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Links 18/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC7, IBM’s LinuxOne

Posted in News Roundup at 6:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Ransomware goes OPEN SOURCE in the name of education

    Turkish security bod Utku Sen has published what appears to be the first open source ransomware that anyone can download and spread.

    The “Hidden Tear” ransomware, available to GitHub, is a functional version of the malware the world has come to hate; it uses AES encryption to lock down files and can display a scare warning or ransom message to get users to pay up.

  • Chinese, Russian, tech giants join global open source efforts

    Alibaba and Yandex joining these open source efforts confounds their home nations’ occasionally-expressed intentions to build technology ecosystems less dependent on US companies. Both China and Russia have cited post-Snowden security concerns as the reason they’re keen to rely on indigenous technologies. With their tech giants now participating in global efforts alongside US entities, technological isolation looks rather harder to achieve.

  • Keen IO open-sources its Data Explorer tool for making quick queries

    Keen IO, a startup with a cloud-based data analytics tool, is announcing today that it’s releasing one of its tools for customers, the Data Explorer, under an open-source license.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla tests a true stealth mode for Firefox

        Mozilla wants to make private browsing truly private.

        The company is testing enhancements to private browsing in Firefox designed to block website elements that could be used by third parties to track browsing behavior across sites. Most major browsers, Firefox included, have a “Do Not Track” option, though many companies do not honor it.

      • Mozilla defaults Tracking Protection for Firefox developer builds, but only for private browsing

        Pre-beta versions of Firefox will block domains known to track users by default when a private browser window is opened.

      • Rust in 2016

        This week marks three months since Rust 1.0 was released. As we’re starting to hit our post-1.0 stride, we’d like to talk about what 1.0 meant in hindsight, and where we see Rust going in the next year.

      • Rust Language Focusing On Infrastructure Improvements, Features & More
      • Firefox Security Exploit Targets Linux Users and Web Developers

        Through the years, Firefox has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most secure Web browsers on any platform, and it’s the default browser for many Linux distros. However, a security exploit appeared this week that has shown users they can’t afford to be complacent about security. Mozilla has rushed to patch the flaw, and a new release has closed the hole (39.0.3). But, plenty of users still haven’t updated their browsers.

      • Mozilla Experiments with True Private Browsing

        Mozilla has a long history of experimenting with new features in pre-beta and developer versions of the Firefox browser, and one of the current experiments could shake up notions about private browsing. The company is experimenting with an approach to private browsing where Firefox could block any and all website elements used by third parties to track browsing behavior. Effectively, the new approach would defy the many organizations that don’t honor “Do Not Track” features in browsers.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • LinkedIn Open Sources Highly Useful Hadoop Tools

      LinkedIn has already adopted Gradle as itsprimary build system. “With Gradle, developers can easily extend the build system by defining their own plugins,” the company claims. “We developed the Hadoop Plugin to help our Hadoop application developers more effectively build, test and deploy Hadoop applications. The Plugin includes the Hadoop DSL, a domain-specific language for specifying jobs and workflows for Hadoop workflow managers like Azkaban and Apache Oozie.”

  • Databases

    • Open Source First Starting to Converge with Cloud First

      Of course, PostgeSQL is only one instance where open source and the cloud are starting to converge. The same argument could also be applied to everything from Node.js to Docker containers. The point is that as the critical mass of open source software in the cloud continues to build, it’s only a matter of time before that same software starts showing up on premise in much greater numbers than it already has.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • First LibreOffice 5.0 Maintenance Release on Its Way to Fix Middle-Click Paste on X11

      After releasing the huge LibreOffice 5.0 update, The Document Foundation announced that the hard team of developers behind the most powerful open-source office suite in the world is hard at work on the first maintenance release of LibreOffice 5.0.0.

    • An Open Letter to Apache Foundation and Apache OpenOffice team

      So I realize that the Apache Foundation took a lot of pride in and has invested a lot of effort trying to create an Apache Licensed Office suite based on the old OpenOffice codebase, but I hope that now that it is clear that this effort has failed that you would be willing to re-direct people who go to the openoffice.org website to the LibreOffice website instead. Letting users believe that OpenOffice is still alive and evolving is only damaging the general reputation of open source Office software among non-technical users and thus I truly believe that it would be in everyones interest to help the remaining OpenOffice users over to LibreOffice.

  • CMS

  • BSD


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Focal Camera: An Open Source Modular Camera

      Over the past year, Dutch artist Mathijs van Oosterhoudt has been developing a new camera system. No, it’s not a high-tech digital system that’s intended to go up against the major camera companies. Instead, it’s an open-modular camera system that’s intended to teach people how to build complex cameras. Its name is The Focal Camera.

  • Programming

    • Perl Weekly

      Yesterday was CPAN day: the 20th(!) anniversary of the day CPAN appeared online. A few articles of this week’s edition celebrate the event, and promote the kind of interaction that keeps it alive.


  • Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Bribe Panamanian Officials

    A former regional director of SAP International Inc. pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a scheme to bribe Panamanian officials to secure the award of government technology contracts for SAP.

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Division and Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

  • Author shows off the real Jamaica through Bob Marley shooting

    Marlon James is the first Jamaican-born novelist nominated for the Man Booker prize. A Brief History of Seven Killings uses the true story of an attempt on the life of Bob Marley to explore the turbulent politics of Jamaica in the 1970s.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Jeb’s New Iraq Stance: My Brother’s ‘Mission Was Accomplished’

      In the early months of his candidacy, Jeb Bush fumbled whenever he faced extremely predictable questions about his brother’s foreign policy. When asked about Iraq again at last week’s debate, he said that, knowing what we know now, “it was a mistake,” then inelegantly pivoted from praising veterans to blaming Obama for the current situation in the Middle East. This week Bush debuted a new stance: Whatever mistakes President George W. Bush made along the way, the Iraq War ultimately turned out for the best (at least until President Obama and Hillary Clinton messed it all up).

    • AP EXCLUSIVE: Top secret Clinton emails include drone talk
    • New Generation of Cuban-Americans Want Embargo Lifted – Former CIA Officer

      Former CIA counterterrorism officer John Kiriacou claims that a new generation of Cuban Americans is willing to lift the trade embargo on Cuba and end the half-century-long boycott of the island nation.

    • ‘We Wanted to Cut Off Che Guevara’s Head’ – Ex-CIA Agent

      He said that he told the General he could not do it because, being the country’s military chief of staff, Candia just wouldn’t be able to present a severed human head as material proof.

    • Point Person: Our Q&A with Michael Hayden

      Twenty-nine scientists with nuclear specialties signed a letter this month supporting the accord. Are they to be completely dismissed?

    • The Iran Gambit II

      Gambit I was the start of false accusations by the then Bush Administration in 2007 that Iran was preparing a nuclear weapon, when in fact Iran had no such ambitions at all, but a plan to open an Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) in Teheran, an international hydrocarbon exchange, where all countries, hydrocarbon producers or not, could trade this (still) principal energy source in euros, as an alternative to the US dollar. This would have devastated the dollar as a hegemonic fiat currency – still used on false trust as the main world reserve currency.

    • Neocons to Americans: Trust Us Again

      Marching in lockstep with Israeli hardliners, American neocons are aiming their heavy media artillery at the Iran nuclear deal as a necessary first step toward another “regime change” war in the Mideast – and they are furious when anyone mentions the Iraq War disaster and the deceptions that surrounded it, writes Robert Parry.

      America’s neocons insist that their only mistake was falling for some false intelligence about Iraq’s WMD and that they shouldn’t be stripped of their powerful positions of influence for just one little boo-boo. That’s the point of view taken by Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as he whines about the unfairness of applying “a single-interest litmus test,” i.e., the Iraq War debacle, to judge him and his fellow war boosters.

      After noting that many other important people were on the same pro-war bandwagon with him, Hiatt criticizes President Barack Obama for citing the Iraq War as an argument not to listen to many of the same neocons who now are trying to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement. Hiatt thinks it’s the height of unfairness for Obama or anyone else to suggest that people who want to kill the Iran deal — and thus keep alive the option to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran — “are lusting for another war.”

    • Iran carpet industry set for revival after deal
    • Iran Gives UN Information About Past Nuclear Activities

      But Iran and the United Nations agency agreed last month to wrap up the investigation by December, when the IAEA plans to issue a final assessment on the allegations.

      On the sidelines of the deal between Iran and the world powers in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14, Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog signed an agreement to resolve outstanding issue about PMD of its past nuclear activities.

    • Guest commentary: Should get own house in order before bullying others

      Our unelected military ruler, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, tried to stem the backlash, asking Thais to stop blaming the U.S. government for awarding Thailand a low ranking in its annual report.

      But as an American columnist living in Thailand, I have the same question many Thais have, namely: Shouldn’t the U.S. get its own moral house in order before policing the rest of the world?

    • Havana Sells US Diplomatic Ties as Victory
    • US Raises Flag in Cuba After 54 Years (Video)

      The United States and Cuba are taking the next step in restoring diplomatic relations with each other as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Havana Friday to attend a ceremony marking the reopening of the U.S. Embassy there. This comes after former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote in a newspaper column that the U.S. owes the island country “millions of dollars” as reparations for its decades-long embargo.

    • The US-Cuba thaw

      Secretary of State John Kerry had the honor of reopening the US embassy in Cuba 54 years after it was closed. But it was the pair of presidents, Barack Obama and Raul Castro, who made it happen, and each in his own way.

    • Cold War thaw: Re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba was the right move

      In the 54 years since the United States ended diplomatic ties with Cuba, we’ve learned a lot about our Caribbean adversaries.

    • The Crisis In Ukraine: War Or Rumors Of War?

      The early reports of the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the communist threat now appear at best, to have been greatly exaggerated, or at worst, an intentional deception. Although the intelligence service of the Soviet Era, the KGB, was renamed the Federal Security Service (FSB), it facilitated the rise of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, proving the security service is still very much in power within the “new” Russia.

    • Neocons Falsify Iraq War ‘Lessons’

      Having escaped accountability for the Iraq War disaster, U.S. neocons are urging the use of more military force in the Mideast, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand to block the Iran nuclear deal. From their important perches of power, these war hawks also twist the history of their catastrophic misjudgments, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Analysts concerned over possible civilian casualties from US airstrikes from Turkey

      Speaking to Sunday’s Zaman, Professor Celalettin Yavuz, an expert on foreign policy and security, mentioned the likelihood that US armed drones known as Predators, which have been deployed to İncirlik Air Base, will mistakenly kill civilians in Syria and Iraq as the US-led collation steps up operations against ISIL.

    • Washington Threatens Ecuadorian Democracy

      Rule by powerful monied interests is longstanding US policy.

    • Montagnards: Green Beret’s secret weapon during Vietnam War

      Smokey Stover Theater, onboard the retired USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor, filled up quickly last night with aging veterans, their spouses, and civilians curious to know more about secret weapons, specifically those employed by U.S. Special Forces Soldiers. That “secret weapon” for the Vietnam-era Green Berets was the indigenous mountain people of Southeast Asia; the Montagnards.

    • AP Interview: Jordan says Syria militants try to sneak in

      Militants have tried to sneak into Jordan from Syria by blending in with Syrian refugees, and attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs into Jordan have increased, the commander of Jordan’s Border Guard said in an interview Sunday.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Why A Democrat Is Now Blocking An Obama Nominee

      Sen. Sherrod Brown has a new tactic in the fight to access secretive trade deal documents.

    • Count finds 40 percent increase in Marin homeless population

      A one-day count of Marin County’s homeless population in January found 1,309 homeless people ­— a 40 percent increase from the 933 homeless reported in 2013.

    • Show Me a Hero: Fear and Loathing in Yonkers

      Show Me a Hero concentrates on the most volatile five years of the clash between Yonkers and U.S. District Court Judge Leonard B. Sand. In 1987, the judge, weary of the city’s stalling in the face of his order to build 200 units of public housing on its predominantly white and middle-class west side, ordered the Yonkers City Council to get the project under way or face escalating fines that would quickly reach $1 million a day and bankrupt the city within three weeks. Making it clear that the case had gone beyond politics or policy wonkery, the judge also fined any council member who voted against the housing.

    • Why is Bitcoin forking?

      So this is it. Here we are. The community is divided and Bitcoin is forking: both the software and, perhaps, the block chain too. The two sides of the split are Bitcoin Core and a slight variant of the same program, called Bitcoin XT. As of August 15th, there is now a full release available.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP

      I was impressed by Jeremy’s talk and by the energy in the room. Jeremy was at his strongest when referring to the need for basic human decency and respect in our treatment of those in need for aid from the state, including the homeless and refugees. His basic human empathy and compassion really shone through. He was contemptuous of austerity, marketisation and the neoliberal consensus. His denunciation of Iraq and of Trident galvanised the room. He can talk with a genuine moral authority. He is certainly not a great orator, but sincere and fluent.

    • Kezia Dugdale Got Just 5,217 Votes

      The Labour Party is being remarkably coy about releasing the actual result of its Scottish accounting unit leadership election, giving only a percentage. The entirely complacent unionist media is complicit in what amounts to a deception.

    • Fox Nation Promotes Absurd Conspiracy Theory That EPA “Foul[ed] Up” Animas River “On Purpose”

      On August 12, FoxNation.com republished portions of a post by The Gateway Pundit headlined, “Letter to Editor PREDICTED COLORADO EPA SPILL One Week Before Catastrophe So EPA Could Secure Control of Area.” Fox Nation highlighted the portion of the Gateway Pundit post in which author Jim Hoft wrote: “The letter detailed verbatim, how EPA officials would foul up the Animas River on purpose in order to secure superfund money. If the Gold King mine was declared a superfund site it would essentially kill future development for the mining industry in the area. The Obama EPA is vehemently opposed to mining and development.”

    • Investigative Journalist Slams The Big Media Tycoons’ Public Mind Control

      This has been obvious since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to manage the media came into operation. Most people feel that almost everything we see in the media is just “brainwashing”. A lot of blatant lies are splashing over the TV screen, especially on issues related to “health, food, war (“terrorism”), poverty and more”.

    • ‘Hitler was an Anglo-American stooge’: the tall tales in a Moscow bookshop

      Adolf Hitler was installed in power in Germany as part of an Anglo-American plot, the CIA is planning a full-scale land invasion of Russia from Ukrainian territory within the next five years, and the world has become so dominated by women that they have evolved to be capable of reproducing without the need for male sperm.

    • ABC’s Martha Raddatz Debunks Ben Carson’s Claim That Planned Parenthood Targets Black Communities For Abortion

      ABC’s Martha Raddatz debunked GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s claim that Planned Parenthood engages in racist population control by targeting black communities.

  • Censorship

    • Scott DeSmit: Willingly surrendering our freedom

      Put away the tinfoil hats.

      The government spies on us and we can do nothing about it.

      They know. Everything.

      This may be a revelation to most people because it was not reported by most major media outlets, but the government now has access to almost everything we do.

      They know what we ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      Going to a movie? They know which one and at what time.

      The government has photographs of almost every person in America and photographs of your children, too.

      Your cat? Yes, they have photographs of your pets.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Why Did the FBI Spy on James Baldwin?

      James Baldwin’s FBI file contains 1,884 pages of documents, collected from 1960 until the early 1970s. During that era of illegal surveillance of American writers, the FBI accumulated 276 pages on Richard Wright, 110 pages on Truman Capote, and just nine pages on Henry Miller. Baldwin’s file was closer in size to activists and radicals of the day — for example, it’s nearly half as thick as Malcolm X’s.

    • The FBI Agent Who Hunted N.W.A

      In the late ’80s, the bureau targeted the hip-hop group for their incendiary anthem ‘Fuck tha Police,’ and transformed the rappers into First Amendment crusaders.

    • [Old] Texas Bill to take on NDAA Indefinite Detention Passes House Committee, 4-2

      A Texas bill that would make indefinite detention, as purportedly authorized by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a criminal act – passed through a state House committee last week.

    • [Old] Anonymous Launches #Gitmo2Chicago to Shut Down NDAA Style Secret Detention Center By Chicago Police

      Various activist groups and concerned citizens are coming together to oppose the Chicago Police’s secret torture detention center also known as Homan Square.

    • Bush torture comments worry human rights groups over possible resurgence

      Activists lament political culture ‘where tolerating torture is the norm’ and fear potential of Republican successor to Barack Obama overturning his torture ban

    • Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush leaves door open for use of torture by government

      The former Florida governor on Thursday said that in general, he believes torture is inappropriate, and that he was glad his brother, former President George W Bush, largely ended the CIA’s use of the techniques before he left office. The CIA used water boarding, slapping, nudity, sleep deprivation, humiliation and other methods to coerce Al-Qaeda detainees, methods the military would be prohibited from using on prisoners of war. “I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement,” Bush told an audience of Iowa Republicans, when asked whether he would keep in place or repeal President Barack Obama’s executive order banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA.

    • CIA Mistakenly Releases Apology Letter It Wrote to Senate For Illegally Spying On It

      The documents of the US government that were expected to remain out of reach in the coming years have been got hold of by Jason Leopold of FOIA staffers. The CIA would have definitely thought that one of the documents would remain its little secret for the coming years.

    • Where psychologists went wrong

      Too late for Omar Khadr and thousands of other political prisoners tortured at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other CIA “black hole” sites where some APA psychologists may still be “interrogating” with CIA psychologists and psychiatrists.

    • Righting Governance Gone Rogue in the American Psychological Association: The Torture Scandal

      By a nearly unanimous vote and standing ovation, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Council of Representatives voted August 7th, 2015, at their annual convention to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations and torture, including non-coercive interrogations now conducted by the Obama administration. The resolution states “psychologists shall not conduct, supervise or be in the presence of, or otherwise assist any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities.” The resolution places the APA on the side of international law by “barring psychologists from working at Guantánamo, CIA black sites, and other settings deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions or the U.N. Convention Against Torture, unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights.”1

    • Psychologists contrite on ‘torture’ collusion

      Aside from the personal vindication, Reisner said, the resolution would help repair the APA’s badly damaged image.

      “The public is legitimately wary of the American Psychological Association as the representative of professional psychology,” he said. “And if it is the representative of professional psychology, the public will be wary of professional psychology.”

    • Pre-crime: DHS admits that it puts people on the no-fly list based on “predictive assessment”

      A DoJ filing in an ACLU lawsuit in Oregon admits that you can be put on a no-fly list based on “predictive assessments about potential threats,” as opposed to threatening or dangerous things you’ve actually said or done.

      It’s the first case in which a court is being asked to “review the basis for the government’s predictive model for blacklisting people who have never even been charged, let alone convicted, of a violent crime.”

      The Obama administration is trying to prevent further disclosures about the program’s basis for denying Americans the right to travel based on secret evidence and an opaque process. FBI counter-terrorism assistant director Michael Steinbach defended the no-fly list’s dependence on security through obscurity: “If the Government were required to provide full notice of its reasons for placing an individual on the No Fly List and to turn over all evidence (both incriminating and exculpatory) supporting the No Fly determination, the No Fly redress process would place highly sensitive national security information directly in the hands of terrorist organizations and other adversaries.”

    • New York Times uses rape allegations to promote a wider war in the Middle East

      The New York Times led its Friday edition with a lengthy front-page article headlined “Enslaving Young Girls, the Islamic State Builds a Vast System of Rape.” The article, spread out over more than two pages, provides a lurid account of women and girls belonging to the Yazidi religious minority being systematically captured and sold as sex slaves by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters.

      The author, Rukmini Callimachi, cites various US academics and think tanks to argue that ISIS has devised a religious justification for rape and “developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery.” The prominence of the article, its sensationalist tone and presentation, and its timing—appearing in the midst of a US escalation of its military interventions and proxy wars in Iraq and Syria—make clear that the publication of the piece is calculated to inflame public opinion and build support for a wider war.

    • Kayla Mueller, American hostage, was raped repeatedly by ISIS leader, U.S. says

      American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly forced to have sex with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group, U.S. intelligence officials told her family in June.

    • America’s despicable, hypocritical persecution of Chelsea Manning

      Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army private who was imprisoned for giving thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was recently threatened with torture for supposedly violating the conditions of her detention.

    • Benghazi Case Focuses Attention on US Interrogation Strategy

      The case, still in its early stages, is focusing attention on an interrogation strategy that the Obama administration has used in just a few recent terrorism investigations and prosecutions. Abu Khattala’s lawyers already have signaled a challenge to the process, setting the stage for a rare court clash over a tactic that has riled civil liberties groups but is seen by the government as a vital and appropriate tool in prosecuting suspected terrorists captured overseas.

    • Decriminalising human suffering

      Rachel Moran is a victim of the sex slave industry, who went on to become a co-founder of the Space International Anti-Sex Trade Group. She made the following comments in her tweet about the 11th Aug 2015 decision by the AI:

      “Amnesty’s decision is ‘breathtakingly disgraceful’. When I first heard this proposal, I got very emotional, I have been through a lot and I am not a woman who usually gets emotional. But this is an insult, from the most publicly recognised human rights body in the world, who is saying everything that happened to me was completely normal, above board and ought to be legal.”

      Hundreds of anti-sex slave organisations around the globe have condemned this move by the Amnesty International UK.

    • Russian Muslims Face Challenges of Demography and Migration

      …Russian Muslims have constantly been at the centre of public attention and the mass media.

    • Torture, show trials common in neocolonial Libya

      A video released last week showing the beating and torture of Saadi Gadhafi is not an anomaly in contemporary Libya where the Pentagon and NATO waged a war of regime change in 2011.

    • The myth of presidential wisdom in foreign affairs

      President George W. Bush stupidly invaded Iraq to the benefit of our arch-enemy Iran and to avenge his family embarrassment at the hands of a gloating Saddam Hussein. He continued fighting a post-9/11 purposeless war in Afghanistan hoping to summon a democracy into being from an antedeluvian political culture.

    • Judith Miller and those Weapons of Mass Destruction

      Her critics said she was grandstanding, playing the journalism martyr to recapture the luster lost during her reporting of the Iraqi war. But she retorted she was standing on journalistic principles, that her sources at first refused to waive a confidentiality agreement, forcing her to go to jail, then relented, allowing her to go free and testify.

    • US government investigated journalists 14 times during 2014

      A Justice Department report says the US government questioned, arrested or subpoenaed journalists 14 times during 2014, including the high-profile subpoena issued to New York Times reporter James Risen.

      Former US attorney general Eric Holder said in February 2014 that the department would release information on how law enforcement officials use its tool to investigate the news media.

      The four-page annual report released on Friday includes 14 incidents, including the subpoena issued to Risen, who refused to divulge his CIA source for a chapter of his book about the Iran nuclear program. The informant, Jeffrey Sterling, was convicted on nine counts in January.

    • California legislators to eye police push for use of drones

      California law enforcement agencies are looking to fly drones as an affordable and efficient way to monitor crime scenes, pursue suspects and search for lost hikers.

    • Yemen In Meltdown: Domestic And Regional Competitions And Destruction Of Nationhood – Analysis

      The national ideal in North Yemen got corroded through the 1980s because of two main reasons. First, there was the natural attrition pertaining to the first generation of leaders and the accompanying reluctance of younger educated Yemenis to return to their country to replace them. The American authority on Yemen, Asher Orkaby, has noted that in 2014 at least 30,000 educated Yemenis were working abroad. This was mainly due to the second contributory factor: the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, first, from 1978 over North Yemen, and then from 1990 over united Yemen, after a short military campaign in which the communist forces were defeated.

    • Florida inmate serving life sentence killed in cell

      A Florida prison inmate serving a life sentence for his role in a 2011 Jacksonville murder was killed in his cell.

      The Florida Department of Corrections said 35-year-old Craig Eugene Roback died on Thursday after an altercation with his cellmate at the Columbia County Correctional Institution.

    • Emigration and war: Capitalist media suppress the obvious

      The reports about tens of thousands of desperate refugees scrambling out of the Middle East and North Africa, trying to reach some place in Europe, are excruciatingly painful. The number who have drowned along the way or died of thirst or hunger is unknown. Others survive these perilous journeys on overloaded boats only to be captured and either interned or turned back at the borders. Photographs show them to be thin, often to the point of emaciation, with few possessions other than the threadbare clothes on their backs.

      Most migrants are men searching for work. But there are women, too, and even children and infants. For every person whose story may be told, thousands remain unrecognized and anonymous. They are only statistics in one of the world’s most perilous mass migrations.

    • 2016 Candidates Must Talk Extrajudicial Drone Strikes

      As President Obama looks to legacy building during his remaining time in office, he’s leaving behind a troubling institution for the next commander in chief to inherit: A program permitting the extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens abroad. Though President Bush and his administration were responsible for establishing these practices, the Obama White House has, in some respects, expanded some of them. As the 2016 election season heats up, it is worth looking at where the possible presidents-to-be stand on the issue.

      Despite the fact that targeted killings, whether by unmanned aerial drone or cruise missile, are not a new element of the U.S. military, a new, concerning threshold was crossed in 2011. In an unprecedented move, President Obama authorized a lethal drone strike which successfully targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born citizen. It is unclear if Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen also killed in the strike, was meant to be hit as well. However, the decision to target Anwar al-Awlaki for death has drawn heat from human rights critics, as has the death of his U.S.-born, 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, with good reason.

    • Letter from America: Our Messy, messy world!

      Religious extremism is on the rise all over the globe. And it is as much an Islamic problem, as it is a Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh problem. Not a single religious tradition is impervious from its deadly embrace.

      All these religious extremist groups are abusing their religion to create a world of fitnah and fasad. I have chosen these two Arabic words because of the loaded meanings that each carry. The first word in Arabic means trials/tribulations/persecutions/misguidance and the second word: anarchy/confusion/corruption/mischief.

    • Amazon: Devastating expose accuses internet retailer of oppressive and callous attitude to staff

      Working four days in a row without sleep; a woman with breast cancer being put on “performance-improvement plans” together with another who had just had a stillborn child; staff routinely bursting into tears; continual monitoring; workers encouraged to turn on each other to keep their jobs.

      Life at Amazon sounds bleak, according to a devastating, 5,900-word expose by The New York Times.

      The global internet retailer founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, which paid just £11.9m in tax in Britain last year despite UK sales of £5.3bn, has previously been accused of treating warehouse staff in the UK “like cattle” as they are driven to work harder.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 16/8/2015: 18th Birthday for GNOME, Android M Name

Posted in News Roundup at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Using open-source to turn tech challenges into solutions

    IBM has joined forces with the open-source movement to turn many of these challenges into solutions. “We have got to be a key part of what’s happening in open source.”

    With Linux, Thomas said, “It was about, how can we build a core technology and knowledge around Linux but then use that to help our clients solve problems. We think we’re at a similar juncture, but now on the data side.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • LinkedIn Makes Hadoop Tools Available as Open Source Project

      This week, LinkedIn announced that it is turning Gradle into an open source project. Alex Bain, senior software engineer for LinkedIn, says that LinkedIn has a vested interest in making Gradle, a plug-in to Hadoop, a bigger part of a rapidly growing Hadoop ecosystem. For example, as the Apache Spark in-memory computing project continues to evolve, Bain says that LinkedIn would like to see open source contributions that extended the reach of Gradle to both Hadoop and Spark.

    • How the cloud will devour open source

      Yes, we have Red Hat. But that’s all we have. Investor (and former open source executive) Peter Levine insists that “we will never have another Red Hat,” and he’s right. But this may be because the Amazons of the world are increasingly eating the Red Hats of the world — one SaaS business at a time.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE Announcement

      The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE. This is the third release of the stable/10 branch, which improves on the stability of FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE and introduces some new features.


  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • CNS 2015 Day 2 and 3
    • 7 things every new programmer should know

      As a developer, chances are you’ll spend a good deal of time working with a fancy IDE or code editor. However, also knowing how to get things done at the command line could occasionally make your life easier.

      “Sometimes you find yourself on a machine where stuff has to be done right now and tools are very limited,” one 20-year veteran programmer, who wished to remain anonymous, told me. “Know the shell like you know how to breath. Tools like find, comm, diff, vi/vim, sed, awk. How to write little scripts right on the command line to find the file that needs to change right f’ing now because production is broken and Joe who fat fingered a URL in said unknown file is on vacation in Fiji.”

      Bull, who started using Microsoft tools, then slowly moved to Linux, agreed, saying, “I would have learned the ins and outs of the command line and all of the useful utilities that are available on a *nix system. I can actually recall code that I wrote years ago, and probably spent days or weeks working on, that probably could have been done better in a grep + awk one-liner.”


  • Former SAP exec pleads guilty to bribery charge

    A former SAP executive has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Panamanian officials in an effort to secure government contracts for the software vendor.

    Vicente Eduardo Garcia was SAP’s vice president of global and strategic accounts for Latin America from February 2008 until April 2014, when he was fired. With the plea, he admitted to participating in a scheme to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign officials to obtain business.

    Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16 before Senior District Court Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California.

  • For Pilots, Birds Are A Greater Threat Than Drones

    There has been a fair amount of hand-wringing over the growing number of drones in the skies—and indeed, pilots have reported a sharp rise in plane-drone encounters this year.

    But of the 650 plane-drone encounters reported to the FAA in 2015, none led to a collision. Birds, on the other hand, have been and continue to be a pilot’s worst nightmare. A Vocativ analysis shows that thousands of birds collide with airplanes every year.

  • Billionaire Wants Drone Racing To Be The Next NASCAR

    The owner of an NFL football team is throwing his support—as well as his money—behind a new sport: Drone racing.

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • River in Colorado reopens as toxic plume reaches Lake Powell

      Water officials, however, said the plume that includes lead, arsenic and other heavy metals now presents little danger to users beyond Lake Powell – such as the city of Las Vegas – because the contaminants will further settle out and be diluted in the reservoir along the Utah-Arizona border.

  • Security

    • Friday’s security advisories
    • Research Paper: Securing Linux Containers
    • Kaspersky Antivirus accused of creating fake malware for over 10 years

      It basically worked like this: Kaspersky would inject dangerous-looking code into common pieces of software. It would then anonymously submit the files to malware aggregators such as Google-owned VirusTotal. When competitors added the malware to their detection engines, they’d mistakenly flag the original files because of the similar code.

