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05.24.17

Links 24/5/2017: New RHEL Beta, SteamOS Updated

Posted in News Roundup at 3:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Nextcloud 12 Officially Released, Adds New Architecture for Massive Scalability

    Nextcloud informs Softpedia today about the official availability of the final release of Nextcloud 12, a major milestone of the self-hosting cloud server technology that introduces numerous new features and improvements.

    The biggest new feature of the Nextcloud 12 release appears to be the introduction of a new architecture for massive scalability, called Global Scale, which is a next-generation open-source technology for syncing and sharing files. Global Scale increases scalability from tens of thousands of users to hundreds of millions on a single instance, while helping universities and other institutions significantly reduce the costs of their existing large installations.

  • ReactOS 0.4.5 Open-Source Windows-Compatible OS Launches with Many Improvements

    ReactOS 0.4.5 is a maintenance update that adds numerous changes and improvements over the previous point release. The kernel has been updated in this version to improve the FreeLoader and UEFI booting, as well as the Plug and Play modules, adding support for more computers to boot ReactOS without issues.

  • Sprint Debuts Open Source NFV/SDN Platform Developed with Intel Labs

    AT&T has been the headliner in the carrier race to software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). But Sprint is putting its own stamp on the space this week with its debut of a new open source SDN/NFV mobile core solution.

  • Google’s New Home for All Things Open Source Runs Deep

    Google is not only one of the biggest contributors to the open source community but also has a strong track record of delivering open source tools and platforms that give birth to robust technology ecosystems. Just witness the momentum that Android and Kubernetes now have. Recently, Google launched a new home for its open source projects, processes, and initiatives. The site runs deep and has several avenues worth investigating. Here is a tour and some highlights worth noting.

  • Making your first open source contribution
  • Simplify expense reports with Smart Receipts

    The app is called Smart Receipts, it’s licensed AGPL 3.0, and the source code is available on GitHub for Android and iOS.

  • How the TensorFlow team handles open source support

    Open-sourcing is more than throwing code over the wall and hoping somebody uses it. I knew this in theory, but being part of the TensorFlow team at Google has opened my eyes to how many different elements you need to build a community around a piece of software.

  • IRC for the 21st Century: Introducing Riot

    Internet relay chat (IRC) is one of the oldest chat protocols around and still popular in many open source communities. IRC’s best strengths are as a decentralized and open communication method, making it easy for anyone to participate by running a network of their own. There are also a variety of clients and bots available for IRC.

  • Chef expands its cloud and container menu

    Chef, a leading DevOps company, announced at ChefConf 2017 that it was adding new capabilities to it flagship Continous Automation/DevOps program, Chef Automate. This enables enterprises to transition from server- and virtual machine- (VM) based IT systems to cloud-native and container-first environments with consistent automation and DevOps practices.

  • Nextcloud 12: The bigger, better, in-house small business cloud

    It’s not even been a year since Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud. Since then, this do-it-yourself, open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud has become increasingly popular. Now, its latest version, Nextcloud 12, the program is adding more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) features.

  • The Spirit of Open Source
  • What happened to Mastodon after its moment in the spotlight?

    More than a month later, the buzz over Mastodon has quieted. But though it may not be making headlines, the service continues to grow.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: One Step Closer to a Closed Internet

        We’re deeply disheartened. Today’s FCC vote to repeal and replace net neutrality protections brings us one step closer to a closed internet. Although it is sometimes hard to describe the “real” impacts of these decisions, this one is easy: this decision leads to an internet that benefits Internet Service Providers (ISPs), not users, and erodes free speech, competition, innovation and user choice.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • The eternal battle for OpenStack’s soul will conclude in three years. Again

      After six years as a formal project, OpenStack has survived numerous raids and famines and now finds itself in a not-too-weird space of being boring, on-premises infrastructure. That is, “boring” in the good way of focusing on what users want and fixing existing problems, only chasing shiny objects – cough, PaaS, cough, containers, cough, orchestration – as much as needed.

  • Databases

    • With version 2.0, Crate.io’s database tools put an emphasis on IoT

      Crate.io, the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Battlefield, is launching version 2.0 of its CrateDB database today. The tool, which is available in both an open source and enterprise version, started out as a general-purpose but highly scalable SQL database. Over time, though, the team found that many of its customers were using the service for managing their machine data and, unsurprisingly, decided to focus its efforts on better supporting those clients.

    • NewSQL CockroachDB Ready for Prime Time

      There’s a new open source database on the block. Although it has a name that will most likely make you cringe for the first dozen or so times you hear it — CockroachDB — I have a feeling that if it isn’t already on your radar, it will be soon.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite
    • LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite

      For the last five months, The Document Foundation has made use of OSS-Fuzz, Google’s effort to make open source software more secure and stable, to further improve the quality and reliability of LibreOffice’s source code. Developers have used the continuous and automated fuzzing process, which often catches issues just hours after they appear in the upstream code repository, to solve bugs – and potential security issues – before the next binary release.LibreOffice is the first free office suite in the marketplace to leverage Google’s OSS-Fuzz. The service, which is associated with other source code scanning tools such as Coverity, has been integrated into LibreOffice’s security processes – under Red Hat’s leadership – to significantly improve the quality of the source code.

    • Please participate in a survey about page margins

      Margins specify the amount of space to leave between the edges of the page and the document text. You can define it for the left/inner, right/outer, top and bottom side individually. Page margins are defined by default at 0.79″ respectively 2cm on each side in LibreOffice Writer (located under Format > Page). These default values are under close scrutiny now.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD quarterly status report
    • openbsd changes of note 622
    • Book Review: Relayd and Httpd Mastery

      Overall an excellent book which is typical Michael W Lucas writing style. Easy to follow, clear cut instructions, and tons of new stuff to learn. If one must use OpenBSD or FreeBSD, then the chances are high that one will stick with the defaults that come with OpenBSD. No need to use fat Apache, or Nginx/Lighttpd web server especially when httpd and relayd audited for security by OpenBSD core team.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Sharing America’s code

      Since Salehi joined the CIO team in 2015, the government has made great strides toward open sourcing its code. The Federal Source Code Policy, released in August 2016, was the first U.S. government policy to support open source across the government.

    • Galicia continues promotion of free software

      The government of the autonomous region of Galicia (Spain) will continue to encourage the use of free and open source software solutions in the public and private sector. This week, the government published the ‘Free Software Plan 2017’, outlining 110 actions.

      In its ‘Plan de acción software libre 2017’, Galicia announces new initiatives to promote sharing and reuse of ICT solutions. The government is to share new software solutions, but will also emphasise the reuse of existing tools, pointing to Mancomún, the region’s software repository, the catalogue maintained by the Spanish central government’s Centre for Technology Transfer, and to the European Commission’s Joinup eGovernment portal.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • How Socrates taught me to talk to developers

      The University of Chicago Law School, where Barack Obama taught constitutional law until making a slight career change, describes the Socratic method as an inquiry practice based on “asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption.” A catchier description, offered by this quick how-to for using the method with children, is “clarify, synthesize, restate.”

    • Hugo vs. Jekyll: Comparing the leading static website generators

      Unless your spirit animal is Emily Dickinson, when you make a thing, you want to share it with the world. Sharing your work means that you need a website. Of course, you could simply partake in digital sharecropping and use any of the various social media sites to get your work in front of an audience. There sure are plenty to choose from… and not just “conventional” social media sites. With places like Artstation, Flickr, Soundcloud, and Wattpad, there’s an outlet for you, whatever your medium.

    • 5 reasons the D programming language is a great choice for development

      It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where you have an idea and you want to implement it in code exactly the way you are thinking about it in your mind. However, sometimes you have to compromise the idea to fit the code, instead of modeling the code to fit the idea. D supports several programming paradigms, including functional style, imperative, object oriented, metaprogramming, and concurrent (actor model), all harmoniously integrated. You have the option to choose whichever paradigm is convenient for modeling code to fit your idea.

    • Sick of Java and C++? Google pours a cup o’ Kotlin for Android devs
    • Android Studio 3.0 Canary 1
    • Jaded by Java? Android now supports Kotlin programming language
    • Rcpp 0.12.11: Loads of goodies

      The elevent update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN yesterday following the initial upload on the weekend, and the Debian package and Windows binaries should follow as usual. The 0.12.11 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, the 0.12.9 release in January, and the 0.12.10.release in March — making it the fifteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.

    • Master Haskell Programming with Free Books

      Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically statically typed, lazy, purely functional language, very different from many programming languages. Recent innovations include static polymorphic typing, higher-order functions, user-definable algebraic data types, a module system, and more. It has built-in concurrency and parallelism, debuggers, profilers, rich libraries and an active community, with approximately 5,400 third-party open source libraries and tools.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • [Older] Manifesto: Rules for standards-makers

      If we work together on a project based on open tech, these are the principles I will try to stick to. I wanted to put all this in one place, so I can pass it along to future software developers.

Leftovers

  • The White House will meet with tech execs for advice on giving the government a digital upgrade

    Announced in April, the American Technology Council is comprised of federal officials who oversee technology-focused agencies, and it’s officially led by Chris Liddell, a White House aide who previously served as the chief financial officer at Microsoft. The initiative itself lives under the umbrella of Kushner’s Office of American Innovation, which aspires to cure longtime, unresolved government ills, such as the poor, aging technology in use at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • What is dead may never die: a new version of OS/2 just arrived

    An outfit called Arca Noae has released a new version of IBM’s venerable OS/2 operating system, named ArcaOS 5.0.

    The Register understands that Arca Noae has a licence from IBM to do a distribution of OS/2, the OS that Big Blue pitched against Windows 95 back in the day. OS/2′s fourth release was widely regarded as technically superior to Windows 95 and Windows NT but didn’t catch on because of a clunkier GUI and Microsoft’s hardball licensing tactics that made it commercially suicidal for PC-makers to offer the OS.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • WikiLeaks Reveals ‘Athena’ CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows [iophk: "thus the active smear campaign againse Assange within tech circles"]

      WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak, detailing a spyware framework – which "provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers" – allegedly being used by the CIA that works against every version of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, from Windows XP to Windows 10.

