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09.23.20

Links 23/9/2020: Lenovo’s Deeper GNU/Linux Dive and Tor Browser 10/Tails 4.10

Posted in News Roundup at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Far-right networks ‘sizeable’ Twitter audience for some pre-prints

        In some cases, more than half the tweets posted in reference to a paper could be associated with such networks, according to research on the Twitter impact of 1,800 papers on bioRxiv, a pre-print server for the biological sciences.

        For the study, two Seattle-based researchers collected 330,000 tweets on the bioRxiv papers and analysed keywords in the Twitter biographies of those following the tweeters. This allowed them to identify social networks associated with those tweeting, whether inside or outside the academic community

      • Blocking students is not the answer to Chinese spying in America

        Chinese espionage is a real threat. In 2018 the Department of Justice stepped up investigations into Chinese spying, after it revealed that around 80% of all prosecutions for economic espionage were linked to China. Since January the department has launched prosecutions in connection with at least 31 China-linked cases. The FBI opens a new China-related counterintelligence case every ten hours. On September 21st it said a New York police officer, Baimadajie Angwang, had been charged with acting as an agent of China, spying on his fellow ethnic Tibetans.

        The question is whether singling out students based on their educational background is an effective means of dealing with espionage. In 2018 President Donald Trump reportedly said that almost every Chinese student in America was a spy. Most, but not all, of the people accused of espionage by the Department of Justice are Chinese nationals, although not necessarily students. Only eight students or researchers below professorial level have been publicly named this year. Targeting students “is a blunt tool to deal with a very murky problem,” says Matt Sheehan of MacroPolo, part of the Paulson Institute, a think-tank in Chicago.

    • Education

      • SXSW will attempt to hold its popular festival online in 2021… somehow

        SXSW Online will take place from March 16th through March 20th, 2021. Throughout the week, organizers say attendees will be able to check out film and music screenings and take part in other activities such as exhibitions and networking opportunities, but they’ll all be online.

        I’m curious to see how it all goes. Unlike other events, SXSW isn’t just a convention. Sure, people go to the keynotes, but SXSW is a festival. Most years, it’s packed with opportunities for people to network within the tech, music, and film industries, and I’m interested to see if SXSW can recreate the feeling of in-person networking events when the event is entirely online. I suppose Burning Man managed to do an online event, though.

    • Hardware

      • Intel Announces Atom x6000E Series “Elkhart Lake”, 11th Gen Core Tigerlake-UP3

        Given that they are IoT/embedded products where Linux dominates and all of the Elkhart Lake and Tigerlake open-source/Linux patches we have been noting over the past number of months, the Linux support should be quite ready to go for these new Intel offerings as soon as they begin appearing in actual devices. Those are the highlights from today’s announcement and once we can get our hands on such hardware we’ll certainly be putting them through much benchmarking to test the claims.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Find security issues in Go code using gosec

            It’s extremely common now to encounter code written in the Go programming language, especially if you are working with containers, Kubernetes, or a cloud ecosystem. Docker was one of the first projects to adopt Golang, Kubernetes followed, and many new projects select Go over other programming languages.

            Like any other language, Go has its share of strengths and weaknesses, which include security flaws. These can arise due to issues in the programming language itself coupled with insecure coding practices, such as memory safety issues in C code, for example.

            Regardless of why they occur, security issues need to be fixed early in development to prevent them from creeping into shipped software. Fortunately, static analysis tools are available to help you tackle these issues in a more repeatable manner. Static analysis tools work by parsing source code written in a programming language and looking for issues.

          • NXLog Enterprise Edition 5.1: Providing capabilities to further harden enterprises’ security

            NXLog announces the first minor release in the new major version of NXLog Enterprise Edition, NXLog Enterprise Edition version 5.1 (EE 5.1).

            Even though it is a minor release, it is very significant, because along with EE 5.0, NXLog is now filling its new passive network monitoring module with additional protocol parsers focused on Industrial Control Systems.

          • Tor

            • New Release: Tor Browser 10

              The new shiny Tor Browser 10 for Desktop is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory!

              Android Tor Browser 10 is under active development and we are supporting the current 9.5 series for Android until the new one is ready. We are informed by Mozilla of any issues they learn about affecting the 9.5 series. We expect to release the new Tor Browser for Android based on Fenix in the following weeks.

            • New Release: Tails 4.10
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Court Rejects Clearview’s First Amendment, Section 230 Immunity Arguments

              Back in March, facial recognition tech upstart Clearview was sued by the Vermont Attorney General. The AG alleged Clearview’s scraping of sites to harvest photos (and other biometric/personal info) of Vermont residents violated state privacy laws. It also alleged Clearview had mislead residents and customers about the company’s intended uses and its success in the law enforcement marketplace.

            • If Report Proven, ACLU Says Federal Agents Tapping Phones of Protesters Would Be ‘Outrageous’ Constitutional Violation

              “We are headed back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover, and fast. Congress needs to find out exactly what’s happening,” said one civil liberties advocate.

            • Russia wants to outlaw TLS 1.3, ESNI, DNS over HTTPS, and DNS over TLS

              The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media has released a draft law which outlines plans to outlaw TLS 1.3, ESNI, DNS over HTTPS, and DNS over TLS. The draft law (text in Russian) “bans the use of encryption protocols allowing for hiding the name (identifier) of a web page or Internet site on the territory of the Russian Federation.” This is supposed to help the Roskomnadzor in their job as Russia’s censor. If a site is found to be using these encryption tools, they can be blocked by the Roskmonadzor within a day. Meduza, reporting on the news noted:

            • Facebook takes down Chinese network targeting Philippines, Southeast Asia and the US

              The first, located in China, primarily targeted the Philippines and South East Asian countries.

              The network used fake accounts to spread messaging about China’s naval actions in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and support of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.

            • Facebook says it could restrict content to stop violence around Election Day

              Facebook says it could aggressively restrict content if the US presidential election sparks violent unrest, according to the Financial Times. Global affairs head Nick Clegg told FT that Facebook was looking at “some break-glass options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances.”

              Clegg didn’t discuss what those options were. But he mentioned Facebook’s past use of “pretty exceptional measures to significantly restrict the circulation of content on our platform,” deployed in countries where there is “real civic instability.” An unnamed source said the company had modeled 70 election outcomes and how to respond to them, relying on staff, including “world-class military scenario planners.”

            • Microsoft adds remote Xbox streaming to its free Android app

              Console Streaming streams your games from your Xbox, right to your phone, using the power of the console to encode and process your inputs. (It will need to be plugged in so it can be remotely awakened. It also won’t work for original Xbox and Xbox 360 games that you can play via the Xbox Backward Compatibility feature.) The key here is that if you’ve owned and installed the game on your console, you can play it remotely over your phone or tablet for free. Here’s what you’ll need to get started with Console Streaming.

            • The WeChat Ban and National Cyber Strategy

              Facebook is one of the few Internet giants to survive this data stream amputation relatively unscathed. Facebook, of course, doesn’t need the OS to collect all the data, they already have an app for that.

            • Facebook says it could be forced to leave EU over data regulation

              Earlier this month, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission announced that after an investigation it found that Facebook users in Europe did not have substantial protection from U.S. government surveillance. It said the company was in breach of European data protection laws, which could result in a fine totaling 4% of its global revenue.

              This may not just affect Facebook. E.U. privacy laws dictate that any data sent from Europe to the U.S. should be protected to a certain degree. It seems that for some time there have been patches in place to ensure that the data can be transferred, although after the recent decision by the Irish regulator, things have become somewhat muddy.

              Facebook has now responded. In a sworn affidavit, Yvonne Cunnane, Facebook Ireland’s head of data protection and associate general counsel, said in a roundabout way that Facebook has been put between a rock and a hard place.

            • Snowden agrees to forfeit $5 million from ‘Permanent Record’ and speeches

              The effort to claw back proceeds from Snowden is similar to what the U.S. government did after former White House national security adviser John Bolton published his book, “The Room Where It Happened.” The civil suit against Bolton says he violated nondisclosure agreements he signed as part of taking a high-level job in the Trump administration.

              The agreement between Snowden’s legal team and the Justice Department is available below: [...]

            • Facebook’s Newest TikTok Clone Is A Bummer

              Today in things that nobody asked for: Facebook is testing the waters with yet another app that copies one of TikTok’s core features. Those keeping track at home might notice this marks the third time this year that Mark Zuckerberg has slyly attempted to rip off the same app he’s been doing all he can to politically undermine.

            • Facebook Claims It May Be Forced to End Operations in Europe

              The GDPR let us know that Europe is serious about data protection and privacy. Websites all across the world were readjusted for these regulations. Facebook, though, seems to think it should be free to do with customer data as it wishes, but it’s not okay with Ireland’s Data Protection Commission. This has left Facebook to say it may be forced to end operations in Europe if it’s not allowed to transfer data around the world as it wishes.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • ‘We Expected Action Beyond Rhetoric’: Climate Advocates Unimpressed by Morgan Stanley Net-Zero Announcement

        “As long as Morgan Stanley invests in companies like Exxon, Chevron, and Shell, they’re investing in disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.”

      • Putting the Existential Threat of Climate Change Front and Center

        When President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden meet on the debate stage next week, many West Coast wildfires will almost certainly still be raging. Moderator Chris Wallace should ask the candidates about climate change, an issue on which they are starkly divided.

      • ‘Another Alarm Bell in the Climate Emergency’ as Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Second Lowest Extent on Record

        “We are headed towards a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean, and this year is another nail in the coffin.”

