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02.15.15

Links 16/2/2015: CrunchBang is Back, OpenPi Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Works Great As A Linux Ultrabook

      Lenovo’s new X1 Carbon is made of carbon-fiber construction as implied by its name and is very thin and light at 0.70″ and just under three pounds. Lenovo claims that the X1 Carbon can last up to 10.9 hours with its lone battery, and continues with all of the features collected over the years with the various ThinkPad laptops/ultrabooks. This third-generation X1 Carbon also has much anticipated improvements to the keyboard and touchpad/trackpoint.

  • Kernel Space

    • Changes Already For Linux 3.20 (Linux 4.0?) Are Very Exciting

      While we don’t yet know whether the next kernel version is Linux 3.20 or Linux 4.0, what we do know is that this next Linux kernel revision will contain a lot of exciting updates.

    • The Staging Pull For Linux 3.20 Has A Lot Of Changes All Over The Place

      The latest pull requests sent in for the Linux 3.20 kernel are the various subsystems maintained by Greg Kroah-Hartman. The changes for the USB drivers, char/misc, driver core, staging, and TTY/serial aren’t too jaw-dropping, but for staging at least is the usual heavy churn between kernel cycles.

    • Reiser4 Updated For The Linux 3.18 Kernel

      For those still relying upon the Reiser4 file-system and haven’t migrated off to ZFS On Linux or Btrfs, the out-of-tree Reiser4 kernel code has been updated for compatibility with the Linux 3.18 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • MakuluLinux KDE 7.0 is Live !

        Finaly the wait is over, the new MakuluLinux KDE 7 has been released, grab your copy from the KDE section in menu or simply click here.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.7 Brings Many Fixes, Supports NetworkManager 1.0, Etc

        The KDE community has done a Valentine’s weekend release of KDE Frameworks 5.7.0, the newest version of the add-on libraries used by KDE applications, KDE Plasma 5, and a growing number of other projects like LXQt.

      • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.7.0

        February 14, 2015. KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.7.0.

        KDE Frameworks are 60 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms.

      • Local KDE meetings rock, and you should be in one

        A bunch of KDE enthusiasts from the sunny Barcelona (Spain), decided to organize a dinner in a restaurant to celebrate the launch of KDE 4.6. At that time, I was not even using KDE 4 (I was a happy KDE3 user instead!) but I though it would be nice to meet other people and discuss about the problems I had with KDE 4.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Three Things That Annoy Me With Using GNOME 3

        At the beginning of this month I wrote how I switched back to Fedora Linux on my main system to replace Ubuntu and also wrote about changes I made when installing Fedora 21 on my main system, a new ThinkPad ultrabook with Broadwell processor. There’s three small things that annoy me the most though about using GNOME 3.x.

  • Distributions

    • CrunchBang Linux is back from the dead

      It was just a little while ago that the Linux world was shocked to find that CrunchBang Linux had died. The CrunchBang developer felt like it was time to move on, and so CrunchBang users were going to have to let it go and find a new minimalist distro for their computers…until now.

    • CrunchBang rises from the ashes
    • Arch Family

      • Some Linux distributions never change

        In comparison, the set-up of Arch Linux was a breeze and extremely fast once the hard drive partionning was figured out. I got a laptop that does not isn’t UEFI enabled so I had more choices and did not have to go through the rather complex tools such as parted or gdisk. I got to use cfdisk which I have relied on for several years.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat wants you to contain yourself and your workloads

        Red Hat’s newest push in the virtualization realm is containers. You know, the good old BSD jail-type containers that leverages your hardware better than any other virtualization technology? Yes, that one.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora is sponsoring HackRU Spring 2015!

          After much anticipation, we have decided to sponsor HackRU, a hackathon occurring on April 18-19th 2015 at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ). As a hackathon attendee, I have noticed relatively little FOSS activity within the recent collegiate hackathon scene — as an organisation that strives to lead, not follow, Fedora will be sponsoring HackRU in April.

        • s3cmd 1.5.2 – major update coming to Fedora and EPEL

          As new upstream maintainer for the popular s3cmd program, I have been collecting and making fixes all across the codebase for several months. In the last couple weeks it has finally gotten stable enough to warrant publishing a formal release. Aside from bugfixes, its primary enhancement is adding support for the AWS Signature v4 method, which is required to create S3 buckets in the eu-central-1 (Frankfurt) region, and is a more secure request-signing method usable in all AWS S3 regions. Since releasing s3cmd v1.5.0, python 2.7.9 (as exemplified in Arch Linux) added support for SSL certificate validation. Unfortunately, that validation broke for SSL wildcard certificates (e.g. *.s3.amazonaws.com). Ubuntu 14.04 has an intermediate flavor of this validation, which also broke s3cmd. A couple quick fixes later, and v1.5.2 is published now.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • elementary OS: is financial support the only way to help a project grow?

              elementary OS is in news again, and for wrong reasons. In the latest blog post, the team accused those users of ‘cheating’ who chose not to ‘pay’ for the software.

            • 5 Reasons To Use Linux Mint And Not Ubuntu

              On the surface there isn’t much difference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu as Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu (except for Linux Mint Debian Edition) and apart from the desktop environment and default applications there isn’t really a difference.

              In this article I am going to list 5 reasons why you would choose Linux Mint over Ubuntu. Now I am well aware that Ubuntu users are going to come back and say that there are loads of reasons to use Ubuntu over Linux Mint and so the counterargument to this list will be made available later in the week.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • OpenPi review – a Pi of Things

      The OpenPi on first look is a curious device – a nondescript black box with merely an HDMI and a microUSB slot. There’s no real indication of what it might be, however cracking it open reveals a custom board connected to a Raspberry Pi compute module. Inside as standard is a wireless dongle and a bluetooth receiver for a mini-wireless keyboard/mouse combo. It seems quite simple, and to be fair in this state it is – it’s basically just a (fully-functioning) Raspberry Pi.

      That’s actually the point of it though. With the compute module and the OpenPi board, you have full access to the usual Raspberry Pi power and settings and such. The selling point of the OpenPi though is that you can then take this board – which is completely open hardware – and modify the plans yourself to make a custom board that fits your needs. Wireless Things thinks of it as an easier way to create an internet of things, and they’ve succeeded in creating the platform to do this really.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Study says Android 4.0 and iOS 8 are most likely to crash your apps

          Ever had the feeling that certain phone operating systems are more likely to crash your apps than others? It’s not just you. Crittercism has posted its latest breakdown of crash reports from about 20,000 apps, and it’s clear that certain operating systems aren’t as friendly as others. On Android, Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) is most likely to wreck your day; KitKat (4.4) is close behind, while Lollipop’s early reputation for glitches apparently doesn’t affect apps. With Apple devices, however, the tables turn. While iOS’ app crash rate is lower overall, iOS 8 is a bit more problematic than its predecessor. That’s not surprising given that Apple hasn’t had as much time to tackle issues in 8, but you may feel better if you’re still holding on to 7.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Update for Samsung Galaxy S4 Features New User Interface: Device Receives New Google OS

          The update is now available for users in different parts of the world such as Russia, India, Slovakia, Germany and Czech Republic. Most European countries can also enjoy the update already. However, Galaxy S4 users from the US should wait for their mobile carriers to roll out the update.

