+ - 119 Rep. Jerrold Nadler Does Not Think the NSA Can Listen to U.S. Phone Calls 1

Submitted by mozumder
mozumder (178398) writes "Sorry Slashdot, but your faith in your high-school dropout IT support Jesus is undermined once again, as the bombshell story on Rep. Jerrold Nadler was apparently false. Looks like he just misunderstood the initial briefing.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement on this as well, saying: "The statement that a single analyst can eavesdrop on domestic communications without proper legal authorization is incorrect and was not briefed to Congress. Members have been briefed on the implementation of Section 702, that it targets foreigners located overseas for a valid foreign intelligence purpose, and that it cannot be used to target Americans anywhere in the world."

It is now time to relearn everything about the NSA programs. Sometimes you actually do need more than a GED to understand systems designs."

+ - 236 Feeling suicidal, so get help on an MMO?

Submitted by An Ominous Cow Erred
An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) writes "In an odd approach to reaching out to otherwise shut-in sufferers of mental distress, an organization called Anxiety Gaming is betting that online intervention is the best way to reach people with emotional difficulties. Their argument is that the social nature of modern gaming makes it a valid means of reaching people who might not otherwise seek help through more traditional channels. According to their Facebook page, their future intentions seem to include distributing consoles to homes for foster youth, to encourage them to look to games for positival interpersonal communication.

With much media attention focused on cyberbullying and the negative affects of online social interaction, could gaming turn out to be a path to positive mental health as well?"

+ - 242 Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, presided over Microsoft antitrust trial, has died->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The NY Times has the news that federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ruled in 2000 that Microsoft was a predatory monopoly and must be split in half, has died. He was 76 years old.

Judge Jackson presided over the trial of the Microsoft Corporation on charges of antitrust violations in 1998-99 — one of history’s largest antitrust cases. Mindful that the government’s antitrust offensive against I.B.M. lasted 13 years and its action against AT& T involved a million documents, he limited each side to 12 witnesses and forced lawyers to submit testimony in writing. The main court proceedings took 76 trial days.

A technological novice who wrote his opinions in longhand and used his computer mainly to e-mail jokes, Judge Jackson refuted Microsoft’s assertion that it was impossible to remove the company’s Internet Explorer Web browser from its operating system by doing it himself.

When a Microsoft lawyer complained that too many excerpts from Bill Gates’s videotaped deposition — liberally punctuated with the phrase “I don’t remember” — were shown in the courtroom, Judge Jackson said, “I think the problem is with your witness, not the way his testimony is being presented.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - 253 Revealed: how the UK spied on its G20 allies at London summits->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "wow, this is going to really set the cat amongst the pigeons once this gets around :

  Foreign politicians' calls and emails intercepted by UK intelligence
  Delegates tricked into using fake internet cafes
  GCHQ analysts sent logs of phone calls round the clock
  Documents are latest revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden"

Link to Original Source

+ - 246 Microsoft Reputation Manager's guide to XBox One->

Submitted by symbolset
symbolset (646467) writes "In the wake of a disastrous E3 product reveal Microsoft has distributed a confidential internal 100-point "FAQ" for the XBox one that reads like it's from the Ministry of Truth. It was of course immediately leaked on pastebin. Kotaku has the story and an amusing online poll. In the discussion below make sure to line up the FAQ entries with the AC comments for extra "Informative" moderation."
Link to Original Source

