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02.11.14

Latest News About Surveillance, Torture, and Assassination

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The steep decline to lawlessness and elimination of dissent

  • Take Action to Protect Your Privacy on The Internet

    The value of privacy is something that most people can appreciate but there are those that wish to systematically dismantle this basic human right. Today, however, in a battle to mirror and celebrate the fight against SOPA and its inspiration Aaron Swartz, the Internet will tell the NSA and their mass surveillance partners that erosion of freedoms will never be accepted.

  • The Day We Fight Back protests internet surveillance
  • The Day We Fight Against Surveillance and in Support of Privacy

    Over the last year the public across the globe was made aware of massive global surveillance conducted by the NSA and its partners or counterparts, but also by private tech companies. In response, and in celebration of the victory against SOPA, PIPA and ACTA two years ago and in memory of one of its key architects, Aaron Swartz, La Quadrature du Net joins this day of mobilisation The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance, which will mark actions by civil rights groups from all over the world. This day is a perfect occasion for all citizens to get informed, and to act to defend our privacy against private and public surveillance. Below are actions carried out by La Quadrature and its supporters today.

  • [Video] Reclaim Our Privacy

    Thanks to the generosity of supporters who helped crowd-fund it, and of Benoît Musereau who volunteered to direct it, La Quadrature du Net publishes ”Reclaim Our Privacy”, a three-minute movie that explains the threat to, the importance of protecting, and the tools to reclaim our privacy online. If you want to contribute to the funding of this movie, it is still possible to do so here. Any funds received above the target amount will be shared between Benoît Musereau and La Quadrature du Net. The movie is released under CC BY-SA, so feel free to share or remix it!

  • Join our new campaign to fight mass surveillance
  • Orwell was hailed a hero for fighting in Spain. Today he’d be guilty of terrorism

    If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish civil war today, they would be arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006. If convicted of fighting abroad with a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive” – a charge they would find hard to contest – they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. That they were fighting to defend an elected government against a fascist rebellion would have no bearing on the case. They would go down as terrorists.

  • Number of data interception requests to GCHQ ‘possibly too large’, says official

    Interception communications commissioner Sir Anthony May says requests amount to 570,000 a year

  • Five surveillance myths stalling NSA reform, debunked

    The Day We Fight Back deserves truth amidst the administration’s half-truths and trolling. From thwarted attacks (zero) to President Obama’s new rules (not good enough), this is what you need to know to make real reform happen

  • What the NSA leaks proved about surveillance

    Analysis: U.S. knows about citizens’ phone calls and emails and spies on allied foreign governments and companies

  • Maryland lawmakers want to cripple the NSA’s headquarters

    Legislators in Maryland want to turn the lights out on the NSA — literally. A bill introduced last Thursday to its House of Delegates would bar state agencies, utilities, and pretty much anything that receives state funds from providing assistance to federal agencies that collect electronic data or metadata without a specific warrant to do so. Namely, the delegates are thinking of the National Security Agency, which is headquartered just outside their state’s capital.

    [...]

    The campaign to shut off the NSA’s water and electricity actually stems from the Tenth Amendment Center, which drafted model legislation on which Maryland’s proposal is based. In particular, the Tenth Amendment Center is also hoping to see the NSA’s water supply turned off in Utah, where the agency operates another large data center. Though it’s a roundabout way of dealing with the NSA and unlikely to be a widely supported measure, Smigiel thinks it’s fitting: “I think it was Mark Twain who said, ‘Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.’”

  • Snowden and the War On Whistleblowers: An Interview With Annie Machon

    Machon talked about the Courage Foundation last December at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (30C3) in Hamburg, Germany; it is one of the most important annual meetings for hackers around the globe. There, Machon won the audience’s admiration with her talk on what she calls, “the war on whistleblowers.” She believes that these wars are mainly used as a pretext to erode civil liberties worldwide and intervene in other countries’ affairs.

  • 11 Disturbing Facts About the NSA That Will Piss You Off

    International payments, banking and credit card transactions are flagged and monitored by the NSA. It has specifically targeted big credit card companies like VISA.

  • Uh Oh, NSA: People Are Protesting Online and IRL Today

    Two weeks ago, we called your attention to the forthcoming “Day We Fight Back,” an Internet movement designed to fight back against the NSA’s data collection program. Guess what? The day is finally here. Watch out, government.

    Today, as planned, dozens of participating websites like Upworthy and Piwik are posting banners on their home pages, encouraging viewers to call up and email their local legislators and complain about the NSA.

  • NSA link sparks UN to act on Hammarskjöld probe

    Hammarskjöld died during the night of September 17th, 1961 in a plane crash in what is now Zambia, where he was headed to mediate in the ongoing conflict in neighbouring The Congo in his role as then UN Secretary General.

    The diplomat’s death has been the subject of numerous rumours and conspiracy theories over the past five decades centred around whether the crash was an accident, or if Hammarskjöld was killed.

    Evidence available has left investigators puzzled, with pilot error deemed unlikely after witnesses claimed to have seen the plane going down on fire.

  • Dutch ministers in hot water over ‘NSA’ phone grabs

    Two Dutch ministers faced a grilling in Parliament Tuesday after revealing the country’s intelligence services grabbed metadata from some 1.8 million intercepted telephone calls.

    Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk and Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis are fending off calls for their resignations after revealing last week that the Dutch secret services intercepted the data — an act previously attributed to the US National Security Agency (NSA).

  • EU privacy head on EU data protection reform, its implications, and NSA/GCHQ-gate

    As the European Union and the Commission drive efforts to conclude the most ambitious overhaul of the continent’s data protection legislation since 1995 in advance of European Parliament elections this spring, Business Cloud News sat down with European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx to discuss the law’s development, its implications for cloud service providers once in place, and the revelations surrounding the NSA and GCHQ’s widespread digital surveillance activities.

  • NSA Whistleblower: USA Freedom Act Will Not Go Far Enough To Protect Civil Liberties
  • Utah senators wary of giving NSA millions in tax relief

    A bill that would exempt the National Security Agency’s data center in Bluffdale from paying taxes on its massive electric consumption met some resistance from legislators Tuesday, but remained on track.

    The bill would codify a commitment made by former Gov. Jon Huntsman not to tax the utilities for the data center in an attempt to lure the massive NSA operation to Utah.

  • Global Surveillance: The Day We Fight Back

    Last week I wrote about an inquiry being conducted by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament into the laws that govern the UK’s intelligence agencies (now closed, I’m afraid.) That’s just one sign of the tectonic shift that has taken place in this area in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about massive, global surveillance being carried out by the NSA and GCHQ.

  • Remembering Aaron Swartz: icon of the open web

    One year after the tragic death of the campaigning hacker, a global campaign against surveillance is building the Don’t Spy On Us campaign in his spirit

  • Edward Snowden revelations: GCHQ ‘using online viruses and honey traps to discredit targets’
  • Happiness Brussels Spies on the NSA

    Coming off the latest (not so surprising) revelations of the misuse of NSA data, Happiness Brussels has launched “Spy on the NSA,” a site which gives the the NSA a taste of its own medicine in support of www.thedaywefightback.org, “a massive digital protest against mass surveillance taking place across the internet today.” Among those participating today as well are Reddit, Amnesty International, Tumblr, Upworthy and Greenpeace.

  • A New iPhone App Catalogues and Maps U.S. Drone Killings

    On Monday, the new publication First Look reported that electronically obtained metadata controls who, how, and when U.S. drones kill abroad. Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill write that that kind of information doesn’t only determine who is killed: Metadata on phone SIM cards determines how victims of the strikes are found.

  • Rubio: Obama Administration Leaked Drone Info to Appear ‘Deliberative’

    The administration of President Barack Obama leaked sensitive information about the possibility of using a drone to kill an American who joined al-Qaida in order to position themselves as politically “deliberative,” Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday.

  • Tweaking the Constitution to Make Extrajudicial Killing Easier

    A thought experiment to get assassination advocates back on the right side of the law

  • Anti-drone activist Kareem Khan seized by armed men in Pakistan

    For British MPs, the issue has taken on fresh significance after it emerged that intelligence operatives at GCHQ have been providing targeting information to their US counterparts.

  • Is A Policy A Law? Is Murder Murder?

    Notice those words: “legally” and “policy.” No longer does U.S. media make a distinction between the two.

  • No Left Left in the United States

    Human rights need to have a home. Presently in both the United States and much of the world it has taken a back seat to right and left. In a world that cares about people, human rights shouldn’t take a back seat to any political party. Universal human rights should drive.

