COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Mar 02 08:48

US government rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy

The US government’s policy of leaving the Internet alone is over, according to Obama’s top official at the Department of Commerce.

Instead, an “Internet Policy 3.0” approach will see policy discussions between government agencies, foreign governments, and key Internet constituencies, according to Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, with those discussions covering issues such as privacy, child protection, cybersecurity, copyright protection, and Internet governance.

The outcomes of such discussions will be “flexible” but may result in recommendations for legislation or regulation, Strickling said in a speech at the Media Institute in Washington this week.

Mar 02 08:38

'Free iPad' scam spreading on Facebook and Twitter, warns Sophos

It's a day for scams. Think you've been given the chance to sign up as an iPad tester via Facebook? No you haven't - it's a scam which actually signs you up to a premium rate mobile service, warns the security company Sophos.

"Facebook pages with names such as "iPad Researchers Wanted - Get An iPad Early And Keep It!" and "The Mega iPad Giveaway!" prey on the public's desire to own a free iPad," notes Sophos.

Mar 02 08:25

Topeka, Kansas shows Google it can grovel

All that what missing was a promotional video of Dorothy Gale clicking her ruby slippers and whispering, "There's no place like Google; there's no place like Google ..."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would appreciate Google a lot more if they followed the crawl-delay directive in the robots.txt file!

Mar 02 08:15

Germany’s Top Court Overturns Anti-Terrorism Data Law

Germany’s highest court overturned a two-year-old anti-terrorism law that requires telecommunications providers such as Deutsche Telekom AG to store Internet and phone data for six months, saying the rules violate privacy.

n/a
Mar 02 06:33

UK to kill off Internet cafes

THE GLORIOUS BRITISH GOVERNMENT, upon which the sun finally set almost 100 years ago, has decided that having open WiFi networks is bad for the general population and it wants them all shut off.

Mar 01 17:44

TigerText can erase sent text messages. Is it really the 'perfect app for cheating'?

The app was released last week for the iPhone, and the company expects to roll out apps for Blackberry and Android in the next few weeks.

Mar 01 07:31

Facial recognition phone application described as a 'stalker's dream'

A prototype camera phone application that enables the user to find names and numbers of complete strangers has been labelled a 'stalker's dream'.

The application, called Recognizr, has been developed to find personal information through facial recognition software.

The user simply has to take a picture of a person and hit the 'Recognize' button.

The photo is then compared to shots on social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter before personal information, which can include phone numbers, addresses and email addresses, is sent to the user.

Feb 28 12:13

Australia censorship debate censored on Communications minister’s website

If you’re planning to censor free speech on the internet, what better approach to take than to, er, censor debate about how you’re planning to censor free speech on the internet? Brilliant.

Feb 28 12:12

THE TRUTH IS THERE FOR YOU TO SEE, BUT NOT NECESSARILY ON YOUTUBE

If it’s anti-zionist or anti-Israel, you can be sure it will be removed. That is how YouTube operates. After all, they themselves are controled by zionists so it seems natural for them to defend (by censorship) anything that is true about Israel today.

If it is pro Israel it is there to stay.

Feb 28 11:12

How mobile phones let spies see our every move

Government’s secret Celldar project will allow surveillance of anyone, at any time and anywhere there is a phone signal

n/a
Feb 27 09:58

Massive Twitter Phish Attack Hits Ministers, Banks

Micro-blogging giant Twitter was affected by a serious phishing attack which resulted in a flood of spam messages coming from hacked accounts, with most of them belonging to some high-profile UK cabinet ministers and a few banks.

It was reported that the Twitter accounts of British MP Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and the Labour Party Deputy Leader Harriet Harman were sending links to websites selling fake medicine after being compromised by the phishing attack.

Popular telephone banking service FirstDirect was also affected by the attack, which sent out links to suspicious websites that tricked the unsuspecting users into giving their Twitter log-in credentials.

n/a
Feb 26 15:42

The First Summit Of It's Kind: Bashar,Ahmedinejad & Nasrallah

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bachar Assad were finally united in one and only one picture

Feb 25 20:52

Senator Al Franken is Requesting User Caps on Internet Bandwidth

Google can’t make money delivering video content that costs them NOTHING over the net for free, what do you think will happen to internet rates when you REQUIRE NBCUniversal/Comcast to deliver content that costs millions of dollars per hour for free ?

Feb 25 13:44

www.cryptome.org is alive and well!

We would like to notify you that Microsoft has contacted us regarding www.cryptome.org. Microsoft has withdrawn their DMCA complaint. As a result www.cryptome.org has been reactivated and this matter has been closed. Please allow time for the reactivation to propagate throughout the various servers around the world.

Feb 25 13:23

Microsoft downs site after top-secret guide published

The noted government whistleblowing website Cryptome has been taken down after Microsoft saw red over its publication of a top-secret Internet surveillance guide normally shown only to law enforcement agencies.

The 22-page Global Criminal Compliance Handbook contains a reasonably detailed rundown on the information gathered by Microsoft from its various Windows Live operations, including Hotmail, Messenger, MSN Groups, and even the gaming platform, Xbox Live. The guide explains the information that is retained by Microsoft from customer activities, for how long it is saved, and how it can be accessed by police and security services in accordance with US legal requirements.

Feb 25 10:06

Cell phones show human movement predictable 93% of the time

We'd like to think of ourselves as dynamic, unpredictable individuals, but according to new research, that's not the case at all. In a study published in last week's Science, researchers looked at customer location data culled from cellular service providers. By looking at how customers moved around, the authors of the study found that it may be possible to predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time. These findings may be useful in multiple fields, including city planning, mobile communication resource management, and anticipating the spread of viruses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These findings are also useful in confirming that you are indeed being tracked with your cell phone.

As for the findings, that is hardly surprising. Most of us spend our entire lives shuffling between our slave pit, our pen, and the shopping mall.

Feb 25 10:02

HOMELAND SECURITY LOSES OVER 1,000 COMPUTERS IN ONE FISCAL YEAR

HOMELAND SECURITY LOSES OVER 1,000 COMPUTERS IN ONE FISCAL YEAR

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Really cheap laptops for sale on eBay!!!!!!!!

Feb 24 20:45

Tories and Lib Dems to oppose controversial Digital Economy Bill clause

Controversial proposals that would give Lord Mandelson unprecedented powers to amend copyright laws will be jettisoned next week when the Government suffers the first large defeat of its flagship media plans.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat lords will unite to vote down Clause 17 of the Digital Economy Bill, which has been criticised by internet giants such as Google and Yahoo!, when the Bill is put to vote in its report stage.

Feb 24 17:54

10 things you didn't know about the [Facebook] Koobface gang

For all you Facebook fans.

Feb 24 16:32

Are We on the Brink of a Cyber-War?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Alternate title: "How to kill off the blogs critical of the government while blaming it on the Muslims!"

Feb 24 08:26

From Hackerspace To Your Garage: Downloading DIY Hardware Over the Web

And this involves making real stuff, not just code. “Recently a guy reinvented the fabric of industrial society in his garage,” writes Kevin Kelly of the late Dave Gingery, a midnight machinist in Springfield, Missouri. Gingery enjoyed the challenge of “making something from nothing,” and had a knack for piecing together a complete machine shop from alley scraps. “He made rough tools that made better tools, which then made tools good enough to make real stuff,” Kelly continues. The spirit of Gingery lives on in the hearts of makers today.

Feb 24 08:23

ACTA "internet enforcement" chapter leaks

I've read it through a few times and it reads a lot like DMCA-plus. It contains, for example, a duty to technology firms to shut down infringement where they have "actual knowledge" that such is taking place. This argument was put forward in the Grokster case, and as Fred von Lohmann argued then, this is a potentially deadly burden to place on technology companies: in the offline world Xerox has "actual knowledge" that its technology is routinely used to infringe copyright at Kinko's outlets around the world -- should that create a duty to stop providing sales and service to Kinko's?

Feb 24 07:31

Three Google executives convicted after allowing video of autistic boy being abused to be posted online

Three Google executives were convicted of privacy violations today in allowing a video of a boy with autism being abused to be posted online.

Italian Judge Oscar Magi sentenced the three to a six-month suspended sentence in a case that has set a new precedent for internet freedom.

Google called the decision 'astonishing' and said it would appeal.

'The judge has decided I'm primarily responsible for the actions of some teenagers who uploaded a reprehensible video to Google video,' Google's global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, who was convicted in absentia, said in a statement.

n/a
Feb 23 09:32

Amazon becomes the latest company using Linux to pay Microsoft for patent deal

Not surprisingly, the wording of the February 22 announcement by Microsoft regarding its latest IP licensing deal doesn’t claim Amazon or Linux infringing (or even potentially infringing) on any Microsoft patents. Microsoft execs learned their lesson about doing that after CEO Steve Ballmer’s remarks contradicted claims by Novell execs in a patent-licensing arrangement a few years ago. — right around the time Microsoft officials said free and open-source software violated 235 Microsoft patents.

n/a
Feb 22 11:31

Using Facebook or Twitter 'could raise your insurance premiums by 10pc'

People who use social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook have been warned that they could eventually face rises in their home insurance premiums of as much as 10pc.

Services such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Buzz can alert criminals when users are not home, according to Confused.com, the price comparison service. Foursquare, for example, shows that people are in a specific spot and, more importantly, that the user is definitely not at home, Confused.com added.

Feb 22 10:45

Continental Airlines cutting 600 call center jobs as more customers book online

Continental Airlines is cutting about 600 jobs in its reservations centers because customers increasingly prefer to book flights online.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US Government covered the loss of manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s by transitioning to the "Service Economy"; a ridiculous notion that we could prosper the nation by doing each others' laundry for a fee. But a lot of the services related to paperwork processing are now being done by computer.

Feb 22 09:03

Thank You Microsoft!

Thank you for using your financial might and ruthless business practices to destroy almost all of the competition out there so that for the most part PC users have only your inferior products from which to choose. (Mac and Linux users aside)

Thank you for your latest set of "security" patches that have caused EVERY ONE OF MY COMPUTERS TO BLUE SCREEN 20 TIME PER DAY RENDERING THEM USELESS! And thanks for not making a public apology about this.

Thank you for the many service packages and updates that have steadily degraded my computers performance, forcing me to spend more money on things like RAM just to keep from having to buy a new computer.

Feb 21 10:35

New Mobile Phone provides user with info on you

The gizmo, which lifts information from Government databases before beaming it to mobiles, has been dubbed “the estate agent’s worst nightmare”, as it can tip off would-be house buyers about nasty neighbourhoods.

“It’s the quickest way to find out how chavvy your town is,” the Sun quoted tech writer Drew Cullen as saying.

Feb 21 08:44

Big Brother Not Just Spying On Schoolchildren Through Their Laptops

The scandal surrounding kids being spied on at home via webcams in laptops provided by schools extends further than just schoolchildren – four years ago Google admitted that it was implementing similar invasive surveillance technologies that would target all Americans.

...

In 2006, Google announced that they would use in-built microphones to listen in on user’s background noise, be it television, music or radio – and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences.

Feb 20 08:25

Researcher spies new Adobe code execution bug

A researcher has unearthed a bug in software used to install Adobe's ubiquitous Reader and Flash applications that can be exploited to remotely install malicious files on end user PCs.

The Adobe Download Manager is an ActiveX script that is invoked when people install or update Reader or Flash using Internet Explorer. Researcher Aviv Raff has figured out how to exploit it to install any file he wishes simply by tricking a user into clicking on a link on the Adobe.com domain.

Feb 19 23:33

Cyber-Terrorism Drill nicknamed 'Cyber Shockwave' slated to begin today, February 16, 2010.

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit organization focused on various issues including national and homeland security, will be unleashing Cyber ShockWave on Tuesday, February 16th. Cyber ShockWave, a cyber-attack simulation, will allow the government to assess response times and improvement areas shall they ever encounter the real deal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I d9 not know how real this simulation is supposed to be, but in addition to the dropout issues we were dealing with during the WRH radio show today, my wife and I went to the local Kinko's and the local WalMart after the show and BOTH of them were having major problems with their internet connections to the mainland.

Feb 19 08:32

Utah House votes to not comply with Real ID Act

State agencies would be forbidden from further compliance with the federal Real ID Act under a measure the Utah House approved Thursday.

The move would do nothing to end hours-long waits at state drivers license offices, but could mean that Utah residents won't be able to board airplanes or enter federal buildings in the future.

n/a
Feb 18 16:10

Schools gave students computers, then used webcams to spy on them: lawsuit

“The school district has the ability to remotely activate the embedded webcam at any time,” the lawsuit says.

“Many of the images captured may consist of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including various stages of undress.”

Feb 18 09:28

School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins's child was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.

Feb 18 09:26

School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins's child was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.

If true, these allegations are about as creepy as they come.

Feb 18 08:29

Virus breaches 75,000 computers, study says

Feb 18 08:15

Fourth Amendment Trashed As Airport Tyranny Hits The Streets

Tampa police, TSA and Homeland Security agents are teaming up “to keep your family safe,” according to ABC News, by implementing random searches at bus depots, in yet another example of how airport tyranny is being rolled out onto the streets.

“Bomb sniffing dogs, pat-downs and metal detector wanding, gloved inspections of hand-held bags” are all now going to become a routine part of everyday life as the Fourth Amendment is completely trashed in the name of “security”.

Feb 18 07:59

The Information Super-Sewer: Will the Internet be Hijacked by Corporate Interests

The Internet has become one more tool hijacked by corporate interests to accelerate our cultural, political and economic decline. The great promise of the Internet, to open up dialogue, break down cultural barriers, promote democracy and unleash innovation and creativity, has been exposed as a scam. The Internet is dividing us into antagonistic clans, in which we chant the same slogans and hate the same enemies, while our creative work is handed for free to Web providers who use it as bait for advertising.

Feb 17 15:27

Italy's Government Seeks Control Over Online Videos

Italy's government is drafting a decree that would give it control over online video content.

In a country where Internet usage is still relatively small, the measure is seen as an attempt by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to protect his TV empire from future competition from the freewheeling world of Google and YouTube.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Silicon Curtain descends over Italy!

Feb 16 13:23

Could Iceland's Financial Meltdown Create The World's First Free Speech State?

It's no secret that Iceland was hit particularly hard by the global financial crisis. Three of its largest banks were nationalized and the government collapsed. Reykjavik, the nation's capitol, saw unprecedented riots and the Icelandic currency-- the Krona-- plummeted along with the bank accounts of every Icelander. Forbes even went as far to declare it "the land without an economy." But could the economic chaos in Iceland have a silver lining?

Today members of the Icelandic Parliament will introduce a resolution that could begin Iceland's transformation into the globe's first "journalism haven." The proposal tasks the parliament with cementing "freedom of expression and information in Iceland, as well as providing strong protections for sources and whistleblowers."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sign me up!

Feb 16 13:13

France falls under Internet censorship

"Protection of childhood is shamelessly exploited by Nicolas Sarkozy to implement a measure that will lead to collateral censorship and very dangerous drifts."

Liberté, égalité, fraternité indeed. It's almost enough to make one wonder if St Helena island is still in French hands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Merde!

Feb 16 11:21

Survey: 40 percent in U.S. have no broadband

In a survey of more than 100,000 people in more than 50,000 households across the U.S., 40 percent reported no broadband or high-speed access to the Internet, while 30 percent said they have no Internet access at all.

Feb 16 08:21

The Conservative 100: Most Popular Conservative Sites

Feb 15 15:51

UPDATE: "Nearly every national secret" passes through Landrieu's Offices

Senator Mary Landreiu is senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, making her office and communications the most classified of any elected official in the United States outside the President. Nearly every national secret involving the security of the United States passes through those offices....

Current hearings ...subject to this espionage attack involve:

*Intelligence reform in the aftermath of the Christmas terrorist attack
*Overviews of contracting corruption in Afghanistan
*Planning for securing America’s diplomats around the world
*The Terrorist Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (IRTPA)
*Investigating the root causes of the Ft. Hood attack
*Securing America from financial crimes
*America’s Defense from Cyber Attack
*Development plans for “post surge” Afghanistan

Current investigations...:

*Speculation in trading and how it effects national security
*How US banks help overseas corporation dodge US taxes
*Report on Tax Havens hiding billions from the IRS
*Massive abuses of government credit cards by employees
*Ending “offshore secrecy” to allow the US to recover billions in tax shortfall
*Shell Oil credit card interest abuses
*Medicaid abuse and equipment overcharges
*Billions in unpaid taxes on Medicaid income by American doctors
*Speculation in the energy markets costing American consumers billions a year
*Failures in United Nations reform, waste and corruption
*Speculation and manipulation that controls and rigs crude oil and gasoline markets
*and many many more

Feb 15 15:03

Google joins new anti-filter coalition

Search giants Google and Yahoo have joined the Australian Library and Information Association and Inspire Foundation to create a coalition of online interests to lobby against Rudd Government plans to filter the internet.

