Jun 26


Added: Jun 25, 2014

Description:

Message fror Patrick Henningsen regarding UK censorship of UK Column, one of Britains leading alternative news websites…

UK Column is shutting down! British Gov’t has threatened UK Column with 250K in fines to regulate their YouTube channel, govt now claiming YouTube is “video on demand”. Everyone talks about “when they shut down the internet” – and here it is, govt regulation of YouTube content! Please get behind them in this fight… Continue reading »

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Jun 24

google111

- ‘You are unauthorized’: Nearly 50% of EU organizations deny access to personal data (RT, June 24, 2014):

Four out of ten organizations obstruct citizens from accessing their own personal data, says a recent study. Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter also fail to fulfill their duty to be transparent.

The international study, conducted by experts from the University of Sheffield, has inspected at least 327 organizations across Europe, including the UK, Norway and Germany. Continue reading »

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Jun 14

- Iraq blocks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube amid growing ISIS threat (RT, June 13, 2014):

The Iraqi government has blocked access to top social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, reportedly to hinder the activities of militants formerly associated with Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, thousands are signing up to fight the jihadist insurgency in Iraq.

Numerous media reports citing journalists and open-internet advocates said that internet users in Iraq are getting block screens when trying to access top social media sites and Google. Continue reading »

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Jun 14

- Why Online Tracking Is Getting Creepier (ProPublica, June 12, 2014):

The marketers that follow you around the web are getting nosier.

Currently, many companies track where users go on the Web—often through cookies—in order to display customized ads. That’s why if you look at a pair of shoes on one site, ads for those shoes may follow you around the Web.

But online marketers are increasingly seeking to track users offline, as well, by collecting data about people’s offline habits—such as recent purchases, where you live, how many kids you have, and what kind of car you drive.

Onboarding: a ProPublica explainer of how online tracking is getting creepier. Follow ProPublica on Vine for more explainer shorts. (Icons courtesy of Lil Squid, André Renault, Gabriele Garofalo and Patrick Morrison, Noun Project)

Here’s how it works, according to some revealing marketing literature we came across from digital marketing firm LiveRamp: Continue reading »

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Jun 12

- Massive flaw could have exposed every Gmail user’s address (RT, June 12, 2014):

A gaping security bug in Google’s systems may have been used to unearth millions upon millions of users’ email addresses. The activist claimed it took Google a month to rectify the problem after his report to the company.

Tel Aviv-based security researcher Oren Hafif discovered the bug and has informed Google, which has managed to resolve the problem.

However, before Hafif notified Google, he successfully retrieved some 37,000 addresses from the system.

“I have every reason to believe every Gmail address could have been mined,”
Hafif told Wired.

He uploaded a video tutorial to his YouTube account at the beginning of June.

Continue reading »

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May 27

- Snowden, Greenwald, Appelbaum, WikiLeaks ‘blacklisted’ from Stockholm Internet Forum (RT, May 27, 2014):

Key digital rights activists – including Edward Snowden and hacker Jacob Appelbaum – have been blacklisted from the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) on internet openness and freedom. The move has caused a stir at the gathering and outraged Twitter users. Continue reading »

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May 26

Cofounders, from left to right, Jason Stockman, Wei Sun, Andy Yen
Cofounders, from left to right, Jason Stockman, Wei Sun, Andy Yen.

- The Only Email System The NSA Can’t Access (Forbes, May 19, 2014):

When the NSA surveillance news broke last year it sent shockwaves through CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland. Andy Yen, a PhD student, took to the Young at CERN Facebook group with a simple message: “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it.”

There was a massive response, and of the 40 or so active in the discussion, six started meeting at CERN’s Restaurant Number 1, pooling their deep knowledge of computing and physics to found ProtonMail, a gmail-like email system which uses end-to-end encryption, making it impossible for outside parties to monitor.

