Did the CIA Chief Just Dare Obama to Fire Him?
The normally cool and calm director of the CIA, John Brennan, may have flinched Tuesday. After a scathing speech from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the committee that oversees his agency, Brennan largely defended the CIA from charges that it illegally spied on Senate staffers poring through documents related to the agency’s black site program.
- CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged
Israel says it regrets killing of Palestinian judge from Jordan
Israel uses drones to gather intelligence on militant activity in Gaza, a territory governed by the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas and where other armed groups also operate.
North Africa: Maghreb Jihadists Killed in Mali Airstrike
France recently acquired the two American-made drones. They are based in Niamey, Niger.
The bleak comedy of Barack Obama: Mallick
When politicians perform, as Obama did with comedian Zach Galifianakis this week, the joke’s on us.
Jeremy Scahill has reported that Obama holds what are known as “Terror Tuesdays,” in which he says yes or no to “nominated” targets on a drone kill list. Few Americans know that because they didn’t buy Scahill’s book, Dirty Wars, or see his subsequent documentary. But many Americans will indeed see Obama sitting down with a comic actor and joking with him about drone killing, not comprehending Obama’s sheer gall.
National Security: Going “Up” or “Down?”
Of course, both of these documents pre-date the latest explosion of new knowledge about aggressive NSA spying. They don’t reflect new information about the NSA’s forthcoming code-breaking supercomputer that can breach every “secure” https ever created.(2) The two documents I’ve cited above also preceded the current level of critique, both at home and abroad, of U.S. war-proxy drone attacks. New information is now available about not-so-reliable, way too general, and far too remote NSA drone targeting info that does kill the innocent. (3)
Students asked to help build drone sculpture
Construction will begin March 16 on a life-size replica of a military drone, an art project on campus that aims to display lives lost in attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles.
Snowden told me the NSA set fire to the web. Silicon Valley needs to put it out
How to move beyond our SXSW talk: revenge of the nerds, one everyday security tool at a time
NSA nominee backs protection for companies in any cyber law
President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command said on Tuesday liability protection for corporations that share information with intelligence agencies is crucial in any new U.S. cybersecurity legislation.
- Next NSA Chief Urges Transparency … Then Says Nothing
NSA director nominee defends bulk data collection
Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, nominated by President Barack Obama to head the agency at the center of a public firestorm over surveillance, told lawmakers the NSA needs to be able to access the vast amounts of metadata to thwart terror attacks.
- BitTorrent Is Tapping into NSA Fears to Shake Its Criminal Image
Who Wants To Unplug The NSA? Not Arizona’s State Agencies
Arizona is one of thirteen states where legislators have proposed a bill that would prohibit states from providing assistance to a federal agency, like the NSA, that collects electronic data or metadata without a warrant. Originally drafted by nonpartisan legal activists, the bill, which is often referred to as the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, has proven popular across the political spectrum thanks to growing unease about the government’s ability to track virtually everything a person does online.
Forget NSA, India’s Centre for Development of Telematics is one of top 3 worst online spies
Three of the government bodies designated by Reporters Without Borders as ‘Enemies of the Internet’ are located in democracies that have traditionally claimed to respect fundamental freedoms, a report by the Reporters Without Borders said.
NSA nominee: Snowden not necessarily a traitor
Vice Admiral Michael Rogers told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Snowden caused significant damage by releasing information about the NSA’s surveillance programs, but when asked by Sen. Joe Machin, a West Virginia Democrat, whether he viewed Snowden as a traitor, Rogers said, “I don’t know that I would use the word ‘traitor.’ But I certainly do not consider him to be a hero.”
- CIA steals the limelight from the NSA – and finds itself in full-blown crisis
- Snowden accuses Senate intelligence chair of hypocrisy over CIA disclosures
The CIA: the double life of Dianne Feinstein
The exasperation with the Democratic senator from California is that she hasn’t also directed her outrage at the NSA
- Senator Feinstein Takes CIA Spying Accusation to Senate Floor
What’s Feinstein So Upset About? CIA Just Spied On Senate Intelligence Committee ‘Metadata’
Earlier today, we wrote about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s justified anger over the CIA “spying” on the Senate Intelligence Committee staffers as they went about putting together a massive (and apparently incredibly damning) report condemning the CIA’s torture program. Having now watched the whole video of her speech, as well as read the transcript, there’s a lot more here to discuss. You can watch the speech yourself if you’d like, or read the full transcript, which we’ve embedded below…
Computer Network Exploitation vs. Computer Network Attack
Back when we first started getting reports of the Chinese breaking into U.S. computer networks for espionage purposes, we described it in some very strong language. We called the Chinese actions cyber-attacks. We sometimes even invoked the word cyberwar, and declared that a cyber-attack was an act of war.
When Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has been doing exactly the same thing as the Chinese to computer networks around the world, we used much more moderate language to describe U.S. actions: words like espionage, or intelligence gathering, or spying. We stressed that it’s a peacetime activity, and that everyone does it.
World Bank to lend Ukraine $3bn
The World Bank is ready to grant almost bankrupt Ukraine a loan of up to $3 billion this year to support reforms and infrastructure projects.
The Washington-based organization already has several projects in Ukraine aimed at reducing poverty.
Ukraine: How to Hide a Nazi Army
Still, the impression the Daily Beast would like to get across to readers is that the concept of Neo-Nazis leading the so-called “revolution” in Kiev, is absurd. In fact, the truth that Kiev’s Independence Square was full of Nazis, was right under the nose of the entire world – with a handful of Western journalists even admitting as much.
What is Going on in Venezuela?
The majority of the media in today’s Venezuela are private. Many of the private TV stations were actively involved in 2002 coup attempt. Today, the majority of Venezuelans still watch TV stations owned by private corporations. The majority of these stations and most of the main newspapers, although a little bit more diverse politically than in 2002, are anti-government and anti-Chavista. They have not been taken off the air, prevented from printing and the social media has not been shut down. Social media like Facebook and Twitter have been particularly active and inaccurate in portraying Venezuela as a repressive police state with total suppression of the media.
The mainstream U.S. media (e.g., CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, etc.) have a very strong anti-Chávez bias and a continued hostility to the building of 21st century socialism in Venezuela. For example, pictures that supposedly showed violent police brutality and repression in Venezuela were actually old photos from police repression in Bulgaria, Egypt and Chile. The New York Times, while generally hostile to the Venezuelan revolution with very biased reporting, has been slightly more balanced recently, even admitting that in the poorer areas of Caracas, there are no signs of protest,
The UK authorities have known for over 20 years that Megrahi was innocent. The key witness, a Maltese shopkeeper named Tony Gauci, was paid a total of US $7 million for his evidence by the CIA, and was able to adopt a life of luxury that continues to this day. The initial $2 million payment has become public knowledge but that was only the first instalment. This was not an over-eagerness to convict the man the CIA believed responsible; this was a deliberate perversion of justice to move the spotlight from Iran and Syria to clear the way diplomatically for war in Iraq.
Summary: Some of the past week’s news about Ubuntu, the most hyped up distribution of GNU/Linux
- Linux Bugs, Cheese Quesadilla, and Ubuntu Looks
Ubuntu 14.04 default and community wallpapers revealed
Continuing the new trend of adding community wallpapers to the default Ubuntu installation, Ubuntu devs released today 11 community contributed wallpapers to be included in the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 14.04 LTS. These 11 wallpapers were chosen from a community wallpaper contest which ended on 5th March. Shortly after releasing the community wallpapers, the default wallpaper was also released.
Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked
Version 14.04, nicknamed Trusty Tahr, will be an important one because it culminates in a Long Term Support (LTS) version, the first in two years.
What to expect in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Every two years a Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu is made available to the public. Every LTS is supported for 5 years by Canonical. This year is the year of LTS release and its just 1 month away. Canonical will be keen to keep up the stability of LTS release like it has done in the past. Lets have a quick look at what can we expect from this year’s LTS release.
Ubuntu 14.04 beta 1 offers a sneak peek at ‘Trusty Tahr’
Not long ago we learned that Ubuntu will be ditching Unity’s global menu and returning to in-app menus instead. I’m hoping we’ll see that later this month when the next beta release arrives, since the main, Unity-based Ubuntu version will be participating in that one. Stay tuned for more updates when that happens.
- Local Menus are making a comeback in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – albeit, with one small twist!
Early Look at How Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Is Shaping Up
The next Ubuntu Long-Term Release, codenamed Trusty Tahr, will be released on April 17th, 2014 and will ship with several notable features, while mainly focusing on stable main components rather than bleeding-edge software, a very good decision which fits perfectly such a big release. Trusty will be supported for five years on both the desktop and the server. I must say, this is a long awaited release, and probably not only by Ubuntu users, but also the ones of Mint and other distributions based upon Ubuntu, since the upcoming Mint 17 will be based on Trusty. I’m really expecting a solid experience here, which could last for years as a main desktop and development machine.
CeBIT: Ubuntu smartphones to cost between $200 and $400
Smartphones on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system will cost between $200 and $400, according to the firm’s chief executive Mark Shuttleworth.
Speaking at CeBIT, he said: “Ours will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400. We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine.”
The Ubuntu project aims to produce hardware that can act as a smartphone and also work as a PC when plugged into a monitor, something Shuttleworth said many audiences found attractive.
Canonical teamed up with phone makers Meizu and BQ earlier this year to produce the devices, following what Shuttleworth called the “spectacular failure” of the firm’s efforts to raise $32m for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. But he also called it a “spectacular success” because of the amount of attention it drew and the influence it could have on the industry.
- Mark Shuttleworth Talks Up The Phone’s Bottom Edge On Ubuntu
- Canonical Has Stopped Promoting Ubuntu Touch Images Yet Again, Due To Some Unity 8 Regressions And QMLScene Crashes
How to get a side launcher like Ubuntu on your Android device
Ubuntu users get to take advantage of a sidebar giving them access to shortcuts for many programs. Thanks to the Glovebox, this app allows you to get this Ubuntu feature on your Android smartphone.
Android woes could be an opportunity for Ubuntu smartphones
Canonical announced in February that it plans to release smartphones based on its widely used Ubuntu distribution of the Linux platform are back on, with the first devices expected later this year.
This triggered eager anticipation among some members of the V3 team, including yours truly, as Canonical’s original vision for an Ubuntu phone sounded like a compelling prospect, as well as a novel one for those of us who have seen smartphones become ever-more generic over recent years as vendors try to copy Apple’s formula for success.
First disclosed early last year, Canonical proposed a version of Ubuntu with a touch-optimised user interface that could run on high-end smartphone hardware. While some mobile platforms, notably Android, are already underpinned by the Linux kernel, Ubuntu for phones was going to be the real deal; it would be able to run full Linux applications as well as HTML5 web apps optimised for mobile devices.
Chromium Ported To Mir Display Server, Based On Wayland Code
Robert Carr at Canonical has ported Google’s Chromium web-browser to Mir. The “Mir-Ozone” component allows Chromium to run natively on Mir, which in turn is based on Wayland code.
- Chromium ported to Mir display server
Chromium browser succesfully ported to Ubuntu’s Mir display server
When Canonical decided to shun the Wayland display server for its own, called Mir, the Linux community was up in arms. Many people felt that Canonical was not being a team player. While I understand that point of view, the company is well within its right to go in a different direction with Ubuntu. After all, open-source and free software is about choice — not falling in line.
Is Ubuntu Animosity Misplaced?
As for the feelings of the Linux community in general, the consensus is that it felt like GNOME was somehow being slighted or ignored. Remember early on, Ubuntu was a GNOME-centric experience. While today, Ubuntu is most definitely Unity-centric instead. Obviously alternative desktop environments are a mere “apt-get install” away, but most people will use Ubuntu because they’re fans of the entire experience – end to end.
Summary: IBM turns out to be using software patents in order to make money at the expense of much smaller companies; the threat of software patents resurfaces in India
IBM, the company which promotes software patents in Europe. is reportedly going after relatively small companies (not Sun) with patent demands. Citing this report, an expert in this area (Mullin) says: “Twitter’s first annual financial results were revealed on Thursday. Buried deep in the document is the price it paid IBM after it was confronted with a patent infringement threat by Big Blue: $36 million. Bloomberg was first to highlight the price tag.
“IBM sent a letter to Twitter in November saying it was infringing at least three IBM patents. That resulted in a negotiation that ended up with Twitter getting a license to IBM’s patents, acquiring about 900 of them for itself, and (we now know) paying $36 million.”
Shame on IBM.
