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03.12.15

Links 12/3/2015: Continued Catchup and News

Posted in News Roundup at 9:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Why are women leaving the tech industry in droves?

      Ana Redmond launched into a technology career for an exciting challenge and a chance to change the world. She was well-equipped to succeed too: An ambitious math and science wiz, she could code faster, with fewer errors, than anyone she knew.

      In 2011, after 15 years, she left before achieving a management position.

      Garann Means became a programmer for similar reasons. After 13 years, she quit too, citing a hostile and unwelcoming environment for women.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • What the Hack! 56 Suspected Hackers arrested in the UK

      The UK National Crime Agency arrested 56 suspected hackers, including one 23-year-old male who allegedly attempted to hack his way into the U.S.’ Department of Defense in 2014. Not attempting to minimize the potential risks of hacking but how much does cyber-crime actually cost, what are the risks and what about those who hack the data of billions of internet users per day to, allegedly, “keep all of us safe?”

    • Beijing Strikes Back in US-China Tech Wars

      China’s new draft anti-terror legislation has sent waves across the U.S. tech community. If there is a brewing tech war between U.S. and China over government surveillance backdoors and a preference for indigenous software, China’s new draft terror law makes it clear that Beijing is happy to give the United States a taste of its own medicine. The law has already drawn considerable criticism from international human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for its purported attempts to legitimize wanton human rights violations in the name of counter-terrorism. Additionally, China has opted to implement its own definition of terrorism, placing “any thought, speech, or activity that, by means of violence, sabotage, or threat, aims to generate social panic, influence national policy-making, create ethnic hatred, subvert state power, or split the state” under the umbrella of the overused T-word.

    • Canadian risks prison for not giving up phone’s passcode

      A Canadian charged for refusing to give border agents his smartphone passcode was expected Thursday to become the first to test whether border inspections can include information stored on devices.

    • The Ambassador who worked from a Nairobi bathroom to avoid State Dept. IT

      However, another Obama administration appointee—the former ambassador to Kenya—did do that, essentially refusing to use any of the Nairobi embassy’s internal IT. He worked out of a bathroom because it was the only place in the embassy where he could use an unsecured network and his personal computer, using Gmail to conduct official business. And he did all this during a time when Chinese hackers were penetrating the personal Gmail inboxes of a number of US diplomats.

    • CIA spends years trying to break Apple security

      Documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the security researchers’ work, presented at an annual gathering called the “Jamboree” at a Lockheed Martin facility in northern Virginia. Attendees of the CIA-sponsored, secretive event — which has run for nearly a decade — discuss the exploitation of vulnerabilities and flaws found in commercial electronics, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad product ranges.

    • Yahoo exec goes mano a mano with NSA director over crypto backdoors
    • Data Retention: Mass Surveillance Challenged Across Europe

      On 8 April 2014, the European Union Court of Justice invalidated the 2006 Directive on Data Retention. Through this decision, all the European legislations on data retention were seriously undermined, as the EUCJ considered that the generalised retention of data on non-suspicious individuals, furthermore for an extended period of time, is a form of mass surveillance incompatible with fundamental rights.

    • NSA Probably Doesn’t Have ALL of Hillary’s Emails … But Maybe Someone Should

      I’m among those who believes Hillary Clinton’s use of a privately run email server is an abuse of power. Doing so appears to have skirted laws ensuring good governance and it may well have exposed her communications to adversaries (including some who would have reason to use the contents of her email to help Republicans win the White House), even if her email would have been just as targeted at State, per reports about persistent hacking of it. While I don’t buy — in the absence of evidence — she did so to hide ties with the Clinton Foundation, I do think she did so not just for convenience, but for control, as I laid out last week.

    • Encryption Backdoors Will Always Turn Around And Bite You In The Ass

      As you may have heard, the law enforcement and intelligence communities have been pushing strongly for backdoors in encryption. They talk about ridiculous things like “golden keys,” pretending that it’s somehow possible to create something that only the good guys can use. Many in the security community have been pointing out that this is flat-out impossible. The second you introduce a backdoor, there is no way to say that only “the good guys” can use it.

      As if to prove that, an old “golden key” from the 90s came back to bite a whole bunch of the internet this week… including the NSA. Some researchers discovered a problem which is being called FREAK for “Factoring RSA Export Keys.” The background story is fairly involved and complex, but here’s a short version (that leaves out a lot of details): back during the first “cryptowars” when Netscape was creating SSL (mainly to protect the early e-commerce market), the US still considered exporting strong crypto to be a crime. To deal with this, RSA offered “export grade encryption” that was deliberately weak (very, very weak) that could be used abroad. As security researcher Matthew Green explains, in order to deal with the fact that SSL-enabled websites had to deal with both strong crypto and weak “export grade” crypto, — the “golden key” — there was a system that would try to determine which type of encryption to use on each connection. If you were in the US, it should go to strong encryption. Outside the US? Downgrade to “export grade.”

    • Snowden GCSB revelations: Leaked documents show New Zealand spies on its Pacific friends and sends data to US

      New Zealand’s spies are targeting the entire email, phone and social media communications of the country’s closest, friendliest and most vulnerable neighbours, according to documents supplied by United States fugitive and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      Snowden’s files reveal a heavy focus on “full-take collection” from the Pacific with nearly two dozen countries around the world targeted by our Government Communications Security Bureau.

    • Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft
    • Online Privacy Is Worth The Extra Work

      This past week, Laura Poitras’s documentary, Citizen Four, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. When he provided the documents that revealed the details of universal spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA), the subject of the documentary, Edward Snowden, wrote an accompanying manifesto. His “sole motive”, he wrote, was “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. The U.S. government, in conspiracy with client states, chiefest among them the Five Eyes – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – have inflicted upon the world a system of secret, pervasive surveillance from which there is no refuge.” (1)

  • Civil Rights

    • 20% of Germans want revolution, majority say democracy ‘isn’t real’ – study
    • Ferguson cop won’t face civil rights charges in Michael Brown shooting
    • Daniel Ellsberg: Petraeus Case Shows Hypocrisy of Whistleblower Crackdown

      The U.S. government’s “hand-slap” treatment of former CIA director David Petraeus, who in 2012 leaked classified military information to his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell, stands in stark contrast to the Obama administration’s aggressive crackdown on whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, and John Kiriakou—and should be the turning point away from such policies.

      So says renowned Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who was charged under the Espionage Act for disclosing secret U.S. military documents related to the Vietnam War in 1971. Snowden, who leaked a trove of classified NSA documents to journalists, now also faces prosecution under the Espionage Act.

      Speaking to Trevor Timm at the Guardian on Thursday, Ellsberg noted that the “actual charges against [Edward Snowden] are not more serious, as violations of the classification regulations and non-disclosure agreements, than those Petraeus has admitted to, which are actually quite spectacular.”

    • PETRAEUS PLEA DEAL REVEALS TWO-TIER JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR LEAKS

      David Petraeus, the former Army general and CIA director, admitted today that he gave highly-classified journals to his onetime lover and that he lied to the FBI about it. But he only has to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor that will not involve a jail sentence thanks to a deal with federal prosecutors. The deal is yet another example of a senior official treated leniently for the sorts of violations that lower-level officials are punished severely for.

      According to the plea deal, Petraeus, while leading American forces in Afghanistan, maintained eight notebooks that he filled with highly-sensitive information about the identities of covert officers, military strategy, intelligence capabilities and his discussions with senior government officials, including President Obama. Rather than handing over these “Black Books,” as the plea agreement calls them, to the Department of Defense when he retired from the military in 2011 to head the CIA, Petraeus retained them at his home and lent them, for several days, to Paula Broadwell, his authorized biographer and girlfriend.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Jeb Bush Is The Latest Politician To Demonstrate Absolutely No Understanding Of Net Neutrality

      Like many folks, I’m dreading the seeming inevitability of a Clinton-Bush presidential campaign next year involving Hillary Clinton against Jeb Bush. I’m 40-years-old and half of my life has involved a Clinton or a Bush in the Oval Office (and it’s even worse if you count Vice Presidency). Both seem completely out of touch with the real issues of today. Instead, both are so surrounded by political cronies and yes-men that it’s difficult to see either candidate as being willing to actually take on the real challenges facing the world today. Clinton is currently dealing with the fallout from her decision to expose her emails to spies while shielding them from the American public. And Jeb Bush is now spouting pure nonsense on net neutrality.

    • EU Digital Commissioner: Net Neutrality Is A ‘Taliban-Like’ Issue

      Until recently, most people probably assumed that real net neutrality was more likely to come to Europe than to the US. But in one of those ironic little twists, not only has the FCC voted in favor of net neutrality, but attacks on the idea in Europe have suddenly multiplied, leaving the final outcome there in doubt. Worryingly, one of the strongest verbal assaults on net neutrality comes from the very EU Commissioner who is in charge of the relevant legislation, Günther Oettinger.

    • Net Neutrality Clears Hurdle & Other Things

      Well, much of the focus for the week was on the Federal Communications Commission vote on increased net neutrality protections, and according to rational news sources reporting on the issue (e.g., just about everyone but Fox News and their wannabes), this is a good thing.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy Secrets Must Be Revealed, Court Rules

        All records that are part of the now-closed case between Hotfile and the MPAA will be unsealed in the interests of the public. In a decision that will be a disappointment to the industry group, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams declined a request from the MPAA who wanted to keep sensitive court filings sealed indefinitely claiming they may benefit pirates.

      • Movie Group To “Kill Piracy” By Not Releasing Movies For Months

        There have been some radical solutions to online piracy in recent years but one coming out of India today is perhaps the most ‘ambitious’ so far. The Tamil Film Producer’s Council says it is in discussion to stop releasing all films for at least three months which means that pirates will have nothing to copy and will therefore go out of business.

      • Perceptions on piracy: Pirate Party evangelist Rick Falkvinge on a perennial problem

        We spoke to Pirate Party evangelist Rick Falkvinge to get his take on the current situation.

        He believes that the copyright cops, and the copyright mechanisms that they use, are a “preposterous” failure and that only a global change in perception will make a difference.

        Falkvinge, perhaps unsurprisingly, is low on sympathy for the copyright industry and its messages and solutions.

      • Aussie Anti-Piracy Plans Boost Demand for Anonymous VPNs

        Australians’ interest in VPN services has skyrocketed after local ISPs announced plans for a three-strikes anti-piracy system. With potential lawsuits against consumers on the table, many subscribers are now planning ahead to stay on the safe side.

Links 12/3/2015: Two-week Catchup

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Apple’s watch is just another data-gathering device

    Whether Apple’s watch fails or not — and that is a relative question — it matters not one whit to the company. This is just another device which will help to boost the company’s data gathering.

  • Nine reasons only a tool would buy the Apple Watch
  • Apple Watch May Be DOA As Cook Admits Battery Life As Low As 3 Hours

    The Apple Watch may be pretty… but you are going to need up to 8 of them to make it through a full day. While Tim Cook proclaimed 18 hours of “all-day battery-life” – itself not particularly impressive compared to competing products, hidden deep in Apple Watch’s product page is a little admission that battery life (in use) could be as low as 3 hours…

  • Apple Watch battery lasts as little as three hours

    Using new device that costs up to £12,000 for phone conversations means it will die after three hours, Apple admits in post buried deep on its product page

  • Pioneering tech blog Gigaom shuts down after running out of money

    Gigaom, the influential technology website founded by Om Malik nearly a decade ago, is no more. Although Monday saw a lot of new content on the site, including a flood of news and analysis from Apple’s event, the site’s management ended the day at 5.57PM PT by posting a message notifying readers that “all operations have ceased” as a result of the company becoming unable to pay its creditors.

