CBCradio

March 31, 2009

Pt 1: Web Security - For ten months, researchers in Toronto and Ottawa tried to piece together a puzzle. involving malicious software that began by infecting computers belonging to members of the Tibetan exile community. They found Ghostnet, a mysterious computer entity that has infiltrated more than a thousand computers belonging to embassies, foreign ministries, government offices and political organizations in more than 100 countries.

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Pt 2: What Remains Documentary - Mattawa is a small forestry town in northern Ontario. And it's seen its share of troubles. Mills have been closing and jobs have been lost. And now, the town is fixated on another, very different problem.

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Pt 3: Sex & War - For as long as we've been around as a species, human beings have gone to war with each other. We've looked through different lenses to try understand why; politics, religion, psychology and economics.

 
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It's Tuesday, March 31st.

China has denied any involvement in a global electronic spy network that has infiltrated computers all over the world.

Currently, Beijing also says that you should be ashamed of yourself ... and that you'd know why.

This is The Current.

Web Security - Deibert

For ten months, researchers in Toronto and Ottawa tried to piece together a puzzle. involving malicious software that began by infecting computers belonging to members of the Tibetan exile community. They found Ghostnet, a mysterious computer entity that has infiltrated more than a thousand computers belonging to embassies, foreign ministries, government offices and political organizations in more than 100 countries.

They say that once the software had wormed its way in, it allowed the "Ghost", whoever was behind it to steal documents and to watch or listen to the people through computer webcams and microphones. Even though so much of the mechanics points to China, the Chinese Government has denied any involvement in the scheme.

But the size and scope of Ghostnet has many people worried about the state of internet security and the future of the internet as an open and unrestricted venue.
Ron Deibert was one of the people who helped uncover Ghostnet. He is the head of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab worked with SecDev Group, an Ottawa-based think tank to uncover Ghostnet. And Ron Deibert was in Toronto.

Web Security - Professor

Ghostnet isn't the only example of internet espionage. And of course there are also plenty of apolitical computer viruses. The latest is something called Conficker C worm. It's due to explode on hard drives around the world tomorrow.

And according to computer security analysts, it could be one of the most devastating computer viruses yet or nothing more than more than a really impressive April Fool's hoax. And taken together, what all of this presents is a kind of cyber Catch-22. How do you take control of the internet without undermining the very nature of it?

Hedi Nasheri has written extensively on this subject. She's a professor of Justice Studies at Kent State University. She's also the author of Economic Espionage and Industrial Spying and she was in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

What Remains Documentary

Mattawa is a small forestry town in northern Ontario. And it's seen its share of troubles. Mills have been closing and jobs have been lost. And now, the town is fixated on another, very different problem.

The man who used to be Mattawa's only funeral director is facing 73 criminal charges related to improper burials. And that has some families wondering if the body they buried was actually that of their loved one. The CBC's Allison Dempster has prepared the documentary, What Remains and she was in Sudbury, Ontario.

 

Sex & War

For as long as we've been around as a species, human beings have gone to war with each other. We've looked through different lenses to try understand why; politics, religion, psychology and economics.

But according to Tom Hayden and Malcolm Potts, we should have begun with biology. Malcolm Potts is an obstetrician, a research biologist and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Thomas Hayden is a journalist and science writer - he teaches at Stanford University. Their book is called Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World. And they were both in San Francisco.

Last Word - War (What is it good for?)

We gave Edwin Starr the last word today. Whether it's in our nature to fight wars or not, he's got a famous answer for - - what war is good for.

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