Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quantum Cheney

/ quantum politics /

I couldn't resist posting this, as it is a great example of a correct (ok it should have been executive/legislative duality, but lets not nitpick...) use of quantum metaphor in the service of political humor, and funny to boot. Go read the whole thing. Up next: quantum Cheney tunneling, in which Cheney escapes from a steep potential well of impeachable felonies in a mysterious yet scientifically explainable way.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Greek wiretaping scandal redux

/ bugging people /
IEEE Spectrum has an excellent article, written by two Greek Computer Scientists (V. Prevelakis and D. Spinellis) about last year's wiretapping scandal, a scandal about which I reported here and in the European Tribune at the time (1, 2, 3, 4, see also the relevant Wikipedia article, and former US diplomat's Brady Kiesling summary of the affair)

The article provides an astonishingly detailed investigation on the technical aspects of the wiretap, and explains the highly sophisticated methods used. This highlights the fact that the operation was surely the work of highly skilled professionals, with intimate knowledge of Vodafone's and Ericsson's systems (Prevelakis and Spinellis mention in a sidebar the various scenarios circulating). It's also a great introduction to various technical aspects of mobile telephony BTW.

I note that, while the official investigation did not uncover the culprits of the physical attack, it did fine Vodafone (for misdeeds and omissions mentioned in the IEEE Spectrum article) a quite substantial sum of 76 million Euros. Worth noting is that Vodafone, as the scandal was still under investigation, promoted Vodafone-Greece's CEO to regional director.

[Crossposted in the European Tribune]