  • Dick Cheney’s dark legacy: It’s his world, we’re just living in it

    Torture, secrecy, military adventurism. Dick Cheney, more than anyone else, set the course for America after 9/11

  • Criminal Investigation into CIA Prisons Drags on in Krakow

    Poland’s criminal investigation into secret CIA prisons located on its territory has been in progress since 2008. Now run from the Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow, the process has recently been extended, once again, to February 2014.

    [...]

    “It is significant that the ECHR was the first court to conduct a public hearing on al-Nashiri’s claims of torture and secret detention. The Polish authorities have failed to conduct an effective investigation, and US courts have also failed to deliver justice to date”, added Singh, who also represented al-Nashiri in Strasbourg.

  • What Cold War CIA Interrogators Learned from the Nazis

    At a secret black site in the years after the end of WWII, CIA and US intelligence operatives tested LSD and other interrogation techniques on captured Soviet spies—all with the help of former Nazi doctors. An excerpt from Annie Jacobsen’s Operation Paperclip, published this week.

  • CIA’s Drones, Barely Secret, Receive Rare Public Nod

    The worst kept secret in Washington national security circles is no more. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper publicly acknowledged for the first time at a Senate hearing Tuesday that the Central Intelligence Agency has a drone program.

    The CIA’s drone program, which operates in Pakistan and Yemen, has been the subject of news reports for years. But U.S. officials have continued to steer clear of publicly acknowledging the program, glossing over CIA’s role, because it has remained officially covert. That covert status allows the CIA to operate in countries where local governments don’t support the strikes.

  • Ex-CIA Director Woolsey Makes Ass of Self

    That has got to be one of the silliest statements of the new year. If Woolsey honestly believes the U.S. government is anti-Semitic, that it is driven by anti-Jewish sentiments, he needs to explain why the U.S. has generously made Israel, the spiritual and geographical homeland of the Jewish people, a virtual client-state, having given/lent/made available billions upon billions of dollars over the years.

Recent News From the World of Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup, Ubuntu at 7:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Ubuntu 12.04.4, Mobile, Tips, File Manager, CLA, and Decoupling

12.04.4

  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Officially Released by Canonical

    Canonical has just announced that Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Precise Pangolin) has been officially released for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products.

  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS Performance Benchmarks

    The benchmarks in this article are some straightforward tests done on the same HP EliteBook (Intel Core i5 2520M, 4GB RAM, Intel 160GB SSD, HD Graphics 3000) when comparing clean installs of Ubuntu 12.04.2, 12.04.3, and 12.04.4. Unfortunately the mirrors of the original Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release and the first point release have vanished, so the testing was limited to these three past point releases for the Linux distribution that originally shipped in 2012 and will be maintained through 2017.

Mobile

  • After Tizen, Vodafone puts a foot in the Ubuntu camp

    Ubuntu Touch devices might be some time away yet, but its parent company Canonical is gradually building carrier support with Vodafone becoming its latest addition supporter.

  • Vodafone signs as Ubuntu backer

    Vodafone Group became the latest member of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisor Group, although there has been no further detail on when smartphones powered by the platform will reach the market.

    According to a statement from Ubuntu: “Vodafone Group will join national and multi-national carriers in decisions that influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

  • Vodafone is the latest carrier to support Ubuntu
  • Vodafone backs Ubuntu – but no sign of smartphone yet

    Canonical’s carrier advisory group allows operators to have a say in Ubuntu’s development on mobile.

  • Expect something Ubuntu flavoured at Mobile World Congress

    Mark Shuttleworth’s Canonical has confirmed that they will be at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona at the end of next month to show off the Ubuntu OS in all its glory. Last year Canonical used MWC as a springboard to launch Ubuntu for tablets and smartphones so they’re no stranger to announcing big things at the event.

Tips

File Manager

  • Ubuntu’s convergence plan starts with File Manager

    For the past year, Ubuntu and Canonical’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth has been talking about full convergence i.e., the same OS and its applications can be run on desktops, servers and mobile devices. Canonical plans to start the converge from its Ubuntu 14.10 release cycle. However, no activity has been seen on the development front, until now.

