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07.15.16

Links 15/7/2016: GIMP 2.8.18, EIF v. 3, Pyston 0.5.1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • AT&T Hopes Open Source SDN Platform Will Become ‘Industry Standard’

    AT&T said it will open source the homegrown software platform powering its software-centric network that leverages software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) in the hope it will mature the fledgling technologies and become an industry standard.

  • AT&T Open Sourcing Its SDN Management Platform

    Officials with the carrier say they are releasing the ECOMP technology to the open-source community via the Linux Foundation.

    AT&T officials are following through on a promise to release the management and automation platform for the company’s software-centric network initiative to the open-source community.

  • Building an open source eVoting system: The vVote experience [Ed: watch out for Microsoft]

    There has been a lot of interest suddenly in electronic voting, so I thought I would give some insight into what’s holding it back. Between 2012 and 2014, I became intimately involved in electronic voting when I joined the Victorian Electoral Commission to build the world’s first Verifiable Voting system, shortened to ‘vVote’. This gave me insight into the requirements of electronic voting to satisfy the modern needs of democracy.

  • The first open source hypervisor for the Internet of Things is unveiled

    The prpl Foundation is set to debut its prplHypervisor – an open source hypervisor developed to secure embedded devices in the IoT via separation – at the IoT Evolution Expo in Las Vegas. The foundation, in its security guidelines, holds that the use of separation in security can play an important role in resolving the fatal security flaws that negatively impact the IoT.

  • Events

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GIMP 2.8.18 Released, Mint 18 Upgrade, Leap 42.2 Tidbits

      After yesterday’s 2.9.4 release, Wilbur today announced GIMP 2.8.18. This stable release addresses security and other bugs since 2.8.16. In other news the Mint project announced their 17.3 to 18 upgrade procedure and Douglas DeMaio reported on the latest changes to Tumbleweed.

    • GIMP 2.8.18 Released

      We are releasing GIMP 2.8.18 to fix a vulnerability in the XCF loading code (CVE-2016-4994). With special XCF files, GIMP can be caused to crash, and possibly be made to execute arbitrary code provided by the attacker.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EIF v. 3: the EU hampers its own goal to promote better interoperability with harmful licensing terms

      The FSFE provided the European Commission with our input in regard to the ongoing revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). The EIF aims to promote enhanced interoperability in the EU public sector, and is currently going through its third revision since 2004. Whilst the draft version gives preference to Open Standards in delivering public services, it also promotes harmful FRAND (so-called “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory”) licensing terms for standards. In practice, these are highly anti-competitive and unfit not only for Free Software but for the whole software sector in general. In addition, the draft also ignores the proven relationship between interoperability and Free Software: many national frameworks explicitly require their national services to be based on Free Software. We asked the European Commission to address these and other shortcomings and ensure interoperability in an efficient way.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • What do we mean when we talk about open music?

      The About link indicates that the site operates under the UK copyright law, which apparently sees copyright in the work extinguished 70 years after the death of the author and in a sound recording 50 years after the performance.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • New journal HardwareX to promote open source hardware for science

        The real power of the X-Men, a team of fictional comic book superheroes, is the ability to work together and share their different skills to meet a mutual goal. Open source veterans know this approach works well in the real world of technology development, and now it is becoming mainstream in the sciences.

        There is already a huge collection of open source scientific software tools, and now there are even dozens of open source hardware tools for science (if any are missing from the wiki, please click edit and add them). In the past, open scientific hardware projects were buried in the specialty literature, and although the mechanisms of an apparatus were normally discussed, the documentation fell well short of what OSHWA has defined as open hardware.

  • Programming/Development

    • Pyston 0.5.1 released

      We are excited to announce the v0.5.1 release of Pyston, our high performance Python JIT.

    • Pyston 0.5.1 Is Making Python Code Even Faster

      In addition to Dropbox announcing the Lepton image compression algorithm, their Pyston team has announced the v0.5.1 release and it provides more performance improvements for this Python JIT.

    • New Relic Adds Application Performance Monitoring Support for Go Open Source

      New Relic has announced that it has added support for the Go programming language (Golang) to its SaaS-based application performance monitoring platform. With the addition of Go New Relic adds to the six other programming languages it supports including Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby for polyglot application performance monitoring (APM) for cloud and microservices architectures.

    • Rogue Wave Software’s Zend Server

      The CTO at Rogue Wave Software, Zeev Suraski, says he’s never seen anything like PHP 7 in the software space—namely the halving of hardware needs after a mostly painless software upgrade. Organizations salivating to leverage this massive performance gain would be wise to investigate Zend Server 9, an application server that builds on the benefits of PHP 7, both on-premises and in the cloud.

    • Who wrote Hello world

      The comments make it clear that this is a commonplace – the sort of program that every programmer writes as a first test – the new computer works, the compiler / interpreter produces useful output and so on. It’ s the classic, canonical thing to do.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Mike Pence, Cigarette Truther

      Over his political career Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) has consistently carried the tobacco industry’s water, denying the dangers of cigarettes, opposing government regulation, and slashing smoking cessation efforts. In return, they rewarded him with more than $100,000 in campaign donations.

      In 2000, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), then running for an open U.S. House seat, came out against a proposed settlement between government and the tobacco industry, calling it “big government.” In a shocking editorial, he wrote: “Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” Pence acknowledged that smoking is not “good for you,” but claimed that two-thirds of smokers do not die from smoking related illness and “9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer.” He warned of a slippery-slope in which government would soon seek to discourage fatty foods, caffeine, and SUVs.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Still Sabotaging the Iran-Nuke Agreement

      Despite this record of compliance, efforts to destroy the agreement continue. Those efforts demonstrate that most opposition to the agreement has not been motivated by the ostensible reasons, and most of the actual reasons are not ones that would be satisfied or negated no matter how well and how long Iran conforms with its obligations.

    • Donald Trump Ridiculed Iraq War Position Held By His VP Pick, Mike Pence

      During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has made the decision to go to war in Iraq a major foreign policy litmus test, concluding that Hillary Clinton was “trigger-happy” for supporting what he called a “disaster.” But his apparent vice presidential pick, Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence, was a major proponent of that conflict.

      Pence was a congressman then, and not only voted to authorize the Iraq war but was a co-sponsor of the war resolution.

      “There is a nation, some 50 nations, that stand ready to end [Iraqis’] oppression, to dry their tears, and to lead Iraq into a new dawn of civilization, a new dawn of freedom from oppression and torture and the abuse of women and the stifling of basic civil and human rights,” he told the House of Representatives on the eve of the war, offering a messianic justification for invading the country that today suffers more from terrorism than any other in the world.

    • ‘Monstrous’ Boris Johnson Named Foreign Secretary in Brexit Cabinet

      Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has been appointed as foreign secretary in the U.K.’s new post-Brexit government, headed by now-Prime Minister Theresa May.

      Johnson—whom some have likened to Donald Trump—ultimately supported the Leave campaign ahead of the U.K.’s referendum last month and compared the EU to Adolph Hitler in its attempt to unify Europe.

      [...]

      German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier slammed Johnson’s conduct, saying that he had acted in a “monstrous” manner by deceiving voters before the referendum and ducking responsibility after the results came in.

    • Britain’s New Foreign Secretary Says British Colonialism In Africa Wasn’t So Bad

      Following the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron, new PM Theresa May named her Cabinet Wednesday. One of the most notable names on the list was pro-Brexiter and former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was appointed Foreign Secretary.

      Critics of Johnson’s appointment have already pointed out his numerous gaffes and propensity for offending foreign leaders. Many media outlets published articles listing all the various countries that Johnson has offended during his reign as mayor.

