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Links 24/6/2016: Xen Project 4.7, Cinnamon 3.0.6

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Coach of world 1500m champion arrested as part of EPO probe released but forfeits passport as investigation continues

      Somalian coach Jama Aden and two other detainees has been instructed to report to court once a month and have had their passports forfeited after being released by police as an investigation into the alleged doping of athletes continues in Spain.

      A Moroccan physiotherapist, who was also arrested as part of the initial operation on Monday (June 20), and Qatari 800 metres runner Musaeb Balla were placed under the same conditions by a judge.

      The operation had been carried out by police, in collaboration with the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), at a hotel where the Somali coach was staying with his training group.

    • Nigel Farage: £350 million pledge to fund the NHS was ‘a mistake’

      Nigel Farage has admitted that it was a “mistake” to promise that £350million a week would be spent on the NHS if the UK backed a Brexit vote.

      Speaking just an hour after the Leave vote was confirmed the Ukip leader said the money could not be guaranteed and claimed he would never have made the promise in the first place.

    • EU referendum: Nigel Farage disowns Vote Leave ‘£350m for the NHS’ pledge hours after result

      Nigel Farage has disowned a pledge to spend £350 million of European Union cash on the NHS after Brexit.

      The Ukip leader was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme whether he would guarantee that the money pledged for the health service during the campaign would now be spent on it.

    • Waukesha gets permission to draw water from Lake Michigan

      The governors of the eight U.S. states surrounding the Great Lakes, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, today in Chicago unanimously approved diverting Lake Michigan water to supply a Wisconsin community just outside the Great Lakes basin — but only with conditions, including that water withdrawn must be treated and returned to the basin.

      The controversial decision to allow Waukesha, Wis., access to Lake Michigan water marks the first test case of the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement ratified by the lake states in 2008 to protect the Great Lakes from large-scale water diversions out of the Great Lakes basin.

    • This US City’s Move to Divert Great Lakes Drinking Water Is Just the Beginning

      The drinking water of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is contaminated. On Tuesday, the suburban city won its 13-year-long-bid to divert water from the Great Lakes, by way of Lake Michigan, to appease its thirsty inhabitants. Environmentalists are worried the diversion will have a devastating impact on the lakes that so many people rely on—and critics say it could pave the way for similar requests.

      It’s just the beginning of what many worry will be growing fights over who has the right to clean drinking water from the Great Lakes.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Armed police at scene of Germany cinema shooting

      An armed man has reportedly been shot dead by police officers after storming a cinema complex in Viernheim, in Germany’s Hesse region. The man reportedly fired into the air as he entered the cinema and is said to have taken hostages, all of whom have escaped uninjured

    • Not the Chilcot Report

      It was an aggressive war on the basis of lies, for which people still die today, all over the world.

    • Colombia and Farc rebels sign historic ceasefire deal to end 50-year conflict

      Final peace deal will require approval in referendum but formal cessation of hostilities and Farc’s acceptance of disarmament are key steps toward resolution

    • Pakistan Mourns Sufi Singer Amjad Sabri After He Was Shot Dead in Karachi

      The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assassination

      Thousands of people in Pakistan mourned the death of one of the country’s most famous musicians, Amjad Sabri, on Thursday, a day after he was shot dead by armed assailants in broad daylight in the city of Karachi.

    • Amjad Sabri: Pakistanis mourn singer killed by Taliban

      Pakistan is mourning one of its most famous singers, Amjad Sabri, who was shot dead in Karachi by militants.

      Thousands paid their respects, throwing rose petals over an ambulance carrying his coffin. A faction of the Pakistan Taliban claimed Wednesday’s attack.

      Sabri performed Qawwali devotional music from the Sufi tradition, an Islamic practice opposed by extremists.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • German government agrees to ban fracking indefinitely

      Germany’s coalition government agreed to ban fracking for shale gas indefinitely on Tuesday, after years of fractious talks over the issue, but environmental groups said the ban did not go far enough and vowed to fight the deal.

      Test drilling will be allowed but only with the permission of the respective state government, officials said.

  • Finance

    • ‘Britons, vote in our name’: UK referendum dominates continental front pages

      Germany’s Bild newspaper promised on Thursday that Germans would not hog hotel sunloungers and would make key concessions to the England football team if the UK voted to stay in the European Union.

