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05.13.14

Links 13/5/2014: China Promotes GNU/Linux, NSA Backdoors Hardware

Posted in News Roundup at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Divide And Conquer Should Work For GNU/Linux

    So many times we read here in comments and in articles out in the web that migration to GNU/Linux is hard/impossible because… It is hard/impossible to move a ship from some factory inland to a shipyard but it is routine/easy if only the parts need to be shipped. Stop making migration to GNU/Linux look hard by identifying various problems. No problem prevents migrating a good chunk of IT to FLOSS on GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Kim Komando: Buy a computer for less than $100

      Instead you could try an operating system based on Linux. These are free, come with everything you need for basic computing, and will run great on older hardware. If you’re going to give this a whirl, check out Linux Mint. The MATE edition should run better than XP, in fact.

      [...]

      And in the last few years, it has been made easier for beginners to use, thanks to its whimsically named New Out of Box Software, or NOOBS, system. This helps you install a few of the various operating systems it runs, which are based on the free Linux.

      You might still end up doing some tweaking, but fortunately, the Raspberry Pi site has excellent tutorials for beginners.

      Via’s APC Rock ($79) and Paper ($99) are similar systems with a bit more oomph.

      When you’re poking around for DIY computers, you might come across the Arduino board. While this is a fantastic system for hobbyists, it won’t work as a computer.
      Android computers

      Android isn’t just for smartphones and tablets.

      There are a few companies making Android “sticks.” These are the size of a USB and plug right into the HDMI port on your TV — similar to a Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick.

      However, these run a full version of Android, which means you can surf the Web, install apps and anything else you’d do on an Android tablet.

    • Kim Komando Recommends GNU/Linux
    • Security pioneer Alan Solomon uses Linux to avoid viruses

      Alan Solomon, creator of Dr Soloman’s Antivirus, has admitted to using Linux to avoid viruses rather than try to combat them on Windows.

      His comments come after Symantec’s Brian Dye estimated that antivirus systems do not even catch half of cyber attacks.

      Writing of his decision on his blog, Solomon said: “There doesn’t seem to be much malware for Linux. I don’t know why. Some say it’s because Linux’s security is better, some say it’s because fewer people use it. I’m not really bothered.”

    • XP users urged to switch alliegance to Linux

      China’s Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology (MIIT) urged Windows XP users in China to switch to domestically made computer operating systems, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

      “We want users to pay attention to the potential security risk brought by their Windows XP system as Microsoft ceased providing further patch services. At the same time, the ministry will work on developing China’s own computer system and applications based on Linux and we hope that the users will give more support to these domestically made products,” Zhang Feng, chief engineer of MIIT, told CCTV.

    • Chinese Government Says on TV That Windows XP Users Should Choose Linux
  • Server

    • SME Server 9.0 RC1 Linux Server Prepares for the Final Version

      SME Server 9.0 RC1 is based on CentOS 6.5, just like all the development versions that came before it, and contains a lot of improvements, changes, and new features. This is normal, especially with such a complex Linux distribution.

      “SME Server is the leading Linux distribution for small and medium enterprises. SME Server is brought to you by Koozali Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation that exists to provide marketing and legal support for SME Server.”

    • Bank finds stability in Linux, innovation in Agile

      Linux, ‘dual live’ data centres and a collaborative relationship between development and IT operations have all helped play a role delivering infrastructure stability while driving rapid ongoing growth at Tyro Payments, according to Sascha Hess, the vice-president for operations at the acquiring bank.

      In the half year to December 2013, Tyro reported $25.4 million in revenue — a 36 per cent increase in revenue over the previous corresponding period. The processor has been in the BRW Fast 100 for four consecutive years.

      Tyro Payments is “basically a software development company with a banking licence and a sales arm”, according to Hess. The company was founded just over a decade ago and is Australia’s only independent EFTPOS provider.

    • Siege Your Servers!

      Setting up Web servers is fairly simple. In fact, it’s so simple that once the server is set up, we often don’t think about it anymore. It wasn’t until I had a very large Web site rollout fail miserably that I started to research a method for load-testing servers before releasing a Web site to production.

    • Compare popular Linux distributions for servers

      There is no single best Linux distribution for every enterprise’s servers. It all depends on what your company needs.

      Today, Linux is more than a free OS to mess around with — it runs core business applications. When comparing the most popular Linux distributions, corporate Linux users care about support throughout the stack, not just an attractive feature set.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Slackel Live KDE 4.10.5 Is a Conservative Linux Distro

        The developers of the Slackel KDE are not trying to get the newest packages into the operating system, but to provide a stable experience for all the users, which the most important aspect for any Linux distribution.

      • Kubuntu Utopic Kickoff Meeting

        A new cycle and lots of interesting possibilities! Will KF5 and Plasma 5 be supreme? All welcome at the Kubuntu kickoff meeting this european evening and american afternoon at 19:00UTC.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME: TARBALLS DUE: 3.12.2

        Now is the time for a new update to our stable release, this is 3.12.2.

      • Custom Layouts on Android

        If you ever built an Android app, you have definitely used some of the built-in layouts available in the platform—RelativeLayout, LinearLayout, FrameLayout, etc. They are our bread and butter for building Android UIs.

        The built-in layouts combined provide a powerful toolbox for implementing complex UIs. But there will still be cases where the design of your app will require you to implement custom layouts.

      • GNOME’s Tracker 1.0.1 Gets a Ton of Fixes

        The Tracker developer took a very big leap when the GNOME 3.12 branch was release and they decided that it’s the perfect time to ditch the old numbering system, which advanced really hard (the last stable was 0.17.2) and to get to 1.0.

        The package was stable to a long time, but it must have created some confusion to have something numbered like that.

      • GTK+ 3.12.2 Released with Numerous Fixes

        GTK+, a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces that provide a complete set of widgets, suitable for projects ranging from small one-off tools to complete application suites, is now at version 3.12.2.

  • Distributions

    • Pinguy 14.04 Full Edition Is Based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but It’s Completely Different

      Pinguy OS 14.04 Full edition is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), but the developer chose to depart from the base distribution and adopt GNOME 3.10 as the desktop environment, with a few changes.

      The developers of Pinguy OS wanted to make something different from what users can find right now, and one of the ways they can achieve that is by implementing an interesting selection of applications.

    • Docker-Based CoreOS Linux Distribution Beta Launches

      CoreOS, a new Linux designed for massive server deployments and using the Docker containerisation system for applications, has been delivered as a beta.

      The open source Docker technology runs applications within containers – so they are virtualised and can be moved between systems, but without having to have a virtual machine for every one. It is becoming popular for its ability to move projects between development and operations swiftly.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Hands-on with PCLinuxOS 2014.05 KDE and LXDE: The Linux with something for everyone

        The last time I wrote about PCLinuxOS I was a bit critical about its Linux kernel version being quite a bit behind most of the other mainstream Linux distributions, so I was pleased to see that they have really caught up with this release. It has kernel 3.12.18, KDE 4.12.3, X.org X server 1.12.4, LibreOffice 4.2.4.2 and Firefox 29.0.1. Those are all quite good, and that Firefox release is really “hot off the press”.

      • Pros’ Secrets and Red Hat 7 and PCLinuxOS 2014.05 Reviews

        Today in Linux news Katherine Noyes scoured Linuxdom to find “Linux Pros’ top command line secrets,” if there’s really such a thing argues one blogger. In other news, Jesse Smith reviewed new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate and Jamie Watson reviewed quietly released PCLinuxOS 2014.05.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • wattOS OS R8 Ditches Ubuntu for Debian

        wattOS, a lightweight, energy-saving Linux distribution designed not only to bring your old computer back to life, but also to eat up as little power as possible, is now at version R8.

        WattOS is a very light and fast operating system that was initially based on Ubuntu, but the developers have decided to switch to Debian. They didn’t provide any reasons for doing so, but they wouldn’t be the first ones to make this decision.

      • wattOS R8 Released! and Info
      • wattOS R8 Is Now Based On Debian Rather Than Ubuntu

        For five years the wattOS Linux distribution has been around as being an energy-efficient distribution powered at its core by Ubuntu, but with their new release they have shifted to being powered by Debian.

        WattOS R8 was released this morning and they are now running this distribution off Debian Wheezy with some backports plus some components from Debian Jessie was also pulled in.

