COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Mar 30 10:31

The Dangers of Government-Funded Artificial Intelligence

By Christian Hubbs

Artificial Intelligence is widely seen as a strategic technology and has thus engendered national development plans from countries across the globe to promote its progress. For quite some time, the United States has been conspicuously on the sideline. The American AI research community has, by and large, bemoaned the lack of Federal leadership in this space with many calling for a Kennedy-esque “moonshot” plan to come out of Washington to cement American leadership in the AI space. This past month, the Trump White House released the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence to provide direction and support for technological advancement in this space.

Mar 30 09:36

DEA Never Checked If Its Massive Surveillance Operations Are Legal, Watchdog Says

The Drug Enforcement Administration skirted numerous legal checks on a trio of bulk data collection programs dating back to the early 1990s, according to an internal watchdog.

In a heavily redacted, 144-page report published Thursday, the Justice Department Inspector General revealed the administration failed to fully assess the legal basis for three massive international surveillance operations that ran largely unchecked from 1992 to 2013. Two of the programs remain active in some form today.

Under one initiative, which investigators called “Program A,” the administration used “non-target specific” subpoenas to force multiple telecom providers to provide metadata on every phone call made from the U.S. to as many as 116 countries with “a nexus to drugs.” Investigators found some companies also provided the officials with data on all calls made between those foreign countries.

Mar 30 08:45

Boston Dynamics' New Warehouse Robot Threatens Millions Of Jobs 

The economy of the 2020s will be more volatile, and recessions could be more extreme. The collision of automation in the workforce will trigger economic disruptions far more significant than what seen in agriculture to industry (1900 to 1940) when nearly 40% of the workforce was displaced.

In the next ten years, automation may eliminate 20% to 25% of current jobs, or about 40 million, crushing the bottom 90% of Americans the hardest.

Boston Dynamics is at the forefront of developing new automation technologies.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company has released a new video of its warehouse robot, a "mobile manipulation robot designed for logistics. Handle autonomously performs mixed SKU pallet building and depalletizing after initialization and localizing against the pallets."

Mar 29 16:08

TP-Link 'smart' router proves to be anything but smart – just like its maker: Zero-day vuln dropped after silence

TP-Link's all-in-one SR20 Smart Home Router allows arbitrary command execution from a local network connection, according to a Google security researcher.

On Wednesday, 90 days after he informed TP-Link of the issue and received no response, Matthew Garrett, a well-known Google security engineer and open-source contributor, disclosed a proof-of-concept exploit to demonstrate a vulnerability affecting TP-Link's router.

The 38-line script shows that you can execute any command you choose on the device with root privileges, without authentication. The SR20 was announced in 2016.

Mar 29 16:05

Someone's spreading an MBR-trashing copy of the Christchurch killer's 'manifesto' – and we're OK with this, maybe?

Hacktivists are spreading booby-trapped copies of the New Zealand mass shooter's Islamophobic rantings, in what is being described as an online "vigilante" operation.

Security house Blue Hexagon claims it discovered a version of the killer's manifesto doing the rounds online containing Windows malware that, when executed with the necessary privileges, reboots the system and leaves the user staring at an anti-racist message. The idea being to punish those who seek out the document, it appears.

The software nasty pulls this off by overwriting the boot drive's master boot record (MBR), a data structure needed to start up the operating system after power on or a reboot, to just display the text, and then restarts the machine for good measure.

Mar 29 15:35

Toyota Security Breach Exposes Personal Info of 3.1 Million Clients

As detailed in a press release published on Toyota'a global newsroom, unauthorized access was detected on the computing systems of Tokyo Sales Holdings, Tokyo Tokyo Motor, Tokyo Toyopet, Toyota Tokyo Corolla, Nets Toyota Tokyo, Lexus Koishikawa Sales, Jamil Shoji (Lexus Nerima), and Toyota West Tokyo Corolla.

"It turned out that up to 3.1 million items of customer information may have been leaked outside the company. The information that may have been leaked this time does not include information on credit cards," says the data breach notification.

Mar 29 10:54

Scientists Begin Teaching AI Robots To Evolve & Reproduce

Evolutionary roboticists have decided to begin teaching artificial intelligence powered robots to evolve and reproduce. Why should humans go to the trouble of building more robots when a robot could do it instead?

According to Futurism, this is known as high-tech Darwinism. The researchers’ ultimate goal is to design artificial intelligence and robots that can analyze their own source code and mate with others by combining bits and pieces of their code with that of other robots. This would to create “offspring,” much like organic life, Futurism reported. But it isn’t actually anything like organic life, actually. But evolutionary roboticists who have this new goal have high-tech Darwinism to the extreme. Apparently, just like biological life evolves to fill ecological niches, these robots’ offspring might be better adapted to their environments that their architects specifically built them for.

