A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering: Attack of the week: FREAK (or ‘factoring the NSA for fun and profit’)

Matthew Green is a particularly interesting writer on cryptography, theory and practice. He’s joined the EFF in a lawsuit to undo one of the most contentious and problematical provisions of the DMCA, Section 1201, which limits a user’s rights over a digitally locked object. (See EFF sues US government, saying copyright rules on DRM are unconstitutional | Ars Technica .) The argument by the EFF is that the provision unconstitutionally limits free speech; Green relates the provision to his own work, cryptography and its use on behalf of the (US, at the least) public good, to argue that Section 1201 compromises his work, puts him in legal (and financial) jeopardy, and thus endangers US society. He makes a good case.

But this account below actually relates to issues that have less to do with copyright than with the ways we secure many of our routine electronic communications. And it’s told well.

 

With all that in mind, there’s a third aspect of SSL/TLS that doesn’t get nearly as much attention. That is: the SSL protocol itself was deliberately designed to be broken.

Source: A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering: Attack of the week: FREAK (or ‘factoring the NSA for fun and profit’)

Samsung Acquires Joyent, Twitter Buys Magic Pony and Accenture Buys Israeli Firm Maglan

That Samsung has bought Joyent is actually interesting news. Joyent is not an insignificant player in open source cloud. And it also has the frankly brilliant Bryan Cantrill, not to mention Scott Hammond and others. (I mostly know Bryan personally from Sun days and conference intersections.) Samsung has been quietly working in open source for some time (It had taken in a fair number of Sunnies) but its output has been—at least to me—less visible than others’. Much of this doubtless has to do with the nature of the software it’s worked on—Infrastructure, mobility, etc.: not user-facing apps. That won’t change with Joyent’s acquisition, but what will, I would surmise, is Samsung’s strength as a cloudy provider relative to AWS and others.

 

Samsung Electronics has agreed to acquire Joyent, Inc., a leading public and private cloud provider….

Source: Samsung Acquires Joyent, Twitter Buys Magic Pony and Accenture Buys Israeli Firm Maglan

What’s holding up Canada’s internet? • The Register

From the article, which accurately describes the general situation. The costs of fast Internet access (if you can get it, that is), are high; coupled with the extraordinarily high costs of mobile (Canada is one of the most expensive in the world for mobile), the urban consumer ends up paying considerably more for less than her cohort equivalent elsewhere.

Canada is seeking to transition from a resource-based economy towards one that is more knowledge-based. If we are to keep up with the Joneses in the G-20, we have little choice. This means businesses based on something other than cutting down trees and pulling oil out of the ground.

A brief examination of regulatory capture

Source: What’s holding up Canada’s internet? • The Register

Opinion: Reimagining the Paper | The Scientist Magazine®

Breaking down lengthy, narrative-driven biomedical articles into brief reports on singular observations or experiments could increase reproducibility and accessibility in the literature.

Source: Opinion: Reimagining the Paper | The Scientist Magazine®

Power tools: Sorting through the crowded specialized database toolbox | Ars Technica

With so many choices today, matching database to need isn’t getting any easier.

Source: Power tools: Sorting through the crowded specialized database toolbox | Ars Technica

Rational Faith: The Utility of Fairness in Copyright by Stephanie Plamondon Bair :: SSRN

The biggest debate in copyright law is also the most fundamental: for what purpose does copyright exist? There are two schools of thought about the appropriate

Source: Rational Faith: The Utility of Fairness in Copyright by Stephanie Plamondon Bair :: SSRN

When Is It Ethical to Withhold Prevention? — NEJM

From the conclusion:

Realistically, no framework that we could develop will eliminate what appear to be ethical inconsistencies between these different situations. But we can acknowledge that we currently have a systemic bias against prevention and that decisions about whether to provide or withhold proven preventive actions are not just tough budgetary choices, but are also ethical ones. Because withholding primary prevention leads to unnecessary suffering and death, I believe that as a society we should be just as creative in finding ways to pay for it as we have been in finding ways to pay for the penniless woman’s lung-cancer treatment.

I recently presented a paper on a subject close to this, on big data ethics. A framing argument had to do with the obligations “the public good” puts on agencies, public or not. The classic turn in the NEJM perspective is to be “realistic,” which is to say, recognise scarcity or the inability to satisfy all. But the conclusion also raises some deeply problematic terms, like “we” “as a society” and so on. Terms that assert a unified society and, thus, the possibility of an identifiable public good, or that which benefits the people as a whole.

I find the terms problematic not because I would disagree with the notion of  a “we” or of “society” to which the we would be belong or comprise it. It’s problematic because these same terms so easily become terms of division, of exclusion, not inclusion; of nations bounded by essential identities, wherein “culture” might as well be bred in the bone and not just what one does.

Yet, of course, medical decisions are inevitably nowadays financial ones, and no more so than in the US. It’s not likely to change soon or fast; and indeed costs are only going to rise. Which is where the logic of the public good comes into play, and solutions that serve that good and articulated by governmental agencies become very real.

 

Perspective from The New England Journal of Medicine — When Is It Ethical to Withhold Prevention?