    • Investigating the Computer Security Practices and Needs of Journalists

      Though journalists are often cited as potential users of computer security technologies, their practices and mental models have not been deeply studied by the academic computer security community. Such an understanding, however, is critical to developing technical solutions that can address the real needs of journalists and integrate into their existing practices. We seek to provide that insight in this paper, by investigating the general and computer security practices of 15 journalists in the U.S. and France via in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Among our findings is evidence that existing security tools fail not only due to usability issues but when they actively interfere with other aspects of the journalistic process; that communication methods are typically driven by sources rather than journalists; and that journalists’ organizations play an important role in influencing journalists’ behaviors. Based on these and other findings, we make recommendations to the computer security community for improvements to existing tools and future lines of research.

    • Ten scary hacks I saw at Black Hat and DEF CON

      The highlight of this year’s Black Hat conference was a remote hack of the Jeep Cherokee and other Fiat Chrysler vehicles, demonstrated by security researches Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek.

      The attack was the culmination of a year of painstaking work that involved reverse-engineering car firmware and communications protocols. It eventually allowed the two researchers to hack into the car infotainment systems over mobile data connections and take over brake, steering and other critical systems. The research forced Chrysler to recall 1.4 million automobiles so they could be patched and prompted a car cybersafety legislative proposal from the U.S. Congress.

    • How to hack a Corvette with a text message

      Researchers have demonstrated how a simple text message can be used to control a vehicle.

    • Facebook issues Internet Defense Prize for vulnerability discovery tool

      Facebook has awarded $100,000 to a pair of Ph.D students for their work in the security of C++ programs which resulted in the detection and patching of zero-day vulnerabilities.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US Fighter Jet Crashes During Training Session in Germany

      According to a police spokesman in Upper Franconia, the American pilot managed to eject from the plane and landed with a parachute. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

    • Former CIA Officer:Cuba Could Play Bridge-Builder to Restore US-Russia Ties

      Former CIA officer and SFRC senior investigator John Kiriacou claims that badly strained US relations with Russia could unexpectedly benefit from revived American diplomatic ties with Cuba.

    • Tyler S. Drumheller, 63, CIA officer who disputed cause for Iraq war

      Tyler S. Drumheller, a high-level CIA officer who publicly battled agency leaders over one of the most outlandish claims in the US case for war with Iraq, died Aug. 2 at a hospital in Fairfax County, Va. He was 63.

    • Tyler Drumheller, Ex-C.I.A. Official Who Disputed Bush, Dies at 63

      Tyler S. Drumheller, a former senior American intelligence official who publicly asserted that President George W. Bush’s administration had knowingly hyped fabricated evidence of Iraq’s arsenal of biological weapons to justify the 2003 invasion, died on Aug. 2 in Falls Church, Va. He was 63.

    • Remembering Tyler Drumheller

      Tyler Drumheller was a 26-year veteran of the CIA and he exposed the faulty intelligence that was used to make the case for the Iraq War. He claimed he told his superiors at the CIA that the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction wasn’t true, that it came from a source who was not credible. Tyler Drumheller died on August 2. He was 63.

    • Panetta disputes Bush’s take on Islamic State, backs Clinton

      Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has disputed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s charge that Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama are largely responsible for the rise of the group Islamic State, even as he expressed concern that the administration needs “a larger strategy on how to deal with the Middle East.”

    • Ex-CIA official arrested at airport with loaded gun
    • Meet ‘Moderates’ U.S. is Supporting in Syria: They’re al-Qaeda

      Increasing evidence is coming in that the groups the U.S. is trying to install into power in Syria are actually contending groups of Sunni Islamic jihadists who seem to agree on only one thing: they want to replace the secular government of the Shiite Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Russia and by Shiite Iran. They want to replace it with a Sunni Islamic government. Some of these groups have perpetrated terrorist attacks (some including beheadings) against Americans, and one such group is even al-Qaeda, the Sunni Islamic organization that, of course, perpetrated the 9/11, 2001, attacks and others.

    • Private Intelligence Contractors as Public Relations Arm of Military Industrial Complex

      Evidence shows that “full spectrum dominance” [i] is the goal. Full spectrum dominance, as described by a U.S Department of Defense (DoD) news article, “means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.”

    • US warship pullout from Persian Gulf ‘goodwill gesture’ to Iran: Former CIA contractor

      A former CIA contractor says US President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw the USS Theodore Roosevelt from the Persian Gulf shows a goodwill gesture towards Iran in the wake of the nuclear agreement.

    • Agreement with Iran is step in the right direction

      It started when the U.S. CIA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953, and installed a brutal dictator (the Shah) in his place.

    • Petition condemning Sen. Schumer for Iran stance tops 160,000 signatures

      The petition is from Credo Action, which bills itself as a “social change organization that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits,” and has a goal of 200,000 signatures. However, its not exactly clear what will happen if the petition reaches that goal.

      “There’s no excuse for any Democrat to oppose the deal – least of all Senator Schumer, who is in line to take over leadership of the Senate Democrats once Senator Harry Reid retires,” the petition says.

    • Manuel Contreras, Chilean spy chief, dies at 86

      According to a CIA report released in 2000, by April 1975 it had become clear that “Contreras was the principal obstacle to a reasonable human rights policy within the Junta.” Nevertheless, weeks later, “elements within the CIA recommended establishing a paid relationship with Contreras to obtain intelligence based on his unique position and access to Pinochet.” The suggestion was overruled, the report said, but “given miscommunications in the timing of this exchange, a one-time payment was given to Contreras.”

    • Crimes Of US-Backed Dictatorship Era Still Being Prosecuted In Chile

      Two recent developments in Chile have reignited the struggle for memory against Augusto Pinochet’s lasting culture of oblivion. On Aug. 7, Chileans on both sides of the political spectrum either lamented or celebrated the death of Manuel Contreras, former head of Pinochet’s National Intelligence Services (DINA).

      Contreras’ death ignited a fresh surge of rage and indignation, as the families of the over 3,000 disappeared still face an uphill struggle against the state and the military to uncover details regarding the murder and disappearance of their relatives.

    • Ex-Pinochet general opts for suicide over 20 years in jail

      A retired Chilean general committed suicide yesterday, choosing to end his life rather than begin a 20-year prison sentence for the 1995 killing of a former secret agent who spied on Augusto Pinochet’s regime.

      Hernán Ramírez Rurange, 76, shot himself in the head and died at a military hospital, police announced. He was one of 14 former Chilean and Uruguayan Army officers who lost an appeal on Tuesday against their convictions for the 1995 kidnapping and killing of Eugenio Berrios, whom they wanted to silence before he exposed the crimes of the Pinochet regime. The case is just one of several high-profile ones dating back to dictatorship that has come to trial recently in Chile.

    • Chile: Manuel Contreras, Head of Pinochet-era Secret Police, Dead at 86

      On September 11, 1973, the democratically-elected leftist Salvador Allende was faced with a violent coup staged by the Chilean Armed Forces, led by Augusto Pinochet (who would then rule until 1990).
      Less than three weeks prior to the overthrow, Allende appointed the lifelong military man Pinochet to the top position in the armed forces and the Commander-in-Chief of the Army repaid him by ousting him from power.

      On the day of the coup, Pinochet ordered the attack on Allende who remained inside La Moneda, the national palace, in central Santiago. Rather than surrendering or being killed by military forces, Allende committed suicide by shooting himself just minutes before the Chilean Air Force bombed the complex.

      From that day on, Pinochet led Chile with an iron fist for the duration of the dictatorship in 1990 and was facing over three hundred different possible charges of crimes against humanity when he passed away in 2006.

    • Korea plays cat-and-mouse with nukes

      It was the United States that broke our will when we tried to develop nuclear weapons. They thought we would use the weapons to invade North Korea.

    • Yemeni women stage rare protest in rebel-held capital
    • The struggle for power in Yemen continues, and Qatar is playing a key role

      But he blames the Yemen conflict on the Shia. “There’s a majority of Shia in Yemen,” he said. “That’s why they’re torturing Sunni people. They think the Islam they are following is better than the Islam we are following.”

    • Spy Sats and Subs: The U.S. Military’s Secret Deep-Sea Operations

      During and after the 1963 USS Thresher disaster, the Navy developed powerful deep-ocean search and recovery techniques. The sea service used these techniques effectively in the search for lost H-bombs in 1966 and the USS Scorpion in 1968. It also had the only subs in the world capable of diving deep enough to reach the bucket. They were pretty weird subs.

    • Mideast Glimmers of Hope

      Despite Israel’s reliance on a dominated U.S. Congress as a last line of defense for its bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran strategy, other regional and global forces are moving quickly to reshape the Middle East’s geopolitical reality in a more positive way, as ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller discerns.

    • How To Understand Those 60 Trainees In Syria – OpEd

      So said American Defense Secretary Ash Carter in testimony before an incredulous Senate Armed Services Committee on July 7, explaining that the $500 million American project, announced over a year ago, to train and arm a new Syrian rebel army to bring the Islamic State to its knees and force a political settlement on the Syrian regime simultaneously has, to date, trained just 60 fighters.

    • Pentagon’s Law of War Manual Justifies War Crimes and Press Censorship

      The major US newspapers and television networks, which have full-time Pentagon correspondents and regularly review Pentagon press releases, chose to say nothing about the Law of War Manual, for reasons that become obvious when the content of the document is explored. Nor did they comment initially on the manual’s provisions for journalists until the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement July 31 under the headline, “In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies.”

    • Feds Must Tell More About CIA’s Role in Drone Strike

      Nearly four years after the controversial drone strike, the U.S. government must release more information about the legal rationale for killing New Mexico-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

    • “It’s not risk-free war, it’s displaced war”

      For more than a decade now, the US has been using drones in warfare. During this time, thousands of people, especially civilians, have been killed by the unmanned machines. In this interview, Chris Woods, one of the leading investigative journalists on drone warfare, explains to Emran Feroz why use of drones is on the rise and what the consequences are

    • Stop Whining and Get Cracking

      How many Americans could identify the National Endowment for Democracy? It was set up in the early 1980s under President Ronald Reagan in the wake of all the negative revelations about the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing the CIA had been mixed up in for years.

      The agency was getting an exceedingly bad name. Something had to be done. What was done was not to stop doing these awful things. Instead, they were shifted to a new organization with a nice-sounding name – The National Endowment for Democracy.

      The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades – and thus eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities. This is why in 1983, the NED was set up to “support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, non-governmental efforts.”

    • Ukraine’s Cold War Gets Hot as Combat Explodes in the Last 24 Hours

      According to Ukrainian reports, hundreds of Russian-backed fighters took part in an assault, supported by tanks and artillery fire, on positions near the village of Starognatovka, in the south of the Donetsk region. The attack was repelled and Ukrainian forces made their first territorial gains since February 10. Since then, heavy artillery and Grad rockets have rained down across this section of the front line.

    • Post WW2 World Order: US Planned to Wipe USSR Out by Massive Nuclear Strike

      Was the US deterrence military doctrine aimed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War era really “defensive” and who actually started the nuclear arms race paranoia?

    • Pakistan’s answer to ‘The Onion’ tackles tough topics with satire

      From a mullah who wants a military operation against women wearing jeans to “uncircumcised” Islamic State fighters, a satirical Pakistani website is using humour to shine a light on current affairs in the turbulent nation.

    • First Anniversary of the Borderfree Community Center

      Each year, when we celebrate the anniversaries of the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre, I hope we can celebrate such love, because, love heals, love is courage and love is action that will outlast all of us.

    • Numerous US-Trained Syrian Rebels Now Unaccounted For

      The recent capture of a handful of U.S.-trained Syrian fighters shortly after entering Syria may make it even harder to recruit reluctant volunteers for a new ground force to combat the Islamic State.

      And the Syrian Kurds in the northeast portion of the country have performed exceptionally well, according to Ryder. The Christians of Sadad have already started to flee to Damascus and other safe havens in Syria.

      India can play a lead role in mobilising APIC countries for regional cooperation on this specific issue and deny Islamic State in establishing their operational base or else it will be like repeating the same mistake that world superpowers initially committed in allowing Islamic State in consolidating their present day caliphate in Iraq-Turkey-Syria border. After a year in which signs of progress have been unreliable, they’re reluctant to sound too optimistic in public. “But they pay the jizya [a tax levied on non-Muslims] in exchange for permission to stay”, he said. After months of persuasion, Turkey finally joined the coalition of forces on their fight against Islamic State. They believed that eventually the allies would train and equip about 5,000 fighters.

      Davis also said that the military was anticipating attacks on Syrian forces before it put them into battle.

    • Submission of the ABC to Intelligence and Security Review

      The ABC wishes to express its very great disappointment with this review. We are very aware that the Review will not truly reflect opinion in this country because a great number of people who oppose the activities of both the Government Communications Security Bureau and the Security Intelligence Service have refused to take part in a process which they see as a managed charade and an attempt to legitimise the operations and existence of the two spy agencies.


      2. Oversight

      2.1. Five Eyes. Throughout the Five Eyes collaboration there is a consistent pattern of systemic oversight failure. The CIA actually spied on the Senate Committee responsible for its oversight. In the UK, the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) itself, responsible for oversight, has recently reported that legislation is “unnecessarily complicated” and the regime “lacks transparency”. In spite of the oversight in Britain the GCHQ was illegally spying on Amnesty International and others. The documented part MI6 played in the rendition and torture of alleged terrorists was never subject to proper Parliamentary control.

      Even the UK former Home Office Minister David Davis, who played a large part in promoting the Bill that set up the British ISC, recently asserted that the ISC had been “captured by the agencies they are supposed to be overseeing” and that Malcolm Rifkind (until recently Chairperson of the ISC) acted as “spokesperson” for the spy agencies rather than a watchdog. To quote two members of the British House of Lords: “Recent events have shown that the Intelligence and Security Committee, as currently constituted, is not really effective” (Foulkes). The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which gives legislative justification for GCHQ surveillance, “… is plainly inadequate to deal with the situation caused by the advances in interception technology” (Sharkey).

    • Lightning Strikes 44 US Army Personnel During Training

      The Army Rangers were immediately taken to hospital, but 31 of the students have already begun training again.

      Forty Army Ranger students and four instructors were struck by lightning as they were undergoing a training exercise about how to protect themselves from lightning bolts during thunderstorms, said U.S. army officials Thursday.

    • White officer ends testimony in black man’s shooting death

      As prosecutors attempted to discredit him, a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer completed nearly six hours of testimony Friday, recounting the events of the night he shot and killed an unarmed black man nearly two years ago.

      Prosecutor Teresa Postell asked why Kerrick turned off his dashcam before reaching the home where there had been a breaking and entering call and challenged entries on his police academy application regarding whether he drank alcohol to the point that he risked being arrested if he attempted to drive a car.

    • Police murder and class rule in America

      The reign of police violence in the US claimed 16 more victims over the past week.

    • SEE IT: St. Louis teen guards police during protests

      An image of a St. Louis teen whose cop cousin died in the 9/11 terror attacks has become a pro-police symbol after she put herself in front of a row of riot gear-clad Missouri officers to protect them.

      Lexi Kozhevsky, a 19-year-old St. Louis University nursing student, was photographed joining cops Monday night in Ferguson as they stood guard during protests over Michael Brown’s death.

    • How St. Louis police added Twitter to its arsenal
    • Hundreds Gather in Ferguson to Honor Michael Brown Killed by Police
    • Protests return to Ferguson streets, state of emergency declared

      Police in riot gear contained roughly 200 protesters who had gathered in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri on Monday to mark the anniversary of the police shooting of an unarmed black teen whose death ignited a national firestorm on race relations.

    • Ferguson: State of emergency declared as black man shot

      The demonstrators, some waving flags, beating drums, and shouting anti-police slogans, marched along a street that was a flashpoint of last year’s riots which erupted after white police officer Darren Wilson shot dead the 18-year-old unarmed black teen whose death ignited a national firestorm on race relations.

    • Los Angeles Unified School District Debates Whether to Shoot Its Own Students–With Department of Defense Weapons

      On Thursday, July 30, 50 Black and Latino students wearing mock bullet proof vests with stickers that stated #StudentsAintBulletProof #End1033, from the Strategy Center’s Fight for the Soul of the Cities, once again asked the Los Angeles Unified School District to give us a list of the weapons they received from the Department of Defense 1033 Program, to return 61 M 16 assault rifles we believe are still in their possession, and to apologize for being in the program in the first place. Students said, after 3 public comment testimonies, four long letters (September 2014, November 2014, May 2015, July 2015), over 3,500 petitions, appeals, and every other method of persuasion “Why is the LAUSD trying to kill us?” This campaign is part of the Strategy Center’s No Cars in LA and the U.S., No Tanks in LA and the U.S.

    • Ukraine: In the Midst of War, Debate Swirls Around Soviet-Era Famine

      Even as the conflict with Russian-backed separatists smolders, Kiev has ratcheted up a no less ferocious public relations war. Hoping to bolster its case against Moscow, Ukraine as well as the country’s foreign Diaspora have zeroed in on the so-called Holodomor or Stalinist-induced famine of 1932-33. In an effort to force Ukrainian peasants to join collective farms, Stalin commandeered their grain and other foodstuffs. The result was disastrous as millions of Ukrainians starved and perished. In some regions, the death rate reached one-third of the population with entire villages laid waste.

    • Scorecard on U.S. Interventionism

      Completely overreacting to 9/11–doing exactly what Osama bin Laden and terrorists historically have wanted–George W. Bush, employing the classic Washington trick of taking advantage of a crisis to promote an unrelated policy agenda, needlessly invaded yet another Muslim country.

    • Russian forces kill 4 militants, including rebel chief

      The Anti-Terrorist Committee said the suspects were killed in a raid in the province of Dagestan. It identified one of them as Magomed Suleimanov, the leader of the Caucasus Emirate, a loose group embracing Islamic militants in the Caucasus. Suleimanov’s deputy was also among those killed.

    • How to Confront ISIS

      The reactions to these policies have been compounded further by the bombs and drones used to kill “terrorists” along with significant number of civilians. In January, the U.S. used a “signature strike” — a drone strike based on a pattern of movement and intelligence — against an al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan. The strike killed two Western hostages. In Yemen, another drone strike killed a dozen civilians in a wedding party in 2013. One can only imagine how many civilians have been killed in recent years — the most conservative estimates range from a few hundred to over a thousand — and how much anti-U.S. rhetoric has resulted.

    • Anti-drone protesters on criminal damage charges

      ANTI-DRONE protesters have appeared before magistrates to deny causing criminal damage at Llanbedr Airfield.

      Sian ap Gwynfor, 59, of Yr Hafod, Llandysul, and Anna Jane Evans, 52, of Cae Corn Hir, Caernarfon, both pleaded not guilty to causing crimi-nal damage by painting slogans on Llanbedr airfield earlier this year.

      Awel Irene, 61, of Garreg Frech, Llanfrothen, Penrhyndeudraeth, did not indicate a plea and Angharad Wyn Tomos, 56, of Betws, Ffordd Haearn Bach, Penygroes, Caernarfon, ref used to plead.

      Because of the pleas, court clerk Ffion Medi told the four defendants that the case had to be adjourned for a trial date to be fixed.

      Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, said that slogans such as “death drones” were painted on the airfield land and that the criminal damage was estimated at £1,750, which the company that runs the airfield was claiming in compensation.

    • Indian troops kill another woman

      India opened fire Friday at about 8am without any provocation, targeting the civilian population. The Indian firing was in progress until last reports. The people of the firing-hit villages close to this side of the LoC in Haveli were confined to their houses the whole day due to the Indian firing. However, the morale of the local population was high and there was no report of shifting of the people to some safer place.

    • Authorities investigate after hotel attack in central Mali

      Authorities launched investigations at the hotel that was attacked in central Mali, a United Nations official said Monday.

    • Private airspace rights still evolving in age of drones

      Now, those almost seem like the good ol’ days. Not only do we have to worry about out-of-control vehicles, but we also have to watch the skies so we don’t find ourselves on the latest viral YouTube video taken by one of the rapidly growing number of drones. But are they trespassing in your airspace? Depending on their altitude, maybe — and maybe not. Currently, this seems to be a legal question that rivals “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin” when it comes to agreeing on a consistent standard. So fasten your seat belt and get ready for a long and somewhat bumpy flight as I take you on a brief evolution of the law.

    • French seaside town brings in drone to tackle ‘carnivorous’ seagull invasion
    • Summer’s seagull scourge could be ended by DRONES that shoot eggs with steriliser
    • UK councillor wants armed drones to kill seagulls
    • Fed-up council considers drone strikes against ice-cream snatching sea gulls
    • Anti-seagull drones could be taking to the skies of Cumbria
    • Call for drones to tackle seagulls
    • Drone vs seagull! ‘Egg oiling’ UAV to target aggressive birds
    • California legislators to eye police push for use of drones
    • Legislature eyes police use of drones
    • California Legislature Considers Allowing Police To Use Drones Amid Privacy Concerns
    • A Theory of the Drone

      The doctrine being developed to legally justify targeted killing is contingent on vague and dubious presumptions about who is an enemy qualified to be killed, and the kind of threats he or they purportedly pose. Decisions about who and when to kill involve two intersecting registers: surveillance and threat assessment. Technologically, drones can function as “unblinking eyes” capable of “total surveillance” because they are equipped with dozens of high-resolution cameras aimed in all directions, and software that sends a constant stream of footage to remote centers and aggregates it into a single view. Even though human operators blink, the footage doesn’t; it is archived and can be viewed by multiple people. Threat assessment, in contrast, is (to date) entirely human and involves interpreting and acting on surveillance data. Sometimes targets are specifically identified individuals; bombing them is termed “personality strikes.” But because the model of security is predictive, more often assessment of who and where to bomb derives from observed behavior—specifically, “patterns of life” and those behaviors that are interpreted to be anomalous and thus deemed actually or potentially threatening. The bombings of people whose individual identities are not known to the killers but who are deemed kill-able because of their behavior are termed “signature strikes.”

    • Why are humans so determined to create armed artificial intelligence?

      The iconic scene at the start of Terminator 2 documents that humanity created an artificial intelligence computer network called Skynet as part of an American defence plan. But after turning it on, the software becomes self-aware, decides humanity is the big threat, hijacks the nukes and wipes most of humanity out. In the future, those still alive have to face Skynet’s autonomous robotic killing machines, in the form of the Terminators. This includes the iconic image of a dusty skull being crushed by a grinning laser-toting Terminator as it begins to kill the human resistance.


      The risk of such contraptions thinking for themselves and duly killing with no recourse or human way to stop them is a troubling one, and is also a concept that has massive moral and ethical dilemmas. Yet the momentum is seemingly in favour of its arrival, and its an uncomfortable thought that somewhere, scientists are spending their time creating something with extinction level possibilities for no discernible reason.

    • Humans, Not Robots, Are the Real Reason Artificial Intelligence Is Scary

      This is the immediate danger with AI weapons: They are easily converted into indiscriminate death machines, far more dangerous than the same weapons with a human at the helm.

    • As Carter fights cancer, his post-White House years may set his legacy

      So Carter has had a bit of a tabula rasa to work with, which he has filled with annual home-building projects for Habitat for Humanity, monitoring elections around the world (he cut short a monitoring trip to Guyana in May, his 39th, because he wasn’t feeling well, though it’s unclear whether that ailment was tied to recent diagnosis), serving as a mediator or fact-finder in disputes around the world, publishing 27 books (he published two others before becoming president), as well as criticizing George W. Bush over his decision to invade Iraq, and Obama over human rights issues and the use of drones to kill civilians.

      All of which has earned him the support of a lot of political progressives, though it has done little to soften the views of Republicans who believe the Reagan presidency saved the nation.

    • Peace and the Ideology of Greed and Division

      We all want peace, don’t we? Peaceful relationships and communities; an absence of violence and conflict: a World at Peace. This is surely everyone’s heartfelt desire. Without peace nothing can be achieved, none of the subtler essential needs of our time, such as feeding everyone and providing good quality health care and education to all – let alone the urgent need to save our planet (S.O.P.), beautify the cities and develop sustainable alternative energy sources.

      Despite the fact that we all hanker after peace, there are currently around thirty armed conflicts taking place across the globe – wars in which many hundreds or many thousands of innocent people are being killed. They are not on the whole conflicts between one country and another, not directly anyway, although some may be. Ideology fuels much of the fighting, as well as popular armed resistance to corporate state power, state terrorism and repression. It’s worth saying at this point, that in addition to armed conflict the ‘war’ on independent ‘free’ thinking, true democracy and the freedom of the individual is a constant one. Brutal and unrelenting, it is fought by the ‘Masters of Mankind’ (Adam Smith’s famous term for the ruling elite) against the rest of us, the 99%.

    • No new WWII apology from Japanese leader Abe; China critical

      Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that Japan inflicted “immeasurable damage and suffering” on innocent people in World War II, but stopped short of offering his own apology, drawing criticism from China and South Korea.

      In a widely anticipated statement 70 years after his country’s surrender, he said Friday that Japan’s repeated past “heartfelt apologies” would remain unshakeable, but that future Japanese generations should not have to keep apologizing.

    • U.S. meddling forgotten

      I suggest Harari, and many others, read Daniel Yergin’s “The Prize,” in which you will find that U.S.-Iran history didn’t begin in 1979-80. Our government assisted in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government in the 1950s, and installed the Shah, who ruled brutally until overthrown through the Iranian revolution.

      I’m not sure anyone can know today if a deal with Iran, bringing them back into the world of nations, is better or worse than continued sanctions. However, the countries of the Middle East are rightfully angry with our never-ending meddling in their countries, including drone strikes in which we kill innocent civilians.

    • Negotiate, don’t bomb

      Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. Why did we fight these wars?

    • A Plea to Pope Francis: Name United States Foreign Policy Genocide

      Pope Francis’ recent comments regarding war, the environment and economic justice inspire our letter, which cites segments of his new encyclical, Laudato Si. “War always does grave harm to the environment and to the cultural riches of peoples,” Pope Francis writes, “risks which are magnified when one considers nuclear arms and biological weapons.” In the light of this reality, our letter suggests that Pope Francis avail himself of the challenging opportunity to acknowledge that the United States is “the most prolific polluter and, not coincidentally, the greatest war maker on the globe.”

    • America’s Transition to the “State Terrorist Model of Government”
    • George Kerevan: Build politics of peace, not weapons of nuclear war
    • Another Voice: Peaceful conflict resolution benefits everyone

      We don’t need more military spending – we need less. Our military aggression makes us a target.

    • Australian pilots begin missions over Syria, flying American Reaper drones

      RAAF pilots are poised to begin flying deadly American Reaper drones over Syria, taking for the first time Australia’s involvement in the fight against the so-called Islamic State from Iraq into the more complex neighbouring country.

    • Yemen: U.S. Drone Strike Kills 5 Men Suspected of Being Militants

      Meanwhile, in Yemen, officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike killed five men on Wednesday. The officials say the men were suspected of being militants with the group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    • Drone strike, operation kills 14 rebels in Afghanistan
    • US drone crashes in northeast Afghanistan

      A US drone has crashed in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, the NATO has announced without explaining the cause of the crash.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Democrats panic over Clinton email scandal: Hillary campaign issues 4,000-word explanation of why she’s innocent after it emerges her private server held secret CIA intelligence and satellite info

      At least two classified messages on Hillary Clinton’s home-brew email server contained top-secret intelligence including signal intercepts and information from keyhole satellite conducted by the CIA and the Pentagon’s satellite-spying National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

      U.S. Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough reported to Congress on Wednesday that the sensitive information dated from 2006 and 2008, and was ‘classified up to “TO.PSECRET//SI/TK//NOFORN”.’

    • Top secret Clinton emails came from CIA

      A pair of classified emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server that should have been marked “top secret” originated in the Central Intelligence Agency, raising questions as to why they had been stripped of their classification markings by the time they reached the secretary of state.

    • Report: ‘Top Secret’ Hillary Email Discussed CIA Drone Program
    • Clinton, CIA chief visit for conference

      Multiple off-the-record sources told the News&Guide the VIP on the jet was CIA Director John Brennan, in town for the same conference that drew former President Bill Clinton and CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. That would correspond with the U.S. Air Force’s acknowledgement that it had a C-40B in the valley, but the military’s public affairs desk has refused to say who the jet’s passengers were or why it was here.

    • The UK’s Official Secrets Act, Forgeries and Facts Part 1

      ‘Within western democracies the UK has a powerful and persistent culture of secrecy. Richard Crossman, Labour Cabinet Minister and commentator on the British constitution, once called it the real “BRITISH DISEASE”.’

      These very words are quoted from David Vincent’s book, ‘The Culture of Secrecy: Britain, 1832–1998’, published by the Oxford University Press in 1998.

      On December 15th, 1858 William Hudson Guernsey, was tried on the charges of stealing 10 printed papers and 10 pieces of paper from the “Sovereign Lady, the Queen”. The documents related to the malicious role of the Colonial Office in conspiring to colonize and suppress the rights of the people of the colonized Islands. The documents were initially dismissed as ‘forged’.

      When the scandal refused to go away (even in those days) Guernsey was arrested. The basis of arrest was the very same ‘forged’ documents, published in The Daily News on November 12th 1858. The alleged documents, initially called ‘forged’ and then used as the evidence to arrest Mr. Guernsey, were written by the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, John Young, concerning the future of the Ionian Islands.

      One almost feels the history of the empire repeating itself, if we are viewing the events of history that shaped the Cayman Islands once we got separated from Jamaica in 1967. The British ‘abandoned’ Jamaica and ‘colonized’ the Cayman Islands to further their financial interests. Standard script should we say?

