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06.09.13

Links 9/6/2013: Android Tablets Domination, Many PRISM Links

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Lilbits (6-06-2013): Angry Birds on E Ink, Linux on Haswell

    I love watching people make hardware do things it wasn’t necessarily designed for. E Ink was designed for reading books, but it turns out you can also use it in a fully-functional tablet. And while Intel’s new 4th-generation Core processors were designed first and foremost to power computers running Windows, you can also run Android, Ubuntu or other operating systems.

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Linux Desktop

    How often do you stop to look at your desktop? I can honestly say, I look at my desktop more or less depending on what OS I’m using. Is that weird?

  • Distributions: The Evolution of Linux

    Having recently said goodbye to two really great distributions in Cinnarch (reborn as Antergos) and Fuduntu (replaced by FuSE Cloverleaf Linux), I was shocked at the number of people that still think there are too many Linux distributions out there. While I was sad to see these two great distributions go, I’m excited for what we’ll see in the future both because of these distributions and because of their teams. This is exactly how the Evolution of Linux works.

  • Tell people you use Linux

    But what if there are too many people, and you can’t talk to [all of] them really… But still want to get the message “I am a Linux user” delivered? In this case, put this message on something visible. Computer sticker, mug, pen – the options are there. And, of course, with this summer season asking us to change clothes to something light, T-shirt is a nice way to promote your favourite operating system too!

  • SphinUX OS Claims To Be ~150% Faster Than GNU/Linux

    SphinUX OS is an open-source POSIX-compatible operating system developed under the GPLv3 and running the Egyptian LSX Kernel Architecture. This open-source operating system claims to be much faster than Linux and that its memory usage can even be 3x less! This is an operating system with some of the most wildest performance claims we have ever seen.

    The SphinUX OS desktop operating system release supposedly performs around 150% better than GNU/Linux, which the developers describe as their closest rival in SpinUX results. The advertised system requirements for this operating system that uses the KDE desktop is a 333MHz CPU, 256MB of system memory, 10~20GB of disk space, and any graphics adapter.

  • AMD breaks from Windows exclusivity, adopts Android and Chrome OS
  • AMD will develop chips for Android and Chrome OS, but only if someone asks first

    AMD chips could make their way into tablets and laptops running Android and Chrome OS. According to PCWorld, AMD is willing to alter the design of its chips — which are currently tailored to run Windows 8 machines — and optimize them for other operating systems. However, it won’t be immediately going ahead with the plan. Instead, AMD appears to be interested in working with its partners on specific projects, rather than developing chips for broader availability.

  • Desktop

    • Checkbook NYC goes open source

      New York City Comptroller John C. Liu today published the source code for the Checkbook NYC financial transparency website, and announced several partnerships that will enable other governments to rapidly leverage New York City’s investment in order to create similar websites of their own. The announcements were made at an event held for the press during the 10th annual Personal Democracy Forum, currently underway in NYC.

    • Still More Work To Do

      Today, Walmart sent me an e-mail. It contained all kinds of links to wonderful stuff for Father’s Day. I am sad to report there is still very little choice of OS on their site… Of the hundreds of notebook computers offered, “7″, “8″, and XP were all over and there were just a few Chromebooks. No GNU/Linux at all. This is insane considering that they sell dozens of tablets running Android/Linux.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • SATO Launches Linux and Mac OS X Printer Drivers
    • The People Who Support Linux: Giving a Public System a Web Interface Lift

      As an IT manager for the Mt. Lebanon Municipality near Pittsburgh, PA, Nick Schalles recently faced a familiar but difficult problem for those maintaining public infrastructure. How could they update an old system to meet the new demands of the digital age and stay within a public agency budget?

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.10 (Part 1)

      Linux 3.10 sees improvements in the way lost packets at the end of TCP transactions are handled, speeding up HTTP data transfer. It also sees the addition of support for VLAN stacking and Realtek’s RTL8188EE wireless chip.

    • TPPS: A New Linux Kernel I/O Scheduler

      The Tiny Parallel Proportion Scheduler (TPPS) is a new I/O scheduler for Linux to appear on the kernel mailing list.

    • GStreamer 1.1.1 Draws In New Features, Plug-Ins

      Version 1.1.1 of GStreamer Core and Plugins have been released, which provide new features and plug-ins for this important open-source multimedia framework.

    • GStreamer 1.1.1 introduces new APIs and plugins

      The GStreamer project has announced the release of GStreamer 1.1.1, the latest release in the development branch of the open source media framework. The development branch offers insights into what the framework will offer in its next stable release, which will be 1.2.x. Changes from the last stable version, GStreamer 1.0 (currently at 1.0.7) include eight new APIs, a number of new plugins, improvements to the framework’s video handling and a number of bug fixes. The GStreamer 1.x series is not backwards compatible with the 0.10.x series, which is no longer being maintained.

    • The Linus and Dirk show

      Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel sat down at LinuxCon Japan 2013 for a “fireside chat” (sans fire), ostensibly to discuss where Linux is going. While they touched on that subject, the conversation was wide-ranging over both Linux and non-Linux topics, from privacy to diversity and from educational systems to how operating systems will look in 20-30 years. Some rather interesting questions—seemingly different from those that might be asked at a US or European conference—were asked along the way.

    • Linux Kernel 3.9.5 Is Now Available for Download

      A few minutes ago, Greg Kroah-Hartman happily announced that the fifth maintenance release for the stable Linux 3.9 kernel series is now available for download.

    • Allwinner SoC Still Unlikely For Upstream Linux Kernel

      While Allwinner ARM SoCs are found within massive amounts of the low-cost Android tablets manufactured in China, and there is some open-source Allwinner Linux kernel support, it’s still unlikely that the patches will land upstream anytime soon.

    • New stable kernels

      A new batch of stable kernel releases is available.

    • ARM Mali Mesa Driver, New Code & Overclocking

      The Lima driver is slowly but surely progressing for supporting ARM Mali graphics hardware in an open-source world. A Mesa driver has been started, their demo code can be faster than the binary driver, user-space memory management is being tackled, and evidently the management at ARM Holdings isn’t too happy.

    • KVM/MIPS: Implement hardware virtualization via the MIPS-VZ extensions.

      These patches take a somewhat different approach to MIPS virtualization via the MIPS-VZ extensions than the patches previously sent by Sanjay Lal.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Wayland Situation: Facts About X vs. Wayland

        With the continued speculation and FUD about the future of Wayland at a time when Canonical is investing heavily into their own Mir Display Server alternative, Eric Griffith with input from Daniel Stone have written an article for Phoronix where they lay out all the facts. The “Wayland Situation” is explained with first going over the failings of X, the fixings of Wayland, common misconceptions about X and Wayland, and then a few other advantages to Wayland. For anyone interested in X/Wayland or the Linux desktop at a technical level, it’s an article certainly worth reading!

      • Intel 2.21.9 X.Org Driver Calls Out More Regressions

        Chris Wilson of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center is back to pushing out xf86-video-intel driver updates at an expedited rate. Rather than the new releases being about advancing the SNA acceleration architecture or new features, the past few have been about correcting regressions and other bugs.

      • Weston 1.1.1 Release Brings Bug-Fixes

        As the first point release since the exciting release of Wayland/Weston 1.1, important bug-fixes have landed for the display protocol’s reference compositor.

      • Intel Graphics Get Ready For Linux 3.11 Kernel

        While the Linux 3.10 kernel hasn’t even been released yet, the Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers working on the Linux graphics stack already have a lot of worthwhile changes heading into the Linux 3.11 kernel.

      • VIA DRM Driver Finally Proposed For Mainline Linux

        It looks like with the Linux 3.11 kernel there is finally the potential for the VIA DRM graphics driver that’s long been in development to enter the mainline kernel source tree.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 Performance On Ubuntu Linux

        After delivering the Intel Core i7 4770K Haswell benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux this week already, which focused mostly on the processor performance, in this article are the first benchmarks of the Haswell OpenGL Linux performance. Testing was of the Intel HD Graphics 4600 graphics core found on the i7-4770K, which under Linux is supported by Intel’s open-source driver.

      • The Linux Evolution For Intel Haswell’s Performance

        While the Intel Haswell CPUs were just launched days ago, there’s already quite a Linux story to them. The Haswell CPU is interesting and the performance is good, but there’s still extra headroom to make especially when it comes to the graphics driver and performance relative to Intel’s Windows driver. Even so, the Intel Haswell Linux support has already evolved a great deal.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The state of FOSS Desktop Environments and Window Managers. Pt 1

      First off, I would like to preface this by saying that I am one of the Project leads for Cloverleaf Linux, which is a continuation of a design ideal from Fuduntu, the things I write here for FOSS Advocates are *my* opinion, and my opinion only, I am not speaking on behalf of Cloverleaf Linux, or it’s development team in any of my postings here, developing a distribution just tends to give a guy some insight into certain things… I would also like to say, that I am not a fan of GTK/Gnome, and haven’t ever been, *but* I am going to try to remain somewhat objective here.

    • Xfce Theme Manager: A Single GUI To Change Any Xfce Theme (With Previews)

      Xfce uses multiple settings GUIs for setting the window border, controls, icons, mouse cursor theme and so on and it doesn’t include any thumbnails. However, if you customize your Xfce desktop frequently, you can use a tool called Xfce Theme Manager which allows you to change the themes from a single GUI and it also includes thumbnails so you can see how the theme looks like before applying it.

    • New X DRI3 Extension Starts Working On GNOME, KDE

      Keith Packard has announced that the first of two new DRI3 (DRI3000) extensions for X.Org is working and the new extension can cooperate with the loading of the complete KDE and GNOME desktops.

      DRI3 (also known as “DRI3000″) is an update to the Direct Rendering Infrastructure that’s been talked about since last September when the X.Org crew were drinking beers in Bavaria.

    • The Snowy Desktop

      We’ve highlighted Dobbie03‘s linux desktops before, and they’ve all been great, but this week he’s changed things up a bit. There’s more useful data on-screen, ringed around the edges so it’s visible but doesn’t get in the way. The wallpaper and some themes are all you need to bring this desktop to your Linux system.

    • How-To: Make Xfce Like Unity
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A bit more about Artikulate
      • A bit more about Artikulate

        This post is to explain to the readers more about Artikulate. Artilkuate is the pronunciation trainer software for different languages. Currently supported languages are: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Catalan, Greek, British English and American English. The user can choose the language that he would like to perfectionate and follow the units prepared for this language course such as: Tourism, Alphabet, numbers, sports, etc. In each of the units the user can choose between practicing words, expressions, whole sentences or paragraphs (2-3 sentences) which all together are called phrases. The phrases are pre-recorded by native speakers and the user can listen to them. The user can also record himself speaking the same phrase and compare how close he is to a native version. There is also an option of practicing a particular phoneme that the user has particular difficulties with.

      • New Plasma scripting features in 4.11

        Since Martin blogged about the new scripting related features in kwin coming to 4.11 today, I figured that I would do the same for plasma-desktop.

      • New KWin Scripting Feature in 4.11
      • June Updates to KDE Plasma and Applications
      • KDE 4.10.4 Officially Released, Fixes over 50 Bugs

        The KDE Project happily announced last evening, June 4, the immediate availability for download and update of the fourth maintenance release for the KDE Software Compilation 4.10 desktop environment.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Sound Recorder mock-ups!

        Gnome Sound Recorder that is now considered to be obsolete, is on the way of finally returning as a new project through the hands of Meg Ford and Google Summer of Code 2013. Although the work is still on a very early phase, some mock-ups popped up in the last few days and along with those already existed for months now, they are forming a general logic behind the design we should expect.

