Several federal buildings in downtown Washington lost power for a short time Monday morning as a result of a "transformer explosion" at the Office of Personnel Management, according to D.C. Police Spokesman Araz Alali. Outages were reported at the White House, State Department and Federal Reserve. Other departments that experienced outages Monday included the General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Labor Department, according to Alali. The Smithsonian Metro station also experienced an outage. http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/15/politics/federal-buildings-power-outages/ Economy of scale infrastructure: one failure point hits six large buildings plus a subway station.
Ian Paul, PCWorld, 10 Dec 2014 Nearly half a million Lenovo laptops in the U.S. need to swap out their power cord ASAP after Lenovo recalls the LS-15 AC adapter http://www.infoworld.com/article/2858013/computer-hardware/lenovo-recalls-more-than-500000-power-cords-due-to-spark-burn-risk.html [We could laugh about this one—how could anyone get a power cord wrong? et al—but this one has a hidden risk. Power cords are rather generic. Do you have any old power cords kicking around? I know I do. I have kept some from old equipment that I have tossed. How long will these power cords be around? GW]
Urban areas around the world are installing wireless networks of street lamps and sensors that could ease traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/09/business/energy-environment/copenhagen-lighting-the-way-to-greener-more-effecient-cities.html
Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. With hackers running rampant, why would we poke holes in data security? http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1215-wyden-backdoor-for-cell-phones-20141215-story.html * Tech 'back doors' for law enforcement are bad for personal data, and bad public policy * U.S. surveillance programs have been costing tech firms billions in lost market share * 'If you're building a wall with a hole in it, how much are you going invest in locks and barbed wire?' Hardly a week goes by without a new report of some massive data theft that has put financial information, trade secrets or government records into the hands of computer hackers. The best defense against these attacks is clear: strong data encryption and more secure technology systems. [ambiguous, with BOTH meanings relevant: we need more more-secure systems!] The leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies hold a different view. Most prominently, James Comey, the FBI director, is lobbying Congress to require that electronics manufacturers create intentional security holes -- so-called back doors—that would enable the government to access data on every American's cellphone and computer, even if it is protected by encryption. Unfortunately, there are no magic keys that can be used only by good guys for legitimate reasons. There is only strong security or weak security. Americans are demanding strong security for their personal data. Comey and others are suggesting that security features shouldn't be too strong, because this could interfere with surveillance conducted for law enforcement or intelligence purposes. The problem with this logic is that building a back door into every cellphone, tablet, or laptop means deliberately creating weaknesses that hackers and foreign governments can exploit. Mandating back doors also removes the incentive for companies to develop more secure products at the time people need them most; if you're building a wall with a hole in it, how much are you going invest in locks and barbed wire? What these officials are proposing would be bad for personal data security and bad for business and must be opposed by Congress. In Silicon Valley several weeks ago I convened a roundtable of executives from America's most innovative tech companies. They made it clear that widespread availability of data encryption technology is what consumers are demanding. It is also good public policy. For years, officials of intelligence agencies like the NSA, as well as the Department of Justice, made misleading and outright inaccurate statements to Congress about data surveillance programs—not once, but repeatedly for over a decade. These agencies spied on huge numbers of law-abiding Americans, and their dragnet surveillance of Americans' data did not make our country safer. Most Americans accept that there are times their government needs to rely on clandestine methods of intelligence gathering to protect national security and ensure public safety. But they also expect government agencies and officials to operate within the boundaries of the law, and they now know how egregiously intelligence agencies abused their trust. This breach of trust is also hurting U.S. technology companies' bottom line, particularly when trying to sell services and devices in foreign markets. The president's own surveillance review group noted that concern about U.S. surveillance policies “can directly reduce the market share of U.S. companies.'' One industry estimate suggests that lost market share will cost just the U.S. cloud computing sector $21 billion to $35 billion over the next three years. Tech firms are now investing heavily in new systems, including encryption, to protect consumers from cyber attacks and rebuild the trust of their customers. As one participant at my roundtable put it, “I'd be shocked if anyone in the industry takes the foot off the pedal in terms of building security and encryption into their products.'' Built-in back doors have been tried elsewhere with disastrous results. In 2005, for example, Greece discovered that dozens of its senior government officials' phones had been under surveillance for nearly a year. The eavesdropper was never identified, but the vulnerability was clear: built-in wiretapping features intended to be accessible only to government agencies following a legal process. Chinese hackers have proved how aggressively they will exploit any security vulnerability. A report last year by a leading cyber security company identified more than 100 