Bonum Certa Men Certa

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

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Free Software/Open Source


  • David Lowe: I thought, 'The Sun Has Got His Hat On'. Now that's a nice, safe choice
    'The BBC is fundamentally flawed. The system is fractured’: David Lowe at home in Torquay
  • Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours
    Adobe is struggling to correct a global outage that has already locked customers out of its Creative Cloud online services for nearly 24 hours.

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

  • Cloud computing, or 'The future is trying to KILL YOU'

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

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

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Obamacare Loophole Shows Failure of For-Profit Health System: Critics
      The Obama administration earlier this month quietly handed the insurance industry another loophole in the Affordable Care Act—infuriating advocates for universal coverage who say this shows that an insurance-driven health system is doomed to fail.

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

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

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • East Ukraine Votes For Independence As Reports Claim 400 Blackwater Troops In Country

    • Is the West DIRECTLY Responsible for the Massacres In Ukraine?

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

    • Muslims Call Out Obama’s Hypocrisy With Twitter Campaign Attacking Civilian Drone Deaths
    • Drone opponents criticise US first lady’s support for Nigerian girls
    • 'My husband kills kids with drones': Michelle Obama's viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign
      When US First Lady Michelle Obama appeared in a picture supporting the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, she was praised for taking a stand against Boko Haram. But others quickly subverted her message and turned it into an anti-drone campaign.

    • Michelle's Sign and the Imperatives of Empire
      But most Americans do not know why Iranians have excellent reason not to trust our word, nor why Africans remember us quite differently than Americans suppose.

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

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

    • Kill a 16 Year-Old, Get a Promotion
      If you think that as a United States citizen you’re entitled to a trial by jury before the government can decide to kill you–– you’re wrong. During his stint as a lawyer at the Department of Justice, David Barron was able to manipulate constitutional law so as to legally justify killing American citizens with drone strikes. If you’re wondering what the justification for that is, that’s just too bad – the legal memos are classified. Sounds a little suspicious, doesn’t it? What’s even more suspicious is that now the Obama Administration wants to appoint the lawyer who wrote that legal memos to become a high-ranking judge for life.

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

    • Deadly U.S. Drone War Creating Problems for Yemen's President
      After a brief respite, U.S. drones are buzzing above Yemen once again, reportedly killing six al-Qaeda “militants” on May 12.

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

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

    • Do We Need Asimov's Laws?
      As robots become ever more present in daily life, the question of how to control their behaviour naturally arises. Does Asimov have the answer?

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

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

    • Should robots kill without human supervision?

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

    • RAW DATA: Kiwi killed in drone strike — Patrick Gower interviews Jeremy Scahill

    • NZ 'aware' of US drone attacks - journalist
    • Journalist: NZ spies aware of drone strikes
    • Gvt's role in US drone attacks 'pretty scandalous'

    • MH370: Ask Boeing and CIA, don't blame MAS, says Dr Mahathir
      Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday suggested that Boeing and the Central Intelligence Agency should be questioned over the missing Flight MH370.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Dr Mahathir adds CIA to list of suspects

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tony Abbott's budget emergency: what are the facts?

    • Murdoch-owned media hypes lone metereologist's climate junk science
      This morning I, like any of you, was disappointed to see that the frontpage of The Times carried a story by the paper's environment editor, Ben Webster, which read, 'Scientists in cover-up of "damaging" climate view.'

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Swiss consider world's highest minimum wage
      Voters expected to say "no" to union-initiated referendum that would raise basic income to more than $4,000 a month.

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

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

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Enigmail, and Not Signing by Default

    • Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA
      A web of deception has finally been untangled: the Justice Department got the US supreme court to dismiss a case that could have curtailed the NSA's dragnet. Why?

    • Glenn Greenwald on Hong Kong's key role in Snowden's NSA document leak

    • The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power
      Modern American privacy law begins with Charles Katz, an accused gambler, making a call from a Los Angeles phone booth. In a now-famous opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan concluded that the US Constitution protected Katz's "expectation of privacy" in his call. American phone booths are now a thing of the past, of course, and Americans' expectations of privacy seem to be fast disappearing, too.

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

    • Crypto-guru slams 'NSA-proof' tech, says today's crypto is strong enough
      History is filled with companies shamed by their shoddy cryptography implementations – even though the underlying maths is bang on.

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

    • Photos reveal NSA tampered with Cisco router prior to export
      For years, the US government has accused Chinese companies of placing surveillance equipment inside routers being exported to America, but this week evidence suggests the exact opposite may be happening.

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

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

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

    • Sprint was the only telco to stand up to the NSA
      Newly declassified documents show the dilemma faced by telecommunications companies when the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) came calling.

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

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email
      One new email service promising "end-to-end" encryption launched on Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

    • Many more NSA revelations to come, Glenn Greenwald tells Al Jazeera; Snowden 'very happy'
      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, at the centre of controversy since breaking the story about the existence of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme, has told Al Jazeera that there are "many more stories to go" based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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

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

    • NSA Is Recording the Voices of U.S. Telephone Calls

    • NSA Spying Has a Disproportionate Effect on Immigrants
      The consequences of eliminating Fourth Amendment protections for all international communication with foreigners

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

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

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

    • NSA documents show Microsoft's Prism cooperation

    • Microsoft openly offered cloud data to support NSA PRISM programme

    • Encrypted or not, Skype communications prove “vital” to NSA surveillance
      Last year, Ars documented how Skype encryption posed little challenge to Microsoft abuse filters that scanned instant messages for potentially abusive Web links. Within hours of newly created, never-before-visited URLs being transmitted over the service, the scanners were able to pluck them out of a cryptographically protected stream and test if they were malicious. Now comes word that the National Security Agency is also able to work around Skype crypto—so much so that analysts have deemed the Microsoft-owned service "vital" to a key surveillance regimen known as PRISM.

    • Former NSA Official Thinks A Blog Containing Nothing But His Own Tweets Is 'Defamatory'
      All the PhDs in the world aren't going to save you from having your own direct quotes turned against you. If anything, it only confirms what Schindler's critics believe: that he's pompous, arrogant and unwilling to actually engage in a debate. Instead, he prefers to belittle anyone who doesn't hold a precious PhD in history, using his doctorate to paper over any flaws in arguments.

      I can't imagine it's much fun to see your Twitter feed boiled down to little more than shouts of "stupid!" and continuous pointing to a framed piece of paper, but whether Schindler likes it or not, those are his words and those are his go-to rhetorical devices. For someone who frequently uses the hashtag #caring to show his contempt for the ire he provokes, he certainly can't seem to take having his own abuse heaped on his Carebear-surrounded head.z
    • Microsoft MVP Says NSA Can Monitor Secure Tor Browsing
    • Microsoft expert: Tor security compromised by NSA
      Speaking at Microsoft's TechEd North America event earlier this week, the founder of the Cyber Crime Security Forum said that hackers and government agencies can now compromise the security of the TOR network.

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

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

    • Cisco's NSA problem is going to whack all of US tech's growth plans
      Cisco's emerging markets business---the engine for the networking giant's future growth---continues to take a hit and that situation isn't likely to change now that it's common knowledge that the NSA has been intercepting routers---and other IT gear---in the supply chain so it can install call-home beacons.

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

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

    • More People Are Encrypting Their Web Traffic In The Wake Of NSA Spying Revelations
      People have started taking Edward Snowden’s advice on using Web encryption to shield their movements online, according to a new study. After the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor leaked documents on the government’s surveillance programs, encrypted web traffic has more than doubled worldwide.

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

    • Sony Pictures buys film rights to Greenwald's book on Snowden, NSA
      "Zero Dark Thirty" maker nabs rights to Glenn Greenwald's look at working with Edward Snowden to reveal reach of NSA.

    • Germany Will Ban Tech Companies That Play Ball With NSA
      No German federal contracts will go to companies that turn over data to the NSA and other spy agencies in the U.S., and elsewhere. There may, however, be one crucial exemption.

    • Biggest NSA leaks are yet to come, Glenn Greenwald says in interview
      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been at the center of controversy ever since breaking the story about the existence of the expansive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program, told Al Jazeera's John Seigenthaler on Wednesday that there were "many more stories to go" based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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

    • Harvard & MIT Students Have Created an Email So Secure Even the NSA Can't Crack It

    • Startup pitches snoop-proof (even NSA-proof) email

    • How the NSA & FBI made Facebook the perfect mass surveillance tool
      The National Security Agency and the FBI teamed up in October 2010 to develop techniques for turning Facebook into a surveillance tool.

