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Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Organizations are Rallying Behind an Open Source Internet of Things

    If you’ve been reading about the Internet of Things (IoT) market, you may be noticing that it is picking up steam with powerful partnerships and big name companies launching initiatives. Red Hat put up an extensive post recently illustrating that it is very focused on the concept of networking objects of all types, and we’ve covered the backing that organizations ranging from The Linux Foundation to Microsoft are putting behind the IoT market.

  • Events

    • Ceph Developer Summit 2014 – Hammer

      The Ceph Developer Summit (CDS) for the next major Ceph release called Hammer started today some hours ago (2014/10/28). It’s again a virtual summit via video conference calls.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Hybrid cloud – the future is open source

      Among respondents to Computing’s recent data centre research programme, the hybrid cloud model is generating a lot of interest. Indeed, moving towards a hybrid model was the aim of 41 per cent of them (see figure 1).

      Hybrid cloud implies a close interconnectivity between a private cloud (i.e. a collection of physical and virtual systems used exclusively by one company) and the multi-tenant public cloud services exemplified by Google, Amazon and Microsoft Azure. This seamlessly integrated whole allows data, services and workloads to be moved between public and private clouds at will, with the administrator able to monitor and manage the whole system via a single dashboard.

    • Making cloud storage easy with OpenStack Swift

      When you want to learn about object storage in OpenStack, John Dickinson is the guy to ask. John is the Director of Technology at SwiftStack, a company which relies on the OpenStack Swift project to provide unstructured data storage to customers around the world. He also serves as the Program Technical Lead (PTL) for OpenStack Swift and has been involved in the development of Swift since 2009.

    • IBM Expands Global Cloud Footprint and Focus on OpenStack

      Despite a recent poor quarterly results report, IBM appears to be applying even more focus to its cloud services business. The company has announced an expansion of its global cloud network with a new cloud center in Mumbai, India and a new suite of cloud services for OpenStack. And these are just the latest components of IBM’s $1.2 billion investment in cloud centers in every major market worldwide.

    • Chris Kemp: Nebula CSO. Cloud pioneer. Entrepreneur. Former NASA CTO.

      Chris Kemp spoke with TechRepublic about the founding of OpenStack and how he went from NASA’s first CTO of IT to startup founder.

  • BSD


    • GCL 2.6.12 is released

      The GCL team is happy to announce the release of version 2.6.12, the latest achievement in the ‘stable’ (as opposed to ‘development’) series. Please see http://www.gnu.org/software/gcl for downloading information.

    • [GNU IceCat] 31.2.0

      GNU Icecat is now available on Fedora repositories.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Survey probes accessibility of Member States’ transposing of EU legislation

      A survey is being conducted to see if the sharing of information on how the European Union Member States are transposing European legislation can be improved. The results of this survey could potentially contribute to increased interoperability of the ICT systems that provide access to European legislation.

    • W3C now endorses HTML5

      In addition HTML5 will see much more better games get developed for the web, Mozilla using various technologies have shown off desktop-like games in terms of graphics, if this were to become mainstream we may see a shift from people using traditional desktop and laptop to devices like Chromebooks, although post-Snowden privacy concerns make this a more distant reality than it was before. HTML5 also brings with it native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML), anotations important for East Asian typography and features to enable accessibility of rich applications.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Army Says Only 30% of Americans Could Join

      The U.S. Army now says that seven out of 10 young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are ineligible to become soldiers.

      The alarming reduction in the pool of prospective soldiers worries Army brass and they largely attribute it to three issues: obesity or health problems; lack of a high school education; and criminal histories.

      “There’s a reliance on an ever-smaller group of people to serve and defend the country,” said Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet, commanding general for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. “What do we do about that and how do we address that concern?

    • David Cameron jogger: ‘How good is security if I managed to run between them?’

      The jogger who was manhandled to the ground after running into David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has said he had “no idea” why police officers jumped on him.

      Dean Farley, a 28-year-old hospital worker from Leeds, questioned the Prime Minister’s security arrangements.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Washington Post’s Putinology

      OK, so fiery anti-Americanism is the belief that the United States desires a unipolar world where it calls the shots. Does anyone doubt US elites think otherwise?

  • Privacy

    • Verizon’s ‘Perma-Cookie’ Is a Privacy-Killing Machine

      Verizon Wireless has been subtly altering the web traffic of its wireless customers for the past two years, inserting a string of about 50 letters, numbers, and characters into data flowing between these customers and the websites they visit.

    • Sharyl Attkisson’s computer intrusions: ‘Worse than anything Nixon ever did’

      That’s the noise that Attkisson’s Apple computer was making at 3:14 one morning. A Toshiba laptop computer issued by CBS News did the same thing a day earlier, around 4 a.m. All this goes down in October 2012, right in the midst of the Benghazi story. A person who’s identified as “Jeff” warns Attkisson: “I’ve been reading your reports online about Benghazi. It’s pretty incredible. Keep at it. But you’d better watch out.” “Jeff,” like several of the names in “Stonewalled,” is a pseudonym.

    • Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in US

      In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly…

Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Wipro to deploy 10,000 strong team for open source initiatives on non-proprietary software

    Wipro’s open source practice has been made under its Business Application Services division, under which the company intends to build open source platforms that enable online services on a large scale.

    The company will shift its focus to applications, infrastructure, including operating systems, databases, cloud technologies and software defined infrastructure. Significantly, in the Product Engineering space, Wipro believes licensable IP blocks will help shrink product development timelines.

  • Catalyst to lead Mahara open source ePortfolio project

    Catalyst, an open source software specialist based in Christchurch, New Zealand, has taken ownership of ePortfolio project Mahara’s trademark and will also lead the its partner programme, it announced overnight.

  • Events

    • ‘All Things Open’ All Wrapped Up for 2014

      There was absolutely nothing wrong with this year’s All Things Open conference. There were a few glitches, as might be expected, but not enough to matter. Was it perfect? Probably not. Perfection at a conference would probably be pretty boring — and boring would be a fault keeping it from being perfect, if you’ll excuse a little circular logic. Let’s just say say that ATO was more than good enough — and then a lot more.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla hopes to challenge Raspbian as RPi OS of choice

        The Mozilla Foundation staged a Mozilla Festival in the UK over the weekend, and one of the projects developers delivered was a port of Firefox OS working to the Raspberry Pi.

      • Mozilla Positions Firefox OS as a Competitor to Raspbian for Raspberry Pi

        The Mozilla Foundation held its much anticipated festival in England this past weekend, and one of the projects shown off by developers is a port of Firefox OS working with he Raspberry Pi. The diminutive, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi devices (shown here), priced at $25 and $35, have quickly won over hackers and hobbyists who are taking Linux in new directions, including even supercomputing.

        Now, Mozilla appears to belive its Firefox OS mobile platform can engage developers working on robotics and other applications for Raspberry Pi boards.

      • Mozilla preps Firefox OS for the Raspberry Pi

        Mozilla released an experimental “PiFxOS” build of Firefox OS optimized for the Raspberry Pi, with an early focus on robotics and media players.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Venture Funding Marches On as SwiftStack Secures $16M

      If you observe the old adage “follow the money” right now, it seems that you’ll be led straight to OpenStack. Today, there is yet more news about venture funding for an OpenStack-focused startup. SwiftStack, which specializes in software-defined storage based on the OpenStack cloud platform, announced that it closed $16 million in funding to scale its efforts to enable storage scalability for the enterprise.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Is #1

      LibreOffice is a fine example of what FLOSS can be. When FLOSS projects reach this level of penetration in usage there’s no limit to how far they can go. We’ve seen this before in the Linux kernel, Apache web-server, MySQL database, PostgreSQL database and many others.

    • The Document Foundation joins the Open Source Business Alliance

      The Document Foundation (TDF) joins the Open Source Business Alliance (OSB Alliance), to strengthen LibreOffice ecosystem by creating stronger ties with companies and organizations deploying the free office suite on a large scale.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 Gets Lots of Fixes

      The previous RC in the series had a very short list of changes and just a couple of regressions, which indicated that we might get a stable version soon. It looks like that wasn’t the case after all and that we still have to be patient and gaze with great interest at what the devs are doing.

      FreeBSD 10.0 was a big step forward for this distribution and a natural evolution from the 9.x branch. People tend to forget that open source is not the same thing with Linux and there are other distros out there that might be using a completely different base, like BSD for example. The first point release for FreeBSD 10.x is also an important step for the devs because it gathers a huge number of changes that will make users’ lives much easier.


    • GNU Emacs 24.4 Released
    • New GNUMail release 1.2.2

      After Pantomime a GNUMail release had of course to follow. The same words as for Pantomime apply.

    • GNU wget 1.16 released
    • GNU libtool 2.4.3 released [stable]

      GNU Libtool hides the complexity of using shared libraries behind a
      consistent, portable interface. GNU Libtool ships with GNU libltdl, which
      hides the complexity of loading dynamic runtime libraries (modules)
      behind a consistent, portable interface.

    • guile-ncurses 1.6 released

      I am pleased to announce version 1.6 of GNU Guile-ncurses. Guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is based on the ncurses project’s curses, panel, form, and menu libraries.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Changing the Behaviour of Eclipse’s Update Manager

      If you’ve developed plugins for the Eclipse environment, you’re moderately aware that Eclipse’s update manager can behave in strange ways from a user perspective. Things have gotten better with the p2 Remediation Support in Kepler (4.3.0) but what about dependency resolution done by Maven plugins, like Tycho, at build-time ? You get to specify a list of repositories, their content is aggregated, and if your request is satisfiable, it will be satisfied. Of course there’s some criteria p2 will attempt to optimize. For example, preferring highest version with fewest dependencies (minimize transitive closure) from a set of identically named units.

    • Clang Goes Ahead And Enables C11 By Default

      LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler went ahead and enabled C11 as the default C language for the upcoming LLVM 3.6 release.


  • NYT Tried to Sell ‘Pro-Growth’ Candidate, but Brazilians Weren’t Buying

    Stewart was referring to Aécio Neves, governor of the state of Minas Gerais and the favorite of “investors and business people in Brazil.” Neves ended up losing to incumbent President Dilma Rousseff, described by Stewart as “a former Marxist guerrilla who praises Mr. [Hugo] Chávez as ‘a great Latin American.’”


    Cardoso belonged to the same party as Neves, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, which despite its name takes a center-right line. This may explain why Neves’ “pro-growth” policies were not as convincing to Brazilian voters as they are to New York Times columnists.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Assange court ruling expected ‘by midnight’

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal against the arrest warrant hanging over him is being considered by a court in Stockholm, with the chief prosecutor expected to report back before midnight.

    • Peter Carey: ‘How can Assange be a traitor?’

      Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, features an activist on the run from the US government. He talks to Tim Martin about his intuitive connection with the WikiLeaks founder

    • Whitlam, Assange inspire Carey

      Peter Carey is in Melbourne flogging his latest book Amnesia, about an Australian female cyber-terrorist, a kind of Julian Assange in drag. When I call the two-time Booker Prize winner’s hotel, he’s wolfing down the last of a cold steak sandwich. Gough Whitlam had died earlier that week and was still on his mind.

    • Peter Carey, A History Manifesto

      Peter Carey’s new novel Amnesia counterpoints modern hackers with murky incidents in Australia’s recent past as a writer explores where countries and individuals stand in the modern world.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Privacy

    • Feds identify suspected ‘second leaker’ for Snowden reporters

      The FBI recently searched a government contractor’s home, but some officials worry the Justice Department has lost its ‘appetite’ for leak cases

    • Big Brother’s Liberal Friends

      IT IS strange that the Obama administration has so avidly continued many of the national-security policies that the George W. Bush administration endorsed. The White House has sidelined the key recommendations of its own advisers about how to curtail the overreach of the National Security Agency (NSA). It has failed to prosecute those responsible for torture, on the principle that bygones should be bygones, extending a courtesy to high officials that it has notably declined to provide to leakers like Chelsea Manning. The result is a remarkable degree of continuity between the two administrations.

      Yet this does not disconcert much of the liberal media elite. Many writers who used to focus on bashing Bush for his transgressions now direct their energies against those who are sounding alarms about the pervasiveness of the national-security state. Others, despite their liberal affectations, have perhaps always been enthusiasts for a strong security state. Over the last fifteen months, the columns and op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post have bulged with the compressed flatulence of commentators intent on dismissing warnings about encroachments on civil liberties. Indeed, in recent months soi-disant liberal intellectuals such as Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley have employed the Edward Snowden affair to mount a fresh series of attacks. They claim that Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and those associated with them neither respect democracy nor understand political responsibility.


      Snowden and his companions have shown that national-security liberals’ arguments for deference rest on false assumptions. The truth is that not only are America’s overseas interventions problematic by themselves, but they are also increasingly undermining domestic liberties. Intelligence efforts that are supposed to be focused abroad turn out to have sweeping domestic consequences. It’s impossible to distinguish intelligence data on domestic and foreign actors. Security officials in various countries can work together across borders to circumvent and undermine domestic protections, actively helping each other to remake laws that restrict their freedom of operation. And at home, officials can use these new arrangements to work around and undermine civil rights. This commingling of domestic and international politics is complex and poorly understood. It helps explain why national-security liberals have such difficulty in comprehending—let alone refuting—Snowden’s and Greenwald’s arguments.

  • Civil Rights

    • Occupy Democracy is not considered newsworthy. It should be

      From last Tuesday, Parliament Square was wrapped in wire mesh. In one of the more surreal scenes in recent British political history, officers with trained German shepherds stand sentinel each day, at calculated distances across the lawn, surrounded by a giant box of fences, three metres high – all to ensure that no citizen enters to illegally practice democracy. Yet few major news outlets feel this is much of a story.

    • A Plan to Cut Costs and Crime: End Hurdle to Job After Prison

      With an estimated one in three American adults having been arrested at some point in their lives, and 16 million people — about 7.5 percent of the adult population — who are felons or former felons, the question of how to reintegrate the 700,000 people who are released from prison each year has become increasingly urgent.

    • How the Press and the CIA Killed Gary Webb’s Career

      Ceppos assigned another Mercury News investigative reporter, Pete Carey, to review Webb’s reporting against the charges of the media critics. On October 12 the Mercury News published Carey’s findings, which backed up Webb’s work and actually added new information, particularly regarding the 1986 search warrant against Blandón and his arms-dealing associate, Ronald Lister. But though Webb’s reporting was vindicated, the assignment to Carey was an omen of the paper’s increasing defensiveness.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XLI

      In my last update, I noted that the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) chapter remains the centre of attention, with rumours swirling around that the President-elect of the new European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, would pull a rabbit out of his hat by announcing that ISDS would be dropped. That didn’t happen, and it seems that once more, the UK is to blame.

    • Copyrights

      • Big Pirate Sites ‘Raided’, Admins on the Run

        Authorities have carried out raids across Germany in pursuit of the operators of movie streaming portal Kinox.to. The individuals are also said to be behind other sites including Movie4K, FreakShare and BitShare. Throw alleged extortion, arson and the fact the sites are still online into the mix, and the plot only thickens.

      • MPAA Reports The Pirate Bay to The U.S. Government

        The MPAA has informed the U.S. Government about two dozen piracy-promoting websites it would like to be gone. The list includes major torrent sites The Pirate Bay and Kickass.to, file-hosting services such as Uploaded and Rapidgator, as well as Russia’s social network VK. The popular Popcorn Time application was also welcomed with a mention.


Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

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

GNOME bluefish



  • The Unbundling Of That Other OS At Lenovo

    For years, I’ve been annoyed that Lenovo supports GNU/Linux on all its PCs and will ship GNU/Linux for those who demand it but did not advertise GNU/Linux units side by side with units burdened with that other OS.

  • What makes Linux so good?

    With Linux, everybody has access to the source code and everyone has the ability to join in and get involved and this means that through collaboration the software evolves at a faster pace and the end product is usually of a very high standard.

    Linux isn’t just for programmers though. Linux is for everyone. Most people couldn’t care less what is under the hood in the same way that many people drive their cars without being able to tell a spark plug from a dipstick.

  • Government transformation and demand for Linux expertise

    IT is changing organizations across the globe, impacting enterprises, governments and the wider public sector. Open source in particular is a driver in innovation, giving organizations a competitive edge and an ability to scale and adapt to changing market demands.

    According to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report, demand for Linux expertise continues to grow, with hiring managers across a number of industries citing Linux talents as one of the top recruitment priorities this year.

  • Kernel Space

    • Btrfs RAID: Linux 3.10 To Linux 3.18 Benchmarks

      As a follow-up to this week’s Btrfs RAID HDD testing on Ubuntu 14.10, I ran some benchmarks of Btrfs in RAID0 while benchmarking every major kernel release from Linux 3.10 to Linux 3.18-rc1.

    • OverlayFS Finally Offered For Pulling Into Linux 3.18

      When Linux 3.18-rc1 was released last week, one week sooner than anticipated, Linus Torvalds mentioned he was willing to still allow OverlayFS to be merged this cycle. One week later, that code is hopefully now ready for merging.

      While Linux 3.18-rc2 is expected for release later today, last night Al Viro sent in a new VFS pull request that finally has OverlayFS ready for landing. OverlayFS has been aiming for Linux 3.18 and it’s finally moving ahead while already having a lot of users even though it’s not been part of the mainline kernel tree. OverlayFS is a simple union file-system already used by some live DVD/USB Linux distributions like Mageia and OpenWRT. OverlayFS has been trying for years to get mainlined in the Linux kernel but not all kernel developers have been happy with it — some objecting it’s incomplete, not happy with the design, etc.

    • Linux 3.18-rc2 Brings OverlayFS, Other Late Merges

      Another Sunday evening, another Linux kernel release candidate. The second test version of the Linux 3.18 kernel is now available.

      With the Linux 3.18-rc1 release having been one week sooner than previously expressed, for -rc2 there were some late merge requests, which does include the final landing of OverlayFS in the mainline kernel.

    • Linux 3.18-rc2

      Another week, another rc – and now the merge window is *definitely* closed.

      I had hoped that the rc1 release would mean that a few stragglers
      would quickly surface, and then the rest of the rc would be more
      normal. But no, I had straggling merge-window pull requests come in
      all week, and rc2 is bigger than I’d like.

      Oh well. It’s not like I’m hugely surprised, but it does mean that I’m
      probably going to be unpleasant next week to anybody who tries to get
      me to pull things that I think looks like “development” rather than
      “fixes”. You’ve been warned. I effectively gave you a full three
      weeks of merge window, now it’s time for bugfixes, and not random
      other noise. Ok?

      And to be honest, we’ve had bigger rc2′s in history. Not recently,
      though. Both 3.3 and 3.4 had big -rc2 releases, and 3.15 (which was
      the largest release ever, iirc) came reasonably close.

      At least _part_ of the size is the very long-delayed overlayfs merge
      that I already mentioned in the rc1 release message as being pending.
      Let’s see how much fallout that all causes, but it’s been around for a
      long time (partly because it needed various vfs-layer things to
      integrate cleanly), and I think it’s in good shape. Knock wood.

      So at least partially as a result of that overlayfs merge, about a
      third of the patch is filesystems. It’s not _just_ overlayfs, though,
      there was a late ext4 merge request that I think is actually bigger,
      at least partly due to some extent handling refactoring.

      The rest is the more usual driver updates (thermal, watchdog, scsi
      target, ACPI & PM, misc other updates) and architecture updates (arc,
      arm, powerpc, mips, x86). Some Documentation and include file updates
      rounds out the rest.

      Shortlog appended for details, I think it’s still well within the
      mailing list size constraints.


  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Developers Come Up With DWD Window Decoration Concept

        Yesterday there were “what if” articles about KDE using client-side decorations and Windows 10 components. On a serious note today, the same KDE parties involved, have proposed Dynamic Window Decorations (DWD) as an alternative/hybrid to client-side and server-side decorations.

      • Presenting DWD, a Candidate for KDE Window Decorations

        When the first CSD “what if” was made in the KDE community forums it became the catalyst that got me in touch with some of the fine developers who really do make KDE happen, from them and members of the VDG I was educated on a new method of decorating windows with clean yet powerful widgets, and I have the privilege of presenting the idea we have worked and iterated on for some weeks now today…

      • KDE makes Qt

        So, KDE people makes up for 40-60% of the weekly commits to QtBase. This is again shows that KDE is important to Qt, just as the reverse is. So, let’s keep KDE healthy.

      • Color Pickers

        In this regard, I offered to propose a new way or method that we can use for the KDE Color picker. We have a few ways that this was done in the past and maybe it can be improved. KDE currently uses this from the KColor Chooser

      • Testing A11y in Plasma 5

        I made the jump on all available computers, and am now running Plasma5 on the foundation of Kubuntu 14.10 everywhere. Once the upgrade work was done, I filed a few bugs, and then wanted to test accessibility (often abbreviated a11y), since Qt5 has a11y built-in.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • GParted Live 0.20.0-2 Stable Release

        This live image contains GParted 0.20.0 which improves resizing for multi-device btrfs file systems. Also included is a patched version of parted 3.2 that fixes a crash that would occur when resizing fat16 file systems.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pi2D2 interview

      It was a pretty long project. I didn’t work on it full time, obviously, but I probably worked on it over a period of six months, and most of the time was writing the software. A lot of the software was written in Python – like the controls for the webcam, the soundboard and everything – so most of the time was getting the software running and getting the kinks worked out. Like where if it loses a Wi-Fi connection it tries to rejoin and things like that. So, yeah, I definitely want to revisit it, and obviously the second time round you can do it a lot better than you did the first, so I’d like to go back.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • [Video] Hands-on with the Samsung Gear S at the Tizen Developer Summit in shanghai 2014

          Navigating around the display is a breeze with swiping down from the clock face bringing down quick controls for volume, screen brightness and also the do not disturb setting. Swiping left brings you the user selectable and also installable widgets. This means that you can have the app widgets that matter to you most within striking distance. Swiping right from the clock face brings you to you notifications, where you are easily able to select notifications from different applications such as SMS, Whatsapp, email etc.

      • Android

        • CyanogenMOD maintains open source roots as business success looms

          It’s safe to say that CyanogenMOD has changed Android for the better, breathing new life into aging smartphones abandoned by their manufacturers. What started as a side project based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) now has over a million active users clambering to install the latest builds on their devices — even ones that have not been forgotten by their makers.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Someone Smashed The Disputed Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument To Pieces

    Someone drove up a ramp near the Oklahoma Capitol steps overnight and into a disputed granite monument of the Ten Commandments, smashing it to pieces in an apparent act of vandalism, authorities said.

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. George Brown said the person abandoned the car and fled the scene after destroying the monument Thursday night, and that investigators are searching the sedan for clues. He said he didn’t know if there were any witnesses, but that investigators are reviewing security video.

  • Dilma Rousseff Wins Second Term as Brazil’s President

    Rousseff seizes second term, carrying forward 12 years of Workers’ Party administration for another four years.

  • Science

    • China is world’s largest industrial robot market

      Although China lags behind neighbors South Korea and Japan in automation on a per capita basis, things could change as Chinese authorities claimed Sunday China is now the world’s largest industrial robot market with over 30 robot factories under construction.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Letter: U.S. was slow to react to crisis in West Africa

      There were three stories on Ebola in the first four pages of the Oct. 17 newspaper. Meanwhile, on page 6 was a story that the Affordable Care Act has not hurt corporate America (oh, thank heaven), and relegated to page 7 was a story on CIA torture, a matter some of us feel is rather important.

    • Trick or treat: GOP’s Ebola scare tactics
    • Polio’s Last Stronghold

      A 2011 CIA operation to locate Osama bin Laden using a staged hepatitis vaccine programme didn’t help matters either. Since then, at least 30 vaccinators and 30 security personnel have been killed in attacks by the Taliban, while on duty. The obvious solution: beefed up security and awareness drives, still haven’t managed to break through the phobias of the tribal belt. How do you combat a conspiracy theory when your attempts are viewed as proof of it?

    • Polio workers walk deadly tightrope in Pakistan

      Suspicions grew after the CIA used a Pakistani doctor in 2011 to stage a hepatitis vaccination programme as cover to try to find Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

    • Pakistan PM urges eradication of polio

      Analysts say actions by anti-government groups, such as the Pakistani Taliban, have slowed vaccinations and helped spread the disease. In 2012, the Taliban banned vaccinations in territory it controlled, claiming the government campaign was similar to a hepatitis vaccination program run by a doctor who allegedly aided the CIA in helping find Osama bin Laden.

    • Tribunal adjourns Dr Shakil case sixth time

      On March 15, the FCR commissioner had upheld the conviction of Dr Shakil, who is also suspected of helping the American CIA track down Osama bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign but reduced the sentence given by the APA court from 33 years to 23 years imprisonment and fine from Rs320,000 to Rs220,000.

    • A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

      The harmonious collaboration between the CIA and racist regimes of an overall Nazi outlook began with the importing of Nazi scientists. Among the CIA’s friends in later years was South Africa’s apartheid regime. It was, for example, a CIA tip that led the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his imprisonment for more than twenty years. Close CIA cooperation with South Africa’s intelligence agencies continued unabated and indeed mounted during the Reagan years, with close collaboration in attacks on Mozambique and other neighbors of South Africa deemed to be threats to South African and U.S. interests.

  • Security

    • Chinese hackers show off skills at GeekPwn security contest

      The event was co-organized by Keen Team, a security unit of Shanghai-based Keen Cloud Tech that focuses on helping worldwide leading software manufactures to discover and fix security vulnerabilities, and XCon Conference, one of the largest security conferences in China.

