Links – An Outbreak of Laws to Justify the Worst Spying. Exposed Racism and Pollution

Posted in Site News at 2:40 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Building a GSM network with open source
  • Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Apps

    Princeton University’s Office of Information Technology recently polled 150 students who tested Google Apps’ Gmail and Microsoft Office 365 and results showed only two preferred the latter.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Paul Vixie tells us how he and the FBI are dealing with the Windows born malware, DNS Changer and Conficker

      Many victims would have to reinstall Windows on their computers — which at first was the only sure cure for this particular infection. On top of that, many of the victims have had their DSL or Cable modems (“home routers”) reconfigured by the DNS Changer malware, so that they were using ISC’s replacement DNS servers even if none of their computers are still infected and even if none of their computers were running Windows. Most Internet users do not have the skills necessary to check and repair the configuration of their home routers, and most Windows users are also unwilling to reinstall Windows. So, even when we could identify and notify a victim, we had a hard time “closing the deal”. … We still don’t know the identities of any of the criminals who foisted Conficker on an unready world back in 2008. But we do know that the victim population has not dropped below six million (6,000,000). So we still collect the “sinkhole” data about these victims, we still report on it to network operators, and every year we buy another rack of disk drives to hold the next year or so worth of data. We’re out of ideas for how to get people to care that their computers are infected with Conficker.

      The new deadline is July 9 2012. You can check your own non free embedded systems at http://dns-ok.us/.

    • The Illusion of Security Or: How to hack CitiBank

      Several years ago, I was working as a trainer in a Citibank call center. … The building was locked down. … since every computer in the building had access to the complete financial history of every single person who’d ever done business with Citibank … [but] … I went to my own computer, and found many other sites I could access. The Center for Information Technology Integration. Cities Restaurant. The Cape IT Initiative. Random websites that had one thing in common. They started with the letters CITI. … That night, I registered citi.ryanestrada.com

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Who Makes $250,000 a Year? Not Small Business Owners
    • The Rich Get Even Richer

      In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income.

    • Banksters

      The US required cities and states to buy, from the banksters, billions of dollars worth of fixed-rate loans as a hedge against possible high interest rates. Then the US drove down interest rates to cater to the banksters, making our cities lose while the banksters win.

  • Anti-Trust

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD/PRWatch Asks Ethics Board to Examine Corporate-Funded Gifts to ALEC Legislators

      Although ALEC describes itself as the largest membership group for legislators, over 98% of its $7 million budget is from corporations and sources other than legislative dues. Documents obtained via Wisconsin open records law and other sources show that ALEC corporations are funding lawmakers’ out-of-state travel expenses to posh resorts for ALEC meetings with corporate lobbyists, in addition to gifts of entertainment and exclusive parties.

  • Censorship

    • China’s Twitter-Spam War Against Pro-Tibet Activists

      Over the last week, supporters of Tibet, and the merely curious, have seen information warfare up close. On Twitter, several hundred bots (automated programs that generate content) flooded discussions using the hashtags #Tibet and #Freetibet with meaningless tweets and spam. If you were someone trying to learn more about Tibet, you kept bumping up against these threads, and eventually you may have given up and moved on to some other subject. … More malevolently, Tibetan activists have been threatened on Twitter.

      It’s nice to see mainstream media understand some of the problems that people on technical forums pointed out a decade ago. It’s too bad they only took note when it happened to something they cared about.

    • Protesters See Tweets Used Against Them

      This and recent demands of Facebook passwords are an attempt by the rich and powerful to intimidate people and keep them from organizing. Don’t let them shut you up or drive you underground.

    • Study Finds China Censorship Of Social Media Is Real, Pervasive

      an online publication of the University of Illinois, Chicago, finds that censors in China delete around 16 percent of the messages submitted to Sina Weibo, the popular micro blogging Web site that many have likened to a Chinese version of Twitter.

    • Sarkozy’s plan to criminalize the mere viewing of Islamist web sites is running into some opposition.

      Note how Sarkozy cites the prohibition of “child pornography” as a precedent for prohibiting access to a political opinion. The idea that this was the thin edge of the wedge is no longer just a theory. It is an excuse for censoring all sorts of things. No matter how disgusting some works may be, censorship is more disgusting.

