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04.21.14

Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • HP Chromebook 14 Review – New Chromebook adds style and size

    The HP Chromebook 14 has been my companion for the last few weeks and has surprised me in its functionality and ease of use. At the beginning of the week, I went to Walmart and picked this Chromebook up, having made my decision to purchase it a couple of days before. I expected it to be tablet like and slow, yet it has surprised me in its power. There are limitations to Chrome OS, the operating system that runs on all Chromebooks. However, I have learned to accept them and hope that over the next year or two my Chromebook will be as capable as my Windows PC.

  • What Would You Do to Improve Linux?

    I’ve spent a good share of my time asking myself what would have to change in order to make Linux on the desktop a viable choice for the mainstream user. I became curious enough to ask you a question: if you could wave your magic wand and change only one thing about Linux or even the Linuxsphere in general, what would it be? Let’s take a look at what some of you had to say.

  • Will Korea survive end of Windows XP?

    He advised that the government should shift to open source operating systems like Linux to achieve security at little additional cost. “The cost to update Linux is small, and problems can be solved even in old versions as it is open source.”

    He pointed out that many devices, including smartphones and smart TVs, now use the Android operating system, which is another sign that it is time to change. “The dominance of Windows is over. Shifting to open source is the new trend.”

    The government is also aware of the problem caused by the heavy dependence on MS. Ha at the MOSPA said there has been much discussion about open source operating systems, “but right now, we have to deal with what’s on our plate. Upgrading is the best solution for now.”

    He said the overdependence on MS is not limited to Korea and some countries have shifted to Linux. “We too are continuing efforts, but there is much to consider. As most government programs are based on Windows, we have to make sure all programs run smoothly on Linux.”

  • How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu

    If you can’t free up more than 10GB, consider wiping your Windows installation to give Ubuntu space. This is easy to do during the installation process, but if you plan to take this route, back up your files to an external disk first – and be very careful not to miss any.

  • 5 key insights on the transition from Windows to Linux

    Use Linux all the time. Although there was common ground in the networking and development world, there was almost none in the system administration arena. The only way to remedy that was by using Linux all the time. This was daunting. Just trying to find my way around the Linux file system was hair-pulling frustration, yet work needed to get done. I experimented with different forms of coexistence: Linux virtual machines hosted on Windows; Windows virtual machines hosted on Linux; the Windows Ubuntu Installer (WUBI), formating old workstations. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end I decided the best setup was to format a workstation as a Linux workstation with a full GUI desktop, and to format a remote server as a typical Linux server. I found keeping a Windows workstation too tempting; it was too easy to fall back into old habits. With this setup it was possible to power up a Windows VM when necessary, but the inconvenience of working on an underpowered VM encouraged me to stick with Linux, regardless of frustrations. The setup gives you the full Linux experience: learning how to connect printers and handle things like email on the workstation side, while also administering a server via secure shell (SSH). Then it was a matter of figuring out how to get productive, especially at the command line.

  • Does OpenSSL need a Linus Torvalds?

    There’s no doubt Chromebooks have become very popular, look no further than Amazon’s list of the bestselling laptops and you’ll find a lot of Chromebooks hitting the top of the sales charts. There’s clearly a big market for Chromebooks out there, and it seems to be expanding rapidly.

  • Server

    • Microservers and the hurry up and wait conundrum
    • IBM Enhances I/O On Power7 And Power7+ Machines

      The Power8 system announcements might be right around the corner, but IBM has not forgotten about customers using its current machines based on Power7 and Power7+ processors. As part of the trickle of announcements on April 15 that saw Technology Refresh 8 for IBM i 7.1 roll out, Big Blue made some enhancements to the enterprise-class machines and put out a bunch of Ethernet and storage controller adapters.

    • Java On IBM i 7.1 Brings JVM Migrations

      Making an inference that IBM dropped SPEC benchmarks on IBM i in favor of benchmarks on Linux is a signal that more Java/WebSphere customers would go that direction draws a debate from Grozinski.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks

      • Oracle Linux 6.5 vs. Oracle Linux 7.0 Beta Benchmarks

        In the days ahead we will have benchmarks of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS against Oracle Linux 6.5 and 7.0 Beta 1 along with CentOS 6.5 and the RHEL 7 release candidate among other enterprise-oriented Linux distributions. For this article to end out the weekend are just some benchmarks of Oracle Linux 6.5 vs. 7.0 Beta 1 when tested from the same hardware — an Intel Core i7 3960X Ivy Bridge Extreme Edition system with a total of 12 logical CPU threads.

  • Applications

    • Games

      • Gearbox looking at viability of a Linux version of Borderlands

        The original Borderlands was released way back in 2009. The game was initially released on the PC, Mac and the consoles. It immediately caught on and got itself a huge fan following. Following up the success, Gearbox went on and published a sequel to the game, Borderlands 2, in 2012, which like its predecessor also was praised by the gaming community. In fact, the Borderlands games became so famous that due to fan demands, Gearbox even made a Vita version for Borderlands 2, bringing the addictive and fun coop game to the portable console for the very first time. Now the founder and CEO of Gearbox Software tweeted that they are looking for the viability of a Linux version of Borderlands.

      • Octodad – Dadliest Catch comes to PS4 on April 22nd in US and on 23rd in UK

        Octodad: Dadliest Catch game initially launched to PC, Linux and Mac platforms on January 30, 2014. It was supposed to launched for Sony’s PS4 gaming console in March, but the developer Young Horses announced in February that the game launch has been postponed to April 1st week. Although the April 23 is not in 1st week of the month, finally the game sees a launch date.

      • Play Mass Effect 3′s ultimate space battle with this Homeworld 2 mod
      • Political-based strategy game ReignMaker now available for PC via Steam

        ReignMaker, a game built around political strategy and match-3 tower defense combat from indie developer Frogdice, is now available via Steam for Linux, Mac and Windows PC.

      • Watch Dogs heading to Linux?

        A recent post in the Linux gaming section of Reddit seems to have uncovered a hint towards a possible Linux release of the highly anticipated game from Ubisoft: Watch Dogs. According to the post on the Reddit boards, the SteamDB entry for the game shows a value assigned to Linux Icon which might point to a possible Linux version in the future.

        The full post reads, “Flicking through SteamDB, under additional information you can find the Watch_Dog app sub includes a Linux client icon section including archived icon added 13 days ago. Couldn’t open the zip but changing extension to jpg reveals a single tiny icon so far, similar to those found along with other sizes in other Linux games.”

