BIS warns rolling back globalisation would be ‘detrimental’ | World news | The Guardian

“Attempts to roll back globalisation would be the wrong response to these challenges. Globalisation, like technological innovation, has been an integral part of economic development.”

Fuente: BIS warns rolling back globalisation would be ‘detrimental’ | World news | The Guardian


Digital gold: why hackers love Bitcoin | Technology | The Guardian

The WannaCry ransomware attackers demanded payment in the cryptocurrency. But its use in the ‘clean’ economy is growing, too, and could revolutionise how we use money

Fuente: Digital gold: why hackers love Bitcoin | Technology | The Guardian


Ciberguerra: cuando el arma más poderosa es un ejército de hackers

La ciberguerra ha dejado de ser una excentricidad reservada a actos aislados, a pequeñas cosas. Las nuevas tecnologías forman parte de los civiles y sus ejércitos. Y atacarlas se ha puesto a la par de la guerra convencional.

Fuente: Ciberguerra: cuando el arma más poderosa es un ejército de hackers


With authoritarianism and state surveillance on the rise, how can civil society be protected from digital threats?

Policymakers have given a great deal of attention to the cyber security of governments, critical infrastructure, military targets and commercial enterprises. But civil society groups are also under threat, including human rights defenders, environmental activists, political watchdogs, and other groups promoting the rule of law and democracy.What can be done about these digital threats to civil society around the world?

Fuente: With authoritarianism and state surveillance on the rise, how can civil society be protected from digital threats?


Spies for Hire

While cybersecurity companies traditionally aim to ensure that the code in software and hardware is free of flaws — mistakes that malicious hackers can take advantage of — DarkMatter, according to sources familiar with the company’s activities, was trying to find and exploit these flaws in order to install malware. DarkMatter could take over a nearby surveillance camera or cellphone and basically do whatever it wanted with it — conduct surveillance, interfere with or change any electronic messages it emitted, or block the signals entirely.

Fuente: Spies for Hire


Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet – Schneier on Security

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses.

Fuente: Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet – Schneier on Security


Facebook’s satellite went up in smoke, but its developing world land grab goes on | Emily Reynolds | Opinion | The Guardian

I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg has noble intentions in democratising the web, but we should still be wary of private companies controlling the internet’s infrastructure

Fuente: Facebook’s satellite went up in smoke, but its developing world land grab goes on | Emily Reynolds | Opinion | The Guardian


La batalla prácticamente perdida contra el bloqueo de avisos en el teléfono – El Mostrador

En la economía de Internet, Asia suele ser la precursora de nuevos servicios tales como aplicaciones de mensajería o pagos móviles. Ahora ha avanzado con una nueva tendencia: más gente que en otras partes del mundo ha instalado en sus teléfonos móviles software para bloquear la publicidad de internet.

Fuente: La batalla prácticamente perdida contra el bloqueo de avisos en el teléfono – El Mostrador


The Vigilante Who Hacked Hacking Team Explains How He Did It | Motherboard

Back in July of last year, the controversial government spying and hacking tool seller Hacking Team was hacked itself by an outside attacker. The breach made headlines worldwide, but no one knew much about the perpetrator or how he did it.That mystery has finally been revealed.

Fuente: The Vigilante Who Hacked Hacking Team Explains How He Did It | Motherboard


New Zealand Spied on WTO Director Candidates – The Intercept

New Zealand Spied on WTO Director Candidates – The Intercept.

Featured photo - New Zealand Spied on WTO Director Candidates

New Zealand launched a covert surveillance operation targeting candidates vying to be director general of the World Trade Organization, a top-secret document reveals.

In the period leading up to the May 2013 appointment, the country’s electronic eavesdropping agency programmed an Internet spying system to intercept emails about a list of high-profile candidates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, and South Korea.

New Zealand’s trade minister Tim Groser was one of nine candidates in contention for the position at the WTO, a powerful international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland that negotiates trade agreements between nations. The surveillance operation, carried out by Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, appears to have been part of a secret effort to help Groser win the job.


La innovación se sale del mapa | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS

La innovación se sale del mapa | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS.

Unicef utiliza la tecnología móvil para mejorar la vida de los niños. En todo el mundo existen ahora unos 270 proyectos en desarrollo

 

 

 

 

En un mapa interactivo que se actualiza casi a diario, Unicef da cuenta de cómo aprovechan la tecnología móvil y el uso de la información en tiempo real para mejorar la vida de los niños en todo el mundo. A día de hoy se desarrollan 270 proyectos y hay muchos más en fase piloto o incluso tomando forma en la cabeza de sus creadores. Casi siempre hay un teléfono móvil muy básico implicado y un tráfico de datos más lento de lo que toleraríamos en los países desarrollados, pero estas herramientas, usadas con altas dosis de creatividad, son suficientes para solucionar problemas de salud, educación, infraestructuras, logística o educación.

 

La clave es facilitar el acceso de información a las poblaciones vulnerables que de esa manera podrán tomar las mejores decisiones sobre asuntos claves para su supervivencia.

 

Veamos algunos ejemplos:


España, el país desarrollado con la Internet móvil más lenta | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

España, el país desarrollado con la Internet móvil más lenta | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.

