Tech at Night

We got news of a new, widespread Internet security hole this week, and it turns out this one was caused by government. They caused it.

Government is bad at controlling the Internet, and so now it turns out the Net Neutrality plan of Barack Obama’s to regulate the Internet may cause even more problems. Net Neutrality will break streaming.

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Tech at Night: Edward Snowden’s Latest Attack on America

On January 20, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

There are two possibilities when it comes to the latest Edward Snowden announcement. Option one is he’s lying, and simply spreading propaganda against America to appease his Russian paymasters.

Option two is he’s telling the truth, and specifically attempting to undermine American operations against a brutal Communist regime that has been attacking America for years, including a massive $100 bill counterfeiting operation (remember when we finally changed the $100 to those stupid colored versions we have these days? North Korea is why).

Either way Snowden is a spy for the enemies of liberty, and a traitor to us all.

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Tech at Night

People don’t really believe how much damage a determined state-backed attacker can do to us online. And yes, the attack on Sony Pictures was an attack on us. North Korea’s attack on that studio, and let’s be clear, it was North Korea, not a domestic malcontent, was their way of cheaply doing millions of dollars of damage to our economy.

It used to take bombs to do that. Not anymore. That’s why we need NSA.

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Tech at Night: Watch for more online attacks in 2015

On January 1, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

People keep trying to diminish the possibility that North Korea was behind the attack on Sony, which I don’t get. An online attack is not like a nuclear weapon, needing a massive capital investment and scarce domain expertise. Computer experts are much easier to develop, and the investment to make such attacks is well within the budget of even a backward country like North Korea.

So some other group may be claiming responsibility, but that’s not necessarily the ned of the story. If private groups can commoditize online attacks, then North Korea can make them.

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Tech at Night

So Barack Obama denies it’s an act of war for a foreign country, North Korea, to attack American Internet resources, those of Sony Pictures. It is war though, as surely as an embargo is an act of war, though it is war by a new means.

I hope South Korea is taking it seriously, because it looks like somebody is. NSA? Sounds like them, shutting it down to neutralize a threat.

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Tech at Night: This is why we need the NSA

On December 20, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

It’s not often a Tech at Night issue gets wide play on the Internet, but this one has. North Korean attackers broke into Sony systems in the US (Sony being a Japanese firm but Sony Pictures Studios being a major US-based movie studio, at the old Paramount lot) in order to intimidate them into pulling a movie, The Interview.

Some are trying to dismiss this as an actual foreign threat, but there’s no reason not to think they could do it, and this is every reason why we need a strong NSA.

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Tech at Night

Barack Obama’s FBI director, James Comey, was previously featured in this space for his declaration that he’s troubled, that Americans would be able to take proactive measures to encrypt their own data, in ways the FBI couldn’t read at will.

He tried to intimidate and bully Apple and Google into avoiding adding effective cryptography to iOS and Android. This is important because it’s only effective cryptography that would allow private citizens and corporations to protect themselves from spying by foreign governments and government-backed hackers.

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Tech at Night

Sometimes the government cheers the idea that your data is being protected from the bad guys. Other times, the government grumbles and complains.

It turns out they’re fine with your data being at risk, as long as it means government can get to it whenever it wants. Funny, that.

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Tech at Night

According to the government, if they think you’re breaking the law, they have the authority to break into your servers. Given the possibility of errors, combined with the tendency of third parties to gather data which could help, this puts private citizens online in a tricky spot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not sympathetic to the Silk Road scum, and I’m inclined to look the other way when an anarchist gets stomped by the state.

However, Google is right that it’s government’s fault that there’s a new push for encryption online.

Even if you support NSA’s role online, a government that is not transparent while actively searching people’s data, is a good reason to keep your data encrypted. Governments make mistakes, and data gets leaked. Just look at Bradley Manning’s case, or Edward Snowden’s.

Should our data be at the mercy of anarchists, traitors, and opportunists? No, we have the right to secure our data. And government has no business telling us they need special access. Democrats have wanted that since the Clinton era, with the Clipper program of so-called Escrowed Encryption (where you can encrypt your data, but government can always decrypt it), but it’s never had any popular support. Rightfully not.


If Belkin can’t even keep routers running, why would anyone trust the Internet of Things?

There’s no such thing as a ‘light’ or ‘forbearance’ version of Title II Reclassification, which would cause the Internet to be regulated by the FCC like the phone system. 1930s regulation for 2010s technology.

Net Neutrality violations are a myth, finds the European Commission, after spending a year trying to gin up justification for government control of the Internet.

Tech at Night

Have to say, sometimes enforcement of things is rather inconsistent in this country.

If you or I (or Aaron Swartz) were caught making unauthorized access to other people’s computer equipment, to engage in a Denial of Service attack, we’d risk criminal charges. Marriott International? Not so much.

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