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Steptoe Cyberblog

Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012; Hacker Protection

Posted in Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies

A revised draft of the cybersecurity bill contains information sharing provisions that were heavily negotiated between the Obama administration and privacy groups. This effort at compromise has prompted the usual ambiguous praise from privacy groups. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, though “pleased” with the progress, complained that the measure still “contains broad language around the ability… Continue Reading

California Boosts Privacy Enforcement

Posted in Data Breach, Privacy Regulation

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced yesterday that she is creating a Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit in her office. The PEPU, which will consist of six prosecutors, will be responsible for prosecuting companies that violate the state’s privacy laws. California, of course, has been at the vanguard of privacy protection, enacting the nation’s first… Continue Reading

New ABA Book on National Security Law

Posted in Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Security Programs & Policies

The ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security has just released a sequel to its first book on national security legal topics. The first book, Patriot Debates, focused heavily on the USA Patriot Act. The second book, Patriots Debate, is a wider-ranging look at law and national security. Both volumes are distinguished by several… Continue Reading

China Could Have “Pervasive Access” to 80% of Global Communications Through Huawei and ZTE

Posted in China, International, Security Programs & Policies

This is the claim of former Pentagon analyst F. Michael Maloof that stories and podcasts are repeating but provide much new supporting evidence. Maloof’s own report is interesting and extensive, and it does indeed make the claim I’ve headlined: The Chinese government has “pervasive access” to some 80 percent of the world’s communications, giving it the ability to… Continue Reading

More Trouble for ZTE

Posted in China, International, Privacy Regulation

ZTE, the huge Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, has found themselves in a kind of perfect storm. A storm largely of their own making. First, ZTE and its larger Chinese rival, Huawei, have been the subjects of great national security concern for years.  As I discussed last month the US intelligence community is worried that, if allowed to install equipment… Continue Reading

The First Circuit and Cybersecurity

Posted in Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies

Can you hear the legal ground shifting under the feet of the banks? Many small businesses are now infected by keylogging software. Hackers use it to steal banking credentials and make wire transfers. It is very difficult to keep the hackers out, at least for small businesses. The most promising way to defeat such fraud is for… Continue Reading

China-US “Proxy” Cyberwar Negotiations?

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International

Over the past three years think tanks in China and in the US have been conducting what could be called “proxy” negotiations on cyberwar and cyberespionage. The China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations and the US Center for Strategic and International Studies are establishment institutions, with just enough independence from their governments to make the talks… Continue Reading

Careers in Computer Security

Posted in Cybersecurity and Cyberwar

One of the things I like about computer security is how uncredentialed the whole field is. Very few senior computer security people started their careers in the field. One of the best I knew started her career as a nurse; others as cops; a few as lawyers. Some even started in computer science. But this… Continue Reading