COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jan 14 12:36

The U.S. Government Has Amassed Terabytes of Internal WikiLeaks Data

Late last year, the U.S. government accidentally revealed that a sealed complaint had been filed against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Shortly before this was made public, the FBI reconfirmed its investigation of WikiLeaks was ongoing, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice was optimistic that it would be able to extradite Assange. Soon after, portions of sealed transcripts leaked that implicate WikiLeaks and Assange in directing hackers to target governments and corporations. The charges against Assange have not been officially revealed, though it’s plausible that the offenses are related to Russian hacking and the DNC emails.

Jan 14 10:17

Change Your Phone Settings So Apple, Google Can’t Track Your Movements

By Jen King, Stanford University

Technology companies have been pummeled by revelations about how poorly they protect their customers’ personal information, including an in-depth New York Times report detailing the ability of smartphone apps to track users’ locations. Some companies, most notably Apple, have begun promoting the fact that they sell products and services that safeguard consumer privacy...

Jan 14 09:22

Sample “Municipal Code For Small Cell Infrastructure,” 5G Technology

By Catherine J. Frompovich

The group I network with, Americans for Responsible Technology regarding 5G, has formulated a “Municipal Code for Small Cell Infrastructure” or the Sample Code for Villages and Towns • Social Media Ideas • Blumenthal & Eshoo • Lobbying Basics, which I share with my readers, and ask you to do the same with your work in the push back against 5G...

Jan 14 08:43

Why is my keyboard connected to the cloud?

Everything is becoming a thing connected to the internet, but some things really shouldn't be.

First cab off that rank should be input devices, because what sort of maniac thinks the advantages of a roaming cloud-based configuration outweighs the potential explosion in surface area to attack and compromise? That maniac is called Razer, and it has been connecting keyboards to its Synapse software for years.

At last week's CES, Razer took it a step further when it announced it is adding support for users to use Alexa to control their peripherals.

Jan 13 10:37

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS AMASSED TERABYTES OF INTERNAL WIKILEAKS DATA

Late last year, the U.S. government accidentally revealed that a sealed complaint had been filed against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Shortly before this was made public, the FBI reconfirmed its investigation of WikiLeaks was ongoing, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice was optimistic that it would be able to extradite Assange.

Jan 13 09:07

Scientists Explain How Digital Technology Affects the Brain

“We’re all pawns in a grand experiment to be manipulated by digital stimuli to which no one has given explicit consent.” ~ Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin

Jan 12 15:53

The quiet threat inside ‘internet of things’ devices

The number of these “internet of things” devices is climbing into the tens of billions. They’re creating an interconnected world with the potential to make people’s lives more enjoyable, productive, secure and efficient. But those very same devices, many of which have no real security protections, are also becoming part of what are called “botnets,” vast networks of tiny computers vulnerable to hijacking by hackers.

Botnets have caused problems on the internet, from sending vast amounts of spam mail to disrupting websites around the world. While traditionally most botnets are comprised of laptop and desktop computers, the growth of unsecured devices such as industrial sensors, webcams, televisions and other smart home devices is leading to a growing disruptive capability.

Jan 12 15:37

Facebook staff discussed cashing in on user data, reports say

Facebook staff discussed charging companies for access to user data, before ultimately deciding against such a policy, according to reports.

The internal discussions were revealed due to improperly redacted court documents, released as part of Facebook’s lawsuit against American software developer Six4Three last year. According to Ars Technica and the Wall Street Journal, an 18-page court filing contains three pages that were supposed to be blacked out because they contain “sensitive discussion of Facebook’s internal strategic analysis of third-party applications”, Facebook said in other court filings.

But while the sensitive discussions were masked with a black bar, the underlying text was not removed from digital versions of the documents, allowing it to be uncovered.

Jan 12 13:02

Scott Adams: The FBI, H1B VISAs, Steve King, Terrorist Deprogramming, and Climate

Plus bonus addendum: Quick Tutorial on Using Engineering to Take Politics Out of the Wall

CNN says Steve King said white supremacy is okay
Did he think that and say that? He clarified later, said no.
Even if true…would he have said it in public?
President Trump tweets to promote citizenship for H1B people
We want productive people, nothing to do with race
Your worldview, should be able to predict the future accurately
Look at your worldview carefully if it isn’t predictive
Social media companies change our opinions by what they feed us
In effect, they’re programming us, brainwashing us
Self-radicalized by the CNN silo
Self-radicalized by the FOX silo
Dogs for immigration patrolling
Study: White males most likely to question climate change
Study also said, the more they knew about topic…

Jan 12 10:18

This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch

Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, months-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal.