      • Siduction Is the First OS to Adopt the New LXQt Desktop Environement

        “We are very happy to present to you today, straight from LinuxTag conference in Berlin, the first integration of the shiny new desktop environment LXQt into a distribution image. This is clearly labeled as a Dev-Release, so do not trust it, it might kill your kittens, although the developers of LXQt flagged it as being beta status.”

      • WattOS R8 out now
      • Tails 1.0 review: Protect your privacy with a secure Linux distro
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • OpenVPN Import Broken in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            If you ever used a VPN connection in Ubuntu you know that you need to download a package from the official repository called network-manager-openvpn that allows users to import an openVPN file with all the setting and certificates in place.

            This particular feature used to work in the early versions of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but right before the launch something was broken in the network-manager-openvpn packages, which crashes the entire network manager during the import.

          • Canonical Announces The Orange Box $12k USD Ubuntu Cluster Suitcase

            The Orange Box is designed to be a “spectacular development platform” for showcasing Ubuntu, MAAS, Juju, Landscape, OpenStack, Hadoop, and other technologies. Canonical’s Orange Box can be a compact cloud, powerful computational machine, or a lightweight cluster

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Drone quadrocopter boasts 14MP camera, runs Linux

      Parrot unveiled a Bebop Drone running Linux on a dual-core SoC, with a 14-megapixel HD fisheye camera and a WiFi-extending remote with Oculus Rift support.

    • Navy set to run helicopter drones on Linux

      Everyone knows at least one guy who uses Linux. I don’t use it myself, but I knew that one guy. He built all his PCs from spart parts, he knew the ins and outs of programming, he was a little bit of an anarchist (ok, more than a little). He fits the bill of the Linux user stereotype– the young hobbyist and hacker.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Android KitKat coming to older Samsung devices

          According to the source for SamMobile, Samsung is having trouble porting KitKat to its third-generation Galaxy S flagship and has decided to cancel the update for the phone. Things could change in the coming months, but for now, all plans for bringing the update to the Galaxy S III are on hold. It’ll surely displease users of the device, but unless Samsung can find a solution to whatever issues it is facing, the Galaxy S III will probably spend its life on Android 4.3.

        • Marmalade CEO: Tizen is App Developers’ Entryway to Wearables

          Tizen has created an opportunity for app developers to expand into wearable technologies, says Marmalade Technologies CEO, Harvey Elliott. Hundreds of games have already been added to the Tizen app store since Marmalade began offering SDK support last year for the Linux-based mobile operating system, he said. And this is just the beginning.

          Developers who are interested in learning how to port their games and enterprise applications to Tizen on the Marmalade cross-platform development tool can learn all about it at the Tizen Developer Conference, June 2-4 at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco. Here Elliott gives us a preview of his talk at the conference and discusses Marmalade’s interest and involvement in Tizen.

      • Android

        • Nvidia’s Tegra 64-bit K1 SoC with Denver CPU spotted in Android source

          The upcoming Nvidia Tegra K1 (64-bit) System on a Chip (SoC) featuring Denver GPUs (Tegra 132) has been spotted in the Android source code. The chip is an iteration of the Tegra 124 K1 (32-bit) SoC we reported first about in 2013 which was the first Nvidia Tegra SoC featuring Kepler based GPU cores.

        • What’s Android Silver? Samsung preps Tizen mobes ‘for Russia, India’

          If Samsung does indeed release a smartphone running Tizen it would be another sign that the company is not entirely happy in its relationship with Google and the amount of cash it can make from Android-powered handsets. As the world’s number one mobe-maker, Samsung is certainly shifting hardware by the container-load. But as Apple, Amazon and Google have shown, sales of apps and content can deliver cash for years after a device is first sold.

        • ‘Tablet for hackers’ no longer on sale

          An Android tablet that was advertised as an open device for hackers appears to have gone off the market, quite soon after its release.

          The ZaTab ZT2 (seen above) was advertised late last year on the website of the small California company ZaReason, which also sells PCs and laptops loaded with GNU/Linux.

          It was listed along with the laptops on the website, but now is no longer featured there. There are, however, specific pages for this tablet and also the first one which the company produced, but one needs to know the URLs to view them.

          The page for the ZT2 says the device is now out of stock.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 4 words to avoid when negotiating the use of open source at your job

    If you work in an organization that isn’t focused on development, where computer systems are used to support other core business functions, getting management buy-in for the use of open source can be tricky. Here’s how I negotiated with my boss and my team to get them to accept and try open source software.

  • App.net’s open source failure

    When they launched, you’ll recall I was skeptical about the model, not least because of the company’s attitude to open source. The folks over there have continued with their self-confident tone all along, with a “wait until renewal, that’ll show you” attitude and a general disdain for anyone questioning their approach. I and other skeptics were firmly put in our place — but seems we made a decent call of it after all.

  • HP pivots, says open sourcing SDNs is right
  • HP Joins OpenDaylight Open Source SDN Project

    HP (HPQ) has added its name to the list of official backers of OpenDaylight, the open source software-defined networking (SDN) project supported by the Linux Foundation. HP is now a platinum member of the project.

    The Linux Foundation, which sponsors OpenDaylight as a collaborative project, is welcoming the addition of HP to the line-up of vendors helping to lead OpenDaylight — which already includes Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Ericsson, IBM, Juniper, Microsoft and Red Hat as platinum members — as a sign of industry convergence around OpenDaylight as the SDN platform of choice.

  • HP Doubles Down on OpenDaylight
  • Words: Open source, Free, Contribute, Development

    The language of FLOSS and how you describe FLOSS to people is delivering a shocking change in mindset. Words will be resisted. Seeing the stuff in action, performing impossible feats with ease thanks to a FLOSS licence and doing all that the hardware can do without restriction is a powerful motivator. That’s why you see big images of cars being driven in ads for cars rather than just words. The words may fill in the gaps or finish the deal but performance and price should be the starting point of any conversation about migration to GNU/Linux and FLOSS applications. People resist change. They embrace doing more with less pain and suffering.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS 1.3 Stable Is Now Ready. It Will Be Available On Devices Soon

        Among others, Firefox OS 1.3 comes with improved graphics, audio and gaming support with WebGL, asm.js and WebAudio being included, the galery app has received a feature that enables the users to sort the picture by month, Dual-SIM support has been added, the apps from the home screen are organized in Smart Collections, being categorized under Social, Games or Music, the Play FM Radio can be listened through the speaker, support for both email notifications and POP3 email accounts has been added, the Camera app has received both auto-focus and flash features, on supported devices, the Music app can be controlled via either the notification tray and the lock screen and support for sharing multiple files at once over Bluetooth connections has been added.

      • ZTE Open C, Running Firefox OS 1.3, Is Now Available On eBay For 100$
      • Mozilla Adjusts Sponsored New-Tab Page Testing
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Pushing open source to the limit

      Sahoo chose MySQL as TradeMonster’s database, which might seem an odd choice given the extreme high availability and performance demands. Partly, he says, the decision was based on the fact that “with trading applications, three-fourths of activity is read-only.” More important, however, was the complex caching technology and fault tolerance Sahoo and his team built around the MySQL core (which is replicated using Microsoft SQL Server, one of the few pieces of commercial software in the mix). The back end has been so bulked up that Sahoo says it’s prepared to scale as much as 7,000 percent…

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Solaris 11.2 Beta Features Full OpenStack Cloud Distribution

      Oracle announced the beta release of its Solaris 11.2 Unix operating system at an event in late April. Solaris became part of Oracle’s product portfolio with the $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010. Under Oracle’s leadership, the first major update to Solaris was in November 2011 with Solaris 11. Oracle positioned Solaris 11 from the beginning to be an operating system for the cloud. The Solaris 11.1 update debuted in October 2012 and provided incremental updates to the Unix platform. Now, Oracle is testing out Solaris 11.2 with a beta release that enables users to experience some of the new features. One of the biggest additions to Solaris 11.2 is a complete OpenStack cloud distribution, including compute, storage and networking components. Oracle has also further improved networking in Solaris with the Elastic Virtual Switch, which enables a distributed virtual switching platform. Virtualization gets a boost in Solaris 11.2, with the inclusion of Kernel Zones, which enables a full version of Solaris to run on top of a Solaris container. From an image management perspective, Solaris 11.2 introduces the concept of Unified Archives, which aim to make it easier to archive and create application images. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the features in Oracle’s Solaris 11.2

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Hewlett-Packard to spread free, open-source cloud services

      Hewlett-Packard said it plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years to develop and offer cloud-computing products and services.

