Stories by Scott Bradner

Privacy as product differentiation. Is it time?

One of the big problems standing in the way of getting anything that remotely resembles a concern among Internet companies for the privacy rights of their customers is that there has been no business reason for any such concern. That may be changing, but don't bet big on the possibility.

Scott Bradner | 05 Mar | Read more

Critical infrastructure protection: Maybe thinking good thoughts will make us safe

Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) retired in January after quite a colorful two-dozen years in the U.S. Senate. One of the major issues he pushed for during his last few years in office was protection of the U.S. critical infrastructure. Along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lieberman put forth a series of bills aimed at requiring some level of protection for such infrastructure, the last of these being voted down in November.

Scott Bradner | 19 Feb | Read more

Apparently we can wait: Obama's online privacy effort

It has now been just about a year since the Obama administration put forth its online privacy blueprint. In spite of a title on the announcement that insisted "We Can't Wait," not much has happened since the blueprint was published. Meanwhile, things are heating up on the online privacy front in Europe, and the contrast between the United States and European viewpoints is and is not stark.

Scott Bradner | 05 Feb | Read more

If the Internet is magic, why can't we vote on it

Regular as clockwork -- just after an election which generated far too many stories of people waiting far too long to vote (and far too many local election officials saying that everything went fine and that there were no problems) -- come the calls for voting via the Internet. The press wonders if we are a third-world country, politicians posture and most security experts say "don't go there."

Scott Bradner | 14 Nov | Read more

Progress only by permission

The Copyright Clause in the U.S. Constitution reads: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." The copyright part of this clause -- the part referring to authors -- has become a stick to bludgeon technology, not just to protect authors' rights.

Scott Bradner | 30 Oct | Read more

The personal computer tifosi

A few weeks ago I wrote about the potential impact of the verdict in the Apple v. Samsung patent case. The reaction from many readers who took the time to comment was, let's say, not supportive of the position I took in the column. You should take the time to read the comments -- they are enlightening -- but more about a very long-running split in the technical community than about the actual content of the column.

Scott Bradner | 15 Oct | Read more

Apple: Great new products, but secrecy as a religion

Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with a few friends, Monday performed the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. The show must go on, even without Steve Jobs, and it sure did go on -- two well-packed hours of Apple mantra and mania. They did not talk about what I was watching for, but it turned out OK anyway.

Scott Bradner | 12 Jun | Read more

Is vulnerability an objective?

I ended last year with a <a href="">death-of-the-Internet column</a>, and I'm starting off the new year with a death-via-the-Internet one.

Scott Bradner | 04 Jan | Read more

Cyberwar and cyber-isolationism

There has been a bit of a splash in the press recently about a mention by former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden of the idea of creating new, extra secure internets for government or commerce. Users would have to give up their privacy to use these versions of the Internet, with a requirement for the use of real names and all their traffic subject to deep packet inspection. The vision seems to be that government would use one such network and services such as banking would use another.

Scott Bradner | 13 Jul | Read more

Epsilon breach: When should almost public info be private?

A press feeding frenzy followed the somewhat vague April Fools Day announcement by Epsilon Data Management that someone had hacked into its systems and stolen a bunch of email addresses. The addresses were of people who had "opted in" for email marketing by a bunch of major vendors such as Target and Red Roof Inns, and many of the vendors sent announcements of the breach to their customers (I got such an announcement from a vendor I had purchased a present from for my wife. The announcement did not say all that much, essentially it told me to "be careful".).

Scott Bradner | 14 Apr | Read more

Orwell did not guess the worst of it

It has become a cliche to bring up George Orwell's book penned in 1948 when talking about the ever-increasing pervasiveness of government monitoring of the activities of their citizens in the name of security. But Orwell's apocalyptic picture, in the book 1984 of a quiet dehumanization missed entirely the most important threat to our privacy and sense of being.

Scott Bradner | 08 Mar | Read more