Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 11/5/2016: Docker Security, Cinnamon 3.0.2

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Milestones in Free and Open Source Software History, 1969-2015
    In the fall of 1983 Richard Stallman, a veteran of MIT's AI Lab who was unhappy with the increasingly closed nature of software source code, announced the GNU project. His goal was to build a clone of Unix using only code that could be freely shared and would always be publicly available. Many parts of the GNU operating system, which Stallman began building in early 1984, remain central to the free and open source software ecosystem today.

  • I am your user. Why do you hate me?
    Leslie is a developer engagement strategist who works at Red Hat and sits on several key nonprofit boards. In addition to running her own company, Donna also sits on many boards and does much of the thankless work to put on excellent open source events in Australia. They each bring over a decade of experience with open source to their work, and their upcoming talk at OSCON titled, I am your user—why do you hate me?

  • DIY : Open Source Software for your very own IoT

  • Nominations for the 2016 New Zealand Open Source Awards open
    Nominations for the 2016 New Zealand Open Source Awards are now open.

  • Four Ways for Developers To Open Source Their Next Big Idea
    The open source movement is transforming technology in many respects, and its fundamental stance toward collaboration can be used to transform the inspiration process for developers as well.

  • Amazon open-sources its own deep learning software, DSSTNE

    Amazon has suddenly made a remarkable entrance into the world of open-source software for deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence. Yesterday the e-commerce company unceremoniously released a library called DSSTNE on GitHub under an open-source Apache license.

    Deep learning involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data and then getting them to make inferences about new data. Several technology companies are doing it — heck, it even got some air time recently in “Silicon Valley.” And there are already several other deep learning frameworks to choose from, including Google’s TensorFlow.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • You Can Help Build the Future of Firefox with the New Test Pilot Program
        When building features for hundreds of millions of Firefox users worldwide, it’s important to get them right. To help figure out which features should ship and how they should work, we created the new Test Pilot program. Test Pilot is a way for you to try out experimental features and let us know what you think. You can turn them on and off at any time, and you’ll always know what information you’re sharing to help us understand how these features are used. Of course, you can also use Test Pilot to provide feedback and suggestions to the teams behind each new feature.

        As you’re experimenting with new features, you might experience some bugs or lose some of the polish from the general Firefox release, so Test Pilot allows you to easily enable or disable features at any time.

        Feedback and data from Test Pilot will help determine which features ultimately end up in a Firefox release for all to enjoy.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • On the Multi-Cloud Future
      Do you run multiple operating systems? It's not uncommon for the answer to that question to be yes. You may run Linux on a laptop and Android on a phone, for example. In the same fashion, many experts surveying the cloud computing scene predict that the growing trend toward hybrid cloud deployments will make it extremely popular for enterprises to run many cloud platforms and tools concurrently.

    • The Open Cloud, Demystified
      In this post, you'll find several of the best free guides to popular cloud-centric tools, ranging from ownCloud to OpenStack, that can help boost your efficiency. We have updated this collection of documentation with a valuable overall guide to the open cloud platforms that you can choose from, and some brand new guides.

    • Bexar, Mitaka, Newton: Behind OpenStack release names
      Mitaka is not only the latest release of the OpenStack cloud infrastructure service, it’s also a city in Japan.

    • OpenStack Mitaka aims to make open source easy-peasy
      The newest release of the OpenStack cloud infrastructure is designed to be easier to install, easier to use and easier to manage.

      That could be big news for CIOs. The cloud platform is delivering flexibility and processing power at lower cost to big-name companies such as AT&T and eBay. But calling for lots of installation, maintenance and development support, OpenStack has come to be known almost as much for its DIY-style complexity as it has for its innovative potential.

    • OpenStack, SDN, and Container Networking Power Enterprise Cloud at PayPal
      This architecture has four layers. The Infrastructure & Operations layer at the bottom provides computer, storage, and network and is powered by OpenStack. On top of that is the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) layer -- the core technology and analytics platform that provides services like messaging, logging, monitoring, analytics, etc. to be leveraged across all PayPal applications. On top of that is the Payments Operating System (POS), which is the foundation for all payments-related microservices and which serves all customer-facing experience through mobile and web apps. Finally, the top layer comprises customer-facing applications.

