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03.18.14

Internet News: Net Neutrality, Europe’s Turn, DNS Root Zone Liberated, World Wide Web Turns 25, Online Magna Carta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Net neutrality

Spin of the Year

  • Netflix and Comcast Are Only Trying to Help You (biased article because Bloomberg — like Murdoch — faces competition from the Internet and independent reporting)
  • Around the World, Net Neutrality Is Not a Reality (manufacturing consent for end of net neutrality)

    Pro-neutrality types have worried that a few giant companies will end up controlling, or at least mediating, the Internet experience for much of the population because of special deals they’ve struck with Internet providers for prioritized or subsidized data delivery.

    But in the emerging economies of the world, that’s pretty much how things already work, thanks to a growing number of deals Google and Facebook have struck with mobile phone carriers from the Philippines to Kenya.

  • Hey Verizon, we’re not as stupid as you think we are

    You may have noticed that I’ve been writing regularly on Net neutrality and the impending balkanization of the Internet. I had originally intended to depart from that topic this week, but then I noticed the comments made by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam last week (read the full transcript).

United States

  • A Short Guide to the Internet’s Biggest Enemies

    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its annual “Enemies of the Internet” index this week—a ranking first launched in 2006 intended to track countries that repress online speech, intimidate and arrest bloggers, and conduct surveillance of their citizens. Some countries have been mainstays on the annual index, while others have been able to work their way off the list. Two countries particularly deserving of praise in this area are Tunisia and Myanmar (Burma), both of which have stopped censoring the Internet in recent years and are headed in the right direction toward Internet freedom.

    [...]

    United States: This is the first time the US has made it onto RSF’s list. While the US government doesn’t censor online content, and pours money into promoting Internet freedom worldwide, the National Security Agency’s unapologetic dragnet surveillance and the government’s treatment of whistleblowers have earned it a spot on the index.

  • Steve Wozniak admits he doesn’t have Netflix because his broadband is ‘too slow’

    “Edward Snowden is a hero to me. I have very strong beliefs in freedom. I believe that Snowden believed, like I do, that the US has a right to freedom, and he has sacrified his life for this principal. I wish I had been so brave.”

  • Amid NSA fallout, US to relinquish top internet oversight role
  • In sudden announcement, US to give up control of DNS root zone

    In a historic decision on Friday, the United States has decided to give up control of the authoritative root zone file, which contains all names and addresses of all top-level domain names.

Europe

  • A step forward in protecting the Open Internet
  • EU crucial vote on Net Neutrality
  • Loopholes in EU telecom regulation threaten neutrality of the net

    The neutrality of the internet is under threat after the European Parliament’s Industry Committee today voted yes to a new Regulation for a Telecom single Market. As they stand, the proposals include worrying loopholes that could allow the creation of a two-tiered internet. The full European Parliament will vote on the Regulation on 3rd April.

  • Net Neutrality: Dangerous Loopholes Remain After Key Vote by Lead EU Parliament Committee

    The “Industry” (ITRE) committee has just adopted its report on the Telecom Regulation and Net Neutrality. Despite improvements – especially in comparison with Neelie Kroes’ proposal –, the committee and its rapporteur, Pilar del Castillo Vera, bowed to the pressure of the telecom lobby, and major loopholes remain in the text. If the Internet as we know it is to be protected from the rent-seeking behaviour of big corporations who dominate the digital economy, these loopholes must be closed during the European Parliament vote in plenary session on 3 April.

  • EU Parliament Committee to Cast Crucial Vote on Net Neutrality

    On Tuesday, 18 March at 10 a.m., the “Industry” (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will take a crucial decision for the future of Net Neutrality in Europe. The adoption of the report could mark a point of no return. Two conflicting visions for the future of the Internet oppose the two largest political groups in the EU Parliament, the social democratic party (S&D) and the conservative party (EPP). The outcome of the vote might be decided by the MEPs of the liberal group (ALDE) who appear not to have chosen which vision they will support, although their rapporteur, Jens Rohde, is pushing for the adoption of anti-Net Neutrality provisions. If adopted, these provisions would end the Internet as we know it, harming the freedom of communication and innovation.

Web History

  • It’s Been 25 Years Since World Wide Web Debuted
  • 25 Years: How the Web began

    When I was a young man, we had it rough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick the road clean with our tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife and while we had the Internet we didn’t have the Web. And, when you tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya!

  • www turns 25, inventor Tim Berners-Lee talks on net neutrality
  • Tim Berners-Lee: I Knew The Web Would Be Big
  • Tim Berners-Lee: We Need an Online Magna Carta

    Daddy of the internet Tim Berners-Lee has spoken out in an attempt to enshrine the independence of the world wide web, telling the Guardian that he believes we need an online Magna Carta to protect the rights of its users world wide.

  • The browser’s resized future in a fragmented www world

    Tim Berners-Lee’s first browser was simple and text-driven. The first successful browser, Mosaic, used graphics, and was originally the project of wunderkind Marc Andreessen of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois.

  • World Wide Web proposal was submitted 25 years ago today

    The world is celebrating the 25th birthday of the Web on Wednesday, and that’s because 25 years ago a proposal was written describing the basis for what would become the system of linked pages on which users read this article.

  • The web at 25 is under threat from government and business

    We now know that system as the World Wide Web and over the last twenty five years it has changed all our lives quite profoundly. In some ways it seems like yesterday but trying to remember what life was like without the Web is a real stretch these days – it’s a different world. Can you remember how you booked a holiday before the Web? How did you look things up in an encyclopedia? How did you buy your music? How did you show people your photos? How did you communicate with your friends and family? Of course the Web is just one part of a technological revolution that has enabled all these developments, but it is often described at the killer application that enabled the Internet to achieve it’s full potential. It was certainly a game changer.

  • The World Wide Web is 25 years old

    The exact date of the creation of the World Wide Web is debatable. After all it wasn’t until 7 August 1989 that Tim Berners-Lee posted his design for a system to communicate between computers to the alt.hypertext news group.

  • The Future of Internet Freedom (and ironically enough, this article is behind a paywall)

Banning Independence

  • FCC questions state laws that block cities from building their own broadband network

    Frustrated with the sluggish speed and high cost of their Internet service providers, the residents of Wilson, N.C., decided a few years ago to take matters into their own hands – they would simply build their own connection.

    The city council unanimously voted in 2006 to create a fiber-to-home network that today provides affordable high-speed Internet to homes and businesses, connects schools, and even supplies downtown Wilson with free Wi-Fi.

    Incumbent companies Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink were forced to lower their prices and upgrade their service to remain competitive.

Xbox Last: Chief Product Officer Abruptly Quits Microsoft

Posted in DRM, Hardware, Microsoft at 2:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Sovietised West, Xbox watches YOU!

Xbox

Summary: Xbox “One” so big a failure — not just a surveillance device — that its chiefs continue to jump ship, leaving Microsoft in disarray

THERE has been an exceptionally major departure of high-level staff inside Microsoft and we mostly covered it years ago (well before Ballmer stepped down). These days we cover additions to this list only when readers send us links such as this one, which says that the Xbox Chief Product Officer is quitting Microsoft and canceling his appearance at GDC. “Infecting wireless Hi-Fi and audio company Sonos now,” says our reader, alluding to a culture of moles such as Elop.

Xbox-related departures are frequent and many. Recent posts noted that Xbox One was failing to sell. It is far behind the competition, which almost doubles it in terms of sales (Sony easily holds the crown).

Why would anyone at all ever buy anything that’s branded “Xbox”? It’s not only burning down houses, killing people inside those houses (due to design flaws in Xbox 360). It’s an abusive piece of DRM in a box. Those who buy Xbox are in essence paying for what we know to be surveillance equipment that spies on the buyer [1, 2, 3] for various governments such as Britain’s. If more people knew what Xbox is really doing, then nobody would be foolish enough to buy it anymore and the whole product line would have to be cancelled, just like Microsoft’s many failed platforms for mobile.

GNU/Linux at Google: Android, ChromeOS, Chromebooks, and Chrome News

Posted in News Roundup at 1:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android Gaming

Android TV

Android Wearables

Android/Chromecast Software

Android in Cars

  • Cebit: Volkswagen CEO tells auto industry to protect data in connected cars

    He reminded the audience of Volkswagon’s recent talks with Google, with Audi in particular committing to working with the firm on in-car technology based on Android. But he said that he wanted to see more collaboration from technology firms in other countries. “It would no doubt be a good thing if German and European IT companies would put themselves forward as partners too,” he said.

Laptops and Android

CyanogenMod

  • Sub-$400 CyanogenMod-powered smartphone details emerge

    OnePlus, the upstart making a CyanogenMod-powered phone, has revealed a few details about the device that the company says will be cheaper and better than big brand phones and definitely won’t include a heart-rate monitor.

  • AllCast adds DLNA support

    Koushik Dutta, the famed developer of CyanogenMOD has added DLNA support to his AllCast Android app. Ever since Google opened Chromcast to 3rd party developers Koush is on roll. He has, in fact, been toying with Chromecast the day it was released and created some stir in the free software community when Google changed the preview APIs for Chromecast which broke his app.

Statistics

Tablets

  • HP 8 1401 Android tablet launched at $170

    HP has added a 7.85″ unit to compliment its line-up of 7″ and 8″ tablets. The HP 8 1401 is a quad-core tablet that runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. “It’s got responsiveness that delivers entertainment where you want it. Sleek and smart with technology you can trust, the HP 8 is big on performance, slim in style, and small on price,” claims the company.

Google/Chrome OS/Chromebook

  • Do users really need Windows applications in Chrome OS?

    Phoronix is reporting that running Windows applications in Chrome OS via Wine seems very unlikely to happen. And it got me wondering about how many people really want to run Windows applications in Chrome OS

  • Attack of the 64-bit Octa-core: A Roundup of Newly Announced Mobile Processors

    As usual, Mobile World Congress was packed with cool new SoCs, most of which are destined for Android phones and tablets. Some will see wider usage in the broader world of embedded Linux and Android devices.The big news was the invasion of 64-bit ARMv8 and x86 SoCs, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 and Intel’s Atom Z34xx. The ARM models are built on the ARMv8 Cortex-A53 design. Eventually, we’ll see the -A53 used in Big.Little hybrids along with the similarly 64-bit, server-class Cortex-A57.

  • If Beast Died Tomorrow, Chromebook 2 Could Be Its Replacement

    Beast is fine. It’s old, but still kicking. It boots. It edits. It searches. It networks. Beast’s CPU is way over-sized for what I do and I do a lot. 99% of the time it idles. Every few weeks I open it up to full throttle to build the next Linux-3.10.x kernel, but what’s the rush? If it took twice or thrice as long I would still be happy.

  • Samsung announced quad core powered Chromebook 2
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 will be powered by the Exynos 5 Octa processor

    The Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6-inch and Chromebook 2 13.3-inch models are the company’s latest additions to its line of Chromebook computers. And they are powered by the Exynos 5 Octa processor.

Chrome Security

  • Google Pays Handsomely for the Latest Round of Chrome Bugs

    At Google, there continue to be big cash bounties available for talented hackers. We’ve reported before on the bug bounty program that Google has been running for several years now, focused on rewarding hackers and security researchers with cash for discovering meaningful bugs in the Chrome browser. The company just participated in the annual Pwnium and Pwn2own events, where hackers and researchers are challenged to uncover bugs in browsers, and Google has already patched a number of significant bugs that were uncovered.

  • Google Extends Monetization Options to Chrome App Developers

    Google officials said this week that the company will reward developers of Chrome packaged apps by letting them give users free trials and in-app purchases, marking an expansion of Google’s focus on fostering a robust ecosystem of applications. The company is also going to allow developers of browser extensions to charge for them for the first time. The Google Developers Blog makes clear that the company is very focused on monetization options for app creators, which has been a key point of focus for Apple as it has sought to attract iOS app developers.

Chrome Aura/GTK/Graphics


Chrome Voice

Ballnux Android (Microsoft-Taxed)

Misc.

Software Imperialism: Microsoft Colludes With the State to Criminalise Microsoft Software Users

Posted in Microsoft at 12:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Let them eat back doors

Many doorways

Summary: Microsoft’s back doors-laden software is pushed into foreign nations and those who distribute it against Microsoft’s will are being intimidated based on false or politically-motivated grounds

HALF a decade ago Microsoft in Russia was exposed as helping the Kremlin crack down on activists using “piracy”. Microsoft is a political beast not just in the United States (Microsoft and Gates are complicit when it comes to government back doors and are working closely with the NSA). The Murdoch-owned press [1] says that Microsoft is now using political figures (Attorneys General) to go after foreign companies, but the Murdoch-owned press doesn’t go far enough. To put the story in perspective, one needs to read the response from TechDirt [2], which does have a good grasp on what Microsoft is really doing.

A couple of years ago when we shed light on Cablegate (leaks that relate to Microsoft) we showed that Microsoft was using politicians to get Microsoft’s way abroad, basically overriding sovereignty and using state actors (taxpayers-funded) like private lobbyists and salespeople. Here we are seeing it again.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft Pursues New Tack on Piracy
  2. Microsoft Enlisting Clueless States Attorneys General To Shake Down Foreign Companies For ‘Piracy’

    Almost exactly three years ago, we wrote about an effort by Microsoft to try to get various states to pass laws that would make it illegal to buy from a foreign company that uses unauthorized software. The goal was, basically, an incredibly cynical way for Microsoft to abuse overeager, grandstanding Attorneys General who want to pretend they’re “helping local businesses” by blocking every other company from doing business with whoever might be the best supplier… unless they suddenly became licensed Microsoft customers. There were all sorts of problems with that idea, but over the past three years, Microsoft has apparently continued to push forward with variations on that concept — and are now successfully getting states Attorneys’ General (who have no authority over copyright issues) to shake down foreign companies with claims that they’re “pirates.”

