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Submission + - CIA torture program "far different and far more harsh" then described

An anonymous reader writes: Amid the uproar over Senator Feinstein's accusations that the CIA hacked and destroyed data on Senate computers, an important part of her speech to the Senate has been overlooked: "Chairman Rockefeller sent two of his committee staffers out to the CIA on nights and weekends to review thousands of these cables, which took many months. ... the two staffers completed their review into the CIA’s early interrogations in early 2009, ... The resulting staff report was chilling. The interrogations and the conditions of confinement at the CIA detention sites were far different and far more harsh than the way the CIA had described them to us." Senator Feinstein is Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with access to classified information. Did this "far different and far more harsh" torture become public knowledge or was the program much worse than what we already know?

Submission + - NY Times redesign: Minor tweaks sold as major upgrade

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Times is proudly trumpeting the launch of their redesigned website. I was expecting multimedia fully integrated into articles, which any blogging app can do out of the box; a system for readers to follow round-the-clock updates to stories, instead of re-reading the whole article and trying to find the changes; an interface for a news website, not a newspaper jammed into a web interface (just look at the front page, which tries to mimic the multi-column broadsheet print version); better search to find information I want ... sigh. Instead, they proudly advertise that articles all fit on single page, that reader comments appear in a column next to the article (I'm not sure why — can comments be linked to specific locations in the text? that would be cool ...), that pages load faster, photos that enlarge without leaving the page (how do they do that?!!!) and don't forget the new navigation system: multi-level menus with small targets for clicking. The Times is so important to the nation and the world; what a tragedy that they clearly are managed by people who are stuck in the era of print.

Submission + - New Jersey bill allows betting on past horse races

An anonymous reader writes: I've got a tip on a guaranteed winner: A bill before the New Jersey Senate allows betting on horse races that already are over. It seems that the requirement to bet only on future races is limiting revenue: "The instant wagering on previously run races would give customers something to do while waiting for the next live race" says a representative of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. Now quick thinkers might anticipate a pitfall, but don't be so negative; the horses will be anonymized: "You're not going to see a situation where someone can identify the race. There are going to be 10 horses in each race — one through 10 ... You're going to see the past performance of the horses without the names or identifying information." Well that settles it — what could go wrong? (Amazingly, the article claims that Arkansas and Kentucky already allow it.)

Submission + - (Ex-)CIA analyst writes insider study of Counterterrorism Center

guanxi writes: (Spoiler: It turns our their jobs are even more bureaucratic as most of ours; in fact, some ask if the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is too large to function efffectively.) CIA analyst and sociology Ph.D. candidate Bridget Nolan suggested to her superiors that she write her dissertation on her workplace. They said no; she said yes; Bridget won. She had to quit the CIA, but now her study is in the public domain. Imagine a workplace where "ordinary conversations ... involve a kind of competitive one-upsmanship, "in which intelligence officers ‘out-correct’ and ‘out-logic’ each other in the course of routine conversation to the point where any increased accuracy in what has been said no longer seems meaningful." Maybe that doesn't take much imagination.

Submission + - The National Surveillance State, founded 1917

guanxi writes: The NSA programs may be new, but in the United States government surveillance of its citizens is not. The Surveillance State's origins are in 1917, as Woodrow Wilson looked to rally support (and suppress dissent) for World War I: "Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson read mail and revoked publications’ mailable status that was then used by prosecutors as proof that those publishers were seditious in court cases. ... Soldiers went undercover, such as one who broke into the National Civil Liberties Bureau’s offices ... Prosecutors convicted Eugene V. Debs for seditious speech when he offered praise to three socialists recently convicted under the Espionage Act. ... some 20,000 civilian volunteers of the vigilante American Protective League ... detained about 60,000 men for possible draft dodging, even though they had no legal authority to do so. This same organization investigated their fellow Americans for most of the major intelligence agencies, barging into peoples’ homes and offices. ..." With modern networks, data collection and analysis, we won't need as many vigilantes or to physically break into offices and homes.

Submission + - Is your antivirus made by the Chinese gov't? (

guanxi writes: Huawei, a large Chinese telecom and IT company with close ties to the Chinese military has faced obstacles doing business in other countries, because governments are concerned about giving Huawei access to critical infrastructure. That hasn't stopped them completely, though. Huawei Symantec is a joint venture with one of the world's largest IT security companies which sells security products in the U.S. And the Chinese government is not alone. Would the Chinese or other governments take the opportunity to create back doors into western IT networks? Wouldn't they be crazy not to?

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