      In April, Johnson said President Barack Obama might have an ancestral dislike of Britain. Johnson didn’t attribute this to Obama’s feelings over U.S. independence in 1776, but to his Kenyan heritage.

    • Admin. Stretches Definition of Congressional Approval for War in Lawsuit Over ISIL Campaign

      The Obama administration is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it, which alleges that the military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIL) is being illegally waged.

      In court filings this week, Department of Justice lawyers argued that the current war effort against ISIL—known as Operation Inherent Resolve—does not violate the War Powers Act. The 1973 law restricts the President’s powers to commit the US military to a sustained armed conflict for more than 60 days without Congressional approval.

      The legislature has yet to formally approve an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL, despite the fact that the administration has been carrying out regular airstrikes in Iraq and Syria for nearly two years, in a campaign that also includes special operations forces on the ground in both countries.

    • Of Cannibals: The Chilcot Report and Never-Ending War

      And so it goes that today, seven years later, the Chilcot Report is finally released. At the time I began writing this article I did not have access to the report as the Iraq Inquiry website states: “Inquiry’s report and supporting documents will go live once Sir John Chilcot has finished his public statement on 6 July.” But the prelude to this report was telling as the BBC had been laying the groundwork for the release of this report from the weekend prior highlighting the historical development of this report through various video clips and articles, publishing snippets of Sir John Chilcot stating the obvious: “Careful analysis [is] needed before war.” At the risk of sounding dismissive, why, exactly, was this person chosen to be the chairperson to the Iraq Inquiry? Chilcot, who served in the home office as Deputy Under-Secretary for the Police Department, permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office during the height of Irish troubles, various other civil service appointments in the home and cabinet offices, and private secretary to Roy Jenkins, Merlyn Rees, William Whitelaw, and head of the civil service William Armstrong, retired from civil service in 1997. Today Chilcot is the Chairman of Trustees for the independent think tank The Police Foundation which in recent years has focused upon the policing of young adults and crime reduction. One must wonder to what degree this report can be any more than a symbolic hand-slapping given the basic conflicts of interest that Chilcot represents.

    • Venezuela in Crisis: Too Much US intervention, Too Little Socialism

      Lisa Sullivan was worried: her neighbor was “up and waiting in line since 2 am, searching, unsuccessfully, to buy food for her large family.” The U. S. native living in Venezuela for decades is concerned too about Venezuela’s worsening economic and political crisis.

      Most Venezuelans have experienced major social gains courtesy of the Bolivarian Revolution, which according to its leader Hugo Chávez, president from 1999 until 2013, was a socialist revolution. Oil exports fueled these gains and currently low oil prices are shaking the foundations of Venezuela’s social democracy.

      Now as before U. S. intervention is on full display. The U. S. Senate in April passed a bill renewing economic sanctions against Venezuelan leaders originally imposed in 2014. The House of Representatives followed suit on July 6. President Obama will be signing the bill. In an executive order he declared Venezuela to be a threat to U. S. national security.

      The State Department on July 7 alerted U.S. travelers to “violent crime” in Venezuela and warned that “political rallies and demonstrations can occur with little notice.” Venezuela’s government denounced the “illegitimate sanctions” as “imperial pretensions.”

      The U.S. government backed an unsuccessful coup against the Chávez government in 2002 and since has distributed tens of millions of dollars to opposition groups. After three years, it still withholds recognition of Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s president. These actions speak of a U. S. goal of regime change.

      A document attributed to Admiral Kurt Tidd of the U.S. Southern Command and circulated in early 2016 testifies to a military component of U. S. plans. Citing the “the defeat in the [parliamentary] elections and internal decomposition of the populist regime,” the text refers to “the successful impact of our policies [against Venezuela] launched under phase one of this operation.”

    • One Year Later, Ordinary Iranians Aren’t Seeing The Benefits Of The Iran Deal

      Secretary of State John Kerry declared Thursday that one year later, the Iran nuclear deal “has lived up to its expectations” and “made the world safer.”

      “As of today, one year later, the program that so many people said will not work, a program that people said is absolutely doomed to see cheating and be broken and will make the world more dangerous has, in fact, made the world safer, lived up to its expectations and thus far, produced an ability to be able to create a peaceful nuclear program with Iran living up to its part of this bargain and obligation,” Kerry said in Paris.

    • Illiberal tangos in central and eastern Europe

      Intransigent and often inscrutable, the far right – in its populist, radical, and extreme variants – clearly represents one of the most significant offshoots of post-war European politics. This phenomenon had already sparked the interest of observers with the first electoral exploits of the French Front National in the 1980s and 1990s. As a whole plethora of variously assorted organisations enjoyed noteworthy results ever since, the attention devoted to them has risen exponentially.

    • Tom Paine Warned About America’s Perpetual War

      Paine realized that representative government had a major flaw. It was susceptible to capture by special interests.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • A WikiLeaks Editor Talks About Julian Assange, National Security and Protecting Whistleblowers

      Sarah Harrison, investigations editor at WikiLeaks, doesn’t hold back when discussing her colleague Julian Assange and the political controversy surrounding WikiLeaks. “He stays very strong,” she says of WikiLeaks founder Assange, noting that there are “a lot of good publications coming up this year” that are keeping him busy.

      In an exclusive interview with acTVism, a nonprofit media outlet based in Munich, Germany, Harrison discusses everything from current political strife to protecting future whistleblowers.

      A British citizen, Harrison makes her views on Brexit clear: “It is very sad to me … that our MPs can stand there and say that the United Nations is ridiculous. [It] shows how much we have diverted from the rule of law in our supposed Western democracies.” She also mentions that in the U.S. government’s attempts to extradite Assange, her own emails have been compromised.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • BP Exploration Alaska and Hilcorp Alaska settle with EPA and State of Alaska for North Slope oil spills [Ed: Another settlement for a laughable price]

      …BP will pay $100,000 in state penalties and $30,000 in federal penalties to the Oil Spill Prevention Liability Trust Fund.

    • Gold’s hidden climate footprint

      The collapse of the Soviet Union left Bulgaria achieving in the 1990s what the rest of the world is working hard to manage in the 2020s, a reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions of more than 45%.

      But while a lot of inefficient mines and smelting plants have closed, the rump of the minerals industry survived. It is now expanding again, destroying pristine forests and wildlife and raising questions about Europe’s policy of transporting ore across the globe for smelting and refining.

      Vast quantities of raw material are transported by ship, but the emissions caused are not counted because shipping is not covered by the Paris Agreement of last December.

    • Fire From New Mexico Fracking Site Explosion Keeps Burning Three Days Later

      A massive fire at a fracking site in rural New Mexico that scorched 36 oil storage tanks and prompted the evacuation of 55 residents is dwindling but still burning Thursday, some three days after the first explosion was reported.

      The fire that started Monday night is mostly out, WPX Energy, the Oklahoma-based company that owns the site, reported Wednesday. However, “small fires” remained at four of the 36 tanks, the company said. No injuries have been reported and according to the company no drilling was taking place at the site prior to the storage tanks catching fire.

    • Just How Bad Are Trump’s VP Picks on Climate?

      Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax and that we should extract all of our energy sources at full capacity, whether we need to or not. You would expect him to choose a running mate that brings him back down to earth on climate, right?

    • Alaska Bakes In Heat Wave While Arctic Sea Ice Continues To Melt

      Alaska reached temperatures in the 80s, with Deadhorse reaching a record-high temperature of 85 degrees on Wednesday evening. Other cities including Bettles and Eagle reached 85, Fort Yukon hit 84, and Nenana reported 87.

    • Global Witness employees expelled from DRC under false allegations

      Two Global Witness employees have today been expelled from the Democratic Republic of Congo on false accusations that they were inciting a revolt, and were in the country without permission.

