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07.30.16

Links 30/7/2016: Sysadmin Day, Stardew Valley on GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Student survey data shows Open Source training uptake amongst women and young people remains extreme

    Future Cert, the UK and Ireland representative for the LPI (Linux Professional Institute), is calling for more awareness of Open Source software training amongst the under 21s and especially women, which the industry is so desperately in need of.

    New figures from a recent Future Cert student survey reveals that the number of women and young people taking LPI Certification in Open Source computing remains extremely low.

    Of those questioned, 98% were male, and just 2% were female, taking an LPI exam. This figure is significantly less than an already low figure of around 15% to 17% of women in IT careers in general. It raises the question, what does the industry need to do to make an Open Source career attractive to women?

  • Quality in open source: testing CRIU

    Checkpoint/Restore In Userspace, or CRIU, is a software tool for Linux that allows freezing a running application (or part of it) and checkpointing it to disk as a collection of files. The files can then be used to restore and run the application from the point where it was frozen. The distinctive feature of the CRIU project is that it is mainly implemented in user space.

    Back in 2012, when Andrew Morton accepted the first checkpoint/restore (C/R) patches to the Linux kernel, the idea to implement saving and restoring of running processes in user space seemed kind of crazy. Yet, four years later, not only is CRIU working, it has also attracted more and more attention. Before CRIU, there had been other attempts to implement checkpoint/restore in Linux (DMTCP, BLCR, OpenVZ, CKPT, and others), but none were merged into the mainline. Meanwhile CRIU survived, which attests to its viability. Some time ago, I implemented support for the Test Anything Protocol format into the CRIU test runner; creating that patch allowed me to better understand the nature of the CRIU testing process. Now I want to share this knowledge with LWN readers.

    [...]

    The CRIU tests are quite easy to use and available for everyone. Moreover, the CRIU team has a continuous-integration system that consists of Patchwork and Jenkins, which run the required test configurations per-patch and per-commit. Patchwork also allows the team to track the status of patch sets to make the maintainer’s work easier. The developers from the team always keep an eye on regressions. If a commit breaks a tree, the patches in question will not be accepted.

  • Open-source Wire messenger gets encrypted screen-sharing

    Chat app Wire has been rapidly adding feature as of late as it looks to gain some traction against the myriad of competitors out there. The latest trick in its arsenal is screen sharing.

    Now you can click on the new screen-sharing button to, well, share your screen during a call (if you’re on a desktop, that is). It works during group chats too and, as with all Wire communications, is encrypted end-to-end. Wire believes it’s the first messaging app to include end-to-end encryption.

  • SPI board election results are available

    Software in the Public Interest (SPI) has completed its 2016 board elections. There were two open seats on the board in addition to four board members whose terms were expiring. The six newly elected members of the board are Luca Filipozzi, Joerg Jaspert, Jimmy Kaplowitz, Andrew Tridgell, Valerie Young, and Martin Zobel-Helas. The full results, including voter statistics, are also available.

  • Events

    • SFK 2016 – Call for Speakers

      Software Freedom Kosova is an annual international conference in Kosovo organized to promote free/libre open source software, free culture and open knowledge, now in its 7th edition. It is organized by FLOSSK, a non governmental, not for profit organization, dedicated to promote software freedom and related philosophies.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GIMP 2.9.4 and our vision for GIMP future

      So you may have heard the news: we recently released a new development version of GIMP, version 2.9.4 (as well as a bugfix release 2.8.18, but this is not as awesome).

  • Licensing/Legal

    • On the boundaries of GPL enforcement

      Last October, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and Free Software Foundation (FSF) jointly published “The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement”. That document described what those organizations believe the goal of enforcement efforts should be and how those efforts should be carried out. Several other organizations endorsed the principles, including the netfilter project earlier this month. It was, perhaps, a bit puzzling that the project would make that endorsement at that time, but a July 19 SFC blog post sheds some light on the matter.

      There have been rumblings for some time about a kernel developer doing enforcement in Germany that might not be particularly “community-oriented”, but public information was scarce. Based on the blog post by Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler, though, it would seem that Patrick McHardy, who worked on netfilter, is the kernel developer in question. McHardy has also recently been suspended from the netfilter core team pending his reply to “severe allegations” with regard to “the style of his license enforcement activities”.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Big Food’s Win Over GMO Labeling Bill Shows Failure of Democracy

      In 2014, Vermont passed the first legislation in the U.S. to require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. A year earlier, Connecticut and Maine passed GMO labeling bills though these were dependent on several other states passing similar laws.

    • Did Their Backs Hurt Your Knives?

      For the first-time ever, the platform of a major political party includes an explicit call to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a federal law that has denied eligible poor and low-income women coverage for abortion care for nearly four decades. This has anti-abortion democrats saying they have been betrayed.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Finland beefs up arms exports to Middle East

      Over the last 18 months, Finland’s Ministry of Defence has awarded domestic companies 50 permits to sell weapons to countries in the Middle East. Finland is currently supplying arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for example, both of which have recently bombed civilian targets in Yemen.

    • U.S. Awards $1.7 Billion Contract to Buy Radios for Afghan Army

      I always found myself giggling during the Democratic debates when Hillary would ask Bernie how he was going to pay for things like healthcare or college tuition, and then Bernie stammering to find an answer.

    • Do Civilisations Really Have to Clash?

