Welcome to Linear City 2.0, a social and human urban redevelopment concept

For my master thesis in Public Policy and Regional Planning at Rutgers University in 2000, I defined in fine detail an ethical vision I had in 1998 that convinced me to pursue that Master in that school: the technical, political and conceptual business plan for a LINEAR CITY (1.0), i.e. a large-scale intermodal urban corridor RE-development,…

Some comments on the Preamble of the Italian Internet “Bill of Rights”

Last July 2015, the Italian parliament approved, through a motion, an Italian Internet “Bill of Rights”. We greatly admire and support the motives of the drafters, many of which are friends, but we believe it necessary to highlight some serious shortcomings to its approach, starting with its Preamble. PREAMBLE It has fostered the development of a more…

Is meaningful trustworthiness a requirement of Free Software “computing freedom”?

In this youtube video excerpt (minute 8.33-15.55) from Panel 2 of the Free and Safe in Cyberspace conference, that I organized 2 weeks ago, in which Richard Stallman and myself debate about IT trustworthiness and free software. The entire panel video is also available in WebM format here. In such excerpt, Richard Stallman said that computing trustworthiness is a “practical advantage…

How could the US government incentivize IT service providers to voluntarily and adequately provide compliance to lawful access?!

More news on Obama’s search for legislative or regulatory solution to lawful access to digital systems. For some time now, the US government has been ever more often stating that there will not be a mandatory technical requirements to enable remote state lawful access, but that they expect provider to somehow come up autonomously with solutions that would allow for…

Le Dimissioni di Marino: “rule of law” contro “o’ Sitema”

Oggi si è dimesso Marino da sindaoc del Comune di Roma. Nel 1992 con Tangentopoli, l’economia si fermò per 1-2 anni e quasi nessuno andò in galera. Nuovi partiti si formarono che per la quasi totalità continuarono come prima o peggio. Oggi con Marino succede qualcosa di simile, ma senza nemmeno gli onori della cronaca,…

A Proposed Solution to Wikimedia funding problem …

… without introducing any undemocratic bias: Introduce contextual ads made exclusively of product/service comparisons made by  democratically-controlled consumer organizations. In Italy for example there is Altroconsumo org with 100s of thousands of members which regularly produces extensive comparative reports. In practice: for each new report that comes out, a request is made to the companies…

IT security research needs for artificial intelligence and machine super-intelligence

(originally appeared on Open Media Cluster website on July 7th 2015) On Jan 23rd 2015, nearly the entire “who’s who” of artificial intelligence, including the leading researchers, research centers, companies, IT entrepreneurs – in addition to what are possibly the leading world scientists and IT entrepeneurs – have signed Open Letter “Research priorities for robust and beneficial artificial intelligence” with an…

The robots aren’t taking our jobs; they’re taking our leisure

But what about the bounty of digital technology that is in evidence all around us? Almost 30 years ago, the great economist Robert Solow quipped, “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” An answer to the riddle might be that digital technology has transformed a handful of industries in the…

Blaming China for cyber attacks without any public evidence creates highly-perverse dynamics

Blaming China for cyber attacks without any public evidence creates highly-perverse dynamics: (1) breached entity, instead of paying in liability/blame for lack of security, can turn itself into victim of act of war; (2) increases support for requests by defense  agencies/contractors for huge funds and anti-privacy anti-privacy legislation; (3) any expert or media who challenges misattribution becomes…

A definition of “Constitutionally-meanigful levels of trustworthiness” in IT systems

A proposed definition of “Constitutionally-meanigful levels of trustworthiness” in IT systems An IT system (or more precisely a end-2-end computing service or experience) will be said to have “constitutionally-meaningful levels of trustworthiness” when its confidentiality, authenticity, integrity and non-repudiation is sufficiently high to make its use – by ordinary, active and “medium-value target” citizens alike –rationally compatible to the full and effective…

Motives of the Hacking Team hack may have much in common with those that broughtin 1903 the British Mr Maskelyne – and possibly its UK corporate/state sponsors – to hack Marconi’s radio telegraph in 1903 …

… to establish their tech/service as the “secure” remote communications of choice for global corporations and governments: Maskelyne followed his trick with an even bigger showstopper. In June 1903, Marconi was set to demonstrate publically for the first time in London that morse code could be sent wirelessly over long distances. A crowd filled the…

Who sets the security standards for lawful access systems like Hacking Team team?!

After what came out of the Hacking Team scandal, we should consider if the standards for such techs, crucial for society – that many governments want extended as mandatory to other IP communications – maybe we have a problem at their origina, i.e. with their international governance by NIST and ETSI, the non-binding bodies that set their standards (which are…

Why Hacking Team backdoor is old news from the late 80’s!

The just revealed Hacking Team RCS systems backdoor (for them and presumably for their state friends) was the very reason of existence of the first such systems from the early 80-90’s (!!), created by former NSA staff, and then taken over by former (?) Mossad senior agents, and sold to tens of governments worldwide. Pushed…

Adi Shamir: ” “In the Second World War if you had good crypto protecting your communication you were safe. Today with an APT sitting inside your most secure computer systems, using cryptography isn’t going to give you much protection.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/01/post_cryptography_security_shamir/ “In the Second World War if you had good crypto protecting your communication you were safe. Today with an APT sitting inside your most secure computer systems, using cryptography isn’t going to give you much protection. “It’s very difficult to use cryptography in an effective way if you assume that an APT is watching…

Panopticon sounds very much like the post-Snoden world for all of us

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a single watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they…

What’s the use of ultra-privacy techs when mics are everywhere?

Since Snowden all hopes to retain a meaningful, albeit limited, personal privacy sphere have relied on the possibility of making devices resistant to advanced surveillance available to citizens, supplementary to ordinary commercial ones, and make so that they won’t be made illegal. Eve if we succeeded, such devices may not serve their purpose or achieve…