Calling Software Patents ‘Devices’ or ‘Computer-Implemented’ to Get Past the Explicit Exclusions

Posted in America, Australia, Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This kind of rebranding strategy is nothing new


Summary: How the term CII, or computer-implemented invention, is used to bypass/avoid a meaningful debate about patents on abstract ideas and algorithms (software patents) even in 2016

TECHRIGHTS was created with software patents in mind. The activism was all along focused on the subject. But some pundits are still dodging the term “software patents” and instead saying “computer-implemented” (like CII). The EPO used to do this a lot. It misleads, sometimes intentionally. This happens a lot in the United States, where the USPTO now receives instructions which are increasingly hostile towards software patents because they are abstract..

“Just ascribing a “machine” (sometimes “device”) to some piece of code or combining code with a general-purpose computer oughtn’t make the algorithms suddenly patentable.”In Australia, in the mean time, efforts continue to achieve the unthinkable and make all software patentable. Mark Summerfield says that the “Australian Patent Office has recently issued two decisions resulting from applicants requesting to be heard following examination objections that their respective inventions did not constitute patent-eligible subject matter, i.e. a ‘manner of manufacture’ under the Australian patent law. Both decisions relate to electronic gaming machines (commonly known as ‘poker machines’ or ‘slot machines’), and both involve the question of whether particular computer-implemented features of such machines are patentable. They differ, however, in the outcome.”

The above says the word “software” not even once (and it’s a long article). It says “implemented” or “implementation” 15 times however.

Just ascribing a “machine” (sometimes “device”) to some piece of code or combining code with a general-purpose computer oughtn’t make the algorithms suddenly patentable. This is the kind of loophole embraced by the EPO and IPONZ, arguably in India as well.

Watch out for these dirty tricks.

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway” —Marshall Phelps, Microsoft

Links 31/7/2016: GNOME Maps Datafeed Back, Xen Vulnerability

Posted in News Roundup at 9:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • ReactOS 0.4.2 Nears With Many Features

    The first release candidate to the upcoming ReactOS 0.4.2 release is now available, the project aiming to be an open-source re-implementation of Microsoft Windows.

  • Events

    • Software Freedom Kosova Conference SFK’16 Call for Speakers

      SKF | 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.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Could Equal Pay, Paid Family Leave, and Pregnancy Protections Be the Issues That Bridge the Political Divide?

      The momentum to pass these critical protections for women in the states should serve as both a warning and an inspiration to Congress. Americans – both Democrats and Republicans – care about equal rights for women. So let’s hope the next Congress will pass federal laws mandating equal pay, paid family leave, and pregnancy protections.

    • Olympic Chefs Pledge to Salvage Unused Food and Feed the Hungry With It

      Some of the big-name chefs cooking for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are also activists for the hungry. Knowing full well there will be tremendous food waste at that massive event, the chefs plan to salvage as much as they can. With it, every night of the games, they will feed the hungry.

      Each day, the food preparation staff for the Olympics will have to feed an incredible 60,000 meals to 18,000 athletes, coaches and other personnel. To do that, they need a specially built kitchen that will be as big as a football field. A whopping 460,000 lbs of food will be delivered every day. Meals will be prepared and served as Brazilian, Asian, Halal, Kosher, International and Pasta/Pizza buffets.

    • Dangerous Liaisons: ChemChina’s Bid for Syngenta

      We all love to hate Monsanto. We also know that Monsanto isn’t the only poison-maker trying to pass itself off as a “farmer-friendly producer of food to feed the world.”

      Monsanto belongs to an exclusive club of dominant pesticide makers. That club, which includes Dow, Dupont, Bayer, Syngenta and BASF, is about to get a lot smaller. And a lot more dangerous.

      Bayer has been trying for months to buy Monsanto. Dow and Dupont are in talks to merge. And Switzerland-based Syngenta may soon be owned by ChemChina.

      It’s bad enough that less than a dozen multinational corporations (including Monsanto, Dupont, Bayer and Syngenta) control nearly 70 percent of the global seed market. If these mergers and buyouts go through, that number will shrink even further.

    • Schuette: Workers hid discovery of lead in blood

      Criminal charges leveled Friday against six current and former state employees center around allegations they altered or concealed alarming reports showing high levels of toxic lead in Flint’s water and the bloodstreams of the city’s children.

      Attorney General Bill Schuette’s prosecutors contend much of the cover-up occurred on or around the same day in late July last year.

      At the Department of Health and Human Services, prosecutors allege employees Nancy Peeler and Robert Scott “buried” an epidemiologist’s July 28, 2015, report showing a significant year-over-year spike in blood lead levels in Flint children.

  • Security

    • Xen patches critical guest privilege escalation bug

      A freshly uncovered bug in the Xen virtualisation hypervisor could potentially allow guests to escalate their privileges until they have full control of the hosts they’re running on.

      The Xen hypervisor is used by cloud giants Amazon Web Services, IBM and Rackspace.

      Inadequate security checks of how virtual machines access memory means a malicous, paravirtualised guest administrator can raise their system privileges to that of the host on unpatched installations, Xen said.

    • Xen Vulnerability Allows Hackers To Escape Qubes OS VM And Own the Host
    • The Security of Our Election Systems [Too much of Microsoft]

      The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises there is more data to come. The political nature of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is attacking our nation’s computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence a presidential election. This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of our democratic process. And it points to the possibility of an even worse problem in November ­ that our election systems and our voting machines could be vulnerable to a similar attack.

    • Data program accessed in cyber-attack on Democrats, says Clinton campaign [iophk: "Windows still"]

      A data program used by the campaign of the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, was “accessed” as a part of hack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that intelligence officials believe was carried out by Russia’s intelligence services, Clinton’s campaign said on Friday.

    • A Famed Hacker Is Grading Thousands of Programs — and May Revolutionize Software in the Process

      “There are applications out there that really do demonstrate good [security] hygiene … and the vast majority are somewhere else on the continuum from moderate to atrocious,” Peiter Zatko says. “But the nice thing is that now you can actually see where the software package lives on that continuum.”

      Joshua Corman, founder of I Am the Cavalry, a group aimed at improving the security of software in critical devices like cars and medical devices, and head of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative for the Atlantic Council, says the public is in sore need of data that can help people assess the security of software products.

      “Markets do well when an informed buyer can make an informed risk decision, and right now there is incredibly scant transparency in the buyer’s realm,” he says.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Ghosts of Direct Action

      In early 2009 I was walking away from a compound a platoon from the Second Ranger Battalion had just assaulted when a staff sergeant I knew held up something in the dark. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. It was small and he was bragging about it. I tried to make it out but was soon distracted. It wasn’t until I got back to Forward Operating Base Salerno and saw his pictures that I realized that he had been showing me a square piece of flesh that he had cut out of a dead woman’s neck.

