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Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

Posted in News Roundup at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 12 oddball odes to open-source
  • Beer and open source with Untappd

    We use a lot of open source software within Untappd daily, from MongoDB to jQuery. It’s what powers software evolution, and without it, we would have a hard time developing solutions effectively and efficiently. With every library that we develop for use on Untappd, we try to open source it, including our PHP Library For Amazon CloudSearch, UntappdPHP, and MemcacheJS. We hope that other developers can use these libraries to save some time and help them focus on building great projects. Any library we use, we try to think about how to build it with “openness” in mind, for re-usability by all.

  • Seven Bridges Introduces Open Source Cancer Genomics Workflow
  • Want To Start An Open Source Project? Here’s How

    Regardless of the reason, this isn’t about you. Not really. For open source to succeed, much of the planning has to be about those who will use the software. As I wrote in 2005, if you “want lots of people to contribute (bug fixes, extensions, etc.,” then you need to “write good documentation, use an accessible programming language … [and] have a modular framework.”

  • Events

    • Ken Starks to Keynote At Ohio LinuxFest

      Ken had mentioned this in a email a few months back, I believe, but I’d put it on a back burner, where it fell off and landed hidden behind the stove. If Larry Cafiero, better known as the free software and CrunchBang guy, hadn’t made mention of the fact on Google+ the other day, I probably wouldn’t’ve remembered until it was way too late.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox gets preliminary support for casting to Chromecast

        Mozilla is in the process of adding the ability to “cast” videos from Firefox to Chromecast devices, and you can try it now if you have the right hardware.

        As announced in a post on Google+ post by Mozilla developer Lucas Rocha, “Chromecast support is now enabled in Firefox for Android’s Nightly build.”

  • Funding


    • GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

      GNU community members and collaborators have discovered threatening details about a five-country government surveillance program codenamed HACIENDA. The good news? Those same hackers have already worked out a free software countermeasure to thwart the program.

      According to Heise newspaper, the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, have used HACIENDA to map every server in twenty-seven countries, employing a technique known as port scanning. The agencies have shared this map and use it to plan intrusions into the servers. Disturbingly, the HACIENDA system actually hijacks civilian computers to do some of its dirty work, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover its tracks.

  • Project Releases

    • G`MIC (GREYC`s Magic For Image Computing) Sees New Stable Release

      G’MIC (GREYC’s Magic for Image Computing) is a framework for image processing that comes with a large number of pre-defined image filters and effects (almost 400, with an extra 300 testing filters). There are several interfaces for G’MIC: a command line tool, a web service, a Qt based interface for real-time webcam manipulation, a library and a GIMP plugin.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NHS open-source Spine 2 platform to go live next week

      Last year, the NHS said open source would be a key feature of the new approach to healthcare IT. It hopes embracing open source will both cut the upfront costs of implementing new IT systems and take advantage of using the best brains from different areas of healthcare to develop collaborative solutions.

      Meyer said the Spine switchover team has “picked up the gauntlet around open-source software”.

      The HSCIC and BJSS have collaborated to build the core services of Spine 2, such as electronic prescriptions and care records, “in a series of iterative developments”.

    • Open-source electronic patient records in the NHS

      Lessons learnt from NPfIT suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach for EPRs has its limitations, as every trust made the case, rightly or wrongly, that it was somehow different. This is why we believe that open source provides another way of delivering those clinical benefits; trusts can take ownership of the code and develop it alongside clinicians to their requirements.

      But open source is not for everyone. Each healthcare provider has varying degrees of IT maturity; some may be close to becoming paperless or have systems in place that just need to be built on, some may decide that a new approach is right for their organisation.

      For our trust, the timing and opportunity of open source just came together and made it the logical choice. Open source fits with our culture and our approach, clinicians liked the IMS Maxims software, and it was particularly affordable for us, giving us the ability to manage change from our current system – it lets us control our own IT requirements.

  • Licensing

    • Qt5 Will Now Support LGPLv3 Modules

      With the upcoming Qt 5.4 release, LGPLv3 is now an optional license alongside the existing LGPLv2.1 license and the commercial combination for Qt Enterprise.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The dubious rise of open-source architecture

      Ten years have passed since the launch of the big, talkative, landmark show called Massive Change, which went on a tour that eventually took it from Vancouver to Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, then on to Chicago. Organized by designer Bruce Mau and the Institute Without Boundaries, a Toronto work-study design program, the exhibition and the accompanying book showcased gadgets, systems and ideas that promised to heal some of contemporary humankind’s most urgent maladies – slums, starvation, economic under-performance and much else.

    • Open Data

      • Out in the Open: This Man Wants to Turn Data Into Free Food (And So Much More)

        Such is promise of “open data”—the massive troves of public information our governments now post to the net. The hope is that, if governments share enough of this data with the world at large, hackers and entrepreneurs will find a way of putting it to good use. But although so much of this government data is now available, the revolution hasn’t exactly happened.

    • Open Hardware

      • Are you ready for open source CPUs?

        Open source software has been around for years, and for obvious reasons — all it takes is a PC to churn out code. And developers can make anything — operating systems, networking systems, administration systems, databases.

      • Local Motors: Cars Should be Open Source Hardware

        Though Local Motors was the first car company to produce an open source vehicle, Founder Jay Rogers says it is not an open source car company. It’s a hardware company.

        Traditional car companies have long product cycles, intricate assembly processes, and high production and distribution costs. Local Motors’ approach is instead akin to a software or microelectronics company that’s iterative, fast and lower cost.

  • Programming

    • Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

      Programming the Web, Pt. III The most revolutionary aspect of all the changes that have taken place in web development over the last two decades has been in the web browser.

      Typically we think of web browsers as driving innovation on the web by providing new features. Indeed this is the major source of new features on the web.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Kaspersky Lab Partners London Police To Tackle Cyber Crime

      The fight against cybercrime continues with the news that a London police force is getting outside help to become a bit more security savvy.

      The City of London police is teaming up with Russian cybersecurity specialist Kaspersky Lab, in an effort to help educate both the police, and businesses around the UK, on dealing with the growing menace of cybercrime.

    • Phishing

      Someone just like me had the ability to push up whatever they wanted to the DNS server. This is usually fine: only the Authoritative DNS server for a site is allowed to replicate changes. It did mean, however, that anyone that was looking at this particular DNS server would be directed to something they were hosting themselves. I’m guessing it was a Phishing attempt as I did not actually go to their site to check.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why Australians can fight for the IDF, but not the Islamic State: ASIO chief explains

      ASIO boss David Irvine has tried to explain how and why Australians join foreign armies, and allay concerns about the Coalition’s proposed anti-terrorism laws. But given its murky past, ASIO’s reassurances should be taken with a grain of salt, writes freelance journalist Andrea Glioti

    • Kiev’s Dirty War

      “According to our soldiers’ information, the Ukrainian forces are using chemical ammunition on DPR territory.”

      “Once a shell bursts, a gas affecting sense organs is emitted. We have this information.”

      In early June, Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters said Kiev forces attacked Semyonovka near Slaviansk with an unknown chemical weapon.

    • Israeli Strike in Gaza Strip Kills 3 Top Hamas Commanders

      sraeli airstrikes killed three senior commanders of the armed wing of Hamas early Thursday in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, the most significant blow to the group’s leadership since Israel’s operation in Gaza began more than six weeks ago.

    • Drone attack kills two Pakistani Taliban commanders in Afghanistan

      Foreign forces’ drone strike killed three Taliban commanders, two alleged Pakistani insurgents and wounded five others in eastern Kunar province, Afghan officials said on Wednesday.

    • Global Warriors Revisiting Iraq’s Wounds to Destroy the Arab World
    • Op-Ed: Where would more citizenship revoking lead to?

      The UK right wing government wished to recall passports and citizenship for any UK citizen who went to fight for the Islamic State (IS) militants in the Middle East. One of the first of many letters of this nature to be sent was to a Mr. Mohamed Sakr, who had been stripped of his citizenship after arriving at the estate owned by his family in London in 2010.

