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Submission Summary: 1 pending, 82 declined, 19 accepted (102 total, 18.63% accepted)

+ - Was the Internet Originally Created for Covert Domestic Surveillance?

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "From its creation by DoD contracts and grants to research institutions, there have been aspersions cast by those easily dismissed as "fringe" commentators, on the nefarious, or at least covert, motivation to create the Internet. Conspiracy theory may have been met by reality in recent months with now commonplace reporting, first by Wikileaks and later, in the more extensive Edward Snowden revelations. It is still almost canon, that NSA mass-surveillance and warrantless information analysis occurred through coopting the burgeoning Internet, and diverting traffic in a way that is counter to the ideals of its creators and promoters. But what if the social, commercial Internet were always intended as a sort of giant honeypot? The idea would still seem farfetched, if it weren't recently disclosed by William Binney that the NSA is recording 80% of all US phone conversations — not simply metadata. Closer examination of the record shows that ARPAnet was being used to clandestinely gather information on the legitimate activities of US citizens — and transmit the information to the US Army Intelligence Command NSA — as far back as 1968! According to articles published in 1975 by MIT in "The Tech":


"via the ARPANET, a computer network connecting more than 50 government agencies and universities throughout the country. The network is funded by the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)... The information, according to intelligence sources, was transferred and stored at the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA), at Fort Meade, Maryland. The Army files were transmitted on the ARPANET in about January 1972, sources say, more than two years after the material — and the data banks maintained at the [Army's] Fort Holabird facility — were ordered destroyed."


MIT officials were worried 40 years ago, about this abuse of interconnected TCP communications and the complicity of their own research scientists. These concerns arose at the height of the Watergate fallout and downfall of President Nixon for illegal wiretapping and information theft allegations. The danger of Government "record keeping" was outlined by Senator Sam Ervin, in an address to MIT that was also profiled in the same publication. Clearly, this did not begin in the last decade, and clearly pre-dates the 2001 "Global War on Terror" pretext. It is important to remember, the NSA was an almost unknown agency at this time, and was chartered to strictly forbid intel on US citizens and those dwelling within US borders."

+ - Boeing Unveils Cabin Design for Commercial Spaceliner ->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes ""Did you enjoy your flight, Dr Heywood Floyd?" Boeing unveiled a new concept for the cabin of a future commercial spaceliner, based on the blue-lit Boeing "Sky" interior of the company's modern airliners, as well as work on the company's CST-100 space capsule. "Provided there is a destination for them out there, how will that passenger want to go back and forth?'" said Chris Ferguson, a former astronaut who commanded NASA's final space shuttle mission in 2011 and now serves as Boeing's director of crew and mission operations for the commercial crew program. Boeing developed the CST-100 capsule to compete for NASA’s space station crew launch business after the agency retired its space shuttle fleet. The capsule is designed to launch on an expendable Atlas 5 rocket. NASA will be selecting one or more companies in August of this year, with the aim of reaching flight operations in 2017."
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+ - Navy to Test Deployment of New Railgun Tech in 2016->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "The US Navy's new railgun technology, developed by General Atomics, uses Lorentz force in a type of linear, electric motor to hurl a 23-pound projectile at speeds exceeding Mach 7 — excess 5000 MpH. The weapon has a range of 100 miles and doesn’t require explosive warheads. "The electromagnetic railgun represents an incredible new offensive capability for the U.S. Navy," says Rear Adm. Bryant Fuller, the Navy’s chief engineer. "This capability will allow us to effectively counter a wide range of threats at a relatively low cost, while keeping our ships and sailors safer by removing the need to carry as many high-explosive weapons." Sea trials begin aboard an experimental Navy catamaran, the USNS Millinocket, in 2016."
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+ - Should PETA Turn Jeffrey Dahmer's Home into Vegan Restaurant?

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, proposes that the former home of convicted murderer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer be turned into a vegan restaurant called, "Eat for Life — Home Cooking." "Rather than remaining as a stark reminder of it dark past, the building can instead become the site of a celebration of culinary compassion. Like Dahmer’s human victims, cows, pigs, and chickens are made of flesh and blood and fear for their lives when confronted by a man with a knife... The difference is that when Dahmer was caught, his killing spree ended. Today, however, more than 30 billion animals are slaughtered in the U.S. every year in similarly gruesome ways for food." Is this statement just callous appropriation of a terrible human tragedy for political opportunity, by those who claim to be motivated by deep compassion?"

