04.12.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 12/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, Semplice 7 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The rebirth of Free Software Magazine

    When I started Free Software Magazine, over 10 years ago, it was a very different world. Magazines still mattered, Facebook was a primitive site for university students, Digg was about to become a huge new site (before disappearing a few years later), and… did I mention that Magazines still mattered?

    Fast-forward to 2015: it has been 11 years. While I can say that for the first time I have contributed to an exciting free software project with a few thousands lines of code, Hotplate — and believe me, I’ve been keeping busy — I was forced to put Free Software Magazine in hiatus in order to complete Hotplate.

  • Events

    • ownCloud Meetup to test devices in Berin

      Coming Wednesday, it’s time for the monthly Berlin ownCloud meetup again. Last month, we wanted to play with some little development boards, install ownCloud on them and see what they could do. But we had over a dozen new participants join, turning the meetup mostly in a ‘how to get an ownCloud development environment up and running’ session.

  • Programming

    • Apply agile methodologies to upstream development environments…. if you can.

      In consequence, it would not surprise me if we hear more and more about “corporate development methodologies” (a.k.a. agile) vs. “upstream development methodologies” (a.k.a. FLOSS).

      Scrum, XP, Kanban -ish fans will need to face those challenges and find solutions in order to succeed in open collaboration environments. In the same way, based on the increasing influence that companies are gaining in these ecosystems, FLOSS methodologies in a few years will differ from what we knew 10 years ago.

Leftovers

  • Politics

    • Obama: Clinton would make an ‘excellent president’

      A day before Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her second run for the White House, President Barack Obama said she would make an “excellent president.”

      “She was a formidable candidate in 2008,” Obama said in response to a question at a news conference in Panama. “She was a great supporter of mine in the general election. She was an outstanding secretary of state. She is my friend. I think she would be an excellent president.”

      Obama and Clinton have remained in touch since she left the State Department in 2013 where she served as Obama’s secretary of state in the first term.

      [...]

      “Not only have I run my last election, but I am not in the business of prognosticating future elections,” he said.
      Join The Conversation

      McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what’s in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

    • Rand Paul Is Not a Libertarian. He’s Just Running for President

      Rand Paul has in fact inherited much of his father’s popularity among the grassroots and youth activists of his party. I would tend to agree with most political insiders that he is one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination. However, I can’t help but wonder just how long and to what effect his disingenuous charade can possibly continue. At what point do his key voting blocs stop and realize what his actions are really designed to accomplish? Which is to trick them into electing an unremarkable first term Republican senator as America’s first “Libertarian” president.

    • How the KCIA was born – in deep shadows

      But my promise wasn’t kept. I stepped down as KCIA director in January 1963. The military government relinquished power to a civilian elected-government. But the KCIA kept its authority to investigate and has been blamed for abusing and politicizing its power many times since. It is still trying to hold onto the authority it promised to hand over. The motto that I drafted has also been damaged. I do feel responsible for its abuse of power and misdeeds as its founder.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Total control: is Monsanto unstoppable?

      Political lobbying, on an international scale, has intensified. There is much to play for. Other biotech giants are involved – Dow, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF – but Monsanto is at the head of the pack, pushing hard into Europe and Asia and, with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, into Africa too.

  • Security

    • Calls to make software designers liable for security weakness

      In December 2014, Google released information about a vulnerability that researchers working on its Project Zero bug-hunting initiative had discovered in Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system. Google had raised the issue privately with Microsoft three months previously, but Microsoft had failed to address the issue within Project Zero’s 90-day deadline.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Russian naval ship evacuates over 300 people stranded in Yemen

      The Russian Navy vessel Priazovye has helped to evacuate 308 people from war-torn Yemen. The Russian Defense Ministry stated citizens from 19 countries had been rescued, including Russian, Ukrainian, US and Yemini nationals.

    • CIA: Opponents of Iran’s initial nuclear agreement are being ‘disingenuous’

      Opponents of Iran’s initial agreement to curb its nuclear program are being “disingenuous” when they say the deal could still allow the Middle Eastern state to build nuclear weapons, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency said on Tuesday.

    • CIA director attacks critics of Iran deal as ‘wholly disingenuous’

      CIA Director John Brennan reportedly says the preliminary framework around the nuclear deal with Iran does what had once seemed impossible, calling some critics of the agreement “wholly disingenuous” and expressing surprise at the Iranians’ concessions.

    • CIA Director: We’re Winning the War on Terror, But It Will Never End

      Last night, Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan participated in a question-and-answer session at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. The first thirty-seven minutes consisted of an unusually probing exchange between Brennan and Harvard professor Graham Allison (full disclosure: Graham is a former boss of mine). Most notably, between 19:07 and 29:25 in the video, Allison pressed Brennan repeatedly about whether the United States is winning the war on terrorism and why the number of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups has only increased since 9/11: “There seem to be more of them than when we started…How are we doing?”

