Pay a Hacker, Save a Life

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By Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cindy Cohn, and Danny O’Brien - Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

There are flaws in the tech we use everyday- from little software glitches to big data breaches, and security researchers often know about them before we do. Getting those issues fixed is not always as straightforward as it should be. It’s not always easy to bend a corporation's ear, and companies may ignore the threat for liability reasons putting us all at risk. Technology and cybersecurity expert Tarah Wheeler joins Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien to explain how she thinks security experts can help build a more secure internet.

On this episode, you’ll learn:

  • About the human impact of security vulnerabilities—and how unpatched flaws can change or even end lives;
  • How to reconsider the popular conception of hackers, and understand their role in helping build a more secure digital world;
  • How the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a law that is supposed to punish computer intrusion, has been written so broadly that it now stifles security researchers;
  • What we can learn from the culture around airplane safety regulation—including transparency and blameless post-mortems;
  • How we can align incentives, including financial incentives, to improve vulnerability reporting and response;
  • How the Supreme Court case Van Buren helped security researchers by ensuring that the CFAA couldn’t be used to prosecute someone for merely violating the terms of service of a website or application;
  • How a better future would involve more collaboration and transparency among both companies and security researchers.

This podcast is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology.

Resources: Resources

Consumer Data Privacy:

Ransomware:

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA):

Electoral Security:

This podcast is licensed Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, and includes the following music licensed Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported by their creators:

Warm Vacuum Tube by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2019 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) Unported license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/59533 Ft: starfrosch

Come Inside by Snowflake (c) copyright 2019 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) Unported license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/snowflake/59564 Ft: Starfrosch, Jerry Spoon, Kara Square, spinningmerkaba

Drops of H2O ( The Filtered Water Treatment ) by J.Lang (c) copyright 2012 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) Unported license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/djlang59/37792 Ft: Airtone

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28 episodes