Jan 14 08:31

Police sweeps of cellphone data in 'tower dumps' face charter challenge

Police powers to seize call records from tens of thousands of cellphone subscribers at once could be reined in with a court decision Thursday.

An Ontario judge will rule on a case brought by two of Canada's biggest telecommunications companies, arguing that sweeping "tower dumps" violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Jan 14 08:13

Best Buy Reports Disappointing Holiday Season, Stock Plummets

Best Buy’s 9-week comparable sales during the holiday season dropped 1.2%, which caused investors to become highly concerned

Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE:BBY) disclosed that its same-store sales (SSS), for the nine-week period ended January 2, 2016, have decreased 1.2%. The company’s stock reacted immediately to the news, and is trading down 7.75% at $27.01, as of 8:09 AM EST, in the pre-market trading hours today.

CEO Hubert Joly commented: “The Domestic decline was primarily driven by the mobile phone category, which was softer than both our expectations and the prior year.” The executive also mentioned that online revenue for the holiday period grew 12.6%.

Jan 14 08:12

Microsoft expands Get Windows 10 program to domains, publishes opt-out instructions

As the year-long free upgrade offer for Windows 10 nears the halfway mark, Microsoft is getting more aggressive, with new plans to begin displaying the GWX taskbar icon and upgrade prompts on business PCs that had previously been off-limits.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"You will install this piece of trash, AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!!!!" -- Microblorch

Jan 14 08:00

Muslim College Professor Banned From Online Game Due To Terror Watch List Error

By John Vibes

A Muslim college professor was recently blocked from playing online games because his name was similar to one that is on the US terror watch list. Muhammad Zakir Khan is an assistant professor at Florida’s Broward College and he was recently banned from playing a game called Paragon because his name was allegedly on the terror watch list...

Jan 13 17:29

The US Government Has an Internet Killswitch — and It’s None of Your Business

By Derrick Broze

On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear a petition from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) that sought to force the Department of Homeland Security to release details of a secret “killswitch” protocol to shut down cellphone and Internet service during emergencies.

EPIC has been fighting since 2011 to release the details of the program, which is known as Standard Operating Procedure 303...

Jan 13 16:13

Fortinet tries to explain weird SSH 'backdoor' discovered in firewalls

Update your firmware or suffer the consequences

Jan 13 16:11

Yahoo wants settlement to make privacy abuse claim vanish

Yahoo has agreed to modify its privacy policy as part of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit, which alleges that it scans the emails of non-users for data to be used for advertising purposes. The plaintiffs will not get a payout, however.

Jan 13 16:11

Whatever Android-ChromeOS mashup looks like, it's gotta be better looking than this

If you've ever wondered what Android would look like as a desktop PC OS, then try this for size: Remix OS from China.


The end-user agreement has made a few people jumpy; for one thing, while using the software, "you're not allowed to spread rumor, disturb social order, or undermine social stability," and "you agree that you irrevocably waive any and all ownership, legal and moral rights to your user content," which is essentially extending Chinese rule over your desktop.

Jan 13 15:59

PC sales continue to tank – down globally again in the fourth quarter

Worldwide PC shipments have fallen again, down by 8.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to analysts at Gartner.

For the year, PC shipments totalled 288.7 million units, down by eight per cent on 2014 as the mid-year release of Windows failed to instigate a turnaround in PC sales.

Jan 13 15:48

Manjaro Linux

The Manjaro community is proud to present another update to the Gnome Edition installation media.

The Manjaro community is happy to announce a fresh release of the Fluxbox edition, including the latest packages of the Manjaro 15.12 “Capella” stable branch.

The Manjaro community is proud to announce the release of Manjaro i3 15.12. With this newest version of manjaro-i3 we deliver a complete set of command line applications together with their convenient and more beginner-friendly graphical alternatives.

Manjaro Mate-Desktop 1.12 released! After a month of testing, stable release comes finaly true!

After some developing a month and testing the up coming ISO build’s, stable Cinnamon ISO is there !

Jan 13 15:05

Former Federal Prosecutor Says Hillary Clinton Could Be Indicted Within 60 Days (Or FBI Will Revolt)

The leaking of the Clinton emails has been compared to as the next “Watergate” by former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova this week, if current FBI investigations don’t proceed in an appropriate manner. The revelation comes after more emails from Hilary Clinton’s personal email have come to light.

“[The investigation has reached] a critical mass,” DiGenova told radio host Laura Ingraham when discussing the FBI’s still pending investigation. Though Clinton is still yet to be charged with any crime, DiGenova advised on Tuesday that changes may be on the horizon. The mishandling over the classified intelligence may lead to an imminent indictment, with DiGenova suggesting it may come to a head within 60 days.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When I see Hillary in handcuffs, then and only then will I believe this.

Jan 13 13:00

Anonymous blocks 300 Thai govt websites, protesting police conduct over tourist murders

Hacktivist collective Anonymous claims to have shut down hundreds of Thai government websites in protest at the investigation and trial of two Myanmar migrant workers found guilty of the 2014 murder of two British tourists.

Jan 13 10:20


We were also suspended and got a couple of videos removed over a month ago. The new thing we have noticed is that pictures/videos can now be removed by Facebook even if they follow the so called community standards. This is scary because soon we will not be able to post anything, it seems. So yes we do believe Facebook’s pro-Israel policy is tightening the noose around our freedom of speech.”

Jan 13 10:20

Yahoo settles e-mail privacy class-action: $4M for lawyers, $0 for users

In late 2013, Yahoo was hit with six lawsuits over its practice of using automated scans of e-mail to produce targeted ads. The cases, which were consolidated in federal court, all argued that the privacy rights of non-Yahoo users, who "did not consent to Yahoo's interception and scanning of their emails," were being violated by a multi-billion dollar company.

