Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 1/11/2016: Linux Hallowee, Debian Drops PowerPC

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 ways to use open tools to better support Indian languages
    India is a large and a populated country that makes up a large base of Google consumers. So in recent years, Google's widened support of world languages for its various products has been a blessing. It has specifically helped Indian people grow their use of and participation on the Internet.

    For one, Google Summer of Code helps students experiment with and build prototypes that enhance language-based software. Another way is through Google Translate, a web and app-based platform that provides machine translation from one language to another. It is predominantly maintained and serviced by volunteer contributions. Yet, there are more ways Google can support great inclusivity through the support of world languages; particularly people speaking South Asian-languages.

  • FreeDOS 1.2 RC1 Released

  • FreeDOS 1.2 RC1
    You may know that I am involved in many open source software projects. Aside from my usability work with GNOME, I am probably best known as the founder and project coordinator of the FreeDOS Project.

  • Minoca OS: A new open source operating system
    Today we’re thrilled to announce that Minoca OS has gone open source. We are releasing the entirety of the Minoca OS source code under the GNU GPLv3. We’re excited to build a community of users and developers around this new operating system, and we need help. You can check out the source at You can also check out our repository of third party source packages here. If you’re just looking to download the latest stable binaries of Minoca OS, head to the download page.

  • Minoca OS goes open source

  • What software documentation can learn from tabletop gaming
    That was it. Those were the (altered for the sake of this example) instructions. Three steps and one big shout that hey, don't look now but you're playing the game already, and you're up and running.

    To be fair, there were a lot of nuances that those three steps did not in any way cover. Luckily, there were three more paragraphs that the author snuck in after the "You're playing!" pronouncement, providing more details on the types of cards, what they mean, and so on.

    And there were lots of times during those first few games where we had to stop game play and scratch our heads, asking "Wait, we can't play this card after that card can we? What happens now?" For an answer, we went back to the rules and looked in the little reference section on the back of the rule sheet, learning about the technicalities of the game as we went along.

    But you see, it tricked us; we didn't feel like we were reading the instructions because we were actively playing the game. We weren't reading instructions, as such; we were using the rules as reference. It was practically part of the game.

  • How Do We Encourage Technologists in the Public Interest?
    As I mentioned when the Recompiler interviewed me, my inspirations and role models in technology are technologists who serve the public interest. The person who introduced me to free and open source software, Seth Schoen, is a kind teacher and a rigorous thinker who deploys his software engineering expertise at the intersection of technology and activism. I was lucky enough to meet the right people early in my career so I see public interest technology as a desirable and viable career path AND something you can integrate into a career that doesn't focus on nonprofit/government work -- but not enough people know about it, and not enough institutions encourage it.

    How do we help encourage and employ more Seths, more Bruce Schneiers, more Eleanor Saittas, more Kelsey Gilmore-Innises? If you were to say "Sumana, that's a pretty infosecurity-centric list there, what about people who are more about analytics to enable policy work, or the web developers at 18F, or --" then I would agree with you! This is a broad and deep field, and thus a broad and deep question.

  • Using Open Source to Roll Back Prices at Walmart
    What do you do when your e-commerce site adds at least a million new products every month, and sometimes more than a million in a single week? According to Jeremy King, who is senior vice president and CTO for Walmart Global eCommerce, one of the things you do is invest in open source, both as a user and as a developer. But how do you convince the suits in the front office to release code developed in house as open source?

    "The good part about WalmartLabs is that we sort of didn't ask for permission," he admitted last week before a crowd of over 2,000 at the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was being interviewed on stage by ATO's master of ceremonies, community manager Jono Bacon, in a "fireside chat" during the opening day keynote sessions. "We sort of started off with that approach. As we got bigger, obviously you don't open source a product that you've spent resources on for a couple of years without really talking to the enterprise, so it really was a baby step as you go in."

  •’s PUFIN Open Source Blockchain Tech May Be Marketplace Lending Answer

    In the wake of recent company shakeups and growing pains in the marketplace lending industry, the need for better transparency and industry tools for all participants has become a critical concern. PUFIN, an online and open source project to create free and global loan identifiers using blockchain technology, aims to deliver order and uniformity in a secure environment to the marketplace.

    Recent entrants into the market are proposing systems that reserve the right to charge fees at any time. The idea of a free enticement that allows for charging fees later may be the basis for a slow or incomplete industry adoption of online loans.‘s Ben McMillan and Mike Mazier may have the open source answer: They have filed to patent a fee-free system to use blockchain technology to generate unique identifiers for loans in line with the US Treasury’s whitepaper “Opportunities and Challenges in Online Marketplace Lending.” The company is in the works to set up their system as an open source resource for the industry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 130 serious Firefox holes plugged this year
        Mozilla has shuttered more than 130 serious vulnerabilities reported by community hackers this year.

        The browser-backing outfit announced the statistics in a post covering its bug bounty program and broader information security efforts.

        More than 500 million users ran Firefox at the close of 2015. It's since become the world's second-most-used browser.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Road to LibreOffice 5.3
      With the availability of the LibreOffice 5.3 Alpha, we have entered the road to LibreOffice 5.3, the next significant major release of the best free office suite ever developed. The software is in the early stage of the final development cycle, and as such should be installed only by expert community members skilled in quality assurance tasks, or involved in launch activities. Although in Alpha stage, LibreOffice 5.3 has an outstanding Coverity Scan score, as confirmed on October 20, with 0.01 defects per 1,000 lines of code (the image on the left is a screenshot of the Coverity Scan dashboard). LibreOffice 5.3 will be officially announced at the end of January 2017.

  • CMS

    • The Wix Mobile App, a WordPress Joint
      Anyone who knows me knows that I like to try new things — phones, gadgets, apps. Last week I downloaded the new Wix (closed, proprietary, non-open-sourced, non-GPL) mobile app. I’m always interested to see how others tackle the challenge of building and editing websites from a mobile device.

      I started playing around with the editor, and felt… déjà vu. It was familiar. Like I had used it before.

      Turns out I had. Because it’s WordPress.

    • WordPress and Wix Are Fighting About Open Source Software
      So WordPress and Wix are fighting one another – and I'm not talking about them competing for customers. Instead, the two website building heavyweights are having a brawl via the blogosphere.

    • Attackers use patched exploits to hit Joomla! sites

    • Joomla websites attacked en masse using recently patched exploits
      Attackers are aggressively attacking Joomla-based websites by exploiting two critical vulnerabilities patched last week.

      The flaws allow the creation of accounts with elevated privileges on websites built with the popular Joomla content management system, even if account registration is disabled. They were patched in Joomla 3.6.4, released Tuesday.

    • Georgia state government earns national recognition for web accessibility
      Georgia's enterprise web platform runs on Drupal 7, which includes many accessibility features in its baseline code and structure. That makes it easier for any new site to build in accessibility from day one. This comes with the caveat that not all modules are accessible, and plenty can be coded and designed without accessibility in mind, meaning that just using Drupal does not make a site accessible to users with disabilities. That said, even in its original implementation with Drupal 7 in 2012, Georgia's web publishing platform was built to meet federal accessibility standards (Section 508, for those of you interested in the details).

      From there, when the product team wanted to improve the platform's underlying code to meet the more modern WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines, they were working from a flexible and scalable base.

  • Healthcare

    • How open source can change the face of healthcare
      The significant advances being made in technology over the past decade have introduced world changing solutions that are revolutionising how businesses operate.

      However, it is not only business which is reaping the benefits of technologies in the fields of cloud, big data, the IoT, artificial intelligence and others, areas such as

      healthcare are also being boosted.

      Numerous companies such as IBM, Google, Microsoft and more have all invested significantly in the area and have made great strides in placing their technologies in this field.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • BSD


    • AMD's HSAIL Front-End For GCC Might Finally Be Close For Merging
      There is finally an update on the proposed HSAIL front-end for GCC for supporting the BRIG binary form of the Heterogeneous System Architecture Intermediate Language.

      See that earlier article for more background information on the ongoing GCC HSA efforts that have been happening for a few years now. That HSAIL GCC front-end has been quiet since it was proposed back in May but now it looks like it may be close to going mainline.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France opens source code of three new simulators
      France is continuing to improve its fiscal transparency by opening the source code of three new algorithms, and has promoted use of this code through a hackaton called #CodeGouv.

      The three algorithms are used by the French administration to calculate:

      The cost of a car registration document which can change according to the geographical location or the type of vehicle; The legal bonus of an apprentice, which can vary according to the number of working hours; The penalty rate. The simulator assesses the interest the French administration should pay if payments are delayed.

      Read more

    • Slovakia: 40% ICT systems to use open source by 2020
      By 2020, 40% of public administration ICT systems in Slovakia should use open source software. The target for open source is part of the country’s ICT architecture, which was updated in September.

    • Nantes: ‘Surveys support switch to open source’
      When implementing free and open source desktop software, public administrations should gather feedback through user surveys, says Eric Ficheux, change management specialist at Nantes Métropole, France’s 6th largest city. “Good news comes only if you organise feedback”, he says, adding: “Survey data cannot be challenged by project opponents, and helps to defend against foul play.”

    • Ho Hum. Another City Switches To LibreOffice
      I knew that 15 years ago when came out with version 1.0. It’s still true today. Further, LibreOffice also works on GNU/Linux so another barrier to FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) has been broken.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • React’s license: necessary and open?
      React’s patent license (1) isn’t a bad idea, because the BSD license is not explicit about granting patent rights; and (2) probably meets the requirements of the Open Source Definition.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • What are the impacts of participatory budgeting in Europe?

    • Open Data

      • Slovakia to fully automate the publication of open data
        Slovakia will automate the publication of public sector information as open data as much as possible, and integrate this process in all government information processing systems. This is one of the main priorities in the National Concept of Public Information Services (Národná Koncepcia Informatizácie Verejnej Správy; NKIVS) that was adopted last month.

      • ODIC 2016: some case studies emerge in Open Contracting
        Start small, clearly demonstrate the impact, and adopt a standardised approach with civil society – these are among the lessons learnt arising from a session on Open Contracting, held as part of the Open Data International Conference (ODIC 2016). This event took place in Madrid at the beginning of October.

        Open Contracting is a way to make public procurement more transparent to citizens and a way to avoid corruption. But only 10% of countries are aligned on an Open Contracting basic standard, it was noted during the session. Data are published in open format. The Open Contracting Partnership has developed a data standard for Open Contracting, the goal of which is to “reflect the complete contracting cycle”, according to the website.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Outdoor Gear Companies: It's Time to Open-Source Your Technology

        Patagonia finally released the Yulex wetsuits this fall. Even more important, it also released the technology behind the rubber and the names of the factories that produced the suits. The company’s hope: to motivate other manufacturers to use fewer resource-intensive materials. “We knew from the beginning that we’re a very small player in the surf industry—there’s no way we’re going to disrupt that industry—but it was always our intention to invite other companies to use [the technology],” Hubbard says.

  • Programming/Development

    • Perl might be old school, but it continues to attract new users
      Earlier this year, ActiveState conducted a survey of users who had downloaded our distribution of Perl over the prior year and a half. We received 356 responses–99 commercial users and 257 individual users. I've been using Perl for a long time, and I expected that lengthy experience would be typical of the Perl community. Our survey results, however, tell a different story.

