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Essential link between privacy and security: Optimizing for both

As we explore how best to use data analytics to provide value for important social functions like healthcare, education, transportation and law enforcement, many people believe that the use of the data will necessarily erode privacy. I believe not merely that we can preserve privacy, but that data analytics can particularly serve privacy interests when we use data to increase security. As cybersecurity threats become more harmful and perpetrators more difficult to detect, governments and companies must work together to deploy a distributed, effective cybersecurity response. The use of data—in ways…

Why your iPhone-unlocking fingerprint is susceptible to FBI search warrants

Should you be able to plead the Fifth when a judge forces you to use your fingerprints to unlock an iPhone? That’s the latest ongoing debate in a Los Angeles courtroom after a judge compelled a woman in custody to use Touch ID to unlock an iPhone. Legal experts are arguing that this goes against the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination because the authorities would then have access to potentially-incriminating personal data stored on the device. The debate started after authorities obtained a search warrant for Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, the girlfriend of a…

Chinese Twitter users unsettled by new managing director

On Thursday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the new managing director of Twitter for the Greater China region. By Saturday the news had excited a fierce reaction among Twitter users in China. It’s well known that Twitter, YouTube, Google and other major social media networks are banned in mainland China. While there aren’t many users of Twitter in the mainland (one estimate has it that there are roughly 10,000 active users), those who do use it are among the most ardent believers in internet freedom, and have a special love for…

‘Deep and disturbing decline’ in global press freedom

A Turkish protester holds a placard and a press card on April 1 before the trial of two journalists. Turkey ranks 151 out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom. (Sedat Suna/European Pressphoto Agency) For the first time in more than a decade, the press is freer in Africa than in the Americas. Yet a global “climate of fear and tension” continues to erode press freedom around the world, according to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. The group’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index reveals a “deep and disturbing decline in respect…

Apple, FBI, Congress: 5 burning questions raised

Engaging in a public contemplation of current encryption policy and practices, Apple SVP and general counsel Bruce Sewell presented testimony before the House Judiciary Committee March 1 as part of a hearing titled “The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy.” FBI Director James Comey; Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr., representing the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA); and Susan Landau, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, also gave testimony and answered questions before the committee. By the conclusion of the hearing, it was clear that a number of ideas and practices will…

Former U.S. intelligence director backs end-to-end encryption

Two former high-ranking US government officials have argued in favour of encryption and said they believed the FBI is misguided in trying to force Apple to unlock an encrypted iPhone used in a terrorist shooting attack in California last December. The two were participating on a panel at the annual RSA Security Conference entitled “Beyond Encryption: Why We Can’t Come Together on Security and Privacy — and the Catastrophes That Await If We Don’t.” Former US director of National Intelligence and Navy vice admiral Mike McConnell, and former Department of Homeland Security…

Privacy at what cost? Apple vs the U.S. government

It’s now more than two months after Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook shot and killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., before being shot to death by police. Farook was a 28-year-old restaurant inspector born in the US to a Pakistani family. Malik, 29, was an immigrant from Pakistan, who entered the US on a Fiancé visa. Flash back to 2007, On Jan. 9, 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld convention, receiving substantial media attention. On June 29,…

Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that NSA intercepts

The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations. The change would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email the security agency vacuums up around the world, including bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided…