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Submission + - NSA intercepted 60.5 million phone calls in Spain within one month

rtoz writes: Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that it had seen an NSA document that showed the US spy agency had intercepted 60.5 ;million phone calls in Spain between 10 December 2012 and 8 January this year. According to El Mundo, the content of the calls was not monitored but the serial and phone numbers of the handsets used, the locations, sim cards and the duration of the calls were. Emails and other social media were also monitored. The Spanish prime minister has summoned the US ambassador to discuss NSA spying allegations. Last week Monday, France called in the U.S. ambassador to protest at allegations in Le Monde newspaper about large-scale spying on French citizens by NSA.

Submission + - Federal Prosecutors, in a Policy Shift, Cite Warrantless Wiretaps as Evidence (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: The Justice Department for the first time has notified a criminal defendant that evidence being used against him came from a warrantless wiretap, a move that is expected to set up a Supreme Court test of whether such eavesdropping is constitutional.

The government’s notice allows the defendant's lawyer to ask a court to suppress the evidence by arguing that it derived from unconstitutional surveillance, setting in motion judicial review of the eavesdropping.

Submission + - Skype Terminating Desktop API (i-programmer.info) 1

mikejuk writes: Developers are waking up to the fact that the Sykpe Desktop API is to be withdrawn at the end of December 2013 — and are trying to reverse the decision with a petition.
Although the decision to "de-commission" the Desktop API was communicated to Sky partners in July, it didn't get much attention at the time. Now notices announcing that apps and devices will stop working in December have started to appear when users download the latest version of Skype and try to start a third party app.
So what are developers expected to use to create future apps — for mobile, web and desktop apps?
Currently the replacement URI API hardly justifies the name. It is a Rest-style API that provides very few facilities — place a call or start a chat and that's about it. This limits what you can now do and the idea that you can bring existing applications up-to-date is laughable.
Developers whose apps are affected are blaming Microsoft, which acquired Skype in 2011, and certainly it can be seen as part of Microsoft overall policy of deprecating the desktop while promoting mobile devices. By killing the API Skype is killing existing apps and existing add-on hardware.
If you want to make your voice heard sign the petition:http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/skype-microsoft-provide-continued-support-for-third-party-skype-utilities-that-have-become-mission-critical-to-skype-s-users

Submission + - Mac OS 10.9 -- Infinity times your spam (fastmail.fm)

An anonymous reader writes: Email service FastMail.fm has an blog post about an interesting bug they're dealing with related to the new Mail.app in Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks. After finding a user who had 71 messages in his Junk Mail folder that were somehow responsible for over a million entries in the index file, they decided to investigate. 'This morning I checked again, there were nearly a million messages again, so I enabled telemetry on the account ... [Mail.app] copying all the email from the Junk Folder back into the Junk Folder again!. This is legal IMAP, so our server proceeds to create a new copy of each message in the folder. It then expunges the old copies of the messages, but it’s happening so often that the current UID on that folder is up to over 3 million. It was just over 2 million a few days ago when I first emailed the user to alert them to the situation, so it’s grown by another million since. The only way I can think this escaped QA was that they used a server which (like gmail) automatically suppresses duplicates for all their testing, because this is a massively bad problem.' The actual emails added up to about 2MB of actual disk usage, but the bug generated an additional 2GB of data on top of that.

Submission + - File-Sharing Site Was Actually an Anti-Piracy Honeypot (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The administrator of file-sharing site UploaderTalk shocked and enraged his userbase a few days ago when he revealed that the site was nothing more than a honeypot set up by a company called Nuke Piracy. The main purpose of the site had been to gather data on its users. The administrator said, 'I collected info on file hosts, web hosts, websites. I suckered shitloads of you. I built a history, got the trust of some very important people in the warez scene collecting information and data all the time.' Nobody knows what Nuke Piracy is going to do with the data, but it seems reasonable to expect lawsuits and the further investigation of any services the users discussed. His very public betrayal is likely meant to sow discord and distrust among the groups responsible for distributing pirated files.

Submission + - ACLU: Lavabit Was 'Fatally Endermined' By Demands for Encryption Keys (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: When encrypted email provider Lavabit shut down in August, it was because U.S. authorities demanded the company release encryption keys to get access to certain accounts. Lavabit's founder, Ladar Levison, is facing contempt of court charges for his refusal to acquiesce to their demands. But now the ACLU has filed a 'friend of the court' brief (PDF) in support of Levison, saying that the government's demand 'fatally undermined' the secure email service. 'Lavabit's business was predicated on offering a secure email service, and no company could possible tell its clients that it offers a secure service if its keys have been handed over to the government.' The ACLU added, 'The district court's contempt holding should be reversed, because the underlying orders requiring Lavabit to disclose its private keys imposed an unreasonable burden on the company. Although innocent third parties have a duty to assist law enforcement agents in their investigations, they also have a right not to be compelled "to render assistance without limitation regardless of the burden involved."' Lavabit is also defending itself by claiming a violation of the 4th amendment has occurred.

Submission + - www.NSA.gov is down (nsa.gov)

jsrober writes: The National Security Agency web site at www.nsa.gov is down.

Submission + - Too bad they canned all those SysAdmins: The NSA's web site is down. (rt.com)

sandbagger writes: The website for the United States National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday.

NSA.gov has been unavailable globally as of late Friday afternoon, and Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement have suggested they are responsible. Twitter users @AnonymousOwn3r and @TruthIzSexy both were quick to comment on the matter, and implied that a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, may have been waged as an act of protest against the NSA

Submission + - Feds confiscate investigative reporter's confidential files during raid (dailycaller.com)

schwit1 writes: Using a warrant to search for guns, Homeland security officers and Maryland police confiscated a journalist’s confidential files.

The reporter had written a series of articles critical of the TSA. It appears that the raid was specifically designed to get her files, which contain identifying information about her sources in the TSA.

        “In particular, the files included notes that were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack,” Hudson [the reporter] wrote in a summary about the raid provided to The Daily Caller.

        Recalling the experience during an interview this week, Hudson said: “When they called and told me about it, I just about had a heart attack.” She said she asked Bosch [the investigator heading the raid] why they took the files. He responded that they needed to run them by TSA to make sure it was “legitimate” for her to have them. “‘Legitimate’ for me to have my own notes?” she said incredulously on Wednesday.

        Asked how many sources she thinks may have been exposed, Hudson said: “A lot. More than one. There were a lot of names in those files. This guy basically came in here and took my anonymous sources and turned them over — took my whistleblowers — and turned it over to the agency they were blowing the whistle on,” Hudson said. “And these guys still work there.”

Submission + - Man arrested over 3D-printed "gun" which is actually spare printer parts (pcpro.co.uk)

nk497 writes: Police in Manchester have arrested a man for 3D printing the components to a gun — but some have suggested the objects actually appear to be spare printer parts. Police arrested a man after a "significant" discovery of a 3D printed "trigger" and "magazine", saying they were now testing the parts to see if they were viable. 3D printing experts, however, said the objects were actually spare parts for the printer.

"As soon as I saw the picture... I instantly thought 'I know that part'," said Scott Crawford, head of 3D printing firm Revolv3D. "They designed an upgrade for the printer soon after it was launched, and most people will have downloaded and upgraded this part within their printer. It basically pulls the plastic filament, and it used to jam an awful lot. The new system that they've put out, which includes that little lever that they're claiming is the trigger, is most definitely the same part."

Submission + - Microsoft tracks all local searches... (secure-bits.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I have seen little reporting on this but Microsoft has added the "Smart Search" to it's Windows 8.1 incarnation — which sends all it's search terms to Bing to create revenue from displaying web results and ads. That display can be disabled.
So all is ok you may think. But it's not, just look at the wording of the entry in the dialog, there it doesn't allow you to "disable Bing search", no you can only set "I don't want to see the Bing search results", implying that the search itself still is being sent to Microsoft. This is a big security breach and not a single business entity should therefore allow their employees to ever use the operating system... You have to monitor traffic and find out which servers are accessed to provide the Bing results to then disable access to them via an external firewall to get rid of this.

Submission + - Finally, a Bill to End Patent Trolling (arstechnica.com)

jellie writes: According to Ars Technica, a new bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has received bipartisan support and has a real chance of passing. In a press call, lawyers from the CCIA, EFF, and Public Knowledge had universal praise for the bill, which is called the Innovation Act of 2013. The EFF has a short summary of the good and bad parts of an earlier draft of the bill. The bill will require patent holders who are filing a suit to identify the specific products and claims to are being infringed, require the loser in a suit to pay attorney's fees and costs, and force trolls to reveal anyone who has a "financial interest" in the case, making them possibly liable for damages.

Submission + - Gov't Contractor Uses Copyright, Fear Of Hackers To Get Restraining Order Agains (techdirt.com)

Garabito writes: A recent copyright infringement (+ "threat to national security") lawsuit filed by a government contractor against its former employee highlights two terms the government frequently fears: open source and hacking.

Andreas Schou brought this restraining order granted by an Idaho judge to many people's attention. It's an ultra-rare "no notice" restraining order that resulted from a wholly ex parte process involving only the plaintiff, government contractor Battelle Energy Alliance. The restraining order allowed Battelle to seize its former employee's computer, as well as prevent him from releasing the allegedly copied software as open source.

  What this looks like is a government contractor hoping to shut down a competitor by deploying two "chilling" favorites: copyright infringement and "threats to national security." It also hurts itself by falling for government FUD — "open source is dangerous" and "hackers are bad" — both of which contributed to the general level of failure contained in its complaint.

Submission + - The Cloud: Convenient Till A Stranger Nukes Your Files (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: Thanks to a plethora of cloud storage accounts, Dan Tynan thought his days of carrying a thumb drive around with him and worrying about email stripping out his attachments were over. But that was before he discovered that his Box.com account and all the files in it had vanished without a trace. With tech support coming up empty, Tynan had to put on his journalist hat to track down the bizarre sequence of events that ended with his account handed over to another user, who didn't ask for it and didn't even know who Tynan was.

Submission + - First Experimental Evidence That Time Is An Emergent Quantum Phenomenon (medium.com)

KentuckyFC writes: One of the great challenges in physics is to unite the theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity. But all attempts to do this all run into the famous 'problem of time'--the resulting equations describe a static universe in which nothing ever happens. In 1983, theoreticians showed how this could be solved if time is an emergent phenomenon based on entanglement, the phenomenon in which two quantum particles share the same existence. An external, god-like observer always sees no difference between these particles compared to an external objective clock. But an observer who measures one of the pair--and so becomes entangled with it--can immediately see how it evolves differently from its partner. So from the outside the universe appears static and unchanging, while objects that are entangled within it experience the maelstrom of change. Now quantum physicists have performed the first experimental test of this idea by measuring the evolution of a pair of entangled photons in two different ways. An external god-like observer sees no difference while an observer who measures one particle and becomes entangled with it does see the change. In other words, the experiment shows how time is an emergent phenomenon based on entanglement, in which case the contradiction between quantum mechanics and general relativity seems to melt away.

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