      Almost one-third of the respondents have three or fewer years of experience. Nearly half of all respondents reported using Perl for fewer than five years, a statistic that could be attributed to Perl's outstanding, inclusive community. The powerful and pragmatic nature of Perl and its supportive community make it a great choice for a wide array of uses across a variety of industries.

      For a deeper dive, check out this video of my talk at YAPC North America this year.


  • The Great "Cultural Appropriation" Pumpkin: Psst, Halloween Belongs To The Irish
    Yale lecturer Erika Christakis and her husband, professor Nicholas Christakis, were uglied out of the university after she dared to offend the crypussies that pass for college students these days by sending out the mildest call to let people express themselves as they wish on Halloween.

    The thing about all these tiny little authoritarian screechers on campus -- they should spend more time going to class and learning the stuff of Western culture that promotes logical thought. Because they don't bother to do the slightest bit of, "Hmm, where does this argument I'm supporting lead?"

  • How the White House will hand over social media accounts to Clinton or Trump
    The White House just published an overview explaining its plans for a "digital transition" between the departing Obama administration and the incoming 45th president of the United States. It details how each White House social media account (and position-specific handles like @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP) will be transferred to the victor of November 8th's presidential election. Since Obama is the first commander in chief to have a presence on most of these apps, there's not much in the way of precedent for figuring out how it's all supposed to work. So the White House developed some of its own.

    For the big ones, the switchover will happen on inauguration day: January 20th. That's when either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will assume the @POTUS Twitter account, for instance. The White House says that the account's followers (currently over 11 million) will carry over to the next Oval Office occupant, but tweets will be zeroed out so that the 45th president can start fresh. President Obama's @POTUS tweet history will be moved over to a new account, @POTUS44. That page is already live, though it's currently protected.

  • Science

    • Finland to allow voters to cast votes online in all general elections
      “The Government intends to carefully look into the possibility of introducing electronic voting in general elections. The matter is associated with both advantages and disadvantages. It is good to examine online voting as a means to promote democracy ahead of the one-hundredth anniversary of Finland,” says Jari Lindström (PS), the Minister of Justice and Employment.

      The task force is expected to conclude its preparatory work by the end of next year.

      General elections include the municipal, parliamentary and presidential elections, the elections to the European Parliament, and the planned provincial elections. Voters in indicative referendums will also be allowed to cast their votes online, according to the Ministry of Justice.

  • Hardware

    • Steve Jobs would probably be rather upset with what Apple has become today
      This past week, Apple spent 82 minutes unveiling a new app, a computer screen made by another company, and three laptops with the same name. They weren’t exactly the major overhauls that many were hoping for, and the event comes not too long after the company released a new iPhone that looked much like the last two it put out, and its other notable innovations of late have been making its products in different sizes and unleashing a sea of dongles on the world.

      In an old interview that’s making the rounds online today, former CEO Steve Jobs explained, in his mind why companies like Xerox, a company that once had one of the most innovative research labs in the world, failed. He compared the product cycles and the corporate structures of strong, stable consumer brands, such as PepsiCo, which John Sculley, the CEO that once replaced him at Apple, previously ran.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Water, jobs, justice: an urgent demand to rebuild America’s water infrastructure
      During this year’s election, both major party candidates have discussed the need for massive infrastructure investments to upgrade everything from our highways and bridges to our airports. Unfortunately, there has been little conversation highlighting our nation’s urgent need to upgrade our aging drinking water and wastewater systems.

      While our interstate highway system officially turned 60 this year, some of the infrastructure delivering water to our communities is over a century old, and that includes the pipes—many made of lead. So it’s no surprise that there’s an urgent national health crisis unfolding before our eyes. Far beyond Flint, Mich., every week more information is revealed showing that millions of homes, schools, restaurants and small and large businesses in almost every state throughout the country are serviced by lead pipes or old crumbling water lines. According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, economically distressed cities with declining populations continue to have urgent water infrastructure needs: there are more Flints waiting in the wings if we don’t act.

    • America’s Legal Pot Economy Is Forced Underground
      Punctuated by sharp intakes of breath, Max Simon repeated himself softly, trying to mask a deep frustration. “We … are … a … media … company. We produce media.”

      Like many startup founders, the 34-year-old has a spiel right down to the enunciation and cadence. He gave his speech nine times, to nine different bankers. Eight rejected him. But it wasn’t venture capital he was seeking. It was a checking account.

      Simon is the founder of Green Flower Media LLC, a production company in Ojai, Calif., that sells educational videos about marijuana, with topics ranging from medicinal use to cannabis industry investing. He likens the platform to a cannabis-centric, the online-course company owned by LinkedIn. Shortly after Green Flower sold its first batch of videos, Simon received an e-mail from Chase Bank. The company’s corporate account was being shut down.

    • Flint, and Michigan, Brace for More Charges in Water Inquiry
      As Flint continues to suffer from a water crisis, one question percolates here in Michigan’s capital: Who will be charged next?

      So far, nine low-level or midlevel government officials have been criminally charged as part of the state investigation into the water’s contamination, which has been tied to lead poisoning in children and the deaths of 12 people from Legionnaires’ disease.

      In recent weeks, however, there have been growing indications that investigators are focusing on bigger targets, and they seem to be looking more intently at the state’s failure to respond to the Legionnaires’ cases.

      “Twelve people died,” said Bill Schuette, Michigan’s attorney general, who is leading the investigation. “That is certainly a high priority for us.”

    • Judge: Flint water allegations 'shock the conscience'
      The State of Michigan can be sued over allegations that the contamination of Flint's drinking water damaged the health of residents and hurt the value of their properties, a Michigan Court of Claims judge has ruled.

      Judge Mark Boonstra, in an opinion issued Wednesday, said that if proven true, allegations brought against Gov. Rick Snyder and other defendants by Melissa Mays and other Flint residents, "shock the conscience."

      Boonstra dismissed two counts against the state, but said two other counts may proceed to trial.

      The lawsuit can proceed on allegations the state violated the due process clause of the state constitution by failing to protect Flint residents' "bodily integrity," Boonstra ruled. The suit can also proceed on allegations that state actions were a substantial cause of decline in Flint property values and the state "abused its powers" by "continuing to supply each water user with corrosive and contaminated water," he said in a 50-page opinion released Thursday.

    • 'Fix rooms' plan for Glasgow drug addicts set for green light
      A controversial plan to set up so-called "fix rooms" to allow drug addicts to inject safely under supervision in Glasgow is likely to get the go-ahead.

      Members of the health board, the city council and police are expected to agree the idea in principle.

      The move aims to address the problems caused by an estimated 500 or so users who inject on Glasgow's streets.

    • Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops
      The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

      But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

      The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

      Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

    • The Candy Hierarchy for 2016: Halloween's best and worst treats

      The results of our survey are in. This year's list of the most loved and hated Halloween treats has a surprise in store!

    • Chan Issues Clarion Call For Increased WHO Funding
      World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan today warned of serious funding shortfalls for the current biennium endangering the implementation of certain programmes. Areas most in need of financing include non-communicable diseases (such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases), food security, and antimicrobial resistance. The high-profile Health Emergencies Programme is also underfunded and Chan proposed to ask countries to raise their assessed contributions at the next World Health Assembly.

    • Brazil, China, India, South Africa Put UN High-Level Panel On Medicines Access On TRIPS Council Agenda
      For next week’s World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, the major developing economies have submitted a request to discuss the recently released report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, according to Knowledge Ecology International (KEI). A key element of the UN report was to make it harder for countries deter or discourage other countries from trying to use patent flexibilities built into the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – something the major developing economies have been discouraged from doing in the past.

    • Michigan Mother: Hillary Clinton Receiving Advance Debate Question ‘Should Be an Automatic Disqualification’
      A Michigan mother is furious that now-DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile sent Hillary Clinton advance notice of her question at a Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Michigan this March.

      According to the latest Wikileaks release of John Podesta’s emails, Brazile tipped off Clinton to an incoming question from an audience member at the debate hosted by CNN — where Brazile was then a paid contributor.

      “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile wrote in the email’s subject line. “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”

      LeeAnne Walters, the woman who asked that question, said on her Facebook page Monday that she found the revelation “appalling.”

  • Security

    • DDoS of SN Underway [Updated]
      Right, so there's currently a DDoS of our site specifically happening. Part of me is mildly annoyed, part of me is proud that we're worth DDoS-ing now. Since it's only slowing us down a bit and not actually shutting us down, I'm half tempted to just let them run their botnet time out. I suppose we should tweak the firewall a bit though. Sigh, I hate working on weekends.

    • AtomBomb: The New Zero-Day Windows Exploit Microsoft Can't Fix?
      There's a new zero-day Microsoft Windows exploit in the wild by the name of AtomBomb, and Microsoft may not be able to fix it.

    • New code injection method affects all Windows versions [iophk: “watch the ‘news’ play this one down or ignore it; full product recall is needed at this point”]

      Researchers at cyber-security firm enSilo have discovered a method of code injection in all versions of Windows that cannot be eliminated as it is part of the operating system design.

      The design flaw allows for code injection and is dubbed AtomBomb as it makes use of the system's atom tables.

      As Microsoft defines it, "An atom table is a system-defined table that stores strings and corresponding identifiers. An application places a string in an atom table and receives a 16-bit integer, called an atom, that can be used to access the string. A string that has been placed in an atom table is called an atom name."

      In a blog post describing the method of attack, enSilo's Tal Liberman wrote: "Our research team has uncovered a new way to leverage mechanisms of the underlying Windows operating system in order to inject malicious code. Threat actors can use this technique, which exists by design of the operating system, to bypass current security solutions that attempt to prevent infection."

    • British parliament members urge Obama to halt hacking suspect’s US extradition
      This week, culture minister Matt Hancock and more than 100 fellow MPs (Members of Parliament) have signed a letter calling on president Barack Obama to block Lauri Love's extradition to the US to face trial over the alleged hacking of the US missile defence agency, the FBI, and America's central bank.

      Love—an Asperger's syndrome sufferer from Stradishall, Suffolk—was told in September at a Westminster Magistrates' Court hearing that he was fit to be extradited to the US to face trial in that country. The 31-year-old faces up to 99 years in prison in the US if convicted. According to his lawyers, Love has said he fears for his life.

    • Security advisories for Monday

    • Tug of war between SELinux and Chrome Sandbox, who's right?

      Over the years, people have wanted to use SELinux to confine the web browser. The most common vulnerabilty for a desktop user is attacks caused by bugs in the browser. A user goes to a questionable web site, and the web site has code that triggers a bug in the browser that takes over your machine. Even if the browser has no blogs, you have to worry about helper plugins like flash-plugin, having vulnerabilities.

    • Trick or Treat! Google issues warning of critical Windows vulnerability in wild
      Recently, Google’s Threat Analysis Group discovered a set of zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and the Microsoft Windows kernel that were already being actively used by malware attacks against the Chrome browser. Google alerted both Adobe and Microsoft of the discovery on October 21, and Adobe issued a critical fix to patch its vulnerability last Friday. But Microsoft has yet to patch a critical bug in the Windows kernel that allows these attacks to work—which prompted Google to publicly announce the vulnerabilities today.

