Author Archives: mohitesj

A Matter of Faith

It’s easy to subscribe to the idea that a government that remains aloof from the business of its people is a good way to safeguard the right to privacy of the individual; modernity is full of examples of what too much government oversight can lead to, from China to North Korea. However, though seemingly analogous, […] Continue reading

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The Price We (Force Others to) Pay

In the episode of Leading Lines, one point that Professor Gilliard brought up was that of how privacy infringements in the United States can have consequences that transcend national borders. The example provided: the oppression of Uyghurs in China. At one point in the episode, Professor Gilliard mentions how FaceApp, an app available to American […] Continue reading

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What Privacy Means for the Modern World

Public discourse around privacy often centers on hiding or opting out of public environments, whereas scholars and engineers often focus more on controlling the flow of information. These can both be helpful ways of thinking about privacy, but as philosopher Helen Nissenbaum astutely notes, privacy is always rooted in context  (Boyd 60). In this quote […] Continue reading

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The Perils of Perfect Security

The idea of perfect security is a tantalizing one on the surface. It guarantees anonymity and protection from unwanted attention; it facilitates and protects a bedrock of democracy, that being freedom of speech. Altogether, it’s no surprise that, in the interest of preserving the core values of democracy, people would want perfect security implemented for […] Continue reading

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For The Greater Good

The National Security Agency has been criticized for decades due to the very nature of its purpose; no one likes the idea that someone can read their emails, listen to their phone calls, or act as an observant third-party on any private two-way communication. But, at the end of the day, so long as the […] Continue reading

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Mean Girls (WWII Edition)

Arlington Hall, the epicenter of the American code breaking effort, was s densely populated pseudo-tenement housing for some of the brightest and most flexible minds the country had to offer. Of course, with such a high population of men and women living together in close quarters, gender played a significant role in both the code […] Continue reading

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Ted Cr- I Mean, The Zodiac Killer

The podcast on the Zodiac Killer was well made and well produced.  From a technical standpoint, the intonation, projection, and fluency of the speaker made it very enjoyable to listen to the podcast. Often times, even when simply reading from a script, people can falter, trip over words and phrases, and stutter, all of which […] Continue reading

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Hall’s Choice

Admiral Hall of Room 40 – Britain’s analog to the American Black Chamber – was faced with an impossible choice during World War I: immediately release information of the Zimmermann Note to the Americans and risk the Germans developing new, more secure ciphers, or holding on to the note until the perfect moment, potentially risking […] Continue reading

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We Don’t Care That We’re Being Watched

The principle problem of the Panopticon metaphor is rooted in Bentham’s original purpose for the structure: behavioral modification. As Walker puts it, Bentham believed that the mere act of being being watched constantly would alter a person’s behavior, adding a layer of accountability and therefore pushing the person in question towards a more moral or […] Continue reading

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The Everest of Cryptanalysis

As Singh indicates in his The Code Book, the Beale Ciphers have gone unbroken for over a hundred years, the best and brightest minds of recent decades pouring hours upon hours into the effort of deciphering them. Unfortunately, their work, as of yet, has borne no fruit. Ultimately, this begs the question: why do people continue […] Continue reading

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