  • Ubuntu Could Get a New File Manager as Development Model Shifts
  • Ubuntu Developers Planning To Develop Their Own File-Manager For Ubuntu 14.10

    Ubuntu is planning to develop its own file manager which will be introduced with their QT5 powered Unity8 desktop environment from Ubuntu 14.10 onwards. Ubuntu is currently using Nautilus File manager (also known as ‘Files’), developed by GNOME developers.Ubuntu users & developers are growing increasingly unhappy with the direction at which Nautilus file manager is leading. There are many necessary features which are missing in latest Nautilus, forcing users to replace Nautilus with their favourite file manager like feature-rich nautilus fork, Nemo or the popular Thunar – which is inarguably one of the best file managers.

  • Ubuntu Developers to Drop Nautilus Soon and Replace It with Their Own File Manager – Update

    “With the planned switch to unity8 in 14.10 it is most likely that we will also start using the converged QML apps that are developed today. With all the complaints and unhappiness about Nautilus upstream ripping out things like dual pane and other beloved and helpful features I expect we can do better,” said Ubuntu developer, Oliver Grawert.

  • Ubuntu Planning To Develop Its Own File Manager

    The latest piece of the desktop Linux stack that Ubuntu developers are planning to replace with their own home grown solution is a file manager.

CLA

  • Not all CLAs are equal

    Contributor License Agreements (“CLAs”) are a mechanism for an upstream software developer to insist that contributors grant the upstream developer some additional set of rights. These range in extent – some CLAs require that the contributor reassign their copyright over the contribution to the upstream developer, some merely provide the upstream developer with a grant of rights that aren’t explicit in the software license (such as an explicit patent grant for a contribution licensed under a BSD-style license).

Decoupling

  • Vacant Developer Membership Board seats: Second call for nominations
  • Canonical Seeks Even More Independence for Ubuntu Linux

    Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux already does many things differently from other leading open source operating systems. And it may soon diverge in yet another respect, with Ubuntu developers in the midst of discussions over replacing Nautilus—the file browser that has long been a core part of many Linux distributions—with something home-grown.

  • An Exciting Future

    We are growing a world-class community and app developer eco-system, fuelled by Open Source and open collaboration. We are putting the core pieces in place and I am delighted to be working with such a wonderful team:

Links 11/2/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 11/2/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Docker Open Source Container Virtualization on the Rise

    Docker’s open source “container” approach to virtualization—which is very different from the hypervisor model behind leading enterprise virtualization solutions such as VMware, KVM and Xen—has taken another big step toward maturity with the release of Docker version 0.8. Apple (AAPL) Mac OS X support, major performance improvements and more are now available in the platform that could become a major part of the virtualization ecosystem in the not-too-distant future.

  • MOC: Meet the most lightweight and easy-to-install music player for Linux

    Music on Console aka MOC is perhaps the most lightweight and easy-to-install music player for Linux I have ever tested. And don’t be intimidated by the fact that MOC is a console only player. Once you spend enough time with MOC, it becomes as easy to use as any other alternative music players for Linux. Moreover, if you’re a fan of MPD plus NCMPC combination who doesn’t like to jump through hoops just for installing and setting it up, MOC might be the alternative you have been looking for. It’s right there in Ubuntu repositories by default.

  • Lightworks Video Editor Pulls Plenty of Weight

    Lightworks is a professional-grade nonlinear video editor now available for Linux. It is a cross-platform editor from a well-known player in the media market, so this first-time Linux release could be a big thing.

  • Wine’s Performance For Direct3D Gaming With Many Drivers
  • Wine 1.7.12: Windows Media Player Interfaces Support

    The latest bi-weekly Wine development release is now available and it brings with it some noteworthy changes.

  • GNU Octave hits a high note

    MATLAB [1] has to be one of the all time greats for analyzing nearly any sort of data, just like a spreadsheet is for making a plot of data. Alas, these programs while powerful do have a limitation – they are costly and rightly so: They do a job, have great depth and are actively supported, and we all know that this takes some overhead dollars to maintain. For spreadsheets we have some really well done GNU options like Libre Office.[2] But what about our design programs?

    The GNU design software tends to be somewhat usable but unpolished in many cases; the same could be said about the many MATLAB-like GNU options. This one does that well, that one is a little different there, etc., but none of them “Hits a home run” on all counts, until now.

    GNU Octave [3] is the closest MATLAB-compatible program, with all the same language syntax, etc. In fact many basic MATLAB scripts will run without an issue in Octave. The biggest thing that held Octave back was the command line interface.

