My article "Strong Privacy: Perils and Promises of Encryption."
Several years ago, I had a debate on encryption regulation with former Attorney General Ed Meese. The transcript is webbed.
Matt Blaze has a page with extensive information on encryption and related issues, written from a pro-crypto point of view.
If you would like to browse the web without being watched by either the FBI or the RIAA, you might want to take a look at netshade.
The RIAA as a promoter of strong privacy? An interesting essay.
Table of contents and first chapter of The Transparent Society .
A discussion of issues raised by Brin's book, along with a demonstration of some new software for online discussions, all provided courtesy of the Foresight Institute--the nanotech people.
Realspace surveillance to break cyberspace privacy--a real case, courtesy of the FBI.
Identity free surveillance: "The cameras are located in the ceiling looking down, so we're only looking at head and shoulders of people," Hudda said. "Our cameras can't even see your face," said Simon Angove, Brickstream vice president of sales and marketing.
Computerized face recognition of data from surveillance cameras finally arrived--at the superbowl, without notice.
New e-mail program scans email for keywords.
A bunch of links on digital manipulation and evidence issues:
Digital Images and Evidence
Photographic Evidence, Naked Children, and Dead Celebrities: Digital Forgery and the Law
Digital Imaging Developments
The issue of manipulation of digital evidence
showing up in real cases.
Here also is an interesting privacy rights organization monitoring the technology internationally: Privacy International
Might the attempt to suppress internet gambling lead to something still worse--ECash?
A draft of an article by me and Professor Macintosh
A reasonably informative student paper on ecash.
The next two are not for the faint of heart or mathphobic:
A brief explanation of the mathematics of blind signatures and double spending.
A discussion of various ecash issues by David Chaum, who invented a lot of the ideas.
Website of Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
A student article on cybernetic money laundering.
And, finally, a lot of links to ecash and encryption related issues, from an unabashedly partisan viewpoint, can be found at Vince Cate's Cryptorebel/Cypherpunk Page.
My article, discussing some of this at greater length than in the book manuscript, is webbed here.
For a more extreme version of the approach, take a look at this page on smart contracts.
Julie Cohen, "Copyright and the Jurisprudence of Self-Help"
An article arguing against some proposed changes to
designed to facilitate electronic commerce
David Friedman, "In Defense of Private Orderings"
An article arguing against Professor Cohen's article.
[Both are from a symposium organized by the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.]
For some cutting edge material on electronic contracting, take a look at Mark Miller's erights page.
A 40 page primer on digital rights management is described here and available as a free download.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar,
Homesteading the Noosphere
The Magic Cauldron
Fortune story on Open Source and the Dean campaign as models for the bottom up economy.
A brief account of the Cornell case--round 1. The OFFAL counterattack. A book excerpt that deals with that case among others.
There is a brief discussion of the Caltech case here.
An old collection of material on Scientology vs the Net, including the anon.penet.fi case.
A slightly newer collection of materials and links.
Apage maintained by a critic of Scientology, with links to a lot of relevant background material. It was not accessible as of 1/11/04. A discussion of past attempts by the Church of Scientology to get critics' pages removed from Google--in particular that site. A more recent site.
For the other side of the picture, you may want to check out the Church of Scientology home page.
The exploits of scientologies CancelPoodle raise the general question of filtering on Usenet. A fascinating decentralized approach can be found on the home page of the notorious CancelMoose.
Sporgeries are a way of using online speech to hinder speech--lots of computer generated nonsense messages with forged headers attributing them to real posters. Critics of Scientology suspect the CoS is responsible, but so far as I know there is no clear evidence.
A wikipedia article on sporgery.
An intriguing suggestion for dealing with software piracy--inspired by the ARS sporgery attack.
A study guide on email privacy with links to the Caltech case.
A fascinating article on the ways in which workplace harassment law can be used to restrict freedom of speech, with special reference to online issues.
