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03.18.14

Programming News: New Python, Tenth Summer of Code, Code in Education, UndoDB, GitHub and More

Posted in News Roundup at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Python

PHP

Google SoC

  • Google embraces open source for 10th year of Summer of Code
  • Google’s coding internship summer program reaches 10th year

    What’s new for Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) internship program this year? For one, GSoC accepted 190 mentoring organizations, which is more than any other year. The very first GSoC program began in the summer of 2005, so this year also marks another milestone—they’re 10th year anniversary.

  • Google announces open source student project for 2014

    If you’re a university student looking to earn real-world experience this summer, you can join with us at Google Summer of Code coding for a cool open source project, Google invites students.

  • Google Announces the 10th Summer of Code

    Every year, Google’s Summer of Code event helps foster hundreds of interesting open source projects driven by students who are helped by mentoring organizations. The company is celebrating the 10th year of the program in 2014, and has announced that this year’s Summer of Code is underway. In 2013 Google accepted almost 1,200 students and the company is hoping to accept 10 percent more this year.

Education

UndoDB

  • Mentor Graphics cuts Linux debugging time by two thirds with Undo Software
  • Undo better than GNU, who knew?

    A Linux debugging tool more efficient than GNU debugger (GDB), really?

    Bucking time honoured marketing best practice stating that a firm shalt not use an OVERT NEGATIVE in an advertising headline, promotional campaign or (saints preserve us) the actual name of the company, it appears Undo Software is doing well in the Linux debugging market.

    Well, ok, the term “undo” could be a positive in tech if it is used to correct a mistake, which of course it is in this case with the reversible debugging tool UndoDB from Undo Software.

    The company has this month worked with Mentor Graphics Corporation to implement UndoDB and develop Linux code faster.

GitHub

Misc.

  • With greater permissions, comes greater responsibility

    I came to work with open source after an experience in college. We used a system called Usenet,a world wide distributed discussion forum. At the university, there wasn’t an email client I liked, so I wrote one and just gave it (including the source code) to whoever wanted it. This experience introduced me to a community of people who made things and shared them; it also introduced me to a job at my alma mater as a Usenet administrator.

Assassination, Imprisoning Dissent, Torture, Interventions, Surveillance, and Censorship

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

  • US to UN: We Can Disregard Int’l Human Rights Treaty

    US tells human rights panel that treaty that bans torture, arbitrary killings and detention doesn’t apply to its military operations.

  • Groups: 7 arrested in Iowa after drones protest

    Protesters say seven people have been arrested in Des Moines following an anti-war gathering opposing the use of drones.

  • Reaping the whirlwind

    The seven of us arrested as we stood arm-in-arm facing the closed iron gate, one from a new Catholic Worker House in Duluth, one from Rye House in Minneapolis, two from the Des Moines Catholic Worker, a leader of the national Veterans For Peace movement, and a 85-year old retired Methodist minister from Des Moines joined me in receiving a “ban and bar letter” from the military base and a court date of March 25 to enter a plea on the state criminal trespass charges. We were treated courteously and professionally by the arresting officers of Des Moines STAR (Special Tactics and Response) unit as we reminded them of our vow of nonviolence we recited before we walked down the driveway this morning. We informed them our protest was directed at the arrival of the drones-mission [sic] rather than at them as we were placed under arrest and placed in a “paddy wagon” – how fitting for St. Patrick’s Day!

  • Des Moines rally protests use of military drones

    The Saturday morning rally was organized by the Midwest Veterans for Peace and Catholic Workers. Organizers, including former Des Moines priest Frank Cordaro, described the rally as a civil disobedience action and expected some participants to be arrested.

  • Seven arrested protesting drones in Des Moines
  • Dianne Feinstein Wants Drones Regulated

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, who I had rooted for Vice President, for Walter Mondale, disagrees. She wants to regulate them. “What is the appropriate law enforcement use for a drone? When do you have to have a warrant?…What’s the appropriate government use for a drone?”

  • United Nations Human Rights Committee considers report of the United States

Torture

  • Revealed: Inside the Senate report on CIA interrogations

    A still-classified report on the CIA’s interrogation program established in the wake of 9/11 sparked a furious row last week between the agency and Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Now, Al Jazeera has been told by sources familiar with its contents that the committee’s report alleges that at least one high-value detainee was subjected to torture techniques that went beyond those authorized by the Bush administration’s Justice Department.

  • A double standard on torture?

    All the people that President George W. Bush supposedly tortured (which, I guess, is anything more painful than giving blood) are alive and well. President Barack Obama regularly kills the same people with drones, but in your view that is just fine (“A tortuous debate,” March 12). Unbelievable.

  • Poland wrestles with the legacy of a secret CIA torture site

    From a hilltop overlooking a military base in this picturesque village 100 miles due north of Warsaw, a charming country house is just visible across a shimmering blue lake.

