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Modern field guide to security and privacy

We're launching a new section on security and privacy. Here's why.

Passcode, the Monitor's new section on security and privacy, is gearing up for our launch. We will debut at a critical time. As news about security risks and digital snooping comes in torrents, there's a growing need for investigative, thoughtful, and explanatory coverage of the developments shaping our hyper-connected world.

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This is an excerpt of a story from Passcode, the Monitor's forthcoming section on security and privacy. Read the full article here.

Look on any city sidewalk, in any coffee shop, or any jogging path. We're plugged in. All the time. We're texting or posting to Facebook. We're ordering from Amazon and paying bills on smartphones. We're tweeting at dinner — about dinner. And with every tap and swipe, we add to a colossal digital dossier of modern life.

In many cases, we don't even have to open an app. Wearable sensors now record heartbeats, steps, and track wherever we go. And all of it, every interaction, is logged somewhere, collected for advertisers, data brokers, and even government agencies to analyze and scrutinize.

The rapid advance of the Internet and computing power has brought about tremendous opportunity and countless benefits. But it also raises fresh concerns as we rush head first to embrace the latest technology. 

That's where we come in. The Monitor is launching Passcode, a section covering online security and privacy to explore the toughest questions and most pressing issues of the digital age.

Passcode comes at a critical time. No matter what you think about Edward Snowden leaking classified NSA documents, he set off a raging global privacy debate. Since then, both Google and Apple have announced they would toughen security on smartphones — a move that FBI Director James Comey suggested was the result of "the post-Snowden pendulum" having "swung too far in one direction — in the direction of fear and mistrust."

Is he right? If not, what is the right balance? And it's not just consumers who struggle with protecting themselves. Banks, corporations, small businesses, government agencies, the military, and nonprofits all are thinking differently about how to secure information and maintain privacy.

The challenges are not just limited to information security. It's about all security. The spread of sophisticated and networked machines raises the specter of electronic attacks. Industrial powers are concerned that rival nations, hacktivists, or terrorists could penetrate the most critical parts of their infrastructure — say, the power grid. In the US, it's the kind of thing the Pentagon worries about — a lot. In fact, its 2015 budget requested $5.1 billion for cybersecurity efforts.

READ THE FULL STORY: Find out more by reading the full article on Passcode, the Monitor’s forthcoming section on cybersecurity.

 

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