        • iOS versus Android: The text bubble witch hunt

          There’s another petty iOS versus Android controversy brewing. Apparently some folks have gotten it into their heads that Apple is teaching people to hate anyone who doesn’t use an iPhone by displaying SMS messages in green and iMessage messages in blue.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Update For Moto X 2013 Edition Delayed, Motorola Reveals The Reason Behind It

          In October 2014, Google announced the arrival of a new firmware update, Android 5.0 Lollipop. Motorola has been among the brands that promised the new firmware would be available to its devices. Motorola said that Android 5.0 Lollipop would be introduced in its flagships devices including 2013 editions of Moto G and Moto X.

        • Moto E and Moto Maxx get Android 5.0 Lollipop update

          The mobile phone manufacturer made the Android update announcement on their official Twitter account on Feb. 12, saying that Android 5.0 Lollipop can now be downloaded for Moto Maxx and Moto E in selected markets.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 36 Won’t Bring Native YouTube HTML5 Playback, But Will Sync Pinned Tiles

        Only ten days from today, on February 24, Mozilla will upgrade its ever-popular Firefox web browser to version 36.0, a release that won’t bring the highly anticipated native HTML5 playback on YouTube, according to a recent discussion on the Mozilla bug tracker, but will finally allow users to sync their new tab page’s pinned tiles across all of their devices where Mozilla Firefox is installed.

      • uBlock ad blocker added to Mozilla’s extensions site

        If you’re in the market for an efficient ad blocker, you can now get uBlock from Mozilla’s extensions site to add it to your Firefox browser. uBlock can be a great alternative to AdBlock Plus and other ad blocking extensions since it seems to use less system resources.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD-Based m0n0wall Firewall/Network OS Announces The End

      For anyone that in the past decade has looked for an embedded firewall/network operating system to build your own router or network device has likely encountered m0n0wall. While m0n0wall has been popular over the years and is powered by FreeBSD, the lead developer of m0n0wall has tossed in the towel after twelve years in development.

    • End of the m0n0wall project

      on this day 12 years ago, I have released the first version of m0n0wall to the public. In theory, one could still run that version – pb1 it was called – on a suitably old PC and use it to control the Internet access of a small LAN (not that it would be recommended security-wise). However, the world keeps turning, and while m0n0wall has made an effort to keep up, there are now better solutions available and under active development.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • I ♥ Free Software 2015

      It is that time of the year again – the day we display our affection to our significant other …and the Free Software we like best.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Deaf group sues Harvard, MIT over online courses

      The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) filed a lawsuit (PDF) against Harvard and MIT yesterday, saying the two universities are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because they don’t properly caption their online course offerings.

Leftovers

  • Should we be flattered or worried that the British accent turns foreigners on?

    I do hope Time Out magazine didn’t rush its Global Dating Survey in order to publish it in time for Valentine’s Day. It would be very much against the spirit of the age. Sir John Chilcot has shown us the way: if an investigation is important, it mustn’t be rushed. We must take time to draw the right conclusions even if hell freezes over first – surely the perfect opportunity for Tony Blair to take up skiing.

  • As Dynasty’s Son, Jeb Bush Used His Connections Freely

    The stream of requests to the White House from Jeb Bush, a young but well-connected Republican leader in South Florida, ranged from the weighty and urgent to the parochial and mundane.

    In 1985, he sent an emotional letter pressing his father, Vice President George Bush, to investigate the detention of Cuban children in Texas, asking, “Shouldn’t there be some compassion?” (The vice president’s reply: “Heartbreaking.”)

    In 1989, after his father became president, Mr. Bush offered his recommendation for the next Supreme Court opening. (“Your suggestion will be given thoughtful consideration,” a senior aide responded.)

  • Woman stung by scorpion on flight from LA to Portland

    A scorpion stung a woman on the hand just before her flight from Los Angeles to Portland took off.

    Flight 567 was taxiing on the runway Saturday night when the passenger was stung, Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove said. The plane returned to the gate, and the woman was checked by medics. She refused additional medical treatment, but she didn’t get back on the plane.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Mind control experiments on the mentally ill — Vermont State Hospital and the CIA

      I asked Karen what she thought they were trying to do her. She said that she had no doubt she was a research subject. The purpose of all this was just an extension of MKULTRA – mind control experiments. The CIA and their “Frankenstein” doctors were investigating how and when a person will break, when they will talk, at what point you can make a person do anything you want and when is too much, where they will just die.

      [...]

      Apparently, 3,000 mysterious deaths from 1952-1973 at the Vermont State Hospital, hundreds of thousands of dollars funneled to the Hospital from the CIA, giving deadly and experimental drugs to mental health patients, putting them in strait jackets, giving them no bed, and making them urinate on the floor is not worthy of investigation. Is this not news in part because the CIA was acting criminally, or because these were expendable mental health patients? You tell me.

    • Could supermarkets for poor people tackle the UK’s chronic food poverty?

      It is rare to meet someone in the poverty world who does not profess to be motivated by politics, faith or social injustice. But Mark Game, who runs Community Shop, seems almost embarrassed by the idea that he might be trying to do anything other than run a successful business. Practical problem-solving, he says, is his thing. He is not religious, and he is not really a politics person.

    • Pakistan Polio Update: Vaccination Team Attacked In Khyber Agency; Second Team Disappears In Baluchistan Province

      Resistance to polio campaigns in Pakistan have been growing since the 2011 U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. The CIA had used a vaccination campaign as a cover for gathering information on the whereabouts of the al Qaeda leader.

  • Security

    • Facebook bug could have ERASED the ENTIRE WORLD

      The flaw potentially allowed mass deletion of photos using the identification number of a target album and an attacker’s Facebook Android app token. Any scripts to pull off this trick could be stopped by security controls like rate limiters.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Libya’s Unraveling Means

      Largely overshadowed by the crises in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, Libya’s unraveling has received comparatively little attention over the past few months. As this oil-rich nation veers toward complete chaos, world leaders would be wise to redouble efforts led by the United Nations to broker a power-sharing deal among warring factions.

    • Dome of fire: Libya’s largest oil field sabotaged, company releases footage

      Libya’s Waha Oil Company has posted a video on its Facebook page showing the fire that raged through El Sarir oil field and halted oil flows to the Hariga port, in what is believed to be an act of sabotage.

    • Prison Dispatches from the War on Terror: Confessed Plotter Gives Insight into Radicalization

      In 2006, 21-year-old Fahim Ahmad was arrested and charged with leading a group of young men who planned to bomb power stations, take hostages and “behead politicians” in order to compel the Canadian government to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Ahmad was also accused of planning to travel abroad to join Islamist insurgents fighting in foreign conflicts.

    • al-Qaeda’s Feud with Denmark

      Denmark is a relatively small country, with a population of 5.7 million. But it is relatively wealthy, being the 35th largest economy in the world, producing more goods and services than Malaysia, Israel or the Philippines. Its military is more important than the country’s small size would suggest, since it is well supplied with fighter jets.

      The country is clearly in al-Qaeda’s sights, and not only because of the Jyllands Posten publication in 2007 of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. A Danish secret agent Morten Storm, went public with claims that he was key to tracking down Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born propagandist for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen. On the basis of Storm’s information, he says, the US were able to launch drone strikes against al-Awlaki and to kill him in September, 2011. AQAP therefore has a vendetta against Denmark. The country also supported the Bush invasion and occupation of Iraq, so that Daesh / ISIL sympathizers have an animus against it. The Danish air force is bombing the radicals in Iraq nowadays.

    • New shooting in Copenhagen: 3 wounded, including 2 police

      Police say three people have been wounded, including two police officers, in a shooting in downtown Copenhagen.

    • Denmark On High Alert After Copenhagen Terror Attack Kills One

      Multiple reports indicated that shots were fired early Sunday morning at a Copenhagen synagogue. It was not immediately clear if the shooting was related to the earlier killing at the free speech event.

    • Gunman Believed to Be Behind 2 Copenhagen Attacks Is Fatally Shot, Police Say
    • Police Kill Suspect In Copenhagen Shootings

      Danish police shot and killed a man early Sunday suspected of carrying out shooting attacks at a free speech event and then at a Copenhagen synagogue, killing two men, including a member of Denmark’s Jewish community. Five police officers were also wounded in the attacks.

      Officials have not identified the perpetrator but say it is possible he was imitating the terror attacks last month in Paris in which Islamic radicals carried out a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom followed by an attack on Jews at a kosher grocery store.

    • Danish police believe they killed gunman behind two Copenhagen shootings that killed 2, wounded 5

      By early Sunday, Danish police hunting for the shooter in each attack — one of which has been labeled a terrorist act — had shot and killed a man who opened fire on them near a train station, officials said.

    • Police say Copenhagen gunman had criminal record, gang past

      A Danish filmmaker was killed in the first attack. Nine hours later, a security guard protecting a bat mitzvah near a synagogue was slain. Five police officers were wounded in the shootings.

    • Copenhagen shootings suspect was ‘known to police’

      The suspect was from Copenhagen but has not been named. He had been “on the radar” of the intelligence services, police said. They have recovered a weapon believed to have been used in the first attack.

    • Israeli leader calls for mass Jewish influx after attack

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, Israel is the only place where Jews can truly feel safe. His comments triggered an angry response from Copenhagen’s chief rabbi, Jair Melchior, who said he was “disappointed” by the remarks.

    • Danish chief rabbi responds to Netanyahu: Terror is not a reason to move to Israel

      Netanyahu responds to Copenhagen attack: Wave of terror attack in which Jews are killed for being Jews will continue – Jews of Europe, Israel is your home.

    • Declassified Report: US Helped Israel Obtain Hydrogen Bomb

      The US assisted Israel in developing the hydrogen bomb, according to a declassified report by the US Department of Defense. The move violated international laws the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act enacted in 1978 which codified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty the US signed.

    • US Confirmed Existence of Israeli H-Bomb Program in 1987

      Back in 1987, according to a tightly-held report produced for the Pentagon, (PDF) the Israelis were “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”

    • Rethinking the unthinkable

      A new report from the US National Academies looks at the ‘wildly, utterly, howlingly barking mad’ idea of geoengineering the climate.

      [...]

      The NAS report refers to ‘climate intervention’, a phrase that joins ‘climate engineering’ and ‘climate remediation’ as recent attempts to rebrand geoengineering. But at least with this new phrase there is recognition of the almost complete absence of engineering in geoengineering. The rapid growth of geoengineering as a form of magical thinking makes it easy to forget that the technologies are largely imaginary. Scientists talk as though we could cool the planet tomorrow. The truth is that our technologies are no closer to being able to do this than they were at the end of world war two. We may pretend towards certainty but when it comes to geoengineering, it is tempting to conclude that, as William Goldman said about Hollywood, “nobody knows anything”.

    • Chill factor at ‘CIA’ weather query

      A leading American climate scientist has said he felt “scared” when a shadowy organisation claiming to represent the CIA asked him about the possibility of weaponised weather.

      Professor Alan Robock received a call three years ago from two men wanting to know if experts would be able to spot a hostile force’s attempts to upset the US climate.

      But he suspected the real intention was to find out how feasible it might be to secretly interfere with the climate of another country.

    • Weaponized weather inquiry alarms Rutgers University climate scientist

      A climate expert was alarmed when a mysterious organization claiming to be part of the CIA asked him whether he would be able to identify cases of weaponized weather attempts against the United States.

    • What About CIA Query Over The Possibility Of Weaponised Weather

      How feasible it might be to secretly interfere with the climate of another country? A leading American climate scientist has said he felt “scared” when a shadowy organisation claiming to represent the CIA asked him about the possibility of weaponised weather.

    • Why CIA Movie The Interview Obstructs Peace in Korea

      The ending of the movie introduces a particularly unrealistic and irresponsible message: that killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will result in a successful revolution by liberal dissidents. Living conditions in North Korea are so harsh that a revolution would have happened long ago if the hardship was really blamed on the government, rather than on US-led sanctions and diplomatic offensives. Although hawks and anti-communists often point at emigration out of North Korea as evidence of widespread political dissidence within the country, the argument does not resist serious scrutiny. A 2005 survey of 1346 North Korean émigrés living in China found that 95% had left their country for economic reasons, with only 2% leaving out of political dissatisfaction. According to the South Korean Ministry of Unification, political refugees are a small minority even among the émigrés that chose to resettle in the South: out of the 20,108 that had resettled by April 2011, only 7% indicated leaving because of dissatisfaction with the system. A 2011 South Korean survey of 102 North Koreans émigrés in China further showed that, even though 80% acknowledged that the South Korean economy gave the possibility of a better life than in the North, only 2% would want Korea to be reunified under a capitalist system. Obviously, even even if Kim Jong-Un was not just replaced with a new socialist leader, the country would be much more likely to descend into a protracted civil war than transform into a liberal democracy. While Americans may think they can solve the problem of nuclear-armed warlords battling for supremacy by marching into Pyongyang, so will the Chinese. This would leave us at best with a new, bloody division of Korean lands, and at worst with a new World War.

    • U.S. Closing Embassy In Yemen

      The State Department confirmed late Tuesday that it has closed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff because of the political crisis and security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels.

    • CIA scales back presence in Yemen

      The closure of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen has forced the CIA to significantly scale back its counterterrorism presence in the country, according to current and former U.S. officials who said the evacuation represents a major setback in operations against al-Qaida’s most dangerous affiliate.

    • After Chaotic Withdrawal CIA Slashes Operations in Yemen

      With the takeover of Yemen by Shiite rebels, Western nations are stumbling over themselves to evacuate diplomats. The US announced its embassy’s closure, and Britain and France are soon to follow. But also racing for the exit is the CIA, potentially leaving Yemen – and the world – vulnerable to al-Qaeda attacks.

    • The chaos in Yemen is a much trickier problem for the US than people realize

      The US evacuation of its embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, leaves a Middle Eastern country with 25 million citizens, a leading Al Qaeda branch, and real estate along one of the world’s busiest oil transit choke points without much of an American diplomatic presence.

    • Fmr. U.S. Amb. to Russia:McFaul: Putin Believes CIA led Ukrainian ‘Coup’
    • The Government Is Losing Territory In Eastern Ukrainians’ Hearts And Minds

      Ukraine’s 10-month attempt to reclaim its easternmost provinces has only made locals there hate the central government even more.

    • Putin Wins, Obama Loses, in Draft Plan for Ukraine

      U.S. President Barack Obama is not mentioned there; but, for him to reject their deal, and to send lethal weapons to Ukraine now and so escalate the war and its massive bloodshed — which has already cost “up to 50,000” dead and millions of refugees — would be extremely embarrassing for the United States: no American “boots on the ground,” just tens of thousands of Ukrainian corpses under it, in a war that Obama himself had initiated (and even the founder of Stratfor, the “private CIA” firm, says that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which started the war, was “the most blatant coup in history,” which it certainly was, and is increasingly recognized as having been).

    • Female suicide bomber kills 16 in northeast Nigeria

      A teenage female suicide bomber blew herself up at crowded bus station in northeast Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 16 and wounding 30 others.

      Most of the victims were children who had either been selling peanuts or begging for money at the time of the explosion, said witnesses.

    • PNP gave FBI the finger!

      They didn’t have a choice. Giving the FBI Marwan’s dirty finger is apparently part of the deal. In any case, we didn’t have the means to determine if the chopped finger belongs to Marwan. The US, on the other hand, has DNA sample from the imprisoned brother of Marwan as well as the facilities to perform the tests.

    • Free Syrian Army Sold Kayla Mueller to ISIS

      Jurgen Todenhofer, the German journalist who lived with ISIS recently in Iraq and Syria, said they had all the best weapons, and ISIS told him they buy all their weapons from the FSA. American taxpayers have sent their hard earned dollars to the FSA through numerous acts passed in the US Congress; most were championed by Sen. John McCain, Republican of Arizona. When Kayla was kidnapped, her parents contacted officials in Arizona, her home area, and they contacted Sen. John McCain.

    • Group plans to protest public presentation

      On Tuesday, a Laramie-based group called Wyoming Citizens Against Torture plans to protest a public presentation by Lynne Cheney, who will be accompanied by her husband and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

    • Telling the Truth About Religious Violence

      President Barack Obama committed the ultimate political blunder the other day. He blurted out the truth.

      Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, he warned his Christian brethren against “getting up on our high horse” when condemning the violence of Muslim terrorists.

      “During the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” he said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

      Naturally, all hell broke loose.

      The Rupert Murdoch army launched into full attack, supported by Rush Limbaugh air strikes. Rabid Fox News commentators, foaming at the mouth, fought each other for control of the mics to condemn the president’s remarks as “un-American” and, even worse, liberal. He was derided as irreligious, weak, and not a real American.

    • CIA torture undermined U.S. interests: Column

      U.S. ‘intelligence’ repelled moderates, boosted extremist recruitment in Middle East.

    • Why the CIA Killed Imad Mughniyeh

      The CIA doesn’t assassinate often anymore, so when it does the agency picks its targets carefully. The story uncovered last weekend by the Washington Post and Newsweek the CIA’s reported role in the February 2008 assassination of Hezbollah master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh is the stuff of a Hollywood spy thriller. A team of CIA spotters in Damascus tracking a Hezbollah terrorist wanted for decades; a custom-made explosive shaped to kill only the target and placed in the spare tire of an SUV parked along the target’s route home; intelligence gathered by Israelis, paired with a bomb built and tested in North Carolina, taking out a man responsible for the deaths of more Americans than anyone else until 9/11.

    • Americans bearing drones

      When President Aquino first faced the nation to speak about the raid that killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, better known as Marwan, but also left 44 Special

      Action Force troopers dead, he said the Philippine National Police had gathered “actionable intelligence” on the whereabouts of Marwan and his Filipino protégé,

      Basit Usman. The phrase has been repeated many times since, during the testimony of various police officers in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.

    • HOW AMERICA SCREWS UP THE WORLD WITHOUT EVER LETTING ITS PEOPLE KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING

      Brian Williams, American television network anchor caught telling his audience a fantasy version of his experience on a foreign assignment, has unintentionally provided us with a near perfect allegory and tale of caution about American journalism and the role it plays in politics and foreign affairs.

    • How Does the Pentagon Keep Fooling Reporters About Its Tech Research Agency?

      Last Sunday, Leslie Stahl used the coveted first segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes to do a puff-piece on the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Project Research Agency. Her story, which included a minor scoop about the agency’s work on cyber security, was covered all week in the tech press and gave DARPA another opportunity to strut its stuff on the national stage.

    • The long shadows of Augusto Pinochet: Peace Boat passengers meet survivors of the other 9/11 in Valparaíso, Chile

      For most North Americans, the mention of 9/11 evokes grey airplanes against white cirrus; slow television seconds; and the obscene inward folding of metal and glass.

      This collective memory is video-looped on CNN specials, honored by fire-fighter parades and nurtured at candlelit vigils, so that peripheral details – whether we were at biology class that day, or had told an ex we still loved them – can stick to its sides like post-it notes.

      But 9/11 has entirely different associations in Chile, more difficult to pin to a central image. For Erika Arbulu, who met with a Peace Boat group when the ship docked in Valparaíso last week, the day began with radio interference, and then military songs over the transmitter.

      At 7 am on September 11, 1973, Admiral José Toribio Merino’s navy captured the Chilean port city of Valparaíso. At 8 am General Augusto Pinochet’s army – secretly backed by the CIA – moved on Santiago. And by 2:30 pm, Chilean jets had bombed their own presidential palace and Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first popularly elected socialist president, was dead.

    • Former Army Sniper Pleads Guilty in Murder-for-Hire Conspiracy

      A former Army sergeant with the nickname Rambo pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to murder a federal drug agent and another man, in what the government has said was his post-military role as a contract killer.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • What does the Swiss Leaks tell news editors

      If you are in charge for a news organization, quit following the official statements all the time and start devoting more space and energy to look for those persons who are willing to talk, those potential journalists who are more than just “sources.”

      Instead of fearing the consequences and punishment, you can assure them to protect their identity.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans

      While Americans generate 2.6 kilograms of waste per person per day, or 5.7 pounds, to China’s 1.10 kilograms, the United States ranked lower on the list because of its more efficient waste management, Professor Jambeck said.

    • 140 whales die in beach stranding

      About 140 pilot whales which stranded themselves on a remote stretch of beach in New Zealand have died, an official said today.

    • Why Are So Many Environmental Activists Being Murdered?

      Jeannette Kawas was an accountant whose concept of value was broader than any balance sheet. No number could capture for her the natural wealth she saw in the forests, rivers, beaches and mangrove swamps of Punta Sal, near her hometown of Tela in northern Honduras.

      In the 1980s, cattle ranchers, resort developers and loggers all wanted a slice of this landscape. As their hunger grew, Kawas formed an environmental organization, PROLANSATE, to protect the land, and in 1994, it convinced the government to allow it to create and manage a new national park there.

      Within three months PROLANSATE renamed Punta Sal National Park to honor its founder, who was shot dead in her home on February 6, 1995. Years later a ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights said Kawas’s work in defense of the environment had motivated the murder.

    • The fight to save one of the world’s oldest fish species

      Water from the iced-over Connecticut River numbed my hands as I cradled a hard, scaleless fish at the US Geological Survey’s anadromous fish laboratory at Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Its back was dark brown, its belly cream. Five rows of bony plates ran the length of its thin body to the shark-like tail. Four barbels covered with taste buds dangled from its flat snout in front of the sucker mouth. At 20 inches it was a baby. Adults can measure 14 ft and weigh 800 pounds.

    • Climate science denialists in tailspin over hottest years

      All the recent declarations that 2014 was the hottest year on record seems to have prompted a spate of panic denial among climate change contrarians, denialists and ideologues.

      We’ve had a declaration of one of the “most extraordinary scandals of our time” from UK climate science manglers Christopher Booker and James Delingpole.

      The accusation is that climate scientists have been “fiddling” the world’s temperature data with the express motivation of showing the world is warmer than it really is.

    • Great Barrier Reef: warmer waters helping coral-eating starfish thrive

      The survival chances of crown-of-thorns starfish increase by as much as 240% if sea-surface temperatures rise 2C, say Australian researchers

    • Coalition Tells U.S. Export-Import Bank: Don’t Use U.S. Dollars to Finance Coal Project that Threatens the Great Barrier Reef
  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Real Ruler of Israel: Sheldon Adelson

      To assure this, they did an extraordinary thing: they founded an Israeli newspaper, solely devoted to the furthering of the interests of Binyamin Netanyahu. Not of the Likud, not of a specific policy, but of Netanyahu personally.

    • Storytelling ability connected Brian Williams with viewers but also led to his downfall

      …NBC has also declined to publicly discuss any details relating to Williams and his suspension.

    • Former Navy SEAL Says Brian Williams’ Embed Story Can’t Be True

      Embattled NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ claim that he once flew on a mission with Navy SEAL Team Six is far-fetched and likely untrue, one former SEAL said on Sunday.

      “What Brian Williams is saying, none of it can be true. For a reporter to be embedded with SEAL Team Six or any Tier One unit, that just doesn’t happen,” Don Mann, the former SEAL, told CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter.

    • 7 Controversial World Leaders the CIA Secretly Thinks Have Psychological Issues

      Pentagon…Vladimir Putin has a form of autism… same kind of people… urged Martin Luther King to commit suicide

    • Former CIA chief controls most of the media in Serbia – report

      American Fund “KKR investment”, headed by former CIA chief General David Petraeus, from October 2013 until this day, in less than a year and a half, has put under its control a significant part of Serbian media, internet portal “Vaseljenska” reported.

    • Inside the Drawings of a Cartoonist for the CIA

      Chip Beck hasn’t taken a typical path for editorial cartoonists. A self-taught artist, he’s mostly worked for the United States government, including for the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department. Closer to the end of his career than many local cartoonists, Beck remains as active as any of them.

    • WPost Is Lost in Neocon Fantasyland

      The neocons now control the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, a dangerous development for the American people and the world. Yet, the Post remains the more extreme of the two, pushing for endless confrontations and wars, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • VIDEO: Protesting George Friedman, CEO Of Stratfor, in Austin & San Francisco

      On January 22, journalist and political prisoner Barrett Brown was convicted in a Texas court of controversial charges. In addition to a 63-month sentence, Brown is expected to pay $890,250 in restitution to the private spy agency, Strategic Forecasting (a.k.a. “Stratfor”).

      This monumental fine, which turns a theoretically free citizen into an indentured servant of a corporation, is meant to hold Brown responsible for a hack by the Anonymous group LulzSec — even though the government admitted it didn’t have any concrete evidence to show he’d taken any material part in the hack.

      Jeremy Hammond, a member of LulzSec, pled guilty in May of 2013 and was sentenced to ten years in prison. The hack, carried out under the instruction of the FBI’s agent saboteur and snitch Sabu, revealed millions of emails that showed the complex interrelationship between the private intelligence firm, multinational corporations, and the surveillance state. The emails also revealed how Stratfor had infiltrated activist groups from Texas to India.

      On February 2, 2015, George Friedman, Stratfor’s CEO, was scheduled to sign his book “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe,” at Book People, an independent bookstore in Austin, Texas. It would be Hammond’s 1,065th day in prison; Brown had been incarcerated for 874.

    • The CIA Is Bringing Amazon’s Marketplace to the Intelligence Community

      Last year, the Central Intelligence Agency took the 17 agencies within the intelligence community to the cloud through a ground-breaking $600 million contract with Amazon Web Services.

    • Spy agencies around the world
    • Facebook Thinks Some Native American Names Are Inauthentic

      The social network has a history of telling its users that the names they’re attempting to use aren’t real. Drag queens and overseas human rights activists, for example, have experienced error messages and problems logging in in the past.