  • Gigaom shuts down as it runs out of money

    One of the oldest and most prominent technology blogs Gigaom has shut down after running out of money.

  • Disney’s $1 Billion Bet on a Magical Wristband

    If you want to imagine how the world will look in just a few years, once our cell phones become the keepers of both our money and identity, skip Silicon Valley and book a ticket to Orlando. Go to Disney World. Then, reserve a meal at a restaurant called Be Our Guest, using the Disney World app to order your food in advance.

  • Noam Chomsky on Life & Love: Still Going at 86, Renowned Dissident is Newly Married

    NOAM CHOMSKY: I’m a very private person. I’ve never talked about my own life much. But, you know, I’ve—personally, I’ve been very fortunate in my life, with—there have been tragedies. There have been wonderful things. And Valeria’s sudden appearance is one of those wonderful things.

    AARON MATÉ: You said, after your first wife, Carol, died, that life without love is empty—something along those lines. Can you talk about that?

    NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I could produce some clichés, which have the merit of being true. Life without love is a pretty empty affair.

    AARON MATÉ: And your own tireless schedule, keeping up with your lectures, writing extensive articles, and still tirelessly answering the emails, from correspondence from people around the world—when I was in college, I remember I wrote you several times and got back these long, detailed answers on complex questions. And there’s people across the globe who could attest to a similar experience. Do you feel a certain obligation to respond to people? Because nobody would fault you, at the age of 86 now, if you took more time for yourself.

    NOAM CHOMSKY: I don’t know if it’s an obligation exactly. It’s a privilege, really. These are the important people in the world. I remember a wonderful comment by Howard Zinn about the countless number of unknown people who are the driving force in history and in progress. And that’s people like—I didn’t know you, but people like you writing from college. These are people that deserve respect, encouragement. They’re the hope for the future. They’re an inspiration for me personally.

  • Hardware

    • How Intel and PC makers prevent you from modifying your laptop’s firmware

      Modern UEFI firmware is a closed-source, proprietary blob of software baked into your PC’s hardware. This binary blob even includes remote management and monitoring features, which make it a potential security and privacy threat.

    • Easy Way to Get Coreboot

      Replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware on most computers is a process that often can be frustrating. It’s possible that your computer could be rendered unuseable in the process. Back in 2010 I managed to get coreboot working on the Gigabyte GA-6BCX motherboard and although the process went fairly smoothly it did consume a fair bit of time. Fortunately we now have an inexpensive way of obtaining a ready to go coreboot computer.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Venezuelan Parliament Passes Law to Confront US Aggression

      President Nicolas Maduro said the country’s National Assembly elections must go on “whether the empire wants it or not.”

      The Venezuelan National Asembly passed the enabling law that allows the country’s president to act to protect the peace against recent threats made by the United States government of Barack Obama.

      The bill, which received 99 percent of votes from the Great Patriotic Pole alliance – the largest voting bloc in the assembly, will now move to a second reading for final approval. The move follows a statement by the United States government Monday that declared Venezuela a “threat to the national security” and calling a national emergency.

    • The Possibility of Escape

      During my four stints in U.S. federal prisons, I’ve witnessed long-term inmates’ unconquerably humane response when a newcomer arrives. An unscripted choreography occurs and the new prisoner finds that other women will help her through the trauma of adjustment to being locked up for many months or years. Halfway through a three-month sentence myself, I’m saddened to realize that I’ll very likely adapt to an outside world for which these women, and prisoners throughout the U.S. prison system, are often completely invisible.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Associated Press sues State Dept. over Hillary Clinton’s emails

      “The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.”

      Good for the AP. If only more news organizations would do more of this.

      “The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.’

    • Trade Secrets: We Must Act To Protect Whistleblowers!

      In late April 2015, the “trade secrets” directive will be discussed in the European Parliament. Having already given in to the pressure of journalists to remove the article on trade secrets in the French Macron Bill, La Quadrature du Net, Pila and a number of other organisations now call on president François Hollande and European representatives to defend whistleblowers, to define and protect their status and to ensure the necessary means are provided for judiciary follow-up on the crimes and offences that are revealed. The situation of whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning, is often dramatic and they must be protected and their safety guaranteed in order to safeguard fundamental freedoms.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Romanian spy chief warns of ‘threat for EU from Hungary’

      Eduard Hellvig, currently a conservative MEP who has been chosen by President Klaus Iohannis to be the next chief of the Romanian foreign intelligence service, has published an article in which he warns of the “threat for the EU” from the rapprochement of Hungary with Moscow.

    • Can the NSA Break Microsoft’s BitLocker?

      The Intercept has a new story on the CIA’s — yes, the CIA, not the NSA — efforts to break encryption. These are from the Snowden documents, and talk about a conference called the Trusted Computing Base Jamboree. There are some interesting documents associated with the article, but not a lot of hard information.

    • The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets
    • Quebec resident Alain Philippon to fight charge for not giving up phone password at airport

      A Quebec man charged with obstructing border officials by refusing to give up his smartphone password says he will fight the charge.

      The case has raised a new legal question in Canada, a law professor says.

      Alain Philippon, 38, of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., refused to divulge his cellphone password to Canada Border Services Agency during a customs search Monday night at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

    • America’s real secret revealed: Clinton, Petraeus & how elites protect their legacies

      That’s one of the conclusions American citizens might draw from two stories that broke this week: that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had conducted official State Department business using emails run through her own server, and that former CIA Director David Petraeus had kept 8 notebooks of unbelievably sensitive secrets in a rucksack in his home and, when she asked, had shared them with his mistress, Paula Broadwell.

    • Canadian Spies Collect Domestic Emails in Secret Security Sweep

      Canada’s electronic surveillance agency is covertly monitoring vast amounts of Canadians’ emails as part of a sweeping domestic cybersecurity operation, according to top-secret documents.

    • Snowden Calls for Disobedience Against the U.S. Government
    • DOJ Inspector General Complains About FBI Foot-dragging

      Late last week, the Inspector General (IG) for the Justice Department sent a letter to Congress complaining of the FBI’s refusal to set a timeline for turning over documents related to an IG investigation of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s use of subpoenas to gain access to and use certain bulk data collections.

    • FBI Now Holding Up Michael Horowitz’ Investigation into the DEA

      Man, at some point Congress is going to have to declare the FBI legally contemptuous and throw them in jail.

      They continue to refuse to cooperate with DOJ’s Inspector General, as they have been for basically 5 years. But in Michael Horowitz’ latest complaint to Congress, he adds a new spin: FBI is not only obstructing his investigation of the FBI’s management impaired surveillance, now FBI is obstructing his investigation of DEA’s management impaired surveillance.

    • NZ Prime Minister: ‘I’ll Resign If GCSB Did Mass Surveillance’; GCSB: ‘We Did Mass Surveillance’; NZPM: ‘Uh…’

      Back in the summer of 2013 as the various “Five Eyes” countries were still reeling from the initial Snowden disclosures, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key promised to resign if it was ever proven that the GCSB (New Zealand’s equivalent to the NSA) had engaged in mass surveillance of New Zealanders — but with some caveats. He later said that he meant if it was proven that there was illegal surveillance going on. But of course, what’s legal can vary based on who’s in charge. Either way, late last year there were Snowden documents that proved GCSB regularly scooped up data on New Zealanders, and Key reacted to it by calling Glenn Greenwald “a loser.” Not quite the resignation you might have expected.

    • UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says it’s time to ‘move on’ from Snowden

      The documents revealed today show how New Zealand’s spy agencies hacked into government-linked mobile phones in Asia to install malicious software to route data to the NSA.

      The disclosure shows how an “Asean target”, or member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was targeted by the GCSB in March 2013.

    • U.K. Parliament says banning Tor is unacceptable and impossible

      Just months after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he wants to ban encryption and online anonymity, the country’s parliament today released a briefing saying that the such an act is neither acceptable nor technically feasible.

      The briefing, issued by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, specifically referenced the Tor anonymity network and its notorious ability to slide right around such censorship schemes.

    • Germany pushes for widespread end-to-end email encryption

      The De-Mail initiative dates back to 2011, when the German government decided to push for trusted email both as an e-government tool and as a way to cut down on official and corporate paper mail. De-Mail addresses are provided by the likes of Deutsche Telekom and United Internet’s Web.de, and those signing up for them need to show a form of official identification to do so. Receiving emails on a De-Mail address is free but sending them costs money.

    • Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales slams federal government data retention laws

      Wikipedia co-founder and influential technology entrepreneur Jimmy Wales has slammed the federal government’s plan to make telcos store the metadata of every phone and internet user as a “human rights violation” and is considering the launch of his new mobile service in Australia.

    • Photo’s from mass surveillance, liberty & activism talk
    • Privacy, digital rights and social equality.

      Something that doesn’t really get aired very often is that dragnet surveillance can – and should – be flagged as a social issue, with serious implications for social mobility. The tools that are available to circumvent this kind of surveillance are overwhelmingly out of reach of poor, marginalised groups; the ability to buy in to specialist encryption like PGP is, sadly, still overwhelmingly out of reach for many people. Reliable encryption remains firmly in the realm of the IT savvy: people with a certain level of education, money and, to use a hot-button word: privilege (sorry).

    • Wikipedia Sues NSA Over Dragnet Internet Surveillance

      The lawsuit argues that this broad surveillance, revealed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, violates the First Amendment by chilling speech and the open exchange of information, and that it also runs up against Fourth Amendment privacy protections.

    • CIA ‘tried to crack security of Apple devices’

      The CIA led sophisticated intelligence agency efforts to undermine the encryption used in Apple phones, as well as insert secret surveillance back doors into apps, top-secret documents published by the Intercept online news site have revealed.

    • You Can Watch ‘Citizenfour’ Online Right Now For Free
    • THE “SNOWDEN IS READY TO COME HOME!” STORY: A CASE STUDY IN TYPICAL MEDIA DECEIT

      Most sentient people rationally accept that the U.S. media routinely disseminates misleading stories and outright falsehoods in the most authoritative tones. But it’s nonetheless valuable to examine particularly egregious case studies to see how that works. In that spirit, let’s take yesterday’s numerous, breathless reports trumpeting the “BREAKING” news that “Edward Snowden now wants to come home!” and is “now negotiating the terms of his return!”

      Ever since Snowden revealed himself to the public 20 months ago, he has repeatedly said the same exact thing when asked about his returning to the U.S.: I would love to come home, and would do so if I could get a fair trial, but right now, I can’t.

      His primary rationale for this argument has long been that under the Espionage Act, the 1917 statute under which he has been charged, he would be barred by U.S. courts from even raising his key defense: that the information he revealed to journalists should never have been concealed in the first place and he was thus justified in disclosing it to journalists. In other words, when U.S. political and media figures say Snowden should “man up,” come home and argue to a court that he did nothing wrong, they are deceiving the public, since they have made certain that whistleblowers charged with “espionage” are legally barred from even raising that defense.

      [...]

      CNN’s “expert” is apparently unaware that the DOJ very frequently — almost always, in fact — negotiates with people charged with very serious felonies over plea agreements. He’s also apparently unaware of this thing called “asylum,” which the U.S. routinely grants to people charged by other countries with crimes on the ground that they’d be persecuted with imprisonment if they returned home.

    • Edward Snowden archive aims to ‘piece together the bigger picture’

      A Canadian team has created a searchable database of all the publicly released classified documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in hopes it’ll help citizens better understand the complex files trickling out around the world.

      The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Politics of Surveillance Project at University of Toronto’s faculty of information revealed the archive on Wednesday before hosting a live Q&A with Snowden, the U.S. whistleblower and subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour.

      “What we’re hoping this database can do is start to piece together the bigger picture,” said Laura Tribe, CJFE’s national and digital programs lead.

    • EFF, ACLU, Other NGOs Urging U.N. to Create Privacy Watchdog

      A coalition of 63 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world are calling on national governments to support the establishment of a special rapporteur on the right to privacy within the United Nations.

  • Civil Rights

    • Michigan Attorney General Slaps Reporter With Bogus Subpoenas For Doing Her Job

      That makes no sense at all. Defending the state from lawsuits should never involve sending reporters subpoenas demanding all of their notes. It’s a clear intimidation technique that violates all basic concepts of a free and open press.

    • Porn and the patrol car—one cop’s 2 hour-a-day habit

      Pornography, though prevalent in the modern world, still isn’t the sort of thing one expects to see while waiting in traffic behind a cop car. That’s especially true at the busiest downtown intersection of a wealthy Chicago suburb like Wheaton, Illinois, best known for being the home of an evangelical Christian college once attended by Billy Graham.

      But pornography is exactly what an irate Wheaton resident named Robin said he witnessed. On the morning of September 18, 2013, while sitting in his conversion van and waiting for a stoplight to change, Robin found himself directly behind Wheaton Police squad car 359. The height of his seat gave him a perfect view through the rear windshield of the squad car, and he could see the car’s mobile data computer displaying “scrolling pictures of completely naked women.”

    • AG backs off subpoenas over inmates’ allegations

      Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office ordered and then withdrew three subpoenas of journalists reporting on a juvenile prisoner abuse lawsuit against the state, including one seeking a reporter’s notes from interviewing inmates inside two state prisons.

    • Michigan AG withdraws subpoenas against Michigan Radio, Huffington Post

      Michigan’s Attorney General’s office has decided to withdraw subpoenas it served on news media outlets, including Michigan Radio.

    • Man who posed for his driver’s licence with a PASTA STRAINER on his head is told he must have his photo retaken… but he claims it’s just discrimination against the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

      A follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster claims he was discriminated against when he was told he may no longer wear a colander on his head in a driver’s licence photo.

      Last year, Preshalin Moodley, 20, was issued a provisional driver’s licence by staff at Service NSW Parramatta, in Sydney’s west.

      He was photographed for the licence wearing the spaghetti strainer on his head after asking staff whether it was OK to wear a religious symbol.

    • Jeff Bezos relies on lowly grunts like me: Life as a cog in the Amazon machine

      In my father’s capitalism, employees were nurtured by their company and encouraged to learn new skills. Today’s major corporations hire disposable temp workers to do the work of a full-time employee, without the obligation of providing benefits. Temp workers are familiar with dead ends: They are hired with a predetermined exit date. The moment they feel comfortable in a role, the contract expires and it’s on to the next job.

    • Tony Robinson Killing Highlights Wisconsin’s Racial Inequities

      Soon after becoming governor in 2011, Scott Walker eliminated funding for the state’s first program to track and remedy Wisconsin’s worst-in-the-country rate of racial disparities. The program, aimed at monitoring racial profiling during traffic stops, had only taken effect one month earlier, and Walker declared that the repeal “allows law enforcement agencies to focus on doing their jobs.”

    • How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring

      A newspaper editor was handed startling evidence that Britain’s top law enforcement official knew there was a VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government. What happened next in the summer of 1984 helps to explain how shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.

    • Atheist Group Blasts ‘Absurd’ Decision to Censor Its Easter Billboards

      The group American Atheists addressed the controversy surrounding its billboards in Nashville, Tennessee by pointing out that it’s hypocritical of the company to censor the group’s advertising when Christian groups routinely promote antigay, pro-religion messages in their own publicity materials.

      In an interview with Raw Story, American Atheists’ Danielle Muscato said, “This is just absurd. It’s just because we’re atheists. It’s discriminatory.”

    • Ferguson police report: Most shocking parts

      Summer of 2012. A 32-year-old African-American was cooling off in his car after a basketball game in a public park.

      What comes next is a series of civil rights violations described in the Justice Department report that resulted in the man losing his job as a federal contractor.

      A Ferguson police officer demands the man’s Social Security number and identification before accusing him of being a pedophile and ordering the man out of his car.

      When the officer asked to search the man’s car, the 32-year-old refused, invoking his constitutional right.

      The response? The officer arrested the man at gunpoint, slapped him with eight charges, including for not wearing a seat belt, despite the fact that he was sitting in a parked car. The officer also cited him for “making a false declaration” because he gave his name as ‘Mike’ instead of ‘Michael.’

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC approves net neutrality rules, reclassifies broadband as a utility

      It’s a good day for proponents of an open internet: The Federal Communications Commission just approved its long-awaited network neutrality plan, which reclassifies broadband internet as a Title II public utility and gives the agency more regulatory power in the process. And unlike the FCC’s last stab at net neutrality in 2010, today’s new rules also apply to mobile broadband. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler laid out the basic gist of the plan earlier this month — it’ll ban things like paid prioritization, a tactic some ISPs used to get additional fees from bandwidth-heavy companies like Netflix, as well as the slowdown of “lawful content.” But now Wheeler’s vision is more than just rhetoric; it’s something the FCC can actively enforce.

    • FCC votes to protect the internet with Title II regulation

      Net neutrality has won at the FCC. In a 3-to-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission today established a new Open Internet Order that implements strict net neutrality rules, including prohibitions on site and app blocking, speed throttling, and paid fast lanes.

    • Net neutrality is only the beginning of an open internet

      Net neutrality is the principle of making sure that your internet service provider doesn’t make it easier for you to access one service over another – the Guardian over the Telegraph, say – or otherwise distorting your use of internet services just because someone dropped a few extra quid in their pocket.

    • Latest Net Neutrality proposal in the EU: a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How Corporate Sovereignty In Trade Agreements Can Force National Laws To Be Changed

      As we noted recently, one of the most worrying aspects of corporate sovereignty chapters in trade agreements is the chilling effect that they can have on future legislation. That’s something that the supporters of this investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism never talk about. What they do say, though, is that corporate sovereignty cannot force governments to change existing laws.

    • TTIP Updates – The Glyn Moody blogs
    • Copyrights

      • Copyright In Brussels: Two Reports, More Than Meets the Eye

        Just as the Julia Reda report (GREEN/EFA – DE MEP) on copyright reform was being discussed this week in the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), another report was examined today by the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). The latter concerns the reinforcement of the “Intellectual Property” rights, and contains a number of disturbing points regarding repression and enforcement that bring back to mind highly contested provisions from the ACTA agreement, and encourages an extra-legislative approach to fighting “commercial scale counterfeiting”. Citizens should get ready to mobilise on a large scale, both to support the positive evolutions of the Reda report, and to denounce the dangerous proposals pushed by the European Commission and some Member States, among which France.

02.24.15

The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Patents at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling

WE are gratified to learn that, based on numerous reports such as this or that, “EFF Questions Whether Software Patents Should Exist” and the “Electronic Frontier Foundation group claims that the US patent system undermines innovation by allowing big companies to intimidate and punish small start-up firms.”

They are not talking about patent trolls (as some do) but instead they are now talking about the big bullies that want to divert the debate so as to focus on the wrong culprit and merely pass a reform that helps megacorporations. Microsoft is basically a target of EFF activism, Apple too to a degree. We commend the Electronic Frontier Foundation for this change in strategy.

Here is a recent action from EFF’s Nazer: “Nazer and his fellow EFF lawyer Vera Ranieri filed court papers seeking to invalidate a patent on photo competitions. US Patent No. 8,209,618, owned by a little-known video website called Garfum.com, was used to sue four small photo websites last September that dared to ask people about their favorite photos.”

Another new piece by Sid Venkatesan from AOL uses a copyright sign as the leading image for an article about patents, showing a common misunderstanding of the vast disparity between copyrights and patents (they have almost nothing at all to do with each other). Putting aside this nitpicking, the article is titled “Software Patents Are Increasingly Coming Under Fire In Court” and it says: “Last summer, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International in which it directed lower courts to scrutinize computer-implemented abstract methods very closely. Alice’s impact was unclear at the time the decision was issued, but lower courts have since relied on the Supreme Court’s opinion to invalidate a number of software patents in the eight months since the decision.

“This legal trend has altered the cost benefit analysis for companies that are seeking software patent protection, enforcing their existing patents, or defending themselves in litigation.”

Further down Venkatesan says: “Federal trial courts and the Federal Circuit (the court that handles patent appeals) decisions since Alice have invalidated many patents using the two-part Section 101 test applied in Alice. For example, the Federal Circuit invalidated a patent dealing with the storage of device-specific profiles, a patent on a system that provided online purchase guarantees, and a patent involving an online system of delivering content with embedded ads in quick succession.”

This is the kind of stuff that patent lawyers have been trying to hide from the public, choosing to pretend that nothing at all has changed.

In a publication called “Entrepreneur” we saw the other day more of that propaganda which equates patents to innovation — a subject we last covered some weeks ago. “They say imitation is the highest form of flattery,” says the propaganda. “That may be true in fashion, but if you are an inventor, imitation can be bad for business.”

Well, how about collaboration? “As of Dec. 1,” continues the article, “Big Blue had been issued almost 7,000 patents in 2014. After IBM, the company with the second highest number of patents issued was Korean-headquartered technology giant Samsung, with more than 5,000 patents filed. Canon, Sony and Microsoft round out the top five, according to the infographic generated with United States Patent Office data by SmartUp, a legal startup that is building an online platform connecting attorneys and clients.”

“It is abundantly clear who software patents are good for.”So what? This basically shows which companies spend the most time doing paperwork. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are innovative.

Several years ago (if not decades ago) Adobe complained about software patents but now that it is a bigger company it patents software any single day, as Steve Brachmann serves to remind us. Microsoft did the same thing when it was a small company. As Bill Gates famously said: “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

It is abundantly clear who software patents are good for. Just watch who is hoarding software patents and creating cartels with them. Here is some nice propaganda which glorifies patents and even makes these cartels and armament with patents seem like a wonderful thing:

Whether they’re coming up with a bright idea themselves, or purchasing smaller companies that have had those bright ideas, all the big guns are active in these two key areas. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung – they’re all at it.

What do these companies have in common? Scale. But Google and Samsung (the two biggest Android players), unlike Apple and Microsoft, are not patent aggressors. They never sue rivals using software patents, they only react to lawsuits, the highest profile of which are from Apple, Microsoft, and their smaller proxies. The EFF will hopefully work to combat this.

Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People’s Data

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.”

Henry David Thoreau

Summary: Refuting the “new Microsoft” propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now “playing nice”

THE company which kick-started PRISM and works most closely with the NSA pretends to have become “open”. How ridiculous a notion! SoylentNews covered our story [1] and many comments there show that the large majority agrees that Microsoft is just trying to harm openness from the inside. That’s just not what corruptible journalists would have us believe.

“The company which kick-started PRISM and works most closely with the NSA pretends to have become “open”.”Dan Kedmey reminded us the other day that “Microsoft’s New App Will Help You Stalk Your Friends”, right after he had covered this bit of news about Microsoft’s “embrace and extend” at work (recall what Microsoft is doing to infiltrate Android). As Kedmey put it in his own words:

It’s acquiring apps and quickly rebranding them as Microsoft products

[...]

Acompli is the best example of Microsoft’s new playbook: In a matter of weeks, Microsoft took Acompli’s popular email app and rebranded it as Outlook for iOS and Android, to rave reviews from the tech press. Before the Acompli move, Microsoft’s iOS and Android Outlook offering was nothing more than a clunky web portal disguised as an app. It’s a safe bet that Sunrise and similar acquisitions will reappear as Microsoft-branded offerings just as quickly.

For those who deem it “good news” for Android, bear in mind that Microsoft is a surveillance company much worse than Google in many ways, as we have demonstrated over the years. Simon Sharwood said a couple of days ago that “Microsoft [is] to store deleted Exchange Online mails FOREVER”. Is anyone surprised by that? Outlook has already been banned for use by European politicians (the “app” at least is verboten for security reasons), which really says a lot about how Microsoft is viewed by security professionals.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft Loves Linux – or So They Say

    Just when you thought Embrace, Extend, Extinguish was going away, the article explains the multi-prong attack that Microsoft is quietly working in the background. And they are relying heavily on their friends in the press. Microsoft has always had its share of shills in the press, but, with the focus on Google Android and Apple its quietly become less of a Journalist career killer to be openly Pro Microsoft. Schestowitz explains the attack as killing Linux Softly with APIs and the lock-ins they bring as more Microsoft packages and services are ported to Linux, and by getting appointments to key Linux Foundation subcommittees, by slinging dollars and software contributions.

“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all.”

Bill Gates, 1995 (and still managing Microsoft)

Benoît Battistelli Thinks ‘President’ is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court’s Ruling

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli has a Napoleonic interpretation of the word “President”

Benoît Battistelli

Summary: Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called ‘President’ of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d’être for the protest — a vain disregard for the rule of law

“Mr Battistelli issued today a communique in which he states that the Dutch judgement is wrong and announcing that the EPO, i.e. The President, will not follow it.

“From bad to worse,” said this one comment. The context of this comment is a Merpel update that says “Mr Battstelli’s letter comes only 3 days after a judgment by a Dutch court that criticised the EPO for limiting staff’s right to strike and for refusing collective bargaining. Under point 5.3 the Dutch court stated: “It lies in the nature of the activities of a Staff Union like SUEPO that they are allowed to criticise the (representatives of) the employer, also via internal channels.””

Battistelli, or “Batty-man” as some people call him (Batman in his own mind, if not just batty, which means “insane; crazy; eccentric.”), deserves much ridicule because he actually threatens people for exercising their rights. He seems to forget that he is subjected to European rules.

Staff that actually fears these remarks and the general behaviour from Battistelli ought to read this latest flier [PDF]. Battistelli knows he is on his way out, hence the aggression.

A dictator faces a trade-off between repression and building the support he needs. The problem is that the number of unhappy people increases as a function of the number of people being punished or killed, and, as Snyderwine puts it, “The ‘intimidation’ effect reduces the likelihood of a revolution while the ‘unhappiness’ effect increases it.”

”Severe censorship and the construction of firewalls is suggested as a countermeasure to avoid ‘unhappiness’ spreading via social media.”2 A further countermeasure is propaganda; dictators like to disseminate misinformation. They hope that “if censorship is strong and manipulative enough, people might not even know the things they are missing.” But this approach is doomed to fail. People talk to each other, read (foreign) newspapers and consult the internet. Sooner rather than later they will find out. And if people suffer severely enough under a dictator, they will revolt, as history has shown.

“When people lose faith in nearly everything … they are more likely to take the streets.” More [PDF]

Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

Posted in News Roundup at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source switches gain more vendor traction

    The open source movement is making waves in the networking space as more vendors are opting to build open switches and routers in favor of proprietary technology. HP is the latest vendor to join the open source networking movement, and some are speculating that open networking could give Cisco a run for its money.

  • Weather Company CIO: 5 reasons why I believe in open source

    Since The Weather Company has been a major adopter of open source software, I’m often asked why we have chosen this path. Where is the value in taking the open source route to solve your business challenges? I’m a big advocate of open source, so I’m always happy to oblige. Here are my top five reasons:

  • Distributors Play Growing Role In Open Source Space

    If tech distributors want to survive in the market, they’ll have to provide channel partners with more training and enablement on open source and cloud-based solutions. Here’s how distributors have responded.

  • Nginx Gearing Up for HTTP2

    The open-source Nginx web server has been steadily gaining in popularity in recent years to become one of the most widely deployed web servers. To date, Nginx has delivered its traffic over HTTP 1.1, but at some point in the near future it will also enable HTTP/2.

  • HP deal marks milestone for open source networking hardware

    If you still harbored any doubts that the web is now driving the future of IT, last week’s announcement that HP will offer disaggregated products for web-scale data centers via deals with Cumulus and Accton should be enough to convince you.

  • eBay’s new Pulsar framework will analyze your data in real time
  • eBay launches Pulsar, an open-source tool for quickly taming big data

    E-commerce giant eBay needs to deal with new usage data — to personalize content and detect fraud, among other things — within seconds. So engineers went and built something to perfectly meet the company’s needs: Pulsar.

    The company revealed details about the system for the first time today, and eBay is making it available for anyone to use under an open-source license.

  • New open source strategy revelations at IBM Interconnect 2015

    An opportunity for IBM’s individual businesses to come together and demonstrate how they best leverage each other’s technologies and capabilities, IBM InterConnect 2015 will touch on cloud, mobile, DevOps, security, asset management, Internet of Things, application integration, and smarter processes.

  • Getting started with Project Atomic

    I had some concerns about learning Middleman and HAML, but there was a solid ‘fork-and-go’ contribution mindset. I started lurking in the -devel list and the IRC channels to start, and picked a single piece of content that I thought could use an update. I got in touch with one of the project folks on IRC and asked about the best way to go about creating and submitting my first change.

  • Events

    • Protocol Plugfest: opening closed doors to interoperability together

      The “world wide web” has been such an amazing success in large part because it was based on open protocols and formats that anyone can implement and use on a level playing field. This opened the way for interoperability on a grand and global scale, and is why http and HTML succeeded where many others failed previously.

    • SCALE 13x, Day 3: The Finale

      First things first: It’s a safe bet that Ruth Suehle could read the Raleigh phone book and make it sound interesting, with or without accompanying Lowenbrau slides. So it would come as no surprise that of all the great keynotes that have been given at the Southern California Linux Expo, Ruth’s Sunday keynote makes anyone’s SCALE short list as an all-time great.

  • Web Browsers

  • Business

    • HP’s Marten Mickos: Open Source Is Not a Business Model

      “Open source is a production model. In some cases, it is a distribution model … . You need a business model for any business that you build, but open source in itself is not that business model. Just like if you have a manufacturing branch and you use robots or you don’t use robots. That is a production question, but it is not a business model for the business you are in.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Reuse is key for Danish telemedicine project

      Reuse is one of the main reasons for the development as open source of OpenTele, a Danish e-health telemedicine project. The health sector is crying out for open source ICT solutions, says Mike Kristoffersen, a senior software architect at the Danish Alexandra Institute. “Doctors and hospitals are seriously locked into medical ICT systems, making it difficult to do research, even for small scale projects.”

  • Licensing

    • Samsung, OpenChain Aim to Build Trust With Open Source Compliance

      Samsung is a top-five contributor to the Linux kernel and contributes upstream to more than 25 other open source projects. Yet the public perception that the company doesn’t care about open source has persisted, despite its efforts, said Ibrahim Haddad, head of the Open Source Innovation Group at Samsung in a presentation at Collaboration Summit last week.

    • Buyer Beware: Demystifying Open Source Software Licenses

      Not too long ago, acquiring software was pretty easy: gather requirements, meet with vendors to evaluate products, select the winner. Legal review took place late in the process, and the final terms that both customer and vendor could live with were generally agreed to quickly.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 3D printers become viable tools in healthcare

      And with desktop 3D printers becoming increasingly affordable and reliable—and open source software such as Cura being versatile, easy to use, and free to update—barriers to further 3D printing innovation are quickly disappearing. What was once only available to well-funded practitioners has now become genuinely accessible to every patient, nurse, doctor, surgeon, hospital, and teaching facility.

    • OpenStack at Walmart, project reform status, and more
    • The Pi Tank – 3D Printed Open Source Smartphone Controlled Raspberry Pi Robot
    • How I upgraded my garden’s ugly drip system with a sexy OpenSprinkler

      After a few hours of work alongside an electrical engineering buddy this week, my home garden drip system became powered by a Raspberry Pi. I can control the entire thing locally from my iPhone and, to be frank, it’s pretty flippin’ cool.

      For some background, I’m a very lazy gardener. When my wife and I bought our house in 2012, our horticultural mission was Hippocratic (do no harm). In other words, we wanted—at the very least—to not kill the plants we inherited from the previous owners. So while some people relax when they do weeding or other green thumb-related activities, we find it tedious and uninspiring. I’m the guy who jumped at the chance to review the Estonian-made Click and Grow.

    • This guy is the Mark Zuckerberg of open-source genetics

      Three years ago, Bastian Greshake spit in a vial and sent it off to personal genomics company 23andMe for analysis. He’d spent years studying the genetics of other organisms, but didn’t know much about his own DNA. He was curious.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Purdue plans to expand open-source online coursework

        A plan to use online open-source curricula for more classes at Purdue University starting this fall could collectively save students up to $1 million.

        The Journal and Courier reports the plan would be an alternative to online programs that can cost students more than $100 per class to access.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • EZchip Announces 100 Core 64-bit ARM Chip

      An Israeli company known as EZchip has introduced their TILE-Mx processors that ship in up to 100-core 64-bit ARM configurations with up to 200 Gigabit Ethernet throughput.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The End to Industrialized Farming

      In 2013 the United Nations released a report indicating that the world’s food needs could be met through organic, local farms. The United Nations report stated that food security, poverty, gender inequality, and climate change can be addressed with a significant shift towards organic, localized farming. In contrast with industrialized farming, organic and local farms cut down on the energy and pollution that transporting food requires. Another study revealed that organic farming utilized less water than industrialized farming, as well as a general reduction in pollution related to production.

  • Security

    • Lenovo Sued Over Superfish Adware
    • The Venture Capitalists Behind Superfish

      Lots of people are talking about the Superfish malware debacle. People are starting to understand just how bad this situation is.

      [...]

      I’d like to see the tech press dig into this. And the venture capitalists involved, particularly the board members, should talk about what they knew and didn’t know.

    • Laptop Buying Advice?

      My current Lenovo X201 laptop has been with me for over four years. I’ve been looking at new laptop models over the years thinking that I should upgrade. Every time, after checking performance numbers, I’ve always reached the conclusion that it is not worth it. The most performant Intel Broadwell processor is the the Core i7 5600U and it is only about 1.5 times the performance of my current Intel Core i7 620M. Meanwhile disk performance has increased more rapidly, but changing the disk on a laptop is usually simple. Two years ago I upgraded to the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB disk, and this year I swapped that for the Samsung 850 Pro 1TB, and both have been good investments.