    • The Absurd Cost of Overreaction

      Whether it’s Ebola, Malaysia Flight 370 or the shoe bomber, our post-disaster spending efforts may not be the wisest

    • DDoS Attacks Increasing In Size And Volume As Smart Devices Are Targeted

      Attackers are also using a wider variety of devices to launch assaults, with cable modems, smartphones and embedded devices all being targeted. Hackers are also looking to gain control of Linux systems by exploiting vulnerable web- based applications in order to strengthen botnets.

      “DDoS attack size and volume have gone through the roof this year,” says John Summers, vice president of Akamai’s security business unit. “. “In the third quarter alone, Akamai mitigated 17 attacks greater than 100 gigabits-per-second, with the largest at 321Gbps.

      “Interestingly, we witnessed none of that size in the same quarter a year ago and only six last quarter. These mega-attacks each used multiple DDoS vectors to deliver large bandwidth-consuming packets at an extremely high rate of speed.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Who trusts the government anymore?

      There was a famous exchange in the British Parliament in the last two years of Queen Victoria’s reign. During a debate on Irish policy, an English member found it helpful to recount, “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” His opponent in the debate, a member from Northern Ireland, responded with, “Of course not, God doesn’t trust you people in the dark.”

      Were such an exchange take place today in the congress, the response would simply be, almost no one trusts this government anymore.” You doubt that? A CNN poll that found only 13 percent of those polled believe the government can be trusted to do the right thing most of the time.

    • Saudis most likely to join ISIS, 10% of group’s fighters are women

      Although Saudi Arabia is the Arab country putting the most effort into raising awareness of the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) and fighting the group, Saudi citizens are the most responsive to joining ISIS, as indicated by new semi-official statistics, which show that the number of Saudi fighters in ISIS reached 7,000.

    • The United States’ Middle East policy is in shambles

      On February 19, 1998, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Frank Carlucci, Doug Feith, Bernard Lewis, Robert McFarlane, Donald Rumsfeld, Caspar Weinberger, Paul Wolfowitz, and many others, addressed an open letter to Bill Clinton demanding that Saddam Hussein’s regime be brought down. On March 20, 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein was hung on December 30, 2006. This intervention was followed by a series of coups and military operations whose ultimate goal was the dismemberment of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 and the establishment of a state of chaos in the Middle East. The objective was met. Yet, today the United States is caught in an incredible quagmire with no exit strategy. Let’s examine briefly the main consequences of the Iraqi invasion.

    • Going from a Bad War to a Worse War
    • The Dark Secrets of Appendix M

      We really should be used to this by now. After almost six years in office, President Obama is far more like George W. Bush in national-security matters than he led the American people to believe.

    • Chocolate-Maker ISIS Decides to Change Name

      A 90-year-old chocolate company in Belgium got tired of its name of Italo Suisse last year and settled on what it thought was a sure winner: ISIS. Then along came the extremist group Islamic State, known by various names, including, of course, ISIS. “Had we known there was a terrorist organization with the same name, we would have never chosen that,” a company exec tells Reuters. Amid declining sales, the company is switching yet again, to Libeert, after the company’s owners.

    • Blackwater verdicts seen as watershed for accountability in war zones
    • Blackwater Guards Convicted of 2007 Iraq Massacre

      Four former employees of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater were convicted Wednesday of a mass shooting during the Iraq War.

      One man was convicted of first-degree murder and three others were convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of 14 people.

    • Days After Former CEO Calls For Private Guards In Iraq, Blackwater Is Found Guilty Of Iraqi Massacre

      Blackwater Worldwide guards were found guilty Wednesday of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 17 others after they fired machine guns and threw hand grenades into Baghdad’s Nisour Square seven years ago. Jurors ultimately rejected the guards’ claims that they were acting in self-defense, as none of the victims were insurgents. The conclusion of the 11-week trial brings a close to one of the darkest chapters of the Iraq War.

    • The rising tide of hatred

      And in many cases we nourish such elements. It is now an open secret that Osama Bin Laden was propped up by CIA of the US. Taleban too were a US creation to deal with the Russian forces in Afghanistan. When the embers of fire that you nurture begin burning your own hands you call them evil forces and terrorists that need to be destroyed.

    • A Newly Declassified CIA Paper Details A Tense Subplot In The Cold War Arms Race

      Moscow wanted to improve its negotiating position with the US in order to force Washington to suspend the project. And according to the paper, Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov considered several options for countering SDI, like “increasing the number of missiles, reinforcing missile silos to increase their survivability, using decoys on missiles to make intercepts more difficult,” and “developing and deploying an underwater missile that would not be affected by the space-based missile shield.”

    • Islamic State waterboard prisoners, new John Cantlie video reveals
    • The Horror Before the Beheadings

      The hostages were taken out of their cell one by one.

      In a private room, their captors asked each of them three intimate questions, a standard technique used to obtain proof that a prisoner is still alive in a kidnapping negotiation.

      James Foley returned to the cell he shared with nearly two dozen other Western hostages and collapsed in tears of joy. The questions his kidnappers had asked were so personal (“Who cried at your brother’s wedding?” “Who was the captain of your high school soccer team?”) that he knew they were finally in touch with his family.

      It was December 2013, and more than a year had passed since Mr. Foley vanished on a road in northern Syria. Finally, his worried parents would know he was alive, he told his fellow captives. His government, he believed, would soon negotiate his release.


      “They checked my camera,” Mr. Suder said. “They checked my tablet. Then they undressed me completely. I was naked. They looked to see if there was a GPS chip under my skin or in my clothes. Then they started beating me. They Googled ‘Marcin Suder and C.I.A.,’ ‘Marcin Suder and K.G.B.’ They accused me of being a spy.”

    • The Future of War Is Here: Proxy Warfare

      Unconventional warfare isn’t popular among Western strategists these days. Whether it’s supporting insurgent groups (the strict definition) or supporting militias allied with government forces, proxy warfare has a bad reputation. The complex situation in Syria and Iraq isn’t helping matters: the US is struggling to find a reliable proxy in Syria and confidence in Iraq’s security forces and associated militias is low. In a recent editorial in the Canberra Times, Hugh White said, “For half a century America and its allies have been trying to win messy civil wars without fighting themselves and by training and equipping one side or the other. It never works.”

    • Human Rights Watch Documents Ukrainian Military’s Use of Cluster Rockets
    • Ukraine: Widespread Use of Cluster Munitions

      Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.

    • Syria A Strategic Blunder By United States

      Critics believe this policy would have been easy three years ago, when the opposition to Assad was more secular and democratic. It’s a fact that the demonstrations against the Assad regime in the initial months seemed to be carried out by more secular and liberal people. This was also true in Libya and Egypt. But over time, more organized, passionate and religious forces triumphed. This is a familiar pattern in revolutions including the French, Russian and Iranian. They are begun by liberals and taken over by radicals. Now all the effective ground forces of rebels in Syria are radicals.

    • The US is a Leading Terrorist State

      An international poll found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as “the biggest threat to world peace today,” far ahead of second-place Pakistan, with no one else even close.

    • Soros and the CIA Now Banking on Neves to Defeat Rousseff

      After the “accidental” death of socialist candidate Eduardo Campos, Brazilians were asked to choose their president among three main candidates: outgoing President Dima Rousseff, the Social Democrat Aecio Neves, or Campus’ substitute, the environmentalist Marina Silva, known for her links with George Soros. Silva’s decision to rally behind Neves seemed to ward off foreign interference, but it is having the opposite effect, observes Wayne Madsen.

    • Brazil under CIA Pressure

      All CIA information and propaganda resources are used to support Neves. Around 80 million Brazilians have access to Internet, 150 million are cell phone users. The US special services have perfect command of destabilization techniques. The recent protests and social unrest in Brazil threatened the World Cup proving that the forces are ready to react as the «color revolution» scenario to be implemented at any time.

    • Learning Chilean history gives a new world perspective

      Former President Salvador Allende, the president who was overthrown in the coup, was everything U.S. President Richard Nixon was threatened by at that time. Allende was a

      The U.S. feared an “irreversible Marxist regime” would take hold in Chile, according to Kristian Gustafson in an article on the CIA’s website.

    • Story of a Death Foretold Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

      Allende did not sanction violence, but his softer brand of socialism was no less alarming for the CIA and other vested interests. The perception was that Allende’s regime might in the long-run prove a more durable model than the Cuban one, not just for Chile, but for other countries in South America.

    • Former Australian PM Gough Whitlam Dies at 98

      The ex-prime minister also confirmed the cooperation of Australian secret services with the CIA in the fall of Chilean president Salvador Allende’s government, overthrown in a rightwing military coup in 1973.

    • Peter Carey calls government ‘inhumane’

      Acclaimed Australian author Peter Carey says that the Abbott government is ‘inhumane’, becoming the second high-profile writer in a week to criticise Australia’s political leadership.

    • John Pilger: How Whitlam was brought down
    • The British-American coup that ended Australian independence
    • The Forgotten Coup — How America and Britain Crushed the Government of Their “Ally,” Australia
    • Op-Ed: Libyan government declares war on Islamists

      The Islamist-dominated militias who control Tripoli and Benghazi convened the General National Congress(GNC), which appointed a prime minister who formed a government but the internationally-recognized elected government is in Tobruk, in eastern Libya.

    • CIA-linked General Haftar’s Libyan coup complete

      General Khalifa Haftar, often called a “renegade,” now has the support of the internationally-recognized Libyan government in Tobruk. His coup has been successful.

    • The Descent of Libya

      This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.

    • Lessons from the Bolivian Revolution

      …Bolivia has taught the “First World” a lesson in the power of popular democracy.

    • Women In Combat — Meet The First Woman To Lead Troops Into Battle

      On December 20, 1989, US Army Captain Linda Bray, then 29 years old, was the first woman to command American soldiers in battle, during the invasion of Panama. She ordered her team of 30 to fire on soldiers of the Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) who refused to surrender their positions at a dog kennel which was being used as a barracks for Special Operations troops. According to the Women In Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, “She anticipated a routine operation, but the battle turned into a three-hour, infantry-style firefight.” Three PDF soldiers were killed, and one was taken prisoner. Captain Bray is one of the women featured in the PBS Makers episode “Women in War,” which airs Tuesday, October 21 at 9 pm.

    • Pro-war Pundits: Always Wrong, Always Claiming to be Right

      The Nicaraguan people dared overthrow a US-backed dictator and, in the name of democracy, the Reagan administration responded by funding and arming a right-wing insurgency that killed over 50,000 people – on a per capita basis, fewer people died in the US civil war. When that insurgency failed to seize power by force – again, in the name of democracy – the Reagan administration encouraged the conservative opposition to boycott the free and fair election Nicaragua did indeed have in 1984, seeing that as the only way to harm the legitimacy of a popular government that would no doubt win the election (which it did, with 70 percent of the vote).

    • Libya: From Africa’s richest state under Gaddafi, to failed state after NATO Intervention

      THIS month marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.

      In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.

      After NATO’s intervention in 2011, Libya is now a failed state and its economy is in shambles. As the government’s control slips through their fingers and into the militia fighters’ hands, oil production has all but stopped.

    • Capital District quilt project targets U.S. use of drones

      Four six-by-six quilts are on display for the next month throughout the Capital District as part of an exhibit to make the general public aware of military drones and their civilian casualties.

    • Drone strikes: SHO summoned for failure to book top American spy

      A high court bench on Monday summoned the Secretariat police station house officer (SHO) for not registering a case against a former Central Investigation Agency (CIA) station chief over the deaths of civilians in a 2009 drone strike in North Waziristan.

    • IHC summons SHO for not filing FIR against ex-CIA station chief

      The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday summoned Station House Officer (SHO) Secretariat Police Station for not registering First Information Report (FIR) despite court’s orders against former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in Islamabad Jonathan Banks over deaths of civilians in US drone attacks.

    • “We’ve created generations of people who hate us”: Snowden documentarian on America’s imperial disasters

      Here’s a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of the national security state in the post-9/11 era. Imagine the kind of system needed just to vet that many people for access to our secret world (to the tune of billions of dollars). We’re talking here about the total population of Norway and significantly more people than you can find in Costa Rica, Ireland, or New Zealand. And yet it’s only about 1.6% of the American population, while on ever more matters, the unvetted 98.4% of us are meant to be left in the dark.

    • Feel-good factor

      In October 2012 two girls were wounded in two different armed actions in the north-western reaches of Pakistan. The first victim was Malala Yousafzai, the recent Nobel Prize recipient. The lesser known girl is Nabila ur-Rehman, then eight years old. Nabila was shot at by a CIA-operated drone while picking okra in a field near her home and Malala by the Taliban. Six of Nabila’s siblings were also shot and her grandmother killed in the attack.

    • Malala Yousafzai Has a Wise Message About Terrorism for President Obama
    • Malala Yousufzai and The Nobel Peace Prize

      Some argue that the Nobel Peace Prize is given to the less deserved candidate, Malala Yousufzai, as a political move by the West. Since being shot, Malala has spoken about girl’s education everywhere and has acted as a global citizen. She also speaks in favor of “Bring Back Our Girls,” which is an initiative that was started to bring kidnapped Nigerian girls, back to their families. In addition to her work with girl’s education and the ‘ Bring Back Our Girls’ initiative, she started her own foundation called the “Malala Fund,” for education.

    • Pentagon Admits Airdropped Weapons Taken by ISIS

      The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that an airdropped pallet of weapons, ammunition and medical supplies intended for the besieged Kurds of Kobani missed the drop zone and was taken by ISIS.

      The admission followed the posting of a video Tuesday to a YouTube account affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that purported to show a masked militant inspecting crates of grenades and other weaponry, and walking past a large bundle that appeared to have come from an airdrop.

    • My Days at the Bay Guardian … Printing the News and Raising Hell

      I haven’t read the story in years. It’s in a box in the garage probably overrun by silverfish. But I do recall how it featured the CIA’s assistant station chief handing me a CIA job application during one of our encounters in a coffee shop in San Francisco’s financial district and providing me with a personal introduction to CIA boss Richard Colby before Colby gave speech to the local Council of Foreign Relations chapter at the Sheraton Palace Hotel.

    • Is Germany trying to influence the Dutch investigation on downed MH17?

      BND is the German version of the CIA. Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine. All 288 onboard died. Accused of shooting down the plane was the Russian speaking separatists group in the Eastern Ukraine.

    • ‘Germany’s intel agency is (apparently) branch of CIA’

      The German BND is not an independent intelligent service but more like a CIA branch, Manuel Ochsenreiter, Editor-in-Chief of Zuerst magazine, told RT. Its so-called evidence on the MH17 tragedy is questionable and contradicting, he added.

    • German Journalist Blows Whistle On Government Control Of The Press

      German journalist Udo Ulfkotte has decided to blow the whistle and has made allegations that intelligent agents across some countries have influenced the media. According to RT Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.

      Ulfkotte told Russia Insider, “I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,” He made similar comments to RT in an exclusive interview at the beginning of October.

    • Colonial Mainstream-Media Exposed

      Dr. Udo Konstantin Ulfkotte, a German journalist, was formerly an editor for one of Germany’s main dailies, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), and worked there for 17 years. Earlier Ulfkotte had studied jurisprudence and politics at Freiburg and London and was on the staff of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of the Christian-Democrats from 1999 to 2003. He won the security-issues related prize of the Annette Barthelt Foundation in 2003.


      Working for the mainstream media means today that one’s career is preprogrammed from being a journalists to becoming a propagandist. If you’ve read this book (English editions coming soon), you will see most of the mainstream newspapers with entirely different eyes, you will more often just turn off the TV, and you will know what you still can believe from the radio transmissions: almost nothing.

    • German Journalist: CIA Writes Our ‘News’ Stories, Bribes Journalists

      German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with European media, has also published a book which quickly became best seller on Amazon.

    • Stern fellows remember Ben Bradlee: ‘Like everyone else, I was in awe of him’
    • Obama leads tributes to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee
    • Bradlee was a bold editor who helped us understand the world

      He went to Harvard, served in in the Navy during WWII and worked for the CIA’s European propaganda unit during the 1950s before fully embarking on his journalistic career.

    • Ben Bradlee, Chuck Todd, and the JFK Scandal The Washington Post Still Buries

      As mentioned, Bradlee was at the time the Washington Bureau Chief of Newsweek. He is now, this campaign season of October, 1964, in possession of a blockbuster of a story. The President of the United States was conducting an affair with the ex-wife of a high-ranking CIA official.


      His CIA ties explain so much.

    • The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy

      The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer was never solved, and is still a regular fixture of JFK conspiracy narratives. The police apprehended a man shortly after her shooting, but without much by way of evidence against him, he was acquitted at trail. Regardless, the psychic blow of Mary’s murder, coming so soon after his friend Jack Kennedy’s, had a profound effect on Bradlee.


      Did the CIA try to thwart the nation’s last investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination?

    • Ben Bradlee and the Powerful Cold War Georgetown Set

      When I told Ben that I hoped my book might finally shed light upon the secret cooperation that went on between reporters and the CIA, he smiled broadly and said: “Good luck.” I knew it was a sensitive subject, since a 1979 biography of Katharine Graham—Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and The Washington Post—by a Washington-based journalist, Deborah Davis, had alleged that Bradlee willingly engaged in a CIA propaganda campaign while serving as a press attaché at the American embassy in Paris during the early 1950s.

    • The Ben Bradlee mystique

      Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee began as a preppy but soon got over it. The scion of a Boston Brahmin family, he left Harvard to join the Navy in World War II, serving on a destroyer in the Pacific and learning how to swear (any tape of editorial meetings at the Post in Bradlee’s time would have been more profane than anything uttered by Nixon in the Oval Office). Daily journalism was considered to be slumming it by most of Bradlee’s boyhood social peers, but Bradlee loved hanging around with gamblers and hard-bitten types. He covered crime for the small and insignificant Washington Post after the war, then took off to Paris for a time to serve as an embassy staffer (and, according to probably inaccurate rumor, as a CIA agent). He came back to Washington with Newsweek and immediately made a source of a rising politician named John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy was elected president, Bradlee and his second wife, Tony, would dine at the White House with Jack and Jackie, while other newsmen stood in the cold and jealously muttered that Bradlee was too close to the president.

    • Turmoil in Hong Kong, Terrorism in Xinjiang: America’s Covert War on China

      The report was the first time state-run media had linked militants from Xinjiang, home to ethnic minority Uighur Muslims, to militants of the Islamic State group of radical Sunni Muslims.

      China’s government has blamed a surge of violence over the past year on Islamist militants from Xinjiang who China says are fighting for an independent state called East Turkestan.

      However, it isn’t just China’s government that claims militants in Xinjiang seek to carve out an independent state in western China – the militants themselves have stated as much, and the United States government fully backs their agenda to do so.

    • Missing students in Mexico — Where is the US?

      Last month, 43 politically active “leftist” students (male and female) hijacked a school bus to return them to their small campus. They disappeared before they arrived.

    • Geopolitics of the war against Syria and against the Daesh

      In this new and original analysis, Thierry Meyssan exposes the geopolitical reasons for the failure of the war against Syria and the real objectives of the so-called war against Daesh. This is particularly important for understanding current international relations and the crystallization of conflict in the Levant (Iraq, Syria and Lebanon).

    • Treating Putin Like a Lunatic

      Official Washington treats whatever comes out of Russian President Putin’s mouth as the ravings of a lunatic, even when what he says is obviously true or otherwise makes sense, as the New York Times has demonstrated again, writes Robert Parry.

    • Using the Holocaust to Justify War

      Since bursting onto the U.S. foreign policy stage in the 1980s, the neocons have been masters of “perception management,” devising emotional (and often false) messaging to justify aggressive war, as Maidhc Ó Cathail sees in recent Holocaust-themed propaganda against Syria’s government.

    • Eisenhower’s words proved prophetic

      Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s prophetic words in a 1961 speech at Michigan State University:

      “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – econo0mic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved, so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    • Operation Condor, Developed in the North to Silence the South

      An intelligence-sharing network headed by the CIA and used by six South American dictators, eliminated those who resisted them.

      Operation Condor, also known as Plan Condor — developed by Henry Kissinger and George Bush Sr., who was head of the CIA at the time — was a secret, transnational, state-sponsored terrorist coalition amongst the genocidal civic military dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.

      Argentine Secretary on Human Rights, Martín Fresneda, who gave a public address on the matter this week said “It hasn’t been very hard to understand what occurred in as much as the political, economic and social plan they had for Latin America and the south of our continent. What has been very hard to understand is how far they actually went. How they exterminated our people, in the worst way possible.”

    • UK must ‘do more’ to distance itself from US drone programme, says report

      A report from a commission chaired by the former Director of GCHQ has called on the British Government to implement “safeguards” to ensure that UK drone personnel “remain compliant with international law.”

      Citing the “sinister cultural and political salience” of US drone operations, the commission – which is chaired by Sir David Omand and was initiated by the University of Birmingham – recommends that measures be taken to ensure that where intelligence is shared with the US, “the UK government does not inadvertently collude in RPA [drone] actions contrary to international law.”

    • Who Took Billions from the Development Fund of Iraq?

      In 2004, Stuart Bowen of Texas was asked by a friend to take on a difficult and important job, which he did.

      Bowen’s friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq, where his buddy George had launched a misguided and very costly war, as well as an effort to reconstruct that country’s fractured economy. The watchdog soon learned that Air Force transport planes had been airlifting whole pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills from the US to Baghdad – totaling some $14 billion!

    • New Book Chronicles 50 Years of Covert U.S-Cuba Relations and Current Opportunity for Normalization

      But a new book, “Back Channel To Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana,” reveals that behind the scenes, the U.S. and Cuban governments maintained secret communications, often via covert intermediaries, that included dialogue and negotiations on a range of issues, including repeated efforts to improve relations. One previously unknown potential crisis point described in the book, were plans for an all-out U.S. war against Cuba initiated in 1976 by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was outraged that Fidel Castro deployed Cuban troops to Angola in the mid 1970s to defend the African nation against CIA and South African sponsored rebels.

    • Neocon Sabotage of Iran-Nuke Deal

      Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda. They are now disguising their sabotage as a constitutional argument, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

    • Sweden’s Submergency

      That’s it. Sweden was informed – and accepted – that US/NATO would regularly be present in Swedish waters.

      Naturally, a formally neutral country couldn’t that say aloud.

      Things may have changed since the 1980s, of course. But with the increased confrontation thanks to NATO’s expansion and the Ukraine crisis leading to a kind of resumption of Cold War attitudes, this interpretation would indeed be relevant today too.

    • Vietnam Veterans of U.S. Secret Army in Laos Urge Congress to Act

      The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and Lao- and Hmong-American leaders are meeting with key members of the U.S. Congress, and Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill, urging the passage of legislation to grant burial honors, and benefits, to veterans who served in the U.S. Secret Army in Laos during the Vietnam War.

    • Jack O’Rourke: War on ISIS is completely irrational

      The CIA has been secretly supporting rebel groups around the world since its inception. Before making his Syrian decision, Mr. Obama asked the CIA for one instance where this covert activity paid dividends for the United States. When it couldn’t do it, Mr. Obama decided not to arm the Syrian rebels for fear the weapons would one day be used against us.

      Panetta accuses Mr. Obama of being too professorial — meaning he thinks logically. In all my years in politics, Panetta said, I’ve learned that “logic doesn’t work in Washington.” I have never heard a statement so revealing and frightening concerning the state of our union. Absent reason and logic, we are openly governed by our emotions and our prejudices.

      Is it any wonder that we have been at war almost constantly since Vietnam for fear, irrationally, that we might be attacked, and that the dogs of war are still crying for more?

    • Hightower: U.S. keeps sending money into bad wars in Middle East

      How much of our cash for this misadventure will be stolen or “missing?” And just think how much good that money would do if we invested it here in our own people?

    • Putin Accuses West Of Sponsoring “Terrorist Invasions” Of Russia, Central Asia

      Putin spoke October 24 at the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, where foreign policy experts from around the world gather to talk about Russia. Although its major themes were previewed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a few days before, the Russian website slon.ru said that the speech “could confidently be placed in the same rank as the 2007 Munich speech” (his first substantial criticism of the U.S. and the unipolar world it led) and was “the most anti-American speech Putin has given since coming to office 14 years ago.”

    • Eugene Robinson: Our new ‘dumb’ war

      “I don’t oppose all wars,” said Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, in 2002. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.”

      Few would describe Obama’s use of military force against the Islamic State as rash. But the more we learn about this intervention, the more it appears to violate the “dumb” half of the president’s dictum. The purposes, parameters and prospects of the war are increasingly uncertain. Americans have a right to be concerned about the whole enterprise.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • South Africa’s Public Protector Thuli Madonsela Wins Transparency International’s Annual Integrity Award

      Last week the international anti-corruption body Transparency International (TI) awarded its annual Integrity Award to Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s Public Protector. The Berlin-based organization is best known for its yearly Corruption Perceptions Index ranking levels of corruption in each of the world’s countries. Since 2000, TI has also presented its Integrity Award to “recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations confronting corruption around the world, often at great personal risk.”