Encrypted emails have actually been around since the 1980s, but they are extremely difficult to use. When Edward Snowden asked a reporter to use an end-to-end encrypted email to share details of the NSA surveillance program the reporter couldn’t get the system to work, says Yen. Continue reading »

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May 20

China123

- China summons US envoy over cyber-spying charges, vows retaliation (RT, May 20, 2014):

China has dismissed all US accusations of industrial cyber-espionage against five of its military officials and published proof that Washington is actually stealing data from China. Beijing also summoned the US ambassador for an explanation.

Beijing reacted to Washington’s recent round of industrial espionage accusations by publishing its latest data on US cyber-attacks against China.

China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (NCNERTTCC) reported that during just two months, from March 19 to May 18, the US directly controlled 1.18 million host computers in China using 2,077 Trojan horse networks or botnet servers. Continue reading »

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May 20

- China Publishes Data Claiming US Is World’s Largest Cyber Attacker (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):

Well that didn’t take long. Having already responded angrily to the US charging 5 military officers with cyber espionage, China has published details of the US cyber attacks:

  • *CHINA CALLS U.S. THE BIGGEST ATTACKER OF CYBER SPACE: XINHUA

From 3/19 to 5/18, they claim to have found 135 host computers in the US carrying 563 phishing pages targeting Chinese sites that directly controlled 1.18 million computers. But Jay Carney said earlier that “the US does not engage in economic espionage.”

As Xinhua reports, Continue reading »

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May 17

- The FCC Issues its Proposal on Net Neutrality as Protesters Are Tossed from Hearing (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 16, 2014):

As spring unfolds here in the Northern Hemisphere, the future of the free and open Internet hangs in the balance. As such, I strongly believe everyone should have at least some understanding of what is at stake. When most people hear or read the words “net neutrality” their eyes glaze over with a feeling of confusion and despair: “I can’t remember, am I supposed to be for or against this?” This is exactly how the lawyers and lobbyists in D.C. want it, but unless the citizenry is informed we could lose the most important weapon of free speech in the history of mankind.

Recognizing the convoluted nature of the subject, I did my best to lay out what “net neutrality” is and what is at stake with the current FCC rule-making process in my recent post: Say Goodbye to “Net Neutrality” – New FCC Proposal Will Permit Discrimination of Web Content.
Continue reading »

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May 13

- Internet Freedom’s Expiration Date (Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2014):

Sales taxers are holding hostage the renewal of a rare bipartisan success.

The idea of taxing email is no more popular today than when President Bill Clinton signed the Internet Tax Freedom Act into law. But a dedicated congressional minority now wants to allow states and localities to tax emailunless these governments are given new powers to collect sales taxes on e-commerce.

On Nov. 1—three days before Election Day—the Internet Tax Freedom Act is due to expire. In place since 1998 and renewed three times, it wisely prohibits taxes that discriminate against the Internet. State and local governments can’t impose burdens online that don’t exist offline. And multiple jurisdictions can’t tax the same online transaction—a critical consumer protection in a country with more than 9,600 taxing authorities. The law also bans email taxes and new taxes on Internet access services. Continue reading »

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May 04

obama-laughing

- Obama Administration Launches Plan to Make an “Internet ID” a Reality (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 2, 2014)

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May 02

- Bill Moyers Essay: What Happened to Obama’s Promised Net Neutrality? (Bill Moyers, April 2, 2014):

Running for president in 2007, Barack Obama pledged to keep the Internet open to all, upholding the principle of Net neutrality. Now his FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, has introduced new rules that have caused an uproar among public interest groups and media reform advocates. They believe Wheeler’s proposed changes break Obama’s campaign promise and will allow providers like Verizon and Comcast to sell faster access to the Web to the highest bidder.

The problem, Bill Moyers says, is that “business and government are now so intertwined that public officials and corporate retainers are interchangeable parts of what Chief Justice John Roberts might call ‘the gratitude machine.’” FCC officials, including Wheeler, transit back and forth through the revolving door between public service and lucrative private commerce, losing sight of the greater good. But there’s still time to speak up and make your voices heard.