Jan 11 19:19

Amazon Ring Surveillance Cameras Are Spying On You, They Want Private Watchlists; Mobile Providers Cease Selling Location Data To Third Party Apps

By Aaron Kesel

It’s not enough that Amazon is on record working with the FBI with its Facial Rekogntion biometric software … no, Amazon is also spying on its customers of its recently purchased home surveillance cameras called “Ring,” The Intercept reported.

For those unfamiliar with Amazon “Ring,” they are miniature cameras that can be placed anywhere on your property from outside your house to your garage to inside your home. Amazon acquired the “Ring” camera company in 2018, as Activist Post previously reported.

When Activist Post first reported on this shocking technology we were under the impression it was just algorithms tagging objects and people. We were so wrong; this statement by the ACLU is even more on-point now...

Jan 11 15:50

Microsoft Partners With Neocon-Backed 'Fact-Checker' Seeking To 'Wage War On Independent Media'

Microsoft has partnered with a shoddy Neocon-backed "fact checker" called NewsGuard which rates websites' "credibility" in-browser and NewsGuard's CEO says their goal is to have their software on all smartphones and computers by default.

Jan 11 11:51

The First Bendable Phone Is an Exciting Piece of Junk

Without even considering its general specs—which aren’t really notable aside from its 7.8-inch flexible AMOLED display—the Flexpai has a lot of issues. Even when its screen is fully open, the Flexpai is never truly flat. Its screen often has a bump or a slight ripple in it, a likely side effect of multiple bending sessions. Meanwhile, actually closing and opening its display is a constant struggle. And on a couple occasions, just bending that display caused the Flexpai to randomly turn off.

When it’s closed, the Flexpai is thick as hell. It reminds me of the gap you get on a Surface Book, except somehow it seems like the Flexpai has proportionally even more wasted space behind the hinge. The Flexpai’s stiff hinge is also covered in what feels like the same latex used to make cheap accordions, and on one of the units I saw, it looked like it was already dried out and starting to crack.

Jan 11 10:05

Kaspersky Spotted Leak NSA Missed as Spy Agency Lacks ‘Good Handle’ on Security

On Wednesday, Politico reported that Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs, which is banned on US government computers over spying fears, helped uncover in 2016 perhaps the single largest theft of US intelligence in history. Sputnik spoke with Kim Zetter, the author who broke the ironic story, about what happened.

Researchers at security software company Kaspersky Labs received some strange messages on Twitter in August 2016, messages that seemed connected to a huge theft of sophisticated US National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tools. After Kaspersky investigated and discovered the identity of the sender and reported their findings to the NSA, a subsequent search of the man's home uncovered two decades' worth of stolen data amounting to 50 terabytes' worth of classified material from NSA and other government offices.

Jan 11 08:36

Pennsylvanians Should Know How The State Police Is Monitoring Social Media

By Andrew Christy, Criminal Justice and Poverty Attorney, ACLU of Pennsylvania

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

That’s a line that is used so much that it’s become almost trite. But it’s oft-repeated because it is so true. And here in the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania State Police is doing everything in its power to block access to its policy on monitoring social media. So we’re headed to the state Supreme Court to get it.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania’s attempt to obtain the state police’s social media monitoring policy has been a two-year odyssey that started in March 2017...

Jan 11 08:32

Brothel Offers Amazon Alexa-Powered Sex Tape Studio During CES

Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, is offering guests an Amazon Alexa-powered sex tape recording studio during the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week.

According to the Sun, which was given an exclusive tour, the room is fully automated using an Amazon Alexa-powered Echo speaker.

After guests say, “Alexa, begin the porn star experience,” the “shutters go down, the lights turn on, and the cameras start filming from all angles.”

“The cameras are linked up to a computer system that cycles through different viewpoints, cutting them into a professional-style clip,” reported the Sun. “And once punters are finished, they can collect the tape on an SD card and take it home – for strictly personal use only.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ummmmm ... yeah.

Jan 11 08:24

“THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY”

On this day in 2013, the news reported that Aaron Swartz committed suicide.

Bulletin: Nearly five years to the day of Swartz’s “suicide”, we are being told that his partner in programming James Dolan has “committed suicide” too.

James was an ex-Marine and computer security expert who was part of a three-man team with Swartz on the development of SecureDrop, an open source whistleblower submission system.

Jan 10 18:46

Warning to Facebook users to IGNORE hoax message claiming photos and private information will be made public TOMORROW

A message circulating on Facebook claiming a person's personal and private information on the site will be made public tomorrow is a fake.

It claims a deadline is approaching which will make 'everything you've ever posted... public from tomorrow'.

The fictitious status then encourages gullible users to copy and paste the legal-sounding jargon and re-post it.

The message and the content it entails is a hoax as no such deadline exists and people should refrain from spreading the misinformation.

Jan 10 18:39

Is YOUR doorbell spying on you? Amazon's Ring let employees watch live footage from customers' cameras, report claims

Your smart doorbell might be spying you.

A new report from The Intercept claims Ring, the smart doorbell company owned by Amazon, allowed its employees to watch live footage from customers' cameras.

Ring engineers and executives were reportedly given access to 'unfiltered, round-the-clock' feeds of some users' footage.

Jan 10 18:33

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

Malware made it past Google's detection systems and infected some 9 million Android users, analyst Trend Micro has found. Google has removed 85 apps from the Google Play Store as a result.

The apps, purportedly TV and video players and controllers, would consistently show full-screen ads until they crashed. Developers behind such apps then racked up ad impressions from which they profited.

The batch of 85 apps removed included the "Easy Universal TV Remote", which had a high proportion of negative reviews but had managed to evade Google's security filters, Trend Micro noted.

Jan 10 18:31

Cyber-insurance shock: Zurich refuses to foot NotPetya ransomware clean-up bill – and claims it's 'an act of war'

US snack food giant Mondelez is suing its insurance company for $100m after its claim for cleaning up a massive NotPetya ransomware infection was rejected – for being "an act of war" and therefore not covered under its policy.

Zurich American Insurance Company has refused to pay out on a Mondelez policy that explicitly stated it covered "all risks of physical loss or damage" as well as "physical loss or damage to electronic data, programs, or software, including loss or damage caused by the malicious introduction of a machine code or instruction."

Jan 10 14:07

Transgender regret videos being censured by YouTube. An active LGBTQ lobby is reporting all these videos so people will not find out!

ThereAreOnly2Genders

Transgender regret videos being censured by YouTube. An active LGBTQ lobby is reporting all these videos so people will not find out!

Jan 10 14:06

BORDER PATROL AND THE TSA ALLOWED TO SECRETLY SPY ON EVERYONE'S SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

The U.S. Border Patrol (CBP) and the TSA claim they need to secretly spy on everyone's social media accounts so they can understand a person's relationship with their friends, family and the government.

According to a DHS report published last month, nothing can stop the Border Patrol or the TSA from secretly spying on everyone's social media accounts.

"In order to conduct a complete investigation, it is necessary for DHS/CBP to collect and review large amounts of data in order to identify and understand relationships between individuals, entities, threats and events, and to monitor patterns of activity over extended periods of time that may be indicative of criminal, terrorist, or other threat."

Understanding a person's relationship with "entities" is just a euphemism for the government. The Feds want to know if you are anti-government an activist or a protester.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I guess this government must love the fact that I am a Christian pacifist activist, who never promotes violence, then!

You're Welcome, DHS, TSA, and Border Patrol!!

Jan 10 12:15

Chinese Money Flees Silicon Valley As Trump Clamps Down On Access To US Tech

Thanks to new policies from the Trump administration aimed at cracking down at Beijing's access to strategic US technologies, China has all but halted investments in US-based tech startups, according to Reuters.

Venture funding out of China peaked last year at a record $3 billion according to the Rhodium Group, a New York economic research firm. The spike in capital is thought to have been spurred by investors and tech companies rushing to complete deals before the new regulatory measures were approved in August.

Jan 10 11:04

'I Helped Google Screw Over James Damore'

Former Google engineer James Damore on Tuesday shared a post from an anonymous Redditor claiming to be a "Google insider" who laid out in detail how the company allegedly scrambled to take him down after learning about his diversity manifesto.

