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08.21.13

Links 21/8/2013: Diversity on the Desktop, Android as Distro

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Brackets, The Open Source Editor Created By Adobe Is Now Available For Linux Systems

    Brackets, the open-source editor created by Adobe is now available for Linux systems. It is very usefull for web designers and developers, because it has support for HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

  • Open Source CAD Software List Now Published, Boffin Announces
  • How NOT to organize a FOSS workshop

    This “Open Source” organization did a lot of cool projects along the time, I participated myself in a few and reported positively about them, one such project was a summer program with many workshops (mostly about development) at a local university. So I gladly accepted when I was invited as a guest at the ‘graphics design and editing’ workshop, which as the title says, it didn’t went that smooth…

  • List of Open Source Data Back-Up Software Published by Boffin
  • Mailpile Is A Pro-Privacy, Open Source Webmail Project That’s Raised ~$100,000 On Indiegogo

    Mailpile is a relatively rare thing: a software project that looks certain to achieve its crowdfunding goal. The Mailpile Indiegogo campaign is less than $5,000 away from its $100,000 target, still with 22 days left to run, so it’s clearly struck a chord with its close to 2,000 backers. Still, it’s not hugely surprising — given how timely this pro-privacy project is.

  • Install an Open Source Dropbox Alternative on Linux in 10 Steps

    Dropbox has made its mark as an integral productivity tool. Simple file sharing and syncing makes it easy to keep all your important documents and files on hand, wherever you are.

    If you’re anything like me, you’ve hit the space limit of your free Dropbox account, and wondered if the Open Source world has any alternatives. Good news! Sparkleshare has you covered. Combined with a Bitbucket account and a little effort, you can have practically unlimited storage, for free!

    What would you not use Sparkleshare for? Git is not designed for large files. Bitbucket will not allow you to upload a file bigger than a 100MB, and you may see a significant performance impact for files over 10MB. Sparkleshare may not be the best choice if you’re sharing your MP3 collection, or other sizeable files.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Which Web browser crashes the most?

      When it comes to crashing, just like with speed, Sauce Labs finds that not all Web browsers are created equally.

    • Chrome

      • Google updates Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux

        SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has released the latest version of its Chrome web browser for the Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems with security fixes and improvements.

        A blog post from Google project manager Jason Kersey said that there are 25 security fixes and that a number of them came from the reporting community.

        Also fresh are improved Omnibox suggestions, and Google said that these will be based more closely on previous searches. The Omnibox, by the way, is what Google calls the Chrome search box or website address field.

      • Google Releases Chrome 29 Stable for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows

        Google was proud to announce a few minutes ago, August 20, the promotion of the Google Chrome 29 web browser to the stable channel, supporting the Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and Chrome Frame platforms.

    • Mozilla

      • North America Mozilla Reps Meetup

        This past weekend myself and reps from across North America spent the weekend working from Mozilla’s San Francisco office to collaborate on a plan for North America. During these two days, we built a plan that will help us grow the contributor community in North America and focus on areas we feel are priorities.

      • Firefox takes top marks in browser stability tests

        Web app testing-as-a-service company Sauce Labs has released its latest browser crash data, and remarkably enough, the least stable web browser today probably isn’t the one you think it is.

      • Mozilla Firefox launches in Tamil

        A group of over 10 volunteers have completed a near full translation of the free opensource Internet browser after more than a year’s work.

      • How to Re-Enable the Blink Effect in Mozilla Firefox 23

        The following tutorial will teach all Mozilla Firefox users how to re-enable the Blink Tag (also known as the blink element) and the blink effect from the text-decoration: blink; CSS property on the latest stable version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

      • Chrome 29 Improves the Omnibox, Adds a Browser Reset Option

        The Google Chrome browser is out in a new version 29 and it includes fixes for at least 25 vulnerabilities in addition to a few cool new features. Most significantly, Goole has improved omnibox suggestions for what you may be searching for or interested in based on your recent activity. There is also a nearly instant way to reset the browser back to original settings, which can be useful if extensions or any other components are presenting problems.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tokutek’s John Partridge: Open Source Is Vested in Big Data

      “One problem about Big Data is that people want to deal with a bunch of data that is not neatly structured into columns with fields that hold a person’s first name, last name, etc. That structured data works well for information that does not change very often. In the world of Big Data, a lot of the data comes from server logs or the navigation history of a particular visitor to your website.”

