Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 13/11/2016: GNOME 3.22.2 Released, Multiple Processes in Firefox

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

    • Google Pixel Phone Hacked in 60 Seconds at PwnFest 2016
      The brand new Android smartphone launched by Google just a few months back has been hacked by Chinese hackers just in less than a minute.

      Yes, the Google's latest Pixel smartphone has been hacked by a team white-hat hackers from Qihoo 360, besides at the 2016 PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul.

    • Too Big to Fail Open-Source Software Needs Hacker Help
      The internet runs on free and open-source code. LAMP is shorthand for the basic stack of applications that makes the internet work. It stands for: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Together, those four pieces of software provide the foundation that lets us share both important data and elaborately filtered selfies all over the world. They are also all free and open-source projects, maintained by core teams of developers. These workers are the saints of the information age.

      Open-source has a tendency to be more stable than proprietary code, thanks in no small part to what’s called Linus’s Law: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” Because open-source projects invite anyone to contribute, the idea is that lots of developers and testers will find and fix all the problems. It’s worked well so far, but it’s a theory that gets a bit creakier with age, as we’ve begun to see.

    • Heimdall Open-Source PHP Ransomware Targets Web Servers

    • Infect to Protect
      I’m not one to jump on each and every bandwagon I see. Sometimes that’s a good decision, sometimes it’s better to just wait and see where they go before taking any action.

      Containers are one of those ideas that, while promising and intriguing, were quite clumsy in the beginning, so I ignored them for a good while. It’s sufficiently mature now; so much so that’s quite difficult to ignore them. Time to investigate them again.


      While the prototype I built isn’t practical and is of very limited use, I find the idea of sandboxed programs without the need for specialized runtimes very enticing.

      Programs can be still packaged the way they have been packaged in the past decades, without throwing away some of the sandboxing benefits that containers provide, all the while not introducing new concepts for users.

      Of course, something like this – even if properly implemented – won’t be a replacement for containers. Specially if one considers their role as packets ready for deployment, which have a lot of value for devops personnel.

      The code, as usual, is open source, and available from this Git repository.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Obama’s Final Arms-Export Tally More than Doubles Bush’s
      The Obama administration has approved more than $278 billion in foreign arms sales in its eight years, more than double the total of the previous administration, according to figures released by the Pentagon on Tuesday.

      Many of the approved deals — most but hardly all of which have become actual sales — have been to Mideast nations, including key allies in the campaign against Islamic State militants and countries that have been building up their defenses in fear of a nuclear Iran.

    • Reckoning with a Trump Presidency and the Elite Democrats Who Helped Deliver It
      The United States has been plunged into a state of purgatory following the election of Donald Trump. In all political quarters, people are engaged in their own post-mortem analysis of how this happened and what it means, not only for the future of this country, but for the world. Trump ran on a pledge to engage in mass deportations, denying Muslims entry to the US, the stripping of abortion rights and threats to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS. Although Trump has staked out conflicting positions on a wide range of issues over the past several years, his campaign centered on an overtly nativist agenda. And his running mate, Mike Pence, is one of the key leaders of the radical religious right contingent of the Republican Party.

      While many Democrats are pointing fingers outside their own ranks to make sense of the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton, few are willing to examine how their choice of nominee and the campaign they ran shaped the result. In this podcast, Intercept editor-in-chief Betsy Reed and co-founders Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill break down how we got here and what a Trump presidency means for civil liberties, surveillance, war, abortion rights, and other issues. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation.

    • Paris’s Bataclan Reopens a Year After Massacre
      A concert by British musician Sting at the Bataclan on Saturday night at once honored those who died in the attack a year ago and celebrated the life that the historic theater represents.

    • [Older] The fatal expense of American imperialism
      It may seem tendentious to call America an empire, but the term fits certain realities of US power and how it’s used. An empire is a group of territories under a single power. Nineteenth-century Britain was obviously an empire when it ruled India, Egypt, and dozens of other colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. The United States directly rules only a handful of conquered islands (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands), but it stations troops and has used force to influence who governs in dozens of other sovereign countries. That grip on power beyond America’s own shores is now weakening.

    • Michael Sukhoff, Ann Garrison, Michael Parenti, Noah Treanor, and Paulette Moore
      Their first guest is author Michael Parenti, who discusses the nature of American empire.

    • ISIS has reportedly bulldozed two of the world's most important ancient cities

      As the Iraqi military struggle to reclaim the city of Mosul in northern Iraq from the Islamic State (ISIS), satellite images show that two iconic archaeological sites have been purposefully destroyed - and not necessarily by fighting.

      Both were capital cities of ancient Mesopotamia - the important region where writing, farming, and civilisation as we know it arose. An ancient temple described as "the most spectacular sacred structure known from ancient Mesopotamia" has been bulldozed to the ground.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Mainstream Media: Don’t Mention Wikileaks
      I have been six hours watching “experts” across mainstream channels analyse why their earlier statements were totally wrong. There has been not one single mention of #WikiLeaks – or of social media at all. The clapped out old journalistic hacks are in denial that their mechanisms of control are now irrelevant, and they as greasy cogs in those mechanisms are viewed with contempt. The contrast between the mainstream media political narrative and what people were saying on social media was absolutely stark. People got their information from #WikiLeaks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Earth’s plants are countering some of the effects of climate change
      IN 1972, on their way to the Moon, the crew of Apollo 17 snapped what would become one of the most famous photographs ever taken. The “Blue Marble” shows Earth as it looks from space: a blue sphere overlaid by large brown swatches of land, with wisps of white cloud floating above.

      But times change, and modern pictures of Earth look different. A wash of greenery is spreading over the globe, from central Africa to Europe and South East Asia. One measurement found that between 1982 and 2009 about 18m square kilometres of new vegetation had sprouted on Earth’s surface, an area roughly twice the size of the United States.

    • Betraying Water Protectors, Obama Set to Approve Dakota Access Pipeline
      Even as water protectors continued to face off against police on Friday in North Dakota, news outlets reported that the Obama administration is set to approve the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as early as Monday.

      Citing "two sources familiar with the timing," Politico said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could approve a disputed easement within days, which would allow pipeline construction—on hold since September—to continue across the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux's reservation. The Standing Rock tribe is vehemently opposed to the project, saying it threatens water supplies and sacred sites.

      Amid such opposition, Politico reported, "the prospect of a Monday announcement is raising concerns that nationwide protests planned for Tuesday could turn uncivil."

    • Climate Change Has Already Altered Nearly Every Ecosystem on Earth
      Climate change is already affecting life on Earth, despite a global temperature increase of just 1€°C, according to a new study published in the journal Science on Friday.

      Nearly every ecosystem on the planet is being altered, and plants and animals are being so affected that scientists may soon be forced to intervene to create "human-assisted evolution," the study, titled The Broad Footprint of Climate Change from Genes to Biomes to People, found.

    • Lash Out at the Darkness and Fight Like Hell
      This newsletter usually describes the many things the Center for Biological Diversity is working on each week.

      Not today. We're only thinking about one thing right now: stopping Donald Trump from destroying the planet.

      If President Trump carries out the disastrous promises he made while campaigning, the Environmental Protection Agency will be gutted, the Endangered Species Act will be repealed, old-growth forests will be clearcut, hard-fought global climate change agreements will be undermined, and polluters will be given free rein over our water and air.

      There's no way in hell we're letting that happen.

    • Trump’s Climate Contrarian: Myron Ebell Takes On the E.P.A.
      The mug-shot posters, pasted on walls and lampposts around Paris by an activist group during the United Nations climate talks last year, were hardly flattering. They depicted Myron Ebell, a climate contrarian, as one of seven “climate criminals” wanted for “destroying our future.”

      But in his customary mild-mannered way, Mr. Ebell, who directs environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian advocacy group in Washington, brushed it off.

      “I’ve gotten used to this over the years,” he told an interviewer at the talks. “But I did go out and get my photo taken with my poster, just so I have it as a memento.”

    • Tesla’s Future in Trump’s World
      What will Donald Trump actually do?

      It’s a question many Americans are asking themselves now that the U.S. has wrapped up one of its least policy-specific elections ever. The president-elect has offered only the loosest of legislative prescriptions, including whatever plans he may have for the energy industry.

  • Finance

    • MPAA-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal dead in wake of Trump win
      Among the reasons the deal was relevant to Ars readers is because of how it treated intellectual property. The TPP exported US copyright law regarding how long a copyright lasts. For signing nations, the plan would have made copyrights last for the life of the creator plus 70 years after his or her death. That's basically the same as in the US.

      When the 2,000-page text of the deal was released in November last year—after negotiations were done in secret—the Motion Picture Association of America hailed it. "The TPP reaffirms what we have long understood—that strengthening copyright is integral to America’s creative community and to facilitating legitimate international commerce," Chris Dodd, the MPAA chairman, said.

      At one point last year, many feared the TPP would require signing companies to mandate that Internet service providers terminate accounts for Internet copyright scofflaws. That, however, never materialized. In the US, many of the top ISPs have a six-strikes consumer infringement program.

    • The Battle Against TPP Isn’t Over, But It Has Shifted
      With President-elect Trump's victory last night, the last hopes of the Obama administration passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the lame duck session of Congress have evaporated. The passage of the TPP through Congress was dependent upon support from members of the Republican majority, and there is no realistic prospect that they will now pass the deal given their elected President's firmly expressed opposition to it. Even if they did so, the new President would presumably veto the pact's implementing legislation.

      Moreover, it's not possible for the other eleven countries to forge ahead without the United States on board. This is because of a condition that the TPP will not enter into effect unless at least six of the original signatories have ratified the deal, and only if their combined GDP amounts to at least 85 percent of the total GDP of all the original signatories. It is impossible for this condition to be met without both the United States and Japan ratifying the deal.

      We're calling it: today is the day the TPP died.

      Nevertheless, the battle against the deal is not over. Why not? Because the other TPP countries are still in the process of passing their implementing legislation, which contains all of the worst measures in the TPP that we have been fighting against for the last six years—including the extension of the term of copyright, the strict rules against DRM circumvention, the tough criminal penalties against those who infringe copyright or who leak trade secrets, and the prohibition against mandates to review source code for bugs and backdoors. Countries that continue along the path of passing their implementing legislation will end up in the worst of all possible worlds—having accepted all the US demands on copyright and other digital policies, but without receiving any trade benefits from the United States in exchange.

    • The Lesser of Two Weevils
      Obama was a massive disappointment. Promise of economic change proved empty. It is difficult now to recall what a big emphasis in campaigning he placed on civil liberties, including ending torture and closing Guantanamo. What we got was the opposite. There was no proper legal process for Guantanamo detainees. Those responsible for the policy of torture were promoted and protected. The only CIA officer jailed over torture was John Kiriakou for blowing the whistle on it. Obama’s War on Whistleblowers has been the fiercest in US history. There is no doubt that in Obama’s USA, Daniel Ellsberg would have gone to jail for a very long time. The surveillance state has extended its reach still further, while execution by drone is so routine as to pass without notice. Between drones, bombs and troops on the ground often as “advisers” or “trainers”, there has not been a single day in Obama’s eight years in which US forces have not killed a Muslim in a Muslim country.

      Yet a year from now we are very likely to conclude that things have got much worse since Obama. I fully expect Clinton to be elected. What was for me most interesting about the various WikiLeaks releases was not the mesh of sleaze and corruption. There is no doubt that Hillary was peddling influence in exchange for massive donations to the Clinton Foundation and fees and gifts to Bill and herself, and that the Clintons were able to access the resources of their “Charity” for personal use through a variety of subterfuges, quite probably legal. I knew all of that. Anybody who had not already worked out that the same Saudis who have top western politicians in their pockets are also funding ISIS, is a fool. I have been saying it for years.

    • The Final Bill for TPP May Include Trump

    • ‘What Open Borders Mean for Corporations Is Really About Restricting Workers’ Rights’
      Michelle Chen: “Samsung has found all sorts of creative ways, depending on which regulatory system they’re working under, to evade labor contract law and keep workers on these short-term contracts.”

    • TPP: Trans-Pacific Partnership dead, before Trump even takes office
      Eight years in the making, the giant Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between Australia, the US and 10 other regional powers is as good as dead after the Obama administration walked away from its plan to put it before the "lame duck" Congress ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration as president.

      Controversial in Australia because it would allow US-headquartered corporations to sue Australian governments in extraterritorial tribunals and entrench pharmaceutical monopolies and copyright rules, the TPP was the subject of a last-minute plea by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to president-elect Donald Trump in their 15-minute phone conversation on Thursday.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Newsweek recalls 125,000 copies of its souvenir Madam President issue

      Everyone from pollsters to pundits got the result of the US presidential election wrong.

      But few can have made it in such an expensive manner.

      Newsweek and a partner that prints up special commemorative issues has been forced into an embarrassing recall, after it sent out 125,000 copies of its Madam President issue designed to celebrate Hillary Clinton's win.

    • It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump
      They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.

    • Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit
      The parallels between the U.K.’s shocking approval of the Brexit referendum in June and the U.S.’s even more shocking election of Donald Trump as president Tuesday night are overwhelming. Elites (outside of populist right-wing circles) aggressively unified across ideological lines in opposition to both. Supporters of Brexit and Trump were continually maligned by the dominant media narrative (validly or otherwise) as primitive, stupid, racist, xenophobic, and irrational. In each case, journalists who spend all day chatting with one another on Twitter and congregating in exclusive social circles in national capitals — constantly re-affirming their own wisdom in an endless feedback loop — were certain of victory. Afterward, the elites whose entitlement to prevail was crushed devoted their energies to blaming everyone they could find except for themselves, while doubling down on their unbridled contempt for those who defied them, steadfastly refusing to examine what drove their insubordination.

      The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much — when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.

    • Anti-Trump protests continue across US as 10,000 march in New York
      In New York, where peaceful marches along downtown streets have taken place since Wednesday – the day after Trump’s shock presidential election victory over Hillary Clinton – more than 10,000 people indicated on Facebook that they would attend a noon march from Union Square to Trump Tower, the future president’s home and corporate headquarters.

      As marchers mustered at East 17th Street and Broadway, organisers estimated the turnout at 2,000. As the march began to move, however, the true figure seemed closer to the promised 10,000.

      Chanting “Not my president!”, the crowd set off up Fifth Avenue under heavy police escort. A call-and-response developed, protesters chanting: “Whose streets? ‎Our streets!”

      Marcher Kim Peterson, 41 and a‎ Brooklyn stay-at-home mom, said: “He may have won the election but I will never accept what he stands for or his beliefs, not for myself or my children.”

    • The Comey Non-Story and the Problem of Meta-Scandals
      Hillary Clinton has been the subject of many scandals—some legitimate, some with a mix of fact and fantasy. But last week a “scandal” emerged that was created by media entirely out of whole cloth.

      On October 28, FBI Director James Comey dropped a “bombshell” on Clinton, informing congressional committee chairs that his agency had found more emails “pertinent to the investigation” of her private email server, and was looking into the matter. Just like that, chaos broke out, and the entire presidential election hung in the balance.


      But the Comey letter wasn’t a scandal; the letter didn’t actually say anything new, and certainly nothing damaging to Clinton.

    • Hillary Clinton Blames FBI's James Comey For Election Loss In Call With Top Donors
      At the end of September 2016, the Indian motion picture producer’s association, India’s largest organisation related to entertainment, announced a ban on all Pakistani artists.

      In retaliation, Pakistan authorities imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on all its TV channels, including Bollywood movies.

      This cultural war, triggered by the September Uri attacks in Kashmir, is far from new.

    • Dumbass Democrats
      Congratulations, you played yourself!

      Ok, this rant is from my working-class heart, but it is due time for a rant.

      Well, who the hell are the Democrats going to blame now? The degree to which you scapegoat the Green Party or the white working-class is precisely the degree to which you are proving you will never learn a damn thing and are completely unable to lead this country.

      If it wasn’t such a farce, I’d say it is King Lear redux.

      Let’s look at some really basic, I mean high school level politics. Not fair, the average 16 year old is far wiser than the big shots of the DNC.

    • The Establishment’s Massive ‘Intelligence Failure’
      As shocking as Donald Trump’s victory was – and as uncertain as the future is – his victory marked a massive “intelligence failure” of the Establishment, a blow to its arrogance and self-dealing, says ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

    • 10 Cartoonists React to Trump Winning the Election

    • Why Trump won
      There are evidently overlapping reasons for these developments, although all the political movements involved are not, by any means, the same. Some are of the right and some of the left. Some have authoritarian streaks which others lack. Some are relatively liberal and outward looking while others are more orientated towards protectionism. All of them, however, share some common features. They are patriotic rather than internationalist. They all have varying concerns about immigration, reflecting the nativism – the feeling that indigenous residents ought to be given more consideration and support than immigrants – of a majority of their supporters. They all exhibit distrust and a measure of contempt for the established political systems.

    • James Comey To Congress: About Those Hillary Clinton Emails I Mentioned Last Week? Meh, Forget About It, Nothing To See
      James Comey continues to be playing by his own ridiculous rules. He was playing by his own rules when he publicly announced that no charges would be sought against Hillary Clinton over her emails back in July. He was playing by his own rules a week ago when he revealed in a letter to Congress that new information had come to light, man. And, he continued to play by his own rules in sending a new letter to Congress saying "ooops, turns out there was nothing."

    • Washington Post Columnist: If This Democracy Is Going To Stay Healthy, We Need To Start Trusting The FBI More
      Trust and respect aren't things someone (or something) holds in an infinite, uninterrupted supply. They're gained and lost due to the actions of the entity holding this extremely liquid supply of trust. Oddly, some people -- like Washington Post's Chris Cillizza -- seem to believe trust and respect should be given to certain "venerated institutions," because to do otherwise is to surrender to something approaching nihilism.

    • Shame on Us, the American Media
      Early this year, when it became clear Donald Trump would become the GOP presidential nominee, but before we knew how Republicans would respond to being overtaken by a racist authoritarian, I argued at length that while Trump was a symptom of deep rot within their party, our other democratic institutions were still strong enough to contain the threat he posed.

      It was obvious by then that Trump’s reckless and illiberal candidacy would be damaging to America’s civic health, just by itself. But those very traits, it seemed, would also make it nearly impossible for him to win the presidency; and in the event of the unthinkable, he would be hemmed in by both the exigencies of governing and the conforming power of imperfect institutions like the legislature, the judiciary, the civil service, and the media, outside the presidency.

    • Marine Le Pen: 'Not a hair's breadth' separates Front National and Ukip
      The leader of France’s far-right Front National has said not a “hair’s breadth” separates her party from Nigel Farage’s Ukip.

      Marine Le Pen said it was “ridiculous” for Farage and his colleagues to pretend otherwise. Pressed on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show about why Ukip refused to associate itself with the FN, Le Pen said: “Sorry, but objectively there is – on the topic of immigration and the European Union – not a hair’s breadth of difference between what Ukip thinks and what the National Front thinks, let’s be truthful.

      “Maybe Ukip is trying to counter the demonisation they are victim of by saying, ‘We are the good guys and the National Front are the bad guys’ – they can do so, but I don’t feel obliged to follow this strategy because, frankly, I feel it’s a little bit ridiculous.”

    • An American Tragedy
      Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate but a resilient, intelligent, and competent leader, who never overcame her image among millions of voters as untrustworthy and entitled. Some of this was the result of her ingrown instinct for suspicion, developed over the years after one bogus “scandal” after another. And yet, somehow, no matter how long and committed her earnest public service, she was less trusted than Trump, a flim-flam man who cheated his customers, investors, and contractors; a hollow man whose countless statements and behavior reflect a human being of dismal qualities—greedy, mendacious, and bigoted. His level of egotism is rarely exhibited outside of a clinical environment.

    • Why I’m Voting Third Party
      Choosing the lesser of two evils means I am still choosing evil.


      A strong showing for third party candidates will be a wake up call to both the Democratic and Republican establishments they have to deal with real desire for change, not ignore voters, or try to scare us into abandoning our conscience and principles by trading (again) short term goals for long term progress.

      For those who truly support Clinton, please, vote that way. But don’t disparage the rest of us for believing we can do better, even if that road is a long. Too many have accepted, election after election, the long con of no third party.

    • How Did Donald Trump Win?

      It’s not about left and right anymore, not about Black and White. It is all about up and down. And it elected Donald Trump via a bumpy road. The next candidate to really figure it out will sweep into power.

      And what it is is stated succiently by former McCain campaign chief strategist Steve Schmidt: jobs, specifically the loss of jobs to technology and globalization, and the changes to our society that that is causing.

      The defining issue of our times, says Schmidt, is the displacement of workers, particularly those who traditionally held working class roles. America is watching a leveling down unprecedented in its history, a form of societal and economic devolution.

    • Another Election Loser: Corporate Media
      Liberals had a good laugh this summer when CNN’s Brianna Keilar (8/17/16) insisted to Donald Trump campaign lawyer Michael Cohen that his team was “down” in the race.

      “Says who?” he asked.

      Keilar snarked back: “Polls. Most of them. All of them?”

      At the time, it was the sickest of all burns. As the polls kept forecasting a clear win for Hillary Clinton, Trump fans went back and forth between complaining about a rigged system and accusing the polls of being dishonest.

      Again, it was a good laugh for liberals—until Election Day.

      As the dust settles and America comes to terms with the election of Donald Trump, it’s time to take a look at the embarrassment of the media class, with the failure of polling only one part of the story. For those who have bemoaned the mediocrity of corporate media, this might appear as a well-deserved comeuppance, but it also brings the uncomfortable upending of decades of common wisdom about media and elections.

    • Polls Showed Sanders Had a Better Shot of Beating Trump–but Pundits Told You to Ignore Them
      There was a debate last spring, when the Sanders/Clinton race was at its most heated, as to whether Bernie Sanders’ consistently out-polling Hillary Clinton was to be taken as a serious consideration in favor of his nomination. Before, during and after the race was competitive, this was the Vermont senator’s strongest argument: He was out-polling Trump in the general election by an average of 10 or so points, whereas Clinton was only slightly ahead. His favorables were also much higher, often with a spread as much as 25 points.

    • The Day After: How to Renounce Your American Citizenship

      Despite what you may see on TV or in the movies, there is only one way to voluntarily renounce citizenship. You can’t do it by tearing up your American passport, or writing a manifesto. It’s done by appointment only.

      You start by making an appointment at the nearest American embassy or consulate. You technically can complete the renunciation procedures anywhere a properly-empowered American diplomat will meet you abroad, but in reality it is unlikely s/he will drop by your villa, or come by your prison cell.

      At the embassy (the rules are the same at a consulate) you’ll fill out some forms. You can Google and complete, but not sign them, ahead of time if you wish: DS-4079, DS-4080, DS-4081, and DS-4082. Have a look; most of the requested information is pretty vanilla stuff, and is largely to make sure you understand what you are doing and the consequences of doing it.

      The reason for making sure of all that making sure stuff is two-fold.

      One, the State Department, who handles all this, has been sued by people in the past who claim they were tricked or mislead and did not know what they were doing, and want their citizenship back. The other reason is that barring certain highly-specific situations, renouncing citizenship is a one-way street. The U.S. government considers it a permanent, unrecoverable, irrevocable, decision. You gotta get it right the first time.

    • Deal With It: The Democratic National Committee Lost This Election
      There is a meme ripping through the social media of Clinton supporters that her loss is in large part the fault of third party voters. Or the misogyny apocalypse. People, please.

      How about 18 months of unresolved email questions? The destruction of Bernie Sanders by the Democratic National Committee alongside Hillary-friendly media? The lack of outreach to third party voters along with fear mongering that a vote for Johnson or Stein would bring on Armageddon, the ridiculous name calling towards Republicans that should have been courted to crossover and vote against a candidate many did not enthusiastically support, the unresolved questions about the Clinton Foundation and pay-for-play, the unreleased Goldman-Sachs speeches, the changes of position and policy, the untrustworthiness, the empty and depressing strategy of I’m the Lesser of Two Evils, the weasel stuff like Bill on Loretta Lynch’s plane, the grossly negative final weeks of the campaign, the poor turnout in places, the silly accusations that Putin and Wikileaks and the FBI were rigging the election, the sneaky stuff like CNN leaking debate questions to her ahead of time — any of that matter?

      I mean, who could have anticipated a candidate with all that baggage, and some epically bad decision-making skills, might run into problems getting elected?

    • What Now? Post-Election Special
      Much can and will and should be said about the, yes, presidential election of, yes, Donald Trump—including about media’s role. On this first post-election show, we focus on the question of: What now? What now for electoral reform and congressional diversity? For the environment? For Muslim-Americans and others made vulnerable by the so-called “War on Terror” in its domestic and international fronts?

    • Trump’s ‘Unhinged’ Lie About Obama Doesn’t Register as News to Corporate Media
      Now, if we live in a world where descriptions can be true or false, Trump’s account is clearly false. He’s describing the Obama rally as something he’s seen himself, so it’s fair to say that he’s lying about what the president did. (If he actually perceived Obama “really screaming” at a protester, that signifies a break from reality that is if anything more alarming.) Trump didn’t misspeak; he repeated the claim at other events, talking in Tampa of Obama “screaming and screaming and screaming,” for instance.

      So a major-party presidential candidate on the verge of the election repeatedly tells a far-fetched and easily checkable lie about the current president, calling a thing that didn’t happen “a disgrace.” In the 2016 presidential campaign, where political journalists have obsessively covered every utterance of Trump, this surely qualifies as important news the electorate should know about, right?

    • Facebook is being blamed for Trump's election - but Mark Zuckerberg's response seems tone deaf
      Half the nation is blaming Facebook for Donald Trump's election.

      And Facebook feels that's very unfair!

      The argument is that Facebook now plays a huge role in the distribution of information. Its 2 billion active users may read traditional news sources, like The New York Times and Business Insider. But they aren't typically visiting those websites directly. Instead, they're scrolling through Facebook's news feed and reading articles that get shared by friends.

      The problem is that Facebook users aren't always good at distinguishing legitimate news sources from satire, propaganda, or just plain false information. And if bad information goes viral, it can negatively influence the public's opinion.

      The spreading of false information during the election cycle was so bad, that President Obama called Facebook a "dust cloud of nonsense."

    • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)

      The Democratic Party has been the Establishment for eight years, and the Clintons have arguably been the Establishment for 24 years. Since the late 1990s, members of the white working class with high school or less have seen their life-chances radically decline, even to the point where they are dying at much higher rates than they have a right to expect.

      A year ago Anne Case and Angus Deaton, Princeton University economists, published a study with the startling finding that since 1999 death rates have been going up for white Americans aged 45-54. It is even worse than it sounds, since death rates were declining for the general population.

    • Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory
      Three days after the presidential election, liberals are grappling with the reality of President-elect Donald Trump, while conservatives exult about an unexpected end to Democratic control of the White House.

      Neither side correctly anticipated the outcome on Election Day. And there are still several key questions that have not been definitively answered.

      What happened to Democratic turnout?

      Not every single vote has been counted yet, but the general pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton underperformed President Obama’s showing in 2012 by a dramatic margin.

    • Nine times Donald Trump has already betrayed the US voters who put their faith in him
      Trump railed against Barack Obama’s flagship policy to allow millions of poor Americans to access healthcare.

      Pledging to ditch the policy during the campaign, he said: “We will do it very quickly. It is a catastrophe.”

      Now he says he might simply reform it, keeping the ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to be insured on parents’ policies.

      Trump said he was persuaded to keep the elements by Mr Obama, who he previously accused of founding the Islamic State.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Swaziland: Self-Censorship At 'Times' Newspaper
      The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, censored itself heavily in a report about exploitation of sugar workers to deflect criticism away from the absolute monarch King Mswati III.

      This trend of misinformation has been continuing at the newspaper for years.

      The Times said on Monday (7 November 2016), 'The new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) report is called "Swazi gold"'.
    • IMDb Sues The State Of California Over New 'Ageism' Law

    • IMDb Sues to Invalidate California's Actor Age Censorship Law
      IMDb is suing California Attorney General Kamala Harris to protect its right to post actors' ages on their profiles.

      A complaint filed Thursday in California federal court aims to overturn Assembly Bill 1687, which requires to remove the ages or birth dates of public figures in the entertainment industry on its site upon request.

      The law was passed in September as an effort to mitigate age discrimination in Hollywood and has been widely criticized as unconstitutional — a point IMDb emphasizes in its suit.

      "IMDb shares the worthy goal of preventing age discrimination," writes attorney John C. Hueston in the complaint. "But AB 1687 is an unconstitutional law that does not advance, much less achieve, that goal. To the contrary, rather than passing laws designed to address the root problem of age discrimination, the State of California has chosen to chill free speech and undermine public access to factual information."

    • EU in new attempt to make ISP:s police and censor the Internet

      Freedom of speech and freedom of information will be in the hands of ISP:s who are to be liable for all user uploads. There is good reason to fear that these companies will be overly anxious and cautious – censoring everything with even a remote possibility of being an infringement of copyright.

      This is yet another attempt to get around the eCommerce-directives principle of €»mere conduit€« stating that net operators can not be liable for what users are doing in their cables.

    • China is the obstacle to Google’s plan to end internet censorship

      It’s been three years since Eric Schmidt proclaimed that Google would chart a course to ending online censorship within ten years. Now is a great time to check on Google’s progress, reassess the landscape, benchmark Google’s efforts against others who share the same goal, postulate on the China strategy and offer suggestions on how they might effectively move forward.

    • The Paradox Of Trump Threatening Documentary Filmmaker While Supporting Citizens United
      I'm not sure if Donald Trump has ever officially weighed in on the famous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, but if he did, I'm guessing he would support that ruling wholeheartedly. After all, he recently hired the former President of Citizens United to be his deputy campaign manager. And, I know that people freak out about the term "Citizens United" and some believe it's the root cause of all evil in American politics today, but that's wrong. At its heart, that case was a First Amendment free speech case, about whether a group (Citizens United) could show a documentary film heavily critical of Hillary Clinton close to the 2008 election. We can all argue about the evils of campaign finance and dark money and super PACs, but there should be ways to fix that without banning movies.

      Either way, it's quite ironic that with the former head of Citizens United helping to lead his campaign, Trump is now basically arguing against the very Citizens United ruling by threatening to sue lots of folks associated with a new documentary, called You've Been Trumped Too. Unfortunately, the filmmaker hasn't released the actual threat letters, so we can't see the details, but he claims that "Trump is threatening to sue movie theatres, reporters or anyone who repeats the allegations made in my new film." People Magazine claims it's seen the threat letters but chosen not to post them.

    • Bad Idea From Famed First Amendment Lawyer: Press Should Sue Trump For Libel
      Floyd Abrams is one of, if not the most famous First Amendment lawyers in the country. He gets and deserves a ton of respect. His most famous case was defending the NY Times against the US government when Richard Nixon tried to block the NY Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. And he's been involved in many other seminal First Amendment cases as well. That doesn't mean he doesn't sometimes make mistakes -- like the time he insisted that SOPA wouldn't violate the First Amendment because it was censorship for a good cause (i.e., for his clients at the MPAA). Or the time he falsely accused Wikileaks of indiscriminately leaking information that was actually being more carefully distributed.

      And while I totally agree with Abrams in claiming that Donald Trump is the "greatest threat to the First Amendment since the passage of The Sedition Act of 1918," I disagree with his thoughts on how to fight it. His argument is that the press that Trump has been insulting should sue Trump for defamation...

    • Censorship: Is it necessary?
      Recently, Eckerd College officials told students and faculty that free speech is welcome on their campus. Eckerd College was not the first to impose this policy, which started with University of Chicago in 2012. Censorship has been debated on college campuses for some time now, causing an uproar with students.

    • India’s Long History of Television Censorship
      The Indian state has a propensity to censor regardless of the government in power. Nevertheless, the ban imposed on NDTV India is a significant escalation against the country’s free press.
    • A sad song of musical censorship in India and Pakistan
      At the end of September 2016, the Indian motion picture producer’s association, India’s largest organisation related to entertainment, announced a ban on all Pakistani artists.

      In retaliation, Pakistan authorities imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on all its TV channels, including Bollywood movies.

      This cultural war, triggered by the September Uri attacks in Kashmir, is far from new.

    • Facebook slammed for censoring burn victim's birthday photo

    • Facebook apologises and backs down after it removed a photograph of a Swedish fireman who was disfigured in a blaze

    • Facebook slammed for censoring burn victim's birthday pic

    • Why does Facebook remove photos of burn victims like Lasse Gustavson?

    • Facebook Apologises For Removing Photo Of Burns Survivor Lasse Gustavson

    • Facebook Bans Burn Survivor’s Photo Twice, Receives Backlash

    • Facebook Apologizes After Banning Picture of Burn Victim on His Birthday

    • Twitter Censorship #USSLiberty #Vanunu

    • Artist Double Diamond Sun Body, Currently Showing At MAMA, Uses Irreverence To Challenge Censorship

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Why did Facebook buy a social analytics tool used by media companies?
      Facebook has repeatedly denied it is a media company. So why did it just go and buy a startup best known for its social analytics platform for media publishers?

      Arriving on the scene in 2011, CrowdTangle has become an indispensable tracking tool for media outlets. Its real-time dashboards, custom notifications, and personalized visualizations help publishers compare their social leverage with their competitors’ and discover trending content. In its own words: “Hundreds of newsrooms and thousands of journalists use the tool every day.”

    • Why the Government Must Disclose Its Exploit to the Defense in the Playpen Cases
      In addition to difficult questions concerning the Fourth Amendment, Rule 41, and the limits of government hacking, the Playpen cases raise an important question about the future of digital rights: whether, to what extent, and under what circumstances the government must disclose to criminal defendants how the government carried out its hacking.

      In the Playpen cases, the government has provided some information to the accused about how the “network investigative technique,” or “NIT,” operated. But, critically, the government refuses to produce the exploit it used to allegedly take control of suspects' computers.

      That refusal—in addition to all the other problems with the Playpen cases—violates the rights of the accused. And, as at least one court has correctly found, the refusal to disclose the exploit to the defense requires suppression of evidence obtained as a result.