  • Philip Mudd: Sitting Across from KSM Was Useful So Waterboarding Him 183 Times Was Too

    Given that he effectively admitted to Steven Colbert back in September, above, he was responsible for inserting the tortured claim from Ibn Sheikh al-Libi that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda, and given that he left government after being denied a promotion because his analysts pushed for more torture, what he likely means is that the Report is going to show very damning evidence about his actions.

Interventions and Ukraine

  • The Implosion of Libya

    The Libyan former prime minister Ali Zeidan fled last week after parliament voted him out of office. A North Korean-flagged oil tanker, the Morning Glory, illegally picked up a cargo of crude from rebels in the east of the country and sailed safely away, despite a government minister’s threat that the vessel would be “turned into a pile of metal” if it left port: the Libyan navy blamed rough weather for its failure to stop the ship. Militias based in Misrata, western Libya, notorious for their violence and independence, have launched an offensive against the eastern rebels in what could be the opening shots in a civil war between western and eastern Libya.

  • Imperialist Hypocrisy on Crimea

    In the conduct of its foreign policy, the United States operates on the principle spelled out by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels that if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough, it will be accepted.

  • Obama Issues Executive Order Freezing Assets Of Seven Putin Aides

    As was largely expected, the first retaliation by Obama has arrived, courtesy of a just issued Executive Order by the president, in which he has blocked and frozen “all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person” (i.e. assets) of not only the pre-coup Ukraine president Yanukovich and the Crimean leader Aksyonov, including all Russians that operate in the Russian arms industry, but most notably seven Putin aides. Not Putin himself of course – that would be too “escalatory”…

  • Putin Strikes Back: Russia’s Sanctions List Said To Include US Senators, High Ranking Administration Officials

    Ever since the theatrical announcement of asset freezes and other related sanctions of various Putin aides, Russian military and pro-Russia Ukrainian leaders earlier today by both the US president and the EU, the nagging question was when and how would Vladimir Vladimirovich retaliate, with tomorrow’s Putin address to the joint session of Parliament seeming as a probable time and place. It now appears that Putin’s personal retaliation has been leaked in advance, and according to the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin, it will involve an in kind response where various US senators and highly placed officials will be banned from visiting Russia, and likely also see their particular assets – if any- in Russian custody promptly frozen.

  • With 79% Turnout, Exit Polls Confirm 93% Of Voters Back Crimea Joining Russia; US,UK, EU Rejects Results
  • The Wrong Referendum, The Wrong Saviour

    But every single one of those things is true of Putin’s Russia, and in fact it is much worse. Wealth inequality is even more extreme. Toleration of dissent and of different lifestyles even less evident, the space for debate even more constricted, the contempt for international law still more pronounced. Putin’s own desire for imperialist sphere of influence politics leads him into conflict with aggressive designs of the west, as for example in Syria and Iran. The consequence can be an accidental good, in that Putin has thwarted western military plans. But that is not in any sense from a desire for public good, and if Putin can himself get away with military force he does. His conflicts of interest with the west have deluded a surprising number of people here into believing that Putin in some ways represents an ideological alternative. He does not. He represents a capitalism still more raw, an oligarchy still more corrupt, a wealth gap still greater and growing still quicker, a debate still more circumscribed. It speaks to the extreme political failure of the western political system, and the degree of the alienation of which I spoke, that so many strive to see something beautiful in the ugly features of Putinism.

  • Is Putin Delusional–or Is NYT a ‘Megaphone for Propaganda’?

CIA

  • Iran CIA station stopped functioning
  • CIA suspends Iran operations chief: report

    Jonathan Bank, a career officer with the spy agency, had been placed on administrative leave after an internal probe found he had created a hostile work environment, according to the Times.

    Former officials said employees had been in “open rebellion” over the officer’s management style and that the division, which oversees spying on Iran and its nuclear program, was in a state of disarray, it said.

  • CIA Iran Chief Suspended, Department ‘Was Not Functioning’

    The CIA’s Iran chief of operations was suspended after sending the division that coordinates spying on Iran and its nuclear program into disarray, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

    “Iran is one of most important targets, and the place was not functioning,” said one of three former officials who told the newspaper that the Iran operations division was in “open rebellion,” with several key employees demanding transfers.

  • CIA suspends Iran operations chief for creating ‘abusive and hostile work environment’
  • Chief of CIA division for spying on Iran is suspended over internal mutiny
  • Time to tell spies we, the people, not the enemies

    We now have even more proof that our burgeoning intelligence agencies, which were given unprecedented latitude to wage war against terrorists, are dangerously out of control.

  • The CIA reminds us who’s boss

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a stalwart ally of the nation’s intelligence agencies, says she is appalled to learn they have been spying on her committee, ignoring federal law and possibly trampling on the Constitution in a heavy-handed targeting of innocent people. Hey! Maybe now she knows how the rest of us feel.

  • Nancy Pelosi Admits That Congress Is Scared Of The CIA

    Over the past few months, one thing we keep hearing over and over again from defenders of the intelligence community is that everything is under control and “legal” because Congress has powerful oversight. We’ve shown, repeatedly, how that’s something of a joke. The intelligence community has lied repeatedly, has withheld documents and is generally nonresponsive to oversight attempts by Congress. And, with the reports that the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, we also find out that for all the bluster and talk of oversight, folks in Congress are actually scared by the intelligence community.

