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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 22 declined, 18 accepted (40 total, 45.00% accepted)

IT

+ - Retraction of story about NSA and Trailblazer-> 1

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "The previous story I wrote that was posted to the slashdot front page is wrong. The memo that NSA declassified is actually about the Turbulence project, not about the Trailblazer project. This mistake also makes the two extra links in the story wrong as they applied mostly to Trailblazer and not to Turbulence. I apologize for the error and the confusion. They are similar projects, both criticized by congress, but they are distinct and happened under different NSA directors."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - NSA declassifies memo about failed TRAILBLAZER project->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post reports that the NSA has just declassified one of the 5 documents NSA whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake was charged under the Espionage Act for retaining in his basement. The document, which Drake previously faced years in prison for posessing, is essentially a cheerleading memo, complimenting the Trailblazer project team for a great presentation and demo. It stands in stark contrast to numerous other reports that described the NSA IT project as an overbudget, ineffective, billion dollar seven year boondoggle."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Russian Wikipedia shutters in protest of Internet Blacklist plans->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "If you visit Russian Wikipedia today you will be forgiven for thinking the entire site has crashed. It is not a crash, but a protest of the Russian State Duma's Bill 89417-6 According to Ria Novosti, the bill is "proposing a unified digital blacklist of all websites containing pornography, drug ads and promoting suicide or extremist ideas." Russian Wikipedia's main page has been replaced with a redacted logo and a protest text, part of which says "The Wikipedia community protests against censorship, dangerous to free knowledge, open to all mankind. We ask you to support us in opposing this bill" (translation by Google Translate)"
Link to Original Source

+ - Porn stars turn to the crowd for healthcare ->

Submitted by decora
decora (1710862) writes "Porn actors do not typically receive medical insurance as part of their payment packages. So when Holly Stevens felt a lump in her breast, she avoided going to the doctor. When the lump didn't disappear on it's own, she finally went, and discovered she had cancer. Even with some health coverage from the City of San Francisco's quasi-public insurance program, she is facing extensive chemotherapy without anything like 'sick leave' or FMLA, and some of her medication is not covered. Friends of hers, including January Seraph, and the sex-worker group SolaceSF, have started an online movement to help take up the slack through the crowdsourced charity site giveforward.com. The first round attracted just $250 in donations, but the second effort improved that to $2,520. Now, round three has just brought in $15,000. The full story is at SFWeekly's 'Exhibitionst' blog."
Link to Original Source

+ - South Korea censors it's own censor->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "The EFF reports on a internet censorship case in South Korea. The blog of Professor K.S. Park was recently brought up for consideration by the Korean Communication Standards Commission, which rules over South Korea's online censorship regime at a rate of 10,000 URLs per month. The unusual thing about this case is that Park himself is a member of the commission; he was appointed to it by the opposition party as a well known free-speech advocate. The other members of the committee allowed him to make changes to his blog for now, but have vowed to "take action" against it in the future."
Link to Original Source

+ - LHC data continues to disagree with Supersymmetry->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Pallab Ghosh of the BBC reports on another piece of evidence hitting the beleagured Supersymmetry community. Scientists at the Lepton Photon conference in Mumbai, India confirmed that extra levels of B-Meson decay have not been found in the LHC beauty experiment. Coming on the heels of a March report in Nature , this news seems to reinforce what many have suspected all along. Dark Matter is probably not explainable through massive shadow particles like squarks and selectrons, and for all practical purposes, the Supersymmetric Extension of the Standard Model of Physics is dead."
Link to Original Source
China

+ - EFF takes on Cisco's role in China->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Several years ago, writer Du Daobin posted several essays on the internet, protesting such things as unfair taxes and the corruption of the media. He was then charged with 'inciting subversion of state power', arrested, and after many legal twists and turns, tortured in prison. Daobin, along with several other dissidents with similar stories, decided to sue Cisco Systems earlier this year under the legal theory that it aided and abetted China's violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.

As the case moves forward, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has stepped up it's surveillance, harassment, and interrogation of Daobin and the others. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now joined the Laogai Research Foundation to draw attention to the case. As part of it's opening move, it has asked Cisco to make public statements in support of human rights, hoping that the company's influence with the Chinese government will provide some modicum of protection for the threatened dissidents."

Link to Original Source
China

+ - EFF asks Cisco to prevent the torture of Du Daobin->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is appealing to Cisco to use it's influence with the government of China to ensure the saftey of writer Du Daobin. Daobin and others are involved in a US civil lawsuit against Cisco for allegedly aiding and abetting their torture in Chinese prisons. Daobin's lawyers are worried because the Ministry of Public Security has recently been harassing and interrogating him regarding the case and his online writings."
Link to Original Source

+ - Students boycott graduation, protest corruption->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Tech students at one of the top universities in India, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, are boycotting their own graduation to show solidarity with Anna Hazare, who is undergoing a hunger strike to support his version of a tough anti-corruption law. One civil engineering student, Sashi Singh, is even refusing to accept his degree."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - The Syrian government's internet strategy->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "In a recent article on Al-Jazeera, Jillian York of the EFF speculates about the true nature of the Syrian 'hackers' who defaced AnonPlus. She references a University of Toronto analysis from May, which pointed out that the supposed independent hacktivist group the Syrian Electronic Army has a website that is hosted and registered by the Syrian Computer Society — a group that dictator Bashar Al-Asad used to run and that was founded by his brother. York has previously written about the mystery of the pro-Asad twitter floods of April, and the convenient unblocking of social media sites like youtube and Facebook earlier in the year, which allegedly allowed the Mukhabarat to spy on and entrap opposition activists through forged SSL certificates. She also points out the numerous cases of Syrian bloggers (not fakes) being censored, arrested, and persecuted for their writings online. Is the Syrian example evidence against the vision of internet-as-liberator?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Belarus cracks down on VKontakte->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "On several recent Wednesdays, Russian language social networking site Vkontakte has been blocked by the government of Belarus. The blocks are partly to prevent the organization of "Silent Protests", in which citizens gather in city squares, and clap in protest against president Alexander Lukashenko. The government has designated the people involved as "social network revolutionaries" and charged many with disorderly conduct. One VKontakte user, Mikhail Karatkevich, is to be put on trial August 10 for 'organizing a mass rally' after he posted a meeting notice onto his page. According to Charter 97, the regime has even set up fake proxy servers to capture the unwitting; Tor is the suggested solution."
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Facebook

+ - Finance expert warns investors on Facebook fakes->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Janet Tavakoli, who literally wrote the textbook on modern financial fraud, has posted a scathing excoriation of Facebook's business practices: ". . . after an impostor faked my identity, I was the one that had to put myself further at risk by providing a verifiable scanned government I.D. to prove I had the right to complain about the fraud enabled by Facebook." Ordinary writers would have stopped there, but Tavakoli analyzes corporations for a living: "What is Facebook's strategy? Where is its audited balance sheet? . . . Based on my experience, Facebook doesn't know who is real and who isn't real. . . Investors should take that into account when evaluating Facebook's "users" and the potential for revenues they represent.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Government releases DoD report critical of NSA-> 1

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project has a summary of the newly released DoD Inspector General report (pdf) on NSA's Thinthread and Trailblazer programs. The DoD found that NSA "disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs" and that "TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive". NSA contractors had a "fear of management reprisal" for cooperating with the DoD audit. The FBI later raided the homes of several people involved with the report, and Thomas Drake faced Espionage Act charges for retaining information from it. Those charges were dropped two weeks ago. Radack and GAP represent Drake on whistleblower issues."
Link to Original Source
China

+ - 18 months in prison for making iPad 2 cases->

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "Loretta Chao of the The Wall Street Journal reports on three people in China who were sentenced to between 12 and 18 months in prison for a plot to make iPad 2 protective cases before the tablet's official release. The plan allegedly involved R&D man Lin Kecheng of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company (FoxConn) selling image data to Hou Pengna, who then passed it to Xiao Chengsong, a manager at MacTop. The charges? One "violated the privacy policy of the company", two got information through "illegal means" causing "huge losses", and they all "infringed trade secrets". The decision was handed down by the Shenzen Baoan People's Court on June 16."
Link to Original Source

+ - Thomas Drake innocent of all ten original charges-> 2

Submitted by
decora
decora writes "NPR, and dozens of other media sources, are reporting that NSA IT Whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake is innocent of all 10 original charges against him; including the 5 Espionage Act charges for 'retention' of 'national defense information'. Drake stared down the government to the last minute, rejecting deal after deal, because he "refused to plea bargain with the truth". The judge had even recently ruled that there was no evidence that Drake passed classified information to a reporter. In the end, he has agreed that he committed a misdemeanor: "unauthorized access to a computer". It is unknown what this means for the other non-spy Espionage cases that Obama's DOJ currently has pending (Kim, Sterling, Manning), or the Grand Jury that is currently meeting to discuss Espionage Act charges related to Wikileaks. "
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