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

    • Quoted: on Chinese routers as competition for NSA spying

    • Can We Stop America’s Surveillance State?
      Purloined formerly top-secret NSA documents are now there for the downloading, even as the calls for truth and privacy buttressed by irrefutable information, has run up against the institutional armor of the surveillance state that has little respect for public opinion or calls for “reform.”
    • Arlington: The Birthplace of NSA Surveillance
      Today’s National Security Agency is housed in a sprawling complex in Fort Meade, Md., but, according to a recent lecturer at Arlington Public Library, domestic surveillance by the NSA was perhaps born in Arlington.

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

    • Tech groups dissatisfied with NSA reform bill

    • Microsoft, NSA and FBI reveal secret 3-way romance
      Would you like to listen to Gweek podcasts live, as they are being recorded? Get a job at the FBI and plug into Skype, which Microsoft has handed over to US spy agencies as a kind of lovers' gift, and you can hear Dean and me chatting away!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Snowden: The NSA planted backdoors in Cisco products

    • Charity makes legal bid against GCHQ over malware infections

    • Web round up – Microsoft, Google and phones!
      Whatsapp has been removed from its Windows Phone Store….bad news for all 4 Windows Phone users

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

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Open Letter to European Commission about DRM in HTML5
      Dear Commissioner Malmstroem,

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Latest Trade Agreements Are Re-defining Cultural Choices As 'Non-Tariff Barriers' That Need To Be Eliminated
      It's something of a misnomer to call TPP, TTIP and TISA trade agreements: they go far beyond traditional discussions about things like tariff removal, and are encroaching on domains that are as much cultural as economic. That is, many of things that the US dubs "trade barriers" are in fact long-standing expressions of national priorities, preferences and beliefs. That's evident in an interesting post from Public Citizen's Eyes on Trade blog, which explores the 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (pdf).

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy ‘Whistleblower’ to Remain Anonymous, Court Rules

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

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

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

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

      • Updated: Canadian Police Raid BitTorrent Tracker, Confiscate Server

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

      • Publisher Targets University Researchers for “Pirating” Their Own Articles
        The American Society of Civil Engineers is cracking down on researchers who post their own articles on their personal websites. The publisher, which owns dozens of highly cited journals, claims that the authors commit copyright infringement by sharing their work in public.


