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06.01.14

Links 1/6/2014: Two Linux Mint Releases, New NSA Leaks From Risen

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kano review – doing it for the kids

    The Kano computer system revolves around two core things: a Raspberry Pi and the Kano OS designed for it. More than just another Raspberry Pi kit, it proved itself with a successful Kickstarter, promising a system that would help get kids into real computing and allow them to start down a path of programming and coding.

  • Sphere 1.4 Is an Icon Pack for People Who Don’t Like Flat Operating Systems

    The Sphere icon pack is made by Achim Karsch and features over 24.000 icons for the operating system, covering pretty much all the known applications out there.

  • Australian Linux conference 2014 records big loss

    The Australian national Linux conference of 2014, held in Perth in January, looks set to make a loss of nearly $40,000, according to the president of Linux Australia, Joshua Hesketh.

  • Linux.conf.au $40,000 Budget Shortfall: A Lesson In The Importance Of Planning
  • Server

    • Linux Video of the Week: 40-Node Raspberry Pi Supercomputer

      Guill, a recent graduate of the masters in computer science and electrical engineering program at the University of Texas in Dallas, built the 40-node Raspberry Pi cluster for distributed software testing. In addition to a list of technical requirements, Guill wrote that he also wanted it to be “visually pleasing.”

    • 32-bit Enterprise Linux Still Matters

      I’ve done a lot of support of government servers and they run for about forever, as in until they serve no further use. Even retired, old servers are often repurposed and put back into service due to budget restrictions and/or long lead times to order new equipment under the required procedures for government procurement. In the United States this is especially true at the state level. When a server is repurposed it is usually reloaded with the current enterprise standard Linux distrubution release and applications, not legacy releases. That’s one common use case.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Foundation webpage design
      • First ideas for a better GNOME browser

        I have tried to describe a situation where Web browsing is more tightly integrated with the desktop. There is still a lot of work to do: detailed functionality needs to be refined, assumptions need to be verified, mockups and prototypes need to be created and evaluated…

        A browser is a very complex application to design, but luckily there is a lot of knowledge already available that should help us generate ideas and make informed decisions.

      • AppData progress and the email deluge

        I’ve deliberately not included GNOME in this sweep, as a lot of the core GNOME applications already have AppData and most of the gnomies already know what to do. I also didn’t include XFCE appications, as XFCE has agreed to adopt AppData on the mailing list and are in the process of doing this already. KDE is just working out how to merge the various files created by Matthias, and I’ve not heard anything from LXDE or MATE. So, I only looked at projects not affiliated with any particular desktop.

      • GNOME Shell 3.13.2 Brings Improvements for Airplane Mode

        This is the first update for GNOME Shell in the current 3.13.x development cycle, and its makers have made quite a few modifications to it.

        According to the changelog, the airplane mode menu is now insensitive in the lock screen, the struts are no longer extended to the screen edge, keynav has been fixed for alternatives in AltSwitcher, and the window menus have been implemented in the shell.

      • Tartan: Plugging Clang Into The GNOME Stack

        Tartan is a new research and development project by Collabora to yield a Clang analysis plug-in for GLib and GNOME.

        The Tartan plug-in loads GObject-Introspection meta-data for all encountered functions to better inform LLVM’s Clang and the plug-in also takes care of detecting common coding practices for GLib. Tartan is licensed under the GPLv3+ by Collabora.

      • GTK+ 3.13.2 Arrives with Interactive Debugging and Gestures Suppor

        This latest update for GTK arrives with a multitude of changes and new features, but this is understandable because this is a development release.

        According to the changelog, interactive debugging support has been implemented, gesture support has finally landed, the GTK+ widgets can now draw outside their allocation zone, by setting a clip with gtk_widget_set_clip(), GtkStack has added a few more transition types, and the GtkProgressBar is now narrower.

  • Distributions

    • Kali Linux 1.0.7 review

      The latest update to Kali Linux was released a few days ago. Kali Linux 1.0.7 review is a summary review of the main features of this latest upgrade to the security distribution from Offensive Security, a security and penetration training outfit based somewhere on this third rock from the Sun.

      The main feature introduced in Kali Linux 1.0.7 is the ability to transfer the system to a USB stick with encrypted persistence.

    • The five most popular end-user Linux distributions

      Sure, on the desktop, Windows still rules. According to Stat Counter’s’ April 2014 data, Windows has about a 90 percent market share. Out of an approximate base of 1.5 billion PCs, that’s about 1.36 billion Windows PCs. So, guess what’s the number two end-user operating system in the world?

    • Netbook, Desktop and X Editions of Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha 1 Now Available

      “Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha is now available for download in Netbook, Desktop and X Editions. It is based on Precise Puppy and uses the excellent LXPup by SFS to provide LXDE as a desktop environment for Netbook and Desktop Editions. As usual, Netbook is our cut down version which focuses on web based applications rather than locally installed applications,” said the developer in the official announcement.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • June 2014 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the June 2014 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Tails 1.1 Beta 1 Secure Distro Now Has Windows 8 Comouflage Mode

        Tails is a distribution based on Debian and Tor technologies that aims to keep its users as anonymous as possible. It gained a lot more visibility after Edward Snowden said that he used exactly this Linux distribution to hide his tracks. The developers are now implementing more changes and fixes that should ensure it becomes even more secure.

      • Siduction ‘Paintitblack’ LXQt Dev Release: Screenshots

        Earlier this month the Siduction team, which regularly updates snapshots based on Debian Unstable/Sid, released a development build showcasing the new LXQt desktop, the future of both the LXDE and the Razor-qt environments. Siduction have a bit of history here as they featured Razor-qt as a desktop early on and were probably the only distribution to ship a dedicated iso as part of their line-up throughout 2012 and 2013. Besides using KDE 4 for the main image Siduction have shown a great commitment to medium light and lower resource desktops.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • First Look Unreal Tournament, Tangiers Trailer, and Ubuntu Surface
          • Is Cinnamon a worthy replacement for Ubuntu Unity?

            If there’s one area of Linux that gets more scrutiny than any other, it’s the desktop. From every corner, the haters and detractors abound. Nearly every publication that offers any focus on the Linux desktop at some point posts a piece about getting rid of the default Ubuntu desktop. Cinnamon is one of the primary replacement contenders.

          • Unity Control Center for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Review

            Ubuntu developers are trying to shake some of its GNOME dependencies and they have been working towards this goal for quite some time. Ubuntu distributions have been using GNOME packages since the beginning, even before the adoption of Unity as the default desktop environment.

            Back when Ubuntu was still using GNOME 2.x to power its desktop, people were complaining about various problems, which in fact were not the fault of the Ubuntu developers. Some of the patches submitted by Ubuntu upstream, to the GNOME project were accepted either with delay or not at all. So, Canonical has decided to make Unity, a project it can control from one end to another.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Deepin’s Functionality Is a Bit Too Shallow

              The Deepin desktop design is snazzy yet simple to use. It is one of the first Linux distros to take advantage of HTML 5 technology.

              Add its home-grown applications such as the Deepin Software Center, Deepin Music Player and Deepin Media Player, and you get an operating system that is tailored to the average user.

              The Deepin Linux development team is based in China. The distro so far is available only in English and traditional or simplified Chinese. It is a very young distro that debuted a few years ago and cycled through just one or two full releases per year as it crawled through its alpha and beta stages.

              Deepin 2014 Beta is the latest version, released earlier this month to replace a version released last fall. This current release, based on screen shots displayed on the website for the previous version, substitutes the more traditional bottom panel bar with a docking bar that resembles the Mac OS X look.

              Read more

            • Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Is Now Available for Download

              The new Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and the first flavors released are Cinnamon and MATE, which is the norm for this kind of launches.

              It’s important to note right from the start that the ISOs for the two versions of Linux Mint 17 usually arrive before the official announcement, which is not too far off. Rest assured, these are the official images from the Linux Mint Team.

            • Download Linux Mint 17 final release ISO images
            • Linux Mint 17 Qiana release ISOs available for download

              The ISOs approved for Linux Mint 17 aka Qiana stable release are already uploaded and available for download. The release hasn’t been announced yet but here’s your chance to install and enjoy the latest version of the popular Ubuntu derivative! 32 and 64-bit versions of both the Cinnamon and MATE variants are available.

            • Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Is Now Available
            • Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Cinnamon Officially Released
            • Linux Mint 17 MATE & Cinnamon Versions Officially Out
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Synology DS414j review – the future of NAS?

      When you buy a Synology product, you know what you’re getting yourself in to. The company’s designs rarely change between generations, beyond a few small tweaks and improvements to the internals, and its Linux-based DiskStation Manager operating system only ever improves with time. Its pricing, however, can leave it out of the reach of the budget-conscious buyer, especially when more than two drive bays are required.

    • Why Cisco joined the Linaro Digital Home Group
    • Linaro forms digital media group

      The Linaro Digital Home Group, or LHG, follows other working groups from Linaro, a not-for-profit company owned by ARM and many of its top licensees. Linaro develops standardized open source Linux and Android toolchain software for ARM-based devices. Previous groups have included the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG), the Linaro Networking Group (LNG), and most recently, the Security Working Group (SWG).

      As usual, the goal is provide standardized software and requirements for relevant upstream open source projects. In this case, Linaro defines digital home applications as media-centric devices including set-top boxes, televisions, media players, gaming, and home gateway devices. Home automation does not appear to be a central focus.

    • Phones

      • Ubuntu Phone OS vs. Mozilla Firefox OS

        Though it’s difficult to compare two operating systems that are targeted at different users, Mozilla’s Firefox OS still feels half-baked compared to what Ubuntu offers. While Canonical is focused on making a full-fledged mobile OS that goes head-to-head against Android and iOS, Firefox’s approach is towards making smartphones more affordable. Initial reviews of Firefox OS have been really underwhelming so it will take about a year for us to see both operating systems in the hands of its end users. Finally, it would be a great idea to wait till both operating systems get enough exposure and that would be somewhere around April 2015 where both Ubuntu and Firefox would have (hopefully) reached enough stability to be used on a broader scale.

      • Tizen Dev Conf 2014 open to student developers for free

        Good news for budding developers interested in mobile platforms and devices. The Tizen Developer Conference 2014 (hashtag #TDCSF14) due next week is offering free registration to student developers.

      • Pride and Prejudice: Smartphones

        Android/Linux smartphones are taking 80% of the market shipments while having an average selling price ~$70 less than those other operating systems, you know, on Blackberries and iPhones.

      • WebRTC voice and video now available on Firefox Nightly, but…

        WebRTC voice and video is now available on Firefox Nightly. That’s the latest news from the Mozilla Foundation and TokBox, the Web communications company that Mozilla Foundation is working with to bring us WebRTC voice and video in my favorite Web browser. To see how this actually works, I decided to download Firefox Nightly and install or run it on my systems.

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung’s original Galaxy Gear smartwatch drops Android for Tizen

          Samsung’s first generation of smartwatches is officially ditching Android. SamMobile reports that the original Galaxy Gear is being upgraded to Tizen, the operating system used on the newer Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (but not the Gear Fit, yet another model released this spring.) Samsung has made a point of differentiating its software from stock Android — its various Android smartphones are loaded with design tweaks — but in this case, the main difference will be in added features; we and other reviewers found that the Tizen interface looked and operated very much like the Android one.

        • Samsung Continues to Convert Mobile Players to Tizen

          Samsung continues to welcome new players into the Tizen family. Its June 2 dev conference may coincide with Tizen smartphone news.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Teenager Killed His Parents Because They Took His iPod Away

    A Virginia tenth grader says he attacked and killed his parents because they were acting too parental, “taking away [his] iPod and stuff.”

    Vincent Parker, a 16-year-old honor roll student, was arrested after he randomly attacked and killed his parents last December.

  • Brother and sister kill their Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother during an EXORCISM by beating her to ‘force out demons’
  • Everyone Agrees They Don’t Know Why Teenager Committed Suicide, So Helpful Coroner Shouts Video Games

    They say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. When it comes to adults attempting to explain away inexplicable tragedy by scapegoating the younger generation’s entertainment du jour, that certainly seems to be the case. For our generation, of course, that means video games. We’ve seen it over and over again, from journalists jumping to blame violent games before they have any facts to back it up, to television personalities pretending there’s a proven link when there isn’t, to grandstanding politicians proposing constitution-violating sin-taxes on games just because.

  • Science

    • New Video: Neil deGrasse Tyson Destroys Climate Deniers

      For 11 episodes now, the groundbreaking Fox and National Geographic Channel series Cosmos has been exploring the universe, outraging creationists, and giving science teachers across the nation something to show in class every Monday. In the process, the show has been drawing more than 3 million viewers every Sunday night, a respectable number for a science-focused show that is, after all, a major departure from what prime-time audiences are used to.

      Cosmos certainly hasn’t shied from controversy; it has taken on evolution and industry-funded science denial, and it has been devoting an increasing amount of attention to the subject of climate change. And apparently that was just the beginning. This coming Sunday, Cosmos will devote an entire episode to the topic.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why Are Food Prices so High? Because We’re Eating Oil

      Anyone who buys their own groceries (as opposed to having a full-time cook handle such mundane chores) knows that the cost of basic foods keeps rising, despite the official claims that inflation is essentially near-zero.

    • Diets Make You Fatter—The Three Little Words that Really Help You Lose Weight

      “British girls have become the fattest in Europe” was this week’s brutal headline.

    • Synthetic biology products found in “green” laundry detergent

      Consumer products containing ingredients made using an advanced form of engineering known as synthetic biology are beginning to show up more often on grocery and department store shelves.

      A liquid laundry detergent made by Ecover, a Belgian company that makes “green” household products including the Method line, contains an oil produced by algae whose genetic code was altered using synthetic biology. The algae’s DNA sequence was changed in a lab, according to Tom Domen, the company’s manager for long-term innovation.

  • Security

    • Anonymous hacktivists plan massive attack on Brazilian World Cup sponsors – report

      Amid mass demos and violence over extravagant World Cup spending showing little promise of return for an impoverished Brazil, Anonymous hackers plan a mass hack attack on the Cup’s sponsors, a source told Reuters.

      High inflation and low business investment have hampered the government’s recent attempts to boost the economy ahead of the tournament. All this is happening as some of the country’s most pressing social and other problems have been neglected, with rampant poverty and destitution rife in large parts of the capital.

      People are up in arms, staging protest events for a number of reasons, the latest of which are centered on skepticism that the lavish spending on the World Cup will benefit them in any substantial way. This Friday, several simultaneous events blocked Rio de Janeiro’s main roads, paralyzing traffic.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Don’t sanitize the reality of war

      The only winners in war are those who produce the guns, bullets, drones, IEDs, and all the other gadgets to maim and kill.

    • White House press secretary Jay Carney leaving

      Jay Carney is stepping down as White House press secretary, President Barack Obama announced on Friday.

    • 6 Of Jay Carney’s Most Epic Clashes With Reporters

      When Jay Carney steps down as White House press secretary later this year, he will leave behind a trail of memorable clashes with reporters. Here are a few of them:

    • How Many Terrorists Are There: Not As Many As You Might Think

      Terrorism is a deadly, ever-present menace from which Americans should spare no expense or effort in protecting themselves. Or so our rulers claim.

    • The University & the Security State: DHS Joins Pentagon and CIA on Campus

      Most countries have special-purpose institutions of higher education to train military officers. The United States has 18 such colleges and universities, including federally funded ones such as West Point, state-funded ones such as The Citadel, and private ones such as Norwich University. What distinguishes the United States from all but a few other countries is the presence of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at civilian colleges and universities.

      Created in 1916, ROTC is probably the most visible sign of U.S. military involvement on non-military colleges and universities, with its uniformed cadets and midshipmen and university credit for courses taught by military officers on “military science” and “leadership.” Army, Navy), or Air Force ROTC programs are present today on almost 500 campuses.

    • Obama accepts veterans affairs chief resignation with ‘regret’

      Obama said Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of the VA, would take the helm on an acting basis while he looked “diligently” for a new permanent VA secretary. Gibson, an Army veteran and former banker, had joined the VA just three months ago after running the USO military service organization.

    • How Long Will Europe Pay Tribute to USA?

