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08.01.15

Links 1/8/2015: Steam Sale, blackPanther OS 14.1

Posted in News Roundup at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • FFmpeg’s Leader Resigns, Hopes To Make Libav Developers Come Back

    Michael Niedermayer, the leader of the FFmpeg project for the past eleven years, has made a surprise announcement today: he’s resigning as its leader.

    Niedermayer is resigning as he no longer feels he’s the best leader for FFmpeg, given the current Libav fork still persisting even after Debian dropped Libav and is returning to FFmpeg.

  • Open source Copyright Hub unveiled with ’90+ projects’ in the pipeline

    The web has grown up without letting people own and control their own stuff, but a British-backed initiative might change all that, offering a glimpse of how the internet can work in the future. Their work will all be open sourced early next year.

    Britain’s much-anticipated Copyright Hub was given ministerial blessing when it finally opened its kimono today, boasting a pipeline of over 90 projects covering commercial and free uses.

  • Events

    • Banks’ Family Values; Texas Linux Fest & More…

      All in the Family: It seems that the Banks family of Los Angeles has taken upon itself to single-handedly invite the wider world to the see and try out the benefits of FOSS and programming. We reported on Keila Banks speaking at OSCON last week, but so has Business Insider and MTV News — and now MSNBC is getting in on the act by having her on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show at 8 a.m. Saturday. Check your local listings.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Redis open source DBMS overview

      Redis runs on Linux. Although the Redis project doesn’t directly support Windows, Microsoft Open Technologies develops and maintains a Windows port targeting Win64.

      The Redis open source DBMS is available as a BSD license. The Redis community offers support through the official mailing list as well as #redis on Freenode. Commercial support is available through Pivotal, the official sponsor of Redis. Pivotal offers two levels of professional support.

    • A shout-out to SQLAlchemy

      So here’s a shout-out to Mike B. at SQLAlchemy for his quick work. (And I’m glad the effort of making a good-as-I-can bugreport paid off.)

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The document Foundation Released LibreOffice 4.4.5 With Bug Fixes

      The document foundation released another update LibreOffice 4.4.5 which contains 80+ bug fixes over the previous release. LibreOffice is one of the most popular Office app that is also very active. Regular releases makes it more stable and feature-rich. According to the team LibreOffice 4.4.5 replaces LibreOffice 4.3.7 as “still” version for more conservative users and enterprise deployment. Install this update in Ubuntu/Linux Mint or other derivatives to get bug fixes.

    • Surprises, claws and various articles

      Dear readers, something nice but unexpected came up recently. As you can imagine, preparations for the release of LibreOffice 5 are keeping many people busy these days. Among the things that need to be found is the choice of collaterals and various elements for communication. It could very well be that readers of this blog will have a nice surprise the day LibreOffice 5 is released!

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.2-RC2 Released, Riding On Schedule Nicely

      Glen Barber announced the release of FreeBSD 10.2-RC2 today for those wanting to do some weekend BSD testing.

      FreeBSD 10.2-RC2 has changes to pkg, ntpd, nvme, a UEFI loader fix, and an assortment of other bug/regression fixes across the stack.

    • [FreeBSD-Announce] vBSDcon: September 11 – 13, 2015

      vBSDcon is a technical conference for the various BSD communities that is hosted by Verisign for users and developers of BSD-based systems. vBSDcon 2015 is being held in Reston, VA from September 11 – 13, 2015 at the Sheraton Reston hotel. vBSDcon is an ideal event for systems and network administrators, developers, and engineers with a focus on BSD-based technologies. The early bird registration rate of $75.00 is available through August 13, 2015 at vBSDcon.com.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Civil society pushing open source in Bulgaria

      The civil society organisation Obshtestvo.bg Foundation has been pressing as well as helping the Bulgarian government to incorporate open source in its legislation. Open source is now the preferred development form for eGovernment projects. The Bulgarian Council of Ministers has voted that the same requirements will be applicable to all government-funded software projects.

    • US House Opens Up to Open Source

      Providers of open source software recently found another market: the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. That market easily will grow to many thousands of potential open source users when the staffs of each representative, as well as the staffs of various House committees, are added to the total.

      Three advocacy organizations — the Sunlight Foundation, the Congressional Data Coalition, and the OpenGov Foundation — last month jointly announced that certain procurement restrictions that had constrained the use of open source technology in the House had been clarified.

      Read more

  • Openness/Sharing

    • KDE Plasma Mobile, NPR’s newsroom tool, and more news
    • Open Data

      • An open source mapping primer

        You now need a way to embed a map, manipulate the map tiles, and overlay other data onto the map. Leaflet is a popular choice for doing this. It’s an open source Javascript library that lets you easily create “slippy” maps with tiled base layers, panning and zooming, and various layered features such as markers at specific geographical coordinates (i.e. latitude and longitude). It handles interactions with the map, has a fairly rich and well-documented API, and also works with a wide collection of plugin that provide additional features.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Powering the Open Data Center

      Open source leadership is a big responsibility for Intel. When we take leadership positions in the open source ecosystem, it pushes us to advance the entire industry along with our company. In that mindset, Intel is investing a tremendous amount to continue expanding the boundaries of what technology can do for the data center and to ensure there is an ecosystem that facilitates the innovation required to meet enterprise demands and spur adoption.

  • Security

    • The cyber-mechanics who protect your car from hackers

      “Most manufacturers know there is a problem and they’re working on solutions, but no-one will go public with it,” explains Martin Hunt, who works in automotive penetration testing for UK telecommunications firm BT.

    • US to rethink hacker tool export rules after mass freakout in security land

      Proposed changes to the US government’s export controls on hacking tools will likely be scaled back following widespread criticism from the infosec community, a government spokesman has said.

      “A second iteration of this regulation will be promulgated,” a spokesman for the US Department of Commerce told Reuters, “and you can infer from that that the first one will be withdrawn.”

      The proposed restrictions are required by the Wassenaar Arrangement, a 41-nation pact that first came into effect in 1996 and which calls for limits on trade of “dual-use goods,” meaning items that have both civilian and military applications.

