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01.27.15

Links 27/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Dell Precision With GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Finland’s million dollar list: an open source guide to the country’s startup investors

    As a result, Finland’s government has invested heavily in the country’s startup scene, resulting in some major post-Nokia success stories such as billion dollar startups Rovio and Supercell.

  • Security

    • Facebook denies outage due to Lizard Squad hack

      The Lizard Squad hackers’ group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s outage on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook officials, however, denied it was a hack attack, saying it occurred after they introduced a change affecting configuration systems.

    • Why screen lockers on X11 cannot be secure

      Today we released Plasma 5.2 and this new release comes with two fixes for security vulnerabilities in our screen locker implementation. As I found, exploited, reported and fixed these vulnerabilities I decided to put them a little bit into context.

      The first vulnerability concerns our QtQuick user interface for the lock screen. Through the Look and Feel package it was possible to send the login information to a remote location. That’s pretty bad but luckily also only a theoretical problem: we have not yet implemented a way to install new Look and Feel packages from the Internet. So we found the issue before any harm was done.

    • Now-Closed KDE Vulnerabilities Remind Us X11 Screen Locks / Screensavers Are Insecure
    • Tuesday’s security updates
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Google Secretly Gave WikiLeaks Data To US Government

      Incident happened almost three years ago but gag order on Google kept the search giant silent

      Google handed over data belonging to WikiLeaks to the US Government, but was not allowed to tell the group for almost three years.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • ‘Profiteering’ care agency ‘took money’ from workers

      A “profiteering” care agency took hundreds of pounds from low-paid carers who were desperate for work, a BBC London investigation has found.

      HCA Professionals, based in Barking, east London, promised carers jobs if they paid for unnecessary and “highly unprofessional” training.

      Criminal record checks were charged for but not submitted and work did not materialise, but cash was not returned.

      The company, run by Chris Rigland, denies all wrongdoing.

    • Improbable as It May Seem to WaPo, Greek Voters Doubt Austerity Is Required

      Witte ends his article with Greek economist George Pagoulatos warning that Syriza’s voters “are not ready to accept the kind of compromise that the situation requires.” Witte describes Pagoulatos as “a former government adviser,” but doesn’t note that the governments he advised presided over some of the worst economic performance in Greece’s history, from November 2011 to June 2012. Perhaps voters might be forgiven for being skeptical of the benefits of the kind of compromises that Pagoulatos thinks are required (Beat the Press, 1/25/15).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Race For Rupert Murdoch’s Endorsement

      The race for Rupert Murdoch’s endorsement is on as potential presidential candidates line up to seek political support from the owner of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.

      Murdoch has long been a major political player whose media companies play a substantial role shaping the debate. Last year he declared that Fox News had “absolutely saved” the Republican Party by giving “voice and hope to people who didn’t like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN.” Prominent politicians on the national and international stage regularly seek out Murdoch’s opinion and approval.

    • The Kochs Will Spend $1 Billion on the 2016 Elections, but Deny It

      The political network organized by Charles and David Koch plans to spend an incredible $889 million to capture the White House in 2016 and deepen the Koch party’s bench in Congress. But that’s not what they’ll tell federal regulators.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook complies with Turkey page block order

      The BBC has learned that Facebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

      If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

      The site is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

    • TalkTalk forces porn filter choice

      TalkTalk says customers who have not yet chosen whether to activate net filters must opt out of its safety system if they wish to continue viewing adult material online.

  • Privacy

    • FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American’s Whereabouts With License Plate Readers

      The Drug Enforcement Administration has initiated a massive national license plate reader program with major civil liberties concerns but disclosed very few details, according to new DEA documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act.

      The DEA is currently operating a National License Plate Recognition initiative that connects DEA license plate readers with those of other law enforcement agencies around the country. A Washington Post headline proclaimed in February 2014 that the Department of Homeland Security had cancelled its “national license-plate tracking plan,” but all that was ended was one Immigrations and Customs Enforcement solicitation for proposals. In fact, a government-run national license plate tracking program already exists, housed within the DEA. (That’s in addition to the corporate license plate tracking database run by Vigilant Solutions, holding billions of records about our movements.) Since its inception in 2008, the DEA has provided limited information to the public on the program’s goals, capabilities and policies. Information has trickled out over the years, in testimony here or there. But far too little is still known about this program.

