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05.26.14

Links 26/5/2014: Chromebook Prospects, China and GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 60 Open Source Apps You Can Use in the Cloud

    The open source community is participating in this race to the cloud in two key ways. First, much open source software, particularly software for enterprises and small businesses, is now available on a SaaS basis. This provides customers with quality, low-cost applications and eliminates the hassles of deploying software on their own servers. At the same time, it gives open source companies a viable business model that allows them to make money from their technology.

  • Open source cloud hosting environment built in Swiss data centre

    A research lab at Zurich’s University of Applied Science has helped a data centre provider to create a new open source cloud hosting environment for its European research and development program.

  • Source Serif: Adobe’s New Open Source Typeface

    Adobe has released its 100th Typeface family, Source Serif, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Adobe Originals font library. Source Serif is an open-source font available via Adobe Typekit or via SourceForge.

  • GroundWork Unveils OpenStack Open Source Cloud Monitoring Tool

    OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system, offers some metering tools as parts of the core OpenStack code. But it lacks a robust performance monitoring framework, which is why GroundWork has rolled out a new solution for tracking the performance of various parts of the OpenStack public and private cloud infrastructure.

  • Hadoop security: Hortonworks buys XA Secure – and plans to turn it open source

    Hortonworks says the deal struck this week to acquire XA Secure will help provide a comprehensive approach to Hadoop security for the first time.

  • Trendnet Embraces Open Source DD-WRT Firmware for Select Wireless AC Routers
  • TRENDnet(R) Announces Open Source DD-WRT Compatibility for Wireless AC Routers
  • Out in the Open: Take Back Your Privacy With This Open Source WhatsApp

    SnapChat settled with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month over a complaint that its privacy claims were misleading, as reported by USA Today, and last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a report listing the company as the least privacy-friendly tech outfit it reviewed, including Comcast, Facebook, and Google. Last year, WhatsApp faced privacy complaints from the Canadian and Dutch governments, and like Snapchat, its security has been an issue as well.

  • Open source light sabre with Virtual Reality IMAX headset
  • Salesagility release 3 new open source versions of SuiteCRM to target Salesforce
  • To help Hadoop adoption, Hortonworks to make security tools open-source
  • Clinovo to launch new Clincapture open source EDC system on May 23, 2014
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Text missing in chrome on Linux

        I’m in the process of trying Fedora 20 on my retina MacBook and I ran into a peculiar issue with Chrome. Some sites would load up normally and I could read everything on the page. Other sites would load up and only some of the text would be displayed. Images were totally unaffected.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla, a tale of gentrification

        The problem I see, however, is something I’ve witnessed for some time now, and while I’m aware that I will probably look like I’m howling with the pack (something I do not like at all) I believe I should come clean about it. This problem is about Mozilla itself, what it does, how it operates, its own standing within the Free and Open Source Software community and its revenue model. In fact, I believe all these points are tightly connected and discretely conspired to bring Mozilla where it is today. This is not to say that I don’t like what Mozilla does and has done. This is not to say that there isn’t a whole bunch of great people inside Mozilla: there are, I know several of them. This is not to say that Mozilla is not an exciting set of projects and ventures: I think it will continue to be exciting in the years to come. And many of us know what technology does to any project or company in just a few years: kill it or make it blossom.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 In Beta, Bringing Good Improvements

      The beta release of LibreOffice 4.3 is available this week with many new features being under development for this popular open-source office suite.

      Among the features being worked on for LibreOffice 4.3 is going from a 16-bit character limitation of Writer paragraphs to now 32-bit, changes to navigation buttons and other UI elements, DrawingML import/export support, proportional image scaling support, support for printing comments in margins, improved formula engine support within the Calc spreadsheet, auto detection of fax4CUPS printers, improved PDF importing, improved OOXML support, and many other changes.

  • CMS

    • White House contributes APIs, stages hackathons & runs on Drupal

      Director of new media technologies at the Executive Office of the President of the United State of America Leigh Heyman was recently reported to be the man behind all the modern interactive media delivered during Barack Obama’s last ‘state of the union’ address.

    • Orion Launches Open-Source Client Portal

      Orion announced in early May that it has launched a redesigned client portal that uses open-source code so other providers can build their own pages to integrate into the site.

  • Education

    • Damian Conway on Teaching, Programming Languages, Open Source and Our Future

      Damian Conway is well known in the Perl community and has worked on Perl 6 for many years; he’s a speaker and teacher, author of several technical books and Perl software modules, and runs an international IT training company, Thoughtstream, which provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level in Europe, North America, and Australasia. His website is: http://damian.conway.org

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.8.3 Compiler Released

      For those that haven’t already moved over to the recently released GCC 4.9, the third point release to the GNU Compiler Collection 4.8 series has finally surfaced.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Vienna increasingly turns to open source

      The administration in the Austrian capital, Vienna, is expanding its use of open source solutions, including on its workstations, because of new requirements, open data, budget constraints and the major shift towards smartphones and tablets.

      “Open source helps to solve IT vendor lock-in situations”, Norbert Weidinger, ICT-Strategist for the city, said in a presentation on the city’s use of free and open source solutions.

      Open source is now well-established in the city’s main IT operations, according to the presentation which Weidinger delivered at a Major Cities of Europe conference in Dublin on 17 January. The city has 454 Linux servers (from a total of 2,000 servers), 270 Apache instances, uses Postgres to manage 380 databases and MySQL to manage another 90. Open source is used for file and printing services, for e-government services and for external and internal websites.

      “We’re promoting the use of open source products where possible”, Weidinger said.

      The IT department’s responsibilities include the IT in the city’s public healthcare, public schools and the administration of city-owned housing.

    • Opportunity

      In the UK, The National ICT Category Management Programme (NICTMP) is intended to guide local governments towards better IT, including using FLOSS. It’s about time. Many small businesses and governments are scarcely more skilled at IT than consumers and a little help can go a long way towards huge savings greater diversity and better IT. With FLOSS it’s easy to put up a web-server sharing information with the public and using open standards to ensure interoperability with minimal cost. I think savings of 20% are at the lower end of estimates. In my experience, software licences can save 20% of IT costs but ease of maintenance could do that again and getting full performance out of hardware purchases that much again. Local governments in UK spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hardware and software for IT each year. Break-even can be immediate if hardware is re-used by using FLOSS. Governments should be looking at savings of ~50% by using FLOSS. There’s a reason M$ and “partners” do what they do. It doubles the cost of IT making slaves of us all providing free labour. FLOSS works for us the users and not some monopolists.