Just as the US begins thinking about getting rid of software patents the #1 patent holder in the US (whose former staff headed the USPTO until recently) takes us back in time, demonstrating that IBM (with OIN) is not much different from those patent trolls we keep hearing about (OIN is powerless against trolls as well). Here is a new report about a troll: “Personal Audio LLC has recently become one of the more well-known “patent trolls” due to its broad claims to owning basic podcasting technology. The company has filed lawsuits in East Texas, claiming that its patents on “episodic content” technology, which stem from founder Jim Logan’s failed “Magazines on Tape” business, entitle it to royalties from podcasters large and small.”
How is that so different from what IBM is doing? iophk says: “Burning through the EFF’s scant resources playing whack-a-mole with patent trolls. That won’t do anything to solve the underlying problem which is that of patenting software. Get rid of software patents and the trolls will be gone.”
There is actually a correlation between software patents and trolls, as demonstrated by Mullin some years ago. Many boosters of software patents are also trolls (Microsoft, IBM and Nokia for example) and many trolls are using software patents in litigation (about 70% of the time).
IBM recently laid off many employees in India (we covered this thoroughly) as it’s moving into more of a surveillance business [1,2] (IBM is already a surveillance giant) and considers offloading more of its hardware business . Meanwhile, suggests this new post. the threat of software patents in India is back. Spicy IP says: “The reason why I am limiting the issue only to the term software per se is because of the recent discussions draft guidelines issued by our Patent Office on the topic, and the subsequent discussions on the same.”
The term “software per se” is similar to the phrase “as such” in Europe or even New Zealand. It is a trick. To quote further: “As we know that the term per se did not come into the act directly. It came in on the recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (“JPC”). The JPC inserted the term to address the patentability of inventions relating to computer programs that may include certain other things that were ‘ancillary thereto’ or ‘developed thereon’. Accordingly, if computer programs per se are not patentable, something that is ancillary thereto or developed thereon is patentable.”
This is bad and it deserves more media attention. Much of the anti-software patents lobby, however, is quiet or defunct now, in part because corporations hijacked the debate and shifted focus to small trolls (not large ones like Microsoft, Nokia, and IBM). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
IBM ‘as a service’ cloud pieces fall into place
IBM has acquired a bevy of cloud companies and built a Big Blue cloud stack. Here’s a look at the moving parts and how they fit together as IBM moves from hardware to the cloud.
- IBM in the Cloud: More Method Than Meets the Eye?
IBM reportedly considering sale of chip manufacturing operations
IBM is considering a sale of its chip manufacturing operations, the Wall Street Journal reported last night. The company would not stop designing its own chips, however. Just as AMD outsources manufacturing of the chips it designs, IBM “is looking for a buyer for its manufacturing operations, but plans to retain its chip-design capability,” according to the Journal’s source.
Summary: The latest flavours of censorship around the world, including the Western world where even links to sites are now treated like offenses
- ORG’s censorship monitoring project
ORG are building tools to monitor the effects of default filtering in the UK
We want to end the UK-wide censorship system of web blocking by holding ISPs and the Government accountable.
We know that default filters prevent people accessing important and legal information. Over-blocking is a serious and unavoidable effect of filtering. Yet ISPs give website owners and customers minimal information on why and what is being blocked, or how to report problems.
Saudi Arabia Threatens to Lay Siege to Qatar: Cooperation or Confrontation?
Saudi Arabia has threatened to blockade its neighbouring Gulf State Qatar by land and sea unless it cuts ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, closes Al Jazeera, and expels local branches of two prestigious U.S. think tanks, the Brookings Doha Center and the Rand Qatar Policy Institute.
Google battles legal fallout of copyright ruling on anti-Islamic film (copyright linked to censorship)
The video had flimsy production values and was just 14 minutes long, but internet service providers fear they will pay a lasting price for Innocence of Muslims. A court order to remove the anti-Islamic film from YouTube has paved the way for attempts to menace other creative visual works under cover of copyright, some legal experts have warned.
Turkey may ban Facebook and YouTube if Erdoğan wins elections
The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said Facebook and YouTube could be banned following local elections in March after leaked tapes of an alleged phone call between him and his son went viral, prompting calls for his resignation.
Erdoğan claims social media sites have been abused by his political enemies, in particular his former ally US-based Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who, he says, is behind a stream of “fabricated” audio recordings posted on the internet purportedly revealing corruption in his inner circle.
EFF Statement on Dismissal of 11 Charges Against Barrett Brown
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas today filed a motion to dismiss 11 charges against Barrett Brown in a criminal prosecution that would have had massive implications for journalism and the right of ordinary people to share links. EFF has written extensively about the case and had planned to file an amicus brief on Monday on behalf of several reporters groups arguing for the dismissal of the indictment.
Barrett Brown: The Criminalization of Web Links
This– A LINK– could have sent me to jail. Another link came very, very close to sending Barrett Brown to jail.
First, a quick recap of how the internet works. People from all over the world put stuff on the web (“posts”). In many cases you the viewer do not know who posted something, when they did it, where they live or where they obtained the information they posted. It is just there on your screen. If the info is of interest, you can link to it, sending instructions via chat, email, HTML, Facebook or whatever to someone else, telling them where to find the information.
The act of linking is analogous to saying “Hey, did you see that article in the Times on page 4? Check it out.” It is kind of what the internet is about. Here’s how the government seeks to criminalize linking from one article on the web to another.
Summary: Realisation that data can and will be copied, and the building of copyright law to accommodate this new reality
THE EU copyright consultation  seems to have become somewhat of a charade  or an act of publicity and not much more  as “it appears that this is exactly the approach that the Commission is intent to pursue: promoting the interests of one particular tree (content producers) even if this comes at the cost of killing or damaging the rest of the forest.” Reaching out to the public helps promote the perception of serving the public while doing exactly the opposite at the end. Real copyright reformists in Europe are meanwhile being treated worse than murderers and rapists . While some entities, including Getty Images , try to reform in preparation for a new age of abundance, others continue to fight the reality of the Net [6,7,8,9,10], seeking to just criminalise everything rather than legalise and adequately embrace. One European activism site says that “EU Commission Must Rapidly Publish Responses to Consultation” , paving the way to a much-needed copyright reform  in the age of copyright trolling  and censorship using copyright law (more on that in the next post). “There is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem,” Google states.  Well done for saying it. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
- Last Chance to Submit to EU Copyright Consultation
Does The European Commission Really Think The Internet Is A ‘Value Tree’ That Requires A ‘Transmission Belt Of Euros’?
Optimists might see the extra time as a sign that the Commission is genuinely interested in gathering as wide a range of public views on this subject as possible. But a post from Paul Keller raises the possibility that this is just window-dressing, and that it has already made up its mind about what it will do on copyright regardless of what the public thinks
No the Internet is not a ‘value tree’
In recent weeks officials at the European Commission’s Internal Market and Services Directorate General (which is in charge of copyright policy) have been passing around this diagram of what they call the ‘Internet Ecosystem value tree’…
We need a departure from the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional copyright towards a system that is more flexible and better adapted to the needs of all stakeholders. This includes professional content creators and distributors who need adequate levels of protection for their works, educators and cultural heritage institutions who need more freedoms to do their work in the digital realm, and also end users and researchers who should not have to fear that making use of the Internet will turn them into copyright infringers.
A first step towards ensuring that copyright positively enables all of these outcomes would be to increase the scope of user rights (through updating the existing list of copyright exceptions) and to make copyright more flexible (through the introduction of a fair-use type exception). In the long run this will mean simplifying the way copyright works, and ensuring that copyright protection is only granted where it is necessary (or wanted by the creators).
Looking after the interests of all trees in the Internet Ecosystem is also in the interest of the particular value tree that the Commission seems to care so much about. If the copyright rules continue to hinder those online activities that are not primarily motivated by a transmissions belt of €s, copyright will lose legitimacy and be detrimental primarily to those who rely on the protections offered by copyright law.
Pirate Bay Founder’s Detention Extended Based on “New Evidence”
Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm’s custody has been extended for four more weeks after the court reviewed new evidence. The prosecution presented an encrypted container found on Svartholm’s computer which links him to the CSC hack, but according to his lawyer this doesn’t rule out that someone else carried out the hacks remotely.
Getty Images opens treasure trove to bloggers, tweeters
Looking for free, high-quality images for your blog or other noncommercial uses? Getty Images has begun using social media and personal sites as a way of drawing attention to its licensable images.
- NBC Crows About Thwarting 45,000 ‘Illegal’ Olympic Videos, Ignores The Fact That It Drove Users To Them
- Police Raid “Movie Cammer” and Family Twice – Then Drop All Charges
VPN Users ‘Pirating’ Netflix Scare TV Networks
TV networks in Australia are expressing fresh concern that local viewers are ‘pirating’ Netflix with help from VPN services. Officially unavailable Down Under, Netflix reportedly has up to 200,000 Aussie subscribers who evade geo-blocking mechanisms to happily pay for the service.
Naturally there are no official figures on how many people watch Netflix this way but estimates range from 20,000 up to 200,000 subscribers. Highlighting how the TV networks view these people, an article this morning in News Corp-owned The Australian went as far as labeling subscribers as “pirates”, even though they are paying for the service.
‘Domains by Proxy’ Hands Over Personal Details of “Pirate” Site Owner
To shield their identities from the public, many site owners use domain privacy services. Domains by Proxy is one of the most used services in this niche, but the operator of a linking site found out that it’s far from secure. Responding to an inquiry from the Motion Picture Association, the company shared his personal details.
International Music Organizations Claim Aereo Must Be Illegal Because Of International Trade Agreements
For many years, we’ve highlighted how copyright maximalists have abused the international trade process to expand copyright monopolies around the globe. If you’re interested in the history there, I highly recommend the book Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?, which details much of the history. Defenders of this policy love to pretend that international trade agreements can’t bind US law, but reality is quite different. Time and time again, we’ve seen maximalists use international agreements to get their way either in ratcheting up copyright law even further, or pressuring courts into certain positions. This is one of the reasons (one of many) that we’re so concerned about new agreements like the TPP and TTIP/TAFTA. Even if the USTR claims (incorrectly) that nothing in them goes beyond US law today, they can not only limit the changes Congress can make to copyright and patent law, but these issues can show up in court cases, potentially hindering innovation.
Copyright Reform: EU Commission Must Rapidly Publish Responses to Consultation
Paris, 7 March 2014 — The European Commission’s Public Consultation on the review of EU copyright rules closed on 5 March 2014 (LQDN’s answer). It is now essential for the Commission to publish as soon as possible all responses to ensure a transparent policy-making process.
Outdated copyright laws must adapt to the new digital age
The ways that we create and consume culture has fundamentally changed with the digital revolution and the rise of the internet, making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the producers of content on one side and consumers on the other – says Maël Brunet
News Editor Copyright Trolls Pirating Political Party – and Gets Paid
To draw attention to “broken” copyright law, the editor of a popular news site turned the tables on a leading German political party. Finding the government’s Social Democratic Party using a Creative Commons work without permission, he sent them a troll-style settlement demand – and got paid.
Google: Piracy is An Availability and Pricing Problem
In a recommendation to the Australian Government, Google warns that draconian anti-piracy measures could prove counterproductive. Instead, the Government should promote new business models. “There is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem,” Google states.
Summary: Recent reports from around Europe, providing evidence of Free software adoption by governments
European Parliament websites are run by Jahia, an open source content management system
More and more, governments are adopting open source software for for their web and office needs. We recently learned that the EU Parliament (EP) has actually employed the use of the Jahia open source enterprise management system for both its intranet and internet websites. So confident is the EP in Jahia’s abilities that their most popular sites are run by it; a testament to the huge recognition that open source software is receiving from not only enthusiasts, but also from organisations as huge as the EP.
Open source at half EU Point of Single Contact
Of the 31 Points of Single Contacts (PSCs) run by the member states of the European Union, at least 17 use open source solutions such as web server Apache and operating system Linux, a quick site check of the web sites shows.
Sweden’s Point of Single Contact runs open source
Verksamt, the Swedish government’s information hub for new businesses (Point of Single Contact, PSC) is based on open source solutions, shows a report by the open source ICT solutions provider Red Hat. Europe’s PSCs are intended to provide businesses with centralised online administrative services. Verksamt is one of the government agencies using Red Hat Linux, Java application server Jboss and web server Apache, Red Hat writes in its study, published on 14 February.