Mar 29 09:27

Gay dating app Grindr declared threat to military personnel by US government

A Chinese gaming company has decided to sell the popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr LLC after a U.S. national security panel declared the app to be a threat to service members, Reuters first reported.

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, which has owned the California-based dating app since 2016, decided to sever ties at the behest of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which pointed to major concerns over personal data of app users — notably military and intelligence personnel — being made publicly available.

Grindr, which labels itself “the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people,” came under intense heat last year when it was revealed that the app was releasing the HIV statuses of users without their permission.

Mar 29 08:44

NewsGuard browser filter validated all sources pushing Russian collusion hoax… while banning all independent media sources that got the story right

Whatever remaining semblance of credibility that the mainstream media still had just a week ago has since vanished into the abyss following the revelation that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as per the findings of the Mueller report. So what’s to become of these propaganda monoliths and their social media lackeys, including Microsoft’s infamous “NewsGuard” browser filter that “validated” nearly every single fake news outlet that pushed the ridiculous Russia hoax as “credible,” now that the whole agitprop has been debunked?

Mar 29 08:39

Email addresses of almost a BILLION people are leaked in one of the biggest data breaches ever - and hackers could now have access to your name, date of birth and even where you LIVE

Almost one billion people's personal data has been breached online by a shadowy marketing company that has since disappeared without a trace.

Email addresses from 982 million people were listed in what researchers are calling one of the 'biggest and most comprehensive email database' breaches ever.

Personal information including names, gender, date of birth, employer, details of social media accounts and even home addresses were listed.

Security researchers uncovered the breach in an online database created by Verifications.io that had no privacy protections in place.

The firm offered an 'enterprise email validation' service that let other marketing firms check whether lists of email addresses they have harvested are real.

Verifications.io took down their website after the leak was uncovered and they have refused requests for a comment on the situation.

Mar 29 08:20

The EU’s censorious copyright directive will create two internets

The European Parliament’s approval of the Copyright Directive today is the end of the internet as we know it. This new regulation creates substantial new controls on what we can share online which threaten freedom of expression, undermine creativity, and cement the dominance of technology giants.

The Copyright Directive will create two internets. The first, a heavily censored version for European users, including filters to prevent you from uploading content. The second, a free internet where creativity is encouraged, for everyone else.

The directive represents everything that’s wrong with the EU’s policymaking process. It was written at a substantial distance from Europeans, heavily influenced by lobbyists and national compromises. There is a serious lack of accountability.

Mar 29 08:13

The End of All That's Good and Pure About the Internet

We regret to inform you that the internet is on red alert once again. On Wednesday, the EU’s Legislative Committee voted to adopt sweeping measures that will upend the web in every way that we know it. Memes, news, Wikipedia, art, privacy, and the creative side of fandom are all at risk of being destroyed or kneecapped.

By the time Americans woke up on Wednesday, the Legislative Committee had voted on the final form of the EU Copyright Directive—the first major update to European copyright law since 2001. Much of what’s in the legislation has been met with approval, but Article 11 and Article 13 are considered disastrous by some of the foremost tech experts in the world.

Mar 29 08:08

Can The EU Survive Its Own Censorship?

The EU’s new, comprehensive new Copyright Directive passed the European Parliament ensuring the way we use the Internet will change in the future.

And not for the better.

The controversial parts are Articles 11 and 13, the “link tax” and the “upload filter” requirements. For a good run down of how terrible these new rules are look anywhere on the internet but this article at Gizmodo (who I hope doesn’t charge me a link tax for doing so!) will do.

I would also watch this video from Dave Cullen, a resident of Ireland, i.e. the EU, as to what he thinks this means.

Mar 29 08:00

MEPS “TRICKED” INTO VOTING WRONG WAY OVER ARTICLE 13

The EU’s internet-killing new Copyright Directive has become mired in a fresh layer of controversy after it emerged that multiple MEPs were “tricked” into voting the wrong way on it. Guido understands that an extra vote was inserted into the voting list at the last minute which threw most MEPs’ voting lists out of sync. Unlike the Commons where MPs have to physically make the decision to walk through lobbies, MEPs just robotically press buttons according to a long voting list handed out to them. A clear warning of the dangers of electronic voting…

At least 13 MEPs have told the European Parliament they accidentally voted the wrong way. Now the EU has modified their individual voting records but has refused to revisit the result of the vote, despite the fact there was a majority of just 5 MEPs. The EU also rejected a direct request from MEPs to stage the entire vote again. This blocked MEPs from voting on any amendments, including on the meme-banning Article 13…

Mar 28 18:42

Key Strategies For Avoiding Online Censorship and Cybercrime

By Nicholas West

Internet censorship is ramping up across the globe in a myriad of ways. Whether it’s Facebook/Google/Amazon directing conversation by demonitizing views critical of official narratives; outright government censorship like Australia’s recent visa revocation of controversial speaker David Icke; system-wide restrictions on Internet access as seen in Chad, Africa; or the Great Firewall of China — access to information is becoming as much of a commodity as the information itself.