  • 5 Highly Promising Cross-Platform IDEs
  • GStreamer 1.4 Will Be Bringing Many New Features

    GStreamer 1.4 is under heavy development ahead of its next release that’s due out in March or April. Here’s a look at some of the new features coming to this open-source multimedia framework relied upon by many Linux desktop applications. Among the best additions to GStreamer 1.4 is support for H.265, VP9, and Daala. Wayland is also now supported.

Links 11/2/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recently-Published Screenshot Galleries

Posted in News Roundup at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: LXLE, gNewSense, Debian, Zorin OS, Chakra, Toutou, and SparkyLinux

02.10.14

Links 10/2/2013: Drones, War on Protest, Innovative Torture, and Politics of Leaks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

  • Civilian drone deaths triple in Afghanistan, UN agency finds

    Civilian drone deaths in Afghanistan tripled last year, according to a report by a UN agency. Forty-five civilians died in drone strikes in 2013.

  • Paki Wieland of Northampton gets jail time for New York drone protest

    Patricia “Paki” Wieland, Northampton, was among 12 people sentenced to jail on disorderly conduct charges during a 2012 protest at Hancock Air Base.

    Wieland, a retired professor at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H., and 15 other members of the Upstate New York Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct after being arrested in DeWitt, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2012. Members of the group were holding a rally at the gates of Hancock Air National Guard Base when they were arrested. Wieland and her group argue that by carrying out drone strikes, which sometimes kill civilians, the United States is violating international law.

  • Anti-drone activists sent to jail in US
  • US suspect possibly targeted for drone attack

    An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

  • A pathetic attempt to justify the use of drones and robots

    In closing, a defiant Jackson mocks his audience, saying: “Stop whining about drones”. I daresay the families of unintended drone victims around the world are unlikely to get behind him on this one.

  • US droning to fuel Yemenis’ sympathy for Al-Qaeda

    A drone-fired US missile struck a car southeast of here on a winter night last year, killing two alleged Al-Qaeda operatives who lived openly in their community. But it also killed two cousins who were giving the men a ride and who the Yemeni government later said were innocents in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    That incident, and other strikes that have followed, helped fuel anger here over civilian casualties from US drone attacks and what critics say is an even less scrutinized problem: The targeting of suspects who are within the reach of the law.

  • Drone strikes increasingly rely on NSA surveillance data, report suggests

    The CIA and U.S. military are increasingly relying on surveillance information from the NSA to locate then attack drone targets, with innocent people being killed as a result, according to allegations made in a new publication, The Intercept.

  • The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

    The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

  • Drone strikes kill innocents by targeting NSA phone data, not people: Greenwald

    The NSA’s surveillance programs are often used to help carry out drone strikes on targets, according to a new report. An anonymous former drone operator for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) told The Intercept — a new publication helmed by Glenn Greenwald, who broke the first of many NSA revelations last year — that the US military and CIA use the NSA’s metadata analysis and phone tracking abilities to identify airstrike targets without confirming their veracity on the ground. The claims were corroborated by documents provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

  • Obama Drone Campaign “Verges on Genocide” Legal Authority Says

    In an exclusive interview, Boyle points out that “Obama’s victims are Muslims” and Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention expressly defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group””

  • Surviving anti-Semitism smear, Walt and Mearsheimer seem to have influence in high places

    As for Mearsheimer, the National Interest has published an important piece by the realist scholar that takes on elitist liberal-interventionist ideas more forcefully than any article I’ve read. Called “America Unhinged,” the piece argues that the U.S. has no dog in the Syria fight and no ability to affect the outcome, and– this will be echoed by the left– the price of liberal interventionism has been the loss of civil liberties at home to a national security state and the destruction of American example abroad by the murderous drone attacks.

Torture

  • CIA torture techniques in Libya included prolonged diapering and use of insects

    Other approved torture techniques described included “the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap (insult slap), the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation beyond 72 hours … the use of harmless insects, the water board.”

  • How a CIA Whistleblower Survives Behind Bars

    It’s been one year since former CIA analyst and counterterrorism officer John Kiriakou was sentenced to prison for 30 months, the first American official to do time for the government’s torture policies during the Global War on Terror.

    This is what whistleblower advocates like to point out – and Kiriakou, 49, strongly believes himself – that he is not in jail for doing the torture or even promoting it, but being the first counterterrorism official to acknowledge the use of waterboarding, and then speak publicly against it.

