2017’s Greatest Hits: My Top 10 Posts of the Year

This year, I wrote about 60 articles or blog posts for 17 different sites or publications, along with 21 podcast episodes and a variety of other projects. Most of the projects are behind the scenes or not ready to announce, and iTunes users interested in Friday news dumps can subscribe to the podcast, but here’s a list of the top 10 posts I wrote!

10. Porn Sites Should Be Using This Basic Security Feature (Motherboard)

“Your network traffic may actually implicate you in activity in that regime that is considered outright illegal.” I kicked off the year with an article about porn, but it wasn’t really about porn at all.

9. How to Help 55 Million People Out of Food Deserts (Yes! Magazine)

Programs provide easier access to fresh, healthful foods to low-income neighbors. This post is about food deserts and non-profits working to eradicate them.

8. Hunting (Software) Bugs for Fun and Profit (Dice)

In a bid to lock down their infrastructure and eliminate any bug that pops up, some companies have begun crowdsourcing their security. This piece is about bug bounties.

7. Hacker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: The Future Is Cyberwar (Vocativ)

We’ve seen data theft, energy grid hacks, and Stuxnet, but not open cyberwar — yet. I wrote about what it might look like if we did.

6. Why You Should Get a Job in Blockchain (Dice)

Although experienced blockchain developers are in demand and command large salaries, the technology underlying blockchain is still in its infancy. 2017 would not be complete without an article about the digital asset platform.

5. Cartoonist in Hell (Folks)

Drawing comics for a living isn’t all fun and games, says Evan Dorkin. Especially when you’re living with chronic pain. I interviewed my favorite cartoonist, who I last interviewed for the zine I wrote in high school back in 1996 or something.

4. Hit App Sarahah Quietly Uploads Your Email Address (The Intercept)

A security researcher with the firm Bishop Fox caught the app uploading emails and phone numbers right after it first launched. The feedback app said this was for a “find your friends” feature that wasn’t even working.

3. Street-Level Surveillance (EFF)

I wrote a series of reports, in collaboration with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to shine light on the advanced surveillance technologies that law enforcement agencies routinely deploy in our communities… including face recognition, drones/UAVs, cell-site simulators/IMSI catchers, body-worn cameras, and automated license plate readers.

2. A Roundtable of Hackers Dissect ‘Mr. Robot’ (Motherboard)

In this ten-part series, I got some of the smartest hackers I know in a Keybase chatroom to discuss the tech on Mr. Robot after every episode. I linked to the post discussing the finale, but you can find all of these post-show recaps on Motherboard.

1. Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found in Popular Android Apps (The Intercept)

Researchers built a custom platform to root out trackers in mobile apps. They discovered 44 different varieties in 300 apps downloaded by billions of people. My favorite 2017 project was covering the proliferation of clandestine tracking software found on popular Android apps, as discovered by French nonprofit Exodus Privacy & confirmed by researchers at Yale Privacy Lab.

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