      “Dear Brits, if you remain in the EU … then we ourselves will recognise the Wembley goal,” Bild declared above a picture of Geoff Hurst’s controversial extra-time goal in the 1966 World Cup final, when England beat West Germany. The paper said Germany would go without its goalkeeper in the next penalty shootout between England and Germany.

    • I Will Vote Remain Because I Love My Mum

      After voting tomorrow I shall fly down to take part in an alternative online referendum results programme from the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, to give you a chance to hear a discussion of the results without having to listen to yet more neo-liberal spokesmen spouting establishment propaganda.

      It is no secret I am an enthusiast for the EU. However as an ardent Scottish nationalist it has of course crossed my mind that it might be a plan to vote tactically for Brexit, to provoke a new independence referendum.

      I have decided against this for two reasons. First, there is no way the Establishment is going to allow Brexit to happen. And second, I love my mum, who is English and moved back from Inverness to Norfolk following the death of my father a decade ago. I wish England and the English nothing but well. An independent Scotland inside the EU would be disadvantaged by having its only land border with an ailing England outside the EU.

    • Farage declares ‘remain will edge it’ as polls close in historic vote

      The polls have closed in Britain’s referendum on EU membership, with a survey suggesting a bitterly close fight and the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, saying it “looks like remain will edge it”.

    • Intel Fighting EU’s $1.4B Fine Levied 7 Years Ago

      Today’s topics include Intel’s return to a European Union court to fight a $1.4 billion antitrust fine, the FAA’s finalized commercial drone rules, the addition of new business-oriented features to Drobox’s cloud storage service, and Docker’s launch of its containers-as-a-service management and orchestration software.

    • Pound rises – do markets believe Remain has won?

      Sterling hit a 2016 high today against the dollar and could be on track for one of its strongest weeks on the markets – in terms of increase in value – for 30 years.

    • FTSE 100 hits two-month high on Remain hopes

      The FTSE 100 hit a two-month high and the pound surged as investors bet on the UK voting to remain in the European Union.

      London’s blue-chip shares rose 1.2% to 6,338.1 points, with miners, banks and travel firms rising.

      Sterling almost hit $1.50 after Leave campaigner Nigel Farage said it looked as though Remain had “edged” the vote.

      Wall Street also jumped in late trading, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both closing 1.3% higher.

    • EU referendum: Pound hits lowest level since 1985

      The value of the pound has fallen dramatically as it emerged that the UK had voted to leave the EU.

      At one stage, it hit $1.3305, a fall of more than 10%, and a low not seen since 1985.

      The Bank of England said it was “monitoring developments closely” and would take “all necessary steps” to support monetary stability.

      Before the results started to come in, the pound had risen as high as $1.50, as traders bet on a Remain victory.

    • Going on holiday soon? You’re the first victim of the leave victory

      Many UK holidaymakers travelling abroad will pay more for foreign currency as the pound plunged to its lowest level since 1985 following the EU referendum.

      Sterling was down against every single major currency group.

    • Scotland’s Status Returns to the Center of Attention

      All 32 voting areas in Scotland voted to stay in the European Union, but they were outnumbered by an overwhelming “Leave” vote in England and Wales.

      That has created an immediate political dilemma for Scotland, which in a referendum in September 2014 voted against secession from the United Kingdom.

      Scotland, which has been legally in union with England and Wales since 1707, is considered the most pro-European part of the United Kingdom, and the decision by British voters to leave the 28-member European Union could prompt a second independence vote.

    • UK votes to leave the EU in historic referendum
    • Nicola Sturgeon: Second Scottish independence vote ‘highly likely’ after Brexit vote

      Nicola Sturgeon has said a second independence referendum is “highly likely” after Scotland’s voters overwhelmingly backed Remain.

      Scotland was out of step with England and Wales after all 32 of its local authorities voted to stay in the EU.

      Speaking this morning after the result was declared, the Scottish First Minister said it was “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland had been taken out of the union against its will.

    • Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland sees its future as part of the EU as Brexit confirmed

      Nicola Sturgeon has said the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union, after it became clear Britain had voted for Brexit in a historic referendum.

      Speaking after all 32 local authorities delivered a vote to Remain in Scotland, the First Minister welcomed her country’s “unequivocal” vote to stay in Europe. But despite the vote, the country still faces having to exit the European Union after the Leave campaign edged ahead across the UK.

