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07.17.16

Links 17/7/2016: Lithuanian Police Switches to GNU/Linux, Blockchain on LinuxONE

Posted in News Roundup at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The DIY diabetes kit that’s keeping us alive

    They are using Nightscout, an open source platform developed and run by a global community of type 1 diabetics.

    Open source means it is freely available for anyone to use and modify – in this case at their own risk.

    It’s a combination of a commercial product called a Continuing Glucose Monitor (CGM), which provides constant updates, a DIY transmitter and the freely available Nightscout programming code which enables the CGM data to be shared with a cloud data storage area – where it can then be distributed to other devices.

    So both father and son now receive constant updates on their phones (and George’s smartwatch) and are able to assess George’s needs minute by minute.

    It has given George the gift of freedom – he can now join his friends on sleepovers and enjoy his favourite sports.

    Mr Samuelson acknowledges that it is not without risk.

    “I am using open source software to do calibrations. Open source software is giving me final numbers and it is not an approved algorithm – it’s not going to be exactly the same as the proprietary algorithms,” he says.

  • Preserving the global software heritage

    The Software Heritage initiative is an ambitious new effort to amass an organized, searchable index of all of the software source code available in the world (ultimately, including code released under free-software licenses as well as code that was not). Software Heritage was launched on June 30 with a team of just four employees but with the support of several corporate sponsors. So far, the Software Heritage software archive has imported 2.7 billion files from GitHub, the Debian package archive, and the GNU FTP archives, but that is only the beginning.

    In addition to the information on the Software Heritage site, Nicolas Dandrimont gave a presentation about the project on July 4 at DebConf; video [WebM] is available. In the talk, Dandrimont noted that software is not merely pervasive in the modern world, but it has cultural value as well: it captures human knowledge. Consequently, it is as important to catalog and preserve as are books and other media—arguably more so, because electronic files and repositories are prone to corruption and sudden disappearance.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox will get overhaul in bid to get you interested again

        The next update to Firefox, however, represents the first step in Mozilla’s long-term plan to get you using its web browser once again. It hopes to rekindle the interest and influence it claimed a decade ago by revamping its core, which could make complex websites like Facebook snappier but make it more difficult for attackers to launch attacks over the web.

      • Mozilla Servo arrives in nightly demo form

        The Firefox codebase dates back to 2002, when the browser was unbundled from the Mozilla Application Suite—although much of its architecture predates even that split. Major changes have been rare over the years, but recently several long-running Mozilla efforts have started to see the light of day. The most recent of these is the Servo web-rendering engine, for which the first standalone test builds were released on June 30. Although the Servo builds are not full-blown browsers, they enable users to download and test the engine on live web sites for the first time. Servo is designed with speed and concurrency in mind, and if all goes according to plan, the code may work its way into Firefox in due course.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU ease.js 0.2.8 released

      This is a minor release introducing transparent Error subtyping.

      This release succeeds v0.2.7, which was released 26 October, 2015. There are no backwards-incompatible changes; support continues for ECMAScript 3+.

    • A leadership change for nano

      The nano text editor has a long history as a part of the GNU project, but its lead developer recently decided to sever that relationship and continue the project under its own auspices. As often happens in such cases, the change raised concerns from many in the free-software community, and prompted questions about maintainership and membership in large projects.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FOSSA – Now we need feedback by the real experts

      The goal of the “Free and Open Source Security Audit” (FOSSA) pilot project is to increase security of Free Software used by the European institutions. The FSFE has been following the project since the early beginning in 2014. I am concerned that if the project stays on its current course the European Institutions will spent a large part of the 1 Million Euro budget without positive impact on the security of Free Software; and the result will be a set of consultancy reports nobody will ever read. But if we work together and communicate our concerns to the responsible people in the Parliament and the Commission, there might still be a valuable outcome.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The Open Source License API

      Around a year ago, I started hacking together a machine readable version of the OSI approved licenses list, and casually picking parts up until it was ready to launch. A few weeks ago, we officially announced the osi license api, which is now live at api.opensource.org.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Notes from the fourth RISC-V workshop

        Many of the lowRISC team (Robert Mullins, Wei Song, and Alex Bradbury) have been in Boston this week for the fourth RISC-V workshop. By any measure, this has been a massive success with over 250 attendees representing 63 companies and 42 Universities. Wei presented our most recent work on integrating trace debug, which you’ll soon be able to read much more about here (it’s worth signing up to our announcement list if you want to be informed of each of our releases).

      • Arduino-powered Lock Automatically Locks The Door When You Open Incognito Mode

        Mike, the CEO of the Useless Duck Company, has created an Arduino-powered door lock which locks the door automatically when you open an incognito window in your web browser. In a YouTube video, Mike shows how this awesome tech works.

  • Programming/Development

    • Wait… usenet is still… alive?!?!

      So, in conclusion, Fortran is a pretty cool language. The syntax is a little different that a curly-brace guy like me is used to, but once you figure it out, it’s pretty easy to use and has a very nice feature set. Again, if you’d like to look at a functional complete example, check out my source repository on GitHub.

      I’m going to do a third post in this series where I actually build a modern web application using Fortran for the middle tier (I’m thinking I need a cool name like LAMP or BCHS so maybe FARM – Fortran, Apache, REST and mySQL?) but that’s for another day. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed learning it.

    • Coding A Text Editor In Less Than 1000 Lines Of C Programming Language

      A coder has created a text editor in C programming language in less than 1000 lines. He has shared the code on GitHub and allowed the interested programmers to take a look at it and learn.

Leftovers

  • S&P 500′s record highs held back by Apple’s falling stock price

    The S&P 500′s multiple record highs set this week after more than a year-long wait on Wall Street would not have taken so long had Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the index’s largest constituent, not fallen deeply from its own all-time high.

  • Science

    • Welcome to the ‘Ecological Recession’: Global Biodiversity on Unsafe Decline

      A global assessment of ecosystems across the planet shows that “exploitation of terrestrial systems”—in other words, human land use from road-building to industrial agriculture—has pushed biodiversity below “safe” levels.

      The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, finds that for 58 percent of the world’s land surface, which is home to roughly 71 percent of the global population, the level of biodiversity loss is “substantial enough to question the ability of ecosystems to support human societies.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Celebrating common sense?

      Last week, there was a bit of good news on the trade front: on July 8, tobacco giant Philip Morris lost its ridiculous case against Uruguay’s cigarette labeling laws. In 2010, the multinational company’s Swiss subsidiary—which owns its operations in Uruguay—sued the country over rules designed to discourage cigarette consumption, especially by young people. As in a similar case against Australia, the company alleged that requiring labels that emphasize the dangers of smoking lowered the value of its intellectual property rights (i.e., its trademarked labels) and therefore, its investments. The case was brought under the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism in a bilateral investment treaty between Switzerland and Uruguay. ISDS empowers companies to sue governments in private tribunals over measures that undermine their expected profits. It has become a lightning rod for controversy in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    • Avoid ‘miracle’ rice, just eat a carrot!

      Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, died on September 9, 2009. Alfred G. Gilman died on December 23, 2015. Both were Nobel laureates and now both dead. Gilman was a signatory to a recent letter condemning Greenpeace and its opposition to genetic engineering.

      How many Nobel laureates does it take to write a letter? Easily ascertained — the dead Gilman and 106 others were enlisted in “supporting GMOs and golden rice”. Correct answer — 107, dead or alive.

      The laureates were rounded up by Val Giddings (senior fellow, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation), Jon Entine (author of Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People) and Jay Byrne (former head of corporate communications, Monsanto). Real people don’t have the luxury of getting Nobel laureates to write 1/107th of a letter, “chosen” folk do. Evidently.

