Tuesday, 23 August 2016

SumTips: 6 Ways Free Speech Shaped the 2016 Brazil Olympics

Olympic rings with athletesAs the Olympic Summer Games began, a court ruling decided that it would be illegal for the International Olympic Committee or the Brazilian government to remove political protesters from the event. In defense of the decision, Eloisa Machado de Almeida of the Getulio Vargas Foundation argued, “You can’t use ‘keeping harmony’ inside the Olympic venues as a pretext for censorship in Brazil.” Be thankful for this decision, as the protests—political and otherwise—to emerge from this year’s Games have created waves that are far from over:

Marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa finished his 26.2 mile race and accepted his medal with crossed arms over his head, an Oromo gesture used to protest the Ethiopian government. Lilesa has accepted that punishment is likely if he returns to Ethiopia: “The Ethiopian government is killing my people, so I stand with all protests anywhere, as Oromo is my tribe. My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed.”

When a penalty cost Mongolian wrestler Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran the bronze medal, his coaches caused a scene of their own. Upon realizing the turn of events, a trip to the mat to congratulate Mandakhnaran quickly turned into one coach taking off his shirt and the other stripping down to only his underwear; the crowd shouted, “Mongolia!” as the coaches were escorted away.

Iranian activist Darya Safai attended a men’s Iran-Egypt volleyball match with a statement on the fact that she would be prohibited from attending such an event in her home country. Safai held a sign that read: “Let Iranian women enter their stadiums.” Her refusal to leave was enough to diffuse security’s attempt to remove her.

As soon as New Zealand’s Emma Twigg secured her spot in the women’s singles scull, she used her newfound platform to speak out: “After the race I put my hand up and protested, because I simply don’t believe we should be racing in an Olympic Games conditions like that. It was very tricky, today it was more about surviving and not falling out, which is a shame when you come to the Olympics and your first heat is about staying in the boat as opposed to putting it all on the line.” The conditions were enough to toss Serbians Milos Vasic and Nenad Benik into bacteria-infested waters.

American Black Lives Matter activists traveled to Rio de Janeiro to protest alongside Brazilians. “The most important thing that we can do is build together and mobilize our people to spread the word,” said Boston’s Daunasia Yancey. According to Human Rights Watch, ¾ of the 8,000 individuals killed by police in the state of Rio de Janeiro in the past decade have been black males.
As early as June, Brazilian police and firefighters stood at the Rio de Janeiro airport with a simple message: “WELCOME TO HELL: Police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”

The 2016 Summer Olympics may be over, but the spirit of protest they have inspired will live on. Speak your mind, surf secure and stay Rando!



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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Digital Divide: Emerging Economy Cyber Alerts - August 16, 2016


Policy
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

Zimbabwean flag and map
Zimbabwe is in the process of drafting a Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill aimed at limiting unwanted social media use: “According to the draft, any person staying either in Zimbabwe or overseas can be found [guilty] of intentionally generating, possessing and distributing an electronic communication with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, threaten, bully or cause emotional distress to another person.” The legislation would threaten jail sentences of up to five years.

Pakistani flag and map 
Pakistan’s National Assembly has approved the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015, which the government sees as much-needed protection from terrorist threats, but others view as a threat to freedom of speech itself: “The overly broad language used in the bill ensures that innocent and ignorant Pakistani citizens, unaware of the ramifications of what the bill entails, can be ensnared and find themselves subject to very harsh penalties,” said Nighat Daad, founder of Digital Rights Foundation. 



Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship 
government isn't always on your side

Nigerian flag and map 


Nigerian blogger Abubakar Sidiq Usman was recently arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for “offenses bordering on cyber-stalking”. Others view the act—the third such arrest since Nigeria’s Cyber Crime Act came into being in 2015—as a clear abuse of power. 