    • New UK IT procurement model urges open standards

      A new model for IT procurement for local governments in the United Kingdom is urging public administrations to use open standards, to create room for agile and innovative software solutions including open source. One of the aims of the National ICT Commercial Category Strategy for Local Government is to reduce IT expenses by 10 to 20 percent over the next five years.

    • How governments are more collaborative with open source

      Technology is the easy part in government. The biggest challenges are cultural barriers – it’s a question of thinking in a more collaborative and open way, believes Ben Balter, Government Evangelist for GitHub, a social network for open source communities.

    • American elections are stuck in the 20th century. Here’s how to change that.

      Aneesh Chopra, President Obama’s choice to be the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer from 2009 to 2012, wants to do something about the problem. He is teaming up with a group called the Open Source Elections Technology Foundation to address the problem. Their plan: develop the software necessary to run an election and release it as an open-source project. Chopra and his colleagues believe that could lead to better election systems while simultaneously saving cash-strapped states money.

    • Open Source Lessons For Feds

      White House and agency IT leaders discuss how open source can empower government IT project teams, at FOSE conference in Washington, D.C.

  • Licensing

    • Scratch 2.0 editor and player now open source

      The latest version of a tool used to teach kids how to program video games, animations and interactive art is now open source. The Scratch 2.0 editor and player can now be found in GitHub under the GPL version 2 license.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • The LLVM 64-bit ARM64/AArch64 Back-Ends Have Merged

      Back in March Apple open-sourced their ARM 64-bit LLVM back-end (dubbed ARM64) many months after other ARM vendors had already developed a competing 64-bit ARM back-end (dubbed “AArch64″ as ARM’s official name for architecture). Since Apple opened up their back-end, Apple and outside LLVM developers have been working to converge the competing 64-bit ARM back-ends into a single 64-bit ARM target. That work is now complete.

    • Create a game with Scratch on Raspberry Pi

      While Scratch may seem like a very simplistic programming language that’s just for kids, you’d be wrong to overlook it as an excellent first step into coding for all age levels. One aspect of learning to code is understanding the underlying logic that makes up all programs; comparing two systems, learning to work with loops and general decision-making within the code.

    • Raspberry Pi Motion Camera: Part 2, using gphoto2
    • A Raspberry Pi motion-detecting wildlife camera

      I’ve been working on an automated wildlife camera, to catch birds at the feeder, and the coyotes, deer, rabbits and perhaps roadrunners (we haven’t seen one yet, but they ought to be out there) that roam the juniper woodland.

    • Clive: A New Operating System Written In The Go Language

      Clive is the new operating system announced on Friday and is written in Google’s Go programming language, features a “new weird file protocol” called ZX, and uses parts of the Plan 9 operating system. Clive is also going to run on a modified Nix kernel.

    • Open source Hoodie is tailored for quick app dev

      A quick option for building Web and iOS apps is on the horizon from a group of developers in Europe. Hoodie is an open source tool for building Web applications in days via an open source library described as being easier to use than JQuery.

Leftovers

  • Pope Francis to Call for Sovereign, Independent Palestinian State

    Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is signaling that Pope Francis in his visit to Bethlehem on Sunday will strongly support the right of Palestinians to a sovereign state.

    Implicitly, Pope Francis will condemn the Apartheid system of military rule used by Israel in the West Bank, though he likely won’t use the word.

  • Haiku OS Adds Support For Latest Radeon HD Graphics Cards
  • Afghanistan strongly condemns recording of phone calls by U.S. NSA

    Amirzai Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Afghanistan said Sunday that the phone calls are recorded by devices which have been set up in the country to fight drugs smuggling.

    [...]

    Assange said that Afghanistan was the second country where NSA “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls.”

    Bahamas was revealed as one of the country where the phone calls were being recorded by National Security Agency in earlier reports; however the second country was called “country x.”

  • US Collecting All Cell Phone Calls in Afghanistan
  • White House mistakenly reveals name of top CIA officer in Afghanistan

    The White House inadvertently included the name of the top CIA official in Afghanistan on a list of participants in a military briefing with President Barack Obama that was distributed to reporters on Sunday, the Washington Post reported.

  • Oops! White House said to have blown cover of CIA chief in Afghanistan
  • CSG implements first napping station in UGLi
  • Science

    • Nobody Cares How Awesome You Are at Your Job

      In an article published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, University of California at San Diego behavioral scientist Ayelet Gneezy and University of Chicago business professor Nicholas Epley tracked people’s responses to three types of promises: broken ones, kept ones, and then ones that were fulfilled beyond expectations. And while it’s true that everyone gets upset when a promise is broken (I’m looking at you, housing-contractors-who-claim-bathroom-renovations-will-be-done-in-a-week), it turns out that overdelivering on something won’t make anyone significantly more impressed by your awesomeness.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Hacker Turned FBI Informant Sabu Will Be Sentenced Next Week

      Wired reports that Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu”, the LulzSec hacker who became an FBI informant and helped take down numerous other hackers, will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 27. The government will seek a sentence of just seven months, citing time served and his immense cooperation with the government.

    • Feds Seek 7-Month Sentence for LulzSec Hacker and Lower East Sider ‘Sabu’

      Anarchism and the Lower East Side go hand in hand, so should we be super surprised that one of the most notorious hackers of our day operated from within the Jacob Riis Houses on Avenue D?

      You’ll recall that in June 2011, hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed father of two, was caught by the FBI and quickly turned snitch. The high-ranking capture immediately paid dividends, as “Sabu” was the man who once led the outlaw LulzSec, an offshoot of the notorious Anonymous organization. With the new traitor status, he helped deliver a number of top hackers on a platter and still helps the bureau with his connections.

    • US seeks leniency for ‘Sabu,’ Lulzsec leader-turned-snitch

      U.S. prosecutors say a hacking group’s mastermind should be spared a long prison sentence due to his quick and fruitful cooperation with law enforcement.

      The man, Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York, is accused of leading a gang of international miscreants calling themselves “Lulzsec,” short for Lulz Security, on a noisy hacking spree in 2011, striking companies such as HBGary, Fox Entertainment and Sony Pictures.

      Lulzsec, an offshoot of Anonymous, led a high-profile campaign that taunted law enforcement, released stolen data publicly and bragged of their exploits on Twitter. Their campaign touched off a worldwide law enforcement action that resulted in more than a dozen arrests.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Private Group Sought to Arm Syrian Rebels

      For one group of Americans, that wasn’t enough. On their own, the Americans offered to provide 70,000 Russian-made assault rifles and 21 million rounds of ammunition to the Free Syrian Army, a major infusion they said could be a game changer. With a tentative nod from the rebels, the group set about arranging a weapons shipment from Eastern Europe, to be paid for by a Saudi prince.

