A Report about Banning the Telegram Encrypted Messaging App in Iran

The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in Iran. The Center has released a report entitled Closing of the Gates – Implications of Iran’s Ban on the Telegram Messaging App. I would suggest this report should be required reading by every elected official, every bureaucrat, and every law enforcement official in every country. It shows the efforts of one totalitarian regime, run by strong dictators, to eradicate democracy. Hopefully, free and open societies will reject such tactics.

This report publicizes many issues involved with banning encryption. One quote that illustrates the effect on free speech is:

Continue reading

Comcast Starts Throttling Mobile Video, Will Charge Extra for HD Streams

Well, that didn’t take long! Net neutrality was killed by the FCC only a few weeks ago and now one company has already raised its prices and will slow any streaming videos from its competitors.

Are you surprised at what the bureaucrats and politicians provided for you?

The sad details may be found in an article by Jon Brodkin in the ArsTechnica web site at: http://bit.ly/2KsoJNH.

The Bleak State of Federal Government Cybersecurity

A recent report by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget reinforces the dire need for change across dozens of federal agencies. Of the 96 federal agencies it assessed, it deemed 74 percent either “At Risk” or “High Risk” of attacks by hackers or foreign governments, meaning that they need crucial and immediate improvements.

Not only are so many agencies vulnerable, but over half lack even the ability to determine what software runs on their systems. And only one in four agencies could confirm that they have the capability to detect and investigate signs of a data breach, meaning that the vast majority are essentially flying blind.

Continue reading

Russia’s Attempts to Block Telegram Have Failed

On April 16, Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, the Russian federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications) started its attempts to block Telegram within the country. Telegram is a highly secure, cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service. After technological diversions from the app’s creator, Pavel Durov, the service still remains available for use by everyone in Russia and most everywhere else.

The block has divided parts of the Russian state, with Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov admitting he is still using the app despite the attempts to ban it. “It works for me and there’s nothing to it,” Peskov was reported saying by The Moscow Times. According to other Russian media sources the country’s deputy prime minister is also still using Telegram.

Continue reading

The FBI Lied About the Number of Cell Phones Where Criminal Investigations were Blocked due to Encryption

For the last two years, the FBI has repeatedly claimed that thousands of phones linked to criminal investigations were inaccessible due to locks and encryption. Last year FBI Director Christopher Wray said it had failed to access 7,800 mobile devices, but tonight a Washington Post report reveals that number is incorrect. According to the Post, the accurate number is between 1,000 and 2,000, with a recent internal estimate putting at about 1,200 devices, and in a statement, the FBI responded: “The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported.”

Details may be found in a report by Richard Lawler in the EnGadget web site at https://engt.co/2IL3od9.

Facebook Donated To 46 of 55 Members On Committee That Will Question Zuckerberg

Here is another story about the best politicians that money can buy:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be questioned about user privacy protections this week by members of the House and Senate committees but, as USA Today notes, many of these members were also “some of the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from Facebook employees directly and the political action committee funded by employees.”

The congressional panel that got the most Facebook contributions is the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which announced Wednesday morning it would question Zuckerberg on April 11. Members of the committee, whose jurisdiction gives it regulatory power over Internet companies, received nearly $381,000 in contributions tied to Facebook since 2007, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Details may be found at: https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/totals.php?id=D000033563&cycle=2018.