EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.23.14

Links 23/2/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 3:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 23/2/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 3:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 23/2/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zeitgeist of Human Rights: Dissent and Journalism as Terrorism, Death Penalty for Suspicion, Torture Without Borders

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The demise of due process, justice for the accused, rule of law, etc.

War on Dissent

  • The Justice Department used this law to pursue Aaron Swartz. Now it’s open to reforming it.
  • What makes Aaron Swartz a hero?

    The recent anti-NSA, anti-surveillance protests were the latest manifestation of a burgeoning movement for freedom from mass surveillance and the liberation of information.

    It is this new resistance movement, comprised of myriad individuals and organizations, which is perhaps the greatest measure of the legacy of Aaron Swartz.

    By the time of his death a little more than a year ago, Aaron Swartz had already achieved more in his 26 years than most activists achieve in a lifetime. He was a technological innovator, contributing his computer expertise to develop open platforms such as RSS, Creative Commons, and Reddit, while working to liberate information from closed databases like JSTOR (the online digital library of scholarly and scientific research).

    However, he also took the fight into the public arena, articulating a language of freedom and social responsibility, tirelessly working to raise public consciousness of the all-encompassing, draconian system of control erected around us all.

Ukraine

  • Ukraine Parliament Impeaches President as Protesters Take Control

    The Ukraine Parliament voted Saturday afternoon to impeach President Viktor Yanukovych, capping a day of extraordinary events in the nation’s capital here.

    Lawmakers also voted to hold elections on May 25, and after the vote began singing the national anthem.

    Parliament also approved the immediate release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, after more than two years in prison. After leaving a prison hospital in Kharkiv, Tymoshenko flew to Kiev where she visited Hrushevskoho Street, the site of deadly clashes between police and protesters in January, where she laid flowers at the site in which a protester was slain.

  • Ukrainians Are Having a Delightful Day at the Abandoned Presidential Palace

Qatar

Bosnia

  • Bosnia presents a terrifying picture of Europe’s future

    Exactly 30 years after the Olympic flame was lit in Sarajevo in 1984, the city was in again in flames. In recent weeks, protesters have stormed government buildings in an explosion of anger over their social situation, rampant poverty, moribund economy, and the stagnant social and political life. When the flame was lit back in 1984 I was seven and lived just across from the Olympic stadium. We could not sleep for two weeks, the flame was that powerful. But, we were at the same time very happy: it was a flame of prosperity, peace and endless possibilities.

    Back then Sarajevo was projecting an image of what the European Union wanted its members to become: prosperous, diverse and secular with functioning industries, social equality, enviable social mobility and consistent growth. The European Union, as we now know, has failed to live up to that ambition.

  • PROTESTS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: LIVE BLOGS AND UPDATES
  • POLICE INTERROGATE EVERYONE WHO TALKS ABOUT INJUSTICE

UK ‘Terrorism’

  • More Executive-Minded than the Executive

    The English judiciary continues to show its habit of subservience to the government on security matters. In August 2013, David Miranda, who was carrying a hard disk with files from Edward Snowden for his partner who worked for the Guardian newspaper, was detained and questioned for nine hours at Heathrow airport. He sought judicial review of his detention, and the authorities set up a justification under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Schedule 7 entitles them to question anyone for the purpose of ascertaining whether he is “a person who … is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism” as defined in section 40(1)(b) of the statute.

    But patently that was not the purpose of his detention. There was no question of Miranda’s being involved in terrorism—no question at all. The purpose of the detention and questioning related entirely to the Snowden material he was carrying.

  • David Miranda detention at Heathrow airport was lawful, high court rules

    Three high court judges have dismissed a challenge that David Miranda, the partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was unlawfully detained under counter-terrorism powers for nine hours at Heathrow last August.

    The judges accepted that Miranda’s detention and the seizure of computer material was “an indirect interference with press freedom” but said this was justified by legitimate and “very pressing” interests of national security.