    • LuxLeaks special committee’s first country visit: Belgium is breaching EU tax law

      This Tuesday a delegation of the European Parliament’s special committee on tax rulings and similar measures has completed its first country visit to a Member State with a problematic ruling practice. Visits to at least the UK, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland will follow. The programme included discussions with tax experts, the Belgium parliament and the commission responsible for tax rulings. On the lessons from this visit Green committee members Sven Giegold and Philippe Lamberts conclude:

    • David Cameron says he will stand down as Prime Minister – new PM by October

      The Prime Minister said he had been honoured to serve as Prime Minister for the past six years. He held nothing back in his campaign. He always believed Britain would be safer, stronger and better off inside the EU. He said it was only right for someone else to lead the country in this new direction.

    • Rest in peace UK

      I am mourning for the UK. I feel so much pain and pity for all my good friends over there. Stupidity has won again. Good bye UK, your long reign has found its end.

    • FTSE 100 sees £120bn wiped off its value in worst day of losses since financial crisis

      The FTSE 100 has plunged more than 8 per cent in its biggest opening slump since the financial crisis, wiping £120 billion off the value of the 100 biggest UK companies.

      Banks were particularly badly hit, with shares in a number of banks losing at least 20 per cent of their value on opening, including Lloyds, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutschebank.

    • Shares and pound plunge on Leave vote

      The FTSE’s slump was its biggest one-day fall since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in October 2008.

    • UK now poorer than France as pound hits 30-year low and FTSE 100 drops 8.7pc following British vote to leave EU

      The FTSE 100 fell as much as 8.7pc when the London market opened after the UK voted to leave the European Union, an unexpected outcome that prompted the resignation of prime minister David Cameron this morning.

      The blue chip index recovered slightly to a loss of 4.9pc, but the FTSE 250 – which is considered a closer barometer of the UK economy – fell by 12.3pc before paring losses back to 7.1pc.

    • Spanish minister calls for Gibraltar to be returned to Spain on back of Brexit vote

      Spain’s Foreign Minister José García-Margallo y Marfil has proposed a shared British-Spanish sovereignty over Gibraltar followed by the “restitution” to Spain, after the British territory voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU while the U.K. overall voted to leave.

      “Our formula … is British-Spanish co-sovereignty for a determined period of time, which after that time has elapsed, will head towards the restitution of Gibraltar to Spanish sovereignty,” García-Margallo told Spanish radio on Friday, AFP reports.

      Gibraltar, a former Spanish territory which was ceded to Britain in 1713, heavily relies on Spain for its economy, with over 12,000 people commuting across the border every day.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Tories Will Knit Back Together Quicker than Joe Ledley’s Leg

      The purpose of the Conservative Party is simply to be in power. The object of power for them is to make sure that nobody else can use the power of the state to counteract the power of the wealthy and curb their excesses.

      You will therefore be amazed by how, whatever the result today, the Tory cabinet will next week be smiling together in a show of unity. Because unity is needed for power. That they were calling each other liars, abusers of government funds, racists, unpatriotic or inciters to murder will be heartily brushed off as the rough and tumble of politics. Cameron will sleep soundly in his bed in Number 10.

    • WaPo Cites FAIR on C-SPAN’s Record of Bias

      The Washington Post‘s Callum Borchers (6/23/16) cited FAIR research in a story about complaints that C-SPAN continued to cover the Democratic sit-in on the House floor even after House Speaker Paul Ryan had the network’s cameras turned off.

      “This isn’t the first time C-SPAN has been accused of taking sides, of course,” Borchers wrote, noting that usually, “the charge is that it has a conservative bias.”

    • CMD Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Prosecutors’ Appeal in John Doe II Corruption Case

      On Wednesday, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the Brennan Center for Justice, and Common Cause filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to grant a hearing and overturn a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that shut down a criminal investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and groups that spent millions during the 2011-2012 recall elections.

    • Clinton’s private e-mail was blocked by spam filters—so State IT turned them off

      Documents recently obtained by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch show that in December 2010, then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff were having difficulty communicating with State Department officials by e-mail because spam filters were blocking their messages. To fix the problem, State Department IT turned the filters off—potentially exposing State’s employees to phishing attacks and other malicious e-mails.