    • Morphlabs Gets $10 Million to Expand its OpenStack Push in Asia

      Morphlabs, which has focused on enabling Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) functions through public and private OpenStack cloud deployments, has announced a new new $10 million Series D investment that will help it expand its OpenStack efforts in Asia. The company had already been offering training services for OpenStack in both the U.S. and Asia, and is also working in partnership with NEC on OpenStack public cloud services for Asia.

  • Databases

    • HP’s Brian Aker: Open Cloud Gains Importance Post-PRISM

      Since the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillence program was leaked to the press in June, the public and corporate backlash has some analysts estimating billions of dollars in losses for the IT services industry. In this context, developing an open source alternative to commercial cloud platforms becomes even more important, argues Brian Aker, a fellow in the HP cloud services division.

    • SPIDER in MariaDB
    • Use MySQL Utilities for better MySQL administration

      Oracle, the company behind MySQL, provides MySQL Utilities, a collection of command-line scripts for accomplishing some common database administration tasks. We put the utilities through their paces on CentOS 6 and MySQL 5.6.

    • FoundationDB ACID-lovers price up NoSQL database

      NoSQL database startup FoundationDB has made its ACID-compliant tech generally available, after an extended beta that has seen over 2,000 people try out the company’s unorthodox database.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Development Howto

      Questions about LibreOffice development efforts or how to implement specific improvements are among the most frequent requests we see at Lanedo. As a result, this LibreOffice development howto summarizes steps and tips to allow everyone interested to easily get involved.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Open Source Education Projects

      As of this writing, there are only 28 hours left in the indiegogo campaign to build the Ubuntu Edge phone, and the campaign looks to be $20 million short of the goal. On the bright side, this also means that there were 10,760 people willing to pay a good chunk of money for a phone that they most likely didn’t need. For the past month, Larry the Free Software Guy has been posting a list of worthy projects that are in need of funds every time he mentions Ubuntu Edge. If you are disappointed in the fund raising campaign this list might be worth a look.

  • Healthcare

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • VLC 2.1 Rincewind about to enter the arena

      For quite a long time now, I have been compiling VLC packages in the 2.0 series (nicknamed “Twoflower”). My standard way of working is to prepare tarballs with pre-compiled code for the internally used libraries (the “contribs” in VideoLAN terms – stuff like ffmpeg, matroska, dvdcss etcetera) and then leave those precompiled tarballs relatively unchanged while I update the VLC version between builds. That way I can kind of guarantee that the internal encoding and decoding capabilities do not break all of a sudden – new bugs are usually easily tracked down to VLC bugs.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Talking open source sense in the public sector

      Open source evangelists are arguing that the government should pursue wholesale open source adoption as soon as possible. Is this approach the best route to take for sustained, long term government use of open source?

    • Open Source in the UK: Sharing the Fire

      As even a cursory glance at articles on Open Enterprise over the last few years will indicate, open source is a massive success in practically every market. Except, unfortunately, on the desktop (famously) and more, generally, for consumers. And as Aral Balkan points out in an important post from a few weeks ago, that’s a real problem….

      [...]

      A company based around open source and privacy, inspired by Snowden’s leaks and GCHQ’s massive surveillance programme? That’s pretty remarkable, and on its own would make the endeavour worth supporting. But there’s another hugely important reason why we should get behind this idea: this is a British project, based in Brighton.

      Silicon Roundabout is all very well, but it’s largely driven by giant US companies and their agendas. What the UK’s computing industry needs is a vision and a platform that is suitable for a wide variety of startups offering both local and global products. It’s hard to tell from the rather scant details we have, but the premise of Codename Prometheus is certainly promising, since it would allow new entrants to use open source to address the mainstream consumer market – something that has been hard to do so far.

  • Licensing

    • Busted for Dodging Linux License, Samsung Makes Nice With Free Code

      Samsung has released software that could help a brand new class of storage devices work with Linux-based smartphones and computers.

      Made late last week, the code release is the result of a mini-saga involving Samsung and the open source software community. It might never have happened — at least not officially — if not for an anonymous hacker who calls herself “rxrz.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Can there be open source music?

