Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Small Bits of Chaos: Tempest Tents, Medical Records, Openness

stronghold_tent.gifOne of the neat things about talking to different sorts of conferences is that you find neat stuff that you don’t otherwise see. At the Southeast Cybercrime Summit [link to no longer works], I was supposed to talk about “Reducing Crime In Cyberspace, a Privacy Industry View.” (The talk I used to give for Zero-Knowledge.) Due to a small error in printing, I’m doing intro to cryptography classes, and people seem excited to learn. That aside, one of the flyers in the conference bag was for a company called Paraben Forensics [link to no longer works], and they make a radio-shielding tent. When I was at Zero-Knowledge, I ended up with responsibility for generating and backing up the master keys to the system. At the time, there was no $1295 tent [link to no longer works] available, so we used a big metal rolling cabinet, and hoped for the best. The pamphlet claims that the tent delivers an average of 85 db shielding over the 30Mhz to 10Ghz range.

48% of American adults believe the benefits to patients and society of a digital patient record system outweigh risks to privacy. However, nearly the same percentage–47%–say the privacy risks outweigh the expected benefits. Four percent say they aren’t sure.

Or so says survey data collected by Alan Westin, and reported on in SecurityPipeline [link to no longer works]. I wonder if it would be different today, or with a framing Choicepoint question?

Finally, there’s great testimony from the director of the National Security Archive on how the government overclassifies data, and how it makes us unsafe. Good stuff, via Hit and Run:

“The record suggests that, prior to September 11th, the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities were fighting a war against terrorism largely without the benefit of what some would call their most potent weapon in that effort: an alert and informed American public. One need look no further for proof of the latter point than the heroics of the passengers on Flight 93 or the quick action of the flight attendant who identified shoe bomber Richard Reid.” After all, the only part of our national security apparatus that actually prevented casualties on 9/11 was the citizenry.

One comment on "Small Bits of Chaos: Tempest Tents, Medical Records, Openness"

  • Short ones…

    Hop on a plane, land, and discover Adam has posted 13 blog entries, including one that asks for more topics! Congrats on 500 posts! He posts on some testimony: ” the only part of our national security apparatus that actually…

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