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Links 6/8/2013: gNewSense 3.0 is Out, New NSA Scandals

GNOME bluefish



  • Hacked: Samsung Smart TV is a Linux-Based Web App Ready To Spy on You
    Eke. Smart TVs may be intelligent, but they certainly aren't invincible. A team of researchers at the Black Hat conference this week detailed and warned that Samsung's line of Smart TVs were "rife with vulnerabilities that could leave the devices vulnerable to remote attacks." It sounds eerie, and the potential is certainly huge. Granted, it's important to remember that Black Hat hacks are explained to the companies ahead of time, and the specific hacking methods are kept private in order to keep this from becoming a nefarious thing.

  • Delta selects Sysgo's ELinOS Linux product
    Sysgo announced the port of their Industrial Grade Linux ELinOS to Delta's next generation power system controller.

  • Cost, Alone, Is Sufficent Reason To Choose GNU/Linux For Your Operating System
    Think of that for a moment… If a single organization should lean to GNU/Linux because of the cost of 20 million licences for an OS, how fast should the world move to GNU/Linux on thousands of millions of computers? It’s exactly the same problem, “How do we reduce the cost of the whole system to something more affordable? . It has the same solution, “Use Free/Libre Open Source Software, the GNU/Linux OS.” . Sticking with M$’s OS is succumbing to a divide-and-conquer approach. Together we are bigger and better than M$ and GNU/Linux is our OS. Millions of programmers around the world have worked for years and pooled their resources for everyone to share.

  • Starting a Linux Branch in Srilanka
    My name is janith kashan and i am a software engneer as well as i have done CCNA (Cisco Cerificate In Network Admistartion) so i want to tell you is me and my group can promot linux OS in sril lanka so if my idea is a good one please let me know you can send me a mail to my e mail

  • Linux Top 3: Linux 3.10 Goes Long, Linux 3.11 Advances as LXDE Merges
    Big week for Linux news with major kernel news and a reshaping of the Linux desktop space.

  • When did you start?
    My vote goes to 2006-07. I started in mid-2006 and the chance meeting with Linux was purely political. I had won an uncontested primary for the Green Party’s nomination for Insurance Commissioner of California and, as a Green, I didn’t take corporate contributions. Faced with the prospect of having to buy Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to make campaign materials, the IT guy for the California Green Party asked me if I had heard of “Free/Open Source Software.” I hadn’t, but I was quickly brought up to speed: I didn’t need Adobe — there was Scribus and GIMP that would do the same thing. “Oh, and the Mac you have? It will run an operating system called Linux — try Debian and see how you like it.”

  • Desktop

    • Solar-powered Ubuntu laptop boasts 10-hour battery, 2-hour charge time

    • Sol, the $350 solar-powered rugged Ubuntu laptop that won’t be usable in the sun
      If you’re gifted with independently manipulable eyebrows, now would be the time to raise a single brow. An inventor in Canada claims to have created a solar-powered Ubuntu laptop that can run directly from power generated by its built-in solar panels, or recharge its 10-hour battery with just two hours of sunshine. If that wasn’t enough, the laptop — pretentiously dubbed Sol — is ruggedized for military and off-road use and you also get built-in GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, and 3G/4G LTE. The best bit, though, is the price: The Sol will cost just $350 — or $400 if you want a submersible, waterproof model.

    • Quiet GNU/Linux Revolution in New Zealand
      This is what I observed in schools in Canada. Individuals fed up with holding M$’s train just installed GNU/Linux and moved on leaving “the tax”, the restrictions and phoning home all behind. This is no doubt part of the slowdown in legacy PC shipments. Older PCs are being given new life with GNU/Linux and running and running… just like the EverReady Bunny.

    • Substantial OSS Growth in New Zealand
      I decided to begin my investigations regarding The State of Linux in Asia-Pacific, here in New Zealand. This article is the first in a series. After spending some time in each of the major cities speaking with I.T. leaders and users alike, I find that New Zealand may epitomize successful Linux adoption in this region.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Burning Circle Episode 125
      In this week's episode a Call To Arms is issued relative to testing the extra special Xubuntu Xmir live ISO image in non-virtualized environments as further discussed here. The Xubuntu team is facing a decision-making deadline of August 22nd as to what they're going to do relative to XMir.

  • Kernel Space

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.11 Release Candidate 4
      Last evening, on August 4, Linus Torvalds announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the fourth Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux kernel 3.11.

    • Linux 3.10 will be the longterm support release
      Sticking to his plan to select one longterm stable kernel release every years, Greg KH, the Linux Foundation fellow and a lead kernel developer, has chosen 3.10 as the stable release.

      This release will be maintained for the next two years giving enterprises, embedded players and many millions other to bake their cake on top of that.

    • Kernel prepatch 3.11-rc4

    • AMD Kabini APU Support Comes To Coreboot
      Through a series of commits today to Coreboot, initial support for AMD Kabini APUs is present, courtesy of Advanced Micro Devices and Sage Electronics Engineering. AMD Kabini is the low-power APU targeting sub-notebook/netbook/ultra-thin devices and based upon AMD's Jaguar micro-architecture.

    • Sony Clickpad Support Comes To Wayland's Weston
      Patches were published today that add support to Wayland's Weston compositor for Sony Clickpad touchpads.

    • Graphics Stack

      • VDPAU Library Now Supports DRI_PRIME
        NVIDIA released version 0.7 of libvdpau, the VDPAU wrapper library for interacting with driver-specific Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) implementations.

      • Reverse PRIME Committed To AMD X.Org Driver
        For those concerned about the Reverse PRIME and multi-screen Reverse Optimus enablement for the AMD open-source X.Org driver, the support is now present in its Git tree.

      • NVIDIA's VDPAU Implemented Over OpenGL/VA-API
        Back-ends have been implemented for VDPAU to implement the video hardware-based decoding process over OpenGL and through Intel's VA-API interface, for those not using the NVIDIA binary blob or the VDPAU Gallium3D state tracker.

      • NVIDIA 325.15 Driver Brings Fixes, New GPU Support

      • Nouveau Benchmarks Lack Change On Mesa 9.2
        Phoronix benchmarks have already shown that Mesa 9.2 dramatically improves the Intel Haswell Linux experience and that there's even some performance gains for other intel GPUs. On the AMD Radeon side, Mesa 9.2 also improves the performance for AMD hardware. How does Mesa 9.2 change the game for the Nouveau driver with NVIDIA graphics hardware? Here's some new results looking at the Mesa 9.1 vs. Mesa 9.2 performance for Nouveau, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Fusion Linux Gallium3D Performance Has Improved A Lot
        The performance of the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver for AMD Fusion APUs has improved a lot, but the Gallium3D driver performance still isn't yet on par with the AMD Catalyst binary driver. In this article are a variety of tests from an AMD APU including with the Linux 3.11 dynamic power management support, Mesa Git, and when using the R600 SB shader optimization back-end.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Compiz vs. KWin: Which Window Manager Is Better?
      If you have never messed around with a Linux system, but have seen a YouTube video about it, there’s a high chance that you’ve seen someone show off their fancy desktop effects, most notably the “wobbly windows” effect. These effects are possible due to the window manager software that controls the windows that contain the various programs that you run. However, like most other Linux applications, there’s more than one that does the job, and the top two that offer the complete package are Compiz and KWin. While both of these solutions have their specific areas, we can still compare the objectively to see which one is more customizeable and functional.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 30th June 2013

      • KDE Connect: Fusion your devices with KDE (GSOC 2013)
        Our daily lives are becoming more gadget-assisted every day and (as we approach to the “internet of things”) we have more and more computers around us in the shape of TVs, smartphones, cameras, media centers…

      • Amarok MTP (Android) GSoC: weeks 6 & 7

      • GSoC Status Update – Week 7

      • GSoC - Week 7
        This week, I've been working on exposing Amarok's playlist management and dynamic playlists. The playlist interface pretty much mirrors the internal Amarok hierarchy, exposing three components- the playlist manager, playlist-providers and the playlist objects themselves. No synced playlists for now though.

        The dynamic playlist is, however, a whole different beast. What I want for the dynamic playlists is to have a scriptable bias, besides exposing the existing biases. As far as the existing biases are concerned, I was able to expose them via a single class using some Qt meta-magic:

      • digiKam Software Collection 3.3.0 released...
        digiKam team is proud to announce the release of digiKam Software Collection 3.3.0. This version include a new core implementation to manage faces, especially face recognition feature which have never been completed with previous release. Face detection feature still always here and work as expected.

      • Calligra 2.7.1
        Packages for the release of the Calligra Suite 2.7.1 are available for Kubuntu 13.04, 12.10 and 12.04. You can get it from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. They are also in our development release.

      • Qt5 on openSUSE (including experimental KF5 packages)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME System Monitor 3.9.5 Works in Wayland
        The GNOME developers announced a few days ago the immediate availability for download and testing of the fifth development release towards GNOME System Monitor 3.10, for the upcoming GNOME 3.10 desktop environment.

      • GNOME 3.10 to be Offered for Wayland Beside X
        The GNOME project announced plans for supporting Wayland quite a while ago and progress has been reported incrementally for months. Wayland was supported in GNOME 3.95 for the particularly crafty, but starting with 3.10, binaries will be offered for Wayland right beside X. Matthias Clasen posted of this and other decisions made today at Guadec.

  • Distributions

    • First Impressions of Porteus 2.0

    • Reviewing Kali Linux – the distro for security geeks
      When it comes to hacking, security, forensics thing like that, linux is the only and the preferred tool. Linux is very hacker friendly from ground up. But still there are distros that are more oriented towards assisting hackers. To name a few, backtrack, backbox, blackbuntu etc.

    • New Releases

      • [gNewSense-users] gNewSense 3.0 "Parkes" stable
        The stable release of gNewSense 3.0 is a fact. With the help of GNU Linux-libre and various other people helping to check and hack on freedom issues, we've been able to produce a new major version that aligns with the Free Software Foundation's freedom guidelines as well as Debian's quality standards. You'll find that the look has changed from previous releases, marking the change from Ubuntu to Debian as a base. We also support 3 architectures now: i386, amd64 and mipsel (Lemote Yeeloong).

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • August 2013 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released
        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the August 2013 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

      • Red Hat Continues Global Expansion, Achieves LEED Certification
        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced continued global expansion with new and expanded facilities around the world. Red Hat also announced that its facilities in Raleigh, N.C., Westford, Mass., and Beijing are expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, highlighting the company's commitment to building environmentally sound offices. Today, Red Hat has more than 80 offices worldwide with more than 5,700 employees.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Pi Transform
      When I started this series of blogs, I asked: "Can you do signal processing on the Pi?" I think the answer is a resounding yes.

    • Open Odroid SBC steps up to Samsung Exynos Octa
      Hardkernel and its community Odroid project opened $149 pre-orders on an updated version of the open platform Odroid single board computer, featuring Samsung’s eight-core Exynos 5410 Octa SoC. The Odroid-XU runs Android, Ubuntu, and other Linux OSes, and offers features including an eMMC socket, two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI video, 100Mbit Ethernet, and more.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Open Source Files Released
          Sony has released the open source files for the new Sony Xperia Z Ultra, and you can download the files direct from Sony’s developer website at the link below., the release is in the form of software versions 14.1.B.0.461.

        • Inside Google Ventures' open-source product design process
          Google Ventures is blazing a new trail for venture investors, delivering advice and services to its portfolio companies with in-house teams of experts in the fields of design, marketing, recruiting and engineering. I had a fascinating discussion with Google Ventures design partner Jake Knapp about how he and his four design partners help Google Ventures portfolio companies design better products and better businesses.

        • Microsoft Office Coming to Android Was Inevitable
          Last week, the news broke that Android phone users with Office 365 subscriptions can now download Microsoft Office Mobile App, letting them create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Office Mobile, of course, has been available for Apple devices, but it is notable that Microsoft has cozied up to Android, an open source platform.

        • PiCast Offers Chromecast Functionality for Raspberry Pi
          Much has been made about Google's $35 Chromecast dongle, which lets users stream their desktops and video to large screen TVs, but there is now a similar application for the Raspberry Pi that offers some of the same functionality: PiCast. Its developer has an informational page up here, where he notes: "I thought what do I have that I could use w/HDMI [licensing] and wouldn't be terribly hard to do? My Arduino? Nope BUT my Raspberry Pi can do it all, literally and [at the] same price as the Chromecast."

        • 25 Free Intelligent Games for Android
          Admit it—all those meetings are mind-numbing. So other than slurping coffee by the gallon, what can you do to snap out of brain fog, sharpen your wits and have a little fun while you’re at it? Brainiac game apps ought to do it!

        • Pentesting with Android using dSploit
          The best way to secure your network is to try to tear it down, through penetration testing. With dSploit, you can now do it on the move

        • Cordless phone does DECT, WiFi, GPS on Android 4.0
          Panasonic announced a DECT-compatible digital cordless landline phone that runs Android 4.0 with Google Play access. The KX-PRX120 is equipped with a 3.5-inch, HVGA screen on the handset, which offers a front-facing camera for Skype calls, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS for mobile Android use, but lacks cellular technology.

        • Ink-free printers create photos and labels, run Android
          Zink Imaging announced the launch of two Android-powered, WiFi-enabled label and photo printers that don’t require ink cartridges, but instead use heat to create images on special adhesive-backed paper. The $199 Zinc hAppy and $299 hAppy+, which adds a 3.5-inch touchscreen, are designed to be controlled via Android and iOS apps.

        • Small Android tablets gain as Apple 'buzz' fades
          Small tablets are making big gains, while Apple is beginning to plateau, says market researcher Canalys.

        • Ouya apologizes to Kickstarter supporters, offers $13 credit
          The company offers backers who didn't receive a console until after it was on store shelves a $13.37 credit for use in the Ouya Discovery Store.

