Commentary

DoD Changes Cloud Computing Policy

Henry Kenyon, InformationWeek Government,  Monday, November 17, 2014

The Department of Defense is getting ready to deploy a new cloud computing policy that allows the armed services more say in selecting service providers. Besides allowing commercial vendors to support DoD operations, the move also allows the military to be more efficient in adopting mobile devices and other related technologies, said the department's acting chief information officer.

The FBI Doesn’t Need More Access: We’re Already in the Golden Age of Surveillance

Peter Swire, Just Security,  Monday, November 17, 2014

In response to Apple and Google’s announcements that they would encrypt their smartphones by default, former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann recently argued in Just Security that “Congress needs to assess whether the growing inability to access such means of communication, with a court order, is coming at too great a cost.” He emphasized “the vital role lawful electronic interception plays in thwarting crime – including devastating terrorist attacks.” My previous writings show a series of arguments against federal agencies’ claims that they need backdoors because new crypto and other technologies means they are “going dark.”

Facebook, Microsoft, Apple Make Year-End Lobbying Push to Curb NSA Spying

Chris Strohm, Bloomberg,  Friday, November 14, 2014

Trade groups representing Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. are pushing the Senate to pass legislation limiting National Security Agency spying before the Republican majority takes control of the chamber. A coalition of Internet and technology companies, which also include Google Inc. and Twitter Inc., support a bill the Senate plans to vote on Nov. 18 to prohibit the NSA from bulk collection of their subscribers’ e-mails and other electronic communications. Many of the companies opposed a Republican-backed bill the House passed in May, saying a “loophole” would allow bulk collection of Internet user data.

Police can store body-cam video in secure Azure cloud

Stephanie Kanowitz, GCN,  Friday, November 14, 2014

The Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 and the Ferguson, Mo., police shooting case have made clear the important role of video in law enforcement. What’s muddier, however, is how police departments can store exponentially growing terabytes of data and how they can do so according to federal security policies. A new partnership between Microsoft and VIEVU, a body-wearable camera maker, aims to solve that problem. Now, at the end of their shifts, officers remove their cameras and transfer the video they took wirelessly or via a direct connection to VIEVU’s Veripatrol software. Veripatrol sends the information to Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released Azure Government Cloud, where it is stored in compliance with policy approved by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division.

NIST marks top security requirements for government cloud

William Jackson, GCN,  Friday, November 14, 2014

“Security controls need to be reexamined in the context of cloud architecture, scale, reliance on networking, outsourcing and shared resources,” the authors write. “For example, multi-tenancy is an inherent cloud characteristic that intuitively raises concern that one consumer may impact the operations or access data of other tenants running on the same cloud.” NIST says recommended priority action plans for cloud security are: •Continue to identify cloud consumer priority security requirements, on at least a quarterly basis. •Periodically identify and assess the extent to which risk can be mitigated through existing and emerging security controls and guidance. Identify gaps and modify existing controls and monitoring capabilities. •Develop neutral cloud security profiles, technical security attributes and test criteria. •Define an international standards-based conformity assessment system approach.

Why agencies are drowning in data

Sean Lyngaas, FCW,  Thursday, November 13, 2014

Awareness of the big-data phenomenon – the deluge of information uncorked by the connectivity of devices – is not the problem. According to the study, which surveyed 152 federal and 153 private-sector attorneys, IT executives, FOIA agents and records managers, the real challenge is finding an effective strategy to deal with it all.

Policing the Cloud: We Should Expect More from Law Enforcement Cloud Providers

Julie Anderson by Julie Anderson, Civitas Group
Thursday, November 13, 2014

When you actually stop to think about its reach into our activities, behaviors and movement, it is undeniable that technology is ingrained in our daily lives. And it brings us immense benefits, including personalized services and conveniences that connect people across continents and enrich our lives. Moreover, such data -- part of an ever-growing record of everyone's online activity -- has also begun to be used by police and law enforcement agencies to solve crimes. But as our digital footprints grow in volume and complexity, what controls do we have in place to protect our privacy and secure our records from unauthorized access?

Study Shows Law Enforcement Using Social Media For Crime Investigation, Prevention

Bailey McCann, CivSource,  Thursday, November 13, 2014

A new study from LexisNexis shows widespread use of social media by law enforcement for criminal investigations and crime prevention, but few have an established policy. According to the study eight out of ten law enforcement officials use social media for criminal investigations. A full 67% of respondents said they also agree that social media is an effective tool for crime anticipation.

Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era

Mary Madden, Pew Research,  Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Privacy evokes a constellation of concepts for Americans—some of them tied to traditional notions of civil liberties and some of them driven by concerns about the surveillance of digital communications and the coming era of “big data.” While Americans’ associations with the topic of privacy are varied, the majority of adults in a new survey by the Pew Research Center feel that their privacy is being challenged along such core dimensions as the security of their personal information and their ability to retain confidentiality.

How enterprises will use the cloud for big data analytics

Lynn Langit, Gigaom,  Monday, November 10, 2014

Enterprise IT infrastructure largely predates the emergence of cloud computing as a viable choice for hosting data-driven applications. Large organizations are now showing real signs of adopting cloud computing for certain applications and a few forward-thinking enterprises are formulating the concept of data as a service, based on performing big-data analytics in the cloud. However, exactly when big-data analytics will move to the cloud remains an open question.