Internet Privacy & Security A Presentation to WPI Student Pugwash Michael J. Ciaraldi Professor of Practice, WPI Computer Science 2003/10/02.
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Internet Privacy & Security A Presentation to WPI Student Pugwash Michael J. Ciaraldi Professor of Practice, WPI Computer Science 2003/10/02
Why Are You Here Tonight? Instead of at the CLICK meeting.
Pugwash Ideals “…to bring scientific insight and reason to bear on threats to human security arising from science and technology in general…” “…pursued through debate, discussion and collaborative analysis in an atmosphere of candor and mutual respect…” –From the Pugwash Mission Statement
Be Glad You’re in College You can discuss any topic… You can express any opinion… And nobody will try to kill you. You don’t have that freedom in the real world.
Internet Privacy and Security A huge topic. Tonight: An overview and some details. –Mostly on privacy.
Tradeoffs Identify them. Analyze them. Make rational choices.
Whom Do You Fear Most? The Government? Big business? Criminals with your private data? Criminals in general. –Including terrorists, fanatics, etc.
A Quote “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” –-- Lord Acton.
Another Quote “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” –-- Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
One More Quote “Big Brother Is Watching You.” –--George Orwell, 1984.
Kinds of Information on You Demographic –Race, religion, ethnicity, disability Financial –Salary, credit history, bankruptcy, debts Associates Buying habits Rentals Reading Medical Web surfing Credit card Memberships Purchases Email Newsgroups Grades & Degrees Employment Arrests Passwords
Where Is This Information? Paper and electronic Company, government, organization, school. –Various groups and levels
Where Does This Info Come From? Public records. Internal records. Forms you fill out. Reports from others.
Questions How accurate is this info? Is it up-to-date? Can you find out what it is? Can you find out if someone is using it? Can you correct and/or comment on it? Is it even about you?
It Gets Worse (or Better) When Electronic Easier to find data. Easier to correlate. –Quakers of Lithuanian descent who read books on fireworks.
What Bad Can Happen? Persecuted by government. Targeted by criminals. Targeted by protesters. Job discrimination. Loan discrimination. Denied insurance. Deluged by junk mail.
What Good Can Happen? Job qualifications confirmed. Criminals barred from sensitive jobs. Fugitives caught. Kidnap victims found. Medical history and interactions. E911 cellphone location.
What Safeguards Are There? Government inter-agency sharing. Census statistics. Search warrant / subpoena. Privacy policies. Right to examine and correct credit history.
A Few Things You Can Do Examine company privacy policies. Submit minimal information. Maintain separate email accounts. Use mail encryption, SSL, SSH, VPN, etc. Stimulate public debate.
Some Questions What information should the government legitimately have about people? What information should companies legitimately have about people? What information should schools legitimately have about people?
Some Harder Questions What freedoms are you willing to give up? –To have security. –To preserve other freedoms. Who gets to decide?