Research and Initiatives 
making your world a more cybersecure place

Malaysian flag and map 
CyberSecurity Malaysia hosted a 10-day cybersecurity training for participants from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan and the Philippines. The training aimed to reinforce the Malaysian government’s efforts to promote technical cooperation and support self-reliance among developing countries and strengthen regional and sub-regional cooperation. 



American flag and map  
 United States-based Netflix has transitioned from only using HTTPS encryption to protect user information to using HTTPS to also protect video streams. The online movie and TV show streaming service has more than 83 million users, representing all countries worldwide except China, North Korea, Syria and the territory of Crimea. 

Nigerian flag and map 

 Nigeria has taken a new approach to cybercrime by setting up cybersecurity emergency response teams and a Cybercrime Advisory Council. Said Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu, “In view of the critical nature of the economy and government activities, it is obvious that protection from different types of cyber and terrorist attacks is required. Our cyberspace is being exploited to aid radicalism and violent extremism and government have realised that those tasked with the responsibility to protect our cyberspace can no longer function within a framework of the past.” 

Chinese flag and map 
46 business groups from Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico and the United States have asked Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to revise drafted cyber rules that would allow for invasive government security reviews and would implement burdensome data residency requirements. “The current drafts, if implemented, would weaken security and separate China from the global digital economy,” read the groups’ letter. 




Cyberattacks 
the threats we all face

Filipino flag and map 

A Filipino bank was fined $21 million USD for its involvement in cybercriminal activity that took $81 million USD from Bangladesh’s central US Federal Reserve bank account and redirected it into Filipino casinos. The incident raises concern about both banking loopholes in the Philippines and a rise in bank cyberattacks in Bangladesh. 




Looking Back 
a new glimpse at old alerts

Brazilian flag and map 
The Brazil Olympics were predicted to be a hotbed of cybercrime activity, which is already becoming a reality. August 5th's opening ceremonies coincided with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks from hacktivists Anonymous Brasil that took down 5 websites, including www.brasil2016.gov.br and www.rio2016.com. All eyes should be on Rio de Janeiro as these Games continue. 





All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Monday, 15 August 2016

SumTips: 3 Cybersecurity Bills You Should Protest Now (and How)

Smartphone with word bubblesPakistan, Zimbabwe and Russia have been making headlines lately, and the news isn’t good. These three countries have all passed or are in the process of drafting legislation that will only threaten free speech and privacy online. Below are three recent pieces of cyber legislation along with contact information should you choose to express your concerns.

Pakistan – Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB)
Pakistan’s National Assembly recently approved a Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB), which has been criticized for poorly protecting sensitive data, using vague language that ultimately infringes upon free speech and instilling harsh penalties. Although passed, the legislation has yet to be implemented.
Contact the National Assembly of Pakistan - assembly@na.gov.pk

Zimbabwe – Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill
Zimbabwe is in the process of drafting a Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill aimed at limiting unwanted social media use, including that used “to instigate violence, banditry, sabotage and general instability”. Furthermore, the legislation would allow police to intercept private communications and search and seize devices. The government is also at work on an Electronic Transaction and Electronic Commerce Bill and a Data Protection Bill.
Contact Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information Communication Technology - info@ictministry.gov.zw

Russia – “Yarovaya” Surveillance Law
Russia’s “Yarovaya” surveillance law mandates data retention, enables government backdoors into encrypted communications and even requires citizens to report their suspicions regarding terrorist acts or face a penalty of jail time.
Contact Russian President Vladimir Putin (http://en.letters.kremlin.ru/), but be aware: “Personal data of those sending letters by email is stored and processed in accordance with the provisions of Russia’s law on personal data.”

Make your voice heard, surf secure and stay Rando!


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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Digital Divide: Emerging Economy Cyber Alerts - August 9, 2016


Policy 
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

Israeli flag and mapAn Israeli bill to establish the National Cyber Authority as a cybersecurity umbrella organization is expected to be signed into law. The decision to create such a group stemmed from the realization that “There was no single body that had the exclusive ability to deal with the challenge [of cyberattacks] and commit itself to true cooperation between the different groups,” reported a legislative statement. Regardless, others have expressed concern that a civilian governmental body will be in charge of both civilian and military entities.