Open source runs web sites European Parliament
The European Parliament is relying on the open source enterprise content management system Jahia for the majority of websites on its Intranet and some on the Internet. The CMS is used for the EP’s most-used websites, including those for the EP Intranet, EP Committees and the EP internal news.
Half of EU has legislation on ICT re-use
The study indicates that public administration’s open source projects are shifting towards shared services. This is the model chosen by the municipal co-operation project Friprogforeningen in Norway, offering several open source-based solutions for course management, helpdesk and bug-tracking. “Most of Friprogforeningen users now prefer the online version, distributed by cloud services”, reports Clémentine Valayer, management consultant and author of the study.
MEP: ‘EC procurement practice blocks European firms’
The European Commission’s ICT procurement practices are blocking “a very large number of European entrepreneurs”, says MEP Amalia Andersdotter. On Sunday, she published her correspondence with EC Secretary-General Catherine Day about the EC’s procurement practice for desktop operating systems and office productivity solutions. Andersdotter: “It is disappointing that the EU has such a bad strategy for digital services and IT systems.”
- MEP: ‘EC procurement practice blocks European firms’
The Canaries continue to save with open source
By switching to free and open source, the government of the Canary Islands in Spain continues to reduce its ICT costs. The government has already lowered the costs for server and workstation operating systems and other software solutions by 25.4 per cent, reports Roberto Moreno, director of the archipelago’s Department for Telecom and New Technologies, and further cost reductions are expected. “The costs went down from 1,006,500 euro per year down to 750,000 euro per year.”
Munich chooses open source groupware solution
The German city of Munich will implement Kolab, an open source mail server, calendaring and groupware solution. The consortium of IT service providers that won the city’s public tender on Tuesday announced that Munich will implement Kolab across its 15,000 desktops, including about 1000 still using a proprietary operating system.
- Munich opts for open source groupware from Kolab
Linux-friendly Munich: Ja, we’ll take open source collab cloud
The Linux-friendly burghers of Munich are rolling out their own open-source groupware cloud, bucking the trend for going public.
The German city has selected Kolab Desktop Client and Kolab web Client for more than 14,000 Linux PCs, surviving Windows PCs and a generation of mobile devices under a four-year project called MigMak, which has the option to be extended to eight years.
IT Acquisition Reform Bill Passes House with Open Source Provisions
The House has passed the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act not long after the botched launch of the HealthCare.gov website, and attempting to better control how some $80 billion is spent on IT procurement each year. Sponsored by the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa, R-Ca., and committee member Gerry Connolly, D-Va., the bill establishes guidance on fully considering open source software as a procurement option without bias regarding how technology is developed, licensed and distributed. The bill, HR-1232, also requires federal computer standards to include guidelines necessary to enable effective adoption of open source software, and directs OMB to issue guidance for the use and collaborative development of open source software within the federal government. The bill further calls on OMB to develop a plan for conducting a government-wide inventory of IT assets and getting agencies to eliminate or consolidate any duplicate or overlapping websites, and permits CIOs to establish cloud service working capital funds.
Why Linux Works for Government
I suppose the reality is this: You and I don’t need to be convinced of the viability of Open Source and Linux in government at this point. Nobody does. The track record is proven. The question now is… how fast can the remaining government organizations of the world, that have not yet made the move to Open Source, jump on the bandwagon and start reaping the benefits?
DroNSA: Targeted Assassinations, Surveillance on Torture Reporters/Researchers, and Snowden’s Latest Speeches
Protect all people, not just US citizens
What the public needs to understand is that a U.S. citizen, under the protection of the Constitution, was denied due process despite criminal accusations. Instead of going through the justice system like any other alleged criminal, the government found it more convenient to use a killing machine as judge, jury and executioner. The president of the United States is tasked with upholding the Constitution, not throwing it away when it suits him or her.
- UN calls for maximum transparency in drone killing reports
UN Drone Investigator: U.S. Must Explain Civilian Deaths
After a year long study of the use of drones to kill people, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ben Emmerson has released his final report. It’s a manageable read at 22 pages. The summary by NYU’s Sarah Knuckey is the next best thing.
UK Reaper drones to be sent to Africa and Middle East, says UN official
Rapporteur says MoD has no wish to bring squadron of unmanned aircraft back to Britain after Afghan campaign ends
John Brennan marks first year at CIA amid no confirmed civilian drone deaths in Pakistan
And there has not been a reported drone strike for more than two months in Pakistan.
Israeli air strike kills three Gaza militants – Islamic Jihad
Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but maintains a naval and air blockade of the enclave and severely restricts the overland movement of people and goods across the volatile border.
- Israeli drone crashes in Gaza; airstrike kills 3
- Israeli drone crashes in Gaza, airstrike kills three
- Drone With Stun Gun Debuts at SXSW
- Watch An Intern Get Shocked By A ‘Stun Copter’ Drone At a SXSW Demo
Suspected al Qaeda militant killed in drone strike in central Yemen: tribesmen
A suspected al Qaeda militant was killed in a drone strike late on Monday in Yemen’s central Maarib province, an oil-producing area where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates, local tribesmen said.
The sources said three rockets, presumed to be fired by a U.S. drone, hit a car that a man who went by the name of Ebad al-Shabwani was driving. The car was completely burnt, the tribesmen said.
- Panel to debate privacy bills, such as drone curbs
Ukraine on Its Knees
The media is clamoring to get Russia for attacking Ukraine, as if the US has had no influence on events.
Ukraine batters a broken world
Events of the last few weeks in Ukraine have shown how fragile the state of the world is, how interdependent, and yet how badly served it is by leaders of the biggest countries. If there were a “Nobel Anti-Peace Prize,” Putin might win it, but it would be hard to separate him from so many leading contenders.
U.S. crimes destroy its credibility
U.S., Europe slam Russia over Crimean referendum
- Crimea Embraces Independence, Blaming Erdogan, 21st Century Smuggling
Alarm at Russian expansion had at this time caused a flurry of British intelligence activity.
War on Privacy
NSA Barred From Destroying Phone Records
The US National Security Agency was stopped by a judge from destroying phone records collected via its controversial surveillance practices, after a privacy group said they are still relevant and could be used in the lawsuits against the agency.
So Far, The FBI Is Benefiting The Most From The NSA Leaks
The FBI is now basking in the darkness the NSA used to occupy. The first leak had the FBI’s name all over it, and it’s the power granted to the FBI that allows the NSA to collect millions of domestic phone records. The NSA technically isn’t allowed to vacuum up domestic records. The FBI, however, is. But the NSA “takes home” the bulk collection and “tips” a few hundred phone numbers to the agency whose name is listed on the first page.
Yahoo Selects NSA Critic For Chief Security Role
Internet giant Yahoo has recruited Alex Stamos, one of the more vocal opponents of mass US spying, as its new chief information security officer (CISO).
NSA views encryption as evidence of suspicion and will target those who use it, security journalist says
Glenn Greenwald, editor of the newly launched digital publication The Intercept, told attendees at SXSWi that the National Security Agency is wary of anyone who takes steps to protect their online activity from being hacked, such as using encryption tools.
“In [the NSA's] mind, if you want to hide what you’re saying from them, it must mean that what you’re saying is a bad thing,” Greenwald said via a Skype video call. “They view the use of encryption… as evidence that you’re suspicious and can actually target you if you use it.”
NSA leading us to phones that may well outsmart even the spooks
If the physical handset case is prised open, the phone will automatically erase all data it holds.
Ask Boeing for more details if you dare.
Call us paranoid, but you may very well find the NSA has opened a file on you.
Vodafone’s SecureCall app ‘could have protected Angela Merkel from NSA’
Vodafone’s new smartphone app Secure Call could have protected Angela Merkel from the NSA.
Change Agents: The Curious Case of the “Responsible” NSA Revelations
Well, hold on there a minute, Arthur, you incorrigible skeptic you. What about the latest revelation from The Intercept, the flagship enterprise of First Look? Just last weekend, the Interceptors dug into this vast trove of criminality to inform us that … the NSA’s newsletter has its own Dear Abby column (or “agony aunt,” as the Brits would say). Now how about that! The NSA has an internal advice column offering tidbits on personnel issues. Now that’s transformative journalism with a vengeance! Just think how many innocent lives now doomed to die from Washington’s surveillance state-supported death squads will now be saved because of this revelation!
Debates on beefing up EU data protection and NSA inquiry findings
A major overhaul of the EU data protection rules and MEPs’ findings and recommendations after six months investigating US mass surveillance schemes will be debated on Tuesday from 15.00. The data protection reform would greatly strengthen EU citizens’ control over their personal data and punish firms which pass it on without permission.
Germany rejects Snowden claim it bowed to NSA
Germany on Monday dismissed a claim by NSA leaker Edward Snowden that it had bowed to US demands to water down privacy rights for German citizens.
Snowden told the European parliament in a statement published Friday that Germany was pressured to modify its legislation on wiretapping and other forms of lawful telecoms surveillance. The former National Security Agency contractor didn’t elaborate on how the laws were changed or when, but suggested it was standard practice for the NSA to instruct friendly nations on how to “degrade the legal protections of their countries’ communications.”
NSA gave ‘legal guidance’ to NZ
NSA leaker Edward Snowden says New Zealand is one of a number of countries the US spy agency helped to change laws in order to enable mass surveillance.
The revelation came during his written answers to questions from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. The committee is undertaking an inquiry into mass electronic surveillance of EU citizens launched following Snowden’s original allegations of widespread internet surveillance.
Michael Rogers goes before Senate committee to outline vision for NSA
The likely next director of the National Security Agency will testify on Tuesday for the first time about his new job, in perhaps the agency’s best chance for a post-Edward Snowden reboot.
Surveillance by Algorithm
Increasingly, we are watched not by people but by algorithms. Amazon and Netflix track the books we buy and the movies we stream, and suggest other books and movies based on our habits. Google and Facebook watch what we do and what we say, and show us advertisements based on our behavior. Google even modifies our web search results based on our previous behavior. Smartphone navigation apps watch us as we drive, and update suggested route information based on traffic congestion. And the National Security Agency, of course, monitors our phone calls, emails and locations, then uses that information to try to identify terrorists.
Edward Snowden speaks up for encryption at SXSW
SURVEILLANCE WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden has taken part in a video conversation at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference along with representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: ‘I would do it again’
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose unprecedented leak of top-secret documents led to a worldwide debate about the nature of surveillance, insisted on Monday that his actions had improved the national security of the United States rather than undermined it, and declared that he would do it all again despite the personal sacrifices he had endured.
Google’s Schmidt ‘Pretty Sure’ Networks Are Now Secure After Being ‘Attacked’ By The United States
Among the biggest revelations made by the Snowden documents so far was of course the fact that in addition to negotiating with companies like Yahoo and Google for user data via the front door (PRISM), the NSA was also busy covertly hacking into the links between company data centers for good measure (trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, you know). The moves pretty clearly pissed off Google engineers, who swore at the agency and immediately began speeding up the already-underway process of encrypting traffic flowing between data centers.
Please Contact MEPs: Big Votes in European Parliament
Two of the biggest stories over the last year have been data protection and – of course – Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive spying by the NSA and GCHQ on all online activity in Europe (and elsewhere). As it happens, both of these important issues are coming to a head this week: after a preliminary debate tomorrow, on Wednesday the European Parliament will vote on both (draft agenda.) That means we still have time to drop them a friendly email today asking them to support strong privacy and civil liberties in Europe.
US intelligence officials to monitor federal employees with security clearances
Intelligence officials have long wanted a computerized system that could continuously monitor employees, in part to prevent cases similar to former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden. His disclosures bared secretive U.S. surveillance operations.
Snowden On Going Through ‘Proper Channels’: Reporting Concerns Gets You Flagged As A ‘Troublemaker’
The NSA defenders who label Ed Snowden a “traitor” (senators, congressmen and any number of former intelligence officials) often assert the whistleblower had an opportunity to use “proper channels” rather than take the route he chose: leaking documents to journalists.
War on Peace
The Propaganda of Death
The terrible loss of life in the Malaysian air crash is tragic. But the attempt to ramp up a terrorism scare is ghoulish. We even had both the BBC and Sky speculating that it was the Uighurs. Now the suppression of Uighur culture and religion by the Chinese had been a great and long-term evil, and the West has been only too eager to shoehorn their story into the “Islamic terrorism” story. There is of course an enormous security industry, both government and private, which makes a very fat living out of “combating Islamic terrorism”, and a media which make a fat living out of helping to ramp it.
