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06.12.13

Links 12/6/2013: Linux 3.11 Previews, KDE Working in Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • NSA Scandal Reveals Google is not really like Linux and never was.

    After reading all about the scandal, without any real surprises, I learned the usual suspects were of course guilty of playing along with screwing their customers over all for the dangling dollar bill. The current list, which I’m sure is much longer is, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, Paltalk and all those companies services that they offer are all subject to the same prism program. Yes that includes YouTube, Gmail, Google Voice, etc.

    This follows almost immediately after we learn that Verizon, and god knows how many other telcos, are handing over all phone conversations. You read that right, conversations, not records, they claim its just “meta data” so-called “non-content” but lets be realistic. If bush did illegal wiretapping, this is no different. So not only are your messages and computer use being monitored but also your phone calls, gee thats just awesome.

    But what is the most telling about these recent scandals are who is NOT on the list. I dare someone to show me one, “truly” free and opensource project that is on the government spy list. Go ahead I’m waiting. You can’t count Google or Apple, both are trying to rein in opensource projects and make them their own.

    Apple chose BSD for their guts instead of Linux simply so they could steal without getting sued and they don’t have to share. Google is trying to do the same with Linux by “borrowing” lots of code and ideas, tweaking it enough to call it there own and will eventually make it essentially proprietary. Have you seen any Android apps running on your Linux box natively? Didn’t think so.

  • U-Boot Creator Wolfgang Denk on the Great Achievements of Embedded Linux

    Embedded Linux can claim at least two great achievements in standardization in the past few years, according to Wolfgang Denk, managing director of DENX Software Engineering and creator of U-Boot, the open source universal boot loader for embedded devices. First, developers were not completely disrupted with the introduction of ARM systems.

  • The Linux Setup – Tony Baldwin, Translator

    I currently use Debian GNU/Linux, Stable, on my main workstation, as well as on my laptop, and all my servers (I also do web development and design on the side, and hosting, and have my own webserver in my office, on which www.baldwinlinguas.com, the site for my translation business, is hosted, as well as www.tonybaldwin.me, and others). I started out using GNU/Linux back in c. 2000 with RedHat 7.0, and stuck with it until it became Fedora, and then used Fedora until FC4, at which point I left Fedora, tried Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, and a few others for while before moving to Debian, at which time Lenny was the Stable release.

  • Goodbye, XP, Hello To A Free Market

    That’s probably a good way for HP to look at XP, but there is great danger to the Wintel treadmill. It could go off the rails as HP’s customers switch from XP/2003 to */Linux thin clients and web/cloud applications. There’s much less need for client computing power, hard drives and licences from M$… HP estimates ~45% of businesses still use XP. It’s doubtful that many could switch to “7″ or “8″ in one year. It’s very likely a huge share will switch to */Linux on the clients. Southeast Asia which has been gearing up for years shipping */Linux on ARM could bump shipments for a few months and do it.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Open Ballot: Big Brother

      It seems that many of us are living under the spectre of massive state surveillance. So, dear readers/listeners, what to you think of this? Let us know in the comments and we’ll read them out in our upcoming podcast.

  • Kernel Space

    • IBM to port KVM hypervisor to Power-Linux iron

      IBM announced at the Red Hat Summit in Boston this Tuesday that it will support the KVM hypervisor on its PowerLinux machines to help boost its competitive position against x86 iron.

      In addition, since Big Blue wants and needs to sell more Power Systems rack and tower iron as well as their brethren in the PureFlex modular system lineup, at its Edge customer and partner conference in Las Vegas – down the street from HP’s Discover shindig – IBM got out the Q2 marketing playbook as well as rejiggering some of the Power-based server lineup.

    • Looking Forward To The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      While the Linux 3.10 kernel hasn’t even been released yet and won’t be out for a couple weeks — and it boasts a great number of new features and functionality — the Linux 3.11 kernel will be even better. Here’s what we know so far.

      Building upon the enriched capabilities of the Linux 3.10 kernel is new drivers, hardware support, and other features that will be found in Linux 3.11 when released later in 2013. From the Phoronix point of view with our bent on Linux graphics and other hardware topics, some of the exciting stuff we know at this point that’s likely to be merged include:

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland in Raspberry | Wayland in GNOME

        Two days ago I tried Raspberry PI (Model B) as desktop box and it was a total failure. To make a handy comparison; an average 10+ years old laptop will do much better than Pi in performance ..by far. The purpose of that article was to aware people to don’t make the same mistake as me, and buy and PI as a cheap desktop replacement-it won’t work.

      • Unigine Shows Off New Technology Demo

        Unigine Corp, the creators of the visually-amazing Unigine Engine and is supported by all major desktop and mobile platforms, has released a trailer for a new technology demo.

      • NVIDIA Issues CUDA 5.5 RC: Better Debugging, Etc

        For those registered developers with NVIDIA Corp, the company has released their first release candidate of the forthcoming CUDA 5.5 platform.

    • Benchmarks

      • EnhanceIO, Bcache & DM-Cache Benchmarked

        Three different Linux disk caching methods for the Linux kernel were compared: EnhanceIO, Bcache, and DM-Cache. But which of these disk caching methods is the fastest when mixing SSDs and HDDs? Here’s some results.

        A Linux engineer at STEC Inc compared the performance of EnhanceIO, BCache, and DM-Cache. A 100GB HDD was used with a 20GB SSD providing write-through / write-back cache. For those out of the look on these different caching methods:

      • Debian 7.0 GNU/Linux vs. GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks

        Up this morning are benchmarks comparing the performance of Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 7.0, the version of the Debian operating system that ships the GNU user-land but replaces the Linux kernel from that of FreeBSD 9.0.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Linux Virtual Workspaces–How Do They Differ?

      Virtual workspaces have been a feature of Linux desktops since their earliest days. Not only are they easier to set up than extra monitors, but they allow basic apps like web browsers and terminals to stay open full-screen while leaving plenty of working room. With these advantages, virtual desktops have become an indispensable daily tool for many users.

    • The state of FOSS Desktop Environments and Window Managers. Pt 2

      Unfortunately, there isn’t quite the breadth of options, based on the Qt toolkit. I believe part of this historically has to do with the original licensing terms of Qt, with trolltech, which did turn off many FOSS developers. I have always found Qt to be easier to develop with, and more sane than GTK, but that is a personal feeling, I know there’s plenty of you that can probably pipe up with every attribution on the planet as to why GTK is a superior toolkit, and easier to develop for than Qt.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Working in Wayland

        Wayland is a new graphical server that is well positioned to replace the aging X Server currently in use on most Linux desktop systems. KDE spokesmen have said that they will not be supporting Mir, Canonical’s answer to Wayland and X; but have demonstrated interest in Wayland. Well, today Martin Gräßlin said he’s got KWin working on Wayland.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta Brings KWin Wayland Back-End

        With this week’s release of KDE 4.11 Beta 1, the KWin window manager now has an experimental Wayland back-end.

        Martin Gräßlin, the KWin maintainer, announced the experimental KDE Wayland support on his blog. Martin has been talking about KDE Wayland support for a while now… Originally he was waiting for a stable release of Wayland to come, while 1.0 was out last year, it’s not out until after Wayland 1.1 and then Canonical’s Mir announcements that we’re now seeing actual KDE-Wayland progress.

      • Starting a full KDE Plasma session in Wayland
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GLib 2.36.3 Stable Release Repairs Seven Bugs

        The third maintenance release of the Glib 2.36 library for the GNOME 3.8 desktop environment was made available for download last evening, June 10, 2013, fixing seven annoying bugs.

  • Distributions

    • What Makes a Community Distro?

      On Monday, Christine Hall stirred-up the mud a little with her article Since When Was Ubuntu A Community Distro? The article was written as a tongue in cheek response to a post on another site, in which a writer had feigned surprise while lamenting the fact that Ubuntu was “no longer a community distro.”

    • BackTrack 5 or Kali Linux 1.0

      I get many searches related to BackTrack 5 that makes me wonder if netizens responsible for those searches are aware that the distribution known as BackTrack is old news. If you didn’t and you got here by searching for “backtrack 5,” this article will direct you to the right distribution to use.

    • New Releases

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 brings Azure and Steam support

        The developers say that users of Desktop Fresh R1 can now install Valve’s Steam distribution platform on it, giving them access to over a hundred commercial games. The default desktop environment in ROSA Fresh R1 is KDE and the distribution includes version 4.10.3 of the desktop environment. The developers promise that GNOME and LXDE editions of the distribution will follow. They have also introduced a new font rasteriser, making the display of fonts throughout the distribution more readable, and have updated a number of the distribution’s own tools. Other software shipped with the release includes version 3.8.12 of the Linux kernel, LibreOffice 3.6.6 and Firefox 21.

      • Zentyal 3.1-1
      • Linpus 1.9.3 (Lite)
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • New Mageia 3 ISOs

        Bugs in the original Mageia 3 ISO have been found, causing the development team to release new images that fix the issue

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Creator Daniel Robbins: Making Linux Free and Flexible

        “For me it was a means of exploring and learning about Linux and open source technology. I used a few other Linux distros prior to working on Gentoo: I used an early version of Debian; I did a little bit of development on a distro that has now disappeared called Stampede Linux. I got to the point where I wanted to do some things in Linux that I really didn’t see in other Linux distributions.”

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • A look at XFCE 4.10 on Debian Jessie

        4.10 is not a radical upgrade to 4.8 available in Wheezy. XFCE is not in the business of overhauling the desktop paradigm like Gnome 3. It’s not so much of a work in progress, more of a finished item, getting a few minor improvements.

      • Life with eternal upgrades- XFCE 4.10

        XFCE 4.10 is not a radical change from 4.8, but there are some notable differences. I shall write about those in another post.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Gauntlett: Shuttleworth bid could be devastating for SA

            Mark Shuttleworth’s bid to have SA’s exchange control declared unconstitutional could have a devastating effect on the country, says Jeremy Gauntlett.

          • Shuttleworth’s case can devastate South Africa: Reserve Bank

            Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth‘s bid to have South Africa’s exchange control system declared unconstitutional could have a devastating effect on the country, the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Tuesday.

          • Ubuntu Touch: First look at the Linux smartphone OS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15: Solid, But Unsettled

              Linux Mint has thrived on giving users what they want. Linux Mint 15, codenamed Olivia, is no exception.

              Although billed in the release announcement as “the most ambitious release since the start of the project,” it breaks little new ground. Instead, it is more concerned with polishing and minor extensions of functionality.

              This orientation is very much in the tradition of past Mint releases. Linux Mint has always opted for convenience over principle, shipping with proprietary software and including both Debian and Ubuntu versions. Maybe a few users can tell Debian from Ubuntu, but what matters is that many have demanded the choice.

            • Out test with Linux Mint 15 Olivia, Cinnamon edition

              I’ve changed the GNU/Linux distribution of my home computer from Xubuntu to Mint (XFCE edition) 2 releases ago, and from that date I’ve never regret it, so while I wait for the release of the XFCE edition of Olivia (the code name of Mint 15), I’m glad to publish an interesting article of Manuel and it’s experiences with the Cinnamon edition of Mint 15.

            • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon: Ready For Prime Time
            • Linux MintBox a Mini Linux Desktop

              Don’t have time to configure Linux onto your old Windows PC? Still struggling with device drivers and module compilations? Are you seeking an affordable, small and ready to use computer but not sure what is great for your browsing and email needs? Well Linux Mint might have an answer for you in the form of a mini computer, called MintBox.

            • Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” Mate & Cinnamon Review: Great aesthetics & superb performance – Almost perfect!

              Linux Mint is one of the few Linux distros that I normally recommend to any newbie. It just works! This is possibly the most amazing thing about Mint. Whereas with rest of the Linux distros, I get to hear a lot of complains (even I have experienced for some). But, not a single one for Linux Mint. Any system you throw at it, it will always work! Perhaps this is what separates Mint from rest of the Linux distros that it is numero uno in Distrowatch ranking for quite sometime!

            • LinuxMint 16 Wishes
            • “Linux Mint 16 will be a harder sell” – Clement Lefebvre

              Linux Mint 17 will be in a position to get a lot of innovation and new features, however Linux Mint 16 will suffer in this area to accommodate it

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-friendly network SBC taps new AMD G-Series SoCs
    • Amazing Raspberry Pi Projects – Part 1
    • Amazing Raspberry Pi Projects – Part 2
    • Tiny Cortex-A8 COM runs Linux and Android, goes for $27

      CompuLab announced a tiny Linux- and Android-ready Cortex-A8 computer-on-module (COM) starting at $27 in volume. The industrial-focused, SODIMM-style CM-T335 COM extends the Texas Instruments 600MHz Sitara AM335x SoC with up to 512MB RAM and 1GB flash, WiFi and Bluetooth wireless, plus interfaces like CAN-bus, gigabit Ethernet, and USB expressed via its 204-pin edgecard connector.

    • BrickPi Kit Marries the Raspberry Pi and LEGO for Robots

      What strange synergies there are between the diminutive, Linux-based Raspberry Pi devices and LEGO. Late last year, I reported on news that came from the University of Southampton about how Professor Simon Cox and his team of researchers had lashed together an actual supercomputer made of 64 credit card-sized Raspberry Pis using Lego pieces as the glue for the cluster. Now, there is a new project called BrickPi, going into its final week of fund-seeking over on Kickstarter, which is a mashup of the Raspberry Pi with LEGO Mindstorms sensors, bricks and motors for building robots.

    • Phones

      • Exclusive: an early look at Intel’s own phone UI, “Obsidian”

        Intel is planning its own UI overlay, codenamed “Obsidian,” that it will bring to the mobile operating system Tizen and possibly Android. A source working at Intel has tipped Ars with several early screenshots and some video of Intel’s Obsidian project, which includes a handful of unique UI touches.

      • Intel aims Obsidian at Tizen, AMD embraces Android

        Intel demonstrated a prototype UI (user interface) called Obsidian, designed for Tizen and, possibly, Android devices. The news follows a week of Android-on-x86 developments, which include an announcement that AMD is ready to jump on Android and Chrome OS, and the appearance of Intel’s Android tablet reference platform running on a Intel Silvermont “Bay Trail” SoC.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Paranoid Android’s HALO project is now open source

          Intrigued by HALO but not exactly interested in moving over to the Paranoid Android ROM to try it? We have good news for you. Taking to Google+, the folks behind Halo and the Paranoid ROM have announced that they are going open source with the HALO project. This means that Android developers can now poke through the HALO code and incorporate it into their own builds.

        • Paranoid Android’s HALO does Chat Heads-inspired multitasking, goes open source
        • Android gets open source HTML5 app for secure file syncing

          SpiderOak, a maker of software for secure file syncing, has released an open source application for Android.

          We’ve dubbed SpiderOak “Dropbox for the security obsessive” for several reasons, including the fact that the company promises that it never knows a user’s password or encryption keys. This should make it nearly impossible for company employees to access your data, but the downside is that losing your password means losing access to your account.

        • What Android Has That iOS Has Not (Yet)

          Android is open and customizable. iOS is closed, designed for ease. But iPhone users are maturing, demanding more personalization, and Apple might give it to them at WWDC. At D11, Tim Cook said “I think you will see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience.” Here we’ll look at some Android options Apple could unlock for iOS.

        • E3 2013: Mad Catz Project M.O.J.O. Android Games Console Revealed

          With devices like Ouya drumming up interest in open-source gaming platforms, Mad Catz is jumping into the fray with a system of its own — Project M.O.J.O. Like its Kickstarter-backed peers, Project M.O.J.O. is based on Android, but instead of requiring games to be custom-tailored to its hardware, it works with existing digital storefronts like Amazon’s Appstore and Google Play. Unbound by a proprietary platform, Project M.O.J.O. enables users to access a library of thousands of titles, including those already purchased for their Android tablet or smartphone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Four types of open source communities

    Open source software is not only about programming code. There exist a vast amount of different organizational structures that facilitate the development and diffusion of open source software. In this article, I explain the main types of organizations within the open source community.

  • Watch Live: HP Discover 2013 Hints at SDN, Flash and Open Source Future

    The stage is set for HP Discover 2013 at the Venetian|Palazzo meeting center and Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas which will kick off tomorrow, June 11, 2013, and will run through the 13th. We’ll be broadcasting live from theCUBE for the entire event, so be sure to tune into SiliconANGLE.tv for all-day coverage, featuring exclusive interviews and analysis.

  • Open Source Project ‘Weave’ Aids Java Devs Using YARN

    Continuuity announced today the public availability of its new Apache Hadoop data processing framework Weave product, a next-gen Apache Hadoop data processing framework.

    Weave is a framework designed to ease the process of writing distributed applications by providing developers with a set of interfaces that allow them to manage resources, nodes and jobs within those apps through an abstraction layer built on YARN.

  • Do You Prefer Community- or Commercially-Developed FOSS?

    In recent years, the synergies between community-developed, traditional, free open source software and commercially developed open source projects have become very complex. There are purists who argue that true open source projects rely exclusively on volunteer efforts from distributed community members, but companies with commercial interests have done very powerful things with everything from Linux to Hadoop.

  • Got a PRISM and Boundless Informant problem? Whisper and Tor can help
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla, EFF and 86 others launch campaign against surveillance

        Under the banner Stopwatching.us, the Mozilla Foundation, the EFF and 86 other civil liberties organisations have launched a campaign that calls for “a full accounting of the extent to which our online data, communications and interactions are being monitored”. In a blog posting, Alex Fowler, the leader of Mozilla’s privacy and public policy team, explains the campaign is a response to the reports of the US government “requiring vast amounts of data from Internet and phone companies via top secret surveillance programs”.

      • StopWatching.Us: Mozilla launches massive campaign on digital surveillance

        Last week, media reports emerged that the US government is requiring vast amounts of data from Internet and phone companies via top secret surveillance programs. The revelations, which confirm many of our worst fears, raise serious questions about individual privacy protections, checks on government power and court orders impacting some of the most popular Web services.

      • Total Surveillance

        Let’s ask ourselves: do we want to live in a house or a fishbowl?

      • Mozilla wants 500M users to tell gov’t: “stop watching us”

        Hoping to tap into the wave of anti-SOPA Internet activism that flooded Congress last year, Mozilla has joined with a variety of activist groups to found an anti-spying coalition called StopWatching.Us.

      • Mozilla’s Johnathan Nightingale Has Big Things in Mind for Firefox

        Over at Mozilla, there are huge sea changes underway. The company is aligning itself agressively around its new mobile focus as smartphones and other devices are poised to arrive running the company’s Firefox OS platform. And, there are giant leadership changes afoot. Mozilla has detailed significant changes to its executive management. CEO Gary Kovacs, who has been running Mozilla for three years, will step down later this year.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache CloudStack 4.1.0 Cloud Computing Platform Arrives

      In late October, we reported that It’s been six months since Citrix contributed its CloudStack open source cloud computing platform to the Apache Software Foundation. Then, Apache advanced Cloudstack with an incubator version. And sure enough, in keeping with Apache’s dependable care and feeding of open source projects, project leaders announced the arrival of Apache CloudStack 4.1.0 just a few days ago. The news arrived via mailing list from Joe Brockmeier, who used to write here on OStatic.

    • Zettaset Focuses on Secure Cluster Computing for Hadoop Big Data

      Securing Big Data is complex, and few enterprises are doing it correctly. That was the central message of a recent chat with Brian Christian, CTO of Zettaset, which sells a Hadoop orchestration platform. But Christian offered more than criticism of Big Data security practices. He also explained how his company aims to address the issues, and why security for the open source Hadoop cluster infrastructure could become a new driving force in the channel.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Dries Buytaert keynote: Drupal more than content management

      I arrived a few minutes early to the main hall of the Oregon Convention Center in preparation for Drupalcon’s opening keynote by Dries Buytaert. A random mix of music chosen by the community via Twitter using the #DrupalRadio hashtag played through the hall as people filed in with anticipation.

      [...]

      Dries took the stage to roaring applause. He started off by reiterating an ongoing theme he’s placed on the community: “Do well, do good.” It is pretty powerful to make a living by contributing to a product that has far reaching effects in government and other organizations. Focusing on the good in the world, and doing it well, is a motto that anyone could (and maybe should) live by.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • The trouble with “Business Source”

      The problem of creating funding in a new software business is a major one, and doubly so for open source based companies. Michael Widenius recently described his solution to the problem, “Business Source”, claiming it delivers “most of the benefits of open source”. The H took a look to see how that held up.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.4 Released

      Fourteen months since the release of FreeBSD 8.3, the FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced 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 whilst also introducing some new features.

  • Project Releases

    • FLAC 1.3 Released, First Update In A Long Time

      The FLAC lossless audio codec has experienced its first major update in the better part of a decade. FLAC 1.3.0 is also the first release under Xiph.Org maintainership and comes with many new features.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Filing taxes without non-free software: Slovak company appeals fines

      In a case of a Slovak company protesting against being forced to use non-free software to file taxes, a court has failed to rule on the substance of the case.

      Slovak textile importer EURA Slovakia, s.r.o. is facing EUR 5600 in fines because it refused to use the Microsoft Windows operating system to submit its electronic tax reports. Since May 2012, EURA is appealing against the fines in court.

    • The five elements of an open source city

      How can you apply the concepts of open source to a living, breathing city? An open source city is a blend of open culture, open government policies, and economic development.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • S.H.O.V.E.L. Feeds You, Cuts Things, Opens Bottles, and Is Open Source

      S.H.O.V.E.L. is yet another multitool, but it has a distinct advantage. It sports a spork for eating, a serrated edge for cutting things, a bottle opener for opening god knows what, and six feet of paracord for whatever your heart desires. Also, it’s open source and you can make it however you like.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Stanford online coursework to be available on new open-source platform

        Among the first programs to run on the OpenEdX platform will be Stanford’s popular “Three Books” summer reading program for incoming Stanford freshmen, along with two public courses now open for registration – one using contemporary health topics to teach statistics and another helping K-12 teachers and parents change the way students approach math. Courses from Stanford’s Department of Electrical Engineering are among those that will run on the platform beginning this fall.

    • Open Hardware

      • Made In China: Eric Pan and open source hardware

        Maker culture is being remade in China. Along with pioneers like Bunnie Huang and David Li, of Shanghai hackerspace Xinchejian, Eric Pan and his open hardware facilitator, Seeed Studio are accelerating the global maker movement by helping people source, design, produce, and commercialize their maker projects. And just as importantly, they are fueling a Chinese maker movement that is starting to take full advantage of both Shenzhen’s awesome manufacturing capacities and China’s shanzhai superpowers.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Appeals Court Binds Monsanto to Promise Not to Sue Organic Farmers

      A three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled yesterday that a group of organic and otherwise non-genetically modified organism (GMO) farmer and seed company plaintiffs are not entitled to bring a lawsuit to protect themselves from Monsanto‘s transgenic seed patents “because Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will not ‘take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower’s land).’”

  • Security

    • ‘White hat’ hackers are vital to internet security

      The European Parliament’s home affairs committee, on June 6, voted to endorse a legislative agreement reached with the member states on new European Union criminal law rules governing cyber-attacks; attacks against information systems, also known as hacker attacks. We opposed the new law due to the failure to properly deal with security concerns or to differentiate between different types of system breaches and hackers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Aleppo: Syrian rebels execute teenager Mohammad Kattaa in front of his parents, say reports

      A teenage boy from the Syrian city of Aleppo is reported to have been executed in front of his family by an Islamist rebel group, which accused him of blasphemy.

      Graphic images of 15 year-old Mohammad Kattaa, a coffee seller in the war torn city, appeared on the internet yesterday. They appeared to show that the boy had been shot in the mouth and through the neck.

    • U.S.-NATO installed Libyan regime requests assistance from imperialist military alliance

      After more than two years of a full-fledged Pentagon- and NATO-led war against the North African state of Libya, the installed General National Congress (GNC) regime is now requesting assistance from their neocolonial masters. In a press release issued June 4 by Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, he indicated that the Western-backed government in Tripoli had requested assistance on security matters.

      A team of so-called “experts” is expected to leave as soon as possible and report back to NATO by the end of June “so we can decide on the way ahead,” Rasmussen said.

    • Toddlers Killed More Americans Than Terrorists Did This Year

      Americans hate terrorists and love our kids, right? So you might be shocked to know that preschoolers with guns have taken more lives so far this year than the single U.S. terrorist attack, which claimed four lives in Boston.

      This is admittedly tongue-in-cheek, but one has to wonder if the NSA’s PRISM program would have saved more lives had it been monitoring toddlers – or gun owners – rather than suspected terrorists.

    • Polish prosecutors get more time for CIA jail probe

      Polish prosecutors have extended until early October the five-year-old criminal investigation into allegations that the CIA ran secret jails on Polish soil, a case human rights campaigners say the authorities are deliberately dragging out.

    • More time for CIA Polish jail probe
    • McCollum calls for scrapping CIA drone program

      U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum today will propose cutting off funding for the Central Intelligence Agency’s program that kills targets with unmanned drones.

      The St. Paul Democrat, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a press release she will propose an amendment to the 2014 defense appropriations bill that would give sole responsibility for any lethal military action using unmanned aerial vehicles to the Department of Defense.

    • Amnesty calls on Poland to investigate secret CIA prison
    • Poland: Reveal the truth about secret CIA detention site

      A five-year investigation into Poland’s involvement in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes must be completed immediately, with those responsible for human rights violations brought to justice in fair trials, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    • Answers needed on possible GCHQ role in CIA drone strikes

      Allegations that GCHQ (the UK government communications headquarters) used a US programme to circumvent the law and spy on British citizens have led to renewed calls for the agency to disclose what its policy is on providing intelligence to support CIA drone strikes.

    • Russia may grant asylum for CIA whistleblower

      Russia may grant political asylum to a former CIA whistleblower who has revealed Washington’s highly classified global surveillance programs, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

      “If we receive such a request, we’ll consider it,” local business daily Kommersant quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

    • News bites: IBM and Amazon locked in battle for $600M CIA contract

      Government and security officials in Asia are growing concerned that emails they’ve sent from Yahoo and Google email addresses have been monitored by the National Security Agency, Reuters reports.

    • CIA General Counsel to be Nominated Top Pentagon Lawyer

      The Obama administration has turned to the CIA for the U.S. Defense Department’s next top lawyer.

    • Drones kill three bad guys — and 30 innocents: Akbar Ahmed

      These reflect a certain contradiction in American policy — these almost suggest a confrontation with the new PM which the US does not want.

    • If a drone were downed

      President Obama has demonstrated two things. First, he is better at winning elections than conducting foreign policy. Second, he can’t tell the difference between the two.

    • The killer machine

      The second question that poses itself in relation to drone attacks is: can these endless attacks go on endlessly? How much bloodshed is enough? In a recent speech by Mr Obama limiting the use of drone attacks was welcome news. As he noted: “By the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we’ve made against core al-Qaeda will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.” Reduce. Not end. What does limiting the strikes mean in quantifiable terms? Is limiting the strikes adequate a step to negate the cascading effects of the drone policy?

    • The Real Obama’s Bent on Killing Innocent People with Remote-controlled Drones
    • Books, not drones

      The US has said that drones are useful and that it will continue drone strikes in Pakistan. If drone attacks really are useful, why didn’t the US use drones to win the war in Afghanistan? After spending more than a decade – and trillions of dollars – in Afghanistan, the US is still looking for a safe way out of the Afghanistan quagmire.

    • Drone strikes and their psychological impact

      An increasing number of people living in the tribal areas are suffering from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobia and panic attacks in the aftermath of drone attacks. Mental health professionals fear that people distressed by drone terror may develop long-term ramifications of psychological trauma that could cause malfunction in their lives. The fear induced by the knowledge that a drone attack could be looming in the sky creates an atmosphere of entrapment among inhabitants of remote areas. Many of these victims develop psychiatric figures such as post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional breakdowns, anticipatory anxiety, insomnia, high levels of stress and a profound sense of powerlessness, which are all manifestations of the poor quality of life.

    • ACLU Drones Lawsuit Slams Obama For Asserting Right To Kill Americans Without Oversight

      Two civil liberties organizations suing the U.S. government for killing three Americans in drone strikes slammed the Obama administration Tuesday for trying to cut federal courts out of the debate. The government argued in a court filing last week that drone strikes against American citizens were constitutional, in part, because President Barack Obama said they are.

    • Even the Warriors Say the Wars Make Us Less Safe
    • Ron Paul: Fear Snowden Could Be Target of Drone Assassination

      Former GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul insisted on Tuesday that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is not a traitor, but he fears the U.S. government may send drones or a cruise missile to kill the 29-year-old, who has fled the United States.

    • Matt Salmon aims to restrict domestic drone strikes

      U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., has introduced legislation restricting domestic drone strikes and requiring the U.S. government to publicly report American citizens being held in military detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

      The legislation comes in the form of amendments attached to Pentagon spending bills. They come as more light is shed on domestic surveillance and spying programs via data mining of cell phone, e-mail and Internet data.

    • Atlantans Protest International Drone Conference in Buckhead

      The convention brought together representatives from academia, industry, federal and state agencies, the private sector, and engineers who are working to expand the use of drones in the US and internationally.

  • Cablegate

    • Manning Judge Rules Crowd-Funded Stenographers Should Be Given Permanent Court Access
    • Bradley Manning Trial and Unconstitutional Secrecy

      After more than three years in custody, Pfc. Bradley Manning’s trial finally began on June 3. The 25-year old Oklahoma native has already pled guilty to ten charges, but faces prosecution on 12 more relating to the 2010 release of restricted government documents to Wikileaks.

      [...]

      Court documents are being withheld and redacted…

    • The war criminals should be on trial, not Bradley Manning

      The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Manning is forbidden by the court to challenge the government’s unverified assertion that he harmed national security. Lead defense attorney David E. Coombs said during pretrial proceedings that the judge’s refusal to permit information on the lack of actual damage from the leaks would “eliminate a viable defense, and cut defense off at the knees.” And this is what has happened.

    • The Judicial Lynching of Bradley Manning

      The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Manning is forbidden by the court to challenge the government’s unverified assertion that he harmed national security. Lead defense attorney David E. Coombs said during pretrial proceedings that the judge’s refusal to permit information on the lack of actual damage from the leaks would “eliminate a viable defense, and cut defense off at the knees.” And this is what has happened.

  • Finance

    • Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

      The International Monetary Fund has admitted that some of the decisions it made in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis were wrong, and that the €130bn first bailout of Greece was “bungled”. Well, yes. If it hadn’t been a mistake, then it would have been the only bailout and everyone in Greece would have lived happily ever after.

    • A Socialism for the 21st Century

      Capitalism has stopped “delivering the goods” for quite a while now, especially in its older bases (Europe, North America and Japan). Real wage stagnation, deepening wealth and income inequalities, unsustainable debt levels and export of jobs have been prevailing trends in those areas. The global crisis since 2007 only accelerated those trends. In response, more has happened than Keynesianism returning to challenge neoliberalism and critiques returning to challenge uncritical celebrations of capitalism. Capitalism’s development has raised a basic question again: What alternative economic system might be necessary and preferable for societies determined to do better than capitalism? That old mole, socialism, has thus returned for interrogation about its past to draw the lessons about its present and future.

  • Censorship

    • Shock in Greece at imminent closure of public broadcaster ERT

      The move, which brought immediate protests outside the broadcaster’s headquarters, is the latest austerity measure imposed because of the demands of international lenders.

      “With one page of this unconstitutional decree, one act of legislation in one night, they are destroying or trying to destroy the national TV,” said employment lawyer Dimitris Perpataris, among the protesters.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden and the security state laid bare

      Beyond the leaks themselves, Snowden has exposed how the US government enforces secrecy in the very act of spying on us

    • Justice minister won’t comment on AIVD digital spying claims

      If the AIVD lists an American address as suspicious, it is supplied all the information within five minutes, a source told the paper. The source worked for the department which monitored potential Dutch Muslim extremists, the paper said. – See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/06/justice_minister_wont_comment.php#sthash.AP9wEGlh.dpuf

    • Majority Of Americans Okay With NSA Dragnet… Or, Wait, Not Okay With It; Depending On How You Ask

      While it’s tempting to believe a large number of Americans simply haven’t been paying attention for the last 11 years, the more probable explanation for the consistent support of government monitoring is the hypocrisy of partisan politics. Republicans and Democrats have shown their support of government surveillance is directly tied to whoever’s currently in the White House.

    • The (Supposed) Dangers of Advocacy Journalism, NSA/Greenwald Division
    • Ed Snowden — Benedict Arnold or Aaron Swartz?

      “We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter,” the ‘Beltway bandit contractor’ promises.

    • Why James Clapper Should Be Impeached For Lying To Congress

      We’ve already covered how Director of National Intelligence James Clapper not only lied to Congress, but has now admitted he lied by claiming he told the “least untruthful answer” he could think of, which was extremely untruthful, in that it was untruthful. He was asked whether or not the NSA collects any type of data on millions of Americans and he said no. The full collection of records on every phone call for the past seven years (at least) proves that statement was categorically false. Derek Khanna has an excellent and detailed opinion piece up on how this clearly constitutes an impeachable offense in the form of lying to Congress.

    • 86 Companies And Groups Ask Congress To Put An End To Abusive NSA Spying

      A group of nearly 100 civil liberties, public interest groups and internet companies have asked Congress to put an end to the abusive NSA surveillance that we’ve been writing about over the past week (full disclosure: our company, Floor64, is a part of the coalition, along with the EFF, ACLU, reddit, Mozilla, the American Library Assocation, the Internet Archive and many, many more). Along with this effort, a new website has been launched, called Stop Watching Us, which is collecting more signatures for the letter, while also asking for some specific reforms from Congress.

    • NSA surveillance: The US is behaving like China

      Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.

    • Connecting The PRISM Dots: My New Theory

      My guess is that Google and the others have agreed to receive FISA requests in an automated way, process them in an automated way, and fire off the data in an automated way. That whole process could take a very small amount of time. Milliseconds for small sets of data, easy. Anything beyond that is from any human intervention at Google to read the order and decide whether to accept it. From what I’ve seen, it’s extremely rare for companies to push back on orders, since the secret FISA court always, without exception, tells them to settle down and get that data over to the NSA, pronto.

    • What to Make of Snowden? CBS Asks Bush-Era Counterterror Official

      So he’s not just CBS’s security analyst; Zarate worked, in the previous administration, in the policy areas where the controversial programs were developed

    • Lack of Intelligence

      US citizens are included in the UK Prism operation, and UK citizens are included in the US Prism operation…

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden gets his wish: “Change”

      In disclosing classified details about some of the US government’s most secret surveillance programs, NSA leaker Edward Snowden said his greatest fear “regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.”

      [...]

      In the wake of Snowden’s disclosures, critics on the left and the right have turned angrily on Clapper for his exchange with Wyden. Some have suggested he be prosecuted for lying to Congress, or at the very least, hauled before it again to answer more questions. Wyden, whose statement today says his office originally gave Clapper “a chance to amend his answer” after the Senate hearing, is now calling for public hearings. Americans, Wyden said, “have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives.”

      [...]

      Still, any public debates on secrecy will be hamstrung by secrecy itself. Wyden would not comment further on the matter; a staffer at his office would only say that Wyden is frustrated that he can’t say more about the issue, because so much of what he knows—about Clapper’s comments and the surveillance programs—is classified. NSA and DNI officials had no immediate comment either.

    • U.S. surveillance leaks and the EU data protection reform

      The latest leaks about United States intelligence services’ broad access to telephone and cloud data[1] confirm what had been suspected for a while, based on a legal analysis of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendment Act of 2008. The act for the first time introduced the term “remote computing service” in the definition of electronic communication service providers which are subject to secret surveillance orders by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.[2] It also allows this kind of digital espionage for purely political reasons[3] and on entities including NGOs in other countries.[4] The Greens/EFA group and the whole European Parliament had addressed the issue in the past on several occasions[5], and a study produced for the European Parliament in 2012[6] finally started a robust debate.

    • The morning after the weekend the Big Data bubble burst

      A cynic might say worldwide intelligence services are only doing to our data what countless Big Data Corporations have done for well over a decade now.

      That cynic might say government security services, even with the types of data syphons revealed in the Guardian over the last few days, generally know far less about our lives than our supermarket or bank.

      But for some reason, and despite the power large corporations hold over our lives (the power to deny: deny credit, deny access to a service, or erase an online identity…), exposure of a government tap into this data has, finally, causes a shit storm big enough to seriously damage a whole industry.

    • International Customers: It’s Time to Call on US Internet Companies to Demand Accountability and Transparency
    • EFF and ACLU Request FISA Court Unseal Its Opinions on Legality of Surveillance Conducted Under FISA Amendments, Patriot Act ~p

      Because the President has said he welcomes discussion about the recent NSA surveillance revelations, I thought you’d want to know about a motion EFF brought in FISA court, which is being opposed by the government in a rare public document [PDF] — relevant, EFF says, to the latest news. And there is also an ACLU motion [PDF] as well, requesting “that this Court unseal its opinions evaluating the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.”

    • US preparing to charge Snowden in NSA leak – report
    • Assange to NSA whistleblower Snowden: ‘We are winning, but I hope you have a plan’
    • A.C.L.U. Files Lawsuit Seeking to Stop the Collection of Domestic Phone Logs

      The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program — whose existence was exposed last week by a former National Security Agency contractor — is illegal and asking a judge to stop it and order the records purged.

    • Canadians Should Be Concerned about the NSA and PRISM

      On Friday, the world found out about PRISM: a secret tool developed by the United States’ National Security Agency that has been used, since 2007, to directly tap into the servers of companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple without the permission of the corporations themselves. From what has been described by the Guardian and their source Edward Snowden, a former employee of the private security contractor Booz Allen, the NSA has been recording anything and everything they can through the capabilities of a massive surveillance net that is growing exponentially in size.

    • “1984” Sales Skyrocket in Wake of NSA Scandal

      Originally published on June 8, 1949, the book tells the story of a dystopian society led by Big Brother that is rife with war and government surveillance. Ironically, the 64th anniversary of the book’s release came just a couple of days after the NSA scandal became public knowledge.

    • US Media’s Contempt & Inability to Comprehend What It Means to Be a Whistleblower
    • NSA Dragnet Debacle: What It Means To IT

      Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed Thursday that the U.S. government has been secretly collecting information since 2007, exploiting backdoor access to the systems and data of major Internet and tech companies in search of national security threats. That NSA dragnet, revealed by The Washington Post and The Guardian and code-named PRISM, reportedly taps into user data from Facebook, Google, Apple and other U.S.-based companies. (Those providers have mostly denied that the NSA has such backdoor access.)

    • Is The US Using Prism To Engage In Commercial Espionage Against Germany And Others

      As we noted last week, one of the key claims following the revelations about the Prism program was that it was aimed at those outside the US, and that US citizens were caught up in it only incidentally. A further leak concerned the Boundless Informant analysis tool, one of whose maps showed which regions of the world were subject to most surveillance. Along with obvious hotspots like Iran and Pakistan, Germany too was among those of particular interest, as was the US (whoops.) A story on reason.com offers a clue as to why that might be.

      [...]

      Given that the NSA is gathering information on a large scale — even though we don’t know exactly how large — it’s inevitable that some of that data will include sensitive information about business activities in foreign countries. That could be very handy for US companies seeking to gain a competitive advantage, and it’s not hard to imagine the NSA passing it on in a suitably discreet way.

      Germany is known as the industrial and economic powerhouse of Europe, so it would make sense to keep a particularly close eye on what people are doing there — especially if those people happen to work in companies that compete with US firms. In other words, just as as the CIA was looking to obtain “secret banking information” in Switzerland, it seems quite likely that the NSA also comes into the possession of similarly sensitive commercial data during its German trawls.

    • The NSA Has A Secret Group Called ‘TAO’ That’s Been Hacking China For 15 Years

      The primary complaint against China’s outift of military hackers has been dual pronged: the U.S. private sector is losing expensive proprietary information, and the public sector is having its sensitive weapons systems compromised.

      China’s response has been, simply: yeah but the U.S. did it to us first, and worse.

      It turns out, China might just be telling it like it is this time.

    • Google Opens Up Some More: The ‘Secret’ Computer System It Uses To Give Info To NSA Is Secure FTP

      Google is continuing to open up about the supposed “secret” program by which it hands data over to the NSA that has been subject to so much attention over the last week. And, once again, the story seems to be less than what was originally reported. Google’s now said that when it receives a valid FISA order for information, the “secret” computer system it uses to get the required info to the NSA isn’t some crazy server setup or dropbox… but secure FTP.

    • Lawsuits mount against Obama administration over NSA surveillance

      The ACLU, Senator Rand Paul and the parents of deceased Navy SEAL Michael Strange are seeking legal action against the White House over revelations of an internet spy program they say infringed on their constitutional rights.

    • PRISM – The British Dimension

      …the US is legally ignoring UK liberties is disturbing.

    • It’s About Power, not Privacy

      In order to limit the power of the federal government and protect individual liberty, the founders appended the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, explicitly specifying some activities that the federal government may not do. But more important than restrictions on what the government may do are limitations on what the government can do. The government of the founding era was unjust in all kinds of ways, but it had very limited ability to impose any sort of centralized will upon an area as large as the Atlantic seaboard, bordered by a continent-sized wilderness. The tools available—muskets, cannons, horses, and wooden ships—were simply not up to the task of controlling the minutiae of the entire population’s everyday lives from Washington.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Whistleblower Edward Snowden talks to South China Morning Post

      Ex-CIA contractor speaks to reporter from secret location in Hong Kong, revealing fresh details of US surveillance, pressure on Hong Kong, snooping and cyber attacks on China.

    • NSA surveillance: anger mounts in Congress at ‘spying on Americans’

      Anger was mounting in Congress on Tuesday night as politicians, briefed for the first time after revelations about the government’s surveillance dragnet, vowed to rein in a system that one said amounted to “spying on Americans”.

      Intelligence chiefs and FBI officials had hoped that the closed-door briefing with a full meeting of the House of Representatives would help reassure members about the widespread collection of US phone records revealed by the Guardian.

    • Thanks, NSA: Amazon sales of Orwell’s 1984 rise 9,500%

      A glance at the “Movers and Shakers” page of Amazon shows there’s been an unusual reaction to the current NSA spying scandal: sales of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four are up 9,538 per cent.

      It was somewhat ironic that the news of the NSA’s systematic slurping of phone records and the subsequent revelations about the PRISM spying system were revealed in the same week as the 64th anniversary of the publication of Orwell’s dark masterpiece. Now it seems people are buying it up either to learn about what could be, or simply because recent events reminded them to read the classic.

    • Icelandic MP offers NSA whistleblower asylum assistance as US calls for extradition

      AN Icelandic member of parliament has offered the whistleblower behind the largest leak of classified information in the history of the US National Security Agency (NSA) asylum assistance.

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’

      Edward Snowden says he wants to ask the people of Hong Kong to decide his fate after choosing the city because of his faith in its rule of law.

      The 29-year-old former CIA employee behind what might be the biggest intelligence leak in US history revealed his identity to the world in Hong Kong on Sunday. His decision to use a city under Chinese sovereignty as his haven has been widely questioned – including by some rights activists in Hong Kong.

      Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.

  • Civil Rights

    • Riot police deployed amid G8 protest in London’s West End

      Protesters believed to be occupying a former police station in Soho as part of action before summit in Northern Ireland

    • Hacker who outed Ohio rapists faces longer jail time than the rapists
    • How Edward Snowden weakened the case for his defence

      If Edward Snowden is ever brought back for trial in the US, he would almost certainly be prosecuted under a law dating back to the first world war and which lawyers say is so broadly worded it would leave the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower with little room for a defence.

      The 1917 Espionage Act has gone through some amendments over the years but its language still reflects the security concerns of a century ago, with references to railroads, forts and telegraphs. But its all-encompassing character has stood the test of time. Section 793 of the law makes it an offence to take, retain or transfer knowledge “with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation”.

    • Perhaps The NSA Should Figure Out How To Keep Its Own Stuff Secret Before Building A Giant Database

      Apparently, the brilliant minds at the NSA are completely bewildered as to how Ed Snowden had access to everything he had access to. They don’t think it’s possible.

    • Europe Rattles Its Sabres Over Prism’s ‘Bulk Transfer’ Of EU Citizen Data

      The European Commission today outlined its concerns regarding the widely reported Prism surveillance programme run by the NSA. The Commission plans to raise the Prism matter with US authorities “at the earliest possible opportunity” and will “request clarifications as to whether access to personal data within the framework of the Prism program is limited to individual cases and based on concrete suspicions, or if it allows bulk transfer of data.” The next opportunity will be this Friday at a meeting Dublin.

    • Senate Passes Bill Creating Crime of Aggravated Harassment of a Police Officer
    • New York Senate Makes It Felony to Annoy or Alarm the Police, Which Won’t Be At All Problematic

      Arguing “too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer” – and we can’t imagine why – the New York State Senate has passed a bill creating the felony crime of aggravated harassment if anyone makes physical contact with a police officer with the intent to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” – a term so impossibly nebulous it could apply to virtually anyone, anytime, doing pretty much anything in the vicinity of said officer. And yes, he or she gets to decide just what is annoying, and obviously he or she will be totally honest and accurate about what went down in any given encounter.

    • Want to See Your NSA or FBI File? Here’s How…

      Of course, you can also do this directly through the NSA or FBI if you are worried about providing personal information to an independent site.

      While an appropriate level of cynicism may be warranted concerning the level of transparency one should expect from such a request – should your file be substantial – it is the law that your complete file be provided to you upon request.

      Demand that the law be followed, for it is your right as a citizen to know this information.

      My request is going in the mail today.

    • Bill would force you to give police phone after accident

      New Jersey legislators propose allowing police to examine your cell phone without a warrant in the event of being stopped. This is in response to texting and driving incidents.

    • Neoliberalism has hijacked our vocabulary

      At a recent art exhibition I engaged in an interesting conversation with one of the young people employed by the gallery.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Modem to improve African net access

      A modem designed specifically for Africa has been announced at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh.

      The device combines rugged design with a range of connectivity options, switching between wi-fi, 3G and fixed broadband.

      Ushahidi, the Kenyan tech firm behind BRCK, believe Africa-specific hardware is long overdue.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama administration blocking consensus at Human Rights Council on access to medicines resolution

      Five years after Obama passionately talked about health as a “right for every American”, KEI has been informed that the United States is seeking to call for a vote on resolution tabled by Brazil and co-sponsored by the African Group, India, Indonesia, Thailand on “Access to medicines in the context of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”. The resolution is expected to be adopted by the Human Rights Council on Thursday, 13 June 2013. The US’s decision to put the resolution to a vote, thus guaranteeing it will not receive consensus support, has been perceived in the human rights committee as a slap in the face of the countries backing the proposal.

      According to informed sources, “the draft resolution on access to medicines will be adopted tomorrow morning
      at the current session of the Human Rights Council… The EU is willing to join consensus over the text. But the US has indicated that it will call for a vote…The US joined consensus on the same topic in 2011 and 2009 at the Human Rights Council. The language is basically the same. It is difficult to understand their position”.

    • Copyrights

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