intrusions in U.S. networks from a single cyber espionage unit in Shanghai. As another tech company leader told me, “Why would we leave a back door lying around?'' Why indeed. The U.S. House of Representatives recognized how dangerous this idea was and in June approved 293-123, a bipartisan amendment that would prohibit the government from mandating that technology companies build security weaknesses into any of their products. I introduced legislation in the Senate to accomplish the same goal, and will again at the start of the next session. Technology is a tool that can be put to legitimate or illegitimate use. And advances in technology always pose a new challenge to law enforcement agencies. But curtailing innovation on data security is no solution, and certainly won't restore public trust in tech companies or government agencies. Instead we should give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the resources that they need to adapt, and give the public the data security they demand. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
On top of everything else, the Sony data breach revealed employees' sensitive health information: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-11/sony-hack-reveals-health-details-on-employees-and-their-children.html. Top Sony executives saw lists of named employees who had costly medical treatments and saw detailed psychiatric treatment records of one employee's son. Like last year's revelation by AOL's CEO, it shows US corporations look at employees' health information and costs. By `outing' the fact that 2 of AOL's 5,000 employees had premature infants whose treatment cost over $1 million each, the CEO violated the employees' rights to health information privacy. See: http://patientprivacyrights.org/2014/02/revelations-aol-boss-raise-fears-privacy/ Trusted relationships simply cannot exist if individuals have no right to decide who to let in and who to keep out of pii. Current US technology systems make it impossible for us to control personal health data, inside or outside of the healthcare system. Do you trust your employer not to snoop in your personal health information? How can you trust your employer without a `chain of custody' for your health data? There is no transparency or accountability for the sale or use of our health data, even though Congress gave us the right to obtain an Accounting for Disclosures (A4D) for disclosures of protected health data from EHRs in the 2009 stimulus bill (the regulations have yet to be written). And we have no complete map that tracks the millions of places US citizens' health data flows. See: TheDataMap<thedatamap.org>. There is no way to know who sees, sells, or snoops in our health data unless whistleblowers or hackers expose what's going on. Our personal, identifiable health data is in millions of data bases unknown and inaccessible to us. Both the Bush and Obama Administrations support this privacy-destructive business model on the Internet and in the US health care system. The US health data broker industry consists of over 100,000 health data suppliers covering 780,000 live daily health data feeds. See: http://patientprivacyrights.org/2014/01/ims-health-files-ipo-legal/ ). THE GREATEST DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE LACK OF CONTROL OVER PII IS THE LOSS OF TRUST--- TRUSTED RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PEOPLE, COMPANIES, AND GOVERNMENTS ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT PERSONAL CONTROL OVER PII. Both Angela Merkel and Jennifer Lawrence spelled out the deep and persistent effects of violating personal boundaries: * Angela Merkel's reaction to Obama spying on her: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2475792/Angela-Merkel-leads-anger-Obama-US-spying-EU-summit.html * Jennifer Lawrence's reaction to the wide release of intimate photos: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/movie-news/loss-of-privacy-is-taking-a-huge-emotional-toll-jlaw-30749675.html Both spoke of the deep emotional pain and costs of betrayal, and of being unable to trust or feel safe following such serious boundary violations. Trust is truly impossible unless individuals can set boundaries. People, companies, and governments must respect and honor individuals' rights to control access to personal information to be trusted. Violating boundaries destroys trust and relationships between people and between nations. Sadly, even though the modern world's concept of 'privacy' comes from our nation, from US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis' concept of privacy, and later in the computer age from Wallis Ware's concept of Fair Information Practices, the US has lost its way and is destroying both freedom and the right to be let alone. Among the Western Democracies, has the United States become the world's most intrusive surveillance state? Do we have control over any information about ourselves? Or is every bit or byte of data about us collected, held, and sold by millions of hidden data bases? Learn more about the `world's leading' health data broker: http://patientprivacyrights.org/2014/01/ims-health-files-ipo-legal/
"But, the technocratic wish is so strong, hospitals and governments are mindlessly rushing forward anyway." In the Wild West, a cowboy was one who, if he had to go one mile north, would walk two miles south to get a horse so he could ride there. Donald B. Wagner, Jernbanegade 9B, DK-3600 Frederikssund, Denmark Tel. +45-3331 2581 http://donwagner.dk
Steve Ragan, CSO, 16 Dec 2014 Weeks later, Sony Pictures is telling employees what they already know about the scope of data that was compromised by attackers http://www.infoworld.com/article/2859830/security/sony-admits-employees-personal-data-may-have-been-compromised-by-breach.html
Darcy Henton, Alberta moves on integrated health records system, *Calgary Herald*, 5 Dec 2014 The current set of 12 separate medical-record systems is “woefully inadequate'', lacking interoperability, some are still manual. [PGN-ed] http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/alberta-health-records [Thanks to DKross.]
