The NSA’s next move: silencing university professors?

From  The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/10/nsa-matthew-green-takedown-blog-post-johns-hopkins

A Johns Hopkins computer science professor blogs on the NSA and is asked to take it down. I fear for academic freedom


theguardian.com, Tuesday 10 September 2013

This actually happened yesterday:

A professor in the computer science department at Johns Hopkins, a leading American university, had written a post on his blog, hosted on the university’s servers, focused on his area of expertise, which is cryptography. The post was highly critical of the government, specifically the National Security Agency, whose reckless behavior in attacking online security astonished him.

Professor Matthew Green wrote on 5 September:

I was totally unprepared for today’s bombshell revelations describing the NSA’s efforts to defeat encryption. Not only does the worst possible hypothetical I discussed appear to be true, but it’s true on a scale I couldn’t even imagine.

The post was widely circulated online because it is about the sense of betrayal within a community of technical people who had often collaborated with the government. (I linked to it myself.)

On Monday, he gets a note from the acting dean of the engineering school asking him to take the post down and stop using the NSA logo as clip art in his posts. The email also informs him that if he resists he will need a lawyer. The professor runs two versions of the same site: one hosted on the university’s servers, one on Google’s blogger.com service. He tells the dean that he will take down the site mirrored on the university’s system but not the one on blogger.com. He also removes the NSA logo from the post. Then, he takes to Twitter.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/10/nsa-matthew-green-takedown-blog-post-johns-hopkins

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