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05.09.18

Links 9/5/2018: Firefox 60 and CrossOver 17.5

Posted in News Roundup at 3:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The good, the bad & the ugly of using open source code components

    The reality is that developers need to use components, should use components and want to use components. But this reality necessitates both more education surrounding the risk of components, and the tools and technology that allow developers to continue to use components, but in a secure way that doesn’t slow them down.

  • 5 Awesome Open Source Cloning Software

    Cloning is nothing but the copying of the contents of a server hard disk to a storage medium (another disk) or to an image file. Disk cloning is quite useful in modern data centers for:

  • ETSI gets closer to open source bodies as OPNFV enriches platform

    Standards body ETSI has been a critical contributor to the spread of virtualization and SDN in telco networks. It is the home of several initiatives which have turned into key foundations of the new software-driven telecoms network, notably NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), OSM (Open Source MANO or management and orchestration) and MEC (Multi-access Edge Compute). However, as open source methods become increasingly important to operators via initiatives like OpenStack and the Open Networking Foundation, some argue that the processes of the traditional standards body are outdated and too slow. Even in areas where ETSI has done the groundwork, nimbler and wider open ecosystems are often taking up the baton. The Linux Foundation-hosted ONAP (Open Network Automation Protocol) has attracted broader…

  • Open source makes software engineering a social phenomenon

    Open source has upended the secluded lives of the classic software engineer, with introverts now required to interact even more with the community as part of the job becomes increasingly people orientated.

    “People think of [open source] as a software development methodology, and it is. But fundamentally it’s a social phenomenon. … [The] social aspect of this for an introvert like myself is at the same time a little scary, but also it’s super exciting because it is people who are driving this industry,” stated Dirk Hohndel (pictured), vice president and chief open source officer at VMware Inc.

  • Going with the grain

    All open source community members care about the “four freedoms” – the permission given in advance to use, study, improve and share software in source and deployable forms. Some do so as an ethical imperative, while others do so as a matter of pragmatism related to their use of the code. But everyone in a community expects to be able to take the code and do what they want with it, without needing to get any further permission from anyone.

    They expect to be able to contribute in good faith. There may be rules about who can contribute when and how, but they will be reasonable and apply equally to everyone. Contributing isn’t a matter of (just) philanthropy; one of the important benefits of community-maintained code is sharing the ongoing maintenance.

    They also expect all the interactions of the community to be transparent. Where there are leadership roles, they expect them to be filled by the most appropriate willing person, probably chosen by voting where there’s a choice of candidates. In an open source community, participants expect reasoned fairness.

  • Events

    • Helping kids answer: What do you want to be when you grow up?

      The statement by Cathy Davidson of the MacArthur Foundation that “65% of today’s grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet” has resonated so deeply because it adds urgency to what should be obvious, especially considering the rapid, technology-driven changes we’ve seen in the workforce over the past 10 years.

      All signs indicate that future job skills will be vastly different from what students are taught in schools, and the World Mentoring Academy is trying to close those gaps. In his Lightning Talk, “Mentoring and Creative Spaces,” at the 16th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE), Michael Williams describes one of the Academy’s projects: exposing students to skills of the future by interviewing professional astronauts, activists, journalists, spies, authors, chefs, athletes, government officials, and others about their jobs.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • We Asked People How They Feel About Facebook. Here’s What They Said.

        Facebook has been in the news a lot lately. It started with the announcement that over 87 million Facebook users had their personal information shared with the private firm Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge. Since then, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified twice in front of the US Congress and people all around the world have been talking about Facebook’s data practices. We took this opportunity to survey people on how they felt about Facebook these days. 47,000 people responded to our survey. The data is interesting and open for your exploration.

        The top takeaways? Most people (76%) say they are very concerned about the safety of their personal information online. Yet few people (24%) reported making changes to their Facebook accounts following the recent news of privacy concerns around Facebook. The majority of people who responded to our survey (65%) see themselves — rather than companies or the government — as being most responsible for protecting their personal information online. And very few people (only 12%) said they would consider paying for Facebook, even a version of Facebook that doesn’t make money by collecting and selling personal data.

      • Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge Winners Announced!

        We know many Firefox users love web extensions, and we do, too. Today we’re announcing the winners of our Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge.

      • Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge Winners

        The results are in for the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge! We were thrilled to see so many creative, helpful, and delightful submission entries.

      • Rep of the Month – April 2018

        David is a Mozillian living the UK and active in a lot of different Mozilla projects. In his day job he is building an Open Source Fitness platform. You might have seen him at the past few MozFests in London. Last year he did a great job wrangling the Privacy&Security space.