      • 18-Year-Old Indigenous Climate Activist Fights to Save Arctic Wildlife Refuge

        “Did someone lose their dog?” Quannah Chasinghorse jokes, pointing at a large moose in her neighbor’s snow-covered yard. At -40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a typical winter’s day in Fairbanks, Alaska. Quannah, an 18-year-old Han Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota youth, is curled up on the couch, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Protect the Arctic, Defend the Sacred.”

      • Climate Anxiety Is Rising in the US — But Not Among Republicans

        Polling shows that people in the United States are taking climate change more seriously today than they were five years ago, but views on climate change remain sharply divided along partisan lines as the November elections loom. Concern about climate change remains higher in dozens of other countries, particularly in nations such as Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam, where people are more likely to feel personally affected by climate change than those living in the U.S. — despite record temperatures, widespread drought and a recent onslaught of climate-fueled disasters across the U.S.

      • ACTION ALERT: With Planet at Stake, Moderators Must Make Climate a Focus of Debates

        Wildfires continue to devastate the West Coast, and both the Arctic and Antarctica are exhibiting dramatic ice loss (CNN, 9/15/20). Given how little time experts say we have to prevent irreversible damage from climate change, this year’s election is truly a crucial one for the future of the planet. And climate disruption remains a top priority for many voters. That means the climate crisis must be a central focus of the presidential debates—the main opportunity for most voters to hear the candidates questioned about their positions on major policy issues.

      • Wilder shores of science yield new ideas on climate

        New ideas on climate mean earthquake scientists know more about global heating and astronomers worry over rising warmth.

      • Energy

        • How to Make Biomass Energy Sustainable Again

          Because the young shoots of a coppiced tree can exploit an already well-developed root system, a coppiced tree produces wood faster than a tall tree. Or, to be more precise: although its photosynthetic efficiency is the same, a tall tree provides more biomass below ground (in the roots) while a coppiced tree produces more biomass above ground (in the shoots) – which is clearly more practical for harvesting. [3] Partly because of this, coppicing was based on short rotation cycles, often of around two to four years, although both yearly rotations and rotations up to 12 years or longer also occurred.

        • Joe Biden Is Wrong. Believing in Science Means Banning Fracking.

          By refusing to embrace a fracking ban, Biden is following the well-trodden liberal path of rhetorically acknowledging the threat posed by climate change, while rejecting the measures necessary to actually deal with it. If he really believes, as per the language on his own official website, that “climate change is the greatest threat facing our country and our world” he and other liberal politicians should start behaving like that threat is real.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • What You Should Know About Bird Migration and Light Pollution

          This national effort is beginning to see success in cities like Chicago, Illinois, where over 100 buildings have been involved. In New York, New York, buildings like the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center participate in annual Lights Out Programs, and state-owned and state-managed buildings have been turning off lights at night during migration periods since 2015. Also in New York City, volunteers help count birds caught in the beams of light projected each year during the 9/11 tribute, contributing valuable data to help scientists understand the impact ALAN has on birds. The research team working at the 9/11 tribute site has found that turning the light beams off for just 20 to 30 minutes can dramatically reduce the number of birds in the area.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Is Feeding the Monster
      • 5. In Iowa, like Montana, is a state full of surprises. After the state voted for Obama twice, Republican Joni Ernst

        Winning the White House is absolutely crucial, but it’s just one piece of the fight to save our democracy and push a people’s agenda. Securing victories in state legislatures is essential to stopping the GOP’s plans to entrench minority rule through gerrymandered congressional districts and restrictive voting laws — and it’s often state-level policies that have the biggest impact on our everyday lives. Even small changes to the makeup of a body like the Texas Board of Education, which determines textbook content for much of the country, will make a huge difference. Plus, every school board member, state representative, and congressperson you elect can be pushed to enact policies that benefit the people, not just corporate donors. This is how you build a movement that lasts.

      • Now even ‘Russia Today’ is joking about Trump’s looming re-election defeat

        Allegations of dealings with the Russian government have plagued Donald Trump’s presidency since before he took office. Now even Moscow’s most infamous global media outlet — Russia Today — is having some fun at Trump’s expense. On September 22, RT shared a deepfake video parodying the 45th U.S. president’s options after his potential defeat by Joe Biden this fall. “November 3: Donald Trump loses U.S. election to Joe Biden,” says the caption for RT’s YouTube video. “November 5: Trump flies to Moscow to sign a contract with RT.”

      • ‘They’ve taken away something important’: Kremlin spokesman suspects Navalny’s team of concealing evidence

        Ekho Moskvy: Yesterday, Alexey Navalny demanded the return of the clothes that were confiscated from him by official bodies of the Russian Federation. Did you see this message? Does the Kremlin agree that the Interior Ministry should return these clothes or not?

      • Sanders Leads 30 Democrats in Call for OAS to Avoid Prolonging ‘Crisis of Democracy and Human Rights’ in Bolivia

        Their letter to the State Department demands “that the United States government take responsibility for what is done with our taxpayer dollars.”