    • Govt Rebuts Criticism of State Secrets Privilege

      Beyond that, government attorneys also took the opportunity to rebut the court’s criticism of the use of the state secrets privilege, and to defend several past assertions of the privilege.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Giant canal threatens way of life on the banks of Lake Nicaragua

      Plans for Nicaraguan canal which would dwarf its Panama rival and dissect central America’s largest lake met with violent resistance from locals

    • Water crisis worsens as Sao Paulo nears ‘collapse’

      Sao Paulo residents, half of whom are already complaining of hours-long water shortages, were warned by a top water regulator Tuesday to brace for more severe cutoffs.

      “If the drought continues, residents will face more dramatic water shortages in the short term,” Vicente Andreu, president of Brazil’s National Water Agency, known as ANA, told reporters in Sao Paulo as he prepared to speak to the state legislature. “If it doesn’t rain, we run the risk that the region will have a collapse like we’ve never seen before,” he later told lawmakers.

    • The ‘Threat Multiplier’ of Climate Change

      Climate change – what the Pentagon calls a “threat multiplier” – could put the world on course toward worsening chaos or even extermination as nuclear-armed nations scramble to cope with environmental dislocations and resource shortages, a danger that could define the future, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

  • Finance

    • List of the World’s Richest Countries; America’s Special Role in It

      The higher the ratio is of the mean/median, the more heavily skewed that nation’s wealth-distribution is. The lowest such ratio on this list is Slovenia, $33,395/$21,855, or 1.53. Malta’s is 1.71. Belgium’s is 1.75. Italy’s is 1.84. Luxembourg’s is 1.98. Spain’s is 1.99. All others are above 2. The highest wealth-inequality is found in U.S., 6.60; Denmark, 6.57; and Switzerland, 5.71. However, Denmark is one of the most-equal countries in terms of annual incomes. The U.S. is the only country that is extremely skewed in terms of both wealth and income. What’s shown below relates only to wealth; not at all to income.

    • Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • White House Meetings Aim To Keep Outsiders In The Loop — And Friendly

      As a deputy national security advisor, McDonough hosted similar engagement meetings, one source said. And when he became chief of staff, he very publicly made the rounds in Congress, trying to broker a budget deal — an effort reporters christened the McDonough “charm offensive” and the “outreach offensive.”

  • Censorship

    • US judge sets deadline in lawsuit over Iraq, Afghanistan torture photos

      The Obama administration is fighting a bitter rearguard action against the release of further damning evidence that the US military engaged in the torture of prisoners in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


      Her continuous comments on Turkey led her to achieve popularity among Turkish Twitter users. A good portion of her 22,200 Twitter followers are Turks, many of whom put her diplomatic position aside and ask her random questions. “Could we have a coffee together,” one asked, while another user said, “Marie is like a member of our family now.” One follower said Harf is more of a “show-off person” than Polat Alemdar, a character in a popular Turkish TV series in which Alemdar is a cool agent attempting to infiltrate the Turkish mafia. She even received a tweet that said, “hey Marie, any photo without glasses??”

  • Privacy

    • GOP Senate would be intel ally

      Republicans are promising to confront the Obama administration at every turn if they win the Senate, fighting environmental regulations, health care reform and presidential nominees.

    • Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spying

      The $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the Five Eyes surveillance club with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, according to a de-classified report.

    • Assange Claims Google Gets White House Support, Does Things CIA Cannot Do

      Google is not just an internet company any more, but a huge all-encompassing monopoly closely involved with the political agenda of the United States, WikiLeaks co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said in an article published in Newsweek.

      The article, in which Assange reveals Google’s connections with the White House, is based on the author’s encounter with Google’s chariman Eric Schmidt.

    • Facebook has totally reinvented human identity: Why it’s even worse than you think

      Let’s face it: Feminism is hot right now. Like, actually fashionable. Chalk it up to a boom in online journalism critiquing tired media tropes and holding politicians accountable with acerbic wit. But there’s one related trend that doesn’t seem to be getting fashionable again: “Cyberfeminism.” Remember that?

    • Documentary ‘Citizenfour’ tracks how decision to become a whistleblower posed a gripping dilemma for Edward Snowden

      Film looks at cybersleuth’s life in Russia and how journalist Glenn Greenwald and director Laura Poitras may be in contact with an important new source

    • Letter: Udall will reduce student debt, support women

      He also supports Elizabeth Warren’s plan to fix the student debt crisis, and he has her endorsement.

    • Leaked Documents Expose Secret Contracts Between NSA And Tech Companies

      Internal National Security Agency documents published by the Intercept earlier this month provide powerful evidence of active collaboration by the large technology corporations with the US government’s worldwide surveillance operations. The documents give a glimpse of efforts by the American state—the scale and complexity of which are astonishing—to penetrate, surveil and manipulate information systems around the world.

    • New Evidence of the NSA Deliberately Weakening Encryption

      One of the most high-profile ways in which mathematicians are implicated in mass surveillance is in the intelligence agencies’ deliberate weakening of commercially available encryption systems — the same systems that we rely on to protect ourselves from fraud, and, if we wish, to ensure our basic human privacy.

    • Google Is Not What It Seems

      It was Cohen who, while he was still at the Department of State, was said to have emailed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to delay scheduled maintenance in order to assist the aborted 2009 uprising in Iran.

    • Taking Cue from Spies, NYPD Gains ‘Glomar’ Tool

      In what has been called an “unprecedented” expansion of its legacy, a Manhattan judge recently allowed the NYPD and its former commissioner, Ray Kelly, to neither confirm nor deny possession of documents requested by a Harlem imam in the case of Abdur-Rashid v. NYPD.

  • Civil Rights

    • Coexistence of aggressive interrogation and civil liberties

      In his new book “Worthy Fights ,” Leon Panetta says the CIA “got important, even critical intelligence from individuals subjected to these enhanced interrogation techniques” — meaning waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other torture-like actions.

    • Obama Administration Considering Reaffirming Bush-Era Interpretation Of Convention Against Torture: NYT
    • Op-Ed: Obama administration split on issue of torture ban

      In 2005 the Bush administration revealed that it interpreted the UN Convention Against Torture banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” as not applicable to the CIA or military prisons overseas.

    • American Exceptionalism at Play in Interpreting the Convention on Torture

      Michael Ratner of the Centre for Constitutional Rights rejects the idea that the convention on torture exempts the US outside its borders

    • Torture May Not Be So Bad When You’re Using the Bamboo Splinters, Obama Administration Decides

      Like so many other things Barack Obama thought were so terrible about his predecessor in office—war in Iraq, executive orders, lack of transparency—he may have decided that torture isn’t so bad when you’re on the delivering end. Having inherited the collector’s edition bamboo splinter set (with user’s manual!), the administration, reports the New York Times, sees no reason to let it gather dust. So it’s considering airing out the old regime’s legal justifications for extracting information under duress.

    • Washington Week on Human Rights: October 20, 2014

      TORTURE Over the weekend, The New York Times’ Charlie Savage reported that State Department attorneys are urging the president to “officially abandon” the George W. Bush Administration’s stance on the United Nations Convention Against Torture, arecommendation that has been met with some skepticism by defense and intelligence attorneys, who say they need more time to consider implications of adhering to the torture treaty. The Bush Administration interpreted the treaty, which bans “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment” of prisoners, as not applying to CIA and military prisons overseas. That position drew bipartisan ire and was opposed by then-Senator Barack Obama. The Obama Administration must make its final decision on the matter before it travels to Geneva next month to appear before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which monitors compliance with the torture treaty.

    • Obama considers allowing torture overseas
    • ‘Constructive Dialogue’ Continues Over CIA Torture Report, White House Says

      Don’t expect the release of a Senate report on acts of torture committed by the CIA to become an uncomfortable election year October surprise.

      Asked Tuesday what was taking time to reach an agreement on redactions with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the White House responded with a statement from National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan that pointed to deliberative discussions, but no time element for their conclusion.

    • Obama’s chief of staff personally negotiates redacting of Senate’s CIA torture report

      White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is deeply involved in negotiating how much to redact from a classified US Senate probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, according to a new report.

    • The truth about torture is Obama never wants you to find it

      If America is so opposed to Bush-era atrocities, why does it keep covering up the evidence to protect the CIA?

    • ‘Hidden death penalty:’ Pope Francis calls for end to life sentences

      Pope Francis has renewed the Catholic Church’s call to eliminate the death penalty, going one step further to blast life sentences and urge countries to prohibit the practice of transferring prisoners to torture centers.

    • Pope Condemns Extraordinary Renditions in Law Talk
    • Pope Francis: Let’s Abolish Life Sentences

      That Pope Francis spoke out today against capital punishment is no big surprise. But he made headlines by coming out against life sentences as well, reports the Guardian. In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law, the pope urged all “people of good will” to fight for the abolishment of the death penalty and the improvement of prison conditions in general. “And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said, as quoted by the Catholic News Service. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”

    • Vladimir Putin Is The Leader Of the Moral World

      In a sane Western society, Putin’s statements would have been reproduced in full and discussions organized with remarks from experts such as Stephen F. Cohen. Choruses of approval would have been heard on television and read in the print media. But, of course, nothing like this is possible in a country whose rulers claim that it is the “exceptional” and “indispensable” country with an extra-legal right to hegemony over the world. As far as Washington and its prostitute media, named “presstitutes” by the trends specialist Gerald Celente, are concerned, no country counts except Washington. “You are with us or against us,” which means “you are our vassals or our enemies.” This means that Washington has declared Russia, China, India, Brazil and other parts of South America, Iran, and South Africa to be enemies.

    • All kidding aside, Jon Stewart’s movie tackles torture

      Comedian Jon Stewart’s debut as a movie director entertains, enlightens and even inspires. But be warned, fans of “The Daily Show”: In case you haven’t heard, it’s not a comedy.

      Not unless you get your laughs in the sarcastic way that I often do, from the endless ways with which the people who run governments give government a bad name.

    • Report: CIA Agents Impersonated Senate Staff
    • Report: CIA Agents Impersonated Senate Staffers To Spy On Senate Computers

      New details about CIA spying on the U.S. Senate suggest agents impersonated Senate Intelligence Committee staffers to access computers used to compile a report about the agency’s post-9/11 torture and imprisonment techniques.

    • CIA Officers Allegedly Impersonated Senate Staffers to Obtain Documents
    • New Things We Know About the Senate Intelligence Interrogation Report

      Ah, but this week we learned that the current White House is very much involved in the declassification of that report. In fact, according to Huffington Post, the White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, has taken an active role in the redaction effort. The same story also reveals allegations that Central Intelligence Agency officials impersonated Senate staffers to improperly access committee documents.

    • Obama Still Does a Good Imitation of Bush
    • CIA accused of wanting to bury facts of torture
    • Senator blasts CIA for censoring ‘torture’ report
    • CIA Blasted for Censoring Torture Report
    • Ron Wyden Blasts CIA For Censoring Torture Report
    • Report: CIA Deleted Computer Records About Senate Spying

      An investigation by the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms into CIA spying of Senate Intelligence Committee computers wrapped up this week without drawing any significant conclusions as a result of lost computer records reportedly deleted by the agency.

    • Political Vacillation About Torture

      In anticipation of release of a public version of a mammoth report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on interrogation techniques, Walter Pincus has reviewed in the Washington Post what former secretary of defense and former CIA director Leon Panetta says about the subject in his recently published memoir. Pincus refers to Panetta as a “wily politician” and quotes Panetta’s comments both that we “got important, even critical intelligence from individuals subjected to these enhanced interrogation techniques” and that “if a future president ever asked me whether we should go back to those techniques, I would say no.” The Post’s headline-writer for the print edition characterized this combination of positions as “Panetta takes both sides”.


      The CIA today hotly denied that it is intentionally holding up the release of a Senate report on its role in torturing detainees, charging instead that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s intelligence committee is responsible for dragging out the negotiations.

    • No One Is Even Pretending the Torture Report Isn’t a Document of American Failures

      The issue took a personal turn when Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the C.I.A. of spying on the computers of Senate staffers who were working on the report at a C.I.A. office. The agency eventually admitted that it had monitored a computer drive that was to be used only by Senate staffers, but claimed it had to because classified material was being removed from the building. C.I.A. director John Brennan eventually apologized for the breach.


      Continued White House foot-dragging on the declassification of a much-anticipated Senate torture report is raising concerns that the administration is holding out until Republicans take over the chamber and kill the report themselves.

    • CIA Slams Senate Democrats as Dangerously Eager for Declassification

      The CIA has rejected allegations of temporizing the joint White House/Senate committee/CIA report on Al-Qaeda detainees’ torture after Senate Democrats had accused them of having not declassified enough information.

    • Senate-CIA Dispute Unsettled As Final Investigation Into Torture Report Ends
    • Huffington Post: In the War Between the CIA and Senate Democrats, Everybody Won Except the Public

      Ryan Grim and Ali Watkins of Huffington Post headlined in an October 23rd news story, “Senate-CIA Dispute Unsettled As Final Investigation Into Torture Report Ends,” and they reported that the investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, concerning records that the CIA had erased from its computer hard drives, pertaining to the CIA’s role in the use of illegal tortures of detainees, has been halted, because the Senate’s chief law enforcer, its Sergeant-at-Arms, says that he “can’t verify any of what CIA is saying.” Furthermore, even the Inspector General of the CIA himself asserts that the CIA’s accusations of illegality in the way that the Senate investigating panel had received the CIA documents that the CIA had wanted to hide, was based on “inaccurate information” that was supplied by the CIA. The key document was “The Panetta Review” of the CIA’s role in the tortures. Leon Panetta was the Obama-appointed CIA chief. The Obama Administration — its Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder — declined to investigate the CIA’s accusation against the Senate Intelligence Committee, which — since Democrats currently control the U.S. Senate — is controlled by a Democratic Senator, California’s Dianne Feinstein. Furthermore, Holder refuses to investigate possible criminality by the CIA. So: President Obama, via his AG, has, essentially, waved off the entire matter.

    • Protest against police

      Relatives of a man, who died in Muslim Town police custody, Saturday staged a protest against police, claiming he was tortured to death.

    • Will Obama Follow Bush Down the Made-Up Torture Loophole?

      Twenty years ago, the United States ratified an international treaty banning the use of torture and cruelty worldwide. Three successive American presidents, with bipartisan support, threw their weight behind the treaty – Ronald Reagan signed it in 1988, George H.W. Bush approved it, and Bill Clinton signed implementing legislation into law in 1994.

    • #OccupyDemocracy: Protesters hold Parliament Square despite arrests

      Among those arrested were Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Green London Assembly Member Baroness Jenny Jones, who was later released without charge.

    • Obama’s Administration Divided Over Enhanced Interrogation Tactics

      Whether you call it cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or enhanced interrogation tactics, torture is a torture, except for the Obama’s administration, they are divided on that subject.

    • Obama to Send Delegation to Geneva and Appear Before UN “Committee Against Torture”

      Next month el Presidente Obama must send a delegation to Geneva [1] to appear before the “Committee Against Torture”, a United Nations panel that monitors compliance with the U.N, treaty banning “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

      It’s unclear why the administration has to make a presentation at this time, as it has never done so in the almost six years of Obama’s presidency.

      Be that as it may, this upcoming appearance has apparently created a firestorm within the Obama mobs inner sanctum.

    • ICP Asks of Obama & Torture, Mendez Banned from Bahrain, W. Sahara Death

      Mendez, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture, confirmed that he has still not gotten to visit Bahrain, after having two invitations canceled at the last minute. He said he recently asked Bahrain’s foreign minister to name another date, but it has still not happened.

      Other countries that have canceled invitations, Mendez went on to say, include Guatemala and Thailand (which, along with Costa Rica, lost in the UN Human Rights Council elections earlier on October 21).

      The US imposed conditions on a visit to Guantanamo Bay which Mendez could not accept. Mendez did not answer the Obama administration / extra-territoriality question, leaving it for Grossman, the chair of the UN Committee Against Torture. Video here. He gave a long answer, repeatedly saying his answer was NOT about the United States. Talk about deference.

    • The U.S. Is Still Violating the Anti-Torture Treaty It Signed 20 Years Ago

      Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT), but there’s not much cause for celebration. The U.S. was slow to join the treaty in the first place—countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Uganda beat us to it—and adherence to its guidelines over the past two decades has been dismal. It’s become even more dismal of late, just in time for what’s certain to be a damning review of the U.S. when the Commitee Against Torture meets in less than two weeks.

    • Poland lodges appeal with the European Court of Human Rights over CIA jail ruling
    • Poland appeals European court ruling that it violated rights in allowing CIA prison
    • Poland says to appeal European Court ruling on CIA jail
    • CIA secret prison ruling sees Poland appeal to European Human Rights Court
    • Poland appeals Europe court ruling on CIA prison
    • Poland to Appeal European Court Ruling on CIA Jails
    • Poland to appeal Strasbourg CIA ruling

      Prosecutor-General Andrzej Seremet has said Poland’s appeal against the European Court of Human Rights decision has reached the final stage of preparation after the court found the country had violated human rights of prisoners held in secret CIA prisons.

    • Press TV reporter dies in ‘suspicious’ car crash in Suruç

      Lebanese-American reporter Serena Shim, who worked with Iran’s state-run Press TV, died in a car crash in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa on Sunday in what Press TV called a “suspicious” accident after she had said she was accused of spying by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

      The 30-year-old correspondent, who was in Suruç to cover the battle of Kobani, a Kurdish town besieged by the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria, said in a televised speech on Press TV on Friday she had been accused by MİT of espionage and feared being arrested.

    • Is Panetta’s hit on Obama a boon for Hillary?
    • Former CIA chief’s new book may have violated secrecy agreement
    • Former CIA Director Under Fire For Releasing Book Without Approval
    • Panetta clashed with CIA over memoir, tested agency review process

      Former CIA director Leon E. Panetta clashed with the agency over the contents of his recently published memoir and allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA, according to former U.S. officials and others familiar with the project.

    • Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others

      Former CIA Director Leon Panetta clashed with the agency over the contents of his recently published memoir and allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA, according to former officials and others familiar with the project.

    • Backlash Against Leon Panetta, Robert Gates Over Memoirs

      President Obama’s former Defense secretaries are coming under fire in light of their memoirs that criticize the commander-in-chief while he’s still in office.

    • Leaky Leon, Still Leaking

      Yesterday, the Washington Post had a lengthy report on how former CIA director Leon Panetta was sending out copies of his book nearly a month before it cleared the CIA’s internal revue process to ensure that no sensitive national security information was being revealed. According to the Post, Panetta clashed with his former agency repeatedly throughout the process. And he refused to hold himself to the same standards of secrecy that he demanded while he was CIA director, having publicly scolded Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette for his own book about the Bin Laden raid. The Post also notes that Panetta played fast and loose with state secrets at the CIA: “His public comments about the drone campaign — including his description of airstrikes on al-Qaeda as “the only game in town” — were so extensive that the American Civil Liberties Union cited them extensively in a lawsuit that argued the program could no longer be considered a government secret.”

    • White House Chief Of Staff Negotiating Redaction Of CIA Torture Report

      White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is personally negotiating how much of the Senate’s so-called torture report, a probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, will be redacted, according to sources involved in the negotiations.

    • No Accounts

      The latest proof of this? The soon-to-be-released Senate report on the torture, kidnapping, illegal detention, and interrogation of Afghan citizens and others swept up and delivered to the CIA during the initial stages of Bush’s “war on terror” does not even mention the responsibility of the Bush Administration in organizing, ordering, and carrying out these criminal activities. It’s as though the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials were conducted with no mention of Himmler, Goebbels, Goring or Hitler.

    • ICC warns Nairobi not to leak details of Kenya president’s case

      The International Criminal Court issued a warning to the Government of Kenya on Tuesday not to disclose confidential information regarding President Uhuru’s court proceedings.

    • ROSS: Obama pledged government ‘transparency’ but threatens investigative reporters
    • KELLY: Deriding Deep Throat

      The Obama administration’s hostile stance toward investigative journalism is troubling

    • Obama a Supreme Court justice? ‘Too monastic for me’
    • ‘Too monastic for me,’ says Obama of becoming a Supreme Court justice
    • “Pay Any Price”

      No single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price, the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the “war on terror.” Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity, focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive.

    • James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize Winning Hero , is Threatened with Jail for Protecting Source

      In a determined effort to punish James Risen, the New York Times investigative reporter, the Bush and now the Obama administration has threatened him with imprisonment unless he reveals his source who provided him details of the massive illegal warrantless wiretapping conducted by the National Security Agency. This case will undoubtedly become the most significant challenge to press freedom in decades.

    • Journalist James Risen Facing Jail For Telling The Truth
    • Obama is enemy of free press, ‘record speaks for itself,’ says James Risen: Spy Games Update
    • James Risen vs. the American Psychological Association
    • ‘Pay Any Price’

      But one set of revelations in particular has the American Psychological Association up in arms. The APA released a statement last week disputing details of Risen’s account of its relationship with the Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency and other government officials regarding enhanced interrogation techniques for detainees suspected of terrorism – what many critics have called torture.

    • Questions for the APA Board Regarding Claims in James Risen’s Book “Pay Any Price”

      In his new book Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, James Risen, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, documents apparent collaboration between (American Psychological Association) APA leadership and the CIA to support psychologist participation in torture. The core of Risen’s reporting drew from primary source emails among APA staff, CIA, and Bush White House officials. The APA Board has since issued a response to the book, but the Board statement misstates or ignores virtually all of Risen’s reporting. Here we summarize Risen’s claims and provide precise questions for the APA Board regarding these claims.

    • Maher to James Risen: How Is Obama a Greater Threat to Free Press Than Bush?

      Bill Maher hosted journalist James Risen tonight and asked him about his past assertions that President Obama is the “greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.”

      Risen, of course, is facing possible jail time for not revealing his sources for stories very critical of the CIA. He told Maher that the national security apparatus was hurried under the Bush/Cheney era, but Obama made everything permanent. He said Obama’s gone after more whistleblowers than any other presidents combined and added, “I think he’s more conservative than people thought he was.”

    • Leon Panetta calls for military aid to Kiev

      On visit to Prague, former U.S. defense secretary and director of the CIA says Putin will foment turmoil in Eastern Europe if region seems weak

    • Ukraine crisis – the view from Russia

      Former Russian spy chief Nikolai Patrushev challenges western perspectives on the standoff between Moscow and Kiev in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta

    • Ukraine communists ‘face to face with 21st century fascism’

      On Sept. 22, Workers World conducted an extensive interview with Victor Shapinov, a coordinator and leading theoretician of the Marxist organization Union Borotba (Struggle) of Ukraine. Shapinov currently lives in exile with other Borotba activists in Crimea, under threat of arrest from the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev.

    • Jordan’s King Abdullah warns against Islamic and Zionist extremism

      In meeting with Jordan’s president and parliament members, king says it must be acknowledged that there is extremism in all camps; Jordanian FM says Israeli violations in Jerusalem undermining peace.

    • Egypt, UAE launch airstrikes on Libya

      On Oct. 20, 2011, the leader of the North African state of Libya was brutally assassinated in the city of Sirte. Col. Muammar Gaddafi had been leading a struggle to defend his country from a war of regime-change coordinated and financed by the United States and NATO.

    • Nisour Square Revisited

      By 2007, we have Blackwater Worldwide, 2009, Xe Services,2010, Academi, 2014, Constellis Holdings, at each step enlarging its “products,” gaining more influential supporters combined with more ambitious projects (such as United States Training Center for weapons training and tactics). There is maritime force protection training, dog training, expanded security consulting—as one goes through the list, it is as though an inner army outside of public view and not accountable to the public. Special assignments such as working with CIA to track down bin Laden in Afghanistan cemented working relations with USG. An airline, Presidential Airways, called for a base in Melbourne, Florida.

    • From Gary Webb to James Risen: The struggle for the soul of journalism

      Two courageous reporters dug up dark government secrets. Only one was betrayed by his peers. Why did it happen?

    • ‘Kill the Messenger’

      Jeremy Renner gives us Gary Webb, who was once upon a time a fierce seeker of truth, a journalist Quixote who believed in his quest. Gary was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, a fringe newspaper dealing with crop disasters, weather, earth quakes and local disputes. But suddenly he got lucky and connected with the biggest political scandal of the ’80s, the beginning of the suspicious connections between the CIA, the war in Nicaragua and the inner city cocaine epidemic. He should have just said no. But heroes never say no.

    • Gary Webb Was Right

      Once again the paper has decided to focus on discrediting a fellow journalist instead of deepening the analysis of the story he highlighted.

      Gary Webb put a spotlight on the CIA and the Reagan administrations unholy alliance with anti-communist guerrilla groups and their supporters who were involved in drug trafficking.

    • Undue criticism of Gary Webb

      Gary Webb’s 1996 “Dark Alliance” stories for the San Jose Mercury News asserted that the CIA “looked the other way” as cocaine from Central America was imported into the United States, beginning in the Reagan years. Profits from the drugs helped fund the right-wing counterrevolution in Nicaragua, the stories alleged. The cocaine, Mr. Webb wrote, contributed to a crack epidemic in U.S. cities and a surge of black inmates into U.S. prisons. Mr. Webb was hounded from his job at the Mercury News and, arguably, to his death by suicide in 2004.

      Now comes the film story of Mr. Webb’s reporting, “Kill the Messenger,” and, close behind, The Post’s Jeff Leen with “An amazing story that didn’t hold up” [Outlook, Oct. 19]. When Mr. Webb’s series ran in the Mercury News, Mr. Leen was working at the Miami Herald.

