COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jul 24 12:46

Missouri Voters to Consider State Privacy Amendment With National Implications

Activist Post

In a referendum that could ultimately have national implications, Missouri voters will go to the polls Aug. 5 with the opportunity to add protection for electronic data and communications to their state constitution.

Amendment 9 would give “electronic data and communications” the same state constitutional protections as “persons, homes, papers and effects.” This would eliminate any constitutional ambiguity surrounding electronic data and specifically bar state agencies from accessing it without a warrant in most cases...

Jul 24 12:13

Internet Sales Tax Quietly Moving Through Congress

Eric Blair
Activist Post

Big retailers, including Amazon, have been lobbying long and hard for it, and now the Internet sales tax is back after being quietly reintroduced in the US Senate last week.

The Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act would force customers to pay sales taxes for online purchases from out-of-state online merchants, and it forces online retailers to collect and remit separately sales taxes to all US territories...

Jul 24 10:40

Over one million comments on net neutrality fielded by the FCC, and the majority of them are declared useless or invalid

The Federal Communications Commission received more than 1 million public comments on the issue of net neutrality during a five-month commenting period that ended Friday.

It's the biggest public response the FCC has ever gotten on a policy matter in such a short period, and the second most commented-upon FCC issue, period. It ranks just behind the 1.4 million complaints received after Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, which isn't a direct comparison because those were spontaneous comments unrelated to a rule-making matter.

Jul 24 09:40

Microsoft will merge separate versions of Windows into one unified operating system

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that his company will amalgamate all major versions of Windows into one operating system. Speaking on the company's quarterly earnings call today, Nadella told analysts Microsoft will "streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system." Describing the implications of the change, Nadella said "this means one operating system that covers all screen sizes."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was the long range goal of Microsoft when they started Windows 8. They had to break it up on a platform basis just to get it out the door, but it was always understood that Microsoft wanted a single OS for all platforms to save development costs, no matter how inappropriate and wasteful it is for the end user.

Jul 24 07:59

Do you trust the US Intelligence agencies?

Jul 24 04:56

Israel Student Union Set Up “War Room” to Sell Gaza Massacre on Facebook

Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook.

As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online.

“Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara],” Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at theInterdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university.

Jul 24 04:00

Tor talk at Black Hat security conference abruptly cancelled at request of CMU lawyers

A talk elaborating on how to break Tor will not be pushing through at the Black Hat security conference scheduled next month.

Based on a study done by Carnegie Mellon University researchers Alexander Volynkin and Michael McCord, the talk was supposed to discuss how the Tor network can be broken without breaking the bank. According to the abstract that was published on the Black Hat website prior to the cancellation, it was possible for a "determined adversary" to unlock the identities of thousands of Tor users and services within the network for less than $3,000.

Jul 23 16:58

White House tracking website visitors with online ‘fingerprinting’

The White House is tracking visitors to its website, despite proudly promising that WhiteHouse.gov complies with federal privacy laws and does not use cookies. The AddThis tracker is present on every page on the site, according to EFF.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) studied the White House site for the new type of online tracking system after a new report byProPublica found that the website contained the secretive spyware.

Jul 23 15:46

Hypocrisy over British MP’s Gaza tweet

It seems we expect our politicians to be more loyal to Israel than Israel’s own prime ministers.

David Ward, a member of the British parliament for the Lib Dem party, which is part of the ruling coalition, has upset his bosses with a tweet.

Jul 23 15:08

Colombian Student Faces Prison Charges for Sharing an Academic Article Online

In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online.

Jul 23 12:22

White House Website Includes Unique Non-Cookie Tracker, Conflicts With Privacy Policy

While YouPorn quickly removed AddThis after the report was published, the White House website still contains AddThis code. Some White House pages obviously include the AddThis button, such as the White House Blog, and a link to the AddThis privacy policy.

Other pages, like the White House’s own Privacy Policy, load javascript from AddThis, but do not otherwise indicate that AddThis is present. To pick the most ironic example, if you go to the page for the White House policy for third-party cookies, it loads the “addthis_widget.js.” This script, in turn, references “core143.js,” which has a “canvas” function and the tell-tale “Cwm fjordbank glyphs vext quiz” phrase.

Jul 23 10:44

Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher

Apple has been accused of intentionally installing security backdoors in some 600 million iOS devices that offer surveillance-level access to data including photos, browsing history and GPS locations.

The vulnerabilities were uncovered by security expert Jonathan Zdziarski, who presented an academic paper on the subject at a hacker conference in New York last Friday.

Jul 23 10:30

Net Neutrality Supporters Made History Last Week. Does Wheeler Care?

Net Neutrality supporters have filed a record-breaking number of comments on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to allow discrimination online.

The vast majority of the 1,067,779 comments slam that proposal — and urge the agency to protect real Net Neutrality.

But does Wheeler care what the public thinks?

Jul 23 08:51

Apple engineered surveillance back door into 600 million iPhones

A highly skilled hacker who presented at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York has dropped a massive bomb on the state of smartphone privacy. Jonathan Zdziarski, an active member in the iPhone development community who helped work on many early iOS "jailbreak" iterations, says Apple has deliberately engineered back door surveillance systems into the iPhone, allowing both the company and the government easy access to users' personal data.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ooooh, big shockeroonie that one!

NSA has back-doored EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF COMPUTER EQUIPMENT OUT THERE!

Once they start adding back doors, there is no way they would ever allow any one platform to remain private out of concern that this would be the platform of choice for people wishing to remain private.

Yes, it is a fine accomplishment that NerveGas found and identified the back-door and con firmed once again what we already knew abut a government violating the Bill of Rights and large corporations going along with this crime. And maybe this will shake up those few remaining Americans still desperately clinging to an image of benevolent and respectful government, but for those of us who have been watching the invasion of our privacy since the days of ECHELON, this comes as no surprise.

As we proved with our year-long series of NSA code challenges, real criminals and terrorists (not to mention foreign governments) can create encryption systems the NSA cannot break. So this massive spy system is all about keeping watch on YOU, the law-abiding American citizen, to make sure you are not thinking those double-plus ungood thoughts, to steal your business secrets, and to watch your wives and daughters walk around naked in front of their webcams!

That the smart phones are all compromised has been known all along and led to privacy products such as Privacy Case.



Click for larger image

Jul 23 08:50

PrivacyCase - The Original Privacy Case For Your Cell Phone.

Stories of cell phone spying, tracking, stalking, and eavesdropping fill the airwaves and the internet, leaving users of these devices increasingly concerned about the security of their confidential data, geo-location (GPS), and voice communications. Criminals can compromise your phone even when you think your phone is turned off by utilizing back doors originally built into your wireless devices for law enforcement use.

Until now, there was no reliable method to defend against these intrusions. The "PrivacyCase” stops them immediately by allowing you to control when and where your device is accessed. Our electronically shielded protective case was designed to provide users of wireless devices with a method to counteract the attempted hijacking of communications data & geo-location transmissions while preventing the device from being used to eavesdrop on the activities of the user.

Jul 23 08:40

The UK Did *NOT* Just Decriminalize File-Sharing

All it took yesterday was a single article to trigger off a tidal wave of copycat reports across dozens of sites including the mainstream RT.com. Just to be absolutely clear - Britain HAS NOT decriminalized file-sharing and to suggest otherwise only puts people at unnecessary risk. File-sharing remains ILLEGAL in the UK, guaranteed.

Jul 23 07:43

Netanyahu’s Wikipedia Page Replaced With Palestinian Flag

In a sign of the information war taking place alongside the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the biographical information on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Wikipedia page was briefly replaced with a large image of a Palestinian flag Tuesday afternoon.