 

Los países nórdicos y del este de Asia disfrutan de velocidades reales hasta cinco veces más rápidas, según un estudio con cinco millones de mediciones en todo el mundo

 

 

 

Las mediciones se realizaron con la ‘app’ Netradar, instalada en más de 200.000 móviles, que registra parámetros como la velocidad o la latencia. / Netradar/Aalto University

Aunque la inmensa mayoría de los españoles tienen un teléfono móvil y pagan por un acceso a Internet móvil de banda ancha, la velocidad real de su conexión es la peor de entre los países desarrollados. Un estudio global con cinco millones de mediciones muestra que los países nórdicos y varios del este de Asia disfrutan de velocidades que doblan y, en algún caso, quintuplican, la media de la existente en España.

Los grandes datos parecían buenos. 2014 acabó con un parque de líneas móviles de más de 50 millones, según el último informe de la Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia. Hace tiempo que dejó de ser noticia que haya más teléfonos que personas en España. Además, casi el 75% de los españoles tenían a mediados del año pasado una conexión de banda ancha móvil, cifra que ha debido mejorar en este tiempo. En los últimos meses, las compañías de telecomunicaciones no han dejado de publicitar sus redes 4G, hasta 10 veces más rápidas que el 3G.

Pero ¿cuál es la calidad real de esa banda ancha móvil? La velocidad media de la conexión móvil en España es de 4,6 megabits por segundo (Mbps), según un análisis realizado con una muestra de más de 200.000 usuarios en todo el mundo por expertos de la Universidad Aalto de Finlandia y la Internet Society. La cifra por sí sola apenas dice nada. Pero, si se la compara con las obtenidas en el resto de países, se entiende mejor: los ciudadanos de otras 29 naciones disfrutan de mayores velocidades que los españoles, .

Entre los 10 primeros países con mejor conexión móvil (siempre en sentido descarga) aparecen, casi sin excepción, los que ya disfrutan del mejor acceso a Internet fijo. En la lista, encabezada por Dinamarca con unos envidiables 22,3 Mbps, están el resto de países nórdicos, Suiza y Bélgica. Además de Canadá, completan el grupo las naciones asiáticas más avanzadas, como Singapur (segundo de la clasificación), Corea o Japón. Todas ellas doblan al menos la velocidad en España.


Cómo es el 'Google' secreto de la NSA y cuáles son sus peligros

Cómo es el ‘Google’ secreto de la NSA y cuáles son sus peligros.


La última filtración de los “papeles de Snowden” revela la creación del buscador ICREACH para rastrear entre los metadatos espiados

La herramienta pudo servir para detenciones e interrogatorios de sospechosos

El anterior director de la NSA, Keith Alexander, ahora consultor privado, fue su promotor

Cárcel de Guantánamo. Foto: EFE

Aunque hace más de un año empezaron a salir a la luz las prácticas de espionaje masivo de la NSA con la publicación del rastreo de las llamadas de los usuarios de Verizon, el caso está lejos de cerrarse.

El último de los programas conocidos, revelado por “The Intercept” la semana pasada, es “ICREACH”, un buscador que la NSA habría desarrollado en secreto para rastrear entre miles de millones de metadatos obtenidos en sus actividades de espionaje indiscriminado.

Se trata, entre los sistemas de espionaje hasta ahora desvelados, de uno de los más graves por la cesión de millones de datos registrados a otras agencias como la CIA, el FBI o la DEA (que carecen del control y autorización excepcional con que supuestamente contaría la NSA), porquehabría servido para detenciones e interrogatorios a quienes se consideraban sospechosos “a la luz” del tratamiento de dichos metadatos.

Estas prácticas vulnerarían, tal como apuntaron enseguida las primeras reacciones, la Cuarta Enmienda de la Constitución norteamericana que establece que solo se podrá ser objeto de investigación o detención por causas “razonables”:

“El derecho de los habitantes de que sus personas, domicilios, papeles y efectos se hallen a salvo de pesquisas y aprehensiones arbitrarias, será inviolable, y no se expedirán al efecto mandamientos que no se apoyen en un motivo verosímil…”


ICREACH: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google -The Intercept

ICREACH: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google -The Intercept.

 

architecture
By 200

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.


Cisco Systems to cut 6000 jobs

Cisco Systems to cut 6000 jobs.

Cisco has had to make more adjustments to counter sluggish sales.Cisco has had to make more adjustments to counter sluggish sales. Photo: Albert Gea

In what has become almost an annual ritual, computer networking and communications colossus Cisco Systems on Wednesday said it was laying off thousands of employees as it struggles with sluggish sales and a range of fierce competitors.

The company announced 6000 job cuts on a conference call following its quarterly earnings report, or roughly 8 per cent of its workforce, and has trimmed nearly 20,000 jobs worldwide over the last five years. Although Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni said the company expected to reinvest much of the savings from the cuts announced Wednesday into key growth areas, Cisco officials would not say how many new people would be hired in those areas or where they would be employed. They also did not say where the cuts would occur.

A spokeswoman for Cisco Australia said the cuts would have a global impact. It’s understood the company employees around 1000 people in Australia.

Noting that the San Jose corporation needs to make changes to keep pace with rapidly changing technology, Baird Equity Research analyst Jayson Noland said “it’s probably frustrating to be an employee there when they are going to have major restructuring efforts like this every year or two.” But he added, “if your skills are stale as an engineer or as a sales and marketing guy, you’re running the risk of being replaced.”

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Cisco is Silicon Valley’s fifth-biggest corporation by revenue, but its sales have been blunted by the sluggish global economy. It also faces competition from recent start-ups to more established corporations such as Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale and Brocade Communications Systems of San Jose.