      “After 7 days, per our published policy for actively exploited critical vulnerabilities, we are today disclosing the existence of a remaining critical vulnerability in Windows for which no advisory or fix has yet been released,” wrote Neel Mehta and Billy Leonard of Google’s Threat Analysis Group.”This vulnerability is particularly serious because we know it is being actively exploited.”

      The bug being exploited could allow an attacker to escape from Windows’ security sandbox. The sandbox, which normally allows only user-level applications to execute, lets programs execute without needing administrator access while isolating what it can access on the local system through a set of policies.

      But by using a specific type of call to a legacy support Windows system library generally used for the graphics subsystem—win32k.sys—malicious code can escalate its privileges and execute outside of the sandbox, allowing it to execute code with full access to the Windows environment. Win32k.sys has been a problem before: Microsoft issued a warning back in June about a similar privilege escalation problem that had not yet been exploited, and another arrived in August.

    • DDoS defenses emerging from Homeland Security
      Government, academic, and private-sector officials are collaborating on new ways to prevent and mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, based on research years in the making but kicked into high gear by the massive takedown this month of domain name system provider Dyn.

    • US DMCA rules updated to give security experts legal backing to research
      The US government has updated and published a new list of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a move perhaps long-overdue which will protect cybersecurity professionals from prosecution when reverse-engineering products for research purposes.

      On October 28, the US Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress published the updated rules on the federal register.

      The DMCA regulations now include exceptions relating to security research and vehicle repair relevant to today's cybersecurity field. For the next two years, researchers can circumvent digital access controls, reverse engineer, access, copy, and manipulate digital content which is protected by copyright without fear of prosecution -- within reason.

    • Stop being the monkey's paw
      This story got me thinking about security, how we ask questions and how we answer questions. What if we think about this in the context of application security specifically for this example. If someone was to ask the security the question “does this code have a buffer overflow in it?” The person I asked for help is going to look for buffer overflows and they may or may not notice that it has a SQL injection problem. Or maybe it has an integer overflow or some other problem. The point is that's not what they were looking for so we didn't ask the right question. You can even bring this little farther and occasionally someone might ask the question “is my system secure” the answer is definitively no. You don't even have to look at it to answer that question and so they don't even know what to ask in reality. They are asking the monkey paw to bring them their money, it's going to do it, but they're not going to like the consequences.

    • Tyfone looks to open-source to solve IoT security issues
      It came as no surprise to Tyfone CEO Siva Narendra when tens of millions of Internet connected devices were able to bring down the Web during a coordinated distributed denial of service attack on Oct. 21.

      Narendra's Portland-based company Tyfone has been working on digital security platforms to safeguard identity and transactions of people and things for years.

      Narendra says mobile devices in conjunction with the cloud have brought new levels of productivity to our lives. Internet of Things devices (the common name given to these connected items) are poised to bring even greater levels of productivity and cost-savings to businesses, and safety and convenience to our everyday lives.

    • Google just disclosed a major Windows bug — and Microsoft isn’t happy
      Today, Google’s Threat Analysis group disclosed a critical vulnerability in Windows in a public post on the company’s security blog. The bug itself is very specific — allowing attackers to escape from security sandboxes through a flaw in the win32k system — but it’s serious enough to be categorized as critical, and according to Google, it’s being actively exploited. As a result, Google went public just 10 days after reporting the bug to Microsoft, before a patch could be coded and deployed. The result is that, while Google has already deployed a fix to protect Chrome users, Windows itself is still vulnerable — and now, everybody knows it.

      Google’s disclosure provides only a general description of the bug, giving users enough information to recognize a possible attack without making it too easy for criminals to replicate. Exploiting the bug also depends on a separate exploit in Adobe Flash, for which the company has also released a patch. Still, simply knowing that the bug exists will likely spur a lot of criminals to look for viable ways to exploit it against computers that have yet to update Flash.

    • AtomBombing: A Code Injection that Bypasses Current Security Solutions
      Our research team has uncovered new way to leverage mechanisms of the underlying Windows operating system in order to inject malicious code. Threat actors can use this technique, which exists by design of the operating system, to bypass current security solutions that attempt to prevent infection. We named this technique AtomBombing based on the name of the underlying mechanism that this technique exploits.

      AtomBombing affects all Windows version. In particular, we tested this against Windows 10.

    • Disclosing vulnerabilities to protect users
      On Friday, October 21st, we reported 0-day vulnerabilities — previously publicly-unknown vulnerabilities — to Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe updated Flash on October 26th to address CVE-2016-7855; this update is available via Adobe's updater and Chrome auto-update.

      After 7 days, per our published policy for actively exploited critical vulnerabilities, we are today disclosing the existence of a remaining critical vulnerability in Windows for which no advisory or fix has yet been released. This vulnerability is particularly serious because we know it is being actively exploited.

      The Windows vulnerability is a local privilege escalation in the Windows kernel that can be used as a security sandbox escape. It can be triggered via the win32k.sys system call

    • The next president will face a cybercrisis within 100 days, predicts report

      The next president will face a cybercrisis in the first 100 days of their presidency, research firm Forrester predicts in a new report.

      The crisis could come as a result of hostile actions from another country or internal conflict over privacy and security legislation, said Forrester analyst Amy DeMartine, lead author of the firm's top cybersecurity risks for 2017 report, due to be made public Tuesday.

      History grades a president's first 100 days as the mark of how their four-year term will unfold, so those early days are particularly precarious, said DeMartine. The new commander in chief will face pressure from foreign entities looking to embarrass them early on, just as U.S. government agencies jockey for position within the new administration, she said.

    • Hackforums Shutters Booter Service Bazaar
      Perhaps the most bustling marketplace on the Internet where people can compare and purchase so-called “booter” and “stresser” subscriptions — attack-for-hire services designed to knock Web sites offline — announced last week that it has permanently banned the sale and advertising of these services.

      On Friday, Oct. 28, Jesse LaBrocca — the administrator of the popular English-language hacking forum Hackforums[dot]net — said he was shutting down the “server stress testing” (SST) section of the forum. The move comes amid heightened public scrutiny of the SST industry, which has been linked to several unusually powerful recent attacks and is responsible for the vast majority of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks on the Internet today.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks Reveals Team Hillary’s Libya Spin: It Would Be Syria Without Clinton’s War
      In the lead-up to Hillary Clinton’s marathon testimony before Congress on Benghazi in October 2015, her presidential campaign prepared to make some eye-popping claims—including that Libya would have turned into Syria without U.S. intervention.

      That’s according to an internal talking-point memo released in Tuesday’s dump of WikiLeaks emails. WikiLeaks says those emails were hacked from the inbox of Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. The Clinton campaign is not commenting on whether or not the emails are doctored, and blames the Russian government for the hack.

    • Media Roll Out Welcome Mat for ‘Humanitarian’ War in Syria

      As she marches toward the US presidency, Hillary Clinton has stepped up her promotion of the idea that a no-fly zone in Syria could “save lives” and “hasten the end of the conflict” that has devastated that country since 2011.

      It has now been revealed, of course, that Clinton hasn’t always expressed the same optimism about the no-fly zone in private. The Intercept (10/10/16) reported on Clinton’s recently leaked remarks in a closed-door speech to Goldman Sachs in 2013...

    • Shahid Buttar and Selling Empire, War and Capitalism with Peter and Mickey
      In the first half of the program, Shahid Buttar discusses the chapter he wrote for Censored 2017, “Ike’s Distopian Dream,” where he examines the many ways that President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex has proven correct.For the second half of the program, Mickey and Peter survey some of the other chapters of Censored 2017, particularly Peter’s chapter, “Selling Empire, War and Capitalism,” a look at the advertising / public relations industry, and how its influence extends far beyond peddling consumer products.

    • Whistleblower exposes how NATO’s leading ally is arming and funding ISIS
      A former senior counter-terrorism official in Turkey has blown the whistle on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deliberate sponsorship of the Islamic State (ISIS) as a geopolitical tool to expand Turkey’s regional influence and sideline his political opponents at home.

      Ahmet Sait Yayla was Chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division of Turkish National Police between 2010 and 2012, before becoming Chief of the Public Order and Crime Prevention Division until 2014. Previously, he had worked in the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division as a mid-level manager for his entire 20-year police tenure, before becoming Chief of Police in Ankara and Sanliurfa.

      In interviews with INSURGE intelligence, Yayla exclusively revealed that he had personally witnessed evidence of high-level Turkish state sponsorship of ISIS during his police career, which eventually led him to resign. He decided to become a whistleblower after Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown following the failed military coup in July. This is the first time that the former counter-terrorism chief has spoken on the record to reveal what he knows about Turkish government aid to Islamist terror groups.

    • Inside Palantir’s War With the U.S. Army
      Palantir is the Palo Alto, California, data analytics company co-founded and backed by billionaire Peter Thiel. It had won seed funding and praise from the Central Intelligence Agency a few years earlier and had become a darling among the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a few other government customers. Its employees were at the Pentagon to show off the company's ability to compile disparate data streams and display the information graphically for non-technical consumers; Palantir hoped to win a big contract.

      But the conversation went poorly. The slacks and dress shirts with a few buttons undone that Palantir executives wore may have been a step up for sunny California where hoodies are the norm but were a sign of disrespect at the Pentagon, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Senior officials, including U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Dean Popps, were not impressed, this person said.

      They told Palantir: “Don’t come to the E-ring without a tie unless your name is Gates or Buffet,” said the person, referring to the portion of the Pentagon occupied by senior officials. “They couldn't get over the tie thing. They didn't care about the technology.”

    • German Magazine Uses Daesh Propaganda Video to Show All is Well in Mosul
      In an almost four-minute video, political editor of Spiegel Online Christoph Sydow tried to defend the editorial policy of his magazine regarding the developments in Aleppo and Mosul. However, the shots demonstrated in his video turned out to be the propaganda materials of Daesh terrorists.

      The video was supposed to be a response to critical letters of Spiegel Online readers and their comments on social networks. Many of them accused the magazine of spreading propaganda and presenting the situation in the Middle East in a biased manner.

    • CIA Releases Controversial Bay of Pigs History
      The CIA today released the long-contested Volume V of its official history of the Bay of Pigs invasion, which it had successfully concealed until now by claiming that it was a “draft” and could be withheld from the public under the FOIA’s "deliberative process" privilege. The National Security Archive fought the agency for years in court to release the historically significant volume, only to have the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2014 uphold the CIA’s overly-broad interpretation of the "deliberative process" privilege. Special credit for today’s release goes to the champions of the 2016 FOIA amendments, which set a 25-year sunset for the exemption: Senators John Cornyn, Patrick Leahy, and Chuck Grassley, and Representatives Jason Chaffetz, Elijah Cummings, and Darrell Issa.

      Chief CIA Historian David Robarge states in the cover letter announcing the document’s release that the agency is “releasing this draft volume today because recent 2016 changes in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires us to release some drafts that are responsive to FOIA requests if they are more than 25 years old.” This improvement – codified by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 – came directly from the National Security Archive’s years of litigation.

