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11.29.16

Links 29/11/2016: Core Apps Hackfest, MuckRock Goes FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Greenlight for Girls: Finding the STEM Leaders of the Future

      There is growing anxiety within tech companies about the lack of skilled professionals to keep up with demand. There’s also a realization that one of the largest untapped resources is women. A keynote at the recent Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Berlin described a potential solution to the challenge called Greenlight for Girls, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide girls around the world with the opportunity to love STEM.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fans poke fun of Flint Water Crisis before U-M, Ohio State game

      It’s not surprising that during rivalry week between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University, offensive and vulgar things are exchanged by the two fan bases.

      Usually, the insults are directed at the teams, players and schools involved in the rivalry.

    • Michigan Pediatrician Gives Update On Children’s Health, One Year After Flint Water Crisis

      Flint, Michigan is still struggling more than a year in a half after dangerous lead levels were found in the water. Dr. Hanna-Attisha was one of the first to raise concerns about children’s health. NPR’s Scott Simon asks the pediatrician for an update.

    • Send patients to private sector to avert winter crisis, hospitals told

      Hospitals have been told to discharge thousands of patients and pass some scheduled surgery to private organisations to reduce pressure ahead of a potential winter crisis, it was reported.

      Leaked memos also revealed that managers have been banned from declaring black alerts, the highest level, when hospital services are unable to cope with demand, the Daily Telegraph said.

      The newspaper claimed instructions were sent by NHS England and the regulator NHS Improvement last month to reduce the levels of bed occupancy in hospitals, which are the most crowded they have ever been ahead of winter.

      In the three months to the end of September, 89.1% of acute and general beds were full, compared with 87% last year, prompting the order for hospital trusts to take the drastic measures.

    • WHO Group Suggests New Name For Falsified Medicines, Dropping ‘Counterfeit’

      A widely representative World Health Organization technical working group has recommended new terminology for substandard or falsified medicines, after years of sharp disagreement among WHO members that led to the tongue-twister: “substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit” medical products. The working group recommends a simpler formula: kick out intellectual property rights by dropping the term “counterfeit” and just call the products “substandard and falsified.”

    • FAO Postpones New Director For Office In Geneva

      The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) today announced the postponement of the assumption of duties of the person appointed to become the new director of the FAO liaison office in Geneva. The postponement comes after the government of Peru raised concerns that FAO’s appointment of former Peruvian first lady Nadine Heredia Alarcón interferes with a government investigation of corruption and money-laundering against her.

  • Security

    • ‘You Hacked,’ Cyber Attackers Crash Muni Computer System Across SF [Ed: Microsoft Windows]

      That was the message on San Francisco Muni station computer screens across the city, giving passengers free rides all day on Saturday.

    • SF’s Transit Hack Could’ve Been Way Worse—And Cities Must Prepare

      This weekend, San Francisco’s public transit riders got what seemed like a Black Friday surprise: The system wouldn’t take their money. Not that Muni’s bosses didn’t want to, or suddenly forgot about their agency’s budget shortfalls.

      Nope—someone had attacked and locked the computer system through which riders pay their fares. Payment machines told riders, “You Hacked. ALL data encrypted,” and the culprit allegedly demanded a 100 Bitcoin ransom (about $73,000).

      The agency acknowledged the attack, which also disrupted its email system, and a representative said the agency refused to pay off the attacker. Unable to collect fares, Muni opened the gates and kept trains running, so people could at least get where they were going. By Monday morning, everything was back to normal.

    • Newly discovered router flaw being hammered by in-the-wild attacks

      Online criminals—at least some of them wielding the notorious Mirai malware that transforms Internet-of-things devices into powerful denial-of-service cannons—have begun exploiting a critical flaw that may be present in millions of home routers.

    • Locking Down Your Linux Server

      No matter what your Linux, you need to protect it with an iptable-based firewall.

      Yes! You’ve just set up your first Linux server and you’re ready to rock and roll! Right? Uh, no.

      By default, your Linux box is not secure against attackers. Oh sure, it’s more secure than Windows XP, but that’s not saying much.