    • Civilian Victims Of U.S. Drone Strike In Yemen Reportedly Receive Over $1 Million
    • Anatomy of an air strike: Three intelligence streams working in concert

      Besides human spotters on the ground, the main U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq include armed surveillance drones fitted with cameras, radar and communications eavesdropping gear. Jet fighters also carry camera pods under their wings. The intelligence-gathering effort includes the most high-tech ground-based and space-based communications eavesdropping equipment. Drones and camera-equipped jets were the first surveillers to return to Iraq after 2011. The Air Force had pulled its 21 Predator drones from Iraq that year, redeploying them to Kuwait for patrols over the Middle East.

    • What have we accomplished in Iraq?

      What have we accomplished in Iraq? And isn’t it time we left them alone?

      We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a U.S. attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., and the story was false, but it was enough to turn U.S. opposition in favor of an attack.

      This month, yet another U.S. president — the fifth in a row — began bombing Iraq. He is also placing U.S. troops on the ground despite promising not to do so.

      The second Iraq war in 2003 cost the U.S. some two trillion dollars. According to estimates, more than one million deaths have occurred as a result of that war. Millions of tons of U.S. bombs have fallen in Iraq almost steadily since 1991.

      What have we accomplished? Where are we now, 24 years later? We are back where we started, at war in Iraq!

    • ISIS: Region-wide Genocide Portended in 2007 Now Fully Realized

      American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly brutally murdered on video by terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). The development would at first appear to portray a terrorist organization openly declaring itself an enemy of the West, but in reality, it is the latest attempt by the West itself to cover up the true genesis of the current region-wide catastrophe of its own creation now unfolding in the Middle East.

      As early as 2007, the stage was being set for the regional genocide now unfolding from Syria and Lebanon along the Mediterranean to northern Iraq. The “sudden” appearance of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, otherwise known as ISIS, betrays years of its rise and the central part it played in Western-backed violence seeking to overthrow the government of Syria starting in 2011 amid the cover of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

    • Op-Ed: CIA-linked General Haftar strikes Islamist militia in Tripoli

      Many reports speak of airstrikes in the Libyan capital Tripoli as being launched by an unknown party against Islamist militia from Mistrata on Monday August 18.
      Actually there should be no mystery ab

    • CIA-Linked Haftar claims international support for Tripoli attack

      Even though CIA-linked General Haftar claims his bombing of Misrata militia in Tripoli was a joint effort with the international community there seems little attention let alone analysis in the media of what is happening in Libya

      On Monday, Libyan air force units loyal to General Kahlifa Haftar struck positions of the Misrata militia in Tripoli. The militia has been in a prolonged battle at and near the Tripoli international airport with allies of Haftar, the Zintan brigades. The battle has moved closer to the center of Tripoli now as unidentified militia have fired Grad rockets into two upscale districts killing three people according to local residents. The area is home to many foreign brand outlets including Marks and Spencer, and Nike and fancy cafes.

    • McCain visits Raytheon, speaks in favor of Tomahawk

      At a town hall Tuesday with Raytheon Missile Systems employees, Arizona’s senior senator said the cut would have been to “probably the best and most-proven missile system ever.” McCain also spoke in support of a modernization program for the Tomahawk that would make the weapon threat-relevant through about 2040.

    • This Obama-Appointed Judge Signed off on the CIA Killing of a U.S. Citizen

      David Barron now sits on the bench of the First Circuit Court of Appeals despite having given President Barack Obama the legal justification for killing an American citizen overseas without a trial.

    • What If the Military or CIA Had Killed Mike Brown?

      Not so, however, if the killing had come at the hands of the military or the CIA. In that case, the soldier or the CIA agent would be immune from criminal prosecution and civil suit, so long as they claimed that the killing took place as part of a “national-security” operation. Once their lawyers cited those two magical words, every judge in the land, both state and federal, would immediately slam down the gavel and declare “Case dismissed.”

