Thursday, August 28, 2008

IP Anonymity as regards P2P and Criminal Activity

It appears as if systems are far less robust, in regards to tracking users, than is perceived. A now "ancient" Cambridge study (from 2005) Anonymity and Traceability in Cyberspace by Richard Clayton concludes that the data stored by ISPs, while useful for business purposes, are less conclusive for criminal proceedings.

One should not be surprised that systems maintained by ISPs to provide traceability to ISP accounts become less precise once one is no longer using them for ISP purposes and start trying to trace back to actual people.

The authors stresses that not only would the traceability evidence have to be accurate enough to stand up in court but the prosecution would also have to account for numerous blocking and diversionary scenarios put in place "by the real" criminals and not necessarily the individual being charged with the crime.

If you're at all interested in the subject of internet privacy this paper is a worthwhile read.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Brave New World - Is it Time To Freak Out

The following article was in TechCrunch earlier this month.

Is it officially time to freak out in Apple’s general direction?

Not only does Apple remove applications from the App Store—I Am Rich was taken down yesterday, for example—but it’s now emerged that the company can remotely disable applications from individual iPhones.

Obviously, Apple should be able to protect itself and its users from malware - but should it have gotten rid of "I am Rich?" From a public relations perspective the answer is "hell yes;" and from a general business perspective the answer is "of course." Any business from a small mom and pop to Walmart can determine what is and what is not sold in their store. They may make a mistake in allowing a product in, surely they have the right to correct their mistake.

There may be times when a company bows to public pressure but is that necessarily a bad thing?