      The company said it will make its OpenStack-based public cloud services available in 20 data centers over the next 18 months.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Liberty Eiffel first release: 2013.11

      Liberty Eiffel is a free eiffel compiler started from SmartEiffel code base. Its goal is to retain from SmartEiffel its rigour; but not its rigidity.

    • GNU Xnee 3.19 (‘Lucia’) released

      We are pleased to announce the availability of GNU Xnee 3.19

    • gs-emacs 0.1

      Well, after play some time with elisp I wrote this package to add a entry called GNUstep to Emacs menu. This entry has three options, two are to make simple App/Tool projects (for beginners). The third is for replace the non English characters to its corresponding code. This is useful for strings and plist files. This three commands can be executed with, respectively: M-x make-app, M-x make-tool y M-x replace-foreign-characters. The image below show the menu:

    • Presenting CADET, GNUnet’s routing and transport layer

      In the upcoming Med-Hoc-Net 2014 we will present a paper describing GNUnet’s CADET service (previously known as “mesh”) which allows a GNUnet application to communicate securely with any peer on the network knowing only it’s Peer Identity.

    • FreeIPMI 1.4.2 Released
    • FreeIPMI 1.4.3 Released
  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source everywhere at Plovdiv military prosecution

      Open source solutions are used in all parts of the organisation at the Military Prosecutor’s office in the Bulgarian province of Plovdiv. The public administration’s IT staff by default uses the Debian free software distribution, which has found its way to all kinds of computing devices, large and tiny.

    • The best and brightest in open government at TransparencyCamp 2014
    • Civic hacking is taking off

      The open government movement has become super-charged over the last year. Largely in part to the people and organizations on the front lines. At the 2013 Code for America Summit held in San Francisco, California, I got a chance to speak with some of the people who are volunteering their time, finding better ways to make government work for us, and bridging the gap for citizens to access and participate in their government.

    • Plovdiv Military Prosecutor’s office is all open source!

      Plovdiv is a province in Bulgaria which you may have never heard of. However, something out of the ordinary is going on there, literally exemplifying the limits of open source usage in Government offices. The Military Prosecutor’s office in Plovdiv uses a combined solution of Debian and Ubuntu along with other open source software for all their computing needs.

  • Licensing

    • Interview with Ciaran Gultnieks of F-Droid

      This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab’s series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

    • Oracle continue to circumvent EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL()

      So, in the face of a technical mechanism designed to enforce the author’s beliefs about the copyright status of callers of this function, Oracle deliberately circumvent that technical mechanism by simply re-exporting the same function under a new name. It should be emphasised that calling an EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() function does not inherently cause the caller to become a derivative work of the kernel – it only represents the original author’s opinion of whether it would. You’d still need a court case to find out for sure. But if it turns out that the use of ktime_get() does cause a work to become derivative, Oracle would find it fairly difficult to argue that their infringement was accidental.

      Of course, as copyright holders of DTrace, Oracle could solve the problem by dual-licensing DTrace under the GPL as well as the CDDL. The fact that they haven’t implies that they think there’s enough value in keeping it under an incompatible license to risk losing a copyright infringement suit. This might be just the kind of recklessness that Oracle accused Google of back in their last case.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Sonograms in Python

      I went to a terrific workshop last week on identifying bird songs. We listened to recordings of songs from some of the trickier local species, and discussed the differences and how to remember them. I’m not a serious birder — I don’t do lists or Big Days or anything like that, and I dislike getting up at 6am just because the birds do — but I do try to identify birds (as well as mammals, reptiles, rocks, geographic features, and pretty much anything else I see while hiking or just sitting in the yard) and I’ve always had trouble remembering their songs.

    • PyPy 2.3 – Terrestrial Arthropod Trap

      We’re pleased to announce PyPy 2.3, which targets version 2.7.6 of the Python language. This release updates the stdlib from 2.7.3, jumping directly to 2.7.6.

      This release also contains several bugfixes and performance improvements, many generated by real users finding corner cases our TDD methods missed. CFFI has made it easier than ever to use existing C code with both cpython and PyPy, easing the transition for packages like cryptography, Pillow (Python Imaging Library [Fork]), a basic port of pygame-cffi, and others.

    • PyPy 2.3 Interpreter Released
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Things that drive me nuts about OpenGL

      Here’s a brain dump of the things that sometimes drive me crazy about OpenGL. (Note these are strictly my own opinions, not those of Valve or my coworkers. I’m also in a ranty-type mood today after grappling with OpenGL for several years now..) My major motivation to posting this: the GL API needs a reboot because IMO Mantle/D3D12 are going to most likely eat it for lunch soon, so we should start talking and thinking about this stuff now.

    • The Truth on OpenGL Driver Quality
    • Open Source Projects Take on Some Work of Standards Bodies

      As companies become more comfortable collaborating through open source projects, some predict they’ll replace some of the slower-moving standards bodies.

Leftovers

  • Bletchley Park row rages on as restored site opens to public with ‘Berlin Wall’

    Bletchley Park, the home of British wartime codebreaking, opens on Monday with new lawns and a new visitor centre for the 150,000 people who come each year to explore the historic site.

    The visitor centre is part of an £8m lottery grant won by the Bletchley Park Trust in 2011, which secured the future of the site and helped to restore the decaying huts in which many of the codebreakers worked.

    But it also opens with some six foot-high fences – separating two museums which each claim the legacy of Bletchley – which have been described as a Berlin Wall and symbolise an ugly, long-running dispute with Bletchley Park’s neighbour, the National Museum of Computing (TNMOC).

  • Writers Feel an Amazon-Hachette Spat

    Amazon’s secret campaign to discourage customers from buying books by Hachette, one of the big New York publishers, burst into the open on Friday.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Honeybee killer neonicotinoids caused colony Collapse Disorder, Harvard study says

      Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or the widespread population loss of honeybees, may have been caused by the use of neonicotinoids, according to a new study out of Harvard University.

      Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides, chemically similar to nicotine. They were first developed for agricultural use in the 1980′s by petroleum giant Shell. The pesticides were refined by Bayer the following decade.

      Two of these chemicals are now believed to be the cause of CCD, according to the new study from the School of Public Health at the university. This study replicated their own research performed in 2012.

    • The Animals of Chernobyl [The New York Times]

      Biologist Timothy Mousseau has been studying the lasting effects of radiation on the flora and fauna of Chernobyl, Ukraine.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ernst seeks to clarify remark on Iraq WMDs

      Ernst clarifies her statement by saying Iraq had used weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invasion in 2003.

    • Human Rights Groups Condemn Canadian Government for Allowing George W. Bush Visit

      Today, in response to George W. Bush’s arrival in Toronto, Canada, for a fundraiser with Bill Clinton, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Centre for International Justice issued the following statement:

      “By allowing Bush to enter its territory, Canada is undermining the UN Convention Against Torture, which was adopted to ensure there are no safe havens for torturers. Canada is already under review by a UN committee for failing to take action when Bush visited in 2011. During that visit, four men brought forward claims of torture against Bush for the treatment they endured while detained at Guantánamo and in Afghanistan. Canadian law criminalizes torture wherever it occurs and Canada’s obligations under the Convention Against Torture make it clear that if a known torturer sets foot in the country, the government must investigate and prosecute if appropriate. Evidence of Bush’s role in authorizing torture in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantánamo, and CIA black sites has been in the public record for years and Bush himself has admitted to his involvement. Canada is flouting the law by turning a blind eye to Bush’s visit.”

    • Greek neo-Nazi party allowed to participate in EU elections
    • Odessa Provocateurs: Censored News

      When a massacre happens the horrors of the atrocities tend to distract the public’s attention from the details of how it came to be in the first place. This is known to provocateurs, be they in Kiev, Moscow or in Langley Virginia. Langley is the home base of the Central Intelligence Agency, of course. The CIA director visited Kiev, confirmed by the White House on April 15th, and “dozens” of CIA agents are reported to be in Ukraine “advising” the unelected coup regime as I type this.

    • Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive

      For the second time in a week, Ukrainian anti-regime protesters holed up in a building were killed by fires set by pro-regime attackers with ties to newly formed neo-Nazi security forces, reports Robert Parry.