      • “What’s Your Voting Plan?” Organizers Urge Americans to Get #VoteReady on National Voter Registration Day

        “If we are to protect Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy, our health, and our rights, we must kick Donald Trump out of office and take back the Senate.”

      • Topics for the First Debate Announced — Here’s How Trump, Biden Poll on Them

        The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden will take place on Tuesday, September 29 — exactly five weeks from Election Day on November 3 — at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

      • Front-Runner for Supreme Court Criticized “Roe v. Wade” and Affordable Care Act

        Democrats sounded the alarm about the potential Supreme Court nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett over her ties to the Federalist Society and criticism of Roe v. Wade.

      • Romney Says He’ll Back Rush to Name Ginsburg Successor

        Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced on Tuesday that he would support the process of naming and confirming a nominee for the Supreme Court from President Trump to fill the vacancy created by the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Two recent polls, however, show that most Americans want the process slowed down to allow the winner of November’s presidential election to make that decision.

      • Biden Campaign Rakes in Three Times More Funds Than Trump in August

        In a matter of months, Democratic nominee Joe Biden erased President Donald Trump’s once-massive financial advantage that he’d been building up since the early days of his presidency.

      • ‘It Affects Virtually Nobody,’ Trump Falsely States of Virus That Has Killed 200,000 and Infected 7 Million in US

        “If you, or a family member, or a friend got sick or died of Covid-19, to Trump you are ‘virtually nobody.’”

      • Blowback Time: China Says TikTok Deal Is A Model For How It Should Deal With US Companies In China

        We’ve already covered what a ridiculous, pathetic grift the Oracle/TikTok deal was. Despite it being premised on a “national security threat” from China, because the app might share some data (all of which is easily buyable from data brokers) with Chinese officials, the final deal cured none of that, left the Chinese firm ByteDance with 80% ownership of TikTok, and gave Trump supporters at Oracle a fat contract — and allowed Trump to pretend he did something.

      • Trump Admin. Set to Continue ‘Superspreader Executions’ With Sixth State-Sanctioned Killing

        “The government’s rush to kill has caused senseless risk for incarcerated people, prison staff, and everyone who lives in Terre Haute, Indiana.”

      • For RBG It Was All Principle, for Mitch McConnell It’s All Power

        Those who fight for power will bend or break rules to give themselves every advantage. 

      • Senate Democrats Unveil Bill to Investigate Trump Meddling at Public Health Agencies That Is ‘Putting Lives in Jeopardy’

        “We need transparency and accountability from top to bottom, and we need it now—before it is too late to prevent more costly mistakes.”

      • It Is What It Is: Recreating the Crime, Over and Over
      • Second Federal Court Orders USPS to Reverse DeJoy’s Changes to Ensure Timely Delivery of Mail-In Ballots

        “The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election,” wrote federal Judge Victor Marrero. 

      • Vote as if the Climate and the Future of Humanity Depend on It—Because They Do

        Captain Trump wants to steer us straight onto the rocks. This election is humanity’s last shot to prevent utter climate catastrophe.

      • Trump Fuels March Toward Fascism With “Anarchist Jurisdictions” Edict

        President Trump and his administration have taken several overt steps down the jagged path of fascism over the past week.

      • Trump “Never Noticed” a Modern-Day American Genocide

        It appears Trump is trying to spread the virus as far and wide as possible.

      • At a Military Cemetery, Trump Reflects on His Only War Hero

        He was the very model of a neighborhood podiatrist. For he could find the bone spurs that these losers’ doctors always missed. So if your name was on the list of those he needed to assist, He’d swear those bone spurs did exist, and, if need be, throw in a cyst. He was the very model of a neighborhood podiatrist.

      • Boris Johnson is Failing So Badly Because He Still Thinks Like a Newspaper Columnist, a Disastrous Weakness During This Crisis
      • 6 Tributes To Ruth Bader Ginsburg
      • With RBG Gone and Fascism at the Gates, Mainers Know Susan Collins Cannot Be Trusted

        It is our duty to fight like hell to ensure that Susan Collins does not cast another vote for a Supreme Court Justice. It is our duty to act every single day until election day to get out the vote and ensure that we stop the rise of fascism in this country.

      • The Art Of Diplomacy Does Not Reside In Danny Danon, And Yet Israel Wants To Send Him Here As A Diplomat

        Australia should distance itself from the diplomatic embarrassment of Danny Danon, writes Micaela Sahhar.

      • Mitch McConnell Defends His Turf

        The week after July 4, rare sightings of a strange creature from the East began to be reported across Kentucky. When he visits the state he’s represented in the Senate since 1985, Mitch McConnell, the jowly old swamp monster from Washington, D.C., doesn’t typically roam far from the tony Louisville neighborhood where he maintains a residence. As an elder Democrat told me last summer at Fancy Farm, the state’s annual political picnic, “If you see that buzzard popping up all around Kentucky all of a sudden, you can damn well be sure of one thing: He must be up for reelection.”

