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Session Fixation, Mandated Spying, and Why We Need Religion

Ok, this is a grab bag post, I admit it... first off, Shawn has posted a great explanation of session fixation - a little discussed or known security vulnerability. Second, our government at work... it seems the House, in a pre-election frenzy (a little early for that, don't you think?), has rapidly passed a bill that I guarantee is so poorly thought through that it will caused lots of headaches if it ever makes its way into law.

Specifically, Congress now thinks that any provider of Internet access - including free wi-fi at your local coffee shop, now must report "obscene" images to NCMEC if they're detected or seen. Now, on the one hand, this is a stupid law, because you're already required by law to report any instances of suspected child pornography. But, on the other hand, this is potentially distressing as, if read in the wrong way, could result in free wi-fi access being yanked out of most coffee shops as they may determine the legal exposure is too great. Yet another case where Congress is micromanaging where they needn't interfere. There are potential privacy implications here, too, that are of course not likely being considered by the geniuses on the Hill.

Last, but not least, as mentioned earlier today, Republican presidential wannabe Mitt Romney today mimicked JFK in giving a speech on the role of his religious beliefs in his life as a public servant. Fortunately, he erred on the side of providing space for all religions, though at the same time he seemed to imply that we should all adhere to religious values, which seemed a little off. You can decide for yourself. You can read CNN's coverage here, and the Salon has posted follow-ups here and here.


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