      France and the United States have exchanged statements on the Mistral ships contract with Moscow. Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf has said the United States is concerned about the deal and it believes that the time is wrong for selling the amphibious assault ships to the Russian Federation. The statements were made after French President Hollande confirmed that the deal signed in 2011 is in force to be completed in October. The $1, 2 billion Vladivostok is to join the Russian Navy in 2014 with Sevastopol, the second ship of the class, to be delivered in 2015.

    • Fmr Bush Counter-Terror Czar: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld All Committed War Crimes

      According to the nation’s former top counterterrorism official, former President George W. Bush, his Vice President Dick Cheney, and their Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had all committed war crimes during their tenure.

      Richard Clarke was Bush’s counterterrorism czar in 2001 and later became the president’s special advisor on cyberterror until he resigned in 2003 and became a vocal critic of the administration. In an interview with Democracy Now! this week, Clarke was asked by host Amy Goodman whether Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld could ever seriously face “war crimes” charges for the Iraq operation.

    • Exclusive: New document details America’s war machine — and secret mass of contractors in Afghanistan

      What is a huge army of private contractors secretly doing in Afghanistan? A leaked PowerPoint presentation explains

    • “Force Protection Alpha in Effect” –Coming To A Town Near You

      My arrest at Creech along with eight others on April 16 was a “return to the scene of the crime” (the Air Force’s crime, not mine) for me, as I was among the “Creech 14” in April 2009, the first nonviolent direct action against drones in the U.S. Creech was then one of only a few sites from which drones were controlled by the U.S. and by the United Kingdom, which has a wing of the Royal Air Force stationed there to fly their own drones. Since then the use of armed drones has been proliferating around the world and so has the number of drone operation bases in communities around the U.S. My work with Voices for Creative Nonviolence has brought me to the scenes of the crime in Afghanistan, the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia and at the gates of drone bases in New York, Iowa, Missouri and in England as well.

    • US Drones hitting Civilian Homes, Killing non-Combatants

      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.

    • New Data: American Drones Killed Hundreds of Pakistani Civilians
    • Civilian Casualty Rates in CIA vs. DOD Drone Programs: Apples and Oranges
    • What the Drones Strike: Targets Attacked by CIA Drones in Pakistan – Most are Houses

      The Bureau is publishing, for the first time, data showing the types of targets that have been reportedly attacked by CIA drones in Pakistan.

      The research is a joint project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research unit based at Goldsmiths University, London, and Situ Research in New York. The data feeds this interactive website mapping the strikes, the types of target attacked, and their relative scale.

    • If Bush Is a War Criminal, Then So Are Truman, LBJ, Nixon and Obama

      Finally, although President Obama ended the use of torture, he continued the drone attacks started under Bush. A Stanford Law School reports states that “there is significant evidence that U.S. drone strikes have injured and killed civilians.” Many say they violate international law, especially since civilians are killed in countries that haven’t declared war upon the U.S. As for the decisions of presidents before Obama, the use of the atomic bombs, massive bombing campaigns in Vietnam, and chemical weapons like Agent Orange can easily be viewed as war crimes. If President Bush is deemed a war criminal, then the decisions of presidents before and after Bush should be evaluated in the same manner.

    • Aussies dead in drone strikes — and Brandis does not care
    • US Will Still Use Drone Strikes: Barack Obama

      President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he will continue to “take direct action” by ordering drone strikes and capture operations against suspected terrorists “when necessary to protect ourselves.”

      In a speech outlining a foreign policy framework that stresses cooperation with allies, Obama said there still would be times when the U.S. must go it alone. He restated a policy he disclosed last May, however, that no drone strike should occur unless there is “a near certainty” that no civilians will be harmed.

    • A(nother) Procedural Roadblock for Drone Casualty Reporting Requirements

      By way of brief background for the unfamiliar, at the most basic level (but with varying degrees of specificity), each proposal would require the President to release a public report on the number of civilian and combatant casualties killed in U.S. drone strikes (for earlier discussions on the substance of the proposals, see e.g., here and here). Back in November, the House and Senate intelligence committees debated including a similar reporting requirement in the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2014. The SSCI-approved version of the bill included the provisions; whereas, HPSCI rejected a Schiff-sponsored amendment to include the reporting requirements in the House version. Ultimately, however, the proposal was never enacted.

    • US Global Hawk Drones Given Access To British Airspace
    • Despite promise, US govt moves to classify justification for drone killing of American
    • U.S. Seeks to Censor More of Memo That Approved Drone Strike on American
    • Feds Want to Censor More of the Drone Memo
    • US gov’t wants to withhold crucial information on Yemen drone strike
    • US appeals court rebuffs govt try for secrecy

      A New York federal appeals court has rejected the government’s request to reargue in secret its order that it reveal a classified memo describing legal justifications for using drones to kill U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.

    • Inside the Ring: Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens
    • Obama Unveils His “Don’t Do Stupid Sh*t” Doctrine At West Point
    • ‘Boss’ bumper sticker for a true Chicagoan
    • Is ‘Obama: Like a Boss’ bumper sticker completely wrong?
    • Obama Administration Desperate to Censor Assassination Memo

      After announcing it would comply with a federal court order, the Obama administration has decided that it wants to conceal more portions of a controversial memo authorizing the assassination of Americans overseas.

      Last week, officials with the U.S. Department of Justice said they would make public parts of the internal document written in July 2010 by then-federal lawyer David Barron that justified the use of drones or other means to kill U.S. citizens accused of terrorist involvement.

      The declaration came as the U.S. Senate was considering Barron’s confirmation as a judicial appointee to the First Circuit Court of Appeals—a move that helped convince at least one Democratic senator, Mark Udall of Colorado, to support the nomination.

    • Drone memo author should be in jail

      Conservatives say, and this is one of their more successful memes, that poor people are immoral. The proles have sex and kids out of wedlock and expect us (i.e., upstanding middle- and upper-class patriots) to pay for them. They steal Medicare and cheat on welfare. They don’t follow The Rules (rules written by, let’s just say, not them). Which makes them Bad.

    • Obama’s Vacuous West Point Foreign Policy Speech

      In his May 28 West Point speech on foreign policy President Obama took a swipe at “so-called realists.” But the acolytes of this particular school of thought will by and large be satisfied with his manifesto. The most scathing attacks on Obama’s foreign policy have come from neo-conservatives such as Robert Kagan. They are the ones who will pounce on the Mr. Obama’s latest address, and indeed have already done so.

      The West Point lecture was classic Obama: the president was calm and reasonable. And he took an in-between Goldilocks stance designed to differentiate him from the extremes. The latter he characterized simplistically to supplement the rhetorical force, if not the persuasiveness, of his case.

    • As Obama sets agenda at West Point, anti-drone protesters rally

      About two dozen anti-drone protesters greeted those entering the United States Military Academy Wednesday, piggybacking their message onto the fanfare of graduating cadets and a visit by President Barack Obama.

    • New data shows drones killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians

      Some light has been shed on how the drone program works; in October 2013, the Washington Post revealed how the NSA is also involved in the targeted killing program. And early in 2014, The Intercept published more details about how “controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies” used by the NSA for its surveillance programs are also used to identify drone targets.

    • The Blair-Bush notes

      It isn’t just John Major who is unhappy that transcripts and full notes of conversations between Tony Blair and George W Bush about the lead-up to the Iraq war will remain secret. The entire world needs details of conversations between Blair and Bush about the 2003 war, but instead the Chilcot inquiry will only get the gist of the talks. For a war which killed 655,000 Iraqis and over one million in total, and for a reason never proven, it cannot be just the former British prime minister who is troubled by the lack of information and transparency.

    • Liverpool journalist channels Iraq War anger into debut novel

      IT’S ABOUT as eye-catching a blurb as you could hope for on an Iraq war thriller – an endorsement from embattled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange himself.

    • Full-steam ahead for a whitewash of Tony Blair’s Iraq lies as Chilcot surrenders

      Chilcot has surrendered in a “bad, bad day for democracy and justice. The establishment of this country, and the security and intelligence services have won again. Truth has lost out.”

    • Welcome to the warped but wonderful world of ex-PM Tony Blair

      Many believe Blair should be put on trial for his role in taking us to what looks like an increasingly illegal war in Iraq. I would try him for allowing the country to be swamped with millions of new arrivals as, and this fact is absolutely vital to remember, it was not fair to anyone; not those who were already here, those who arrived or those who came along subsequently.

      Communities felt they lost their identities, schools were filled to the point that giant cabins were quickly rushed into playgrounds to fit in all the children, many of whom could speak no English, and resentment quickly grew.

    • Crediting Obama for Bringing Troops Home–Without Noting He Sent Them Abroad

      In reality, current US troop levels–about 32,000–are actually about what they were when Obama took office (Think Progress, 6/22/11). A graph that accompanied an NPR story (6/29/11) shows this pretty clearly.

      Late last year the New York Times offered similarly misleading spin (FAIR Blog, 11/25/13), reporting that Obama “has reduced the forces in Afghanistan from about 100,000 in 2010 to about 47,000 today.” That’s technically true, but ignores the fact that the troop levels had only gotten that high as a result of Obama’s policy of massive escalation.

    • Is Iran’s Missing General, Ali Reza Asgari, Living in the United States?

      He was said to be a key player in the Beirut embassy bombing in 1983 and in the founding of Hezbollah—until he disappeared in 2007. Now a new book claims he’s under CIA protection.

    • Benghazi ‘‍cover-up’ being ignored, reader contends

      Reader Peter Smith is none too happy with this newspaper.

      As he wrote to me: “I could see The Blade shirking and hiding initially from its duty of reporting to the citizenry about the tragedy when the news first broke, due to the lack of ‘factual evidence…’

      “But now the facts are out! I know it and you know it too … time to step up and report first-hand all the facts about this tragedy and all the ramifications coming out of it, including the cover-up.”

    • US sends assault ship with 1,000 Marines to Libyan coast
    • Op-Ed: Hifter again attacks Islamists as Libyan protesters show support
    • The man at the center of the chaos in Libya: Khalifa Haftar
    • Syrian rebels say they are already being trained by the CIA

      The issue of giving aid to the Syrian rebels has been widely debated with some concerned that weapons and training will end up in the hands of Islamists who have embedded themselves among the opposition.

    • Syrian rebels say they are being trained by the CIA
    • Guatemala: The coup that radicalised Che Guevara

      Sixty years ago, in June 1954, a CIA-orchestrated coup ousted the reformist Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. The coup installed a brutal right-wing regime and decades of bloody repression.

    • Obama’s ProtoWar Against Russia and China

      Russia and China are both under attack by a multi-pronged U.S.-led ‘proto-war’ which could erupt into ‘hot war’ or even nuclear war. ‘Protowar’ or ‘proto-warfare’ is the term I have coined to describe the use of multiple methods intended to weaken, destabilize, and in the limit-case destroy a targeted government without the need to engage in direct military warfare.

    • What Are Polish Death Squads Fighting For in Ukraine?

      On May 11 a plane arrived at Kiev’s airport in strict secrecy; it was met by the airport’s military personnel rather than the civilian staff. NATO military uniforms, 500 packages of amphetamines, and containers marked as poisonous substances were unloaded from the plane. By order of the Kiev directorate of the SBU, the fighters, the cargo and the containers of poison were not inspected and left the airport in cars with tinted windows. The cargo was accompanied by CIA agent Richard Michael. Aboard the plane were also fighters from the Right Sector and the Polish private military company ASBS (Analizy Systemowe Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz) Othago, created several years ago by Poland’s current Minister of the Interior, B. Sienkiewicz.

    • Premature US Victory-Dancing on Ukraine

      Washington’s role in the coup d’etat in Kiev on Feb. 22 has brought the U.S. a Pyrrhic victory…

    • Squat demolition called off after four nights of rioting in Barcelona

      City attempt to reach peaceful agreement over fate of squatters’ civic centre after fourth night of violent clashes in Catalan capital

    • Meet Directive 3025.18 Granting Obama Authority To Use Military Force Against Civilians

      While the “use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” The Washington Times uncovering of a 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans. As one defense official proclaimed, “this appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens.” Meet Directive 3025.18 and all its “quelling civil disturbances” totalitarianism…

    • Sleeping toddler burned during SWAT raid
    • SWAT team throws concussion grenade into baby playpen during no-knock raid

      A SWAT crashed through a family’s door in the middle of the night and threw a concussion grenade into a baby’s playpen. A 19-month-old baby was horribly disfigured when it exploded in his face. [Graphic]

      Alecia Phonesavanh and her family were staying at a friend’s house after their home had been lost in a fire. The makeshift living arrangements left their 19-month-old baby boy sleeping in a playpen in a shared room. Things were going OK until the local government decided to send paramilitary home invaders to unleash indiscriminate violence upon the home and anyone inside.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • ‘The disgraced oligarch’: WikiLeaks cables reveal changing US views on Poroshenko

      The US was among the first states to congratulate Ukraine’s president-elect Petro Poroshenko. Yet real US opinions of the new president are more complicated, as revealed by WikiLeaks cables which refer to the billionaire as a “disgraced oligarch.”

      For years, the US was keeping an eye on the Ukrainian billionaire and former foreign minister. Between 2006 and 2011, Poroshenko’s name was a direct or indirect subject of hundreds of cables released by WikiLeaks.

      A simple search for ”Poroshenko” on WikiLeaks’ website gives at least 350 documents mentioning his name. But some of the descriptions provided by US diplomats are far from complimentary.

    • Thousands of journalists withhold a mistakenly released CIA agent name

      Last Saturday, the White House accidentally revealed the identity of the CIA’s most senior operative in Kabul by accidentally including his name on a list of officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit to US troops in Afghanistan. Though it was disbursed to more than 6,000 journalists, all indications suggest that every outlet has complied with the government’s request to refrain from publishing the name.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Action Alert: Ann Coulter as CNN’s Climate Change Expert

      FAIR’s latest Action Alert (5/28/14) urges media activists to call out CNN for basing a climate change report around one guest: right-wing climate change denier Ann Coulter. If you write to CNN, please share a copy of your message in the comments below.

    • CNN’s Climate Expert: Ann Coulter?!
    • US Plans to Speed Poultry Slaughtering, Cut Inspections

      The U.S. government is in the final stages of weighing approval for an overhaul of regulations governing the country’s poultry industry that would see processing speeds increase substantially even while responsibility for oversight would be largely given over to plant employees.

    • The “Pugilistic” Way The Koch Brothers Handle The Media

      The author of Sons of Wichita, the new biography of the Koch brothers, never got the interviews he wanted with the archconservative billionaires. But he says the family nonetheless kept a close eye on his research, deploying the “very aggressive P.R. operation” they have used for years to silence media criticism.

    • ‘A Government Of Thugs’: How Canada Treats Environmental Journalists

      I attempted to enter Canada on a Tuesday, flying into the small airport at Fort McMurray, Alberta, waiting for my turn to pass through customs.

      “What brings you to Fort Mac?” a Canada Border Services Agency official asked. “I’m a journalist,” I said. “I’m here to see the tar sands.” He pointed me to border security. Another official, a tall, clean-shaven man, asked the same question. “I’m here to see the tar sands.” he frowned. “You mean oil sands. We don’t have tar here.”

  • Finance

    • Bilderberg 2014: In the Court of Good King Henry

      The bankers, intelligence chiefs and private military strategists are the dukes, energy and arms firms the barons.

    • Seven Finns participate in Bilderberg meeting

      The list of participants for the 62nd Bilderberg meeting that began in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Thursday includes seven Finns. The annual meeting is an exclusive forum for the political and financial elite of the world to engage in informal, off-the-record discussions on a variety of global issues.

    • ​Bilderberg actually talks nukes, euro nationalism and… Barack Obama – leak

      The officially released agenda of the prestigious Bilderberg club meeting is not true, claims RT show host Daniel Estulin, a longtime watcher of the ‘secret world govt’ group. He says he obtained the real agenda for this year’s gathering in Copenhagen.

    • Thomas Piketty accuses Financial Times of dishonest criticism

      Thomas Piketty has accused the Financial Times of ridiculous and dishonest criticism of his economics book on inequality, which has become a publishing sensation.

