July 25th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  1 Comment

This was supposed to be a vacation week, but a work blog I’ve been waiting to launch since March finally came out of design on Monday and I didn’t want to put it off any longer. Its topical scope is pretty broad (network privacy and security), and there will be days it spends some time on duller fare like security products, but I’ve got some leeway to explore policy issues, too.

Eventually I’m going to work out the details of including links to the entries there as brief excerpts interspersed through the main feed here, but that’s an hour worth of coding and testing I’m saving until my plate is less full.

In the mean time, a few that share a theme that might be of general interest:

Hundreds of newspapers are reporting on MySpace’s eviction of 29,000 registered sex offenders, with some already conflating the offenders with “predators” despite the inconsistent and ambiguous meaning of “registered sex offender.” How can we get good privacy policy when politicians are saying numbers with no clear meaning “scream for action?”

Microsoft’s instant use of “child predators” as a rationale for keeping its search logs useful to law enforcement ought to make us nervous. That’s clearly a crowbar with some potency both as an enabler of law enforcement overreach and as cover for service providers of any kind who will not protect their users given a suitably inflammatory reason.

If you were bothered by search engine privacy policies (or their lack) before this week, and if those objections came less from worrying about your credit rating and more from worrying about ever-increasing government surveillance powers, the past week’s news may not seem like such a great leap forward after all.


  1. gl. says:

    July 25th, 2007 at 4:22 pm (#)

    bless you, mph! it’s rare to see a parent speak out against “but think about the CHILDRENZ!!1” but you’re right: now that the war is waning, it’s the trump card played against civil rights. i’m really surprised to see this series, especially the most recent one, on a tech blog!

Leave a Response

© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.