      • Firefox 60 Released With New Enterprise Features, Web Authentication / Yubikey Support

        Firefox 60.0 is out this morning and it’s quite a big update while also being Mozilla’s newest ESR release for extended support.

        Among the many changes to find with Firefox 60 is the new Policy Engine and Group Policy support for better integrating Firefox within enterprise deployments. The new policy engine supports the Windows Group Policy as well as a cross-platform JSON file for defining the policy. Firefox 60.0 also features the new Web Authentication API with support for devices like the Yubikey for dealing with passwords/authentication.

      • Firefox 60 – Modules and More

        Firefox 60 is here, and the Quantum lineage continues apace. The parallel processing prowess of Quantum CSS is now available on Firefox for Android, and work continues on WebRender, which modernizes the whole idea of what it means to draw a web page. But we’re not just spreading the love on internals. Firefox 60 boasts a number of web platform and developer-facing improvements as well.

      • Firefox Quantum: Fast for Business, Better for IT

        Browsers are key to how everyone in your company works, but how often do you think about them? A memory-hungry browser can slow your systems to a crawl, killing productivity across your org. Replacing it with a fast, lightweight browser is an easy win for IT.

        Last fall, Mozilla launched Firefox Quantum, an all-new browser based on an advanced rendering engine that bests every other browser and uses less memory. Independent tests proved its blazing-fast performance and miserly memory usage, and Wired wrote that “Firefox Quantum is the browser built for 2017”.

      • Firefox gets down to Business, and it’s Personal

        Right now everybody’s talking about the right way to make the products that we love meet our individual needs AND respect our privacy.

        At Mozilla, striking this balance has been our bread and butter for more than two decades. With today’s release of Firefox, we’re bringing you more features and tools that allow you to personalize your browser without sacrificing your privacy.

      • Mozilla Fights for Net Neutrality this May (and Always)

        Mozilla is continuing to fight for net neutrality — in the courts, alongside Americans, and, today, by joining the Red Alert protest.

        The Red Alert protest raises awareness about net neutrality’s importance, and the means for keeping it intact: In mid-May, the Senate will vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality repeal. We’re partnering with organizations like Consumer Reports, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reddit to encourage Americans to call Congress in support of net neutrality.

      • This Week in Rust 233
  • OpenStack

    • SUSE OpenStack Cloud 8 to Accelerate Customer Software-Defined Infrastructure Deployments
    • SUSE’s OpenStack Cloud 8 and SUSE-Ready Certification for SUSE CaaS, Cosmic Cuttlefish, Android Things and More

      SUSE’s OpenStack Cloud 8 made its debut last week. This is the “first release to integrate the best of SUSE OpenStack Cloud and HPE OpenStack technology, which was acquired by SUSE last year”. Other enhancements include “greater flexibility for customers with full support for OpenStack Ironic”, “expanded interoperability with new support for VMware NSX-V”, “enhanced scalability to support large deployments” and more.

    • A modern hybrid cloud platform for innovation: Containers on Cloud with Openshift on OpenStack

      Market trends show that due to long application life-cycles and the high cost of change, enterprises will be dealing with a mix of bare-metal, virtualized, and containerized applications for many years to come. This is true even as greenfield investment moves to a more container-focused approach.

      Red Hat® OpenStack® Platform provides a solution to the problem of managing large scale infrastructure which is not immediately solved by containers or the systems that orchestrate them.

      In the OpenStack world, everything can be automated. If you want to provision a VM, a storage volume, a new subnet or a firewall rule, all these tasks can be achieved using an easy to use UI or with a command line interface, leveraging Openstack API’s. All these infrastructure needs might require a ticket, some internal processing, and could take weeks. Now such provisioning could all be done with a script or a playbook, and could be completely automated.

    • Why we use tests on OpenStack package builds in RDO

      Unit tests are used to verify that individual units of source code work according to a defined specification (spec). While this may sound complicated to understand, in short it means that we try to verify that each part of our source code works as expected, without having to run the full program they belong to.

      All OpenStack projects come with their own set of unit tests, for example, this is the unit test folder for the oslo.config project. Those tests are executed when a new patch is proposed for review, to ensure that existing (or new) functionality is not broken with the new code. For example, if you check this review, you can see that one of the continuous integration jobs executed is “openstack-tox-py27”, which runs unit tests using Python 2.7.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.0.4

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 6.0.4, which represents the bleeding edge in terms of features, and as such is targeted at early adopters, tech-savvy and power users.