  • Former CIA probers urge new investigative panel on United States intelligence agencies

    Warning of a “crisis in public confidence,” former staffers for an influential 1975 Senate committee that investigated CIA abuses asked Congress and President Barack Obama on Monday to form a new panel to probe missteps by the nation’s intelligence agencies.

  • The latest out of Washington – CIA spies and tortured lies

    “What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said last month in what was, then, her routine defense of the mass global surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies. All that has changed now that she believes that the staff of the committee she chairs, the powerful, secretive Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was spied on and lied to by the CIA.

    The committee was formed after the Watergate scandal engulfed the Nixon administration. The Church Committee, led by Idaho Democratic Sen. Frank Church, conducted a comprehensive investigation of abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies, of everything from spying on anti-war protesters to the assassination of foreign leaders. Thus began the modern era of congressional and judicial oversight of U.S. intelligence.

  • Editorial: Senate report should look at more than CIA

    The Senate panel is putting the finishing touches on a 6,300-page report on the CIA’s use of torture — waterboarding and other techniques — in the interrogations. While reviewing the CIA documents, Senate staffers found a draft of the internal review but have not said exactly how they got it. Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says the internal review is important because it contradicts CIA statements and it documents agency wrongdoing. John Brennan, the CIA director, maintains that the internal review should never have been seen by the committee because it is “sensitive, deliberative, pre-decisional” material protected by executive privilege.

  • Ed Garvey: Is the CIA under civilian control? Do pigs fly?

    Just saying. I was not shocked or even surprised by the revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency may have hacked computers and spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the congressional committee that oversees CIA and National Security Agency operations. What is a poor spook agency to do when the enemy disappears? Look inward perhaps?

Privacy and Surveillance

  • Spinoffs from Spyland

    How America’s eavesdropping agency commercializes technology.

  • A 10-Point Plan to Keep the NSA Out of Our Data

    1) End-to-end encryption. This is the most important technological change, and the one that Snowden emphasized in his talk. End-to-end encryption would help protect data through its entire journey from sender to recipient. Google and other services currently only encrypt data as it makes its way from a user to a given service, where it is may be decrypted. That leaves data vulnerable to collection from the service provider’s servers or from internal data links where it might be unencrypted.

  • 3 Security Tips For Every User From NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

    Snowden appeared live via Google Hangouts to discuss the future of cybersecurity alongside privacy advocates and security gurus Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian of the ACLU. His revelations about the American government agency’s mass surveillance tactics shocked the world in June 2013 and exposed the security weaknesses of Google, Apple, Facebook, and many of the other services cybercitizens use every day.

  • How Google Can Repel the Attack of the NSA Quantum Computer
  • ‘Turn Off The Water’ Says Coalition Against NSA Spying

    A coalition of activists is pushing for state legislation that would cut off the water and power to National Security Agency facilities — including the new mega data center in Bluffdale, Utah — that need water to run huge computers.

  • NSA’s malware and spying ops far more powerful than you think

    As the cataract of code words and compromises continues to course from Edward Snowden’s cache of classified information, it’s easy to lose track of what, exactly, the US National Security Agency and its allies can and can’t do. So let’s clarify that — especially given that last week’s revelations make it clear that the NSA’s capabilities go way, way beyond what was previously thought.

  • Guardian editor wins European Press Prize for NSA coverage

    The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, poses in a photo with a mangled piece of metal alongside a story Monday announcing his European Press Prize for leading a team of reporters on their NSA coverage.

  • Ron Miller: NSA can track every email, but it can’t find a plane
  • When a world that’s characterized by ubiquitous data collection and surveillance can lose sight of a jumbo jet, you start to question the worth of all that spying on us
  • The NSA could be using your webcam to spy on you

    Caitlin Tolchin knows she’s far from anonymous when she’s online, but was still shocked to find out how far things are being taken, and who’s behind it.

    With a sigh she throws up her hands. “You start to wonder who’s watching and why?” she says with a note of exasperation to her voice.

  • U.S. Plan for Web Faces Credibility Issue

    The Commerce Department’s decision to step back from its supervision of an Internet policy-making body is an attempt by the U.S. to prove it is serious about Internet freedom at a time when its credibility on the issue is suffering.

    The U.S. government said Friday it wants to transition away from its relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann—the organization that manages Internet names and addresses—to a multilateral structure where engineers, nonprofits and other stakeholders make decisions about how the Internet is managed.

  • Watchdog group declares United States an ‘enemy of the Internet’

    Watchdog group Reporters Without Borders publishes its updated “Enemies of the Internet” list each year. The report looks to shed light on the current state of the Internet, revealing which countries across the globe stand in the way of unfettered access to the wealth of information the Web has to offer. Places like North Korea and China are regulars on the list, as you might have guessed, but the 2014 version of this important report includes a troubling new addition: America.

