FC Round Up – The Case Against Snowden, DNA Tech Out of Date? and Hack, Hack and Hack

Hey hey! Remember me? No? I finished a law degree, so here is hoping I can post more stuff on here.  As a sign of good faith, here is a collection of interesting web bits:



Gathering Evidence ‘In The Cloud’

The use of cloud-systems for data storage carries with it some unique challenges for law enforcement. Attempts to investigate and gather evidence for digital crimes – particularly content offences like child pornography, raise several issues of jurisdiction, privacy and digital rights. Many challenges include:

  • Locating data – which could be across several jurisdictions and may be ‘dynamically’ stored across several servers in different locations. 
  • Separating data – as many cloud systems run VM-Ware in order to store multiple confidential accounts on one machine, gaining access to just one of these accounts without exposing confidential material of innocent users and possibly conducting an illegal search in the process.
  • Not pissing off Cloud Providers – who have an incentive to keep their servers running 24/7 and will avoid any negotiation with investigators which may result in their servers being seized or their operations interfered with.
  • Not pissing off consumers – who love privacy, although also do not read terms and conditions very often.

ArsTechnica has an interesting article on how cloud services contractor  Verizona has used a contract-out method to scan for and determine content offences on its servers. The provider began this technique in response to the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008 which mandated that service providers report suspected child pornography. The provider uses a combination of “PhotoDNA”  technology supplied by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and  third-party to scan uploaded content.   Once collected, the provider is required to hand over evidence to law enforcement.

Countries Beef Up Their Cyber Security Creds: Japan, US, Australia

All courtesy of ZDNet:

  • US President Barack Obama signed an executed order yesterday, hinted in his State of the Union address, to crack down on cybercrime. Although, not everyone is convinced.
  • The Japanese Police Agency plans to compile a handbook on cybercrime investigations and create more specialist staff position. This follow their enactment of the Convention on Cybercrime last year.

Demanding Answers For Aaron Swartz

Since the tragic death by suicide of information activist and technology pioneer Aaron Swartz, questions have been raised by commentators, legal experts and Swartz’s family as to why prosecutors would so virulently go after a suspect for what was essentially an abuse of copyright/licence offence, and why similar figures in the hacktivist community are also being  aggressively targeted.

The US Congress has now demanded  from the Department of Justice an answer to the question of why Swartz was so unfairly targeted. Wired has the details.

Designing Out Cybercrime

Much like environmental design can tackle home invasions and burglaries, can cybercrime be ‘designed out’? Nigel Phair takes a look.

Tackling Cybercrime in the Philippines

A proposed law in the Philippines designed to tackle cybercrime  has been criticised and held up in the executive on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The proposed law provides for the prevention of illegal access and interference of data, “computer squatting”, cyber sex and pornography, “cyber libel” and other crimes done with the use of computers and cellular phones. The unconstitutional  aspect of the new law is ‘cyber libel’  which currently conflicts with an existing penal code law but with a much greater sentence. There has been much criticism of the new law, with op-ed pieces of bother the pro and con variety published in Philippine media.

Aussies Hacked

Eastern European hackers have stolen half a million credit card numbers from Australians and racked up $25 million in fraudulent transactions ( Source SMH)