Selling a Mossad Book
Raviv reported that President Barack Obama would raise the assassination issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their March 3rd meeting at the White House. The book also repeats previous claims that Israeli spies who were possibly drawn from Persian Jews who had emigrated to Israel had infiltrated Iran and, using a string of safe houses and some help from friendly Iranians, had managed to kill five scientists. The authors have added the new information about the White House talks, noting also that Netanyahu has already decided to end the program because of the risk to Israel’s “most talented and experienced spies,” choosing instead to focus Mossad efforts on proving that the Iranians are cheating on their nuclear program.
The motto of Israel’s foreign intelligence service the Mossad translates as “By way of deception you shall make war,” and one might modify that a bit to claim that “by way of deception you can sell books.” The whole story, intended to create some buzz for the new edition while at the same time touting the invincibility of Israeli intelligence, smells. It is the kind of narrative that is impossible to check. The sources are “secret,” Israel has never admitted its involvement, there is no indication that the president and prime minister actually spoke regarding the assassinations, and there is no suggestion why Obama would have any motive raise the issue. The Iranians are not demanding any action from Washington regarding the killings as part of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, so why would Obama even mention it?
US war movie military policy: Baby Boomers grew up on films where battle was noble and Americans never died
War, these movies taught me, is entered reluctantly and only after due, transparent discussion by the nation’s leaders. But as a child eating popcorn and tossing Jujubes from the balcony of the theater, I learned nothing about the imposition of freedom, of democracy, of American values on those who hold different values and beliefs and refuse to adopt what America “offers.”
Dianne Feinstein launches scathing attack on CIA over alleged cover-up
The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of a catalogue of cover-ups, intimidation and smears aimed at investigators probing its role in an “un-American and brutal” programme of post-9/11 detention and interrogation.
CIA accused of spying on Congress over torture report
According to the Associated Press, Sen. Feinstein said the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network at the agency’s Langley, Virginia headquarters that was put in place so that Intelligence Committee staffers could view sensitive documents.
- Snowden: Feinstein a Hypocrite for Blasting CIA Spying
4 reasons the latest CIA revelation is serious
The latest fight over America’s spycraft has triggered serious constitutional questions.
On the Senate floor Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the CIA searched computers used by Senate staff to investigate the CIA, confirming a story reported by the New York Times last week.
Temple intern breaks national story involving CIA
A senior in Temple University’s journalism program helped break a recent national story that has members of the U.S. Senate pointing fingers at the CIA.
Ali Watkins, currently a 22-year-old intern for McClatchy in Washington, D.C., received a tip from sources who came to trust her while making herself a presence on Capitol Hill, according to a posting by Temple’s School of Media and Communications.
Analysis: Why Does Congress Lack the Backbone to Oversee the CIA?
Ongoing efforts to make public a report on torture perpetrated by the CIA has the spy agency “nearly at war” with its Senate overseers, Eli Lake reports in The Daily Beast. In theory, that would mean that the CIA is in deep trouble. Congress has the power to destroy the CIA if it desires. Congress could cut the CIA budget to zero! Yet the press is filled with stories about the CIA and its overseers written as if they are on equal footing, or even as if the CIA has the upper hand.
US University launches minor in free open source software
Responding to student interest and a growing industry demand for workers with such skills, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is launching the nation’s first interdisciplinary minor in free and open source software and free culture.
RIT launches nation’s first minor in free and open source software and free culture
Responding to student interest and a growing industry demand for workers with such skills, Rochester Institute of Technology is launching the nation’s first interdisciplinary minor in free and open source software and free culture.
Starting in Fall 2014, RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media will offer the minor in free and open source software (FOSS) and free culture for students who want to develop a deep understanding of the processes, practices, technologies, and financial, legal and societal impacts of the FOSS and free culture movements.
- Public schools lack of bandwidth needs attention
Google’s Oppia Is A Smart Open Source Educational Tool For Interactive Learning
With its continued focus on education, Google has launched Oppia (beta). The Open Source project is a free educational tool that lets anyone create online educational activities through the web interface. Interactivity is its strong suit. The interactive activities are called “explorations”.
- Open source summer internships, new tools for online education, and more
How to teach hacking in school and open up education
Whatever you may have heard about hackers, the truth is they do something really, really well: discover. Hackers are motivated, resourceful, and creative. They get deeply into how things work, to the point that they know how to take control of them and change them into something else. This lets them re-think even big ideas because they can really dig to the bottom of how things function.
- In search of a flexible, open education management system
- Schools and Public Libraries
Teachers Romania oblivious about open source
Schools in Romania are letting laptops gather dust, because the teachers don’t know how to use Linux, the Romanian TV station Pro TV reports. Last year, supermarket chain Profi donated laptops running the Edubuntu Linux distributions to schools. In at least one of these schools, the laptops are still in the box and other schools have replaced the software by proprietary alternatives.
Open source textbook program expanding in coming months
The Tullahoma City School system has already made a considerable investment of time and energy into developing open source textbooks, and plans are in place to expand the program in the coming months.
- US News Dumps Pre-2007 Archive, Putting A Proxy Paywall Between Writers And Their Work
- U.S. News deletes archived web content published before 2007
- If Harry Potter Was An Academic Work
AAAS Launches Open-Access Journal
Joining a herd of other scientific societies, today AAAS (publisher of ScienceInsider) announced that it will launch the organization’s first online, fully open-access journal early next year. The new journal, called Science Advances, will give authors another outlet for papers that they are willing to pay to make immediately free to the public.
Royal Society Joins Open-Access Bandwagon
Less than a week after AAAS, Science’s publisher, announced the launch of its first open-access online journal, Science Advances, Britain’s Royal Society has done the same. Royal Society Open Science, slated for launch later this year, will “provide a scalable publishing service, allowing the Society to publish all the high quality work it receives without the restrictions on scope, length or impact imposed by traditional journals,” a statement issued today says. The journal will cover life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science.
Elsevier are still charging THOUSANDS of pounds for CC-BY articles. IMMORAL, UNETHICAL , maybe even ILLEGAL
SEVEN MONTHS ago I showed that Elsevier “open access” CC-BY papers were incompetently labelled (see http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2013/08/12/elsevier-charges-to-read-openaccess-articles/ and following blog posts), and under “Rights and Permissions” charging huge amounts of money.
LibreOffice: My birthday wish list
All in all, this list would not significantly change the userbase of LibreOffice; but it would also position LibreOffice in places and circles where it’s not really used either, and I feel it’s a welcome set of suggestions that differ from the usual Android/iOS porting and cloud based office suite. On a deeper level, I think it also means that LibreOffice as a tool and office suites in general can change and grow to adapt to new usages even today.
LibreOffice 4.2.1 Has 100+ Bug-Fixes
Less than one month after the release of the major LibreOffice 4.2 update, LibreOffice 4.2.1 has been released to ship a large number of fixes for discovered problems.
Updated TDF Board and New LibreOffice Release
The Document Foundation yesterday announced that the new Board of Directors is “officially in charge.” These new members were recently elected and congratulated last December and have been in a sort of training since. In other news, TDF today announced the release of LibreOffice 4.2.1 for early adopters, an update to 4.2 released January 30.
FLOSS Office Suites
There are a bunch of FLOSS office suites but two of them are the big dogs: LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. “October 29th, someone downloaded the 75,000,000th copy of Apache OpenOffice™. The 75 million downloads have occurred in the less than 18th months since the first release of Apache OpenOffice on May 8th, 2012.
LibreOffice Plans For C++11 / C++14 Development
LibreOffice has been pushing forward in its development recently with supporting OpenCL in its spreadsheet, gaining an OpenGL rendering back-end, and supporting other modern features and system capabilities for the open-source office suite. LibreOffice is also planning for its adoption of the C++11 programming language and even C++14 language features.
LibreOffice 4.1.5, Linux for Students, and the Weirdest Places
The Document Foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 4.1.5 today, for all those running the 4.1 branch of code. In other news, a Pennsylvania high school has provided their students with Linux laptops and Lifehacker.com has outlined the top 10 uses for Linux. Also, www.networkworld.com has a slideshow of the 16 weirdest places running Linux and KDE was featured in hit movie Gravity.
- LibreOffice 4.2 brings new features for power and enterprise users
- LibreOffice 4.2 Office Suite Boasts New Features, Performance Boost
- LibreOffice 4.2 better bridges the gap with Microsoft Office
Why LibreOffice 4.2 matters more than you think
On Thursday the Document Foundation released its newest stable branch, LibreOffice 4,2. Don’t let be misled by its number; if we weren’t on a strict time released scheduled alongside a clear number scheme without any nickname for each release, I would have called this one the 5,0. Yes, you read that right, the mighty Five. Why? Mostly for two big reasons.
LibreOffice 4.2 Released with Focus on Performance
Italo Vignoli of The Document Foundation today announced the immediate availability of the next major stable build of the popular office suite. LibreOffice 4.2 “features a large number of performance and interoperability improvements targeted to users of all kinds, but particularly appealing for power and enterprise users.”
Bigger, better, faster: LibreOffice 4.2
The Document Foundation’s newest release of LibreOffice 4.2 targets early adopters. It comes with many new performance and interoperability improvements for users of all kinds. Specifically, this update is designed to appeal to Windows power and enterprise users.
LibreOffice 4.2 Brings OpenCL Calc, OOXML Improvements
A new stable, major release of the open-source LibreOffice suite is now available and with it comes several new and improved features.
LibreOffice Gets An OpenGL Rendering Back-End
The initial work on an OpenGL rendering back-end has landed in LibreOffice, not too long after receiving OpenCL support for spreadsheets and OpenGL canvas support.
Pushed into Git today was the initial OpenGL rendering support, anti-aliasing support, a new time-based charting approach, OpenGL text rendering, OpenGL area rendering support, and other OpenGL-related changes.
Open office choices grip multiple languages
Open source office suite alternatives are well able to handle multiple languages. Apache OpenOffice for example, already supports 32 languages, and the upcoming new version will add several new languages, including Danish and Norwegian, according to a press statement from the Apache Software Foundation, released on International Mother Language Day, Thursday 20 February. Multilingualism is also a feature of LibreOffice, another open source office suite, localised in over a hundred languages.
LibreOffice HiDPI Patches
I bought a HiDPI laptop in October to replace my 5-year old Thinkpad. Between the 5.7 million pixels, and the bright LED backlight replacing my dying and dim CFL bulb, it makes the daily computing experience much easier on the eyes. I’d put up with a lot for this screen. It turns out I have to compared to my old Lenovo, as there is an incompatible and inferior keyboard layout, the Synaptics mouse drivers are flakey, it is difficult to replace the battery or hard drive, etc.
Apparently, everyone is so busy delivering a new product, fostering a young community, paying down technical debt, making it run on Android, improving import and export, rewriting the Calc engine, removing Java, etc., that no one has time to make it look good on these beautiful screens. There is a lot happening without any rich benefactor anymore, and a split community. If you think LibreOffice is amazing, just imagine what it would be if IBM gave them $10M / year, and the trademark, and didn’t seduce away naïve volunteers and donations. (I believe if IBM were to ask Watson whether it should end the fork, the AI would recommend it. Watson is only being applied to customer problems instead of their own. One could spend a lot of time correcting the inaccurate FUD written on the AOO dev alias. Imagine we lived in a society that celebrated divorce instead of marriage.)
A new web site for the LibreOffice Project
When we first started the LibreOffice Project, we had a gazilion tasks to work on. Among them, we had priorities, most of them involving the code readiness of our first version, LibreOffice 3.3. Another priority was to make sure that the native-lang communities of the now defunct OpenOffice.org project would be able to find the tools needed to work on the releases, (re)create documentation, QA of their localized builds and several other important tasks. These were some of our most crucial priorities; yet among them, you would not have noted “design a nice website”.
- Bridging the gap between OpenStack and Python
- Is Red Hat Already the Big Fish in the OpenStack Pond?
- Free online Linux training, GoDaddy switching to OpenStack, and more
- The potential for OpenStack in the enterprise
- Make OpenStack speak your language
Piston Updates OpenStack Cloud Platform
Every six months or so, a new release of the open-source OpenStack cloud platform debuts. The open-source release is followed by the stream of commercial vendors, including Piston Cloud Computing, that harden the upstream bits and enhance the platform with their own solutions.
- GoDaddy Embraces Open-Source OpenStack Cloud
- Mirantis and IBM Run Ambitious OpenStack Benchmark Test
Benchmarks are worthless right?
Or is it the case that 75,000 live OpenStack virtual machines can’t be wrong?
