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Submission + - Shoe Company: Obama Admin Pressured Us to Stay Quiet on TPP (weeklystandard.com) 1

schwit1 writes: The Boston Globe is reporting that U.S.-based shoe manufacturer New Balance has come out hard against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. The odd thing, though, is that "the Boston company had gone quiet [on TPP] last year."

Now, apparently, we know why:

New Balance officials say one big reason is that they were told the Department of Defense would give them serious consideration for a contract to outfit recruits with athletic shoes.

But no order has been placed, and New Balance officials say the Pentagon is intentionally delaying any purchase.

New Balance is reviving its fight against the trade deal, which would, in part, gradually phase out tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam. A loss of those tariffs, the company says, would make imports cheaper and jeopardize its factory jobs in New England.


Submission + - California Crypto Backdoor Bill Dies in Assembly

Trailrunner7 writes: A California bill that would require backdoors in phone encryption has died in the state assembly after failing to gain enough support to move out of committee.

The bill, proposed in January, would have required that device manufacturers have the capability of decrypting and unlocking any phone sold in California after Jan. 1, 2017. A similar bill proposed in New York is still making its way through that state’s legislature.

The California bill ran aground in the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, where it did not even go to a vote after failing to get a second from a committee member. Privacy advocates hailed the bill’s defeat as a key win for users and tech vendors.

Submission + - Snowden rebuts Feinsteins statement that NSA spying is not surveillance (arstechnica.com)

SternisheFan writes: Note to Eds: Entire Ars Technica story pasted here, edit as you like...

by Cyrus Farivar — Oct 25 2013, 12:17am +0200
National Security
88
NSA leaks
US official handed over 35 foreign leaders’ phone numbers to NSA
Germany accuses US of spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone
France angered by new revelations of NSA surveillance
Snowden’s NSA post in Hawaii failed to install “anti-leak” software
The top 5 things we’ve learned about the NSA thanks to Edward Snowden
View all

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden went into a relatively long silent period after being charged with espionage and fleeing to Russia. But it seems that he is becoming more comfortable about speaking out. Today, new Snowden comments emerged in which he directly took on Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who last week defended the NSA spying programs in a controversial op-ed in USA Today.

“We've learned that the US intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance,” Snowden wrote in the statement, published today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.”

In her October 20 op-ed, Feinstein argued that the “call-records program is legal and subject to extensive congressional and judicial oversight,” adding that “[t]he Supreme Court has held this ‘metadata’ is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.”

Snowden called on his supporters to join the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other groups who will be holding a rally called "Stop Watching Us" at Union Station in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 26, at 12:00pm local time.

NASA

Huge ISS Science Report Released 87

Earthquake Retrofit writes "NASA has released an extensive report (PDF) on science results from over 100 experiments performed at the International Space Station. From the summary: 'One of the most compelling results reported is the confirmation that the ability of common germs to cause disease increases during spaceflight, but that changing the growth environment of the bacteria can control this virulence. The Effect of Spaceflight on Microbial Gene Expression and Virulence experiment identified increased virulence of space-flown Salmonella typhimurium, a leading cause of food poisoning. New research on subsequent station missions will target development of a vaccine for this widespread malady." I can't tell if this is good news, bad, or both. Also from a quick look at the report, I see that soybeans grow bigger in space with no harmful effect."
Privacy

Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control? 1040

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday, Chicago lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics (which went to Rio de Janeiro instead), and it's looking very likely that US border procedures were one of the main factors which knocked Chicago out of the race: 'Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicago's official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be "a rather harrowing experience." ... The exchange underscores what tourism officials here have been saying for years about the sometimes rigorous entry process for foreigners, which they see as a deterrent to tourism.'"

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