    • How To Avoid Future WannaCry Style Ransomware Attacks

      Critical tasks are often trusted to Linux or similar operating systems (Unix, BSD, etc.) because of reliability and security. When efficiency is required, Linux is often tapped because it can be deployed in a very efficient manner. Linux acts internally like the prison, not the food court. The system itself is constantly monitored open source code, and most of what runs on it is openly monitored as well. Software is usually distributed via secure repositories. The system is free and easily updated, there is no such thing as a pirated copy of Linux. There is a regular schedule of updates, they come out every Sunday.

    • WannaCry is a Cry for VEP Reform

      This weekend, a vulnerability in some versions of the Windows operating system resulted in the biggest cybersecurity attack in years. The so-called “WannaCry” malware relied on at least one exploit included in the latest Shadow Brokers release. As we have repeated, attacks like this are a clarion call for reform to the government’s Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP).

    • Will Linux protect you from ransomware attacks?

      Ransomware attacks are all the rage these days among hackers, and many people are worried about becoming victims. Are Linux users secure against such attacks?

      This topic came up recently in a thread on the Linux subreddit, and the folks there had some interesting thoughts to share about Linux and ransomware attacks.

    • Linux Ransomware

      A few people have asked me over the past week whether or not Linux is susceptible to ransomware attacks. While the answer is fairly straight forward, let’s go over a couple things here first.

    • Improving Internet Security through Vulnerability Disclosure

      We support the PATCH Act because it aims to codify and make the existing Vulnerabilities Equities Process more transparent. The Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP) is the U.S. government’s process for reviewing and coordinating the disclosure of new vulnerabilities learns about.

    • ​Gmail Docs phishing attack: Google targets devs with tighter web app ID checks

      Google is slowing down the process for publishing web applications to prevent a repeat of the phishing attack that abused users’ trust in its sign-in system with a fake Google Docs app.

      Google has warned web app developers that new rules and an additional risk assessment may add “some friction” to the process of publishing apps.

    • Windows 7, not XP, was the reason last week’s WCry worm spread so widely [iophk: "yet look at the talking points against XP that the tech community spread"]

      Eight days ago, the WCry ransomware worm attacked more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries. The outbreak prompted infected hospitals to turn away patients and shut down computers in banks and telecoms. Now that researchers have had time to analyze the self-replicating attack, they’re learning details that shed new and sometimes surprising light on the world’s biggest ransomware attack.

      [...]

      Chief among the revelations: more than 97 percent of infections hit computers running Windows 7, according to attacks seen by antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab. By contrast, infected Windows XP machines were practically non-existent, and those XP PCs that were compromised were likely manually infected by their owners for testing purposes. That’s according to Costin Raiu, director of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team, who spoke to Ars.

    • Companies use kidnap insurance to guard against ransomware attacks
    • NSA Was Concerned About Power Of Windows Exploit Long Before It Was Leaked
    • CIA’s Windows XP to Windows 10 malware: WikiLeaks reveals Athena
    • Newly Found Malware Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools, Where WannaCry Uses 2
    • New SMB Worm Uses Seven NSA Hacking Tools. WannaCry Used Just Two

      Researchers have detected a new worm that is spreading via SMB, but unlike the worm component of the WannaCry ransomware, this one is using seven NSA tools instead of two.

      The worm’s existence first came to light on Wednesday, after it infected the SMB honeypot of Miroslav Stampar, member of the Croatian Government CERT, and creator of the sqlmap tool used for detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws.

    • Fight ransomware by running Windows in Linux as a virtual machine

      The cool thing about all this virtual storage stuff is that the entire Windows application–files, applications, the works–are contained in one file. That file can easily be backed up, archived, encrypted and stored on the cloud, copied hundreds of times, or deleted. VirtualBox can even take snapshots of the virtual drive within the application, freeing you from any hassle of backing up virtual storage files yourself.

    • WannaCry ransomware hit Windows 7 the hardest [iophk: “IIRC Kaspersky found it to be 97%”

      In a survey for Reuters, BitSight found that 67 per cent of infected PCs it infected were running Windows 7, despite the OS being installed on fewer than half of Windows PCs worldwide.

    • Windows 10 Enterprise appears to be blatantly ignoring privacy group settings

      All connections except Updates to Microsoft blocked. Still connects to a range of ad servers. Yes advertising servers. Burnett confirms that all these calls are made by Windows 10, not by any apps.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • HackerOne experience with Weblate

      Weblate has started to use HackerOne Community Edition some time ago and I think it’s good to share my experience with that. Do you have open source project and want to get more attention of security community? This post will answer how it looks from perspective of pretty small project.

      I’ve applied with Weblate to HackerOne Community Edition by end of March and it was approved early in April. Based on their recommendations I’ve started in invite only mode, but that really didn’t bring much attention (exactly none reports), so I’ve decided to go public.

    • Who Are the Shadow Brokers?

      In 2013, a mysterious group of hackers that calls itself the Shadow Brokers stole a few disks full of National Security Agency secrets. Since last summer, they’ve been dumping these secrets on the internet. They have publicly embarrassed the NSA and damaged its intelligence-gathering capabilities, while at the same time have put sophisticated cyberweapons in the hands of anyone who wants them. They have exposed major vulnerabilities in Cisco routers, Microsoft Windows, and Linux mail servers, forcing those companies and their customers to scramble. And they gave the authors of the WannaCry ransomware the exploit they needed to infect hundreds of thousands of computer worldwide this month.

      After the WannaCry outbreak, the Shadow Brokers threatened to release more NSA secrets every month, giving cybercriminals and other governments worldwide even more exploits and hacking tools.

    • Why Akamai Supports Let’s Encrypt

      The Let’s Encrypt project has re-shaped the market for SSL/TLS certificates, providing millions of free security certificate to organization around the world.

      Among the many backers of Let’s Encrypt is content delivery network platform provider Akamai. In a video interview with eSecurityPlanet, Andy Ellis, Chief Security Officer at Akamai, explains why Let’s Encrypt matters and his view on the effort’s real value.

    • Security in Serverless: What Gets Better, What Gets Worse?
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Indonesia rejects claims regarding West Papua

      The statement condemned Indonesian human rights violations in Papua and called for a resolution supporting the right of West Papuan political self-determination.

      However, Indonesia’s embassy in New Zealand says the ACP agreed in April that the group would not cover the issue of Papua in future meetings.

    • China killed CIA sources, hobbled US spying from 2010 to 2012: Reports

      Investigators remain divided over whether there was a spy within the Central Intelligence Agency who betrayed the sources or whether the Chinese hacked {sic} the CIA’s covert communications system, the newspaper reported, citing current and former US officials.

      The Chinese killed at least a dozen people providing information to the CIA from 2010 through 2012, dismantling a network that was years in the making, the newspaper reported.

    • Duterte declares martial law in southern Philippines

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law Tuesday in the southern region of Mindanao, after deadly clashes between security forces and Islamic State group-linked militants in a major city there.

      The announcement, made by his spokesman at a press conference in Moscow where Duterte was on an official visit, fulfills an often-repeated warning by the president that he would enforce military rule to quell security threats.

    • Don’t Let ISIS Shape The News

      It’s 2017, and the world is shaken by another depraved mass murder, carried out and claimed in the name of ISIS. This time, it is children who are targeted. And just like the countless other times before, the mass media coverage seems stuck on a loop: the same few videos of victims panicking, anguished parents waiting for their children, and distraught mothers sobbing dominate our screens, playing again and again and again and again.

      ISIS has a media strategy, and unfortunately, it is aimed exactly at generating this type of coverage. In fact, this media strategy is instinctively shared with other sensational mass killers — school shooters, white-supremacist terrorists, and others. They crave the distorted infamy they hope they will get after their death; they carefully prepare manifestos they hope will be published; they record videos they hope will be played on loop on cable TV.

    • Trump Praised Philippines President Duterte For Drug War That Has Killed 9,000 People

      President Donald Trump opened a brief April phone call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte by commending the strongman’s bloody war on drugs, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post and the The Intercept.

      “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” said Trump. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”

    • Trump Called Rodrigo Duterte to Congratulate Him on His Murderous Drug War: “You Are Doing an Amazing Job”

      In a phone call from the White House late last month, U.S. President Donald Trump heaped praise on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, one of the world’s most murderous heads of state, for doing what Trump called an “unbelievable job” in his war on drugs. Trump offered an unqualified endorsement of Duterte’s bloody extermination campaign against suspected drug dealers and users, which has included open calls for extrajudicial murders and promises of pardons and immunity for the killers.

      “You are a good man,” Trump told Duterte, according to an official transcript of the April 29 call produced by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and obtained by The Intercept. “Keep up the good work,” Trump told Duterte. “You are doing an amazing job.”

    • Duterte on martial law: ‘I’d be harsh’

      President Rodrigo Duterte did not say how long martial law will be in effect in Mindanao, but he did warn he will be “harsh” in dealing with terrorists.

      Duterte, who is on his way to the Philippines after cutting his official visit in Russia, said he will be happy if it is over within a month, but is also not hesitant to keep it for a year.

    • US leak of Manchester attacker’s name strikes new blow to intelligence sharing

      American officials have been criticised for leaking the identity of the Manchester bomber before British police officially named him.

      Salman Abedi was identified in media reports that attributed “US officials” as the source even as their British counterparts remained tight-lipped.

    • ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’: Manchester bombing rouses British stiff upper lip

      While addressing her country following the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May exhibited hints of the Victorian stoicism and “stiff upper lip” that’s traditionally been attributed to the British people during times of hardship. With calm and steady diction, she noted that this is not the first time terrorism has shaken Manchester.

    • Someone leaked Donald Trump’s phone call to Rodrigo Duterte, and it’s the stuff of madmen

      Donald Trump has clashed with the respected leaders of numerous American allies, but he seems to get along just fine with the notoriously corrupt and criminal leaders of other nations. But as much praise as Trump has already heaped Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, a mass murderer, it turns out Trump has said even nicer things to him in private. We know this, because someone leaked the transcript of their phone conversation.

      [...]

      On the other hand, madman Trump told madman Duterte that he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a “madman with nuclear weapons,” a rare correct assessment of a foreign leader from the normally oblivious Trump. The trouble: Donald Trump is also a madman with nuclear weapons.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories re-emerge as Kim Dotcom weighs in

      On Sunday, speculation that the young DNC staffer was involved in the leaks was promoted by internet millionaire and the embattled founder of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom. Mr Dotcom tweeted that Mr Rich was the leaker and that he himself was also involved, promising to issue a statement after meeting with his lawyers this week.

