Author Archives


Internal Surveillance, External Risks

Building surveillance technologies into communications networks is risky. Two years ago, Greece discovered that legally installed surveillance software in a cell phone network had been surreptitiously activated by unknown persons: over 100 senior members of their government were tapped for almost a year. Things were no better in Italy, where a number of employees at […]

The Real National-Security Needs For VoIP

In August 2005 the Federal Communications Commission announced that the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) applies to broadband Internet access and "interconnected voice over IP" (VoIP). VoIP providers already had to comply with legally authorized wiretap orders; the FCC ruling means that all VoIP implementations would now have to pass federal wiretapping standards […]

What Lessons Are We Teaching?

Recently, the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT’s) Homeland Security Technology Systems Center proposed "smart" cameras that would identify everyone entering school premises and send out an alert when an intruder is discovered. That plan follows a similar action by a middle school in Phoenix, AZ, which in 2003 installed video cameras and face-scanning technology […]

Technical Opinion: Designing Cryptography For the New Century

Cryptography was once the domain of generals and curious children, but the advent of the Information Age changed that. In the early 1970s the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) realized that non-combatant adults needed to protect their sensitive, but unclassified, information. Though NSA is the usual government agency for […]

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