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05.26.14

Links 26/5/2014: Chromebook Prospects, China and GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 60 Open Source Apps You Can Use in the Cloud

    The open source community is participating in this race to the cloud in two key ways. First, much open source software, particularly software for enterprises and small businesses, is now available on a SaaS basis. This provides customers with quality, low-cost applications and eliminates the hassles of deploying software on their own servers. At the same time, it gives open source companies a viable business model that allows them to make money from their technology.

  • Open source cloud hosting environment built in Swiss data centre

    A research lab at Zurich’s University of Applied Science has helped a data centre provider to create a new open source cloud hosting environment for its European research and development program.

  • Source Serif: Adobe’s New Open Source Typeface

    Adobe has released its 100th Typeface family, Source Serif, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Adobe Originals font library. Source Serif is an open-source font available via Adobe Typekit or via SourceForge.

  • GroundWork Unveils OpenStack Open Source Cloud Monitoring Tool

    OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system, offers some metering tools as parts of the core OpenStack code. But it lacks a robust performance monitoring framework, which is why GroundWork has rolled out a new solution for tracking the performance of various parts of the OpenStack public and private cloud infrastructure.

  • Hadoop security: Hortonworks buys XA Secure – and plans to turn it open source

    Hortonworks says the deal struck this week to acquire XA Secure will help provide a comprehensive approach to Hadoop security for the first time.

  • Trendnet Embraces Open Source DD-WRT Firmware for Select Wireless AC Routers
  • TRENDnet(R) Announces Open Source DD-WRT Compatibility for Wireless AC Routers
  • Out in the Open: Take Back Your Privacy With This Open Source WhatsApp

    SnapChat settled with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month over a complaint that its privacy claims were misleading, as reported by USA Today, and last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a report listing the company as the least privacy-friendly tech outfit it reviewed, including Comcast, Facebook, and Google. Last year, WhatsApp faced privacy complaints from the Canadian and Dutch governments, and like Snapchat, its security has been an issue as well.

  • Open source light sabre with Virtual Reality IMAX headset
  • Salesagility release 3 new open source versions of SuiteCRM to target Salesforce
  • To help Hadoop adoption, Hortonworks to make security tools open-source
  • Clinovo to launch new Clincapture open source EDC system on May 23, 2014
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Text missing in chrome on Linux

        I’m in the process of trying Fedora 20 on my retina MacBook and I ran into a peculiar issue with Chrome. Some sites would load up normally and I could read everything on the page. Other sites would load up and only some of the text would be displayed. Images were totally unaffected.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla, a tale of gentrification

        The problem I see, however, is something I’ve witnessed for some time now, and while I’m aware that I will probably look like I’m howling with the pack (something I do not like at all) I believe I should come clean about it. This problem is about Mozilla itself, what it does, how it operates, its own standing within the Free and Open Source Software community and its revenue model. In fact, I believe all these points are tightly connected and discretely conspired to bring Mozilla where it is today. This is not to say that I don’t like what Mozilla does and has done. This is not to say that there isn’t a whole bunch of great people inside Mozilla: there are, I know several of them. This is not to say that Mozilla is not an exciting set of projects and ventures: I think it will continue to be exciting in the years to come. And many of us know what technology does to any project or company in just a few years: kill it or make it blossom.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 In Beta, Bringing Good Improvements

      The beta release of LibreOffice 4.3 is available this week with many new features being under development for this popular open-source office suite.

      Among the features being worked on for LibreOffice 4.3 is going from a 16-bit character limitation of Writer paragraphs to now 32-bit, changes to navigation buttons and other UI elements, DrawingML import/export support, proportional image scaling support, support for printing comments in margins, improved formula engine support within the Calc spreadsheet, auto detection of fax4CUPS printers, improved PDF importing, improved OOXML support, and many other changes.

  • CMS

    • White House contributes APIs, stages hackathons & runs on Drupal

      Director of new media technologies at the Executive Office of the President of the United State of America Leigh Heyman was recently reported to be the man behind all the modern interactive media delivered during Barack Obama’s last ‘state of the union’ address.

    • Orion Launches Open-Source Client Portal

      Orion announced in early May that it has launched a redesigned client portal that uses open-source code so other providers can build their own pages to integrate into the site.

  • Education

    • Damian Conway on Teaching, Programming Languages, Open Source and Our Future

      Damian Conway is well known in the Perl community and has worked on Perl 6 for many years; he’s a speaker and teacher, author of several technical books and Perl software modules, and runs an international IT training company, Thoughtstream, which provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level in Europe, North America, and Australasia. His website is: http://damian.conway.org

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.8.3 Compiler Released

      For those that haven’t already moved over to the recently released GCC 4.9, the third point release to the GNU Compiler Collection 4.8 series has finally surfaced.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Vienna increasingly turns to open source

      The administration in the Austrian capital, Vienna, is expanding its use of open source solutions, including on its workstations, because of new requirements, open data, budget constraints and the major shift towards smartphones and tablets.

      “Open source helps to solve IT vendor lock-in situations”, Norbert Weidinger, ICT-Strategist for the city, said in a presentation on the city’s use of free and open source solutions.

      Open source is now well-established in the city’s main IT operations, according to the presentation which Weidinger delivered at a Major Cities of Europe conference in Dublin on 17 January. The city has 454 Linux servers (from a total of 2,000 servers), 270 Apache instances, uses Postgres to manage 380 databases and MySQL to manage another 90. Open source is used for file and printing services, for e-government services and for external and internal websites.

      “We’re promoting the use of open source products where possible”, Weidinger said.

      The IT department’s responsibilities include the IT in the city’s public healthcare, public schools and the administration of city-owned housing.

    • Opportunity

      In the UK, The National ICT Category Management Programme (NICTMP) is intended to guide local governments towards better IT, including using FLOSS. It’s about time. Many small businesses and governments are scarcely more skilled at IT than consumers and a little help can go a long way towards huge savings greater diversity and better IT. With FLOSS it’s easy to put up a web-server sharing information with the public and using open standards to ensure interoperability with minimal cost. I think savings of 20% are at the lower end of estimates. In my experience, software licences can save 20% of IT costs but ease of maintenance could do that again and getting full performance out of hardware purchases that much again. Local governments in UK spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hardware and software for IT each year. Break-even can be immediate if hardware is re-used by using FLOSS. Governments should be looking at savings of ~50% by using FLOSS. There’s a reason M$ and “partners” do what they do. It doubles the cost of IT making slaves of us all providing free labour. FLOSS works for us the users and not some monopolists.

    • New UK IT procurement model urges open standards

      A new model for IT procurement for local governments in the United Kingdom is urging public administrations to use open standards, to create room for agile and innovative software solutions including open source. One of the aims of the National ICT Commercial Category Strategy for Local Government is to reduce IT expenses by 10 to 20 percent over the next five years.

    • How governments are more collaborative with open source

      Technology is the easy part in government. The biggest challenges are cultural barriers – it’s a question of thinking in a more collaborative and open way, believes Ben Balter, Government Evangelist for GitHub, a social network for open source communities.

    • American elections are stuck in the 20th century. Here’s how to change that.

      Aneesh Chopra, President Obama’s choice to be the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer from 2009 to 2012, wants to do something about the problem. He is teaming up with a group called the Open Source Elections Technology Foundation to address the problem. Their plan: develop the software necessary to run an election and release it as an open-source project. Chopra and his colleagues believe that could lead to better election systems while simultaneously saving cash-strapped states money.

    • Open Source Lessons For Feds

      White House and agency IT leaders discuss how open source can empower government IT project teams, at FOSE conference in Washington, D.C.

  • Licensing

    • Scratch 2.0 editor and player now open source

      The latest version of a tool used to teach kids how to program video games, animations and interactive art is now open source. The Scratch 2.0 editor and player can now be found in GitHub under the GPL version 2 license.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • The LLVM 64-bit ARM64/AArch64 Back-Ends Have Merged

      Back in March Apple open-sourced their ARM 64-bit LLVM back-end (dubbed ARM64) many months after other ARM vendors had already developed a competing 64-bit ARM back-end (dubbed “AArch64″ as ARM’s official name for architecture). Since Apple opened up their back-end, Apple and outside LLVM developers have been working to converge the competing 64-bit ARM back-ends into a single 64-bit ARM target. That work is now complete.

    • Create a game with Scratch on Raspberry Pi

      While Scratch may seem like a very simplistic programming language that’s just for kids, you’d be wrong to overlook it as an excellent first step into coding for all age levels. One aspect of learning to code is understanding the underlying logic that makes up all programs; comparing two systems, learning to work with loops and general decision-making within the code.

    • Raspberry Pi Motion Camera: Part 2, using gphoto2
    • A Raspberry Pi motion-detecting wildlife camera

      I’ve been working on an automated wildlife camera, to catch birds at the feeder, and the coyotes, deer, rabbits and perhaps roadrunners (we haven’t seen one yet, but they ought to be out there) that roam the juniper woodland.

    • Clive: A New Operating System Written In The Go Language

      Clive is the new operating system announced on Friday and is written in Google’s Go programming language, features a “new weird file protocol” called ZX, and uses parts of the Plan 9 operating system. Clive is also going to run on a modified Nix kernel.

    • Open source Hoodie is tailored for quick app dev

      A quick option for building Web and iOS apps is on the horizon from a group of developers in Europe. Hoodie is an open source tool for building Web applications in days via an open source library described as being easier to use than JQuery.

Leftovers

  • Pope Francis to Call for Sovereign, Independent Palestinian State

    Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is signaling that Pope Francis in his visit to Bethlehem on Sunday will strongly support the right of Palestinians to a sovereign state.

    Implicitly, Pope Francis will condemn the Apartheid system of military rule used by Israel in the West Bank, though he likely won’t use the word.

  • Haiku OS Adds Support For Latest Radeon HD Graphics Cards
  • Afghanistan strongly condemns recording of phone calls by U.S. NSA

    Amirzai Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Afghanistan said Sunday that the phone calls are recorded by devices which have been set up in the country to fight drugs smuggling.

    [...]

    Assange said that Afghanistan was the second country where NSA “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls.”

    Bahamas was revealed as one of the country where the phone calls were being recorded by National Security Agency in earlier reports; however the second country was called “country x.”

  • US Collecting All Cell Phone Calls in Afghanistan
  • White House mistakenly reveals name of top CIA officer in Afghanistan

    The White House inadvertently included the name of the top CIA official in Afghanistan on a list of participants in a military briefing with President Barack Obama that was distributed to reporters on Sunday, the Washington Post reported.

  • Oops! White House said to have blown cover of CIA chief in Afghanistan
  • CSG implements first napping station in UGLi
  • Science

    • Nobody Cares How Awesome You Are at Your Job

      In an article published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, University of California at San Diego behavioral scientist Ayelet Gneezy and University of Chicago business professor Nicholas Epley tracked people’s responses to three types of promises: broken ones, kept ones, and then ones that were fulfilled beyond expectations. And while it’s true that everyone gets upset when a promise is broken (I’m looking at you, housing-contractors-who-claim-bathroom-renovations-will-be-done-in-a-week), it turns out that overdelivering on something won’t make anyone significantly more impressed by your awesomeness.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Hacker Turned FBI Informant Sabu Will Be Sentenced Next Week

      Wired reports that Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu”, the LulzSec hacker who became an FBI informant and helped take down numerous other hackers, will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 27. The government will seek a sentence of just seven months, citing time served and his immense cooperation with the government.

    • Feds Seek 7-Month Sentence for LulzSec Hacker and Lower East Sider ‘Sabu’

      Anarchism and the Lower East Side go hand in hand, so should we be super surprised that one of the most notorious hackers of our day operated from within the Jacob Riis Houses on Avenue D?

      You’ll recall that in June 2011, hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed father of two, was caught by the FBI and quickly turned snitch. The high-ranking capture immediately paid dividends, as “Sabu” was the man who once led the outlaw LulzSec, an offshoot of the notorious Anonymous organization. With the new traitor status, he helped deliver a number of top hackers on a platter and still helps the bureau with his connections.

    • US seeks leniency for ‘Sabu,’ Lulzsec leader-turned-snitch

      U.S. prosecutors say a hacking group’s mastermind should be spared a long prison sentence due to his quick and fruitful cooperation with law enforcement.

      The man, Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York, is accused of leading a gang of international miscreants calling themselves “Lulzsec,” short for Lulz Security, on a noisy hacking spree in 2011, striking companies such as HBGary, Fox Entertainment and Sony Pictures.

      Lulzsec, an offshoot of Anonymous, led a high-profile campaign that taunted law enforcement, released stolen data publicly and bragged of their exploits on Twitter. Their campaign touched off a worldwide law enforcement action that resulted in more than a dozen arrests.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Private Group Sought to Arm Syrian Rebels

      For one group of Americans, that wasn’t enough. On their own, the Americans offered to provide 70,000 Russian-made assault rifles and 21 million rounds of ammunition to the Free Syrian Army, a major infusion they said could be a game changer. With a tentative nod from the rebels, the group set about arranging a weapons shipment from Eastern Europe, to be paid for by a Saudi prince.

    • Canada Is Selling Arms to Everyone It Can

      While Canada exports oil, maple syrup, and hockey players, it also deals a lot of arms. And Canadian military exports are growing: the latest available figures say sales jumped more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2011, with later years reportedly expected to spike.

    • Were These 3 Guantanamo Deaths Really Suicides?

      On June 9th, 2006, it is said that three prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp committed suicide in a coordinated effort. They all died using the exact same methods, in their cells, on that evening.

      However, when NCOs (non-commissioned officers) contradicted this account, cracks began to show in the official NCIS investigation. The NCOs revealed that these three prisoners were actually not in their cellblocks the night they died. Rather, they were taken to a secret CIA black spot nearby, dubbed ‘Penny Lane’ or ‘Camp No’. While they were returned to their cell at the time of death, more than 12 papers that contradicted the official report of that night were suppressed during an internal investigation.

    • Police Investigating Use of Scottish Airports by CIA “Rendition” Torture Flights

      Legal charity Reprieve has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that police investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA ‘torture flights’ have access to a major US Senate report on the spy agency’s secret ‘rendition’ programme.

    • Onerous, irrational and unconstitutional

      Political. America is freeloading. Events belie the local panel’s assertion that the Philippines invited the United States as our guest, to use our former bases and facilities—rent-free—as counterweight to China. The Chinese became aggressive in the West Philippine Sea in 2012; the United States decreed its “pivot” to Asia much earlier. Clearly, America decided, unilaterally, to make the Philippines home to thousands of its soldiers, aircraft carriers, battleships and warplanes. And the Philippines followed America in a zombie-like stupor.

    • Once a U.S. asset, Gen. Hafter recruited Libya’s entire military command with Egypt’s backing

      Egypt has been deemed a leading supporter of this week’s mutiny within the Libyan military.

      Diplomatic sources said renegade Gen. Khalifa Hafter was receiving guidance and military support from Egypt.

    • WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

      Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • The Real Financiers of Boko Haram–Exposed

      In other words, the incitement of North against South, Christians against Muslims, was recognised as the most potent strategy that could push Nigeria into sectarianism. In fact, that Boko Haram has extremist religious connotation is believed to be enough to keep Nigeria busy to think beyond its survival.

      So carefully managed, it is impossible to trace Boko Haram’s funding and arms supply sources; unless one has a privileged access to the CIA-led trillion dollar terror economy, which Loretta Napoleoni, in her book, ‘’Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Network,’’ argued is impossible for CIA’s unofficial funding sources include money laundering, terrorism, extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping, human trafficking, gambling and illegal arms and oil sales.

      Known not to leave anything to chance, the CIA ensured that it was in full control of both the mainstream and grassroots media in Nigeria. This was a smart move since it is a given that the one who controls what the people read, hear and watch invariably controls what the people think about and how they think.

      Thus, fully aware that press freedom actually belongs only to those who own the press, the CIA is secret marriage with some media owners and as a result has been successful at controlling and manipulating what gets to most Nigerians.

      Little wonder no one seems to wonder how the US Embassy (and by that the CIA) gets its intelligence, including the recent announcement it made that “As of late April, groups associated with terrorism allegedly planned to mount an unspecified attack against the Sheraton Hotel, in Nigeria.”

      The problem is that our government is not bold enough to demand their source of intelligence, and why rather than sharing such important intelligence with Nigeria, the US chose to make them public in the form of announcements.

    • ‘Over 60% drone targets homes in Pakistan’
    • The Drone Promise
    • PM unimpressed by protest outside his house

      Prime Minister John Key thought the candlelight vigil outside his house last night was “not really cricket”.

      About 30 protesters gathered outside his Auckland home last night in a candlelight vigil commemorating “the numerous deaths of civilians and the illegal killing of ‘supposed’ terrorists, including New Zealander Daryl Jones — killed by the US drone strike programme”.

    • PM: Don’t protest outside my home

      Prime Minister John Key has hit out at protesters who gathered at his home last night, to protest his position on deadly drone strikes.

      Last week Key said drone strikes were justified, but acknowledged innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire.

    • Australian drone deaths expose government indifference

      While the last couple of weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget and its disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked.

    • Most US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Attack Houses

      Domestic buildings have been hit by drone strikes more than any other type of target in the CIA’s 10-year campaign in the tribal regions of northern Pakistan, new research reveals.

      By way of contrast, since 2008, in neighbouring Afghanistan drone strikes on buildings have been banned in all but the most urgent situations, as part of measures to protect civilian lives. But a new investigative project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research unit based at London’s Goldsmiths University, and New York-based Situ Research, reveals that in Pakistan, domestic buildings continue to be the most frequent target of drone attacks.

    • Secret Cable Reveals Russia Warned US in 2008 Meddling in Ukraine Could Split Country

      A secret cable released by Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Washington as far back as 2008 that US-EU-NATO meddling in Ukraine could split the country in two.

      “Following a muted first reaction to Ukraine’s intent to seek a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Bucharest summit (ref A), Foreign Minister Lavrov and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat,” said the 2008 cable classified by William Burns, than US Ambassador to Moscow and currently the US Deputy Secretary of State.

    • This Leaked Diplomatic Cable From 2008 Foreshadowed Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

      A secret U.S. diplomatic cable written six years ago (and tweeted by Wikileaks on Tuesday) foreshadowed much of the tension between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine.

    • Donetsk crowds protest Ukrainian elections, besiege richest oligarch’s mansion
    • Wikileaks Released Cable Reveals Russia Warned US of Potential Split in Ukraine

      A secret cable released by Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed that Washington had been warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as early as 2008 that US-EU-NATO interfering in Ukraine would result in the country splitting in two.

    • China fumes over cyber theft charges, accuses US of hypocrisy

      Miffed with the US over indictment of five People’s Liberation Army officers over commercial cyber espionage charges, China accused the US of hypocrisy and double standards.

      Chinese Defence Ministry posted a statement on its website, saying, “From ‘WikiLeaks’ to the ‘Snowden’ case, US hypocrisy and double standards regarding the issue of cyber-security have long been abundantly clear”.

      “The so-called ‘commercial espionage network’ is a pure fabrication by the US, a move to mislead the public based on ulterior motives,” the AFP quoted the statement.

    • Which 39 Democrats Want a War That Never Ends–and Voted Against Sunsetting the AUMF?

      During the defense appropriations amendment process, Adam Schiff (CA-28) proposed an amendment that would sunset the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) with the end of our combat role in Afghanistan, i.e. December 31, 2014.

    • Vladimir Putin hits back at Prince Charles

      The Russian president accuses the Prince of Wales of ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unroyal behaviour’

    • Drone Killing Memo Author Confirmed as Federal Judge

      Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. Paul said, “I rise today in opposition to killing American citizens without trials. I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the President has the power to kill American citizens not involved in combat.”

      “I rise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a President is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court,” the Kentucky senator said.

      On Wednesday, the Obama administration agreed to release to senators a redacted version of the document co-authored by Barron that provided the legal justification for the targeted drone killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

    • AP’s Fram Neglects to Mention ‘Filibuster’ or ‘Waterboarding’ in Covering Judicial Confirmation of Obama’s ‘Drone Memo’ Author

      Given that he was confirmed on a 53-45 vote, it is highly unlikely that Barron’s nomination would have survived had Senate majority leader Harry Reid not imposed the “nuclear option” last year to prevent senators from stopping a contentious nomination by requiring 60 senators to approve the idea of even having a confirmation vote. As for waterboarding, Barron’s nomination became controversial because he is, as Fram noted, the “architect of the Obama administration’s legal foundation for killing American terror suspects overseas with drones.” 53 Democratic senators are apparently okay with that, even though many if not most of them have gone apoplectic over the idea of waterboarding known terrorists of any nationality who may have knowledge of their fellow travelers’ plans.

    • The Three Laws of Pentagon Robotics

      1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    • A Yemeni Man Is Suing British Telecom over America’s Deadly Drone Strikes

      A deep boom rocked through Sanaa, Yemen, the sound coming from outside of the city, perhaps from near the village of al-Masna’a.