      We have seen this happen in the world of creative content with Creative Commons. Larry Lessig, following a straightforward reading of the US Constitution and building on many of the insights published years earlier by Lewis Hyde in the book The Gift, realized that while there was nothing wrong with commercializing content per se, there was something very wrong about treating cultural resources as private, alienable property forever. Lessig believed, and I agree, that there is a benefit to giving the public some agency over the content that defines their culture, just as open source gives other developers—even users—agency over the software they have. Look at how the public has used that agency to create Wikipedia, a phenomenal collection of one of our most valuable cultural artifacts: human knowledge.

    • Heart failure breakthrough may come from “open source” cancer drug development: Discoveries

      Dr. James Bradner and Jun Qi work together in a lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. They have been using “crowd-sourcing” – asking for ideas from scientists everywhere – in developing JQ1, a new cancer drug named for Qi. Bradner’s lab worked with Dr. Saptarsi Haldar at Case to publish his recent results using JQ1 to treat mice with heart failure. (Sam Ogden, Dana-Farber)

    • Open civic dialogue with text messaging

      Last year, our team of Code for America Fellows received a call to action. Our partners at the City of Philadelphia needed a way to reach out to citizens left out of traditional public engagement. So we built a tool that used the simple power of text messaging to help government and citizens connect. We called it Textizen.

    • Open Access/Content

      • City of Boston teams up with edX to create BostonX

        The City of Boston has teamed with edX to create BostonX. It will offer free online college courses throughout the city. And it will make MOOCs (massive open online courses) available at community colleges and libraries throughout the city.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Open-Source PHP Gets Updates for Stability, Security

      The open-source PHP language is one of the most widely deployed technologies on the Web today, powering millions of Websites (including eWEEK). This past week, two important updates were issued for PHP, providing both security and bug fixes. Like many things in the open-source world (and technology in general), there isn’t just one version of PHP that is currently in use—in fact, there are now at least three main stable releases, including PHP 5.5, 5.4 and 5.3. The new security updates are for the 5.5 and 5.4 branches.

    • A viable way of building decentralized web apps

      Despite all the programming languages, the thousands of libraries, and the millions (or so it seems) of JavaScript libraries in the web ecosystem, there is still one path to building modern web applications: store everything on a server and when users open up their web browser, the “client”—the code running inside the browser—displays the data and receives user input that is sent back to the server.

    • The Eventual Evolution of Build Systems

      Build systems are deeply siloed by development language and primarily rely on the ’80s model of spelling out targets and instructions. But new tools, such as Gradle, that cater to polyglot apps and the needs of continuous delivery are finally emerging.

Leftovers

  • The Entire History of the World—Really, All of It—Distilled Into a Single Gorgeous Chart

    This giant, ambitious chart fit neatly with a trend in nonfiction book publishing of the 1920s and 1930s: the “outline,” in which large subjects (the history of the world! every school of philosophy! all of modern physics!) were distilled into a form comprehensible to the most uneducated layman.

  • USENIX 2013 Flame Award

    I wonder if it is good tiding NOW not to restrict singular contribution celebrated by Advanced Computing Systems Association to UNIX but to return to older and simpler computing design principles, like the FORTH dimension , empowering individual programmers across all social domains?

  • Italian skipper says Cup champ Oracle cheated

    Oracle Team USA is owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp.

  • Athletes’ Rainbow Nails Will Not Be Tolerated At The Olympics, Sweden Warns

    Paint your nails rainbow colors and face disqualification, the Swedish Olympic Committee warned athletes Tuesday.

    Officials are taking a strong stance on Olympic attire after two Swedish athletes sported rainbow nails to support gay rights during the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow last week.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Richard Engel and U.S. Aid to Egypt

      It’s not that journalists shouldn’t have opinions–they inevitably do, and they reveal them in numerous ways. But weighing in like this seems especially permissible when a journalist is taking a position that supports existing U.S. policy. It’s only opposing such policies that’s considered “advocacy.”

    • Stepped-up US drone strikes in Yemen spark massive protests

      Thousands have taken to the streets of Yemen to protest deadly US drone strikes which killed dozens of people over the last two weeks, Iranian media reported. Critics say Washington’s secretive policy is only pushing Yemenis to favor radical groups.

