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8/17/2005
03:16 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Privacy: Not Just Less, But Different

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Privacy: Not Just Less, But Different
2. Today's Top Story
    - Langa Letter: Converting Audio Files? Let 'Er Rip!
3. Breaking News
    - Are Those Your Sunglasses I Hear Ringing?
    - Tech Vendors To Congress: More R&D Help, Please
    - Pressure Builds For U.S. To Use More Surveillance Cameras
    - LAPD Recruits Computer To Stop Rogue Cops
    - Symantec: SQL Server Port Under Heavy Scanning
    - Bill Would Impose Tax On Internet Porn
    - Hackers Spreading Spyware From Free Personal Web Sites
    - Oregon Duo Charged With Selling Hot HP Gear On EBay
    - Mozilla.org Site Hit With Access Glitches
    - 3Com Rewards 'Responsible' Disclosure Of Security Flaws
    - Yahoo Buys Maker Of 'Widget' Applications
    - See You In Court
    - Microsoft And Google In Race For Online Maps
4. In Depth: Employment
5. Voice Of Authority: Outsourcing
6. White Papers: DNS
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." -- Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead"


1. Editor's Note: Privacy: Not Just Less, But Different

Our expectations about privacy aren't just lowered, they're also changed. We not only expect more surveillance, but we think differently about privacy than we used to. And those changes are only going to accelerate.

In the wake of the July 7 London attacks, elected officials in the U.S. are starting to call for more surveillance cameras to monitor streets and other public spaces for suspicious activity. Not too long ago, I would have bristled at this, seeing it as an invasion of privacy. Now, not so much. After all, they're talking about putting the cameras in public spaces. The very definition of a public space is that it's a place where you have no expectation of privacy. That's why they call it "public."

Still, security expert Bruce Schneier raises a valid question: Is this, in fact, the best use to which we could be putting our security dollars?

The cops are watching us more than they used to -- but we're also keeping a closer eye on the cops. The Los Angeles Police Department, plagued by corruption and police-brutality scandals, is using business-intelligence technology to monitor police activity for unusual activity for signs of cops going bad.

While a data-mining system isn't the same thing as surveillance cameras, it comes down to the same thing: every cop's every move is going to be watched, all the time. An LA policeman raises a valid concern: exceptional activity doesn't mean a cop is bad, it could also mean a cop is very good. He's worried that the system will encourage cops to conform, to stay in the middle of the pack, to avoid drawing attention to themselves by, say, being heroic.

We've only scratched the surface of this trend. It's not just government and big business monitoring individuals, but the people are starting to monitor right back, piercing government and business's confidentiality, leaking trade secrets, proprietary information, and government secrets, ranging in importance from hobby sites leaking information about upcoming products to the leaked photos of Abu Ghraib.

That's a major part of why I say that privacy expectations aren't just lowered, they're changed. We expect more surveillance of us by business and government, but we're also revealing more secrets about government and business. I'll talk a little more about this later this week on our blog. Not a lot, just a little.

And Another Thing

I'm getting quite a lot of response from readers responding to my editor's note yesterday about why kids aren't getting into IT. You can read some of them, and add your own, by following the link.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Langa Letter: Converting Audio Files? Let 'Er Rip!
Readers suggest more MP3 and audio-file tools than you can shake a memory stick at!


3. Breaking News

Are Those Your Sunglasses I Hear Ringing?
Motorola and Oakley have developed a combination sunglasses/cell-phone headset product line that offers another option for hands-free gabbing while driving.

Tech Vendors To Congress: More R&D Help, Please
During last week's hearings about U.S. competition issues, an IBM executive called for more tax incentives and other measures to help boost American innovation.

Pressure Builds For U.S. To Use More Surveillance Cameras
The calls have come over the last few weeks as British investigators released surveillance footage of the bombers in the deadly July 7 attacks and then put out frames of suspects in Thursday's failed attacks.

LAPD Recruits Computer To Stop Rogue Cops
The $35-million computer system tracks complaints and other telling data about officers and then alerts top supervisors to possible signs of misconduct.

Symantec: SQL Server Port Under Heavy Scanning
An alert from Symantec describes an unusual amount of scanning of a port normally associated with Microsoft SQL Server, a possible precursor to an attack.

Bill Would Impose Tax On Internet Porn
The money raised would be used for law enforcement and for protecting children from "adult" sites.

Hackers Spreading Spyware From Free Personal Web Sites
In another new, malicious twist, hackers are using free personal Web-hosting sites provided by nationally and internationally known ISPs to store their malicious code, and to infect users with worms, viruses, and spyware.

Oregon Duo Charged With Selling Hot HP Gear On EBay
Two Oregon men have been charged with stealing $300,000 worth of electronic equipment from Hewlett-Packard while working for the company, then selling some of it online.

Mozilla.org Site Hit With Access Glitches
The Mozilla Foundation's main Web site is suffering from intermittent performance problems.

3Com Rewards 'Responsible' Disclosure Of Security Flaws
Data-networking company 3Com is planning to reward security researchers who reveal information on newly discovered vulnerabilities as part of an initiative run by its TippingPoint division.

Yahoo Buys Maker Of 'Widget' Applications
Konfabulator makes tiny applications, called "widgets," for monitoring the weather, stock prices, and other customized information without opening a Web browser.

See You In Court
Behind-the-scenes activity keeps lawyers busy as customers sue vendors over failed IT projects--and as vendors fight back.

Microsoft And Google In Race For Online Maps
Microsoft's Virtual Earth site includes satellite photos of buildings and streets; Google Earth lets Web surfers move around a 3-D globe and drop down to view their house.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

RFID Deployment
InformationWeek Research examines RFID and documents the challenges that companies face when implementing the technology.

-----------------------------------------


4. In Depth: Employment

Advice For Kids: How To Get Hired By Mr. Gates
Time was, talented computer jocks would knock on Microsoft's doors and wait for an audience with its hiring gatekeepers. Now, Microsoft can't hire the kind of folks it needs fast enough.
--Sidebar to: In Search Of Talent

Outsourcing Seen As Boon To American Indians
Native American tribal members perform data entry, call-center, and help-desk tasks.

Gartner Predicts IT Staffs Will See Moderate Growth
The majority of U.S. IT organizations will boost head counts in the next 12 months, Gartner researchers say, but the increase will only be "moderate."

In Search Of Talent
After years of weakness, there's reason to be hopeful about tech employment again. The clues? Selective raises, talent raids, and headhunters.

Hurd Tries To 'Optimize' HP Without Big Changes
CEO cuts workforce by 10%, but not products or business units. Is there more to come?


5. Voice Of Authority: Outsourcing

Outsourcing To (Native American) Indians
Paul McDougall says that recent outsourcing to Native Americans shows that there's plenty of pockets of untapped opportunity in this country that will emerge as work becomes more portable and businesses get used to the fact that geography makes little difference in the information age.


6. White Papers: DNS

How To Ensure Secure And Reliable DNS Services
This paper describes the security designs and techniques that are incorporated into the Blue Cat Adonis DNS Appliance, and layers that used to protect the DNS services from attack.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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