Los gigantes tecnológicos pagan el precio por el caso Snowden

Los gigantes tecnológicos pagan el precio por el caso Snowden.

Un año después de las revelaciones del extécnico de la NSA Edward Snowden, grandes empresas como Microsoft, IBM o Cisco sufren las consecuencias del ciberespionaje practicado por su Gobierno

 

 

Muchos recelan de los sistemas que provienen de Estados Unidos, incluido el mercado chino, esperanza de crecimiento para las tecnológicas.

Muchos recelan de los sistemas que provienen de Estados Unidos, incluido el mercado chino, esperanza de crecimiento para las tecnológicas.

 

El tradicional mimo con el que el Gobierno de Estados Unidos trata a sus empresas nacionales y las impulsa a hacer negocios en todo el mundo se ha visto malogrado en estos últimos 12 meses. Se acaba de cumplir un año desde que las primeras revelaciones de Edward Snowden estamparan las páginas de The Guardian y The Washington Post.

Tras el estupor inicial, el debate sobre la privacidad de los ciudadanos se desarrolla en diferentes países y aparece entre los usuarios la preocupación para evitar la dependencia de la tecnología estadounidense. Y entre los principales afectados se encuentran nombres como IBM, Cisco o Microsoft.

Las empresas de Estados Unidos son las que más tecnología exportan a todo el mundo y la amenaza de posibles puertas traseras en sus sistemas es también una amenaza para su negocio. Apenas un mes después del escándalo, más de 50 compañías pidieron en una carta a Barack Obama permiso para ser más transparentes sobre la información que tenían que pasar al gobierno. Fue el primer intento –tímido– por evitar que sus negocios salieran malparados.

A lo largo de este año transcurrido desde las revelaciones sobre la NSA se han podido comprobar los daños económicos más inmediatos para las compañías tecnológicas e incluso estimar los que podrían darse en el futuro. Aun así existen muchos contratos firmados por varios años, con lo que las verdaderas consecuencias se sabrán a medida que vayan expirando estos contratos.

Microsoft ya ha perdido algunos clientes, tanto es así que el pasado mes de enero anunció que permitirá a los usuarios elegir en qué país se almacenarán sus datos. El golpe más importante para la compañía de Redmond ha sido el plan de Brasil para abandonar el uso de Microsoft Outlook, sustituyéndolo por su propio sistema de correo electrónico, con centros de datos locales. De paso, también se ha cancelado un acuerdo de 4.000 millones de dólares por el que el país carioca iba a comprar aviones de combate a Estados Unidos.

La comunicación entre Brasil y Europa hasta ahora se producía mediante cables submarinos estadounidenses, pero la UE y el Gobierno brasileño han aprobado la construcción de nuevos cables, que correrá a cargo de empresas brasileñas y españolas. Mientras que otros países de Latinoamérica, bajo la bandera de UNASUR, están pensando en la posibilidad de crear su propio sistema de comunicaciones a prueba del espionaje de la NSA.


How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet – The Intercept

How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet – The Intercept.

By 
Featured photo - How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance DragnetTop-secret documents reveal how the NSA has established secret partnerships to spy on huge flows of private data.

Huge volumes of private emails, phone calls, and internet chats are being intercepted by the National Security Agency with the secret cooperation of more foreign governments than previously known, according to newly disclosed documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The classified files, revealed today by the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information in a reporting collaboration with The Intercept, shed light on how the NSA’s surveillance of global communications has expanded under a clandestine program, known as RAMPART-A, that depends on the participation of a growing network of intelligence agencies.

It has already been widely reported that the NSA works closely with eavesdropping agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as part of the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance. But the latest Snowden documents show that a number of other countries, described by the NSA as “third-party partners,” are playing an increasingly important role – by secretly allowing the NSA to install surveillance equipment on their fiber-optic cables.

The NSA documents state that under RAMPART-A, foreign partners “provide access to cables and host U.S. equipment.” This allows the agency to covertly tap into “congestion points around the world” where it says it can intercept the content of phone calls, faxes, e-mails, internet chats, data from virtual private networks, and calls made using Voice over IP software like Skype.

The program, which the secret files show cost U.S. taxpayers about $170 million between 2011 and 2013, sweeps up a vast amount of communications at lightning speed. According to the intelligence community’s classified “Black Budget” for 2013, RAMPART-A enables the NSA to tap into three terabits of data every second as the data flows across the compromised cables – the equivalent of being able to download about 5,400 uncompressed high-definition movies every minute.


US tech groups must adapt to life after Edward Snowden – FT.com

US tech groups must adapt to life after Edward Snowden – FT.com.

Many early tenets of the internet age no longer apply
Demonstrators hold placards featuring an image of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden as they take part in a protest against the US National Security Agency (NSA) collecting German emails, online chats and phone calls and sharing some of it with the country's intelligence services in Berlin©AFP

Demonstrators hold placards featuring former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in protest against intelligence services

On the anniversary of Edward Snowden’s revelations that lifted the lid on US internet surveillance, it is worth pondering how much things have changed for American tech companies – and, by extension, their investors.

Like the world before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the pre-Snowden internet is starting to feel like a more innocent, far-off place. The ascendancy of American internet companies seemed unshakeable. With the exception of China and one or two other countries, there was little to disturb their dominance.

