Archive for November, 2012

Peter G. Neumann, an 80-year-old computer scientist working at SRI International, and Robert N. Watson, a computer security researcher based at Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory, are heading a team who are working on a five-year project for the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) CRASH program to redesign computers and networks to make them secure. CRASH stands for Clean-slate design of Resilient, Adaptive, Survivable Hosts. The project is called CTSRD (CRASH-worthy Trustworthy Systems R&D).

Dr. Neumann quotes Albert Einstein when talking about computer security, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

The NY Times has a great article on Dr. Neumann and his project at You can read the first paper that Dr. Neumann and Dr. Watson published about CTRSD at

Traveling with electronics

Posted: November 4, 2012 by IntentionalPrivacy in Issues, Traveling

This article in the NY Times talks about why TSA treats laptops differently than smartphones, tablets, and netbooks when you’re going through airport security lines.

Seattle “Creepy Cameraman”

Posted: November 4, 2012 by IntentionalPrivacy in Issues, Privacy, Uncategorized

Several online blogs have written about Seattle’s “Creepy Cameraman.” He takes videos of people in public places without asking their permission first. You can read about him and watch some of his videos here:

The guy taking the videos reminds people who object that surveillance cameras are everywhere, as if that makes his videotaping without asking permission perfectly all right.

Would you allow someone to videotape you in public? What would you do to stop him or her? The people in the video who objected didn’t seem to make any difference to the cameraman. Should someone using a camera have to ask permission before filming a person going about their ordinary life in public–eating in restaurants, walking in malls, sitting in their cars?

What if the person is doing something–not illegal–but that they don’t want publicized? Possibilities include having an affair, getting medical treatment, going into a building of an employer’s competitor, gambling, drinking …

You might also want to check out these articles on Google’s Project Glass, also known as Google Goggles and The NY Times describes the project here These glasses–as well as many other current electronic devices–would allow someone using them to photograph or videotape someone or something unobtrusively.

As technology changes so rapidly around us, the lines blur more around our personal privacy and security.

FTC Cellphone PROTECT Initiative

Posted: November 2, 2012 by IntentionalPrivacy in Cell phone, Identity theft
Tags: , ,

The FTC’s new program to help combat cellphone theft started on November 1, 2012. The major carriers–AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon–have launched databases for stolen smart phones, so when a cellphone user reports that their cellphone has been stolen, that device will not be able to be used again.

The FTC advises cellphone users to lock their phones with a passcode to protect any information on their phone, use software to help locate lost devices and either install a remote-wipe application or enable the feature to remotely wipe a stolen device.

If your cellphone has been provided by your employer, look to them for guidance first.

For more information on how to better protect your cellphone, your provider should provide more information. Search their website using keywords such as “lock,” “locate device,” and “remote wipe.”

Here are a couple articles on what to do:,2817,2352755,00.asp

I use Prey at to track my Mac and Windows laptops. Prey will also work for iOS, Linux, Ubuntu, and Android. While I don’t currently use a smart phone, when I had an Android (company supplied), I tried the Remote Wipe feature provided by our IT department and it worked perfectly. I also used the free version of Lookout for Android.