Does the UK need or even want a ‘Great British Firewall’?

You’ve probably heard of the Great Firewall of China, the virtual fortification that allows the Chinese government to monitor and restrict internet traffic to and from the world’s most populous nation. Well, the cyber-security chief of the UK Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) has suggested early plans for what sounds rather like a “Great British Firewall”. Privacy groups immediately sounded the alarm that it might pose a risk to freedom of speech, and offer the potential for Britain’s secret services to get up to no good. So what exactly is GCHQ proposing and should we be worried?

Firewalls are standard tools for computer defence. They are essentially filters which can control what traffic enters and leaves a network. You are probably protected by a firewall right now, at your workplace or at home, that runs either on your computer’s operating system or on the hardware that provides your connection to the internet.

A firewall can be configured to reject certain types of traffic deemed undesirable or potentially harmful. This might be a connection request from an untrustworthy source, such as a web address known to harbour hackers or spammers, for example. Or it could block a file that looks like it might contain a computer virus or other malware. While deflecting this sort of undesirable traffic the firewall allows standard traffic such as web browsing and email to pass through.

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CA Buys BlazeMeter to Beef Up DevOps Portfolio

CA Technologies announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BlazeMeter, which produces performance testing tools for DevOps.

Enterprise infrastructure software provider CA Technologiesannounced its intent to acquire BlazeMeter, a provider of continuous application performance testing software forDevOps.CA, on Sept. 20, announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held BlazeMeter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; however, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.CA officials said the acquisition will help the company extend its DevOps portfolio.DevOps emphasizes cooperation between developers and IT operations. The goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship between software developers and operations by advocating better communication and collaboration between the two business units.   Full Story

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What’s up, Zuck? FTC to probe Facebook for WhatsApp phone number mega-slurp

Facebook is facing an FTC probe after snatching millions of people’s phone numbers from its WhatsApp subsidiary.

Privacy rights warriors at EPIC have asked the US watchdog to investigate the personal data grab – and the commission says it will look into the matter.

In a letter published by EPIC [PDF], the FTC told the privacy crusaders that it will follow in the footsteps of its UK counterparts and take a close look to decide whether Facebook’s move to collect WhatsApp user data for use with targeted ads is illegal.

“Your complaint contains allegations regarding the data collection, use, combination, and sharing practices of WhatsApp user data – such as mobile phone number and account information – with Facebook,” the FTC acknowleged.

“Your complaint also contains allegations regarding statements WhatsApp has made about how it limits the use of mobile phone number or other personally identifiable information, as well as its sharing information with Facebook. Commission staff will carefully review your complaint.”

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Quali Cloud Sandbox Software Honored with Best of VMworld 2016 Finalist Award for Agility and Automation

Quali, the leading Cloud sandbox software for DevOps automation, announced today that it was recognized with a Best of VMworld 2016 finalist award in the category of Agility and Automation in an overall field that included over 150 nominees vying for the Best of VMworld honors.

Today agility is all about the speed of innovation matching the speed of business. Automation especially in the context of DevOps and BizOps can help differentiate enterprises and provide a competitive edge to business.

In the fast growing field of orchestration, agility, and cloud management tools, Quali’s CloudShell software was recognized as a unique and critical solution for organizations that want to speed their application releases and achieve DevOps agility. Quali cloud sandboxes provide heterogeneous support for any dev/test environment with physical and virtual infrastructure as well as applications allowing users to quickly build cloud sandboxes and rapidly automate their dev/test environments for the “full-stack.”

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