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Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/8/2014
01:46 PM
Dave Kearns
Dave Kearns
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Why I Pulled Out Of The RSA Conference

Dave Kearns can't abide RSA's reported dealings with the NSA or its suspect security practices.

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AnnieOhminus
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AnnieOhminus,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/8/2014 | 2:53:29 PM
Why no one admits to deals with NSA
How many people realize that the reason no one ever admits to any deals or conversations with the NSA is that it is a felony to do so. Jail time, no trial, no defense allowed. Welcome to the Patriot Act and sedition act.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/8/2014 | 3:44:00 PM
Will the boycott be effective
Dave, I give you and the eight other security researchers credit for taking such a principaled stand -- and especially for taking the time to spell out the reasons behind your decision to boycott RSA. You column adds a lot of needed depth to the discussion about how technology companies and the government should engage when dealing with privacy and security matters that impact public safety. That said, what do you and the other boycotters believe would be the best outcome from your actions?  
Thomas Claburn
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50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2014 | 4:46:08 PM
Re: Will the boycott be effective
Too bad there's no plausible way to boycott the entire telecom infrastructure. Third-parites are the weak link in communication privacy.
dak3
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50%
dak3,
User Rank: Moderator
1/8/2014 | 11:12:44 PM
Re: Will the boycott be effective
I can't speak for the others, and I know it's probably too late for those who've made their plans already to be able to back out without financial hardship, but for me it's enough that the dialog keeps going. Vendors have to learn to take their customers' security as their top priority. After all, if they aren't secure why should we believe their products are?
Whoopty
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50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2014 | 11:51:55 AM
Re: Will the boycott be effective
Kudos to you sir for standing by your opinions, even though I'm sure it's a disappointment that you won't be speaking at the conference - for you and the audience. 

I do wonder though if the RSA would have been willing to say more about its NSA dealings if it wasn't no doubt clamped by secretive legislation?
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/9/2014 | 12:03:27 PM
Re: Will the boycott be effective
I imagine there is probably some gag order imposed by the NSA on RSA about disclosing what was in the contract but I'm not not aware of any legislation that would prohibit officials of a private company from defending itself against such such serious and public accusations...  (That's what lawyers, PR firm and spin doctors are for). Whether that would shed any light on the situation is another questions...
asksqn
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0%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2014 | 5:15:07 PM
Blowback is warranted
Kudos for taking a stand against unwarranted surveillance and standing up for civil liberties. Perhaps if industry loses enough big name players in the federal government's obsession to turn the US into the old USSR, companies won't be so willing or so easily bought off to participate in the wholesale destruction of the Constitution.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Moderator
1/15/2014 | 1:36:42 PM
So if not RSA...
I applaud your moral stance to defend the principal behind data security, that it actually protects data from unauthorized access. When the RSA breach in 2011 happened, it should have sent lots of warning flags and yet I still see those tokens everywhere.  Its as if the industry say "Meh, we'll get over it".  I wonder what it will take for people to seriously consider what the NSA implications mean from an industry perspective when it comes to security solutions.  

Has anyone actually started to migrate off RSA and onto another solution?  What are you considering to move to and why?
Marilyn Cohodas
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50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/16/2014 | 10:31:05 AM
Re: So if not RSA... >Let's discuss practical options
@Stratustician That's a great question that is worthy of repeating. It  would be great to get a discussing going about the realities of taking a moral position about a product based on a vendor business decision. Is this even possible? 
Stratustician
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50%
Stratustician,
User Rank: Moderator
1/20/2014 | 1:27:08 PM
Re: So if not RSA... >Let's discuss practical options
I honestly wish it was a valid way of business, but sadly the reality is that organizations only care about the bottom line often.  From a security perspective, many organizations will argue "They've worked for us until now" as we saw evidenced by the lack of real market change after their breach.  I'd love to think we will see companies take more moral stances about who they conduct business with, but sadly I don't see this becoming the norm.
Marilyn Cohodas
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50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2014 | 8:19:03 AM
Re: So if not RSA... >Let's discuss practical options
As you say, Stratustician, it is indeed rare that business organizations take a moral stance on how they contact business. But even though advocates of greater transparency in NSA security & privacy policy say it's not enough, the public outcry has moved the needle -- albeit microscopically - with President Obama's announcement last Friday of five changes in the US surveillance policy. One thing that is certain, as long the public pressure continue, so will  the public debate.
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