Drone Assassinations

  • Turning a Wedding Into a Funeral: U.S. Drone Strike in Yemen Killed as Many as 12 Civilians

    Human Rights Watch has revealed as many as 12 civilians were killed in December when a U.S. drone targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going toward the groom’s village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad’a. According to HRW, “some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians” and not members of the armed group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as U.S. and Yemeni government offi
    cials initially claimed. The report concluded that the attack killed 12 men, between the ages of 20 and 65, and wounded 15 others. It cites accounts from survivors, relatives of the dead, local officials and news media reports. We speak to Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler, who wrote the report, “A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen,” and Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the TheIntercept.org, a new digital magazine published by First Look Media. He is the producer and writer of the documentary film, “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield,” which is nominated for an Academy Award.

  • Jeremy Scahill of “Dirty Wars” on drones, NSA and the Oscars

    Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill did not expect to take secret assassinations to Hollywood. Years of reporting on night raids and targeted killings in remote corners of Afghanistan, Yemen, and other fronts in the global war on terror became the film Dirty Wars, directed by Richard Rowley, which is up for an Academy Award for Best Documentary March 2. Scahill’s recent work has examined the overlap between the U.S.’ broad surveillance efforts and its checkered human rights record in the fight against terrorism. Scahill spoke to MSNBC about the film, what the drone program has done to America’s security, and how to repair our relationships abroad.

  • Under International Law, Drone Wars are Illegal

    On January 31, I made the following argument before a Court in the town of DeWitt where I was charged with Disorderly Conduct for protesting the MQ9 Reaper drones flown from Hancock Base over Afghanistan.. I argue that the War on Terror is illegal under International Law and drone attacks in particular violate both Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law. Furthermore, by virtue of the Constitution of the United States, we are committed to abide by those laws and under the Bill of Rights, it is our privlege to uphold those laws.

  • Obama is above US Constitution

    Terrorism (ter-ror-ism; see also terror) n. 1. When a foreign organization kills an American for political reasons.Justice (jus-tice) n. 1. When the United States Government uses a drone to kill an American for political reasons.If an ordinary American was plotting to kill an American, you could end up in jail on a whole range of charges including — depending on the situation — terrorism. However, if the president’s doing the killing, it’s all nice and — let’s put those quote marks around it — “legal.” How do we know? We’re assured that the Justice Department tells him so. And that’s justice enough in post-Constitutional America.

  • Rights Group To ICC: Investigate NATO Allies’ Complicity In US Drone War

    The International Criminal Court has been urged to investigate possible war crimes committed by NATO member states for their role in aiding the U.S. drone war in Pakistan.

  • “Sky Raper”: Drones Are Tools of the Patriarchy

    Journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald posted a disturbing report at their new site The Intercept about the NSA’s secret role in the U.S. assassination program. It’s a fascinating read, and I recommend you read it in its entirety, but I wanted to explore a very specific passage in the report—an interview with a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA.

    [...]

    When operators were assigned to “Sky Raper,” he adds, it meant that “somebody was going to die. It was always set to the most high-priority missions.”

    So here we have a bunch of joystick jockeys not only responsible for killing nameless, faceless brown people thousands of miles away, but as if that wasn’t enough of a violation, they decided to sprinkle a dash of rape culture onto their acts of horrific violence.

  • Responsible reporting: Of truth and national interest

    Mufti cited the example of the NSA leaks and the discussion in the US about journalist Glenn Greenwald’s ethical responsibility. He said “Journalists are not just citizens, they have the responsibility to uphold democracy.”

  • Lawmaker: CIA Should Be Banned From Carrying Out Drone Strikes

    The CIA would be prohibited from using unmanned drones to carry out strikes abroad, under legislation introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess. The Texas Republican’s bill would vest that authority solely in the Department of Defense.

  • Children murdered, homes foreclosed: How the government makes “mistakes” with impunity

    If life-altering mistakes don’t warrant accountability, maybe that’s because nothing can

Torture

Intelligence Abuses: Ombudsman Spied on, Phone Data Sold, Bugging by Media, Espionage, Monarchy, PRISM, Lawsuits…

Posted in News Roundup at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from the past couple of days, focusing on privacy, surveillance, and abuses of power

Ombudsman (Ireland)

  • Irish Police Ombudsman Office Bugged by Irish Police?