      • Two Capitalisms: A Challenge To Democratic Socialists, Social Democrats, Progressives and Welfare State Liberals
      • DOJ Releases Its List Of ‘Anarchy’ Jurisdictions The President Thinks Should Be Blocked From Receiving Federal Funds

        The Trump Administration hasn’t met a slope it isn’t willing to grease up and go sliding down. There’s not much united about the states at the moment and the President’s lavish devotion to all things “law and order” is making things worse.

      • EFF, CDT Sue Government To Obtain Records About Federal Agencies Pulling Advertising From Platforms

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the government to obtain records showing whether federal agencies have cut their advertising on social media as part of President Trump’s broad attack on speech-hosting websites he doesn’t like. In May Trump issued an executive order in retaliation against platforms that exercise their constitutionally-protected rights to moderate his and other users’ posts. The order gave executive departments and agencies 30 days to report their online ad spending to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Department of Justice (DOJ) was charged with assessing the reports for alleged “viewpoint-based speech restrictions” that would make them “problematic vehicles” for government ads.EFF and CDT seek records, reports, and communications about the spending review to shine a light on whether agencies have stopped or reduced online ad spending, or are being required to do so, based on a platform’s editorial decisions to flag or remove posts. Although the government has broad discretion to decide where it spends its advertising dollars, reducing or denying federal dollars they previously planned to spend on certain platforms based on officials’ perception of those entities’ political viewpoints violates the First Amendment.“The government can’t abuse its purse power to coerce online platforms to adopt the president’s view of what it means to be ‘neutral,’” EFF Staff Attorney Aaron Mackey. “The public has a right to know how the government is carrying out the executive order and if there’s evidence that the president is retaliating against platforms by reducing ad spending.”On top of being unconstitutional, the ad spending reduction is also dangerous. Federal agencies advertise on social media to communicate important messages to the public, such as ads encouraging the use of masks to fight the spread of COVID-19 and warning of product recalls. Pulling online ads could have a potentially serious impact on the public’s ability to receive government messaging.“The President continues his attempts to bully social media companies when he disagrees with their editorial choices. These threats are not only unconstitutional, but have real-life implications for internet users and voters alike,” said Avery Gardiner, CDT’s General Counsel. “CDT will continue to push for these documents to ensure the U.S. government isn’t using the power of its advertising purse to deter social media companies from fighting misinformation, voter suppression, and the stoking of violence on their platforms.”EFF and CDT filed FOIA requests with OMB and DOJ in July for records; neither agency has responded or released responsive documents.Trump issued the executive order aimed at online speech platforms a few days after Twitter marked his tweets for fact-checking because they were “potentially misleading.”Private entities like social media companies, newspapers, and other digital media have a First Amendment right to edit and curate user-generated content on their sites. Trump’s order, which contains several provisions, including the one at issue in this lawsuit, would give the government power to punish platforms for their editorial decisions. It would strip them of protections provided by 47 U.S.C. § 230, often called Section 230, which grants online intermediaries broad immunity from liability arising from hosting users’ speech.For the complaint:https://www.eff.org/document/eff-cdt-v-omb-doj-foia-complaintFor more on the Executive Order…

      • Democrats Can’t Take Any Option Off the Table

        If Democrats don’t reform the filibuster, even with a three-to-four-seat majority in the Senate (which would be miraculous), they will find their legislative agenda utterly blocked. Nothing the Biden-Harris ticket is promising—whether shoring up the ACA, pushing the Medicare-eligibility age down to 55 or 60, a new voting rights act, massive pandemic relief, criminal justice reform, a modified Green New Deal—will be accomplished in their first two years in office. Republicans will block every move, like they blocked Barack Obama’s efforts at a larger post–financial crash stimulus and a broader ACA, again disillusioning a Democratic base that voted for big change.

      • Arab Muslims are People of Color, Arab Christians are White

        How is Tlaib a person of color while Amash is white?

        The Amash and Tlaib clans both have a sizable presence in Israel. They’re both Arabs, but, aside from Tlaib being a militant leftist while Amash is an ex-GOP Never Trumper, the only obvious difference is that Amash’s family was Christian while Tlaib’s family is Muslim.

        The New York Times’ message is that Muslims are “people of color” and Christians aren’t. It doesn’t matter if their families might have lived some 20 minutes away from each other.

      • The silencing of psychiatry: is the Goldwater rule doing more harm than good ahead of the US 2020 election?

        The Goldwater rule refers to Section 7 of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s Principles of Medical Ethics, which says it is unethical for psychiatrists to opine on public figures they have not examined in person. It was created in 1973 in reaction to a fiasco involving the presidential election a decade prior when Fact magazine published the results of an informal poll of psychiatrists which, it claimed, found that over 1200 believed the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater to be psychologically unfit to be president. Goldwater, who lost the election in a landslide, successfully sued the magazine for libel. At the time, the case showed the dangers of reckless speculation about mental health.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Indonesia’s ban on Bible app contradicts religious tolerance philosophy of Pancasila

        Indonesia’s decision to remove a Bible application from Google Play Store contradicts the state-promoted philosophy of Pancasila, according to an expert on the doctrine of religious tolerance and national unity.

