Subremer GMR

Computers in the news – how much can we trust what we read?

The phrase “Never send a boy to do a man’s job” often comes to mind when a computer story hits the mainstream news. The idiom refers to neither age nor gender, it simply means, don’t send someone unqualified to do a job they will inevitably fail at.

This came to mind, specifically, with regard to the recent WikiLeaks data dump.

Steven M. Bellovin, a Computer Science professor at Columbia University, blogged about his annoyance with the press coverage. Specifically, he cited The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for merely repeating the WikiLeaks claim that the leaked software lets the CIA “bypass the encryption” employed by many secure communication apps. He wrote:

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