      Cornell University is a “chosen” institution — central to genetically modified public relations. The Cornell Alliance of Science is funded by Bill Gates, just like the failed golden rice experiment.

      The Nobel laureates accuse Greenpeace of killing millions by delaying ghost rice — something the biotech industry accuses me of doing, for the same reason. Unlike golden rice — whose failure to launch is the industry’s own failure, the opposition to genetic engineering (and hence golden rice) is very real and successful. As Glenn Stone, a rice scientist at Washington University, states: “The simple fact is that after 24 years of research and breeding, golden rice is still years away from being ready for release.”

    • Don’t Eat the Yellow Rice: the Danger of Deploying Vitamin A Golden Rice

      But such tactics are not new. Long ago, the GMO industry spent well over $50 million to promote “Golden Rice” as the solution to vitamin A deficiency in low income countries. They did so well before the technology was completely worked out, let alone tested. Let alone consumer acceptability tested. Let alone subjecting it to standard phase 2 and 3 trials to see if it could ever solve problems in the real world.

      So why has this apparently straightforward scientific project not reached completion after so many decades?

      Because the purpose of Golden Rice was never to solve vitamin A problems. It never could and never will. Its purpose from the beginning was to be a tool for use in shaming GMO critics and now to convince Nobel Laureates to sign on to something they didn’t understand.

  • Security

    • Notice of security breach on Ubuntu Forums [Ed: this is proprietary software on top of proprietary software. Shame!]

      Deeper investigation revealed that there was a known SQL injection vulnerability in the Forumrunner add-on in the Forums which had not yet been patched.

    • Ubuntu Forums Hacked! Here Is What Hacker Stole?
    • ChaosKey

      The Linux Kernel, starting with version 4.1, includes source for this driver. It should be built by default in your distribution. If your using Linux + KVM to host other Linux instances, read the VirtualMachine page to see how you can configure the guests to share the host entropy source.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The United Kingdom is sleepwalking into renewing humanity’s deadliest weapons

      On July 18, parliament will vote on renewing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. The British public are tired of simplified, polarising campaign messages, and are fast losing faith in their elected representatives, setting the stage for a renewal of Trident by default.

      The country’s state of internal crisis cannot be an excuse for us to sleepwalk into this decision. This vote is too important and too existential to ignore due to ‘campaign fatigue’. There needs to be a deeply searching debate.

      The lifetime cost of replacing Trident, running into several tens of billions, is of course hugely relevant, as is the nation’s defence, but no less relevant is the thinking behind what it means for a nation to continue to invest in weapons of mass destruction with the capacity to kill millions.

    • France’s Smartphone App Is Criticized for Its Slow Response to Tragedy in Nice

      According to Amar Toor of The Verge, the app is supposed to send out an alert within 15 minutes of the crisis. “It is not yet clear what caused the delay,” Toor wrote, “though experts had warned that the app may struggle if cellular networks are congested following an attack.”

      Additionally, the French journalist Anaëlle Grondin tweeted that one government source cited a “technical problem” as the source of the delay.

      People in the area of the truck attack reportedly relied on Facebook for a safety check-in. Murdock notes that this is “the third time the [Facebook] feature has been used in two months, being activated following recent incidents in Orlando, Florida and Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.”

    • Trump’s VP Pick, Mike Pence, Doesn’t Know Anything About Israel’s Nuclear Weapons

      Mike Pence, who on Thursday was announced as Donald Trump’s choice for vice president, has a long record of supporting Israel. Like many of his conservative peers, however, he doesn’t always have the best answer when asked directly about Israel’s foreign policy.

      The video below is a compilation of responses from politicians who were asked direct questions about Israel by reporter Sam Husseini. “Though they’ve varied somewhat in their answers, none has actually been straightforward,” Husseini noted.

    • Syrian Troops foil al-Qaeda riposte in Aleppo as France warns al-Qaeda could replace ISIL

      Even as the Syrian army defeated a counter-offensive by al-Qaeda in Syria and its battlefield allies at Aleppo, French President Francois Hollande warned that al-Qaeda should not be allowed to replace the declining Daesh (ISIL, ISIS) in Syria.

      On Saturday and Sunday, al-Qaeda (the Nusra Front) led the fundamentalist Faylaq al-Sham and other rebel groups in an attack on the Syrian troops who have closed the last road into East Aleppo. They apparently did not believe that the Syrian Arab Army had actually come to control Castellano Road into East Aleppo, and so tried to put a military convoy down it. Syrian artillery made mincemeat of the rebel vehicles and inflicted heavy casualties on the militiamen.

    • Turkish Government Cracks Down In The Wake Of Failed Coup Attempt

      At least 265 people died in the clashes and at least another 1,440 were injured, according to published reports. Nearly 3,000 military personnel have been detained while the Interior Ministry suspended some five generals and 29 colonels.

    • Are We in for Another Increase in Military Spending?

      At the present time, an increase in U.S. military spending seems as superfluous as a third leg. The United States, armed with the latest in advanced weaponry, has more military might than any other nation in world history. Moreover, it has begun a $1 trillion program to refurbish its entire nuclear weapons complex. America’s major military rivals, China and Russia, spend only a small fraction of what the United States does on its armed forces―in China’s case about a third and in Russia’s case about a ninth. Furthermore, the economic outlay necessary to maintain this vast U.S. military force constitutes a very significant burden. In fiscal 2015, U.S. military spending ($598.5 billion) accounted for 54 percent of the U.S. government’s discretionary spending.

    • The Long-Hidden Saudi-9/11 Trail

      The U.S. government and mainstream media are playing down the long-hidden 9/11 chapter on official Saudi connections to Al Qaeda’s hijackers, hoping most Americans won’t read it themselves, as 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser observes.

    • Declassified 9/11 pages show ties to former Saudi ambassador

      The 28 pages of newly declassified material from the 9/11 Commission released Friday by Congress show multiple links to associates of Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar, the former longtime ambassador to the United States.

      The details in the newly released documents are a mix of tantalizing, but often unconfirmed, tidbits about the Saudi Arabian ties of some of the 9/11 hijackers. They show possible conduits of money from the Saudi royal family to Saudis living in the United States and two of the hijackers in San Diego. The documents also indicate substantial support to California mosques with a high degree of radical Islamist sentiment.

    • US Declassifies Secret 9/11 Documents Known as the ’28 Pages’

      The U.S. intelligence community has officially lifted the veil on 28 classified pages from the first congressional investigation into the 9/11 terror attacks that some believe, once exposed, could demonstrate a support network inside the United States for two of those al-Qaeda hijackers.

      Today, the Obama administration declassified those documents — closely held secrets for over 13 years — and Congress released them to the public this afternoon. The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies had kept the information secret until now, citing reasons of national security.

      The information in the pages lays out a number of circumstances that suggest it’s possible two of the 9/11 hijackers living in California had been receiving operational support from individuals loyal to Saudi Arabia in the months leading up to the attacks.

      But intelligence officials say the information was preliminary, fragmented and unfinished data that was subsequently investigated along with more complete information in subsequent 9/11 investigations.

    • Congress releases secret ’28 pages’ on alleged Saudi 9/11 ties

      The pages also say that the inquiry obtained information “indicating that Saudi Government officials in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups,” but the commission that authored the document acknowledged that much of the info “remains speculative and yet to be independently verified.”

    • 28 Pages Raise ‘Scores of Troubling Questions’ on US-Saudi Ties

      The just-released 28 pages of a 2002 congressional report into Saudi Arabia’s possible ties to the 9/11 hijackers have stirred speculation about the U.S. government’s continued relationship with the Gulf kingdom.

      Amnesty International criticized the White House’s statement that the pages, hidden from public view for 13 years, have not changed the government’s assessment that “there’s no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi individuals funded al-Qaeda.”

      “We stand with survivors of this crime against humanity: They deserve justice and the whole truth,” the human rights group tweeted.

      As Murtaza Hussein wrote for The Intercept, the 28 pages “redacted in parts, detail circumstantial evidence of ties among Saudi government officials, intelligence agents, and several of the hijackers,” including by providing financial and housing assistance to those living in the U.S.

    • Turkey coup attempt: Erdoğan demands US arrest exiled cleric Gülen – live
    • Stuffing Turkey

      Electricity has been cut to the U.S. Incirlik air force base, where a number of nuclear gravity bombs are kept. The bombs are not an immediate threat (read the thread at that link), but who knows this?

    • Turkey’s Lose-Lose Coup Attempt

      Turkish President Erdogan has abetted jihadist terror and cracked down on political dissent – making him a contributor to Mideast troubles – but a military coup is the wrong way to remove him, says ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

    • Thousands Arrested as Attempted Coup in Turkey Reportedly Fails

      Thousands of people were arrested and at least 161 killed overnight in Turkey as an attempted military coup came to a chaotic end.

      The death toll has been estimated to be as high as 194. A reported 2,389 military officials, including high-ranking officers, were taken into custody after clashing with citizens who had heeded Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to “stand up” against those he called coup plotters, the BBC reports.

      The Judges and Prosecutors High Council also reportedly dismissed 2,745 judges across the country.

    • The New Cold War’s Frontline in Crimea

      Most Americans don’t have a clue what has happened in a place called Crimea or why it is on the frontlines of what is becoming a new Cold War. In fact, few even know where it is. But Crimea’s location has made it one of the most frequent battlegrounds of empires — and today is no exception.

    • Blair to Bush on 9/12/01: ‘Co-Opt’ Sympathy for War

      “It is now [September 12, 2001] that the world is in a state of shock; now that it feels maximum sympathy for the US; now that it can be co-opted most easily,” Blair wrote.

      “The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit.” So said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a July 6 statement in response to the release of the long-awaited Chilcot Report – a 2.6 million-word examination, based on dozens of interviews and hundreds of classified documents, of the UK’s decision to join the Iraq War.

      “I did not mislead this country. I made the decision in good faith on the information I had at the time,” Blair insisted.

    • After Nice, Don’t Trade Liberty for Security

      Typically, the debate following attacks like these proceeds along two dimensions. There is a proposed domestic response designed to reduce the probability of similar attacks taking place in the future. And there is a proposed foreign response to punish the ones responsible – or more realistically, to punish a lot of random people that have the misfortune of living in the general vicinity of wherever the attacker and his friends are from. But I digress.

    • Conservatives Call For ‘Truck Control’ In Wake Of Terrorist Attack In Nice

      This is not the first time Duncan has tried to shift the conversation away from guns after an attack. On the three-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, the Congressman made a “knife control” joke. In response to a report about a teacher in Paris who was stabbed by an ISIS sympathizer, Duncan tweeted, “I doubt France will respond by demanding more knife control.”

    • Toppling Lumumba: Canada’s Dark Role in the Congo

      56 years ago today the United Nations launched a peacekeeping force that contributed to one of the worst post-independence imperial crimes in Africa. The Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC) delivered a major blow to Congolese aspirations by undermining elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. Canada played a significant role in ONUC and Lumumba’s assassination, which should be studied by progressives demanding Ottawa increase its participation in UN “peacekeeping”.

      After seven decades of brutal rule, Belgium organized a hasty independence in the hopes of maintaining control over the Congo’s vast natural resources. When Lumumba was elected to pursue a genuine de-colonization, Brussels instigated a secessionist movement in the eastern part of country. In response, the Congolese Prime Minister asked the UN for a peacekeeping force to protect the territorial integrity of the newly independent country. Washington, however, saw the UN mission as a way to undermine Lumumba.

      Siding with Washington, Ottawa promoted ONUC and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s controversial anti-Lumumba position. 1,900 Canadian troops participated in the UN mission between 1960 and 1964, making this country’s military one of its more active members. There were almost always more Canadian officers at ONUC headquarters then those of any other nationality and the Canadians were concentrated in militarily important logistical positions including chief operations officer and chief signals officer.

      Canada’s strategic role wasn’t simply by chance. Ottawa pushed to have Canada’s intelligence gathering signals detachments oversee UN intelligence and for Quebec Colonel Jean Berthiaume to remain at UN headquarters to “maintain both Canadian and Western influence.” (A report from the Canadian Directorate of Military Intelligence noted, “Lumumba’s immediate advisers… have referred to Lt. Col. Berthiaume as an ‘imperialist tool’.”)

    • A Mass Murderer Becomes a ‘Terrorist’–Based on Ethnicity, Not Evidence

      Despite the absence of any evidence of a political motivation, or indeed any motive at all—generally considered to be a key part of any definition of terrorism—the Times story still referred to the Nice killings as “the third large-scale act of terrorism in France in a year and a half.” The killings, Higgins wrote, “raised new questions throughout the world about the ability of extremists to sow terror.”

      Why is the Times willing to label the Nice deaths “terrorism”—a label that US media do not apply to all acts of mass violence, even ones that have much clearer political motives (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/15/14)? In part, they seem to be following the lead of French authorities: “French officials labeled the attack terrorism and cast the episode as the latest in a series that have made France a battlefield in the violent clash between Islamic extremists and the West.”

      But quotes from French officials made it clear that such claims were little more than guesswork: The story reported that Prime Minister Manuel Valls “said the attacker in all likelihood had ties to radical Islamist circles,” citing Valls’ statement to French TV: “He is a terrorist probably linked to radical Islam one way or another.”

      [...]

      French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, “was more cautious,” the Times reported: “We have an individual who was not at all known by the intelligence services for activities linked to radical Islamism,” Cazeneuve was quoted.

      Why was the Times not similarly cautious about applying the label of “terrorism” to an act whose motives it admitted knowing nothing about? It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Times believes that when the suspect is an Arab—Lahouaiej Bouhlel was a Tunisian immigrant—then allegations of terrorism require no evidence whatsoever.

    • Coup d’état attempt: Turkey’s Reichstag fire?

      On the evening of July 15, 2016, a friend called around 10:30pm and said that both bridges connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul were closed by military barricades. Moreover, military jets were flying over Ankara skies. As someone living on the European side of Istanbul and commuting to the Asian side to my university on a daily basis and spending many hours in traffic in order to do that, I immediately knew that the closure of both bridges was a sign of something very extraordinary taking place.

      To confirm the news about the military jets over Ankara, I called my parents in Ankara. They answered the phone in a panic. I could hear military jets from the other end of the phone. Not surprisingly, my 86-year-old parents had experienced military coups in Turkey before. As I was talking breathlessly with my Dad, my Mum murmured from the other line calmly but firmly: “this seems like a coup d’état.”

      From that point onwards, all hell broke loose especially in Ankara and Istanbul. The death toll in less than 24 hours after the coup attempt in Turkey is over 200. There are thousand of people who are wounded. Twitter and facebook became inaccessible during the early hours. The tv channels started broadcasting live from Ankara and Istanbul: yet, they were not sure what was going on at the outset. Shortly after, the military released a statement saying that the “military has seized all power in Turkey” through the state tv channel TRT. That is when I could not stop my tears, for memories flocked back of the September 12, 1980 coup d’état when a similar announcement was made. I had experienced that coup as a student in one of the most politically active universities in the country, the Middle East Technical University. The memories, as for many people of my generation, were painful.