Jul 23 07:33

When Twitter Word Order Goes Badly Wrong

AP wasn't hacked this time, but the following tweet shows why when constrained by 140 characters, one should be particularly careful with word order.

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

Leading promptly to this:

CLARIFIES: Dutch military plane carrying Malaysia Airlines bodies lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

Jul 23 07:15

Stick it to the Man With Five More Cool Technologies

As we find ourselves being hurled into this strange future, technology has proven to be a rather fickle beast. Any given technology will serve anyone, good or evil, and without any discrimination. Fortunately, the latest advances in technology have had a very decentralizing effect. Powerful tech is no longer just in the hands of the elite, but is rushing head long into the hands of every day enterprising individuals. Though it may not look like it if you read today's headlines, the power of the individual is growing a little more over the machinations of central control (governments, corporations, etc) every day, and our inventions are leading the way towards a more liberated future. Below are 5 new technologies that are (or soon will be) making the elites cringe.

Jul 23 05:16

iOS 'backdoor' entry is real, says Jonathan Zdziarski. Not for NSA, says Apple

There might be more to the iPhone than consumers know and these features could be leaking out personal information without permission.

This is according to a presentation done by forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski at New York's Hackers On Planet Earth conference, one of the most creative and diverse hacker events in the globe. Titled "Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices," Zdziarski's talk highlights that a number of undocumented forensic services are installed and running on every iOS device out there and that design omissions on the part of Apple are making the unsolicited collection of data easier.

Jul 22 17:18

Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account — privacy warriors weep

All your emails are belong to us.

At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account.

Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy.

Jul 22 15:59

Anonymous Vows Cyber-Attack on Israel

The shadowy hacker collective known as Anonymous has announced it will launch a round of cyber-attacks this Friday against the Israeli government, in retaliation for Israel’s ongoing military intervention in Gaza.

Jul 22 12:22

Google to face lawsuit over providing consumer data to advertisers

A federal judge has denied Google Inc’s attempt to dismiss a privacy lawsuit brought against the technology giant for commingling user data across its different products and offering that data to advertisers without permission.

US District Judge Paul Grewal ruled Monday evening that Google has to face the breach of contract and fraud claims brought by users of Android devices who downloaded at least one Android application through Google Play.

Jul 22 11:29

Bitcoin dismissed as a currency for terrorists and drug dealers

The “growing cryptocurrency ecosystem” is often described as “disruptive.” It is widely feared as a threat by banking authorities in the United States, Europe and Australia.

The New York Department of Financial Services, for instance, released a series of proposed regulations last week that may result in the shutdown of bitcoin in that state.

Jul 22 11:07

Britain decriminalises online video game, music and movie piracy.

The British government has decriminalised online video game, music and movie piracy, scrapping fuller punishment plans after branding them unworkable.

Jul 22 10:43

The hidden threat in your browser: Share buttons reveal personal information each time you visit certain popular sites (and even the White House is affected)

Share buttons on websites may be revealing more about us than we realise, after a study uncovered a covert tracking tool.

Researchers found one in 18 of the world’s top 100,000 websites track users without their consent using a technique known as ‘canvas fingerprinting.’

Jul 22 10:31

Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher

Apple has issued a statement in response to the allegations saying that the company’s “diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security,” but Zdziarski has responded by noting that these services “dish out data” regardless of whether the user has agreed to diagnostics.

“There is no way to disable these mechanisms,” Zdziarski writes on his personal blog. “This makes it much harder to believe that Apple is actually telling the truth here.”

Jul 22 10:16

UK to 'decriminalize' file-sharing

The British government has decriminalized the act of online video game, music and film piracy, after branding harsher punishment plans as “unworkable.”

Beginning in 2015, internet users who persistently file-share will be sent a series of warning letters explaining that their actions are illegal. However, authorities will take no further action if the user continues downloading the material.

Jul 22 09:50

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden plans to work on easy-to-use privacy tools

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden doesn't yet know whether he'll be spending the next year in a U.S. prison or an undisclosed location in Russia. Nevertheless, Snowden hopes to work on anti-surveillance technologies in the future.

Jul 22 09:34

5 Terrifying Smartphone Hacks You Won't Believe Are Possible

If you work a desk job, chances are you keep your smartphone handy on your desk while you're working. And why not? If you get a call, it's hard to pull your phone out of your pocket with your butt custom molded and sweat glued to your chair. The whole point of a mobile phone is convenience, so there's really no reason not to keep it right there by the keyboard.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's not give the NSA any more ideas, shall we?

Jul 22 09:19

Dirty Dealing Harry Reid

Rather than write an article on this, I thought I would just post an email I received this morning. Harry Reid is up to his usual tricks. You remember him. He's the one who owns land close to the public land that Cliven Bundy was running his cattle on. Reid, with his son working with the Chinese, was hoping to make a fortune over selling land to them. Our land, by the way. Federal property does not belong to these crooks in D.C. but to all Americans.

Now he's trying to ram through legislation that would allow for taxing activity on the Internet. This is only the camels nose in the tent. Once it starts, where does it stop? Let's fight to keep our Internet free. It seems that these politicians are desperate for more money. More taxation without representation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It isn't just the money. They can write the internet taxes in a way where large corporations survive by passing the tax along to their users while small independent media websites (like this one) are forced out of business.

Jul 22 04:55

Black Hat presentation on TOR suddenly cancelled

A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool, TOR, will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month.

The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference’s website.

It’s rare but not unprecedented for Black Hat presentations to be cancelled. It was not clear why lawyers felt Volynkin’s presentation should not proceed.

Volynkin, a research scientist with the university’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was due to give a talk entitled “You Don’t Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget” at the conference, which take places Aug. 6-7 in Last Vegas.

Jul 21 18:22

Forensic scientist identifies suspicious 'back doors' running on every iOS device

Forensic scientist and author Jonathan Zdziarski has posted the slides(PDF) from his talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York called Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices.

Jul 21 15:28

Snowden: NSA snoops shared intercepted sextings

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says the analysts who monitored the texts and e-mails of millions of Americans would sometimes share intercepted nude photos and sex texts with colleagues.

Jul 21 13:18

Verizon Offers Free Gifts to Customers Who Consent to Surveillance

The program, called Smart Rewards, offers gift cards and travel deals to subscribers who surrender their web surfing, app usage and location data in exchange for targeted advertisements based on that personal information through the Verizon Selects tracking program.

Jul 21 11:25

KAL 007 case shows parallels with Malaysian Airlines MH17

This is not the first time there has been a downing of a commercial flight, and, as in most such cases, there is more to the story of Malaysian Airlines MH17 than the first impression suggests. One particular case from the past gives us clues as to what this “more” might be.

Jul 21 08:51

Typewriter manufacturers see boom in sales

German typewriter manufacturers are enjoying a boom in sales following the NSA spying scandal. A German defence manufacturer switched to typewriters last year, while last week a leading politician called for the government to use the old technology.

Jul 21 08:36

IN TIMES OF WAR: A PRAYER FOR PEACE - CLAIRE K. RIVERO

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am reposting Claire's video for two reasons. First, this is a message that needs to get out to the world about how everyone loses in war except the bankers.

Second, the latest revelations from Edward Snowden include confirmation that the NSA "tinkers" with view counts on YouTube videos to keep videos contrary to the war agenda from going viral.

Fuckers!

Optional Banner: 
WRH Exclusive
Jul 21 08:03

MH17: Twitter and Facebook spammers exploit crash

Scammers are using the MH17 disaster in east Ukraine to spread objectionable links, online security experts have warned.