    • The CIA Double-Dip: Drugs, Fraud, & the JFK Assassination

      The investigation uncovered incontrovertible, if unsurprising, proof of involvement in the operation by the Mob (in this case, the Chicago Outfit) by Texas oil interests, Saudi financiers, and, of course, the CIA.

      But unearthing new evidence about the CIA’s role in the drug trade for the past 50 years no longer provides much grist for the gossip mill. Time marches on. Gary Webb was right. Everybody knows it.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Interactive: 19 calls for transparency around US drone strikes

      The drone campaign in Pakistan, which is conducted by the CIA, remains an official secret. In June 2012, Obama declassified the campaigns in Yemen and Somalia – but details of the attacks remain shrouded in mystery. The US has declined to release even the most basic details about the strikes, such as when or where they take place. As a result we also rarely know who or what they hit. But a growing number of voices have been calling for transparency.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Hewlett-Packard posts surprise revenue gain after PC sales jump

      Hewlett-Packard Co posted a surprise increase in quarterly revenue after sales from its personal computer division climbed 12 percent, but a flat to declining performance from its other units underscored the company’s uphill battle to revive growth.

      HP sales rose a mere 1 percent to $27.6 billion in its fiscal third quarter from $27.2 billion a year earlier. Wall Street analysts had forecast a modest drop in revenue to $27.01 billion.

    • Does Apple throttle older iPhones to nudge you into buying a new one?

      Every time Apple releases a new iPhone there’s a dramatic spike in the number of Google searches for the phrase “iPhone slow”. Does this give credence to the conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down iPhones to encourage you to buy a new one?

    • Scotland’s currency choices in the event of independence

      (1) Use the pound anyway

      Even if the Westminster government does not agree to share the pound, Scotland could use it anyway, without a say in monetary policy
      Ecuador and Panama, for example, have adopted the US dollar

      (And, I should add, Tasmania uses the Australian dollar … There, that should get me in trouble for today … :-D )

      (2) Join the euro

      It would not be an immediate option

      (3) Launch a Scottish currency

      Without its own borrowing history, an independent Scotland might find the currency quickly loses value when traded and markets could demand a higher interest rate on its debt

    • The 1% are “wealthy beyond measure”

      Welcome to globalization. Wasn’t it supposed to make up all richer?

    • More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries

      Despite the economic recovery, more than 46 million Americans — or 1 in 7 — used a food pantry last year. And a surprisingly high number of those seeking help were households with military members, according to a new survey by Feeding America, which is a network of U.S. food banks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Real Reporting Is About Revealing Truth; Not Granting ‘Equal Weight’ To Bogus Arguments

      Journalism Professor Jay Rosen has long been the leading advocate in condemning the prominence of “he said/she said” journalism in the mainstream media. This kind of journalism is driven by a complete distortion of what it means to be an “objective” journalist. Bad journalists seem to think that if someone is making a claim, you present that claim, then you present an opposing claim, and you’re done. They think this is objective because they’re not “picking sides.” But what if one side is batshit crazy and the other is actually making legitimate claims? Shouldn’t the job of true journalists be to ferret out the truth and reveal the crazy arguments as crazy? Rosen’s latest calls out the NY Times for falling into the bogus “he said/she said” trap yet again. This time it’s on an article about plagiarism and copyright infringement charges being leveled from one biographer of Ronald Reagan against another. We wrote about this story as well, and we looked at the arguments of both sides, and then noted that author Craig Shirley’s arguments made no sense at all, as he was trying to claim ownership of facts (something you can’t do). Furthermore, his claims of plagiarism were undermined by the very fact that he admitted that competing biographer Rick Perlstein’s quotes were different. Shirley claimed that “difference” in the quotes showed that Perlstein was trying to cover up the plagiarism, but… that makes no sense.

    • When quoting both sides and leaving it there is the riskier call

      If the weight of the evidence allows you to make a judgment, but instead you go with “he said, she said,” you’re behaving recklessly even as you tell yourself you’re doing the cautious thing.

      It’s my job to notice when a piece of standard brand pressthink “flips” around and no longer works as intended. I have one.

