Thursday, January 25, 2007

The CIA wants you

OK -- this was a flurry of activity after weeks of idleness, but the CIA has now joined the Facebook craze. No, not in the black helicopter sense of searching for your info (come on, they'd been doing that through DARPA for years). The CIA now joins the long list of recruiters using their Facebook to attract and market.

Is is a coincidence? New head of the department of defense a well known blogger and poster himself? DoD and CIA? You be the judge.

And, Mr. Gates, let me point out for those working on my dossier at Langley that the above was joke about the black helicopers.

Publication is out

For those interested, a paper based on the work with our student-athletes regarding their SNWs was published this month in the CoSIDA Digest. It is a limited readership, granted, but if anyone wants a copy, let me know.

Where does Buckley end?

No, not William F. Buckley, but FERPA -- commonly known as the Buckley Amendment. When do protections stop covering the communications of college students? The common answer is that student emails are a part of the educational record, although I have found some debate as to whether content may color that question. For example, a message from a teacher with grade or course information to a student, or student-to-student discussions of educational matters, are clearly part of the record. However, are student-to-student emails regarding the weather covered as "educational records". Does that extend to non-student-to-student email?

Regardless, most agree that email in the email box at the ".edu" are protected, but does that protection follow forwarded email? I am curious if anyone out there has the answer. That might have wide ranging implications for the SNW world. For example, if a .edu account is needed to acquire an account -- the old Facebook scheme -- then does that by association carry Buckley protection to the content on the Facebook page? Highly unlikely, but still begs the question.

Fed sources seem vague on this -- at least what is searchable on-line -- but I'd be interested if any of the other folks working in the SNW world have any ideas. Email me direct at my .edu --

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Digital Assets are Easy, World Edition

What do major American sports personalities and the late Saddam Hussein share in common? They've both been the victim of cell phone technology. Is anyone really surprised that Saddam's hanging was available on the internet within 24 hours of the event? Equally so, anyone shocked that it was a guard's cell phone used to video the event?

BTW, as of today, two were arrested and a third soon to be added for taping the event.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Required listening today on NPR

On NPR's Day to Day, Madeleine Brand has a piece on how college students don't seem to get the difference between internet privacy and general privacy. In talking to a group of Southern Cal students, they don't think -- to use their own term -- "Facebook stalking" is that big a deal unless it invades the real world. However, when asked if the government should listen to phone calls or employers should Google their digital personas, they were, well, shocked, shocked and appalled at the invasion of their privacy. Brand has dug up a Harvard Law Review article by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandies that I will not do my own googling for a copy. It is scary on the mark to today, another example of what's old becomes new again. Writing in 1890:

"Instantaneous photographs and newspaper enterprise have invaded the sacred precincts of private and domestic life, and numerous mechanical devices threaten to make good the prediction that what is whispered in the closet shall be proclaimed from the housetops." -- transcribing the NPR story, quoting Warren and Brandies.

At the end of the story, there is a brief primer on privacy law cases, and posing the question of liability if one violates the privacy of another with your SNW.

Listen to the story at: