Foreign Policy Blogs

Technology

Hackers Crash Tea Party?

Hackers Crash Tea Party?

It’s ten days to midterm elections in the US. Tempers are running a bit high. Now FreedomWorks, one of the larger organized vehicles driving Tea Party activism, claims to have been shut down by a “cyber attack” when they were about to start a Glenn Beck online fundraiser. The WSJ doesn’t provide many details apart […]

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The Darknet Cometh

The Darknet Cometh

The main Google search page now redirects to an SSL encrypted version. Compute cycles are no longer the limiting factor on shoveling all the bits through an iron-bound SSL pipe. Privacy concerns are going to lead more people in this direction. At the same time, law enforcement types are going to scream bloody murder about […]

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Microsoft, Free Software Vendor and Defender of the Little Guy

Microsoft, Free Software Vendor and Defender of the Little Guy

I grew up as a practicing member of the Cult of the Mac. As such, Microsoft was clearly of the Forces of Darkness. They’re redeeming themselves now. Russia famously used illegal pirated software as an excuse to kick the doors in and shutter NGOs that were doing annoying things like advocating for universal human rights. […]

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Google, Censorship, Transparency

Google, Censorship, Transparency

I sometimes disagree with choices Google makes, but one note they have consistently hit is the importance of transparency. As a corporate entity they are obligated to follow the rules in the countries in which they operate – as long as they want to work there. This often means they have to be the tool […]

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Hardware Hacks

The Hill had a piece recently talking about Republican Senatorial angst around Chinese networking electronics giant Huawei providing equipment to Sprint. Huawei, like all firms of any importance in China, has significant ties to the CCP leadership and the People’s Liberation Army. The idea is that Sprint, being a major provider of IT to the US […]

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Hey, Who Turned The Lights Out?

Hey, Who Turned The Lights Out?

I get pretty irritated with the CyberWar Hysteria sometimes. The logic of alamists goes something like this: 1) “Oh Noes there are Bad Haxors out there who break into computers!!” 2) “Computers are buggy and have problems and really get hacked!!!” 3) *crickets* 4) “EXPLOSIONS, MASS DESTRUCTION AND DEATH ARE COMING!!!1!11!” It is genuinely hard […]

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Come to the Darknet Side

Come to the Darknet Side

The UAE and the Saudis have made a lot of news earlier this week with their steps to choke BlackBerry data services in their countries. Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry, came up with a particularly clever system for securing their devices. CEOs, as it turns out, don’t like the idea of anyone […]

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CyberAssault* Attribution? Who Cares!

That’s the not-terribly-unreasonable response of former NSA Director Michael Haydon. It’s a problem to try and figure out where Internet attacks come from. In the real world, that doesn’t really matter as much. If Canada was feeling pissy and let a bunch of bombers from some unknown third country sail through their airspace to take […]

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Eternal Values or American Ideology

Secretary Clinton identified net reedom as a core value that the US will promote – and by all accounts, the various tentacles of the US government apparatus have gotten the message. The US is aggressively promoting the Freedom to Connect around the world using all the different tools at its disposal. In the State Department, […]

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The Good Guys Are The Bad Guys

The Good Guys Are The Bad Guys

We pick a lot on authoritarians around here – try it, it’s fun! *poke poke* *GROWL* *ARGH MY ARM IS GONE!!!!* However, there’s a lot of unexpected players acting like bad guys in terms of internet censorship these days. Australia has draconian filtering laws. South Korea does everything possible to suppress anonymity online. (Care to […]

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Cybersecurity Moves Through Congress

Cybersecurity Moves Through Congress

Senate Homeland Security pushed through a comprehensive cybersecurity reform bill last week. (Writeup; bill text). It appears that cyber, for now, remains one of the areas in which the parties can work productively together, as it is co-sponsored by a Republican (Collins), Democrat (Carper), and Weasel Independent (Lieberman). It’s an interesting and important idea that the […]

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You're in a bubble.

You're in a bubble.

Great presentation by Eli Pariser at PDF 2010 on the Filter Bubble. What’s the filter bubble? Well, you’re living in it. In the Internet Age, we’re used to seeing many, many results for any search. “Why Am I Lonely?”: 150,000 hits. “Why Am I Happy?”: 141,000  hits. (Not as bad as I expected.) A huge, colossal amount of information. […]

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21st Century Leaking at the Personal Democracy Forum

21st Century Leaking at the Personal Democracy Forum

I’m writing from the Personal Democracy Forum, a big yearly conference on the intersection of politics, governance, technology and activism. Great set of speakers – Eli Pariser of MoveOn, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, and even Newt Gingrich. Things got off to an exciting (if technically flawed) start with a conversation between Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon […]

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Friday Lazy Linking

Friday Lazy Linking

Time for another roundup of great stories I’m not great enough to get to. The immediate response mechanism of Twitter and other instant tech systems can be good for our altruistic side, too, whatever it might cost when… I’m sorry, what were we talking about? Some great old tech commercials. Ah, those were the days. […]

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Opening the American Internet

Opening the American Internet

Big news from the FCC, America’s telecom regulator. Their feisty and energetic chair Julius Genachowski is planning to put some serious teeth back into Internet regulations. A while ago the Supreme Court shot down the primary foundation for FCC regulation of broadband technologies. One of the most visible likely casualties of unfettered ISPs pursuing unlimited profit guided […]

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