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The FSF is in good shape, according to Alexandre Oliva
Not Only Does It Not Add Security... (UEFI as a 'Bug Door')
Data From Monaco Should Alarm Microsoft
Just how many people are deleting Windows and installing something else this year?
Linux in Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger)
Vast area, vast number of "Linux users" (if one counts Android as such)
[Meme] Gagging One's Own Staff as a Signal of Corporate Distress
Censorship at Microsoft
Staying the Course
censorship isn't easy against sites that understand ways to resist it
The 'All-Seeing' Microsoft Eye
Microsofters are observing us closely
Links 24/06/2024: Long COVID and "How I Write Blogs"
Links for the day
Allegations That Microsoft is Covering Up Employee Dissatisfaction and Using a Survey to Catch 'Risk' to the Cult Mentality
This favours or gradually socially-engineers a company for sociopathy
'Linux Hint' Inactive for Nearly a Month (It Used to be Very Active)
Their Twitter account hasn't been active for a long time and it's not too clear what's going on
An Unexpected GNU/Linux Trend
Burkina Faso is changing and not just politically
Android (Linux) at New Highs in Burkina Faso, Now Measured at 72% (Windows Was Measured at 98% 15 Years Ago)
based on this month's estimates
With 0.76% for ChromeOS and 3.7% for GNU/Linux (4.5% Total) Burkina Faso Approaches 5% for 'Linux'
More if one counts Android as "Linux"
Gemini Links 24/06/2024: Being Dull and OpenSSH Autoban
Links for the day
EPO Issues in The Hague
a report dated 4 days ago about a meeting that took place 12 days ago
[Meme] Garbage in, Garbage Out (EPO Patent Quality)
"Get back to work"
When the Employer Makes You Too Sick to Go to Work (New EPO Document)
"registering when you are sick"
[Meme] 'Useless' Kids of EPO Examiners
Granting Loads of Monopolies in Europe (to Foreign Corporations of Epic Size and Far Too Much Power Inside Europe) is Vastly More Important Than Raising European Kids Properly?
"Efficiency" first? Whose? Corporations or families? No wonder so many young families are hesitant to have any kids these days; that's particularly true in east Asia and also in north America, not just Europe
[Meme] Putin's Red Flags
Firefox ESR or Firefox USSR
The Corporate/Mainstream Media and Even Social Control Media is Distorting the Record About What Mozilla Actually Did (It Originally Surrendered to Vladimir Putin)
Mozilla being avoided for purely technical reasons (sites not being compatible with it) is one thing. Foolishly, Mozilla is giving people more political reasons to also shun Mozilla. This is suicide.
GNU/Linux Up Some More This Morning, Windows Down Sharply Even in Rich Countries
Microsoft is in trouble in the Muslim world
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rising... Towards 5% for ChromeOS and GNU/Linux
the latest numbers show it growing from about 0.1% to around 2.4% for GNU/Linux, plus 2.01% for Chromebooks (ChromeOS), i.e. about 5% in total.
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Free Speech (Online) Angle
Free speech is a fundamental tenet of a free society
Links 24/06/2024: New Research, New Attacks on Justices Sceptical of Patent Maximalists, European Commission for Copyright Maximalists
Links for the day
[Meme] 12 Years a Fedora Volunteer
IBM gives me a 'free' Fedora badge as recognition
IBM Slavery: Not a New Problem
When IBM got rid of Ben Cotton it showed the world how much it valued Fedora
Why They Want to Abolish Master/Slave Terminology (Because This is What They're Turned Free Software Into)
It used to be about community; GAFAM turned that into exploitation and worse
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) Version 0.2 is Released
They say summer "officially" started some days ago
Torvalds' Number Two Quit Linux a Decade Ago and Has Since Then Earned an Honorary Doctorate
Revisiting Fuzix and Alan Cox
GNU/Linux Reaches All-Time High in Tunisia
Based on statCounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 23, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 23, 2024
Edward Brocklesby (ejb) & Debian: Hacking expulsion cover-up in proximity to Oxford and GCHQ
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
You Know the Microsoft Products Really Suck When...
"Qualcomm and Microsoft go 'beyond the call of duty' to stop independent Copilot+ PC reviews"
IBM and "Regime Change"
Change of regime is not the same as freedom
Microsoft Windows in Nicaragua: From 98% to Less Than 25%
Operating System Market Share Nicaragua
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Community Angle
Somebody needs to call them out on their BS
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Software Angle
Gemini Protocol has just turned 5 - i.e. roughly the same age as our Git repositories
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Patent Angle
Next month marks 10 years since we began covering EPO leaks
Wookey, Intrigeri, Cryptie & Debian pseudonyms beyond Edward Brocklesby
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Choice Versus Freedom
So When Do I Start Having Freedom? Freedom is choice between the GAFAMs
Digital Liberation of Society at Times of Armed Conflicts and Uncertainty
We have technical contributions, not just written output
Links 23/06/2024: More Microsoft Cancellations, Growing Repression Worldwide
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: The Magician and the Hacker, tmux Tips
Links for the day
Links 23/06/2024: Twitter/X Wants Your Money, Google Reports a Billion DMCA Takedowns in Four Months
Links for the day
Digital Restrictions (Like DRM) Don't Have Brands, We Need to Teach People to Hate the Underlying Restrictions, Not Companies That Typically Come and Go
Conceptually, the hens should fear humans, not the farmer who cages them
Going Above 4% Again
Maybe 4% (or above) by month's end?
[Meme] Debian's 'Cannon Fodder' Economics
Conflicts of interest don't matter
Conviction, jail for Hinduja family, Debian exploitation comparison
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
According to Microsoft, It's Not a Code of Conduct Violation to Troll Your Victims Whose Files You Are Purging
The group of vandals from Microsoft think it's "funny" (and for a "nominal fee") to troll Microsoft critics
Microsoft Inside Debian is Sabotaging Debian and Its Many Hundreds of Derivatives With SystemD (Microsoft/GitHub Slopware With Catastrophic Bugs is Hardly a New Problem)
What is the moral of the story about The Scorpion and the Frog?
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day