    • WikiLeaks threatens legal action against Google and US after email revelations

      WikiLeaks is fighting back in an escalating war with both Google and the US government, threatening legal action the day after demanding answers for the tech giant’s wholesale handover of its staffers’ Gmail contents to US law enforcement.

      The targets of the investigation were not notified until two and a half years after secret search warrants were issued and served by the FBI, legal representatives for WikiLeaks said in a press conference on Monday.

    • Argentine president seeks to dissolve spy agency after murky death of state prosecutor

      President Cristina Fernandez plans to disband Argentina’s intelligence agency amid suspicions that rogue agents were behind the mysterious death of a state prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

      In her first televised address since Alberto Nisman was found dead with a single bullet to the head, Fernandez said on Monday night she would send Congress a bill creating a new security body that would be more transparent.

    • The TSA Wants To Read Your Facebook Posts And Check Out Your Purchases Before It Will Approve You For PreCheck

      The TSA is disappointed that so few Americans have opted out of its bottle-tossing, package-groping screenings by signing up for its PreCheck program. For a few years now, the TSA has been selling travelers’ civil liberties back to them, most recently for $85 a head, but it’s now making a serious push to increase participation. The TSA can’t do it alone, so it’s accepting bids on its PreCheck expansion proposal.

    • [tor-talk] surveillance discussion in Finland

      Here is a very short summary of the surveillance discussion in Finland.

      Ministry of Defence of Finland published a report that proposes internet intelligence activities. The problem is that they also propose (Swedish FRA style) MITM to cross-border communication.

    • In Response to EFF Lawsuit, Government Ordered to Release Secret Surveillance Court Documents Today

      The government released two new FISC opinions this evening, both of which concern the transition of NSA surveillance to the oversight of the FISC in 2007. Neither of the two documents, available here and here, is the Raw Take order or the 2008 FAA order. The government has one additional production deadline in this case on March 2, 2015.

    • Lords should drop the Snooper’s Charter and let the parties set out their views at the election

      Yesterday’s Lords debate ended up with the future of the Snooper’s Charter amendments uncertain, after considerable criticism of both the process and the principle of reintroducing the Communications Data Bill into the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill. Further debate on the amendments may come back at the report stage of the Bill.

    • EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance

      We have a problem when it comes to stopping mass surveillance.

      The entity that’s conducting the most extreme and far-reaching surveillance against most of the world’s communications—the National Security Agency—is bound by United States law.

    • Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report

      Europe’s top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.

      The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe says in a report that it is “deeply concerned” by the “far-reaching, technologically advanced systems” used by the US and UK to collect, store and analyse the data of private citizens. It describes the scale of spying by the US National Security Agency, revealed by Edward Snowden, as “stunning”.

    • U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars

      The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

  • Civil Rights

    • Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

      A decade ago, 1,500 Holocaust survivors traveled to Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp’s liberation. On Tuesday, for the 70th anniversary, organizers are expecting 300, the youngest in their 70s.

    • Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Survivors mark camp liberation

      About 300 Auschwitz survivors have gathered at the site of the former Nazi death camp to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation.

      The commemoration will be held at the site in southern Poland where 1.1 million people, the vast majority Jews, were killed between 1940 and 1945.

      It is expected to be the last major anniversary event that survivors are able to attend in considerable numbers.

      [...]

      On the eve of the anniversary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew attention to discrimination against Jews in contemporary Europe, saying it was a “disgrace” that Jews faced insults, threats and violence in Germany.

      “We’ve got to fight anti-Semitism and all racism from the outset,” she said at a memorial event in Berlin.

      “We’ve got to constantly be on guard to protect our freedom, democracy and rule of law.”

    • Jury Convicts Former CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling of Leaking to Journalist & Violating Espionage Act

      Jesselyn Radack, a Justice Department whistleblower, attorney and director of the Government Accountability Project’s National Security and Human Rights Division, reacted, “It is a new low in the war in whistleblowers and government hypocrisy that CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling was convicted in a purely circumstantial case of ‘leaking.’ It shows how far an embarrassed government will go to punish those who dare to commit the truth.”

    • C.I.A. Officer Is Found Guilty in Leak Tied to Times Reporter

      The conviction is a significant victory for the Obama administration, which has conducted an unprecedented crackdown on officials who speak to journalists about security matters without the administration’s approval. Prosecutors prevailed after a yearslong fight in which the reporter, James Risen, refused to identify his sources.