      In 2013, the list of goods governed under the Arrangement was amended to include technologies used for testing, penetrating, and exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks.

    • Remote denial of service vulnerability exposes BIND servers

      BIND operators released new versions of the DNS protocol software overnight to patch a critical vulnerability which can be exploited for use in denial-of-service cyberattacks.

      Lead investigator Michael McNally from the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) said in a security advisory the bug, CVE-2015-5477, is a critical issue which can allow hijackers to send malicious packets to knock out email systems, websites and other online services.

    • Botnet takedowns: are they worth it?

      The number of botnets has grown rapidly over the last decade. From Gameover Zeus leveraging encrypted peer-to-peer command and control servers, to Conflicker, infecting millions of computers across the world – botnets are continuing to infiltrate many internet-based services and causing mass disruption, and it’s getting worse.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Palestinian infant burned to death in West Bank arson; IDF blames ‘Jewish terror’

      A one-and-a-half year-old Palestinian infant was burned to death and three of his family members were seriously wounded late Thursday night after a house was set on fire in the village of Douma, near Nablus.

      According to reports, settlers were those who set the house on fire after targeting it with firebombs and graffiti. The Israeli military called the attack “Jewish terror,” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials echoed the claim, vehemently condemning the attack.

    • CIA concludes US-led fight against IS a ‘strategic stalemate’: Report

      A year into US-led fight, Islamic State group’s membership levels remain consistent and group has spread geographically

    • USA: A clone of Israeli national security state

      Over the past decade, Israel lobby groups have founded exchange programmes with US police and homeland security agencies which have imported Israeli policing and national security practices to the US. Groups like the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee recruit delegations of high-level American security officials to liaise with Israeli counterparts in the police, military intelligence and internal security. Hundreds of officers have participated in these trips from departments in a score or more of US cities. New York even has its own police liaison office located inside an Israeli police station.

    • US to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years

      The United Sates granted parole to Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and he will be freed in November. Pollard has been in U.S jail for almost 30 years. However, the U.S. government denied speculations that Pollard’s release is a gesture to placate Israel for softening its opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • California Using Recycled Fracking Water To Irrigate Crops

      California’s governor, a recipient of generous donations from the oil and gas industry, is now responsible for putting dangerous “frack water” into the American food supply.

      As California struggles with a historic drought, some farmers in California’s agriculturally fertile Central Valley turned to a water recycling program, allowing them to irrigate their crops at a fraction of the normal cost. According to Phys.org, the recycled water costs about $33 per square foot, while freshwater could cost as much as $1,500 for the same amount.

    • Cecil the lion’s brother Jericho shot dead on SAME day Zimbabwe bans hunting

      Zimbabwe has BANNED the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in a part of the country frequently used by hunters.

      The nation’s wildlife authorities put the ban in place following the outrage overt he death of Cecil the lion.

      Tragically, despite the ban coming in place today, it was announced that Jericho, Cecil’s brother, was shot dead by poachers.

      Bow and arrow hunts, like the one undertaken by the killer dentist Walter Palmer, have also been suspended – unless hunters are approved by the National Parks and Wildlife Authority’s director.

      Zimbabwean authorities said the hunt was illegal and are seeking the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer.

    • Cecil the lion’s brother Jericho shot dead in Zimbabwe by illegal hunters: officials

      Cecil the lion’s brother Jericho has been shot dead in Zimbabwe by illegal hunters, officials said Saturday.

      “It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil’s brother has been killed at 4pm today,” the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said in a statement. “We are absolutely heartbroken.”

  • Finance

    • “They bury the values of democracy”

      Yanis Varoufakis spent only five months in office as the Greek finance minister. But even that was enough to drive his colleagues to distraction – and his fans into a frenzy. An encounter in Athens.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Israel’s secret-keeper seeks censorship reform

      Soon-to-retire military censor envisions civil agency to provide ‘guidance’ rather than censorship to media

    • Interview: IDF’s secret-keeper seeks censorship reform

      As she prepares to retire next month, the chief military censor wants a steamlined, modern agency to provide advance ‘guidance’ rather than ‘censorship’.

    • Outgoing IDF chief censor: Israel’s preventive censorship is becoming irrelevant
    • Marc Shapiro and Jewish Censorship

      For years now Professor Marc Shapiro of the University of Scranton has revealed examples of mind control in Jewish sources. Opinions regarded as too lenient have been expurgated from books of responsa. Opinions once considered acceptable have now been proscribed in the current witchhunt against anything that might not completely condemn secular education. Records of great rabbis reading newspapers, Heaven forfend, have been removed from publications. Rabbis who held Zionist, tolerant, or modern views have had their names removed. Original approbations of great rabbis have been cut from their books so as not to misguide innocent modern readers.

      But thanks to easy access to original uncensored editions and the availability of texts online, this is now out in the open and clear for all to see (who are not blind). In his latest book, Changing the Immutable, Professor Shapiro has provided an invaluable service to the world of Torah scholarship by giving chapter and verse of so many examples of censorship and distortion.

    • Media practised self-censorship when I was PM, says Dr Mahathir

      “When I was the prime minister, there was press freedom but it is the media itself who did self-censorship, as if they didn’t want to hurt leaders’ feelings. This is the habit that we have in Malaysia,” he said at a book launch in Putrajaya today.

      He also said local mainstream media were too cautious.

      “They think what if leaders don’t like what they write,”he said.

      He added, however, that media like Harakah and The Rocket sometimes went overboard in criticising the government.

    • Censorship is killing student stand-up

      This attitude is toxic to comedy. Stand-up is nerve-racking enough; if young comics are constantly worried about being banned for speaking out of turn, how are they supposed to take the risks that allow you to grow as a performer? It’s bad enough when students’ unions ban professional comedians, for fear that their jokes will turn unthinking students into lads, Zionists or whatever the fear of the day is. But clamping down on 19-year-olds who can barely remember their lines? That’s laughable.