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Reproducible Builds: week 83 in Stretch cycle
    • Neutralizing Intel’s Management Engine

      Five or so years ago, Intel rolled out something horrible. Intel’s Management Engine (ME) is a completely separate computing environment running on Intel chipsets that has access to everything. The ME has network access, access to the host operating system, memory, and cryptography engine. The ME can be used remotely even if the PC is powered off. If that sounds scary, it gets even worse: no one knows what the ME is doing, and we can’t even look at the code. When — not ‘if’ — the ME is finally cracked open, every computer running on a recent Intel chip will have a huge security and privacy issue. Intel’s Management Engine is the single most dangerous piece of computer hardware ever created.

    • Muni system hacker hit others by scanning for year-old Java vulnerability

      The attacker who infected servers and desktop computers at the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Agency (SFMTA) with ransomware on November 25 apparently gained access to the agency’s network by way of a known vulnerability in an Oracle WebLogic server. That vulnerability is similar to the one used to hack a Maryland hospital network’s systems in April and infect multiple hospitals with crypto-ransomware. And evidence suggests that SFMTA wasn’t specifically targeted by the attackers; the agency just came up as a target of opportunity through a vulnerability scan.

      In an e-mail to Ars, SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said that on November 25, “we became aware of a potential security issue with our computer systems, including e-mail.” The ransomware “encrypted some systems mainly affecting computer workstations,” he said, “as well as access to various systems. However, the SFMTA network was not breached from the outside, nor did hackers gain entry through our firewalls. Muni operations and safety were not affected. Our customer payment systems were not hacked. Also, despite media reports, no data was accessed from any of our servers.”

    • Researchers’ Attack Code Circumvents Defense Mechanisms on Linux, Leaving Machines Susceptible

      Researchers develop such attack codes for aiding Linux security’s onward movement. A demonstration of the way an attack code is possible to write towards effectively exploiting just any flaw, the above kinds emphasize that Linux vendors require vigorously enhancing the safety mechanism on Linux instead of just reacting when attacks occur.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘CIA created ISIS’, says Julian Assange as Wikileaks releases 500k US cables

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange today said the CIA was responsible for paving the way for ISIS as the whistle blowing organisation released more than half a million formerly confidential US diplomatic cables dating back to 1979.

    • Half of returning jihadists still devoted to cause: report

      One in four jihadists who returned to Germany after going to fight with terror groups in Syria or northern Iraq cooperate with authorities, according to a new government report seen by Die Welt and reported on Monday.
      The report was conducted by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), domestic security agency the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), and the Hessian Information and Competence Centre against Extremism (HKE).

      The 61-page report showed that in recent years, around 850 people have left Germany to fight in Syria and Iraq. The study reviewed the actions of 784 people between the ages of 13 and 62 who had joined Isis, Jabhat al-Nusra or Junud al-Sham.

    • Obama Expands War With Al Qaeda to Include Shabab in Somalia

      The escalating American military engagement in Somalia has led the Obama administration to expand the legal scope of the war against Al Qaeda, a move that will strengthen President-elect Donald J. Trump’s authority to combat thousands of Islamist fighters in the chaotic Horn of Africa nation.

      The administration has decided to deem the Shabab, the Islamist militant group in Somalia, to be part of the armed conflict that Congress authorized against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to senior American officials. The move is intended to shore up the legal basis for an intensifying campaign of airstrikes and other counterterrorism operations, carried out largely in support of African Union and Somali government forces.

    • Relativism and Castro

      Anybody who, like myself, has devoted much of their life to African development, is bound to have acquired a bias towards Fidel Castro. Cuba played a crucial role in sustaining the liberation struggles throughout Southern Africa. If Castro had done nothing else, he would deserve warm remembrance for that. But much less well-known in Europe is Cuba’s extraordinary contribution to healthcare throughout Africa. Ghanaian, Togolese and Beninois villages and hospitals had excellent Cuban doctors, and I know part-Cuban families in each of those countries as a result. I am sure it was widespread across much of Africa, I just highlight that for which I can personally vouch. That a tiny island, itself a victim of colonialism and slavery, should be able to make a contribution to African healthcare that can without a stretch be mentioned in the same sentence as the aid efforts of the major western powers, is an incredible achievement.