      For mainstream users and enterprise deployments, TDF provides the alternative download of LibreOffice 5.4.6.

    • LibreOffice 6.0.4 Released for Linux, Mac, and Windows with 88 Bug Fixes

      The Document Foundation announced today the release and immediate availability for download of the fourth maintenance update to the latest stable LibreOffice 6.0 open-source office suite.

      LibreOffice 6.0.4 comes five weeks after version 6.0.3 to address a total of 88 bugs that affected various of the office suite’s components, including Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and others. Details about the changes implemented in this new release can be found here and here.

      However, the Document Foundation still recommends LibreOffice 6.0 only to early adopters, as well as power, tech-savvy users as it contains bleeding edge features that need more thorough testing before it can be validated for deployments in production environments, so version 6.0.4 is here to make the office suite more stable and reliable.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD Finishes Up Spectre Mitigation, Fix For Mysterious CVE-2018-8897

      DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has just pushed out DragonFly’s Spectre mitigation code as well as fixing “CVE-2018-8897″ which is what might be the recently rumored “Spectre-NG” vulnerabilities.

      Matthew Dillon was very quick to be the first major BSD player pushing out patches for Spectre and Meltdown back in January, beating the other BSDs by a significant amount of time to getting mitigated for these CPU vulnerabilities.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • LibreDWG – Smokers and mirrors

      I’ve setup continuous integration testing for all branches and pull requests at https://travis-ci.org/LibreDWG/libredwg/builds for GNU/Linux, and at https://ci.appveyor.com/project/rurban/libredwg for windows, which also generates binaries (a dll) automatically.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Open source software 101: Compliance and risk management [Ed: Lawyers badmouthing FOSS because there's money in FUD]

      The use of open source software (OSS) — where the source code is made available under an open source licence — has become ubiquitous across many industries, especially for companies operating in the tech sector. But the use of OSS comes with a set of risks that businesses, including emerging and high growth companies, must understand.

    • Making the most of open source software [Ed: Lawyers like to talk about freedom as a risk, therefore making themselves "necessary"]

      If you are a software developer, you will know all about open source software (OSS). OSS is software whose source code is publicly available to be used, adapted, modified and re-licensed, usually free of charge. Because it is unusual for software developers to give away their source code, some people think OSS is released without being subject to licence terms. In fact, most (although not all) OSS is licensed under one of a variety of public licences, the most commonly used of which is the General Public Licence (GPL) which exists in multiple versions.

      Most software developers nowadays will make use of some OSS for the obvious reason that it avoids them having to re-invent the proverbial wheel and that makes it particularly attractive to startups. It is unlikely to cause you problems if you use OSS in internal products, although the question of OSS may arise if the company is acquired. Where, however, it is used in your proprietary software which is licensed to or hosted by third parties, the situation becomes more complex.

    • Backdrop CMS is the Conservancy’s Newest Member Project

      Software Freedom Conservancy is excited to announce that Backdrop CMS has joined as its newest member project. Backdrop CMS is a lightweight content management system for small to medium sized businesses and non-profits.

      Backdrop CMS best serves the kinds of organizations that need complex functionality, on a budget. Smaller organizations deserve a tool built especially for their changing and particular needs. Backdrop CMS is committed to providing that service by leveraging the flexibility and collaborative nature of free and open source software.

      Conservancy, a public charity focused on ethical technology, is home to over forty member projects dedicated to developing and promoting free and open source software. Conservancy acts as a corporate umbrella, allowing member projects to operate as charitable initiatives without having to manage their own corporate structure and administrative services.

  • Programming/Development

    • Typemock Launches C/C++ Mocking Framework for Linux

      Typemock, the leader in unit testing solutions, today announced the launch of Isolator++ for Linux. For over a decade, Typemock has been the smart way for developers to unit test .NET and C/C++ on Windows, and with this new release, developers will be able to easily unit test their code on Linux as well.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Govt has one IT policy: take from the poor, give to the rich

    The Coalition Government’s approach to the R&D Tax Incentive in last night’s Federal Budget mirrors its approach to every other sector or section of society: take from the poor, give to the rich.

    The changes that were announced will hit start-ups when they are at their most vulnerable: at the stage when they have yet to start generating revenue.

    At the other end, the R&D expenditure threshold — the maximum amount of R&D expenditure eligible for concessional R&D tax offsets — has been increased from $100 million to $150 million annually. That will only benefit big companies, most of whom are established.