    • CIA Director Says the War on Terror May Never End
    • With a book to promote, Judy Miller succeeds in trolling enemies about Iraq War
    • With a book to promote, Judy Miller succeeds in trolling enemies about Iraq War

      America’s most famous former spy and a fallen-star New York Times writer have started a new round of smacktalk over a topic that has 2003 written all over it: Who’s to blame for the U.S. invasion of Iraq?

      Judy Miller and Valerie Plame Wilson have re-litigated the question of war over the past week in op-ed pages and on Facebook and Twitter. It became personal.

    • With a book to promote, Judy Miller succeeds in trolling enemies about Iraq War

      These revelations come from veteran New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s new book, The Story: A Reporter’s Journey. It tells how special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald rigged the 2007 perjury trial of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, in the Valerie Plame case, and inadvertently condemned thousands of Americans to be killed and maimed needlessly in Iraq.

    • When Journalists Join the Cover-ups

      As embarrassing as the Judith Miller case was for the New York Times, the fiasco underscores a more troubling development that strikes near the heart of American democracy – the press corps’ gradual retreat from the principle of skepticism on national security issues to career-boosting “patriotism.”

    • Judith Miller tries, and ultimately fails, to defend her flawed Iraq reporting

      Then she misused that same influence and prestige. So she doesn’t get to ridicule all those who initially took her Times stories seriously, as the United States launched a war that killed 4,500 U.S. service members and left an Iraqi toll many times higher.

    • Judith Miller’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

      On April 3, former New York Times journalist Judith Miller published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths: Officials Didn’t Lie, and I Wasn’t Fed a Line.” If this sounds a bit defensive, Miller has tons to be defensive about.

      In the article, Miller claims, “false narratives [about what she did as a New York Times reporter] deserve, at last, to be retired.” The article appears to be the initial salvo in a major attempt at self-rehabilitation and, coincidentally, comes just as her new book, The Story: A Reporter’s Journey, is to be published today.

      In reviewing Miller’s book, her “mainstream media” friends are not likely to mention the stunning conclusion reached recently by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other respected groups that the Iraq War, for which she was lead drum majorette, killed one million people. One might think that, in such circumstances – and with bedlam reigning in Iraq and the wider neighborhood – a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, so to speak, might prompt Miller to keep her head down for a while more.

    • Valerie Plame Blasts Ex-NY Times Reporter Judith Miller’s ‘Pathetic’ Iraq War Column

      “You were just cheering from the sidelines,” ex-CIA operative says about Miller’s role in helping build support for the Iraq War

      Former CIA operative Valerie Plame took to social media to criticize former New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s recent column that deflected her role in ginning up support for the Iraq War.

    • Judith Miller Clings to Her Own Stubborn Myths

      Judith Miller recently popped out of the Fox News bubble for a quick jaunt to the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the home base for John Bolton, Max Boot, and other neo-con hawks, to give her forthcoming book a little free advertising. In the process she attempts to whitewash her role as an influential pro-war voice in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

      Her April 3, 2015 statement predictably follows the same party line as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair, and George W. Bush. She strongly defends herself against those who claim her reportage in the run-up to the war consciously fanned the flames of pro-war sentiment prior to the start of “shock and awe” on March 19, 2003. She claims she was a victim of faulty intelligence and “everybody” got it wrong about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. So why single her out?

    • Valerie Plame slams Judith Miller’s ‘pathetic and self-serving’ mea culpa: Don’t flatter yourself

      Valerie Plame, who was outed as a CIA agent by members of the Bush administration, fired back at a journalist whose work helped push the U.S. into war with Iraq.

      Former New York Times reporter and current Fox News contributor Judith Miller published an essay last week in the Wall Street Journal claiming responsibility for her eventually discredited reporting on Iraqi’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

      Plame suggested in a Facebook post that Miller was flattering herself.

      “Dear Judy,” she posted Monday night. “No one is crediting you with starting the Iraq war. We know you were not actually on the team that took us into the biggest, most tragic U.S. foreign policy debacle ever. You were just cheering from the sidelines. Your attempt to re-write history is both pathetic and self-serving.”

    • US plans for anti-Islamic State training drawing skepticism

      The fight against the Islamic State group received a jolt of energy when the United States and Turkey sealed a pact to train and arm Syrian rebels. Two months later, the program faces delays and skepticism — as Turkish officials, Syrian rebels and even former American advisers openly question whether it can ever have any battlefield impact.

    • Armed attack Inside the Jordanian Department of Intelligence, baffles Jordanians

      In an unprecedented violent attack inside Jordan’s most secretive and feared government security agency, The General Intelligence Directorate (GID), also known as the “Mukhabarat” in Arabic, an intelligence officer attacked and stabbed a high ranking senior officer during an alleged armed robbery attempt last week using a stun baton Taser and a knife. The attacker was identified in a statement by the victim’s tribe and reported by the London-based newspaper Al Rai al Youm as Mohamad Abdullah al Odwan. Odwan had allegedly entered the office of intelligence officer, Lt. Colonel Khaled Tawfiq al Utoom and demanded a hundred thousand dinar ( $ 150.000) from a safe the victim had in his office and supposedly contained millions more. Rai al Youm reported that Odwan stabbed and clubbed Utoom with his stun baton after the latter refused to hand over the money to him. Odwan then fled the building after taking large sums of money from the safe, but later was arrested and currently is under investigation.

    • US Wages ”War on Terror” in the Philippines

      The War on Terror provided the US an opportunity to expand its military footprint in the Philippines.

    • Untangling the Mysteries Behind Bowe Bergdahl’s Rescue Mission

      The Haqqanis were a terrorist threat that was well known in Washington and Kabul, and they were a constant source of diplomatic headaches. During the Cold War, Jalaluddin Haqqani was a handsomely paid CIA proxy in the fight against the Soviets, but after 9/11, his family took up arms against the latest infidel invaders. “In Pakistan’s tribal areas of North and South Waziristan, Maulavi [Jalaluddin] Haqqani and his sons run a network of madrasas and training bases and provide protection for foreign fighters and terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda,” The New York Times reported in June 2008.

    • U.S. Soldier Uses Heart Breaking Wikileaks Video To Make His Point

      Below is a very disturbing and well-known Wikileaks video exposing what happened (and is still happening) in the Middle East on a daily basis. It’s called “Collateral Murder,” and the solider you see in the video is Ethan McCord; he is one of many soldiers heard in the Wikileaks video who were deployed in Iraq.

      There is some disturbing footage in it, but it’s a powerful tool to let people know about something that is commonly covered up, leaving the Western world oblivious to the reality of the situation.

      We are made to believe that soldiers are sent over to these countries to fight terror, completely ignoring the fact that innocent people, for no reason, are being killed every day.

    • PATRIOT Act Reauthorization: The Fear Mongering and Disinformation Campaign Begins

      Absent from the Leader’s memo was the fact that PATRIOT Act Sec. 215 data has never stopped a single terrorist threat to the United States, as Obama administration officials were forced to admit in the fall of 2013. Also missing from McCarthy’s memo was that fact that the “shoe bomber”, the “underwear bomber”, the Ft. Hood shooter, and the Boston Marathon bombers were not stopped by NSA’s global surveillance dragnet, as typified by Sec. 215. McCarthy’s troops were also spared the reminder that Obama’s review group on intelligence and communications technologies found the program useless. Given those omissions, it’s also not shocking that Mr. McCarthy didn’t want his members focused on DEA’s own decades-long metadata program, which only raises very uncomfortable questions about how many mass surveillance programs are running that we don’t know about.

    • Iranians Are Much Talked About on Sunday Morning TV, But Never Heard From

      Sunday morning news television is where Washington sets its media agenda for the week and, more importantly, defines its narrow range of conventional, acceptable viewpoints. It’s where the Serious People go to spout their orthodoxies and, through the illusion of “tough questioning,” disseminate DC-approved bipartisan narratives. Other than the New York Times front page, Sunday morning TV was the favorite tool of choice for Bush officials and neocon media stars to propagandize the public about Iraq; Dick Cheney’s media aide, Catherine Martin, noted in a memo that the Tim-Russert-hosted Meet the Press lets Cheney “control message,” and she testified at the Lewis Libby trial that, as a result, “I suggested we put the vice president on Meet the Press, which was a tactic we often used. It’s our best format.”

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Stingray spying: FBI’s secret deal with police hides phone dragnet from courts

      The FBI is taking extraordinary and potentially unconstitutional measures to keep local and state police forces from exposing the use of so-called “Stingray” surveillance technology across the United States, according to documents obtained separately by the Guardian and the American Civil Liberties Union.

      Multiple non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) revealed in Florida, New York and Maryland this week show federal authorities effectively binding local law enforcement from disclosing any information – even to judges – about the cellphone dragnet technology, its collection capabilities or its existence.

      In an arrangement that shocked privacy advocates and local defense attorneys, the secret pact also mandates that police notify the FBI to push for the dismissal of cases if technical specifications of the devices are in danger of being revealed in court.

    • Vilifying WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning by Hearsay

      Even a cursory glance at what Dan Ellsberg has been up to recently will show that he obviously considers them all to have made huge, historic and overwhelmingly beneficial contributions to the world. So maybe Penn should listen to what his ‘very informed’ whistleblower (who was, himself, vilified in his own day, of course) has to say on the subject.

    • Probable Cause with Sibel Edmonds: Truth vs. Silent Witnesses & Official Lies

      We are going to discuss official lies, whistleblowers, silent witnesses, and how the majority falls for official fictions and dismisses truth. We will also be discussing another common tactic used by the deep state and its tentacles to promote official-lies and cover up truth: Muddying the facts by bombarding people with conflicting, contradicting, and confusing supplementary lies before moving on to their next officially-narrated official lie.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Triassic Mass Extinction May Give Clues on How Oceans Will Be Affected by Climate Change

      Just over 200 million years ago, the end-Triassic mass extinction killed off more than half of the species of organisms living on Earth’s land and in the oceans. We are only just beginning to understand how this – and the period of runaway global warming that followed – changed the chemistry of open oceans.

      The end-Triassic mass extinction marked the transition between the Triassic to the Jurassic Period and the rise of the large herbivorous dinosaurs, such as the Diplodocus. The extinction meant that previously abundant species were cleared from ecological niches which allowed dinosaurs to move in with little competition from other animals. The Jurassic lasted another 55 million years until the beginning of the Cretaceous Period.

  • Finance

    • 10 U.S. senators seek investigation into H-1B-driven layoffs

      Ten U.S. senators, representing the political spectrum, are seeking a federal investigation into displacement of IT workers by H-1B-using contractors.

      They are asking the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department to investigate the use of the H-1B program “to replace large numbers of American workers” at Southern California Edison (SCE) and other employers.

      This letter is a significant development in this contentious issue. It arrives at the same time that lawmakers are pushing a substantial increase in H-1B visas under the I-Squared bill, legislation that would raise the H-1B cap. Two of the co-sponsors of the I-Squared bill also signed the letter asking for an investigation into H-1B program practices.

    • The 1 percent are parasites: Debunking the lies about free enterprise, trickle-down, capitalism and celebrity entrepreneurs

      ‘When did you last get a job from a poor person?’ So goes my favorite Tea Party slogan. The Americans are good at slogans but the Tea Party specializes in discombobulatingly daft ones. Of course you won’t get a job from a poor person, we wearily concede, but it doesn’t follow that the rich create jobs, as if they have special powers that turn their gains into a gift of jobs to the rest of us. U.S. billionaire Nick Hanauer is refreshingly honest about this: ‘If it was true that lower taxes for the rich and more wealth for the wealthy led to job creation, today we would be drowning in jobs.’ So why hasn’t the spectacular shift in income and financial wealth to the rich over the last four decades led to unprecedented jobs growth?

    • Scapegoat Economics 2015

      As economic crises, declines and dislocations increasingly hurt or threaten people around the globe, they provoke questions. How are we to understand the forces that produced the 2008 crisis, the crisis itself, with its quick bailouts and stimulus programs, and now the debts, austerity policies and deepening economic inequalities that do not go away? Economies this troubled force people to think and react. Some resign themselves to “hard times” as if they were natural events. Some pursue individual strategies trying to escape the troubles. Some mobilize to fight whoever they blame for it all. Many are drawn to scapegoating, usually encouraged by politicians and parties seeking electoral advantages.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook: We track non-users, but it’s not intentional

      SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has admitted that it tracked non-users, but said that this happened only because of a bug.

      Facebook’s remarks come in response to a recent report from Belgium’s data protection authority accusing the firm of multiple violations of EU privacy law.

      These violations include “stalking” people geographically via Facebook mobile apps, and failing to inform users of data collection practices.

    • Facebook claims ‘a bug’ made it track nonusers

      Facebook researchers have found “a bug” that caused it to track people, even if they had never visited its website, the social media giant acknowledged this week.

      The bug caused the company to place cookies — a common way to track people’s browsing habits on the Web — on “some” people’s browsers, even if they had never visited Facebook.com to sign up for an account, the social media website’s European Public Policy Vice President Richard Allan wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

    • Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network

      Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.

    • PCLOB’s New Work: Examining “Activities” Taking Place in the Loopholes of EO 12333

      On Wednesday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board met to approve its next project. They are just about completing a general overview of the Intelligence Community’s use of EO 12333 (as part of which they’ve been nagging agencies, notably DEA and Treasury, to comply with requirements imposed by Ronald Reagan). Next, they will move onto a deep dive of two programs conducted under EO 12333, one each for NSA and CIA. PCLOB has now posted materials from Wednesday’s meeting, though this overview is also useful.

      [...]

      Finally, remember that CIA has conducted investigations targeting Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, which suggests it interprets its ability to conduct counterintelligence investigations unbelievably broadly.

    • The DEA’s Bulk Collection Program

      Defenders of the NSA’s notorious bulk telephony program have stressed since it was first disclosed that the massive database of calling information can only be used for national security investigations of foreign terror groups, and is tightly regulated by the FISA Court. This week, however, USA Today confirmed that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s own bulk telephony program, first reported in January, began nearly a decade before the attacks of September 11, 2001—vacuuming up records of Americans’ calls to a whopping 116 foreign countries “linked to drug trafficking” using administrative subpoenas. This is presumably the “massive database of phone records” referenced in a 2013 Reuters story on the shady practice of “parallel construction,” wherein state or local law enforcement agency are fed tips from DEA, then encouraged to “phony up investigations” (in the words of one Harvard law professor) in order to conceal the true origins of the information from courts and criminal investigations.