      The French economist, whose 577-page tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century has become an unlikely must-read for business leaders and politicians alike, said it was ridiculous to suggest that his central thesis on rising inequality was incorrect.

      The controversy blew up when the FT accused Piketty of errors in transcribing numbers, as well as cherry-picking data or not using original sources.

    • Threat of tenant evictions at highest level in more than 10 years

      Bedroom tax and housing list squeeze blamed for landlord repossession orders topping 47,000 in three months

    • Moyers: 10 Disgustingly Rich Companies That Will Do Anything To Avoid Paying Taxes

      This week, Bill speaks to Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who argues that we must reform the tax code and stop subsidizing tax dodgers. A recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness suggests that corporate taxes are near a 60-year low — and that’s partially because corporations have become adept at not paying their share.

      Here’s a list of 10 tax-dodging corporations excerpted from the Americans for Tax Fairness report.

    • Argentinian Central Bank is Afraid of Bitcoin

      Yet another of the world’s central banks has publicly “warned” citizens of Bitcoin. The Argentinian Central Bank has posted a statement about Bitcoin on their official website, warning of the lack of legal tender status, volatility, and Bitcoin’s use in fraudulent activities and money laundering.

    • Savage capitalism is back – and it will not tame itself

      Back in the 90s, I used to get into arguments with Russian friends about capitalism. This was a time when most young eastern European intellectuals were avidly embracing everything associated with that particular economic system, even as the proletarian masses of their countries remained deeply suspicious. Whenever I’d remark on some criminal excess of the oligarchs and crooked politicians who were privatising their countries into their own pockets, they would simply shrug.

    • Proof that Corporate Tax Cuts Have Done More Harm Than Good

      The percentage of taxes that corporations pay today are near the record lows of the United States’ total tax bill, even though these corporations are bringing in huge profits. Although this is happening, the unemployment rate still remains high. A study completed by the Center for Effective Government and National People’s Action shows the damage done by having corporations pay low taxes and the effect on state budgets. The study shows that a small increase in the amount of taxes large corporations pay will have positive effects such as restoring cuts in education and public services, and could possibly restore over three million jobs. As federal aid was declined to state budgets more and more, many states have cut back on taxes claiming that doing so would benefit their economy and create jobs. One example of this was a tax exemption on corporate profits passed directly to individual owners in the state of Kansas. This kept Kansas in a recession. Hard working employees were stuck with paying the taxes that corporations got out of paying. Corporations get out of paying taxes in loopholes such as offshore tax havens, the “executive pay loophole” that allows corporations to deduct performance bonuses from their tax receipts, and the “stock-based pay loophole” that allows companies to deduct billions from their tax bill. People can see that cutting the taxes of corporations is not helping the economy in any state. It is not helping form jobs, and Americans agree it needs to be stopped.

    • More Proof Corporate Tax Cuts Have Done More Harm Than Good

      The taxes paid by corporations today are near record lows as a percentage of the United States’ total tax bill, even as they are recording massive profits. Yet the unemployment rate is still high. However, if we turned back the clock on corporate tax rates and returned to Nixon-era levels and closed loopholes, millions of American jobs would be created, according to The Disappearing Corporate Tax Base, a new report released today.

    • Could 932,367 Secessionists Be Right About Dying America?
    • More disabled workers paid just pennies an hour

      A national charity whose executives earn six-figure salaries used a legal loophole to pay disabled workers as little as three and four cents an hour, according to documents obtained exclusively by NBC News.

      An NBC News investigation recently revealed that Goodwill Industries, which is among the non-profit groups permitted to pay disabled workers far less than minimum wage because of a federal law known as Section 14 (c), had paid workers as little as 22 cents an hour.

    • Digging up the Dirt on Canadian Mining in Latin America
  • Censorship

    • MPAA: The Last Bastion of Censorship in America

      The MPAA was formed initially in 1922 under the moniker Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. It was created in order to give films at the time a set of standards by which filmmakers would use as a list to make sure that movies wouldn’t depict excessive violence, sexuality or other practices deemed immoral. It was later changed to the Motion Picture Association of America and placed under the direction of Jack Valenti in the mid ‘60s.

    • In Cuba, technology may beat censorship
    • The New York Times and freedom of the press

      An extraordinary commentary published in the New York Times Book Review — posted online May 22, scheduled for print publication June 8 — asserts that the US government must be the final decision-maker on whether leaked information about government wrongdoing should be published by the press.

      This anti-democratic screed, worthy of any police state, is written by Michael Kinsley, a longtime fixture of the punditry establishment and the former co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire” program. His commentary takes the form of a review of Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place to Hide on the Edward Snowden revelations about illegal mass surveillance by the National Security Agency.

      Kinsley ridicules Greenwald’s claim that blanket NSA surveillance of electronic communications is a threat to the democratic rights of the American people, and that Snowden was justified in exposing government criminality by leaking documents to Greenwald and other journalists for eventual publication in the Guardian (US) and the Washington Post.

    • Wikipedia founder: Google EU ruling ‘won’t work’
    • Google faces up to image problem in Europe
    • Germany Mulls Arbitration for Web ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

      The German government is considering setting up arbitration courts to weigh in on what information people can force Google Inc. (GOOG) and other search-engine providers to remove from results.

    • Twitter Has Quietly Learned To Censor And Ban Its Users When Governments Ask

      Twitter has a reputation as an open platform for expressing one’s opinions. It’s become a place for dissent and debate. It played a key role in the “Arab Spring” revolutions of the last couple of years.

      But last week, it agreed to censor a pro-Ukrainian Twitter feed in Russia. It also blocked a “blasphemous” account in Pakistan. It’s not the first time Twitter has censored politically sensitive accounts. Now, it seems, Twitter’s reputation as a platform for free speech is at risk.

    • Michael Bloomberg Compares Ivy League ‘Censorship’ to Soviet Russia in Harvard Speech
    • Michael Bloomberg Blasts Ivy League For Liberal ‘Censorship’
    • Cambodia’s Draft Law Turns Free Speech into Cybercrime

      Historically, Cambodia has been fairly lax in enacting legislation that stifles freedom of expression online—unlike its neighbors of Vietnam and Thailand— but with more Cambodian citizens gaining access to the Internet, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has attempted to control dissenting views and “immoral actions” online through the drafting of a cybercrime law. A leaked copy of the legislation, which was initially drafted in 2012, revealed some serious threats to fundamental freedoms by making certain speech and other actions online punishable by fine and prison time.

    • “I Can Feel Total Censorship in the Air”: Internet Freedom Evaporates in Thailand
    • Google accepting censorship requests

      Google is accepting requests from Europeans who want to erase unflattering information from the results produced by the world’s dominant search engine.

      The demands can be submitted on a Web page Google opened late Thursday in response to a landmark ruling issued two weeks ago by Europe’s highest court.

    • Google accepting ‘right to be forgotten’ requests in Europe
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • MakerBot Files For Patent On A Design Derived From Work By Its Community

      MakerBot is one of the key companies in the low-cost 3D printing market. It was founded in 2009 and based its first model on the completely open RepRap design. However, in 2012, MakerBot moved away from its open source roots, claiming that it needed to make this shift in order to build a long-term business:

      We are going to be as open as we possibly can while building a sustainable business. We are going to continue to respect licenses and continue to contribute to the open technology of 3D printing, some of which we initiated. We don’t want to abuse the goodwill and support of our community. We love what we do, we love sharing, and we love what our community creates.

    • Makerbot blatantly steals and patents a community design.

      In a stunning display of madness, makerbot industries files a patent application on a mechanism clearly derived from content created by their users. What’s almost worse is the article they wrote praising the invention, presumably while they were filing the paperwork.

    • Success Of Fringe Parties In European Parliament Raises New Obstacle To TAFTA/TTIP’s Progress

      As Techdirt has been charting, the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations have already encountered far more resistance than was expected when they began last year. This has mostly centered around the controversial corporate sovereignty provisions, but there are also more general concerns about things like deregulation — for example, through a new regulatory council. As well as pushback from expected quarters — civil organizations and NGOs (pdf) — even some European governments are expressing their doubts. And following last week’s elections for the European Parliament, a new obstacle to concluding the agreement has been added: an increased number of European politicians (MEPs) that are skeptical about pan-European projects in general, and TAFTA/TTIP.

    • Copyrights

      • Labels Decide Not To Appeal Spanish Court Ruling That Found P2P File Sharing Software Perfectly Legal

        In April, we wrote about an important court ruling in Spain that found that Pablo Soto’s P2P file sharing software, Blubster, was “perfectly legal”, because the software was “neutral” and a part of “free enterprise within the framework of a market economy.” In that post, we went through the entire history of earlier court rulings that had similarly suggested that file sharing software shouldn’t be blamed for how people used it, and the US’s aggressive pressure that forced Spain to pass multiple new copyright laws to try to reverse such rulings. All of that appeared to be for nothing, as the courts still recognized the silliness of blaming software for how people use it.

      • RESPECT Act Should Be HYPOCRISY Act After How Often Labels Screwed Over Artists

        Yesterday, the music labels, under the guise of RIAA spinoff SoundExchange, along with Congressional Reps. George Holding and John Conyers, announced some new legislation and a coordinated PR campaign for what they’re calling “Project72.” The official name of the bill is the “Respecting Senior Performers as Essential Cultural Treasures Act” or the RESPECT Act. There is so much hypocrisy and ridiculousness here that it’s difficult to know where to start. However, in short, the labels fought hard to keep the situation the way it is today, and a very large number of the musicians the RIAA rolled out in “support” of this new law — claiming they just want to get paid by music streaming services — are musicians who got totally screwed over by RIAA labels in the past. How about a little “respect”?

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.

05.11.14

18,000 Posts in Techrights

Posted in Site News at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Headline

Summary: Another milestone to be reached this week and a few words on where we are at

Techrights is now a maturing site with 3 main parts: the Drupal front page (targeting first-time visitors), the blog (WordPress), and the Wiki (MediaWiki). Each of these parts runs a different CMS, for historical reasons and topological reasons (each is optimised for a different purpose). The overall appearance of the site was never changed. This was a conscious decision that preserves consistency and assures integrity of old material.

Some time in the coming week we’ll reach an important milestone. The 18,000th blog post will be published. It took just under 8 years, which probably means that we’ll hit 20,000 well before Techrights turns 10.

Speaking of 10, on June 10th Tux Machines is going to turn 10. My wife and I run that site right now. Thankfully, readership is growing every week.

Let’s hope for many more years of reporting and analysis.

05.10.14

Links 10/5/2014: Munich’s GNU/Linux Success Story Told, CoreOS Introduced

Posted in Site News at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Arm Yourself with A Good Open Text Editor
  • Unreal Tournament opens up, GitHub releases open source Atom editor, and more
  • Web Browsers

    • What are the alternatives to Google Chrome and Firefox on Linux?

      Say what you want about web browsers on Linux, I just miss Internet Explorer. No let’s be serious. A great thing about Linux distributions is in general that they come packaged with a good browser. If that browser is not your favorite, you can easily install another one (and you don’t necessarily need a browser to download your favorite browser). For most users, however, this favorite browser will be Chrome or Firefox, and there are reasons for that: they are both good browsers. For more adventurous users, there is also Opera, which recently improved. But, there exist browsers out there which are a lot more exotic, with particular features and goals. I shall propose you eight examples: eight browsers which may not be as complete as Chrome or Firefox, but which are definitely worth checking out for their philosophies or design.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Moving towards an open source cloud with OpenStack

      Over the past years, I’ve played a leading role in helping to bring openness to the storage industry. At Nexenta, we inherited great technology from Sun Microsystems and went to market with an open core business model. This model, and a lot else, worked well and Nexenta has been called “the most disruptive storage company of the last 10 years” in part because of the impact we had on legacy, lock-in based proprietary vendors.

    • OpenStack Congress Set to Define IT Policy

      Martin Casado, Networking CTO at VMware, explains how the new OpenStack project will open up app, storage and networking policy.

    • Big Data a Big Priority for Most Organizations
  • Funding

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD Affirms That LibreSSL Will Be Portable

      In the fallout from the OpenSSL heartbleed bug, OpenBSD developers forked OpenSSL into LibreSSL. Initially the only supported platform for LibreSSL was OpenBSD, but the BSD developers are pushing harder now for platform portability.

    • LLVM 3.4.1 Release!

      This release contains bug-fixes for the LLVM 3.4 release and is both API and ABI compatible with 3.4.

      A few changes of note are:

      - varargs fix for X86.
      - Geometry shader support for R600.
      - A few c++11 fixes.
      - Various other fixes to the AArch64, ARM, PowerPC, R600, and X86 targets.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Coreboot Keeps Getting Better Bay Trail Support

      Coreboot for Intel’s low-power Bay Trail platform is a basic DPTF framework. The DPTF framework for Bay Trail isn’t yet complete but is nearly working. DPTF is the Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework designed for “thin, quiet, and cool platform designs.” As explained at 01.org, “Intel DPTF provides mechanisms for platform components and devices to be exposed to individual technologies in a consistent and modular fashion thus enabling a coordinated control of the platform to achieve the power and thermal management goals.”

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Upcoming Maxwell GPUs Will Support H.265, But VP9 Is Uncertain

      NVIDIA launched their GeForce GTX 750 graphics cards back in February as their first products based upon their new Maxwell architecture. Sadly those GPUs didn’t support any H.265 or VP9 acceleration, but at least it looks like the former will be supported by the next round of Maxwell GPUs.

Leftovers

  • One in 10 Americans think aliens abducted missing Malaysian plane
  • Science

    • New York City to turn phone booths into Wi-Fi hot spots

      New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is fielding proposals to transform the city’s largely forgotten phone booths into Wi-Fi hot spots, an ambitious project that would create one of the largest public Wi-Fi networks in the country.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Climate change making food crops less nutritious, research finds

      Rising carbon dioxide emissions are set to make the world’s staple food crops less nutritious, according to new scientific research, worsening the serious ill health already suffered by billions of malnourished people.

      The surprise consequence of fossil fuel burning is linked directly to the rise in CO2 levels which, unlike some of the predicted impacts of climate change, are undisputed. The field trials of wheat, rice, maize and soybeans showed that higher CO2 levels significantly reduced the levels of the essential nutrients iron and zinc, as well as cutting protein levels.

    • Vermont gov signs law to require labels on GMO foods

      Standing on the Statehouse steps before a legion of activists, Vermont’s governor signed a new law Thursday that could make the state the first to require labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms — and also could make it the first to be sued over the issue.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Wars to End All War

      And the searchlight stops at Ukraine, full of neo-Nazis, corrupt oligarchs, nuclear reactors, an unelected government, a wrecked economy, a simmering civil war. God help us. Old animosities and ideological divisions come back to life. The United States and NATO stand off against Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Thirty-one people — maybe more — die in a burning building in Odessa. This kind of thing could be the pretext for a world war. Sanity is up in flames.

    • The Lawyer Behind the Drone Policy

      When the White House nominated David Barron to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, based in Boston, it expected the usual Republican opposition. Mr. Barron, a Harvard law professor, is known as a liberal who was pointedly critical of President George W. Bush’s national security policy. What it didn’t expect — but should have — was that Democrats would have some problems with the nominee, too.

    • Letter: Killing via drone is bad for America

      Dr. Cornell West was the guest speaker at the Tucker Missionary Baptist Church in Syracuse on Sunday past. I was amongst the standing-room-only crowd of people who understand the importance of Dr. West’s heartfelt concern for the well-being of all mankind.

      His speech titled “Connecting the Dots: Poverty, Racism, Drones” was a fiery condemnation of many of our government policies as well as the burgeoning hyper-rich who seem to have had their empathy gene extracted. Dr. West touched on many of our social ills and economic injustices that have wreaked havoc on the family unit and imbued too many young people with a value system that does not include altruism. He also condemned our onerous “criminal injustice” system.

    • Activists gather to protest militant drones

      An 8-foot-long metal replica of an MQ-9 Reaper drone towered above demonstrators as they read names of children killed in a CIA airstrike on Chenagai, Pakistan, in 2006.