  • Science

    • Prof. James Morris: “One Last Lecture”

      Jim’s final lecture at CMU is full of his trademark insights and humor, covering the five mostly CMU computing pioneers who influenced his career. You should watch the whole hour-long video, but below the fold I have transcribed a few tastes [...]

      He said ‘The most important thing to get right is the network.’ And that turned out to be completely true. The part of the system that we did, called the Andrew File System, which Satya was one of the inventors of, is still running thirty years later, which is amazing for a piece of software. It received a national award for being a great piece of software. [...]

  • Security

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Jeremy Corbyn silent on persecution of Julian Assange

      WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has been held incommunicado inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than one month. His full period of confinement without charge—a crime under international law—stands at 2,710 days.

      Ecuador blocked Assange’s phone and Internet access on March 28, depriving him of all visitors, after a meeting in Quito one day earlier with the US military’s Southern Command. Ecuador stated that Twitter posts by Assange on Catalonia and the Skripal affair had “put at risk” Ecuador’s relations with the United Kingdom, the European Union and “other nations.”

      The circumstances of Assange’s political asylum in central London resemble a prison cell. Less than 200 metres from Harrods, conditions at 3 Hans Court fully conform to those of “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” outlawed under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Microsoft Wants Bills Paid in Outlook

      Support is already in place with payment processors including Stripe and Braintree. The Zuora billing service is also signed up, as are invoice services FreshBooks, Intuit, Sage, Wave, and Xero. Fiserv will also be added soon. All a business needs to do is embed a payment action in Outlook and send it to the customer.

    • We’re Suing Ben Carson for Trying to Dismantle the Fair Housing Act

      It is no accident that much of the United States remains segregated. Decades of slavery, Jim Crow laws, discriminatory lending practices, and intentional policy choices at the federal, state, and local level — most of which were enacted within the last 80 years — helped make it so.

      The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, just a week after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, was meant to address the decades of discrimination that led to such segregation. The FHA made it illegal to discriminate against anyone buying or renting a house because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (it’s since been amended to include family status and disability, too). But it also sought to replace segregation in America with “truly integrated and balanced living patterns” by requiring agencies to “affirmatively” further fair housing in all programs related to housing.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Schneiderman Was Investigating the Manhattan D.A. Now the Tables Have Turned

      First Eric Schneiderman was investigating Cy Vance Jr. Now Cy Vance Jr. is investigating Eric Schneiderman.

      Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, is examining reports that Schneiderman struck or assaulted several women, said Danny Frost, a spokesman for the office. Those allegations, reported late Monday in the New Yorker, led to Schneiderman’s abrupt resignation as New York’s attorney general on Monday night.

    • ‘A Result of McCarthyism Is a Much Narrower Range of Political Ideas’

      In January of 2017, the country was still reeling—as indeed we continue to reel—from the election of Donald Trump. Corporate news media were full of allegations of Russian hacking—of the election and, at one point we were told, the electrical grid in Vermont. Barack Obama signed off on something called the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, the point of which was to aim communications at people overseas to “countermessage” the ideas of “terrorists,” as defined of course by the state. And a website launched, purporting to serve as a “watchlist” on professors deemed guilty of advancing leftist propaganda in the classroom. The feeling in the air led CounterSpin to speak with Ellen Schrecker, retired professor of American history at Yeshiva University and the author of a number of books, including Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America and No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism in the Universities.

    • Supposedly Taboo Ideas That Actually Appear Frequently in the Pages of the New York Times

      I agree that it’s dangerous to be under that degree of self-delusion; none of these ideas are remotely taboo; they’re the kind of things that are said routinely in outlets like, to pick one at random, the New York Times.

      Take a piece that ran in the New York Times Sunday Review last month (4/20/18), headlined “Why Men Quit and Women Don’t.” Looking at the differences in male and female drop-out rates in the Boston Marathon, the article presents “a whole range of theories on why women out-endured men in Boston — body fat composition, decision-making tendencies, pain tolerance, even childbirth.” Lindsey Crouse, a senior staff editor for the Times‘ Op-Docs feature, quotes psychologist and TedTalk podcaster Adam Grant: “There’s a biological and social tendency for women to tend toward caregiving…. Women are more likely to reach out to runners next to them and offer support and seek support.” Was anyone scandalized to find this discussion of biological gender differences in the Times?

      [...]

      I guess it’s not hard to see either the psychological appeal or the marketing advantages of pretending that your absolutely commonplace, widely publicized ideas are brave truths that have to be circulated via samizdat. But if you know what it actually feels like to have an idea that can’t be discussed in broad daylight, try suggesting that the wealth of billionaires ought to be confiscated to feed the hungry and house the homeless.