    • Turkish People-Power Foils Attempted Coup

      The poorly planned junior officers’ coup in Turkey on Friday appears to have failed as I write late Friday night, though rebel military elements still hold positions in some parts of the country, including Ankara, the capital. Their allegiances and motives are still unclear.

      Remarkably, among the reasons for the failure was the determined stance of the Turkish people who stood up for their democracy, even if about half of them deeply dislike President Erdogan.

      Crowds came out into the streets in Istanbul and Ankara. Individuals stood or lay down in front of tanks.

      Some civilians even arrested mutinying troops!

      After the military faction took over state tv, crowds invaded the station and allowed its anchors to come back on line.

    • US-based Turkish cleric facing extradition over botched rebellion claims president orchestrated plot to justify a clampdown on civil rights

      A US-based Turkish cleric accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the Ankara government has claimed President Recep Erdogan staged the rebellion himself to justify a major clampdown on opposition forces.

      Fethullah Gulen, who was a former key ally of Erdogan has been blamed by the politician of using his contacts to develop a ‘parallel structure’ to overthrow the state.

      Erdogan has called on US President Barack Obama to extradite Gulen, who is based in Pennsylvania.

    • Vietnam removes protesters gathered for anti-China rally in Hanoi

      Dozens of Vietnamese who gathered for an anti-China protest in central Hanoi were taken away by authorities on Sunday as they tried to rally support for an international tribunal’s ruling rejecting Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea.

      About two dozen people were bused away from around the landmark Hoan Kiem Lake in the capital even before they began their protest. There was heavy police presence around the lake with cars briefly banned from around it.

      The rally was organised by No-U group in Hanoi, which opposes China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea. It came after the Hague-based permanent court of arbitration last week issued the ruling in a case initiated by the Philippines, which together with Vietnam is one of the claimants in the disputed waters.

    • Nice attack: France calls up 12,000 reservists

      France has called up 12,000 police reservists to help boost security after Thursday’s attack in Nice in which more than 80 people were killed.

      Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also appealed to “all willing French patriots” to sign up as reservists, to help protect the country’s borders.

      Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a lorry along the seafront through crowds before police shot him dead.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • US Navy banned from using sonar that harms dolphins and walruses

      A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the US Navy was wrongly allowed to use sonar in the nation’s oceans that could harm whales and other marine life.

      The ninth circuit court of appeals reversed a lower court decision upholding approval granted in 2012 for the Navy to use low-frequency sonar for training, testing and routine operations.

      The five-year approval covered peacetime operations in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.

    • Think Animals Don’t Have Emotions? Researchers Have News for You

      How might we discern an elephant’s or a mouse’s sense of the world? Elephants and mice might not tell us what they’re thinking. But their brains can. Brain scans show that core emotions of sadness, happiness, rage, or fear, and motivational feelings of hunger and thirst, are generated in “deep and very ancient circuits of the brain,” says the noted neurologist Jaak Panksepp.

      Researchers in labs can now trigger many emotional responses by direct electrical stimulation of the brain systems of animals. Rage, for example, gets produced in the same parts of the brains of a cat and a human.

    • As Congress Calls Out Fossil Fuel Deception, ExxonMobil Continues to Fund Climate Science Denial

      Last week, ExxonMobil released their much anticipated 2015 Corporate Citizenship and Worldwide Giving reports, which include voluntarily disclosed information about their corporate giving each year. Despite ongoing claims by the company to NOT be funding climate denial, the reports once again reveal that the oil and gas giant has continued to financially support many groups that work to undermine climate science, while labeling such funding as corporate social responsibility.

    • ‘The Dam Builders Could Not Stop My Mother’ So They Killed Her

      In March, my mother Berta Cáceres was murdered in her own home. Her death pains me in a way I cannot describe with words.

      She was killed for defending life, for safeguarding our common goods and those of nature, which are sacred. She was killed for defending the rivers that are sources of our people’s life, ancestral strength and spirituality.

      My mother became a woman of resistance, of struggle, so that our deep connection with nature is not destroyed; so that the life of our peoples—the Lenca Indigenous People of Honduras—is respected. Her killers tried to silence her with bullets, but she is a seed, a seed that is reborn in all men and women. She is a seed that will be reborn in the people that follow her path of resistance.

      To achieve justice for her death, I need your help.

    • Massive Fracking Explosion in New Mexico, 36 Oil Tanks Catch Fire

      This week—as thousands of Americans urge awareness to the destruction caused by oil bomb trains—an oil field in San Juan County, New Mexico erupted in flames Monday night, highlighting the continued and increasing dangers of the fossil fuel industry.

      The fire broke out around 10:15 p.m. Monday at a fracking site owned and operated by WPX Energy, setting off several explosions and temporarily closing the nearby Highway 550. Fifty-five local residents were forced out of their homes.

    • The Unyielding Grip of Fossil Fuels on Global Life

      Here’s the good news: wind power, solar power, and other renewable forms of energy are expanding far more quickly than anyone expected, ensuring that these systems will provide an ever-increasing share of our future energy supply. According to the most recent projections from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy, global consumption of wind, solar, hydropower, and other renewables will double between now and 2040, jumping from 64 to 131 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs).

      And here’s the bad news: the consumption of oil, coal, and natural gas is also growing, making it likely that, whatever the advances of renewable energy, fossil fuels will continue to dominate the global landscape for decades to come, accelerating the pace of global warming and ensuring the intensification of climate-change catastrophes.

      The rapid growth of renewable energy has given us much to cheer about. Not so long ago, energy analysts were reporting that wind and solar systems were too costly to compete with oil, coal, and natural gas in the global marketplace. Renewables would, it was then assumed, require pricey subsidies that might not always be available. That was then and this is now. Today, remarkably enough, wind and solar are already competitive with fossil fuels for many uses and in many markets.

    • UK could warm by 4°C this century

      Scientific advisers warn that, by 2100, temperatures in Britain could rise by twice as much as the internationally-agreed limit set at the Paris climate conference.

    • Climate Law Champions Are Battling The Fossil Fuel Industry In Court

      In a growing number of climate-related legal actions, concerned citizens are targeting the Carbon Majors, the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations responsible for two thirds of the human-made carbon emissions in the atmosphere today.

      These corporations have made massive profits while outsourcing the true cost of their product upon the poor who are paying with their lives, their homes, and their ability to grow food, as they begin to deal with the impacts that 1˚C of warming is already inflicting on them.

      In a new report, the Climate Justice Programme examines cases across the world and finds that climate litigation will dwarf all other litigation, including tobacco and asbestos, in terms of both the number of plaintiffs and the timeframe over which it can stretch.

    • ‘Shocking,’ ‘Plain Stupid’: Theresa May Shuts Climate Change Office

      Less than a day after becoming the U.K.’s unelected leader, Prime Minister Theresa May closed the government’s climate change office, a move instantly condemned as “shocking” and “plain stupid.”

      May shuttered the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on Thursday and moved responsibility for the environment to a new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The decision comes the same week as the U.K. government’s own advisers warned in a report that the nation was not ready for the inevitable consequences of climate change, including deadly heat waves and food and water shortages.

      “This is shocking news. Less than a day into the job and it appears that the new prime minister has already downgraded action to tackle climate change, one of the biggest threats we face,” said Craig Bennett, CEO of the environmental group Friends of the Earth. “This week the government’s own advisors warned of ever growing risks to our businesses, homes and food if we don’t do more to cut fossil fuel pollution.”

    • The Little-Known Fund at the Heart of the Paris Climate Agreement

      The Green Climate Fund is supposed to finance the world’s shift away from fossil fuels. But fossil fuel-funding banks are eager to get on board.