    • Still fighting the last war: Syria and the Western peace movement
      The anti-war movement is struggling to find its place in a multipolar world in which stopping the war requires new thinking

      When I was five years old, a very small Vietnamese man came to my bedside to say goodnight. He was the Vietnamese ambassador, and he had a very kindly, wrinkled smile, and, as I later discovered, both he and his wife were veterans of the very long war in Vietnam against foreign occupiers. He himself had crawled under barbed wire fences to set explosives under French war planes during the early 1950s. His wife, also diminutive, had been the 16-year-old leader of an anti-aircraft unit that helped bring down enemy planes during the conflict, which back in 1973 was still ongoing.

    • Sweden declares WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg dead, 71 years after he disappeared in Hungary
      Sweden declares WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg dead, 71 years after he disappeared in Hungary.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Utilities In Florida Are Using A Fake Consumer Group To Hamstring Solar Competition
      Earlier this year, we noted how traditional utilities were playing extremely dirty in Florida to try and derail efforts to ramp up solar competition and adoption in the state most likely to benefit from it. After all, the vision of a future where competition is rampant, customers pay less money, and solar users actually get paid for driving power back to the grid gives most of these executives heartburn. As a result, utilities have gotten creative in the state, launching fake solar advocacy groups that actually function to pollute public discourse and derail any amendments intended to help solar grab a larger foothold in the state.

    • Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, New YSPH Study Finds
      An expansive new analysis by Yale School of Public Health researchers confirms that numerous carcinogens involved in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing have the potential to contaminate air and water in nearby communities.

      Fracking is now common in the United States, currently occurring in 30 states, and with millions of people living within one mile of a fracking site. The study suggests that the presence of carcinogens involved in or released by hydraulic fracturing operations has the potential to increase the risk of childhood leukemia. The presence of chemicals alone does not confirm exposure or risk of exposure to carcinogens and future studies are needed to evaluate cancer risk.

    • Stein Campaign Condemns ‘Violent Repression of Peaceful Protests Against DAPL’
      The conflict surrounding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline escalated dramatically Thursday, October 27. Water protectors at Treaty Camp, a new frontline in the path of the pipeline along Highway 1806, were forced off the land in a dramatic and often violent manner by police. The large police action included armored, military vehicles, pepper spray, high-velocity bean bags and tear gas. Shortly after the disturbing confrontation Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for the Presidential Election, and running mate Ajamu Baraka released a statement condemning the actions being used in North Dakota:

      “The Stein/Baraka campaign is horrified and outraged at the militarized repression of water protectors at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. Police and private security forces have engaged in violent actions against peaceful earth defenders who have come to protect the land and water from the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    • Two more Honduran land rights activists killed in ongoing violence

    • NASA Scientists Suggest We’ve Been Underestimating Sea Level Rise
      About 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, so measuring sea level changes around the world is no small feat. Up until now, scientists believed they knew how much global sea level had risen during the 20th century. This number has hovered around 0.6 inches per decade since 1900, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has been partly driven by warming ocean temperatures.

      But a new study, published this month to Geophysical Research Letters, found evidence to suggest that historical sea level records have been off—way off in some areas—by an underestimation of 5 to 28 percent. Global sea level, the paper concluded, rose no less than 5.5 inches over the last century, and likely saw an increase of 6.7 inches.

      The reason for this discrepancy was uncovered by earth scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. By comparing newer climate models with older sea level measurements, the team discovered that readings from coastal tide gauges may not have been as indicative as we thought. These gauges, located at more than a dozen sites across the Northern Hemisphere, have been a primary data source for estimating sea level changes during the last several decades.

  • Finance

    • How the British Brexit Economy Works
      1) A containerful of shoddy training shoes are produced in China, shipped to UK, sorted by lowly paid British zero hours workers and put on shelves of High Street sports shop. 2) While this is happening, sterling plunges 25%. 3) Coachload of Chinese tourists visit sports shop attracted by collapsed pound sterling. They exclaim “Wow Western trainers! And so cheap”. They buy them to take back to China as gifts for family members they don’t like that much. 4) Declare a Brexit sales boom!

    • Theresa May’s ‘just managing’ families set to be worse off
      Low-earning families that Theresa May has promised to help will be thousands of pounds a year worse off by 2020 because of rising inflation, lower wage growth and Tory social security cuts, according to new analysis of their post-Brexit economic prospects.

      Those who the prime minister describes as “just managing” – and who are her key priority, she says – are in line for substantial falls in real incomes unless the chancellor, Philip Hammond, steps in to help them in his autumn statement on 23 November.

      Pressure is growing on Hammond from senior Tories to reverse the decisions to slash benefits, which were announced last year by his predecessor George Osborne, in order to assist those who May said on entering Downing Street were “working around the clock” but still struggling to get by.

    • How Minnesota's governor performed an economic miracle by raising tax on the rich and increasing minimum wage
      By every measure, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton's five year run as governor has been a stellar success: while Tim Pawlenty, his tax-slashing, "fiscally-conservative" Republican predecessor presided over a $6.2B deficit and a 7% unemployment rate (the mere 6,200 jobs added under Pawlenty's 7-year run barely registered), Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to the Minnesota economy, brought Minnesota down to the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and brought the average Minnesotan income up to $8,000 more than the median US worker, while posting a $1B budget surplus.

      How did Dayton do it? He raised the state income tax on individuals earning more than $150K, from 7.85% to 9.85%; he raised Minnesota's minimum wage and guaranteed equal pay for women.

    • CETA Signed Off As Wallonia Folds Under Pressure
      Democracy and civil rights took a crushing blow today. Shortly after news surfaced that Wallonia folded under the pressure, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed.

      One of the many secret trade deals floating around is known as CETA. While proponents say these trade agreements are simply about trade, the details suggest that such agreements are much more about pushing laws than actual trade.

      Last year, we dug into some of these details and found a number of provisions that adversely affects digital rights. This includes censorship through site blocking, account termination through a three strikes law, unlimited damages for copyright infringement, and provisions that allow border patrols to seize your cell phone at the border.

      Other concerns raised revolve around ISDS (Inter-State Dispute Settlement) that sets up an international tribunal for major multi-national corporations. The purpose is to allow corporations to sue governments if laws are passed that get in the way of profits and future potential profits. Examples raised in the past revolve around warning labels on cigarette packages, regulations on price for pharmaceuticals, and rulings against oil extraction and pipelines.

    • Swiss rail stations will sell bitcoins at ticket machines

      Switzerland is stepping up its bitcoin fascination in a big way. Railway operator SBB (with the help of SweePay) is launching a 2-year trial for a service that lets you exchange Swiss francs for bitcoin at any of the company's ticket machines in the country. Scan a QR code with your phone and you can get between 20 to 500 francs ($20 to $505) of digital currency at any time. If you want to go shopping without using cards or physical cash, you can do it right after you leave the train station.

      There are some big catches involved. You need to have a Swiss phone number to get bitcoin, so you're not completely anonymous... and of course, you're out of luck if you're not a resident. You also can't buy tickets with bitcoin at the machines, so don't think your bitcoin mining operation will pay for your next trip to Zurich.

    • No, CETA is NOT approved yet

    • Canada and E.U. Sign Trade Deal, Bucking Resistance to Globalization
      The European Union and Canada signed a far-reaching trade agreement on Sunday that commits them to opening their markets to greater competition, after overcoming a last-minute political obstacle that reflected the growing skepticism toward globalization in much of the developed world.

    • Icelandic women walk off the job 14% early to protest 14% pay-gap
      On October 25, thousands of Icelandic women went home at 2:38PM, after 86% of their work-days had passed, to protest the fact that they only earn 86% of their male counterparts' wages.

      They turned out for a mass demonstration that echoed the 1975 protests over pay equity, which saw over 90% of the country's women take to the street.

    • EU-Canada trade deal signed, but our fates (and ISDS) not yet sealed
      On Sunday, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Council Donald Tusk, prime minister of Slovakia Robert Fico, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. It followed more than a week of frenzied negotiations after Belgian regions refused to give permission to the central government of Belgium to proceed with the deal.

    • Don't celebrate Justin Trudeau signing the Ceta deal with the EU – like TTIP, it is a ticking time bomb
      Don’t be fooled by the triumphant rhetoric emanating from Brussels today – the controversial EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA might have returned from the dead in time for Halloween, but it’s very much a zombie agreement. While CETA will now be approved by the European Council and head towards the Parliament, its future looks bleak.

      And it gets worse for Brussels. Because Belgium’s regional parliaments have, in the process of hobbling CETA, driven a stake into the heart of European trade policy. No wonder Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau hailed the so-called ‘breakthrough’ as “a huge victory for Belgium's Ceta opponents”.

      CETA (the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement) is the sister deal of the better known TTIP trade deal between the US and EU. Just like its sibling, it is essentially not about reducing tariffs, but deregulation, liberalisation, and the handing of further powers over law-making to big business. Despite some fancy footwork by the EU to reform the hated “corporate court” system, which gives foreign investors their own special legal process to sue governments, that system is very much still in place in CETA.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Podesta paid $7,000 a month by top donor
      Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, last year signed a $7,000-a-month contract with the foundation of a major Clinton donor who made a fortune selling a type of mortgage that some critics say contributed to the housing collapse, hacked emails show.

      In February of last year, as Podesta was working to lay the groundwork for Clinton’s soon-to-launch campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, he signed the contract with the Sandler Foundation, which was started by Herb Sandler and his late wife Marion Sandler.

    • Trump Supporter Voted Twice in Iowa Because “Polls Are Rigged”

      Donald Trump has been warning supporters left and right about the potential devastating consequences of voter fraud. But the first arrest for voter fraud in this election season is actually a staunch Trump supporter. Terri Rote, 55, was arrested on first-degree l misconduct charges after she cast two ballots in the election. She was released on a $5,000 bond.

      So why did Rote, a registered Republican, decide to cast two ballots? She was apparently afraid that her first ballot would be counted as a vote for Hillary Clinton. "I wasn't planning on doing it twice, it was spur of the moment," Rote told Iowa Public Radio. "The polls are rigged."

    • Donald Trump rolls out endorsements from people he pays
      At a campaign event in Miami on Tuesday that was more in keeping with the norms of politics in North Korea, Donald Trump brought reporters to one of his golf courses and invited 10 of his employees on stage to praise him.


      Siegel also boasted about helping to secure Florida for George W. Bush in 2000, by pressing thousands of employees to vote for the Republican candidate. In an interview with the same publication, the developer explained that he gave employees not-so-subtle hints about what he wanted them to do by putting negative articles about Al Gore in envelopes along with their paychecks.

      As The Atlantic explained in 2012, after Siegel’s anti-Obama memo was leaked to Gawker, employers cannot explicitly pay workers to vote a certain way, but, in most states, they are permitted to make their preferences known before election day.

      Unlike Florida, California does have a law stating that “no employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.”

    • Five takeaways from the latest WikiLeaks releases
      Government ethics watchdogs have long warned that the Clintons’ nonprofit would present serious conflict-of-interest concerns should the former secretary of State obtain the oval office.

      Republicans — led by Donald Trump — have accused the Clintons of using the foundation to peddle influence and line their own pockets.

      The details in Band’s memo gave new ammunition to critics who have pressed for the foundation to be shuttered.

      In it, Band describes how Bill Clinton’s personal wealth skyrocketed with the help of the same consultants raising money for the foundation, and the same donors who poured millions into the charity.

      “I think it’s going to be a continuing problem unless they close the thing down after she’s elected,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon.

      Those calls were echoed by the press.

      “Let me go to bottom line: There is no way under any circumstance the Clinton Foundation should be operating if she becomes president," Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press," told WGN Radio in Chicago on Thursday. “I just don't see how they can keep that going."

    • Leaked Email Reveals Google Chairman Wanted To Be Clinton Campaign’s ‘Head Outside Advisor’
      WikiLeaks has continued to reveal Schmidt’s cozy relationship with the Clinton campaign.

    • WikiLeaks: Podesta Continued Ties to Russian Firm After He Said He Divested
      More hacked emails released Sunday by WikiLeaks appear to show Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s apparent continued connection to Joule Unlimited Technologies, despite his claims that he divested from the Kremlin-financed energy company, The Daily Caller reported.

      Podesta has said he transferred his 75,000 shares from Joule to a holding company named Leonidio Holdings. But included in the released emails is information that Podesta received a K1 income tax form indicating that he was a partner sharing income with Leonidio Holdings, while another form was made out to Podesta’s daughter Megan Rouse, who is a financial planner.

      A June 5, 2015 email from Rouse to John, Mae and Gabe Podesta shows the extent to which other family members were involved: "Mae and Gabe, Please see attached K1 for Leonidio. You can use this to complete your 2014 tax return. We will each report 1/3 share of what's on the form. Mom and Pa, Please see attached K1 showing the distribution to Leonidio."

    • Tax form Indicates Podesta Put Kremlin-Tainted Shares In Daughter’s Company
      Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta received a K1 income tax form indicating that he was a partner sharing income with Leonidio Holdings, according to emails released Sunday by WikiLeaks. Another form was made out to Podesta’s daughter, Megan Rouse, his partner in Leonidio Holdings.

      Podesta has always maintained that he transferred his 75,000 shares from Joule Unlimited Technologies, a Kremlin-financed energy company, to an “anonymous” holding company named Leonidio Holdings. Not only does Leonidio share an address with Podesta’s daughter, Rouse, but they share a tax return.

      The other beneficiaries are all in the family too.

    • Obama told us he’s honorable — but he’s just another liar
      Now we know Obama was lying. His own aides said so, in e-mails uncovered by WikiLeaks and made public this week.

    • WikiLeaks: Trump Rally Agitator and Clinton Campaign Manager Are ‘Close’
      Robert Creamer, the operative behind sending provocateurs to Donald Trump rallies, was close to Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, according to new emails released by WikiLeaks.

      Creamer, who allegedly spearheaded the dirty tricks for the Democrats, wasn’t just consulting for the Democratic National Committee, according to videos made by Project Veritas. He was sending people to provoke Trump at events.

    • Fmr U.S. Atty: Comey’s Hand Forced by FBI ‘Seething’ Anger at Botched Hillary Email Investigation
      In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joseph DiGenova gave a stark assessment of what led to FBI Director James Comey’s recent decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, after an investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal led to the discovery of thousands of emails on the computer of Weiner’s estranged wife, top Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.

    • Boring or Annoying Things We Have to Know
      I have always glazed over at any mention of Hillary Clinton’s emails. The USA is not my country, and it seemed like a rather boring argument about classifications and document security. I also had a natural resistance to anything that appeared to promote the interests of Donald Trump. I now realise that is how a complicit media was deliberately presenting it, and my lack of interest was the desired effect. They are still presenting the issues in a manner which I hope I will be able to prove to you is entirely tendentious. So this weekend I request you to grit your teeth, set aside your disinterest and read through this article. Please.

      Those Hillary server emails are largely a separate thing to those which WikiLeaks has been releasing. What the WikiLeaks release of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary campaign chair Podesta emails has proved beyond any reasonable doubt, is the extent of Hillary’s corruption. Both in terms of the fixing of the primary election against Bernie Sanders by the people who were supposed to be organising it, and the vast sums of money the Clinton family were receiving personally through Clinton Foundation and consultancy activity linked to State Department access, decisions and activity.

      Before Clinton handed over her private email server to the FBI investigation into her handling of classified material, she scrubbed over 30,000 emails and had drives physically treated to ensure permanent destruction. It is obviously very likely that many of those emails referred to the kind of nefarious activity we are now seeing from the DNC and Podesta leaks.

      It is also of course a fact that those 30,000 emails all had recipients, as well as Hillary as a sender. We can be sure that a major effort will have been undertaken to make sure recipients deleted them too. But from time to time some are sure to turn up. That is what has just happened and prompted yesterday’s announcement of a renewed investigation. In the course of an unrelated investigation into alleged paedophile grooming, the FBI has come across some of Hillary’s deleted emails on the device of a close political aide.

    • The Podesta Emails Revelations: A Collection
      —In an email containing information from intelligence sources, Clinton detailed a strategy for defeating the Islamic State and noted Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding ISIS operations. (Dan Wright, Shadowproof)

      —Hillary Clinton’s letter to mega-donor Haim Saban against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel was leaked to press to attract pro-Israel donors. (Rania Khalek, Electronic Intifada)

      —During one of her paid speeches for Goldman Sachs, Clinton admitted a no fly zone in Syria would mean the United States and NATO would “kill a lot of Syrians.” (Zaid Jilani, The Intercept)

      —Representatives of Qatar wanted to meet for “five minutes” with Bill Clinton to present a $1 million check to him for his birthday (New York Times)

    • Sometimes You Need to Dig a Little to Unearth the Point of an NYT Story

      As it turns out, most other news outlets did not share the Times‘ sense of newsworthiness.

    • ‘Will Every Eligible Voter Be Able to Cast a Ballot?’
      It’s hard to pick the most ominous or disturbing thing Donald Trump has said, but his call for supporters to “go and watch” polling places in “certain areas” because “you know what I’m talking about” is up there. But Trump’s claim that the election is rigged—unless he wins, in which case it isn’t—didn’t spring full-blown from his head. Republicans have claimed voter fraud benefiting their opponents for a long time. And for a long time, corporate media have set those claims alongside concerns about voter suppression, of African-Americans and immigrants in particular, as though they were equally grounded, or just analogous partisan gripes.

    • FBI discovered Clinton-related emails weeks ago
      The FBI stumbled upon a trove of emails from one of Hillary Clinton's top aides weeks ago, law enforcement officials told CNN Sunday. But FBI Director James Comey didn't disclose the discovery until Friday, raising questions about why the information was kept under wraps and then released only days before the election. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has obtained a warrant that will allow it to begin searching the computer that is believed to contain thousands of newly found emails of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, two law enforcement sources confirmed to CNN.

      The timeline behind the discovery of the emails came into greater clarity Sunday. Investigators took possession of multiple computers related to the inquiry of Anthony Weiner in early October, U.S. law enforcement officials said. Weiner is Abedin's estranged husband and is being probed about alleged sexting with a purportedly underage girl.

    • Clinton emails: FBI chief may have broken law, says top Democrat
      The Democratic leader in the US Senate says the head of the FBI may have broken the law by revealing the bureau was investigating emails possibly linked to Hillary Clinton.

      Harry Reid accused FBI director James Comey of violating an act which bars officials from influencing an election.

      News of the FBI inquiry comes less than two weeks before the US election.

      The bureau has meanwhile obtained a warrant to search a cache of emails belonging to a top Clinton aide.

      Emails from Huma Abedin are believed to have been found on the laptop of her estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner.

    • The FBI is sitting on 'explosive' information regarding Donald Trump and Russia, top Democrat asserts
      A top Democrat in Washington says the FBI has shone a spotlight on a new trove of emails potentially associated with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while sitting on “explosive information” allegedly tying Donald Trump to the Russian government.

      Senator Harry Reid, the Democrat leader of the US Senate, accused the FBI of double standards in a letter sent late on Sunday to James Comey, the agency’s director, who jolted the presidential race on Friday by revealing the existence of a new cache of emails.

    • Facebook wants to be your guide on Election Day

      Now that the presidential debates are over, Facebook wants to help you prepare for the last political battleground: the voting booth.

      The social-media company unveiled a feature this week designed to help users create a voting plan, showing not just presidential candidates but also information on statewide elections. Should you want to dive down to the local level, you can give Facebook your address and the company will tell you what's on the ballot in your neck of the woods.
    • Google's Schmidt drew up draft plan for Clinton in 2014

      Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, submitted a detailed draft to a key Clinton aide on 15 April 2014, outlining his ideas for a possible run for the presidency and stressing that "key is the development of a single record for a voter that aggregates all that is known about them".

      Though Schmidt did not mention it, this kind of information is the lifeblood of Google's business.

      The ideas, in an email released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, were sent to Cheryl Mills, former deputy White House counsel to Bill Clinton. Mills forwarded it to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook and Barack Obama's 2012 campaign manager David Plouffe.

    • Schmidt sought top outside post in Clinton campaign

      Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, expressed a desire more than two years ago to be the "head outside adviser" to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, according to an email released by WikiLeaks.

      The email, dating back to 2014, was part of a bigger trove released by the whistle-blower website, all of which were from the Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

      There have been unproven claims by the Democratic Party that the leaked material has been provided by Russian sources.

      In the email, sent to campaign manager Robby Mook, Podesta wrote that he had met Schmidt on 2 April 2014 and that he (Schmidt) was "ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc".

      Podesta apparently expected Schmidt to be a pushy sort, as he wrote, "He (Schmidt) was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn't pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn't seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going.

      "He's still in DC tomorrow and would like to meet with you if you are in DC in the afternoon. I think it's worth doing. You around? If you are, and want to meet with him, maybe the four of us can get on the phone in the am."

      Mook was in Australia at the time, but wrote back to Podesta that he would "to do a call w him before I get back or meet with him after the 23rd".

    • Democrats should ask Clinton to step aside
      Has America become so numb by the decades of lies and cynicism oozing from Clinton Inc. that it could elect Hillary Clinton as president, even after Friday's FBI announcement that it had reopened an investigation of her emails while secretary of state?

      We'll find out soon enough.

      It's obvious the American political system is breaking down. It's been crumbling for some time now, and the establishment elite know it and they're properly frightened. Donald Trump, the vulgarian at their gates, is a symptom, not a cause. Hillary Clinton and husband Bill are both cause and effect.

      FBI director James Comey's announcement about the renewed Clinton email investigation is the bombshell in the presidential campaign. That he announced this so close to Election Day should tell every thinking person that what the FBI is looking at is extremely serious.

      This can't be about pervert Anthony Weiner and his reported desire for a teenage girl. But it can be about the laptop of Weiner's wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and emails between her and Hillary. It comes after the FBI investigation in which Comey concluded Clinton had lied and been "reckless" with national secrets, but said he could not recommend prosecution.

    • Clinton Foundation: Only 10% and 6% towards charity grants in 2013-14
      The Clinton Foundation spent less than 6 percent of its budget on charitable grants in 2014 and less than 10% the year prior, according to documents the organization filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    • U.S. Officials Doubt Donald Trump Has Direct Link to Russia
      For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

      Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

      Hillary Clinton’s supporters, angry over what they regard as a lack of scrutiny of Mr. Trump by law enforcement officials, pushed for these investigations. In recent days they have also demanded that James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., discuss them publicly, as he did last week when he announced that a new batch of emails possibly connected to Mrs. Clinton had been discovered.