    • Despite Obama’s new rules, no end in sight for drone war
    • Drone strike protest outside PM’s home
    • Candlelight Vigil to Be Held Outside John Keys House
    • Vigil planned outside Key’s home

      There will be a candlelight vigil outside Prime Minister John Key’s home in Auckland to highlight the issue of US drone strikes.

    • “Masters of Manipulation”: Psychopaths Rule The World

      Psychopaths are in love with power and risk taking, masters of manipulation, self-serving opportunism and self-aggrandizement, and hold doctorates in deceit and deception. Psychopaths are super intelligent charmers who are highly skilled at playing others in order to get what they want. They are keenly perceptive at reading people, understanding their motives and values, brilliant at learning their weaknesses and blind spots, and highly effective at inducing both sympathy and guilt in others.

    • The War on America’s Military Veterans, Waged with SWAT Teams, Surveillance and Neglect

      Just in time for Memorial Day, we’re once again being treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians and corporations eager to go on record as being supportive of our veterans.

      Patriotic platitudes aside, however, America has done a deplorable job of caring for her veterans. We erect monuments for those who die while serving in the military, yet for those who return home, there’s little honor to be found.

      The plight of veterans today is deplorable, with large numbers of them impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, and marital stress, homeless (a third of all homeless Americans are veterans), subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration (VA) offices.

    • CIA ‘gave Beirut bomber refuge in return for secrets’

      AN IRANIAN terrorist responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans in the 1983 Beirut bombings was resettled in the United States by the CIA in return for divulging secrets about Tehran’s nuclear programme, a new book claims.

      Ali Reza Asgari is believed to have masterminded the attacks in April 1983 on the US embassy in the Lebanese capital, which killed 63 people, and another attack six months later on the marine barracks and the French barracks, in which 241 US servicemen and 58 French citizens died.

    • Ex-CIA analyst: U.S. regularly use death as criminal punishment

      An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar, consortiumnews.com reported.

    • America’s Death-Penalty Fellow Travelers

      An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Former Texas A&M President, CIA Director, Takes Over Boy Scouts of America

      Robert Gates, the new president of the Boy Scouts of America, says he has no problems with allowing openly gay adults in the organization, but won’t address changing their policy right now.

    • US report on Scots role in terror suspect transfer

      SCOTLAND’s role in the interrogation and alleged torture of terror suspects by the CIA could be laid bare by a recently declassified US intelligence report, it has been revealed.

      Police are currently investigating claims Scottish airports were used as a stop-off for “rendition” flights, which transferred prisoners to secret jails overseas.

    • Qatar Sentences Alleged Filipino Spy to Death

      The unknowing also includes Qatar that has sentenced a Filipino national to death for allegedly selling top secret Qatari military information to “Filipino state security forces” that the Qataris left unnamed.

    • The information wars

      The US government continues its efforts to clamp down on leaks of classified information.

    • Disability Pay of Ex-Cop, Now FBI Agent Probed

      A former police officer in Northern California is being investigated for collecting a disability pension while he is currently working for the FBI.

      Oakland city officials are looking into how former police officer Aaron McFarlane receives more than $52,000 in disability benefits from the city while he has been working as an FBI special agent in Boston.

    • Tsarnaev pal’s lawyer seeks to grill FBI agents

      Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that the two FBI agents and a Homeland Security Investigations agent questioning the youth at the state police barracks in North Darmouth knew a lawyer had called, but neither they nor the trooper who spoke with Griffin passed that information along to the students.

    • To Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley: We Need Accountability and Transparency for Local Law Enforcement!
    • The FBI Prospers by Feeding Fears

      James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.

    • The FBI prospers by feeding public safety fears

      James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.

      Referring to al Qaeda groups in Africa and the Middle East, he recently told the New York Times, “I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

    • The FBI hypes terrorism

      Terrorism has fed the FBI’s growth. Between 2001 and 2013, its budget nearly doubled after adjusting for inflation. But Comey was not pleased on arriving to learn that he would be inconvenienced by last year’s federal budget sequester.

    • God won’t save us: Memorial Day, honest history and our new military-industrial complex

      You had to take Johnson’s point. The question was, Why did Obama choose this man? As defense secretary, Gates oversaw an increase in troop strength in Afghanistan from 32,000 (when Obama took office and named him) to roughly 100,000 (before withdrawals began). Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting does the counting here. Why did Obama do that?

  • Transparency Reporting

    • ‘They think of WikiLeaks like Al-Qaeda’

      “They think of WikiLeaks like Al-Qaeda,” he said of the U.S. government. “I needed to move away from it all. I [still] talked to a few people on the computer but I generally completely disassociated myself with anything to do with Anonymous.”

    • Media Direct: towards better security for whistleblowers

      In essence, Media Direct seeks to enable encrypted interactions between anonymous whistleblowers, who access it via the Tor relay network, and specified journalists, with the submission server itself not logging anything, thus meaning it has no information to provide should it be targeted by the government of its host country (which remains secret, even from the administrators to the Media Direct site here in Australia). The site automatically deletes material that isn’t used within two weeks, and the keys whistleblowers use to access the server also have a limited lifespan. It’s close to plug-and-play for whistleblowers, as long as they can install Tor.

    • Chagossians: Wikileaked cable admissible after all
    • CIA won’t fake vaccinations, FBI still pursuing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, latest on Benghazi: Spy Games Update

      The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice are still actively pursuing a criminal investigation against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

    • Assange targeted by FBI probe, US court documents reveal

      WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange remains the subject of an active criminal investigation by the United States Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, newly published court documents reveal.

      Papers released in US legal proceedings have revealed that a “criminal/national security investigation” by the US Department of Justice and FBI probe of WikiLeaks is “a multi-subject investigation” that is still “active and ongoing” more than four years after the anti-secrecy website began publishing secret US diplomatic and military documents.

      Confirmation that US prosecutors have not closed the book on WikiLeaks and Mr Assange comes as a consequence of litigation by the US Electronic Privacy Information Centre to enforce a freedom of information request for documents relating to the FBI’s WikiLeaks investigation.

    • Julian Assange’s father in Newcastle to receive award

      JOHN Shipton says he is not, by nature, the most outgoing of people.

      “I’m a private person; I’d prefer to be at home reading a book,” Mr Shipton said yesterday.

      But having WikiLeaks whistle-blower Julian Assange for a son means Mr Shipton’s life is no longer solely his own.

    • TOPICS: Truckers missing trick without cartoon mascot

      Assange will receive an International Award for Outstanding Service in the Defence of Human Rights and Global Justice. You know, one of those.

    • Afghan anger at mass US phone monitoring
    • Julian Assange Goes Where Glenn Greenwald Wouldn’t

      Though they’re often lumped together as crusaders against state secrets, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and journalist Glenn Greenwald don’t always see eye to eye.

    • Julian Assange’s spy report knocks Glenn Greenwald down a peg

      A rift is forming in the world of leaked top-secret government documents. On one side is Glenn Greenwald, the founding editor of The Intercept online news site, who earlier this week reported that the U.S. government was recording practically every single cell phone call made to or from the Bahamas and another, unnamed country.

    • Will Julian Assange Be Moving to a Squatters’ Settlement In Brazil?

      On May 14, João Paulo Rodrigues, a leader of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The two men discussed ways in which Latin American social movements might help Wikileaks. Following their two-hour discussion, the leader told Assange, “If you need asylum in Brazil, we offer our land settlements.” Assange responded with a hug.

    • Wikileaks Founder Assange Endorses Bitcoin at South African Tech Conference

      Notorious whistleblower Julian Assange spoke glowingly about Bitcoin during a technology conference in South Africa on Wednesday, calling the currency “the most intellectually interesting development in the last two years.”

    • WikiLeaks: US eavesdrops on Kenyans’ calls

      A US intelligence agency is allegedly tapping all phone calls made in Kenya, possibly informing the recent travel advisories and the heightened alert at its Embassy in Nairobi.

    • Hacker who Targeted WikiLeaks is Going after Edward Snowden
    • Film About 1971 FBI Break-in Traces Path To Snowden And Wikileaks

      The film 1971, which just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, documents the activities of “eight ordinary citizens,” but their story is far beyond the ordinary. On March 8, 1971, the group orchestrated a robbery at an FBI office in the Philadelphia suburb aptly called Media, making off with every file. Those hundreds of documents, mailed to the press leading to 50,000 more pages, laid bare the details and degree of government surveillance of the American people. Congressional hearings in subsequent years revealed that the FBI, under the autocratic leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, infiltrated institutions from universities to community groups and even threatened the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The mere fact of the existence of residential FBI offices, in low-slung brick buildings along tree-lined, mostly residential streets, reflected the acceptance — and even deification of the agency in earlier decades. No member of the Media, Pa., group was ever caught or prosecuted for the break-in. They broke their long silence in the film and a new book by Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Swansea traffic warden caught on camera refusing to give ticket to vehicle on double yellow lines ‘because that’s the boss’s car’

      As a man who has himself experienced wardens deciding, with their “discretion”, to give him a ticket in that very spot before, Steve McMillan perhaps understandably felt he could not just let it slide.

      Filming the whole incident on his mobile phone, he can be seen confronting a warden who initially says that it hasn’t yet “been five minutes”.

      But when Mr McMillan explains that it clearly has – and that he has this recorded on his phone – the unnamed warden quickly goes on the defensive.

    • Obama Administration Sued for Refusing to Disclose Data on Student Loan Debt Collectors

      President Barack Obama has taken several steps over the past few years to address the $1 trillion problem of student loan debt. He’s pushed loan forgiveness programs and efforts to help borrowers reduce payments. One thing that apparently isn’t factoring into his plans, though, is reining in abusive debt collectors that the Department of Education hires to collect student loans debt when people can’t pay.

      More than $94 billion of the nation’s student loan debt was in default as of September 2013, according to a March report from the Government Accountability Office. And the percentage of people defaulting on school loans has increased steadily for six years in a row. In 2011, the Department of Education paid private debt collectors $1 billion to try to collect on that debt—a number that is expected to double by 2016. The tactics used by those debt collectors range from harassing to downright abusive. In March 2012, Bloomberg reported that three of the companies working for the Department of Education had settled federal or state charges that they’d engaged in abusive debt collection.

    • Fighting Poverty Wages

      We’re at a critical moment in our economic recovery that requires real leadership and people power to ensure true economic democracy in our country. There is incredible work being done to build a strong antipoverty movement, and spaces like these are fundamental to encourage an open dialogue about our strategies and tactics as well as our successes and failures.

      As corporate profits keep soaring, workers’ wages continue to stagnate, creating the widest income inequality gap our nation has seen in modern times. At Jobs With Justice we still believe that in America, people who work hard should be paid enough to live with dignity and raise a family. Today, millions of people go to work every day and still don’t earn enough money to feed their families. If people can work full-time and still can’t afford groceries, rent and medication, then the entire model is flawed and unfair. We can’t continue down this path of creating bottom-of-the-barrel, low-wage jobs that condemn our friends and neighbors to poverty.

    • Big Credit Suisse’s Sweetheart Deal

      Attorney General Eric Holder’s sweetheart settlement with Switzerland’s second largest bank, corporate criminal Credit Suisse, sent the wrong message to other corporate barons. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says it well:

      “Nor does the plea deal hold any officers, directors or key executives individually accountable for wrongdoing, raising the question of whether it will sufficiently deter similar misconduct in the future.”

      Mr. Holder, of course, touted the deal as tough. Credit Suisse was fined a non-deductible $2.6 billion for their long, elaborate plan to provide tax evasion services for many thousands of wealthy Americans. The bank agreed to plead guilty of criminal wrongdoing – a rare demand on the usually coddled large financial institutions. In addition, Credit Suisse, in Mr. Holder’s words, failed “to retain key documents, allowed evidence to be lost or destroyed, and conducted a shamefully inadequate internal inquiry”… through a “conspiracy” that “spanned decades.”

    • What do Brazilians really think of their maids?

      An anonymous Twitter account is highlighting the poor treatment of maids in Brazil.

    • Even Iran Knows How To Fix The Corrupt Banker Problem

      Having watched Tim Geithner’s disgusting defense of the tax-payer-backed re-inflation of a corrupt and knowingly devastating banking system on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, and watching the US fine (no jail time for anyone) a Swiss bank which admits its guilt over billions of fraud yet allow them to remain a prime dealer of US Treasuries; we thought the following story from a ’3rd world banking system’ would open a few eyes in the US this weekend as ‘we remember’. As AP reports, a billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam in Iran, the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.

    • We (and This Includes You, Democrats) Have Blown a Huge Hole in the Safety Net
    • Law Enforcement vs. the Hippies

      Maybe this is because lefties don’t complain enough. You may remember the hissy fit thrown by Fox News when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report suggesting that the election of a black president might spur recruitment among right-wing extremist groups and “even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.” As it turns out, that was a good call. But the specter of jack-booted Obama thugs smashing down the doors of earnest, heartland Republicans dominated the news cycle long enough for DHS to repudiate the report under pressure and eventually dissolve the team that had produced it.

      And the similar report about left-wing extremism that DHS had produced a few months earlier? You don’t remember that? I don’t suppose you would. That’s because it was barely noticed, let alone an object of complaint. And even if lefties had complained, I doubt that anyone would have taken it seriously. There’s just no equivalent of Fox News on the left when it comes to turning partisan grievances into mainstream news.

    • Housing crisis? No, just a very British sickness

      Housing booms are today’s medieval plagues. Boils suppurate on the political backside. People rush to find culprits to lynch. Quacks appear on street corners with fake remedies. Reason takes a holiday.

      Thus it was yesterday, as the Today programme’s John Humphrys chided David Cameron for the “housing crisis” and for not building more houses in the Tory shires. It was like curing famine by sending caviar to Africa.

      Meanwhile, everyone from Ed Miliband to the governor of the Bank of England screams crisis. There is a crisis when prices fall and a crisis when prices rise. Almost everywhere house prices are still bouncing along the bottom, but at London dinner parties they are a “bubble”.

    • How the IMF Destroyed Greece: The Reality of the Greek “Success story”: On Its Way to Become a Third World Country
    • As the Global Economy Continues to Crumble, Old Fascism Finds a New Voice

      Europe has a special worry about a broken, uncaring economy.

      Things rip apart. More and more people fall into desperation. Some of them decide it’s the fault of immigrants. Or homosexuals.

    • Unification of Europe’s Far Right: Rise of the Fourth Reich?

      The situation is not entirely comparable to that of Europe and Germany of the 1930s and 40s. Nevertheless, the rise of these far-right parties, their ties to the economic hardships and austerity measures imposed by the European Union, and the spread of nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies are alarming.

    • Jean-Marie Le Pen suggests Ebola as solution to global population explosion

      Virus ‘could sort out demographic explosion’ and by extension Europe’s ‘immigration problem’, says founder of Front National

  • Politics

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Report blasts “unscrupulous” U.S. surveillance in China

      In particular, it described China as a main target of the U.S. clandestine secret surveillance.

    • Afghanistan Hits Out at U.S. Spying Allegations

      Afghanistan on Sunday expressed anger at the United States for allegedly monitoring almost all the country’s telephone conversations after revelations by the Wikileaks website.

      Wikileaks editor Julian Assange said on Friday that Afghanistan was one of at least two countries where the U.S. National Security Agency “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic [and international] phone calls.” Earlier last week journalist Glenn Greenwald had revealed that the NSA had been monitoring all the domestic and international phone calls of the Bahamas, but had refused to identify the second country, claiming he believed it could lead to the death of innocent people.

    • The world’s biggest internet spy is playing cop

      Since the US Department of Justice announced indictments against 5 Chinese military officers, some US media have reported that the US is conducting spying operations not confined to national security. The claims are based on secret documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    • ‘USA Freedom Act’ and bipartisan tyranny
    • NSA reform falls short

      While a welcome first step toward reining in a government with “Big Brother” powers, the House bill falls short of the objective of its original sponsors. Transparency measures intended to guard against secret intrusions on personal privacy were weakened. And there are concerns about an undefined “specific selection term” to theoretically limit the reach of government intrusion into personal records and personal communications.

    • Jesse Kline: A bigger surveillance state won’t stop ‘cyberbullying’

      …making it easier for government officials to gather information about Canadians’ online activities.

    • Snowden In Russia Of His Own Free Will, Says Glenn Greenwald

      If not, other countries are ready to offer him shelter, including Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and possibly even Germany or perhaps also Switzerland as there have been reports of the NSA spying on Swiss banks, he added.If not, other countries are ready to offer him shelter, including Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and possibly even Germany or perhaps also Switzerland as there have been reports of the NSA spying on Swiss banks, he added.

    • Why US is in no position to accuse the Chinese of hacking
    • As Snowden gets his own comic book, the writer ‘leaks’ her inspiration and motivations

      FOUR years ago, Valerie D’Orazio was writing a story about a character who knows too much. Whom people want silenced. And who ultimately delivers all her files to the media, via email, so the whole world shall know these dark secrets. Little could D’Orazio have known then that this Marvel Comics story, titled Punisher MAX: Butterfly, was professional prologue to another big assignment: Writing about the life and exploits of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Lawyer: Edward Snowden ‘Considering’ Return to US

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is “considering’ returning to the United States if certain conditions are met, his lawyer told Germany’s Der Spiegel.

      “There are negotiations,” Snowden’s German lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck said, according to a translation on RT.com, a news agency based in Russia. “Those who know the case are aware that an amicable agreement with the U.S. authorities will be most reasonable,” Kaleck said.

      Snowden is not involved in the negotations, Kaleck told Der Spiegel.

    • Snowden ‘considers’ returning to US – report
    • Congress divorces NIST and NSA

      The US Congress has passed a bill that removes the NSA’s direct input into encryption standards.

      According to a report at ProPublica, an amendment to the National Institute of Standards and Technology act removes the requirement that NIST consult with the NSA in setting new encryption standards.

    • Chinese Troops Must Take Up ‘Legal Arms’ Against ‘Pretentious’ U.S. (Huanqiu, China)

      The U.S. Department of Justice last week announced the criminal indictments of five Chinese army officers, claiming that they helped Chinese companies steal American corporate business information, and that all five are from “Unit 61398″ of the People’s Liberation Army. Since February last year, the U.S. government has accused the unit “headquartered in Shanghai” of being part of a “hacker army” involved in the long-term theft of U.S. trade secrets.

    • Scottish Nationalist Proposes Asylum For NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden

      Scottish supporters of Edward Snowden say an independent Scotland should offer political asylum to the man whose disclosure of classified NSA documents revealed pervasive U.S. surveillance around the world.

      Members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) have considered a call for the former NSA contractor, who is currently being sheltered in Russia, to be given political asylum in Scotland if voters opt for independence in September’s referendum.

    • China’s state-owned sector told to cut ties with US consulting firms

      China has told its state-owned enterprises to sever links with American consulting firms just days after the US charged five Chinese military officers with hacking US companies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

      China’s action, which targets companies like McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), stems from fears the firms are providing trade secrets to the US government, the FT reported, citing unnamed sources close to senior Chinese leaders.

    • US-China cyber-battles intensify

      The United States has accused some Chinese of hacking into American companies’ computers but the US itself has been engaging in massive spying of foreign companies and trade officials.

      [...]

      But in fact the US does spy on companies and trade policy makers and negotiators of other countries, presumably in order to obtain a commercial advantage.

    • ‘USA Freedom Act’ and bipartisan tyranny
    • US tries to bar Chinese nationals from two hacker conferences in the US
    • Licence to spy

      In January, after the disclosures by Edward Snowden about the scale of the US intelligence apparatus’s cyber snooping capabilities, President Barack Obama acknowledged the need to curtail the National Security Agency’s damaging practices and to begin a conversation on how a balance between national security and civil liberties could be struck. If it was clear then that downsizing the surveillance state would be a difficult task, the version of the USA Freedom Act that passed the House of Representatives last week underscored that fact.

    • German Lawmakers May Call Apple CEO Tim Cook Over NSA Spying

      An investigation committee set up by German parliamentarians to look into the NSA’s bulk collection of Europe’s telecommunications data may call several prominent U.S. tech company executives to testify, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, reports The Wall Street Journal. Other witnesses that the committee may call include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive vice

    • The Washington Post’s ‘Fear-Driven Approach’ to NSA Files Infuriated Snowden

      When National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was working to convince journalists to cover NSA documents he taken with him to expose evidence of dragnet warrantless surveillance, he was especially frustrated with one media organization, which has actually received recognition for its work on the NSA files: The Washington Post.

      The story of how the Post became involved and, in many ways, let a whistleblower down is a testament to why future whistleblowers should be cautious when approaching such establishment media outlets. What happened is detailed in journalist Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA & the US Surveillance State.

    • The Bahamas Wants To Know The Reasons Of NSA Recording Its Phone Calls

      The Bahamas government officials want their US counterparts to explain why the National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting and recording every cell phone call taking place on the island nation.

    • NBC’s Brian Williams Gets Exclusive with Edward Snowden

      NBC anchor Brian Williams has landed an exclusive interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It will be Snowden’s first American television interview. Williams traveled to Moscow this week to speak with both Snowden and Glenn Greenwald for an hour-long special that will air during primetime on May 28th.

    • US-China tech exchange strained over hacking accusations

      The U.S.’ escalating feud with China over hacking charges could end up hurting IT suppliers in both countries, as suspicions and eroding trust threaten to dampen the tech exchange between the two nations.

    • New York Times Admits Reason For Delay In Delivering NSA Wiretapping Story

      On the 2004 campaign trail, President Bush denied the existence of an American warrantless surveillance program. But inside the Department of Justice, an attorney leaked information to The New York Times explaining the National Security Agency did indeed eavesdrop on phones around the country.

    • New York Times: Spy bill falls short

      Unfortunately, the bill passed by the House on Thursday falls far short of those promises, and does not live up to its title, the USA Freedom Act. Because of last-minute pressure from a recalcitrant Obama administration, the bill contains loopholes that dilute the strong restrictions in an earlier version, potentially allowing the spy agencies to continue much of their phone-data collection.

    • NSA reform to be ‘fight of the summer’

      Civil libertarians who say the House didn’t go far enough to reform the National Security Agency are mounting a renewed effort in the Senate to shift momentum in their direction.

    • FBI introduces app to help protect children
    • The FBI’s Massive Facial Recognition Database: Privacy Implications
    • House Committee Puts NSA on Notice Over Encryption Standards

      An amendment adopted by a House committee would, if enacted, take a step toward removing the National Security Agency from the business of meddling with encryption standards that protect security on the Internet.

    • Will The House’s Gutted USA Freedom Act Really Stop The NSA?

      “While it represents a slight improvement from the status quo, it isn’t the reform bill that Americans deserve,” says a staff attorney with the ACLU.

    • Unhackable NSA-proof instant messaging program

      In the digital world, you never know who is spying on you. There’s hackers, nosy neighbors, a vengeful ex, the NSA, and that’s just a handful of the possibilities.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to keep your messages safe from prying eyes? Now there is.

      Take a look at PQChat, an unhackable – yes, I said unhackable – secure instant messaging app.

    • CERN Scientists Launch Encrypted Email Service

      As it turns out, people really don’t want the government reading their email. Scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, have launched a new email service featuring end-to-end encryption to ensure complete privacy for users.

      Dubbed ProtonMail, the service claims to be fully anonymous. “Because of our end-to-end encryption, your data is already encrypted by the time it reaches our servers,” the site says. “We have no access to your messages, and since we cannot decrypt them, we cannot share them with third parties.”

      According to Jason Stockman, a co-developer of ProtonMail, the service was inspired by the revelations of the massive citizen surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency (NSA) made public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year.

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email

      A new push to encrypt email, keeping messages free from government snooping, is gaining momentum. One new email service promising “end-to-end” encryption launched last Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

      A major catalyst for email encryption were revelations about widespread online surveillance in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor. “A lot of people were upset with those revelations, and that coalesced into this effort,” said Jason Stockman, a co-developer of ProtonMail, a new encrypted email service which launched last Friday with collaboration of scientists from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the European research lab CERN.

    • US considers denying visas to Chinese hackers to attend conferences
    • US accuses Chinese officials of cyber espionage

      Meanwhile, US is engaged in massive electronic surveillance

    • Read it, you’ll doubt no more

      In the journalist Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden found a perfect match. I don’t mean to slight the contributions of Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman, the other two journalists who first dug into Snowden’s amazing and unprecedented trove of National Security Agency (NSA) documents.

    • America: spying mostly on its own

      One characteristic of a totalitarian state is that it is as determined to subjugate its own citizens as it is to conquer foreigners. That’s why Edward Snowden could tell the National Press Club by live video link from his Russian exile that when he was a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) he was appalled to see NSA “collecting more information about Americans in America than it is about Russians in Russia.”

    • Independent Scotland could give asylum to ‘traitor’ Edward Snowden

      HOLYROOD has triggered a major diplomatic row with the US over a proposal to grant asylum to the “traitor” Edward Snowden in the event of independence.

    • The Pressure’s On Harper to End Online Spying — Let’s Keep it Up

      Leading Conservative elder statesman Stockwell Day has joined the growing chorus of Canadians speaking out about how Bill C-13 would expose law-abiding Canadians to warrantless government spying. If passed, the controversial bill would grant immunity to telecom companies who hand our private information to the government without a warrant.

    • Commentary: U.S. cyber-scoundrelism doomed to backfire

      “Play by the rules” seems to be Washington’s sacrosanct motto on international interaction. But time and again rules are just a lump of clay in Uncle Sam’s hands.

      In a recent farce about cyber-security, the United States slapped some fabricated charges against five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking into the systems of U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

    • Chinese indicted for acting like America’s NSA
    • What does GCHQ know about our devices that we don’t?
    • Police use cellphone spying device
    • The Pentagon report on Snowden’s ‘grave’ threat is gravely overblown

      NSA defenders still won’t tell the whole truth, but a newly revealed damage assessment offers a window into government damage control – not any actual damage done by Snowden

    • Edward Snowden Threw Crypto Parties Before He Blew the Whistle on NSAEdward Snowden Threw Crypto Parties Before He Blew the Whistle on NSA
    • A warning, not a blueprint – living in a post-Snowden world

      It is twenty five years since Tim Berners-Lee had the germ of an idea that became the World Wide Web. Smartphones for everyone have been with us less than a decade. Technology is transformative and world changing. 150 years ago we didn’t have the electric light or the phonograph. Photography was a new and rare technology, and everything we take for granted in our lives today – central heating, hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, fridges, cars, radio, and TV – had yet to be invented, or was at the very least out of the reach of the average citizen.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Tell Mozilla: Keep DRM out of Firefox

      Only a week after the International Day Against DRM, Mozilla has announced that it will support Digital Restrictions Management in its Firefox Browser. The browser will have a built-in utility that automatically fetches and installs DRM from Adobe.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Majority of Japanese public oppose compromising over TPP: Mainichi poll
    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Admits Copyright Infringement May Actually Help The Copyright Holder
      • Pirates Are Staying In European Parliament

        As of 18:00 on Election Day, it is clear that the Pirate Party remains in the European Parliament for another term. The German exit polls predict that at least Julia Reda from Germany has just been elected as Member of European Parliament, securing a pirate seat for the coming term. More results as they come in (developing story).

      • THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE COPYRIGHT INDUSTRY AND THE NSA

        Most notably, the copyright industry is known for using child porn as an argument for introducing mass surveillance, so that the mass surveillance can be expanded in the next step to targeting people who share knowledge and culture in violation of that industry’s distribution monopolies. This is a case study in taking corporate cynicism to the next level.

        This mass surveillance is also what feeds the NSA, the GCHQ, and its other European counterparts (like the Swedish FRA). It is continuously argued, along the precise same lines, that so-called “metadata” – whom you’re calling, from where, for how long – is not sensitive and therefore not protected by privacy safeguards. This was the argument that the European Court of Justice struck down with the force of a sledgehammer, followed by about two metric tons of bricks: it’s more than a little private if you’re talking to a sex service for 19 minutes at 2am, or if you’re making a call to the suicide hotline from the top of a bridge. This is the kind of data that the spy services wanted to have logged, eagerly cheered on by the copyright industry.

      • Amazon Won’t Sell You The Paperback Version Of The Anti-Amazon Book

        The latest evidence: Amazon has escalated its battle against book publisher Hachette. Now Amazon won’t allow you to pre-order any Hachette books, the publisher confirmed to The Huffington Post on Friday. That means you cannot buy the paperback version of Brad Stone’s Amazon exposé “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.”

      • Amazon Is Cracking Down on Book Publisher, Say Critics

        Amazon appears to be trying to pressure a book publisher into agreeing to more favorable terms for the online retail giant by refusing to offer pre-orders of some of the publisher’s titles. Books for which Amazon is no longer taking orders include a new novel by J.K. Rowling and the paperback version of “The Everything Store,” an inside look at the operations of Amazon.

      • Kim Dotcom Fails in Bid to Suppress FBI Evidence

        Kim Dotcom has lost his bid to have evidence held by the FBI against him kept a secret. The information , a 200-page document which includes a sampling of 22 million emails relevant to his extradition case, may now be made public. Efforts by Dotcom to gain access to government held documentation against him were also rejected.

      • Public BitTorrent Trackers Ban Piracy Monitoring Outfits

        The three largest BitTorrent trackers have banned the IP-ranges of several major hosting companies. The move aims to make it harder for anti-piracy outfits and other information gathering outfits to snoop on file-sharers. Unfortunately, the changes also mean that users of some VPNs, proxies and seedboxes can no longer connect.

      • Open WiFi Is Not a CopyCrime: EFF’s Primer on Open WiFi and Copyright

        Every day cafes, airports, libraries, laundromats, schools and individuals operate “open” Wi-Fi routers, sharing their connection with neighbors and passers-by at no charge. The City of San Francisco recently deployed a free, public Wi-Fi network along a three-mile stretch of Market Street. Sometimes people use those connections for unauthorized activities. Most of the time they don’t, and the world gets a valuable public service of simple, ubiquitous Internet access.

05.24.14

Links 24/5/2014: Many Games on GNU/Linux, Thai Coup

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • YouTube to acquire Twitch for more than $1 billion

    In March 2014 alone, Twitch was single handedly responsible for 1.35% of all downstream traffic in North America.

  • 9 Things That Didn’t Happen to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

    The evidence is mounting that a deliberate action by someone on board caused the diversion and disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. But over the past week and a half since the plane vanished, as contradictory information came in from various sources, people floated plenty of crazier ideas about the plane’s fate.

  • Security

    • EBAY… You keep using that word ‘ENCRYPTION’ – it does not mean what you think it means

      A day has passed since the online tat bazaar admitted its customer database was hacked back in February, and the method of encryption is still not known. We do what wasn’t encrypted: millions of people’s names, home addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses, which were stored in the ransacked database alongside the passwords.

    • Researcher finds vulnerability in eBay and claims he uploaded a shell

      Jordan said in his tweet that he notified about the vulnerability to eBay. A screenshot published in his twitter account shows that he is able to upload a ‘shell.php’ file in the following location…

    • eBay Security Breach Delivers 10 Lessons for Enterprise IT Executives

      Another day, another company that has disclosed that one of its main databases has been hacked and user information has been compromised. So far eBay hasn’t divulged full details of the breach. Reportedly the attackers accessed about 145 million records. Now, the online auction company is urging its 128 million active users to change their passwords. The attackers were able to access everything from users’ full names and addresses to email addresses. But eBay asserts that the compromised database didn’t contain financial information, which the company encrypts anyway. The company also said PayPal users weren’t impacted. The breach, which is just the latest in a long list of security issues that have affected large enterprises with large customer bases, should teach us a lot about security, or the general lack of it, across the Web. The massive Target breach in December showed what can happen when huge databases containing customer information are breached and the data stolen. Reports about eBay demonstrate, once again, how even a huge Internet business, which should know how to defend itself against sophisticated cyber-attacks, can be compromised. This eWEEK slide show highlights what we can learn from this latest attack.

    • eBay Breach Isn’t Just About Passwords
    • EPFL researchers crack unassailable encryption algorithm in two hours

      A protocol based on “discrete logarithms”, deemed as one of the candidates for the Internet’s future security systems, was decrypted by EPFL researchers. Allegedly tamper-proof, it could only stand up to the school machines’ decryption attempts for two hours.

    • Duo Security Review

      Traditional password authentication has long been recognised as the weak link in the security chain, even before the Heartbleed vulnerability exposed the private keys of millions of servers worldwide. A password the user can easily remember is rarely a good password, while a good password is rarely easy to remember.

    • DARPA IS WEAPONIZING VIRTUAL REALITY FOR CYBER WAR

      Andy Greenberg has an online article in this morning’s (May 23, 2014) Wired.com, with the title above. Mr. Greenberg writes that, “for the past two years, DARPA has been working to make waging cyber war — as easy as playing a video game.” “On Wednesday,” he notes, “DARPA showed off its latest demos for Plan X, a long-standing software platform designed to unify digital attack and defense tools into a single, easy-to-use interface for American military hackers. And for the last few months: that program has had a new toy. The agency is experimenting with using Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset — to give cyber warriors a new way to visualize three-dimensional network simulations — in some cases with the goal of better targeting for them to attack.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Anna Politkovskaya killing: five men convicted of murder

      The defendants were three Chechen brothers, one of whom was accused of shooting Politkovskaya in the lobby of her Moscow apartment building on 7 October 2006, as well as their uncle and a former police officer.

    • New Zealand, Australian governments complicit in US drone attacks

      In a New Zealand television interview last week, American investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill said in that the National Party government is “extremely aware” of US drone attacks, including one which killed NZ citizen Daryl Jones (also known as Muslim bin John) in Yemen last year. Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, who was in Auckland at a writers’ festival, also implicated the Australian government.

    • A Year On, What’s Changed (And What Hasn’t) On Drone Oversight
    • Most US drone strikes in Pakistan attack houses
    • Why Have US Drones Targeted So Many Houses in Pakistan?
    • Why Have US Drones Targeted So Many Houses in Pakistan?
    • E-cigarette ban among bills governor signs

      Gov. Terry Branstad signed 11 bills into law Friday, including a ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors in Iowa and a separate measure designed to create parameters for the use of drones, otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles.

    • Experts debate ‘killer robots’
    • Despite Obama’s new rules, no end in sight for drone war
    • Obama has put Pakistan drone war on hold

      A year ago, President Obama delivered a speech at the National Defense University in Washington in which he made the case that it was time to wind down the “boundless global war on terror ” and “perpetual wartime footing” that has been a feature of American life since 9/11.

      Indeed, the CIA drone program in Pakistan has stopped completely since the beginning of this year. This is a noteworthy development given the fact that there have been 370 drone strikes in Pakistan over the past decade that have killed somewhere between 2,080 to 3,428 people; most of whom were suspected militants, but also a smaller number of civilians.

    • Judge Napolitano: Obama’s Drones Killed More Girls than Boko Haram Kidnapped

      During a discussion on President Obama sending troops into Chad to help the search for the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, Fox’s Judge Andrew Napolitano told Shepard Smith that American drone strikes have done more damage than the terrorist organization.

    • The year of living more dangerously: Obama’s drone speech was a sham

      Twelve months ago today, Barack Obama gave a landmark national security speech in which he frankly acknowledged that the United States had at least in some cases compromised its values in the years since 9/11 – and offered his vision of a US national security policy more directly in line with “the freedoms and ideals that we defend.” It was widely praised as “a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America”.

      Addressing an audience at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, the president pledged greater transparency about targeted killings, rededicated himself to closing the detention center at Guantánamo Bay and urged Congress to refine and ultimately repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which has been invoked to justify everything from military detention to drones strikes.

    • UK’s new Reaper drones remain grounded, months before Afghan withdrawal

      Five new Reaper drones announced by David Cameron in December 2010 to support British troops in Afghanistan are still not yet in operation, the Bureau can reveal.

      The new drones were bought as an urgent purchase and were part of a £135m package intended to effectively double the size of the UK’s fleet of armed drones in Afghanistan, and its surveillance capacity. But more than three years after the purchase was announced, and with just months to go before the UK’s troops are due to leave the conflict, the additional Reapers are yet to take to the skies.

    • Protests Against US Drone War Planned at West Point

      Anti-war protesters displaying model drones and photos of known victims of the US military and secret CIA targeted assignation program will greet family and friends of the graduates as they enter West Point gates at 7 am. The protest will extend to 9:30 am; graduation ceremonies begin at 10:00 am.

      The protest has special meaning for those in the US Army because the MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, a more deadly version of the infamous Predator drone, is being integrated into use in every Army division.

    • Drone strikes on U.S. citizens defy justification

      That President Obama, formerly a professor of constitutional law, and David J. Barron, “one of the memo’s authors” and an Obama nominee to a federal appeals court judgeship, could conceive of even a shred of justification for such crimes boggles the mind.

    • Tell Congress And President Obama: No Money For More War

      President Obama gave an eloquent speech on May 23, 2013 on the issues of endless war, US drone strikes, Guantanamo, and the 12-year old AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force). Compare his words then with the reality one year later.

      “For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, helping to explode our debts and constraining our ability to nation-build here at home.”Reality? The “direct” cost of our Iraq & Afghan wars is over $1.5 trillion, and the Administration wants a $79 billion blank check for fighting undefined wars in FY 2015. (That’s on top of a “basic” Pentagon budget of $495 billion).

      “…there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility (Guantanamo) that should never have been opened.” Reality? There were 166 prisoners at Guantanamo a year ago, 154 now. Most of them have been formally cleared for release, and most of the rest have not been formally charged. Hunger strikes there are on-going. Efforts to secure the release of US Army POW Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for Afghan Guantanamo prisoners have not succeeded.

    • US drone promises – One year on

      A year after President Obama laid out new conditions for drone attacks around the world, US forces are failing to comply fully with the rules he set for them.

    • Commentary: The Government Isn’t Very Good at Deciding What to Keep Secret
    • Old CIA links return to haunt Libya’s Haftar

      Libya’s renegade General Khalifa Haftar is leading a military campaign against the country’s Islamist-led government and militants; however, his past life in America and old ties to the CIA are likely to be a stumbling block on his road to power.

      Following his botched February coup attempt –when he appeared on television announcing the dissolution of the government only to be scoffed at by the-then Prime Minister Ali Zeidan as “ridiculous” – launched this week “Operation Dignity” to rid Libya of “terrorists” and “corrupt” officials.

    • Khalifa Haftar: renegade general causing upheaval in Libya

      Commander has managed to rally influential bodies in offensive against post-Gaddafi government but is dogged by old CIA link

    • The CIA’s Bay of Pigs Documents Can Be Kept Secret Indefinitely, Court Rules

      The American public might never get to know the entire history of the events that occurred during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, not at least until the Central Intelligence Agency is finished revising the draft copy of its history, which seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    • U.S. Court of Appeals Joins the CIA’s Cover-Up of its Bay of Pigs Disaster

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday joined the CIA’s cover-up of its Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961 by ruling that a 30-year-old volume of the CIA’s draft “official history” could be withheld from the public under the “deliberative process” privilege, even though four of the five volumes have previously been released with no harm either to national security or any government deliberation.

    • Why is Glenn Greenwald Protecting the CIA?

      Every day across the planet the CIA instigates the arrest, torture and murder of people whose only wrongdoing is opposing the crimes being committed by those in league with Pax Americana. Arms trafficking, drug trafficking, human trafficking, all of the most evil activities on this planet are being instigated and directed by the CIA. So why is Glenn Greenwald protecting these bastards?

    • The CIA Coordinates Nazis and Jihadists

      The confrontation between the Kiev putschists, backed by NATO and Ukrainian federalists, supported by Russia, has reached a point of no return.

    • Senators Feinstein and Levin on 9/11 Case Delay, RDI Declassification

      Made available today: a letter from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, which was sent to President Obama in January of this year and urged him to speed things up in the 9/11 case—chiefly by declassifying additional information regarding the CIA’s long-since-discontinued program of rendition, detention and interrogation.

    • CIA secrecy over detention program threatens 9/11 prosecutions, senators warned Obama
    • U.S. Covert Intervention in Chile: Planning to Block Allende Began Long before September 1970 Election

      Covert U.S. planning to block the democratic election of Salvador Allende in Chile began weeks before his September 4, 1970, victory, according to just declassified minutes of an August 19, 1970, meeting of the high-level interagency committee known as the Special Review Group, chaired by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. “Kissinger asked that the plan be as precise as possible and include what orders would be given September 5, to whom, and in what way,” as the summary recorded Kissinger’s instructions to CIA Director Richard Helms. “Kissinger said we should present to the President an action plan to prevent [the Chilean Congress from ratifying] an Allende victory…and noted that the President may decide to move even if we do not recommend it.” – See more at: http://hnn.us/article/155768#sthash.svf3Lrin.dpuf

    • What Really Happened in Chile

      The CIA, the Coup Against Allende, and the Rise of Pinochet

    • Thailand army chief confirms military coup and suspends constitution
    • A Military Coup in Thailand

      In fact, that’s why America’s Founding Fathers opposed a standing army for the United States. It’s also why President Eisenhower warned the American people about the dangers that the military-industrial complex pose to America’s democratic processes. It’s also why President Truman, thirty days after the Kennedy assassination, authored an op-ed in the Washington Post that talked about the sinister nature of the CIA.

    • A Former Congressman Is Making Explosive Allegations After Allegedly Being Told the ‘Ground Truth’ About Benghazi by Source

      West also said he was told the attackers were with Ansar al-Sharia and government officials are being threatened with their pensions being cut if they speak out about Benghazi.

      As far as why U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi at the time, West claims he was informed that there was a “covert weapons scheme going on in Libya, Benghazi.”

      “We had been supplying radical Islamists with weapons against Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi, effectively supplying the enemy and destabilizing that country,” he added.

      “And it seems that there was a CIA weapons buy-back program, the aim of which was to ship the retrieved weapons out of Libya through Turkey, and to the Islamist forces in Syria.”

      West apparently believes in his source enough to allege Benghazi will “make Iran-Contra look like Romper Room.” However, due to the unanswered questions about the source, it’s impossible to verify the claims at this time.

    • Elias Groll: How much economic espionage is too much?

      Those were the words not of an aggressive Chinese spy, but none other than Stansfield Turner, the Carter-era CIA director, who in 1992 argued that the United States should more aggressively carry out intelligence operations aimed at securing America’s leading economic position in the world.

      If it weren’t for matters of patriotism, the former CIA director probably wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at allegations of Chinese spying unveiled by a Pennsylvania grand jury and the Department of Justice this week.

      Indeed, the tactics the Obama administration has accused China of using have also been debated at the highest levels of the U.S. government as possible instruments of American power. Other countries  have carried out operations similar to those the Pennsylvania grand jury have accused Chinese spies of carrying out.

    • Robert Gates: Most Countries Conduct Economic Espionage
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Whistleblowers deserve full coverage

      Of course, thanks to Wikileaks this even­ing, we now know the coun­try that Glenn Gre­en­wald redac­ted from his ori­ginal report was Afghanistan.

      Why on earth should the Afgh­anis not be allowed to know the sheer scale of sur­veil­lance they live under? In fact, would many be sur­prised? This is an excel­lent related art­icle, do read.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • At least 21 dead in Vietnam anti-China protests over oil rig

      At least 21 people were killed and nearly 100 injured in Vietnam on Thursday during violent protests against China in one of the deadliest confrontations between the two neighbours since 1979.

      Crowds set fire to industrial parks and factories, hunted down Chinese workers and attacked police during the riots, which have spread from the south to the central part of the country following the start of the protests on Tuesday.

      The violence has been sparked by the dispute concerning China stationing an oil rig in an area of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam. The two nations have been fighting out a maritime battle over sovereignty and that battle has now seemingly come ashore.

    • Green party support is surging – but the media prefer to talk about Ukip
    • This Ice Sheet Will Unleash a Global Superstorm Sandy That Never Ends

      Glaciologist Richard Alley explains that losing West Antarctica would produce 10 feet of sea level rise in coming centuries. That’s comparable to the flooding from Sandy—but permanent.

    • Why Do So Many Books About Africa Have the Same Cover Design?
    • Meet Jess Spear, the Socialist Climate Scientist Running for the State House

      Sawant and Spear are buddies because she left her scientific research to help run Sawant’s victorious Socialist Alternative campaign for City Council last year. She also spent much of that time as Organizing Director of the $15 Now campaign, which is somehow magically about to pass just a year after it began, to the collective bewilderment of the rest of the United States.

    • Climate Change As a Weapon of Mass Destruction

      Who could forget? At the time, in the fall of 2002, there was such a drumbeat of “information” from top figures in the Bush administration about the secret Iraqi program to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and so endanger the United States. And who—other than a few suckers—could have doubted that Saddam Hussein was eventually going to get a nuclear weapon? The only question, as our vice president suggested on “Meet the Press,” was: Would it take one year or five? And he wasn’t alone in his fears, since there was plenty of proof of what was going on. For starters, there were those “specially designed aluminum tubes” that the Iraqi autocrat had ordered as components for centrifuges to enrich uranium in his thriving nuclear weapons program. Reporters Judith Miller and Michael Gordon hit the front page of the New York Times with that story on September 8, 2002.

    • Landmark sites in the US at risk from climate change – in pictures
  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Labour Party has tanked in the English council elections

      Labour played the game of negative expectations in a massive way, claiming a net gain of 150 seats would be a victory for them. So far they have a net gain of just 82. But the extraordinary thing is that the BBC have, throughout the Breakfast News period – the largest TV news watch of the day – been unable to add up all the council seats yet. Sky has totaled every single one of the council seats declared overnight, while the BBC has been able to total under half – and the BBC has come up with a Labour net gain of 102. This has enabled the BBC to show a three figure Labour gain on its strapline all morning, and lead every news bulletin: “Major gains for UKIP in English local elections. Labour has also made gains. A poor night for the Conservatives and Lib Dems”.

    • BBC New Labour Orgasm

      The BBC are way behind in their totalizing, and cherry picking the Labour gains. The BBC have consistently been showing about 7% of all seats contested as Labour gains. Sky consistently shows under 3% of all seats contested as Labor gains.

    • First Amendment for Whom? Press Fights for Access to Scott Walker John Doe Docs

      The public may be on the cusp of learning more about the two “John Doe” investigations into Scott Walker, his associates, and groups that spent millions to get him elected.

      On May 21, the Wisconsin judge in the now-closed 2010-2013 “John Doe I” investigation into Walker’s County Executive during his 2010 run for governor ordered the release of all records gathered in the probe that pertain to county business. That probe resulted in six convictions for Walker aides and associates, including for political fundraising on the taxpayer’s dime. Now, the decision about what records to release rests with Walker’s successor as County Executive, Chris Abele.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • LG Will Take The ‘Smart’ Out Of Your Smart TV If You Don’t Agree To Share Your Viewing And Search Data With Third Parties

      LG certainly feels it has the right to do this. In fact, it makes no secret of this in its long Privacy Policy — a document that spends more time discussing the lack thereof, rather than privacy itself. The opening paragraph makes this perfectly clear.

      [...]

      LG seems very concerned that Smart TV owners won’t allow it to provide them with “relevant ads.” This focus on advertising might give one the impression that a Smart TV is subsidized by ad sales, rather than paid for completely by the end user.

      When LG was caught sending plaintext data on files stored on customers’ USB devices, it amended its policies and data collection tactics to exclude this data. This happened not on the strength of a customer complaint (in fact, LG told the customer to take it up with the store that sold him the TV) but because the UK government announced its intention to dig into LG’s practices and see if they conformed with the Data Protection Act.

    • DNI James Clapper Says US Intel Community About to Experience Technological Revolution With New Satellites and Advanced Sensors

      COLORADO SPRINGS: The intelligence community is on the verge of “revolutionary” technical advances. Spy satellites and other systems will be able to watch a place or a person for long periods of time and warn intelligence analysts and operatives when target changes its behavior. Satellites and their sensors could be redirected automatically to ensure nothing is missed.

    • NSA surveillance reform bill passes House by 303 votes to 121

      The first legislation aimed specifically at curbing US surveillance abuses revealed by Edward Snowden passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, with a majority of both Republicans and Democrats.

      But last-minute efforts by intelligence community loyalists to weaken key language in the USA Freedom Act led to a larger-than-expected rebellion by members of Congress, with the measure passing by 303 votes to 121.

    • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald – review
    • A Response to Michael Kinsley

      Do I need to continue to participate in the debate over whether many U.S. journalists are pitifully obeisant to the U.S. government? Did they not just resolve that debate for me? What better evidence can that argument find than multiple influential American journalists standing up and cheering while a fellow journalist is given space in The New York Times to argue that those who publish information against the government’s wishes are not only acting immorally but criminally?

    • Assange names country targeted by NSA’s MYSTIC mass phone tapping program

      The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been recording and storing nearly all domestic and international phone calls from Afghanistan, according to Wikileaks’ front man Julian Assange.

      Wikileaks revealed the name of the country after The Intercept reported Monday that the NSA was actively recording and archiving “virtually every” cellphone call in the Bahamas and one other country under a program called SOMALGET. The Intercept said it did not name the second country because of concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.

    • WikiLeaks statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA

      The National Security Agency has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic (and international) phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013. Both the Washington Post and The Intercept (based in the US and published by eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar) have censored the name of one of the victim states, which the latter publication refers to as country “X”.

    • With or Without WikiLeaks’ NSA Revelation, Violence Reigns in Afghanistan
    • WikiLeaks names ‘entire’ nation under NSA gaze
    • WikiLeaks Claims NSA Is Recording ‘Nearly All’ of Afghanistan’s Phone Calls
    • New NYT editor spiked NSA spying story

      Mostly lost in the past week’s media gossip around NYT executive editor Jill Abramson’s ouster, and Dean Baquet’s promotion to her role: Baquet is the former LA Times editor who killed the biggest NSA leak pre-Edward Snowden.

    • How the NSA may have tapped Merkel’s phone

      The seven-page secret report by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), seen by Bild newspaper, discusses five possible ways the NSA could have gained access to Merkel’s phone. The story caused outrage in Germany when it came to light in October last year.

    • ​NSA spies on OSCE HQ in Vienna – report
    • NSA Spying In Austria Beyond Unacceptable: Analyst

      The National Security Agency [NSA] has reportedly gained direct access to the fiber optic network linking Vienna, Austria to the Internet, and has been spying on the roughly 17,000 diplomats stationed in the Austrian capital city, where several important international organizations are headquartered, including the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
      Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/us/news/2014_05_24/NSA-Spying-In-Austria-Beyond-Unacceptable-Analyst-9767/

    • Another Former NSA Lawyer Says He Wouldn’t Have Listened To Concerns About The Agency’s Surveillance Programs

      Frontline’s expansive report on the NSA in the wake of the Snowden leaks (United States of Secrets) has uncovered some rather amazing stuff about the agency’s mindset. The post-9/11 decision to deflect every question or concern with conjecture about how “thousands of lives” will be lost if its programs are rolled back or altered in any way continues to this day — rehashed in every government hearing and set of talking points since the leaks began.

      “Live in fear” is the motto. Every question about domestic surveillance is greeted with nods to its legality and assertions that even acknowledging known facts about the NSA’s programs gives our nation’s enemies the upper hand.

    • Pentagon report: scope of intelligence compromised by Snowden ‘staggering’
    • China responds to NSA tampering with network gear vetting process

      The US government used security concerns to essentially drive Chinese companies out of the American networking marketplace. Now China is doing the same thing, as the Chinese government is planning to require all products sold in the country to pass a “cyber security vetting process,” the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported.

    • The NSA wins again. You lose
    • Who Leaked NSA Documents to WikiLeaks?

      Julian Assange’s whistle-blowing group announced plans to publish an NSA report that allegedly could get people killed. The question is: How did they get the documents?

    • NSA panel invites US tech chiefs as witnesses
    • Germany wants Zuckerberg to testify in NSA case – report

      Members of the German parliamentary commission, which is investigating the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) questionable activity, want the heads of US high-tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google, to testify to the Bundestag, writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

      In March, the German parliament’s lower house voted to investigate the NSA’s operations in Germany. According to the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA monitored the telephone conversations of Chancellor Angela Merkel and other members of the German political and economic elite.

    • How the NSA Can Get Onto Your Computer

      But as The New York Times and others reported earlier this year, there is a suite of programs, codenamed QUANTUM, which allows the NSA access to a much wider variety of computers.

    • Letter: Americans should be furious over the extent of NSA spying

      Over the past two weeks, I watched the two-part PBS “Frontline” investigation broadcast locally on WNED titled, “The United States of Secrets.” This was an engrossing yet chilling report on the secret NSA spy program that encompasses the intrusions into the privacy of all U.S. citizens as well as foreign entities. This is the program that began after 9/11 under President George W. Bush and has been expanded upon under President Obama.

      I found myself becoming very angry while watching this program, perhaps more for the fact that both presidents continue to mislead and even lie to the American public about the scope of the spying rather than the actual privacy intrusion itself. Yes, many people will say: “Oh, it doesn’t affect me. I have nothing to hide.” But this country was built upon the Constitution and our rights are being trampled under the guise of security from terrorism. Major U.S. Internet and communications providers are cooperating with the NSA in granting access to our emails, phone calls, messages, Skype calls and even our financial transactions.

      I think the thing that may disturb me the most is the silence over this issue from the American public. In my opinion, Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower and should be applauded for his disclosures rather than ostracized and condemned as a criminal. Wake up, America, before it’s too late.

    • Irony alert: Google labels NSA data centre a ‘backup service’

      Irony alert! Google Maps has labelled the now infamous NSA data centre in Utah a “hard drive backup service.”

      While not technically inaccurate, it’s also hardly descriptive.

      The NSA’s data centre in Utah is the focal point of many of the surveillance operations brought to light by the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013. It was popularized after an article in Wired Magazine last year profiled its construction and purpose. It includes four 25,000-square-foot buildings just to hold servers. It has its own power plant and substation. Security is intense and nobody gets close to it without proper clearance.

    • With the NSA Reform Bill, Privacy Is Not on the Menu
    • House of Representatives passes ‘gutted’ NSA surveillance reform
    • House Members Join Hands to Pass ‘Weak’ NSA Reform
    • Feinstein: ‘Open’ to Considering House NSA Reform Bill

      Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said she is willing to consider the surveillance reform bill passed by the House on Thursday, which would end the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection of phone records.

    • Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Corporate Media is “Neutered, Impotent and Obsolete”

      In the final part of our extended interview, Glenn Greenwald reflects on the Pulitzer Prize, adversarial journalism and the corporate media’s response to his reporting on Edward Snowden’s leaked National Security Agency documents. “We knew that once we started publishing not one or two stories, but dozens of stories … that not just the government, but even fellow journalists were going to start to look at what we were doing with increasing levels of hostility and to start to say, ‘This doesn’t actually seem like journalism anymore,’ because it’s not the kind of journalism that they do,” Greenwald says. “It doesn’t abide by these unspoken rules that are designed to protect the government.”

    • We need to know why DHS is an NSA intelligence “customer”, and what that means

      One of the results of the endless propagation of this myth was the creation of so-called “intelligence fusion centers” throughout the United States, initially funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Now sustained by state and local governments, with occasional aid from DHS, fusion centers are staffed by representatives from federal, local, and state agencies, as well as members of private industry. They have cost the United States hundreds of millions of dollars over the last ten years, but even though they were set up as anti-terrorism intelligence offices, none has thus far produced any useful information about terrorism.

    • Peter Watts on the Harms of Surveillance

      This is interesting. People accept government surveillance out of fear: fear of the terrorists, fear of the criminals. If Watts is right, then there’s a conflict of fears. Because terrorists and criminals — kidnappers, child pornographers, drug dealers, whatever — is more evocative than the nebulous fear of being stalked, it wins.

    • Edward Snowden is giving his first American TV interview on May 28th
  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Open Source Chief at Redhat Hit With Bogus Copyright Claims

        Bogus copyright claims on YouTube are getting more and more prevalent, but they only get exposure when they do damage to high-profile targets. Michael Tiemann is the Chief of Open Source Affairs at Redhat Inc. and apparently he can’t use Creative Commons music in his uploads without being bombarded with copyright claims.

      • Red Square, Moscow
        “Why I’m Voting Pirate” – A Testimony From An Ex-Soviet

        This testimony – “Why I’m Voting Pirate” – was published by Leila Borg, a person who grew up in the Soviet Union but moved to Sweden after the fall of the Iron Curtain. It has been translated to English and reposted here for a wider audience.

05.22.14

Links 23/5/2014: Linux 3.15 RC6, KDE Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 8:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Why are there so few high quality science communicators?

      Well scientists have to take their share of the blame for this, in that if anyone can promote science, it’s them. However speaking as a research scientist I KNOW why communicating science/ debunking pseudoscience (in science circles) is generally seen as a gamma rate objective, typically only pursued by betas.

  • Security

    • eBay Hacked – Will Ask Users to Change Passwords

      eBay announced this morning that they’ve been hacked and that “encrypted passwords and other non-financial data” have been compromised. They’re expected to begin notifying their customer base later today, which will include a suggestion for users to change their passwords. The company says that PayPal, an eBay subsidiary, uses its own servers and was not affected by the attack.

    • Another password scare, billion-dollar duds and Obama’s empty NSA talk

      PayPal did not say why the passwords needed to be changed, and then later the message was removed altogether.

    • eBay hacked, requests all users change passwords

      eBay’s morning just went from bad to worse. The e-commerce site confirmed Wednesday that its corporate network was hacked and a database with users’ passwords was compromised. While eBay says there is no evidence that users’ financial information was accessed in the hack, the company is telling all users to change their passwords.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • CIA Triumph

      It is quite extraordinary to me how very little publicity is being given to the CIA sponsored military coup in Libya, following the same event in Egypt. The Arab Spring was front page headlines. The CIA and Saudi sponsored cooperation to turn it back to the deepest of freezes virtually gets no mention. This is even true of Libya, where we bombed tens of thousands of civilians to a pulp to ensure the changeover of regime, under the guise of installing democracy. The real aim was never democracy, but a neo-con friendly government, which is so much better secured under the auspices of the CIA.

    • Top Iran Terrorist Under CIA Protection in U.S., Book Says

      The senior former Iranian intelligence officer who quarterbacked the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut and killed scores of Americans was recently living under CIA protection in the United States, a book being published Tuesday says.

    • Coup leader? CIA asset? Mystery surrounds Libya’s rogue General Haftar

      From alleged connections to the CIA to possible plans to overthrow the government, there is a sense of mystery surrounding Khalifa Haftar, the rogue general whose forces led an attack on the Libyan parliament in Tripoli Sunday.

    • An Ex-CIA Recruit Adds to Libyan Chaos

      This could be the real Benghazi scandal: As Libya’s major cities see some of the worst fighting since 2011, a Libyan general who once defected to the U.S. is leading the charge.

    • Report: CIA blocked U.S. group’s effort to arm Syrian rebels

      The CIA is said to have blocked a plan to supply Western-backed Syrian rebels with up to 70,000 assault rifles for the war against President Bashar Assad.

      The Wall Street Journal said a plan by a private U.S. group to provide Russian-made light weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition to the Free Syrian Army was foiled by the CIA.

    • CIA Can Keep Bay Of Pigs History Secret, DC Circ. Says
    • Appeals Court: CIA Can Keep Bay of Pigs History Secret

      In a 2-1 split ruling, the US Court of Appeals has decided that the CIA can keep its Bay of Pigs invasion history report secret on the grounds that the history only exists in a “draft” form, and was never marked as a final document.

    • CIA denies its agents were killed in eastern Ukraine
    • CIA, FBI Agents Dying for Illegal Junta in Ukraine
    • White House will release memo that justifies using drones to kill U.S. citizens

      After receiving a court order in April to reveal a secret memo that justifies drone strikes to kill U.S. citizens who live overseas, the Obama administration has announced that it will not appeal the order and will comply with the request. The announcement came as the Senate votes on President Obama’s nomination of David Barron—the author of the memo—to the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

    • Guest Post: David Barron and the OTHER missing memos

      When the Administration first released the Awlaki memo to all members of the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, Dianne Feinstein revealed that the Committee had never seen at least 5 other OLC memos pertaining to targeted killing. In her statement, she cited 9 total memos, while reporting at the time suggested there might be 11 (and therefore 7 memos even the Intelligence Committees had not seen).

      Just after that disclosure, the National Journal provided some description of what might be in the memos withheld even from the Intelligence Committees: “secret protocols with foreign governments, including Pakistan and Yemen,” the two countries where the US is known to have used signature strikes. Members of the House Judiciary Committee have twice asked for memos pertaining to signature strikes; and John McCain has posed questions about them as well.

    • Drone Memo Author Nears Senate OK as Federal Judge

      Bolstered by the promised public release of a secret legal memo, Senate Democrats are ready to approve a top federal judgeship for a former Obama administration official who helped formulate the justification for the drone killings of suspected American terrorists overseas.

      The Senate was expected Thursday to approve David Barron to join the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Boston.

    • AP sources: Justice Dept. to reveal drone memo
    • Senate Backs Judge Pick Who Wrote Drone Memos
    • Activists Walk Across Georgia in Critique of Drones

      The 120-mile walk had begun eight days earlier at the gates of Ft. Benning. Drones researched and developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Research Institute are then tested at the Fort Benning Maneuver Battle Lab through a project federally funded by the U.S. Army Threat Systems Management Office.

    • Why I Don’t Want to See the Drone Memo

      And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us a secret memo that gets us out of the bit about Thou-shalt-not-kill.

      And, lo, as I was driving home from the committee hearing I was pulled over for speeding, and I said unto the officer, “I’ve got a memo that lets me speed. Would you like to see it?” and he said, “No thank you, and not your grocery list or your diary either.”

      Transparency in drone murders has been a demand pushed by U.N. lawyers and pre-vetted Congressional witnesses, and not by the victims’ families. Nobody asks for transparency in child abuse or rape. “Oh, have you got a memo that explains how aliens commanded you to kill and eat those people? Oh, well that’s all right then.”

      Seriously, what the filibuster?

      I don’t want to see the memo that David Barron wrote “legalizing” the killing of U.S. citizens with drone strikes, after which (or is it beforehand?) I’ll decide whether he should be a federal judge.

    • Rand Paul to Filibuster Pro-Drone Lawyer’s Judgeship

      The Los Angeles Times is reporting: “President Obama’s Justice Department will release a long-sought secret document laying out the legal basis for using drones to kill Americans suspected of terrorist activities abroad, administration officials confirmed Tuesday.

    • After 21 requests, Obama administration coming clean about drone policy

      Faced with the threat the U.S. Senate would block judicial nominees, the Obama administration announced this week it would release the so-called “drone memos” outlining the supposed legal rationale for using drones to attack and kill American citizens.

      The “most transparent administration in history” just needed to be asked 22 different ways.

