Ever since Skype updated its network to transfer the supernodes that power the service away from a P2P system and onto secure, Skype-run data servers, rumors have run rampant that the update occurred solely to make Skype more amicable to government wiretapping requests. Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a story claiming that Skype recently expanded its cooperation with authorities, and the architecture changes let the company provide more chat and user info to feds. Last evening, Skype officially responded to the various allegations in a blog post by COO Mark Gillett. In a nutshell, Gillett says the rumors are nuts.
The electronics revolution is changing the nature of law enforcement. Security cameras, tracking devices, micro-chips and other anti-theft measures are making it harder than ever to steal things and even harder to profit from that theft.
Meanwhile, expanding technology is giving us near-universal surveillance, making detection of crimes and apprehension of criminals a lot easier. But will enhanced technology give rise to more sophisticated criminals with more evolved criminal activities?
After months of watching helplessly while Anonymous and LulzSec pulled down our virtual pants and stuck their tongue out at Internet users worldwide, several members of the two groups are now being taught a crucial lesson: nobody likes a smartass. We reported yesterday that the FBI raided the homes of 3 suspected Anons in New York, but it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. Authorities in the US and UK say they've slapped the cuffs of 15 alleged Anon affiliates and one person possibly associated with LulzSec. Oh, and one more guy.
If you're the kind of person who authorizes ActiveX scripts willy-nilly or opens attachments emailed to you by strangers, the world is a much safer place now than it was two months ago. Don't get us wrong – if you're that kind of person, your computer is still going to end up overrun with malware, but at least it won't be made into a Coreflood zombie. The FBI's "Operation ADEONA" took the botnet on head first, and while botnet operators can be a hardheaded bunch, the FBI's head is apparently even harder.
"Do not make the mistake of challenging Anonymous," the hacker collective declared in a stark message on its website yesterday. The message was a direct response to a NATO report that said Anonymous should be infiltrated and its members jailed. Spain responded to the verbal backhand by delivering Anonymous a not-so-subtle slap in return; today, Spanish police announced that they've arrested three "senior" members of the legion and seized a server that played a crucial role in many recent Anonymous attacks, including the PlayStation Network take-down.
In 1967, AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission sat down to hammer out the details of a national standard for requesting help from emergency services that we still use today—dialling 911. While dialling this simple three digit number may seem like a no-brainer to us now, when 911 was first introduced, it was a paradigm shift in communications that allowed for example, an individual in Toledo on a business trip to call for an ambulance the same way he would have done back home in San Francisco. Kind of a big deal, right? Here's how it works.