Although not directed primarily at law schools, the innovative suggestions in Forget MOOCs–Let’s Use MOOA could easily be used to save most US law schools a very large chunk of change. Perhaps this should be in our next strategic plan?
Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.
Turns out what the firms are getting is not data on customers — nor in the main is that what they are giving. Rather the firms are giving advance info on vulnerabilities in their systems that could be used to by the TLA’s1 to get information from vulnerable systems. Plus some of the firms are allowing the feds to install monitoring equipment on their networks, ostensibly to protect against hacking, but in at least some cases with the ability to spy on message traffic.
In exchange, the firms are getting information about who, especially from abroad, is trying to hack them, and some help and advice on defending themselves.
I have no problem with the feds helping US corporations defend themselves against foreign (or domestic) hackers. I do have a problem if the price of that defense is allowing the feds access to customer data.
My first instinct is that I wouldn’t have a problem with firms like Microsoft giving advance warning about vulnerabilities to the feds — whether it is so they can harden their own systems or even if it is so they can take advantage offensively to hack into foreign targets. I would feel that way, however, only so long as I believed the program had adequate safeguards to prevent its misuse against US persons, whether at home or abroad. And, unfortunately, there is no particular reason to believe that to be the case. There is at present a lack of accountability.
One of the exceptionally odd things about about the revelations about the NSA metadata and phone records revelations is that I, not to mention various other Cypherpunk fellow travelers, predicted all this 15 years ago.
In fact, we predicted it so long ago, that almost no one seems to remember we did.
I have to say, though, that this is the first story I’ve seen on the subject that made me smile. So that’s something.
Prosecutor Michael Gilfarb told the judge that even if the information is available, it may be irrelevant depending on whether Brown carried a phone.
Brown’s wife, Vesta Murat Brown, who testified for the prosecution Wednesday morning, told jurors that her husband didn’t have a cellphone at the time but sometimes borrowed phones from her, other family members or friends.
But even if it isn’t, it won’t be long:
Local lawyers said they anticipate there will be many more requests for this kind of information now that defense attorneys know the information may have been preserved.
I suppose Windows is the slowest-installing program I know (and that’s on my mind because I’m going to have to upgrade my home desktop, my last XP box, to Win 7 soon), but Libre Office, the free and open source substitute for MS Office, has to come in second place. I have just been watching the installer for version 3.6.6 sit on my screen for more than the time it took Lou Reed to sing “Pale Blue Eyes”.
I got the 3.6.6 update by clicking the ‘download update’ button in response to a Libre Office popup (the automatic download has not worked pretty much ever). Fair enough. But now I just googled Libre Office to be sure I linked to the right website in the first paragraph above. And, guess what, THERE’S A VERSION 4.0.3 WAITING THERE that the updater didn’t tell me about. Being vaguely OCD about updates, I guess I get to watch some more paint dry. Bob Dylan will be long done with “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”1 before these (help files are separate) are downloaded, much less installed.
To be honest, I use the Libre Office spreadsheet much more than the word processor. I’m still using Wordperfect as my word processor of choice, and will use genuine Office when people send me files to collaborate on. Many versions ago the track changes feature of Libre Office didn’t play nice with Word, and I’ve been shy about it ever since.
Anyway at least I posted something here so my mother won’t call up to see what’s wrong. Talk about creating expectations.
PS If you download Libre Office, and I recommend it, it seems to install real fast until one of the later steps, when it just sits there a long time. Don’t panic. The progress bar is for each step, not for the whole process.