    • Canada Is Selling Arms to Everyone It Can

      While Canada exports oil, maple syrup, and hockey players, it also deals a lot of arms. And Canadian military exports are growing: the latest available figures say sales jumped more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2011, with later years reportedly expected to spike.

    • Were These 3 Guantanamo Deaths Really Suicides?

      On June 9th, 2006, it is said that three prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp committed suicide in a coordinated effort. They all died using the exact same methods, in their cells, on that evening.

      However, when NCOs (non-commissioned officers) contradicted this account, cracks began to show in the official NCIS investigation. The NCOs revealed that these three prisoners were actually not in their cellblocks the night they died. Rather, they were taken to a secret CIA black spot nearby, dubbed ‘Penny Lane’ or ‘Camp No’. While they were returned to their cell at the time of death, more than 12 papers that contradicted the official report of that night were suppressed during an internal investigation.

    • Police Investigating Use of Scottish Airports by CIA “Rendition” Torture Flights

      Legal charity Reprieve has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that police investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA ‘torture flights’ have access to a major US Senate report on the spy agency’s secret ‘rendition’ programme.

    • Onerous, irrational and unconstitutional

      Political. America is freeloading. Events belie the local panel’s assertion that the Philippines invited the United States as our guest, to use our former bases and facilities—rent-free—as counterweight to China. The Chinese became aggressive in the West Philippine Sea in 2012; the United States decreed its “pivot” to Asia much earlier. Clearly, America decided, unilaterally, to make the Philippines home to thousands of its soldiers, aircraft carriers, battleships and warplanes. And the Philippines followed America in a zombie-like stupor.

    • Once a U.S. asset, Gen. Hafter recruited Libya’s entire military command with Egypt’s backing

      Egypt has been deemed a leading supporter of this week’s mutiny within the Libyan military.

      Diplomatic sources said renegade Gen. Khalifa Hafter was receiving guidance and military support from Egypt.

    • WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

      Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • The Real Financiers of Boko Haram–Exposed

      In other words, the incitement of North against South, Christians against Muslims, was recognised as the most potent strategy that could push Nigeria into sectarianism. In fact, that Boko Haram has extremist religious connotation is believed to be enough to keep Nigeria busy to think beyond its survival.

      So carefully managed, it is impossible to trace Boko Haram’s funding and arms supply sources; unless one has a privileged access to the CIA-led trillion dollar terror economy, which Loretta Napoleoni, in her book, ‘’Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Network,’’ argued is impossible for CIA’s unofficial funding sources include money laundering, terrorism, extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping, human trafficking, gambling and illegal arms and oil sales.

      Known not to leave anything to chance, the CIA ensured that it was in full control of both the mainstream and grassroots media in Nigeria. This was a smart move since it is a given that the one who controls what the people read, hear and watch invariably controls what the people think about and how they think.

      Thus, fully aware that press freedom actually belongs only to those who own the press, the CIA is secret marriage with some media owners and as a result has been successful at controlling and manipulating what gets to most Nigerians.

      Little wonder no one seems to wonder how the US Embassy (and by that the CIA) gets its intelligence, including the recent announcement it made that “As of late April, groups associated with terrorism allegedly planned to mount an unspecified attack against the Sheraton Hotel, in Nigeria.”

      The problem is that our government is not bold enough to demand their source of intelligence, and why rather than sharing such important intelligence with Nigeria, the US chose to make them public in the form of announcements.

    • ‘Over 60% drone targets homes in Pakistan’
    • The Drone Promise
    • PM unimpressed by protest outside his house

      Prime Minister John Key thought the candlelight vigil outside his house last night was “not really cricket”.

      About 30 protesters gathered outside his Auckland home last night in a candlelight vigil commemorating “the numerous deaths of civilians and the illegal killing of ‘supposed’ terrorists, including New Zealander Daryl Jones — killed by the US drone strike programme”.

    • PM: Don’t protest outside my home

      Prime Minister John Key has hit out at protesters who gathered at his home last night, to protest his position on deadly drone strikes.

      Last week Key said drone strikes were justified, but acknowledged innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire.

    • Australian drone deaths expose government indifference

      While the last couple of weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget and its disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked.

    • Most US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Attack Houses

      Domestic buildings have been hit by drone strikes more than any other type of target in the CIA’s 10-year campaign in the tribal regions of northern Pakistan, new research reveals.

      By way of contrast, since 2008, in neighbouring Afghanistan drone strikes on buildings have been banned in all but the most urgent situations, as part of measures to protect civilian lives. But a new investigative project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research unit based at London’s Goldsmiths University, and New York-based Situ Research, reveals that in Pakistan, domestic buildings continue to be the most frequent target of drone attacks.

    • Secret Cable Reveals Russia Warned US in 2008 Meddling in Ukraine Could Split Country

      A secret cable released by Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Washington as far back as 2008 that US-EU-NATO meddling in Ukraine could split the country in two.

      “Following a muted first reaction to Ukraine’s intent to seek a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Bucharest summit (ref A), Foreign Minister Lavrov and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat,” said the 2008 cable classified by William Burns, than US Ambassador to Moscow and currently the US Deputy Secretary of State.

    • This Leaked Diplomatic Cable From 2008 Foreshadowed Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

      A secret U.S. diplomatic cable written six years ago (and tweeted by Wikileaks on Tuesday) foreshadowed much of the tension between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine.

    • Donetsk crowds protest Ukrainian elections, besiege richest oligarch’s mansion
    • Wikileaks Released Cable Reveals Russia Warned US of Potential Split in Ukraine

      A secret cable released by Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed that Washington had been warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as early as 2008 that US-EU-NATO interfering in Ukraine would result in the country splitting in two.

    • China fumes over cyber theft charges, accuses US of hypocrisy

      Miffed with the US over indictment of five People’s Liberation Army officers over commercial cyber espionage charges, China accused the US of hypocrisy and double standards.

      Chinese Defence Ministry posted a statement on its website, saying, “From ‘WikiLeaks’ to the ‘Snowden’ case, US hypocrisy and double standards regarding the issue of cyber-security have long been abundantly clear”.

      “The so-called ‘commercial espionage network’ is a pure fabrication by the US, a move to mislead the public based on ulterior motives,” the AFP quoted the statement.