      For a very long time, the logic behind “he said, she said” journalism, and “get both sides,” as well as, “I’m sorry, but we’ll have to leave it there” was that operating this way would reduce risk to a news publisher’s reputation. (See my 2009 post.) When you have both sides speaking in your account, you’re protecting yourself against charges of favoring one or the other. By not “choosing” a side — by not deciding who’s right — you’re safer.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Saudi Arabia: Surge in Executions

      19 Beheaded in 17 Days; 8 for Nonviolent Offenses

    • It’s not just Ferguson, it’s what’s brewing for the rest of America that should scare us: opinion and live chat

      I wish I had retained more from my college Latin American politics class. The banana republics, juntas, civil wars and CIA interventions have all faded, but there’s one concept that stuck in my head and it has been haunting me ever since – the four key components necessary to make a healthy democracy.

    • Why Do Police In Suburban St. Louis Have More Powerful Weapons Than Marines In Afghanistan?

      We’ve been covering some of the more troubling details of police militarization across the US, and specifically what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri over the past couple of weeks. However, we knew fairly little about the actual military equipment being used there. And we know that sometimes scary looking military equipment isn’t necessarily so scary when put to use. So it’s interesting to read a former Marine’s analysis of the military equipment being used in Ferguson, which more or less confirms that it not only looks scary but absolutely is scary. Much of the discussion is about how all those “non-lethal” “riot control” weaponry is actually quite dangerous and potentially lethal.

    • St. Louis Police Release Video Of Kajieme Powell Killing That Appears At Odds With Their Story

      The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released cell phone footage Wednesday of the police shooting of Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old black man killed on Tuesday in St. Louis, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

      A convenience store owner called 911 on Tuesday when he suspected Powell stole drinks and donuts from his shop, according to a recording of the call. Another woman called to report Powell was acting erratically and had a knife in his pocket.

      Two officers in a police SUV responded to the calls, the cell phone video shows. When the officers got out of their vehicle, Powell walked in their direction, yelling and telling them to shoot him already.

      St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Tuesday that both of the officers opened fire on Powell when he came within a three or four feet of them holding a knife “in an overhand grip.”

      But the newly released cell phone footage undermines the statement, showing Powell approaching the cops, but not coming as close as was reported, with his hands at his side. The officers began shooting within 15 seconds of their arrival, hitting Powell with a barrage of bullets.

    • A private military company is now providing security in Ferguson, for just one person

      A menagerie of armed state and federal agents have filtered in and out of Ferguson, Missouri for more than a week as unrest has grown there, and now even a private military company is joining the mix. Asymmetric Solutions, a PMC that claims to be “capable of deploying highly qualified former special operations personnel” to “anywhere on the globe in a moments notice” will be providing a security detail to an unnamed individual visiting Ferguson.

    • New Police Hacking Technologies Raise Familiar Questions About Civil Liberties

      “We need automatic transparency, rigorous external oversight, and a statutory framework that explicitly prohibits abuses . . . When the government knows everything about its citizens, we become subjects,” Crockford told Truthout.

      “But the future is ours if we claim it, if we reject fear and embrace our own power. If we want our children to have anonymity in a crowd, privacy at home, and the possibility for freedom in their world, we must make it so.”

    • Love: The threat of a police state

      Police assaulted peaceful, nonviolent protesters, arrested Antonio French, an alderman in nearby St. Louis, and tear-gassed Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

    • Ferguson, Ethnicity and American Idealism

      Shame on those in government and media, those who trample others underfoot and then claim more of the same is the way to our “greater good”. May the Great Spirit who dwells above and within us all convict you of shame, which seems to be of the only two arrows in your quivers: shame and fear.

    • Somalia: Three Journalists Tortured While in Detention

      Reporters Without Borders condemns the closures of Mogadishu-based Radio Shabelle and Sky FM and arrests of 19 journalists and employees on 15 August, and the continuing detention and reported torture of the directors of the two radio stations and their owner.

