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Submission + - 48 Organizations Now Have Access To Every Brit's Browsing Hstory (zerohedge.com)

schwit1 writes: Last week, in a troubling development for privacy advocates everywhere, we reported that the UK has passed the "snooper charter" effectively ending all online privacy. Now, the mainstream media has caught on and appears to be displeased. As AP writes today, "after months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities — from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors — powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country."

For those who missed our original reports, here is the new law in a nutshell: it requires telecom companies to keep records of all users' web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers. Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom. They are right.

Which government agencies have access to the internet history of any British citizen? Here is the answer courtesy of blogger Chris Yuo, who has compiled the list:

Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Security Service
Secret Intelligence Service
GCHQ
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Home Office
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
Information Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

Submission + - The impending dual-sim mobile phone problem

crath writes: In many countries, 2G mobile networks are due to be turned off in the very near future. This means that anyone with a dual SIM phone will effectively have the second SIM slot rendered unusable; since almost every dual SIM mobile phone manufactured to date only supports 2G for its secondary SIM card. This is a hardware limitation (I've seen some suggestions on the Internet that this is to extend battery life). I've just become aware of this issue as a result of starting a project that has me regularly commuting between Australia and Singapore; with a need for affordable data in both countries--hence, a dual SIM phone.

I'm quite surprised that this upcoming event hasn't garnered more attention in the press, because the thousands upon thousands of users who have dual active SIM phones will have them reduced to old fashioned one SIM active at a time functionality. This includes some very expensive Sony & Samsung devices currently for sale. I expect there will be an outcry from a lot of very unhappy users when 2G is switched off.

In researching this issue, I came upon the following:

What action are /. dual SIM users taking to prepare for the turning off of 2G? What phones can you recommend from 1st hand use (not just because you've read a review or spec. sheet)?

Submission + - Glenn Greenwald: Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist (theintercept.com)

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes: From the article:

...the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron...


Submission + - Own an Open Source RISC-V micro-controller (crowdsupply.com)

hamster_nz writes: By now you have come across Arduino, the popular Open Source micro-controller platform. Did you ever think it would be great if hardware was open to the transistor level, not just the chip level? If so Crowd Supply is running the project for you!

With a completely open ISA and no license fees for the CPU design, the RISC-V architecture is well positioned to take the crown as the 'go to' design for anybody needing a 32-bit in their silicon, and Open-V are crowd-sourcing their funding for an initial manufacturing run of 70,000 chips, offering options from a single chip to a seat in the design review process.

This project is shaping up to be milestone for the coming Open Source Silicon revolution, and they are literally offering a seat at the table. Even if you don't end up backing the project, it makes for very interesting reading.

Submission + - You Can Now Rent a Mirai Botnet of 400,000 Bots (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two hackers are renting access to a massive Mirai botnet, which they claim has more than 400,000 infected bots, ready to carry out DDoS attacks at anyone's behest. The hackers have quite a reputation on the hacking underground and have previously been linked to the GovRAT malware, which was used to steal data from several US companies.

Renting around 50K bots costs between $3,000-$4,000 for 2 weeks, meaning renting the whole thing costs between $20,000-$30,000. After the Mirai source code leaked, there are countless of smaller Mirai botnets around, but this one is the biggest, accounting for more than half of all infected IoT devices. This is also the botnet that supposedly shut down Internet access in Liberia.

The original Mirai botnet was limited to only 200,000 bots because there were only 200,000 IoT devices connected online that had their Telnet ports open. The botnet that's up for rent now has received improvements and can also spread to IoT devices via SSH, hence the 400,000 bots total.

Submission + - Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer

drinkypoo writes: Today Eben Upton and the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the Raspberry Pi Zero, an even tinier Pi with a BCM2835 1GHz ARM11 core allegedly 40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1, 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, micro-SD and an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header with the classic pinout — priced at just five dollars. In spite of being shrunk to just 65mm x 30mm x 5mm, it retains [mini-]HDMI output (and there is an unpopulated header for composite video output as well.) At this price and size, the Zero competes handily with the $9 C.H.I.P. computer discussed here previously.

Submission + - Cuba's report urging the UN to condemn the embargo is flawed.

lpress writes: On October 27th, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote on a resolution urging the United States to end its economic embargo on Cuba. Last June, Cuba issued a report arguing against the embargo and claiming that it has cost the Cuban people $833.7 billion — $57,122,900 of that in the sector of "communications and informatics, including telecommunications." The communications and informatics claims are one-sided and invalid. Cuba has introduced resolutions condeming the embargo 24 times. Last year only Israel and the US voted no and the Guardian has reported that the US has decided to vote against the resolution again because it does not fully reflect the new spirit of engagement between the US and Cuba and the Cubans were unwilling to revise it.

Submission + - Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over iOS Wi-Fi Assist (appleinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A class-action suit has been filed against Apple in U.S. District Court over Wi-Fi assist being turned on by default in iOS 9. Wi-Fi assist is designed to switch to cellular data when a user is trying to perform an action over the internet on a poor Wi-Fi signal. This has the natural side effect of using cellular data. Since iOS 9 turned it on for many users, they weren't necessarily expecting that extra use, causing some of them to exceed their data caps. A former Apple employee who was in a leadership position for Mac OS X Wi-Fi software has commented on the issue, saying that the Wi-Fi Assist mess was unavoidable given how Apple's management treats that part of the business. Quoting :"[O]ne particular directorial edict which I pushed back against at the end of my tenure sticks out as not just particularly telling, but deeply misguided: 'Make it self-healing.' Self healing in this context meaning that the networking system, Wi-Fi in particular, should try to correct problems that caused the network to fail, which, if you have spent any time trying to diagnose networking issues is a clear misunderstanding of the issues involved. ... Asking the devices which connect to this vast complex network of networks to detect, and then transparently fix problems in the infrastructure without the permission of the administrators is, well, it’s absolutely the pinnacle of buzzword driven product management. Real pointy-haired boss territory."

Submission + - Cisa amendment would allow US to jail foreigners for crimes committed abroad (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An amendment to a controversial cybersecurity bill will allow US courts to pursue and jail foreign nationals even if the crimes they commit are against other foreigners and on foreign soil.

The main aim of the amendment to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (Cisa), which passed a key Senate hurdle on Thursday, is to lower the barrier for prosecuting crimes committed abroad. But the amended law would make it a crime punishable by US prison time not merely to clone the credit card or steal the Netflix password of an American citizen, but to take unauthorized information from any American company, no matter where it happens.

In other words, if a French national hacks a Spanish national’s MasterCard, she could be subject to 10 years in US prison under laws changed by the bill.

Submission + - Mimic, The Evil Script That Will Drive Programmers To Insanity (github.com)

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Mimic implements a devilishly sick idea floated on Twitter by Peter Ritchie: "Replace a semicolon (;) with a Greek question mark (;) in your friend's C# code and watch them pull their hair out over the syntax error." There are quite a few characters in the Unicode character set that look, to some extent or another, like others – homoglyphs. Mimic substitutes common ASCII characters for obscure homoglyphs. Caution: using this script may get you fired and/or beaten to a pulp.

Submission + - Mysterious piece of space junk to hit Earth

schwit1 writes: A piece of unidentified space junk, discovered in a long elliptical orbit going out far beyond the Moon, has been calculated to hit the Earth over the Indian Ocean on November 13.

WT1190F was detected by the Catalina Sky Survey, a program aimed at discovering asteroids and comets that swing close to Earth. At first scientists didn’t know what to make of this weird body. But they quickly computed its trajectory, after collecting more observations and unearthing 2012 and 2013 sightings from telescope archives, says independent astronomy software developer Bill Gray, who has been working to track the debris with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

WT1190F travels a highly elliptical orbit, swinging out twice as far as the Earth-Moon distance, Gray says. Gray’s calculations show that it will hit the Earth at 6:20 UTC, falling about 65 kilometres off the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Much if not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere, but “I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it,” Gray says.