    • Gordon Campbell on New Zealand’s role in the US drone programme

      So, thanks to our membership of the Five Eyes network, the GCSB spy agency has been supplying information on “persons of interest” in Afghanistan (at least) that may be used for targeting them in US drone strikes. At his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, Prime Minister John Key said that he did not know how, or for what purposes, the information that New Zealand supplies to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan is being used. He did however confirm that GCSB-supplied information had not been used to target the New Zealand citizen Daryl Jones, killed by a drone strike in Yemen last November. (How Key could be so sure when he claimed not to know the purposes for which ISAF uses the data that we supply, was left unclear.) Key would not confirm whether any other New Zealanders had been killed by drone operations.

    • Key ‘comfortable’ with occasional drone mistake

      Prime Minister John Key admits drones occasionally hit the wrong targets and kill innocent civilians, but he’s comfortable with New Zealand’s indirect involvement in the programme.

      The Government Communications Security Bureau doesn’t give the United States information for the express purpose of carrying out strikes, Mr Key said on Firstline this morning – but it does pass on intelligence that could be useful.

      “There are environments like Afghanistan where our people have gathered information, and that’s information on people of interest to our ISAF partners, and we’ve passed that information onto ISAF partners – and one of those is the United States – and ISAF have passed that information on,” says Mr Key.

    • Key admits role in illegal drone wars

      John Key today admitted that the GCSB is supporting the US state sanctioned assassination programme. He said that the GCSB provided information to the United States that was used to conduct drone strikes in Afghanistan and possibly elsewhere.

    • Yemen’s Chaos

      If women’s rights in Yemen were of real international concern, say locals, health funding would not remain a meager 4 percent of the government’s budget, leaving little money to provide primary health care and nutrition, and nothing for reproductive health. The development community would be working to combat female illiteracy (which hovers at a staggering 70 percent) and helping women set up small businesses and monitor the use of money — which we know women are better at than men — to cut down on rampant corruption. Since social capital remains strong among women, and they are providing much of the remaining glue in this unstable society, this is where the West should invest.

    • Blood on the hands of our spy agency

      Greg Dawes condemns New Zealand’s involvement with drone strike ”murders”.

      Almost a year ago, I drew readers’ attention to the fact our security services may be spying on New Zealanders.

      Sadly, it now seems they may be doing much worse.

      They may be complicit in extra-judicial killings, acts that violate principles of natural justice and, almost certainly, international law.

      If they are supporting such actions – and the prime minister has all but admitted it – our security services have blood on their hands.

      What I am talking about is the involvement of the GSCB, the Government’s electronic spy agency, in the drone killing programme that for some years has been undertaken by the United States.

    • Rand Paul: ‘Drone judge’ betrayed Bill of Rights, promotes ‘vigilantism’

      Declaring that a Harvard University law professor nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals violated the Bill of Rights by penning a memo justifying the administration’s drone killing of Americans overseas, Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday vowed to fight David Barron’s appointment.

      “I cannot and will not support a lifetime appointment of someone who believes it is okay to kill an American citizen not involved in combat without a trial,” Paul said in a Senate floor speech in opposing Barron’s nomination to the Boston court, considered a sure bet.

    • Obama’s revamp of anti-terror policies stalls

      In a Senate hearing Wednesday, irate lawmakers criticized senior administration officials over the lack of follow-up with one of the strategy’s principal goals: Obama had said he was looking forward to “engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine and ultimately repeal” the nearly 13-year-old congressional authorization to use force against those individuals, groups and nations responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

    • Obama Administration Doesn’t Think It Needs Authorization from Congress to Wage War Anywhere in World

      Does the President have to have a statute authorizing the use of military force in order to legally wage war against terrorist groups that may or may not pose an imminent threat to the United States? Or can the President simply target, capture and kill whomever in whatever terrorist group wherever, even if Congress has not authorized action?

    • Paul, Wyden Clash Over Barron Nomination, Use of Drones Abroad

      “It’s unfortunate that it took Mr. Barron’s nomination for the Justice Department to make these memos public,” Wyden said. “I believe that every American has the right to know when their government believes it is allowed to kill them.”

    • Death to the Death Penalty
    • Key won’t say if more Kiwis killed in drone strikes

      He has also rubbished claims by a US journalist the country’s spies likely provided information which led to a drone strike which killed a New Zealander.

    • Drone strikes justified – Key

      Drone strikes are justified – even if innocent civilians are mistakenly killed, Prime Minister John Key says.

      Key confirmed yesterday that intelligence collected by the Government Communications Security Bureau might be passed to the controversial US programme.

    • Drone strike leaves 4 Taliban militants dead in Kunar province

      At least four Taliban militants were killed following a drone strike in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, local officials said Wednesday.

    • The entire basis for Obama’s drone strategy may be wrong

      The basic premise of the Obama Administration’s drone program is that decapitation, the killing of a terrorist organization’s top leadership, works. Killing al-Qaeda’s leadership should, in theory, limit the organization’s ability to plot attacks on the US and its allies.

      But what if that’s not true? That’s the core finding of a just-published study in the prestigious journal International Security. In it, Georgia Tech professor Jenna Jordan takes a look at the history of targeting terrorist leaders and draws lessons for the fight against al-Qaeda. According to Jordan, believing that targeted killing can actually weaken al-Qaeda means assuming al-Qaeda depends on a group of charismatic leaders. But that’s wrong, and that mistaken assumption has led the Obama Administration to pursue a strategy centered on targeting al-Qaeda’s leadership with drones when it’d really be better to cut down on targeted killings altogether.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Wikileaks and The Intercept clash over censorship – spot the real media hero

      When whistleblowers clash over whether information should be censored from the public then alarm bells should be ringing in the heads of all free thinkers. In this particular instance we are talking about an organisation headed by a political prisoner and another spearheaded by an acclaimed prize winning journalist.

      Of course we are talking about two giants in the whistleblowing community – Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald – both of whom work for very different organisations.

      Assange, who heads up Wikileaks, has been a political prisoner, held without charge, for more than three years, including almost two years in the tiny Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Wikileaks has also been treated as a pariah organisation cut off from the usual avenues of international funding from would be donors.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Nasty surprise for some student loan borrowers

      Students who take out private loans to pay for college could face a nasty surprise if their co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy: The lender may suddenly demand the loan be paid in full—or even worse, put that loan in default—even though all payments are being made on time.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook‘s censorship strategy under fire over removal of lesbian kiss snap

      Facebook’s censorship rules have been thrust into the spotlight after a seemingly innocuous photo of two women kissing was removed on the grounds that it ‘violated the community’s standards on nudity and pornography’.

    • Science fiction and the law: free speech, censorship, privacy and surveillance
    • Bromley: Lessons in school censorship

      Students learn so much in fighting for their First Amendment rights. They learn the extent of their resolve. They learn that the ideals of the Bill of Rights extolled in the classroom aren’t so revered by school administrators intent on protecting their fiefdoms. And they learn that there’s nothing like a swimsuit issue to boost circulation.

      [...]

      Fond du Lac High School’s student newspaper, the Cardinal Columns, won multiple awards this year, including a prize for a recent article about rape victims at the school. After publication of the piece, titled “The Rape Joke,” administrators enacted oversight guidelines. Let it be known that award-winning journalism will not go unchecked at Fond du Lac High.

    • Twitter’s selective censorship of tweets may be the best option, but it’s still censorship

      Twitter’s ability to block certain tweets or users from being seen in specific countries, a somewhat Orwellian feature it calls the “country-withheld content” tool, seems to be getting more popular, according to the Chilling Effects clearinghouse, which tracks such things: tweets and/or users are now being blocked in Pakistan as well as Turkey, and a pro-Ukrainian account is apparently unavailable to users who try to view it from inside Russia, at the request of the government.

    • Twitter Steps Down From the Free Speech Party

      In 2012, when Twitter announced in a blog post that it was launching a system that would allow the company to take down content on a country-by-country basis—as opposed to taking it down across the entire Twitter network—EFF defended that decision as the least terrible option. After all, when a company refuses to comply with an official government request, the government’s response is often to block an entire platform.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Senate review of secret CIA detention and interrogation program “shocking”, said Senator Feinstein

      “The purpose of this review was to uncover the facts behind this secret program, and the results were shocking. The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen.

    • Feinstein takes on the CIA

      Future American historians will marvel at how long the CIA engaged in such utter unconstitutional lawlessness as the torture of its captives and drone-plane executions of alleged terrorists — including U.S. citizens — without trials, using “kill lists” provided by President Barack Obama.

    • Federal Judge: Pennsylvania’s Law Banning Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

      A federal judge has ruled that Pennsylvania’s state law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, bringing the total number of state marriage amendments to be overturned in the federal courts over the past year to over a dozen. Pennsylvania is one of the five states that does not have marriage equality but only has a state law banning it — not a state constitutional amendment. The decision did not include a stay, which means couples could possibly begin applying for marriages immediately immediately. Pennsylvania law, however requires a 3-day waiting period between when an application is filed and when a license can be issued, which could prevent any marriages from being finalized should the 3rd Circuit issue an emergency stay.

    • AT&T hacker invoices Justice Dept. for time spent in federal prison

      A computer hacker who was released early from prison last month due to a federal appeals court decision is demanding that the Justice Department pay him for what he calls acts of fraud and violence committed by the United States government.

      On Tuesday, 28-year-old Andrew Auernheimer of Fayetteville, Arkansas published an open letter addressed to the members of the New Jersey Direct Court and US Department of Justice who oversaw his 2012 conviction for computer hacking and identity fraud vacated last month by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

    • AT&T hacker wants government to pay him $13M

      Andrew ‘weev’ Auernheimer, whose struggles with federal prosecutors have fueled calls for reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), wants the government to pay him $13 million for taking away his freedom for the past three years.

    • Some Kids Get Charged Twice for One Crime

      A little-known aspect of the juvenile justice system requires young offenders to pay for their own prosecution and incarceration.

    • Fmr CIA spy criticises US policy to ban use of vaccination programs as cover for spy operations
    • White House: CIA has ended use of vaccine programmes

      The CIA has ended the use of vaccine programmes in its spying operations amid concerns for the safety of health workers, the White House has said.

      In a letter to US public health schools, a White House aide said the CIA stopped such practices in August.

      The CIA used a fake vaccine programme to try to find Osama Bin Laden before US special forces killed him in 2011.

    • CIA will not use vaccination schemes for spying, says White House official
    • CIA To Stop Using Vaccination Schemes As Cover
    • Missing MH370: Ex-Malaysian PM hints at CIA conspiracy and claims ‘someone is hiding something’

      The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, has accused the CIA of possibly knowing the whereabouts of missing flight MH370.

      Dr Mahathir says that someone is hiding something because if the plane’s GPS system failed then Boeing or the US government agency would know why.

    • Missing MH370: CIA ‘Withholding Information About Flight Disappearance’ says Ex-Malysia PM Mahathir Mohamad
    • Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: ‘CIA hiding something’ claims former leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad

      The former Prime Minister of Malaysia has accused a US intelligence agency and the Boeing aircraft firm of concealing the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which has been missing since 8 March.

    • Historian: Espionage Not Just for CIA, KGB Anymore

      Get ready to live in a world without privacy or secrecy, warns historian Richard Aldrich, who specializes in intelligence gathering and espionage.

      Speaking at the PINC 15 conference in Amsterdam, Aldrich said it’s not just government agencies that are spying on us now.

      According to Wired, Aldrich believes the big intelligence gatherers are now airlines, banks, Internet providers, and others.

    • The Guantánamo “Suicides” Revisited: Did CIA Hide Deaths of Tortured Prisoners at Secret Site?

      In one of the great mysteries of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, three prisoners, two from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, died the night of June 9, 2006. Authorities at Guantánamo said the three men — Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, Salah Ahmed al-Salami and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi — had killed themselves. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, described their deaths as an “act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

    • Report Explores Possible CIA Cover-Up At Guantanamo

      “If we look at the original report that was released some years ago, about four years ago now, it gave a narrative of how these three prisoners committed suicide in their cells simultaneously and in a rather strange way,” Horton explained. “When we reviewed that account with well-known medical examiners, they all had the same conclusion, which was: impossible. No one has ever committed suicide that way and it’s pretty much impossible to do.”

    • Torture Report for Public Isn’t Ready, CIA Says

      On the hook to release a redacted version of the so-called torture report, the CIA has asked a federal judge for more time to review the study by the Senate Intelligence Committee that harshly criticizes its interrogation techniques.

    • Stop revolving door between Human Rights Watch and the C.I.A.

      Why did Human Rights Watch select a former CIA official to sit on its advisory committee for eight years?

      That’s a question two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, a former UN assistant secretary general, a UN special rapporteur, and over 100 scholars are asking HRW’s executive director Kenneth Roth in an open letter. They note that Miguel Díaz, a CIA analyst in the 1990s, served as an advisor on human rights to HRW Americas from 2003-11 before moving back into government, as a State Department “interlocutor between the intelligence community and non-government experts.”

    • Wyoming drafts bill to reintroduce firing squads for executions

      Wyoming has become the latest death penalty state to consider a return to the firing squad, as concern rises over the scarcity and secrecy surrounding medical drugs used in lethal injections.

      State legislators have begun to draft a bill that they plan to introduce in Wyoming’s next legislative session that would reintroduce executions at the point of a gun. The move was prompted, elected members said, by the drought in lethal injection drugs caused by a pharmaceutical boycott of US death chambers.

      The Wyoming move adds to a mounting sense of crisis across the US in the practice of the death penalty, which is arguably more profound that at any time since a federal moratorium was imposed by the supreme court in Furman V Georgia in 1972. Utah is also considering reviving the firing squad, which it abolished for all death sentences handed down since 2004, and states including Missouri have also debated the return of the gas chamber.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Lawmakers to FCC: stop mulling net neutrality reclassification

      Republican legislators don’t even want the Federal Communications Commission to think about reclassifying broadband as a utility—a route the regulator could take in order to reinstate net neutrality rules.

    • The Net Neutrality Hysteria

      Mania is peaking over the “open Internet,” but the last thing you should want is the FCC getting involved.

      [...]

      The public can find a lot of ways to punish a corporation that abuses its privileges. This situation should not be escalated to the point that the FCC has anything to do with it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Son of ACTA pours fuel on IP trade fire

      Activists are mobilising against another international trade treaty, with the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations between America and the EU starting to cause angst.

    • European Milk Board rejects TTIP agreement

      European milk producers are calling for the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement negotiations between the USA and the EU to cease.

      It says: “The negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – the TTIP – are causing the European Milk Board (EMB) great concern.

    • Copyrights

      • These five MEP candidates care about your digital right

        The European Elections are upon us and several groups are keen to see as many pro-digital rights MEPs elected as possible. A campaign called WePromise.eu is encouraging MEP candidates to support a charter of 10 digital rights principles, and in returning is encouraging citizens to pledge their votes to those candidates.

        Wired.co.uk has picked out five MEPs and wannabes who have shown real dedication to supporting digital rights with input from the Open Rights Group, which is supporting the WePromise campaign, and the Pirate Party, which has many of its candidates signed up to the charter.

      • Supreme Court Rejects Application of Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde

        The Swedish Supreme Court has rejected an application by Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde to have his case reopened. Based on new EU rulings, Sunde’s legal team argued that he cannot be held responsible for copyright infringements carried out by users of The Pirate Bay, but the Court didn’t see any reason to reopen the case.

      • Shameful: American Society Of Civil Engineers Issues DMCA Notices Against Academics For Posting Their Own Research

        As we’ve pointed out many times in the past, the originally stated purpose of copyright law was to encourage the sharing of scientific knowledge for the purpose of learning. The first copyright act in the US was actually entitled “for the encouragement of learning.” Yet, as copyright law has evolved, it’s frequently been used to make learning much more difficult. Just a few months ago, we covered how publishing giant Elsevier had started to demand that academics who had published their own research on Academia.edu take down those works. As we noted then, while big journal publishers often demand that academics hand over their copyright in order to get published, they usually would either grant an exception for an academic to post their own work, or at least look the other way when the academics would do so. And many, many academics obviously decided to post their own papers to the web.

05.21.14

Links 21/5/2014: New Qt, Bacon Leaves Canonical

Posted in News Roundup at 2:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Planet FLOSS India – 10th anniversary
  • Good Enough Is Good Enough
  • Do You REALLY Need That Non-Free Software?

    The standard comment trolls make to FLOSS is that non-Free software is better, somehow, because you pay for it up front. I’ve seen several instances of that being false in schools. Here’s an example of a big business rolling out non-Free software. It didn’t work for them and they are stopping the rollout part way through. You don’t always get what you pay for…

  • Security’s future belongs to open source

    The proof that open source, properly applied, is available. Studies, such as the one recently done by Coverity, have found that open-source programs have fewer errors per thousand lines of code than its proprietary brothers. And, it’s hard to ignore the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), the group within the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that assesses operating systems and software for security issues, when they said that that while no end-user operating system is as secure as they’d like it to be, Ubuntu 12.04 is the most secure desktop.

    On the other hand, the mere existence of Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday says everything most of us need to know about how “secure” proprietary software is. I also can’t help noticing how every time Microsoft releases a new version of Internet Explorer (IE), they always claim it’s the most secure ever. And, then, a new hole is found, and guess what, that same security hole is in every version of IE from IE 6 to IE 11. If IE really were being rewritten to make it secure why are the same holes showing up In Every Version??

  • HP Strengthens Commitment to Open Networking and the Open Cloud

    As a platinum member of both the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation, HP hasn’t exactly kept its interest in open source a secret. Recently, however, it upped its commitment to open source in two key areas. First, it added the OpenDaylight project — one it helped found — to its list of platinum memberships. Second, it launched the Helion portfolio and pledged to invest more than $1 billion in support of new open source cloud products and platforms.

    “Our views on open source are captured by our commitment to base HP’s cloud product and services strategy entirely upon the open source OpenStack framework,” Mark Pearson, chief technologist for HP Networking, told Linux.com. “We believe openness speeds up innovation.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Looker Unveils New ‘Self-Service’ Big Data Analytics Platform
    • OpenStack launches new marketplace of vendors

      The OpenStack Juno Summit last week in Atlanta was a source of many new and exciting announcements, from both vendors and the OpenStack Foundation itself. One of the more interesting of such announcements was of a new OpenStack Marketplace. For those looking to explore their options in commercial offerings of OpenStack, from training to distributions to public clouds and more, the Marketplace is designed to help users better understand what resources are available.

    • New OpenStack Resources Flowed Out of the Atlanta Summit

      Last week was filled with soundbytes and announcements from OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, and there were also announcements of several new services and resources surrounding the OpenStack cloud platform. In case you missed some of the most important ones, here is what you need to know, whether you are considering an OpenStack deployment or already have one underway.

    • OpenStack Building Storyboard for the Software-Defined Economy
    • Ubuntu, Puppet, Grizzly Play Key Roles in OpenStack Deployments

      During an afternoon session at the OpenStack Juno Summit in Atlanta on May 14, members of the OpenStack User Committee publicly revealed the results of the latest OpenStack user survey. OpenStack is an open-source cloud platform originally started by NASA and Rackspace in 2010 that has since grown to include many of the leading names in the technology world, including IBM, HP, Dell, Cisco and AT&T. Since 2010, there have been nine major milestone releases of OpenStack, with the most recent being the Icehouse release that debuted on April 17. The new OpenStack user study includes responses from 506 OpenStack deployments around the world. The top country for deployments is the United States, followed by China. Across the 506 OpenStack clouds, organizations are in various stages of deployments, with 210 being in development/quality assurance, 218 in proof of concept and 209 in production deployment. One of the key findings of the user survey is that OpenStack users are running different OpenStack releases and don’t always update to the latest version, for various reasons. For the OpenStack clouds running in production, the survey found that the Ubuntu Linux operating system is the leading choice. In this eWEEK slide show, we take a look at some of the key findings from the OpenStack user survey.

    • KEMP Unveils Condor Cloud Application Delivery Framework
  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.9.1 now available in Fedora

      This update is a bugfix update of the previous major WordPress update 3.9 (codenamed “Smith”). WordPress 3.9.1 has been available for a few days in Fedora 20, and was recently just pushed to the Fedora 19 repos.

      The 3.9 WordPress update introduced a slew of new features and refinements, including a new theme browser, improved post editing, and updates to the image editing tools.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Local government software sharing and reuse site revamped

      Europe Commons, an online platform for the sharing, exchange and reuse of software solutions for Europe’s municipalities and other local government organisations was revamped earlier this month, during which it also received a new name – Civic Exchange. The platform collects and promotes applications and digital services that help improve public services in Europe. The platform’s consortium is doubling its efforts to find new solutions, announcing evidence-based case studies to showcase those with the most impact.

    • 3 ways government can unleash the power of feedback

      Open government is a critical dimension to democracy. It is also difficult. If it were easy, our work would be over. Yet, open government by its nature needs constant iteration. Open government, much like open source, is grounded in collaborative and participatory processes that ultimately shape how we experience our cities, states, and country. It requires several dimensions—from releasing information to creating structures and processes to empower people inside and out of government.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Direct from the White House: APIs are key to extending platforms

      To a technology director at the White House, the State of the Union is like the Superbowl. While the world is watching the President of the United States deliver an address to the nation, Leigh Heyman and his team are managing the media technology behind the scenes to create an enhanced and interactive experience for the viewers. How many of you watched the State of the Union on YouTube this year?