        • Android App Development: Handling Extra Camera Capabilities

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • The World and Free/Libre Open Source Software
    I came upon a post by Ashwin Dixit, Ownlifeful: India and Open-Source Software. It’s a brief but reasonable list of advantages for India, or any other country to adopt GNU/Linux widely.

  • Open source in the era of digital marketing
    When Drupal creator Dries Buytaert addressed the inaugural DrupalCon Sydney conference earlier this year he said the open source project's community had to move beyond seeing it purely as a content-management system. Drupal can compete with the proprietary Web experience management solutions provided by companies like Adobe and Sitecore, Buytaert said.

  • Open Source Software Cuts Costs for Startups – Expert

  • Osell Launches Marketing Campaign to Dig Up Open Source Online Retailers and Self-Created Online Retailers
    Osell, a subsidiary of DinoDirect China Limited, has recently launched a marketing campaign that will navigate through the bush of e-commerce practitioners and reach its specialized customers.

    "The purpose of this campaign is to identify our customers more accurately and reach out to them in a more efficient way. The target customers of Osell would be those who already own an e-commerce website, either created by open source software such as Magento and Zen Cart or created by their own technical teams, and intending to sell their products on their websites," the marketing director of Osell Mingpu Su says.

  • Open Source Voting Machine Reborn After 6-Year War With IRS
    At the time, the United States was pumping nearly $4 billion into new voting machines, spurred on by Florida’s 2000 presidential election fiasco. But the shift to machines built by companies such as Election Systems & Software and Sequoia Voting Systems (now called Dominion Voting Systems) had introduced all sorts of new problems.

  • The Top 3 Open Source Platforms That Are Going Mobile
    Notice how everyone is on their smartphones these days? We’re now at the point where mobile Internet usage is poised to actually overtake desktop Internet usage. This tectonic shift is projected to happen within the next year according to many analysts. Sales of mobile devices already surpassed desktop and notebook PC sales in 2012 and we can all see, anecdotally, how people can’t imagine living without their smart phones. This presents a unique challenge to businesses that have previously relied on desktop websites to reach their target market.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • BSD


    • GnuCash 2.5.4 (Unstable) released
      The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 2.5.4, the fifth release in the 2.5.x series of the GnuCash Free Accounting Software which will eventually lead to the stable version 2.6.0. It runs on GNU/Linux, *BSD, Solaris and Mac OSX.

    • Proprietary companies ask European Commission to restrict business models
      Because Android is Free Software and gratis, the non-free software competition cannot compete with it, therefore the market has less alternatives, thus the consumer suffers from this lack of competition. In a nutshell that is the argumentation of the so-called "Fair Search" coalition. Essentially they are asking the European Commission to favour a restrictive business model over a liberal one, which is exactly the opposite of what competition regulators should do in order to achieve a fair market.

    • Hacktivist Richard Stallman takes on proprietary software, SaaS and open source
      During the lecture, held at NYU by HackNY—a nonprofit, organized by Columbia and NYU faculty, whose mission is to “federate the next generation of hackers”—Stallman advocated the benefits of truly free software.


      He also claims software as a service (SaaS) is inherently bad because your information goes through a server beyond your control and that server can add additional software when it likes.

      “The server has your data and it will probably show it to the NSA,” he said to a crowd that was all too aware of recent events with Wikileaks and “our great hero Edward Snowden.” Instead he encourages peer-to peer apps to avoid third parties.

      That’s why he takes issue with open source software. He says it’s booked as a way to have people test and improve code quality at no cost, but it doesn’t give them any control over the software.

      “Our ideals become forgotten,” he said of open source eclipsing free software, and encouraged the audience to keep talking about free software.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Anjuta IDE 3.9.5 Is Available for Download and Testing
      The development team of the Anjuta IDE (Integrated Development Environment) announced a few days ago the immediate availability for download and testing of the fifth development release towards Anjuta 3.10.

    • Python comprehensions for sysadmins

    • LLVM Working On Intel AVX-512 Support
      Intel developers working on the LLVM compiler infrastructure have been working on AVX-512 instruction set support in recent days. Intel AVX-512 instructions support 512-bit SIMD instructions with providing twice the number of data elements handled by AVX/AVX2 with a single instruction and four times that of SSE instructions.

    • OpenMP 4.0 Majorly Advances Parallel Programming
      The OpenMP 4.0 specification has been unveiled as a major new specification for programming of accelerators, SIMD programming, and better optimization using thread affinity.


  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 9,640 Fukushima plant workers reach radiation level for leukemia compensation
      Nearly 10,000 people who worked at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are eligible for workers’ compensation if they develop leukemia, but few are aware of this and other cancer redress programs.

    • Fukushima Leak Is An 'Emergency,' Watchdog Official Says
      An official at Japan's nuclear watchdog told Reuters on Monday radioactive water seeping from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant into the sea constitutes an "emergency," an assessment far more extreme than previously stated.

      "Right now, we have an emergency," head of Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, Shinji Kinjo, told the news service.

    • Argentina: Millions Against Monsanto
      A dozen cities in Argentina mobilized in May to protest the multinational Monsanto. In Cordoba, where Monsanto plans to install its largest plant in Latin America, the march was massive and a survey reveals that the population rejects the company.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Robert Greenwald's war on drones
      In Pakistan, "people are angry, upset, hurting, grieving. This is not something that makes sense either morally or from a national security point of view."

    • Interview: ‘Ask the Wrong People About Drone Deaths and You Can be Killed’
      The US has so far killed more than 2,500 people in its ‘secret’ drone war in Pakistan. All but 22 of 372 recorded CIA strikes have taken place in Waziristan – a hostile and inaccessible area for journalists and researchers.

      In the past two years the Bureau has published three major investigations into CIA strikes in Pakistan – all based on field research in Waziristan. So how has it been able to achieve this?

    • NC Law Grounds Surveillance Drones, But Not All

      These aren’t the airplane-sized drones that the U.S. military and intelligence services have used to seek out and kill alleged terrorists with laser-guided missiles. Instead, they are oversized model planes fitted with cameras, thermal-imaging units and global-positioning systems and often launched by hand. They can be cheaper than a helicopter to operate, so law enforcement agencies are increasingly thinking about using them over U.S. soil. But privacy concerns have brought together liberals concerned about individual freedom with tea partiers suspicious about government in urging restraint when it comes to drones.


      The FBI has said drones allow the FBI to learn critical information that otherwise would be difficult to obtain without introducing serious risk to law enforcement personnel. For example, the FBI used drones at night during a six-day hostage standoff in Alabama earlier this year. It ended when members of an FBI rescue team stormed an underground bunker, killing gunman Jimmy Lee Dykes before he could harm a 5-year-old boy held hostage.

    • Kerry adopts Obama version on drone attacks
      Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, attired in English suit and shinning tie, has finally smiled—thanks to Master John Kerry from the United States of America.

    • President Obama's disastrous counterterrorism legacy
      A president who came into office pledging to take the 'war on terror' out of the shadows plunged it deeper into those shadows

    • [Satire] Fake U.S. Terror Announcements Justify NSA Snooping
      "I told you so!" was the tone coming from the NSA chief today as more terror attack warnings were released all over the place.