    • Young people not permitted to be party political in Wales – Pirates think differently

      If you live in Wales, are aged 11-18 and want to take part in the Welsh Youth Parliament you will not be allowed to disclose your party affiliation.

      The Welsh Government announced the end to their consultation in November 2017 and have decided on the particulars surrounding the Welsh Youth Parliament, despite never publishing the results of the consultation.

    • The Media’s Paywall Obsession Will End In Disaster For Most

      We’ve written about paywalls for many, many years — often in fairly critical terms. It’s not that we think that paywalls are somehow “bad,” but that (1) for most publications, they won’t actually work and (2) they are quite frequently counterproductive. In addition, we believe that there are both societal and business advantages to having certain information be available for free. Paywalls are (once again) getting attention, and there it’s worth discussing this latest round of interest and why it’s misguided. First, the general opinion from media folks on paywalls is pretty nicely summarized by Megan McArdle’s recent story (possibly paywalled…) entitled “Farewell to Free Journalism.” The key thesis is that the online ad market has basically disappeared, and thus, paywalls are the only option. The first part of the argument is correct: the online ad market has almost entirely disappeared. Non-publishers don’t quite understand how massively online advertising rates have declined — whether it’s due to greater and greater supply or Google and Facebook (the usual targets) sucking up all the ad revenue with their superior targeting.

      But, just as a data point: ad revenue here at Techdirt is now on the order of about 5% of what it was six or seven years ago. Not down 5%. Down 95%. That… makes it impossible to survive if you’re just supported by ads. Thankfully we’re not tied solely to that revenue, though the decline certainly hurts (speaking of which: feel free to support us directly). At this point, we barely even consider ad revenue when we look at how the company makes money.

      So, if you believe that there are only two revenue models for media: advertising or subscription, it’s not hard to see how many publications are jumping over to the paywall (subscription) model. The problem is that just because one business model doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that the other will.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • With Millions of Anti-Semitic Tweets a Year, Twitter Is a ‘Toxic Environment’ for Jews, Says New Study
    • Press freedom hangs by a thread

      Press freedom is hanging by a thread in Britain. Tomorrow, the House of Commons will vote on the Data Protection Bill, and Labour MPs have added amendments to it that would effectively end 300 years of press freedom in this country.

    • NCC urged to confront ‘censorship’

      Pro-independence groups yesterday urged the government to tackle what they said was Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou’s (郭台銘) censorship of media, after a system operator partly owned by Gou cut off Formosa TV’s (FTV) channels on Friday.

      The Taiwan Society and other groups told a news conference in Taipei that they object to Gou’s attempt to monopolize the media, given his massive investments in China, and they called on the National Communications Commission (NCC) to work harder to defend press freedom.

      FTV is the nation’s only TV station not tainted by Chinese influence, Union of Taiwan Teachers (UTT) executive director Hsiao Hsiao-ling (蕭曉玲) said, calling on the Democratic Progressive Party administration to treat the issue as a national security crisis.

      As China has been working steadily toward its aim of unification, Taiwan should not allow those close to the Chinese government to deprive Taiwanese of “their right to know,” Northern Taiwan Society secretary-general Pan Wei-yu (潘威佑) said.

    • Students’ survey highlights censorship of Christian college newspapers [Ed: Using religion as a pretext/excuse to printing falsehoods and then claiming #censorship or "offense" or "discrimination"]

      A group of Christian college students has released a survey that suggests censorship of student publications is not uncommon at American Christian schools, with student editors alleging faculty and administrators wield broad editorial control over campus newspapers and sometimes kill stories before publication.

      Administrators at Christian colleges have a legal right to control their schools’ newspapers, and argue they do so to safeguard the values that define their institutions.

    • Controversial Hong Kong Doc Sparks Fears of Self-Censorship

      Thanks to its politically provocative subject matter, Lost in Fumes, a documentary made by a 22-year-old on a minuscule budget of $12,800 (HK$100,000), has become Hong Kong’s hottest ticket in the past six months. But because of that same subject matter, no commercial film exhibitor in the city has been willing to touch it. The documentary follows the post-election comedown of Hong Kong university student-turned-pro-democracy activist Edward Leung, an eloquent former rising star of local politics who has been threatened with prison over his participation in a protest that became a riot. The film’s fate has renewed fears in Hong Kong’s entertainment sector about the continued erosion of freedom of speech — a trend that has included self-censorship among the city’s establishment as much as outright suppression.