      The mail problems prompted Clinton Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to suggest to Clinton, “We should talk about putting you on State e-mail or releasing your e-mail address to the department so you are not going to spam.” Clinton replied, “Let’s get [a] separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal [e-mail] being accessible.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • 100 years ago in Spokane: Petition sought end of movie censorship ordinance

      The censorship ordinance was mainly about sexually suggestive movies and plays, but it also was intended to prohibit movies that incited racial hatred.

    • Information Warfare: China Demands Better Censorship

      In a rare move Chinese leaders recently criticized, in public, their own Propaganda Department for not doing its job. The Propaganda Department is the several hundred people who direct the vast censorship

    • Turkey blocks Google Cache to stop censorship circumvention, breaks its own internet

      It was first speculated that the Google domain might be simply overlooked among a long lists of URLs to be censored by the authority, just like the ‘accidental’ censorship of shortening service Bit.ly last year. But local sources reported that the ban was intended to block access to Google servers, which keep a cached copy of content previously banned in Turkey.

      Indeed, various Google services have been used in Turkey to circumvent political censorship. During the Gezi Protests of 2013, protesters tagged ‘’ graffiti (Google’s Public DNS) on walls to broadcast ways to avoid DNS-filtering (a method for censoring internet content). Turkish authorities resorted to IP-blocking and even DNS-hijacking to prevent access to social media during the 2014 local elections. For Turkish citizens who cannot use VPN or the Tor anonymity network, which masks users’ locations and identities, both Google Cache and Google Translator were suggested options among lists of proxies since then.

    • Rather Than Launch A Massive DDoS Attack, This Time China Just Asks GitHub To Take Down Page It Doesn’t Like

      You may recall that a year ago, a massive DDoS attack was launched against GitHub from China. The attack itself was somewhat clever, in that it effectively turned the Great Firewall around, using Chinese search engine Baidu’s ad platform and analytics platform to basically load code that contributed to the attack. The target of the attack were two tools that helped people in China access material that was blocked in China by the Great Firewall. Of course, this attack was actually the second attempt by China to stop people from accessing such information on GitHub. The first attack involved just using the Great Firewall to block GitHub entirely (it needed to block the entire GitHub, rather than just specific pages, because GitHub is all HTTPS) — but that caused Chinese programmers who rely on GitHub to freak out and point out that they rely on GitHub to do their jobs.

    • Web content blocking squeezed into draft EU anti-terrorism law

      A vote in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee early next week will set the stage for a debate over Web content blocking and terror attacks. It comes during a jittery period of concern around extremist activity online following the atrocity in Orlando and the murder of British politician Jo Cox.

    • West Allegheny student petition decries censorship of reading list

      In response to parents’ demands this year that some books be removed from the West Allegheny High School reading list, about 200 students have signed a petition asking the district not to use censorship in an attempt to shield teens from problems they may be encountering in their lives.

      “You’re trying to protect the children and I see that, but you’re really sheltering them and making them ignorant to issues that actually plague our society and are relevant right now,” student Renae Roscart,15, said of the parents who had sought the removal of some books.

    • Don’t Look! Erotic Khajuraho Drawings Show Hypocrisy of Censorship

      While Shiv Sena’s repeated attempts at beating, slapping and thrashing couples on Valentine’s Day started as a hot topic for outrage, it ended up as a Twitter joke.“It’s not part of Indian culture,” is what they often announce.

    • Twitter trolls are reporting Muslim girls to the police for posting ‘blasphemous’ messages online

      This weekend an account was spotted sending screenshots of ‘blasphemous’ tweets to the Dubai police and calling for action, after a 16-year-old girl rewrote a passage of the Quran to include a slang term for vaginas


      Although I believe censorship is a potential danger to the First Amendment’s protection of free speech, I find myself wistful for the bad old days of the Motion Picture Production Code of the 1930s and 1940s.


      There’s the smarmy sexualization of “family” sitcoms and the suggestive advertising using sex to sell.

    • Icasa to hold public hearing on SABC censorship
    • Public hearing looms over SABC censorship
    • Activists Say the SABC’s New Editorial Policy Is Shutting Them Out
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Court Rules the FBI Does Not Need a Warrant to Hack a Computer

      In one of the many ongoing legal cases surrounding a dark web child pornography site, a judge has written that the FBI did not require a warrant to hack a suspect’s computer.

      According to activists, the ruling could have serious implications for how law enforcement is able to conduct remote searches.

      “The Court finds that no Fourth Amendment violation occurred here because the Government did not need a warrant to capture Defendant’s IP address,” Henry Coke Morgan, Jr., a senior United States District Judge, wrote in an opinion and order on Tuesday. He adds that the government did not require a warrant to extract other information from the suspect’s computer either.

    • VPN Providers Protest Plans to Expand Government Hacking Powers

      Proposed legislative changes that will increase law enforcement’s ability to hack into computers are under attack by a broad coalition. Google, EFF, Demand Progress and FightForTheFuture are joined by TOR, Private Internet Access and other VPN services seeking to block changes to Rule 41.

    • In Wisconsin, a Backlash Against Using Data to Foretell Defendants’ Futures

      When Eric L. Loomis was sentenced for eluding the police in La Crosse, Wis., the judge told him he presented a “high risk” to the community and handed down a six-year prison term.

      The judge said he had arrived at his sentencing decision in part because of Mr. Loomis’s rating on the Compas assessment, a secret algorithm used in the Wisconsin justice system to calculate the likelihood that someone will commit another crime.

      Mr. Loomis has challenged the judge’s reliance on the Compas score, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard arguments on his appeal in April, could rule in the coming days or weeks. Mr. Loomis’s appeal centers on the criteria used by the Compas algorithm, which is proprietary and as a result is protected, and on the differences in its application for men and women.

    • EU to adopt new US data rules in July

      The European Commission is set to present a new draft of its data-exchange pact with the US, the Privacy Shield, in early July.

      EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova told EUobserver in a recent interview that the most contentious issues had been agreed by Washington and Brussels.

      These concerned access to data by US security services, bulk collection of people’s personal information and independent oversight.

    • Snoopers’ Charter: Government explains why it needs the power to hack into everyone’s devices

      GCHQ WILL have the power to hack into the devices of entire towns under the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill, according to a recently released Home Office briefing document.

      The ‘Operational Case for Bulk Powers’ is intended to explain why the security services need such wide-ranging and intrusive powers of surveillance and hacking granted under the so-called Snoopers’ Charter.

      The document uses a series of examples to make its case, citing terrorism, serious crime, terrorism, paedophiles, terrorism, state-based threats and, of course, terrorism.

    • GCHQ explains why it may want to hack every computing device in your town

      The Home Office has made the case for GCHQ’s new powers of bulk collection and hacking under the Investigatory Powers Bill, which will become law once it passes its third reading in the House of Lords, in a new document released this week.

      “The draft Investigatory Powers Bill… seeks to update the law to reflect technological change, ensuring that these powers – including those relating to sensitive capabilities available to the security and intelligence agencies – are set out transparently and consistently, with robust safeguards and world leading oversight,” claims the document.

    • Russia’s Problem (According To Russian Politicians): Not Enough Mass Surveillance

      When you look back at Techdirt’s coverage of Russia’s attempts to control its people and shut down online dissent, it’s unlikely you will be thinking to yourself: “What Russia really needs is more mass surveillance.”

    • Privacy Shield: Experts in the dark on planned EU-US data sharing pact

      National representatives charged with assessing the European Union’s controversial Privacy Shield proposal still haven’t seen the final text of the would-be Safe Harbour replacement, Ars has learned.

      The so-called Article 31 working group—which includes officials from the bloc’s 28 member states and the European Commission—held its last meeting on Monday. But despite anticipation, the commission didn’t deliver a new draft of the data-sharing deal it is negotiating with the US, and some delegations are getting frustrated.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • FBI, police visit activists’ homes in advance of Republican National Convention

      Law enforcement investigators this week began visiting the homes of local activists in an attempt to gather intelligence for possible planned demonstrations surrounding the upcoming Republican National Convention.

      Activists said they view the “door-knock” visits as intimidating. A spokeswoman for the local branch of the FBI acknowledged that “community outreach” is taking place as law enforcement officials try to make sure next month’s GOP convention is a “safe and secure” event.

      Jocelyn Rosnick, a leader with the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a left-leaning group planning legal support for RNC protesters, said over a dozen activists have reported visits by teams of federal and local law enforcement officials this week.

      Some of the activists are involved with groups planning RNC demonstrations, while some aren’t, she said. She also said that some of the people who were visited were among the 71 people who were arrested in May 2015 in the aftermath of protests that broke out following the acquittal of Michael Brelo, a then-Cleveland police officer who had been charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with the 2013 shooting deaths of two Cleveland motorists following a police chase.

