05.30.15

The EPO Still Wastes Public Money on Publicity Stunts and ‘Reputation Management’ Campaigns

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Escaping a crisis by bribing and attacking the media

Escape key

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) is misusing public funds to manufacture self-congratulatory publicity for itself whilst attacking those who write negative commentary

THE publicity stunts from the EPO are not shocking to us. We already know that the EPO wastes a lot of public money on paid placements ('articles') which disgrace scientific publications (fake staff testimonials), not to mention how the EPO wasted money to harass the press and its very own staff (real staff, not fake staff).

“EPO management has the pervasive illusion of omnipotence; its behaviour proves that it thinks it can do whatever it wants.”In an effort to deal with some core issues Merpel looks into the financial state of the EPO, whose management likes to pretend self-sufficiency (rather than exploitation of taxpayers as unwilling subsidisers, often directly harmed by the EPO’s actions).

“Having been returned to blogging duty,” Merpel refers to herself as a third person (as usual), she “has turned her attention to the finances of the European Patent Office. She wrote about this last year, examining the 2013 financial report of the EPO, and concluded that it was not possible to establish with any confidence, or in any degree of detail, what the true financial position actually is.”

Merpel’s colleague Darren Smyth has meanwhile slammed this latest EPO publicity stunt, which it calls “European Inventor Award”. Smyth writes:

Whatever the European Inventor Award is, it is certainly not “to grant European patents”. So this Kat’s first gripe is that the event seems completely ultra vires in respect of what the EPO is actually supposed to be doing. National patent offices may have a wider mandate to foster innovation, to promote intellectual property generally, and to raise the profile of patenting, but the EPO most emphatically does not. At best, it is a distraction, and an apparently costly one at that, from the EPO’s legally defined role.

But this Kat thinks that it is worse than that. The European Inventor Award is about ranking inventions. Publicly proclaiming that one invention (the winner) has more merit than others (the runners up and those that were not even nominated). This is actually contrary to the EPO’s role as a body that grants patents, in which role (its only legally ceded role) it is bound to judge any invention against the objective standards of novelty and inventive step, irrespective of merit with respect to any other invention. Others are free to opine that one invention is “better” or has more worth than another, but the EPO should be quite disinterested in this. Its involvement with such an event tarnishes its objectivity.

[...]

The European Inventor Award is at best an expensive distraction, and at worse a dangerous compromise of principle.

This is probably the least worrisome among the EPO’s wasteful uses of its budget. In a matter of days we are going to write more about how EPO management attacks the media (to force it to only say nice things about the EPO, or nothing a all). EPO management has the pervasive illusion of omnipotence; its behaviour proves that it thinks it can do whatever it wants. It is this arrogance and resultant abuse that a vast number of EPO employees are protesting against. The EPO should be held accountable by its shareholders, i.e. the European public, but EPO management is now greedy and self-serving to the extreme.

“The European Patent Office is an executive organisation, it deals especially with patent applicants, as such, its view of the world may be biased. As an executive organisation, its interpretative powers are very limited. The European Patent Convention excludes computer programs, it is outside the EPO’s power to change this.”

Ante Wessels

The Lessons of Stuxnet: Never Use Microsoft Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The NSA is playing with nukes

Missiles

Summary: Windows is sufficiently ‘NSA-compatible’ for remote compromise and physical damage (sabotage) to highly sensitive, high-risk equipment

MANY news reports from around Friday [1-13] made it abundantly clear that Stuxnet, an Israel- and US-made virus that targets Microsoft Windows, was deployed not only in Iran (which uses Windows and Microsoft Linux) but also deployed (albeit unsuccessfully) in North Korea.

It is worth noting that Stuxnet was developed not only in the US but also in Israel and much of Microsoft’s software development for ‘security’ is also done in Israel, so it might not detect Stuxnet (by design).