  • German parliamentary inquiry NSA revelations to open in April

    A German public inquiry into surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in Germany is to open in April, parliamentary officials said in Berlin Tuesday.

    A eight-member parliamentary commission of inquiry is to look into what the German intelligence agencies knew about US wiretapping starting in 2001.

  • US defends mass surveillance at UN

    Representatives for the United States government defended the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance programs before a hearing of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

    The US is one of 74 signatories that has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and as a result must be scrutinized every five years by an 18-person UN panel that focuses particularly on allegations of human rights abuses. That process involved a question-and-answer session between the UN committee members and representatives for the US last week, and the disclosures about the NSA’s broad surveillance abilities ended up being brought squarely into the discussion.

  • New House Plan Props Up NSA Surveillance of Phone Calls

    Regarding oversight of National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless wholesale collection of telephone metadata, Reprsentative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) has decided to stick a toe in the constitutional waters, but it’s little more than that.

  • Wyden to Speak on NSA Fight

    Senator Ron Wyden speaks Tuesday night in Portland, the first of four lecturers in a series marking the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

  • Wyden’s battle against NSA continues

    Wyden’s battle may not have been as lonely as that of Wayne Morse, who was one of just two opponents of the congressional resolution that led to a broad U.S. military involvement in Vietnam 50 years ago — and more than 50,000 American deaths. Wyden’s Democratic colleague from Oregon since 2009, Jeff Merkley, has taken his side, as has Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and others.

  • Public apathy over GCHQ snooping is a recipe for disaster

    The lack of public alarm at government internet surveillance is frightening, but perhaps it’s because the problem is difficult to convey in everyday terms

  • Dear Facebook and Googleplus, be honest, it’s just a datagrab!
  • US Relinquishes Oversight of Internet, China and Russia May Gain Control

    The Obama administration on March 14 announced the final step to privatize oversight of the Internet’s core systems. While on the surface it appears the Internet is moving toward a more independent model, however, the changes could allow authoritarian regimes in China and Russia to gain stronger influence over the global Internet.

  • Targeting Dissent is the Real Purpose of NSA Programs

    When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia briefly let the mask slip during recent comments to University of Hawaii law students it was a rare moment of openness as to reveal the pathology of the leadership class here in The Homeland . During an exchange over a World War II era case involving Japanese Americans who were rounded up and placed in internment camps such as the infamous Manzanar Scalia stated that “”you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again” and “In times of war, the laws fall silent.” Times of war such as the permanent war on terror that is now in its thirteenth year running and still picking up steam, especially so with the rampage towards a newly rebooted Cold War. With the ultimatums of Kerry and Obama, goaded on by a corrupt media with an insatiable thirst for blood and a resurgent neocon menace we now stand on the edge of great peril as the oppressive apparatus of the power of Leviathan that has been exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will find refuge in the climate of paranoia and fear that will be triggered anew. Time is short and we all must do our part to now apply immense pressure to ensure that the illegal programs of the surveillance state are exposed before the hydra is allowed to reconfigure behind the looming war to end all wars.

  • NSA intrusions must be stopped

    It is time to end the extensive surveillance by the National Security Agency, gathering phone records, metadata and searching Internet communications of innocent Americans.

  • [Satire] Brave NSA agent goes beyond line of duty, wiretaps his mother
  • Compare the NSA’s Facebook Malware Denial to its Own Secret Documents

Censorship

Human Rights

03.17.14

Links 17/3/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 17/3/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 17/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

03.16.14

Links 16/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watching Abuses of Power: Police, Secret Agencies, Militarism, Surveillance, and Censorship

Posted in News Roundup at 8:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Police

Torture and Drones

  • Former CIA official calls for release of report on CIA’s post-9/11 interrogations
  • CIA has a lot of explaining to do
  • Ruth Marcus: The CIA as its own worst enemy

    Watching Sen. Dianne Feinstein tear into the Central Intelligence Agency on the Senate floor the other day brought to mind a 1970s-era television commercial about a margarine supposedly indistinguishable from butter.

    “Chiffon’s so delicious, it fooled even you, Mother Nature,” says the narrator.

  • CIA Intimidation, Obstruction and Spying on US Congress: Obama’s “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”

    The portrait that emerges is of an intelligence agency that operates outside of all legal constraints, rejects any genuine congressional oversight, and functions as a law unto itself.

  • Lawmaker ‘taken aback’ by CIA’s tough response to spying allegations

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) spying charges are “very serious” and warned that Brennan’s aggressive reaction risks undermining the relationship between Congress and the CIA.

  • Eugene Robinson: The CIA is out of line
  • Unsettled legacy of torture looms over CIA-Congress feud
  • Time for CIA’s Brennan to Go

    More than five years into his presidency, Barack Obama has yet to undertake a major reform of U.S. intelligence, even letting CIA Director John Brennan, who was implicated in Bush-Cheney abuses, block reports on those offenses. That must change, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

  • The CIA’s Poisonous Tree

    The old Washington adage that the cover-up is worse than the crime may not apply when it comes to the revelations this week that the Central Intelligence Agency interfered with a Senate torture investigation. It’s not that the cover-up isn’t serious. It is extremely serious—as Senator Dianne Feinstein said, the CIA may have violated the separation of powers, the Fourth Amendment, and a prohibition on spying inside the United States. It’s just that in this case, the underlying crimes are still worse: the dispute arises because the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Feinstein chairs, has written an as-yet-secret 6,300 page report on the CIA’s use of torture and disappearance—among the gravest crimes the world recognizes—against al-Qaeda suspects in the “war on terror.”

