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Links 10/12/2021: ArcaOS 5.0.7 and Cambalache 0.8.0; Assange Appeal

Posted in News Roundup at 11:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What desktop Linux needs to succeed in the mainstream

        You might be aware of the recent Linus Tech Tips videos about switching to Linux, including one with some complaints about KDE software. For those of you who are following along, I want to let you know that we’re working on fixing the issues Linus brought up, and you can track our progress here. Thankfully most of the issues are fairly minor and should be easy to fix.

        This blog post is my version of Sway developer Drew DeVault’s post about the videos, regarding the question of what desktop Linux needs to go mainstream. Drew emphasizes accessibility, and I agree, but with a slightly different conclusion:

        Desktop Linux needs to be pre-installed on retail hardware to succeed in the mainstream.

        That’s it.

        Allow me to explain.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel Patches Allow Booting Higher Core Count Systems Much Faster – Phoronix

        Patches started earlier this year for allowing the parallel bring-up of secondary CPU cores for x86_64 processors have gotten back to being worked on and were sent out on Thursday for review.

        The focus on the set of patches affecting a few hundred lines of code is about being able to bring-up secondary (x86_64) CPU cores in parallel.

        This is just the beginning and there is the opportunity for even greater parallelization to happen in the Linux kernel boot process. But as Amazon’s David Woodhouse noted in the patch series, “But I’ll take a mere factor of 15 for the time being.” Yes, on his test Intel Xeon server was a nearly 15x improvement with the patches as they stand today.

      • systemd 250 Is Coming For Christmas With A Boat Load Of New Features – Phoronix

        Systemd 250 is gearing up for release this month and today marked the availability of the first release candidate (and RC2 as a brown paper bag update). Systemd 250 is packing a rather large number of new features and changes across the board for this dominant Linux init system and service manager.

        It’s been a half-year since systemd 249 and now systemd 250 is preparing to set sail for powering 2022 Linux distributions. Systemd 250 has many notable changes from systemd-homed defaulting to Btrfs with Zstd compression to UID mapped mounts to ease home directory migration among systems. There is also support for encrypted and authenticated credentials, many new settings for unit files, and much more.

      • Radeon Linux Driver Has A Huge Optimization Two Decades Later For ATI R300~R500 GPUs – Phoronix

        While earlier this year AMD dropped pre-Polaris support from their mainline Radeon Software Windows driver, under Linux with open-source software older GPUs can live on much longer with superior driver support… Pending for Mesa 22.0 and as a surprise Christmas gift for those with nearly two decade old GPUs, a big optimization is pending for those with ATI Radeon R300/R400/R500 series graphics cards still in operation.

        The change by longtime open-source graphics driver developer Emma Anholt is for the ATI R300 Gallium3D drivers to request NIR shaders from the Mesa state tracker and to use the NIR-to-TGSI path.

      • Kernel Karnage – Part 6 (Last Call)

        This blogpost concludes patching the kernel callbacks. While there is more functionality to add and more problems to address from kernel space, such as ETW or minifilters, the main goal of sufficiently crippling an EDR/AV product using a kernel driver has been met. Using Interceptor, we can deploy a meterpreter shell or Cobalt Strike Beacon and even run Mimikatz undetected. The next challenge will be to deploy the driver on a target and bypass protections such as Driver Signature Enforcement.

    • Applications

      • OBS Studio and Fedora Linux: An Interview with Georges Basile Stavracas Neto

        OBS Studio is the industry standard for streaming software. This is an interview with Georges Basile Stavracas Neto who has been working on porting OBS Studio to use PipeWire and improve how this important software tool works on Fedora Linux. Georges will answer questions about the way forward and how to improve Fedora Linux as a platform for streamers overall. This interview also turned out somewhat extra timely due to the Linus Tech Tips Linux challenge where he specifically tried to set up his system for the purpose of streaming.

      • radio-active – listen to radio from the terminal

        Internet radio (also known as web radio, net radio, streaming radio, and online radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet.

        Why do we like internet radio? There are no sign-up or subscription charges. There are a huge range of stations available from around the world. If you like classical music, pop music, folk music, news, talk radio, and much more, internet radio has something for everyone wherever you live (providing you have a net connection). Internet radio offers every format that is available on traditional broadcast radio stations.

        We’ve written a few reviews of command-line internet radio software including PyRadio and curseradio, both tools written in Python. radio-active is also written in Python and terminal-based. Let’s see how it fares.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 2021-12-05 singing wires

        I have probably described before the concept of the telephone network forming a single, continuous pair of wires from your telephone to the telephone of the person you are calling. This is the origin of “circuit switching” and the source of the term: the notion that a circuit-switched system literally forms an electrical circuit between two endpoints.

      • NVMe drives and the case of opaque bandwidth limits

        However, I’m not sure I see an obvious place with the bandwidth limit in my PCIe topology, at least with Linux’s tools for PCIe topology. Both NVMe drives are connected to ‘Intel Corporation 200 Series PCH PCI Express Root Port’ PCIe devices that are listed as part of what I think of as the PCI root bus. Since this is an Intel thing, PCH probably stands for Intel’s Platform Controller Hub, which has a DMI link between the Intel CPU and the Z370 chipset. Looking at various things, this DMI link is about the speed of PCIe 3.0 x4, which could explain how I’m running into bandwidth limits. If neither NVMe drive is directly connected to any CPU PCIe lanes, the combined bandwidth of both of them together would be limited by the PCH to CPU bandwidth of roughly PCIe 3.0 x4.

      • DNS “propagation” is actually caches expiring

        First – I’m very tired of posts that complain about how people are “wrong” about how a given piece of technology works without explaining why it’s helpful to be “right”. So here’s why I like knowing how DNS works.

      • My Backup Plan

        Over the past year, since I got more serious about my growing YouTube channel’s success, I decided to document and automate as much of my backups as possible, following a 3-2-1 backup plan: [...]

      • [Updated] 8 Linux Nslookup Commands to Troubleshoot DNS Lookup

        nslookup is a command-line administrative tool for testing and troubleshooting DNS servers (Domain Name Server). It is used to query specific DNS resource records (RR) as well. Most operating systems come with a built-in nslookup feature.

      • Using GPG to Encrypt and Decrypt Files on Linux [Hands-on for Beginners]

        GnuPG, popularly known as GPG, is an extremely versatile tool, being widely used as the industry standard for encryption of things like emails, messages, files, or just anything you need to send to someone securely.

        It’s easy to get started with GPG, and you can be on your way with using it in a matter of minutes.

        You’ve now gone over everything you need to start using GPG, including encrypting files for yourself and for others. As I mentioned earlier, this is just for understanding how GPG encryption and decryption process works. The basic GPG knowledge you just acquired can be taken to the next level when applied in real-world scenarios.

      • How to Search for Text within Files and Folders in Linux

        If you are a developer, a web programmer, or someone who works with many files and you need to find a single piece of text, you should know and memorize a single command you can use on any Linux-based system.

        For example, let’s say you have a directory containing 30 folders and 20,000 files. It doesn’t matter the extension of the files contained in these folders as they can be whatever crosses your mind, e.g. .txt, .php, .css, .js, etc.

      • How to set a Grub root password on Ubuntu 20.04 – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello friends. In this post, I will explain to you How to set a Grub root password on Ubuntu 20.04. So you can protect even the system boot. Ideal for shared computers or where we want to increase the security of it.

      • How to Install PyCharm IDE on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        PyCharm is a dedicated Python graphical IDE (Integrated Development Environment) popular amongst Python developers with its wide range of essential tools such as analyzing code, debugging, and integration. The IDE also comes with the command line, connects to a database, creates a virtual environment, and manages your version control system (Git).

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install PyCharm Community, Professional or Educational using the third-party repository by phracek/PyCharm or Flatpak.

      • Hardening a CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 Server: Best practices and recommendation. – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Securing Linux server is very important to protect your data, intellectual property from the hands of crackers (hackers). The system administrator is responsible for security of the Linux box. In this blog we will go through important tips for hardening a CentOS / RHEL server.

      • How to Run Graphical X Apps Over SSH in Linux

        While X11 remains the foundation for most Linux desktops, its network transparency, or ability to display output across the network, is one of its unsung features. SSH makes it easy and secure to run Linux GUI apps on a remote machine and display them on your machine.

      • How to restrict server users to a specific directory in Linux – TechRepublic

        When you have a server with SSH access, unless you’ve configured it otherwise, any user with an account on that system can log in and, if they have the permissions and skill, wreak havoc on your server.

      • Should you shred or rm a file in Linux? – LinuxBSDos.com

        The go-to command for deleting or removing files in Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems is the rm command, and experienced users who know how dangerous that command can be usually call it with the -i option, just to be sure they don’t delete something by error.

    • Games

      • Masayuki Uemura, Creator Of The NES And SNES, Dies At 78

        Originally, Uemura worked at Sharp, selling photocell tech to various companies, including his future employer Nintendo. Once joinging the company, he worked with Gunpei Yokoi to integrate the photocell technology into electronic light gun games. He would go on to work on plug-and-play consoles like Nintendo’s Color TV-Game.