A link to a pornographic website disguised as a video of the Malaysia Airlines crash was posted on a Facebook page dedicated to one victim.

Many tweets have been posted that appeared to report the disaster, but actually included spam links.

Jul 21 07:20

Switzerland Is The Place To Be For Cloud Storage

NSA spying revelations have left the world shocked about the fact that we no longer have any form of privacy. The government is able to look into all of our online activities and data. People have found themselves not just shocked but truly outraged. Done with fighting governments but not being able to get anywhere, they have opted for a different tactic: moving to Switzerland.

Jul 20 18:18

The FCC wants to let cities build their own broadband. House Republicans disagree.

This week, the House of Representatives approved legislation from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that would make it harder for cities to build publicly-owned broadband networks.

Jul 20 17:49

Exclusive: High-Level NSA Whistleblower Says Blackmail Is a Huge – Unreported – Part of Mass Surveillance

It is well-documented that governments use information to blackmail and control people.

Jul 20 08:44

One Of The NSA's Original Whistleblowers Says The Goal Is 'Total Population Control'

William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organized by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

Jul 20 08:10

UK's Drip law: cynical, misleading and an affront to democracy

The UK’s new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (Drip) law that went from announcement to enactment in eight days, is a complete abomination. Everything about the process – and here, process is critical – is an affront to democracy, to the rule of law, to the rights of British and global citizens, and even to the erstwhile ends of national security.

The completely unsatisfactory process involved the announcement last Thursday that the three main party leaders had been working in private towards supporting a bill that wasn’t yet public, followed by a three day fast-track process through the Commons and Lords, an overnight afterthought on human rights compliance, vague and uncoordinated attempts at amendment, and a government reshuffle and countless other matters to distract and detract.

What Drip represents is the absence of true political leadership and an utter failure to engage in an open, mature, public debate about the clash between privacy and security online.

Jul 20 07:48

Catch of the Day waits 3 years to reveal data breach

Australian daily deals website Catch of the Day announced a three-year-old data breach compromising credit cards and passwords to its customers on Friday evening.

Jul 19 11:04

Snowden: ‘NSA employees frequently watch naked subjects, pass photos to co-workers’

MOSCOW (INTELLIHUB) — In a 17-minute interview with the London Guardian, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the fringe benefits of working surveillance detail for the NSA.

Jul 19 04:43

HOW TO/WHY LEAVE FACEBOOK

Jul 18 22:48

I, spy: Edward Snowden in exile

But the Edward Snowden who materialises in our hotel room shortly after noon on the appointed day seems none of those things. A year into his exile in Moscow, he feels less, not more, isolated. If he is depressed, he doesn’t show it. And, at the end of seven hours of conversation, he refuses a beer. “I actually don’t drink.” He smiles when repeating Hayden’s jibe. “I was like, wow, their intelligence is worse than I thought.”

**Video at source

Jul 18 16:50

Intelligence services 'creating vast databases' of intercepted emails

Government told internet surveillance tribunal that gathering material 'may be permissible', say human rights groups

Jul 18 10:08

‘Right to privacy breached’: Rights group vows to take UK govt to court over DRIP law

Emergency legislation on data retention and investigatory powers rushed through the UK parliament breach the right to privacy enshrined in human rights law, claim activists pursuing court action against the British government.

The Open Rights Group (ORG) is taking the UK government to court in an attempt to block the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) bill on the grounds it violates a European Court ruling that blanket data retention is unlawful and violates the right to privacy.

Jul 18 09:49

Beware The Dangers Of Congress’ Latest Cybersecurity Bill

A new cybersecurity bill poses serious threats to our privacy, gives the government extraordinary powers to silence potential whistleblowers, and exempts these dangerous new powers from transparency laws.

Jul 18 08:39

Foreclosure: Uniform Commercial Code Law Conference Addresses Homeowner Super Pac; Atty Wendy Alison Nora and More.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Alina Virani, KingCast and Mortgage Movies Watch Homeowners' Super Pac, Seattle's Rolling Rebellion, Attorneys, Politicians and Citizens Square off Against the Banksters' Uniform Law "Reform" Conference.

Yessir, Karen Pooley, Yours Truly and several other dedicated people actually participated and were acknowledged by ULC's William Breetz as he stated that the conference welcomed homeowner and protestors' concerns. I am hear to help assure that his words amount to something more than mere promises. Video forthcoming.

The short (local) version of this video is here.
Deadly Clear website link is here.
HuffPo's Joel Sucher's coverage is here.

Jul 18 07:42

United Nations report: US, UK surveillance programs violate international law

A report released Wednesday by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Navi Pillay, entitled “The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”, finds that surveillance practices carried out by the major powers, the United States and the United Kingdom, in particular, violate basic principles of international law and are destructive of democratic rights.

Jul 18 06:58

Tesla Asks Chinese Hackers to Flag Vulnerabilities

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. has found ways to remotely control the Tesla car’s locks, horn, headlights and skylight while the car is in motion, the Beijing-based Internet security company said in a posting on its Sina Weibo account.

Jul 18 01:28

Edward Snowden urges professionals to encrypt client communications

The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations.

Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.

"What last year's revelations showed us was irrefutable evidence that unencrypted communications on the internet are no longer safe. Any communications should be encrypted by default," he said.

The response of professional bodies has so far been patchy.

A minister at the Home Office in London, James Brokenshire, said during a Commons debate about a new surveillance bill on Tuesday that a code of practice to protect legal professional privilege and others requiring professional secrecy was under review.

Jul 17 12:47

Snowden: NSA Employees Routinely Pass Around Nude Photos Obtained Via Mass Surveillance

Snowden …. Made a startling claim that a culture exists within the NSA in which, during surveillance, nude photographs picked up of people in “sexually compromising” situations are routinely passed around.

Jul 17 12:43

Snowden: NSA Employees Routinely Pass Around Nude Photos Obtained Via Mass Surveillance

NSA Spies On Americans, Then Passes Around Their Nude Pictures and Videos

Edward Snowden just told the Guardian:

Snowden …. Made a startling claim that a culture exists within the NSA in which,during surveillance, nude photographs picked up of people in “sexually compromising” situations are routinely passed around.

NSA employees have also been caught using their mass surveillance powers to spy on love interests, such as girlfriends, obsessions or former wives … and to eavesdrop on American soldiers’ intimate conversations with their wives back home.

Jul 17 12:29

U.N.: Nations Hide Rise in Private Digital Snooping

Stepping into a fierce debate over digital privacy rights, the U.N. human rights office says it has strong evidence of a growing complicity among private companies in government spying. It says governments around the world are using both legal and covert methods to access private content and metadata, amounting to "de facto coercion" of companies.

Jul 17 12:26

UK Adds Facial Recognition to Surveillance Arsenal

Nicholas West
Activist Post

The UK is probably the only place that surpasses New York's "Ring of Steel" for bringing a full-spectrum Big Brother surveillance state to reality. As far back as 2006, even the BBC reported that fears of a "surveillance society" already had taken effect as, at the time, there was 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people. It's now 1 for every 11, which is 5.9 million total cameras.

As the pace of facial recognition technology increases, as well as advances in artificial intelligence algorithms, the two are merging to provide police with easier and quicker access to matching all of the images from those millions of cameras, which are now stored in databases.

British police are ready to roll-out the latest technology called NeoFace which claims the ability to positively identify criminals in a matter of seconds. And it's not just Britain that is putting such systems into effect...