    • Politicians slam council chiefs for ‘censorship’ of controversial play about SNP activist

      POLITICIANS have accused West Dunbartonshire Council of censorship after it dropped a play about SNP activist Willie MacRae before telling the show’s producer he could come back if the Labour administration was given the boot in the next elections.

      After a successful run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe , Andy Paterson from Theatre Magnetico said the authority called him asking about the possibility of putting his play 3,000 Trees: The Death of Willie Macrae on at Clydebank Town Hall.

    • Facebook Censors bianet’s News about Censorship

      Social networking service Facebook censored bianet news “Facebook Censors Kaos GL for ‘nudity’”.

      On July 29, bianet made news of Facebook censorship on Kaos GL, an LGBTI organization, which allegedly ‘violated the community rules’.

      We shared the news on Facebook and then Facebook censored our news stating the original photograph of the news as we used as headline violated the community rules.

    • When it comes to censorship, WordPress has your back

      Automattic, WordPress’s parent company, has a new transparency report that shows that they’ve bounced 43% of their 2015 copyright censorship demands for being frivolous or invalid.

    • Censorship is no substitute for enforcement

      Earlier this month, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici announced that his government would be amending archaic obscenity laws to remove the threat of imprisonment for ‘vilification of religion’, while regularising pornography within certain limitations.

    • Anti-Abbott poster erected by Australian students sparks row over censorship
    • Anti-Abbott poster erected by Castlemaine Secondary College students sparks row over censorship
    • Anti-Abbott poster erected by Castlemaine Secondary College students sparks row over censorship
    • An Artist Took Topless Photos of Women at the New York Supreme Court to Protest Censorship

      In August 2013, Allen Henson, a veteran-turned-photographer, visited the Empire State Building with his girlfriend. Henson took a topless photo of her on the observation deck and never imagined what would follow.

      In 2014, the Empire State Building filed a lawsuit against Henson for over $1 million, arguing he used the premises for commercial purposes (though Henson insists it was not a photoshoot and was exclusively for personal use) and ruined the building’s “reputation as a safe and secure family-friendly tourist attraction,” reports the Huffington Post.

    • Instagram bans #goddess from site

      Photo-sharing app Instagram has banned the hashtag #goddess because “inappropriate” images were allegedly shared, media reports said.

    • The Holes In Instagram’s Censorship Of Eating Disorders

      Recently, the social media site reversed its ban on searches for #curvy after users protested it by using the hashtag #curvee. Mashable reported Instagram now plans to filter out inappropriate content using the hashtag, stating #curvy was banned earlier this month due to content which violated its community guidelines, but insisting the ban had nothing to do with the term “curvy” itself.

    • Censors Cut Fan Bingbing’s Intimate Horse Scene in ‘Lady of the Dynasty’

      In the scene, Lai’s character Tang dynasty Emperor Xuanzong tore off the clothes of Fan’s character Yang Guifei and the couple engaged in an intimate encounter. Netizens feasted on the screenshots of the movie trailer and some suggested the possibility of censoring the part for its “bad influence” on the youth.

    • How Beijing’s censorship impairs U.S.China relations

      Over the past two years, the Chinese authorities have taken new steps to block Chinese citizens’ access to information from U.S. companies and media. These actions not only limit Chinese citizens’ access to news and entertainment, but they also harm U.S. businesses, media outlets, and innovators. In effect, the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive efforts to defend its political monopoly are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars a year.

      These dynamics pose a challenge to smoother bilateral relations. They undermine trust, create obstacles to cooperation, and infuse business interactions with an underlying sense of unfairness. As such, they should be high on the agenda of any meeting between American and Chinese officials, be it the just concluded U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue or Xi Jinping’s upcoming U.S. visit in September.

    • How egalitarianism became a microaggression

      Now, to the ever-growing list of what’s racist we can add refusing to believe in the completely constructed and repulsive category of race in the first place. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), staff are being told that statements such as ‘I don’t believe in race’, ‘there is only one race, the human race’ and ‘America is a melting pot’ are no longer acceptable. In official UCLA guidelines uncovered by College Fix, all of these statements are branded ‘microaggressions’ – offhand comments or social slights which, the UCLA literature says, ‘communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages’ to marginalised groups. That’s right: at this university, if you don’t believe in race, you’re probably a racist.

    • Non-religious groups criticise PM Lee’s remarks on “godless society”

      Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s remarks about how a “godless society” would bring “many other problems”, have raised the ire of some groups.

      “Overall, we think religion is a good thing,” Mr Lee said recently in an interview with TIME magazine. “I mean, if we were godless society, we would have many other problems, the communists found that out.”

      Mr Lee made those remarks when he spoke on the recent case of video-blogger Amos Yee whose online video on the late Lee Kuan Yew was also deemed to have “wounded the religious feelings of Christians.”

      “In our society, which is multiracial and multi-religious, giving offence to another religious or ethnic group, race, language or religion, is always a very serious matter. In this case, he’s a 16-year-old, so you have to deal with it appropriately because he’s (of a) young age,” Mr Lee said.

      The Prime Minister’s remarks about how a “godless society” would bring “many more problems”, however were criticised by at least two groups of non-religious groups.

      “Recent history shows that a state’s success or failure has more to do with its economic and political ideologies, governance, people and external factors beyond the state’s control than with religiosity,” said Leftwrite Center and the Humanist Society (Singapore) in a letter to TODAY.

    • PAP shows desperation by drawing electoral lines

      Our supreme leader has shown signs of weakness by targeting the likes of Roy Ngerng and Amos Yee.

    • Legal assistance for online media more critical today

      With the recent announcements of the electoral boundaries and the impending general elections looming, it is a forgone conclusion that blog activity and online discussions will spike. In tandem with growing public perception that state owned media outlets are the government’s mouthpieces, the Internet is fast becoming the forum du jour for political debates and information dissemination.

    • Asia’s ‘Unruly’ Children

      Ostensibly, 16-year-old Amos Yee was charged with “wounding the religious feelings of Christians” in a YouTube video that lambasted Lee Kuan Yew and compared him to Jesus, whom the young blogger described as ‘power hungry and malicious’. Amos was also found guilty of posting obscene material on the Internet, reference to a crude illustration of Lee and former British premier Margaret Thatcher in an acrobatic sex maneuver.

    • Canada is no friend of free speech, and as citizens get fined for criticizing police and lawyers get prosecuted

      O Canada! The land of Mounties and beavers and hockey and…hate speech tribunals? Yes, it’s no secret that Canada is no friend of free speech, and as citizens get fined for criticizing police and lawyers get prosecuted for criticizing a government agency, things are only getting worse. Join James in today’s Thought for the Day to find out more.

    • Rapid Pirate Site Blocking Mechanism Introduced By Portugal

      In concert with rightsholders and Internet service providers, Portugal has just introduced a mechanism which enables the streamlined blocking of ‘pirate’ sites. Set to go into effect during mid-August, the system will target sites with more than 500 allegedly infringing links and those whose indexes contain more than 66% infringing content.

  • Privacy

    • Groups urge Obama to oppose cyberthreat sharing bills

      The coalition of 39 digital rights and privacy groups and 29 security experts urged Obama to threaten to veto the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), a bill that may come to the Senate floor for a vote by early August. CISA would protect from customer lawsuits those businesses that share cyberthreat information.

      “CISA fails to protect users’ personal information,” the coalition said in a letter to Obama, sent Monday. “It allows vast amounts of personal data to be shared with the government, even that which is not necessary to identify or respond to a cybersecurity threat.”

    • Legislative Cyber Threats: CISA’s Not The Only One

      If anyone in the United States Senate had any doubts that the proposed Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA) was universally hated by a range of civil society groups, a literal blizzard of faxes should’ve cleared up the issue by now.

    • New attack on Tor can deanonymize hidden services with surprising accuracy

      Deanonymization requires luck but nonetheless shows limits of Tor privacy.

    • Tor connection vulnerability uncloaks hidden web services

      MIT researchers have developed digital attacks which can unmask Tor services in the Deep Web with a high degree of accuracy.

    • How the way you type can shatter anonymity—even on Tor

      Security researchers have refined a long-theoretical profiling technique into a highly practical attack that poses a threat to Tor users and anyone else who wants to shield their identity online.

    • Internet of things: the greatest mass surveillance infrastructure ever?

      The word “thing”, in Old English, means a meeting or assembly. In the epic poem Beowulf, the eponymous hero declares he’ll “alone hold a thing” with the monster Grendel, who is terrorising the Danes in the great hall of Heorot. Beowulf uses “thing” euphemistically – it is a meeting that immediately descends into a fight.

      The Icelandic parliament is still called Althing (Alþingi). But over the ages, “things” have gradually evolved from meetings to matter. Today, we primarily use the term “thing” to refer to objects. Even in this sense, however, things are still core to our political and social lives.

      An appreciation that things have always been about community and politics, whether literally, or through the creation and respect of systems of private property, provides a useful backdrop to the recent book, Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up, by writer and professor of communication, Philip N Howard.

    • France approves ‘Big Brother’ surveillance powers despite UN concern

      France’s highest authority on constitutional matters has approved a controversial bill that gives the state sweeping new powers to spy on citizens.

      The constitutional council made only minor tweaks to the legislation, which human rights and privacy campaigners, as well as the United Nations, have described as paving the way for “very intrusive” surveillance and state-approved eavesdropping and computer-hacking.

    • Incongruities in the News — Paul Craig Roberts

      Jonathan Pollard, a paid spy for Israel described by Michael D. Shear as “one of the country’s most notorious spies,” has been pardoned from his life sentence. It strikes me as hypocritical for the US government to sentence anyone to prison for spying when the government itself spies on everyone everywhere. All Americans including members of the House and Senate, congressional staff, military officers, foreign governments including the leaders of Washington’s closest allies, and foreign businesses are spied upon. No one is exempt from Washington’s spying.

      Washington claims that its worldwide spying does no harm. So how did the very limited spying of one person—Pollard—a civilian employee of Naval intelligence do so much harm as to warrant a life sentence? What some of us would like to see is a life sentence for NSA.

      What disturbs me about the case is that it is Pollard, who spied for a foreign country, who is released. In contrast, Manning and Snowden who spied for the American people are locked away, Manning in a federal prison and Snowden in his Russian exile. Julian Assange, who merely did his job as a journalist and made available to newspapers documents leaked to him, is confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption

      As the Obama administration campaign to stop the commercialization of strong encryption heats up, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is firing back on behalf of the companies like Apple and Google that are finding themselves under attack.

      “Technologists and companies working to protect ordinary citizens should be applauded, not sued or prosecuted,” Snowden wrote in an email through his lawyer.

    • NSA Doesn’t Want Court That Found Phone Dragnet Illegal to Actually Do Anything About It

      The National Security Agency doesn’t think it’s relevant that its dragnet of American telephone data — information on who’s calling who, when, and for how long — was ruled illegal back in May.

      An American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit is asking the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which reached that conclusion, to immediately enjoin the program.

      But the U.S. government responded on Monday evening, saying that Congressional passage of the USA Freedom Act trumped the earlier ruling. The Freedom Act ordered an end to the program — but with a six-month wind-down period.

    • Stepping into an NSA agent’s shoes is just a download away
    • Seen: Self-censoring font redacts words monitored by the NSA
    • Former NSA Leaker Thomas Drake Now Working in Retail
    • NSA Whistleblower Describes Ongoing Anguish
    • The Original NSA Whistleblower Is Still Rebuilding His Life
    • US spies on Japan trade talks: WikiLeaks
    • WikiLeaks reveals US spied on Japan too
    • WikiLeaks files suggest US spied on Japan, Japanese companies
    • Wikileaks says US spied on Japanese government, companies
    • WikiLeaks alleges widespread U.S. spying on Japanese government, major companies
    • Wikileaks: US ‘spied on Japan government and companies’

      The US has been spying on Japanese cabinet officials, banks and companies, including the Mitsubishi conglomerate, whistleblowing website Wikileaks says.

