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02.28.14

Privacy and Human Rights Watch: Peeping Crown, Extradition, EU Resistance to Drones, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest (past 24 hours) stories about eroding human rights (exploiting transitions to digital), especially privacy rights

GCHQ

UK

Reform/Legal

Local Action

Algorithms

Alexander

‘Metadata’

Amazon/CIA

  • Amazon’s Cloud Keeps Growing Despite Fears of NSA Spying

    When former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was conducting digital surveillance on a massive scale, many feared for the future of cloud computing. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimated that Snowden’s revelations could cost U.S. cloud companies $22 billion to $35 billion in foreign business over the next three years, and countless pundits predicted that American businesses would flee the cloud as well. People would prefer to run software and store data on their own computers, the argument went, rather than host their operations atop outside services potentially compromised by the NSA.

Civil Rights

  • Under Obama, rule of law slowly eroding

    If President Barack Obama gets his way, five American citizens will have become victims of announced “targeted assassinations” by the military and CIA. Coupled with disturbing statements by United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, it is evident that the principle of the rule of law has lost force in the past few decades, especially after 9/11.

    [...]

    It was enshrined in the American, British and French Revolutions as sacred, and is an essential precept of liberalism.

  • Massive Impediments Standing in the Way of Solving America’s Greatest Problems

    *Eliminate the National Surveillance Agency, the NSA; completely stop the enormous spying on the American people. Take the other 12 U.S. intelligence agencies and combine their functions into one. We have the CIA and the FBI and Homeland Security to monitor imminent or longer term dangers to this country.

  • The Five Commandments of Barack Obama: How “Thou Shalt Not” Became “Thou Shalt”
  • Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Obama’s Commandments

    Think of us as having two presidents. One, a fellow named Barack Obama, cuts a distinctly Clark Kent-ish figure. In presiding over domestic policy, he is regularly thwarted in his desires by the Republicans in Congress and couldn’t until recently get his most basic choices for government positions or the judiciary through the Senate. For the most minimal look of effectiveness, he has to rely on relatively small gestures by executive order. In the recent history of the American presidency, he is a remarkably powerless figure presiding over what everyone who is a media anyone claims is a riven, paralyzed, even broken government structure, one in which the Republicans are intent on ensuring that a Democratic president can do nothing until they take the White House (which is almost guaranteed to be never). What this president wants, almost by definition, he can’t have. He is, as Guardian columnist Gary Younge wrote recently, a man who’s lost the plot line to his own story and has been relegated to the position of onlooker-in-chief.

  • Politics, not law, has become the master of British justice

    There is one law for their terrorists and another for ours. “Theirs” kill a soldier in Woolwich and get slammed up for life. They get a verbal lynching from the red-tops, with Rot in Jail headlines and screams the rope would be too good for them, the filth and scum. “Our” terrorists get royal pardons and “letters of assurance”, even if, as may be the case, they slaughter four soldiers and eight horses in cold blood in Hyde Park. That is how it must seem to many people.

  • US biggest violator of non-Americans’ human rights: China report

    The Untied States is the world’s biggest violator of human rights of non-American persons and has been strongly condemned for conducting surveillance and prisoner torture around the globe, a report on US human rights said Friday.

    The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013 was released by the Information Office of China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 issued by the US State Department on Thursday.

  • Chinese Cabinet report questions US human rights record

    China has hit back at the US over the human rights debate alleging the “world judge of human rights” has serious question marks hanging over its own record.

    [...]

    Washington has long “made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks” on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released reports, the Chinese report says.

    “However, the US carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” it adds.

    Chinese ally Russia has also repeatedly said the United States has no right to claim a mantle of moral leadership. Moscow has criticized Washington sharply over human rights, pointing to secret CIA jails abroad and treatment of inmates at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba and elsewhere.

Drones

  • U.S. Militant, Hidden, Spurs Drone Debate

    Mr. Shami, a militant who American officials say is living in the barren mountains of northwestern Pakistan, is at the center of a debate inside the government over whether President Obama should once again take the extraordinary step of authorizing the killing of an American citizen overseas.

  • Landslide vote in European Union condemning U.S. drone use

    European Union Members of Parliament condemned the use of drones in targeted killings in a vote of 534 to 49. The vote proposing a ban referred to the drone strikes as “unlawful.”

  • Pakistan Party Ends Blockade Of NATO Route

    Activists of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, had blocked the route from the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar for the past three months in a protest over U.S. drone strikes.

  • MEPs concerned about EU drone programme

    Increased European research on unmanned aircraft is making the European Parliament nervous.

Military

Open Hardware and Shareable Design News

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Recent news about hardware that can be modified and it permissive in that regard

SkyNet

  • Chris Anderson’s Expanding Drone Empire

    At the former Wired editor’s start-up, 3D Robotics, open-source robots take to the skies

  • Out in the Open: Automate Your Home With Your Own Personal SkyNet

    In the meantime, he’s hard at work on a new project called SkyNet Firmware, which will run on the open source Arduino circuit boards, devices you can use to build all sorts of computerized gadgets. “The idea is that you can load SkyNet Firmware on any Arduino compatible device or board,” he says. “The Arduino connects to SkyNet and just waits for commands.” This would let you attach almost anything to SkyNet.

3D Printers

  • MakerBot’s Creative Revolution Runs on Linux

    At the forefront of the 3D printing boom for consumers is MakerBot, whose Linux-based Replicator printers sell for between $1,300 and $3,000 and are small enough to sit on your desktop. Their MakerWare design software runs on any platform and the Thingiverse online community allows more than 13,000 users to download or upload designs in an open source, collaborative model for do-it-yourself manufacturing, according to a sponsored post in The Atlantic.

  • Openknit: a Reprap-inspired open source knitting machine
  • The force of gravity still applies for 3D printers

    So far, in short, I can describe 3D printing as: Building an object, by depositing layers, and creating every layer by drawing it with melted plastic. The key to understanding 3D printing, and thus learning how to do it better, is to think about the objects as a stack of layers. Then, consider how the layers will look like as they are being stacked.

Charles Babcock’s Series of Articles

  • Open-Source Cloud Hardware Grows Up Fast
  • Open Hardware Is Like Linux: True Or False?

    References to Linux come up naturally because it is one of the most successful, sustained, and adopted open-source software projects. New releases of the Linux kernel now appear every 70 days. Each contains up to 10,000 updates and patches, a rate of change that equals 7.14 an hour. Linux’s fame rests not on the fact that it’s frequently modified. Rather, it’s frequently modified and also respected as having a long-term future in the enterprise datacenter. The way things are shaping up, it also very likely has a permanent place in cloud architectures.

  • Open-Source Hardware: Prepare For Disruption

    Facebook, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and other leading IT users think the open-source movement is ready to shake up the hardware industry the way Linux did in software.

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