      • Nuclear Dawn Linux support moving out of beta

        In other words, the game was basically abandoning its Linux release. Before this fatal new InterWave Studios, the original developers from whom GameConnect took over, had announced a beta of the Linux version of the game. But thanks to perhaps all-of-a-sudden interest by big shot gaming companies and publishers in Linux, GameConnect has just made a public announcement on their Facebook page that a Linux version of the game is finally out of the beta and ready for public deployment.

      • ‘Outcast Reboot HD’ Crowd Funding Campaign Needs Help – New Screens

        Once the original $600,000 goal has been reached, additional finding will unlock Mac/Linux edition ($750k), DirectX 11 enhancements ($950k), Oculus Rift support ($1M), next-gen consoles ($1.35M), and last but not least an entire new world (1.7M).

      • Hover: Revolt of Gamers Kickstarter Launched – Jet Set Radio Meets Mirror’s Edge

        Hover: Revolt of Gamers is planned for the Xbox One/PS4/Wii U and PC/Mac/Linux. It’s also adapted to Oculus Rift so get those barf bags ready. Hit up the Kickstarter page to pledge your support.

      • Hover: Revolt Of Gamers Is Whizzing Through Its Kickstarter
      • Worms dev invites you to think inside the box with Schrodinger’s Cat

        Yes, Schrodinger’s Cat is a platformer in which players explore the subatomic level of existence and use quantum physics to solve puzzles. And who said quantum science wasn’t fun? Schrodinger’s Cat is slated to release in Q3 of this year for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

      • Wasteland 2: Early Access now available for Linux
      • Awesome 40 Minute Star Citizen Arena Commander Reveal (video)

        Star Citizen will feature Oculus Rift support and is an upcoming space trading and combat simulator video game for PC, OS X and GNU/Linux.

      • Can you survive the harsh and unforgiving environment of a prison?
      • Wasteland 2 adds Linux support in major Early Access update

        In addition to Linux support, Wasteland 2 added another major area to its map, a new vendor screen, and about 400 other changes, all of which may be seen in these patch notes. Wasteland 2 added Mac OS support in late February

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • i3 – Tiling Window Manager

      i3 is a tiling window manager, completely written from scratch. The target platforms are GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems, our code is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) under the BSD license. i3 is primarily targeted at advanced users and developers.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded tech and use of Linux at the 2014 GPU Technology Conference

      The first keynote took place on the second day, and was delivered by Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA CEO. His talk featured announcements of new architectures such as Pascal that will power the next generation of GPGPU products from the company, to the Jetson TK1 which is billed as the world’s first embedded supercomputer. While Pascal will be used in the next generation of supercomputers and workstations, Jetson is targeted at the embedded market and both make extensive use of Linux. The keynote featured an Audi self-driven car appearing on stage powered by a Jetson-based architecture, and it ended in the announcement that all attendees would receive an Android powered NVIDIA shield.

      [...]

      It is clear that OpenGL is alive and well, with many exciting developments in this area. Interestingly, many of these are being fuelled by growing interest from the gaming industry as they port to new Linux-based platforms such as SteamOS. Live demos were given on the Jetson in the future of OpenGL session, and the Approaching Zero Driver Overhead talk from the preceding Game Developers Conference was referenced quite heavily. Several enhancements to the binary driver were mentioned in reference to better supporting scene graphs and real-time ray-tracing using nVidia’s Optix platform was showcased and ultimately featured in one of the awards for the work on the HIV capsid as a showcase of what GPU technology can do to help drive forward progress in scientific research.

    • Zicom introduces first-of-its-kind Hybrid Mini DVR

      Besides supporting standard algorithms for video and audio encoding and decoding, a Linux operating system is embedded.

    • Intel Fanless Bay Trail NUC Mini PC Unveiled
    • PCI Express launches TBS 2910 Matrix ARM mini PC

      The Matrix is a single board minicomputer based on ARM with a wide range of interface connections, equipped with a powerful i.MX6 Freescale processor, it can run Android, Linux and XBMC operating systems, a switch between different operating systems can be done within just a few minutes!

    • TQ InCover One is an 8.3 inch, full HD Bay Trail tablet for professionals

      It’s called the InCover One and the tablet features a full HD display, support for Windows, Android, or Linux, a waterproof and dustproof case, and a removable battery, among other features.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • HTML5 components released as open source

    Telerik has released a free package that includes all the features in the commercial Kendo UI Mobile package

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Public Services/Government

    • SUPPORTING GOVERNMENT DIGITAL INITIATIVES WITH OPEN SOURCE

      According to Victor Lam, Deputy Government CIO of Hong Kong, open source provides government agencies with the capability to be more agile and innovative while effectively optimising the way taxpayers’ dollars are spent.

      “The Hong Kong Government has been leveraging open source for over a decade. In fact, we have more than 2000 Linux servers supporting various applications like the e-Government Infrastructure Service, eHRMS system, Government Notification application and www.gov.hk.”

      “We recognise the fact that it is the kind of technology we need to be ahead of the curve and keep up with the rapid advancement of technology. In this regard, the government is working with various industry stakeholders to promote the development of open source in Hong Kong through our Digital 21 Strategy.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Man Compares His $42k Prosthetic Hand to a $50 3D Printed Cyborg Beast

        Today 3DUniverse did a story about a man named Jose Delgado Jr. Jose was born without a left hand, and in his 53 years on this planet has had first hand experience with the various prosthetic devices available to him. For over a year Jose had been using a $42,000 myoelectric prosthetic device, which took signals from the muscle fibers in his forearm, translated those signal, and then used them to mechanically move the fingers of the prosthetic, which looks pretty close to an actual hand. Luckily his insurance covered the cost of the device, unlike many individual’s who are less fortunate.

      • The world’s first open source laptop laptop crosses halfway mark in crowdfunding.

        Designed by the guys who worked on security of the Xbox and developing the Linux kernel, we know we are in good hands with this project. Many of the products are manufactured at AQS, a company that has been a part of Silicon Valley for over 20 years and has developed projects for the United States Department of Defense.The limited edition heirloom version of the laptop is designed at Kurt Mottweiler’s studio in Portland, Oregon.

      • Micro 3D Printer Costs 4 Times Less Than Its Competitor

        The cube-shaped device is 7.3-inch wide and weighs roughly 2.2 lbs. Micro works with Windows, Mac and Linux, has a USB-compatible connection and works with a number of different materials, including ABS, PLA and Nylon.

Leftovers

  • Chagos Islands dispute: court to rule on UK sovereignty claim

    Britain’s sovereignty over the Chagos Islands and America’s lease for the Diego Garcia military base could be thrown into doubt by an international court hearing due to open in Istanbul on Tuesday.