        But everything changed in 1981 with a single phone call.

        “President Yamauchi told me to make a video game system, one that could play games on cartridges,” Uemura told Matt Alt in an interview published last year on Kotaku. “He always liked to call me after he’d had a few drinks, so I didn’t think much of it. I just said, “Sure thing, boss,” and hung up. It wasn’t until the next morning when he came up to me, sober, and said, “That thing we talked about—you’re on it?” that it hit me: He was serious.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • ArcaOS 5.0.7 now available

        ArcaOS 5.0.7 includes refreshed driver content, updated kernel and included software, as well as installation boot fixes since 5.0.6 was released in 2020. If you have experienced difficulty installing previous releases of ArcaOS on your hardware, 5.0.7 may address your issue(s). If installing from USB stick, the image may be created using any major operating system at hand (Windows, Linux, MacOS, and of course, OS/2, eComStation, and ArcaOS). Once built, the USB stick can be inserted into any USB port in the target system to boot into the ArcaOS installer/updater.

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux 2021.4 released: Wider Samba compatibility, The Social-Engineer Toolkit, new tools, and more! – Help Net Security

          Offensive Security released Kali Linux 2021.4, which comes with a number of improvements: wider Samba compatibility, switching package manager mirrors, enhanced Apple M1 support, Kaboxer theming, updates to Xfce, GNOME and KDE, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W + USBArmory MkII ARM images, as well as new tools.


          With the latest update of Kaboxer tools no longer look out of place, as it brings support for window themes and icon themes. This allows the program to properly integrate with the rest of the desktop and avoids the usage of ugly fallback themes.

          Here is a comparison of how zenmap looks with the default Kali Dark theme, compared to the old appearance:

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Linux 35 election results – Fedora Community Blog

          The Fedora Linux 35 election cycle has concluded. Here are the results for each election. Congratulations to the winning candidates, and thank you all candidates for running in this election! I am out of the office on Friday, so I’ll make the appropriate documentation and permissions updates on Monday.

        • Service Mesh – Mark Chesire, Red Hat

          Mark Chesire, director of product for application services at Red Hat, explains why IT organizations will need a service mesh to manage APIs.

        • Why culture matters when implementing new technology

          Red Hat’s Michael Browne discusses the importance of a digital-first culture when it comes to bringing new technology into a business.

          Digital transformation has become somewhat of a buzzword phrase that can cover a whole host of technology implementation across all industries and sectors. Because it’s so broad, the advice around adopting it is often incredibly vague.

          However, there is one element of digital transformation that is important to all industries and lends itself to a slightly more specific type of advice for leaders: making digital transformation part of a company’s culture.

        • Red Hat Brings Industry-Leading Ansible Automation Platform to Microsoft Azure [Ed: IBM/Red Hat’s love letters to Microsoft with Microsoft logos here]

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Microsoft Azure. It builds on Red Hat’s standard for hybrid cloud automation that has been refined for the evolving realities of computing at hybrid cloud scale. The collaboration between Red Hat and Microsoft delivers a powerful solution that provides customers flexibility in how they adopt automation to deliver any application, anywhere, without additional overhead or complexity.

      • Debian Family

        • First Look at Armbian Linux on Raspberry Pi 4

          Every time I write an article about Armbian, people ask: when will Raspberry Pi support be available? Well, the wait is (almost) over as the Armbian community has finally added build framework support for the Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer.

          So of course I had to see Armbian Linux in action on my Raspberry Pi 4 Model B SBC with 8GB RAM. Armbian is currently providing builds based on the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) operating system series with the Xfce and Cinnamon desktop environments pre-installed, as well as a text-based (CLI) variant.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Lightwood

          I don’t usually write about my professional work, this is an exception. I’ve been working on automatic machine learning for almost 3 years.

          A small amount of that was focused on what I’d call the core of the problem, most of it was focused on platform building. This changed in the last 5 months when I decided to quit management duties and focus solely on “research”. The first thing to come out of this is the version 1 redesign of an automatic ml library called Lightwood.

        • Perl/Raku

    • Standards/Consortia

      • HL7 Celebrates 10 Years of FHIR Health IT Data Standard

        The open-source data standard aims to support healthcare interoperability for real-time access to health information across the care continuum.

        FHIR is widely used across the healthcare industry in mobile applications, cloud communications, EHR-based data sharing, and server communications.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Notes on Metadata

        When it comes down to it, this mentality that we can express all forms of information into a sensible set of data is seems quite haughty. There are, and will always be, a variety of ways to describe things. Things in the world are multifaceted and any way of expressing them via a schema is inherently biased.

    • Education

      • To Reduce Inequality in Our Education System, Reduce Class Sizes

        New York City public schools are often as crushed as the subway during rush hour, with literally thousands of students forced to learn in overstuffed classrooms—sitting side by side, elbows knocking into each other, or sometimes leaning against the wall or resting on a radiator. Even in the age of Covid-19, hallways are so jam-packed it can be hard for students to get to their next class.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Natural Resources Necessary to Feed World Are at a ‘Breaking Point,’ Warns FAO

        A United Nations report released Thursday detailing humanity’s degradation of natural resources warns swift and sweeping reforms are needed to keep feeding the growing global population.

        “The pressures on land and water ecosystems are now intense, and many are stressed to a critical point.”

      • Holiday Giving: Second Pandemic Winter Edition

        It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means: latkes with mistletoe sprinkles, the great debate over “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and this column’s traditional recommendations for donations. Republicans are on the move, and so are Covid and climate change—give now, before things get even worse!

      • Opinion | The Very Strong Economic Case for Universal Pre-K

        During World War II, the federal government provided child care around the clock to enable more women to work in the war industries. In 1971, we came close to having a national child care program when President Richard Nixon vetoed legislation that had strong bi-partisan support. Now, as Congress prepares to vote on President Biden’s key legislation, the nation is presented with another opportunity to make a historic investment in our future.

      • Two Democrats Back ‘Dangerous’ GOP Ploy to Kill Biden’s Vaccine-or-Test Rule

        Two right-wing Democrats—Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia—joined every Senate Republican on Wednesday in voting to repeal the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test requirement for large businesses, despite warnings that the move could undercut the nation’s pandemic response.

        The Senate GOP used a filibuster-proof vehicle known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to fast-track a resolution of disapproval against the rule, which was set to take full effect next month but has been held up in the courts by right-wing judges.

      • Senate Votes Against Biden Vaccine-or-Test Mandate, Thanks to Manchin and Tester
      • Opinion | Covid-19 Proves We Need a Global Public Health System Built on Shared Technology and Public Goods

        Despite multiple technological breakthroughs in the fight to control COVID-19, twice as many people died from it in 2021 compared to 2020. The Omicron variant is a stark reminder that effective vaccines are merely the first step toward ending the pandemic. Until we establish a process to manufacture vaccines at scale and distribute them where they are needed, we will lack the collective capacity to curb this or any future pandemic.

      • Mapped: The Network of Powerful Agribusiness Groups Lobbying to Water Down the EU’s Sustainable Farming Targets

        In February 2021, German agribusiness giant BASF hosted a virtual wine tasting, a seemingly cozy affair swirling glasses of Portugal’s finest in front of a webcam debating the future of EU agricultural policies. Invited to the event was a small group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). 

        The MEPs invited were spoiled for choice, as BASF generously delivered six small bottles of fine wines for their enjoyment. Like many corporations, the global COVID-19 pandemic and lack of usual in-person events meant they had to get creative about how to shape the political debate and find new allies to support their agendas.

      • Fuel-Contaminated Water From Aging Navy Facility Sickens Pearl Harbor Families
      • As More Info Emerges on Omicron, Trump’s Old COVID Lies Continue to Kill People
      • Early data on Omicron show surging cases but milder symptoms

        The Delta variant became dominant mainly because of its transmissibility. In contrast, Omicron seems to have advantages in both areas. Anecdotal evidence for its greater contagiousness is mounting: super-spreader events after which 35-78% of people tested positive have occurred in Norway, Denmark, Spain and Britain.

        Moreover, Omicron has unprecedented capacity for reinfection. A recent study led by Juliet Pulliam of Stellenbosch University showed that the number of South Africans who test positive at least 90 days after their last positive test is more than you would expect based on earlier waves. And antibodies generated by Pfizer’s vaccine are less effective against Omicron than against earlier variants. However, they still achieved solid neutralisation in people with booster jabs or prior infections. Current vaccines may offer good protection against severe disease caused by Omicron.

      • New Zealand’s plan to end smoking: A lifetime ban for youth

        New Zealand’s government believes it has come up with a unique plan to end tobacco smoking — a lifetime ban for those aged 14 or younger.

        Under a new law the government announced Thursday and plans to pass next year, the minimum age to buy cigarettes would keep rising year after year.

      • New Zealand Plans to Eventually Ban All Cigarette Sales

        Starting in 2023, anyone under age 15 would be barred for life from buying cigarettes. So, for instance, in 2050 people 42 and older would still be able to buy tobacco products — but anyone younger would not.

      • New Zealand to ban cigarette sales for future generations

        New Zealand plans to ban young people from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime in one of the world’s toughest crackdowns on the tobacco industry, arguing that other efforts to extinguish smoking were taking too long.

        People aged 14 and under in 2027 will never be allowed to purchase cigarettes in the Pacific country of 5 million, part of proposals unveiled on Thursday that will also curb the number of retailers authorised to sell tobacco and cut nicotine levels in all products.

      • New Zealand to ban cigarettes for future generations

        The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand’s health ministry on Thursday.

        Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed the “world-leading” reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Software updates could boost your car’s resale value

          That’s just the beginning of the software-defined dream car, however. It’s also about personalization.

          Unlike their boomer parents or grandparents, who customized their ride with souped-up engines and aftermarket accessories, younger buyers seek to personalize their cars with individual apps and conveniences.

        • Cyber Command Publicly Joins Fight Against Ransomware Groups [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Cybercriminals who launch attacks on critical U.S. companies are going to be targeted by the branch of the military known as Cyber Command, and everyone has been put on notice.

          Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads up Cyber Command, told the New York Times this weekend that his team isn’t just going after state actors, but that they’re taking on any cybercriminals who attack American infrastructure.

        • 17 Discord malware packages found in NPM repository

          In a blog post published Wednesday, JFrog security researchers Andrey Polkovnychenko and Shachar Menashe detailed how the malicious NPM packages took aim at the popular communications platform with malware and infostealers, including Discord token grabbers; stealing a user’s token would give a threat actor complete control over a user’s account.

          JFrog hypothesized in its blog post that threat actors could use Discord tokens — and by extension, the attached account — for botnets, spreading malware and to resell stolen accounts if the users have Discord’s premium Nitro service.

          Menashe told SearchSecurity the packages were found during routine scanning of the NPM repository.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Chrome Users Beware: Manifest V3 is Deceitful and Threatening

            Manifest V3, or Mv3 for short, is outright harmful to privacy efforts. It will restrict the capabilities of web extensions—especially those that are designed to monitor, modify, and compute alongside the conversation your browser has with the websites you visit. Under the new specifications, extensions like these– like some privacy-protective tracker blockers– will have greatly reduced capabilities. Google’s efforts to limit that access is concerning, especially considering that Google has trackers installed on 75% of the top one million websites.

            It’s also doubtful Mv3 will do much for security. Firefox maintains the largest extension market that’s not based on Chrome, and the company has said it will adopt Mv3 in the interest of cross-browser compatibility. Yet, at the 2020 AdBlocker Dev Summit, Firefox’s Add-On Operations Manager said about the extensions security review process: “For malicious add-ons, we feel that for Firefox it has been at a manageable level….since the add-ons are mostly interested in grabbing bad data, they can still do that with the current webRequest API that is not blocking.” In plain English, this means that when a malicious extension sneaks through the security review process, it is usually interested in simply observing the conversation between your browser and whatever websites you visit. The malicious activity happens elsewhere, after the data has already been read. A more thorough review process could improve security, but Chrome hasn’t said they’ll do that. Instead, their solution is to restrict capabilities for all extensions.

            As for Chrome’s other justification for Mv3– performance– a 2020 study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Chicago revealed that privacy extensions, the very ones that will be hindered by Mv3, actually improve browser performance.

          • Over to you MeitY: IFF’s representation on CERT-In’s Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure and Coordination Policy

            CERT-In responded to our representation about the issues with their Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure and Coordination Policy, explaining that the Policy is an executive decision and so must follow the existing provisions of the law. In light of this, we have written to MeitY, asking them to amend the Information Technology Act, 2000 to provide a safe harbour for genuine security researchers.


            On 3rd September 2021, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) released its new ‘Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure and Coordination Policy’ with the aim of strengthening trust in the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns, and encouraging responsible vulnerability research. The Policy provides information about where cybersecurity vulnerabilities in products and services can be reported, the details expected in vulnerability reporting, the procedure by which CERT-In will examine and act upon such reports, and the timelines for resolving issues.

            However, the Policy effectively discourages the reporting of vulnerabilities! Clause 7 of the Policy states that: “The reporting party must ensure to comply with all the extant laws and regulations while discovering the vulnerabilities. Reporting a vulnerability to CERT-In does not imply being exempt from compliance. Discloser shall be responsible for any action performed by her/him for discovering the vulnerability whatsoever”.

            In response to this, we wrote to CERT-In on 13th October 2021 indicating our concerns about this provision. In our representation, we highlighted that such a policy may lead to a regulatory regime in which genuine security researchers may be penalised for disclosures. We also stated that Clause 7 of the Policy may also be in conflict with the Information Technology (The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and Manner of Performing Functions and Duties) Rules, 2013 which adopt a more cooperative and collaborative approach to vulnerability disclosures.

          • Saudi Human Rights Activist, Represented by EFF, Sues Spyware Maker DarkMatter For Violating U.S. Anti-Hacking and International Human Rights Laws

            Loujain Alhathloul Lawsuit Statement“Never have I envisioned myself being recognized for standing up for what I believed was right. My early realization of my privilege to speak up and out for women and myself drove me to engage in the sphere of human rights defenders.“In a 2018 article titled Kidnapped Freedoms, I expressed my understanding of freedom to be safety and peace:

            ‘safety to express, to feel protected, to live and to love.[And] peace to reveal the purest and most sincere humanity implanted deep within our souls and minds without experiencing unforgivable consequences.Deprived of safety and peace, I have lost my freedom. Forever?’“Previously, I had limited consideration of all aspects of harm a human rights defender, or any individual for that matter, could face, especially in the online world. Today, I incorporate online safety as well as protection from misuse of power by cyber companies to my understanding of safety. The latter should be considered a basic and natural right in our digital reality.“No government or individual should tolerate the misuse of spy malware to deter human rights or endanger the voice of the human conscious. This is why I have chosen to stand up for our collective right to remain safe online and limit government-backed cyber abuses of power. I continue to realize my privilege to possibly act upon my beliefs.“I hope this case inspires others to confront all sorts of cybercrimes while creating a safer space for all of us to grow, share, and learn from one another without the threat of power abuses.”For the complaint:https://www.eff.org/document/alhathloul-v-darkmatter

            For more on state-sponsored malware:https://www.eff.org/issues/state-sponsored-malware

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Trend Micro Incorporated : The Evolution of IoT Linux Malware Based on MITRE ATT&CK TTPs | MarketScreener

              In this blog entry, we share the findings of an investigation on theinternet of things (IoT)Linux malware and analyzed how these malware families have been evolving. We relied on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of MITRE ATT&CKto define the malware capabilities and characteristics that we saw.

              Our study showed that IoT Linux malware has been steadily evolving, particularly those that are used to createIoT botnets. Capabilities were both added and removed over time. Notably, neither data exfiltration nor lateral movement has been successful for the authors, and they have pivoted instead to centralized infection.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Disrupting Spycraft: Always-On Surveillance Is Prompting Massive Changes In Covert Operations

              The spies are back to complaining that the always-on digital world and the omnipresence of surveillance devices (both public and private) is making it difficult to do spy stuff.

            • Interview With Franco De Bonis – VISUA

              Franco De Bonis: VISUA develops computer vision solutions, which we call Visual-AI. If you feed data into AI, artificial intelligence systems, it looks at all the data points, and it can make logical, human-like conclusions based on how it’s been programmed.

            • Interview With Ziv Cohen – Paygilant

              Ziv Cohen: I’ve been in cybersecurity for about 24 years now, even before it was called cybersecurity. I was actually quite fascinated, because when I started, it was still mostly about networking and the very beginning of securing networks. It really attracted me as, first of all, security is vital; it’s something that every organization needs to have in place. Otherwise, the business simply cannot run because there are always attackers looking to either penetrate and cause havoc, whether for financial gain or information. Security is definitely one of the areas which is changing dynamically, with good and bad guys always trying to challenge the system. This cat and mouse game and the need to be constantly creative, is what pulled me into cybersecurity, and later on, financial fraud and financial crime. Cybersecurity has always been and will always be relevant.

            • Sienna Miller says Sun illegally sought medical records of pregnancy

              The size of the payout is confidential – but it may be one of the largest settlements by Rupert Murdoch’s organisation to victims of phone [cracking].

              In a statement read on Ms Miller’s behalf at the High Court, she described how she felt the Sun “brutally took away her choice” when it allegedly leaked that she was pregnant.

            • Digital Services Act: IMCO report is a missed opportunity in the fight against surveillance capitalism on the Internet

              Breyer sees a new threat to digital privacy and security in a separate vote scheduled for Monday on making publications of pictures and text on adult entertainment portals dependent on providing the operator with the uploader‘s personal mobile phone number. “Because of the foreseeable hacking [sic] and leaks of these porn uploader databases, this identification requirement virtually invites stalking and threats against sex workers, LGBTQI persons, and politically exposed and vulnerable persons. Victims of unwanted intimate recordings are harmed by the displacement of such material to non-EU portals, which simply ignore notifications of illegal material and requests from law enforcement. Accepting the elimination of anonymous publishing as an acceptable deterrent against objectionable content threatens to set a precedent far beyond adult entertainment.”