    • Facebook’s Name Policy Strikes Again, This Time at Native Americans

      What do drag queens, burlesque performers, human rights activists in Vietnam and Syria, and Native Americans have in common? They have all been the targets of “real names” enforcement on Facebook. And despite reports from the media last year that seemed to indicate that Facebook has “fixed” the issue, they’re still being targeted.

    • NSA sends Valentine’s Day tweets to insist it’s not listening in on ‘pillow talk’

      The NSA has had a lot of fun with the lovey-dovey holiday by apparently debunking myths that their analysts spy on couples whispering sweet nothings in bed.

    • Our World Eerily Resembles ’1984′ and Might Be Even Scarier

      In 1949, George Orwell published a book that conveyed a dystopian society in a perpetual state of war under the watch of its totalitarian dictator, “Big Brother.” At the time, it was a fascinating concept partly because it echoed the deepening fears around the danger of absolute political authority in Spain, Germany and the Soviet Union. Now, in the Digital Age, “1984” is becoming eerily relevant once again—not because of the political environment, but because of how surveillance technology has started to potentially compromise our privacy.

    • Macedonia: Massive surveillance revelation: 20 000 people wiretapped

      On 10 February, EDRi-member Metamorphosis, expressed grave concern about the publicly announced allegations of mass and unauthorised surveillance of citizens. Invasions of privacy directly affect freedom of expression in Macedonia, and fuel the overall climate of fear and silence.

    • Bugging revelations stun journalists as inquiry unfolds

      One of those bugged all those years ago was Nick Kaldas, now Deputy Commissioner. Another was journalist Steve Barrett.

    • ‘Vexatious’, ‘annoying’ and ‘disruptive’ Press Gazette barred by Met from asking more RIPA questions

      The Metropolitan Police has barred Press Gazette from requesting information about its use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to spy on journalists.

      Last night, the force rejected a Freedom of Information Act request on the grounds that it was the sixth question submitted since September.

      Explaining its decision to reject further FoI requests from Press Gazette, the Met said in an email that it has the right to refuse “vexatious requests… which are intended to be annoying or disruptive or which have a disproportionate impact on a public authority”.

    • The Untold Story: How Radius Brought the Edward Snowden Doc ‘Citizenfour’ to America

      Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who head the distribution label, discuss the secrecy involved with releasing the controversial film (code names, encrypted messages) and their fears about how it would be received (“Would Harvey fire me?”).

    • 10 things the GCHQ-NSA privacy ruling means for you

      On 6th February 2015, in an unprecedented ruling, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled that for a period of seven years the UK’s intelligence services had been acting unlawfully in accessing communications collected by the NSA.

      [...]

      GCHQ now has seven years of data gathered through a process now ruled unlawful. Seven years of data gathered about millions of innocent people. Privacy International has challenged GCHQ to delete it all, and are working on putting together an online form to help people do so for themselves.

    • Libertarian Students Honor Their Chosen Hero, Edward Snowden

      There are no heroes, only heroic actions. That’s what NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told a cheering crowd of more than 1,000 libertarian students at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. this weekend. Thanks to the magic of modern technology, Snowden was able to accept his award via video feed, and answered questions from ISFL President Alexander McCobin.

  • Civil Rights

    • Basis for Case in Brooklyn Police Shooting: No Threat Led Officer to Fire

      On the surface, the police shooting of an unarmed man in a housing project stairwell in Brooklyn seemed like a freakish accident.

      The officer, Peter Liang, told his superiors that his gun had gone off unintentionally, the bullet rattling off a wall and into an unsuspecting man’s chest, killing him. Even the New York City police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said there was no suggestion that the officer intended to shoot the man, Akai Gurley.

    • Detained reporter’s family finds new lawyer to represent him in Iran

      The family of a Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran for more than half a year has engaged a prominent defense attorney known for taking sensitive cases involving Americans ensnared in legal issues in the country.

    • Pennsylvania’s governor suspends the death penalty

      “A moratorium is just a ploy,” the association said in a statement. “Make no mistake, this action is not about waiting for a study– it’s about the governor ignoring duly enacted law and imposing his personal views against the death penalty.”

    • Is US democracy in peril?

      In the US, there has been a culture of impunity for the CIA operatives responsible for torture of suspects in the wake of the 9/11 attacks

    • European Parliament to investigate CIA’s torture and rendition operations in EU

      The European Parliament today voted to investigate the extent of the CIA’s detention, torture and rendition programme in EU countries.

      The decision comes two months after the US Senate intelligence committee published a redacted summary of its six year investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme.

      The European Parliament’s committees on civil liberties, foreign affairs and human rights previously investigated the CIA’s programme in 2006, and they will now resume their inquiry with new details from the Senate’s report.

    • CIA torture: “Torture calls into question the very basis of our values”

      The torture methods used by the CIA to extract information from detainees have sparked another debate in Parliament in the wake of the US Senate publishing its report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme. MEPs were asked to vote on two different resolutions on this on 11 February, but only one of them was adopted. We talked to S&D member Birgit Sippel and EPP member Elmar Brok to find out why their political groups had different views on the issue.

    • MEPs disagree over what to do about CIA torture report

      The torture methods used by the CIA to extract information from detainees have sparked another debate in Parliament in the wake of the US Senate publishing its report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.

    • Parliament to resume investigations into CIA-led operations in EU countries

      Parliament’s civil liberties, foreign affairs and human rights committees will resume investigations into the CIA’s alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in EU countries, in the light of the US Senate’s new revelations of the use of torture by the CIA, says a resolution passed on Wednesday. MEPs also again call on EU member states to investigate these allegations and prosecute those involved.

    • My Gitmo client’s interpreter worked for the CIA

      Latest embarrassing incident demonstrates that military tribunals cannot mete out justice to detainees

    • Guantánamo Hearing Suspended when Defendants Claim Court Translator Previously Worked at CIA Torture Site
    • Gitmo Translator’s Past At CIA Throws Wrench In Sept. 11 Trial

      Government prosecutors confirmed in a Guantanamo Bay war court today that an interpreter for one of five alleged co-conspirators in the Sept. 11 attacks had earlier worked for the CIA. But they insisted no federal agency had tried to place the interpreter on the defense team to gather intelligence. Defense lawyers cried foul and asked that all further proceedings be suspended until the issue is resolved.

    • 9/11 lawyers trade barbs over CIA ‘black site’ translator turned Guantanamo defense linguist
    • Gitmo translator ID’d as CIA ‘black site’ agent
    • USA: Guantánamo 9/11 military hearing halted after defendant claims court interpreter worked at CIA black site
    • Coincidence or infiltration? Trial of alleged 9/11 plotters halted after accused ‘recognises interpreter’ from CIA ‘black site’
    • CIA chief under pressure to resign after leak of lawyer’s memo

      John Brennan, the CIA head, has strongly denied that his organisation spied on Senate staff working on last year’s report on the agency’s involvement in torture and secret rendition – but memos from a CIA lawyer suggest the contrary.

