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Links 16/11/2015: Linux 4.4 RC1, DockerConEU

Posted in News Roundup at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Windows 3.1 Is Still Alive, And It Just Killed a French Airport

    A computer glitch that brought the Paris airport of Orly to a standstill Saturday has been traced back to the airport’s “prehistoric” operating system. In an article published Wednesday, French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné (which often writes serious stories, such as this one) said the computer failure had affected a system known as DECOR, which is used by air traffic controllers to communicate weather information to pilots. Pilots rely on the system when weather conditions are poor.

    DECOR, which is used in takeoff and landings, runs on Windows 3.1, an operating system that came onto the market in 1992. Hardly state-of-the-art technology. One of the highlights of Windows 3.1 when it came out was the inclusion of Minesweeper — a single-player video game that was responsible for wasting hours of PC owners’ time in the early ’90s.

  • Spaghetti Strainer Helmet Driver’s License Photo Approved On Religious Grounds

    Just over the border from New Hampshire in the Massachusetts city of Lowell, a woman identifying herself as a follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), otherwise known as Pastafarianism, has been approved by the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to wear a spaghetti strainer on top of her head in her state issued driver’s ID.

    The approval to wear the helmet was initially denied. However, citing religious grounds, Lowell resident Lindsay Miller filed an appeal. Following intervention by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, the RMV reversed their decision and allowed her to put on her colander and get her driver’s license picture taken.

  • What today’s CIO needs to succeed tomorrow, and more news for IT pros

    It’s that time of year when technology predictions start to infiltrate your social networks, inbox, and news feeds. To kick off prediction season, ZME Science reminds us of perhaps the most accurate tech prediction of all time, coming from Ray Kurzweil in 1908. He says, “An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Before Paris Terrorist Attacks, CIA Director Brennan Met With French Intelligence DGSE Chief Bernard Bajolet: Report

      The White House correspondent for French television network Canal+, Laura Haim, reported an interesting tidbit during a live report with MSNBC’s Brian Williams Friday evening.

      Haim stated that Central Intelligence Agency director, John O. Brennan, recently met with his counterpart, French intelligence (DGSE) director Bernard Bajolet.

    • CIA Director Brennan Met With French Security Chief Before Paris Attacks – Report
    • Next Terrorist Plot in France Hard to Detect – Ex-CIA Officer

      The French authorities will face serious problems in detecting additional terrorist plots despite the current state of emergency after the attack in Paris, former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Paul Pillar told Sputnik.

    • ‘Terrorists chose Paris as iconic target like twin towers’ – ex-CIA officer

      The series of apparent Islamic State attacks in Paris can be compared to the 2001 destruction of the WTC towers in the US, says Jack Rice, a former CIA officer. The French capital is an iconic European city, and terrorists target icons.

    • Child porn, war crimes & fraud: Internal CIA probes reveal shocking findings

      Documents released by the CIA show details of over a dozen investigations into serious allegations of misconduct by agency employees, including child pornography, torture and war crimes. In many cases, the Justice Department decided not to prosecute.

      Redacted records of the investigations, part of the 111 probes conducted by the CIA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) between January 2013 and May 2014, were obtained by Vice News under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

    • Former CIA director loves comparing ISIS airstrikes to casual sex

      This may be one of the more interesting ways to describe an airstrike against ISIS and it comes courtesy of former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

      Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Hayden was talking about how airstrikes are being used to go after the terror organization’s infrastructure.

    • Former CIA Director Compares ISIS Airstrikes to Casual Sex on Morning Joe

      Then General Hayden made an unexpected comparison that seemed to temporarily stun Brzezinski and elicit a too-eager response from Deutsch. Hayden continued, “Airstrikes without ground power is a lot like casual sex: it offers gratification without commitment!”

      Deutsch hopped in unabashedly, “Sign me up for that!”.

      “Oh, my god,” responded Brzezinski.

      As Mediaite reported over a year ago, General Hayden has made similar suggestions to this military approach before.

    • Rebels Have CIA Weapons Capable of Downing Planes Flying Above 10Km Range

      The CIA urged Turkey and Saudi Arabia to provide certain Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft weapons capable of shooting down airplanes, including high-flying passenger jets, Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein wrote for Boulevard Voltaire.

      The fact that Syrian rebels fighting against Bashar al-Assad, a Russian ally, had CIA-sponsored weapons capable of downing a commercial airliner flying above 10,000 meters, makes a very uncomfortable situation for the US government amid the crash of the Airbus A321 operated by the Russian airliner Kogalymavia on October 31, the author said.

    • CIA, Saudis Launch Proxy War Against Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia; U.S. Checkmated in Syria?

      This all comes at a time when opinion polls in the West show a majority favor Russia’s Syria intervention.

    • Former CIA Director Reveals He Approved Drone Attack He Knew Would Kill Innocent Children

      The CIA’s targeted killing program has long been shrouded in secrecy. Recent leaks given to the Intercept, as well as thorough reporting by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, have shed light on the execution of such attacks, but interviews with former CIA directors for an upcoming documentary puts the ethical quandaries of the program, which has few regulations, in stark relief.

      “We do not know what the rules of engagement are,” former CIA director Porter Goss, who resigned under George W. Bush due to frustration, told Chris Whipple for the documentary The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs. “Are we dealing with enemy combatants? Are we dealing with criminals? Are the rules shoot first? Do we only shoot when we get shot at? Can we ask questions? Do we have to Mirandize people?”

    • UAE illegally shipped arms to Libya to support CIA-linked Haftar

      The UN Special Envoy to Libya became involved in conflict of interest after he was offered a high-paying job by the UAE while still a supposedly impartial head of dialogue talks to forge a peace agreement between the two rival Libyan governments.

    • Beirut, Also the Site of Deadly Attacks, Feels Forgotten

      Ali Awad, 14, was chopping vegetables when the first bomb struck. Adel Tormous, who would die tackling the second bomber, was sitting at a nearby coffee stand. Khodr Alaa Deen, a registered nurse, was on his way to work his night shift at the teaching hospital of the American University at Beirut, in Lebanon.

      All three lost their lives in a double suicide attack in Beirut on Thursday, along with 40 others, and much like the scores who died a day later in Paris, they were killed at random, in a bustling urban area, while going about their normal evening business.

    • PETER HITCHENS: Really want to beat terror? Then calm down and THINK

      Could we please skip the empty bravado? This is a time for grief above all else, and a time to refrain from soundbites and posturing. France – our closest neighbour, oldest friend, beloved rival, what Philip Sidney called ‘that sweet enemy’ – France is stricken, and we should weep with her.

      Over the past 40 years or so, most of us have heard quite enough politicians and others pledging to stand firm against terror, hunt down the vile perpetrators, ensure that it never happens again, and the rest.

      Then there have been the emergency meetings of grandly titled committees, the crackdowns, the increased surveillance, the billions spent on spying and snooping, not to mention the various wars on terror which have certainly killed a lot of our troops, but never seem to make us any safer. It is remarkably hard to defend yourself against an enemy whose language few of us speak, yet who speaks ours and can move freely in our world, and who is willing, even happy, to die at our hands – or his own – if he can kill us first.

    • Anonymous Has Declared War on ISIS in Revenge for the Paris Attacks

      The hacker collective Anonymous released a video message on YouTube Sunday declaring war on the Islamic State in the wake of Friday’s bloody terror attacks in Paris.

      The video, posted in French, announces the beginning of #OpParis, a coordinated campaign to neutralize ISIS’s social media channels.

      “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down,” an (anonymous) Anonymous spokesperson, his face shrouded in the group’s signature Guy Fawkes mask, says in French. “Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared.”

  • Transparency Reporting

    • WikiLeaks Provides CIA Brennan’s Hacked Emails Online

      On October 21, 2015, WikiLeaks (1) posted emails that were supposedly taken from the hacked AOL account of CIA Director John Brennan. The private email account was hacked by a supposed teenager who allegedly posed as a Verizon agent in order to gain access (2).

      According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), some of the information that’s been released is correct. The journal attempted to contact many on the contact list as well as verify other pieces of information leaked. The WSJ also reported that some of the people whose addresses appeared on the list were actually contacted “by intelligence officials telling them their information had been compromised” (3).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • The “Carlile Doctrine”

      For example, France already has more extensive surveillance laws than UK, and the atrocities still happened.

    • Finland mulls constitution changes, web surveillance powers for intelligence police

      The Interior, Justice and Defence ministries are considering constitutional changes to facilitate more effective civilian and military intelligence operations. Web surveillance powers for the security and intelligence police Supo are among the reforms on the table. Meanwhile President Sauli Niinistö says it’s time to raise the level of Finnish intelligence work to meet European standards.

    • Germany says it will (mostly) stop spying on EU citizens and institutions

      The German government plans to make it illegal for the country’s intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), to spy on citizens or institutions in EU countries. This follows revelations that the BND has been helping the NSA to snoop on European politicians and companies, as Ars reported in April. More recently, it has emerged that the BND’s own spying extended far more widely than thought: those kept under surveillance included the interior ministries of EU member states, the Vatican, and non-governmental organisations such as Care International, Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    • Surveillance Hawk Stewart Baker Confirms Dragnet Didn’t Work as Designed

      The French authorities are just a day into investigating the horrid events in Paris on Friday. We’ll know, over time, who did this and how they pulled it off. For that reason, I’m of the mind to avoid any grand claims that surveillance failed to find the perpetrators (thus far, French authorities say they know one of the attackers, who is a French guy they had IDed as an extremist, but did not know of people identified by passports found at the Stade — though predictably those have now been confirmed to be fake [update: now authorities say the Syrian one is genuine, though it’s not yet clear it belonged to the attacker], so authorities may turn out to know their real identity). In any case, Glenn Greenwald takes care of that here. I think it’s possible the terrorists did manage to avoid detection via countersurveillance — though the key ways they might have done so were available and known before Edward Snowden’s leaks (as Glenn points out).

    • Together in Sorrow, Looking at the Future

      Unfortunately, given recent political statements, we fear that the only response will lie in further bombings in the Middle-East and the escalation of security measures evermore harmful to fundamental rights. But when will we take the time to carefully analyse the failed policies carried on for the past fifteen years on a global scale, and through dozens of laws in France?

      In the light of the declaration of the state of emergency and of political statements made over the weekend, La Quadrature du Net solemnly asks political leaders to take the time to reflect and engage in a rigorous, critical and transparent evaluation of France’s international, diplomatic, military, geo-strategic and commercial commitments; to think about the strategy of intelligence services and to complete a thorough examination of their workings; to defeat a warmongering rhetoric drive us towards a “clash of civilisations” doubled with an internal civil conflict within our society; to also address the tensions that ripple through French society, the discriminations stirred by a part of the political and media elite, the shared responsibilities into the largely misunderstood phenomenon of violent radicalisation, the dissolving of perspectives for social progress.

    • How Edward Snowden Changed Everything

      Ben Wizner, who is perhaps best known as Edward Snowden’s lawyer, directs the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. Wizner, who joined the ACLU in August 2001, one month before the 9/11 attacks, has been a force in the legal battles against torture, watch lists, and extraordinary rendition since the beginning of the global “war on terror.”

      On October 15, we met with Wizner in an upstate New York pub to discuss the state of privacy advocacy today. In sometimes sardonic tones, he talked about the transition from litigating on issues of torture to privacy advocacy, differences between corporate and state-sponsored surveillance, recent developments in state legislatures and the federal government, and some of the obstacles impeding civil liberties litigation. The interview has been edited and abridged for publication.

    • FBI: “The allegation that we paid CMU $1M to hack into Tor is inaccurate”

      The FBI is denying that it paid $1 million to Carnegie Mellon University to exploit a vulnerability in Tor.

      “The allegation that we paid [Carnegie Mellon University] $1 million to hack into Tor is inaccurate,” an FBI spokeswoman told Ars in a Friday morning phone call.

      Two days ago, the head of the Tor Project accused the FBI of paying Carnegie Mellon computer security researchers at least $1 million to de-anonymize Tor users and reveal their IP addresses as part of a large criminal investigation.

  • Civil Rights

    • ‘Extremely rational’ Anonymous hacktivist Matt DeHart avoids 70-year prison term with child porn plea deal

      Matt DeHart, the former U.S. airman and Anonymous hacktivist who made a failed asylum bid in Canada — claiming torture over his access to secret U.S. government documents — has accepted a plea deal in a Tennessee court, avoiding a possible 70-year prison term but admitting to having explicit photos of under-aged teenagers.

    • The Terrible Truth About Secret CIA Prisons

      According to Investigative journalist Will Potter, the secret prisons emerged during the last Bush administration in response to the 9/11 destruction of the New York Twin Towers.

    • Classified Report on the C.I.A.’s Secret Prisons Is Caught in Limbo

      A Senate security officer stepped out of the December chill last year and delivered envelopes marked Top Secret to the Pentagon, the C.I.A., the State Department and the Justice Department. Inside each packet was a disc containing a 6,700-page classified report on the C.I.A.s secret prison program and a letter from Senator Dianne Feinstein, urging officials to read the report to ensure that the lessons were not lost to time.

    • Classified Report on the C.I.A.’s Secret Prisons Is Caught in Limbo

      The report tells the story of how, in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the C.I.A. began capturing people and interrogating them in secret prisons beyond the reach of the American judicial and military legal systems. The report’s central conclusion is that the spy agency’s interrogation methods — including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other kinds of torture — were far more brutal and far less effective than the C.I.A. acknowledged to policy makers, Congress and the public.

    • New Zealand spy watchdog probes possible complicity in CIA torture

      As the complicity of US allies in CIA torture comes to light, New Zealand has become the next nation to investigate its own possible ties to the secretive programs and illegal tactics that found favor with Washington in a post-9/11 frenzy.

      New Zealand’s spy watchdog is acting on information disclosed in last year’s controversial US Senate Intelligence Committee Report, which outlined both the torture methods used and the countries that made it all possible; although “the names of those countries have been redacted,” according to Cheryl Gwyn, New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

    • Spooks, banks and drug money laundering

      On the strength of a claimed turnover of $1 billion, the Australian Financial Review reported in early February 1978: “At this sort of growth rate Nugan Hand will soon be bigger than BHP.”

      But two years later, on January 27, 1980, one of the bank’s two founders, Frank Nugan, was found dead near Lithgow in NSW from a gunshot wound to the head. An inquest found it was suicide. Meanwhile, the other founder of the bank, Michael Hand, was busy shredding documents, including “files identifying clients regarded as sensitive”.

    • Intelligence agency friends hide corruption

      Most of us who recall the extraordinary story of the Nugan Hand Bank never expected to live to hear an explanation for some of its notorious activities, never mind see anyone prosecuted for their conduct.

      But now, thanks to Sydney investigative journalist Peter Butt, one of the bank’s co-founders, Michael Hand, has been found and we might at last get some answers.

      Hand slipped out of Australia in June 1980 following the apparent suicide of his partner, Frank Nugan.

      Butt, researching his book, Merchants of Menace, discovered him living under the name Michael Jon Fuller in the small US town of Idaho Falls where Channel Nine’s Sixty Minutes confronted him

      After the body of Nugan was found in his Mercedes-Benz on a deserted road outside Lithgow on January 27, 1980, the bank collapsed, costing Australian investors millions of dollars.

    • Former CIA Detainees Sue CIA Contractors Under The Alien Tort Statute For Alleged Torture

      Last month, the ACLU filed a civil action in the Eastern District of Washington on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud and Gul Rahman. They assert that the CIA secretly detained them in Afghanistan and subjected them to torture. Two of the plaintiffs, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, survived their time in CIA detention, were eventually released and now reside in Libya and Tanzania. The third plaintiff, Gul Rahman, died in CIA custody in November 2002. The complaint names as defendants James Mitchell and John Jessen, former military psychologists. Plaintiffs claim that while serving as CIA contractors, defendants helped design and implement the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Mitchell and Jessen are both described in the controversial December 2014 report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    • The DoJ won’t let anyone in the Executive Branch read the CIA Torture Report

      The Senate’s 6,700 page, $40M report on the CIA’s participation in torture has apparently never been read by a single member of the Executive Branch of the US Government, because the Department of Justice has ordered them all to stay away from it.

      Why does the DoJ want to keep the Executive from finding out about the CIA’s use of torture? Because Senate documents are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, but Executive documents are, and the DoJ is so pants-wettingly afraid of the public discovering official wrongdoing that they have banned anyone subject to FOIA from touching the document, lest it become subject to transparency rules.

    • Book events include Paula Deen and CIA whistleblower

      CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou and psychologist Bradley Olson will headline two free events Thursday bringing torture into the spotlight.

    • Letter: CIA whistleblower prosecuted for truth

      My drive was worth it. Kiriakou’s revelations in 2007 led to exposure of crimes, lies and cover-up all the way to the top of the Bush White House. It also brought the full weight of the federal government down on Kiriakou. We knew then that torture was illegal (against U.S. and international law), ineffective (yielding no actionable intelligence), and immoral (brutally sadistic). We know now from the Senate Intelligence Committee Summary Report, American Psychological Association’s Hoffman Report, flight logs of extraordinary rendition flights (many from Johnston County airport), and personal testimony that torture was widespread, systematic, orchestrated from the top, falsely justified by White House legal counsel, and counterproductive to fighting terrorism. Yet, no one except the person who spoke truth to power is being prosecuted. Even Bush and Cheney boast in their memoirs that they endorsed torture.

    • The torture report

      Multiple government agencies are doing their best to ignore a 6,900-page elephant in the room: a mammoth report, authored by the Senate Intelligence Committee, detailing the horrors of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture programme.

    • Fox’s Ralph Peters Endorses Closing Borders To Muslim Refugees
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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