Wikileaks

  • Julian Assange Affidavit States ‘Rape Victim’ Sent Texts Denying Attack

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed that a woman he is alleged to have raped sent text messages admitting that he never assaulted her.

  • Swedish MPs urge end to Julian Assange impasse
  • Lawyer criticizes calls to end rape investigation of Assange

    A lawyer for one of the Swedish women accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape ripped calls by some public officials for an end to the investigation.

  • Text Messages from Victim of Alleged Rape, Molestation Prove Assange Innocent: Wikileak Affidavit

    Even as members of Sweden’s parliament have been stepping up pressure on prosecutors to question Julian Assange on the sexual allegations he faces in the country, Assange in a Wikileaks affidavit has claimed that text messages between the two alleged victims prove his innocence.

  • Former Swedish Prosecutor Urges Termination of Julian Assange Case

    A former Swedish prosecutor has written an op-ed for the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, where he suggests the country’s office i# charge of pursuing the case against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange terminate it entirely.

    Rolf Hillegren urges the Prosecutor General to reverse the decision to reopen the investigation, revoke the detention order and withdraw the arrest warrant.

    For three years, Sweden has been trying to have him extradited so he can be questioned on sexual allegations made by two women. He sought and obtained asylum from Ecuador and has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in the United Kingdom since June 2012.

  • New Wikileaks Revelation Exposes Big State Department Lie, This Time in Bahrain

    John Timoney has a face like a fist and a CV out of The Departed. He’s been a cop in New York, Miami and Philadelphia. And now he’s advising the Bahraini government on policing matters.

    That’s the Bahraini government, the one that gases, tortures and kills protesters as their preferred method of public order policing. And that’s Timoney, who’s been called “the worst cop in America” and faced hundreds of complaints over his violent approach to public order policing in the U.S.

  • WildLeaks Is the WikiLeaks for Wildlife Crimes

    As the illegal wildlife trade has boomed, it’s also become more sophisticated. High prices for ivory, rhino horn, pangolin, and everything else have attracted organized crime and militants, and despite regular busts, entrenched trafficking rings remain elusive. To aid law enforcement and gather intelligence, a group of wildlife organizations have launched WildLeaks, a secure whistleblower and tipping system modeled after WikiLeaks.

  • WildLeaks launched – the WikiLeaks for wildlife
  • WikiLeaks Gets Bulk of Donation Via Bitcoin and LiteCoin

    The organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources, revealed the information in a tweet. However, it did not mention the percentage of funding in digital currencies.

Politics

  • “F**k the EU”: Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition

    The tape (listen below) was released today, on the eve of Nuland’s second trip to meet with Ukrainian protestors and opposition leaders in the past two months — last time she passed out cookies to protestors.

    The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The “F**k the EU” part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.

  • U.S. Violates Nuclear Arms Treaty – Tests B-61 Nuke

    The “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” says that member States should be disarming their nuclear weapons, not restoring, rebuilding, arming, and testing them. This test seems to be in direct contradiction to the Treaty, at a time when the U.S. is engaged with measures to prevent Iran from enriching its uranium.

  • Cold War Geopolitics in Sochi. Western Media “Bashes” Vladimir Putin

    Western anti-Russian sentiment persists.

Privacy Links 10/2/2013: State Surveillance, Private Surveillance, and ‘Dirty Tricks’

Posted in News Roundup at 4:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News which shows the importance of privacy (collected during the weekend and early Monday)

  • Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and ‘Dirty Tricks’

    British spies have developed “dirty tricks” for use against nations, hackers, terror groups, suspected criminals and arms dealers that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into “honey traps.”

    Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and exclusively obtained by NBC News describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG) as part of a growing mission to go on offense and attack adversaries ranging from Iran to the hacktivists of Anonymous. According to the documents, which come from presentations prepped in 2010 and 2012 for NSA cyber spy conferences, the agency’s goal was to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt” enemies by “discrediting” them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications.

  • New bill demands that smartphones have “kill switch” in case of theft

    A California state legislator has introduced SB 962, a bill that would require smartphones sold in the state to include a “kill switch” that would “render inoperable” the phone if it’s not in the possession of the rightful owner.

