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Submission + - Can We Even Know Who Hacked the DNC Emails?

Presto Vivace writes: Can We Even Know Who Hacked the DNC Emails?

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log filesgathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum)>

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

Submission + - Fact checking the DNC email hack

Presto Vivace writes: NSA Whistleblower: Not So Fast On Claims Russia Behind DNC Email Hack

they have not listed intruders or attempted intrusions to the DNC site. I suspect that’s because they did a quick and dirty look for known attacks. Of course, this brings up another question; if it’s a know attack, why did the DNC not have software to stop it? You can tell from the network log who is going into a site. I used that on networks that I had. I looked to see who came into my LAN, where they went, how long they stayed and what they did while in my network.

Further, if you needed to, you could trace back approaches through other servers etc. Trace Route and Trace Watch are good examples of monitoring software that help do these things. Others of course exist probably the best are in NSA/GCHQ and the other Five Eyes countries. But, these countries have no monopoly on smart people that could do similar detection software.

Question is do they want to fix the problems with existing protection software. If the DNC and OPM are examples, then obviously, they don’t care to fix weakness probably because the want to use these weaknesses to their own advantage.

Submission + - Lawsuit alleges Facebook supports Hamas

Presto Vivace writes: Israeli government 'lawfare contractor' sues Facebook for $1b.

Shurat HaDin has admitted in the past to taking its marching orders from Israeli intelligence and government officials, lawsuit comes just days after senior minister said Mark Zuckerberg has blood on his hands.

In the suit, filed in U.S. Federal Court, Shurat HaDin alleges that by allowing Hamas to use its social networking and communications platforms, that Facebook provides material support to the Palestinian group in attacks on American citizens in Israel and the West Bank.

Submission + - Are Face Recognition Systems Accurate?

Presto Vivace writes: Are Face Recognition Systems Accurate? Depends on Your Race.

In 2012, Jain and several colleagues used a set of mugshots from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida to examine the performance of several commercially available face recognition systems, including ones from vendors that supply law enforcement agencies. The algorithms were consistently less accurate on women, African-Americans, and younger people. Apparently they were trained on data that was not representative enough of those groups, says Jain.

Submission + - Towards A Global Network Of Neighbourhoods And Cities Rejecting Surveillance

Presto Vivace writes: Connect with other rebel cities and collectives

To free ourselves from surveillance and other repressive and authoritarian forms of power that this opens up, we must immediately activate the mechanisms of law that allow us to oversee the functions of mass surveillance systems in our cities. And do this collectively, in coordination with other cities affected by the problem. Just as there are Smart Cities networks we should form our own Rebel Cities networks where surveillance is rejected and participatory democracy is affirmed, a democracy framed in respect for human rights and diversity, focused on collective solutions, which is the true path to safer cities. Not cameras.

We can then simultaneously activate collaborative mechanisms to prevent their expansion. Make freedom of information requests for public information detailing their costs. Demand studies on their results. Take serious legal action in face of possible illegal uses of surveillance for discriminatory policies. Demand from authorities protection of personal data where it exists, and where it does not, demand that human rights authorities undertake feasibility studies, weighing the impact on individual guarantees before installing systems. Democracy begins and ends there. In its exercise.

This is why it matters who gets elected to city council.

Submission + - FBI: Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations though unsecured personal server (salon.com)

gluesniffer writes: An explosive new report reveals just what it is that the FBI is looking to: emails in which then-Secretary of State Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan with her cellphone. From 2011 on, the State Department had a secret arrangement with the CIA, giving it a degree of say over whether or not a drone killing would take place. Under Sec. Clinton, State Department officials approved almost every single proposed CIA drone assassination. The emails that are at the heart of the FBI’s criminal investigation are 2011 and 2012 messages between U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and their State Department superiors in D.C., in which the officials approved drone strikes. Clinton’s aides forwarded some of these emails to her personal email account, on a private server in her home in suburban New York.

Submission + - Air Force has lost 100,000 inspector general records (thehill.com)

schwit1 writes: The Air Force announced on Friday that it has lost thousands of records belonging to the service's inspector general due to a database crash.

"We estimate we've lost information for 100,000 cases dating back to 2004," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told The Hill in an email.

The database, called the Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS), holds all records related to IG complaints, investigations, appeals and Freedom of Information Act requests.

No mention of backups.

Submission + - Congress moves to limit civil forfeiture (dailysignal.com)

schwit1 writes: A bill now moving through both houses of Congress will place some limits on the ability of state and federal governments to confiscate private property.

The bills most important provision will be to shift the burden of proof to the government, not the citizen. However,

Unfortunately, while the DUE PROCESS Act contains many of the procedural reforms that The Heritage Foundation and a broad coalition of organizations have called for in our recent Meese Center report, “Arresting Your Property,” it does not tackle two of the most perverse aspects of forfeiture law: the financial incentives that underlie modern civil forfeiture practices and the profit-sharing programs known as “equitable sharing.”

Under federal law, 100 percent of the proceeds of successful forfeitures are retained by the federal law enforcement organization that executed the seizure. This money is available to be spent by these agencies without congressional oversight, meaning they can—and do—self-finance. This profiteering incentive is extended to state and local agencies through programs administered by the Justice and Treasury departments known as “equitable sharing,” which allow property seized at the state and local level to be transferred to federal authorities for forfeiture under federal law. The feds then return up to 80 percent of the resulting revenues to the originating agency.

Thus, federal law provides every law enforcement agency in the country with a direct financial incentive to seize cash and property—sometimes at the expense of investigating, arresting, and prosecuting actual criminals—and simultaneously encourages state and local agencies to circumvent state laws that are more protective of property rights or restrictive as to how forfeiture proceeds may be spent than the federal standard.

The simple fact is that civil forfeiture is already blatantly illegal, as per the plain words in the fifth amendment to the Constitution:

No person . . .[shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

It is a horrible tragedy that so few people today respect these plain words.

Submission + - Google Announces Support of The Controversial TPP (recode.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced in a blog post Friday their support for the controversial Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP). Recode reports: "The trade agreement includes key provisions about the global passage of digital data, intellectual property and copyright — measures that have drawn criticism from both the political right and left, including several outspoken tech groups. Google's endorsement isn't axactly full-throated, but its stake clearly demonstrates another key area of support with the Obama administration, to which Google is close." Google's SVP and general counsel Kent Walker wrote: "The TPP is not perfect, and the trade negotiation process would certainly benefit from greater transparency. We will continue to advocate for process reforms, including the opportunity for all stakeholders to have a meaningful opportunity for input into trade negotiations." The company has already shown support of the TPP behind the Internet Association, which endorsed the trade agreement in March. Google joins a list of other tech titans, like Apple and Microsoft, who have shown their support as well. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the TPP a "secretive, multinational trade agreement" that will restrict IP laws and enforce digital policies that "benefit big corporations at the expense of the public." The TPP is still awaiting congressional approval after being signed in February.

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