Some people thought the laying of the trans-Atlantic cable might bring world peace, because connecting humans could only lead to better understanding and empathy. That wasn’t the outcome—and recent utopian ideas about communication (Facebook might bring us together and make us all friends!) have also met with a darker reality (Facebook might polarize us and spread false information!). Should we be scared of technology that promises to connect the world? Guests include: Robin Dunbar, inventor of Dunbar’s Number; Nancy Baym, Microsoft researcher.
Tagged with “nsa” (16)
Orwellian threats caused the New York Times to spike a story on NSA spying way back in 2004 | Public Radio International
In 2004, the New York Times was about to publish a story on domestic spying. But its editor at the time, Bill Keller, ended up spiking the story after visiting the White House and being told its publication could cause the next 9/11 terrorist attack.
Find out more at: http://re-publica.de/session/nsa-are-not-stasi-godwin-mass-surveillance
It’s tempting to compare NSA mass surveillance to the GDR’s notorious Stasi, but the differences are more illuminating than the similarities.
Cory Doctorow Electronic Frontier Foundation
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)
The NSA reaches out
Of her eight great-grandparents, seven were murdered at Auschwitz.
“So my family’s history burned into me a fear of what occurs when the power of a state is turned against its people or other people.”
Seeking freedom from threats like that brought her parents from Hungary to America.
By 1976 they had saved up to take their first flight abroad.
Their return flight from Tel Aviv was high-jacked by terrorists and landed at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
Non-Jewish passengers were released and the rest held hostage.
The night before the terrorists were to begin shooting the hostages, a raid by Israeli commandos saved most of the passengers.
Anne Neuberger was just a baby in 1976.
“My life would have looked very different had a military operation not brought my parents home. It gives me a perspective on the threats of organized terror and the role of intelligence and counterterrorism.”
When she later entered government service, she sought out intelligence, where she is now the principal advisor to the Director for managing NSA’s work with the private sector.
The NSA, Neuberger said, has suffered a particularly “long and challenging year” dealing with the public loss of trust following the Snowden revelations.
The agency is reviewing all of its activities to determine how to regain that trust.
One change is more open engagement with the public.
“This presentation is a starting point."
“My family history,” she said, "instilled in me almost parallel value systems – fear of potential for overreach by government, and belief that sometimes only government, with its military and intelligence, can keep civilians safe. Those tensions shape the way I approach my work each day.
I fully believe that the two seemingly contradictory factors can be held in balance.
And with your help I think we can define a future where they are.”
The National Security Agency, she pointed out, actively fosters the growth of valuable new communication and computing technology and at the same time “needs the ability to detect, hopefully deter, and if necessary disable lethal threats.”
To maintain those abilities over decades and foster a new social contract with the public, Neuberger suggested contemplating 5 tensions, 3 scenarios, and 3 challenges.
The tensions are…
1) Cyber Interdependencies (our growing digital infrastructure is both essential and vulnerable); 2) Intelligence Legitimacy Paradox (to regain trust, the NSA needs publicly understood powers to protect and checks on that power); 3) Talent Leverage (“the current surveillance debates have cast NSA in a horrible light, which will further hamper our recruiting efforts”); 4) Personal Data Norms (the growing Internet-of-things—Target was attacked through its air-conditioning network—opens vast new opportunities for tracking individual behavior by the private as well as public sector); 5) Evolving Internet Governance (the so-far relatively free and unpoliticized Internet could devolve into competing national nets).
Some thirty-year scenarios… 1) Intelligence Debilitated (with no new social contract of trust and thus the loss of new talent, the government cannot keep up with advancing technology and loses the ability to manage its hazards); 2) Withering Nation (privacy obsession hampers commercial activity and government oversight, and nations develop their own conflicting Internets); 3) Intelligent America (new social contract with agreed privacy norms and ongoing security assurance).
Initiatives under way from NSA…
1) Rebuild US Trust (move on from “quiet professionals” stance and actively engage the public); 2) Rebuild Foreign Trust (“extend privacy protections previously limited to US citizens to individuals overseas”); 3) Embrace Collective Oversight (reform bulk collection programs in response to the President’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board).
As technology keeps advancing rapidly, the US needs to stay at the forefront in terms of inventing the leading technical tools to provide public services and maintain public security, plus the policy tools to balance civil liberties with protection against ever-evolving threats.
