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Links 27/6/2013: Kubuntu to Deviate Further From Canonical, New Debian Derivatives

Posted in News Roundup at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Digg Reader Opens in Beta

    Digg Reader is designed for a power-user demanding the freshest and the hottest. The challenge of replacing the Google Reader is in the infrastructure. Reader needs to be reliable and snappy. Jake Levine (GM) and Andrew McLaughlin (President) of Digg promise their reader to be just as good and better than Google Reader.

  • 2 Amazing Google Reader Replacements You Haven’t Heard Of
  • Health/Nutrition

    • USDA Forces Whole Foods To Accept Monsanto

      In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Does Jon Meacham Remember the 2000 Election?
    • Seven Faces of NRA/ALEC-Approved “Stand Your Ground” Law

      As George Zimmerman’s trial for shooting and killing unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in early 2012 gets underway, the “Stand Your Ground” law that initially kept Zimmerman from being arrested is still the subject of much controversy. Florida’s law became the template for an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) “model bill” that has been introduced in dozens of other states. As the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has reported, the bill was brought to ALEC by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

    • For Bradley Foundation, Challenging Affirmative Action & Voting Rights Is Part of Long-Term Crusade

      The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation is one-for-two in legal challenges to civil rights and racial equality this term, with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in one case bankrolled by Bradley, and in another, remanding an affirmative action case to a lower court, turning back the Bradley-backed challenge. The cases represent the latest in the Bradley Foundation’s long-term effort to dismantle the gains of the civil rights era.

  • Privacy

    • The personal side of taking on the NSA: emerging smears

      When I made the choice to report aggressively on top-secret NSA programs, I knew that I would inevitably be the target of all sorts of personal attacks and smears. You don’t challenge the most powerful state on earth and expect to do so without being attacked. As a superb Guardian editorial noted today: “Those who leak official information will often be denounced, prosecuted or smeared. The more serious the leak, the fiercer the pursuit and the greater the punishment.”

      One of the greatest honors I’ve had in my years of writing about politics is the opportunity to work with and befriend my long-time political hero, Daniel Ellsberg. I never quite understood why the Nixon administration, in response to his release of the Pentagon Papers, would want to break into the office of Ellsberg’s psychoanalyst and steal his files. That always seemed like a non sequitur to me: how would disclosing Ellsberg’s most private thoughts and psychosexual assessments discredit the revelations of the Pentagon Papers?

    • Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype & Yahoo Hit With Prism Data Protection Complaints In Europe

      The European data protection activists behind the Europe v Facebook (evf) campaign group, that has long been a thorn in Facebook’s side in Europe, have filed new complaints under regional data protection law targeting Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo for their alleged collaboration with the NSA’s Prism data collection program.

    • NSA takes surveillance fact sheets off website
    • Potential Blind Spots in Clearance Process that Gave Snowden Top-Secret Access

      More than a million Americans have security clearances to access classified information. Here’s what the government does–and doesn’t–do when deciding who’s trustworthy

    • An EFF sticker on your laptop is an Insider Threat warning sign?
    • NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama

      The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

    • FAQ: What You Need to Know About the NSA’s Surveillance Programs

      A record of most calls made in the U.S., including the telephone number of the phones making and receiving the call, and how long the call lasted. This information is known as “metadata” and doesn’t include a recording of the actual call (but see below). This program was revealed through a leaked secret court order instructing Verizon to turn over all such information on a daily basis. Other phone companies, including AT&T and Sprint, also reportedly give their records to the NSA on a continual basis. All together, this is several billion calls per day.

    • EFF Sues FBI For Access to Facial-Recognition Records

      As the FBI is rushing to build a “bigger, faster and better” biometrics database, it’s also dragging its feet in releasing information related to the program’s impact on the American public. In response, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today filed a lawsuit to compel the FBI to produce records to satisfy three outstanding Freedom of Information Act requests that EFF submitted one year ago to shine light on the program and its face-recognition components.

    • ‘World order unjust and immoral!’ Ecuador’s Correa rips into Snowden coverage

      Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa came up with scalding online remarks over criticism his country faced from the US press for potentially granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      “They’ve managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced,” Correa said Wednesday in response to a Tuesday Washington Post editorial.

      “The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa added.

      The US newspaper accused Correa of adhering to double standards in the NSA leaker case, as Ecuador is considering harboring Snowden from prosecution over US espionage charges. It descried the Ecuadoran president as “the autocratic leader of a tiny, impoverished” country with an ambition to replace the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as “the hemisphere’s preeminent anti-US demagogue”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pandering to Racism

      It is unpleasant for a nation to be singled out as comprised of particularly untrustworthy individuals against whom special measures are needed. Theresa May appears quite deliberately to be singling out countries whose citizens are normally black or brown – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Nigeria. They are all citizens with extremely close ties to the UK. For example, all of those countries supplied large numbers of men to British armed forces in two World Wars; with little resulting gratitude.

    • A failiure of oversight that goes beyond the police

      The revelations about the Metropolitan Police’s efforts to discredit the family of Steven Lawrence have rightly brought cross-party condemnation. Taken alongside disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the wider questions about the oversight of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are too important to ignore.

      As David Davis MP wrote in the Guardian:

      “Sadly this is not an isolated example. Back in 2002 the Labour government set out to smear members of the Paddington Survivors Group, an organisation made up of those injured in the rail crash that killed 31 people. When the group’s leader, Pam Warren, dared to criticise Stephen Byers, then transport secretary, muckraking spin doctors quickly went digging for dirt on her political affiliations and even her sexual history.

    • Federal Judge Dismisses Abu Ghraib Case Under Sweeping Ruling Under The Alien Tort Statute

      The Lee ruling illustrates the hypocrisy of the United States in proclaiming our government as committed to the rule of law while denying review of the most egregious abuses by our government and its contractors. It also reflects the Obama Administration continue scorched earth approach to public interest litigation seeking review of the actions of the government from warrantless surveillance to torture to prison abuse. President Obama has made clear that his preferred court and form of transparency is the secret FISA court with secret rulings, rubber stamp approvals, and no adversarial process.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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