Jan 13 09:34

French government considers law that would outlaw strong encryption

The French Parliament is considering a legislative provision that would ban strong encryption by requiring tech companies to configure their systems so that police and intelligence agencies could always access their data.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... along with spies, hackers and other criminals who will find and use those back doors! Meanwhile, real criminals and terrorists will simply write their own systems of encryption which the police will not be able to break (we proved that on with six challenges to the NSA, all of which went unsolved) so the law-abiding citizens have their personal and business secrets exposed to no point whatsoever!

Jan 12 18:11

Government Software Calculates Your ‘Threat Score’ And Categorizes Citizens As Red, Yellow Or Green

Today, more than 90 percent of all local police departments and nearly all government agencies employ some sort of technological surveillance.

Jan 12 15:29

Twitter uses #IfIWereACop hashtag to take jabs at law enforcement

#IfIWereACop is trending, and it is providing equal parts humor, wish fulfillment and social commentary to Twitter users.

Twitter account @WorldOfHashtags created the hashtag as its part of its weekly event.

Jan 12 14:19

How to Test Your PC for Skylake Bug

The bug has apparently been stewing for weeks on forums at and then which created the software, Prime95, that is used to induce the bug. Prime95 is used to find prime numbers and is also very popular with performance and the overclocking community as a stress and performance test.

Besides the community post, Intel also confirmed to PCWorld the existence of the bug but placed an emphasis on the word “might” because there’s no guarantee you’ll hit the bug.

“Under some complex workload conditions, like those encountered when running applications such as Prime95, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behavior. Intel has released a fix that resolves the issue and we are working with external business partners to deploy this fix through BIOS updates,” an Intel official told PCWorld.

Jan 12 13:19

FLASHBACK - Reported two-month gap in Clinton emails coincides with escalating Libya violence

A reported two-month gap in emails from Hillary Clinton's private account during 2012 coincides with a period of escalating violence in Libya and the obtaining of a special exemption by her top aide, Huma Abedin, to work for both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Jan 12 11:59

“After Armageddon”: Marine Shows How to Survive An Urban Disaster

Could you survive in an urban environment if the SHTF and everything you knew was gone?


Jan 12 11:42

meet the micro

the first truly consumer 3D printer

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I just HAD to give this thing a plug! $349 for a home 3D printer? WOW!

Jan 12 11:34

How WiFi Will Be Used to Erase Civil Liberties

By Kevin Samson

Recent announcements in the UK and in New York City have shown that governments are working with private corporations to blanket entire cities with WiFi connectivity. Naturally they are appealing to people’s love of technology for entertainment and business to push this agenda forward.

However, beneath the surface is the development of tracking technologies that specifically use WiFi as a pervasive method of surveilling every single person who is in range – in some cases regardless of even having a connected device...

Jan 12 09:47

Intel confirms bug with Skylake CPUs

Intel has stepped up and confirmed that there is a bug in its sixth-gen Core products that have the codename Skylake. The bug in question can cause the system to hang under complex workloads. The only application that Intel has confirmed to cause the issue so far is Prime95.

The problem was originally identified back in December by testers who found random crashes of the Prime95 software during the 786k test on the new Intel processors. The software would fail sometimes after only a few minutes of operation and other times after hours of operation.

Lots of user testing went through hardware issues that could cause the failure and eventually the solution was found to be disabling hyper-threading, at least according to user reports.

Jan 12 09:39

Remix OS For PC

Jan 12 09:33

French government considers law that would outlaw strong encryption

The French Parliament is considering a legislative provision that would ban strong encryption by requiring tech companies to configure their systems so that police and intelligence agencies could always access their data.

Jan 12 09:29

Trend Micro AV gave any website command-line access to Windows PCs

PCs running Trend Micro's Antivirus on Windows can be hijacked, infected with malware, or wiped clean by any website, thanks to a vulnerability in the security software.

The design blunders were discovered by Google Project Zero bod Tavis Ormandy. A patch is now available to address the remote-code execution flaw, so Trend Micro users should update their software as soon as possible.

Jan 12 09:23

Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 nagware shows signs of sentience

Windows 7 and 8 installations are finding new ways to re-enable Microsoft’s intrusive “Get Windows 10” nagware, even when users disable it.

An additional background process has been detected that resets the Registry’s AllowOSUpgrade flag twice a day. Prophylactic measures taken by users to disable the nagware – such as these – therefore have limited use. The additional process has only been found by some users, and appears to arrive in a modified version of the KB patch which unleashes GWX.

Jan 12 09:16

Google researcher blasts Trend Micro for massive Antivirus security hole

Less then two weeks ago, we covered the significant security flaw in AVG’s Web TuneUp software, and the company’s back and forth with Google security researcher, Tavis Ormandy. Ormandy has found a new set of bugs in Trend Micro’s Windows anti-virus product — bugs that are, if anything, worse than what we saw with AVG. Unlike the AVG problems, which involved a (technically) optional toolbar, installing Trend Micro’s antivirus software is a significant security risk.

Ormandy found that installing Trend Micro Antivirus also installed a password manager. This software automatically launches on startup and has a “feature” that allows for arbitrary code execution.

Jan 12 07:59

Intel Skylake bug causes PCs to freeze during complex workloads

"Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel Core family of products. This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95. In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behaviour."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So that's what happened to the Pentium floating point engineers!!! :)

Jan 12 02:43

Are You A Threat? Police Software Scans Your Social Media: “Very Dangerous For a Citizen”

What you say, and what is said about you is now more likely than ever to land you in trouble with the law:

As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red.

“A police call is something that can be very dangerous for a citizen.”


Jan 11 17:26

TVs Now 'Smart' Enough To Get Hijacked, Pick Up Malware

In a comment on Reddit this week, user “moeburn” raised the possibility of new malware circulating for Smart TVs:

My sister got a virus on her TV. A VIRUS ON HER GODDAMN TV.
It was an LG Smart TV with a built in web browser, and she managed to get a DNS Hijacker that would say “Your computer is infected please send us money to fix it” any time she tried to do anything on the TV.

The Reddit post included this image:

Jan 11 15:03

‘Insider Threat’ Program: Hundred Thousand Pentagon Personnel Under Total Surveillance

At least a hundred thousand military, civilian, and contractor personnel at the Defense Department have been subjected to a “continuous evaluation” or total surveillance of their electronic activities and communications. The surveillance is part of the department’s “Insider Threat” program and raises concerns about the extent to which whistleblower communications are being intercepted.

Jan 11 11:16

Little noticed Hillary email might contain NSA intercepts

While most of the attention on Hillary Clinton's emails dealt with a document that included instructions from Clinton to tamper with the headings of a possibly classified subject, another, even more explosive email is big news in Sudan and could potentially lead to criminal charges.

The email in question is from Sid Blumenthal, close Clinton friend and ally, who was in Libya trying to drum up business with the Libyan government for some business associates. To ingratiate himself with Secretary Clinton and get the State Department to intercede with the Libyan government on his behalf, he sent her "intelligence" briefs on what was happening on the ground in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East.

One of them is explosive. It involves a conspiracy in the Sudanese government to ally themselves with some rebels in order to get their hands on some oil fields. The problems for Blumenthal and Clinton:

Jan 11 10:22

The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’

While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.

The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.

Jan 11 09:08

UK spying laws criticised by Government’s own watchdog as Theresa May’s claim that Snoopers' Charter doesn’t block encryption is scrutinised

The Government-appointed information watchdog has criticised Theresa May’s spying plans, arguing that they could lead to the exposure of personal information and are of “real concern”.

The upcoming Investigatory Powers Bill gives spies sweeping new powers, and forces internet companies to keep records on all of their users. Parts of the law also seem to suggest that the Government will make companies weaken their security so that intelligence agencies can read messages.

The Government has claimed that the law is written to keep people safe and that the powers are limited and safeguarded. But the Government’s own appointed figure has said that the powers could be damaging.

Jan 10 10:41

Saudi Arabia partially blocks access to Telegram Messenger — Telegram founder

Access to Telegram Messenger has been partially blocked in Saudi Arabia since Saturday evening, Pavel Durov, the CEO and founder of Telegram, said on his Twitter account on Sunday. "I confirm that Telegram traffic has been partially blocked in Saudi Arabia since yesterday’s evening," he wrote after one of the users had reported problems in the messenger operation. Durov noted he did not know why Telegram had been blocked. Iran blocked access to Telegram in October 2015 after Telegram ignored a request from Iran’s ministry of information and communications technologies to provide instruments for censorship of messages. In the meantime, there have been requests to block the messenger in Russia as well.

Jan 10 10:37

Google translates Russia to 'Mordor' and minister's name to 'sad little horse'

Language translation tool error converting ‘Russian Federation’ in Ukrainian to fictional dark land from Lord of the Rings down to automatic bug, says company

Webmaster's Commentary: 


Jan 10 10:20

State Dept. Releases Hillary's Emails Under Cover of Darkness

The State Department released almost 2,900 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails at 1:39 am ET on Friday; the previous instalment from the former Secretary of State revealed the real motivation for the military intervention that toppled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Jan 10 09:30

Bombshell 1-Sentence Email From Hillary Just Released- It Could Be The Smoking Gun…

n the latest batch of emails to be released, a message sent by Clinton clears up that question by proving the secretary of state herself ordered an underling to send her some classified info over her unsecure email system. And she did so knowingly.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 09 17:26

Oops: How The NSA Helped Foreign Governments Spy On The US

If you still believe that the NSA is all about guarding you from terrorists, or even securing the US against foreign intelligence agencies, think again.

The FBI is investigating a recent security breach, with independent researchers believing that a back door created by the NSA had allowed foreign governments to spy on US government communications.

Jan 09 14:18

Oops: How The NSA Helped Foreign Governments Spy On The US

If you still believe that the NSA is all about guarding you from terrorists, or even securing the US against foreign intelligence agencies, think again. The FBI is investigating a recent security breach, with independent researchers believing that a back door created by the NSA had allowed foreign governments to spy on US government communications.

Jan 09 10:17

Smoking Gun: Email Suggests Hillary Broke Law

The latest batch of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department early Friday contain what may be the smoking gun that forces the Justice Department to charge the former secretary of state with a crime, according to former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova.

“This is gigantic,” said diGenova. “She caused to be removed a classified marking and then had it transmitted in an unencrypted manner. That is a felony. The removal of the classified marking is a federal crime. It is the same thing to order someone to do it as if she had done it herself.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You look good in Orange, Hillary. The color suits you! :)

Jan 09 09:35

At least 1,340 Clinton emails now known to contain classified material

At least 1,340 emails that Hillary Clinton sent or received contained classified material, according to the State Department’s latest update from its ongoing review of more than 30,000 emails.

The State Department released a new batch of 3,007 pages of Clinton’s emails after 1:30 a.m. Friday in response to a court order. Of those, 66 contain classified information.

None of Clinton’’s emails was marked as classified during her tenure, State Department officials say, but intelligence officials say some material was clearly classified at the time. Her aides also sent and received classified information.

Jan 09 08:47

Amazon customer complains, finds 10-inch dildo in his shopping basket

On a fateful day in October 2015, Pedro—an IT contractor living in Ireland—was surfing for a specialised textbook he needed for a new extracurricular art class. He found the book, ordered it, but was disappointed when it arrived. The listing had said that the book was the current edition, but Amazon sent Pedro the previous edition.

Pedro got in touch with customer service to see about getting the proper version. A few days later, Amazon told Pedro that it had ultimately failed to find the right version of the textbook and that he should instead return the book for a full refund.

Pedro, who by this point had spent a long time looking for the correct version of the book and then more time waiting while Amazon looked for the book in its warehouse, wasn't happy with the overall shopping experience. He made his displeasure known by providing negative feedback on a customer satisfaction survey, and he figured that was the end of it.

Jan 08 13:01

Bombshell 1-Sentence Email From Hillary Just Released- It Could Be The Smoking Gun…

In the latest batch of emails to be released, a message sent by Clinton clears up that question by proving the secretary of state herself ordered an underling to send her some classified info over her unsecure email system. And she did so knowingly.

Jan 08 13:00

Latest batch of Clinton emails contains 66 more classified messages

The latest batch of emails released from Hillary Clinton's personal account from her tenure as secretary of state includes 66 messages deemed classified at some level, the State Department said early Friday.

In one email, Clinton even seemed to coach a top adviser on how to send secure information outside secure channels.

Jan 08 12:35


The Federal Bureau of Investigation will recommend that the Justice Department bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton and various of her aides, and soon. The evidence consists of materials that the Bureau has gathered in the course of its months-long investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s personal server. The recommendations will come very soon.

The charges will consist of some of the following:

1. Improper disclosure or retention of classified information.
2. Destruction of government records.
3. Lying to federal agents.
4. Lying under oath.
5. Obstruction of justice.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I will believe it when I see Hillary hauled away in handcuffs, and not one second before. The FBI can recommend all they want, but it will be up to Obama's Attorney General Loretta Lynch whether or not to file charges, and I do not expect her to do so. But even so, obvious criminality and an Obama "get out of jail free" card will not look good to the voters!

Jan 08 12:18

Arab-Jew ‘forbidden’ kiss video mysteriously disappears from Facebook

A video of Arab and Jewish couples engaging in “forbidden” kisses has disappeared from Facebook, prompting claims of hacking and censorship.

The video by TimeOut Tel Aviv features six couples doing the “forbidden deed”, was a response to an Israeli Ministry of Education decision to exclude a book describing a love affair between a Jewish woman and an Arab man from school curricula.

Jan 08 11:12

Whoa: Hillary e-mail instructs aide to transmit classified data without markings

Has the State Department released a smoking gun in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal? In a thread from June 2011, Hillary exchanges e-mails with Jake Sullivan, then her deputy chief of staff and now her campaign foreign-policy adviser, in which she impatiently waits for a set of talking points. When Sullivan tells her that the source is having trouble with the secure fax, Hillary then orders Sullivan to have the data stripped of its markings and sent through a non-secure channel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Click for larger image

This confirrms reports from last summer that Hillary's staffers were stripping the classified emails of classification marks which is a FELONY! and the above emails shows that Hillary not only knew, but ordered the commission of that felony!

Optional Banner: 
WRH breaking
Jan 08 10:44

An Imminent Indictment? - Fmr U.S. Attorney: Hillary Clinton Charged Soon - Andrew Napolitano

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would love to see it, but I doubt it. The FBI has been the Clintons' protectors going all the way back to the murder of White House Deputy Counsel Vincent Foster, the event which triggered my involuntary career change from visual effects expert to truth activist all those years ago! I suspect the FBI will declare that they cannot find any hard evidence of wrongdoing and the Hillary campaign will declare the matter closed, an example of GOP persecution of women, "in the past", and Hillary's campaign will move forward.

Jan 08 07:59

Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

A Redmond spokesperson today confirmed that support page is still valid – its instructions still work even though it was quietly published a few months ago. It involves digging into the Registry to disable the Windows 10 upgrade path, but it's not impossible nor particularly scary for a Register reader.

Make sure you follow all the steps, but essentially you have to:

Open the Registry Editor (search for regedit in the Start Menu and run it).
Set DisableOSUpgrade to 1 in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
Set ReservationsAllowed to 0 in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade

Jan 08 07:52

Call of Duty terror jabber just mindless banter

Security bods laugh at fear-monger failure


Jan 07 14:07

Hard to Watch: Dad “sick to His Stomach” After 10-year-old Daughter’s “invasive” Tsa Pat Down

It really is hard to watch. Her father wrote that he felt like he was watching his 5th grade daughter get assaulted.

Jan 07 12:35

State Department misled on Hillary Clinton emails, investigation concludes

The top leadership of the State Department regularly botched open-records requests such as those for former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s emails, the department’s inspector general said in a report released Thursday that portrayed a staff who gave short shrift to its legal obligation to be transparent.

Department leaders ignored one request for Mrs. Clinton’s schedules “for several years,” and in another instance insisted it couldn’t find any records relating to Mrs. Clinton’s other emails — even though at the time, “dozens of senior officials” were aware of her unique email arrangement.

The inspector general said Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, Cheryl Mills, who knew about her email account and server she kept at her New York home, was made aware of the request for information, but didn’t take any steps to clear the matter up or reveal the email account.

Jan 07 09:53

'You're updated!' Drupal says, with fingers crossed behind back

Drupal installations could be out of date and open to attack thanks to a borked update process that flags unpatched platforms as current.

Jan 07 09:50

Plain cruelty: Boffins flay Linux ransomware for the third time

Probably the world's most tragically determined blackhat developers have had their revitalised Linux.Encoder ransomware pwned again by meddling BitDefender whitehats.

The third iteration of the Linux.Encoder ransomware was unleashed on the world, infecting a paltry 600 servers before a crack team of security analysts returned to rip it apart.

Once again, instead of paying the VXers a Bitcoin to fund training them out of hopelessness, victims can run BitDefender's decryption utility to release their locked-up files free of charge.

Webmaster addition: Funny how NSA can't stop the ransomware people, but BitDefender can! :)

Jan 07 07:51

CIA Denies Request for Info on Edward Snowden

By Jon Rappoport

Matrix One: who is Edward Snowden?

Update: the CIA has just refused a FIOA request for information about its former employee, Edward Snowden.

The request was filed on November 15 by John Young, the owner of The CIA’s response, dated December 29, refers to Young’s query seeking “records granting Edward Joseph Snowden access to classified information…[and] records indicating Mr. Snowden[‘s] compliance with controls of classified information upon leaving the CIA.”

The CIA’s letter to Young states, “…the CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request.” The CIA letter states that any other response would violate rules governing classification of data.

Bottom line: the CIA has nothing specific to say about Snowden’s status while he worked for the Agency.

Once again, the question of exactly who Edward Snowden is resurfaces...

Jan 07 07:48

Spread out the documents or die

Edward Snowden advises investigative
journalists to make sure that their
research is spread around.

Sole sources run a serious risk of being "interfered" with.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Way ahead of you on that one, Edward! :)

Jan 06 16:31

New Hillary Emails Reveal Propaganda, Executions, Coveting Libyan Oil and Gold

The New Year’s Eve release of over 3000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who gets to ride with Hillary” selection process set up by her staff, and how a “cute” Hillary photo fared on Facebook.

Jan 06 13:59

#BoycottThailand: Anonymous hacks Thai police websites over backpacker murder verdicts

Cyber hacktivist group Anonymous has hacked at least 14 Thai police websites in protest against the “scapegoating” of two Burmese men convicted of murdering two British backpackers, it has emerged.

Jan 06 11:02

California woman confronts Starbucks cashier who admits to stealing her credit card information

A California Starbucks cashier got caught red-handed stealing a customer’s credit card information, and faced the grande wrath of her furious victim.

Juana Martinez unloaded a fiery tirade Sunday in Lakewood on the sticky-fingered cashier, who was stunned and admitted to the crime after being confronted by the theft victim.

The 2-minute 30-second clip has since gone viral, a penalty worse than arrest for the 19-year-old coffee shop employee, Martinez told The Daily News.

"I think this is a worse punishment, honestly," Martinez said. "I think it's more than enough that she's all over the Internet. People will know who she is."

Jan 06 10:48

Zurich University Website Claims It Will Tell You How Attractive You Are … Hilarity Ensures

The University of Zurich has launched a website that claims to use artificial intelligence to rate your attractiveness and age based upon your photo.

We at Washington’s Blog decided to test the website by uploading a picture … of a dog.

And not a show dog, mind you; but a rather homely-looking mutt.

The U of Zurich website rated the dog as “Hot”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The website estimated my age as 50, and said I am "ok" in looks. The system estimated my wife's age at 30, and as for their score on her looks ... let's just say if I meet that AI I plan to pour salt water into the top of the box!

Jan 06 10:26

“The Creepy Study” – Surveillance Cameras Analyze Emotions

By Nicholas West

By now, nearly everyone is familiar with just how massive the State surveillance apparatus has become. The question is no longer about whether or not we are under surveillance, but how much further will the intrusion expand.

As facial recognition technology becomes more sophisticated, and the ease of camera and sensor installation makes all barriers to entry a non-issue, we are beginning to see the advent of real-time tracking that is looking for emotion as well as our data...

Jan 06 08:36

ISPs: should pay full costs of Snooper's Charter hardware

The Home Secretary's £257m estimate for the costs of implementing the bill's provisions was somewhat short of the potential £2bn cost – which the government has resolutely buried its head in the sand over.

The ISPA complained that the subset of providers consulted about the impact of the bill was too small, adding "it is not clear whether the indirect effects have been considered by the Impact Assessment."

Additional IPSA complaints related to "the need to procure new hardware to meet new obligations and the high costs of storing large volumes [of] data that would follow."

Jan 06 08:30

Bill Binney: New UK spying law is going to kill people, ex-NSA technical director and whistleblower warns

Britain’s new spying laws could kill people, the ex-technical director of the NSA has warned.

Pursuing a strategy of allowing spies to look in on everything that everyone says “costs lives, and has cost lives in Britain because it inundates analysts with too much data”, Bill Binney has warned UK MPs who are scrutinising the Investigatory Powers Bill.

The bill, also known as the Snoopers' Charter, is set to be passed by parliament early this year and will bring with it huge and unprecedented spying powers for UK intelligence agencies and the government. But it has been criticised by privacy campaigners and technology companies who argue that it will put lives in danger.

“It is 99 per cent useless,” Mr Binney said in a letter sent to MPs. “Who wants to know everyone who has ever looked at Google or the BBC? We have known for decades that that swamps analysts.”

Jan 06 08:27

Microsoft shows off just how much data it’s collecting from Windows 10 users

But in order to illustrate just how popular Windows 10 has become, Microsoft felt the need to share some milestones:

  • People have spent over 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December alone.
  • Over 44.5 billion minutes spent in Microsoft Edge across Windows 10 devices in just the last month.
  • Over 2.5 billion questions asked of Cortana since launch.
  • Around 30% more Bing search queries per Windows 10 device vs. prior versions of Windows.
  • Over 82 billion photos viewed within the Windows 10 Photo app.
  • Gaming continues to grow on Windows 10 – in 2015, gamers spent over 4 billion hours playing PC games on Windows 10.
  • Gamers have streamed more than 6.6 million hours of Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs.
  • Jan 06 08:05

    CES 2016: Fitbit launches $200 Apple Watch competitor

    Step aside, Apple, there's a new watch in town. At CES 2016, Fitbit unveiled the Blaze, a smartwatch that does things the Apple Watch can't, and at a lower price point.

    Jan 05 21:06

    Proprietary Back Doors

    Here are examples of demonstrated back doors in proprietary software.
    Dell computers, shipped with Windows, had a bogus root certificate that allowed anyone (not just Dell) to remotely authorize any software to run on the computer.

    Baidu's proprietary Android library, Moplus, has a back door that can “upload files” as well as forcibly install apps.

    It is used by 14,000 Android applications.

    Microsoft is attacking computers that run Windows 7 and 8, switching on a flag that says whether to “upgrade” to Windows 10 when users have turned it off.

    This, by the way, reaffirms the presence of a universal back door in Windows 7 and 8.

    Jan 05 16:15

    Why is Microsoft monitoring how long you use Windows 10?

    The various privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 have received a lot of coverage in the media, but it seems that there are ever more secrets coming to light. The Threshold 2 Update did nothing to curtail privacy invasion, and the latest Windows 10 installation figures show that Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system.

    This might seem like a slightly strange statistic for Microsoft to keep track of, but the company knows how long, collectively, Windows 10 has been running on computers around the world. To have reached this figure (11 billion hours in December, apparently) Microsoft must have been logging individuals' usage times. Intrigued, we contacted Microsoft to find out what on earth is going on.

    If the company has indeed been checking up on when you are clocking in and out of Windows 10, it's not going to admit it.

    Jan 05 15:16

    Twitter suspends account of Oregon militia leader Ammon Bundy

    The Twitter social media site on Tuesday suspended the account of Ammon Bundy, the Nevada rancher who is leading a group of armed men occupying federal buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

    Jan 05 09:47

    Half of UK financial institutions vulnerable to well-known crypto flaws

    Fifty per cent of UK high street financial institutions utilise weak SSL certificates on their secure authentication portals, according to a new study by Xiphos Research.

    An assessment of 84 UK- and foreign-owned banking institutions in November by the international information security firm, and published on Monday, found that more than half were running SSL certificates that may expose their customers data to unwarranted risk.

    Problems identified included certificate instances that may be vulnerable to well-documented attacks, such as CRIME and POODLE, as well as other crypto flaws.

    Jan 05 09:41

    'Have they tried switching it off and on again?' HSBC customers channel fury into sarcasm as they endure a second day without online banking

    Furious customers have taken to social media in their hundreds to vent after HSBC's online banking services went down for the second day in a row.

    The banking giant's online personal banking page will not allow users to log for a second day, prompting users to take to social media with a variety of withering put-downs.

    Referring to hit Channel 4 show the IT Crowd, Twitter user Paul Downes wrote: 'Have you tried switching it off and back on again? #HSBC.' Meanwhile, Amal Raj Vijay said: 'Dude, where's my account?'

    Another social media user hopefully tweeted: 'Dear HSBC. I'm trying to transfer 50k online and its gone missing. Please fix your online system and refund my money. I have no receipt #hsbc.'

    Jan 05 08:53

    T-Mobile Is Flat Out Lying: It's Throttling Video Even Though It Says It's Not

    Big companies often have a way of tap dancing around the truth. It's rarely lying, because they will choose their words carefully, in a manner that clearly misleads or distorts, but is not necessarily outright lying. T-Mobile, however, appears to be flat out lying. We recently wrote about the charges from YouTube that T-Mobile was throttling YouTube videos as part of its Binge On program that zero rates video on mobile phones so it doesn't count against data caps. We noted the problems with this program when it launched, but YouTube's claims take it even further.

    Jan 04 17:42

    Liberals Call for Violence to End Oregon Standoff: Send “National Guard With Shoot to Kill Orders”

    Can you believe 2016 just started, and already people are calling for a bigger police state where the government can kill citizens without due process, charge or trial?

    Twitter users across the globe have been calling for the use of lethal force to end the Oregon standoff... this is gruesome stuff.


    Jan 04 16:10

    Anyone seen my DVD? Ohio loses disc holding 50,000 citizens' records

    Ohio's Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) slipped out a quiet end-of-year confession that it has lost a backup DVD with information and documents on 50,000 individuals.

    The loss was discovered on November 10, 2015, but only made public on December 31. RITA's statement says the agency was preparing a bunch of backup DVDs for destruction when it noticed that one of the cases was empty. The backups had been stored offsite at a "third-party vendor's secure facility."

    By November 17, the agency had worked out what data was held on the missing DVD: copies of income tax documents, as well as "names, addresses, social security numbers and possibly dates of birth."

    Jan 04 15:43

    Video: New Education Bill: Downloading and its Impact on Schools

    Lois Weiner of New Jersey City University says the main issues facing public schools are privatization, testing, teacher performance and school budgets.

    Jan 04 14:50

    How to Prevent Your PC from Upgrading to Windows 10

    Do you have Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 PCs that you don't want being upgraded to Windows 10? Well, the chances are that you're being nagged at every turn to pull the trigger on the upgrade. Here's how to make all that hassle go away.

    Jan 04 09:28

    Microsoft Warns Windows 7 Has Serious Problems

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    They are not making money with it, for one thing. If you are running Windows 7 (or 8) maybe it is time to stop all automatic updates because Microsoft's next tactic to get you onto the RMS Windows10-tic will be to break your existing systems.

    Jan 04 09:24

    The Self Driving Car Scam

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Google's self-driving car passed a driver's test in Nevada ... except the test was rigged!

    Jan 04 08:36

    Happy 2016, and here's the year's first ransomware story

    A security researcher reckons he's spotted the first example of JavaScript-based ransomware-as-a-service, dubbing it Ransom32.

    Emsisoft's Fabian Wosar writes here that embedded in a self-extracting WinRAR archive is an NW.js-packaged application that does the heavy lifting for the ransomware.

    NW.js, Wosar notes, is a JavaScript framework for application development, based on Node.js and Chromium. It works around JavaScript's normally-strict sandboxing, so a Web application can be repurposed for the desktop without the sandbox getting in the way.

    Jan 03 16:41

    Google is Collecting Information on Public School Students – Here’s How

    One such example relates to Google’s penetration of the U.S. public school system, and how the company employs a loophole in order to collect data on children. Google achieves this by referring to itself as a “school official” under the law. I truly wish I was making this up.

    From the Washington Post:

    Google is a major player in U.S. education. In fact, in many public schools around the country, it’s technically a “school official.” And that designation means parents may not get a chance to opt out of having information about their children shared with the online advertising giant.

    The combined allure of Google’s free suite of productivity tools and cheap laptops that use the company’s Web-based ChromeOS operating system have made Google’s products a popular choice at schools around the country. And the company’s growing dominance is raising concern from some privacy advocates who allege it is using some student data for its own benefit.

    Jan 03 16:25

    Bumbling would-be UK bomber asked Twitter followers for target suggestions

    Curiously, Rehman seems to have expended no effort to hide his online searches for information about how to create explosives, or his plans to carry out an attack. It doesn't appear that Rehman or his wife used encryption to hide their preparations from prying eyes.

    Information about this latest (failed) terrorist bombing undermines further the repeated claim that the world is "going dark" for the intelligence agencies, and that strong encryption poses a threat to society. Once again, all the information that the security services needed to stop the plot was publicly available; fortunately, in this case it was spotted and acted upon.

    Jan 03 11:43

    Facebook joke may land Briton in Kyrgyz prison for 5 years

    A British citizen may face up to five years in a Kyrgyz prison after his inappropriate comparison of a national delicacy to horse genitalia led to a strike at the gold mine where he was employed and caused uproar across Kyrgyzstan.

    Michael Mcfeat was detained by the police at the Manas airport on Sunday night, Eldar Tadzhibaev, head of Kyrgyz Mining and Metallurgical Unions, told Sputnik Kyrgyzstan.

    Jan 02 11:27


    Israeli restrictions on the telecom industry have hobbled Palestine’s already beleaguered economy

    Jan 02 10:09

    NYC Plans to Turn 7,500 Payphones Into WiFi Hot Spots Despite Health and Privacy Risks

    By Kevin Samson

    When New York City signs on to pervasive WiFi, we really should pay attention.

    The city already has erected one 9-foot-tall structure that is an indication of the rollout of 7,500 WiFi hot spots, which are slated to go online early in 2016. It is part of the LinkNYC program (“Faster Than a New York Minute,” har har) which proclaims to become “the fastest and largest municipal WiFi network in the world.”

    Even if you don’t believe having a permanent WiFi signal radiating across the city is a danger to your health, another aspect of pervasive WiFi may be of concern: privacy and surveillance...

    Jan 01 12:15

    #BBCDown: Cyberattack takes Beeb offline, internet goes hysterical

    Hackers brought down the BBC’s internet services on Thursday in what the broadcaster described as a “large web attack.”

    Jan 01 10:24

    Broadband Rates Are Too Damn High

    The less you make, the less likely it is that you’re hooked up at home. This is especially true if you lack a high school diploma. And the already steep cost of Internet access is continuing to climb.

    Jan 01 09:29

    NSA Spying Rolls Up US Congress. Bombshell? Kidding?

    By Jon Rappoport

    Breaking: While Obama was pursuing the Iran nuclear deal, he wanted to know what Israeli leaders were up to, so he accessed NSA reports. NSA was spying on Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. The thing was, the Israelis were talking on the phone to members of the US Congress. Oops...

    Jan 01 08:14

    IBM ran the Nazi slave-labor camps!

    Dec 31 20:07

    Trump Block: Google Chrome extension filters out online reference to pres. hopeful

    During the last Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump said he wanted to “shut down” parts of the internet.

    Dec 31 09:22

    Microsoft’s storage of Windows encryption keys could expose users to hackers, gov’t – report

    When it comes to computer security, encryption is key. That’s because encrypted devices or data require a key only accessible to the owner, but many Microsoft users aren’t as protected as they think, and could be exposed to hackers and law enforcement.

    Dec 31 08:48

    If a Close US Ally Backdoored Juniper, Would NSA Tell Congress?

    You may have heard that Juniper Networks announced what amounts to a backdoor in its virtual private networks products. Here’s Kim Zetter’s accessible intro of what security researchers have learned so far. And here’s some technical background from Matthew Green.

    Dec 30 23:45

    Debian mourns the passing of Ian Murdock

    With a heavy heart Debian mourns the passing of Ian Murdock, stalwart proponent of Free Open Source Software, Father, Son, and the 'ian' in Debian.

    Ian started the Debian project in August of 1993, releasing the first versions of Debian later that same year. Debian would go on to become the world's Universal Operating System, running on everything from embedded devices to the space station.

    Ian's sharp focus was on creating a Distribution and community culture that did the right thing, be it ethically, or technically. Releases went out when they were ready, and the project's staunch stance on Software Freedom are the gold standards in the Free and Open Source world.

    Ian's devotion to the right thing guided his work, both in Debian and in the subsequent years, always working towards the best possible future.

    Dec 30 18:52

    Tech companies face criminal charges if they notify users of UK government spying

    Last week, it was reported that Yahoo had become the latest company that promised to alert users who it suspected were being spied on by state-sponsored actors. Twitter,Facebook and Google had previously assured their users that they would also warn them of any potential government spying. The UK, it seems, isn’t happy about this, and is pushing through a bill that will see the bosses of any company that warns its members that British agencies are monitoring them face up to two years in prison.

    Dec 30 16:13

    UK government wants to send tech execs to jail for disclosing surveillance

    Ministers are lobbying to make it a criminal offense for a tech company to inform a user that the UK government is spying on them. Many tech companies -- Twitter, Yahoo and Google, to name three -- have a policy of notifying users when it's suspected that a state-level actor is attempting to hack into their account.

    Dec 30 15:44

    FBI Seeks to Reframe Encryption Debate

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is issuing a more direct challenge to technology companies in the wake of terror attacks in Paris and California, urging them in blunter terms to allow investigators to decrypt private communications during terror probes.

    Hoping to escape a continuing debate over the technical feasibility of decryption, which they fear plays into Silicon Valley’s hands, FBI Director James Comey and others are pushing executives to move away from a policy they say values customers’ privacy over public safety.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Excerpt that the Paris attackers did not even use encryption, and real terrorists can create system of encryption the FBI/CIA/NSA cannot break!