In retrospect, some of the received wisdom from that time is now starting to sound complacent. Its tenets included a borderless internet where information would always flow freely; a standard set of services delivered globally to an audience numbering in the billions; freedom from much of the regulation that encumbers companies trapped in the physical world; and the untrammelled ability to amass large amounts of data to feed evermore refined ad targeting. None of these things feels as assured as it once did.

In reality, the ground had already been shifting, as politicians and regulators took a keener interest in the expanding digital realm. Any hopes of retaining the light-touch regulation of the internet’s early days, when governments were grappling with its implications, already looked like wishful thinking. But the shock from the Snowden disclosures has greatly accelerated the shift.

However it plays out in detail, the direction is clear. Regulations will be tougher and courts more prone to set limits – as Google found last month, when it was ordered to extend a new “right to be forgotten” to people in Europe. Foreign customers will be more likely to consider buying from local suppliers, often with encouragement from their governments. In extreme cases, the Snowden leaks will provide an excuse to shut out US companies altogether on security grounds.

The reaction has been most obvious in countries such as China, which picked this week’s 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown to step up its rhetorical assault on US internet companies, and Russia, which is leading the way in pushing for data about its citizens to be held on local servers.

One result of all of this, inevitably, will be higher costs. Breaking up the big data holdings of cloud companies into national or regional pools would eat into the scale economies the digital world makes possible. Even without this, more onerous privacy rules are likely to raise the compliance stakes, while limiting the room to experiment with new ways of making money from customer data.

These may be costs worth paying. But in the wake of the Snowden disclosures, there is a danger of excessive reactions that cut into the potential benefits of digital services.

The internet companies, while struggling to reassure their users, are paying the penalty for having appeared in the past to have put their own commercial interests first. Moves like Facebook’s attempt last week to give its members more control over the privacy of their personal data, for instance, may have come too late to change the perception.

US cloud services companies that sell to governments or business customers, meanwhile, will face different pressures. For some, the response will be to rely more heavily on local partners to deliver their services and act as the front line in dealing with regulators. That could lead to more “white label” services from American companies that recede into the background.

Stronger competition in some foreign markets also looks likely as national governments promote their local champions. In China, IBM and Microsoft have been beset by recent reports of official encouragement for some big customers to stop buying their technology.

However, the lock that US companies have in many corners of the IT industry makes it hard to predict how quickly serious competition will emerge. It may be relatively easy to find alternative suppliers for the routers or switches made by a Cisco or the industry-standard servers from a Hewlett-Packard, but much US tech is not quickly replaceable. And when it comes to the type of cloud services that are starting to play a bigger role in IT provision, American companies have taken a definitive early lead.

None of this changes the new realities, though. As the expanding digital platforms of companies like Google and Facebook encroached deeper into everyday life, it was inevitable that they would attract greater scrutiny, envy and resistance. The test for US internet companies in the post-Snowden era will be how well they adapt to the changing times.

Richard Waters is the Financial Times’ West Coast Editor

 


Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian

Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless

US National Security Agency
The US National Security Agency threat operations centre in Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2006. Photograph: Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images

In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.

The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.

Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.

That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”

The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.

We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.

The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.

Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.

The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.

When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.

In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.


A Global Campaign to Monitor the "Digital Weapons" Trade | TechPresident

A Global Campaign to Monitor the “Digital Weapons” Trade | TechPresident.

BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, April 8 2014

A map from the CAUSE website shows where surveillance technology has been sold to countries with spotty human rights records.

It might seem that there is little connection between Milan and the atrocities occurring in Syria under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but we now know that a little known Italian tech company called Area SpA was providing Assad with technology that could virtually allow him to seize and search any e-mail that passed through the country. Unfortunately, such an example is now fairly commonplace: Vodafone in Egypt, as well as Siemens and Nokia in Iran, to name a few.

Though Area SpA later announced it was curtailing its surveillance project in Syria, in an alarming trend, surveillance technology companies, many of them in western countries with decent human rights records are selling such technology to countries with fairly sinister ones. This problem, which some activists have called the “digital arms trade” is global and complex in nature and is at the heart of a new global campaign launched on April 4 by an international group of leading NGOs. They banded together to create the Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports (CAUSE), calling for governments to take action on the international trade in communication surveillance technologies.

The group — which includes Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Privacy International, and Reporters without Borders — wants governments and private companies to tackle the proliferation and abuse of these technologies across the world, since they are more often than not used to violate their citizens’ right to privacy, free speech and a host of other human rights. World leaders are responsible for keeping such invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, said the coalition’s organizers.

“What is unique about the CAUSE coalition are the groups that are part of it,” Mike Rispoli, Communication Manager of UK-based Privacy International, says to techPresident. “You have organizations like Privacy International, as well as Open Technology Institute or Digitale Gesellschaft, that focus on technology, digital rights, etc., but you also have more traditional human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters without Borders. The reason why this is so important is that there’s a broad recognition that surveillance technologies pose significant threat to the enjoyment of rights around the world, not just the right to privacy but also freedom of expression.”

What exactly do these technologies do? There is malware that allows surreptitious data extraction from personal devices such as phone and PCs; tools that can intercept telecommunications traffic; spygear that geolocates mobile phones and can therefore track their owners; monitoring systems that allow authorities to track entire populations; and devices used to tap undersea fiber optic cables to enable NSA-style internet monitoring and filtering.