      We are living in a world when it is normal to think that civilisations are incompatible and have to clash with each other. But this is a perversion of the truth as Dr. Paul Craig Roberts points out.

    • Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks

      Focusing on domestic issues, Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech sidestepped the deep concerns anti-war Democrats have about her hawkish foreign policy, which is already taking shape in the shadows, reports Gareth Porter.

    • The Fallacy of ‘Regime Change’ Strategies

      “Regime change” or destabilizing sanctions are Official Washington’s policy options of choice in dealing with disfavored nations, but these aggressive strategies have proved harmful and counterproductive, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Intervention Fail: ISIS Makes Bloody Gains in Post ‘Liberation’ Afghanistan

      Shortly after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 1996 (their rise to power itself a result of the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan), we began to hear endless stories of the horrors of this student movement turned governing power. They ruled by Sharia law, they treated women badly, they even blew up ancient statues!

      The US rhetoric against the Taliban began long before the attacks of 9/11 (which were carried out largely by Saudis who trained in Afghanistan with the knowledge of the Taliban). But it was the 9/11 attacks that opened the door to a direct US intervention in Afghanistan.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • From Kalamazoo to Husky, Parallel Pipeline Disasters

      There are many parallels between last week’s heavy oil spill from a Husky Energy pipeline in Saskatchewan and the Enbridge pipeline rupture in Kalamazoo Michigan almost exactly six years ago.

      Both ruptures occurred while control room staff were restarting the flow in the pipelines.

      In both cases, “anomalies” were indicated by computers systems monitoring the pipelines.

      In both cases, the companies failed to interpret the “anomalies” as leaks.

      In both cases, significant periods of time elapsed before the companies were made aware of the leaks by members of the public seeing the oil floating down river. 17 hours for Enbridge, 14 hours for Husky.

      In both cases, diluents had been added to the pipeline to facilitate pumping.

      In both cases, emergency responses were inadequate to deal with the quantity spilled and the conditions on the rivers the spills flowed into.

    • David Perry on Disabilities and Police Violence, Harvey Wasserman on Nuclear vs. Renewables
  • Finance

    • Hedge-Fund Money: $48.5 Million for Hillary Clinton, $19,000 for Donald Trump

      Hedge funds are playing a far bigger role in 2016 than in past elections—and Hillary Clinton has been the single biggest beneficiary.

    • Facebook could face extra $5bn tax bill after US investigation

      Facebook could be liable to pay between $3 to $5bn in extra US tax after an extensive investigation by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into the way the tech company transferred assets to Ireland.

      The tax agency has been exploring whether Facebook deliberately deployed complex financial processes designed to minimize the amount of US tax it paid.

    • Amazon boss Bezos becomes world’s third richest

      Strong earnings from Amazon and a boost to the company’s stock have made its founder, Jeff Bezos, the world’s third richest person, according to Forbes.

      Mr Bezos owns 18% of Amazon’s shares, which rose 2% in trading on Thursday. Forbes estimated his fortune to be $65.3bn (£49.5bn).

    • Why Make Something When Nothing Sells Just as Well?

      It’s a fundamental law of nature… or at least nature legislation: For every action that the government takes to protect the natural environment, there is a cleverly corrupt reaction. An investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek profiled an extraordinary case of fraud that exploited the Renewable Fuel Standard program, which President George W. Bush signed into law in 2005. That’s what he gets for trying to lessen our dependence on foreign oil… sucker!

    • Challenges and opportunities of the unbanked and under-banked

      Talking about access to appropriate and affordable finance is one thing but what happens when people reject those banks? What happens if some consumers never feel banks can provide for them?

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jill Stein is not Ralph Nader 2.0; she is much, much better. She can win. Here’s why

      Progressives in America aren’t happy. In fact, for the first time in recent memory, progressives are finally good and angry at the political establishment. Leak after leak, lawsuit after lawsuit, the facts just keep rolling in like so many punches, again and again exposing how the DNC methodically shut out and shut down the first candidate many of them had gotten excited about in years. Thousands of man hours and millions of dollars, many of those dollars pinched from the tightest of household budgets, poured into what turned out to be a totally rigged election. Ouch.

    • Trump: A vote for the Green Party helps me
    • Democratic National Committee Claims That Wikileaks Has ‘Malware Embedded Throughout The Site’

      We’ve seen various organizations impacted by Wikileaks come up with all sorts of excuses and claims about why people shouldn’t use the site, but “the site is embedded with malware” is a new one. It also seems hellishly unlikely. It’s the kind of thing that someone would discover and it would destroy whatever credibility Wikileaks has left. I guess anything is possible, but this sounds like the DNC freaking out over the leaks and trying to spread bogus rumors in the hopes that it will get people to stop looking at their leaked files.

    • Julian Assange: We have more material on Clinton

      WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange speaks with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about his organization releasing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee.

    • Cool Catchphrase, Hillary, But Science Isn’t About Belief

      On Thursday night, Hillary Clinton made history when she became the first woman to lead a major presidential ticket. In a speech filled with reminders of her experience and her plans for reform, one remark stood out: “I believe in science!” she said, chuckling. “I believe climate change is real, and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good paying clean energy jobs.”

      Delegates filling the convention hall in Philadelphia roared in approval. Pockets of Twitter, too. Just as quickly, though, reactions turned cynical: How awful it is, in this day and age, that a presidential candidate must say she believes in science? In the retelling, Clinton’s laugh became a nod to the absurdity of the moment.

