Sometime after 1 a.m. Friday, I happened to be checking Twitter when I saw flash reports about an earthquake in Japan, and then tweets about a tsunami warning, and then I saw this shocking image, which I retweeted. Twitter has changed the way I learn about what is happening in the world. More importantly, Twitter has changed the world. Tonight, many people are waiting for what may be the big Bank of America email leak, which is being announced via Twitter by @OperationLeakS. More history on the way? We shall know shortly. More
I promised to update my previous post on prosecutors in Montgomery County, Pa., asking a judge to make a local school administrator surrender the password to his mobile phone (I’m not saying cell phone anymore) in a criminal sexting case. A specialist in Information Security, or InfoSec, from the University of Pennsylvania, offered a solid read on the situation in my comments section:
If the contents of the cell phone are encrypted (depending on the type of device this can be easy or impossible) then law enforcement has no way to recover data off of the device. They require the password so they can access any data (such as saved SMS messages). There is some argument that the Fifth Amendment protects against such disclosure to the courts. The reality is that we’ve finally reached an era where consumer grade encryption is good enough to foil most law enforcement. It’s why entire countries now forbid Blackberry encryption.
The video above shows a man, joined by others, who defiantly stands in front of an armored vehicle firing a water cannon during street protests in Egypt on Jan. 25. I learned about the video, posted on YouTube, through Twitter. I started taking Twitter seriously in November, 2008, when terrorists struck Mumbai, India. I had created a Twitter account in 2007, but didn’t know what to do with it. Twitter used to ask, “What are you doing?” And I learned that people were watching TV, walking their dog, or pushing a cart in the bread aisle of their Safeway. It reminded me of The Simpson’s episode in which Mr. Burns loses his wealth and is forced to live among regular people. He goes to the supermarket and tells a passerby, “I’m shopping!” But with the deadly attacks in Mumbai, I saw Twitter crackle with moment-by-moment reports from ordinary people about what was happening there. I felt connected to the situation in a way that is not often possible on TV.