of complex crimeware that gathers the passwords of online customers at specific banks and automatically transfer funds out of their accounts, according to Akamai’s security group. The surge is being aided by a tool called Yummba webinject, which generates pop-ups – injects - during legitimate banking sessions that ask for usernames and passwords. The phony dialog boxes mimic the look and feel of the genuine bank Web pages with logos, colors and fonts used on the legitimate site.

Spotting terrorist behaviour online is harder than finding child ​abuse images
Thu 4 Dec 2014, 16:20

Why are we outraged by the suggestion that Facebook users’ messages should be screened for potential terrorist threats yet we accept that airline passengers are screened for terrorist threats before boarding a plane? What’s the difference between moving people or information around the world? This is the question raised by the UK parliament’s intelligence and security committee when it suggests Facebook and other internet platforms should “take responsibility” for detecting terrorist activity online.






Privacy app store
Tue 9 Dec 2014, 11:00

The privacy smartphone company Blackphone is launching its own app store for users concerned about privacy and security. The Blackphone app store will be available in January 2015 and will monitor apps to make sure they do not snoop on users. The app store will validate that the apps will do what they intend to do. For example if you have an app to manage your social media accounts and it wants access to your microphone and your camera Blackphone might ask why and get on a first screening.

US: Secure Data Act starts to address the problem of backdoors
Tue 9 Dec 2014, 23:00

EFF says the Secure Data Act starts to address the problem of backdoors by prohibiting any agency from “mandate[ing] that a manufacturer, developer, or seller of covered products design or alter the security functions in its product or service to allow the surveillance of any user of such product or service, or to allow the physical search of such product, by any agency.” The legislation only prohibits agencies from requiring a company to build a backdoor. The NSA can still do its best to convince companies to do so voluntarily.

The legislation also doesn’t change the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA.) CALEA, passed in 1994, is a law that forced telephone companies to redesign their network architectures to make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap telephone calls. In 2006, the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC's reinterpretation of CALEA to also include facilities-based broadband Internet access and VoIP service, although it doesn't apply to cell phone manufacturers.