    • How a cooked Assange quote ended up media gospel

      Wikileaks, the clearing house for state secrets, seems more about founder Julian Assange’s grudges these days: especially the one for Hillary Clinton. Much fuss was made over a quote—that he had “enough evidence” to guarantee an indictment of her—that was widely attributed to him. It turns out, though, that the quote doesn’t check out: most point to a mangled interview on the UK’s ITV where it isn’t even said. Jesse Singal set out to track down a source that no-one bothered to verify. It’s a surprisingly tantalizing and teasing journey, but the tl;dr seems to be that the quote was originally fabricated by the blog Zero Hedge.

    • THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY NO LONGER EXISTS

      The Democratic Party that once was concerned with workers’ rights, the elderly, civil rights, and the constitutional protections of America liberty no longer exists. As the just completed Democratic presidential primaries and the Democratic presidential convention have clearly demonstrated, the United States now has two Republican parties in service to the One Percent.

      The organized Democrats–the Democratic National Committee–have shown themselves to be even more venal and corrupt than the Republicans. Leaked emails document that the Democratic National Committee conspired with the Hillary campaign in order to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. It is clear that Sanders was the choice of Democratic Party voters for president, but the nomination was stolen from him by vote fraud and dirty tricks.

      The DNC and the media whores have tried to discredit the incriminating emails by alleging that the leaked emails resulted from a plot by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in behalf of “Putin’s American agent,” Donald Trump. “A vote for Trump is a vote for Putin,” as the presstitute scum put it.

    • Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!

      Leading up to Monday’s Democratic Party convention, Hillary chose Blue Dog Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her VP. This was followed by the Wikileaks release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mail files showing it acting as the Clinton Campaign Committee even to the point of using the same lawyers as her own campaign to oppose Bernie Sanders.

      The response across the Democratic neocon spectrum, from Anne Applebaum at the Washington Post to red-baiting Paul Krugman and the Sunday talk shows it was suggested that behind the Wikileaks to release DNC e-mails was a Russian plot to help elect Trump as their agent. Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul lent his tattered reputation to claim that Putin must have sponsored the hackers who exposed the DNC dirty tricks against Bernie.

      The attack on Trump was of course aimed at Sanders. At first it didn’t take off. Enough delegates threatened to boo DNC head (and payday-loan lobbyist) Debbie Wasserman Schultz off stage if she showed her face at the podium to gavel the convention to order. The down-note would have threatened the “United Together” theme, so she was forced to resign. But Hillary rewarded her loyalty by naming her honorary chairman of her own presidential campaign! If you’re loyal, you get a pay-off. The DNC was doing what it was supposed to do. No reform seems likely.

    • Sheriff Arpaio Paved the Way for Trump

      Before there was Donald Trump and his promise of a “beautiful wall” across the U.S.-Mexican border there was Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Arizona who pushed cruel treatment of illegal immigrants and other Latinos, reports Dennis J Bernstein.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • How California’s Identity Fraud Law Has Been Interpreted To Criminalize Defamation, Publicity Rights Violations And More

      Eugene Volokh has a somewhat terrifying look at how very broad interpretations of California’s identity fraud law, California Penal Code § 530.5(a) has been so broadly interpreted by the courts that it, in effect, creates a crime out of things that were normally considered, at best, civil offenses. This includes defamation, publicity rights infringements and disclosure of private facts. He discusses a few cases, but focuses on a key one that we’ve mentioned: the state of California’s recent legal win over Kevin Bollaert, a revenge porn creep. In our writeup, we were mainly concerned with how the ruling seemed to run against Section 230′s protections, but as Volokh makes clear, it’s much, much worse than that.

    • The West Kowtows to China Through Self-Censorship

      Human rights lawyer Teng Biao was commisioned to write a book reflecting on his 11 years as a rights activist in China for the American Bar Association in 2014. Last year, the ABA informed Teng that they would not be publishing the book over “concern that we run the risk of upsetting the Chinese government.” The ABA subsequently denied that as the reason for the cancellation, leading to protest from the China-focused legal rights community.

    • Melbourne graffiti artist Lushsux’s Instagram account deleted in ‘politically-motivated censorship’

      MARIBRYNONG City Council has declared that a large mural depicting US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a skimpy stars and stripes bathing suit must go.

      The huge mural is on the side of the Mr Mobility store in Footscray.

      The owner is away but a friend looking after his small business, Mitch, said she strongly disagreed with the council’s stance.

      “It’s art,” she said.

      “I can’t see any problem with someone expressing themselves with art. I think it’s a wonderful thing.”

      Mitch said far more offensive images could be found on the streets, yet they were not removed.

      “I’m a woman and I’m not offended by it. It’s just a one piece bathing suit with large breasts but the nipples and private parts are covered.”

    • Removal of Repeal the Eighth mural shows that censorship cuts both ways
    • New Tool to Help Notify Users When Their Content is Taken Offline

      When user content is threatened with removal from the Internet, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to put up more of a fight than the user who uploaded it. That’s what makes it so critically important that the user is informed whenever an Internet intermediary is asked to remove their content from its platform, or decides to do so on its own account.