  • Colour-tinted photographs of North America – in pictures

    This collection of photochroms and Phostint postcards from the private collection of Marc Walter was produced – as colour tints of black and white photographs – by the Detroit Photographic Company between 1888 and 1924. It shows North America’s vast and varied landscape in all its splendour, as well as its people

  • Security

    • Oracle updates users on Heartbleed progress

      The Heartbleed fallout continues, but enterprise customers can draw some comfort from the fact that the companies that keep them in software are clearly as concerned as they are. For example, Oracle Corp. has announced mostly good, some bad and a bit of ugly news when it comes to security holes in its products.

    • Eugene Kaspersky: Smart TVs could be cyber criminals’ next target

      “But more and more engineers are developing software for Android. All the systems are vulnerable and I am afraid it is very possible to see the scenario of bad guys developing malware for iOS. Technically, it is possible to infect millions of devices. Internet-enabled TV sets use both Android and Linux.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • It’s back: The Cold War

      Such a policy is what the anti-Communists of the last Cold War, the ones who were initially willing to launch nuclear war, not with the confidence, but rather with the mere hope that some would survive, had to settle for.

    • China: “Violent Government Thugs” Beaten To Death By Angry Crowds After They Killed A Man Documenting Their Brutality
    • How Obama lost friends and influence in the Brics

      The president’s real pivot is not to Asia but to America, inspired by domestic sentiment

    • Important Revelations In New Leaks of CIA Torture Report
    • DoD Directive Used Duplicity to Hide Current Use of SERE Torture Techniques in Interrogations

      Recent revelations about the content of a still secret Senate report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which allowed for use of torture, highlight the use of techniques used by a little-known military department.

      These techniques from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program (SERE) had been lifted from a mock-torture prison camp exercise used to inoculate U.S. prisoners against the effects of torture. Two military psychologists hired as contractors for the CIA allegedly helped form the CIA’s controversial “enhanced interrogation” program.

    • Americans Don’t Want Drones At Home – Here’s Why

      Regardless of Americans’ fears, the use of drones is coming to a sky near them. In 2012, Congress passed a bill authorizing unmanned spy planes in the U.S. skies. President Obama signed it into law soon after.

    • US Drones Kill Three Al-Qaeda Suspects in Yemen

      The assassinations came as a result of a two-day air campaign, which killed 40 suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

    • Innocents abroad

      “An Ambassador”, says the old joke, “is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country”. The only US Ambassador I’ve met was a Californian automobile salesman. (Well, he owned a whole string of dealerships, and I guessed owed his position not to mastery of statecraft but to the size of his campaign contributions.) It was during the Iraq war and he gave a public lecture which never once mentioned the war. And then I forgot all about him, until I came on this piece in Politico by James Bruno arguing that one reason the Kremlin is running rings round the US in Europe is the relative incompetence of American ambassadors compared to their Russian counterparts.

    • Too Big to Jail?

      …most obvious of national security state crimes seem to fall into a “too big to fail”-like category.

    • At Least 46 Killed in Two Days of US Drone Strikes in Yemen

      Most ‘Suspects’ But Some Confirmed Civilian Deaths

    • US elbows deep in world terrorism
    • Civilians caught up in US drone strike against al-Qaeda
    • Pro-Kremlin politician aims shocking rant at pregnant reporter

      A pregnant journalist is recovering in hospital today after a pro-Kremlin political leader in Russia told two male aides to “violently rape” her at a press conference.

    • ‘Other’ protest deserved our notice

      The CIA is supposed to collect intelligence, they said, not operate its own war.

    • Unpunished: The CIA’s Felony War Crimes

      The United States Senate’s decision to let the public see a summary of its report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) torture program following the September 11 attacks hides the fact Congress and the White House are happy to let people guilty of ordering and committing war crimes walk free. That is the stark truth ignored in all the mass media coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 11-3 vote to declassify 500 pages of the 6,300 pages of its shocking torture report.

    • Kwame Nkrumah—The CIA Connection

      CIA has played a pivotal role in this history of subverting political systems…

    • Ukraine stupidity in action

      Governments that are “routinely” visited by the head of the CIA are usually puppet governments.

    • Humbug and provocation

      At least Brennan didn’t hand out hamburgers to members of the Ukraine parliament, but you have to wonder what he and his countless CIA minions dished out otherwise. We all know what the CIA’s solutions are to most problem with people who don’t follow US demands: bribery, character assassination or – much more conveniently – quiet ‘termination with extreme prejudice’ as they used to call it.

    • World Wars and Cold War

      Within the ambit of Cold War the two super powers used propaganda, espionage, politico-economic pressure and nuclear arms race as tools to increase power and influence. CIA and KGB competed with each other to subvert the loyalties of leadership of developing countries and bringing them into respective camps. Truman doctrine in 1947 followed by Marshall Plan was aimed at containment of communism. Apart from making strenuous efforts to bring in line as many States in Latin America, CIA backed by NATO also fished in troubled waters of Eastern Europe and exploited their relatively poorer socio-economic conditions as compared to prosperous Western Europe.

    • Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance

      The unnecessary and regrettable conflict between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine brings to mind sad remembrances of important junctures at which I watched – as a citizen and a CIA analyst – chances for genuine peace with Russia frittered away.

      How vividly I recall John Kennedy’s inaugural address when he bid us to ask not what our country could do for us, but rather what we could do for our country. Then and there I decided to put in the service of our government whatever expertise I could offer from my degrees in Russian. So I ended up in Washington more than a half-century ago.

    • White House Debates ‘Game-Changer’ Weapon For Syria

      White House officials are weighing whether to send surface-to-air missiles to opposition factions at the risk of a possible terrorist “nightmare”.

    • Seymour Hersh: Benghazi Attack A Consequence Of Weapons “Rat-Line” To Syria

      A veteran journalist presents a damning timeline of the lead up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and alarming details of how the U.S. was feeding weapons to Syria.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    • Crackdown on journalists: State security vs human rights

      On this front, Western governments face growing criticism for their leading role in putting national security concerns ahead of civil liberties – a legacy of former US President George W Bush-era “war on terror” policies amplified into the present day. The US and European governments increasingly rely on post-2001 anti-terrorism laws to shield government secrets and constrain journalists from publishing classified information.

      These measures have been hastened in the post-WikiLeaks, post-Edward Snowden era. Although no US journalist has been successfully prosecuted under the country’s anti-terrorism laws, US President Barack Obama’s administration has aggressively utilised the Espionage Act of 1917 to crackdown on government whistleblowers who leak classified information to journalists – a measure decried by reporters and human rights groups for undercutting basic democratic tenants and the media’s watchdog role.