  • CIA spying on Congress: ‘Undercover’ officer duped JFK investigators in ’78

    The scandal started quietly last week when Sen. Mark Udall wrote a letter to President Obama, alleging that the CIA had taken “unprecedented action” against investigators who wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee’s still-classified report on the U.S. torture program.

  • The Senator vs. The C.I.A.

    Feinstein called them the Panetta Review, in reference to the former C.I.A. director Leon Panetta, who left the agency in 2011. The documents were prepared by C.I.A. officers, and although their contents are secret, their subject matter is clear and vitally important: the true history of the brutal interrogation of about a hundred Al Qaeda leaders and suspects at offshore C.I.A. “black sites” between roughly 2002 and 2006, on orders of the Bush Administration. The interrogations included the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” such as waterboarding, which constituted torture in the judgment of the Red Cross and many other authorities. Feinstein suggested that the Panetta Review may illuminate still disputed issues; namely, whether the program produced significant intelligence, whether the C.I.A. lied to Congress about it, and how cruel and degrading the black sites really were.

  • CIA’s nemesis: Dianne Feinstein – renowned campaigner against gun ownership and for gay rights
  • SEN. FEINSTEIN (D-CA): Obama White House Ordered CIA to Spy on Congress, an Impeachable Offense
  • Is Obama A Phony On Torture?
  • The Torture Cover-Up

    It emerges from the USA that 9,000 documents proving direct involvement of the White House in cases of brutal torture are being withheld from the Senate Committee by the Obama administration

  • Senate sets up departure of top CIA lawyer by lifting block on successor

    Confirmation of Caroline Krass had been put on hold by Senate to gain leverage against CIA in procuring post-9/11 documents

    [...]

    Krass had already cleared the Senate committee, but Udall put her on hold to gain leverage for the committee in its struggle for access to CIA documents relevant to its extensive study of the agency’s post-9/11 interrogation, rendition and detention program, which involved torture.

    [...]

    Eatinger, a longtime agency lawyer with counter-terrorism experience, was cited on Monday by the panel’s chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein of California, in her seminal speech lashing out at the CIA. Without naming him, Feinstein indicated he was instrumental in the agency’s now-abandoned torture practices, and had been cited over 1,600 times in the classified Senate torture investigation.

  • US responds to Guantánamo Bay and NSA criticisms made by UN committee

    The US has put up its defence at the United Nations in Geneva over charges that it is guilty of widespread human rights violations, claiming that the military commissions at Guantanámo Bay meet – and exceed – fair trial standards and that agencies engaging in mass surveillance are subject to “rigorous oversight”.

  • Human Rights Committee Reviews The Report Of The United States
  • US criticised by UN for human rights failings on NSA, guns and drones

    Geneva panel share deep concerns over US record on host of different subjects, including racial inequality and Guantánamo

  • Report: UK Guilty Of Complicity In Israeli Field Testing Of Drones On Gaza Refugees (Video)

    One report says the UK is guilty of ‘complicity in Israeli crimes against’ Palestinians after field-testing a drone on refugees in Gaza. Another report calls for independent investigations into attacks that kill civilians.

  • Demilitarize McGill blockades site of campus drone research

    On the heels of the disclosure of access to information (ATI) requests that revealed that researchers at the Aerospace Mechatronics Laboratory at McGill have received over $500,000 in contracts from the Defence Research and Development Canada centre in Suffield since 2004, Demilitarize McGill took action the morning of March 14 to blockade the Laboratory.

  • U.S. troops tread lightly in African training mission

    The U.S. fast-tracked the sale of 12 Reaper drones to France last year, the first two of which started operating in Niger in January alongside U.S. drones that are already in operation.

  • Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa: A New Model for Expeditionary Warfare

    Under the moniker Juniper Micron, the U.S. military supported France’s effort, airlifting its soldiers and materiel into Mali, flying refueling missions in support of its airpower, and providing “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance” (ISR) through drone operations out of Base Aerienne 101 at Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey, the capital of neighboring Niger. The U.S. Army Africa AFISMA document also makes reference to the deployment to Chad of an ISR liaison team with communications support. Despite repeated pledges that it would put no boots on the ground in troubled Mali, in the spring of 2013, the Pentagon sent a small contingent to the U.S. Embassy in Bamako and others to support French and MINUSMA troops.

  • Washington’s Back-to-the-Future
  • Protesters rally against drones at Des Moines air base

    Protesters from across the country rallied in Des Moines on Saturday against the U.S. military’s drone warfare.

  • Protestors Rally Against Drone Warfare

    Earlier this week, it was announced the Air National Guard Base would turn into a drone command center. The announcement has been getting people riled up.

    “The drone situation has gotten completely out of hand and there are too many thousands of innocent people getting killed by them,” said Gilbert Landolt, President of the Des Moines Chapter of Veterans for Peace.

  • Ohio high school uses drone simulations for course

    A southwestern Ohio high school is using a course involving drone simulations to spark students’ interest in technology careers.

  • Op-ed: Utah legislators stood up for Fourth Amendment

    Senate Bill 167 requires law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant before using drones. Like HB 128, it requires the deletion of data that does not pertain to a suspect. Importantly, given the emergence and adoption of this potentially invasive technology, this bill requires police agencies to report drone use to lawmakers, and the public at large, so we can all understand their prevalence and practical application.

  • Obama: The Willing Executioner

    According to a newly-released Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Barack Obama’s job-approval ratings have dipped to a new low of 41 percent with a full 54 percent of respondents saying they “disapproved” of the job he’s doing. Obama’s handling of the economy, health care and foreign policy were particular areas of concern for most respondents. On health care, Obama is seen as having strengthened the for-profit insurance industry with little benefit for ordinary working people. The survey also showed “the lowest-ever approval” for the president’s handling of foreign policy. And, on the economy, the results were even more shocking; a full 57% of the people polled “believe the U.S. is still in a recession” while “65 percent think the country is on the wrong track”. Widespread disappointment in Obama’s performance has weakened his support among blacks, Hispanics and women, traditionally, the most loyal groups in the Party’s base.

  • World Has No Idea How U.S. Decides on Wars

    People from Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere have told me, and have testified in the U.S. Congress, that they have a hard time convincing their neighbors that everyone in the United States doesn’t hate them. There are buzzing killer robots flying over their houses night and day and every now and then blowing a bunch of people up with a missile with very little rhyme or reason that anyone nearby can decipher. They don’t know where to go or not go, what to do or not do, to be safe or keep their children safe. Their children have instinctively taken to crouching and covering their heads just like U.S. children in the 1950s were taught to do as supposed protection from Soviet nuclear weapons.

Militarism

  • Why is the CIA Fighting Release of Documents Relating to 4 Planes that Went Missing in 1980?

    A federal judge has told the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other federal offices to continue looking for records pertaining to the disappearance of four transport planes in 1980.

    The case was brought before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly by plaintiff Stephen Whitaker, who has attempted to obtain information about four DC-3 aircraft, one of which was flown by his father, Harold William Whitaker.

    Stephen Whitaker filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the CIA, as well as the Department of Defense and the State Department, to learn if they possessed records that might explain what happened to the DC-3s.

  • ‘US Troops Out Now’: Philippine Protesters Push Against Base Expansion
  • Libya steps further into chaos

    The burning of the General National Congress Sunday — though not the first attack on the body — could portend the complete collapse of Libya’s beleaguered political process, writes Kamel Abdallah

  • Gaza reporting: the importance of balance and timing

    The New Zealand Herald (14 March) published two stories of violence over Gaza with the headlines ‘Israeli warplanes strike back in Gaza’ and ‘Rockets strike Israel, jeopardising truce talk’. Those headlines and the general tone of reporting gave the impression that the Israeli military action was simply a response to unprovoked Palestinian aggression. The actual record of the balance and timing of violence over the Gaza Strip reveals a different reality.

    This month, before the actions reported in those stories, there were no Palestinian missile attacks on Israel for the first four days, whereas Israel attacked Gaza on each of the first three. These attacks included Israeli drone strikes that killed two Palestinians in Beit Hanun and wounded twochildren – one of them critically. In those first three days, Israeli artillery fired upon North Beit Lahiya, Abasan al-Kabira and Khuza’a.

Ukraine

Privacy

  • Top Democrat on House intelligence panel offers new NSA reform plan

    Top Democrat on House intelligence committee says details are still being worked on but proposal would end bulk collection

  • Google encrypts search text in China

    Google has started to encrypt searches made by people in China.

    The move is widely seen as a way for users of the search engine to avoid official scrutiny of where they go online, reports the Washington Post.

  • Google starts encrypting search data to protect users from NSA snooping

    INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GIANT Google has started encrypting its search data to protect users from surveillance by state intelligence outfits like the US National Security Agency (NSA) as well as hackers.

  • How to stop NSA spying through your webcam

    You already know that laptops, desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones are all at risk of being hacked. But did you know that intruders might use the built-in camera to take surreptitious pictures and videos of you and your surroundings or hijack your microphone to eavesdrop on conversations?

    The latest story from the Edward Snowden leaks yesterday drives home that the NSA and its spy partners possess specialised tools for doing exactly that. According to The Intercept, the NSA uses a plug-in called GUMFISH to take over cameras on infected machines and snap photos.

  • Facebook’s Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

    Mark Zuckerberg is furious with US President Barack Obama, who – metaphorically, at least – clasped his hands over his ears and repeatedly said to himself “I can’t hear you” when the Facebook boss tried to grumble about spies spying on people.

