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05.19.14

Links 19/5/2014: Ubuntu in HPC, New Linux Foundation Members

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • AdBlock Plus: A Memory Guzzler?

        If you ask users of the Firefox browser why they use it, a lot of them will say that they have favorite extensions that work with it. And, among those popular extensions, AdBlock Plus is among the most popular of all. However, a post from Mozilla’s Nicholas Nethercote claims that the almost 19 million users of AdBlock Plus don’t realize that bugs and some design aspects of the extension can cause it to guzzle memory, potentially slowing computers down.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • Preview of GhostBSD 4.0

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution that’s based on FreeBSD. The core developers are from Canada, so I think it ok to call it a Canadian distribution. The only article I’ve written about this distribution was a review of GhostBSD 2.5 back in February 2012 (see GhostBSD 2.5 review). I wasn’t impressed.

      But that was then, this is now. The third alpha of what will become GhostBSD 4.0 was released a few days ago. To see how far the distribution has come since the 2.5 edition, I downloaded and installed it from a DVD image in a virtual environment. I’m still not terribly impressed, though I realize the this is only a third alpha release. The following screenshots were taken from that test installation.

      This is what the boot menu looks like. This needs to change. Even PC-BSD, another FreeBSD-based distribution, has abandoned this bland boot menu.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • 50 key MIT-related innovations

      23. The free software movement (1983)

      Early AI Lab programmer Richard Stallman was a major pioneer in hacker culture and started the freesoftware movement by launching the GNU operating system, a compatible replacement for the (nonfree) Unix OS. The last gap in GNU was filled by the kernel Linux, yielding the widely used GNU/Linux system.

    • Terry Hancock on Free Software and Free Culture [Interview]

      Advocates of Free Software aren’t made in a single night. When it comes to computers, software, and digital art, inspiration and motivation are of utmost importance. Terry Hancock, part owner of Anansi Spaceworks and Free Software Magazine columnist, was surrounded by all three growing up.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source code helps governments share information with citizens

      Before open data, there was FOIA. Beginning in 1967, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) empowered the public to request access to government documents. Unfortunately, some branches of government quickly began to push back, and within the decade the infamous phrase “can neither confirm nor deny” had been devised to avoid releasing information.

      This came to exemplify the adversarial relationship between the public and government. Yet public records requests (also known as FOIL, Right-to-Know, public information or open records requests, depending on where you are) remain a fundamental way in which the public is able to obtain information from government agencies under FOIA-like laws in all fifty states.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Hackerlands: the rural version of urban hackerspaces

      They open up areas struck by digital exclusion. They develop autonomous Internet networks in mountainous areas, install organic solar panels, and let local Internet radio emerge. They can even transform abandoned water troughs into eco-jacuzzis. “Hackerspaces,” user-friendly spaces where technological tools are crafted, are spreading throughout the rural environment.

    • Open Data

      • Exploring the legal issues around open data and open hardware

        Drafting and using open licenses for data and hardware presents both familiar old challenges (like license proliferation) and new challenges (like less developed legal frameworks and different production models). About thirty people working in these areas recently gathered (under the umbrella of the FSF-E’s “European Legal Network”) to discuss the latest work in these areas under the Chatham House Rules. This article will summarize what the group learned, and, I hope, stimulate discussion to improve the state of licensing in those areas.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • effects analysis in guile

      OK kids, so I had a bit of time recently. I’ve been hacking on Guile’s new CPS-based compiler, which should appear in a stable release in a few months. I have a few things to write about, but today’s article is on effects analysis.

Leftovers

  • What the heck is Fog Computing?

    While many are still trying to figure out Cloud Computing, here comes a rival concept – Fog Computing. It’s computing that takes place at the edge of the network, closer to home. That is, computing that takes place on the devices that are nearest to you – your smartphone and other connected devices that are around you. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT), or Internet of Everything (IoE).

    Fog Computing is not a new concept. Like Cloud Computing, it’s just a marketing buzzword for something that’s already taking place.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Exposures by VA whistleblowers shake agency, reveal serious patient issues

      That’s one of the messages from a Senate hearing Thursday into a VA health-care system under fire on multiple fronts — from repeated complaints about long waits for service to unnecessary deaths.

      Yet even the American Legion, which has called for VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki’s resignation, finds “veterans are extremely satisfied with their health-care team and medical providers,” according to the Legion’s national commander, Daniel M. Dellinger.

    • I Went to the Nutritionists’ Annual Confab. It Was Catered by McDonald’s.

      One recent Friday afternoon, in a Mariott Hotel ballroom in Pomona, California, I watched two women skeptically evaluate their McDonald’s lunches. One peered into a plastic bowl containing a salad of lettuce, bacon, chicken, cheese, and ranch dressing. The other arranged two chocolate chip cookies and a yogurt parfait on a napkin. “Eww,” she said, gingerly stirring the layers of yogurt and pink strawberry goop. The woman with the salad nodded in agreement, poking at a wan chicken strip with her plastic fork.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Honest US Senator Wanted

      Looking for an honest US Senator my be a long shot, but we need one now to take forward the foiling of the British government’s attempts to block publication of the Senate report into torture and extraordinary rendition. Now we have got this into the mainstream media, it may have more traction. I am delighted that the Belhadj legal team have formally adopted the information that the UK is seeking to block release of key information in this report. Given that the Crown’s defence in the Belhadj case rests entirely on the argument that the USA does not want the facts revealed, that the Crown is then lobbying the USA to hide the same facts ought to be too much even for the most abject establishment lickspittle of a judge to stomach.

    • European day of action: Citizens call on MEPs to protect digital rights

      Today, a coalition of 36 civil rights organisations invites European citizens to take part in a day of action to make sure that the next European Parliament defends digital civil and human rights. Through WePromise.eu, people can pledge to vote for candidates who have signed up to protect digital rights.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why the U.K. might kill the EU’s net neutrality law

      While the debate over net neutrality continues to rage in the United States, the British government is planning to block European Union legislation on the matter.

      It’s a surprising turn of events. Just last month, the European Parliament voted to place the principles of net neutrality into law. However, before it becomes law throughout Europe, each member country must also pass the legislation. On Thursday, the British government indicated it may veto it instead.

      At issue is a new provision that critics argue would restrict the British government’s “ability to block illegal material.” The amendment made it so that only a court order would allow for the banning of content, and not a legislative provision, as originally proposed, according to RT.

    • NY Times And Washington Post Describe Yesterday’s Net Neutrality Vote In Diametrically Opposite Ways

      As we noted, yesterday’s FCC vote concerning the NPRM on “open internet” rules was really just the start of the process. A lot of people seem confused by this — and part of the problem is really the FCC. Tom Wheeler keeps insisting that the rules are designed to protect net neutrality and the open internet, but as lots of people keep pointing out, the rulemaking he’s proposing would likely do the opposite. Because of that, you get a ton of confusion, perhaps best shown by a simple comparison, put together by Drew Oden on Twitter of the summary from both the NY Times and the Washington Post about what happened:

    • Hollywood Is Still On The Wrong Side Of Net Neutrality

      But, tragically, the powers that be among the legacy entertainment industry still seem to view net neutrality as a problem, not an important part of their future. It appears this is a combination of a few factors, led by their continued and irrational fear of “piracy.” Because of this, they seem to think that any sort of “open” internet is a problem. In fact, back in 2007, the MPAA specifically argued that net neutrality would harm its anti-piracy efforts. Similarly, both the RIAA and MPAA have lobbied strongly in the past for special loopholes and exceptions to any net neutrality rules that would allow ISPs to block content the legacy guys don’t like. In fact, one of the most famous net neutrality violations involved Comcast throttling BitTorrent connections. The Songwriters Guild of America once claimed that net neutrality would mean an end to songwriting.

    • Who’s against Net neutrality? Follow the money

      The cable industry has not been shy about handing out campaign donations to Congress. So guess who’s sending letters to the FCC arguing against Net neutrality?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Urges Lawmakers to Protect Young Pirates From Cyber Threats

        The MPAA is urging lawmakers to protect young Americans from the “numerous hazards on pirate sites.” The movie industry group believes that young people may not be aware of the risks they face when visiting these sites and hopes that Senators will be able to address this cyber threat appropriately.

      • The Connection Between The Copyright Industry And The NSA

        There is a direct connection between copyright monopoly enforcement and mass surveillance, and between mass surveillance and lack of free speech. If you want to keep free speech, the copyright monopoly must be reduced sharply.

05.18.14

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

Posted in News Roundup at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • David Lowe: I thought, ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat On’. Now that’s a nice, safe choice

    ‘The BBC is fundamentally flawed. The system is fractured’: David Lowe at home in Torquay

  • Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours

    Adobe is struggling to correct a global outage that has already locked customers out of its Creative Cloud online services for nearly 24 hours.

  • Cloud-computing Has A Silver Lining For FLOSS

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

  • Cloud computing, or ‘The future is trying to KILL YOU’
  • Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

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

  • Rackspace entertains possible takeover suitors

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

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Obamacare Loophole Shows Failure of For-Profit Health System: Critics

      The Obama administration earlier this month quietly handed the insurance industry another loophole in the Affordable Care Act—infuriating advocates for universal coverage who say this shows that an insurance-driven health system is doomed to fail.

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

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

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • East Ukraine Votes For Independence As Reports Claim 400 Blackwater Troops In Country
    • Is the West DIRECTLY Responsible for the Massacres In Ukraine?
    • Sen. Paul Says He’ll Filibuster Obama Judicial Nominee Over Drone Issue

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

    • Muslims Call Out Obama’s Hypocrisy With Twitter Campaign Attacking Civilian Drone Deaths
    • Drone opponents criticise US first lady’s support for Nigerian girls
    • ‘My husband kills kids with drones’: Michelle Obama’s viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign

      When US First Lady Michelle Obama appeared in a picture supporting the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, she was praised for taking a stand against Boko Haram. But others quickly subverted her message and turned it into an anti-drone campaign.

    • Michelle’s Sign and the Imperatives of Empire

      But most Americans do not know why Iranians have excellent reason not to trust our word, nor why Africans remember us quite differently than Americans suppose.

    • US Terrorism from the Skies: The Truth Behind Drone Strikes as the President’s Personal Choice of Warfare

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

    • Does the Obama Administration Care About Innocents Killed by Drones?

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

    • Kill a 16 Year-Old, Get a Promotion

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

    • US Cluster Bombs Keep Killing Civilians in Yemen

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

    • Deadly U.S. Drone War Creating Problems for Yemen’s President

      After a brief respite, U.S. drones are buzzing above Yemen once again, reportedly killing six al-Qaeda “militants” on May 12.

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

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

    • Do We Need Asimov’s Laws?

      As robots become ever more present in daily life, the question of how to control their behaviour naturally arises. Does Asimov have the answer?

    • The ultra-lethal drones of the future

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

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

    • Should robots kill without human supervision?
    • “The Stuff I Saw Really Began to Disturb Me”: How the U.S. Drone War Pushed Snowden to Leak NSA Docs

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

    • RAW DATA: Kiwi killed in drone strike — Patrick Gower interviews Jeremy Scahill
    • NZ ‘aware’ of US drone attacks – journalist
    • Journalist: NZ spies aware of drone strikes
    • Gvt’s role in US drone attacks ‘pretty scandalous’
    • MH370: Ask Boeing and CIA, don’t blame MAS, says Dr Mahathir

      Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday suggested that Boeing and the Central Intelligence Agency should be questioned over the missing Flight MH370.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Dr Mahathir adds CIA to list of suspects
    • The Excluded Cubans: Used by the CIA Unwanted by the USA

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tony Abbott’s budget emergency: what are the facts?
    • Murdoch-owned media hypes lone metereologist’s climate junk science

      This morning I, like any of you, was disappointed to see that the frontpage of The Times carried a story by the paper’s environment editor, Ben Webster, which read, ‘Scientists in cover-up of “damaging” climate view.’

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Swiss consider world’s highest minimum wage

      Voters expected to say “no” to union-initiated referendum that would raise basic income to more than $4,000 a month.

    • Better than Redistributing Income

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lessig’s Anti-SuperPAC SuperPAC Raises First $1 Million In Just 12 Days

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

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Enigmail, and Not Signing by Default
    • Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA

      A web of deception has finally been untangled: the Justice Department got the US supreme court to dismiss a case that could have curtailed the NSA’s dragnet. Why?

    • Glenn Greenwald on Hong Kong’s key role in Snowden’s NSA document leak
    • The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power

      Modern American privacy law begins with Charles Katz, an accused gambler, making a call from a Los Angeles phone booth. In a now-famous opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan concluded that the US Constitution protected Katz’s “expectation of privacy” in his call. American phone booths are now a thing of the past, of course, and Americans’ expectations of privacy seem to be fast disappearing, too.

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

    • Crypto-guru slams ‘NSA-proof’ tech, says today’s crypto is strong enough

      History is filled with companies shamed by their shoddy cryptography implementations – even though the underlying maths is bang on.

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

    • Photos reveal NSA tampered with Cisco router prior to export

      For years, the US government has accused Chinese companies of placing surveillance equipment inside routers being exported to America, but this week evidence suggests the exact opposite may be happening.

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

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

    • Sprint Only Carrier to (Briefly) Question NSA Data Collection

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

    • Sprint was the only telco to stand up to the NSA

      Newly declassified documents show the dilemma faced by telecommunications companies when the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) came calling.