+ - NSA Hacked Huawei, Compromised Carrier and Stole Source ->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Here on Slashdot, we have all debated the reality of a hypothesized "State Sponsored Chinese Cyber War". These allegations are turned upside down, with the latest revelations in the ongoing release of NSA secrets from Edward Snowden. "The operation, code-named 'Shotgiant,' was to find any links between Huawei and the People’s Liberation Army... but the plans went further: exploit Huawei’s technology so that when the company sold equipment to other countries the N.S.A. could roam through their computer and telephone networks to conduct surveillance and... offensive cyberoperations." "China does more in terms of cyberespionage than all other countries put together,” said James A. Lewis, a computer security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. This is a claim that becomes increasingly difficult to believe, in light of the continuing torrent of documentation, exposing NSA abuses and transgressions."
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+ - First Commercial Moon Lander Unveiled->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Ready to launch in 2015, California-based Moon Express unveiled its MX-1 lunar lander on Thursday in Las Vegas, at the Autodesk University conference. The MX-1's main rocket engine will burn hydrogen peroxide, though it also relies on kerosene as an afterburner to accelerate out of Earth orbit. To reduce mass, engineers used composite materials and eliminated the structure that supports most spacecraft. Instead, the MX-1's fuel tanks serve as the structure. The lander is designed for delivering 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of payload to the lunar surface."
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+ - Dr. Strangelove: Please Dial "00000000" for Global Nuclear War->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "In the "I Feel Better Already Dept." we find this item: "...During the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes." Yes. You may read that again, to be sure of what it says. Missiles "in the U.S. that had been fitted with the devices, such as ones in the Minuteman Silos, were installed under the close scrutiny of Robert McNamara, JFK’s Secretary of Defence. However, The Strategic Air Command greatly resented McNamara’s presence and almost as soon as he left, the code to launch the missile’s, all 50 of them, was set to 00000000. Oh, and in case you actually did forget the code, it was handily written down on a checklist handed out to the soldiers.""
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+ - Humans Born in Space May Be Doomed to Gravity Sickness-> 1

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "From the "What's-Up-Doc?" Dept.
NASA first started sending jellyfish to space aboard the Columbia space shuttle during the early '90s to test how space flight would affect their development. Under the fantastic headline "Space-Born Jellyfish Hate Life On Earth" Popular Science notes that jellyfish babies, born in microgravity environments, "have to deal with massive vertigo on Earth after spending their first few days in space". There's a possibility for future generations of space-born human children, who might never be acclimatised to a terrestrial environment, and in fact could be incapacitated by gravity forces approaching "normal". Jellyfish tell up from down through calcium sulfate crystals that ring the bottom edge of their mushroom-like bodies. Humans sense gravity and acceleration through calcium crystals in the inner ear — similar to jellyfish — moving sensitive hair cells that signal our brains on direction of gravitation."

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+ - Will the US Lose Control of the Internet?-> 2

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Upon revelation of the extent of US foreign intelligence surveillance, through efforts by Edward Snowden and LavaBit founder Ladar Levison, an increasing number of nation's have expressed official dismay and concern over the US dominance in managing the infrastructure for request and transit of information on the Internet. In the past, ICANN challenges have been secondary to efforts in the UN ITU — until now. Yesterday at a summit in Uruguay, every major Internet governing body pledged to free themselves of the influence of the US government. "The directors of ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society and all five of the regional Internet address registries have vowed to break their associations with the US government. The group called for "accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing". Any doubt about the reason or timing of this statement is dispelled with the inclusion: "the group 'expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance'."

The US argument for maintaining governance has been the need to maintain "a free and open Internet" versus interests of authoritarian societies. Has recent understanding of the wholesale surveillance of telecommunications by the NSA completely ruined the US reputation as the just custodian of that mission?"

