Friday Morning: Some Place Warm
Warm, like the Philippines, the home of the Manila sound. It’s Friday once again and today’s jazz genre is the precursor to Pinoy rock (like Freddie Aguilar’s Anak) and Pinoy hip hop (like Andrew E’s Binibirocha).
The Manila sound emerged under Ferdinand Marcos’ regime; wish I knew more about this body of work to identify songs which pushed the envelope politically. You can still hear the ghost-like impact more than 300 years of Spanish colonialism in some riffs, shaped by other Asian and American influences.
Think I’ll try a mix mix cocktail later today with a little more contemporary Filipino jazz.
Coincidentally, “mix mix” is an apt description for this morning’s post. A lot of smallish, unrelated items in my inbox today…
The canary that didn’t chirp
Reddit may have received a National Security Letter, based on the disappearance of a notice in transparency reporting which up to now indicated no NSLs had been received. Was an NSL sent to Reddit in response to an online discussion last year with Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras, and Glenn Greenwald? Or did some other content trigger a possible NSL?
Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Security Division wants to fix open source software
“Hello, we’re from the government. We’re here to help you.” Uh-huh. Color me skeptical about this initiative intended to reduce vulnerabilities in open source software. when the government finds a way to insert itself into technology, it’s an opportunity for co-option and compromise. Can you say ‘backdoor’?
Fixing a problem with business iPhones may create a new one
A key reason the USDOJ went after Apple to crack the passcode on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone: poor or missing mobile device management software. Had the iPhone’s owner and issuer San Bernardino County installed an MDM app that could override the assigned user’s passcode, the FBI would have had immediate access to the iPhone’s contents. Employers are likely moving toward more and better MDM to prevent a future costly #AppleVsFBI situation. However, the new SideStepper malware is spreading and taking advantage of MDM’s ability to push software to enterprise-owned iPhones without the users’ approval.
FCC’s very busy Thursday
- FCC approved a $9.25 monthly subsidy for Lifeline-eligible low-income folks to use on high-speed internet service. Now if only high-speed internet was less than $10/month, or available across the U.S. to all low-income citizens…there are still wide swaths of the U.S. where high-speed internet is simply a pipe dream, let alone adequate competition to keep prices within reach of the subsidy.
- The subsidy’s approval came amid a lot of political scrambling and maneuvering due to conservatives’ resistance on spending (what a surprise, right?), though the investment should increase the number of users able to access state and federal programs online, reducing costs to operate them over the long run.
- The FCC also voted to proceed with rulemaking on the handling of users’ personal information over ISPs. Privacy is currently regulated on telecommunications by the FCC, but not on ISPs. Implementing rules on ISPs substantially similar to telecoms may protect consumers’ privacy, which is otherwise wide open. It would also force more equitable competition between ISPs and telecoms on consumer communications services. Perhaps this makes it easier to understand why NBC and MSNBC — both owned by cable ISP company Comcast — have been completely in the tank for Donald Trump? (Might even explain why Trump was such an ass to Univision’s Jorge Ramos, as Comcast owns competitor Telemundo.)
Today in literacy
- Participating in a book club could land you in prison in Angola (QZ) — There’s either more to this story, or Angola is incredibly repressive and ripe for trouble.
- Fairy tales, now with more firearms (NPR) — The idiots at NRA think there’s not enough violence in fairy tales, so they’ve rewritten them with weapons added. Distorting the Constitution isn’t enough; why not distort children’s fiction, too?
- Lawful Hacking: using Existing Vulnerabilities for Wiretapping on the Internet (Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property) — Not a book, but a worthwhile read for infosec literacy.
Public Service Announcement: Backup/Alternate Site
You may have noticed the site’s connectivity going up and down; there’s some tinkering going on under the hood. If the site should go down for long, you can find our more recent content at this alternate site (bookmark for emergency use). If the site needs to stay down for longer periods of time for repairs or redesign, we’ll redirect traffic there. Comments left at the other site will not be ported back to this page, however, and the alternate location is not intended to replace this one though you may find you like the alternate site’s mobile version better.
That’s a wrap, I’m off to find some calamondins, or an approximation for a mix mix cocktail. Have a good weekend!