    • Which 39 Democrats Want a War That Never Ends–and Voted Against Sunsetting the AUMF?

      During the defense appropriations amendment process, Adam Schiff (CA-28) proposed an amendment that would sunset the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) with the end of our combat role in Afghanistan, i.e. December 31, 2014.

    • Vladimir Putin hits back at Prince Charles

      The Russian president accuses the Prince of Wales of ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unroyal behaviour’

    • Drone Killing Memo Author Confirmed as Federal Judge

      Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. Paul said, “I rise today in opposition to killing American citizens without trials. I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the President has the power to kill American citizens not involved in combat.”

      “I rise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a President is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court,” the Kentucky senator said.

      On Wednesday, the Obama administration agreed to release to senators a redacted version of the document co-authored by Barron that provided the legal justification for the targeted drone killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

    • AP’s Fram Neglects to Mention ‘Filibuster’ or ‘Waterboarding’ in Covering Judicial Confirmation of Obama’s ‘Drone Memo’ Author

      Given that he was confirmed on a 53-45 vote, it is highly unlikely that Barron’s nomination would have survived had Senate majority leader Harry Reid not imposed the “nuclear option” last year to prevent senators from stopping a contentious nomination by requiring 60 senators to approve the idea of even having a confirmation vote. As for waterboarding, Barron’s nomination became controversial because he is, as Fram noted, the “architect of the Obama administration’s legal foundation for killing American terror suspects overseas with drones.” 53 Democratic senators are apparently okay with that, even though many if not most of them have gone apoplectic over the idea of waterboarding known terrorists of any nationality who may have knowledge of their fellow travelers’ plans.

    • The Three Laws of Pentagon Robotics

      1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    • A Yemeni Man Is Suing British Telecom over America’s Deadly Drone Strikes

      A deep boom rocked through Sanaa, Yemen, the sound coming from outside of the city, perhaps from near the village of al-Masna’a.

    • Despite Obama’s new rules, no end in sight for drone war
    • Drone strike protest outside PM’s home
    • Candlelight Vigil to Be Held Outside John Keys House
    • Vigil planned outside Key’s home

      There will be a candlelight vigil outside Prime Minister John Key’s home in Auckland to highlight the issue of US drone strikes.

    • “Masters of Manipulation”: Psychopaths Rule The World

      Psychopaths are in love with power and risk taking, masters of manipulation, self-serving opportunism and self-aggrandizement, and hold doctorates in deceit and deception. Psychopaths are super intelligent charmers who are highly skilled at playing others in order to get what they want. They are keenly perceptive at reading people, understanding their motives and values, brilliant at learning their weaknesses and blind spots, and highly effective at inducing both sympathy and guilt in others.

    • The War on America’s Military Veterans, Waged with SWAT Teams, Surveillance and Neglect

      Just in time for Memorial Day, we’re once again being treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians and corporations eager to go on record as being supportive of our veterans.

      Patriotic platitudes aside, however, America has done a deplorable job of caring for her veterans. We erect monuments for those who die while serving in the military, yet for those who return home, there’s little honor to be found.

      The plight of veterans today is deplorable, with large numbers of them impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, and marital stress, homeless (a third of all homeless Americans are veterans), subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration (VA) offices.

    • CIA ‘gave Beirut bomber refuge in return for secrets’

      AN IRANIAN terrorist responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans in the 1983 Beirut bombings was resettled in the United States by the CIA in return for divulging secrets about Tehran’s nuclear programme, a new book claims.

      Ali Reza Asgari is believed to have masterminded the attacks in April 1983 on the US embassy in the Lebanese capital, which killed 63 people, and another attack six months later on the marine barracks and the French barracks, in which 241 US servicemen and 58 French citizens died.

    • Ex-CIA analyst: U.S. regularly use death as criminal punishment

      An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar, consortiumnews.com reported.

    • America’s Death-Penalty Fellow Travelers

      An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Former Texas A&M President, CIA Director, Takes Over Boy Scouts of America

      Robert Gates, the new president of the Boy Scouts of America, says he has no problems with allowing openly gay adults in the organization, but won’t address changing their policy right now.

    • US report on Scots role in terror suspect transfer

      SCOTLAND’s role in the interrogation and alleged torture of terror suspects by the CIA could be laid bare by a recently declassified US intelligence report, it has been revealed.

      Police are currently investigating claims Scottish airports were used as a stop-off for “rendition” flights, which transferred prisoners to secret jails overseas.

    • Qatar Sentences Alleged Filipino Spy to Death

      The unknowing also includes Qatar that has sentenced a Filipino national to death for allegedly selling top secret Qatari military information to “Filipino state security forces” that the Qataris left unnamed.

    • The information wars

      The US government continues its efforts to clamp down on leaks of classified information.

    • Disability Pay of Ex-Cop, Now FBI Agent Probed

      A former police officer in Northern California is being investigated for collecting a disability pension while he is currently working for the FBI.

      Oakland city officials are looking into how former police officer Aaron McFarlane receives more than $52,000 in disability benefits from the city while he has been working as an FBI special agent in Boston.

    • Tsarnaev pal’s lawyer seeks to grill FBI agents

      Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that the two FBI agents and a Homeland Security Investigations agent questioning the youth at the state police barracks in North Darmouth knew a lawyer had called, but neither they nor the trooper who spoke with Griffin passed that information along to the students.

    • To Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley: We Need Accountability and Transparency for Local Law Enforcement!
    • The FBI Prospers by Feeding Fears

      James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.

    • The FBI prospers by feeding public safety fears

      James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.

      Referring to al Qaeda groups in Africa and the Middle East, he recently told the New York Times, “I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

    • The FBI hypes terrorism

      Terrorism has fed the FBI’s growth. Between 2001 and 2013, its budget nearly doubled after adjusting for inflation. But Comey was not pleased on arriving to learn that he would be inconvenienced by last year’s federal budget sequester.

    • God won’t save us: Memorial Day, honest history and our new military-industrial complex

      You had to take Johnson’s point. The question was, Why did Obama choose this man? As defense secretary, Gates oversaw an increase in troop strength in Afghanistan from 32,000 (when Obama took office and named him) to roughly 100,000 (before withdrawals began). Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting does the counting here. Why did Obama do that?

  • Transparency Reporting

    • ‘They think of WikiLeaks like Al-Qaeda’

      “They think of WikiLeaks like Al-Qaeda,” he said of the U.S. government. “I needed to move away from it all. I [still] talked to a few people on the computer but I generally completely disassociated myself with anything to do with Anonymous.”