    In short, states Attorneys General are suing foreign companies, claiming that they’re using infringing software, and claiming that this unfairly “harms” local competitors. Often, the “local” competitors have absolutely no clue this is being done in their name, or that they’ve even been “harmed” by a competitor they’ve never heard of…

Microsoft Rumoured to be Taking 100% Control of Mono

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Xamarin, the company which interjects Microsoft into Linux/Android, may soon be acquired by Microsoft, suggest unnamed sources which spoke to CRN

ACCORDING TO some scoops and Microsoft PR at ZDNet or other Microsoft boosters, Miguel de Icaza‘s life-long dream of working for Microsoft — not just indirectly but also directly — is about to come true if rumours are true and the negotiations bear fruit. This is an opportunity for Microsoft to dump another load of cash on Mr. de Icaza, who has served Microsoft for many years, even by disrupting the FOSS community in all kinds of ways. Readers tell us that Mr. de Icaza gloated about becoming rich in this way.

According to the news/rumours, Xamarin, which is pushing .NET into Android and Linux (we covered this dozens of times before), found interest from Microsoft, which is of course busy right now trying to bastardise Android (not just through Nokia) [1-3] or ‘pull an OS/2 on it’ [4-8]. “Microsoft could be planning to acquire or put some money in a company that makes tools for creating mobile apps in C#,” said one site. It’s citing CRN, which cites “unnamed sources”. As we explained before, there is already plenty of Microsoft ‘DNA’ inside Xamarin and venture capitalists behind Xamarin are closely connected to Microsoft (many are former Microsoft managers). Mono already has some Microsoft code in it, as well as Microsoft licences.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Is Android the future of Microsoft?
  2. Five reasons Microsoft could become a top Android smartphone company
  3. MS challenges Google’s Android with ‘free’ Windows Phone OS
  4. Would you buy a phone that dual-boots Android and Windows?
  5. Huawei: We’ll sell a dual-boot Android, Windows 8 smartphone because, well, isn’t it obvious?
  6. Microsoft and Google ruin Intel’s plan for dual-OS tablets

    Asus’ dual-boot Transformer Book Duet reportedly canceled

  7. Google and Microsoft are out to stop dual-boot Windows/Android devices

    We’ve seen numerous companies announce devices that boot Android and some flavor of Windows, but very few of them ever hit the market. Just yesterday, Huawei announced that it was switching its Windows Phones to dual-OS Windows Phone/Android devices, which would launch in the second quarter of this year. Samsung announced the Ativ Q dual-boot convertible nine months ago, and we never heard about it again. One of the few companies actually shipping dual-boot hardware is Asus, which offers a convertible tablet/laptop and a few all-in-one PCs.

  8. Mutant dual-boot Android and Windows Phone coming to US this spring

Mozilla News: Less Microsoft, No Persona, More Mono, and Less Intrusive Addons

Posted in News Roundup at 11:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft

  • Mozilla gives up on Metro mode Firefox

    Just days before it was due to be included in Firefox’s stable version, Mozilla has announced that its Metro-mode shell for Firefox has been cancelled.

  • Update on Metro
  • Mozilla Stops Development of Metro Firefox for Windows 8

    It’s been a couple of years since Microsoft delivered Windows 8 and we have never seen the touch-capable “Metro” version of the Firefox browser, designed for Windows 8, that Mozilla had talked up so frequently. Google Chrome, on the other hand, has been available in a Windows 8 Metro version since 2012.

Persona

  • Mozilla Gives Up on Persona Single Sign-On, for Now
  • Mozilla Halts its Development of Persona Authentication System

    Over the years Google has started and then abandoned so mamy projects that some people like to say that the company “throws spaghetti at the wall to see what will stick.” Now, as Mozilla is shifting its entire company strategy toward mobile technology and focusing on its Firefox OS platform, it may be heading in a similar direction. After touting and actively testing its Persona authentication and sign-on system, the company is stepping down its participation in the project, citing low adoption.

Mono

Extensions

  • Sony to bring widget functionality to Firefox OS

    Sony recently submitted an enhancement which allows widget like functionality on Firefox OS. Dubbed gadget, it is supposed to allow easy interaction with applications from homescreen and lockscreen. Currently the implementation is being reviewed on bugzilla by the Mozilla team.

  • Mozilla Whitelists Some Firefox Extensions, But Has it Out for Them

    Early last year, I posted a piece on Mozilla radically changing its approach to plugins in the Firefox browser. Plugins and extensions are, of course, part of the reason why many of us chose to use Firefox in the first place. There is a huge ecosystem of useful ones. However, especially since Firefox moved to a rapid release cycle, extensions have cause many performance problems. For that reason, Mozilla has been steadily overhauling its process of handling extensions in Firefox, especially when it comes to extensions that are automatically enabled.