The story seems a bit too good to be true, but Damore said it seemed credible because the post contained "knowledge that only a Googler would know" -- including his never-before-revealed involvement in Google's censored Chinese search engine dubbed "Dragonfly."

Jan 10 10:36

Microsoft's killer Windows 7 patch: Breaks networking, flags legit PCs as 'Not genuine'

Thankfully for Microsoft, hardworking admins continue to spot bugs that it didn't detect during pre-release testing.

This time they've found that its January security updates are bricking Windows 7 devices with an errant 'Not Genuine' Windows license error, and a bug that blocks administrator access to remote shares on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

The issues stem from the Monthly Rollup update, KB4480970, and the security-only update, KB4480960, for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Günter Born's Borncity was first to report the Windows 7 Genuine brick and the separate network share issues bundled in these updates.

As Born notes, monthly rollup KB4480970 addresses a serious PowerShell flaw and adds extra mitigations for Meltdown and Spectre side-channel attacks.

Jan 10 09:48

15 QUOTES BY SILK ROAD’S DREAD PIRATE ROBERTS THAT SHOW WHY IDEAS ARE SO DANGEROUS TO THE STATE

The internet’s first successful global black market was Silk Road, a website founded by ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ the web pseudonym of Ross Ulbricht.

Currently 34 years-old, Ross is serving a double life sentence plus 40 years in federal prison as a political prisoner of the United States. At its root, his crime is that he created a place where people around the world could engage in trade with each other without the oversight of the state. It was an experiment in true privacy and voluntary association that worked so well the state shut it down and inhumanely punished Ross for thinking outside of the statist matrix.

Jan 10 09:45

15 Quotes by Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts that Show Why Ideas are So Dangerous to the State

Currently 34 years-old, Ross is serving a double life sentence plus 40 years in federal prison as a political prisoner of the United States. At its root, his crime is that he created a place where people around the world could engage in trade with each other without the oversight of the state.

Jan 09 17:45

“Internet of Roads” — Colorado Goes All-in With Increased Radiation and Surveillance

By Kevin Samson

Evidently, a test run for smart pavement in Colorado that I reported on back in May 2018 was successful enough to give it the all systems go.

"A plan to turn a portion of Interstate 70 into a roadway where cars communicate with street lights, signs and other internet-connected things just tripled to more than 500 miles.

Colorado’s “internet of roads” project will now extend to highways that reach from Pueblo to Wyoming, and Sterling to Utah, after the state Department of Transportation was awarded a $20 million federal grant earlier this month."...

Jan 09 16:38

Give Up the Ghost: A Backdoor by Another Name

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ,) the UK’s counterpart to the National Security Agency (NSA), has fired the latest shot in the crypto wars. In a post to Lawfare titled Principles for a More Informed Exceptional Access Debate, two of Britain’s top spooks introduced what they’re framing as a kinder, gentler approach to compromising the encryption that keeps us safe online. This new proposal from GCHQ—which we’ve heard rumors of for nearly a year—eschews one discredited method for breaking encryption (key escrow) and instead adopts a novel approach referred to as the “ghost.”

But let’s be clear: regardless of what they’re calling it, GCHQ’s “ghost” is still a mandated encryption backdoor with all the security and privacy risks that come with it.

Jan 09 16:23

Hot new trading site leaked oodles of user data, including login tokens

The past few days have showered plenty of favorable attention on a new trading platform called DX.Exchange, with glowing profiles by Bloomberg News and CNBC. The only problem is that the site, which allows people to trade currencies and digitized versions of Apple, Tesla, and other stocks, has been leaking oodles of account login credentials and personal user information.

Jan 09 16:22

Some Android apps are secretly sharing your data with Facebook

Android apps have been secretly sharing usage data with Facebook, even when users are logged out of the social network – or don’t have an account at all.

Advocacy group Privacy International announced the findings in a presentation at the 35th Chaos Computer Congress late last month. The organization tested 34 apps and documented the results, as part of a downloadable report.

The investigators found that 61% of the apps tested automatically tell Facebook that a user has opened them. This accompanies other basic event data such as an app being closed, along with information about their device and suspected location based on language and time settings. Apps have been doing this even when users don’t have a Facebook account, the report said.