      Mutilating the corpse of a female noncombatant was just the final act in a horror show that night put on by this young Ranger. He had killed several people. One was a military-aged male, the rest were women; one looked to be about thirteen.

      Why did they die? Sadly, all too often when people die in Afghanistan that question is a lot harder to answer than it should be. There are as many truths about that mission as there were people on it. But, they didn’t have to die. It could have been avoided. And the war crime that occurred after the deaths gives you an idea of the mentality of the shooter.

    • Trading Places: Swapping the Roles of Police and Military Is Bad for the Republic

      The Dallas police chief defended using the robot-delivered bomb by saying that he would have done anything to avoid more police deaths. That is understandable reasoning but flawed, because although lives of professional law enforcement personnel are very important, the use of such indiscriminate battlefield weapons may unreasonably endanger the lives of the innocent citizens the police are sworn to protect.

      Under the rules of war, militaries are permitted to kill civilians or destroy their property, even if such collateral damage is deemed likely before an attack, if the target is militarily critical. That reasoning is unacceptable for police departments, given their primary mission of protecting the public. The militarization of police with SWAT teams, armored vehicles, etc. is threatening enough to citizens’ liberty without the unnecessary use of military-grade explosives to endanger the civilians whose welfare they are supposed to be safeguarding.

    • New Documentary Pierces the Psychology of Modern Suicide Bombers

      In a scene from Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal’s new documentary Dugma: The Button, Abu Qaswara, a would-be suicide bomber, describes the sense of exhilaration he felt during an aborted suicide attack against a Syrian army checkpoint. “These were the happiest [moments] I’ve had in 32 years. If anyone had felt exactly what I felt at that moment, Muslims would want to go through the same feeling and non-Muslims would convert just to experience it,” he enthuses to the camera, visibly elated by his attempted self-immolation.

      Abu Qaswara’s attack failed after his vehicle was blocked by obstacles on the road placed by the Syrian military. But speaking shortly after he returned from his mission, it was clear that his brush with death had filled him with euphoria. “It was a feeling more than you can imagine,” he says. “Something I cannot describe, it cannot be described.”


      Only the few Syrians who appear in the film speak at length about their grievances over the crimes of the Syrian government. In contrast, the foreign volunteers appear largely driven by personal motivations. Liberating the local people from oppression appears at best a secondary concern. Perishing in the conflict and reaping the existential rewards of such an end takes precedence. Both Abu Qaswara and Abu Basir gave up comfortable lives to come to Syria, knowing that certain death would be the outcome of that decision. But rather than deterring them, the prospect of a rewarding death was a primary factor motivating their decision to fight.

    • “Eat, Pray, Starve”: Greg Grandin on Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton & the U.S. Role in Honduras

      On Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, delivered a prime-time speech in which he spoke about the nine months he spent with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras in 1980. To talk more about the significance of Tim Kaine’s time in Honduras, we speak with Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American history at New York University. His most recent article for The Nation is headlined “Eat, Pray, Starve: What Tim Kaine Didn’t Learn During His Time in Honduras.”

    • Munich shopping centre and train station evacuated after ‘bomb threat’

      A shopping centre and train station in Munich wereevacuated after police received a ‘bomb threat’ this afternoon.

      The Pasing Arcaden shopping centre and Pasing railway station were both cleared and the area sealed off by police.

      Police are understood to have received an anonymous phone call warning a bomb has been placed in the area and officers are now on the scene.

      The area was evacuated at around 5.30pm local time (4.30pm UK time) and train services were also stopped from passing through the station.

      Police searched the area and later confirmed nothing suspicious was found and there was no threat to the public.

    • Turkey coup attempt: Government cancels 50,000 passports as global concern grows over crackdown

      The Turkish government has cancelled the passports of around 50,000 people to prevent them leaving the country as a crackdown continues following a failed coup.

      Efkan Ala, the interior minister, said more than 18,000 have so far been detained over the attempt to oust President Tayyip Erdogan, while thousands of government staff are under investigation.

      The purges have provoked alarm in the international community, presenting a major stumbling block for Turkey’s campaign to join the European Union.

    • Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism

      The new imperialism differs from the old, classical imperialism in at least four major ways.

      First, contrary to the old pattern of colonial/imperial conquests and plunders, which often proved quite lucrative to the imperium, war and military operations under the new imperialism are not even cost efficient on purely economic grounds, that is, on grounds of national interests. While immoral, external military operations of past empires often proved profitable and, therefore, justifiable on national economic grounds. Military actions abroad usually brought economic benefits not only to the imperial ruling classes and war profiteers, but also (through “trickle-down” effects) to their citizens. Thus, for example, imperialism paid significant dividends to Britain, France, the Dutch, and other European powers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. As the imperial economic gains helped develop their economies, they also helped improve the living conditions of their working people and elevate the standards of living of their citizens.

      This pattern of economic gains flowing from imperial military operations, however, seems to have somewhat changed in the context of the recent U.S. imperial wars of choice. Moralities aside, U.S. military expeditions and operations of late are not justifiable even on economic grounds. Indeed, escalating U.S. military adventures and aggressions have become ever more wasteful, cost-inefficient, and burdensome to the overwhelming majority of its citizens.

    • The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit

      On July 28, 2002, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote a memorandum to American President George W. Bush about Iraq. “I will be with you, whatever,” Blair wrote with teenager’s diction. It was a pledge that Blair would keep through the year and into the illegal war against Iraq that the Bush administration prosecuted in 2003. Not only did this war break Iraq—a country weakened by the sanctions regime and its earlier wars—but it also severely threatened the legitimacy of the West in the eyes of the world. It took six years for an inquiry to be opened in Britain.

      Finally, after much delay, the Chilcot Report—all of 2.6 million words—has been released. It tells a great story of deceit. There is no Chilcot inquiry in the United States, where perhaps it is most needed. Both of the major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, are damaged by their unity on this war. Bush led the way, but Democratic front-runner for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, voted for the war in Congress. Controversy over the lead-up to the war remains in the U.S., but none of the major political parties would like a Chilcot inquiry in the U.S.

      In the U.S., the debate over Iraq has been placed on mute. Hillary Clinton’s vote for the war means that Democrats do not want to make this an issue in the presidential election. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, had supported the war in 2003. He now says he opposes it. But his entire party bears culpability for the war. In a primary debate, Trump attacked Bush for the war. It was an unusual moment. Bush’s brother Jeb Bush was on the stage then. He defended his brother, and also stood up for his party. Trump has since been silent on the Iraq war.

    • “No More War”: Protesters Disrupt Ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta’s DNC Speech

      Protests on the floor of the convention continued on Wednesday. They reached a peak when former CIA Director Leon Panetta took the stage. While Panetta was criticizing Donald Trump’s appeal to the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, many delegates started chanting “No more war!” We hear Panetta’s remarks and speak to a Bernie Sanders delegate who took part in the protest.

    • Lessons in Activism: Middle School Students Advocate for Syrian Refugees

      For the campaign around Syrian refugees, students learned about the complexities of history, the realities of ISIS and why Syrians are fleeing their country. An effective activism curriculum doesn’t deny these types of realities. Rather, it helps students find ways to defy reality with actions and in the process, learn that even the smallest acts matter. Students learned that the US announced plans to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year, but that this isn’t enough. After the Paris attacks last November, the House of Representatives immediately passed a bill that could severely limit the acceptance of people fleeing from Syria and Iraq. Students discussed the consequences of that legislation in activism class as they depicted and critiqued the SAFE Act bill. “We’d like the representative to oppose the SAFE Act, which lengthens the process for refugees to apply for asylum. We’d also like you to oppose the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (HR 4731), which gives the government the power to defund certain refugee resettlement agencies,” wrote Carolina, 13, in one of the talking points she prepared for the class’s lobbying trip to D.C. “We’d also like people in Congress to speak out against Islamophobia and bigotry against Muslims and refugees … they already have a tough life fleeing terrorism and oppressive government,” said Vidar, who is 14 years old.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • ALEC in Indianapolis: ExxonMobil and the #WebOfDenial

      This month, nineteen U.S. Senators called attention to the Web of Denial, a network of front groups that oppose any productive action to combat climate change. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led the charge, building upon his weekly “Time To Wake Up” speech series on global warming, flagging the front groups that peddle climate doubt for their clients in the oil, gas and coal industries.

      One of the top groups obstructing any form of progress is the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. ALEC convened its annual meeting in Indianapolis this week, where it hooks state politicians up with lobbyists from Koch Industries (and its many nonprofit tentacles), Peabody Energy, tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies and other industries looking to put pro-business policies in the hands of state politicians.

    • Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino

      On Monday July 18, a seven-year-old boy was shot in the legs in Kaziranga National Park in northeastern India, by park guards. Under the park’s long-established anti-poaching policy, guards are trained to shoot intruders on sight, and given total legal immunity for doing so. At least sixty-two people have been executed there in just nine years.

  • Finance

    • America’s Stateless People: How Immigration Gaps Create Poverty

      They came to America in the 1970s and 1980s as child refugees, members of the Hmong minority in Laos fleeing that country’s new communist government and persecution for helping the CIA in its covert war in Southeast Asia.

      America held the promise of safety and a piece of the American dream.

      Many of them chased that dream in California’s Central Valley, slowly, sometimes painfully, building lives in a new country where their language and culture were virtually unknown. Largely from poor rural farming families, they often struggled to adjust to a dramatically different society, with few relevant skills and limited support.

    • How Much Do Shady Financial Practices Cost You, Exactly?

      Average U.S. household loses over $100,000 to destructive activities of bankers and financiers

    • How to pay no taxes at all! (if you’re Apple, Google or Facebook)

      In only 7 minutes, Australian comedy show The Undercurrent explains exactly how companies like Apple, Google and Facebook use offshore registration, transfer payments, debt loading and tax havens to get a lower tax rate than nurses, starving their host countries like Australia of so much money that they’re cutting schools, medicare, public broadcasting, climate change and indigenous services.

    • Ireland jails three top bankers over 2008 banking meltdown

      Three senior Irish bankers were jailed on Friday for up to three-and-a-half years for conspiring to defraud investors in the most prominent prosecution arising from the 2008 banking crisis that crippled the country’s economy.

      The trio will be among the first senior bankers globally to be jailed for their role in the collapse of a bank during the crisis.

      The lack of convictions until now has angered Irish taxpayers, who had to stump up 64 billion euros – almost 40 percent of annual economic output – after a property collapse forced the biggest state bank rescue in the euro zone.

      The crash thrust Ireland into a three-year sovereign bailout in 2010 and the finance ministry said last month that it could take another 15 years to recover the funds pumped into the banks still operating.

      Former Irish Life and Permanent Chief Executive Denis Casey was sentenced to two years and nine months following the 74-day criminal trial, Ireland’s longest ever.

      Willie McAteer, former finance director at the failed Anglo Irish Bank, and John Bowe, its ex-head of capital markets, were given sentences of 42 months and 24 months respectively.

    • Theresa May confirms Crown dependencies will take part in Brexit talks

      Theresa May has written to Britain’s Crown dependencies to assure them they will play a part in negotiations to leave the EU.

    • ‘These Agreements Depend on Secrecy in Order to Pass’ – CounterSpin interviews with Lori Wallach, Peter Maybarduk and Karen Hansen-Kuhn on trade pacts and corporate globalization

      This week on CounterSpin: Few ideas are as hard-wired into corporate media as the notion that so-called “free trade” agreements of the sort we have are, despite concerns, best for everyone—and, anyway, inevitable. Given that the deals are not primarily about trade, and that what freedom they entail applies to corporations and not people, you could say media’s use of the term “free trade” implies a bias—against clarity, if nothing else.

    • Hillary Clinton Talks Tough on Shadow Banking, But Blackstone Is Celebrating at the DNC

      Blackstone, the giant Wall Street private equity firm, will hold an invitation-only reception before the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The event, at the swanky Barnes Foundation art museum, includes the usual perks for attendees: free food, drink, and complimentary shuttle buses to the final night of the convention.

      What’s unusual is that the host is precisely the kind of “shadow banker” that Hillary Clinton has singled out as needing more regulation in her rhetoric about getting tough on Wall Street.

      But Blackstone President and Chief Operating Officer Hamilton “Tony” James doesn’t seem the least bit intimidated.

      James has been a stalwart supporter of Barack Obama, holding fundraisers for him at his home, even while other Wall Street titans criticized him — in fact the co-founder of James’s own company, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, once likened Obama’s push to increase taxes on private-equity firms to a “war,” saying: “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

      Last December, James hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Hillary Clinton that featured Warren Buffett. He’s made six-figure donations to the Center for American Progress, known as Clinton’s White House in exile, and sits on CAP’s Board of Trustees. And he has made no secret of wanting to hold a high-level position in a future Democratic administration, perhaps even Treasury Secretary.

    • No New Charter Schools – NAACP Draws Line in the Sand

      The resolution goes on to oppose tax breaks to support charter schools and calls for new legislation to increase charter school transparency. Moreover, charters should not be allowed to kick students out for disciplinary reasons.

      This goes against the well-funded narrative of charter schools as vehicles to ensure civil rights.

      The pro-charter story has been told by deep pocketed investors such as the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family Foundation. But the idea that a separate parallel school system would somehow benefit black and brown children goes against history and common sense.

      The Supreme Court, after all, ruled separate but equal to be Unconstitutional in Brown vs. Board of Education. Yet somehow these wealthy “philanthropists” know better.