    • Targeting Pakistan on Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka

      The civilized Western World has always shown double standard of human rights in the modern era of open diplomacy, economic development and maintenance of fundamental rights of various peoples. But, it is regrettable that major powers like the US and some European countries have continuously been acting upon duplicity regarding human rights violations. In this regard, their silence over the massacre of the Rohingya Muslim community at the hands of the Rakhine extremist Buddhists in Burma (present Myanmar), perpetual bloodshed of Kashmiris in the Indian occupied Kashmir and unending genocide of several Palestinians in Gaza might be cited as example. In these cases, US-led Western World which was overtly or covertly supporting the state terrorism of Myanmar’s military junta, Indian and Israeli regimes was strongly condemned by the Islamic Word’s intellectuals. In wake of Muslim tragedy, it was also exposed that world’s apex body, the UNO has also been following double standard of human rights, and has become instrument of America and its allies at the cost of the Muslim World.

    • James Puz: Kennedy deserves credit for civil rights

      Hair-brained, if not totally moronic, theories emerged. The new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, was the culprit. while others thought the military-industrial complex hatched the plan. The mob (pick one) paid a trigger man, while the CIA was viewed as the guilty party. The Soviets were thought capable of killing our president. Even Cuban exiles were targeted with unfounded accusations. In the end, a discontented Oswald, alone or in concert with others, eventually became the fall guy. Or was he a patsy? In any event, nobody came up with a specific reason for why the president had to be killed.

    • The Rise Of The Mafia Nation

      A collaboration between governments and organized crime is nothing new, of course, with corruption being a characteristic of their operations in whichever field of criminality they pursue. Pay offs and backhanders, considerations and favors have all played their part in sealing a relationship between criminals and government officials, with some government agencies seeking to use the mafia in order to further their goals. The CIA asking the mafia to knock off Castro might seem a bit wild-eyed and optimistic, but it was hardly unthinkable.

    • The luck of the Irish

      This autobiography was written eight years ago, and then self published overseas and secured. The reason for this subterfuge was the autobiography contained my dealings with ASIO and covert agencies in the UK and the United States of America while working in China.

      Since these events took place I have been gagged by ASIO “Dire consequences would befall me should I ever speak of these events.” I had organised for my autobiography to be released after my death so as my family would finally know the reason why our lives were irrevocability devastated by the aforementioned covert agencies.

    • [Bush partner:] The tortuous debate over the CIA’s ‘torture’ report

      The CIA’s objection to releasing the report seems strange because in 2012 Attorney General Eric Holder announced that there would be no prosecution of CIA interrogators. The CIA’s fear must be that whatever conduct the report blames them for is so terrible that it could ignite another round of intelligence “reforms” like those of the 1970s Church Committee which obstructed intelligence-gathering for many years.

    • Wyden: ‘Big league’ economy needs long-term transportation funding

      “If a 19-year-old had hacked into the Senate computers the way this was done, that person would be sitting in jail right now.”

      Although they were CIA computers, Wyden said the agency had stipulated they contained Senate Intelligence Committee files. CIA staffers launched the search to discover if the committee had obtained an internal CIA study while investigating a now-defunct detention and interrogation program for terrorism suspects. The Senate report is pending.

    • The not so transparent government

      First, CIA officials broke into computers that were being used by the committee — a clear constitutional violation — and then, using false information, tried to have committee staffers prosecuted. CIA Director John Brennan apologized for spying on the senators’ activities. President Obama, in a news conference on Aug. 1, said the Intelligence Committee was free to issue its report, “the declassified version that will be released at the pleasure of the Senate committee.”

      But Brennan’s apology must not have been sincere, and the committee, to its displeasure, learned that the CIA has “redacted” — read: censored — key elements of the report. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the committee, said she couldn’t release the report because the CIA had attempted to redact key details that “eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions.”

    • Congress and CIA battle over torture investigation
    • CIA should answer for its crimes

      He asks: “Did any CIA agent get indicted for torturing people? No.

      “Did any CIA agent get indicted for destroying the videotapes that showed the torture? No.

