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Morning Security Brief: Skype Privacy, Drone Strikes, SIBR, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Activists, journalists, and privacy organizations want to know what user information Skype shares with law enforcement. They have sent an open letter to Microsoft, which now owns Skype, asking for an explanation. “The letter calls upon Microsoft to publish a regular Transparency Report outlining what kind of data Skype collects, what third parties might be able to intercept or retain, and how Skype interprets its responsibilities under the laws that pertain to it. In addition it asks for quantitative data about when, why, and how Skype shares data with third parties, including governments,” The Register reports. Skype is a service that allows users to make phone calls via the Internet.

►The United Nations has opened an inquiry into “the rise of drone strikes and targeted killings around the world.” The purpose of the investigation will be to find out how much truth there is to reports of disproportionate civilian casualties. “The critical lacuna in the debate that is currently taking place within the United Nations concerning the legality of drone strikes is the absence of independent, objective verification of the facts," one UN official told The Guardian.

►NIST is looking for small businesses with big ideas on cybersecurity. Its Small Business Innovation Research program will provide $90,000 over seven months to a small business working to create specific technologies listed on the NIST Web site.

►In other news, violence flares in Egypt during demonstrations marking the anniversary of the Tahrir Square uprising that ousted its former president Hosni Mubarak. ♦ A bug on Twitter could give apps access to private information without users knowing. ♦ And a woman pleads guilty to making fake OSHA credentials after the Gulf Oil Spill, then charging people to attend fake training classes.

 

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