    • Intelligence Directive Bars Unauthorized Contacts with News Media

      The Director of National Intelligence has forbidden most intelligence community employees from discussing “intelligence-related information” with a reporter unless they have specific authorization to do so, according to an Intelligence Community Directive that was issued last month.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The 1% Wants to Ban Sleeping in Cars Because It Hurts Their ‘Quality of Life’

      This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.

    • Extravagant CEO pay doesn’t reflect performance – it’s all about status

      Even American eyes are starting to pop at the sheer extravagance of executive pay. Last week, the New York Times published its annual league table of chief executive pay at the US’s top 100 publicly quoted companies. The average has now climbed to $13.9m (£8.3m).

    • An Indictment of the Invisible Hand

      Here in a nutshell is what he argues: Current rates of inequality are closer to historical norms than aberrations. Inequality is likely to stay high and perhaps increase. The normal workings of the free market won’t change this. The only way to rectify the imbalance is more aggressive taxes on property and high incomes to reduce inequality.

    • Who made your clothes? It’s time we knew – and cared

      Sometimes events occur so horrific it can make finding a constructive response seem almost impossible and inadequate by comparison. As politicians we recognise in such circumstances our profession most of all can be found wanting. Yet we refuse to give up on the power of collective action to bring forward the possibility of change no matter how difficult the issue – if we are all prepared to play our part in securing it.

    • Michael Lewis: ‘Wall Street has gone insane’

      On a sliding scale of difficulty, writing a general-interest book about high-frequency trading is slightly harder than making baseball statistics interesting, but easier than animating the role played by quantitative analysis in the 2007 financial collapse. “Collateralised debt obligations,” says Michael Lewis, who has written about all three, “are impossible to describe. There’s nothing harder. However, trying to show a reader how a market moves? How stock prices move? You can already see them tuning out.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Broadcast media are shirking their duties

      But nothing on that hazardous scale had been published or broadcast lately. The statist reaction of the broadcast media was set last June by the figureheads of the two most powerful television news organizations. Bob Schieffer of CBS called Snowden a “narcissist.” David Gregory of NBC implied that Glenn Greenwald, who wrote about the NSA misconduct while at the Guardian, had “aided and abetted” Snowden and that Greenwald might be prosecuted as a criminal.

    • Dana Milbank on Snowden and the Pulitzer

      Certainly, many of the Snowden-fueled disclosures following the original NSA revelation have been gratuitous and harmful; those, and his sheltering in Russia rather than arguing his case in a U.S. court, raise doubts about his motives. But the original NSA leaks were justified because U.S. intelligence officials had misled the public and members of Congress about the program. There’s no value of “oversight” if the overseers are being fed lies.

      Fox went on, about the “ultra-narcissistic” Snowden committing “treason” and the Guardian’s “incompetence, arrogance, all added to a perverse anti-Western ideology.”

      “I am outraged,” the Briton said. “I hope you’re outraged.”
      “I’m outraged,” Thiessen assured him.

    • Who says Fox News isn’t dumb?
    • The CIA Through The Looking-Glass

      Covert operations were explicitly authorized by the new law.

    • Russia Deplores Kiev’s Little Interest in Disarming Extremists

      The Foreign Ministry of Russia criticized today in a communique the lack of interest from self proclaimed authorities in Kiev in disarming their extremist allies.

    • Obama Should Act Like M.L. King, Not Khrushchev
  • Censorship

    • DANGER OF SELF-CENSORSHIP AFTER CONATEL WARNING TO RADIO STATIONS

      Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the communiqué that the National Telecommunications Council (CONATEL) issued on 8 April condemning “certain” radio stations that “systematically broadcast false information liable to disturb pubic order, destabilize the Republic’s institutions and attack the integrity of many citizens.”

    • Teachers ‘devastated’ by online insults
    • April 19-20: Happy Easter! Guardian’s censorship over Ukraine, Big Brother watching and more

      I would like to draw your attention to a recent phenomenon that is now occurring since the start of the crisis in Ukraine to CIF (comment is free) commenters on articles in the Guardian newspaper where the subject of Ukraine is concerned.
      I have been commenting on articles in the Guardian newspaper for years and never in my life have I seen such a level of censorship being applied to commenters as I am presently seeing. Normally when you comment on an article in the Guardian your comment gets posted and it appears straight away. In the past if a comment is offensive or abusive it can then later be removed by the “moderators” and deleted. This has now all changed. Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine and the massive anti Russian propaganda being fed to the people of the UK by the MSM, it has now become extremely difficult for ordinary people to air their views which contradict the establishment views by commenting on CIF in the Guardian. In the last few weeks the newspaper has introduced something called “pre – moderation” which basically means when a commenter posts something on CIF instead of being posted straight away like it used to be someone somewhere decides whether to post it or not and if it is something that particularly contradicts the anti Russian propaganda being spouted then it just doesn’t get posted. This is what is now being shown on the Guardian website about this new development :
      When I post a comment, it says that my comments are being pre-moderated – what does that mean? Does that apply to everyone in the conversation?
      There is a further exception to the overall reactive-moderation approach adopted by the Guardian website: in isolated situations, a particular user may be identified as a risk, based on a pattern of behaviour (e.g. spam, trolling, repeated/frequent borderline abuse), so a temporary filter can be applied to anything they post, which means that their comments will need to be pre-moderated before appearing on the site.

    • The New York Times wrestles with Israel’s gag orders

      Two senior editors at the newspaper say they were unaware of The Times ever agreeing to abide by gag orders in Israel.

    • Erdoğan’s policies lead to Turkey’s isolation

      In a recent visit to Turkey, US Assistant Secretary of State Douglas Frantz got together with Turkish reporters and nongovernmental organizations. According to reports, Frantz addressed the Turkish government during these talks: “Do not punish those who use Twitter and other social media websites legally. Do not go after those publishing documents. Instead, go after those who leaked them. The Snowden incident can be a guide for Turkey,” referring to how the US handled the famed whistleblower’s case. The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers — which published a number of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shaking the whole world with revelations regarding the US’s monitoring of phone calls and Internet activities through the National Security Agency (NSA) — were recently awarded Pulitzer prizes. Prior to Frantz’s remarks, Turkey had been subjected to harsh criticism from top Western officials during the government’s two-week-long Twitter ban, introduced shortly before the March 30 local elections. At the time, international civil rights organizations expressed their concerns about Turkey’s future in terms of democracy and freedom of speech.

    • China steps up purge of online porn amid wider censorship push

      China has shut down more than 100 websites carrying pornography and closed thousands of accounts on social media sites in a renewed effort to clean up the Internet, state media reported.