      • New GNOME Control Center Unstable Release Brings Dozens of Features

        The GNOME Project announced a few days ago the immediate availability for download and testing of a new development release for the upcoming GNOME Control Center 3.10 application, which will be part of the GNOME 3.10 desktop environment.

      • One Week With GNOME 3 Classic: Days Six and Seven (Conclusions)
      • How to try GNOME OS ..yes GNOME OS ;)

        A while ago I had made that post “Welcome the 50GB RAM 32Cores GNOME OSTree Server“, which is basically a server that creates boot-able daily images of GNOME Desktop. Since then I forgot to give some info how you can try them.

        At this point -just to make clear- this is not about a GNOME Distro but about a testing platform. There isn’t an upgrade tool (like yum or apt-get) and is strongly recommended to do not use sensitive data (as SSH private keys) in this installation, as there aren’t any security updates.

      • GNOME 3.9.2 Is Now Ready for Testing

        Javier Jardón Cabezas from the GNOME Release Team announced a couple of days ago that the second development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.10 desktop environment is ready for download and testing.

      • Telling GNOME’s Story

        The 2013 GNOME Marketing hackfest finished yesterday. We did many things over the course of the three day event: we updated the design of the website, discussed new outreach initiatives and planned how to clean up the marketing wiki pages. But our main focus was the development of a clear story for the GNOME Project. We spent a long time talking about why GNOME is important and how we think that contributors think and feel about what they do.

        We refined and defined these ideas, pulled them together to form an integrated identity, and started the work of translating them into text and pictures with which they can be communicated.

  • Distributions

    • Meet Puppy Linux

      Many geeks know about Puppy Linux and use it for their daily needs, but there are many others that have not heard about Puppy. Puppy is an extremely small Linux operating system in which its main goal is to stay small and fulfill all daily user’s needs.

    • Review: Semplice 4 “Atom Heart Mother”

      A couple of people have asked in comments (especially of my review of #! 11 “Waldorf”) that I review Semplice. I took a look at its website and was pretty intrigued, so here is the review.

    • Void Linux: A Rolling-Release Distro From Scratch

      Void Linux is a rolling-release Linux distribution that focuses upon speed, reliability, and flexibility. Void Linux deploys is built from scratch, deploys its own XBPS package manager, and builds upon existing packages like systemd and DKMS.

    • New Releases

      • TurnKey 12.1
      • Clonezilla 2.1.2-11
      • ROSA Presents ROSA Desktop R1

        Yesterday the ROSA Company announced the release of ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, “a new name distribution based on the ROSA Fresh platform.” The announcement explained that this new “R” series is for “advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality.”

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R1: For advanced users, but even better for new users

        Summary: This article is about ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, a “new” Linux desktop edition from ROSA Laboratory, a Linux software provider based in Moscow, Russia.

        I’m always on the search for desktop distributions that make computing very easy for new users. Whether such distributions use GNOME or KDE or any other desktop environment, if they are new user-friendly, I love to take them out for a spin.

      • SystemRescueCd 3.7.0 Includes Linux Kernel 3.9.4

        François Dupoux proudly announced last evening, June 5, the immediate availability for download of the SystemRescueCd 3.7.0 Linux-based operating system, which can be used for rescue and recovery tasks.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2013…What it might look like

        Because of all the problems that Mandriva experienced, many people have assumed that the distro is quite dead by now. However, the foundation OpenMandriva has been busy gathering infrastructure, collecting historical releases, organizing teams and basically, doing everything that they must not to let the distro that freed many from Redmond’s OS disappear.

      • They Make Mageia – the Sysadmin team : Installation and configuration of software on Mageia servers

        In the Mageia project the sysadmin team is responsible for the setup and maintenance of all the Mageia infrastructure, for users and contributors alike. To help people understand what this team does, and to share some ideas with other sysadmins, we will publish a series of posts to explain the things that we do.

      • New videos for Mandriva Pulse 2

        As the next release of Pulse 2 is almost out of the door Mandriva has uploaded a set of videos showing Pulse 2, its management software for heterogenous and distributed I.T. infrastructures.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Gluster Community and New Charter Members Take Next Step in Driving Open Software-Defined Storage Innovation

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that seven charter member organizations have signed letters of intent to join the Gluster Community, the leading open source community for open software-defined storage. This marks the second major expansion of the Gluster Community in recent weeks and follows the expansion from a single project, GlusterFS, into multiple projects under the Gluster Community umbrella.

      • OpenStack Cloud Builder Mirantis Raises $10M In Second A Round From Red Hat, Ericsson And SAP Ventures
      • Red Hat Promotes GlusterFS Distributed Storage System

        In a move that underlines the growing importance of distributed storage systems to the growth of open source in the Big Data and cloud computing worlds, Red Hat (RHT) announced this week the launch of the Gluster Community, a new consortium of organizations with stakes in open storage systems. And the identities of the charter members say a lot about where exactly this niche is headed.

      • Red Hat discloses RHEL roadmap

        We think that people who are accustomed to Gnome 2 will use classic mode until they’re ready to experiment with modern mode. Classic mode is going to be the default for RHEL 7, and we’re in the final stages now. We’re tweaking it and having people experiment with it. The last thing we want to do is disrupt our customers’ workflows.

      • Red Hat betas web-developer tool collection

        Red Hat has released a beta of its new Software Collections 1.0 add-on package for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, which is designed to help web application developers by packaging together dynamic languages and databases. The 1.0 version of the collection contains Ruby 1.9.3 with Rails 3.2.8, Python versions 2.7 and 3.3, PHP 5.4, Perl 5.16.3, and a technology preview of node.js 0.10, which can be coupled with stable versions of MariaDB 5.5, MySQL 5.5 or PostgreSQL 9.2, all of which are also included. These versions are a lot newer than the versions that come with RHEL 6 – most of the programs in RHEL 6 are around the same versions as they were when RHEL 6 was released in November 2010.

      • Red Hat packages newer versions of Ruby, Python

        Red Hat has put out a beta release of Software Collections 1.0, in a bid to let developers use newer versions of languages such as Ruby and Python with support.

        For certain applications, a more recent version of a language than what’s included in the base Enterprise Linux (RHEL) system is needed, according to Red Hat. Software Collections 1.0 is the first in a series of releases designed to allow developers to take advantage of new capabilities in their web apps faster with the safety net of support from Red Hat, it said.

      • Red Hat announces ceremony date surrounding office tower

        Open source software giant Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) has publicly announced a date for the ribbon cutting at Red Hat Tower, formerly the Progress Energy building.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Day One: Installation

          So far my first day with Fedora 18 has been quite a pleasant experience. However, I’ve been doing nothing but installing and configuring the OS instead of actually doing any real work. So far I have all my data moved over, some applications installed, and some basic tweaks to the system.

        • Fedora 19 XFCE + Compiz

          Recently I decided to make it effective XFCE desktop so and on XFCE Desktop If we wanna activate compiz and emerald effects. That’s easy now.

        • The heroes of Fedora 19 Beta testing

          Fedora 19 Beta was released last week. As usual, here are some interesting statistics from different areas of our testing efforts. No matter how large your contribution was, if you’ve helped us, thank you.

        • A Look Ahead to Fedora 19

          Fedora 19 is the community-supported Linux distribution that is often used as a testing ground for features that eventually find their way into the Red Hat Enterprise Linux commercial distribution and its widely used noncommercial twin, CentOS. Both distributions are enormously popular on servers and so it’s often instructive for sysadmins to keep an eye on what’s happening with Fedora.

          Fedora prides itself on being at the bleeding edge of Linux software, so all the cool new features tend to get implemented there before they are included in Ubuntu and the other popular distros.

        • Fedora’s DNF May Have App Store

          Following Rahul Sundaram’s recent update on DNF, the new Fedora software manager, comes Richard Hughes and his bullet points on the subject. A lot of brains were stormed in the making of this list and it appears that “users” are first in mind.

        • Fedora Day Two: Customisation
        • Fedora 19 Installer Comes For Google Nexus 4

          An installer has come about to easily install Fedora 19 for ARM on the unlocked Google Nexus 4 smart-phone.

        • fedora 19 installer for nexus4
        • Korora 19 (Bruce) beta is out
        • Weekly Fedora kernel bug statistics – June 07 2013
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Phone Video Demo

            Today I recorded a video demo of Ubuntu running on the Galaxy Nexus and showcasing much of the progress in May to turn the phone into a usable daily phone for early testers. The demo shows recieving a call and text, web browser, social networking integration, multitasting, a number of the apps, messaging menu, and more.

          • Ubuntu Touch progress shown off in latest video

            A lot has changed since the first images of the phone were released. The phone functionality, for instance, actually works this time. The video gives us a look at a number of things, including gestures, a couple of the native apps and notifications. As we’ve heard before, Ubuntu for mobile will use the Unity launcher—the same interface that is used in the desktop version of Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Tweak ready for Ubuntu 13.04
          • Ubuntu 13.10 to Bring Vastly Improved Unity Dash with 50 New Scopes

            The “Unity Dash” in Ubuntu has always been designed around the goal of delivering relevant information to the user, but come version 13.10, due out in October, things are about to become vastly improved. With that release will come 50 brand-new “Scopes”, along with a “SmartScope” filtering service. With these, users will be able to fine-tune their results like never before, and also access a bunch of information that wasn’t previously possible.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Unity Desktop Privacy Settings

            Ubuntu is taking further steps toward online integration, and it appears that these changes will continue. The last few Ubuntu releases left several users concerned about their privacy and security, but control is still in the hands of the user. Here, I will point out some of the privacy settings that will keep your data safe. 13.04 brought few significant changes for privacy settings, but more upgrades are expected for 13.10.

            [...]

            When this option is turned on, users will see Amazon listings in their dash search results.

          • Ubuntu Phone OS now supports cellular data, social sharing, more

            Ubuntu Phone OS is a Linux-based operating system for smartphones and touchscreen devices such as tablets, and it’s still very much a work in progress. When the developers at Canonical started showing off Ubuntu Phone OS in January, it didn’t support phone calls, cellular data, or much of anything else. It didn’t even really run any apps.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Readies Arrival of Smarter Unity Dash

            Unity’s much-delayed Smart Scopes Service is preparing to land in the daily builds of Ubuntu 13.10.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.5 Fixes Ubuntu 13.04 Issues

            Ubuntu Tweak, a very useful utility designed for Ubuntu users who want to tweak various aspects of their open source operating system, reached version 0.8.5, as announced by its developer, Tualatrix Chou.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Touch Manager
          • The Current State, Preview Of The Ubuntu Phone

            For those that haven’t yet tried out the Ubuntu Phone first hand by loading it onto one of the supported devices, here’s a video of the latest Ubuntu Phone version on the Galaxy Nexus smart-phone.

          • Ubuntu Touch progress shown off in latest video

            A lot has changed since the first images of the phone were released. The phone functionality, for instance, actually works this time. The video gives us a look at a number of things, including gestures, a couple of the native apps and notifications. As we’ve heard before, Ubuntu for mobile will use the Unity launcher—the same interface that is used in the desktop version of Ubuntu.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

              Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” has been released so it’s time for another review of one of the most popular distros of all time. Linux Mint has always been one of my favorite distros, it has so much to offer any desktop linux user. This release doesn’t disappoint either. There’s quite a bit here for fans of Linux Mint, and it’s almost certain that most of them will want to upgrade to Linux Mint 15.

            • Linux Mint 16 Will Have Cinnamon 2.0

              In a recent interview for the Linux User & Developer magazine, Clement Lefebvre, revealed some of the goals for the next major release of the Linux Mint operating system.