Jul 17 10:48

Epic fail: Israel's ambassador to US lambasted on Twitter during #AskDermer Q&A

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer received fierce backlash on Thursday as he defended his country’s Operation Protective Edge offensive on Gaza during a Twitter Q&A.

According to the latest Pew Research polling on the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, Americans still heavily lean toward sympathizing with Israel. Yet Dermer urged those who oppose Israel's military actions to ask him any questions so he could clarify his government's position. So they did, but the result was probably not the one that Dermer expected.

Jul 17 08:01

U.S. Military Seeks To Brain Scan Troops For "Signs of Potential Betrayal"

Nicholas West
Activist Post

The massive investment in neuroscience undertaken by the U.S. BRAIN project and its sister initiative the Human Brain Project is increasingly taking a turn toward the examination of mental health. In fact, hundreds of European scientists working on the project are threatening a boycott because of this direction. In their view, the initial directive was to be more focused on repairing organic injuries and disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and physical brain damage sustained in accidents. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would be one area that might involve the military.

However, there is a disturbing trend developing in law enforcement and medicine to use what has been learned about the human brain in order to adopt pre-crime systems and predictive behavior technology.

But could a brain scan become standard procedure to see which troops might be inclined to commit insider attacks?..

Jul 17 07:10

Microsoft announces biggest layoff in history, cutting 18,000 jobs

Microsoft will cut a record 18,000 jobs next year, as the company’s new CEO Satya Nadella seeks to boost efficiency, according to a company memo on Thursday.

“The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year,” Satya Nadella said in the memo published by Business Insider.

The number made redundant represents 14 percent of the entire Microsoft workforce.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Microsoft made two big mistakes.

Mistake Number 1: Windows-8. Microsoft has become an arrogant corporation that thinks they should decide for the entire world how things work. A good example of that is the browser wars where Microsoft arbitrarily discarded much of the original HTML standards in Internet Explorer, counting on their market share to force everyone to adopt the Microsoft standard (from which Microsoft would collect license fees). As a web developer myself, I can attest to the fact that this doubles the work load of everyone writing pages as one has to create two blocks of code to embed media, one for Microsoft and one for everyone else. Microsoft didn't care. They were going to tell the world what to do and the world would pay Microsoft for the "favor." That it was less efficient and made web pages less efficient was irrelevant.

That same arrogance carried over into the tile interface on Windows-8 where Microsoft decided to abandon the window and desktop paradigm that has been an industry standard going all the way back to Xerox PARC (where Steve Jobs got the idea to use it for the MAC) and force everyone onto the tile interface with the idea that all computational devices from desktop down to cell phone would eventually use it, with Microsoft again collecting license fees. That it was less efficient and made the products harder to use was irrelevant. But the tile interface cratered in the customers' eyes and today on eBay you can find brand new tablets with the Win8 interface selling at 50% off. Microsoft forget the age-old adage, "The customer is always right!" They didn't want to sell us what we wanted. They wanted to sell us what they decided we should have. Their habit of releasing products and making the end user find and report the bugs to save them having to pay for better quality control did not help, nor did forcing everyone to buy new operating systems and updated applications every 5 years.

The second big mistake Microsoft made was to get into bed with the NSA. While Microsoft is hardly alone in that crime, Microsoft took the brunt of the hostile public backlash going back to Windows NT when a beta release that still contained the symbol tables that revealed NSA-KEY to the world.

Computer users were left with the impression that Microsoft was selling computer operating systems far less concerned with the productivity of the consumer than with spying for the US Government, and protecting the copyrights of media producers too quick to blame piracy for the poor sales of their declining offerings.

And now Microsoft is paying the price.

I have no sympathy for them. They did it to themselves. Personally I think it is time for Microsoft to go away and make room for new software companies that have a healthier respect for the customer and for the Bill of Rights. This latest sign of the decline of the great God of Redmond may signal a push towards Linux and open-source software, which probably explains why the IRS was targeting open-source organizations right alongside the Tea Party and political dissidents, to protect software corporations from the "threat" of people wanting to go back to writing their own bug-free and spy-free software.

Jul 17 06:56

Secret propaganda: British spies can manipulate polls

But then there's the propaganda machine.

  • Underpass: a tool that lets the government "change outcome of online polls"
  • Bomb Bay: can "increase website hits/rankings"
  • Gestator: provides "amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites"
  • Gateway: will "artificially increase traffic to a website"
  • Slipstream: can "inflate page views on websites"

    The government may also deliver en masse text messages, emails, faxes and tailored instant messages. It's important to note, however, that it's not clear whether these are currently in use.

  • Jul 17 06:28

    Microsoft layoffs of 18,000 employees begin

    Microsoft is cutting 18,000 jobs, including 12,500 associated with the Nokia handset and services business it acquired earlier this year.

    Jul 17 05:40

    Chaos Computer Club bolsters NSA spying complaint with Tor snooping evidence

    The German Chaos Computer Club said Wednesday that it has added to its legal complaint about U.S. spying on German citizens evidence that the NSA allegedly snooped on at least one of its Tor servers.

    The CCC filed a complaint with Germany’s federal prosecutor, Harald Range, in February, demanding an investigation into the German government’s alleged involvement in the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of German citizens.

    However, while Range started an investigation into the alleged tapping of Merkel’s phone by the NSA in June, he said there wasn’t enough evidence to start a similar investigation into the widely reported mass surveillance of German citizens.

    The CCC hopes that new publications exposing data collection explicitly targeting servers that are used to connect to The Onion Router (Tor) network, a network that encrypts data traffic through random servers in order to obscure users’ identities, will change Range’s mind.

    Jul 17 04:45

    Censorship war: Website unmasks links Google is blocking from search results

    A subversive website has been launched to keep track of news and other webpages Google has “censored” from the search engine’s index, following the European Court of Justice’s controversial Right to be Forgotten ruling.

    The tech giant has reportedly been inundated with 70,000 requests to remove sensitive information from its search results in the aftermath of the ECJ’s decision. While this data may be accurate, it is considered “irrelevant” and possibly defamatory under the EU policy shift.

    Jul 16 19:50

    CDC's National Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System is spying on kids & parents

    The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is using data analysis to identify children and families most at risk, and thus inform how time and money is allocated. When the DCF started this project two years ago, the goal was to see fewer dead children -- and that's what the department says is happening while spying on children & families.

    Jul 16 18:40

    Censorship war: Website unmasks links Google is blocking from search results

    A subversive website has been launched to keep track of news and other webpages Google has “censored” from the search engine’s index, following the European Court of Justice’s controversial Right to be Forgotten ruling.

    The tech giant has reportedly been inundated with 70,000 requests to remove sensitive information from its search results in the aftermath of the ECJ’s decision. While this data may be accurate, it is considered “irrelevant” and possibly defamatory under the EU policy shift.

    Jul 16 17:30

    Globalist Mouthpiece Calls For The Entire Planet To Adopt The ‘National Identification System’ One European Country Has Established

    Would you like to have a digital identity card that is automatically issued to you at birth? In one European nation, residents use such a card when they go to the hospital, when they do their banking, when they go shopping and even when they vote. This card has become so popular that this particular European country actually plans to start issuing them to millions of non-citizens all over the planet who request them. Never heard about this? Neither had I before this week. The Economist, a well-known mouthpiece for the global elite, is calling for the entire planet to adopt this “national identification system” that the little nation of Estonia has adopted. The Economist is touting all of the “benefits” of a “national identification card”, but are there dangers as well? Could adopting such a system potentially open the door for greater government tyranny than we have ever known before?