    • Jeffrey Sterling, ex-CIA officer, convicted of leaking secrets to reporter

      A former CIA officer was convicted Monday of leaking classified details of an operation to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions to a New York Times reporter.

      Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/26/deliberation-to-reach-third-day-in-cia-leak-case/#ixzz3Q1X5Pwhm
      Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    • Jury convicts CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling on all nine counts including espionage

      I’m not surprised the jury found Sterling guilty of some of the charges: of leaking Risen information on Merlin and the operation he was involved in, and of retaining and then leaking Risen a document involved in that. The government multiplied the charges for both the 2003 New York Times story (at which point, Sterling and Risen had only spoken for two minutes and 40 seconds) and the 2006 book (by which point they had had more lengthy discussions), such that each leak amounted to multiple charges. In addition, the jury convicted Sterling of passing government property worth over $1,000, and of obstruction of justice.

    • Bad week for press freedoms in North America

      Also this week, reports emerged showing that a Mexican mayor ordered a cop to kill a journalist he didn’t like; the “officer said they decapitated the journalist, mutilated his body and abandoned it in a ravine.” The journalist and social justice activist had been reporting about government corruption and killings. Now he’s dead and so cannot report on his own death at the hands of his government.

    • NUJ condemns US government’s communications data grab

      British citizen and investigations editor of Wikileaks, Sarah Harrison, has had all her emails and digital data handed over to the US government by Google. It took two and a half years to provide the details and the delay has potentially limited her ability to challenge the communications data grab.

    • ‘Attack on journalism’: WikiLeaks responds to Google’s cooperation with US govt

      Google’s willingness to surrender the private emails of WikiLeaks staffers to the United States government amounts to an “attack on journalism,” a representative for the whistleblower group says.

      Kristinn Hrafnsson, an Icelandic journalist who joined WikiLeaks as the group’s spokesman in 2010, said he’s “appalled” that Google gave up his personal correspondence and other sensitive details to the US government in compliance with a search warrant served to the tech giant, apparently in an effort to bring charges against the anti-secrecy organization and its editor, Julian Assange.

    • Single rose left at station in memory of teen shot by Longview police

      A single rose was left in front of the Longview police station on Cotton Street in memory of the teenager shot Thursday night.

      Investigators say the woman, identified as Kristiana Cognard, 17, of Longview, walked in the front doors of the empty lobby and made her way to the after-hours assistance phone.

      “We don’t know how she got here,” said Longview police officer Kristie Brian.

      After hours the police lobby is closed and all the windows are shut down. Police say Coignard came up to the courtesy phone and was connected to dispatch who then sent officers out to her.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • More Than Three Billion People Worldwide Now Have Broadband

      We Are Social report shows 20 percent increase in broadband Internet users throughout 2014

    • Tomorrow Is Move Your Domain Day: Support The EFF And Get A Year For Free

      If you’ve been a Techdirt reader since the days of SOPA/PIPA, you probably know that Namecheap is a big supporter of a free and open internet, and was one of the first registrars to speak out against the bills. More recently, they’ve been big supporters of Techdirt directly, providing matching funds to our crowdfunding campaign for net neutrality reporting and sponsoring our sitewide switch to HTTPS. In October, they were one of only two companies that got a perfect score on the EFF’s ranking of service providers that stand up to copyright and trademark bullies, and many of us here at Techdirt use them for all our personal domain registration needs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Get Ready For Classic Songs Of The 50s & 60s To Disappear From Internet Streaming Thanks To Copyright Lawsuits

        Say goodbye to the musical hits of the 50s and 60s, if you like that sort of thing and listen via online services. Chances are they may start to disappear, as the places where you now get your streaming music realize they need to protect themselves against a possible massive liability. As we’ve covered for some time, there have been a few lawsuits filed recently over the licensing status of pre-1972 sound recordings. There’s a lot of history here, but a short explanation is that in 1909, when Congress redid copyright law, it didn’t think that sound recordings (then a relatively new concept) were copyrightable subject matter. Of course, in the years following that, as the “music business” turned into the “recording industry” pressure mounted by that industry led to a bunch of state regulations and common law creating copyright or copyright-like rights for sound recordings.

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