Feb 15 12:12

Controlling the Ability of People and Organizations to Access the Internet

Under the guise of “protecting Americans” and choosing itself in so-called “national security,” the current Obama administration wants to be able to control the ability of people and organizations to access the Internet.

This concept on its face seems very harmless and in the best interest of the country, however, having the ability to “turn the Internet off or shutting down sites that Obama considers “dangerous” including particular political groups, individuals or organizations who espouse differing views has far reaching political, financial, moral and legal implications.

Such a policy imposed under Executive Order to control what enters Internet sites and what is shared daily would stifle free speech in direct violation of the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US Government can no longer control society through deception and manufactured fear. So they are trying to build a "Silicon Curtain" around the people much the way the USSR built the Iron Curtain, and for the same purpose.

But the Iron Curtain fell, killed by nothing more than Fax machines, and so too will the Silicon Curtain fail, because the people know the truth is out there now, and will not go quietly back to the 1950s "Father Knows Best" fear-0the-commies blindness.

Feb 15 10:25

Australian traceroute confirms "Silicon Curtain" - WRH now banned in Australia and New Zealand

traceroute to whatreallyhappened.com (69.175.20.138), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 203.98.69.1 (203.98.69.1) 7.761 ms 0.214 ms 0.229 ms
2 203.98.85.197 (203.98.85.197) 19.310 ms 31.377 ms 19.733 ms
3 122.252.0.204 (122.252.0.204) 0.928 ms 1.376 ms 1.336 ms
4 1129.ge-0-0-0.GW8.SYD2.ALTER.NET (203.166.42.253) 149.99 ms 3.85 ms 1.658 ms
5 0.so-7-2-0.XT3.SYD2.ALTER.NET (210.80.33.189) 64.687 ms 7.974 ms 1.358 ms
6 0.so-6-0-0.IR1.LAX12.Alter.Net (210.80.49.85) 188 ms 193.436 ms 190.899 ms
7 0.so-5-0-0.IL1.LAX9.ALTER.NET (152.63.48.65) 165.922 ms 163.510 ms 151.845 ms
8 0.so-7-0-0.XL3.LAX15.ALTER.NET (152.63.112.53) 141.205 ms 152.276 ms 151.581 ms
9 0.xe-11-0-0.BR2.LAX15.ALTER.NET (152.63.116.157) 165.709 ms 158.779 ms 159.847 ms

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I tried traceroute to WRH from several traceroute servers in Australia and New Zealand. Australians are behind a "Silicon Curtain" not unlike the Iron Curtain of the USSR!

UPDATE: Apparently some Australians and New Zealanders are able to see this website if they are using non-default DNS servers like OpenDNS and GoogleDNS, or if they go through a proxy server.

I have some new web stat tools to play with and am tracking web visit from down under today to see how they differ from the previous server.

One reader has written in saying they cannot connect to WRH through Comcast.

Feb 14 18:53

Google Alters Buzz to Tackle Privacy Flaws

Late Saturday, Todd Jackson, product manager for Gmail and Google Buzz, wrote in a blog post that Google had decided to alter one of the most vehemently criticized features in Buzz: the ready-made circle of friends that Buzz gives new users based on their most frequent e-mail and chat contacts.

Feb 13 17:23

Air passengers who refuse a full body scan to be barred from their flights

Original post in the Daily Mail Reporter,/small>

The exemption of under 18s from being scanned, which was in place during the trial of the machines in Manchester, has also been removed.... The officer operating the machine never sees the image, and the employee viewing the scan must be in another room. The scan cannot be saved, printed or transmitted. Passengers can also demand that only officers of their sex see their image. While only a small minority of travellers are expected to be asked to undergo the scans, those who decline will not be allowed to board their flight.

'What kind of a free society does the Government think it is "protecting", when it invades our privacy like this?

'When we are forced to expose ourselves at the airport in order to go on holiday, the terrorists have won.'

Feb 13 15:34

Control freaks want web licences to end bloggers' anonymity – be very afraid

Without the internet, the completely fictitious global warming “consensus” would still be unchallenged, state power massively enlarged, $54 trillion of Western taxpayers’ money flooding into the coffers of carbon companies and people’s lives made miserable by totalitarian restrictions imposed to counter a non-existent threat. I forecast that the right to anonymity on the internet will become one of the most fiercely contested issues over the coming decade. Be very afraid…

Feb 13 07:42

Iceland to become journalism haven?