    • Finding OpenGL Driver Bottlenecks With OProfile + PTS

      A new initiative is underway by a Mesa developer to pair the OProfile system profiler with the Phoronix Test Suite for more easily finding OpenGL driver bottlenecks, etc.

Leftovers

  • Why Tech’s Best Minds Are Very Worried About the Internet of Things

    The 1,606 respondents said they saw many potential benefits to the Internet of Things. New voice- and gesture-based interfaces could make computers easier to use. Medical devices and health monitoring services could help prevent and treat diseases. Environmental sensors could detect pollution. Salesforce.com chief scientist JP Rangaswami said that improved logistics and planning systems could reduce waste.

  • iOS 7: users destroy iPhones after fake waterproof advert

    A spoof advert suggesting Apple’s new iOS 7 operating system made handsets waterproof appears to have fooled some users into destroying their iPhones.

  • First academy chain closes leaving the fates of six schools in the balance

    An academy chain in charge of running six state schools became the first in the country to fold today – forcing a sudden hunt for new sponsors to take them over.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Blair-Bush Letters

      If anybody is surprised that key letters between Tony Blair and George Bush on launching the invasion of Iraq have gone missing, they have not been paying attention. On both sides of the Atlantic, the Obama and Cameron regimes have consistently and continually covered up the crimes of their predecessors, from launch illegal wars of aggression to instituting programmes of torture and extraordinary rendition and murder.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

      In July of 2008, Dylan Breves, then a seventeen-year-old student from New York City, made a mundane edit to a Wikipedia entry on the coati. The coati, a member of the raccoon family, is “also known as … a Brazilian aardvark,” Breves wrote. He did not cite a source for this nickname, and with good reason: he had invented it. He and his brother had spotted several coatis while on a trip to the Iguaçu Falls, in Brazil, where they had mistaken them for actual aardvarks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Vote Green in England

      So who should those of us living in England vote for tomorrow? I intend to vote Green – it seems to me that in England that is the best way to give a positive expression to the discontent with mainstream parties. I particularly hope that those who have the opportunity to vote for Rupert Read in the East of England will do so. Their support for renationalizing the railways would be enough for me, but actually I find myself in agreement with the large majority of their platform. I reproduce here an article from the ever excellent Peter Tatchell.

    • Hungary and the End of Politics

      How Victor Orbán launched a constitutional coup and created a one-party state.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook Shuts Down Account Of Woman Who Posted Same-Sex Kiss Photo

      A woman in Italy is accusing Facebook of closing her account with less than 24 hours notice after she refused to remove a photo of two women kissing. Carlotta Trevisan says Facebook deemed that the image, which she described as “chaste” and “pure,” “violated the community’s standards on nudity and pornography.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why the UK needs to start caring about net neutrality

      LAST THURSDAY the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted by a three to two margin to move forward with chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposals to gut net neutrality rules in the USA. But what exactly does that mean? And why should we, on a small island 3,000 miles away, care anyway?

      It all started in January when US internet service provider (ISP) Verizon successfully appealed against FCC Open Internet Order 2010, arguing that because internet service had been classified as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service”, the FCC had no right to enforce net neutrality rules under the common carrier regulations that had been the backbone of the 2010 rules, and a cornerstone of the Obama administration.

    • FCC chairman clarifies position with House Subcommittee
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXVI

      This is probably the most action-packed update so far – a reflection of the fact that we are now deep in the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations, which have been running for nearly a year. Of course, information about what exactly is happening behind the closed doors is still thin on the ground. To its credit, the European Commission has recently published its negotiating positions in five areas: chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles, textiles and clothing. Significantly, though, it did not publish its proposals for energy. That’s because they are far more contentious than for those other sectors.

    • Copyrights

      • Election Week, Swedish And Czech Pirate Parties Liftoff In Polls

        Last Friday, Swedish Public Radio opened with the headline “Swedish Pirate Party Heading For Re-Election To European Parliament” as a fresh poll was published. This was followed by similar news from the Czech Republic. As election week opens, more is up in the air than ever – but things are looking overall positive for the movement.

      • Student Wins Pirate Bay Domain To Protest Website Blockades

        A student has been awarded a valuable Pirate Bay-related domain after successfully complaining to Denmark’s domain name dispute body. ThePirateBay.dk will now be taken away from its current owner and transformed into a special site to protest the ISP blockade of The Pirate Bay in Denmark.

      • The Biggest Filer of Copyright Lawsuits? This Erotica Web Site

        In 2006, Colette Pelissier was selling houses in Southern California, and her boyfriend, Brigham Field, was working as a photographer of nude models. Colette wanted to leave the real-estate business, so she convinced her boyfriend to start making adult films. “I had this idea, when the real-estate market was cooling—you know, maybe we could make beautiful erotic movies,” she said.

      • Pirate Bay Backs Pirate Party With EU Election Banners

        The Pirate Bay has just launched a banner campaign to support the various Pirate parties participating in the European Parliament elections this week. The notorious torrent site is running localized ads, encouraging its millions of visitors to vote Pirate.

      • The Pirate Bay Running Promos For European Pirate Parties In Election Week

05.19.14

Links 19/5/2014: Ubuntu in HPC, New Linux Foundation Members

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • AdBlock Plus: A Memory Guzzler?

        If you ask users of the Firefox browser why they use it, a lot of them will say that they have favorite extensions that work with it. And, among those popular extensions, AdBlock Plus is among the most popular of all. However, a post from Mozilla’s Nicholas Nethercote claims that the almost 19 million users of AdBlock Plus don’t realize that bugs and some design aspects of the extension can cause it to guzzle memory, potentially slowing computers down.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • Preview of GhostBSD 4.0

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution that’s based on FreeBSD. The core developers are from Canada, so I think it ok to call it a Canadian distribution. The only article I’ve written about this distribution was a review of GhostBSD 2.5 back in February 2012 (see GhostBSD 2.5 review). I wasn’t impressed.

      But that was then, this is now. The third alpha of what will become GhostBSD 4.0 was released a few days ago. To see how far the distribution has come since the 2.5 edition, I downloaded and installed it from a DVD image in a virtual environment. I’m still not terribly impressed, though I realize the this is only a third alpha release. The following screenshots were taken from that test installation.

      This is what the boot menu looks like. This needs to change. Even PC-BSD, another FreeBSD-based distribution, has abandoned this bland boot menu.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • 50 key MIT-related innovations

      23. The free software movement (1983)

      Early AI Lab programmer Richard Stallman was a major pioneer in hacker culture and started the freesoftware movement by launching the GNU operating system, a compatible replacement for the (nonfree) Unix OS. The last gap in GNU was filled by the kernel Linux, yielding the widely used GNU/Linux system.

    • Terry Hancock on Free Software and Free Culture [Interview]

      Advocates of Free Software aren’t made in a single night. When it comes to computers, software, and digital art, inspiration and motivation are of utmost importance. Terry Hancock, part owner of Anansi Spaceworks and Free Software Magazine columnist, was surrounded by all three growing up.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source code helps governments share information with citizens

      Before open data, there was FOIA. Beginning in 1967, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) empowered the public to request access to government documents. Unfortunately, some branches of government quickly began to push back, and within the decade the infamous phrase “can neither confirm nor deny” had been devised to avoid releasing information.

      This came to exemplify the adversarial relationship between the public and government. Yet public records requests (also known as FOIL, Right-to-Know, public information or open records requests, depending on where you are) remain a fundamental way in which the public is able to obtain information from government agencies under FOIA-like laws in all fifty states.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Hackerlands: the rural version of urban hackerspaces

      They open up areas struck by digital exclusion. They develop autonomous Internet networks in mountainous areas, install organic solar panels, and let local Internet radio emerge. They can even transform abandoned water troughs into eco-jacuzzis. “Hackerspaces,” user-friendly spaces where technological tools are crafted, are spreading throughout the rural environment.

    • Open Data

      • Exploring the legal issues around open data and open hardware

        Drafting and using open licenses for data and hardware presents both familiar old challenges (like license proliferation) and new challenges (like less developed legal frameworks and different production models). About thirty people working in these areas recently gathered (under the umbrella of the FSF-E’s “European Legal Network”) to discuss the latest work in these areas under the Chatham House Rules. This article will summarize what the group learned, and, I hope, stimulate discussion to improve the state of licensing in those areas.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • effects analysis in guile

      OK kids, so I had a bit of time recently. I’ve been hacking on Guile’s new CPS-based compiler, which should appear in a stable release in a few months. I have a few things to write about, but today’s article is on effects analysis.

Leftovers

  • What the heck is Fog Computing?

    While many are still trying to figure out Cloud Computing, here comes a rival concept – Fog Computing. It’s computing that takes place at the edge of the network, closer to home. That is, computing that takes place on the devices that are nearest to you – your smartphone and other connected devices that are around you. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT), or Internet of Everything (IoE).

    Fog Computing is not a new concept. Like Cloud Computing, it’s just a marketing buzzword for something that’s already taking place.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Exposures by VA whistleblowers shake agency, reveal serious patient issues

      That’s one of the messages from a Senate hearing Thursday into a VA health-care system under fire on multiple fronts — from repeated complaints about long waits for service to unnecessary deaths.

      Yet even the American Legion, which has called for VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki’s resignation, finds “veterans are extremely satisfied with their health-care team and medical providers,” according to the Legion’s national commander, Daniel M. Dellinger.

    • I Went to the Nutritionists’ Annual Confab. It Was Catered by McDonald’s.

      One recent Friday afternoon, in a Mariott Hotel ballroom in Pomona, California, I watched two women skeptically evaluate their McDonald’s lunches. One peered into a plastic bowl containing a salad of lettuce, bacon, chicken, cheese, and ranch dressing. The other arranged two chocolate chip cookies and a yogurt parfait on a napkin. “Eww,” she said, gingerly stirring the layers of yogurt and pink strawberry goop. The woman with the salad nodded in agreement, poking at a wan chicken strip with her plastic fork.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Honest US Senator Wanted

      Looking for an honest US Senator my be a long shot, but we need one now to take forward the foiling of the British government’s attempts to block publication of the Senate report into torture and extraordinary rendition. Now we have got this into the mainstream media, it may have more traction. I am delighted that the Belhadj legal team have formally adopted the information that the UK is seeking to block release of key information in this report. Given that the Crown’s defence in the Belhadj case rests entirely on the argument that the USA does not want the facts revealed, that the Crown is then lobbying the USA to hide the same facts ought to be too much even for the most abject establishment lickspittle of a judge to stomach.

    • European day of action: Citizens call on MEPs to protect digital rights

      Today, a coalition of 36 civil rights organisations invites European citizens to take part in a day of action to make sure that the next European Parliament defends digital civil and human rights. Through WePromise.eu, people can pledge to vote for candidates who have signed up to protect digital rights.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why the U.K. might kill the EU’s net neutrality law

      While the debate over net neutrality continues to rage in the United States, the British government is planning to block European Union legislation on the matter.

      It’s a surprising turn of events. Just last month, the European Parliament voted to place the principles of net neutrality into law. However, before it becomes law throughout Europe, each member country must also pass the legislation. On Thursday, the British government indicated it may veto it instead.

      At issue is a new provision that critics argue would restrict the British government’s “ability to block illegal material.” The amendment made it so that only a court order would allow for the banning of content, and not a legislative provision, as originally proposed, according to RT.

    • NY Times And Washington Post Describe Yesterday’s Net Neutrality Vote In Diametrically Opposite Ways

      As we noted, yesterday’s FCC vote concerning the NPRM on “open internet” rules was really just the start of the process. A lot of people seem confused by this — and part of the problem is really the FCC. Tom Wheeler keeps insisting that the rules are designed to protect net neutrality and the open internet, but as lots of people keep pointing out, the rulemaking he’s proposing would likely do the opposite. Because of that, you get a ton of confusion, perhaps best shown by a simple comparison, put together by Drew Oden on Twitter of the summary from both the NY Times and the Washington Post about what happened:

    • Hollywood Is Still On The Wrong Side Of Net Neutrality

      But, tragically, the powers that be among the legacy entertainment industry still seem to view net neutrality as a problem, not an important part of their future. It appears this is a combination of a few factors, led by their continued and irrational fear of “piracy.” Because of this, they seem to think that any sort of “open” internet is a problem. In fact, back in 2007, the MPAA specifically argued that net neutrality would harm its anti-piracy efforts. Similarly, both the RIAA and MPAA have lobbied strongly in the past for special loopholes and exceptions to any net neutrality rules that would allow ISPs to block content the legacy guys don’t like. In fact, one of the most famous net neutrality violations involved Comcast throttling BitTorrent connections. The Songwriters Guild of America once claimed that net neutrality would mean an end to songwriting.

    • Who’s against Net neutrality? Follow the money

      The cable industry has not been shy about handing out campaign donations to Congress. So guess who’s sending letters to the FCC arguing against Net neutrality?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Urges Lawmakers to Protect Young Pirates From Cyber Threats

        The MPAA is urging lawmakers to protect young Americans from the “numerous hazards on pirate sites.” The movie industry group believes that young people may not be aware of the risks they face when visiting these sites and hopes that Senators will be able to address this cyber threat appropriately.

      • The Connection Between The Copyright Industry And The NSA

        There is a direct connection between copyright monopoly enforcement and mass surveillance, and between mass surveillance and lack of free speech. If you want to keep free speech, the copyright monopoly must be reduced sharply.

05.18.14

Links 18/5/2014: GNU/Linux on the Rise, Privacy in the News

Posted in News Roundup at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • David Lowe: I thought, ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat On’. Now that’s a nice, safe choice

    ‘The BBC is fundamentally flawed. The system is fractured’: David Lowe at home in Torquay

  • Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours

    Adobe is struggling to correct a global outage that has already locked customers out of its Creative Cloud online services for nearly 24 hours.

  • Cloud-computing Has A Silver Lining For FLOSS

    While we potential users may argue the pros and cons of “Cloud Computing”, those who provide cloud-computing solutions are having to work hard for a living. That’s a pleasant change to having to pay the asking price to a monopolist, eh? I like that aspect of it. It’s also very efficient in that experts who should know how to run the service will fuss over it instead of the users or their randomly-hired staff. It is an ancient truth in the history of mankind that specialization is a good thing, all things being equal.

  • Cloud computing, or ‘The future is trying to KILL YOU’
  • Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

    Something for the Weekend, Sir? Adobe’s spectacular FAIL over the last 48 hours confirmed, rather than revealed, cloud computing to be so unreliable as to be positively dangerous. Cloud computing is shite. It takes over everything you’ve got, then farts in your face and runs away giggling.

  • Rackspace entertains possible takeover suitors

    At OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, GA, one of the topics of bar conversation was why Rackspace, one of OpenStack’s founding companies was keeping such a low profile at the show. Now we know it was probably because the company had been approached by companies looking for strategic partnerships or acquisitions.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Obamacare Loophole Shows Failure of For-Profit Health System: Critics

      The Obama administration earlier this month quietly handed the insurance industry another loophole in the Affordable Care Act—infuriating advocates for universal coverage who say this shows that an insurance-driven health system is doomed to fail.

      Announced on May 2, the provision opens the door to “reference pricing,” which allows insurance companies to set a price for medical procedures. If a patient receives a treatment that costs more, he/she will simply have to pay out of pocket. The measure is slated to apply to a majority of work-based health insurance plans and exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), according to the Associated Press.

      Many worry that reference pricing will force patients to bear the burden of a costly and difficult-to-navigate medical system.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • East Ukraine Votes For Independence As Reports Claim 400 Blackwater Troops In Country
    • Is the West DIRECTLY Responsible for the Massacres In Ukraine?
    • Sen. Paul Says He’ll Filibuster Obama Judicial Nominee Over Drone Issue

      Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul says he wants to block the President’s nomination of David Barron for the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because of Barron’s legal memos related to drones. During his time as a U.S. Justice Department lawyer, Barron reportedly authored at least two classified opinions giving the go-ahead to use drones to kill the U.S.-born extremist Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 in Yemen.

    • Muslims Call Out Obama’s Hypocrisy With Twitter Campaign Attacking Civilian Drone Deaths
    • Drone opponents criticise US first lady’s support for Nigerian girls
    • ‘My husband kills kids with drones’: Michelle Obama’s viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign

      When US First Lady Michelle Obama appeared in a picture supporting the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, she was praised for taking a stand against Boko Haram. But others quickly subverted her message and turned it into an anti-drone campaign.

    • Michelle’s Sign and the Imperatives of Empire

      But most Americans do not know why Iranians have excellent reason not to trust our word, nor why Africans remember us quite differently than Americans suppose.

    • US Terrorism from the Skies: The Truth Behind Drone Strikes as the President’s Personal Choice of Warfare

      Imagine attending your son or daughter’s or brother or sister’s wedding, a family member’s funeral, or just relaxing with friends at a local restaurant. While you may be busily living the most exciting high point of your life to the lowest grieving the loss of a family loved one, to just attending an everyday social gathering, all of a sudden your world is abruptly shattered never to be the same. Out of the blue from out of nowhere, a bomb hits and you are either dead, or barely alive suffering from life threatening injuries, or traumatized for life, forever changed for the worse. You will never enjoy another wedding, attend another funeral, or experience another emotional high or joy without sudden flashback memories of that fateful day flooding your consciousness and invading your world. Intrusive fear and panic rule your daily life where your sense of normalcy and homeostasis is forever knocked out of whack. Destroying lives is what US predator drones do every day of the week, year in and year out for more than a dozen years to thousands of innocent people in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa and no doubt other hidden places we do not even know.

    • Does the Obama Administration Care About Innocents Killed by Drones?

      How many innocent people will the Obama administration kill before it comes clean on who these people are and why they were taken from their families, their friends and their communities? Despite President Obama’s repeated promises of more transparency, he had James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, sent a letter to the heads of the Select Committee on Intelligence seeking the removal of a provision from the proposed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 that would have modestly required President Obama to report the number of innocent people killed in drone strikes from only the previous year. Not surprisingly, this request was granted.

    • Kill a 16 Year-Old, Get a Promotion

      If you think that as a United States citizen you’re entitled to a trial by jury before the government can decide to kill you–– you’re wrong. During his stint as a lawyer at the Department of Justice, David Barron was able to manipulate constitutional law so as to legally justify killing American citizens with drone strikes. If you’re wondering what the justification for that is, that’s just too bad – the legal memos are classified. Sounds a little suspicious, doesn’t it? What’s even more suspicious is that now the Obama Administration wants to appoint the lawyer who wrote that legal memos to become a high-ranking judge for life.

    • US Cluster Bombs Keep Killing Civilians in Yemen

      When you’re a member of a club that includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Russia, China, Equatorial Guinea, and Turkmenistan, you may very well be doing something you shouldn’t be doing. And that is the motley crew the United States finds itself alongside in refusing to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international treaty prohibiting the use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster bombs.

    • Deadly U.S. Drone War Creating Problems for Yemen’s President

      After a brief respite, U.S. drones are buzzing above Yemen once again, reportedly killing six al-Qaeda “militants” on May 12.

      Hellfire missiles launched from the U.S.-piloted unmanned aircraft destroyed a car driving through the Marib province, according to a statement made by unnamed local officials. The identities of the dead were not readily available, however.

      Including strikes conducted early this year, the drone war in Yemen has resulted in the death of at least 12 suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

    • Do We Need Asimov’s Laws?

      As robots become ever more present in daily life, the question of how to control their behaviour naturally arises. Does Asimov have the answer?

    • The ultra-lethal drones of the future

      In 13 short years, killer drones have gone from being exotic military technology featured primarily in the pages of specialized aviation magazines to a phenomenon of popular culture, splashed across daily newspapers and fictionalized in film and television, including the new season of “24.”

      What has not changed all that much — at least superficially — is the basic aircraft that most people associate with drone warfare: the armed Predator.

    • Should robots kill without human supervision?
    • “The Stuff I Saw Really Began to Disturb Me”: How the U.S. Drone War Pushed Snowden to Leak NSA Docs

      In his new book, “No Place to Hide,” journalist Glenn Greenwald provides new details on Edward Snowden’s personal story and his motivation to expose the U.S. surveillance state. “The stuff I saw really began to disturb me. I could watch drones in real time as they surveilled the people they might kill,” Snowden told Greenwald about his time as a National Security Agency contractor. “You could watch entire villages and see what everyone was doing. I watched NSA tracking people’s Internet activities as they typed. I became aware of just how invasive U.S. surveillance capabilities had become. I realized the true breadth of this system. And almost nobody knew it was happening.”

    • RAW DATA: Kiwi killed in drone strike — Patrick Gower interviews Jeremy Scahill
    • NZ ‘aware’ of US drone attacks – journalist
    • Journalist: NZ spies aware of drone strikes
    • Gvt’s role in US drone attacks ‘pretty scandalous’
    • MH370: Ask Boeing and CIA, don’t blame MAS, says Dr Mahathir

      Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday suggested that Boeing and the Central Intelligence Agency should be questioned over the missing Flight MH370.