Running in tandem with censorship is the rise of cybercrime as more of our data is scooped up by government and private agencies alike which find our Internet footprint and all our connected devices to be irresistible fountains of money and control...

Mar 28 18:33

The Consensus Crisis: Conspiracy Theories, The Mandela Effect, Social Media Censorship, and Bitcoin

By Vin Armani

How are the social media backlash against “conspiracy theories,” The Mandela Effect, and Bitcoin all connected?

Over the last twenty years, individuals have become ever more interconnected, particularly through social media. The change in the speed with which we are able to find (and break) consensus has outstripped the consensus mechanisms that evolved along with our species.

The result is our current state, The Consensus Crisis...

Mar 28 14:20

DEA NEVER CHECKED IF ITS MASSIVE SURVEILLANCE OPERATIONS ARE LEGAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration skirted numerous legal checks on a trio of bulk data collection programs dating back to the early 1990s, according to an internal watchdog.

Mar 28 07:15

The EU Just Destroyed The Internet #Article11 #Article13

This directive is about promoting the interests of multinational corporations and maximizing their profits. It is also about controlling and shutting down free speech and dissent not approved of by the media and political establishments. Dissenting voices are already being de-platformed and de-monitzed and this will institutionalize censorship.

Mar 27 11:37

Moscow Believes Western Sabotage Caused Venezuelan Blackout

"According to the country’s legitimate government headed by President Maduro, as well as to information from other credible sources, Venezuela’s power grid was attacked from abroad," Zakharova noted.

"It was an attempt to remotely influence control systems at major electrical substations where Canadian-made equipment is installed," Zakharova pointed out. "Clearly, those who carried out this act of aggression were well aware of its operation algorithms and vulnerabilities. It is them who are to blame for the loss of human life, including in hospitals that were left without power," she said.

Mar 27 10:41

Tech Experts: What You Post Online Could Be Directly Impacting Your Insurance Coverage

What insurance policy holders do in their daily lives may not be so private.

If you’re posting any information publicly online, your insurance company could be using it to determine your coverage, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Thursday.

Posing in front of a great white shark and dangling your feet out the side of a helicopter — those types of pictures may get you likes on Instagram, but only dislikes from your insurance company, which could consider it dangerous, tech experts say.

“Especially for claims, they look into social media, looking to see if someone’s driving a motorcycle without a helmet or posting pictures drinking and smoking,” said Duarte Pereira, senior VP of FitechGelb.

Mar 27 08:17

MISSION CREEP: MICROSOFT BOSS SUGGESTS JOINT BIG-TECH CENTER AFTER NEW ZEALAND ATTACKS GO VIRAL

In the wake of the tragic mass murders in Christchurch, New Zealand, tech companies and lawmakers are wrestling with how to manage mass communication and the travails of the connected digital world.

Mar 27 08:14

THE US MILITARY IS CREATING THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYEE MONITORING

A new AI-enabled pilot project aims to sense “micro changes” in the behavior of people with top-secret clearances. If it works, it could be the future of corporate HR.

Mar 27 07:08

Third Trump Regime Sabotage of Venezuela’s Electrical Grid Foiled

Unbowed after over two months of failed efforts to topple Maduro, failure to win over its military or gain popular support, its paramilitary attack scheme and other tactics foiled so far – the Trump regime cyberattacked Venezuela’s electrical power grid for the third time since March 7.

This time, preparations were in place to counter further cyberattacks. The latest one occurred on Monday, affecting much of the country, according to Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez, saying:

“We have experienced a new attack to the transmission and charging center of the National Electric System, aimed to take out the machines of the Simon Bolívar Hydroelectric Power Plant located in Guri.”

With countermeasures in place, power was restored in most parts of the country within hours, Rodriguez explaining:

Mar 27 07:04

Merkel Speaks Out Against Banning China's Huawei Amid US Threats

Over recent months, the US has tried to steer Germany away from letting the Chinese tech giant participate in building the country’s next-generation 5G network infrastructure, citing security threats, and even threatened to downgrade intelligence sharing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has opposed excluding the Chinese manufacturer Huawei from the development of the country’s 5G mobile network, or any other company just because it is from a certain country while speaking at an annual Global Solutions Summit in Berlin. Besides this, she also spoke against public discussions of sensitive issues in what could be seen as a rebuke to Washington’s recent warning to cut sharing intelligence info if Berlin allows the Chinese company Huawei to develop its 5G network.