Jan 09 16:14

How a Russian firm helped catch alleged data thief

The US has accused Kaspersky Lab of working with Russian spies. But sources say the company exposed a massive breach that US authorities missed.

Jan 09 16:12

Facebook is the new crapware

Crapware is named crapware for a reason. Having paid to own hardware, why should people be forever saddled with unwanted software, stub or otherwise?

And while Facebook is not the only such permanent app around (Apple got a lot of historical blowback for its own undeleteable apps, for instance, finally adding the ability to delete some built-in apps with iOS 12), it’s an especially egregious example given the company’s long and storied privacy-hostile history.

Consumers who do not want their digital activity and location surveilled by the people-profiling giant will likely crave the peace of mind of not having any form of Facebook app, stub or otherwise, taking up space on their device.

But an unknown number of Android users are now finding out they don’t have that option.

Not cool, Facebook, not cool.

Jan 09 16:06

Apple has slashed production of iPhones by 10%, it is claimed, as Tim Cook calls reports of poor sales of its latest XR handset 'bologna'

Apple, which slashed its quarterly sales forecast last week, has reduced planned production for its three new iPhone models by about 10 percent for the January-March quarter, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday.

Jan 09 16:04

Samsung users CAN'T delete Facebook app: Furious customers take to social media after being unable to remove the software in the wake of revelations over the firm's handling of data

Facebook's app cannot be deleted off certain Samsung devices leading many users to complain on social media over concerns about their privacy.

Social media users claim they only had the option to disable the app, but none to permanently delete it from their devices.

Certain Android-based devices come with the Facebook app already installed, leading to questions about a behind the scenes deal between the two companies.

Jan 09 12:30

Samsung users CAN'T delete Facebook app: Furious customers take to social media after being unable to remove the software in the wake of revelations over the firm's handling of data

Facebook's app cannot be deleted off certain Samsung devices leading many users to complain on social media over concerns about their privacy.

Social media users claim they only had the option to disable the app, but none to permanently delete it from their devices.

Certain Android-based devices come with the Facebook app already installed, leading to questions about a behind the scenes deal between the two companies.

Jan 09 08:39

I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone

T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, if you live in Los Angeles, and drive to Las Vegas for the weekend, criminals can know you are away from home and empty the place by the time you get back!

Jan 08 18:06

Is your car WATCHING you? Warning over 'big brother' vehicle technology that monitors the every move of drivers and passengers - and even knows every time you look at a billboard

Tesla owners have speculated about the Model 3's currently inoperational interior camera, with some asking in forums whether 'Big Brother' was watching.

'Put a small piece of scotch tape on it ... and you can nose pick again ...' advised one post.

Jan 08 13:57

U.S. Government Using Amazon’s Facial Recognition Technology

Despite the many warnings about the increased privacy invasion from this technology, as well as evidence showing that it is far from 100% accurate, Americans appear to be choosing perceived security (and convenience) over liberty. According to a recent survey from the Center for Data Innovation, only 1 in 4 Americans is at all concerned about government facial recognition tech, and that number is even lower when it specifically addresses law enforcement.

Nevertheless, we will continue educating the public about this dangerous trend...

Jan 08 13:00

You should have the right to sue companies that violate your privacy

It is not enough for government to pass laws that protect consumers from corporations that harvest and monetize their personal data. It is also necessary for these laws to have bite, to ensure companies do not ignore them. The best way to do so is to empower ordinary consumers to bring their own lawsuits against the companies that violate their privacy rights. Such “private rights of action” are among EFF’s highest priorities in any data privacy legislation.

Jan 08 08:54

IBM at CES 2019 outlines Q System One quantum computer

IBM has launched an integrated system for quantum computing designed for scientists and businesses called IBM Q System One.

The system will be unveiled at CES 2019 with a replica of Q System One. IBM added that it will open a commercial Q Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, New York this year. It is yet to be determined how many quantum systems will be housed in one center, said Bob Sutor, vice president of IBM Q Strategy & Ecosystems.

Jan 07 09:27

UN Staffer Warns that 5G is a ‘War on Humanity’

The first eight months of WWII with no fighting was called The Phoney War. Using millimetre waves as a fifth-generation or 5G wireless communications technology is a phoney war of another kind.

Jan 07 09:16

Marriott now says 5 million unencrypted passport numbers were stolen in Starwood hotel data breach

Starwood’s data breach just got both better and worse at the same time.