Intel v Randal Schwartz
Chaos Club v Microsoft
Sci-Fi Weapons That Actually Exist
"An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control"
Chinese dissident gets 10 year prison sentence for revealing 30,000 e-mail addresses to a 'dissident' publication.
A link to the Rules for searching and seizing computers.
Interception Capabilities 2000 Report to the Director General for Research of the European Parliament(Scientific and Technical Options Assessment programme office)on the development of surveillance technology and risk of abuse of economic information. This study considers the state of the art in Communications intelligence (Comint) of automated processing for intelligence purposes of intercepted broadband multi-language leased or common carrier systems, and its applicability to Comint targeting and selection, including speech recognition. (Contributed by Colin Hatcher.)
Donald Rumsfeld's worries about cyberwar.
Scambusters.com has an entertaining and informative summary of last year's worst scams.
Slicing Salami: It looks as though the
have been reading Chapter XIII of Future Imperfect--or perhaps
reruns that feature the Chaos Computer Club of Hamburg.
Fight fire with fire and scammers with ... . Tenser
than James Bond, funnier than Groucho Marx, the story of the
Article hostile to cloning.
Cloning Human Beings: Report of national bioethics advisory commission (1997).
The Raelian religion--for which cloning et al may be religious obligations (or at least the realization of prophecy).
An interesting story on the Raelian cloning project.
The Raelian version. Have they really done it? Only the Bishop knows for sure.
Lee Silver is already obsolete. It appears that a new technology will make it possible for two women to produce a child entirely from their own genetic material.
There has been a minor flap in Britain over two homosexual men one of whom produced twin children via a surrogate mother in California, and both of whom are listed as the children's parents.
Everything you wanted to know about parenthood and technology in Ireland.
Is it a boy? Is it a girl? Not exactly.
Children conceived as tissue donors for their
siblings--the latest high
version. "Search and destroy mission" or "a wonderful reason"
to have a child?
A story from ABC News on cryonics--freezing people just before or after death (depending on your definition of death), with the hope of later thawing, repair and revival.
An essay on cryonics by Ralph Merkle--one of the originators of public key encryption.
An essay explaining and defending cryonics, from the Cryonics Institute
The home page of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
A reasonably friendly discussion of current progress in the technology of cryonic peservation, specifically vitrification--from Popular Mechanics.
Less radical approaches to life extension can be found at the Life Extension Foundation
Everything you wanted to know about telomeres and telomerase, one approach to ending aging.
The Life Extension Manual appears to be a well informed and carefully written account of things you can do that may substantially lengthen your life, including warnings about possible risks.
A quick web search for "Life Extension" turns up mostly people trying to sell you things to make you live longer. If any of you finds a good online discussion of the implications of life extension, please let me know.
A useful collection of links dealing with a range of biotech issues, human, plant and animal, provided by people at VPI.
Not everyone is in favor of genetic engineering in
here is a gleeful summary of some problems,
by two critics, with links to more of the same.
Here is a more recent piece
the same lines.
And here a piece
on the other side. And here is another.
one argues that European opposition to agricultural biotech threatens a
that could prevent a million deaths a year and 300,000 cases a year of
blindness in the third world--with the result that it has to be grown
a grenade proof greenhouse.
One important set of issues involves genetic testing. Should insurance companies be free to require genetic testing, as they now sometimes require a medical exam, as a condition of getting insured? I discuss the economics of adverse selection, which is an important element of the problem, and the problem itself in one chapter of my most recent book; the links are to the webbed draft.
"Playing God in the Garden," by Michael Pollan, N.Y.T. Sunday Magazine 10/25/98
Are superweeds a superflop? An article in Nature finds no great risk from the spread of genetically modified plants.
Is it a goat? Is it a spider? Is it five times as strong as steel? Some recent biotech engineering, taking a free ride on 400 million years of evolution.
Quite a lot of detailed information on psychedelics from Erowid.
The Good Drug Guide contains a lot of information on drugs to make you happy, by someone who thinks such are, and should be, the wave of the future. For a more general view of his philosophy, see The Hedonistic Imperative.