  • PGP Web of Trust: Core Concepts Behind Trusted Communication

    If you’ve ever used Linux, you’ve most likely used OpenPGP without even realizing it. The open-source implementation of OpenPGP is called GnuPG (stands for “GNU Privacy Guard”), and nearly all distributions rely on GnuPG for package integrity verification. Next time you run “yum install” or “yum update”, each package will be verified against its cryptographic signature before it is allowed to be installed on your system. This assures that the software has not been altered between the time it was cryptographically signed by distribution developers on the master server, and the time it was downloaded to your system.

  • NBC News’ Richard Engel: My Computers, Cellphone Were Hacked ‘Almost Immediately’ In Sochi

    NBC News’ Richard Engel said that upon arriving in Russia to cover the upcoming event, he was hacked “almost immediately” — and privacy is not something visitors should expect to have.

  • Police will have ‘backdoor’ access to health records despite opt-out, says MP

    David Davis says police would be able to approach central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust

  • Don’t Spy On Us – Help get the word out!

    On Tuesday, internet users all over the world are standing up to say no to GCHQ and the NSA’s mass surveillance. Over the last eight months we’ve heard plenty about how intelligence agencies monitor us on the Internet.

  • The People Vs the NSA
  • Tuesday declared ‘The Day we Fight Back’ against NSA et al

    A broad coalition of technology companies and activist groups has declared Tuesday, February 11th 2014 has been “The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance”.

  • Media sometimes try, fail to keep NSA’s secrets

    News organizations publishing leaked National Security Agency documents have inadvertently disclosed the names of at least six intelligence workers and other government secrets they never intended to give away, an Associated Press review has found.

  • Media has disclosed intelligence workers names in NSA coverage
  • An Open Letter to Advertisers in the NSA Era

    Along these lines, a recent Pew Internet Center survey found that the clear majority of respondents are making great efforts to mask their identities online. Looking at this data, we need to be frank: We have long had a contentious relationship with the public, and this fundamentally doesn’t help any brand’s bottom line. In the interest of rebuilding consumer trust, which is so essential to the bottom line, we need to be proactive about addressing privacy concerns in personalization, targeting and measurement.

  • Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The NSA

    Even before the Snowden leaks of last year, the EFF had their suspicions in regards to what the NSA was up to. The group even tried to get the government to spill the beans a few times through lawsuits that never went anyway. As you can imagine, the Snowden leaks helped their cause greatly, and now they’re trying to educate the public on just how far the NSA goes.

  • Google, Facebook, Microsoft hire first anti-NSA lobbyist in Washington

    Technology powers like Apple and Google have coalesced to register a lobbyist in Washington to focus on government surveillance reform in an effort to maintain credibility following NSA spying disclosures that often implicated them as accomplices.

  • More NSA outrage: spying violates attorney-client privilege

    Reporter Nick Nicharios asks a very simple but extremely important question in his latest article for The Nation: “Has the NSA wiretapping violated attorney-client privilege?” Evidence leaked by Edward Snowden seems to prove just that when it comes to some terrorism cases. Nick Nicharios talks to host Rob Sachs about how in many cases there was no clear protocol as to when to turn off the monitoring of phone calls, which has led to monitoring of phone calls between lawyers and their clients.

  • Turning table on NSA, US diplomats’ phone call is bugged, leaked to YouTube

    US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, clearly thought they were speaking on a secure line when discussing the political unrest in Ukraine and how the US government should help resolve the crisis. At one point during the January 25 call, Nuland colorfully rejected recent overtures from European Union leaders by telling her colleague: “Fuck the EU.”

  • Protesters Take to the Web to Address NSA Surveillance Concerns

    Thousands are scheduled to gather on Tuesday to protest the surveillance state, but don’t expect any news of riots at the White House gates or marches on the National Mall.

  • How Hackers and Software Companies are Beefing Up NSA Surveillance

    Imagine that you could wander unseen through a city, sneaking into houses and offices of your choosing at any time, day or night. Imagine that, once inside, you could observe everything happening, unnoticed by others—from the combinations used to secure bank safes to the clandestine rendezvous of lovers. Imagine also that you have the ability to silently record everybody’s actions, whether they are at work or play without leaving a trace. Such omniscience could, of course, make you rich, but perhaps more important, it could make you very powerful.