    • The Case Against Drone Strikes on People Who Only ‘Act’ Like Terrorists
    • Senator: Obama Administration Secretly Suspended Military Aid to Egypt

      The White House has quietly placed military aid to Egypt on hold, despite not saying publicly whether the Egyptian military takeover was a coup, Josh Rogin reports exclusively.

    • Obama Administration Secretly Suspends Military Aid To Egypt, Patrick Leahy Says
    • US soldier behind Afghanistan massacre laughs at murder charges

      Sgt. Robert Bales and his wife laughed at the charges brought against him for the murder of 16 Afghan civilians in a phone conversation. Prosecutors say they have a recording of the exchange which they will use to demonstrate Bales’ lack of remorse.

    • Frisking Bill Kristol

      Kristol soon enough weighed in on the the politics of New York police department’s stop-and-frisk program, which had just been declared unconstitutional and amounted to, in the words of federal judge Shira Scheindlin, a “policy of indirect racial profiling.”

    • The Permanent ‘War on Terror’

      In January 2012, former war correspondent Christopher Hedges and others, including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and specifically the Act’s Section 1021(b)(2), which allows for indefinite detention by the US military of people “who are part of or substantially support Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States.”

      This detention denies those held of the ability to “contest the allegations against them because they have no right to be notified of the specific charges against them,” according to the complaint. The particular issue in question was the vagueness of the terms “substantially support” and “associated forces.”

    • Drone warfare: a new generation of deadly unmanned weapons

      Business is booming at the vast base in Nevada, where tomorrow’s Top Guns are learning to target terrorists from afar

    • The Perpetual Drone War in Yemen

      “The use of drones is heavily constrained,” said President Obama during his May speech about national security matters, held in response to growing criticism of the U.S. drone program. “Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” Obama went on to promise to repeal some of his own war powers, saying that he intends to “engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.”

    • Drone-ing on in Yemen counter-productive

      Somewhere in Yemen are about two dozen individuals whom the United States is looking to capture or kill. These are al-Qaida’s senior operational leaders, the men administration officials think are plotting to attack the U.S. and its interests abroad.

    • Teaneck Peace Vigil Calls for End to ‘Cowardly’ Drone Strikes

      Group brings mock drone aircraft to National Guard Armory

    • Drone Murders: Geography and Justice

      Murder is murder.

    • Palace defends use of US drones in PH

      Valte deferred to the defense officials to respond to questions on whether Philippine laws are clear on the operation of drones in the archipelago.

    • Drones and the law

      More often than not, the United Nations secretariat is perceived to be pliable to American pressures – but not always, at least not on the question in relation to legality of armed drone strikes. And that we learnt first-hand on Tuesday when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was urged to comment on the frequent use of drones by the CIA against targets in Pakistan’s restive tribal areas. “I have often said, the use of armed drones, like any other weapon, should be subject to long-standing rules of international law including humanitarian law,” he said, and added “This is a very clear position of the United Nations. Every effort should be made to avoid mistakes and civilian casualties”. Of course, he was not as categorical as another UN official who was here sometime back to investigate the impact of drone attacks, Ben Emerson, that the drone strikes ‘contravene international law because they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty’. Not that UN’s rejection is absolute; it does have a role for it and that’s that it is a ‘flying camera’ and that it would shortly put into use unarmed surveillance drones in eastern Congo that is beset with war for the last 20 years or so. But beyond that parallelism, if you please, there is nothing common between what the UN thinks of drones and how the CIA operates them against targets in Pakistan. The US is not at war with Pakistan, nor do its drone operations carry the UN mandate. As to who gets killed there is no accountability; even the CIA is blank about who the drones kill in Pakistan.

    • Obama Seems Unable To Limit the Counterproductive U.S. War on Terror

      A true cynic would question the timing of Middle East-wide U.S. embassy closings and a barrage of drone attacks in Yemen when the Obama administration is defending its intrusive spying on Americans after exposure by an intelligence agency contractor. Although in May, President Obama told us that he would wind down the war against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, perhaps his newly “outed” unconstitutional domestic spying programs required a threat refresher to justify them. Yet one doesn’t even have to be that cynical to question Obama’s recently reinvigorated war on terrorism.

    • 5 myths used to justify drone assassinations

      Only 2 percent of drone strikes have killed “high value targets,” former counter-terror adviser to David Petraeus, David Kilcullen, notoriously remarked in a New York Times column early in the Obama presidency, where he said that 50 civilians were killed for every “high-value target” assassinated. That means that 98 percent of drone-caused deaths have been a mix of low-level militants, civilians, or another dubious Pentagon classification called “unknown militants.”

    • Angela Merkel ignites furious political row by becoming first post-war German leader to visit former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau

      Chancellor Angela Merkel has ignited a furious political row by becoming the first post-war German leader to visit the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau and then went on to address a campaign rally for her conservative party in a noisy beer tent at a nearby fair.

      Ms Merkel, who faces a general election on 22 September, had been invited to speak at a Bavarian conservative rally in the town of Dachau outside Munich. She agreed to spend an hour at the site of the town’s infamous Nazi concentration camp where 41,500 people were murdered, before her campaign appearance.

    • The Lessons of Classified Information: From Mossadegh to Snowden

      As for us, there are least two lessons to draw. First, we should pay more attention to history. In watching the events convulsing the Middle East, and thinking about how to react to them, it is essential to be aware of how we got to this juncture. Second, the official version of history is often very different from what really happened. During the Cold War, as now, the reality of what the U.S. government was doing was often hidden in classified documents. In the case of the coup against Mossadegh, it’s taken sixty years for the full truth to emerge. Doubtless, it will take almost as long for us to learn everything about the spying agencies’ electronic prosecution of the “War on Terror.” But thanks to Edward Snowden and journalists like Glenn Greenwald, we’ve at least had an advance briefing.

    • Iran, Egypt, the CIA and the consequences of our actions

      What is happening today in Egypt has many parallels to the events of 1953 in Iran.

    • Amazon legal filing flames IBM’s ‘materially deficient’ CIA cloud

      There’s a war going on for the future CPU cycles of the US Central Intelligence Agency, and behind closed doors and under fluorescent lights, representatives of IBM and Amazon are spitting blood at each other as they vie for the contract.

    • Guantanamo defense lawyers ask to restrict CIA’s use of information in 9/11 case

      Virtually every secrecy debate in the 9/11 case involves the CIA and the overseas prisons where it held and interrogated the five alleged al Qaeda conspirators for three or four years before they were sent to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba in 2006.

      The government maintains everything about that now-defunct program is top secret and that disclosure could jeopardize national security, although some details have leaked or been disclosed by the CIA itself.

    • Thanks, CIA

      When the Russians moved into Afghanistan, the United States saw that war was an opportunity to mobilize the Muslim world against communism. So the CIA recruited Mujahdeen like Osama bin Laden from all over the Muslin world and they came from Algeria, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine.

      These fighters were given an ideology and told that the armed struggle is a virtuous thing to do and the notion of jihad as an Islamic terrorist movement was born.

      They were trained and armed by the CIA in Afghanistan. And America has been reaping the harvest of war that the CIA planted.

    • Judicial Watch Asks Supreme Court to Review Lawsuit Against CIA and DOD to Force Release of bin Laden Death Images

      Judicial Watch announced that it has filed a certiorari petition with the Supreme Court of the United States to review a 2013 Appeals Court ruling against the Judicial Watch lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency (No. 12-5137)). The suit seeks to force the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to release more than 50 photographs and video recordings of Osama bin Laden taken during and after the U.S. raid upon the terrorist leader’s compound in Pakistan on May 1, 2011.

    • CIA was involved with alleged assassin of John F Kennedy

      Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, and five decades later the US government and the CIA have yet to disclose the documents pertaining to the incident.

      Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter, is currently suing the CIA to release a file containing about 300 pages on Joannides, whom he thinks may have had contact with Oswald prior to the assassination.

    • Declassified CIA documents

      The concept of Remote Viewing is so bizarre that I can’t comprehend what it is or how it is done. In fact, I think that it embraces forces that we don’t understand. I liken it to playing with radioactive materials. At best, it may be fascinating, but the effects can be long-lasting and harmful.

    • Mapped: The 7 Governments the U.S. Has Overthrown
    • US shows no remorse for drone attack

      On Tuesday, Medea Benjamin led a dozen protesters outside the Walter E. Convention Center in Washington D. C. against the United States’ use of drones. Inside, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, including manufacturers who made the drones, was meeting with participants from all over the world.