      Unfortunately this doesn’t consistently happen. In the case of content taken down for copyright infringement under the DMCA or its foreign equivalents, the law typically requires the user to be informed. But for content that allegedly infringes other laws (such as defamation, privacy, hate speech, or obscenity laws), or content that isn’t alleged to be illegal but merely against the intermediary’s terms of service, there is often no requirement that the user be informed, and some intermediaries don’t make a practice of doing so.

      Another problem is that even when intermediaries do pass on notices about allegedly illegal content to the user who uploaded it, this notice might be inaccurate or incomplete. This led to the situtation in Canada where ISPs were passing on misleading notices from US-based rightsholders, falsely threatening Canadian users with penalties that are not even applicable under Canadian law.

    • OPINION: Why Taylor Swift’s Instagram Censorship COULD Be A Problem For Free Speech

      But first, a caveat. The tweet was slightly misleading. It may have implied that Taylor Swift was herself somehow violating the law on free speech, which, I agree, would be odd and not really possible within our current legal system. But I said ‘violate free speech principles’ for a reason. Principles are not law. In this context, they are the idea behind a law, the reason that law exists, while not being legally enforceable themselves.

    • Te Bitcoin Subreddit Censorship Debate Reignited by Roger Ver?
    • Coinbase and Reddit CEOs Discuss Removal of Theymos as Moderator of Bitcoin Subreddit
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The RCMP Is Trying to Sneak Facial and Tattoo Recognition Into Canada

      In November of 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had a problem.

      At the time, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had been using its massively controversial database of biometric information—photos of people’s faces, tattoos, iris scans, and more—at “full operational capacity” for about a year. The RCMP, on the other hand, was stuck with a national fingerprint database that didn’t allow officers to scan and search people’s faces or other body parts. Canada’s federal police force was falling behind its southern counterpart.

      The RCMP had “no authority” to support new capabilities for its nationwide Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, according to an internal presentation from November 24 of 2015 that Motherboard obtained through an access to information request. Still, the police felt a pressing need to improve “interoperability with international partner systems”—in other words, to make sure their system meshed with what police in other countries were doing—but lacked an opportunity to do so.

      Undeterred, the RCMP went ahead and began working to procure a new AFIS system that could analyze and capture faces, fingerprints, palm prints, tattoos, scars, and irises—all without clear authorization or approval by the country’s federal privacy watchdog, or even a plan to implement it.

      So, yeah, the RCMP is trying to bring biometric identification to Canada without anybody noticing.

    • How synced can (and should) NSA and CIA be on cyber? [Ed: Loaded headline from this Microsoft-connected propaganda network]
    • ExpressVPN protects your on-line anonymity and privacy

      This post reviews ExpressVPN, a hosted Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. A hosted VPN service is a paid subscription service. With a VPN, all your Internet communication is encrypted and passed through a secure proxy (the VPN server) before continuing to the intended destination. To the rest of the world, the Internet traffic appears to come from the VPN server, not your home computer.

    • Smartwatch Shipments Slipped in Q2 Amid Slowing Demand [Ed: mass surveillance/mass collection devices/facilitators]
    • Enterprise Wearables: 35 Top Picks
    • Smartphone Market Flattens Out
    • IoT Security and Privacy: An Afterthought?

      Security and privacy are widely identified as major concerns for the Internet of Things (IoT), but few people discuss them in any detail.

      An exception is Jim Hunter, chief scientist and technology evangelist at Greenwaves Systems, a provider of IoT software and services. Holding several IoT-related patents and a co-chair on the Internet of Things Consortium, he works regularly with the security and privacy concerns that are often acknowledged only in passing.

      While security and privacy are often discussed in the same breath, Hunter views them as at least partly separate. According to Hunter, security concerns center on how software and hardware are designed. Too often, security is an afterthought — or as Hunter puts it, “it’s not baked into the product, but is instead sprinkled on top.”

      By contrast, he says privacy problems exist “because of the ‘I’ in Iot. “When I put information into my web browser, it brings value to someone else — this is the way that the Internet runs and the agreement we have with it. By keeping ‘Internet’ in front of ‘Internet of Things, we’re enabling companies to think things will continue to work in the same way. Companies are taking your information to the cloud and then using it to make their product(s) better or selling it to other people. The mentality that your data doesn’t have value is where the problem exists.”

      Both security and privacy problems could have been foreseen, Hunter continues — and in some larger companies, they were. But smaller companies often overlook them. “The industry itself hasn’t really been educated to the importance of security,” he says, although he adds that “the tide is turning,” partly because of platforms that offer secure infrastructure, such as Parse on Facebook and Fabric on Twitter.

    • 75 Top IoT Devices
    • 20 Russian high-profile organizations attacked by spy malware in coordinated op – FSB

      Computer networks of some 20 Russian state, defense, scientific and other high-profile organizations have been infected with malware used for cyberespionage, the Russian Security Service (FSB) reported, describing it as a professionally coordinated operation.

      “The IT assets of government offices, scientific and military organizations, defense companies and other parts of the nation’s crucial infrastructure were infected,” the FSB said in a statement as cited by the Russian media.

      The security agency said that all the cases are linked and appear to be part of a well-coordinated attack requiring considerable expertise. The coding of the malware and vectors of attack are similar to those used in previous cyber-offensive operations against targets in Russia and other nations, the report stated.

    • NSA Whistleblower Skeptical of US-EU Privacy Shield to ‘Paper Over’ Spying

      NSA whistleblower Mark Klein said that the latest US-EU agreement aimed at protecting European data privacy standards may appear to be a reform, but will unlikely change expansive US surveillance practices.