    • Chinese director takes on Oliver Stone over his criticism of China’s film industry

      A war of words has erupted between a mainland movie director and American filmmaker Oliver Stone over the Oscar winner’s accusation that Chinese directors are failing to confront the damaging legacy of the country’s past.

    • Turkish artists condemn Erdogan re-election

      Artistic community expresses concern at censorship and crackdown on personal freedom

    • Egypt’s censorship board head resigns in film spat
    • PM to restructure censorship authority after film crisis

      The Cabinet said Saturday Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb decided to form a panel tasked with restructuring the Censorship Authority following a controversy over his earlier decision to ban Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe’s latest movie, which was deemed sexually provocative.

    • Gosar: Blocking science education standards is censorship

      For those not familiar with budget footnote No. 3, it prohibits the State Board of Education and the Wyoming Department of Education from, “expending any amount appropriated under this section for any review or adoption of the next generation science standards….This footnote is effective immediately.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Toronto Strikers Bump Up Boycott Tactics

      Steelworkers are holding the line against two-tier wages and pensions at a can plant in Toronto—ruining the plans of their employer, can manufacturing giant Crown Holdings. In late March, after seven months on strike, workers voted against going back to work 117 to 1.

      Crown has been trying to impose two-tier across all its union plants, said Stuart Deans of the USW. “It’s gotta stop somewhere,” he said. The Philadelphia-based company operates 149 factories in dozens of countries. About half its workers are unionized.

    • Guantánamo Bay detainees’ release upon end of Afghanistan war ‘unlikely’

      US officials indicate fate of inmates captured during the country’s longest conflict will continue to complicate Obama administration’s efforts to close wartime detention complex

    • Tennessee set to criminalise pregnant women who use illegal drugs

      Tennessee is poised to become the first state in the US to criminalise pregnant women for harm caused to their foetuses or newborn babies as a result of addiction to illegal drugs.

    • Pakistan: Draft computer crimes law violates human rights

      As states have been revealed to be snooping on citizens and other governments, and we are confronted by data breaches and security issues like the latest Heartbleed crisis, more people are becoming aware of their internet rights. Voters and civil society around the world are pushing their governments to provide secure and private online spaces for internet users. It is quite refreshing to see Pakistan’s government working for internet laws. However, though some provisions of the proposed Computer Crimes Law (CCL) are copied from other countries’ legislation, several parts of the draft version violate international human rights, including the freedom of expression.

    • Cruelty on Day for the Disabled

      Members of National Solidarity for Ending Discrimination Against the Disabled are sprayed with tear gas by police…

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Monopoly’s Fundamental Problem Remains The Same…

        The fundamental problem with the copyright monopoly today is that it can’t coexist with private communications as a concept. Our sharing of culture and knowledge happens as part of the private correspondence that leaves our computer, and therefore, the monopoly cannot be enforced as long as private correspondence exists.
        #karma

Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

Posted in Site News at 4:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why

NO MATTER what the corporate press/Wall Street tries to tell the public, Microsoft is rapidly going down, having lost the monopoly in several areas and having lost some key contracts/lock-in. As we noted some days ago, Microsoft is now being sued by its own shareholders for its crimes. As one blogger put it, “Microsoft sued by European Union for $731 Million” and “Even after giving promise to rectify this so called Technical error they didn’t do anything. As a result, 15 million users between May 2011 and July 2012 forced to use Internet Explorer as their default browser Internet Explorer.”

We now know (a few years later) that this ‘glitch’ did not help Microsoft because the fastest-growing browser and operating system (much of the same) is Google’s. Microsoft resorts to desperate attack ads, showing that it is losing the plot. Attack ads are always a last resort.

In 2010 or in 2011 we really stopped focusing on Novell and we hardly even mentioned SUSE at all. In the coming years we hope that the same will be true when it comes to Microsoft, and to a lesser degree Apple (it still enjoys some brand loyalty). In the remainder of this year we will try to focus on issues more than on companies, and unless the debate over software patents returns (patent trolls took their place) we are going to explore some new areas of interest to technology rights, such as copyright, DRM, kill switches, back doors, etc.

04.14.14

Techrights Rising

Posted in Site News at 2:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Site traffic in March-April (2014) is increasing

Techrights traffic in 2014

Summary: Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing

LAST year was a slow year for the site for purely personal reasons. Recently we have been able to post new material regularly, even if just in links form, resulting in heavier load on the 4 cores of the site’s server (with Varnish) and also increased traffic, which peaked in the past week. In prior years like 2009 we were able to publish almost a dozen posts per day; we’ll strive to get back to that. We are going to try to improve the Drupal side of the site and maybe get out of WordPress soon, for it is having security issues and is now pushing an automatic remote update feature that can act as a back door. Two more changes are imminent: daily news links will be back (we have not done those since last summer) and TechBytes, the audiocast, will be regularly released, starting this week.

03.28.14

Ubuntu News From Later March

Posted in Site News at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pundits

  • Ubuntu and the Unspoken Rules

    In the same way, the conflicts between Ubuntu and its commercial counterpart Canonical on the one hand and other free software projects on the other hand are not just about Unity, the wording of the Canonical Contributors’ License Agreement, the technical differences between Mir and Wayland, or any of the half dozen other issues being so passionately discussed at any given time.

  • Graduating from Ubuntu

    Ubuntu is famous for being a distribution where newcomers can discover Linux in a community environment. With ample support and tons of software in the repositories, it’s a distro that seems to have it all.

E-mail

Tablets

Phones

‘Apps’

  • Ubuntu Developers set Roadmap for New Software Store

    The Ubuntu developers have set out a roadmap for the new Ubuntu Software Store during a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit. The current Software Centre in Ubuntu is pretty good and has come a long way since its creation in 2009. It gives users a way to search for new software, read and write reviews, and rate the programs they download. However the Developers seem to doing a significant overhaul of the current system for its inclusion in Ubuntu Touch. The reason for this is to make it more focused on Mobile, have better user experience and to incorporate their mobile packaging format ‘Click’.

  • Canonical founder “pretty confident” about Ubuntu app growth

    Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth (pictured) said he is “pretty confident about the pace of the app ecosystem growth” for the Ubuntu platform in the mobile market, despite the fact that it has not so far been available in commercial devices.

Ubuntu 14.04

HiDPI

Mir and Unity

Wil Wheaton

Misc.

  • Troubleshooting Ubuntu One Cloud Storage on Linux

    Ubuntu One is my go-to cloud storage system. It’s a cross-platform (Linux, Mac, Android, IOS, Windows), easy to use, robust tool that anyone can use as their cloud storage. But, even the best systems can stutter or fail to work.