      “Someone is hiding something. It is not fair that Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and Malaysia should take the blame,” he said in his blog Chedet.cc.

      In his 11-paragraph long post, Mahathir expressed his viewpoints and theories on the situation and stressed that something was out of place and that the media would not post anything about Boeing or CIA.

      “They can land safely or they may crash, but airplanes do not just disappear. Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities,” Mahathir said.

      Stating that he believes the tracking system on the plane was intentionally disabled, Mahathir questioned on where was the data of the plane, which was supposed to have been recorded by the satellite.

      “MH370 is a Boeing 777 aircraft. It was built and equipped by Boeing, hence all the communications and GPS equipment must have been installed by Boeing.

    • Dr Mahathir adds CIA to list of suspects
    • The Excluded Cubans: Used by the CIA Unwanted by the USA

      The arrest of four infiltrated anti-Castro militants from Miami, sent to attack military units, highlights the situation of some 20 Cuban-Americans, who upon leaving prison in Cuba are considered unwelcome by Washington.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tony Abbott’s budget emergency: what are the facts?
    • Murdoch-owned media hypes lone metereologist’s climate junk science

      This morning I, like any of you, was disappointed to see that the frontpage of The Times carried a story by the paper’s environment editor, Ben Webster, which read, ‘Scientists in cover-up of “damaging” climate view.’

      Variations of the story had been plastered everywhere, spearheaded by Murdoch-owned outlets, repeated uncritically by others.

      The Daily Mail, much loved for its objective reporting on climate change (and other stuff), declared: ‘Climate change scientist claims he has been forced from new job in “McCarthy”-style witch-hunt by academics across the world.’

      These stories were quoted approvingly by the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto as “the latest reason to distrust the authority of ‘consensus’ climate scientists.”

  • Finance

    • Swiss consider world’s highest minimum wage

      Voters expected to say “no” to union-initiated referendum that would raise basic income to more than $4,000 a month.

    • Better than Redistributing Income

      Widening gaps between rich and poor, the top 1% and the rest, are heating up debates, struggles and recriminations over redistributing income. Should governments’ taxing, spending, and regulatory powers redistribute income from the wealthy to others, and if so, how exactly? As opinions and feelings polarize, political conflicts sharpen.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lessig’s Anti-SuperPAC SuperPAC Raises First $1 Million In Just 12 Days

      We’re a little late on this (past few days have been quite busy…) but Larry Lessig’s SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs has hit its first target way early. As you hopefully remember, the goal was to reach $1 million in 30 days, which would then be matched by an (as yet) unknown donor, followed by a second campaign to raise $5 million in June — again matched by a donor. The plan then would be to use the $12 million to work on a few specific Congressional races to prove that it can have an impact, and then kick off in 2015 with a much bigger campaign to have an even larger impact.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Enigmail, and Not Signing by Default
    • Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA

      A web of deception has finally been untangled: the Justice Department got the US supreme court to dismiss a case that could have curtailed the NSA’s dragnet. Why?

    • Glenn Greenwald on Hong Kong’s key role in Snowden’s NSA document leak
    • The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power

      Modern American privacy law begins with Charles Katz, an accused gambler, making a call from a Los Angeles phone booth. In a now-famous opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan concluded that the US Constitution protected Katz’s “expectation of privacy” in his call. American phone booths are now a thing of the past, of course, and Americans’ expectations of privacy seem to be fast disappearing, too.

      In two significant but almost-completely overlooked legal briefs filed last week, the US government defended the constitutionality of the Fisa Amendments Act, the controversial 2008 law that codified the Bush administration’s warrantless-wiretapping program. That law permits the government to monitor Americans’ international communications without first obtaining individualized court orders or establishing any suspicion of wrongdoing.

    • Crypto-guru slams ‘NSA-proof’ tech, says today’s crypto is strong enough

      History is filled with companies shamed by their shoddy cryptography implementations – even though the underlying maths is bang on.

      In a presentation titled “Crypto Won’t Save You” at the AusCERT conference on Australia’s Gold Coast, respected cryptographer Peter Gutmann of the University of Auckland took security bods through a decade of breaches featuring a laundry list of the world’s biggest brands.

    • Photos reveal NSA tampered with Cisco router prior to export

      For years, the US government has accused Chinese companies of placing surveillance equipment inside routers being exported to America, but this week evidence suggests the exact opposite may be happening.

      New photos implicate the US National Security Agency (NSA) in planting “beacons” into servers, routers and other network gear prior to being exported worldwide.

      The Guardian originally published details May 12 of how the covert operation works, part of bombshell allegations from the new book “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald, who claims the US is doing exactly what it’s accused Chinese telecommunications manufacturers of in the past.

    • Sprint Only Carrier to (Briefly) Question NSA Data Collection

      According to the Washington Post, Sprint was the only telecom carrier to ask the government for their legal rationale to justify the NSA’s ever-expanding warrantless wiretapping operations back in 2010, before much of it was revealed by Edward Snowden. While Sprint was different from their fellow carriers in that they at least asked the government for justification (as opposed to saying “how high”?) Sprint’s questions didn’t last long.

    • Sprint was the only telco to stand up to the NSA

      Newly declassified documents show the dilemma faced by telecommunications companies when the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) came calling.

      According to a story this week in the Washington Post, Sprint asked the NSA for legal justification when it received requests for phone metadata in 2009. Reportedly, it was the only telco to require a legal rationale. The documents related to previous occasions for which the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, had issued orders.

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email

      One new email service promising “end-to-end” encryption launched on Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

    • Many more NSA revelations to come, Glenn Greenwald tells Al Jazeera; Snowden ‘very happy’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, at the centre of controversy since breaking the story about the existence of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme, has told Al Jazeera that there are “many more stories to go” based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      Greenwald also told Al Jazeera interviewer John Seigenthaler that despite accusations to the contrary — the Obama administration has repeatedly said that the leaks hurt U.S national security — “nobody has been injured or in any way harmed as a result of our reporting.”

    • ‘New NSA document highlights Israeli espionage in US’

      The document, among those unleashed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and revealed by journalist Glenn Greenwald in his new memoir, carries the assessment that Israel is a good partner to the US for joint electronic spying programs against foreign agents but practices problematic operations.

    • NSA Is Recording the Voices of U.S. Telephone Calls
    • NSA Spying Has a Disproportionate Effect on Immigrants

      The consequences of eliminating Fourth Amendment protections for all international communication with foreigners

    • Advocates fear NSA bill is being gutted

      Privacy advocates are worried that a bill intended to reform the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) is being watered down before it heads to the House floor.

      “Last stage negotiations” between members of the House and the Obama administration could significantly weaken provisions in the NSA bill, people familiar with the discussions say.

      “Behind the scenes, there’s some nervousness,” one House aide said.

    • NSA documents show Microsoft’s Prism cooperation
    • Microsoft openly offered cloud data to support NSA PRISM programme
    • Encrypted or not, Skype communications prove “vital” to NSA surveillance

      Last year, Ars documented how Skype encryption posed little challenge to Microsoft abuse filters that scanned instant messages for potentially abusive Web links. Within hours of newly created, never-before-visited URLs being transmitted over the service, the scanners were able to pluck them out of a cryptographically protected stream and test if they were malicious. Now comes word that the National Security Agency is also able to work around Skype crypto—so much so that analysts have deemed the Microsoft-owned service “vital” to a key surveillance regimen known as PRISM.

    • Former NSA Official Thinks A Blog Containing Nothing But His Own Tweets Is ‘Defamatory’

      All the PhDs in the world aren’t going to save you from having your own direct quotes turned against you. If anything, it only confirms what Schindler’s critics believe: that he’s pompous, arrogant and unwilling to actually engage in a debate. Instead, he prefers to belittle anyone who doesn’t hold a precious PhD in history, using his doctorate to paper over any flaws in arguments.

      I can’t imagine it’s much fun to see your Twitter feed boiled down to little more than shouts of “stupid!” and continuous pointing to a framed piece of paper, but whether Schindler likes it or not, those are his words and those are his go-to rhetorical devices. For someone who frequently uses the hashtag #caring to show his contempt for the ire he provokes, he certainly can’t seem to take having his own abuse heaped on his Carebear-surrounded head.z

    • Microsoft MVP Says NSA Can Monitor Secure Tor Browsing
    • Microsoft expert: Tor security compromised by NSA

      Speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd North America event earlier this week, the founder of the Cyber Crime Security Forum said that hackers and government agencies can now compromise the security of the TOR network.

      First set up in September 2002, TOR was originally conceived as means for Internet users from those countries with oppressive regimes to side step any state monitoring and similar controls on the web.

    • The NYT and the NSA: Abramson and Baquet have different journalistic values

      Lots of folks have sent along links to the New York Times’s new executive editor Dean Baquet’s backstory, spiking an important revelation about national surveillance when he was editor of the LA Times. At Huffington Post, David Bromwich, author of a new book about the political imagination, offers his own deep analysis of the abrupt change in command at the Times in the context of coverage of the national security state.

    • Cisco’s NSA problem is going to whack all of US tech’s growth plans

      Cisco’s emerging markets business—the engine for the networking giant’s future growth—continues to take a hit and that situation isn’t likely to change now that it’s common knowledge that the NSA has been intercepting routers—and other IT gear—in the supply chain so it can install call-home beacons.

    • The FBI, the NSA, and the Daunting Task of True Reform

      Last summer, after the in-FBI-custody shooting of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of the elder Boston bomber, the Bureau told the same story they have been telling since 1993 – this was justified. Furthermore, documents acquired by The New York Times last June showed that there were more than 150 FBI shootings by agents in the last 20 years – almost half fatal – and every single one was ruled justified after internal investigations.

    • bEncrypted Web Traffic More Than Doubles After NSA Revelations

      Google search guru Matt Cutts says we should encrypt the entire internet. And he’s not alone. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations of widespread internet eavesdropping by the NSA, the human rights organization Access is also campaigning for all websites to encrypt their connections to internet users, a pretty good way of thwarting interlopers.

    • More People Are Encrypting Their Web Traffic In The Wake Of NSA Spying Revelations

      People have started taking Edward Snowden’s advice on using Web encryption to shield their movements online, according to a new study. After the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor leaked documents on the government’s surveillance programs, encrypted web traffic has more than doubled worldwide.

      In March, Snowden told a room full of tech industry workers at the SXSW Interactive conference that the only way people can protect themselves from government surveillance was to use Web encryption. He said that the United States didn’t even know all the documents he had because “encryption works.” And it looks like people worldwide are heeding that advice.

    • Sony Pictures buys film rights to Greenwald’s book on Snowden, NSA

      “Zero Dark Thirty” maker nabs rights to Glenn Greenwald’s look at working with Edward Snowden to reveal reach of NSA.

    • Germany Will Ban Tech Companies That Play Ball With NSA

      No German federal contracts will go to companies that turn over data to the NSA and other spy agencies in the U.S., and elsewhere. There may, however, be one crucial exemption.

    • Biggest NSA leaks are yet to come, Glenn Greenwald says in interview

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been at the center of controversy ever since breaking the story about the existence of the expansive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program, told Al Jazeera’s John Seigenthaler on Wednesday that there were “many more stories to go” based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • Did the NSA help kill UWB?

      Revisionist history is looking back at past events in light of more recent information. What really happened? And no recent source of information has been more important when it comes to revising the history of digital communications than former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Today I’m really curious about the impact of the NSA on the troubled history of Ultra Wide Band (UWB) communication.

    • Harvard & MIT Students Have Created an Email So Secure Even the NSA Can’t Crack It
    • Startup pitches snoop-proof (even NSA-proof) email
    • How the NSA & FBI made Facebook the perfect mass surveillance tool

      The National Security Agency and the FBI teamed up in October 2010 to develop techniques for turning Facebook into a surveillance tool.

      Documents released alongside security journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book, “No Place To Hide,” reveal the NSA and FBI partnership, in which the two agencies developed techniques for exploiting Facebook chats, capturing private photos, collecting IP addresses, and gathering private profile data.

    • Quoted: on Chinese routers as competition for NSA spying
    • Can We Stop America’s Surveillance State?

      Purloined formerly top-secret NSA documents are now there for the downloading, even as the calls for truth and privacy buttressed by irrefutable information, has run up against the institutional armor of the surveillance state that has little respect for public opinion or calls for “reform.”

    • Arlington: The Birthplace of NSA Surveillance

      Today’s National Security Agency is housed in a sprawling complex in Fort Meade, Md., but, according to a recent lecturer at Arlington Public Library, domestic surveillance by the NSA was perhaps born in Arlington.

      David Robarge, the CIA’s Chief Historian, told a standing-room only crowd last week about the history of espionage in Arlington, which started at Arlington Hall during World War II.

    • Tech groups dissatisfied with NSA reform bill
    • Microsoft, NSA and FBI reveal secret 3-way romance

      Would you like to listen to Gweek podcasts live, as they are being recorded? Get a job at the FBI and plug into Skype, which Microsoft has handed over to US spy agencies as a kind of lovers’ gift, and you can hear Dean and me chatting away!

    • Mass surveillance: the Dutch state of denial

      As in many countries, the Snowden revelations were front page news in the Netherlands. The PowerPoint slides showing the intensity of (inter)national surveillance received considerable attention in the political arena. Special debates were scheduled, and dozens of questions were asked by members of parliament. What made things special in the Netherlands was the fact that the revelations coincided with a review of the Dutch Intelligence and Security Act (WiV, Wet op de inlichtingen en veiligheidsdiensten), a process that was then already underway.

      The review committee delivered its report in early December 2013. In the meantime, the newspaper NRC reported on Dutch Snowden revelations. The documents given by ‘intermediary’ Greenwald to the NRC revealed that the Netherlands had been an NSA target between 1946 and 1968. The information that the Dutch counterpart of the NSA, the AIVD, was hacking into websites added to the impact. A third ‘Snowden’ issue was the stats showing that the NSA had access to 1.8 million telecommunications metadata. This chart had already been published some time ago but had escaped attention.

    • GOOGLE HAS MOST OF MY EMAIL BECAUSE IT HAS ALL OF YOURS

      For almost 15 years, I have run my own email server which I use for all of my non-work correspondence. I do so to keep autonomy, control, and privacy over my email and so that no big company has copies of all of my personal email.

      A few years ago, I was surprised to find out that my friend Peter Eckersley — a very privacy conscious person who is Technology Projects Director at the EFF — used Gmail. I asked him why he would willingly give Google copies of all his email. Peter pointed out that if all of your friends use Gmail, Google has your email anyway. Any time I email somebody who uses Gmail — and anytime they email me — Google has that email.

    • Whistleblowers Beware: Apps Like Whisper and Secret Will Rat You Out

      Startups like Secret and Whisper have defined a buzzy new category of social media, attracting millions of users and tens of millions of dollars in venture capital investments with the promise of allowing anyone to communicate with anonymity. But when it comes to actually revealing corporate and government secrets–a “whistleblowing” function that the two services either implicitly or explicitly condone–users should read the fine print.

    • DOJ Says Americans Have No 4th Amendment Protections At All When They Communicate With Foreigners

      We’ve already questioned if it’s really true that the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply to foreigners (the Amendment refers to “people” not “citizens”). But in some new filings by the DOJ, the US government appears to take its “no 4th Amendment protections for foreigners” to absurd new levels. It says, quite clearly, that because foreigners have no 4th Amendment protections it means that any Americans lose their 4th Amendment protections when communicating with foreigners. They’re using a very twisted understanding of the (already troubling) third party doctrine to do this. As you may recall, after lying to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department said that it would start informing defendants if warrantless collection of information under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) was used in the investigation against them.

    • Snowden: The NSA planted backdoors in Cisco products
    • Charity makes legal bid against GCHQ over malware infections
    • Web round up – Microsoft, Google and phones!

      Whatsapp has been removed from its Windows Phone Store….bad news for all 4 Windows Phone users

    • The problem with LinkedIn

      If you’re looking for an online service that has a habit of incorporating lots of the problems inherent in the approach to modern day technology, then pull yourself up a seat, help yourself to the coffee, and perhaps nab a biscuit from the jar. Because I want to talk about LinkedIn.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Open Letter to European Commission about DRM in HTML5

      Dear Commissioner Malmstroem,

      we are writing to you on the occasion of the international Day Against Digital Restrictions Management, which today is being celebrated around the world. We are very concerned about the security of European citizens, and we ask you to take action to protect them.

      The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is an independent charitable non-profit dedicated to promoting Free Software and freedom in the information society. Today we would like to direct your attention to a very specific threat to the freedom and security of computer users everywhere.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Latest Trade Agreements Are Re-defining Cultural Choices As ‘Non-Tariff Barriers’ That Need To Be Eliminated

      It’s something of a misnomer to call TPP, TTIP and TISA trade agreements: they go far beyond traditional discussions about things like tariff removal, and are encroaching on domains that are as much cultural as economic. That is, many of things that the US dubs “trade barriers” are in fact long-standing expressions of national priorities, preferences and beliefs. That’s evident in an interesting post from Public Citizen’s Eyes on Trade blog, which explores the 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (pdf).

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy ‘Whistleblower’ to Remain Anonymous, Court Rules

        A person who claimed that the operators of Grooveshark were engaged in systematic copyright infringement will keep his anonymity, a court has ruled. The allegations, which were made in the comments section of an online news article, prompted Grooveshark’s parent company to unmask their author. They have now failed in that mission.

      • How Sweden Gained Access to a Canada-Hosted Torrent Site

        This week it was revealed that following a request from a Swedish anti-piracy group, police action was taken against a torrent site hosted on Canadian soil. The general understanding is that torrent sites are currently legal in Canada, so how does a situation like this come to pass?

      • This Is How The UK Piracy Warnings Will Work

        Last week news broke that UK ISPs are teaming up with copyright holders to notify Internet subscribers caught sharing pirated material. The plan has been widely covered in the media, but unfortunately fact and fiction are often intertwined. So how scary are these piracy warnings really? Let’s find out.

      • Updated: Canadian Police Raid BitTorrent Tracker, Confiscate Server

        In somewhat of a surprise move, Canadian police have raided a local torrent site and confiscated its server. With around 10,000 members, Spavar.org was a relatively small site. However, any police action against a Canada-based site is likely to cause wider concern since the country is home to countless torrent sites, from the very small to the very large.

      • Publisher Targets University Researchers for “Pirating” Their Own Articles

        The American Society of Civil Engineers is cracking down on researchers who post their own articles on their personal websites. The publisher, which owns dozens of highly cited journals, claims that the authors commit copyright infringement by sharing their work in public.

05.16.14

Links 16/5/2014: HP Selling GNU/Linux PCs in China

Posted in News Roundup at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The UK In The Dock

      International Criminal Court is to investigate war crimes committed by British armed forces in Iraq.

  • Censorship

    • The EU’s Google Decision Destroys Search
    • European Court of Justice Google ruling gives the Dog a Bone
    • Google ruling ‘astonishing’, says Wikipedia founder Wales

      A ruling forcing Google to remove search results has been described as “astonishing” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

      The European Courts of Justice ruled on Tuesday that an individual could demand that “irrelevant or outdated” information be deleted from results.

      Mr Wales said it was “one of the most wide-sweeping internet censorship rulings that I’ve ever seen”.

      Google has said it is looking into the implications of the decision.

    • Health And Human Services Apparently Unable To Recognize Satire; Sends Bogus Legal Threat

      Another day, another story of someone with skin way too thin not comprehending satire and dashing off an angry legal threat. In this case, it’s worse than usual because the bogus legal threat is coming from the US government. Popehat has the full story of how some of the legal geniuses at the Department of Health and Human Services have sent a bogus cease-and-desist letter over a pair of obviously satirical posts on the site AddictionMyth.com. While we’ve long been skeptical of the medical profession’s desire to label all sorts of things “addictions,” that particular site takes it to extreme levels, arguing that there’s nothing that’s addictive, and all talk of addictions (including drug and alcohol addictions) are just a big scam “perpetrated by law enforcement, rehab groups and the entertainment industry.” I think that’s nuts, but they certainly have their right to say so.

  • Privacy

    • Photos of an NSA “upgrade” factory show Cisco router getting implant

      A document included in the trove of National Security Agency files released with Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide details how the agency’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit and other NSA employees intercept servers, routers, and other network gear being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they’re delivered. These Trojan horse systems were described by an NSA manager as being “some of the most productive operations in TAO because they pre-position access points into hard target networks around the world.”

      The document, a June 2010 internal newsletter article by the chief of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department (S3261) includes photos (above) of NSA employees opening the shipping box for a Cisco router and installing beacon firmware with a “load station” designed specifically for the task.

    • Encrypted Internet Traffic Surges in a Year, Research Shows

      Encrypted Internet traffic is surging worldwide according to data published by Canadian broadband management company Sandvine. After the Snowden revelations the bandwidth consumed by encrypted traffic doubled in North America, and in Europe and Latin America the share of encrypted traffic quadrupled.

