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+ - Canada Introduces Privacy Reforms That Encourage Warrantless Disclosure of Info->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this week, the government introduced the Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4), the latest attempt to update Canada's private sector privacy law. Michael Geist reports that the bill includes a provision that could massively expand warrantless disclosure of personal information. Organizations will be permitted to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any law. This applies both past breaches or violations as well as potential future violations. Moreover, the disclosure occurs in secret without the knowledge of the affected person (who therefore cannot challenge the disclosure since they are not aware it is happening). Consider it a gift to copyright trolls, who won't need the courts to obtain information on thousands of Internet users."
Link to Original Source

+ - Texas public charter schools teach creationism->

Submitted by SeattleGameboy
SeattleGameboy (641456) writes "Slate has a fascinating expose on teaching materials used by one of the largest public charter schools in Texas. Not only are they disputing evolution and teaching creationism, but they also twist world history, denigrates feminism and sexual orientation.

With so many tech companies basing their operations in Texas, on wonders how you can find enough workers with critical reasoning skills."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Assumptions (Score 0) 230

by bagofbeans (#45737973) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Gives $990 Million To Charity

Actually most of the people were presuming MZ is evil and incapable of doing anything without personal gain, rather than most rich people.

Yes, that's unfair. However, since MZ controls FB with his >50% holding, he is personally responsible for the continual bait-and-switch privacy behaviors at FB which no-one can claim is nice. Note also that most of this pattern occurred before FB had a 'fiscal duty to its shareholders'.

So it's not unreasonable to ask for a higher level of evidence before believing that BG or MZ are behaving altruistically.

+ - Disney pulls a reverse Santa, takes back Christmas shows from Amazon customers

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Since 2011, Amazon Instant Video has sold a series of Christmas shorts from Disney called "Prep and Landing". Unfortunately this holiday season, Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to make the shorts exclusive to its own channels. Showing an abundance of Christmas cheer, the Mickey Mouse company went so far as to retroactively withdrawn the shows from Amazon, so that customers who have already paid for them no longer have access. Apparently this reverse-Santa facility is a feature Amazon provides all publishers, and customers have little recourse but to go cap-in-hand to a Disney outlet and pay for the shows again."

Comment: The worrying bit: (Score 1) 262

by bagofbeans (#45214435) Attached to: The Cloud: Convenient Until a Stranger Nukes Your Files

Thanks to some no doubt heroic digital forensics, they had managed to locate and restore all my missing folders.

Actually I suspect nothing is really deleted, just marked inaccessible to the owner but still available to the cloud company and any subpoena or court order.

Please encrypt your stuff yourself (not the cloud's encryption) before uploading.

Comment: No US-based cloud service can really fight the NSA (Score 1) 292

by bagofbeans (#44730883) Attached to: Lockbox Aims To NSA-Proof the Cloud

There's fighting without fighting, as the late Mr Lee would say.

The problem is "NSA agents will descend upon them, and provide a legal order requiring" something, as you say.

Make that ineffective. Host end doesn't hold any keys is easy. No make the client end that uploads open source AND externalise the key handling and algo choice from the client. A script into Truecrypt is a crude example of externalising.

Now, if the upload client suddenly starts wanting keys or anything else unecessary the user will be suspicious, and the knowledgeable can scrutinise the code.

+ - New Zealand Bans software patents.

Submitted by garyoa1
garyoa1 (2067072) writes "In what can only be described as a win for humanity, the New Zealand government today passed a new Patents Bill that effectively makes patenting software illegal. In what many are calling a major victory for innovation, the bill was passed earlier this week after more than five years of debate and intensive lobbying for multinational software vendors.

Read more at"

+ - 55-Character Passwords Aren't Safe Anymore->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "This weekend, the popular password cracker software Hashcat rolled out an update that makes it possible to break passwords up to 55 characters long—a big leap from the previous 15-character limit. To retrieve the original word, password recovery systems run millions of guesses through the same cryptographic function that first generated the hash value, and wait for a match. As you can imagine, the longer and more complicated the sequence, the more time this takes. But the process is advancing rapidly—now, the new version of Hashcat can conduct 8 billion guesses per second, with an unlimited number of tries."
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Comment: Re:System may be working? (Score 4, Interesting) 321

It's actually a little more subtle than that:

Terrorism Act 2000 Schedule 7
2(1)An examining officer may question a person to whom this paragraph applies for the purpose of determining whether he appears to be a person falling within section 40(1)(b).

5A person who is questioned under paragraph 2 or 3 must
(a)give the examining officer any information in his possession which the officer requests;
(b)give the examining officer on request either a valid passport which includes a photograph or another document which establishes his identity;
(c)declare whether he has with him documents of a kind specified by the examining officer;
(d)give the examining officer on request any document which he has with him and which is of a kind specified by the officer.

Also, under the "Examining Officers under the Terrorism Act 2000 Code of Practice" Code-of-Practice-for-Examin1.pdf:

The examining officer should advise the detained person that, under paragraph 5 of Schedule 7 to the Act he/she has a duty to give the officer all the information in his/her possession which the officer requests in connection with his determining whether the person appears to be, or have been, concerned in the commission preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. The detained person should also be reminded that not complying with this duty is a criminal offence under paragraph 18(1) of Schedule 7 to the Act.

This means that one has to submit to full search of electronic stuff (decrypting where necessary), but questioning about stuff clearly irrelevant to terrorism need not be answered.

If Miranda was largely questioned about irrelevant stuff to use up the 9 hours, than that's something to take up with ECHR as abuse.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.