    • Delivering Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere to Mobile Users at WARP Speed

      As people spend more and more time using phones and tablets, privacy and security for mobile browsers has become an acute problem. That’s why we’re excited to see a new Android browser called WARP improving the state of the field. WARP was built by Qualcomm and EMbience, and includes ports of EFF's Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere tools to bring privacy and security protections to a wider, mobile audience.

      WARP is a patched version of Google's Chromium codebase. Its built-in features include Web Defender, which is a privacy mechanism that is compatible with EFF’s Privacy Badger 1.0, and Secure Connect, which is a native port of HTTPS Everywhere. WARP may also be used as the basis for customized browsers shipped by wireless carriers and handset manufacturers. However, we recommend that, if you want to use WARP (or any other browser), it's best to get the version from the Play Store rather than one that may have been modified in undocumented ways by carriers or handset manufacturers.

    • Managing Security Trade-offs: Why I Still Recommend Signal
      Recently, I read a blog post by a developer who also does infosec consulting and training for investigative journalists, helping protect their ability to work in the public interest and communicate with sources unimpeded by surveillance states and other adversaries.

      The post, titled “Why I won’t recommend Signal anymore,” piqued my interest as I spend a lot of time evangelising Signal to virtually anyone I interact with, for reasons which I have spent several years discovering. I immediately thought, “What did this guy discover that I’ve so blatantly missed?” and read through the article.
    • EFF to Supreme Court: Cell Phone Location Data Is Off-Limits to Police Without a Warrant
      Washington, D.C.—Cell phone location data, which can provide an incredibly detailed picture of people’s private lives, implicates our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches, requiring police to obtain a warrant to gain access, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the Supreme Court today.

      Weighing in on separate cases where two courts have applied 1970s-era law to digital communications in the information age, EFF urged the nation’s highest court to step in and establish that Americans have the right to expect location data generated from their cell phones is private and protected by the Constitution against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    • Fewer Resources, Fewer Choices: A School Administrator in Indiana Works to Protect Student Privacy
      In a rural, partly Amish community in Indiana, the schools are rapidly adopting educational technology from tech giants like Google. Students may be leaving farms in the morning to come to classrooms with Chromebooks at every desk. As technology becomes more and more integrated into modern education, these schools have to draw on scarce resources to protect the privacy of their students.

      Eric M. is the Director of Technology at a public K-12 school district in a rural area of Indiana. The district is relatively small, with about 2100 students. In addition to G-Suite for Education (known as Google Apps for Education until recently), students use software from major publishers like McGraw Hill and Pearson. Beyond these core apps, some classrooms also use smaller software like Mobymax, Achieve3000, and Nearpod, as well as publicly available platforms like Prezi and Glogster.

      “It seems like every classroom you look into is using technology,” Eric said. “As a technology director, that makes me both excited and scared.”
    • Appeals court hears arguments in Somali terror case
      The four men in the case are Basaaly Saeed Moalin, a San Diego cabdriver; Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, the imam of a City Heights mosque; Issa Doreh, former president of a nonprofit group aiding the Somali community; and Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud of Anaheim. They were convicted of funneling less than $10,000 to the terrorist group al-Shabab.

      The main evidence in the trial was excerpts of about 1,800 wiretap recordings of phone calls from Moalin to Somalia and to his co-defendants. Prosecutors said the recordings captured the scheme to raise the funds and wire transfer them overseas.

    • Terror-funding conviction in San Diego under fire over NSA phone data collection
    • Autocracy: Rules for Survival
      However well-intentioned, this talk assumes that Trump is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. In short, it is treating him as a “normal” politician. There has until now been little evidence that he can be one.

    • Boeing, DISA Develop Mobile Device for Top-Secret Military Communications; Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn Comments
    • The Head Of The NSA Is Testing Boeing's Self-Destructing Smartphone
    • Trump Election Ignites Fears Over US Encryption, Surveillance Policy

    • Worried about the NSA under Trump? Here's how to protect yourself

      In January 2017, Donald Trump will become President of the United States of America, and the most technologically advanced surveillance infrastructure in the world will start reporting directly to him.

      When Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance regime in 2013, he warned that a new American president could rapidly expand its scope overnight with just a simple change of government policy.
    • President Obama Should Shut Down the NSA’s Mass Spying Before It’s Too Late
      Modern surveillance programs would be a disaster under President Trump

      President Obama has just 71 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as our next commander-in-chief. That means he has a matter of weeks to do one thing that could help prevent the United States from veering into fascism: declassifying and dismantling as much of the federal government’s unaccountable, secretive, mass surveillance state as he can — before Trump is the one running it.

    • ORG concerned over GCHQ sovereignty under new US president
    • Open Rights Group: Donald Trump presidency is bad news for UK surveillance
      Privacy campaigners at the Open Rights Group (ORG) have warned that Donald Trump running the US National Security Agency (NSA), and therefore working closely with GCHQ, could spell trouble for UK surveillance.

    • Scared About Trump Wielding FBI And NSA Cyber Power? You Should Be
      Americans are understandably anxious about the idea of Donald Trump wantonly wielding “The Cyber” to quiet his enemies, following his election to president today. The fear is manifesting and metastasizing fast on social media…

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A New Dawn for Hate?

      Aaron, Nik, and Nancy are not alone. A mere three days after the election, reports of harassment and violence directed at people of color, immigrants, LGBT people, Muslims, and others have been pouring in. Shaun King, the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, has received dozens and dozens of reports of abuse and is chronicling them on Twitter. The Southern Poverty Law Center is also collecting reports of racist harassment, as are various news outlets.

    • Congress Needs To Clarify That Password Sharing Is Not a Federal Crime
      The Internet has been on fire in recent months over two court decisions that threaten to criminalize password sharing. The law at the heart of the cases is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a 1986 statute meant to outlaw computer break-ins. Congress passed the CFAA after "War Games"—a techno-thriller film about a teen whose computer shenanigans nearly sparked World War III—put the fear of God into lawmakers about the vulnerability of our computer networks. The law—passed years before the advent of the modern Internet—is seriously showing its age.

      How the CFAA, which was originally intended to target criminals for havoc-wreaking computer break-ins and data theft, came to be used to convict people for using someone else's password is a study in prosecutorial overreach and shows how the law has failed to keep up with technology. Congress needs to step up and overhaul this flawed and outdated law.

      The CFAA makes it illegal to intentionally access a "protected computer"—which includes any computer connected to the Internet—"without authorization" or in excess of authorization. But the law fails to define "without authorization."

    • Richard Cohen Can’t Help Race-Baiting, Defending Harassment
      Cohen himself was accused of “inappropriate behavior” toward a female staffer in 1996–and later wrote a column (10/25/10) saying that allegations against Thomas should be forgotten, on the grounds that “we all did and said terrible things when we were young.” On the basis of his self-serving rejection of sexual harassment investigations, Cohen’s column is headlined “The Gangs of Washington Are Drawing Their Knives.”

    • Donald Trump May Choose Bush-Era Torture Architect for CIA Chief
      President-elect Donald Trump may choose an architect of the George W. Bush administration's torture program, Jose Rodriguez, to head the CIA, The Intercept reported Friday.

      The Intercept cites a post-election prediction from Dentons, a law firm where Trump confidante Newt Gingrich (himself a potential secretary of state) serves as an advisor. "Dentons was also retained by Make America Number 1, one of the primary Super PACs supporting Trump's candidacy," the outlet writes.

      Rodriguez directed the National Clandestine Service and "helped develop the CIA black sites, secret prisons operated in foreign countries where interrogators used a range of torture tactics, including the use of 'waterboarding,' the simulated drowning technique once used by the Khmer Rouge and Nazi agents to glean information from detainees," The Intercept writes.

    • Zimbabwean Hunter Will Not Be Prosecuted Over Cecil the Lion Killing
      A Zimbabwean hunter involved in the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015 will not face prosecution after a high court in the African country threw out the charges against him, according to his lawyer.

      State prosecutors accused hunter Theo Bronkhorst of helping to lure the 13-year-old, black-maned lion out of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park in order for American dentist Walter Palmer to hunt Cecil.

    • The Dutch prison crisis: A shortage of prisoners
      While the UK and much of the world struggles with overcrowded prisons, the Netherlands has the opposite problem. It is actually short of people to lock up. In the past few years 19 prisons have closed down and more are slated for closure next year. How has this happened - and why do some people think it's a problem?

      The smell of fried onions wafts up the metal staircase, past the cell doors and along the wing. Down in the kitchen inmates are preparing their evening meal. One man, gripping a long serrated blade, is expertly chopping vegetables.

      "I've had six years to practice so I am getting better!" he says.

      It is noisy work because the knife is on a long steel chain attached to the worktop.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Court Not Impressed By Airbnb's Argument Against The City Of San Francisco
      Earlier this year, we noted that a bunch of cities were looking to make Airbnb liable for residents in those cities using the platform without following certain city rules. As we noted at the time, this seemed to pretty clearly violate Section 230 of the CDA, which says that platforms cannot be liable for the actions of their users. San Francisco went ahead with such a law anyway, even though it tried to rework it at the last minute to deal with Airbnb's points on why it was illegal. The case ended up in court either way -- and unfortunately, the initial ruling has sided with San Francisco over Airbnb.

      Now, I know that for a variety of reasons, there are people who just flat out hate Airbnb and think that it's somehow bad or problematic for cities or rental prices or whatever. I don't think the data supports this, but either way, you should be concerned about the results here. This isn't about whether or not Airbnb is "good" or "bad" for cities. It's about a fundamental principle on which the internet operates -- which has allowed the internet to grow and to thrive, and which has protected free speech on the internet, by not making platforms magically liable for what users say or do. But the court here basically doesn't care about all of that.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Will President Trump Be Tough on Online Piracy?
        At TorrentFreak we have no interest in reporting on politics, except when it’s relevant to copyright issues.

        After the surprising victory of Donald Trump earlier this week, several people asked what this would mean for the country’s stance on piracy and copyright enforcement in general.

        While we would love to dissect the issue in detail, there are no concrete policy proposals yet. Neither Trump nor Clinton have gone into detail over the past few months.

        So what do we know?

        It’s not a secret that Donald Trump made some rather dubious remarks during his election campaign. For example, he suggested that it might be worth considering whether to “close up” the Internet over terrorist threats.

        Extreme or not, we believe that extrapolating these kinds of one-liners into copyright policy proposals goes a bit far, to say the least.

      • Conspiracy Theories Run Amok Over Copyright Office Executive Changes
        Last week, we wrote about the big news in the copyright realm, where the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, removed the Register of Copyrights (the head of the Copyright Office), Maria Pallante, from her job. Technically, Hayden reassigned Pallante to a new job in the Library of Congress, but Pallante rejected that offer and resigned. While we -- and some others -- pointed out that this was a good opportunity to reshape the Copyright Office away from being a taxpayer-funded lobbying organization for Hollywood, some folks who support ever more draconian copyright immediately jumped on all sorts of conspiracy theories about how this was really Google somehow firing Pallante, including one site that directly had that as a headline.

        To anyone who actually had knowledge of what was going on, this made no sense. Hayden is not connected to Google in any way. This is just out and out tinfoil hat conspiracy theory territory from people who see "Google" behind any policy they dislike. It seemed rather obvious that, like just about any new CEO of an organization, Hayden was clearing out some senior staff for a variety of reasons. And there was a pretty obvious big reason why Hayden would like to reassign Pallante: she has been directly and publicly advocating for Congress to move the Copyright Office outside of the Library of Congress. If you came in to run an organization and one of your direct reports was going over your head to try to transfer an entire division somewhere else, it's likely you'd fire that person too. It's kind of a management 101 thing.

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