    Jul 16 17:07

    Frequent Use of Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops Making Some People Sick

    The new documentary film Mobilize warns of the health dangers from cell phone radiation. Now a new study in the journal Pediatrics shows that there are less-predictable health risks from using smartphones, tablets and laptops, including rashes from the frequently used metal, nickel.

    Jul 16 15:27

    Massive Malware Campaign Steals Everybody's Passwords

    Who, or what, is NightHunter? And what do they — or it — want? Security researchers discovered last week that for the past five years, a mysterious group has been stealing user credentials from Facebook, Dropbox, Skype, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, the Indian Web portal Rediff and several banks. Dubbed NightHunter, the campaign appears to have amassed an enormous database of stolen information.

    ...

    NightHunter's preferred method of infecting target computers appears to be via phishing emails, Navaraj says. These emails are sent to personnel in the finance, sales or HR departments of all sorts of large companies and organizations, and bear .doc, .zip or .rar attachments, sometimes with fake IDM or 7zip installers bundled in.

    Jul 16 14:44

    UN: Nations hide rise in private digital snooping

    Governments on every continent are hiding an increasing reliance on private companies to snoop on citizens’ digital lives, the U.N. human rights office said Wednesday.

    Stepping into a fierce debate over digital privacy rights, the U.N. office says it has strong evidence of a growing complicity among private companies in government spying. It says governments around the world are using both the law and covert methods to access private content and metadata.

    U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the lack of transparency and tactics extend to governments’ ”de facto coercion of companies to gain broad access to information and data on citizens without them knowing.”

    Jul 16 12:51

    Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

    LAWYERS VOW TO APPEAL CASE AGAINST WIKILEAKS FOUNDER

    Jul 16 11:55

    British Surveillance Agents Create False Internet Information

    Every day the boundaries of government manipulation of social media are being redrawn as new revelations come to light on the Internet.

    Jul 16 11:51

    Students offered grants if they Tweet Pro-Israeli propaganda

    Michael Rivero has been saying this for years, now here's more proof:

    In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.

    Jul 16 09:50

    Overwhelmed FCC Extends Deadline For Commenting On Net Neutrality

    Today was supposed to be the deadline for filing comments with the FCC about its pending net neutrality proposal. But the Commission has just announced that, due to a surge in responses that is once again overwhelming its commenting system, the deadline has been extended to Friday.

    “[W]e have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment
    Filing System,” writes the FCC press secretary, who explains that the Commission “is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record.”

    Thus, the deadline has been extended until midnight (presumably ET) Friday, July 18.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    "At which point the FCC will carefully tabulate all the comments, discard the results, and do what they have been told to do all along." -- Official White Horse Souse

    Jul 16 09:14

    What Exactly Are the Spy Agencies Doing with their Bag of Dirty Tricks?

    Newly-released documents from Edward Snowden show that the British spy agency GCHQ has developed numerous offensive digital tools.

    But what exactly are they doing with these dirty tricks?

    We think it’s important to think through the specific possibilities, in order to gain an understanding of how pernicious these manipulations can be.

    Jul 16 07:40

    Israel student union sets up “war room” to sell Gaza massacre on Facebook

    As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online.

    “Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara],” Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 


    This seems like a good time to remind everyone reading the comments that the government of Israel pays people to post pro-Israel propaganda in social media.

    Here are some stories about it.

    Israel’s Government Is Paying College Students to Spread Pro-Israel Propaganda on Social MediaBack in August of last year, a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that the Israeli government would be giving scholarships to college students who, “engage international audiences online” by posting pro-Israel tweets/statuses etc. online. tinyurl.com/ldpczhw

    Israel To Pay Students For Pro-Israeli Social Media Propaganda Israel has announced it will pay university students to circulate pro-Israeli information on social media networks, without having to identify themselves as working for the government. tinyurl.com/pwuzmrg

    Israel to pay students to defend it onlineIsrael is looking to hire university students to post pro-Israel messages on social media networks — without needing to identify themselves as government-linked, officials said Wednesday.

    The Israeli prime minister's office said in a statement that students on Israeli university campuses would receive full or partial scholarships to combat anti-Semitism and calls to boycott Israel online. It said students' messages would parallel statements by government officials. tinyurl.com/qh8jbe9

    Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda

    In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.

    The students making the posts will not reveal online that they are funded by the Israeli government, according to correspondence about the plan revealed in the Haaretz newspaper. tinyurl.com/o6d82wj

    Israel Paying Students (30 pieces of silver?) to be Apologists for Israel

    There are tons of rabid apologists lurking all about the social media

    platforms ready to do Israel’s bidding while the IDF commits one crime against humanity after another in Gaza. Go ahead and Tweet something honest about what is going on and you’ll see what I mean. I wondered what motivated them, in the face of the undeniable, to continue their efforts to defend the indefensible. I should have known. I should have remembered. It’s money. It’s always been money. College students are being paid to be online apologists for the barbaric inhuman policies of Israel and the IDF. The more lies they post about glorious Israel, the higher up the corporate-styled ladder they climb, looking to achieve the ultimate goal… a free ride in college… proving once again: it’s never too early to sell-out. tinyurl.com/p2qxnn7

    Jul 16 07:17

    Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS

    Microsoft is developing a new approach to splatting bugs in software before they take down production systems.

    It involves wiring up programmers to sensors that record brain activity, track eye movement, and test how sweaty the engineers are.

    If the developer is stressed – bingo, they're probably reading some rather hairy code. And, while writing software, similar signals could indicate the devs are themselves introducing bugs and security flaws while under pressure.

    This new technique was outlined in an academic paper from Microsoft Research and University of Zurich researchers: Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development [PDF].

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Thank you. NO!

    Jul 16 07:16

    Microsoft COO tells partners to get with the cloud program now

    Microsoft channel partners need to urgently redefine and evolve their businesses so that they can resell the company’s cloud computing products, according to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    "Really; it's just too much work for the NSA to break into your desktop and home computers. You really need to push your customers to use our cloud servers ... or the terrorists will win!" -- Microblorch

    Jul 16 04:28

    A Guilty Verdict In Silk Road Case Could Doom Internet Freedoms

    Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old American who allegedly created the online black marketplace Silk Road, was unsuccessful last week in convincing a federal judge that he is not the notorious hacker Dread Pirate Roberts and did not conspire to deal illegal narcotics and launder money, sparking concern among privacy advocates that Internet freedoms may be nearing an end.

    Digital rights advocates argue that Ulbricht failing to fight charges such as narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering, and criminal enterprise engagement for his alleged role in setting up Silk Road, will be used by lawmakers and intelligence officials as evidence that there is a need to create legislation to eliminate the “dark side” of the Internet, which has become a breeding ground for illegal activity.

    Jul 15 21:15

    How Your Local Library Can Help You Resist the Surveillance State

    Waking Times

    A woman was trying to apply for a job at a major retailer. She had to fill out an online form that prompted her to create a username and password, and then enter personal information down to the last four digits of her Social Security number.“How do you know if it’s real?” she asked me, already agitated because her computer session was about to time out. The last time she tried to do something like this, she ended up on some sort of scam website.As a librarian, I talk with people all the time who are uncertain about who and what to trust online. Teaching information literacy, whether in a classroom or one-on-one, is a big part of what we do, and knowing how to use the Internet safely is an ever more important skill given the extent to which online platforms are part of our lives.