    • British Spies Used a URL Shortener to Honeypot Arab Spring Dissidents [iophk: "url shorteners, sock-puppet Twitter accounts"]

      A shadowy unit of the British intelligence agency GCHQ tried to influence online activists during the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests and the 2011 democratic uprisings largely known as the Arab Spring, as new evidence gathered from documents leaked by Edward Snowden shows.

      The GCHQ’s special unit, known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group or JTRIG, was first revealed in 2014, when leaked top secret documents showed it tried to infiltrate and manipulate—using “dirty trick” tactics such as honeypots—online communities including those of Anonymous hacktivists, among others.

      The group’s tactics against hacktivists have been previously reported, but its influence campaign in the Middle East has never been reported before. I was able to uncover it because I was myself targeted in the past, and was aware of a key detail, a URL shortening service, that was actually redacted in Snowden documents published in 2014.

    • LulzSec Member Reveals More Details About GCHQ Covert Operations

      Mustafa Al-Bassam, aka tFlow, co-founder of the LulzSec hacking crew, published today more details about how the GCHQ used the covert Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) to attack hacktivism crews, but also that they tried to influence elections in Iran and boost and help the Arab Spring uprising in Syria.

    • WhatsApp Forensic Artifacts: Chats Aren’t Being Deleted

      To test, I installed the app and started a few different threads. I then archived some, cleared, some, and deleted some threads. I made a second backup after running the “Clear All Chats” function in WhatsApp. None of these deletion or archival options made any difference in how deleted records were preserved. In all cases, the deleted SQLite records remained intact in the database.

      Just to be clear, WhatsApp is deleting the record (they don’t appear to be trying to intentionally preserve data), however the record itself is not being purged or erased from the database, leaving a forensic artifact that can be recovered and reconstructed back into its original form.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Attorney for Man With Autism Urges DOJ to Investigate North Miami Police Shooting

      An attorney for a man with autism who was placed in a psychiatric unit after witnessing another man get shot by a police officer is urging the Department of Justice to investigate the North Miami Police and state of Florida.

      Matthew Dietz, the attorney for Arnaldo Rios, wrote a letter Monday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, claiming that Rios was placed in a facility “inappropriate for his needs” after the shooting. The Arc, a national organization that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, sent a letter to the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division on Thursday in support of Dietz’s request for an investigation. Arc said “it is vital that Mr. Rios secures an appropriate community placement as soon as possible.”

    • After Cracking Down On Tens Of Thousands Of Enemies, Erdogan Says He’s Dropping His 2000 Lawsuits Over Insults

      For the last few months we’ve poked fun at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ridiculously thin skin. As we noted, he had filed upwards of 100 lawsuits per month against people for “insulting” him — and this included things as ridiculous as posting a meme on social media that compared Erdogan to Gollum.

      Of course, more recently (as you’ve heard) there was a coup attempt in Turkey, which failed, and Erdogan has spent the last few weeks basically using the coup as an excuse to crush all his enemies.

    • NYPD Dodges Another Legislative Attempt To Inject Accountability And Transparency Into Its Daily Work

      Law enforcement officers are pretty used to being able to stop nearly anyone and demand to know who they are and what they’re doing. Sure, there are plenty of laws that say they can’t actually do that, but the public is generally underinformed about their rights, and this works in cops’ favor. As a recent Appeals Court decision pointed out, citizens are “free to refuse to cooperate with police before a seizure.”

      Obviously, this perfectly legal act of noncompliance just won’t do, and it certainly won’t be cops pointing out to citizens the rights they have available to them. New York City legislators thought they could force this transparency on the NYPD.

    • Security Researchers Sued For Exposing Internet Filtering Company’s Sale Of Censorship Software To Blacklisted Country

      Rather than meet the situation head on, Netsweeper chose to hang back and lob a lawsuit at Citizen Lab after it published its report. Fortunately for the security researchers, Netsweeper has chosen to drop its lawsuit entirely, possibly because pursuing the questionable defamation claims would have put it up against Ontarios’s version of anti-SLAPP laws: the Protection of Public Participation Act.

      The world of security research is still a dangerous place. When researchers aren’t being arrested for reporting on their findings, they’re being sued for exposing security flaws and highly-questionable behavior. It’s a shame there aren’t more built-in protections for researchers, who tend to receive a lot of legal heat just for doing their job.

    • Yavuz Baydar: Tough times ahead for Turkey

      The latest journalist arrested in Turkey is Arda Akın, a young reporter with the Hürriyet daily, part of the “mainstream” Doğan Media Group. Arda was in the “first” arrest list, issued on Monday, which mainly consisted of investigative reporters. In May, he was among those who won the European Union Investigative Journalism Award 2016, a prestigious prize delivered every year in six Balkan countries and Turkey. In his award-winning article, Akın told of corruption related to ruling Justice and Development Party figures.

    • Body-camera video shows fatal police shooting in Ariz.

      Body-camera footage released by the city of Winslow on Wednesday shows the seconds leading up to the fatal shooting of a 27-year-old Navajo woman by a Winslow police officer, with the woman advancing toward the officer with a pair of silver scissors in her left hand.