    • The Many Contradictions at the Heart of America’s Drone Policy
    • Yemen drone strikes ‘counterproductive’

      Yemen has seen a major surge in drone strikes in the past two weeks, as the US hunts for al Qaeda-affiliated insurgents. But the secretive and indiscriminate attacks are terrorizing and radicalizing Yemenis, say critics.

    • Feeding the Flame

      If one can understand that President Obama’s administration has sought to avert yet another “Benghazi” debacle—an incident like the death of US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and several others at the hands of militants in 2012—by pulling out its staff and ordering an unparalleled military mobilization in Yemen, one cannot shy away from acknowledging the danger of a “trigger-happy” strategy in a country as fragile and geo-strategically important as Yemen. Both the Netherlands’ and German intelligence services have disputed the US’s perceived over-reaction at what they viewed as a diffuse threat from Yemen.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC in Chicago: 10 Photographs that Tell the Story

      Some of the banners read: “ALEC Makes For-Profit Prisons,” “Moral Monday: No To ALEC,” and “ALEC Attacks All Workers.” The Chicago Moral Monday Coalition partners include: local clergy and laypeople, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), National Nurses United (NNU), US Uncut, Chicago Youth Climate Coalition, Chicago Fracking Working Group, Communities United Against Foreclosures and Evictions, Young People’s Assembly on Violence and Youth Services Project, Southside Together Organizing for Power.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • First they came for the hard drives …

      As long as a journalist doesn’t report anything other than official government propaganda, they’ll be just fine.

    • School District Ends Policy Of Forcing Students To Kneel Down For Dismissal
    • Miranda’s Rights: How Europe Can Learn from Latin America’s Independence

      It is clear that Miranda was not suspected of any connection to terrorism. To detain and rob Miranda on this pretext is no more legal than to have done so on trumped-up allegations that he was transporting cocaine. The White House has admitted that Washington had advance knowledge of the crime, and so we can infer approval – if not active collaboration.

      It is interesting, too, because the UK government had previously kept a relatively low public profile on the Snowden case, despite the fact that Snowden had leaked files from its own intelligence-gathering and not just the NSA’s. Until Sunday, it looked as though the British authorities had learned at least a little bit about public relations after their international embarrassment last year, when they threatened to invade Ecuador’s embassy in order to capture Julian Assange. Nevertheless, they are still keeping Assange trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, illegally, and presumably at the behest of you-know-who.

    • UK ordered Guardian to destroy hard drives in effort to stop Snowden revelations

      UK authorities reportedly raided the Guardian’s office in London to destroy hard drives in an effort to stop future publications of leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The action is unlikely to prevent new materials coming out.

      Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger revealed in a Monday article posted on the British newspaper’s website that intelligence officials from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) told him that he would either have to hand over all the classified documents or have the newspaper’s hard drives destroyed.

      After more talks, two “security experts” from GCHQ – the British version of the National Security Agency – visited the Guardian’s London offices.

      Rusbridger wrote that the government officials then watched as computers, which contained classified information passed on by Snowden, were physically destroyed in one of the newspaper building’s basements.

    • Federal judge grants California permission to force-feed inmates on hunger strike

      A US federal judge ruled that state and federal prison officials in California will be allowed to start force-feeding inmates participating in a nearly two-month-long hunger strike, if the prisoners appear to be approaching their death.

    • How the NDAA Suspends Habeas Corpus

      Tom Eddlem, writer for The New American magazine, talks about the National Defense Authorization Act and how it specifically infringes upon American citizens’ rights.

    • The Terrorism Act 2000, David Miranda and the rule of law.

      Further details continue to emerge about the case of David Miranda. There are those who think that it is acceptable to use the Terrorism Act 2000 to pursue someone carrying information that may or may not be sensitive to the UK.

      However, even if David Miranda was carrying documents to Glenn Greenwald, on a ticket paid for by the Guardian, it doesn’t change the fundamental facts.

    • Greenwald partner sues Home Office as UK defends ‘Miranda op’

      he UK Home Office says it has “to protect the public”, but Miranda has accused Britain of a “total abuse of power” and has said he will take legal action against the Home Office. The Guardian is “supportive” of his action.

      David Miranda, the partner of US journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published documents about the NSA and GCHQ spying activities leaked by Edward Snowden, in Britain’s Guardian newspaper was questioned for nine hours in London’s Heathrow airport on Sunday under Schedule 7 of the UK’s anti-terrorism law.

