I spy with my little eye…

I spy with my little eye…

In June 2016, Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, posed with a photo-frame prop to celebrate Instagram growing to 500 million monthly users. While the photo itself was largely unremarkable, many tech users – followed by a number of journalists, noticed that Zuckerberg had a reasonably standard IT security approach of covering his laptop’s webcam with …

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What happens when justice is blind to technology?

What happens when justice is blind to technology?

It is not uncommon to worry about what happens when law enforcement has access to too much technology. There are, of course, benefits to ethical, politically neutral, and responsible use of technology within law enforcement – though where the line is drawn between adequate capability and too much capability is also a common concern. (For example, …

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Data breaches: an über-headache

Data breaches: an über-headache

In November 2017, a raft of news agencies reported of a scandal at the ride-sharing company, Uber. Per ABC Australia: According to the company’s account, two individuals downloaded data from a third-party cloud server used by Uber, which contained names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of 57 million users around the world. They also …

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The curated garden problem

The curated garden problem

When Apple first enabled third party applications on the iPhone, they were accused by many of violating user freedoms by creating a walled garden, that being the requirement that all applications installed on the platform must be installed via their iOS App store. Apple promoted this as allowing application vetting for performance and security: particularly …

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Social engineering and the role of business

Social engineering and the role of business

In the context of security, social engineering refers to the act of tricking a person into handing over financial, sensitive or security details by impersonating someone the victim might normally expect to deal with. This differs from identity theft, in that the goal is to get the victim to handover useful information that might be used …

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Do some parents engage in identify theft?

Do some parents engage in identify theft?

It’s something you’ll see from time to time on Facebook and other forms of social media. Little Sally suddenly has a Facebook profile and is friends with her mummy and daddy, her aunts and uncles, her grandparents and other close family friends. Except, Little Sally isn’t 13 years old, the legal age at which point …

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Peek-a-boo, your boss might be tracking you

Peek-a-boo, your boss might be tracking you

Background On Friday, 24 April 1992, Brian Kush reported to the RISKS List: Yesterday while driving through GA, my Cellular Phone rang. Since I was roaming I was not expecting a call. When I answered it, it was a recording welcoming me to Bell South Mobility and offered instructions on using there [sic] service. I …

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Death in the information age

Death in the information age

Introduction In the late 90s, a person who worked in the same office as me died in fairly horrific circumstances. At the time at work, I was out as a gay man, and he was profoundly closeted. As far as I’m aware, at the time at least only one other person in the office knew …

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Accessibility and Functional Technology for People with Disability

Accessibility and Functional Technology for People with Disability

In 1995, the SMS was introduced into Australia, and could be used with varying degrees of functionality by those with GSM phones. While initially the intention of SMS may have been little more than to alert users of an available voicemail, it quickly gained popularity as an alternate communication system. This accelerated in 2000 when …

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A Chinese Panopticon

A Chinese Panopticon

In the late 18th Century, Jeremy Bentham, often considered to be the father of utilitarianism, codified the notion of the panopticon. The panopticon was at once simple and disturbing. Conceived as a new form of gaol, the panopticon would be a prison where all cells were arranged around a central guard or watchtower. There would be …

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