              When asked by the Linux User & Developer magazine reporter whether the upcoming Linux Mint 16 will include the Cinnamon 2.0 desktop environment, Clement Lefebvre answered yes, revealing that this is definitely on their to-do list.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi’s Father Speaks: Eben Upton On The Future of Technology And More

      Enthusiasm radiates from Eben Upton. By day he’s the Technical Director and ASIC architect for Broadcom. By night, and on weekends, he’s the driving force behind the Raspberry Pi, that small computer that has been revolutionising hobbyist computing and the future of technology itself since its launch in 2012.

    • Raspberry Pi gets new installation system

      A new installation system for the Raspberry Pi that allows users to experiment more easily with different Linux systems on the device has been released. Called NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software), the software installs onto a 4GB or larger SD card and offers a choice of operating systems to install on first boot.

    • Young maker says Raspberry Pi is way to go

      A few weeks ago I was able to attend the Mini Maker Faire in Cleveland, Ohio where I got to meet with local makers and discuss a variety of subjects including Raspberry Pi, 3D Printing, and programming. One of the highlights of my trip there was meeting Dave and Lauren Egts. Lauren was there presenting on the Scratch Game she designed: The Great Guinea Pig Escape.

    • BeagleBone Black: Walking the dog.

      My software guy with a soldering iron fun has recently extended to the BeagleBone Black. This is a wonderful little ARM machine with a 1Ghz CPU, a whole bunch of GPIO pins, I2C, SPI, AIN.. all the fun things packed into a $45 board.

    • Raspberry Pi offers free software for newbies

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation has introduced free software designed to get people using the tiny Linux-based computing more quickly.

      New Out of Box Software (NOOBS) has been developed with first time users in mind.

      “We don’t want people to put their Raspberry Pi down in horror after five minutes,” says the team.

      Partners will ultimately start offering SD cards pre-installed with NOOBS, but the download link at http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads exists for now.

    • NOOBS: A New Way to Begin Using Raspberry Pi

      As funny as the name may sound, NOOBS (New Out of Box Software) is actually designed to get newbies comfortable with their first-time exploits of the wonderful little Pi. The Raspberry Pi Foundation released NOOBS to ease the installation of one of four most popular operating systems for the Pi out there.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Report Finds Open Source Software Quality Better than Industry Average
  • Web Browsers

    • SlateKit 0.2 Shell Improves Its Web-Browser

      Last month I wrote about SlateKit Shell, a new Qt5/QML web-browser using WebKit and written entirely in QML and JavaScript. The second release of SlateKit is now out there for those entertained by this mobile-oriented open-source browser.

      Ping-Hsun Chen, the lead developer of SlateKit, wrote into Phoronix with details about their new SlateKit 0.2 release. Features include:

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla is planning a major design overhaul with the release of Firefox 25 in October: Here’s a quick peek

        Mozilla is planning a major design overhaul of its flagship browser with the release of Firefox 25, slated to arrive in October. The company makes a point to discuss its plans for changes openly, and this upcoming new version is by no means an exception.

      • Meeting Mr Firefox: Johnathan Nightingale

        Mozilla and its central Firefox project are themes that I have returned to often on this blog. That’s not so surprising: Mozilla is one of the oldest free software projects, starting back in 1998 when Netscape stunned the world by announcing that it would open up its key product, Netscape Navigator.

      • Firefox OS to Arrive at the Low End — Then Spread Out

        Back in April, Mozilla officials made clear that their plans for the first crop of phones based on Firefox OS would be focused on five global markets: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Since then, there have been announcements of expanded plans to deliver phones in Latin America, and Foxconn has announced a broad partnerhship with Mozilla to deliver smartphones, television sets and large display boards based on the mobile operating system.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Lightweight Alternatives to WordPress

      Now don’t get me wrong, WordPress is one of my favorite applications. With good reason, it is a high quality, open source blog publishing application. It is a mature and highly polished application with development starting a decade ago, and it has an active community. The largest self-host blogging tool, a full content management system, which can be extended through thousands of widgets, plugins, and themes, is a good fit for many projects. The software was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL.

  • Education

    • Stanford and edX Collaborate on Open Source edX Platform

      When we launched edX with Harvard and MIT, one of our core beliefs was that the online learning platform we were building should be freely available to students and institutions everywhere. This belief went beyond the open access typical of massively open online courses (MOOCs). Not only did we believe our courses should be freely available, we wanted the platform technology itself to be open sourced and available to all.

    • EdX Open Sources Its Super-Influential Online Learning Platform

      EdX, a non-profit online learning organization with nearly 30 global institutions under the xConsortium participating, has been a leader in the free online education arena for several years. As of June 1, the organization has released the code for its learning platform under an open source license. The goal is to get developers to contribute to a next-generation online learning platform that can be best-of-breed. Given the success that EdX has had with institutions ranging from MIT to U.C. Berkeley to Stanford, this could be a fruitful pursuit.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.4

      FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE is now available. Please be sure to check the Release Notes (detailed version) and Release Errata before installation for any late-breaking news and/or issues with 8.4. More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.

    • FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE Available

      The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE. This is the fifth release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.3 and introduces some new features.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government


    • Award for Czech open source library content management system Kramerius

      Kramerius, an open source database application and content management system was award this year’s Infoforum Award, at the eponymous conference, which took place in Prague on 21 May. “The award is for most important and the best Czech or Slovak product, service or action related to electronic information resources.”

    • Finnish education board funds open source cloud services for schools

      Finland’s Board of Education is funding the maintenance and enhancement of a school network, called Dream School. The network enables participating schools to procure open technologies, including solutions based on open source.

    • The New York City Comptroller Built a Fiscal Transparency Website, and Now It’s Open Source

      The source code of New York City’s Checkbook NYC platform is now available for other governments to download, modify and reuse, New York City Comptroller John Liu announced during Thursday’s Personal Democracy Forum.

      Checkbook NYC is a web application that presents data from the city’s financial management systems online. Users can view or download information about city spending, broken down by agency or vendor, for example. In addition, information about contracts, payroll and disbursements is linked together, rather than existing in separate silos. It also offers API access that developers can use to build other applications on top of raw data about city spending, as well as bulk data downloads. The comptroller’s office has also promised to make city income data available on the platform soon.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Python Software Foundation publishes Code of Conduct

      After approving a Code of Conduct (CoC) for its community in April, the Python Software Foundation (PSF) has now published the text of the guidelines. The PSF’s Code of Conduct is partly based on similar documents that have been adopted by the Ubuntu and Fedora communities. The foundation also points out that the newly adopted document is separate from the PyCon Code of Conduct, which is “an entirely different document, written for use at an in-person conference.”

    • LLVM May Expand Its Use Of The Loop Vectorizer

      LLVM’s Loop Vectorizer, which is able to automatically vectorize code loops for performance benefits in many scenarios, may find its use expanded for other optimization levels in future LLVM releases.

    • An Important Radeon R600 Change In LLVM 3.4

      While LLVM 3.3 hasn’t even been released yet, there’s already an important change found in LLVM 3.4 for Radeon R600 GPU users.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google re-opens CalDAV

      When Google announced on March 13th that it would no longer be supporting the CalDAV application programming interface (API), developers were not happy. In early June, Google reconsidered its position and re-opened CalDAV and, to top it off, Google said they’d be opening CardDAV’s API as well.

    • Feds propose agency requirement to support Open Document Format

      The once mighty proprietary influence of Microsoft over government software and operating environment standards has been dealt a further blow after the Australian Government Information Management Office revealed that it now wants the Open Document Format to be supported as a file standard in productivity application suites used by most federal agencies.

    • New HTML 5.1 working draft released

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has presented a new working draft for the HTML markup language; version 5.1 of the markup language is currently being developed. A draft of a second document describes the differences between the current state of development and the previous major version, HTML 4. This second draft lists all details that affect HTML5, or its HTML 5.1 update, compared to HTML4 in chronological order.

    • Google’s calendar API stays open for everyone

      Google has announced that it will not go ahead with its earlier plans to restrict API access to its Calendar product to registered developers. Access through the CalDAV protocol will stay open for everyone, says Google Tech Lead Piotr Stanczyk in the company’s Developers Blog. “We received many requests for access to CalDAV, giving us a better understanding of developers’ use cases and causing us to revisit that decision,” Stanczyk says.

    • Google continues CalDav support for everyone, now also adds CardDav

      A couple of weeks ago Google announced that they would restrict CalDav access to their calendars to registered developers only. That resulted in a huge uproar among developers, users and open standards advocates and made many people wondering if Google will become a closed standards/software company in the future.

Leftovers

  • Prosecutor poses as accused killer’s ex-girlfriend on Facebook, fired

    An Ohio prosecutor believes that he must break two witnesses’ alibis in a murder case. He goes on Facebook, pretends to be the accused’s ex-girlfriend and tries to contact the witnesses. His bosses aren’t impressed.

  • Science

    • Dan Brown: Video Games Lead To Violence

      Let’s get the obvious out of the way: an exhaustive look at the research into the question of violence and its relation to video games should probably be labeled inconclusive, with a nod to a ton of research that says there is simply no link. I can’t say for certain that Brown is simply shooting from the hip, here, without really researching what he’s putting out for public consumption, but I will say that he’s demonstrated the ability to do so with his books.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Drugs Are Barely An Improvement Over Decades-Old Standbys, Study Finds

      Despite the more than $50 billion that U.S. pharmaceutical companies have spent every year since the mid-2000s to discover new medications, drugmakers have barely improved on old standbys developed decades ago.

    • Tobacco industry-commissioned report: large decline in EU consumption, almost no change in illegal trade

      On April 17, 2013 Philip Morris International (PMI) issued a press release, based on an annual study conducted by KPMG. PMI claimed the most significant finding of the study is that: “For the sixth year in a row, the illegal trade of cigarettes in the European Union reached a new record high: in 2012 the levels rose to 11.1%, compared to 10.4% in 2011.”

      However, further analysis tells a different story. It is true the numbers show that proportion of illegal sales increased as a percentage of total tobacco sales; however this is actually due to an overall decline in the EU tobacco market. The volume of the illegal cigarette trade has barely changed.

    • OCA and Our Allies Pressure 10 Senators Who Voted Against States’ Rights to Label GMOs

      eventy-one senators voted against the Sanders Amendment to the Farm Bill, an amendment to uphold states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food.

      It’s time to take action. The Organic Consumers Association has selected 10 of the 71 senators (listed below). With help from several of our ongoing allies in the GMO labeling battle, along with MoveOn.org, and some of the state GMO campaigns, we’re launching a campaign to start pressuring these 10 senators to support their state’s right to enact a GMO labeling law.

    • Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out On The Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food

      I retired 10 years ago after a long career as a research scientist for Agriculture Canada. When I was on the payroll, I was the designated scientist of my institute to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, however, a growing body of scientific research – done mostly in Europe, Russia, and other countries – showing that diets containing engineered corn or soya cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats.

    • Monsanto Says Rogue Wheat in Oregon May Be Sabotage

      Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, said experimental wheat engineered to survive Roundup weedkiller may have gotten into an Oregon field through an “accidental or purposeful” act.

      Monsanto and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are investigating how genetically modified wheat that hasn’t been approved for commercial planting was found growing on an Oregon farm eight years after nationwide field tests ended.

    • G8 Hunger Summit demo

      This is part of what is called the New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition (called at the G8 last year). In actual fact, this New Alliance is going to be the vehicle to spread land grabbing and genetically modified crops across the African agricultural economy. African countries are going to be signed up to aid conditionalities that will open them up for private takeover of their land and seeds and further resource extraction. Civil society in Africa is not being consulted; their demands would be to put power into the hands of small producers not large corporations.