    • Human Rights Lawyer: Sweden Dropping Investigation of WikiLeaks’ Assange is “Long Overdue Decision” [iophk: "agitators and chumps intentionally mistranslate the question as "rape""]

      Swedish prosecutors have dropped an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has denied the allegations, which he calls a pretext for his ultimate extradition to the U.S. to face prosecution under the Espionage Act. Since 2012, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. It’s not clear whether Assange will emerge any time soon. “This is a small victory, but in this long road to free Julian Assange and all the people working for WikiLeaks,” says our guest Renata Avila, a Courage Foundation trustee and human rights lawyer. “But it will finally help us lawyers to focus on the main issue, which is the persecution, the political persecution, and imminent prosecution of Julian Assange in the United States.”

    • Getting Julian Assange: The Untold Story

      The hunt for the Wikileaks founder has been a brutal and corrupt assault on freedom of speech from the beginning, writes John Pilger.

      Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish state’s collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and “rendition”.

    • Can Australia Please Stop Being Washington’s Bitch And Help Assange Now?

      The Wall Street Journal has published an editorial titled “The U.S. Can Get Julian Assange” and subtitled “Avoid extradition and use secret services to airlift him to stand trial in America.” This horrifying article, run by one of America’s major mainstream publications, details how US special forces could technically storm the embassy of a sovereign nation, kidnap an Australian journalist who has broken no laws, and drag him back to the States in a way that the editorial’s author claims has legal precedent in America. The mass media propaganda machine of a government that tortures whistleblowers is openly advocating kidnapping an Australian citizen, from an Ecuadorian embassy, in the UK, in order to stop him from traveling to Ecuador. Because he helped show the American people the truth about their government.

    • The Man Who Made the Mistake of Trying to Help Wikileaks

      In his first interview, former US government lab worker Jason Scott Katz tells Motherboard about how trying to decrypt one file led to an FBI raid, losing his job, moving to Iceland, and founding the Pirate Party there.

    • Joe Lieberman atop FBI would be a First Amendment disaster

      Former Senator Joe Lieberman is reportedly President Trump’s leading choice to replace the recently-fired James Comey as FBI director. If you’re a person who values free speech and press freedom rights, it’s hard to imagine a worse pick for FBI director than Lieberman.

      It was only a week ago we learned that Trump allegedly urged Comey in a private meeting to prosecute reporters for publishing classified information. So one of the most vital issues for any confirmation hearing will be whether the next FBI director will respect journalists’ right to report on the government. You don’t have to look far to understand how dangerous an FBI Director Lieberman would be to the journalism profession.

      In 2010, when WikiLeaks, in conjunction with The New York Times, The Guardian, and other papers, started publishing secret State Department cables, then-Senator Lieberman was Congress’s leading advocate for prosecuting the publishers of the cables—First Amendment be damned. At the time, he loudly called for the prosecution of WikiLeaks, saying, “I don’t understand why that hasn’t happened yet. … I think it’s the most serious violation of the Espionage Act in our history, and the consequences globally that have occurred.”

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Will Donald Trump Be Impeached?

      So let’s talk about impeachment. Although if we’re being more precise, impeachment doesn’t remove a president from office; conviction on impeachment charges does.

    • What Explains Trump’s Sharp About-Face on Saudi Arabia?

      There are many troubling aspects of Donald Trump’s still-young presidency, but his warm embrace of Riyadh this weekend might be the most troubling of all.

    • How social media filter bubbles and algorithms influence the election

      "Many of us wish we could study Facebook," said Prof Philip Howard, of the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, "but we can’t, because they really don’t share anything." Howard is leading a team of researchers studying "computational propaganda" at the university, attempting to shine a light on the ways automated accounts are used to alter debate online.

    • Facebook Shares Rules for Censoring Violence, Sex, Guardian Says[iophk: "and more"]

      The moderators have about 10 seconds to decide on whether to remove material from the site, according to The Guardian.

    • Facebook content moderation guidelines leaked

      The Guardian published the Facebook files on Sunday night. It reported some disturbing findings about what can and can’t be moderated on Facebook, after the newspaper was passed more than 100 internal training manuals that included spreadsheets and flowcharts on how the Mark Zuckerberg-run company deals with hate speech, violence, self-harm, and a whole range of other issues.

    • ‘Trump has declared war’: journalists denounce any attack on press freedom

      President Donald Trump’s apparent suggestion that the FBI should "consider putting reporters in prison" has been decried as a dangerous new assault on press freedom and prompted a call to action by American journalists who have been jailed in the US for their work.

    • Psychologists say calling Donald Trump a kid is an insult to kids

      Finally, Mr Brooks claimed Mr Trump had not developed a "theory of mind", the ability to understand what someone else is thinking.

      Mr Arnett and Ms Jensen, however, said it was unfair to attribute all of these qualities to children.

      [...]

      "It is time to call it out for what it is: evil."

    • Congressman threatened with lynching after calling for Trump’s impeachment
    • Twitter founder apologises for ‘helping make Donald Trump President’

      In an interview with the New York Times, Evan Williams was asked about remarks made by Mr Trump in March when he said: "I think maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter."