    • Media Direct: towards better security for whistleblowers

      In essence, Media Direct seeks to enable encrypted interactions between anonymous whistleblowers, who access it via the Tor relay network, and specified journalists, with the submission server itself not logging anything, thus meaning it has no information to provide should it be targeted by the government of its host country (which remains secret, even from the administrators to the Media Direct site here in Australia). The site automatically deletes material that isn’t used within two weeks, and the keys whistleblowers use to access the server also have a limited lifespan. It’s close to plug-and-play for whistleblowers, as long as they can install Tor.

    • Chagossians: Wikileaked cable admissible after all
    • CIA won’t fake vaccinations, FBI still pursuing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, latest on Benghazi: Spy Games Update

      The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice are still actively pursuing a criminal investigation against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

    • Assange targeted by FBI probe, US court documents reveal

      WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange remains the subject of an active criminal investigation by the United States Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, newly published court documents reveal.

      Papers released in US legal proceedings have revealed that a “criminal/national security investigation” by the US Department of Justice and FBI probe of WikiLeaks is “a multi-subject investigation” that is still “active and ongoing” more than four years after the anti-secrecy website began publishing secret US diplomatic and military documents.

      Confirmation that US prosecutors have not closed the book on WikiLeaks and Mr Assange comes as a consequence of litigation by the US Electronic Privacy Information Centre to enforce a freedom of information request for documents relating to the FBI’s WikiLeaks investigation.

    • Julian Assange’s father in Newcastle to receive award

      JOHN Shipton says he is not, by nature, the most outgoing of people.

      “I’m a private person; I’d prefer to be at home reading a book,” Mr Shipton said yesterday.

      But having WikiLeaks whistle-blower Julian Assange for a son means Mr Shipton’s life is no longer solely his own.

    • TOPICS: Truckers missing trick without cartoon mascot

      Assange will receive an International Award for Outstanding Service in the Defence of Human Rights and Global Justice. You know, one of those.

    • Afghan anger at mass US phone monitoring
    • Julian Assange Goes Where Glenn Greenwald Wouldn’t

      Though they’re often lumped together as crusaders against state secrets, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and journalist Glenn Greenwald don’t always see eye to eye.

    • Julian Assange’s spy report knocks Glenn Greenwald down a peg

      A rift is forming in the world of leaked top-secret government documents. On one side is Glenn Greenwald, the founding editor of The Intercept online news site, who earlier this week reported that the U.S. government was recording practically every single cell phone call made to or from the Bahamas and another, unnamed country.

    • Will Julian Assange Be Moving to a Squatters’ Settlement In Brazil?

      On May 14, João Paulo Rodrigues, a leader of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The two men discussed ways in which Latin American social movements might help Wikileaks. Following their two-hour discussion, the leader told Assange, “If you need asylum in Brazil, we offer our land settlements.” Assange responded with a hug.

    • Wikileaks Founder Assange Endorses Bitcoin at South African Tech Conference

      Notorious whistleblower Julian Assange spoke glowingly about Bitcoin during a technology conference in South Africa on Wednesday, calling the currency “the most intellectually interesting development in the last two years.”

    • WikiLeaks: US eavesdrops on Kenyans’ calls

      A US intelligence agency is allegedly tapping all phone calls made in Kenya, possibly informing the recent travel advisories and the heightened alert at its Embassy in Nairobi.

    • Hacker who Targeted WikiLeaks is Going after Edward Snowden
    • Film About 1971 FBI Break-in Traces Path To Snowden And Wikileaks

      The film 1971, which just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, documents the activities of “eight ordinary citizens,” but their story is far beyond the ordinary. On March 8, 1971, the group orchestrated a robbery at an FBI office in the Philadelphia suburb aptly called Media, making off with every file. Those hundreds of documents, mailed to the press leading to 50,000 more pages, laid bare the details and degree of government surveillance of the American people. Congressional hearings in subsequent years revealed that the FBI, under the autocratic leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, infiltrated institutions from universities to community groups and even threatened the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The mere fact of the existence of residential FBI offices, in low-slung brick buildings along tree-lined, mostly residential streets, reflected the acceptance — and even deification of the agency in earlier decades. No member of the Media, Pa., group was ever caught or prosecuted for the break-in. They broke their long silence in the film and a new book by Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Swansea traffic warden caught on camera refusing to give ticket to vehicle on double yellow lines ‘because that’s the boss’s car’

      As a man who has himself experienced wardens deciding, with their “discretion”, to give him a ticket in that very spot before, Steve McMillan perhaps understandably felt he could not just let it slide.

      Filming the whole incident on his mobile phone, he can be seen confronting a warden who initially says that it hasn’t yet “been five minutes”.

      But when Mr McMillan explains that it clearly has – and that he has this recorded on his phone – the unnamed warden quickly goes on the defensive.

    • Obama Administration Sued for Refusing to Disclose Data on Student Loan Debt Collectors

      President Barack Obama has taken several steps over the past few years to address the $1 trillion problem of student loan debt. He’s pushed loan forgiveness programs and efforts to help borrowers reduce payments. One thing that apparently isn’t factoring into his plans, though, is reining in abusive debt collectors that the Department of Education hires to collect student loans debt when people can’t pay.

      More than $94 billion of the nation’s student loan debt was in default as of September 2013, according to a March report from the Government Accountability Office. And the percentage of people defaulting on school loans has increased steadily for six years in a row. In 2011, the Department of Education paid private debt collectors $1 billion to try to collect on that debt—a number that is expected to double by 2016. The tactics used by those debt collectors range from harassing to downright abusive. In March 2012, Bloomberg reported that three of the companies working for the Department of Education had settled federal or state charges that they’d engaged in abusive debt collection.

    • Fighting Poverty Wages

      We’re at a critical moment in our economic recovery that requires real leadership and people power to ensure true economic democracy in our country. There is incredible work being done to build a strong antipoverty movement, and spaces like these are fundamental to encourage an open dialogue about our strategies and tactics as well as our successes and failures.

      As corporate profits keep soaring, workers’ wages continue to stagnate, creating the widest income inequality gap our nation has seen in modern times. At Jobs With Justice we still believe that in America, people who work hard should be paid enough to live with dignity and raise a family. Today, millions of people go to work every day and still don’t earn enough money to feed their families. If people can work full-time and still can’t afford groceries, rent and medication, then the entire model is flawed and unfair. We can’t continue down this path of creating bottom-of-the-barrel, low-wage jobs that condemn our friends and neighbors to poverty.

