Technology is a tool: it is a process by which political and human desires are instantiated in the world. What is significant about that instantiation is that it must take a visible form. It may be a written, readable code, or a physical infrastructure in the landscape: servers in data centres, cameras on poles by the roadside, rusting signs on forecourt walls declaring the owner’s intentions.
When there is pressure to obscure that infrastructure—camouflaging cameras, closing down networks, or blocking freedom of information requests—a corresponding pressure is exerted on the very democracy it purports to uphold.
The NSA: An Inside View. Interesting essay from a former NSA employee.
Path uploads your entire iPhone address book to its servers. Shouldn’t this be the kind of shady behavior that an app store review process prevents? Would be fantastic to see answers to these 3 questions.
Update: Path’s CEO answered those three questions a minute after I posted this. His response to #2 is a cop out. “Industry best practice” is just a way of avoiding blame. Protect your users data and do what’s right, not what’s typical.
My high school’s new grading system makes it trivial to view other students’ info (read: grades). Implications?. Fascinating Reddit thread with advice to a student who found a major vulnerability in the school’s online grades system. Reminds of what Daniel found a couple years ago. (via Ian Stewart)
Ian Dunt at The Guardian writes about the hypocrisy of the media attack on Wikileaks:
The only difference between Wikileaks and other news organisations is that Wikileaks is doing its job properly. This is not a symptom of its greater intelligence, merely its ability to comprehend the ramifications of new technology. Wikileaks is like a symbol of globalisation.