      It was of course the export of Cuba’s tremendous domestic achievement in healthcare and education, and some of the attempts these last 24 hours to belittle that have been pathetic.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Doubting Thomases

      I have been quite amused to receive some – well actually rather a lot of – rather aggressive tweets and other social media messages from people who believe Julian Assange is dead, and are therefore outraged I had supper with him on Friday. This seems to me the ultimate in concern trolling – to pretend to adore someone so much that you are angry and upset to find the object of your adoration has not been killed or kidnapped. There are youtube videos alleging that Julian is dead which together have attracted millions of viewers. It is a peculiar kind of cargo-cult.

      [...]

      I have been visiting Julian since before Jane from Idaho heard of him, and the purpose of visiting him is not to provide comfort to Jane from Idaho. If my word does that, fine. If she does not want to take my word, also fine. But if people could at least research who John Pilger, Yanis Varoufakis and myself are before deciding we are a CIA plot, that would be helpful. Stopping the aggressive and insulting tweets would be nice too.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Finland wants to bring 250,000 electric cars onto its roads by 2030

      Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, believes a variety of measures, such as tax incentives, are needed to raise the number of electric vehicles on Finland’s roads to 250,000 by 2030.

      Finland is intent on raising the number of electric and natural gas vehicles on its roads to 250,000 and 50,000 respectively by 2030, Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, revealed in news conference on Thursday.

      With the country currently having fewer than one thousand registered electric vehicles, measures such as tax incentives will be required to achieve this objective, she acknowledged.

    • ‘Nothing to See Here’ Headlines Conceal Police Violence at Dakota Access

      Sorry, New York Times–when more than 470 people have been arrested opposing the pipeline since August, that’s not the news. Nor did the print edition headline—“16 Arrested at North Dakota Pipeline Protest as Tensions Continue”—add anything.

      No, the news in the story came in the second paragraph, where reporter Jonah Engel Bromwich wrote that “officials also defended their use of fire hoses against protesters the night before, despite the below-freezing weather.”

  • Finance

    • EU chief tells Brexiteer MPs they have ‘very interesting argument, the only problem being that it has nothing to do with reality’

      The President of the European Council has suggested Brexiteer MPs are putting forward an argument that “has nothing to do with reality” as he blamed Britain for the “anxiety” affecting EU nationals in the UK.

      Donald Tusk’s intervention comes after his office received a letter, organised by Conservative MP Michael Tomlinson and signed by 80 MPs, criticising Brussels’ refusal to allow formal talks on the issue.

      But in a blunt response, Mr Tusk said: “It’s a very interesting argument, the only problem being that it has nothing to do with reality”

    • Stripe’s Valuation Nearly Doubles to $9.2 Billion
    • No Credit History? No Problem. Lenders Are Looking at Your Phone Data

      Financial institutions, overcoming some initial trepidation about privacy, are increasingly gauging consumers’ creditworthiness by using phone-company data on mobile calling patterns and locations.

      The practice is tantalizing for lenders because it could help them reach some of the 2 billion people who don’t have bank accounts. On the other hand, some of the phone data could open up the risk of being used to discriminate against potential borrowers.

      Phone carriers and banks have gained confidence in using mobile data for lending after seeing startups show preliminary success with the method in the past few years. Selling such data could become a more than $1 billion-a-year business for U.S. phone companies over the next decade, according to Crone Consulting LLC.

    • How Humans Became ‘Consumers’: A History

      “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production,” Adam Smith confidently announced in The Wealth of Nations in 1776. Smith’s quote is famous, but in reality this was one of the few times he explicitly addressed the topic. Consumption is conspicuous by its absence in The Wealth of Nations, and neither Smith nor his immediate pupils treated it as a separate branch of political economy.

      It was in an earlier work, 1759’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, that Smith put his finger on the social and psychological impulses that push people to accumulate objects and gadgets. People, he observed, were stuffing their pockets with “little conveniences,” and then buying coats with more pockets to carry even more. By themselves, tweezer cases, elaborate snuff boxes, and other “baubles” might not have much use. But, Smith pointed out, what mattered was that people looked at them as “means of happiness.” It was in people’s imagination that these objects became part of a harmonious system and made the pleasures of wealth “grand and beautiful and noble.”