      The video footage from March 27 shows the encounter between Loreal Tsingine and Officer Austin Shipley. Tsingine’s death on Easter Sunday drew an immediate outcry in the city and strained relations between the city and Native Americans. The Navajo Reservation borders Winslow.

      A shooting investigation was conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which was reviewed by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. He announced Friday that no charges would be filed against Shipley.

      The footage released Wednesday does not have audio initially. It shows Shipley leaving his patrol vehicle to encounter Tsingine, who is a suspect in a convenience-store shoplifting that had occurred minutes before. His hand movements indicate that he is giving her orders to stop and to turn around.

      He attempts to grab her hands when she turns back to face him, and Shipley takes Tsingine to the ground. As she gets up, a pair of silver scissors can be seen in her left hand.

    • ‘It’s Been Harrowing’: Alleged Hacker Lauri Love Awaits Extradition Decision

      Early in the evening of 25 October 2013, a man dressed as a UPS delivery guy arrived at Lauri Love’s family home in Suffolk holding a box. When Love’s mum answered the door, she was told that only her son could sign for the delivery. She called him downstairs, and when he emerged wearing his dressing gown, he was told that the man was in fact an officer of the National Crime Agency, and that he was being arrested on suspicion of hacking into a long list of systems, including those controlled by the US Federal Reserve, NASA, and the FBI. Love asked if he still got to keep the box.

      Almost three years later, on 25 July 2016, 31-year-old Love and his parents were at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London for the final arguments in his extradition hearing. Judge Nina Tempia is hearing the case, and will rule on 16 September as to whether the UK will allow Love to be extradited to the US where he would face three separate trials in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.

      “It’s been harrowing, this whole process,” said Love, speaking to me a couple of days later. “The US didn’t even really make any arguments, they were just casting doubt on the evidence from us.”

    • YouTubers use FGM ‘cuts’ to help raise awareness

      There are at least 200 million women and girls alive today in 30 countries that have undergone female genital mutilation.

      44 million of those who have undergone the procedure, typically performed on children under the age of five, are still younger than 14.

      The procedure is rooted in patriarchal notions of purity, modesty and appearance; but health effects include infections, chronic pain, infertility, complications during menstruation and childbirth and potentially fatal vaginal bleeding.

      Only a third of British adults are aware of these long-term effects according to new research by ActionAid UK and ActionAid Kenya.

    • Mix and Match Cyber-Priorities Likely Elevates Gut Check To National Level

      The PPD integrates response to cyberattacks with the existing PPD on responding to physical incidents, which is necessary (actually, the hierarchy should probably be reversed, as our physical infrastructure is in shambles) but is also scary because there’s a whole lot of executive branch authority that gets asserted in such things.

      And the PPD sets out clear roles for responding to cyberattacks: “threat response” (investigating) is the FBI’s baby; “asset response” (seeing the bigger picture) is DHS’s baby; “intelligence support” (analysis) is ODNI’s baby, with lip service to the importance of keeping shit running, whether within or outside of the federal government.

    • When Black Lives Surely Didn’t Matter

      Many whites counter the Black Lives Matter movement with the rejoinder “all lives matter,” a way of ignoring the ugly American history of torturing, shooting and lynching blacks, as Gary G. Kohls recalls, citing two notorious cases.

    • We, The Heart of Our Democracy

      If you just couldn’t watch Hillary – and we get it – you might have missed the electrifying call by Rev. William Barber, head of North Carolina’s NAACP and leader of its Moral Mondays, to embrace “a moral revolution of values” and continue fighting for progressives causes. Barber urged his audience to take action to stop gun violence and police brutality, to support voting rights and Black Lives Matter, to make universal health care and a $15 minimum wage a reality for all. “Some issues are not left versus right or liberal versus conservative – they are right versus wrong,” he said. Pointedly citing Jesus, “a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew” – and only briefly referencing Clinton – Barber proclaimed, “We must shock this nation with the power of love. We must shock this nation with the power of mercy. We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all. We can’t give up on the heart of our democracy. Not now, not ever.” He left the crowd, lit up and on its exhilarated feet, with, “Lead with love…Find the glory.” Amen. And no, it’s not over.

    • Report: Fox News Allegedly Paid $3.15 Million Settlement to Woman Claiming Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Her

      Over the course of the last three weeks, a steady stream of women have come forward detailing their accounts of alleged sexual harassment at the hands of former Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Ailes, who has firmly denied all allegations of wrongdoing, stepped down from his top position at the network last week, after longtime host Gretchen Carlson sued him for what she claimed was years of inappropriate behavior and retaliation for not complying with his advances.

      A number of women followed suit, sharing accounts of alleged interactions with Ailes that occurred over the span of the last half-century. Most notably, Fox News star Megyn Kelly reportedly told investigators hired by 21st Century Fox that Ailes had sexually harassed her a decade ago when she was just starting out (Ailes denied this, as well, saying that he helped her career tremendously).

      The most recent alleged account of sexual harassment by Ailes is particularly disturbing. On Friday afternoon, New York published a story about a former Fox News employee that details more than 20 years of what she called “psychological torture,” including allegations that Ailes paid her for sex, that he taped their encounters as a means of keeping her silent, and that he used promotions within Fox News as a way to keep their relationship secret.

      Laurie Luhn, who served as Fox News’s director of booking, told New York that she got in touch with the law firm conducting 21st Century Fox’s investigation, claiming that she had been harassed by Ailes since 1991 and that Fox News executives were not only aware of their relationship, but also helped cover it up.