Galen Gruman, Mobile Edge, InfoWorld, 12 Dec 2014 More and more companies assume your phone is your second-factor authentication, raising potential for abuse http://www.infoworld.com/article/2854033/internet-privacy/your-cell-phone-number-to-give-or-not-to-give.html selected text: I was updating my company 401(k) information last week, and the website wanted me to provide my cellphone number. It didn't say why, nor did it explain how it would use that information. A conference I signed up for also wanted my cellphone number, again with no explanation or context. In both cases, I left the field blank, but it's getting harder to do so these days, as more and more services require a cellphone number, ostensibly to text confirmations such as for second-factor authentication or call if suspicious activity is detected on your account. We don't have two-line cellphones in the United States, and if there were they'd be confined to the same carrier and probably cost twice as much as a single-line plan. [I thought of the idea of two-line cellphones myself. I would give out one number for normal use and keep the other for emergency use. That one, I would give out to very few. If busy, I would ignore a call on the first line, but on the second, I would answer. It seems to me that this could be very useful, so why don't we have this? GW]
Marc Ferranti, InfoWorld, 8 Dec 2014 http://www.infoworld.com/article/2856066/security/nsa-spy-program-targets-mobile-networks-worldwide.html opening text: The NSA has conducted a covert campaign to intercept internal communications of operators and trade groups in order to infiltrate mobile networks worldwide, according to the latest revelations from documents supplied by Edward Snowden.
Simon Phipps, Open Sources, InfoWorld, 8 Dec 2014 A cabal of communications companies wants to kill a new Internet standard that will make your Web experience faster and safer http://www.infoworld.com/article/2855738/internet-privacy/consortium-opposes-your-privacy.html opening text: Google researchers have devised a replacement for the HTTP protocol that carries the World Wide Web. By default, it's encrypted end to end, it's very fast, you're probably already using it, and Google is offering it as the basis for the next version of HTTP. It's called SPDY (yes, "speedy") and as with the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote is trying to catch and kill it.