  • Mozilla to enable Click to Play by default for all plugins from March 31

    Mozilla announced back in January 2013 that it planned to eventually require all plugins to be ‘Click to Play’ by default, meaning that users will need to click on plugins in-page in order to enable them and view their content.

JPEG

Misc.

Programming News: New Python, Tenth Summer of Code, Code in Education, UndoDB, GitHub and More

Posted in News Roundup at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Python

PHP

Google SoC

  • Google embraces open source for 10th year of Summer of Code
  • Google’s coding internship summer program reaches 10th year

    What’s new for Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) internship program this year? For one, GSoC accepted 190 mentoring organizations, which is more than any other year. The very first GSoC program began in the summer of 2005, so this year also marks another milestone—they’re 10th year anniversary.

  • Google announces open source student project for 2014

    If you’re a university student looking to earn real-world experience this summer, you can join with us at Google Summer of Code coding for a cool open source project, Google invites students.

  • Google Announces the 10th Summer of Code

    Every year, Google’s Summer of Code event helps foster hundreds of interesting open source projects driven by students who are helped by mentoring organizations. The company is celebrating the 10th year of the program in 2014, and has announced that this year’s Summer of Code is underway. In 2013 Google accepted almost 1,200 students and the company is hoping to accept 10 percent more this year.

Education

UndoDB

  • Mentor Graphics cuts Linux debugging time by two thirds with Undo Software
  • Undo better than GNU, who knew?

    A Linux debugging tool more efficient than GNU debugger (GDB), really?

    Bucking time honoured marketing best practice stating that a firm shalt not use an OVERT NEGATIVE in an advertising headline, promotional campaign or (saints preserve us) the actual name of the company, it appears Undo Software is doing well in the Linux debugging market.

    Well, ok, the term “undo” could be a positive in tech if it is used to correct a mistake, which of course it is in this case with the reversible debugging tool UndoDB from Undo Software.

    The company has this month worked with Mentor Graphics Corporation to implement UndoDB and develop Linux code faster.

GitHub

Misc.

  • With greater permissions, comes greater responsibility

    I came to work with open source after an experience in college. We used a system called Usenet,a world wide distributed discussion forum. At the university, there wasn’t an email client I liked, so I wrote one and just gave it (including the source code) to whoever wanted it. This experience introduced me to a community of people who made things and shared them; it also introduced me to a job at my alma mater as a Usenet administrator.

Assassination, Imprisoning Dissent, Torture, Interventions, Surveillance, and Censorship

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

  • US to UN: We Can Disregard Int’l Human Rights Treaty

    US tells human rights panel that treaty that bans torture, arbitrary killings and detention doesn’t apply to its military operations.

  • Groups: 7 arrested in Iowa after drones protest

    Protesters say seven people have been arrested in Des Moines following an anti-war gathering opposing the use of drones.

  • Reaping the whirlwind

    The seven of us arrested as we stood arm-in-arm facing the closed iron gate, one from a new Catholic Worker House in Duluth, one from Rye House in Minneapolis, two from the Des Moines Catholic Worker, a leader of the national Veterans For Peace movement, and a 85-year old retired Methodist minister from Des Moines joined me in receiving a “ban and bar letter” from the military base and a court date of March 25 to enter a plea on the state criminal trespass charges. We were treated courteously and professionally by the arresting officers of Des Moines STAR (Special Tactics and Response) unit as we reminded them of our vow of nonviolence we recited before we walked down the driveway this morning. We informed them our protest was directed at the arrival of the drones-mission [sic] rather than at them as we were placed under arrest and placed in a “paddy wagon” – how fitting for St. Patrick’s Day!

  • Des Moines rally protests use of military drones

    The Saturday morning rally was organized by the Midwest Veterans for Peace and Catholic Workers. Organizers, including former Des Moines priest Frank Cordaro, described the rally as a civil disobedience action and expected some participants to be arrested.

  • Seven arrested protesting drones in Des Moines
  • Dianne Feinstein Wants Drones Regulated

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, who I had rooted for Vice President, for Walter Mondale, disagrees. She wants to regulate them. “What is the appropriate law enforcement use for a drone? When do you have to have a warrant?…What’s the appropriate government use for a drone?”

  • United Nations Human Rights Committee considers report of the United States

Torture

  • Revealed: Inside the Senate report on CIA interrogations

    A still-classified report on the CIA’s interrogation program established in the wake of 9/11 sparked a furious row last week between the agency and Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Now, Al Jazeera has been told by sources familiar with its contents that the committee’s report alleges that at least one high-value detainee was subjected to torture techniques that went beyond those authorized by the Bush administration’s Justice Department.