+ - 192 NSA probed fewer than 300 phone numbers in 2012 - broke plots in 20 nations->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "Yet more details about the controversy engulfing the NSA. From CNET : "Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, explained how the program worked without violating individuals' civil rights. "We take the business records by a court order, and it's just phone numbers — no names, no addresses — put it in a lock box," Rogers told CBS News' "Face The Nation." "And if they get a foreign terrorist overseas that's dialing in to the United Sates, they take that phone number... they plug it into this big pile, if you will, of just phone numbers — it's like a phonebook without any names and any addresses with it — to see if there's a connection, a foreign terrorist connection to the United States." "When a number comes out of that lock box, it's just a phone number — no names, no addresses," he said. "If they think that's relevant to their counterterrorism investigation, they give that to the FBI. Then upon the FBI has to go out and meet all the legal standards to even get whose phone number that is." " From the AP: " ... programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries — and that gathered data is destroyed every five years. Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records ... the intelligence officials said in arguing that the programs are far less sweeping than their detractors allege.... both NSA programs are reviewed every 90 days by the secret court authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under the program, the records, showing things like time and length of call, can only be examined for suspected connections to terrorism, they said. The ... program helped the NSA stop a 2009 al-Qaida plot to blow up New York City subways. ""
Link to Original Source

+ - 218 ISPs to censor porn by default in the UK by 2014-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Parental filters for pornographic content will come as a default setting for all homes in the UK by the end of 2013, says David Cameron's special advisor on preventing the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, Claire Perry MP.

Internet service providers (ISP) will be expected to provide filtering technology to new and existing customers with an emphasis on opting out, rather than opting in."

Link to Original Source

+ - 134 Ask Slashdot: picking up programming for web apps

Submitted by narfdude
narfdude (732890) writes "I haven't written a line of code since 1995, took an introduction to C in university and now have an idea for a web app I'd like to build myself as a hobby. Where should I start? What language(s) should I start learning? I was thinking HTML5/CSS could be a good starting point."

+ - 115 SanDisk Focusing More On Desktop and Mobile SATA SSDs, Extreme II Series Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Odds are, if you’ve purchased anything that uses Flash memory in the last 20 years or so, you already own a piece of SanDisk technology. The company has been in Flash storage since the late ‘80s and manufactures products used in everything from smartphones to digital cameras. Even though it enjoys a long history in the Flash memory business, SanDisk is perhaps not as well known for its Solid State Drive (SSD) solutions for desktop and mobile PCs. However, SanDisk recently expanded their product stack with new, high-performance SSDs that leverage the company's own NAND Flash memory and Marvell’s popular 88SSS9187 controller. The new drives are SanDisk’s Extreme II family of SSDs targeted performance enthusiasts, workstations professionals and gamers. The initial line-up of drives consists of 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB models. Performance specifications for the three drives come in at 545MB/s – 550MB/s for reads with write performance from 340MB/s to 510MB/s, depending on density. In the benchmarks, SanDisk's Extreme II SSD showed it has the chops to hang with some of the fastest drives on the market from Samsung, Corsair and OCZ."
Link to Original Source

+ - 262 How to start reading other's code?

Submitted by BorgeStrand
BorgeStrand (1657179) writes "I'm reviving an open source project and need to read up on a lot of existing code written by others. What are your tricks for quickly getting to grips with code written by others? The project is written in C++ using several APIs which are unknown to me. I know embedded C pretty well, so both the syntax, the APIs and the general functionality are things I wish to explore before I can contribute to the project."

+ - 101 Why isn't the internet private? 1

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior (537106) writes "(Ask Slashdot)

The recent revelations of mass monitoring by the US government leads me to wonder, "why isn't the internet private?"

Open source runs a sizeable portion of the internet. It's developed and maintained by volunteers who care about freedom and privacy and justice. End-to-end encryption is straightforward to implement, we've known how to do it for years. A simple interface (checkbox, for instance) that turns encryption on or off would be straightforward to implement.

So I have to wonder, why hasn't anyone done it? More precisely, why is it always an add-on with a complex interface — why isn't it seamlessly built in?

(The author continues)

The HTML and SMTP protocols allow optional experimental fields in the message headers (X-something). These could be used to advertize the sender's public key, and also to tell the recipient that the message body is encrypted.

Suppose Firefox implemented a checkbox "keep browsing private, when possible". When run, the browser could generate a public/private key pair and send the public key with each HTML request. When receiving packets, it would store the public key sent by the website. The first time a user visits a website could be snooped, but every time thereafter the browser could encrypt the request using the site's stored public key.

Suppose Apache implemented a plugin which understands the X-encryption field and does the encoding/decoding. The server doesn't store the user's public key, since it's sent with each request and a new one is generated when Firefox starts up anyway. (Key replacement can be handled with server status codes: 506 — "wrong public key, use this instead")

With SMTP, the mail reader could generate a key when the program is installed. The first message sent to a friend would be in the clear, but once a response is processed you use their public key for future correspondence. (This is for communication, not storing messages. Storing encrypted data requires key management, which is a complex issue that user's don't want to deal with.)

Theoretically, a MITM attack is possible but really hard to do, since you cannot guarantee all the packets will go through the same node. Also, siphoning off data for later inspection is easier than inline processing. Mass-surveillance using MITM would be unfeasible.

If the Firefox+Thunderbird+Apache people got together and implemented endpoint encryption, it would be a selling point for the software. People would prefer these packages, especially in oppressive regimes around the world. Deep-packet inspection would be impossible. This would encourage closed-source companies to support the changes in order to remain competitive.

Most importantly, we could let the government have its "pen register" information (what sites you visit and when) while keeping the actual information safe.

So, why hasn't anyone done this? Why is it always a complex inconvenient-to-install-and-use add-on?

Why isn't it "just built in"?"

+ - 272 AT&T rolls out iPhone Wireless Emergency Alerts 1

Submitted by TigerPlish
TigerPlish (174064) writes "AT&T has rolled out Wireless Emergency Alerts for iPhones, as this article explains.

The alerts are for huge catastrophes (a Presidential Alert), then for weather / natural calamities, and one for AMBER alerts. One can turn off the latter, but the Presidential alert cannot be turned off.

The article mentions only 4S and 5 get this update. That said, I have a 4 and it got the update this morning.

This was enacted in 2006, for those keeping track of such things.

I, for one, do not care for this any more than I like the idea of them reading my communications to begin with. Oh, I'm sorry, the "metadata" from my communications."

+ - 223 MS to Indie Devs: Ya' gotta have a publisher!->

Submitted by Loadmaster
Loadmaster (720754) writes "The new Oddworld game New 'n' Tasty is coming to every platform in the current generation and even the next generation but not the Xbox One. It's not that developer Oddworld Inhabitants isn't porting the game. It's not that they hate Microsoft or the Xbox One. No, it's that Microsoft has taken an anti-indie dev stance with the Xbox One. While the game industry is moving to Kickstarter and self-funded shops, Microsoft has decided all developers must have a publisher to grace their console.

It just gets worse for Microsoft's new console. They spy on you, control who you let borrow, restrict how you can sell the game, and now they are forcing indie developers to split profit with a partner in the form of an unnecessary publisher. The adage for Microsoft products is that they get it right on rev. 3, but here it seems they've bombed it. Big time."

Link to Original Source

+ - 282 SCO v. IBM Is Officially Reopened->

Submitted by stoilis
stoilis (704975) writes "Groklaw reports that the SCO vs IBM case is officially reopenened: "The thing that makes predictions a bit murky is that there are some other motions, aside from the summary judgment motions, that were also not officially decided before SCO filed for bankruptcy that could, in SCO's perfect world, reopen certain matters. I believe they would have been denied, if the prior judge had had time to rule on them. Now? I don't know."."
Link to Original Source

+ - 158 Review: "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks"->

Submitted by beaverdownunder
beaverdownunder (1822050) writes "Firstly, Julian Assange is not the second coming — not even in his own circles. His ‘hacker’ background is by no means unique, and was almost a common experience amongst ‘geeks’ who grew up during the late 80s and early 90s. Being investigated for, or even charged with, hacking / phreaking / fraud offences was as common amongst his peers as trailer trash being arrested for shoplifting, or simple assault. (Heck, if you were trailer trash with a modem you might have been charged with all of them!)

The information required to exploit various devices, systems and networks was freely available, if you knew where to look (or what number to dial), and the mechanics of doing so were often trivial. Let’s just get that out of the way, and accept that for the purposes of this review, Assange was, prior to Wikileaks, nothing extraordinary — just a geek with a little bit of dangerous knowledge.

