Current Events

The Washington Post reports upon the further cheapening of the word “terrorism” in, “Md. Police Put Activists’ Names On Terror Lists.” The fifty-three people with “no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime” who were put on a list of terrorists include anti-death-penanty protestors. It’s really hard to keep from laughing about this. Are…

Read More Death Penalty Protestors are Terrorists

The New Scientist reports that researchers Vadim Makarov, Andrey Anisimov, and Sebastien Sauge have broken quantum key distribution. The attack is described in their paper, “Can Eve control PerkinElmer actively-quenched single-photon detector?” Spoiler Warning: Yes. She can. The attack is brilliant in its elegance. They essentially jam the receiver. A bright pulse of laser light…

Read More Quantum Crypto Broken Again

According to The New York Times in, “Surveillance of Skype Messages Found in China,” the Chinese provider TOM has software in place that reads Skype text messages, and blocks ones that use naughty words and terms, like “Falun Gong,” “Independent Taiwan,” and so on. A group of security people and human rights workers not only…

Read More The Skype Issue

Bletchley Park, the site in the UK where WWII code-breaking was done, has a computing museum. The showpiece of that museum is Colossus, one of world’s first computers. (If you pick the right set of adjectives, you can say “first.” Those adjectives are apparently, “electronic” and “programmable.”) It has been rebuilt over the last fourteen…

Read More Help fund historic computers at Bletchley Park

A hacker in Chile calling himself the ‘Anonymous Coward’ published confidential data belonging to six million people on the internet. Authorities are investigating the theft of the leaked data, which includes identity card numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, emails and academic records. Chile has a population of about 16 million, so that’s 3/8ths of the country.…

Read More 6/16ths of Chileans personal information leaked by hacker

The Washington Post reports: The State Department said last night that it had fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for accessing Sen. Barack Obama’s passport file. Obama’s presidential campaign immediately called for a “complete investigation.” State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the employees had individually looked into Obama’s passport file on Jan. 9,…

Read More Avoid ID theft: Don’t run for President