  • A double standard on torture?

    All the people that President George W. Bush supposedly tortured (which, I guess, is anything more painful than giving blood) are alive and well. President Barack Obama regularly kills the same people with drones, but in your view that is just fine (“A tortuous debate,” March 12). Unbelievable.

  • Poland wrestles with the legacy of a secret CIA torture site

    From a hilltop overlooking a military base in this picturesque village 100 miles due north of Warsaw, a charming country house is just visible across a shimmering blue lake.

  • Philip Mudd: Sitting Across from KSM Was Useful So Waterboarding Him 183 Times Was Too

    Given that he effectively admitted to Steven Colbert back in September, above, he was responsible for inserting the tortured claim from Ibn Sheikh al-Libi that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda, and given that he left government after being denied a promotion because his analysts pushed for more torture, what he likely means is that the Report is going to show very damning evidence about his actions.

Interventions and Ukraine

  • The Implosion of Libya

    The Libyan former prime minister Ali Zeidan fled last week after parliament voted him out of office. A North Korean-flagged oil tanker, the Morning Glory, illegally picked up a cargo of crude from rebels in the east of the country and sailed safely away, despite a government minister’s threat that the vessel would be “turned into a pile of metal” if it left port: the Libyan navy blamed rough weather for its failure to stop the ship. Militias based in Misrata, western Libya, notorious for their violence and independence, have launched an offensive against the eastern rebels in what could be the opening shots in a civil war between western and eastern Libya.

  • Imperialist Hypocrisy on Crimea

    In the conduct of its foreign policy, the United States operates on the principle spelled out by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels that if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough, it will be accepted.

  • Obama Issues Executive Order Freezing Assets Of Seven Putin Aides

    As was largely expected, the first retaliation by Obama has arrived, courtesy of a just issued Executive Order by the president, in which he has blocked and frozen “all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person” (i.e. assets) of not only the pre-coup Ukraine president Yanukovich and the Crimean leader Aksyonov, including all Russians that operate in the Russian arms industry, but most notably seven Putin aides. Not Putin himself of course – that would be too “escalatory”…

  • Putin Strikes Back: Russia’s Sanctions List Said To Include US Senators, High Ranking Administration Officials

    Ever since the theatrical announcement of asset freezes and other related sanctions of various Putin aides, Russian military and pro-Russia Ukrainian leaders earlier today by both the US president and the EU, the nagging question was when and how would Vladimir Vladimirovich retaliate, with tomorrow’s Putin address to the joint session of Parliament seeming as a probable time and place. It now appears that Putin’s personal retaliation has been leaked in advance, and according to the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin, it will involve an in kind response where various US senators and highly placed officials will be banned from visiting Russia, and likely also see their particular assets – if any- in Russian custody promptly frozen.

  • With 79% Turnout, Exit Polls Confirm 93% Of Voters Back Crimea Joining Russia; US,UK, EU Rejects Results
  • The Wrong Referendum, The Wrong Saviour

    But every single one of those things is true of Putin’s Russia, and in fact it is much worse. Wealth inequality is even more extreme. Toleration of dissent and of different lifestyles even less evident, the space for debate even more constricted, the contempt for international law still more pronounced. Putin’s own desire for imperialist sphere of influence politics leads him into conflict with aggressive designs of the west, as for example in Syria and Iran. The consequence can be an accidental good, in that Putin has thwarted western military plans. But that is not in any sense from a desire for public good, and if Putin can himself get away with military force he does. His conflicts of interest with the west have deluded a surprising number of people here into believing that Putin in some ways represents an ideological alternative. He does not. He represents a capitalism still more raw, an oligarchy still more corrupt, a wealth gap still greater and growing still quicker, a debate still more circumscribed. It speaks to the extreme political failure of the western political system, and the degree of the alienation of which I spoke, that so many strive to see something beautiful in the ugly features of Putinism.

  • Is Putin Delusional–or Is NYT a ‘Megaphone for Propaganda’?

CIA

  • Iran CIA station stopped functioning
  • CIA suspends Iran operations chief: report

    Jonathan Bank, a career officer with the spy agency, had been placed on administrative leave after an internal probe found he had created a hostile work environment, according to the Times.

    Former officials said employees had been in “open rebellion” over the officer’s management style and that the division, which oversees spying on Iran and its nuclear program, was in a state of disarray, it said.

  • CIA Iran Chief Suspended, Department ‘Was Not Functioning’

    The CIA’s Iran chief of operations was suspended after sending the division that coordinates spying on Iran and its nuclear program into disarray, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

    “Iran is one of most important targets, and the place was not functioning,” said one of three former officials who told the newspaper that the Iran operations division was in “open rebellion,” with several key employees demanding transfers.