Marriott, which owns hotel chain giant Starwood, said it has revised the number of customers affected by its recently disclosed data breach from 500 million to “fewer than 383 million unique guests.” That doesn’t mean all those 383 million guests are affected, Marriott said, but the hotel giant still can’t yet give a more precise number of customers whose data was stolen.

The bad news is that the company confirmed that more than five million unencrypted passport numbers were stolen, on top of the more than 20 million encrypted passport numbers.

That might be a problem, given passport numbers can be used for identity theft and to commit fraud, but is the sort of data that remains highly valuable for spy agencies that can use the information to track down where government officials, diplomats and adversaries have stayed — giving insight into what would ordinarily be clandestine activities.

Jan 07 08:57

FACEBOOK KNOWS HOW TO TRACK YOU USING THE DUST ON YOUR CAMERA LENS

Facebook has long said that it doesn’t use location data to make friend suggestions, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t thought about using it.

In 2014, Facebook filed a patent application for a technique that employs smartphone data to figure out if two people might know each other. The author, an engineering manager at Facebook named Ben Chen, wrote that it was not merely possible to detect that two smartphones were in the same place at the same time, but that by comparing the accelerometer and gyroscope readings of each phone, the data could identify when people were facing each other or walking together. That way, Facebook could suggest you friend the person you were talking to at a bar last night, and not all the other people there that you chose not to talk to.

Facebook says it hasn’t put this technique into practice.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This, seriously, creeps me out, that Facebook thought it was a "good thing" to pursue.

Jan 07 08:44

5 Red Flags To Easily Spot An Online Scam Company

An online scam company is exactly what you think it is. A cyberspace business enterprise which deals in illicit and fraudulent activities for an unknown third parties benefit and a victims expense.

That victim is intended to be you of course.

And despite the best efforts to clear this scourge from the internet, scam operations have proven to be quite resilient. They just continuously come up with new ways to dupe a new generation of gullible web surfers.

For instance, I recently received an email from ‘The Shoppers Network’ (a hypothetical online shipping company) which magically appeared to beat my spam folder. After a quick overview of this business–which was offering me a job out of the blue–it clearly presented itself as a scam company from my experiences.

However, I can at least understand why so many people would potentially get duped by what they were offering (which is not necessarily important for the sake of this article) for the following reasons.

Jan 07 08:00

THE AJIT PAI FCC OFTEN BATTLES FOIA REQUESTS FOR NO REASON, SHOWCASING ITS HOSTILITY TO TRANSPARENCY

You might recall that FCC boss Ajit Pai promised to operate the "most transparent" FCC ever. Initially, Pai lived up to that promise by changing FCC policy so that FCC orders would be released before they were voted on; a pretty obvious improvement of benefit to both consumers and ISP lobbyists alike. But in the year or two since, Pai has shown that genuine transparency is the very least of the chairman's priorities.

For example, Pai's FCC has actively refused to aid law enforcement inquiries into who was behind the millions of bogus comments that polluted the net neutrality repeal public comment period. Similarly, the Pai FCC's general response to FOIA requests has been to stall, delay, and ignore said requests whenever possible, resulting in numerous lawsuits by media outlets attempting to get to the bottom of all manner of bizarre FCC policy decisions (like that fake DDOS attack emails show they made up to try and downplay public anger over the net neutrality repeal).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Any way you slice it, Pai is a real disappointment for the American people.

Jan 07 07:32

SJW Ran Twitch Hypocrisy Showcased

Twitch thot Goes topless and get's a partnership while suspended

According to Urban Dictionary's top definition, "Thot" is actually an acronym that can either stand for "that hoe over there" or "thirsty hoe over there

Jan 07 07:02

The Young Turds Deletes Videos on Heartbreaking Death of Jazmine Barnes.... When Race Angle Disappears; Race Bait (... mirrored Reupload VIDEO ...)

The Young Turks are quietly deleting their YouTube videos where they falsely claimed that a white man murdered 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes

Jan 06 16:32

This Scary EU Piracy List Could Break the Internet

The list of websites that should be banned for copyright infringement is kind of funny. And also scary because politicians don’t understand technology. One of the services on the list is Cloudflare, which many websites use for DDoS protection.