    Two weeks ago, the Sunday Times in Ireland broke a story claiming that the offices of the scrutiny body that monitors the Irish police force had been bugged. It has remained the main story in Ireland ever since. There are some elements of the story which appear undeniable. Sources close to this increasingly complex Dublin scandal are persuaded that there was a surveillance operation. Even government insiders are speculating privately about who may have been behind it, despite the justice minister publicly questioning whether it existed at all.

  • Dublin bugging scandal: Hi-tech surveillance and intrigue

Verizon/Phones

Russia

  • Lipnitskaia’s coach blames Russian media for skater’s disappointing performance

    Eteri Tutberidze said reporters bugged the locker room at Lipnitskaia’s practice rink in Moscow with listening devices after the 15-year-old left the Winter Games to train for the ladies individual competition. The coach also accused the media of stalking Lipnitskaia’s family in her hometown of Nizhny Bardym, a village in the Ural Mountains with a population of just 300.

Germany

  • U.S. now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel – report

    The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday.

    Revelations last year about mass U.S. surveillance in Germany, in particular of Merkel’s mobile phone, shocked Germans and sparked the most serious dispute between the transatlantic allies in a decade.

  • NSA now spying on German ministers instead of Chancellor Angela Merkel: Report

    The United States National Security Agency (NSA) has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday.

  • NSA still spying on hundreds of Germany’s political and economic elite

    Far from giving up on its habit, the US National Security Agency is reportedly still wiretapping some 320 prominent German economists and politicians. Although President Barack Obama has allegedly delivered on his promise to leave German Chancellor Angela Merkel alone, America’s omnipresent spy agency is still keeping tabs on hundreds of her compatriots, the crème de la crème of the German political and economic world, including Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. This is according to the Bild am Sonntag.

  • Germany Embraces Creation of European Data Networks as Shield from NSA

    Still upset over the U.S. spying on her phone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced this week that her country would consider establishing new data networks based in Europe that could shield individuals’ private communications from National Security Agency (NSA) prying.

UK

  • Patriotic geek who blew the whistle on the NSA

    On December 3rd last year the editor of the Guardian newspaper, Alan Rusbridger, was questioned by the House of Commons select committee on home affairs. Its chairman, Keith Vaz, perhaps hoping to start Rusbridger off on an easy one, asked if he loved his country. It was an odd, and oddly un-British, question, and Rusbridger, frequently described as unflappable, admitted to surprise before declaring that, yes, he and his journalists saw themselves as patriots.

  • Queen and Prince Charles using power of veto over new laws, Whitehall documents reveal

    The Queen and Prince Charles are using their little-known power of veto over new laws more than was previously thought, according to Whitehall documents.

  • Secret papers show extent of senior royals’ veto over bills

    The extent of the Queen and Prince Charles’s secretive power of veto over new laws has been exposed after Downing Street lost its battle to keep information about its application secret.

    Whitehall papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers show that overall at least 39 bills have been subject to the most senior royals’ little-known power to consent to or block new laws. They also reveal the power has been used to torpedo proposed legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.

Apple

PRISM Dropbox

  • Dropbox Addresses NSA Surveillance Fears in New Privacy Policy

    Dropbox has updated its privacy policy to address privacy concerns about the National Security Agency’s requests for user data.

  • Dropbox Addresses Government Spying

    Dropbox, a cloud storage app the government recommends for federal teleworkers, has revised its privacy policy to address concerns about other federal workers spying on users’ data.

    The new policy, which goes into effect March 24, acknowledges that Dropbox might share user data with outsiders to comply with the law, “if we determine that such disclosure is reasonably necessary.” An email to users immediately adds that the company will follow its own Government Request Principles, guidance that obliquely antagonizes the National Security Agency and includes fighting requests for bulk data.

PRISM WhatsApp

Lawsuits

  • Attorney Bruce Fein discusses NSA lawsuit, DHS spying, and FCC intrusions

    In an interview with the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner just before his presentation, Fein said he would also comment on events since the book’s 2009 publication, events that illustrate how “violations of the constitution have become so chronic that they numb the public and even elected officials to the danger we encounter as we move toward what I call ‘one branch tyranny’ – secret government, [with] everything subordinated to a risk-free existence and absolute executive power.”

