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Weekend Reads 12/21/19

If You Think Encryption Back Doors Won't Be Abused, You May Be a Member of Congress

Our extremely tech-unsavvy lawmakers brought in a few experts to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and essentially ignored what they said and yelled demands at them. Virtually every tech expert and privacy advocate under the sun has warned virtually every government official in the world that "back doors" that let police bypass encryption has the potential to cause huge harms and actually makes citizens even more vulnerable to crime. But the legislators want their back doors, dammit.

Hackers steal data for 15 million patients, then sell it back to lab that lost it

The incident response, company President and CEO Charles Brown said in a statement, included “retrieving the data by making a payment.” The executive added: “We did this in collaboration with experts familiar with cyber-attacks and negotiations with cyber criminals.” The statement didn’t say how much LifeLabs paid for the return of the data.

Trump campaign says impeachment backfiring. Not really, polls suggest

One “state party packet” seen by Reuters, dated last Tuesday and entitled “Rigged Partisan Witch Hunt,” is filled with impeachment messaging, suggested tweets, polling data and graphics that paint the impeachment effort as a Democratic “sham” to try to overturn Trump’s 2016 election victory. But Terry Dittrich, chairman of the Waukesha County Republican Party in Wisconsin, warned that prolonged proceedings could turn voter attention away from what they view as Trump’s greatest political strengths, such as the strong economy.

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