    • OPINION: US Sent CIA Director to Kiev to Initiate Crackdown on Protesters
    • Shame, Shame on the US

      United States is, today, backing a fascist regime in Ukraine whose army is shooting people based upon their nationality…

    • Ukraine: Majority of Mercenaries Source From USA

      An article published at the Global Research website echoes the charge from the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which said that nearly 400 U.S. mercenaries are working with coup authorities to suppress the opposition in the eastern region of the country.

    • The Twilight Zone of American Political Life

      The Twilight Zone of American Political Life Where Almost Every Word of News Isn’t What It Seems

    • Ukraine reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany – President Yanukovych
    • CIA’s Blackwater-Academi Threatened Donetsk-Lugansk 5/11/14 Elections
    • Russia sheds a tear on Victory Day, while history rewrites it

      The current events in Ukraine, where the Nazi-admirers play not the smallest role, are just a part of the trend,that for the moment remains with no adequate reaction. For example the Kherson governor, appointed by Kiev, addressing the veterans on the May 9, called Hitler a “liberator.”

    • Amos Oz calls perpetrators of hate crimes ‘Hebrew neo-Nazis’

      The writer and Israel Prize laureate Amoz Oz said on Friday that those responsible for hate crimes against Arabs and Christians are “Hebrew neo-Nazis.”

    • The Big Gay Wedding

      I was however saddened by the audience booing of the two young Russian girls. That was really nasty and unfair. They were scarcely more than children, for goodness sake. Putin is not their fault. That booing was an exhibition of racism; nothing else you can call it. If people wanted to make a point, they could have screamed for the Ukrainian girl – they didn’t have to boo the young Russians.

    • Western Reset Of Fascist Aggression Towards Russia – OpEd
    • Hundreds of Bosnia and Herzegovina Protesters March on Parliament and City Hall

      Protest started today at the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The intention of protesters is to hold the plenum of all plenum’s (assembly), hundreds of people from all around Bosnia came to parliament today, some of them having marched on foot for 2 days covering around 120 kilometers on the journey.

    • Drone war: Remote and personal

      Enemies, innocent victims, and soldiers have always made up the three faces of war. With war growing more distant, with drones capable of performing on the battlefield while their “pilots” remain thousands of miles away, two of those faces have, however, faded into the background in recent years. Today, we are left with just the reassuring “face” of the terrorist enemy, killed clinically by remote control while we go about our lives, apparently without any “collateral damage” or danger to our soldiers. Now, however, that may slowly be changing, bringing the true face of the drone

    • The True Costs of Remote Control War

      It’s rare to hear a government official speak in contrite tones; rarer still if that official represents the National Security Agency. Recently, however, Anne Neuberger, a special assistant to former NSA Director Keith Alexander, did just that.

      A year of revelations, courtesy of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, prepared the way. Since last June, the world has learned that the agency collects information on almost all U.S. domestic phone calls, spies on Internet activity – courtesy of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and Facebook – taps fiber optic cables and other key Internet infrastructure, uses digital dirty tricks to undermine worldwide computer security, breaks its own internal privacy rules, and as Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept revealed earlier this year, is using “complex analysis of electronic surveillance… as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.” And that’s only the beginning.

    • Former director of NSA and CIA: ‘We kill people based on metadata’

      On Wednesday, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner proposal to amend the USA Freedom Act, the domestic metadata collection by the National Security Agency (NSA) of millions of Americans, passed unanimously by a vote of 32-0, in the House Judiciary Committee.

    • Drone strikes — a political perspective
    • Debate grows over proposal for CIA to turn over drones to Pentagon

      Soon after a U.S. military drone killed about a dozen people on a remote road in central Yemen on Dec. 12, a disturbing narrative emerged.

    • Fascist Killers

      Attacks are indiscriminate. Mostly noncombatant civilians are killed. A 2012 “Living Under Drones” report explained.

      Stanford University’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (SU) and New York University School of Law’s Global Justice Clinic (NYU) jointly prepared it.

      Credible firsthand documentation was compiled. It “present(ed) (clear) evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of” Obama’s drone-strike policy.

    • The UN Agenda In Geneva Includes Disscussion On Killer Robots

      The experts gathering at the UN will be discussing a possible killer robots moratorium or ban. Professor Sharkey, a member and co-founder of the Campaign Against Killer Robots and chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, pointed out that Killer autonomous robots “cannot be guaranteed to “predictably comply with international law.” He also told the BBC: “Nations aren’t talking to each other about this, which poses a big risk to humanity.”

    • Drone strike kills at least five in Yemen- UPDATED

      The drone destroyed the car in which they were travelling in the Wadi Abida district of the province, which is east of the capital Sanaa

    • Show Us the Drone Memos

      I BELIEVE that killing an American citizen without a trial is an extraordinary concept and deserves serious debate. I can’t imagine appointing someone to the federal bench, one level below the Supreme Court, without fully understanding that person’s views concerning the extrajudicial killing of American citizens.

      But President Obama is seeking to do just that. He has nominated David J. Barron, a Harvard law professor and a former acting assistant attorney general, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

    • Drone debates not done

      Soon after a U.S. military drone killed about a dozen people on a remote road in central Yemen Dec. 12, a disturbing story emerged.

      Witnesses and tribal leaders said the four Hellfire missiles had hit a convoy headed to a wedding, and the Yemeni government paid compensation to some of the victims’ families. After an investigation, Human Rights Watch charged that “some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians.”

    • Undue US pressure for Dr Afridi hurt me: lawyer

      Samiullah Khan Afridi, lawyer for Dr Shakil Afridi who helped the US find Osama bin Laden, said he wouldn’t represent him any longer after facing threats from militants, a foreign news channel reported on Monday.

    • How US imperialism helped to foster al Qaeda

      The US also turned to the Saudi regime to enlist the support of wealthy individuals as bankers to the Islamist counterrevolution. Cooley calls this “the creeping privatisation of the jihad” for which bin Laden became the foremost symbol. His organisation, al-Qa’ida (the base), was set up in 1985 under the tutelage of Saudi military intelligence, the Istikhabarat. As an unofficial ambassador of the Saudi regime, Hiro recounts how “bin Laden had by now initiated a scheme of recruiting volunteers from the Arab world to join the anti-Soviet jihad, an enterprise in which he had the active backing of the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki. This programme was then extended to the non-Arab Muslim world. By the time the Afghan mujadeddin captured Kabul in 1992, an estimated 35,000 Islamists from 43 countries had participated in the jihad, nearly two-thirds of them from Arab states, with the Saudi kingdom contributing 15,000 – according to Saudi foreign minister, Saud al Faisal – followed by Yemen, Algeria and Egypt”. In this way, the future leaders of Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia (responsible for the Bali bombing in October 2002), the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines and GIA in Algeria, all received training as guests of the CIA with bin Laden as their tour guide.

    • CIA Agent, Commando ‘Getting a Haircut’ Before Yemen Killings

      What happened next is still not entirely clear, but a pair of Yemenis stormed into the barbershop, identifying themselves as police, and were immediately killed by the Americans.

    • NYPD Recruited Muslims to Spy on Muslims (Video)

      The New York Police Department (NYPD) has been recruiting Muslims to act as informants and eavesdrop on Muslim cafes, restaurants, barber shops, gyms and mosques since 9/11.

      According to The New York Times, former and present NYPD officials say that the NYPD’s Citywide Debriefing Team has conducted hundreds of interviews with Muslims in New York City.

    • Eleanor Clift: Chris Stevens Not Murdered, Died Of Smoke Inhalation; Blames YouTube Video

      Clift slammed the House Republican select committee effort, but she insisted that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn’t a casualty of the attack directly, but instead a victim of smoke inhalation during the terrorist attack on not a diplomatic outpost, but one that was functioning as a CIA outpost.

    • Getting to the “Foggy Bottom” of Benghazi

      The CIA compound in Benghazi, along with the half-dozen or so related warehouses, were central into not just arming, but creating a rebel force to oust Assad much like what was planned a half-century ago in Cuba, but for much different reasons. Much like Cuba, anti-Assad rebels could never exist without outside help, both in arms and training. Benghazi also has many elements of Iran-Contra, where weapons were diverted then just as today. Much like Watergate, there is a sanctioned cover-up at the very highest levels of our government. And the now infamous finger-wagging denial of a president to an entire nation has been replaced by a ceremonious bow to a Saudi king, where we appear to be less deserving of a face-to-face denial. Instead, we are the recipients of another anatomical display of contempt—the posterior of a servant bowing deep to his master.