    • How to delete Superfish from Lenovo computers permanently
    • Moving On From Superfish

      It’s true, RMS was right. The folks at LinuxBSDos.com are right. The world needs to use Free Software.

    • Lenovo’s Superfish spectacle: ‘Catastrophic’ security failures discovered

      Last week, reports surfaced which claimed that Lenovo Notebooks have been issued to consumers containing a preloaded security flaw. Originally, the Chinese tech giant said the Superfish adware was not a security concern — however, eventually the company realized and admitted that the software was able to install its own self-signing man-in-the-middle (MITM) proxy service which has the potential to hijack SSL and TLS connections — a severe, nasty security vulnerability.

    • SSL-busting code that threatened Lenovo users found in a dozen more apps

      Richard went on to publish the SHA1 cryptographic hashes he used to identify software that contained the Komodia code libraries. He invited fellow researchers to use the hashes to identify still more potentially dangerous software circulating online.

      “We’re publishing this analysis to raise awareness about the scope of local SSL MITM software so that the community can also help protect people and their computers,” he wrote. “We think that shining the light on these practices will help the ecosystem better analyze and respond to similar situations as they occur.”

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Samba vulnerability (CVE-2015-0240)

      Samba is the most commonly used Windows interoperability suite of programs, used by Linux and Unix systems. It uses the SMB/CIFS protocol to provide a secure, stable, and fast file and print services. It can also seamlessly integrate with Active Directory environments and can function as a domain controller as well as a domain member (legacy NT4-style domain controller is supported, but the Active Directory domain controller feature of Samba 4 is not supported yet).

    • Samba 4.1.17 Security Release Now Available for Download

      The Samba development team has announced earlier today, February 23, the immediate availability for download of Samba 4.1.17, a security release that addresses the CVE-2015-0240 security vulnerability related to an unexpected code execution in Samba daemon (smbd).

    • Samb-AAAHH! Scary remote execution vuln spotted in Windows-Linux interop code

      Linux admins were sent scrambling to patch their boxes on Monday after a critical vulnerability was revealed in Samba, the open source Linux-and-Windows-compatibility software.

  • Finance

    • The Real Cost of Walmart’s Low Prices

      Like other large companies with globalized production chains, Walmart exploits workers outside of the United States, but the consequences of these exploitative practices impact everyone. In the U.S., social and economic pressures force Walmart employees to accept low wages.

    • 5 Insane Things You Believe About Money (Thanks to Movies)

      I bet every one of you can remember the first time financial reality smacked you in the face like a Hulk-thrown engine block. (“I work two jobs, shouldn’t I be able to afford to get this festering wisdom tooth taken out?”). That’s because unless your parents were wealthy, you left school knowing jack shit about how money worked. We have a trillion dollars in credit card debt to show for it, along with an upper class who just can’t figure out what the rest of us are bitching about.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • The Scary World That Is Arabic Twitter

      As an independent journalist who contributes to various organizations inside and outside the U.S., Twitter is my virtual newsroom. It is where I get story ideas, connect with sources and engage with my readers. On average I spend at least four hours daily on Twitter. As the Islamic State’s (ISIS) atrocities started to dominate the news cycle during the mid part of last year, most of my Tweets have become very ISIS-focused. I tweet about their latest actions, and the reactions that followed. As an native Arabic speaker, I spend a big chunk of my time following Arabic hashtags, Arabic-speaking influencers, and news organizations, and boy, let me tell you what I found. The world of Arabic Twitter is a scary one. I’m stunned by the amount of support that ISIS enjoys on Twitter, and mostly among Arabic speakers.

  • Privacy

    • Mark Zuckerberg ‘not sure’ about Internet.org advertising

      Advertising is not a “near term” priority for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative to get more people online in the developing world, according to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

      Facebook launched the scheme in 2013 with fellow technology firms including Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Nokia as its effort to connect “the next few billion people” to the internet.

      The social network has since worked with mobile operators in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Zambia and Kenya to provide free access to basic internet services from their mobile phones.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Q&A: The Full Interview on Connecting the World

      Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has a big, expensive goal: to connect the world to the Internet. He spoke with Emily Chang about his plans, after returning from a trip through Southeast Asia and India last year as part of his Internet.org initiative. The interview airs Feb. 19 on Bloomberg Television’s Studio 1.0. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

    • There’s a massive new leak of confidential spy files from MI6, Mossad and the FSB

      Al-Jazeera has obtained hundreds of confidential “spy cables” from some of the world’s top intelligence agencies, in what the news channel is calling “the largest intelligence leak since Snowden.”

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Here Comes the ACTA Attack – Again

      Three years ago I began a series of articles about ACTA – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA was originally about tackling counterfeit goods, but had a completely inappropriate digital chapter added, which tried to ride on the coat-tails of the initial plan by suggesting that digital copies were somehow as dangerous as fake medicines or aircraft parts. After a fierce battle that saw hundreds of thousands of Europeans writing to their MEPs, and even taking to the streets, ACTA was thrown out by the European Parliament.

    • Copyrights

      • The Australian Pirates Leave PPI

        The Pirate Party of Australia has been unhappy with the structure functioning of Pirate Parties International for some time and after the PPAU membership gave their board the power to potentially leave international organisation at their last national conference.

      • Draft copyright code published

        Rights holders and ISPs have published a draft of the Government mandated code intended to combat online copyright infringement.

      • Torrent Site Admin Can Pay Piracy Fine…in 227 Years

        After being chased down by a coalition of mainstream entertainment companies, a French court has just handed a former torrent site operator a six month suspended sentence. ‘Boris P’ must also pay two million euros in damages, an amount he predicts could be cleared in approximately 227 years.

02.23.15

Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • My Four-Year-Old Daughter Rejected Windows 10

      Eimi, my four year old daughter, has interacted with Linux-powered computers since she was born. I still remember those nights in which I would pace up and down in my office, holding her and rocking her on my arms while the Linux desktop played music.

      Then, Eimi grew and started enjoying her own room and, rather precociously, discovered how to use desktops and laptops. I will never forget her first encounter with PicarOS, the Linux distro for children!

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 One Week Away, Xubuntu Technical Lead Says

      According to this blog entry by Sean Davis, Xfce contributor and Xubuntu Technical Lead, Xfce 4.12 is to be released in about one week, this being quite an important announcement, since it comes after almost three years in which no new releases have occurred.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • What’s coming to Green Island: part 2
      • Libinput support added to Touchpad KCM

        As an aftermath of the discussion in Fedora, libinput maintainer Peter Hutter contacted KDE developers, including yours truly who is guilty of porting the kcm-touchpad to KDE Frameworks 5. As I know nothing about input stack or touchpads in general (phew), Peter was kind enough to step up, clone the kcm-touchpad and add support for libinput in addition to (existing) synaptics driver. All I had to do then, is to port it again to Frameworks 5.

      • KDE Touchpad Configuration Now Supports Libinput

        With Libinput support being important not only for Wayland input but also is starting to be used for X11/X.Org input too, the KDE input configuration module now supports configuring libinput devices.

      • Plasma Sprint in Barcelona

        We want to get KInfoCenter out of this “nerdy corner” by augmenting it with rich and beautiful modules and encourage users to check it out. The energy information module is the first step in that direction, other developers have also expressed their interest for that, for instance, it could show much more detailed information about what Baloo is doing at the moment.

      • Kronometer 1.6 released

        Kronometer 1.6 is now available for download. This new release brings an improved UI in the Settings dialog, as well as a couple of annoying bugs fixed.

      • TEA 40.0.0 Released – Qt Text Editor with Many Functions

        TEA is a Qt-based text editor with support for tabs, syntax highlighting, spell-checking, editing support for Wikipedia or LaTex, as well as many configuration options. The latest release, 40.0.0, has been put out earlier today and it represents a major milestone.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME’s Log-In Screen Will Still Work Without Wayland

        With the just-released GNOME 3.16 Beta there’s a switch to use Wayland by default for the GDM log-in screen. For those wondering what this means to those using binary blob graphics drivers on your systems or in cases where Wayland isn’t working, fear not.

      • GNOME Maps App Can Now Display Contacts with Geocodable Addresses

        The first beta of the upcoming GNOME Maps 3.16 app of the GNOME desktop environment has been announced as part of the GNOME 3.16 Beta 1 release of the controversial desktop environment. In this beta, GNOME Maps received several improvements and bug fixes that we’ve detailed below for your general information.

      • GNOME 3.16 Beta Brings Wayland-Based Log-in Screen

        Matthias Clasen has announced the release of GNOME 3.15.90, the GNOME 3.16 Beta, that’s coming out slightly delayed but still in time for some weekend testing.

        The saturday afternoon release of this first beta in the GNOME 3.15 series brings several more “big features” that have been a priority for the GNOME 3.16 development cycle.

      • Cinnamon 2.6 to Be a Massive Update, Panel Support for Multiple Monitors Incoming

        Cinnamon, a Linux desktop environment developed by the same guys who are also responsible for Linux Mint, will be getting some very important new features with the next 2.6 version that will be out soon.

      • Cinnamon 2.6 brings panels to multiple monitors

        Cinnamon is one of my favorite open source projects because it actually listens to what users ‘need’ and then works on features to fulfill those needs.

        Despite being a full time KDE Plasma user, Cinnamon is one DE that I would be very comfortable with. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Gnome or Unity; I do. It’s just that Plasma and Cinnamon are more suited for my needs – they both are extremely customization and allow me to give a personalized touch to my PC.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • AntiX Linux: A Brief Review

        Certain factors like systemd are polarizing the Linux community. It seems that either you like it or you hate it. Some of the Debian developers are getting nervous and so a fork of Debian called Devuan has been announced.

        I’m always looking at other distros that emphasize compactness and the ability to run on old hardware. I was also intrigued by the Debian controversy with systemd so when I saw AntiX 13.2 was based on Debian Wheezy I had to give it a try. AntiX comes on a single CD so installing it was easy enough.

      • Running Bodhi 3.0.0 Legacy on Older Hardware

        There are many reasons why people use Bodhi Linux. Some use it because they really like the Enlightenment desktop, and Bodhi has pioneered the integration of Enlightenment to create a distro that is both beautiful, elegant and functional. Others use it because they want an operating system that stays out of their way. Again, although Enlightenment offers plenty of whistles and bells for those who need or want them, it can also be configured to be highly minimalist and use a very small amount of system resources.

    • New Releases

      • 7.5-TEST-1 Release Notes

        Parsix GNU/Linux 7.5 (code name Rinaldo) brings the latest stable GNOME desktop environment, a new kernel built using our modernized kernel build system, updated installer, a new version of systemd and an upgraded X.Org Server. This version has been synchronized with Debian Wheezy repositories as of February 20, 2015. Thanks to the upgraded X.Org server, there is a noticable desktop performance improvement. Parsix Rinaldo ships with GNOME 3.14 and LibreOffice productivity suit by default. Highlights: GNOME Shell 3.14.3, X.Org 1.16.4, GRUB 2, GNU Iceweasel (Firefox) 35.0.1, GParted 0.12.1, Empathy 3.12.7, LibreOffice 3.5.4, VirtualBox 4.3.18 and a kernel based on Linux 3.14.32 with TuxOnIce 3.3, BFS and other extra patches. Live DVD has been compressed using SquashFS and XZ.