    Jul 15 18:25

    Comcast’s brilliant new way to retain subscribers: Refuse to let them cancel

    Comcast didn’t earn its reputation as America’s Worst Company overnight — it took years and years of hard work. From offering customers ridiculously overpriced bundle packages, to having the highest fees among any of its competitors, to offering some of the absolute worst customer service of any company in the United States, Comcast has toiled away tirelessly to perfect its craft of angering its own customers, who have little choice but to stick with the cable giant due to the sorry state of America’s home broadband market.

    Jul 15 17:12

    Academics: UK 'Drip' data law changes are 'serious expansion of surveillance'

    In an open letter to the full House of Commons, 15 experts in technology law express concern at the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill (Drip) which, they say, will increase government access to communications data and content and are being unnecessarily rushed through Parliament.

    "The legislation goes far beyond simply authorising data retention in the UK," the letter states. "In fact, Drip attempts to extend the territorial reach of the British interception powers, expanding the UK’s ability to mandate the interception of communications content across the globe. It introduces powers that are not only completely novel in the United Kingdom, they are some of the first of their kind globally."

    The academics, who include Professor Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute, Professor Lilian Edwards of the University of Strathclyde, Dr Subhajit Basu of the University of Leeds and legal expert Julia Powles of Cambridge University.

    Jul 15 16:23

    The Worst Trolls On The Internet Are The Government Trolls

    We have all run into them. All over the Internet, there are horrible trolls that seem to delight in making life miserable for other people. But the worst trolls of all are the government trolls. And thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have some startling new evidence of what really goes on behind the scenes. According to newly revealed documents, British spy agency GCHQ is manipulating online discussions, infiltrating the computers of specific targets, purposely destroying reputations, altering the results of online polls, and using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for propaganda and espionage purposes. If people don’t start getting outraged about this now, the governments of the western world are going to see it as a green light to do even more. Eventually, it might get so bad that we won’t be able to trust much of anything that we see on the Internet.

    Jul 15 14:08

    Millions of Americans installing 'perfect spying device' in their own living rooms: Amazon Fire TV monitors and records your conversations

    With Fire TV, Amazon may have already displaced Google as the internet company that knows more about your psyche than anyone else. And Amazon is the company that's now building the CIA's new cloud computing center.

    Gives you something to ponder, doesn't it?

    Jul 15 13:40

    Inmate Faces 90 Days in Solitary Confinement Over a Facebook Profile

    Like more than a billion other people on the planet, Eric Aldaz had a Facebook profile. What made Aldaz’s profile different from most is that he was unable to post to it himself: he didn’t hold the login credentials or even have any kind of access to the Internet. He is an inmate of the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) and his family maintained the page on his behalf.

    Jul 15 13:37

    Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?

    Is there anybody...out there?

    I promise I'm a real person asking this question and typing this article...but beyond that, I can't promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet.

    This article on ZDNet, "GCHQ's dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping," confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of government propaganda, fakery and lies are being foisted on the online public.

    In other words, in case you weren't entirely sure before, it has been confirmed that governments are actively manipulating everything you see/do online. Or, at least they can if they feel like it, at any moment and for any reason.

    Jul 15 13:32

    Obama Administration Defends 'Almost-Orwellian' NSA in Federal Court

    In his December 2013 opinion in Klayman v. Obama, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the "almost-Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States" not only sounds like the stuff of dystopian science fiction, it "almost certainly does violate a reasonable expectation of privacy" under the Fourth Amendment. It was the first major legal defeat for the NSA.

    Jul 15 12:59

    The History-Making Fight to Save the Internet

    The word “historic” gets tossed around a lot, but let’s face it: Not everything is worthy of the term. But this has been a truly historic week in the fight to save the Internet. And it’s barely begun.

    Ever since a federal court struck down the FCC’s old Internet rules in January, millions of people have spoken out about the importance of preserving Net Neutrality. Chairman Tom Wheeler’s pay-to-play plan, which would allow rampant discrimination online, has generated a bigger public response than any other proposal in the agency’s history.

    Jul 15 12:43

    Militarized Homeland Security Invasion of Town Was Over Downloading of Indecent Images

    The Department of Homeland Security’s militarized invasion of a small town in Illinois was not in response to a gang of dangerous drug dealers or an armed assailant, but in order to bust a single man accused of downloading indecent images to his home computer.

    Jul 15 12:01

    NSA may be putting Israeli security interests above U.S., new document reveals

    Greenwald, who published many of Snowden's revelations over the last year, released his book "No Place to Hide"on Wednesday. Concurrently with the release of the book, Greenwald made public slides that Snowden obtained from the NSA. One of them deals with intelligence relations with Israel.

    "Balancing the SIGINT exchange equally between U.S. and Israeli needs has been a constant challenge in the last decade; it arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns. 9/11 came, and went, with NSA's only true Third Party CT relationship being driven almost totally by the needs of the partner," one slide reads.

    Another slide states, "The Israelis are extraordinarily good SIGINT partners for us, but … they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems. A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the U.S."

    Jul 15 11:01

    Question All Pro-Israel Tweets, Israel Paying For Them

    In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.

    The students making the posts will not reveal online that they are funded by the Israeli government, according to correspondence about the plan revealed in the Haaretz newspaper.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, which will oversee the programme, confirmed its launch and wrote that its aim was to “strengthen Israeli public diplomacy and make it fit the changes in the means of information consumption”.

    Jul 15 10:16

    Microsoft could lay off thousands this week

    This could be Microsoft's biggest employee cut in the company's history, according to the report, with layoffs "probably" centering in the Nokia and Microsoft divisions as well as its marketing and engineering departments. The latter, according to Bloomberg's sources, could include the global Xbox team and its U.K. European headquarters.

    The report states that individuals "with knowledge of the company's plans" said Microsoft's restructuring is still in the planning phases, but could be carried out as early as this week. When asked for comment on the report, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Danged Windows 8!

    Microsoft's arrogance got the better of them. They stopped giving the customers what they wanted and forced the customers to buy what Microsoft wanted to sell. I am seeing Windows 8 machines marked down 50% in come places, and Windows 8 is LOSING market share to Win7 and refurbished XP machines.

    Jul 15 10:12

    Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage | Politicians claim communciations technology is mistrusted in wake of US spying allegations and NSA surveillance revelations

    German politicians are considering a return to using manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US surveillance scandal.
    The head of the Bundestag's parliamentary inquiry into NSA activity in Germany said in an interview with the Morgenmagazin TV programme that he and his colleagues were seriously thinking of ditching email completely.

    Jul 15 10:11

    US government says online storage isn't protected by the Fourth Amendment

    A couple months ago, a New York judge ruled that US search warrants applied to digital information even if they were stored overseas. The decision came about as part of an effort to dig up a Microsoft user's account information stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland.

    Jul 15 09:12

    Surprise! FEC employee who admitted violating the Hatch Act suffers mysterious hard drive crash

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Monday made yet another request to the federal government for details about a crashed hard drive that may have contained information allowing criminal charges to be brought against a federal official.

    Issa’s newest letter concerns the hard drive of April Sands, a former employee at the Federal Election Commission who resigned in the spring after admitting to violations of the Hatch Act. That law puts restrictions on the ability of government officials to conduct political activities while on the job, or from government offices.

    Issa noted that while Sands admitted to violating the law, the FEC just recently told Congress that it could not recover her hard drive, which made it impossible to seek criminal charges against her.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Jul 15 07:51

    Cybersecurity bill will expand surveillance powers of US military and intelligence agencies

    The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 12-3 last week in favor of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2014, new legislation that massively expands the data-gathering powers of the US security, intelligence and military bureaucracies, by allowing “voluntary” information sharing between private companies and the government.

    The Intelligence Committee “marked up” the bill in two secret sessions closed to the public. The bill, which was drafted by Senators Saxby Chambliss (Republican, Georgia) and Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California), is now set to go before the chamber as a whole.

    Jul 15 07:22

    Does Uncle Sam Have a God Complex?

    As a matter of faith, some people believe that God can see and hear everything. But as a matter of fact, the U.S. government now has the kind of surveillance powers formerly attributed only to a supreme being.

    Top “national security” officials in Washington now have the determination and tech prowess to keep tabs on billions of people. No one elected Uncle Sam to play God. But a dire shortage of democratic constraints has enabled the U.S. surveillance state to keep expanding with steely resolve.

    Jul 15 00:45

    What is Drip and how, precisely, will it help the government ruin your life? The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill is the most tedious outrage ever, right down to the dreary acronym

    But nonetheless, a close, careful examination of the Drip bill's various clauses and sub-clauses reveals alarming consequences for the average Joe, namely these:

    ? You'll have to shout all your Google searches aloud while you type them.

    Under the bill, any citizen conducting a Google search will be required to simultaneously bellow every word they type at the top of their voice, loud enough for the neighbours to hear. Any neighbour who supplies the authorities with information leading to a conviction automatically wins an iPad Air. It's the cheapest, most comprehensive mass surveillance system ever designed.

    ? Every child born after August 2014 will, at birth, have one of its parents replaced by an undercover police officer.

    Jul 15 00:41

    GCHQ has tools to manipulate online information, leaked documents show

    The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has developed sophisticated tools to manipulate online polls, spam targets with SMS messages, track people by impersonating spammers and monitor social media postings, according to newly-published documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The documents – which were published on First Look Media with accompanying analysis from Glenn Greenwald – disclose a range of GCHQ "effects" programs aimed at tracking targets, spreading information, and manipulating online debates and statistics.

    The disclosure comes the day before the UK parliament is due to begin up to three days' debate on emergency legislation governing British surveillance capabilities. With cross-party support the bill is expected to be voted through this week.

    Jul 14 19:15

    Snowden files: Manipulating polls, netting from LinkedIn and YouTube in GCHQ’s bag of tricks

    The UK's spy agency has developed a number of crafty tools to monitor and comb the web, planting false information when necessary, Glenn Greenwald said while disclosing a fresh batch of Snowden's files.

    ...

    Some of the tools use the same methods that the US and UK have prosecuted online activists for, including “distributed denial of service” attacks and “call bombing.”

    ...

    The tools give the Cheltenham spies the ability to actively monitor Skype calls and messaging in real time, raising the same old questions about the reliability of Skype’s encryption or whether Microsoft is in fact cooperating with spy agencies.

    Jul 14 19:06

    Experts report potential software "back doors" in U.S. standards

    U.S. government standards for software may enable spying by the National Security Agency through widely used coding formulas that should be jettisoned, some of the country’s top independent experts concluded in papers released on Monday.

    Such mathematical formulas, or curves, are an arcane but essential part of most technology that prevents interception and hacking, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been legally required to consult with the NSA’s defensive experts in approving them and other cryptography standards.

    But NIST’s relationship with the spy agency came under fire in September after reports based on documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden pointed to one formula in particular as a Trojan horse for the NSA.

    Jul 14 17:14

    Eglin Air Force Base Busted Gaming Reddit

    Check out this blog post with reddit statistics. Notice Eglin Air Force Base as the “most addicted” city. This is about a year ago, so reddit has been getting heavily sh!tp0sted by government employees for at least this long.

    Here is a paper funded by Eglin AFB studying how to establish majority views, social control, influence conversations, contain unwanted information. Eglin AFB is a major hub for Pentagon domestic manipulation programs online.

    A lot of this got established right when the war on terror started. Then in 2012 the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act legalized Pentagon / other agency domestic propaganda. That’s not to say what we think of as ‘propaganda’ or manipulation wasn’t going on before – just that they no longer have to plausibly believe the narrative they try to trick you into buying.

    Jul 14 16:50

    Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet

    The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.

    Jul 14 16:02

    Obama administration says the world’s servers are ours

    US says global reach needed to gut "fraudsters," "hackers," and "drug dealers."

    Jul 14 13:39

    NSA: Releasing Snowden E-mails Would Invade His Privacy

    It is laughable that the NSA claims it cares about someone’s privacy considering that the spy agency shows absolutely no respect for the privacy of millions of Americans it monitors every day.

    Jul 14 12:26

    New Snowden Docs: British Spies Seed the Internet with False Information, Including the Ability to Manipulate the Results of Online Polls,

    The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.

    Jul 14 12:10

    Government Will Control EVERYTHING on Net by 2025

    Is the internet turning into BIG BROTHER? Everything we read, watch and buy online will be controlled by government by 2025, claim expert

    Jul 14 12:03

    Israeli lawmaker’s call for genocide of Palestinians gets thousands of Facebook likes

    A day before Palestinian teenagerMuhammad Abu Khudair was kidnapped and burned alive allegedly by six Israeli Jewish youths, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked published on Facebook a call for genocide of the Palestinians.

    Jul 14 11:58

    Newly Obtained Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction

    On July 20, 2013, agents of the U.K. government entered The Guardian newsroom in London and compelled them to physically destroy the computers they were using to report on the Edward Snowden archive. The Guardian reported this a month later after my partner, David Miranda, was detained at Heathrow Airport for 11 hours under a British terrorism law and had all of his electronic equipment seized. At the time, the Obama administration — while admitting that it was told in advance of the Heathrow detention — pretended that it knew nothing about the forced laptop destruction and would never approve of such attacks on press freedom.

    Jul 14 09:51

    'It defies belief': Snowden condemns UK’s new surveillance bill

    NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has denounced the UK’s emergency surveillance bill, criticizing its heightened powers of intrusion along with the distinct lack of public debate it encompassed.

    During an exclusive interview in Moscow with the Guardian, the whistleblower suggested it was highly unusual for a state to process legislation so hastily other than at a time of acutely endangered national security.

    Jul 14 09:22

    German NSA inquiry considers typewriters

    The head of Germany's parliamentary inquiry into the NSA spying scandal has suggested the government return to using typewriters to protect national secrets from prying eyes.

    Jul 14 08:48

    Why were this company’s computers attacked millions of times this year? Algae. Technology that converts algae biomass into transportation fuels, including biodiesel and gasoline

    About 16 months ago, a Florida-based biofuel company called Algenol noticed that its Internet service was slowing down. In checking that out, Jack Voth, Algenol’s information technology chief, stumbled on something odd: a telnet connection to its videoconference camera from an Internet Protocol address in China, a country where Algenol has never sought to do business.

    Jul 14 07:19

    Proof that NSA Is Still Lying About Spying on AmericansJuly 13th, 2014

    The NSA has been caught in lie after lie about its surveillance on Americans. This is nothing new. An NSA whistleblower told Washington’s Blog:

    They were asked 40 years ago whether NSA had bugged Congress. And, of course, they lied. They lied through their teeth.”

    Two of NSA’s current lies are:

    (1) NSA only accidentally and incidentally collects information about Americans, and it is really only focused on foreigners;

    and

    (2) NSA only spies on Americans’ metadata … not content

    But high-level NSA whistleblowers Bill Binney, Thomas Drake and Russell Tice have all told Washington’s Blog that the NSA is spying on the content of Americans’ phone calls and emails.

    And it is clear that the NSA – and other government agencies – have been spying on – and retaininginformation on – all Americans.

    Jul 14 05:13

    Edward Snowden: rush to pass British surveillance law is extraordinary – video

    The NSA whistleblower questions the need for emergency legislation in an exclusive Guardian interview, saying the move mirrors a hastily introduced US law in 2007, and asks whether it would 'really be so costly' to take time to debate the issue

    Watch the full interview on Thursday 17 July 2014

    Jul 14 04:43

    Beware Keyloggers at Hotel Business Centers

    The U.S. Secret Service is advising the hospitality industry to inspect computers made available to guests in hotel business centers, warning that crooks have been compromising hotel business center PCs with keystroke-logging malware in a bid to steal personal and financial data from guests.

    Jul 13 19:35

    Bombing of Gaza children gives me “orgasm”: Israelis celebrate slaughter on Facebook

    The radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel is not divorced from reality.

    Jul 13 14:14

    New Edward Snowden Video: Rush to pass British surveillance law is extraordinary

    The NSA whistleblower questions the need for emergency legislation in an exclusive Guardian interview,

    Jul 13 10:39

    Why we need an underground Google

    In the 1990s and 2000s, the limitation was technical. The so-called "deep web" and "dark Internet" -- which sound shady and mysterious, but simply refer to web sites inaccessible by conventional means -- have always existed.

    Many parts of the Internet are hard to index, or are blocked from being indexed by their owners.

    Companies like Google have worked hard to surface and bring light to the "deep, dark" recesses of the global web on a technical level.

    Jul 13 09:58

    In The Internet of Things, YOU Will Be The Key

    Nicholas West
    Activist Post

    The move to give everyone a global unique ID that can be verified across nearly all human activity has been in the works for some time. As you can see by the image at the right, defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, is now a global leader in biometric identification. Comforting.

    Naturally, the fear of identity theft and cyber-banking crime of all stripes has been the sales pitch to accept identity tech such as facial recognition, iris scans, and fingerprinting, as well as their attendant databases...

    Jul 13 09:27

    Israel Paying Students (30 pieces of silver?) to be Apologists for Israel

    There are tons of rabid apologists lurking all about the social media platforms ready to do Israel’s bidding while the IDF commits one crime against humanity after another in Gaza. Go ahead and Tweet something honest about what is going on and you’ll see what I mean.

    I wondered what motivated them, in the face of the undeniable, to continue their efforts to defend the indefensible. I should have known. I should have remembered. It’s money. It’s always been money.

    College students are being paid to be online apologists for the barbaric inhuman policies of Israel and the IDF. The more lies they post about glorious Israel, the higher up the corporate-styled ladder they climb, looking to achieve the ultimate goal… a free ride in college… proving once again: it’s never too early to sell-out.

    Jul 13 09:26

    Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda

    In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.

    The students making the posts will not reveal online that they are funded by the Israeli government, according to correspondence about the plan revealed in the Haaretz newspaper.

    Jul 13 09:25

    Israel to pay students to defend it online

    Israel is looking to hire university students to post pro-Israel messages on social media networks — without needing to identify themselves as government-linked, officials said Wednesday.

    The Israeli prime minister's office said in a statement that students on Israeli university campuses would receive full or partial scholarships to combat anti-Semitism and calls to boycott Israel online. It said students' messages would parallel statements by government officials.

    Jul 13 09:24

    Israel To Pay Students For Pro-Israeli Social Media Propaganda

    Israel has announced it will pay university students to circulate pro-Israeli information on social media networks, without having to identify themselves as working for the government.

    Jul 13 09:23

    Israel’s Government Is Paying College Students to Spread Pro-Israel Propaganda on Social Media

    Back in August of last year, a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that the Israeli government would be giving scholarships to college students who, “engage international audiences online” by posting pro-Israel tweets/statuses etc. online.

    Jul 13 07:24

    Naked selfies extracted from 'factory reset' phones

    Experts have warned that the only way to completely delete data is to "destroy your phone".

    Most smartphones come with a "factory reset" option, which is designed to wipe and reset the device, returning it to its original system state.

    However, Avast has discovered that some older smartphones only erase the indexing of the data and not the data itself, which means pictures, emails and text messages can be recovered relatively easily by using standard forensic tools that anyone can buy and download.

    The company claims that of 40,000 stored photos extracted from 20 phones purchased from eBay, more than 750 were of women in various stages of undress, along with 250 selfies of "what appears to be the previous owner's manhood".

    There was an additional 1,500 family photos of children, 1,000 Google searches, 750 emails and text messages and 250 contact names and email addresses.

    Jul 12 19:13

    CISPA is back with a new name, and it’s even more dangerous to Americans’ privacy

    A new cybersecurity bill poses serious threats to our privacy, gives the government extraordinary powers to silence potential whistleblowers, and exempts these dangerous new powers from transparency laws.

    Jul 12 15:57

    The Senate is giving more power to the NSA, in secret. Everyone should fight it

    One of the most underrated benefits of Edward Snowden's leaks was how they forced the US Congress to shelve the dangerous, privacy-destroying legislation– then known as Cispa – that so many politicians had been so eager to pass under the guise of "cybersecurity". Now a version of the bill is back, and apparently its authors want to keep you in the dark about it for as long as possible.

    Now it's called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (Cisa), and it is a nightmare for civil liberties. Indeed, it's unclear how this kind of law would even improve cybersecurity. The bill was marked up and modified by the Senate intelligence committee in complete secrecy this week, and only afterward was the public allowed to see many of the provisions passed under its name.

    Jul 12 09:30

    FCC has received over 647,000 net neutrality comments as deadline approaches

    Over half a million Americans have shared their feelings on net neutrality with the FCC as the commission ponders new rules that could drastically reshape the internet. Earlier this afternoon, Chairman Tom Wheeler reported that the FCC has so far received around 647,000 comments as the July 15th deadline for initial feedback approaches.

    Jul 12 07:56

    The war inside the war in Afghanistan

    Jon Rappoport
    Activist Post

    Well, there are several wars inside the war in Afghanistan. Ensuring the flow of opium to the world. Having US bases close to Russia. Protecting and gobbling up vast mineral reserves. Keeping alive the proposed oil pipeline.

    Still another war is quite different. It’s a test program, through which the US Armed Forces is trying to obtain a biometric record of every human living in Afghanistan.

    It doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots, to realize the program is applicable to other countries, including the US and its ubiquitous Surveillance State...

    Jul 12 07:39

    Apparently Not Too Many People In Europe Care About Having Microsoft's Bing 'Forget' Them

    When Google released its web form on May 30, for instance, it received about 12,000 requests within the first 24 hours. Microsoft is thought to have received fewer than 20 requests that day.

    Jul 11 19:40

    NSA Spying: Now It's Personal

    Imagine that you watched a police officer in your neighborhood stop ten completely ordinary people every day just to take a look inside their vehicle or backpack. Now imagine that nine of those people are never even accused of a crime. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even the most law-abiding person would eventually protest this treatment. In fact—they have.

    Jul 11 14:21

    HA! @Congressedits tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits from Capitol Hill

    provides real-time tweets when anonymous edits of Wikipedia pages

    Jul 11 13:23

    Ninth Circuit Doubles Down in Garcia v. Google

    After months of waiting, a Ninth Circuit panel has finally responded to Google's plea, supported by public interest groups (including EFF), journalists, librarians, other service providers, and law professors, to reconsider its disastrous opinion in the case of Garcia v. Google. The good news is that we managed to get the panel to revisit its opinion. The bad news is that it essentially doubled down.

    Jul 11 11:24

    Soundcloud doing a deal with record labels not to get sued

    Soundcloud caused controversy recently by letting Universal Records delete content and now it's becoming clear why

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