              In detail, Breyer assesses the result of negotiations with respect to civil liberties as follows: [...]

            • UK Government Says Clearview Owes It $23 Million For Violating Privacy Laws

              Well, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving shitheel. Clearview, the tech company with 10 billion facial recognition images and zero shame, has now been uninvited from the largest portions of the British Empire.

            • The ICO’s announcement about Clearview AI is a lot more than just a £17 million fine

              Following PI’s submissions before the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as well as other European regulators, the ICO has announced its provisional intent to fine facial recognition company Clearview AI. But this is more than just a regulatory action.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Nuns Against Nuclear Weapons: Plowshares Protesters have Fought for Disarmament for Over 40 Years, Going to Prison for Peace

        Rice, who died in October 2021, was part of a protest tradition called Plowshares. Since 1980, there have been over 100 Plowshares actions in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. The name comes from the books of Isaiah and Micah in the Bible: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah and Micah are accepted as Scripture by Christians, Jews and Muslims.

        As a historian studying faith-based calls for nuclear disarmament, I focus on nuns at the forefront of this significant movement. My upcoming book, “Transform Now Plowshares,” shows how they use existing international law and their own creative courtroom strategies to guide U.S. courts and even Congress to include pacifist principles in court records and congressional documents.

      • New Interactive Map Gives Ground-Level Look at High Civilian Toll of Israel’s Gaza War

        A new report and interactive map published Thursday by a leading airstrike monitoring organization offer detailed insight into incidents of civilian harm caused by Israel Defense Forces’ aerial bombardment of Gaza during the May 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls assault on the Palestinian territory, as well as casualties resulting from militant rocket attacks on Israel.

        “Despite repeated assurances to the contrary, it’s clear that ‘precision warfare’ cannot sufficiently mitigate civilian harm.”

      • Who Killed Malcolm X?

        The exoneration last month of Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam 55 years after their conviction is a major correction of the record on the assassination of Malcolm X. The 22-month investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and lawyers for the two men—with additional support from the Innocence Project—culminated in the filing of a joint motion to vacate the two men’s convictions, and accompanying legal analysis. It confirmed what historians, journalists, and scholars have known for years: that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department withheld key evidence that could have led to the men’s acquittal.

      • Opinion | The Imperialist Agenda of the Organization of American States (OAS)

        After being sanctioned by 25 of its 35 member countries, on November 19, 2021 the government of Nicaragua announced that it was withdrawing from the Organization of American States (OAS). In explaining the decision to leave the OAS, Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said, “The OAS continues to be an instrument created by the US to project its meddling and hegemonic policy of intervention, of threat and of aggression against the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

      • Biden’s $650 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

        On December 7, the US Senate voted 30-67 against a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 31) which would have blocked a $650 million US arms sale to Saudi Arabia.  Only two Republicans voted in favor of the resolution:  Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Mike Lee of Utah who had co-sponsored the resolution together with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).  Twenty Senate Democrats voted for the sale to go ahead.

        The $650 million arms sale which the Biden Administration announced on November 4 is for 280 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (“AMRAAMs”) and 596 missile launchers.  Raytheon Technologies is the principal contractor in the deal.

      • My Conversation With a Coup Plotter

        The occasion back then was a proposal from candidate Donald Trump to end birthright citizenship. The current requirement that children born here be recognized as U.S. citizens was “the biggest magnet for illegal immigration,” he argued.

        Many conservatives opposed Trump’s claim. It was dismissed in an August 20 Wall Street Journal editorial, and even Berkeley law professor John Yoo, a co-author of the notorious 2002 “torture memos,” differed in an August 22 National Review opinion piece. But John Eastman backed Trump’s fringe position, and he was given two opportunities to defend it on August 24, one in the National Review and one in the Times. (The current online version of the Times op-ed was somewhat updated in December.).

      • Former Trump Aide Mark Meadows Sues to Block Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas
      • House Passes Largest Military Budget Since WWII Despite Afghanistan War’s End
      • Museum to Melt Down Lee Statue That Inspired “Unite the Right” Violence in 2017
      • On ‘Gassing the Arabs’ and Other Diseases: Is Israel a ‘Sick Society’?

        For whatever reason, some mistakenly perceive the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, as liberal, progressive and even ‘pro-Palestinian’. Of course, none of this is true. This misconstrued depiction of an essentially Zionist and anti-Palestinian newspaper tells of a much bigger story of how confusing Israeli politics is, and how equally confused many of us are in understanding the Israeli political discourse.

      • US Shouldn’t Be Invited to Summit for Democracy, Let Alone Be Its Host

        This week, the United States is convening a virtual “Summit for Democracy,” the first of its kind in what the State Department hopes to make an annual event.

      • Opinion | 10 Contradictions That Plague Biden’s Democracy Summit

        President Biden’s virtual Summit for Democracy on December 9-10 is part of a campaign to restore the United States’ standing in the world, which took such a beating under President Trump’s erratic foreign policies. Biden hopes to secure his place at the head of the “Free World” table by coming out as a champion for human rights and democratic practices worldwide.

      • EU, US Start To Realize Letting Elon Musk Dictate Global Space Rules Might Not Be The Brightest Idea

        As previously noted, Space X, Amazon, and others are pushing harder than ever into the low-orbit satellite broadband game. The industry, pockmarked by a long road of failures, involves firing thousands of smaller, cheaper, lower orbit satellite constellations into space to help supplement existing broadband services. The lower orbit means that LO satellite service will offer lower-latency broadband than traditional satellite offerings, which for 15 years or so have been widely maligned as expensive, slow, and “laggy,” with annoying monthly caps.

      • US to tighten restrictions on exports of malicious cyber tools

        The Biden administration is expected to announce on Friday an initiative to tighten rules surrounding the exports of certain technologies that have been used by authoritarian governments and bad actors for repression.

        The move comes on the heels of the administration’s sanctioning of the private Israeli spy-ware company NSO Group in November for “malicious cyber activities.”

        The initiative is being announced during the president’s “Summit for Democracy,” a first-ever virtual conference bringing together more than 100 democratic countries in an effort to address rising authoritarianism and efforts to strengthen democracy.

      • Will Pakistan Be the Next Country to Fall to a Taliban-Style Takeover?

        The Pakistani Taliban, responsible for the deaths of 70,000 Pakistanis, are once again at the negotiating table with the governing hybrid regime. Now, with the emergence of the TLP, who come from the other major strain of religious extremism, the stage is set for an eventual confrontation with either or both of these pernicious forces. In the long run, a Taliban-style takeover of the country cannot be ruled out.

      • If the United States pulls back, the world will become more dangerous

        More adaptation to a world with less America will be required. Democracies, especially in Europe, should spend more on defence. Those, such as Taiwan and Ukraine, at risk of being attacked should make themselves indigestible, for example by beefing up their capacity for asymmetric warfare. The better prepared they are, the less likely their foes are to attack them.

      • Terrorism: The Sahel-5 are turning to Russia

        With renewed interest to uproot French domination, Russia has ultimately began its inroads into the Sahel region, an elongated landlocked territory located between north Africa (Maghreb) and west Africa region, and also stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. While it remains largely underdeveloped and greater part of the population impoverished, terrorist organizations including Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are operating and have contributed to the frequent violence, extremism and instability in this vast region.

        As usually referred to as the G5 Sahel, it consists of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Besides the instability, these countries are engulfed with various socio-economic problems primarily due to the system of governance and poor policies toward sustainable development. There are, in addition, rights abuse and cultural practices that affect development.

      • Burkina Faso PM resigns following protests over jihadist violence

        President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who had already changed his military leadership over the security crisis, accepted Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire’s resignation, according to a presidential decree.

        The resignation of a prime minister requires the resignation of the entire government, according to Burkina Faso law.

    • Environment

      • California’s Water Supplies are in Trouble as Climate Change Worsens Natural Dry Spells

        Especially worrying is the outlook for the Sierra Nevada, the long mountain chain that runs through the eastern part of the state. California’s cities and its farms – which grow over a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruit and nuts – rely on runoff from the mountains’ snowpack for water.

        As an engineer, I have studied California’s water and climate for over 30 years. A closer look at California’s water resources shows the challenge ahead and how climate change is putting the state’s water supply and agriculture at greater risk.

      • How Activism Can Counter the False Solutions to Climate Change

        The many loopholes in the COP26 agreement allow fossil fuel corporations to focus even more on carbon offsetting by rich countries, rather than real zero emissions targets.  These carbon offsetting schemes have been pursued for some time now without adequate environmental and human rights protection measures, thus further endangering Indigenous peoples and communities who risk being evicted from their lands and livelihoods to make way for these harmful schemes.  The failure of COP26 raises the question of who can a beleaguered humanity—especially in the global south—turn to for meaningful action toward mitigation and regeneration of human and non-human communities.

