government tags

Bull Session

Apple vs. FBI

February 25, 2016          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we discuss privacy, security, and the hubbub around the FBI request of Apple to unlock an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple would not comply with the FBI request, as it would force the company to build a backdoor to the iPhone, an outcome that no reasonable person would find acceptable. The US government and the FBI in particular has a history of misusing information in the name of security, dating back to J. Edgar Hoover. And Apple’s defiance of the FBI comes at a time when the US government is still trying to repair the damage of the Snowden revelations about surveillance and massive data collection. Nonetheless, the government is attempting to force Apple’s compliance insisting that the law, not the company’s technology, should not be the final word on access for data critical to an investigation.

Bull Session

Hacking Cars

July 30, 2015          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the Jeep auto hack in which cybersecurity researchers were able to remotely take control of a car’s critical systems, the subsequent 1.4M vehicle recall by Chrysler, and the new bill introduced by Senators Ed Markey (Dem – Massachusetts) and Richard Blumenthal (Dem – Connecticut) to protect automobiles from cyberattacks. Are security and privacy the defining issues for the Internet of Things? Unfortunately, it seems like this incident may be the first of many examples of hacking the IoT and connected environments.


Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It
After Jeep Hack, Chrysler Recalls 1.4M Vehicles for Bug Fix
Senate Bill Seeks Standards For Cars’ Defenses From Hackers

Bull Session

The de-evolution of online privacy

June 24, 2015          

Episode Summary

Our big institutions, both corporate and government, are not able to keep up with security in the digital age. As our communications, commerce, and even our health data continue to move online, what is the individual to do?

From the recent breach of US government systems exposing valuable personal data, including Social Security numbers, for millions of Federal employees; to the Sony hack revealing private corporate communications to embarrassing effect; to the intrusions on computer networks at major health insurance companies Anthem and Blue Cross, the list of concerning events goes on and on.

Do we need a cultural shift in our understanding of cyber-privacy? And what would that be? In this episode of the Digital Life, we discuss the consequences of online privacy devolution.


WikiLeaks Dumps More Sony Documents

Chinese Hackers Get Access to US Government Systems

5 Questions

Redesign Democracy

September 18, 2014          

Episode Summary

Today’s democratic system in the United States is largely the same as that instituted in 1789 under our first president, George Washington. This much-celebrated system is based on the original democracy from ancient Athens, established almost 2,000 years earlier. Fast forward to 2014. Congressional approval is at a record low, hovering around 10%. Partisanship seems to permeate every crevice of our government. Examples of government waste and questionable policies far outnumber examples of government being good and effective. OK, so that perception might have something to do with the media, but the bottom line is our federal government is operating in a way that very few of us are satisfied with.

In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss how we might find a better way. Combining common, everyday technologies with a new concept of who should represent us, Dirk Knemeyer provides a vision to redesign democracy into a system more appropriate for the realities of 2014 while moving closer to its philosophical origins.