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03.31.15

Links 31/3/2015: New BlackArch Linux, Mozilla Firefox 37.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Writer on Linux philosopy opens up

    My favorite distributions are Fedora for my main workstation, laptop, and netbook. I generally use Centos for servers and firewalls. I have tried other distributions, but I prefer the Red Hat related ones because I started out with Red Hat 17 years ago, and I worked as a trainer for Red Hat for a while. It is what I know best.

    I also use Centos and, to a lesser extent, Fedora for teaching the classes I have written myself for the training portion of my business.

    I use LibreOffice Writer for writing documents like this article and the class lab projects, and I also keep records of the work I do for my customers; sort of a log of my activities. I use LibreOffice Calc for creating invoices, LibreOffice Impress for presentations, and GnuCash for my personal and business accounting needs.

    Thunderbird and Firefox provide for email and Internet browsing, respectively. I have added a few plugins to each to expand their capabilities to better meet my personal and business needs. For example, I use the Lightning calendar extension for Thunderbird and a Google extension to keep my calendar synchronized on multiple devices.

  • Desktop

    • Look Out World! China Is Giving Ubuntu GNU/Linux A Try

      For ages, China has been a world-leader in manufacturing and a tail-end-charlie in adoption of GNU/Linux on the desktop.

    • The Whole World Moves On To GNU/Linux
    • It’s Chrome OS’ turn for the Google Now upgrade

      Google has been increasingly pushing its Google Now virtual assistant and its “cards” convention across its different services and apps. The last one to get card-y was YouTube, where the cards will replace the older popups that relay additional information about videos. Now Google is teasing the next product to get a Google Now makeover, one that is probably long overdue anyway. The beta channel of its Chrome operating system has just gotten a new “Chrome Launcher 2.0″, and the most outstanding feature is the presence of Google Now.

    • Google Chrome OS Set to Get New Launcher

      Google is building a next generation interface for its Chrome OS operating system, which powers Chromebook laptop computers. Google is now offering users in its beta-channel the opportunity to preview features that are currently in development for Chrome OS, including a new launcher and a new look to the overall system.

    • Chromebook pilot tests open source learning resources

      Two teachers in Cumberland County are offering up their classrooms as testing ground for new technology. Students in Sarah Pharris’ seventh-grade language arts students and Jackie Hancock’s seventh-grade math students are using Chromebooks and a variety of Google learning tools to facilitate instruction in their classrooms.

  • Kernel Space

    • PulseAudio 7.0 To Enable LFE Remixing By Default

      Queued up in Git for the next version of PulseAudio, v7.0, is the enabling of LFE remixing by default after some upstream work was done by Canonical developers working on Ubuntu.

    • Linux Kernel 3.14.37 Is One of the Most Advanced LTS Version Available

      The latest version of the stable Linux kernel, 3.14.37, has been released by Greg Kroah-Hartman, making this one of the most advanced long-term support version available for download.

    • Systemd Developers Did NOT Fork The Linux Kernel
    • Community Developments: The systemd Project Forks the Linux Kernel

      The systemd project began as an alternative implementation of init, the software which brings an operating system on-line when a computer boots. Traditionally, Linux distributions have used either the SysV init software or Upstart. While these older init systems had their benefits, systemd developers saw room for improvement and the chance to leverage several underutilized features available to modern Linux distributions. Using systemd, distributions are able to more easily start services in parallel, simplify service dependencies and make easier use of cgroups.

    • Systemd Developers Fork Kernel, Docker Package Management

      A wave of minor myocardial infarctions were reported today as Linux users read the news of a systemd kernel fork. Most were treated and released with only one admitted to the hospital with more severe symptoms. Elsewhere, folks are beginning to discuss the feasibility of Docker replacing Linux package management solutions. But there are several obstacles to container package utopia.

      Systemd continues to be distrusted by many in the Open Source world while others have uncomfortably accepted its presence in their everyday lives. However, when news broke this morning that systemd developers have forked the Linux kernel and plan on developing a whole distribution around it, repercussions were felt community-wide. As Distrowatch.com reporter Jesse Smith said this morning, “It appears as though the systemd developers have found a solution to kernel compatibility problems and a way to extend their philosophy of placing all key operating system components in one repository.” Smith quoted systemd developer Ivan Gotyaovich saying, “There are problems, problems in collaboration, problems with compatibility across versions. Forking the kernel gives us control over these issues, gives us control over almost all key parts of the stack. We will soon have GNU/systemd, [a] much simpler, unified platform.”

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Privacy and Tails 1.3

        Privacy and security are difficult to come by in our progressively connected world. Advertisers track our browsing habits, employers monitor productivity and government agencies monitor our communications. Most operating systems do not take steps to protect our privacy or our identities, two things which are increasingly difficult to guard. Tails is a Linux distribution that is designed to help us stay anonymous on-line and protect our identity. Tails is a Debian-based live disc that we can use to scrub our files of meta data, browse the web with some degree of anonymity and send private messages. According to the project’s website, “Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to: use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network; leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.”

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

    • Arch Family

    • Slackware Family

      • Long Term Support (LTS) for KDE 4

        Some folks asked whether the new KDE4-based packages in my KDE5 repository would also apply to KDE 4.14.3. The answer: no they probably won’t, so you better not try what happens.

    • Red Hat Family

      • SME Server 9.1 Beta 1 Is Now Available for Download, Based on CentOS 6.6

        The Koozali SME Server development team, through Terry Fage, was pleased to announce today, March 30, the immediate availability for download and testing of the SME Server 9.1 Beta 1 computer operating system, which is now based on the upstream CentOS distribution, which in turn is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Red Hat Receives 2014 Global Partner of the Year: Technology Award

        Red Hat Inc(NYSE:RHT) announced that it was honored by Google for Work as the 2014 Global Partner of the Year: Technology. The award was presented to Red Hat at TeamWork 2015, the annual global partner summit of Google for Work, which took place in San Diego. The Technology partner of the year award that was awarded to the company emphasizes on the proven track record of Red Hat Inc(NYSE:RHT) of enabling the product adoption for its customers on Google Cloud Platform.

      • Fedora

        • Review: Lenovo X1 Carbon 3rd generation and Linux

          Considering that the fix for the first issue is widely available in most distributions and the second one is only a modprobe away, I’d say this laptop is pretty darned Linux compatible. I’m currently running Fedora 21 without any problems.

        • Fedora 22 Alpha Now Available For AArch64 & PowerPC64

          The alpha release of Fedora 22 was released a few weeks ago for the primary CPU architectures while finally coming out today is the F22 Alpha for 64-bit ARM and PowerPC architectures.

          Peter Robinson announced this afternoon the Fedora 22 Alpha release for AArch64 and Power64 architectures. These alternative architecture spins of the very promising Fedora 22 are primarily focused on the Server Edition of Fedora Linux.

          AArch64 and Power64 users of Fedora can learn more about this first Fedora 22 development release via the mailing list announcement. Fedora 22 is expected to be officially released in May.

        • Fedora 22 Alpha Is Now Available for the AARCH64 and POWER64 Architectures

          Peter Robinson, on behalf of the Fedora Project, has announced today, March 30, that the recently announced Fedora 22 Alpha Linux kernel-based operating system is now available for the AARCH64 and POWER64 (PPC64/PPC64LE) architectures.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Mint 18 Will Arrive in 2016, Linux Mint 17.2 and LMDE 2 Coming Very Soon

          The Linux Mint developers have announced today, March 30, in their monthly newsletter, that the team works hard these days to release the final version of the LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 2 (codename Betsy), as well as to implement its awesome new features to the upcoming Linux Mint 17.2 update of the current stable distribution of the project, Rebecca.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition First-Time Boot – Video

            Today we take a quick look at the first time boot and configuration of the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition smartphone. Those of you who watched our unboxing video of the first ever Ubuntu Phone device, would know that it takes some time for the operating system to start when used for first time.

          • Canonical Eyes Telecom, NFV Innovation with Ericsson Cloud Partnership

            Canonical and Ericsson have announced a partner deal that will bring Ubuntu Linux, in conjunction with OpenStack and OPNFV, to a new cloud platform for the telecom market.

          • Creating a Unified Ubuntu Experience

            On it’s own, Ubuntu is a solid desktop Linux experience. It offers ample application choices and it’s easy to use. But one area I would like to see greater focus is mirroring one desktop to another. That is, being able to find the same documents and other files I use on both desktop machines. In this article I’ll explore options I’ve found useful in creating a unified Ubuntu Experience.

          • The big lesson from Ubuntu, Windows and Coca Cola

            Parallels of the New Coke can be drawn with Microsoft’s efforts with Windows 8 and Ubuntu’s Unity desktop. Contrary to what has been said by some so-called technology blogs, both initiatives were not pulled out of the thin air and forced on unwitting users. They were both outcomes of research.

            Unity was a desktop that had previously shipped as part of the Ubuntu Netbook Remix flavor of the Ubuntu operating system for a while before it supplanted GNOME to become Canonical’s default user interface on the Ubuntu Desktop in Ubuntu 11.10. It is important to note that Unity was, just like New Coke, a result of “secret research” in computer user habits and an attempt to better serve the user based on these habits.

          • Here’s How to Create the Perfect Ubuntu Origami Unicorn – Video

            After announcing last week the Ubuntu Origami Unicorn contest, which can bring an awesome new BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition phone to a user that folds the best-looking Unicorn, today Canonical decided that it’s finally time to show the world how to make the perfect origami unicorn.

          • There Are Now More than 1,000 Apps and Scopes for Ubuntu Touch

            The Ubuntu Touch platform is still young and it’s only available “officially” on a single phone, that was made available only sporadically through flash sales, but the number of apps in the store has been increasing on a constant basis, so much so that there are now more than a 1,000 apps available.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Black Lab Linux Wants Ubuntu 10.04 Users to Upgrade to Their Professional Desktop

              Black Lab Software, the creator of the Black Lab Linux series of computer operating systems based on the world’s most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu, announced earlier today, March 30, on their Twitter account, that they will offer customers who use Ubuntu 10.04 LTS a fully supported upgrade path to their Professional Desktop edition.

            • Cinnamon Developers Working to Improve Loading Times for the Desktop

              The Linux Mint developers are also working on the Cinammon desktop environment, so the distribution is not their entire focus. They are now trying to make it load faster and they say they already had some success.

            • Monthly News – March 2015

              The release candidate for LMDE 2 “Betsy” was announced. Bugs were fixed and we’re now getting ready for a stable release. Working on Betsy was very exciting and it paved the way for some of the work planned for Linux Mint 18 (in 2016). It also highlighted a few areas where things could be improved further, so some of Betsy’s improvements will also find their way into Linux Mint 17.2. I’d like to thank all the people who helped us test Betsy and who sent us their feedback.

            • Linux Mint Needs a Huge, Modern Overhaul, More Artists and Web Developers Are Needed

              We’ve announced earlier today, March 30, that the Linux Mint developers have released their monthly newsletter where they’ve reported the changes implemented in the upcoming releases of the LMDE 2 (Linux Mint Debian Edition), dubbed Betsy, as well as the Linux Mint 17.2 (Rebecca) operating systems.

            • Pre-order Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu 15.04

              You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 15.04 (or Xubuntu, or Lubuntu, or Kubuntu), including Ubuntu 15.04 GNOME and Ubuntu 15.04 MATE right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the 23rd of April 2015, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix has more than 50 open source projects

    We’ve released over 50 open source projects, with several more in the pipeline. We also host regular public NetflixOSS meetups in the Bay Area.

  • Will voting systems adopt open source?

    In my recent interview with Brent Turner, from the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO), we heard about the public interest case for making voting machines open source. In this article, I further explore the unfortunate trend for vendors in this space to “openwash” their offerings; that is, to misrepresent proprietary products as if they were open source, with the intent of making them more appealing.

  • OpenMRS joins Open Source Initiative as Affiliate Member

    The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), recognized globally for their work in promoting and protecting open source software and development communities, announced today the Affiliate Membership of OpenMRS®, a free and open source health IT platform.

  • Q&A: Ulf Lundgren on how open source is just the ticket

    Transticket provides the ticketing and commerce platforms used by Sweden’s biggest sporting and entertainment events such as the ATP Tennis Tour, the Swedish Hockey League and SkyView, the rail system taking visitors to the top of Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, the world’s largest spherical building.

  • Will open source save the Internet of Things?

    To some degree, open source is already present throughout the Internet of Things value chain. Cloud apps that collect and analyze data are heavily dependent on open source software and standards, for example.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 37.0 Is Now Available for Download

        We’re happy to announced that the final builds of the popular Mozilla Firefox 37.0 web browser were published on Mozilla’s download servers for all supported computer operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Is Hadoop Replacing the Data Warehouse? Survey Says Not So Much

      Snowflake Computing, a cloud data warehousing company that only recently emerged from startup stealth mode, has announced the results of an independent, national survey of more than 315 technology and analytics professionals with responsibility for corporate data initiatives. Conducted by Dimensional Research, the goal of the research was to understand the state of the data warehouse and Big Data initiatives – including experiences, challenges and trends in data warehousing and data analytics.

    • Q&A: StackStorm’s Evan Powell Talks DevOps, Automation and OpenStack

      StackStorm’s toolset is 100 percent open source and used to tie together environments with the aid of a rules engine, workflows, audit and access controls, and more.

    • ​Apache Spark-based ClearStory ramps up its analytics software

      Silicon Valley startup ClearStory Data says the new release of its Apache Spark-based analytics software significantly speeds up complex analyses based on multiple sources.

  • Databases

    • Apple’s FoundationDB Deal Sends Waves of Concern Across Open Source World

      Apple’s recent acquisition of formerly open source FoundationDB has stirred a larger debate. Even before news of the acquisition went public, the startup reportedly turned off software downloads from its website and announced to users that it would no longer provide support for the NoSQL database software, leaving those who were using it and engaged in the open source project in a tight spot. FoundationDB didn’t have many known customers, but the open source world was upset.

  • Business

    • EspoCRM: A lightweight open source customer relationship manager

      Customer relationship management (CRM) tools come in many different flavors, though not every application can meet the need of every customer. Often, large and complicated tools are overkill for smaller businesses, while some smaller tools require customization to meet specific needs. I would like to share with you the open source tool EspoCRM, which is designed to meet the needs of small and medium businesses.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Brave GNU world

      WHEN I wrote about free software guru Richard Stallman last week, I didn’t realize I would have the opportunity to hear him speak just a few days later. Fortuitously, I got that chance when I attended the RightsCon Southeast Asia Summit at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel, where Stallman was a guest speaker.

      The summit, which drew 600 participants from over 50 countries, focused on protecting human rights online and fighting for an open Internet, which seemed to be a good fit for Stallman, who remains an activist at the age of 62.

      His talk, entitled “Brave GNU World,” was a play on the free operating system that became the centerpiece of his free (as in freedom, not as in zero-cost) software movement.

      Stallman began his talk with the four essential freedoms that computer users ought to have: the freedom to run a program; the freedom to study and change it in source code form; the freedom to redistribute exact copies of it; and the freedom to distribute modified versions of the program.

    • Excorporate 0.6.0: Exchange integration for Emacs
  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Use of Open Source Software Is Now Mandatory In Indian Government Offices

      According to a new policy issued by the Indian Government, all employees will have to use open-source software on their computers. The new policy encourages the adoption of open source software across all Indian Government offices, on both desktop and server stations, in order to reduce the costs for acquiring computer software.

  • Licensing

    • How the current intellectual property landscape impacts open source

      Meet Doug Kim. He’s a computer engineer-turned-lawyer who chairs the Intellectual Property Practice Group at McNair Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina. Doug’s practice includes patent preparation and prosecution, trademark, service mark preparation and prosecution, and securing copyright registrations in areas that include Geographical Information Systems (GIS), software, books, music, product packaging, and distribution. He has expertise in software, method, and mechanical patents as well as open source licensing.

    • The GitHub kids still don’t care about open source

      But rather than eschew the mountains of code being released on GitHub, would-be adopters of GitHub code need to start asking that code be licensed. It may be the only way to change the seemingly permanent shift toward completely open source.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open Data: Slovakia holds public consultation

        Slovakia has held a public consultation to build its Open Government Partnership’s Action Plan for 2015. The consultation, organized by the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for the Development of Civil Society (ÚSVROS) and the National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES), was opene to “the public, the business sector, non-profit organizations, public institutions and local government”, the organisers said in a statement. The public consultation is now closed (on March 17th).

  • Programming

    • GitHub Under Sustained DDoS Attack

      Since March 26, GitHub has been under attack, but users are likely not even noticing as the site continues to be highly available.

    • Open Source Github under Chinese attack

      Open source coding site GitHub said it was fending off a days-long DoS attack that had caused intermittent outages for the social coding site.

      China has been identified as the source of the attack and the software being hit is banned behind the bamboo curtain. It would appear that someone is taking pro-active censorship steps by taking down the entire site..

    • Why do web developers choose OS X instead of Linux?

      Apple’s OS X operating system for the Mac seems to be a very popular choice among web developers. But why have so many of them forsaken Linux in favor of OS X? A Linux redditor asked about this and got some interesting answers from fellow redditors.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • COIS, the UK arm of Open Forum Europe distributes ODF toolkit for Document Freedom Day week

      A new toolkit is being launched to target faster public sector adoption of Open Document Format. Released today by the Community for Open Interoperability Standards (the UK arm of Open Forum Europe), the toolkit contains a folder of principles and infographic for Government Technology leaders to use in educating public sector workers on the options and opportunities for ODF use. This publication joins global Document Freedom Day week celebrations of Open Standards, which numbers 58 events in 30 countries this year. The toolkit arrives as UK Government moves to comply with use of ODF 1.2 across departments, following a change in Cabinet Office policy in July last year.

    • “I’d Rather Not Rewrite All the HTTP Stuff Myself”

      Fascinating early posts from the founders of eBay, Amazon, Google, and others.

Leftovers

  • German pro basketball team relegated to lower division due to Windows update

    A second-tier German professional basketball team has been relegated to an even lower tier as a result of being penalized for starting a recent game late—because the Windows laptop that powered the scoreboard required 17 minutes to perform system updates.

  • Science

  • Security

    • “Black Box” brouhaha breaks out over brute forcing of iPhone PIN lock

      A bit of a brouhaha has broken out about a “Black Box” that can brute force your iPhone PIN by trying every possible combination, from 00..00 to 99..99.

      [...]

      Even if you only set a 4-digit PIN, that gives a crook who steals your phone just a 10 in 10,000 chance, or 0.1%, of guessing your unlock code in time.

      But this Black Box has a trick up its cable.

      Apparently, the device uses a light sensor to work out, from the change in screen intensity, when it has got the right PIN.

    • Security advisories for Monday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • One dead, two injured in incident outside NSA headquarters

      An unidentified car attempted to ram the entrance gate at the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters this morning, with shots fired in the wake of the collision. Authorities say one person is dead and two men (a 20-year-old and 44-year-old) have been airlifted to a Baltimore trauma center with serious injuries. CNN is reporting that two assailants were involved in the attack — one killed, the other wounded — citing a federal law enforcement official who had been briefed on the matter.

    • Leading Papers Incite ‘Supreme International Crime’

      Advocating for war is not like advocating for most other policies because, as peace activist David Swanson points out, war is a crime. It was outlawed in 1928 by the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and 55 other nations “condemn[ed] recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce[d] it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”

    • Muslim Terrorism a Result of Western Imperialism

      Corporate media typically portray Muslims as cruel monsters driven by unexplainable hate for the West…

    • US National Security Strategy Confirms Drive for World Domination

      Though widely reported in corporate media, the largely aggressive thrust of the text has been overlooked in most mainstream coverage. The text emphasizes, for example, that the US must continue to remain the world’s preeminent superpower, an ominous assertion particularly in light of the recent standoff with Russia concerning Syria and Ukraine.

    • A look at those involved in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen

      A Saudi-led coalition is targeting Shiite rebels and their allies in Yemen in a campaign of airstrikes that began last week.

    • Strike on Refugee Camp in Yemen Kills 45

      An air strike killed at least 40 people at a camp for displaced people in north Yemen on Monday, humanitarian workers said, in an attack which apparently targeted a nearby base for Houthi fighters battling President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

      Yemen’s state news agency Saba, which is under the control of the Houthis, said the camp at Haradh was hit by Saudi planes. It said the dead included women and children, and showed the bodies of five children laid out on a blood-streaked floor.

    • Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll

      The airstrikes targeted Ansar Allah, the armed wing of the Zaidi Shia group known as the Houthis, that has controlled much of northern Yemen since September 2014. In January, the group effectively ousted the government of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi. Human Rights Watch found that on March 26 warplanes struck populated urban neighborhoods in Sanaa and observed Ansar Allah forces who appeared to be firing anti-aircraft weapons from residential neighborhoods.

    • Euro Rights Blog: Defining the Word ‘Terrorism’ – A Classroom Experiment – by Sarah Kay

      Beyond legitimacy, the second most apprehended criterion was fear: inducing fear, manufacturing fear, exploiting and manipulating fear, and this, both present in the intent to commit the terrorist act and into the intended consequences of the terrorist action. The complexity of whether all political violence is terrorism, while all terrorism is political violence, was sometimes exhilarating to debate, sometimes frustrating to unravel. Most of them of European upbringing, the reference to ‘simple terrorism’ – ethno-political terrorism – was fast weighed against the current wave of religious extremism. This was not the only instance of questioning legitimacy of political action.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Pearson, ETS, Houghton Mifflin, and McGraw-Hill Lobby Big and Profit Bigger from School Tests

      School testing corporations have spent at least $20 million on lobbying along with wining and dining or even hiring policymakers in pursuit of big revenues from federal and state testing mandates under “No Child Left Behind” measures and the Common Core curriculum, according to a new analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).

    • The ALEC-Backed War on Local Democracy

      After the town of Denton, Texas passed a ballot initiative banning fracking in November 2014, the oil and gas industry reacted with outrage and swiftly filed suit. Politicians in the state capitol responded with a fusillade of bills to preempt local authority over public health and safety and to subject local ballot initiatives to pre-approval by the state attorney general. There was even a bill to end local home rule altogether.

  • Privacy

    • Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that’ll add BILLIONS to bills

      A report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) warns that the government’s rollout of smart meters “should be ‘halted, altered or scrapped’ to avoid a potentially catastrophic government IT disaster.”

      The report, entitled “Not too clever: will Smart Meters be the next Government IT disaster?” describes the £11bn scheme as “unwanted by consumers, over-engineered and mind-blowingly expensive.”

    • Warning to the Public: Your Smart Televisions are Listening
    • Europe’s law enforcement chief joins in crypto panic

      The director of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, has warned about the growing use of encryption for online communications. Speaking to BBC Radio, Rob Wainwright said: “It’s become perhaps the biggest problem for the police and the security service authorities in dealing with the threats from terrorism.” Wainwright is just the latest in a string of high-ranking government officials on both sides of the Atlantic that have made similar statements, including FBI Director James Comey, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, the head of London’s Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

      Wainwright told the BBC that the use of encrypted services “changed the very nature of counter-terrorist work from one that has been traditionally reliant on having good monitoring capability of communications to one that essentially doesn’t provide that anymore.” What that overlooks is that the “good monitoring capability” was of very few channels, used sporadically. Today, by contrast, online users engage with many digital services—social media, messaging, e-mail, VoIP—on a constant basis, and often simultaneously. Although the percentage of traffic that can be monitored may be lower, the volume is much higher, which means that, overall, more information is available for counter-terrorism agencies.

    • Digital rights and freedoms: Part 1

      Under the rubric of state security on the one hand and commercial openness on the other, we are being lulled into an online world of fear and control where our every move is monitored in order to more efficiently manage us.

    • Who Knows What Evils Lurk in the Shadows?

      The story of the powerful spy agency most Canadians still don’t know, and the security bill that would expand its resources and reach

    • NSA Tried to Roll Out Its Automated Query Program Between Debates about Killing It

      None of that explains why the NSA wasn’t able to ingest some cell phone production. But it may explain why NSA accepts moving the phone dragnet to the telecoms.

  • Civil Rights

    • Watch A Fox News Anchor Debunk His Network’s Defense Of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” Law

      Fox News anchor Bret Baier debunked the network’s defense of Indiana’s discriminatory “religious freedom” law, explaining that the law is broader than both federal law and similar measures in other states.

    • Whistleblower panel discussion at Logan Symposium

      Here is a panel discussion I did about whistleblowing at the Logan Symposium in London last November. With me on the panel are Eileen Chubb, a UK health care whistleblower who runs Compassion in Care and is campaigning for Edna’s Law, and Bea Edwards of the US Government Accountability Project. With thanks to @newsPeekers for filming this.

    • Inquiry of Silk Road Website Spurred Agents’ Own Illegal Acts, Officials Say

      On the so-called dark web, drug dealing and other illicit sales have thrived in recent years, the authorities have said, through hidden websites like Silk Road and hard-to-trace digital currencies like Bitcoins.

      On Monday, the government charged that in the shadows of an undercover investigation of Silk Road, a notorious black-market site, two federal agents sought to enrich themselves by exploiting the very secrecy that made the site so difficult for law enforcement officials to penetrate.

    • Spokesman found dead weeks after Missouri auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide

      The tragedy in the office of late Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has deepened.

      A month after Schweich died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound amid an alleged political smear campaign focused on his faith, a top aide appears to have committed suicide by the same means, police said.

      Robert “Spence” Jackson, who served as Schweich’s media director, was found dead in his bedroom Sunday, Jefferson City police said in a statement. Police have not released any details about the timing of Jackson’s death, but they did say that there were no signs of a struggle or forced entry into the home.

    • Senators Disregard Security Agencies’ Calls to Close Guantanamo, One Says Prisoners Can ‘Rot in Hell’

      At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on policies related to the release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, a Pentagon official and an intelligence official testified on how closing the prison is a national security imperative. Yet, their expertise did not seem to matter.

      Senators rejected the expertise of military and intelligence agencies preferring to believe that releasing anyone from Guantanamo will endanger Americans and President Barack Obama’s administration is engaged in a conspiracy of mass deception that is putting the United States at great risk.

    • Intercept Reporter Files Suit Against Ferguson Police

      An Intercept reporter is suing the St. Louis County Police Department after he was shot with rubber bullets and arrested while reporting on protests in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown last August.

    • New Canadian Counterterrorism Law Threatens Environmental Groups

      Geraldine Thomas-Flurer, who campaigns for environmental protection on behalf of indigenous First Nations in Canada, wasn’t surprised when, in 2012, she found out that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had been keeping tabs on her. The Toronto Star that year obtained documents showing that federal police had monitored private meetings held between her coalition and local environmental groups.

      Now she just laughs when asked whether she’s comforted by assurances from government officials that new surveillance and policing powers outlined under a proposed Canadian Anti-Terror Law wouldn’t be aimed at peaceful protesters.

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