    • Lenovo's Highly-Available OpenStack Enterprise Cloud Platform Practice with EasyStack
      In 2015, the Chinese IT superpower Lenovo chose EasyStack to build an OpenStack-based enterprise cloud platform to carry out their "Internet Strategy". In six months, this platform has evolved into an enterprise-level OpenStack production environment of over 3000 cores with data growth peaking at 10TB/day. It is expected that by the end of 2016, 20% of the IT system will be migrated onto the Cloud.

    • SDN, NFV Can Make You Money

    • NEC/NetCracker’s NFV Platform Dives Into DevOps
      In a world of plentiful OpenStack offerings and NFV orchestrators, NEC/Netcracker looks to differentiate by “filling the gaps” in NFV, for example by providing integration with operations support systems (OSSs) and business support systems (BSSs). The platform also promises to deliver tools that enable technology vendors and service providers to collaborate on application and service design using a DevOps model.

    • Intel Debuts CIAO for OpenStack Cloud Orchestration [VIDEO]
      The new Go based project is s called CIAO, Cloud Integrated Advanced Orchestrator and is a potential replacement or optional component for existing orchestration in OpenStack

    • Tech spending priorities to shift with DevOps transition
      IT organizations should get ready to cede some budgetary control to business units, as software -- and software developers -- become key agents of commerce.

    • On the Rise: Six Unsung Apache Big Data Projects
      Countless organizations around the world are now working with data sets so large and complex that traditional data processing applications can no longer drive optimized analytics and insights. That’s the problem that the new wave of Big Data applications aims to solve, and the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has recently graduated a slew of interesting open source Big Data projects to Top-Level status. That means that they will get active development and strong community support.

    • An introduction to data processing with Cassandra and Spark
      So, what is Apache Cassandra? A distributed OLTP database built for high availability and linear scalability. When people ask what Cassandra is used for, think about the type of system you want close to the customer. This is ultimately the system that our users interact with. Applications that must always be available: product catalogs, IoT, medical systems, and mobile applications. In these categories downtime can mean loss of revenue or even more dire outcomes depending on your specific use case. Netflix was one of the earliest adopters of this project, which was open sourced in 2008, and their contributions, along with successes, put it on the radar of the masses.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • How BSD was built, and how it lost the lead to Linux
      BSD has been eclipsed by the popularity of Linux over the years. But how did BSD get started? And why did Linux overtake and surpass it? Salon has a detailed article that charts the creation of BSD, and why it eventually lost out to Linux.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Estonian finance ministry seeks OSS service provider
      The Estonian Ministry of Finance is looking for a service provider to host, maintain and support its open-source-based portal infrastructure. The framework contract runs for three years and has an estimated value of 300,000 Euro.

  • Programming/Development


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Happiness and children

      Depression and anxiety are rising rapidly among young people: what’s going on?

    • All Angles Covered: Is the EU Completely in the Pocket of the Biotech Industry?
      On 9 May, Corporate Europe Observatory posted an article on its website that described how Genius, a lobby consultancy firm based in Germany, has been employed to distort the debate on glyphosate in favour the biotech industry.

      Research linking the use of glyphosate to various diseases is well documented, and the World Health Organisation has declared the substance as “probably causing cancer to humans.” Despite this, the European Commission is seeking to grant glyphosate re-approval for another ten years. The re-authorisation is being sought by the Glyphosate Task Force (GTF), an industry platform uniting producers of glyphosate-based herbicides, whose members include Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences, Syngenta, and Barclay Chemicals. Genius was used to run its website.

    • The EPA's Ties to Monsanto Could Be Disastrous for the US
      Conservative politicians love to talk about how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only issues "job-killing regulations," especially if they're taking campaign contributions from fossil fuel billionaires like the Koch brothers or from agrochemical giants like Monsanto.

      Republican Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Lamar Smith, for example, has spent years trying to stop the EPA from conducting any real research about climate change or passing any real regulations in general. But apparently it's true that every once in a while, even a blind mouse finds cheese; it seems like Lamar Smith might actually have a legitimate complaint about an EPA report.