    • Force, not books

      Just kidding, and Mr. Kristof is just spouting liberal gibberish. I say kill all the extremists or use at least enough force so they give up. Mr. Kristof, the Post-Gazette and you liberals out there, that is the answer, not books. Not books and not President Barack Obama telling Muslims we love them — nor Hillary Clinton pleading that we had nothing to do with the anti-Islam video.

    • Should the world kill killer robots before it’s too late?
    • US Drone Strike Kills Six in Southeast Yemen

      A US drone strike has destroyed a car traveling in the southeastern Maarib Province on Yemen today, killing six people, all of whom the Yemeni government dubbed “al-Qaeda” suspects.

    • How America’s Drone War Is Infecting Pakistani Culture

      Americans talk of drones in terms of terrorist targets and civilian casualties. But to the people who live in the strike zone, it’s become a part of their poetry.

    • The faces of drone war

      Their intent: to create images of the victims of Washington’s drone wars that could be seen from the sky. Smaller images have, in fact, been placed on rooftops in Waziristan. Their target audience: drone pilots like Bryant, Haas, and Lopez who, searching for targets to kill, might just see the face of the child of one of their previous victims.

    • The Limits of Military Power

      Is overwhelming national military power a reliable source of influence in world affairs?

    • What We aren’t Told about Yemen

      Last April, 63 Yemenis were reportedly killed in US drone strikes allegedly targeting al-Qaeda. No credible verification of that claim is available, and none of the victims have been identified. “Signature” drone strikes don’t require identification, we are told. It could take months, if not years, before rights groups shed light on the April killings, which are a continuation of a protracted drone war.

    • Hagel begins Middle East trip — Fight over drone strike program intensifies — Gates sees no military options in Nigeria, Ukraine
    • President Drone-Strike Wishes He Could ‘Reach Out’ in Nigeria

      You might think the president who joked about his authority to kill the Jonas Brothers with a drone strike if they got too close to his daughters might have an actual ability to “reach out” and, if not save the abducted girls, rain a little hellfire upon their captors. After all, during Obama’s presidency, he’s authorized roughly 400 drone strikes that have killed an estimated 2,700 to 4,100 people.

    • UK troops working with US military at base for Yemen drone operations

      British liaison staff are embedded with US forces in the Horn of Africa, the Ministry of Defence has revealed, as concern grows about redeployment of the UK squadron of 10 armed Reaper drones.

    • Should Killer Robots be Banned in Policing?
    • Ban Killer Robocops Before It’s Too Late, Rights Groups Say
    • Will robots prove a major threat in the near future?
    • Killer robots could start new arms race, human rights groups say
    • Nobel Peace Prize laureates add support to ban on ‘killer robots’

      A group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates are adding their names to a growing international effort to ban “fully autonomous weapons” or killer robots.

      Signatories, which include activist Jody Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former South African President F.W. de Klerk, warn robotic machines are “already taking the place of soldiers on the battlefield,” and are concerned that “leaving the killing to machines might make going to war easier and shift the burden of armed conflict onto civilians.”

    • UN To Debate Killer Robots At Landmark Meeting, Because Technology Is Terrifying

      But the informal meeting will not culminate in binding policy, meaning that the future use of deadly automatic machines is still to some extent open.

    • Puny humans meet to decide fate of killer robots
    • Paul demands release of drone memos
    • Rand Paul op-ed: ‘Show us the drone memos’
    • Show us the drone memos

      While he was an official in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Barron wrote at least two legal memos justifying the execution without trial of a U.S. citizen abroad. Now Obama is refusing to share that legal argument with the American people.

    • Rand Paul Wants Barron Memos on Extrajudicial Killings Made Public

      U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) writing in an op-ed for Sunday’s New York Times, questioned the Obama administration’s actions of “appointing someone to the federal bench … without fully understanding that person’s views concerning the extrajudicial killing of American citizens.”

      Last September, President Obama nominated the candidate in question, Harvard Professor David J. Barron, for Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Barron previously served as the acting assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice, and Paul has serious concerns that, while serving in that capacity, he wrote “at least two legal memos justifying the execution without a trial of an American citizen abroad.”

    • Rand Paul’s ‘New York Times’ Op-Ed On Drone Memos Sees Him Agree With The ACLU, For Once

      On Sunday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul published a New York Times op-ed Sunday calling for the release of controversial memos on drone strikes, which are authored by former Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) David Barron. For once, Rand has bipartisan support on this one, including — surprise! — from the ACLU. As the Senate prepares to vote on whether or not to approve Barron, controversy has erupted over Barron’s role in crafting the legal framework which enabled the drone strike, without trial, of alleged radical imam and al-Qaeda supporter Anwar al-Awlaki.

    • Drone Wars Coming to a Theater Near You

      According to Defense One news, every country could have armed drones within the next ten years. Every one. What will that mean for global security?

    • The Need for the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act

      It should not be a surprise to anyone to learn that drones are flying across America. Most people, when they hear the word drone, think of something that’s military; something that’s large; a system that’s lethal; something that’s hostile. This is simply not the drone I am talking about. Drones are used by the FBI, local law enforcement, university researchers, amateur photographers, the movie industry, farmers, utility companies and nosy neighbors (or enthusiasts).

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt

      A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.

    • The Wrong Response to Rubio’s Climate Nonsense

      This is a perfect example of a journalist adopting the mentality of a campaign strategist or a political operative. Of course a hard-right stance will go over better with the GOP base. But as a reporter, Karl’s first loyalty should be to the truth–and to explaining to viewers that what is good for Rubio’s political fortunes is bad for the planet.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ABC News Exclusive: Our Parent Company’s Awesome New Things
    • As Government Officials Continue To Shed Trustworthiness, Journalists Continue Placing More Trust In Government Officials

      Despite the current administration’s track record on transparency (completely lousy from nearly every angle), there’s little being done by the majority of the press to work around the roadblocks being set up by the government. While the administration has offered a few half-measures aimed at reining in the NSA in the wake of the leaks, the ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) has gone the other way, forbidding employees from speaking to the media about even unclassified information.

    • Are journalists getting less political?

      Not only that, but the percentage who justified “badgering unwilling informants” fell to 37.7 percent, down from 52 percent in 2002.

    • A Key Reason Why U.S. Politicians Don’t Understand Science

      Congress created the Office of Technology Assessment in 1972, at a time of mounting public concern over pollution, nuclear energy, pesticides, and other technology-induced hazards. OTA was conceived as an in-house think tank that would help Congress fact-check technical claims made by the various expert agencies of the executive branch (such as the EPA and the Department of Defense), while also forecasting coming technological quandaries. A twelve-member board, comprised of six members of Congress from each party, approved each OTA project, to help ensure the agency’s objectivity.

      Over the years, OTA produced some 750 reports and assessments on topics ranging from global climate change to the accuracy of polygraphs. The studies were highly regarded for their ability to translate complex science-speak into accessible prose. The reports were made available to the general public as well as Congress, and were often Government Printing Office best sellers. Other countries, including the UK and Germany, copied the U.S. example, establishing their own versions of OTA.

      The first rumblings of Congressional discontent emerged in the 1980s, when OTA published reports raising questions about the technological feasibility of the Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative. In a 1985 assessment, OTA concluded that SDI’s goal of protecting the entire U.S. population from a nuclear attack would be “impossible to achieve if the Soviets are determined to deny it to us.” Three years later, another OTA report warned that SDI would stand a significant chance of “catastrophic failure” due to software glitches.

      [...]

      This is not the first time that Holt has tried to revive the agency, and he says that he’ll keep trying this year, working with colleagues in the Senate. “Funding OTA would be a minimal expense that would pay off many times over by averting foolish or wasteful policies,” he says. “Decisions made in ignorance are costly.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Woman allegedly records own arrest, gets accused of wiretapping

      A Massachusetts woman faces charges of allegedly using a hidden mobile phone to audio-record her own suspicion-of-disorderly-conduct arrest.

      Karen Dziewit, 24 of Chicopee, was allegedly “loud and belligerent” and disturbing her building’s tenants early Sunday when police arrested her, according to local media outlet Mass Live. When police inventoried her purse, they said they found a mobile phone secretly recording the incident, allegedly in violation of state wiretapping regulations. Springfield police told Mass Live that the woman slipped the phone in her purse and activated the recording feature before the arrest.