What makes the object interesting is that they don’t know when it was launched or how it got in the orbit it is in. It could even be something from the Apollo lunar missions.

Submission + - Judge: School's Facebook post a campaign contribution (coloradoan.com)

schwit1 writes: A state judge has ruled that a Facebook post by Liberty Common School amounts to an illegal campaign contribution to a Thompson School District board candidate.

In August, the Fort Collins charter school shared with its Facebook followers a newspaper article about a parent of a student running for a board seat in the neighboring school district. Liberty Common’s principal, former Colorado Congressman Bob Schaffer, then shared the post and called candidate Tomi Grundvig an “excellent education leader” who would provide “sensible stewardship” of Thompson.

Liberty Common has 566 followers to its Facebook page. Schaffer, who lost a 2004 bid for U.S. Senate, has more than 3,900 “friends” on his personal page.

Administrative law judge Matthew E. Norwood called the violation “minor,” and ruled that “no government money of any significant amount was spent to make the contribution.” He also focused on the post to the school’s specific page, not Schaffer’s personal page.

“The school’s action was the giving of a thing of value to the candidate, namely favorable publicity,” Norwood wrote in his Oct. 14 ruling, which became public Wednesday. “It was given indirectly to her for the purpose of promoting her election.”

University of Colorado law professor Scott Moss called that point “troubling” for its implications on political speech.

Submission + - Mozilla Giving $1 Million To Open Source Projects It Relies On (mozilla.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla has been a big part of the open source community for a long time, and their main projects rely heavily on independent open source work. They've now announced the Mozilla Open Source Support program, which aims to give back to the projects they rely on, and to also reward other projects that make the community stronger. Mozilla has allocated $1 million to award to these projects — to start. This appears to be Mozilla's efforts to fix a problem we've become painfully aware over the past year and a half: huge portions of the modern web rely on critical bits of open source software that have minimal resources. The company has already begun to compile a list of the projects they rely on. Hopefully it will inspire other organizations to support the open source software they rely on as well.

Submission + - Judge tosses Wikimedia's anti-NSA lawsuit because Wikipedia isn't big enough (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Wikimedia Foundation, Amnesty International, and others against the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies for their surveillance of internet communications. The judge used some odd reasoning in his ruling to absolve the NSA of any constitutional violations. He said that since the plaintiffs couldn't prove that all upstream internet communications were monitored, they didn't have standing to challenge whatever communications were monitored. This is curious, given that tech companies are known to be under gag orders preventing them from discussing certain types of government data collection. The judge also made a strange argument about Wikipedia's size: "For one thing, plaintiffs insist that Wikipedia's over one trillion annual Internet communications is significant in volume. But plaintiffs provide no context for assessing the significance of this figure. One trillion is plainly a large number, but size is always relative. For example, one trillion dollars are of enormous value, whereas one trillion grains of sand are but a small patch of beach."

Submission + - New Algorithm Provides Huge Speedups For Optimization Problems (mit.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: MIT graduate students have developed a new “cutting-plane" algorithm, a general-purpose algorithm for solving optimization problems. They’ve also developed a new way to apply their algorithm to specific problems, yielding orders-of-magnitude efficiency gains. Optimization problems look to find the best set of values for a group of disparate parameters. For example, the cost function around designing a new smartphone would reward battery life, speed, and durability while penalizing thickness, cost, and overheating. Finding the optimal arrangement of values is a difficult problem, but the new algorithm shaves a significant amount of operations (PDF) off those calculations. Satoru Iwata, professor of mathematical informatics at the University of Tokyo, said, "This is indeed an astonishing paper. For this problem, the running time bounds derived with the aid of discrete geometry and combinatorial techniques are by far better than what I could imagine."

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