    • Get Ready, a Potentially Record-Breaking ‘Heat Dome’ is Coming

      Temperatures in the central U.S. and Upper Midwest could reach 10 to 20 degrees above average

    • Pacific Islands Nations Consider ‘Pioneering’ Treaty to Ban Fossil Fuels

      Pacific Island nations are reportedly considering the world’s first treaty to ban fossil fuels, which would require signatories to work toward renewable energy targets and prohibit any expansion of fossil fuel mines.

      The leaders of 14 nations on the front lines of climate change are considering the treaty after an annual summit in the Solomon Islands known as the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF). The treaty would establish a “Pacific framework for renewable energy” and require “universal access” to clean energy by 2030. It would also bind leaders not to approve any new coal or other fossil fuel mines nor provide subsidies for extraction or consumption.

    • Pacific ​​islands nations consider world’s first treaty to ban fossil fuels

      The world’s first international treaty that bans or phases out fossil fuels is being considered by leaders of developing Pacific islands nations after a summit in the Solomon Islands this week.

      The leaders of 14 countries agreed to consider a proposed Pacific climate treaty, which would bind signatories to targets for renewable energy and ban new or the expansion of coalmines, at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

    • Cyclones set to get fiercer as world warms

      New analysis of cyclone data and computer climate modelling indicates that global warming is likely to intensify the destructive power of tropical storms.

  • Finance

    • Seafile now accepts bitcoin via BitPay

      We are very happy to announce that it’s now possible to pay for cloud accounts and licenses with bitcoin in our web shops. Bitcoin payments are possible via the very nice people over at BitPay.

    • The Qubes Project announces a decentralized bitcoin fund

      As part of our quest to decentralize and harden the project, we have switched today to a multi-signature wallet for our Qubes bitcoin fund. This means that no longer can a single person, not even myself, sign an outgoing transaction from our new wallet. For this to happen M out of N signatures is required (we selected N = 13, and M = 6, for the time being). The holders of the keys have been invited from among Qubes developers and supporters from all over the world. Some people might have more than one key, but still fewer than M.

    • Nicholas Wilson and the HSBC Blues

      Again, my opinion, I think HSBC USA should have been shut down for the money laundering, sanctions avoiding, and garden variety fraud disclosed in the 2010 Levin report and by the contributions of at least two US whistleblowers.

    • My thoughts on BREXIT: History is written by the victors

      Brexit has revealed a culture war, which the left has been quietly losing.

    • “Free” Trade? Fraud Alert

      It is rare these days to hear the words “market” and “trade” without the word “free” attached—especially on corporate media. I even hear colleagues who are pursuing a more localized economy use these terms without realizing that by so doing they are subtly and unintentionally promoting a political agenda they oppose.

    • Big Headlines for a Tiny Wage Hike

      Lloyd Blankfein, one of America’s most powerful bankers, a few years ago told a reporter that his Goldman Sachs financial colossus was doing “God’s work.”

      That off-hand comment would provoke an instant uproar. An embarrassed Blankfein had to quickly calm the waters. He meant his quip, the Goldman CEO assured us all, only as a joke.

      Earlier this week, one of Blankfein’s high-finance peers, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, made some headlines of his own. In a widely heralded New York Times op-ed, Dimon proudly announced that his bank is making a major move to “create more widely shared prosperity.”

    • The Blood-Dimmed Tide of Neo-Nationalism and Other Scary Simulacra

      The Greater Middle East has been successfully destabilized. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, any country not playing ball with transnational Capitalism has been brought to its knees by a series of invasions, bombings, sanctions, support for insurgencies, corruption, et cetera. Iran is currently negotiating in the hope of avoiding a similar fate. Russia, following its transformation into an autocratic capitalist free-for-all for ex-KGB men and their oligarch cronies — a transformation designed by folks like Jeffrey Sachs, Lawrence Summers, the Harvard Institute for International Development, the IMF, and other shock therapists — has been more or less surrounded by the EU and NATO, and is being pressured to get with the program. China, in spite of its playing grab-ass with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, is deep into the global Capitalism thing. Vietnam and Laos have joined the club. Cuba is even opening for business again. South America is a work-in-progress, as ever, what with the recent neoliberal “soft” coup in Brazil, the re-neoliberalization of Argentina, the destabilization of Venezuela, and so on.

      This is just a quick summary of the highlights. The point is, apart from some isolated pockets of resistance — which the corporatists will get to eventually — and the various nightmarish terrorist theme parks operating out in the imperial hinterlands, it’s one big global capitalist world … one Market under Mammon, indivisible, with privatization and austerity for most, and distractionary paranoia for all.

    • Theresa May suggests Brexit delay as she says no Article 50 until Scotland gives go-ahead

      Theresa May has indicated that Brexit could be delayed as she said she will not trigger the formal process for leaving the EU until there is an agreed “UK approach” backed by Scotland.

      The Prime Minister on Friday travelled to Scotland to meet Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, and discuss plans for Britain’s Brexit negotiation.

      In a sign that the new Prime Minister is committed to keeping the Union intact, she said she will not trigger Article 50 – the formal process for withdrawing from the EU – until all the devolved nations in the country agree.

    • How Globalization Divides Us: Perspectives on Brexit from a Dual Citizen

      When I woke up on June 24th and checked the news, I cried. Along with millions of people around the world. I’m a diehard believer in independence, freedom, democracy, and strong local economies. For some, the Brexit result represented those things. If that had been the reality, I would’ve supported it too. But like every other choice offered in the global economy these days, Brexit was a false one. Getting out of Europe does nothing to address the real problems in UK society—or the world. We’re still headed down the same destructive path together, but now more fractious and divided than ever.

    • Truthdigger of the Week: Jaime Prater, Starbucks Barista Who Got Workers a Raise

      Want a raise?

      Jaime Prater did. A Starbucks barista for nine years, the 40-year-old resident of Montclair, Calif., was paid $10 an hour and given between 22 and 25 hours of work a week—at least 11 hours short of what he needs just to make ends meet. And compared to the standards of living among the professional class, what modest ends they surely are.

      This week, Prater managed to squeeze modest raises for himself and his colleagues out of his employer, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

      “[E]ffective October 3,” Schultz wrote last Monday in a letter to employees that begins with a reference to the week of racial shootings across the country, “all partners and store managers in U.S. company-operated stores will receive an increase in base pay of 5% or greater.” This raise and an increase in the stock holdings of employees who have been with the company for more than two years “will result in compensation increases between 5% and 15%,” Schultz added.

    • Brexit Takes Root in the Caribbean

      “Brexit” has been defined by many as “a real political earthquake with national and international implications”.

      It seemed a difficult fight for the separatists, because top English leaders –headed by their Prime Minister David Cameron– led the opposition to this demand promoted by the most conservative politicians.

      The British political leadership was defeated and, with them, all of Europe, its allies and even the president of the United States, Barack Obama, who saw his position of remaining within the European Union (EU) his most loyal and powerful ally in all main issues for the US power defeated.

      The result of the referendum on Brexit, which has affected all the world in various ways, has the countries of the Caribbean region in anxious expectation, torn between forecasts and preparations, because of the ties –both historical and current– that link them to the United Kingdom.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Turkish government asked public to resist coup in text message

      As a coup against Turkey’s government took place yesterday, Turkish citizens were sent a text message that urged them to take to the streets to support democracy and resist the coup. The text message appears to have been sent out during the coup from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    • Jill Stein Just Promised To Pardon Snowden, Appoint Him To Cabinet If Elected

      Presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein promises to grant NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – whom many describe as a true American hero – not just a full pardon, but a promotion to the upper echelons of government should she win the White House.

