Unethical surveillance with an added security flaw

Unethical surveillance with an added security flaw

For some time, China has been intrusively monitoring the Uyghur Muslim population of Xinjiang. For instance, in 2017 it was reported: The Chinese government is requiring citizens in Xinjiang province to install spyware on their mobile phones and is enforcing the policy with police spot-checks, according to several online reports. China crams spyware onto phones …

+ Read More

Is it OK to be abusive to technology?

Is it OK to be abusive to technology?

The term “percussive maintenance” goes back a long way in things to do with technology. In short, it refers to giving a piece of recalcitrant equipment a whack, with the appropriate amount of force, in order to make it work. The odd thing about percussive maintenance is that at times, it works, which is why …

+ Read More

Lies, lies and lies

Lies, lies and lies

There are many types of lies that can be told. In the simplest forms, there’s harmless lies that ease social situations: “little white lies”. A dinner guest compliments a dish that’s actually disliked, rather than risk offending the friend who made it, or a partner saying they like a hair-cut they otherwise might not care …

+ Read More

Slavery in tech

Slavery in tech

Slavery – the idea of a human owning another human – is such a morally repellent concept that freedom from slavery is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Despite the efforts of …

+ Read More

Who dies?

Who dies?

The concept of ‘driverless cars’ is currently a tech and motoring obsession. The level of technology being embedded in cars – sensors, CPUs, software, etc. – is phenomenal. With any new technology that inspires, there’s hype, as well as reality. With driverless cars, the line between hype and reality is broad and blurred, not razor-sharp. …

+ Read More

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 …

+ Read More

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, …

+ Read More

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 …

+ Read More

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 …

+ Read More

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 …

+ Read More

%d bloggers like this: