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Submission + - Wyden to Introduce Bill to Prohibit Warrantless Phone Searches at Border

Trailrunner7 writes: A senator from Oregon who has a long track record of involvement on security and privacy issues says he plans to introduce a bill soon that would prevent border agents from forcing Americans returning to the country to unlock their phones without a warrant.

Sen. Ron Wyden said in a letter to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security that he is concerned about reports that Customs and Border Patrol agents are pressuring returning Americans into handing over their phone PINs or using their fingerprints to unlock their phones. DHS Secretary John Kelly has said that he’s considering the idea of asking visitors for the login data for their various social media accounts, information that typically would require a warrant to obtain.

“Circumventing the normal protection for such private information is simply unacceptable,” Wyden said in the letter, sent Monday.

Submission + - Philips creates fake checkout page to gauge product interest, leaks PII (philips.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Philips, the people who brought you the Hue lights, targeted me with an ad on Facebook. The product looked pretty neat, so I pulled my credit card out to buy one. After entering my name, address, and phone number into the checkout page, I was notified that the product was in beta, and could either press a button saying not to contact me, or another button to be notified if it is released. I feel as if they trick me into giving up my personal information. I then noticed that the web form used the GET method, so that all info I entered became part of the URL of the next page that loaded, which means that it is now in the web server logs, and was sent in clear text to the partners that they work with (Inspectlet, Eloqua, etc). Am I overreacting, or is tricking people in this way fair game?

Submission + - EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance (eff.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a detailed, global strategy for ridding ourselves of mass surveillance. They stress that this must be an international effort — while citizens of many countries can vote against politicians who support surveillance, there are also many countries where the citizens have to resort to other methods. The central part of the EFF's plan is: encryption, encryption, encryption. They say we need to build new secure communications tools, pressure existing tech companies to make their products secure against everyone, and get ordinary internet-goers to recognize that encryption is a fundamental part of communication in the surveillance age. They also advocate fighting for transparency and against overreach on a national level. "[T]he more people worldwide understand the threat and the more they understand how to protect themselves—and just as importantly, what they should expect in the way of support from companies and governments—the more we can agitate for the changes we need online to fend off the dragnet collection of data." The EFF references a document created to apply the principles of human rights to communications surveillance, which they say are "our way of making sure that the global norm for human rights in the context of communication surveillance isn't the warped viewpoint of NSA and its four closest allies, but that of 50 years of human rights standards showing mass surveillance to be unnecessary and disproportionate."

Submission + - Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint And T-Mobile (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Is Google trying to win the wireless wars? There's a new report suggesting Google is partnering with select wireless carriers to sell its own branded wireless voice and data plans directly to consumers. According to sources and the "three people with knowledge of the plans," Google will tap into networks belonging to Sprint and T-Mobile for its new service, buying wholesale access to mobile voice and data in order to make itself a virtual network operator. That might sound disappointing on the surface. Had Google struck a deal with Verizon and AT&T, or even just Verizon, the deal could potentially have more critical mass, with great coverage backed by a company like Google and its services. The former might be a winning combination but at least this is a start. The project will be known as "Nova," which is reportedly being led by Google's Nick Fox, a longtime executive with the company. Apparently Fox has been overseeing this for some time now, and it seems likely a launch will take place this year.

Submission + - Bacteria discovered that both eats and excretes pure electrons

Presto Vivace writes: Biologists discover electric bacteria that eat pure electrons rather than sugar, redefining the tenacity of life

Some intrepid biologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survives on nothing but electricity — rather than food, they eat and excrete pure electrons. These bacteria yet again prove the almost miraculous tenacity of life — but, from a technology standpoint, they might also prove to be useful in enabling the creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that clean up pollution. Some of these bacteria also have the curious ability to form into ‘biocables,’ microbial nanowires that are centimeters long and conduct electricity as well as copper wires — a capability that might one day be tapped to build long, self-assembling subsurface networks for human use.

Submission + - Open air laser communication at up to 2.5tb/s speed (gizmag.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: A proof of concept open-air data-transmission experiment using laser beam was run at Vienna, Austria just the other day

Researchers from the University of Vienna beamed a green laser mounted on a radar tower at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, which was aimed at a receiver at the University of Vienna 3 km (1.8 mi) away, with a twist

The latest twist is based on the Orbital Angular Momentum of light or OAM, which allows a beam of a particular color – or wavelength – to be twisted into a corkscrew shape to increase the number of potential communication channels available. So rather than one wavelength of light serving as a single channel, each of the theoretically infinite number of turns acts as a separate communication channel

The light beam was configured into 16 patterns corresponding to binary numbers. These were used to encode grey-scale images of Wolfgang-Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Boltzmann, and Erwin Schrödinger, which were the subjects of the transmission. At the receiver, a camera picked up the beam, which was fed into an artificial neural network to filter out atmospheric interference. In terms of individual photons of light, it means that instead of spinning like the Earth around its own axis, their energy traces out a spiral. It is the same sort of momentum that sees the Earth orbit the sun, but the photons are also moving forward at the speed of light. That corkscrew-like motion is useful because instead of just having two possible directions like polarisation (clockwise or anticlockwise), it can turn in either direction with a potentially infinite number of twists — much like a screw with multiple threads. This is why physicists have been investigating whether twisted light could help transmit information very quickly: each twist configuration could be its own channel, just like different colours of light inside an optical fiber

The team sees a number of applications for the technology, including satellite and other open air channels. In addition, the quantum nature of the light twists would make eavesdropping very difficult. Encryption keys, for example, could be sent securely because trying to read the beam in flight would alter its quantum state and destroy the data. "We have shown for the first time that information can be encoded onto twisted light and sent through a 3 km intra-city link with strong turbulences," says team member Mario Krenn. "The OAM of light is theoretically unbounded, meaning that one has, in theory, an unlimited amount of different distinguishable states in which light can be encoded. It is envisaged that this additional degree of freedom could significantly increase data-rates in classical communication”

BBC also carries the news @ http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc...

Submission + - Android Lollipop lockscreen quick settings kinda breaks security

An anonymous reader writes: I'm hoping that enough eyes looking at this issue will prompt Google to do something about this issue. Here goes...

I just recently updated my Android Nexus 4 device to Android Lollipop and encountered what I believe to a security bug. While playing with the bluetooth trusted device features I discovered that you can enable bluetooth on the phone without being required to enter a passcode. Example scenario:

  1. entered vehicle with bluetooth stereo
  2. tried to access playlist to start music for commute home
  3. realized that phone isn't connected to stereo (device asked for a pin to unlock phone)
  4. instead of entering pin I accessed the quick settings from lockscreen and enabled bluetooth (phone doesn't ask me to provide a pin to do this)
  5. phone was unlocked without having to enter a passcode

My scenario was best case: I was trying to access my phone within close proximity of a car stereo that only I could turn on at the time. Provided I keep my key and phone on me this shouldn't be an issue. But what if it's someone that always forgets their phone on their desk with their laptops bluetooth as a trusted device? I know I've left my phone on my desk while I was in meetings many times and I'm assuming that a few of you have done so as well.

I did a little digging and found two bugs, https://code.google.com/p/andr... and https://code.google.com/p/andr..., both of which are marked as low priority. The priority for the second bug is a bit more startling when you realize that a security group has already gone through and shown how to exploit this issue when Apple introduced the same bug in iOS7: http://www.cnet.com/news/easy-.... They even hijack a persons GMail account in the example.

Submission + - FCC Confirms Delay Of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

blottsie writes: The Federal Communications Commission will abandon its earlier promise to make a decision on new net neutrality rules this year. Instead, FCC Press Secretary Kim Hart said, "there will not be a vote on open internet rules on the December meeting agenda. That would mean rules would now be finalized in 2015."

The FCC's confirmation of the delay came just as President Barack Obama launched a campaign to persuade the agency to reclassify broadband Internet service as a public utility.

Submission + - 4chan-Linked Slaying Suspect Pursued in Portland

HughPickens.com writes: NBC News reports that a man wanted in the killing of a woman — and who may have posted photos online of her body on 4chan with details of the crime — is believed to have led police in Portland, Oregon, on a high-speed chase but was not caught. The slain woman was found in an apartment in Port Orchard. Police are investigating images of a naked woman with red marks around her neck that were shared anonymously on the online forum 4chan. The photos were accompanied by the message: "Turns out it’s way harder to strangle someone to death than it looks on the movies." When other users questioned the authenticity of the pictures, which have now been deleted, a reply said: "Check the news for Port Orchard, Washington, in a few hours. Her son will be home from school soon. He'll find her, then call the cops. I just wanted to share the pics before they find me." The Port Orchard Independent was among several local newspapers to quote police officers as saying the images appeared to have been posted before officers were called. Police pursued a driver thought to be murder suspect David Kalac across a bridge and down a major road before calling off the chase after the driver began swerving into oncoming traffic, police said. "Kalac is believed to be armed and dangerous," police said in a statement.

