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Entries in Snowden (3)


Citizenfour's warning

Edward Snowden's disclosures are about the abuse of power and the abuse of laws that put limits on power.

Click to read more ...


GSMA: Customers will sell privacy for cash

GSMA's Mobile Asia Expo, the first major telecom event since the Snowden leaks, offers an excellent opportunity for the biggest industry group to take a leadership role on data protection and offer reassurance to the world's 4 billion-odd mobile users. 


GSMA chairman Franco Bernabè did not take that opportunity this morning, despite devoting half of his keynote to security and privacy.


He acknowledged that with the “unprecedented level of information sharing,” privacy was “one of the most debated issues of our time.” He said it was critical that the mobile industry rise to the challenge.


Bernabè did not elaborate on how that challenge could be met, but he did cite Amdocs research which suggests that consumers would be willing to reveal personal data in return for cash.


That insight offered, he turned to his more important role as pitchman for NFC. His security tip: the SIM will protect your data.


US, Snowden, China: The world's biggest case of projection?

Amid the blizzard of information in the Snowden affair, the factoid that caught this blog’s attention was the hacking into the Hong Kong Internet Exchange (HKIX).

According to Snowden, the NSA listened into the HKIX, the city’s prime internet exchange, through the internet backbone.

We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one," he said.

He named one target as the Chinese University of Hong Kong, home to a handful of advanced internet research facilities such as the Hong Kong Internet Exchange, which "essentially connects all of the city's internet access providers to a single infrastructure," the [SCMP] reported.

We don’t know if Snowden is telling the truth, or even if he knows what he is talking about. And while we should probably take most denials on this topic with a large grain of salt, let’s just note that the CUHK said it had not “detected any form of hacking to the network, which has been running normally.”

Maybe, just maybe, “running normally” actually means with a hidden security backdoor already built-in by its router vendor, Cisco. I stress this is pure speculation; there is no evidence Cisco or anyone else provided a key.

But it is striking that that is exactly the kind of behaviour that the US fears that the Chinese will execute on American networks through Huawei.

I can’t help but wonder: when the Pentagon, Congress and the CIA label Huawei a security threat, are we looking at the world’s biggest case of projection?