    • Sweden Drops Part of Sexual Assault Inquiry Against Julian Assange

      Swedish prosecutors have dropped part of their sexual assault inquiry against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but the most serious part of the probe remains in place. The announcement was made as the statute of limitations ran out on three parts of the investigation. Assange has been holed up for three years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he’s received political asylum. He fears he will be extradited to the United States to face prosecution for his role at WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy. Both Ecuador and Sweden accuse the other of delaying a possible Swedish police interview with Assange inside the embassy. Sweden has never charged him with any crime.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • German economy gets euro boost to grows 0.4 percent in Q2

      The German economy picked up pace in the second quarter of the year, growing by 0.4 percent from the previous three-month period, official figures showed Friday.

    • Kraft Heinz cuts 2,500 jobs

      And Heinz issued layoffs not long after the 3G/Berkshire takeover as well.

    • EU doubles down on TTIP secrecy as public resistance grows

      The fact that most people have still never heard of the world’s biggest trade deal—the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and Europe—even after two years of negotiations, might suggest that whatever its problems, maintaining secrecy is not one of them. But the European Commission begs to differ: since the end of July, instead of sending up-to-the-minute summaries of its talks with the US to EU politicians, the Commission now requires that national politicians travel all the way to Brussels to a special reading room where the texts can be viewed under tight security. MEPs must also use this same system.

    • People in rough neighborhoods trade HIV meds instead of taking them

      The social environment of an area, including factors such as poverty, stress, and living conditions, contributes to the disease burden. A recent study published in AJPH shows that patients from a disordered environment don’t stick to their medication schedule, even for a potentially lethal condition like HIV. As the researchers found, residents of highly disordered neighborhoods will sell or trade their antiviral medication rather than taking it and adhering to their drug plans.

    • Greece’s euro partners approve billions in new loans

      Finance ministers of the 19-nation euro single currency group on Friday approved the first 26 billion euros ($29 billion) of a vast new bailout package to help rebuild Greece’s shattered economy.

      The approval came after Greece’s parliament passed a slew of painful reforms and spending cuts after a marathon overnight session that divided the governing party, raising the specter of early elections.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The covert “selling” of anticommunism

      A dirty business, the CIA devised schemes to create or utilize social organizations, phony pass-through entities, universities, various media, artist groups, foundations and charities to service their propaganda wars—attempting to place a “progressive” or even “humanitarian” veneer upon America’s expanding grip.

    • What is Propaganda? CIA and Hollywood Are Offering Perfect Examples

      When we think of propaganda, the distribution of information of a biased or misleading nature for the purpose of promoting a point of view or political agenda, what do we think of? World War II and the Nazis perhaps? Alarmingly, some of the most pertinent examples of propaganda can be found much closer to home, in two of the United States’ biggest institutions – Hollywood and the CIA.

    • Democrats eye Gore for presidential run

      Some insiders in the Democratic Party are discussing having former Vice President Al Gore make another run for U.S. presidency, BuzzFeed reported on Thursday, adding that the man who won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election has not taken any steps toward entering the current race.

      “They’re figuring out if there’s a path financially and politically,” an unnamed Democrat told BuzzFeed about the insiders. “It feels more real than it has in the past months.”

  • Privacy

    • Spy agencies monitor Facebook, seminar told

      Mirza Abdul Rahim informed the students that all kind of data uploaded at Facebook was monitored by the CIA which help to collect all required information about persons and organisation from all over the world. He advised student to remain careful while using computer, internet, mobile phone, IPod, Skype and other such applications and platforms.

    • Can big databases be kept both anonymous and useful?

      FREQUENT visitors to the Hustler Club, a gentlemen’s entertainment venue in New York, could not have known that they would become part of a debate about anonymity in the era of “big data”. But when, for sport, a data scientist called Anthony Tockar mined a database of taxi-ride details to see what fell out of it, it became clear that, even though the data concerned included no direct identification of the customer, there were some intriguingly clustered drop-off points at private addresses for journeys that began at the club. Stir voter-registration records into the mix to identify who lives at those addresses (which Mr Tockar did not do) and you might end up creating some rather unhappy marriages.

    • The internet of things – who wins, who loses?

      Recently I went on a BBC news programme to give “the privacy side” of a technology story. Employees of a software company in Sweden had implanted chips in their wrists that activated the company photocopier. Yes, you read that right. Having minor surgery instead of just remembering a four-digit PIN is a pretty daft idea. You’d have to be a tech utopian to want to do it.

    • iPhone cyber-flashing: What is it and how to stop it happening to you

      Security experts have begun issuing advice on how to prevent iPhone users from becoming the victims of a new phenomenon known as cyber-flashing. The advice has started to appear online in the wake of a woman contacting the police after she was sent explicit and unsolicited photos from a stranger in her close vicinity on a train in London.

      Using AirDrop – a feature on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers where users can send files, such as images, to each other at close range – the cyber flasher can request to send photographs to any fellow iPhone users within the range of a Bluetooth connection – usually around 10m. Even if the receiver rejects the photo, they are still shown an uncensored preview of the image.

    • Privacy visor which blocks facial recognition software set for public release

      Japanese researchers have announced the commercial launch of a “privacy visor” which confuses facial recognition technology in cameras, social networks and software.

      Surveillance is a standard element of daily life in the West. In the UK alone, there is at least one surveillance camera for every 11 citizens, and we encounter them on our streets, in our stores and online through tracking cookies, government programs and GPS-linked applications.

  • Civil Rights

    • 6 Insane Realities Of Life In A Modern Dictatorship

      Belarus is frequently called “Europe’s last dictatorship.” Unlike starfighters, samurai, or of the Mohicans, this is not a good thing to be the last of. We sat down with a man who’s lived most of his life in Belarus, and asked him what life was like in a modern country ruled by a despotic leader who can’t seem to pull his ass out of the 19th century.

    • What Other Countries Can Teach America About Transgender Military Service

      Huckabee, who is a fan of reinstating the repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and has previously made ugly comments about trans people, probably isn’t interested in some of the more prosaic reasons a military should strive for open LGBTQ service: to live up to the core values of dignity, integrity, and respect; to reflect the diversity of the country it serves; to bring its long-outdated medical standards up to date; or to recognize that there is “no compelling medical reason for the ban,” according to a report from a commission co-chaired by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. So let’s just assume that his main concern is that the armed services are prepared to kill people and break things.


      A few months ago, I asked Okros what the United States could learn from Canada’s experience. Okros pointed out that when Canada lifted its military ban, it hadn’t taken into account many of the administrative policies it would need to codify for a smooth transition. What’s more, at the time, Canadian society wasn’t particularly hospitable to gay and transgender individuals. Nevertheless, despite open hostility and a lack of administrative planning, the Canadian Forces was able to open its ranks without compromising military readiness.

    • Latinos Have Gone Missing at CIA

      CIA Director John Brennan made a rare public appearance Monday to try to address the agency’s “woeful” record of hiring and promoting Hispanics.

      Accompanied by the agency’s highest ranking Latina, Brennan traveled to New York for the annual convention of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), to meet with potential applicants at a job fair and deliver remarks to the organization’s leadership at lunch.

    • CIA director tells Latino professionals agency has ‘woeful’ record of hiring Hispanics
    • CIA chief: Yes, we work with human rights abusers

      In response to questions from three Senate Democrats, the head of the CIA is walking back a previous claim that U.S. intelligence agents never work with countries that abuse human rights.

      “While we neither condone nor participate in activities that violate human rights standards, we do maintain cooperative liaison relationships with a variety of intelligence and security services around the world, some of whose constituent entities have engaged in human rights abuses,” Director John Brennan wrote in a letter to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) sent last week.

    • CIA director responds to Alabama man’s claims of sexual harassment in the warzone

      The director of the CIA vowed a thorough investigation into an Alabama man’s claim that he was subject to sexual harassment while serving as a contractor in Afghanistan.

    • CIA Head Indicates Swift Action After Warzone Gay Harassment Claims

      The Director of the CIA today addressed recent allegations by a gay CIA contractor who said he was harassed while on a dangerous deployment by other CIA contractors and staff officers, saying his spy agency has “zero tolerance” for such behavior and indicating the agency is moving swiftly in response.

    • CIA Whistleblower to Civil Rights Groups: Where are You?

      A former CIA officer described as the latest victim of the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers has issued a scathing open letter to civil rights groups asking, “Where were you?”

      In the letter published at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jeffrey Sterling, who is black, specifically calls out the NAACP, National Action Network, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and Congressional Black Caucus, writing “I saw you when other black faces were either killed or mistreated.” But, to these civil rights groups, he writes, he is “invisible.”

      In a case that relied on circumstantial evidence, Sterling was convicted in January on nine separate felony charges, including seven counts of espionage.

    • An open letter to civil rights groups in the U.S.

      Where were you?

      Where were you when I was faced with blatant discrimination at my job, when my employer told me I was “too big and too black” to do the job?

      Where were you when I, one of the first black officers to do so, filed a discrimination suit against the Central Intelligence Agency?

      Where were you when the justice system of the United States dismissed my discrimination suit because the U.S. government maintained that trying my suit would endanger national security?

      Where were you during the many years I reached out to you, begging, pleading for help from you while the United States government pursued and tormented me for years, bent on retaliation and persecution?

      Where were you when I begged for help from Congressman Lacy Clay’s office and they told me to run away, to leave the country? I was there … and I didn’t run.

      Where were you when the United States government arrested me, put me in jail and branded me with espionage?

    • CIA pays McKinsey 10 million in fees for reorganisation

      The CIA is about to enter into one of its most ambitious restructuring exercises in its history. In March Director John O. Brennan unveiled the blueprint, and the plan is set to have a massive impact on the organisation structure of the major directorates of espionage and analysis, which have been part of the agencies structure for decades. In its new model the agency will create a hybrid unit that combines analysts and operators in centres which are focused on specific regions, such as the Middle East, as well as on security issues including weapons proliferation. The new approach is modelled on the success of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Centre, which has enjoyed considerable influence since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    • US refuses to free ‘near death’ Gitmo hunger striker weighing 33 kg

      A prisoner of US military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay may soon starve to death, as after more than eight years of force-feeding his body is said to be unable to take the nutrients he is pumped with. The DoD opposed the ailing man’s release.

      Tariq Ba Odah, a Saudi resident of Yemeni descent, was captured in Pakistan and held in Guantanamo facility since 2002. In 2009 he was cleared for release by the Obama administration, but remains in US custody. In 2007 he went on a hunger strike to protest his indefinite detention without charges. After more than eight years without taking food voluntarily, he weighs less than 34 kilograms and may soon die, his lawyer says.

    • Obama Seeks Legal Loophole in Strategy to Close Gitmo – Former CIA Officer

      Guantanamo’s continued importance for the US government was to continue to hold suspects captured in the War on Terror. Therefore, Obama needed a legal strategy allowing him to continue to hold detainees on US territory before he could feel free to close the facility, Kiriacou said.

    • CIA boss John Brennan drafted this never-sent apology letter to senators over the CIA hacking

      “The CIA accidentally released a document to me under FOIA and then asked that I refrain from posting it,” says VICE’s Jason Leopold.

    • The Google Search That Made the CIA Spy on the US Senate

      On July 28, 2014, the CIA director wrote a letter to senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss — the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI) and the panel’s ranking Republican, respectively. In it, he admitted that the CIA’s penetration of the computer network used by committee staffers reviewing the agency’s torture program — a breach for which Feinstein and Chambliss had long demanded accountability — was improper and violated agreements the Intelligence Committee had made with the CIA.

    • CIA Accidentally Releases Apology Letter It Wrote, But Never Sent To The Senate For Illegally Spying On It

      Jason Leopold — terrorizer of FOIA staffers throughout the US government — has again obtained documents many would have expected to remain out of reach for years to come. Certainly, the CIA thought one of the documents would remain its little secret for the rest of whatever.

    • CIA director almost apologized for spying on Senate

      After CIA agents hacked into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer network and accessed a report the Senate was preparing on the agency’s torture program, CIA Director John Brennan drafted an apology letter to Vice Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a report by VICE News reveals.

    • Report: John Brennan drafted apology to senators for CIA hacking
    • How potent can a citizen journalist be? Ask the CIA about a certain MIT researcher.

      The Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candidate, who says his interests include “animals, civil liberties, national security and freedom of information,” took note when members of the U.S. Senate alleged last year that CIA employees had hacked into a computer network used by staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee. At the time, the committee was looking into, among other things, allegations about the CIA’s involvement in torture.

    • The Faulty Google Search That Set Off A Constitutional Crisis

      We already wrote about Jason Leopold “accidentally” receiving a letter the CIA never actually sent that was an apology for spying on Senate staffers, but there was a lot more that Leopold received in that FOIA dump as well. Beyond the document Leopold wasn’t supposed to receive, the 300 pages handed over by the CIA (not by its voluntary desire to respect FOIA stipulations, but rather because a judge told it to) provide additional details about the alleged Senate breach and its “investigative” spying — and the ensuing fight that set off something of a Constitutional crisis in the separation of powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch.

      Leopold’s article goes into great depth on the subject and is well-worth reading in its entirety. One of the many, many details worth noting is that the CIA’s “firewall” between it and Senate staffers wasn’t really anything of the sort. A Google-powered custom search function allowed staffers to search CIA documents, but only the documents the CIA wanted them to see. The problem was that the search didn’t work correctly. Keyword searches were returning documents the CIA hadn’t approved for Senate perusal. This was how the hidden Panetta Report was discovered.

    • The Justice Department says it approved subpoenas or search warrants for three journalists last year

      The Justice Department said Friday that former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. authorized three subpoenas or search warrants last year for journalists or people viewed as members of the media, though two of the three were not ultimately used.

    • Lawyer: Chelsea Manning faces possible solitary confinement for alleged prison infractions
    • Chelsea Manning having troubles with military brig authorities

      Convict faces solitary confinement over unauthorized toothpaste, books.

    • Slaying casts pall on plan to reduce solitary confinement

      California’s efforts to ease its famously harsh use of solitary confinement are clashing with a bloody reality after an inmate who spent decades alone in a tiny cell was sent back to the general population and killed by fellow inmates within days.

      Hugo “Yogi” Pinell’s repeated assaults on guards landed him in solitary confinement beginning in the early 1970s, making him one of the longest-serving solitary confinement inmates in the nation, said Keramet Reiter, a University of C

    • Obama’s Africa Hypocrisy

      During his trip to east Africa the president chastened Kenyans about gay rights, domestic violence, genital cutting, forced marriage and equal rights for women. He went on and on with no mention of how well his country lives to any accepted standards of human rights.

      American presidents have no business chastising others. The country with the world’s largest prison state, military and history of aggressions is on shaky ground when giving anyone else advice. In the neighboring country of Somalia the United States regularly sends drones intended to kill al-Shabaab fighters but they deliver collateral damage to other people too. The blowback has killed many Kenyans, who are targeted by al-Shabaab because of their country’s role as an American puppet.

      Because hypocritical Americans have made gay rights the new measurement of societal well being all over the world, the president took the opportunity to castigate Kenyans about that too. Of course homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, America’s partner in crime. Yet there is no record of public shaming for any Saudi prince or king on that or any other issue. Their sensibilities are deemed too delicate for tongue-lashing. It must be pointed out that Saudis take lashing quite literally.

    • Jonathan Pollard’s Release Doesn’t Erase 30 Years of Injustice

      The official announcement that Jonathan Pollard will be paroled on November 21, having served 30 years for transmitting classified American documents to the Israeli government, is a welcome – if much-belated – development. The fact of his prospective release, however, must not be allowed to overshadow the injustices of his life sentence – and 30-year prison term – as set forth below.


      Sixth, false accusations have likewise been made by U.S. government agencies that Pollard compromised intelligence operations in Eastern Europe and was consequently implicated in the deaths of American informants. Yet, these accusations were never part of his indictment, and no evidence for them has ever been adduced. In fact, the architect of these treasonable acts, and the source of the disinformation against Pollard, was none other than senior CIA official Aldrich Ames, who pleaded guilty to them in 1994.

    • Let’s Talk About Torture

      The CIA’s torture-era leadership won’t repent. Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the CIA had tortured its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that torture never elicited any actionable intelligence that saved American lives, Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings announced plans to release a book justifying torture.

      They intend to repeat a lie over and over again in this book: that torture worked. They hope that the American people are either so gullible or so stupid that they’ll believe it. It’s up to the rest of us to ensure that our government swears off committing this crime against humanity.

      I know that these former intelligence leaders are lying because I worked with them at the CIA. When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program in 2007, they came down on me like a ton of bricks.

      It’s not necessarily news that these former CIA heavyweights believe in torture, even if they refuse to call it what it is. Many television news outlets still run clips of George Tenet’s 2007 appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in which he repeats “We do not torture! We do not torture!” as though he were unhinged and living in a dream world. Perhaps what Tenet needs to do is to read the United Nations Convention on Torture, to which the United States is a signatory.

    • Report Concludes C.I.A. Torture Program was Bolstered by American Psychological Association

      Dr. Scott A. Allen, professor of medicine, was a co-author of a report that concluded the American Psychological Association (APA) coordinated with federal officials to create an ethics policy on national security interrogations that aligned with the government’s legal justification for the post-9/11 CIA torture program. Featured in a New York Times story published in April, the study characterized the collaboration between the APA and officials in the CIA, White House and Department of Defense as secretive.

    • Righting Governance Gone Rogue in the American Psychological Association: The Torture Scandal

      The vote occurred at the APA’s first convention since the release of an extensive independent investigative report confirming the APA leadership actively colluded with the Pentagon and the CIA during the Bush administration to facilitate torture programs. It concluded that the APA Board and some senior staff, including its ethics director, engaged in a pattern of secret collusion with the Department of Defense officers to defeat efforts by the APA Council to introduce and pass resolutions that would have prohibited psychologies from participating in interrogations at Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. detention centers abroad. Specially, the then-APA board president and then-APA president-elect were cited as key players who participated in this collusion.

    • American Psychological Association Finally Bans Torture

      …many psychologists helped the CIA develop torture techniques after 9/11, making huge amounts of money in the process.

    • The APA’s Watershed Move to Ban Psychologists’ Complicity in Torture

      It was a stunning about-face for the APA. Having spent the better part of the last eight years supporting the “dissident psychologists” in their battle against the organized profession, I had trouble believing my ears as the steady wave of yesses rolled through that Toronto conference room last week. It was as if we had stepped into an alternate reality.

    • Torture, Psychology and the Real APA

      The real APA is all too real, I responded, but it is no longer my APA. I resigned in December 2007 after the August 2007 annual meeting effectively endorsed a professional role for psychologists in torture.

    • A Meeting of Psychologists Becomes a Moment of Soul Searching

      During the American Psychological Association’s conference in Toronto, members reflected on how the group and the discipline can recover from revelations about torture. Some also attended a separate gathering of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, which held a teach-in focused on the matter of psychologists involved in torture.

    • Dissident Psychologists Speak Out on APA Role in CIA-Pentagon Torture
    • No More Torture: World’s Largest Group of Psychologists Bans Role in National Security Interrogations
    • US psychologists’ convention bans participation in torture
    • American Psychological Association Bars Psychologists From Colluding In Torture
    • Psychology group bans members from harsh national security interrogations
    • Psychology Association Bans Members From Participating In Interrogations
    • Psychology Group Votes To Ban Members From Taking Part In Interrogations
    • Newspaper Review: Palestinian Hunger-Striking Detainee ‘Allan’ Slipping into Coma as Focus of Dailies

      The health condition of Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan, who has been on a hunger strike for two months and has passed into a coma amidst a dispute over force-feeding him hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

    • Palestinian vigilante groups are last line of defence

      It is close to midnight. The silhouettes of ink-black hills across the valley are outlined against a sky splashed with hundreds of stars. A cool breeze causes the branches of the surrounding olive trees to wave in unison while bringing relief from the heat wave currently scorching the Middle East.

    • The Last Seamen of Gaza
    • Jeb Bush Leaves Door Open for Use of Torture by Government
    • Jeb Bush leaves door open for use of torture by government

      Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the U.S. government if he becomes president.

    • Jeb Bush refuses to rule out use of torture if he becomes US president

      Republican candidate Jeb Bush says torture is inappropriate, but use of brutal questioning methods may be justifiable and necessary for the US government

    • Jeb Bush leaves door open for CIA torture

      Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the US government.

    • CIA Torture Tactics Reemerge in New York Prison

      Over 60 inmates at New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility have complained of abuse by prison guards in the wake of the June escape of convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt.

    • Chicago Stop And Frisk Settlement Puts ACLU At Odds With Activists

      Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois announced a “landmark” agreement with the Chicago Police Department and the City of Chicago on stop and frisks by police officers. However, in the days following, it became evident that activists from the local movement for police accountability were upset because they believed the ACLU’s settlement undermined their efforts.

    • Thousands of Americans Have Been Illegally Detained in Chicago’s CIA-Style Detention Center

      The Chicago Police’s CIA-style black site, Homan Square, has seen more people detained than died on 9/11 or imprisoned at Guantanamo, according to a new report by the Guardian. The newspaper, which sued the Chicago police to obtain further details on Homan Square, reports overwhelming targeting of minorities as well as other sordid and violative policies.

    • Judge: DOJ May Join Racial Profiling Case Against Sheriff Arpaio

      The U.S. Department of Justice, after settling most of its own civil rights lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, will be able to intervene in a separate lawsuit that found the sheriff’s office had engaged in racial profiling against Latino drivers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Broadband Speeds, New Data

      Thanks to edmundedgar on reddit I have some more accurate data to update my previous bandwidth growth estimation post: OFCOM UK, who released their November 2014 report on average broadband speeds. Whereas Akamai numbers could be lowered by the increase in mobile connections, this directly measures actual broadband speeds.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hosting Company Wants to Wipe 1,103 Megaupload Servers

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided and soon this data loss may be permanent. Carpathia Hosting’s new parent company has asked the court’s permission to wipe the servers clean, arguing that it should not bear the high financial costs. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom disagrees and says his legal team will do its best to prevent any data from being destroyed.

      • Dallas Buyers Club Ruling Devastates Copyright Trolling Down Under

        The U.S. studio behind the movie Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) has been handed a devastating blow in Australia. The company wanted to ‘fine’ downloaders many thousands of dollars each but the Federal Court has seen through the scheme and has refused to hand over alleged pirates’ identities unless DBC pays a AUS$600,000 bond.


Links 14/8/2015: Dell Chromebooks, Chromebooks Outsell Windows laptops

Posted in News Roundup at 2:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • How to embrace open source tools in the enterprise

    The nature of enterprise IT is rapidly evolving and with these changes, open source is becoming a much higher percentage of every IT organization’s environment. As more organizations get aboard the open source train, the necessary skills will become critically important – not only for using open source wisely, but for ensuring your enterprise remains competitive in the Third Platform world.

  • Facebook’s Parse open sourcing all SDKs for app development
  • Facebook is open-sourcing its Parse SDKs, starting with iOS, Android, and Mac OS X
  • Facebook’s Parse Open-Sources All Of Its SDKs
  • Facebook’s Parse releases SDKs for iOS, Android and Mac as open source projects
  • RIFT.io Emerges From Stealth With Open Source NFV Plans

    RIFT.io — founded last year by veterans of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Starent Networks, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) and more — announced a series A funding round, led by North Bridge Venture Partners with participation from other strategic investors.

    The company plans to release a RIFT.ware, an open source NFV platform, and is working with partners to create an ecosystem of developers for the platform itself and for virtual network functions (VNFs) built on the platform, Tony Schoener, RIFT.io chief strategy officer, told Light Reading.

  • Events

    • What you’ll learn at FOSSCON, the Free and Open Source Software Conference

      The free and open-source software movement has spent decades sharing information and knowledge through various communities, providing outlets for all levels of users to have more control over their own environments, learn from each other, and make things better for the general public. The idea behind being a free and open source enthusiast is sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and encouraging common growth.

    • 2015 SFD registration is on!

      I am very glad to share with you that registration of the twelfth edition of Software Freedom Day has been opened since early August and you can see from our SFD event map, we already have 62 events from more than 33countries shown in our map. As usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have a detail guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing would be the best place to get prompt support.

    • Waving the open source flag in Australia

      I am a strong believer that community is the power behind open source code. There are companies who contribute and partake in large contributions to open source software (OSS) projects but the smart ones will always acknowledge the community behind it. I also feel the open source movement is littered with projects that have sprung from corporations rather than individuals, however their power only shines when they enable a community to partake in its roadmap.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • India’s open source policy ‘promotes innovation’

      India’s open source policy will help the country to “promote a culture of innovation that they need in order to serve their citizens today and in the years to come”, says Mark Bohannon, Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs at Red Hat, one of the world’s main open source companies. “The use of technology, including open source software, is moving out of the sphere of simply ‘acquiring a product’ to ‘investing in innovation’.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Greece to promote open source and open data

        The Greek government wants the country’s public administrations to transition to free and open source software, open standards and open data. The Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Marine and Tourism has asked the Greek free and open source software society (Gfoss) to help organise workshops and conferences, train public administrations and propose research and development projects.

    • Open Hardware

      • Founder of Open Source Hardware Association shares her story

        Alicia Gibb has a passion for hardware hacking—she founded and is currently running the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Also a member of the ADA Initiative Board, Defensive Patent License Board, and the Open Source Ecology Board, she got her start as a technologist from a combination of backgrounds: informatics and library science.

        Alicia formerly worked as a researcher and prototyper at Bug Labs where she ran the academic research program and the R&D lab. Her work is fascinating and she graciously agreed to this interview.



Links 13/8/2015: KDE Frameworks 5.13.0, Red Hat Satellite 6.1

Posted in News Roundup at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Bassel Nearer to Freedom?

    Earlier, Bassel won the Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award, which helped get him moved from a horrifically bad jail to a less hostile Adra Prison. Winning this award will further increase the spotlight on Bassel, which increases the pressure to release him, your fellow Free Software engineer and Creative Commons activist.

  • HashPlex Unveils Lightning Network Implementation

    Lightning Network is a proposal for an off-blockchain network that would support super-fast transactions and boost Bitcoin scalability. Wednesday, miner hosting company HashPlex unveiled an alpha Lightning Network hub implementation, as developers continue to refine the layer (sometimes called layer-2) on testnets.

  • Google’s Open Source Project: Why They Did It and What’s Next

    The word “Kubernetes” may not roll off the tongue as easily as the word “Google,” but it is nonetheless an important project many outside the software community have probably not ever heard of.

  • Goldman Sachs to Give Out ‘Secret Sauce’ on Trading
  • Goldman Sachs just pulled a Silicon Valley move

    The investment bank is giving away some of its trading technology to clients through open source software, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  • Goldman Sachs to give clients more open-source access
  • Why Open-Source Middleware Will Rule the Internet of Things

    Market researchers are predicting that by 2020, more than 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. These objects and devices will produce massive amounts of data 24-7, which will be a pain in the backbone to manage, unless tackled efficiently. To a great extent, the solution to the influx of IoT data rests in the effectiveness of the data infrastructure supporting cross-device communication—or, in other terms, in the effectiveness of IoT middleware. I firmly believe that in order to succeed in its purpose, this infrastructure should be founded on open-source platforms and technologies.

  • How Open Source Can Help the IoT Industry Reach Full Potential

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to be one of the most powerful technological innovations to date. In fact, its reach will be so extensive—encompassing billions of connected endpoints across the globe—that it will completely change the way companies and consumers connect with one another and share information.

  • Open sourcing Grid, the Guardian’s new image management service

    For about a year, a small dedicated team has been building the Guardian’s new image management service.

    From the beginning, the vision was to provide a universal and fast experience accessing media that is well organised and using it in an affordable way to produce high-quality content.

  • Go wide: Open source advocacy on Twitter

    Effective open source advocacy on Twitter requires you to go wide. You need to find and participate in communities of people who are not focused on open source. Maybe people passionate about arts education. Public health advocates. Bicycling enthusiasts or bridge players or pet rescuers or Habitat for Humanity people or meditation people or Esperanto speakers or folk music singer/songwriters.

  • The changing face of open-source software

    The increasing number of open-source initiatives in existence leads some to catch a dose of initiative-fatigue. What’s really going on here?

  • Open Source and Enterprise App Development

    To open source or not to open source, that is the question for many IT teams that are struggling with deciding on the best approach to mobile application development. There is no doubt that today’s broad array of open source offerings appear to offer development nirvana – free, community driven, customizable software.

  • Bringing IoT to Fruition with Fully Open Source Software

    Non-profit foundations can help encourage fully open source software (FOSS) collaboration across industry and community. A relative newcomer is the prpl Foundation, an open-source non-profit foundation focused on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures. One of prpl’s focus areas is OpenWrt, a Linux distribution for embedded devices. Industry and community collaboration on a common FOSS baseline software stack can help facilitate new IoE products, applications and technologies, and enable easier connectivity and data exchange across a variety of platforms in the market.

  • Events

    • The Potential of the Blockchain: LinuxCon Keynote Preview

      There are many similarities between Linux and the blockchain and so I was thrilled that Greg Maxwell, one of the core Bitcoin maintainers and a long term open source and cryptogrophy developer, accepted my invitation to keynote LinuxCon this year. I recently caught up with him to talk about his speech and the potential he sees for the Blockchain.

    • Open Source T-Shirt Contest
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice community achievements

      Saying LibreOffice or OpenOffice to people can lead to interesting reactions. For some people, LibreOffice is the darling of the open source world, and for others, it is a crappy Microsoft Office alternative that they look down on.

      I believe that LibreOffice plays an important function in the world, and one that spans beyond the mere function of an office suite. Before we get to that though, I think looking back through the tremendous journey that led to the LibreOffice project we know today is important.

    • LibreOffice 5.0, one week later

      Following the announcement, donations have doubled in comparison to the previous weeks. As a consequence, we have reached the threshold of 150,000 donations since May 2013, when we started keeping track of the numbers. A huge thanks to all donors! With their money, they make LibreOffice sustainable, supporting the costs of the entire organization.