      Documents released by Wikileaks list 35 telephone numbers targeted for interception by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

      [...]

      Wikileaks says the NSA shared the information it had gathered with Australia, Canada, the UK and New Zealand – the so-called “Five Eyes” group.

    • WikiLeaks Docs Purport To Show The U.S. Spied On Japan’s Government

      New classified documents released by WikiLeaks purport to show that the United States spied on Japan’s government, as well as on Japanese banks and companies, including Mitsubishi.

    • US has spied on Japan for years, reveals Wikileaks

      WIKILEAKS published evidence of the United States spying on its ally Japan yesterday, including a list of government and business targets.

      The whistle-blowing website published its “Target Tokyo” list of 35 of US National Security Agency (NSA) targets — the Cabinet Office, the Bank of Japan and corporate giants Mitsubishi and Mitsui among them — going back at least eight years.

    • US Will Escape Consequences After NSA Caught Spying on Japanese Officials

      The US National Security Agency spied on Japanese high-profile officials and businessmen, WikiLeaks revealed on Friday.

    • Japan’s PM Could Use NSA Spy Reports to Strengthen Secret State – Envoy

      US China Policy Foundation Co-Chair and former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles Freeman Jr. claims that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could use the WikiLeaks revelations of US spying on his government to make security affairs far more secret.

    • US spied on Japanese govt, companies, passed intelligence to Australia, New Zealand

      Washington spied on its key ally, Japan, and passed intelligence on to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, WikiLeaks has revealed. The NSA targeted 35 high-ranking Japanese officials and top companies, and also tracked trade negotiations.

    • WikiLeaks Discloses NSA Intercepted Japan’s Secret Climate Change Plans

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted Japanese climate change plans of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that had been intended to be kept secret from the United States, WikiLeaks revealed on Friday.

    • Leak Shows US Spying on Japan Over Climate Change — and Cherries

      One document that summarizes intercepted communications from 2007 discusses plans by the Japanese government to announce plans to halve their carbon emissions by 2050.

    • Climate and Cherry Disputes in WikiLeaks Documents Show U.S.-Japan Relations Can Be the Pits

      New U.S. spying records offer a view of the mundane diplomacy between two allied, industrialized nations. But five excerpted cables, released Friday by WikiLeaks, show relations aren’t always sunny or sweet.

    • US spied on Japanese PM Abe, Mitsubishi, and so much more

      The targets of the cyber-spying included stealing secrets on US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and climate change policy. Fruits of the spying, exposed in leaked documents published by WikiLeaks on Friday, were shared with the US’s Five Eyes spying partners.

    • Tokyo to Protest US Spying on Gov’t, Companies if Allegations Confirmed

      Tokyo will lodge a formal protest with the US government if the WikiLeaks revelations of NSA spying on Japanese officials and businesses are proved.

    • WikiLeaks: NSA spied on Abe and Japanese companies

      Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, key figures of his former administration and several of Japan’s most powerful companies have been the targets of long-term US spying operations, according to documents published on the WikiLeaks website.

    • Target Tokyo: WikiLeaks reveals NSA spied on Japanese PM Shinzō Abe and companies like Mitsubishi

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) undertook systematic mass surveillance of Japanese politicians, ministries and corporations over a number of years, according to recently published documents. The revelations come from whistleblowing organisation WikiLeaks, which released a list of 35 top secret targets in Japan on Friday morning (31 July).

    • Exclusive: US bugs Japan on trade and climate

      Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and the top levels of the Japanese government are being spied on by America, and the information shared with allies including Australia, according to secret intelligence documents published by WikiLeaks.

    • NSA was spying on Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, WikiLeaks reveals

      WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing organisation recently revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was actively spying on some of Japan’s high-profile citizens, including the current Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

    • WikiLeaks: NSA also targeted Japan, spied on climate change policy

      Add Japan to the list of countries that the National Security Agency purportedly spied on. New documents published by WikiLeaks alleges that the NSA kept tabs on Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, his cabinet and companies like Mitsubishi since 2006. In particular, the US paid close attention to Japan’s policies around climate change. That includes details about Abe’s plan to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by half by 2050, which Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) was considering not telling the US about, as well as its confidential G8 summit proposals on climate change. Additionally, the US knew ahead of time that Japan intended to double down on a “sectoral approach” for managing carbon emissions, which focuses on specific carbon goals for sectors like “industry,” “residential” and “transportation.”

    • New leaks show NSA targeting Japanese ministers and energy companies

      The NSA has been keeping a close eye on Japan’s biggest businesses, according to a new publication from Wikileaks. Dubbed “Target Tokyo,” the new files show NSA selector IDs singling out a range of sensitive targets within Japan, including the country’s Minister of Economic Trade and Industry, numerous targets within the country’s finance ministry, and unspecified targets within Mistubishi’s Natural Gas division and Mitsui’s petroleum division.

      The latest release is similar to previous documents that revealed French government targets as well as the personal surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The source of the documents is unknown, but they are not believed to have come from Edward Snowden, who has traditionally published documents through journalistic outlets like The Guardian, The Intercept, or The Washington Post.

    • Target Tokyo

      Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and sensitive climate change strategy.

      The list indicates that NSA spying on Japanese conglomerates, government officials, ministries and senior advisers extends back at least as far as the first administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which lasted from September 2006 until September 2007. The telephone interception target list includes the switchboard for the Japanese Cabinet Office; the executive secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; a line described as “Government VIP Line”; numerous officials within the Japanese Central Bank, including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda; the home phone number of at least one Central Bank official; numerous numbers within the Japanese Finance Ministry; the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa; the Natural Gas Division of Mitsubishi; and the Petroleum Division of Mitsui.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Now it’s Edward Snowden the comic book – man who stole 1.7 MILLION classified documents and revealed NSA’s monitoring program is subject of ‘graphic novel’ [government propaganda, citing the agencies and/or anonymous sources, or unsourced, like the three links below]
    • NSA report shows China hacked 600+ US targets over 5 years

      NBC has released a 2014 slide from a secret NSA Threat Operations Center (NTOC) briefing—a map that shows the locations of “every single successful computer intrusion” by Chinese state-sponsored hackers over a five-year period. More than 600 US businesses and institutions were breached during that period.

    • Exclusive: Secret NSA Map Shows China Cyber Attacks on U.S. Targets
    • How NSA and GCHQ spied on the Cold War world

      American and British intelligence used a secret relationship with the founder of a Swiss encryption company to help them spy during the Cold War, newly released documents analysed by the BBC reveal.

    • NSA pays highway cops $1mn to patrol data centres
    • Local troopers maintain ‘perimeter presence’ at data center as part of contract with NSA
    • Report: Utah Cops Get $1M a Year to Park at NSA Data Center

      The massive controversial NSA data center in Bluffdale, Utah, has police presence that’s costing the agency $1 million a year. State Highway Patrol troopers provide the facility that became a center of attention following Edward Snowden’s disclosures about the agency’s mass surveillance practices with a “perimeter presence” under contract with the feds, reported a local Fox News affiliate.

      In a statement, the NSA (National Security Agency) said the move was to ensure the security of its workforce and the larger community. Public outrage following the Snowden disclosures included protests at the site, putting the secretive facility in the national spotlight.

    • No pardon for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, says US government

      A petition calling for American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden to be pardoned has been rejected by the US government – two years after it was started.

      More than 167,000 people signed the petition – calling for Mr Snowden to be “immediately issued with a full, free, and absolute pardon” – on the government’s official petitions website, We the People.

      But the US government said it would not be acting on it and instead urged Mr Snowden to return to America and be “judged by a jury of his peers”.

    • White House says Snowden should ‘come home, be judged’

      The White House rejected a call today to pardon Edward Snowden, saying the former intelligence contractor should “be judged by a jury of his peers” for leaking US government secrets. The US administration re-iterated its tough stance against the exiled fugitive, whom supporters regard as a whistleblower, in response to a petition on the White House website signed by more than 167,000 people.

      Lisa Monaco, an advisor on homeland security and counterterrorism, said Snowden’s “dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it.” She said that Snowden, who has been granted asylum in Russia after he leaked documents on vast US surveillance programs to journalists, is “running away from the consequences of his actions.”

    • Quoted: White House says no pardon for Edward Snowden

      The administration response is in line with other government officials’ stated stance on Snowden, who a couple of years ago leaked documents he stole from the NSA. Although former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier this month he thought that a deal was possible, a spokeswoman for current U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the administration’s position had not changed.

    • White House Says “Thanks but No Thanks” to Pardon for Snowden
    • Spies helped build Silicon Valley. Now the tables are turning

      David Cameron wants US tech sector companies to do more to fight terrorism. But they’ve grown too powerful to listen

    • Tor Project, Library Freedom Project to establish Tor exit nodes in libraries

      Tor Project and the Library Freedom Project have joined forces to establish Tor exit nodes in libraries in an effort to protect internet freedom, bolster the Tor network and show the public how Tor can be used to protect their digital free expression rights, according to a Tor Project blog post.

    • The NSA will soon stop examining millions of Americans’ calling records
    • NSA won’t get hands on bulk phone data after 29 November
    • NSA will stop looking at old phone records

      The agency says that would be “solely for data integrity purposes to verify the records produced under the new targeted production authorized by the USA FREEDOM Act”.

      The National Security Agency will purge all phone data collected during the operation of its expiring bulk surveillance program by the start of next year pending ongoing litigation, the government announced Monday. Instead, those metadata records – such as the time a call was made, to whom it was made, and the duration of the call – will held by the telephone companies, and the NSA will be required to submit specific search terms in order to request relevant data, after obtaining a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    • NSA sets date for purge of surveillance phone records

      “Analytic access” to the five years worth of records will end on 29 November, and they’ll be destroyed three months later, it said in a statement released on Monday.

    • Why the NSA is destroying its historic telephone surveillance data

      Since Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, the National Security Agency, or NSA, has become a by-word for uncontrolled government surveillance, an Orwellian presence collecting information without remit or restriction.

    • NSA to destroy bulk phone records collected under Patriot Act
    • Chat about Safe Harbour all you like, the NSA’s still the stumbling block

      The EU’s Justice Commissioner met her US counterparts last week in an effort to break the stalemate over data protection rights.

      Věra Jourová and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker met to discuss the revision of the so-called Safe Harbour agreement, a legally enforceable but voluntary code of conduct for US businesses that process European citizens’ data.

      The bilateral deal was reached in 2000 as a way to allow data flows across the North Atlantic, even though the US does not meet the EU’s adequacy standards on data protection.

    • CISA: The Dirty Deal Between Google and the NSA That No One Is Talking About

      One of the things that civil liberties activists like to lament about is that the general public seems to care more about Google and Facebook using their personal data to target advertising than the government using it to target drone strikes.

    • Pending bill could give NSA carte blanche on personal data

      Ever heard of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act? Not many people have, but the bill, which is progressing through the legislative process, could give government agencies access to huge amounts of personal data held by private companies like Google and Facebook.

    • What’s Inside the Justice Department’s Secret Cybersecurity Memo?

      Wyden, the Democratic privacy hawk from Oregon, claims that a classified Justice Department legal opinion written during the early years of the George W. Bush administration is pertinent to the upper chamber’s consideration of cyberlegislation—a warning that reminds close observers of his allusions to the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers years before they were exposed publicly by Edward Snowden.

    • Wyden, Internet privacy guru, pushes back on cyber, intel bills

      Ron Wyden, happy warrior, is at it again.

      The Oregon Democrat is throwing sand in the gears of legislation designed to fight hackers and terrorists over concerns that the bills will limit users’ privacy and free speech.

      With just days left before the August recess, Sen. Wyden is helping to lead a grassroots campaign against the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). The bipartisan bill encourages private companies to share information with the government about cyber threats after a number of high-profile hacks of federal agencies and firms like Sony, Target and Anthem.

    • Magid: Concerns raised about cybersecurity bill

      The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act , or CISA, encourages private companies to share information with the federal government and local law enforcement. The bill, according to its co-author, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, would remove legal barriers for companies to share, receive and use cyberthreat information and cyber countermeasures “on a purely voluntary basis,” while also providing liability protection if user or customer data is shared.

    • Cyber-Surveillance Bill Set to Move to Senate Floor

      The Senate is expected to consider the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754) on the Senate floor soon. The bill was marked up in secret, thereby denying the public an opportunity to better understand the risks the legislation poses. This document analyzes the bill as reported by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on a vote of 14-1.

    • Week of Action Opposing CISA: Over 400,000 Faxes Sent At Halfway Point

      We’re halfway through our Week of Action opposing the privacy-invasive “cybersecurity” bill CISA. This is the fifth time in as many years that Congress is trying to pass an information-sharing bill. The Week of Action aims to stop a rumored vote on the bill before Congress leaves for a 5-week vacation on August 7. We’re only three days in and over 400,000 faxes have been sent to the Senate opposing CISA. Join us now in the Week of Action.

    • Stop Cyber Surveillance
    • Privacy groups use faxes to fight cyber surveillance bill

      A coalition of privacy rights advocates and civil-liberties groups opposed to the proposed Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, is urging American citizens to wage a fax campaign against it – on the theory that if the government wants to impose Orwellian 1984-style surveillance laws on America, maybe circa-1984 technology is the best way to point out the problems with this.

    • Court: German spy agency need not give info on NSA list

      A German federal court has ruled that the country’s spy agency is under no obligation to divulge to the media a list of names compiled from search terms provided to it by the U.S. National Security Agency.

    • Bundestag Demands Access to Surveillance Lists Involved in NSA Scandal

      The G10 Commission of the Bundestag responsible for controlling German intelligence services is going to file a lawsuit against the current German government over a recent espionage scandal with the NSA. The Commission demanded access to BND documents containing lists of objects of surveillance, chairman of the Commission Andre Hahn told Sputnik.

    • German Intelligence Supervisor to Sue Merkel Amid NSA Scandal
    • German Courts Unlikely to Rule Against Gov’t in NSA Scandal
    • Even the former head of NSA thinks crypto backdoors are stupid

      Michael Chertoff, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and a former federal prosecutor, made some surprising remarks last week, coming out strongly against cryptographic backdoors that could be provided to the government upon request.

    • Former Heads of Homeland Security, NSA Back Encryption

      Three prominent former national-security officials endorsed the use of encryption in communications, breaking with President Barack Obama and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey in their standoff with Silicon Valley over new uses of the controversial technology.

      Former National Security Agency Director Mike McConnell, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn backed encryption in an eyebrow-raising editorial published Wednesday in the Washington Post.

    • The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption

      This subtle misdirection shifts the conversation away from a different sort of back door currently being leveraged on a global scale. That would be back doors that are built upon zero-day exploits. An entire industry has emerged to cater to the growing demand for zero-day bugs and the tech monoliths have quietly provided assistance. For example it’s well documented that companies like Microsoft gave the NSA early access to information on zero-day bugs in their products.

    • An Unexpected Voice Speaks Out Against Backdoored Encryption

      Chertoff said weakening encryption would increase the vulnerabilities for ordinary users, force “bad people” into using technology that would be even harder to decrypt, and could become a strategic vulnerability for the United States, especially if Russia and China demanded backdoor access.

    • Even former heads of NSA, DHS think crypto backdoors are stupid
    • Swiss cryptography firm helped NSA during Cold War

      According to an analysis of declassified documents by the BBC, Zug-based company Crypto AG helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) during the Cold War. The firm told swissinfo.ch that it was unaware of this secret collaboration until recently.

    • Law Enforcement Agencies NSA’s ‘New Customer’ for Data – Whistleblower

      NSA whistleblower William Binney claims that the most prominent users of data collected by NSA are federal and international law enforcement agencies.

    • Ex-Qwest CEO: Likely the NSA snatched emails, calls during Salt Lake Olympics

      Joseph Nacchio headed Denver-based Qwest from 1997 to 2002 and later served more than four years in prison on insider-trading convictions involving the telecom giant. He said Wednesday that he couldn’t say whether the company worked with the NSA or FBI to capture such information during the Olympics, but that the agencies could have worked with other executives to gain access without his knowledge.

    • NSA Phone Dragnet Will Be Emptied, Feds Say, If Foes Allow It

      The U.S. government says it wants to empty the National Security Agency’s databases of domestic call records that were collected in bulk, but that it can’t because surveillance foes seeking a courtroom win for privacy rights have forced their retention.

    • NSA won’t look at call metadata collected under the Patriot Act
    • Rogers: NSA, Cybercom Need Partners to Aid Cybersecurity
    • UK Police Want to Secretly Arrest Journalists Who Report on Snowden’s NSA Leaks

      Metropolitan Police claim an investigation into the possibility of prosecuting journalists for their role in publishing secrets leaked by Edward Snowden will be kept secret. The revelation that information won’t be disclosed due to a “possibility of increased threat of terrorist activity” follows the relentless demands for information from journalists at The Intercept

    • Why Some Americans hate Edward Snowden

      It is difficult to feel “exceptional” when we tolerate living in a “democracy” whose government spies on just about everything it can under the pretense of making us “safe” and “free”.

    • Exit Interview: I’m A Crypto-Specialist Working To Secure the Internet For A Billion People

      We spoke with Karsten Nohl, a Berlin-based crypto-specialist, to get a better handle on these issues. Karsten views himself as an ethical hacker who exposes the security flaws of large corporations, including GSM mobile phone carriers and credit card companies, in order to better protect the customers.

      And his research is fascinating. From developing USB “condoms,” to working to help over a billion people in India connect to the internet securely, Karsten is something of a renegade, trying to make the online world a bit safer for us all.

    • US Given Low Grades on Privacy, Surveillance from UN Committee

      Not surprisingly, the United Nations Human Rights Committee gave the United States low scores on privacy and national security surveillance. In particular, the committee concluded the US has failed to establish “meaningful judicial oversight of its surveillance operations, adequate limits on data retention and meaningful access to remedies for privacy violations.”

    • Dig out your old mobile phone and hack an air-gapped computer

      Researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, Israel have discovered a new attack in which data, including passwords and encryption keys, could be stolen from a computer isolated from the web by using an old phone, malware, a GSM network and electromagnetic waves.

    • NSA Tries to Blame Privacy Advocates for Keeping Americans’ Telephone Records

      USA Freedom requires the NSA to stop collecting our telephone records. An open question when the law passed was what should happen to the mountain of records the NSA has already collected. Will the records be destroyed? Will the NSA keep them? Will it be able to keep using them?

      Earlier this week, the NSA announced that it was going to move the stored records out of active use in November, with a three month period when its employees check them for “data integrity” reasons. It noted, however, that it would not be destroying the records until resolution of the various court cases where the government is under a court order to preserve evidence. Three of those cases are EFF’s: Jewel v. NSA, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA and Smith v. Obama. The implication is that the privacy advocates are the reason that these records aren’t being destroyed.

      Not so.

      We have offered to the NSA, in multiple court filings, to enter into a plan under which they can destroy many of the records (maybe not all, but certainly most of them). The NSA just needs to admit that our clients’ telephone records were included in the mass collection and for how long. Alternatively, they could state on the record that none of our clients’ records were ever included in the NSA’s telephone records collection, something that seems inconceivable (we do know what that word means) given that Jewel v. NSA is a class action on behalf of all telephone customers of AT&T.

    • Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project ‘Where to Invade Next’ on Periscope

      One of the big surprises among the world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this September is Michael Moore’s first documentary in six years, “Where To Invade Next.” The usually expansive filmmaker and social media master has kept the project under wraps for a year, he declared on his first Periscope live video via Twitter. (As of Tuesday there was no IMDb listing.)

      “I’d like to say hello to my NSA friends who are watching right now,” Moore said. Clearly, he feels a certain paranoia about his subject, much as Laura Poitras did with “Citizenfour.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Why We Can’t Support Police Unions

      A labor movement that seeks to fight oppression has no room for police unions.

    • Openly gay CIA contractor faked family emergency to leave Afghanistan amid alleged LGBT discrimination by colleagues

      An openly gay CIA contractor feared that his own colleagues posed a graver threat to his safety than the enemy forces he encountered during a recent deployment in Afghanistan.

      Brett Jones ultimately faked a family emergency to escape the troubling pattern of escalating harassment he said he endured on the mission.

    • Former Navy Seal says CIA operatives turned on him because he is gay

      Brett Jones, a former Navy Seal and an openly gay member of the CIA’s paramilitary Global Response Staff (GRS), told ABC News that other staff members harassed him so much that he feared for his life.

    • WATCH: CIA Contractor Details Antigay Harassment by Colleagues in War Zone

      When former Navy SEAL and current CIA contractor Brett Jones came out as gay last year, he received widespread support from his colleagues. But his latest experience, while deployed in a war zone in Afghanistan, has been a different story.

    • Ex-US navy member alleges anti-gay bullying by CIA workers
    • High-speed police chases have killed thousands of innocent bystanders

      More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in police car chases since 1979, and tens of thousands more were injured as officers repeatedly pursued drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions, often for minor infractions, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

      The bystanders and the passengers in chased cars account for nearly half of all people killed in police pursuits from 1979 through 2013, USA TODAY found. Most bystanders were killed in their own cars by a fleeing driver.

      Police across the USA chase tens of thousands of people each year — usually for traffic violations or misdemeanors — often causing drivers to speed away recklessly. Recent cases show the danger of the longstanding police practice of chasing minor offenders.

    • Feds Hand Out Funds To Be Used For ‘Traffic Safety;’ Local Agencies Buy License Plate Readers Instead

      The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) is supposed to be focused on one thing: safety. For crying out loud, it’s right in the middle of its cumbersome name. But the federal funding it hands out to state and local governments is being used for surveillance devices with no discernible “safety” purpose: automatic license plate readers.

    • Freedom Of The Press Foundation Sues DOJ Over Its Secret Rules For Spying On Journalists

      The wonderful Freedom of the Press Foundation is now suing the US Justice Department for refusing to reveal its rules and procedures for spying on journalists. You can read the complaint here. The key issue: what rules and oversight exist for the DOJ when it comes to spying on journalists. As you may recall, a few years ago, it came out that the DOJ had been using some fairly sneaky tricks to spy on journalists, including falsely telling a court that reporter James Rosen was a “co-conspirator” in order to get access to his emails and phone records. In response to a lot of criticism, the DOJ agreed to “revise” its rules for when it snoops on journalists.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • ISPs: Net neutrality rules are illegal because Internet access uses computers

      Internet service providers yesterday filed a 95-page brief outlining their case that the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules should be overturned.

      One of the central arguments is that the FCC cannot impose common carrier rules on Internet access because it can’t be defined as a “telecommunications” service under Title II of the Communications Act. The ISPs argued that Internet access must be treated as a more lightly regulated “information service” because it involves “computer processing.”

      “No matter how many computer-mediated features the FCC may sweep under the rug, the inescapable core of Internet access is a service that uses computer processing to enable consumers to ‘retrieve files from the World Wide Web, and browse their contents’ and, thus, ‘offers the ‘capability for… acquiring,… retrieving [and] utilizing… information.’ Under the straightforward statutory definition, an ‘offering’ of that ‘capability’ is an information service,” the ISPs wrote.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom & Mega Trade Barbs Over Hostile Takeover Claims

        In a Q&A session with users of Slashdot this week, Kim Dotcom advised surprised readers not use Mega amid claims of a hostile takeover. Intrigued, TorrentFreak caught up with both Dotcom and his former colleagues at the cloud storage site. Both had plenty to say and it’s now clear that previously warm relations have now iced over.

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