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Comment The Internet Society on Syria’s Internet Shu (Score 1) 156

From their email of 1600 yesterday...

On behalf of Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO, and the Internet Society Board of Trustees:

Emerging reports from various organizations and individuals indicate that international Internet connectivity was shut off in Syria today. The Internet is an open, global medium for communication, idea exchange, empowerment, and innovation. Access to the global Internet is a crucial enabler of human rights.

As with previous actions to block Internet traffic in Egypt and Libya, the effect of cutting off Internet traffic – ceasing the flow of information in and out of the country - is a serious action. It harms not only the citizens of Syria, but also Syria's economy and society at large. The Internet Society stands with other organizations around the world in calling for Internet access to be restored with all due speed and cooperation so that vital services can continue to function and citizens won’t be further impacted.

First and foremost, the Internet Society joins with the rest of the world in its utmost concern about the safety and security of the Syrian people. Previous cases where such actions were deliberately taken have proven not only to be harmful, but to be ineffective. The Internet Society hopes that the volatile situation in Syria will come to a peaceful solution and that the citizens of Syria will soon be able to join the rest of the world in having their voices heard online.

http://www.internetsociety.org/news/internet-society-syria%E2%80%99s-internet-shutdown

Comment Additional information from Michael Geist (Score 1) 292

See http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6710/125/

Why Liability Is Limited: A Primer on New Copyright Damages as File Sharing Lawsuits Head To Canada Wednesday November 28, 2012 Over the past couple of days, there have been multiple reports about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada, with fears that thousands of Canadians could be targeted. While it is possible that many will receive demand letters, it is important to note that recent changes to Canadian copyright law limit liability in non-commercial cases to a maximum of $5,000 for all infringement claims. In fact, it is likely that a court would award far less - perhaps as little as $100 - if the case went to court as even the government's FAQ on the recent copyright reform bill provided assurances that Canadians "will not face disproportionate penalties for minor infringements of copyright by distinguishing between commercial and non-commercial infringement."

Comment no independant confirmation: press release? (Score 1) 292

Every article has the same content, and links back to a post media story. I haven't been able to find a press release, and the case doesn't have a citation, so it looks like a "placed" story, to offset the limits on copyright infringement suits imposed by bill C-11.

Generally, one has to commence a suit, then go to court and ask for an order, addressed to a particular ISP, to obtain contact information for specific customers. Otherwise you need an extraordinary remedy, a so-called Norwich order (see Slaw, http://www.slaw.ca/2009/09/15/york-university-v-bell-canada-enterprises-observations-and-implications-for-future-norwich-jurisprudence/)

This suggests that someone was hired to find a group of downloaders in BC, all using the same large ISP, and went after them. This could possibly work elsewhere, since the two big ISPs are Bell and Rogers, and there are enough customers of each to be consider risking the cost of filing a suit against 10 gadzillion john does, and convincing a court that you're for real. The amount you'll recover is limited, but if you amortize it over enough people, you might make a profit.

It would be better to get the contact details and then send a bill-collector after each of them, as you could probably frighten some of them into buying you off and signing a non-disclosure. That's a well-known trick in the U.S. It's not obvious if it would work in Canada.

Were I the company doing this, I'd want financial guarantees from the companies employing me, and the right to keep all the fines and not remit them to to my clients, the copyright holders. Here too, it's not obvious if a lawyer could do that in Canada...

--dave

Bug

Submission + - Researcher Finds Nearly Two Dozen SCADA Bugs in a Few Hours' Time (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: It is open season on SCADA software right now. Last week, researchers at ReVuln, an Italian security firm, released a video showing off a number of zero-day vulnerabilities in SCADA applications from manufacturers such as Siemens, GE and Schneider Electric. And now a researcher at Exodus Intelligence says he has discovered more than 20 flaws in SCADA packages from some of the same vendors and other manufacturers, all after just a few hours' work.

Aaron Portnoy, the vice president of research at Exodus, said that finding the flaws wasn't even remotely difficult.

"The most interesting thing about these bugs was how trivial they were to find. The first exploitable 0day took a mere 7 minutes to discover from the time the software was installed. For someone who has spent a lot of time auditing software used in the enterprise and consumer space, SCADA was absurdly simple in comparison. The most difficult part of finding SCADA vulnerabilities seems to be locating the software itself," Portnoy said in a blog post.

Portnoy said that he plans to suggest to ICS-CERT that the group consider developing a repository of SCADA software to make it easier for security researchers to do their work.