    • FBI and Police are Knocking on Activists’ Doors Ahead of Republican National Convention

      Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been knocking on the doors of activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention in July.

      As the city gears up to welcome an estimated 50,000 visitors, and an unknown number of protesters, some of the preparations and restrictions put in place by officials have angered civil rights activists. But the latest string of unannounced home visits by local and federal police mark a significant escalation in officials’ efforts to stifle protest, they say.

      “The purpose of these door knocks is simple: to intimidate the target and others in efforts to discourage people from engaging in lawful First Amendment activities,” Jocelyn Rosnick, a coordinator with the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, wrote in a statement denouncing the home visits.

    • Teen Sues U.S. Over Cavity Drug Search for Which She was Billed $575

      Ashley Cervantes, a then 18-year-old American citizen, was stopped at the Mexico border and, for some unspecified reason, perhaps related to her being young and of Hispanic ethnicity, accused by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of smuggling drugs.

    • The Campaign To Dox Twitter Users In Islamic Countries For ‘Blasphemy’ And Supporting LGBT Rights

      Nearly half a decade ago, we wondered publicly what a company like Twitter, a self-proclaimed advocate of free and open speech, would do if confronted by a government that is anything but. In that post, Mike discussed how Twitter had been used to rant against the government in Saudi Arabia, and wondered what would happen if Saudi Arabia decided to make such speech illegal. But what if it’s not direct government action but that of other users that threatens such speech? While we have seen some governments routinely punish internet speech they don’t like, we’re now seeing signs of non-government individuals getting into the racket as well, as a way to silence the kind of barely-progressive speech a company like Twitter would likely say it wants to protect.

    • #LibbyLeaks: Oakland Mayor Launches Investigation Against City and Police Whistleblowers [iophk: "Multiple separate scandals and they try to distract with this instead"]

      This week, the national spotlight is on Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and her embattled police department — and the headlines aren’t favorable.

      And now the Express has learned that Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth have opened an investigation to identify internal whistleblowers and leaks, according to multiple city and police sources, who asked not to be identified because they fear retaliation.

      The investigation started after recent news reports exposed details regarding multiple police-misconduct cases, as well as efforts by city and police officials to keep the misconduct hidden from the public.

    • Interpol says it’s seeking public help to track down 123 suspected human traffickers

      Interpol said on Thursday (June 23) it is seeking public help to track down 123 suspected human traffickers wanted around the world.

      The largest international police organisation put out the public appeal from its base in Lyon, France, in a bid to bring the remaining fugitives to justice.

      “People smuggling is a global issue which is why international cooperation through operations such as Hydra are essential,” said Interpol’s director of Operational Support Michael O’Connell in a statement announcing the programme’s launch.

      The operation, known as Infra Hydra, involves 44 countries as well as the EU police agency Europol, and has already made 26 arrests and located 31 other suspects, Interpol said.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • North Carolina’s New Broadband Plan Forgets To Include ‘Don’t Let ISP Lobbyists Write Shitty State Telecom Law’

      For years we’ve noted how 19 states have effectively let companies like AT&T and Comcast write protectionist state broadband laws to protect the status quo. Such laws usually either block or hamstring frustrated communities looking to build their own broadband networks, or in some instances from striking public/private agreements with companies like Google Fiber. Last year the FCC finally started paying attention to such bans, stating it intends to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preempt restrictions conflicting with its Congressional mandate to ensure even broadband deployment.

      The FCC’s action specifically targeted bans in both Tennessee and North Carolina, both states where incumbent telecom lobbyists quite literally control state legislatures. Both states’ dysfunction on this front is legendary, yet both chose to sue the FCC in court to, they claim, defend “states rights” from federal government “overreach” (defending state residents from shitty telecom law written by lobbyists isn’t much of a concern).

    • DTN: Vint Cerf And NASA Just Created An Internet For Whole Solar System

      Making the communication systems more reliable for its future missions, NASA and Google VP Vint Cerf has created a Solar System Internet service. Called DTN, or Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, this service is already incorporated in the software suite at the International Space Station.

    • Senate Report Cites Charter, Time Warner Cable Overcharges

      According to a copy of a staff report from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Charter and Time Warner Cable (now a part of Charter) have failed to refund customers for overcharges, but both have taken steps to correct the issue.