    • The NSA’s domestic snooping

      There’s a Northwest thread that knits together leadership on civil liberties and birddogging abuses by America’s intelligence community. Idaho Sen. Frank Church led the charge in the 1970s, throwing light on a scofflaw culture.The Church Committee issued 14 reports and brought into focus CIA-sponsored assassinations, black-bag FBI break-ins, and warrantless spying on Americans, a practice that extended back decades.After 9/11, an anything-goes intelligence culture was reignited, with the National Security Agency operating just as Church described the CIA — “a rogue elephant.” Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater was more colorful. “Like a wild jackass,” he said at the time.

    • Glenn Greenwald: ‘I don’t trust the UK not to arrest me. Their behaviour has been extreme’

      He has been lauded and vilified in equal measure. But did the journalist’s ‘outsider’ status help him land Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations? Why did he nearly miss the story? And how powerless did he feel when his partner was detained at Heathrow? One year after the scoop, we meet him in his jungle paradise in Rio

    • Glenn Greenwald: ‘I don’t trust the UK not to arrest me’ over NSA leaks
    • Glenn Greenwald: the explosive day we revealed Edward Snowden’s identity to the world
    • Don’t wait for Washington’s help to protect Internet

      This latest viral attack provides criminals and opportunists with a back door into secure websites. But anyone who looks to federal government for an answer is sure to be disappointed; in all the varied ways that different federal departments can phrase the words, they say: “Watch out for yourself.” And that attitude is very much a top-down sentiment.

    • US intel agencies withhold info on cyber threats that harm private sector – ex-FBI official
    • Intel agencies don’t share cyber threats that could harm companies, ex-FBI official says
    • Big Data, meet Big Brother

      In the dystopian future of George Orwell’s “1984,” the government uses an endless state of war to justify food rationing by the Ministry of Plenty, rewriting history by the Ministry of Truth, and brutal interrogation by the Ministry of Love. Recently, President Obama’s Privacy Working Group — a response to the public outcry over the mass collection of telephone data — concluded that the government needed to collect and review more private data. It’s tempting to think, “you couldn’t make this up.” But, of course, Orwell imagined it in detail.

    • Greenwald details day Snowden revealed himself as NSA whistleblower
    • Ownership of personal data still appears up for grabs

      In response to the NSA spying revelations, the European Parliament passed even stricter privacy rules in March. They still have to be approved by the European Union’s 28 member countries, but they represent the region’s commitment to individual rights.

    • Lack of oversight of NSA at Menwith Hill

      We are concerned about the lack of oversight by the intelligence and security committee (ISC) regarding the role and function of the NSA at Menwith Hill and other US bases (MPs condemn oversight of spy agencies, 9 May). There is no mention of this secretive and unaccountable US agency anywhere either in the report by the home affairs select committee or in your report and leader (9 May). On 10 April, Fabian Hamilton MP, in a parliamentary question, asked the defence secretary “whether his department was (a) aware of the nature of and (b) consulted before the start of surveillance being carried out at NSA Menwith Hill?” Mark Francois (minister of state, MoD) answered: “Operations at RAF Menwith Hill have always been, and continue to be, carried out with the knowledge and consent of the UK government.”

    • Tech Community Will ‘Reset The Net’ to Protest the NSA [Video]

      Tech communities like Reddit, Imgur and Boing Boing are teaming up with civil liberties groups in the “Reset The Net” campaign against NSA surveillance. The more than 30 groups are planning a day of protest action on June 5 to mark the anniversary of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA coming to light. The protest is designed along the lines of the protests against the Protect IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as PIPA and SOPA.

    • Security expert Mikko Hypponen talks online safety: “The war is not lost”
    • The Disturbing Clause not Covered by Proposed NSA Reform

      The U.S. House of Representatives has before it two bills that are supposed to put some safeguards on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying activities on Americans. But neither plan includes reforms for a controversial section of federal law on which many of the NSA’s most intruding programs are legally based.

      The provision in question is part of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act, specifically Section 702.

    • Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers

      The NSA has been covertly implanting interception tools in US servers heading overseas – even though the US government has warned against using Chinese technology for the same reasons, says Glenn Greenwald, in an extract from his new book about the Snowden affair, No Place to Hide

    • Former CIA director: ‘We kill people based on metadata’

      At a recent debate concerning the National Security Agency’s bulk surveillance programs, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden admitted that metadata is used as the basis for killing people.

    • US media steps up espionage slander against Edward Snowden

      As the one-year anniversary of the publication of the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive and illegal government spying on the American and world population approaches, the campaign of vilification and character assassination against the former National Security Agency contractor is being stepped up.

      A particularly filthy example is a column published Saturday in the Wall Street Journal by author Edward Jay Epstein, entitled “Was Snowden’s Heist a Foreign Espionage Operation?”

    • ABC’s ‘Raging Debate’ Over Edward Snowden

      This Week anchor Martha Raddatz (5/11/14) introduced a lookback at the Edward Snowden/NSA stories by saying, “A year later, Snowden still sparks a raging debate.” But the show sure had a funny way of illustrating that fierce debate–with two guests who both attacked Snowden for revealing the extent of NSA spying.

    • Greenwald Pushes Back Against Lauer’s ‘Accusation’ That Snowden Aided Russia
    • Report claims Anonymous will protest Glenn Greenwald for ties to PayPal billionaire

      The Internet hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for protests against author and civil liberties advocate Glenn Greenwald because of his relationship with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

      In a release posted to Pastebin, the secretive activist group is calling for members to attend and disrupt scheduled book signings where Greenwald will be promoting his new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

      The point of contention between Greenwald and the group stems from his relationship with First Look founder and eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.

      eBay purchased PayPal in 2002.

      Representing the “PayPal 14,” — a group charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after they attempted to disrupt PayPal’s operations in retaliation for PayPal’s refusal to process donations to WikiLeaks — Anonymous stated that the 14 are “struggling to raise more than $80,000 in court-ordered restitution” that must be paid to eBay/PayPal.

    • Edward Snowden ‘at peace’ with leaks: book
    • Snowden ‘at peace’ with his decisions – book

      Edward Snowden was “profoundly at peace” with his decision to leak national security documents, and even joked about the consequences, journalist Glenn Greenwald says in a new book.

      “I call the bottom bunk at Gitmo,” Snowden joked, referring to the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says the book to be released on Tuesday, excerpts of which were published on Monday in The Guardian.

      Greenwald, recounting the series of discussions last year in Hong Kong when the former National Security Agency contractor decided to reveal his identity, said Snowden appeared to sleep soundly and was “completely refreshed the next day” despite the tension.

    • Cyber Space and its Militarization

      Globally, cyber security is seen as a critical element of the national security apparatus by nations. The reasons are proliferation of advance and sophisticated cyber attacks, cyber threats with political and social effects, increase in cyber espionages, developments of cyber weapons and its usage for military purposes, attacks against nations by non-state actors, cyber terrorists, hackers etc.

      The assets which are under attack are economic plans, defence plans, nuclear codes, energy resource information, political designs, law enforcement details, nation’s cyber space.

      Cyber security is now elevated to the pedestal of national security; this development is invoking it in the enemy’s eyes. The problem for the cyber space experts is that the enemy is unidentified and difficult to track due to dynamic characteristics of cyber space i.e. attribution is difficult in cyber space; so it becomes difficult to hold the perpetrators accountable.

    • Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors
    • NSA intercepts US-made routers, adds spy backdoors: report
    • NSA bugs exported US-made network equipment
    • Metadata may be only basis for killing people – ex-director of CIA and NSA
    • Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous, the state targets dissenters not just “bad guys”

      Don’t believe the argument that mass surveillance is only a problem for wrongdoers. Governments have repeatedly spied on anyone who challenges their power, says Glenn Greenwald in an extract from his book about Edward Snowden and the NSA, No Place to Hide

    • No Place to Hide: Monumentally important book shines a spotlight on the surveillance state
    • Guardian discloses more Western spy secrets
    • Why Are You So Fearful, O Ye of Little Faith?

      In the journalist Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden found a perfect match. I don’t mean to slight the contributions of Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman, the other two journalists who first dug into Snowden’s amazing and unprecedented trove of National Security Agency documents. Poitras was the one who realized Snowden was for real, and Gellman brought experience to the party. But Greenwald is the fighter—the one you want in your corner when the world comes after you. Snowden knew what he was in for, and he chose his cornerman well.