      At a press conference in Kinshasa the DRC Minister of Environment Robert Bopolo Bogeza accused Global Witness of threatening national peace and stability by encouraging forest communities to rise up against the logging companies that are operating in their forests.

    • America Produces a Shocking Amount of Garbage: Find out Where Your State Ranks—and What You Can Do About It

      If you’re an average American, you produce 4.4. pounds of trash every single day, significantly more than the global average of 2.6 pounds. In a nation of nearly 324 million people, that amounts to more than 700,000 tons of garbage produced daily—enough to fill around 60,000 garbage trucks.

      The EPA estimates that Americans generated about 254 million tons of garbage in 2013. That is a shocking amount of waste. Among developed nations, only New Zealand, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland produce more municipal solid waste per capita.

  • Finance

    • Congress Exposes That DoJ Overruled Recommendation to Indict Money Launderer HSBC Over Too Big to Fail Worries

      The House of Representatives released a bombshell today out of its three-year investigation as to why the UK-based bank HSBC got off lightly for money laundering, both for with states subject to economic sanctions like Iran and Sudan, as well as narcotics traffickers. The report found that Attorney General Eric Holder “misled” Congress about the evidence against the bank, and that staff prosecutors had recommended indictment but were overruled by Holder. In addition UK regulators interfered in the case, and argued that criminal sanctions would lead to a financial nuclear winter. That was demonstrated to be false in 2014, when BNP Paribas, which apparently had fewer friends in court, pled guilty to criminal money laundering charges and paid $8.9 billion in fines.

      Or was it that the New York Department of Financial Services, which was then headed by Benjamin Lawsky, was going to embarrass the crowd in DC into doing more than it wanted to? Recall that Laswky had run rings around the Fed, Treasury, and UK financial services regulators over money laundering at another UK bank, Standard Chartered. This led to a firestorm of financial media outrage as Lawsky ordered Standard Chartered executives to appear and explain why he should not revoke their New York banking license. That would mean they could no longer clear dollar-based transactions, which would be extremely damaging to any international bank.

    • The Jobless of Marienthal: Austria’s Textile Industry and the Historical Effects of Unemployment
    • Time to Reign in the Robber Barons Again

      I’m going to let you on a little secret about many of the CEOs of the US’ largest companies: The biggest decision that they make these days, is how best to divvy up the wealth that they’ve stolen from US working families and middle class.

      Seriously, according to research by Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder at the Economic Policy Institute, CEOs in the US’ largest firms are raking in an average of $15.5 million in compensation.

      That’s an average compensation of 276 times the annual average pay of the typical worker!

    • Brexit: a dismantling moment

      I do not wish to understate the tragic consequences of the vote in the United Kingdom: either for the British or for Europe. But I am stunned by the way in which French (and foreign) headlines are presenting the facts to us: “After Brexit…”. Some rare exceptions notwithstanding, most seem to accept and agree that an exit has taken place. In reality, we are most assuredly entering a period of turbulence in which the outcome is anything but clear. It is this uncertainty that I would like to chronicle and interpret.

      Comparison, we know, is never definitive, but how can we forget that in the recent history of European politics, national and transnational referendums are never put into practise? This was the case in 2005 with the “European constitution”, in 2008 with the Lisbon treaty, and even more obviously in 2015 with the memorandum imposed on Greece. It is highly likely that we will see the same pattern this time. The British ruling class – beyond the personal conflicts which divide them tactically – is manoeuvring to delay the deadline and to negotiate the most favourable terms of “exit”. Some governments (the French most prominently, as well as the spokesperson of the Commission), are ramping up their cries of “out is out”, and “leave means leave”. But Germany is not listening with the same ear, meaning there will be no unanimity (except that of a presentational facade).

    • TPP: Australia wants to steal US medicine patents, Senator Orrin Hatch says

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal may have been signed by 12 nations, but one man stands in its way.

      With the rising tide of anti-trading sentiment within the United States, support from pro-traders has become crucial to ensure trading deals, such as the TPP, get passed.

      One important pro-trader has been Senator Orrin Hatch, US Senate Finance Committee chairman, who has been holding out on passing the TPP through the US Congress — a make or break proposition for the international trade agreement.

    • George Osborne’s austerity choked off the recovery: Brexit is his legacy

      By March 2015, George Osborne was pulling together his final budget before the general election. The austerity chancellor had already hacked billions from health, education and social security; now he planned to slash billions more. But he had prepared one massive give-away: the complete abolition of taxes on savings, worth well over £1bn in lost revenue.

    • The young are particularly distressed by Brexit – how should the rest of us respond?

      Half of voters aged 18 to 24 cried or felt like crying when they heard that the UK had voted to leave the EU, recent research by the LSE has found. Having spent much of my working life treating young people who are emotionally affected by events they cannot control, I am not surprised.

      What I find more unsettling is the hostility of some of the reactions to the news which ridiculed young people for being “hysterical”, “crybabies” or “angst-ridden teenies”. Such phrases reveal a worrying tendency in our society to both dismiss the views of young people as worthless, and to belittle the seriousness of their emotional and mental well-being. It’s a tendency that contributes to the stigma around mental illness, which in turn is one of the causes of our failure to invest in prevention or to provide adequate mental health services for vulnerable young people.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Ending With a Whimper: the Political Surrender of Bernie Sanders

      The slimmest of hopes, which got extremely threadbare in the last month, was nursed that Bernie Sanders might have taken his support base and made it into a third movement. A US political scene so typified by the banking retainers, the counterfeit pioneers and fraudulent managers, could have done with a new force.

      Sanders, having watered and cultivated a genuine counter to a Democratic stream so deeply compromised, ultimately succumbed to the Clintonite machine. His July 12 message reads in part tones of regret, condescension and capitulation. There is also that sense of self-deception. “Let me begin by thanking the 13 million Americans who voted for me during the Democratic primaries.”

    • Brexit changed everything – Corbyn’s opponents are relying on an outdated plan, writes Ed M’s former media chief

      For a few brief days after the referendum the catastrophic consequences of Brexit sent a surge of energy around the Labour Party that seemed powerful enough to jolt Britain’s progressive politics into life again.

      Among Labour MPs it immediately generated a new sense of clarity and urgency about ending the experimental party leadership of someone who had failed to convince people even which side he was on in the referendum.

      And it was felt beyond Westminster too by people fearful for their future, suddenly desperate for an effective opposition to a hard Brexit and more ready to engage with Labour Party politics than at any point in their lifetime.

    • Open Letter: Technology Leaders Want To Kick Donald Trump Out Of the Presidential Race

      The various persons who have signed this letter are the pioneers of their own play areas but we would like to mention a few personalities out of the long list, namely, Steve Wozniak, David Karp, Dustin Moskovitz, Alexis Ohanian, Jimmy Wales, and the list goes on.

    • An Ultra-Capitalist Christian Sect Is Taking Center Stage At The RNC, Thanks To Donald Trump
    • Corbyn’s critics are hellbent on destroying the party they claim to love

      Say what you want about the Tories – and I have – they know how to implode with style. Their betrayals are brazen; their concessions are dramatic; their calculations are brutal. Treachery, buffoonery and incompetence on a scale few could imagine is followed by orderly transition and a leader they can live with. They may be wrecking the country, but their party has emerged intact.

      Labour, on the other hand, is a far more sad and messy affair. It cloaks its treachery with a veneer of principle and mistakes its own tantrums for strategy. Like an enthusiastic but incompetent hunter, it pursues its prey with zeal but will not, cannot finish it off. It is nowhere near running the country and the party is heading into the abyss.

    • Labour leadership poll: Angela Eagle ‘less popular than Corbyn among Labour supporters’

      Angela Eagle’s leadership bid suffered a blow today as a poll showed more Labour supporters believe Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister than her.

      But the Ipsos MORI survey also made grim reading for Mr Corbyn as two thirds of the public, including 54 per cent of Labour backers, say the party should change its leader before the 2020 General Election.

    • ACLU Gears Up to Fight Donald Trump’s Long List of Unconstitutional Proposals

      The American Civil Liberties Union is preparing to fight a deluge of unconstitutional acts should Donald Trump become president.

      “If implemented, Donald Trump’s policies will spark a constitutional and legal challenge that will require all hands on deck at the ACLU,” said Executive Director Anthony Romero.

      In a 27 page memo released Thursday, the ACLU accuses Trump of “police-state tactics” and says his proposals on counterterrorism, border security, and women’s rights would routinely violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments.

      The report says Trump’s plan for a border wall and “deportation force” would escalate the militarization of border communities, “promising a border security approach akin to the fortified shoot-to-kill zones dividing the Koreas.”

      And Trump’s pledge to deport 11 million immigrants within two years would require in excess of 15,000 arrests a day, which the ACLU notes could only be achieved with suspicionless arrests, electronic surveillance, and home raids on an unprecedented scale.

    • Berned Out? Don’t Mourn—Organize
    • Donald Trump Praises Dictators, But Hillary Clinton Befriends Them

      While Hillary Clinton runs ads criticizing Donald Trump for praising dictators, Clinton herself has a history of alliances with strongmen in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Honduras.

      Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top foreign policy advisor, warned last week that Trump’s “praise for brutal strongmen knows no bounds.” The Clinton campaign released a video compilation of Trump’s comments about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Russian President Vladamir Putin, and former Iraqi and Libyan dictators Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.

      At a California rally, Clinton accused Trump of trying to become a dictator himself. “We’re trying to elect a President,” said Clinton, “not a dictator.”

      Practically speaking, however, the choice voters will face in November will be between a candidate who praises dictators and a candidate who befriends them.

      Clinton has described former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and his wife as “friends of my family.” Mubarak ruled Egypt under a perpetual “state of emergency” rule, that involved disappearing and torturing dissidents, police killings, and persecution of LGBT people. The U.S. gave Mubarak $1.3 billion in military aid per year, and when Arab Spring protests threatened his grip on power, Clinton warned the administration not to “push a longtime partner out the door,” according to her book Hard Choices.

      After Arab Spring protests unseated Mubarak and led to democratic elections, the Egyptian military, led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, staged a coup. El-Sisi suspended the country’s 2012 Constitution, appointed officials from the former dictatorship, and moved to silence opposition.

      Sisi traveled to the U.S. in 2014 and met with Clinton and her husband, and posed for a photo. The Obama administration last year lifted a hold on the transfer of weapons and cash to el-Sisi’s government.

    • The Stench of Bernie Sanders and the “Unsafe State Strategy”

      But was it really a defeat, or was that staged rally with Hillary and Bernie the deal all along? Had Bernie simply been the DNC’s dupe and wrangled up America’s disgruntled youth into the stinky feedlot of the Democratic Party, so that Hillary wouldn’t have to do the dirty work herself? Is that why Bernie was so damn afraid to go after her email scandal in those debates? Was that why he refused to “go negative” even though the Clinton camp never held back their contempt for Bernie? Is that why Sanders refused to take on her egregious foreign policies (or was that because he supported most of them)? It really shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise regardless, at the outset Bernie said he planned to back Hillary in the general election if his primary bid burned out — and Bern out it did.

    • Britain faces the biggest crisis of democracy in its history. It’s time to take power back.

      Welcome to prime minister Theresa May’s new regime: it represents perhaps the most authoritarian, racist and austerity-obsessed government in British history.

      Britain is now being run by an unelected leader presiding over a draconian surveillance-state, hell-bent on accelerating war on the poor and vulnerable, at home and abroad. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the official opposition to this regime is falling apart.

      The fight to reclaim our democracy must be ramped up. Now.

    • Ton Of Tech Industry Leaders Say Trump Would Be A Complete Disaster For Innovation

      This is a unique presidential campaign. And, as we’ve noted, Hillary Clinton’s tech platform is not great either. But, at the very least, her platform’s problem is that it’s just a bunch of vague pronouncements designed for people to read into them what they will.

    • Jill Stein shreds Sanders’ Clinton endorsement

      In another tweet, Stein wrote, “While Trump praises dictators, Hillary takes their money. Remind us again of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record?”

      As Sanders began speaking, Stein offered her own hashtags to disaffected Bernie backers. “The revolution continues with those who will fight for a government that represents all of us–not just the 1%. #HillNo #JillYes,” Stein wrote.

    • Jeremy Corbyn Wins Another Battle as the War Against His Labour Party Leadership Continues (Video)

      It’s dizzying to try to keep up with the drama of British politics in the post-Brexit era as resignations and elections seem to never-endingly roll in. Hell, in a matter of weeks the United Kingdom has somehow already been saddled with a new conservative, and let’s not forget, unelected prime minister. Now the Brexiteers have had their day, including downtrodden former London Mayor Boris Johnson, and conservatives in both the Tory and Labour parties want to continue with neoliberal austerity as usual.

      Unfortunately for them, however, one man has marvelously weathered the storm of betrayals and right-wing plots, and that man is none other than Jeremy Corbyn.

      The Labour Party leader came under fire after the European Union referendum and has been the center of what’s being called a “chicken coup” within his own party. After a no-confidence vote, it became clear that while Corbyn still had overwhelming support from unions, grass-roots movements and the Labour Party membership, his actual colleagues wanted him out.

      The architects of the coup gave a number of reasons for their attempt to rid the party of Corbyn, ranging from what they deemed his lackluster support for the Remain campaign in the lead-up to the referendum to the belief that he couldn’t win a general election if one was called. On the left some suspected that the anti-Corbyn sentiment was due to the planned release of the Chilcot Report on the Iraq War and Corbyn’s intention to apologize for the war on behalf of his party.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn: How American Censorship Impacted This Famous Line and More Iconic Hollywood Moments

      This may be the land of the free, but even America has certain restrictions on what can be seen, said and shown in Hollywood.

      While it may seem like modern film, television and music is saturated with racy sexual content, nudity, profanity and other touchy material, there are still certain limitations on the various forms of media we consume every day, though such restrictions continue to evolve as the years churn.

      For example, we know that “indecent” and “profane” content—like racy language or depictions of sexual activity—are prohibited on non-cable television and radio between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to prevent children from seeing it, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

    • Dennis Cooper fears censorship as Google erases blog without warning

      Two weeks ago, writer and artist Dennis Cooper was checking his Gmail when something peculiar happened: the page was refreshed and he was notified that his account had been deactivated – along with the blog that he’d maintained for 14 years.

    • Google deletes artist’s blog and a decade of his work along with it

      Artist Dennis Cooper has a big problem on his hands: Most of his artwork from the past 14 years just disappeared.

      It’s gone because it was kept entirely on his blog, which the experimental author and artist has maintained on the Google-owned platform Blogger since 2002 (Google bought the service in 2003). At the end of June, Cooper says he discovered he could no longer access his Blogger account and that his blog had been taken offline.

    • Internet Free Speech for People on Supervised Release from Prison

      The First Amendment protects the right of everyone to use the Internet to criticize government officials–including people on supervised release from prison.

      Take the case of Darren Chaker, whose supervised release was revoked earlier this year because he criticized a law enforcement officer in a blog post. Specifically, he wrote that the officer had been “forced out” by a police agency. The government argues that Chaker violated the terms of his release, which instructed him not to “harass” anyone else, including “defaming a person’s character on the internet.” To us, this is a classic example of political speech that should be subject to the highest level of First Amendment protection.

