Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 22, 2021

Subject: You Are the Object of a Secret Extraction Operation
Source: NYT Opinion via beSpacific

New York Times Opinion, Dr. Shoshana Zuboff, professor emeritus at Harvard Business School and the author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism –  “Facebook is not just any corporation. It reached trillion-dollar status in a single decade by applying the logic of what I call surveillance capitalism — an economic system built on the secret extraction and manipulation of human data — to its vision of connecting the entire world. Facebook and other leading surveillance capitalist corporations now control information flows and communication infrastructures across the world. These infrastructures are critical to the possibility of a democratic society, yet our democracies have allowed these companies to own, operate and mediate our information spaces unconstrained by public law. The result has been a hidden revolution in how information is produced, circulated and acted upon. A parade of revelations since 2016, amplified by the whistle-blower Frances Haugen’s documentation and personal testimony, bears witness to …[NB at the end of the Opinion, this appears:]

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Subject: New Federal Government Cybersecurity Incident and Vulnerability Response Playbooks
Source: CISA

The White House, via Executive Order (EO) 14028: Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, tasked CISA, as the operational lead for federal cybersecurity, to “develop a standard set of operational procedures (i.e., playbook) to be used in planning and conducting cybersecurity vulnerability and incident response activity” for federal civilian agency information systems. In response, today, CISA published the Federal Government Cybersecurity Incident and Vulnerability Response Playbooks. The playbooks provide federal civilian executive branch (FCEB) agencies with operational procedures for planning and conducting cybersecurity incident and vulnerability response activities. The playbooks provide illustrated decision trees and detail each step for both incident and vulnerability response.

Subject: Analyzing News Manipulation by State Actors
Source: Homeland Security Digital Library

In a recently released report, Bad Actors in News Reporting: Tracking News Manipulation by State Actors, RAND Corporation details national government’s efforts to manipulate COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic information to further their own global agendas. The report found that all nations analyzed, which included China, the U.S., the U.K., and Russia, participated in some form of politically charged COVID reporting. Russia, for example, used the pandemic to promote anti-U.S. conspiracy theories.Ultimately, this practice has further exacerbated “truth decay” around the world. This phenomenon describes “disagreements over the established truth” which is driven by:

  • an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data;
  • a blurring of the line between opinion and fact;
  •  an increasing relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact;
  • [and] a declining trust in formerly respected sources of factual information

Tags from Aspen Institute: News Industry , Social Media Platforms , U.S. Government , Building Trust , Increasing Transparency , reducing harms , Information Disorder , Civil Society , disinformation , Misinformation

Subject: Privacy experts say to choose vaccination apps wisely
Source: NPR via WHYY

“What I would say to anyone is, ‘Do you trust the maker of that app, do you recognize it?’ ” says Dr. Brian Anderson, chief digital health physician at MITRE and a co-founder of VCI, a coalition of public and private groups that have created a voluntary standard for digital proof of vaccination.

The diversity of apps is a problem for large venues. The federal government has kept its distance from the regulation of these apps, in part for fear of political blowback. “There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in April.

But the sheer diversity of apps is a problem for large venues, such as sports arenas, as they try to get thousands of people through the gates quickly. Many have embraced the CLEAR Health Pass, offered by the same company that sells shortcuts through airport security. It combines proof of vaccine and photo ID on one color-coded screen, designed to be checked at a glance.

Posted in: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Government Resources, Healthcare