“My call to action for everyone in this audience is get our innovative minds focussed on the full set of problems.”
A flood of QUESTION CARDS came to the stage, only a few of which we could deal with live.
Anne Neuberger wanted to take all the questions with her to share with NSA colleagues, so Laura Welcher at Long Now typed them up.
I figure that since the questioners wanted their questions aired on the stage to the live and video audience, they would like to have them aired here as well.
And it would be in keeping with the NSA’s new openness to public discourse.
Ms. Neuberger agreed…
Pete Nowak on tech trends at CES. Matt Novak on retro CES. Bob Burrows on connected cars. Dan Misener and Anil Somayaji on solving the password problem. Clare Reddington on the playable city. Aral Balkan on indie tech.
Will 2014 be the year of the indie tech revolution? Aral Balkan is an experience designer who says we’ll see a boom in indie tech this year: software and devices that offer great user experience and give you control of your data.
Recent revelations about the extent of NSA surveillance have put even the standards by which encryption systems are designed into question. Encryption experts Matthew Green, Phillip Zimmerman, and Martin Hellman discuss what makes a code secure and the limits of privacy in the modern age.
The NSA can already crack most cryptography; now it’s working on a quantum computer to bust the rest. Is it the end of for-your-eyes-only?
The world’s been up in arms because the US National Security Agency, the NSA, has been tapping and hacking and buying its way into private data all over the place. What if it didn’t have to tap and hack and buy? What if the NSA could build a quantum computer that could break any encryption out there and walk right in? The latest news out of the revelations from super-leaker Edward Snowden says it’s trying. Racing for a computer exponentially more powerful than anything now. This hour On Point: the NSA, quantum computing, and the future of cryptography.
– Tom Ashbrook
Steven Rich, database editor for the investigative at The Washington Post. (@dataeditor)
Seth Lloyd, professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Matthew Green, cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University. Author of the blog, “A Few Thoughts On Cryptographic Engineering.” (@MatthewDGreen)
From Tom’s Reading List
Washington Post: NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption — “The development of a quantum computer has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, with revolutionary implications for fields such as medicine as well as for the NSA’s code-breaking mission. With such technology, all current forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.”
Wired: The quest to make encryption accessible to the masses — “Kobeissi’s challenge, to make encrypted online messaging user-friendly, has long been a bugbear of the crypto community. A paper, written in 1999, demonstrated that the encryption program PGP completely baffled most users in a series of tests. The study, now fourteen years old, is still frequently cited today as a long-unanswered call to arms.”
A Few Thoughts On Cryptographic Engineering: How does the NSA break SSL?
— “You see, the NSA BULLRUN briefing sheet mentions that NSA has been breaking quite a few encryption technologies, some of which are more interesting than others. One of those technologies is particularly surprising to me, since I just can’t figure how NSA might be doing it. In this extremely long post I’m going to try to dig a bit deeper into the most important question facing the Internet today. Specifically: how the hell is NSA breaking SSL?”
Stephen Sackur talks to Thomas Drake, a former senior executive at the highly-secretive National Security Agency in the US. His life changed when he decided to become a whistle-blower and leak to the media his concerns about the way in which the NSA was developing its surveillance strategy inside the United States. He became the subject of a long-running investigation which threatened to see him locked up for much of the rest of his life. His home was raided, his computers analysed, and he became a key figure in a wider Obama Administration drive to crackdown on leakers within the national security system. For Thomas Drake that meant years of anguish and uncertainty; but did he deserve it?
Interviews with the world’s leading politicians, thinkers and cultural figures. In an in-depth, hard-hitting, half-hour discussion, Stephen Sackur talks to some of the most prominent people from around the world. Broadcast on the BBC World Service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Thanks to Edward Snowden’s leaking of American intelligence secrets the whole world now knows the extent of US-UK surveillance of global phone and internet traffic. Have the revelations flagged up a corrosive infringement of individual liberty, or undermined efforts to protect the world from terrorism? HARDtalk speaks to journalist, Glenn Greenwald - he broke the Snowden story. His mission, he says, is to hold power to account. Is this a journalistic crusade that’s gone too far?
Dennis Fisher talks with cryptographer Bruce Schneier about the revelations of the NSA’s capabilities to subvert and weaken cryptographic algorithms.
Page 1 of 2Older