    • Doctors Agree With Sanders on Universal Health Care
      Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks it should be replaced with a single-payer health plan of the kind Europe and Canada have. This federally administered universal health care program would eliminate copays and deductibles. There’s currently a move afoot in Colorado to have such a plan.

    • Targeting Big Pharma Price Gouging, Sanders Backs California Ballot Fight
      Backing a citizen-led initiative to combat soaring drugs prices in California, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday endorsed a ballot proposal designed to curb what he described as a corporate "rip-off" of the state's sick and vulnerable.

  • Security

    • IE and Graphics head Microsoft's Patch Tuesday critical list
      There's 15 flaw fixes covering 36 vulnerabilities in this month's patch bundle from Microsoft.

      Microsoft's browsers need a lot of work – Internet Explorer gets five fixes and the new Edge code has four. Both applications' patches have been named as critical by Redmond. There's also a five-fix bundle for Microsoft's graphics component and seven flaws found in Windows kernel drivers, mainly for 32-bit versions of the operating system.

    • Exploits gone wild: Hackers target critical image-processing bug

    • ImageMagick’s ImageTragick: Exploits Not Yet Widespread
      Part of the reason for this may well be because of the nature of the vulnerability, which requires upload permissions. “These are generally restricted to subscribers and administrators,” Cid notes, “which by design negatively impacts the ability to perform a mass exploit across the web. Additionally, there aren’t that many open-source and public Content Management Systems (CMS) that use ImageMagick by default, which drastically reduces the potential attack surface – something required to see mass attacks.”

    • GnuTLS 3.5.0

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The (Il)legality of UK Drone Strikes
      It was reported in The Guardian newspaper today that the UK parliamentary joint committee on human rights was questioning the legal framework underpinning the use of British drone strikes against terrorist suspects.

    • CIA-NSA Supported Brazilian Coup Back On, Rousseff Ousted Wednesday?
      One day after the Brazilian people breathed a sigh of relief after the lower house impeachment vote was annulled, that decision was unheroically walked back, creating what may become a gory constitutional crisis.

    • Brazilian Senate set to launch Rousseff impeachment
      Brasilia: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was only hours from possibly being suspended at the start of an impeachment trial Wednesday in a political crisis paralysing Latin America’s largest country.

    • Brazil Impeachment: Rousseff Appeals To Supreme Court
      Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, has made a last-ditch appeal to stop the impeachment process against her by asking the supreme court to block the proceedings, hours before a crucial Senate vote.

      Ms Rousseff’s lawyers alleged the process is fraught with bias and irregularities but similar attempts have been rejected by the court.

      Ms Rousseff could be suspended for up to 180 days if the Senators vote for a full trial today.


      The President is accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014. She denies all the charges.

    • Daniel Berrigan’s Enduring Fight for Peace
      As Campaign 2016 almost ignores the vital issues of war and peace – despite the reality of perpetual war – Daniel Berrigan, one of America’s great voices for peace, has gone silent, writes Michael Winship.

    • President Obama Should Meet A-Bomb Survivors, and Heed Their Call To Ban the Bomb
      President Obama is considering a visit to Hiroshima during the G-7 economic summit in Japan later this month. Hiroshima is an impressively rebuilt, thriving city of a million people. The city was obliterated by the first atomic bomb, dropped by the United States on August 6, 1945, followed by the second bomb that devastated Nagasaki three days later, killing a total of more than 200,000 people.

      Remarkably, many Hibakusha, atomic bomb survivors, are still alive today, though they often suffer from various radiation-caused illnesses or other physical ailments 71 years after the bombs were dropped.

    • Masters of Mankind: the Costs of Violence
      Obama’s global drone assassination campaign, a remarkable innovation in global terrorism, exhibits the same patterns. By most accounts, it is generating terrorists more rapidly than it is murdering those suspected of someday intending to harm us — an impressive contribution by a constitutional lawyer on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, which established the basis for the principle of presumption of innocence that is the foundation of civilized law.