      “Did any CIA agent get indicted for murdering prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq? No.”

    • President Barack Obama’s admission of torture by the CIA, and Navi Pillai’s International probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka.

      But in Sri Lanka there were no torture committed against the terrorists. There were no torture of the terrorists for the simple reason that in the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka the Armed Forces knew where exactly the terrorists were and there was no necessity to interrogate terrorists taken as prisoners under tortured to get information with regard to; movements of terrorists or where they were hiding. There were also Tamil civilians who gave information of meeting sites of terrorists to enable the Sri Lanka Air Force use precision bombing.

    • What the CIA is trying to hide

      Beginning in the 1990s, and accelerating after September 11, the CIA flew terrorism suspects to secret police custody in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Libya. Many of them were tortured. Starting in 2002, the CIA began operating secret prisons all over the world: Thailand, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Afghanistan, Djibouti, briefly Guantanamo Bay.

      There, the agency subjected detainees to torturous “enhanced interrogation techniques,” in a program designed and implemented by two contractor psychologists named James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) authorized a great deal of this brutality—but the CIA made false factual representations to OLC in order to obtain that authorization, and tortured detainees in ways that were never authorized. Two CIA detainees, Manadel al-Jamadi and Gul Rahman, died as a result.

    • Yet Again, CIA is Concealing Information Americans Should See

      Once again, the CIA is concealing information that Americans have a right to know, and once again President Obama should ensure its release.

      The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to release a landmark report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. But Obama allowed the CIA to oversee redactions, and it predictably went to town with the black marker. According to committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the redactions “eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions.”

    • EFF Pioneer Awards Honor U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Trevor Paglen, and Frank La Rue

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation will honor former U.N. Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and artist Trevor Paglen during its annual EFF Pioneer Awards in San Francisco. The award ceremony will be held the evening of October 2 at the Lodge at the Regency Center in San Francisco. Keynote speakers will be Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos, better known as the Yes Men, who are known for their elaborate parodies and impersonations to fight government and corporate malfeasance

    • The Bankers To The Terrorists

      WikiLeaks documents prove that the United States has known for quite some time (years) that the fictitious pseudo-state of Qatar bankrolls Hamas as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ikhwan. While Iran is the world’s major facilitator of terror, Qatar is their bank. The US Administration knows this well.

    • Press Freedom Groups Rally For Journalist James Risen, Who Faces Jail Time for Refusing to Reveal Sources

      At an Aug. 14 news conference in Washington, D.C. press freedom organizations rallied to support New York Times reporter and author James Risen, who faces prosecution for refusing to disclose his sources. In advance of the press event, held at the National Press Club, organizers presented a petition to the U.S. Justice Department with more than 100,000 signatures, demanding that the federal government stop its six-year prosecution of Risen.

    • Cracking Down on Truth-telling

      President Obama entered office vowing to run a transparent government. But instead he has clamped down on leaks, prosecuted whistleblowers and threatened truth-telling journalists with jail if they don’t reveal sources, as Marcy Wheeler recounts.

    • James Risen vs. the security state
    • The Real “Dirty Wars” in the Horn of Africa – “Expiration by Starvation” Sanctioned by the Obama White House

      The Great Horn of Africa Famine started at the beginning of 2011 and lasted about 2 years. 250,000 dead in Somalia from starvation equals 10,000 dying a month, 300 or more dying a day on average. And this just in Somalia where there was aid being distributed. Next door in the Ogaden, with a population of almost as many as in Somalia the same famine was raging and no aid what so ever was being allowed.

    • Traffic Enforcement: Over-Zealous and Heavy-Handed

      The use of CCTV for handing out traffic fines is something that has raised concerns from a number of sources, for example Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who accused councils of “bending the law as a means of filling their coffers with taxpayers’ cash.” The Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) also published guidance on this practice, stating that cameras should only be used “when other means of enforcement are not practical”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How to Save the Net: Keep It Open

      For all of its history, the Internet has enjoyed the fruits of an openness principle: the idea that anyone can reach any site online and that information and data should be freely exchangeable. Applications such as YouTube and Skype have been introduced without the need to seek permission of any Internet service provider or government. Nearly 3 billion users enjoy myriad mobile apps and other Internet-based services thanks to the open standards, common interfaces, and rich connectivity that permissionless innovation has delivered.