Una grieta en la seguridad de la Red | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

Una grieta en la seguridad de la Red | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.

 

OpenSSL se crea de manera desinteresada por la comunidad informática. / KACPER PEMPEL (REUTERS / Cordon Press)

 

Un error en uno de los principales programas de conexión segura utilizado en Internet ha tenido potencialmente expuestos a millones de usuarios desde hace dos años. El lunes, Google difundió un punto débil en el sistema de cifrado que utiliza para sus conexiones seguras, llamado OpenSSL, que también ha afectado a gigantes como Yahoo y Amazon. Esta grieta, existente desde 2011 y descubierta en diciembre de 2013 por un técnico de Google, podría haber permitido a hackers robar contraseñas de los usuarios.

 

El problema afecta a las conexiones seguras, las que comienzan con “https” y aparecen en la barra de direcciones cuando el usuario introduce datos delicados, habitualmente contraseñas. El fallo ha sido bautizado en inglés como Heartbleed, o “corazón sangrante”, porque afecta a un tipo de intercambio de información en web, el Heartbeat (latido de corazón).

 

El agujero de seguridad está en el código fuente (los bloques de construcción que componen un programa informático) de las versiones 1.0.1 a 1.0.1f de OpenSSL. Ya existe una nueva versión lista para descargar que subsana el fallo: la 1.0.1g. Los internautas de las páginas que utilizan este código habrían sido potencialmente vulnerables desde 2011. Y si alguien hubiera accedido a información confidencial, no habría dejado rastro. Pero los expertos llaman a la calma porque no hay razones para suponer que la seguridad haya sido violada desde entonces.

 

Open SSL es un sistema de seguridad utilizado por algunas de las principales web que existen, y “entre el 50% y el 70%” de servidores según Igor Unanue, técnico de la empresa de seguridad S21SEC. Ricardo Galli, fundador de Menéame, rebaja los servidores afectados a unos 500.000. Es gratuito y funciona como una herramienta que las web utilizan para cifrar la información que intercambian con los usuarios individuales, para que esta no pueda ser robada por terceros.

 

Open SSL es un programa de código abierto. Es decir, supuestamente cualquier programador puede participar en la escritura de su ADN, aunque eso no quiere decir que lo pueda alterar a voluntad como los artículos de Wikipedia.

 

Lo usan desde Yahoo, Google, Facebook o Amazon, a la plataforma de juegos Steam, pasando por el software de conexión segura Tor. Potencialmente podría haber dejado sin cobertura de seguridad a millones de usuarios que almacenan los datos de sus tarjetas bancarias en páginas de pago, o que utilizan el e-mail o los mensajes instantáneos.


“Heartbleed”: La grave falla que amenaza la seguridad de los usuarios en Internet – BioBioChile

“Heartbleed”: La grave falla que amenaza la seguridad de los usuarios en Internet – BioBioChile.


Heartbleed.com

Heartbleed.com

Publicado por Gabriela Ulloa
Esta semana se dio a conocer un preocupante problema de seguridad web que afecta a dos tercios de Internet: se trata de un error (bug) llamado “Heartbleed”, el cual permite a cualquier cibercriminal con acceso a la red robar datos protegidos en un servidor.

Precisamente corresponde a una falla en OpenSSL, un software de encriptación de código abierto usado por cerca del 66% de los servidores existentes en Internet, y que podría poner en riesgo los datos sensibles de los usuarios como contraseñas, datos de tarjetas de créditos y correos electrónicos, entre otros.

Uno de los aspectos más críticos es que dicha tecnología está detrás de múltiples sitios HTTPS que recogen información personal o financiera, los cuales se identifican con el ícono de un pequeño candado ubicado en la barra de direcciones y que avisa a los cibernautas que sus datos están a salvo de los espías web.

Al respecto, se precisó que actualmente los cibercriminales pueden explotar el bug para acceder a los datos personales de los usuarios y a las contraseñas criptográficas de los sitios, con el fin de crear imitaciones de las páginas para engañar a quienes navegan.


Heartbleed: don't rush to update passwords, security experts warn | Technology | theguardian.com

Heartbleed: don’t rush to update passwords, security experts warn | Technology | theguardian.com.

The severity of the Heartbleed bug means that rushing to change passwords could backfire

 

 

The Heartbleed logo.
The Heartbleed logo. Photograph: Codenomicon

 

Internet security researchers say people should not rush to change their passwords after the discovery of a widespread “catastrophic” software flaw that could expose website user details to hackers.

The flaw, dubbed “Heartbleed”, could reveal anything which is currently being processed by a web server – including usernames, passwords and cryptographic keys being used inside the site. Those at risk include Deutsche Bank, Yahoo and its subsidiary sites Flickr and Tumblr, photo-sharing site Imgur, and the FBI.

About half a million sites worldwide are reckoned to be insecure. “Catastrophic is the right word,” commented Bruce Schneier, an independent security expert. “On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.”

But suggestions by Yahoo and the BBC that people should change their passwords at once – the typical reaction to a security breach – could make the problem worse if the web server hasn’t been updated to fix the flaw, says Mark Schloesser, a security researcher with Rapid7, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Doing so “could even increase the chance of somebody getting the new password through the vulnerability,” Schloesser said, because logging in to an insecure server to change a password could reveal both the old and new passwords to an attacker.


'Heartbleed': for hundreds of thousands of servers at risk around the world from catastrophic bug | Technology | theguardian.com

‘Heartbleed’: for hundreds of thousands of servers at risk around the world from catastrophic bug | Technology | theguardian.com.

