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Monday, July 27, 2009

Fix Your Passwords, Jiang Weiping

It's tempting to blame the victim. In May, a twentysomething French hacker broke into several Twitter employees' e-mail accounts and stole a trove of meeting notes, strategy documents, and other confidential scribbles. The hacker eventually gave the stash to TechCrunch, which has since published notes from meetings in which Twitter execs discussed their very lofty goals. (The company wants to be the first Web service to reach 1 billion users.) How'd the hacker get all this stuff? Like a lot of tech startups, Twitter runs without paper—much of the company's discussions take place in e-mail and over shared Google documents. All of these corporate secrets are kept secure with a very thin wall of protection: the employees' passwords, which the intruder managed to guess because some people at Twitter used the same passwords for many different sites. In other words, Twitter had it coming. The trouble is, so do the rest of us. Fix Your Terrible, Insecure Passwords in Five MinutesA foolproof technique to secure your computer, e-mail, and bank account.By Farhad Manjoo

He spent five years and a month in jail in China, deprived of drinking water for days and of heat in his cell in minus-30 winter weather. When his case became an international cause célèbre, his wife was detained for 28 days and prohibited from travelling for a year. She eventually escaped to Toronto with their daughter in 2004. Upon his release in 2006, he was kept under surveillance and banned from travel for three years. He came to Toronto early this year. Jiang Weiping, 54, sat down Monday and summarized the 500,000-word account he has just finished in Mandarin. His wife Stella Lee, 52, with whom I've had several dealings in the last five years through PEN Canada, the writers' group, completed telling hers Thursday. She speaks English. He hopes to. So his long interviews had to be translated. Chinese dissident saved by Canada details horror - Haroon Siddiqui


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