- Full Show: Is Net Neutrality Dead? (Bill Moyers, April 2, 2014):

For years, the government has upheld the principle of “Net neutrality,” the belief that everyone should have equal access to the web without preferential treatment.

But now, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a former cable and telecommunications top gun, is circulating potential new rules that reportedly would put a price tag on climbing aboard the Internet. The largest and richest providers, giant corporations such as Verizon and Comcast – in mid-takeover of Time Warner Cable — like the idea. They could afford to buy their way to the front of the line. Everyone else — nonprofit groups, startups and everyday users – would have to move to the rear, and the Net would be neutral no more.

Continue reading »

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Apr 25

- Everything You Need To Know About The End Of Net Neutrality (Huffington Post, Updated April 25, 2014):

It may be the end of the Internet as we know it.

That was the reaction from consumer advocates and some websites after the Federal Communications Commission announced new rules governing Internet service on Thursday. The rules effectively put an end to net neutrality, or the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally.

“Definitely, consumers are the losers,” said Todd O’Boyle, a program director at Common Cause, a left-leaning public interest lobbying group. “The sites they rely on on a daily basis may not work in a way they’ve come to rely on.”

The FCC insists, however, that the new rules would not harm Internet users. In a blog post Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said there had been “a great deal of misinformation” about the proposal, which he said would not permit “behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness of the Internet.”

Here are some key points to understand regarding the changes:

What is net neutrality and why is this happening?

Net neutrality is the idea that your Internet provider must treat all Web traffic equally. A court decision in January struck down FCC rules meant to ensure that Internet providers do not discriminate by blocking or slowing certain content.

That decision opened the door for Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon to cut deals with content providers, which would pay to stream their content in an Internet “fast lane.”

After the ruling, the FCC said it would revise its rules. That’s what happened Thursday.

What do the new rules say?

The new rules would allow companies like Netflix to pay Internet providers to stream their videos and other content more quickly. That could create two lanes on the Internet, fast super-highways that big tech companies can afford and a bumpy backroad where less fortunate websites dwell, consumer advocates say.

Verizon, which sued the FCC for the right to cut such deals, said Thursday that it had no intention of preventing customers from viewing certain sites.

Verizon and other Internet providers “have always made clear that we support an open Internet and we have publicly committed to ensuring that customers can access the Internet content they want, when they want and how they want,” the company said in a statement.

The FCC said these deals would still be fair because Internet providers would be required to reveal how they handle traffic, how much they charge companies for access to fast lanes, and whether they’ve given preferential treatment to their own content.

That last part could become especially important as Internet providers are increasingly becoming entertainment companies. AT&T said this week it plans to launch a new online video service. Comcast owns NBC Universal, which includes 30 cable networks, 26 local TV stations and part of the streaming service Hulu.

Internet providers would be required to act in a “commercially reasonable manner,” according to the FCC, which will vote on the proposed rules later this year.

What could that mean for me, in English, please?

First off, the web could get more expensive. The impact on the average Internet user will likely not be felt right away. But over time, websites would probably pass on to consumers the costs of paying for high-speed access, according to Harold Feld, a senior vice president at the consumer group Public Knowledge.

In addition, it could become difficult to view certain websites owned by companies that can’t afford to pay for access to an Internet fast lane, Feld said.

On top of Internet users potentially paying more, they would also be more confused, Feld said. Under the proposed rules, people would need to make sense of a fragmented Internet landscape where the time it takes to load an online video would depend on whether that website paid extra to their Internet provider. Consumers may start choosing their Internet providers based on which websites they like to visit.

Feld compared the situation to the exclusive deals that AT&T and Apple once made that only allowed AT&T subscribers to purchase the iPhone.

This sounds pretty frustrating.