    • No Such Agency

      On June 5, 2013, when UK newspaper The Guardian informed U.S. officials that it was about to publish a report about the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans, the government’s response was indignant. Janine Gibson, the paper’s U.S. editor, was “not a serious journalist,” The Guardian “not a serious newspaper,” and “no normal journalistic outlet would publish this quickly without first meeting with us,” unnamed officials told the paper.

    • Book Reveals Wider Net of U.S. Spying on Envoys
    • Australia asked Americans for more help to spy on Australian citizens

      Australia’s intelligence agency asked for more help from its US counterparts to increase surveillance on Australians suspected of involvement in international extremist activities.

    • Glenn Greenwald Slams ‘F**king Hawk’ Hillary Clinton as ‘Banal, Corrupted’

      With his book entitled No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State set for release on Tuesday, the GQ website posted an extensive interview with radical-left reporter Glenn Greenwald in which he covers a wide range of topics, ranging from his continuing friendship with Snowden to his strong distaste for the presumptive Democratic candidate in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

    • Greenwald Bashes ‘Neocon’ Hillary Clinton: ‘She’s a F*cking Hawk’
    • Chronicling the abuse of authority

      THE disclosures of Edward Snowden constitute perhaps the most notorious leak in history. America’s National Security Agency was so secretive that for decades even its existence was classified. Insiders joked that its initials stood for “no such agency”. That a 29-year-old contractor was able to steal tens of thousands of classified documents is not only astounding, but also unprecedented. Only recently had it become possible to fit so much material on an inexpensive digital chip.

    • Glenn Greenwald: NSA Believes It Should Be Able To Monitor All Communication
    • When it comes to protecting its citizens’ data, Europe is way ahead of the U.S.

      Americans haven’t had much good news about their privacy since Edward Snowden launched his soap opera of NSA revelations last June. True, the president, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Patriot Act co-author Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner are finally distancing themselves from the most outrageous snooping. But it hasn’t stopped. According to the New York Times, a request from one U.S. phone company to cease sharing its records with the National Security Agency was rebuffed in March by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — the secret federal tribunal that mostly seems to specialize in saying “yes” to surveillance.

    • European Regulators Take Aim at U.S. Tech Companies
    • Reported NSA backdoors might open up networks to more threat

      While the U.S. government warned router buyers that the Chinese government might spy on them through networking gear made in China, the U.S. National Security Agency was doing that very thing, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper Monday.

    • NSA backdoors US hardware headed overseas: Greenwald
    • NSA reportedly installing spyware on US-made hardware
    • This Is What The Most Secure Email In The World Could Look Like

      Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Raytheon BBN Technologies have created a way to make your email correspondence so secure (PDF), that even the NSA would have a hard time getting to it.

    • Crypto for the Masses: Here’s How You Can Resist the NSA

      As revelations of the NSA’s mass surveillance have poured out over the last year, we’ve all been told that we have to encrypt our communications to keep them safe from prying eyes. The trouble is, crypto programs are still too hard for normal people to use.

    • Obama administration moving towards even less transparency

      President Barack Obama promised his administration would be the most transparent ever. His actions go counter to any such claim. He has prosecuted whistle-blowers and failed to provide information on the drone program, among other actions. After all the secrecy about NSA mass surveillance programs and the revelations of Edward Snowden, critics of Obama are scornful of his transparency claims.

    • Glenn Greenwald: Edward Snowden told Guantanamo Bay joke

      Glenn Greenwald defended Edward Snowden on Monday, saying the NSA leaker “sacrificed his entire life” to bring more transparency about U.S. intelligence. He also recalled Snowden joking about ending up in prison.

      Greenwald, the journalist whose work in The Guardian published a series of reports based on Snowden’s leaks, praised his humor during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show host Matt Lauer.

    • Glenn Greenwald’s Pulse-Pounding Tale of Breaking the Snowden Leaks
    • Greenwald expected NSA leaker Snowden to end up in ‘shackles’

      In an excerpt from his upcoming book about the NSA leaks published on Monday, Greenwald recounted the harried schemes he and filmmaker Laura Poitras used to protect Snowden, who disclosed the government’s controversial surveillance practices.

    • Ex-NSA Chief: ‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’
    • Cisco: Another Challenging Quarter Due To Product Transitions, Emerging Market Weakness
    • Report: NSA intercepts US-made servers heading overseas to install surveillance hooks

      According to NSA expert and former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald’s new book, No Place to Hide, the NSA has intercepted servers and routers from U.S. manufacturers in the delivery process in order to install tracking gear.

    • Carnegie Mellon just got a $2M grant from the NSA
    • How adorable: NSA hatches “lablets” at 4 universities
    • CMU launches NSA-sponsored lab
    • NSA Allegedly Intercepts Shipments of Servers To Install Spying Backdoors
    • The Human Soldiers Behind Obama’s Drone War

      Brandon Bryant, a 28-year-old US airman, whose squadron has been credited with 1,626 kills, was among the first to be openly critical of the impact of remote tracking and targeting, of, that is, robot war. Bryant was a “sensor operator,” which meant that he operated the cameras on the drone aircraft as part of a three-person team that included a pilot and an intelligence analyst.

    • Pilots Come Clean: Drone Warfare Is Riddled with Tragic, Bloody Errors

      Brandon Bryant, a 28-year-old U.S. airman, whose squadron has been credited with 1,626 kills, was among the first to be openly critical of the impact of remote tracking and targeting, of, that is, robot war. Bryant was a “sensor operator,” which meant that he operated the cameras on the drone aircraft as part of a three-person team that included a pilot and an intelligence analyst.

    • Metadata Can Get You Killed According To Former NSA Chief
    • NSA tipped to spy with US-made web routers abroad
    • Orwellian threats caused the New York Times to spike a story on NSA spying way back in 2004

      Tamm claims he tried to blow the whistle on the subject, working with New York Times reporter James Risen to make the story public. But Risen’s editors decided to run the story by the government. They wanted to get the governmnet’s take, before the Times revealed “The Program.” Kirk says top White House officials made three arguments to Times editors, in trying to convince them not to run the story.

      1. It’s completely legal.

      2. It’s a vulnerable secret. If you reveal it, hundreds of thousands of Americans may die in a future attack.

      3. It’s working. You wouldn’t believe the threats we’re stopping.

      Former Editor Bill Keller spiked the story, outraging Risen.

      Years later, we see the impacts of the reveal. We’re continuing to debate the merits of domestic spying. Kirk says the government has yet to prove any of the three arguments it gave to Keller. And he says it causes some to question the program’s validity. But the spying program continues.

    • NSA embedded surveillance tools within exported US computer hardware
    • NSA sabotaged exported US-made routers with backdoors
    • So, you & your friends are headed to a desert festival. This ‘no wi-fi required’ chat app has you covered

      The Android version of the app works using Open Garden’s own mesh networking technology,

    • UK needs new spy watchdog

      Britain should create a new body to oversee its intelligence agencies to reassure the public after revelations from ex-US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the former head of the British foreign intelligence service said on Monday.

      Documents leaked by Snowden exposed the vast scale of surveillance carried out by Britain’s intelligence agencies and their close collaboration with America’s National Security Agency, sparking a public debate about how they operate.

    • UK needs new watchdog for its spies, ex-MI6 chief says
    • Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) Offices Reportedly Bugged

      Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business News could have uncovered the latest activist hedge fund investing strategy, all as Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) claims to have discovered bugs in its Los Angeles headquarters.

    • Privacy Tools: Encrypt What You Can

      Encrypt the data you transmit. The Snowden revelations have revealed that U.S. and British spy agencies are grabbing as much unencrypted data as they can find as it passes over the Internet. Encrypting your data in transit can protect it against spy agencies, as well as commercial data gatherers.

    • Government Policy Bans Mention of NSA News Leaks

      Congress is advancing bills to reform surveillance at the National Security Agency but the Obama administration has put into place a new policy that forbids intelligence employees from mentioning news reports about government leaks.

    • NSA Legislation and Fourth Amendment Challenges
    • A growing cyber security market
    • Book details NSA spying on Japan

      The U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on Japan’s government and hacked online networks to spy on its policies and activities, according to a new book by journalist Glenn Greenwald.