  • Editorial: NSA can’t justify phone data program

    Of the many questions that still surround the National Security Agency’s vast global spying operations, one seems especially pertinent: Do they actually work? That is, have they helped to prevent terrorist attacks against Americans?

    In the case of the NSA’s phone-data program – in which the agency vacuums up information about essentially every call made by Americans – it’s getting harder and harder for the government to answer yes. The latest evidence comes from a report last week by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent federal agency established on the recommendation of the Sept. 11 Commission to balance the right to liberty against the need to prevent terrorism.

  • ABA Asks NSA To Explain Attorney-Client Privilege Policies
  • ABA asks NSA to explain how intelligence agency deals with attorney-client privilege

    Following news reports that a foreign ally of a U.S. intelligence agency may have spied on a BigLaw firm, the American Bar Association has asked the director of the National Security Agency and its general counsel for an explanation of how it deals with attorney-client privilege.

  • NSA spying damaging, not helpful
  • NSA spy case heats up!

    On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2014, the individual Government Defendants, Barack H. Obama, Eric H. Holder, Keith B. Alexander, Roger Vinson, the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Security Agency (NSA), in our initial lawsuit over the NSA spying on the American people – the one that produced a great victory last December when Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that President Obama and the NSA had egregiously violated the Fourth Amendment and the U.S. Constitution – presented me and the other plaintiffs with the gift that may keep on giving. In response to a court order issued about 10 days earlier, wherein Judge Leon testily told the Obama Justice Department lawyers to get the show on the road and finally file an answer to the complaint as they were in default for not having responded timely, President Obama’s lawyers stonewalled the judge in the answer they later filed on the day reserved for love, not obstruction of justice.

  • NSA slayer wants default against feds

    An attorney suing the federal government over the National Security Agency’s spy programs says the Obama administration is delaying and obstructing the court, and a default judgment against the individual defendants would be an appropriate remedy.

    The case was brought by attorney Larry Klayman in U.S. District Court in Washington over the NSA’s PRISM spy program that gathers details about the telephone calls and contacts of innocent Americans.

Wikileaks

  • Documents Reveal NSA and GCHQ Efforts to Destroy Assange and Track Wikileaks Supporters
  • The Surveillance of WikiLeaks

    Another document, from July 2011, details discussions between NSA offices as to whether WikiLeaks might be designated a “malicious foreign actor” for reasons of surveillance (the language in the document is “targeting with no defeats”). Such a designation would simply broaden the scope of activities available to the agency. “No defeats are needed when querying against a known foreign malicious actor.” The response from the agency’s general counsel on the subject of WikiLeaks’ status is tentative – “Let us get back to you.”

Amazon

Breakup

  • It’s time to break up the NSA

    The NSA has become too big and too powerful. What was supposed to be a single agency with a dual mission — protecting the security of U.S. communications and eavesdropping on the communications of our enemies — has become unbalanced in the post-Cold War, all-terrorism-all-the-time era.

    Putting the U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s cyberwar wing, in the same location and under the same commander, expanded the NSA’s power. The result is an agency that prioritizes intelligence gathering over security, and that’s increasingly putting us all at risk. It’s time we thought about breaking up the National Security Agency.

  • Break up the NSA and save American spooks from themselves

Edward Snowden

  • Group rallies in Naples for NSA whistleblower

    People marched through Naples Saturday in support NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Constitution and the 4th Amendment. At the same time, they were protesting a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. speaking in Naples, for his comments against Snowden. We heard from both sides about why they feel so strongly.

  • NSA spying revelations cause stir in privacy and security markets

    Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosure of widespread spying by the U.S. government, there has been a massive push to develop privacy-centric software and hardware. During the 2014 RSA Conference, which begins on Monday in San Francisco, data security and privacy solutions will be demonstrated at a frantic time in the industry.