    • Exploiting Global Warming for Geo-Politics
      When a severe drought hit Syria a decade ago, the U.S. government chose not to help but rather exploit the environmental crisis to force a “regime change,” a decision that contributed to a humanitarian crisis, writes Jonathan Marshall.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • After Only Nine Months On The Job, Administration's New FOIA Boss Calls It Quits
      Depending on where you sit, Holzer was either the perfect pick for FOIA work or the worst.

      For FOIA requesters, Holzer was anything but. His former (and now current) agency has a terrible FOIA track record. That this background would somehow result in his promotion to a position meant to facilitate FOIA requests was inexplicable.

      Unless you're the White House, in which case, he was the best man for the job.

      This administration doesn't care much for transparency. Elevating someone from an agency with a history of ineptness and recalcitrance only makes sense -- if what you want is for "facilitation" to mean little more than looking busy while status remains quo.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Dangerous New Normal as 400 ppm Carbon Baseline Expected Within Days
      Australian Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters said the landmark 'should act as a global wake-up call'
    • The Oil Industry Just Backed Out Of A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment
      ConocoPhillips, ENI, and Iona have relinquished all their leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska, according to new documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request filed by advocacy group Oceana.

    • Network Newscasts Ignore Global Warming’s Role in Canada’s Wildfires
      As fast and furious as trailers for a Hollywood disaster movie, network news coverage of the massive fires ripping through Canada’s tar sands hub has missed opportunities to provide real information about the heavily polluting tar sands industry and global warming’s role in adding fuel to the flames.

    • GPS Tracking Devices Catch Major U.S. Recyclers Exporting Toxic E-Waste
      A two year investigation of electronics recycling using GPS tracking devices has revealed that policies aimed at curtailing the trade in toxic e-waste have been unsuccessful, with nearly one third of the devices being exported to developing countries, where equipment is often dismantled in low-tech workshops — often by children — endangering workers, their families, and contaminating the surrounding environment.

    • Almost Everything You Know About Climate Change Solutions Is Outdated, Part 1
      Almost everything you know about climate change solutions is outdated, for several reasons.

      First, climate science and climate politics have been moving unexpectedly quickly toward a broad consensus that we need to keep total human-caused global warming as far as possible below 2€°C (3.6€°F) — and ideally to no more than 1.5€°C. This has truly revolutionary implications for climate solutions policy.

    • Nigeria Oil Well Protest Spotlights 'Destroyed Livelihoods and Betrayed Hopes'
      Activists in Nigeria gathered at the site of the country's first oil well on Tuesday as part of the global Break Free movement, to show what happens "when the oil goes dry, and the community is left with the pollution and none of the wealth."

      Black gold, or oil, was discovered in Oloibiri in 1956 by what was then known as the Shell Darcy corporation—Nigeria's first commercial oil discovery. The site has since been declared a national monument.

    • The U.S. Can’t Afford To Keep Losing Honeybees Like This
      On Tuesday, the Bee Informed Partnership released its annual report on total losses of managed honeybees — those kept by beekeepers — across the country. The survey, which asked beekeepers about bee losses between April 2015 and April 2016, showed that U.S. beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies in that timeframe. That means that total losses worsened compared to last year’s survey, which reported losses of 42.1 percent.

    • First Nation Wins Historic Victory Over Mammoth Coal Export Terminal
      In a move being hailed as a landmark victory for the climate movement, Pacific Northwest communities, and tribal members alike, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday denied federal permits for the largest proposed coal export terminal in North America.

      "This is big—for our climate, for clean air and water, for our future," declared Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign.

    • Army Corps Denies Permits for Biggest Proposed Coal Export Terminal in North America
      This is big—for our climate, for clean air and water, for our future. It’s also big because the U.S. government is honoring its treaty obligations. After a five-year struggle that engaged hundreds of thousands of people, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a landmark decision Monday to deny federal permits for the biggest proposed coal export terminal in North America—the SSA Marine’s proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, a coal export facility at Xwe’chi’eXen (also known as Cherry Point), Washington.

    • National Parks to Seek Out, Recognize Corporate Funding Under New Plan
      The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing a relaxation on rules governing corporate partnerships in a move that could see parks increasingly commercialized and dependent on the whims of private donors.