      Miranda’s lawyer, Gwendolen Morgan, said her client was seeking a judicial review of the legal basis for his detention and wanted assurances that the property seized from him by police would not be examined.

    • UK must account for its actions to repress Guardian reporting on surveillance
    • When the State Attacks Journalism

      None of these tactics would appear to discourage the journalists who are being targeted. But the stories, taken together, represent a direct attack on news gathering. This should outrage every single journalist, and anyone who believes in freedom of expression.

    • Groklaw Shuts Down, Cites Government Surveillance
    • Groklaw shuts down rather than risk feds snooping through e-mail

      PJ plans to “get off the Internet to the degree it’s possible.”

    • Groklaw shutting down due to government surveillance

      The award-winning and much respectable website Groklaw which covers legal news around free and open source software and provides critical information in complex cases is shutting down.

      Groklaw played a very pivotal role during the SCO-Linux case, Micorosft’s lawsuite in Europe, Micrsoft’s OOXML standardization and then it’s once again providing users with better understanding of the Android – Oracle lawsuit. The site plays a very important role to fight FUD spreading Microsoft backed blogs like FOSSPatents.

    • District Court Holds That Intentionally Circumventing IP Address Ban Is “Access Without Authorization” Under the CFAA

      During the debate over the Aaron Swartz case, one of the legal issues was whether Swartz had committed an unauthorized access under the CFAA when he changed his IP address to circumvent IP address blocking imposed by system administrators trying to keep Swartz off the network. There was significantly more to the CFAA charges than that, to be clear, including circumventing a subsequent MAC address block and (most significantly) entering an MIT storage closet to install his computer directly. But changing IP addresses to get around IP address blocking was at least one of the possible grounds of unauthorized access. On Friday, Judge Breyer of the Northern District of California handed down the first decision directly addressing the issue. Judge Breyer ruled that changing IP addresses to get around a block is an unauthorized access in violation of the CFAA. The decision is here: Craigslist v. 3taps, Inc..

    • Changing IP address to access public website ruled violation of US law
    • The Strange Case of Barrett Brown Just Got Stranger

      The prosecution made a motion for a “Gag Order” (a motion to disallow media) in the case of Barrett Brown. Brown is one of the subjects of my film, The Reality Wars, which is about the targeting of hacktivists, activists and journalists by the US government. Brown is both a journalist and a hacktivitst. He does not possess technical hacking skills though he does promote the public’s right to information. He is facing 105 years in federal prison primarily for doing his job as a journalist.

      Brown’s counsel, Ahmed Ghappour and Charles Swift, moved to continue (postpone trial date), explaining that more time is required in order to prepare his defense. There are two terabytes of electronic evidence to be reviewed. The government opposed on August 8, 2013, and, in its opposition, surprisingly requested a Gag Order. The Gag Order is for all parties to refrain from talking to members of any television, radio, newspaper, magazine, website (including bloggers), or other media organization about this case, other than in matters of public record.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Russia Prepares To Block Tor And Anonymizing Proxies

      As more and more countries start introducing Web blocks, some people console themselves with the “at least there’s always Tor” argument. Politicians may be slow, but they are not all completely stupid, and they are beginning to get the message that Tor and other anonymous services potentially render their Web blocks moot.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Troll Ran Pirate Bay Honeypot, Comcast Confirms

        Evidence is stacking up that Prenda Law has been operating a honeypot in order to lure Internet users into downloading copyrighted material. A subpoena just returned by Comcast confirms that a Pirate Bay user called “Sharkmp4″ is directly linked to the infamous anti-piracy law firm. The case is controversial in many ways, not least because The Pirate Bay actively helped to expose the copyright troll in question.

      • White House IP Chief Victoria Espinel Steps Down

        President Barack Obama’s chief intellectual property adviser has stepped down from her post after more than three years on the job.

        [..]

        Espinel could be one of the top candidates to head BSA

      • Comcast says its attempt to shut down TorrentFreak by claiming copyright on court filing was “error”

        This morning, I posted about a series of legal threats sent to TorrentFreak by Comcast’s (creepy) enforcers Cyveillance. At the time I posted, TorrentFreak had less than 24 hours to resolve the issue before being booted off its webhost, and was unable to get anyone at Cyveillance or Comcast to answer its repeated emails.

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