Invasion of Privacy or Cyber Security?

30 September 2010 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Author(s): Peter Vogel

Proposed laws to ease wiretaps on the Internet are now being considered by the US Senate Judiciary Committee, but with widespread pushback from privacy groups. Federal officials have long relied on the wiretap laws to monitor criminals and terrorists, however as we all know fewer and fewer individuals are using phones any more. Rather everyone uses emails, texts, and posting information on Social Media sites. Since 1994 phone and broadband services have provided intercept capabilities based on the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, and the New York Times reported about the proposed new laws:

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

Since there are so many privacy issues at stake on these proposed laws there will be a great deal of debate in Congress, and in the meantime cyber security in the US and the world continues to be a major concern for all.

Cyber Attack: Malware Infects more than 45,000 computer Systems

A recent report in the Washington Post speculated that either a country, or well-funded private group was behind Stuxnet which is was “the first malicious computer code specifically created to take over systems that control the inner workings of industrial plants.” The consequences of such malware is potential catastrophic physical or property damage or loss. When we hear about these types of cyber attacks we have to consider how to protect the ourselves how to balance the personal privacy.

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