      Lost in Fumes is the second documentary feature from recent college graduate Nora Lam. Since November, it has been playing to packed houses at Hong Kong’s Art Centre, at colleges and universities and in impromptu underground community screenings. But Leung’s political stance — which falls somewhat outside the local mainstream and is viewed by the ruling Communist Party in Beijing as a serious threat to its sovereignty over Hong Kong — has meant that most local business leaders would rather run a mile to avoid being associated with the film for fear of social or political reprisal.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Ciphers “Simon and Speck” Are Dead – But Not Entirely Buried Says ISO

      It may have taken them 15 days to respond, but the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) today told Computer Business Review that while the US National Security Agency (NSA)’s cryptography ciphers “Simon and Speck” had indeed been rejected by the organisation, while they were probably dead, they were not yet buried.

      The NSA had become embroiled in a heated public dispute over the ciphers in late April. It had put them forward as potential international cryptographic standards, but run into a hailstorm of opposition from ISO experts.

      SIMON and SPECK were made public by the NSA in 2013 and are optimised for low-cost processors like Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but fears that they were back-doored, and claims that the NSA refused to answer questions about the choice of matrices in Simon’s key schedule, saw them nixed by ISO delegates.

      (Two block ciphers suitable for lightweight cryptography are currently recognised by ISO under ISO/IEC 29192-2:2012: Orange Labs-developed PRESENT: a lightweight block cipher with a block size of 64 bits and a key size of 80 or 128 bits and Sony-developed CLEFIA: a lightweight block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and a key size of 128, 192 or 256 bits.)

    • A Smart Doorbell Company Is Working With Cops to Report ‘Suspicious’ People and Activities

      Ring customers can already share footage from their doorbell cameras—with police, with friends, and most anywhere online. A company blog post, for example, lists “The 8 Scariest Videos Caught by Ring,” and user-submitted footage (or “Customer Stories”) is heavily promoted on Ring’s website. The company even provides a how-to guide for downloading and sharing videos across social media.

    • ISPs Win Landmark Case to Protect Privacy of Alleged Pirates

      Two Danish ISPs have won their long-running battle to prevent the identities of alleged pirates being handed over to copyright trolls. With the trolls’ activities being described as “mafia-like”, ISPs Telenor and Telia argued that IP address logs should only be used in serious criminal cases. In a ruling handed down Monday, one of Denmark’s highest courts agreed, stopping the copyright trolls in their tracks.

    • Inside the US’ new state-of-the-art cyberwarfare bunker
    • NSA, U.S. Cyber Command unveil new cyberwarfare HQ

      The NSA and U.S. Cyber Command have a new, state-of-the-art facility to call home.

    • Facebook Shakes Up Management; Main Divisions Get New Heads
    • European regulators not ready for new data privacy regulations: report

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the company will exclude North America from GDPR protections but has noted that the company plans to roll out its own separate adjustments to users in other regions.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Victory! Georgia Governor Vetoes Short-Sighted Computer Crime Bill

      Recognizing the concerns of Georgia’s cybersecurity sector, Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed a bill that would have threatened independent research and empowered dangerous “hack back” measures.

      S.B. 315 would have created the new crime of “unauthorized access” without any requirement that the defendant have fraudulent intent. This could have given prosecutors the discretion to target independent security researchers who uncover security vulnerabilities, even when they have no criminal motives and intend to disclose the problems ethically. The bill also included a dangerous exemption for “active defense measures.”

      “After careful review and consideration of this legislation, including feedback from other stakeholders, I have concluded more discussion is required before enacting this cybersecurity legislation,” Gov. Deal wrote in his veto message.

    • Haspel’s CIA Torture Defenders Have No Case

      The CIA is deflecting attempts to get to the bottom of Haspel’s record. But the defenses of that record don’t hold water.

      As we approach the confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA, the agency continues to hide from the American public virtually all information about her role in torture and the destruction of evidence documenting it.

      According to The Washington Post, Haspel even sought to withdraw her nomination out of concern about questions that she and the CIA have long avoided. Later reporting has suggested that Haspel’s withdrawal was motivated by concern that the White House wouldn’t fully back her in light of documents showing her unquestioning complicity in torture. As public scrutiny mounts, CNN reports that the Trump administration is already getting a Plan B nominee, Susan Gordon, the deputy director of national intelligence, ready if the Haspel nomination fails.