Programming

Submission + - A Gentle Rant About Software Development and Installers (slashdot.org) 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: "This is the story of the comparison that just wasn’t meant to be. It’s a story of everything that can go wrong in the customer end of the software world, and some thoughts on what needs to be done, especially in an area known as Installers. I’m a software engineer with 25 years of experience, and for years I’ve wanted to point out some of the shortcomings of my own industry to help make it better for everyone involved—not only for the end-users, but also for the IT people who have to support the products; the salespeople who have to sell and later, possibly, apologize for the software; for the executives whose hands are tied because they don’t have the technical knowledge to roll up their sleeves and help fix problems in the code; and for the programmers themselves who might get stuck with what some consider the absolute worst position for a programmer: maintenance of crappy code written by programmers who have long since left the organization."

Submission + - Cyber Monday and Amazon's Frightening Online Dominance (gigaom.com)

sturgeon writes: A report out this morning pegs Amazon with a whopping 14% share of all daily Internet users — almost twice the nearest competitor (Ebay). And this number does not include all shopping sites absorbed by the growing Amazon empire.

The original report has interesting graphics comparing Amazon to other retailers like BestBuy.

Apple

Submission + - Apple Throws Tantrum: Ordered To Tell Samsung HTC Secrets, Apple Claims New Infr (idigitaltimes.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Ordered to tell Samsung all of the company's HTC secrets, Apple throws a tantrum and adds a bunch of new products to the never-ending list of products Samsung has infringed on. Apple's tantrum stems from a ruling on Thursday that could have a large effect on the Apple lawsuit.

The Apple lawsuit, which was filed in February, alleges that Samsung violated Apple patents related to user interface, technology and style. The first decision was found in favor of Apple to the tune of $1 billion, but Samsung is trying to get that ruling thrown out.

But as the Apple lawsuit has gone on, the Apple lawsuit has gotten fiercer, and because of a ruling on Thursday, Apple throws a tantrum and is trying to add even more products into the lawsuit.

Security

Submission + - Iran Downplays Significance of Narilam Malware (ibtimes.co.uk)

DavidGilbert99 writes: "Following last week's discovery of the Narilam malware by security company Symantec, Iran's official computer security group has downplayed its significance, saying it should not be compared to Stuxnet or Flame.

Last week Symantec warned businesses to watch out for a new Iran-focused malware called Narilam which can sabotage corporate databases by changing or deleting the values contained within them.

However, Iran's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) issued a statement over the weekend which downplayed the significance of the Narilam worm, saying it was first detected over two years ago:

"The malware called 'narilam' by Symantec was an old malware, previously detected and reported online in 2010 by some other names. This malware has no sign of a major threat, nor [is it] a sophisticated piece of computer malware.""

DRM

Submission + - Leaping Brain's "Fort Knox" DRM Cracked

An anonymous reader writes: Leaping Brain promises that the DRM securing their MOD Machine video player offers "Fort Knox-level security":

Video content is protected with our BrainTrust DRM, and is unplayable except by a legitimate owner. All aspects of the platform feature a near-ridiculous level of security.

What is this "virtually uncrackable" DRM scheme? A simple XOR against the hardcoded string "RANDOM_STRING"!

Submission + - Vint Cerf Prognosticates about the year 2112 1

dw writes: In an interview with European Magazine, Vint Cert predicts that in the early 22nd century, 'Freshwater will be the new oil', and 'Dystopia will be hard to fend off with resource shortages and changes in arable land.', and he explains how he's been confronted with some confusion over the meaning of the title 'Chief Internet Envangelist'

Comment Re:I find this denial very truthful... (Score 4, Interesting) 52

And in the spirit of "truthyness", they said they didn't spy on the French Government, but instead on the advisers to a candidate during an election which he eventually lost. Just a tiny bit different from spying on the President. Perhaps they were only spying on his political advisers in any case.

Actually, I think it was Francois Hollande spying on Sarco's election campaign (:-))

--dave

Comment The ICBMs are easier to hit (Score 1) 377

Shooting down missiles with a missile is easiest when it's heading toward you in a straight line, for a considerable time and for a great distance, as you see with an ICBM. Shooting down something that is following a fairly short arc, hasn't been in the air long and is already close ... is way harder.

I was surprised at how well patriot did in the previous war, and rather impressed at iron dome hitting anything at all.

--dave

Comment Re:Not "American fundamentalist moralism" (Score 3, Insightful) 129

If you RTFA you find out that it was Swedish banks denying purchases of "horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys" and trying to shove blame off on "vague rules from Visa and Mastercard".

Oddly enough, contemporary Swedish fundamentalist moralism doesn't seem to include problems with "horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys". It may have a real problem with wikileaks, though, comparable to the problem the U.S. (and UK, and, and ...) governments have with wikileaks.

Visa and Mastercard have a significant problem with displeasing governments: if you don't forbid them acting in concert to please their home governments, your country gets whatever the U.S wants (as discussed in several other threads in this discussion).

--dave

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