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“It’s not actually usable," Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, said in an email. Often, he said, "the net cost of a Bitcoin transaction is far more than a credit card transaction." And Bitcoin-based transactions can’t be reversed, an issue when a merchant or a consumer comes up against fraud.

“The amount of intelligence gathering capability realized by this is astonishing,” said researcher Nicholas Weaver of the International Computer Science Institute, affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley. In particular, emails between Guccifer 2 and the organization believed to be WikiLeaks “suggest that the NSA (U.S. National Security Agency) obtained access to either Guccifer 2’s email account, Wikileaks’ or both.”

“Posing as a money launderer for Bitcoin seems like a great mechanism to find the dealers: There are so many paths for the dark net dealers to get drugs. There are much fewer paths for them to get cash,” Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley, told Motherboard in an online chat.

"Most people have no idea that this is happening," said Serge Egelman, director of usable security and privacy research at the International Computer Science Institute. Apple's new effort, he said, "gives users more control over how these companies collect information from them."

"A lot of security people have flecks of dirt accumulated over the years," says Nicholas Weaver, senior researcher networking and security at the University of California, Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute.

Latest Privacy Fracas Drops Facebook In The Middle Of Anti-Huawei Hysteria
June 7, 2018 | Karl Bode, Techdirt

"You might think that Facebook or the device manufacturer is trustworthy,” said Serge Egelman, a privacy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the security of mobile apps. “But the problem is that as more and more data is collected on the device — and if it can be accessed by apps on the device — it creates serious privacy and security risks."

Facebook let phone makers get data trove on users and friends
June 3, 2018 | Gabriel J.X. Dance, Nicholas Confessore, and Michael LaForgia, New York Times

“You might think that Facebook or the device manufacturer is trustworthy,” said Serge Egelman, a privacy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the security of mobile apps. “But the problem is that as more and more data is collected on the device — and if it can be accessed by apps on the device — it creates serious privacy and security risks.”

Why secure email may be an illusion
May 22, 2018 | Steven Nelson, Washington Examiner

It's a wake-up call that some experts believe is overdue. “If you want confidential communications, you can't use email period,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley, though he believes few people can exploit the vulnerabilities.

Bitcoin Could Be a Problem for U.S. Security Clearances
May 22, 2018 | Daniel Flatley, Bloomberg

But Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, said the Pentagon is right to scrutinize clearance applicants who own cryptocurrencies, even those who are buying and holding them as investments, known as "HODL’ers."

Serge Egelman, one of the paper's co-authors, notes that thousands of apps are violating this law every day. In just one example, an advertising SDK (software development kit) made by ironSource is harvesting personal data from 466 child-directed apps.

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