      Although Haspel decided to move forward with the confirmation process after persuasion by White House officials, there is no indication that she has any intention of coming clean about her history helping lead the CIA’s Bush-era torture program. Instead, the CIA is doubling down on a propaganda campaign on Haspel’s behalf, pushing what several senators have called a “superficial narrative” that “does a great disservice to the American people” by denying them basic information about a person poised to assume one of the most powerful roles in the country. According to the Washington Post, “documents that haven’t been made public, show that Haspel was an enthusiastic supporter of what the CIA was doing.” Those are documents that the American people need to see.

      We fully expect that Haspel will try to deflect attempts to get to the bottom of her record by relying on tired defenses that have no basis in law or history. Here is the truth behind some of the defenses we can expect to hear this week from torture defenders.

    • VIPS Call on Senate Intel Panel to Vote Against Haspel

      Putting Haspel in charge of the CIA would undo attempts by the agency — and the nation — to repudiate torture. The message this would send to the CIA workforce is simple: Engage in war crimes, in crimes against humanity, and you’ll get promoted. Don’t worry about the law. Don’t worry about ethics. Don’t worry about morality or the fact that torture doesn’t even work. Go ahead and do it anyway. We’ll cover for you. And you can destroy the evidence, too.

      Described in the media as a “seasoned intelligence veteran,” Haspel has been at the CIA for 33 years, both at headquarters and in senior positions overseas. Now the deputy director, she has tried hard to stay out of the public eye. Former CIA Director Michael Pompeo has lauded her “uncanny ability to get things done and inspire those around her.”

    • Torture is Not Only Immoral, but a Tool for War

      Gina Haspel’s nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency raises a slew of questions for the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding her record on torturewhen she sits down before the committee on Wednesday.

      Her confirmation hearings will no doubt raise questions of legality and ethics. With respect to torture, some have argued that Haspel’s and other’s motivation in overseeing torture and then covering it up may simply be sadism.

      But—especially given how little we know about Haspel’s record — it’s possible that there’s an even more insidious motive in the U.S. government for practicing torture: To produce the rigged case for more war. Examining this possibility is made all the more urgent as Trump has put in place what clearly appears to be a war cabinet. My recent questioning at the State Department failed to produce a condemnation of waterboarding by spokesperson Heather Nauert.

      Haspel’s hearing on Wednesday gives increased urgency to highlighting her record on torture and how torture has been “exploited.” That is, how torture was used to create “intelligence” for select policies, including the initiation of war.

    • Trump’s Shameful Choice of ‘Bloody Gina’

      Leave it to Donald Trump, besieged by denunciations of his torturous behavior toward women, to have nominated a female torturer to head the Central Intelligence Agency. It was a move clearly designed to prove that a woman can be as crudely barbaric as this deeply misogynistic president. When it comes to bullying, Gina Haspel, whose confirmation hearing begins Wednesday, is the real deal, and The Donald is a pussycat by comparison. Whom has he ever waterboarded? Haspel has done that and a lot worse. Haspel is Trump’s ideal feminist, a point tweeted on May 5 by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

      “There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite.”

      They call her “Bloody Gina,” and for some of her buddies in the torture wing of the CIA and their supporters in Congress, that is meant as

    • Connecticut Set to End “Dual Arrests” in Domestic Violence Cases

      The Connecticut Legislature has sent a bill to the governor’s desk that seeks to end having victims of domestic violence arrested along with their abusers because they fight back during the course of an assault.

      For years, Connecticut’s domestic violence victims have been at risk of “dual arrests” — instances in which police arrest both the victim and the perpetrator of domestic violence. The state has a dual arrest rate of about 18 percent in “intimate partner” incidents, a ProPublica analysis in early 2017 found. The average for the rest of the country hovers at about 2 percent.

      The rates were much higher in certain communities. Using data from the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, ProPublica reported that in Windsor, a town of 29,044, dual arrests accounted for 35 percent of intimate partner arrests in 2015. In Ansonia, a city of 19,020, the rate was 37 percent.

    • Drug Dog Trainer: Marijuana Legalization Will Literally Kill Police Drug Dogs

      As marijuana is slowly, but steadily, being legalized, complications have arisen. First, the federal government still considers it illegal, although it has chosen to take a mostly-hands off approach to state-level legalization. Second, law enforcement agencies are seeing a very lucrative field of drug enforcement being slowly closed off. This isn’t sitting well with agencies that rely heavily on pot busts to show their effectiveness and secure funding.

      There’s something else being adversely affected: the employment of a few hundred law enforcement “officers.” Won’t someone think of the poor drug dogs forced out onto the streets/put to death as marijuana legalization cruelly takes their reason for existence away? That’s the breathless parade of horribles being offered by law enforcement officers in Illinois — another state looking to legalize weed.