    • A Colossal Mistake of Historic Proportions: The “JOBS” Bill

      From the 1970s until recently, Congress allowed and encouraged a great deal of financial market deregulation … Congress is about to make the same kind of mistake again – this time abandoning much of the 1930s-era securities legislation that both served investors well and helped make the US one of the best places in the world to raise capital. … A new venture could raise up to $1-2 million through internet solicitations, as long as no investor puts in more than $10,000 (section 301 of HR3606). The level of disclosure would be minimal and there would be no real penalties for outright lying. There would also be no effective oversight of such stock promotion – returning us precisely to the situation that prevailed in the 1920s.

      See also, “This business startups act is a hucksters’ charter

  • Privacy

    • Protecting your Facebook privacy at work isn’t just about passwords

      Many big firms use “lawful interception” appliances that monitor all employee communications … [and] may use keyloggers, screenloggers, and other spying tools to watch what you do and capture your passwords. If your employer, school or institution gets to control the software on your computer, you can’t know that it’s not snooping on you at all times. … the presence of your employer’s self-signed certificate in your computers’ list of trusted certs means that your employer can (nearly) undetectably impersonate all the computers on the internet, tricking your browser into thinking that it has a secure connection to your bank, Facebook, or Gmail, all the while eavesdropping on your connection.

    • Consumer Privacy Defended In FTC’s Caution To Congress On Data Brokers

      the FTC called for legislation to give consumers access to personal data held by brokers and allow them to correct any inaccurate information. … to create a national standard for notifying customers if their data is lost in a data breach, suggested mobile application companies — and websites more generally — create “short, meaningful” privacy disclosures and urged the software industry to create a “Do Not Track” mechanism on browsers to let consumers choose how much of their information is collected online and how it is used. … Though largely unknown to the general public, data brokers gather information from a variety of public and private sources, including home purchase histories, change of address forms, credit card activity and even address information from local pizza delivery shops … Then they sell that data to buyers who use it for a variety of purposes, often for online marketing.

    • Don’t Let Congress Use “Cybersecurity” Fears to Erode Digital Rights

      H.R. 3523, also known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, would let companies spy on users and share private information with the federal government and other companies with near-total immunity from civil and criminal liability. It effectively creates a “cybersecurity” exemption to all existing laws.

      See also this

    • This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking Women Without Their Knowledge, It’s A Wake-Up Call About Facebook Privacy

      See also, TLO aggregation service founded by Hank Asher.

    • Yes, the States Really Reject Real ID
  • Civil Rights

    • Cancer v. the Constitution

      I had never encountered this clinical scenario during my training in Canada. I had never seen a woman suffer because she couldn’t afford something as simple as a Pap smear, never mind deal with the indignities of shopping around her sorrow and hard luck to try to patch together what would inevitably be inadequate medical therapy. It is this reality of medical care in America for which I was wholly unprepared.

    • Who is Insulting the Middle Class?

      A deep irony, underlying our political season, is that the U.S. middle class…the biggest victims of the first decade of this century, are also being slandered relentlessly. The ongoing campaign of propaganda that democracy can’t work and we should turn to oligarchy has many threads.

    • Anna Brown: 29-year-old Black Woman Dies in Jail After Being Dragged By Police Out of Hospital
    • All Parties Ignore the One Way to Reduce Health Care Costs: Single-Payer

      Research shows that single-payer reform could save about $380 billion annually that’s currently wasted on insurers’ overhead and the unnecessary paperwork (and screen-work) they inflict on hospitals, doctors and patients. That’s enough money to fully cover the uninsured and eliminate copayments and deductibles for the rest of us

      The non free software business managers tend to favor are another problem that take years to undo.

    • Police face racism scandal after black man records abuse
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The House GOP Plan to Gut the FCC

      The bill, H.R. 3309, is called the “FCC Process Reform Act of 2011.” … will disable the FCC, not reform it. … by creating a special set of vague and novel procedural hurdles for the FCC to which no other agency is subject and that will require another decade of litigation to clarify. … [and] significantly reducing the FCC’s ability to take the public interest into account … making every single one of the FCC’s regulatory analyses in support of a new rule — and not just the rule itself — subject to judicial review. Don’t like the FCC’s suggestion that public interest values are worth taking into account? Sue, and paralyze the Commission.

      I imagine this is mostly aimed at stopping the FCC’s TV white space Open Spectrum initiatives. Big media already has egregious monopolies but Open Spectrum can undo them, so publishers seek government unjust government protection of their technically obsolete business models.

    • Mobile operators seek to ‘block’ Skype in Sweden

      Now that Microsoft has admitted to spying on Skype users, this is a good idea but that’s not what ISPs have in mind.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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