    • Don't settle for the lesser of two evils in this election. Vote for the Green party
      Donald Trump’s self-inflicted wounds and propensity for public meltdowns had pushed the public-opinion needle toward Hillary Clinton, according to recent polls. That may have changed a little in the aftermath of the FBI’s renewing of its email probe last week. But even so, the fears of many voters that a Donald Trump presidency might become a reality have abated.

      Those fears are not unfounded. Trump’s failings as a candidate and a person are manifest, and he would be in a position to wreak considerable havoc if elected. That’s especially true at the agency level, with the judiciary and in other arenas where the president can wield executive power. The wildcard aspect of his personality poses risks that can’t be predicted, nor can anyone know the degree to which congress would be inclined to obstruct or approve his most damaging initiatives.

      What has been lost in the salacious and obsessive media coverage of the Republican nominee’s outrageous behavior, bigoted remarks and appeal to the worst instincts of the electorate, however, is a critical examination of what a Clinton administration will mean for the nation. The FBI probe, information on tangled interests within the Clinton Foundation, evidence of influence peddling and Wikileaks revelations detailing manipulation of media and the democratic process, signal a plutocratic style of governance that is all too familiar and increasingly dominant at the federal level.

      The content of what has been revealed in these leaks, as well as her lengthy track record in government and policy statements as a candidate yield an inescapable conclusion: Hillary Clinton represents the entrenched interests of the status quo. Her election will expand the excesses of global interventionism and corporate welfare that have characterized US policies for several decades – at tremendous, almost incalculable cost both domestically and internationally.

    • Jill Stein’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) On Reddit: All You Need To Know About The Green Party Candidate’s Q & A Session
      “We could for example cancel the obsolete F-35 fighter jet program, create a Wall Street transaction tax (where a 0.2% tax would produce over $350 billion per year), or canceling the planned trillion dollar investment in a new generation of nuclear weapons. Unlike weapons programs and tax cuts for the super rich, investing in higher education and freeing millions of Americans from debt will have tremendous benefits for the real economy.”

    • WIKILEAKS: Here’s How The Clinton’s Free Private Jet Scam Works
      Ira Magaziner, the CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, asked former President Bill Clinton to thank Morocco’s King Mohammed VI for “offering his plane to the conference in Ethiopia.”

      “CHAI would like to request that President Clinton call Sheik Mohammed to thank him for offering his plane to the conference in Ethiopia,” Magaziner gushed in a November 22, 2011 email released by WikiLeaks.

      Clinton frequently has expected free, luxurious private jet travel during his post-presidential life. Clinton, his wife and daughter have artfully secured free air travel and luxurious accommodations since they left the White House. It’s an effective way to accept gifts of great value without declaring them for the Clinton Foundation.

    • Clinton Foundation memo reveals Bill and Hillary as partners in crime
      Last week, WikiLeaks dropped a 2011 memo by top Bill Clinton aide Doug Band that lays bare Team Clinton’s sordid financial dealings when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.

      Band describes how the Clinton Foundation served as a conduit for what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.” — the former president’s for-profit arm. Other documents show State Department involvement.

      The result is an unsavory mix of charity work, profiteering, and pay-to-play politics that potentially reaches the highest levels of US foreign policy and screams for IRS and Department of Justice reviews.

      At center is Band and his consulting firm Teneo. Band served as gatekeeper to all things Bill Clinton. Those wanting a former president as golf partner ponied up. Requests for Foundation dough followed. Next came Clinton Inc. — the steady stream of speeches, books, and honorary titles that enriched Bill Clinton. Teneo managed it all.

      Huge corporations and others seeking Clinton’s orbit lined up. Teneo’s clients included major U.S. corporations Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical, which donated huge sums.

      Foreign firms like UBS donated and greased Clinton Inc.

      For-profit Laureate International Universities went further, buying Clinton “advice” and rights to his prestige for $3.5 million annually. In all, Band states Teneo’s management yielded the former president $50 million — including a $2 million upfront slice of Band’s firm — with another $66 million queued. Band also facilitated political activity including securing campaign donors and managing Clinton’s political schedule.

    • The Clinton Foundation: Hopelessly Corrupt Or Just A Lousy Charity?
      Public Corruption: As the unseemly ties between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's State Department become more glaring and disturbing, the rhetoric from the Democratic side is getting more desperate. Now Clinton hatchet man James Carville says critics of the foundation are going to hell.

    • Poll: Comey’s bombshell changes few votes
      The race for the White House is tight, but it has not been radically changed by the FBI director's bombshell announcement last week.

      Hillary Clinton has a slim three-point lead over Donald Trump one week before Election Day, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted entirely after FBI Director James Comey announced the discovery of new emails that might pertain to the former secretary of state's private server.

      Clinton leads Trump 46 percent to 43 percent in a two-way race, and 42 percent to 39 percent in a four-way race, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson at 7 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 5 percent.

      The poll was conducted using an online panel of 1,772 likely voters on Saturday and Sunday, beginning one day after Comey's announcement. The poll carries a margin or error of 2 percentage points.

    • National poll: Trump now leads Clinton by 1 point
      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has overtaken Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for the first time since May in a national tracking poll.

      Trump has a 1-point lead over the former secretary of State, 46 to 45 percent, in the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday morning.

    • Trump Leads Clinton by 1 Point in New Poll as Enthusiasm Declines
      While vote preferences have held essentially steady, she’s now a slim point behind Donald Trump -- a first since May -- in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

      Forty-six percent of likely voters support Trump in the latest results, with 45 percent for Clinton. Taking it to the decimal for illustrative purposes, a mere .7 of a percentage point divides them. Third-party candidate Gary Johnson has 3 percent, a new low; Jill Stein, 2 percent.

    • Report & Wikileaks Reveal How Facebook, Clinton Loyalists Control Your Newsfeed
      Censorship by Facebook has become a thorn in the side of nearly anyone with an opinion differing from the narrative touted by the corporate press — for instance, sentiments not praising Hillary Clinton — and now, through both a new report from Reuters and emails published by Wikileaks, we have insight into why certain posts are targeted.

    • John Podesta's Best Friend At The DOJ Will Be In Charge Of The DOJ's Probe Into Huma Abedin Emails
      Now that the FBI has obtained the needed warrant to start poring over the 650,000 or so emails uncovered in Anthony Weiner's notebook, among which thousands of emails sent from Huma Abedin using Hillary Clinton's personal server, moments ago the US Justice Department announced it is also joining the probe, and as AP reported moments ago, vowed to dedicate all needed resources to quickly review the over half a million emails in the Clinton case.

    • ‘Google has power to control elections, can shift millions of votes to Clinton’ – Robert Epstein
      People trust the “unbiased” internet search giant Google so much it can actually influence up to 10 million undecided voters to choose Hillary Clinton for president, prominent US psychologist and author Robert Epstein told RT following years of research.

      Despite being a supporter of the Democratic presidential nominee, Dr. Epstein believes Google’s unchecked algorithm of placing one candidate over the other in search results constitutes a “threat to democracy.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Interrogated by Finnish police for alleged idendity crimes, fraud and attempts of fraud
      Putting the word out: I was interrogated by the Finnish police today for multiple alleged counts (15+) of identity crimes, fraud and attempts of fraud. The invitation letter to be interrogated was sent out on 2016-10-21 and received by me on 2016-10-25. Today is 2016-10-31.

      The police suspects me because of an "IP-address assigned to my name", which I can't confirm or deny to have a relation to me. As a suspect, I was not told what this aclaimed IP-address was on a specific date to my knowledge. It is only speculation if these allegations wrongly against me have something to do with my relation with the Tor community or activism about digital rights online.

      Pending ongoing investigation, I am not allowed by law to share more specific details about to the investigation. I'd be glad to reveal more details about the case once the investigation is over and share/hear how I became a suspect, once I know about it. (Note that my story is at least slightly opinionated.)

      I had a witness with me and I feel like my rights were being violated during the interrogation. The officer (not to be named publicly in respect for privacy) didn't want to allow me to write down their badge number by taking the badge away from me while trying to write down the numbers. The officer looked slightly anxious.

    • Google Glass can teach you Morse code in four hours without trying
      If all that is meaningless to you, don’t worry. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found a way for humans to learn Morse code in four hours just by playing games.

      The subjects were given Google Glass headsets (ask your parents) and continued to play games while vibrations near the ear slowly embedded subconscious Morsey goodness into their brains, reported

    • South African Spy Company Used by Gadaffi Touts its NSA-Like Capabilities
      The South African company best known for selling Muammar Gaddafi’s regime spy equipment used to monitor millions of Libyans’ international phone calls is now claiming it can intercept communications on a scale that rivals a government spy agency, according to a company brochure obtained by The Intercept.

      In a 2016 pamphlet produced by VASTech SA Pty Ltd., the company outlines its current capabilities for governments, militaries, and law enforcement agencies around the world, claiming it can conduct “passive detection” of communications transmitted from satellites, fix-and-mobile phones, and fiber optic cable.

      The company is offering multiple tools to vacuum up communications from around the globe undetected, or what the company calls “communication intelligence extraction solutions” — a capability not unlike the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program.

    • Who are the Shadow Brokers?
    • New Leak Leads To Another NSA Spying Scandal
    • Hackers say they're revealing more from trove of NSA data
    • NSA-Hacking 'Shadow Brokers' Reveal Spy-Penetrated Networks
    • Shadow Brokers leak second batch of data allegedly from NSA-linked 'Equation Group' hacking unit
    • Shadow Brokers releases list of servers hacked by the NSA
    • Shadow Brokers post list of compromised IP addresses
    • New leak may show if you were hacked by the NSA
    • Hacking group says list features servers infiltrated by National Security Agency
    • The Shadow Brokers dump more intel from the NSA's elite Equation Group
    • Shadow Brokers leak list of supposed NSA controlled computers in China, Russia
    • Shadow Brokers claim to leak NSA cyberespionage targets
    • 'Shadow Brokers' dumps list of NSA-hacked attack servers
    • Shadow Brokers Tell U.S. to Pay to Get Files Back
    • Second Shadow Brokers dump released
    • Shadow Brokers Give NSA Halloween Surprise With Leak Of Hacked Servers
    • Hackers expose apparent NSA cyber espionage operations
    • NSA has been hacking Sonatrach from 2010 to 2002
    • Shadow Brokers leak systems hacked by NSA – mostly mail and uni servers in India, China
    • New leak reveals over 100 web addresses compromised by the NSA
    • Shadowbrokers' NSA dirty tricks spill points to compromised servers in China and Russia
    • Shadow Brokers leaks list of NSA targets and compromised servers
    • NSA Hackers The Shadow Brokers Dump More Files
    • Hacker group releases list of NSA-compromised servers
    • Past behaviour did not stop leaker from accessing sensitive NSA Data
      The US National Security Agency's (NSA) latest alleged leaker apparently raised no red flags despite a history of abnormal behaviour. The New York Times reported on 29 October that Harold T. Martin III, who is accused of stealing 50 terabytes of data from the NSA, apparently dealt with divorces, unpaid taxes, legal charges and drinking problems and was still allowed access to top secret information.

