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Comment Not good for government credibility (Score 5, Insightful) 144

It's not very reassuring when the investigators in such a case are themselves blatantly breaking the law to serve themselves. It makes you wonder about the other government agencies and employees looking at things such as all the mass collected survelance materials and wondering how they can use their position to their own personal benefit. Contrary of course to what the government says will never happen. I don't feel like there is much integrity. Having said that at least they got caught even though after the fact.

Comment Re:Because so much content is made in Aus (Score 4, Interesting) 58

"Funny how the goverment wants to slash their funding" -> Sadly Rupert gets what Rupert wants. Far too much of the current policy comes from a handfull of extemely wealthy business men/women. Gina Rinehart, a close friend to Tony, is another classic example and now the current government is kicking the indigenous (aboriginals, etc) off their own land and forcedly shutting down their communities for the mining companies. It's truely shocking. It's like Australia has gone back 200 years to when it was first colonised by the Europians. Fitting since Tony Abbott is actually English!

Comment Because so much content is made in Aus (Score 3, Interesting) 58

I've never understood why the Aus goverment would care given that almost all the content pirated is from overseas giving no financial benefits to the country. But I guess with the current governments relationship with media mogul Murdock who practically got them elected they must continue dance for the man (reference: image search "lets kick this mob out").

I see this only meaning the goverments popularity (24% in Feb) will continue to slide down while VPN services skyrocket. Sounds like a winning plan.

Submission + - Convicted fraud prisoner uses mobile to email forged release forms, gets out ( 1

kaptink writes: Prisoner Neil Moore who was serving time in Wansworth (UK) had escaped by tricking prison officers in to releasing him by using a smuggled mobile phone to set up a fake email account posing as a senior court clerk. He then emailed forged release papers to the prison and was subsequently released. His deception was uncovered when solicitors went to interview him three days later, only to find him gone. He then handed himself in three days later.

Submission + - MS handing NSA access to encrypted chat & email (

kaptink writes: Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal. The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail. The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide. Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases. Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio. Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

Submission + - Computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart dies at 88 (

kaptink writes: Technology visionary Douglas Engelbart, who revolutionized computing with the invention of the mouse, has sadly died at the age of 88.

After studying electrical engineering at Oregon State University and serving as a radar technician during World War II, Engelbart first demonstrated his invention along with video teleconferencing at a computer conference in San Francisco in 1968 where other experts gave him a standing ovation. Two years later, he won a patent on the mouse, a wood box with two metal wheels in its earliest design. He then worked at Nasa's predecessor, Naca, as an electrical engineer, but soon left to pursue a doctorate at University of California, Berkeley.

His interest in how computers could be used to aid human cognition eventually led him to Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and then his own laboratory, the Augmentation Research Center. His laboratory helped develop ARPANet, the government research network that led to the internet.

He was intensely driven instead by a belief that computers could be used to augment human intellect. In talks and papers, he described with zeal and bravado a vision of a society in which groups of highly productive workers would spend many hours a day collectively manipulating information on shared computers.

"The possibilities we are pursuing involve an integrated man-machine working relationship, where close, continuous interaction with a computer avails the human of radically changed information-handling and -portrayal skills," he wrote in a 1961 research proposal at SRI.

His work, he argued with typical conviction, "competes in social significance with research toward harnessing thermonuclear power, exploring outer space, or conquering cancer.

The mouse patent had a 17-year life span and in 1987 the technology fell into the public domain — meaning Engelbart could not collect royalties on the mouse when it was in its widest use. At least one billion have been sold since the mid-1980s. But the mild-mannered Engelbart played down the importance of his inventions, stressing instead his bigger vision of using collaboration over computers to solve the world's problems.

"Many of those firsts came right out of the staff's innovations — even had to be explained to me before I could understand them," he said in a biography written by his daughter. "They deserve more recognition."

Comment Does anyone remember room 641A in AT&T's basem (Score 4, Informative) 568

This has been going on at least since 2005 and its more than just phone call records -

"Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T.[1] The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic[3] and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore "the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic. Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.[2]"

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