    • Big Credit Suisse’s Sweetheart Deal

      Attorney General Eric Holder’s sweetheart settlement with Switzerland’s second largest bank, corporate criminal Credit Suisse, sent the wrong message to other corporate barons. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says it well:

      “Nor does the plea deal hold any officers, directors or key executives individually accountable for wrongdoing, raising the question of whether it will sufficiently deter similar misconduct in the future.”

      Mr. Holder, of course, touted the deal as tough. Credit Suisse was fined a non-deductible $2.6 billion for their long, elaborate plan to provide tax evasion services for many thousands of wealthy Americans. The bank agreed to plead guilty of criminal wrongdoing – a rare demand on the usually coddled large financial institutions. In addition, Credit Suisse, in Mr. Holder’s words, failed “to retain key documents, allowed evidence to be lost or destroyed, and conducted a shamefully inadequate internal inquiry”… through a “conspiracy” that “spanned decades.”

    • What do Brazilians really think of their maids?

      An anonymous Twitter account is highlighting the poor treatment of maids in Brazil.

    • Even Iran Knows How To Fix The Corrupt Banker Problem

      Having watched Tim Geithner’s disgusting defense of the tax-payer-backed re-inflation of a corrupt and knowingly devastating banking system on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, and watching the US fine (no jail time for anyone) a Swiss bank which admits its guilt over billions of fraud yet allow them to remain a prime dealer of US Treasuries; we thought the following story from a ’3rd world banking system’ would open a few eyes in the US this weekend as ‘we remember’. As AP reports, a billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam in Iran, the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.

    • We (and This Includes You, Democrats) Have Blown a Huge Hole in the Safety Net
    • Law Enforcement vs. the Hippies

      Maybe this is because lefties don’t complain enough. You may remember the hissy fit thrown by Fox News when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report suggesting that the election of a black president might spur recruitment among right-wing extremist groups and “even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.” As it turns out, that was a good call. But the specter of jack-booted Obama thugs smashing down the doors of earnest, heartland Republicans dominated the news cycle long enough for DHS to repudiate the report under pressure and eventually dissolve the team that had produced it.

      And the similar report about left-wing extremism that DHS had produced a few months earlier? You don’t remember that? I don’t suppose you would. That’s because it was barely noticed, let alone an object of complaint. And even if lefties had complained, I doubt that anyone would have taken it seriously. There’s just no equivalent of Fox News on the left when it comes to turning partisan grievances into mainstream news.

    • Housing crisis? No, just a very British sickness

      Housing booms are today’s medieval plagues. Boils suppurate on the political backside. People rush to find culprits to lynch. Quacks appear on street corners with fake remedies. Reason takes a holiday.

      Thus it was yesterday, as the Today programme’s John Humphrys chided David Cameron for the “housing crisis” and for not building more houses in the Tory shires. It was like curing famine by sending caviar to Africa.

      Meanwhile, everyone from Ed Miliband to the governor of the Bank of England screams crisis. There is a crisis when prices fall and a crisis when prices rise. Almost everywhere house prices are still bouncing along the bottom, but at London dinner parties they are a “bubble”.

    • How the IMF Destroyed Greece: The Reality of the Greek “Success story”: On Its Way to Become a Third World Country
    • As the Global Economy Continues to Crumble, Old Fascism Finds a New Voice

      Europe has a special worry about a broken, uncaring economy.

      Things rip apart. More and more people fall into desperation. Some of them decide it’s the fault of immigrants. Or homosexuals.

    • Unification of Europe’s Far Right: Rise of the Fourth Reich?

      The situation is not entirely comparable to that of Europe and Germany of the 1930s and 40s. Nevertheless, the rise of these far-right parties, their ties to the economic hardships and austerity measures imposed by the European Union, and the spread of nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies are alarming.

    • Jean-Marie Le Pen suggests Ebola as solution to global population explosion

      Virus ‘could sort out demographic explosion’ and by extension Europe’s ‘immigration problem’, says founder of Front National

  • Politics

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Report blasts “unscrupulous” U.S. surveillance in China

      In particular, it described China as a main target of the U.S. clandestine secret surveillance.

    • Afghanistan Hits Out at U.S. Spying Allegations

      Afghanistan on Sunday expressed anger at the United States for allegedly monitoring almost all the country’s telephone conversations after revelations by the Wikileaks website.

      Wikileaks editor Julian Assange said on Friday that Afghanistan was one of at least two countries where the U.S. National Security Agency “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic [and international] phone calls.” Earlier last week journalist Glenn Greenwald had revealed that the NSA had been monitoring all the domestic and international phone calls of the Bahamas, but had refused to identify the second country, claiming he believed it could lead to the death of innocent people.

    • The world’s biggest internet spy is playing cop

      Since the US Department of Justice announced indictments against 5 Chinese military officers, some US media have reported that the US is conducting spying operations not confined to national security. The claims are based on secret documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    • ‘USA Freedom Act’ and bipartisan tyranny
    • NSA reform falls short

      While a welcome first step toward reining in a government with “Big Brother” powers, the House bill falls short of the objective of its original sponsors. Transparency measures intended to guard against secret intrusions on personal privacy were weakened. And there are concerns about an undefined “specific selection term” to theoretically limit the reach of government intrusion into personal records and personal communications.

    • Jesse Kline: A bigger surveillance state won’t stop ‘cyberbullying’

      …making it easier for government officials to gather information about Canadians’ online activities.

    • Snowden In Russia Of His Own Free Will, Says Glenn Greenwald

      If not, other countries are ready to offer him shelter, including Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and possibly even Germany or perhaps also Switzerland as there have been reports of the NSA spying on Swiss banks, he added.If not, other countries are ready to offer him shelter, including Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and possibly even Germany or perhaps also Switzerland as there have been reports of the NSA spying on Swiss banks, he added.

    • Why US is in no position to accuse the Chinese of hacking
    • As Snowden gets his own comic book, the writer ‘leaks’ her inspiration and motivations

      FOUR years ago, Valerie D’Orazio was writing a story about a character who knows too much. Whom people want silenced. And who ultimately delivers all her files to the media, via email, so the whole world shall know these dark secrets. Little could D’Orazio have known then that this Marvel Comics story, titled Punisher MAX: Butterfly, was professional prologue to another big assignment: Writing about the life and exploits of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Lawyer: Edward Snowden ‘Considering’ Return to US

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is “considering’ returning to the United States if certain conditions are met, his lawyer told Germany’s Der Spiegel.