  • Editorial: NSA raises risks for social media

    Indeed, at an appearance at the recent South by Southwest festival, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt likened NSA’s surveillance programs to hacking by the Chinese government.

  • Wikipedia’s Wales: NSA’s Not Going to Win in Fight

    Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales discusses NSA surveillance and internet transparency. He speaks with Francine Lacqua and Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

  • NSA mimics criminals in bid to infect millions of computers, report says
  • Friends in High Places Support NSA Call-Tracking Lawsuit

    One week after the ACLU filed the first appellate brief challenging the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, we’re getting a little help from our friends. Yesterday, seven prominent and diverse organizations filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of our challenge, which is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.

  • Who is winning the ‘crypto-war’?

    Ladar Levison sits exhausted, slumped on a sofa with his dog Princess on his lap. He is surrounded by boxes after he moved into a new house in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, the previous day.

  • NSA About Attorney-Client Privilege Concerns: We’ll Probably Grab Your Communications But We’ll Try Not To ‘Listen In’

    A couple of weeks back we covered the American Bar Association asking for assurance from the NSA that attorney-client communications, even those involving foreign clients, would remain out of the agency’s reach. This was prompted by a leak that showed the NSA had given an Australian intelligence agency the go-ahead to intercept communications between a US law firm and its Indonesian clients.

  • IBM denies sharing customers data with US government

    International Business Machines Corp has not relinquished its customers’ data to the U.S. government and would challenge any orders to do so, the company said in a blog post on Friday.

  • The Servile State

    BBC News about the call of Tim Berners Lee for a Bill of Rights to protect internet freedom, and astonishingly they managed not to mention NSA, GHCQ or government surveillance at any point.

  • Tim Berners-Lee: ‘We should have ways of protecting people like Snowden’

    Tim Berners-Lee thinks the internet deserves its own bill of rights. Twenty-five years after writing a draft proposal about what would later become the world wide web – and one day after describing his proposal of an internet ‘Magna Carta’ to the Guardian’s Jemima Kiss – Berners-Lee took his idea to an interested audience: the denizens of Reddit’s Ask Me Anything section.

  • Should the NSA revelations win the Pulitzer Prize?

    One of the biggest stories in journalism last year had to do with the revelations from Edward Snowden about the extent of the National Security Administration’s surveillance program, which includes harvesting data from the cell phones and internet usage of non-accused American citizens as well as foreigners and their leaders.

  • Edward Snowden looms over Pulitzer Prizes

    Next month, the trustees who oversee America’s most distinguished journalistic award could face their toughest decision in at least four decades.

  • Snowden might receive Pulitzer Prize for NSA surveillance revelations

    The issue is very complicated. Honoring the NSA reporting in the coveted category of Public Service would be perceived as a political act, with the Pulitzer committee invoking its prestige on behalf of one side in a bitter national argument. In effect, it would be a rebuttal to prominent establishment voices in both parties who say that Snowden’s revelations, and the decision by journalists to publish them, were the exact opposite of a public service. The Justice Department is charging Snowden with three felonies. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has called him “a traitor.”

  • Pulitzer Prize board to clash over awarding Snowden reporters
  • Mark Zuckerberg Says The US Has Become A Threat To, Rather Than A Champion For, The Internet

    Better late than never: it appears that Mark Zuckberberg is finally really pissed off about the NSA surveillance efforts. This comes in the wake of the recent reports that the NSA sought to build a malware empire by setting up a bogus Facebook server to intercept traffic and fool users. While there have been indications that Facebook hasn’t been happy about all of this, Zuckerberg has taken to his Facebook page to really dig in, noting that he’d even called President Obama to express his thoughts on the matter.

  • Google cuts Drive storage rates, offers 1TB for mere $9.99; but not for Linux
  • Niemoeller Redux

    First they came for the Muslims, but I was not a Muslim so did not speak up.

  • Getty Images Allows Free Embedding, but at What Cost to Privacy?

    Getty Images—among the world’s largest providers of stock and editorial photos—has announced a major change to the way it is offering its pictures for sites to use. Beginning this week, in addition to the traditional licensing options, people can embed images in their sites at no cost and with no watermarks, so long as they use the provided embed code and iframe.

  • Don’t Put Your Trust in the Cloud

    In August 2011, the federal government announced plans to consolidate more than 100 different email systems used by over 300,000 employees into a single, outsourced email system. While the email transition is currently underway — Bell won the nearly $400 million contract last year — the decision quietly sparked a trade fight with the United States that placed the spotlight on the risks associated with hosting computer data outside the country.

  • WhatsApp Flaw Opens Database Doors to Hackers

    It’s not clear what value hackers might find in perusing the chats of WhatsApp users, but that’s small comfort to those who’d rather not expose their private conversations. An Android developer presented a proof of concept showing how the deed could be done, but there’s no reason to believe that any thieves have penetrated the WhatsApp vault. It could mean a snag in Facebook’s acquisition deal.