Mar 27 05:56

VIGILANT AND ITS CUSTOMERS ARE LYING ABOUT ICE'S ACCESS TO LICENSE PLATE READER RECORDS

Everyone's hooking up ICE with automatic license plate reader (ALPR) data. And everyone's misleading the public about it, starting with ALPR manufacturer, Vigilant. The EFF has been investigating California law enforcement's data sharing claims with relation to its Vigilant ALPRs and finding their public statements are directly contradicted by internal communications obtained with public records requests.

Mar 27 05:35

AI Can HATE With No Human Input

What if a robot decides it hates you?

That might seem like a silly question, but according to research, developing prejudice towards others does not require a high level of cognitive ability and could easily be exhibited by robots and other artificially intelligent machines.

Is the robot apocalypse drawing near?

Mar 26 22:56

EU Parliament Adopts Copyright Directive, Including ‘Article 13’

Many rightsholder groups are pleased with the outcome. Frances Moore, CEO of the music group IFPI, was quick to thank lawmakers for their efforts and is looking forward to seeing the changes implemented.

“This world-first legislation confirms that User-Upload Content platforms perform an act of communication to the public and must either seek authorization from rightsholders or ensure no unauthorized content is available on their platforms.

“The Directive also includes a ‘stay down’ provision requiring platforms to keep unlicensed content down – another global first,” Moore adds.

Mar 26 22:51

Floashback: IP experts urge EU to bin ‘misguided’ copyright plans

The statement, issued yesterday, March 24, ahead of tomorrow’s plenary vote, March 26, said Article 11 and 13 “must go”.

It was backed by 16 academics from universities including the University of Glasgow, University of Cambridge, Tilburg University in the Netherlands and University of Wroc?aw in Poland.

“While we welcomed the ambition for copyright rules to be modernised, the implementation of this goal has been misguided,” the group wrote.

The statement said that while the directive began as a policy making “legislative steps towards a connected digital single market”, it has now moved towards supporting “narrow sectoral interests”.

It described the policy as having turned into an “ideological battle between European culture and so-called GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon)”.

Mar 26 22:48

Flashback: The Founding Fathers of the Internet Plead With EU to Squash Its Bad Copyright Bill

What makes this more ridiculous is that it’s not even necessary. The EU spent $400,000 on its own study to measure the negative impact of online copyright violations on legitimate sales. It concluded that, with the exception of “recent top films,” the results did not “show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements.”

And as the authors of the letter point out, algorithms are shit. YouTube is as invested in the algorithmic identification of content as any company on the planet, and it still requires an army of beleaguered humans to review content that violates its policies. What’s more, the bill doesn’t punish copyright trolls who abuse the system. Anyone could theoretically upload someone else’s work to a copyright filtering system, claim it as their own, and the true owner would potentially have to go to court to work it out.

Mar 26 12:23

PENTAGON SAYS ALL OF GOOGLE’S WORK ON DRONES IS EXEMPT FROM THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

IN SEPTEMBER 2017, Aileen Black wrote an email to her colleagues at Google. Black, who led sales to the U.S. government, worried that details of the company’s work to help the military guide lethal drones would become public through the Freedom of Information Act. “We will call tomorrow to reinforce the need to keep Google under the radar,” Black wrote.

According to a Pentagon memo signed last year, however, no one at Google needed worry: All 5,000 pages of documents about Google’s work on the drone effort, known as Project Maven, are barred from public disclosure, because they constitute “critical infrastructure security information.”

One government transparency advocate said the memo is part of a recent wave of federal decisions that keep sensitive documents secret on that same basis — thus allowing agencies to quickly deny document requests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, now we know, incontrovertibly, that the unholy triumverate, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, have become the "4th arm" of the US government, and that is the arm named "surveillance".

Mar 26 10:55

Senators Question DOJ’s Surveillance of Americans’ Cell Phone Location Records

A bipartisan group of senators questioned the Justice Department this week regarding how the government’s treatment of cellphone-generated location data in national security cases has changed in lieu of the Supreme Court decision in Carpenter v. United States last June.

The Carpenter case addressed the application of the Fourth Amendment to cell-site location information, or CSLI, which are geolocation records produced by users’ cell phones communicating with cell towers and stored by wireless providers. The court held that because CSLI provides “an intimate window into a person’s life,” police must obtain a warrant to collect it.