However, having the hutzpah to publish classified information when ‘everyone knows’ what would happen to you for doing so is really what differentiated Assange from the rest of the crowd — no one can or should dispute that. It’s surprising he hasn’t already had an ‘accident’, and he should be applauded for his evident vigilance in keeping himself alive. But, there are other documentaries that do that. What this particular documentary seemingly wants to explore is not whether what Assange did was exceptional (we already agree that it was), but whether how he elected to bring his ‘secrets’ to the world was done in the most appropriate, compassionate way.

‘We Steak Secrets’ recognises that, to some, this is important — even if many of Assange’s supporters think that it isn’t.

Bradley Manning is a tragic individual. Those who find themselves questioning their gender identity (often before pursuing gender reassignment) do not typically make the best choices. (This is why to proceed on such a path one usually needs to see a psychiatrist.) It is an incredibly confusing, frightening and yet euphoric time and I don’t generally advise people in such circumstances to make any decisions that could change their lives in any real degree while they mull over their future, since they’re not likely to be their best choices in retrospect.

Being transgendered may not itself be a ‘mental illness’, but the anxiety, depression and mania associated with coming to terms with being so certainly is, and one can’t be considered of ‘sound mind’ in such a state — this is an important point to make, and one the documentary attempts to impart through Manning’s IRC chats with the sad little man who would eventually turn him in.

Obviously, deciding to copy a large amount of classified data and deliver it to Wikileaks would qualify as a ‘poor decision’, especially when you’re in the US military, and have practically zero likelihood of defending your actions to your superiors. This is what the documentary suggests, and to do so is not slander — it merely tries to explain to the layperson why such a bright young man would choose to martyr himself in such a dramatic way when very few others (if anyone) would ever consider embarking on such an ambitious but dangerous course of action.

The documentary assumes that a completely rational individual in a similar scenario would never jeopardise his personal security in such a rash fashion irrespective of a perceived collective humanitarian benefit — which is not an unfair assumption to make — and asks what made Manning different; what could lead him to behave so contrary to that norm.

In doing so, ‘We Steal Secrets’ makes a decent hypothesis.

Moving on from Manning to Assange, the documentary then raises the question, “If Assange was aware of Manning’s personal difficulties, was he irresponsible in choosing to receive the classified information, and go ahead with publishing it, knowing what would result?” This is an ethical conundrum that is open for debate, but open for debate it most certainly is — regardless of whether Assange’s supporters like it or not.

Although Assange evidently concluded that releasing the information was of greater value to humanity than preserving the remainder of Bradley Manning’s productive life, others may not have felt similar. But go ahead Assange did, at full steam.

He made his choice, fair enough — but could Assange have redacted details that weren’t all that important to the context of the information, such as the names of informants? Could he have released statistics, or related overall ‘stories’ told by the data, rather than the data itself, to mitigate some of the consequence to Manning? Would Manning’s looming punishment have been reduced had the information been handled differently?

We can only speculate — but we are entitled to, make no mistake.

It’s not ‘unfair’ for the documentary to ask these questions, either. It’s also not ‘unfair’ to continue on and examine Assange’s exploitation of his subsequent ‘rock-star’ status — after all, it speaks to his motivations, and casts a shadow on his supposed altruism. However, although to me the documentary tells the unfortunate tale of a fame-seeker who took advantage of someone in the grip of reconciling a very difficult truth in order to further his own agenda, others could interpret it differently.

I’m not sure how, but I’m sure they could. Can you?"

Link to Original Source

+ - 162 US Phone companies provided call metadata VOLUNTARILY for 4 years 2

Submitted by Bruce66423
Bruce66423 (1678196) writes "According to http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-surveillance-architecture-includes-collection-of-revealing-internet-phone-metadata/2013/06/15/e9bf004a-d511-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story_1.html p.2
the Bush administration,took “bulk metadata” from the phone companies under voluntary agreements for more than four years after 9/11 until a court agreed they could have it compulsorily."