Submission + - The Day Israel Attacked the NSA

TheRealHocusLocus writes: Al Jazeera's recent showing of Richard Belfield's documentary The Day Israel Attacked America is the latest telling of a June 8, 1967 incident that survivors unanimously declare to be an unprovoked and deliberate attack, with clear intent to sink the USS Liberty SIGINT ship with all hands. Along with the BBC's excellent 2002 documentary, it has scarcely been covered by networks in the US itself, save a 60 Minutes segment years ago. James Bamford's NSA exposé Body of Secrets offers a riveting chapter on the harrowing incident. While the Liberty Incident Wikipedia page is information-rich, it has also been a battleground as editors attempt to merge survivors' accounts (often irreconcilably) with official narrative from US and Israeli government sources. WikiSpooks' Liberty article has more to chew on and its reliable sources page is a must-read.

Questions remain, such as why Secretary of Defense Robert Macnamera recalled air support and rescue (twice), the odd indifference of the Johnson Administration and circumstances surrounding our involvement in the Six-Day War, which may have brought us to the brink of nuclear conflict with the USSR. If you love whiteouts and blanked audio you can even browse NSA's own Liberty collection, some materials added in response to FOIA requests..

Comment My two cents (Score 1) 415

I received a Pebble as a wedding gift, and I was reluctant as to whether or not I'd like it...I now wear it every single day, and feel naked when it's not with me. The benefit of an "always-at-a-glance" notification system can't be overstated. Granted, the battery life is such that I only need to recharge it a few times a week. While the prospect of charging my watch every night would be a step down for me, I'm already in the habit of charging my smartphone every night, so my evening routine wouldn't change all that much... Given the aforementioned benefits, I wouldn't consider the nightly charge a dealbreaker whatsoever. I think this is a "Don't knock it til you try it." situation.

Submission + - TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle

schwit1 writes: Does this make you feel safer? At an airport security checkpoint the TSA confiscated a belt buckle made to look like a toy Flash Gordon ray-gun.

It wasn’t a real gun. It wasn’t even a toy gun. It was a belt buckle fashioned to look like a 1940s science fiction ray-gun. Even if it was one of the actual Flash Gordon ray-guns that was used in the movie serial, it couldn’t have done anything.

But it wasn’t. It was a belt buckle. I am so glad we have the TSA looking out for us!

Submission + - Carl Sagan Smoked Cannabis (sfgate.com) 2

Colin Castro writes: “I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs,” Sagan wrote in 1971, under the name Mr. X.

MarijuanaMajority.com founder Tom Angell spent a few days this summer in the Library of Congress researching the iconic American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author and has come away with a bounty.

Angell says he found some never-before-released writings on marijuana policy from the author of classics such as ‘Contact’ and the TV show ‘Cosmos’, which is the most widely watched series in the history of American public television.

Submission + - Can the Internets Haz its Own Political Party?

Strangely Familiar writes: The IParty Democrats is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to create a political party on the democratic side analogous to the Tea Party. The IParty lists preserving Internet freedoms as one of its main goals. This includes limiting NSA overreach, support for encryption everwhere, and of course net neutrality. (link). The IParty also seeks to increase anti-trust enforcement (e.g. peventing Comcast/Time Warner merger), and use internet forums modeled on Slashdot to increase constituent input. Have the democrats and republicans done enough to protect the Internet, or is there a need for a new party?

Submission + - GlaxoSmithKline "Accidentally" Released 45 Lts of Live Polio Virus (globalresearch.ca)

ferespo writes: Belgium – As reported to ECDC by Belgian authorities, on 2 September 2014, following a human error, 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution were released into the environment by the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Rixensart city, Belgium. The liquid was conducted directly to a water-treatment plant (Rosieres) and released after treatment in river Lasne affluent of river Dyle which is affluent of the Escaut/Scheldt river. Belgium’s High Council of Public Health conducted a risk assessment that concluded that the risk of infection for the population exposed to the contaminated water is extremely low due to the high level of dilution and the high vaccination coverage (95%) in Belgium. (Official ECDC press release http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/p...)

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