Feb 12 08:41

Did Goldman Sachs rig the bank-tax vote? Foul play suspected in Richard Curtis internet campaign

When actor Bill Nighy joined director Richard Curtis to launch a campaign for a 'Robin Hood tax' on banks, they were confident it would easily gain public support.

After all, the banks' behaviour had been blamed for bringing the economy to its knees - and this was a chance to raise money for worthy causes such as tackling poverty and climate change.
So when an online vote asking if people supported the idea suddenly began receiving 'No' votes at a rate of six per second, foul play was suspected.

Even more so when many of the votes were traced to banking giant Goldman Sachs.

Feb 12 08:02

Iceland aims to become an offshore haven for journalists and leakers

On Tuesday, the Icelandic parliament is expected to introduce a measure aimed at making the country an international center for investigative journalism publishing, by passing the strongest combination of source protection, freedom of speech, and libel-tourism prevention laws in the world.

Supporters of the proposal say the move would make Iceland an “offshore publishing center” for free speech, analogous to the offshore financial havens that allow corporations to hide capital from authorities. Could global news organizations with a home office in Reykjavík soon be as common as Delaware corporations or Cayman Islands assets?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sign me up!!!!!

Feb 12 07:36

European Union denies US snoops access to electronic banking data

A U.S. push to legally access data generated by Europe's electronic banking activity has been rebuffed by EU lawmakers in a vote of parliament, according to published reports.

Though U.S. snoops have been allowed to access data through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) since the beginning of February on the basis of a provisional security agreement, "Liberal, Socialist and Green euro-MPs" were successful in vetoing the deal, Euronews reported.

Feb 11 12:49

Internet Censorship Protest Shuts Down Australian Government Websites

In March 2009, the Wikileaks website published a leaked secret list of sites slated to be blocked by Australia’s state-sponsored parental filter.

The list revealed that blacklisted sites included “online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist.”

Feb 11 11:35

Chip and PIN is broken, say researchers

Chip-and-PIN readers can be tricked into accepting transactions without a valid personal identification number, opening the door to fraud, researchers have found.

Researchers at Cambridge University have found a fundamental flaw in the EMV — Europay, MasterCard, Visa — protocol that underlies chip-and-PIN validation for debit and credit cards.

As a consequence, a device can be created to modify and intercept communications between a card and a point-of-sale terminal, and fool the terminal into accepting that a PIN verification has succeeded.

Feb 11 10:12

MS update gives some XP boxes the Blue Screen

Applying the latest patches from Microsoft can cause Windows XP machines to crash with the infamous blue screen of death.

Updating systems with the MS10-015 bulletin, which addresses "important" vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel, can cause machines to lock up when restarted before falling into a never-ending reboot loop. The problem is far from isolated, judging by a growing thread on the topic on an official Windows support forum here - though it's fortunately not commonplace either.

Feb 11 09:44

Google Censors Free Speech

I started this blog as a warning to other Blogger authors. My site, The EarthBlog News Daily Citizen, was censored (deleted) in the middle of the night, with no warning and no recourse. I lost months of work. There is no way for me to get it back. Caveat Emptor.

Feb 11 09:35

Google's experiment: leapfrogging ISPs to deliver ultra-high-speed Web

Google, eager to take the Internet to the next level, isn’t waiting around for the telecoms or wireless providers to kick those connections into ultra-high-speed mode. In a blog post this morning, the company said it planning to build and test ultra-high speed networks in a small number of regions across the U.S.

The experimental fiber network will deliver speeds more than 100 times faster than most consumer connections today - a 1-gigabit-per-second fiber-to-the-home connection. The company said it plans to provide competitively-priced services to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I volunteer as a test site! :)

Feb 10 07:27

Scannergate: Facts Contradict Heathrow Claim That Naked Images Can’t Be Printed

Heathrow Airport’s denial that Indian film star Shahrukh Khan’s naked body scanner images were printed and circulated by airport staff because the devices have no capability to print or distribute images contradicts leaked government documents that prove the x-ray backscatter machines do have the option to store and send images, as well as actual images of the print outs that are freely available on the Internet.

Feb 09 18:35

The future of... data encryption

Self-destructing data could help protect your privacy

Feb 09 14:06

You Want My Internet? Come And Take It!