Source: When Is It Ethical to Withhold Prevention? — NEJM

Jörg Blumtritt: Data driven storytelling: from facts to narratives – Content Strategy Forum 2014 – YouTube

At this week’s Strata+Hadoop conference, I had the great good fortune to meet and talk with Jörg Blumtritt of Datarella. And since then–since yesterday–have been going over some of the interesting work he’s generously posted. Like this:

In human rights reporting, the perils of too much information – Columbia Journalism Review

Source: In human rights reporting, the perils of too much information – Columbia Journalism Review

Varanda ITS Especial – Marcus Boon – Vanguardas, Underground e Pirataria Ingressos, Seg, 21/03/2016 às 18:30 | Eventbrite

Marcus’s work approaches the attractive problem of originality and reproduction sideways and historically. It’s work that I enjoy and that also bears relation to my own dissertation of long ago, which ultimately was on “liking” (uncanny similarity, unwanted desires, disreputable identity, exuberant marginality). That I’ve since worked in open source and with licenses that take as their point of departure the idea of legal copying is expected. So is my continued interest in the real relevance of Boon’s work for my own practice. But it’s also acutely relevant to that huge world of aesthetics—the world of pictorial art, fiction, poetry, tv, games, etc. All those objects imagined into representative being and valued as much for their use of given formal rules as for their originality in expression.

VARANDA ESPECIAL ITS – VANGUARDAS, UNDERGROUND E PIRATARIA COM MARCUS BOON, PROFESSOR DA UNIVERSIDADE DE YORK (TORONTO), JORNALISTA, ESCRITOR E PESQUISADOR O ITS tem a honra de convidar para Varanda ITS especial, com Marcus Boon, professor da York University em Toronto, pesquisador musical, ativista, escritor e jornalista. Autor do livro  In Praise of Copying, publicado pela editora da Universidade de Harvard, no qual analisa as práticas de apropriaçao musical, pirataria e as cenas culturais globais. Escreve para a prestigiosa revista inglesa The Wire, considerada a “bíblia” da música underground mundial. Está no Brasil investigando as cenas culturais experimentais, especialmente na música, no Rio de Janeiro e outras capitais brasileiras para seu novo livro Essas e outras questões serão discutidas nessa Varanda especial realizada pelo ITS Rio. A Varanda acontecerá no dia 21 de março às 18h30, no na sede do ITS (Praia do Flamengo, 100, Cobertura) Este é um evento imperdível e que não acontecerá novamente. Como sempre, haverá nossa tradicional degustação de comes e bebes. Venha debater com o ITS diferentes visões a cultura mundial, o underground e as vanguardas. O evento é gratuito (mas fique à vontade para doar ao ITS).  INSCRIÇÃO PRÉVIA OBRIGATÓRIA POR ESTE SITE. VAGAS LIMITADAS. TRAGA SUA IDENTIDADE PARA ENTRAR. Palestrantes: Marcus Boon é autor do livro In Praise of Copying, publicado pela editora da Universidade de Harvard, no qual analisa as práticas de apropriaçao musical, pirataria e as cenas culturais globais. Escreve para a prestigiosa revista inglesa The Wire, considerada a “bíblia” da música underground mundial. Atuou também como DJ, especializado em dancehall. Está escrevendo um livro em que compila várias cenas musicais do do underground mundial e das “subculturas” nas suas diversas manifestações. Publicou o livro Nothing: Three Inquiries on Buddhism, analisando a prática milenar no contexto da cultura contemporânea. Está no Brasil investigando as cena de música experimental no Rio de Janeiro e outras capitais brasileiras para seu novo livro. Mediação e Interlocução: Ronaldo Lemos: advogado, especialista em mídia, cultura, propriedade intelectual e tecnologia. É diretor do Instituto de Tecnologia e Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro (ITSrio.org) e professor da Faculdade de Direito da UERJ (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro). Foi um dos arquitetos do “Marco Civil da Internet”, lei que protege direitos como privacidade e neutralidade da rede, aprovada em abril de 2014. Apresenta o programa Navegador na Globonews, focado em inovação. É mestre em direito pela universidade de Harvard e doutor em direito pela USP. É pesquisador visitante e representante no Brasil do MIT Media Lab. Foi professor visitante e pesquisador nas Universidades de Princeton e Oxford. Membro do Conselho de Administração da Mozilla e de várias outras organizações na área de tecnologia. Foi eleito em 2015 pelo Fórum Econômico Mundial como um dos “Jovens Líderes Globais”. Fellow da Ashoka. Membro do conselho de administração de várias organizações internacionais, como Mozilla e Access Now. Membro e vice-presidente do Conselho de Comunicação Social do Congresso Nacional. Colunista semanal da Folha de São Paulo. Consultor de tecnologia do programa Esquenta! da Rede Globo. Autor de vários artigos, tendo publicado os livros “Direito, Tecnologia e Cultura”, “A Vida em Rede”, “Futuros Possíveis”, “Tecnobrega: O Pará Reinventando o Negócio da Música”, dentre outros.

Source: Varanda ITS Especial – Marcus Boon – Vanguardas, Underground e Pirataria Ingressos, Seg, 21/03/2016 às 18:30 | Eventbrite

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