  • Linux 3D graphics support for Rockchip RK3188 devices

    Developers have been porting Ubuntu and other operating systems to run on tablets and TV boxes with Rockchip RK3188 quad-core chips since mid-2013. The RK3188 chip is one of the fastest ARM Cortex-A9 processors around, and Ubuntu is surprisingly snappy on devices with the processor… but up until now there’s been no Linux support for hardware-accelerate graphics.

  • Introduction to Linux and Ubuntu

    For some, the first thing that comes in mind when asked this question is “Linux is an operating system.” This is not necessarily false, but it isn’t completely true either. Linux per se is only the kernel of the operating system, the core part of it. A Linux-based operating system comprises the Linux kernel, the GNU tools and utilities (like the Bash shell, the GCC compiler or the file manipulation tools), and, on top of these, entire desktop environments (like KDE, GNOME or Xfce), along with other applications (like a music player or an image editor) and games. That being said, it is safe to call Linux an operating system when referring to it as Linux as a whole, with everything that accompanies it.

03.19.14

Covert Apparatus Still Under Fire: Surveillance, Interventions, Drones and Beyond

Posted in Site News at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Privacy

Interventions and Ukraine

  • When Lavrov Was Right

    There is no sign of any referendum on self-determination for the people of Chechnya and Dagestan.

  • Double Standards and Hypocrisy: Where are the Sanctions against the West?

    As the US and the European Union impose sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine for helping the people of Crimea to make a democratic choice to become a part of the Russian Federation, one specific question arises – where were all the sanctions when the West was carrying out genuinely illegal wars and interventions that resulted in destruction and thousands of innocent civilians being killed?

  • Russophobia and Islamophilia

    At the tactical level, US policy has devolved to “regime change.” At the strategic level, US policy is simply incoherent, if not nihilistic; swapping corrupt oligarchs for neo-fascists or religious zealots. The logic for supporting recent coups have little to do with common sense — or democracy. And with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and now the Ukraine, language needs to be coined to avoid words like coup.

  • If Mankind Is To Survive It Must Prosecute US NATO Genocide

    Sooner or later, leaders in nations cleverly slandered by a monopolized media and brutally attacked by USA covert violence and murderous interventions will defeat this evil by quoting to the world the outraged words of famous Americans who bravely condemned their nation’s many atrocities – the most recent three of whom were shot to death.

Drones

  • Obama’s Drones Made Simple
  • The New Center of Obama’s Drone War
  • Column: The new center of Obama’s drone war shifts locations

    Last month I noted that we’re in the midst of the longest pause in drone strikes in Pakistan since the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. The pause corresponds with the Pakistani government’s halting efforts to hold peace talks with the Taliban, but also reported discussions within the U.S. government about whether to kill a U.S. citizen accused of collaborating with al-Qaida in the country.

  • Operation Peace: Drones’ real calling to help civilians instead of striking them dead
  • CODEPINK Snow Day at the Department of Homeland Security

    When the documentary ended, to our surprise, Johnson himself came out to talk to us. After an intense discussion about the ethics and efficacy of drone warfare, he invited us for a follow-up meeting once he was confirmed at the DHS.

  • Our nation on the hot seat

    On March 14 the U.N. Human Rights Committee meeting in Geneva began a two-day examination of the U.S. human rights record, its first since 2006. The Committee is charged with upholding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a U.N. treaty that the U.S. ratified in 1992. At this meeting the U.S. came under sharp criticism for its counter-terrorism tactics of using unmanned drones to kill al-Qaida suspects, its transfer of suspects to other countries that practice torture, and its failure to prosecute any of the officials responsible.

    The U.S. rejected this criticism, however, stating its belief that the rights treaty “imposes no human rights obligations on American military and intelligence forces when they operate abroad.” “The United States continues to believe that its interpretation—that the covenant applies only to individuals both within its territory and within its jurisdiction—is the most consistent with the covenant’s language and negotiating history.”

  • Exclusive: U.S. Boycotts U.N. Drone Talks

    Pakistan is trying to push a resolution through the United Nations Human Rights Council that would trigger greater scrutiny of whether U.S. drone strikes violate international human rights law. Washington, though, doesn’t want to talk about it.

  • US seek to hide deadly drone attacks in Yemen, civilians killed by mistake

    The almost weekly US anti -terror attacks in Yemen and Pakistan rarely make American newspapers’ headlines. But when there are claims that innocent civilians have died in a drone strike mistake it creates news around the world. In one of those deadly drone attacks in Yemen on a convoy of 11 trucks carrying 60 men to a wedding, between 12 and 17 people were killed in four vehicles and many others wounded turning the wedding procession into a slaughter.

  • Four U.S. citizens killed in Obama drone strikes, but 3 were not intended targets

    As LaRouche Democrat and U.S. Senate candidate Kesha Rogers of Texas calls for the impeachment of Democratic President Barack Obama, she lists among her reasons the “assassination” of U.S. citizens.

    Rogers says on her campaign website that Obama violated the Fifth Amendment “with the avowed assassination of at least four American citizens, Anwar Al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son, Samir Khan, and Jude Mohammed, without benefit of due process of law. Indeed, the death warrants against these individuals were effectively signed in secret, in a committee which is overseen directly by the president.”

  • U.N. Urges Probe of Drone Strikes

    A new United Nations report has called for independent probes of a series of drone attacks that have killed civilians around the world. Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights, identified 30 drone strikes – most of them by the U.S. – in which civilians were killed, badly injured or threatened. They include a U.S. drone strike on a wedding party in Yemen that killed as many as 12 civilians in December. While drone strikes in Pakistan appear to have declined, strikes in Yemen increased and civilian casualties tripled in Afghanistan last year.

  • Drones: Obama’s dirty war
  • Locations of drone attacks changing to Afghanistan and Yemen
  • Drone sculpture construction begins

    DeLappe is hoping not only to memorialize those killed by American drones, but also to bring attention to America’s drone policies.

  • Adhere to U.N. report and lift veil on drone policy

Military

  • Army Makes Case Against Enlisting

    Jacobus claims that members of the military are not disproportionately from poor backgrounds, and indeed some studies seem to back him up. And, indeed, most members of the military, when asked if they joined to “serve their country” answer yes. But three-quarters also say they joined for education benefits, which makes one wonder what the impact on recruitment would be if the United States made education free or affordable the way other nations do. And, if that happened, what would be the further effect on susceptibility to Pentagon propaganda of a populace with a higher education level?

  • Why US Journalists Have Blood on Their Hands
  • The Air Force Isn’t Ready to Replace the A-10

    The less expensive option is using drones for close air support. The cost per flight hour of a Predator drone is just $3,769. However, as Cockburn’s piece illustrates, drone technology and cameras just aren’t there yet.