    • LibreOffice 5 released with bug fixes, cloud and mobile aspirations

      LibreOffice, the non-Microsoft and (to many) beloved office suite, has reached a new milestone with the release of version 5. It’s of particular interest to Linux mavens, but the rest of LibreOffice users will benefit as well, thanks to an impressive boost in performance through GPU hardware and some interesting new features.

  • CMS

    • Czech TV and radio switch websites to Drupal

      The Czech government-owned public TV broadcaster Česká televize has switched to using the open source content management system Drupal for its CT 24 news website, it announced on 6 August. One month earlier, the government-owned Český rozhlas (Czech Radio) also began using Drupal.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Two Year Anniversary

      We’re quickly approaching our two-year anniversary, which will be on episode 105. To celebrate, we’ve created a unique t-shirt design, available for purchase until the end of August. Shirts will be shipped out around September 1st. Most of the proceeds will support the show, and specifically allow us to buy additional equipment to record on-site interviews at conferences.


  • Licensing

    • Random Windows licensing facts

      These facts brought to you by “let me just stick the GPL in an ACPI table so I can install the damn thing already”.

  • Programming

    • Love for Perl unites diverse community

      I’ve used Perl for several years, beginning in 2002 on Solaris, then moving to Debian and working on Koha in 2008. Surprisingly (bafflingly, in retrospect), I had not connected with the larger Perl community at all in that time, choosing to stay within the smaller communities I was already embedded in.

    • Your “Infrastructure as Code” is still code!

      Whether you’re a TDD zealot, or you just occasionally write a quick script to reproduce some bug, it’s a rare coder who doesn’t see value in some sort of automated testing. Yet, somehow, in all of the new-age “Infrastructure as Code” mania, we appear to have forgotten this, and the tools that are commonly used for implementing “Infrastructure as Code” have absolutely woeful support for developing your Infrastructure Code. I believe this has to change.

    • The making of ZeMarmot: planning
    • Assign Phabricator reviewers based on module ownership

      Inspired by Quora’s Moving Fast With High Code Quality post, we are thus implementing a review routing system – the code is live on GitHub at phabricator-utils. It’s written in Python (hey, we’re a Java/JS/Python shop), though we do plan to contribute closer to the Phabricator codebase itself and that will be in PHP.


  • Science

    • State spending $1.5m on computer science training for teachers

      Vinter acknowledged that MassCAN’s campaign is driven in part by self-interest: Google and other companies are worried about a lack of programmers and developers, specialists that are highly in demand in the booming Massachusetts tech industry.

    • 5-year plan for improving diversity in tech

      I think we can all agree that open source is a good way to spread knowledge and empower people in many different ways, but it’s also true that competition, natural in a meritocracy, can and often does privilege those who can invest in the competition itself; minorities are being outspent and thus left aside by those who can afford to work, basically, for free.

  • Security

    • Linux Concerns: Convenience vs. Security

      Once upon a recent time, Linux was more secure than it is today. Only the root user could mount external device, and in many distributions new users were automatically assigned a few groups that limited the hardware they could access. Distributions followed the principle of least privilege (aka least access), under which users, applications, and devices receive only the access to the system that they absolutely require.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • One Definition Of Lock-in: Running “2003” So Many Years Later

      Why do they do it? Run “2003” in 2015! It’s not cost, because Debian GNU/Linux would cost $0. It’s lock-in whether by habit or by application. Lots of folks have invested heavily in applications that still work so they are willing to risk everything, perhaps by adding other layers of security. Why?

    • Imploding Barrels and Other Highlights From Hackfest DefCon

      Visiting Las Vegas can feel a bit like being a metal sphere in a pinball machine—you’re tossed from bright lights to blaring shows and back again until you eventually (hopefully) emerge out a hole at your home airport. When you visit Vegas with a swarm of hackers and security researchers, the dizziness gets amped up tenfold and can be laced with a dose of dark mischief.

    • Cisco networking gear can be hijacked, warns company

      An attacker can swap out the device’s firmware with altered, malicious software.

    • Video Shows a Terrifying Drug Infusion Pump Hack in Action

      It’s one thing to talk about security vulnerabilities in a product, but another to provide a proof-of-concept demonstration showing the device being hacked.

      That’s what occurred last month when BlackBerry Chief Security Officer David Kleidermacher and security professional Graham Murphy showed how easy it is for hackers to take control of a hospital drug infusion pump by overwriting the device’s firmware with malicious software.

    • August ’15 security fixes for Adobe Flash

      …Adobe released updated Flash player plugins which adddress many new vulnerabilities (as usual).

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Facial Recognition Software Moves From Overseas Wars to Local Police

      Facial recognition software, which American military and intelligence agencies used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify potential terrorists, is being eagerly adopted by dozens of police departments around the country to pursue drug dealers, prostitutes and other conventional criminal suspects. But because it is being used with few guidelines and with little oversight or public disclosure, it is raising questions of privacy and concerns about potential misuse.

    • Facebook axed internship for student who exposed location flaw

      If you’re about to start an internship at one of the world’s biggest social networks, it might not be in your interest to publicly embarrass it shortly before you begin. It’s a lesson that Harvard student Aran Khanna learned the hard way after creating an app that took advantage of a privacy flaw within Facebook Messenger. Khanna had found that, whenever you chat to your friends, the system automatically shares your location. As such, he built a browser plugin, called the “Marauder’s Map,” that showed you where your buddies were as they were talking to you.

  • Civil Rights

    • Boston Police Commissioner Wants Cameras Further Away From Cops, Criminal Charges For Not Assisting Officers

      Earlier this year, Texas legislator Jason Villalba attempted to shortchange the First Amendment in the name of “officer safety” by making it illegal to film police officers from within a 25-foot, constantly-moving radius. His proposed law was greeted with criticism (and death threats, according to Villalba) and was consequently discarded because it was a terrible, arbitrary law that had only the briefest of flirtations with reality and logic.

      For one thing, the law would have prompted officers to split their attention between the job at hand (whatever crime they were responding to/investigating) and Villalba’s directive. Of course, officers could easily choose not to enforce this bad law, but far too many officers have been filmed leaving crime scenes just to hassle citizens with cameras. And the instant the officer started closing the gap between him and the photographer, a law would have been violated in letter, if not in spirit. Villalba is a staunch supporter of law enforcement agencies and his proposal was just an attempt to give officers a little less accountability.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Rightscorp Deal Turns DMCA Notices Into Piracy Lawsuits

        Piracy monetization firm Rightscorp has signed an agreement to provide lawfirm Flynn Wirkus Young with the IP-addresses of persistent pirates. The data will be used to target U.S. Internet users who ignore DMCA notices and settlement offers sent by copyright holders. The first cases are already in progress.


Links 12/8/2015: Docker 1.8, Kali Linux 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • HashPlex Exclusive Interview: Lightning Hub Open Source Release

    HashPlex is a company that specializes in hosting miner services, allowing home miners access to industry standard electricity rates in order to stay competitive. While their main focus is indeed the mining aspect of Bitcoin, the people over at HashPlex understand the importance of the Bitcoin network, which is especially seen by the debut of their new open source lightning hub. I talked to Bernard Rihn, CEO and founder, as well as Jasper Hugunin, their leading Lightning Dev, over at HashPlex regarding the Lightning Network and Hubs.

  • Pixar open sources Finding Nemo… (digital content software)
  • Pixar will open-source the code for a key movie-making tool
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Microservices 101: What To Know, What To Do

      One of the organizations working on platform infrastructures to support — create, test, deploy and manage — microservices architectures is the Cloud Foundry Foundation. Started in 2015, as an independent not-for-profit 501(c)6 Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, the Foundry currently consists of more than 185 incubating or active projects and is currently being used in hundreds of production environments, including many in the Global 2000. It’s in use at two of the top U.S. telco carriers, two of the world’s top three insurance companies — like AllState, Chase, JP Morgan, SwissCom and Verizon – and at least six Global 500 manufacturing companies, including GE.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle’s security chief posted a crazy ranting tirade. Then Oracle deleted it.
    • No, You Really Can’t

      Writing mysteries is a lot more fun than the other type of writing I’ve been doing. Recently, I have seen a large-ish uptick in customers reverse engineering our code to attempt to find security vulnerabilities in it. [Insert big sigh here.] This is why I’ve been writing a lot of letters to customers that start with “hi, howzit, aloha” but end with “please comply with your license agreement and stop reverse engineering our code, already.”


      But you know, if Oracle’s strongly-worded letters are written in Davidson’s style, I think I’d quite enjoy the entertainment value.

    • No, You Really Can’t (Mary Ann Davidson Blog)
    • Oracle security chief to customers: Stop checking our code for vulnerabilities [Updated]

      Perhaps thinking that all the security researchers in the world were busy recovering from Black Hat and DEF CON and would be somehow more pliant to her earnest message, Mary Ann Davidson wrote a stern message to customers entitled “No, You Really Can’t” (here in Google’s Web cache; it’s also been reproduced on SecLists.org in the event that Oracle gets Google to remove the cached copy). Her message: stop scanning Oracle’s code for vulnerabilities or we will come after you. “I’ve been writing a lot of letters to customers that start with ‘hi, howzit, aloha’,” Davidson wrote, “but end with ‘please comply with your license agreement and stop reverse engineering our code, already.’”

    • Oracle pulls CSO’s BONKERS anti-bug bounty and infosec rant

      While other IT industry heavyweights have embraced bug bounties and working with security researchers more generally, Oracle has set its face in the opposite direction in a blog post likening reverse engineering to cheating on your spouse.

      Mary Ann Davidson, Oracle’s chief security officer (CSO), expressed corporate dislike from the software giant for both reverse engineers and bug bounties in a long blog post on Monday. The post was pulled on Tuesday lunchtime, but its contents remain available via the Internet Archive here.

    • Oracle to ‘sinner’ customers: Reverse engineering is a sin and we know best

      Opinion: Stop sending vulnerability reports already. Oracle’s chief security officer wants to go back to writing murder mysteries.

  • BSD

    • OpenSSH 7.0

      OpenSSH 7.0 has just been released. It will be available from the
      mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
      includes sftp client and server support. OpenSSH also includes
      transitional support for the legacy SSH 1.3 and 1.5 protocols
      that may be enabled at compile-time.

    • OpenSSH 7.0 Released
  • Public Services/Government

    • Freiburg hospital pilots open source research kit

      The University Hospital of the German city of Freiburg is using open source software for its ‘Cruciate Ligament Rupture Study’, aiming to involve users of smartphones and tablet PCs to share data that will help to improve treatments. The main application is built using ResearchKit, a toolbox for developing medical research software applications.

    • Adullact shares solution to access France’s e-ID services

      Adullact, the platform for French civil servants working on free software, in June unveiled i-CLEFS, a solution that builds on France’s e-ID to help municipalities offer eGovernment services.

    • German Interior Ministry seeks open source expertise

      Germany’s Minister of the Interior is looking for help with its partly Linux-based IT infrastructure. In July, the Bundesministerium des Innern (BMI) published a request for tender, seeking expertise in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and prowess in the IT security monitoring using Nagios.

    • Sweden’s Halland region extends KOHA library system

      The Regionbibliotek Halland (Halland regional library) in the eponymous region in Sweden is developing features for KOHA, the open source library management system, to meet the needs of Sweden’s public libraries. Halland’s regional library switched to using KOHA earlier this year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Simple, Cheap Nitrate Tester is Open Source

      Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and nitrate pollution due to agricultural fertilizer runoff is a major problem for both lakes and coastal waters. Assessing nitrate levels commercially is an expensive process that uses proprietary instruments and toxic reagents such as cadmium. But [Joshua Pearce] has recently developed an open-source photometer for nitrate field measurement that uses an enzyme from spinach and costs a mere $65USD to build.

    • Open source curriculum at Idea Fab Labs

      Recently I’ve begun volunteering at Idea Fab Labs here in Santa Cruz, with two specific goals — expanding the space to include free/open source software ethos and hacking, and helping all these awesome makers with questions and reality around the open source way.


  • The Top Questions Facing Alphabet, the New Google Conglomerate
  • Why Google is restructuring, why the name Alphabet and how it affects you
  • Google to restructure into new holding company called Alphabet
  • Google and Alphabet: What does this all mean?
  • Google shares leap as investors welcome new era of transparency
  • Eileen Burbidge: Why I got fired by Skype
  • Science

  • Security

    • Researchers reveal electronic car lock hack after 2-year injunction by Volkswagen

      In 2012, researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands discovered a security flaw in a common automotive security chip used in theft prevention by Volkswagen, Audi, Fiat, Honda, and Volvo vehicles. But after they disclosed their results to the auto manufacturers—a full nine months before they planned to publish them—the automakers sued to keep them quiet.

    • How texting a Corvette could stop it in its tracks

      As if recent research on car hacking wasn’t frightening enough, a new study shows yet another danger to increasingly networked vehicles.

      This time around, academics with the University of California analyzed small, third-party devices that are sometimes plugged into a car’s dashboard, known as telematic control units (TCUs).

      Insurance companies issue the devices to monitor driving metrics in order to meter polices. Other uses include fleet management, automatic crash reporting and tracking stolen vehicles.

    • BlackBerry can’t catch a break: Now it’s fending off Jeep hacking claims

      BlackBerry has denied rumors that its software might have played a role in the infamous “Jeep hack,” saying it’s “unequivocally” not true.

      In July, security researchers revealed that certain cars built by Fiat Chrysler were vulnerable to potentially life-threatening remote attacks, thanks to a flaw in the automaker’s uConnect in-vehicle infotainment system.

      The underlying operating system that powers uConnect is QNX Neutrino, a real-time OS that’s made by a BlackBerry subsidiary. On Friday, investment website Seeking Alpha published an editorial questioning whether some kind of flaw in QNX might be implicated in the Jeep hack.

    • Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here’s how to exploit it

      A design flaw in Intel’s processors can be exploited to install malware beneath operating systems and antivirus – making it tough to detect and remove.

      “It’s a forgotten patch to a forgotten problem, but opens up an incredible vulnerability,” said Christopher Domas, a security researcher with the Battelle Memorial Institute, who revealed the hardware bug at the Black Hat conference in Vegas last week.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Tokenless Keystone

      One time paswords (OTPs) in conjunction with Basic Auth or some other way to curry the data to the server provides an interesting alternative. In theory, the user could pass the OTP along at the start of the request, the Horizon server would be responsible for timestamping it, and the password could then be used for the duration. This seems impractical, as we are essentially generating a new bearer token. For all-in-one deployments they would work as well as Basic-Auth.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Four Demonstrably False Claims About The Iran Deal That Are Showing Up On The Opinion Pages

      Conservative opposition to the internationally-negotiated deal to limit Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon has been the subject of numerous editorials and op-eds in U.S. newspapers that have pushed false information about the agreement and warned that it compromises U.S. and Israeli security, despite widespread praise from nuclear arms control experts who say the deal is “excellent compared to where we are today.”

    • The U.S.-Russia “phony war”: How Washington warmongers could bring us from stalemate to catastrophe

      The Ukraine crisis and the attendant confrontation with Russia assume a “phony war” feel these days. As in the perversely calm months between the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the Blitzkrieg into the Low Countries the following spring, nothing much seems to be happening.

      No one took comfort then—a fog of anxiety suffused everything—and no one should now. One almost prefers it when Washington politicians and other temporarily important people are out there grandstanding and warmongering. At least part of what is occurring is visible, even as the whole never is. Now one sees almost nothing, and we get an idea of what the historians mean when they describe the queasiness abroad during the phony war period.

      A formidable file of political, diplomatic and military reports has accumulated by drips and drops of late, and it strongly suggests one of two things: Either we are on the near side of open conflict between two great powers, accidental or purposeful and probably but not necessarily on Ukrainian soil, or we are in for a re-rendering of the Cold War that will endure as long as the original.

      One cannot look forward to either, the former being dangerous and the latter dreary. But it has to be one or the other, barring the unlikely possibility that Washington is forced to accept a settlement that federalizes Ukraine, as Europe and Moscow assert is sensible.

      It is hard to say when this thought came to me, but it has to be since Secretary of State Kerry’s May meeting in Sochi with President Putin and Sergei Lavrov, his foreign minister. That session seemed to mark a dramatic turn toward sense at the time and won much applause, including here. But things have deteriorated ever since.


      A few days ago came news that American soldiers are to begin training the Ukrainian army this autumn. Given the Pentagon has been training the Ukrainian national guard since April, it is not too much to say Americans have assumed de facto control of the Ukrainian defense apparatus. And no wonder, given the well-known problems of corruption and incompetence in Ukraine’s military and a lack of will among troops when ordered to shoot their own countrymen.

      This is the new micro picture. In the course of a few months, Pentagon and State have re-upped their effort to encourage the Poroshenko government to resolve its crisis with rebellious citizens in the east of Ukraine on the battlefield—foursquare in opposition to Franco-German efforts to fashion a negotiated settlement in concert with Moscow. Washington thus fights two fronts in the Ukraine crisis, a point not to be missed.

    • How Google Is Helping In The Fight Against ISIS

      These Google Earth exchanges began when Y.P.G. fighters sent their coordinates to the U.S. military so they could receive supplies, according to Callimachi’s account. That then evolved into airstrike coordination, which has allowed the group to force ISIS out of multiple Syrian locations including Kobani, Tal Abyad, and Hasaka.

    • Is Lockheed Martin too big to fail?

      Lockheed has made itself dominant on Capitol Hill – with defense jobs in virtually every state.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange: Sex assault claims may never be investigated due to Swedish statute of limitations

      Three of the four allegations of sexual assault against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may never be investigated as the time limit required to do so will expire in seven days.

      Mr Assange, whose Wikileaks website published thousands of US military and diplomatic documents in 2010, has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.

    • ‘Top Secret’ emails found as Clinton probe expands to key aides

      As pressure builds on Hillary Clinton to explain her official use of personal email while serving as secretary of state, she faced new complications Tuesday. It was disclosed her top aides are being drawn into a burgeoning federal inquiry and that two emails on her private account have been classified as “Top Secret.”

      The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications – more sensitive than previously known.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Op-ed: How Can Engineers Heed Pope Francis’ Challenge on Climate Change?

      The engineering deans of Catholic colleges and universities have been meeting annually for the past three years to discuss issues, challenges and trends unique to engineering education in Catholic institutions. As a group of STEM leaders across the country, we use our collective voice to publicly address matters that impact engineering education, or matters in which engineering education may have an impact. As such, our 22-member group feels called to respond to Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si’” encyclical on the environment and human ecology.

  • Finance

    • Google’s Alphabet restructure could get boost from Delaware tax loophole

      Google’s Street View cameras have photographed locations across the world, allowing armchair tourists a view of anything from the Tower of London to Tiananmen Square. But one address is notable by its absence. The office building at 2711 Centerville Road in Wilmington, Delaware, a small town just south of Philadelphia, has not been captured by the Street View cameras. And yet this is the official address of Google Inc, the holding company of one of the world’s most successful software groups.

    • Fox Hypes Cherry-Picked Data To Attack Seattle Minimum Wage

      Fox News is hyping a report from the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) blaming a marginal decline in restaurant employment in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area on Seattle’s recently-increased minimum wage. The think tank and right-wing media outlet both overstated the significance of a roughly 1 percent change in restaurant employment and focused on apparent job losses in one month while ignoring job gains the following month.

    • A $480 Million Mystery: The Saga of Mt. Gox

      It is now over a week since Mark Karpelès was arrested in Japan and one-time Mt. Gox quasi-interim CEO Ashley Barr-alias-Adam Turner held a searing reddit AMA session . The Mt. Gox debacle is taking on some nuance, and the revelations about Karpelès’ bizarre personality might make a halfway decent movie some day, a sort of Wolf of Shibuya with an infusion of 4chanian absurdity: anime, cats, lattes, craven flouting of fiduciary duties and the occasional samurai LARP (Live Action Role Play) .

  • Politics/PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Google, Facebook and Twitter Protest Hollywood’s ‘SOPA Resurrection’

      A broad coalition of global tech firms including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo are protesting a broad injunction that would require search engines, ISPs and hosting companies to stop linking to or offering services to MovieTube. The preliminary injunction requested by the MPAA resurrects parts of the controversial SOPA bill, the tech giants warn.

  • Privacy

    • The Bot That Cried Wolf: Battery tracking poses no real privacy threat

      Am I suggesting that manufactured privacy issues are obscuring real ones? Absolutely. For proof, one needs look no further than last week’s battery brouhaha from a report that noted that websites can track people based on their batteries, skirting opt-in privacy rules that allow battery strength reports to be shared without site visitor permission. For those who bother to read the full report, its details do a wonderful job of establishing that if a site manager wants to invade someone’s privacy, that manager could do far better than peeking at energy levels.

    • The Many Things Wrong With the Anti-Encryption Op-Ed in the New York Times

      Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and his counterparts in Paris, London, and Madrid took to the New York Times op-ed page Tuesday morning to pose a flawed argument against default encryption of mobile phones, a service being commercialized and implemented gradually by Apple and Google.

      The op-ed misstated the extent of the obstacles to law enforcement, understating the many other ways officials bearing warrants can still collect the information they need or want—even when confronted with an encrypted, password protected device.

      The authors failed to acknowledge the value to normal people of protecting their private data from thieves, hackers and government dragnets.

    • Twitter Sees 52% Spike In Government And Copyright Info Requests

      The company released its latest transparency report, which now also includes trademark notices and email privacy practices.

  • Civil Rights

    • Armored Vehicle Request Documents Show Local Law Enforcement Still Looking To Bring The (Drug) War To Your Doorstep

      Molly Redden and Mother Jones have acquired a stash of armored vehicle request documents from police departments all over the nation. The requests are tied to the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, in which military hand-me-downs are given to basically any law enforcement agency that asks for them, whether or not these agencies actually need them.

    • Oath Keepers return to Ferguson, fueling racial tension

      Four white civilians carrying military-style rifles and sidearms walked a riot-torn street in Ferguson, Missouri, early Tuesday, saying they were there to protect a representative from an anti-government website, but their actions drew swift criticism from protesters in the mostly black neighborhood and from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who called their presence “unncessary and inflammatory.”

      The appearance of the four men drew stares in the neighborhood, which was rocked by violence again Sunday night as protesters marked the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen whose death one year ago reignited a debate on race relations.

      The men identified themselves as members of Oath Keepers, which describes itself as an association of current and former U.S. soldiers and police who aim to protect the U.S. Constitution. The group reports having about 35,000 members nationwide and says there are African-Americans among its ranks.

    • Florida Cop Smashes Disabled Vet’s Cell Phone For Legally Parking in Handicap Space

      Florida man Isiah James served his country for 10 years. He survived two trips to Iraq and one to Afganistan.

      Riviera Beach cop G. Wilson took less than 10 minutes to decide that the Army veteran Isiah James didn’t deserve a handicapped sticker.

      Isiah’s $800 iPhone 6+ didn’t survive a trip to the Walgreens.

      James had family in town on vacation, and father doesn’t drive, so he took father to the store. On his way home, the two man stopped at a Walgreen’s liquor store.

    • US Says ‘No’ To EU Plan For New Corporate Sovereignty Courts: So What Happens Now With TAFTA/TTIP?

      Back in May, we wrote about the European Commission’s attempt to put lipstick on the corporate sovereignty pig. Its attempt to “reform” the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system was largely driven by the massive rejection of the whole approach by respondents to the Commission’s consultation on the subject last year. Of the 150,000 people who took the trouble to respond, 145,000 said they did not want corporate sovereignty provisions of any kind. Even the European Commission could not spin that as a mandate for business as usual, and so it came up with what it called a “path for reform” (pdf). By promising to solve the all-too evident “problems” of corporate sovereignty by coming up with something it claimed was better, its evident plan was to include this re-branded ISDS as part of the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations with the US.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Team Prenda Smacked Around Again, Ordered To Pay Another $94,000

        It appears that the courts are now just piling on when it comes to Prenda Law. In the case of Lightspeed v. Anthony Smith, the court that was one of the first to call out team Prenda for “flat-out lies” and then blasted their weak attempt to plead poverty — leading, instead, to holding Team Prenda in contempt — has struck again. Having lost badly on appeal, the district court slammed the lawyers again, arguing that Team Prenda lied to the court and obstructed the discovery process concerning where they hid their money. It ordered sanctions of $65,263 and asked Smith’s lawyers at Booth Sweet to submit their costs to be added on to the total. Those costs came out to $94,343.51 — and Prenda lawyers John Steele and Paul Duffy complained that the number was unfair.


Links 11/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC 6, 4.1.5, 3.14.50, and 3.10.86

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Pixar’s Universal Screen Description software is going open source

    Pixar Animation Studios has announced that its proprietary Universal Screen Description (USD) software will be going open source by Summer 2016, providing computer animation studios with an incredibly powerful tool to manage scenes in large scale projects.

  • Pixar’s Universal Scene Description Going Open Source
  • Facebook Releases Reference App for Marketing API
  • Facebook to Open Source Reference App For Marketing API
  • Pixar Announces Universal Scene Description to be Open-Sourced
  • Pixar to open-source its Universal Scene Description software
  • How To Improve Bus Factor In Your Open Source Project

    In my experience (I was an open source community manager for several years and am deeply embedded in the community of people who do open source outreach), getting people into the funnel for your project as first-time contributors is a reasonably well-solved problem, i.e., we know what works. Showing up at OpenHatch events, making sure the bugs in the bug tracker are well-specified, setting up a “good for first-timers” task tag and/or webpage and keeping it updated, personally inviting people who have reported bugs to help you solve them, etc. If you can invest several months of one-on-one or two-on-one mentorship time, participate in Google Summer of Code and/or Outreachy internship programs. If you want to start with something that’s quantitative and gamified, consider using Google Code-In as a scaffold to help you develop the rest of these practices.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 40 released, here’s what you’ll find

        It has been six weeks since the release of Firefox 39 and today Firefox 40 was pushed to the FTP servers and will roll out to users on August 11. Below is a compiled list of everything new you can expect to see in the release.

      • Mozilla Plugs Dangerous Firefox Zero-Day Hole

        Mozilla on Friday released security updates to fix a zero-day flaw in the Firefox browser. An exploit that searches for sensitive files and uploads them to a server — possibly somewhere in Ukraine — has surfaced in an ad on a Russian news site, Mozilla reported last week. The exploit impacts Windows and Linux users. Mac users could be hit by a modified version. The vulnerability stems from the interaction of Firefox’s PDF Viewer and the mechanism that enforces JavaScript context separation — the “same origin” policy, Mozilla said.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Debunking Open-Source Database Myths

      Still, the IT industry harbors misconceptions about how open-source software works, its performance, its benefits and its ROI. eWEEK, with input from open-source PostgreSQL database specialist EnterpriseDB, helps debunk some of the most common open-source database myths, including those about its costs and capabilities.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • What It Took Porting LibreOffice To GTK3 & Wayland

      For the past several months Caolán McNamara has been leading the charge for adding GTK3 tool-kit support to LibreOffice. With the new LibreOffice 5.0 that initial GTK3 support is in place that also brings initial Wayland support for this open-source office suite.

  • Business


  • Project Releases

    • Kodi 15.1 Isengard – Release Candidate

      Once a ‘final’ version is released some new bugs and/or problems usually appear out of nowhere, and last release was no exception. Even though tens of thousands of users were already testing the 15.0 version before release, as soon as million started using it, some problems we either did not think of or which we did not notice popped up. To counter some of these new issues, we’re bringing you this maintenance release candidate called 15.1 RC1 which has some additional fixes on top of the 15.0 release.

    • Kodi 15.1 Release Candidate Is Now Available
  • Public Services/Government

    • Nantes: “Change management key to switch to free software”

      Change management is the key to successfully replacing proprietary software by free and open source alternatives, says Eric Ficheux, IT project manager working for the administration of Nantes. In 2013, France’s sixth largest city began switching to LibreOffice, replacing a proprietary suite of office productivity tools. “Any organisation considering a similar switch should brush up on change management.”

    • Of Course, LibreOffice Is Easy To Deploy And Use. It’s FLOSS. It’s An Office Suite.

      Yes. Replacing a non-Free office suite with LibreOffice makes sense. It’s FLOSS. You can run, examine, modify and distribute the software under the accompanying licence. There’s no need to budget for licensing. There’s no contract. There’s no dependency on someone out to get you. LibreOffice is a cooperative product of the world, not enslavement/lock-in/a burden indefinitely. It’s easy too. After all, LibreOffice is descended from StarOffice and OpenOffice.org designed from the beginning to be easy to use even for those familiar with M$’s product.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Projects Emphasize Open-Source Technology and Data for Agriculture

      Around the world, young people are turning to farming and the food sector as viable career options. However, the next generation of food system leaders often lacks access to the latest data and technologies that are vital to the success of farm businesses. Projects such as Open Ag Toolkit (OpenATK), a new platform for managing agricultural tasks, and FarmBot, an open-source community for small-scale precision farming, are working to democratize innovations in agriculture by improving data transfer and small-scale technologies through open-source models.

    • Amyris teams with Genome Compiler for open source testing program
    • Open Hardware

      • Watch those VOCs! Open Source Air Quality Monitor

        Capable of monitoring Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), basic particulate matter, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity, it takes care of the basic metrics to measure the air quality of a room.

  • Programming

    • the future is here

      That’s right, boys and girls, a compiler with a bigger resident size than Firefox. Three times bigger.


  • Science

    • We need YOU to help close the IT gender gap

      According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 26% of people employed in computer and mathematical occupations are women. While that figure may be staggering, I don’t believe the way to fix it is by simply hiring more women. A meritocracy requires that the most qualified candidates are selected for positions in every industry, regardless of gender. But we can level the IT industry’s playing field by educating young women and girls about potential career possibilities.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why TPP Threatens To Undermine One Of The Fundamental Principles Of Science

      Last week, we wrote that among the final obstacles to completing the TPP agreement was the issue of enhanced protection for drugs. More specifically, the fight is over an important new class of medicines called “biologics,” which are produced from living organisms, and tend to be more complex and expensive to devise. The Conversation has a good feature looking at this issue in more detail.