    • Jill Stein Pledges to Grant Edward Snowden a Full Pardon and Appoint Him to Her Cabinet

      Edward Snowden, America’s #1 fugitive, would not only get a full pardon under a Jill Stein administration, but would get a promotion to one of the highest levels of government.

      “[Snowden] has done an incredible service to our country at great cost to himself for having to live away from his family, his friends, his job, his network, to basically live as an expatriate,” Stein said during a livestreamed town hall with supporters on her Facebook page.

      “I would say not only bring Snowden back, but bring him into my administration as a member of the Cabinet, because we need people who are part of our national security administration who are really, very patriotic,” Stein continued. “If we’re really going to protect American security, we also have to protect our Constitutional rights, and that includes our right to privacy.”

    • Sanders ally Cornel West backs Green candidate

      Activist Cornel West is endorsing Green Party candidate Jill Stein after previously backing Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid.

      “This November, we need change,” he wrote Thursday in an op-ed for The Guardian. “Yet we are tied in a choice between [Donald] Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and [Hillary] Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster.”

    • Sixty mega-donors gave 30 percent of the money raised by Donald Trump and the Republican Party

      Sixty mega-donors gave at least $100,000 each to a joint committee raising funds for Donald Trump and the Republican Party, together pouring in $15.4 million from late May until the end of June, new campaign finance records show.

    • A question of leadership

      The explanation emerges in conversation with anyone under 30 who has an ounce of idealism. Gemma Jamieson Malik, for example, a London PhD student driven by housing costs to live out of London, explains: ‘It’s not that I’m a Jeremy Corby fan. It’s that he’s opened a space for a new politics I and my friends can feel part of. He’s generated a new energy around Labour.’

    • New Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Tied With Donald Trump

      The survey also showed that both are viewed as untrustworthy by over 60 percent of voters.

    • A Citizen’s Guide to the Upcoming Conventions

      It’s also unsettling many other Americans, some of whom will be demonstrating in downtown Cleveland to protest the nomination of a man who has gone out of his way to denigrate Latinos, blacks, Muslims and immigrants.

    • Donald Trump Appeases Extreme Right With Pence Pick

      In appeasing the extreme right by choosing Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump reveals how he hopes to secure enough votes to win the presidency — and how he may have to govern in order to satisfy the GOP base.

      With his announcement of Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump almost single-handedly revived a political career that was circling the bowl not long ago. Pence, once considered a contender for the GOP presidential nomination, all but ended his hopes of national office when he signed Indiana’s “religious freedom” law, and bungled his response to a backlash that cost his state millions of dollars.

    • Mike Pence Is a Smooth-Talking Todd Akin

      The guy who led the crusade against Planned Parenthood and signed anti-abortion laws will drive more women to Hillary Clinton.

    • Mike Pence Said Martin Luther King Jr. Was His Hero Growing Up. Here’s Why That Sounds Absurd.

      King stood with President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 1965 Voting Rights Act was signed into law. Yet, when it comes to voting rights, an issue that King fought hard for, you see that Indiana doesn’t make it easy for voters to get to the polls. The state only kept polling places open until 6 p.m. during the May primary, although most states keep their polls open to 8 p.m. or even later. Indiana doesn’t have any laws that require employers to allow workers to leave work to go vote.

      In contrast, King said in his 1957 speech called “Give Us The Ballot,” “So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind. It is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact. I can only submit to the edict of others.”

    • Ralph Nader on Election 2016: ‘Our Country Deserves Better’

      And, of course, Ramos asks him how he will be voting. “I always believe in voting your conscience,” Nader responds. “Not tactical votes, not ‘least worst’ votes.” This leads him to talk about Bernie Sanders’ recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton, calling it a “very astute” move. “He set her up for political betrayal,” Nader notes, adding that the strategy was “brilliant.”

    • After Sanders Endorses Clinton, ‘Political Revolution’ Faces Hard Choices

      On the other hand, despite what progressive commentators, like Joan Walsh, may claim, the Democratic primary was rigged to enable a Clinton win. Hundreds of superdelegates pledged their allegiance to Clinton before votes were cast in Iowa. A limited number of debates were scheduled to ensure voters had the least amount of exposure to Clinton opponents. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign falsely accused the Sanders campaign of “stealing” voter file data. The Hillary Victory Fund funneled millions of dollars through state parties to the DNC in what looked very much like a money laundering scheme. Democratic women supporting Sanders faced forms of retaliation.

    • Elizabeth Warren Absolutely Shreds ‘Terrifying’ Trump/Pence Ticket: ‘Two Small, Insecure, Weak Men’

      Even if Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not selected to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, she has definitely secured herself a spot in the campaign as the go-to person for unrestrained and brutally frank criticism of the GOP ticket.

      As Donald Trump prepared to formally announce Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, Warren launched an all-out assault on the ticket, calling the Republican duo “two small, insecure, weak men.”

      Warren who has been a thorn in Trump’s side for weeks now — and appears to be the one who most effectively gets under his skin based on his weak rejoinders — hammered the two on Twitter for their anti-woman and anti-LGBT rhetoric.

    • How the Right Tears Down America

      So far, so good. A large number of GOP politicians, from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on down, have treated Obama since the beginning of his presidency as illegitimate and as an enemy to be maligned and legislatively blackmailed rather than treated as America’s chief executive. This attitude gave us government shutdowns, a near-default on our sovereign credit, and some of the worst congresses in history.

    • ‘He is a Faker’: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Publicly Spars with Donald Trump

      In recent media interviews, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has publicly decried the candidacy of Donald Trump for president, characterizing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as a “faker” with “no consistency” and “an ego.”

      Her unusually partisan comments earned some condemnation from centrist media commentators as well as Trump himself.

      In an interview with CNN published Tuesday, Ginsburg said: “He is a faker[...] He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • This art project uses the Khajuraho art style to comment on censorship

      Modern-day issues of censorship are juxtaposed with erotic drawings from the Khajuraho temples in a pop-up art project by Akshita Chandra, 21, a design student in Bengaluru.

    • BDS Is a War Israel Can’t Win

      Israel’s apologists would call the BDS campaign “immoral”, but the slander is laughably false

    • Turkey’s President Survives Coup Attempt, Thanks in Part to Social Media He So Despises

      The plotters failed, despite following a script that had might have succeeded in the 20th century, in part because Erdogan was able to rally support for democratic rule using 21st century tools: video chat and social media.

      After the officers claimed control of the country in a statement they forced a presenter to read on TRT, the state broadcaster, the country’s internet and phone networks remained out of their control. That allowed Erdogan to improvise an address to the nation in a FaceTime call to CNN Turk, a private broadcaster the military only managed to force off the air later in the night, as the coup unraveled. In his remarks, the president called on people to take to the streets.

    • Kashmir Held to Ransom

      Holding people to ransom; criminalizing political space; causing psychosomatic ills…

    • Starbucks and McDonald’s move to block porn from their Wi-Fi networks

      Anti-pornography groups have succeeded in their efforts to get Starbucks and McDonald’s to block porn on the chains’ Wi-Fi networks.

      Earlier this year McDonald’s (MCD) responded by putting filters in place at most of its U.S. restaurants, a change that was disclosed this week. The company had already had the filtering in place at its U.K. restaurants.

      “McDonald’s is committed to providing a safe environment for our customers,” he said. “We had not heard from our customers that this was an issue, but we saw an opportunity that is consistent with our goal of providing an enjoyable experience for families.”

    • A History of Media Control and Media Blackouts in Coups d’Etat

      With the information disarray coming out of Turkey during the (seemingly failed) military coup, we see the same pattern of attempting to control media as we’ve seen for the past 500 years, in peacetime and wartime. Revolutions come quickly or slowly, violently or peacefully, but they still follow the same pattern of attempting to control and distort the truth – only the technology differs over 500 years.