        Movements such as the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, as well as alternative grassroots international meetings, will doubtless continue to play an important role.  But there are many efforts that have been engaged in concrete and prefigurative resistance and reconstructive actions well outside of the sphere of petitioning governments for change, actions oriented toward expanding the values and aims of climate justice.  These actions have generally received little acknowledgment or notice, even in alternative media.

      • Storm Drains Keep Swallowing People During Floods

        On the night of Sept. 1, Dhanush Reddy and his fiancee, Kavya Mandli, were returning home from a North Jersey mall when the remains of Hurricane Ida turned their drive perilous.

        Rain pounded down, soaking the streets with so much water that cars stalled and police shut down traffic. They felt their own car rattling, and they abandoned it in a nearby lot. Deciding they’d walk to safer ground where Mandli’s brother could pick them up, they waded hand-in-hand into murky water “until we reached the middle point of the road,” Mandli recalled, “where it just sucked us both inside.”

      • Let’s be Honest About Cattle, Wild Horses, and Climate Solutions

        Despite the Biden Administration’s pledge to cut methane emissions 30 percent by 2030, during the Glasgow Summit Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack voiced categorical opposition to reducing livestock. Sen. Grassley (R-IA) conceded that cattle are a significant source of methane emissions and raised concerns that livestock producers could be asked to be part of the climate solution. In response, Secretary Vilsack told the Iowa Capital Dispatch, “With due respect to the Senator, this administration is not going after animal agriculture.” He repeatedly insisted that the administration has no plans to shrink livestock populations.

        But on western public lands, the administration is on a mission to slash wild horse populations, and is not afraid to use climate change as an excuse, despite the fact that cattle and sheep are the ones strongly linked to climate impacts.

      • The Puzzle of Eco-Fiction

        One of the foremost difficulties in confronting the dire reality of climate change remains that of conceptualizing climate itself, of thinking climatologically. This mode of comprehension requires radical reorientations of scale, positioning discrete occurrences as part of immensely larger patterns across vast swaths of time and space. It requires one to look beyond the boundaries of national borders and isolated events. Climatological thinking necessitates a vantage that must at least aspire toward both totality and synthesis without losing sight of the fine-grained details of the local and the particular. To take this mode of thought and translate it into narrative form is key to communicating what is happening on our ever-warming planet. Weaving together the fragmented intricacies of the individual, human experience of climate without losing sight of its vastness is a tall order, but a profoundly necessary one: Telling a story of climate change requires a narrative ambition of planetary scope.

      • ‘Huge Step Forward’: Steven Donziger Transferred From Federal Prison to House Arrest

        Steven Donziger, the U.S. human rights attorney sentenced in October to six months’ incarceration for refusing to hand over privileged client information to fossil fuel giant Chevron, said Thursday that he was released from a federal prison in Connecticut to complete his sentence under house arrest.

        “Prison officials released me this morning to serve the rest of my sentence (136 days) at home,” Donziger tweeted following his release from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution. Prior to his incarceration, he had spent over 800 days under house arrest.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Here’s the Fracking Truth About America’s Last Fossil-Fueled Hurrah

          As global leaders struggle to tackle the climate crisis, and as ordinary people worldwide are increasingly whiplashed by high fuel costs, the US government is promising policymakers, industrialists, and investors that there will be decades of growing supplies of fracked oil and natural gas. However, an independent earth scientist with 32 years of experience with the Geological Service of Canada is using the industry’s and government’s own data to show why that’s a dangerous fallacy.

        • Opinion | The Future of Fossil Fuels Hinges on Two Huge Midwestern Pipeline Fights

          The future of the fossil fuel industry depends on an expensive Rube Goldberg technology called carbon capture and storage (CCS), intended to capture billions of tons of hazardous waste carbon dioxide (CO2) from smokestacks and bury it deep underground where optimistic experts say it will remain forever. Pessimistic experts say it won’t work. 

        • Billionaire Used Massive Oil Spill to Avoid Paying Income Tax for 14 Years
        • A Massive Oil Spill Helped One Billionaire Avoid Paying Income Tax for 14 Years

          After the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded in 2010, environmentalists surveying the damage in the Gulf of Mexico came upon a mystery. The water had oil slicks that, because of the currents, couldn’t have originated from the site of the notorious accident.

        • Talk at TTI/Vanguard Conference

          Bitcoin is notorious for consuming as much electricity as the Netherlands, but there are around 10,000 other cryptocurrencies, most using similar infrastructure and thus also in aggregate consuming unsustainable amounts of electricity. This is far from the only externality the cryptocurrency mania imposes upon the world. Among the others are that Bitcoin alone generates as much e-waste as the Netherlands, that cryptocurrencies enable a $5.2B/year ransomware industry, that they have disrupted supply chains for GPUs, hard disks, SSDs and other chips, that they have made it impossible for web services to offer free tiers, and that they are responsible for a massive crime wave including fraud, theft, tax evasion, funding of rogue states such as North Korea, drug smuggling, and even armed robbery. In return they offer no social benefit beyond speculation. Is it possible to mitigate these societal harms?

        • Bitcoin surge was a windfall for white supremacists, research finds

          The cryptocurrency world has grown swiftly in recent years, moving far beyond bitcoin to include a wide variety of alternative digital currencies and blockchain-based systems. Blockchain is a concept in which computer networks work together to create distributed systems that can be used to keep track of everything from digital currencies to ownership of digital art.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • ‘Total Hypocrisy’: Elon Musk Rebuked for Hit on EV Subsidies After Building Empire With Billions in Taxpayer Funds

        Critics quickly noted the $4.9 billion in government subsidies that helped build Elon Musk’s fortune, after he criticized proposed U.S. federal funding for electric vehicles in an interview this week with The Wall Street Journal.

        “Honestly, I would just can this whole bill, don’t pass it,” said Musk when asked about President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure spending.

      • What Should the Democrats Do About Rising Inflation?

        Inflation is a serious problem for the first time in decades. Starting in the late 1960s, the rate of inflation began increasing; 1965’s 1.6 percent rose to a peak of 14.8 percent in 1980. Paul Volcker, then chair of the Federal Reserve, reversed that trajectory in the early ’80s by driving interest rates into the high teens. He created what was then the deepest recession since the 1930s. Unemployment spiked, unions were busted, social spending was cut, and by 1986, inflation was back below 2 percent. The working class, restive throughout the ’70s, was rendered passive and scared. But inflation stayed low, averaging under 2.7 percent from 1983 through 2020 (when it was just 1.2 percent).

      • “Your Debt Is Someone Else’s Asset”: Calls Mount to Cancel Debt & Halt Wealth Transfer to the Rich

        As calls grow for Biden to extend the moratorium on student debt, we speak with the Debt Collective’s Astra Taylor and feature her new film for The Intercept, “Your Debt Is Someone Else’s Asset,” animated by artist Molly Crabapple. The $15 trillion in U.S. household debt is “a form of wealth transfer” from the poor to the rich, Taylor says. “People are in debt by design.”

      • “An Outrage”: House Passes Largest Military Budget in Generations Despite End of Afghanistan War

        President Biden may soon approve the largest military spending bill since World War II, which ramps up spending to counter China and Russia. Separately, the Senate voted down a bipartisan bid by Senators Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul and Mike Lee to halt $650 million in U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid the devastating ongoing war in Yemen. “The last thing we need to do is be throwing more money at the Pentagon,” says William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. “This whole idea that China and Russia are military threats to the United States has primarily been manufactured to jump up the military budget.”

      • ACTION ALERT: CNN Asks Sinema No Questions About Conflicts

        Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D.–Arizona) is notorious for being inaccessible to the press—and to constituents—while threatening to tank the Democratic Party’s key social spending bill. As Mother Jones (10/7/21) reported, Sinema has not held a single town hall since her election, doesn’t hold press conferences, and refuses to speak to reporters and constituents alike when approached. So when CNN‘s Lauren Fox (12/2/21) landed a sit-down interview with Sinema, it presented a rare opportunity to do what journalists are supposed to do: hold power to account.

      • Calls for Boycott Grow After Kellogg Says It’s Permanently Replacing Strikers
      • Finally, Speaking Truth to Power

        Taming animal spirits? Domesticating the Wolf of Wall Street? These words prompted recollections of Joseph N. Welch putting to rest the McCarthy era witch hunt for Communists by gently asking the firebrand senator from Wisconsin: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” on television. Taming bankers in Geneva and asking Joe McCarthy for decency, two sides of an ethical whole.

        Guy Ryder, a former union leader and current ILO chief, pulled no punches in speaking at the second meeting of the Building Bridges Summit. The room was filled with big money honchos and Ryder seized the moment to provoke them.

      • Why Poorer Nations Aren’t Falling for Green-Washed Imperialism

        Discussions on these issues, which are pertinent to resolving the climate crisis, were completely absent from the COP26 agenda, which concluded on November 13. The financing of a low carbon emission path was conveniently delinked from commitments toward cutting down carbon emissions and now faces an uncertain future, with developed countries failing to live up to their earlier “pledge” of providing finance to developing nations to “help them adapt to climate change and mitigate further rises in temperature.”