  • The Air Force Wants to Replace the U-2 with a Drone Program It Tried to Kill
  • Obama’s Imaginary Foreign Policy ‘Caution’
  • The Iraq War: Forgotten in Plain Sight

    This decontextualized rendering of violence in Iraq as a sort of atmospheric condition of the country is, sadly, typical of much of the reporting in Iraq today. It not only fails to explain political divisions and struggles in Iraq in a meaningful way for US readers. It also fails to explain how this violence is a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation, blaming the victim for the violence that is our sour bequest to them.

CIA

Civil Rights

  • Convicted Hacker ‘Weev’ Gets Another Chance At Freedom

    Weev Appeal Andrew Auernheimer Appeal Identity Theft AT&T Ipad Hacker Technology News Cybersecurity Weev Auernheimer Weev Andrew Weev Auernheimer Hacker Ipad Hack Andrew Weev Auernheimer Goatse Security Security Researchers Andrew Auernheimer Technology News

Censorship

03.11.14

Education Freedom: Growth of FOSS and Sharing (e.g. Open Access) in Educational Institutes

Posted in Site News at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Education

Open Access

02.16.14

Great News for Start of the Week: The H is Back!

Posted in Site News at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

H Online

Summary: Heise’s journalistic work covering Free and Open Source software is resurrected, thanks to pressure from concerned followers and former writers

EARLIER this year we sent many E-mails back and forth, exchanged ideas in social networks, and also wrote some articles urging Heise to bring The H back to the Web. A lot of effort was put into it before and behind the scenes. Last week there was a turning point and we seemed close to achieving our goal; with Linux Devices it took several months to achieve (and a lot of persistence/effort), but this time it took only weeks. Digital preservation is very important to Free and Open Source software. Without it, it’s hard to inform the public and improve the perception of Free/Open Source software.

“The H-Online UK archive appears to be up again,” said David Gerard from Wikipedia, “with old URLs working.” Fantastic!

In other news, after a day-long struggle we’ve managed to restore Tux Machines (news aggregation site) to a fully working order after some issues with caching (it turned out to be a conflict between Drupal cache and Varnish cache). Several improvements (security- and access-wise) were made in this process.

In the coming week we shall have plenty of interesting articles (opinions and original reporting) to share. We are starting to increase the pace of publication again, after a relatively slow 2013.

Our ambition to save those inactive sites (with no new articles in them) from going offline was partly driven by concerns that journalism is drying up a bit when it comes to software freedom (less so when it comes to Linux). Some Linux-oriented events may as well still be alive (e.g. SCALE 12x [1,2]), but audiocasts are becoming fewer [3,4] (there are new arrivals though [5]), magazines are becoming fewer (Linux Journal is still going [6], but its Web site is hardly active), emerging Linux-related events are about proprietary software [7] with DRM or other restrictions [8] (taking place in Seattle, near Microsoft), leaving interview and such interactions to few community sites [9]. Keeping existing literature and references alive is the least one can do to secure an identity and defend from misinformation, revisionism, etc. Groklaw has always been exceptionally serious when it comes to long-term preservation of information, but it too is now an inactive site. Slashdot seems to be going down the same path.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. SCALE 12x: Penguins Invading Los Angeles
  2. SCaLE 12X
  3. arkOS
  4. Podcast Season 6 Episode 0 – pilot
  5. Bad Voltage in 2014

    In 2013 we kicked off Bad Voltage, a fun and irreverent podcast about technology, Open Source, gaming, politics, and anything else we find interesting. The show includes a veritable bounty of presenters including Stuart Langridge (LugRadio, Show Of Jaq), Bryan Lunduke (Linux Action Show), Jeremy Garcia (LinuxQuestions Podcast), and myself (LugRadio, Shot Of Jaq).

  6. February 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: Web Development
  7. Steam Dev Days Videos Are Online
  8. Humble Audiobook Bundle released
  9. Interview With Sancho Lerena From Pandora FMS

    Hello Unixmen readers, today we have a special guest here at our desk! Ladies and gentlemen, we present you our friend Sancho Lerena from Pandora FMS. In case it doesn’t ring you any bell, Pandora FMS is a monitoring software which helps you to detect problems before they happen, managing your IT infrastructure: servers, networking and applications. So, if you want to find a job or if you are currently employed as Linux/Network Administrator then you should be aware of it. Here’s a little summary of Pandora from Unixmen.

02.10.14

Techrights Joins ‘The Day We Fight Back’

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

header

Summary: A Tuesday protest, titled ‘The Day We Fight Back’, has got our support

TECHRIGHTS has covered mass surveillance for a number of years now. Information about the NSA, for example, has been mostly accessible, but it was not widely published (corporate media was complicit) and there were no leaked documents to factually support key claims. At times, the truth did get published, only to be followed by puff pieces and clever denials by the abusers and their accomplices or collaborators (people like Rupert Murdoch). Noise outweighed the signal and left some people uncertain.

This week, just ahead of ‘The Day We Fight Back’, a new site run by two journalists who personally spoke to Snowden in Hong Kong and then broke NSA stories officially became public. There are some stories derived from it below. A lot of the stuff we now know is not necessarily new, but the public reaction, press reaction, etc. leave us hopeful that ‘new media’ is possible, even if the publisher cannot be trusted.

  • NIST continues using SHA-1 algorithm after banning it

    The SSL certificate for www.nist.gov is signed using the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, and was issued by VeriSign on 23 January 2014, more than three weeks after NIST’s own ban came into effect. Also issued this year, NIST’s “Secure File Transfer Service” at xnfiles.nist.gov uses a SHA-1 certificate.

    An attacker able to find SHA-1 collisions could carefully construct a pair of certificates with colliding SHA-1 hashes: one a conventional certificate to be signed by a trusted CA, the other a sub-CA certificate able to be used to sign arbitrary SSL certificates. By substituting the signature from the CA-signed certificate into the sub-CA certificate, certificate chains containing the attacker-controlled sub-CA certificate will pass browser verification checks. This attack is, however, made more difficult by path constraints and the inclusion of unpredictable data into the certificate before signing it.

  • IBM developing Self-Destructing Microchips for US Defense

    Science Fiction Movies always show the possible direction of the development of technology and gives us the opportunity to think about it. The U.S. Government is also trying to develop such technology that was introduced in movies like Star Trek and TERMINATOR i.e. Self destructing Network of computers, Sensors and other devices.

    [...]

