Data security meets disco fever

Cringely has a security warning for anybody heading overseas: Don't let your smartphone fall into the wrong hands

Meanwhile, in a classic display of chutzpah, the US Department of Homeland Security has issued a private warning to government officials and private executives about "foreign governments" (aka the Chinese) stopping them at the border and copying information off their laptops and smart phones -- tactics the DHS feels perfectly happy to employ for US citizens returning to the US. The DHS also warns of foreign agents quietly slurping data off mobile phones via compromised Bluetooth connections and installing eavesdropping devices [PDF] on Blackberries.

The DHS won't publicly acknowledge the threat for fearing of ticking off the Chinese, who might retaliate by ... copying information off our laptops and spying on our smart phones. Or maybe they'll just send hot Asian mommas to discos looking for lonely US diplomats.

To quote my favorite British spy: "It's shagadelic, baby." Or better yet: "Oh behave."

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Robert X. Cringely

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