    • Book on whistleblower Snowden details U.S. spying on Japan
    • The Man Who Knows Too Much

      Glenn Greenwald is trying to lose fifteen pounds. “Um, it’s been a little crazy these past nine months,” he says. “And I will eat French fries or potato chips if they’re in front of me.” On his porch, perched on a jungle mountaintop in Rio, the morning is fresh. Greenwald, in board shorts and a collared short-sleeve shirt, has done his daily hour’s worth of yoga and attached himself to one of his five laptops as his dozen dogs yap and wag to begin the day’s circus in his monkey-and-macaw paradise.

    • ‘No Place to Hide’: Behind the scenes of the Edward Snowden affair
    • Michael Hayden Gleefully Admits: We Kill People Based On Metadata

      Since the very first Snowden leak a year ago, one of the more common refrains from defenders of the program is “but it’s just metadata, not actual content, so what’s the big deal?” Beyond the fact that other programs do collect content, we’ve pointed out time and time again that the “just metadata, don’t worry” argument only makes sense if you don’t know what metadata reveals. Anyone with any knowledge of the subject knows that metadata reveals a ton of private info. Furthermore, we’ve even pointed out that the NSA regularly uses “just metadata” to pick targets for drone assassinations. As one person called it: “death by unreliable metadata.”

    • Germany Planning to Hear Snowden’s Testimony over US-NSA Snoopgate in Switzerland

      Former NSA agent Edward Snowden is expected to be asked by the German NSA-leak investigations committee, set up by the German parliament, to meet its officials to testify before the committee in the Russian Embassy in Switzerland.

    • Secret agencies, media and the national interest

      Secret agencies and the media have a long history of association and this relationship continues and will keep on continuing. The two champions of democracy, the US and the UK, are known for their elaborate vast secret systems of secret agencies, CIA and MI6 and MI5, and we all know the influence both have on their politics and governance.

    • Pretending that leaked information is secret hurts democratic debate

      The aftermath of WikiLeaks raises a very difficult question. What should government do after leaks? Can government officials acknowledge the facts that leaks expose? Or must they pretend that the information remains secret? New government guidelines appear to explicitly force officials to play “let’s pretend.” Late last week, Steven Aftergood and Charlie Savage of the New York Times reported on new rules from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The guidelines explicitly forbid government officials with classified access from publicly citing information that has been leaked or made public through anonymous sources. Intelligence and transparency analysts were alarmed by this and other apparent changes. Even after ODNI sought to clarify the guidelines, a follow-up story confirms an explicit ban on citing leaked information, which did not exist in prior versions.

    • Tough NZ comms interception, network security law kicks in

      Local and international telcos and network providers in New Zealand are now required to comply with strict and complex new communications interception and security legislation.

    • Spy base will cost €1 billion (and it’s late)

      The budget is not enough – Germany’s new spy headquarters is costing hundreds of millions of euros more than expected – and it’s late.

  • Civil Rights

    • Iranian women post pictures of themselves without hijabs on Facebook

      Campaign set up by London-based Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad attracts more than 130,000 likes on social media site

    • The random Muslim scare story generator: separating fact from fiction

      Halal meat is on every menu; sharia law is taking over; the niqab is undermining the nation. Ever noticed how often the same old stories keep appearing about Muslims in Britain? Here’s the truth about these and other media myths

    • Being a good mom can get you fired

      Ask Rhiannon Broschard of Chicago, who was “separated” from her employer after public schools closed because it was so cold, it was dangerous for kids to be outside. Broschard knew that she couldn’t leave her special-needs son home alone and called in to say she couldn’t come into work. Her manager was sympathetic. But the next day, a company representative phoned to let her know she’d been fired for “abusing” their attendance policy. Others had come in; why hadn’t she?

    • Ted Cruz zeroes in on 76 examples of Barack Obama’s ‘lawlessness’
    • GOP Issues vs. Real Issues

      The Republican Congress continues to keep busy. For years, most of their efforts have focused on depriving citizens of health care, mainly because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted by the Democrats, led by Satan incarnate, Barack Obama. ‘Repeal and Replace’ was a euphemism for ‘Repeal’, and it was said that this issue would certainly cause Mr. Obama to lose his reelection bid, and Democrats to be swept out of the Senate in 2012.

    • US appeals order to release details on CIA prisons

      The United States has appealed an order from a military judge at the US jail in Guantanamo that they turn over information on secret CIA interrogation centers.

      In a 26-page document dated April 23 but only just declassified, top military prosecutor Mark Martins asked the judge to re-evaluate his order from April 14.

    • The war on terrorism led to a worldwide increase of torture
    • Psychology and War on Terror Abuses

      Other carefully documented accounts of psychologist involvement in the abuse and torture of prisoners at places like Guantanamo, Bagram, and CIA black sites have emerged repeatedly for nearly a decade. But the comprehensive, multi-year Senate investigation is likely to provide the most detailed account to date of how psychologists abandoned their fundamental do-no-harm ethics and participated in the horrific excesses of the “war on terror.” In the past, the American Psychological Association (APA) – the world’s largest organization of psychologists – has responded to similar revelations with silence, denials, unactionable platitudes, and assertions that the APA has always been steadfast in its opposition to torture. Such responses, however, conceal a distressing and unwelcome truth: that U.S. torture programs took root and grew in a climate made more hospitable by the APA leadership’s support of our government’s counter-terrorism strategy despite its bring-it-on, gloves-off, anything-goes tactics.

    • NYPD Recruiting Muslim Informants in City Jails

      The New York City Police Department is running a program that recruits jailed Muslim immigrants to act as informants. According to The New York Times, a unit known as the “Citywide Debriefing Team” confronts mostly Muslim suspects after they are arrested for minor infractions. The immigrants have been asked to spy on cafes, restaurants and mosques as part of counterterrorism operations. Some have reported feeling intimidated by the encounters. The debriefing team appears to be formally separate from the controversial NYPD spying unit targeting Muslims disbanded just last month.

    • Muslim Spying Efforts Combine the Worst of the NYPD’s Practices

      The latest Frankenstein’s monster of New York “counterterror” policing policy brings together two of the most problematic practices enacted by the NYPD in recent years: the unconstitutional targeting of the city’s Muslim communities, and the focus on the most minor of infractions as grounds for interrogation and arrest.

    • Amnesty: 141 countries still torture
    • Government backed torture is flourishing, says Amnesty

      Governments are failing to live up to their commitments to stamp out state-sanctioned torture, according to London-based Amnesty International.

    • Price for new prison at Guantanamo rises to $69 million

      The proposed price of an exclusive new prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rose by $20 million in a year because designers added meeting rooms and a medical clinic for 15 former CIA captives, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a military spokesman saidMonday.

    • Price of new, secret Gitmo prison rises $20 million in a year

      The proposed price of an exclusive new prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rose by $20 million in a year because designers added meeting rooms and a medical clinic for 15 former CIA captives, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a military spokesman said Monday.

    • FBI investigation at Guantanamo Bay winding down; no charges expected

      An FBI inquiry that disrupted criminal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and generated fears of government spying is not expected to result in charges, law enforcement officials said.

      Investigators said last month that they had opened a preliminary inquiry involving the possible disclosure of classified information at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. A defense lawyer told the military court that the FBI had questioned a member of a defense team, raising concerns that the probe was interfering with their ability to defend their clients.

    • A National Hero

      What was special is that the whole scene was photographed and broadcast. Army orders forbid soldiers to behave like this when photographers are present, and especially to threaten the cameramen. Painful experience has taught the army that such clips, if broadcast abroad, can seriously undermine Israeli propaganda (officially called “explaining”).

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Megaupload Asks Court to Freeze MPAA and RIAA Cases

        Megaupload’s legal team has asked the federal court of Virginia to freeze the cases filed by the movie and music industries last month. According to Dotcom’s lawyers, this is needed pending the criminal case against the defendants, in order to protect their Fifth Amendment rights.

      • Music Distributor Claims Right to Monetize JFK Speech

        After uploading part of a JFK speech to YouTube, a TorrentFreak reader had a surprise when a music distribution company filed a complaint, claiming full monetization rights on the clip. Why would they do that to material in the public domain ? With the company involved refusing to respond, TF took a closer look.

      • These Pirate Parties Plan to Enter The European Parliament

        Almost five years ago, the Swedish Pirate Party blew people away worldwide when it received more than 7% of the vote in the European elections, giving it one seat, and the option for another if the Lisbon Treaty was approved. Now it’s time for another election, and there are Pirates standing just about everywhere it seems.

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