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+ - Charlie Stross: Why Microsoft Word Must Die->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Rapture of the Nerds co-author Charlie Stross hates Microsoft Word, worse than you do. Best of all, he can articulate the many structural faults of Word that make his loathing both understandable and contagious. "Steve Jobs approached Bill Gates... to organize the first true WYSIWYG word processor for a personal computer -- ...should it use control codes, or hierarchical style sheets? In the end, the decree went out: Word should implement both formatting paradigms. Even though they're fundamentally incompatible... Word was in fact broken by design, from the outset — and it only got worse from there." Can Free Software do any better, than to imitate the broken Microsoft model? Does document formatting even matter this much, versus content?"
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+ - BlueJay: Police Track Behavior With Twitter Real-Time Monitoring Tools-> 1

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "BIG BOTHER IS WATCHING DEPT:
If you share something publicly on social media, "you should expect the world to read it," said Andy Sellars, a staff attorney at the Digital Media Law Project. "And you should expect that world to include law enforcement."

At the low price of 150 dollars for a month, per user, BlueJay is a tool for law enforcement that should only increase those expectations. Big Brother's Ministry of Love has SaaS: The BlueJay Law Enforcement Twitter "Crime Scanner" matches the Twitter "firehose" to Internet mapping data, with big-data techniques for keyword analytics and semantic-relevance. BlueJay "has no IT requirements," explains the sales literature. "All you need is Internet and a browser." "Monitor large public events, social unrest, gang communications and criminally predicated individuals, Identify potential witnesses and indicators for evidence."
"We could stop bad things from happening if we install cameras in everyone’s bedroom in America," Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC News. "Which trade-off are we willing to accept?

Instead of that one guy getting busted for a lame joke misinterpreted as a real threat, we may face a future where algorithms bust people en masse for referencing illegal "Game of Thrones" downloads, and insurance companies seek non-smokers confessing to lapsing back into the habit."

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+ - NSA Monitoring Inter-Bank Transfer and Credit Card Transactions

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "NSA surveillance of private financial activity is a big story in Europe, co-authored by Laura Poitras, the filmmaker who was first contacted by Edward Snowden for the release of his information. "Classified documents show that the intelligence agency has several means of accessing the internal data traffic of SWIFT, used by more than 8,000 banks worldwide for their international transactions. The NSA specifically targets other institutes on an individual basis. A document from the year 2011 clearly designates the SWIFT computer network as a "target." Late last week, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs said that the Americans should "immediately and precisely tell us what has happened, and put all the cards on the table." If it's true "that they share information with other agencies for purposes other than those outlined in the agreement we will have to consider ending the agreement."" NSA also has in-depth knowledge of the internal processes of credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard — as well the Internet currency Bitcoin."

+ - "Terms and Conditions May Apply"

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "“The scariest movie I’ve seen this year, a horror tale that would have been science fiction had it been made in the 1990s.” These are not words to describe the latest zombie or slasher flick, but the description by G. Allen Johnson of the San Francisco Chronicle, in describing Terms and Conditions May Apply", a new documentary about Internet privacy and the use of consumer information platforms like Facebook and Google for government surveillance. Included are a range of discussions from personalities as diverse as Raymond Kurzweil, Moby and Mark Zuckerberg. The preview trailer at on the film's website is a great 2 minute primer on the subject, for general audiences, and the film's producers provide links to privacy tools, including instructions for leaving Facebook and removing Google personalization."

+ - Two US Representatives Mouth Identical DMCA Talking Points at Same Hearing->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Comedy gold, as US House members sellout to the copyright industry. Watch two Congressional Representatives ask identical leading questions, framed for them by entertainment industry lobbyists, word-for-word. No pause, one right after the other. Ultimately, its the voter/taxpayer/consumer who is both paying for this directly and subsidizing it, while subject to the restraints that are being demanded."
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+ - DHS: Illegal to Freely Play Live Music in the United States->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "According to a number of entertainment related sources, the US Dept of Homeland Security is attempting federal-level enforcement for a ban of unapproved live music performances. The wording is unclear, but the DHS seems to be leveraging its influence on State Fire Marshalls, and the their funding connection as "first responders".
"The Department of Homeland Security... is now demanding through enforcement from The State Fire Marshalls that all live music played in the United States must have a permit from the Department of Homeland Security.""

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Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!

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