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GUADEC: Danny O'Brien on privacy, encryption, and the desktop

Aug 12, 2010, 16:06 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jake Edge)

"The problems that many in the online and free software worlds have been concerned about for years are finally becoming mainstream he said. "Powerful forces are trying to stop the spread of information online", and that message is finally starting to get out. He put up the recent xkcd comic ("It's the world's tiniest open-source violin") as an example of one place where those concerns are starting to get some mainstream attention.

"He pointed to a number of different attacks against the computers of journalists, generally from governments, but sometimes also from organized crime syndicates. It's not just repressive regimes that target journalists, he said, noting reports on the CPJ website regarding Japanese journalists who have been subjected to governmental pressure and mistreatment.

"One of the more insidious attacks against journalists' computers was an email sent to foreign journalists based in Shanghai and Beijing from a fictional editor for The Straits Times. The email was a credible request for assistance in contacting people on a list contained in a PDF attachment—a PDF with a zero-day exploit that installed spyware on the computer."

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