    • Our privacy is interdependent

      Last week I gave a presentation at CommonsFest in the spirit of my Free Your Android post, trying to educate people on simple steps they can make to have better privacy on their mobile devices.

      A couple of days before my presentation I watched this great speech from Jillian York and Jacob Appelbaum (please go and watch this). At some point Jacob mentions that “our security is interdependent”.

    • Rostock University Faculty to award Edward Snowden an honorary doctorate

      Members of the Faculty of Arts, Rostock University, Germany, have voted to award Edward Snowden an honorary doctorate degree.

    • The best way to read Glenn Greenwald’s ‘No Place to Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald just dropped a pile of new secret National Security Agency documents onto the Internet. But this isn’t just some haphazard WikiLeaks-style dump. These documents, leaked to Greenwald last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, are key supplemental reading material for his new book, No Place to Hide, which went on sale Tuesday.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Let’s all welcome the UK IP Crime Group! – Yet another “group” surrounding industry and IP?

        It has a .gov address and many of the people I talk to would advise against challenging government agencies/bodies (I believe because of an unwarranted fear of repercussions), suffice to say it doesn’t bother me at all and taking a closer look at the connections between industry and government is always worth doing, if it wasn’t then past “naughty” behaviour by others would never have been discovered.

        Is it a I scratch your back world? Who knows? But what is known is that there’s a growing trade (for want of a better word) in groups that live off “defending” others IP. Its worth noting that many of these groups don’t actually create anything at all and are funded to serve the interests of the businesses who pay them. Pay them I hasten to add in many cases on the back of huge profits.

05.14.14

Links 14/5/2014: More NSA Leaks, GCHQ Sued

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Amazon bans seller after threatening to sue customer for negative review

    Happened to me more than once. In my attempt to treat myself with something nice from Amazon, I occasionally end up with the wrong product. Something that’s not exactly what I had in mind when hitting the “add to basket” button. Something that didn’t match my expectations or simply of inferior quality by my standards. It’s times like these I find myself contemplating whether I should leave a negative review or simply not bother. I usually go for the latter one. But had I known what an impact that decision can have, I might have gone the opposite way.

  • Watch a Congressman Pick His Ear and Eat It Live on CSPAN

    Here’s a great way to start your Tuesday: During a House Judiciary Committee meeting last week, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) picked his ear, looked at the wax on his finger, and then ate it.

  • P&G Detergent Pulled in Germany Over Neo-Nazi Code Found On Packages
  • Science

    • The Science of Your Racist Brain

      When the audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling a female friend not to “bring black people” to his team’s games hit the internet, the condemnations were immediate. It was clear to all that Sterling was a racist, and the punishment was swift: The NBA banned him for life. It was, you might say, a pretty straightforward case.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Did the CIA’s Fake Polio Vaccination Program in Pakistan Help Fuel a Global Health Emergency?

      The World Health Organization has designated the spread of polio in Asia, Africa and the Middle East a global public health emergency requiring a coordinated “international response.” Three countries pose the greatest risk of further spreading the paralyzing virus: Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria. In an unusual step, the WHO recommended all residents of those countries, of all ages, to be vaccinated before traveling abroad. The organization also said another seven countries – Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria and Somalia – should “encourage” all their would-be travelers to get vaccinated. Until recently, polio had been nearly eradicated thanks to a 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children. In Pakistan, the increase in polio is being linked to a secret CIA ploy used in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With the help of a Pakistani doctor, the CIA set up a fake vaccination campaign in the city of Abbottabad in an effort to get DNA from the bin Laden family. The Taliban subsequently announced a ban on immunization efforts and launched a string of deadly attacks on medical workers. We are joined by two guests: Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Dawn, Pakistan’s largest English newspaper, who has been covering the rise of polio in Pakistan since the bin Laden raid; and one of Pakistan’s leading polio experts, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta.

    • Food Defenders Protest Corporate Takeover of ‘Organic’ Standards

      Champions of organic food brought the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to a halt on Tuesday as they raised their voices against what they see as the takeover of the organic standards by the corporate food industry.

    • Chernobyl: Capping a Catastrophe

      Against the decaying skyline here, a one-of-a-kind engineering project is rising near the remains of the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster.

    • WHO Issues New Report on Antibiotic Resistance

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a new report on antibiotic resistance (ABR). It details resistance to antibacterial drugs in different parts of the world, along with resistance data on specific pathogens such as the resistance of E. coli bacteria to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. The report outlines the health and economic burden due to antibiotic resistance and looks specifically at antibiotic resistance in food-producing animals and the food chain.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Landmark Report Warns Time Is Running Out To Save U.S. From Climate Catastrophe

      The National Climate Assessment is the definitive statement of current and future impacts of carbon pollution on the United States. And the picture it paints is stark: Inaction will devastate much of the arable land of the nation’s breadbasket — and ruin a livable climate for most Americans.

    • Australia: Budget to cut youth off welfare

      In a little-publicised speech last Saturday, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed that tonight’s federal budget will include draconian attacks on young people, especially those who are unemployed or disabled. Andrews announced that the Liberal-National government will enforce a system of “Earn or Learn”—extending measures that were introduced by the previous Labor government.

    • New Zealand refuses climate change refugees – mass action is now needed

      New Zealand’s court of appeal has refused refugee status to a family from Kiribati, a Pacific island which is quickly sinking beneath the sea

  • Finance

    • Private Prisons Eat Our Humanity

      Somebody figured out, once again, how to build a machine that can quantify the life of an African-American man and make money off him. They figured out how to use the value of his body to fuel their machine. They learned how to drive its engine, and how to turn a profit. They call it prison privatization. I call it mining black gold, and I have watched black gold be mined from the streets of my community every day.

      I make my home in Tennessee — and for too long, so has the Corrections Corporation of America. To a company like CCA, our country’s oldest and biggest for-profit prison corporation, each young black man that goes into the prison machine represents more than $20,000 a year. To CCA, a company that profits off of human bodies, mass incarceration equals mass profits. While their profits soar, we suffer.

    • It Could Cost Indiana $125 Million To Avoid The Common Core

      Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency released its report on the expected costs of implementing the state’s alternative to the Common Core and found they could be as high as $125 million.

      The reason for the high cost begins with the initial switch and development of the new standards, costing $26 million. This comes after the state already spent $6 million to adhere to the Common Core before Governor Mike Pence (R) signed the legislation rejecting the federal standards in March.

      The rest of the costs come from retraining programs for the state’s teachers, which could be as high as $2,000 a teacher. However, if adequate online resource are secured, as Fordham Institute notes, the costs could fall to $500 a teacher. This means the final price tag could range from $32.5 million to $125 million.

    • Labour reveals tax data showing UK economic growth ‘only helps top 1%’

      Party cites HMRC figures showing bottom 90% of taxpayers share less post-tax income but top 300,000 have more

    • Asian logging companies ‘use British islands for tax dodging’

      Calls for crackdown as investigation finds huge Indonesian corporations evading tax through network of secret shell companies in British Virgin Islands and other tax havens

    • After the crash, we need a revolution in the way we teach economics

      Students who claim that economics courses fail to explain the 2008 crash are gaining support from British business. Here, two Cambridge academics agree it’s time for a change

    • The Death of American Universities

      As universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is being imposed by force.

    • No-boss Britain: entrepreneurs or out of options?

      Britain’s self-employed army can no longer be ignored. For the first time in the country’s modern history, a significant proportion of the labour market (one in seven) has no boss. According to official figures, the number of registered self-employed workers has risen by more than 600,000 since 2010 – an unprecedented increase of around 15 per cent that shows few signs of subsiding.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Top Six Facts in the Walker Dark Money Criminal Probe

      In the wake of a federal court’s recent ruling halting a state criminal investigation into spending during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other candidates, misinformation about the investigation and court rulings has run rampant.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Glenn Greenwald to recount NSA story in new PBS Frontline film – live chat
    • The United States of Secrets

      Michael Kirk: There was an agency in the United States of America that had spied on and got its fingers slapped for doing it in the 1970s. The great bright white line at the agency, which was unbelievably powerful in its ability to surviel, eavesdrop, and wiretap, was never turn those eyes and ears towards Americans. And the people who worked there believed it. And then, this thing called 9/11 happened and (…) faster than you could imagine, the rules were changed. The lines were blurred, and the government, the National Security Agency, turned all of that power on the American people, and the people who did the turning, the scientists (…) witnessed it and many many of them worried about it, and talked to us.

    • NSA routinely tapped in-flight Internet, intercepted exported routers
    • NSA reform: lawmakers aim to bar agency from weakening encryption

      Concerned about weaknesses in USA Freedom Act, Zoe Lofgren and colleagues pushing to prevent NSA from weakening online encryption with new amendment

    • NSA Bill on Fast Track; Lofgren Preps Security Provision
    • IETF plans to NSA-proof all future internet protocols

      The IETF has taken the next small step down the long, long road of protecting user traffic from spooks, snoops and attackers, setting down the basic architectural principle that new protocols should resist monitoring.

    • NSA Reportedly Adds Backdoors To US-Made Routers
    • NY Times, Justice Dept. under fire for concealing info on NSA snooping

      The New York Times and the Justice Department are under fire for bowing to the National Security Agency and either hiding (the Times) or misinforming (DOJ) the public about crucial pieces of the NSA’s secret spying programs.

    • At US gov request, NYT’s Bill Keller spiked NSA spying story in 2004

      Part of that story is highlighted on PRI’s ‘The World’ radio show today. After 9/11, the National Security Agency wanted new ways to spy on electronic interactions in the US. “The Program, as it was called, spied on telephones, Internet connections, metadata from emails and almost every form of electronic communication.”

    • Open source tool encrypts Facebook chats

      Facebook’s messaging application doesn’t support encryption, but an open-source chat program, Cryptocat, has made it possible to chat with friends there over an encrypted connection.

    • The Move Toward Computing That Reads Your Mind

      Like many people in this modern world, I struggle with the tension between the conveniences offered by the latest technology and the loss of privacy that comes with them.

      Nowhere is this devil’s bargain more evident than in the blossoming field of so-called contextual computing.

      When I picked up my phone earlier this week, it told me — without a single tap on my part — that my estimated commute time was 51 minutes and that I had a lunch scheduled with a friend. The friend’s Facebook photo showed up next to the appointment.

      The phone also showed my other appointments that day and a customized feed of news and weather, and it gave me the flight status of an approaching trip.

      Sadly, it did not bring me coffee.

      My phone is trying to anticipate my needs based on what it knows about me — the context of my life. And what it knows seems like almost everything.

    • Silent Circle relocates to Switzerland
    • Tory ‘push’ to give MI5 more powers to spy on internet

      Conservative ministers are pushing for the security services to be given new powers to spy on people’s internet use amid claims they might have saved Drummer Lee Rigby

    • Privacy group takes aim at UK surveillance practices

      Privacy International files legal complaint that accuses GCHQ of installing malware on millions of devices without their owners’ permission.

    • Snooping tools GCHQ could use to hack your phone’s microphone, camera and keypad: Nosey Smurf, Gumfish and Foggybottom

      The civil rights group Privacy International has today launched the groundbreaking legal challenge at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London, claiming that GCHQ’s alleged use of such spying techniques is “incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards”.

    • UK: GCHQ sued over ‘unlawful hacking’
    • Privacy International sues British spooks
    • GCHQ litigated over ‘unlawful hacking’

      UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been sued by Rights group Privacy International on Tuesday, demanding an end to surveillance programs deemed to be “incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards.”

    • Blink bought out by Yahoo

      The makers of a mobile phone app that allows users to chat to each other and then destroy the messages have confirmed the sale of the business to Yahoo.

    • Making your email impossible to intercept will also make it useless

      Say you wanted to send an email more secure than any message that had ever been transmitted in human history, a message with absolutely no chance of being intercepted. How would you do it?
      +

    • OPINION: US Use of Metadata for Targeted Killings Shocking Even for Intel Operatives

      The recent revelation by former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden that metadata is used for targeting killings shocked many including fellow US intelligence operatives, Melvin Goodman, a former CIA analyst and fellow at the Washington-based Center for International Policy, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

      “It was shocking to hear that confirmed at such a high level,” Goodman said, adding that Hayden’s smug manner had made the comments even worse.

    • New Spying Claims: Australian Spy Agency Sought Help of U.S. for More Surveillance on Australians

      Documents from a U.S. agency had revealed that Australia has sought the help of the Americans to increase surveillance on suspected terrorists. According to The Guardian, Australia’s intelligence agency needed the help of the U.S. spy agency to monitor Australians suspected of having ties with extremists.

    • Snowden docs: GCSB links to US spying programmes

      New documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden show New Zealand’s GCSB closely enmeshed with some of the most controversial parts of the United States’ spying apparatus.

      The documents were released with journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place To Hide, which tells the story of Snowden’s National Security Agency disclosures and what they mean.

    • The CIA is Stalking Me…Online

      The NSA is the powerhouse agency for code breaking, and while such activities are beyond my capacity, others quickly figured out the simple letter substitution code. It reads, “Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each month to explore careers essential to protect in [SIC] your nation.” I’ll forgive them the failed grammar at the end given that they did have to code the whole thing.

      It’s both a sign of how hard agencies are working to try to land talent, a broader issue in general for the government and government contractors especially in the face of the bad publicity surrounding the Edward Snowden disclosures, and the evolving landscape of modern intelligence work. It used to be that a well-placed professor would recommend you to a recruiter, and a guy dressed like Dick Tracy would show up to take your temperature.

      I’m flattered, CIA, that you are interested. Really, it’s nice to be wanted. But admittedly I’m a bit squeamish. I prefer to work in a dying profession (journalism) as opposed to one which involves people dying.

    • NSA Gave Canada Money For Surveillance Program

      The National Security Agency paid Canada to help develop its surveillance capabilities, according to documents published by Glenn Greenwald in a new book.

    • Canadian spies receive U.S. money for research and surveillance, book says
    • Canada actively spies for NSA, Glenn Greenwald claims in new book
    • Glenn Greenwald says NSA bugs tech hardware en route to global customers

      American journalist Glenn Greenwald is accusing the U.S. National Security Agency of breaking into tech hardware to install surveillance bugs before the products are shipped to unsuspecting global customers, in a new book about the NSA’s mass surveillance practices.

    • The American Republic Is Dead
    • Glenn Greenwald wants to keep the leaks flowing

      GQ has a lengthy interview this week with the journalist who helped engineer Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks in advance of his book No Place to Hide. In true Greenwald fashion, he doesn’t hold back: he rips the The New York Times for acting like the government is on its editorial board, trashes Hillary Clinton as “banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion” and blasts Tim Russert, the late dean of Sunday political talks shows.

  • Civil Rights

    • Video: War On Terror Led To Worldwide Increase Of Torture
    • Rand Paul, save us from the criminal CIA

      Future American historians will marvel at how long the CIA engaged in such utter unconstitutional lawlessness as the torture of its captives and drone-plane executions of alleged terrorists – including U.S. citizens – without trials, using “kill lists” provided by President Barack Obama (“Obama’s kill list – All males near drone strike sites are terrorists,” rt.com, May 30, 2012).

    • Violence in Britain: how the war on terror criminalises ordinary people

      It is now accepted that the war on terror has generated an extensive repertoire of its very own terror. Drone strikes resulting in extrajudicial killings, rendition and torture – zones of exception like Guantanamo Bay come to mind, as does Britain’s complicity in extraordinary rendition and torture.

      Then there are the normalised, everyday forms of terror operational in Britain that rarely register as state-sanctioned violence because they are understood to keep us safe. This includes MI5 and police raids without charge, compulsory schedule 7 detention and questioning and stop and search of communities made suspect.

    • Even terrorism should not justify denying people citizenship

      Should your government be able to take away your citizenship? In the United Kingdom, the government has had the legal authority to revoke naturalized Britons’ citizenship since 1918. But, until the terrorist bombings on the London transport system in 2005, this power was rarely exercised. Since then, the government has revoked the citizenship of 42 people, including 20 cases in 2013. British Home Secretary Theresa May has said that citizenship is “a privilege, not a right.”Most of the 42 held dual nationality. Mohamed Sakr, however, did not. His parents came to the United Kingdom from Egypt, but he was not an Egyptian citizen. Therefore, by stripping him of citizenship, the British government made him stateless.

    • 2013 Stop and Frisk Numbers Underscore Need to Begin Reforms
    • 23 Cops Shoot Unarmed Car Occupants, And Each Other, 377 Times (VIDEO)
    • Calls to class far-right Jewish settlers as terrorists after Israeli soldiers attacked

      Senior ministers Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Aharonovitch condemn ‘price-tag’ attacks as author Amos Oz calls militants neo-Nazis

    • The Declaration of Independence—Except for ‘Indian Savages’

      The most sacred document wherein the U.S. celebrates its Fourth of July holiday, the Declaration of Independence, is known for having some of the most revolutionary words in history in regards to the equality of men who at the time had been forever accustomed to having caste-like systems whether it be Empires, noblemen and serfs, or a monarchy rule the American colonialists lived under.

    • Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria

      Shipwreck found off coast of Haiti thought to be one of the most significant underwater discoveries in history

    • Noam Chomsky and the Public Intellectual in Turbulent Times

      Noam Chomsky is a world renowned academic best known not only for his pioneering work in linguistics but also for his ongoing work as a public intellectual in which he has addressed a number of important social issues that include and often connect oppressive foreign and domestic policies – a fact well illustrated in his numerous path breaking books.(1) In fact, Chomsky’s oeuvre includes too many exceptionally important books to single out any one of them from his extraordinary and voluminous archive of work. Moreover, as political interventions, his many books often reflect both a decisive contribution and an engagement with a number of issues that have and continue to dominate a series of specific historical moments over the course of 50 years. His political interventions have been historically specific while continually building on the power relations he has engaged critically. For instance, his initial ideas about the responsibility of intellectuals cannot be separated from his early criticisms of the Vietnam War and the complicity of intellectuals in brokering and legitimating that horrendous act of military intervention.(2) Hence, it becomes difficult to compare his 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent, coauthored with Edward S. Herman, with his 2002 bestseller, 9/11. Yet, what all of these texts share is a luminous theoretical, political, and forensic analysis of the functioning of the current global power structure, new and old modes of oppressive authority, and the ways in which neoliberal economic and social policies have produced more savage forms of global domination and corporate sovereignty.

    • Global crisis on torture exposed by new worldwide campaign

      “Governments around the world are two-faced on torture – prohibiting it in law, but facilitating it in practice” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, as he launched Stop Torture, Amnesty International’s latest global campaign to combat widespread torture and other ill-treatment in the modern world.

    • Guest blog: Estonia and the risks of internet voting

      Two reasons: Firstly Estonia is regularly held up as a model of e-government and e-voting that many countries, including the UK, wish to emulate. Secondly, after years of e-voting being off the UK agenda (thanks in part to ORG’s previous work in this area), the chair of the Electoral Commission recently put the idea of e-voting for British elections back in play.

    • Harvard’s Kennedy School Adds Privilege-Checking to New-Student Orientation
    • Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canada Won’t Escape the FCC’s Gutting of Net Neutrality

      Yesterday, sources told the New York Times that the FCC wants to allow internet service providers to jack rates for higher speed delivery of certain content like online video, which will likely create a tiered system: those who can pay to deliver their content in the fast lane, and those who can’t. In an email, Canadian digital policy expert Professor Michael Geist didn’t mince words: “If the reports are true—the FCC is [vaguely] denying it tonight—it guts net neutrality in the United States.”

      [...]

      As Geist explained to me, there isn’t “a practical difference between deliberately slowing some traffic and deliberately speeding up other traffic.” To him, the end result is unavoidable: “A two-tier Internet based on payments from content owners that can afford it. That strikes at the heart of net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights


      • US Expelled Saudi Students For Using Pirate Software, Official Says

        The head of copyright issues in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture and Information says that U.S. authorities expelled 34 Saudi students from the United States after they were found using pirated software. Forty other citizens were denied entry into the U.S. on the same grounds, the source claims.

      • Hadopi Recommends Super Injunctions to Keep Pirate Content Down

        Today, French anti-piracy agency HADOPI handed the government a long-awaited report on the development of “operational tools” for dealing with online piracy. Several key areas are outlined, including the creation of a new type of takedown notice designed not only to take content offline, but keep it offline for up to six months.

      • Commander Hadfield’s Amazing Cover Of David Bowie’s Space Oddity Disappears Today, Thanks To Copyright

        A year ago, we wrote a whole post looking at the copyright questions raised by Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, doing a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” along with an astounding music video in space, as he prepared to return to earth. Hadfield, for months, had been a great ambassador for the space program, using a variety of social media to communicate with folks back on the planet about what his day was like. The “Space Oddity” video just cemented his place as a key figure helping to generate interest in the space program through regular public communications with everyone in a very accessible way.

      • “U.S. Prisons Play Pirated Movies to Inmates”

        The former operator of USAWarez.com and USATorrents.com, who has served more than two years in prison for copyright infringement, has outed several prisons for showing pirated movies to their inmates. One of the prisons mentioned says that the matter is still under investigation.

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