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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Does Slashdot Attend Conferences

omaha393 writes: Newbie question: how involved is Slashdot in on-the-ground interactions at conferences? I'm sure there's limitations financially that would make something like CES or E3 more difficult, but NASA offers free press credentials to launches and they have upcoming conferences with open invites to media outlets. Slashdot seems like it would be a great outlet for an invite. Given the site has millions of unique visitors monthly and an engaged community, what types of conferences could Slashdot feasibly attend? Factor in member participation to ask questions or raise funds and it seems like a good opportunity. I'm overlooking several other examples, but is this something Slashdot already does? Or is it too diffuse to be considered a true "media" outlet?

Submission + - Congressmen Push DHS For Answers on SS7 Security 1

Trailrunner7 writes: year after flaws in SS7, one of the underlying protocols in the cell network came to the public’s attention, two powerful members of Congress are asking the secretary of Homeland Security how DHS has addressed the threat and whether the department has sufficient resources to detect and defeat SS7-related attacks.

The flaws in SS7, a protocol that’s designed to connect various telecom carriers, can enable anyone with access to the system to carry out discreet surveillance against a victim, knowing only the target’s phone number. Many people at each of the carriers have access to the system, and security researchers have been warning about the problem for years. Last year, researchers demonstrated an attack on the phone of Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) using this technique, prompting Lieu to call on congressional leaders to address the issue.

Now, a year later, Lieu and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have sent a letter to John F. Kelly, secretary of Homeland Security, to detail what the department has done to address the SS7 problem and whether the federal government understands how this vulnerability could be used for surveillance.

“We are deeply concerned that the security of America’s telecommunications infrastructure is not getting the attention it deserves. Although there have been a few news stories about this topic, we suspect that most Americans simply have no idea how easy it is for a relatively sophisticated adversary to track their movements, tap their calls, and hack their smartphones. We are also concerned that the government has not adequately considered the counterintelligence threat posed by SS7-enabled surveillance,” the letter says.

Submission + - James Comey: "There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America" (cnn.com) 1

Bob the Super Hamste writes: Last week, pretty recent by /. standards, FBI Director James Comey at the Boston College conference on cybersecurity stated:

While that quote in the article is taken out of context it is even more disturbing when taken in context. The included video puts the quote in context where Comey is arguing against widespread access to strong encryption with the public. There are other quotes included as well that are just as disturbing such as:

Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America... ...In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications.

Is this the "adult conversation" on encryption he was getting ready for last year.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Where Can One Find Information On "Stalin's Hologram"? 1

dryriver writes: Many moons ago a history teacher told our class that back in the day's of Stalin's Russia, a flattering image of Joseph Stalin once appeared in the sky over Moscow as a huge, brightly lit holographic projection of some sort. This was apparently achieved by projecting Joseph Stalin's image into the sky with three different projectors set up in a triangular formation. Where the 3 projector beams crossed each other in the night sky — in the clouds or mist in the air perhaps — a huge, glowing hologram-like image of the dictator appeared over the city. I have been looking for information recently on how this was achieved, but have not found any reference to "Stalin's Hologram" online. Does anyone know whether Stalin's Hologram was real, and if so, how it was achieved technically?

Submission + - There hasn't been Ad-blockers coverage for months, and that's bad news (google.com)

cloud.pt writes: Have you noticed no relevant media outlet is talking about ad-blockers anymore?

You probably haven't, and that's really what got me thinking. It's not like ads have all become "acceptable", not even close. And to my eyes, I haven't really noticed a decrease in ads overall — if anything, they have increased, and so has the practice of detecting them and forcing them out by making sites useless otherwise.

How far will it be until ad-blockers fall into oblivion? In a time where the main sources of information depend financially (and some even claim desperately) on the non-proliferation of ad-blocking, the first result to "ad-block news" search on Google dates back to September 2016 (an article by The Verge), and there doesn't seem to be anything newer on the following 10 results. Do note: this is a Google (ad-dependent) result outputting pageranked news outlet sites (also ad-dependent), so it can't really be discerned who is at fault here, but I doubt it is ad-block that is becoming irrelevant news material. Undesired sounds more likely.

But if that wasn't enough of a sign: even Slashdot articles are neglecting the subject. Looking up articles on "adblock" goes as far back as last year's August. Unless, of course, this one makes it to the top. If before you had to doubt most information about ad-blockers, now that no information is circulating, can you really trust news from these sources that discriminates with such a heavy bias?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Help with amateur digital forensics 7

elocinanna writes: Long-time reader, first-time writer. My friend was abused as a child by a family member, including but not limited to the creation of illegal videos. There's reason to believe she wasn't the only one involved and also that he shared illegal materials with others.

The same friend will be visiting the abuser's house soon and will have access to his computers. We don't need to find evidence exactly, but just enough to make a tip-off to the police worthwhile. I've suggested she looks for file-sharing programmes and Onion browser as things which might suggest there's evidence hidden away somewhere, and try to access emails for forum accounts etc.

Given a day with such a person's computer, what would you search for? We know how to search for *.jpeg, but assuming he's careful, what else can we do? Thank you.

Comment Re: Only one word.. (Score 1) 110

I was aware of the lightbulb trick. Wasn't he also working on a way to tap into the magnetic field of the Earth itself, and use that to power devices? Possibly a conspiracy theory, but the story I heard was that when he was asked by his backer "And how would we meter that?" he replied "we won't, it'll be free" , and the funding was cut off.

Submission + - Sex Offenders Are Still Locked up After Serving Their Time. Why? (realclearinvestigations.com)

schwit1 writes:

Some 20 states have civil commitment programs for people deemed sexually violent predators. Records show that more than 5,000 Americans are being held this way nationwide. Those numbers have roughly doubled over the previous decade or so, as judges, governors and state legislators have reacted to public concern about violent sexual crimes.

Civil confinement lies at the fraught intersection of crime, sex, and politics, in which sexual crimes, and just the possibility of sexual crimes, are treated differently from other offenses. Murderers, armed robbers, drunken hit-and-run drivers, insider traders, and other criminals are released when their prison sentences have been served.

States operating these programs defend them as necessary to protect the public, especially children, against dangerous sexual predators. The Supreme Court has upheld them, ruling that as long as they are narrowly tailored, with their “clients” subject to regular reviews, they serve a legitimate public interest in keeping potential dangerous offenders off the streets.

But critics of civil commitment argue that men are being locked away (and almost all of the detainees are men), often effectively for life, on the basis of subjective predictions of what a former sex offender might do in the future. They assert that this is a flagrant violation of the 14th Amendment’s requirement that no person shall be deprived of his freedom without “due process of law.”

Recidivism rates for sex offenders are typically lower than for people who commit other types of felonies. But statistics don’t matter when politicians and judges are trying to mollify the mob.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky

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