      Mr. Leen wrote that Mr. Webb’s articles were characterized by “overblown claims and undernourished reporting,” a perspective expressed by major newspapers at the time, including The Post. But a 2006 Los Angeles Times article walked back that paper’s criticism of Mr. Webb, and even in 1996, The Post’s ombudsman wrote that The Post was overzealous in its efforts to discredit Mr. Webb.

    • The Washington Post Needs a Bus – and to Throw Jeff Leen Under It
    • Ex-CIA officer running for Congress: ‘I’ve been in real fights’

      Once an undercover spy who made his living in the shadows, Will Hurd suddenly finds himself thrust into the national spotlight as he is locked in a tight congressional race with Democratic incumbent Rep. Pete Gallego for Texas’ 23rd district.

    • The decline of journalism from Watergate to ‘Dark Alliance’

      What if Ben Bradlee had overseen Gary Webb’s investigation into the CIA, Contras and crack cocaine?

    • Kill The Messenger: Thriller to make you think

      HALFWAY through Kill The Messenger, a Washington ­insider (Michael Sheen) issues a warning to journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), who seems to have cracked open a major scandal linking the CIA to cocaine imports from Nicaragua. “They’ll make you the story,” he says.

    • Forgetting our friends

      On HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver recently shone a light on something unworthy of this great nation: our abandonment of foreigners to whom we owe a great debt.
      Oliver’s focus was on Afghan translators who “risk their lives helping [US servicemembers] . . . and because of that, they are permanent targets of insurgents.”
      The good news is there’s a special visa program to help them find refuge in the United States. The bad news? There’s a backlog of nearly 5,000, and getting the visa can take years.
      As a result, many translators are forced to remain in hiding — often seeing family members killed or kidnapped — as they wait out the visa process. And the program itself will expire at the end of this year.

    • New coed CO duty causing ruckus at Guantanamo high-value prison

      The military now has female soldiers escorting former CIA captives around Guantánamo’s high-value prison, an apparent personnel change that defense lawyers say is causing an uproar over religious insensitivity.

      When one captive — who had just finished meeting with his attorney — refused to be touched by a female soldier, the military called in a special unit to move him using the detention center’s tackle-and-shackle technique, a Forced Cell Extraction. Since that incident, at least four of the 9/11 defendants have boycotted legal meetings over the issue, according to the attorneys.

    • Guantanamo prisoners in protest over female guards
    • Alleged Anonymous hacker Matt DeHart ordered deported from Canada

      Matt DeHart, an American who believes the United States is pursuing sham child-porn charges against him as cover for a national security investigation, has been ordered deported from Canada.

      In a decision made public Tuesday, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada concluded “reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. DeHart committed offences in the United States,” making him inadmissible to Canada — nevertheless, he will remain in Canada for the time being as there are ongoing proceedings that prevent immediate deportation.


      An early member of the hacker group Anonymous, Mr. DeHart said that six years ago he came across sensitive government documents uploaded to one of his servers detailing an FBI investigation into select practices by the CIA.

    • Journalist martyr’s war on drugs

      In 1996, American journalist Gary Webb, writing for the San Jose Mercury News, claimed the CIA and US State Department during the Regan administration had supported the smuggling of crack cocaine into the US, as a way to help fund Contra rebels against the revolutionary government of Nicaragua. This ‘dark alliance’, Webb claimed, contributed significantly to the crack epidemic in Los Angeles, and fuelled the War on Drugs that Regan himself famously escalated.

    • North Korea Releases American Captive. But Two More Americans Remain Captive.

      Pyongyang has unexpectedly released Jeffrey Fowle, one of three American citizens being held for alleged crimes against North Korea. Fowle, a 56-year-old American tourist, was detained since May for leaving his Bible at a social club.

    • Those who tell the truth are traitors

      Admitting you made mistakes and being critical of yourself is a sign of wisdom. Those who do this make progress. One of the reasons for backwardness is when the opposite happens: failing to appreciate the mistakes and blaming others. If this is your method, it is easy to identify a scapegoat.

    • Ya’alon bans Palestinians from Israeli-run bus lines in West Bank, following settler pressure

      Settlers have tried on multiple occasions to prevent Palestinian workers from commuting on these buses, and have released a video calling for them to be banned.


Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

Posted in News Roundup at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Pondering FOSS foundations

      In the case of the Document Foundation, the LibreOffice project needed an independent, solid and meritocratic entity dedicated to support it. In other terms, the OpenOffice.org community wanted to be its own boss and stop relying on corporate – or even third party – good will. If you attend the Community Track on the 31st you will be able to learn more about the Document Foundation and the other entities, but my message here is that while there is no silver bullet in these matters, forcing a community be hosted or to bend to a software vendor never works. It bends if it wants to; it goes whereever it wishes to go. In the case of the Document Foundation, independence and community rule prevailed over convenience; today the results do not need to be proven anymore. But it does not mean we hold the truth more than anybody else: we just ensured the community was in charge.


    • Using Older Software and Hardware

      Others will argue that as the feature set of an operating system increases it is inevitable that its size will also increase. That is true but I can’t help wonder exactly why libc.a has to be almost 3 megabytes in size. There has been work done to make a leaner libc with the MUSL project. MUSL libc.a is a mere 1.6 megabytes which is significantly smaller.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • VFX Coder Proposes MOX, a Crowdfunded Open-Source Movie File Format

      Can a crowdfunded open-source project bring the industry together behind a QuickTime killer? Brendan Bolles, a veteran of The Orphanage and an experienced programmer of VFX plug-ins, thinks so. He’s asking the industry to contribute money supporting his development of a specification and open-source software library for MOX, a new cross-platform, patent-free professional movie format combining audio and video in an MXF container.


  • Graffiti artwork from Banksy, ‘The Guerrilla Artist’
  • Health/Nutrition

    • DNA Sequence Analysis Shows Ebola Outbreak Naturally Ocurring, Not Engineered Virus

      I had really hoped I wasn’t going to have to write this post. Yesterday, Marcy emailed me a link to a Washington’sBlog post that breathlessly asks us “Was Ebola Accidentally Released from a Bioweapons Lab In West Africa?” Sadly, that post relies on an interview with Francis Boyle, whom I admire greatly for his work as a legal scholar on bioweapons. My copy of his book is very well-thumbed. But Boyle and WashingtonsBlog are just wrong here, and it takes only seconds to prove them wrong.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Mexico: Crude Oil Leak Reaches Cazones River in Veracruz

      Due to the leak, the state civil authorities confirmed that 150 people needed to be evacuated from the El Chote, Troncones, and other communities near the Cocineros River.

    • Bill Gates gobbling up Florida farmland

      The investment company that manages the wealth of the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, has been acquiring gobs of farmland in north Florida the past two years, real estate records show.
      Lakeland Sands Florida, a subsidiary of Cascade Investments LLC, which oversees the Gates fortune, recently bought more than 4,500 acres in Suwanee County near McAlpin, an unincorporated community just south of here.
      The price: $27,961,144.69, according to court records.
      The farm land was sold by Seldom Rest Inc., an agriculture and forestry company based in Donaldsonville, Ga. John S. Bailey, the company’s vice president, declined to comment on the transaction.

    • Here’s What Actually Scares Americans About the Future

      For starters, 35.9 percent of Americans find it either ‘Very Likely’ or ‘Fairly Likely’ that the biblical Armageddon will come to pass. That’s far fewer than the number of people who fear that we’re going to run out of oil—56.9 percent of us think we’re going to “exhaust the Earth’s oil supply.”

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Vodafone’s written evidence to the UK Investigatory Powers Review

      On the 10th July 2014, the UK Government announced, in light of the diverse and emerging threats faced by the UK and the need to uphold civil liberties, a review of the capabilities and powers required by law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies, and the regulatory framework within which those capabilities and powers would be exercised.

    • Keith Alexander Now Being Vetted By Everybody For Everything After Leaving The Protective Shelter Of The NSA

      Former NSA head Keith Alexander continues to draw the sort of attention he probably hoped he had left behind by resigning his post. His questionable business venture — a private banking security firm seemingly dependent on patents and methods polished during his tenure at the NSA — has drawn pointed questions from legislators and a second glance from the internal ethics apparatus of the intelligence agency.

      Alexander apparently thought it would be fine for him to use the talents of the NSA’s current Chief Technology Officer, Patrick Dowd, for his new private venture. You see, Alexander didn’t want the country to lose a bright spy mind, but didn’t really want his own IronNet Security firm to go without Dowd’s talents either. So he compromised. The country could have Dowd full-time as long as he could spend 20 hours a week securing banks with Chief Keith.

    • US former NSA chief suspected of insider trading with Chinese, Russian stocks

      Keith Alexander, former director of the US National Security Agency, is suspected of insider trading during his term in office, according to US-based bimonthly magazine Foreign Policy.

    • Where Is the Investigation Into Financial Corruption at the NSA?

      Earlier this year, when Keith Alexander resigned as head of the National Security Agency, he began trying to cash in on expertise he’d gained while in government, pitching himself as a security consultant who could protect Wall Street banks and other large corporations from cyber-attacks by hackers or foreign governments. Early reports focused on the eye-popping price tag for his services: He reportedly asked for $1 million a month, later decreasing his rate to $600,000.

    • Why was America’s top spy also a fertilizer day-trader?

      Fertilizer is a strategic commodity, and that’s no load of manure.
      In fact, it’s potash—a mineral salt mined from the ground to add nitrogen to industrial fertilizer production. In the past several years, the production of this valued commodity has been shaken up: In 2013, an informal cartel between two companies in Belarus and Russia that had dominated the industry was shattered—probably by Chinese pressure—and the Russian company’s CEO was held hostage by the government in Belarus, at least until Russian oligarch (and NBA franchise-owner) Mikhail Prokhorov bought his freedom.


      Teresa O’Shea used to be the National Security Agency’s director of signals intelligence, plus the wife of an executive in the business of selling things to agencies like hers, plus the host of a home-based signals intelligence business, plus the owner, via yet another business, of a six-seat airplane and resort-town condo.

    • Tech giants use Patriot Act anniversary to push NSA reform

      Leading tech companies are using Sunday’s 13th anniversary of the Patriot Act to push Congress to pass legislation reining in the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Colorado Senate Candidates Both Back NSA Reform

      Supporters of Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., say his possible re-election loss to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner would be a significant setback for privacy and mass surveillance reform.

      The Hill reported Sunday that Udall’s potential defeat has some civil liberties activists worried, and the libertarian publication Reason warned Monday his loss would “further dim the prospects of real reform to America’s burgeoning surveillance state.”

      Gardner says that’s not true.

    • Letter: Gardner will carry water for traditional GOP

      Cory Gardner’s voting record follows the obstructionist Republican representatives Sen. Ted Cruz, who shut down the government (cost $20 billion), blocked immigration reform and brought the United States close to default on its debt.


      He still wastes time on Benghazi and IRS red herrings. He would not have the courage to oppose his base on the next war vote. His vote on the next Supreme Court Justice would give the reactionary court another member who favors wealth over community, and repeal of Roe vs Wade. Republicans campaign on tax reduction then, once elected, switch to voter restriction, suppression of abortion rights and revocation of collective bargaining. Gardner will do the same.

    • European Privacy in the Age of Snowden: We Need a Debate About What Intelligence Agencies Are Doing
    • European Privacy in the Age of Snowden

      A look at look at the impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks on the debate over online privacy in Europe: The Austrian newspaper Der Standard reports the NSA has accessed nearly 70 percent of telecommunications in Vienna, home to thousands of diplomats from around the world. Earlier this year, Germany ordered the removal of a top U.S. intelligence official in the country after leaks from Snowden showed the United States was monitoring the communications of millions of Germans and tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. In a victory for digital privacy, the European Court of Justice struck down a rule that required telecommunication companies to store the communications data of European Union citizens for up to two years. The ruling happened on the same day Snowden addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from Moscow.

    • Whatever You Think Of Edward Snowden, Go See Citizenfour Now
    • Snowden filmmaker: Lawmakers ‘failed the public’

      Filmmaker Laura Poitras has harsh words for members of Congress she thinks have sat idly on the sidelines while intelligence agencies stretch the limits of the law.

      “Our elected officials have failed the public,” Poitras, whose reporting based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden won a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year, told The Hill in an interview on Friday.

    • ‘Citizenfour’ documents Edward Snowden leaking NSA material

      Imagine if Bob Woodward’s clandestine meetings in a Washington D.C., parking garage with Deep Throat had been documented — or, better yet, filmed by Woodward, himself.

      The analogy isn’t perfect, but that’s about the closest equivalent to Laura Poitras’ one-of-a-kind documentary “Citizenfour,” which captures former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during his leak of NSA documents to Poitras (a documentarian and reporter) and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

    • Citizenfour Review: Quiet Moments in a Hong Kong Hotel Room as Edward Snowden, Journalists Fight to Save Democracy

      Hong Kong has been ground zero this year in the fight for freedom, with students and Occupy leaders battling police for control of the streets in a desperate campaign to maintain the Chinese territory’s relative autonomy from erosion by the central Beijing government.

    • Citizenfour Review
    • Laura Poitras on Her Edward Snowden Documentary: “I Was a Participant As Much As a Documentarian”
    • Avast Used SafePrice To Spy On Anti-Virus Users

      Avast, one of the leaders in anti-virus software, has been called out over its rather intrusive Avast SafePrice toolbar, after online tech magazine HowToGeek spotted the service sending back information about the user to its own servers.

    • Canadian And American Politicians Use Ottawa Shootings As Excuses To Demand More Surveillance, Greater Policing Powers
    • Leahy: Ottawa shooting no reason to stop NSA reform

      This week’s shooting at Canada’s parliament building should not give lawmakers a reason to halt work on reforming the National Security Agency (NSA), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said on Friday.

      The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman has been making a strong push to get the Senate to pass his USA Freedom Act this year, and rejected the notion that terrorist attacks like the one in the Canadian capital should give lawmakers pause.

    • Snead: NSA Revelations Have Chilling Effect on Cloud Growth in U.S.

      Data center customers are beginning to avoid the U.S. and place their infrastructure elsewhere because of data sovereignty concerns caused by revelations about NSA surveillance, according to David Snead, founder of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C).

    • Snowden filmmaker Laura Poitras: ‘Facebook is a gift to intelligence agencies’

      Poitras, who received a Pulitzer Prize for her work with The Washington Post and the Guardian covering the revelations, sat down with the Switch to discuss the film and how technical advances may make it easier for us to keep our online lives private. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

    • ‘Yep, we spied illegally’

      The US government spied on electronic communications between Americans with no links to terror suspects until a judge ruled it illegal in 2011, officials acknowledged Wednesday.

      The unlawful program, which involved tens of thousands of emails, was revealed in declassified documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews the legality of eavesdropping programs.

      The court’s opinions are usually kept secret but the government chose to release the documents amid a firestorm over sweeping surveillance operations, following bombshell leaks from a former US intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.

    • Snowden’s Motivation: What the Internet Was Like Before It Was Being Watched, and How We Can Get There Again

      Laura Poitras’ riveting new documentary about mass surveillance gives an intimate look into the motivations that guided Edward Snowden, who sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose mass surveillance by the NSA. CITIZENFOUR, which debuts on Friday, has many scenes that explore the depths of government surveillance gone awry and the high-tension unfolding of Snowden’s rendezvous with journalists in Hong Kong. One of the most powerful scenes in the film comes when Snowden discusses his motivation for the disclosures and points to his fundamental belief in the power and promise of the Internet:

    • CIA Snooping No Big Deal, Key Republican Senator Suggests

      The Republican who may chair the Senate Intelligence Committee if his party wins control of the chamber in next month’s election isn’t too worried about CIA snooping on Congress, or about the agency’s combative director.

      Relations between CIA Director John Brennan and Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have been chilly since she revealed that the agency spied on Senate staffers who were working on a report about CIA torture tactics under former President George W. Bush. Some Democrats have called on Brennan to resign.

      But Sen. Richard Burr — a North Carolina Republican who could become intelligence chairman in a GOP-led Senate — is much cheerier about the CIA and its leader.

    • American Companies Are Getting Way Too Cozy With the National Security Agency

      Newly disclosed National Security Agency documents suggest a closer relationship between American companies and the spy agency than has been previously disclosed.

      The documents, published by the Intercept, describe “contractual relationships” between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has “under cover” spies working at or with some U.S. companies.

    • NSW Privacy Commissioner ‘disappointed’ by slow rate of progress

      In the Information and Privacy Commission’s latest annual report, Coombs said she was not happy with the rate of progress towards privacy reforms and the development of agency guidance, calling it “a missed opportunity to assist NSW public sector agencies and members of the public”.

    • Opinion: Merkel’s cellphone was a wake-up call

      Exactly one year ago it was revealed that the NSA had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone. The government is now finally starting to address the spying issue – but Marcel Fürstenau believes more should be done.

    • Can a Germany-based data center ease privacy concerns?

      While it will take more than a Germany-based cloud computing center to relieve the tension between Berlin and the U.S. regarding the NSA’s persistent data-culling practices, it’s an important step on Amazon’s part to recognize the privacy concerns of Germans. It might be a band aid, but it’s a significant one.

    • Lone lawyer sues Obama, alleging illegality of surveillance programs

      Justice Department lawyers have asked a federal court in Pittsburgh to dismiss a sweeping lawsuit brought earlier this year by a local lawyer against President Barack Obama and other top intelligence officials.

    • Lawyer Goes After Obama Administration, Sues Over Illegal NSA Spying

      Elliot Schuchardt from Pittsburgh filed a complaint last month citing Executive Order 12333, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act, and Section 215 of the Patriot Act, as stepping beyond the bounds of legality.

    • Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

      In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled Citizenfour, named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms.

    • Clueless FBI sabotages its own anti-encryption campaign

      FBI Director James Comey continues to bang the drum about the evils of smartphone encryption and the harm it will do to U.S. law enforcement efforts. Fortunately, few people are persuaded, possibly because Comey himself seems of two minds — and baffled by technology to boot.

      Comey has been on a media tear denouncing the default smartphone encryption provided by Apple, with its recently released iOS 8, and Google, with its next-generation Lollipop Android OS. No one without the passcode — not even Apple or Google — can break the encryption, which leaves law enforcement “struggling to keep up” with criminals, Comey said in a speech to the Brookings Institution.


      But in an interview with “60 Minutes” this month, Comey led off by saying, “I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power.” He then illustrated this by sidestepping the question of whether the FBI gathers electronic surveillance and passes it to the NSA, and insisting (incorrectly) that the FBI can never read your email without a court order.


      A Washington Post editorial is one of the few voices to support Comey and call for a “compromise” on smartphone encryption. While granting that “a police ‘back door’ for all smartphones is undesirable,” the Post said surely “a kind of secure golden key” that could only be used by people with an approved court warrant could be invented.

    • Why Isn’t Silicon Valley Donating to Pro-Internet Privacy Candidates?

      Silicon Valley is a relatively new player in the Wild West world that is political spending. So maybe that can cut them slack for failing to give money to the candidates with big techs best interests at heart.

    • Russia and China Edge Out US With Proposed Cyber Security Pact
    • Russia, China to cooperate on cybersecurity amid tensions with U.S.
    • Canadian Government Seizes on Ottawa Shooting to Promote Militarist, Anti-democratic Agenda

      Speaking in parliament Thursday—the day after a gunman fatally shot a soldier at Ottawa’s National War Memorial, then entered the main block of the national parliament—Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to greatly strengthen Canada’s national security apparatus.

      “Our law and police powers,” declared Harper, “need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention and arrest.” He continued, “I assure you that work—which is already underway—will be expedited.”

    • Pulitzer winner Glenn Greenwald to speak on surveillance and privacy Saturday in Ottawa
    • Annie Machon, former partner of David Shayler, reflects on impact of Snowden revelations at Playful conference

      The former partner of an MI6 whistleblower has described the “dangerous moral slide” of the UK’s intelligence services, comparing a 1996 assassination plot against then Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to his treatment during the 2011 uprising.

    • UK Foreign Minister: Bulk Data Collection Is Not Mass Surveillance

      British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has told the United Kingdom Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee that bulk data collection did not amount to mass surveillance.

      In public remarks, he said, “Mass surveillance is illegal. There are strict rules in place to make sure data collected is not used in any way. I think the immediate discarding of 99.9 per cent of the data does not give rise to intrusion.”

    • The End of Privacy

      Everyone loves a story about a small group of outsiders challenging the power structure and successfully rattling the cage of the 600-pound gorilla. We love it all the more when the group’s size totals less than the fingers on one hand and the gorilla is the national security apparatus of the largest military power in the history of the human race. In real life, these stories rarely end well for the little guys.

    • Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

      Mark Udall, US Senator for Colorado, looks almost born into the job. He has the rangy cowboy build – his jeans’ back pockets reveal a pair of shades and a water bottle – and on the stump he hits every progressive policy button you think would tickle the state’s high plains and mountain voters. Climate change is real, fracking is tricky.

    • Wyden pushes back on criticism over NSA

      Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) suggested he could have been expelled from Congress if he revealed classified information — pushing back on criticism that he did not do enough to expose National Security Agency surveillance programs.


      In the words of that wise Twitter account, Infosec Taylor Swift, “Mass surveillance is the elegant oppression, a panopticon without bars. Its cage is… behind the eyes—in the mind.” Under authority’s gaze, many people become smaller, more obedient, less daring.

      Surveillance leaves scars.

      Privacy activists rightly denounce the blanket surveillance of “innocent Americans.” But what about those who, because of skin color or faith, power has marked as guilty? If you’re not a “person of interest” technologies like PGP, Tor, and Jabber OTR can be enough to keep your most of your communications out of the NSA’s dragnet. If you’re a member of a marginalized group, the stakes are higher. Pockets of privacy become more scarce.The government’s gaze is not only fixed on your laptop. You’re watched by the CCTV camera, the neighborhood informer, the cop loitering on the corner. Surveillance bleeds into your life, online and off.

    • Belgacom says alleged GCHQ APT attack cost firm £12 million

      In September 2013, Belgacom was hit by a suspected Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack which, according to leaked documents from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden which were published by German newspaper Der Spiegel, was the work of the NSA and UK’s own GCHQ.

    • Laura Poitras: “I knew this was going to piss off the most powerful people in the world”

      The Pulitzer-winning filmmaker talks about shooting those history-shaping Snowden-Greenwald meetings in Hong Kong

    • Another Attorney-Client Conversation Spied On

      Last month, I laid out the several attorney client conversations to which Raez Qadir Khan was party that the government wiretapped. Among the 7 privileged conversations wiretapped by the government was a January 2010 conversation he had with his immigration attorney after being told by the FBI he could not travel to see his family.

    • Julian Assange: Google’s Basic Business Model ‘Same as the NSA’s’

      In a conversation with “Imaginary Lines” host Chris Spannos, WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange discussed his new book, “When Google Met WikiLeaks,” which is based on a conversation Assange had with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

    • How NSA Spying, Google and Chlorinated Chickens Are Pitting Germans Against Americans — And What to Do About It

      I see an increased nervousness in my country about America. Even though both our countries have an eagle on their coat of arms, people currently are focused on a different bird: the chicken. And not just any old chicken, but the “Chlorhuhn” chicken. Perhaps I should translate it for you: The “Chlorhuhn” is a chicken that has been disinfected in a bath of chlorine — as American food companies do it.

    • Backlash will render mass surveillance moot

      MASS SURVEILLANCE will inevitably create a backlash of popular evasion and encryption, rendering most of the government intelligence agencies’ communications surveillance efforts largely ineffective and moot.

    • Obama administration mixes signals on user security

      To be clear, Access commends the administration’s new Executive Order. Secure systems, in every layer of the internet, are the key to user privacy, so it’s encouraging that as part of its announcement on Friday, Obama also renewed his push for cybersecurity legislation. However, recently drafted legislation has focused almost exclusively on information sharing for critical infrastructure companies, ignoring the larger picture; the bills were missing initiatives that directly protect users. In a letter to the president earlier this year, Access and a coalition of organizations and experts called for legislation that would incentivize improved digital security and provide resources for cybersecurity education, foster better international dialogue about cybersecurity, and create new transparency obligations. This Executive Order starts to address these gaps.

    • Marc Andreessen Calls Snowden Traitor, Doesn’t Want Democracy

      Though Silicon Valley and the tech industry is generally known as being more liberal than other economic sectors it is worth noting that it too has its share of plutocrat reactionaries. Though venture capitalist Tom Perkins became the face of the faction with his comparison of Occupy Wall Street to Nazis, a more relevant example would be Mark Andreessen who not only stands out as opposing measures to rein in wealth inequality but has trumpeted his support for domestic surveillance programs.

      Andreessen’s claim to fame was starting the early internet browser company Netscape which he essentially privatized without payment from a government sponsored project at a the University of Illinois. Netscape would be ultimately be crushed by Microsoft but Andreessen would stay in the tech world and become a founder and partner at one of the Silicon Valley’s most powerful venture capital firms – Andreessen Horowitz.

    • Edward Snowden: the true story behind his NSA leaks

      Laura Poitras, the director of Citizenfour, tells the Telegraph how the whistle-blower entrusted her with revealing to the world his secrets about American government mass surveillance


      It was at that point that Poitras stopped using the telephone in her apartment, bought a new computer for cash and started checking her email account only in public places.

    • You’re Being Watched, And Don’t You Forget It

      Citizenfour addresses these questions in arresting, often chilling fashion. Near the end of the film, Poitras meets again with Snowden, as he and Greenwald review information provided by a new leaker. They can only communicate via written notes for fear of bugging, and most of their writings are not shown to the camera. One of the few notes we do see bears the number of people on an NSA watchlist: more than one million. It’s both a terrifying grace note and a call to action.

