terrorism

The Blade Itself Incites to Violence

We have a hundred thousand spies now: they have the capability, they have the information. The law will change; maybe not now, maybe not for a decade, but if don’t strangle this right now, it will change. They can do it, so they must: as Homer said, the blade itself incites to violence.

legal, privacy, society, terrorism

DefCon 19, Day 1

Having finished with BlackHat, I checked out of the Flamingo and moved to DefCon’s new location this year, the Rio. This was an enormous upgrade from the Riviera, the previous location. For one, the conference center is nearly 50% bigger, and it’s beautiful. Traffic flow was greatly improved, despite record attendance (~12,000, from estimates I’ve […]

industry, physical security, privacy, risk, society, statistics, terrorism

Decrypting bin Laden’s Hard Drives

With the news that the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound resulted in the capture of at least 10 hard drives and over 100 miscellaneous data storage devices (CDs, DVDs, flash drives, floppy disks, etc.), a common question that’s come up on news sites is “So, how likely are we to be able to decrypt these things? How good is the best non-government-grade encryption, anyway?”

attacks, crypto, terrorism

A “Clear” Case of Failure

Clear, the “trusted traveler” program that allowed customers to bypass airport security lines, has shut down.  The story is an interesting case of bureaucratic disincentives and general failure around the whole mess known as airport security. A privately-run alternative to the TSA’s Registered Traveller program, Clear started out with what seemed like a good idea […]

risk, society, terrorism

Data Hiding at the Airport

According to the EFF blog, customs has taken to randomly searching electronic devices for suspicious data.  It is somewhat mysterious what they are searching them for — given only a few minutes and a technically unskilled border guard doing the searching, it’s hard to imagine them actually finding anything better hidden than a file on […]

attacks, crypto, legal, privacy, products, terrorism