We live in insecure times, and nothing demonstrates that more clearly than the Office of Personnel Management hack. In the past week, we learned that it had compromised more than five times as many fingerprint records as previously acknowledged. As Justin Kosslyn argued in Future Tense, fault for that hack doesn’t reside entirely with OPM itself: In the future, the government as a whole should consider a more centralized, interagency approach to cybersecurity.
If you’re thinking about your own security, however, Josephine Wolff is here to assure you that you probably don’t really need cyberinsurance. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful, though. Porn sites are still riddled with malware, and it’s probably a good idea to keep your phone locked down with a password, not least of all because a federal judge ruled that police can’t force you to unlock it.
Here are the other stories that had us redirecting rivers with H-bombs this week:
- Twitter: Edward Snowden joined the site this week and immediately started cracking jokes. Meanwhile, despite what you may have heard, the platform isn’t ditching its vaunted character restrictions.
- Gaming: Programs such as Ingress and Pokémon Go invite players to step outside and interact with one another in new ways. Simultaneously, Super Mario Maker encourages users to think more deeply about the meaning and beauty of the medium.
- Weather: Revisiting the Great September Gale of 1815, Sean Munger argues that our modern insistence on understanding weather in predictive terms has limited our ability to grasp the global ecosystem as a whole.
- Food: Will lab-grown meat save us from environmental catastrophe? Probably not.
- Privacy: Want to keep your data private on social media? Copy-pasted notices won’t save you.
for Future Tense