All you people who have an opinion should be ashamed of yourselves. Did you stop to think that maybe your shared thoughts might be at odds with the agenda our betters have planned for us? I didn’t think so. Well they showed you, didn’t they? The hand that feeds has now decided that you have had too many treats. So now, if you want more, you’re going to have to beg! Bad dog!
But did you ever try to take a garden hose to two dogs mating in the street? Does that stop them? No! They just move on down the road and look for another spot to hook up. And that may be precisely what we are going to have to do.

Feb 09 12:17

A Friend’s Tweet Could Be an Ad

It is perhaps the last frontier in advertising — getting regular people to send a sentence or two of text, on behalf of paying advertisers, to their friends and admirers. The idea, according to the entrepreneurs who are developing such services for Twitter and other Web networks, is that people trust recommendations from those they know and respect, while they increasingly ignore nearly ever other kind of ad message in print, on television and online.

Feb 09 11:27

P.E.I. teen banned from Internet

Nevertheless, Judge Nancy Orr sentenced him to 18 months probation and 100 hours of community service on Monday.

He will not be allowed to use Facebook or MSN during this time, and will only be permitted Internet access for school purposes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am curious how they plan to enforce this.

n/a
Feb 08 13:23

Mozilla Firefox hit by malware add-ons

According to a post on the Mozilla add-ons blog, the malicious add-ons were Version 4.0 of Sothink Web Video Downloader and all versions of Master Filer.

The Sothink Web Video Downloader contained Win32.LdPinch.gen, and Master Filer contained the Win32.Bifrose Trojan. Both add-ons have been been disabled but Mozilla said they were active since September 2009.

Feb 08 10:48

BlackBerry has spyware risk too, researcher says

While I was able to control the spyware using text messages sent from my mobile phone, the spyware had to be first installed on his BlackBerry for the snooping to work.

Feb 08 04:17

"al Qaeda Definitely Behind Crippling Cyber Attack"

Washington--Both the Pentagon and the CIA say that 'al Qaeda' was definitely behind the cyber attack that hit the country's internet backbone, severely damaging sensitive equipment and comprising our nation's security.

"This certainly has the fingerprints of somebody like Bin Laden," stated Rita Katz of SITE, a privately run internet search company that picks up sensitive plans on future terrorist attacks from Internet chat rooms.

Satire?

Feb 07 10:24

Climate scepticism 'on the rise', BBC poll shows

The number of British people who are skeptical about climate change is rising, a poll for BBC News suggests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is why the government and corporate media are screaming about licensing websites now. For all the work and money invested in the AGW hoax, it fell flat on its face.

Governments, like religion, lie to their followers to control them. If they can no longer lie, they can no longer rule. With each exposed lie, their power over the people wanes.

It's panic time!

Feb 07 08:58

Alex Jones On The Draconian Internet Takeover

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill aimed at building up the United States cyber security army and expertise, amid growing alarm over the countrys vulnerability online. The new law will create a mega-agency to represent the government in negotiations over international standards and orders the White House office of technology to convene a cyber security university-industry task force to guide the direction of future research.

Feb 07 08:48

CIA enlists Google's help for spy work

Google has been recruited by US intelligence agencies to help them better process and share information they gather about suspects.

Feb 07 08:39

500,000 EU computers can access private British data

Privacy campaigners expressed shock last night after it emerged that large amounts of confidential personal information held about British citizens on a giant computer network spanning the European Union could be accessed by more than 500,000 terminals.

Feb 06 08:45

FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited

The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.

Feb 05 12:03

Gh0st RATs Cross Digital Borders

By now you've probably read about GhostNet, the vast spy network that was uncovered after the office of the Dalai Lama asked researchers at the University of Toronto to examine their computers for malware. The researchers not only found nasties there, they uncovered an entire network that connected almost 1,300 computers in 103 countries -- mostly government organizations, but also some machines at private companies, offices of NATO, and the Associated Press. (You can read their 53-page report here at Scribd.)