      Eighty civilians were killed in that strike, including 69 children at a religious school.

      Members of the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition gathered Wednesday at the Monroe County Courthouse, with signs calling for an end to drones use by the United States military. They read names of victims killed by drones in the Middle East through a megaphone.

    • Tell us more about drones

      We have a right to know what our government is up to

    • Air Force wants to buy deadly Reaper drones
    • Revised law could turn animal activists into terrorists

      When Amy Meyer saw a sick cow being pushed by a bulldozer outside a slaughterhouse, she did what any of us would in this age of iPhones and Instagram – she filmed it.

      Ms Meyer, 25, knew it was not only cruel, it was a public safety risk.

      Similar video footage had resulted in the largest meat recall in US history, when it was revealed that cows too sick to walk were being fed to schoolchildren as part of the national school lunch program.

      Instead of being praised for exposing this, Ms Meyer was prosecuted.

      Even though she stood on public property, she was charged with violating a new law in Utah that makes it illegal to photograph or videotape factory farms and slaughterhouses.

      This was the first prosecution of its kind in the US, but if the agriculture industry has its way, it won’t be the last.

    • Science fiction may become reality with ‘killer robots’
    • Excerpt: Richard A. Clarke’s ‘Sting of the Drone’
    • Obama, Putin, the Ukraine: A Symbolic Lynching

      The murder of a 17-year old German exchange student, Diren Dede, in the act of committing a midnight prank in a garage whose door was left open, video camera and sensors at the ready, alerting the homeowner who rushed for his shotgun, fired four blasts in the dark, legally/constitutionally protected by the Montana “Castle” law, killing the youngster—a law, receiving bipartisan endorsement, which amended a 2009 law specifying the imminence of mortal danger as grounds, now, eliminating the provision to allow unconditional license to kill on one’s property, IS America in microcosm circa 2014.

    • Imperialism and revolutionaries

      New TV show encapsulates the dissonance between US nostalgia for revolution and its current counter-revolutionary stance

    • Australians were killed by a US drone strike, and we deserve to know why

      The news that the US had killed two Australian “militants” in a drone strike was announced in mid-April. Christopher Havard and “Muslim bin John,” who also held New Zealand citizenship, were allegedly killed by a CIA-led airstrike in eastern Yemen in November last year.

      Readers were given little concrete information, apart from a “counter-terrorism source” who claimed that both men were foot soldiers for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, though they may also have been collateral damage (the real target being other terror heads).

    • Drone strike kills seven militants in Nangarhar province
    • US closes Yemen embassy amid fears of Qaeda revenge attacks

      The US embassy was closed to the public on Thursday in Yemen after a spate of attacks against foreigners and fears that al-Qaeda will seek revenge for a deadly offensive in the south.

      “The embassy is closed today. And this will remain in effect until further notice,” an employee at the US mission in a heavily-guarded neighbourhood in northeast Sanaa, told AFP.

    • FBI agent arrested in Pakistan on weapons charge
    • Detained FBI Agent in Pakistan Released on Bail
    • FBI agent detained in Pakistan is out on bail
    • CIA’s Afghan cutbacks worry U.S. military
    • CIA, U.S. military at odds over Afghanistan pullback plan
    • NATO has left a mess in Afghanistan

      Today is “a day of honour” to mark our Afghan mission, courtesy of handouts by corporate Canada.

      Stephen Harper wants the photo-op but does not want to pay for it, though he did for the state funeral for his former finance minister, an occasion he used, in breach of protocol, to canonize the Conservative management of the economy.

    • The New Cold War: Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine

      Syria’s not-so-civil war has been going strong for more than three years now and recently the news agency Reuters reported that “at least 150,000 people have been killed” in that time span.

    • Pakistan FM: Fake Vaccination Program to Blame for Polio Outbreak

      Dr. Afridi operated a phony vaccination program in early 2011 on behalf of the CIA, and with tacit support from the WHO. Instead of vaccinating children against polio, they were collecting the DNA of children to look for relatives of terrorists. The program led to the death of Osama bin Laden.

    • CIA Front, USAID, “Spreading Democracy”, Gearing Up in Ukraine – Suharto II?

      As the bodies of labor union reps and dissidents are piling up on the stairwells of Odessa and the streets of eastern Ukraine, today it is reported that USAID needs another couple million to support pro-Western “media outlets” in the run-up to the sham election to be held in the troubled state.

  • Finance

    • Around the World, Social Unrest Starts with Soaring Food Prices

      From 2008 to 2014, insurrectionist activity has sequentially erupted across the globe, from Tunisia and Egypt to Syria and Yemen; from Greece, Spain, Turkey and Brazil to Thailand, Bosnia, Venezuela and the Ukraine.

    • Robert Reich: 6 Principles Populists on the Right and Left Both Agree On

      More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five years into a so-called recovery that’s been a bonanza for the rich but a bust for the middle class. “The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    • Ukraine gets its Mafia-type loan

      It’s essential to identify the conditions attached to this Mafia-style “loan”.

    • Police ‘have CCTV images’ of Monaco heiress attacker
    • Workers of oppressed countries subjected to modern-day slavery

      Labor trafficking stands out among the most brutal features of capitalist society. Millions around the world are held in forced servitude, and traded like property among the global elite.

      An untold number of workers have been trafficked, obtained abroad or even within the United States, and held in compelled labor. According to the U.S. government, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into slavery in the United States every year, with foreign survivors more often found in labor than sex trafficking.

    • Why Passengers Cheered a Vermont Bus Strike

      An 18-day bus drivers’ strike in Burlington, Vermont, ended in a win April 3 when drivers ratified a new contract 53-6.

      Strikes are rare these days, and fewer still result in victories—so why was this one different? What generated public support for the strike, despite management’s aggressive plan to blame drivers for the loss of bus service for nearly three weeks?

    • Washington’s Pivot to Ignorance: Will the State Department Torpedo Its Last Great Program?

      Take the current case of an unprecedented, unkind, under-the-radar cut in the State Department’s budget for the Fulbright Program, the venerable 68-year-old operation that annually arranges for thousands of educators, students, and researchers to be exchanged between the United States and at least 155 other countries. As Washington increasingly comes to rely on the “forward projection” of military force to maintain its global position, the Fulbright Program may be the last vestige of an earlier, more democratic, equitable, and generous America that enjoyed a certain moral and intellectual standing in the world. Yet, long advertised by the U.S. government as “the flagship international educational exchange program” of American cultural diplomacy, it is now in the path of the State Department’s torpedoes.

    • The Fulbright Program is the flagship of American cultural diplomacy. So why are we cutting it?
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Charter Schools Fail: New Reports Call Their ‘Magic’ Into Question

      When members of the U.S. House of Representatives consider, beginning today, a bill to incentivize the expansion of charter schools, you can expect there to be a lot of heat but not very much light in their discussion of the need for more of these institutions.

    • CMD Reporting on Walker Dark Money Criminal Probe

      In one of the first cases to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision, a federal judge just tried to open the door to new levels of corruption in Wisconsin elections — but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals could still stop him. On May 6, federal Judge Rudolph Randa ordered a halt to Wisconsin’s long-running “John Doe” criminal probe into allegedly illegal coordination between political campaigns (including Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign) and non-profit groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth that spent millions during the state’s recall elections.

  • Privacy

    • US accuses Israel of ‘alarming, even terrifying’ levels of spying

      Friends do not spy on friends. That illusion about America’s attitude to its allies was conclusively debunked by Edward Snowden’s revelations about America’s National Security Agency and its British partner in global electronic eavesdropping, GCHQ. But by every account, the US is being repaid in kind by one of its closest international friends – Israel.

    • Congress Will Vote on an NSA Reform Bill that Won’t Reform Much of Anything

      What do you end up with when you take a strong NSA reform bill championed by just about every civil liberties group and combine it with a widely derided one that threatened to expand the NSA’s power? A watered-down piece of legislation that takes baby steps toward limiting surveillance but still leaves some gaping loopholes that lets the government maintain the status quo.

    • Bill ending NSA bulk data collection moving quickly in U.S. House
    • Can the NSA Keep U.S. Metadata Safe from Hackers and Spies?

      It sounds like a system with gaping security flaws run by an agency that has shown itself incapable of guarding what it considers to be its most precious secrets. Say that no NSA employee ever abuses the detailed information it has about the private communications of Americans. Even with that guarantee, why should Americans trust the NSA to safeguard its data from foreign governments and hackers?

      I’ve yet to see any persuasive answer from NSA defenders.

      In fact, if you believe, like Edward Lucas of The Economist or John Schindler of the Naval War College, that Snowden is the unwitting dupe or witting agent of Vladimir Putin, then you’re effectively saying that a foreign government has already breached a trove of NSA information that could be used to manipulate elections, blackmail some unknown number of Americans, and do all manner of other mischief.

      I don’t think Snowden is a spy. But his success inclines me to think that the privacy of Americans will be much better protected, even absent any abuses by the NSA, if the NSA erases what it’s gathered about us from its servers, rather than acting as if it can protect it all indefinitely. In the wrong hands, metadata on millions of innocents could do significant damage. Why trust the NSA and its contractors to keep it from the wrong hands?

    • Net tech bods at IETF mull anti-NSA crypto-key swaps in future SSL
    • NSA spying is causing Americans to self-censor their Internet activity

      An MIT researcher claims he’s quantified some of the troubling self-censorship civil liberties advocates worried would result from public knowledge of mass spying.

      The new study reports that Google users were slightly less likely (2.2 percent) to use search times that the National Security Agency flagged as potential national security threats.

    • The NSA’s Corporate Collaborators

      When a provider like Amazon is awarded a $600 million 10-year contract to provide the CIA with cloud services [18] do you suppose that Amazon is inclined to cater to government requests? Think of it this way: Roughly 70% of the intelligence budget goes to the private sector [19]. There are incentives for executives to go along.

    • Why Shouldn’t Google Discuss Security With The NSA?

      I’m no great apologist for Google, but this is hardly evidence that the company was all that tight with the NSA. Given that the email exchanges took place months before the revelation that Google’s communications were being tapped – which the company claims it didn’t know – there’s no earthly reason why it shouldn’t take part in a national security initiative.

    • NSA’s mass surveillance programme in interest of US citizens, says ex-director

      Speaking on the mass spying of US citizens, Alexaner just said the government agency was working in the best interest of the US citizen.

    • NTT says NSA activity is changing data center buying habits

      The survey quizzed 1,000 ICT decision-makers in France, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the US. It found that nearly nine in ten (88%) of ICT decision-makers are changing their buying behavior. About a third (38%) have amended their procurement conditions.

    • The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative

      The only way out of this I can see is to abolish the secret police and build out a new secure internet before the inevitable processes of institutional change generate a new rationale for spying on us. Unfortunately I see no way (at present) to pursue this agenda.

    • The Way the NSA Uses Section 702 is Deeply Troubling. Here’s Why.

      Section 702 has been used by the NSA to justify mass collection of phone calls and emails by collecting huge quantities of data directly from the physical infrastructure of communications providers.

    • 10 things we’ve learned about the NSA over the past year

      1. The appetite for domestic collection increased significantly after Sept. 11, both as a a cause of and a response to the Big Bang-like expansion of the national security state. The NSA expanded the reach and scope of its domestic collection activities as the the domestic threat exceeded. (I define domestic collection differently; it’s the set of programs and analytical policies that touch a large volume of American-to-American communications in some way without individual FISA orders having been obtained.)

    • German NSA investigative panel to allow Snowden to testify

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is to testify before a German panel investigating the activities of the spy agency. However, the panel has not yet determined whether he may travel to Berlin for the hearing.

    • German lawmakers want to interview Snowden
    • German authorities want to interview Edward Snowden about NSA spying
    • German Lawmakers Call On Snowden To Testify In NSA Investigation

      The debate on whether or not to call on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to testify in a parliamentary inquiry on the mass surveillance of German citizens by the American government came to an end on Thursday when committee members unanimously voted yes.

    • German lawmakers seek to interview Snowden over NSA spying
    • Would You Hire Former NSA Boss Keith Alexander For Cybersecurity Consulting?

      It is, of course, no surprise that former NSA boss Keith Alexander is now setting out a shingle for consulting work in the private sector.

    • Can Larry Klayman make history with his NSA lawsuit?

      Larry Klayman is back in his favorite place. The lawyer who launched hundreds of lawsuits against federal agencies, White House officials, Cabinet secretaries, judges, journalists, former colleagues, foreign governments, dictators, presidents, this newspaper and others who offended his hair-trigger sense of right and wrong, takes a seat at the long plaintiff attorney’s table in the august U.S. Courthouse two blocks from the Capitol.

    • Congressman Jim Cooper on the NSA Internal Watchdog Act
    • Ted Cruz: Thin Justice Argument to Dismiss Rand Paul NSA Suit
    • The relationship between the White House, Silicon Valley and its money? It’s complicated

      Among the major tech players, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been an especially high-profile figure. He launched an advocacy group that has been among the most active on the immigration issue.

      And he has been a vocal critic of the NSA’s data collection, calling Obama to voice his alarm. Shortly after, Obama met with Zuckerberg and CEOs from Google, Netflix and other tech and Internet companies, pledging to safeguard privacy rights.

    • NSA broadens funding for 4 universities to advance the science of cybersecurity

      The National Security Agency is expanding funding for several universities to continue scientific research into cybersecurity.

      The intelligence agency awarded contracts to North Carolina State University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 and recently announced that these three universities along with the University of Maryland would receive additional funding.

    • Why There’s No Such Thing As A Private Facebook Chat
    • You might want to pay for an e-mail service like the OpenBSD-running Neomailbox

      I don’t look on the OpenBSD Misc mailing list very often, but today a message from that list introduced me to Neomailbox, which offers services that include secure, encrypted e-mail and anonymous web surfing for prices that are very reasonable.

    • Privacy Tool: Encrypt What You Can

      Encrypt the data you store. This protects your data from being read by people with access to your computer.

    • Should Google Kill Google Plus?
    • Help save Twitter – An appeal to all users.

      If people don’t want Twitter turning into another Facebook with in your face adverts all over the place, you need to say no now.

      If you block and dismiss any user who promotes their account/services, there will quickly be a message sent out that people are not interested in their marketing campaigns.

      I had intended on making a name and shame list of all the companies who would pay to push their products onto you, however I’ve spent the last hour blocking so many that it will take too long to list.

      So if you don’t want Twitter turning into Facebook, join me now. #nospamforme

  • Civil Rights

    • Death on the Job Report

      Workplaces are much safer today than when the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was passed in 1970, which promised workers in this country the right to a safe job. The job fatality rate has been cut by 81 percent; more than 492,000 workers lives have been saved. But too many workers remain at serious risk of injury, illness or death as workplace tragedies continue to remind us. These tragedies are all preventable.

    • An American Retreat from Human Rights?

      Who knows, if that change is voiced loudly enough by you to your representatives, we might restore the glory to America’s standing in the world, and America’s standing to its own citizens. Write, call, or email your representatives today (see www.contactingthecongress.org). Ask them to support HRAC’s call to demand greater support from the United States to respect international human rights norms. Ask them to push the conversation forward on joining the ICC. Ask them to support better protections for American soldiers during service and afterwards. We should be ashamed of the way we treat human rights standards right now and we should be ashamed at the way we treat our soldiers and veterans. We deserve better and we can do it with a united voice.

    • The Boston Marathon Bombing Interrogation and the Legal Suspension of Law

      According to a lawsuit filed by Tsarnaev’s lawyers Wednesday, following his arrest in April 2013 Tsarnaev was denied repeated requests for a lawyer as he was continuously interrogated by FBI agents while complaining of his worsening medical condition due to gunshot wounds sustained to the head, face, throat, and jaw. Unable to speak, Tsarnaev wrote answers on a note pad. Defense attorneys were turned away from the hospital and federal agents lied to the suspect, saying his dead brother was still alive. All this before Miranda rights were read.

    • Is citizenship a right?

      …British government has revoked the citizenship of 42 people, including 20 cases in 2013.

    • CIA torture report won’t be made public for months

      The release of the long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques — widely denounced as torture — is certain to take much longer than the 30 days sought by Senate Democrats.