  • Openness and Privacy in Big Data

    Balancing openness and privacy is often a false division…

  • Open Rights Group calls on UK government to end opposition to stronger European privacy rights

    Digital campaigners, the Open Rights Group, welcome today’s vote in the European Parliament to approve a Regulation on data protection. The Regulation will strengthen European citizens’ rights over their data.

  • European Commission Must Listen to Parliament’s Call to Act Against Surveillance Programmes

    Today, the European Parliament passed an important resolution condemning the US and EU surveillance programmes. La Quadrature du Net welcomes this non-binding resolution as it calls for the suspension of both the “Safe Harbor” agreement and of the illegal mass surveillance programmes and reaffirms the importance of the protection of citizens’ fundamental right to privacy. Ahead of European elections, citizens should now act to ensure that privacy will be a major concern of the next legislative period so that this call is listened to by the European Commission.

  • Major Loopholes Remain in European Parliament’s Data Protection Regulation

    Today the European Parliament adopted Jan Philipp Albrecht’s report on the General Data Protection Regulation at first reading. MEPs finally succeeded in resisting pressure by lobbyists, rejecting most of their harmful proposals. Although important improvements were adopted, the dangerous concepts of “legitimate interest” and “pseudonomyous data” remain and could make the final text ineffective in protecting citizens.

Censorship

  • Russia Blocks Access to Major Independent News Sites

    Russia’s government has escalated its use of its Internet censorship law to target news sites, bloggers, and politicians under the slimmest excuse of preventing unauthorized protests and enforcing house arrest regulations. Today, the country’s ISPs have received orders to block a list of major news sites and system administrators have been instructed to take the servers providing the content offline.

  • Britain is treating journalists as terrorists – believe me, I know

    Free speech and freedom of the press are under attack in the UK. I cannot return to England, my country, because of my journalistic work with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and at WikiLeaks. There are things I feel I cannot even write. For instance, if I were to say that I hoped my work at WikiLeaks would change government behaviour, this journalistic work could be considered a crime under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000.

    The act gives a definition of terrorism as an act or threat “designed to influence the government”, that “is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause” and that would pose a “serious risk” to the health or safety of a section of the public. UK government officials have continually asserted that this risk is present with the disclosure of any “classified” document.

  • R.I.P FREE SPEECH: Protesters can now be charged $750 or 2 years gaol for attending protests in Victoria

    From September onwards the police in Victoria will have the power to ‘move on’ groups of people at their will, including those involved in peaceful protests and pickets. Those who refuse to comply with these orders can be issued with fines of $750, exclusion orders, and gaol terms of up to 2 years.

Hardware Freedom Day is Done

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Hardware Freedom Day celebrated yesterday all around the world and the trend of open source 3D printing is worth noting

  • Today is Hardware Freedom Day!

    For its second edition Hardware Freedom Day is happening with over 40 registered teams and one more sponsor in the name of LulzBot offering 8x3D printers for the event, product which has been RYF-certified by our partner the FSF. Canonical, Google and Linode are of course still part of our long term sponsors and we are trying to reward all our supporters as well. You can find more details on that by looking at the HFD website.

  • Out in the Open: The Men Supercharging Neuroscience With Open Source Hardware

    The first Open Ephys projects include components for recording electrical signals in mice brains, and a software interface for collecting data. Unlike something along the lines of the open source brain scanning tool Open BCI, the Open Ephys tools are aimed at neuroscience researchers, not at engineers and game developers. Nonetheless, in building these contraptions, Siegle and Voigts have turned to many of the same tools used by other hardware hackers across the country, including the Arduino open source circuit board “We like Arduinos because lots of people know how to use them, and they’re easy to get your hands on,” Siegle says.

  • OpenKnit: Open source 3D knitter lets you digitally fabricate your clothes (Video)

    Cheap, disposable fashion is not only an environmental problem, but is also about companies giving their workers unfair wages and unsafe working environments. Various solutions to this widespread problem include shopping at thrift stores, clothing swaps, buying local and handmade, but making your own clothes can also be a way to ensure that your clothes are ethically made — by you.

  • Stratasys Q4 strong, aims to take MakerBot, 3D printing mainstream
  • Bone replacements and heart monitors spur health revolution in open source 3D printing

    The evolution of 3D printing has moved quickly and it is now poised to alter every aspect of our lives and health. Thousands of Europeans are enjoying 3D-printed metal orthopaedic implants to support or replace missing bones and, in the US, thousands more have benefited from 3D printing used by dentists. Most people that need hearing aids have custom 3D-printed devices comfortably resting in their ears now.

  • 3D Printing’s Next Revolution: Linux

    3D printers may be trendy, but they are hardly new. One of the earliest of all is the RepRap project, which began back in 2005. As its name implies – it’s short for “replicating rapid” prototyper – RepRap is designed to be able to produce copies of itself, or at least most of its parts. Not only that, it is completely open source, both in terms of its hardware (which uses Arduino kit) and software.

    Because of its open nature it has gone on to form the basis of many other 3D-printing systems, including those from MakerBot.

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