    • Haspel, Spies and Videotapes

      Jose Rodriguez, the CIA official who ordered CIA officers to destroy a cache of videotapes that had documented the treatment of two terror suspects, says he told Gina Haspel what he intended to do. President Trump’s pick to head the CIA said she had no idea he planned to act without approval from senior officials.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Following Facebook, Verizon Quietly Backs Off Opposition To Modest California Privacy Rules

      If you missed it, large ISPs like Verizon, with the help of the Trump administration and GOP, worked to quickly kill FCC privacy protections before they could take effect last year. Those rules were arguably modest by any measure, simply requiring that ISPs transparently disclose what data is being collected and who it’s being sold to, while providing users working opt out tools (or opt in tools if dealing with sensitive consumer financial data). Those rules, you’ll recall, were only proposed after ISPs repeatedly made it clear they were utterly unwilling and unable to self-regulate on the privacy front.

      ISPs like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast were given ample leeway on privacy for years. Our reward was covert efforts to track users around the internet without telling them, and repeated efforts to charge users more if they wanted to protect their own privacy. Large ISPs had every opportunity to avoid regulation and self-regulate. They showed us repeatedly this was beyond their capabilities. Limited broadband competition routinely protected them from any repercussions, and revolving-door regulators have now completed the circle of dysfunction.

    • Comcast Prepares To Get Even Larger With Sky, Fox Acquisitions

      The cable company Americans love to hate is about to go supernova. Comcast acquired NBC Universal back in 2011, giving the company unprecedented control of not only the conduit into the house, but also the information and news being sent over those wires. And while regulators affixed some flimsy conditions to the deal, Comcast managed to ignore many of them, a major reason why regulators moved to block Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable a few years ago.

      Because we’re unwilling to learn much of anything from history, Comcast’s now on the verge of growing significantly larger. The company recently unveiled a $30 billion plan to acquire European pay TV giant Sky.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Romantic novelist’s trademarking of word ‘cocky’ sparks outcry

        Romance novelists have risen en masse to defend their right to use the word “cocky”, after one writer moved to trademark the adjective.

        Faleena Hopkins is the self-published author of a series of books about the “Cocker Brothers” (“Six bad boy brothers you’ll want to marry or hide under you [sic] bed”), each of which features the word “cocky” in the title: Cocky Romantic, Cocky Biker, Cocky Cowboy. On Saturday, author Bianca Sommerland posted a YouTube video sharing allegations that Hopkins had written to authors whose books also had titles including the word “cocky”, informing them that she had been granted the official registered trademark of the adjective in relation to romance books, and asking them to rename their novels or face legal action.

    • Copyrights

      • EU-US Comparison & Guide On Copyright Link Liability – An Update

        In announcing their new post, Ed Klaris and Alexia Bedat state: “An update to our article reviewing US and European law/recent developments in link liability in both the copyright and defamation contexts and providing a checklist of questions an attorney (or editor) ought to ask before deciding, prepublication, whether a proposed link may lead to liability in the US and/or the EU. Updates include the recent Goldman v. Breitbart decision in which a Federal Judge concluded that embedding a Tweet can be copyright infringement.”

        [...]

        Understanding hyperlinking liability in the European Union, as well as the United States, is thus a prerequisite, both for media companies and the lawyers advising them. Until recently, the act of linking to material that is either copyrighted or defamatory in the United States did not, on its own, carry liability. In February 2018, however, the Southern District of New York handed down an opinion altering the status quo of copyright infringement. At the time of writing, in the Second Circuit, embedding a tweet, without any actual copying, violates the Copyright Act. This development makes the framework of link liability in United States potentially as complicated as the legal framework developed in Europe over the course of the last five years.

      • RIAA: ISP Profited From Keeping Pirating Customers Aboard

        The RIAA is not willing to let ISP Grande Communications off the hook easily. The music group has asked a Texas federal court for permission to file an amended complaint based on new evidence, arguing that the Internet provider profited from its decision not to terminate pirating subscribers.

      • European Commission expands planned copyright auto-censorship machines to also include censorship of unwanted political opinions

        The European Commission is expanding its plans for proposed automated censorship: from only having concerned copyright infringements, which is bad enough and cannot nearly be determined by a machine, the automated censorship is also going to suppress any speech with the wrong political opinion. The political term for the wrong political opinion is “terrorist propaganda”, which typically just means “a narrative from regimes that we’re not allied with right this very moment”.

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