      "Now you don't mind being snooped on so much do you, huh, huh, huh?" the NSA chief said then he added, "We just saved your asses from fake terrorist attacks that were never going to happen by unknown terrorists and stuff."

      A man from Devoyne, North Texas said: "Is it safe to come out from under the table now?"

      Many in the Chicago metro area were holed up in basements all night and day yesterday local news stations were reporting.

      In New York city a woman was so scared that she could not talk.

    • CIA Was Smuggling Weapons to Syrian Rebels During Benghazi Embassy Attack: “Unnamed Source”
      The CIA was smuggling weapons from Libyan weapons depots to the Syrian rebels during the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. According to a report by CNN, an unnamed source has leaked that the alleged cover-up of the circumstances around the attack is to hide the reality of the smuggling, which occurred before the escalation of the Syrian civil war. This shows that the CIA has been arming the Syrian rebels since at least September 2012. The agents were running the operation out of the Benghazi “annex,” which has been reported as a secret safehouse of the CIA in the city, not far from the embassy.

    • Stone Wars and Drone Wars
      Stones, instead of rifles or bullets, are the weapon of Kashmir’s newest fighters.

    • Why the CIA cloud contract is worth so much more than $600M; the week in cloud
      We all knew the battle between IBM and Amazon Web Services over which gets to build the CIA cloud goes well beyond the $600 million contract itself. With the U.S. government’s “cloud-first” initiative many billions of dollars worth of business are at stake. Whichever vendor finally gets the nod from the CIA will automatically gain credibility for other government agencies wanting to build secure clouds. In short if IBM wins, no government bureaucrat will be fired for buying IBM cloud. Ditto for AWS.

    • Kass: Was police killing of 95-year-old necessary?
      Common sense tells me that cops don't need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man.

    • Obama’s disastrous counterterrorism legacy

      A president who came into office pledging to take the war on terror out of the shadows plunged it deeper into those shadows

    • 10 ways to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on Americans
      By grounding the drones, we will stop creating new enemies faster than we can kill them.

      2. Close the U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia. One of the reasons Osama bin Laden said he hated the United States was that the United States had military bases in the Holy Lands in Saudi Arabia. President Bush quietly closed those bases in 2003, but in 2010 President Obama secretly reopened a base there for launching drones into Yemen. It’s a national security threat ripe for blowback. So are many of the over 800 U.S. bases peppered all over the world. We can save billions of taxpayer dollars, and make ourselves safer, by closing them.

    • The Coming of Al Qaeda 3.0
      The global terror alert shows the jihadists aren’t just alive and well – they are thriving. Bruce Riedel on the birth of a new terror generation.

    • Not Another al-Qaeda Article
      Last week the LA Times and Washington Post both carried op-eds calling for an end to the so-called War on Terror

    • Hastings Death Examined
      The surveillance video captures the final moments of Hastings life and provides intriguing details of the "crash.” The video shows a flash of light appearing at the 13-14 second mark, the headlights are on at 14 seconds, but all lights are extinguished at the 16-second mark. The car then turns left and the first horizontal explosion appears just after the 16-second mark (it ejects the left front tire across northbound highland approximately 40-50 feet). The second explosion engulfs the engine compartment at the 17-second mark. The third and largest explosion consumes the passenger compartment at the 17-18-second mark.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Voices Rising Against Hedge Fund Millionaire Larry Summers to Head the Fed
      Opposition is growing to the idea of President Obama naming Larry Summers to head the Federal Reserve. As William Greider wrote in The Nation, "Summers is a toxic retread from the old boys’ network and a nettlesome egotist who offended just about everyone during his previous tours in government. More to the point, Summers was a central player in the grave governing errors that led to the financial collapse and a ruined economy."

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Groups Charge ALEC With Tax Fraud Over Secretive "Scholarship" Fund That Finances Junkets for State Lawmakers
      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is running a secretive, multi-million dollar slush fund that finances lavish trips for state legislators and has misled the Internal Revenue Service about the fund’s activity, two government watchdog groups charged today.

    • For Rush Limbaugh, The Damage Is Done
      One week after it was first reported that talk radio giant Cumulus Media might cut ties with Rush Limbaugh and pull his show from 40 of its stations nationwide, the end result of the contractual showdown remains unclear. But we do know this: The damage has been done to Limbaugh and his reputation inside the world of AM radio as an untouchable star.

    • BART Strike lessons: The media is not neutral.
      At the height of the Occupy Movement the support for these mostly young people was considerable. They were attacking the 1% and speaking out for all workers. Here in Oakland I remember being on the back of a flatbed truck about to speak on the day of the big strike that shut down three shifts at the port of Oakland and felt a tug at my ankle. It was my former boss.

      As I looked out in to the crowd, some estimates put at 30 to 40 thousand I saw co-workers and management personnel who I never see at events like these. People have had enough. Thousands of decent jobs lost, people thrown out of their homes in to the street, poor people cut off from public assistance and those protesting the shutting down of fire stations in their neighborhoods or the state parks where they took their families for the only affordable vacation around, were there looking for some solution to this crisis that is being shifted on to the shoulders of workers and the middle class. And this, after we bailed out the bankers and dragged their system from the edge of the abyss. Older people, the disabled, youth, a Lucky Stores worker earning $21 an hour after more than 40 years on the job described how powerful the feeling was to be there that day and shut down the docks.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy 2013: Why. When. How. A talk by Werner Koch

    • Metadata is in the eye of the beholder
      The intelligence community has been harping on the word "metadata" to try to underscore that the information they collected is not quite "data", is not subject to the same limits, and is not quite as bad. I want to put an end to this charade, by way of an analogy.

    • Inside The Plot To Egg The Director Of The NSA

    • How DEA programme differs from recent NSA revelations
      Former spy-agency contractor Edward Snowden has caused a fierce debate over civil liberties and national-security needs by disclosing details of secret U.S. government surveillance programmes.

    • DEA & NSA – Exposed ! Breaking Laws to Catch Law Breakers
      Documents obtained by Reuters have revealed that the US Drug Enforcement Administration has a secretive unit assigned to conducting unconstitutional surveillance techniques and transmitting the information to agencies across the country to aid in criminal investigations.

    • Other Gov't Agencies Seek Access to NSA Spy Tools

    • DEA Using NSA Records In Investigations

    • Leaked docs: SOD squad feeds NSA intelligence to drug enforcement plods

    • US drug agency gets intel from NSA, then lies about its origins to build cases
      On Monday, Reuters reported on previously undisclosed documents showing that a secret Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) unit uses information collected by intelligence agencies—including the National Security Agency (NSA)—to build evidence for criminal cases. The true origin of this information is usually concealed from defense lawyers—and sometimes even prosecutors and judges—to seemingly do an end-run around the normal court procedures for a criminal defendant’s right to discovery.