        Some numbers are important here to understand the extent to which developing nations have contributed to the present climate crisis and to greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union plus the UK (EU-UK) produce more than twice the carbon emissions of the entire continent of Africa, with less than half of Africa’s population. With less than a quarter of India’s population, the United States emits significantly more carbon than India does—almost twice as much.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The State, Friend and Foe

        At the time, the stress of looking for new work, of applying for a doctorate, of maintaining a “budget” so I could occasionally leave the house and grab dinner with friends at places that didn’t have menus smeared with marinara sauce or honey mustard, was contributing to my asthma. For a while, my asthma had been under control but I was feeling also sluggish and not working out as much as I needed to. Consequently, there were nights when I’d be gripping my teeth, gasping for air, feeling as if my chest was caving in.

        Medicaid made it possible for me to go see a doctor for basically nothing and to receive a new prescription for inhalers, something I otherwise would’ve been unable to. When at the doctor’s office, all around me were other downwardly mobile millennials, senior citizens and people who also looked worn out by the magic of the “free market”, where getting what one needs has to be attached to a price-tag. Medicaid was a brief reprieve from that unyielding world, a world that pretty much exists everywhere else, immediately when one’s doctor visit is over.

      • ‘Pass BBB Now,’ Jayapal Demands as Senate Hold-Up Threatens to Delay Key Child Benefits

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Wednesday pressured her Democratic colleagues in the Senate to urgently pick up the pace of Build Back Better negotiations amid warnings that key child benefits could be delayed if talks spill over into the new year.

        “Delays to passing Build Back Better have real consequences on families,” Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote on Twitter, pointing to a HuffPost report noting that expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments for the month of January could be held up if Democrats don’t complete work on their $1.75 trillion reconciliation package in the coming days.

      • ‘Big Step for Democracy’: NC Supreme Court Delays Primaries Over Gerrymandered Maps

        Voting rights advocates on Wednesday hailed a state Supreme Court order in North Carolina as a victory for democracy as the court cited the state’s gerrymandered district map as its reason for delaying the 2022 primaries by two months—but noted that the fight for a fair map is not over yet.

        Following the court’s preliminary injunction, voters in North Carolina will go to the polls on May 17 instead of March 8 due to ongoing litigation over the new district map, which was drawn by Republican state lawmakers and was expected to give the GOP at least 10 safe seats in the U.S. House out of the state’s 14 seats.

      • How Europe’s “Shadow Immigration System” Pays Libyan Militias to Jail Migrants in Brutal Conditions

        An explosive new investigation details how the European Union has created a shadow immigration system that captures migrants arriving from Africa before they reach Europe and sends them to brutal militia-run detention centers in Libya. “This is a climate migration story,” says Ian Urbina, investigative journalist and director of The Outlaw Ocean Project, who authored the report for The New Yorker magazine. “The policy of the EU of outsourcing migration control to a failed state in Libya … is a really doomed strategy, and it’s only going to get more perilous as more waves of people start trying to reach safer places.” Urbina’s piece is titled “The Invisible Wall: Inside the Secretive Libyan Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe.”

      • ‘An Escalation We’ve Been Expecting’: New York AG Seeks Donald Trump’s Testimony in Civil Fraud Probe

        This is a breaking story… Please check back for possible updates…

        New York Attorney General Letitia James seeks to question former President Donald Trump under oath for her investigation into possible fraud within the Trump Organization, multiple media outlets revealed Thursday.

      • Opinion | Why We Urgently Need Media Outlets for the Common Good

        Donald Trump—the most corrupt president in our history—is getting better press right now (and has for 6 years) than Joe Biden, who is working to restore democracy and sanity to our country. Where the hell did this come from?

      • Biden Commerce Secretary Panned for Remarks ‘In Defense of Big Tech Monopolies’

        Comments made Wednesday by the Biden administration’s Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo expressing concern about legislative proposals in the European Union tackling Big Tech’s power elicited a chorus of criticism from monopoly opponents.

        In video remarks flagged by technology company coalition Chamber of Progress, Raimondo addresses the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), which she said she understands to be “moving quickly through the E.U.’s legislative process.”

      • Defend Socialism in One Demographic!

        Established in 1936 as a pillar of the hugely popular President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, it sought to establish a floor benefit for elder workers and the disabled that would at least keep a roof over their heads, whether their own or a relative’s, and allow them to buy the food they’d need to survive.

        That program, astonishingly, has proven so successful that despite generations of Republican — and some conservative corporatist Democratic politicians’ efforts to undermining it — has endured largely intact for almost 86 years.

      • How the Age of Trump Has Changed Fandom

        And don’t think this was purely a baseball phenomenon. I can’t wait to see who will be competing in next February’s Super Bowl, although the most obvious early contenders are homophobia, sexism, and vaccination misinformation. As for the basketball, hockey, and Olympic seasons, I’m putting my money on the likelihood that predatory sexuality, financial inequality, and transgender discrimination will be right up there alongside the commercials for Nike and gambling.

        I consider all this the upshot of what appears to be a shift in the very nature of fandom, a moral drift. Fandom has traditionally been mostly regional. In recent years, however, it has begun to take on the worst of the corrupted tribalism that has dominated so much of life outside the arena, the ballpark, and the stadium ever since Donald Trump became America’s coach. Before that, sports was generally considered a crucible for character, a place to define righteous principles, or at least to pay lip service to the high road, whether anyone was on it or not.

      • Despite Trump Abuses, 208 House Republicans Vote Against Bill to Ensure ‘No President Is Above the Law’

        As the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday almost entirely along party lines in favor of proposed legislation to curb executive power and bolster transparency, proponents of the bill urged the Senate to pass the measure to help “restore the balance of powers and fix our democracy.” 

        “It’s time for lawmakers of both parties in the Senate to take up the mantle and swiftly pass the Protecting Our Democracy Act. The integrity of our country’s most powerful office is at stake.”

      • Big Business Lobby Taps Trump’s ‘Chief Union-Buster to Kneecap’ Worker Rights

        The public interest organization Revolving Door Project on Thursday accused two big business groups of “kneecapping workers’ rights” with the hiring of Philip Miscimarra, former chair of the National Labor Relations Board, to lead their campaign in favor of a Trump-era anti-union rule.

        The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association (IFA) support the 2020 joint employer rule that was finalized by the NLRB in 2020 during Miscimarra’s tenure.

      • China courts global capital, on its own terms

        Asymmetric decoupling raises two questions. One is whether America’s approach is effective. The more it punishes Chinese firms, whether those listed in America or those that buy American high-tech components, the more China develops its own capabilities, undermining American pre-eminence and creating alternatives for third countries to use. That could leave America with less global influence, not more.

        The other question is where else China will apply its asymmetric strategy. It can already be seen in the commodities industry, with more trading happening on the mainland, and in tech, where China is trying to develop home-grown semiconductors. But the most glaring dependence of all that China has is on America’s currency, which is used for most cross-border payments and which exposes it to sanctions and the threat of exclusion. If Mr Xi cannot tolerate a ride-hailing firm being listed in New York, it is a good bet that he is even less keen on China being subordinate to the greenback. He is surely doing everything within his powers to develop an alternative.

      • Why Don’t We Call Corporate Handouts “Corruption”?

        Definitionally speaking, preserving, and propping up a health care system based around private health insurance — instead of establishing a universal, single-payer program — means allowing for different tiers of coverage. It also allows for the continued existence of a significant and durable health care under-class: 28 million Americans were uninsured last year.

        If the Biden administration was concerned about everyone having quality health care — or about disparities in care — they would not be working to put more people on private insurance. But that’s exactly what they and Democrats have done.

      • YouTuber sends AirTags to North Korea to put DHL shipping claims to the test

        After receiving identical letters about the packages (of which he had the current location) being lost despite an investigation, and with the packages later being found, he speculated that this could be because DHL finds it more cost-effective to just pay off customers rather than actually searching for missing items. Check out his video below.

      • Apple AirTags Sent to North Korea Exposes DHL Tracking ‘Fraud’

        The AirTag that was mailed to North Korea, however, never even got there. Even though the YouTuber could see its location pinging from one of DHL’s logistics facilities in Frankfurt, Germany, DHL insisted the package was lost despite the company’s best efforts to locate it and offered to reimburse him for its contents.

        MegaLag refused the refund and sent another AirTag to North Korea in the meantime. The very next day after refusing the refund, DHL magically located the original package and sent it on its way to North Korea via Beijing, China.

      • New German Government is Pro-Encryption and Anti-Backdoors

        I hope this is true: [...]

