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