It would be. Under the FCC’s proposed rules, the quality of online streaming services like Netflix or HBO Go would depend on whether those services are paying your Internet provider or not, Feld said.

“It will become more fragmented and more frustrating,” he added.

The proposed rules could affect not just entertainment, but also education. If schools use an online curriculum made by a company that cut a deal with Verizon, students who subscribe to Verizon’s Internet service at home would have an advantage over other students who subscribe to another provider, Feld said.

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Apr 24

- The FCC is about to axe-murder net neutrality. Don’t get mad – get even (The Guardian, April 24, 2014):

The former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler is re-writing rules in favor of the telecom giants – not you, me or the internet. Here’s what you can do to stop him

In January, a federal appeals court rejected regulations designed to assure some measure of fairness in the way America’s internet service providers (ISPs) handle information traveling through their networks. The problem, according to the court, was not so much that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) couldn’t insist on what is called “network neutrality” – the idea that customers, rather than ISPs, should decide priorities for information they get online. No, the issue was that the FCC had tried to impose broadband rules under the wrong regulatory framework. And the court all but invited the FCC to fix its own mistake and rewrite its own updated rules.

Continue reading »

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Apr 24

The FCC Wants To Break The Internet

- Unless Defeated, New FCC Rules Will Put ‘Stake in Internet’s Heart’ (Common Dreams, April 24, 2014):

Critics of the new rules say that this could be the moment the internet as we know it will die if the people do not rise to its defense

Defenders of an open, innovative and fair internet are up in arms Thursday after learning the Federal Communications Commission is about to issue new rule proposals that will kill the online principle known as “net neutrality.”

The death of net neutrality—which has governed the equal treatment of content since the internet was created—will create, say critics, a tiered internet that allows major internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to cut special and lucrative deals with content providers who can afford to pay for special “fast lanes.” The result will be an internet that will incentivize slower traffic by ISPs and the creation of privatized, corporate-controlled “toll-roads” that will come to dominate a once fair and free environment.

“If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst.”
—Todd O’Boyle, Common Cause

As reported by variousoutlets, the  new rules have been circulated by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to the other members of the commission and will be officially announced on Thursday.

“With this proposal, the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet,” said Craig Aaron, president of the media advocacy group Free Press. “Giving ISPs the green light to implement pay-for-priority schemes will be a disaster for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users who cannot afford these unnecessary tolls. These users will all be pushed onto the Internet dirt road, while deep pocketed Internet companies enjoy the benefits of the newly created fast lanes.”

Chairman Wheeler defended the new proposals and denied the rule changes were an attack on the open internet, but Aaron rejected those claims and said that trying to argue these new rules protect net neutrality is an insult.

“This is not Net Neutrality,” he stated. “It’s an insult to those who care about preserving the open Internet to pretend otherwise. The FCC had an opportunity to reverse its failures and pursue real Net Neutrality by reclassifying broadband under the law. Instead, in a moment of political cowardice and extreme shortsightedness, it has chosen this convoluted path that won’t protect Internet users.”

“Everyday users will all be pushed onto the Internet dirt road, while deep pocketed Internet companies enjoy the benefits of the newly created fast lanes.”
—Craig Aaron, Free Press

Those who have fought hardest to protect the idea of a free and equal digital playing field for all users, however, said Wheeler’s claims don’t pass the laugh test and rebuked the Chairman’s proposals in the strongest possible terms.

“If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst,” Todd O’Boyle, program director of Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, told the New York Times. “Americans were promised, and deserve, an Internet that is free of toll roads, fast lanes and censorship — corporate or governmental.”

And speaking with Time magazine, Lauren Weinsten, a veteran tech-policy expert and prominent Net-neutrality advocate, said: “This is a stake in the heart for Internet openness.”

She continued: “The nation’s largest Internet service providers have hit the ultimate jackpot. These companies keep secret all of the information needed to evaluate whether violations of Internet openness have occurred, and because the FCC moves so slowly, by the time it acts, a company that’s been victimized could be out of business.”

And Free Press’ Aaron put particular emphasis on the perverse incentives the new rules would create, explaining:

“This is a stake in the heart for Internet openness.” 
—Lauren Weinsten, tech expert

The FCC apparently doesn’t realize the dangerous incentives these rules would create. The routing of data on the Internet is a zero-sum game. Unless there is continual congestion, no website would pay for priority treatment. This means the FCC’s proposed rules will actually produce a strong incentive for ISPs to create congestion through artificial scarcity. Not only would this outcome run counter to the FCC’s broader goals, it actually undermines the so-called Section 706 legal basis for these rules.

This proposal is short-sighted and should be strenuously opposed by the broader Internet community — including millions of Americans who have urged Chairman Wheeler and his predecessors to safeguard the open Internet. The only parties cheering this idea on will be the largest ISPs who stand to profit from discrimination. We urge Chairman Wheeler’s colleagues not to support this item as currently drafted and demand nothing less than real Net Neutrality.

Both Common Cause and Free Press have already posted petitions on their sites where concerned citizens can voice their opposition and join the fight to oppose the FCC’s new rules.

The Free Press petition states, in part:

People everywhere understand that the Internet is a crucial driver of free speech, innovation, education, economic growth, creativity and so much more. They demand real Net Neutrality rules that protect Internet users from corporate abuse.

But the Federal Communications Commission is proposing rules that would kill — rather than protect — Net Neutrality and allow rampant discrimination online.

Under these rules, telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications. And no one could do anything about it.

We must stop the FCC from moving forward with these rules, which would give the green light to ISPs eager to crush Net Neutrality.

The agency can preserve Net Neutrality only by designating broadband as a telecommunications service under the law. Anything else is an attack on our rights to connect and communicate.

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Apr 14

twitter

- 44 Percent of Twitter Accounts Have Never Tweeted (PCMag, April 13, 2014):

Twitter has a ton of users, right? Around 974 million, to be a bit more precise. However, just because a person has taken the time to make a Twitter account doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve used it. And according to the latest stats from Twopcharts, a third-party site that monitors Twitter activity, a surprisingly high number of people have done just that: Made an account and abandoned Twitter forever.

Just how many? According to the site, approximately 44 percent of Twitter’s 947 million accounts or so have never sent a single tweet. Of the number that have — approximately 550 million — just under half of these accounts are reported to have sent their last tweet more than one year ago (43 percent). Only 126 million have sent any kind of tweet at any point in the past 30 days.

Continue reading »

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Apr 12

- Eric Holder Admits That, If It Wanted, NSA Could Collect Internet Searches & Emails Just Like Phone Metadata (TechDirt, April 9, 2014):

During a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning oversight, Rep. Zoe Lofgren decided to quiz Attorney General Eric Holder about the federal government’s surveillance efforts, starting off with a rather simple question. She notes that the bulk phone record collection program is considered to be legal by its supporters, based on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows for the collection of “business records.” So, she wonders, is there any legal distinction between phone records and, say, internet searches or emails? In other words, does the DOJ believe that it would be perfectly legal for the US government to scoop up all your search records and emails without a warrant? Holder clearly does not want to answer the question, and first tries to answer a different question, concerning the bulk phone records program, and how the administration is supposedly committed to ending it. But eventually he’s forced to admit that there’s no legal distinction:

Continue reading »

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Apr 03

- Conspiracy Fact – How the U.S. Government Covertly Invented a “Cuban Twitter” to Create Revolution (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 3, 2014):

It appears the U.S. government is doing its best to ensure that nobody anywhere in any corner of planet earth will ever trust American technology again (or U.S. aid for that matter). This process of distrust first really got going with the Edward Snowden revelations, which demonstrated that essentially all major U.S. tech firms are mere wards of the state with little to no privacy protections, and absolutely zero backbone.