Code error means that websites can leak user details including passwords through ‘heartbeat’ function used to secure connections

 

 

The Heartbleed logo
The Heartbleed logo. Photograph: /Codenomicon

 

Hundreds of thousands of web and email servers worldwide have a software flaw that lets attackers steal the cryptographic keys used to secure online commerce and web connections, experts say.

They could also leak personal information to hackers when people carry out searches or log into email.

The bug, called “Heartbleed”, affects web servers running a package called OpenSSL.

Among the systems confirmed to be affected are Imgur, OKCupid, Eventbrite, and the FBI’s website, all of which run affected versions of OpenSSL. Attacks using the vulnerability are already in the wild: one lets a hacker look at the cookies of the last person to visit an affected server, revealing personal information. Connections to Google are not vulnerable, researchers say.

SSL is the most common technology used to secure websites. Web servers that use it securely send an encryption key to the visitor; that is then used to protect all other information coming to and from the server.

It is crucial in protecting services like online shopping or banking from eavesdropping, as it renders users immune to so-called man in the middle attacks, where a third party intercepts both streams of traffic and uses them to discover confidential information.


«Die Schweiz hätte ein Zeichen setzen können» – St.Galler Tagblatt Online

«Die Schweiz hätte ein Zeichen setzen können» – St.Galler Tagblatt Online.

Tagblatt Online, 28. Februar 2014, 10:07 Uhr

 

Zoom

Kenneth Page NGO Privacy International, London Politikverantwortlicher

 

Unternehmen haben ihre Exportgesuche für Überwachungssoftware aus der Schweiz zurückgezogen. Zufrieden?

Ja. Die Schweiz hat aber auch eine gute Chance verpasst. Die Regierung hätte viel proaktiver vorgehen und die Exportgesuche ablehnen können. Stattdessen haben die Unternehmen aus Ungeduld nun selber Entscheide gefällt. Die Schweiz hätte auf internationaler Ebene ein viel stärkeres Zeichen setzen können, indem sie die wachsenden Menschenrechtsbedenken gegenüber diesen Technologien anerkannt hätte. Zumal das Land dieses Jahr den OSZE-Vorsitz innehat.

 

Werden einige dieser Unternehmen nun Überwachungstechnik ohne Erlaubnis exportieren?

 

Sie brauchen eine Lizenz, um aus der Schweiz zu exportieren. Ansonsten würden sie Exportvorschriften verletzen. Einige Unternehmen haben aber Büros in anderen europäischen Ländern und können unter einer Gesetzgebung arbeiten, die ihnen passt. Die Firma Gamma zum Beispiel hat regionale Büros in Malaysia, den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten, Singapur oder Libanon. Es ist zudem wichtig, sich nicht allein auf diese Firmen zu fokussieren, da die Technologie oft über strategische Geschäftspartnerschaften verkauft wird.


2015 sería el año de Internet gratis para todos gracias a los mini satélites

2015 sería el año de Internet gratis para todos gracias a los mini satélites

Este es posiblemente uno de los principales problemas o dolores de cabeza que tienen las grandes compañías tecnológicas. Empresas como Google o Facebook han llegado a tan algo número de usuarios que una de las formas más viables que tendrían para crecer sería precisamente conseguir que más personas estén conectadas.

 


Meet the seven people who hold the keys to worldwide internet security | Technology | The Guardian

Meet the seven people who hold the keys to worldwide internet security | Technology | The Guardian

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: seven keys, held by individuals from all over the world, that together control security at the core of the web. The reality is rather closer to The Office than The Matrix

In a nondescript industrial estate in El Segundo, a boxy suburb in south-west Los Angeles just a mile or two from LAX international airport, 20 people wait in a windowless canteen for a ceremony to begin. Outside, the sun is shining on an unseasonably warm February day; inside, the only light comes from the glare of halogen bulbs.

There is a strange mix of accents – predominantly American, but smatterings of Swedish, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese can be heard around the room, as men and women (but mostly men) chat over pepperoni pizza and 75-cent vending machine soda. In the corner, an Asteroids arcade machine blares out tinny music and flashing lights.

It might be a fairly typical office scene, were it not for the extraordinary security procedures that everyone in this room has had to complete just to get here, the sort of measures normally reserved for nuclear launch codes or presidential visits. The reason we are all here sounds like the stuff of science fiction, or the plot of a new Tom Cruise franchise: the ceremony we are about to witness sees the coming together of a group of people, from all over the world, who each hold a key to the internet. Together, their keys create a master key, which in turn controls one of the central security measures at the core of the web. Rumours about the power of these keyholders abound: could their key switch off the internet? Or, if someone somehow managed to bring the whole system down, could they turn it on again?

The keyholders have been meeting four times a year, twice on the east coast of the US and twice here on the west, since 2010. Gaining access to their inner sanctum isn’t easy, but last month I was invited along to watch the ceremony and meet some of the keyholders – a select group of security experts from around the world. All have long backgrounds in internet security and work for various international institutions. They were chosen for their geographical spread as well as their experience – no one country is allowed to have too many keyholders. They travel to the ceremony at their own, or their employer’s, expense.

What these men and women control is the system at the heart of the web: the domain name system, or DNS. This is the internet’s version of a telephone directory – a series of registers linking web addresses to a series of numbers, called IP addresses. Without these addresses, you would need to know a long sequence of numbers for every site you wanted to visit. To get to the Guardian, for instance, you’d have to enter “77.91.251.10” instead of theguardian.com.

A smartcard is handed over‘Each of the 14 primary keyholders owns a traditional metal key to a safety deposit box, which in turn contains a smartcard, which in turn activates a machine that creates a new master key.’ Photograph: Laurence Mathieu for the Guardian

The master key is part of a new global effort to make the whole domain name system secure and the internet safer: every time the keyholders meet, they are verifying that each entry in these online “phone books” is authentic. This prevents a proliferation of fake web addresses which could lead people to malicious sites, used to hack computers or steal credit card details.

The east and west coast ceremonies each have seven keyholders, with a further seven people around the world who could access a last-resort measure to reconstruct the system if something calamitous were to happen. Each of the 14 primary keyholders owns a traditional metal key to a safety deposit box, which in turn contains a smartcard, which in turn activates a machine that creates a new master key. The backup keyholders have something a bit different: smartcards that contain a fragment of code needed to build a replacement key-generating machine. Once a year, these shadow holders send the organisation that runs the system – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) – a photograph of themselves with that day’s newspaper and their key, to verify that all is well.


Luces y sombras de la sociedad de la información

Luces y sombras de la sociedad de la información

Marcelo Colussi (especial para ARGENPRESS.info)

lunes, 6 de enero de 2014

Hoy por hoy las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TICs)* parecen haber llegado para quedarse. No hay marcha atrás. Ya constituyen un hecho cultural, civilizatorio en el sentido más amplio. Según lo que vamos empezando a ver, una considerable cantidad de jóvenes –fenómeno que se da en mayor o menor medida en todo el mundo, con variaciones según los distintos países pero todos, en general, con notas bastante comunes– ya no concibe la vida sin estas tecnologías. Sin dudas, están cambiando el modo de relacionarnos, de resolver las cosas de la cotidianeidad, de pensar, ¡de vivir! La pregunta inmediata es: ¿en qué medida contribuyen al genuino mejoramiento de las cosas? ¿Traen desarrollo?

 

A modo de conclusión

• Desde hace unas tres décadas se vive un proceso de globalización económica, tecnológica, política y cultural que achicó distancias convirtiendo a todo el globo terráqueo en un mercado único. Esa sociedad global está basada, cada vez más, en la acumulación y procesamiento de información y en las nuevas tecnologías de comunicación, cada vez más rápidas y eficientes.
• En ese proceso en curso, las modernas tecnologías digitales de la información y la comunicación (TICs) juegan un papel especialmente importante, en tanto son el soporte de la nueva economía, una nueva política, una nueva cultura de las relaciones sociales y científicas.
• Estas nuevas tecnologías (consistentes, entre otras cosas, en la telefonía celular móvil, el uso de la computadora personal y la conexión a la red de internet) permiten a los usuarios una serie de procedimientos que cambian de un modo especialmente profundo su modo de vida, teniendo así un valor especial, pues permiten hablar sin duda de un antes y un después de su aparición en la historia. El mundo que se está edificando a partir de su implementación implica un cambio trascendente, del que ya se ven las consecuencias, las cuales se acrecentarán en forma exponencial en un futuro del que no se pueden precisar lapsos cronológicos, pero que seguramente será muy pronto, dada la velocidad vertiginosa con que todo ello se está produciendo.
• El desarrollo portentoso de estas tecnologías, de momento al menos, no ha servido para aminorar –mucho menos borrar– asimetrías en orden a la equidad entre los países más y menos desarrollados en el concierto internacional, así como entre los grupos socialmente privilegiados y las capas más postergadas a lo interno de las distintas naciones. Por el contrario, ha estado al servicio de proyectos políticos que remarcaron las históricas exclusiones socioeconómicas en que se fundamentan las sociedades, ayudando a concentrar más la riqueza y el poder.
• Al mismo tiempo, aunque no contribuyeron hasta ahora a terminar con problemas históricos de la humanidad en orden a las inequidades de base, abren una serie de posibilidades nuevas desconocidas hasta hace muy poco tiempo, poniendo al servicio de toda la población herramientas novedosas que, directa o indirectamente, pueden servir para democratizar los saberes, y consecuentemente, a la participación ciudadana y al acceso a la toma de decisiones.
• El hecho de contar con herramientas que sirven para ampliar el campo de la comunicación interactiva y el acceso a información útil y valiosa constituye, en sí mismo, una buena noticia para las grandes mayorías. De todos modos, por sí mismo la aparición de nuevas tecnologías no cambian las relaciones estructurales, pero sí pueden ayudar a nuevos niveles de participación y de acceso a bienes culturales.
• Si bien hoy día estas tecnologías están incorporadas en numerosos procesos que tienen que ver con el mundo de la producción, la administración pública y el comercio en términos generales, en su aplicación masiva en toda la sociedad son los grupos jóvenes quienes más rápidamente y mejor se han adaptado a ellas, haciéndose sus principales usuarios.
• En términos generales son los jóvenes los principales consumidores de estas tecnologías, estando más familiarizados que nadie con ellas, siendo ellos mismos capacitadores de sus propios padres y generaciones adultas en general.
• En estos momentos, reconociendo que hay grandes diferencias entre jóvenes del Sur y del Norte del mundo, y que además se dan marcadas diferencias entre jóvenes ricos y pobres dentro de esas categorías Norte-Sur, las tecnologías de información y comunicación marcan a todos los jóvenes de la actual “aldea global”; la identidad “ser joven”, hoy por hoy tiene mucho que ver con el uso de estas herramientas. Sin embargo, hay marcadas diferencias en el modo de uso, y por tanto, las consecuencias que de ese uso se deriven. Las marcadas exclusiones sociales que definen la sociedad mundial se siguen haciendo presente en el aprovechamiento de las TICs. La brecha urbano-rural sigue crudamente presente, y los sectores históricamente postergados no han cambiado en lo sustancial con el advenimiento de estas nuevas tecnologías.
• Aunque las TICs no constituyen por sí mismas una panacea universal, ni una herramienta milagrosa para el progreso humano, en un mundo globalizado cada vez más regido por las pautas de la información y la comunicación, pueden ser importantes instrumentos que contribuyan al mismo. No apropiárselas y aprovecharlas debidamente coloca a cada individuo y al colectivo social en una situación de desventaja comparativa en relación a quien sí lo hace. De ahí que, considerando que son herramientas, pueden servir –y mucho– a un proyecto transformador.


Eric Schmidt's 2014 predictions: big genomics and smartphones everywhere | Technology | theguardian.com

Eric Schmidt’s 2014 predictions: big genomics and smartphones everywhere | Technology | theguardian.com.

Google’s executive chairman looks ahead, and admits to his biggest mistake – one he says he won’t repeatl

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google.
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, in April 2013. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

What does 2014 hold? According to Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, it means smartphones everywhere – and also the possibility of genetics data being used to develop new cures for cancer.

In an appearance on Bloomberg TV, Schmidt laid out his thoughts about general technological change, Google’s biggest mistake, and how Google sees the economy going in 2014.

“The biggest change for consumers is going to be that everyone’s going to have a smartphone,” Schmidt says. “And the fact that so many people are connected to what is essentially a supercomputer means a whole new generation of applications around entertainment, education, social life, those kinds of things. The trend has been that mobile is winning; it’s now won. There are more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers – people are moving to this new architecture very fast.”

It’s certainly true that tablets and smartphones are outselling PCs – in fact smartphones alone have been doing that since the end of 2010. This year, it’s forecast that tablets will have passed “traditional” PCs (desktops, fixed-keyboard laptops) too.


Entrevista digital con Andreu Veà en EL PAÍS

Entrevista digital con Andreu Veà en EL PAÍS.


Andreu Veà

Andreu Veà

Autor del libro ‘Cómo creamos Internet’

MARTES, 03 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2013

El catalán Andreu Veà, presidente de la Internet Society en España, ha escrito ‘Cómo creamos Internet’, un libro sobre los pioneros de la Red.
Más entrevistas digitales

Los internautas preguntan a Andreu Veà

Manuel R.

1. 03/12/2013 – 13:04h.

¿En qué consiste la Internet Society?

Para exponerlo en pocas líneas, ISOC (la manera en que llamamos coloquialmente a la organización social que Vint Cerf creó en 1992) y que se organiza por Capítulos Locales, es parecido a National Geographic como una organización non-profit pero monográfica de Internet. su misión principal (además de la formación y de la fijación de stándares: tiene por debajo a la IETF) es la de MANTENER una única red abierta e interoperable a nivel mundial. Resistiendo el embite de grandes corporaciones o de gobiernos totalitarios (o no) que quieren “particularizarla” y cambiar sus reglas que tan bien han funcionado y funcionan. Adherirse a ella y en concreto al capítulo español es GRATUITO (rellenando un formulario www.isoc.org y seleccionando ISOC-ES como capítulo local. respondo aquí como Presidente Ejecutivo de esta organización en España, recién elegido para los próximos 4 años (2013-2017). PD: para ser socio de pleno con derecho a voto existe la modalidad de pago (12€ al año)


PC sales head for worst year on record – FT.com

PC sales head for worst year on record – FT.com.

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a078c814-5ba6-11e3-a2ba-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2mPv3cDAF

 

PC sales will suffer the “most severe yearly contraction on record” in 2013, falling more than 10 per cent as consumers switch to tablets and smartphones, according to the closely watchedInternational Data Corporation PC tracker.

Worldwide shipments of PCs are forecast to continue to fall next year, albeit at a slower pace, down 3.8 per cent to just above 300m, a level last seen in 2008.

Sales this year are forecast to fall even further than IDC originally expected, and more than the 7 per cent decline last year.

Consumers are rapidly abandoning desktops and laptops in favour of more portable devices, even in emerging markets, which had until now been a growth engine for PC sales. Total sales of PCs are expected to fall slightly more in emerging markets, than mature ones, IDC said.

 


BitTorrent teases secure chat program | Technology | theguardian.com

BitTorrent teases secure chat program | Technology | theguardian.com.

The peer-to-peer software company is planning an encrypted chat service as demand for secure communications tools rises

 

 

A BitTorrent sticker.
BitTorrent is planning a secure P2P messaging service. Photograph: Anna Hanks/Flickr

 

BitTorrent, the company which maintains the popular peer-to-peer downloading protocol, has announced an entry into the world of secure communications.

 

With the launch of the alpha version of BitTorrent Private Chat, users are able to use a similar version of the distributed network that enables fast (and frequently illegal) downloads of large files in order to chat privately and securely.