      • Q4OS 0.5.26 version released

        The main purpose of this release is to fix ‘unetbootin’ weighty issue. Some Q4OS USB installation media created with unetbootin utility didn’t correctly extract all the archives and packages. It is now fixed as well as several other bugs. Packages updates and fine tuning of Q4OS Setup utility has been made as well.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir Now Depends Upon C++14

            While many open-source projects are still transitioning over to a C++11 code-base, Ubuntu’s Mir display server is already moving onto C++14.

            C++14 was officially released last December as a small update over C++11. While it’s officially just a few months old, GCC and LLVM/Clang have been working on supporting the C++14 changes for some time.

          • Kadu 2.0 Instant Messenger Client Released with Better Ubuntu Unity Support

            After two alphas, one beta, and three RC (Release Candidate) versions, the final release of the anticipated Kadu 2.0 IM client is now available for download. Kadu is an open-source, user-friendly, flexible, and stable Instant Messenger client that supports the Jabber, XMPP, and Gadu-Gadu protocols. Kadu 2.0 is a major release that brings a number of new features and improvements over previous versions.

          • I wrote some more apps for Ubuntu Phone

            As before, all these apps are GPL 3 licensed and available on Launchpad. What’s new is now you can browse them online due to a great unofficial web appstore made by Brian Douglass. This solves one of my previous gripes about not being able to find new applications.

          • Writing Ubuntu Phone Apps Seem Fairly Easy

            Robert Ancell of Canonical posted a new blog post this morning about writing some more apps for Ubuntu Phone. He shows off a simple dice roller app written in just over 400 lines of QML, a morse sender example in less than 600 lines of code, and a yatzy game in less than 1k lines of code all with QML. He’s put out the source to these example Ubuntu Phone apps under the GNU GPLv3.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 to Get Locally Integrated Menus by Default

            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) will implement Locally Integrated Menus by default, making this a very important change for Unity and the operating system.

          • Canonical targets IoT for critical infrastructure

            The increase in hacking attacks that are aligned to geo-political issues is on the increase. Over the last decade, conflicts on the ground have often spilled over to groups of hackers, some state sponsored and some claiming to act independent of the state. The majority of these hackers have chosen to deface government websites or launch DDoS style attacks to force websites offline.

          • Canonical announces new partnership
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • SCALE 13x, Day 2: Knock on Wood

      The day Saturday started with Monty Taylor’s Flying Circus. HP’s Monty Taylor, accompanied by his rubber duck, gave an insightful talk on the direction of Open Source and how media-fabricated one-liners — akin to the misconception that lemmings jump off cliffs — affect the tech industry and, more importantly, what can be done about it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OpenStack at Walmart, project reform status, and more
    • Open Data

      • 3 ways open data is revolutionizing product development

        Somewhere between these two factors — what people really need and don’t have on one end, and what technologies can make a meaningful impact on the other — lies the sweet spot where the next breakthrough product is waiting. And as some leading companies have started to discover, open source data can lead you straight to it. Most recently I witnessed this play out with a company in medical device development — although the learnings from their experience are applicable across industries. Here’s why:

Leftovers

  • American Airlines Strands Luggage From Multiple Flights In Miami; Blames ‘Technical Issue’

    MIA may be the airport code for Miami International Airport, but it’s also the state of luggage for hundreds — if not thousands — of passengers flying on American Airlines out of Miami on Friday: missing in action.

    An apparent “technical issue” with its baggage conveyor belts at Miami International Airport prevented American Airlines from loading any planes with checked luggage on Friday. For eight hours, the airline let its flights depart sans bags, but did not notify passengers of the issue. Instead, most passengers discovered when they reached their destinations that their luggage hadn’t.

  • Science

    • Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with email and photos at risk

      Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer files become useless junk.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Owen Paterson gets his facts wrong in pro-GMO push

      An emotive press release hypes the visit to South Africa by the discredited former UK environment secretary Owen Paterson. The press release, sent from the right-wing think-tank that Paterson founded, UK2020, accuses the European Union and Greenpeace of “condemning millions of people in developing countries to starvation and death by their stubborn refusal to accept the benefits of genetically modified crops and other potentially life-saving advances in plant sciences.”

  • Security

    • Lenovo: Avoid!

      As for me, I will not be buying a Lenovo computer, ever.

    • A Bit Late, But Lenovo CTO Admits The Company Screwed Up

      We’ve had a bunch of posts today (and yesterday) about the “Superfish” debacle, with a few of them focusing on Lenovo failing to recognize what a problem it was — first denying any serious security problem, and then calling it “theoretical.” It appears that Lenovo has now realized it totally screwed up and is finally saying so.

    • Dear Lenovo, it’s not me, it’s you.

      I’ve been a mostly happy Thinkpad owner for almost 15 years. My first Thinkpad was a 570, followed by an X40, an X61s, and an X220. There might have been one more in there, my archives only go back a decade. Although it’s lately gotten harder to buy Thinkpads at UNB as Dell gets better contracts with our purchasing people, I’ve persevered, mainly because I’m used to the Trackpoint, and I like the availability of hardware service manuals. Overall I’ve been pleased with the engineering of the X series.

    • Superfish means its time to replace your Lenovo computer

      Lenovo is all over the media recently, and not for a good reason. The revelation that it corrupted its computers with the vile Superfish adware has shocked many people in the computing world. It’s almost impossible to believe that a company could be so incredibly stupid and so unbelievably uncaring about the security of its customers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Would Malcolm X Think?

      FIFTY years ago today my father, Malcolm X, was assassinated…

    • Australia rules out Sweden for $39 billion submarine contract

      Australia will not partner with Sweden to build its next-generation submarine fleet, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday, narrowing the list of potential partners for the A$50 billion ($39 billion) program to Germany, France and Japan.

      Swedish defense firm Saab, France’s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems have expressed interest in the project.

    • Pakistan Army increasing cooperation with CIA on drone strikes after Peshawar massacre, expert says

      The Pakistan Army is once again cooperating with the US on drone strikes, a renowned expert on the country’s military tells the Bureau in the latest edition of Drone News.

    • CIA-planted ‘evidence’ may force IAEA review of Iran’s alleged nuke arms program – report

      Doctored blueprints for nuclear weapon components supplied to Iran by the CIA 15 years ago could force the IAEA to review its conclusions on Iran’s atomic program, which was potentially based on misleading intelligence, Bloomberg reports.

      The details of the Central Intelligence Agency operation back in 2000 were made public as part of a judicial hearing into a case involving Jeffrey Sterling, an agent convicted of leaking classified information on CIA spying against Iran.

    • CIA’s Nuclear-Bomb Sting Said to Spur Review in Iran Arms Case

      Details of a 15-year-old Central Intelligence Agency sting emerging from a court case in the U.S. may prompt United Nations monitors to reassess some evidence related to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons work, two western diplomats said.

      International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in Vienna will probably review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the revelations, said the two diplomats who are familiar with the IAEA’s Iran file and asked not to be named because the details are confidential. The CIA passed doctored blueprints for nuclear-weapon components to Iran in February 2000, trial documents have shown.

    • The CIA Once Ran Brothels And Dosed Unsuspecting Customers With LSD

      For ten years during the Cold War, the CIA conducted mind-control experiments on unsuspecting San Franciscans. Dubbed Operation Midnight Climax, the program was packed with salacious details: a power-mad narcotics agent, a brothel equipped with two-way mirrors, and gallons of LSD.

    • Christian War Crimes Prize

      After destroying Hiroshima, President Truman offered thanks to God for the power to kill indiscriminately…

    • The Israeli agent behind enemy lines

      “The Israeli intelligence services paid me to complete certain missions, such as secret missions in Syria under the cover of a reporter. These missions were at times very dangerous, and I risked the worst, including death in the case of failure. I traveled to Damascus a number of time in order to make contact with the local elite, doctors, researchers and others – all of whom wanted to emigrate to the United States. Every time I would get the equivalent to a month’s wage.”

    • David Swanson – Not Very Funny

      More broadly, Jeb pushed the idea that the Middle East is a disaster because it hasn’t been bombed enough, and that the U.S. is disliked because it hasn’t attacked enough countries. There are two problems with this. One, it’s a disgusting and ridiculous lie that has been getting people killed for many years. A Gallup poll early last year of 65 countries found the U.S. to be considered far and away the biggest threat to peace in the world. The nations in the worst shape are the ones the U.S. has bombed. U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers has actually argued that we should stop paying attention to what bombing Libya did to Libya in order to be sufficiently willing to bomb Iraq and Syria. ISIS actually produced a 60-minute movie begging the United States to go to war against it because recruitment would soar. The U.S. obliged. Recruitment soared. This is how disliked the United States has made itself: organizations are willing to be bombed if it will show them to be the leading opponents of the United States — a country that, by the way, puts over a trillion dollars a year into war when tens of billions could address world hunger, clean water, and other basic needs. For a fraction of war spending, the U.S. could address climate chaos, agriculture, education, etc., and become the most loved government on earth. But would that feel as good as screaming threats at ISIS?

    • Russia Bashing Big Lies Persist

      They report nothing about Washington supplying Kiev with heavy weapons since the conflict began last year.

    • O’Reilly’s “Combat Situation” Reporting Problem Just Got Worse

      Seven of Bill O’Reilly’s former CBS News colleagues who were with the Fox host in Buenos Aires have challenged his account of the riot he has recently come under fire for describing as a “combat situation.” As contradictions to O’Reilly’s account of his 1982 reporting on the Falklands War build, O’Reilly has responded to critics with personal attacks.

    • On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Media Critics Dissect O’Reilly’s Politicization Of Criticism Of His Falklands War Reporting
    • Former CBS News Colleague Contradicts O’Reilly’s Story About Argentina Protest After Falkland Islands War
    • Bill O’Reilly: Former CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg “Is A Coward” For Criticizing His Falklands War Reporting
    • Turkish Forces Attack Syrian Troops

      Former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford admits moderates don’t exist in numbers and motivation enough to matter.

    • Argentina charges US interference in crisis over prosecutor’s death

      The political crisis precipitated by the mysterious January 18 death of Alberto Nisman has continued to deepen after a mass march called by fellow prosecutors and backed by the government’s right-wing opponents drew large crowds into the streets of Buenos Aires Wednesday to mark one month since the Argentine federal prosecutor was found with a fatal bullet wound to his head.

    • Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine

      For instance, Congress could investigate the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in orchestrating the political crisis that led to a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

    • RABBLE ROUSER: Peace activists give food for thought

      He reminded us that in Nazi Germany, many people had to look the other way to allow for the horrendous atrocities while others risked their lives and paid a high price. He also pointed to the historical reality of the FBI illegally spying on both blacks and Peace Groups during the Vietnam era.

    • Gallup: Americans’ Fear of Russia Soars

      Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

    • America Threatens to Wage War on Russia: “US public is being Prepped to Hate Russians and to Fear Russia”

      Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

    • Swedish migrant aides ‘were Isis recruiters’

      Sweden’s national job agency has sacked its whole network of immigrant resettlement assistants after suspicion that some of them may have tried to recruit newly arrived immigrants to jihadist-style militant groups, such as Isis.

    • US Backing for ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels: Long Reported, Continually Forgotten

      The Guardian story cited the Pentagon in acknowledging that “a small group of US special forces and military planners had been to Jordan during the summer to help…train selected rebel fighters.”