    • ‘A Travesty’: Chelsea Manning Faces New Charges After Suicide Attempt

      U.S. whistleblower Chelsea Manning may face additional charges and solitary confinement relating to a suicide attempt earlier this month, according to her attorneys.

      The charges include “resisting the force cell move team,” “conduct which threatens,” and “prohibited property,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Thursday. If convicted, Manning could face an additional nine years on her sentence, indefinite solitary confinement, and placement back into maximum security. She may also lose any chances of parole.

      Manning is currently serving 35 years at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military prison for helping WikiLeaks expose classified government and U.S. military documents in 2010. She confirmed her suicide attempt on July 8 after several days of being kept out of contact with her defense team.

    • Trump’s Bigotry Reminds US Media of Anywhere but Home

      Donald Trump is an objectively terrifying candidate. He’s a racist, a xenophobe and a misogynist (in a surprisingly underrated manner). He dabbles in antisemitism and mocks his opponents like a middle school bully.

      However, in their effort to critique Trump in a way that is “relatable” and generates clicks, corporate media all too often turn to lazy orientalist tropes and patriotic schlock to “other” him without having to do the messy work of ideological analysis, or running the risk of offending America’s nationalist sensibilities…

    • Technical Response to Northpointe

      Northpointe asserts that a software program it sells that predicts the likelihood a person will commit future crimes is equally fair to black and white defendants. We re-examined the data, considered the company’s criticisms, and stand by our conclusions.

    • ProPublica Responds to Company’s Critique of Machine Bias Story

      Northpointe asserts that a software program it sells that predicts the likelihood a person will commit future crimes is equally fair to black and white defendants. We re-examined the data, considered the company’s criticisms, and stand by our conclusions.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast: The Economics Of Offering Cheaper, Better Streaming TV Service ‘Unproven’

      As cable operators consolidate and AT&T and Verizon continue to hang up on millions of unwanted DSL customers they don’t want to upgrade, cable’s monopoly control over the U.S. broadband market is actually stronger than ever. In most markets, cable broadband’s “competition” still consists of either a cash-strapped telco incapable of offering speeds greater than 6 Mbps, or no competition at all. That’s why we’ve seen Comcast rush to impose usage caps on many of these captive markets; an effort to protect legacy TV revenues from Internet video — a move only made possible by a lack of competition.

      Despite this lack of competition, Comcast has at least flirted with the idea of adapting to streaming competition and offering a cheaper, more flexible streaming TV option of its own. About a year ago the company launched a product creatively-dubbed “Stream,” which for $15 a month offers Comcast broadband customers access to its traditional cable service. But despite the company’s promise that every market would see this service by the end of 2016, the rollout of this product appears to have stalled, in large part because it appears Comcast only wanted to appear innovative.

    • Comcast’s Still Not Sure There’s Any Money In This Whole “Streaming” Thing

      You might have heard that it’s 2016, and streaming your TV via the internet is all the rage. And yet despite being just as susceptible to cord-cutters as anyone (everyone) else, Comcast is still not thinking the whole streaming-TV thing is a moneymaker.

      In the company’s quarterly investor call this week (transcript), Comcast executives faced many questions about over-the-top (broadband) TV. And they were… less than enthusiastic.

      Neil Smit, the CEO of Comcast Cable (as opposed to the whole Comcast company), told investors that, “We haven’t seen an OTT model that really is very profitable for us.”

    • Blizzard withdrawing support for IPv6?

      It seems that once again Blizzard have their IPv6 connectivity for World of Warcraft not working properly. I opened a ticket and explained the issue in detail. The connectivity issue is entirely in their network. My guess is, as they seem to be using SLAAC addresses, they have simply failed to update addresses when they changed hardware and MAC. That is only a guess though.

      The impact – I could not log in to play the game for several days. I assumed they had a fault or were busy and to be honest, given that I use IPv6 for almost everything I do (google, Facebook, all A&A web sites and internal systems) and have done for about 14 years, it did not even occur to me to check if turning off IPv6 would fix it for a while. These days I rarely play, but have been off ill for a few days and though I may have a game or two.

    • Mysterious firm pays £135m for .web domain

      A MYSTERY BUSINESS called Nu Dot Co has paid a rather sizeable $135m for the right to the .web generic top-level domain (gTLD).

      The firm beat off competition from the likes of Google and web registry firms Afilias, Radix and Donuts, so it clearly means business.

      The auction went ahead despite calls from others involved that the mystery surrounding Nu Dot Co meant that ICANN, the organisation selling the gTLD, could not satisfy the condition that it must know who, or what, controls the gTLD after auction.

      However, ICANN hurriedly dismissed the claim and proceeded with the auction.

      Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division, explained that the auction process was the fairest way to allocate the domain.

      “New gTLD Program auctions are the community-established, last resort method to help determine which applicant will have the opportunity to operate a particular new gTLD when multiple entities vie for the same or confusingly similar domains,” he said.

      “We look forward to seeing the community’s recommendations for the use of these proceeds.”

