Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists
January 29, 2020 | Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times 

Serge Egelman, a research director at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute noted that "From the user’s perspective, there’s literally no way of preventing it from happening or even knowing when it’s happening.” The expectation “that app users should be able to figure this all out and manage it is absolutely ludicrous.”

UK Has a Plan to Corral Huawei. But Security Concerns Linger
January 28, 2020 | Klint Finley, Wired

As UC Berkeley security researcher Nicholas Weaver puts it: "5G 'antennas' aren't simply wires, but complex computers in their own right doing a lot of signal processing."

Is machine learning useful for cybersecurity?
January 27, 2020 | Jeff Elder, Avast Blog

This month Avast artificial intelligence researcher Sadia Afroz will explain to San Francisco conference goers at Enigma 2020 how to build robust machine learning systems to defend against real-world attacks. In a paper written with Avast’s head of AI Rajarshi Gupta, Afroz calls for new industry-wide consistency in cybersecurity. “We need a systematic approach to model the adversary of a machine learning system in security. Different papers using different incomparable adversaries make it hard to track progress in this area.” A research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute at UC-Berkeley (ICSI), Afroz works with the Avast team of data scientists and threat researches from the world’s top schools including Berkeley, Stanford, MIG and Charles University. and Avast Software. Avast’s user base of over 435 million makes up one of the world’s largest threat detection networks, allowing us to build the best machine learning models and stop cyberthreats before they do harm.

UC Berkeley cybersecurity researcher Bill Marczak cautioned that there's still no conclusive evidence that the Saudi video was malicious, adding that it might be premature to jump to broader conclusions about it.

AI for Voice Transcription: Is It Here to Last?
January 20, 2020 | Sean Patrick Hopwood, Marketing Technology Insights

In a 2016 Wired Interview, Gerald Friedland, Director of UC Berkley’s Audio and Multimedia lab, said that “depending who you ask, speech recognition is either solved or impossible… The truth is somewhere in between.”

Nicholas Weaver, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, said that the FBI’s efforts to push Apple to crack its own iPhones were “more disingenuous than normal.” “It’s entirely about legislation, not the courts,” he said.

Nicholas Weaver, researcher and lecturer at Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute, said that even before the indications that GrayKey would work on the latest iPhones, the FBI's attempts to strongarm Apple into helping amounted to "theatre." He said that Apple had designed its phones so that it wouldn’t be able to provide information if a GrayKey or a competing product couldn’t. "Basically, Apple made a safe where to change the combo you have to unlock the safe, and the FBI is saying 'change the combo' when they know full well you can't change the combo without unlocking the safe first."

Apple Takes a (Cautious) Stand Against Opening a Killer’s iPhones
January 14, 2020 | Jack Nicas and Katie Benner, New York Times

“The iPhone 5 is so old, you are guaranteed that Grayshift and Cellebrite can break into those every bit as easily as Apple could,” said Nicholas Weaver, a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, who has taught iPhone security.

Popular Apps Share Intimate Details About You With Dozens of Companies​
January 14, 2020 | Thomas Germain, Consumer Reports

Many of the companies involved make money compiling details about individual consumers to build comprehensive profiles in order to target personalized ads. “However, there are increasingly other uses beyond targeted advertising,” says Serge Egelman, a digital security and privacy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies how apps gather consumer data.

Privacy International leads revolt over Android ‘bloatware’
January 13, 2020 | Jamie Davies,

In July, International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) researchers said numerous apps could easily circumnavigate Android’s privacy protections.