      People of color know that when your children are separated from the white and rich kids, they often don’t get the same resources, funding and proper education. You want your children to be integrated not segregated. You want them to be where the rich white kids are. That way it’s harder for them to be excluded from the excellent education being provided to their lighter skinned and more economically advantaged peers.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jill’s Line

      Dr. Jill Stein’s popularity surge during the Democratic National Convention led to rumors that she opposes vaccines, but that isn’t the case.

    • Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers

      Last summer you said you would not run as a third party candidate if you did not win the Democratic nomination. You said, “the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States.” This was before the unexpected and unprecedented success of your grassroots campaign where you won 22 states and almost half of the delegates in a primary process that was stacked against you every step of the way.

      We take you as a man of your word and we certainly don’t want Trump to be president either. A Trump presidency would be a terrible step backwards for working people, people of color, immigrants, students, retirees, the LGBTQ community, the environment, and the entire world, which is why more than ever we need you to reconsider the situation and make a third party run.

      Polls show that Hillary Clinton, the official Democratic nominee, is an incredibly weak candidate in the general election. Even after spending $57 million in ads (vs. $4 million by Trump) she is trailing slightly, and Trump is actually leading in several important swing states. Frankly, Hillary Clinton does not have the credibility to take on the dangerous appeal of Donald Trump.

      For a variety of reasons, many justified and some not, people don’t trust her. We are now faced with two of the most disliked presidential candidates in the history of the country. Unfortunately, too many people are disillusioned with politics and the lack of inspiring viable candidates will only hurt voter turnout. If there was ever an opportunity to break the corporate two party duopoly, this is it. So, we respectfully ask you to consider Jill Stein’s offer of a united Green Party ticket.

      A Sanders/Stein campaign would be more popular than Hillary Clinton and more successful against Trump. If polling shows you in the lead before the election, we trust that Secretary Clinton would do the right thing and not be a spoiler.

    • Why Trump Supporters Think He’ll Win

      “You people in the Acela corridor aren’t getting it. Again. You think Donald Trump is screwing up because he keeps saying things that you find offensive or off-the-wall. But he’s not talking to you. You’re not his audience, you never were, and you never will be. He’s playing this game in a different way from anybody you’ve ever seen. And he’s winning too, in a different way from anybody you’ve ever seen.

      “Our convention worked. Donald—I’m not on the payroll, I can call him that—Donald energized his voters: people who are afraid of crime and worried about the mass immigration that’s transforming their country and displacing them. We talk a lot about polls, but you ignore the polls that don’t show what you expect to see.

      “Here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to run up vote totals like you’ve never seen in places you’ve never been. Not just coal country, either. No, we don’t have what you’d call a proper campaign. What do we need it for? Campaigns spend most of their money on TV ads that do nothing except entertain you on YouTube on your lunch hour—oh, and pay huge commissions to the consultants who make them. It’s all a waste and rip-off. If our message is exciting, our voters will get to the polls on their own. And you have to admit: Our message is exciting!

    • Will Hillary Clinton get a convention bounce in the polls? If not, she’s in deep trouble.

      Last week, halfway through the Republican convention in Cleveland, I wrote that the GOP gathering was so shambolic that it might not give Donald Trump the “bounce” he needed.

      I was right about the convention, but wrong about the bounce.

      Trump undeniably got one. In the average of national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, Trump was three points behind Hillary Clinton before Cleveland; now he’s one point ahead.

      The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showed a similar swing with a more striking result: Trump seven points ahead.

      What does that mean for Hillary Clinton, whose convention in Philadelphia was smoother and snazzier? It means she’s virtually certain to get a bounce too.

    • Hillary’s Convention Con

      This immense gap has been the Clinton duo’s con job on America for many years. Sugarcoating phrases, populist flattery, getting the election over with and jumping back into the fold of the plutocracy is their customary M.O.

      An anti-Hillary campaign button sums it up. Imagine a nice picture of Hillary with the words “More Wall Street” above her head and the words “More War” below her head.

      Alert voters could see it coming at the Convention: the militarism for Hillary the Hawk on day four in Philadelphia and the arrival of the corporate fat cats. Or, as the New York Times headlined: “Top Donors Leave Sidelines, Checkbooks in Hand.”

      The best thing Hillary Clinton has going for her is the self-destructive, unstable, unorganized, fact and truth-starved, egomaniacal, cheating, plutocratic, Donald Trump (See my column “How Unpatriotic Is Donald Trump?”).

      That’s where our nation’s two-party political leadership is today. When will the vast left/right majority rise to take over and reverse the eviscerating policies and practices of this political duopoly?

    • She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention

      + First things first. I want to apologize to the Sandernistas for any impolite things I may have written about you in the past 10 months. I especially want to apologize to those of you who rose up after your leader abandoned you, after Bernie wiped out your votes and muted your voices, after he turned you over to the DNC’s thuggish floor managers and security guards, after he sat passively as your brave chants of “No More Drones” were drowned out by the fascist war-cry of “USA! USA!!” I want to apologize for doubting your resolve. I want to apologize without qualification. You didn’t cry when Bernie betrayed you. Not for long. You marched right back into the Wells Fargo Center intent on spoiling the party. You didn’t sour on your ideals. You refused to be domesticated. You pissed on their carpet. You shouted down their war criminals. You made this squalid affair fun for a few precious hours. And that ain’t bad. Somewhere Abbie Hoffman is cracking a smile (though perhaps not at the spectacle of Meryl Streep ripping off his wardrobe during her bewildering performance, an act so incoherent it made one long for the Absurdist theater of Clint Eastwood and his empty chair routine.)

    • Long Live the Queen of Chaos

      Bernie Sanders’ program proposals and Mrs. Clinton’s theorized move Left will be but distant memories.

    • Two (Three, Four?) Data Points on DNC Hack: Why Does Wikileaks Need an Insurance File?

      This detail is important because it says Julian Assange is setting the agenda (and possibly, the decision to fully dox DNC donors) for the Wikileaks release, and that agenda does not perfectly coincide with Guccifer’s (which is presumed to be a cut-out for GRU).

      As I’ve noted, Wikileaks has its own beef with Hillary Clinton, independent of whom Vladimir Putin might prefer as President or any other possible motive for Russia to do this hack.

      Now consider this bizarre feature of several high level leak based stories on the hack: the claim of uncertainty about how the files got from the hackers to Wikileaks. This claim, from NYT, seems bizarrely stupid, as Guccifer and Wikileaks have both said the former gave the latter the files.


      But then there’s this detail. On June 17, Wikileaks released an insurance file — a file that will be automatically decrypted if Wikileaks is somehow impeded from releasing the rest of the files. It has been assumed that the contents of that file are just the emails that were already released, but that is almost certainly not the case. After all, Wikileaks has already released further documents (some thoroughly uninteresting voice mails that nevertheless further impinge on the privacy of DNC staffers).