        The Minangkabau Bible app was removed from the digital distribution service in early June following a request by the governor of West Sumatra, Irwan Prayitno, who claimed that it caused discomfort to the Minangkabau people living in the province, the majority of whom are Muslim. More than 69,000 West Sumatra residents – or 1.43% – are Christian.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 14

        Monday was a frustrating day as the Assange Hearing drifted deep into a fantasy land where nobody knows or is allowed to say that people were tortured in Guantanamo Bay and under extraordinary rendition. The willingness of Judge Baraitser to accept American red lines on what witnesses can and cannot say has combined with a joint and openly stated desire by both judge and prosecution to close this case down quickly by limiting the number of witnesses, the length of their evidence, and the time allowed for closing arguments. For the first time, I am openly critical of the defence legal team who seem to be missing the moment to stop being railroaded and say no, this is wrong, forcing Baraitser to make rulings against them. Instead most of the day was lost to negotiations between prosecution and defence as to what defence evidence could be edited out or omitted.

      • US Prosecution Accuses Assange Of Exaggerating Symptoms Of Depression

        During the extradition trial for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, James Lewis, the lead prosecutor, strongly suggested Assange reads the British Medical Journal to help him exaggerate his psychiatric symptoms. He speculated that Assange consulted his attorneys on how to effectively deceive doctors.Lewis also repeatedly pressured a forensic psychiatrist, who took the witness stand in the Old Bailey Courthouse, to alter his diagnosis of Assange to match the prosecution’s view of Assange’s health.Assange is accused of 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.

      • Why Are Amnesty International Monitors Not Able to Observe the Assange Hearing?

        It is ironic that no one responsible for possible war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan has been prosecuted, let alone punished. And yet the publisher who exposed their crimes is the one in the dock facing a lifetime in jail.

      • Day 11: September 22, 2020 #AssangeCase

        Dr. Michael Kopelman, Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, took the stand today to testify about his visits with Julian Assange in prison and his medical evaluations. Out of respect for Julian’s privacy, we won’t share all details that were discussed in court but will summarize the most relevant portions. Most pertinently, Dr. Kopelman said that Assange, who has been diagnosed with clinical depression and Asperger’s syndrome, would be at a high risk of suicide if he were extradited to the United States.

      • Assange on Trial: Bolting Horses, Death Penalties and Plots of Eviction

        September 21.  Central Criminal Court, London.

      • Here’s to you, Julian Assange! Assange’s well-planned and well-executed character assassination is one of the reasons why his defense never grew into a wide movement like Black Lives Matter or Extinction Rebellion.
      • Assange’s Show Trial

        And one last thought. How is it that the great ‘democratic’ institutions of the U.S. and U.K. government have spent millions on hunting down and imprisoning Assange for reporting the truth about their crimes, and not one dollar or pound has been spent in tracking down, trying and imprisoning those ‘patriots’ who have engaged in these war crimes by either those governments or their mainstream media?

      • Release WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, say current and former world leaders

        More than 160 current and former world leaders, lawmakers and diplomats have endorsed a call for the U.K. to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and stop his extradition to the U.S.

        The signatories of the open letter, addressed to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several government ministers, included the president of Argentina and two former presidents of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

      • WikiLeaks video ‘electrified’ public to civilian war deaths, court hears

        WikiLeaks’ publication of a video showing US forces killing innocent people in Iraq “electrified” the world to the impact of war on civilians, a court heard on Friday.

        Investigative journalist Nicky Hager said that the video, coupled with WikiLeaks’ publication of 400,000 Iraq war logs, had a profound effect on the public.

        Hager, who has written books on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Central Criminal Court that the material was of the highest public interest and ranked as some of the most important material he had used in his life.

      • WikiLeaks acted in public interest, ‘Pentagon Papers’ leaker tells Assange hearing

        Ellsberg, who was himself charged with breaking the espionage law in a case that was later dismissed, said there was no evidence of physical harm or deaths because of the leaks. The exchange with Lewis led to an outburst from Assange in the courtroom, with the judge warning him to remain silent.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Authors Of CDA 230 Do Some Serious 230 Mythbusting In Response To Comments Submitted To The FCC

        While there were thousands of comments filed to the FCC in response to the NTIA’s insanely bad “petition” to have the FCC reinterpret Section 230 in response to an unconstitutional executive order from a President who was upset that Twitter fact checked some of his nonsense tweets, perhaps the comment that matters most is the one submitted last week by the two authors of Section 230, Senator Ron Wyden and former Rep. Chris Cox. Cox and Wyden wrote what became Section 230 back in the 90s, and have spent decades fighting misinformation about it — and fighting to keep 230 in place.

