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Archive for the ‘privacy and security’ Category

Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report

November 26, 2014 Comments off

Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report
Source: Cisco

Adversaries spend 100 percent of their time finding weak links and using them to their advantage. And as the Internet of Things accelerates and our dependence on the connected environment continues to expand, so do opportunities for attackers.

Download the Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report to learn about the different types of vulnerabilities that exist in the systems we rely upon, including the Internet itself, and what can be done to reduce their number and impact.

This report explains:

  • The significant drop in the number of exploit kits since February
  • The challenges with catching Java
  • Industry risks across verticals

Understand the tactics so you can thwart these industrious adversaries.

Free registration required.

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Youth Internet Safety: Risks, Responses, and Research Recommendations

November 24, 2014 Comments off

Youth Internet Safety: Risks, Responses, and Research Recommendations
Source: Brookings Institution

Despite the significant amount of research on these risks, improving child/youth Internet safety remains a challenge. In part, this is because definitions of terms and categories relevant to online safety (such as “cyberbullying”) often vary, making the comparison of statistics and findings among sources imprecise. In addition, there are complex overlaps among different online safety subtopics.

Overall, these factors can make identifying the specific gaps in existing research and knowledge difficult. If these gaps can be better identified and filled, a data-based understanding of issues facing youth could play a key role in driving policy decisions regarding online safety.

In this paper, Adina Farrukh, Rebecca Sadwick and John Villasenor provide:

  1. an overview of existing online safety research across a wide range of categories
  2. an analysis of major findings
  3. an identification of knowledge gaps, and
  4. a set of recommendations for specific areas of research that can further the policy dialog regarding online safety

Making Smart Decisions About Surveillance: A Guide for Communities

November 24, 2014 Comments off

Making Smart Decisions About Surveillance: A Guide for Communities
Source: American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

In the wake of the revelations about the National Security Agency’s rampant warrantless spying and the use of military equipment in Ferguson, Missouri to quell protests, communities are increasingly focused on the need for greater transparency, oversight, and accountability of surveillance and local policing.

Leaders and residents want to know when and why surveillance is being considered, what it is intended to do, and what it will really cost — both in dollars and in individual rights — before taking any steps to seek funding or acquire or deploy surveillance technology. They also want to craft robust rules to ensure proper use, oversight, and accountability if surveillance is used.

This first-of-its-kind guide provides step-by-step assistance to help communities ask and answer the right questions about surveillance. It includes case studies highlighting smart approaches and missteps to avoid. Because each community and each type of surveillance may present a different set of issues, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, this guide gives communities a flexible framework that policymakers, community members and law enforcement should use to properly evaluate a wide array of surveillance technologies and develop policies that provide transparency, oversight, and accountability. It also includes a Surveillance & Community Safety Ordinance that communities should adopt to ensure that the right process is followed every time.

Americans’ Perceptions of Privacy are Varied

November 24, 2014 Comments off

Americans’ Perceptions of Privacy are Varied
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

To better understand how the public thinks about privacy, a representative sample of 607 adults were asked an open-ended question in an online survey: “When you hear the word “privacy,” what comes to mind for you?” The responses that followed were striking in their variance, ranging from one-word entries to lengthier descriptions that touched on multiple concepts.

Once the responses were coded, a set of key words and themes emerged as the most frequently referenced and top-of-mind for the general public. Each of the top ten themes was referenced in at least 5% of the total responses. However, a full 22% of the responses referenced some other theme that was mentioned only a handful of times or was entirely unique.

The Internet Economy – Regulatory Challenges and Practices

November 20, 2014 Comments off

The Internet Economy – Regulatory Challenges and Practices
Source: OECD

The Internet has become an integral part of the everyday life of households, firms and governments. Its proper functioning over the long run is therefore crucial for economic growth and people’s wellbeing more generally. The success of the Internet depends on its openness and the confidence of users. Designing policies that protect society while allowing for Internet’s great economic potential to be fulfilled, is a difficult task. This paper investigates this challenge and takes stock of existing regulations in OECD and selected non-OECD countries in specific areas related to the digital economy. It finds that despite the regulatory difficulties, the Internet is far from being a “regulation-free” space as there are various industry standards, co-regulatory agreements between industry and the government, and in some cases also state regulation. Most of them aim at protecting personal data and consumers more generally. In many cases generally applicable laws and regulations exist that address privacy, security and consumer protection issues both in the traditional and the digital economy.

New From the GAO

November 19, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Labor Relations Activities: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Reporting of the Use and Cost of Official Time. GAO-15-9, October 23.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-9
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666618.pdf

2. Health Care Transparency: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers. GAO-15-11, October 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-11
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666571.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/666514

3. Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act: Additional Outreach and Notification of Tribes about Offenders Who Are Released from Prison Needed. GAO-15-23, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-23
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666974.pdf

4. Overseas Military Construction: Observations on U.S. Contractor Preference. GAO-15-45, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-45
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666981.pdf

5. Public Transportation: Multiple Factors Influence Extent of Transit-Oriented Development. GAO-15-70, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-70
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666993.pdf

6. Highway Projects: Many Federal and State Environmental Review Requirements Are Similar, and Little Duplication of Effort Occurs. GAO-15-71, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-71
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666989.pdf

7. Human Trafficking: Oversight of Contractors’ Use of Foreign Workers in High-Risk Environments Needs to Be Strengthened. GAO-15-102, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-102
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666997.pdf

Related Product

1. Sex Offender registration and Notification Act: Survey of Federally Recognized Tribes on Implementation of the Act (GAO-15-30SP, November 18, 2014), an E-supplement to GAO-15-23. GAO-15-30SP, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/gao-15-30sp

Testimony

1. Information Security: Additional Actions Needed to Address Vulnerabilities That Put VA Data at Risk, by Gregory C. Wilshusen, director, information security issues, before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. GAO-15-220T, November 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-220T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666969.pdf

Drones and Aerial Surveillance: Considerations for Lawmakers

November 18, 2014 Comments off

Drones and Aerial Surveillance: Considerations for Lawmakers
Source: Brookings Institution

The looming prospect of expanded use of unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones, has raised understandable concerns for lawmakers.[1] Those concerns have led some to call for legislation mandating that nearly all uses of drones be prohibited unless the government has first obtained a warrant. Privacy advocates have mounted a lobbying campaign that has succeeded in convincing thirteen states to enact laws regulating the use of drones by law enforcement, with eleven of those thirteen states requiring a warrant before the government may use a drone.[2] The campaigns mounted by privacy advocates oftentimes make a compelling case about the threat of pervasive surveillance, but the legislation is rarely tailored in such a way to prevent the harm that advocates fear. In fact, in every state where legislation was passed, the new laws are focused on the technology (drones) not the harm (pervasive surveillance). In many cases, this technology centric approach creates perverse results, allowing the use of extremely sophisticated pervasive surveillance technologies from manned aircraft, while disallowing benign uses of drones for mundane tasks like accident and crime scene documentation, or monitoring of industrial pollution and other environmental harms.

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