    • This is how unequal German society has become

      Measuring the after-tax income of German households in terms of Gini coefficients, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation released a report on Monday which showed that German income inequality reached a peak of 28.8 in 2013.

      A Gini coefficient of zero represents absolute equality, while 100 represents absolute inequality.

    • New leaks confirm TiSA proposals that would undermine civil liberties

      Today, on 25 November 2016, German blog Netzpolitik.org in association with Greenpeace published new leaked documents concerning the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), a “trade” agreement that is currently being negotiated between 23 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the European Union.

    • The TPP wasn’t killed by Donald Trump – our protests worked

      The reports are rolling in: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. If you read the obituaries, most news outlets seem to agree that the cause of death was simple: the election of Donald Trump, who railed against the deal during his campaign. But the pundits have the story wrong.

      The real story is that an unprecedented, international uprising of people from across the political spectrum took on some of the most powerful institutions in the world, and won.

    • Some Trade Deals on Hold after Trump’s Election, but Danger Lurks in the Lesser-Known Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)

      Fair Traders who are celebrating the defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may see their hard work undone if the talks towards the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) continue under a Trump administration.

      Many Democrats who minimized the importance of the negative impacts of corporate trade deals on working class Americans have now paid the price in the recent elections. As my colleagues at the Center for Economic and Policy Research have pointed out, racists and xenophobes were always going to vote for Trump but the key voters the Democrats were counting on that they lost were largely working class voters, many of them union members, in states hit hard by trade deals (supported by both parties) that put working class people in competition with lower-income manufacturing workers in other countries while preserving protections for intellectual property-holders and high income professions.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • David Petraeus, Secretary of State Candidate, Meets With Trump

      Mr. Petraeus, a retired general and former C.I.A. director, spent an hour with Mr. Trump at his offices in Trump Tower in Manhattan and told reporters afterward that the president-elect had given him a tutorial on world affairs.

      “He basically walked us around the world,” Mr. Petraeus said. “Showed a great grasp of a variety of the challenges that are out there and some of the opportunities as well. Very good conversation, and we’ll see where it goes from here.” In a Twitter post 15 minutes later, Mr. Trump said, “Just met with General Petraeus — was very impressed!”

    • Far From a Distraction, Hamilton Feud Calls Attention to the Real Issue: Trump’s Historic Unpopularity

      I would argue that the most important undercovered story of the Trump transition period is the fact that Trump is the least popular president-elect in modern history (Daily News, 11/17/16). This information has tremendous import both for the strength of Trump’s brand of far-right politics and for the potential for public mobilization to block his most damaging policies—if the public is aware of it, that is.

      The Hamilton audience booing Pence—though far from a random sample—is, in fact, a manifestation of the majority opinion in the United States. Coverage of the controversy would have done well to make that clear.

      The scandals that the blogosphere scolds think we should have been paying more attention to are indeed important—but not because Trump will ever be held directly accountable for them, or even because they will have a direct impact on the lives of people. Instead, they’re important because they illustrate the unprecedented corruption of the Trump regime, and this should lead to even greater unpopularity for Trump. In other words, stories like the Trump University settlement are important because they may lead to more stories like the Hamilton confrontation.

    • 3 Things Killing American Democracy (That Aren’t Trump)

      The Senate Killed A Third Of Our Government, And We Re-Elected Them For It

    • ‘A recipe for scandal’: Trump conflicts of interest point to constitutional crisis

      Constitutional lawyers and White House ethics counsellors from Democratic and Republican administrations have warned Donald Trump his presidency might be blocked by the electoral college if he does not give up ownership of at least some of his business empire.

      “The brand is certainly a hotter brand than it was before,” Donald Trump told the New York Times on Wednesday, and his election victory buzz does indeed seem to have been good for business.

      Since the surprise outcome of the 8 November vote, foreign diplomats have been flocking to the newest Trump hotel in Washington to hear sales pitches about the business and vie to book their delegations into its rooms overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue for the inauguration on 20 January.

    • Stein nears goal for Mich. recount

      Michigan could come roaring back into the national presidential spotlight this week as Green Party candidate Jill Stein prepares to demand a statewide recount that Republican President-elect Donald Trump is denouncing.

      Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers meets at 2 p.m. Monday to vote on certifying election results in all 83 counties that show Trump narrowly prevailed over Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes.

      That action will start a 48-hour clock for Stein to exercise her right to request and pay for a hand recount of 4.8 million votes cast in the contentious Nov. 8 election.

    • Official: Trump could object to Michigan recount request

      President-elect Donald Trump would have the right to object to a recount requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, with the Board of State Canvassers deciding the issue, an election official said Monday.

      But Chris Thomas, director of the Bureau of Elections, said Monday he doesn’t think Trump could argue there should be no recount at all, provided Stein pays the required fee and raises the prospect of a mistaken count or fraud. Instead, Instead, Trump could argue about what form the recount should take, Thomas said. Attorneys representing Trump said Monday they favor a machine recount, which they said would be more efficient than a hand recount, which Stein is expected to request.

    • Backlash against voting audits makes elections less secure

      Almost three weeks after Election Day, Wisconsin is getting ready to recount its votes, and Pennsylvania and Michigan may soon follow suit. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has raised over $6 million to fund the effort, saying fears of a hacked election couldn’t be dismissed in light of earlier hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign staff. Hillary Clinton’s team signed on to the recount campaign over the weekend, citing similar concerns.

      Many are still skeptical. Although Trump won Wisconsin by just over 25,000 votes, there’s still no technical evidence of vote-tampering and the results are generally consistent with polling and demographic data. As a result, it’s extremely unlikely that a few hacked precincts could have tipped the scales. At the same time, even the suggestion of an audit has set off political chaos, as President-elect Trump responded with unfounded allegations that millions of votes had been cast illegally.

    • The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces

      Please don’t read this unless you are feeling strong. This is a list of 13 major crises that, I believe, confront us. There may be more. Please feel free to add to it or to knock it down. I’m sorry to say that it’s not happy reading.

    • America is Just Losing It

      America, you are losing it. Seriously, you have got to chill.

      I know your candidate lost to Trump — only by the electoral vote! — and I know this came as a surprise. I know you feel the apocalypse is upon us. Maybe it is, but writing things like the following is not going to help. It may even cause reasonable people to think you are insane and want to run away from the politics you think you are supporting. It may even make you sound like the people you Hate, the people you feared would not support the results of the election, the conspiracy theorists and closed-minded, the uneducated.

      As for why Hillary Clinton lost, here’s New York Times columnist Paul Krugman saying “So it looks more and more as if we had an election swung, in effect, by a faction of our own security sector in alliance with Putin.” Krugman is actually saying his educated brain is telling him Clinton lost because the FBI colluded with Vladimir Putin to throw the election to Trump for reasons not specified by Krugman.

    • A Brief History of the Election OMG PUTIN IS TAKING CONTROL OF THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!

      Media ignore Clinton’s weaknesses and Trump’s strengths for 18 months to epically blow election predictions.

      No calls for recounts.

      Clinton concedes.

      No calls for recounts.

      Despite over 200 years of the electoral college system, and this being the fifth presidential election where the winner did not receive the majority of the popular vote, Clinton supporters begin bleating about her winning the popular vote so, whatever, she should become president. Many seem surprised to learn of this “electoral” system;

      No calls for recounts.

      Clinton supporters hold street protests.

      No calls for recounts.

      Effort made to talk electors out of voting for Trump fails to gain traction.

      No calls for recounts.

      Two weeks after the election in the midst of the Trump transition OMG the Russians hacked the election Putin is controlling America with RT.com thought waves and fake news so we gotta recount it but only so faith in American democracy is restored.

    • Appeal to the Working Class? Don’t Bother, Says Krugman

      In the wake of a disastrous Election Day, does the Democratic Party need to present economic policies that have more to offer the majority of voters? Don’t bother, argues New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (11/25/16).

      Krugman begins by acknowledging what some have denied—that class played some role in what happened on November 8: “What put Donald Trump in striking distance was overwhelming support from whites without college degrees,” he writes. “So what can Democrats do to win back at least some of those voters?”

    • Euphemism as Journalism: Distracting the Audience by Focusing on Trump’s Skill at Distraction

      Euphemism isn’t journalism, but conflating the two can be irresistible for mainline journalists when candor might seem overly intrepid. Two months before Inauguration Day, a straw in the US media wind pointed toward evasive fog around the incoming president when PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff convened a roundtable segment (11/21/16) with program regulars Tamara Keith of NPR and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.