    • First Aereo, Now FilmOn: Another Fight for Innovation and Competition in TV Technology

      For over four years, major TV producers like Comcast, Viacom, Fox, Time Warner, and Disney, along with TV station owners like Comcast, Fox, Disney, and Sinclair, and cable companies like–well, Comcast–have fought in court to shut down new services that deliver local broadcast TV via the Internet. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that one of those services, Aereo, performed a function that was so similar to a traditional cable system that, like a cable system, it needed permission from copyright holders for the TV programs it transmitted.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mr Justice Arnold refers questions on Article 3(b) SPC Regulation to CJEU

      What do you do if your patent is about to expire, but despite notice that Member States have agreed to grant your marketing authorization (MA) under the decentralized procedure, a MS has not yet taken the step to actually grant it? You still make your SPC application, of course.

    • Trademarks

      • Book Review: Trade Secret Protection

        As Cook notes in the introduction, “Trade secrets have only grudgingly started to form an accepted part of the world intellectual property order since TRIPs.” I’m really pleased to see more work on trade secrets. Certainly this book will appeal to the reader eager to access synopses of trade secret protection in key jurisdictions, and in particular non-English speaking ones where information may be less readily accessible. There isn’t an index, which I would have liked to have seen as it would enable cross-country comparison. However, most readers will be looking for jurisdiction-specific information, and the book’s standard chapter format and organisation by country will satisfy that need.

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent is fifteen years old. What would a file sharing technology developed today look like?

        BitTorrent was developed in 2001: today’s file-sharing technology predates the launch of Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone. In those fifteen years, surveillance and repression technologies have advanced massively. If we designed file sharing today to keep up with these developments, sharing technology would be an uncensorable, untrackable, and unidentifiable peer-to-peer mesh network between mobile devices.

        Ten years ago, activists argued that file sharing was unstoppable and would adapt to any threat using mobile transmissions. However, this innovation hasn’t taken place, maybe out of a lack of urgency. Let’s examine how such a technology could work.

      • Gotta catch ‘em all without infringing copyright: Pokémon and Freedom of Panorama

        Pokémon Go requires players to search for Pokémon in the real world, a revolutionary move in the gaming industry. Pokémon are randomly generated by the game software, using GPS tracking technology. When a player is near to a Pokémon, it will appear on her phone screen in camera mode and allow her to ‘throw’ a Pokéball at it to ‘catch’ it. The screen shows the Pokémon in the surrounding environment, making it a life-like experience. While photographs of the capture are not saved to the game, players have the option of saving the photos to their phone, thereby reproducing any surrounding works of architecture or sculptures.

      • The Selfie-Taking Monkey Who Has No Idea He Has Lawyers Has Appealed His Copyright Lawsuit

        Welp. Here we go again. For many, many years, we’ve been tracking the insane legal situation of the selfie-taking monkey, whose name we were told only recently is “Naruto.” Early on in this saga, back in 2011, our focus was on how the photographer whose camera was used, David Slater, had no legitimate claim to the copyright in the image, in large part because the copyright goes to whoever took the photo, and the copyright cannot go to a monkey, because copyright law is limited to “persons.” Every so often Slater would pop up somewhere or somehow and yell about this — twice representatives of his even threatened us with completely bogus legal action.

        However, things took a turn for the even more bizarre a year ago when PETA, an organization that sometimes appears to focus more on professional trolling rather than on the “ethical treatment of animals” as its name suggests, claimed to represent the monkey (Naruto!) and sued Slater himself for falsely claiming the copyright. While we agree that Slater doesn’t hold the copyright, neither does the monkey, because no one holds the copyright.

        Amazingly, PETA, claiming to represent the interests of an Indonesian monkey, somehow secured the services of a really big name law firm, Irell & Manella, whose name should always be associated with the fact that it took this insane case. Irell & Manella (again, somehow, this is considered a respected law firm) took the nutty position that there must be a copyright in the image, and thus the monkey deserves to get it. It completely ignores the fact that not everything gets a copyright. It’s as if the lawyers at Irell & Manella don’t even understand how copyright law works.

      • Sony Hack Results in Lawsuit Over Failure to Prevent Movie Piracy

        Movie distributors obviously don’t like piracy, but a new lawsuit raises the question of whether they have any obligation to curtail it.

        On Wednesday, Sony Pictures was hit with a complaint in Florida federal court by Possibility Pictures, the producer of To Write Love on Her Arms, starring Kat Dennings and Rupert Friend. The film, which had Justin Bieber’s mother Pattie Malette serving as an executive producer to help out with marketing, was based on a true story about the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression and addiction and the launch of a non-profit to help others similarly afflicted.

      • Irony: Sony Pictures Sued For Failing To Stop Piracy

        For many years now, the MPAA and the various studios that make it up have filed various lawsuits against various internet platforms for not waving a magic wand and making piracy disappear. This also appears to be their big complaint against Google, which has bent over backwards trying to appease the industry and it’s still not enough (of course, that may be because what the industry really wants from Google is money, not stopping piracy). But now the shoe is somewhat on the other foot as Sony Pictures is being sued for failing to stop piracy. Really.

        The case stems from the infamous Sony hack from a year and a half ago, where all of Sony Pictures’ emails were released onto the internet. Possibility Pictures is suing Sony claiming the hack created a breach of contract in its failure to stop piracy of its film, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a 2012 movie starring Kat Dennings, based on the true story of the struggles a woman went through leading to the founding of her charity (which goes by the same name as the movie). While most people focus on the emails from the hack, it should be noted that before those emails were released, the hackers released some pre-release films… including TWLOHA. And that, Possibility claims, is a breach of Sony’s contract.

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