Mar 26 09:37

Detroit To Become America’s Second Chinese-Style Surveillance City

By MassPrivateI

The push to turn America’s cities into Chinese-style surveillance networks has found a new partner in Detroit, Michigan.

The only difference between what is happening in San Diego and what is happening in Detroit is, they are not using the same smart street lights to spy on everyone. Detroit uses Intellistreets a company known to have strong ties to Homeland Security.

What started out as a ‘voluntary’ police-cam share program in Saginaw, Michigan has morphed into a massive 1000 surveillance camera network which includes 500 businesses in Detroit...

Mar 26 08:57

South Africans Threatening to Camp Until Cell Tower Was Removed Led to Its Removal from School Property

By B.N. Frank

There seems to be no shortage of people in the U.S. and around the world protesting cell towers on school property. It’s hard to blame them considering there is still no “safe” level of wireless radiation exposure that has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women.

Hats off to these South Africans who were willing to take off work and camp out overnight in bad weather to protect their children...

Mar 26 08:33

EU’s Parliament Signs Off on Disastrous Internet Law: What Happens Next?

By Danny O’Brien

In a stunning rejection of the will of five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protesters this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety...

Mar 26 08:18

Asus Software Update Platform Hacked, Used to Spread Malware – Kaspersky Lab

The virus, distributed from the tech maker’s official website, could potentially affect 1 million computers, the cybersecurity firm says.

The software update service for Taiwan-based tech manufacturer Asus was hacked and exploited to disseminate malware from June to November 2018, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab says. The firm discovered the "chain attack" in January 2019.

The malware was signed with the official Asus digital certificate and in general appeared to be a genuine software update, one marked as "critical," at that, the Kaspersky Lab said, Motherboard reported Tuesday.

It appears that, despite being distributed globally, the malware was targeted at a relatively small pool of some 600 machines with specific media access control (MAC) addresses. Should the malware discover the MAC it was looking for, it would then open the door for more malicious programs to further compromise the system.

Mar 25 21:29

SCANDAL: Today, Europe Votes On A Law That Could Change The Internet -- Sold Out For A Russian Pipeline

By Aaron Kesel

European MEPs meet inside the European Parliament today to vote on a law that will forever change the World Wide Web ... and that vote was bribed for access to an oil pipeline, Tech Dirt reported.

If the numerous blatant mafioso tricks by EPP Group and other political parties involved in the copyright directive or ACTA 2, such as attempting to change the voting date, intimidating politicians by threatening them, and changing the article numbers wasn't enough, a report by a German publication has revealed that the real reason Germany caved to France in February is because the country was bribed in negotiations to get approval for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia...

Mar 25 12:16

After 8 Cancer Diagnoses and 2 Years of Protest, Sprint Finally Agrees to Remove Cell Tower from California School Property

By B.N. Frank

Congratulations for Ripon, California parents who finally convinced Sprint to remove a cell tower from school property...

Mar 25 09:34

Massive Android ad fraud scam drains your phone battery and lets advertisers make money by running hidden video ads, report finds

A new report has uncovered a massive advertising fraud scheme that made scammers serious cash, fooled marketing companies and killed users' smartphone batteries.

The scheme operated via fake banner advertisements that were secretly hidden behind legitimate banner ads in Android apps, according to BuzzFeed News.

Mar 25 09:30

Homeland Security warns of worrying flaw that could let hackers easily take over cardio defibrillators after they've been implanted and rewrite the commands

Homeland Security has issued a security warning for Medtronic's implantable cardiac devices that makes them vulnerable to hacking.

The Department of Homeland Security said the critical flaw could allow hackers to use radio communications to hijack defibrillators and issue commands for them after they're implanted in a patient.

Mar 25 09:28

Warning: ASUS Software Update Server Hacked to Distribute Malware

Remember the CCleaner hack?

CCleaner hack was one of the largest supply chain attacks that infected more than 2.3 million users with a backdoored version of the software in September 2017.

Security researchers today revealed another massive supply chain attack that compromised over 1 million computers manufactured by Taiwan-based tech giant ASUS.

A group of state-sponsored hackers last year managed to hijack ASUS Live automatic software update server between June and November 2018 and pushed malicious updates to install backdoors on over one million Windows computers worldwide.

Mar 24 13:17

INTERNET DATING | Redonkulas.com

Profanity and Butts!

Popp lays down all his tips for how NOT to go about dating on the internet. Since just about everyone does this nowadays, listen closely and try not to get too offended. This one is brutal.