Indian flag and mapHoping to avoid the pushback that followed the first draft of the National Encryption Policy, India has started working on a new draft that involves input from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) and the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI). Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has promised, “There is no intention by the government to implement an encryption policy breaching right to privacy of public.”



Research and Initiatives 
making your world a more cybersecure place

American flag and map YouTube recently announced that 97% of its traffic is now encrypted with HTTPS and also that the United States-based video-sharing platform will continue to strive towards 100% encryption. YouTube’s announcement concluded with a word to the wise, “In the real world, we know that any non-secure HTTP traffic could be vulnerable to attackers. All websites and apps should be protected with HTTPS—if you’re a developer that hasn’t yet migrated, get started today.”

Singaporean flag and map

Singapore and the United States have signed a cybersecurity Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Looking ahead, cooperation between the two countries will include information and best practice sharing; cyber-incident response coordination; joint cybersecurity exercises; cyber-capacity building collaboration; and cybersecurity awareness building activities.

Kenyan flag and map 


Kenya, the African country with the highest vulnerability to cyber attacks, announced a decision to strengthen its efforts to prevent cyberattacks at a recent national cyber security conference: “The increased use and dependence on information technology has exposed the country and its citizens to premeditated security threats. We are on the lookout for adversaries who might exploit our networks to cause harm,” explained Cabinet Secretary for Defense Raychelle Omamo.


Cyberattacks 
the threats we all face

Nigerian flag and map
Interpol and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission have arrested a Nigerian national whose crime network is believed to have stolen $60 million USD via email scams and fraud. Responded Noboru Nakatani of Interpol, “Arrests like this are made possible by partnerships between members of the security community that come together with the common goal of making the Internet a safer place. [Business email compromise] scams are particularly difficult to combat due to their complexity, which is why public-private sector cooperation is essential.” 

Brazilian flag and map


Panda Banker, a Zeus Trojan variant, has spread from banks in Europe and North America to Brazil. 10 Brazilian bank brands and multiple payment platforms have been targeted in attacks that only highlight an increase in collaboration between cybercriminals in Brazil and elsewhere. 





Looking Back 
a new glimpse at old cyber alerts

Emirati flag and map 

Despite previous reports to the contrary, VPN usage in the United Arab Emirates remains legal when used for economic and commercial purposes. When used for crime or fraud, however, VPN usage in the UAE will be punishable by imprisonment and/or fines of up to $545,000 USD. 





All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Monday, 8 August 2016

SumTips: 7 Ways to Ensure a Cybersecure August Holiday

Credit card phishing
[Source: maxuser/Shutterstock.com]
It’s August, which for many means vacation time. Before you head off to a sandy beach or a cobblestone-strewn city, be sure to protect yourself from cybercriminals:

1.    Do not post your travel plans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media site.
Doing so risks providing criminals with an opportunity to access devices left behind or invite themselves along on your adventures.

2.    Avoid links and attachments to travel and hotel coupons, as well as local travel websites.
The offers may seem enticing, but too often viruses and malware are lurking beneath the surface.

3.    Don’t install mobile tour apps. Any apps beyond those offered in an official online store pose a security threat and leave your device accessible to hackers.

4.    Let your credit card companies know you are travelling.
Give yourself a second set of eyes to watch for unexpected activity.

5.    Keep your device with you.
Ideally, your smartphone should never leave your sight. However, if a dip in the pool makes such things impossible, store your device someplace secure, such as a hotel room safe.

6.    Minimize ATM and Point-of-Service transactions, especially with machines that appear to have been tampered with or disfigured.

7.    Avoid free, insecure public Wi-Fi.
Hackers know to look for personal information wherever there is unprotected Wi-Fi (hotels, coffee shops and train stations). If you do use password-protected public Wi-Fi, be sure to login to your SumRando VPN as well.

Happy travels, surf secure and stay Rando!



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