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Submission + - NSA planned to discredit radicals based on web-browsing habits (huffingtonpost.com)

wired_parrot writes: New documents leaked show that the NSA was not only monitoring suspected radical sympathizers, but planned to discredit them based on their web-surfing habits. This includes not only evidence of porn browsing and online sexual activity, as well as extorsion and blackmail based on innapropriate use of funds. At the same time, the document leaked notes that very few of contacts noted were associated with terrorism
Google

Submission + - Jill Stein campaign accuses Google of illegally censoring campaign ads (jillstein.org)

imortate writes: U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's campaign says that Google has informed them, the day before their campaign ads are set to run, that they will be censored due to "inappropriate language."

Google has served as the ad broker for placement of the campaign's satellite and cable television ad placements.

According to the campaign, "What Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office."

This is called the "no censorship rule," and is designed to protect broadcasters from liability for the content of campaign ads by forbidding them to censor campaign ads.

Has Google, in setting themselves up as a major ad broker, failed to understand and follow the laws that govern advertising and broadcasting?

Privacy

Submission + - Whistleblower: NSA has all of your email (democracynow.org)

mspohr writes: From DemocracyNow!
National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney reveals he believes domestic surveillance has become more expansive under President Obama than President George W. Bush. He estimates the NSA has assembled 20 trillion "transactions" — phone calls, emails and other forms of data — from Americans. This likely includes copies of almost all of the emails sent and received from most people living in the United States. Binney talks about Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and challenges NSA Director Keith Alexander’s assertion that the NSA is not intercepting information about U.S. citizens.
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/whistleblower_the_nsa_is_lying_us

Submission + - Dealing With an Overly-Restrictive Intellectual Property Policy? 3

An anonymous reader writes: I am very happy with my current job but there have always been a few ideas for things I've wanted to develop on the side. Ideally I'd keep my day job, reserving mornings, evenings and weekends to see if the side-projects could become viable. The problem is: my employer has an IP policy that states that anything I do while under their employ is theirs, even when I'm off the clock. Does anyone have suggestions about workarounds, magic loopholes, false identity for the side projects... anything?
Security

Criminal Charges Filed Against AT&T iPad Attacker 122

Batblue writes "The US Department of Justice will file criminal charges against the alleged attackers who copied personal information from the AT&T network of approximately 120,000 iPad users, the US Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey announced Monday. Daniel Spitler will be charged in US District Court in New Jersey with one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization and one count of fraud. Andrew Auernheimer will be charged with the same counts at the US Western District Court of Arkansas, which is in Fayetteville. Auernheimer made headlines last June when he discovered that AT&T's website was disclosing the e-mail addresses and the unique ICC-ID numbers of multiple iPad owners. Claiming that he wanted to help AT&T improve its security, he wrote a computer script to extract the data from AT&T and then went public with the information. AT&T said that nobody from Auernheimer's hacking group contacted them about the flaw."
Open Source

Hosting Company Appears To Be Violating the GPL [Resolved] 418

palegray.net writes "A web hosting provider called Appnor has recently moved the network diagnostics utility WinMTR off of SourceForge, and is now claiming the program to be a closed source, commercial application (it was previously made available under the GPL). I emailed the current maintainer of the original mtr utility about this, and have been informed that this event most likely constitutes an overt GPL violation, as it is presumed that WinMTR contains mtr code. Appnor claims that they have the right to do this, as there have been no external contributions to WinMTR in over ten years. I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think copyright law works that way." Update: 01/10 18:24 GMT by KD : The CEO of Appnor, Dragos Manac, has posted a response, claiming that no GPL violation occurred, and promising to revert the code to GPLv2 by the end of the week.
Update: 01/11 14:01 GMT by KD : That was fast. WinMTR announced that the code is now available under the GPLv2.
Facebook

Twitter Fights US Court For WikiLeaks Details 268

An anonymous reader writes "Micro-blogging site Twitter is opposing an order from a US court to reveal the account details of supporters of WikiLeaks. Twitter has called on Facebook and Google to reveal whether they also received similar court orders. As part of the US government's investigation into WikiLeaks, a court ordered Twitter, in mid-December, to give details of accounts owned by supporters of the whistle-blower site. Twitter has protested against the subpoena and informed the individuals whose account information has been requested, while raising the possibility that other social networking players have received similar orders."
Social Networks

Submission + - StumbleUpon Passes Facebook In US "Sent" Traffic

JDRucker writes: How can a site with 12 million users send more traffic than a site with 600 million users? When your site is specifically designed to do nothing but send traffic. StumbleUpon may be small compared to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, but it sends the most social media traffic around the web according to the latest numbers by StatCounter. StumbleUpon CEO Garrett Camp is excited about it, announcing it to the world via Twitter at 1am EST this morning.
Security

Submission + - NSA Considers Its Networks Compromised (net-security.org) 1

Orome1 writes: Debora Plunkett, head of the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, has confirmed what many security experts suspected to be true: no computer network can be considered completely and utterly impenetrable — not even that of the NSA. "There's no such thing as 'secure' any more," she said to the attendees of a cyber security forum sponsored by the Atlantic and Government Executive media organizations, and confirmed that the NSA works under the assumption that various parts of their systems have already been compromised, and is adjusting its actions accordingly.