      • Bugs in our Pockets: The Risks of Client-Side Scanning

        Our increasing reliance on digital technology for personal, economic, and government affairs has made it essential to secure the communications and devices of private citizens, businesses, and governments. This has led to pervasive use of cryptography across society. Despite its evident advantages, law enforcement and national security agencies have argued that the spread of cryptography has hindered access to evidence and intelligence. Some in industry and government now advocate a new technology to access targeted data: client-side scanning (CSS). Instead of weakening encryption or providing law enforcement with backdoor keys to decrypt communications, CSS would enable on-device analysis of data in the clear. If targeted information were detected, its existence and, potentially, its source, would be revealed to the agencies; otherwise, little or no information would leave the client device. Its proponents claim that CSS is a solution to the encryption versus public safety debate: it offers privacy — in the sense of unimpeded end-to-end encryption — and the ability to successfully investigate serious crime. In this report, we argue that CSS neither guarantees efficacious crime prevention nor prevents surveillance. Indeed, the effect is the opposite. CSS by its nature creates serious security and privacy risks for all society while the assistance it can provide for law enforcement is at best problematic. There are multiple ways in which client-side scanning can fail, can be evaded, and can be abused.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Yet Another Study Shows Mainstream Media Is A Key Vector In Spreading Misinformation

        The common “accepted knowledge” these days among many is that the rise of disinformation and conspiracy theories must be driven by social media, and Facebook in particular (with Twitter and YouTube right behind). This theory has always seemed a bit bonkers, and we’ve pointed to multiple detailed, data-driven studies that showed that cable news was a much bigger driver of misinformation than social media. Specifically, it found that conspiracy theories and misinformation and the like didn’t actually “go viral” until after it appeared on cable news.

      • Tackling COVID disinformation with empathy and conversation

        For example, a centre in the state of Baden-Württemberg provides telephone counselling. According to its annual report many people ask questions such as: “How can we deal with those who believe in conspiracy theories?” or “Are there conversation strategies to convince the other person that he is wrong?”

        Baden-Württemberg centre staff handled more than 300 requests for advice and information in 2020. The largest category was inquiries about conspiracy theories. Similar centres to counter the negative impact of conspiracy theories are in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia.

        Studies repeatedly reveal an association between the belief in conspiracy theories and the rejection of sometimes life-saving preventive measures such as vaccinations. In Germany research has linked a higher acceptance of misinformation to support for the far-right AFD party as well as a reliance on social media for news. And even before the pandemic, studies found that exposure to conspiracy theories can lead to people making decisions that are hazardous to their health.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Social Media Companies Want to Co-opt the First Amendment. Courts Shouldn’t Let Them.

        In two cases that could have sweeping implications for free speech online, social media companies including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are challenging new laws in Florida and Texas that limit their ability to decide which content appears on their platforms.

        The companies are right that the laws violate the First Amendment, but some of the arguments they are making are deeply flawed. If these arguments get traction in the courts, it will be difficult for legislatures to pass sensible and free-speech-friendly laws meant to protect democratic values in the digital public sphere.

      • Is Self-Censorship a Problem for Writers?

        Anyone who came to PEN America’s town hall discussion on writers and self-censorship on Wednesday night expecting the romanticized literary fisticuffs of yore — let alone the total war of modern social media combat — would have come away disappointed.

        No one shouted “cancel culture!” in the semi-crowded theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. But what the 100 or so live spectators (and those who tuned in online) did get was a sprawling, impassioned but overwhelmingly civil conversation among four prominent writers about art, identity, appropriation and the state of free expression.

      • Russia Doubles Down On Censorship With Expanded Block On Tor

        The Russian government has fully blocked the web anonymity service Tor, after days of blocks by individual internet service providers (ISPs).

        Russia accounts for 15 per cent of all Tor users, with some 300,000 daily users – second only to the US. The service allows users to evade network surveillance or traffic analysis by routing internet traffic through a relay network, disguising users’ IP addresses.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Incarceration of Journalists Hits All-Time High Amid ‘Growing Intolerance of Independent Reporting’

        Nearly 300 journalists are currently languishing behind bars around the globe—an all-time high in recorded history—according to a new report published Thursday by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which described 2021 as “an especially bleak year for defenders of press freedom.”

        The U.S.-based nonprofit’s annual prison census found that 293 reporters were incarcerated worldwide as of December 1, up from the previous record-high of 280 last year.

      • Demands to ‘Free Assange Now’ Surge Ahead of Ruling on US Extradition

        A U.K. court is set to rule Friday on whether WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States, an impending decision that led press freedom advocates and human rights campaigners to redouble their calls for his immediate release.

        “We fully believe that Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism.”

      • Assange judge is 40-year ‘good friend’ of minister who orchestrated his arrest

        Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett, the judge that will soon decide Julian Assange’s fate, is a close personal friend of Sir Alan Duncan, who as foreign minister arranged Assange’s eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy.

        The two have known each other since their student days at Oxford in the 1970s, when Duncan called Burnett “the Judge”. Burnett and his wife attended Duncan’s birthday dinner at a members-only London club in 2017, when Burnett was a judge at the court of appeal.

        Now the most powerful judge in England and Wales, Burnett will soon rule on Assange’s extradition case. The founder of WikiLeaks faces life imprisonment in the US.

      • Number of jailed journalists reached global high in 2021, at least 24 killed for their coverage – CPJ report

        The number of journalists worldwide who are behind bars reached a global high in 2021, according to a new report from the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists, which says that 293 reporters were imprisoned as of 1 December this year.

        At least 24 journalists were killed because of their coverage, and 18 others died in circumstances that make it too difficult to determine whether they were targeted because of their work, the CPJ said on Thursday in its annual survey on press freedom and attacks on the media.

      • D.C. council renames the street in front of the Saudi embassy after Jamal Khashoggi

        Local officials in Washington, D.C., have passed a bill that will name a portion of the street outside the Saudi embassy after slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

        The ‘Jamal Khashoggi Way Designation Act,’ which passed unanimously on Tuesday, will serve as a reminder of the dangers faced by journalists across the world, noting that a free press is “fundamental to our democracy,” said D.C. councilmember Brooke Pinto in a statement.

      • Julian Assange to find out whether High Court will overturn extradition decision

        However, he said four “binding” diplomatic assurances had been made, including that it would consent to him being transferred to Australia to serve any prison sentence he may be given, which “fundamentally change the factual basis” of her judgment.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • What Will It Take to Build a Mass Movement for Abortion Rights?

        On December 1, the Supreme Court’s conservative justices sat down to consider how, exactly, they might overturn Roe v. Wade. During arguments over Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemed to suggest that being forced to give birth is no big deal, because you can drop the baby off at a designated “safe haven” for adoption. Justice Brett Kavanaugh rattled off a list of times the court has overturned precedent, suggesting he is considering doing just that when it comes to abortion.

      • ‘History Made!’ Buffalo Starbucks Workers Vote to Form Chain’s First Union in US

        Progressive media organization More Perfect Union reported that the votes at a third Buffalo-area store were in, with 15 people voting to unionize and nine people opposing unionization.

      • Protect Human Rights Day, Every Day
      • Student Worker Strike at Columbia University Hits Boiling Point

        The graduate student worker strike that began in early November at Columbia University in New York City has reached a breaking point, as administrators have threatened to fire researchers and instructors who continue to withhold their labor in an effort to win better pay, comprehensive healthcare, and protection from discrimination and harassment.

        Over the past six weeks, roughly 3,000 student workers at Columbia have made clear that the Ivy League school depends on poorly paid research and teaching assistants to function. University human resources vice president Dave Driscoll admitted as much last week when he sent an email informing workers that they would be replaced if they remain on strike beyond Friday.

      • Opinion | With Billions in Profit, Amazon Can’t Mistreat Their Workers Forever

        The National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, just ruled that a historic union vote among Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama was not valid.

      • Buffalo Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Form First-Ever Starbucks Union
      • People in Prison Organize Collectively for Survival. We All Need to Learn How.
      • Law & Order Taught Americans to Root for the Police

        This is why Law & Order has run for over 30 years, showing all manner of police violence, coerced confessions, and blatant violations of the law and a suspect’s rights. People not only watch faithfully, but root for the police and the prosecutor. Many episodes tell you a story about an evil person doing evil things for evil’s sake, the morally bankrupt defense attorney representing them, and the heroic police and prosecutor who must stop them. So when a detective does happen to beat someone to a pulp or coerce a confession, viewers see it as a necessary evil, or at least justified.

        Until our most basic intuitions about the criminal legal system change, the system itself will never change. We need to move away from the Law & Order mindset, which taught us to root for the prosecutors and despise defendants, to assume anyone accused of a crime is guilty, to see those who break the law as evil or cruel, rather than victims of circumstances created by a society that accepts poverty and inequality.

      • Man who filmed trooper sleeping in cruiser was pulled over moments later by Massachusetts State Police

        The man who filmed a Massachusetts State Trooper sleeping in his cruiser on the side of the highway has told MassLive he was pulled over by a state trooper just moments after filming the video.

        Nick Ford of Marlborough said he was pulled over by a state trooper roughly three minutes after he confronted the trooper who appeared to be sleeping in his cruiser.

        The trooper who pulled him over informed Ford he was pulled over for using an electronic device. Ford disputes this claim. He was pulled over while heading west on Interstate 290 before rerouting back east to his original direction.

      • Schrems vs. DPC Battle Heats Up, as New Document Suggests Irish Privacy Body Tried to Weaken GDPR

        The privacy campaigner Max Schrems has been doggedly fighting to force Facebook to respect EU users’ privacy for nearly a decade now. As this blog has reported, there have been many twists and turns in the saga. Earlier this year, it seemed that the key player responsible for enforcing the protection of Facebook users in the EU, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), was finally about to deliver its decision on Facebook’s EU-US data flows. But there was another major plot twist in October, when Schrems’ organization NOYB (“none of your business”) published a draft version of the DPC’s decision.

