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Cyber Week in Review: August 21, 2015

by Adam Segal
August 21, 2015

Jeb Bush CFR Net Politics Cyber Former Florida Governor and Republican candidate for president Jeb Bush speaks at a VFW town hall event in Merrimack, New Hampshire, August 19, 2015. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters).

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Here is a quick round-up of this week’s technology headlines and related stories you may have missed:

  • GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush told primary voters in South Carolina that encryption makes it harder for the United States government to “make sure that evildoers aren’t in our midst.” Bush proposed a “new arrangement” with tech firms that are are offering encryption by default setting in their products. When the event moderator explained that security researchers unanimously agree that “backdoors” for law enforcement are just exploits waiting for an attacker, Bush admitted that it was a good point but didn’t respond further. The candidate also said he favored giving the NSA the authority to collect bulk telephone metadata that Congress took away from the agency earlier this year.
  • Computer scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a method for routing information on the Internet that allows individuals to specify that their traffic not pass through certain geographical locations. The system, known as Alibi Routing, can help privacy conscious individuals avoid certain countries that are known to monitor or alter Internet traffic that passes through its borders. For example, a person in France looking to communicate with a server in India would generally require traffic to pass through a third country, like Russia. If the person in France didn’t want their traffic going through Russia, the Alibi network would reroute the traffic around Russia to reach it’s ultimate destination. Alibi team plans on publically releasing a browser plug-in so that people can use the routing system later this year.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it renewed its contract with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that manages the domain name system that keeps the Internet running. While the Department of Commerce announced it’s intent last year to get out of the domain name system business by September 2015, the Internet community is still working on a transition plan. The Commerce-ICANN contract was renewed for one year, which should give the Internet community enough time to settle on a final transition proposal.

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