State secrets

Is WikiLeaks Ethical, Criminal, or an Immune Nuisance?

December 3rd 2010

Washington politicians are falling over each other to establish who can be the most bombastic about WikiLeaks. But is there a crime or ethical offense the website is guilty of?

WikiLeaks Draws Congressional Ire: Is Repeating Leaks Part of Free Speech?

January 13th 2010

Back in 2007, I suggested that snitching was one of the killer apps of Web 2.0. Since then,, the site for snitching secrets about governments and corporations, has been a success. How do you measure success? Perhaps by the zeal with which legislators seek to investigate the website. Of course, judges have quickly raised […]

Wikileaks Cracks NATO Code: Finds Afghan Secrets

March 9th 2009

Wikileaks discovered that NATO’s communications briefs were all encrypted with the same easy-to-guess password: “progress.”  Even military-strength encryption is useless if the password can be guessed by anyone reading a campaign poster. One document, “NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative,” is a 30-page guide to the “story” NATO representatives are to tell, and what details should […]

MBTA Injunction Against MIT Students Lifted

August 19th 2008

Judge George O’Toole Jr has lifted the gag order preventing three MIT students from publicly discussing MTBA security flaws. As noted here, the MBTA made the student’s report public in their petition to gain the restraining order in question. The MBTA, which had earlier denied that security flaws existed, had asked the judge to prevent […]

MIT Students Restrained From Answering MBTA Claims

August 13th 2008

An update on yesterday’s post, MBTA Makes MIT Subway Hack Guide Famous. The MBTA issued a statement to CNET which tells their view of how MIT students approached shared information with the organization about flaws in its fare card system. Now Dan Grabauskas, the general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, has told the […]

Anatomy of a Subway Hack Now Online: MBTA Makes MIT Guide Famous

August 12th 2008

My local transit agency, the MBTA, gained a restraining order to keep a group of MIT students from presenting their discovery of just how easy it is to forge credits on the subway’s fare cards. But since the MBTA filed the students’ paper as part of their complaint, the full text of what they sought […]

Update: Rogue Admin Returns Control of San Francisco Network

July 24th 2008

The Sanfrancisco Chronicle reports that after a secret visit by the mayor of San Francisco, the network administrator who locked the cities technology staff out of the network surrendered his password. See earlier coverage of this story. Terry Child’s defense attorney, Erin Crane, claimed that Mr. Childs was merely protecting the network from incompetent staff, […]

Wikileaks: Cuba to Bypass US Internet Embargo via Venezuela

July 22nd 2008

Last week, the whistle-blower site Wikileaks published a confidential 2006 contract in which Venezuelan and Cuban firms agreed to lay an undersea fiberoptic cable connecting the countries. The cable is to be completed by 2010. Among the agreement’s stated objectives is to build a relationship of “strategic value,” which will permit Cuba and Venezuela to […]

Victories Suggest Privacy Rights May Be on the Upswing

May 1st 2008

Its been a cold winter for privacy advocates in the US.  Some of the more remarkable privacy concerns to emerge include: The gutting of the nation’s privacy oversight board Comcast experimenting with home spying Companies swapping personal customer data The Protect America Act’s encouragement of domestic spying Spring Brings Increased Legal Support of Privacy for Citizens […]

Online Maps Reveal of State Secrets and Security Lapses

October 7th 2007

Dan Twohig, a deck officer with the Washington state ferry service was using Microsoft Virtual Earth to review real estate on the west side of Puget Sound. Instead he found a state secret, a photo showing the secret propeller design of an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. He posted the publicly available image on his web […]