Mar 24 09:54

The Dark Net isn't what you think. It's actually key to our privacy

Mar 24 09:52

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Cargo Trucks at Port of L.A., Triggering Project’s Delay

A fierce struggle over automation has erupted at the Port of Los Angeles, as local union officials representing some 12,000 dockworkers demand that one of the world’s largest shipping firms abandon a plan to introduce driverless electric cargo trucks.

Shouting, whistling and jeering, more than 1,200 union members, local business owners and community activists packed a four-hour hearing Thursday before the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners. The board voted to postpone a construction permit for the automated system after an offer by Mayor Eric Garcetti to mediate the dispute.

“The decision before the board may have far-reaching impacts on the pace of automation at our port and could define how the port will compete and sustain jobs into the foreseeable future,” Garcetti wrote in a letter unveiled at the hearing.

Mar 24 09:49

Trump's CIA Now Unbound And Back To Its Traditional Hijinks

Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Under the directorship of torture and black site maven Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s Central Intelligence Agency has returned to its traditional roots of conducting “black bag” operations and disrupting electrical grids through cyber-attacks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have been profoundly disappointed in Haspel's having been nominated, and confirmed, as head of the CIA; President Trump knew what an "interesting piece of work she was", professionally, yet put her name into consideration, and she got confirmed anyway.

Taking down Venezuela's electricity grid, if in fact the US did it (and at this point, given the lust for Venezuela's oil reserves our leaders want to control, I think it points to a US plot) is absolutely an act of war.

Unfortunately, however, I am concerned that the mayhem may continue in many other formats, until the current Maduro government resigns, and Gaido's US puppets are "anointed" as Venezuela's "true government"

Russia has stated, incontrovertibly, that they will "protect their interests" in Venezuela.

At the worst of it, we may see war break out between Russia and the US government forces, at some time in the near future, which would be horrific in the extreme; and I say this, because at this point in their history, the American military doesn't have the weaponry; the manufacturing, the money, or the troop strength to insure a positive outcome in such a war.

Mar 24 09:10

Tens of Thousands of Germans Take to Streets to Protest EU Copyright Reform

The planned changes would require, in part, that tech giants such as Facebook and YouTube take responsibility for copyright materials users upload to their platforms. Though the measure is claimed to be aimed at protecting copyright holders, many note that it can easily be used to restrict freedom of speech.

Mar 23 10:41

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

By Jamie Redman

The cryptoconomy means many things to many people. For example, since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, some individuals have used digital currencies as a form of agorism otherwise known as counter-economics. These people believe that using bitcoin as a tool to avoid State harassment is one of the technology’s key features with the potential to reduce the manipulation and civil abuses perpetrated by government bureaucracy...

Mar 23 10:08

  PODCASTS                 SPLC IMPLODES: PRESIDENT AND LEGAL DIRECTOR RESIGN AMID SEXUAL MISCONDUCT SCANDAL

The Southern Poverty Law Center - the "vicious left-wing attack dog" used by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon to identify "hate groups" - is unraveling.

A week after co-founder Morris Dees was ousted over sexual misconduct claims - with two dozen employees signing a letter of concern over "allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism," the head of the SPLC, Richard Cohen, as well as the organization's legal director, Rhonda Brownstein, resigned on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For the way SPLC treated Mike and WRH over the years, color me incapable of crying one tear for this wretched tool of the left to demonize, and attempt to destroy, any blogger or site who was not in lock-step with their views.

Mar 23 10:05

2.3 MILLION AT RISK OF IDENTITY THEFT DUE TO FEMA NEGLIGENCE

FEMA mishandled the personal information of 2.3 million people driven out of their homes by wildfires in 2017 and hurricanes, an Inspector General report released Friday found.

During our ongoing audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, we determined that FEMA violated the Privacy Act of 19741 and Department of Homeland Security policy by releasing to [contractor] the PII and SPII of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that even so long after Katrina, FEMA is still pathologically incapable of getting anything right!!

Mar 23 09:04

5 Important Stories We’re Paying Attention To

By Simon Black, Sovereign Man

Last week we started a new feature in Notes from the Field – a Friday roll-up of bizarre, often overlooked stories that my team and I think are worth following with great interest.

Based on the positive feedback we received from last week’s article, we thought we’d continue the trend. So here are a few important stories that we’re paying close attention to:

1 - The City of Chicago Paid $113 million in police misconduct cases last year...

Mar 23 09:04

How Israel Rules The World Of Cyber Security

Mar 23 08:22

2.3 Million At Risk of Identity Theft Due to FEMA Negligence

By Sean Walton

FEMA mishandled the personal information of 2.3 million people driven out of their homes by wildfires in 2017 and hurricanes, an Inspector General report released Friday found...

