Daily Archives: 2020-04-07

Senator backing anti-crypto bill calls out Zoom’s lack of end-to-end crypto

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Sometimes it is very apparent that our lawmakers are _staggering_ idiots, specialized in politicking and ladder climbing and nothing grounded in anything other than a malleable social system.
Stylized photo of a computer screen with the image of a padlock.

Enlarge (credit: Yuri Samoilov Follow / Flickr)

Richard Blumenthal, the US senator sponsoring a bill that critics say will limit the use of encryption, is calling for an investigation of video-conference provider Zoom, in part over its false claim it offered... end-to-end encryption.

The Connecticut Democrat is a sponsor of the EARN IT (Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies) Act bill that would create incentives for companies to make changes to their platforms. In return, the companies would receive liability protections for any violations of laws related to online child sexual abuse material. Critics of the proposed law, who include the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), say it's a Trojan horse designed to allow the government to weaken end-to-end encryption.

A pattern of privacy infringements

Citing a "pattern of security failures & privacy infringements," Sen. Blumenthal on Tuesday called for the FTC to investigate Zoom. Chief among cited privacy infringements is the claim on the Zoom website that meetings were end-to-end encrypted, meaning video, audio, and text was encrypted at all times in transit, and couldn't be decrypted by Zoom or anyone else, other than conference participants. A post published last week by The Intercept reported that Zoom meetings, in fact, used what's usually called transport encryption, which allows Zoom to decrypt meeting data.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Trump has a ‘small personal financial interest’ in hydroxycholorquine drugmaker. Allies have bigger stakes.

Source: The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts

Article note: It always comes down to a petty grift.

President Trump has been promoting the malaria and lupus drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 "with all of the enthusiasm of a real estate developer," even as the medical experts on his coronavirus task force have repeatedly "warned against overselling a drug yet to be proved a safe remedy, particularly for heart patients," The New York Times reports. Some hospitals in Sweden stopped using hodroxycholoriquinine to treat the coronavirus due to adverse side effects, and the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy rejected a positive French study it had published on the drug, cited by Trump.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease officials, has warned publicly and privately against promoting the drug absent studies showing its effectiveness, and "behind the scenes, career health officials have raised even stronger warnings about the risk to some Americans' heart health and other complications, but been warned not to publicly speak out and potentially contradict Trump," Politico reports. "Trump's focus on the drugs ... has increasingly warped his administration's response. Health officials have been told to prioritize the anti-malaria drugs over other projects that scientists believe have more potential to fight the outbreak." So...

Can someone please explain to me why Trump et al are so hung up on hydroxychloroquine? Because I really don't get it.

— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 6, 2020

"If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president," the Times reports. "Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine." Other top Trump donors, allies, golf buddies, and Cabinet officials also have various ties to hydroxychlorquine.

On the other hand, some hospitals in New York are using the drug to treat COVID-19, with mixed results. Senior administration officials tell Politico that Trump really believes hydroxychloroquine could end the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump has told associates Oracle founder Larry Ellison first pointed him to the drug, and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, Rudy Giuliani, and trade adviser Peter Navarro have boosted his faith. "He thinks that it's the drug that's going to get everyone back to work," one Republican close to the White House told Politico, joking: "Do you have a supply?"

Posted in News | Leave a comment