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+ - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Wow gorgeous (Score 1) 301 301

I think a lot of Ubuntu and GNOME3 users would be much, much, happier if you were right. Both Unity and GNOME3 have tried to re-invent the desktop, but neither really have been successful.

Neither are a 2000s museum. But both could learn a lot from what Microsoft is doing - this should not be written as an endorsement of anyone deciding that the next GNU/Linux Desktop should be a clone of Windows, there's a difference between learning from and copying..

Comment: Re:Evidence? (Score 3, Insightful) 301 301

It's actually very easy, I've done it. It's just not something anyone does because of two factors:

1. Desktops always look a little odd when encapsulated inside of a window. Think VLC or VirtualBox/etc.

2. Aero isn't a touch Interface, and all web development has been going towards UIs that work well on both touch and desktop systems.

And that latter is also why Windows 10 looks the way it does. Which is also why it looks like the web enough for you to think they're replicating what looks good on the web - they're trying to do the same thing.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo... (Score 1) 815 815

Requiring a modified version is not banning the game.

If you enforce it by banning the game until it's modified, then yes, it is. By definition.

Can you get the game now? No? Then it's banned.

This is slashdot. If Apple gave everyone in the would an ice-cream, people here would find some reason to hate them for it.

I'm not talking about just Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Bandwagon (Score 1) 815 815

No, it was put up as a big fuck you to the rest of the country. SC put it up in the early 1960s to protest civil rights. It wasn't up before then.

In the early 2000s, it was superficially moved to a cemetery in front of the Capitol, but that was a "compromise", and was the moving of the flag, not a removal.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo... (Score 1) 815 815

Well, it is banning the game (from the App Store) if Apple removes it from the App Store. The fact you can modify it and get your modified version put up doesn't mean you don't suffer harm in the meantime.

And the modification you're having to do is also absurd. What are you going to use to represent Confederates in battle other than a Confederate battle flag?

I'm not finding a lot of support for Apple's position at the moment. Apple's actions, if anything, undermine the more serious reasons to call on the government of a US state to stop using it. Suddenly a call for a US state to show humanity and stop being dicks is turned into a de-facto nationwide ban on controversial symbols. Not good.

Comment: Re:Bandwagon (Score 3, Interesting) 815 815

I think a part of it is a misunderstanding on the part of some of the companies pulling flags from their shelves.

The outrage over the flag wasn't that the flag itself exists. It was that a State of the United States of America had it flying over or in front of their capitol building, and worse still than that, was doing it as a "Fuck you" to the rest of the country for "imposing" civil rights on it.

Given the fact it's suddenly high profile, I can certainly see some manager walking through BigboxMart looking at their shelves and seeing bumper stickers or even the flags themselves, and saying "Do we really want to be the people selling these?"

But... to go further, and start banning anything with the flag in or on it, regardless of context, shows businesses have forgotten what the controversy was in the first place.

I think it's a kneejerk reaction, to something in the news, and kneejerk reactions are usually pretty bad. Of course, my kneejerk reaction is what I'm writing here, so for all I know, I'm about to find my position is ridiculous too.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo... (Score 5, Insightful) 815 815

I think this story is a little more nuanced than that to be honest.

Apple, eBay, et al, obviously have the right to sell whatever they want, and if they don't want to sell a flag representing treason and racism, then that's fine and their right, of course.


1. Apple is going a tad overboard here. For example, they're banning Civil War games, because those games have Confederate Flags in them. I'm confused as to what Apple thinks its doing by banning those games.

2. There's a difference between, say, a State, like South Carolina, flying a flag that essentially says "Fuck Black people" either over its State House, or more recently, in front of it, and someone, that is, a person, not a government, be they... a little ill-informed, or an outright racist, buying it to express their own views, for some aesthetic reason, ironically, or whatever.

I would rather the companies currently rushing to ban it step back for a moment and think their policies through. What are they trying to achieve? What products do they have that actually portray the flag and in what context are those flags portrayed? Is banning all of them the right way forward?

Comment: Re:Why did you view the comments? (Score 1) 473 473

(Large wall of text comprising of quoting me and then adding "LULZ" or some other generic non-contributory comment removed. But you're not shitposting are you.)

I wish we could have an adult discussion of gender issues in tech, if not here than somewhere. But we cannot, because your side has already decided the answers and will shout down anyone who disputes them.

No, no, we haven't. Even if we had, what possible point is there in shouting down all discussion of gender in tech, of demanding Slashdot ban discussions of it?

But we cannot, because your side has already decided the answers and will shout down anyone who disputes them. You throw poo about "brogrammers" and "toxic masculinity".

Nope, I don't. Not to people who want to seriously discuss the issues. I've called (as I did above) groups who deliberately shitpost and demand Slashdot ban articles on sexism names, but, why would those people be deserving of respect?

And something tells me that the very fact you'd use the words "toxic masculinity" as something that apparently I (who has never used that term) are using the shutdown debate means you've heard some third hand version of what it means, but have actually no idea what it means.

Not that I necessarily am unsympathetic. To tell the truth, a lot of the jargon used by academic feminists, from TM to privilege and even to "sexism" (which is used in a slightly different way to how most of us use it) is confusing, awkward, and frequently likely to be misinterpreted. But at the same time, the ideas they're referring to need labels. It's just a shame someone takes, say "TM", thinks it means men are toxic, and then promptly shits all over a discussion trying to deal with under-representation of women in the workforce where the term hasn't even been used because "TM" was somehow an insult to them, and it must have been made by "Feminazis", and "Feminazis" want women to have better opportunities, and therefore you an enemy of women having better opportunities.

Funny how that works. Almost like the jackass who used that term in front of you (because, let's be honest, you didn't hear it from Anita Sarkeesian or, for that matter, Joss Whedon: you heard it from another fellow /r/KIAer and you just took as read their interpretation was the right one) actually wanted you to shit all over posts about women being given better opportunities.

You claim atrocities and if other people (men or women) say they've never seen such, you make the unfalsifiable claim they happen constantly behind their back. You alternate between claiming men and women are the same (and therefore there should be 50% representation in tech) and that they are different and need to be treated differently. You insist that certain feminist views be accepted as axioms without or in spite of evidence. And if people insist on arguing against your point of view you call them horrible misogynists and claim they personally are part of the problem.

I honestly don't know what you're talking about. It sounds like some dumbass comments suggesting the massive harassment campaigns against women in tech aren't happening, despite being rather obviously visible. And you're putting other words into my mouth, which again sound less like even something those awful, awful, SJWs, say, and more like what people in /r/KIA say SJWs say. Men and women the same? 50% representation? Views accepted without question?

Do you realize what /r/KIA is doing to your brain? It's fucking you up man. It's not just making you look like a misogynist dick who gets literally everything wrong about the "other side", but it's actually moving you closer to being one.

Slashdot's approach to moderation simply prevents your side from effectively censoring discussion through sock-puppeting as you would at a site where everyone gets a vote.

No, Slashdot's approach is preventing any discussion from occurring at all. Almost every post that's modded up here is Off Topic. There is virtually no discussion of the issues raised by the program described. That's been the case the last few articles too. Viewing at -1? Not an option, because that's flooded with more crap.

As for "My side". There's people here who want to discuss the issue - and people who want Slashdot to stop posting articles concerning diversity. That's it. I think it's quite legitimate for us in the former group to ask the latter group to get knotted.

If you don't like posts about diversity, ignore them. Crapflooding and shitposting and abusing moderation privileges to ensure anyone trying to discuss the issue has their post buried at a low score amongst piles of crap, are not the acts of reasonable people. They're the acts of thugs, of gutless spineless wimps too afraid to hear things they've been told are scary.

Comment: Re:Why did you view the comments? (Score 1) 473 473

Oh right, the age-old gambit of "let's moderate dissent away"

No, I was describing the age-old gambit of "shout down people we don't want people to listen to", and asking how it can solved.

Dissent? No. We're not having a discussion on Slashdot here about whether this will help women, or help the tech industry. We're just having the usual suspects demanding Slashdot ban discussion of the topic, together with some weird posts complaining about discrimination against men. Plus the usual stupid rants about "SJWs" (ie anyone whose views on women is to the left of Saudi Arabia's.)

Comment: Re:Why did you view the comments? (Score 2) 473 473

What? These aren't "knuckleheads from /r/KotakuInAction" as you claim, these are the actual staple slashdot commenters.

No, most of them aren't. Most are ACs, and the vast majority have recent Slashdot IDs.

Your kind have shown repeatedly that there is nothing to discuss

"Your kind"?

We can't have an adult discussion here because you knuckleheads insist on shitflooding every single article about diversity with whines about how outraged you are Slashdot is even covering the topic.

And yeah, some, like you, live in denial, absolutely convinced that any woman complaining about harassment and death threats on the 'net is somehow part of some kind of weird conspiracy to cut your balls off and steal your vidja.

Me, I'd like it if we could discuss it. You probably should READ the comments (you don't, except for the ones that agree with you, obviously), but if you're not prepared to do that, go somewhere else. There's no reason to keep shitposting and abusing moderation to silence those who want to discuss it.

What harm does it do to you, seriously, that we discuss the topic?

Comment: Why did you view the comments? (Score 1, Insightful) 473 473

Hi, gentle reader.

You saw the summary on Slashdot's front page. You knew what the comments would be. Why did you go ahead anyway and click through?

Did you expect an adult discussion of gender issues on Slashdot? Did you expect an interesting back and forth discussion about whether this will help with various issues to do with women in tech, or if other issues need to be resolved that are of more import, or anything like that?

If so, did you miss the dozen or so other articles in the last year that dealt with similar articles, where the comments section was flooded by knuckleheads from /r/KotakuInAction? Where almost every comment that tried to discuss sexism was modded down out of view, and every comment disclaiming sexism exists or demanding Slashdot ban the subject from their front page modded up.

If ever there was a sign we need a different approach to Slashdot moderation, it would be this. I just don't know what that approach is. Slashdot's broteam is toxic, too effective at shouting down voices who want to discuss serious issues. How to deal with that in a way that doesn't have equally bad side effects is a discussion we need to have.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo