This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.
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I briefly spoke about this over email with Elizabeth Joh, a University of California, Davis, School of Law professor, who reminded me: “You never just ‘buy’ a new surveillance device. You’ve adopted a worldview about privacy, anonymity and autonomy — whether by conscious choice or accident.”
Quoted law professor Elizabeth Joh also co-hosts the tremendously educational podcast, What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law.
On a Saturday in late October, my cell phone rang and it was Bill Perocchi, the CEO of Pebble Beach Company, and he asked me if I could play. If you ever get one of those calls, yes is the answer. Yes, sweet mother of pearl, yes. Then a leather-bound invitation arrives in the mail with Clint Eastwood’s signature. You send in your check and you’re in.
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret.
The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.
The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.
But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.
Around The Web
- What Tesla’s Self-Driving Autopilot Sees
- Pretending I’m a Superman – The Tony Hawk Video Game Story Trailer
- Super Bowl LIV: A graphical review
- The Fist Bump: A more hygienic alternative to the handshake
Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.
Thanks for reading. Have a great month,