      The panel’s chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said at the beginning of April that she hoped the CIA would complete by now the process of excising from the report information deemed harmful to national security.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Sprint may start throttling its biggest data users

      Sprint subscribers are facing new limits on their supposedly unlimited data plans, at least in congested areas.

      The top 5 percent of data users may now get slower speeds during peak usage times, according to the legal and regulatory section of Sprint’s website. Speeds will return to normal when users leave a congested area or when demand subsides.

    • Protesters set up camp at net neutrality rally outside FCC headquarters

      Protesters set up camp outside the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on Wednesday to fight plans they say will create a two-tier internet and hand control of the web to major corporations.

      The rally – reminiscent of the Occupy-style rallies that started in 2011 – started outside the FCC’s Washington headquarters at noon with protesters from Fight For the Future, Popular Resistance and others unfurling banners reading “Save the Internet”.

    • OPEN INTERNET BACKERS STAGE ‘OCCUPY FCC’

      Internet libertarians calling for the equal treatment of all Internet data have camped out in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., saying they won’t quit their Occupy-style protest until the regulator stands up for Net neutrality.

      About 15 people stood outside the FCC’s headquarters on Wednesday afternoon in a protest organized by the two groups, Fight for the Future and Popular Resistance. Five of the demonstrators said they were determined to set up camp overnight and stick around until May 15, when the commission is set to unveil proposed new Net neutrality rules — or perhaps longer, if the new rules don’t meet their expectations.

    • Net Neutrality: FCC Boss Smacked by Tech Giants, Internal Dissent

      FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler faces mounting opposition to his proposed net neutrality rules as more than 100 Internet companies sent a letter expressing alarm over the direction laid out ahead of next week’s vote and imploring regulators to protect the web’s openness

    • Will the Italian Presidency of the EU Council Support Net Neutrality?

      The voice of the Italian presidency of the Council of the European Union could mark a real departure from the usual government talk chastising the vote on Net Neutrality adopted by the European Parliament! According to the information portal Euractiv, the Italian presidency could support the text voted by the Members of the European Parliament and be ready to defend it in front of the European governments and telecommunications industry. As the publication of the guidance report of the Council of the European Union about the Net Neutrality (scheduled for 5 or 6 of June) nears, La Quadrature du Net welcomes this encouraging position and asks European citizens to invite their governments to follow this example.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Bizarro, Fact-free World Of Copyright Policymaking

        If you’re a regular visitor to this website, you’re likely used to the never-ending parade of horribles detailing how copyright has been used to censor documents, stifle innovation and generally wreak all kinds of unintended havoc.

        Even with this constant attention, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of exactly how world-champion strange copyright policy is. Only when it’s placed alongside other government policies does it become clear exactly how it has evolved into a bizarro-world version of rational policymaking.

      • Pirate Bay Founder Launches Election Campaign For European Parliament

        In two weeks time citizens of all European Union member states will vote on who should represent them in the European Parliament. In Finland the local Pirate Party has a true Internet star on the ballot with Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, who kicks off his election campaign today with a little bit of romance.

      • UK ISPs Agree to Send Out Music & Movie Piracy Warnings

        The music and movie industries and several of the UK’s leading ISPs have reached terms on a deal to tackle Internet piracy. The arrangement will see the BPI and MPA monitoring people sharing files illegally and the ISPs sending them “escalating” warning letters.

      • No, Every Person Does Not Owe The Movie & Music Industry $67 Million, But Copyright Is Still Broken

        In a similar move, some folks at the Huffington Post have now estimated that every single man, woman and child on earth owes the combined music and movie industries on the order of $67 million. Each. Not cumulatively. Cumulatively, it would be $470,925,000,000,000,000,000 — which is also 6.63 times the GDP of the entire planet.

05.05.14

Links 5/5/2014: Linux 3.15 RC 4, oRouter Introduced

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Acrobats Fall 40 Feet During Circus Show

    A platform collapsed during an aerial hair-hanging stunt at a circus performance Sunday, sending eight acrobats plummeting to the ground. Nine performers were seriously injured in the fall, including a dancer below, while an unknown number of others suffered less serious injuries.

  • Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter speaks on modern ethics of journalism

    As 21st century reporters become increasingly confronted by issues regarding journalistic ethics, the newest generation of workers in this field will need to establish ways to face obstacles like WikiLeaks, whistleblowers, NSA surveillance and data mining.

  • Hardware

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Day U.S.-Supported Fascists began Murdering Civilians A Day that will Live in Infamy

      Those of us who grew up in the west after WWII believed that supporting anything resembling fascism was unthinkable.

      The moral degeneration of the U.S. state and its Nato allies since that time is almost beyond belief. So too is the degeneration of the Washington Post, New York Times, and other corporate media which have helped to delude large numbers of Americans into believing that Russia, which has killed or attacked no one, is somehow the aggressor in Ukraine.

      In reality, and on the ground, the U.S. government – with no mandate from the American people – is supporting a fascist/oligarch unelected Ukrainian ‘government’ installed in a coup spear-headed by two openly fascist parties, Svoboda and Right sector.

    • CIA and FBI specialists assisting Ukrainian government in Kiev, report says
    • The US Failed Plan for Ukraine is to Incite Russia to Intervene. The Kiev Coup Government is Already a Dying Entity

      Two days ago a mob, supported by the fascists Right Sektor, killed over 30 federalist Ukrainians in Odessa by pushing them from their camp into a building and then setting fire to it. Those who escaped the massacre, not the perpetrators, were rounded up by police. Today pro-federalism people besieged the police headquarter in Odessa until the police released those it had earlier arrested.

    • Putin Should Send Troops Into Ukraine
    • Can Ukraine be pulled back from the brink?
    • Another NYT ‘Sort of’ Retraction on Ukraine

      The mainstream U.S. media likes to talk about Ukraine as an “information war,” meaning that the Russians are making stuff up. But the false narratives are actually being hatched more on the U.S. side, as a new New York Times story acknowledges, writes Robert Parry.

    • America Backed Ukraine Neo-Nazis In the Immediate Wake of World War II

      American Government Backed Ukrainian Nazis … Same Group Supported By the Leader of the Protests which Toppled the Ukrainian Government In February

    • Ukraine Crisis Accelerating the Restructuring of the World

      The Ukrainian crisis has not radically changed the international situation but it has precipitated ongoing developments. Western propaganda, which has never been stronger, especially hides the reality of Western decline to the populations of NATO, but has no further effect on political reality. Inexorably, Russia and China, assisted by the other BRICS, occupy their rightful place in international relations.

    • F35 deal a gift to world’s biggest arms dealer

      Serious concerns about spiralling costs and design faults have been voiced by its chief customers — the governments of the US, Canada and Denmark — the company that is still developing the F35, Lockheed Martin, reported a 23% increase for its first quarter profits this year.

    • In ongoing protest: Anti-drone demonstrators continue monthly campaign

      For three years, they’ve watched the sky turn from black to blue — the sun rising over the Sierra Nevada range — as they denounce drones at Beale Air Force Base.

      The protesters gather monthly, flashing signs at the airmen driving onto base.

      “You can’t bomb the world to peace.”

      “Kill the drones, not innocent people.”

      Janie Kesselman, a peace activist from North San Juan, said the group’s goal is to end the “remote-controlled murder of innocent people.”

    • Obama doesn’t deserve deference on drone deaths

      Killing American citizens and foreign nationals without procedural and substantive protection runs contrary to our bedrock legal and democratic principles. Worse, the justifications for doing so are shrouded in secrecy, and the intellectual authors of those policies are shielded from accountability. The executive branch has repeatedly proved it cannot be entrusted with unbridled power to secure the nation without violating human and constitutional rights.

    • Paul starts new drone war

      Rand Paul has warned Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he will place a hold on one of President Obama’s appellate court nominees because of his role in crafting the legal basis for Obama’s drone policy.

      Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, has informed Reid he will object to David Barron’s nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals unless the Justice Department makes public the memos he authored justifying the killing of an American citizen in Yemen.

    • Activists Re-enact Yemen Wedding Bombed by U.S. Drones

      Activists gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to stage a re-enactment of a wedding in Yemen attacked by U.S. drones. Twelve civilians died when U.S. aircraft bombed their wedding procession in December. The killings sparked a ban on U.S. military drone strikes in Yemen, but they continue under the CIA.

    • Israeli pr attempts aside, drones deadly weapon

      Major S., deputy commander of Israel’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, or drone) squadron, began his military career at the Israeli Army Computer Center, but was looking for “action” and transferred to the air force. In 2007 S. joined the training course to operate drones. 99% of course participants are those who dropped out of the air force’s pilot training course.

    • Why it is hypocritical to boycott Israel

      We’re not normally called upon to justify a decision to travel abroad. Few people would challenge me if I were visiting China, despite that country’s appalling human rights record, repression of free speech, and colonisation of Tibet. If I was travelling to America, even though Predator drones kill thousands of innocent people each year, and even though Guantanamo Bay still holds 154 detainees, nobody would complain.

    • Secret CIA arms cache most likely kept in Texas
    • CIA’s Secret ‘Midwest Depot’ Arms Cache Really in … Texas?

      Thomson, who says he wasn’t privy to information on the depot’s location during his CIA career, says the facility’s history should be examined. “I have worried about the extent to which the US has spread small arms around over the decades to various parties it supported,” he says. “Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour passed, where did they go? To be a little dramatic about it, how many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s we see Islamists waving around today passed through the Midwest Depot on their way to freedom fighters in past decades?” His research can be found on the website of the Federation of American Scientists. Unsurprisingly, the CIA and Pentagon declined to comment on the matter but whatever the camp’s true purpose, documents reveal that there have been quite a few new warehouses built at the site in recent years, the NYT notes.

    • Venezuela: Wealthy stir violence while poor build new society

      Before Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1999, the barrios of Caracas, built provisionally on the hills surrounding the capital, did not even appear on the city map.

      Officially they did not exist, so neither the city nor the state maintained their infrastructure. The poor inhabitants of these neighbourhoods obtained water and electricity by tapping pipes and cables themselves. They lacked access to services such as garbage collection, health care and education.

      Today, residents of the same barrios are organising their communities through directly democratic assemblies known as communal councils ― of which Venezuela has more than 40,000.

    • White feather or bowler hat? Charlie Chaplin and the first world war
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Jacob Zuma’s palatial folly sparks anger and resentment amid poverty

      Nicholas Ngonyama gazes across the valley and his eye settles on a palatial cluster of sand-coloured buildings whose thatched roofs glow in the autumn sunshine. “I’m not happy,” mutters the homeless, jobless man. “The country is not happy. Too much money was spent on one man’s home. That money could have been spent improving the lives of the people. It feels like he is spitting in our face.”

      President Jacob Zuma’s personal Xanadu, complete with stately pleasure-dome, has imposed itself on the landscape of one of South Africa’s poorest areas, Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal. It covers the equivalent of eight and a half football pitches and has swallowed 246m rand (£13.7m) of taxpayers’ money. “Nkandlagate” has become the defining scandal of Zuma’s five-year reign and left him fighting for his political life in this week’s elections.

    • Welcome to Plutocrat-geddon! Obama and Thomas Friedman flatter our new billionaire overlords

      With the children of today’s baby boomers scheduled to inherit $30 trillion in the next several decades, politicians and the press are hard at work flattering plutocrats of all ages by portraying them as paragons of wisdom.

    • Too Big to Jail Continues: DOJ May Charge Two Banks with Criminal Acts, But Not Hold Them Criminally Accountable

      In a recent breathlessly written “we have the inside scoop” article, The New York Times would have you believe that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is finally getting serious about filing criminal charges against a couple of banks.

      Technically, the Times may prove to be right, but on a practical level, the actions it is predicting would be more of the same kid-glove treatment of too-big-to-fail banks we’ve seen in the past. As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in commentaries last year, Attorney General Holder has officially stated his concern that prosecuting the largest banks would have adverse affects on our economy.

    • ABC funding: Protesters call on Abbott government not to cut money

      Hundreds have attended rallies in Melbourne and Sydney to call on the Abbott government not to cut funding to the public broadcaster ABC.

      There are fears that funding cuts will be made to the nation’s public broadcaster in the May budget after the Abbott government announced an efficiency review of the ABC and SBS

    • A letter to fans of Workfare

      It doesn’t matter how much reactionary rhetoric the right-wing press spew about the unemployed, nor how often government ministers and DWP employees call people without jobs “idle” or “scrounger” and complain that they are getting “handouts” – thier bile doesn’t make mandatory labour confiscation schemes any less wrong or any less economically illiterate.

      The tendency to vilify the unemployed is a classic example of the “blame the symptom, not the cause” propaganda strategy.

    • Bring rail under state’s control to win back power, Ed Miliband told

      Ed Miliband has come under pressure to bring the rail network back into national ownership if Labour wins the next election, as more than 30 of his party’s parliamentary candidates call for a bold new policy to improve services and control train fares.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill Clinton’s Critics Are…Who, Exactly?

      The Times is obviously aware of the existence of critics to Clinton’s left. Chozick mentions that some argue that Clinton’s policies “might have exacerbated the current inequality,” and writes that “some policy experts argue that the era of centrist Clinton economics may have expired.” But instead of quoting them, the Times goes back to Bill Clinton, one more time, for a challenge to that argument.

    • A letter to fans of Workfare
  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Homeless Grandmother Arrested 59 Times for Sitting on Sidewalk

      Here’s an interesting use of public resources: as part of a decade-long effort to “clean up” Skid Row in Los Angeles (i.e. run the homeless out of the area to ease development), the city of LA has spent at least a quarter of a million dollars arresting, prosecuting and jailing just one homeless woman, 59-year-old Ann Moody, mostly for sitting on a public sidewalk.

    • OIL, GAS AND SPY GAMES IN THE TIMOR SEA

      Gusmão was also told of a simultaneous raid on the Canberra home of Timor-Leste’s key secret witness in the dispute. This former Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agent had reportedly provided an affidavit alleging that Australian spies bugged the Timor-Leste government’s cabinet room in order to secure a commercial advantage for Australia during treaty negotiations in 2004. His passport had been confiscated in the raid, preventing him from travelling to The Hague, where the Permanent Court of Arbitration was due to hear Timor-Leste’s application to overturn the treaty.

    • The violence of the State & the crime of peaceful protest

      The .01% (the very very rich) keep their place and assert their will through capture of the political process — payments to their retainers in the three branches of government via money and other goods (judges are bribed by “other goods,” as you’ll read below). The NSA and other agencies of the Deep State (FBI, CIA, Homeland Security) spy on your every move in order to “keep order,” a nicely theoretical phrase.

    • “Disappearing” What Irks You — College Rape, Iraq, Spying

      Today, we “disappear” issues.* They are rendered non-issues through a related process of collective sublimation. It does leave traces, physical ones in archives and psychic ones at some level of mind among the few who have motive to maintain conscious awareness. However, so far as public discourse or political action is concerned, they have been reduced to a zombie status that renders them innocuous. This is a subtle process requiring the tacit cooperation of politicos, pundits, media types, and intellectuals whose complicity takes shape despite diverse purposes and diverse professional roles. The permissive factor is a public that prefers to have these matters swept out of sight and out of mind.

    • Protests Force Condoleezza Rice to Cancel $35K Rutgers Speech

      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced Saturday that she is backing out of delivering the 2014 graduation commencement address at Rutgers University after protests by Rutgers faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War and torture. Rice was a leading hawk in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.

    • Campus Activists Shut Down Condoleezza Rice Speech At Rutgers

      As a reminder of her central role, this first video is Condoleezza Rice openly defending the torture tactics implemented under George W. Bush, who himself stated to a British newspaper that it was “damn right” that he had authorized them.

    • “I’ll never apologize for my white privilege” guy is basically most of white America

      A college student who doesn’t believe in the existence of structural racism or white supremacy wrote an essay about why he would “never apologize” for his white privilege, and Time magazine thought it would be a really cool idea to publish it. Probably because Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang speaks for many white Americans when he says that racism and white privilege aren’t real.