      Some park superintendents will be asked to help raise up to $5 million in individual gifts, according to the NPS proposal.

  • Finance

    • Panama Papers Source Offers Documents To Governments, Hints At More To Come
      The anonymous whistleblower behind the Panama Papers has conditionally offered to make the documents available to government authorities.

      In a statement issued to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the so-called “John Doe” behind the biggest information leak in history cites the need for better whistleblower protection and has hinted at even more revelations to come.

      Titled “The Revolution Will Be Digitized” the 1800-word statement gives justification for the leak, saying that “income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time” and says that government authorities need to do more to address it.

      Süddeutsche Zeitung has authenticated that the statement came from the Panama Papers source.

    • 'The Revolution Will Be Digitized': Panama Papers Leaker Speaks Out
      No surprise, then, that the Panama Papers whistleblower would really like more legal protection for those who leak information in the public interest. What is more surprising is the anger that permeates this statement, and how well it is articulated. A striking recent development in the world of whistleblowing is the way in which Edward Snowden has become one of the most acute commentators on the digital sphere, as his extended essay "Whistleblowing Is Not Just Leaking -- It's an Act of Political Resistance" underlines. What's most remarkable -- and encouraging -- about the Panama Papers whistleblower's essay is that it indicates we may be about to gain another valuable voice in the same way.

    • Clinton Commits: No TPP, Fundamentally Rethink Trade Policies
      As reported in The Hill, in “Clinton opposes TPP vote in the lame-duck session,” Clinton replied to a questionnaire from the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, which consists of more than 25 labor, environmental and human rights organizations. When asked, “If elected President, would you oppose holding a vote on the TPP during the ‘lame duck’ session before you take office?” she replied, “I have said I oppose the TPP agreement — and that means before and after the election.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Government called to answer urgent question on the future of the BBC
      Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen, including David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs and George Osborne’s evidence to the Treasury committee about the EU referendum

    • Safe States, Inside-Outside, and Other Liberal Illusions
      Faced with that demoralizing prospect, some Sanders supporters are recycling failed old strategies in an attempt to salvage Sanders’ “political revolution” without opposing the Democratic Party.

    • The Establishment Rallies Around Kuenssberg
      The petition to sack Tory propagandist Laura Kuenssberg from her role as BBC Political Editor has been scrapped by 38 Degrees after it gained over 35,000 signatures. The reason given is sexist comments and tweets.

    • Member of BBC Election Night Team Writes Crude Anti-Sturgeon Slogan
      “Professor” Rob Ford of the University of Manchester was a member of Professor John Curtice’s election night results team at the BBC. But he is also a very active anti-Corbyn and anti-SNP propagandist.

      Indeed just the day before the election, which he was covering for the BBC as a “neutral and independent psephological expert”, Ford posted this nasty attack on Nicola Sturgeon. Please note that this is not a retweet – the slogan “All Hail Supreme Dear Leader, Daughter of Great Helmsman Sal-Mon” is all Ford’s own brilliant witticism.

    • Trump Gave $150,000 To Charity That CNN Head’s Wife Helped Lead
      The donations were for the private school that Trump’s son attends. The candidate and the media mogul have not publicly disclosed the connection.

    • Sanders Wins West Virginia Primary (And No, It's Not Inconsequential)
      'Regardless of what the mainstream media would like you to believe, these victories matter.'


      Though the mainstream and corporate media continue to push a narrative suggesting the race for Democratic nomination is essentially over, polling released in the last twenty-four hours shows that Sanders continues to do better nationally in a hypothetical general-election matchup against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

      Karli Wallace Thompson, a campaign manager for Democracy for America, an advocacy group backing Sanders' campaign, said Tuesday's win in West Virginia should not be downplayed.

      "Regardless of what the mainstream media would like you to believe, these victories matter," said Thompson, "and not just because each win gets us closer to overtaking Hillary Clinton in the delegate count."

      Sanders' latest victories matter, argues Thompson, "because they send a clear message to the Democratic Party that we refuse to give up on our values. Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, some pro-corporate Democrats are sensing an opportunity to move the party even further to the right in order to win the votes of 'Never Trump' voters. They're ignoring the fact that modern presidential elections are always won by candidates who motivate their base and speak to their values."