        It contained a bombshell: according to NOYB, “In the DPC’s view Facebook can simply choose to include the agreement on data processing in a “contract”, which would make the GDPR requirements for “consent” not apply anymore.” Although that sounds innocuous enough, it effectively guts one of the key features of the GDPR. The Norwegian data protection authority has said that the right to privacy and data protection would cease to exist if the DPC draft decision is allowed to stand. Schrems explains: [...]

      • Jussie Smollett found guilty for filing false police report in hoax attack

        Smollett, 39, received widespread support in the wake of the attack and made an emotional appearance at a concert in early February 2019, but then word emerged after authorities spoke to the Osundario brothers’ return from overseas that the attack was allegedly a hoax. Smollett was charged on Feb. 20, 2019, with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson saying the attack was orchestrated because he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox hit show.

      • Actor Jussie Smollett found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime against him in 2019

        “For the next three weeks, these 26 Chicago officers spent 3,000 hours of time costing the city well over $100,000 for a fake crime that never occurred,” Webb said. “And by the way, a fake crime that denigrates what a real-hate crime is and to use these meanings and symbols that are so important in our society. It’s clear why the police would take it seriously.”

      • Virtual Worlds, Real People: Human Rights in the Metaverse

        Extended Reality (XR) technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, are the foundations of emerging digital environments, including the so-called metaverse. They are still at an early stage of development and adoption, but Big Tech is investing heavily in these technologies, and there is a scramble to assert dominance and cement monopolies in what tech investors and executives claim will be the next generation of computing and social media.

        Like any other technology, XR can have many positive impacts on our daily lives. It can be a useful tool in areas like medicine, science, and education. Artists are using XR creatively to make virtual worlds their canvas and create new forms of expression. Protests and social movements have also used these technologies to raise awareness on collective issues, or to make their voice heard when it is physically impossible or dangerous.

        Yet XR also poses substantial risks to human rights. VR headsets and AR glasses, coupled with other wearables, could continue the march towards ever-more-invasive data collection and ubiquitous surveillance. This data harvesting, sometimes done by companies with a history of putting profit before protections, sets the stage for unprecedented invasions into our lives, our homes, and even our thoughts, as data collected by XR devices is used for targeted advertising and to enable new forms of “biometric psychography” to make inferences about our deepest desires and inclinations. Once collected, there is little users can do to mitigate the harms done by leaks of data or data being monetized by third parties. These devices will also collect huge amounts of data about our homes and private spaces, and could allow governments, companies, and law enforcement illegitimate access to our lives, exacerbating already severe intrusions on our privacy. 

      • Virtual worlds, real people: human rights in the metaverse

        December 10 is International Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document that lays out the principles and building blocks of current and future human rights instruments. In honor of this anniversary, Access Now and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are calling upon governments and companies to address human rights in the context of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) and ensure that these rights are respected and enforced.

        Extended Reality (XR) technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, are the foundations of emerging digital environments, including the so-called metaverse. They are still at an early stage of development and adoption, but Big Tech is investing heavily in these technologies, and there is a scramble to assert dominance and cement monopolies in what tech investors and executives claim will be the next generation of computing and social media.

        Like any other technology, XR can have many positive impacts on our daily lives. It can be a useful tool in areas like medicine, science, and education. Artists are using XR creatively to make virtual worlds their canvas and create new forms of expression. Protests and social movements have also used these technologies to raise awareness on collective issues, or to make their voice heard when it is physically impossible or dangerous.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Gets Its First Permanent Female FCC Boss Ever

        The US Senate this week approved a new five-year term for Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, making her the first permanent FCC chair in agency history. Technically the first female chair was Mignon Clyburn, who temporarily served as interim chair before Tom Wheeler was appointed boss back in 2013. Rosenworcel’s term was set to expire at the end of the year, raising some concerns that her re-nomination would stall, leaving the GOP with a 2-1 FCC majority at Biden’s FCC.

      • Why we will win the war for general-purpose computing

        Recent online articles have sounded the alarm over an escalating “war” on General Purpose Computing (GPC). Tech Giants have consolidated more power during the pandemic and are flexing their muscles, locking down systems more tightly, and becoming audacious in their open disrespect for digital rights and privacy. Much of this occurs under the pretext of security or compliance. Personal computers, once tools of choice, are being recklessly pushed aside in some societies in favour of “necessary” always-on, permanently connected mobile appliances.

        Here I hope to offer a different perspective and explain why, as a technological optimist 1, I don’t think this will work out. In this essay we will examine why there’s a problem, and make the case that advanced technological societies must always retain open, general purpose personal computers, strictly under the control of their users, and that the market for these is set to grow.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • YouTuber Has 150 Anime Reviews And ‘Let’s Draws’ Hit With Copyright Claims All At Once

          As has been a hot topic of discussion of late, YouTube has a copyright enforcement problem on its hands. To be fair, this problem has existed for some time, but due to some recent transparency from YouTube itself over how often it receives claims and enforces them, the scale of this problem is becoming more widely known. In YouTube’s minor defense: this is difficult challenge to overcome. The platform operates internationally, which means that it often finds itself attempting to navigate the nuances of copyright laws throughout the world. Still, to say it’s not a problem would be silly. And, frankly, YouTube’s creative community is becoming more and more vocal about it.

        • The Canadian Government’s Groundhog Day Copyright Consultations: The Never-Ending Lobbying Battle for Website Blocking and Weakened User Rights Continues

          Instead, the departments – pressured by lobby groups – launch new consultations seemingly designed to wear down the thousands of Canadians that have actively participated in past consultations and processes, only to find the government asking the same questions yet again. The failure to act on past reviews alongside these new consultations suggests a marked departure from the government’s prior commitment to a balanced copyright policy approach, jeopardizing the confidence of Canadians in copyright policy development. Indeed, if that weren’t enough cause for concern, another consultation may be just around the corner as the next statutorily mandated review of the Copyright Act is presumably set to start next year.

        • Sharing in the presence of computers and corporations

          Things changed gradually, but this is one of the milestones that I remember: when IBM mined Creative Commons-licensed photos for machine learning. The initial news reports said Flickr “handed over” the photos, then the correction was that they didn’t have to, because the license permitted the usage. What IBM did wasn’t nefarious, it was perfectly within the letter of the law. Was it in the spirit of the law? In one sense, it was IBM creating a product with unpaid labor. But also, their intent was to make more equitable algorithms. It’s a mixed bag.

          But anyway, things got worse. A culture emerged from re-uploading Creative Commons videos on YouTube and profiting from the ads. I stopped licensing anything as Creative Commons, because it would inevitably be used on some content farm or sold in some fashion. My art would end up on a print-to-order site like RedBubble on a mug somewhere. My writing would be copied for SEO spam. It was easier to picture nefarious uses than creative ones.

          On the code side, those companies that were brave enough to keep their products open source had their products whitelabeled by mega-cloud vendors, which pushed the open source companies to make their products less open. I saw this first-hand at a company that built foundational open source technology and decided to do the same.

        • Toei YouTube Blitz Shows That ‘Law of Content ID’ Can Trample Fair Use

          Manga fans are responding with anger and disbelief after Toei Animation filed 150+ copyright takedowns against Totally Not Mark, decimating his YouTube channel and putting the popular reviewer’s livelihood in jeopardy. As cries of ‘fair use’ echo around the internet, it’s worth highlighting how YouTubers sit on a knife-edge when it comes to Content ID.

        • Screener of Japan’s Oscar Contender “Drive My Car” Leaks Online

          Pirated copies of Japan’s Oscar contender “Drive my Car” appeared online over the past few hours. The critically acclaimed film may very well be the first Oscar screener to leak after physical copies were banned by the Academy. At the same time, the pirate release group “OSCAR” comes with an interesting angle too.

        • Public Domain 2022: Join us 20 January for a Celebration of Sound

          Every year, on 1 January, advocates of free and open content celebrate the works of art that have entered the public domain around the world. Why New Year’s Day? Copyrighted works such as books, artworks or music are only protected for a certain number of years, and this protection ends on 1 January.

        • Newspapers vs Big Tech: Antitrust Tackles the Problems That Copyright Just Can’t Fix

          Strip away all the ornamental complexity and it’s obvious that the surveillance advertising industry is designed to shift value from advertisers and publishers to Big Tech

          The evidence that Google and Facebook rigged this market is strong. Strip away all the ornamental complexity and it’s obvious that the foundations of the surveillance advertising industry are designed to shift value from advertisers and publishers to the tech companies that operate the “real time bidding” exchanges that process hundreds of billions in ad dollars.

          The UK Competition and Markets Authority’s wide-ranging and comprehensive study of the ad-tech marketplace found many ways in which these markets were rigged to the detriment of publishers, and unsealed documents from antitrust prosecutions in the USA revealed explicit, undeniable collusion between the tech giants.

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