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Movies

'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the indicting-a-ham-sandwich dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from The Hollywood Reporter: Horace Edwards, who identifies himself as a retired naval officer and the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, has filed a lawsuit in Kansas federal court that seeks a constructive trust over monies derived from the distribution of Citizenfour. Edwards ... seeks to hold Snowden, director Laura Poitras, The Weinstein Co., Participant Media and others responsible for "obligations owed to the American people" and "misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies." It's an unusual lawsuit, one that the plaintiff likens to "a derivative action on behalf of the American Public," and is primarily based upon Snowden's agreement with the United States to keep confidentiality. ... Edwards appears to be making the argument that Snowden's security clearance creates a fiduciary duty of loyalty — one that was allegedly breached by Snowden's participation in the production of Citizenfour without allowing prepublication clearance review. As for the producers and distributors, they are said to be "aiding and abetting the theft and misuse of stolen government documents." The lawsuit seeks a constructive trust to redress the alleged unjust enrichment by the film. A 1980 case that involved a former CIA officer's book went up to the Supreme Court and might have opened the path to such a remedy.
Security

Researchers Discover SS7 Flaw, Allowing Total Access To Any Cell Phone, Anywhere 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-in-case-you-were-feeling-safe-and-secure-today dept.
krakman writes: Researchers discovered security flaws in SS7 that allow listening to private phone calls and intercepting text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available. The flaws, to be reported at a hacker conference in Hamburg this month, are actually functions built into SS7 for other purposes – such as keeping calls connected as users speed down highways, switching from cell tower to cell tower – that hackers can repurpose for surveillance because of the lax security on the network. It is thought that these flaws were used for bugging German Chancellor Angela's Merkel's phone.

Those skilled at the housekeeping functions built into SS7 can locate callers anywhere in the world, listen to calls as they happen or record hundreds of encrypted calls and texts at a time for later decryption (Google translation of German original). There is also potential to defraud users and cellular carriers by using SS7 functions, the researchers say. This is another result of security being considered only after the fact, as opposed to being part of the initial design.
Google

Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services 281

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-snooping-zone dept.
jfruh writes Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told a conference on surveillance at the Cato Institute that Edward Snowden's revelations on NSA spying shocked the company's engineers — who then immediately started working on making the company's servers and services more secure. Now, after a year and a half of work, Schmidt says that Google's services are the safest place to store your sensitive data.

Comment: Re:French politicians.... (Score 5, Interesting) 168

by Blue Stone (#48589959) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

Yes, France's public transport system, for example is an example of the sort of failure that we, for instance in the UK, shudder at.

Cheap fares, efficient operation, a boon to the country and its people.

Ours in the UK, meanwhile engages in double-dipping (making shareholder profits while receiving public subsidy), has terrible roling stock and fucking high ticket prices that rise regardless of the economics of the country, all along with local monopolies(!!!!)

Those bloody French socialists and their incompetence!

Handhelds

Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die 269

Posted by timothy
from the mine-died-fast dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes A funny thing happened to the iPod Classic on its way to the dustbin of history: people seemed unwilling to actually give it up. Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its online storefront in early September, on the same day CEO Tim Cook revealed the latest iPhones and the upcoming Apple Watch. At 12 years old, the device was ancient by technology-industry standards, but its design was iconic, and a subset of diehard music fans seemed to appreciate its considerable storage capacity. At least some of those diehard fans are now paying four times the iPod Classic's original selling price for units still in the box. The blog 9to5Mac mentions Amazon selling some last-generation iPod Classics for $500 and above. Clearly, some people haven't gotten the memo that touch-screens and streaming music were supposed to be the way of the future.

Comment: Re:Growing Isolation (Score 1) 157

by Blue Stone (#48584155) Attached to: Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

Again, I find myself agreeing with you largely, and would merely add that the President is mostly a figurehead (albeit one with *some* clout) and there are a body of people behind the scenes, who are not elected that run the show. And that includes corporate and wealthy power outside but with access. The US isn't a dictatorship, but the people who control what happens are just as unconcerned with the little people as any dictator.

Comment: Re:class act (Score 1) 171

by Blue Stone (#48582023) Attached to: Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself

It's worth remembering that during the Edward Snowden revelations, the Independent tried its hand at a bogus leak, lying to make it appear as if it had come from the Snowden documents and leaking the sort of information that could have had serious implications for people's safety (which the Guardian/Greenwald had taken care not to do). Greenwald at the time revealed that no such information had come from them, and the Independent were exposed with their pants round their ankles and their cock in the family dog (so to speak).

I view them as a newspaper that's quite happy to whore iteself out to spread black and grey propaganda for the UK/US powers that be.

Comment: Re:Growing Isolation (Score 3, Insightful) 157

by Blue Stone (#48581777) Attached to: Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

I feel what you say is entirely true, and yet am compelled to add ...

NSA (mass surveillance proven), CIA (torture, kidnapping, coups against democratic countries, assasinations, propaganda, funding of insurgents/terrorists/narco terrorists proven), America being instrumental in creating Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc (blowback) and ... Microsoft, Google, Apple, all the American tech companies who have a cosy relationship with their government.

At a certain point the difference between Russia under Putin and America under any number of presidents is largely that the USA has a more polished public relations strategy.

Google

Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-can't-stand-the-bears-get-out-of-the-kitchen dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that Google is closing its engineering office in Russia. This follows ever-increasing crackdowns from the Russian government over internet freedoms, and intrusive data-handling requirements on internet companies. "[A] new law that takes effect next year requires information on Russian citizens to be stored in data centers in Russia. The law will also penalize Web firms for infringing on personal data rules in the country. Another law passed earlier this year requires bloggers with 3,000 or more daily readers to register with the government and provide their home address. The ruling prevents these bloggers from using foul language and forbids them from spreading false information."
The Almighty Buck

Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-out-my-statue dept.
Rei writes Julian Assange, from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, has recently taken to Twitter to try to raise nearly $200,000 for a life-size bronze statue of himself. The statue would have him standing front and center between Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning (with Manning pictured as male); the art piece would be then shipped around the world on tour.
Graphics

Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG 377

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-pictures dept.
An anonymous reader writes Fabrice Bellard (creator of FFMPEG, QEMU, JSLinux...) proposes a new image format that could replace JPEG : BPG. For the same quality, files are about half the size of their JPEG equivalents. He released libbpg (with source) as well as a JS decompressor, and set up a demo including the famous Lena image.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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