    • Meet a plasticarian (that’s a person who does not use plastic)

      The staff might not have come across a person trying to live a plastic-free life before, but it is likely they will again. The ubiquitous material, found in or on everything from your toothbrush and your shampoo bottle to your ready meals and your computer, has become the subject of international scrutiny. And consumers are listening.

      The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) issued startling advice last week, warning pregnant women to take a “precautionary approach” and avoid food in plastic containers or cans where possible. The report highlighted “endocrine-disrupters” found in certain plastics, including Bisphenol A plastics (BPAs) and phthalates, which can disrupt normal foetal development. BPA has also been linked to breast and prostate cancer, heart disease and sexual dysfunctions. The RCOG report noted that there was “considerable uncertainty about the risks of chemical exposure”.

  • Security

    • Linux Non Root Exploits – 4 Ways In which Even A Normal User Can Cause Real Damage To Your Linux System
    • Why we need an Anti-Virus in Linux?

      The definition of a Computer Virus is kinda unclear according to Wikipedia: “A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another” and instead by Virus definition I will include all the types of malware (viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware).

      By Malware Wikipedia defines: “Malware, short for malicious (or malevolent) software, is software used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems”.

    • Apache Struts gets another important security fix

      Just a week ago, the Apache Struts developers released an important security fix which has now been followed by another important fix for a highly critical security flaw in the web framework. The vulnerability being closed is a combination of two problems. The framework allows action mapping based on wildcards and when a request doesn’t match an action, it tries to load a JSP file based on the name of the action. That name can be treated as an OGNL expression and in turn, that allows an attacker to execute Java code on the server side.

    • Serious vulnerabilities in QNAP storage and surveillance systems

      Many of QNAP’s NAS products are affected by security problems that, when combined, potentially allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands on a system at administrator privilege level – at worst, even via the internet. Apart from pure network storage systems, this particularly affects QNAP Security’s VioStor video surveillance systems.

    • China has ‘mountains of data’ about U.S. cyber attacks: official

      China’s top Internet security official says he has “mountains of data” pointing to extensive U.S. hacking aimed at China, but it would be irresponsible to blame Washington for such attacks, and called for greater cooperation to fight hacking.

    • Police admit they’re ‘stumped’ by mystery car thefts

      This is a real mystery. You think when you lock your car and set the alarm, your car is pretty safe. But criminals have designed a new high-tech gadget giving them full access to your car. It’s so easy, it’s like the criminals have your actual door remote. Police are so baffled they want to see if you can help crack the case.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Latest Leak: Obama Wants A List Of Countries To Cyberattack
    • Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

      Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.

    • Ex-CIA boss accused of ‘leaking’ Osama raid details to writer of Zero Dark Thirty

      Wellington, June 6 (ANI): Former CIA Director Leon Panetta has been accused of violating security rules by revealing the name of the commander of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to the writer of the film Zero Dark Thirty, according to US Defense Department investigators.

    • The FBI Raided Steubenville Anonymous Guy’s House. Here He Is.

      According to the warrant obtained by Gawker, FBI agents were looking for evidence related to the hacking of Rollredroll.com—the website of a Steubenville High School booster club that was defaced during the height of the Steubenville campaign—and the unauthorized access of the webmaster’s email address. Rollredroll.com webmaster James Park’s email account was broken into, and many of his private emails dumped online. In February, a hacker named Batcat took responsibility for the hack in an article in the Steubenville Herald-Star. He claimed he hacked Rollredroll.com in 15 minutes by guessing Jim Parks’ password security question, after being approached by KYAnonymous.

      In a statement posted on his website, Lostutter described the raid: “As I open the door to great the driver approximately 12 F.B.I. Swat Team agents jumped out of the truck screaming for me to ‘Get The Fuck Down’ with m-16 assault rifles and full riot gear armed.”

    • Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rape Case Could Spend More Time Behind Bars Than The Rapists

      The Steubenville rape case, in which two high school football players were convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl at a party, helped spark a national conversation about consent, victim-blaming, and rape culture. The case gained national attention after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous leaked significant social media evidence implicating the assailants — including tweets, Instagram photos, and a 12-minute video of Steubenville high schoolers joking about the rape. But it turns out that working to expose those rapists may land one Anonymous hacker more time in prison than the rapists themselves will serve.

    • Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rape Case Could Spend More Time Behind Bars Than The Rapists

      The Steubenville rape case, in which two high school football players were convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl at a party, helped spark a national conversation about consent, victim-blaming, and rape culture. The case gained national attention after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous leaked significant social media evidence implicating the assailants — including tweets, Instagram photos, and a 12-minute video of Steubenville high schoolers joking about the rape. But it turns out that working to expose those rapists may land one Anonymous hacker more time in prison than the rapists themselves will serve.

    • Philly Closes 23 Public Schools, Generously Builds $400 Million Prison Where Kids Can Hang Instead

      Philadelphia is so broke the city is closing 23 public schools, never mind that it has the cash to build a $400 million prison.

      Construction on the penitentiary said to be “the second-most expensive state project ever” began just days after the Pennsylvania School Reform Commission voted down a plan to close only four of the 27 schools scheduled to die. Facing a $304 million debt, the Commission instead approved a measly $2.4 billion budget that would shut down 23 public schools, wiping out roughly 10% of the city’s total.

    • Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents
    • Woman in red dress, sprayed with tear gas by masked policeman, becomes symbol for Turkish protesters

      In her red cotton summer dress, necklace and white bag slung over her shoulder she might have been floating across the lawn at a garden party; but before her crouches a masked policeman firing tear gas spray that sends her long hair billowing upwards.

      Taken in Taksim Square in central Istanbul, the image has been endlessly shared on social media.

      The woman in red has even been replicated as a cartoon on posters and stickers and has become a symbol for female protesters during days of violent anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul.

      Some posters show the woman towering over a police officer and say “the more they spray, the bigger we get.”

    • New York Anarchist Jerry Koch Is in Jail for Refusing to Testify Before Grand Jury

      A New York anarchist has been jailed for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury about his political beliefs, his friends, and the legal support he provided to Occupy Wall Street.

      Gerald “Jerry” Koch, 24, was subpoenaed before a grand jury that is believed to be investigating the 2008 explosion outside a military recruitment center in Times Square. The blast damaged the front door of the center and injured no one, but the FBI began a “terrorism” investigation of local anarchists.

      Koch isn’t accused of this crime—or any other crime.Prosecutors told his lawyers that they think he was at a bar in 2008 or 2009, after the bombing, and that someone else at the bar knew about another person who was involved. Koch was subpoenaed to a grand jury in 2009—when he was only 19—and publicly stated that he didn’t know anything about it and wouldn’t cooperate.

    • How Many Iraqis Died in the Iraq War?

      How many Iraqis died in the Iraq War? That’s the kind of question that should be asked, especially if you happen to live in the countries that launched the war that killed so many.

    • HASC approves anti-China equipment language in fiscal 2014 NDAA

      The House Armed Services Committee approved June 6 a national defense authorization act for the coming fiscal year that includes language critics say would likely lead to the exclusion of Chinese-manufactured electronic parts from the defense industrial base, including in unclassified networks.

    • Pakistan Officials Say US Drone Strike Kills 7

      During his campaign, he sometimes criticized the U.S. and its policy of using drones to kill militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Speaking to parliament earlier this week, he once again called for an end to the drone policy.

    • U.S. Drone Strike Kills at Least 7 in Pakistan as New Prime Minister Announces Cabinet

      During his campaign, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif often criticized the United States for using drone aircraft to kill militants.

      The drones that struck Friday targeted a house in Mangroti village in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, the tribal region straddling the border with Afghanistan. The identities of the victims were not immediately known, but an intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described them as militants.

    • First since Nawaz sworn in as PM, US drone kills 7

      The drone fired two missiles which hit a compound in Shokhel village in Shawal area, more than 100 kms southwest of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, which is known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
      “The US drone fired two missiles targeting a militant compound and killing at least seven militants”, a senior local security official told AFP.

    • Q&A with Jeremy Scahill on drones, counterterrorism and ‘Dirty Wars’

      Jeremy Scahill is an investigative correspondent for The Nation magazine and has reported from hot spots around the world including Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. “Dirty Wars,” a new documentary on U.S. covert wars based on Scahill’s book of the same name, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is set for release in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, June 7. Yahoo News recently spoke to Scahill about drones policy, President Barack Obama’s recent speech on U.S. counterterrorism policy, and what Scahill believes are the greatest security threats still facing the U.S.

    • Africa: The Frontier That Drones Can Never Cross

      Waging war without any declaration is now facilitated by drones. But there are limits that drones can never cross, as machines can never handle sociopolitical contradictions. Initiating counter-moves against political maneuvers is beyond the capacity of machines.

    • EXCLUSIVE: CIA didn’t always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show

      The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.

      About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as “other militants,” the documents detail. The “other militants” label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security.

    • Drone strikes: For better or for worse?

      However, whatever the case may be, I as a Pakistani, still find the topic of drones confusing because on one hand, the foreign office issues open protest after every drone attack and on the other hand we have ex-rulers like Pervez Musharraf conceding that the government had tacit drone agreements with the Americans.

    • Drones mean RAF Waddington could become a new Greenham Common

      We pulled up to the peace caravan, Simon and I, his maroon taxi making its diesel noises, which is the only way I can account for the speed with which the police caught up with us. RAF Waddington spreads across the road, its planes sharp-nosed and incongruously aggressive against the Lincolnshire countryside. We didn’t see any drones.

    • UN drone investigator expecting ‘dramatic’ decrease in US strikes

      Ben Emmerson tells the Guardian drone use likely to be curbed in coming months as program shifts from CIA to US military

    • Protest at the proposed drone command center

      The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced on March 19, that the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, located at Horsham Air Guard Station, will take on ground control for the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system starting Oct. 1.

    • ‘Drone strikes in Pakistan completely negate the right to life’

      When President Obama tells people that drones are more humane weapons, he tries to be a good salesman for the weapon, but forgets that it’s a weapon which kills, Shahzad Akbar, a human rights lawyer representing drone victims, told RT.

      Shahzad Akbar, Director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, and a member of the British human rights organization Reprieve, is a human rights lawyer representing drone victims in a criminal case against US officials.

    • Thank God for Drones

      Now some say hellish robotic gunfire raining down from the sky will cause an eradication of our civil liberties. But I say why is that bad?

      In the old days, cops needed warrants to take you into custody, and had to read you your rights before questioning. But that is so last century. And time-consuming! I’m sure the military wanted Drones to question people from 2000 feet but they just don’t have an app for that yet. I am told by a credible source that they do have several missiles with some excellent questions written on them.

      So if you’re accidentally killed for suspicious behavior and targeted for your high internet bandwidth, regardless if it’s for terrorism or a shopping spree on Amazon, you probably deserved it. We can sort out all those annoying accuracy factoids about your death later after we get some kill numbers up to show the system works! Just remember as you’re taken down on main street by those unseen snipers in the sky — to think of those job numbers! You’ve helped them go up!

    • The Lushest ever drone attack

      A dramatic protest against drone warfare took place on Cornmarket on Saturday of 6th week.

      The protest was staged by the Lush cosmetic store. A loudspeaker was used to stimulate a drone attack, and Lush employees, one by one, fell to the ground and acted dead. White chalk was then used to draw around each of these individuals.

      The campaign was designed to raise awareness of the American military’s use of drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

    • Drone protest hits the Quad-Cities

      The protest is being called “Covering Ground to Ground the Drones,” and it will leave from Rock Island on Monday.

    • Lawlessness of drones coming to haunt US?

      DID the FBI execute Ibragim Todashev? He appears to have been shot seven times while being interviewed at home in Orlando, Florida, about his connection to one of the Boston bombing suspects. Among the shots was the assassin’s hallmark: a bullet to the back of the head. What kind of an interview was it?

      An irregular one. There was no lawyer present. It was not recorded. By the time Todashev was shot, he had apparently been interrogated by three agents for five hours. And then? Who knows? First, we were told, he lunged at them with a knife. How he acquired it, five hours into a police interview, was not explained. How he posed such a threat while recovering from a knee operation also remains perplexing.

    • Who’s the US Killing in Pakistan? Even the CIA Doesn’t Know

      The CIA didn’t know who it was killing about 25 percent of the time it targeted suspects with drones, NBC News reports. Still, the government insists, all of those unknown people definitely deserved to die. According to classified CIA documents, only one of about 600 people the CIA killed in Pakistan in a 14-month period beginning in September 2010 was a civilian, and therefore was not a proper target.

    • Leon Panetta May Have Been the One Who Spilled CIA Secrets to Hollywood Filmmakers
    • CIA invests in robot writers

      The CIA says that it has spent a small fortune on software which can look at all the facts and write reports on them.

    • Exposed: New website reveals extent of secret CIA flight network

      A team of academics have launched the world’s largest interactive database detailing suspected CIA rendition flights, many of which may have transported detainees to Guantanamo Bay.

      Scotland is the only country so far which has raised any questions on the alleged rendition activity on home soil.

      The Rendition Project is a product of a collaborative research between Dr. Ruth Blakely from the University of Kent and Dr. Sam Raphael from Kingston University, London.

    • Ex-CIA agent insists on innocence while his national security case is stuck in limbo

      Sterling stands accused of leaking information regarding a failed CIA mission in which a Russian spy was to give erroneous plans for a nuclear bomb to Iranian scientists. Sterling is accused of giving this information to author Risen in 2003.

    • Pablo Neruda May Have Been Killed By a CIA Double Agent

      Neruda, a Nobel laureate described by famed Mexican author Carlos Fuentes, as “the first great poet of the Spanish language since the 17th century,” died in September 1973 of apparent natural causes. But in 2011 the Chilean Communist Party filed a civil case arguing that Chile’s most important literary figure was in fact murdered by a mysterious agent of the country’s right-wing dictator, Augusto Pinochet.

    • When the C.I.A. Gets Too Cozy with Hollywood

      The past six months have been a high point for the C.I.A. and Hollywood. Together, they created two of the most highly acclaimed films ever to depict the C.I.A.: “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and “Argo,” about the rescue of Americans during the Iran hostage crisis.

    • Report: CIA Unsure of Identity of Many Drone Targets

      According to one former senior intelligence official, as many as half the strikes in Pakistan between 2009 and 2010 were signature strikes.

    • CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

      The CIA has a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens. But collecting ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation.

    • Mission: Assassination

      Written back in the Clinton era, the Studies in Intelligence article may seem somewhat out of date. As a recent New York Times piece on the same issue noted, after the 2001 terrorist attacks, any internal concerns over CIA involvement with targeted killings “were quickly swept aside.” But at least one major fact has not changed — the only formal constraint that exists against assassinations by the CIA is not the law but a mere presidential order, which the commander-in-chief can, in theory, easily revoke.

    • Brennan’s CIA purging political dissidents, purged CIA agent speaks out

      The news was received by the PCRE by Kent Clizbe, a former CIA counter-terrorism operations officer and author of Willing Accomplices and Obliterating Exceptionalism, of the purge of non-supporters of Obama and vicious reprisals and threats against anyone who dared to speak out against the CIA or the administration and that it began in 2009 and has escalated ever since.

  • Cablegate

    • As Bradley Manning Trial Begins, Press Predictably Misses the Point

      Well, the Bradley Manning trial has begun, and for the most part, the government couldn’t have scripted the headlines any better.

      In the now-defunct Starz series Boss, there’s a reporter character named “Sam Miller” played by actor Troy Garity who complains about lazy reporters who just blindly eat whatever storylines are fed to them by people in power. He called those sorts of stories Chumpbait. If the story is too easy, if you’re doing a piece on a sensitive topic and factoids are not only reaching you freely, but publishing them is somehow not meeting much opposition from people up on high, then you’re probably eating Chumpbait.

      There’s an obvious Chumpbait angle in the Bradley Manning story, and most of the mainstream press reports went with it. You can usually tell if you’re running a Chumpbait piece if you find yourself writing the same article as 10,000 other hacks.

    • WikiLeaks trial is high-profile case for low-profile lawyer

      When Private First Class Bradley Manning was seeking a civilian defense attorney to bolster his government-appointed legal team in 2010, he considered a number of lawyers experienced in courts-martial.

      His aunt, herself a lawyer, helped vet names of possible lawyers for the case suggested by Army veterans and activist supporters. The family fielded unsolicited offers from attorneys eager to take the high-profile case in which Manning is accused of passing more 700,000 classified files to WikiLeaks in the biggest unauthorized release of secret files in U.S. history.

    • Whistleblower ‘may be next Bradley Manning’, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange said he fears the whistleblower who exposed a US surveillance program could be treated like Bradley Manning.

      In an interview with CBS This Morning from the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly a year, Assange defended the public’s right to know about the Internet data mining program revealed late Thursday.

    • Assange: US rule of law suffering “calamitous collapse”

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday that the US justice system was suffering from a “calamitous collapse in the rule of law”, as Washington reeled from the sensational exposure of vast spy agency surveillance programmes.

    • Being cynical: Julian Assange, Eric Schmidt, and the year’s weirdest book

      Highlights from Cohen’s All-American Speakers Bureau bio include positions with the National Counterterrorism Center and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a highly publicized phone date with Jack Dorsey. Not bad for a man who was once labeled “Condi’s Party Starter” by The New Yorker, presumably through no fault of his own. Most recently, Cohen was named the director of Google’s “think/do” tank, Google Ideas.

      Indeed, under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the US State Department at times resembled nothing less than a “think/do” tank for the Hoover Institution, the prominent conservative policy research institute based at Jared Cohen’s alma mater, Stanford University. And it’s this world of think tanks and foundations that provides the true intellectual center of Schmidt–Cohen’s book. Rice knows this world well. She left the faculty of Stanford University to work at the Pentagon (paid for by a fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations) before going to the National Security Council. Now that her government service is done, she’s gone back to Stanford.

    • WikiLeaks’ cables say George Fernandes sought funds from CIA to sustain anti-government activities

      In a sensational revelation, the WikiLeaks have alleged that firebrand socialist leader George Fernandes had sought funds from the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overthrow Indira Gandhi’s government in the 1970s.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Delight to Disappointment as Herakles Farms’ suspension order lifted

      There was dancing in the streets of Mundemba and Fabe when the news came two weeks ago that the Cameroonian government had suspended Herakles Farms’ forest clearing operations.

      Communities in this region of South West Cameroon, who had feared that they would lose their lands and their livelihoods to Herakles’ industrial palm oil plantation, now believed that their forest had been saved.

  • Finance

    • David Cameron faces battle at G8 over anti-corruption deal for firms

      With fierce opposition from some members of economic summit, getting an agreement to stop tax evasion is now looking unlikely

    • David Cameron to attend Bilderberg group meeting

      Downing Street defends visit to secretive group, where prime minister will not be accompanied by civil servants

    • O’Reilly Spins a Correction on ‘White House Visits’

      On last night’s O’Reilly Factor (6/5/13), the Fox News host asserted that there’s still a lot the White House isn’t telling us about the IRS/Tea Party scandal

    • What Goldman Sachs should admit: it drives up the cost of food

      Today, 23 May, is the annual general meeting (AGM) of financial speculator Goldman Sachs, the archetypal villain of the global economic meltdown, bailed out by US taxpayers to the tune of $5.5bn. Perhaps they’ll hand out last year’s Community Impact report, which shows how they’ve tried to redeem themselves with charity, like serving up almost 30,000 meals and preparing about 250,000 others in community projects in the US and around the world.

    • IRS Audited Over Inappropriate Spending, Claims It Can’t Find Its Receipts

      Just a guess, but it probably sucks to be the IRS right now. Between reports about them snooping on people’s emails and their targeting of conservative groups, it’s quite easy to paint them as a big, evil bureaucracy. Actually, it was pretty easy to do so before all that. You can generally rely on the hatred of the people for a group that requires meticulous spending records and then collects taxes. Big, bad, evil. What could be worse?

    • The dangerous aristocrats of finance

      In many ways, the financial world has changed remarkably little in the five years since the 2008 financial crisis. Yes, banks, brokers and other intermediaries are neither as profitable nor as popular as in the pre-crisis years. However, the industry is still arrogant, isolated and ridiculously lucrative. Leading financiers look more like pre-revolutionary aristocrats than normal businessmen.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Files Open Records Suit Against ALEC Board Member Sen. Leah Vukmir

      The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit Thursday against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the treasurer of ALEC’s national board, over her failure to disclose ALEC-related materials under Wisconsin’s public records law – possibly because ALEC told her to keep the documents secret.

      CMD has discovered that ALEC has started stamping its materials with a disclaimer asserting “[b]ecause this is an internal ALEC document, ALEC believes it is not subject to disclosure under any state Freedom of Information or Public Records Act.” There is no provision in Wisconsin law allowing private organizations to declare themselves immune from the state’s sunshine-in-government statutes.

    • What Charles G. Koch can teach us about campaign finance data

      On May 13, I wrote up an analysis of campaign finance data that asked “Did almost 600 donors break campaign finance law in 2012?” Truth is, I wasn’t sure. The bulk data made it appear that way, but as I noted at the outset, “our most troubling finding may be just how difficult it is determine with legal certainty exactly how many campaign scofflaws there are, or how much over the limit they gave.”

    • Cyber soldiers promote the monarchy

      Rangers Task Force 45, in response to Army policy, has put its troops to the task of promoting and protecting the monarchy in cyber space, claiming to have posted 1.69 million comments on webboards and social media during a 4-month period of last year.

    • Turkish Protestors Take To Indiegogo, Raise Over $50,000 For Full-Page New York Times Ad

      Protests erupted in Turkey last week, fueled by government plans to redevelop an urban park and build a shopping mall and military barracks, among other things. Protestors gathered in Gezi Park and what started as opposition to redevelopment quickly transformed into widespread protests against the Turkish government.

  • Censorship

    • Grand Jury Refuses To Indict Teen Arrested For Posting ‘Threatening’ Rap Lyrics On Facebook

      Cameron D’Ambrosio, the teen charged with “communicating terrorist threats” via some daft rap lyrics posted to his Facebook profile, is apparently no longer a threat to the people of Methuen, MA, and parts beyond. Facing a possible 20-year-sentence for his inclusion of such explosive terms as “White House,” “murder charge” and “Boston bombinb” in his one-man online rap battle, D’Ambrosio has been held without bail since May 2nd. As of Thursday night, however, D’Ambrosio is free to kill terrorize rhyme again. And, as an added bonus, he now has something in common with many of the rappers he clearly aspires to be: time served.

    • Opinion: Parenting by proxy

      In a week where there has been a lot of argument about what Internet service providers and search engines should do to protect children and adults from harmful content online, we seem to have lost sight of what we want to achieve. The government, it seems, wants to teach children how to use technology and the internet, but at the same time presents a view of the internet as a medium where grave danger exists around every digital corner. This sends a contradictory message to parents about their responsibilities and does nothing to provide the resources needed to meet them.

    • DCMS call summit on dealing with extreme or illegal content online

      This morning comes news that Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has summoned internet companies to a summit on how they deal with illegal and extreme content online. This morning we will be writing to the Minister to make sure that Open Rights Group and representatives of civil society are present.