02.21.14

Links 21/2/2014: Screenshot Galleries

Posted in News Roundup at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Police and Army: Not Protecting and Not Serving Ordinary People

Posted in News Roundup at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Domestic and foreign abuses of power; examples from recent weeks for police and from the past 24 hours for the army/secret agencies

Police

Panic

Foreign Policy

Death of Privacy: Lync in PRISM, Intel Dodges Questions on Back Doors, WhatsApp Joins PRISM, Censorship/Surveillance

Posted in News Roundup at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about mass surveillance and privacy, collected over the past 24 hours

Wintelligence

  • Microsoft Lync gathers data just like NSA vacuums up info in its domestic surveillance program (as we noted days ago)

    Microsoft’s Lync communications platform gathers enough readily analyzable data to let corporations spy on their employees like the NSA can on U.S. citizens, and it’s based on the same type of information – call details.

  • Writing The Snowden Files: ‘The paragraph began to self-delete’ (don’t use Windows)

    One day last summer – a short while after Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source behind the momentous leak of classified intelligence – the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger got in touch. Would I write a book on Snowden’s story and that of the journalists working with him? The answer, of course, was yes. At this point Snowden was still in Hong Kong. He was in hiding. He had leaked documents that revealed the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent GCHQ were surveilling much of the planet.

    [...]

    By September the book was going well – 30,000 words done. A Christmas deadline loomed. I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I had just written began to self-delete. The cursor moved rapidly from the left, gobbling text. I watched my words vanish. When I tried to close my OpenOffice file the keyboard began flashing and bleeping.

  • Intel chief dodges NSA questions in Reddit AMA

    One Redditer asked the Intel chief how the NSA revelations have impacted how Intel looks at hardware security, another asked for a response to questions of the security level of Intel processors. Krzanich issued no response to either question.

Lawsuits

PR

Paranoia

  • Why AT&T’s Surveillance Report Omits 80 Million NSA Targets

    AT&T this week released for the first time in the phone company’s 140-year history a rough accounting of how often the U.S. government secretly demands records on telephone customers. But to those who’ve been following the National Security Agency leaks, Ma Bell’s numbers come up short by more than 80 million spied-upon Americans.

    AT&T’s transparency report counts 301,816 total requests for information — spread between subpoenas, court orders and search warrants — in 2013. That includes between 2,000 and 4,000 under the category “national security demands,” which collectively gathered information on about 39,000 to 42,000 different accounts.

    There was a time when that number would have seemed high. Today, it’s suspiciously low, given the disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the NSA’s bulk metadata program. We now know that the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is ordering the major telecoms to provide the NSA a firehose of metadata covering every phone call that crosses their networks.

  • The NSA once banned Furbies as a threat to national security

    In 1999, after the Furby craze put tons of these talking toys beneath American Christmas trees, the NSA issued a memo banning them from its offices in Fort Meade. Because the commercials advertised Furbies as “learning” English over time, the folks in charge believed that Furbies contained an internal recording device, and they feared the toys would spill secrets in their cutesy voices. According to a 1999 BBC News article, anyone who came across a Furby on NSA premises was instructed to “contact their Staff Security Office for guidance.”

Politics

  • Rand Paul: The NSA is still violating our rights, despite what James Clapper says
  • NSA snooping must not disrupt global Internet governance model, warns EU politician

    Europe must ensure that fears of NSA-style government snooping do not disrupt its multi-stakeholder Internet governance model.

    That’s the verdict from this year’s FTTH Conference in Stockholm, as Sweden’s minister for information technology and energy, Anna-Karin Hatt, spoke candidly about the importance of securing a democratic future for the web.

    “We are all stakeholders in the development of the Internet, with legitimate interests and points-of-view that we want to – and need to – be able to pursue and protect,” she said.

    Hatt added: “The only logical way to continue developing the Internet is to protect and develop the multi-stakeholder model of decision-making we already have – a model that has been tried and proven to work.”

    “The revelations of the capacities and activities of the NSA is not a reason to abandon our multi-stakeholder model.”

  • Mikulski Denounces Bill That Would Deny NSA ‘Material Support’ in Maryland

    Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., isn’t pleased with a bill pending in her state’s legislature that would prohibit state and local support for the National Security Agency.

    The legislation was proposed Feb. 6 by eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates and would deny the NSA “material support, participation or assistance in any form” from the state, its political subdivisions and companies with state contracts.

  • 15 Ways to Make Sense of Calls for NSA Reform

New PRISM Additions

Induced Censorship

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts