Thought for the Day

“Unlike what much of today’s political rhetoric says, strong cryptography is essential for our information security. It’s how we protect our information and our networks from hackers, criminals, foreign governments, and terrorists. Security vulnerabilities, whether deliberate backdoor access mechanisms or accidental flaws, make us all less secure. Getting security right is harder than it looks, and our best chance is to make the cryptography as simple and public as possible.”

–  Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned American cryptographer, computer security and privacy specialist, and writer, called a “security guru” by The Economist.

Former Bush Official Lawrence Wilkerson Says Snowden Has Done a ‘Service’

Lawrence “Larry” Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel who served as the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, finds the revelations made by Edward Snowden a service. In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former contractor with NSA, worked with journalists to reveal a number of mass surveillance programs. In a recent interview, Wilkerson said, “I think Snowden has done a service. I wouldn’t have had the courage, and maybe not even the intellectual capacity, to do it the way he did it. There’s a logic to what he has done that is impressive. He really has refrained from anything that was truly dangerous, with regard to our security — regardless of what people say. He has been circumspect about what he’s released, how he’s released it, who he’s released it to.”

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Edward Snowden Explains How to Reclaim Your Privacy

Interesting reading. Here’s a few quotes from Eric Snowden:

“Operational security is important even if you’re not worried about the NSA. Because when you think about who the victims of surveillance are, on a day-to-day basis, you’re thinking about people who are in abusive spousal relationships, you’re thinking about people who are concerned about stalkers, you’re thinking about children who are concerned about their parents overhearing things. It’s to reclaim a level of privacy.”

“You should encrypt your hard disk, so that if your computer is stolen the information isn’t obtainable to an adversary — pictures, where you live, where you work, where your kids are, where you go to school.”

“If you’re not using Tor you’re doing it wrong.”

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European Parliament Votes to Grant Snowden Amnesty

The European Parliament has voted to grant whistleblower Edward Snowden protections across the 28 member state block against extradition or rendition to the US, where he faces espionage charges.

In a statement, the former US government contractor was called a “human rights defender” for leaking thousands of documents that detail the vast scope of US government surveillance. By 285 votes to 281, Members of the European Parliament decided to call on EU member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender.”

Ex-CIA Head Says Security Must be Balanced by Privacy

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency is cautioning Canadian officials to keep in mind the delicate balance between security and privacy when crafting new laws.

In an interview with CBC Radio’s The House, retired U.S. general and former CIA director David Petraeus said that balance should be at the heart of an open and transparent debate.

“The general thrust of this always has to be, again, to strike that proper balance between taking measures that, at the end of the day, are in some cases intrusive, that is what surveillance is all about after all, and yet allow the freedoms as much as is absolutely possible, to the citizens of a country that prides those freedoms greatly,” he said.

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