      In a detention hearing on 28 October, Judge Richard D. Bennett noted that Martin had a history of drinking problems. In 2006, he faced a drunk driving charge. Martin is known to have been called up for unpaid taxes in 2000, which he did not pay off for over a decade. Martin's other run ins with the law include a computer harassment charge and an incident where he pretended to be a police officer during a traffic dispute.

      Martin's house would eventually be raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in August 2016. He was arrested when investigators found thousands of pages of classified material on several storage devices, apparently taken from a variety of jobs he held as an NSA contractor, most recently for Booz Allen. It is not clear whether Martin was merely hoarding this information, or intended to leak it. His lawyers have stated that “there is no evidence that he intended to betray his country”.

    • Rights Groups, Activists Ask President To Respond To Unanswered Encryption Petition
      A bunch of organizations concerned with privacy, free press, and human rights are gently reminding the outgoing president that he still hasn't fully responded to a We the People petition about encryption.
    • Montreal police monitored iPhone of La Presse journalist Patrick Lagacé
      Montreal police strongly defended a highly controversial decision to spy on a La Presse columnist by tracking his cellphone calls and texts and monitoring his whereabouts as part of a necessary internal police investigation — while the journalist involved called what they did “indefensible.”

      “Lives were not at stake, this was not a question of national security,” La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé said in an interview Monday. “The leaks made them look bad, that’s why they decided to go after me in the way they did.”

      Opposition politicians are also condemning Montreal police for spying on Lagacé, though Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre stood by police chief Philippe Pichet on Monday, noting that a mayor should not intervene in police operations, but did say he was troubled by the news.

      For several months this year, police were monitoring Lagacé’s iPhone to determine the identity of his sources, La Presse reported. This was confirmed to Lagacé last Thursday by Montreal police.

      At least 24 surveillance warrants were granted by courts in 2016, at the request of the Montreal police department’s special investigations section, which probes crime within the police force. The warrants allowed police to track the telephone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls on Lagacé’s phone, and to monitor the phone’s location, although Pichet denied at a hastily convened press conference Monday that the GPS on his phone was monitored.

      Lagacé said he is sure many judges around the world have been asked by police departments to grant similar warrants, but refused because it was too “vulgar” to spy on a reporter. “It was incredibly aggressive,” he said, questioning the judgment of the judge involved.

    • Lords examines Investigatory Powers Bill
      The Investigatory Powers Bill will have its third reading, a final chance to tidy up the bill and make changes, in the House of Lords on Monday 31 October.
    • Belgian Court Fines Microsoft For Failing To Comply With Its Impossible Order
      The court, failing to understand anything but its power to order people around, demanded Skype turn over communications. Skype turned over the only thing it could actually obtain, explaining that its architecture didn't support the interception of calls. No dice. That only made the court angry.

      The court was no more happy to have pointed out to it that Microsoft didn't actually fall under its jurisdiction. It maintains no data centers in Belgium, nor does it have anyone employed there. Microsoft suggested the court work with governments of countries where it actually maintains a presence and utilize their mutual assistance treaties.

    • Brandi Collins on Black Lives Surveillance

      Corporate journalists rely on the First Amendment, but it’s increasingly unclear if the First Amendment can rely on them. The relative lack of interest in the impact of spying on activists—a practice with a long and disturbing history given new power by technology—is the latest example.
    • As Expected, FCC Passes Modest Privacy Rules For Broadband Providers, ISPs Act Like World Has Ended
      Over the past week, we've been talking a lot about the need for more transparency and user control for privacy on the internet, so it's only fitting that the FCC has officially adopted its new privacy rules for ISPs that will require broadband providers to be much more explicit concerning what information it collects and shares with others, and provide (mostly) clear "opt-in" requirements on some of that data collection. This isn't a surprise. It was pretty clear that the FCC was going to approve these rules that it announced earlier this year. And, of course, the big broadband providers threw a giant hissy fit over these rules that just ask them to be more transparent and give users at least a little bit of control over what data is collected.

      Comcast has caused these proposals "irrational" and various think tankers paid for by the broadband providers tried to tell the world that poor people benefit from a lack of privacy. And magically new studies came out claiming that broadband providers are cuddly and lovable, rather than snarfing up everyone's data.

      And, of course, the various broadband providers want to blame Google for the rules, because everyone wants to blame Google for everything. The issue here is that the broadband access providers have these rules, while online service providers, like Google and Facebook do not. There are, of course, a few responses to this. The first, is that the FCC doesn't have authority over those sites, like it does have over the access providers under the Telecom Act. The second is that users are much more locked in to their broadband access provider, and there is much less competition. Switching is much more difficult. The third argument is, basically, that Google and Facebook don't have nearly the same history as the broadband access providers of really nasty privacy violations. Hell, just as these new rules were coming, Verizon was being fined for stealth zombie cookies. Finally, the simple fact is that broadband access providers have the power to spy on a lot more internet activity than Google or Facebook. Yes, those other services are in more and more places, but it's not difficult to block them. With your ISP everything goes through their pipes, and unless you carefully encrypt your traffic via a VPN, they get to see everything.

    • Why do we still accept that governments collect and snoop on our data?
      In recent weeks, the Hollywood film about Edward Snowden and the movement to pardon the NSA whistleblower have renewed worldwide attention on the scope and substance of government surveillance programs. In the United States, however, the debate has often been a narrow one, focused on the rights of Americans under domestic law but mostly blind to the privacy rights of millions of others affected by this surveillance.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • At DAPL, Confiscating Cameras as Evidence of Journalism

      While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage.

      One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.

    • 'Dumbfounded': Documentarian facing 45 years for filming pipeline protest
      Schlosberg was arrested in Walhalla, North Dakota, on October 11 for filming activist Michael Foster — a member of the group known as Climate Direct Action — as he shut off a valve of a Canadian tar sands pipeline. In solidarity with protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, activists shut down similar valves in Washington, Montana, and Minnesota on the same day.

      However, authorities in North Dakota have charged the filmmaker with two Class A felonies and one Class C felony, including conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services, and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service.

    • Descendants of Jewish refugees seek German citizenship after Brexit vote

      Descendants of the tens of thousands of German Jews who fled the Nazis and found refuge in Britain are making use of their legal right to become German citizens following the Brexit vote.

      German authorities have reported a twentyfold increase in the number of restored citizenship applications - a right reserved for anybody who was persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds during the Nazi dictatorship, as well as their descendants.

    • Inside Nigeria's Baby Factories

      Baby factories in Nigeria are pumping out babies for sale on the illegal adoption market. Swedish journalist Therese Cristiansson infiltrated these baby-trafficking networks with a hidden camera.

    • Nigeria lost $9bn to Boko Haram attacks – Presidential panel
      The Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative has revealed that the nation lost about $9bn to the violent activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

      According to the committee, a strategic framework would soon be set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with his determination to rebuild the North-East.

      The Vice-Chairman of the PCNI, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, said this on Thursday in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of its inaugural meeting.

      According to him, the focus of the meeting was to discuss the mandate given to the PCNI to fashion out a way that would be most direct, in terms of the delivery of that mandate, analyse the enormity of the task and fulfil the presidential mandate to give succour to the people of the North-East.

      Tumsah said, “We are not investigating anybody; there are people who are investigating such diversions. I’m glad you mentioned the Senate, the House of Representatives, police and the EFCC. Our mandate, going forward, is to provide a strategic framework for the implementation of all interventions going into the North-East in terms of humanitarian works, resettlement and eventual rebuilding of the North-East.

    • Iran: Writer Jailed For Writing Unpublished Story
      On Monday, Iranian intelligence authorities broke the apartment door of writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, raided her apartment and took her by force to serve a 6 year prison sentence for writing a story on stoning women in Islam, that was never published.

      Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee 35 years old, is the wife of political prisoner Arash Sadeghi, 36 who is now serving a 19 year prison sentence in Iranian prisons. The family has suffered much mistreatment since the 2009 disputed presidential election in Iran and have been in and out of prison. They have also lost their mother who had a stroke the minute the authorities raided their home in 2009.

    • Iran: Writer facing imminent imprisonment for story about stoning

      Iranian authorities must immediately repeal the conviction and sentence of Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, a writer and human rights activist who is due to begin serving six years in prison on charges including “insulting Islamic sanctities” through the writing of an unpublished story about the horrific practice of stoning, Amnesty International said today.

      “The charges against Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are ludicrous. She is facing years behind bars simply for writing a story, and one which was not even published – she is effectively being punished for using her imagination,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
    • Woman recalls moment she was strip-searched by police aged 12
      A woman has described being strip-searched by police when she was 12 years old.

      Georgia Wood, now 20, said the officers were “horrible and demeaning” and the incident had “really affected” her life, leaving her lacking confidence and suffering panic attacks.

      Ms Wood was taken into police custody in south Wales eight years ago with her mother, who was suspected of possessing drugs.

      No illegal substances were found on Ms Wood or her mother, Karen Archer, who wasn't charged with an offence.

      According to figures acquired by the BBC from 13 police forces in England and Wales, more than 5,000 children aged 17 and under were strip-searched between 2013 and 2015.

    • Saudi Arabia is preparing to behead and crucify a 21-year-old activist
      A young Saudi Arabian Shi’a activist, who was sentenced to death last year, has lost his final appeal for justice and is due to be executed by beheading, followed by the mounting of his headless body onto a crucifix for public viewing.

      Human rights groups and Saudi critics are appalled by both the nature of the execution and the flimsy case against Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, though neither of these factors are unusual in today’s Saudi Arabia.
    • Muslim women complain about Sharia inquiries
      More than 100 Muslim women have complained about their treatment under two government probes into Sharia law.

      The inquiries - one ordered by Theresa May when she was home secretary, and another by the home affairs select committee - are ongoing.

      But some women have signed an open letter and said the aim is to ban Sharia councils, not reform them.

      The Muslim Women's Network UK said the inquiries risk treating women like "political footballs".

      The councils are tribunals often used to settle disputes within the Muslim community.

      The first evidence session on Sharia councils is due to be held by the home affairs committee on Tuesday.

    • Sharia Courts interfered to protect domestic abusers, MPs told

      Leading figures from the UK’s Sharia councils will give evidence in parliament tomorrow, in the wake of accusations that a leading Sharia court has been protecting domestic abusers from criminal proceedings.

      The Home Affairs Select Committee has published written evidence submitted to it that is heavily critical of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (Mat) in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in advance of its session on Tuesday. The Mat states on its website that it urges the Crown Prosecution Service to “reconsider” criminal charges brought against Muslim men accused of domestic violence.

      The Southall Black Sisters, a group that helps vulnerable women, have told the committee that the strategy of asking the CPS to "reconsider" cases is an "attempt to sabotage criminal proceedings".

    •'s pricey Five Year Plan to see off cyber thugs still in place
      UK Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to reaffirm a pledge to spend €£1.9bn up until the end of 2020 to bolster the UK’s cyber security strategy in a speech early this afternoon.