      Tired of being told to “check his privilege” by others at his college, Fortgang goes through his family’s history and concludes that he deserves to go to an Ivy League school and live in a wealthy suburb of New York City and share his ridiculous baby tantrum thoughts on a national news site because his family made smarter and better choices than other families.

    • How a Fatal Disaster at Mt. Everest Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Labor Struggle

      Mount Everest is known as a place that defies gravity, but it’s also a place for upturning social order. To the climber, it’s the pinnacle of a glorious trekking experience. To the anonymous laborer who supports the Westerners’ ascent, it’s a precarious front in a Global South class struggle.

      A fatal disaster on April 18 turned the underlying tensions into a full-blown stand-off: an avalanche near the Base Camp in the perilous Khumbu Ice Fall swallowed sixteen local guides and workers, mostly ethnic sherpas. Since then, the trauma has set off the collapse of the climbing season.

      The labor relations of Everest expose the ethical twists of the international adventure industry. Sherpas, who identify as an ethnic group as well as a professional community of guides and porters, do make a relatively good living, pulling in several thousand dollars each season (much more than what they’d earn farming). But the risks tend to be higher than the rewards. Statistically speaking, the fatality rate of sherpas is roughly twelve times higher than that of Iraq war soldiers, and avalanche is a leading cause of sherpas’ deaths.

    • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

      The 2013 USGLP report includes a caveat that Europe and other areas were surveyed in early 2013, soon after Obama’s reelection and before revelations of NSA wire-tapping, so the improved 2013 figures may reflect a fleeting revival of hope rather than a favorable response to U.S. policy.

      A closer look at the U.S.-Global Leadership Project report reveals an erosion of approval for U.S. leadership in countries all over the world since 2009. The specific question Gallup asks is, “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” Large numbers in some countries refuse to answer or express no opinion, masking unvoiced disapproval behind fear, deference or politeness. I don’t believe that 71 percent of Vietnamese really have no opinion of U.S. global leadership. But the approval figures are probably not as flawed as the disapproval ones.

    • Senate Dems antsy over W.H. release of CIA report

      Wondering what happened to the controversial CIA interrogation report that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify a month ago? So are many Senate Democrats.

    • Working the Dark Side

      A. The U.S. prison system. “The physical, mental, and sexual abuse glimpsed at Abu Ghraib is part of the daily experience for two million people caged in American prisons,” she writes. For example, here in Chicago, where I live, a police commander was convicted in 1991 of presiding over the torture of several hundred criminal suspects.

      B. Vietnam. During that disastrous war, the U.S. government “imprisoned those Vietnamese it considered ‘the enemy’ in tiger cages, subjected them to physical abuses, deprived them of food and water, and, as if all that was not bad enough, poured lye on them to burn and scar them,” Power writes.

      C. Latin America. Our involvement in our “backyard” over the decades has included collusion with and training of torturers in both military and police forces in many of the countries south of our border. The notorious School of the Americas has long stood as a symbol of such involvement.

      D. Slavery. Remember that? It was a way of life in the United States for a long time, and even after it ended, the dehumanization and repression of African-Americans continued. Lynchings were so common in the South they inspired a song, “Strange Fruit,” which Billie Holiday turned into a soul-haunting hit.

    • Afghanistan’s ‘Torturer In Chief’ Now Lives Comfortably In The LA Suburbs – And No One Knows How He Got There
    • After Failed Peace Talks, Pushing to Label Israel as Occupier of Palestine

      More than a year after Palestine was upgraded to become a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, the attributes of statehood exist mainly on official Palestinian letterhead.

      Now, with the collapse of the American-brokered Middle East negotiations, the Palestinian leadership is focusing on its diplomatic and legal struggle for international recognition of Palestine as a state under occupation and for Israel to be held accountable as the occupier.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Free Culture Activist Begins One Year ‘Net Fast’

      Daniel Strypey Bruce is a writer, performer, activist, GNU/Linux user, permaculturist, Occupier, facilitator, and community developer based in Ōtepoti/ Dunedin. A student of Te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori, he acknowledges the mana whenua of hapū and iwi in Aotearoa. An early advocate of online activism, he was a founder of Aotearoa.Indymedia.org, and CreativeCommons.org.nz, and has been blogging on free culture in all its form at Disintermedia.net.nz for over 5 years. Over the last two years he has served as Co-Director of Circulation Festival, a Council member for Permaculture in NZ, and Communications Offer for the Pirate Party of NZ, for whom he is now Orientation Officer.

    • Save the Internet! Prevent Mega-corporations from Destroying Internet Freedom

      To ensure the Internet is open to all on an equal basis we must act now to prevent mega-corporations from destroying Internet Freedom

      Update: Actions every day starting on Wednesday, May 7th, at noon and 5 pm. To Save The Internet, we are building a People’s Firewall against the FCC’s proposed rule that will create a ‘pay to play’ Internet by ending net neutrality. The FCC is located at 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama Blasted for Lumping Critics of Trade Deal Secrecy with ‘Conspiracy Theorists’

      ‘If the president is concerned that people don’t know what’s going on in the negotiations then the president should release the text and remove it from being a state secret.’

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom: RIAA, MPAA, DOJ deserve some thanks for Mega’s explosive growth

        Kim Dotcom’s latest venture, MEGA, has seen explosive growth in the last six months, with uploads tripling and now totaling 500 million per month.

      • HOW TO CRACK THE FACADE IN ANY COPYRIGHT MONOPOLY DISCUSSION

        In my last column, I explained how the copyright monopoly is fundamentally incompatible with private communications as a concept, and how we must weigh a silly distribution monopoly for one of many entertainment industries against such vital functions of society as whistleblower protection, freedom of the press, and the ability to hold a private conversation in the first place. While this argument is strong, it does require a bit of intelligence and the ability to see how two ideas conflict, so it can be hard to get across to copyright monopoly pundits.

        The threat against private communications isn’t the only thing wrong with the copyright monopoly, of course. I have previously argued here on TorrentFreak that there’s really nothing defensible about the monopoly at all. But in order to break the spell of “publishers have always told me that the copyright monopoly is good and I have never had any reason to question their self-interest in the matter”, there are other tricks of honest, effective argumentation.

      • Court Tells Ex-Wife Of Husband Who Killed Himself To Use Copyright To Delete Anything He Ever Wrote Online

05.04.14

Links 4/5/2014: XBMC 13, Warsow 1.5

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vantrix Launches f265.org for Open Source HEVC Encoder
  • Events

    • GCI 2013 and Grand Prize Trip

      How does one become a contributor of Open Source development? Some start with the wish to fix that certain annoying bug in their favorite software. Others want to extend it by a new feature. However you arrive, the path to go to get that seemingly easy task done is often not clear. Where’s the source for that button? How do I make my changes take effect in the software that is run? Finding the right path can be a frustrating journey many are not willing to endure. Google Code-In (or GCI for short) aims to help out: Pairing prospective contributors with mentors from established open source organizations builds a path to successful contributions. KDE has participated in GCI as a mentoring organization since its start in 2010, and did so again in the most recent 2013 edition.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Possible Features To Find In OpenGL 5.0

      There’s a big belief that OpenGL 5 will be about optimizing this cross-platform, widely-used graphics API. All of the major hardware companies are working towards reducing OpenGL driver overhead and making other OpenGL improvements as a result of AMD’s Mantle API. Mantle is still Windows-only and used by just a handful of games for now with AMD’s Catlayst driver on GCN GPUs, but it’s ignited a conversation about increasing the performance potential out of OpenGL. DirectX 12.0 is also going to be optimizing the performance potential of Microsoft’s 3D graphics API.

Leftovers

  • Banksy condemns ‘disgusting’ Stealing Banksy exhibition on opening day

    As press and street art fans were allowed in to take a first look at an exhibition claiming to be “the most expensive collection of Banksy artworks ever assembled”, the artist posted a statement on his website condemning it.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Those Military Observers

      If you think you get the truth on CNN and BBC you are not paying attention.

    • World Domination

      Add together the cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk and you don’t reach the economic output of Dundee. World domination it isn’t. Unfortunately both in the Kremlin and on Capitol Hill they, and their satraps, think it is. Neither side cares at all about the millions of ordinary people in the zone of potential conflict.

    • Iraqi army strikes ‘jihadist convoy’ in Syria

      Iraqi army helicopters have hit what they believe was a jihadist convoy in eastern Syria, killing at least eight people, in a show of strength days before the country’s first national elections since 2010.

    • Worse than Iran-Contra? Why the White House is Desperate to Bury Benghazi

      Cover-up is about shielding details of arms smuggling to terrorists in Syria

    • US ships 300,000 MREs to Ukraine military

      The United States delivered 300,000 meals ready to eat to the Ukranian military, the first delivery of American aid to the former Soviet republic, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

    • Chomsky: US Leaders’ Panic Over Crimea Is About Fear of Losing Global Dominance

      The current Ukraine crisis is serious and threatening, so much so that some commentators even compare it to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

      Columnist Thanassis Cambanis summarizes the core issue succinctly in The Boston Globe: “[President Vladimir V.] Putin’s annexation of the Crimea is a break in the order that America and its allies have come to rely on since the end of the Cold War—namely, one in which major powers only intervene militarily when they have an international consensus on their side, or failing that, when they’re not crossing a rival power’s red lines.”

    • David Ignatius: Putin steals CIA playbook on anti-Soviet covert operations

      The West has made NATO’s military alliance the heart of its response to Russia’s power grab in Ukraine. But we may be fighting the wrong battle: The weapons President Vladimir Putin has used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine look more like paramilitary “covert action” than conventional military force.

    • Is the Western narrative obscuring what’s really going on in Ukraine?

      Washington and Brussels are the heroes of the Ukrainian saga, if you believe the Western media. Russian President Vladimir Putin is cast as the Big Bad Russian Bear, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are the Democratic A-Team. Russia is supposedly using dirty KGB-inspired tactics: secret agitators backed by masked paratroopers. The West makes the same tired claims to back democracy and freedom and denounces Putin’s foul play.

      The hyperbole is extraordinary. Is it really appropriate to invoke the memory of Anschluss, or compare Putin to Saddam Hussein? Kerry has called Ukraine an “incredible act of aggression”, conveniently ignoring drone strikes, the Iraq War, and the numerous illegal coups the US has pulled off since World War II.

    • Condoleezza Rice Backs Out of Rutgers Commencement After Student Protests

      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided not to participate as the speaker for Rutgers University’s commencement ceremony after students began protesting the invitation earlier this year based on Rice’s involvement with the Iraq War.

      It’s no secret that Americans today tend to be less supportive of the war in Iraq than they were back in 2003, and that decline in support has caused some serious negative backlash for Rice.

    • Condoleezza Rice declines to speak at Rutgers after student protests
    • Obama’s new Ukraine – a Russophobic failed state ruled by fascists

      The chaos, terror and civil war in Ukraine is the deliberate creation of the Washington war machine, writes Mike Whitney. It is just step one of an offensive aimed at Russia – and that should raise loud alarms among all who care about our Earth’s future.

    • Camp X Was the Basis for the CIA ‘Farm’

      Between 1941 and 1944, Americans and Canadians trained as secret agents at Camp X in Whitby, Ontario learning from the finest intelligence specialists the arts of espionage, sabotage, subversion, unarmed combat, silent killing, weapons training and various forms of communications. Employing the finest intelligence specialists, Camp X turned highly qualified recruits into covert operatives trained for clandestine Allied missions, and in so doing played an integral role in the development of international and domestic intelligence training.

    • Troops on the Ground: U.S. and NATO Plan PSYOPS Teams in Ukraine

      Effort reminiscent of CIA’s Radio Free Europe during Cold War

    • Washington responsible for fascist massacre in Odessa

      In what can only be described as a massacre, 38 anti-government activists were killed Friday after fascist-led forces set fire to Odessa’s Trade Unions House, which had been sheltering opponents of the US- and European-backed regime in Ukraine.

      According to eye-witnesses, those who jumped from the burning building and survived were surrounded and beaten by thugs from the neo-Nazi Right Sector. Video footage shows bloodied and wounded survivors being attacked.

      The atrocity underscores both the brutal character of the right-wing government installed in Kiev by the Western powers and the encouragement by the US and its allies of a bloody crackdown by the regime to suppress popular opposition, centered in the mainly Russian-speaking south and east of Ukraine.

      As the Odessa outrage occurred, US President Barack Obama, at a joint White House press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, explicitly endorsed the military offensive being carried out by the unelected Kiev government against protesters occupying official buildings in eastern Ukraine.

      Despite Western media attempts to cover up what happened in Odessa—with multiple reports stating that “the exact sequence of events is still unclear”—there is no doubt that the killings in the southern port city were instigated by thugs wearing the insignia of the Right Sector, which holds positions in the Kiev regime, along with the like-minded Svoboda party.

    • Israel police challenge US ‘terror’ findings

      Israeli police on Thursday challenged Washington’s inclusion of Jewish extremist attacks on Palestinians in a global terror report, saying such incidents could not be likened to militant attacks.

      For the first time, the State Department’s 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism, published Wednesday, included a reference to a growing wave of racist anti-Palestinian vandalism, euphemistically known as “price tag” attacks.

    • Tony Blair: to bomb or not to bomb people we don’t like in the Middle East

      Blair urges the world to “intervene” more in the Middle East, just as he and Bush “intervened” in Iraq. Trouble is, he admits, public opinion opposes his addiction to war

    • The Enemy of Your Enemy is Not Always Your Friend

      The next time you’re influenced by a facebook meme or a heart-wrenching youtube video about human rights violations by an “enemy” of the West, think about the atrocities by the pro-Western side that we are not seeing. Study the history of the country to learn what parts of the so-called democratic opposition might draw their lineage to militant groups (such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army) that have massacred ethnic, religious, or political minorities in past decades. If the U.S. continues to back these crazies just because they attack the West’s enemies, blowback is again going to be inevitable.

    • The ‘Hook’ and Awlaki: a tale of two imams

      As the latest trial opened, his US lawyer, Joshua Dratel, noted that western governments, including the US, and his client were once on the same side, fighting in defence of Muslims in Afghanistan and in Bosnia against the Serbians. Dratel, who is Jewish, would not be defending Hamza if he was promoting anti-Jewish hatred, which he was accused of during his UK trial. While Hamza’s views were extreme, Dratel said, it was not illegal to hold them. At one point, he likened Hamza to Nelson Mandela, who was “once considered a terrorist. Now he’s an icon.”

    • Dozens of FBI, CIA agents in Kiev ‘assisting Ukraine security’

      Numerous US agents are helping the coup-appointed government in Ukraine to “fight organized crime” in the south east of the country, the German newspaper Bild revealed.

      According to the daily, the CIA and FBI are advising the government in Kiev on how to deal with the ‘fight against organized crime’ and stop the violence in the country’s restive eastern regions.

    • CIA, FBI consulting Kiev government, says German weekly
    • CIA, FBI agents advising Ukraine government: Report
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Leaked US Cable Notes ex-BPK Chief’s ‘Notoriety’ for Corruption

      Hadi, recently named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in a decade-old tax case, served as the director general for taxation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance between 2001 and 2006.

      The 2006 diplomatic cable, published by Wikileaks on its website, commented on his replacement as the tax director general by Darmin Nasution.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Being cute ‘won’t save the penguins’

      Campaigners dressed as penguins marked World Penguin Day outside Norway’s parliament. They called on Norway and other nations active in the Antarctic to do more to save the world penguin population from a rapid decline.

    • Biodiversity offsetting is a license to trash

      A proposal in the UK to destroy ancient woodland to make way for a £40 million motorway service station clearly reveals the flaws of biodiversity offsets.

    • DAVID VS. GOLIATH: A TINY TRIBE TAKES ON BIG ENERGY

      Coal ash is the waste material left over after coal is burned. It’s often laced with pollutants, but it isn’t covered by any federal rules. In fact, no one paid much attention to coal ash until 1 billion gallons of it poured into the rivers around the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Plant in 2008 and blanketed more than 300 acres of land. The tragic spill ignited a debate over whether to regulate coal ash and how.

    • The Aussie Big Four, Third World Land Grabs and Ethical Capitalism

      Oxfam Australia has released a report showing that the big four Australian banks have financial connections with agri-business interests that are involved in major land grabs and exploitation.

