Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Links

  • The European economy grew very slightly in Q2. The graph of European (and US) GDP is above.  I think it's too soon to be certain that Europe is out of the woods, but this last data point certainly does make the graph look less dismal.
  • Parts of China have slowed down badly though.
  • NSA surveillance leaks make national cyberdefense plan politically infeasible.  In general, I'm strongly in favor of national cyberdefense, and I research/design/build network intrusion detection systems for a living.  However, I have to admit that at this point I wouldn't trust the NSA with access to such systems either.  This is exactly why, in a democracy, major policy changes shouldn't be pursued in secret; it's toxic when it comes out.
  • Bruce Schneier: "Since the Snowden documents became public, I have been receiving e-mails from people seeking advice on whom to trust. As a security and privacy expert, I'm expected to know which companies protect their users' privacy and which encryption programs the NSA can't break. The truth is, I have no idea. No one outside the classified government world does. I tell people that they have no choice but to decide whom they trust and to then trust them as a matter of faith. It's a lousy answer, but until our government starts down the path of regaining our trust, it's the only thing we can do."

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