      As that makes clear, data exclusivity is a kind of super-patent in that it can’t be challenged or revoked: if a drug company has run clinical trials to establish the safety of its new drug, it has an absolute and irrevocable monopoly on the use of that data — for five years in the case of Australia, Chile, Singapore and New Zealand. This is obviously an incredibly powerful form of monopoly, so perhaps it’s no surprise that US pharmaceutical companies want TPP to require signatories to grant an even longer period — 12 years of data exclusivity — for biologics.

      That’s useful for them, because even after drug patents have expired, and generic manufacturers can theoretically offer the same products without paying licensing fees, there remains the barrier of clinical testing. If the generic manufacturers can’t point to the original clinical trials as proof that the drug is safe, they will need to carry out their own, which will take time and cost money. In practice, they are more likely to wait until the period of data exclusivity is over, effectively extending the original manufacturer’s monopoly beyond that provided by patents alone.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Swedish plan to question Assange at Ecuador embassy in UK stalled

      Swedish prosecutors’ plan to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London has stalled as Ecuador has demanded Sweden give him asylum as a condition of the meeting, a Swedish official said on Friday.

      “You can’t give anyone asylum at another country’s embassy, that’s against international law,” Cecilia Riddselius at the Justice Department said. “If he wants asylum he has to come to Sweden.”

    • Call to share private sector partnerships on open governance

      The Private Sector Council was established in 2013 to engage businesses and entrepreneurs in promoting open governance, economic growth, and local innovations. The Council forms a group external to the OGP and coordinates private sector participation in OGP.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • NIC refuses to reveal identity of those who altered Jawaharlal Nehru Wikipedia page

      The National Informatics Centre, software solution provider of the government, has withheld information on who altered the Wikipedia page of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and posted scandalous information about him on the grounds it may have “security implications”.

    • Councils have lost or misused private data thousands of times, says watchdog

      Call for greater penalties as examples include child protection files left on train, worker using CCTV to watch a wedding and another digging into benefit claims

    • What Happens When a Failed Writer Becomes a Loyal Spy?

      He was fully aware of his statement’s implications.

      “I found myself wishing that my life would be constantly and completely monitored,” he continued. “It might seem odd that a self-professed libertarian would wish an Orwellian dystopia on himself, but here was my rationale: If people knew a few things about me, I might seem suspicious. But if people knew everything about me, they’d see they had nothing to fear. This is the attitude I have brought to SIGINT work since then.”

      When intelligence officials justify surveillance, they tend to use the stilted language of national security, and we typically hear only from senior officials who stick to their platitudes. It is rare for mid-level experts — the ones conducting the actual surveillance — to frankly explain what they do and why. And in this case, the candid confessions come from the NSA’s own surveillance philosopher. The columns answer a sociological curiosity: How does working at an intelligence agency turn a privacy hawk into a prophet of eavesdropping?

  • Civil Rights

    • Cops filmed behaving badly say pot shop’s camera illegally recorded raid

      Did you hear the one about the cops not wanting to use a store’s surveillance tape to help solve a crime?

      Who could blame these Santa Ana cops? Video shows them smashing surveillance cameras, badmouthing a woman in a wheelchair, and perhaps even munching on marijuana-infused products after they stormed a medical marijuana shop in Southern California, which was being investigated for allegedly operating unlawfully in the city.

      Three of the unidentified cops are demanding that a judge block the police department from using the tapes against them as the department investigates the officers’ conduct during the May raid. The cops at the center of the investigation say the Sky High Medical Marijuana Dispensary illegally recorded them because the officers believed they had disabled all the store’s cameras and therefore had an expectation of privacy “that their conversations were no longer being recorded,” according to the cops’ Aug. 5 lawsuit. (PDF) The suit says the tapes were also “edited” and cannot be relied upon.

    • Zachary Hammond death: Shooting of unarmed white teenager by police officer sparks debate over ‘lack of outrage’ in America

      The death of an unarmed white teenager who was shot by a white police officer in South Carolina has sparked a debate as to why the incident has not generated the same outrage as the deaths of other unarmed black Americans.

      Zachary Hammond, 19, was on a date with Tori Morton, 23, when he was shot twice in the back by a police officer last month.

    • Documents Reveal the Fearmongering Local Cops Use to Score Military Gear From the Pentagon

      Mother Jones obtained more than 450 police department requests for armored tactical vehicles from the Pentagon. Did your police force request one? Browse all of them here.

      One year ago this week, hundreds of camouflaged officers in Ferguson, Missouri bore down on residents protesting the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.

    • U. alumnus removed from director position at American Psychological Association following US government torture scandal

      A University alumnus was removed from his position as ethics director of the American Psychological Association last month after an independent review alleged that he collaborated with the Department of Defense to enable torture.

    • Germany drops treason inquiry into Netzpolitik journalists

      German prosecutors have dropped a much-criticised treason investigation into two journalists who reported on secret plans to expand online surveillance in the country.

      Prosecutors notified Netzpolitik.org in July that its founder, Markus Beckedahl, and fellow journalist Andre Meister were under investigation, triggering widespread criticism from free-speech advocates. The website specialises in coverage of online privacy and digital culture.

    • U.S. ‘supermax’ prison: ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’ is seen as ‘inhuman and degrading’

      U.S. prosecutors want Ali Charaf Damache in the worst way.

      An Irish resident originally from Algiers, Damache, 50, is accused of using online chat rooms to recruit American women into a would-be terrorist cell operating in this country and Europe.

      One man and two women, including Damache’s wife, have already been convicted in U.S. courts of providing material support to terrorists. And Damache was captured by Irish authorities in 2010 in Dublin on a separate charge of making a telephone death threat and held without bail.

    • Issue of where to move Guantanamo detainees threatens closure plan

      A renewed push by the White House to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been bogged down by an internal disagreement over its most controversial provision — where to house detainees who will be brought to the United States for trial or indefinite detention, according to U.S. officials.

    • Pentagon to release Gitmo closure plan after August recess

      The Defense Department expects to present a plan to close Guantanamo Bay to lawmakers after the August recess, a spokesman said on Monday.

    • Pentagon under fire for guidelines that liken war reporters to ‘belligerents’

      Defenders of press freedom have accused the Pentagon of endangering journalists with new legal guidelines that liken war correspondents to spies and say they can be treated as “unprivileged belligerents” in some circumstances.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How You Buy Cellphones Is About to Change Forever

      This misconception owes to mobile carriers’ longstanding practice of offering discounts on phones for customers who agree to a two-year contract. For years, the deal was generally this: You go to a company like Verizon or AT&T, you sign some paperwork locking yourself into 24 months of wireless service, and Verizon or AT&T gives you a shiny new phone at a subsidized price—or even free, if you opt for less than the very best hardware.

    • Netscape changed the internet—and the world—when it went public 20 years ago

      Rosanne Siino finds it amusing when students interrupt one of her lectures at Stanford University to ask: “So, what is Netscape?”

      “Wow, how long has it been?” Siino, one of the first hires at Netscape, recalls telling a student. “Boy, you have no idea how much the world changed just before you were born.”

      It was 20 years ago today that Netscape went public, setting off what we now know as the first dot-com boom.

    • The ‘Netscape Moment,’ 20 years on

      We’re in the runup to the 20th anniversary of the “Netscape Moment” of 1995, the day when a California startup’s eye-popping market debut illuminated the World Wide Web for millions of people otherwise only vaguely familiar with its potential and promise.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Prince Warns Young Artists: Record Contracts Are ‘Slavery’

        “Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves,” singer says of joining Tidal

        Two days after Prince announced that he would release his new album HitNRun exclusively to Tidal, the singer revealed the reason he is sidestepping a record label and offering the LP directly through Jay Z’s streaming service. “Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery,” Prince said. “I would tell any young artist… don’t sign.”

      • MPAA Recruits Software Programmer to Combat Piracy

        In its ongoing war against online piracy, the MPAA is currently hoping to recruit a software developer. The Hollywood group is looking for savvy candidates who can help develop data gathering tools for enforcement purposes and to monitor, investigate and report on copyright infringement.

      • Pornhub Uploaders Targeted By Copyright Troll

        Several users of popular porn streaming site Pornhub have received settlement demands for thousands of dollars after uploading videos to the site without obtaining permission. How the users are being tracked down by the copyright troll involved remains somewhat of a mystery, but several theories persist.

      • Tolkien Lawyers Target “Hobbit House” With Copyright Threats

        Hollywood studio Warner Bros. and the Tolkien Estate are cracking down on a British couple building a “Hobbit house” campsite. The pair are being forced to change the project’s name and remove all Hobbit references from their Kickstarter campaign. According to Tolkien’s lawyers even words that rhyme with Hobbit are not permitted.


Links 9/8/2015: GNOME Search for Executive Director, Many Distro Screenshots, Linux 4.2 RC 6

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • A Look At Daala’s Git Repository, The Lead Developers & Code Count

    While the Daala video coding format backed primarily by Xiph.Org and Mozilla isn’t ready for mainstream use yet, looking at its Git repository does at least reveal some environmental data to discuss.

    While poking around the Daala Git repository this week in looking at the state of affairs, I decided to run GitStats on the code-base for seeing the pace of code entering the mainline code repository, etc. This was mainly done out of pure curiosity and figured the stats would be of interest to other Phoronix readers too. The Daala repository has 277 files made up of 124k lines of code that as of today was done via 1,432 commits and has seen contributions by 47 authors.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice, and the ODF legacy

      Common wisdom has it that sleeping dogs are better kept snoring and I tend to agree. I’m going to do what may seem to be understood as the contrary. I believe it is not the case, as prejudice is something that is hard to fight and tends to stick around dark corners and circles of people with little knowledge of the matter.


  • Openness/Sharing

    • LibreOffice 5, Creative Commons writes the White House, and more news

      In this week’s edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at the release of LibreOffice 5, a personal food computer, Creative Common’s open letter the President Obama, and more.

    • Open Data

      • Open data initiative to give true picture of election process

        The National Democratic Institute is has announced the launch of the Open Election Data Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to ensure that citizen groups have access to election data that can give a true picture of an election process, including how candidates are certified, how and which voters are registered, what happens on election day, whether results are accurate, and how complaints are resolved.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming


  • Watch John Oliver Explain Why Washington, DC, Should Be the 51st State

    On Sunday, Last Week Tonight took on the issue of restricted voting rights for Washington D.C. residents, despite the fact they pay federal taxes and have a larger population than some entire states such as Vermont and Wyoming. Even the Dalai Lama once called the situation “quite strange.”

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Researchers Hack into a Linux-Powered Self-Aiming Sniper Rifle

      Two researchers, Michael Auger and Runa Sandvik, will present today, at the Black Hack conference in Las Vegas, their recent findings into the world of computerized weapons security.

    • OPM Wins Pwnie for Most Epic Fail at Black Hat Awards Show
    • DefCon ProxyHam Talk Disappears but Technology is No Secret

      Part of the drama at any Black Hat or DefCon security conference in any given year usually revolves around a talk that is cancelled for some mysterious reason, typically over fears that it could reveal something truly disruptive. Such is the case in 2015 at DefCon with a talk called ProxyHam, which was supposed to reveal technology that could enable an attacker to wireless proxy traffic over long distances, hiding their true location.

    • A chat with Black Hat’s unconventional keynote speaker

      In 2010, Black Hat had its first female keynote, Jane Holl Lute, who served at the time as the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Lute’s first comment about the nature of cyberspace set the tone for her keynote, which was, in characteristic DHS cybersecurity style, tone-deaf to attendee levels of expertise.

    • Uneasy detente between Def Con hackers and ‘feds’

      That led founder Jeff Moss to call for a “cooling off period” during which “feds” avoided coming near the annual conference in Las Vegas.

    • Design flaw in Intel processors opens door to rootkits, researcher says

      A design flaw in the x86 processor architecture dating back almost two decades could allow attackers to install a rootkit in the low-level firmware of computers, a security researcher said Thursday. Such malware could be undetectable by security products.

    • Why Your Mac Is More Vulnerable to Malware Than You Think

      The attack would enable a hacker to remotely target computers with malware that would both go undetected by security scanners and would afford the attacker a persistent hold on a system, even when it undergoes firmware and operating system updates. Because firmware updates require the assistance of the existing firmware to install, any malware in the firmware could block updates from being installed or write itself to a new update. Zetter reports that the only way to eliminate malware that’s embedded in a computer’s main firmware would be to re-flash the chip that contains the firmware.

    • ‘Zero-day’ stockpiling puts us all at risk

      The recent dump of emails from Hacking Team sheds new light on the extent of government involvement in the international market for zero-days. Rather than disclosing these vulnerabilities to software makers, so that they can be fixed, government agencies buy and then stockpile zero-days.

    • What’s wrong with the web? — authentication
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Outsourcing the Kill Chain: Eleven Drone Contractors Revealed

      Bureau reporters Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith name eleven companies that have won hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to plug a shortage in personnel needed to analyze the thousands of hours of streaming video gathered daily from the remotely piloted aircraft that hover over war zones around the world: Advanced Concepts Enterprises, BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, Intrepid Solutions, L-3 Communications, MacAulay-Brown, SAIC, Transvoyant, Worldwide Language Resources and Zel Technologies. (see details below)

    • US Drone Strikes Kill Seven in North Waziristan

      According to officials familiar with the situation, US drones fired a pair of missiles against a house in Datta Khel today, destroying the building and killing at least seven people. Two others were wounded.

    • Brian Terrell: US Drone Campaign Needs To Be Acknowledged A Failure – Interview

      The assassination drone campaign on the tribal areas of Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan has been one of the controversial plans of the US government in the recent years.

      The White House, State Department and Pentagon officials maintain that the drone attacks are aimed at targeting the Al-Qaeda terrorists in these countries and crushing their strongholds; however, figures indicate that the majority of the victims of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles dispatched to the region are civilians. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has recently revealed that between 2004 and 2015, there have been 418 drone strikes against Pakistan alone, resulting in the killing of 2,460 to 3,967 people, including at least 423 civilians. That’s while some sources put the number of civilian casualties in Pakistan during the 11-year period at 962.

    • US often does not know who drone attacks kill

      “Signature strikes” are drone attacks based solely on a target’s behaviour with the identity of the target not known. Sometimes such an attack may hit a high value target but at other times they may kill innocent civilians.

    • July Drone Report: Casualties Spike in Afghanistan, Strikes Increase in Somalia

      American drone strikes killed hundreds of people in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia in July, according to a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based nonprofit. The TBIJ produces monthly reports about highly secretive U.S. drone operations around the globe as part of its goal to provide the public “with the knowledge and facts about the way in which important institutions in our society operate, so that they can be fully informed citizens.”

    • US-Backed Corporations Make Huge Profits From Drones Killing Innocents

      Unmanned, remotely-operated drones supplied by private corporations are hugely profitable and attractive to those without conscience in the US government, activist Melinda Pillsbury-Foster told Sputnik.

    • One year on, drone attacks against ISIS increasing

      Drones appear to have an expanding role in the fight against Islamic State, although it’s unclear what impact they are having on the war itself.

      One year after President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against ISIS targets, those airstrikes by the U.S. and its coalition partners, including Canada, have killed 15,000 ISIS supporters, the coalition claims.

    • UK hopes drones buzz will prompt lift-off

      Arpas says it has about 200 members, mostly small businesses and individuals, who form the country’s enthusiastic cottage industry. However, Britain’s two big aerospace groups, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, are also developing drones for commercial purposes.

    • US military launches first Syria drone strike from base in Turkey
    • US drone bombs IS target after taking off from Turkey: Turkish official

      The U.S. military launched its first strike against Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, the Pentagon said, reflecting a deepening security relationship between Washington and Ankara in the region.

    • U.S. drone strikes from Turkey
    • Hawke hones his craft as drone launcher in ‘Good Kill’

      Bold, honest and disturbing, “Good Kill,” in its own modest fashion, is one of the most memorable American films I’ve seen thus far in 2015.

    • Defence Minister Simon Coveney accused of involving Ireland in the international arms trade

      Mr Coveney has revealed plans to open the country up as a “testing zone” for “advanced military and weapons guidance systems, including drones, submarine drones and other such high-tech hardware”

    • ‘Iraq airstrikes won’t defeat ISIS, only kill civilians’ – anti-war group

      Peace activists have condemned the British government’s campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq, insisting continued bombing of the region will fail to defeat the terror group and lead to further civilian fatalities.

    • Air Force Moves Aggressively On Lasers

      All branches of the military really want laser weapons. But they don’t all want them for the same missions. What struck me after a recent conference here was how differently the US Air Force is approaching lasers.

    • Obama: Choice over Iran Nuclear Deal is Between Diplomacy and War
    • To press for Iran nuclear deal, Obama invokes Iraq war

      President Obama lashed out at critics of the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying many of those who backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq now want to reject the Iran accord and put the Middle East on the path toward another war.

      Obama also said that if Congress rejects the deal, it will undermine America’s standing in global diplomacy, leaving the United States isolated and putting Israel in even greater peril.

      While calling the nuclear accord with Iran “the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated,” Obama also seemed to turn the vote on the deal into a referendum on the U.S. invasion of Iraq a dozen years ago, a decision he portrayed as the product of a “mind-set characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy.”

    • Address legitimate injustice first, then see if the ideologues need to be bombed

      The unprecedented power of the internet is staggering. Asked by Nick Dry, prosecuting, why he needed so many rounds of ammunition, Lyburd replied glibly: “I was watching videos on YouTube and the Americans, they have thousands. You can shoot 100 rounds in a few seconds.” Lyburd is aged just nineteen, as young as some of the recruits attracted to Daesh.

      America legislators have for decades allowed so many high school shootings to occur that a teenager on the other side of the Atlantic felt inspired to play copy-cat. Has America just exported its first terrorist ideology?

      The use of social media in the case of Daesh and Lyburd is telling. America’s pervasive gun lobby is led by establishment organisations like the National Rifle Association and enhanced by grass-roots nationalist militia groups. Together, these quasi-political gun ownership clans have populated entire YouTube channels with educational videos; filled Twitter and Instagram feeds with gun pornography; exploited Reddit pages; and even launched online and printed magazines. The US government is involved in spreading gun culture, with the Pentagon gifting hundreds of millions of dollars each year to Hollywood, an asset that Obama has said he believes is part of American foreign policy.

    • Indian forces kill 2 Pakistanis, injure 5 in unprovoked firing
    • Do not kill terrorists, take them alive

      Who were the militants who attacked the Dinanagar police station in Gurdaspur district? What were their aims and ideology? How many of their comrades are waiting for another chance to attack? How much help are they getting from the Pakistani authorities, and what other sources of support and finance do they enjoy?

    • Kenya: Obama in Kenya

      Yet although he bears “our skin”, Obama represents the power of those who seek to dominate us by destroying our self-confidence. Therefore his speeches reinforce a pattern of contempt that his predecessors have purveyed for decades. Thus, although his speech in Nairobi (compared to Accra in 2009) was less of headmaster lecturing his pupils and recognised the transformative changes taking place on our continent due to our initiatives, he still castigated us. His comments on political violence and corruption in Kenya continued the tradition of lecturing to us. Why does America feel obliged to comment on how African nations govern themselves, something he does not do in Western Europe? Who gives Obama and the US the moral right to lecture to Kenyans about their governance?

    • Barack Obama’s hypocrisy in Africa

      On January 20, 2017, Barack Obama will leave the presidency. Black people capable of critical thought will have many reasons to breathe sighs of relief. They will no longer have to submit to condescending lectures directed exclusively at them.

      From the moment he ran for president, Obama has harangued Black people on a wide variety of issues. It doesn’t matter if his audience is made up of church congregants, graduating students, or Kenyan dignitaries. Every Black person unlucky enough to be in his vicinity risks being treated like a deadbeat dad, career criminal or Cousin Pookie, Obama’s own imaginary Willie Horton.

      During his trip to East Africa the president chastened Kenyans about gay rights, domestic violence, genital cutting, forced marriage and equal rights for women. He went on and on with no mention of how well his country lives up to any accepted standards of human rights

    • On the Passing of Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi and a Postscript on Charlie Hebdo

      An intriguing aspect of Muslim culture is that murders are rarely committed over wealth. While there may be theft in Muslim countries, theft that involves murder is almost unheard of. The idea of killing someone over something as ephemeral as a car or money or a cell phone is a rarity (except perhaps in war-torn countries where all civil society has broken down). Murder in Muslim societies tends to be motivated by political issues but more often by a misguided sense of honor. This was the case earlier this month in France, where clearly deluded and uneducated men from the ghettos of Paris, after rediscovering their faith, felt compelled to take their misperception of Islamic law into their own hands in order to “uphold the honor” of their prophet who, they believed, was being denigrated by the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo. Without a doubt, such murders are criminal and wrong, but they can be rationally understood within the context of a society that holds the sanctity of prophets, those men of God, above all else.

    • Death of Taliban’s Mullah Omar could boost support for Islamic State
    • Taliban confirms Mullah Omar’s death, succession

      China has expressed its backing for Pakistan and other parties to “push for peace and reconciliation” in the war-torn Afghanistan, days after the second round of peace talks were put off following news of Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s death.

    • Yemen government-in-exile says base once used for U.S. drones retaken

      Clashes persisted around Yemen’s largest air base Tuesday, a day after its declared capture by forces loyal to the country’s exiled President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, military officials said.

    • In victory for activists, drone manufacturers linked to Gaza war cross-examined in Scottish courts

      After a gruelling fourteen day trial, a group of activists known as the Thales Ten,* received their verdict in Glasgow Sheriff Court last week. Five were convicted, and five acquitted, of the crime of breach of the peace.

      The group scaled onto the roof and blockaded entrances to the Thales UK factory on 23rd September, 2014 in response to the war in Gaza. They hung a fifty foot Palestine flag and several banners. One read: ‘Another Scotland is Possible: Stop Arming Israel’. Another made the connection between the French arms company Thales, Israel’s Elbit Systems, and the UK Ministry of Defence.

    • U.S.-led strikes kill 459 civilians in past year in Iraq, Syria, report finds

      U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria have likely killed at least 459 civilians over the past year, a report by an independent monitoring group said Monday.

      The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking international airstrikes targeting the terrorists, said it believed 57 specific strikes killed civilians and caused 48 suspected “friendly fire” deaths. It said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 Islamic State terrorists.

    • US led air strikes on Isis ‘likely to have killed hundreds of civilians’ says independent monitoring group

      An independent monitoring group says some bombings carried out by the US-led coalition targeting Isis are likely to have killed hundreds of civilians.

      The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking the international airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group, says it counted at least 459 suspected civilian fatalities from airstrikes it believes the coalition carried out in Iraq and Syria over the last year. It says the same strikes also caused at least 48 suspected “friendly fire” deaths.

    • MH370 probe: Wing fragment did come from missing jet, say French experts

      An aircraft wing fragment washed ashore on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion came from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared more than a year ago with 239 people aboard, experts say.

    • U.S. As Corrupt As Russia, Says Former NSA Exec

      Americans believe that Russia is a corrupt country where everyone from the president to regional governors to government officials are flourishing on bribes. Russia has developed corruption into a “fine art,” says a book titled “Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?” written by the University of Miami professor Karen Dawisha.

    • NSA-Japan Spy Scandal, the Passport Revocation Act, ‘Russian Body Bags’

      Finally, we wrap it all up by commenting on the US ‘Institute for Peace’ chairman who said that the Pentagon should arm Kiev in order to create more – quote – “body bags of Russian soldiers”.

    • NSA Pays Utah $1M to Secure Roads to Enormous Super-Secret Data Center

      The National Security Agency paid the state of Utah more than $1 million over 14 months for state troopers to guard the entrance to the agency’s data center near Salt Lake City, according to Utah Highway Patrol records.

    • Records: NSA paid Utah over $1M to police data center roads
    • Officials blame Russia for Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff email hack

      US officials have laid the blame for an attack against the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff unclassified email system firmly on Russia’s doorstep.

      Explaining how the second attack against the Pentagon this year had led to severe restrictions being placed on the network, officials said the work of around 4,000 military and civilian personnel had been disrupted (interestingly, The Register reports that staff were told the service disruption was an expected side effect of a planned system upgrade).

      The latest attack, believed to have occurred on or around 25 July, had originally passed without any fingers being pointed, as evidenced by Pentagon spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Valerie Henderson’s statement to Reuters…

    • Army Entertainment Liaison Office: Watch More TV! The Freedom Of Our Nation Depends On Your Contribution!

      Generally speaking, the US Army Entertainment Liaison office believes most of what crosses its desk furthers the Army’s interests. There are lots and lots of supportive assessments contained in the document, with the most common being “Supports Building Resilience” — a phrase that covers everything from military-friendly documentaries to American Idol. Another popular assessment is “Supports Modernizing the Force,” something the Liaison Office has applied to blockbuster franchises like The Avengers.

    • Fight the hysteria about the hack of OPM’s files. It’s probably not a big threat.

      We’re told the OPM hack will have horrific consequences for America. Just as we have been told so many times since WWII, almost always falsely. I expect this too will prove to be a wet firecracker. Here are the reasons why, obvious things few journalists have told you. {1st of 2 posts today.}

    • Former top CIA official arrested at BWI for allegedly trying to bring gun through security
    • Ex-CIA official arrested for allegedly trying to bring gun through BWI security

      A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, a former top CIA official and longtime Baltimore business leader, was arrested at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on Thursday for allegedly attempting to bring a loaded handgun onto an airplane.

    • Ex-CIA official arrested at airport for allegedly trying to bring gun through security
    • Buzzy Krongard Arrested, Attempted To Bring Loaded Gun Through BWI Security
    • 2 arrested at Maryland airports for gun possession
    • CIA Executive Director: CIA Committed Torture [same person as above]

      Former CIA Executive Director Buzzy Krongard told BBC on Monday that the CIA did engage in torture…

    • Ex-CIA boss admits to BBC Panorama that it tortured

      The CIA tortured terror suspects in its programme of “enhanced interrogation”, the agency’s former executive director, Buzzy Krongard, has admitted to the BBC’s Panorama programme.

    • Former senior CIA official says waterboarding was ‘torture’

      A former top CIA official has reportedly become the most senior agency figure to say he is “comfortable” with using the word “torture” to describe so-called enhanced interrogation techniques deployed against al-Qaeda suspects in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

    • Exclusive: “CIA death squads” – the one thing that could stop Jeremy Corbyn, according to Ken Livingstone

      Outside Camden Town Hall last night, a queue stretched round three sides of the building and along Euston Road. As people began to slowly file into the vast hall, it soon became clear that there was not enough space for the crowd to all fit inside. Teenagers actually began to scale the walls and huddle around windows to look inside.

      The spectacle? The 66-year-old Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn.

      As the crowd swelled at the door, former mayor of London and speaker at the rally, Ken Livingstone arrived.

      On his way into the venue, LondonLovesBusiness caught a few words with Livingstone about Corbyn’s campaign, and discovered that even with the tantalising prospect of a left-wing leader taking power, Livingstone’s sense of humour remains intact.

    • Edward Snowden: U.S. Government Snubs Pardon Plea for CIA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

      Lisa Monaco, the President’s Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said that Snowden’s move to disclose confidential data has had a grave impact on the security of the state.

    • John Kiriakou: Read this First! Before You Blow the Whistle, Here’s What No One Ever Tells You

      At sentencing, my judge gave me 30 months in prison and three years of probation, and she took away my federal pension. I left for prison believing that was the totality of my punishment. I was wrong.

      One of the first things that happened upon my conviction was that the company with which I had my homeowner’s and auto insurance canceled my policies. They don’t do business with felons, they said. That same week, my credit card company canceled my card and demanded the immediate payment of the balance.

      Then, shortly before my departure for prison, the agency that my wife and I used to hire child care providers also jumped on the bandwagon. They dropped us as clients and left us without anybody to help her care for our three young children while I was away.

    • Obama’s Syria policy is a mess

      Last year, President Obama asked for $500 million to arm and train the Syrian rebels. This year alone, the effort is supposed to train 3,000 soldiers to fight ISIS.

    • Obama’s failed plan to train the Syrian rebels, in one brutal timeline

      President Obama’s big plan to train friendly Syrian rebels has had a really rough few days. The first 60 American-trained Syrian rebels, part of a group called Division 30, finally went onto the battlefield and almost immediately got attacked by al-Qaeda and suffered a humiliating defeat. According to the Guardian, al-Qaeda fighters killed five US-trained rebels, wounded 18, and kidnapped seven, including the unit’s commander. Half of the American-trained fighters were put out of commission within weeks of hitting the ground.

    • United States to Scale Confrontation with Syria

      The US government threatens to further escalation against the government of Syria, according to The Wall Street Journal.

      The newspaper says that, although military officials minimize the chances of direct confrontation with the forces of the Syrian Arab Army, the fact that President Barack Obama authorized the use of the Air Force to defend US-trained groups, leaves open that possibility.

    • Washington Stunned by Attack on US Mercenaries in Syria

      The attack came early Friday against a Syrian militia known as Division 30, which has been the central focus of a $500 million program initiated by the Obama administration and administered by the Pentagon to arm and train a US-controlled proxy force, ostensibly for fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inside Syria.

      Launching the attack was the Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda and the most powerful of the Islamist militias that have been fielded in the Western, Saudi, Turkish and Qatari-backed war for regime change to oust the government of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

    • SAS dress as ISIS fighters in undercover war on jihadis

      The unorthodox tactic, which is seeing SAS units dressed in black and flying ISIS flags, has been likened to the methods used by the Long Range Desert Group against Rommel’s forces during the Second World War.

      More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country on operation Shader, tasked with destroying IS equipment and munitions which insurgents constantly move to avoid Coalition air strikes.

    • How US Allies Aid Al Qaeda in Syria

      The dirty secret about the Obama administration’s “regime change” strategy in Syria is that it amounts to a de facto alliance with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front which is driving toward a possible victory with direct and indirect aid from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel, as Daniel Lazare explains.

    • U.S. caution or incoherence in Syria?

      The U.S. military is training locals to fight IS but not Assad, while the CIA is training Syrian rebels to fight Assad.

    • Book review: Kill Chain by Andrew Cockburn

      AT a CIA awards dinner in Washington in 2011 Robert M Gates, a former director of the agency whose term as US Secretary of Defence straddled the Bush and Obama administrations, spoke on the future of the war on terror. Factories were working day and night, he told the audience, to turn out the newest, most vital front line weapons. “So from now on,” he said, “the watchword is: drones, baby, drones!”

    • We’re a year into the unofficial war against Isis with nothing to show for it

      This Saturday marks one full year since the US military began its still-undeclared war against Islamic State that the government officials openly acknowledge will last indefinitely. What do we have to show for it? So far, billions of dollars have been spent, thousands of bombs have been dropped, hundreds of civilians have been killed and Isis is no weaker than it was last August, when the airstrikes began.

    • Pentagon Doesn’t Know Who It Kills with ‘Signature’ Drone Strikes

      In June, when a CIA drone strike killed an al-Qaeda leader who the agency did not know was among a group of militants, the United States showed that it continues to fire drone missiles at targets whose identities are a mystery.

    • Exiled Chagossians could be allowed to return home under limited resettlement

      The Chagos Islands, one of the UK’s most remote overseas territories, could be opened up to tourism under plans allowing exiled islanders to return home, according to a Foreign Office report.

      The consultation process on resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), launched this week, proposes allowing 1,500 Chagossians to live on the archipelago.

      Britain forced the inhabitants off the islands in the early 1970s to make room for a US airbase that was built on the largest island, Diego Garcia. In exchange for the clearance, London received £5m off the cost of developing a joint US/UK missile programme.

    • Valerie Plame: The Spy Who Came in to the Code

      Since her cover was famously blown, former covert CIA operative Valerie Plame is more openly protecting the country’s digital assets. In May, the author and anti-nuclear activist joined the advisory board of Global Data Sentinel, developer of a cybersecurity platform designed to encrypt and protect across domains, networks, and devices.

    • Valerie Plame attacks Donald Trump on Iran nuke deal
    • Plame Wilson: Trump campaign sought support so she could get back at Rove
    • ‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Plame Wilson says Trump wanted her support

      Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson says the Donald Trump campaign reached out to her for support.

    • Missing In Action

      Over the past decade, a string of war movies emerged in the wake of 9/11: The Hurt Locker, Syriana, The Messenger, Green Zone, Lone Survivor, and American Sniper, to name just a few. Some have performed better than others at the box office, and many have received critical acclaim. Almost none has included portrayals of women in combat.

    • Are counterterrorism bills really working in the Western world?

      Last week we looked at the British counter-extremism bill, backed by Home Secretary Theresa May. The heated debate about this bill centers on whether it will curtail rights such as freedom of speech and whether it will target Muslims, creating an environment in which mistrust can only grow.

    • Letter: ‘Historic diplomatic achievement’

      The Iran deal reached in Vienna is truly a historic diplomatic achievement.

    • There’s good reason they should hate us

      Much adieu lately about how we can trust the Iranian nuclear agreement when they hate Americans.

      Do the Iranians hate us? If they don’t they should.

      Much of Iranian hatred is based on our CIA involvement in deposing their democratically elected prime minister in 1953 and supporting the brutal dictator (“the Shah”) who gave the U.S. and Britain unlimited access to oil.

      In the year 2000 the New York Times obtained a copy of the CIA’s secret history of the Iranian coup, revealing the inner workings of a plot that set the stage for the Islamic revolution in 1979, and for a generation of anti-American hatred in one of the Middle East’s most powerful countries.

    • US Special Forces Would Benefit From Recruiting More Arab Americans

      US Special Forces would gain an advantage and broaden its skill base by enlisting more Arab Americans, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Larry Johnson told Sputnik on Friday.

    • A forgotten conflict that is very much alive

      The murder of the Pakistani human rights activist Sabeen Mehmud in central Karachi earlier this year triggered a huge media echo. Mehmud was famous the world over for her work, primarily in the fields of women’s rights and Internet activism. Despite the intense media coverage, not much attention was paid to the fact that during the final months of her life, the activist had focused specifically on the conflict in the south-western Pakistani province of Balochistan. Just a few hours before her murder, Mahmud and her organisation “The Second Floor” had arranged a debate on the human rights situation in Balochistan.


      Balochistan has been the scene of several major rebellions in recent decades, all of which were brutally put down by the government in Islamabad. Although the region has a wealth of natural resources, the people are among the poorest in Pakistan. They barely have access to stable infrastructure, power or clean drinking water. Some 88 per cent of Balochs live below the poverty line. Although natural resources are being exploited, the authorities are failing to make adequate investments in other sectors. Only the security sector is flourishing.

    • Report: Hundreds of Civilians Killed by U.S.-Led Bombing of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

      A new report from a group of journalists and researchers says that hundreds of civilians have died during airstrikes by the U.S. and other nations fighting the Islamic State, a marked contrast to the Pentagon’s official admission of just two civilian deaths.

    • Book review: The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong is gripping

      His account of the Tibetan struggle is a welcome contribution to the growing body of Tibetan resistance literature and on the CIA’s involvement.

      Some of the background to the events he recounts has never been told before. The only other Tibetan to tell the whole story is the late Lhamo Tsering in his exhaustive work, Resistance, and his son Tenzing Sonam in his compelling documentary, The Shadow Circus: the CIA in Tibet. Apart from these, this aspect of Tibet’s struggle for survival has been mainly hogged by CIA operatives or by American writers drawn to the subject. Gyalo Thondup’s perspective on the cloak-and-dagger game Tibet briefly played with the CIA will remain the authoritative Tibetan account of this episode of the Tibetan struggle.

    • Arguing Against Evil

      For liberal hawks and neoconservatives, the idea of the Congress for Cultural Freedom is an appealing fantasy. It evokes the time at the beginning of the Cold War when intellectuals played a serious role in politics because the world seemed not just caught up in a battle of armies but in a battle of ideas. Beginning in 1950, it brought together a diverse array of thinkers who, under the rubric of anti-totalitarianism, agreed that the freedom to think and write was inviolable. Its raison d’etre was anti-Communism; it sought to reduce the influence of Communist and fellow-traveling intellectuals, first concentrating on Western Europe but later expanding all around the world. In the words of one of its historians, “It was America’s principal attempt to win over the world’s intellectuals to the liberal democratic cause.” In seeking to influence left-wing intellectuals, it steered away from conservative thinkers. In Europe and elsewhere it featured social democrats, Christian Democrats, and even dissident Marxists. In the United States, its most active boosters were liberals, like Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Daniel Bell, and former Marxists moving in neoconservative directions, such as Sidney Hook. The CCF defended pluralism, democracy, and even socialism, so long as it was anti-Communist. (Even late in life, both Bell and Hook still thought of themselves as socialists, at least on economic questions.) It had a sophisticated publishing operation, amplifying voices critical of Communism. It arranged, for example, for the publication of the Yugoslavian ex-Communist Milovan Djilas’s The New Class, which argued that the Soviet Union was not in fact a classless society but one in which class privilege accrued based on proximity to the state bureaucracy. The CCF also operated a stable of high-quality literary and political magazines, among them Encounter in London, Der Monat in Germany, Jiyu in Japan, and Mundo Nuevo in Latin America.

    • Still Uninvestigated After 50 Years: Did the U.S. Help Incite the 1965 Indonesia Massacre?

      It is now fifty years since the so-called “G30S” or “Gestapu” (Gerakan September Tigahpuluh) event of September 30, 1965 in Indonesia, when six members of the Indonesian army general staff were brutally murdered.

    • Indonesian Genocide

      In light of these findings, it seems hypocritical for the US to constantly wag its finger at other nations for their human rights shortcomings when past US government have engaged in such horrific mass killings.

    • Iran’s Longstanding US-Inflicted Nightmare

      It began in August 1953 – replacing democratically elected Mohammad Mossadeq (Iran’s most popular politician at the time) with a generation of brutal US-installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi dictatorship.

      A 2013 declassified CIA document (marking the coup’s 60th anniversary) publicly acknowledged the agency’s involvement (Operation TPAJAX) – what’s been well-known for decades.

    • The crazy story of how Russia snuck a vast nuclear arsenal onto America’s doorstep

      Most stories about the Cuban Missile Crisis start with Oct. 16, 1962, when the president and his advisors were briefed on the missile sites on the island. A few start with Oct. 13, when the U-2 flight that photographed the sites took off. U-2 overflights would collect more information during the crisis along with other reconnaissance plans. After collecting all the information, U.S. intelligence agencies believed the Russians had smuggled nearly 10,000 troops onto the island.

    • Lessons from Tonkin and Libya: We Need a President Who Won’t Trick Us Into War

      Fifty-one years ago, an American president deceived the public about the true purpose of a U.S. military mission, ushering in a decade of foreign policy disasters. Unfortunately, this method of abusing democracy has continued, on a bipartisan basis, to the present day, when it is casting a shadow over U.S. policy in Syria.

      In August 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his advisers deliberately misled Congress and the American people about the mission of two U.S. destroyers that were allegedly attacked off the coast of communist North Vietnam and their connection to U.S.-directed raids on nearby offshore islands. Their lie paved the way for U.S. bombing of North Vietnam and congressional passage of the administration’s Tonkin Gulf Resolution: a broadly worded measure that would soon facilitate Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War. A policy that began with an act of deceit about a U.S. military mission had awful and ill-considered consequences for Americans, Vietnamese and other southeast Asians, U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and China, and America’s global reputation. Many historians are convinced that a diplomatic settlement could have avoided most of this damage.

    • August 4, 1964: The Gulf of Tonkin ‘Incident’ Sparks American Escalation in Vietnam

      Fifty-one years ago today, the United States Navy reported that its ships had been attacked some miles off the shore of North Vietnam. Provocatively, the US ships were patrolling in areas where South Vietnam was conducting active operations against the North, prompting the latter, quite understandably, to perceive the Americans as participants in the hostilities. Torpedo boats approached within a few nautical miles of the USS Maddox, which responded with warning shots. The subsequent firefight killed four North Vietnamese sailors, destroyed several of their boats, and lightly wounded an American ship and a plane. Two days later, American ships again reported that they were under attack and for hours fiercely maneuvered and fired at North Vietnamese boats, two of which they claimed to have sunk. As it turned out, the American ships had only been picking up radar signals from their own equipment, chasing phantoms as Don Quixote had combated windmills. Regardless, President Lyndon Johnson seized on the incident as a pretext for bombing North Vietnam and drastically escalating American involvement in the war. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing such action passed on August 7, 1964, with only two senators objecting: Wayne Morse of Oregon, a frequent Nation contributor, and Ernest Gruening of Alaska, managing editor of this publication in the early 1920s. In an editorial appearing in the first issue after the incident and the resolution, The Nation’s editors wrote, “The excessive retaliatory action the President saw fit to order brings us closer to the brink of World War III.” In the same issue, a former State Department official named John Gange wrote an essay titled “Misadventure in Vietnam: The Mix of Fact and Myth.”

    • Anti-Russian propaganda destroys Western journalism [says Kremlin propaganda]
    • Russia, Italy Can Restore Pre-Sanction Level of Relations – Farmers Union

      Dino Scanavino, the head of the Italian Confederation of Farmers (CIA), said that existing business relations between Italy and Russia are generally favorable, as Russian entrepreneurs are actively assisting their Italian colleagues in recovering losses.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Snowden 2.0: Japanese Journalist Has Been Living in Moscow Airport for Two Months

      Japanese journalist Tetsuya Abo is pulling a Snowden – he’s been living in the transit section of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for over two months now. The 36-year-old said in an interview that his stay is politically motivated – he does not want to go back home, and is requesting Russian citizenship instead.

    • Ling Jihua’s brother could become China’s Snowden: Duowei
    • China demands US repatriate businessman Ling Wangcheng
    • Former military contractor sentenced for stealing classified files [for doing what Petraeus did]

      A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] on Monday sentenced Christopher R. Glenn 120 months in jail and three years of supervised release for willful retention of classified national defense information [DOJ press release] under the Espionage Act [text].

    • FBI may pillory Hillary with email spillery grillery

      The FBI is investigating presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email account while presiding over the State Department.

      The Washington Post has reported that the FBI is digging into Clinton’s operation of a personal email server as part of her work as the US Secretary of State between 2009 and 2012.

    • To intelligence community, Clinton’s private email scheme is inconceivable

      Sounds like free association triggered by some of the stories making the rounds on the 24/7 news networks.

      There was the announcement that Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be paroled after serving the 30 years mandated by his “life” sentence in 1985. This is the same Jonathan Pollard who caused George Tenet to threaten to resign as CIA director when the idea of a pardon or commutation was suggested during the Clinton administration.

    • Keeping top secrets

      Here’s why Hillary Clinton may have broken the law

    • What everyone with a Top Secret security clearance knows – or should know

      The key issue in play with Clinton is that it is a violation of national security to maintain classified information on an unclassified system.

      Classified, secure, computer systems use a variety of electronic (often generically called TEMPESTed) measures coupled with physical security (special locks, shielded conduits for cabling, armed guards) that differentiate them from an unclassified system. Some of the protections are themselves classified, and unavailable in the private sector. Such standards of protection are highly unlikely to be fulfilled outside a specially designed government facility.

    • DOJ Inaction Against Hillary Proves of Selective Prosecution in the United States

      In April of this year, former CIA Director David Petraeus, one of the most accomplished military generals in our nation’s history, was prosecuted and sentenced to two years of probation plus a $100,000 fine for giving his biographer classified material while they were working on the book. What was lost in the shuffle is that his biographer was a Reserve Army Intelligence Officer, who herself possessed a Top Secret clearance, and that no classified materials were ever published or provided to anyone who didn’t have clearance.

      Mr. Petraeus’ plea agreement carried a possible sentence of up to a year in prison, and in court papers, prosecutors recommended two years of probation and a $40,000 fine.

      U.S. District Judge David Kessler, however, increased the fine, in his words to, “reflect the seriousness of the offense.”

    • Army, CIA Satisfied Nazi Spy Information Request

      The Army and CIA satisfied their obligations under the FOIA by releasing thousands of pages about a Nazi general turned U.S. spy, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

    • Is the Intelligence Community Inspector General Trying To Give Contractors Whistleblower Protections?

      Last week, McClatchy’s Marisa Taylor reported on two cases showing the new appeals process for whistleblower retaliation claims ordered by President Obama is now operational; in the cases of Army whistleblower Michael Helms and CIA whistleblower John Reidy, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Charles McCullough, has bounced the appeals back to the agencies in question for re-review.

      That McCullough has chosen to bounce these two appeals back to the agencies is notable enough, because his commitment to whistleblower issues has never been apparent. Instead, McCullough has spent his time as IG conducting leak investigations. And last year, a complaint email sent to Daniel Meyer, who oversees whistleblower issues for the intelligence community, somehow got shared with the subject of the complaint. So McCullough’s record on these issues is less than stellar.

      But McCullough’s move is particularly interesting when you consider the details of the appeal of the second complainant, John Reidy.

    • German government fires prosecutor over treason charge against Internet blog
    • German justice minister fires chief prosecutor in treason row
    • Top German prosecutor fired after treason probe involvement

      Harald Range, Germany’s top prosecutor, was dismissed from his duties on Tuesday by Justice Minister Heiko Maas [official website] after Range accused the German government of obstructing his investigation against two German journalists. Range was interested in an investigation against the two journalists from the website Netzpolitik.org, which had reported on the expansion of surveillance of online communication within Germany’s domestic spy agency. Range received information from an independent expert explaining that the information the journalists received from an unknown source was legitimate and also a “state secret.” In an effort to prevent anymore embarrassment to the German government, Range, who is 67, was dismissed [Deutsche Welle report], despite his intentions to retire next year and be succeeded by Munich federal prosecutor Peter Frank. The treason probe became public news last week following a criminal complaint filed by the spy agency which also targeted the unknown source who dispersed the leaked documents.

    • Germany scores against the surveillance state

      It all went very fast. On Tuesday morning August 4, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor, Harald Range, was ordered by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to withdraw an independent expert from the investigation of two journalists from Netzpolitik. The investigator had concluded that leaked documents quoted by the news website amounted to a disclosure of a state secret, one of the required criteria to pursue a treason case. The prosecutor protested: “To meddle with an internal review on the basis that the results might be inopportune is an intolerable interference with the independence of the judiciary .” A few hours later on Tuesday evening Maas asked for the prosecutor to be granted early retirement. In plain words, Harald Range was sacked.

    • Lawmakers and bloggers named in German treason case

      Germany’s domestic spy agency named not just bloggers but also lawmakers in a criminal complaint that sparked a controversial treason probe, news weekly Der Spiegel said Friday.

    • How a treason case in Germany set off a political firestorm

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s well-deserved holiday from the euro-zone crisis was disturbed this week by a domestic scandal involving a debate over freedom of the press vs. the protection of classified information, as German Justice Minister Heiko Maas requested the dismissal of federal prosecutor Harald Range for his investigation of two journalists for treason. Maas said Merkel agreed with his decision.

    • Pressure Mounts for German Intel Agency Chief to Resign Over Treason Probe

      There are growing calls for the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, to resign over the Netzpolitik affair, which has already claimed the scalp of the Federal Prosecutor Harald Range.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Idaho Huntress Defends Posting Photos with Giraffe (and Other Animals) She Killed on African Safari

      Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer went into hiding after he became the subject of international scorn for killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. But another American is proudly advertising the game she has shot while on African safari – and thumbing her nose at her critics.

      “To me it’s not just killing an animal, it’s the hunt,” Sabrina Corgatelli, of Idaho, told the Today show on Monday.

      Corgatelli has been sharing photos on her Facebook page of her recent legal hunt in South Africa. On July 31 she reposted a picture of a massive giraffe she had killed.

    • In Zimbabwe, Cecil tells only part of the story

      When news of Cecil’s death first came out, many in Zimbabwe had never heard of the lion, said Fungai Machirori, a Zimbabwe-based journalist and social commentator.

    • Professional hunters in Zimbabwe court over killing of lions

      Two professional hunters have appeared in a Zimbabwean court, each accused in separate cases of helping Americans kill lions.

  • Finance

    • Contingent Faculty: Where Money Might Go in Higher Education

      Fifty years ago, more than 75% of college faculty members were full-time and had tenure or were on track to get it. Today, only a third are part of that elite group. Many of those doing the teaching at American universities are poorly paid, have no job security and limited benefits. Some have PhD’s but still qualify for government assistance to buy food.

    • Higher Education Debt Should Be Deductible, Rand Paul Says

      “You can’t just offer free education, but I think tying it to work and making it deductible is a good idea,” Sen. Rand Paul says at Republican presidential forum at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

    • Pornhub taught us to expect free porn — now, can it make us pay?

      Imagine, if you will, that there’s a restaurant that offers diners a free, unlimited buffet. For years they’ve encouraged their patrons to come in and gorge themselves at will, subtly implying that anyone who pays for food is an idiot. There’ve been rumors that this restaurant’s been able to keep the buffet going by stealing food from competing restaurants, but most patrons don’t care — and as the restaurant drives out its competition, or buys them out, eventually the objections die down.

    • George Osborne will miss £1tn export target warns British Chambers of Commerce

      The UK is the 11th largest exporter in the world, behind the likes of the US, China and Germany, according to the CIA World Factbook. And, according to the BBC, the country is also the second biggest exporter of services behind the US. But the business body has urged Cameron and Osborne to “open up markets” for firms and encouraged British businesses to up the skills of their workforce.

    • Donald Trump: “I pay as little as possible” in taxes
    • Explaining Donald Trump’s Rise With Economic Misinformation

      Everyone has heard about Donald Trump’s soaring poll numbers as the current leader in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Many have also heard the explanation that he appeals to those who feel left behind by the economy. Unfortunately, the way the media often tell this story has little to do with reality.


      Both parts of this are seriously misleading. First, it is not just non-college grads who have struggled since the turn of the century. Most college grads have seen little or no wage gains since then. The second part is wrong also, since wages for non-college grads had also been stagnant since 1980, so for them the experience of the last 15 years has not been “a marked departure from prior decades.”

    • Funny Money: CIA Counterfeiting in Poland

      Communism was relegated to the dustbin of history for many reasons, foremost among them were its warped economic policies. In places like Poland during the 1960s, foreigners with access to hard currency could easily game the system and do pretty well. David Fischer recounts how Polish-American retirees lived like kings in Krakow, the way the embassy had to pay “bail” for one American with what turned out to be counterfeit zlotys made by the CIA, and how Western diplomats were able to travel abroad very cheaply.

    • Neocolonialism: How it is conquering our country today.

      It is important to note that forces of neo-colonialism are ably conquering our country today.

    • Nazi-Fighter Grynberg Girds for Swiss Last Stand Against Big Oil

      U.S. courts have been good to Jack Grynberg, netting him hundreds of millions of dollars in disputes with some of the world’s largest oil and gas producers since 1984.

      Despite that fortune, the 83-year-old oilman says he’s fed up with America’s legal system and has taken his biggest suit yet — a battle over profits from Kazakhstan’s most valuable oil fields — to Switzerland.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Video Games, Predictive Programming, and the 21st Century Skinner Box

      The game focuses upon two branching military campaigns: One by the Marine Corps in an unnamed Middle Eastern country (situated on the in-game map directly atop modern Syria) run by a cartoonish dictator generically referred to as none other than “Al-Asad,” the other by a British SAS team combating “ultranationalist Russians” who are supporting this thinly veiled tin-pot Arabic dictator. After a patriotic romp through Central Asia, “Al-Asad” predictably (predicatively?) uses “Weapons of Mass Destruction” on his own people, leading to a climactic final battle at a Russian nuclear site in a bid to avoid World War III.

    • AUDIO: ‘Left, Right & Center’: Republican Media Stunts, NSA Data Dump and Cecil the Lion
    • Chris Christie’s Revealing, Easy to Spot Lie About His 9/11 Credentials

      A majority of Americans in opinion surveys say they disapprove of the NSA’s collection programs. A Pew Research poll this May found a full 74 percent of respondents did not believe privacy should be sacrificed for safety. But Paul is one of only a few Republican candidates (Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is another) who has fought against the NSA program, and hawkish Republican candidates like Christie see attacking Paul on that as an effective way to build support among the Republican base, illustrating how out of touch that base can be on some of the important issues of the day.

    • Chris Christie So Obsessed With Increasing Surveillance He Pretends He Was A Fed On 9/11 Even Though He Wasn’t
    • Christie Lied about 9/11 to Try to Shut Down Paul’s Opposition to Dragnet Spying

      Never mind that most US Attorneys don’t, themselves, go before the FISC to present cases (usually it is people from the National Security Division, though it was OIPR when Christie was US Attorney), never mind that the name of the court is the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

      The real doozie here is Chris Christie’s claim that he “was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001.”


      Update: In an absolutely hysterical attempt to rebut the clear fact that he was not nominated when he said he was, Christie’s people said he was informed he would be on September 10 at 4:30 (as I suggested was likely). But the rest of the explanation makes it clear they hadn’t even done a background check yet!

    • The GOP Debates Showed How Fox News Enforces Republican Orthodoxy

      At Thursday night’s GOP debates in Cleveland, moderators Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Megyn Kelly, Martha MacCallum and Chris Wallace peppered the party’s 17 presidential candidates with tough questions. But several of those questions had one key thing in common: They hit candidates for deviating from Republican orthodoxy.

    • Jeb Bush launches online store with hipster

      The “My Dad” tee, offered for $25, is emblazoned with the quote, “My dad is the greatest man I’ve ever known, and if you don’t think so, we can step outside,” obviously referring to Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush. Bush referenced the shirt in one of the more colorful moments coming from a New Hampshire forum earlier this week.

    • Sen. Graham moved up in Air Force Reserve ranks despite light duties

      Of all the candidates vying to become the nation’s next commander in chief, none has spent as much time in the military as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham. The South Carolina Republican retired from the Air Force this summer after a 33-year career, including two decades as a reservist while serving in Congress.

    • Politically Unapologetic: What about Bernie Sanders?

      Before his rally on May 26th, his overall poll rating average in the Democratic race was at 10.6%. It now hovers around 20-25%, which is causing concern for the Clinton camp since her unfavorable rating is rising. The coming weeks will really tell if Sanders can catch Clinton, given that Joe Biden doesn’t jump into the race last minute.

  • Censorship

    • Singapore teen blogger launches another attack

      A teenage Singaporean blogger recently jailed after publishing an online video that criticised the late Lee Kuan Yew and was deemed to have been obscene and insulting to religious feelings, has launched another tirade, condemning the lack of freedom of speech in the city-state.

    • Amos Yee, Singapore’s Teen Dissident, Is Back With a Crude, Hilarious Video

      The moptopped Singaporean blogger Amos Yee is out of prison after having served 53 days in jail for posting a video criticizing the late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew. And if Singaporean authorities thought a prison term might quiet the precocious teen, they were sorely mistaken: Yee is out with a new, obscene, and often hilarious video answering his critics and attacking Singapore’s lack of civil liberties.

    • Are Americans falling in love with censorship?

      Classifying books according to their suitability for different age ranges would be “ill-advised”, “unworkable” and would “raise serious concerns about censorship”, American free-speech campaigners have said, in the wake of a poll claiming that more than seven in 10 US adults believe a rating system similar to that used for films should be applied to books.

    • The little-known history of secrecy and censorship in wake of atomic bombings

      The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago, is one of the most studied events in modern history. And yet significant aspects of that bombing are still not well known.

    • The Fallout Over University Of Illinois Censorship Of War On Gaza Continues

      The chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), who was involved in firing Professor Steven Salaita over tweets he sent about Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, has announced her resignation yesterday. The announcement comes as a federal judge refused to dismiss Salaita’s lawsuit against the university for violating his free speech.

    • That’s Not Funny!

      Three comics sat around a café table in the chilly atrium of the Minneapolis Convention Center, talking about how to create the cleanest possible set. “Don’t do what’s in your gut,” Zoltan Kaszas said. “Better safe than sorry,” Chinedu Unaka offered. Feraz Ozel mused about the first time he’d ever done stand-up: three minutes on giving his girlfriend herpes and banging his grandma. That was out.

    • Truth hurts: censorship in the media

      In September 1945, less than a month after Japan’s surrender ending World War II and ushering in the U.S.-led Occupation, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander for the Allied powers, began cracking down on alleged Japanese war criminals. Over the next three months, hundreds of politicians, military men, bureaucrats and industrialists would be issued arrest warrants for their role in leading Japan to, and through, the war.

      Among those who found themselves under suspicion as Class-A, -B, or -C war criminals were senior members of the press. One of the most notorious was Matsutaro Shoriki, owner of the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

      “He was one of the most important journalists who actively propagated the Axis cause before the war and energetically supported it through the war,” read a secret report on Shoriki compiled by Occupation officials when he was arrested on Dec. 12,, 1945.

    • Bangladesh must act against impunity

      Index on Censorship deplores the killing of blogger Niloy Chakrabarti in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and calls on the authorities to investigate the murder and ensure that those responsible are found and brought to justice.

      “We strongly condemn Niloy Chakrabarti’s brutal murder,” said Index’s senior advocacy officer Melody Patry. “We fear the death toll will increase if the authorities fail to take action to find and punish those responsible. Freedom of expression is in danger and Bangladesh must do more to protect writers online and offline.”

      Chakrabarti, who wrote under the pen name Niloy Neel, is the fourth secular blogger to be murdered since the start of the year. A member of Bangladesh’s Science and Rationalist Association, he was attacked in his home in Dhaka.

    • Memoir focuses on late librarian’s work on censorship in occupied Japan

      Subjected to censorship by the Allied Forces for four years starting in the fall of 1945, the materials bear censorship markings ranging from check-in and examination dates to deletions, suppression and other changes.

    • Govt blocks 857 porn websites, sparks debate on Internet censorship
    • India’s Porn Ban Reversal Is Essentially Bullshit
    • India orders clampdown on internet porn, sparks censorship debate
    • Isis play Homegrown sparks censorship debate after NYT cancels it for ‘quality reasons’
    • NYT radicalisation play axed amid cries of censorship
    • Man sentenced to 30 years of jail for insulting the Thai monarchy on Facebook
    • On your mind: Realpolitik defines US/Thai relationship

      Webster’s dictionary defines realpolitik as a system of politics based on a country’s situation and its needs, rather than on ideas about what is morally right and wrong. No doubt, US government officials would deny that realpolitik defines American policies, but it is hard to see any clear moral imperative with regard to that country’s relationship with Thailand.

      The moral face the US shines on Thailand, urging for example, that the Thais take steps to end human trafficking and restore democratic rule, is two-faced.

    • Google challenges France over ‘right to be forgotten’
    • Cameron’s censorship silences debate

      British Prime Minister David Cameron is a calculated hypocrite on the question of Muslim radicalisation. In July, in the wake of the attack on British and other tourists in Tunisia, he announced a counterstrategy to stop the spread of extremist movements such as the Islamic State.

      His four-pronged strategy includes delegitimising the ideology that underpinned these movements – especially those that argue for an Islamic caliphate – and emboldening the Muslim community to counter extremism from within. For Cameron: “The adherents of this ideology are overpowering other voices within Muslim debate, especially those who are trying to challenge it.”

      Yet, in a self-defeating move, his government has prevented one of the most prominent voices countering radicalisation of the Islamic State variety from entering Britain: Na’eem Jeenah, a South African.

    • Why the Rise of Decentralized Media is the End of Censorship

      In the buzzing world of altcoins, blockchains, and crypto-startups, if you aren’t decentralized these days, you’re probably still considered a bit of a dinosaur. But in the world of electronic publishing, legacy opinion remains, that media should be submitted to a central authority, subjected to editorial policies and stored on servers in ever larger data-centres.

