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+ - Former NSA director had thousands personally invested in obscure tech firms

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes ""No conflicts appear to exist" among Keith Alexander's investments, NSA said.

New financial disclosure documents released this month by the National Security Agency (NSA) show that Keith Alexander, who served as its director from August 2005 until March 2014, had thousands of dollars of investments during his tenure in a handful of technology firms.

Don't worry, the NSA assures us that there was no conflict of interest."

+ - Obama Administration argues for backdoors in personal electronics->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on Tuesday that new forms of encryption capable of locking law enforcement officials out of popular electronic devices imperil investigations of kidnappers and sexual predators, putting children at increased risk.

Seriously. Would somebody, please, think of the children?!"
Link to Original Source

+ - City of London police call for more state intervention in the Internet

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Since last year City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit have been working with copyright holders to tackle online piracy

Founded little over a year ago, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has quickly grown to become one of the world’s most active anti-piracy operations. ... PIPCU is determined to continue its anti-piracy efforts in the years to come. However, the unit’s head Andy Fyfe also believes that the Government may have to tighten the rules on the Internet, to stop people from breaking the law.

We live in a world where corporations have set up their own private spying operations, and the police regard spying as a second career. We live in a world where nations protest America's surveillance operation, even as they run their own. We live in a world where Bloomberg feels free to run an intelligence operation on Goldman Sachs. We live in a world where News Corps feels free to run saboteur operations against it competitors. I wonder how many members of the PIPCU are planning second careers as cyber security consultants/hackers? In a world where everyone with a billion dollars acts as if the laws do not apply to them, there is very little possibility of cyber security."

+ - Hong Kong protesters use a mesh network to organise->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "from New Scientist:

Hong Kong's mass protest is networked. Activists are relying on a free app that can send messages without any cellphone connection.

Since the pro-democracy protests turned ugly over the weekend, many worry that the Chinese government would block local phone networks.

In response, activists have turned to the FireChat app to send supportive messages and share the latest news. On Sunday alone, the app was downloaded more than 100,000 times in Hong Kong, its developers said. FireChat relies on "mesh networking", a technique that allows data to zip directly from one phone to another via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Ordinarily, if two people want to communicate this way, they need to be fairly close together. But as more people join in, the network grows and messages can travel further.

Mesh networks can be useful for people who are caught in natural disasters or, like those in Hong Kong, protesting under tricky conditions. FireChat came in handy for protesters in Taiwan and Iraq this year."

Link to Original Source

+ - Apple's iPhone6 costs 9% more here because it's Australia.

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "So why isn't that mark-up taxable?

A parliamentary inquiry last year heard that mark-ups by technology companies could see similar products costing as much as 30 per cent more in Australia. Apple Australia vice-president Tony King testified that Apple charged the same price around the world, but local factors could produce differing retail prices. ... Mr Hockey earlier this month called for tax commissioner Chris Jordan “to double his efforts” with more extensive audits of multinational companies considered a risk to Australian tax collections. He singled out the need to examine whether “location specific profits [are] being generated and then shifted out of Australia”.


+ - Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke on Thursday to faculty and students at the University of Oklahoma City about the privacy perils brought on by modern technology. She warned that the march of technological progress comes with a need to enact privacy protections if we want to avoid living in an "Orwellian world" of constant surveillance. She siad, "There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don’t like the fact that someone I don’t knowcan pick up, if they’re a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property.""
Link to Original Source

+ - News Corp by its fingertips

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers eye the abyss

The story told short? In the 2014 financial year, it appears that News Corp Australia’s publishing operations, which account for more than 70 per cent of Australian newspapers, earned in the vicinity of just $A24 million. ... In two years, Rupert Murdoch’s original newspaper empire has gone from earning $A285 million to $A24 million. It’s a 92 per cent drop in the two years, after seeing sales fall an eye-popping half a billion dollars since 2012. For all its shortcomings, Fairfax Media’s transition in this same period in both revenue and cost control has been hugely more successful. And News is still propping up loss-making ventures like The Australian. How long can it afford to do this?


+ - Grand Ayatollah Issues Fatwa Stating High Speed Internet is against Sharia

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "What at first instance looks like a hoax turns out to be a real statement from Irans Ayatollah.
A Grand Ayatollah in Iran has determined that access to high-speed and 3G Internet is “against Sharia” and “against moral standards.”
This puts ofcourse the discussion about net neutrality in a different perspective. Is internet throttling by the ISP then allowed? Up till what speed then? Luckily for the Iranians, the Fatwa is not mandatory. Also: once the new network with censorship is in place, the Fatwa will most likely be removed"

+ - Western water rights and the NSA->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "A perfect slashdot story, the NSA and Yucca Mountain rolled into one:

"Whenever I explain the OffNow Project to someone, they initially respond enthusiastically. Something to the effect of, “Wow! That’s cool! The federal government shouldn’t be spying on us!” But when I further explain that the idea behind OffNow includes shutting off state supplied resources to NSA facilities – like the water necessary to cool the super-computers at the Bluffdale, Utah spy facility – those same people get nervous. “Shutting off the water seems like an extreme move. Can we even do that?” they ask.

Yes, we can do that.

And it will work.

It’s been done before at a place called Yucca Mountain, Nevada....." The water rights case in Nevada is described here:"

Link to Original Source

+ - DOJ Admits It's Still Destroying Evidence In NSA Case

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "DOJ Admits It's Still Destroying Evidence In NSA Case; Judge Orders Them (Again) To Stop; DOJ Flips Out

So, remember how we wrote about the big EFF filing in the Jewel v. NSA case, about how the NSA and DOJ had been knowingly destroying key evidence by pretending that they thought the preservation orders only applied to one kind of spying, and not the kind that was approved by the FISA Court (despite at other times admitting that the surveillance at issue in the case was approved by the FISA Court)? Yeah, so, yesterday, the EFF realized that despite the big kerfuffle this whole thing had caused, the NSA and DOJ were still destroying that evidence, and sprinted over to the court to file for an emergency temporary restraining order on the government.


+ - How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Submitted by Rick Zeman
Rick Zeman (15628) writes "The Center for Public Integrity has a comprehensive article showing how Big Telecom (aka, AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner) use lobbyists, paid-for politicians, and lawsuits (both actual and the threat thereof) in their efforts to kill municipal broadband. From the article: "The companies have also used traditional campaign tactics such as newspaper ads, push polls, direct mail and door-to-door canvassing to block municipal networks. And they’ve tried to undermine the appetite for municipal broadband by paying for research from think tanks and front groups to portray the networks as unreliable and costly. " Unfortunately, those think tanks and front groups are also paid for by the companies."

+ - The downside of police having cameras 3

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Why do we object to people wearing Google Glass but call for police to be equiped with cameras? True wearing a camera would make it more difficult for officers to lie (unless the camera accidentaly breaks). But just as Google Glass picks up everything — so would a police offier's camera. Do we want that?"

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.