Berkman in the News
“The FBI points to reused code from previous attacks associated with North Korea, as well as similarities in the networks used to launch the attacks,” said writer Bruce Schneier. “This sort of evidence is circumstantial at best. It’s easy to fake, and it’s even easier to interpret it wrong. In general, it’s a situation that rapidly devolves into storytelling, where analysts pick bits and pieces of the ‘evidence’ to suit the narrative they already have worked out in their heads.”
Schneier also said that diplomatically, it may suit the US government to be “overconfident in assigning blame for the attack” to try and discourage future attacks by nation states.
He also pointed to comments by Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain, who said Sony might be encouraged to present the hack as an act or terrorism to help fend of likely lawsuits from current and former employees damaged by leaked material.
“Key to our emerging privacy-creating system will be the ability of individuals to assert their own terms, policies and preferences in dealings with others, including companies and governments …” wrote David “Doc” Searls, director of ProjectVRM at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
Between more style-friendly wearables and Apple’s effort to integrate personal tracking data with HealthKit, we’ll see a new surge in consumer wearables and personal tracking data in 2015.
In its first year out, the Apple Watch might only be a luxury gadget for early adopters, but careful attention to personal style preferences marks a notable shift in the design of wearables. Withing’s Activité tracker pushes wearable design even further into the classic watch aesthetic to hide tracking outputs to the smartphone interface. And products like Ringly, a connected cocktail ring, hide helpful alerts in a relatively stylish accessory. Wearables have finally become accessories we actually might want to wear.
But Andy Sellars, a First Amendment fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, doubts we’ll see a similar incident anytime soon.
“To me, it feels much more like a one-off,” Sellars said. “To me, I think it’s an exceptional case under exceptional circumstances.”
The United States might already have gone to cyberwar in 2010 by allegedly using Stuxnet, an attack program that damages computer-controlled industrial machinery. The government of Iran said Stuxnet infected hundreds of centrifuges that were being used to enrich uranium for use in nuclear reactors. Cybersecurity analysts believe Stuxnet was developed jointly by the United States and Israel to cripple the Iranian nuclear program, but neither government has acknowledged any involvement.
“Girls are seldom imagined as potential customers of a new technology,” said Whitney Erin Boesel, a researcher at the Berkman Center for World wide web and Society at Harvard University.Apple Overall health invites customers to determine their sex, but its many other categories are gender neutral as far as I can detect. There are neither concerns about prostate checkups, nor concerns about fertility cycles and breast lump checks.And that is typical with wellness tracking apps, which often attempt to make the solution gender neutral with out a way to customize it. But that’s a challenge.
It could have been North Koreans but not connected to the government. According to security expert Bruce Schneier, “reusing old attack code is a sign of a more conventional hacker being behind this.” There is consensus among security experts that there was nothing about this hack that required the resources of a nation-state.
Both the US Government and Sony Have Political Reasons to Blame North Korea
Sony faces the possibility of numerous lawsuits as a result of sensitive data from employees, ex-employees and various partners being exposed. According to Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law and computer science at Harvard University, Sony might have some immunity from these lawsuits if this attack was part of an act of war.
By BRUCE SCHNEIER
Earlier this month, a mysterious group that calls itself Guardians of Peace hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems and began revealing many of the Hollywood studio’s best-kept secrets, from details about unreleased movies to embarrassing emails (notably some racist notes from Sony bigwigs about President Barack Obama’s presumed movie-watching preferences) to the personnel data of employees, including salaries and performance reviews. The Federal Bureau of Investigation now says it has evidence that North Korea was behind the attack, and Sony Pictures pulled its planned release of “The Interview,” a satire targeting that country’s dictator, after the hackers made some ridiculous threats about terrorist violence.
Internet Monitor, a research project based at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, recently published the project’s second annual report, “Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World.” The report is a collection of roughly three dozen short contributions that highlight and discuss some of the most compelling events and trends in the digitally networked environment over the past year.
However, the communist Cuban government has rebuffed companies seeking to increase connectivity among its citizens, and Cuban President Raúl Castro’s speech Wednesday revealed very little in the way of Havana’s next steps. In it, he broadly called for the United States to remove “restrictions on traveling, direct post services and telecommunications.”
“It’s hard to believe they will suddenly change their behavior. You can’t change the dynamic overnight,” said Ellery Biddle, editor at Global Voices Advocacy and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
The Berkman Center for Internet and Society has a number of new faces on their team and interesting projects scheduled for the fall. Lauren Reed and Paige Pascarelli asked the Center about some of the fall happenings. Enjoy!
Tell us about some of Berkman’s new projects for the fall. Are there any in particular that you are most excited about?
The Berkman Center has nearly two dozen active research projects, spanning the range from privacy to freedom of expression to digital humanities. One of our most exciting endeavors this fall is the Digital Problem Solving Initiative (DPSI), a University-wide program to match students with mentors from various backgrounds to collaboratively tackle real-life matters of technical policy, practice and design.