5 of 20Image
Controversial cyber-security data sharing law passes the U.S. House
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, commonly referred to as CISPA, was a controversial security bill that eventually passed the U.S. Senate, despite being scrapped more than a year earlier.
Many considered the bill to be a major threat to Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. It would have allowed private sector firms to search personal and sensitive user data of ordinary U.S. residents to identify "threat information," which can then be shared with other opt-in firms and the U.S. government without the need for a court-ordered warrant.
It was hoped that the data could be used in real time to stop cyberattacks in their tracks, or even trace back to the source of the attack.
Despite the uproar and the concern by many, the fact that senators still passed the bill — even if it failed in the House — represented a disaster for citizen representation, as hundreds of thousands protested the bill.
Anonymous rages on: Hacks prevail, leaks continue
If you thought hacktivist group Anonymous had been relatively quiet this year, think again.
In January, the hacking group attacked the U.S. Sentencing Commission in an operation dubbed "Operation Last Resort." This led to the distribution of government files in apparent retaliation of hacktivist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide after facing a lengthy jail sentence many considered disproportionally large.
The federal authorities were left "stumbling" after the attack, which resulted in a number of government websites being down for days.
Later in the year, the loose-knit collective went on to attack networks that led to the publication of more than 4,000 separate bits of login information, credentials, IP addresses, and contact information of American bank executives.
It was a public relations nightmare for the U.S. government, which had already faced heavy criticism for its handling of the Swartz case. It was a show of force that led the government and others to realize the hacking collective may have been quiet during the year, but they haven't gone away — while at the same time pushing for changes to the law that would ultimately legally avenge the death of Swartz in a namesake law.
iOS 7 design change freaked out some people; suffers with bugs, security lapses
By now, the end of the year, many have overcome the "shock" of the new user interface to Apple's latest mobile platform, iOS 7.
But it caused enough of a stir at first to deter millions from upgrading immediately.
Many didn't upgrade immediately because it broke existing enterprise services. Some were warned off because the upgrade would cause device slow-downs. And, other bugs made the software near impossible to use for some. There were dozens of new features added in the update that saw a high level of uptake, but hardly rocket to the extent Apple wanted.
Now more than three months later, three-quarters of all devices are running iOS 7, a slower pace than earlier releases.
Some of the major issues boiled down to security. There was a bug seemingly every minute, and a security flaw with almost every minor update.
In one case, it was possible to bypass the lock screen and forward personal photos and contacts to other people.