      The pattern is that the people in power rally to centralized information chokepoints to cut off and control the information flow and deny broadcasting ability to others, whereas the challengers use the power of lots and lots of volunteers to build a decentralized information flow around these chokepoints. When this succeeds, the challengers generally win. This has been repeated in coup d’état situations with the printing press, with pamphlets, with newspapers, and now, with the Internet and with social media. It’s also been used in more-or-less democratic settings where an establishment collectively tried to stonewall a challenger, as early as a century ago.

      Some would argue it’s ironic that Turkish ruler Erdoğan used social media last night to call for people to rally against the coup. On the contrary, this is completely in line with the idea that all media should be strictly controlled by a few people in power. Erdoğan used social media to broadcast his own messages, which doesn’t contradict the previous actions of limiting the same ability for everybody else. It’s perfectly in line with actions of historical autocratic rulers to disable Facebook and Twitter, except for use by the ruler.

    • Kashmir: Media persons protest against govt’s attempt of censorship

      The media fraternity took out a protest march in the Valley against the gag by the state government.

      Newspapers were not allowed to publish in Kashmir and were asked by the state government to suspend their operations for the next 3 days.

    • Florida prisons’ censorship of ‘Militant’ violates free speech rights
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Uber’s investigators admit to lying while digging up dirt on legal foes

      Ergo, the secretive, CIA-linked firm that was paid by Uber to investigate the plaintiff in one of the ride-hail startup’s many lawsuits, has now admitted to lying and illegally recording phone calls during its probe, according to Law360. Lawyers for Ergo owned up to the infractions in oral arguments in court Thursday, drawing a rebuke from the judge overseeing the case.

      Last December, Spencer Meyer filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, alleging a scheme to fix prices in violation of antitrust laws. The same day, Uber hired Ergo to investigate Meyer out of concern he posed a security risk to Kalanick. But Ergo also gathered information on Meyer’s lawyer, a move that some critics say went too far. Ergo’s lawyer argued that the firm was unaware the investigation was tied to a lawsuit, even while admitting Ergo’s investigator “dissembled and used false pretenses in his duties,” Law360 said.

    • Minutes from EU Court of Justice on #DataRetention

      On 19th July 2016, Advocate General Øe Saugmandsgaard will present the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) his opinion in the joined cases C-203/15 and C-698/15,Tele2 Sverige and Davis and Others. They concern the validity of national laws in Sweden and the UK for the retention of telecommunications data under EU law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This is a very relevant question, since the Court invalidated the EU Data retention directive in 2014.

    • Brexit and Privacy

      It’s as clear as mud, what it means when a country decides to willingly pull out of a trading bloc, a policy coordination mechanism, a relatively democratic network, and a framework for the free flow of people, data, and rights. Meanwhile today the minister in charge of surveillance for the past six years will assume the leadership of the country.

      There is much speculation as to what is next. Here’s our take. Importantly, there’s a lot to be worried about, some to like, much we cannot foresee. The future has rarely been so murky.

      What I am practically certain of is that there will be renewed pushes for surveillance as a result of Brexit. And there is no meaningful political resistance. The Minister in charge of the police has today become the Prime Minister and is claiming to have a mandate of controlling borders. Such uncertain times are often fertile ground for attempts to enhance surveillance powers.

    • Hey Students, Stop Asking Noam Chomsky for Help with Your Homework

      Noam Chomsky is pretty baffled by more than half of Americans; the amount of U.S. residents who will use Facebook this year. Chomsky is in the minority. He doesn’t use social media and detests when users refer to acquaintances they have the most minute exchanges with as “friends.”

      “Adolescents,” Chomsky clarified, “Who think they have 500 friends, ‘cause they have 500 people on their Facebook account, but these are the kind of friends whose relation to you is if you say, ‘I bought a sandwich,’ they say, ‘did it taste good?’ That’s a kind of interaction, but very different from having a real friend.’”

    • Spy or Whistleblower? Should Obama Settle With Snowden?

      Edward Snowden has been living in asylum in Russia for three years. As our country prepares to elect its next president, none of the candidates are likely to have a merciful attitude toward the controversial whistleblower, nor want to begin their administration with a political act on a provocative subject that passionately divides the country.

      But President Obama has an opportunity in his final months in office, when presidents traditionally exercise their pardon and clemency powers, to direct his Attorney General to offer a reasonable settlement to Snowden through his attorneys.

    • U.S. Government Presents Draft Legislation for Cross-Border Data Requests [Ed: in the US (and allies) Microsoft gives the government back door access to all data]

      Another example involves Brazil, where Microsoft has been fined millions of dollars, and its employees threatened with criminal prosecution, for following a U.S. law that makes it a crime to obey a Brazilian court order demanding information about a suspected criminal in Brazil.

    • Feds Monitoring Activists on Facebook Ahead of Republican Convention

      Federal authorities are watching political activists organizing protests ahead of next week’s Republican National Convention, warning that “anarchist extremists” pose a threat to Cleveland.

      A “threat assessment” issued jointly by the FBI, Secret Service, and Department of Homeland Security warns law enforcement to be on the lookout for “potential indicators” of “violent anarchist extremist activity.” The indicators include “pilfering construction sites” for rocks, pipes, or bricks and “movement of newspaper containers and trashcans to create barricades” — but also carrying spray paint, eye drops, or wearing “clothing bearing anarchist symbols.”

    • Anti-Muslim Rep Seizes On Nice Attack To Call For Mass Surveillance Of Muslim Americans

      Mere hours after the horrifying attack in Nice, France on Thursday night, politicians and pundits began speculating about the religion of the attacker and calling for increased scrutiny of the Muslim community. Responding to the attack on Fox News, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) seized the opportunity to push mass surveillance of Muslim Americans, saying that holding back would be a “sign of weakness.”

    • French government rejects crypto backdoors as “the wrong solution”

      Speaking on behalf of the French government, the deputy minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire has rejected an amendment to the new “Law for the Digital Republic,” which called for computer companies to provide backdoors to encrypted systems. As reported by the French site Numerama, Lemaire said of the idea: “What you propose is vulnerability by design. It’s inappropriate.” She also referred to the Netherlands’ recent statement in support of encryption, and the discovery of backdoors in Juniper’s products, as reasons not to take that route.

      She pointed out that with backdoors “personal data is no longer completely protected. Even if the intention [of giving the authorities access] is praiseworthy, it opens the door to actors with less praiseworthy intentions, to say nothing of the possible economic harm that loss of credibility will cause companies that implement these flaws.” She concluded: “You are right to add to the debate, but in the government’s view, it’s the wrong solution.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 188 arrest warrants issued for members of Turkey’s supreme courts

      Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 140 Constitutional Court members and 48 members of the Council of State in the wake of Friday night’s attempted coup. Ten arrests have already been made, local media reported.

      The ten jurists detained were all members of the Council of State, which is Turkey’s top administrative court, NTV broadcaster reported.

    • Flights To Turkey Cancelled After Coup

      Flights to and from Turkey have been cancelled and Britons in the country have been advised to “stay indoors”.

    • New York nun is reported missing on vacation in Austria

      Images found on her phone suggest she was enjoying herself, taking photos and videos of the scenic Alpine countryside before she disappeared, the website reported

      Christie sent emails letting her nephew on Long Island know where she was but then the emails suddenly stopped July 6.

    • Obama has failed victims of racism and police brutality

      A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of US democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us. That’s why a few of us have pressed the president for seven years not to ignore issues of poverty, police abuse and mass unemployment. Barack Obama said it very well, following the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, that some communities “have been forgotten by all of us”.