      “There are negotiations,” Snowden’s German lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck said, according to a translation on RT.com, a news agency based in Russia. “Those who know the case are aware that an amicable agreement with the U.S. authorities will be most reasonable,” Kaleck said.

      Snowden is not involved in the negotations, Kaleck told Der Spiegel.

    • Snowden ‘considers’ returning to US – report
    • Congress divorces NIST and NSA

      The US Congress has passed a bill that removes the NSA’s direct input into encryption standards.

      According to a report at ProPublica, an amendment to the National Institute of Standards and Technology act removes the requirement that NIST consult with the NSA in setting new encryption standards.

    • Chinese Troops Must Take Up ‘Legal Arms’ Against ‘Pretentious’ U.S. (Huanqiu, China)

      The U.S. Department of Justice last week announced the criminal indictments of five Chinese army officers, claiming that they helped Chinese companies steal American corporate business information, and that all five are from “Unit 61398″ of the People’s Liberation Army. Since February last year, the U.S. government has accused the unit “headquartered in Shanghai” of being part of a “hacker army” involved in the long-term theft of U.S. trade secrets.

    • Scottish Nationalist Proposes Asylum For NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden

      Scottish supporters of Edward Snowden say an independent Scotland should offer political asylum to the man whose disclosure of classified NSA documents revealed pervasive U.S. surveillance around the world.

      Members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) have considered a call for the former NSA contractor, who is currently being sheltered in Russia, to be given political asylum in Scotland if voters opt for independence in September’s referendum.

    • China’s state-owned sector told to cut ties with US consulting firms

      China has told its state-owned enterprises to sever links with American consulting firms just days after the US charged five Chinese military officers with hacking US companies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

      China’s action, which targets companies like McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), stems from fears the firms are providing trade secrets to the US government, the FT reported, citing unnamed sources close to senior Chinese leaders.

    • US-China cyber-battles intensify

      The United States has accused some Chinese of hacking into American companies’ computers but the US itself has been engaging in massive spying of foreign companies and trade officials.

      [...]

      But in fact the US does spy on companies and trade policy makers and negotiators of other countries, presumably in order to obtain a commercial advantage.

    • ‘USA Freedom Act’ and bipartisan tyranny
    • US tries to bar Chinese nationals from two hacker conferences in the US
    • Licence to spy

      In January, after the disclosures by Edward Snowden about the scale of the US intelligence apparatus’s cyber snooping capabilities, President Barack Obama acknowledged the need to curtail the National Security Agency’s damaging practices and to begin a conversation on how a balance between national security and civil liberties could be struck. If it was clear then that downsizing the surveillance state would be a difficult task, the version of the USA Freedom Act that passed the House of Representatives last week underscored that fact.

    • German Lawmakers May Call Apple CEO Tim Cook Over NSA Spying

      An investigation committee set up by German parliamentarians to look into the NSA’s bulk collection of Europe’s telecommunications data may call several prominent U.S. tech company executives to testify, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, reports The Wall Street Journal. Other witnesses that the committee may call include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive vice

    • The Washington Post’s ‘Fear-Driven Approach’ to NSA Files Infuriated Snowden

      When National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was working to convince journalists to cover NSA documents he taken with him to expose evidence of dragnet warrantless surveillance, he was especially frustrated with one media organization, which has actually received recognition for its work on the NSA files: The Washington Post.

      The story of how the Post became involved and, in many ways, let a whistleblower down is a testament to why future whistleblowers should be cautious when approaching such establishment media outlets. What happened is detailed in journalist Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA & the US Surveillance State.

    • The Bahamas Wants To Know The Reasons Of NSA Recording Its Phone Calls

      The Bahamas government officials want their US counterparts to explain why the National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting and recording every cell phone call taking place on the island nation.

    • NBC’s Brian Williams Gets Exclusive with Edward Snowden

      NBC anchor Brian Williams has landed an exclusive interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It will be Snowden’s first American television interview. Williams traveled to Moscow this week to speak with both Snowden and Glenn Greenwald for an hour-long special that will air during primetime on May 28th.

    • US-China tech exchange strained over hacking accusations

      The U.S.’ escalating feud with China over hacking charges could end up hurting IT suppliers in both countries, as suspicions and eroding trust threaten to dampen the tech exchange between the two nations.

    • New York Times Admits Reason For Delay In Delivering NSA Wiretapping Story

      On the 2004 campaign trail, President Bush denied the existence of an American warrantless surveillance program. But inside the Department of Justice, an attorney leaked information to The New York Times explaining the National Security Agency did indeed eavesdrop on phones around the country.

    • New York Times: Spy bill falls short

      Unfortunately, the bill passed by the House on Thursday falls far short of those promises, and does not live up to its title, the USA Freedom Act. Because of last-minute pressure from a recalcitrant Obama administration, the bill contains loopholes that dilute the strong restrictions in an earlier version, potentially allowing the spy agencies to continue much of their phone-data collection.

    • NSA reform to be ‘fight of the summer’

      Civil libertarians who say the House didn’t go far enough to reform the National Security Agency are mounting a renewed effort in the Senate to shift momentum in their direction.

    • FBI introduces app to help protect children
    • The FBI’s Massive Facial Recognition Database: Privacy Implications
    • House Committee Puts NSA on Notice Over Encryption Standards

      An amendment adopted by a House committee would, if enacted, take a step toward removing the National Security Agency from the business of meddling with encryption standards that protect security on the Internet.

    • Will The House’s Gutted USA Freedom Act Really Stop The NSA?

      “While it represents a slight improvement from the status quo, it isn’t the reform bill that Americans deserve,” says a staff attorney with the ACLU.

    • Unhackable NSA-proof instant messaging program

      In the digital world, you never know who is spying on you. There’s hackers, nosy neighbors, a vengeful ex, the NSA, and that’s just a handful of the possibilities.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to keep your messages safe from prying eyes? Now there is.

      Take a look at PQChat, an unhackable – yes, I said unhackable – secure instant messaging app.

    • CERN Scientists Launch Encrypted Email Service

      As it turns out, people really don’t want the government reading their email. Scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, have launched a new email service featuring end-to-end encryption to ensure complete privacy for users.

      Dubbed ProtonMail, the service claims to be fully anonymous. “Because of our end-to-end encryption, your data is already encrypted by the time it reaches our servers,” the site says. “We have no access to your messages, and since we cannot decrypt them, we cannot share them with third parties.”

      According to Jason Stockman, a co-developer of ProtonMail, the service was inspired by the revelations of the massive citizen surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency (NSA) made public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year.