Gone are the days of benchmarking one Pentium processor performance compared to the last… and come to think of it, Apple has not pushed benchmarking as a key selling point in years and appears to be able to shift quite a few products.
Plus anyway, benchmarks are static metrics that fail to take into account an ongoing analysis of how a) hardware of any kind is used on a longer term basis and b) how real world data flows affect the software implementation being assessed.
- A beginners guide to understanding OpenStack
Metacloud Delivers Supported, Hosted OpenStack Cloud Platform
The OpenStack cloud computing platform continues to head in a lot of interesting directions. There are many IT departments interested in deploying it for its flexibility and customizability, but there are also those who simply want a well supported OpenStack platform that will let them take advantage of private cloud functionality.
As OpenStack Certification Efforts Spread Out, Which Vendors Will Win?
OpenStack remains a young cloud computing platform, but it’s becoming clear that we will see its compatibility with other technologies getting much better this year. As reported here, Mirantis is calling for and helping to build a standard, open set of tools that vendors can use to self-certify compatibility of their solutions with the upstream OpenStack codebase. This will help everything from drivers to APIs to become more friendly for those deploying OpenStack. Meanwhile, Red Hat and others are pursuing their own compatibility and certification-focused efforts.
- Mirantis Launches Ambitious OpenStack Tech Certification Program
- How to contribute to OpenStack
OpenStack Cloud Goes Open for Vendor Certification
The way that IT certifications have long worked is that they have largely been vendor-specific. That’s something that is about to change with the open-source OpenStack cloud platform.
Storage policies: Coming to an OpenStack Swift cluster near you
OpenStack Object Storage (code named Swift) has a fairly frequent release schedule for improvements and new capabilities but naturally, there is always significant gravity around integrated releases for any OpenStack project. Even though the Havana release was very big for OpenStack Swift, with new support for global clusters, the upcoming Icehouse will be the biggest release yet for the OpenStack Swift project.
Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry becomes open source foundation
The Cloud Foundry Foundation will be backed by ActiveState, CenturyLink, EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Rackspace, SAP and VMware.
IBM places billion dollar bet on BlueMix PaaS cloud
IBM believes it’s making a safe bet by opening its middleware stack to its SoftLayer Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud. They’d better be. Big Blue’s putting a billion dollars on the table.
- Verizon Signs Up To Cloudbees PaaS, Has Anyone Told Pivotal?
- The future of Big Data : Open source v. proprietary |#BigDataSV
Great Wide Open
Atlanta Meets Open Source at ‘Great Wide Open’
Like All Things Open, which is now an annual event, Great Wide Open is aimed at those who earn their living by plying their trades in the tech sector. In other words, don’t expect any workshops or presentations on “How to Setup Ubuntu for Grandma” here. However, this doesn’t mean there’ll be nothing for people who mainly use Linux and open source at home. Indeed, all FOSS supporters should look into enterprise events like this because what happens in the enterprise often eventually ends up on the desktop, either as improvements/additions to Linux or as new open source applications.
Linux Foundation Events
Linux Foundation Highlights Open Source Virtualization, Cloud, Appliances
The Internet of Everything, container virtualization and KVM virtualization for the OpenStack cloud are all on the list of open source initiatives the Linux Foundation will be highlighting at its Collaboration Summit next month, which provides some useful clues as to where the open source ecosystem is headed next.
Schedule for ApacheCon and CloudStack Collaboration Conference is Out
The Linux Foundation has announced the keynote speakers for ApacheCon and the CloudStack Collaboration Conference. ApacheCon takes place April 7-9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The CloudStack Collaboration Conference takes place April 9-11, 2014 in the same location. In particular, the CloudStack conference sounds like a very interesting event, and given all the hype about OpenStack, it’s easy to forget that CloudStack has momentum, too.
- Learn KVM and Receive Exclusive Invitation to Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit
Conf.kde.in 2014 – Knowledge. Power. Freedom.
The primary goal of the conference was to encourage people to get involved with open source and to understand its power and its reach. We also wanted to help them get started by teaching them the basics and by getting them to know more about KDE. When the conference was over, it didn’t matter how many lines of code anyone could understand or even actually write. If some people were convinced of the magic of open source and of KDE, and are now willing to be contributors to this noble cause even if only slightly, then the event accomplished its aim. Events, speakers and mentors like these add fuel to the fire inside. Students were inspired to reach out and experience the power of free and open source technology.
“KDE5″ and Wayland
As my readers probably know there won’t be a combined release as the software compilation used to be. There are independent ongoing projects around the libraries (frameworks or KF5) the workspaces (Plasma Next) and the applications. These projects have independent release cycles and are not one product. I know, I know, many people will disagree and say that it’s still one. But if we go for this strong simplification both “will support Wayland” and “will not support Wayland” are true.
- The State Of Wayland Support With KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma Next
oldest krunner plugin ported to sprinter
Today I ported the ~7.5 year-old “services” KRunner plugin to Sprinter and added support for some of the new Sprinter features in the process, which I show in the video below. It felt like something of a milestone to have the first plugin I wrote for KRunner now running on libsprinter.
Not the monday report but some clarification
“Community” why is that more important than “Design”? Because it is design. It is the basis of Open Source Design. One of my favorite distros and desktops (aside from Plasma Desktop) is Crunchbang. It’s one of my first pure Linux Loves and will always have a certain place in my heart.Crunchbang got one huge chunk of design right: communication. Design is communication – it is not just “make pretty”, its the ability to communicate goals, ideals and ideas to a group. In Open Source the benefit we have is that everyone can be a part – we use it in almost every aspect, from the Kernel up to Widget programming. But we tend to forget Design because design have a myth about it of the “Lone Genius” and that “Design by committee” it’s supposed counterpart is somehow “bad for design”.
- KDE Ships First Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13
First beta of KDE Applications 4.13 is out
It’s Christmas time for KDE Software users, the team has just announced the first beta of the 4.13 versions of Applications and Development Platform. This release also marks a freeze on APIs, dependencies and features so the team will now focus on hunting down bugs and polish it further.
Replacing KDE4 with Xfce
With these things in mind, I very quickly focused on two desktop managers that might provide the desired desktop: Xfce and Trinity. Since I prefer to use openSUSE as the underlying operating system and Xfce is one of the desktop manager options fully supported by openSUSE installations, Xfce was an obvious first choice for consideration. This article will consider the Xfce desktop manager from the perspective of a KDE4 user and it is addressed to all those KDE4 users who feel similarly frustrated with the development direction KDE4 has taken.
- Krita Lime: Localization Support
Krita 2.8.0 Milestone Release, Steam [Ubuntu Installation]
Krita 2.8.0 was released yesterday, and this version comes with quite a big list of changes. In addition to the new features that were implemented, Krita is also available for Windows with an installer available from here.
Major new version of free Photoshop replacement Krita released for Linux and Windows
The KDE Project has released a major new version of its Krita image editing software, with the latest version of the free and open source Photoshop replacement available for both Windows and Linux.
The latest update, version 2.8, marks a significant milestone for the software, marking the first stable version of the software released for Windows.
Krita 2.8 Provides Many New Features To Artists
Krita 2.8 offers better tablet support based upon Qt’s tablet code, a new high-quality scaling mode for Krita’s OpenGL canvas, a new wrap-around mode, new brush presets, a layer picker, support for G’mic filters, and tons of new artist features and other improvements.
Calligra 2.8 Released
The Calligra team is proud and pleased to announce the release of version 2.8 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of commits which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.
- KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd February 2014
Ubuntu Gnome wants to get LTS status
Ubuntu Gnome team wants to join the elite club of Ubuntu flavours which enjoy the LTS (Long Term Support) status. 14.04 is going to be an LTS release and its apt for Ubuntu Gnome team to get extended support of 2 years and 3 months as an LTS release which will make it easier for those users to use Gnome who want to use stable LTS releases.
GNOME Music 3.12 Beta 2 Arrives with Minor Improvements and Bugfixes
Several other minor improvements have been added to this release, and various bugs have been fixed, including the removal of the “Now Playing” entry from the App Menu, songs are no longer being replayed when they’re paused, the current track is now restarted when the Previous button is clicked, and the position is greater than 3 seconds.
Why XFCE beats KDE and GNOME
The sleeper desktop environment – which I didn’t even considered years ago – has been XFCE. I’ve found that XFCE offers more robustness than say, LXDE, which lacks much of XFCE’s polish in its default configuration. XFCE provides all the benefits one may have enjoyed in GNOME 2, but with a lightweight experience that makes it a hit on older computers.
Linux desktop environment Mate achieves 1.8 release
Linux users do not like change. Well, actually, they do not like change for the sake of change. If something works, they typically hang on to it until something truly better comes along. A good example of this is GNOME 2. People love it and it works well. However, the GNOME Project moved to version 3 and radically changed how it works. GNOME purists were angry as version 2 worked just fine — for them. And so, many hung onto the outdated version, shunning version 3.
- Totally Legal, LMDE Reviews, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Summary: Reverse-chronological news summary with headlines of interest about Free/Open Source software
Video interview on the power and innovation behind open source project management
Deb Cinkus is the CEO of Polished Geek, a Raleigh, NC-based Joomla CMS web development company. Opensource.com community manager Jason Hibbets interviewed Cinkus about project management tips and open source project management tools during the 2013 All Things Open conference in Raleigh, NC.
The almighty $1 billion has lost its open source value
Kickstarter just passed $1 billion in pledges. While it’s great that Kickstarter corralled 5.7 million people to help fund a heck of a lot of documentaries, tech startups, and more, $1 billion isn’t what it used to be.
- Pivotal opens up Cloud Foundry to open source fights
The Open Source (R)evolution
The applications and benefits of open source will continue to evolve and grow. Educators are using open source programming as a way to interest, involve and inspire up and coming technologists. It enables students to learn by doing and to become more engaged. With a next generation of minds focused on next-generation technology challenges, open source will continue to revolutionise the way we overcome obstacles and create new opportunities.
- Three open source markdown editors put to the test
ThoughtWorks Open Sources Go, a CD Tool
ThoughtWorks has recently open sourced their Continuous Delivery (CD) tool, called Go, having its origins in CruiseControl and providing a pipeline process that covers the entire code development process: continuous integration, testing and deploying.
Developers from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan & Syria can’t contribute to US based open source projects?
I am aware of situations where Open Source companies based out of US can’t offer free software to those countries which are in US’s embargo list, but something interesting popped out today when FESCo debated the issue whether Fedora should allow ‘contribution’ from such countries. Fedora’s sponsor Red Hat is a US based company and thus has to adhere to US laws so it’s tricky whether they can use the free software contribution from embargoed countries or not.
- Open Source Vendors Blaze a Trail in Advanced Analytics
Cover Oregon should have used open-source software: Guest opinion
People should be asking why states didn’t partner up on this using an open source model of development. Why do states and cities have to purchase systems for 10s or 100′s of millions of dollars? How many water billing systems are out there in the United States? Can’t we collaborate and come up with a couple good ones? What did Kentucky do right? These are the questions we should be asking.
Moving between the stages of open source projects
The Moodle community has a tool called “code checker” which is packaged as a Moodle plugin, and allows developers to analyse their code to ensure it meets the project’s coding style. This allows them to quickly identify and fix any issues before submission, and allows reviewers to quickly direct them to instructions on how to fix any discrepancies.
- Vancouver wireless firm to add open source M2M platform
Buffalo Intros Open Source DD-WRT Wireless Routers
This week during Mobile World Congress 2014, Buffalo Americas launched three high speed AirStation Open Source DD-WRT wireless routers: the AirStation AC 1750 WZR-1750DHPD, the AirStation N600 WZR-600DHP2D, and the AirStation N300 WHR-300HP2D. The AC 1750 model is on sale now, while the other two won’t arrive until early March.
Cisco open sources corporate firewall software
Cisco has released open source security software designed for building secure corporate Internet firewalls called OpenAppID.
Open source 3D sensing libraries kyboshed, maybe by Apple
Since the OpenNI work was published as open source, it can still be distributed, and as I Programmer notes the files will also be available on GitHub. It’s also feasible that other backers of the project will revive it in some form.
12 videos to you get started with open source software
Getting started with new software can be overwhelming. It’s even more frustrating when you transition from one tool to another, because you have to unlearn some habits in order to make room for new ones. But, there are huge benefits to switching from closed software to open source alternatives.
Cisco details Sourcefire security threat integration, open source direction
Having acquired the security firm Sourcefire last October, Cisco is using this week’s RSA Conference as the showcase for how Cisco’s security products are being integrated as well as detailing how it will cut an open-source path for the next-generation application-layer firewall/IPS.