      And now – in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and beyond – this legacy has comes back to haunt the whole country.

      Obama and his cheerleaders should take responsibility for being so reluctant to engage with these issues. It’s not a question of interest group or constituencies. Unfortunately for so much of the Obama administration its been a question of “I’m not the president of black people, I’m the president of everyone.” But this is a question of justice. It’s about being concerned about racism and police brutality.

    • Seattle’s ‘Liberals’ Get Chance to Finally Start Addressing Police Brutality

      This year, Washington has a second chance to address police brutality and in compliance with international human rights laws.

    • ‘Combustible’ GOP Convention: Riot Police Swarm Cleveland as FBI Tells Protesters Not to Show

      Authorities in Cleveland, Ohio, are adding fuel to an already “combustible” atmosphere, some activists say, as the city readies extra jail space and courtrooms and shuts down a local university to house 1,700 riot police and their weapons in preparation for demonstrations at next week’s Republican Party convention.

      Democracy Now! reported Thursday that city officials “say some courts will be kept open almost 24 hours per day in case protesters are arrested en masse. Authorities have also opened up extra jail space to hold protesters.”

    • Cleveland Police Union President: Allowing Guns Near Convention Is ‘Absolute Insanity’

      Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said he had concerns about the safety of officers at the upcoming Republican National Convention on CNN’s Smerconish on Saturday. In response to a question about guns being allowed near the convention, Loomis said, “That’s absolute insanity to me… My concern is for the uniformed member that is out there. They are going to be out there in the trenches.”

      Guns will not be permitted inside the Quicken Loans Arena and areas monitored by the Secret Service, but protesters coming to Cleveland will be allowed to carry guns due to the state’s open-carry laws. Items such as water guns, knives, canned food, and even tennis balls will not be allowed near the arena, however. As many as 50,000 people are expected to come to the convention area. There will be about 3,000 law enforcement officers at the convention — the same number of officers expected to be at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month.

    • Three Years After Justice Failed Trayvon Martin

      In the three years since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin and the Black Live Matter movement was born, so many more have been lost even as so much progress was made.

      Three years ago today, full of despair, I posted my feelings on my Facebook feed.

    • A Man Burned The Flag And Got Arrested for ‘His Own Safety’

      A guy who wasn’t feeling the patriotism decided to burn an American flag and tell the world about it on Facebook — only to get arrested the next day after neighbors complained.

      Bryton Mellott, 22-years-old, of Urbana, Illinois, was taken into custody after police received calls about his Facebook posts, which included a picture of him setting the Stars and Stripes on fire (above) and a message explaining that he was “not proud to be an American. In this moment, being proud of my country is to ignore the atrocities committed against people of color, people living in poverty, people who identify as women, and against my own queer community on a daily basis.”

    • Before They Were Hashtags

      Alton Sterling and Philando Castile lost their lives to police brutality last week. While their deaths fit an all too familiar narrative for black men and women living in America, what we haven’t emphasized enough—especially in the accounts told by media—is the value their lives held.

      Before they were hashtags, these men mattered.

    • Violence, Police Authority and Black Lives Matter

      Trigger happy policing has become something of a modus operandi in the frontier mentality of law enforcement. Bullets come before negotiation; arrests are inconveniences of afterthought. In 2015, 1000 people were slain in police operations, a third of them black.

    • Sorry Conservatives, New Research from Harvard Shows a Profound Amount of Racism by Police…Not Less of It

      Philando Castile was killed by a Minneapolis-area police officer while giving him his identification. Like so many other black men, Levar Jones was also shot by a white police officer while fully complying with his commands. Eric Garner was choked to death while screaming “I can’t breathe.” John Crawford III was killed in a Walmart by police because he was carrying a toy gun that he wanted to purchase. Jonathan Ferrel was killed by a white police officer while seeking help after a car accident. 12-year-old Tamir Rice was street executed by the Cleveland police in less than 3 seconds.

      Stories and personal experiences of police thuggery and violence are so common in the black community that they constitute a type of collective memory and group trauma.

    • Israel: a turning point in anti-corruption efforts?

      War and security have long dominated public discourse in Israel, often overshadowing the country’s other pressing issues. Notable among these is the legal system’s attitude to high-level state corruption, which has played a crucial role in shaping the Israeli political landscape.

    • Pokémon Go is everything that is wrong with late capitalism

      f you were looking to have fun with some friends 50 years ago, you might have gone to a bowling alley. Maybe you would have hung out at a diner or gone to the movies.

      These were all activities that involved spending a certain amount of money in the local economy. That created opportunities for adults in your town to start and run small businesses. It also meant that a teenager who wanted to find a summer job could find one waiting tables or taking tickets at the movie theater.

      You can spend money on Pokémon Go too. But the economics of the game are very different. When you spend money on items in the Pokémon Go world, it doesn’t go into the pocket of a local Pokémon entrepreneur — it goes into the pockets of the huge California- and Japan-based global companies that created Pokémon Go.

    • Israeli Military’s New Chief Rabbi Implied Soldiers Can Rape in War, as Government Lurches to Far-Right

      The man chosen as the Israeli military’s new chief rabbi has previously implied that soldiers would be permitted to rape women in war.

      This comes at a time when the Israeli government lurches further and further to the right, with what has been called “its most hard-right government ever.”

      Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim was nominated for the top religious position in the Israel Defense Forces, of IDF, by the chief of staff on Monday.

      Karim was at the center of a media controversy in Israel in 2012, when it was revealed that, in 2003, he suggested on a religious website that soldiers were permitted to commit acts of rape during wartime.

    • Nice, France, Attack: A Gandhian Response to Serial Killers

      French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has extended the French state of emergency, which suspends key civil and human rights, in the aftermath of the gruesome truck attack on Bastille Day in Nice, which at this writing has left 80 dead and over a dozen in intensive care.

    • Those who don’t like the referendum result should demand more democracy, not less

      Like many people who passionately want the UK to remain in the European Union, I have struggled with feelings of denial about the referendum vote. I wish it hadn’t turned out the way it did. I wish I could magic it away. But it is important to recognise that what happened, happened. British people were told that they would get a chance to vote on a perfectly clear question: whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union. They were told that the decision would be decided on the basis of a simple majority of the British electorate as a whole, including expatriates, but not including those under the age of eighteen or European Union citizens resident in the UK (who voted in the Scottish referendum). The result was that 52% voted to leave.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • How to set up your own VoIP system at home

      The landline phone may seem an anachronism to many, but if like me you work from home it can still be an essential business tool. Even if you’re not a regular home worker, many people still like to have a phone that’s separate to their mobile. In a family house or shared house, it can sometimes also be useful for different people to have their own number too.

      In the past, your choices were fairly stark—either multiple analogue phone lines, which is what I had when I first moved into my flat, or ISDN. While the latter was very popular in parts of Europe, it never really took off in the UK or US. BT’s pricing was part of the problem, together with a lack of equipment. Nevertheless, for many years, I used a small German ISDN PBX at home. It made it simple to separate business and work calls, and thanks to the 10 number blocks BT issued as standard with ISDN2 lines, my lodger could have a number too.

      Pricing was the killer for ISDN in the home, unless you could claim it as a business expense. Now, however, VoIP services make it much easier to provide the same sort of functionality at a fraction of the cost, and it’s much easier than you might have thought, too. Here’s how I did it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent Users Present a Goldmine of Marketing Opportunities

        Most file-sharers are aware they’re being watched but that doesn’t always have to be as bad as it sounds. Speaking with TorrentFreak, analytics company Peerlogix says it monitors millions of “well educated and tech-savvy” torrent users and leverages their content consumption habits for marketing purposes.

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