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email

      A new push to encrypt email, keeping messages free from government snooping, is gaining momentum. One new email service promising “end-to-end” encryption launched last Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

      A major catalyst for email encryption were revelations about widespread online surveillance in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor. “A lot of people were upset with those revelations, and that coalesced into this effort,” said Jason Stockman, a co-developer of ProtonMail, a new encrypted email service which launched last Friday with collaboration of scientists from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the European research lab CERN.

    • US considers denying visas to Chinese hackers to attend conferences
    • US accuses Chinese officials of cyber espionage

      Meanwhile, US is engaged in massive electronic surveillance

    • Read it, you’ll doubt no more

      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 (NSA) documents.

    • America: spying mostly on its own

      One characteristic of a totalitarian state is that it is as determined to subjugate its own citizens as it is to conquer foreigners. That’s why Edward Snowden could tell the National Press Club by live video link from his Russian exile that when he was a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) he was appalled to see NSA “collecting more information about Americans in America than it is about Russians in Russia.”

    • Independent Scotland could give asylum to ‘traitor’ Edward Snowden

      HOLYROOD has triggered a major diplomatic row with the US over a proposal to grant asylum to the “traitor” Edward Snowden in the event of independence.

    • The Pressure’s On Harper to End Online Spying — Let’s Keep it Up

      Leading Conservative elder statesman Stockwell Day has joined the growing chorus of Canadians speaking out about how Bill C-13 would expose law-abiding Canadians to warrantless government spying. If passed, the controversial bill would grant immunity to telecom companies who hand our private information to the government without a warrant.

    • Commentary: U.S. cyber-scoundrelism doomed to backfire

      “Play by the rules” seems to be Washington’s sacrosanct motto on international interaction. But time and again rules are just a lump of clay in Uncle Sam’s hands.

      In a recent farce about cyber-security, the United States slapped some fabricated charges against five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking into the systems of U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

    • Chinese indicted for acting like America’s NSA
    • What does GCHQ know about our devices that we don’t?
    • Police use cellphone spying device
    • The Pentagon report on Snowden’s ‘grave’ threat is gravely overblown

      NSA defenders still won’t tell the whole truth, but a newly revealed damage assessment offers a window into government damage control – not any actual damage done by Snowden

    • Edward Snowden Threw Crypto Parties Before He Blew the Whistle on NSAEdward Snowden Threw Crypto Parties Before He Blew the Whistle on NSA
    • A warning, not a blueprint – living in a post-Snowden world

      It is twenty five years since Tim Berners-Lee had the germ of an idea that became the World Wide Web. Smartphones for everyone have been with us less than a decade. Technology is transformative and world changing. 150 years ago we didn’t have the electric light or the phonograph. Photography was a new and rare technology, and everything we take for granted in our lives today – central heating, hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, fridges, cars, radio, and TV – had yet to be invented, or was at the very least out of the reach of the average citizen.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Tell Mozilla: Keep DRM out of Firefox

      Only a week after the International Day Against DRM, Mozilla has announced that it will support Digital Restrictions Management in its Firefox Browser. The browser will have a built-in utility that automatically fetches and installs DRM from Adobe.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Majority of Japanese public oppose compromising over TPP: Mainichi poll
    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Admits Copyright Infringement May Actually Help The Copyright Holder
      • Pirates Are Staying In European Parliament

        As of 18:00 on Election Day, it is clear that the Pirate Party remains in the European Parliament for another term. The German exit polls predict that at least Julia Reda from Germany has just been elected as Member of European Parliament, securing a pirate seat for the coming term. More results as they come in (developing story).

      • THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE COPYRIGHT INDUSTRY AND THE NSA

        Most notably, the copyright industry is known for using child porn as an argument for introducing mass surveillance, so that the mass surveillance can be expanded in the next step to targeting people who share knowledge and culture in violation of that industry’s distribution monopolies. This is a case study in taking corporate cynicism to the next level.

        This mass surveillance is also what feeds the NSA, the GCHQ, and its other European counterparts (like the Swedish FRA). It is continuously argued, along the precise same lines, that so-called “metadata” – whom you’re calling, from where, for how long – is not sensitive and therefore not protected by privacy safeguards. This was the argument that the European Court of Justice struck down with the force of a sledgehammer, followed by about two metric tons of bricks: it’s more than a little private if you’re talking to a sex service for 19 minutes at 2am, or if you’re making a call to the suicide hotline from the top of a bridge. This is the kind of data that the spy services wanted to have logged, eagerly cheered on by the copyright industry.

      • Amazon Won’t Sell You The Paperback Version Of The Anti-Amazon Book

        The latest evidence: Amazon has escalated its battle against book publisher Hachette. Now Amazon won’t allow you to pre-order any Hachette books, the publisher confirmed to The Huffington Post on Friday. That means you cannot buy the paperback version of Brad Stone’s Amazon exposé “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.”

      • Amazon Is Cracking Down on Book Publisher, Say Critics

        Amazon appears to be trying to pressure a book publisher into agreeing to more favorable terms for the online retail giant by refusing to offer pre-orders of some of the publisher’s titles. Books for which Amazon is no longer taking orders include a new novel by J.K. Rowling and the paperback version of “The Everything Store,” an inside look at the operations of Amazon.

      • Kim Dotcom Fails in Bid to Suppress FBI Evidence

        Kim Dotcom has lost his bid to have evidence held by the FBI against him kept a secret. The information , a 200-page document which includes a sampling of 22 million emails relevant to his extradition case, may now be made public. Efforts by Dotcom to gain access to government held documentation against him were also rejected.

      • Public BitTorrent Trackers Ban Piracy Monitoring Outfits

        The three largest BitTorrent trackers have banned the IP-ranges of several major hosting companies. The move aims to make it harder for anti-piracy outfits and other information gathering outfits to snoop on file-sharers. Unfortunately, the changes also mean that users of some VPNs, proxies and seedboxes can no longer connect.

      • Open WiFi Is Not a CopyCrime: EFF’s Primer on Open WiFi and Copyright

        Every day cafes, airports, libraries, laundromats, schools and individuals operate “open” Wi-Fi routers, sharing their connection with neighbors and passers-by at no charge. The City of San Francisco recently deployed a free, public Wi-Fi network along a three-mile stretch of Market Street. Sometimes people use those connections for unauthorized activities. Most of the time they don’t, and the world gets a valuable public service of simple, ubiquitous Internet access.

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  12. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  13. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  15. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  16. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  17. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  18. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  19. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  20. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  21. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  22. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  23. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  24. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  25. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  26. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  27. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  30. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become


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