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?
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?
Trump's intelligence disclosures cause chaos On the eve of departure for his first trip overseas, President Trump is embroiled in another controversy. It's about reports that he shared highly classified information with two high-ranking Russians.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."