Weekly Axis Of Easy #24
In this issue:
- Catalonian websites shutdown as Spain clamps down on separatists
- Saskatchewan introduces law against posting “revenge p0rn”
- In search of an amoral domain registrar
- Equifax breach: consumers’ salary history among details leaked
- Hackers poison Google search results to deliver malware
The Spanish government is pressing on all fronts to prevent Catalonians from following through on their unilateral declaration of independence. Last week Madrid pulled the plug on numerous Catalonian government and pro-independence websites, including govern.cat, president.cat and interestingly, catalangovernment.eu which is under the .EU TLD and not the Catalonian .CAT. From here it looks like they took control over the website hosting account and removed read permission for all documents.
The Province of Saskatchewan has followed through on its commitment stated in its recent throne speech and introduced legislation aimed at so-called “revenge p0rn”. The law will enable anybody who has an “intimate image” circulated online without permission to sue the person who distributed it. It also shifts the burden-of-proof from the victim to the poster.
An interesting paper has been published, which looks at the marketplace of domain registrars whether they have some kind of “morality clause” within their Terms of Service that enables arbitrary takedowns, or go with a “rule of law” stance. The authors found that a little over 1/3 of all registrars use “Rule of Law”, while most have subjective “morality clauses”. They also note that some geographical areas lean more to having “morality clauses” than others. For instance in China, there are no registrars operating under a “Rule of Law” position. What is easyDNS? We espouse “Rule of Law” but have to concede the easyDNS Plain English Terms of Service does contain a clause that references the somewhat Libertarian “Non-Aggression Principle”. You could probably say that’s a subjective morality clause. Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts.
More fallout from the Equifax hack. After suffering one of the worst data breaches on record, Krebs on Security reports that because Social Security Numbers were stolen, those in possession of this data can easily access an existing Equifax division called Talx which runs a program called The Work Number. Through this service people can access an automated salary and income verification system.
Hackers have used Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to game Google’s search results for certain search terms to poison the results with links that lead to infected pages which deliver a payload of the Zeus Panda banking trojan.
There’s too much happening in the bitcoin space to mention here, suffice it to say I will be starting to email the new Guerrilla Capitalism list very soon, including an in-depth piece I’m currently working on about the nature of the Bitcoin phenomenon. To get on the new newsletter’s list, sign up here.