      The updated strategy - which doesn’t include any new spending pledges1 - is expected to include an increase in focus on investment in automated defences to combat malware and spam emails, establish a fund earmarked to recruit 50 specialists to work on cybercrime at the National Crime Agency, the creation of a Cyber Security Research Institute and an “innovation fund” for cyber security startups. All this investment is needed because of increased threats from nation state attackers, terrorists and organised crime gangs, the Chancellor is expected to say.
    • Legislators Demand Answers From DOJ On Expanded Hacking Powers It's Seeking
      There's only a couple of months left until the DOJ's proposed Rule 41 changes become law. All Congress has to do is nothing. This is a level of effort Congress is mostly amenable to. If this becomes law, worldwide deployments of malware/spyware during investigations will be unable to be challenged in court. In addition, the DOJ wants to be part of the cyberwar. It's seeking permission to remotely access zombie computers/devices used in cyberattacks to "clean" them.

    • There’s no way your Facebook “check-in” is confusing North Dakota cops
      On Monday, supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline began a viral campaign enticing people to “check in” to the reservation on Facebook as a way to “overwhelm and confuse” local law enforcement.

      However, there is no evidence that this tactic is effective, particularly as the Morton County Sheriff’s Department expressly said on its own Facebook page that it “is not and does not follow Facebook check-ins for the protest camp or any location. This claim/rumor is absolutely false.”

      In recent months, activists have been protesting at the site on the border of North and South Dakota in an attempt to halt a planned oil pipeline that many believe would damage the local water supply and desecrate tribal lands.

      This Facebook plea is similar to calls in 2009, during the controversial presidential election in Iran, where supporters of the Green Movement urged people to change their Twitter location to Tehran. Similarly, there was no indication that this action mitigated local Iranian authorities’ ability to arrest protesters.

    • Turkey detains 13 journalists after mass firings of public servants
      Turkey has detained 13 journalists in an ongoing wave of government crackdowns following a coup attempt in July. Early Monday morning, Turkish police detained Murat Sabuncu, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, along with a dozen other reporters in a raid, according to official news agency Anadolu.
    • Branding Moderates as ‘Anti-Muslim’

      As if facing down violent Islamist fanatics isn’t enough, Muslim reformers now have to dodge attacks from the American left. Consider the Southern Poverty Law Center’s decision last week to brand two such reformers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Britain’s Maajid Nawaz, as “anti-Muslim extremists.”

    • Indonesian woman becomes latest person to be caned 'for standing near boyfriend'
      A 20-year-old woman in Indonesia has been publicly caned for standing too close to her boyfriend, becoming the 14th person to be flogged this month in the same province.

      The unnamed woman was accused of breaking Islamic Sharia law, which strictly forbids unmarried couples to become intimate, and was flogged in front of a crowd in Banda Aceh province.

      She was escorted onto a stage outside a mosque wearing a headdress and was lashed with a cane.

      Incidents of the punishment have reportedly increased recently in Indonesia.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T's Already Making Things Up To Get Its Massive New Merger Approved
      Over the years, we've noted how AT&T has a nasty habit of lying to sell the public, press and regulators on the company's neverending attempts to grow larger. Whether it's promising broadband expansions that never arrive, or using astroturf to try and argue anti-consumer mergers are good for toddlers, AT&T's lobbyists, lawyers, and policy tendrils work tirelessly to argue that up is down, black is white, and any skepticism of its claims are unfounded hysteria. As we saw with the blocked T-Mobile merger, this sort of behavior doesn't work quite as well as it used to.

      Enter AT&T's latest $85 billion planned acquisition of Time Warner. Consumer advocates worry AT&T could use its size and leverage to make content more expensive, while the usage caps and zero rating give AT&T's own upcoming streaming video service an unfair market advantage. Wall Street hasn't exactly been bullish on the idea either, noting how AT&T's $69 billion acquisition of DirecTV, followed by its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner is not only a giant risk on the eve of the cord cutting revolution, but it saddles AT&T with an absolute mountain of debt that will potentially damage the company's credit rating.

    • Most of Canada’s Biggest Telecoms Want to End Net Neutrality
      On Monday, Canada’s federal telecommunications regulator debates the principle of net neutrality—the idea that every online service should be equally accessible in terms of connection speed and data costs.

      It’s fitting that this hearing takes place on Halloween, because the idea that one of Canada’s telecoms could favour a certain music streaming service, for example, over another—by making Spotify free to use, while Apple Music eats away at your data plan, for example—is pretty spooky.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sega/Steam Took Down A Bunch Of Legitimate Steam Workshop Mods Over Copyright Concerns
        We've talked often about how common it is for legitimate customers to get caught up in attempts to thwart piracy and copyright infringement. From DRM keeping legit purchasers from using what they paid for to Fair Use uses of content getting taken down by automatic systems on sites like YouTube, it's worth noting whenever this happens. After all, there is an expression in the legal system that goes something like: I'd rather set 100 guilty people free than imprison a single innocent. The stakes when it comes to copyright aren't as high as jail time, typically, but it's interesting how little this mantra penetrates with those who would enforce copyright via carpet-bomb rather than a scalpel.

        Take the recent incident with Sega's Steam Workshop mod-space, for instance, where dozens and dozens of mods within the platform suddenly disappeared.

      • My Talk At Wikimedia: Copyright Impacts Everything
        Last week, I mentioned that I was giving a talk at the Wikimedia Foundation about copyright. It was a fun time, and the video from the talk is now online. Unfortunately, the audio and the video are... not entirely great. I'd complain about the terrible microphone, but that sounds like a certain presidential candidate. The video is okay, but the colors are off, so my presentation looks a little weird. Either way, you should still be able to get the basics. There's an introduction from Jan Gerlach at the Wikimedia Foundation, talking about all the important policy work they do, then my talk that runs about half an hour, followed by a Q&A with the audience that runs another half hour or so. It was a fun time, with a really great group of folks, and the conversation continued on after the official session ended for quite a while.

      • Supreme Court Asks White House To Weigh In On Dancing Baby Fair Use Case
        The copyright case involving Stephanie Lenz and her dancing baby is one that may finally be nearing a conclusion after many, many years -- but it's not over yet. As you may recall, Lenz posted a very brief clip of her then toddler, dancing along to a few seconds of a barely audible Prince song. This was almost a decade ago.

      • Copyright and cheerleaders at the Supreme Court
        Star Athletica v Varsity Brands involves copyright protection for cheerleader uniforms. The question asked is: What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under Section 101 of the Copyright Act?

        "It is important because the court may well strike out on a new course or at least throw its determinative hat in the ring on how to approach useful articles more generally," says Robert Brauneis of The George Washington University Law School, who will be presenting the session.

      • Copyright on a Useful Item
        Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the pending copyright case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. Although not a patent case, the issue involves the boundary line (if any) between patent and copyright and the “useful article” exception. Question Presented: What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act. The statutory test under Section 101 states that “the design of a useful article . . . shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

      • Power Struggle In Russia As Internet Pirates Vie For Upper Hand
        The Russian intellectual property industry is on the verge of a new scandal. Following the recent arrest of Sergey Fedotov, head of the Russian Authors’ Society (RAS), Russia’s leading public association for the protection of intellectual property rights, on the charge of multi-million ruble thefts, the Russian police has announced the initiation of criminal proceedings against Maxim Ryabyko, head of the Russian Association for the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (RAPCI).

      • 86-Year Old Grandma Accused of Pirating a Zombie Game
        Since it's become mandatory for ISPs to forward piracy notifications in Canada, hundreds of thousands of people have received letters over alleged copyright infringements. One of these accused pirates is an elderly woman, who's threatened with $5,000 in potential damages for downloading a zombie game she's never heard of.
      • 'Shocked' grandmother on hook for illegal mutant game download
        Post-nuclear war, mutant-killing video games are not Christine McMillan's thing.

        But the 86-year-old from Ontario has been warned she could have to pay up to $5,000 for illegally downloading a game she'd never heard of.

        She is one of likely tens of thousands of Canadians who have received notices to pay up, whether they are guilty or not.

        "I found it quite shocking … I'm 86 years old, no one has access to my computer but me, why would I download a war game?" McMillan told Go Public.

        In May, she received two emails forwarded by her internet provider.

        They were from a private company called Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement (CANIPRE) claiming she had illegally downloaded Metro 2033, a first-person shooter game where nuclear war survivors have to kill mutants.​

      • Canada Copyright Troll Threatens Octogenarian Over Download Of A Zombie War Game
        Copyright trolling is somehow still a thing and it never seems to fail to provide ridiculous examples of miscarriages of justice. It has been long pointed out how rife with inaccuracy the process of threatening individuals with lawsuits and fines based on infringement as evidenced only by IP address is. Even courts have time and time again pointed out that an IP address is not sufficient to identify a person responsible for a given action. Yet the trolls still send out their threat letters, because bullying in this manner generally works.

        The latest example of this kind of trolling misfire comes from Canada, where 86-year-old Christine McMillan received a threat letter from CANIPRE over an alleged infringing download of Metro 2033, a game in which the player slaughters zombies in a post-nuclear world.

      • Pirate Party Books Election Victory in Iceland
        The Pirate Party in Iceland booked an important victory in the local parliamentary election today, scoring 14.5% of the total vote. While lower than most polls predicted, it marks the first time that a Pirate Party, anywhere in the world, has a serious shot at taking part in a government coalition.

      • Iceland's Pirate Party Gains Ground in Election
        After near-constant exposure to the nausea-inducing dumpster fire that is the 2016 U.S. presidential race, it might be hard to grok that a movement of anti-establishment internet pirates has become one of the leading political parties of a small island nation.

        And yet that's what's happening in right now in Iceland, where the hacktivist-inspired Pirate Party achieved significant victories in the country’s parliamentary elections yesterday. Yesterday they won 14.5 percent of the popular vote, putting them in third place behind the center-right Independence Party and the Left-Green Movement, who won 29 percent and 15.9 percent of the vote respectively. (Earlier results showed them beating the Left-Green Movement for second place, but that changed as more votes were counted.)

        It wasn't enough to seize majority control of the country as some polls for the extremely tight race were suggesting, but it was enough to win them 10 seats in the 63-seat parliament, up from the mere three they held after the 2013 elections. The formerly leading center-right Progressive Party, meanwhile, saw its seats drop by over half from 19 to eight, its dominance soundly trounced by the Pirates and the country’s smaller left-leaning parties: Left-Green, Bright Future, and Social Democrats. In the wake of the news, Icelandic prime minister and progressive Party member Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson resigned Sunday.

      • EU Advocate General Declares That Hotels Don't Need To Pay Copyright License To Have In-Room Television
        We've seen all manner of silly claims by copyright licensing groups as to what requires what kind of license in every kind of circumstance. These licensing groups have gone after children's charities. A UK collection society had the strategy of calling up local businesses and demanding payments should they hear music playing in the background. The Author's Guild once claimed that reading a book out loud constituted the need for a separate license, while ASCAP asserted with a straight face that the ring of a mobile phone was a public performance. This panoply of idiocy might be funny, except for the very real harm done through this kind of harassment.

        Even the good stories in this vein weigh heavily in that they are necessary at all. For instance, the advocate general for the EU's Court of Justice recently wrote an opinion advising that hotels didn't need a copyright license just to have televisions within guest rooms. It's a good ruling, but conjures the frustrating question as to why it was needed in the first place. The answer, of course, is because a collection group was attempting to collect from hotels for just that reason.

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