    • Civil society groups express concern to Culture Secretary about online content restrictions

      ORG, Index on Censorship, English PEN and Big Brother Watch have written to the Culture Secretary this morning, setting out concerns about possible new measures to deal with illegal or extreme content online.

    • Lindsey Graham Isn’t Sure If Bloggers Deserve ‘First Amendment Protection’

      Of course they do. But the question at hand is whether a media shield law should protect them as well.

    • Saudi Arabia blocks Viber messaging service

      The head of the messaging application Viber has said people in Saudi Arabia have had basic freedoms taken away, after his service was blocked there.

      Talmon Marco told the BBC he did not know the reason for the move, but that Viber would be restored soon.

    • How ASIC’s attempt to block one website took down 250,000

      Australia’s corporate watchdog has admitted to inadvertently blocking access to about 250,000 innocuous websites in addition to the 1200 it had already accidentally censored.

    • Fox News Too Cowardly To Refuse Critical Ad Because It’s Critical, Claims Copyright Instead

      It’s become something of a sport in the past decade for roughly half of America to mock, dismiss, and otherwise tear down the Fox News channel. Personally, I’d rather like to see all of cable news go away, but there are times when I think the criticism is a tad selective and unfair. For instance, it’d be very easy to lambaste the network for the man-clowns they trotted out in the wake of a Pew Research study that showed that mothers currently make up nearly half of American household’s primary wage-earners. What was for me a meh-inducing announcement was a sign of the surely-coming apocalypse for Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson and Juan Williams. They’re easily targeted as examples of the bad on the station, but if you’re blinded by ideology or party alliance, you probably didn’t bother to shine a light on the absolutely glorious rebuttal by Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

  • Privacy

    • More Details On PRISM Revealed; Twitter Deserves Kudos For Refusing To Give In
    • Rendition link to PRISM

      The Guardian is reporting that Britain’s GCHQ first started getting produtive with PRISM early 2012. It was about the same time that their buddies down under, ASIO revised their earlier assessment of a refugee, Ranjini, and scooped her up in Australia’s domestic rendition program.

      This may be more than a notable co-incidince, because it adds further support to the hypothesis that Ranjini is a victim of Big Data and PRISM. If ASIO first gained access to PRISM at the same time as GCHQ, then they may have used some tenuous PRISM data to form their revised assessment of her suitability for a visa. Making such inferences, and using them as the basis for a cruel program of indefinite detention is a gross violation of human rights and goes far beyond the claim that PRISM is about catching real terrorists.

    • Opinion: PRISM, Suspicious until proven innocent.

      It seems that every other week we have a whistleblower to thank for making us more aware of what is being done on our behalf and apparently for our own good. The most recent revelations give us a far better idea of the sorts of wide spread, in depth monitoring and surveillance that governments feel they can subject their citizens to.

    • Oh, And One More Thing: NSA Directly Accessing Information From Google, Facebook, Skype, Apple And More
    • CISPA Will Legalize PRISM Spy Program

      The PATRIOT Act and the FISA court led to the blanket wiretapping of every American citizen and a PRISM lens into all Internet activity for the NSA.

    • Once Again, Courts Struggle With Whether Or Not Forcing You To Decrypt Your Computer Is Unconstitutional
    • What We Don’t Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know

      Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.

    • NSA spying scandal fallout: Expect big impact in Europe and elsewhere (Updated)

      UPDATE: I’ll admit I am shocked to have received this response from the European Commission to my request for comment, with particular regard to the impact on EU citizens’ privacy: “We do not have any comments. This is an internal U.S. matter.” For the reason behind my surprise, read on…

      This is a great day to be a conspiracy theorist. Vindication! The National Security Agency – part of the U.S. military – reportedly has a direct line into the systems of some of the world’s biggest web and tech companies, all of which are of course sited in the U.S.

    • Cowards

      Will not one tech CEO stand up and tell the truth?

      The NSA story of the secret assassination of the Fourth Amendment continues to unfold. Today we heard from Google CEO Larry Page and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

      Page was confused (the title of his post is “What the…?). Zuckerberg claimed the press reports were outrageous. Both made strong denials of specific allegations (“direct access,” “back doors”). Both were technically telling the truth. Both were also overtly misleading people.

    • How the NSA, and your boss, can intercept and break SSL

      Is the National Security Agency (NSA) really “wiretapping” the Internet? Accused accomplices Microsoft and Google deny that they have any part in it and the core evidence isn’t holding up that well under closer examination.

      Some, however, doubt that the NSA could actually intercept and break Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) protected Internet communications.

    • The NSA’s Favorite Weasel Word To Pretend It’s Claiming It Doesn’t Spy On Americans

      Most people would read this to be him saying that they do not spy on Americans. And that’s obviously what he’s trying to imply. But that’s not what he’s actually saying. He’s using the NSA’s favorite weasel word: “target.” Now, most people assume that means one of the people on the call must be outside the US. But, you could — if you were devious intelligence official trying to mislead Congress and the American public (hypothetically) — interpret the word “target” to mean “if we, in general are ‘targeting’ foreign threats, no matter what they might be like, and this information we’re collecting might help in that process, then we can snarf up this data.”

      In other words, most people think that “target” would mean one of the people on the phone. But, the NSA means “this overall investigation is about targeting foreign threats, so we can take whatever data we want because the goal is to stop foreign threats with it — and therefore our mandate not to spy on Americans doesn’t apply.”

    • U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

      The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

    • EMERGENCY ACTION: Stop The Massive Government Spying Program

      A leaked court document obtained by The Guardian, and since reported on by numerous news outlets, has exposed that the government is spying on Americans.

      Using the Patriot Act, the U.S. government has been secretly tracking the calls of every Verizon Business Network Services customer—to whom they spoke, from where, and for how long—for the past 41 days.

      Verizon Business Network Services is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications and internet providers for corporations, so this could apply to the calls of millions of Americans.

    • UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation

      Exclusive: UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world’s biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme

    • Could the NSA be spying on the wife of China’s president?
    • US surveillance revelations deepen European fears
    • PRISM Companies Start Denying Knowledge of the NSA Data Collection
    • A Trip Down Memory Lane: People Warned What Would Happen When Congress Passed Bills To Enable Vast Spying
    • Washington Post Quietly Backtrcks On Claim That Tech Companies Knowingly Gave NSA Data, As Denials Get Stronger

      Some have pointed out that these claims can still be read carefully to mean that other forms of data access potentially did happen, though some of the direct claims are pretty strong. It’s also noteworthy that Page and Zuckerberg seem to mimic each other’s word usage. Furthermore, it does seem odd that the President more or less confirmed the existence of the program, which all these tech companies are denying. Does that mean that something else is going on? Is the NSA doing this without letting the companies know? It’s certainly unclear at this point, but it’s going to come out eventually.

    • Obama Administration Declassifies Details On “PRISM,” Blasts “Reckless” Media And Leakers
    • Tech Companies Deny Letting NSA Have Realtime Access To Their Servers, But Choose Their Words Carefully

      Note the fine distinction. Giving the NSA a clone of their data wouldn’t be giving them “access to our servers.” It would be giving copies to the NSA… and then the NSA could “access” its own servers. And you were wondering why the NSA needed so much space in Utah. If they’re basically running a replica of every major big tech company datacenter, it suddenly makes a bit more sense. Of course, at this point there’s no evidence that this is necessarily the case — and some are insisting that the denials are legit, and that the Washington Post’s story is not entirely accurate. But… the wording here is extra careful, and the government’s report really does seem to indicate that these companies are deeply involved.

    • Identi.ca and privacy

      I can say pretty clearly: categorically no. We’ve never had a request from the NSA or any other government organization to turn over data from identi.ca or status.net or any of the E14N pump servers.

    • PRISM: The FISAAA smoking gun

      Caspar Bowden has been expressing concerns about the FISAA provisions for some time.

    • European Commission should revoke US Safe Harbour status immediately.

      Given the news over the past 24 hours of the activities of the US National Security Agency, it is critical that the EU Commission immediately revoke the Safe Harbour status of the United States of America under the Data Protection Directive.

      It all started with news that the National Security Agency (NSA) are being provided “meta data” of all calls sent and received on the Verizon telecommunications network via a secret order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court under “Business Data” provisions of the PATRIOT Act – domestic and foreign.

    • Looking at PRISM – NSA’s mass surveillance program

      This recent news reveals a long-held suspicion that the GCHQ had the very powers they were seeking to place on a statutory footing with the Snooper Charter, a bill that was knocked back for being unnecessary and disproportionate. Keeping the public in the dark about secretive and potentially unlawful programs must stop – and greater oversight is needed to ensure human rights are not being trampled.

    • Why, Yes, Of Course The NSA Spying Involves More Companies Than Already Listed
    • PRISM is bigger than anything that came before it—but no-one knows how much bigger

      The mystery surrounding how much domestic spying the US government has been conducting on its own citizens will only intensify in the coming days, as a growing number of the nine major internet companies linked to an alleged top-secret data-mining program deny they had anything to do with it.

    • Intelligence Boss Claims The Real Villain Here Is The Press For Revealing His Secret Spying Program
    • Verizon: We Protect Our Customers’ Data… Until The Government Asks For It
    • Sources: NSA sucks in data from 50 companies

      Analysts at the National Security Agency can now secretly access real-time user data provided by as many as 50 American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers, two government officials familiar with the arrangements said.

      Several of the companies have provided records continuously since 2006, while others have given the agency sporadic access, these officials said. These officials disclosed the number of participating companies in order to provide context for a series of disclosures about the NSA’s domestic collection policies. The officials, contacted independently, repeatedly said that “domestic collection” does not mean that the target is based in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen; rather, it refers only to the origin of the data.

    • What does the Prism logo mean?
    • PRISM – Diffracting non-US Citizens’ basic privacy since 2007?

      It’s being reported by the Guardian and Washington Post that the US National Security Agency can routinely access the sensitive data stored by big web firms including Facebook, Google, Skype, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube and Apple.

    • EE debate mobile weblogs and privacy
    • Anonymous Leaks Some NSA Documents About PRISM
    • The NSA surveillance story reinforces why an entity like WikiLeaks is so important

      WikiLeaks, the secretive repository for government malfeasance, hasn’t been in the news much lately except for occasional updates about founder Julian Assange, who remains in exile inside the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain. And neither WikiLeaks nor its supporters had much to do with the latest blockbuster leak of government intelligence, which confirmed that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone-call data from Verizon customers thanks to a secret court order. But despite all that, the NSA story helps to highlight why having an independent repository for high-level leaks is a valuable thing.

      The original report on the NSA’s surveillance effort came from Glenn Greenwald, who writes about politics for The Guardian, courtesy of a leaked document that confirmed the existence of an order signed by the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. As the New York Times explains, even the existence of this kind of order is subject to the highest levels of U.S. government secrecy — much higher, in fact, than the diplomatic cables that former Army private Bradley Manning is accused of providing to WikiLeaks.

    • President Obama ‘Welcomes’ The Debate On Surveillance That He’s Avoided For Years Until It Was Forced Upon Him

      In other words, he’s not “welcoming” the debate at all. The debate is happening with or without him, and when he had the chance to “welcome” the debate, he didn’t. Now, it appears, he’s trying to appear willing “to talk” about something that’s now gone way beyond the stage where “welcoming the debate” is sufficient.

      If anything, his helps explain why over-aggressive secrecy is such a stupid government policy. If they had been open about this and there had been public discussions earlier, and people were free to express their concerns, and the government could explain its position, then the discussion would have been different, and more interesting. But having all this information denied by government officials for years, only to come out via a leak just looks so much worse.

    • Press comment: NSA spying, GCHQ and Prism
    • Blockbuster Reports Reveal Widespread Surveillance of Phone and Internet Records by Obama Administration

      In a series of blockbuster reports published in the Washington Post and in the British newspaper The Guardian, sources reveal that the National Security Agency (NSA) is running a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows federal officials to collect material including “search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats” from an array of internet companies including Google, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and more without a court order. The papers gained access to a 41-slide top secret PowerPoint presentation that lays out the parameters of the program, which has apparently been operative since 2007.

    • PRISM US Surveillance – Serious Questions for the UK Government

      Digital rights campaigners Open Rights Group are extremely concerned by these unprecedented revelations of US spying on foreign citizens.

    • Was the Communications Data Bill just a cover for Prism Data?

      Rather more concerning is the UK involvement in this. According to the Guardian, “Prism would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.”

      This is interesting in light of the recently proposed Communications Data Bill. If the security services already have access to the data, what was the bill for? One option is that it would have allowed open use of Prism data in UK courts, without raising questions as to it’s origin.

    • Told You So: If You Have Been Using A Centralized Comms Service, You Were Wiretapped

      This night, news broke that the USA’s security agencies have been wiretapping essentially every major centralized social service for private data. Photos, video conferences, text chats, and voice calls – everything. We have been saying this for years and been declared tinfoil hat and conspiracy nuts; it’s good to finally see the documents in black on white.

    • Entire Internet Thunderstruck To Discover That US+UK Intelligence Agencies Do Their Job

      It doesn’t matter how much data you collect.
      What matters is having the eyeballs to read that data.

    • Pointless Partisanship on Surveillance

      “Democrats on one side, Republicans on the other” is the way conventional Beltway reporters seem to see the world–and it’s reflected in their reporting on political events.

    • Free Software Foundation statement on PRISM revelations

      To protect their freedom and privacy, the FSF urges everyone to contact their representatives, avoid Software as a Service, and donate to support projects working for a better, safer world.

    • PRISM: Write to your MP

      If like us, you oppose mass surveillance, we would encourage you to write to your MP to make your position clear and ask them to act.

    • A lesson from history for those who strive to bring intelligence agencies to account

      The sign is deceptive in two respects. First, the facility is not controlled by the RAF. Second, its function has little to do with traditional Air Force operations. The role of Menwith Hill is to act on US instructions to spy on the world’s communications systems. The presence of at least thirty huge spherical raydomes masking the base’s satellite receiving dishes gives testimony to what goes on there. Only in recent times has this place become infamous as the world’s biggest electronic monitoring spy base.

    • Triangulating On Truth – The Totalitarian State

      The Guardian breaks a big story yesterday – a court document authorizing the FBI and NSA to secretly collect customer phone records. All of them, for all Verizon customers.

      Then today the Washington Post breaks an even bigger story – a leaked presentation stating that the NSA is “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies” to collect information on users. The project is code-named PRISM.

      These are the huge repositories of user information from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. Dropbox, we’re told, is “coming soon.” Twitter is noticeably absent.

    • The Googlisation of Surveillance: The UK Communications Data Bill

      There is a belief that democracies respect the rights of their citizens. Well, they don’t. There is a great deal of cant written about that but even the democratic modern state has become so big, so intrusive and utterly overbearing that its cancerous tentacles have insinuated themselves into every orifice of the body politic. No sooner has one threat to personal and internet freedom receded than another springs up like proverbial dragon’s teeth. One of Hecate’s children of the night has been brewing for a while and is set to make its way onto the statute book here in the UK. It’s called the Communications Data Bill and with Jimmy Wales threatening to encrypt UK users visits to the website in order to protect their privacy it’s clearly a live issue and worth looking at.

    • Senators: Why Is Everyone So Worked Up About Verizon Spying? We’ve All Known About It Since 2007
    • NSA chief, two weeks ago: ‘We’re the only ones not spying on the American people’

      The National Security Agency recently asked Verizon to turn over telephone metadata for tens of millions of Americans, the Guardian reported Wednesday, based on a leaked court document that appears to show an NSA request for customer data from April through July.

      The NSA is both vast and secretive, one of the less-understood agencies of the U.S. intelligence community. And at the top of it is Gen. Keith Alexander, the longest-serving NSA chief ever, who took over in 2005 and is planning to retire early next year. His tenure, like so much the NSA has done in the past decade, has been controversial from the beginning. At the end of the year he took over, it was revealed that the Bush administration had authorized the NSA to run a vast, warrantless program spying on Americans.

    • Privacy Advocates Demand Government Stop Snooping on Private Citizens

      Taking its cue from George Orwell’s famous novel 1984, the Obama administration is mining customer data from major Internet vendors and collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. citizens indiscriminately—regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime.

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently collecting the records of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order issued in April. It is requiring Verizon to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its system—and also demanding Verizon’s silence on the order.

    • Modern Data Centers Fuel NSA’s Verizon Phone Spying
    • Assange: NSA leaker could face same fate as Bradley Manning

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday that the source who leaked details about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program could face the same fate as Bradley Manning, the Army private on trial for espionage and treason.

    • Assange fears for US Internet spying whistleblower

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday he fears the whistleblower who exposed a vast US surveillance programme could face the same fate as the US soldier who leaked files to his website.

      In an interview from the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly a year, Assange defended the public’s right to know about the Internet data mining programme revealed late yesterday.

    • COLUMN – Obama’s overdue reckoning on secrecy

      All day Thursday, Washington officials from across the political spectrum scrambled to explain reports in the Guardian and Washington Post of unprecedented government collection of the phone records of Americans and the tracking of the Google, Facebook and Skype activities of Americans and non-Americans worldwide.

      James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence, insisted in an unusual public statement that the phone programs did not involve the surveillance of American citizens. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee, asserted the government needs the information to someone those who might become a terrorist. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking member and vice chairman of the intelligence committee, described the program as “meritorious” because it allows government to collect information about “bad guys.”

      President Barack Obama Friday defended his administration’s unprecedented level of surveillance.

    • GAO tells CIA to reopen $600 million cloud deal to competition
    • GAO says “not so fast” on proposed secret Amazon-CIA cloud

      Remember that proposed secure cloud that Amazon was building for the CIA but that no one would acknowledge? Well it looks like it’s on hold, because the U.S. Government Accountability Office has sided with IBM, which filed a formal protest of the awarded contract. News that the GAO was telling the CIA to re-open bids was reported by Federal Computer Week.

    • Amazon confirms CIA spook cloud contract

      Amazon Web Services has confirmed to The Register that it is set to build a massive cloud for the CIA. IBM, however, is still in the running, after the company’s protest at the choice of Amazon was recognized by the US Government Accountability Office.

    • Rand Paul: Orwell’s ’1984′ has arrived

      Senator warns of ‘astounding assault on Constitution’ by NSA

    • NSA Spying Revelations Start To Cause Outrage In Europe; China Next?

      Guardian has confirmed today that the UK has been tapping into Prism for a while

    • Uk To Brit Hacks: Shut Up

      A British Defense Ministry press advisory committee, reacting to a flurry of revelations in the American press about massive warrantless US government electronic surveillance programs, quietly warned UK organizations Friday not to publish British national security information.

      Defiance of the advisory could make British journalists vulnerable to prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

    • Renowned Rights Watchdog to Downgrade United States in Freedom Rankings

      If you thought the astounding (and ongoing) revelations about the NSA’s PRISM regime were going to hurt America’s reputation, it appears you were right. Freedom House just made it official.

    • Staffordshire police officers and PSCO quit over ‘misuse of data’

      TWO police officers and a PCSO have quit after they were arrested for ‘inappropriately’ accessing the force’s computer system.

      All three were suspended last year as anti-corruption detectives launched a major investigation into their separate cases.

    • Obama defends surveillance tactics

      Barack Obama defended two secret programmes that allow the US to collect telephone records and emails on Friday amid accusations from Europe that his administration’s embrace of sweeping surveillance tactics had become “monstrous”.

    • Obama deflects criticism over NSA surveillance as Democrats sound alarm
    • NSA Says It Doesn’t Spy On Americans As Obama Administration Defends Letting NSA Spy On Americans
    • Cameron under pressure over spying claims report
    • Let’s All Just Believe What This Shifty CIA-Funded Data-Collecting Company Says

      Talking Points Memo reintroduced us all to Palantir Technologies, a data-collecting semi-private intelligence service that may or may not have been involved with the mass collection of data from private citizens by the National Security Agency. The NSA’s program is called PRISM. Palantir has a program called Prism. Connections were made.

    • Pure Storage Boosts Crypto Features, Takes CIA Money

      While the amount In-Q-Tel paid out wasn’t made public, investment from the spook community is a major endorsement when selling to security-centric government and military clients.

      On the security front, the new version of Pure’s software encrypts all data on the system at rest using self-encrypting SSDs and AES-256 encryption. I assume the self-encrypting drives come from Samsung, as it’s another of Pure’s investors.

    • Trust in government eroding, former CIA director Porter Goss says

      President Barack Obama’s appointment this week of Susan Rice as national security adviser, along with disclosures Thursday about government scrutiny of phone records and Internet data further deepen Americans’ “trust deficit” in government, said Porter Goss, former CIA director and Southwest Florida congressman.

      Goss, a Sanibel resident who’s summering on the family’s farm in Virginia, was CIA director and Director of Central Intelligence from May 2004-September 2006, appointed by President George W. Bush after 16 years in Congress.

    • On Prism

      Prism shouldn’t be viewed as a calamity but an opportunity and we should learn from China and game the market. Regardless of the trade agreements in place, parliamentary sovereignty of EU and the various nation states is absolute and there is no reason why given a will to do so that a ban on US internet giants (even if only temporary) cannot be applied. This would naturally create a vacuum for these services which then could be filled by local EU services with appropriate funding. From a national and EU security stand point this is beneficial along with providing a welcome boost to local economies remembering that many of these giants pay little taxation in the EU.

    • How supermarkets get your data – and what they do with it

      It doesn’t matter if you are part of a loyalty scheme, pay by card or even cash, ‘Big Brother’ supermarkets know your every move

    • Was Canada part of secret NSA spy operation?

      The UK’s electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world’s biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America’s top spy agency, says the Guardian.

      The news came just after US president Barack Obama, “offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications,” according to the New York Times, which quoted him as promising:

    • [Old] An Israeli Trojan Horse

      As early as 1999, the National Security Agency issued a warning that records of U.S. government telephone calls were ending up in foreign hands – Israel’s, in particular. In 2002, assistant U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Diegelman issued an eyes only memo on the matter to the chief information technology (IT) officers at the Department of Justice. IT officers oversee everything from the kind of cell phones agents carry to the wiretap equipment they use in the field; their defining purpose is secure communications. Diegelman’s memo was a reiteration, with overtones of reprimand, of a new IT policy instituted a year earlier, in July 2001, in an internal Justice order titled “2640.2D Information Technology Security.” Order 2640.2D stated that “Foreign Nationals shall not be authorized to access or assist in the development, operation, management or maintenance of Department IT systems.” This might not seem much to blink at in the post-9/11 intel and security overhaul. Yet 2640.2D was issued a full two months before the Sept. 11 attacks. What group or groups of foreign nationals had close access to IT systems at the Department of Justice? Israelis, according to officials in law enforcement. One former Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor tells me, speaking on background, “I’ve heard that the Israelis can listen in to our calls.”

