Data Security: Clubhouse Security and Data Integrity Excitement?

February 15, 2021

Here in rural Kentucky “clubhouse” means a lower cost shack where some interesting characters gather. There are many “clubs” in rural Kentucky, and not many of them are into the digital flow of Silicon Valley. Some of those “members” do love the tweeter and similar real time, real “news” systems.

Imagine my surprise when I read Stanford Internet Observatory’s report from its Cyber Policy Center “Clubhouse in China: Is the Data Safe?” I thought that the estimable Stanford hired experts who knew that “data” is plural. Thus the headline from the highly intellectual SIPCPC would have written the headline “Clubhouse in China: Are the Data Safe?” (Even some of the members of the Harrod’s Creek moonshine club know that subject-verb agreement is preferred even for graduates of the local skill high school.

Let’s overlook the grammar and consider the “real” information in the write up. The write up has six authors. That’s quite a team.

The SIPCPC determined that Clubhouse uses software and services from a company based in Shanghai. The question is, “Does the Chinese government have access to the data flowing in the Clubhouse super select and awfully elite “conversations”?

The answer it turns out is, “Huh. What?”

Clubhouse was banned by the Chinese government. SIPCPC (I almost typed CCP but caught myself) and the response from the Clubhouse dances around the issue. There are assurances that Clubhouse is going to be more strong.

The only problem is that the SIPCPC and the Clubhouse write up skirt such topics as:

  • Implications of the SolarWinds’ misstep which operated for month prior to detection and there are zero indicators reporting that the breach and its malware have been put in the barn.
  • Intercept technology within data centers in many countries make it possible to capture information (bulk and targeted)
  • The decision to rely on Agora raises interesting implications about the judgment of the Clubhouse management team.

Net net: Interesting write up which casts an interesting light on the SIPCPC findings and the super zippy Clubhouse. If one cannot get subject verb agreement correct, what other issues have been ignored?

Stephen E Arnold, February 15, 2021

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