John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

See, We Told You It Was a Dangerous Precedent

“We think it sets a dangerous precedent.”

–State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on the United Arab Emirates BlackBerry ban

Coming as it does after the State Department’s condemnation of the United Arab Emirates demand for oversight of BlackBerry mobile services, a White House-sponsored bill that would require all Internet-based communication services to be technically capable of intercepting and unscrambling encrypted messages on behalf of the government seems more than a little ironic.

Sadly, that irony appears to have been lost on the Obama administration, which plans to submit the bill for congressional deliberation next year despite the unsettling implications. Requiring providers of encrypted communications services to create back doors through which government officials with a wiretap order can eavesdrop carries no guarantee that only government officials with wiretap orders will use them, is it?

“Back door” is really just another term for vulnerability, and there are plenty of interests out there willing to try their hand at exploiting them. And that’s without including the National Security Agency.

“I think it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” Columbia University computer science professor Steven Bellovin told The New York Times. “If they start building in all these back doors, they will be exploited.”

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work