    The project announced a year back, known as Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR), which is dedicated to developing a CMOS microchip that self-destructs when it receives a certain frequency of radio signal from military command, in order to fully destroy it and preventing it from being used by the enemy.

  • Glenn Greenwald’s New Site Goes Live With NSA Allegations

    Glenn Greenwald’s new site devoted to the security leaks of Edward Snowden and broader “adversarial journalism” has launched as The Intercept.

    The site is led by Greenwald and two other noted investigative journalists – Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill. Scahill takes the lead bylines with Greenwald on the site’s first major story – an investigation of the NSA’s role in locating targets for U.S. drone strikes.

  • NSA Refuses to Confirm or Deny Whether It Has Documents on Spy Program It Already Talked About

    I’m getting a kick out of the letters the National Security Agency (NSA) has been sending me in response to my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

    A couple of weeks ago, the NSA refused to release 156 pages of draft talking points the agency created in the wake of the Edward Snowden leak, citing a “grave threat” to national security if any portion of the documents were declassified and released.

    Now, the NSA is refusing to confirm or deny whether it has documents on a top-secret surveillance program the agency has acknowledged exists and discussed publicly.

    This is the backstory.

    On January 16, The Guardian published a report based on documents the newspaper obtained from Snowden identifying an NSA program called DISHFIRE, which captures 200 million text messages a day from around the globe, “pretty much everything it can,” according to an internal NSA document published by The Guardian.

  • New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time

    Over the past eight months, classified documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have exposed scores of secret government surveillance programs. Yet there is little visual material among the blizzard of code names, PowerPoint slides, court rulings and spreadsheets that have emerged from the National Security Agency’s files.

  • Gov’t Officials Leak Classified Info To Journalists To Discredit Snowden For Leaking Classified Info To Journalists

    We already mentioned the bizarre NY Times article from over the weekend that described how Snowden apparently used some basic web crawler software to collect the documents he later leaked. As we noted, the basic story itself is unremarkable, other than for how the NY Times tried to turn “man uses basic tool” into a story. However, there is a really good quote from Snowden himself (via his lawyers) in response to the article. Since most of it involves senior government officials telling NYT reporters about security problems at some NSA facilities, Snowden was quick to point out the irony:

    “It’s ironic that officials are giving classified information to journalists in an effort to discredit me for giving classified information to journalists. The difference is that I did so to inform the public about the government’s actions, and they’re doing so to misinform the public about mine.”

  • What Key NSA Overseers Don’t Know About the Phone Dragnet

    Is the National Security Agency collecting and storing data on fewer telephone calls than we thought? So say reports in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times. “Although intelligence officials have indicated since last summer that the National Security Agency was vacuuming up nearly every American telephone record for counter-terrorism investigations,” the L.A. Times reports in its version, “officials acknowledged Friday that the spy agency collects data from less than a third of U.S. calls because it can’t keep pace with cellphone usage.”

  • GCHQ – Don’t Spy On Us

    On Tuesday, internet users all over the world are standing up to say no to GCHQ and the NSA’s mass surveillance. Over the last eight months we’ve heard plenty about how intelligence agencies monitor us on the Internet.

  • ‘The Day We Fight Back’ against NSA spying is Tuesday

    Even though the movement is mainly aimed at pushing the U.S. government to take action, more than 5,000 websites from around the world have committed to participating in some way to speak up for privacy protections. Some notable names taking part include the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and the Libertarian Party, which will run banners on their websites asking users to write their legislators and raise hell.

  • Report: NSA Relies on Unreliable Phone Data for Drone Strikes
  • NSA spying undermines separation of powers: Column

    The program makes it easy for the president to spy on and blackmail his enemies.

  • Omidyar online magazine launches with fresh NSA story

    The online news venture backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar debuted Monday, featuring fresh revelations about US intelligence from investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald.

    The news site dubbed “The Intercept” launched with two articles, including one co-authored by Greenwald stating that the US National Security Agency is relying on electronic surveillance, such as cell phone location, rather than human intelligence, to locate targets for lethal drone strikes.

    The report said the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone for raids and drone strikes to capture or kill suspected terrorists.

  • NSA ‘drone strikes based on mobile phone data’

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) uses electronic surveillance rather than human intelligence in lethal drone strikes, it has been reported.

    The new publication headed by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the news of US government surveillance in The Guardian, claims the revelations were made by a former US drone operator.

  • The Intercept, the first online publication from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, is now live
  • Omidyar’s ‘Intercept’ launches with new NSA revelations
  • Lights Out for NSA? Maryland Lawmakers Push to Cut Water, Electricity to Spy Agency Headquarters

    The National Security Agency’s headquarters in Ft. Meade, Md., will go dark if a cohort of Maryland lawmakers has its way.

    Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency “material support, participation or assistance in any form” from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts.

    The bill would deprive NSA facilities water and electricity carried over public utilities, ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.

  • Surveillance by NSA violates 4th amendment

    What is the NSA, and what does it do? The NSA is the National Security Agency. This program is funded by the “government” – in other words, us.

    As it says at nsa.gov, its commitment is to combat terrorism around the globe, support and protect our troops in the field and adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and the laws and regulations of the United States.

    The NSA began to expand its programs after the 9/11 incident in New York. George W. Bush was president at the time. President Obama is now enforcing and expanding the program.

  • Death By Metadata: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Reveal NSA Role in Assassinations Overseas

    In the first exposé for their new venture, First Look Media’s digital journal The Intercept, investigative journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald reveal the National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes. The NSA identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cellphone tracking technologies, an unreliable tactic that has resulted in the deaths of innocent and unidentified people. The United States has reportedly carried out drone strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cellphone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike. Scahill and Greenwald join us in this exclusive interview to discuss their report and the launch of their media project.

  • NSA Metadata Used For Drone Strikes

    Contrary to the continual rationalizations by NSA defenders such as President Obama that metadata is benign – that it is only used to see patterns not identify individuals – it is now being reported that metadata alone is the basis for lethal drone strikes. According to First Look Media metadata, not human intelligence, is the tool the NSA is using to locate people to be assassinated by drone strikes.

  • Snowden accused of using hacking’s greatest weapon to access NSA files: wget

    Exfiltrated data said to be using previously unknown port 80. Experts remain amused by media hype.

    [...]

    So this is where the FUD and comical nature of this story starts. In essence, the big news here is that Snowden used wget, or something similar, to mirror the NSA’s SharePoint archives. This isn’t mastermind-level hacking, it’s something at any network administrator would know how to do.

  • 75 Percent of Defense Contractors Say NSA Revelations Changed Their Security Practices
  • When NSA Error Leads to Innocent People’s Deaths

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