Ask Dr. Shulgin Online provides information on drugs from Alexander Shulgin, a biochemist who has, arguably, invented a new art form--the design of psychedelic drugs.
The army is interested in mindreading--and offering to fund research. Search the (very long) text for the second occurance of "Remote Neurological."
DARPA is a good deal clearer about what they are looking for. Find the second occurance of "Emotional State".
And someone else thinks he has it--MRI as a lie detector.
For a drug that keeps you awake, apparently without
side effects, check out modafinal
(aka Provigil). The page has lots of links to additional information.
An article on
"Let those of us on the opposite end of the ethical
stand up and be counted: Let people be free to choose to be smarter and
take whatever steps are necessary." A
defending the use of drugs to enhance memory and cognitive performance.
The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics has a page
on "Psychoactive Drugs as weapons and Policing Tools," with lots
Serum Work?," the lowdown on what is currently available, from Slate. "In reality, though, the
good truth serums are found in bad science fiction."
The Supreme Court, on the other hand, thinks they
well enough to be unconstitutional.
The issue of medicating criminals to control their behavior is already out there and getting litigated. See Florida's 1997 Chemical Castration Law: A Return To The Dark Ages by LARRY HELM SPALDING
A review of The Age of Spiritual Machines, including extensive excerpts from the book.
Engines of Creation, by Eric Drexler, the original book on nanotech, is available online, courtesy of Dexler's Foresight Institute. You should read at least Chapters 1 and 11, and as much more of the book as you find interesting.
A lively debate on nanotechnology was set off by the publication of two articles--one in Nature and one in Scientific American--criticizing the idea. The Foresight Institute has webbed the relevant documents.
Links to a lot of material on research to make the blind see--a first step towards cracking the dreaming problem.
Virtual Reality makes it to Mars--with a little help from
Space? The FAA has just issued the first license for a private,
manned, suborbital vehicle. SpaceShipOne was designed by Burt Rutan,
best known for the airplane that in 1986 flew around the world without
refueling. For more information, see the home page of Scaled Composites.
First they came for the dinosaurs ... . A
Senate subcommittee is concerned about falling rocks. Big
The first big problem of allocating rights in space
we are likely to encounter is the problem of congestion in
geosynchronous orbit. This article
provides some useful background information.
There is no legal guarantee of anonymity online, as some employees of Raytheon are discovering. According to the San Jose Mercury, their employer is "demanding $25,000 in damages for disclosing ``certain Raytheon proprietary and confidential information on the Internet'' via anonymous postings on a Yahoo Inc. electronic message board.
Under court order, Yahoo had to provide the Lexington, Mass., defense contractor with all the personal identification information it had on the defendants, said Diane Hunt, a Yahoo spokeswoman."
They should have used a fully anonymous remailer. Not even a court can make someone produce information he doesn't have.
From a discussion of a recently
credit card fraud. The piece is of interest both as an example of a
crime that may become increasingly important and as an example of
crime fighting--the research on the fraud having been done mostly by a
May a computer practice law? Not in Texas. Which raises a
that may become more serious as computers get smarter--how to apply
licensing law to artificial intelligence programs.
Where do you draw the line between free speach and
to murder--on the web? A 1999 high profile case gave one
a hundred million dollars in damage judgements.
Thousands of frozen people waiting to be trashed? It all depends where you draw the line.
Melissa, a Word Macro Virus, propagated by reading email addresses from address books on the infected machine and then sending email containing an infected document as an attachment to fifty names from each address book. Part of the document is a list of pornographic web sites. Who, other than the (unknown) author of the virus, is liable if someone receives such a document from your machine, complains to your boss, and you get fired? For other consequences?
A year or two back we discussed the ID number, based
a machine's ethernet card, that Microsoft Word and some other
automatically attach to documents they create. Investigators using that
tracked down the author of the
A few years back I taught a seminar in Computers, Crime and Privacy. It included a page of links, some of which may be relevant (and many of which, by now, may be broken).
Back to the Course Page