    • How users of ‘Chinese Twitter’ Sina Weibo are beating state censorship

      If you were scrolling through Twitter and saw a post saying “someone is playing hide-and-seek again. These people can grass-mud horse,” you might be more than a little mystified.

      But if, say, you were Chinese, didn’t think much of your government, and knew something about fooling its stringent online censors, you may well understand the coded message.

    • Now playing in Israel: film censorship

      Right-wing politicians from the culture minister down are getting screenings canceled. The fear is that filmmakers will start censoring themselves.

    • A Quiz for the West’s Great Free Speech Advocates and Supporters of Anjem Choudary’s Arrest

      As we all know ever since the inspiring parade in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo attack, “free speech” is a cherished and sacred right in the West even for the most provocative and controversial views (of course, if “free speech” does not allow expression of the most provocative and controversial views, then, by definition, it does not exist). But yesterday in the U.K., the British-born Muslim extremist Anjem Choudary, who has a long history of spouting noxious views, was arrested on charges of “inviting support” for ISIS based on statements he made in “individual lectures which were subsequently published online.”

  • Privacy

    • Appeals court rules warrant required for cellphone tracking

      A federal appeals court in Virginia has ruled that police must obtain a search warrant to obtain records about cellphone locations in criminal investigations.

      The American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday’s decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals conflicts with two other federal appeals court rulings and increases the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue.

    • When Your Records Are Not Yours

      This dubious “third-party doctrine,” enunciated before the Internet existed and mobile phones became ubiquitous, was crucial to the outcome of a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in May. The court said an armed robber named Quartavius Davis had no constitutional grounds to object when the FBI linked him to crime scenes with cellphone location data that it obtained without a warrant.

    • Commentary: Christie wasn’t ‘Born to Run’

      Going back to Christie’s big moment during the debate, it’s completely predictable he’d be in favor of continuing the government’s bulk collection of phone data. After all, he’s a former prosecutor and professed 9/11 hugger (which garnered an amusing eye roll from Paul). I find myself more on Paul’s side of the argument, but the public surprisingly backs renewal of the government’s program of data mining. Plus, I wanted to draw a cartoon about Christie, not the NSA, which I’ve offered my opinion on many, many times.

    • Rand Paul And Chris Christie Spar Over NSA Surveillance

      Last night, Fox News hosted one of the most ridiculous, deeply entertaining GOP Presidential debates I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing a drinking game to. In the midst of the Moscow Mules, Lagunitas and amazing Trump-isms came a pretty heated (and unexpected) shouting match between former Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul regarding the spying capabilities of the NSA.

    • WATCH: Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul on NSA Surveillance

      New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a Libertarian who has fought against widespread government surveillance of American citizens, sparred over how to best protect the United States from terrorists.

    • This Group May Stop the NSA From Tapping the Internet’s Backbone

      It’s taken seven years of legal wrangling, but one group of pro-privacy activists are hoping an appeals court will finally declare a critical part of the National Security Agency’s spying apparatus unconstitutional.

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been challenging the NSA’s bulk data collection program in court since 2008, largely running on whisteblower testimony from Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician who alleges the NSA inserted technology into the internet company’s infrastructure that allowed it to collect and analyze the data.

    • EFF Finally Gets To Ask Appeals Court To Look At 4th Amendment Question Over NSA’s Backbone Sniffing

      It’s taken many years, but one of the EFF’s longstanding cases against the NSA has finally reached an important milestone: exploring the 4th Amendment question raised by the NSA tapping the internet backbone. This is part of the Jewel v. NSA case that has been going on for years. Back in February (after a lot of procedural back and forth on other issues), the district court rejected the 4th Amendment argument, basically toeing the government’s “but… but… national security!” line. Not surprisingly, the EFF disagreed with the court and appealed to the 9th Circuit appeals court.

    • A New Milestone: Appeals Court to Consider NSA’s Mass Seizures and Searches on the Internet Backbone

      One of the most outrageous ways that the government has violated our Fourth Amendment rights against general seizures and searches has been through its system of tapping into the fiber optic cables of America’s telecommunications companies. The result is a digital dragnet—a technological mass surveillance system that subjects millions of ordinary Americans to the seizure and searching of their online correspondence, conversations, web searches, reading and other activities as they travel across the Internet. This tapping isn’t just about metadata—it includes full content searches of Americans’ communications, at the very least any international communications involving a website or a person who is abroad.

    • How communication surveillance eats away fundamental human rights

      There are several intelligence agencies around the world, many of them headquartered in the US, which make use of the vastly developed technology of the digital age to spy on millions of people, who are not even considered terrorism suspects. The most (in)famous agency as such would be the NSA (National Security Agency), which uses a pretty smart foundation of ‘legal’ activities to justify its actions.

      The issue is that NSA activities are anything but legal. They manage to claim that they operate within the frame of law because of the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Security Court), which interprets the actual law into what would be considered legal for NSA’s actions. In other words, when the NSA goes searching for information about whomever it wants, there is usually no warrant, as the person is usually not even a suspect.

    • The NSA Playset: 5 Better Tools To Defend Systems

      The NSA ANT Catalog is a 50-page classified document listing technology available to the NSA Tailored Access Operations by the ANT division to aid in cyber surveillance. Most documents are described as already operational and available to U.S. nationals and members of the Five Eyes Alliance – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The document was first revealed in an article by security researchers in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, which released the catalog to the public on December 30, 2013.

    • NSA-grade encryption for mobile over untrusted networks

      The only term being thrown around government more than “2016 elections” these days is “cybersecurity,” particularly following a rash of damaging and high-profile data breaches. With that focus on protecting information top of mind in agencies, USMobile officials hope to find a ready market for their commercial app, which lets government workers use their personal smartphones for top-secret communications.

    • Security Sense: Encryption is a necessity that cannot feasibly be compromised

      It’s always fascinating to watch how security concepts are communicated to the general public and by “fascinating”, I mean it’s sometimes horrifying. There is no more poignant an example than that of encryption and I found the piece from CNN a few days ago on how encryption is a growing threat to security to be the absolute epitome of disinformation. It would be understandable if the general public walked away from reading and watching this piece with the distinct impression that encryption was the root of all evil. Why? Apparently “because terrorism”.

    • NSA’S EPIC Fail: Spy Agency Pays Lawyers That Sue It

      The NSA and FBI are major contributors to EPIC — the Electronic Privacy Information Center. But their “donations” aren’t exactly voluntary.

      A hefty chunk of EPIC’s legal budget is taken from the pockets of the very agencies it sues, each time a federal judge agrees that the government was wrong to keep the information secret.

    • Chris Christie actually wants to expand the NSA’s spying powers

      Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traded barbs Thursday night over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. phone records. In the heat of the Republican presidential debate, Christie got the last word in — but who actually came out of the exchange on top?

    • NSA and GCHQ have been spying on you for 50 years

      Starting in 1966, the project leapt into life when the NSA fronted the money for the GCHQ to build a station in Bude, Cornwall, capable of intercepting satellite communications from Intelsat, the first commercial communications satellite network.

    • Snowden leaks confirm existence of ECHELON

      NSA documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden confirm the existence of ECHELON, a secret surveillance network spying on satellite communications. Set up by the US and the UK in the 1960s, ECHELON was the precursor of today’s global dragnet.

    • Uncovering ECHELON: The Top-Secret NSA/GCHQ Program That Has Been Watching You Your Entire Life

      If history is written by the victors, government surveillance agencies will have an awfully long list of sources to cite.

      Domestic digital surveillance has often seemed to be a threat endured mostly by the social media generation, but details have continued to emerge that remind us of decades of sophisticated, automated spying from the NSA and others.

      Before the government was peering through our webcams, tracking our steps through GPS, feeling every keystroke we typed and listening and watching as we built up complex datasets of our entire personhood online, there was still rudimentary data to be collected. Over the last fifty years, Project ECHELON has given the UK and United States (as well as other members of the Five Eyes) the capacity to track enemies and allies alike within and outside their states. The scope has evolved in that time period from keyword lifts in intercepted faxes to its current all-encompassing data harvesting.

    • Investigative journalism is vital for democracy as state surveillance increases

      For those inclined to think that the series of surveillance scandals and leaks over the past two years are unlikely to have much of an impact, it is worth recalling that, up until a little over 30 years ago, the British government denied the very existence of a spying organisation called GCHQ. As investigative journalist Duncan Campbell described in the Intercept yesterday, in a compelling account of a life spent chasing Britain’s spies out of the shadows, in the 70s and 80s even talking about GCHQ, let alone investigating and reporting on it, could get you followed, arrested and jailed.

    • How UK journalist revealed mass GCHQ snooping decades before Snowden

      It took more than 25 years for Duncan Campbell to finally publish confirmation of the Echelon project, completing a story he began breaking in 1988.

      The scoop, released on The Register and The Intercept this week, capped off some 40 years of investigative journalism on British and American spy agencies, Campbell having begun his career by revealing the existence of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

    • Global spy system ECHELON confirmed at last – by leaked Snowden files
    • USA Monitors 90 Percent of Global Communications

      The National Security Agency (NSA) espionage program Echelon remains active, which controls 90 percent of global communications, revealed today the intercept digital site.
      In an article in the Internet portal, the British journalist Duncan Campbell made the history of this monitoring system, also known as Project P415, and sets filtered by former contractor NSA Edward Snowden, now a refugee in Russia elements.

      The materials confirm that the mechanism was created in 1966, shortly after the first communication satellites began operating in earth orbit.

      Overall network received the codename Frosting and consisted of two subprograms: Transient directed against communications satellite of the Soviet Union, and Echelon, which focused on electronic signals Western powers.

    • Global Five Eyes Spy System ‘Bigger Than Ever’

      In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, the respected UK investigative reporter Duncan Campbell has said a western-led mass surveillance system developed in the 1960s is “bigger than ever, much more powerful and a critical component” of mass surveillance.

    • UK ECHELON journalist: “Snowden proved spies need accountability”

      Legendary investigative journalist Duncan Campbell describes his life of being kidnapped by the London Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch, being surveiled and harassed by UK spies and ministers, and reveals the identity of the whistleblower who leaked the details of ECHELON to him.

      Campbell’s article is accompanied by never-released Snowden docs that demonstrate the full scope of ECHELON surveillance, and traces the lineage of journalists and whistleblowers who took huge personal risks to reveal corruption, criminal wrongdoing, and secrecy among spies and their masters in government.

    • Biden calls Abe to apologize after WikiLeaks details alleged NSA spying on Tokyo

      U.S. Vice President Joe Biden apologized to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday for “causing trouble,” after documents released last week detailed alleged spying by the U.S. National Security Agency on the government in Tokyo, a top Japanese official said.

      Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the phone conversation between Biden and Abe came about at Washington’s request.

      Suga declined to comment on whether Biden admitted the U.S. had spied on Japanese officials and companies over a period that started in 2006, as alleged in documents released last week by anti-secrecy group WiliLeaks.

    • NSA Spying on Japan: The Fallout

      Last Friday, the WikiLeaks website unveiled evidence that the U.S. National Security Agency is conducting espionage operations in Japan. On July 31, WikiLeaks published “Target Tokyo,” a list of 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan and five NSA reports on intercepts relating to U.S.-Japan relations, trade negotiations, and sensitive climate strategy.

    • Stealing valuables and saying sorry

      WikiLeaks also released a statement issued by Julian Assange, where he said that the documents showed clearly the vulnerability of the Japanese government as officials had been worrying in private about how much or how little inside information they would let Washington know.

    • Tokyo Expects US Explanations on NSA Spying on Japanese Government

      Tokyo is waiting for the United States to clarify situation with the revelations concerning the US National Security Agency (NSA) spying on the Japanese government and businesses, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told journalists.

    • Backgrounder: Japan’s deafening silence over NSA spying

      The Japanese government has remained relatively silent since the WikiLeaks website published documents Friday showing the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has spied on the Japanese government and Japanese companies.

      The documents, dated from 2007 to 2009, include five NSA reports — four of which are marked top-secret — that provide intelligence on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change.

      WikiLeaks also posted an NSA list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts including the Japanese Cabinet Office, the Bank of Japan, the country’s finance and trade ministries, and major Japanese trading companies.

    • Japan’s Prime Minister Demands US Vice President Investigate NSA Spying

      Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked US Vice President Joe Biden to investigate allegations that the United States spied on top Japanese government and corporate officials, a Japanese government spokesman said on Wednesday.

    • Japan NSA Backlash to Raise Asian Demands on Pacific Trade Pact

      The latest WikiLeaks revelations documenting close National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Japan will provoke countries the United States is courting for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement to increase their demands, experts told Sputnik.

    • NSA conducted commercial espionage against Japanese government and businesses

      New leaked documents published by Wikileaks show that the US spy agency conducted surveillance operations against Japan’s top government officials, prioritizing finance and trade ministers, as well as the Japanese central bank and two private-sector energy companies.

      There’s no conceivable connection between this long-term surveillance — which included wiretaps — and national security.

    • Japan PM calls for probe into WikiLeaks claims of US spying

      Japanese leader Shinzo Abe told US Vice President Joe Biden he would have “serious concerns” if WikiLeaks claims Washington spied on Japanese politicians were true, and called for an investigation, a top official said Wednesday.

      Tokyo’s Cabinet spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said Biden had apologised to the Japanese prime minister in a telephone call for “causing troubles”, without confirming the spying claims.

    • Japan’s Shinzo Abe warns Joe Biden over WikiLeaks spy claims

      Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told US Vice-President Joe Biden he will have “serious concerns” if WikiLeaks claims that Washington spied on Japanese politicians are true, calling for an investigation.

    • US Spying Scandal Might Seriously Undermine Trust In Abe’s Government

      Commenting on the recent WikiLeaks revelations concerning US National Security Agency spying on the Japanese government, a Japanese politician told Sputnik that it might seriously undermine trust in the current government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and damage Japanese-American relations; however, another political analyst has a different opinion.

    • Japan PM wants probe into WikiLeaks claims

      Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told US Vice President Joe Biden he will have ‘serious concerns’ if WikiLeaks claims Washington spied on Japanese politicians are true, calling for an investigation.

      Tokyo’s Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Biden had apologised to the Japanese leader in a telephone call for ‘causing troubles’, without confirming the spying claims.

      WikiLeaks said on Friday it had intercepts revealing years-long spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Japanese officials and major companies.

    • U.S. VP speaks with Japanese PM after website exposed spying

      The Wikileaks website on Friday posted U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) reports and a list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts, including the Japanese Cabinet Office, the Bank of Japan, the country’s finance and trade ministries, and major Japanese trading companies.

      According to the website, the eavesdropping dated back to 2007, a year after Abe’s first term began, and one report from telephone intercepts of senior Japanese officials could have been shared with Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand — the U.S. intelligence partners.

    • NSA spying allegations should not shake trust in Japan-U.S. alliance
    • Japan Premier Urges Biden To Probe Reported US Spying

      Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday to investigate allegations by WikiLeaks that Washington spied on the Japanese government and companies, Tokyo said.

    • Germany Could Create NSA-Like Mass Surveillance Program

      According to a legal fellow at Electronic Frontier Foundation, the German authorities seem to have plans for a mass surveillance program that parallels the NSA program.

    • NSA Announces New GC, Cites Big Law Experience

      On Monday, the National Security Agency tapped retired Milbank partner Glenn Gerstell as its new General Counsel.

    • Glenn Gerstell Named NSA General Counsel; Michael Rogers Comments
    • NSA lawyer with cyber cred, former FBI CIO moves and more

      Zalmai Azmi has taken the reins as president and chief operating officer of the IT consulting firm IMTAS, the firm announced Aug. 1.

      A native of Afghanistan who served as the FBI’s CIO from 2004 to 2008 and led the bureau through an IT transformation, Azmi said he is “pleased and excited” to be taking the new role at IMTAS. Azmi has previously served as CEO of Nexus Solutions, a senior vice president at CACI and CIO for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

    • NSA Ordered to Look Harder for Records

      A federal judge dismissed most, but not all, of the National Security Agency’s requests to dismiss a reporter’s FOIA request on federal surveillance of judges.

      Jason Leopold, formerly with Al-Jazeera America and now with Vice News, filed two FOIA requests for NSA and FBI “surveillance of federal and state judges.”

      The NSA and the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel responded that they had no such records.

      They sought summary judgment and dismissal. Leopold claims they failed to conduct adequate searches.

    • Watchdog Demands Rules on FBI Media Spying

      The Department of Justice refuses to reveal its unpublished rules for spying on journalists, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation demands a look at them, in Federal Court.

    • Web’s random numbers are too weak, researchers warn

      The process of generating a good random number begins with the server translating mouse movements, keyboard presses and other things a machine does into a data stream of ones and zeros. This data is gathered in a “pool” that is regularly called on for many security functions.

    • South Korea pushes policy for public sector to use local servers and storage

      South Korea is moving to implement a policy that will have the public sector give preferential treament to local storage and server vendors over foreign counterparts starting next year to boost the market.

    • A License to Kill Innovation: Why A.B. 1326—California’s Bitcoin License—is Bad for Business, Innovation, and Privacy

      A.B. 1326 (Dababneh) is a bill that would require “virtual currency businesses” to apply for and obtain a license in order to offer services in California, and it includes significant fees and administrative hurdles. Unfortunately, the bill’s language is so vague that it’s unclear what companies are, in fact, “virtual currency businesses.” So in spite of carve-outs for smaller companies and for software developers who don’t exercise control over the currency, the proposal threatens the future of virtual currency experimentation and innovation in the state.

    • Privacy Badger graduates to v1.0, protects users from spying ads

      Have you ever faced the following dilemma? Your favourite website is equipped to detect whether you’re using an ad blocker, obviously you have one installed, and then you get a pop up or toolbar appear asking “Would you please add us to your ad blocker’s whitelist? Ads help keep this site running.”, obviously at this point you feel a bit bad and go ahead to disable the ads on that site. The issue you have now is that you just let an ad provider plant a cookie on your computer that will track you around the internet reporting what you’re interests are.

    • EFF Releases Privacy Badger To Try To Stop Online Tracking
    • US Government OPM Cyber Breach Much Worse Than Reported

      When the OPM breach was first discovered, the number of people said to be affected was four million. This figure quickly rose to 22 million, though the Solutionary report states this is probably a very misleading figure. The issue is that the records accessed were not only those of government employees, but also included personal data about family members and even friends, and so the number of people affected is likely to be closer to 132 million, and even this could be conservative. However the authors of the report state it will probably never be known just how big the breach was, but it is likely to have been “the biggest loss of private information ever.”

    • Office of Personnel Management and CFPB violating American’s privacy
    • Fourth Circuit adopts mosaic theory, holds that obtaining “extended” cell-site records requires a warrant

      The new case creates multiple circuit splits, which may lead to Supreme Court review. Specifically, the decision creates a clear circuit split with the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits on whether acquiring cell-site records is a search. It also creates an additional clear circuit split with the Eleventh Circuit on whether, if cell-site records are protected, a warrant is required. Finally, it also appears to deepen an existing split between the Fifth and Third Circuits on whether the Stored Communications Act allows the government to choose whether to obtain an intermediate court order or a warrant for cell-site records.

    • Is the Google Balloon experiment to spy on Sri Lanka & violate our personal freedoms?

      It was recently announced that Sri Lanka had been chosen to launch the Google balloon-based internet services under a project titled ‘Google Loon Project’. Anything being rolled out for the first time and free should raise concern. Why ‘experiment’ on Sri Lanka moreover why Sri Lanka or does it align to Kerry’s success in regime change in Sri Lanka and pax Americana goal? It is not so much as the idea to provide internet coverage to the whole of Sri Lanka (though users will still have to pay to their local service provider) but the ability that the owners of the balloon have over a sovereign country and whether local laws or even international can cover the range of spying/surveillance that can be done! Associated with the project and representing the US intelligence community is Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham Executive Director of Cyber Security Research and Education Institute which is sponsored by George Soros’s Raytheon. The most important unanswered question is why was such a project kept secret from the Sri Lankan public, why were associated stakeholders not involved to report on the pros & cons and moreover why was the fundamental rights of privacy of the people violated. None of us wish to have the entire country under a blanket of US surveillance and it is wrong to have enforced such a project overlooking the national security concerns and the privacy of the people of Sri Lanka. Even the business community will undoubtedly have reservations. Will the world’s 1.8billion internet users like to have their privacy invaded too?

    • North Korea: I was ‘monitored’ while I studied there

      Alessandro Ford picked a gap year involving the world’s most secretive and repressed country.

    • Manuel Contreras, head of Chile’s spy agency under Pinochet, dies aged 86

      Contreras, who headed agency that kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands, died while serving 500 year sentence for crimes against humanity

    • Hated and feared former Pinochet-era Chilean spy chief dies at age 86
    • Gen. Manuel Contreras, leader of Chile’s feared spy agency, dies at 86
    • Manuel Contreras, Chilean Spy Chief, Dies at 86

      Gen. Manuel Contreras, Chile’s intelligence chief during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, died on Friday in the military hospital in Santiago while serving 526 years of multiple prison terms for human rights violations. He was 86.

    • Augsto Pinochet dies at the age of 86
    • Manuel Contreras, Chile’s feared ex-spy chief, dies at 86
    • Chile’s feared secret police chief dies at age 86
    • Tor users: Do not expect anonymity and end-to-end security

      The Tor network is similar to a door lock: It works well, until a determined individual wants to get in. Get details on what Tor is and what it is not.

    • The judge committed fouls, too

      All espionages are a fact of life in today’s world, but none is morally acceptable, much less superior, to others.

    • Seeing a history of all your movements is now easier for you, but harder for the feds

      When you meet a new someone who makes your heart flutter and the feeling is mutual, and the two of you have spent significant parts of your life in the same city at the same time, there is usually a conversation within the first few weeks of the relationship trying to figure out why you didn’t meet sooner. You talk about the places you hung out and usually realize that you frequented the same coffee shop or bar or music venue, and you wonder if you were ever there at the same time. Were your phones to offer up their full history of where they’ve been, you could line up your personal tracking maps and find out the exact moment you might have encountered one another earlier in life.

    • Quoted: Carly Fiorina wants Apple, Google to ‘tear down cyberwalls’
    • Carly Fiorina calls on Apple, Google to provide greater access for FBI
    • Jonathan Pollard & Edward Snowden: How the US Hates Tattletales

      It seems clear that Edward Snowden and Julian Assange can look forward to extended vacations once their feet touch US soil. Like Pollard, Snowden’s charges fall under the US Espionage Act where defendants are not allowed to raise a defense. But unlike Mr. Pollard, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange has the internet and social media at their disposal to gain US and possibly worldwide sympathy. US Administration officials would probably not risk a drop in approval ratings and throw Snowden and Assange in Pollard’s vacated cell, or would they?

    • US Government Spies on EU Companies to Control European Industries

      Data collection is only a small part of the NSA’s intelligence tasks. The main goal of the US’ intelligence agencies is to control politicians and managers in Europe, former head of the Austrian Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Gerd Polli, said in an interview with DWN.

    • Next-gen secure email using internet’s own DNS – your help needed

      A group of researchers from the US government and dot-com operator VeriSign are working on a new system for secure email: using domain names.

      Highlighting the problems and security holes associated with current mail systems, the team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a subset of the US Department of Commerce, argues that by using a new set of security protocols built around the domain name system, it is possible to provide a much higher level of security in electronic messages.

    • Chicago and Los Angeles have used ‘dirt box’ surveillance for a decade

      The Los Angeles and Chicago police departments have acquired “dirt boxes” – military surveillance technology that can intercept data, calls and text messages from hundreds of cellphones simultaneously, as well as jam transmissions from a device, according to documents obtained by Reveal.

    • BlackLivesMatter Activists: Targets of US Surveilence

      The Obama administration’s spy agencies have been keeping track of the movements, communications and activities of the new crop of Black activists. Although not surprising, the recent reports should give rise to “new strategies and tactics to exchange information among groups, and new modalities to circumvent infiltration and, ultimately, government sting operations.”

    • Edward Snowden: White House Rejects Pardon Plea
    • Views of the News: NSA seeks vast cyber deterrent

      U.S security officials recently stressed a need for a massive cyberweapon to provide a deterrent against ongoing and future cyber attacks by foreign powers.

      Admiral Michael Rogers—National Security Agency (NSA) director and head of U.S. Cyber Command—said it will require such a counterstrike capability to deter enemy hackers trying to penetrate our security data systems.

      Rogers cited the nuclear deterrence strategy of the Cold War missile race as relevant for defense against recent attacks on U.S. government and business databases.

    • China’s Cyberspying Is ‘on a Scale No One Imagined’–if You Pretend NSA Doesn’t Exist

      But how can that be? China is accused of obtaining personal information about 20 million Americans, federal employees and contractors, and that’s a big deal. But the US’s NSA, according to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, processes 20 billion phone calls and internet messages every day. The NSA’s unofficial motto for years has been “Collect It All.”

      The article notes that the US has its own “intelligence operations inside China”—but pretends these are purely defensive, referring to “the placement of thousands of implants in Chinese computer networks to warn of impending attacks.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Major psychological association bans cooperation with CIA following torture scandal

      The American Psychological Association made a nearly unanimous decision today to bar psychologists from participating in national security interrogations, The New York Times reports. The decision was a response to an independent report that came out last month, detailing how top APA officials and psychiatrists participated in the CIA’s torture program during the Bush administration.

    • Everyone Agrees the Senate’s Cyber Bill is Terrible. So Why Is It Moving?

      What do numerous privacy groups, civil liberties organizations, open government advocates, free market proponents, technologists, and the Department of Homeland Security have in common? Deep concern about the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or “CISA,” a bill expected to come to a vote this week in the Senate.

    • No Immunity For Cops Who Sent A SWAT Team To A 68-Year-Old Woman’s House For Threats Delivered Over Open WiFi Connection

      Earlier this year, we covered the story of Louise Milan, a 68-year-old grandmother whose house was raided by a SWAT team (accompanied by a news crew) searching for someone who had made alleged threats against police officers over the internet. Part of the probable cause submitted for the warrant was Milan’s IP address. But the police made no attempt to verify whether any resident of Milan’s house made the threats and ignored the fact that the IP address was linked to an open WiFi connection.

    • Despite Recent Court Rulings, Getting Behind The Wheel Is Pretty Much Kissing Your 4th Amendment Protections Goodbye

      There’s been more good news than bad concerning the Fourth Amendment recently. In addition to the Supreme Court’s ruling that searches of cellphones incident to arrest now require a warrant, various circuit court decisions on cell site location info and the surreptitious use of GPS tracking devices may see the nation’s top court addressing these contentious issues in the near future. (The latter still needs to be addressed more fully than the Supreme Court’s 2012 punt on the issue.)

    • Spy Software Gets a Second Life on Wall Street

      A wave of companies with ties to the intelligence community is winning over the world of finance, with banks and hedge funds putting the firms’ terrorist-tracking tools to work rooting out employee misconduct before it leads to fines or worse.

    • Here’s the CIA’s Letter to Congress Saying the Agency Was Quitting the Torture Business

      Three months after President Barack Obama was sworn into office, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta sent a letter to congressional oversight committees informing them that the agency was changing its torture policies.

      But the CIA would still play a significant role in the interrogation of terrorism suspects, according to a top-secret letter Panetta wrote [pdf below] that was recently declassified by the CIA and obtained exclusively by VICE News in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

      Panetta’s letter was sent to lawmakers just days after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to begin an investigation into the efficacy of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. It also followed an executive order Obama signed as one of his first acts as president outlawing the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” and shuttering the CIA’s network of black site prisons where detainees were held.

    • Eight top ex-CIA officials rebut ‘torture report’ with their own book

      In a bid to bring the “rest of the story” to the nation about the CIA’s detention and interrogation of al Qaeda terrorists, eight former top CIA officials, including three directors, are publishing a rebuttal to the sensational Senate Democratic “torture report.”

    • Eight top ex-CIA officials launch bid to rebut ‘torture report’
    • Former CIA Officials Launch Smear Campaign Against Senate Torture Report

      In an attempt to unveil what was really behind the scenes of the Al Qaeda terrorist interrogations conducted by the CIA, eight former high-ranking CIA officials, including three former directors, are ready to publish a response to last year’s incendiary US Senate “torture report”, according to the Washington Examiner.

    • CIA Torture Practices ‘Nothing New’ – Former Official

      Former US State Department official William Blum does not consider the recent statements about torture used by CIA under a program of “enhanced interrogation” as “sensational.”

    • New Effort to Rebut Torture Report Undermined as Former Official Admits the Obvious

      Former top CIA officials planning a major public-relations campaign to rebut the Senate torture report’s damning revelations have found themselves undermined by one of their own.

      Eight former top officials wrangled by Bill Harlow — the former CIA flak who brought us the CIASavedLives.com website after the Senate report was issued last December — are publishing a book in the coming weeks titled Rebuttal: The CIA Responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of Its Detention and Interrogation Program.

    • Former CIA Official Admits Use of Torture during Bush Era

      A former top CIA official acknowledged that the US intelligence agency tortured terror suspects after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks under a program called “enhanced interrogation.”

    • Intelligence professionals continue rebutting torture allegations

      The book by the former CIA officers likely will be met with denunciations from Feinstein and others who accuse the U.S. of torturing Islamic terrorists. When former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell published, “The Great War of Our Time,” earlier in 2015, Feinstein responded to his defense of CIA treatment of terrorists by issuing both a press release and a 54-page “fact check” sheet through her official senatorial website. Feinstein condemned the book through both statements and reiterated her accusation that Americans were guilty of torture.

    • Gitmo is a “Rights-Free Zone”: Dissident Psychologists Speak Out on APA Role in CIA-Pentagon Torture

      We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, site of the annual convention of the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American Psychological Association. Ahead of a vote on a resolution to bar psychologists from participating in national security interrogations, the Psychologists for Social Responsibility hosted a town hall meeting. We feature highlights.

