FROM Joseph Lorenzo Hall
Protecting US Central Command's Pinterest Account 2014 was a banner year for cyber criminals and foreign hackers, from the " Heartbleed virus " to Target to Sony Pictures . That's why President Obama will focus on Internet safety for US companies in his State of the Union address -- and yesterday's hijacking of Centcom's Twitter and YouTube accounts by hackers claiming links to ISIS (the Islamic State) may strengthen his case. The White House dismissed the incident as "cyber vandalism," but cyber security is a major priority of the Obama Administration this year. Joseph Lorenzo Hall is Chief technologist for the Center of Democracy and Technology, an Internet advocacy group in Washington.
Profits, Privacy and Your Personal Data Edward Snowden's revelations about Internet spying by the National Security Agency put pressure on the Obama White House. Last week, it issued two reports — not on privacy threats from the NSA, but from corporations that use the same techniques for collecting what's called "meta data" from America's millions of Internet users. It's focusing on the way private companies find patterns in your online habits to create a "digital persona" you don't even know about. The goal is not just to market products you might like. It's also used to predict whether you're a good credit risk, job prospect or candidate for insurance. Privacy advocates welcome proposals for regulation, but Silicon Valley's saying, "Not so fast." We hear from both sides.
NSA Surveillance: Bad for Business and Personal Privacy Facebook, Microsoft, Google and other American tech giants are complaining to President Obama about threats to their bottom lines. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took his complaint to the White House on Friday, saying the President's not doing enough to reassure foreign clients or guarantee civil liberties. Foreign clients, including governments, are afraid they're being spied on by the National Security Agency — fears costing the industry 25 percent of its revenue , or some $180 billion a year. Now the NSA's revealed that US companies knew what was happening even when they denied it. It takes draconian steps for individual Americans to protect their privacy. Is the value of NSA's intelligence gathering worth the economic and personal cost?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?