    Dec 30 09:29

    How the Pentagon’s Skynet Would Automate War

    Pentagon officials are worried that the US military is losing its edge compared to competitors like China, and are willing to explore almost anything to stay on top—including creating watered-down versions of the Terminator.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Software from the same people who wrote the Obamacare website, no doubt!

    Dec 30 09:25

    New Google extension blocks any mention of Donald Trump

    If the "Trump Filter" finds any reference to the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, it substitutes the reference with a blank space.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    We need one of those for Hillary Clinton!

    Dec 30 09:14

    Google is tracking students as it sells more products to schools, privacy advocates warn

    In public classrooms across the country, the corporate name that is fast becoming as common as pencils and erasers is Google. More than half of K-12 laptops or tablets purchased by U.S. schools in the third quarter were Chromebooks, cheap laptops that run Google software. Beyond its famed Web search, the company freely offers word processing and other software to schools. In total, Google programs are used by more than 50 million students and teachers around the world, the company says.

    Dec 30 09:06

    Google probes AVG Chrome widget after 9m users exposed by bugs

    Google has banned AVG from automatically installing its Web TuneUp Chrome extension – after the widget wrecked the online security of nine million people.

    Tavis Ormandy, a Google Project Zero researcher who has been auditing antivirus software, found the extension was riddled with vulnerabilities. Web TuneUp is installed with AVG's antivirus package, and it attempts to stop Chrome users from surfing to websites hosting malware. It is used by 9,050,432 people.

    According to Ormandy, the extension leaked "browsing history and other personal data to the internet." Malicious websites could exploit the toolbar's programming blunders to access other websites a user was logged into. In other words, a script running on a webpage in a tab could invisibly access, say, as the user, and hijack the victim's webmail inbox.

    Dec 29 18:43

    What hackers? Ashley Madison membership jumps 4 million since data theft

    Some 39 million users of Ashley Madison, the notorious dating website for cheaters, had their personal information exposed in a data breach in August. However, despite the massive scandal, the site’s subscription has somehow jumped to 43.3 million.

    Dec 29 15:06

    Psychological domestic abuse, social media trolling could carry 5yrs in prison

    Domestic abusers who subject their victims to a pattern “coercive and controlling” behavior could now face up to five years in prison under a new law. Brought into force on Tuesday, the law also targets abusive social media users.

    Dec 29 15:06

    Your Business Been Hacked? Thanks NSA!

    It appears that the NSA (“or someone”) hacked into the code of a popular firewall and planted a password in there that would allow them access as needed.

    That means the NSA (“or someone”) would be able to bypass the security features of a network and do what they wanted inside. This is basically an act of sabotage. Given that American organizations as well as foreign ones use these same firewalls, and that the planted password could be discovered by others outside the NSA, the act made vulnerable a multitude of innocent, untargeted systems.

    Dec 29 13:50

    Russian court compels Google to pay penalty for reading private e-mails

    In September, the Moscow city court ruled to recover 50,000 rubles from Google payable to Anton Burkov. The company said that letters were only automatically scanned to prevent spam. However, Burkov was sure that this was not true. "Google’s robots are programed to collect information about users and provide contextual advertising," said the Urals city resident, noting that Russia's Constitution established the right to privacy of correspondence and that a Google user agreement was against the law. "I discovered it quite by accident," he revealed then. "On the right side of my letters I saw an advertisement and realized that it contained data from my letters...

    Dec 29 10:07

    Immoral Patsy – How the FBI Groomed Mentally Disabled Teen With a 51 IQ into an “ISIS Terrorist”

    By William N. Grigg

    It isn’t clear what use ISIS or the Pakistani Taliban would have for an 18-year-old American student with an estimated IQ of 51, is marginally verbal, and has little ability to perform routine tasks like tying his shoelaces. Peyton Pruitt, described by family and school officials as a developmentally stunted child, displays little understanding of terrorism and has no skills a terrorist group would covet...

    Dec 29 09:51


    One of the excellent features of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key – which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk – to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt-out.

    Dec 29 09:40

    Social media bosses face two years in jail if they warn users MI5 is watching them after ministers lose patience with tech giants

    Bosses at Twitter and other social media giants face prison if they tip off their customers about spying operations by police and the security services, under a sweeping new law.

    Ministers have lost patience with the tech giants after it emerged that some companies were warning users of requests for communications data by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

    Bosses of any technology firm which ignores the Home Office edict to keep operations secret will face up to two years in prison.

    It will become an explicit criminal offence to notify the subject of a surveillance operation that requests for their data have been made, unless they have permission to do so. This could include tweets, text messages or emails.

    Dec 29 09:33

    The Internet of Things Is Everywhere

    In the future, everything will be connected. It won’t just be our phones that access the Internet; it will be our light bulbs, our front doors, our microwaves, our comforters, our blenders. You can call it the Internet of Things, The Internet of Everything, Universal Object Interaction, or your pick of buzzwords that begin with Smart. They all hold as inevitable that everything, everything will be connected, to each other and to the Internet. And that will change the world.

    Juniper research predicted that by 2020, there will be 38.5 billion connected devices.

    Dec 29 08:35

    Mark Zuckerberg can’t believe India isn’t grateful for Facebook’s free internet

    All Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to do is make the world a better place for his new daughter. While he’s technically on paternity leave, he couldn’t sit idly by as India attempts to halt, Facebook’s initiative to provide free but limited internet to the developing world.

    Dec 29 08:18

    191 million US voter registration records leaked online – report

    A security researcher has uncovered a publicly-available database containing the personal information of 191 million voters on the internet, but it isn’t clear who owns it.

    Chris Vickery, who shared his findings on, disclosed the trove of voter data, which includes names, home addresses, voter IDs, phone numbers, and birth dates, as well as political affiliations and voting histories since 2000. The database does not contain financial information or Social Security numbers.