    • How AT&T’s Own Legal Fights Show It’s Lying In Claiming Broadband Reclassification Would Create Collateral Damage

      Earlier this year, we shared our own comments to the FCC on the issue of net neutrality and keeping the internet open. The key, as we noted, is that if this issue is left to the FCC (as appears to be the case), it should use Title II reclassification in combination with forbearance to narrowly tailor rules for broadband access providers that maintain an open internet. As with so many things related to net neutrality, this gets a bit down in the weeds, and is a bit wonkish, but it’s important to understand. Even the EFF — a longtime critic of Title II reclassification — changed its position in light of other factors, but made sure to emphasize forbearance as a key part of this. Forbearance, in short, is effectively a statement from the FCC that it’s using certain rules, but has committed to not enforcing parts of what it’s allowed to do under those rules.

    • Behind The Veil Part 5: Comcast Metrics For All Employees As Simple As ABC, Always Be Closing

      In the ongoing fallout Comcast is facing due to the high-pressure sales tactics of their non-sales employees, the company has consistently indicated that these employees are not behaving in a manner consistent with the company’s wishes. The common thread in most of these stories consists of customer service duties being handled by customer retention reps as often as not and complaints or attempts to cancel service being met with sales pitches instead of service. Comcast has specifically indicated that these examples are outside of the way they train employees to conduct their business.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Delaware Passes Law Granting Residents The Right To Pass On Digital Goods To Their Heirs

      As rights holders have made clear time and time again, your digital purchases are never truly yours. If someone decides to shut down a service, it’s likely your purchases will vanish into the ether along with the service itself. If you want to resell your mp3s or ebooks, you’re facing any number of unsettled legal questions and various industries pushing the assertion that your money was exchanged for a limited use license, rather than the acquisition of a product.

    • Copyrights

      • Thomson Reuters: we’ll take your articles if you don’t tell us not to

        We received an email from Thomson Reuters last evening, informing us that unless we write back to them in 14 days denying them the use of our articles, they will take the lack of refusal, as an indication of consent to use them. What’s more, they will presume that we have given them the “right to use, incorporate and distribute the Content in its Services to its subscribers and to permit such subscribers to use and redistribute the Content.”

      • Thomson Reuters Thinks Not Responding To Their Email Means You’ve Freely Licensed All Your Content
      • Dotcom’s Millions Will Remain Frozen, Court Decides

        Kim Dotcom’s battle to regain control over millions in seized assets has received another setback. Today the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by the High Court by extending the restraining orders against the entrepreneur’s property until at least April 2015.

      • Judge Says You Don’t ‘Own’ The Facebook ‘Likes’ On Your Page

        In a world where people are always pushing the idea of “intellectual property” over just about everything, is it really any surprise when people assume all sorts of property-like rights in things that clearly shouldn’t have any such thing? In a slightly bizarre lawsuit over the control of a Facebook fan page for the TV series The Game, the creator of the page, Stacey Mattocks, argued that BET effectively appropriated the approximately 6.78 million “likes” the fan page got. The details of exactly how this happened aren’t worth getting into, but suffice it to say it was a contract negotiation gone wrong, as BET sought to bring the fan page under its official control. All that matters here is that among the other charges in the lawsuit, Mattocks claims that BET got Facebook to transfer those likes to its official page, which she alleged is a form of unlawful conversion.

      • Monkeys, ghosts and gods ‘cannot own copyright’ says US

        In the wake of a controversial move by Wikipedia to distribute a monkey ‘selfie’ for free, against the wishes of the photographer whose camera was used, the US has issued new guidance that says animals, ghosts and gods are all banned from owning copyright

      • Australian Movie Studio Boss Skips Out On Public Q&A, Claiming It Will Be Filled With ‘Crazies’
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