      • Survivors of Forced Sterilization in California Prisons Are Speaking Out

        This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

      • “Belly of the Beast”: Survivors of Forced Sterilizations in California’s Prisons Fight for Justice

        Revelations about forced hysterectomies at an ICE facility in Georgia have forced a reckoning with the long history of sterilizations in the U.S. — particularly of Black, Brown, poor and disabled people — and the way this procedure has continued in jails and prisons to the present day. We speak with Kelli Dillon, who was sterilized at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla in 2001 and who is featured in the documentary “Belly of the Beast,” which tells the stories of women subjected to unwanted sterilization behind bars in California. She says incarcerated women are “punished” for simply requesting medical records. “If we begin to press … we are reprimanded and sometimes put in lockdown,” says Dillon, who in 2006 became the first survivor of sterilization abuse to sue the California Department of Corrections for damages. Between 2006 and 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 women without required state approval. “Forced sterilization is genocide,” notes filmmaker Erika Cohn, who directed “Belly of the Beast” and spent nearly a decade making it. The film opens in theaters on October 16 and will premiere on PBS’s “Independent Lens” on November 23.

      • Whistleblower Nurse in ICE Jail Alleges Forced Sterilization & Neglect Amid 8th COVID Death

        As ICE confirms the 20th person to die in its detention in fiscal year 2020, making it one of the deadliest periods in the agency’s history, we talk to the whistleblower at the center of an explosive complaint that accuses an ICE jail in Georgia of failing to adhere to coronavirus safety protocols and performing a large number of unwanted hysterectomies on detainees. The doctor who carried out the procedures became known to women inside the facility as “the uterus collector.” Whistleblower Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center, says the neglect and abuse at the facility was “jaw-dropping.” We also speak with Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director at Project South, who says authorities must take action now. “What else would it take for decision makers to finally move and do something about this before we see additional tragedies at these facilities?” she says.

      • What The Supreme Court’s Unusually Big Jump To The Right Might Look Like

        It’s really, really rare for presidents to be able to seismically shift the court’s center of gravity with a single nomination. But that’s exactly what Trump’s replacement for Ginsburg is poised to do. There are only two other moments in modern Supreme Court history that are comparable to this one: the replacement of Justice Thurgood Marshall with Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 and the replacement of Chief Justice Earl Warren with Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1969.

      • Trump Preached White Supremacy in Minnesota, America Barely Noticed

        With this racist warmup complete, Trump then veered into an open endorsement of eugenics — the discredited theory that the human race can be improved with selective breeding for superior traits. The theory has an ugly history in America. And Hitler’s embrace of eugenics in Nazi Germany gave rise to the program of “race hygiene” that culminated in the extermination of millions of Jewish people and others at death camps. “You have good genes, you know that right?” Trump said to the nearly all-white crowd. “A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it? Don’t you believe? The racehorse theory,” Trump said. “You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

      • The Fight Against Words That Sound Like, but Are Not, Slurs

        This controversy is most significant, however, as a bellwether of how administrators respond when young people take offense beyond reasonable limits. To mollify some of its business students, USC was willing to undermine a professor in good standing. Academics elsewhere are watching. They see the majority of faculty, alumni, and outside observers saying, “This goes too far,” and the bureaucracy holding firm. So far, USC administrators have not admitted error. They have not apologized to Patton or reinstated him to his classes. And they have left business faculty so fearful and insecure that some are self-censoring to protect their positions.

      • Anne Helen Petersen: The antidote to burnout is regulating capitalism

        In an interview with Salon, Petersen said she had no idea the article would resonate like it did, and eventually lead to her much-anticipated book, on sale Sept. 22, “Can’t Even: How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation.” “The original essay was a way for me to work through my own burnout,” Petersen said, sharing that the book had given her yet more insight into the root of the problem. “I can see it clearly.”

        Salon chatted with Peterson in a wide-ranging conversation that touches on Baby Boomer parenting techniques and the collapse of the American middle class. As always, this article has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

      • Can We Remake a Broken Immigration System?

        If Democrats take back political power in November and want to seriously address the plight of migrants and the undocumented, they’ll need to rebuild immigration policy from the ground up.

        [...]

        If the Democrats take back the White House and the Senate in November, there will be two immigration agendas. The first will be to roll back the policies of the Trump regime: the “Muslim” travel ban, zero-tolerance for all undocumented immigrants, ICE raids, indefinite detention, rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a new public-charge rule restricting green card eligibility, the near elimination of refugee admissions, and the refusal of asylum seekers. These reversals can be done immediately and administratively, just as easily as they were imposed, through executive order and administrative fiat. That ought to be just the beginning.

