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Submission + - NSA Shuts down critics under guise of copyright violations (infowars.com)

An anonymous reader writes: “Can a government agency block criticism by claiming copyright infringement? Sounds a bit ridiculous but it is happening. The NSA is effectively stopping one small business owner from criticism, claiming that by using its name he has infringed on their copyright,” according to a report by Infowars guest and investigative journalist Ben Swann.

Submission + - Intelligence Official Says He Was Fired For Not Lying To Congress (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: We knew this already, but we are only being told what the NSA wants us to know and no defections from the Official Spin are allowed.

As more and more details come out about the NSA surveillance programs, the federal government is looking more and more ridiculous. The latest comes from a column by John Fund at the National Review Online — a publication which has been a pretty strong supporter of the surveillance state. The column highlights that even the NSA's staunchest defenders are beginning to get fed up with the NSA as more leaks come out (especially last week's revelation of thousands of abuses). But the really interesting tidbit is buried a bit:

A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.

Submission + - SOPA 2013

An anonymous reader writes: Criminalizing streaming was a key component of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Currently streaming of copyrighted works is a misdemeanor, and a primarily a civil issue not a criminal one. The Internet Policy Taskforce is proposing to make streaming of copyrighted content a FELONY, with the potential for multi-year prison terms as punishment. Exactly what constitutes a 'stream' and 'copyright content' are open to very wide interpretation. Is a video stream of a mother singing "Happy Birthday to You" to her son a felony? The Internet Policy Taskforce would say yes. We need to say no.
Making copyright infringements a felony isn't really about sending a message or acting as a deterrent. Instead, by turning the civil matter into a criminal one, the RIAA, MPAA and others get to hand enforcement of their copyrights over to the government. In essence they get a free ride on taxpayer dollars. Further to that, by ensuring broad interpretations of 'streaming' and 'copyright content' they will get to shut down anyone who comes up with an alternative distribution model.

Submission + - We hold these truths to be self-evident

Tijaska writes: I once read a document that started:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Excuse my ignorance, but how do the People exercise their right to alter or abolish a Government that becomes destructive of their rights if the Government denies them the right to know that it is doing these things, and persecutes/prosecutes any who dare reveal these transgressions?

Submission + - NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests (wsj.com)

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: The latest twist in the NSA coverage sounds like something out of a dime-store romance novel — NSA agents eavesdropping on their current and former girlfriends. Official categories of spying have included SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence) and now the NSA has added a new category to the lexicon LOVEINT which is surely destined to be a popular hashtag now.

Submission + - Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired in Silicon Valley?

theodp writes: Where in the Tech World is Carmen San Diego? Lots of heated discussion this week on the topic of where-the-girls-aren't, both in the tech and larger business world. Dave Winer broached the subject of Why are there so few women programmers?, prompting a mix of flame, venom and insight. And over at Valleywag, Nitasha Tiku pegs 'Culture Fit' as an insidious excuse used to marginalize women in tech. Completing the trilogy-of-XX-chromosome-terror is an HBR article, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?, in which Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic concludes the problem is that manifestations of hubris, which occur much more frequently in men than women, are commonly mistaken for leadership potential. So, with a gender and age strike against her, would a Grace Hopper in her prime even land an interview in today's Silicon Valley?

Submission + - Fukushima actually "much worse" than so far disclosed

PuceBaboon writes: The BBC is reporting that experts are casting doubt on the veracity of statements from both the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Japanese government regarding the seriousness of the problems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Not only are the constant leaks releasing radioactivity into the ocean (and thus into the food chain), but now there are also worries that the spent fuel rod storage pools may be even more unstable than first thought.
An external consultant warns, "The Japanese have a problem asking for help. It is a big mistake; they badly need it."

Submission + - New canon-faithful Star Trek series is in pre-production. (indiegogo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Star Trek veterans such as Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and others are busy in pre-production of a professionally produced pilot episode for a suggested new online Star Trek series named Star Trek: Renegades, which will be faithful to the original Star Trek canon. The events of the series are placed a decade after Voyager's return from Delta Quadrant. They have also opened an Indiegogo campaign, seeking more funds from Star Trek fans to help make the production even more professional.

Submission + - World's top cryptographers sing statement against NSA spying (youtube.com)

An anonymous reader writes: At the currently ongoing CRYPTO conference in Santa Barbara, one of the most prestigious venues in cryptologic research, a group of cryptologists has "issued" a statement against world-wide spying by the NSA.

The song was inspired by the Beach Boy's famous "Surfin' USA".

Submission + - The End of National Security Reporting (computer.org)

Lasrick writes: Jeff Stein analyzes national security reporting in the age of Obama. Great read: 'A few days after I started working for the Washington Post in 2010, the paper’s in-house lawyer gave me and other new hires a reminder about the pitfalls of covering national security in the Barack Obama era. Don’t write anything down that you don’t want the government to see, he said. Not in your notes, and certainly not in emails. Give your sources code names. Avoid talking about anything sensitive on the phone...'

Submission + - LinkedIn 'Blacklist' Censors Thousands of Legitimate Users (boxfreeit.com.au) 1

sholto writes: Had trouble posting to LinkedIn Groups lately? You may have been SWAMed. Back in December LinkedIn massively upgraded the power of the moderator's Block and Delete button so that if you're blocked from one group you are placed in Site Wide Auto-Moderation – your posts must be approved in every group you belong to.

The kicker: LinkedIn decided not to tell moderators about that little change, and there's no appeals process even for mistakes. SWAMed LinkedIn users aren't happy.

Submission + - Miranda's Lawyers Respond to British Government Regarding Detainment (theguardian.com)

FuzzNugget writes: David Miranda, as we know, was recently detained at Heathrow Airport under extremely dubious circumstances. He has quickly retained a legal firm to send a stern letter to the British Government, demanding the destruction of data collected and the expedient return of items seized. The letter also called them on serious procedural errors, rights deprevations and unlawful excerise of power.

Submission + - Groklaw Closes Over Email Security Fears (techweekeurope.co.uk) 3

judgecorp writes: Groklaw, the blog that covered patent law for the open source community has closed over fears of email interception by the US government. Pamela Jones, who has won awards from the Electronic Frontier Federation and others for Groklaw, says, for her "the Internet is over". The site relies on private email communication, which she says is now impossible

Submission + - Protests mounts against new surveillance laws (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: New revelations about Ministerial orders requiring backdoors into online services in New Zealand are fueling nationwide protests against new surveillance powers to be granted to the Government Communications Services Bureau. Speaking at one large protest meeting, Kim Dotcom described the "Five Eyes" X-Keyscore surveillance system as "Google for spies". He told protesters he first noticed he was being spied on when his internet speed slowed by "20 to 30 milliseconds". "As a gamer, I noticed," he said.

Comment Not really (Score 1) 1

If you go to the Wolfram Alpha link for the revised formula, it cannot understand the formula provided -- it says "Interpreting as: 2+( f(y)) * 1 = n". From the discussion, this formula does not help in factoring the large numbers (e.g. over 200 digits). Also, the formula provides an equation you have to search for solutions to it such that (a) both values are integer and (b) both values are prime.

All the formula is saying is "graph the multiplication of two values such that they equal the RSA modulus". Because Wolfram Alpha gave answers that matched prime factors for small primes (with an RSA modulus of 15 digits or less), he's assuming that he's found a way to factor any RSA modulus.

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It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.