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  • Federal Cyber Woes Continue

    Last week, Heritage published a listing of cybersecurity breaches affecting federal government systems from 2004 to the present. The listing is already out of date. On the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, it was disclosed that the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), where federal employees bank their pension money, had … More

    The Right Way to Fight Piracy and the Wrong Way to Defend Network Freedom

    For the past two weeks, Washington has been in the depths of a discussion about the best way to stop the online theft of intellectual property.  The content created by movie makers and others  is being stolen by overseas web sites who, sometimes quite blatantly, offer the pirated material to … More

    Free Speech: An Unintended Victim of Protect IP and SOPA?

    Is Congress about to limit freedom of speech on the Internet? Two bills wending their way through the Senate and the House may do just that. The proposals, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are aimed at stopping foreign-based Web sites from … More

    The Incredible Scale of the Internet

    Sometimes my friends and colleagues wonder why I fixate on cybersecurity and the Internet. I tell them all the time that it is the single most important and misunderstood problem in the world today, but often I don’t think they understand the scale of the problem. So it was fascinating … More

    Stuxnet Computer Virus: Harbinger of Things to Come

    As the ball dropped in Times Square and bells across the globe rang in the new year, the cyber world reminded us, yet again, that the new year brings significant new challenges. To recap quickly, Stuxnet was a wild, malicious computer virus that infected the Iranian nuclear program, causing the … More

    Fixing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act—The Right Way

    The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is a well-meaning law that is hopelessly overbroad. It starts from an unobjectionable premise—there ought to be a law that makes it a crime to hack into someone else’s computer without their permission—but it has gone off the rails. The policy prescriptions to … More

    The Cyber Chickens Start to Roost

    On November 8, officials in Springfield, Illinois, discovered that cyber hackers had gained remote access to the city’s water utility. As The Washington Post reports, the hackers first stole the password and access codes from a local company that develops Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. SCADA systems are … More

    Gibson Guitar Plays the Overcriminalization Blues

    Do you know all the laws of the United States?  Do you know all the laws of each of the 50 states (not to mention the assorted territories, Indian reservations, and other enclaves)?  Probably not.  And yet “ignorance of the law is no excuse” has been a maxim of criminal … More

    Case in Point: When the Law Is Used to Limit America's Freedom of Action

    The law, increasingly, is becoming a tool used by opponents of American power to harass American officials and, through the courts, limit America’s freedom of action. A case in point is the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Amir Meshal (an American citizen).  Meshal, who … More

    WikiLeaks: Delightful Irony, Rank Hypocrisy, or Both?

    You have to love this story. Apparently, WikiLeaks is plagued by … you guessed it, leaks! Confronted with the fact that some of its volunteers and employees are talking to outsiders about WikiLeaks and about some of the materials it has collected but hasn’t yet published, WikiLeaks is now demanding … More