      The report found that MVPDs vary greatly in how they handle billing overcharges, but that while “Time Warner Cable and Charter have procedures for identifying overcharges and removing them from customers’ bills prospectively, [n]either company, however, has automatically provided full retroactive refunds or credits for past overcharges.”

  • DRM/E-books

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • South Centre Steps Up Activity On IP, Medicines Access, Trade, Investment And More

      The Geneva-based organisation represents the interests of its developing country members.

    • Trademarks

      • Defending Our Brand

        We’ve forged relationships with millions of websites and users under the name Let’s Encrypt, furthering our mission to make encryption free, easy, and accessible to everyone. We’ve also worked hard to build our unique identity within the community and to make that identity a reliable indicator of quality. We take it very seriously when we see the potential for our users to be confused, or worse, the potential for a third party to damage the trust our users have placed in us by intentionally creating such confusion. By attempting to register trademarks for our name, Comodo is actively attempting to do just that.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Boss: Europe’s Geo Unblocking Plans Threaten Movie Industry

        MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd fears that Europe’s plans to limit geo-blocking will “cause great harm” to the movie industry. In a keynote address at the CineEurope convention, Dodd warned that broad access to movies and TV-shows will result in fewer films and higher prices for consumers.

      • Court Orders Usenet Providers to Expose Prolific Pirates

        Dutch Usenet providers Eweka and Usenetter have been ordered to hand over the personal details of two uploaders who shared over 2,000 pirated e-books. The case was initiated by local anti-piracy group BREIN, which plans to offer a settlement to the accused uploaders.

      • Jury finds Led Zeppelin did not steal intro to ‘Stairway to Heaven’

        Led Zeppelin did not steal a riff from an obscure 1960s instrumental tune to use for the introduction of its classic rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven,” a federal court jury decided Thursday.

        The verdict in Los Angeles settles a point that music fans have debated for decades but didn’t find its way to court until two years ago, when the trustee for the late Randy Craig Wolfe filed a copyright lawsuit.

      • Led Zeppelin Wins Copyright Case Over Stairway To Heaven

        Back in April, we talked about the fact that the lawsuit against Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page for copyright infringement over “Stairway to Heaven” was moving forward to a jury trail, and how ridiculous it was. As we noted, the song was written in 1970, and it’s a bit crazy to argue after all these decades that there’s infringement. But, more importantly, the similarities between Stairway and the Spirit song “Taurus” were just a few common notes that were predated by many artists, including Bach’s Bouree in E Minor. Still, as we’d seen with the Blurred Lines case, when copyright cases go to juries over song similarities, they often turn out wacky. The intricacies of copyright law are tossed out the window and often “hey, these sound similar” seems to win out.

      • Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial

        A jury rules in the band’s favor after hearing testimony and arguments that the iconic song was a copyright infringement of Spirit’s “Taurus.”

      • Good News: California Legislature Dumps Stupid Plan To Copyright All Government Works

        Back in April, we noted that California Assemblymember Mark Stone was pushing some legislation to basically push California governments to copyright and trademark everything they could. This was a bad kneejerk response to the admittedly ridiculous situation in Yosemite, where the concessions vendor had trademarked various park names and then tried to hold them ransom. Of course, the proper response is to make sure that kind of thing can’t be covered by trademark or copyright law, not push state government entities to lock up things under intellectual property laws.

      • Digitising public domain images creates a new copyright, rules German court

        A Berlin court has ruled that digitising paintings that are in the public domain creates new copyrights, even if the intent is to create a faithful image rather than produce an artistic interpretation.

        The case was brought by the Reiss Engelhorn Museum (REM) in Mannheim, Germany, against the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland—the local German chapter of the global Wikimedia movement—over 17 images of the museum’s public domain works of art, which have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

      • Terrible Ruling In Germany: Digitizing The Public Domain Creates New Copyright

        This is not a particularly new issue — it’s come up many times in the past. In the US, thankfully, we have a nice precedent in Bridgeman v. Corel that states clearly that exact photographic copies of public domain works are not protected by copyright, because they lack the originality necessary for a copyright. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some US Museums from looking to route around that ruling. Over in Europe, where there is no Bridgeman-like ruling, we tend to see a lot more of these kinds of attempts to relock down the public domain by museums. There have been similar attempts in the UK and in France, though as far as I can tell, neither case went to court.

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