This story of the U.S. government covertly creating a “Cuban Twitter” called ZunZuneo in order to overthrow the regime there has enormous long-term ramifications on many, many levels, which I will address throughout this post.

From the AP via The Washington Post:

WASHINGTON — In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.

McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans. To hide the network from the Cuban government, they would set up a byzantine system of front companies using a Cayman Islands bank account, and recruit unsuspecting executives who would not be told of the company’s ties to the U.S. government.

McSpedon didn’t work for the CIA. This was a program paid for and run by the U.S. Agency for International Development, best known for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid.

Now we can pretty much guarantee that foreign nations will forever be skeptical of any U.S. “aid”. Great work morons. Continue reading »

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Mar 24

tweet

- Turkey’s Twitter ban collapse fueled by VPNS and DNS tricks (Intellihub, March 23, 2014):

Friday’s news that the Turkish government had banned its citizens from accessing Twitter was depressing but an opportunity to be embraced. Forewarned is forearmed, and the fact that Turks are learning how to beat censorship with VPNs and DNS tricks better prepares them for the future.

Two days ago on the campaign trail ahead of end-of-March elections, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan showed his Internet naivety by doing something extremely silly. In the midst of a corruption scandal he first threatened and then carried through with an outright ban of Twitter.

“I don’t care what the international community says at all. Everyone will see the power of the Turkish Republic,” Erdogan said on Thursday.

Continue reading »

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Mar 23

- Mark Dice’s Channel Permanently Deleted by YouTube for “Severe Violations” (The Daily Sheeple, March 22, 2014)

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Mar 21

Erdogan-dictator

- Turkey PM Acts On His Threat To “Destroy Twitter”, Blocks Countrywide Access (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2014):

When we reported early yesterday that Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan warned that since Twitter had ignored court orders to remove content related to a government corruption scandal., that he would “destroy Twitter” and that “we’ll dig up Twitter – all of them – from the roots,” he raged, “they’ll see the power of the Republic of Turkey” it may not have been quite clear what he meant. A few hours later it was revealed, when virtually all Twitter access was blocked in Turkey ten days ahead of the general election in a move that has already enraged the nation and resulted in a powerful public outcry.

Continue reading »

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Mar 19

- Bit rot: The Internet never forgets,€“ or does it? (Al Jazeera, March 18, 2014):

Planned obsolescence and flipping bits may be putting our digital archives at risk

At The Guardian’s 2013 Activate conference in London, the computer scientist and Internet founder Vint Cerf, when asked about the future of libraries in the digital age, expressed concern. “I am really worried right now about the possibility of saving bits but losing their meaning and ending up with bit rot,” he said. “You have a bag of bits that you saved for a thousand years, but you don’t know what they mean because the software that was needed to interpret them is no longer available or it’s no longer executable … This is a serious, serious problem, and we have to solve that.”

“Bit rot”? The term is nightmarish, conjuring images of a computer system gone haywire, cannibalizing itself from the inside. The phenomenon it describes — the self-erasure of computer bits, caused by aging software’s obsolescence, leading to an irrevocable loss of data — directly contradicts the popular belief that digital data are permanent. Comparatively, the fire at the Library of Alexandria was more straightforward.

Continue reading »

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Mar 18

UK Government Wants Unsavoury Web Content Censored

- UK gov wants ‘unsavoury’ web content censored (Wired, March 15, 2014):

The UK minister for immigration and security has called for the government to do more to deal with “unsavoury”, rather than illegal, material online.

James Brokenshire made the comments to the Financial Times in an interview related to the government’s alleged ability to automatically request YouTube videos be taken down under “super flagger” status.

Continue reading »

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Mar 17
spies-data
Agencies want access to metadata, such as web browsing histories.