    • America loves its war porn: “American Sniper” and the Hollywood propaganda machine

      In the age of the all-volunteer military and an endless stream of war zone losses and ties, it can be hard to keep Homeland enthusiasm up for perpetual war. After all, you don’t get a 9/11 every year to refresh those images of the barbarians at the airport departure gates. In the meantime, Americans are clearly finding it difficult to remain emotionally roiled up about our confusing wars in Syria and Iraq, the sputtering one in Afghanistan, and various raids, drone attacks, and minor conflicts elsewhere.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities’ Complaint about New Mining Law

      Last week, the World Bank Inspection Panel refused to consider a complaint from Haitian communities about the Bank’s support for development of the mining sector in Haiti. Communities affected by mining activity and the Justice in Mining Collective, a group of six Haitian civil society organizations, submitted the complaint in early January, alleging violations of their rights to information and participation and threats of human rights abuses and environmental harms. The Inspection Panel—an office established to address complaints from people affected by World Bank-sponsored projects—recognized that the complaint raised “serious and legitimate” concerns and that the mining industry presents significant risks. The office nevertheless denied the complaint on narrow, technical grounds. The complainants expect to receive a copy of the decision in French today.[1]

  • Finance

    • In Remarks on Obama, Rudy Giuliani to the Core

      It has been years since he disclosed his assets, but Mr. Giuliani revealed as a presidential candidate that his personal wealth had ballooned from a modest sum when he left City Hall to more than $30 million in 2007.

    • Straw and Rifkind deny ‘cash for access’ wrongdoing

      Two former foreign secretaries have been secretly filmed apparently offering their services to a private company for thousands of pounds.

    • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind face ‘cash for access’ allegations

      Two former foreign secretaries are facing accusations of being involved in a new “cash for access” scandal by offering to use their political influence in return for payment.

    • ‘Cash for access’ scandal: How to buy a politician

      The Telegraph looks at how to buy a politician, including Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind

    • Hillary Clinton’s Complex Corporate Ties

      Among recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton was one of the most aggressive global cheerleaders for American companies, pushing governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of corporate giants such as General Electric Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co.

    • Hillary, Jeb and $$$$$$

      This was on top of another $4 million that he reportedly netted the previous week in one evening alone at the Manhattan home of a private equity bigwig. After Manhattan came the Washington, D.C., area, where he racked up $1 million at two events, according to Politico. An atlas of cities, an avalanche of dough: It’s what successful campaigns are made of, and his is expected to raise between $50 million and $100 million over a span of three months.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Denying History: Cuba in the German Liberal Press

      The U.S.-Cuban negotiations were extensively discussed in the liberal German press. A closer reading of the news indicated a slant in coverage: Cuba was depicted as a terror state and a nefarious actor. The USA, on the other hand, was described as a benign actor with noble aims such as to bring democracy and reforms to Cuba.

    • Reel life is often significantly different than real life — even for Academy Award winners

      Reel life is often significantly different than real life — even for Academy Award winners. Here are eight movies that got their facts wrong.

    • So who is the Biggest Prevaricator: Brian Williams or Bill O’Reilly?

      According to David Corn’s February 19, 2015 article “Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem” in Mother Jones–the Fox News host stands accused of making false claims of stolen valor, similar in nature to those made by NBC News anchor Brian Williams. This despite O’Reilly’s feigned outrage at the hypocrisy of Mr. Williams. The article cited several instances of O’Reilly’s own historic, documented duplicity, but there was another one which went unreported that came from his own words as written within one of O’Reilly’s own books.

    • Erick Erickson Follows Scott Walker In Questioning Obama’s Christianity

      Fox contributor Erick Erickson parroted Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) to cast doubt on President Obama’s Christianity, alleging he is not a Christian “in any meaningful way,” despite the fact that right-wing attempts to call Obama’s faith into question have long been discredited.

    • The Sexist Attacks On Women For Saying The Same Thing As Men

      The National Review’s Ian Tuttle called the two women an incapable “hapless duo” with a “Lucy and Ethel routine” (Harf is blonde, Psaki a red head) who were trying to create a version of the comedy film Legally Blonde at the US Department of State. In a separate piece, the conservative journal of record’s Kevin Williamson called Harf “cretinous” and a “misfit who plays Messy Marvin to Jen Psaki’s feckless Pippi Longstocking.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Laura Poitras’ CITIZENFOUR Awarded Oscar for Best Documentary in 2014

      CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras’ riveting documentary about Edward Snowden’s efforts to shed light on gross surveillance abuses by the United States government and its partners, just won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Tonight’s Oscar win recognizes not only the incredible cinematography of Poitras, but also her daring work with a high-stakes whistleblower and the journalism that kick-started a worldwide debate about surveillance and government transparency. We suspect this award was also, as the New York Times pointed out, “a way for Academy members to make something of a political statement, without having to put their own reputations on the line.”

    • Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras

      “At this stage I can offer nothing more than my word. I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you is extremely high risk … This will not be a waste of your time.” This was one of the first messages Edward Snowden wrote to filmmaker Laura Poitras beginning an exchange that helped expose the massive surveillance apparatus set up by the National Security Agency. Months later, Poitras would meet Snowden for the first time in a Hong Kong hotel room. Poitras filmed more than 20 hours of footage as Snowden debriefed reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill. That footage — most unseen until now — forms the backbone of Poitras’ new film, “Citizenfour.” She joins us to talk about the film and her own experience with government surveillance. The film is the third installment of her 9/11 trilogy that also includes “My Country, My Country” about the Iraq War and “The Oath” about the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Poitras’ NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The Guardian and The Washington Post. We also speak with Jeremy Scahill, who appears in the film reporting on recent disclosures about NSA surveillance from a new, anonymous government source. Scahill, along with Poitras and Greenwald, founded The Intercept, a new media venture to continue investigating whistleblower leaks.

    • Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald on Government Surveillance

      Laura Poitras, nominated for best documentary for “Citizenfour,” said she had seen some changes as a result of her film, about the whistleblower Edward Snowden and his revelations of government surveillance.

    • Laura Poitras on Her Oscar-Nominated Snowden Doc Citizenfour

      When we sit down in her New York office on the evening of February 14, I wish Laura Poitras a happy Valentine’s Day. “Oh, is that today?” she replies. The filmmaker has ample reasons to be unaware of ordinary reality. It has been two years since, while making a documentary about government surveillance of citizens, she received an encrypted email from a correspondent who identified himself only as “citizenfour.” The anonymous emailer turned out, of course, to be Edward Snowden. Since Citizenfour was released to great acclaim last October, she has been in constant motion, mostly outside the U.S. Two nights before we meet, she and Glenn Greenwald were joined, via satellite link from Moscow, by a smiling, relaxed Snowden for discussions at New York’s IFC Center and the New School. The current week contains two more milestones in the film’s remarkable career: It is the odds-on favorite to win Best Documentary at the Oscars this Sunday; the following night, it will have its first telecast on HBO.

    • Edward Snowden Congratulates Laura Poitras for Winning Best Documentary Oscar for Citizenfour

      The following is a statement from Edward Snowden provided to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents him…

    • Why Kaspersky was right to reveal NSA secrets

      This means that the NSA likely had help from the corporations that build the hard drives and USB devices in question, because they’d have no access to the source code otherwise, according to Reuters. It opens up the possibility that the NSA used an American company’s cooperation with a foreign company on projects as an invitation to steal the American company’s proprietary information, too, even though U.S. law explicitly prohibits this type of covert operation.

    • Wanda Sykes on Working at the NSA, Coming Out, & Shooing the FLOTUS Away

      Before her career in comedy, Sykes got, as she called it, “a good government job.” She worked for the NSA and, when prompted, confessed that “yes, she learned some things that were surprising.” She did not elaborate, maybe because it was long ago, or maybe because none of us had the proper clearance.

    • Jeb Bush: ‘I don’t understand’ why anyone is upset about the NSA
    • Jeb Bush Backs NSA Powers
    • Find out if the UK used NSA data to spy on you

      While it’s sadly likely that your communications have passed through an intelligence agency at some point, it’s usually difficult to know just who got your data. However, you now have a rare opportunity to find out.

    • Kaspersky Lab Cannot Confirm NSA Behind Espionage Program on 30 Countries

      Ealier this week, the Moscow-based internet security company published a report saying that spying software operated by a hacker group had infected over 500 computers in over 30 countries including Iran, Russia, China and Syria. The revelations triggered media reports about the US NSA being behind the espionage.

    • Hard-drive spy malware linked to NSA

      A powerful cyberspying tool can tap into millions of computers worldwide through secretly installed malware, security researchers say, with many signs pointing to a US-led effort.

    • NSA spied through Seagate, Micron, Western Digital gear, Russian researchers say (Correction)

      The NSA’s spy programs can function in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, which means just about every computer on the market vulnerable to eavesdropping. Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based security software maker, discovered that implants could be placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” a reference to the NSA. The finding was confirmed by Reuters via a former NSA employee.

    • Vermont Legislation Goes Head-to-Head with NSA Spying

      A bill filed in the Vermont House last week represents a transpartisan effort taking on the surveillance state. The legislation would not only support efforts to turn off NSA’s water in Utah, but would have practical effects on federal surveillance programs if passed.

      Vermont Rep. Teo Zagar (D-Barnard) introduced H.204 on Feb. 12. His three cosponsors literally span the political spectrum, including a Republican, an Independent and a member of the Progressive Party.

    • FBI surveillance tactics jeopardized by fight over NSA phone snooping program
    • NSA Spy Hacking Undermines US Credibility Over Outlawing Cyberattacks

      The United States is planning to create a new agency dedicated to cybersecurity in light of the growing number of hacking attacks and identity theft in the past year.

    • Fresh Insights into the NSA’s Cyber Capabilities

      It is widely known that the National Security Agency houses an impressive cyber force with the capacity to bypass the digital defenses of private individuals, enterprises, and even foreign governments – a force powerful enough to draw criticism from the American public and American allies. A recent report from Russian researchers has provided more specific information vis-à-vis the technical capabilities of NSA.

    • Citizenfour: meet NSA whistleblower Snowden

      Last year, Attorney-General George Brandis introduced legislation to Parliament which, if passed, would require telecom companies to retain metadata for two years. Last week, in the 100-seat Parliament House theatre located just next door, politicians and journalists gathered to watch an advance screening of documentary Citizenfour. The film follows whistleblower Edward Snowden as he reveals the extent of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program. It is a must-see: a poignant reminder of the dangers posed to individual privacy and security by data collection.

    • The NSA’s Snooping Reaches Insane New Levels. You Can’t Do A Thing About It.

      Apparently, the United States National Security Agency has been spying on computers used in several countries through software buried within hard drives manufactured by big companies such as Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital.

      Security researchers at Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab discovered personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs. The most infections were found in Iran, along with computers in Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.

    • Russia Improving Electronic Security in Response to NSA Spyware – Lawmaker

      The remark follows an announcement made on Monday by Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based Internet security software company, on a broad surveillance program that was tracking data on computer hard disks worldwide. The company said a cyberattack team known as the Equation Group had infected the computers of 500 organizations worldwide with spying software, most of them in Iran and Russia.

    • ​Criminally insane irresponsibility led to modern ‘hacker’s paradise’

      The US government has been irresponsible about cyber security for the past 25 years, essentially allowing the NSA to create a ‘hackers paradise’ through numerous infantile backdoors they planted, former US intelligence officer Robert Steele told RT.

    • Find Out if You’ve Been Spied on—and Join the Fight for Privacy

      Want to know if GCHQ spied on you? Now you can find out. Privacy International (PI) has just launched a website that lets anyone find out if their communications were intercepted by the NSA and then shared with GCHQ.

    • Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden film set for Christmas release

      Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone’s big-screen dramatisation of Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations will be released on 25 December, distributor Open Road Films said on Friday.

      Snowden will star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the NSA whistleblower who leaked details of US and British surveillance and electronic monitoring programs.

      Filming has begun in Munich and will move to other locations before its expected completion in May.

      Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson will also star in the film, adapted from two books, The Snowden Files, by Guardian journalist Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer.

    • Timothy Olyphant Joins Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden Movie
    • Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic to open on Christmas Day

      Stone is also adapting the screenplay with Kieran Fitzgerald, from Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus.

    • You can now find out if GCHQ spied on you

      People from around the world can join a campaign to find out if British intelligence agency GCHQ illegally spied on them — and force it to delete the data.

      The move follows a ruling by the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that GCHQ’s use of data gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US was unlawful prior to December 2014.

    • Snowden Documentary Earns Ridenhour Film Prize

      The Ridenhour Prizes announced Friday its documentary prize will go to “Citizenfour,” the film about Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified NSA documents, directed by Laura Poitras.

    • Director Laura Poitras accepts the award for best documentary for her film “Citizenfour” at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica
    • SA’s securocrats serious about cyberwarfare

      Shortly after 9/11, the South African government introduced measures to fight terrorism in the country, including a bill allowing the monitoring and interception of communications. It became the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) of 2002. It replaced the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act of 1992, which did not deal adequately with technological advances.

    • Loopholes exist in our laws covering interception of communications, and the state is abusing them.

      Shortly after 9/11, the South African government introduced measures to fight terrorism in the country, including a Bill allowing the monitoring and interception of communications. It became the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) of 2002. It replaced the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act of 1992, which did not deal adequately with technological advances.

    • The Spy Cables: A glimpse into the world of espionage

      A digital leak to Al Jazeera of hundreds of secret intelligence documents from the world’s spy agencies has offered an unprecedented insight into operational dealings of the shadowy and highly politicised realm of global espionage.

      Over the coming days, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit is publishing The Spy Cables, in collaboration with The Guardian newspaper.

      Spanning a period from 2006 until December 2014, they include detailed briefings and internal analyses written by operatives of South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA). They also reveal the South Africans’ secret correspondence with the US intelligence agency, the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB and Iran’s operatives, as well as dozens of other services from Asia to the Middle East and Africa.

      The files unveil details of how, as the post-apartheid South African state grappled with the challenges of forging new security services, the country became vulnerable to foreign espionage and inundated with warnings related to the US “War on Terror”.

    • ‘Overnight, everything I loved was gone’: the internet shaming of Lindsey Stone

      When a friend posted a photograph of charity worker Lindsey Stone on Facebook, she never dreamed she would lose her job and her reputation. Two years on, could she get her life back?

    • Why The USA Hacks

      The U.S. government views cyberspace as just another theater of war akin to air, land and sea…

    • Alleged NSA Computer Hardware Espionage Not Surprising – Former CIA Officer

      A former CIA and State Department counterterrorism expert says a report by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab that the NSA could have infiltrated computer hardware to spy on foreign entities is not surprising.

    • Investigation looks at possible CIA malware plant

      A new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said its researchers identified a new family of malicious programs or worms that infected computers in multiple countries, primarily overseas. Targets appeared to be specifically selected and included military, Islamic activists, energy companies and other businesses, as well as government personnel.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Infamous Oscar Speech Heard Around the World

      Can we all just agree on that point? I’m not saying we owe Michael Moore an apology for the way he was derided for his speech after winning the Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, 10 years ago, but on this momentous anniversary, I think we can at least acknowledge that much.

      On March 23, 2003, Moore made the Oscar speech heard around the world, in which he condemned George Bush for going to war in Iraq, which had just begun four days prior. And Moore was booed, stalked and threatened for it. He had to get a security detail to protect him from the death threats (some of which were encouraged by the media), and he claims that Homeland Security scratched up his Oscar at the airport on the way home.

    • Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud during his one meeting with THE General Body

      THE General Body’s website shows they are connecting with other anti-corporatization student groups, such as those at Colgate University and the University of California.

    • Poland to Pay $262,000 to Inmates Held at Secret C.I.A. Prison
    • Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition

      Poland will be the first country to pay damages for participating in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s secret rendition programme after its was found to have hosted a facility used for illegal rendition and interrogation.

    • CIA terror suspects get pay from Poland

      Poland will pay $262,000 in compensation to two terror suspects who say they were tortured at a CIA secret prison that Poland hosted from 2002-2003, a government minister said Wednesday.

      Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna spoke after the European Court of Human Rights in France rejected Poland’s appeal of its earlier ruling.

    • European court rejects Polish appeal in CIA jail case

      The European Court of Human Rights refused on Tuesday to reconsider its ruling that Poland hosted a secret CIA jail, a decision that will now oblige Warsaw to swiftly hold to account Polish officials who allowed the jail to operate.

      The court’s decision will add to pressure on other European countries to end years of secrecy about their involvement in the CIA’s global programme of secret detention after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

    • Poland to Pay €230,000 to Two CIA Detainees Previously Held on Its Soil
    • Will the U.S. prosecute torture?

      When America Tonight approached the Justice Department for this report, its press office responded in an email in bold type: “We are not doing interviews.” But in a statement, the agency said that it reviewed the cases of several detainees “alleged to have been mistreated” back in 2009. In the two criminal investigations that resulted, it said it did not find sufficient evidence to “obtain and sustain” convictions.

    • Did the Torture Report Give the C.I.A. a Bum Rap?

      IN December, when the Senate Intelligence Committee issued its long-awaited report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program, it seemed to confirm what I and many human-rights advocates had argued for a decade: The C.I.A. had started and run a fundamentally abusive and counterproductive torture program. What’s more, the report found that the C.I.A. had lied repeatedly about the program’s efficacy, and that it had neither disrupted terror plots nor saved lives.

    • Former CIA officer suing agency for wrongful termination

      A former CIA officer who operated under shadowy “non-official cover” status is suing the spy agency in federal court, claiming he was wrongly fired after a senior manager fabricated allegations of misconduct.

      The officer filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under a pseudonym, Mack L. Charles. The CIA declined to comment, but did not dispute the plaintiff’s former association with the agency.

    • Fired CIA Worker’s Suit Stymied by State Secrets

      A former CIA operations officer with narcolepsy cannot pursue discrimination charges against the agency because his claims violate state secrets privilege, a federal judge ruled.

      The plaintiff, under the pseudonym Jacob Abilt, claims he divulged his disability to the CIA upon employment when he was hired by the agency in 2008.

      “The parties agreed that as an accommodation of Plaintiff’s disability he could take brief naps at his desk, provided that he make-up the time either by foregoing a lunch break and/or working beyond his scheduled tour of duty,” the complaint says.

    • How the CIA gets away with it: Our democracy is their real enemy

      The inside, untold story of CIA’s efforts to mislead Congress — and the people — about torture will horrify you

    • He blew the whistle on CIA torture, and now he’s finally home from jail — and talking

      After serving almost two years in a federal prison in Pennsylvania, former CIA officer John Kiriakou, the first agency official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding, is back at home in Virginia to complete the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

    • CIA Torture Whistleblower: US Government Lacks “the Guts” to Face Its Crimes

      Out of prison and living at home under house arrest for the remainder of a suspended prison sentence, former CIA operative John Kiriakou, convicted and sent to jail for blowing the whistle on agency torture under the Bush administration, has been speaking to major medi outlets this week about the brutal tactics and depraved abuse administered by the U.S. government in the name fighting terrorism as well as his prosecution and conviction under the Espionage Act for speaking out against such crimes.

    • The dark comedy of the Senate torture report

      Nevertheless, civic duty spurred me and a lawyer colleague to write the preface. So I read the report — all 500 or so pages of it — first in English and then in French. To my great surprise I learned that the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture moves right along, with an authorial voice, lots of irony and plenty of gruesome detail that wasn’t in the newspapers. The principal writer, a former FBI analyst named Daniel Jones, renders the story of the CIA’s gratuitous brutality with a rhythmic repetition that approaches literature. Again and again, we’re told, detainees were grabbed by the CIA or its proxies, transported to secret prisons, subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, and eventually dropped because they didn’t reveal anything useful, or they invented stories, or, as in the case of the suspected Afghan militant Gul Rahman, died. Then, after ploughing through many pages of CIA boasting about success in foiling terrorist plots, we find out that the agency’s ‘representations were almost entirely inaccurate’ and that torture foiled not a single plot. The former FBI man has fun hanging his CIA rivals with their own words, such as when then CIA director Porter Goss briefs senators about how ‘professionally operated’ CIA detention techniques are compared with the Abu Ghraib variety: ‘We are not talking military, and I’m not talking about anything that a contractor might have done… in a prison somewhere or beat somebody or hit somebody with a stick or something.’ No, we’re talking about chaining a prisoner to the ceiling, making him wear a nappy, and letting him soil himself. After slamming him into a wall.

    • How Britain’s treatment of ‘The Hooded Men’ during the Troubles became the benchmark for US ‘torture’ in the Middle East

      When Amal Clooney flies into Belfast shortly to meet a group of former Irish prisoners known as ‘The Hooded Men’ it will be the latest chapter of an extraordinary story concerning a quest for justice that has lasted almost half a century.

    • Judge who wrote ‘torture memos’ speaks at University of Utah

      One man held a sign reading “Torture Is a War Crime.”

    • Torture, terrorism, and paranoia

      Director Adeara Maurice said Why Torture is Wrong highlights the “fear-based culture” surrounding terrorism and homeland security in post-9/11 America.

    • Selma Director Ava DuVernay on Hollywood’s Lack of Diversity, Oscar Snub and #OscarsSoWhite Hashtag

      Today we spend the hour with Ava DuVernay, the director of the acclaimed new civil rights film “Selma,” which tells the story of the campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to draw the nation’s attention to the struggle for equal voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March of 1965. While the film has been nominated for an Oscar for best picture, to the shock of many, DuVernay was not nominated. She would have made history as the first African-American woman nominated for best director. At the Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay joins us to discuss the making of the film and the Academy Award nominations. “The question is why was ‘Selma’ the only film that was in the running with people of color for the award?” she asks.

    • Verdict expected in trial of 25 Egyptian activists, including Alaa Abdel-Fattah

      An Egyptian court is expected to issue a verdict on Monday in a case which leading activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others stand a retrial on a variety of charges, including taking part in an unauthorised protest in 2013.

    • David Cole Turns in His Torture Homework Late, Gets a C

      Here, Cole misrepresents the conclusion of the Torture Report, which leads him to a conclusion of limited value. It is not just that CIA lied about whether torture worked.

    • Even as Many Eyes Watch, Brutality at Rikers Island Persists

      The brutal confrontations were among 62 cases identified by The New York Times in which inmates were seriously injured by correction officers between last August and January, a period when city and federal officials had become increasingly focused on reining in violence at Rikers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The World’s Most Idiotic Copyright Complaint

        If you can bear to read it the full notice can be found here. Worryingly Total Wipes Music are currently filing notices almost every day. Google rejects many of them but it’s only a matter of time before some sneak through.

02.22.15

IRC Proceedings: February 8th – February 21st, 2015

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: February 8th – February 14th, 2015

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IRC Proceedings: February 15th – February 21st, 2015

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Enter the IRC channels now

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