Mar 22 13:49

This Could Be It: Key Polish Political Party Comes Out Against Article 13

By Cory Doctorow

With only days to go before the final EU debate and vote on the new Copyright Directive (we’re told the debate will be at 0900h CET on Tuesday, 27 March, and the vote will happen at 1200h CET), things could not be more urgent and fraught. That’s why today’s announcement by Poland’s Platformy Obywatelska—the second-largest party in the European People’s Party (EPP) bloc—is so important...

Mar 22 07:34

Wikipedia pages across Europe go 'dark for a day' and block all access in protest to new EU copyright laws - as Reddit and Twitch warn users to email MEPs to stop Article 13

Several websites across Europe including Wikipedia were switched off today as part of a mass protest against contentious copyright laws being proposed by the European Union.

A number of popular sites across the web are 'going dark' and blocking access in parts of Europe for 24 hours in a last ditch attempt to stop new 'web censorship' rules ahead of a final vote on March 26.

Mar 21 18:54

Don't have a heart attack but your implanted defibrillator can be hacked over the air (by someone who really wants you dead)

Medical gear maker Medtronic is once again at the center of a hacker panic storm. This time, a number of its heart defibrillators, implanted in patients' chests, can, in certain circumstances, be wirelessly hijacked and reprogrammed, perhaps to lethal effect.

On Thursday, the US government's Dept of Homeland Security issued an alert over two CVE-listed vulnerabilities in Medtronic's wireless communications system Conexus, which is used by some of its heart defibrillators and their control units. Conexus exchanges data between implanted devices and their control units over the air using radio-waves, with a range of roughly 25 feet without any signal boosting.

Mar 21 18:22

An Outage is Bad for Facebook, but Great for PornHub

Last Wednesday, Facebook had a "server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues." This led to a global outage that prevented users from properly using Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for an extended period of time.

While this was bad for Facebook, PornHub found that there was not only a dramatic increase in viewers during the outage, but a pretty interesting rise in particular keyword searches.

During the 1 PM lunch time break, PornHub received a 10% increase in viewers. When people were relaxing after work, viewership increased by 19%. For a site as large as PornHub, this would increase their viewership by millions of views and cause a large bump in revenue due to the outage.

Mar 21 12:45

European Wikipedias have been turned off for the day to protest dangerous copyright laws

Websites and businesses across Europe today are protesting controversial changes to online copyright being introduced by the European Union.

Ahead of a final vote on the legislation next Tuesday, March 26th, a number of European Wikipedia sites are going dark for the day, blocking all access and directing users to contact their local EU representative to protest the laws. Other major sites, such as Twitch and PornHub, are showing protest banners on their homepages and social media.

...

The law in question is the EU Copyright Directive, a long-awaited update to copyright law. Although the directive mostly contains common-sense changes for the internet age, two provisions have been singled out by critics as potentially dangerous.

These are Article 11, which lets publishers charge platforms if they link to their stories (the ‘link tax’), and Article 13, which makes platforms legally responsible for users uploading copyrighted material (the so-called ‘upload filter’).

Mar 21 12:25

Goodbye to the Internet: Interference by Governments Is Already Here

Be that as it may, if there were a modern version of the Rothschild comment it might go something like this: “Give me control of the internet and no one will ever more know what is true.” The internet, which was originally conceived of as a platform for the free interchange of information and opinions, is instead inexorably becoming a managed medium that is increasingly controlled by corporate and government interests. Those interests are in no way answerable to the vast majority of the consumers who actually use the sites in a reasonable and non-threatening fashion to communicate and share different points of view.

Mar 21 10:19

AFTER BLOCKING ZERO HEDGE AND OTHERS, NZ TELCOS DEMAND BIG-TECH CENSORSHIP SURGE TO “PROTECT CONSUMERS”

People are emailing me about these bans.

I just now browsed (on a remote machine under my control) ZeroHedge, Gab and Dissenter without any problems on Spark, the largest ISP in NZ. Also, my small, regional ISP has not blocked any of these sites.

Whatever is happening with regard to sites being blocked in NZ, it’s definitely not consistent for everyone here.

Since I’m not experiencing any bans, I can’t say how to bypass this for sure, however, it might be as simple as changing your DNS settings to use any of several public DNS services. I recommend CloudFlare’s public DNS.

If you’re more technically adept, or if your ISP is using a transparent DNS proxy and won’t let you use an alternate DNS, you might want to check out DNSCrypt.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To the New Zealand and other potential censors; I have utterly no need to be "protected", and will ultimately find a away to watch what I want to, thank you very much.

