By Leigh Beadon
Five Years Ago
This week in 2015, the attacks on encryption continued, with David Cameron’s former speechwriter publishing an incredibly dumb article in the Telegraph and Dianne Feinstein contradicting her month-old fearmongering about cybersecurity with demands for encryption backdoors — while a supposed ISIS encryption manual that people had been freaking out about turned out to be a guide for journalists. Meanwhile, we learned about widespread illegal wiretaps by police in California, and that reports of the end of NSA domestic email collection were incorrect — and, long before he was the Supreme Court’s most prominent alleged rapist, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was offering up a strident defense of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2010, the TSA was on everyone’s minds thanks to its still-new naked scanners, which suddenly had the support of the president after he traveled with the CEO of a company that makes them. Some were trying to find out if the TSA had ever actually caught a terrorist, and being told it’s a state secret, while the stories of incredibly invasive and demeaning searches for people who don’t get scanned continued to flood in. One airport tried to claim that recording the TSA’s gropings was an arrestable offense, and the agency’s attempt to demonstrate to congress that the searches are fine completely backfired — and Homeland Security investigators were discovering that TSA agents weren’t even good at spotting prohibited items in the scans.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2005, we continued to watch the fallout from the Sony rootkit fiasco, with anti-virus firms trying to explain why their products couldn’t catch it and the state of Texas filing a lawsuit against Sony, all while the label’s sales plummeted and got it in hot water with many of its artists. TiVo was trying to thread the needle with a new offering that included copy protection but it unsurprisingly wasn’t enough to stop TV executives from threatening to sue. And finally, for anyone who is currently trying to get their hands on a next-gen console, enjoy this fifteen-year-old post about people paying thousands for Xbox 360 consoles on eBay.