      So earlier this fall, EFF joined with other free speech groups to file an amicus brief supporting Chaker, and by extension the free speech rights of everyone else on supervised release. The brief, filed in the federal appeals court for the Ninth Circuit, argues that when the government seeks to punish speech that criticizes government officials, it must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the speaker acted with “actual malice,” meaning they knew the statement was false, or they acted with reckless disregard for whether it was false. Government must meet this high standard whether it calls the criticism “defamation,” or “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” or (as here) “harassment.”

    • Staff to sue Chinese cultural ministry academy over sacking of publisher of outspoken political magazine

      Editorial staff at an outspoken and influential Chinese political magazine say they plan to sue the cultural ministry academy overseeing the journal after the sacking of its publisher.

      The statement, issued by employees at Yanhuang Chunqiu – a 25-year-old journal with a reputation for forthright articles that contest official versions of Communist Party history – came after Tuesday’s management reshuffle led to respected publisher, Du Daozheng, being sacked and also the demotion of its chief editor.

    • Original music, discussions about censorship headline new concert series

      Freedom of expression, no matter how unorthodox, is vital to a strong democracy, and the concert series, featuring original music by area bands, hopefully will also provide a venue for healthy discussion, Scott said. “We want it to be fun and inspirational.”

    • Emirati Gets 3-Month Prison Sentence Over Instagram Insult

      A state-owned newspaper in the United Arab Emirates is reporting that an Emirati man has received a three-month prison sentence and a fine after being convicted of insulting his brother on Instagram.

      The Arabic-language newspaper Al Etihad reported on Thursday that the man’s brother became upset after finding his photo on his brother’s Instagram account with an expletive as the caption.

    • ‘Parly must intervene in SABC crisis’

      “It is in the interests of the common good, and a matter of urgency, that public confidence in the public broadcaster be restored.”

    • South African bishops call for an end to media censorship crisis

      South Africa’s bishops have called on the country’s parliament to intervene in a censorship crisis regarding the reporting of violent protests ahead of elections next month.

      Bishop Abel Gabuza, head of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, has urged the parliament’s communications committee to urgently reconvene to discuss the crisis.

    • South African Reflection: Censoring protest – deja vu?
    • In Wake of Frank Cho Censorship Scandal, Political Science Professor Explains Censorship
    • Munchkinland Rejoices as Frank Cho Exits Wonder Woman Citing “Censorship”
    • Frank Cho Walks Off Wonder Woman After Sixth Cover
    • ICYMI: Wonder Woman Dates Women… Maybe?
    • Frank Cho quits over his right to draw Wonder Woman’s panties
    • Frank Cho Walks Off of Wonder Woman, Citing “Censorship” and “Political Agendas”
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Crypto flaw made it easy for attackers to snoop on Juniper customers

      As if people didn’t already have cause to distrust the security of Juniper products, the networking gear maker just disclosed a vulnerability that allowed attackers to eavesdrop on sensitive communications traveling through customers’ virtual private networks.

      In an advisory posted Wednesday, Juniper officials said they just fixed a bug in the company’s Junos operating system that allowed adversaries to masquerade as trusted parties. The impersonation could be carried out by presenting a forged cryptographic certificate that was signed by the attacker rather than by a trusted certificate authority that normally vets the identity of the credential holder.

      “When a peer device presents a self-signed certificate as its end entity certificate with its issuer name matching one of the valid CA certificates enrolled in Junos, the peer certificate validation is skipped and the peer certificate is treated as valid,” Wednesday’s advisory stated. “This may allow an attacker to generate a specially crafted self-signed certificate and bypass certificate validation.”

    • New House coalition fights rise in government surveillance

      An unusual coalition of 13 Republicans and 12 Democrats on Wednesday announced the creation of the House Fourth Amendment Caucus to protect Americans’ privacy rights against calls for increased government surveillance in the wake of terrorist attacks.

      The group named itself after the Fourth Amendment because the lawmakers fear that the government is increasingly seeking the power to search Americans’ electronic data without a warrant. They see that as a threat to the Constitutional amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

      “In the face of difficult circumstances, some are quick to pursue extreme, unconstitutional measures; the Fourth Amendment Caucus will be a moderating influence that gives voice to countless Americans whose rights are violated by these ill-conceived policies,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who joined the group led by Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Ted Poe, R-Texas.

      Privacy rights are one of the rare issues that liberals and libertarian-leaning conservatives in Congress have agreed on. Members of the new coalition oppose legislation that would force U.S. tech companies to build “backdoors” into encrypted smartphones or allow federal agents to view someone’s Internet browsing history without a warrant.

    • Maxthon Browser Sends Sensitive Data to China

      Security experts have discovered that the Maxthon web browser collects sensitive information and sends it to a server in China. Researchers warn that the harvested data could be highly valuable for malicious actors.

      Developed by China-based Maxthon International, the browser is available for all major platforms in more than 50 languages. In 2013, after the NSA surveillance scandal broke, the company boasted about its focus on privacy and security, and the use of strong encryption.

    • Here’s What We Know About the NSA’s Elite Hacking Squad

      Some of the best hackers in the world work for the NSA. They are the ones who are tasked with hacking into the most—supposedly—impenetrable targets, be it the computers of an Iranian nuclear power facility, or the cellphones of a fugitive terrorist.

      As far as anyone knows, they don’t have a cool sounding name, but they are collectively known as “The Office of Tailored Access Operations,” or TAO. They have been called “a squad of plumbers that can be called in when normal access to a target is blocked.” And while that name, and that description, might sound underwhelming, they’re the NSA’s elite-hacking unit, its black bag operations team.

    • NSA Boss Says U.S. Cyber Troops Are Nearly Ready
    • Rogers: National Security Agency Becoming ‘FEMA of the Cyber World’
    • Hillary Clinton And The NSA Have Heard Of This Pokémon Go Thing

      Clinton’s staff is using the game’s social popularity as a recruiting tool. They’re also using it to register voters for the upcoming election.

    • Feds ask judge to toss case about Olympics snooping claim

      The National Security Agency asked a judge Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit from a former Salt Lake City mayor who says the agency conducted a mass warrantless surveillance program during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    • Judge to rule on lawsuit accusing NSA of spying on everyone in SLC during 2002 Olympics
    • Rocky Anderson alleges enough facts for NSA lawsuit to proceed

      Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson on Thursday went against lawyers for the National Security Administration, arguing his federal class-action lawsuit over surveillance during the 2002 Winter Olympics should proceed.

    • NSA asking judge to toss case Olympics eavesdropping claim

      Lawyers for the National Security Agency are asking judge to dismiss a lawsuit from a former Salt Lake City mayor who says the agency conducted a mass warrantless surveillance program during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    • Ex-NSA chief: Responding to cyberattacks is a government responsibility
    • For The First Time, A Federal Judge Has Suppressed Evidence Obtained With A Stingray Device

      Evidence acquired using Stingray devices has rarely been suppressed. This is due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to challenge. The reason it’s almost impossible to challenge is because the FBI — and the law enforcement agencies it “partners” with (via severely restrictive nondisclosure agreements) — will throw out evidence and let suspects walk rather than expose the use of IMSI catchers.

      Earlier this year, a Baltimore city circuit judge threw out evidence obtained with the Baltimore PD’s cell tower spoofing equipment. And this was no run-of-the-mill drug bust. An actual murder suspect had evidence suppressed because of the BPD’s warrantless deployment of a Stingray device. Without the use of the Stingray, the BPD would not have been able to locate the suspect’s phone. And without this location, there would have been no probable cause to search the apartment he was in. You can’t build a search warrant on illegally-obtained probable cause, reasoned the judge. Goodbye evidence.

    • Microsoft Wins Major Privacy Victory for Data Held Overseas [Ed: Microsoft… blah blah… privacy. Coming from company of mass surveillance (kick-started PRISM)]
    • Huge Win: Court Says Microsoft Does Not Need To Respond To US Warrant For Overseas Data

      We’ve been following an important case for the past few years about whether or not the US can issue a warrant to an American company for data stored overseas. In this case, Microsoft refused to comply with the warrant for some information hosted in Ireland — and two years ago a district court ruled against Microsoft and in favor of the US government. Thankfully, the 2nd Circuit appeals court today reversed that ruling and properly noted that US government warrants do not apply to overseas data. This is a hugely important case concerning the privacy and security of our data.

    • Yes, ISIS Is Using Encryption — But Not Very Well

      I’ve been seeing a few anti-encryption supporters pointing to a new ProPublica report on terrorists using encrypted communications as sort of proof of their position that we need to backdoor encryption and weaken security for everyone. The article is very detailed and thorough and does show that some ISIS folks make use of encrypted chat apps like Telegram and WhatsApp. But that’s hardly a surprise. It was well known that those apps were being used, just like it’s been well known that groups like Al Qaida were well aware of the usefulness of encryption going back many years, even predating 9/11. It’s not like they’ve suddenly learned something new.

    • PM’s new Brexit chief is currently suing government over spying tactics

      Tory MP David Davis—an outspoken critic of Theresa May’s push for greater online surveillance powers, who is currently suing the government over the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA)—has been appointed as the new prime minister’s secretary of state for exiting the European Union.

      Davis, who is MP for Haltemprice & Howden, is a strong eurosceptic and has a consistent record of fighting government surveillance. In 2008, when he was shadow home secretary, he resigned from the House of Commons in order to stand on a platform of defending “British liberties.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘No Field Test is Fail Safe’: Meet the Chemist Behind Houston’s Police Drug Kits

      In 1973, L.J. Scott, Jr., was a chemist at the recently created Drug Enforcement Agency, hard at work on a critical breakthrough: a chemical mixture that could identify the presence of cocaine. The trafficking and use of the drug was exploding, and federal and local authorities wanted help confronting the problem. Scott and the DEA wanted something that could be used in the streets — cheap and handy, and, if possible, authoritative.

      Scott’s invention became part of drug test kits that agents and officers could carry with them. Scott said he spent nine months validating his new test — first in the DEA’s lab and then with detectives in the field — before declaring success. “The method proposed herein is almost impossible to misinterpret,” he wrote in an internal memo introducing the field test, “and is highly sensitive and specific.”

    • Baton Rouge Police Sued Over Arrest of Peaceful Protesters

      As The Intercept reported previously, images of officers dressed for battle confronting and arresting peaceful protesters in Baton Rouge provoked sharp reactions on social networks over the weekend.

      More video has come to light in the days since, along with firsthand accounts from protesters and journalists who were detained.

      Among the activists arrested on Sunday were Blair Imani, 22, a former student at Louisiana State University who now works for Planned Parenthood, and her partner, Akeem Muhammad, 24, who is also a former student at LSU.

    • Congress: Enjoy Your Recess, But Here Are Six Police Reform Bills You Must Pass In September

      Members of Congress: These are your constituents. These are lives that matter to families, friends, and communities, and they should matter to you too. This is why we say their names.

      We have a crisis on our hands. Excessive violence, including fatal police shootings of people of color, must end. We have been focused on bad apple cops when we really need to focus on reforming an entire system. Fairness and justice demand that we act in this moment.

    • CIA Chief Who Did Nothing to Stop Waterboarding Now Says He’d Quit if Agency Asked to Resume

      CIA director John Brennan on Wednesday vowed to resign if he was ordered by the next president to have the CIA resume waterboarding detainees—but the agency could still take up the practice.

      “If a president were to order, order the agency to carry out waterboarding or something else, it’ll be up to the director of CIA and others within CIA to decide whether or not that, that direction and order is something that they can carry out in good conscience,” Brennan said, according to The Intercept.

      “I can say that as long as I’m director of CIA, irrespective of what the president says, I’m not going to be the director of CIA that gives that order. They’ll have to find another director,” he added, according to Reuters.

      The remarks were presumably a response to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s past declarations of support for the torture method condemned by rights groups. They came at the end of a speech the CIA chief gave at the Brookings Institution.

      The Intercept observed that Brennan “did not acknowledge that Congress last year turned Obama’s anti-torture executive order into law, explicitly banning waterboarding and other forms of torture—and restricting the CIA in particular to interrogation methods listed in the Army Field Manual.”

    • Underwear Model-Turned-RNC Speaker Wants Clinton and Obama in Guantánamo

      Antonio Sabato Jr., who will speak at the Republican National Convention next week at the invitation of Donald Trump, frequently bashes Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Twitter. Last month, he said that Clinton and Obama should be sent to Guantánamo.

    • I Don’t Know Much But I Know Why Black Lives Matter

      Philando Castile and I share birthdays in July. This year, I celebrated mine with friends and family. But Castile’s friends and family are mourning his death, killed by a police officer in the St. Paul, Minnesota, suburbs after he was pulled over for a broken taillight.

      He would have been 33. I am decades older — older now, in fact, than my own father when he died.

      [...]

      Visiting relatives in Texas as a boy in the early 1960s, I remember seeing whites-only drinking fountains and restrooms in a local department store. I watched the civil rights struggle of the ‘60s on TV and in the papers: George Wallace standing in the door at the University of Alabama to keep two African-American students from enrolling; three young men disappearing during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1963; the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery; the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jack and Bobby Kennedy.

    • After Week of Violence, Cleveland Prepares for Chaos at Republican Convention

      In Cleveland, officials are estimated to have spent at least $20 million in federal funds on equipment ranging from bicycles and steel barriers to 2,000 sets of riot gear, 2,000 retractable steel batons, body armor, surveillance equipment, 10,000 sets of plastic flex cuffs, and 16 laser aiming systems, which a technology retailer describes as being used for “night direct-fire aiming and illumination.” And while the city has not fully disclosed all the equipment it has acquired for the convention, Ohio’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which has been monitoring the preparations, raised concerns that police might be planning to deploy Stingray devices, used to monitor and track cellphones, as well as a Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a sonic crowd-control weapon that emits painfully loud sounds.

    • Beyond Dallas and Orlando, a Global Arc of Violence

      Surveillance, including social media monitoring and corporate collusion with authorities, will be increased. Even those who do not identify with the targeted movements will be punished to discourage them from joining. Therefore, activists must always act with an awareness of the risks at hand. Speaking recklessly in a surveillance state and putting oneself at risk for nothing serves no one. The state will use and has used whatever means it can to detain and punish those who make statements it sees as “too bold,” as well as those who are whistleblowers. All of our online communications are monitored, our protests and our most private conversations are vulnerable to infiltration. Therefore, it’s important to be careful about how we speak and what we say, lest we hope to remove ourselves completely and be subject to the whims of a state seeking to make more examples of us.

    • US Withdraws Funding for Haiti Elections

      Dismayed by the decision to rerun controversial and fraud-plagued presidential elections, the US State Department announced on Thursday a suspension of electoral assistance to Haiti. State Department spokesperson John Kirby said the decision was communicated to Haitian authorities last week, noting that the US “has provided over $30 million in assistance” for elections and that the move would allow the US “to maintain priority assistance” for ongoing projects.

      Kirby added that “I don’t have a dollar figure in terms of this because it wasn’t funded, it wasn’t budgeted.” However multiple sources have confirmed that the U.S has withdrawn nearly $2 million already in a United Nations controlled fund for elections. Donor governments, as well as the Haitian state, had contributed to the fund. Prior to the US move, $8.2 million remained for elections.