    • U.S. drug agents use secret NSA intercepts: report

    • The NSA is Snitching On You to the Cops
      A day after a New York Times story broke on the intense jockeying for NSA intelligence from various agencies within the federal government, Reuters has published an explosive report on the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and its collaboration with the NSA and other agencies providing intelligence.

    • NSA files show privacy does not exist
      No apocryphal levity this week. Instead, a sombre look into an almost-present future. For once, Tim Cook isn't holding his cards close to his chest; he makes no secret of Apple's interest in wearable technologies. Among the avenues for notable growth (in multiples of $10bn), I think wearable devices are a good fit for Apple, more than the likable but just-for-hobbyist TV, and certainly more than the cloudy automotive domain where Google Maps could be a hard obstacle.

    • GenieDB’s New Distributed Database Service Addresses Coming NSA Fallout Over Failed Data Protection
      GenieDB has launched a MySQL distributed database service to manage data across multiple regions and cloud providers, making it suited to companies with concerns about the NSA having access to their data.

    • Congress hasn’t gotten basic information on NSA activities
      Members of Congress have complained that they have been repeatedly rebuffed when trying to get the most basic information about the activities of the National Security Agency and the secret court that oversees its activities.

      Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported that at least two members of Congress feel that they haven’t received adequate information about the NSA’s most basic activities.

    • NSA Snooping Scandal: US Congressmen Denied Access to Basic Prism Information
      Two Congressmen, Republican Representative of Virginia Morgan Griffith and Democratic Representative of Florida Alan Grayson, have told The Guardian that despite their repeat requests for details of the NSA's Prism programme, the US Intelligence Committee has refused to provide them with any information.

    • Sen. Dick Durbin Wants The NSA To Reveal The Scope Of Its Phone Surveillance Program
      In late July, Rep. Justin Amash proposed an amendment to the annual Defense spending bill that would prevent the NSA from targeting anybody not currently under an investigation. Unsurprisingly, the amendment was voted down. Now one Senator is trying the same thing in the Senate, but his attempt might be more successful.

    • US lawmakers say embassy closures prove need for NSA programs

    • Embassy Scares 'Welcome For Under-Fire NSA'

      Washington moves quickly. Some 22 embassies are 'closed'.

      Within hours senators are defending the National Security Agency's highly controversial programmes for intercepting, that means bugging of some kind, of emails and phones across the US and the rest of the world.

    • US embassy closures used to bolster case for NSA surveillance programs

    • NSA "betrayal" means hackers less likely to work with government
      The US government's efforts to recruit talented hackers could suffer from the recent revelations about its vast domestic surveillance programs, as many private researchers express disillusionment with the National Security Agency.

    • German minister calls on secret service to explain complicity in NSA snooping
      The German secret service must explain why it handed over metadata to the NSA, a minister has said. Germany’s government claimed it was ignorant of the activity of the secret service, which was described as being “in bed with the US” by Edward Snowden.

    • Systematic Deceit from the NSA
      When General Michael Hayden sat down to tape Fox News Sunday, he blinked quickly and acknowledged Chris Wallace's introduction. Then, in response to Wallace's third question, he proceeded to tell a huge whopper, without ever losing eye contact with the camera and the audience. That would be us.

    • The DEA is Using NSA Surveillance and Covering It Up
      On August 5, Reuters revealed that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is storing wiretaps and other intelligence intercepts, some of which it obtains from the NSA, in a massive database called DICE. The agency then uses DICE to launch investigations against drug and arms smugglers.

    • 1984 Day Protests Demand End To NSA Spying, Restoration Of Fourth Amendment Rights

    • “Restore the Fourth 1984 Day”: Hundreds Rally For Privacy Against NSA
      In a nationwide show that they care about their constitutional rights and are willing to take a stand for them, hundreds of Americans gathered in over a dozen US cities on Sunday, to protest against US government surveillance programs.

    • DEA Program Differs From Recent NSA Revelations
      Former spy-agency contractor Edward Snowden has caused a fierce debate over civil liberties and national security needs by disclosing details of secret U.S. government surveillance programs.

    • Researchers say Tor-targeted malware phoned home to NSA
      JavaScript attack had a hard-coded IP address that traced back to NSA address block.

    • DEA follows NSA to the dark side with covert spying on Americans (report)

    • How DEA programme differs from recent NSA revelations

    • DEA unit uses NSA-style surveillance tactics to hunt down drug perps
      The NYPD did not respond to questions regarding whether it had received intelligence from the Special Operations Division.

    • Congress members blocked from NSA oversight
      Documents reveal how two Congress members were refused requests for information on NSA dragnets

    • HOWTO reform the NSA
      The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Cindy Cohn and Trevor Timm have compiled an extensive list of things to demand from NSA reform legislation, from obvious things like ending bulk collection to crucial legal subtleties like fixing the problem of standing in cases regarding surveillance.

    • What Should, and Should Not, Be in NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation
      Following a wave of polls showing a remarkable turn of public opinion, Congress has finally gotten serious about bringing limits, transparency and oversight to the NSA’s mass surveillance apparatus aimed at Americans.

      While we still believe that the best first step is a modern Church Committee, an independent, public investigation and accounting of the government’s surveillance programs that affect Americans, members of Congress seem determined to try to enact fixes now. Almost a dozen bills have already been introduced or will be introduced in the coming weeks.

    • Wikipedia to block NSA spies
      Following Snowden’s release of classified data from CIA and NSA, blowing the whistle on various government programs that spied on citizens; many big Internet firms have admitted that they were helping the intelligence agencies by providing personal data and private information regarding conversations and correspondence via email or even texting.


      HTTPS is the secure version of the most popular Internet exchange protocol, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol.

    • Cloud computing industry could lose up to $35bn on NSA disclosures

    • NSA revelations could cost U.S. lead in cloud computing

    • Uproar over new details on German NSA ties
      Germany's BND foreign intelligence service is said to have forwarded massive amounts of data to the NSA - legally, it maintains - because information on German citizens was not included. Opposition parties are outraged.

    • Why Won't They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

    • Can the NSA wiretap your phone at will?
      The Guardian's NSA files have awakened many a curiosity about the actual technological capacity of the government. What it does do is a most important question; what it can do is only slightly less germane.

      Still, there's a lot we don't know about some basic questions. For example, is it true, as Edward Snowden boasted, that an analyst can "wiretap" anyone simply because he or she chooses to do so?

      Here's the basic gist of an answer:

      The NSA has the capability to wiretap anyone it targets. It does not have the immediate capability to target Americans at will, but it does have the capability to change capabilities — to a point — to allow it to actually wiretap any American at will.

    • Cyber Attack On Tor Could Contain A Secret Message From The NSA
      There was a big cyber attack on anonymous online network Tor over the weekend that led to the bust of an alleged child pornography "facilitator" by the FBI.

    • Former CIA terrorism expert questions need for GCSB changes
      A visiting US expert on terrorism says it is hard to imagine al Qaeda training anyone in New Zealand. Glenn Carle, who was the CIA's former deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats, is visiting New Zealand as part of a book tour and was referring to recent justifications for the GCSB bill by the Prime Minister.

    • Former CIA terrorism expert questions need for GCSB bill

    • Sources tell CNN 22 CIA agents at Benghazi consulate during attack
      Sources told CNN more than 20 CIA agents were at or near the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed.

    • Benghazigate: CIA Whistleblowers Warned, “You Don’t Jeopardize Yourself, You Jeopardize Your Family as Well”

    • CIA administering polygraphs to operatives to keep them silent on Benghazi

    • Record shows Abbottabad Commission was penetrated by CIA
      A mind-blowing detail has emerged from the internal correspondence of NGO Save the Children disclosing its infiltration into the Abbottabad Commission to save its skin following allegations of the CIA’s penetration into the NGO in a hunt for Osama bin Laden through Dr Shakil Afridi, now under arrest in Peshawar.

      “Some of us suspected that the khakis had access to the record and receive daily updates but never realised an NGO had infiltrated too,” said an official privy to the Commission’s working.

      The leaked communication indicates that Lt Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed, an unofficial representative of the Army and ISI in the Commission, was allegedly cultivated by Save the Children who would offer him ‘how-to-do’ bailout advice, even sharing details about the internal politics of the Commission and classified record, something in radical contradiction to his reputation as a thorough professional and a man of integrity.

      He briefed the deputy country director of Save the Children, according to the email, about the views of different members, staunch opposition from a panel colleague, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, resulting in his dissenting note on the NGO and other institutions, and Gen (retd) Nadeem’s plan to effectively counter this note in collaboration with Justice (R) Javed Iqbal, the Chairman.

    • New evidence CIA drone strikes targeted Pakistan first responders
      A field investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has uncovered fresh evidence that the CIA briefly resumed targeting first responders to drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas with 'double-tap' attacks. The Bureau, a non-profit, non-partisan, London-based news organization, first reported that the US deliberately targeted first responders attempting to rescue drone strike victims with follow-up attacks, called 'double-tap' strikes, in February 2012. In addition to targeting rescuers, CIA drones also attacked people attending funerals of suspected militants killed by US forces.

    • Bay of Pigs redux: Caracas claims CIA-linked Cuban exiles planned to kill president
      Venezuelan officials warned of an alleged plot to assassinate the country’s President and launch a paramilitary invasion of the country. A former CIA agent, Cuban exiles living in the US and Latin American leaders were fingered in the conspiracy

      President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chavez, first alleged that his enemies want him dead while on the campaign trail in April.

    • Former CIA agent blames Bush, Rice for kidnapping of Egyptian cleric in Italy
      The CIA inflated the case of a kidnapped Egyptian cleric in order to protect high-ranked government officials from prosecution in Italy, a former intelligence agent admits for the first time.

      Sabrina De Sousa, 55, has long denied involvement with the CIA, and even asked the United States for immunity after she was charged by Italian officials for the 2003 “extraordinary rendition” of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr. But a decade after that kidnapping, the case has reemerged in recent days upon news that her former CIA boss in Milan was captured in Panama, only to be sent back to the US in lieu of what would have likely turned into an extradition request from Italy.

    • CIA scales down Afghanistan operations amid troop pullout
      The CIA is seeking to reduce the number of its Afghanistan bases of operation from a dozen to as few as six over two years, going with the overall American withdrawal. But even after 2014, it will maintain a significant footprint.

    • Benghazi CIA personnel silenced by Obama Regime threats (Video)

    • Bombshell Report On Benghazi Attack Alleges CIA Presence, Possible Cover-Up

    • The Attack in Benghazi: Worth Investigating After All
    • CIA Activities in Libya Unmasked
    • Benghazi bombshell: Accusations CIA 'covered-up info' surface (Video)
    • Report: CIA frequently polygraph tests Benghazi-involved agents to prevent leaks
    • CIA Spying On Its Own Operatives
    • Report: CIA Personnel Pressured to Keep Quiet About Benghazi
    • US drones kill four in North Yemen
      Two US drone strikes killed four suspected al-Qaeda terrorists Tuesday morning in Yemen's Mareb province.

    • US drones Kill Four in north Yemen

    • Shuttered embassies, the NSA, and the balance between fear and safety

    • Greenwald: Is U.S. Exaggerating Threat to Embassies to Silence Critics of NSA Domestic Surveillance?
      The Obama administration has announced it will keep 19 diplomatic posts in North Africa and the Middle East closed for up to a week, due to fears of a possible militant threat. On Sunday, Senator Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the decision to close the embassies was based on information collected by the National Security Agency. "If we did not have these programs, we simply would not be able to listen in on the bad guys," Chambliss said, in a direct reference to increasing debate over widespread spying of all Americans revealed by Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. "Nobody has ever questioned or disputed that the U.S. government, like all governments around the world, ought to be eavesdropping and monitoring the conversations of people who pose an actual threat to the United States in terms of plotting terrorist attacks," Greenwald says.
    • Guess How Bribes Affected NSA Spying Votes in Congress
    • Feds Are Suspects in New Malware That Attacks Tor Anonymity
      Security researchers tonight are poring over a piece of malicious software that takes advantage of a Firefox security vulnerability to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network.
    • Hacking attack on Tor allegedly linked to SAIC and NSA
      The IP address hardcoded into the 0-day Firefox javascript, used to compromise the Tor network via a version of Tor bundle has been traced back to Science Applications International Corp (a company investigated by Blue Cabinet) which has worked with former Edward Snowden employer Booz Allen Hamilton, is an NSA contractor, has supplied communications technology to the Assad regime, and also developed a tool for the NSA called – wait for it – PRISM.
    • DIGITS: Is 41 percent the ceiling for NSA support?
      All told, the poll found support ranged from a low of 16 percent (for a program collecting the content of U.S. communications without any mention of court approval or anti-terrorism efforts) to a high of 41 percent (if the government gathered metadata with court approval as part of anti-terrorism efforts).
    • Far more intrusive than NSA, U.S. drug agency tries to cover tracks over surveillance

      With concern rising high over the intrusion wrought by the National Security Agency, with the emails and telephone calls of U.S. citizens being recorded, the low-profile U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit has been up to similar tactics.
    • The NSA and Global Terror Alerts
      The greatest threats to peace of mind and security remain, not stateless agents fumbling over dirty bombs and vicious rhetoric, but States and State agencies. Being mindful of their errors, and being concerned over their infractions, should be at the forefront of our minds. Besides, the idea of a terrorist threat is like Freudian subconsciousness: almost always unprovable.
    • Intelligence does little to boost image of NSA’s database
      Even if the weekend’s intelligence warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks in the Middle East came from electronic eavesdropping abroad by the National Security Agency, that would not ease congressional opposition to the NSA’s mass collection of domestic phone records, lawmakers from both parties said Monday.
    • Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
      A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
    • Intel chips could let US spies inside: expert
      One of Silicon Valley’s most respected technology experts, Steve Blank, says he would be “surprised” if the US National Security Agency was not embedding “back doors” inside chips produced by Intel and AMD, two of the world’s largest semiconductor firms, giving them the possibility to access and control machines.
    • Are we at risk of a ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ snooping culture emerging?
      Our report on private investigators, published earlier this year, highlighted the growing use of the industry by public authorities, with particular concern being raised about the occasions that they were used without RIPA authorisation.
    • What Should Be in the NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation?
      Following a wave of polls showing a remarkable turn of public opinion, Congress has finally gotten serious about bringing limits, transparency and oversight to the NSA’s mass surveillance apparatus aimed at Americans.
    • A Business Proposal for the NSA
      ...funnel me information on a daily basis about where the fish are located.

    • Former NSA chief warns of cyber-terror attacks if Snowden apprehended
      Michael Hayden, who also headed the CIA, speculates on global hacker response if Edward Snowden brought back to US
    • Long-Sleepy Privacy Board Gets New Life After NSA Disclosures
      The little-known Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created in 2007 on a 9/11 Commission recommendation, was limping along for years with no appointees or staff leadership. All that changed with this summer’s revelations of domestic surveillance of Americans’ telephone activity by the National Security Agency.

      The board -- an independent agency that consists of four part-time members and a full-time chair who advise the president and Congress on the balance between security and privacy -- this month will finally welcome its first executive director, attorney Sharon Bradford Franklin. That’s after it took more than two years for President Obama to nominate and for the Senate to approve the board members—Chairman David Medine was just confirmed in May.
    • Is Google an arm of the NSA?
      Are Microsoft & Google arms of the State?

      What we’re witnessing is the revelation that big-name Corporate America (and Corporate Elsewhere as well) has been folded into the U.S. government (the State) since at least 2007, though my guess is that this has been going on slowly for a long time.
    • How Does The NSA Work The Press? – OpEd
      It’s not unusual to come across a report in the New York Times that reeks of government oversight — a report that should have some kind of reader health warning such as: “The U.S. government approves this message.”


      This is clearly such a self-serving narrative for the NSA, one has to wonder: who initiated the report? The New York Times or the NSA?

      My first response when reading this was to simply think: spare me the bullshit about the choir boys who run the NSA.

      Rather than post a clip here and bother explaining why it stank, it seemed better ignored.

      But then an exclusive report from Reuters appeared — a report revealing that in blatant disregard for the United States Constitution, the NSA does indeed provide law enforcement agencies with intelligence intercepts.

      That the Reuters report would come out within hours of the New York Times report could be a stunning coincidence, but if you believe that you probably also believe that NSA chief Keith Alexander and DNI James Clapper would never lie.

      That government officials spoon-feed stories to press stenographers is not exactly news. However, the “coincidence” of these two reports does suggest an additional and more disturbing explanation about how the NSA is able to play the media: through surveillance of journalists as they are gathering information for news reports.

      Why would the NSA not regard reporting about the NSA as raising national security concerns? Indeed, what better way could there be of tracking down leakers than by keeping a close eye on the relatively small number of journalists who are likely to be contacted by any would-be whistle-blower?
    • German Minister calls for punishment of US companies involved in NSA spying
      The revelations of mass online spying by US government agencies that involved cooperation from the British and the German governments and intelligence services, as well as the upcoming elections have forced the German government to try to match the indignation of the country's citizens with some action.

      A few days ago they symbolically called off the Cold War-era surveillance pact with the US and Britain, and now German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is calling for EU-wide punitive measures to be introduced for corporations that have been found participating in the US spying activities.
    • Binney Contends NSA Gathers Content: Daily Whistleblower News
      PBS Newshour recently featured an interview with NSA whistleblower/GAP client Bill Binney and a clip from the GAP conference, “Whistleblowers, Journalists, and the New War Within.” Also interviewed was fellow NSA whistleblower Russ Tice, and former NSA Inspector General Joel Brenner, who challenges both Binney and Tice. The whistleblowers discuss, among other things, how their suspicions of the agency’s data collection activities have grown to match the full€­ scale operation that the American public is learning about today.
    • Government Officials Hoping Terror Threat ‘Diverts Attention’ From NSA Spying Scandal
      In a troubling vindication for the cynics, it seems government officials in Washington are celebrating the recent announcement of a terror threat to US interests around the world as a happy distraction from the NSA spying scandal.
    • New York Times Edit: “No One Has Questioned the N.S.A.’s Role in Collecting Intelligence Overseas”
      It’s outrageous, the Times suggests, that Chambliss would raise this point, because “No one has questioned the N.S.A.’s role in collecting intelligence overseas, but the debate is about domestic efforts to vacuum up large volumes of data on the phone calls of every American that are legally questionable and needlessly violate Americans’ rights.”

      I’m not making that last quotation up.

      Nobody has questioned the N.S.A.’s role in collecting intelligence overseas?
    • NYT: Other Agencies Complain that NSA and FBI Do Not Share Collected Data
      According to the NYT report, several government agencies have complained that the NSA and the FBI shut them out of any data they collect. The NSA has refused these requests from other agencies due to "legal constraints" and "privacy concerns."
    • NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication – OpEd
    • Federal Agencies Want NSA Data to Help Nab Copyright Violators
      The primary defense of the necessity of the US National Security Agency’s broad spying powers—including, apparently, recording pretty much everything anyone anywhere is doing on the internet—is that its activities are necessary to protect against terrorists and violent criminals. But a report published Saturday in the New York Times indicates that federal agencies with far more mundane mandates are unable to resist the lure of the NSA’s vast trove of data.
    • The NSA is giving your phone records to the DEA. And the DEA is covering it up.
      A day after we learned of a draining turf battle between the NSA and other law enforcement agencies over bulk surveillance data, it now appears that those same agencies are working together to cover up when those data get shared.
    • Demonstrations hit US cities to protest NSA surveillance, call for privacy protections
    • Turf battles over NSA intelligence
    • U.S. extends embassy closings; warnings renew debate over NSA data collection
      The closing of U.S. embassies in 21 predominantly Muslim countries and a broad caution about travel during August that the State Department issued on Friday touched off debate Sunday over the National Security Agency’s sweeping data collection programs.

      Congressional supporters of the program, appearing on Sunday morning talk shows, said the latest rounds of warnings of unspecified threats showed that the programs were necessary, while detractors said there was no evidence linking the programs, particularly the massive collection of cell phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans, to the vague warnings of a possible terrorist attack.
    • Has the Gov't Lied on Snooping? Let's Go to the Videotape
    • Big Brother Is Watching: NSA Internet Surveillance Program XKeyscore Revealed
      Following the controversy stirred up by ex-intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, who leaked info about mass surveillance programs to the media, new info surfaces about a top secret NSA program called XKeyscore that monitors "nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet."
    • Is the Secret FISA Court Constitutional?
      Americans are just beginning to discover that a secret court has been 1 to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. They are also learning that this court is made up primarily of conservative activists from the Republican Party who have no respect for the original intent of the Constitution’s framers.
    • American democracy and the NSA
      Imagine a government that spies on its citizens, often without warrants.