    • Ralph Nader: Sanders Should Stay in Democratic Race, Is Only Losing Due to Anti-Democratic System
      Polls have opened in West Virginia, where Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are vying for the 29 delegates up for grabs. Eight years ago, Clinton won West Virginia in a landslide, beating Barack Obama by 40 percentage points—but many polls project Sanders will win today. We speak to longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who argues that Sanders would be winning the primary race if every state had open primaries.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Hackers Attempt to Hold Capitol Hill Data for Ransom
      The House is under attack by hackers hoping to infiltrate congressional computers, encrypt their contents, and then force users to pay a ransom to get their access back.

      “In the past 48 hours, the House Information Security Office has seen an increase of attacks on the House Network using third party, web-based mail applications such as YahooMail, Gmail,” the House’s Technology Service Desk wrote in an email to House staffers on April 30.

      According to the email obtained by The Intercept, the hacked emails impersonate familiar people and invite staffers to download an attachment laced with malware—what’s known as a “phishing” attack.

    • Lauri Love and the potential civil law “backdoor” for obtaining encryption keys
      Today’s decision: Today the presiding judge District Judge Tempia will make a decision on whether Lauri Love be “directed” at this stage to provide an encryption key as part of the civil claim, and before the trial.

      This is because the National Crime Agency, the “defendant” in this claim, is insisting that the key be handed over before the application be tried and a decision made to return the equipment.

    • British Hacker Wins Court Battle Over Encryption Keys
      A British court on Tuesday rejected an attempt by security agents to force an alleged hacker to hand over his encryption keys.

      Thirty-one-year-old Lauri Love has been accused by U.S. authorities of hacking into U.S. government networks between 2012 and 2013, including those of the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and NASA.
    • The US Person Back Door Search Number DOJ Could Publish Immediately
      The Senate Judiciary Committee had a first public hearing on Section 702 today, about which I’ll have several posts.

      One piece of good news, however, is that both some of the witnesses (Liza Goitein and David Medine; Ken Wainstein, Matt Olsen, and Rachel Brand were the other witnesses) and some of the Senators supported more transparency, including requiring the FBI to provide a count of how many US person queries of 702-collected data it does, as well as a count of how many US persons get sucked up by Section 702 more generally.

    • Next NSA Fight Begins With Semantics: 'Backdoor Search' or 'U.S. Person Query'?
      The practice is on the chopping block as lawmakers consider reauthorization of a pre-Snowden surveillance law.
    • The Next Big Surveillance Debate Has Arrived
    • Madison at Fort Meade: Checks, Balances, and the NSA

    • Privacy Advocate Tells Lawmakers Surveillance of Americans ‘Has Exploded’ Under Expiring FISA Law
      Lawmakers, privacy advocates and members of the intelligence community convened on Capitol Hill Tuesday to debate the renewal of the most divisive surveillance authority since the National Security Agency’s phone metadata program, potentially capable of sweeping up the communications of millions of Americans.
    • Edward Snowden says this one thing would save more lives than any NSA surveillance program
      On May 10, experts are gathering before the US Senate to debate a few of the NSA's most robust internet surveillance programs.

    • Snowden: I had a ‘minor’ role in the NSA leak

      Edward Snowden said he is “staggered” by the reaction to his 2013 leak of National Security Agency documents detailing the extent of American government surveillance, and sees himself as having played a minor role in the revelation which shocked the defense community and continues to reverberate in Washington.

      “I’m really optimistic about how things have gone, and I’m staggered by how much more impact there’s been as a result of these revelations than I initially presumed,” Snowden told the Columbia Journalism Review. “I’m famous for telling [former Guardian editor-in-chief] Alan Rusbridger that it would be a three-day story. You’re sort of alluding to this idea that people don’t really care, or that nothing has really changed. We’ve heard this in a number of different ways, but I think it actually has changed in a substantial way.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Security researcher arrested for disclosing US election website vulnerabilities
      David Levin was later released on a $15,000 bond after reporting the SQL vulnerabilities.