    • Ex-Seattle Police Chief Condemns Systemic Police Racism Dating Back to Slave Patrols

      On Wednesday, President Obama met at the White House with law enforcement officials and civil rights leaders. President Obama hosted the meeting one week after the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and the killing of five police officers by a sniper in Dallas. While the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile made national headlines, they were not isolated incidents. According to a count by The Guardian, at least 37 people have been killed by police in the United States so far this month. That’s more than the total number of people killed by police in Britain since the year 2000. Overall, police in the United States have killed a total of 585 people so far this year. We speak to former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, author of the new book “To Protect and to Serve: How to Fix America’s Police.”

    • Baton Rouge police got military gear through controversial Defense Department program

      “I’m disappointed. So disappointed,” she told The Advocate. “It was extremely unnerving — the military-style policing.”

      In fact, the Baton Rouge Police Department is using gear initially intended for military use. It is among the many local agencies nationwide that have obtained surplus military equipment through the Defense Department’s controversial 1033 program, which came under criticism following the militarized response to protests over the August 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

    • Videotaping a Crime Is Not a Crime

      Muflahi continued, “By the time I got out of the store, they were already slamming him on top of a car and were tasering him. That’s when another officer ran and tackled him onto an SUV, then both cops slammed him on the floor.”

      Alton Sterling was on his back, on the pavement, with two large, white Baton Rouge police officers pinning him down. The officers shot Alton Sterling at point-blank range, killing him.

      Muflahi explained: “After the shooting, one of the officers that was there, I’m not sure what he said, but the other officer that was close to me had said, ‘Just f—him. Just let him lay there,” talking about Mr. Sterling. “That’s when they grabbed me and put me in the back of a cop car.”

    • Lawyer Glenda Hatchett Will ‘Aggressively Pursue Justice’ for the Family of Philando Castile

      Glenda Hatchett, perhaps best known to audiences of the former court show “Judge Hatchett,” has taken on the role of attorney representing the family of Philando Castile in court. Castile, 32, was fatally shot one week ago by a police officer near St. Paul, Minn. His girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, streamed the immediate aftermath of the incident on Facebook Live, and the footage prompted outrage and protests across the United States.

      “Valerie Castile and her family are very passionate and committed to ensuring that Philando’s death is not just another statistic,” Hatchett said in a statement this week. “She wants her son’s death to mark a time in this country’s history where reform becomes less about rhetoric and more about reality.”

      So far, no legal action has been taken, but Hatchett has said that “there will be a lawsuit.” In the video below, posted by Fusion, Hatchett speaks to reporters as the family’s attorney. “This time, ladies and gentlemen, we are telling you, must be the last time,” she says of Castile’s death.

    • End ‘Operation Streamline’: How One Human Rights Disaster is Driving Several More

      The 10-year-old, controversial “Operation Streamline,” through which immigrants who cross the border are targeted for criminal prosecution, is wasting taxpayer dollars, tearing apart families, and driving mass incarceration, according to a new report.

      The analysis from nonprofit groups Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership, released Wednesday in the form of a book (pdf), is based on interviews with judges, public defenders, advocates, activists, former prosecutors, and individuals who have been prosecuted as well as their families. “It was clear from talking to actors throughout this system that it is broken in every way,” the report reads.

    • In Historic NLRB Ruling, Temps Win the Right To Join Unions

      A new ruling will enable temporary and permanent employees to come together to negotiate with their bosses in mixed bargaining units.

      The National Labor Relations Board on Monday overturned a Bush-era standard that said a union could only organize a bargaining unit of jointly employed and regular employees if both employers consented—even if those employees worked together closely. “Jointly employed” includes temps who are hired through staffing agencies.

      The new decision allows jointly employed temps to bargain collectively in the same unit with the solely employed workers they work alongside, ruling that bosses need not consent so long as workers share a “community of interest.”

      In a 3-1 decision, the Board overturned a 12-year-old ruling in Oakwood Care Center, where the Board said that a group of temporary workers could not unionize with permanent employees without the approval of their employer and the appropriate staffing agency.

    • These Syrian Christians fled Muslim extremist harassment. Then they found it again in Germany.

      Tarek Bakhous says that’s what a roommate recently asked him with a sneer when he opened the fridge.

      Bakhous was the only Christian among 10 Syrian refugees in a shared apartment assigned by German authorities. The others were devout Muslims who didn’t drink alcohol.

      “If you think beer is forbidden,” Bakhous says he replied, “Why did you come to Germany?”

      “We’re the majority in this house,” he says his roommate replied. “If you don’t like it, you can go.”

    • Breakdown Of US Citizens Killed By Cops In 2016

      In the U.S. a total of 509 citizens have been killed this year alone by police. The body count for the previous year stands at a grand total of 990 people shot dead, according to the Washington Post. As the below infographic from Statista shows, most of those killed by police are male and white. 123 of those shot were Black Americans. This is a relatively high share, keeping in mind that close to 13 percent of Americans belong to that ethnic group.

    • What Had Philando Done?

      The fraught and moving funeral of Philando Castile drew thousands to the Cathedral of Saint Paul, where spectators lining the route of his white casket on a horse-drawn carriage declared themselves “United for Philando” and faith leaders mourning the latest victim of this country’s random racist police violence prayed for “a tiny measure of peace.” In his eulogy, the Rev. Steve Daniels Jr. of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, a son of 1950s Mississippi, questioned the persistence of racial profiling, noted that today’s protesters are rightly tired of being “wrongfully murdered,” and pointedly asked, “What had Philando done?” He added mournfully, “God has used Philando to be the face, to be the cause, to be the seed, to be the sacrifice.” Later Demetrius Bennett, who went to high school with Castile, said it’s not Castile’s death but his life and work with kids as a beloved cook at the local Montessori School should be honored: “His name should be in lights.”

    • NYT Looks at the Political Exploitation of White Supremacism–but Not Too Hard

      “Trump Mines Grievances of Whites Who Feel Lost” was the headline in the print edition (7/14/16), and that euphemistic tone continued through the piece, written by the Times‘ Nicholas Confessore; “racial conservatives” is the term it uses to characterize people who believe that, for example, “blacks suffer greater poverty because of…lack of effort.” The goal of white supremacists is, in the Times‘ own language, “that race should matter as much to white people as it does to everyone else.”

      But there is also valuable information here on the extent to which ideological white supremacists have embraced the Trump campaign, recognizing the candidate as a kindred spirit. “He is bringing identity politics for white people into the public sphere in a way no one has,” says one far-right activist. The Times documents how Trump, in turn, makes organized racists feel welcome in his movement, sometimes indirectly; the article notes, for instance, that analysis of Trump’s Twitter activity found that “almost 30 percent of the accounts Mr. Trump retweeted in turn followed one or more of 50 popular self-identified white nationalist accounts.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Jurisdiction: the taboo topic at ICANN

      In March 2014, the US government announced that they were going to end the contract they have with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to run the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and hand over control to the “global multistakeholder community”. They insisted that the plan for transition had to come through a multistakeholder process and have stakeholders “across the global internet community”.

    • With 4 Days Left, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Lessig, And Barbara Van Schewick Beg Europe To Close Net Neutrality Loopholes

      Europe only has a few days left to ensure that its member countries are actually protected by real net neutrality rules. As we’ve been discussing, back in October the European Union passed net neutrality rules, but they were so packed with loopholes to not only be useful, but actively harmful in that they effectively legalize net neutrality violations by large telecom operators. The rules carve out tractor-trailer-sized loopholes for “specialized services” and “class-based discrimination,” as well as giving the green light for zero rating, letting European ISPs trample net neutrality — just so long as they’re clever enough about it.

      In short, the EU’s net neutrality rules are in many ways worse than no rules at all. But there’s still a change to make things right.