    • Koch brothers decline invitation to debate climate change

      A group supporting the political views of retired billionaire investor Tom Steyer bought a full-page color advertisement Friday in The Wichita Eagle — the Koch brothers’ hometown newspaper — inviting the brothers to a public debate on climate change.

  • Finance

    • Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold

      When you become a banker, no one issues you a badge, nor are you fitted for a judicial robe. So why is the Justice Department telling bankers to behave like policemen and judges? Justice’s new probe, known as “Operation Choke Point,” is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like. Banks must then “choke off” those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.

      Justice launched the effort in early 2013…

    • Activists decry lack of affordable rooms in Vancouver
    • Report: More Than 92 Million Americans Remain Out Of Labor Force

      Despite the unemployment rate plummeting, more than 92 million Americans remain out of the labor force.
      The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April from 6.7 percent in March, the lowest it has been since September 2008 when it was 6.1 percent. The sharp drop, though, occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count people not looking for a job as unemployed.

    • Crossrail managers accused of ‘culture of spying and fear’

      Leaked documents reveal that workers on new rail link are too scared of being sacked to report injuries

    • Seattle’s $15 Wage Plan Proves Power of Radical Pressure

      City’s watered-down version, embraced by political elites and business class, a ‘testament to how working people can push back against the status quo of poverty, inequality, and injustice’

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why the Alex Jones industrial complex must be dismantled

      I went after Jones specifically because almost all of his propaganda plays into the hands of the extreme right wing in the United States. He dismisses feminism and gay rights as part of a New Word Order plot to reduce the population. He dismisses climate change as a hoax, and backs it up by giving weather reports on Mars. He attacks non-existent, nameless, faceless organizations like the Illuminati but ignores the evils being done by right-wing billionaires like the Koch Brothers.

      His supporters are certified experts on the Bilderberg Group, but they seem to know nothing about the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that literally writes laws for corporations and passes them into law. Who needs the Illuminati when you have people like that? What if we just do away with the word “Illuminati” and start talking about capitalism and the state?

      You will never hear conspiracy theorists talk about class war; they are far more concerned with preserving their own status in this economic system. Like missionaries and populist demagogues of the past, they prey on the young and downtrodden, give them an all-encompassing worldview, call it “truth, and and label everyone who doesn’t believe it a “sheep” who needs to “wake up.”

      I attack Infowars because it is not a revolutionary movement. It is chasing a mirage. It imagines the good ol’ days of ‘merica, when white slave-owners wrote a constitution for other property owners, before they pushed west, killed multitudes of Native Americans (historical estimates range between 30-100 million) and stole their land. Those are the glory days of 1776 that the right-wing conspiracy crowd holds up as an ideal that we need to return to.

    • How Presidents and the Public Have Ignored Right Wing Terrorism
    • Book Buzz: ‘Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt’

      Two books about computer shenanigans this week. Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” takes on the high-frequency traders who have made ghost “towns” of stock exchange floors and created a market that is impenetrable to common understanding.

      In high-frequency trading, milliseconds count (if you could count that fast) so Wall Street traders now jockey for fiber-optic proximity to exchanges in order to execute trades and change pricing within one/one-thousandth or some such of the blink of an eye, so as to ensure that traders made a profit regardless of what happened to their customers. Nothing new there, right? Except now it’s being done at light-like speeds.

  • Privacy

    • What Edward Snowden didn’t disclose

      For one thing, Snowden did not have access to any specific ECIs (Extremely Classified Information compartments) that protect specific sources of information, including the identities of companies that partner with the NSA. The larger ones can be inferred, but the details of their cooperation, along with the details of hundreds of other relationships, are ECI-controlled.

    • ​Everyone is under government surveillance now – Snowden

      Government surveillance no longer targets individuals, but entire populations, former CIA contractor Edward Snowden has said. The whistleblower appeared via video link in a Toronto debate over the NSA intelligence gathering programs.

      Commenting on the antics of the National Security Agency, which have been described in the past as “Orwellian in nature,” Snowden said every citizen is affected by intelligence gathering programs

      “It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,” Snowden said in the brief video. “It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”

    • Want to stop creepy online tracking? Help the EFF test Privacy Badger

      Privacy Badger is a new tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation designed to stop creepy online tracking.

      It’s an extension for Firefox and Chrome that “automatically detects and blocks spying ads around the Web, and the invisible trackers that feed information to them.”

    • Google Glass – Why I’m not interested.

      Its reported that Google Glass advocates are coming to your town and that was the catalyst for writing this article. I am quite happy for Google Glass users to love their devices, however I don’t want them ranting on at me about it and I certainly don’t want their camera’s pointed at me.

      There’s something very strange about Google Glass “advocates” and its something akin to Justin Beiber fans.

      Hopefully the novelty of Google Glass will wear off, or at-least be limited to their own forums and fan pages.

      For the record, I am not a Google “hater” (its one of the ways a Google Glass Advocate rationalizes someone not interested in their toy) infact quite the opposite, I’m currently writing this on a Chromebook and am a very heavy user of many Google services – Doc’s, Drive, Groups, G+, Google, Gmail. I was also an early adopter of the ill fated GoogleWave and certainly no “hater” of Google products and my smartphones are Android, as are the tablets that I use.

    • Digital arms makers follow money for NSA arsenal

      On Florida’s Atlantic coast, cyber arms makers working for U.S. spy agencies are bombarding billions of lines of computer code with random data that can expose software flaws the U.S. might exploit.

    • Technology law will soon be reshaped by people who don’t use email

      There’s been much discussion – and derision – of the US supreme court’s recent forays into cellphones and the internet, but as more and more of these cases bubble up to the high chamber, including surveillance reform, we won’t be laughing for long: the future of technology and privacy law will undoubtedly be written over the next few years by nine individuals who haven’t “really ‘gotten to’ email” and find Facebook and Twitter “a challenge” .

      A pair of cases that went before the court this week raise the issue of whether police can search someone’s cellphone after an arrest but without a warrant. The court’s decisions will inevitably affect millions. As the New York Times editorial board explained on the eve of the arguments, “There are 12 million arrests in America each year, most for misdemeanors that can be as minor as jaywalking.” Over 90% of Americans have cellphones, and as the American Civil Liberties Union argued in a briefing to the court, our mobile devices “are in effect, our new homes”.

    • Merkel not ready to say trust restored after NSA spying affair

      On a day when she spent more than four hours face-to-face with Barack Obama at the White House, Merkel last Friday listened to the US president in his own verdant Rose Garden tell the world how important their relationship is.

    • North Korea Invokes the NSA, Zimmerman to Call U.S. a ‘Living Hell’

      You would think North Korea wouldn’t be in any place to lecture the United States about human rights abuses, right? Well, think again, because according to The Washington Post, a North Korean state news agency has responded to accusations leveled against them of human rights abuses by flipping the script by calling the United States a “living hell”, citing the NSA, prison privatization, and, for some reason, George Zimmerman.

    • Captain America, step aside: Justices are on the case

      In the real world, who are our superheroes? People such as Assange or Edward Snowden seem candidates but actually are more akin to prophets, warning of misfortune but without the authority to stop it. Our elected officials? Some perhaps, but not those now in power. Indeed, it is the Obama administration — the same one that has so greatly stepped up the use of drones — that supports searching smartphones without warrants. We’re left with an improbable bunch: the nine justices of the Supreme Court.

    • Facial recognition: is the technology taking away your identity?

      Although the use of facial recognition tools is still relatively new in the consumer sector, that is where much of the visible innovation will take place over the coming years. “The stakes are lower, so companies are free to take more risks,” says Kelly Gates, professor in communication and science studies at UC San Diego and author of Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance. “As a result, there are a lot of experiments in the commercial domain. So what if you identify the wrong person by accident when you’re targeting an ad? It’s not that big a deal. It happens all the time in other forms of advertising.”

    • DC Thinks It Can Silence a New Snowden, But the Anti-Leak Hypocrisy is Backfiring

      After Edward Snowden caught the US government with its pants down, you would think the keepers of this country’s secrets might stand up for a little more transparency, not bend over backwards trying to control the message.

      Instead, this week we found out the Most Transparent Administration in American History™ has implemented a new anti-press policy that would make Richard Nixon blush. National intelligence director James Clapper, the man caught lying to Congress from an “unauthorized” leak by Snowden, issued a directive to the employees of all 17 intelligence agencies barring all employees from any “unauthorized” contact with the press.

  • Civil Rights

    • Shocking Kids into Compliance

      The Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential school in northern Massachusetts, prides itself on teaching students with disabilities who have the most challenging behavioral issues. The school takes kids with severe intellectual disabilities – autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and a range of psychiatric disabilities – and then its employees attach electrodes to their arms, legs, and stomach, and shock them into submission.

    • Wonder Girl’s head-sized breasts illustrate the sexism problem in comics

      It’s Free Comic Book Day today – the North American comic book industry’s annual push to bring in more readers by distributing popular all-ages comics for free through thousands of retailers. Unfortunately, while comics may be for everyone, the culture around them has a lot of growing up left to do.

    • Segregation Now

      Though James Dent could watch Central High School’s homecoming parade from the porch of his faded white bungalow, it had been years since he’d bothered. But last fall, Dent’s oldest granddaughter, D’Leisha, was vying for homecoming queen, and he knew she’d be poking up through the sunroof of her mother’s car, hand cupped in a beauty-pageant wave, looking for him.

    • Shabak Torture Drives Israeli Palestinian Lawyer to Suicide

      Amjad al-Safadi was an East Jerusalem defense attorney whose clients were Palestinian security prisoners. Two months ago, he himself was arrested by the Shabak and detained for 45 days. He was charged with aiding Palestinian militant groups and their detainees. During his detention he was tortured by Shabak interrogator goons. Among his claims were that electric shocks were used against him. He was released from prison and placed under house arrest (the same process used in the case of Majd Kayyal). Yesterday, five days after his release, he hung himself at his home and died.

    • Egypt court jails 102 Morsi supporters for 10 years: Report

      An Egyptian court sentenced 102 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to 10 years in prison on Saturday over protest violence, state television reported.

      The army-installed government has rounded up thousands of Morsi supporters and put them on mass trials since overthrowing him in July.

    • Why Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy Are Not the Problem

      In her heartfelt dissent in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which upheld a Michigan ballot initiative forbidding schools from considering race as one factor in admitting students, Justice Sandra Sotomayor wrote “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.”

    • Report on CIA provides evidence Djibouti was a ‘black site’
    • Three Presidents Who Ordered Mass Torture of Prisoners And Two Who Failed to Stop Torture

      For most of US history, torture was something the enemy did, and their doing so was widely regarded as a sure sign of their evil. US troops might be ordered into unjust wars of aggression. They even carried out massacres. But torture of prisoners was something beheld as evil.

      American Indians were often massacred, but not tortured, and the claim that some of them tortured was seen as evidence of their barbarism. Mexican civilians were also massacred, but not tortured. Union soldiers did not torture Confederate prisoners. In fact, the Civil War saw the first rules of war, formulated by Lincoln. Confederates did massacre Union troops if they were Black, but even these traitors never tortured. Germans, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese were all killed in great numbers, but never tortured. In fact, the torture of US POWs by North Koreans was held up as a great evil.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • What Inefficient Airline Boarding Procedures Have To Do With Net Neutrality

      Search the internet and there are tons of articles about more efficient ways to board airplanes. Many will point to the work of astrophysicist Jason Steffen who algorithmically tested a variety of boarding methods to come up with his optimized version. The best demonstration of this particular method is in this YouTube video where the Steffen method was tested.

05.03.14

Links 3/5/2014: Chromebook Announcement Imminent, ARM Deception

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Google, Intel to make Chromebook announcement on May 6

      One theory is that a new Chromebook Pixel will be announced, as the current model utilizes a Intel Core i5, the most powerful of any Chromebook. The Pixel hasn’t been changed since its release last February, and it could be time for Google to refresh its crown jewel, high-end Chromebook. Another collaboration with Intel could bring more power to the Chromebook line and make Chromebooks more appealing for resource-hungry users.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • No, ARM Didn’t Open-Source Their Full Mali Linux Driver

      A few links have been sent in to our news tip box with this page, which reads, “Open Source Mali-200/300/400/450 GPU Kernel Device Drivers.” While the page mentions open-source drivers, it’s only about the kernel portion of the driver and it’s always been that way with ARM — and most other ARM-based graphics vendors. The kernel portion is open, the user-space components are closed. Without an open user-space, having an open kernel driver is only of limited use, and will not be accepted into the upstream Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Has A New Radeon DRM Performance Patch

        AMD has a new Radeon DRM kernel driver patch pending that is able to offer Linux gaming performance improvements by improving the video memory bandwidth performance by the open-source graphics driver.

      • Wayland 1.5 RC Released with a Historic Low in Bugs

        Wayland, a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients, as well as a C library implementation of that protocol, which can be used as a standalone display server running on Linux kernel modesetting and evdev input devices, has reached version 1.5 RC.

      • OpenGL 4.4 ARB_buffer_storage Added To Nouveau

        Support for the ARB_buffer_storage extension mandated by the OpenGL 4.4 specification is now supported by Nouveau, the open-source NVIDIA Linux driver.

        This GL 4.4 extension was added to the open-source Radeon drivers and then in March for supporting the Intel Mesa driver. Ilia Mirkin has now wired-up the ARB_buffer_storage support for the Nouveau Gallium3D drivers: NV30, NV50, and NVC0.

      • AMD Mullins Support Added To Radeon Gallium3D
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New OpenMandriva, Updated KDE, and Ubuntu EOL

        Our top story tonight is the release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014 with new features and updates. KDE saw an update release this week as well and Ubuntu 12.10 approaches end-of-life. In other news “Firefox 29 sucks” says one, but another tests it against Konqueror and finds not so much. And Bryan Lunduke is back with more on why “Linux sucks!”

      • KDE PIM 2014 Spring Sprint

        We continue the tradition of having the PIM sprint in a place that starts with a “B”. The last 3 PIM sprints were in Berlin (twice) and Brno. The Spring edition of this year took place in Barcelona, continuing the tradition. Add to this the name of the company hosting us which conveniently starts with a “B” as well (BlueSystems).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • NixOS 14.04 Is a Unique Operating System That Uses KDE 4.2

      NixOS is not your average cup of tea, as it employs a rather different approach to the building of an operating system. It uses its own package manager, called Nix, which ensures that users can make an upgrade to one package that cannot break others, that they can always roll back to previous version, and so on.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Lx 2014 Has Been Released

        OpenMandriva Lx 2014 has been officially released with many new features, improvements and major changes.

        This second release of the OpenMandriva operating system under the community of the OpenMandriva Association is a major update from the previous version of OpenMandriva Lx and it comes with a better desktop system performance and responsiveness due to the implementation of the 3.13.11 nrjQL stock kernel.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • DNF 0.5.1 Improves Its CLI Output

          DNF 0.5.1′s main feature is its less verbose with its text output during the dependency-resolving process. Up to this point it would spew dozens or even hundreds of lines of text about dependency processing. DNF 0.5.1 also now reports about bandwidth savings when using delta RPMs.

        • Temporary Problem with DevConf CZ Videos

          There’s a problem with Red Hat Czech’s YouTube channel, where the DevConf videos about Fedora.next are hosted. This should be fixed soon, at which point my series of articles about those videos will continue.

    • Debian Family

      • Tails v1.0: One Linux Distro Among Many for Secure Communications

        Tails, short for “The Amnesic Incognito Live System,” came to the world’s attention last month when the Freedom of the Press Foundation revealed that Edward Snowden used a beta version of the Linux distribution to securely communicate with reporters. Now, the same highly secure distro used by Snowden to leak NSA materials has been released as version 1.0 under an open GPLv3 license.

      • Unmasking the Tails Linux Distro

        Many different Linux distributions are freely available for users. For National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Linux distribution of choice is Tails, which hit its 1.0 release April 29. Tails stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System, a reasonably accurate description of what the Tails Linux distribution is all about. As a Live Linux distribution, Tails can run from a USB stick and does not need to be directly installed onto a physical computer. The promise of Tails is that, as a Live Linux distribution, with a focus on privacy, when a user removes the Tails USB from the computer, there is no trace of it left in system memory. Tails goes much further than just leaving no trace in memory in its goal to be an incognito system. The Tor anonymous network routing technology is integrated into Tails to help hide a user’s actual location and IP address on the Internet. For secure email, Tails includes the Claws Mail email client with encryption support. Tails enables users to have secure instant messaging conversations with Pidgin, which is preconfigured with the Off The Record (OTR) plug-in. There is even an option in Tails to enable the desktop to look like a Windows XP desktop to help avoid suspicion from people who might be walking by a Tails user. In this slide show, eWEEK examines key features of the Tails 1.0 release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Unity Launcher gets a facelift with Unity Drawers

            For the longest time, Ubuntu Unity users have wanted a bit more leverage from the Unity Launcher. As it stands, it’s a means to launch applications and get to the Unity Dash. But with the creation of a new tool, Drawers, you can easily organize related items (files, applications, websites, folders, etc.) using “mini dashes” and “quick lists” — similar to the Stacks feature in OS X. Drawers allows you to organize files together onto the Launcher and even create a Dash-like app menu for quick access to your applications.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • AMAKER says it’s first Dual ARM Open Source 3D Printer

        AMAKER is designed from scratch to include next generation controller boards. Just as humans have a left and right brain, we designed our controller to mirror two sides of the brain. The left side of the controller uses one ARM chip to control all motion calculations, thermal control and sensors. The right side uses another ARM chip to handle the user interface. This allows simultaneous processing of both motion control and the user interface during printing.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Chicken Nuggets, With a Side of Respiratory Distress

      Think you have it tough at work? Imagine taking a post at a factory-scale poultry slaughterhouse. Chicken carcasses whiz by at the rate of 140 per minute, requiring repetitive hand motions with sharp knives. Then there’s the caustic odor of chemical sprays and washes—practices the industry has resorted to in recent years as a way to control bacterial pathogens like salmonella.

  • Security

    • British National Party’s Twitter account hacked by ‘Anonymous’

      Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party and MEP, has had his Twitter account hacked by campaigners claiming to be part of the hacking group, Anonymous.

      Someone claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous hacked into the party’s official account late on Friday night.

      The hackers did not appear to be trying to send out a particular message and didn’t appear to know much about the far-right party, but were simply trying to cause trouble for the BNP.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Washington’s drive for regime change in Venezuela

      The statements by the US president and the two top State Department officials only go to confirm the warning made last month by Maduro that his government is confronting a “slow-motion” coup, in which US-backed violent demonstrators are “copying badly what happened in Kiev.”

    • John ‘Flashback’ McCain Wants Moar War But German Industry Stands in the Way
    • Obama’s New Ukraine
    • Military Buildup. NATO Now Considers Russia as “An Enemy”. Militarization of “Russia’s Neighbors

      The 61-year-old former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen.

    • How to Win the Information War against Vladimir Putin
    • Odessa Massacre Pushes Ukraine to the Edge

      Western headlines have attempted to spin into ambiguity the death of over 30 anti-fascist Ukrainian protesters cornered and burned to death in the Trade Unions House in the southern port city of Odessa. The arson was carried out by Neo-Nazi mobs loyal to the unelected regime now occupying Kiev.

      Both the London Guardian and the BBC attempted in their coverage to make the perpetrators and circumstances as ambiguous as possible before revealing paragraphs down that pro-regime mobs had indeed torched the building. And even still, the Western press has attempted to omit the presence of Right Sector, the militant wing of the current regime charged with carrying out political intimidation and violence against Kiev’s opponents.

    • Yemen Qaeda warns of reprisal over drone war
    • Al Qaida threatens to hit back over Yemen drone strikes
    • Anti-drone events in Central New York

      In a determined protest against the U.S. use of drone warfare, 150 people marched to the gates of Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, N.Y., on April 27. The multinational march was part of a regional day of education and action linking poverty, racism and war.

      People in Afghanistan, for example, are targeted by Reaper drones piloted out of Hancock Air Base. Soldiers in the 174th Attack Wing, New York National Guard, fly the drones. The 174th previously flew F-16s; it is the first U.S. squadron to convert to all-unmanned combat planes.

    • UK telecoms infrastructure used to support controversial US drone operations

      The UK’s telecommunications infrastructure is being used as part of a global defence intelligence network that the US government uses for controversial drone operations and other military purposes.

      Human rights experts say the UK’s involvement is the digital equivalent of allowing secret US rendition flights to land at UK military sites, or permitting the US government to launch air strikes from its airforce bases in the UK – actions for which the UK has, in the past, been heavily criticised.

    • The Drone War’s Secrets and Lies

      …targeting U.S. citizens overseas for sudden, fiery death from the sky.

    • The burden of atrocity: How Vietnam was exposed as a “dirty war”

      A conservative estimate of civilian deaths arising from the war is two million in South Vietnam alone, from a population of nineteen million. An analogous civilian casualty rate in the United States today would be nearly thirty-three million — in fact, looking at the dead and wounded in Vietnam as ratios of the general population puts the conflict on par with the horrendous bloodshed of World War II. As Kill Anything That Moves relives in graphic detail, the Vietnam War was horrendously brutal in its plans, execution and outcomes.

    • CIA Whistleblower faces the ire of an angry Justice Department over Benghazi questions

      Longtime former CIA field operative turned whistleblower Robert “Tosh” Plumlee is currently in the crosshairs of a very angry Holder Justice Department for publicly posting 11 “questions” about Benghazi and the illegal weapons running operations being conducted by criminal elements within the U.S. government. Mr. Plumlee is no ordinary CIA whistleblower, however.

    • Please Don’t Read This Benghazi Article

      If you ignored the headline and are reading this anyway, you are part of the problem. Despite the fact that the last several resurgences have produced nothing that verifies the claims of the right wing, we’re once again forced to wade into the matter and endure at least the fifth round of grandstanding in a cycle that leads us no closer to actually solving the problems that Benghazi revealed.

      The latest return of the assault that killed four Americans in a diplomatic outpost in the eastern Libya city to the public consciousnesses comes from conservative group Judicial Watch obtaining on Tuesday a copy of White House emails from the days after the attack through a FOIA request to the State Deparment. Now Republicans and conservative media have narrowed in on one in particular from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes as the latest in a string of smoking guns that proves malfeasance on the part of the administration. So now, after 11 open hearings in the House of Representatives alone, scores of witnesses called for testimony, millions of dollars spent, and thousands of documents from the administration, we’re at the point where the Republicans are generally scraping the bottom of the barrel in formulating their reasons to keep the investigation alive.

    • Former CIA spy Andre Le Gallo recounts his time in Iran in 1978-79

      During the Gulf War in the 1990′s he helped choose high value targets for Tomahawk cruise missile strikes in Iraq…

    • Lusitania divers warned of danger from war munitions in 1982, papers reveal

      Foreign Office officials also voiced serious concerns that a final British admission that there were high explosives on the Lusitania could still trigger serious political repercussions with America even though it was nearly 70 years after the event.

      The RMS Lusitania was sunk on 7 May 1915 by a torpedo fired without warning from a German submarine just off the Irish coast with the loss of 1,198 lives, including 128 American civilians. The liner went down in just 18 minutes and the loss of civilian life enraged US public opinion and hastened American’s entry into the first world war.

    • Afghan opium production explodes despite billions spent, says US report

      A report released Wednesday by Washington’s Afghanistan war watchdog has found that the billions spent by the State and Defense departments on counter-narcotics since 2002 has been for nought. Opium-poppy cultivation takes up 209,000 hectares (516,230 acres) of land in Afghanistan, a 36% increase since 2012.

    • Pacific Ocean Marshall Islands launch lawsuits against nations with nuclear arms over testing effects

      The small Oceanic Marshall Islands is to launch an unprecedented round of lawsuits against nine nations with nuclear arms, including the US, to demand that they meet their obligations to disarm.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Safety Failures Pervasive at Site of Mysterious Nuclear Leak

      U.S. government’s own report faults declining safety culture for release of radiation at troubled New Mexico dump

    • US corn yields are increasingly vulnerable to hot, dry weather, study shows

      The study, which appears in the journal Science, was led by Stanford’s David Lobell, associate professor of environmental Earth system science and associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. “The Corn Belt is phenomenally productive,” Lobell said, referring to the region of Midwestern states where much of the country’s corn is grown. “But in the past two decades we saw very small yield gains in non-irrigated corn under the hottest conditions. This suggests farmers may be pushing the limits of what’s possible under these conditions.”

    • Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas

      The crisis gripping Ukraine has plunged transatlantic relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and threatens to send Ukraine into an armed conflict with potentially dire consequences for the country and the wider region.

    • If Scotland Secedes, Who Gets Its Oil?

      The U.K.’s debate over Scottish independence is an oddly blinkered affair. People are obsessing over things that don’t matter and ignoring things that do — such as who owns the U.K.’s North Sea oil.

    • Ex-CIA Analyst Ruth: China’s Growing Economy Sparks Green Fears

      If the Chinese economy really is growing as reported, China will find itself under a lot more pressure by the international community to comply with environmental regulations, says Lisa Ruth, former CIA analyst and Lignet analyst.

    • Japan begins northeastern whale hunts after ICJ ban

      If there’s a will, there’s a way. Taking advantage of the fact that the recent international court ruling only covers whale hunts in the Antarctic Ocean, a Japanese whaling fleet left last Saturday to begin it’s hunt in the northern Pacific.

    • Diesel engine pollution linked to early deaths and costs NHS billions

      Environmental experts warn high percentage of diesel engines in public transport may cause quarter of all air pollution deaths

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • BBC Propaganda Hits New All-Time Low

      Every half hour BBC News is running a three minute puff piece which is even more sinister for what it hides than for what it says – and By God! That is sinister enough.

      [...]

      Now pay close attention: Fiona Gilmore is chief executive of Acanchi a PR Consultany which specializes in “Country Branding”. Its clients include Israel, Dubai, Bahrain and “England”. Yes, it actually specifies “England” on the company website. Acanchi also works for DFID – in short, it gets UK taxpayers’ money, plus Israeli and Gulf Arab money. Are you familiar with the word fungibility?

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Sultan of Brunei unveils strict sharia penal code

      Fines and jail terms for offences such as indecency and failure to attend Friday prayers, with future penalties to include flogging and death by stoning

    • Botched executions show there’s no such thing as humane capital punishment

      Once again, a prisoner has died an unseemly death in the execution chambers of the United States of America. Facing a shortage of the drugs needed to carry out a lethal injection, the state of Oklahoma decided to experiment on a live human being – with disastrous results. After being subjected to treatment some described as torture, Clayton Lockett ultimately died of a heart attack.

    • Listen to a Secret Tape of FBI Agents Interviewing—and Threatening—a Potential Informant

      On Thursday, Mother Jones broke the story of Naji Mansour, an American living abroad who refused to become a government informant—and saw his life, and his family’s, turned upside-down. After he rebuffed the government’s advances, Mansour was banned from returning to his family’s home in Kenya, locked up for 37 days in a squalid prison in South Sudan, and eventually found himself living in Khartoum, where two FBI agents he had met before, Mike Jones and Peter Smith (pseudonyms we created at the FBI’s request), tried again to win his trust. Mansour recorded the conversation, which you can listen to above; a full transcript follows below.

    • Meet the American Citizens Who Allege the US Had Them Locked Up Abroad
    • From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Role Ex-Nazis Played in Early West Germany

      After World War II, West Germany rapidly made the transition from murderous dictatorship to model democracy. Or did it? New documents reveal just how many officials from the Nazi regime found new jobs in Bonn. A surprising number were chosen for senior government positions.

    • 1,000 native women murdered, missing in Canada over 30 years: RCMP

      The RCMP revealed Thursday a shocking number — nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada in the past 30 years.

      RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said most of those women — about 1,000 — are murder victims.

      The rest, about 186, are disappearances, still logged in police files across the country, and in a majority of those — some 160 missing person cases — the RCMP says authorities “ought to” suspect foul play. The others have been determined to be disappearances for “reasons unknown.”

    • Feds didn’t act on polygraphs indicating child abuse

      The nation’s spy satellite agency failed to notify authorities when some employees and contractors confessed during lie detector tests to crimes such as child molestation, an intelligence inspector general has concluded.

      In other cases, the National Reconnaissance Office delayed reporting criminal admissions obtained during security clearance polygraphs, possibly jeopardizing evidence in investigations or even the safety of children, according to the inspector general report released Tuesday, almost two years after McClatchy’s reporting raised similar concerns.

      In one instance, one of the agency’s top lawyers told colleagues not to bother reporting confessions by a government contractor of child molestation, viewing child pornography and sexting with a minor, the inquiry by the inspector general for the intelligence community revealed.

    • How to Starve the For-Profit Prison Beast

      I know some private prison lobbyists who would love it if you were found with a cell phone. Assuming, of course, that you’re already locked in one of the prisons their clients operate in Oklahoma.

      Introducing a cell phone into a correctional facility used to be a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. Now, it’s a felony. This change did not happen for any reason other than a private prison lobbyist provided his client with a good way to make even more revenue off of people already imprisoned. Bumping this crime up from a misdemeanor to a felony means that when a person is caught with a cell phone in prison, he or she will end up staying in prison even longer; in most cases the new sentence will be added to the end of the existing one, instead of allowing people to serve time for both the crime that landed them behind bars and the cell phone infraction simultaneously. More prison time, more profits.

    • Where Was Anal Rape Approved in the OLC Memos?

      Sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last several days. I’ve been traveling and speaking and traveling. Thanks to Jim and bmaz for holding down the fort.

      While I’ve been gone, there has been fairly shocking testimony from Gitmo (thanks, as always, to Carol Rosenberg for her persistence in covering this thankless story). In Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri’s trial, a doctor called to testify to his untreated PTSD described the trauma evidence she found on him.

    • FBI may put alleged Anonymous member behind bars for 440 years
    • State Law Hides Investigations of Police Misconduct from Public Scrutiny

      Former State Senator Gloria Romero tried to change POBOR during her time in Sacramento, but said the police union opposition was too strong to overcome. “Most states in the nation allow for the knowledge of these misconduct reports,” said Gloria Romero. “That essentially translates to, we have a secret police force and I think that surprises people in a democracy such as California’s.” Partensky and Woosley, the two San Francisco residents who called 911 for some injured bicyclists, never did get the answers they were looking for. The SF Police Department told us that the two were detained for interfering with medical rescue crews. There was no internal police review and no police officers were disciplined.

    • Senate report set to reveal Djibouti as CIA ‘black site’

      The legal case of a former CIA detainee suing the government of Djibouti for hosting the facility where he says he was detained could be helped by the contents of a still-classified Senate report. Djibouti, a key U.S. ally, has denied for years that its territory has been used to keep suspected Al-Qaeda operatives in secret captivity. But the Senate investigation into the agency’s “detention and interrogation program” concluded that several people had been secretly detained in the tiny Horn of Africa state, two U.S. officials who read an early draft of the report told Al Jazeera.

    • Military judge orders CIA to list ‘black sites’
    • 30 Retired Generals Urge Obama To Declassify The CIA Torture Report

      Thirty retired generals are urging President Obama to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, arguing that without accountability and transparency the practice could be resumed.

      “After taking office, you showed decisive leadership by issuing an executive order banning torture and other forms of abusive interrogation,” the retirees say in an open letter released Thursday.

    • Fine Print: U.S. can’t seem to shake the ‘water cure’ as a method of interrogation

      In a March 11 floor speech, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), said the panel is investigating “the horrible details of a CIA program that never, never, never should have existed.”

      But that quote was from testimony delivered in 1903 by U.S. Army Lt. Grover Flint before the Senate Philippines Committee. Chaired by Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Mass.), the committee was reviewing how U.S. Army units were dealing with Filipino fighters who opposed the United States taking over governing their country in the wake of the Spanish-American War.

    • Nat Hentoff: Lifting secrecy a matter of time
    • Comey: CIA-Senate probe hasn’t drawn in FBI

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