  • CIA suspends Iran operations chief for creating ‘abusive and hostile work environment’
  • Chief of CIA division for spying on Iran is suspended over internal mutiny
  • Time to tell spies we, the people, not the enemies

    We now have even more proof that our burgeoning intelligence agencies, which were given unprecedented latitude to wage war against terrorists, are dangerously out of control.

  • The CIA reminds us who’s boss

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a stalwart ally of the nation’s intelligence agencies, says she is appalled to learn they have been spying on her committee, ignoring federal law and possibly trampling on the Constitution in a heavy-handed targeting of innocent people. Hey! Maybe now she knows how the rest of us feel.

  • Nancy Pelosi Admits That Congress Is Scared Of The CIA

    Over the past few months, one thing we keep hearing over and over again from defenders of the intelligence community is that everything is under control and “legal” because Congress has powerful oversight. We’ve shown, repeatedly, how that’s something of a joke. The intelligence community has lied repeatedly, has withheld documents and is generally nonresponsive to oversight attempts by Congress. And, with the reports that the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, we also find out that for all the bluster and talk of oversight, folks in Congress are actually scared by the intelligence community.

  • Former CIA probers urge new investigative panel on United States intelligence agencies

    Warning of a “crisis in public confidence,” former staffers for an influential 1975 Senate committee that investigated CIA abuses asked Congress and President Barack Obama on Monday to form a new panel to probe missteps by the nation’s intelligence agencies.

  • The latest out of Washington – CIA spies and tortured lies

    “What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said last month in what was, then, her routine defense of the mass global surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies. All that has changed now that she believes that the staff of the committee she chairs, the powerful, secretive Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was spied on and lied to by the CIA.

    The committee was formed after the Watergate scandal engulfed the Nixon administration. The Church Committee, led by Idaho Democratic Sen. Frank Church, conducted a comprehensive investigation of abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies, of everything from spying on anti-war protesters to the assassination of foreign leaders. Thus began the modern era of congressional and judicial oversight of U.S. intelligence.

  • Editorial: Senate report should look at more than CIA

    The Senate panel is putting the finishing touches on a 6,300-page report on the CIA’s use of torture — waterboarding and other techniques — in the interrogations. While reviewing the CIA documents, Senate staffers found a draft of the internal review but have not said exactly how they got it. Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says the internal review is important because it contradicts CIA statements and it documents agency wrongdoing. John Brennan, the CIA director, maintains that the internal review should never have been seen by the committee because it is “sensitive, deliberative, pre-decisional” material protected by executive privilege.

  • Ed Garvey: Is the CIA under civilian control? Do pigs fly?

    Just saying. I was not shocked or even surprised by the revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency may have hacked computers and spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the congressional committee that oversees CIA and National Security Agency operations. What is a poor spook agency to do when the enemy disappears? Look inward perhaps?

Privacy and Surveillance

  • Spinoffs from Spyland

    How America’s eavesdropping agency commercializes technology.

  • A 10-Point Plan to Keep the NSA Out of Our Data

    1) End-to-end encryption. This is the most important technological change, and the one that Snowden emphasized in his talk. End-to-end encryption would help protect data through its entire journey from sender to recipient. Google and other services currently only encrypt data as it makes its way from a user to a given service, where it is may be decrypted. That leaves data vulnerable to collection from the service provider’s servers or from internal data links where it might be unencrypted.

  • 3 Security Tips For Every User From NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

    Snowden appeared live via Google Hangouts to discuss the future of cybersecurity alongside privacy advocates and security gurus Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian of the ACLU. His revelations about the American government agency’s mass surveillance tactics shocked the world in June 2013 and exposed the security weaknesses of Google, Apple, Facebook, and many of the other services cybercitizens use every day.

  • How Google Can Repel the Attack of the NSA Quantum Computer
  • ‘Turn Off The Water’ Says Coalition Against NSA Spying

    A coalition of activists is pushing for state legislation that would cut off the water and power to National Security Agency facilities — including the new mega data center in Bluffdale, Utah — that need water to run huge computers.

  • NSA’s malware and spying ops far more powerful than you think

    As the cataract of code words and compromises continues to course from Edward Snowden’s cache of classified information, it’s easy to lose track of what, exactly, the US National Security Agency and its allies can and can’t do. So let’s clarify that — especially given that last week’s revelations make it clear that the NSA’s capabilities go way, way beyond what was previously thought.

  • Guardian editor wins European Press Prize for NSA coverage

    The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, poses in a photo with a mangled piece of metal alongside a story Monday announcing his European Press Prize for leading a team of reporters on their NSA coverage.