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

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email

      One new email service promising “end-to-end” encryption launched on Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

    • Many more NSA revelations to come, Glenn Greenwald tells Al Jazeera; Snowden ‘very happy’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, at the centre of controversy since breaking the story about the existence of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme, has told Al Jazeera that there are “many more stories to go” based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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

    • ‘New NSA document highlights Israeli espionage in US’

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

    • NSA Is Recording the Voices of U.S. Telephone Calls
    • NSA Spying Has a Disproportionate Effect on Immigrants

      The consequences of eliminating Fourth Amendment protections for all international communication with foreigners

    • Advocates fear NSA bill is being gutted

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

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

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

    • NSA documents show Microsoft’s Prism cooperation
    • Microsoft openly offered cloud data to support NSA PRISM programme
    • Encrypted or not, Skype communications prove “vital” to NSA surveillance

      Last year, Ars documented how Skype encryption posed little challenge to Microsoft abuse filters that scanned instant messages for potentially abusive Web links. Within hours of newly created, never-before-visited URLs being transmitted over the service, the scanners were able to pluck them out of a cryptographically protected stream and test if they were malicious. Now comes word that the National Security Agency is also able to work around Skype crypto—so much so that analysts have deemed the Microsoft-owned service “vital” to a key surveillance regimen known as PRISM.

    • Former NSA Official Thinks A Blog Containing Nothing But His Own Tweets Is ‘Defamatory’

      All the PhDs in the world aren’t going to save you from having your own direct quotes turned against you. If anything, it only confirms what Schindler’s critics believe: that he’s pompous, arrogant and unwilling to actually engage in a debate. Instead, he prefers to belittle anyone who doesn’t hold a precious PhD in history, using his doctorate to paper over any flaws in arguments.

      I can’t imagine it’s much fun to see your Twitter feed boiled down to little more than shouts of “stupid!” and continuous pointing to a framed piece of paper, but whether Schindler likes it or not, those are his words and those are his go-to rhetorical devices. For someone who frequently uses the hashtag #caring to show his contempt for the ire he provokes, he certainly can’t seem to take having his own abuse heaped on his Carebear-surrounded head.z

    • Microsoft MVP Says NSA Can Monitor Secure Tor Browsing
    • Microsoft expert: Tor security compromised by NSA

      Speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd North America event earlier this week, the founder of the Cyber Crime Security Forum said that hackers and government agencies can now compromise the security of the TOR network.

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

    • The NYT and the NSA: Abramson and Baquet have different journalistic values

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

    • Cisco’s NSA problem is going to whack all of US tech’s growth plans

      Cisco’s emerging markets business—the engine for the networking giant’s future growth—continues to take a hit and that situation isn’t likely to change now that it’s common knowledge that the NSA has been intercepting routers—and other IT gear—in the supply chain so it can install call-home beacons.

    • The FBI, the NSA, and the Daunting Task of True Reform

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

    • bEncrypted Web Traffic More Than Doubles After NSA Revelations

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

    • More People Are Encrypting Their Web Traffic In The Wake Of NSA Spying Revelations

      People have started taking Edward Snowden’s advice on using Web encryption to shield their movements online, according to a new study. After the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor leaked documents on the government’s surveillance programs, encrypted web traffic has more than doubled worldwide.

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

    • Sony Pictures buys film rights to Greenwald’s book on Snowden, NSA

      “Zero Dark Thirty” maker nabs rights to Glenn Greenwald’s look at working with Edward Snowden to reveal reach of NSA.

    • Germany Will Ban Tech Companies That Play Ball With NSA

      No German federal contracts will go to companies that turn over data to the NSA and other spy agencies in the U.S., and elsewhere. There may, however, be one crucial exemption.

    • Biggest NSA leaks are yet to come, Glenn Greenwald says in interview

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been at the center of controversy ever since breaking the story about the existence of the expansive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program, told Al Jazeera’s John Seigenthaler on Wednesday that there were “many more stories to go” based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • Did the NSA help kill UWB?

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

    • Harvard & MIT Students Have Created an Email So Secure Even the NSA Can’t Crack It
    • Startup pitches snoop-proof (even NSA-proof) email
    • How the NSA & FBI made Facebook the perfect mass surveillance tool

      The National Security Agency and the FBI teamed up in October 2010 to develop techniques for turning Facebook into a surveillance tool.

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

    • Quoted: on Chinese routers as competition for NSA spying
    • Can We Stop America’s Surveillance State?

      Purloined formerly top-secret NSA documents are now there for the downloading, even as the calls for truth and privacy buttressed by irrefutable information, has run up against the institutional armor of the surveillance state that has little respect for public opinion or calls for “reform.”

    • Arlington: The Birthplace of NSA Surveillance

      Today’s National Security Agency is housed in a sprawling complex in Fort Meade, Md., but, according to a recent lecturer at Arlington Public Library, domestic surveillance by the NSA was perhaps born in Arlington.

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

    • Tech groups dissatisfied with NSA reform bill
    • Microsoft, NSA and FBI reveal secret 3-way romance

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

    • Mass surveillance: the Dutch state of denial

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

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

    • GOOGLE HAS MOST OF MY EMAIL BECAUSE IT HAS ALL OF YOURS

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

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

    • Whistleblowers Beware: Apps Like Whisper and Secret Will Rat You Out

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

    • DOJ Says Americans Have No 4th Amendment Protections At All When They Communicate With Foreigners

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

    • Snowden: The NSA planted backdoors in Cisco products
    • Charity makes legal bid against GCHQ over malware infections
    • Web round up – Microsoft, Google and phones!

      Whatsapp has been removed from its Windows Phone Store….bad news for all 4 Windows Phone users

    • The problem with LinkedIn

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

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Open Letter to European Commission about DRM in HTML5

      Dear Commissioner Malmstroem,

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Latest Trade Agreements Are Re-defining Cultural Choices As ‘Non-Tariff Barriers’ That Need To Be Eliminated

      It’s something of a misnomer to call TPP, TTIP and TISA trade agreements: they go far beyond traditional discussions about things like tariff removal, and are encroaching on domains that are as much cultural as economic. That is, many of things that the US dubs “trade barriers” are in fact long-standing expressions of national priorities, preferences and beliefs. That’s evident in an interesting post from Public Citizen’s Eyes on Trade blog, which explores the 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (pdf).

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy ‘Whistleblower’ to Remain Anonymous, Court Rules

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

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

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

      • This Is How The UK Piracy Warnings Will Work

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

      • Updated: Canadian Police Raid BitTorrent Tracker, Confiscate Server

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

      • Publisher Targets University Researchers for “Pirating” Their Own Articles

        The American Society of Civil Engineers is cracking down on researchers who post their own articles on their personal websites. The publisher, which owns dozens of highly cited journals, claims that the authors commit copyright infringement by sharing their work in public.

05.17.14

Linux Flaw is Not a Back Door, Unlike Many Microsoft Flaws

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Selective reporting to breed bias against the lesser issues

3-D text

Summary: New elements of FUD against GNU/Linux, ignoring much bigger issues that barely get covered at all

Since Microsoft is in bed with the NSA, many Microsoft flaws (with new ones added almost every month) are remotely exploitable and Microsoft does not even tell us about them all. It’s like a perpetual back door with the occasional change of keys.

Recently, a flaw that mostly affects shared GNU/Linux hosting was hyped up in Microsoft-connected sites by old FUD 'friends' who habitually do this. This was followed by some other coverage elsewhere, neglecting to say that the flaw is already widely patched. It was not even so severe. This was accompanied by a couple more FOSS-hostile articles in the British press, including one from a Microsoft propaganda site
citing, as usual, talking points from friends of Microsoft. There is a lot of FOSS-hostile propaganda these days, including this piece from InformationWeek that gets it wrong on many levels. This one example is a very crappy article framing it as a “religious” battle between “open source” and “commercial” as though these are opposites. Even Linux proponents like Susan Linton amplify these distracting reports, ignoring the elephant in the room, notably Microsoft. That’s where monstrous holes reside and prosper. Reporters should be pressured to investigate the real threats.

As many OEMs have found out (Sony being one of the latest), selling computers with back doors preinstalled is not a good business model [1, 2, 3]. It turns out that Microsoft not only gives a back door to the NSA but also the FBI (domestic), based on new leaks. To quote one report: “Microsoft worked to provide the FBI with court-ordered user data after the company began using encryption for customers who used Outlook, according to newly-released documents first leaked by Edward Snowden.

Here is more, which shows that not only Skype is affected. To quote: “Last July, Glenn Greenwald published a set of claims regarding a number of Microsoft services that were, especially at the time, unsettling: That Microsoft had helped the NSA “circumvent its encryption” relating to web chat on Outlook.com, that it had worked with the FBI to bring OneDrive (then called SkyDrive) into better fit with PRISM, and that government data collection from Skype had…”

It goes deeper than this, proving that people should wipe and freshly install operating systems they can trust on devices. Maybe the press focus on the elephant in this room. One site says “[s]oftware giant Microsoft has been left with questions to answer over its approach to the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) global internet surveillance programme after a new document was released implying that the NSA routinely collected data from the Microsoft cloud.” Microsoft facilitated this. It’s not an accident. But that’s not even the the bad part; it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real problem is worse because Windows itself contains back doors and new ones are routinely added. It is not just about the so-called ‘cloud’.

Copyrights and Not Just Patents Become a Threat to Free Software, Making Mono More Urgent to Avoid

Posted in Mono, Oracle, Patents at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Now that a relatively high court in the US views APIs as a recognised monopoly we face new risks and Mono is on very shaky ground

The other day when we wrote about patents as an issue with huge implications to FOSS we took note of Microsoft- and Oracle-backed tools such as CPTN (Novell’s patents), which OIN is quite pointless against. OIN is wrongly assuming a particular strategy of patent litigation will develop, even though companies like In Microsoft and Nokia dodge to proxies like MOSAID. Here is a new piece about OIN which focuses on hardware:

The next big intellectual property battle has been forming over hardwired and programmable chips made for mobile devices that leverage Linux code. However, the Open Invention Network has strategically deployed forces to keep Linux-powered smartphones, tablets and other computer technologies out of harm’s way. Its goal is to create a patent litigation no-fly zone around embedded Linux.

OIN does not appear too have done much — if anything at all — to stop litigation of this kind. To make matters worse, look what members like Oracle have been doing, leveraging copyright to attack other OIN members.

Here is Glyn Moody’s new take on this matter. He writes:

Last week, that “idea/expression dichotomy” was dealt a serious blow by a US court. Significantly, it is the same court – the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) – that is largely responsible for the software patent mess in the US.

Indeed, CAFC has been quite notorious for this. It is worse than even SCOTUS. Well, citing this older article, Mike Masnick explains that we should all be “recognizing that APIs shouldn’t be covered by copyright…as it makes people programming on your platform more valuable since they have more options and more flexibility. The big companies who don’t like this are being short-sighted. They’re trying to lock in developers, by forcing them to only develop for their platform, but in doing so, are inherently making their own platform less valuable.”

Now we are stuck in a mess of copyrights APIs, Jose warned us about such stuff years ago, in relation to Mono. Whatever Dalvik means to Java (Oracle) Mono may mean to .NET (Microsoft). We will revisit and expand on this another day.

Ars Technica is Still Openwashing Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can’t be arsed to check facts

Summary: Portrayal of Microsoft software and frameworks as “open” continues at Ars Technica, which just too happily conflates proprietary with FOSS

A week or so ago we wrote about Microsoft's very latest openwashing effort surrounding .NET, attempting to portray proprietary Windows lock-in as "open". Not surprisingly, Microsoft’s booster Peter Bright was trying to help Microsoft with this deception, writing not just in the Microsoft section but also the in the “open source” section of Ars Technica, which is biased and unreliable on software matters (worse now than ever before). Sosumi, who sent us a headsup about it, characterised this as Microsoft “spreading its tentacles”, taking over “open” using malicious proprietary software. The propaganda piece says “Visual Studio has previously supported third-party platforms” (contingent upon malicious software from Xamarin).

Here again we see the role of the Microsoft- (by proxy) funded Trojan horse which is Xamarin.

For many years Ars Technica has been promoting Mono and Moonlight, so this behaviour is not too shocking. The same is done by Wired (as we demonstrated before), which is owned by the same company (Conde Nast). What’s with this agenda?

Mozilla Cannot Claim to Teach People About the Web While Facilitating, Defending and Even Promoting DRM

Posted in DRM at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mozilla makes an error by not staying true to the principles that made it popular in the first place

Mozilla has been trying to sell us a controversial new interface (which many people want to replace [1]) for its flagship product Firefox, changing the controversial plan with ads etc. while it is using a kids-washed marketing campaign and claiming to teach about the Web [2,3]. This is after struggling with a PR disaster (the Eich incident) that distracted from Mono issues. One sure thing is, Mozilla is going through a tough time. This is not a good thing at all because Mozilla has historically been a champion of standards and source code.

Mozilla is seemingly trying to make things worse by ignoring hostile feedback (from months ago) to its DRM plans. DRM and FOSS cannot co-exist, so Mozilla abandoned FOSS instead of rejecting DRM. Mozilla is now contradicting itself. It weakens FOSS as a whole.

Well, Microsoft and DRM boosters make it even worse, trying to bolster the case for DRM using Mozilla. Across the Web there is plenty of anger, including an expression of disappointment at Mozilla’s actions. Prominent DRM foe Cory Doctorow [4] says that this position [5] breaks his heart and Linux-centric sites [6] paint this scenario more properly than most (many journalists don’t really understand these matters). Free software people have condemned Mozilla [7,8], but there is no chance of Mozilla changing course just yet. Two of our readers have said they they would dump Mozilla over this issue (not just Firefox but Mozilla).

Truth be told, the W3C deserves a lot of the blame as well. It has been an utter disgrace in the past couple of years and Tim Berners-Lee let it be so, with Novell’s Jaffe making erroneous decisions that isolate the Web that’s already a surveillance platform of notorious proportions. Most Web browsers in use FOSS code, but the W3C decided to ban FOSS with DRM, promoting proprietary software and hence more surveillance. The W3C deserves much of the flack and it deserves much of the blame for Mozilla’s own actions.

Articles about the fiasco mostly blame Mozilla for this, but some say that it’s not Mozilla’s fault, which is partly true. Sam Dean, who is typically okay with some proprietary software like Mac OSuX, obviously disagrees with Mozilla as he says: “Now, Mozilla–a champion of openness on the web–has teamed up with Adobe to provide a Content Decryption Module (CDM) that effectively hitches its wagon to streaming video DRM (digital rights management) in the Firefox browser after years of eschewing the practice.”

In another article, Dean says that “The FSF isn’t the only organization condemning Mozilla for the move. The Register refers to the decision as an “ankle grab.””

Other sites noted the same alignment in position among “Open source advocates” and some news site wrongly frame this as “bring[ing] Netflix support to Linux with DRM in Firefox” (this is not really what the news should say).

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER MOZILLA has announced the implementation of proprietary HTML5 based digital restrictions management (DRM) in its Firefox web browser, such as that used by media streaming services.

It is much worse than that. It is an assault of Free software, it is not about augmenting support. To save/keep its biggest fanbase Mozilla will need to dump Adobe and abandon DRM immediately. A week ago Asa Dotzler thanked personally me for supporting Mozilla; well, I’m not sure I support Mozilla anymore. I wait for Mozilla to rectify its act.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Firefox 28 theme for Firefox 29 add-on
  2. Mozilla Offers Free Training for Teaching Web Skills
  3. Mozilla wants to teach you how to teach others about the Web

    Almost two years after launching its Webmaker initiative, Mozilla is launching a new online crash-course to give anyone the skills to teach other people about using and building on the Web.

    It’s called Webmaker Training and features four modules covering the basics of the Internet, how to use Mozilla’s current crop of Webmaker tools, nurturing open learning and engaging with other communities on the Web.

  4. Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart

    Future versions of the open-source Firefox browser will include closed-source digital rights management (DRM) from Adobe, the Mozilla project’s chief technology officer, Andreas Gal, announced on Wednesday.

    The purpose is to support commercial video streams. But this is a radical, disheartening development in the history of the organisation, long held out as a beacon for the open, free spirit of the web as a tool for liberation.

    As Gal’s blogpost makes clear, this move was done without much enthusiasm, out of a fear that Firefox (Mozilla’s flagship product and by far the most popular free/open browser in the world) was being sidelined by Apple, Google and Microsoft’s inclusion of proprietary technology to support Netflix and other DRM-encumbered videos in their browsers.

  5. Reconciling Mozilla’s Mission and W3C EME

    With most competing browsers and the content industry embracing the W3C EME specification, Mozilla has little choice but to implement EME as well so our users can continue to access all content they want to enjoy. Read on for some background on how we got here, and details of our implementation.

  6. Mozilla’s Route For Implementing W3C EME (HTML5 DRM)
  7. FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital Restrictions Management

    In response to Mozilla’s announcement that it is reluctantly adopting DRM in its Firefox Web browser, Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan made the following statement:

    “Only a week after the International Day Against DRM, Mozilla has announced that it will partner with proprietary software company Adobe to implement support for Web-based Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in its Firefox browser, using Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

  8. To Serve Users

    In the old science fiction story, To Serve Man (which later was adapted for the The Twilight Zone), aliens come to earth and freely share various technological advances, and offer free visits to the alien world. Eventually, the narrator, who remains skeptical, begins translating one of their books. The title is innocuous, and even well-meaning: To Serve Man. Only too late does the narrator realize that the book isn’t about service to mankind, but rather — a cookbook.

    It’s in the same spirit that Baker seeks to serve Firefox’s users up on a platter to the MPAA, the RIAA, and like-minded wealthy for-profit corporations. Baker’s only defense appears to be that other browser vendors have done the same, and cites specifically for-profit companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

05.16.14

Links 16/5/2014: HP Selling GNU/Linux PCs in China

Posted in News Roundup at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The UK In The Dock

      International Criminal Court is to investigate war crimes committed by British armed forces in Iraq.

  • Censorship

    • The EU’s Google Decision Destroys Search
    • European Court of Justice Google ruling gives the Dog a Bone
    • Google ruling ‘astonishing’, says Wikipedia founder Wales

      A ruling forcing Google to remove search results has been described as “astonishing” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

      The European Courts of Justice ruled on Tuesday that an individual could demand that “irrelevant or outdated” information be deleted from results.

      Mr Wales said it was “one of the most wide-sweeping internet censorship rulings that I’ve ever seen”.

      Google has said it is looking into the implications of the decision.

    • Health And Human Services Apparently Unable To Recognize Satire; Sends Bogus Legal Threat

      Another day, another story of someone with skin way too thin not comprehending satire and dashing off an angry legal threat. In this case, it’s worse than usual because the bogus legal threat is coming from the US government. Popehat has the full story of how some of the legal geniuses at the Department of Health and Human Services have sent a bogus cease-and-desist letter over a pair of obviously satirical posts on the site AddictionMyth.com. While we’ve long been skeptical of the medical profession’s desire to label all sorts of things “addictions,” that particular site takes it to extreme levels, arguing that there’s nothing that’s addictive, and all talk of addictions (including drug and alcohol addictions) are just a big scam “perpetrated by law enforcement, rehab groups and the entertainment industry.” I think that’s nuts, but they certainly have their right to say so.

  • Privacy

    • Photos of an NSA “upgrade” factory show Cisco router getting implant

      A document included in the trove of National Security Agency files released with Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide details how the agency’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit and other NSA employees intercept servers, routers, and other network gear being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they’re delivered. These Trojan horse systems were described by an NSA manager as being “some of the most productive operations in TAO because they pre-position access points into hard target networks around the world.”

      The document, a June 2010 internal newsletter article by the chief of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department (S3261) includes photos (above) of NSA employees opening the shipping box for a Cisco router and installing beacon firmware with a “load station” designed specifically for the task.

    • Encrypted Internet Traffic Surges in a Year, Research Shows

      Encrypted Internet traffic is surging worldwide according to data published by Canadian broadband management company Sandvine. After the Snowden revelations the bandwidth consumed by encrypted traffic doubled in North America, and in Europe and Latin America the share of encrypted traffic quadrupled.

    • Our privacy is interdependent

      Last week I gave a presentation at CommonsFest in the spirit of my Free Your Android post, trying to educate people on simple steps they can make to have better privacy on their mobile devices.

      A couple of days before my presentation I watched this great speech from Jillian York and Jacob Appelbaum (please go and watch this). At some point Jacob mentions that “our security is interdependent”.

    • Rostock University Faculty to award Edward Snowden an honorary doctorate

      Members of the Faculty of Arts, Rostock University, Germany, have voted to award Edward Snowden an honorary doctorate degree.

    • The best way to read Glenn Greenwald’s ‘No Place to Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald just dropped a pile of new secret National Security Agency documents onto the Internet. But this isn’t just some haphazard WikiLeaks-style dump. These documents, leaked to Greenwald last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, are key supplemental reading material for his new book, No Place to Hide, which went on sale Tuesday.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Let’s all welcome the UK IP Crime Group! – Yet another “group” surrounding industry and IP?

        It has a .gov address and many of the people I talk to would advise against challenging government agencies/bodies (I believe because of an unwarranted fear of repercussions), suffice to say it doesn’t bother me at all and taking a closer look at the connections between industry and government is always worth doing, if it wasn’t then past “naughty” behaviour by others would never have been discovered.

        Is it a I scratch your back world? Who knows? But what is known is that there’s a growing trade (for want of a better word) in groups that live off “defending” others IP. Its worth noting that many of these groups don’t actually create anything at all and are funded to serve the interests of the businesses who pay them. Pay them I hasten to add in many cases on the back of huge profits.

05.14.14

Links 14/5/2014: More NSA Leaks, GCHQ Sued

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Amazon bans seller after threatening to sue customer for negative review

    Happened to me more than once. In my attempt to treat myself with something nice from Amazon, I occasionally end up with the wrong product. Something that’s not exactly what I had in mind when hitting the “add to basket” button. Something that didn’t match my expectations or simply of inferior quality by my standards. It’s times like these I find myself contemplating whether I should leave a negative review or simply not bother. I usually go for the latter one. But had I known what an impact that decision can have, I might have gone the opposite way.

  • Watch a Congressman Pick His Ear and Eat It Live on CSPAN

    Here’s a great way to start your Tuesday: During a House Judiciary Committee meeting last week, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) picked his ear, looked at the wax on his finger, and then ate it.

  • P&G Detergent Pulled in Germany Over Neo-Nazi Code Found On Packages
  • Science

    • The Science of Your Racist Brain

      When the audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling a female friend not to “bring black people” to his team’s games hit the internet, the condemnations were immediate. It was clear to all that Sterling was a racist, and the punishment was swift: The NBA banned him for life. It was, you might say, a pretty straightforward case.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Did the CIA’s Fake Polio Vaccination Program in Pakistan Help Fuel a Global Health Emergency?

      The World Health Organization has designated the spread of polio in Asia, Africa and the Middle East a global public health emergency requiring a coordinated “international response.” Three countries pose the greatest risk of further spreading the paralyzing virus: Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria. In an unusual step, the WHO recommended all residents of those countries, of all ages, to be vaccinated before traveling abroad. The organization also said another seven countries – Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria and Somalia – should “encourage” all their would-be travelers to get vaccinated. Until recently, polio had been nearly eradicated thanks to a 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children. In Pakistan, the increase in polio is being linked to a secret CIA ploy used in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With the help of a Pakistani doctor, the CIA set up a fake vaccination campaign in the city of Abbottabad in an effort to get DNA from the bin Laden family. The Taliban subsequently announced a ban on immunization efforts and launched a string of deadly attacks on medical workers. We are joined by two guests: Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Dawn, Pakistan’s largest English newspaper, who has been covering the rise of polio in Pakistan since the bin Laden raid; and one of Pakistan’s leading polio experts, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta.

    • Food Defenders Protest Corporate Takeover of ‘Organic’ Standards

      Champions of organic food brought the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to a halt on Tuesday as they raised their voices against what they see as the takeover of the organic standards by the corporate food industry.

    • Chernobyl: Capping a Catastrophe

      Against the decaying skyline here, a one-of-a-kind engineering project is rising near the remains of the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster.

    • WHO Issues New Report on Antibiotic Resistance

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a new report on antibiotic resistance (ABR). It details resistance to antibacterial drugs in different parts of the world, along with resistance data on specific pathogens such as the resistance of E. coli bacteria to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. The report outlines the health and economic burden due to antibiotic resistance and looks specifically at antibiotic resistance in food-producing animals and the food chain.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Landmark Report Warns Time Is Running Out To Save U.S. From Climate Catastrophe

      The National Climate Assessment is the definitive statement of current and future impacts of carbon pollution on the United States. And the picture it paints is stark: Inaction will devastate much of the arable land of the nation’s breadbasket — and ruin a livable climate for most Americans.

    • Australia: Budget to cut youth off welfare

      In a little-publicised speech last Saturday, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed that tonight’s federal budget will include draconian attacks on young people, especially those who are unemployed or disabled. Andrews announced that the Liberal-National government will enforce a system of “Earn or Learn”—extending measures that were introduced by the previous Labor government.

    • New Zealand refuses climate change refugees – mass action is now needed

      New Zealand’s court of appeal has refused refugee status to a family from Kiribati, a Pacific island which is quickly sinking beneath the sea

  • Finance

    • Private Prisons Eat Our Humanity

      Somebody figured out, once again, how to build a machine that can quantify the life of an African-American man and make money off him. They figured out how to use the value of his body to fuel their machine. They learned how to drive its engine, and how to turn a profit. They call it prison privatization. I call it mining black gold, and I have watched black gold be mined from the streets of my community every day.

      I make my home in Tennessee — and for too long, so has the Corrections Corporation of America. To a company like CCA, our country’s oldest and biggest for-profit prison corporation, each young black man that goes into the prison machine represents more than $20,000 a year. To CCA, a company that profits off of human bodies, mass incarceration equals mass profits. While their profits soar, we suffer.

    • It Could Cost Indiana $125 Million To Avoid The Common Core

      Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency released its report on the expected costs of implementing the state’s alternative to the Common Core and found they could be as high as $125 million.

      The reason for the high cost begins with the initial switch and development of the new standards, costing $26 million. This comes after the state already spent $6 million to adhere to the Common Core before Governor Mike Pence (R) signed the legislation rejecting the federal standards in March.

      The rest of the costs come from retraining programs for the state’s teachers, which could be as high as $2,000 a teacher. However, if adequate online resource are secured, as Fordham Institute notes, the costs could fall to $500 a teacher. This means the final price tag could range from $32.5 million to $125 million.

    • Labour reveals tax data showing UK economic growth ‘only helps top 1%’

      Party cites HMRC figures showing bottom 90% of taxpayers share less post-tax income but top 300,000 have more

    • Asian logging companies ‘use British islands for tax dodging’

      Calls for crackdown as investigation finds huge Indonesian corporations evading tax through network of secret shell companies in British Virgin Islands and other tax havens

    • After the crash, we need a revolution in the way we teach economics

      Students who claim that economics courses fail to explain the 2008 crash are gaining support from British business. Here, two Cambridge academics agree it’s time for a change

    • The Death of American Universities

      As universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is being imposed by force.

    • No-boss Britain: entrepreneurs or out of options?

      Britain’s self-employed army can no longer be ignored. For the first time in the country’s modern history, a significant proportion of the labour market (one in seven) has no boss. According to official figures, the number of registered self-employed workers has risen by more than 600,000 since 2010 – an unprecedented increase of around 15 per cent that shows few signs of subsiding.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Top Six Facts in the Walker Dark Money Criminal Probe

      In the wake of a federal court’s recent ruling halting a state criminal investigation into spending during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other candidates, misinformation about the investigation and court rulings has run rampant.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Glenn Greenwald to recount NSA story in new PBS Frontline film – live chat
    • The United States of Secrets

      Michael Kirk: There was an agency in the United States of America that had spied on and got its fingers slapped for doing it in the 1970s. The great bright white line at the agency, which was unbelievably powerful in its ability to surviel, eavesdrop, and wiretap, was never turn those eyes and ears towards Americans. And the people who worked there believed it. And then, this thing called 9/11 happened and (…) faster than you could imagine, the rules were changed. The lines were blurred, and the government, the National Security Agency, turned all of that power on the American people, and the people who did the turning, the scientists (…) witnessed it and many many of them worried about it, and talked to us.

    • NSA routinely tapped in-flight Internet, intercepted exported routers
    • NSA reform: lawmakers aim to bar agency from weakening encryption

      Concerned about weaknesses in USA Freedom Act, Zoe Lofgren and colleagues pushing to prevent NSA from weakening online encryption with new amendment

    • NSA Bill on Fast Track; Lofgren Preps Security Provision
    • IETF plans to NSA-proof all future internet protocols

      The IETF has taken the next small step down the long, long road of protecting user traffic from spooks, snoops and attackers, setting down the basic architectural principle that new protocols should resist monitoring.

    • NSA Reportedly Adds Backdoors To US-Made Routers
    • NY Times, Justice Dept. under fire for concealing info on NSA snooping

      The New York Times and the Justice Department are under fire for bowing to the National Security Agency and either hiding (the Times) or misinforming (DOJ) the public about crucial pieces of the NSA’s secret spying programs.

    • At US gov request, NYT’s Bill Keller spiked NSA spying story in 2004

      Part of that story is highlighted on PRI’s ‘The World’ radio show today. After 9/11, the National Security Agency wanted new ways to spy on electronic interactions in the US. “The Program, as it was called, spied on telephones, Internet connections, metadata from emails and almost every form of electronic communication.”

    • Open source tool encrypts Facebook chats

      Facebook’s messaging application doesn’t support encryption, but an open-source chat program, Cryptocat, has made it possible to chat with friends there over an encrypted connection.

    • The Move Toward Computing That Reads Your Mind

      Like many people in this modern world, I struggle with the tension between the conveniences offered by the latest technology and the loss of privacy that comes with them.

      Nowhere is this devil’s bargain more evident than in the blossoming field of so-called contextual computing.

      When I picked up my phone earlier this week, it told me — without a single tap on my part — that my estimated commute time was 51 minutes and that I had a lunch scheduled with a friend. The friend’s Facebook photo showed up next to the appointment.

      The phone also showed my other appointments that day and a customized feed of news and weather, and it gave me the flight status of an approaching trip.

      Sadly, it did not bring me coffee.

      My phone is trying to anticipate my needs based on what it knows about me — the context of my life. And what it knows seems like almost everything.

    • Silent Circle relocates to Switzerland
    • Tory ‘push’ to give MI5 more powers to spy on internet

      Conservative ministers are pushing for the security services to be given new powers to spy on people’s internet use amid claims they might have saved Drummer Lee Rigby

    • Privacy group takes aim at UK surveillance practices

      Privacy International files legal complaint that accuses GCHQ of installing malware on millions of devices without their owners’ permission.

    • Snooping tools GCHQ could use to hack your phone’s microphone, camera and keypad: Nosey Smurf, Gumfish and Foggybottom

      The civil rights group Privacy International has today launched the groundbreaking legal challenge at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London, claiming that GCHQ’s alleged use of such spying techniques is “incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards”.

    • UK: GCHQ sued over ‘unlawful hacking’
    • Privacy International sues British spooks
    • GCHQ litigated over ‘unlawful hacking’

      UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been sued by Rights group Privacy International on Tuesday, demanding an end to surveillance programs deemed to be “incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards.”

    • Blink bought out by Yahoo

      The makers of a mobile phone app that allows users to chat to each other and then destroy the messages have confirmed the sale of the business to Yahoo.

    • Making your email impossible to intercept will also make it useless

      Say you wanted to send an email more secure than any message that had ever been transmitted in human history, a message with absolutely no chance of being intercepted. How would you do it?
      +

    • OPINION: US Use of Metadata for Targeted Killings Shocking Even for Intel Operatives

      The recent revelation by former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden that metadata is used for targeting killings shocked many including fellow US intelligence operatives, Melvin Goodman, a former CIA analyst and fellow at the Washington-based Center for International Policy, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

      “It was shocking to hear that confirmed at such a high level,” Goodman said, adding that Hayden’s smug manner had made the comments even worse.

    • New Spying Claims: Australian Spy Agency Sought Help of U.S. for More Surveillance on Australians

      Documents from a U.S. agency had revealed that Australia has sought the help of the Americans to increase surveillance on suspected terrorists. According to The Guardian, Australia’s intelligence agency needed the help of the U.S. spy agency to monitor Australians suspected of having ties with extremists.

    • Snowden docs: GCSB links to US spying programmes

      New documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden show New Zealand’s GCSB closely enmeshed with some of the most controversial parts of the United States’ spying apparatus.

      The documents were released with journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place To Hide, which tells the story of Snowden’s National Security Agency disclosures and what they mean.

    • The CIA is Stalking Me…Online

      The NSA is the powerhouse agency for code breaking, and while such activities are beyond my capacity, others quickly figured out the simple letter substitution code. It reads, “Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each month to explore careers essential to protect in [SIC] your nation.” I’ll forgive them the failed grammar at the end given that they did have to code the whole thing.

      It’s both a sign of how hard agencies are working to try to land talent, a broader issue in general for the government and government contractors especially in the face of the bad publicity surrounding the Edward Snowden disclosures, and the evolving landscape of modern intelligence work. It used to be that a well-placed professor would recommend you to a recruiter, and a guy dressed like Dick Tracy would show up to take your temperature.

      I’m flattered, CIA, that you are interested. Really, it’s nice to be wanted. But admittedly I’m a bit squeamish. I prefer to work in a dying profession (journalism) as opposed to one which involves people dying.

    • NSA Gave Canada Money For Surveillance Program

      The National Security Agency paid Canada to help develop its surveillance capabilities, according to documents published by Glenn Greenwald in a new book.

    • Canadian spies receive U.S. money for research and surveillance, book says
    • Canada actively spies for NSA, Glenn Greenwald claims in new book
    • Glenn Greenwald says NSA bugs tech hardware en route to global customers

      American journalist Glenn Greenwald is accusing the U.S. National Security Agency of breaking into tech hardware to install surveillance bugs before the products are shipped to unsuspecting global customers, in a new book about the NSA’s mass surveillance practices.

    • The American Republic Is Dead
    • Glenn Greenwald wants to keep the leaks flowing

      GQ has a lengthy interview this week with the journalist who helped engineer Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks in advance of his book No Place to Hide. In true Greenwald fashion, he doesn’t hold back: he rips the The New York Times for acting like the government is on its editorial board, trashes Hillary Clinton as “banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion” and blasts Tim Russert, the late dean of Sunday political talks shows.

  • Civil Rights

    • Video: War On Terror Led To Worldwide Increase Of Torture
    • Rand Paul, save us from the criminal CIA

      Future American historians will marvel at how long the CIA engaged in such utter unconstitutional lawlessness as the torture of its captives and drone-plane executions of alleged terrorists – including U.S. citizens – without trials, using “kill lists” provided by President Barack Obama (“Obama’s kill list – All males near drone strike sites are terrorists,” rt.com, May 30, 2012).

    • Violence in Britain: how the war on terror criminalises ordinary people

      It is now accepted that the war on terror has generated an extensive repertoire of its very own terror. Drone strikes resulting in extrajudicial killings, rendition and torture – zones of exception like Guantanamo Bay come to mind, as does Britain’s complicity in extraordinary rendition and torture.

      Then there are the normalised, everyday forms of terror operational in Britain that rarely register as state-sanctioned violence because they are understood to keep us safe. This includes MI5 and police raids without charge, compulsory schedule 7 detention and questioning and stop and search of communities made suspect.

    • Even terrorism should not justify denying people citizenship

      Should your government be able to take away your citizenship? In the United Kingdom, the government has had the legal authority to revoke naturalized Britons’ citizenship since 1918. But, until the terrorist bombings on the London transport system in 2005, this power was rarely exercised. Since then, the government has revoked the citizenship of 42 people, including 20 cases in 2013. British Home Secretary Theresa May has said that citizenship is “a privilege, not a right.”Most of the 42 held dual nationality. Mohamed Sakr, however, did not. His parents came to the United Kingdom from Egypt, but he was not an Egyptian citizen. Therefore, by stripping him of citizenship, the British government made him stateless.

    • 2013 Stop and Frisk Numbers Underscore Need to Begin Reforms
    • 23 Cops Shoot Unarmed Car Occupants, And Each Other, 377 Times (VIDEO)
    • Calls to class far-right Jewish settlers as terrorists after Israeli soldiers attacked

      Senior ministers Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Aharonovitch condemn ‘price-tag’ attacks as author Amos Oz calls militants neo-Nazis

    • The Declaration of Independence—Except for ‘Indian Savages’

      The most sacred document wherein the U.S. celebrates its Fourth of July holiday, the Declaration of Independence, is known for having some of the most revolutionary words in history in regards to the equality of men who at the time had been forever accustomed to having caste-like systems whether it be Empires, noblemen and serfs, or a monarchy rule the American colonialists lived under.

    • Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria

      Shipwreck found off coast of Haiti thought to be one of the most significant underwater discoveries in history

    • Noam Chomsky and the Public Intellectual in Turbulent Times

      Noam Chomsky is a world renowned academic best known not only for his pioneering work in linguistics but also for his ongoing work as a public intellectual in which he has addressed a number of important social issues that include and often connect oppressive foreign and domestic policies – a fact well illustrated in his numerous path breaking books.(1) In fact, Chomsky’s oeuvre includes too many exceptionally important books to single out any one of them from his extraordinary and voluminous archive of work. Moreover, as political interventions, his many books often reflect both a decisive contribution and an engagement with a number of issues that have and continue to dominate a series of specific historical moments over the course of 50 years. His political interventions have been historically specific while continually building on the power relations he has engaged critically. For instance, his initial ideas about the responsibility of intellectuals cannot be separated from his early criticisms of the Vietnam War and the complicity of intellectuals in brokering and legitimating that horrendous act of military intervention.(2) Hence, it becomes difficult to compare his 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent, coauthored with Edward S. Herman, with his 2002 bestseller, 9/11. Yet, what all of these texts share is a luminous theoretical, political, and forensic analysis of the functioning of the current global power structure, new and old modes of oppressive authority, and the ways in which neoliberal economic and social policies have produced more savage forms of global domination and corporate sovereignty.

    • Global crisis on torture exposed by new worldwide campaign

      “Governments around the world are two-faced on torture – prohibiting it in law, but facilitating it in practice” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, as he launched Stop Torture, Amnesty International’s latest global campaign to combat widespread torture and other ill-treatment in the modern world.

    • Guest blog: Estonia and the risks of internet voting

      Two reasons: Firstly Estonia is regularly held up as a model of e-government and e-voting that many countries, including the UK, wish to emulate. Secondly, after years of e-voting being off the UK agenda (thanks in part to ORG’s previous work in this area), the chair of the Electoral Commission recently put the idea of e-voting for British elections back in play.

    • Harvard’s Kennedy School Adds Privilege-Checking to New-Student Orientation
    • Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canada Won’t Escape the FCC’s Gutting of Net Neutrality

      Yesterday, sources told the New York Times that the FCC wants to allow internet service providers to jack rates for higher speed delivery of certain content like online video, which will likely create a tiered system: those who can pay to deliver their content in the fast lane, and those who can’t. In an email, Canadian digital policy expert Professor Michael Geist didn’t mince words: “If the reports are true—the FCC is [vaguely] denying it tonight—it guts net neutrality in the United States.”

      [...]

      As Geist explained to me, there isn’t “a practical difference between deliberately slowing some traffic and deliberately speeding up other traffic.” To him, the end result is unavoidable: “A two-tier Internet based on payments from content owners that can afford it. That strikes at the heart of net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights


      • US Expelled Saudi Students For Using Pirate Software, Official Says

        The head of copyright issues in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture and Information says that U.S. authorities expelled 34 Saudi students from the United States after they were found using pirated software. Forty other citizens were denied entry into the U.S. on the same grounds, the source claims.

      • Hadopi Recommends Super Injunctions to Keep Pirate Content Down

        Today, French anti-piracy agency HADOPI handed the government a long-awaited report on the development of “operational tools” for dealing with online piracy. Several key areas are outlined, including the creation of a new type of takedown notice designed not only to take content offline, but keep it offline for up to six months.

      • Commander Hadfield’s Amazing Cover Of David Bowie’s Space Oddity Disappears Today, Thanks To Copyright

        A year ago, we wrote a whole post looking at the copyright questions raised by Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, doing a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” along with an astounding music video in space, as he prepared to return to earth. Hadfield, for months, had been a great ambassador for the space program, using a variety of social media to communicate with folks back on the planet about what his day was like. The “Space Oddity” video just cemented his place as a key figure helping to generate interest in the space program through regular public communications with everyone in a very accessible way.

      • “U.S. Prisons Play Pirated Movies to Inmates”

        The former operator of USAWarez.com and USATorrents.com, who has served more than two years in prison for copyright infringement, has outed several prisons for showing pirated movies to their inmates. One of the prisons mentioned says that the matter is still under investigation.

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