    • APA bans member psychologists from taking part in ‘national security interrogations’
    • US Psychologists’ Association Bans Members from Colluding in US Torture

      In what may seem like a no brainer, the American Psychological Association has voted to ban any member from participating in government torture programs. The decision follows a report which details the organization’s role in justifying “enhanced interrogation.”

    • Psychology Association Votes to Bar Members From Participating in Interrogations

      The American Psychological Association (APA) voted nearly unanimously on Friday in favor of a resolution prohibiting its members from participating in national security interrogations. Retired Col. Larry James, the former top Army intelligence psychologist at Guantanamo, had the only dissenting vote, Democracy Now reports.

    • Psychologists vote not to participate in US torture

      The American Psychological Association (APA) voted overwhelmingly on Friday to prohibit members from participating in interrogations conducted by United States intelligence agencies at locations deemed illegal under international law.

    • American Psychological Association Bans Members From Participating In Interrogations

      Following revelations earlier this year that American Psychological Association (APA) officials actively colluded with the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program, the group voted nearly unanimously Friday to prohibit psychologists from participating in future national security interrogations.

    • Psychologists Approve Ban on Role in National Security Interrogations
    • Psychologists ban interrogation role [same piece]
    • James Risen: In Sharp Break from Past, APA Set to Vote on Barring Psychologists from Interrogations
    • Psychology group votes to ban members from taking part in interrogations
    • First Step for Reform: APA Votes to Bar Psychologists From Colluding in Torture
    • How the American Psychological Association lost its way
    • The Brutal Toll of Psychologists’ Role in Torture
    • When Psychology Is Used For Torture
    • Send in the psychologists to study the psychologists: Salutin

      The American Psychological Association is holding its annual convention this weekend in Toronto. It’s a huge organization, about 100,000 members — academics, researchers, practitioners. This is the seventh time in 37 years that they’re meeting here, a frequency or repetition compulsion that may be worthy of research and, possibly, therapy. Canadians belong to it, the way the Blue Jays belong to the American League. We’re in it but not always of it.

    • Breaking: APA Votes to Bar Psychologists from Nat’l Security Interrogations After Torture Scandal

      By a nearly unanimous vote, the American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives voted today in Toronto to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations. Retired Col. Larry James, the former top Army intelligence psychologist at Guantánamo, cast the sole dissenting vote.

    • The American Psychological Association Comes Out Belatedly Against ‘Enhanced Interrogation’

      Torture is just torture when you get rid of the pseudo-science.

    • American psychologists promise not to collude in torture

      In 2005 the top brass in the American Psychological Association changed its code of ethics.

    • CIA Torture Prisons Were Probably Worse Than You Can Imagine

      The Romanian prison was code named “Bright Light” and was part of a secret network of prisons operated by the U.S.

    • Tyler S. Drumheller | CIA officer, 63

      But he was best known publicly for his role in exposing the extent to which a key part of the administration’s case for war with Iraq had been built on the claims of an Iraqi defector and serial fabricator with the code name Curveball.

    • Tyler Drumheller, 63, CIA career of 26 years

      But he was best known publicly for his role in exposing the extent to which a key part of the administration’s case for war with Iraq had been built on the claims of an Iraqi defector and serial fabricator with the fitting code name “Curveball.”

      In contrast to Hollywood’s depiction of spies as impossibly elegant and acrobatic, Drumheller was a bulky, rumpled figure who often seemed oblivious to the tufts of dog hair on his clothes.

    • CIA Figure in Hillary Clinton Email Scandal Dies at 63
    • Author of Benghazi memos sent to Clinton dies after cancer battle

      Specifically, he vocally criticized the agency’s trust in an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, who gave faulty intelligence that Saddam Hussein had developed laboratories for biological weapons. The assertions played a major role in the George W. Bush administration’s public case for invading Iraq in 2003.

      Drumheller also criticized the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq was buying yellowcake uranium from Niger, which it used as evidence to support the claim that Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.

    • CIA interrogation tactics can be used at home [not about torture]
    • Obama: The Courage to Say ‘We Were Wrong’

      Most of Obama’s letter contained information we already know. One of his first acts in office was to sign an Executive Order ending the CIA’s illegal detention and interrogation program. He is working to close Guantanamo, an unenviable task that raises as many questions as it solves but still must be done.

    • As the child of Latvian immigrants, I know that torture is un-American and should be banned: Ivars Balkits (Opinion)

      Nothing is more un-American than the support of torture by our government. That is the axiom I grew up with as a first-generation American born to Latvian emigres. In the final days of World War II, my parents, now deceased, fled the totalitarian Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic because they feared they would be tortured or murdered by the NKVD, as the Soviet internal police were known, if not summarily deported to Gulag labor camps.

    • CIA: OK, So Maybe We Work With Bad Guys

      The CIA is willing to overlook some of its shadier partners’ human rights records if they can still get the goods, according to agency Director John Brennan.

      In a letter sent to a trio of lawmakers and provided to The Huffington Post, Brennan expanded on the agency’s controversial relationships with less-than-desirable characters, offering an unusually candid glimpse into the spies’ liaison partnerships.

      The letter, a response to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), sought to clarify public remarks made by Brennan earlier this year. The unclassified response was dated Thursday.

    • White House criticized for not filling watchdog post at CIA

      More than six months after the CIA inspector general resigned, President Obama has yet to nominate a replacement, prompting mounting concerns on Capitol Hill that the delay may be affecting sensitive internal investigations — including a probe into an errant drone strike in Pakistan that killed American hostage Warren Weinstein, sources told Yahoo News.

    • Sept. 11 Defendants in Limbo Thwart Obama’s Guantanamo Ambitions
    • The true story of an ex-cop’s war on lie detectors

      Doug Williams used to give polygraph exams. Now he’s going to prison for teaching people how to beat them

      There was something odd, Doug Williams recalls, about the clean-cut young man who came to see him on Feb. 21, 2013. When Brian Luley had called two weeks earlier, he’d introduced himself as a deputy sheriff in Virginia applying for a job with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To get the job, Luley needed to pass a polygraph test, and there were “a couple of reasons” he thought that might be a problem.

    • OPINION: What justice for the people of Chad?

      On 20 July 2015, the trial of former Chadian President Hissène Habré began in Senegal. The trial reflects many of the tensions afflicting international justice. Habré, who is charged with crimes against humanity, torture, and war crimes, relating to the death of an alleged 40,000 people between 1982 and 1990, denounced the court as a colonial project before being forcibly removed from the courtroom. The trial was subsequently postponed until 7 September, for Habré’s defence counsel to review court files.

    • Donald Trump: “Waterboarding doesn’t sound very severe”

      Donald Trump opened the door to torturing terrorism suspects if he’s elected president, telling ABC News Sunday that waterboarding “doesn’t sound very severe” given the barbarism of ISIS.

    • More than 80% of the thousands held at the Chicago police’s ‘black site’ were black

      About 8.5% of those held at the site were white. According to the 2010 census, Chicago’s population is 32% non-Hispanic white, 33% black, and 29% Hispanic (of which 13.5% identify as racially white) .

    • A Letter From Africa to #BlackLivesMatter

      When you say Black Lives Matter do you mean just Black American lives? What about the tens of thousands of black lives in Cuba that have been lost due to the covert war and the economic embargo still being waged against Cuba by the US government?

      Or what about the black lives that were lost when the UN over saw the starvation deaths of 250,000 “black” Somalis during the worst drought and famine in 60 years from 2010-2012, deaths that were predicted when UNICEF, headed by former senior foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama, Anthony Lake, budgeted less than 10 cents a day to feed the Somali refugees under their care?

      Do Black Lives Matter when the CIA and their capos in the human trafficking mafia in East Africa sends hundreds of Eritrean migrants to their deaths in rickety boats on the Mediterranean Sea (the Eritrean government continues to demand that the UN convene hearings so the reams of evidence they have on the CIA’s role in these crimes can be exposed to international scrutiny)?

      Do these Black lives matter just as much as Black American lives?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Names

      • Anti-Piracy Group Hits Indie Creators For Using the Word ‘Pixels’

        An anti-piracy firm working for Columbia Pictures has hit Vimeo with a wave of bogus copyright takedowns just because people used the word ‘Pixels’ in their video titles. Several indie productions are affected, including an art-focused NGO, an award-winning short movie and a royalty free stock footage company.

      • No Air for Jordan: Michael Jordan Loses Fight over Marks in China

        The dispute began in 2012 when Michael Jordan took the sports brand Qiaodan Sports to court, alleging the misuse of his name and several other marks, such as the number 23 (used by him during his tenure in the NBA) and the Jumpman logo (derived from a photoshoot with Nike, incorporating Mr Jordan’s often unique and flamboyant dunk poses) that is associated with his own Air Jordan brand. At first instance his claim was denied, and Mr Jordan subsequently appealed that decision to the High People’s Court.

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent to RIAA: You’re ‘barking up the wrong tree’

        The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sent a letter to BitTorrent last week asking the company to help stop copyrighted infringement of its members’ content. Brad Buckles, RIAA’s executive vice president of anti-piracy, asked BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker to “live up to” comments made by former chief content officer Matt Mason.


Links 8/8/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, CentOS Linux 6.7

Posted in News Roundup at 7:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • True Life: I’m An Open Source Rookie

    Some projects will continue to grow and become popular and successful while others may morph and change as they progress. Not all Black Duck Rookies are high-profile projects. CodeCombat, OpenBazaar, and Neovim are three projects representing different areas of technology not only in technical scope but in their path to Open Source Rookies of the Year.

  • Free Windows 10 Has Big Costs, Where’s GIMP.org?

    It was a slow news day today in Linuxland, which is probably why several Windows 10 headlines jumped out at me. First up, is a paranoid’s guide to securing Windows 10 that revealed listens to microphones and collects keystrokes of its users. Users brace for the first forced update and Christine Hall looks at some of gotchas to home and enterprise users. In other news, what’s happened to gimp.org?

  • Taking The Mystery Out Of SDKs With Open Source

    Mobile SDKs are, for most publishers, a necessary evil. Whether you’re trying to integrate analytics, cross-promotion, tracking, monetization or payments, your first step is most often to inject a third-party SDK into your codebase.

    This much-maligned piece of software drives developers, operations and marketers alike up the wall — creating well-defined operational specs that often change to soiling your product code with unspecified external components.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 39.0.3 Hotfix Out Now to Patch a Critical Issue in the Built-in PDF Viewer

        Today, August 6, Mozilla started seeding the first hotfix release of the stable branch of its popular, open-source web browser for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems, Mozilla Firefox 39.0.

      • Important Firefox 39.0.3 Security Update Arrives in Ubuntu

        Canonical announced that the latest Firefox 39.0.3 has been uploaded to the repositories for the users of Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

      • 0-day attack on Firefox users stole password and key data: Patch now!
      • Firefox exploit found in the wild

        Yesterday morning, August 5, a Firefox user informed us that an advertisement on a news site in Russia was serving a Firefox exploit that searched for sensitive files and uploaded them to a server that appears to be in Ukraine. This morning Mozilla released security updates that fix the vulnerability. All Firefox users are urged to update to Firefox 39.0.3. The fix has also been shipped in Firefox ESR 38.1.1.

      • Virtual reality is the next open web frontier

        Each year, there’s a seemingly infinite amount of exciting things happening on the open web. It’s hard to keep track of all the new things rolling out, but I’d like to draw your attention to one of them that Mozilla has been quietly working on MozVR. It’s a new technology that combines the open web and virtual reality, enabling developers to create virtual worlds that we can step inside.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Who will be the Ubuntu of Hadoop?

      Today, he posits, variation between Hadoop distributions is actually less than we see in Linux land. (“There’s more variation among the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and CoreOS kernels than there is among the core components of the various Hadoop distributions.”) I found this a bit surprising given Hortonworks’ noise earlier this year that Hadoop standardization was imperative, as it launched the Open Data Platform initiative.

    • Announcing the draft Federated Cloud Sharing API
    • Federated Cloud Sharing in ownCloud 8.1https://owncloud.org/blog/federated-cloud-sharing-in-owncloud-8-1/

      Over the few last weeks, ownCloud founder and company co-founder Frank Karlitschek has published a short series of blogs on the topic of Federated Cloud Sharing, discussing what it is and why it is important. Today, he published a draft of a open API for sharing between different file share and sync clouds. In this post, we’ll quickly recap the concept, talk a little about the Open Cloud Mesh working group, and show how to configure and use it in ownCloud 8.1.

    • Hortonworks Reports Strong Results, a Growing Customer Base
    • OpenStack and Google – a match made in heaven

      OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

  • Databases

    • UK government reportedly working to end its reliance on Oracle

      The U.K. Cabinet Office has reportedly asked government departments and agencies to try to find ways to end their reliance on Oracle software, but it’s not clear that approach will really solve its problems.

      Motivating the request was the large but unspecified number of Oracle licenses currently supported within the U.K. government, The Register reported. Included in that count are apparently licenses covering individual leaders whose departments already pay for licenses of their own as well as separate software versions being supported.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Is a Milestone Release for Ubuntu Touch

      LibreOffice 5.0 was made available by The Document Foundation a couple of days ago, and it’s a glorious release. It full of all sorts of new features, and many users have already upgraded to this latest version, but the application will also have an impact on another new platform, Ubuntu Touch.

  • CMS

    • Whats New for You This August in Open Source CMS

      In one corner, we have Hippo CTO Arjé Cahn, expouding the merits of open source CMS.

      In the other, we have Bryan Soltis, Technical Evangelist at Kentico Software, a Web Content and Customer Experience Management provider, espousing the virtues of proprietary systems.

  • Education

    • Open source is coming to campus

      I wanted to share an upcoming open source software event that we are hosting at my campus, at the University of Minnesota Morris. Working with OpenHatch, we are connecting mentors with students and members of the community for a one-day event. We’ll talk about what open source software is, and help people get started with their first contribution to open source software projects.

  • Healthcare

    • Open-source software boost for public health sector

      This has been possible because of an open-source software developed by US-based organization Dimagi. A social enterprise that specializes in using technology to empower rural communities across the world, they currently serve in more than 40 developing countries being engaged in over 300 projects. Two members of the Dimagi team were in the city to work on improving the interface that they share with Lata Medical Research Foundation (LMRF).

  • BSD


  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Licence change derails development of hospital system

      The changing of the licence of openERP, an open source solution for enterprise resource planning, from GPL to AGPL in late 2009, thwarted development of Hospital, a hospital information system (HIS) written for a paediatric clinic in Thessaloniki (Greece). The clinic stopped a pilot of the software, and its developers moved to other open source-based projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • FDA To Develop Open-Source Precision Medicine Software Platform
    • FDA Unveils Open Source Platform for Genomic Sequencing Data

      On Wednesday, the FDA announced the launch of an open source platform for community sharing of genomic sequencing data called precisionFDA. DNAnexus, the provider of cloud-based genome informatics and data management was awarded a research and development contract by the FDA to build the platform. precisionFDA is the FDA’s answer to its role under the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative is to review the current regulatory landscape and develop a streamlined approach to evaluating next-generation sequencing NGS-based diagnostics.

    • The open source era dawns in Vietnam with fab labs arriving on scene

      A comprehensive look at Vietnam’s burgeoning open source movement and the players involved and why you should get in now

    • Open Access/Content

      • Save money with open-source textbooks

        It’s hardly a secret that the price of new college textbooks has risen 82% in the last decade, forcing students to find cheaper alternatives or forego course materials altogether.

    • Open Hardware

      • An open-source work bench

        Maker Bench is an open souce CNCed work bench design from 3D drawing company SketchUp, deigned by Eric Schimelpfenig.

        The SketchUp community has gone on to modify it for various uses.

  • Programming

    • Go 1.5 RC1 Released

      Go 1.5 is a huge update with the work to be rewritten in Go itself and many other features like a fully-concurrent garbage collector, new architecture ports, switching to Git, and many other changes. Go developers can find the verbose explanation of 1.5 changes via the tentative release notes.


  • Speed matters: Why working quickly is more important than it seems

    The obvious benefit to working quickly is that you’ll finish more stuff per unit time. But there’s more to it than that. If you work quickly, the cost of doing something new will seem lower in your mind. So you’ll be inclined to do more.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Black Hat Researchers Hack Rifle for Fun

      “The reason we started doing this in the first place is Runa [Sandvik] is from Norway and has a very romanticized vision of the U.S., so loving all things America, we needed to go to a gun show,” Augur said.

      At to the gun show, Sandvik became interested in the TrackingPoint weapon after learning that it is a Linux-powered device that could be connected to a phone via a mobile app.

    • And even Wintel is not safe

      At the annual Black Hat conference delegates have been shown a new exploit for Intel and AMD x86 central processor units that has hitherto existed since 1977!


      Christopher Domas, a security researcher with the Battelle Memorial Institute discovered the flaw. “By leveraging the flaw, attackers could install a rootkit in the processors System Management Mode (SMM), a protected region of code that underpins all the firmware security features in modern computers. Once installed, the rootkit could be used for destructive attacks like wiping the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) the modern BIOS or even to re-infect the OS after a clean install. Protection features like Secure Boot wouldn’t help, because they too rely on the SMM to be secure. The attack essentially breaks the hardware roots of trust,” Domas said.

    • HTML5 privacy hole left users open to tracking for three years

      A feature of HTML5 that allows sites to detect battery life on a visitor’s device can also be used to track behaviour, a piece of research has revealed.

    • Sick of Flash security holes? HTML5 has its own

      HTML5 has been billed as the natural, standards-based successor to proprietary plug-ins such as Adobe’s Flash Player for providing rich multimedia services on the Web. But when it comes to security, one of Flash’s major weaknesses, HTML5 is no panacea.

      In fact, HTML5 has security issues of its own. Julien Bellanger, CEO of application security monitoring firm Prevoty, says HTML5 makes security more complex, not simpler. HTML5 security has been a question mark for years, and it has not improved over the stretch, he says.

    • Attackers can access Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive files without a user’s password

      The attack differs from traditional man-in-the-middle attacks, which rely on tapping data in transit between two servers or users, because it exploits a vulnerability in the design of many file synchronization offerings, including Google, Box, Microsoft, and Dropbox services.

    • SDN switches aren’t hard to compromise, researcher says

      Onie is a small, Linux based operating system that runs on a bare-metal switch. A network operating system is installed on top of Onie, which is designed to make it easy and fast for the OS to be swapped with a different one.

    • Open Network Switches Pose Security Risk, Researcher Says

      At the Black Hat show, a security expert demonstrates how vulnerable SDN switches that use the ONIE software are open to attacks by hackers.

    • OPM wins Pwnie, Google on Android security, DoJ on CFAA: Black Hat 2015 roundup

      Black Hat USA is finishing up in Las Vegas. News from its 18th year includes nuclear nightmares, Department of Justice on computer crime and research, Google on the state of Android security and much more.

    • on the detection of quantum insert

      The NSA has a secret project that can redirect web browsers to sites containing more sophisticated exploits called QUANTUM INSERT. (Do I still need to say allegedly?) It works by injecting packets into the TCP stream, though overwriting the stream may be a more accurate description. Refer to Deep dive into QUANTUM INSERT for more details. At the end of that post, there’s links to some code that can help one detect QI attacks in the wild. As noted by Wired and Bruce Schneier, among dozens of others, now we can defend ourselves against this attack (well, at least detect it).

    • Detailed Smart Card Cryptographic Token Security Guide

      After my first post about smartcards under Linux, I thought I would share some information I’ve been gathering.

      This post is already huge, so I am not going to dive into — much — specific commands, but I am linking to many sources with detailed instructions.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts that He’s Bombed Seven Countries

      President Obama yesterday spoke in defense of the Iran Deal at American University, launching an unusually blunt and aggressive attack on deal opponents. Obama’s blistering criticisms aimed at the Israeli government and its neocon supporters were accurate and unflinching, including the obvious fact that what they really crave is regime change and war. About opposition to the deal from the Israeli government, he said: “it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.”

      Judged as a speech, it was an impressive and effective rhetorical defense of the deal, which is why leading deal opponents have reacted so hysterically. The editors of Bloomberg News – which has spewed one Iraq-War-fearmongering-type article after the next about the deal masquerading as “reporting” – whined that Obama was “denigrating those who disagree with him” and that “it would be far better to win this fight fairly.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pronounced himself “especially insulted” and said Obama’s speech went “way over the line of civil discourse.” Our nation’s Churchillian warriors are such sensitive souls: sociopathically indifferent to the lives they continually extinguish around the world (provided it all takes place far away from their comfort and safety), but deeply, deeply hurt – “especially insulted” – by mean words directed at them and their motives.

    • ‘A genocide caused by European selfishness’: Sicilian mayor in plea after migrant shipwreck

      The mayor of Palermo urged EU leaders to respond to “a genocide caused by European selfishness” on Thursday, as an Irish navy ship carrying the bodies of migrants who died when their boat capsized off the coast of Libya docked in the Sicilian port.

      Leoluca Orlando spoke as the patrol vessel Niamh arrived with 370 survivors of Wednesday’s disaster and 25 corpses, including the bodies of children.

    • Hiroshima Atomic Bombing 70th Anniversary Marked With Solemn Ceremony, Calls For Nuclear Disarmament

      Residents of the Japanese metropolis of Hiroshima on Thursday solemnly marked the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bomb assault on the town throughout World Warfare II. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the event to name for worldwide nuclear disarmament.

      Bells tolled, hundreds bowed their heads in prayer and doves have been launched into the sky, at a ceremony attended by 40,000 individuals, together with representatives of greater than 100 nations.

      “Seventy years on I need to reemphasize the need of world peace,” Abe stated in his speech, based on a , including that the bomb had not solely killed hundreds of individuals in Hiroshima but in addition brought on unspeakable struggling to survivors.

    • 70 Years Later, The Bomb Still Casts Fear

      On Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped a “super weapon” on Hiroshima, Japan, and launched a fundamental shift in the way we wage war.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • New Developments in Julian Assange’s Epic Struggle for Justice

      The siege of Knightsbridge is both an emblem of gross injustice and a grueling farce. For three years, a police cordon around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. It has cost £12 million. The quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His “crime” is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

      The persecution of Julian Assange is about to flare again as it enters a dangerous stage. From August 20, three quarters of the Swedish prosecutor’s case against Assange regarding sexual misconduct in 2010 will disappear as the statute of limitations expires. At the same time, Washington’s obsession with Assange and WikiLeaks has intensified. Indeed, it is vindictive American power that offers the greatest threat – as Chelsea Manning and those still held in Guantanamo can attest.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Reddit increases censorship by banning more communities

      Reddit announced more crackdowns on communities deemed to be offensive, and it also announced a quarantining policy for certain communities that will require users to opt-in to see those communities.

    • Reddit finally bans its white-supremacist subreddits

      Social news site Reddit has banned six forums, or “subreddits”, that form the core of its white-supremacist community.

      The banned subreddits included “CoonTown”, “WatchNiggersDie”, “bestofcoontown”, “koontown”, “CoonTownMods”, “CoonTownMeta”, although more have been banned since, as users attempt to recreate them and get shut down in turn.

    • Porn in India is actually still banned: internet companies fail to unblock adult sites

      Porn is still effectively banned in India, since a government directive to unblock it is too vague to implement.

      The government banned porn over the weekend, but after vast amounts of criticism quickly undid the block. But it came with a catch — that sites that allow child porn should not be let back online — which has become too difficult for internet providers to implement.

      “ISPs have no way or mechanism to filter out child pornography from URLs, and the further unlimited sub-links,” Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said, reports the Times of India.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Reviving the Myth of the ‘Superpredator’

      By the early 1990s, as drug war hysteria fed an unprecedented build-up of the prison system, news organizations were declaring that youth born in the crack cocaine era would grow up to be “superpredators,” a “new breed” of offenders with “absolutely no respect for human life and no sense of the future.” Hillary Clinton warned of super predators in 1996 while campaigning for her husband.

    • Psychologist’s Work for GCHQ Deception Unit Inflames Debate Among Peers

      A British psychologist is receiving sharp criticism from some professional peers for providing expert advice to help the U.K. surveillance agency GCHQ manipulate people online.

      The debate brings into focus the question of how or whether psychologists should offer their expertise to spy agencies engaged in deception and propaganda.

    • Chicago police detained thousands of black Americans at interrogation facility

      Guardian lawsuit reveals overwhelming racial disparity at Homan Square, where detainees are still held for minor crimes with little access to the outside world, despite police denials that site is an anomaly

      At least 3,500 Americans have been detained inside a Chicago police warehouse described by some of its arrestees as a secretive interrogation facility, newly uncovered records reveal.

      Of the thousands held in the facility known as Homan Square over a decade, 82% were black. Only three received documented visits from an attorney, according to a cache of documents obtained when the Guardian sued the police.

      Despite repeated denials from the Chicago police department that the warehouse is a secretive, off-the-books anomaly, the Homan Square files begin to show how the city’s most vulnerable people get lost in its criminal justice system.

      People held at Homan Square have been subsequently charged with everything from “drinking alcohol on the public way” to murder. But the scale of the detentions – and the racial disparity therein – raises the prospect of major civil-rights violations.

    • Cops Caught Misbehaving During Pot Dispensary Raid Sue Police Dept. To Prevent Recording From Being Used Against Them

      The cops who were caught on camera insulting an amputee, disabling security cameras, playing darts and sampling THC-laced edibles during a raid on a pot dispensary are suing to prevent Santa Ana Police Department investigators from using the recording against them. (via Reason)

    • Suspended Cops Say Video of Them Eating Marijuana Edibles During a Raid Violated Their Privacy

      Remember the Santa Ana, California, cops who were caught on video munching on what seem to be cannabis-infused chocolate bars after raiding an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in May? The Orange County Register reports that three officers who were suspended after the incident are trying to stop the Santa Ana Police Department from using the footage in its internal investigation. Among other things, their lawsuit argues that the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.

    • Secular blogger killed in Bangladesh; fourth this year

      Assailants believed to be Islamist militants entered an apartment building posing as potential tenants and killed a secular blogger in Bangladesh’s capital on Friday, in the fourth such deadly attack this year, police said.

      Police official Mustafizur Rahman identified the victim as 40-year-old Niloy Chowdhury and said he was hacked to death in his apartment. The motive was not immediately clear.

    • Fourth blogger hacked to death with machetes this year in Bangladesh

      According to the monitoring group SITE, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) branch Ansar al-Islam warned of more murders of bloggers to come in the Muslim-majority country: “In a communique issued in Bengali and English, and posted on its Facebook and Twitter accounts on August 7, 2015, Ansar al-Islam declared the attack to be ‘vengeance’ for the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, and vowed similar operations in the future against its enemies. The group threatened: ‘If your ‘Freedom of Speech’ maintains no limits, then widen your chests for ‘Freedom of our Machetes.’”

    • Police review video of Northern California officer pulling gun on man recording him

      A Northern California police department is reviewing a video showing one of its officers pulling a gun on a man who was recording him on his cellphone.

      The video, posted on YouTube, shows a Rohnert Park Public Safety officer driving toward Don McComas as he’s filming. As McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer’s police SUV, the officer stops, gets out and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.

    • Trump’s Triumph: Billionaire Blowhard Exposes Fake Political System

      Last night’s FOX News GOP Presidential Debate Extravaganza featured the most riveting two minute political exchange ever heard on national television. During a brief colloquy between Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Fox moderator Brett Baier, the pugnacious casino magnate revealed the appalling truth about the American political system, that the big money guys like Trump own the whole crooked contraption lock, stock, and barrel, and that, the nation’s fake political leaders do whatever they’re told to do. Without question, it was most illuminating commentary to ever cross the airwaves.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC urges carriers to turn off copper networks, upgrade to fiber

      The FCC today imposed new rules on carriers that intend to turn off copper networks and replace them with fiber, but said that carriers should feel free to make the switch as long as they keep providing the same services to customers.

      As before, carriers still need approval from the FCC before shutting off copper networks in cases where they intend to reduce or discontinue service. “However, carriers will retain the flexibility to retire their copper networks in favor of fiber without prior Commission approval—as long as no service is discontinued, reduced, or impaired,” the commission said in its announcement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • EFF Told to “Shut the Hell Up” About SOPA

        Warnings from the EFF this week that Hollywood is making renewed efforts to obtain SOPA-like powers over Internet companies has touched a nerve, with filmmakers and anti-piracy activists attacking from all angles. The EFF should stop talking about the past, its critics say, and admit that the Internet won’t get broken by Hollywood.

      • Exclusive: Kim Dotcom says Mega 3.0 will succeed as a nonprofit

        Kim Dotcom is on a mission to save the internet. He plans to start by launching a free cloud-storage service — for the third time. Here, he talks exclusively to WIRED about why no one should trust his second file-hosting service Mega, his optimism for the future of an encrypted web, how a non-profit status will make Mega 3.0 a success, and why Hollywood is the ISIS of the internet…

        Last week German-born entrepreneur Kim Dotcom returned to the news in dramatic fashion, warning the world to steer well clear of the file-hosting service he once set up, Mega.

      • Millions of Songs Deleted in Piracy Crackdown

        After issuing a stern warning last month which ordered the country’s streaming music providers to stop offering unlicensed tracks, the Chinese government is reporting progress. Following the expiration of a July 31 deadline, the National Copyright Administration says that more than two million songs have already been deleted.

      • iTunes is Illegal Under UK Copyright Law

        The High Court recently overturned private copying exceptions introduced last year by the UK Government, once again outlawing the habits of millions of citizens. The Intellectual Property Office today explains that ripping a CD in iTunes is no longer permitted, and neither is backing up your computer if it contains copyrighted content.

      • 10 years for copyright infringement should be limited to criminals causing serious harm

        Open Rights Group (ORG) has responded to an Intellectual Property Office (IPO) consultation on proposals to increase the maximum prison sentence for criminal online copyright infringement to 10 years. The would bring sanctions for online copyright infringement in line with those for physical copyright infringement.

      • Should file sharers face ten years in gaol?

        New proposals to make online copyright infringement a criminal offence risks punishing users who share links and files online more harshly than ordinary, physical theft.

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