    • Saudi Arabia readies the halal steak and ketchup ahead of Trump’s first trip abroad
    • Donald Trump Committed Another Impeachable Offense This Week
    • Did the DNC Help Hillary Clinton Beat Bernie Sanders? Fraud Lawsuit Takes Aim at Leadership

      What is the role of the Democratic National Committee in presidential elections? Is it to sway the vote toward a safe, solid and respected insider who will supposedly drive the party straight into the White House, or is it to provide voters the ultimate decision as to which campaign will take the ballot, without any bias or partiality?

      That is the question at the heart of a class-action lawsuit charging the Democratic National Committee with fraud, deceptive conduct and negligent misrepresentation over the course of the 2016 primaries, in which Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was defeated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic ticket. Jared Beck, a Harvard law expert and one of the attorneys backing the suit, has demanded the DNC repay its donors and Sanders supporters for contributions made throughout the election, citing a misappropriation of public funds.

    • ‘Who’s a pretty princess now, b*tches’: Internet ridicules Trump for ‘curtsy’ before Saudi king

      President Donald Trump first trip overseas has — so far –gone seamlessly if one disregards the chaos he left at home with multiple bombshells dropped by the Washington Post and the New York Times regarding White House doings.

      However, as the world awaits Trump’s speech on Islam, he was the recipient of a great deal of mockery on Twitter for a half-curtsy he bestowed upon the king of Saudi Arabia.

    • Melania Trump slaps away husband’s short, vulgar fingers

      First Lady Melania Trump swatting away president Donald Trump’s hand on the tarmac in Israel Video of the couple arriving at an airport in Israel shows President Donald Trump reaching out to hold his wife’s hand. But Melania, who was apparently not interested in touching her husband at that moment, appears to slap the president’s hand.

    • Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire

      The townhouse on High Seas Court in the Cove Village development, in the Baltimore suburb of Essex, was not exactly the Cape Cod retreat that its address implied: It was a small unit looking onto a parking lot, the windows of its two bedrooms so high and narrow that a child would have had to stand on a chair to see out of them. But to Kamiia Warren, who moved into the townhouse in 2004, it was a refuge, and a far cry from the East Baltimore neighborhood where she grew up. “I mean, there were bunny rabbits all hopping around,” she told me recently.

      In the townhouse next door lived an older woman with whom Warren became friendly, even doing her grocery shopping once in a while. But over the course of a few months, the woman started acting strangely. She began accosting Warren’s visitors. She shouted through the walls during the day. And at night she banged on the wall, right where Warren kept the bassinet in which her third child slept, waking him up.

    • Homeland Security Hires Anti-Islam Activist Katharine Gorka as Trump Makes Overtures to Muslim States

      Donald Trump made overtures toward the Islamic world during his visit to Saudi Arabia, softening his outward stance on Islam, but his administration recently appointed a recognized anti-Muslim campaigner.

      Katharine Gorka, a controversial national security analyst and anti-Muslim activist, has been named as an “adviser” to the Department of Homeland Security’s policy office, after serving on President Trump’s transition team for the department. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Gorka extensively criticized DHS for teaching employees — wrongly, in her view — that Islam is a religion of peace.

      Gorka’s appointment is listed in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the watchdog group American Oversight. Her title, as of April 7, is listed as adviser to the department’s office of policy. The documents also list a previous “temporary transitional” appointment in the chief of staff’s office, with a pay grade listed as GS-15, the highest standard pay for a federal civil servant, indicating a salary of at least $8,600 a month.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • 1Password’s new travel mode locks you out of your accounts while you’re travelling and crossing borders
    • Ministers to enforce new powers to compel tech giants to hand over encrypted data

      MINISTERS are to enforce striking new powers to compel tech giants to hand over encrypted data to terror investigators within weeks.

      The government will ask Parliament to nod through the new orders – dubbed Technical Capability Notices – as soon as the election is over, The Sun has learned.

    • Netgear Now Collects Router ‘Analytics Data’ — Here’s How to Disable It

      Netgear last week pushed out a firmware update for its wireless router model NightHawk R7000 with a remote data collection feature that collects router’s analytics data and sends it to the company’s server.

      For now, the company has rolled out the firmware update for its NightHawk R7000, but probably other router models would receive the update in upcoming days.

    • NSA takes one-two punch to the face

      The US National Security Agency has been hit by two legal losses that may put the last part of its controversial spying program on US citizens under threat.

      In one case, brought by customers of AT&T and run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the NSA was ordered [PDF] to provide relevant evidence that would prove or disprove that consumer’s communications had been tapped – a legal first.

      In the second case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an appeals court reversed [PDF] the earlier dismissal of a lawsuit and allowed Wikimedia to continue in its fight to sue the NSA for violating the First and Fourth Amendments.

      Both cases tackle the same issue: the use of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to carry out “upstream” interception of internet traffic. In effect, the NSA ordered telecom companies to give them permanent access to the online activities of millions of US citizens by tapping the internet’s backbone.

    • ICE Using Stingrays To Track Down Immigrants Because Of Course It Is

      As information about police use of cell tower spoofers began leaking out, those who had kept the public (including defendants, judges, and even some prosecutors) out of the loop began defending their use of domesticated military technology. They said pay no attention to the possible civil liberties violations. Just think of all the good they’re doing. They promised Stingrays would only be used on the worst of the worst, and only when time was of the essence: terrorists, murderers, kidnappers, etc.

      But then even more Stingray documents made their way into the public domain. These showed the devices were deployed in bog-standard drug investigations or, worse, used just because agencies had them. This perhaps reached its nadir when a police department fired up its Stingray to hunt down someone who had stolen less than $60 worth of fast food. To make matters worse, the Stingray failed to track down the alleged thief.

    • Wikipedia can pursue NSA surveillance lawsuit: U.S. appeals court

      A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a Wikipedia lawsuit that challenges a U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program of mass online surveillance, and claims that the government unconstitutionally invades people’s privacy rights.

      By a 3-0 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, had a legal right to challenge the government’s Upstream surveillance program.

      The decision could make it easier for people to learn whether authorities have spied on them through Upstream, which involves bulk searches of international communications within the internet’s backbone of cables, switches and routers.

    • Detailed medical records of 61 million Italian citizens to be given to IBM for its "cognitive computing" system Watson

      In return for that $150 million investment, IBM will receive the medical records of 61 million Italians in what seems to be their entirety. According to Barbacetto (original in Italian), the information provided will include: demographic data; all medical conditions, diagnoses, and their treatment; emergency and other hospital visits, including dates and times; prescriptions and their costs; genomic data and information about about any cancers; and much else besides.

      This information will be supplied in a supposedly anonymous form, with obvious personal indicators removed. However, it has been known for decades that detailed medical records can never be considered truly anonymous. [...]

    • The future of profiling

      Even worse, profiling and similar techniques are increasingly used not just to classify and understand people, but also to make decisions that have far-reaching consequences, from credit to housing, welfare and employment.

    • NSA Brute-Force Keysearch Machine

      Unfortunately, the Intercept decided not to publish most of the document, so all of those people with “a Ph.D. in a related field” can’t read and understand WindsorGreen’s capabilities. What sorts of key lengths can the machine brute force? Is it optimized for symmetric or asymmetric cryptanalysis? Random brute force or dictionary attacks? We have no idea.

    • GOP lawmaker who helped kill ISP privacy rules proposes new privacy rules

      There’s one big caveat: Blackburn’s bill would prevent individual states and municipalities from imposing laws that are stricter than the proposed federal standard.

    • BostonGlobe.com disables articles when your browser’s in private mode

      Disabling your browser’s local storage of data, even if you’re not technically using "incognito" mode, will also trigger the anti-private mode message on the Globe website. But you can disable third-party cookies and still view Globe articles in regular mode, as long as you allow the websites you visit to store data.

    • And now, under-the-skin RFID tags replace paper train tickets in Europe

      The Swedish State Railways has decided to accept under-the-skin RFID tag implants for ticket purchases, arguing it enhances ticketless travel better than having your ticket in your mobile. Actually, they didn’t argue that at all. They just said “we’re digital” and “it works” as if that would justify the rest.

    • Trump’s cybersecurity order delivers nothing but more surveillance

      I think you can see why it’s more than annoying that some of my colleagues saw the EO and thought it was a good thing. It’s not. It’s about 500 steps backward from where we were last year, with a layer of malfeasant opportunism on top.

      And we weren’t exactly in a great place last year with our government coming to grips with our nation’s cybersecurity, either.

    • No prison for judge who offered beer to FBI agent for wife’s texts

      A North Carolina judge now stripped of his robe has been sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Arnold Ogden Jones had pleaded guilty to charges that he tried to bribe an FBI official with beer and cash to get his wife’s text messages when he was a Wayne County judge in 2015.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Senators ask FCC why reporter was "manhandled" after net neutrality vote

      Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) sent a letter to Pai Friday, one day after CQ Roll Call reporter John Donnelly accused FCC guards of forcing him out of the building when he was trying to talk to Pai and Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.

    • Sorry, you can’t protest security screening by getting naked for the TSA

      Brennan’s attorney, Michael Rose of Portland, disagreed with the decision. "Mr. Brennan was simply exercising his First Amendment right to protest the unnecessarily intrusive search by the TSA agents, who responded much like a colony of ants whose hill was kicked over," he told Ars in an e-mail. "Their untoward reaction to his protest was the sole cause of any ‘interference’ with the smooth operations at PDX, which was the basis for the fine."

    • To Trump, Human Rights Concerns Are Often a Barrier to Trade

      The latest human rights report produced by Mr. Tillerson’s own department mentions Saudi Arabia’s "restrictions on universal rights, such as freedom of expression, including on the internet, and the freedoms of assembly, association, movement, and religion," as well as the country’s "pervasive gender discrimination." Raif Badawi, a writer, has been in prison since 2012 after starting a blog called Free Saudi Liberals Network.

    • Laptop ban due to ISIS’ x-ray machine theft: claim

      Corbett wrote that there was some logic to the ban since lithium batters were opaque to X-rays and a metal box, which was the same size as a battery and filled with explosives, would look the same.

      But, he said, there were problems with the approach. For one, anyone who planned to use a laptop to conceal a bomb would simply use something else once the ban was in place. Secondly, by forcing all the batteries (inside devices) to be stored in the hold, the chance of fires was increased.

      And thirdly, he wrote, the ban was not economically viable as it meant the loss of millions of hours of productivity.

    • Two senators want answers from the FCC over its ‘manhandling’ of a reporter

      "Yesterday’s incident at the FCC is not an isolated one and seems to be a part of a larger pattern of hostility towards the press characteristic of this Administration," they wrote. The pair requested a response by Friday, May 26th, asking for Pai’s description of the event and the FCC’s security policies, an explanation for the security guard’s actions, and an assurance that such incidents "will not happen again."

    • CIA Documents Expose the Failed Torture Methods Used on Guantanamo’s Most Famous Detainee

      It is early on in Abu Zubaydah’s time at a CIA black site. He insists to his interrogators that he has no additional information on jihadist operations planned against the US, but his captor won’t stop slapping him. Eventually a hood is placed over Zubaydah’s head and he is placed into a confinement box by unseen security officers. He is told this is his new home until he’s prepared to provide information on operations against the US.

    • China To Require Drone Owners To Register, Just As Similar US Requirements Are Struck Down

      The South China Morning Post has a story about a new requirement for drone owners in China to register with the country’s civilian aviation regulator starting next month. So is this yet another example of the Chinese authorities clamping down on a potentially subversive new technology by ensuring that drone use can be tracked?

    • Court ruling nullifies US requirement that hobbyists register drones

      A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a regulation requiring the public to register drones. The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the Federal Aviation Administration did not have the authority to regulate so-called “model aircraft.”

    • Trump Allegedly Wants FBI To Look Into Locking Up Journalists Who Publish Leaks

      It’s been another busy week for our president. Following on the heels of his revelation that he fired FBI Director James Comey over the ongoing Russian ties investigation (and following on the heels of Trump’s tweeted threat about secret recordings of conversations with Comey), the FBI’s acting director said the investigation is still ongoing, a special counsel was picked to oversee the investigation, and people close to Comey hinted the FBI might have some recordings of its own that undercut the president’s narrative.

    • Statement on the Attack in Manchester

      Last night at 10.30 PM at a pop concert in Manchester Arena, an explosion killed at least 22 including children and injured at least 59. Reports have been coming in during the early hours of the morning confirming the suspect to have been killed in the blast. This has been described as one of the deadliest attacks in the UK of the last decade.

      There is still speculation as to the motives of the killer and an ongoing investigation to uncover whether they acted alone or part of a wider group.

      What we do know is the misery following this horrific attack will be hijacked by the grief vultures of the far right. Already high profile racist Katie Hopkins is calling for a “final solution” on Twitter, while other fascist media personalities are scrambling for any information they can twist in order to fuel their anti-migrant, anti-Muslim agendas, and continue attacking the Left who dare challenge their blatant racism. There are two fascist demonstrations planned for Liverpool and Manchester in the coming weeks that will, no doubt, use last night’s tragedy in order to attract bigger numbers and use the deaths of dozens of ordinary people in order to grow their organisational capacity. They must be opposed.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • [Older] Amazon made a small change to the way it sells books. Publishers are terrified.

      Now you might be buying the book from Amazon, or you might be buying it from a third-party seller. And there’s no guarantee that if the latter is true, said third-party seller bought the book from the publisher. In fact, it’s most likely they didn’t.

      Which means the publisher might not be getting paid. And, by extension, neither is the author.

    • All the Second Life rabbits are doomed, thanks to DRM

      Every Ozimal digirabbit in the venerable virtual world Second Life will starve to death (well, permanent hibernation) this week because a legal threat has shut down their food-server, and the virtual pets are designed so that they can only eat DRM-locked food, so the official food server’s shutdown has doomed them all.

    • Apple, Verizon Join Forces To Lobby Against New York’s ‘Right To Repair’ Law

      Over the last year, we’ve noted the surge in so-called “right to repair” laws, which would make it easier for consumers to repair their electronics and find replacement parts and tools. It’s a direct response to the rising attempts by companies like John Deere, Apple, Microsoft and Sony to monopolize repair, hamstringing consumer rights over products consumers think they own, while driving up the cost of said product ownership. John Deere’s draconian lockdown on its tractor firmware is a large part of the reason these efforts have gained steam over the last few months in states like Nebraska.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • RIAA Says Artists Don’t Need "Moral Rights," Artists Disagree

        The right to be credited is part of the so-called "moral rights," which are baked into many copyright laws around the world, adopted at the international level through the Berne Convention.

        However, in the United States, this is not the case. The US didn’t sign the Berne Convention right away and opted out from the "moral rights" provision when they eventually joined it.

      • Now Anyone Can Embed a Pirate Movie in a Website

        Vodlocker.to is offering an interesting service that not only provides streaming movies and TV shows in the browser but also allows them to be published anywhere on the web. After entering the movie’s IMDb number, users get an embed code which can be entered into any web page, where the movie will play in a YouTube-like window. There’s even support for Chromecast.

      • Copyright Troll Attorney John Steele Disbarred by Illinois Supreme Court

        After admitting to several criminal acts, including the operation of a piracy honeypot, Prenda Law attorney John Steele has now been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court. As a result, the troubled attorney will no longer be allowed to practice law in the state. While the decision doesn’t come as a surprise, several victims of the trolling operation will welcome it with a smile.

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