Feed Techdirt: The US's Reaction To Wikileaks Is Doing A Lot More Harm Than The Leaks Themselve (techdirt.com)

It's becoming clear as the weeks go on, that the US government's massive overreaction to the latest Wikileaks releases is doing much more harm to the US's standings abroad than anything in the documents themselves. So far, most of the reaction from various politicians and diplomats concerning the actual content of the documents was that some of it might be slightly embarrassing, but there's been nothing all that surprising. Some foreign diplomats have joked back: "you should see what we say about you." And yet, we're still hearing claims that Julian Assange needs to be put on trial or (worse) executed, and other forms of "attacks" should be made on Wikileaks itself. All this has done has been to have foreign governments and diplomats start mocking the US for not living up to its claims of supporting freedom of the press and freedom of expression. This will make it much, much harder any time the US tries to stop any form of censorship in other countries, as they'll immediately point back at how many of our politicians flipped out over Wikileaks.

A bunch of folks sent over this blog post by Jack Goldsmith, which succinctly summarizes how backwards and damaging the US's response to Wikileaks has been. He questions if whoever leaked the diplomatic cables (he names Bradley Manning, but nothing has yet proven that he's the specific source, as far as I know) directly to the NY Times -- and the same info would likely have been published -- would the US government reacted in the same way?

Would our reaction to that have been more subdued than our reaction now to Assange? If so, why? If not, why is our reaction so subdued when the Times receives and publishes the information from Bradley through Assange the intermediary? Finally, in 2005-2006, the Times disclosed information about important but fragile government surveillance programs. There is no way to know, but I would bet that these disclosures were more harmful to national security than the wikileaks disclosures. There was outcry over the Times' surveillance disclosures, but nothing compared to the outcry over wikileaks. Why the difference? Because of quantity? Because Assange is not a U.S. citizen? Because he has a philosophy more menacing than "freedom of the press"? Because he is not a journalist? Because he has a bad motive?
He also notes that a reporter like Bob Woodward has published and revealed "many details about top secret programs, code names, documents and the like," obviously with direct help from top administration officials... and yet there's been no anger and threats about all of that. Among the many points he raises, one is particularly compelling: any attempt to actually charge Assange will backfire for a huge list of reasons:

I think trying to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act would be a mistake. The prosecution could fail for any number of reasons (no legal violation, extradition impossible, First Amendment). Trying but failing to put Assange in jail is worse than not trying at all. And succeeding will harm First Amendment press protections, make a martyr of Assange, and invite further chaotic Internet attacks. The best thing to do -- I realize that this is politically impossible -- would be to ignore Assange and fix the secrecy system so this does not happen again.
Yet again, I'm left noticing the similarities between the US government's reaction to Wikileaks and the entertainment industry's reaction to file sharing. Each move that it made, including going legal, backfired in a big, bad way. It's really quite stunning to watch the US government make the same mistakes.

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Submission + - EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide that Kills Bees (fastcompany.com)

hether writes: The mystery of the disappearing bees has been baffling scientists for years and now we get another big piece in the puzzle. From Fast Company — "A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined--electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists." Now environmentalists and bee keepers are calling for an immediate ban of pesticide clothianidin, sold by Bayer Crop Science under the brand name Poncho.

Submission + - Righthaven Sues for Control of Drudge Report 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that in its latest case, Righthaven is seeking relief from copyright infringement by the Drudge Report website and by the Drudge Archives website and asking for a preliminary and permanent injunction against infringement on a photo copyright, control of the Drudge Report website and statutory damages up to $150,000. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Righthaven complains about the use of Denver Post photograph of a Transportation Security Administration agent patting down an airline passenger. Drudge displayed an unauthorized reproduction of the photo on the Drudge Report website on Nov. 18, according to the civil complaint. Shawn Mangano, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on Righthaven's behalf, says it is the first time Righthaven has sued over use of a copyrighted illustration. Righthaven also takes issue with the fact that the Drudge Report has no DMCA takedown regime to respond to those who allege violations of copyright. "I assume it's going to be very seriously litigated," says Mangano, noting that Drudge has substantial financial resources."

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