• Canadian universities study the two sides of the Internet

    Terrorists and hackers use the Internet to spread their nefarious programs; some governments use the Internet to spy on their citizens; Dalhousie is working on a way to spot criminal behavior, while U Toronto keeps censors at bay halfway around the globe

  • U.K. pauses before implementing sweeping surveillance scheme

    The U.K. government said it wanted to give law enforcement sweeping power to collect electronic data as a measure to prevent terrorism; the government now says it will engage in consultations to make sure citizens’ privacy is not violated

  • New surveillance program will use military satellites to cover U.S.

    President Bush signed bill which allows the National Applications Office (NAO) to begin operating a stringently limited version of a program which would turn military spy satellites on the United States, sharing imagery with other federal, state, and local government agencies

  • U.K. security services push for expanded surveillance power

    U.K. security services are pushing for a massive expansion of electronic surveillance in the United Kingdom, in the face of opposition from the Treasury and the Cabinet Office

  • Setback: Laser breaks "unbreakable" quantum communications

    Quantum encryption was supposed to make communication completely secure — because quantum mechanics makes it impossible for an eavesdropper to emulate the receiver’s photon detection methods; researchers find flaw in commonly used encryption devices which does allow an eavesdropper to fool the receiver

  • China spying on Skype users

    Canadian researchers find that China engages in a massive surveillance campaign of users of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between Chinese mobile firm TOM Online and U.S.owened Skype; sensitive words such as “Tibet,” “Taiwan independence,” the Falun Gong, and political opposition to the Communist Party of China are censored and logged

  • Technology companies help governments augment surveillance capabilities

    Technology companies have often been criticized for assisting governments in what many see as unwarranted intrusion, most notably in China; such criticism notwithstanding, these companies find rich business opportunities in the growing surveillance market

  • China deploys vast, pervasive surveillance system for Games -- and beyond

    The Chinese government has installed about 300,000 cameras in Beijing and set up a network to spy on its citizens and foreigners; cabs are equipped with hidden recording devices; many hotel rooms have one-way mirrors; Mao-era practice of neighborhood watches revives

  • New compression technique makes VoIP vulnerable to eavesdropping

    New VoIP compression technique, called variable bit rate compression, produces different size packets of data for different sounds; simply measuring the size of packets — without even decoding them — can identify whole words and phrases with a high rate of accuracy

  • Worry: VoIP especially suitable for conveying hidden messages

    Steganography involves concealing messages within digitally transmitted images or sound files; VoIP systems tolerate packet loss and have built-in redundancy, and are thus especially suitable for conveying hidden messages; law enforcement officials have expressed frustration about the difficulty of deciphering VoIP messages made by suspected terrorists using Skype

  • U.K. to store all phone calls and e-mails

    The U.K. Home Office plans to create a massive database to store every person’s e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and Internet use; police and security services would only be granted access to the information after seeking permission from the courts

  • China sets to limit Internet access to Olympic visitors

    Senator Sam Brownback charges that China has instructed U.S.-owned hotels in China to filter their guests’ Internet connections before the Olympic Games start in August; some question Brownback’s assertion — saying that Internet access in China is already filtered at the ISP level

  • Secret wiretap warrants double since 9/11

    A Justice Department report shows FISA warrants for counterterrorism, espionage cases up

  • Data sharing among local, state, and federal law enforcement grows

    The 9/11 attacks demonstrated the need for more information and intelligence sharing among law enforcement services a the local, state, and federal levels; more and more intelligence sharing systems are being put in place by private companies to help law enforcement cope with — and meaningfully and effectively use — the vast new sources of data now open to them; privacy advocates worry

  • On needles and haysacks: New way to deal with large datasets

    The ability to gather vast amounts of data and create huge datasets has created a problem: Data has outgrown data analysis; for more than eighty years one of the most common methods of statistical prediction has been maximum likelihood estimation (MLE); Brown University researchers offer a better way to deal with the enormous statistical uncertainty created by large datasets