I am a logical human, who does not get swayed, or influenced by anything other than facts.

Mar 21 10:13

New Zealand mass shooting now being used to justify banning all chat boards, consolidating speech in the hands of the “authoritative” media giants

In the wake of the revelation that the mass shooting that took place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand may have actually been a contrived act of terrorism committed by an attention-seeking nihilist intentionally trying to “troll” the public, some on the Left are now calling for chat boards like 4chan to be completely shut down as the solution to what they perceive as the “problem” of online free speech.

Mar 21 10:06

Facial recognition technology means you could soon be BANNED from going into shops anywhere in the world even if you’ve done nothing wrong, civil liberties experts suggest

Walking around without being constantly identified by AI could soon be a thing of the past, legal experts have warned.

The use of facial recognition software could signal the end of civil liberties if the law doesn't change as quickly as advancements in technology, they say.

Mar 21 10:04

1,600 Hotel Guests Secretly Live Streamed to 4,000+ Subscribers

Four individuals from South Korea were detained for secretly recording, live streaming, and selling spy cam videos of 1600 motel guests between November 24 and March 2, with two of them being arrested and facing a maximum of five years in jail.

The South Korean spy cam group used a setup of wireless IP cameras hidden in "42 motel rooms at 30 motels in 10 cities in the North and South Gyeongsang and Chungcheong Provinces" according to a report from Korea Herald.

As detailed by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cyber investigation unit, the minuscule cameras with 1-millimeter lenses were planted within TV media boxes and power sockets among many other spots around the bugged motel rooms.

Mar 21 10:03

Fake CDC Emails Warning of Flu Pandemic Push Ransomware

A new malspam campaign is being conducted that is pretending to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about a new Flu pandemic. Attached to the emails are a malicious attachment that when opened will install the GandCrab v5.2 Ransomware on the target's computer.

First discovered by MyOnlineSecurity, these emails are being sent from email addresses that are impersonating the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" and have a subject line of "Flu pandemic warning". These emails state that there is a flu pandemic and that recipients should read the attach document to help prevent its spreading.

Mar 21 10:02

Facebook Employees Could Access Unencrypted Passwords for Millions of Users

As part of a seemingly never-ending stream of security blunders, Facebook disclosed today that the passwords of hundreds of millions of Facebook and Instagram users were stored in plain text for years on internal data storage systems.

According to Pedro Canahuati, VP Engineering, Security and Privacy:

To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity.

Mar 21 09:52

Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping: The US attacks on Huawei betray its fear of being left behind

As a top Huawei executive, I’m often asked why the US has launched a full-scale assault on us. The Americans have charged us with stealing technology and violating trade sanctions and largely blocked us from doing business there. Mike Pence, US vice-president, recently told Nato of “the threat posed by Huawei,” and Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, warned allies that using our telecommunications equipment would make it harder for the US to “partner alongside them.”

On Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress, the industry’s largest trade show, a US delegation including Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission chair, repeated the call to keep Huawei out of global 5G networks.

Washington has cast aspersions on Huawei for years. A 2012 report by the House Intelligence Committee labelled us a threat. But, until recently, these attacks were relatively muted. Now that the US has brought out the heavy artillery and portrayed Huawei as a threat to Western civilization, we must ask why.

Mar 21 09:39

Facebook "Explains" Why It Failed To Remove Christchurch Shooter's Gruesome Livestream

Though Facebook's AI-powered censors managed to "mistakenly" flag Zero Hedge as a repeat violator of the social network's "community standards", when it comes to livestreamed videos depicting horrific and extreme violence, the company is still working out some kinks in its ability to immediately identify and remove livestreams depicting horrific acts of terror and violence like the video published Friday by the Christchurch Shooter.

In a blog post mea culpa published Thursday, Facebook's VP of Integrity Guy Rosen explained why the company failed to immediately remove the horrifying livestream of the attacks that the shooter, a 28-year-old Australian who also published a manifesto laying out his violent, islamophobic ideology, posted to Facebook Live, and which was viewed 4,000 times before being taken down.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Facebook even HAS a "VP of Integrity"??!?

YOU'VE FLIPPING GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!

Mar 21 09:35

Amazon Goes After Google, Facebook With Mobile Ad Launch

In its quest for global, and galactic monopolistic domination, Amazon had focused mostly on legacy businesses with low margins which had little operational leverage, high debt and were losing market share to the online retail giant; one thing the world's richest man refused to do was to aggressively go after his online tech giant peers.

Until now.

In its quest to expand into yet another vertical and grab a piece of the $130 billion digital advertising market dominated by Google and Facebook, Amazon will start selling video spots on its smartphone shopping app.

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