  • Civil Rights

    • Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says

      Lewinsky’s voice cracked as she recalled the moment in January 1998 when she was first confronted by FBI agents and lawyers working for Kenneth W. Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel, who threatened her and her mother with criminal prosecution if she did not agree to wear a wire against President Bill Clinton.

      Lewinsky, now 41, has long felt that she was mistreated by authorities in the 12-hour marathon session, which began as an ambush at the food court at the Pentagon City mall and then moved to a hotel room at the mall’s adjoining Ritz-Carlton hotel.

    • Local Law Enforcement Chipping Away at the Fourth Amendment

      At the same time, the proliferation of low-cost surveillance devices, such as license plate scanners and Stingray, continue to raise new questions even as a handful of older ones are resolved. The battle against the tyrant King George continues.

    • A Print Magazine for Hackers

      At the same time, 2600 provides an important forum for hackers to discuss the most pressing issues of the day—whether it be surveillance, Internet freedom, or the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons—while sharing new code in languages like Python and C.* For example, the most recent issue of the magazine addresses how the hacking community can approach Snowden’s disclosures. After lampooning one of the leaked N.S.A. PowerPoint slides (“whoever wrote this clearly didn’t know that there are no zombies in ‘1984’ ”) and discussing how U.S. government is eroding civil rights, the piece points out the contradictions that everyone in the hacking community currently faces. “Hackers are the ones who reveal the inconvenient truths, point out security holes, and offer solutions,” it concludes. “And this is why hackers are the enemy in a world where surveillance and the status quo are the keys to power.”

    • Report: Obama Administration Considers Sidestepping U.N. Torture Ban Overseas

      The Obama administration is reportedly considering a move that would continue the Bush-era policy of ignoring the United Nations torture treaty overseas. In 2005, the Bush administration disclosed it had secretly interpreted a U.N. ban on “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” as not applying to any CIA or military prison outside of the United States. President Obama, then a senator, opposed Bush’s policy and proposed legislation to undermine it. The United States now faces a hearing before the Committee Against Torture at the United Nations next month. And according to The New York Times, “President Obama’s legal team is debating whether to back away from his earlier view” and “[reaffirm] the Bush administration’s position that the treaty imposes no legal obligation to bar cruelty outside U.S. borders.”

    • Torturing the Rule of Law

      When elements of the national-security apparatus deceive Congress or the courts, they undermine the very institutions that they protect. The CIA’s attempt to hide its history of torture from congressional oversight is Exhibit A.

    • Shameful side of the War on Terror

      Mr Risen also delves into the human wreckage left behind by the war on terror, portraying the hellish post-Army life of Damien M Corsetti, a soldier who, by Mr Risen’s account, engaged in torture at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. He illustrates what the United States Army should have known before going into Iraq, that torture has two victims: the one who suffers it and the one who inflicts it. Mr Corsetti is shown living in Savannah, Georgia, having kicked an addiction to heroin, but living in a cloud of marijuana smoke with post-traumatic stress disorder. “He is one of the first veterans known to have been given full disability based on PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] suffered while conducting harsh interrogations in the war on terror,” Mr Risen writes.


      Last Thursday, out of the blue, Carol E. Lee and Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal reported that senior Obama administration officials had told them that the White House was drafting options that would allow President Obama to close the “war on terror” prison established by President Bush at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, through the use of an executive order.

    • Guantanamo’s horrifying irony: How Bush’s shadow looms over shutting it down

      Obama is mulling executive action to close Gitmo — and he may have to trade one ugly Bush legacy for another

    • White House Denies Report That Obama Plans to Close Guantanamo and Transfer Detainees to US
    • Amnesty International Report Faults the Police in Ferguson, Mo.

      The police in Ferguson, Mo., violated the rights of protesters during demonstrations after the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, according to a report issued by Amnesty International on Friday.

      The human rights group said the Ferguson Police Department should review its standards, practices and training to ensure that they “conform fully to international standards.” And investigations into Mr. Brown’s death should be transparent and concluded as quickly as possible, the 23-page report said.

    • Man Calls a Suicide Prevention Hotline, SWAT Team Shows Up and Kills Him

      A Roy, Utah man, Jose Calzada, 35, placed a call to a suicide prevention hotline at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and threatened to kill himself, seven hour later he was shot and killed by police, according to law enforcement.

      According to ABC 4, neighbors described Calzada as a quiet, friendly man, who was divorced and now lived in the home with his girlfriend and her children.

      The first tragic mistake in this case was made when the Weber County Consolidated Dispatch Center sent officers to the residence rather than some type of crisis response team trained to deal with suicidal individuals.

      From previous cases, such as that of Jason Turk, who was shot twice in the face after a suicide call to 9-1-1 by his wife, or that of Christian Alberto Sierra, who was suffering from depression and had attempted suicide when police showed up and shot him four times, killing him, most know all too well what happens when you send officers to “assist” people threatening suicide.

    • CHP Officer accused of stealing nude photos during suspect’s booking

      Bay Area CHP Officer Sean Harrington is accused of stealing nude cell phone pictures from a DUI suspect’s phone while she was being booked into the County Jail in Martinez. There is now evidence that other officers may also have been involved, and that possible criminal charges may be filed.

      “She’s tremendously distraught,” said Rick Madsen, the attorney for the young woman pulled over by Officer Harrington. He claims his client has been traumatized by this invasion of her privacy.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A mountain of net neutrality comments, a privacy paradox, ransomware warnings and more

      FCC publishes 2.44 million comments from Open Internet docket

    • Latest In Cable Astroturfing: If You Squint, Twist, Spin And Mislead With Apples To Oranges Comparisons, US Broadband Is Great!

      For the past few months, I’d been pitched a few times from people (often somehow, if in murky ways, connected to the broadband industry) arguing that all those stories about how the US is far behind in broadband is untrue if you just looked at certain states. The basic argument is that since the US is so large, it’s not fair to compare it to, say, South Korea. Instead, they claim, if you just look at a few states in the US, those states compare quite well to this country or that country. Of course, to make a total fruit basket out of mixed metaphors, this is pretty blatant cherry picking apples to compare to oranges. We haven’t written any of those stories, but apparently someone went and created a misleading infographic to try to make the point on a site called “the Connectivist.”

    • Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

      The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

    • How Verizon’s Advertising Header Works

      Over the past couple of days, there’s been an outpouring of concern about Verizon’s advertising practices. Verizon Wireless is injecting a unique identifier into web requests, as data transits the network. On my phone, for example, here’s the extra HTTP header.1

  • DRM

    • Adobe Discovers Encryption, Cuts Back On Its eBook Snooping A Bit

      The whole DRM for ebooks effort is still pretty braindead all around. It’s amazing to me that everyone hasn’t realized what the music industry figured out years ago (after many earlier years of kicking and screaming): DRM doesn’t help the creators or the copyright holders in the slightest. It pisses off end users and tends to help give platform providers a dominant position by creating lock-in with their users. Time and time again we see copyright holders demanding DRM, not realizing that this demand actually gives all the leverage to the platform provider.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Australian ISP iiNet Takes A Stand Against Copyright Trolling By Producers Of Dallas Buyers Club

        We’ve written a number of times about the strong, principled stand of Australian ISP iiNet for the rights of its consumers. iiNet was the ISP that was handpicked by Hollywood and the US State Departmenet to be the target of a “test” legal attack, trying to force ISPs to spy on users and become copyright cops. iiNet was targeted because Hollywood felt that the company wasn’t large enough to fight back, but was big enough to get noticed. Hollywood miscalculated on one-half of that equation: iiNet fought back. And it fought back hard. And it won. And then it won again. And then it won again, in a fight that Hollywood is still licking its wounds over (and trying to undermine with new laws). iiNet has also fought back against data retention rules.

      • Pirate Bay Sends 100,000 New Users to “Free” VPN

        This week The Pirate Bay replaced its frontpage logo to promote a new VPN service, driving 100,000 new customers to the startup. FrootVPN currently offers its services for free, but admits that this may not last forever.


Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google’s Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • oVirt Node: hosted-engine

      oVirt Node 3.5 contain ovirt-node-plugin-hosted-engine available which make possible setup oVirt Node run oVirt Engine as virtual machine with HA (more then one node required).

    • Cumulus Linux 2.5 adds mainstream L2 features to bare-metal switching

      As Cumulus Networks attempts to expand beyond the early adopters of its Cumulus Linux bare-metal switch operating system, it is adding Layer 2 networking features aimed at making it easier for enterprises to make the transition from legacy environments to the IP fabrics that most cloud computing customers operate.

  • Kernel Space

    • MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux

      For Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Linux testing I originally bought an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard as it was one of the most interesting, lowest-priced boards available at the time of the Intel X99 chipset debut. While I initially ran into some problems, those issues have now been confirmed to be isolated, and with a replacement X99S SLI PLUS motherboard I have been stressing it constantly for the past few weeks on Fedora and Ubuntu. The X99S SLI PLUS has now proven itself to be a reliable motherboard that’s still among the least expensive X99 ATX motherboards on the market.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: LXDE

      Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.

      But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.

      It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu Shirts are Back

        Kubuntu T-shirts and Polo Shirts are available again. This time our supplier is HelloTux who are working with the Hungarian Ubuntu LoCo. $3 from each shirt goes to Kubuntu and $1.5 to the Hungarian LoCo team.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Introducing Gthree

        I’ve recently been working on OpenGL support in Gtk+, and last week it landed in master. However, the demos we have are pretty lame and are not very good to show off or even test the OpenGL support. I’ve looked around for some open source demos that used modern GL that we could use, but I didn’t find anything that we could easily use.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Neptune OS 4.2 Features a Refreshing KDE Desktop

        ZevenOS-Neptune 4.x branch is called “It’s all about you” and it was initially made available back in June. This is the second update for the distribution and the devs have refined some of the features and have added some new packages into the mix.

        The system is based on KDE, but don’t expect to find a regular stock version implemented. It’s clear that the devs have put a lot of effort into making the DE experiences unique. Users can immediately recognize what distribution they are looking at just with a glance, and that’s always a good sign.

    • Arch Family

      • Diary of a new Arch user, week two

        So, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and installed Arch Linux. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. For those of you who haven’t come across this distro before, it’s built on the idea that the user should have full control of their system. This means that the basic install is just the Linux kernel and a few essential utilities. In order to create a fully working system, you need to choose what bits you want to install on top of that yourself. There’s no installer to guide you (but there is a package manager and a wiki to help you).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Video: Getting Ready for systemd (in RHEL7)

        I found the link to this video (Getting Ready for systemd) on the systemd documentation page. It is a Red Hat “Customer Portal Exclusive” and “Not for Distribution” but it is ok for me to provide a picture that links to it… that looks like a video-ready-to-play.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 22 Could Get the Desktop from elementary OS

          The Fedora Linux distro is an operating system with a very rich history and it comes with all sorts of desktop environments. A proposition has been made now to give users a new desktop environment to play with, Pantheon.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Make Your Own Wireless Printer With A Raspberry Pi

      Wireless technology is perhaps the best improvement to home printing for years. Fewer cables, flexibility about where you can put your printer – it’s win-win. Unless you have an older printer.

    • Google’s Nest buys Linux automation firm, adds five partners

      Google’s Nest Labs acquired Revolv, a maker of Linux-based home automation devices, and announced five new Nest-compatible devices. including the Pebble.

      After Google acquired Nest Labs in January $3.2 billion, placing a stake in the fast-growing home automation business, Nest acquired home surveillance camera maker Dropcam in June for $555 million. Now Nest announced it has acquired another major home automation company in its purchase of Revolv. The acquisition, which was announced with no dollar amount, came shortly after the Boulder, Colo. based company announced compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect CO/smoke detector.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai 2014 #TDS14SH

          At the Tizen Developer Summit shanghai 2014, Brian Warner kicked off the Keynote sessions to a packed Chinese crowd, which was a great sight to see. He drew attention to the fact that there have been releases several Tizen products this year, which hasn’t been the case in recent times.

        • Is the Tizen Samsung Z Alive and running Tizen 2.3 SM-Z910F ? #TDS14SH

          At the Tizen Developer Summit 2014 Shanghai, Samsung were showing off the Gear S, and also the Samsung Z Smartphone. Taking a further glimpse at the settings we can see that it is listed as running Tizen 2.3, which recently saw the release of the Tizen 2.3 Beta SDK. As a recap, the Samsung Z was the Tizen flagship Smartphone that Samsung were due to release at the Tizen developer summit in Russia, but cancelled the launch with only 48 hours to spare.

      • Android

        • How to Get Open Source Android

          Android is an astonishing commercial success, and is often touted as a Linux success. In some ways it is; Google was able to leverage Linux and free/open source software to get Android to market in record time, and to offer a feature set that quickly outstripped the old champion iOS.

          But it’s not Linux as we know it. Most Android devices are locked-down, and we can’t freely download and install whatever operating systems we want like we can with our Linux PCs, or install whatever apps we want without jailbreaking our own devices that we own. We can’t set up a business to sell Google Android devices without jumping through a lot of expensive hoops (see The hidden costs of building an Android device and Secret Ties in Google’s “Open” Android.) We can’t even respin Google Android however we want to and redistribute it, because Google requires bundling a set of Google apps.

        • Another Tor router crowdfunding project nixed by Kickstarter

          Kickstarter is apparently not the place to go if you’re trying to crowdfund privacy hardware. Just days after the Anonabox project, a highly criticized effort to package the Tor privacy protection service into a portable miniature Wi-Fi router, was suspended by the crowdfunding site, another similar project has met its demise—and its founder’s account has been deleted.

        • LG’s first SoC debuts on 5.9-inch G3 Screen phone

          LG announced its first SoC, a Cortex-15 and –A7 octa-core “Nuclun” with LTE-A Cat.6 tech that debuts this week in a Korea-bound LG G3 Screen Android phone.

        • Google CEO Page appoints Sundar Pichai as product boss

          Google Inc. CEO is handing over responsibility for the company’s products to a key lieutenant, Sundar Pichai, putting him in charge of research, search, maps, Google+, commerce, ads and infrastructure, Re/code reported.

Free Software/Open Source

  • LinkedIn and Twitter Contribute Machine Learning Libraries to Open Source

    Twitter’s engineering group, known for various contributions to open source from streaming MapReduce to front-end framework Bootstrap recently announced open sourcing an algorithm that can efficiently recommend content. This is a really important problem for Twitter as it helps promoting the right ads to the right users and recommending which users to follow. The algorithm, named DIMSUM, can pre-process similarity data and feed the actual recommendation algorithm with a subset of users that are calculated to be above a similarity threshold.

  • Why Open Source Is Becoming A Big Developer-Recruiting Tool

    Most companies are just coming around to the idea that open source can help lower costs and boost innovation within their organizations. But Web companies like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook understand that open source can be more: a powerful weapon for recruiting and retaining top engineering talent.

  • SimplyTapp launches open source tokenization project

    “We don’t want to put any hindrance in the way of a bank launching cloud-based payments because they have to buy or rely on another ecosystem player for new technology and so we thought it was a perfect use case for an open source project. Open source allows a perfect line of audit where you can actually see the source code, modify the source code and make updates to the source code for your environment before you’re running it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • MozFest 2014 begins today

        More than 1,600 participants from countries around the globe will gather at Ravensbourne in East London for a weekend of collaborating, building prototypes, designing innovative web literacy curricula and discussing how the ethos of the open web can contribute to the fields of science, journalism, advocacy and more.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache CloudStack Arrives in New Version, Stays Popular

      The Apache CloudStack project has released version 4.4.1, the new version of its private, public and hybrid cloud software. The latest revision of the open source CloudStack platform has “dozens of new features and improvements,” as noted in an Apache Software Foundation release.

    • HP Launches Helion OpenStack Build/Services, to Take on AWS

      HP has steadily been making a lot of noise about its commitment to cloud computing overall, and the OpenStack platform in particular. And, back in May, HP chief Meg Whitman announced the cloud-focused Helion brand, and pledged to commit $1 billion over the next two years on products and services surrounding OpenStack.

  • Databases

    • eBay open sources a big, fast SQL-on-Hadoop database

      eBay has open sourced a database technology, called Kylin, that takes advantage of distributed processing and the HBase data store in order to return faster results for SQL queries over Hadoop data.

    • What you missed in Big Data: Oracle, eBay join Hadoop open-source party

      The past week has seen not one but two technology giants take on a bigger role in the open-source community’s efforts to bring modern analytics within the grasp of the traditional enterprise. Online retail giant eBay Inc. led the charge with the contribution of a homegrown OLAP engine that it said makes querying Hadoop both easier and significantly faster.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss crowdfund pays for signed PDFs LibreOffice

      In just three days, the Swiss open source community Wilhelm Tux reached its crowdfunding target of 10,000 CHF (about 8000 euro) to add support for digital signatures in PDF documents. The feature will be added to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The project is awarded to Collabora, an open source IT service provider, which will deliver the new functionality in April.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Guardian launches open-source data journalism tool

        Collaborative data journalism platform Swarmize has launched today to offer editors and journalists better tools for the use of data, including real-time visualisation.

        Swarmize, now in alpha, won funding through the Knight News Challenge in June, and has been built at the Guardian over the last four months.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • America, The Defensive: Wars, Terrorism And Thirty Years Of Perpetual ‘States Of Emergencies’

      If there’s anything our government can do well, it’s take a word loaded with tension and abuse it to the point of abstraction. First, we had “war.” The word described the hellish events of the First and Second World War, along with armed, bloody conflicts dating back to the rebellious creation of the nation itself. Now, it’s simply a term applied to any conflict with the weight of a self-serving bureaucracy propelling it. A “war” on drugs. A “war” on illiteracy. And so on.

    • Canada’s war on terror: Fear runs high, but evidence often lacking

      Homegrown. Lone wolf. High-risk traveller. These words are now part of the lexicon of a renewed war on terrorism, a vocabulary Ottawa officials use as they grapple with extremism inside Canada’s borders.

    • Canada’s Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

      Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.

    • Valerie Plame on the New Age of National Security

      In 2002, the CIA asked Plame’s husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, to investigate claims that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore for weapons of mass destruction. Wilson told the agency that the claims were “highly unlikely.”

      Nevertheless, in his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush reiterated the claim that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy uranium from contacts in Africa. Wilson accused the Bush Administration of lying to the American people to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq.

      A few months later, Plame’s name—and her secret identity as a CIA officer—appeared in a column by Bush supporter Robert Novak. Plame and Wilson believe Novak leaked Plame’s identity in retaliation, though a special prosecutor declined to prosecute federal officials for the crime, apart from charging Lewis Libby with obstruction of justice.

      In an interview with The Takeaway’s John Hockenberry, Plame reflects on the state of Iraq today. “Certainly, if we had not invaded Iraq on intelligence that was clearly manipulated and cherry picked, we would be in a different position today,” she says.

      “There is no question that what we are seeing—the horrible advance of ISIS—goes back, if you will, to the original sin of the invasion of Iraq,” Plame continues. “I think the Bush Administration was bound and determined on regime change, and we will be paying the price of that for some time to come.”

    • Special report: America’s perpetual state of emergency

      The United States is in a perpetual state of national emergency.

      Thirty separate emergencies, in fact.

      An emergency declared by President Jimmy Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 remains in effect almost 35 years later.

    • Jury returns guilty verdicts for all 4 former Blackwater guards charged in Iraq shootings
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Rick S. Piltz, whistleblower on federal climate policy, dies at 71

      Rick S. Piltz, a longtime climate policy analyst who exposed how top-level George W. Bush administration officials edited scientific reports to minimize the link between human activity and climate change, died Oct. 18 at a hospice center in Washington. He was 71.

  • Finance

    • OMB Director Sets a Low Bar for Deficit Reform

      The national debt, which was about $5.7 trillion when George W. Bush entered office and $11 trillion when he turned the White House over to Barack Obama, is now at just a shade under $18 trillion. And the director of the Office of Management and Budget declares that a “return to fiscal normalcy.” Where is Warren Harding now that we need him?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Big Problem With Time’s Teacher-Bashing Cover Story

      Time reports that Welch and his ilk were able to find “a flood of new academic research on teacher quality ” to back up their hunch that bad teachers are the problem. One research team relied on a “a controversial tool called value-added measures (VAM)” to measure teacher effectiveness, and they “found that replacing a poorly performing teacher with an excellent one could increase students’ lifetime earnings by $250,000 per classroom.”

      So there’s a technique that supposedly measures teacher quality, and you can sue public schools that fail to adopt it. Does anyone have a problem with this approach? Of course. Teachers, for example, and their unions–who are, shockingly, never quoted in Time’s piece.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Support the right for journalists to protect their sources

      Today we have also released a report on how police forces are using ‘directed surveillance’ powers permitted under RIPA, calling on the government to introduce judicial authorisation for all use of surveillance powers, increased transparency around how the powers are being used, and for the right of redress for those who have been spied on.

    • Former NSA Official: Anyone Who ‘Justified’ Snowden’s Leaks Shouldn’t Be Allowed A Gov’t Job

      A few days ago, the FTC announced that it had appointed Ashkan Soltani as its chief technology officer. Soltani is a well-known (and often outspoken) security researcher who has worked at the FTC in the past. Nothing about this appointment should be all that surprising or even remotely controversial. However, recently, Soltani had been doing a lot of journalism work, as a media consultant at the Washington Post helping Barton Gellman and other reporters really understand the technical and security aspects of the Snowden documents. His name has appeared as a byline in a number of stories about the documents, detailing what is really in those documents, and how they can impact your privacy.

    • FTC hires new CTO with deep links to Snowden documents
    • Federal Trade Commission Appoints Ashkan Soltani as Chief Technologist
    • MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal

      MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britain’s leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed.

      The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded their telephone calls, intercepted their private correspondence and monitored their contacts, the files show. Some of the surveillance gave MI5 more details about their targets’ personal lives than any threat to national security.

    • Exclusive: Shakeup At NSA After BuzzFeed News Reports On Potential Conflict Of Interest

      Top National Security Agency official Teresa Shea is leaving her position after BuzzFeed News reported on her and her husband’s financial interests. The move comes as the NSA faces more questions about the business dealings of its former director Keith Alexander, and potential ethics conflicts. This post has been updated to include a response from the NSA.

    • US Government Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Against ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

      The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.

    • How Congress supports the NSA by doing nothing

      It’s been almost a year and a half since whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk and warrantless surveillance programs were first brought to light. Since then, we’ve learned more disturbing details about the NSA’s programs: The NSA has collected emails and other Internet data directly from companies’ fiber optic cables, built backdoors into encryption software, and partnered with other intelligence services around the world to collect and share private information.

  • Civil Rights

    • Roca Labs Story Gets More Bizarre: Senator Threatens Bogus Defamation Lawsuit, While Nevada Quickly Rejects Bogus Bribery Charge

      If you thought the Roca Labs story couldn’t get any more bizarre, well, then you haven’t been paying much attention, because no matter how bizarre the story was the last time you looked, it seems to get even more bizarre with the next step. We’ve already gone through the Roca gag order, lawsuit against PissedConsumer, lawsuit against unhappy customer, threats against witnesses, and weak attempts to use the fame of Alfonso Ribeiro and Tommy Chong in implied endorsements. Oh, and also the threat against us and the fact that a main “doctor” backing their product was a pediatrician who lost his license due to child porn claims.

    • Homeland Security confiscates Royals underwear in Kansas City

      Peregrine Honig says she just wanted to help celebrate the hometown team when she designed Lucky Royals boyshorts.

      The panties, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig’s Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

    • DHS Agents Raid Lingerie Shop, Save America From Unlicensed Underwear
    • Attorney General Holder ‘exasperated’ by Ferguson grand jury leaks, source says

      Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has told Justice Department lawyers that he is “exasperated” with leaks emerging from the grand jury involved in investigating the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, according to a Justice official.

    • In a federal trial examining a classified military deal, don’t mention the Navy SEALs

      Witnesses, attorneys and even the judge took special care not to let the phrase “Navy SEALs” pass their lips during a federal criminal trial in Alexandria this week, further cloaking an already mysterious case involving the purchase of hundreds of unmarked rifle silencers for the military.

    • Justice Department Rejects Key Reforms to FBI Whistleblower Regulations

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considering an array of new procedures that may modestly improve protections for whistleblowers, however, the Justice Department rejected a number of key reforms that “whistleblower advocates” have urged the agency to adopt.

      Under a presidential policy directive President Barack Obama issued in October 2012, which applied to whistleblowers with “access to classified information,” Attorney General Eric Holder was required to deliver a report within 180 days that assessed the “efficacy” of the FBI’s regulations. But it was not until June 2, 2014, that Holder delivered this report that was long overdue.

    • Senator Blasts CIA for Censoring ‘Torture’ Report

      Sen. Ron Wyden says the CIA is trying to blunt the impact of an upcoming Senate report examining the harsh treatment of al-Qaida detainees by insisting on censoring the pseudonyms used for agency officers mentioned in the document.

      “The intelligence leadership doing everything they can to bury the facts,” said Wyden, D-Ore., a Senate Intelligence Committee member who has been a frequent critic of the spy agency.

      The Senate, the CIA and the White House are negotiating over what should be blacked out for national security reasons in the 600-page summary of the report that is set for public release sometime after the November elections.