    • The government hides surveillance programs just because people would freak out

      The justification they were using for the NSA’s program – that it was only being used against dangerous terrorists, not ordinary criminals – just wasn’t true with the DEA. The public would clearly be outraged by the twisted legal justification that radically re-interpreted US law in complete secrecy. “They couldn’t defend both programs”, a former Justice Department official told Heath. The piece also reveals that Attorney General Eric Holder “didn’t think we should have that information” in the first place, which is interesting because Holder was one of the first Justice Department officials to approve the program during the Clinton administration. It’s nice he came to his senses, but if the program never risked going public, would he have felt the same?

      There are many other surveillance programs the government is desperate to keep hidden. Consider Stingray devices, the mini fake cell phone towers that can vacuum up cell phone data of entire neighborhoods at the same time and which are increasingly being used by local cops all around the country. The Associated Press reported this week that the Baltimore police have used these controversial devices thousands of times in the course of ordinary investigations and have tried to hide how the devices are used from judges.

      The lengths to which the FBI will go to keep these devices secret from the public is alarming. As a Guardian investigation detailed on Friday, the FBI makes local police that use them sign non-disclosure agreements, and goes as far as to direct them to dismiss charges against potential criminals if the phone surveillance will be exposed at trial (as is required by due process rights in the Fifth Amendment).

    • A reminder of journalism’s power to do the right thing

      Like others before him — such as Daniel Ellsberg with the Pentagon Papers — Snowden released his findings to the press, and trusted journalists to do their job in exposing government malfeasance and lack of accountability. Also like Ellsberg, Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917.

    • Sun Investigates: Cellphone surveillance seen years earlier in ‘The Wire’

      The Baltimore Police Department surprised many when it revealed recently that it has used a cellphone surveillance device known as a “stingray” 4,300 times since 2007.

    • NSA thinks it can keep spying without compromising your security

      American police and spies love the idea of back door access to encrypted data that lets them snoop on suspicious types, but many will tell you that they’re wildly optimistic. Even if you don’t mind the implication that the government has a right to spy on anyone, this could easily introduce a flaw that any attacker can use. National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers thinks there’s a happy medium, however. At a recent speech, he called for a “front door” encryption key that would provide access, but would be broken into pieces that prevents any one agency or person from getting in. This theoretically prevents thieves (and less than scrupulous authorities) from grabbing your data, but still lets officials look around when they have permission.

    • The NSA wants tech companies to give it ‘front door’ access to encrypted data

      The National Security Agency is embroiled in a battle with tech companies over access to encrypted data that would allow it to spy (more easily) on millions of Americans and international citizens. Last month, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple urged the Obama administration to put an end to the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata. The NSA, on the other hand, continues to parade the idea that the government needs access to encrypted data on smartphones and other devices to track and prevent criminal activity. Now, NSA director Michael S. Rogers says he might have a solution.

    • NSA and the Stasi – a cautionary tale on mass surveillance

      Four decades of domination over almost all aspects of life in East Germany came to an abrupt halt 25 years ago on 31 March 1990. One of the most intrusive surveillance organisations in human history, the Ministry for State Security, more infamously known as the Stasi, was dissolved. This is a poignant milestone as a global debate about privacy rages in the wake of revelations of massive US surveillance of internet communications.

  • Civil Rights

    • Virginia Beach Police investigating forceful viral video arrest

      Virginia Beach Police say they are investigating a “Use of Force” incident that occurred during an arrest that was recorded on a cell phone back in January.

      [...]

      Cervera would not say what part of the video he’s uncomfortable with, but did say he is questioning whether an officer stopped the recording and later deleted it.

    • We Do This for Rekia

      Upset about the amount of noise he claimed a group of young people were making in a nearby park, Servin recklessly fired over his shoulder at a crowd while sitting in his car. Rekia Boyd died less than 24 hours after being struck in the head by one of the five rounds Servin fired.

    • A Game of Substitution

      The same people, of course, told you I was lying when I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition in 2004. The security services and the British Government would never do such a thing, they said. I was insane, they said.

    • The Price of a Life

      What’s the right way to compensate someone for decades of lost freedom?

    • CIA torture flights in Scotland: Detectives claim there is ‘no proof’ terror prisoners were on board when they landed here

      A TWO-YEAR police probe into the so-called rendition flights has failed to unearth evidence that terror suspects were travelling on planes which used Scots airports.

    • Remote Polish Airport With Dark CIA History Gets €30 Mln in EU Funds

      A small remote airport in north-eastern Poland, once used by the CIA as a rendition hub, has already received over €30 million in EU funds for its re-fit, but experts say it is a perfect example of “how-not-to and where-not-to” invest, as its economic feasibility, projected tourist forecasts, and impact on local employment are desperately low.

    • Diego Garcia: UK stalls release of CIA black site ‘torture flight’ records

      The UK government continues to delay the publication of flight records which could prove the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia was used by the CIA for “torture flights,” a human rights NGO has said.

      Reprieve, which advocates for prisoners’ human rights in Guantanamo and elsewhere, said the UK government admitted in 2008 that Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian Ocean, was used by two CIA rendition jets carrying prisoners in 2002.

      With the release of the Senate torture report in December, it was revealed that the CIA flew captives to secret prisons, known as black sites, across the globe as part of its rendition program.

    • Diego Garcia: UK Delays Publication of Flight Records Which May Hold Truth About CIA Activities

      The UK Foreign Office (FCO) has further delayed publication of flight records for Diego Garcia, following disclosures by a senior Bush administration official that interrogations took place at a CIA black site on the British island.

      FCO officials are “still assessing the suitability of the full flight records for publication”, nine months after they were first requested from the government by human rights NGO Reprieve.

    • UK stalls publication of CIA rendition flights records

      The UK Government is continuing to delay the publication of flight records which could hold evidence of the use of British territory by CIA ‘torture flights’ – over eight months after it said it was “assessing their suitability for publication.”

      The Government has previously admitted that Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian Ocean, was used by two CIA ‘rendition’ jets carrying prisoners in 2002. The rendition programme saw prisoners flown around the world in order to be subjected to torture at secret prisons known as ‘black sites’, says the legal charity Reprieve.

      However, since making the admission in 2008, successive British administrations have failed to publish flight records which could shed further light on the role played in the rendition programme by the island.

    • Obama May Add More Layers of Bureaucracy in CIA Reorganization

      In announcing the reorganization in early March, Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan boasted that after the sweeping reorganization is implemented, the agency will be in the position to cover “the entire universe, regionally and functionally, and so something that’s going on in the world falls into one of those buckets.”

    • John Brennan’s deserving CIA reorganization plan

      We tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.

    • John Brennan’s makeover of the CIA
    • Re-Opening The Investigation: CIA Black Sites

      They certainly sought to please in those initial dark days when a position at the NATO table was at stake. This was something of a new world order – the attacks after September 11, 2001 did certainly allow Washington to make that spurious case. The stakes were high, and the “need” for pressing intelligence saw a crude clipping of various liberties and protections.

    • ‘We Got the Wrong Guy’: Ex Spy Reveals CIA Syria Torture Error

      According to new accounts from former agent John Kiriakou, several spies warned against the rendition to Syria of Mahrer Arar, where he was tortured.

      A former spy was convinced that the U.S. intelligence agency CIA’s rendition and torture of the Canadian Mahrer Arar amounted to punishment of the wrong man.

      According to new accounts from former agent John Kiriakou, several colleagues warned against the treatment of Arar, which led to a public inquiry in Canada and a US$10 million federal government pay-out.

    • CIA staff tried to stop arrest, torture of Maher Arar, says former spy
    • Former spy: CIA employees tried to stop arrest, torture of Canadian Arar
    • Maher Arar’s arrest, torture almost stopped by CIA, ex-spy says

      A former spy has described the debate within the CIA over the arrest, rendition and torture of Canadian Maher Arar, saying multiple colleagues warned against it because they were convinced they were punishing an innocent man.

      The account from former CIA officer John Kiriakou sheds new light on decade-old events that caused a public inquiry in Canada, a $10 million payout from the federal government, and unsuccessful lawsuits in the U.S.

      It’s a rare peek into discussions within the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency — whose role in the 2002-03 events has never been publicly examined, having remained off-limits in Canada’s inquiry.

    • John Kiriakou, CIA Ex-Spy, On Canada’s Intelligence Safeguards: ‘You’re Kidding Me’

      A former CIA spy’s eyes widen when he hears that, in Canada, the political opposition doesn’t get to see or scrutinize national-security intelligence files.

      “You’re kidding me,” says John Kiriakou, who’s now under house arrest in Virginia after a two-year prison stay for revealing information about his former employer.

    • CIA Officials Knew Rendition Victim Was ‘The Wrong Guy,’ Kiriakou Reveals

      CIA insiders objected to the arrest, rendition, and torture of Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar, but high-ranking officials ignored concerns that they were punishing an innocent man, according to former spy and whistleblower John Kiriakou in an interview with the Canadian Press.

    • Editorial: U.S. owes Arar an apology

      The United States will never apologize for sending former Ottawa resident Maher Arar off to be tortured in a Syrian prison, nor will the country tell us what led to that awful decision. For all we know, Arar remains on our neighbour’s anti-terror watch list, despite having his name cleared by a public inquiry here and earning a $10 million settlement (and an apology) from the Canadian government for its own shameful role in his extraordinary rendition.

    • Kiriakou: CIA Officials Knew Torture Victim Maher Arar Was Innocent

      CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou has revealed new details about the CIA’s internal debate over the arrest, rendition and torture of Canadian citizen Maher Arar. Kirakou told The Canadian Press news agency numerous colleagues warned against arresting Arar, saying he was innocent. But Kiriakou said an unnamed female officer insisted on pressing ahead, saying Arar had links to al-Qaeda.

    • CIA employees tried to stop arrest, torture of Arar, former spy says

      A former spy has described the debate within the CIA over the arrest, rendition and torture of Maher Arar, saying multiple colleagues warned against it because they were convinced they were punishing an innocent man.

    • Ex CIA member says some agency workers questioned Maher Arar arrest
    • CIA Knew They Tortured the Wrong Man, Whistleblower Kiriakou Says

      John Kiriakou has alleged that CIA insiders protested the arrest and torture of Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar knowing that he was innocent, but a woman in CIA middle-management, whose identity he will not reveal, insisted upon the man’s arrest.

    • A former CIA agent who led counterterrorism arrests in Pakistan shares tales after two years in jail
    • A torture-denouncing CIA agent speaks after two years in jail
    • A CIA agent’s tales from the federal slammer

      He was jailed for telling journalists a bit too much about his former employer: the CIA. He insists he was punished for blowing the whistle on the use of torture in 2007, not because he tipped off journalists to the identity of a couple of former spy colleagues, which is why he was charged.

      “I’m 100 per cent positive,” Kiriakou says in an interview at home, where he’s completing his sentence under house arrest after two years in jail.

      He’s adamant that he’s being singled out. Lots of names leak out of the agency without consequences, he says. Also, he accuses the FBI of trying to entrap him several times and failing.

      To avoid a return trip to prison, there are limits to what he’ll say in interviews.

      He will describe how former CIA colleagues protested the arrest, transfer, and torture in Syria of Canadian Maher Arar — but he absolutely won’t reveal the name of a woman in CIA middle-management who he says insisted on Arar’s arrest.

    • UK ‘Assessing’ Diego Garcia Flight Records Amid CIA Torture Claims

      The British government has been accused of stalling over the publication of flight records in and out of the British-owned island of Diego Garcia, amid claims the remote Indian Ocean location was used as part of the CIA’s post 9/11 torture and rendition program.

    • Sri Lanka – Another pawn in the CIA/MI6 Gameplan

      During the election campaign the scene was set to overthrow Rajapaksa by ballot or by force.

    • Senior ex-general hints at CIA involvement in Balyoz coup plot case

      Retired Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, who was among the 236 suspects acquitted in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup-plot case, has said the United States or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could have had a finger in the coup case.

      The CIA or the U.S.’ “deep state” could have been involved in the case, recalling the testimony of a suspect, who said in 2010 he and a former deputy had picked up a sack full of documents in 2007 to be used in the Balyoz coup plot case from an American senator and a retired Turkish major in Istanbul and taken it to Ankara, according to Balanlı.

    • Television box sets: fact vs fiction

      As female CIA operatives complain about how women spies are portrayed in Homeland, and Ed Miliband says The Thick Of It was “too close to reality”, we take a look at some of the best-loved TV shows – how good were they at capturing real life?

    • Female CIA Agents Speak Out About Their Job, Slam Hollywood Portrayals Of Agency

      Women in the CIA say that depictions of female agents are not accurate and that some of the portrayals are downright offensive. The women in the CIA sisterhood say that Hollywood shows female agents as seductresses who rely on their good looks and charm. However, many CIA agents say that simply isn’t true and that female CIA agents are far from centerfolds.

      The New York Times, at the request of the notoriously tight-lipped CIA organization, spoke with current and former female agents to get a better understanding of exactly what the women agents in the field do. In the movies and on television, female agents are highly sexualized and can be seen sleeping with terrorists, seducing assets, and becoming overly emotional while in the field.

    • Female CIA Agents Fed Up with ‘Hollywood Sensationalism’ of Their Characters
    • ‘We don’t look that way and we don’t act that way’: The real women of the CIA slam ‘crazed and emotional’ portrayals of female agents in TV and movies
    • CIA Reaches Out to LGBT Community
    • Human Rights Watch urging Obama to prosecute Bush-era torture

      An international human rights group has launched a campaign calling on President Barack Obama to ensure that future presidents will not “view torture as a viable policy option.”

      Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, has drawn up a petition urging the Obama administration to begin a “full criminal investigation” into torture techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) post 9/11 attacks.

    • Obama Faces Latin American Opposition to Venezuela Sanctions as Cuba Joins Summit of the Americas

      President Obama has arrived in Panama to attend the Summit of the Americas along with other leaders from Canada, Central America, South America, the Caribbean — and for the first time, Cuba. On Thursday, Obama announced the State Department has finished its review of whether Cuba should be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. The move would allow the two countries to reopen their embassies and move forward on historic efforts to normalize relations that were announced in December. Meanwhile, the United States faces other tensions at the summit over its recent sanctions against Cuba’s close ally, Venezuela. An executive order signed by President Obama last month used the designation to sanction top Venezuelan officials over alleged human rights abuses and corruption. This week, the United States announced it no longer considers the country a national security threat. Other topics expected to be on the summit’s agenda include trade, security and migration. We speak with two guests: Miguel Tinker Salas, professor of Latin American history at Pomona College and author of the new book, “Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know,” and Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and president of Just Foreign Policy. His article in The Hill is headlined “Obama Could Face Disastrous Summit Due to Venezuela Sanctions.”

    • Venezuela Withdraws from OAS Civil Society Forum in Solidarity with Cuba

      Caracas has joined Havana in withdrawing its delegation to the Civil Society Forum at the 7th Summit of the Americas this week, after Cuban delegates broke the news that at least 20 counter-revolutionary Cuban “mercenaries” had also been invited to participate in the event.

      Among the highly controversial figures set to participate in the forum are the radical anti-Cuban government dissidents, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Elizardo Sánchez and Rosa María Payá, as well as members of the Cuban exile community. All are known to have financial ties to U.S. funding agencies such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and have a history of trying to subvert the Cuban government. Ex-CIA agent, Félix Rodríguez Mendigutía, better known for his role in the assassination of Argentinian revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, is also participating in the summit.

    • Che Guevara Murderer Attending Summit of the Americas

      According to some reports, Felix Rodriguez has arrived in Panama to attend the OAS forums.

      According to Yoanislandia, quoting “friends in solidarity with Cuba,” the man who murdered Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Felix Rodriguez, arrived in Panama on Tuesday to attend the Summit of the Americas forums.

    • Che´s Daughter Rejects Presence in Panama of Man that Murdered her Father

      Aleida Guevara, daughter of Cuban-Argentinean revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, described as shameful the presence in the activities of the Summit of the Americas of Felix Rodriguez Mendigutia, who was directly involved in the assassination of her father, in Bolivia.

      “In was a nonsense decision by whoever admitted him, said Guevara and reiterated that the presence of the former CIA agent is shameful. Felix was a CIA instrument and he offered himself in a mean manner to murder him.”

    • Obama optimistic for Cuba relations, Castro recalls past confrontations with U.S.

      Leaders of the United States and Cuba did something Saturday they hadn’t done since the spring of 1959, all the way back to the Eisenhower administration: Meet diplomatically face-to-face.

      President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro — the brother of longtime ruler Fidel Castro — met at the Summit of the Americas in Panama Saturday, and the visit is the talk of the conference.

    • Boston Marathon Bombings’ Guilty Verdict Exposed as a Gross Travesty of Justice

      The FBI and CIA’s common misuse of paying informants to entrap others globally into joining plots of terrorism was well documented in researcher-author Trevor Aaronson’s book The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism. Between 9/11 and 2011 he confirmed that 508 defendants were recruited by informants paid up to $100,000 in multiple sting operations. In fact, in all but only three high profile cases were the FBI and their informants not involved. Again, this demonstrates that the US government’s calling card around the world reads “Terrorism-R-US,” just another M.O. for squandering hard earned taxpayer dollars to keep its invented “war on terror” very much ongoing and alive forever.

    • Finnish investor banned from Russia after FSB warning

      Russian authorities have denied entry to prominent businessman Seppo Remes and accused him of espionage, the Finnish investor claims. Remes is a board member in several Russian energy companies.

    • Finnish businessman says denied entry into Russia after FSB warning

      Finnish businessman Seppo Remes, co-owner of a Swedish company which invests in Russian electricity assets, said he had been denied entry into Russia for five years after receiving a warning from the Federal Security Service.

    • FSB Detains Opposition Journalist in Latest Crackdown on Crimean Press

      Russia’s Federal Security Service has detained an opposition-minded journalist in Crimea, a colleague said, in the latest in a series of Moscow’s investigations against Crimean reporters and writers who have criticized Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula.

    • Crimean journalist reported abducted by Russia’s FSB
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Threats Trigger Massive Surge in VPN Usage

        Piracy is a hot topic around the world and in Australia the issue has made mainstream headlines over the past week. After the announcement of a new anti-piracy scheme and the news of copyright trolls coming Down Under this week, VPN usage has surged to unprecedented levels.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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  2. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  3. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

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  4. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

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  5. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

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  6. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

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  7. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

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  8. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

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  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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  10. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

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  11. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

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  12. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

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  13. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

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  14. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

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  15. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

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  16. Free Software is Greener

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  17. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

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  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

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  19. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

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  20. Proprietary Software is Pollution

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  22. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

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  23. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

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  24. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

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  25. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

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  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

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  27. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

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  28. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

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  29. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

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