All of them had been infected with the Gh0st RAT (remote access tool) that turned their hard drives into an all-you-eat data buffet and their computers into RC toys. Per the New York Times:

Feb 05 11:52

GhostNet

GhostNet (simplified Chinese: ???; traditional Chinese: ???; pinyin: Y?uLíngW?ng) is the name given by researchers at the Information Warfare Monitor to a large-scale cyber spying[1][2] operation discovered in March 2009. Its command and control infrastructure is based mainly in the People's Republic of China and has infiltrated high-value political, economic and media locations[3] in 103 countries. Computer systems belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, and the Dalai Lama's Tibetan exile centers in India, London and New York City were compromised. Although the activity is mostly based in China, there is no conclusive evidence that the Chinese government is involved in its operation.[4]

Feb 05 10:33

Scamming the Scammers: 5 Brilliant Reverse 419 Scams

Countless people are victimized every year around the world by international scammers claiming to have access to fortunes through banks, royal families, business partners, deceased loved ones and more. Some clever crusaders, however, are fighting back in kind and hilariousy scamming the scammers. In some cases this ties up the scammers’ time with useless tasks and in other cases the result are downright hilarious, like a scammer baited into carving a Commodore 64 keyboard replica from wood.

Feb 05 08:52

The Rising Tide of Internet Censorhsip

The focus is back on Internet censorship this week as a pair of articles from Time Magazine and The New York Times came out almost simultaneously advocating for licences to operate web sites. These articles were skillfully skewered by Paul Joseph Watson as lame attempts to shore up a disintegrating establishment media in the face of a blogosphere that is increasingly replacing them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Copenhagen was the wake up all. The carefully orchestrated and extremely costly PR campaign to create the illusion of a global threat requiring carbon taxes and global government was undone by a network of bloggers operating on spare change found under seat cushions dedicated to getting the truth out.

The world's leaders and con-artists (but I repeat myself) along with the corporate media were apparently still in denial over the dramatic and fundamental change to the flow of information in our civilization, but if they were not worried about losing their ability to lie effectively to the world, they sure as hell are now!

And again, efforts to control who can create a website are similar to efforts over who could legally print and publish books following the invention of movable-type printing. And like those earlier efforts, attempts to control the internet are inevitably doomed to fail if for no other reason than that they are visible to the world.

The fastest way to bring down a dictator is to force them to act like one where everyone can see it!

Feb 05 07:16

Is basic American telephone service in a death spiral?

Now, in a recent filing at the FCC, AT&T has stated that it wants to put to an end the public switched telephone networks system, to “transition” them out of service. AT&T is asking the FCC to set a firm deadline to “sunset” the PSTN. AT&T claims the “plain old telephone service,” known in the industry as “POTS,” and the legacy utilities are “diverting critically needed funds that could be used for broadband deployment.”

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Feb 04 15:54

The global warming guerrillas

Matt Ridley salutes the bloggers who changed the climate debate. While most of Fleet Street kowtowed to the green lobby, online amateurs uncovered the spin and deception that finally cracked the consensus

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I blush!

Feb 04 14:36

EU: hackers broke into cap-and-trade system

German authorities said hackers stole pollution permits worth euro3 million ($4.15 million) on Jan. 28 when they set up a fake site designed to look like a European Commission page. They sent e-mails to EU government users, asking them to log on at the site.

Feb 04 13:48

iPad and iPhone are BAD for the Web

Since Flash is not supported by the iPad or the iPhone and since the vast majority of web surfers don’t have HTML 5, if we want to deliver video on the Web, we have to support two methods of delivery.

… Just like it was during the 1990’s browser wars, where we had to write code for IE and code for Netscape. Thanks Apple for bringing back the good old days! Jerks.

Feb 04 10:33

Grandmother is falsely accused of file-sharing

The likely issue, of course, was an unsecured router. Paradiso said she tried locking her network down but acknowledged that she isn’t an expert. Given that Paradiso has little technology background and no children living at home, someone outside her home probably used the connection to download copyrighted files.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I just used my laptop to scan the WiFi routers around me. 1/2 of them are running unsecured.

Feb 04 08:51

Vegetative state patients can communicate

Groundbreaking research has found that patients left in a vegetative state for devastating brain damage are able to think and respond to questions.

British and Belgian researchers have been able to reach into the mind of a man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a road accident in 2003 and communicate.

Their research involved a new brain scanning method called functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging.

The man was asked to give yes and no answers to simple questions such as "is your father's name Thomas?" with the help of a hi-tech scanner that monitored his brain activity.

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Feb 03 17:43

Film industry loses landmark piracy case

INTERNET service provider iiNet has won a major legal battle over whether it should be held responsible for its customers downloading content illegally.

The case, against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, could have had major implications for the way internet providers police their users.

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