      President Barack Obama and other senior officials have said the CIA’s use of waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation and other harsh techniques on some detainees constituted torture. Many current and former CIA officers dispute that.

Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Taiga, a new open source project management tool with focus on usability

    Whether you are a developer, project manager, or a stakeholder of any level—you’d like to have a clear view of where the project is headed. Are the deadlines being continuously achieved? How is the load on developers? How much of the project is complete? What is next for you in the project? And so on.

    A project management tool generally answers all these questions. Ideally, you can just login to the system and check the project status. But as with other things in life—it’s very difficult to achieve an ideal scenario here. People may be too busy (or even just outright lazy) to update their status in a project management tool. So, it’s almost always the case that the project management tool doesn’t reflect the actual project scenario. One solution to this is using a tool that is intuitive and fits alongside the developer’s normal workflow. Additionally, a tool that is quick to update and attracts users to use it.

  • [Mac Asay] Open source has won — let the infighting begin!

    For years, the open source world has taken comfort in a bit of Gandhi wisdom: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Red Hat went so far as to emblazon the phrase on the walls of its lobby, a reminder to open sourcers everywhere to take courage against the proprietary software machine.

  • Brocade Wants to Be Red Hat of OpenDaylight

    Brocade wants to have the same relationship with OpenDaylight as Red Hat has with Linux.

  • broadwell: add new intel SOC
  • Coreboot Now Has Support For Intel Broadwell Hardware

    It appears that Google engineers are getting ready Intel Broadwell support for future Chromebooks/Chromeboxes. Broadwell support is now present within Coreboot.

  • eBay joins open-source community with ultra-fast OLAP engine for Hadoop

    Like arch-rival Amazon.com, the soon-to-split eBay Inc. is something of an oddity in that it hasn’t historically been a big contributor to the open-source community. But the e-commerce pioneer hopes to change that with the release of the source-code for a homegrown online analytics processing (OLAP) engine that promises to speed up Hadoop while also making it more accessible to everyday enterprise users.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack for humanity’s fast moving technology

      OpenStack has presented a huge opportunity for technologists at many levels. Niki Acosta is one of those technologists who strives to pull together all aspects of the OpenStack community for the betterment of everyone.

      Niki is the Director of Cloud Evangelism at Metacloud, now a part of Cisco. Metacloud delivers private infrastructure as a service based on the popular and open source cloud platform, OpenStack. As an active OpenStack participant, tweeter, and blogger, she has become a recognized name in the cloud industry.

    • 2014′s most significant cloud deals have OpenStack at heart

      2014′s slate of cloud deals reflect a few important trends in the market for the open source cloud software. One is that traditional enterprise vendors continue to see potential in OpenStack and they’re willing to shell out the cash to buy the expertise and technology they need to pursue the market.

  • CMS

    • Jeffrey McGuire From Acquia Explains Drupal 8, the GPL, and Much More

      Tux Machines has run using Drupal for nearly a decade (the site is older than a decade) and we recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey A. “jam” McGuire, Open Source Evangelist at Acquia, the key company behind Drupal (which the founder of Drupal is a part of). The questions and answers below are relevant to many whose Web sites depend on Drupal.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 Has ZFS, UDPLite Fixes

      FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 was a few days late but it’s out there this Thursday afternoon. FreeBSD 10.3 takes care of an API incompatibility between 10.0-RELEASE and the earlier 10.1-RC2 state (due to the libopie library) and aside from that this third release candidate has a lot of other fixes.


  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Quick PHP patch beats slow research reveal

      Patches have been flung out to cover vulnerabilities in PHP that led to remote code execution and buffer overflows.

      The flaws were detailed this week by Swiss researchers High-Tech Bridge in versions 5.4.33, 5.5.17 and 5.6.1 on a machine running Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS and the Radamsa fuzzer.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Unifont 7.0.06 Now Available

      This release adds coverage for the following Supplemental Multilingual Plane scripts: Old Permic, Ornamental Dingbats, Geometric Shapes Extended, and Supplemental Arrows-C. The SMP now contains over 5700 glyphs.


  • Security

    • SecTor: Why DevOps Is the Key to Security

      For many organizations, the typical approach to implementing security is as a bolt-on feature after development. At the SecTor security conference in Toronto, Securosis CEO and analyst Rich Mogull explained why the emerging world of DevOps can radically remake how security is built into the software development and deployment process.

      “The problem is that by nature, security is often reactive,” Mogull said. “We don’t control our destiny and we have to secure new stuff all the time.”

    • SecTor Speaker Shows How Credit Card Thieves Get Caught

      Credit card theft continues to be among the most common and widespread forms of digital crime. Speaking at the SecTor security conference here Oct. 22, Grayson Lenik, principal security consultant at Nuix, outlined how these credit card thieves—known as “carders”—operate and how they eventually get caught.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pentagon warns the US military of climate change

      Climate change does not respect borders and we must work together to fight its threats. These are not the words of a tree-hugger, but the US Department of Defense.

      A report published on Monday says that extreme weather, rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and rising oceans could fuel armed insurgency and heighten the impact of a pandemic, through their effects on political instability, poverty, migration and resource disputes.

  • Finance

    • WSJ Stumbles in Latest Attack on Campaign Finance Law

      The Wall Street Journal editorial board’s crusade against the enforcement of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws has gone off the rails.

    • Big Money Bankrolls Opposition to Movement to Overturn Citizens United

      An historic vote in the U.S. Senate earlier this year to amend the constitution to reverse Citizens United and stem the flood of money into our elections – expected to top $1 billion this election cycle – has the Koch brothers spooked.

      If passed by Congress and approved by two-thirds of the states, the amendment could put a brake on outside spending from groups like the Koch brothers’ political network, which spent over $400 million on the 2012 elections and is reportedly planning to drop another $300 million on the 2014 midterms.

  • Privacy

    • With Launch of Germany Region, AWS Strives to Quell Privacy Concerns

      Amazon Web Services this morning announced it has launched a new region, this time in Germany, and the company worked hard to assure European businesses that its services are totally secure, even from U.S. government snooping.

    • Off The Record: How the police use surveillance powers

      The research focuses on the use of ‘directed surveillance’ contained in the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by police forces; a form of covert surveillance conducted in places other than residential premises or private vehicles which is deemed to be non-intrusive, but is still likely to result in personal information about the individual being obtained.

    • GCHQ chief: Internet has become refuge for plotters

      Sir Iain Lobban, the outgoing head of GCHQ, says that the idea the internet doesn’t need policing is a flawed ‘Utopian dream’ as he argues the security services need ‘strong capabilities’ to stop those who want to harm Britain

    • Departing GCHQ Boss Insists GCHQ Isn’t Engaged In Mass Surveillance… If You Define ‘Mass’ And ‘Surveillance’ The Way He Does

      With the UN declaring mass surveillance a violation of human rights, the proper thing for the world’s biggest intelligence agencies — who regularly engage in mass surveillance — to do, might be to cut back on the practice and go back to targeted surveillance projects that most people find acceptable. Or, you know, they can do what the outgoing head of the GCHQ (the UK’s equivalent of the NSA), Sir Iain Lobban, did and just redefine the English language. That’s easier.

    • California woman charged with possessing cellphone spyware and using it to intercept law enforcement communications (UPDATED)

      San Jose — Kristin Nyunt was charged by information today with two counts of illegal wiretapping and the possession of illegal interception devices, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

    • Woman Faces Criminal Wiretapping Charges For Deploying Spyware On Her Husband’s Phone

      A woman deploys spyware on her soon-to-be ex-husband’s phone, an act that is probably more common than anyone wants to admit, but one that rarely results in criminal charges. In this case, however, her husband happened to be employed by the Pacific Grove (CA) Police Department. If not for that simple fact, would there have been an investigation, much less charges brought? This story deals with multiple layers of official privilege — the extra attention those labeled “law enforcement” receive as victims of criminal activity, as well as the extra access law enforcement officers have, and how easily it can be abused.

    • Research Shows Mass Surveillance Fails ‘Drastically’ In Striking Balance Between Costs And Benefits To Society

      One of the many problems with the debate on mass surveillance is that it is largely driven by emotions, on both sides. Facts are few and far between — much is secret, for obvious reasons — which makes objective discussion hard. What is needed is some rigorous research into this area. Surprisingly, it turns out the European Union has been funding just such a project, called “Surveille,” a name derived from “Surveillance: Ethical Issues, Legal Limitations, and Efficiency.”

    • FBI Director Says Congress Will Fix Phone Encryption ‘Problem;’ Congress Says ‘Bite Us’

      James Comey’s pleas that something must be done for the [potentially-molested] children of the United States seem to be falling on mostly deaf ears. Mostly. After realizing that there’s nothing in current laws that compels Google and Apple to punch law enforcement-sized holes in their default encryption, Comey has decided to be the change he wishes to force in others.

    • Congress to the FBI: There’s ‘Zero Chance’ We’ll Force Apple to Decrypt Phones
    • People unknowingly add to ever-growing mountain of available personal data

      What do a philosopher, a law school dean, a technologist and a private investigator named Emery Goad all have in common?


      They say we humans are creating huge databases about our personal information, our tastes, our flirtations, our finances.

      We’re doing this with nearly every phone call, text, keystroke, Facebook posting and store purchase. We’re unwittingly sketching out glimpses of our virtues, vices, sins and souls.

    • Stock Symbol: KILL

      Last year, a propaganda campaign for attacking Syria was evidently stopped in its tracks by an overwhelmingly war-weary U.S. citizenry. But in recent months, the “drums of war” have been beating fiercely yet again. Retired generals, allegedly experts on war “policy,” predictably advocated another military intervention in the Middle East (this time to stop the menacing advance of ISIS, an “enemy” virtually unheard of as recently as several months ago). It is, of course, a well-known but rarely mentioned fact that such retired military generals and admirals generally hold considerable stock in these “defense” behemoths. With new military “engagements,” product-demand is ramped up (the profit-margin already exorbitant on contracts), as Congress invariably approves increases for such costly weapons as Apache attack helicopters, Tomahawk cruise missiles (Raytheon), and Hellfire air-to-ground missiles (Boeing/Martin)—the latter “delivered” by Predator/Reaper drones (General Atomics).

    • The illegal drones flying above London… and the chair of the government’s drones committee who was “horrified” to discover Google Maps

      Drone footage can be breathtaking, capturing aerial views that you just can’t get any other way.

    • More U.S. Citizens Have Been Killed by a Drone Strike Than by Ebola

      It’s an epidemic—killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving many others hospitalized. It’s present in over 148 countries and has expanded out of control. I’m talking not about Ebola, but the U.S. government. The very entity that many turn to for protection has been responsible for wars, police shootings, withholding of drugs that could save lives, and many other acts of violence and negligence that have resulted in far more deaths than Ebola.

    • Drone protestors make a stand at the air base

      Normally it’s retired military rallying support for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station drone program but on Thursday veterans joined anti-drone protestors at the base’s entrance to publicize their opposition.

      The air base is the site of the home of the 107th Airlift Wing which is converting from flying C-130 cargo planes to the remotely operated MQ-9 Reaper. No drones will launch from Niagara Falls but pilots who operate them will be stationed at the base.


      “When people lose family members to drones,” Ross said, “the blowback is incredible. We are recruiting people for terrorist organization from our use of drones.”

    • Pakistan calls for ban on LAWS

      Pakistan has called for a pre-emptive ban on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), also known as the ‘killer robots’ that are capable of making their own combat decisions without human intervention, saying such devices would undermine world peace.

    • Blackwater, torture and US imperialism

      On Wednesday, a jury of eight women and four men in a federal district court in Washington, DC convicted four Blackwater mercenaries for their role in the 2007 Nisour Square massacre. The jurors found one of the contractors guilty of murder and another three guilty of manslaughter for firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition and grenades at Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in a brutal operation that left 17 dead and another 20 wounded.

    • Religious Community Skeptical of Lethal Drones

      For more than a year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace studied the use of drones and targeted killings. In May 2013, Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the International Justice and Peace Committee, wrote to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, raising moral questions about the use of drones for targeted killings. He asked that the U.S. be more transparent in its policies and exercise leadership in advancing international agreements on their use.

  • Civil Rights

    • Decade of Dissent

      I do not think there is a single person in public life or social media nowadays who would not accept that the FCO were simply lying. Jack Straw was blatantly to lie about it to parliament. But ten years ago the public and media knew much less than they know now. Nobody outside secret circles had ever heard the words extraordinary rendition. It was a year later – May 2005 – before the New York Times revealed the CIA was sending people to Uzbekistan to be tortured, precisely as I had stated.


      After going on the Today programme I went on the run, in fear for my life. I am not paranoid, remember David Kelly. I first stayed with my old friend Andy Myles in Edinburgh, then I think Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He was phoned the next morning by the FCO. When he denied knowledge of my whereabouts, they not only said they knew I was staying with him, they said which bedroom I was sleeping in. Ten years ago today I was hiding in Aviemore in the house of my old friend Dominic.

      That was the start of a decade as a dissident where I have devoted my life to exposing, and trying to counter, the evil of the neo-conservative policy pursued by our political class at the behest of the corporations who fund them. I have suffered a huge loss in money, status and most of the other normal aspirations. But what I have gained is invaluable. I have respect and love, while Blair and Straw will forever be despised.

    • Occupy protesters forced to hand over pizza boxes and tarpaulin

      When is a pizza box a pillow? Or an umbrella a ‘structure’? In Parliament Square Occupy Democracy protesters have spent their seventh night sleeping on the ground on top of piles of newspapers. According to the 2011 Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, the local authority for the City of Westminster has the power to confiscate items that count as sleeping equipment or a structure, so mattresses and tents are forbidden.

      But protesters say the police are getting creative with their interpretation of the bylaw, confiscating backpacks and pizza boxes, claiming that they count as sleeping equipment. Umbrellas have similarly been confiscated because they count as a structure. Some have been told that sleeping bags are allowed to keep them warm while they’re awake, but not when they’re asleep.

    • Law Enforcement–Related Deaths in the US

      For over a decade and a half, Project Censored researchers at Sonoma State University have been monitoring law enforcement–related deaths in the United States. In the most recent phase of this research, we interviewed members of fourteen families who had lost a loved one in a law enforcement incident. In this study, we let the families tell their stories in their own voices, and we report the commonalities in their trauma and mistreatment by law enforcement and the corpo- rate media after the death of their loved ones.

    • New Blog Details The Unfortunate Experience Of Being On Homeland Security’s Terrorist Watchlist

      Kashmir Hill at Forbes has a great profile of (not-very-anonymous-after-all) blogger Peter Young, who has received the dreaded SSSS designation from the TSA. Ringing up 4 S’s means every TSA agent thinks you’re a terrorist and every visit to the airport means extra patdowns and questioning. Young has been detailing the humdrum existence of your everyday terrorist over at his blog, “Jetsetting Terrorist,” where he notes that his decidedly non-terroristic appearance causes the consternation and confusion at smaller airports where 4-S designations are few and far between. Not that being a jetsetting terrorist doesn’t have its upsides…

    • A Tale of Two Riots: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Vs. ‘Bring Out The BearCat’

      There was another large riot recently, one that resulted in a large police presence. Maybe you heard something about it. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe the media portrayed this riot as “rowdiness” fueled by alcohol that just “got out of hand.” Maybe it didn’t. The annual Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, somehow devolved into overturned cars, smashed windows and lit fires, but there’s been no extensive handwringing about the police response to that situation — one composed mostly of white, college-age males. [h/t to Techdirt reader WulfTheSaxon for the NBC News link]

    • UN Torture Treaty does not apply to US actions in foreign lands – says US

      Last week, the investigative journalistic world got a severe shock: the United States strongly consider that the United Nations Convention Against Torture which universally ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” does not apply to C.I.A. and the U.S. military operations abroad – which includes US-run prisons – and that the Obama administration is considering reaffirming the previous Bush administration’s position that the (UN) treaty imposes no legal obligation on the United States to bar cruelty outside its borders.

    • Charlie Rangel: ISIS Is Not A Threat To Our National Security

      “We are seeing a battle in Kobani. We’re seeing Baghdad being surrounded. We’re seeing threats on the Green Zone in Baghdad by ISIS. What do you think that we as a government should be doing, and are we doing enough?” asked MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart Thursday.

    • Law forum tackles Mideast drone strikes

      And stretching those principles, Rogers said, increases the risk that other nations will do likewise. “Other countries can justify the use of force using the same arguments,” he said. “When the United States weakens these principles, other states will use them and it weakens the international order.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Police PIPCU Secure Govt. Funding Until 2017

        The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has received substantial new funding which secures its future until at least 2017. The £3 million cash boost, announced this morning by Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Neville-Rolfe, will come from public funds. It’s being billed as good news for the economy and bad news for pirates.

      • City Of London Police Fail And Censor Their Way To A Lot More UK Taxpayer Money

        We’ve written plenty about the City of London Police and its Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which despite an official jurisdiction covering a square mile of London, has made it clear that it considers itself Hollywood’s private police force worldwide when it comes to stopping copyright infringement online. PIPCU has basically been a bumbling, censoring mess from the beginning. A year ago, it started ordering domain registrars to kill off websites with no court order and no legal basis — demands that actually violated ICANN’s policies. For registrars that ignored those baseless, bogus censorship demands, PIPCU started sending ridiculous threats claiming that they were engaged in criminal behavior. Of course, PIPCU’s understanding of both the internet and “criminal” laws is suspect. The head of the unit, Adrian Leppard, claims that “the Tor” is “90% of the internet” and “is a risk to society.” Another top officer, Andy Fyfe, somehow believes that if PIPCU isn’t running around censoring sites there would be anarchy online.

      • German Publishers Grant Google A ‘Free License’ Google Never Needed To Post News Snippets

        Remember earlier this year when German newspaper publishers, led by rights management firm VG Media, demanded Google pay them a massive amount of money (11% of all ad revenue on any page linking to their works) for having the gall to send those publishers traffic via Google News? VG Media insisted that Google’s use of “snippets” was illegal. German regulators rejected this demand, but VG Media was still pursuing legal efforts to force Google to pay. Given that, Google did what made the most sense and removed the snippets for VG Media associated publishers. You’d think that this would make VG Media happy. Instead, it claimed that Google was engaged in “blackmail.”

      • German Publishers Cave, Grant Google Free Permission to Use Snippets in Search Results

        Google’s 4-month-long fight with German news publishers over license fees for search result snippets came to a close today when the publishers threw in the towel.

      • Judge: The Supreme Court Has Said Aereo Must Die, So Go Die

        This isn’t a huge surprise, given Judge Alison Nathan’s recent comments during the Aereo hearing, but Judge Nathan has now basically granted the networks what they want — a pretty broad injunction (pdf) against Aereo.

      • Marvel Goes DMCA Crazy Over Leaked Avengers 2 Trailer, Then Puts It On Its Own YouTube Page

        As the saying goes, death and taxes are both certainties — as is the fact that politicians lie. But another near universal certainty is that Marvel will totally freak out whenever it gets the slightest inkling that its intellectual property is threatened. The latest head-scratching example of this was yesterday’s leak of a trailer for The Avengers 2, which Marvel promptly DMCA’d.


Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Container Security

    Hypervisors present a smaller attack surface than containers. This is somewhat mitigated in containers by using seccomp, selinux and restricting capabilities in order to reduce the number of kernel entry points that untrusted code can touch, but even so there is simply a greater quantity of privileged code available to untrusted apps in a container environment when compared to a hypervisor environment[1].

  • Currys/PC World (UK) Voids Warranty on Hardware If Buyer Installs GNU/Linux
  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux Is Catching Fire On The Desktop, But It’s Not Your Daddy’s GNU/Linux

      If we thought your Dad’s GNU/Linux desktop was a threat to Wintel, ChromeOS is Armageddon. It took a decade for Wintel to ship as many PCs as ChromeOS is shipping in one year and it’s still just starting out. Wintel’s huge installed base is only 6-8 years’ production… Further, it’s not just about price.

    • ARM vs. Intel: Why chipmakers want your Chromebook’s brains

      Case in point: Samsung’s new Chromebook 2, announced Friday, which has Intel’s Bay Trail M Celeron N2840—not one of Samsung’s own Exynos dual-core ARM chips. Earlier Chromebook 2 versions shipped with ARM processors and will continue to do so, but in a briefing with PCWorld, Samsung product manager David Ng said Chromebooks are quickly trending toward Intel components. “More than 50% of Chromebooks sold these days have Intel processors,” Ng said.

    • Chromebook Sales Jump 67 Percent In Last Three Months

      Sales of Chromebook computers have soared over the past few months as manufacturers and consumer begin to embrace the low-cost portable devices, new research has found.

    • Best Chromebooks 2014

      Whether it’s because of their very affordable prices or an aversion to Windows 8′s complexity, more and more shoppers are buying Chromebooks. There are some valid reasons to choose a Chromebook over a Windows machine, including a very intuitive interface (it’s largely browser based), a lack of upgrade headaches, and less worrying about malware. And while Chromebooks have limited offline capability, there’s a growing number of apps that work without a Wi-Fi connection.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 10.4 Tentatively Planned For Early December

        Emil Velikov, the new Mesa release manager, has issued a straw-man proposal to release Mesa 10.4 in early December.

        In sticking to the three month release cadence of Mesa, Emil is proposing the Mesa 10.4 feature freeze and release candidate for 14 November with new release candidates to come weekly until the official release. Emil is tentatively thinking about the Mesa 10.4 release for 5 December.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks

        With Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” due for release today, here’s some benchmarks showing how the standard Unity 7 desktop on Ubuntu 14.10 is comparing to the still-experimental Unity System Compositor and using XMir for running traditional Linux OpenGL games.

        From a standard Intel Core i7 Haswell system with HD Graphics I ran benchmarks with the development snapshot of Ubuntu Utopic as of yesterday to see how well the stock Unity 7.3.1 environment is comparing to when it’s run with unity-system-compositor installed and using Mir support with XMir for running a variety of standard OpenGL benchmarks as well as some 2D X11 benchmarks.

      • What Linux Benchmarks Would You Like To See Next?

        At Phoronix.com and with the Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org we’re always looking to cater to the interests of more parties and as such are interested to see what other benchmarks you’d like to see incorporated.

      • 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks

        In celebration of Ubuntu 14.10′s Utopic Unicorn release today, here’s some fresh benchmarks of one of the most requested topics: 2D/3D benchmarks of different desktop environments. In this article is a look at six of the popular desktop offerings found in Ubuntu 14.10.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment’s EFL 1.12 Alpha Has Evas GL-DRM Engine, OpenGL ES 1.1 Support

      The first alpha release for the 1.12 version of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) was released this week.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Discover the Power of Konqueror

        Many Linux users have a set of applications – browser, file manager, image viewer – that they’re loyal to. In most cases, these applications correspond to the default setup of a Linux distribution. If you’re a KDE user, you’ve probably heard of Konqueror. It’s a powerful application that has been a part of KDE for years, but it’s often unfairly neglected in favor of newer apps. Did you know you can use Konqueror not only as a file manager, but also as a web browser, PDF viewer and document editor?

      • KDAB contributions to Qt 5.4: qmllint

        One type of bug I see very often comes down to syntax errors in QML and JavaScript files. Most of the time these errors are simple typos; however, they creep in, go unnoticed by continuous integration and sometimes reach production — especially on delayed loaded components.

      • KDE Connect feature brainstorming

        In a recent informal meeting of KDE users in Seattle, Andrew Lake from the KDE Visual Design Group gave me some ideas he had for KDE Connect. Since I think that we all have a different vision and different ideas that are possible to implement on top of KDE Connect, I decided to write this post asking for your ideas, in some kind of community brainstorming.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Development of Nautilus – Popovers, port to GAction and more

        In an application that already use GAction and a normal GMenu for everything is quite easy.

        But Nautilus is not using GAction neither GMenu for its menus. Not only that, Nautilus use GtkUIManager for managing the menus and GtkActions. And not only that, Nautilus merge parts of menus along all the code.

      • Cairo-Dock / GLX-Dock 3.4 is now available

        Cairo-Dock 3.4 is finally released! One year after the 3.3 version.

        Cairo-Dock is a pretty, fast and customizable desktop interface. You can see it as a good alternative/addition to Unity, Gnome-Shell, Xfce-panel, KDE-panel, etc.

      • Cairo-Dock 3.4 Shows A Lot Of Progress, Works Toward EGL/Wayland Support
      • Most Popular Linux Desktop Environment: GNOME Shell

        Even after settling on a Linux distribution to use, you still have to decide on a desktop environment. There are tons to choose from, and last week we asked you for your favorites. Then we looked at the five best Linux desktop environments. Now we’re back to highlight your favorite, 11,000 votes later.

      • AN EARLY VIEW OF GTK+ 3.16

        We’ve had long-standing feature requests to turn scrollbars into overlayed indicators, for touch systems. An implementation of this idea has been merged now. We show traditional scrollbars when a mouse is detected, otherwise we fade in narrow, translucent indicators. The indicators are rendered on top of the content and don’t take up extra space. When you move the pointer over the indicator, it turns into a full-width scrollbar that can be used as such.