    • Meet Some Sanders Delegates Who Plan To Turn Anger Into Positive Action

      Luz Sosa came to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia as a disappointed Bernie Sanders delegate. But she is leaving fired up to take on big political fights in her home town of Milwaukee.

      “This election was never about Bernie Sanders. These elections were about issues the American people care about,” such as “families struggling to put food on the table,” said Sosa, who is Latino outreach organizer for Citizen Action Wisconsin and an economics professor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

      “Bernie Sanders has been the voice of the movement, but the movement has always been there,” she said, and her advise to her fellow Bernie Sanders supporters “is to get involved in the organizations that are already working on the issues that Bernie had mentioned before.”

      Sosa on Wednesday was among a group of convention delegates, most of whom representing Sanders, who gathered at a reception sponsored by People’s Action and its Pennsylvania affiliate, Keystone Progress.

    • Hillary Clinton Will Be Good for Business, Predicts Chamber of Commerce Lobbyist

      When Jennifer Pierotti Lim strode up to the podium on the final day of the Democratic National Convention, she was identified as the co-founder of Republican Women for Hillary, a group of conservative activists supporting Hillary Clinton.

      Lim focused her brief comments on Donald Trump’s history of sexist comments, telling the audience that “Trump’s loathsome comments about women and our appearances are too many to list and too crass to repeat.”

      But what was even more significant is her day job as a top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; she’s the Chamber’s director of health policy.

      It was the latest indication that the U.S. big-business community may be preparing to back Hillary Clinton, which would be a truly tectonic shift.

    • In the Hillary Clinton Era, Democrats Welcome Lobbying Money Back Into the Convention

      By quietly dropping a ban on direct donations from registered federal lobbyists and political action committees, the Democratic National Committee in February reopened the floodgates for corruption that Barack Obama had put in place in 2008.

      Secret donors with major public-policy agendas were welcomed back in from the cold and showered with access and appreciation at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

      Major donors were offered “Family and Friends” packages, including suites at the Ritz-Carlton, backstage passes, and even seats in the Clinton family box. Corporate lobbyists like Heather Podesta celebrated the change, telling Time: “My money is now good.”

      What was going on inside the convention hall was also reflected outside, at costly events sponsored by the fossil fuel industry, technology companies, for-profit colleges, pharmaceutical companies, and railway companies, to name a few.

    • Both Parties Are Playing the Mexico Card

      While it has been cast mainly as the villain, the unexpected spotlight has sent politicians and activists on both sides of the border seeking to get their message out. If they’ve learned anything from the Trump playbook in the past months, it’s that negative attention is still free publicity.

    • Revealed: AARP Is Funding ALEC

      AARP, the non-profit seniors organization that exists to promote the financial security, pensions and healthcare of those over 50, is secretly funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization whose bills have acted against the interests of ordinary Americans, including retirees and their families.

      The Center for Media and Democracy has learned that AARP has recently joined ALEC, and that it is a named sponsor of the ALEC annual meeting taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana from July 27-29, 2016.

    • Patriot Games, From Watergate to Email Hacks

      There has been a break-in at the Democratic National Committee. Documents were stolen with the apparent intention of manipulating the results of a presidential election.

    • Kshama Sawant vs. Rebecca Traister on Clinton, Democratic Party & Possibility of a Female President

      As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes history by becoming the first woman to accept a major-party presidential nomination, we speak with Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York Magazine who has covered Clinton for a decade. Her most recent article is headlined “Hillary Is Poised to Make the ‘Impossible Possible’—for Herself and for Women in America.” We are also joined by Kshama Sawant, a Socialist city councilmember in Seattle who helped win a $15/hour minimum wage for all workers in Seattle.

    • Trump Gets His Talking Points From White Supremacist Twitter Accounts

      Donald Trump’s call on Russia to hack and release Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails was one of the stranger moments in what’s been one of the stranger campaigns in US history.

      It was a sign that Trump is either stupid or trying to join the Ronald Reagan/Richard Nixon club of Republicans who have betrayed their country to get elected president.

      But as bizarre as it was, Trump’s “Russian request” wasn’t the most interesting part of his press conference yesterday in Tampa, Florida — that came when he accused Vladimir Putin of calling President Obama “the N-Word.”

    • Assange: ‘We have more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is boasting about how his group’s release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails is affecting the US presidential election — and says it has unreleased information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

      “We have more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign,” Assange told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “Anderson 360″ Friday night. “That is correct to say that.”

      Assange has been coy about how WikiLeaks came into possession of internal Democratic party cyber information. The FBI and Justice Department are investigating a computer hack of Democratic nominee Clinton’s presidential campaign in addition to its examination of intrusions of other Democratic Party organizations, two law enforcement officials told CNN.

    • Convention Dissent: There’s Less Than Meets the Eye

      Cast your memory back exactly eight years, to the opening night of the Democratic Convention in Denver: Aug. 25, 2008. The story that night was the threat of the “PUMA” which either stood for “People United Means Action” or Party Unity My Ass.” According to Adam Nathaniel Peck writing in The New Republic, “PUMAs appeared dozens of times on cable news to defend Clinton and to promise mischief at the nominating convention and in the general election. Their anger epitomized a wider unrest that has been mostly forgotten as Obama went on to win two general elections”.

    • Fury as Trump mocks Muslim soldier’s mother Ghazala Khan

      Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has attracted outrage by mocking a dead US Muslim soldier’s mother.

      Ghazala Khan stood silently next to her husband as he attacked Mr Trump in an emotional speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

      Mr Trump suggested she may not have been allowed to speak.

      Republicans and Democrats said the Republican candidate’s comments were no way to talk of a hero’s mother. Mrs Khan said she was upset by his remarks.

      Last week her husband Khizr Khan told Democrats Mr Trump had sacrificed “nothing and no-one” for his country.

    • Waving the Constitution at Those Who Ignore It

      Khan was confronting Trump about his campaign in which he had noted that “Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.” (Quotes come from this copy of Khan’s transcript.) Khan then continued, presumably in reference to banning Muslims from the US: “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”

    • Trump – Lowlife Scum Sociopath

      Trump is evil scum without human emotions, like a venomous snake. He is not worthy of any respect, certainly not the office of POTUS. Like a venomous snake, people should avoid Trump and stay very far away.

    • Parade of Speakers at DNC Paint Trump as Unfit for Presidency in Every Way, from Billionaire Bloomberg to an ex-CIA Director

      A parade of speakers at the Democratic Convention painted a devastating picture of Donald Trump as the most unqualified, inexperienced and unpredictable nominee in anyone’s memory, urging Americans—including independents—to vote for Clinton or face dire consequences.

    • Intelligence Chief Suffers Intelligence Failure Over His Own Team’s Willingness to Brief Donald Trump

      The country’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, insisted on Thursday that there has been no hesitation within the intelligence community when it comes to giving classified briefings to the presidential candidates, including Donald Trump.

      “Is there any hesitation in the intel community to brief either of these candidates?” CNN’s Jim Sciutto asked the director of National Intelligence at the Aspen Security Forum, eliciting laughter from the audience.

      “No there isn’t,” Clapper said, going on to describe the briefing as a nonpartisan tradition. “We’ve got a team all prepared,” he said.

      But several news reports over the past several months have indicated there was dissension in the ranks when it comes to telling Trump secrets — culminating in a Washington Post story Thursday night that quoted a senior intelligence official saying, “I would refuse.”

      All of which raises the question: How good can Clapper be at ferreting out secrets from foreign adversaries if he doesn’t even know what his own staff is thinking?

      Then again, he could just have been lying. He’s done it before.

    • [Links corrected] “The Two-Party System Is the Worst Case Scenario” — An Interview With the Green Party’s Jill Stein
    • The banality of Golden Dawn

      Golden Dawn remains Greece’s third most popular party. Since 2012, the party has succeeded in maintaining the solidarity and groupness of its voters intact during a series of electoral contests (local, national, and European).

      Nevertheless, Golden Dawn’s leadership is currently standing trial on criminal accusations and this has complicated the operation of the party. The questions addressed here are: How significant is Golden Dawn as a political actor and what does this imply about Greece’s stateness? Does Golden Dawn still manage to attract voters on the basis of its opposition to immigration and how?

    • Michael Eric Dyson vs. Eddie Glaude on Race, Hillary Clinton and the Legacy of Obama’s Presidency

      On Wednesday night, President Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and implored the nation to vote for Hillary Clinton. As Obama seeks to pass the torch to his secretary of state, we host a debate on Hillary Clinton, her rival Donald Trump and President Obama’s legacy between Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson. Glaude’s most recent book is “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul,” and he recently wrote an article for Time magazine headlined “My Democratic Problem with Voting for Hillary Clinton.” Dyson is the author of “The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America” and wrote a cover article for the New Republic titled, “Yes She Can: Why Hillary Clinton Will Do More for Black People Than Obama.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Battling Censorship in Lesotho and South Africa

      A newspaper editor is recovering from surgery after being nearly assassinated in Lesotho for an article he published about a high profile army commander. Meanwhile in South Africa, journalists claim victory in their censorship row with the state broadcaster, the SABC.

      The truth is mightier than the guns of darkness, a top rights group has hit out in condemning an assassination attempt on the editor of the Lesotho Times and Sunday Express.

      Lloyd Mutungamiri was attacked by two unknown gunmen on 9 July, in apparent retaliation for his article about an alleged exit package for the country’s army commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.

    • Proposed bill on Contempt of Court will further entrench self-censorship in Singapore

      On 30 July, Community Action Network was invited to speak at an event “Protecting our judiciary and free speech” at the Singapore Management University. This is an excerpt of the speech.

      In the last 5 years, the government has clamped down on freedom of expression in ways which we have not seen since pre-GE (General Elections) 2011. This is no doubt due to the government’s perceived threats of the influence of social media. In the cases where it has relied on case law to deal with contempt of court, it has been arbitrary in how it decided what it was, and what scandalising the judiciary meant. This proposed Bill in our view, codifies this arbitrariness even though it claims it seeks to clarify it.

    • Critics Fear Crackdown on Palestinian Free Speech as Israel Takes Aim at Facebook

      Erdan called Facebook a “monster” because it has become the platform of choice for Palestinians to denounce Israeli rule and broadcast their intention to attack Israelis. Muhammad Tarayra, the 17-year-old Palestinian behind the June 30 knife attack in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, had written on Facebook that “death is a right and I demand my right.” He expressed anger that Israeli soldiers had killed his cousin after he tried to run over them, according to Israeli news reports.

      Now, Israeli officials are seeking to pressure Facebook to take down posts similar to Tarayra’s. On July 13, Erdan and Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s justice minister, submitted a bill to the Israeli Knesset that would empower courts to compel Facebook to remove content deemed violent. And amid Israel’s legislative push against Facebook — including a separate measure that would see Facebook fined if it did not remove content inciting people to terrorism — an Israeli law firm has also filed suit against the social media company in a U.S. court.

      The moves amount to a multi-pronged campaign aimed at Facebook, which has been increasingly drawn into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli ministers have cast Facebook in the role of terror supporter and now want to force the company to police Palestinian speech they say leads to violence.

      But Israeli laws against incitement have also been used to arrest Palestinians whose Facebook posts criticize Israeli rule but do not explicitly support violence. Palestinians say that Facebook does not fuel militant attacks against Israel and that it is Israel’s decadeslong occupation and discriminatory policies against Palestinians that lead to violence.

    • Pakistan decides to contact Facebook over Kashmir posts’ censorship
    • Pakistan to contact Facebook over Kashmir posts’ censorship
    • The Facebook-Kashmir Blocks: Technical Errors, Editorial Mistakes and Invisible Censorship Galore
    • The campaign that ‘shot’ Mark Zuckerberg in the face
    • Abandoning Nuance, Facebook Is Deeming Posts On Kashmir ‘Terror Content’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • I Con the Record Rolls Out Its 3-Page Intel Collection Efficacy Process

      Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.50.04 PMLast year, PCLOB suggested that the intelligence community formalize its process to assess the efficacy of intelligence collection. While it made the recommendation as part of its 702 report, the recommendation itself came against the background of Congress and the IC having decided that the phone dragnet wasn’t really worth the cost and privacy exposure.

    • Federal Judge Rips Uber Apart Over Dirt-Digging Investigation

      In December of last year, Yale environmental researcher Spencer Meyer filed suit against Uber, alleging price fixing by Uber’s drivers and founder in violation of federal antitrust law. Hardly the first person to accuse Uber of corporate malfeasance, Meyer nonetheless became the target of private investigators, working for a security company hired by Uber, who attempted to dig up derogatory information — an act the district judge hearing the case, Jed Rakoff, has now, in a 31-page order, called “blatantly fraudulent and arguably criminal.”

      Emails turned over by Uber on the judge’s instructions and summarized in the order show that on the day Meyer filed suit, Uber counsel Salle Yoo contacted the company’s chief security officer, asking, “Could we find out a little more about this plaintiff?”

      Uber investigations chief Mat Henley then selected a New York-based private investigative firm called Ergo, also known as Global Precision Research, and began working with one of its executives, Todd Egeland, Henley said in a sworn deposition. Egeland’s online bios state openly that he is a 28-year veteran of the CIA with experience in counterintelligence and cyberthreats.

      From the very start, the Uber-Ergo deal was set up to avoid potential scrutiny: Court-obtained documents reveal that both parties used Wickr, a self-deleting messaging app, and encrypted email “to avoid potential discovery issues,” although, as seen in the email message below, from Henley to two Ergo executives, including Egeland, some of the material was eventually discovered.

    • Brazil Freezes $11 Million in Facebook Assets Over WhatsApp Data Dispute

      A court in northwestern Brazil has frozen more than $11 million worth of assets belonging to Facebook, a public prosecutor said Wednesday, following the social media giant’s failure to provide the court with data on users of its messaging service Whatsapp.

      The $11.7 million in funds was frozen after Facebook declined to provide data on Whatsapp users under criminal investigation, prosecutor Alexandre Jabur told Reuters. The funds relate to fines imposed for failing to comply with the Brazilian court order.

    • ‘Deeply Troubling’: Ex-Ambassador, Intel Officials Blast Trump Russia Comments
    • Pressure Grows on Obama to Name DNC Hackers [Ed: the ‘experts’ are Microsoft-connected]

      But six U.S. officials and security experts have told The Daily Beast that the evidence linking Russia to the hack appears conclusive. Obama himself stepped closer to pinning the hacks on Russia when he told NBC News that “experts have attributed this to the Russians” and that it was “possible” the leak was designed to help the Trump campaign.

    • NSA Whistleblowers Doubt DNC’s Claim of Russian Role in Damaging E-mail Leaks

      Anyone listening to the mainstream media is convinced that Russian hackers released the thousands of Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mails made public by WikiLeaks. Even Donald Trump mused about the possibility of Putin’s people being behind the breach.

      Those a little more familiar with the workings of the federal government and issues of cybersecurity wonder if the “The Russians did it!” isn’t a ruse concocted by a coterie of collaborators closer to home.

      Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower currently in exile in Russia, claimed that the NSA could solve the mystery because it assuredly knows who hacked the DNC, and he tweeted on July 25 that “Evidence that could publicly attribute responsibility for the DNC hack certainly exists at #NSA, but DNI [Director of National Intelligence] traditionally objects to sharing.”

    • Hack infects Russian government computers

      Hackers struck the Russian government this weekend, reports said.

      Following data breaches on the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party servers that sources blamed on the regime of Vladimir Putin, a computer virus infected the networks of at least 20 Russian governmental organizations, officials with the country’s intelligence service told the BBC Saturday.

      Russia’s Federal Security Service did not say who they believe penetrated Russian networks but revealed the hack was “planned and made professionally” and also targeted defense companies and infrastructure, the report said.

      Meanwhile, the US National Security Agency’s elite hacking unit is likely tracking Russian-government cyber-spies to determine if they are responsible for the breach at the Democratic National Committee, ABC News reported.

      Federal intelligence officials said the NSA is able to “hack back” suspected organizations after an attack.

      The Obama administration has not publicly attributed the cyber attacks to Russia, which has denied involvement.

    • The NSA Is Likely ‘Hacking Back’ Russia’s Cyber Squads [Ed: Trying to make it seem reactionary… puff piece]

      U.S. government hackers at the National Security Agency are likely targeting Russian government-linked hacking teams to see once and for all if they’re responsible for the massive breach at the Democratic National Committee, according to three former senior intelligence officials. It’s a job that the current head of the NSA’s elite hacking unit said they’ve been called on to do many times before.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 911 Tapes Released in Charles Kinsey Shooting, Pokes Massive Hole in Police Narrative of What Happened

      Last week, online video surfaced of an African-American therapist lying on the ground with his hands in the air moments before he was shot by a North Miami police officer.

      Charles Kinsey, 62, was stretched out beside his autistic patient Arnaldo Rios-Soto, who had wandered away from a local group home, before he was shot in the leg by police. Authorities defended the shooting, which was prompted by a 911 call from a neighbor claiming Rios-Soto had a gun and was attempting to kill himself. Recordings of the harrowing 911 call have since been released, revealing key details missing from the original police narrative.

      In the recording, an unidentified woman can be heard telling the dispatcher that the man with the “gun” looked mentally-ill and that the object he was holding might not be a gun at all.

      “There’s this guy in the middle of the road, and he has what appears to be a gun,” the woman said in a 911 tape released late Thursday by Miami-Dade police. “He has it to his head, and there’s a guy there trying to talk him out of it.”

      “I don’t know if it’s a gun,” she continued. “But he has something the shape of a gun, so just be careful. “But he’s sitting in the middle of the road.”

      The caller also described the men in detail, telling the dispatcher “He’s a Spanish guy, young kid. Spanish guy with gray shorts and gray pants. The guy that’s trying to talk him out of it is green shirt and black shorts. But I think the Spanish guy looks like a mentally ill person.”

      A short time later, SWAT officer Jonathan Aledda fired a single shot at Kinsey, hitting him in the leg. Rios Soto, 26, sat cross-legged next to his caretaker and continued to fumble with what turned out to be a toy truck. Video of the shooting quickly went viral and sparked national outrage over yet another Black man shot at the hands of police. Luckliy, Kinsey survived.

    • Chelsea Manning Faces Charges for Trying to Take Her Own Life

      These new charges, which Army employees verbally informed Chelsea were related to the July 5th incident, include, “resisting the force cell move team;” “prohibited property;” and “conduct which threatens.” If convicted, Chelsea could face punishment including indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security, and an additional nine years in medium custody. They may negate any chances of parole.

    • In America, the UN Finds the Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association Are Being Eroded, and Race Plays a Big Factor

      The U.N.’s special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association completed a 17-day mission to the United States this week, and he drew some concerning conclusions about the state of those rights in this country.

      Maini Kiai covered an impressive 10 cities in 17 days. He observed protests at the political conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia and visited cities rocked by the police killings of Black men, like Baton Rouge, Baltimore, and Ferguson.

    • The NYPD Is Already a Small Army—Now It Is Hyping Terror Threats to Militarize Even More

      The NYPD is already the largest and most well-resourced police force in the United States, with more than 34,000 officers on its payroll and a budget that hovers over $5 billion annually.

      But now, the New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio are invoking the specter of ISIS-style terror and the supposed “war on cops” to spend at least another $7.5 million on military-style gear.

    • What Are the DNC Hack(s) Rated on Obama’s New Cyber-Orange Alert System?

      The question is still more problematic if you try to grade the OPM hack, which has to be far closer to a Level 4 (because of the risk it placed clearance holders under). But do you also lump it in with, say, the hack of Anthem, which is understood to be related?

      I will ask the White House tomorrow if it has ranked the DNC hack(s). But for now, where do you think it would rate?

    • Target of Contested National Security Letter Was a Muslim the FBI Wanted to Turn Informant

      The target of a federal investigation that set off a more than decadelong battle over secret subpoenas called national security letters was a Muslim prison reform advocate the FBI wanted to become an informant.

      Nick Merrill, who fought to make the information public, revealed that information for the first time at a hacker conference in New York City.

      Merrill was the head of an internet hosting company when the controversy began. He had launched a small New York-based internet service provider called Calyx Internet Access in the 1990s, and he also consulted on digital security.

      In 2004, the FBI sent him a national security letter demanding extensive records on one of his customers.

      National security letters are secret subpoenas the FBI can send to internet and technology companies to demand various types of records about their customers’ online behaviors without ever getting a court order. In Merrill’s case, that request was particularly broad — for browsing records, email address information, billing information, and more.

    • Who Would Trayvon Have Been? Becoming a Black Man in the United States

      I don’t remember what I was doing when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. I’m sure I was watching the All-Star game, as I had done since I was a kid even younger than Trayvon. I may have even made a snack run to 7-11. I almost certainly was tweeting, or at the very least reading Twitter. I may have been on deadline and convincing myself that watching the game wasn’t procrastinating but all a part of my writing process. I was probably stressing about money. I probably wasn’t thinking about dead black boys.

      I’ve had the opportunity to do a number of things Trayvon will never have the chance to, and the guilt of that weighs heavily on me. Everything Trayvon did that supposedly justified his death — wear hoodies, walk to the store at night, buy Skittles, have tattoos, smoke weed, be suspended from school — I did. I could have been Trayvon. So many of us black boys trying to become black men in America could have been. Knowing that made his death that much harder to stomach.

    • Police Incitement Against Black Lives Matter Is Putting Protesters in Danger

      From the floor of the Republican National Convention to the online pages of the Blue Lives Matter Facebook community, it is now commonplace for public officials, police and first responders to openly declare war on Black Lives Matter — the civil rights movement of our times.

      In some cases, this climate has given way to overt intimidation, with the captain of the Columbia, South Carolina fire department fired earlier this month for threatening to run over Black Lives Matter protesters, followed by the termination of three other first responders for related offenses. According to the count of Sarah Kaplan, reporting for The Washington Post, those South Carolina officials “are among at least a dozen public employees who have lashed out against protesters on social media and been punished for it.” Yet, many more appear to have faced no consequences at all.

    • Buddhist temples attacked in Sumatra

      Indonesian authorities detained seven people in northern Sumatra island on Saturday on suspicion of attacking several Buddhist temples the previous night, officials said.

      A spokeswoman for North Sumatra provincial police said the seven had led a mob that damaged at least three temples and other property in the town of Tanjung Balai, near Indonesia’s fourth-biggest city, Medan. No one was injured.

      Indonesia is a Muslim-majority nation but has a sizable ethnic Chinese minority, many of whom are Buddhist. The country has a history of anti-Chinese violence, most recently in the late 1990s amid the political and economic crisis that brought down Suharto.

      But police officials denied Friday’s attack was aimed at the Chinese community.

    • Make Love Not Porn founder Cindy Gallop: Emma Watson was wrong to call for feminist alternatives to porn

      “Like women in many other endeavours; journalism, publishing, advertising, film-making, television, there are a whole other hosts of feminists and women making amazing work, plugging away who never get showcased in mainstream media, who can’t get people to come to their sites and pay them money for what they’re doing. So when Emma Watson goes, ‘there should be this and there should be this’, no wonder those women feel very, very upset. I completely empathise.”

      Gallop has even tried to get in touch with a contact at the UN (where Watson is a GoodWill Ambassador for women) to meet the Harry Potter actress.

    • Father ‘who kept British daughter in cage in Saudi Arabia for four years’ loses legal bid to gag media

      An academic at the centre of family court litigation after being accused of imprisoning his 21-year-old daughter at their home in Saudi Arabia has failed in a bid to limit reporting of the case.

      Amina Al-Jeffery – who grew up in Swansea and has dual British and Saudi Arabian nationality – says her father, Mohammed Al-Jeffery, locks her up because she “kissed a guy”.

      Lawyers representing Miss Al-Jeffery have taken legal action in London in a bid to protect her.

      They have asked Mr Justice Holman to look at ways of coming to her aid.

    • Security Territory And Population Part 3: Security As The Basis For Governing

      Security is connected to liberalism as a form of government. This last difference helps us see the nature of liberalism as a political ideal. It promises more freedom of action, more freedom of response to realty.

    • Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford on Why the Clintons Won Over Black America

      Despite her dogged support of her husband’s bills on welfare “reform” and mass incarceration—policies that devastated black America—and her past reference to urban black youths as “superpredators,” black Americans favored Hillary Clinton generously in the 2016 Democratic primary.

    • What We Wear: Another Way to “Vote”

      For more than two decades, more and more Americans have become aware of the exploitation and violence associated with much of the globalized garment industry producing more than 95 percent of our clothes. A series of media exposures, including the 1996 revelation that TV host Kathy Lee Gifford had endorsed a clothing line produced by Honduran children in sweatshop conditions, spurred a growing consciousness of labor abuses in many countries.

    • Despite Clinton Endorsement, Bernie Lays Foundation to Carry On “Revolution”

      Sanders has started a “social welfare” 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, to support progressive groups seeking to coach and vet those who want to run for office. He touted the group, called “Our Revolution,” in an email sent to supporters earlier this week.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Google Enchances Its Security By Enabling HSTS Encryption For Google.com

      Google had revealed its latest intentions to enhance encryption level of its domains. The same will be done by enabling HSTS encryption across various products preventing users from being redirected to unsafe links wrapped in the secure shell of HTTPS protocol.

    • If Theresa May wants to improve productivity, she needs to start with our broadband

      We hear a lot of talk from politicians about the urgency of improving the UK’s poor productivity. Upgrading digital connections is plainly a vital element of delivering that. How can we encourage more people to set up businesses if they cannot get reliable and fast broadband?

    • Big Telecom Wants a DC Circuit Net Neutrality Review. Here’s Why That’s Unlikely

      The nation’s largest cable and telecom industry trade groups on Friday asked a federal court for a rare “en banc” review of last month’s decision upholding US rules protecting net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible to consumers.

      The industry petitions come six weeks after a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a landmark ruling affirming Federal Communications Commission rules barring cable and phone companies from favoring certain internet services over others.

      Friday’s petitions, which request a hearing by the full DC Circuit Court of Appeals, were filed by USTelecom, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the American Cable Association, and wireless trade group CTIA, which collectively represent the nation’s largest cable and phone companies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Top 10 Free Movie Download Websites That Are Completely Legal

        You’ll be surprised to find The Internet Archive sitting at the top of our free movie download websites. It like a goldmine for the fans of movies, music, and books. From The Internet Archive, you can download hundreds of movies for free in the form of torrents.

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