    • David Cameron Is Absolutely Right!
      Of course when the Tories describe somewhere as “fantastically corrupt”, they mean “brilliant personal enrichment opportunity for me.” And not just the Tories. Tony Blair will be in there like a shot.

    • Airline Pilots Should Not Have to Choose Between Their Jobs and Breastfeeding Their Babies
      I’m a commercial airline pilot, and I love my job. As a kid, I was obsessed with airplanes. My parents encouraged my passion for flying, and in spite of the odds — women currently make up only six percent of commercial pilots — I became a pilot.

    • Striking Prisoners in Alabama Accuse Officials of Using Food as Weapon
      Alabama prisoners who have been on strike for 10 days over unpaid labor and prison conditions are accusing officials of retaliating against their protest by starving them. The coordinated strike started on May 1, International Workers’ Day, when prisoners at the Holman and Elmore facilities refused to report to their prison jobs and has since expanded to Staton, St. Clair, and Donaldson’s facilities, according to organizers with the Free Alabama Movement, a network of prison activists.

    • From a non-Jewish Left-Zionist: an open letter to Ken Livingstone
      It is, also, intellectually offensive to suggest that because they advocated transfer before 'going mad' and opting instead for genocide, the Nazis were Zionists. Peter Beaumont has already amply illustrated the crassness of this fallacious equation of agency and intention so I will let the case rest with him. Suffice it to say that a more ludicrous reading of Nazi anti-Semitism it is hard to imagine. But then, your piece of radio sophistry was not meant to illuminate history, rather to damn Zionism by innuendo.

    • Farm Workers Sue Over Labor Rights in Landmark Case for 'Dignity and Humanity'
      Farm workers have sued New York for the right to organize in a groundbreaking lawsuit that demands they receive the same rights as "virtually every other worker," the New York chapter of the ACLU said on Tuesday.

      The lawsuit claims that laborers are being forced to work in "life-threatening, sweatshop-like conditions" and are prevented from organizing under threat of retaliation.

      It also charges that the State Employment Relations Act is part of a Depression-era measure meant to enact protections for workers but which excluded farm workers, who were majority black at the time, to accommodate segregationist policies of racist Congress members. That exclusion has held, impacting laborers who are now largely Central American and Mexican immigrants, the lawsuit states.

    • ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, Israeli Peace Activist Miko Peled Discuss the Devolution of Israel
      On this week’s episode of “Days of Revolt,” Truthdig’s own Chris Hedges sits down with Miko Peled, a Israeli peace activist and author of “The General’s Son: The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” The two discuss current events in Israel and Palestine, looking back on decades of ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

      Peled, who was born in Jerusalem, notes that while past generations of Israeli politicians presented a civil facade while committing atrocities, current figures like Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett “don’t understand why they have to pretend, because they’re getting all the money and all the support they need from America and from the Europeans.”

    • Detroit Teachers Are Determined To Stop This Legislation. Here’s Why.
      Detroit teachers are organizing to prevent a bill from passing the state legislature that they say would underfund schools and limit teachers’ rights.

      There are two competing bills in the legislature aimed at resolving Detroit Public Schools’ current financial mess. The school system was at risk of going bankrupt because school officials said the district was “running out of money” in April, but the state provided $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep the district running. Now, as the end of the school year approaches, there are questions about long-term solutions.

    • Why Teachers Matter in Dark Times
      Americans live in a historical moment that annihilates thought. Ignorance now provides a sense of community; the brain has migrated to the dark pit of the spectacle; the only discourse that matters is about business; poverty is now viewed as a technical problem; thought chases after an emotion that can obliterate it. The presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee, Donald Trump, declares he likes "the uneducated" -- implying that it is better that they stay ignorant than be critically engaged agents -- and boasts that he doesn't read books. Fox News offers no apologies for suggesting that thinking is an act of stupidity.

    • Louisiana is Number One... in Incarceration
      Louisiana first became number 1 in the nation in 2005 when it was imprisoning 36,083 people. Louisiana remained number 1, in 2010 with 35,207 in prison, an incarceration rate of 867 per 100,000 people, over 200 points head of the next highest state Mississippi.
    • Interview: Singapore blogger Amos Yee on press freedom, feminism, and protest
      If he arrests me, the entire world, the press and all that [would] know, it’ll highlight a lot of flaws like what happened with the Lee Kuan Yew video. If they don’t arrest me, then I make even more videos that criticise them and break even more laws. It’s a pretty good position I’m in.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Budweiser Is Making a Truly Ridiculous Name Change
        According to AdAge, which has confirmed with company officials, 12-ounce cans and bottles of Budweiser—owned by a company based in Belgium—will now bear the brand name America. You can look for the change as of May 23, and expect it to last straight through summer, aka “the high beer season.” But it won’t end there! The new look will stretch onward through the election season, because why not make your rebranding as ridiculous as our presidential campaign has been.

      • ‘Make Amerikkka Great Again’ trademark application filed
        A trademark application has been filed for the term ‘Make Amerikkka Great Again’, in what appears to be a dig at US presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

        The trademark was applied for on March 30 at the US Patent and Trademark Office by a company based in Los Angeles called 47 / 72 Inc.

        The slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ has been used in Trump’s campaign. The term is also a registered trademark owned by Trump and covers political campaigns as well as hats and t-shirts.

      • Facebook wins trademark dispute in China
        A Chinese court has ruled in favour of Facebook in a trademark dispute centring on the transliteration of the term ‘face book’.

        The Beijing Higher People’s Court backed the social media website in its dispute with Zhujiang Beverage, based in Zhongshan.

        Zhujiang sells products including milk-flavoured drinks and porridge.

      • Minnesota's Broad Publicity Rights Law, The PRINCE Act, So Broad That It May Violate Itself
        We've written many posts on the area of so-called "publicity rights" laws. These are state laws that try to create a newish form of intellectual property around someone's "likeness" or other identifying features. A few years ago, Eriq Gardner wrote the definitive piece detailing the rise of publicity rights as a new way to try to lock down "protections" for things that don't really need to be protected. The initial intent behind many of these laws was to avoid a situation where there was a false endorsement -- basically to stop someone from putting an image or likeness of a famous person in an ad to imply support. But the law has (not surprisingly) expanded over time, and there have been many, many crazy battles over publicity rights -- including ones concerning Marilyn Monroe, Manuel Noriega, Katherine Heigl, Lindsay Lohan, Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan.

      • Minnesota Legislators Go Crazy, Pushing Dangerous PRINCE Act
        Just a few weeks after his death, some Minnesota legislators are using Prince’s name to ram through a dangerous publicity rights law that will give his heirs – and the heirs of any other Minnesotan – broad and indefinite rights to shut down all kind of legitimate speech and activities in perpetuity.

    • Copyrights

      • EFF at Copyright Office Roundtable Thursday and Friday in San Francisco
        On Thursday and Friday, May 12-13, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Legal Director Corynne McSherry will participate in public roundtable discussions about the effectiveness of safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) at the United States Ninth Circuit James R. Browning Courthouse in San Francisco. The discussions are hosted by the U.S. Copyright Office, which is studying how the provisions impact copyright owners, internet service providers (ISPs) and users—including the ongoing problem of takedown abuse.
      • Judge Says Copyright Case Against Star Trek Fan Film Can 'Live Long' And Possibly 'Prosper'
        Just yesterday we filled you in on the latest in the copyright fight over a professional-level "fan film" in the Star Trek universe, dubbed "Axanar" (along with a short film "Prelude to Axanar.") The makers of that film tried to get the case dismissed, arguing that Paramount Pictures and CBS failed to state an actual claim of copyright infringement. Specifically, they were arguing that Paramount/CBS highlighted a bunch of things related to Star Trek, some of which they may hold a joint copyright over, but failed to state what specific copyright-covered work the Axanar productions were infringing. And, of course, there was a side note in all of this that one of the many things that Paramount and CBS tossed against the wall claiming copyright was the Klingon language itself.

        This morning, the court released two short rulings, with the first one dumping the amicus filing over whether or not there was a copyright in the Klingon language. That one was short and sweet and just said that at this stage of the game the court has no reason to explore whether or not languages can be covered by copyright and "therefore, none of the information provided by Amicus is necessary to dispose of the Motion to dismiss."

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