      • perf.gnome.org – introduction

        My talk at GUADEC this year was titled Continuous Performance Testing on Actual Hardware, and covered a project that I’ve been spending some time on for the last 6 months or so. I tackled this project because of accumulated frustration that we weren’t making consistent progress on performance with GNOME. For one thing, the same problems seemed to recur. For another thing, we would get anecdotal reports of performance problems that were very hard to put a finger on. Was the problem specific to some particular piece of hardware? Was it a new problem? Was it an a problems that we have already addressed? I wrote some performance tests for gnome-shell a few years ago – but running them sporadically wasn’t that useful. Running a test once doesn’t tell you how fast something should be, just how fast it is at the moment. And if you run the tests again in 6 months, even if you remember what numbers you got last time, even if you still have the same development hardware, how can you possibly figure out what what change is responsible? There will have been thousands of changes to dozens of different software modules.

      • GTK+ Lands Experimental Backend For Mir Display Server

        GTK+ apps now run not only on X11 and Wayland under Linux with native support but the mainline GTK+ Git code now also supports running Ubuntu’s Mir Display Server. That’s right, there’s now mainline Mir support in GTK for the GNOME/GTK 3.16 release.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 Review: Refreshing Mandriva based KDE spin

        ROSA is a Russian company developing a variety of Linux-based solutions. Its flagship product, ROSA Desktop, is a Linux distribution featuring a highly customized KDE desktop and a number of modifications designed to enhance the user-friendliness of the working environment. The company also develops an “Enterprise Server” edition of ROSA which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. On 9th October 2014, Ekaterina Lopukhova has announced the release of ROSA R4 “Desktop Fresh” edition, a desktop Linux distribution featuring a customized and user-friendly KDE 4.13.3 desktop: “The ROSA company is happy to present the long-awaited ROSA Desktop Fresh R4, the number 4 in the “R” lineup of the free ROSA distros with the KDE desktop as the main graphical environment. The distro presents a vast collection of games and emulators, as well as the Steam platform package along with standard suite of audio and video communications software, including the newest version of Skype. All modern video formats are supported. The distribution includes the fresh LibreOffice 4.3.1, the full TeX suite for true nerds, along with the best Linux desktop publishing, text editing and polygraphy WYSISYG software. The LAMP/C++/ development environments are waiting to be installed by true hackers.” The present version is supported for 2 years. ROSA was previously based on Mandriva but now independent like many of the formerly Mandriva based distros, e.g. PCLinuxOS, Mageia, OpenMandriva Lx (based on ROSA), to name a few. Mandriva in turn was based on Red Hat Linux and a lot of programs which work for Fedora or OpenSUSE, worked on ROSA as well.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Review: Scientific Linux 7.0 GNOME

        It has been a while since I have done a review (almost 3 months, in fact). It has been significantly longer since I have looked at Scientific Linux (over 3 years, in fact). Given that, I figured it might be worthwhile to make this review about Scientific Linux 7.0. I’m just glad that I did it before the time elapsed for something else to come up (around 3 minutes, in fact — OK, I just made that one up to match the other statements).

      • Up the revolution! The rise of Red Hat

        One of the IT industry’s quiet successes of the last 20 years has been Red Hat (some stories say it was named for the red caps favoured by 18th and 19th century revolutionaries). In 2012 the vendor reported revenues of $1B+ for the first time and this has increased to $1.5B+ in its most recent full financial year (ending Feb 2014). 26% of Red Hat’s revenue is generated in Europe and more than 20% its 7,000 employees are based in the EU, including those at its Bruno-based development in the Czech Republic.

      • OpenShift Enterprise By Red Hat Powers The FICO Analytic Cloud For Faster, More Versatile Delivery Of Automated Business Solutions

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that FICO, the predictive analytics and decision management software company, has built and rapidly scaled the FICO® Analytic Cloud on OpenShift Enterprise, Red Hat’s award-winning private platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.

      • openSUSE, ROSA, and Red Hat

        Today in Linux news, Jamie Watson is back with a look at the “coming attractions” of Makulu, openSUSE, and Fedora. Lifehacker has the winner of their “best desktop” survey and there are public builds of upcoming Unreal Tournament available. IT-Director.com published an article on “The rise of Red Hat” and Red Hat’s Jackie Yeaney talks marketing with Advertising Age. Blogged reviews include Scientific Linux and ROSA R4 and Make Tech Easier discovers “the power of Konqueror.”

      • Fedora

        • Contributing to the Fedora Project

          Once of the many things I do for the Fedora Project is Tagging, it’s something any one can do and it’s a quick/easy way to give back to Fedora.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How to spot the most talented innovators

      Back in 2002, one Dutch small business with just 38 employees took part in their first of several EU-funded research projects: developing new digital services for people on the move. That “small business” was TomTom: which since 2002 has grown to over 4000 employees in 37 countries, now a globally recognised brand leader.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Linux-based smart glasses keep it stylish

          Laforge is prepping a $399 beta version of its Linux-based Icis eyewear, as well as a $549 Bold model due in 2015 that adds a camera and higher resolution.

          Relatively few of the smart eyewear products now coming to market compete directly with Google Glass as a general-purpose consumer device. Most are vertical-market helmets for industrial or field service use (Vuzix M100), or are designed for specific activities such as skiing (Recon’s Snow 2) or motorcycle riding (Skully AR-1.) Laforge Optical’s Icis stands out from the pack with its consumer focus and its foundation in embedded Linux rather than the stripped-down Android stacks used by most smart eyewear.

        • 12 Must Have Android Apps

          While some Android apps are important, some truly are must have Android apps. I’ve learned to tell the difference. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been a very happy Android fan. Being a refugee from the iOS platform, I cannot express just how much more full-featured Android is when compared to my old iPhone.

        • Feeling Scammed After Anonabox? Android-Based Project Sierra Claims To Be The Real Deal

          In the wake of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s big reveal on government spying, there’s been a concerted effort by companies big and small to try and make our lives truly private. One seemingly promising solution was Anonabox, a little plug-and-play device that routes traffic through Tor to keep our online activities anonymous. Unfortunately, we were all misled on a number of levels, prompting Kickstarter to remove the project forever. Hot on its heels is Project Sierra, a network encryption device that’s supposedly the real deal.

        • Microsoft’s Garage project releases niche apps for Android
        • Keep your conversations private with these 10 super secure messaging apps

          How do you feel when you learn that someone has been watching, reading every incoming-outgoing message from your phone and computer? Quite freaked out, probably. Millions felt the same in June 2013 when ex-NSA computer geek Edward Snowden exposed the US Government’s snooping and logging activities.

        • Android Wear gets GPS support, offline music in first major update

          Google promised that it would consistently improve Android Wear with a number of updates, and now the first major update is here. Announced today in a blog post, the update unlocks some key fitness functionality. It now supports watches with built-in GPS sensors, providing new tools to track your distance and speed independent of your phone. Additionally, with the new software, you’ll be able to pair Bluetooth headphones, and offline music playback will also be enabled. And, of course, we’re sure the Android Wear team has squashed some bugs along the way.

        • Tiny Android SBC taps quad-core A31s SoC

          Boardcon launched a 92 x 65mm “Compact A31S” SBC that runs Android 4.2.2 on a quad-core Allwinner A31s SoC backed up with 2GB of soldered RAM and 4GB flash.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Top 3 open source alternatives to Google Analytics

      Let’s start off by taking a look at the open source application that rivals Google Analytics for functions: Piwik. Piwik does most of what Google Analytics does, and chances are it packs the features that you need.

      Those features include metrics on the number of visitors hitting your site, data on where they come from (both on the web and geographically), from what pages they leave your site, and the ability to track search engine referrals. Piwik also has a number of reports and you can customize the dashboard to view the metrics that you want to see.

      To make your life easier, Piwik integrates with over 65 content management, ecommerce, and online forum systems like WordPress, Magneto, Joomla!, and vBulletin using plugins. With anything else, you just need to add a tracking code to a page on your site.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing the 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellows

        The Knight-Mozilla Fellowships bring together developers, technologists, civic hackers, and data crunchers to spend 10 months working on open source code with partner newsrooms around the world. The Fellowships are part of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. During their fellowship year, the Fellows collaborate with journalists to build the tools news organizations need to thrive on the open web.

      • Mozilla’s Webmaker App Could Spur Firefox OS App Developers

        Mozilla continues to push ahead with its Firefox OS mobile operating system, which is arriving on phones in many markets around the world. In fact, the company has aligned its whole strategy around the mobile platform. The OS is gaining enough traction that many observers see it as eventually being competitive with iOS and Android phones, but I’ve made the point that If Firefox OS is to be a resounding success, it’s going to need a very healthy ecosystem of apps to attract users. Apps count for a lot in the mobile game.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Announcing Apache™ CloudStack™ v4.4.1

      The Apache CloudStack project announced the immediate availability of Apache CloudStack v4.4.1, the latest version of the turnkey Open Source cloud computing software platform used for creating private-, public-, and hybrid cloud environments.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1-RC3 Now Available

      The third RC build of the 10.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, armv6, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Greens RFC: ‘Transparency implies use of open source’

      The Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament want to find out for once and for all if the use of free and open source software is essential for the democratic institution. The political group is asking for comments on a study linking the use of free software to the European Parliament’s principles of openness and right to information.

    • These 12 agencies embraced open source. Why?

      Why do government agencies turn to open source software? FutureGov has interviewed 12 senior officials to find out.

      Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, John Sheridan, has moved his country’s citizen-facing portal onto open source software, and is offering to help agencies migrate too. “Open source licence arrangements enable the development of some sort of public good, where people contribute or benefit from it,” he says.

      Other agencies clearly agree. Hong Kong’s Office of the GCIO is notably enthusiastic, with Victor Lam telling FutureGov that “We recognise the fact that it is the kind of technology [where] we need to be ahead of the curve”.

      What was their experience of migrating to open source, and how does it match with others?

    • Going Dutch: the Netherlands Shares UK’s Open Source Woes

      Not quite sure what that last bit means, but it’s nonetheless good to have news from other countries grappling with the same issues as those in the UK. The fact that similar problems are found elsewhere suggests that maybe more could be done for those seeking to introduce open source in central government to meet up and swap their experiences – both good and bad.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Why open data matters in education

        Rajan attends a school in a small village located around 140 kilometers from my hometown of Amritsar, India. Otherwise an active boy who is adept in handling numbers in the ledger book at his father’s convenience store and who loves playing flute, he falls into the depths of apathy and indifference the moment he enters his classroom. Rajan is not at fault for the abrupt change in his behavior at the school. He attends a school that has one teacher for all its students from classes starting from the first standard through the fifth standard, that has no proper infrastructure, a dilapidated library, and an obsolete teaching methodology.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Reading and Writing and Open Source

        Digital textbooks with open-licensed content — and sometimes even complete open source textbooks — are two publishing models that are starting to change the way students and teachers interact with subject material.

        The budget-busting prices of traditional printed textbooks and the ubiquity of mobile devices in schools have provided textbook authors and educational leaders with convincing reasons to give students an alternative. Textbook publishers are offering digital alternatives to traditional printed books with copyright protection against reproducing or altering their content.

      • Library hosts Open Access Week events to promote open source research

        An effort to increase immediate access to research results is in full swing at Cal State Fullerton through Open Access Week this week.

  • Programming

    • Build It! Must-Have Open Source Development Tools

      These days, there is big demand for strong web and application development skills in the job market. The good news is that there are many open source tools to help you with your web project or application, and given the costs of proprietary development environments, they can save you a lot of money. Here are many good examples of development tools and tutorials, with some unsung choices that you may not have considered.


  • Departing EU Digital Commissioner Warns Against ‘Analogue Europe’ Blocking Digital Innovation

    After talking about how Europe used to dominate in innovation, it’s since fallen behind both the US and Asia.

  • Facebook Files Lawsuit against Lawyers over ‘Fake’ Founder Claim

    The company this week filed charges against members of huge law firms Milberg LLP and DLA Piper for representing a man who previously claimed that he owns a major stake in Facebook. The social networking site simply stated in its complaint that those lawyers should have known better than support a ‘scam’ artist.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • BBC Accused of Rwandan Genocide Denial

      Rwanda’s parliament has accused the BBC of genocide denial, claiming their documentary film “Rwanda: The Untold Story” allegedly misinterpreted historical facts and distorted real states of affairs, BBC reported on Thursday.

    • Why the U.S. Drone War Could Last Forever

      The U.S. military’s combat mission in Afghanistan is scheduled to end this year, presumably closing the chapter there on 13 years of war. But the covert drone war in that country and neighboring Pakistan could continue long after most American troops return home, according to a White House spokesperson.

    • When only 4 per cent of those killed by US drone strikes are named members of al-Qaeda, it’s hard to trust American foreign policy

      John Kerry says all those fired at by drones in Pakistan are “confirmed terrorist targets” – but with 1,675 unnamed dead how do we know?

    • John Kerry says all those fired at by drones in Pakistan are “confirmed terrorist targets” – but with 1,675 unnamed dead how do we know?

      Responding to a question about drone strikes on BBC’s Hard Talk last year, US Secretary of State John Kerry laid out a clear message. “The only people we fire a drone at are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest level,” he said. “We don’t just fire a drone at somebody and think they’re a terrorist.”

      Earlier this month, the US completed its 400th drone strike in Pakistan, a significant milestone in the covert anti-terrorism programme that has been going since 2004 and has claimed 2379 lives, according to available figures.

    • Pakistan calls for ban on lethal autonomous weapons

      Pakistan has called for pre-emptive ban on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), known as killer robots that are capable of making their own combat decisions without human intervention, saying such devices would undermine world peace.

    • Blackwater Guards Found Guilty In 2007 Shootings In Iraq

      Four private security guards working for the Blackwater Worldwide firm who were charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis have been found guilty by a federal jury.

      Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, and three others — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter.

    • Four Blackwater Guards Convicted of Killing 14 Unarmed Iraqis

      Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard were among the Blackwater guards riding in a convoy of armored vehicles through downtown Baghdad in September 2007 who abruptly began firing machine guns and throwing grenades at unarmed Iraqis in a busy traffic circle, killing 14 and wounding at least 17 others. During the trial, the men’s lawyers maintained they were responding to gunfire at Nisour Square and acted in self-defense, while the prosecution said the shootings were unprovoked. Jurors in Washington sided with the government, convicting Slatten of first-degree murder, a charge that carries a life sentence, and the three others of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, and using military firearms while committing a felony, which means they each face a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison. All four men are military veterans.

    • ‘Killer robots’: Ex-GCHQ boss calls for drone controls

      Commercial drones could be invading the UK within 20 years, used by everyone from terrorists to burglars, an ex-GCHQ boss warns. It found the growing use of drones raises “significant safety, security and privacy concerns.”

      In a report released by the University of Birmingham Policy Commission, led by the former head of GCHQ Sir David Omand, it was found that the greater civil and military use of drones is inevitable.

    • Pentagon Says It Will Investigate Stray Arms Drop Over Syria

      The Pentagon says it will investigate a video released by the self-declared Islamic State showing its fighters purportedly rifling through crates of U.S. arms intended for Kurdish forces fighting the extremist group.

    • Ottawa shootings: a spectacular failure for Canadian intelligence

      Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, armed with a high-powered rifle, drove to Parliament Hill, left his car running, shot a ceremonial guard at the nearby National War Memorial, before heading to the seat of Canada’s democracy, where he was gunned down by the head of security for the building.

      In a room just a few metres from where the gunman fell, prime minister Stephen Harper was discussing how to respond to the increased threat of homegrown terrorism with members of his party. That response will be even more treacherous now.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • BP’s Misleading Oil Spill PR Campaign Is Now In Politico Magazine

      But Morrell’s Politico Magazine article was misleading. Wildlife in the region is still experiencing the consequences of the spill, according to a recent report from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The NWF studied 14 species that have suffered effects from the spill, including the ongoing illness of bottlenose dolphins and a “dramatic increase” in sea turtle deaths. The report concluded that more needs to be done to speed up the region’s recovery. CBS reported of its findings: “No matter how much money is exchanged and what efforts are done, there remains no guarantee that the Gulf Coast regions will fully recover to pre-spill conditions.”

    • Officials propose making ‘South Florida’ 51st state

      A group of Southern Florida politicians are tired of being left out to sea when it comes to addressing climate change concerns for the southern part of the state.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Senator Leahy Blasts DEA For Impersonating Woman On Facebook

      Citing a case revealed by BuzzFeed News, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said it’s “appalling” that a Drug Enforcement Administration agent created a fake Facebook page using a real woman’s name and photos — without her knowledge.

    • NYPD Commissioner Bratton vows to push against Apple, Google smartphone encryption

      Bratton says the companies’ new operating systems, which can block law enforcement access, ‘does a terrible disservice to the public.’

    • NY Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Latest To Complain About Phone Encryption

      That’s some mighty fine spin by Bratton. Something that will make a vast majority of the public’s data less susceptible to hackers’ attacks is a “disservice to the public” because in a very small number of cases, this encryption could hamper an investigation. Because some criminals might use this encryption, no one should be allowed to have it.

    • James Clapper’s Report On Progress Towards President’s Surveillance Reforms Mainly Explores Executive Branch Loopholes

      James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, has issued an interim report on the intelligence community’s minimal progress towards minimal compliance with the minimal reforms ordered by the administration last year in response to the Snowden leaks. Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28) was issued in January and Jame Clapper’s office is proud to announce that it’s still in the process of thinking about complying with the stuff the President asked them to do so many months ago.


      The EFF asks if the NSA has ever used this reading to its own advantage. Certainly no answer is expected, but the agency has long been a fan of fluid terms and malleable definitions. Which brings us to the ultimate show of executive branch deference, albeit one that implies the administration will help the agency do the things it really wants to, Presidential Policy Directive or no.

    • Rep. Mike Rogers Now Claims Ed Snowden Should Be Charged With Murder, Because Someone Might Die

      Meanwhile, if doing things that might lead to more soldiers getting hurt or killed makes you guilty of murder, shouldn’t Rogers be talking about getting himself and other members of Congress charged with murder? After all, remember it was Congress that failed to equip soldiers with proper body armor.

    • Riding with the Stars: Passenger Privacy in the NYC Taxicab Dataset

      There has been a lot of online comment recently about a dataset released by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. It contains details about every taxi ride (yellow cabs) in New York in 2013, including the pickup and drop off times, locations, fare and tip amounts, as well as anonymized (hashed) versions of the taxi’s license and medallion numbers. It was obtained via a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request earlier this year and has been making waves in the hacker community ever since.

      The release of this data in this unalloyed format raises several privacy concerns. The most well-documented of these deals with the hash function used to “anonymize” the license and medallion numbers. A bit of lateral thinking from one civic hacker and the data was completely de-anonymized. This data can now be used to calculate, for example, any driver’s annual income. More disquieting, though, in my opinion, is the privacy risk to passengers. With only a small amount of auxiliary knowledge, using this dataset an attacker could identify where an individual went, how much they paid, weekly habits, etc. I will demonstrate how easy this is to do in the following section.

    • Handful of Virginia police agencies sharing seized phone data

      A newly publicized document shows that five local police departments in southeastern Virginia have been secretly and automatically sharing criminal suspects’ telephone metadata and compiling it into a large database for nearly two years.

    • Bluetooth-tracking beacon programs uncovered in LA, Chicago

      Marketers are using beacons to see who sees what in their ad networks.

    • Pro-Privacy Senator Wyden on Fighting the NSA From Inside the System

      The Democrat from Oregon, who has served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2001, thought he knew the nature of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities. As a committee member with a classified clearance, he received regular briefings to conduct oversight.

    • What Does the Return of the ‘Crypto Wars’ Mean for Bitcoin?

      The crypto wars have returned to the United States. Apple’s announcement of their intent to provide better encryption for their customers launched the latest battle. With this new, higher-level of encryption, iPhone users would allegedly be able to better secure their private communication data from law enforcement.

    • Q&A: Poitras on capturing history in a hotel room

      Imagine if Bob Woodward’s clandestine meetings in a Washington D.C. parking garage with Deep Throat had been documented — or, better yet, filmed by Woodward, himself.

      The analogy isn’t perfect, but that’s about the closest equivalent to Laura Poitras’ one-of-a-kind documentary “Citizenfour,” which captures former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during his leak of NSA documents to Poitras (a documentarian and reporter) and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

    • Filming in fear: Edward Snowden as ‘Citizenfour’

      U.S. documentary maker Laura Poitras has found herself in many a risky situation in Iraq and Yemen. But she never felt in as much danger as when she was filming Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel while he prepared to blow the whistle on massive secret surveillance programs run by the U.S. government.

    • Germans use password managers more

      Almost a quarter of all internet users in Germany use password manager programmes to manage the access to computers or online services, according to a recent survey conducted by technology association Bitkom.

    • State and Local Cops Running Protection Racket for Federal ‘Partners’

      The drug war not only ushered in the era of state-federal task forces, it also turned on the funding spigot. Suddenly, state and local law enforcement agencies found themselves flush with cash flowing from federal grants to fight the War on Drugs. It also flung open the door to militarizing state and local police, as the feds began arming Mayberry with tanks, body armor and automatic weapons.

    • THURSDAY: Laura Poitras on Her New Edward Snowden Documentary, “CitizenFour”
    • VIDEO TIMELINE: NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s Revelations on Democracy Now!

      Scroll through our video timeline to see all of our coverage of whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the reporting he fueled that exposed the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance state. See our archive of interviews with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

    • Untenable invasion of privacy

      Certain local police departments are stockpiling and sharing consumer cellphone data, including call logs and the contents of seized devices, under a program established nearly two years ago.

    • Why Was the NSA Chief Playing the Market?
    • Former NSA chief traded shares in commodities firms

      While he was running the National Security Agency, former director Keith Alexander owned and traded commodities firms linked to China and Russia, according to a report.

      A new report by Foreign Policy Magazine shows that Alexander’s financial disclosure forms show Alexander was involved in commodities trades that have been called an “opaque” by experts. The report, which cited forms first disclosed in Vice Magazine, noted that Alexander’s activity was cleared by ethics officials.

    • As the NSA scandal matures, outrage fizzles into business as usual

      It’s been 16 months since The Guardian published its first story on the National Security Agency’s bulk collection program, launching a series of reports that would introduce the public to cryptic terms like PRISM and Boundless Informant.

    • Why is Mark Udall — one of the Senate’s most powerful surveillance reformers — hurting for tech sector cash?

      Out in Colorado, Democrat Mark Udall, the state’s first-term U.S. senator, is finding himself financially outmatched by his Republican opponent: Rep. Cory Gardner raised some $1.3 million in the first half of this month, reports the Associated Press. Udall raised just more than half that. Udall has far less cash on hand than Gardner, too. Yet the race is quite close. Udall is polling at 43 percent to Gardner’s 46 percent, which just barely puts the Republican’s lead beyond the margin of error.

      And that presents an intriguing angle on the race for those of us who obsess over tech policy. Udall is known as one of Congress’s most vociferous advocates for reforming how government, and the National Security Agency in particular, conducts its surveillance programs. He has been for years. And changing how the NSA works is one of the technology world’s top priorities. So while Udall’s political future is up to Colorado’s voters, of course, how is it that Udall is hurting for cash when tech is one of the country’s wealthiest industries?

    • One Of The NSA’s Biggest Critics In The Senate May Lose His Seat

      In the past, we’ve noted how unfortunate it was that the Senator who fought strongest for our civil liberties in Congress, Russ Feingold, got voted out of office back in 2010 — in favor of a “Tea Party” candidate who has consistently voted in favor of the intelligence community since replacing Feingold. Since then, plenty of attention has gone to Senator Ron Wyden for picking up where Feingold left off, but with him on issues of civil liberties as it relates to the intelligence community has always been Senator Mark Udall — who has been perhaps even more vocal than Senator Wyden on these issues.

    • Can Mark Udall Win in Colorado? His Spartan-Like Get-Out-The-Vote, Ground Game Says YES!

      Mark Udall can win, but it`ll be a tough fight! I`m examining some of the sources this morning, and after a modicum of focused analysis, I believe Udall will be able to retain his senate seat. It`s a little scary when you see that Cory Gardner has a 3.8% lead over Mark Udall, according to the Real Clear Politics site (which averages the last 4 polls-those are stale bread after about 24 hours).

    • EU group: NSA’s ‘balance’ of security, privacy in surveillance sucks

      Three SURVEILLE teams of EU-funded experts studied NSA mass surveillance techniques for the purpose of a counter-terrorism investigation and basically found the surveillance ‘failed drastically in striking the correct balance between security and privacy.’

    • T-Mobile quietly hardens part of its U.S. cellular network against snooping

      Wireless carrier T-Mobile US has been quietly upgrading its network in a way that makes it harder for surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on calls and monitor texts, even on the company’s legacy system.


      Tests by the Post in New York, Washington, and Boulder, Colorado showed that AT&T calls used the older A5/1 encryption, making them more vulnerable to interception by law enforcement officials or criminals with access to advanced surveillance technology. The tests were performed using a custom application called Darshak which was released at the Black Hat security conference in August.

    • Opinion: Transatlantic trust only goes so far

      John Kerry’s visit to Berlin 25 years after the Wall fell highlighted the crucial role transatlantic ties played earlier and can still play today. But to fulfill that promise, controversial issues can’t be glossed over.


      In his remarks, Kerry – as has become almost customary for US officials since the NSA scandal – heaped plenty of praise on his German hosts. He extolled Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for their leadership not only in the Ukraine crisis and within NATO, but also for their role in all other major global issues mentioned above.

      To be sure, it is essential to keep the example of the successful and historic transatlantic cooperation that culminated in the fall of the Wall 25 years ago alive for a younger generation that did not experience it. And it is also important that the United States and Germany work together closely and responsibly on today’s global crises despite the still remaining underlying tensions over the fallout from the NSA scandal and disagreements over the transatlantic trade deal TTIP.

