cold fjord writes: In a national referendum of enormous consequence the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have voted to leave the European Union by a margin of 51.8% to 48.2% with 95% of the votes counted in a record turnout of 72.2% of the electorate. The consequences of the U.K. leaving the E.U. will unfold over a period of years and Europeans are left wondering if Britain will be the only country to leave the E.U., or only the first. With this decision comes reports that Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland and the SNP in Scotland will be calling for dissolving their union with the United Kingdom. The future of the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, is uncertain. The British Pound has taken a beating. But Britain is now moving into a very different future from the one it appeared to have just yesterday, able to make choices independent from Brussels. Link to Original Source
cold fjord writes: Steven Hawking, 150 fellows of the Royal Society (three Nobel laureates among them), and the Astronomer Royal, are warning that exit from the EU by the UK could be a disaster for science in the UK. An immediate issue would be restrictions on travel and how that would result in scientists from around the EU no longer coming to the UK to work. That would make the UK less competitive for new talent. It would also mean that scientists in the EU with grant money would be less likely to bring their research and grant money to the UK to perform their work. Switzerland is listed as an example of the resulting harm. The scientists make the point that freedom of travel for scientists is as important for science as free trade is for economies. This point of view is not shared by all.
cold fjord writes: General Michael Hayden (Retired), who served as head of both the NSA and CIA, has taken a position supporting Apple in its conflict with the FBI. Apple is fighting a court order to assist the FBI in breaking into the government owned phone used by one of the two dead terrorists responsible for the recent San Bernardino massacre. General Hayden stated, “You can argue this on constitutional grounds. Does the government have the right to do this? Frankly, I think the government does have a right to do it. You can do balancing privacy and security dead men don’t have a right to privacy. I don’t use those lenses. My lens is the security lens, and frankly, it’s a close but clear call that Apple’s right on just raw security grounds . ..", and, "I get why the FBI wants to get into the phones but this may be a case where we’ve got to give up some things in law enforcement and even counter terrorism in order to preserve this aspect, our cybersecurity.”
cold fjord writes: Discovery News reports, “On Wednesday, a group of prominent scientists published a commentary faulting colleagues who have published papers downplaying or dismissing the significance of a 13-year slowdown in warming rates . . . . “We shouldn’t sweep the early 2000s warming slowdown under the rug,” said Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann, one of 11 authors of the commentary published in Nature Climate Change. . . . Until 2009, scientists had little explanation for the phenomenon. By 2014, though, it was known that the slowdown was caused primarily by a phase in a slow-moving Pacific Ocean cycle, with fierce trade winds driving more heat than normal into ocean depths. . . . Several recent papers have called into question whether the surface warming slowdown was significant. . . . Wednesday’s commentary lauded the advances in climate science that helped solve the mystery . . . while rebuking other scientists whose research has concluded that the slowdown was insignificant or unimportant. “. . . it has been imperative for scientists to provide a timely explanation of the warming slowdown,” wrote the 11 scientists, who are based in Canada, England, Australia and the U.S. . . . One of the studies singled out . . . was produced by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists led by Thomas Karl . . . Karl’s team believes some historical records of ocean temperatures are flawed, and they corrected them accordingly. The result of that analysis led them to conclude in a paper published last year in Science that warming during the early 2000s was “far more similar” to the longer-term trends “than previously estimated.” That surprise finding prompted Rep. Lamar Smith . . . Smith has argued that the NOAA study was “expedited to fit” the Obama Administration’s “aggressive” climate policies — a claim the agency strongly denies. . . . ”
cold fjord writes: Nick Gillespie at Reason is heading to The Free State Project's annual Liberty Forum. being held this weekend in Manchester, New Hampshire. One of the highlights and a big draw this year is the keynote address by Edward Snowden via the Internet. Nick Gillespie will be interviewing Edward Snowden. Snowden is also scheduled to answer questions from participants submitted ahead of time. There are already reported to be 2,000 Free State Project members in the state, and reports from Brian Doherty indicate they are already effecting change: "Over 1,900 Free Staters already are there and we've reported here at Reason on some of what they're already accomplished, from getting 15 of their brethren in the state House, challenging anti-ridehail laws, fighting in court for outre religious liberty, winning legal battles over taping cops, being mocked by Colbert for heroically paying off people's parking meters, hosting cool anything goes festivals for libertarians, nullifying pot juries, and inducing occasional pants-wetting absurd paranoia in local statists."
cold fjord writes: A recently released security awareness video featuring prominent NSA whistleblowers is making waves during the current security and encryption debates. In the video former NSA contractor Edward Snowden describes the NSA’s ability to gather digital communications anywhere on Earth. Retired NSA Technical Leader for Intelligence, and whistleblower, Bill Binney discusses mass data analysis. Also appearing is journalist and activist Jacob Appelbaum who describes how the NSA uses that information to make determinations about individuals based off of their interactions. The excerpts come from Academy Award winning documentary Citizenfour. Viewers of the video are urged to to adopt good security practices, including the use of strong encryption.. There are also links to web sites with articles, tutorials, and other information on implementing strong digital security and strong encryption, including Tor, cell phone security, USBs, and other topics.. The video has been spreading on social media following its release on Saturday. The video is titled, "The Electronic War And The Negligence Of The Supporters Of Mujahedeen.” It is the product of the Afaq Agency, an ISIS-affiliate focused on hacking and cyber security,” The translated title card at the end of the video states, “This is just a drop in the ocean,” “Our enemies are monitoring us day and night, collecting our information and targeting us. This is very dangerous. Carelessness and negligence in digital security cannot be tolerated.”
cold fjord writes: Former Justice Department attorney Thomas Tamm sparked an intense public debate about warrantless surveillance nearly a decade before Edward Snowden. Tamm tipped reporters in 2004 about the use of nonstandard warrantless procedures under the Bush administration for intercepting international phone calls and emails of Americans. New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau used Tamm's revelations to help them win a Pulitzer Prize. Barack Obama criticized the program and the Obama administration Justice Department announced in 2011 that it would not bring criminal charges against him. Unfortunately Tamm is now facing disciplinary hearings before the D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel which prosecutes the D.C. Bar's disciplinary cases. Tamm is facing ethics charges that could result is his disbarment, revoking his law license. Tamm is alleged to have "failed to refer information in his possession that persons within the Department of Justice were violating their legal obligations to higher authority within the Department” and “revealed to a newspaper reporter confidences or secrets of his client, the Department of Justice.” Tamm currently resides in Maryland where he is a public defender. The effect of the D.C. case on him there is unclear. Tamm's attorney, Georgetown University law professor Michael Frisch, says the delays seen in this case are not unusual in D.C., it can take years for matters to play out. Another of Frisch's clients, who exposed the interrogation of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, believes the prosecution is political persecution.
cold fjord writes: The Mirror reports that Edward Snowden is experiencing some unexpected fallout from the notoriety he received from his activism for government transparency. It seems he has become something of a sex symbol and his female fans are sending him graphic nude pictures of themselves. He has found it necessary to dissuade them by reminding everyone that the FBI has a warrant for him (and probably monitor his communications so they will see the pics) and that he already has a girlfriend. No word yet on if this is having any effect.