  • Torvald’s Thumbs Up, Gates’ Computer Skills & More…

    In more Snowden news, we learned on Wednesday from PCWorld that the Brit spy agency GCHQ has been engaging in a game of tit-for-tat with the hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec. Evidently they’ve used DDOS attacks and other techniques to an attempt to disrupt the organizations activities. They’ve also managed to do a bit of infiltrating.

  • NSA Whistleblower Thomas DrakeTranscript: Obama’s NSA Policy, Benghazi, 911, Problems with NSA…

    In 2010 the government alleged that Drake mishandled documents, one of the few such espionage cases in the US history, where he was tried under the Espionage Act. The fact is that 60 Minutes did a story on him and shortly after, almost every single charge was dropped except for “misuse of a computer”, for which Drake paid incredibly dearly. So, we’re going to talk about a whole lot of topics about NSA, about the President’s new speech today and a whole lot more.

  • Former NSA official Thomas Drake to speak at Tacoma event

    Drake since has traveled the nation talking about government surveillance efforts and his contention that they violate the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of all Americans.

  • Websites look to ‘harness the outrage’

    Thousands of websites on Tuesday will take a stand against government surveillance by plastering protests across their home pages.

    Tech companies and civil liberties organizations are hoping the demonstration, called The Day We Fight Back, will replicate their success in defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in 2012.

  • Facebook leaks Private Messages by because of Typo

    Facebook is not secure after all, as users of this social network, we have private settings where by we can change our private setting and regulate the people who can see our personal information and those who are not allowed to see the information. But is this truly what happens.

  • What Facebook knows about you

    Facebook has spent the past 10 years building a business upon your personal information.

  • Yet Another Surveillance Tool in FBI Hands. But How Are They Using It?

    Yesterday, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI asking for details about a surveillance tool we know too little about, called a port reader. According to news reports, port readers copy entire emails and instant messages as they move through networks, in real time. They then delete the contents of the messages, leaving only the “metadata” — the sender, recipient, and time of a message, and maybe even the location from which it was sent — behind for the government. According to the same reports, the FBI is taking steps to install port readers on the networks of major U.S. phone and Internet companies, going so far as to make threats of contempt of court to providers that don’t cooperate.

  • Overhead: New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time
  • Rep. Peter King: Security Reforms At The NSA Will Prevent Future Snowdens

    Following a stinging report in the New York Times explaining how Edward Snowden was able to collect his trove of top-secret government documents, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y) this morning took to the Sunday show Face The Nation to make the following claim (full transcript): “A lot that have has been changed; there is monitoring now of what goes on. Snowden would not be able to do it again in the future.”

  • States Step Up Efforts to Stymie NSA Surveillance

    Ironically, as many conservatives have given up hope on nullification as a way to fight back against federal overreach, several national news stories are highlighting those very state efforts.

    For example, in a big story for February 5, the Associated Press reports, “State lawmakers around the nation are proposing bills to curtail the powers of law enforcement to monitor and track citizens.”

    The message from these states to Capitol Hill, the story says, is “if you don’t take action to strengthen privacy, we will.”

  • Shunned as NSA Advisers, Academics Question Their Ties to the Agency
  • NSA Maintains Secret ‘Five Eyes’ Satellite Facility In Israel – OpEd

    If this is the message, it’s not being broadcast in a way that will find a receptive ear in Washington. American spooks don’t like their cover blown, no matter the reason or motivation. If Bibi thought this would make a positive impression on the Obama administration, he’s naïve. But my guess is that this isn’t intended for Obama’s ears. It’s intended as ammunition for the Lobby in making its case both about Iran sanctions and the Kerry peace talks. Members on Capitol Hill can use this new development as grist for the pro-Israel mill in their future Israel-related legislative deliberations.

    This is yet another example of how out of synch Israel is with the U.S. administration. Bibi speaks over Obama’s head instead of directly to him. There is no direct communication. No point of common contact.

  • Wave of NSA Reports Strain Ties With Europe

    A furor in Europe over new reports of National Security Agency surveillance is undermining U.S. efforts to move beyond the affair and has thrown plans for a trans-Atlantic trade agreement into question just weeks before talks are scheduled to resume.

    U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, have engaged in a diplomatic offensive in recent weeks aimed at putting European fears over the data collection to rest. But a wave of European media reports based on information provided by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have provided further details of the U.S. surveillance programs, confounding Washington’s efforts.

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