    • Congress Tells FBI There’s ‘Zero Chance’ Of Giving The Bureau Backdoor Access To Americans’ Cellphones
    • Congress: FBI Has “Zero Chance” Of Getting Encrypted Data

      FBI Director James B. Comey said the agency is not happy with Apple (AAPL) and Google’s (GOOG) new encryption on phones, and may have to go through legal routes to make sure the FBI can access criminals’ smartphones.

    • Police have a disconnect

      The NSA will still sweep up data en masse from every electronic platform, and law enforcement will still be able to get a warrant, provided they have probable cause, to search online records or request information from online companies.

    • Edward Snowden Receives Students for Liberty’s Highest Honor

      On Tuesday, Students for Liberty (SFL) announced its 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award will be given to former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

      According to a statement by SFL President and Cofounder Alexander McCobin, the organization has decided to honor Snowden for “initiating a global conversation on the balance of power between governments and peoples that has led to and continues to bring about meaningful reforms to intrusive, abusive, and unjust government surveillance programs.”

    • Why Outlawing Encryption Is Wrong

      In a chilling move toward an all-knowing police state, FBI Director James Comey is making the news rounds to equate data encryption with letting child pornographers, kidnappers, and terrorists roam unchecked. The assertion: Law enforcement will have no tools to catch bad guys if encryption works as designed. So all of a sudden other advances in law enforcement technology are trumped? Let’s get real.

  • Civil Rights

    • CIA Apparently ‘Impersonated’ Senate Staffers To Gain Access To Documents On Shared Drives

      The CIA is still fighting for creative control of its most anticipated 21st century work: the Torture Report. Long before it got involved in the ongoing redaction battle, it was spying on those putting the report together, namely Senators and Senate staffers. Hands were wrung, apologies were made and it was medically determined that Sen. Dianne Feinstein doesn’t have an ironic bone in her body.

    • White House Chief Of Staff Negotiating Redaction Of CIA Torture Report

      White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is personally negotiating how much of the Senate’s so-called torture report, a probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, will be redacted, according to sources involved in the negotiations.

      McDonough’s leading role in the redaction discussion has raised eyebrows in the Senate, given that his position comes with a broad array of urgent responsibilities and that the Obama White House has a team of qualified national security advisers.

    • You Know Who Else Hates Everyone In Congress? Congress!

      Hating on Congress is basically a national past time here in the US. Other than a brief moment of probably misguided solidarity after September 11th, the public’s view towards Congress tends to be pretty negative, and it’s been getting worse lately. Here’s a historical look from Gallup at the public’s approval ratings of Congress.

    • Trial court allows police to use “Glomar” response to deny records requests

      In what appears to be an unprecedented decision, a New York trial court has allowed the New York Police Department (“NYPD”) to issue a “Glomar” response to a state open records request, meaning the government refuses to confirm or deny whether responsive records exist.

    • New York City Court Buys NYPD’s Claims Of ‘National Security,’ Grants It Power To ‘Glomar’ FOIL Requests

      A New York City court has given the NYPD one of the few things separating it from the “big boys” (CIA, FBI and NSA): the permission to issue “Glomar responses” (the infamous “we can neither confirm nor deny…”) to FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests. Like the audacity of the department itself in pursuing this additional method of keeping the public separated from public documents, the decision is unprecedented.

    • The truth about torture is Obama never wants you to find it

      The cover-up of the CIA’s secret surveillance on the US Senate Intelligence Committee is only getting deeper. As the Huffington Post’s Ali Watkins and Ryan Grim reported on Tuesday afternoon, a still-classified Inspector General report alleges CIA officials “impersonated Senate staffers in order to gain access to Senate communications and drafts of the Intelligence Committee investigation” while Senate staffers were completing their now infamous – but still somehow unreleased – report on the CIA’s Bush-era torture program.

      You would think the White House might be aghast at such revelations, given that it’s the Senate Intelligence Committee’s job to oversee the CIA. But instead of worrying about the Constitution or legal violations, all the Obama administration seems to care about is saving CIA director John Brennan’s ass. There have already been multiple calls for Brennan to resign since he lied to the public about spying on the Senate. And now the White House seems intent on siding with the CIA director beyond all reason.

    • “Pay Any Price”

      No single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price, the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the “war on terror.” Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity, focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive.

    • The feds’ ‘truthy’ new chill on free speech

      The government is worried about speech. Big deal. Speech is none of the government’s business.

    • The ‘Hacker Wars’ Documentary Does Hacktivism No Favors

      Weisman also errs in giving too much screen time to Weev, who speaks intelligently about hacktivism in some scenes, but his main function—as far as I can tell—is to celebrate the troll’s role in internet culture. That leaves Jeremy Hammond as the one true hacktivist out of the film’s central characters.

    • US focus on naming foreign hackers gets criticized

      Is Washington spending too much of its time trying to call out countries that carry out cyber attacks?

      That’s what one top industry official argued Wednesday at a conference hosted by the Atlantic Council.

      Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO of Crowdstrike, which is accredited by the National Security Agency to respond to cyber attacks, said Congress should put more of its focus on punishing foreign entities that carry out cyber attacks, even if the government can’t pinpoint exactly who ordered the attack.

    • On Malala, mainstream media and missing the point

      Malala Yousafzai is extraordinary. She is the embodiment of the determination, fearlessness and power possessed by thousands of children in Pakistan and across the Indian subcontinent who struggle for a fair education. After being singled out and shot in the head by the Taliban two years ago, the miracle of her full recovery garnered international attention and catapulted her into the spotlight. She has always been a fierce advocate for girls’ education — only now, she has a global platform.


      Yes, the Taliban is seriously hindering opportunities for education and progress in many areas in Pakistan, but not any more than the American drones that are taking the lives of innocent men, women and children in the same areas. The incessant bombing of Pakistan by the U.S., supposedly an intervention that is meant to aid in the counterattack, has produced the same results. Here’s the difference: The Taliban is strongly and rightfully demonized by the entire world, while Obama’s well-funded drone program continues murdering innocent people, supported by our very own tax dollars.

      Yousafzai is a champion of women’s rights and education in Pakistan, but she is also an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy. How often do we hear about that?

    • Gaza and the Bi-Partisan War on Human Rights

      Israel’s seven weeks of attacks this summer on heavily populated civilian neighborhoods in Gaza has led to unprecedented concern among Americans who, while still broadly supportive of Israel, found the attacks to be disproportionate and unnecessary.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Italian Parliament Publishes Draft Internet Bill Of Rights

      There then follow 14 digital rights, including things like basic human rights; right to access the Net; Net neutrality; control of personal data online; protection against surveillance without the approval of a judge; right to online anonymity; and the right to be forgotten.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • International Copyright Policy Laundering and the Ongoing War on Access to Knowledge

        How is it possible that someone could face years in prison for sharing an academic paper online? How did we arrive at such extreme criminal punishments for accessing knowledge and information? Well, this has been long in the making. We got here because Big Content interests have dominated secretive, back-room copyright negotiations over several decades, resulting in laws that are increasingly restricting our speech, and our ability to comment, control, re-use, and access knowledge, culture, and the devices that we own.

      • U.S. Government Shuts Down Music Sharing Sites

        The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appear to be continuing with Operation in Our Sites. In recent days two large music sharing sites, RockDizFile.com and RockDizMusic.com, were taken offline. Their domain names are now pointing to a prominent seizure banner.

      • Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Insist ‘Criminal Elements’ Are A Part Of The Copyright Reform Effort

        George Mason University — which not too long ago put out an entire book about the need for copyright reform — apparently also wants to present “the other side.” It recently held a conference entitled “Common Ground: How Intellectual Property Unites Creators and Innovators.” You might assume that this would be along the lines of the point we’ve been making for years that content creators and entrepreneurs are really on the same side, creating new content and tools that better serve the public. But it was actually a conference that appears to have only invited copyright and patent maximalists, to talk about how oppressed both of them are by efforts to reform those two bodies of law away from the maximalist positions. It was a laugh riot, I’m sure.

      • Copyright Law Stifling Free Speech And Artistic Criticism

        Pacific Standard Magazine has a really great article by Noah Berlatsky, looking at how copyright is stifling artistic criticism. Much of it focuses on a recent paper by John Tehranian, whom we’ve written about before. The paper is called Dangerous Undertakings: Sacred Texts and Copyright’s Myth of Aesthetic Neutrality — and focuses on how aesthetic judgments about the value of works almost always applies in copyright cases, which is a bit dangerous when it comes to art, criticism and free speech. Berlatsky’s piece focuses on the famous case of The Wind Done Gone, the famous “unauthorized retelling” of Gone With The Wind from the perspective of another character. The lower court said it was infringing, and the appeals court overturned it — but both were based, at least in part, on aesthetics, rather than underlying legal issues…


Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Let’s Pay for Open Source with a Closed-Source Software Levy

    This column has often explored ways in which some of the key ideas underlying free software and open source are being applied in other fields. But that equivalence can flow in both directions: developments in fields outside the digital world may well have useful lessons for computing. A case in point is a fascinating post by James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with public health and other important issues.

    It is called “The value of an open source dividend”, and is a discussion of the problems the world of pharma faces because of the distorting effect of patents – problems it shares with the world of computing…

  • Free software hacker on open source telemetry project for OpenStack
  • Google Releases Open-Source Material Design Icon Pack

    Looking for a new set of icons? In an effort to spread the Material Design look, Google on Tuesday released a set of cool new icons that anyone can download for free. Need icons for your app, website, or just curious to see what they look like? You can head on over to Github and download the full package. There are 750 in total, and they’re protected under a CC-BY-SA Creative Commons license, which means you can use them for whatever you want.

  • Head of Open Source at Facebook opens up

    We have 200 active projects at Facebook, with 10 million lines of code. Many hundreds of engineers working on these, with over 100,000 followers and 20,000 forks.

  • Hey Apple, we’re gonna tailor Swift as open source – indie devs throw down gauntlet

    A group of independent developers have launched a project to develop a free, open source implementation of Apple’s Swift programming language.

    Dubbed Phoenix, the project is being developed under the auspices of Ind.ie, a group that claims to want to develop “consumer products that are beautiful, free, social, accessible, secure, and distributed” and that eschew business models based on “corporate surveillance.”

  • Phoenix Is Trying To Be An Open Version Of Apple’s Swift

    Apple unveiled the Swift programming language at this year’s WWDC event but sadly it’s still not clear whether Apple will “open up” the language to let it appear on non-Apple platforms. Swift is built atop LLVM and designed to be Apple’s successor to Objective-C in many regards while suppoorting C/Obj-C/Obj-C++ all within a single program. With non-Apple folks being interested in the language, it didn’t take long before an open-source project started up around it.

  • Four Simple Words to Remember on FOSS Forums

    The problem here is that this lack of civility, this absence of open-mindedness, and this departure from decent behavior scales in an enormous way in FOSS: from the new user warmed in the glow of their new-found FOSS enlightenment thinking their first distro is “the Holy Grail,” to some of those who got the ball rolling back in the day and are responsible for the world-altering digital movement in which we now find ourselves.

  • Events

    • The Share Economy is Dead, Long Live to the Share Economy!

      The so-called “shared economy” is just replacing the existing and often inefficient and/or ineffective intermediaries, with a new set of powerful intermediaries. While the companies backing all the share-central initiatives are somehow failing to see their true social potential, they introduced many people to the collaborative economy.

    • GStreamer 2014 Conference Videos Posted: Wayland, HTML5, 3D

      The GStreamer Conference 2014 took place last week in Düsseldorf alongside other Linux Foundation events. For those that missed out on being there in person, Ubicast has once again provided wonderful video recordings of each of the sessions.

  • Web Browsers

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Configuring FreeBSD as a FreeIPA client

      A recent thread on the freeipa-users mailing list highlighted one user’s experience with setting up FreeBSD as a FreeIPA client, complete with SSSD and Sudo integration. GNU+Linux systems have ipa-client-install, but the lack of an equivalent on FreeBSD means that much of the configuration must be done manually. There is a lot of room for error, and this user encountered several “gotchas” and caveats.


    • Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer Merged Into GCC

      AutoFDO is the Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer. AutoFDO relies on the Linux kernel’s perf framework for profiling with performance counters. AutoFDO interprets the perf output and attempts to use the FDO infrastructure to produce better optimized code generation. AutoFDO according to its Google engineers is said to be noticeably faster than traditional FDO for GCC.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Norway closes its open source resource centre

      Amundsen says the centre and its board were not notified in advance of the funding cut. The plan had not been mentioned in meetings with the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, he explains. “We’ve always told them to warn us in advance. So, their announcement came as a shock.”

      In its 2015 budget, the Norwegian government writes that its funding for Friprog had always been a start-up grant, and that the centre has had since 2007 to find alternative sources of income.

    • U.S. government releases open source gamification software

      The United States’ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made some of its internally-developed gamification software available for free on GitHub under the MIT free software license.

      Developers may find it useful as a tool for configuring a server to track “gamification” systems like points or badges against user accounts on apps or websites; at the very least, it offers interesting insight into how the NGA is using game design tenets in its training programs.

    • Munich’s return to proprietary desktop would cost millions

      The move to Linux and other open source solutions has helped the city save some 11 million euro over the past years, Reiter writes. He points to a 2012 report by the city’s IT department. Their cost comparison includes savings on proprietary licences for operating system and office productivity tools and on PC hardware.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Digital government, openness and open cloud — new cornerstones of democracy

      For us, an open cloud embraces a wide range of open source languages, databases and services. This is why we support thousands of open source technologies and open standards. Industry, open communities and government need to work together to develop the open source code and open standards needed to reach the goal of fluid interoperability.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open access platform to save the Odia Indian language

        In February 2014, the Government of India declared the South Asian language Odia as the 6th classical language of India which is one among 22 scheduled languages of India and has a literary heritage of more than 5,000 years. There are documents for more than 3,500 years, and the rest are undocumented oral histories. The native Odia speakers became hopeful of getting a lot of language related projects implemented to grow the lineage of this long literary heritage and see the language used and spoken globally, not just in literature but in computer and mobile games, interactive computer applications and in other digital media—and to reach the masses as a communicative language.

    • Open Hardware

      • Take Control With Open Source Hardware

        “Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.”


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US-Backed Ukraine Army Used Cluster Bombs Against Its Own People: Reports

      The Ukraine Army, backed by both the U.S. and NATO throughout its military campaign against rebel factions in eastern regions of the country over recent months, appears to have fired cluster munitions on the city of Donetsk earlier this month, according to a Human Rights Watch investigation and independent reporting by the New York Times.

    • Bowen’s friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq

      Bowen’s friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq, where his buddy George had launched a misguided and very costly war, as well as an effort to reconstruct that country’s fractured economy. The watchdog soon learned that Air Force transport planes had been airlifting whole pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills from the U.S. to Baghdad – totaling some $14 billion!

    • Send Books Not Drones: Malala Yousafzai On Nobel Win, Continuing Fight For Girls’ Education

      While confident beyond her years in front of a crowd Yousafzai’s journey began a long way from the city of brotherly (and sisterly) love’s massive convention center. She was born in 1997 in Mingora, a district in northwest Pakistan. Her father ran a local school and held the locally radical belief that girls should be educated too. Even though Malala’s mother is illiterate her father consults her before making any decisions. This has helped the eldest of their three children and only daughter feel emboldened. Of course, it helps that Malala is smart. She thrives in school and has always been motivated by competition with her classmates.


      A drone attack may kill two or three terrorists but it will not kill terrorism. If the drones continue terrorism will spread.

    • Drones and domination

      Words like ‘precision’, ‘necessity’, ‘cure’ and ‘excision’ dominated the semantics of the drone project. The drones were operated from several oceans away, everyone knew, but some trust could be put in the American superpower’s ability to know of threats and to eliminate them from the hapless and diseased soil of its ally.


      The bureau’s project, Naming the Dead, collects available data on the people killed by drone attacks (to the extent it is made available). As per these statistics, they say that of 2,379 people killed, only 704 have been named, and only 295 of the total named have been reported to be members of some armed group. Only 84 (4pc) have actually been identified as members of Al Qaeda. Furthermore, nearly 30pc of those killed by drone attacks were not linked to any militant group at all.

    • On Killing Trayvons

      A movement is coalescing around reforming police procedures and taking away their military weapons.

    • My Father Was Killed By A Computer, Says 7 Year Old Afghan Child

      As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby.

    • ‘Cleansing the stock’ and other ways governments talk about human beings

      Those who kill for a living employ similar terms. Israeli military commanders described the massacre of 2,100 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians (including 500 children), in Gaza this summer as “mowing the lawn”. It’s not original. Seeking to justify Barack Obama’s drone war in Pakistan (which has so far killed 2,300 people, only 4% of whom have since been named as members of al-Qaida), Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that “you’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.” The director of the CIA, John Brennan, claimed that with “surgical precision” his drones “eliminate the cancerous tumour called an al-Qaida terrorist while limiting damage to the tissue around it”. Those who operate the drones describe their victims as bug splats.

    • U.S. Jewish lawyer to Hamas goes on anti-Israel Twitter tirade
    • Terror Suspects’ Lawyer Stanley Cohen Rants Before Prison Sentence
    • Better A Hundred Palestinians Killed Than One Israeli Soldier

      For years now, Israel has been appearing in world media mainly as a country that occupies the Palestinian lands. Press photos of Israelis almost always show heavily armed and armored soldiers confronting protesting Palestinians, often children. Few of these pictures have had an immediate dramatic impact, but the cumulative, incremental effect should not have been underestimated.

    • Women Against War quilts target US drones

      Four six-by-six quilts are on display for the next month throughout the Capital District as part of an exhibit to make the general public aware of military drones and their civilian casualties.

      The quilt squares represent dozens of drone casualties, said Maureen Aumand with Women Against War, which is sponsoring the local exhibition currently in the concourse of Empire State Plaza. There are 144 squares in the quilts.

    • Violence kills a child every five minutes, says UN

      One child dies every five minutes as a result of violence, but only a minority die in war zones, according to a report by the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF.

    • Being the ‘indispensable nation’ is killing American democracy

      President Barack Obama, scorned by his Republican critics as an “isolationist” who wants to “withdraw from the world,” is waging the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan, boasts of toppling the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya, launches airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State and picks targets for drones to attack in as many as eight countries, while dispatching planes to the Russian border in reaction to its machinations in Ukraine, and a fleet to the South China Sea as the conflict over control of islands and waters escalates between China and its neighbors.


      But endless war undermines the Constitution.

    • British drone operators could be breaking international law, says former GCHQ chief

      British military and intelligence personnel working at US Air Force bases on the controversial drones programme could be at risk of breaking international law, according to a new report from the former director of GCHQ.

      Washington’s “remotely piloted aircraft” (RPA) programme has killed terrorists and civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, drawing the condemnation of human rights organisations.

    • We Can’t Properly Debate Drone Casualties Without Knowing The Names of Those Killed

      The most important question to ask of the Global War on Terror should be the most simple to answer. Instead, it is a perennial shadow cast over US counter-terror operations since 9/11.

      We still don’t know, and still must ask: Who exactly is the enemy?


      The Bureau found that fewer than 4 percent of the people killed by drone fire in Pakistan have been identified by available records as named members of al Qaeda. This doesn’t mean, to be sure, that only 4 percent of drone deaths were named members of al Qaeda. Rather, of the killed individuals identified using a variety of sources, only 4 percent matched with already named al Qaeda members. The Bureau spent more than a year looking into 2,379 deaths, using multiple sources including “both Pakistani government records leaked to the Bureau, and hundreds of open source reports in English, Pashtun, and Urdu.”

    • Afghanistan Déjà Vu?

      If we are to learn anything from the attempt to remake Iraq and promote democracy through methods that emphasize brute force, more war is not the answer for Afghanistan. It is time to put US intellectual and material resources into developing another way.

    • America’s Policy: War Now, Justifications Later

      In the counterterrorism realm, “imminence” is the magic word these days. The government need only utter it to hand itself a virtual license to kill.

      Understanding how language can be marshaled for controversial and even bloody purposes requires the ear of a linguist and the mind of a contracts lawyer.

      But the time to go back to school is now—with “imminence” seemingly exploding everywhere.

      In the past few years, the term has been invoked again and again in reference to the thousands targeted by the United States drone program. And it pops up just about every time the U.S. plans another drone attack or military commitment.

    • Analysts criticize US-led airstrikes against Iraqi troops

      According to a security source in Baghdad, an Iraqi General among with eight soldiers were killed on Sunday after an army patrol from the Baghdad Operations Command was targeted in a US bombing in Duwayliba, west of the capital.

    • US Seeks to Avoid Civilian Casualties During Drone Strikes: White House

      New statistics were released on October 16 by the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism, claiming that fewer than 4 percent of the victims of US drone strikes in Pakistan had been identified as members of Al Qaeda. A greater number of casualties were described as militants, but with little corroborating evidence.

    • Only 4% Of Drone Victims In Pakistan Named As al-Qaeda Members
    • Pakistan-US: Death From The Skies – Analysis

      The present series of drone attacks, which raised the death toll to 35 within a week, concentrated around areas where Pakistan is presently conducting the military Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched on June 15, 2014, in the aftermath of the attack on Karachi Airport on June 8-9, 2014. At least 33 persons, including all ten attackers, were killed in the Karachi attack. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has, according to Pakistan Army sources, thus far killed more than 1,200 terrorists and 86 soldiers (no independent verification of fatalities of identities of those killed is available, as media access to the areas of conflict if severely limited).

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Panetta clashed with CIA over memoir

      Former CIA director Leon Panetta clashed with the agency over the contents of his recently published memoir and allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA, according to former U.S. officials and others familiar with the project.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • A New Way to Silence Mumia Abu-Jamal

      This is not the first time there has been an attempt to silence Abu-Jamal. In 1994, NPR abruptly cancelled plans to air commentaries by him it had commissioned to air on All Things Considered.

      And the fact that Democracy Now! is covering this story now brings to mind what happened in 1997, when the show was set to begin airing a series of Abu-Jamal commentaries. The radio station at Philadelphia’s Temple University, KRTI, abruptly canceled its contract with Pacifica and Democracy Now! (Extra!Update, 4/97) right before the pieces were to air.

      In both cases, there were questions raised about what kinds of pressure were brought to bear on the media outlets. The controversy over NPR led lawmakers like Sen. Bob Dole to muse about the need for “closer oversight.” In the case of KRTI, there were suggestions that state funding could be at risk.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • A ‘Worthless and Whiny’ Attack on a Genuine Journalistic Hero

      Since the release of the film Kill the Messenger, there has been renewed focus on Webb’s story, which documented how CIA-linked drug traffickers were supplying US drug dealers with cheap cocaine that helped fuel the crack epidemic in the 1980s. For the Post, this means it’s time to argue once again that Webb got the story wrong.

    • Hardly an ennobling choice

      There are many like Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan whom the West chose to ignore

    • Understanding And Defeating Resurgent Fascism

      Usually, fascism is described as a form of authoritarian nationalism in which a dictator has complete power and violently suppresses opposition and criticism while emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and racism. (If you want to read a 14 point characterization of fascism, see Professor Lawrence Britt’s ‘Fascism Anyone?‘

    • Movie ‘The Hacker Wars’ proves we are under U.S. government surveillance

      Weisman’s new documentary, “The Hacker Wars,” is frightening and a must-see. Why? Because the movie makes clear that we Americans should be screaming at our government for trampling our rights. Aside from spying on us, they are punishing those who exercise their right to free speech. The U.S. Constitution is becoming a bad joke. The U.S. government is arresting people left and right for telling the truth.

      NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake makes a powerful statement in the film, “The United States has unchained from the constitution, this is an alien form of government.”

    • The CIA’s Role In Australia’s Coup: RIP Gough Whitlam

      Though you would never know it from reading The New York Times obit of former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who passed away yesterday at the age of 98, the CIA likely played a central role in the effective coup that removed Whitlam from office in 1975. In today’s post Snowden world, it wouldn’t shock anyone perhaps–but it’s important to remember that the spying, dishonesty, illegality and crimes perpetuated by the government’s intelligence agencies, usually at the behest of the White House, stretch back decades. Two key words are missing from the obit: Pine Gap.

    • Charging Snowden With…Murder? Really?

      So far the Justice Department has not charged Snowden with murder, or even hinted in that direction. Pursuing a murder count would raise the stakes significantly, both for the United States and, naturally, Snowden himself. It’s also totally unclear what basis, if any, Rogers may have for suggesting this. Who exactly is Snowden supposed to have killed, when, and where? If Rogers has any grounds—factual or legal—for this rather dramatic statement, he should make them clear.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • U.S. Control of ICANN Likely Ending

      Now, significant change is in the air. That contract expires in September, 2015. NTIA said in March that it may move ICANN to multinational stewardship. The details aren’t set yet, but needless to say, the matter is steeped in controversy. The group held a meeting, ICANN 51, last week in Los Angeles.

    • Bloomberg Host Calls Out Telecom CEO On Net Neutrality Stance

      Bloomberg TV co-host Cory Johnson called out the hypocrisy of activist telecommunications investor Jeff Pulver who misleadingly stoked fears that proponents of net neutrality advocate for regulations that would hamper telecommunications innovations in. Johnson pointed out that without an open internet, the CEO might have been unable to create his own business.

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