Splunk feels the heat from stronger, cheaper open source rivals
Graylog2, based on Java and Elasticsearch, provides a increasingly useful alternative to commercial log analysis tools
OSSEC, the free and open source IDS
Intrusion detection software is meant to monitor network traffic or host activities for malicious actions, such as successful or unsuccessful intrusion attempts, hostile traffic (i.e., malicious scans and denials of service), unauthorized configuration changes, malware symptoms, and user policy violations. An intrusion detection system (IDS) typically can produce reports describing the details of the potentially hazardous activity which generated alerts. OSSEC is particularly useful in this context for many reasons. First, it is an established, reputable product with a proven track record (OSSEC was first released in 2004 and has been owned by Trend Micro since 2009). Second, it is free and open source. Third, it is compatible with most modern operating systems such as Linux, Windows (Server 2008, Server 2003, 7, Vista, XP, 2000) BSD (Free/Open/Net), Unix (Solaris, HP-UX, AIX), and MacOS.
- Things newcomers to open source rarely ask but often wonder
Open source tools to build your best business
In January 2013, I started exploring open source solutions to help implement my business idea. I used WordPress, Joomla, and OpenShift to create FilmBoxFestival, a platform for streaming documentary films. Note: It is still in the testing phase.
Storage on a budget: GlusterFS shines in open source storage test
One alternative to buying expensive storage-area networks or other hardware-based dedicated storage is to deploy open source storage software on existing server hardware. For this test, we evaluated three such open source storage products, GlusterFS 3.3, Ceph 0.72 and Apache Hadoop 2.2.0.
Imaging and radiology paves the way for industry adoption of open source
Open source software in healthcare has been instrumental for sharing common tools and increasing adoption of emerging medical information technology (IT) standards. By leading the effort to digitize health data, imaging informatics has set the precedent for the adoption of the technology industry’s best practices and subsequently open source software.
- Building an open source community
- Get started in open source online and offline
Making the most with Open Source
What opportunities does Open Source provide if you’re really looking to go big? Aiming to become “the next Red Hat” is an idea flawed from the start, as former XenSource CEO Peter Levine explains in his recent TechCrunch article. So what’s left if business models focussing on selling support and services all have a relatively low limit to their growth?
- Linux gaming steams ahead, Wikimedia sticks with open formats, and more
AlienVault Advances Open-Source SIEM
Open Source Security Information Management (OSSIM) updates alongside its commercial cousin for better security visibility.
May open source be with you
My introduction to open source software began when I was sitting on a server room floor, with my head in my hands, completely frustrated with a Windows 2000 server. Every night there were some services that would crash. Every morning I would get yelled at by my over-bearing boss. I was new to the company, it was my first IT job fresh out of Network Admin college, where I graduated at the top of my class, but I couldn’t fix this problem because it was a “known Microsoft issue,” and I just had to wait for the update.
Wanted – Free Software Enthusiasts in Puerto Rico
Imagine what Puerto Rico would be like, if free software could become a movement for social justice on the island. Well, on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014, the Institute for a Free Puerto Rico planted the seed for this movement. In honor of Aaron Swartz, and in conjunction with the world-wide campaign to end mass surveillance, the Institute is happy to announce the creation of the Libre Planet Puerto Rico team.
Facebook Boosts Its Open Source Mojo With New Project
Facebook looks and feels like a single application, like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. But behind the scenes, in the company’s data centers, you’ll find that the world’s most popular social network is really a multitude of different applications working in concert.
Open source: A fad no more
A few years ago, a global analyst firm went so far as to describe open source as the ‘hype du jour’ and some people even labelled it as something destined for the student and hobbyist market.
Gavin Andresen To Bitcoin Companies: Support Open Source
Lead developer Gavin Andresen chided the commercial bitcoin community for not getting involved enough in core bitcoin development and testing this week. In a mail to the bitcoin developers list updating the community on some bug fixes in the code, he called companies out for not giving back.
Five Key Features of a Project Designed for Open Collaboration
There are many open source software projects out there today and any list of open source licenses alone shows you how much project diversity is out there. Just take a look at Github, Apache, Eclipse or The Linux Foundation and you’ll find thousands of developers collaborating on the software that literally runs the world.
Summary: More weekend news (plus early Monday news) about issues scarcely covered in the wider media/press
EFF Fights National Security Letter Demands on Behalf of Telecom, Internet Company
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed two briefs on Friday challenging secret government demands for information known as National Security Letters (NSLs) with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The briefs—one filed on behalf of a telecom company and another for an Internet company—remain under seal because the government continues to insist that even identifying the companies involved might endanger national security.
Change Agents: The Curious Case of the “Responsible” NSA Revelations
Has it only been 10 months since Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations changed the world? Can you even remember what the world was like, before he gave 50,000 — no, 200,000 — no, wait, 2 million– secret documents to Glenn Greenwald: smoking guns that exposed Washington’s global surveillance state, which far outstripped the wildest, wettest dreams of the Stasi, of Stalin, yea of Orwell himself?
NSA’s use of the internet a ‘military occupation’ – Assange
Speaking over Skype from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his living situation is a bit like prison – with a more lenient visitor policy.
- [NSA] It turns out people don’t like being spied on after all…
NSA’s ‘Ask Zelda’ Advice Columnist Won’t Help You Find a Triforce
We never knew the National Security Agency were such fans of the Master Sword.
Google (GOOG) Eric Schmidt ‘Pretty Sure’ Personal Data Is Safe from NSA in US
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wants you to know he’s “pretty sure” your data is safe from surveillance.
Introducing the Era of Surveillance
There are also other eras I could proclaim, the Era of Severe Money Troubles, since some of the surveillance is justified by lack of monetary responsibility, and the Era of Complacency, because of people not doing anything about the mounting surveillance when they could. I could even call this the Era of Cyber Warfare. But one thing at a time.
Snowden: NSA Pressured EU To Create ‘European Bazaar’ Of Spy Networks
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden answered questions before the European Parliament on Friday, saying that the United States spy agency pressures its allies to take steps towards further enabling widespread and indiscriminate surveillance.
How the NSA Made Your Legal Defense Illegal
We have seen how the NSA’s phony court system has acted as a substitute for genuine judicial review, allowing the NSA to build up precedents purporting to assist its constitutional claims. We have also seen that the NSA is able to obtain surveillance authorization through misrepresentations to the court, without any genuine consequence to the agency, even when discovered. In this Part, we now examine how the NSA shields its activities from review by the public court system, through the control of secret information that could be used as evidence against them.
Assange says NSA reporters ‘new kind of political refugee’
Addressing thousands of audience during a teleconference interview at South by Southwest, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that Americans in exile were fast emerging as new age National security reporters.
Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning ‘happy and doing well’ say Pembrokeshire family
CHELSEA Manning is ‘happy’ and ‘doing well’, according to her Pembrokeshire family who travelled to the US last month.
WikiLeaks founder hints at ‘upcoming’ info leak during South by Southwest address
Julian Assange, who has been at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition, addressed attendees of SXSW via Skype, where the confirmed ‘there is upcoming material’ that will be released and made mention of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
- WikiLeaks to release more secret data, Julian Assange says
- Wikileaks’ Assange says group will release new secret data
Controversy Brews Over Role Of ‘Killer Robots’ In Theater of War
The idea of a killer robot, as a coalition of international human rights groups has dubbed the autonomous machines, conjures a humanoid Terminator-style robot. The humanoid robots Google recently bought are neat, but most machines being used or tested by national militaries are, for now, more like robotic weapons than robotic soldiers. Still, the line between useful weapons with some automated features and robot soldiers ready to kill can be disturbingly blurry.
Will We Ever Get Over 9/11?
Will we rescue our character, our culture, and our Constitution from a sort of 9/11 P.T.S.D?
How Obama Became a Publicist for His Presidency (Rather Than the President)
As an adapter to the thinking of men of power, Obama was a quick study. It took him less than half a year as president to subscribe to Dick Cheney’s view on the need for the constant surveillance of all Americans. This had to be done for the sake of our own safety in a war without a visible end. The leading consideration here is that Obama, quite as much as George W. Bush, wants to be seen as having done everything possible to avoid the “next 9/11.” He cares far less about doing everything possible to uphold the Constitution (a word that seldom occurs in his speeches or writings). Nevertheless, if you ask him, he will be happy to declare his preference for a return to the state of civil liberties we enjoyed in the pre-2001 era. In the same way, he will order drone killings in secret and then give a speech in which he informs us that eventually this kind of killing must stop.
- China & US to enhance military exchanges
The CIA has brought darkness to America by fighting in the shadows
A month later, at a meeting sponsored by Schwab Capital markets, CIA executive director “Buzzy” Krongard laid out for investors what such a war would entail. “[It] will be won in large measure by forces you do not know about, in actions you will not see and in ways you may not want to know about,” he said.
CIA: Way Out of Bounds!
Investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee, working in the basement of a C.I.A. facility in Northern Virginia, had obtained an internal agency review summarizing thousands of documents related to the agency’s detention and interrogation program. Parts of the C.I.A. report cast a particularly harsh light on the program, the same program the agency was in the midst of defending in a prolonged dispute with the intelligence committee.
- Our View: Maine senators must help make CIA report public
- Editorial: Reports on CIA’s past tactics should be public
As China and India Back Russia, Ukraine Crisis Is Over
Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchysta on March 8th said the Ukraine is ready to negotiate with Russia “at any level” over the Crimea issue, the move followed announcements by India and China that they were officially backing Russia’ right to intervene in the Crimea. Deshchysta added that international mediation efforts over the issue have made some small steps forward, including progress in efforts to establish a contact group. He also said the mediation group membership had yet to be settled, and progress is fragile. But with over a third of the world’s population backing Russia, the Ukrainian Crisis is over.
The hypocrisy of some nations
Double standards are on display as Western leaders attack Russia regarding Ukraine, while they themselves commit or endorse worse aggression on other countries.
Radio Free Russia
In her March, 2011 testimony before Congress, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, lamented that the US propaganda mill was losing ground to its rivals for lack of funding. In an informal interview she went further, stating that when abroad she got her news from RT, since CNN had become obsessed with celebrity trials and failed to cover international developments. So the US Secretary of State declared publicly that her most trusted news source was….(drum roll ) Russia Today .
Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? [a little old]
As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.
Ukraine: No easy answers
The Russian invasion of Crimea occurred in a place little known to Americans, for reasons rooted in a tangled and bloody history. The showdown between President Vladimir Putin and the new Ukrainian government is a fight about tangible matters of intense mutual interest.
But many Americans can’t address international crises without sounding like a Toby Keith song: “I Wanna Talk About Me.”
- Ukraine Ethnic Purity Extremists [Neo Nazis] threaten Russians, Jews, non-whites
Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, talks about storage in so-called “clouds”
Pardon the error (I made an error by referring to ownCloud as “myCloud”).
Made entirely using Free/libre software, heavily compressed for performance on the Web at quality’s expense
Summary: News about power and abuse thereof, including — for the most part — surveillance
American Unlimited Imperialism:Now Ukraine
By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf and Africa under the bogus pretexts of (1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or (2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or (3) the promotion of democracy; and/or (4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention”/responsibility to protect. Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago: control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system – oil and gas. The Bush Jr./ Obama administrations have already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation. In this regard, the Bush Jr. administration announced the establishment of the U.S. Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate, and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species. Libya and the Libyans became the first victims to succumb to AFRICOM under the Obama administration. They will not be the last.
The Looting Of Ukraine Has Begun
According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington’s stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine’s poor. http://www.kommersant.ua/doc/2424454 It is Greece all over again.
As the Ukraine debate rages, both sides are getting it wrong
It’s possible to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion – and to believe that Kiev’s new government is no place for fascists
- Ukraine A Carefully Orchestrated CIA Coup d’état
Stating the Obvious
One of the ironies of the Ukraine situation which has drawn no comment I can find is that the Ukrainians have been lectured on democracy by Baroness Ashton, who heads EU foreign policy despite never having been elected to anything.
- Judge says prosecutors should follow the law. Prosecutors revolt.
Senate Democrats Reject Justice Department Nominee Over Abu-Jamal Case
The seven Democrats rejected the nomination because Adegbile served as the litigation director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund when the organization legally represented political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a 2011 appeal from the death penalty.