Joshua Brustein, *Business Week*, 11 Dec 2014 http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-12-11/verizons-new-encrypted-calling-app-comes-prehacked-for-the-nsa Verizon is the latest big company to enter the post-Snowden market for secure communication, and it's doing so with an encryption standard that comes with a way for law enforcement to access ostensibly secure phone conversations. Verizon Voice Cypher, the product introduced on Thursday with the encryption company Cellcrypt, offers business and government customers end-to-end encryption for voice calls on iOS, Android, or BlackBerry devices equipped with a special app. The encryption software provides secure communications for people speaking on devices with the app, regardless of their wireless carrier, and it can also connect to an organization's secure phone system. Cellcrypt and Verizon both say that law enforcement agencies will be able to access communications that take place over Voice Cypher, so long as they're able to prove that there's a legitimate law enforcement reason for doing so. Seth Polansky, Cellcrypt's vice president for North America, disputes the idea that building technology to allow wiretapping is a security risk. "It's only creating a weakness for government agencies," he says. "Just because a government access option exists, it doesn't mean other companies can access it." Phone carriers like Verizon are required by U.S. law to build networks that can be wiretapped. But the legislation known as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act requires phone carriers to decrypt communications for the government only if they have designed their technology to make it possible to do so. If Verizon and Cellcrypt had structured their encryption so that neither company had the information necessary to decrypt the calls, they would not have been breaking the law. Other companies have designed their encryption in this way, including AT&T, which offers encrypted phone service for business customers. Apple and Android recently began protecting content stored on users' phones in a way that would keep the tech companies from being able to comply with requests from law enforcement. The move drew public criticism from FBI Director James Comey, and some security experts expect that a renewed effort to stir passage of legislation banning such encryption will accompany Silicon Valley's increased interest in developing these services. Verizon believes major demand for its new encryption service will come from governmental agencies conveying sensitive but unclassified information over the phone, says Tim Petsky, a senior product manager for Verizon Wireless. Corporate customers who are concerned about corporate espionage are also itching for answers. "You read about breaches in security almost every week in the press," says Petsky. "Enterprise customers have been asking about ways to secure their communications and up until this point, we didn't have a solution." There has been increased interest in encryption from individual consumers, too, largely thanks to the NSA revelations leaked by Edward Snowden. Yahoo and Google began offering end-to-end encrypted e-mail services this year. Silent Circle, a startup catering to consumer and enterprise clients, has been developing end-to-end voice encryption for phones calls. Verizon's service, with a monthly price of $45 per device, isn't targeting individual buyers and won't be offered to average consumers in the near future. But Verizon's partner, Cellcrypt, looks upon selling to large organizations as the first step toward bringing down the price before eventually offering a consumer-level encryption service. "At the end of the day, we'd love to have this be a line item on your Verizon bill," says Polansky. It's still not clear how big the potential market for consumer-level encryption services is. Chris Soghoian of the ACLU's speech, privacy, and technology project, believes that Verizon's approach is unlikely to have wide appeal because of Verizon's decision not to keep out law enforcement. Many people in the security industry believe that a designed access point creates a vulnerability for criminals or spies to exploit. Last year reports surfaced that the FBI was pushing legislation that would require many forms of Internet communication to be wiretap-ready. A group of prominent security experts responded strongly: "Requiring software vendors to build intercept functionality into their products is unwise and will be ineffective, with the result being serious consequences (PDF) for the economic well-being and national security of the United States," they wrote in a report issued in May. Verizon's service might well have drawn praise from security experts in the past, Soghoian says, but the past year of revelations about government surveillance has changed the atmosphere. "Today, to roll this out with a backdoor, that's inexcusable, he says." With encrypted phone services being developed to be inaccessible to anyone, he says, "It's tough to see how Verizon can compete here when they're designing a product that is less secure." Brustein is a writer for Businessweek.com in New York.
As the service catches on, it becomes increasingly important for customers to compare the terms of mobile deposit services that different banks offer. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/your-money/some-drawbacks-in-tapping-the-phone-to-deposit-a-check.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11292999/Amazon-glitch-leads-to-rush-over-1p-bargains.html ...what could go wrong? It's like programming stock trades would be, risky.