    • The CIA Lawyer Who Led a Secret Effort to Spy on the Senate

      When the CIA got caught spying on Senate staffers working on the 6,000 page torture report, John Brennan, who heads the agency, denied the transgression. “As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into computers, nothing could be further from the truth,” he said on March 11, 2014. “That’s beyond the scope of reason.” Four months later, the CIA Inspector General found that the CIA did, in fact, improperly spy on the Senate intelligence committee. After that, Brennan apologized.

    • ACLU Won’t Give Up on Full CIA Torture Report

      The ACLU had gone to the court in Washington, D.C., last month seeking to protect its right to receive a full copy of the 6,963-page report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA’s use of torture.

    • ACLU Wins Round on ‘Torture Report’

      The American Civil Liberties Union early Monday withdrew an emergency motion filed late last month in its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that blocked the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from collecting all copies of the committee’s full, unredacted report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program.”

    • CIA needs just 6 years to release data, not 28

      The CIA has some good news for a group demanding a copy of the agency’s database of nearly 12 million declassified documents: it won’t take 28 years to release the set, only six.

      A Central Intelligence Agency official told a federal judge Friday that the spy agency has found a way to streamline the review process so that the 11.6 million pages of records requested by the open government outlet Muckrock can be released with only a “spot check” of the documents for snippets of stray classified information that might get tangled up in the files during the release process.

    • Shielding US officials involved with torture has decadeslong precedent
    • White House won’t return spy doc without court approval

      The Obama administration isn’t planning on handing 6,900 classified pages of a Senate Intelligence Committee report back to Capitol Hill, until a court has time to weigh in.

      In a court filing on Friday, the Department of Justice said it would let a lawsuit over the secret report play out before giving it back to Congress, as the new chairman of the Intelligence Committee has asked.

    • 9/11 defendant sodomized at CIA ‘black site’ still suffers injuries, lawyer says

      A lawyer for a man accused of helping to plot the 9/11 attacks said today his captive Saudi client was rectally abused while in CIA custody, “and continues to bleed now, at least eight years later.” He and other men were forced to submit to rectal exams with excessive force, conducted by CIA operatives. The other words for this are rape, or sodomy.

    • 9/11 Defendant Claims Ongoing Injuries From CIA Torture

      The one refreshing thing about the hearings in the 9/11 military commission case at Guantanamo this week is that defense lawyers are now allowed to say the word “torture” without the censor blacking out the audio feed. And the word “torture” came up a lot.

    • 9/11 defendant still suffering from CIA ‘black site’ injuries, lawyer says at Guantánamo
    • 9/11 defendant still suffering from ‘black site’ injuries, lawyer says at Guantánamo
    • Medical records sought for Saudi facing Guantanamo trial
    • The only US government employee jailed over torture has been released
    • John Kiriakou: CIA Whistleblower Freed, Would Do It Again
    • ‘No one went to jail but me’: CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou speaks out
    • Espionage: Leaking Against the Impossible
    • Oh, No: The ACLU Helped Jail CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou

      The ACLU, one of the United States’ most respected civil liberties organizations, collaborated with President Reagan’s CIA in writing secrecy laws that enabled the prosecution of Bush-era CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou, according to Mark Ames at Pando Daily.

    • EXCLUSIVE: US President Ordered Torture, Jailed CIA Agent Tells Sputnik

      John Kiriakou is out of prison two years after his conviction under The Espionage Act. In his first exclusive interview after his release, Kiriakou talked to Sputnik about torture, prison life and whistleblower protections and how torture committed by the CIA “was official U.S. policy.”

    • Leaking Against the Impossible: Whistleblower John Kiriakou, CIA Torture and Leaking

      This case reveals, as do whistleblowing cases in general, that the discloser is presumed to be guilty, the tribal member who went against the creed. The result of that disclosure – exposing an illegal program, implemented by individuals who, one would think, would be the subject of prosecution – is evaded. Twisted logic ensues: the perpetrator of abuse escapes the exposure; and the one doing the exposing received due punishment. Rules, not substance, matter.

    • Finding Creative Ways to Torture

      After World War II, Americans led the way in establishing landmark human rights principles, including a repudiation of torture. But more recent U.S. leaders have chosen to disgrace those ideals by devising euphemisms and end-runs to continue the barbaric practices, as Peter Costantini describes.

    • VIDEO: Freed CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Says “I Would Do It All Again” to Expose Torture
    • Freed CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Says “I Would Do It All Again” to Expose Torture
    • The real heroes of the War on Terror: 6 brave Americans who defied Bush’s torture doctrine

      If it hadn’t been for sergeant named Joseph Darby, we might never have known about the abuses at Abu Ghraib

    • American heroes who said no to torture
    • This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you

      “Enhanced interrogation”: the George W. Bush administration bureaucrats who coined the term had perfect pitch. The apparatchiks of Kafka’s Castle would have admired the grayness of the euphemism. But while it sounds like some new kind of focus group, it turns out it was just anodyne branding for good old-fashioned torture.

      Unfortunately, the debate around it unleashed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report has largely missed the point.

      Certainly, the report did provide overwhelming evidence that torture did not produce useful intelligence. The CIA had concluded previously that torture is “ineffective”, “counterproductive,” and “will probably result in false answers.”

      An FBI agent wrote that one prisoner had cooperated and provided “important actionable intelligence” months before being tortured. Some CIA agents and soldiers reportedly questioned the legality of the policies and resisted carrying them out.

      A Bush Justice Department lawyer acknowledged: “It is difficult to quantify with confidence and precision the effectiveness of the program.” In any case, it is inherently impossible to know that any intelligence purportedly extracted by torture could not have been elicited by legal interrogation.

    • ​CIA torture based on ‘voodoo science’ of advocates – US intelligence expert
    • Fordham faculty petitions to revoke CIA director’s honorary degree

      A new, faculty-initiated petition is requesting that Fordham University revoke its honorary degree to John Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

      Calling Brennan’s honorary degree “indefensible,” the petition calls upon Fordham University to revoke the degree, citing what the petitioners call his defense and support of torture.

    • Fordham University Faculty Members Want CIA Director John Brennan’s Honorary Degree Taken Back
    • Was Jeffrey Sterling Trial a Gov’t Effort to Divide Investigative Journalists & Whistleblowers?

      In January, a federal jury in Virginia convicted former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling on nine felony counts, including espionage. Prosecutors accused Sterling of leaking classified information about a secret operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program to journalist James Risen of The New York Times. Risen later revealed how the risky operation could have inadvertently aided the Iranian nuclear program. Supporters of Sterling described him as a whistleblower, but prosecutors claimed he leaked the information to settle a score with the agency. Sterling is scheduled to be sentenced in April. He faces a maximum possible sentence of decades in prison. We speak with Norman Solomon, who reported from the Sterling trial. “We’ve got to support investigative journalists and whistleblowers. We can’t allow the government to drive a wedge between the two,” Solomon says, co-founder of RootsAction.org, which has launched public campaigns to support both Sterling and Risen.

    • Barney Frank: Making a case against torture

      It was this mindset that informed the decision to unleash the CIA to use the methods that the Senate Intelligence Committee report correctly criticizes. If our very survival as a nation was imperiled by Islamic fanaticism, then some justification might have existed for Cheney’s sneering dismissal of any concern that we were brutalizing prisoners and his lack of any regard for the fact that dozens of undeniably innocent people were among the victims.

    • Guantánamo diary… The men behind the wire

      I’m not sure how one is supposed to review a book like Guantánamo Diary. It’s not literature; its historical account of a complex episode is subjective; and perhaps a fifth of its contents are redacted. Some of the pages are comically over-censored: a slab of black with only one word left uncut. Page 301 begins “But anyway. . .” and then, there are seven pages of redactions (see picture below). But even if Guantánamo Diary is not a perfect book, it is a necessary one.

    • Woman Says Cop Beating Caused Miscarriage

      Kenya Harris sued the City of Albany, Ga., police chief John Proctor and officers Ryan Jenkins and Richard Brown, Jr. for excessive force, assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress.

    • Turkish courts being turned into ‘revenge’ instruments says outgoing top judge

      The outgoing head of Turkey’s top court launched a final broadside against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, warning that the judiciary was being turned into an “instrument of revenge” by politicians.

    • Malaysian cartoonist Zunar arrested for criticising Anwar Ibrahim ruling

      Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque – better known as Zunar – taken into custody after using Twitter to criticise judiciary involved in sodomy case

    • New Report on Lynching Reveals Sinister Legacy of ‘Racial Terrorism’ in America

      Capital punishment and ongoing racial injustice in the United States are “direct descendents” of lynching, charges a new study, which found that the pre-World War II practice of “racial terrorism” has had a much more profound impact on race relations in America than previously acknowledged.

      The most comprehensive work done on lynching to date, the investigation unearthed a total of 3,959 racially-motivated lynchings during the period between Reconstruction and World War II, which is at least 700 more killings than previously reported.

    • The police need to be reminded of their place in a free society

      From monitoring sales of Charlie Hebdo to using facial recognition technology on innocent people, Britain’s police are showing a lack of respect for our freedoms

    • Kevin Davis wrongly killed by police after calling 911 for help

      Kevin Davis did the right thing. On December 29, Kevin called 911 for help. His girlfriend, April, had just been stabbed and the man who did it, Terrance Hilyard, fled the scene. Within minutes, the family dog, Tooter, and Kevin were each fatally shot by Dekalb County Police Officer Joseph Pitts.

    • Shot three times by police, then isolated in hospital. Why was Kevin Davis’s family barred from seeing him?

      Police in Georgia who cuffed a man to his hospital bed for two days after he was fatally shot by an officer have been accused by his family of barring them from visiting him to stop full details of the shooting from being disclosed.

      Kevin Davis was detained at Grady hospital in Atlanta after being shot three times by a DeKalb County police officer, who was responding to a 911 call made by Davis and his girlfriend when she was stabbed by another man at their apartment in the suburb of Decatur.

    • Walking While Brown, Chapter 6,782

      In further evidence U.S. police forces include way too many racist thugs who slam ‘em to the ground and beat ‘em up first and (possibly) think second, Madison, Ala. police partially paralyzed a 57-year-old Indian gentleman after assaulting him for taking a morning stroll through his engineer son’s affluent white neighborhood. The cops were called after a caller declared Sureshbhai Patel “suspicious,” apparently believing he was scouting garages for the right place to plant a bomb because he hates our freedom, when in fact he was admiring the clean streets before going in to help take care of his newborn grandson. When police accosted him, he repeatedly said “No English” and pointed to his son’s nearby house, but police just pounded him anyway. Surely an understandable mistake, yes? No, said Hank Sherrod, the family’s attorney, who did not mince his words. “There is nothing suspicious about Mr. Patel other than he has brown skin.” The family is suing. On their part, Madison police admitted no crime was committed. They did suspend the officer, launch an investigation, and wish Mr. Patel “a speedy recovery.” Only in America, where this sort of thing inexplicably keeps happening, day in and day out, far too often, and will likely continue to until a big enough fuss is made about it.

    • Miami cops flood Waze with fake police sightings

      Hundreds of Miami police officers aren’t happy with Waze’s police-finding feature, and they’re not content with asking Google to remove it. According to NBC Miami, a number of cops in the city are taking matters into their own hands, downloading the app and inundating it with fake police sightings. We’re sure a lot of people love the app for that particular feature, as they can use it to make sure they’re driving well below the speed limit in the presence of law enforcement. Some American officers told AP last month, though, that the app could pose a threat, as wanne-be cop killers can easily use it to find a target.

    • Hundreds protest police shooting in Washington state

      Hundreds gathered in southeastern Washington on Saturday to protest police brutality in the wake of a deadly shooting of a man who had been throwing rocks at the police.

      Before the midday rally, children and adults hand-lettered signs, calling for justice for Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who witnesses say was running away when police fired on him Tuesday in a busy intersection.

    • Protesters Hold Rally outside CIA Headquarters in Virginia

      American anti-war activists gathered in front of a CIA base in Virginia, asking for the shutdown of Guantanamo prison.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyer doubts admissions will affect Dotcom

        The first of seven people indicted over Kim Dotcom’s now defunct Megaupload website has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement charges.

      • YODA Back, It Is: Law To Let You Actually Own Your Devices Even When Copyright Gets In The Way

        Last year, we wrote about Rep. Blake Farenthold introducing a small, but important piece of copyright legislation, the You Own Devices Act (YODA), which just says that if you buy some piece of computerized equipment, you can sell it with any included software, without having to get permission from the software provider. As we noted, the reality is that this is just making it clear that the first sale doctrine applies to computer equipment too — which shouldn’t need a new law, but some tech companies (especially in the networking space) feel otherwise.

      • ISP’s “Three Strikes” Scheme is Weird and Broken

        Eircom was one of the first ISPs in Europe to implement a voluntary “three strikes” anti-piracy program but strangely it’s now hiding the prospect of disconnections from customers. Together with music group IFPI, they also fail heavily on the piracy education front.

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    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  15. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  16. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  17. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  18. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  20. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  21. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  22. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  24. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  25. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  26. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  27. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  28. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  29. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  30. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day


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