Too much information: week ending 2 September 2011

Fake web certificate could have been used to attack Iranian dissidents
The Guardian reports on concerns that a fake web certificate – which could have been used to intercept traffic to Google’s servers that users thought was secure – has been discovered by users in Iran. The certificate was issued by DigiNotar, one of over 650 Certificate Authorities which underpin secure (HTTPS) web-browsing. The ability of Certificate Authorities to secure the web is increasingly coming into question.

New internet blocking order handed down by Tunisian court
 The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) report on the decision of a Tunisian court to order the blocking of all pornographic websites, following a petition brought by lawyers. The Tunisian Internet Agency is appealing the decision at the country’s highest court.

Brazil: campaigns against “menacing” internet law gain 350,000 supporters
Consumers International reports on a proposed “cybercrime” law in Brazil that would limit online freedom and privacy, and the mounting popular sentiment opposing it. The Brazilian Institute of Consumers (IDEC), together with Avaaz and the Mega Não (Mega No) movement, have gathered the signatures of 350,000 Brazilian citizens who oppose the bill. Similar proposals were fought off in 2008 following popular protest.

Momentum on copyright term extension in Europe picks up
The Open Rights Group (ORG) reports on plans at the EU to finalise a law extending the length of time sound recordings attract a copyright. The law is the result of intense lobbying by record labels, and has been condemned by legal and economic experts.

Network security in the medium term: 2061-2561
Science Fiction author Charlie Stross guesses at the sorts of problems network security experts might face in the next 500 years, in this entertaining and informed keynote delivered at the 20th USENIX security symposium.

“Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”
A provocative editorial from Guardian columnist George Monbiot on the state of academic publishing: “This is a tax on education, a stifling of the public mind”.

The Wrong War: models of cyber threats
This analysis from the Brookings Institute argues that maritime governance in the mid-19th century is a better model for understanding cyber threats than the Cold War: “While would-be cyber Cold Warriors stare at the sky and wait for it to fall, they’re getting their wallets stolen and their offices robbed”.

Are social networks a distraction for revolutionaries?
The New York Times reports on a new paper by a political science graduate that claims that switching off the internet during civil unrest may not be a wise move because “full connectivity in a social network sometimes can hinder collective action”.

Interview with Maria Otero about the open government partnership
The Forbes Magazine blog presents the full transcript of their interview with Maria Otero, the US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, about the Open Government Partnership, a new international initiative to “harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable”.

Video: Ruth Okediji at IFLA
Copyright scholar Ruth Okediji gives an overview of legal and policy challenges for libraries in the age of digital books to the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Comments are closed.