Category: Commentary

Why security standards are Critical for the Cloud

Everyone loves standards, right? When is the last time you heard a vendor proudly say that their product or service was closed and proprietary? However, it also seems that every time a new IT architecture sweeps through the market, this time one based on cloud models, the lessons of the critical value of standards needs to be relearned. While it […]

Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement

If you sometimes find yourself needing an open wireless network in order to check your email from a car, a street corner, or a park, you may have noticed that they’re getting harder to find. Stories like the one over the weekend about a bunch of police breaking down an innocent man’s door because he happened to leave his network […]

Copyright Is Like QWERTY: Locked-In and Retrospective

The term ‘path dependence’ is generally used to describe the development of technological standards and how they ‘lock in’ a given technical solution. The QWERTY keyboard is often given as an example of path dependence – the fact that the costs of changing the keyboard to a better, more efficient solution, hinders change. The same can be said about much […]

No, iPhone location tracking isn’t harmless and here’s why

It didn’t take long for the blogosphere to respond to research presented on Wednesday that detailed a file in Apple iPhones and iPads unknown to the vast majority of its users that stored a long list of their time-stamped locations, sometimes with alarming detail. On Thursday, a forensics expert who sells software to law enforcement agencies gave a first-hand account […]

How People Broadcast Their Locations Without Meaning To

Smart phones include geotagging features that many people aren’t aware of. People were up in arms this week about the privacy implications of news that the iPhone gathers location information and stores it in a file on the user’s computer. But experts say that smart-phone owners are unknowingly taking a much bigger risk with information about where they go all […]

Publishers Force Domain Seizure of Public Domain Music Resource

IMSLP, the largest public domain music library on the Internet, has just suffered a damaging attack on the site’s infrastructure. In a wrongful action over a single 90 year-old classical piece by Rachmaninoff, the UK’s Music Publishers Association convinced registrar GoDaddy to seize IMSLP’s domain name, which took the site completely offline. While most readers will be very familiar with […]

“Who Has Your Back?” In Depth: Which Companies Promise To Tell Users About Government Data Requests?

EFF recently launched a campaign calling on companies to stand with their users when the government comes looking for data. (If you haven’t done so, sign our petition urging companies to provide better transparency and privacy.) This article will provide a more detailed look at one of the four categories in which a company can earn a gold star in […]

CAPTCHAs With Chaos: Strong Protection for Weak Passwords

The passwords of the future could become more secure and, at the same time, simpler to use. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden have been inspired by the physics of critical phenomena in their attempts to significantly improve password protection. The researchers split a password into two sections. With the first, easy-to-memorize […]

Google’s Lack of Transparency and Openness in the Android Market Will Hurt More Than Just Grooveshark

The vast open landscape for users, developers, and industry that Google announced with the release of Android has been growing narrower and more opaque. When the service launched, Google made much of Android’s transparency and inclusiveness, which it said would enable innovation lacking in the mobile space. And Google has pointed fingers at Apple for its draconian, closed ways. But […]

Protect the API Keys to your Cloud Kingdom

API keys to become first class citizens of security policies, just like SSL keys Much lip service is paid to protecting information in the Cloud, but the reality is often seat-of-the-pants Cloud security. Most organizations use some form of API keys to access their cloud services. Protection of these API keys is vital. This blog post will explore the issues […]

ISP Cannot Be Forced To Block Copyright Infringing Files

An advisor to the European Court of Justice has said that an ISP involved in a long-running file-sharing dispute cannot be forced to block or filter copyright-infringing files at the behest of copyright holders. Such an action would amount to an invasion of customers’ privacy and violate rights guaranteed under EU law. The dispute between music rights group SABAM and […]

File-Sharers Await Official Recognition of New Religion

A group of self-confessed radical pirates are pinning their hopes on gaining official recognition of their own unique belief system. The founders of the Missionary Church of Kopimism – who hold CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols – hope that along with this acceptance will come harmony, not just with each other, but also with the police. ‘Thou shall not […]

Building a Distributed, Decentralized Internet – A Roadmap

I know that I’m not Patrick, and I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself here. I just want to say that I share Patrick’s belief in the radical necessity of humanity’s co-owning the physical layer. As I see it, this is the only path to freedom. To that end, I *have* a roadmap. It has five stages, and […]

Proposal Suggests Browsers Should Block Users From BitTorrent Sites

As the United States heads off firmly down the domain seizures route, other countries around the world are also considering how best to deal with the issue of online piracy. Blocking sites via the web’s DNS system has been high on the agenda but doubts exist over its effectiveness. A suggestion coming out of Europe this week would mean that […]

[How to] Be Confident Storing Information in the Cloud

Over the past few years, information explosion has inhibited organizations’ ability to effectively secure, manage and recover data. This complexity is only increasing as organizations try to manage the data growth by moving it to the cloud. It’s clear that storage administrators must regain control of information to reduce costs and recovery times while complying with regulatory compliance standards, including […]

Google Books Decision: “The Privacy Concerns are Real”

A federal district court in New York today issued a long-awaited ruling in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, rejecting the proposed settlement between the parties. EFF participated in the case as counsel to a collection of authors and publishers, including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem and Cory Doctorow, who objected to the settlement based on concerns about reader […]