F5 Networks has disclosed that some TLS implementations appear vulnerable to a variant of the POODLE attack, previously reported as viable against SSLv3. Check your TLS implementation and options thereof. This vulnerability has apparently been assigned as CVE-2014-8730, however, not all of the databases have been updated to reflect the description of this vulnerability. The announcement from F5 Networks is at: https://devcentral.f5.com/articles/cve-2014-8730-padding-issue-8151 Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Lucian Constantin, InfoWorld, 9 Dec 2014 A newly identified Linux backdoor program is tied to the Turla cyber espionage campaign, researchers from Kaspersky Lab say http://www.infoworld.com/article/2857184/security/the-turla-espionage-operation-also-infected-linux-systems-with-malware.html
Lucian Constantin, InfoWorld, 9 Dec 2014 Security researchers escaped the Java sandbox on the cloud platform and executed code on the underlying system http://www.infoworld.com/article/2857515/cloud-computing/over-30-vulnerabilities-found-in-google-app-engine.html
"Microsoft falls short—again—in communicating about Windows, 10 patch KB 3020114", Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, 9 Dec 2014 The problem isn't with the bug, it's with the way Microsoft handled the bug. Redmond still hasn't updated the KB with a workaround http://www.infoworld.com/article/2857273/operating-systems/microsoft-finally-clarifies-problems-with-windows-10-patch-kb-3020114.html "Botched KB 3004394 triggers error messages, but no response from Microsoft" That's not the only bad patch in yesterday's release: There's also an easily fixed error that prevents KB 3002339 from installing Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, 10 Dec 2014 http://www.infoworld.com/article/2858014/operating-systems/botched-kb-3004394-triggers-uacs-diagnostic-tool-error-0x8000706f7-amd-catalyst-driver-fail-defende.html Botch brigade: KB 2553154, 2726958 clobber Excel ActiveX while KB 3011970 Silverlight, KB 3004394 Root Cert both pulled KB 3008923 crashes IE, KB 3002339 still hanging on install, KB 2986475 still pulled—but there's a small silver lining Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, 11 Dec 2014 http://www.infoworld.com/article/2858280/microsoft-windows/botch-brigade-kb-2553154-2726958-clobber-excel-activex-kb-3011970-silverlight-kb-3004394-root-cert.html It's official: If you installed KB 3004394, you need to uninstall the patch manually Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, 11 Dec 2014 http://www.infoworld.com/article/2858738/microsoft-windows/microsoft-recommends-that-you-uninstall-botched-patch-kb-3004394.html "Microsoft releases 'Silver Bullet' patch KB 3024777 to eliminate KB 3004394" Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, 12 Dec 2014 More information unfolds about the Windows Root Certification patch and its foibles http://www.infoworld.com/article/2859115/microsoft-windows/microsoft-releases-silver-bullet-patch-kb-3024777-to-eliminate-botched-patch-kb-3004394.html Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, 15 Dec 2014 Windows 7 hit by rash of bogus 'not genuine' reports, validation code 0x8004FE21; Windows 7 is suddenly telling users it isn't genuine—and it has nothing to do with Windows being stolen http://www.infoworld.com/article/2859267/operating-systems/windows-7-hit-by-rash-of-bogus-not-genuine-reports-validation-code-0x8004fe21.html
Josh Lederman, AP item, via ACM TechNews, Monday, December 8, 2014 The U.S.'s seven largest school districts, which include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale, are joining more than 50 other school districts to start offering introductory computer science to all of their students. In addition, the College Board, which runs the Advanced Placement (AP) program, is introducing a new course called AP Computer Science Principles that will launch in the fall of 2016. President Barack Obama has long wanted to make the U.S. more competitive with other countries in computing, science, and math education, but his efforts have been limited by Congress, which has not acted upon most of the president's proposals on education. In an effort to bypass Congress, Obama has sought to use his convening power to get communities and companies to help. The new course will focus on encouraging women and minorities to start training for careers in computers. In order to meet the teaching demand, charitable groups are pledging $20 million to train more teachers in computer science by the start of the 2015 school year. "While no one is born a computer scientist, becoming a computer scientist isn't as scary as it sounds," Obama says. http://orange.hosting.lsoft.com/trk/click?ref=3Dznwrbbrs9_5-d148x2c248x060880&
Since 2011, Applied Computer Security Associates, sponsor of the ACSAC and NSPW conferences, has offered scholarships for women in security-related undergraduate and masters' degree programs through the Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS, www.swsis.org). Thanks to a $250,000 4-year contribution by Hewlett-Packard company in early 2014, ACSA expanded our program to award 11 scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. The Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), an arm of the Computing Research Alliance, led selection of scholarship winners. Information about the 11 SWSIS Scholars (scholarship winners) is available at www.swsis.org. ACSA, CRA-W, and HP are pleased to announce that applications for 2015-16 scholarships are open Dec 15 2014 - Feb 15 2015. To apply, an applicant must provide: * An essay describing her interest and background in the information security field. * A current transcript. * A resume or CV. * At least two letters of reference (typically from faculty members). * Her university name and class status. The scholarship is renewable for a second year subject to availability of funds, given proof of satisfactory academic progress. Preference is for US citizens or permanent residents; funds are available for use at any US campus of a US university. More information at www.swsis.org or email@example.com Jeremy Epstein, Director, Scholarship Programs Applied Computer Security Associates, Inc. Rebecca Wright, CRA-W Director for SWSIS Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research
We need to know how our data is being used. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/08/opinion/we-cant-trust-uber.html [If you are not following the Uber story, you might also look at this: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/technology/ubers-system-for-screening-drivers-comes-under-scrutiny.html thanks to Monty Solomon. PGN]
I just like to occasionally throw this one in the fire .. > It is now a journalistic cliché to remark that George Orwell's *1984* > was `prophetic'. The novel was so prophetic that its prophecies have > become modern-day prosaisms. Reading it now is a tedious experience. It would then be a good start to stop referring to George Orwell's "1984", because that is a very roundabout way to arrive at the concept that Orwell's book was based on - why not go to the source? The basis for "1984" was the late 18th century concept of the Panopticon, developed by one Jeremy Bentham. The Wikipedia entry provides enough data to see just how insidious that concept is for a normal society, especially one very important aspect: the concept was developed for a PRISON. Call me fickle, but I very much prefer not to be treated as a prisoner.
I agree with some of Richard O'Keefe's points in his post about SmartDriver, but I wanted to add a few things I think he may have overlooked: > The app will lack awareness of the context. If a child or an animal > runs across the road in front of me, and I brake hard enough to avoid > a death, I will be penalised for unsafe driving, not rewarded. > Similarly, a sharp turn to avoid an accident will count as unsafe... The insurance company probably doesn't care about the context. If you drive in areas where you frequently have to make sharp maneuvers to avoid accidents, you're at a higher risk for an accident, which is what they're really trying to measure. > How long before your insurance company starts charging extra to > people who don't use such an app? Probably not long, but is that really anything new? I drive a car that's 30 years old, and as a result pay higher rates than if I owned one that had modern features like ABS and stability control. I don't see that as materially different than someone paying higher rates because they choose not to have a phone that can run the app, or decide the app is a bad trade-off. I agree with his privacy concerns, and I think it'll be interesting to see how the data actually is used in court. There's been some controversy in the US over the "black box" data that the on-board computers in modern cars collect, and whether it should be admitted as evidence in court. Of course, that can cut both ways—as many Russians have found, having your own record of what happened can help in exonerating you and confirming your version of events.
> The app will lack awareness of the context. If a child or an animal runs > across the road in front of me, and I brake hard enough to avoid a death, > I will be penalised for unsafe driving, not rewarded. Similarly, a sharp > turn to avoid an accident will count as unsafe, not safe. This misunderstands the point of the exercise. The insurance company wants to know if your driving is relatively more or less risky than other drivers. If you're often suddenly braking to avoid children, or if your path on the road looks like a slalom course, then you're at a higher risk of an accident. This is not making a judgment, merely an observation. The background is that most drivers are safe drivers and don't cause accidents, so this is a way to gain some insight into which of these safe drivers are safer. A similar approach could be used for computer-based risks. For example, most companies do not have breaches of their credit card systems, or catastrophic security incidents, and very few have more than one. It's therefore very important to watch for more subtle warning signs that your company might be more at risk. For example, if your desktop support department is occasionally cleaning malware off employee devices but it seems like there was no further compromise; if 'non-critical' web servers sometimes get compromised and have to be restored from backup; if laptops (or desktops or backup tapes) sometimes get lost and recovered but weren't encrypted.
FYI—Santa's Workshop relocated from the North Pole to Bluffdale, UT ?? https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/whos-boss Laura Pinto and Selena Nemorin, Policy Alternatives, 1 Dec 2014 Who's the Boss? [Long item pruned for RISKS. PGN] "The Elf on the Shelf" and the normalization of surveillance The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. After several years of observing parents and teachers sharing photos of Elf on the Shelf dolls in various (sometimes compromising!) poses on social media, our curiosity led us to critically examine this cultural phenomenon. The Elf on the Shelf is a wildly popular, Christmas-themed book that comes with a doll to reinforce the story in home and school settings. The purpose of this article is to explore theoretical and conceptual concerns about the popularity and widespread educational use of The Elf on the Shelf in light of the contemporary literature on play and panoptic surveillance. [...] [Long item pruned for RISKS. The Elf is not recommended for surveillance-wary readers. PGN]
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