- Push for Australians’ web browsing histories to be stored (Sydney Morning Herald, March 17, 2014):

Intelligence agency ASIO is using the Snowden leaks to bolster its case for laws forcing Australian telecommunications companies to store certain types of customers’ internet and telephone data for a period of what some law enforcement agencies would like to be two years.

The federal spying agency is supported by the Northern Territory Police, Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, who all say they are in support of a data-retention regime.

Continue reading »

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Mar 15

- How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware (The Intercept, March 12, 2014):

By Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald

Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.

The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.

Continue reading »

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Mar 13

- The Most Evil And Disturbing NSA Spy Practices To-Date Have Just Been Revealed (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 12, 2014):

In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party.

– From Glenn Greenwald’s latest article: How the NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers with Malware

The latest piece from Greenwald and company on the unconstitutional spy practices of the NSA may represent the most dangerous and disturbing revelations yet. It’s hard for shadiness at the NSA to surprise me these days, but there was only one word that kept repeating over and over in my head as I read this: EVIL.

As a quick aside, Greenwald points out in the quote above how spam emails are used by the NSA to bait you into clicking dangerous links. This is a timely revelation considering I received one such email yesterday from a friend of mine. The email was sent to a wide list of let’s say “liberty-minded people” and webmasters associated with very popular sites. The link seemed shady so I texted him to ask if he had sent it. He hadn’t.

Continue reading »

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Mar 10

FYI.


Japanese reports blame collapse of the company on hackers overloading the website

bitcoin-111
Unlike traditional currencies, which are backed by central banks, Bitcoin is created by complex interactions between a large network of computers across the globe.

- Bitcoin exchange MtGox ‘faced 150,000 hack attacks every second’ (Telegraph, March 9, 2014):

Troubled Bitcoin exchange MtGox was reportedly attacked 150,000 times per second by hackers in the days leading up to its collapse last month.

The Tokyo-based exchange, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February, was hit with crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

During DDoS attacks, hackers take control of multiple computers to send a flood of data to the target, causing servers to crash and making websites unavailable.

Lawyers for MtGox said that during the attacks, which lasted for several days, 750,000 Bitcoins belonging to customers were stolen, worth an estimated $575m (£344m).

Continue reading »

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Mar 05

- Official in Charge of Guidelines for British Internet Porn Filters Arrested on Child Porn Charges (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 4, 2014):

Last summer, I wrote an article titled: How Internet in the UK is “Sleepwalking into Censorship.” That post detailed how plans in the UK to unveil default internet filters, sold to the public under the guise of “blocking child porn” and all sorts of other unethical and illegal activities, would actually provide a backdoor to censoring the internet.

Well it turns out it is even worse than that. Apparently, Patrick Rock, an official who helped draw up guidelines on Internet porn filters, has been arrested for child porn. You can’t make this stuff up.

From Raw Story:

A senior aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of child pornography offenses, Downing Street confirmed Monday.

Continue reading »

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Mar 05

- Critical crypto bug leaves Linux, hundreds of apps open to eavesdropping (Ars Technica, March 4, 2014):

This GnuTLS bug is worse than the big Apple “goto fail” bug patched last week.

Hundreds of open source packages, including the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Debian distributions of Linux, are susceptible to attacks that circumvent the most widely used technology to prevent eavesdropping on the Internet, thanks to an extremely critical vulnerability in a widely used cryptographic code library.

The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protections available on websites that depend on the open source package. Initial estimates included in Internet discussions such as this one indicate that more than 200 different operating systems or applications rely on GnuTLS to implement crucial SSL and TLS operations, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the actual number is much higher. Web applications, e-mail programs, and other code that use the library are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers monitoring connections to silently decode encrypted traffic passing between end users and servers.

The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often known simply as X509 certificates. The coding error, which may have been present in the code since 2005, causes critical verification checks to be terminated, drawing ironic parallels to the extremely critical “goto fail” flaw that for months put users of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems at risk of surreptitious eavesdropping attacks. Apple developers have since patched the bug.

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