      From the outset, the journalists emphasized that the new president won’t be “traditional.” Walter said: “We have to stop treating Donald Trump like this is just a traditional, normal political candidate who’s now going to be a traditional, normal president.”

      Moments later Keith, a White House correspondent for NPR, was explaining that Trump “has not related to the press or the public in a traditional way ever. And he’s had an incredible skill at distracting, at creating—there was this movie Up and there was a dog who gets distracted, and, squirrel, squirrel. That’s what happens.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Putin brings China’s Great Firewall to Russia in cybersecurity pact

      Russia has been working on incorporating elements of China’s Great Firewall into the “Red Web”, the country’s system of internet filtering and control, after unprecedented cyber collaboration between the countries.

      A decision earlier this month to block the networking site LinkedIn in Russia is the most visible in a series of measures to bring the internet under greater state control.

      Legislation was announced this month that gives the Kremlin primacy over cyberspace – the exchange points, domain names and cross-border fibre-optic cables that make up the architecture of the internet.

    • University Pledges End to Bans and Censorship On Campus, Supports Free Speech

      A university has pledged to end its culture of censorship and no-platforming, and has instead pledged to defend free speech.

      Cardiff University in Wales has said it will no longer ban events by controversial speakers, declaring “censorship is not the answer”.

      The decision was made by the Cardiff University Students’ Union at their annual conference last week, where they passed a motion called “Challenge, Don’t Censor”.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers Under Trump

      The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that has privacy advocates and some lawmakers trying to mobilize opposition.

      Trump’s first two choices to head law enforcement and intelligence agencies — Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency — are leading advocates for domestic government spying at levels not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Detained VOA Reporter Released in Turkey

      Hatice Kamer, (who also goes by the name Khajijan Farqin), a freelance reporter working for the Voice of America’s Kurdish service, has been released after being detained by Turkish authorities in Diyarbakir.

      Details of her arrest Saturday were relayed by a family friend, who said the reasons for Kamer’s detention remain unclear. Her family has said that because of a state of emergency declared in the area, even her attorney was not able to contact her.

    • BBC, Voice of America reporters detained in southeast Turkey

      Turkish authorities detained two reporters working for foreign news organizations in southeast Turkey, the latest journalists taken into custody as part of the government’s sweeping crackdown following a failed coup in July.

      BBC Turkish correspondent Hatice Kamer was detained Saturday in the town of Sirvan while covering a recent copper mine collapse that killed at least 11 workers, the broadcaster said. Voice of America said its freelance reporter, Khajijan Farqin, was detained the same day in Diyarbakir.

    • Norway can extradite wanted Islamist to Italy: court

      The infamous Norway-based fundamentalist preacher Najmuddin Ahmad Faraj, better known as Mullah Krekar, lost his appeal to the Supreme Court on Wednesday and now faces extradition to Italy where he faces terror charges.
      Krekar had appealed against earlier decisions by the Oslo District Court and the Borgarting Court of Appeal, but Norway’s highest court upheld the decisions on Wednesday and cleared the way for Krekar’s extradition.

      The 60-year-old Islamist can now be sent to Italy to stand trial on charges that he led the Rawti Shax, a network that has planned to carry out attacks in the West.

    • ‘Trojan Horse’ plotters dodge teaching ban

      A third figure who helped run a Trojan Horse school, Mohammed Ashraf, has become secretary of a local constituency Labour Party. He has applied to be a Labour council candidate at the next local elections, but claimed last night he had dropped the application. Ashraf was a governor at Golden Hillock School, which banned the teaching of some subjects and segregated boys and girls. He was later removed from the…

    • Moroccans Launch Petition Following 2M’s Broadcast of ‘Makeup Tutorial’

      Rabat – Moroccan women launched a petition on Friday calling for Morocco’s government and the High Authority for Audio-visual Communication, known better as HACA, to penalize National television service, 2M, for broadcasting “tutorial instructions for females to hide bruises of domestic violence,” on its morning show “Sabahiyates,” on Wednesday.

      Amid the heated scandal that the show stirred on social media, Moroccan women took to change.org to create a petition calling for all Moroccans to sign it as a moving step toward denouncing the “standardization of violence against women.”

    • Hey Media, We Don’t Need Another Glossy Profile on That Nazi Dork

      There’s been a recent wave of press for a certain unnamed Nazi Dork who threw a gathering in Washington, DC, for his Nazi friends this past week, attempting to use the Trump victory to raise the profile of himself and his Nazi “think tank.” The man who coined the term “alt right”—which has become a popular euphemism for those unwilling to use “white supremacist” or “neo-Nazi”—has of late received fairly softball interviews in Mother Jones (10/27/16), the LA Times (11/19/16) and, most recently, the Washington Post (11/22/16)

      His Nazi get-together got endless coverage, from the New York Times to The Atlantic to USA Today to CNN. The actual event itself, according to the Post, had a Nazi attendee–to–reporter ratio of 6 to 1. The Nazi Dork’s goal was to exploit and feed off the Trump campaign and subsequent victory, and he did it with tremendous success, thanks in part to a shiny-object obsessed media.

      The balance between covering hate and promoting it is a difficult one, and one that we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand. But after a week of wall-to-wall coverage, most of which one could imagine the Nazi Dork and his Nazi friends reading and posting to Facebook with a smirk, the balance has come down heavily on the side of fascist agitprop.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality shouldn’t be a debate – it’s a symptom of something worse: gatekeepers

      Net neutrality should not even be a debate. Any market actor who abuses their customers and trust to the level of not respecting net neutrality, on a functioning market, will be dropped like a bad habit. Therefore, the mere existence of a net neutrality debate is a symptom of something much worse: the existence of gatekeepers. That’s the underlying problem that needs to be solved.

      Let’s pick a western Internet country ranked roughly in the middle of the pack. In this particular country, Internet connectivity is seen as a random utility, delivered the last mile by the municipal energy infrastructure. When signing up for an ISP, every household has 10-15 operators to choose from, at 100/100 Mbit speeds (or higher), unmetered, for about $27 per month. This is what happens when gatekeepers aren’t involved.

      Actually, let’s back up a bit here. The energy infrastructure provider could have been acting as an Internet gatekeeper, as it technically controls the only pipe to the homes, but has no strategic interest in doing so. This nuance is absolutely crucial: unlike telco and cable industries, the energy companies are not under existential threat by the Internet.

    • I can’t just stand by and watch Mark Zuckerberg destroy the internet.

      Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook’s CEO — is probably the most powerful person alive today. He may even be the most powerful person ever.

      Traditionally, the president of the United States has been considered the most powerful person on Earth. After all, President Obama controls the most powerful military on the planet, and has considerable influence over the $18 trillion US economy.

      [...]

      Mark Zuckerberg has none of these limitations. His power flows from Facebook, the seventh largest corporation on the planet by market capitalization, of which he owns 18% of the stock and controls 60% of the voting rights.

      At 32 years of age, he could remain the CEO of Facebook for another 50 years.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Antigua & Barbuda To Lift US IP Protection In 2017 If US Fails To Comply With WTO Ruling

      Caribbean nation Antigua & Barbuda has declared that it will exercise an option granted it by a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel to lift protection on US intellectual property rights starting in 2017 if the US does not finally change a law blocking the island nation’s online gambling services or compensate it.

      According to a WTO release circulated today, Antigua & Barbuda said the 12-year case has dragged on too long and its losses have totalled some US$ 250 million, causing harm to the country’s small economy.

    • Copyrights

      • UK Police “Don’t Anticipate” Working With Copyright Troll Partner

        Last week following his release from prison, UK-based copyright troll partner Robert Croucher said that he’d become involved in a private funding initiative for the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Speaking with TorrentFreak, PIPCU have confirmed that while they have met with Croucher, they don’t anticipate doing business with him.

      • Google Asked to Remove a Billion “Pirate” Search Results in a Year

        Copyright holders asked Google to remove more than 1,000,000,000 allegedly infringing links from its search engine over the past twelve months. A new record, in line with the continued rise of takedown requests and the increase in pressure on Google to do more to tackle piracy.

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