      This is not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Decisions about use of government authority to maintain national security should be debated in an open and transparent fashion. The government should be required in open court subject to public scrutiny to justify why it needs to monitor communications among its citizens, demonstrating that it has met the constitutional burden of particularized suspicion. This is what Americans fought a war of independence for, and it is supposedly what separates the United States from undemocratic countries. Limiting discretion to protect rights is what the law is supposed to do, it is why the law matters.
    • Open Ballot: Is the internet dead?
      The NSA, GCHQ, Frenchelon and their counterparts in other countries are spying on every detail of our online lives. Even the once-private lands of Tor are no longer safe. Here in the UK, David Cameron wants our ISPs to start filtering our web content to protect our innocent minds.
    • NSA: Keeping Us Safe From…Dope Pedddlers
      The Justice Department says it is reviewing the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Special Operations Division”—the subject of an explosive report published by Reuters on Monday. The SOD works to funnel information collected by American intelligence agencies to ordinary narcotics cops—then instructs them to “phony up investigations,” as one former judge quoted in the story put it, in order to conceal the true source of the information. In some instances, this apparently involves not only lying to defense attorneys, but to prosecutors and judges as well.

    • Kathy Castor defends her vote against defunding the NSA, and slams Edward Snowden

    • Chats, Web Searches Added to NSA Spying Claims; Privacy4Patriots Encourages Lawmakers to Rein in Agency

    • The Big Def Con Question: Would You Work for the NSA?
      Premier hacker conference Def Con, which just wrapped up its 21st year, played host to security professionals who all had very different opinions on what the NSA is up to. In fact, the only thing everyone could agree on is that the PRISM revelations came as no surprise.

    • Malware That Took Down Freedom Hosting Could Be The Property Of NSA

      Malware used to identify Tor users contacted an IP address owned by US government agency, researchers claim

  • Civil Rights

    • Ohio Action Alert: Time to Nullify Indefinite Detention Locally
      Government bodies at the local level can step into the fray. Counties and cities can refuse to assist any federal attempts at indefinite detention in their jurisdictions. These measures will not only provide practical protections for their citizens, they will send a strong message to Columbus.

      When you build a network of support from the ground up, it will create a strong mechanism to demand that your state legislature will do the same. One step, and one community at a time, you can nullify indefinite detention.

    • The fate of half a million political prisoners
      VALENTIN CRISTEA , an 83-year-old engineer living in the tiny Romanian town of Comarnic, will never forget a day more than 55 years ago. On February 8th 1956, he was arrested by the Securitate, Romania’s notorious secret police, because he was accused of links with an anti-Communist resistance group. He was sentenced to five years in prison for disclosure of state secrets and jailed at the Râmnicu Sărat prison.

    • Rail Service Workers Go on Strike Demanding an End to Illegal Firings
      From July 26th to 29th, Management at Mobile Rail Solutions fired three workers actively engaged in unionizing efforts. The termination of these organizers is a direct attack on their Union drive and apparent retaliation for their recent OSHA filings. Management then threatened to continue firing workers showing no respect for their employees or labor law.

      In response, the workers have self-organized a strike and will be picketing at Union Pacific's Global 1 location in Chicago, Illinois. They demand a meeting with Mobile Rail's general manager to discuss the recent wave of Unfair Labor Practices and for the reinstatement of their three fired workers. With most workers coming to the picket line, they expect locomotive servicing will come to a halt.

    • Online abuse: The Greater Threat

      I’ll start by saying that anyone reading the awful comments made towards these people will agree that they are appalling, unacceptable and have no place at all in any sort of reasoned debate/world. I’ll also say that in respect of the issue that caused this (more females appearing on bank notes) I fully supported this campaign at the time, I think notable women from history should have been on UK bank notes years ago without the need for a campaign to get the ball rolling – And if any of these Twitter abusers want to send threatening comments to me, please do so, we can all have a laugh at your expense.

      And this is what the article is about. Laughing. Laughing at the commenter’s who made such disgusting remarks. Perhaps the one issue of this story which sticks in my throat though is the fact that this has been going on for years. I’ve had my wife threatened (via the comments section on this very blog) I’ve had accusations and insults thrown at me and even now, Microsoft Advocates that are anonymous on Usenet still abuse/insult myself and others – the reason? We support and champion an alternative to Microsoft. Want to see what these “people” get up to? Check out the last 15 or so years of posts on comp.os.linux.advocacy by posters such as “Flatfish”, “DFS”, “Cola Zealot”, “Hadron” to name a few. These people have spent around 15 years abusing regulars of that group under those and many other nyms – the “crime”? to dare to suggest that there may be better alternatives to Microsoft products. – I’ve never considered taking these issues to the police. Why? Because I am an adult and can handle it myself.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Other Government Agencies Wanted Access To NSA Surveillance Data For Other Investigations... Including Copyright Infringement
        To its credit (and I can't believe I'm saying that), it appears that the NSA has rejected most of these requests, saying that those other issues are not high enough of a priority and they don't want to violate privacy rights (don't laugh). Still, given how much pressure is coming from other agencies of the government, you have to expect that sooner or later the NSA will be pressured into opening up the data to other parts of the government. In fact, part of the concern about CISPA and other cybsersecurity legislation wasn't just that it would put the NSA in control over such information, but that it also made it clear that government agencies would be free to share that data with each other, for almost any investigative purpose.

      • Administration Can't Let Go: Wants To Bring Back Felony Streaming Provisions Of SOPA
        We've been working our way through a paper released last week by the Commerce Department, concerning copyright reform, and will have a much more detailed post about it soon (there's a lot in there), but over at the Washington Post, they're highlighting the silly recommendation to bring back the plan to make unauthorized streaming a felony. This was a part of SOPA and was widely discussed. It wasn't technically in PIPA, but there was something of a "companion" bill from Senator Amy Klobuchar that effectively had the same thing. This got a fair amount of attention when Justin Bieber was asked about the law, and said that Klobuchar should be locked up.

      • SOPA died in 2012, but Obama administration wants to revive part of it
        You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony.

        As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.

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Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Android Rises to New Highs of Almost 80% in Cameroon
How many dozens of nations will see Windows at under 10% this coming winter?
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day
Microsoft Falls Further and Closer Towards 10% (Windows "Market Share") in Kuwait
more countries entering the "single-digit Windows" (under 10%) club
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Antenna's Pro-Hamas Bias Revisited and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day
[Video] Julian Assange, Over One Decade Ago, Cautioning About What the Internet Had Truly Become
video is not new
Homage to Malta
Malta is probably easy for Microsoft to bribe
IRC at 16
Logging has been used for us and against us
In Malta, Android/Linux Has Overtaken Microsoft Windows (According to statCounter)
statCounter milestone?
Links 15/07/2024: China’s Economic Problems, Boeing Under Fire
Links for the day
500 Days' Uptime Very Soon
Good luck doing that with Windows...
Windows Falls Below 20% in Tunisia
A month ago we wrote about GNU/Linux in Tunisia
Links 15/07/2024: Google Wants Wiz and Why "Sports Ruin Everything"
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and Sending Files via NNCP
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 14, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 14, 2024