      While the rules technically took effect April 30 (after much self-congratulatory back patting), the European Union’s Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has been cooking up new guidelines to help European countries interpret and adopt the new rules, potentially providing them with significantly more teeth than they have now. With four days left for the public to comment (as of the writing of this post), Europe’s net neutrality advocates have banded together to urge EU citizens to contact their representatives and demand they close these ISP-lobbyist crafted loopholes.

      Hoping to galvanize public support, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Barbara van Schewick, and Larry Lessig have penned a collective letter to European citizens urging them to pressure their constituents. The letter mirrors previous concerns that the rules won’t be worth much unless they’re changed to prohibit exceptions allowing “fast lanes,” discrimination against specific classes of traffic (like BitTorrent), and the potential paid prioritization of select “specialized” services. These loopholes let ISPs give preferential treatment to select types of content or services, providing they offer a rotating crop of faux-technical justifications that sound convincing.

    • Republicans Attack the FCC Over Net Neutrality, Other Core Programs

      Republican lawmakers squared off against Federal Communications Commission officials during a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, just days after voting to kneecap federal net neutrality rules ensuring that all content on the internet is equally accessible.

      During a heated three-hour session, GOP lawmakers grilled the five FCC commissioners about a range of agency initiatives, including proposals to increase competition in the cable set-top box market, strengthen broadband privacy protections, and expand federal Lifeline subsidies to include mobile broadband.

      The hearing was just the latest skirmish in an escalating battle between the FCC, which is controlled by a 3-2 Democratic majority, and Republicans lawmakers who have characterized the agency’s consumer-driven agenda as regulatory overreach carried out by a cadre of unelected bureaucrats.

    • Four Days to Save the Open Internet in Europe: An Open Letter

      Network neutrality for hundreds of millions of Europeans is within our grasp. Securing this is essential to preserve the open Internet as a driver for economic growth and social progress. But the public needs to tell regulators now to strengthen safeguards, and not cave in to telecommunications carriers’ manipulative tactics.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • For UNCTAD Ministerial, NGOs Call For Development Focus, Not Trade Rules Enforcement

      Days before a major meeting of the governing body of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), over 100 non-governmental organisations worldwide are calling for the organisation to maintain its development role and not help implement international and regional trade rules.

      The 14th quadrennial ministerial Conference of UNCTAD is taking place from 17-22 July in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for this 14th edition is “From decision to action: moving toward an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development.”

    • AstraZeneca Tries To Use ‘Orphan Drug’ Designation To Extend Patent Life Of Top-Selling Pill

      At the heart of copyright and patents there is — theoretically — an implicit social contract. People are granted a time-limited, government-backed monopoly in return for allowing copyright material or patented techniques to enter the public domain once that period has expired. And yet copyright and patent holders often seem unwilling to respect the terms of that contract, as they seek to hang on to their monopolies beyond the agreed time in various ways.

    • Copyrights

      • Google: Punishing Pirate Sites in Search Results Works

        Google released an updated overview of its anti-piracy efforts today. The company notes that many pirate sites have lost the vast majority of their search traffic due to its downranking efforts. However, Google stresses that it won’t remove entire domain names from its search results, as this could lead to overbroad censorship.

      • Interview: Nakeena Taylor of Pandora, corporate counsel, Pandora

        Before becoming a lawyer, Taylor worked in music and licensing. Taylor suggests a national database of rights owners: “We need to come up with something that will enable us to actually get the money to where it’s supposed to go, so we can start to the change the narrative of musicians feeling they are not getting their fair share.”

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  1. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 17, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 17, 2019



  2. Links 17/11/2019: Slax Beta and Arch Conf 2019 Report





  3. Understanding Thierry Breton: The “Cost-Killer” Tries to Tame the National Debt

    The oligarchic policy of Thierry Breton at Bercy



  4. Reactions to Last Week's Thierry Breton Hearing

    Nobody is particularly impressed by Thierry Breton except those who know little about him (and he contributes to this lack of knowledge by obstructing, omitting, and misleading)



  5. The Open Invention Network Has Become a Guard Dog of (Some) Patent Trolls and It Misrepresents Us Under the Guise of 'Open Source'

    The Open Invention Network (OIN), in collaboration with Fraunhöfer, is promoting software patents and all sorts of other nonsense as part of ‘open’ standards in a new paper sponsored by the EU and edited by the former EPO Chief Economist Nikolaus Thumm (not Battistelli's choice); this is another reminder of the fact that OIN misrepresents Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers and their interests



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 16, 2019



  7. Unitary Patent is Dead Partly Because the EPO Demonstrated That EPC is Being Routinely Violated, Illegal Patents Granted

    Some elements of Team UPC have given up, whereas others try to push the lie that Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court (UPC) is not an EU thing and that therefore everything is fine



  8. USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use

    The world's most important patent office promotes Microsoft lock-in, revealing not only corporate bias but also highlighting ways in which Microsoft crimes continue to pay off



  9. No, Startpage is Not Dutch Anymore

    Startpage is still clinging onto perceptions rather than truths; it means that Startpage isn't just betraying privacy but it's also dishonest and untrustworthy



  10. Understanding Thierry Breton: Chirac's Entrepreneurial “Joker”

    Minister in charge of the public treasury was not a career politician but an “entrepreneur” with a proven track-record as a financial wizard and “cost-killer”



  11. Links 16/11/2019: New Debian Release, Wine staging 4.20

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, November 15, 2019



  13. Microsoft Doesn't Love Linux, It Just Buys Linux

    Microsoft's takeover or abduction of its opposition's voice isn't an act of love but an act of occupation, a hostile colonisation that enables digital pillage and plunder



  14. Koch's Reply to EPO Through ILO and Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO Documents Help Show That ILO-AT is Played by EPO Management

    Sending cases back and forth, without the complainant being involved, means that justice is in eternal ‘limbo’ and thus the abusive management of the European Patent Office (EPO) — first Team Battistelli and now Team Campinos — can get away with anything the bullies do (no judgment of substance being delivered)



  15. EPO Running ILO's Tribunal (ILO-AT) 'in a Loop' to Perpetually Delay and Drain the EPO's Complainants (Aggrieved Staff) Out of Money

    ILO’s Administrative Tribunal — a court for aggrieved EPO staff and other international organisations’ staff (usually known as ILO-AT for short) — is a major farce; when “time is money” and lawyers charge as much as 400 euros an hour the EPO’s management can exploit/misuse its cash reserves to also game justice and buy legal outcomes



  16. ILO is Not Functioning and ILO-AT Helps the Abusive Management of the European Patent Office

    It is becoming increasingly clear, based for example on Koch v EPO, that ILO-AT is where a lot of money will be spent on lawyers and rarely will that result in real justice (but it certainly helps EPO management pretend that staff has safeguards)



  17. Links 16/11/2019: Wine 4.20, Picolibc 1.1

    Links for the day



  18. Understanding Thierry Breton: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?

    "...France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a "cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets."



  19. FOSSPatents Conference is Against FOSS, Promoting the FOSS-Hostile Construct Known as RAND or FRAND

    Do not be misled by the term Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in the name FOSSPatents and whatever relates to it (e.g. FOSSPatents Conference); it's not about FOSS but against FOSS, or pro-FRAND



  20. Europe is Under Attack

    European politicians or political candidates pretend to be 'candid'; but they're agents of Power, or put another way, they're there to make the rich and powerful class even richer and more powerful by passing new, ruinous laws in the name of 'the people' or 'for SMEs'



  21. Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 14, 2019



  23. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  24. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  25. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  26. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals' Voice Hijacked)

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they "love" us while they're attacking us and sometimes suing us)



  28. Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO's Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

    The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO's



  29. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom

    The psychological harassment of the France Télécom workforce led the "suicide wave" after Breton had left France Télécom



  30. The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

    EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today's grilling


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