Administration And NSA Continue To Avoid The Privacy Vs. Security ‘Discussion’
This “discussion” about the whole “security vs. privacy” thing the administration claims it has “welcomed” since the Snowden leaks began? Yeah. Still not happening. As Cal Borchers at BetaBoston reports, government reps at an MIT event focused on “big data and privacy” couldn’t have appeared less interested in discussing any of the implications of widespread domestic surveillance.
Shhh! Don’t tell IT how we send documents around here
Ignoring easier ways to share data, a tech-challenged boss and manager devise an expensive and unnecessary workaround
The NSA Has An Advice Columnist. Seriously.
Surveillance tends to sow suspicion and unease among the people who are being surveilled. Is anyone listening? Who might be the spy among us? What trouble might I get into with the things I say? These questions can eat away at the core of human relations – trust. And this is true even at the agency that is conducting the surveillance.
NEW ATTACKS ON HTTPS TRAFFIC REVEAL PLENTY ABOUT YOUR WEB SURFING
The paper points out a number of privacy consequences as well beyond government surveillance. For example, enhanced SSL traffic analysis by an ISP can lead to be enhanced customer data mining and intrusive targeted advertising. Employers can also more effectively monitor employees’ traffic and the techniques can also improve the censorship efforts by oppressive regimes, putting the liberties of privacy advocates at risk.
- Julian Assange tells SXSW audience: ‘NSA has grown to be a rogue agency’
- WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: NSA critics got lucky because agency had no PR strategy
- Meet ‘Ask Zelda,’ the Advice Column for NSA Workers
ACLU asks US appeals court to outlaw NSA mass collection of phone data
A federal appeals court should outlaw the National Security Agency’s collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records, concentrating searches instead on terror suspects, civil liberties lawyers said in papers filed seeking a reversal of a lower-court judge who ruled the program was legal and necessary to fight terrorism.
- Weirdest Snowden leak yet: The NSA has an advice columnist
- How to solve the problem of NSA surveillance
- Eric Schmidt Claims Google’s Data is Safe From NSA’s Prying Eyes
The NSA Cannot Keep Phone Records for Longer than Five Years, Says Court
The NSA cannot keep American phone records for longer than five years, according to a ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court responsible for keeping the agency’s actions in check.
- Court: Government can’t hold NSA data longer
WikiLeaks head doesn’t believe Obama is serious about NSA reform
Julian Assange doesn’t think you should hold your breath for Barack Obama to deliver meaningful NSA reform. The WikiLeaks founder said during a talk at SXSW Interactive that he believes the president is beholden to the American spy agencies and not the public. According to the self-anointed guardian of the world’s conscience Obama has proven that he does not take concerns about the NSA’s over reaching seriously by failing to fire or prosecute people at the agency.
- SXSW 2014: Julian Assange Speaks Out On NSA, Journalism, and the Internet
Assange for SXSW: NSA, GCHQ’s ability to spy on everyone ‘almost here’
The NSA and GCHQ will soon have the ability to spy on the entire planet, as their capabilities double every 18 months, Julian Assange told the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference on Saturday.
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange talks NSA, hints at more leaks
He also hinted that new leaks are coming from WikiLeaks, though he gave no specifics on what these might be.
Julian Assange rails against NSA surveillance as he plans an “important” new WikiLeaks release
At SXSW today, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Skyped in from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to take part in an hour-long Q&A session. While the main topic of the discussion – government surveillance of the Internet – and his opposition to it, was unsurprising, Assange had some interesting points worth sharing.
Julian Assange talks NSA, hints at coming leaks in remote video appearance at tech festival
Speaking over Skype from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his living situation is a bit like prison — with a more lenient visitor policy.
- Assange at SXSW: ‘Who really wears the pants in the administration?’
‘What does ISP mean?’ – how government officials are flunking security challenges
Policy on national security and protection is in the hands of people without critical technological understanding, warns cybersecurity expert
Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange claims complete worldwide surveillance only ‘a few years’ away
The place to be today until Tuesday is at the South by Southwest Conference at the Austin Conference Center in Austin, Texas along with 30,000 other people. This year, NSA leaker Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder and secret spiller Julian Assange are topping the speakers’ list.
Yesterday Google’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, spoke to an energetic audience and announced that the company has completed its efforts to secure user data against unauthorized access.
Julian Assange Asks Obama to Wear Pants
This announcement shares the same nature of secrecy with the collection of data Assange has declared that he is about to reveal. He has chosen to neither disclose a time frame nor reveal anything about the content of this new information. This is so that the concerned individuals, the “perpetrators,” do not have the chance to prepare themselves or “get a heads up.” To his credit, there is no credible speculation as to what this disclosure contains. With all his bravado in hiding, Assange was pulling the strings about getting the word out about Wikileaks. However, he is hardly the star attraction of this years SXSW conference. That distinction goes to Edward Snowden who shall also be participating through a live online feed on Monday from Russia where he seeks temporary asylum.
Julian Assange warns about new totalitarianism at South by Southwest
Are we in danger of entering a new age of global totalitarianism?
So pondered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an unnerving address to the brainy hordes at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin on Saturday afternoon, just one of the many talks and discussion sessions at this year’s event concerned with the intrusion of authoritarian eyes into the former Wild, Wild West of the Internet.
Why flying ‘Internet drones’ over Africa is a dumb, libertarian fantasy
Despite what the foolish #firstworldproblems hashtag on Twitter would have you believe, my phone was probably the most out of date there. Everyone else in this Ghanaian newsroom was using Android smartphones from Samsung and HTC. A few people had cheaper Nokia Asha smartphones. There were a couple of iPhones and when the Samsung S4 came out a few months later at least one popped up. That’s not to say everyone had a smartphone, or that there wasn’t hardship. But mobile Internet connectivity – with the exception of our unstable WiFi – was not the issue. Indeed, everyone was constantly connected with the now Facebook-owned WhatsApp – to the extent that journalists would update their editors with it.
Africa, you will have Facebook [by CIA Post]
TechCrunch recently reported that Facebook is in talks to acquire Titan Aerospace, a drone-production company that has just started taking orders for its Solara 50. The drone is designed to fly at 65,000 feet, remaining above terrestrial weather. A typical launch sequence is initiated just after midnight, and the aircraft climbs under its own battery power. The Solara reaches altitude as the sun crests over the horizon and enters its standard day-night cycle. When the sun sets, the Solara shifts its propulsion, payload and systems to its battery banks. A battery-management system ensures voltage is maintained in the subzero atmosphere. It is designed to stay aloft for five years with a range or 2.5 million miles. Read related article.
Snowden still wants EU asylum, but it almost certainly won’t happen
Next week, the European Parliament will consider an unlikely, last-ditch effort to grant Edward Snowden protection against criminal prosecution and/or extradition to the United States.
- Monday, March 10: Edward Snowden to Speak at SXSW Interactive Via Videoconference
- SXSW bring Snowden, Assange and security issues to the main event
Snowden raised concerns within the NSA before blowing the whistle
Edward Snowden says he reported policy or legal issues related to NSA spying to more than 10 officials before blowing the whistle
US aviation agency to appeal drone ruling
The US aviation agency said Friday it will appeal the dismissal of a $10,000 fine it imposed on a Swiss entrepreneur who flew a drone over a college campus to make a commercial.
Drones used to track fighters in Mali
As many as 12 fighters from the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group have been killed in a counter-terrorism operation by French forces in Mali who used drones to track down the jihadists, France’s defence minister said on Thursday.
Abby calls out CNN on CNN, Oscars & drones strikes, AIPAC 2014, free Barrett Brown
Abby Martin remarks on the ongoing media craze surrounding her remarks on RT regarding the crisis in Ukraine and features a clip of her appearance on CNN, where she took the opportunity to call out the corporate media.
Are we ready for a taser drone capable of jolting us with 80,000 volts?
Just as America is beginning to wake up to poor discipline and order in the nation’s police forces, those same forces are becoming even more militarized. They have weapons that can fire a massive number of bullets without control or even any accuracy. Now, they, and anyone else with the money can have a new toy: A drone that can fire taser darts and shock a person with 80,000 volts. According to a March 7 Engadget article, the weapon is called the “Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, or “stun copter.”
What goes around, comes around
Today, Uncle Sam continues to preen as the globe’s big sheriff on the side of international law even while functioning as the world’s biggest outlaw.
A synoptic view of drones
Technological progress in the West at the cost of human life elsewhere
Geneva casino: Winners and losers
However, I thought it was quite ironical — and sad — that a drone attack killed five Afghan soldiers while the Afghan President was in Sri Lanka. And guess who had launched the attack? It was NATO forces led by the Americans and the British!
Bitter dispute pits CIA, Congress
Democratic staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee obtained classified documents at the center of a bitter struggle with the CIA some three years before the agency determined that the materials had been spirited out of a secret facility and demanded their return, according to U.S. officials.
Letter of the Day: CIA spying
The spies get caught spying on their bosses; what else could one expect? Give the spy agencies trillions of dollars and all the rope it needed to hang themselves. The over-caffeinated frat boys get bored killing innocent people with drones and tied themselves up in a knot.
I got 30 months in prison. Why does Leon Panetta get a pass?
The confirmation in December that former CIA Director Leon Panetta let classified information slip to “Zero Dark Thirty” screenwriter Mark Boal during a speech at the agency headquarters should result in a criminal espionage charge if there is any truth to Obama administration claims that it isn’t enforcing the Espionage Act only against political opponents.
The Washington Post: Declassify the torture report
…the misguided program of interrogation and torture carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency.
What’s Inside CIA’s ‘Black Site’ Database? And Were Senate Staffers Allowed to See?
The CIA and the Senators overseeing the agency are nearly at war. And it all revolves around the contents of a secret database documenting the CIA’s clandestine prisons.
Former FBI Agent Approaches 7 Years in Captivity
The family of American Robert Levinson is preparing Sunday to mark seven years since the former FBI agent disappeared from Iran’s Kish Island while on a mission for the CIA. Levinson turns 66 years old Monday.
- Reassessing Us Israel Relations Mar 2014
Canada and the Crown
“We Were Just Children Undergoing Torture…Nothing Has Changed”
Imagine what would happen if the Crown suppressed thousands of pages of police evidence from an important trial? It wouldn’t take a legal expert to tell you there would be an immediate mistrial — especially if the Crown also prepared a false evidence sheet that mislead the judges. And yet, this was done to the survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School. Despite a damning ruling against this abuse of process in Ontario Superior Court, nothing has been done to remediate this situation.
- Julian Assange at SXSW (live from UK)
- Julian Assange on Civil Courage, Internet, Ukraine, NSA. Quotes from his direct sending at SXSW
The world we want and how we get there (UK)
Today we’ve published on our about page a new definition of the world we want to see, explaining how we are working to achieve our aims.
- ‘Independent’ court scrutinising MI5 is located inside Home Office
LibDems and Labour – Nothing to Offer on Mass Surveillance (British Perspective)
Setting the background, both Cooper and Clegg bring up the state of the debate about the capabilities of the intelligence agencies. The shadow Home secretary claims that debate has “barely begun”. She should not mistake the unwillingness of MPs to hold the state to account for a lack of debate or concern in the wider public. There have been endless column inches, each new detail in the Guardian minutely examined in social media, a Pirate Party petition with 10s of 1000s of signatures, demonstrations, public meetings, a law case launched with crowd funding, an Edward Snowden mural in Manchester in the vein of what you expect to see in Belfast for heaven’s sake…
AV Linux 6.0.3 Distro Is for Audio, Video, and Graphic Enthusiasts
AV Linux is a very particular distribution aimed at a very specific niche of users. First of all, this is an OS geared towards the 32-bit PAE processor, which is considerably older than the current ones. In theory, the distribution is capable of turning older PCs or even Mac OS systems into an Audio / Graphics / Video workstation appliance.
- Distros Compared, Free Ed, and Making Money
Different strokes for different folks when it comes to Linux desktops
You might have noticed that I used the term “different strokes for different folks” in the headline of this article. I think it sums up well the issue of choosing a desktop environment because there simply is no one desktop that will appeal to everyone, no matter how great it is or how many people like it.
Personally, I prefer classic desktop environments like Xfce because they simply meld well with how I like to work. I find using them to be much faster and more intuitive when I am multitasking or just moving around my desktop.
Simplicity Linux 14.1 – A fresh take on Puppy Linux
Ever since I started using Linux I have always carried a copy of Puppy Linux on a pen drive. I have such a high regard for Puppy Linux that I have a page dedicated to it.
I have to admit that I thought I was going to have a frustrating time with Simplicity because whilst trying 13.10 I came up with a number of issues and it just didn’t work for me.