    • Secret NSA Program Gives the Agency Unprecedented Access to Private Internet Communications

      The PRISM program, unlike the NSA phone records program, does not sweep up all data in a vacuum. Rather, it enables government analysts to search the private Internet company’s own data for key terms that are supposed to make it more likely than not that the target is “foreign.” But this requirement of only 51 percent certainty means that much of the information disclosed will inevitably concern Americans. The extent of the information available to the government is extraordinary. The Post reports that, according to a PRISM “User Guide,” Skype “can be monitored for audio when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of ‘audio, video, chat, and file transfers’ when Skype users connect by computer alone. Google’s offerings include Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive files, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms.”

    • Obama defends NSA spying program as new Prism details emerge – live
    • NSA Building $860 Million Data Center in Maryland

      As its current data collection makes headlines, the National Security Agency is continuing to expand its data storage and processing capabilities. The agency recently broke ground on an $860 million data center at Fort Meade, Maryland that will span more than 600,000 square feet, including 70,000 square feet of technical space.

      Last month the NSA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building the High Performance Computing Center-2, an NSA-run facility that will be located on base at Fort Meade, which is home to much of the agency’s existing data center operations. The data center will be supported by 60 megawatts of power capacity, and will use both air-cooled and liquid-cooled equipment.

    • Inside PRISM: Why the Government Hates Encryption

      Google’s Larry Page and David Drummond are categorically denying that Google gives the government open-ended, back-door access to user data. This appears to confirm my speculation (for Google at least) that these firms are still tightly controlling data access by reviewing and addressing each data demand on an individual and responsible basis. And keep something in mind — the government can use legal means to try force you to be silent about a matter, but they can’t force you to lie, unless they’re resorting to waterboarding and shock collars for Internet executives.

    • Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data

      The top-secret Boundless Informant tool details and maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks

    • Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool – four key slides
    • Leader’s Update: The Pirate Party and PRISM

      …we do know that PRISM exists. It’s vital we get clarity.

  • Civil Rights

    • Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches

      U.S. border agents should continue to be allowed to search a traveler’s laptop, cellphone or other electronic device and keep copies of any data on them based on no more than a hunch, according to an internal Homeland Security Department study. It contends limiting such searches would prevent the U.S. from detecting child pornographers or terrorists and expose the government to lawsuits.

    • Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes
    • DHS Says Agent ‘Hunches’ Trump Citizens’ Rights In Searching Your Computer At The Border
    • Why Canadians Should Be Demanding Answers About Secret Surveillance Programs

      Privacy and surveillance have taken centre stage this week with the revelations that U.S. agencies have been engaged in massive, secret surveillance programs that include years of capturing the meta-data from every cellphone call on the Verizon network (the meta-data includes the number called and the length of the call) as well as gathering information from the largest Internet companies in the world including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple in a program called PRISM. This lengthy post provides some background on the U.S. programs, but focuses primarily on the Canadian perspective, arguing that many of the same powers exist under Canadian law and that it is likely that Canadians have been caught up by these surveillance activities.

    • Aaron Swartz’ Dad Wants Justice For His Son

      This morning I received an email from Aaron Swartz’ father, Bob Swartz. It was a politically motivated mass email sent by Demand Progress. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way. I get a lot of such emails, from organizations like MoveOn and Common Cause. I get so many that I don’t usually open them. There seems to be a lot of issues facing our country these days.

    • One-quarter of Gitmo prisoners now being force-fed
    • The situation in Turkey

      …website blocking used frequently and abusively; excessive fines on media outlets; journalists imprisoned.

    • Be Prepared for the Inevitable and Unpredictable Mass Movement

      People who seek justice and an end to militarism feel like they are laboring in relative obscurity, organizing seemingly unnoticed actions, but at some point a wave of mass resistance arises.

    • Will Texas Nullify Both NDAA and TSA?

      The measure also forbids removing a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian. The act would put an end to the most intrusive pat-down searches conducted by the TSA.

    • California Assembly passes bill in opposition to indefinite detention provisions of NDAA

      A California bill, AB 351, passed by the state Assembly on 5/31/13, if also passed by the California Senate and signed by the governor, would make it illegal for any California agency or employee to cooperate with the US Armed Forces in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California under the NDAA, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or any other federal law. Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a national organization which organizes grass roots support for this bill and for others like it around the country, said that the passage of AB 351 by the California Assembly demonstrates support across California “… for due process principles that have been largely ignored by Congress in its ongoing bipartisan assault on the rights of the American people.”

    • While No One Was Looking: House GOP Voted Against GITMO Closure

      Just because the whole world seems to be talking about closing Guantanamo Bay prison — not to mention the President of the United States — doesn’t mean it’s going to happen any time soon. Not if congressional Republicans have anything to do with it.

    • They Should Have Listened To Feingold: Obama Vs. The Only Senator Who Voted Against The PATRIOT Act

      Today, the President of the United States made the case for Big Brother. Yes, he said we should have a public dialogue about these issues, but the fact that it took a bunch of high-profile leaks to make him say that means it’s a load of bullshit anyway. If Obama really wanted debate on these issues, more debate would have been encouraged before quiet and not-much-talked-about votes on PATRIOT Act and NDAA reauthorizations.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Web inventor Berners-Lee warns forces are ‘trying to take control’

      The inventor of the World Wide Web said the internet is facing a “major” threat from “people who want to control it on the sly” through “worrying laws” such as SOPA, the US anti-piracy act, and through the actions of internet giants.

    • What’s the Net Net on Neelie Kroes’s EU Net Neutrality?

      It’s been a while since I wrote about net neutrality, but of course it’s never gone away as an important theme. Indeed, it was inevitable that it would start to rear its ugly head again, since so many powerful companies have vested interests in destroying it. For example, in Germany the telecom giant Deutsch Telekom (DT) has already made a move to kill net neutrality by giving preference to its own IPTV platform. This has led to a heated debate about net neutrality in that country (for those who read German, the site hilf-telekom.de offers some hilarious satire of DT on the subject.)

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US Businesses Urge Obama To Stoke Trade War With India

      The heads of seventeen United States industry associations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, today (6 June) issued a letter to President Barack Obama alleging that the Indian government is engaging in discriminating policies against US exports and encouraging swift action by the US government. Among the concerns is the country’s treatment of patents.

      The businesses expressed concern that recent policy decisions in India undermine internationally recognised intellectual property standards that are ultimately “jeopardizing domestic jobs.”

      “Over the last year, the courts and policymakers in India have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination designed to benefit India’s business community at the expense of American jobs,” the letter [pdf] said. “These actions are unacceptable for a responsible middle-income country and rising global power to treat its second-largest export trading partner.”

    • People Begin To Wake Up To Massive Dangers Of Investor-State Dispute Resolution

      Techdirt has been writing about investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) mechanisms in international trade treaties like TPP and TAFTA/TTIP for two main reasons. First, because of the scale involved: ISDR allows companies to sue entire countries for huge sums, alleging loss of future profits. And secondly, because few seem aware of this growing threat to the national sovereignty of many countries around the world. That finally seems to be changing, with a number of articles warning about the dangers of ISDR appearing recently.

    • Back African smallholders, not agribusiness

      Today sees David Cameron host a “hunger summit” in London, the first in a series of events leading up to the G8 summit in 10 days’ time. The event will include a meeting of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a private investment initiative launched by the G8 in order to expand the reach of multinational companies into Africa. The UK government has pledged £395m of taxpayers’ money to the scheme.

    • Copyrights

      • Warner Bros: We’re Fining File-Sharers Who Use Non Six-Strike ISPs

        Customers of ISPs not involved in the so-called ‘Six Strikes’ anti-piracy scheme in the United States might be under the impression that warning notices are something they can avoid. However, TorrentFreak has learned that Warner Bros. are specifically targeting users of non-participating ISPs not only with warnings, but also with fines to settle the alleged copyright infringements.

      • Audiovisual Materials in the Classroom and the WIPO treaty for the blind

        My name is Fedro De Tomassi. I am a student at St. Olaf College, class of 2014, and next week I will be a volunteer (as a guide and interpreter) at the Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities (June 17 to 28, 2013 – Marrakesh, Morocco) http://www.wipo.int/dc2013/en/

        People with disabilities including the blind and visually impaired persons must have the same educational opportunities and access to information as any other person. To do that we need to make sure this treaty includes all current and future educational methods. It has to be a relevant treaty for the 21 century and I hope the delegates will pay attention to my generation and the next one too.

      • Apple Ordered to Pay €5 Million in Private Copy Levy on iPads

        In a high profile ruling handed down on May 30th, the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (trial court) ordered Apple to pay the princely sum of €5,000,000 to Copie France, the body tasked with collecting the private copy levy that applies to blank media and equipment capable of recording and storing such copies.

      • Utah Sheriff Claims Copyright On Mugshot Photos To Avoid Releasing Them
      • Mug shot website sues Utah sheriff for jail photos

        he owner of a website that publishes inmate booking photos is suing a Utah sheriff for denying a public records request for more than a thousand mug shots.

        The Salt Lake County Sheriff denied the records request in February, saying his office could refuse because it holds copyright control over the images.

      • Prenda seeded its own porn files via BitTorrent, new affidavit argues

        Graham Syfert is a local Florida lawyer who has been defending people caught up in Prenda purported copyright suits. Last we heard from the defense attorney, he appeared to have settled some cases with the porn trolling outfit. Nearly two weeks ago, Syfert told Ars that he was still involved in two more Florida Prenda-related cases: Sunlust Pictures v. Nguyen, and First Time Videos v. Oppold.

      • US opposes safeguards in WIPO treaty for the blind that are included in ACTA, and Beijing treaty

        As Love notes, similar language has appeared in a variety of other agreements, including ACTA and the Beijing Treaty (which would give Hollywood stars their own special copyrights). Why is this language important? Because TRIPS includes key provisions that allow countries to make some of their own decisions about how they implement the agreements, to protect the public’s rights. But, the content industry doesn’t want that same language in this treaty, which is focused on the public’s rights, because they’re afraid it will, once again, open the door to countries expanding the public’s rights, and pushing back on egregious copyright restrictions on those rights.

      • Debate Over Mobile Phone Unlocking Highlights Fantasy Thinking vs. Real World

        Today in the House Judiciary Committee, they’re holding hearings concerning cell phone unlocking, focused specifically on Rep. Goodlatte’s proposed bill, which actually seems to be the weakest of all the proposed bills. It doesn’t offer a permanent fix. It doesn’t fully tackle the problem. Actually, it barely tackles the problem, and serves only to punt the issue down the road. That is, it would “repeal” the rejection of the exemption to the DMCA for cell phone unlocking by the Librarian of Congress (if you don’t recall, the whole fight is because the DMCA ridiculously makes it illegal to circumvent “technology protection measures” even if the reason has nothing to do with infringing on someone’s copyright, but every three years, the Librarian of Congress gets to issue “exemptions”), but would allow the Librarian of Congress to revisit the issue at the next triennial review. It does nothing to address the actual problem, which is a ridiculous and broken anti-circumvention clause, section 1201 of the Copyright Act.

      • Why Did Congress Abdicate Its Power To Make Copyright Policy?

        Earlier today, we wrote about today’s Congressional hearings about legalizing the unlocking of mobile phones. That post fretted about the unwillingness of Congress to take on the actual issue. The only reason that mobile phone unlocking is illegal today is because of a broken copyright law, specifically section 1201 of the DMCA, which isn’t about copyright per se, but rather a bizarre, indirect way that entertainment industry lawyers think protects copyright by making technology illegal, and effectively gives those legacy industries veto power over technologies they don’t like. So when Congress realizes how this is abused for reasons that have nothing to do with protecting copyrights, they should respond by fixing section 1201. But that’s not what they’re doing.

      • Morgan Pietz Objects To Duffy’s Bond In Prenda Case, Points Out More Typical Prenda Tricks
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