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by CSO Contributor

Nuclear Science Can Make Power or Bombs; Explosives-Laden Ship Seized off Greece; New California Law Forces Companies to Disclose Hacking; The Corporate Blog Is Catching On

Jun 23, 20034 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Nuclear Science Can Make Power or Bombs

Only eight nations are known to have nuclear weapons, but more than 20 others have nuclear-power reactors. A policy encouraging the spread of nuclear power goes back to 1953 and President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative. But, as a story in The Philadelphia Inquirer today reports, the same science can be harnessed to make power or make weapons. The Inquirer asks, Are there ways to allow peaceful use of nuclear power without increasing the risk of nuclear war? In the future, weapons inspections will become increasingly critical in preventing nuclear war, says physicist David Albright, a former inspector who now works at the nonprofit Institute for Science and International Security in Washington. This will be the case, he said, despite the Bush administration’s decision to cut short U.N. inspections in Iraq last fall. The Inquirer also quotes Steve Fetter, a physicist at the University of Maryland and former United Nations weapons inspector, who says that while inspections will help stem the threat, the world will need some new system to prevent nuclear war.Explosives-Laden Ship Seized off GreeceBBC News story today, a Comoros Island-registered freighter called The Baltic Sky was stormed by special forces off Greece’s western coast on Sunday, and found to be carrying 680 tons of explosives. Officials said the ship’s manifest showed that cargo was officially bound for a company with “a post office box in Khartoum (Sudan) that did not exist. Documents from the ship described the cargo as ANFO, a commercially-manufactured ammonia nitrate-based explosive usually used in mining, but the ship was carrying TNT. Also, the ship’s location when it was stopped suggested it was not heading towards Khartoum. It had apparently been sailing around the Mediterranean for six weeks before being impounded, according to the BBC. The crew of seven—five Ukrainians and two Azeris—have now been charged with possession and transport of explosives, and possible terrorist links will be investigated.

According to a

New California Law Forces Companies to Disclose today, when a retailer discovers its credit card numbers have been stolen, it must e-mail customers, essentially saying, We’ve been hacked, and the hacker may have your credit card number. Local politicians call the regulation the first of its kind in the United States, and it could become the model for a nationwide law. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (d-Calif.) plans to introduce similar legislation within a month. California’s new regulation contrasts with the Bush administration’s hands-off treatment of the technology industry, particularly when it comes to controversial e-commerce issues such as privacy and fraud, reports

Starting July 1, companies must warn California customers of security holes in their corporate computer networks. According to a story posted on

The Corporate Blog Is Catching OnNew York Times, the so-called blogosphere can also be a minefield. Saying the wrong thing or revealing trade secrets could come back to haunt a company. And public companies need to worry about disclosure rules. Some executives favor blogs because they see them as a way for chief executives to do an end run around the company’s public relations firms and “glossy brochures” and speak directly to customers and vendors. Because blogs are supposed to contain spontaneous, sometimes provocative musings, however, they may have trouble gaining favor at companies that want to control what is being disclosed. Once you get to the point where lawyers review everything in a blog, it ain’t a blog anymore,” the Times quotes John G. Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School, who keeps a blog himself.

For companies and executives, Web logs—or blogs—provide a way to talk informally to customers, vendors and employees. But,a ccording to a story in Sundays