This however is 14.1 and it works very very well and in fact I haven’t come across any issues of note except for the fact that the OnLive application hangs. (Probably due to my poor internet connection).
Simplicity is a worthy replacement for those of you using LXPup which is no longer being actively developed.
If you have a laptop with a failed hard drive sat in a corner gathering cobwebs then you can easily breathe new life into it by running Simplicity Linux on a USB drive.
On my new laptop: ZaReason’s Strata 7440
Getting Mageia 4 on the laptop was no big deal. In fact, I used the 64 bit version of the OS and everything worked, even the Japanese IME with iBus.
Then I tried to get PCLinuxOS and, unfortunately, had problems with the display. I need to see if I can get to correct the problem later.
The other OS that I installed to the Strata was OpenMandriva 2013. The only problem was the lack of Wifi connectivity… It was solved easily adding the appropriate packages.
BlankOn 9.0 review
My first look at a BlankOn edition was BlankOn 8, which was back in August 2012 (see BlankOn 8 preview). So it’s been almost a year and a half between BlankOn 8 and 9. That’s plenty of time to make major improvements and fix whatever needs fixing on a desktop operating system.
The distribution uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment with a custom desktop shell called Manokwari. It looked good the first time I took it for a spin (on BlankOn 8), but I wasn’t too impressed with some aspects of it. But that was 18 months ago, maybe things are better on BlankOn 9.0, which is code-named Suroboyo.
Frequently asked questions from Windows users thinking of using Linux
Gaming on Linux has been behind Windows for a long time. Fortunately with the release of Steam for Linux that gap is beginning to close and I can foresee a time whereby Linux gaming will be on at very least a par with Windows.
Zorin OS 8 – More like Windows 7 than Windows 7
It has been a while since I last wrote a review about Zorin OS. Time moves pretty fast and with other distributions making great strides, is there still a place for an operating system like Zorin which basically deploys a familiar looking desktop on top of Ubuntu.
It has been a couple of versions since the last review so it is a bit pointless for me to just write the differences between now and then, so instead I am going for the full review as if I had never seen it before.
What is your most expected distribution?
Yet another feature of Distrowatch is announcement for coming releases for Linux distributions. If you look at the list of distributions due to be released within next 3 months, which one is the most interesting for you? Which new release are you looking for most?
Linux – The Top 5 Lightweight Distros of 2014
Hi there, and welcome to another edition of Gamerheadlines’ top 5. Today’s topic will be lightweight Linux distributions. So, keep in mind that, while there are several amazing distros for higher-end computers, such as Ubuntu and Mint, these distros are for those of us with, shall we say… computers full of wisdom. A wisdom that can only be attained following years (and years) of experience and, unfortunately, age.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is coming to Linux
- ’TinyKeep’ announced for PC, Mac and Linux
- Puppy Arcade – Retro Gaming Live CD
- Star Conflict Space MMO Gets A Nod From The Developer About The Linux Version
- Puppy Arcade – Retro Gaming Live CD
- Steam Has Greenlit Plenty More Linux Games
Power Puff Girls: Defenders of Townsville heading to Steam & Linux
I won’t lie; I used to love Power Puff Girls back when I was a kid. Something about Bubbles made me adore her. Not to mention Mojo Jojo too. I’m sure at one point of time we all had spent a good amount of time trying to perfect our Mojo Jojo impressions. So, this piece of news is actually quite exciting. Power Puff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is a new game by Radian Games heading to Steam and also slated for a Linux release.
- ‘TinyKeep’ announced for PC, Mac and Linux
- Defense Grid 2 headed to Xbox One, PS4, Linux, OS X, Steam
- Post-apocalyptic adventure game Journey of A Roach now available for Linux
- Foul Play to enter stage left on PS4, Vita
- Sugar, Spice, And Everything Nice! Powerpuff Girls Game Heads To Linux
- Brawler Foul Play coming to PS4 and PS Vita
- Avalon Lords: The upcoming castle-building MMORTS reveals new screenshots and more!
- Get ready for Tumblestone!
- Unique Brawler Foul Play Headed To PlayStation 4, Vita
- Pier Solar HD coming to Wii U next month
- Nova-111 A Sci-Fi Themed Turn Based Adventure With Alien Fighting
- Valve’s Gabe Newell Makes New Linux Comments
- Gabe Newell’s AMA: Steam to become a “self-publishing system,” CS:GO coming to Linux
- New update to Assassin’s Creed Pirates adds 5 hour’s content
- Steam Hardware Survey For February 2014, Linux Is Holding
- Unvanquished FPS/RTS Hybrid Releases Alpha 25, Out With The Old
- How to Get NVIDIA Optimus Working on Ubuntu Linux
- How to Stop and Disable Unwanted Services from Linux System
- Create Classy Slow Motion Videos In Linux With slowmoVideo
- How to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on the HP Chromebook 14
- Bring a Linux development environment to Windows with MinGW
- Compress your web pages for better performance
- Run your own repository with Apt-Mirror
- Install Fotoxx 14.03.2 photo editor in Linux Mint 16
- Install MATE 1.8 desktop in Ubuntu 13.10
- Using Django and MongoDB to Build a Blog
- Install Fotoxx 14.03.2 photo editor in Ubuntu 13.10
- Install MATE 1.8 desktop in Linux Mint 16
- Up to date procedure of creating cinder’s ThinLVM based cloud instances of F20,Ubuntu 13.10 on F20 Havana Compute Node.
US wants to undermine privacy in TTIP negotiations
In the EU – US trade negotiations (TTIP / TAFTA) the US tabled a proposal that would prohibit to require local data storage. If the EU accepts this proposal, the EU would give away an instrument essential to protect privacy.
On 5 March 2014 the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament organised a meeting on the complex relationship between data protection, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the general context of EU-US relations after the Snowden revelations. (Stream available)
- Microsoft’s OneDrive For Business Throws Down Gauntlet For Box, Dropbox [More PRISM]
Dropbox erects sueball shield with new T&C and privacy legalese [PRISM class action]
Grumpy with Dropbox? Forget sueing the company, which is trying to keep you from your lawyers with its new Terms of Service document effective as of March 24th, 2014.
Edward Snowden testifies to the European Parliament about the NSA
SURVEILLANCE WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden has responded to the European Parliament’s questions about PRISM and data privacy.
Edward Snowden tells European Parliament how local spies aid NSA surveillance
The NSA whistleblower has given extensive evidence to an inquiry into the surveillance of European citizens, describing what he calls a “bazaar” of EU intelligence agencies allowing the U.S. to spy on pretty much everyone.
Why the NSA undermines national security
But this zero-sum framework ignores the significant damage that the NSA’s practices have done to U.S. national security. In a global digital world, national security depends on many factors beyond surveillance capacities, and over-reliance on global data collection can create unintended security vulnerabilities.
Senator Walsh introduces bill to restrict NSA and FBI snooping
Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., introduced his first bill Thursday, to restrict the ability of federal security agencies to secretly collect phone records and other personal data on U.S. citizens.
Walsh’s bill, titled the Civil Liberties Defense Act, also would require the National Security Agency to purge records of already collected data that don’t comply with standards established by the act.
NSA might farm out spying on Americans
The NSA is forbidden to spy on American citizens. But the GCHQ is not so forbidden. So has the NSA farmed out its surveillance of Americans to GCHQ? The NSA would then be following the letter of the law, but, through its association with the GCHQ, would have immediate access to surveillance of Americans.
- NSA Chief Wants To Silence The Press
- What Is Google’s Relationship With the NSA?
- Gen. Dempsey: NSA leaks will cost billions
Snowden leaks cost billions to NSA, CIA – top US military official
The National Security Agency leaker will speak with Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union, about NSA’s spying techniques and “the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance.” The event will take place Monday and be moderated by Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project (who is also a legal advisor for Snowden). Snowden will take audience questions.
CIA: We Only Spied On Senate Intelligence Committee Because They Took Classified Documents That Prove We’re Liars
Earlier this week, we wrote about the accusations that the CIA was spying on Senate staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee as they were working on a massive $40 million 6,300 pages report condemning the CIA’s torture program. The DOJ is apparently already investigating if the CIA violated computer hacking laws in spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee computers. The issue revolved around a draft of an internal review by the CIA, which apparently corroborates many of the Senate report’s findings — but which the CIA did not hand over to the Senate. This internal report not only support’s the Senate report’s findings, but also shows that the CIA has been lying in response to questions about the terror program.
- FBI probing alleged removal of documents from CIA by Senate staffers
- FBI investigating Senate staffers’ unauthorized removal of documents about CIA interrogations
- Colorado Sen. Udall asks the White House (again) to declassify a special report on CIA spying
Heinrich: CIA Not Acting In “Good Faith”
“The Senate Intelligence Committee oversees the CIA, not the other way around. Since I joined the Committee, the CIA has refused to engage in good faith on the Committee’s study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Instead, the CIA has consistently tried to cast doubt on the accuracy and quality of this report by publicly making false representations about what is and is not in it.
Navy will deploy first ship with laser weapon this summer
After successful testing last year, the Navy is preparing to deploy its first directed energy weapon to the fleet. When it puts to sea this summer, the afloat forward staging base ship USS Ponce will be equipped with the Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS).
Friendly Fire: US Drone Strike Kills Five Afghan Soldiers
The Pentagon has confirmed launching a drone strike against the Logar Province of Afghanistan today, hitting their allies in a case of mistaken identity. The strike kill five Afghan National Army soldiers, and wounded eight others.
The Drone Debate: Has President Obama Stretched the Limits of Constitutional Power?
In order to frame last night’s Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate, moderator John Donvan invited Georgetown University constitutional law professor Nick Rosenkranz on stage to give the audience a jumpstart on their thinking as to why this event was distinct from the previous debate on drones. He explained that while the first debate looked at policy–which invariably brings politics into the equation–this argument, “The President Has the Constitutional Power to Target and Kill Americans,” focuses solely on the question of constitutionality.
America’s Longest, Dirtiest War
This past week, I had to write a paper on the psychological determinants of the United States’ response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. I clarify the year because if y’all never noticed, the Benghazi attacks happened on the same exact day ten years later … eerie. Like most political science papers I write, I dove headfirst into the topic and justified my watching of movies before bedtime because I chose ones that had to do with 9/11. First, it was United 93. Very bad choice. Quite similar to the night I came home from going out and thought “I’ll just watch a short rom com and fall asleep while it’s playing.” I chose Hotel Rwanda. Three hours later, I was alone in bed bawling my eyes out because why is the world such a horrible place?!
In 2011, a so-called terrorist threat, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was targeted and successfully removed from the picture, much like many other covert operations led out by top American military forces. The only thing that made this different from the assassination of Osama bin Ladin was that Anwar al-Aulaqi was an American citizen, as was his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi, whose death was officially stated as a “mistake” by the United States government. There were outcries from journalists and social justice groups following the two separate incidents; what happened to innocent until proven guilty? The response of the government was that the reasons for assassinating these two men — well, really one boy and one man — were too dangerous to let the public in on. So basically, we should really just trust the military and let them kill whomever they want, regardless of citizenship. Because the government is always looking out for the people, right? Except when they unlawfully assassinate us … it’s a cycle of complete bullshit.
EU freezes Ukraine’s missing billions, but if it was corrupt why did the banks accept it in first place?
The EU has just announced that it’s going to freeze the suspect assets of 18 Ukrainian politicians, including former president Viktor Yanukovych. This comes after Switzerland and Austria froze assets earlier in the week. Quite apart from the criticism that the EU’s delay gives plenty of time for Ukraine’s missing billions to be shifted further afield, there is a bigger problem here.
If there are concerns that this money is corrupt, why did any of the EU’s banks accept it in the first place? Banks are supposed to obey anti-money laundering laws that require them to check out their customers and their source of funds. Then they’re supposed to turn down money that has been earned through crime – including the sort of state looting that seems to have been happening in Ukraine. And governments are supposed to hold banks that fail to do all this to account.
The 160-Year Christian History Behind What’s Happening in Ukraine
In recent days, the Crimean peninsula has been at the heart of what some have described as the greatest international crisis of the 21st century. But this is not the first time the region has been so critical to international affairs. Many educated people have at least heard of the great struggle known as the Crimean War (1853-56), although its causes and events remain mysterious to most non-specialists.
- US, European Union impose sanctions against Russia
Cyberwar hits Ukraine
While the Kremlin denied any involvement, Georgian officials accused Russia of being behind the attacks.