“Imagine the media reaction if some nation’s government tried to install viruses in nuclear facilities in the US…”News from North Korea should remind any nation with military facilities (that’s about every nation on Earth) to dodge Microsoft Windows. Turkey, for instance, reportedly moved its army to GNU/Linux and several other nations make similar moves for security reasons. In order to explain North Korea’s resistance to the infection some corporation media likes to highlight “near-complete isolation” (see below) rather than reliance on GNU/Linux. The ToryGraph (see below) calls Stuxnet a “computer virus” even through it is uniquely a Microsoft Windows virus. Imagine the media reaction if some nation’s government tried to install viruses in nuclear facilities in the US…

This is by no means defence of North Korea; it’s just that the story makes is abundantly clear that, Microsoft’s special relationship with the NSA aside, Windows is a target. Even Western governments target it. The NSA habitually said that it worried about attacks on its electric grid while hypocritically enough it is attacking nuclear facilities in other countries, never mind the risk of “blowback” or the “fallout” (pun intended) such aggressive actions may consequently bring. Pentagon would label this an “act of [cyber] war”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. NSA eggheads tried to bork Nork nukes with Stuxnet. It failed – report

    The NSA tried to wreck North Korea’s nuclear weapons lab using the centrifuge-knackering malware Stuxnet, and ultimately failed, multiple intelligence sources claim.

  2. Pyongyang 1, NSA 0: U.S. Tried and Failed to Hack North Korea’s Nuclear Infrastructure

    By almost completely shutting itself off from the rest of the world, the North Korean government has denied its people and society access to the fruits of the digital communications revolution. It has also reportedly helped stymie a U.S. cyberattack on the country’s nuclear infrastructure modeled on the so-called Stuxnet virus the United States and Israel used against Iranian centrifuges.

  3. The NSA reportedly tried — but failed — to use a Stuxnet variant against North Korea

    Right around the time that the Stuxnet attack so famously sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010, the U.S. National Security Agency reportedly was trying something similar against North Korea.

    The NSA-led U.S. effort used a version of the Stuxnet virus designed to be activated by Korean-language computer settings, but it ultimately failed to sabotage North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to a Friday Reuters report, which attributed the information to people familiar with the campaign.

  4. NSA tried Stuxnet cyber-attack on North Korea five years ago but failed

    The US tried to deploy a version of the Stuxnet computer virus to attack North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme five years ago but ultimately failed, according to people familiar with the covert campaign.

  5. Report: US tried Stuxnet variant on N. Korean nuke program, failed
  6. US tried to bring down North Korean missile programme with computer virus
  7. Report: U.S. failed to sabotage North Korean nuclear program with Stuxnet-twin
  8. Report: US cyberattack on North Korea was ineffective
  9. Why Did a US Cyber Attack on North Korea Fail?
  10. US Tried, Failed To Sabotage North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program With Stuxnet-Style Cyber Attack
  11. US Reportedly Launched Stuxnet Attack Against North Korea
  12. US Failed at Planting Stuxnet-Style Computer Bug in N. Korea Nuke Program
  13. US reportedly tried to destroy North Korea’s nuclear program with a Stuxnet-type virus

Links 30/5/2015: Wine 1.7.44, Berry Linux 1.20

Posted in News Roundup at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Save server admin time and money with these two open source solutions

    Fortunately, an open-source solution exists that does not require a monthly fee. That solution is Webmin, which, like competing closed-source products, allows users to configure and control various applications, such as the Apache HTTP Server, PHP, MySQL, Dovecot, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and others, without needing to use command-line configuration of these disparate products.

  • GNU guru slams Windows, OS X, popular apps as malware

    Microsoft Windows and Apple’s operating systems are malware because they “snoop and shackle” users, GNU creator Richard Stallman said in an opinion piece published in The Guardian.

  • 2 Geeks Invent Technology that Thwarts the NSA

    COMMUNITY CUBE is an open source initiative dedicated to protecting the privacy and security of online citizens around the world. We design, build and distribute technological solutions that protect email, web browsing, data storage and social media activity in a safe, affordable and easy to use manner.

  • Richard Stallman and Phil Zimmerman underline key concerns with tech sector

    Two of technology’s most pioneering developers have strongly criticised the current state of the industry, warning that the right to encryption is doomed and that users are exploited by the software that they use.
    Open sourcerer Richard Stallman has painted a very bleak picture of today’s technology and communications environment, describing proprietary software as “malware”.

    Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, perhaps not surprisingly has a very jaundiced view of proprietary software, and of Microsoft Windows especially.

  • A fight is brewing over ads in the ‘open-source Photoshop’

    It’s an accusation that SourceForge quickly refuted, with its public response titled “GIMP-Win project wasn’t hijacked, just abandoned.” As far as it’s concerned, the project was dumped more than 18 months ago, and SourceForge charitably “stepped-in to keep this project current.” The rebuttal also claims that previous concerns over misleading third-party ads were discussed and addressed well before this controversy began.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Considering Hadoop? Evaluate Apache Drill Along With It

      MapR Technologies, which focuses on Apache Hadoop, recently announced the general availability of Apache Drill 1.0 in the MapR Distribution. Drill, which we’ve covered before, delivers self-service SQL analytics without requiring pre-defined schema definitions, dramatically reducing the time required for business analysts to explore and understand data.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Libre Office comes to Android

      The Document Foundation has released a version of Libre Office for Android.

      The new app allows users to read and edit documents. The Document Foundation bills the app as a “Viewer” with “experimental … basic editing capabilities, like modifying words in existing paragraphs and changing font styles such as bold and italic.”

      Viewing documents will also feel like an experiment for many users: when Vulture South tried the app it dumped us into a listing of our Galaxy S5′s directories and offered no depiction of the phone’s internal storage or secondary SD card. Nor does the app integrate with the cloud storage services to which we subscribe.

  • CMS

    • Dynamically static

      Since 26th December 2005, I’ve been runnning this blog with WordPress. At the time there were little alternatives and finally I had got hold of a host (Dreamhost, at the time) that supported PHP and MySQL without being overly restrictive. 10 years later, things have somehow changed.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU FISICALAB 0.3.5

      I’m glad to announce the release of version 0.3.5 of GNU FisicaLab, this is a feature release. FisicaLab (can be pronounced as PhysicsLab) is an educational application to solve physics problems. Its main objective is let the user to focus in physics concepts, leaving aside the mathematical details

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Why aren’t you using github?
    • Announcing GitTorrent: A Decentralized GitHub

      I’ve been working on building a decentralized GitHub, and I’d like to talk about what this means and why it matters — and more importantly, show you how it can be done and real GitTorrent code I’ve implemented so far.

    • PHP version 5.5.26RC1 and 5.6.10RC1

      Release Candidate versions are available in remi-test repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are only available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests.

Leftovers

  • ‘Farewell, readers’: Alan Rusbridger on leaving the Guardian after two decades at the helm

    This, if you’re reading the physical paper – which, of course, you are not – is my last edition as editor. In just over 20 years we have put nearly 7,500 papers “to bed”, as almost no one says nowadays. At some point in the 24-hour, seamlessly rolling digital news cycle, you’ll have a new editor. I will have slipped away and my successor, Katharine Viner, will have materialised at the helm.

  • Bangert: Awkward … Ed reform called out at Purdue

    Maryann Santos de Barona, dean of Purdue University’s College of Education for the past six years, was at the front of a Stewart Center meeting room May 14 for one of those death-by-PowerPoint presentations. From among her dozens of slides, the dean was showing the university’s trustees a sinking trend line of undergraduates enrolled in Purdue’s teacher education program.

  • Pakistani CEO arrested for selling degrees from “Barkley” and “Columbiana”

    The CEO of a Pakistani company called Axact, which called itself the country’s largest software exporter, was arrested yesterday in Karachi. Axact and its CEO, Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, are accused of running a global network of selling fake diplomas.

  • Stuxnet

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why did the US Army ship live anthrax?

      US military officials revealed Wednesday that the Army bioweapons laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah shipped live anthrax samples to 18 facilities in nine US states, as well as to a US military base in South Korea.

    • China doesn’t recognize ‘illegal’ McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval

      Sticking to its stand that McMahon Line on India-China boundary is “illegal”, China said on Monday it is ready to work with India to resolve the vexed border issue at an early date through “friendly consultations” to create more favourable conditions for bilateral ties.

    • Assange: UK Media Silent on Trident Leaks Due to Self-Censorship
    • ​Trident nuke safety questioned by Salmond after Navy whistleblower leak

      Alex Salmond has secured time in Parliament on Thursday afternoon to debate claims by a Navy whistleblower that Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles are unsafe and unsecure.

      The MP for Gordon and former Scottish National Party (SNP) leader will question the government on safety at HM Naval Base Clyde, where Trident submarines are based.

      Whistleblower William McNeilly, 25, is currently being held in a secure military base in Scotland. He went AWOL following the publication of his damning report into safety and security at the site.

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused the “conspicuously silent” British media of self-censorship over its coverage of the Trident revelations.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Even Before TPP And TTIP, US Already Being Forced To Change Laws By Trade Agreements

      As that makes clear, alongside the fact that it is quite possible that the US will indeed modify its laws here because of a trade agreement, this would be happening even though the laws in question enjoy huge support among the US public. Which shows that trade agreements can not only force laws to be changed, but can do so with absolutely no regard to what the people in whose name they are supposedly negotiated, actually want.

    • How to Prevent the Next Global Recession
    • We Need New Budget Agreement to Reverse Mindless Austerity

      Cuts to affordable housing deny resources to transform clusters of poverty into functioning and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods and eliminate lead poisoning in communities such as Baltimore, where this preventable and prevalent illness is a contributing factor in the cycle of poverty.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Charter Industry Strong-Arms Public Officials; $3.3 Billion Spent (Part 5)

      The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has pledged to tighten controls of its quarter-billion-dollar-a-year charter schools program—a program repeatedly criticized by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for waste and inadequate financial controls, as CMD has helped document in this special report series.

    • The Press And Bernie Sanders

      As the Vermont liberal spreads his income equality campaign message, the press corps seems unsure of how to cover him. In the month since he announced his bid, Sanders’ coverage seems to pale in comparison to comparable Republican candidates who face an arduous task of obtaining their party’s nomination. The reluctance is ironic, since the D.C. press corps for months brayed loudly about how Hillary Clinton must face a primary challenger. Now she has one and the press can barely feign interest?

    • Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden

      Jeremy Hammond’s hack of Stratfor, a corporate intelligence agency, created global solidarity by revealing how the 1% targets activists worldwide.

  • Censorship

    • Did the New Statesman censor its censorship issue?

      Now, Spiegelman has accused the magazine of censoring him. In a post on his Facebook page, Spiegelman says that he pulled the special cover he had drawn for the magazine at the last minute after the magazine went back on an agreement to include his ‘First Amendment Fundamentalist’ full-page cartoon. The cartoon in question referenced the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.

    • A summer break from campus muzzling

      The attack on free expression is sinister because it asserts that such freedom is not merely unwise but, in a sense, meaningless. Free speech is more comprehensively and aggressively embattled now than ever before in American history, largely because of two 19th-century ideas. One is that history — actually, History, a proper noun — has a mind of its own. The other is that most people do not really have minds of their own.

    • 6 June: Artistic censorship in repressive regime

      The panel will be asked to explore from their personal and political perspective different aspects of freedom of expression in repressive regimes; the interface between artistic inspiration and life in repressive regimes, and the role of the media in terms of raising awareness of the increasing restrictions placed on artists to curb freedom of expression.

    • Anti-Censorship Coalition Backs Steinbeck’s Book
    • Censorship of breasts is misogynistic

      Sexualization of the female body is a man-made concept, a notion that dates far prior to the tantalizing brushstrokes of Picasso’s daring hand. Society’s ingrains the impression that the female body is somehow erotic and must be suppressed in order to prevent adultery and fornication. Instead of placing responsibility on the patrilineal figures, the blame is continually set on women.

    • Nipple censorship: Why are we so afraid of the human body?

      I have nipples.

      As does everyone. So why are we obsessed with hiding them?

      Instagram clarified its nipple rule last week: They are a no-no, but breastfeeding is OK, as are mastectomy scars. Facebook is also anti-nip.

    • Should Authors Shun or Cooperate With Chinese Censors?

      A report by the PEN American Center, which found some books were expurgated by Chinese censors without the authors even knowing it, called on those who want their works published in the lucrative Chinese market to be vigilant, and recommended a set of principles in dealing with publishers.

    • ‘The UK is becoming the world leader in censorship’, says obscenity lawyer following porn ID checks proposal

      Britain is at the cutting-edge of censorship, it has been claimed, as government plans to implement ID-based age checks for pornography websites gather pace.

    • UK pornography industry proposes user ID checks for adult websites

      Britons may soon face identity checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between Whitehall and the private sector.

      A scheme proposed by the pornography industry would see adult sites verifying visitors’ identity with organisations such as banks, credit reference agencies or even the NHS.

    • Free porn sites in the UK could be subject to age checks
    • UK porn laws might mean ID checks with the post office
    • Will User ID Verification Proposed By UK Pornography Industry Come To The US?
    • The onslaught of Internet porn
    • Government plans pose serious risk to free expression

      The new UK government’s plans to tackle extremism and introduce a British bill of rights, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May, raise the stakes significantly for freedom of expression in the United Kingdom.

    • Scholar takes a dim view of haredi censors

      Last week, after Israel’s new cabinet ministers posed for a photographer, the picture appeared in a popular news site and a newspaper serving the country’s haredi, or fervently Orthodox, community. There was, however, a notable alteration: The faces of the three women cabinet ministers were blurred out, apparently for the sake of “modesty.”

    • Film censorship in China

      A group of Chinese filmmakers, scholars and curators discuss independent filmmaking in China and the government’s crackdown on independent film festivals in recent years

    • Muhammad Cartoon Ad Blocked From D.C. Buses and Train Stations

      The mass transit authority that oversees commuter buses and trains in the nation’s capital is banning issue-oriented ads for the remainder of the year after receiving an ad proposal featuring a cartoon of Muhammad, Islam’s central figure.

      The cartoon is a sketch by artist Bosch Fawstin of a turban-wearing, sword-wielding man saying “You can’t draw me!” It won a “draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, that was unsuccessfully attacked by Muslim-American roommates earlier this month.

      The ads would have sported a banner saying “Support Free Speech.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • U.S. removes Cuba from list of terrorism sponsors
    • “Pretrial Punishment”: Julian Assange Remains in Ecuadorean Embassy Fearing Arrest If He Leaves

      Five years ago this week, U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was arrested in Kuwait and charged with leaking classified information. Weeks later, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of internal logs from the war in Afghanistan. It was one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history. Major articles ran in The New York Times, Guardian, Der Spiegel and other outlets. Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley, and Julian Assange soon became household names. While Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail, Assange has been living for the past three years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has political asylum. Assange faces investigations in both Sweden and the United States. Here in the United States, a secret grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks for its role in publishing leaked Afghan and Iraq war logs and State Department cables. In Sweden, Assange is wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct, though no charges have been filed. “Look at Thomas Drake, for example, NSA whistleblower … The pretrial process was both the deterrent, the general deterrent, and it was the penalty,” Assange said. “And the same thing is happening here in the WikiLeaks process, where we have no rights as a defendant because the formal trial hasn’t started yet. The same thing has happened with me here in this embassy in relation to the Swedish case: no charges, no trial, no ability to defend yourself, don’t even have a right to documents, because you’re not even a defendant.”

    • Julian Assange on NSA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Secretive Deal, and Europe’s Secret Plan for Military Force on Refugee Boats from Libya.
    • VIDEO: Julian Assange on NSA, TPP, British Nukes, Libyan Refugees and His Struggle for Freedom

      In an hourlong discussion on “Democracy Now!” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that the NSA can continue to spy on Americans in spite of legislation coming out of Congress and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is about corporate control.

    • Real Democracy Promotion: Lord Acton and Tom Clancy vs John Yoo

      This currently anti-democratic system can likely be traced to a couple of weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when a top secret memo was written by Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Attorney John Yoo, (who would also write the “torture memo” a year later). The OLC memo stated, among other things: “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully. ‘When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.’” This OLC opinion–see full article by retired Army Major Todd Pierce–claimed authority of the President as the Commander in Chief to use the military both inside and outside of the U.S., and was probably the authority for the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) military operation within the U.S., spying on Americans.

    • Dallas PD Guts Specifics From Citizen Recording Policy, Leaving Only Vague Reminder To Respect Pre-Existing Rights

      It shouldn’t need to come to this, but the Dallas Police Department has finally issued a policy related to citizen photography. There are many reasons law enforcement agencies need to remind officers of the right to record, but the Dallas PD may have needed a bit more of a nudge after a Texas legislator tried (unsuccessfully) to impose additional restrictions on citizen recordings — like a 25-foot “halo” around working officers, supposedly for their safety.

    • New Dallas Police Photo Rights Policy Way Too Vague, Photographers Say

      The Dallas Police Department has officially released a new general order that’s meant to inform officers on photographers’ rights. The document, titled “Public Recording of Official Acts,” warns officers that they cannot interfere with a person photographing or filming their activities as long as the recording is being done in an appropriate way.

    • Man Threatens Suicide, Police Kill Him

      On May 11, Justin Way was drinking and threatening to hurt himself. His father, George Way, said his son was a recovering alcoholic and had been alcohol-free for five weeks.

      “He just lost his job, and he had a setback,” he said.

      Way’s live-in girlfriend, Kaitlyn Christine Lyons, said she’d caught Justin drinking a bottle of vodka, which she took away from him to pour out. She said he was drunk, lying in their bed with a large knife, saying he would hurt himself with it. She called a non-emergency number in an attempt to get her boyfriend to a local St. Augustine, Florida, hospital for help—and told them she did not feel threatened.

      “My brother has been Baker Acted three times because he was threatening to hurt himself so I figured that would happen with Justin,” said Lyons. Florida’s Baker Act allows the involuntary institutionalization of an individual, and it can be initiated by law enforcement officials.

      “The only person Justin threatened was himself and I honestly don’t think he wanted to die.”

      Minutes later, two St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies, 26-year-old Jonas Carballosa and 32-year-old Kyle Braig, arrived at the home, armed with assault rifles, and told Kaitlyn to wait outside.

      “I thought they were going into war,” she remembered thinking when she first saw the large guns. Within moments, Justin was shot dead.

    • Sunk: How Ross Ulbricht ended up in prison for life

      On October 1, 2013, the last day that Ross Ulbricht would be free, he didn’t leave his San Francisco home until nearly 3:00pm. When he did finally step outside, he walked ten minutes to the Bello Cafe on Monterey Avenue but found it full, so he went next door to the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library. There, he sat down at a table by a well-lit window in the library’s small science fiction section and opened his laptop.

      From his spot in the library, Ulbricht, a 29-year-old who lived modestly in a rented room, settled in to his work. Though outwardly indistinguishable from the many other techies and coders working in San Francisco, Ulbricht actually worked the most unusual tech job in the city—he ran the Silk Road, the Internet’s largest drug-dealing website.

    • Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

      Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the darkweb drug marketplace known as the Silk Road, has just been sentenced to more imprisonment than he has actual lives: two life sentences and “max sentences on all other charges.” In addition, the government has chosen to hold him financially culpable for every single transaction that occurred at the Silk Road — a fine of $184 million — $166 million of which it has already recouped through the auction of seized Bitcoins.

    • Former House speaker Dennis Hastert indicted by federal grand jury

      J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed person to cover up “past misconduct.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • After FBI domain expires, seized Megaupload.com serves up porn

        Earlier this week, something suspicious started happening with Web addresses related to sites seized by the FBI from Megaupload and a number of online gambling sites. Instead of directing browsers to a page with an FBI banner, they started dropping Web surfers onto a malicious feed of Web advertisements—some of them laden with malware.

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