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+ - Microsoft Kills Security Update Emails, Blames Canada->

Submitted by tsu doh nimh
tsu doh nimh (609154) writes "In a move that may wind up helping spammers, Microsoft is blaming a new Canadian anti-spam law for the company’s recent decision to stop sending regular emails about security updates for its Windows operating system and other Microsoft software. Some anti-spam experts who worked very closely on Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) say they are baffled by Microsoft’s response to a law which has been almost a decade in the making. Indeed, an exception in the law says it does not apply to commercial electronic messages that solely provide “warranty information, product recall information or safety or security information about a product, goods or a service that the person to whom the message is sent uses, has used or has purchased.” Several people have observed that Microsoft likely is using the law as a convenient excuse for dumping an expensive delivery channel."
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+ - Canadian Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For Internet Privacy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For the past several months, many Canadians have been debating privacy reform, with the government moving forward on two bills involving Internet surveillance and expanded voluntary, warrantless disclosure of personal information. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada entered the debate and completely changed the discussion, issuing its long-awaited R. v. Spencer decision, which examined the legality of voluntary warrantless disclosure of basic subscriber information to law enforcement. Michael Geist summarizes the findings, noting that the unanimous decision included a strong endorsement of Internet privacy, emphasizing the privacy importance of subscriber information, the right to anonymity, and the need for police to obtain a warrant for subscriber information except in exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law."
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+ - FSF publishes Email Self-Defense Guide and infographic->

Submitted by gnujoshua
gnujoshua (540710) writes "The FSF has published a (rather beautiful) infographic and guide to encrypting your email using GnuPG. In their blog post announcing the guide they write:

One year ago today, an NSA contractor named Edward Snowden went public with his history-changing revelations about the NSA's massive system of indiscriminate surveillance. Today the FSF is releasing Email Self-Defense, a guide to personal email encryption to help everyone, including beginners, make the NSA's job a little harder. We're releasing it as part of Reset the Net, a global day of action to push back against the surveillance-industrial complex.

"

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+ - Testing 65 Different GPUs On Linux With Open Source Drivers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "How good are open source graphics drivers in 2014 given all the Linux gaming and desktop attention? Phoronix has tested 65 different GPUs using the latest open source drivers covering Intel HD Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon, and AMD FirePro hardware. Of the 65 GPUs tested, only 50 of them had good enough open source driver support for running OpenGL games and benchmarks. Across the NVIDIA and AMD hardware were several pages of caveats with different driver issues encountered on Linux 3.15 and Mesa 10.3 loaded on Ubuntu 14.04. Intel graphics on Linux were reliable but slow while AMD's open-source Linux support was recommended over the NVIDIA support that doesn't currently allow for suitable graphics card re-clocking. Similar tests are now being done with the proprietary Linux drivers."
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+ - Russia Retaliates: Blocks GPS, Bans US Use Of Its Rocket Engines->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Moscow is banning Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines, which the US has used to deliver its military satellites into orbit, said Russia’s Deputy PM, Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of space and defense industries.

According to Rogozin, Russia is also halting the operation of all American GPS stations on its territory from June 1.

Russia currently hosts 11 ground-based GPS stations, the Deputy PM said.

The move comes after the US refused to place a signal correction station for Russia’s own space-based satellite navigation system, GLONASS, on American territory, he explained.

This is a major problem for the US military because (as Bloomberg reports),

The Pentagon has no “great solution” to reduce its dependence on a Russian-made engine that powers the rocket used to launch U.S. military satellites, the Defense Department’s top weapons buyer said.

“We don’t have a great solution,” Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, said yesterday after testifying before a Senate committee. “We haven’t made any decisions yet.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Air Force to review its reliance on the rocket engine after tensions over Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region prompted questions from lawmakers about that long-time supply connection.

United Launch Alliance LLC, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., uses the Russian-made RD-180 engine on Atlas V rockets."

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+ - Linus Torvalds Receives IEEE Computer Pioneer Award ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes ""Linus Torvalds, the "man who invented Linux" is the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society's Computer Pioneer Award -
"For pioneering development of the Linux kernel using the open-source approach".
According to Wikipedia, Torvalds had wanted to call the kernel he developed Freax (a combination of "free", "freak", and the letter X to indicate that it is a Unix-like system), but his friend Ari Lemmke, who administered the FTP server it was first hosted for download, named Torvalds' directory linux.
In some ways Git can be seen as his more important contribution — but as it dates from 2005 it is outside the remit of the IEEE Computer Pioneer award.""

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+ - Bullied Student Records Bullies, Gets Hit With Felony Charges For Violation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Here comes another story highlighting the danger of schools "outsourcing" their disciplinary problems to law enforcement. As we've stated before, this does nothing more than turn routine misconduct into criminal behavior, which is a great way to derail a student's future.

A Pennsylvania teen, who claimed to have been bullied constantly (and ignored by school administration), made an audio recording of his tormentors using a school-supplied iPad. He brought this to the school's attention, which duly responded by calling the cops to have him arrested for violating Pennsylvania's wiretapping law. (h/t to Techdirt reader btr1701)

Maybe the future holds better outcomes, but for right now, everyone involved had a chance to stop this from reaching this illogical conclusion, but no one — from the administrators to their legal team to local law enforcement to the presiding judge — was interested in reining this in. In the end, it looks as though an innate desire to punish someone was satisfied every step of the way."

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+ - Study Finds U.S. is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance', 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'"

+ - 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."
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+ - Nature Publishing Group Requires Authors to Waive "Moral Rights" to Works->

Submitted by cranky_chemist
cranky_chemist (1592441) writes "Megan O'Neil has published a story on the Chronicle of Higher Education's website noting some unusual language in the license agreement between authors and Nature Publishing Group.

"Faculty authors who contract to write for the publisher of Nature, Scientific American, and many other journals should know that they could be signing away more than just the economic rights to their work, according to the director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke University.

Kevin Smith, the Duke official, said he stumbled across a clause in the Nature Publishing Group’s license agreement last week that states that authors waive or agree not to assert "any and all moral rights they may now or in the future hold" related to their work. In the context of scholarly publishing, "moral rights" include the right of the author always to have his or her name associated with the work and the right to have the integrity of the work protected such that it is not changed in a way that could result in reputational harm."

Nature Publishing Group claims the waivers are required to ensure the journal's ability to publish formal retractions and/or corrections.

However, the story further notes that Nature Publishing Group is requiring authors at institutions with open-access policies to sign waivers that exempt their work from such policies."

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+ - Dropbox's new policy of scanning files for DMCA issues->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "This weekend, though, a small corner of the Internet exploded with concern that Dropbox was going too far, actually scanning users' private and directly peer-shared files for potential copyright issues. What's actually going on is a little more complicated than that, but shows that sharing a file on Dropbox isn't always the same as sharing that file directly from your hard drive over something like e-mail or instant messenger. The whole kerfuffle started yesterday evening, when one Darrell Whitelaw tweeted a picture of an error he received when trying to share a link to a Dropbox file with a friend via IM. The Dropbox web page warned him and his friend that "certain files in this folder can't be shared due to a takedown request in accordance with the DMCA.""
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+ - Full Disclosure List Reborn Under New Operator->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an unnamed security researcher and ongoing legal threats, The Full Disclosure mailing list is coming back.

Gordon Lyon (aka Fyodor), who operates several Internet security resources and other mailing lists, has created a replacement list with the blessing of John Cartwright, one of of the creators of Full Disclosure, which served as a forum for the discussion of vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques and other security topics.

Because the list is getting a fresh start and no previous subscriber information appears to be headed to Lyon, interested users will have to manually subscribe which can be done here.

"Some have argued that we no longer need a Full Disclosure list, or even that mailing lists as a concept are obsolete," Lyon said. "I disagree. Mailing lists create a much more permanent record and their decentralized nature makes them harder to censor or quietly alter in the future.""

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+ - New Dropbox Terms of Use Adds Arbitration Requirement, Prohibits Class Action

Submitted by memnock
memnock (466995) writes "The Legal Genealogist has this story about Dropbox, the cloud storage company:
'... The second key change is one that has a number of Dropbox users up in arms. It’s putting in a binding arbitration section to its terms of use and a blanket bar on class action lawsuits...
... Even if you do opt out of the arbitration clause, you won’t be able to join forces with other users to sue as a group in what’s called a class action lawsuit. And you’d have to file any suit you do bring as an individual in California.'"

+ - Moving Towards a Police State ..->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We're basically building a police state here. We're going to be allowing, basically, unauthorized wiretapping, which we didn't even know about, the warrantless wiretapping. What they already had done was so bad that we came out against it."
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"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."

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