  • Ron Miller: NSA can track every email, but it can’t find a plane
  • When a world that’s characterized by ubiquitous data collection and surveillance can lose sight of a jumbo jet, you start to question the worth of all that spying on us
  • The NSA could be using your webcam to spy on you

    Caitlin Tolchin knows she’s far from anonymous when she’s online, but was still shocked to find out how far things are being taken, and who’s behind it.

    With a sigh she throws up her hands. “You start to wonder who’s watching and why?” she says with a note of exasperation to her voice.

  • U.S. Plan for Web Faces Credibility Issue

    The Commerce Department’s decision to step back from its supervision of an Internet policy-making body is an attempt by the U.S. to prove it is serious about Internet freedom at a time when its credibility on the issue is suffering.

    The U.S. government said Friday it wants to transition away from its relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann—the organization that manages Internet names and addresses—to a multilateral structure where engineers, nonprofits and other stakeholders make decisions about how the Internet is managed.

  • Watchdog group declares United States an ‘enemy of the Internet’

    Watchdog group Reporters Without Borders publishes its updated “Enemies of the Internet” list each year. The report looks to shed light on the current state of the Internet, revealing which countries across the globe stand in the way of unfettered access to the wealth of information the Web has to offer. Places like North Korea and China are regulars on the list, as you might have guessed, but the 2014 version of this important report includes a troubling new addition: America.

  • German parliamentary inquiry NSA revelations to open in April

    A German public inquiry into surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in Germany is to open in April, parliamentary officials said in Berlin Tuesday.

    A eight-member parliamentary commission of inquiry is to look into what the German intelligence agencies knew about US wiretapping starting in 2001.

  • US defends mass surveillance at UN

    Representatives for the United States government defended the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance programs before a hearing of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

    The US is one of 74 signatories that has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and as a result must be scrutinized every five years by an 18-person UN panel that focuses particularly on allegations of human rights abuses. That process involved a question-and-answer session between the UN committee members and representatives for the US last week, and the disclosures about the NSA’s broad surveillance abilities ended up being brought squarely into the discussion.

  • New House Plan Props Up NSA Surveillance of Phone Calls

    Regarding oversight of National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless wholesale collection of telephone metadata, Reprsentative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) has decided to stick a toe in the constitutional waters, but it’s little more than that.

  • Wyden to Speak on NSA Fight

    Senator Ron Wyden speaks Tuesday night in Portland, the first of four lecturers in a series marking the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

  • Wyden’s battle against NSA continues

    Wyden’s battle may not have been as lonely as that of Wayne Morse, who was one of just two opponents of the congressional resolution that led to a broad U.S. military involvement in Vietnam 50 years ago — and more than 50,000 American deaths. Wyden’s Democratic colleague from Oregon since 2009, Jeff Merkley, has taken his side, as has Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and others.

  • Public apathy over GCHQ snooping is a recipe for disaster

    The lack of public alarm at government internet surveillance is frightening, but perhaps it’s because the problem is difficult to convey in everyday terms

  • Dear Facebook and Googleplus, be honest, it’s just a datagrab!
  • US Relinquishes Oversight of Internet, China and Russia May Gain Control

    The Obama administration on March 14 announced the final step to privatize oversight of the Internet’s core systems. While on the surface it appears the Internet is moving toward a more independent model, however, the changes could allow authoritarian regimes in China and Russia to gain stronger influence over the global Internet.

  • Targeting Dissent is the Real Purpose of NSA Programs

    When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia briefly let the mask slip during recent comments to University of Hawaii law students it was a rare moment of openness as to reveal the pathology of the leadership class here in The Homeland . During an exchange over a World War II era case involving Japanese Americans who were rounded up and placed in internment camps such as the infamous Manzanar Scalia stated that “”you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again” and “In times of war, the laws fall silent.” Times of war such as the permanent war on terror that is now in its thirteenth year running and still picking up steam, especially so with the rampage towards a newly rebooted Cold War. With the ultimatums of Kerry and Obama, goaded on by a corrupt media with an insatiable thirst for blood and a resurgent neocon menace we now stand on the edge of great peril as the oppressive apparatus of the power of Leviathan that has been exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will find refuge in the climate of paranoia and fear that will be triggered anew. Time is short and we all must do our part to now apply immense pressure to ensure that the illegal programs of the surveillance state are exposed before the hydra is allowed to reconfigure behind the looming war to end all wars.

  • NSA intrusions must be stopped

    It is time to end the extensive surveillance by the National Security Agency, gathering phone records, metadata and searching Internet communications of innocent Americans.

  • [Satire] Brave NSA agent goes beyond line of duty, wiretaps his mother
  • Compare the NSA’s Facebook Malware Denial to its Own Secret Documents

Censorship

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