One of the big challenges to the growth of the “Internet of Things” is access. It goes without saying that, without access to the Internet, almost all of the benefits of connected devices disappear. Your smart phone becomes a dumb phone. Your ‘net connected watch or running shoes or car scream into the void – trying desperately to connect to a network that isn’t there. Here in the U.S., that problem has typically been addressed by routing traffic through 3G or – depending on where you live – 4G wireless networks. However, access to those networks is spotty, especially in the sparsely populated Western U.S. According to a survey by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), much of the Western U.S. is a 3G wasteland, with little or no access to broadband wireless networks. One solution is to tap the loose network of residential broadband subscribers, allowing them to peel […]
Search Results for "Privacy"
It was hard to escape the big news this week: revelations from The Guardian and The Washington Post about a program of widespread surveillance of online social networks and mobile phone use. The news, both the result of high-level leaks of classified information, has embroiled the Obama Administration in the most serious questions about domestic spying since the Nixon administration. To discuss the week’s events, Paul sat down with Ron Gula, the CEO of Tenable Network Security (and a former NSA security ninja) and Rick Forno, director of the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Graduate Cybersecurity Program and a Junior Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society (CIS). While neither guest was surprised to read about the government’s monitoring of cell phone activity or data from social networks, the latest reports lay bare the dimensions of the U.S. government’s domestic spying post 9/11, and raise serious […]
A new report out from the United Nations’ General Assembly warns that governments’ use of electronic surveillance and monitoring of citizen communications is a violation of human rights and calls for updated laws and guidelines that reflect changes in communications “techniques and technologies.” The growing use and sophistication of digital surveillance has outstripped the ability of societies to legislate their proper use, leading to “ad hoc practices that are beyond the supervision of any independent authority,” and that threaten to stifle free expression, according to the report, issued by the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Council (PDF). First issued in April, but released to the public this week, the report looks at States’ use of communications surveillance and their impact on what the report calls “human rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression.” It concludes that the growth of online surveillance of electronic communications, including access to stored […]
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comment from Medtronic and from the researchers. A bit more on that: I spoke to the fine researchers who conducted this study. They are concerned that people might casually read the headline or first couple paragraphs and conclude that listening to Weezer will kill them. Listening to Weezer will not kill you. Listening to Weezer will not interfere with your implanted defibrillator if used under normal conditions. Their experiment (and my article) make this clear, but you do have to read down a bit in the article to get that, and I know not everyone does that. In any case, the health benefits of using an implanted defibrillator in accordance with your doctor’s instructions, far outweigh any risk from EMI or other electronic tampering. – PFR 5/22/2013. Listening to Weezer could kill you. Literally. That’s the conclusion of an unusual experiment […]
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs (aka “drones”) are evolving – and fast. Just within the last five years, drones have morphed from stealthy and secretive military gear used for hunting down terrorists in the hills of Afghanistan and Yemen, to widely available consumer technology. The “consumerization” of UAV technology has created a lot of opportunities for Cool! – like this video of a UAV flying over (and almost in to) Niagra Falls. But it has also led to some problems. In March, a UAV “quadrcopter” came within a couple hundred feet of striking an Alitalia flight trying to land at JFK Airport in New York. More concerning: the FAA is set to license tens of thousands of drones for use over the U.S., many by law enforcement or private security firms. That has prompted warnings about a huge breach of privacy for U.S. citizens. But one security researcher warns that […]