        What is the second agenda? It isn’t “comprehensive immigration reform,” the misleading name for compromise legislation that trades legalization for more border security. That plan has been stalled in Congress for a decade, and it is not only insufficient for the task at hand but fatally flawed in conception. Perhaps our experience with the coronavirus will, instead, result in better understanding of the plight of asylum seekers, gratitude for the toil of undocumented workers, and appreciation for the interconnectedness of our world and the deeply unequal relations that run through it. Such a shift in framing might assist a grand rethinking about migration and migration policy.

      • RCMP investigating disruption of anti-racism rally in Alberta by far-right groups

        RCMP are investigating after far-right protesters disrupted what was to be a peaceful anti-racism rally in central Alberta last weekend, but local advocacy groups say officers should have been better prepared to stop the violence.

        Kisha Daniels, a co-founder of Black and Indigenous Alliance AB, said organizers were setting up the event in a park in Red Deer, Alta., Sunday when they heard honking, sirens and yelling from about 30 metres away.

        She said there were threats of violence ahead of the event and, right before it started, people associated with the Yellow Vest movement, Soldiers of Odin and other far-right groups showed up.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • DOJ Continues Its Quest To Kill Net Neutrality (And Consumer Protection In General) In California

        After the FCC effectively neutered itself at telecom lobbyist behest, numerous states jumped in to fill the consumer protection void. As a result, California, in 2018, passed some net neutrality rules that largely mirrored the FCC’s discarded consumer protections. Laughing at the concept of state rights, Bill Barr’s DOJ immediately got to work protecting U.S. telecom monopolies and filed suit in a bid to vacate the rules.

      • “Get Money From Web Giants”: Why Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s Top Legislative Priority is Risky Business

        Guilbeault told the producer town hall that the Internet companies don’t like him very much, but that he didn’t become a politician to become popular. That may be so, but as the public learns more about policy proposals that will increase costs for Canadians, undermine the competitiveness of the Canadian broadcast sector, hurt net neutrality, threaten trade sanctions against Canadian sectors such as dairy and steel, and leave U.S. companies as the guardians of Cancon, Guilbeault may find that it is Canadian voters who don’t like him very much.

      • Moxie Marlinspike On Decentralization

        The Ecosystem Is Moving: Challenges For Distributed And Decentralized Technology is a talk by Moxie Marlinspike that anyone interested in the movement to re-decentralize the Internet should watch and think about. Marlinspike concludes “I’m not entirely optimistic about the future of decentralized systems, but I’d also love to be proven wrong”.

        I spent nearly two decades building and operating in production the LOCKSS system, a small-ish system that was intended, but never quite managed, to be completely decentralized. I agree with Marlinspike’s conclusion, and have been writing with this attitude at least 2014′s Economies Of Scale In Peer-to-Peer Networks. It is always comforting to find someone coming to the same conclusion via a completely different route, as with scalability expert Todd Hoff in 2018 and now Moxie Marlinspike based on his experience building the Signal encrypted messaging system. Below the fold I contrast his reasons for skepticism with mine.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Senator Lindsey Graham Must Be Desperate For Donations; Announces Terrible Bill That Mashes Up Bad 230 Reform With Bad Copyright Reform

          Senator Lindsey Graham is in a tight re-election campaign that he might just lose. And he’s doing what politicians desperate for campaign cash tend to do: releasing a lot of absolutely batshit crazy bills that will pressure big donors to donate to him to either support the bill, or to get him not to move forward on it. It’s corrupt as hell, but is standard practice. And the best of these kinds of bills are ones that pit two large industries with lots of lobbyists and cash to throw around against one another. For many years the favorite such bill for this was a bill about performance rights royalties for radio play. This would pit radio broadcasters against the music industry, and the cash would flow. Every two years, as the election was coming, such a bill would be released that was unlikely to go anywhere, but the cash would flow in.

        • Anti-Piracy Coalition Wants Operators of Pirate Bay, YTS, 1337x, EZTV Uncovered

          Anti-piracy coalition ACE is continuing its crackdown on pirate sites, targeting several high profile actors. Represented by the MPA, the group requests a DMCA subpoena that requires Cloudflare to hand over personal information and account details relating to the operators of The Pirate Bay, YTS, 1337x, EZTV, Seasonvar, Tamilrockers, Lordfilms, and many others.

        • YouTube: Copyright Lawsuit Plaintiff Uploaded Own Movies Then Claimed Mass Infringement

          A class-action lawsuit, filed against YouTube by Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider and Pirate Monitor Ltd, has taken an unexpected turn. According to YouTube, Pirate Monitor first used bogus accounts to upload its own videos. It then filed DMCA notices to have the same content removed in a ploy to gain fraudulent access to Content ID management tools.

        • Samsung Faces $1.3m Lawsuit Over Cinavia Anti-Piracy Tech Licensing Fees

          Technology giant Samsung is being sued for $1.3 million by content protection company Verance. According to a lawsuit filed in the US, for two years Samsung failed to pay licensing fees for use of Cinavia, the anti-piracy technology that aims to prevent copied or downloaded content being played on Blu-ray disc players.

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