Other websites on the list used to have copyright and piracy issues, but have since cleaned up their act. 1channel.ch is one such example, which hasn’t been a pirate site since 2017.

Jan 06 16:25

Computers could soon run cold, no heat generated

“Common inefficiencies in transistor materials cause energy loss,” says the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in a news article on its website this month. That “results in heat buildup and shorter battery life.”

The lab is proposing, and says it has successfully demonstrated, a material called sodium bismuthide (Na3Bi) to be used for a new kind of transistor design, which it says can “carry a charge with nearly zero loss at room temperature.” No heat, in other words. Transistors perform switching and other tasks required in electronics.

The new “exotic, ultrathin material” is a topological transistor. That means the material has unique tunable properties, the group, which includes scientists from Monash University in Australia, explains. It’s superconductor-like, they say, but unlike super-conductors, doesn’t need to be chilled.

Jan 06 16:16

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass

A newly disclosed vulnerability in Skype for Android could be exploited by miscreants to bypass an Android phone's passcode screen to view photos, contacts, and even launch browser windows.

Bug-hunter Florian Kunushevci today told The Register the security flaw, which has been reported to Microsoft, allows the person in possession of someone's phone to receive a Skype call, answer it without unlocking the handset, and then view photos, look up contacts, send a message, and open the browser by tapping links in a sent message, all without ever unlocking the phone.

Jan 06 15:34

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

Deep State point of view,but a lot of truth about how much power the President would have if he invoked a State of Emergency and Martial Law.

The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority.

Jan 06 15:33

FACEBOOK KNOWS HOW TO TRACK YOU USING THE DUST ON YOUR CAMERA LENS

Facebook has long said that it doesn’t use location data to make friend suggestions, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t thought about using it.

Jan 06 10:20

US INTELLIGENCE THINK TANK CONDUCTED “FALSE FLAG” OPERATION IMPERSONATING RUSSIAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE

A series of articles published in the past week have revealed that the New Knowledge think tank conducted a “false flag” operation to influence the 2017 Alabama state election and make it appear that Russia was conducting a Twitter campaign to back its preferred candidate. New Knowledge is closely connected to the US intelligence agencies and has been widely cited as an impartial investigator of “Russian meddling” in US politics.

Jan 06 09:54

FBI'S COMPUTER HACKING TOOL "IS SO POWERFUL AND INTRUSIVE" THAT IT RISK'S EVERYONE'S PRIVACY

A new lawsuit in Buffalo federal court says the Wegmans case is just one example of how the government is now using hacking in ordinary, day-to-day investigations, and not just in national security and foreign intelligence probes.

Jan 06 09:26

The IRS Wants To Use Social Media To Catch Tax Cheats

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for ways to scour social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in its ongoing quest to catch tax cheats.

That’s according to a request for information issued December 18 by the IRS’s National Office of Procurement. The mining of social media data by the agency has been suspected in the past, but the IRS has never before confirmed the practice.

“Businesses and individuals increasingly use social media to advertise, promote, and sell products and services,” the IRS solicitation reads. “For example, taxpayers can create ‘online stores’ on social networking sites free of cost. Much of this information is unrestricted, allowing the public, businesses and various governmental agencies to discover taxpayers’ locations and income sources. But the IRS currently has no formal tool to access this public information, compile social media feeds, or search multiple social media sites.”

Jan 05 10:13

Before Germany’s Massive Hack, We Learned What Not to Do With Sensitive Stolen Information

Someone has been publishing a massive trove of sensitive personal information—including phone numbers, private chats, family photos, and documents—of dozens of German politicians in what some are calling “the biggest hacker attack” in the country’s history.

On Friday, the leak was the biggest news in Germany, and perhaps in all Europe. German authorities are investigating the incident, and victims are already speaking out about how it’s affecting them.

The leaks first attracted widespread attention in Germany, and subsequently around the world after news outlet RBB first reported on a Twitter account that spread the data. (Twitter has since suspended the account.) The person or people behind it had been posting links to the stolen data since early December, but apparently very few noticed until Thursday, after YouTube celebrity Simon Unge revealed he had been hacked too.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The goals here may have been both hush money, and embarrassment for those whose systems got hacked.

But this action did remind the world to please, never, EVER store something on a computer which could be hacked, as it is very private data, and Keep communication vanilla.

Jan 05 09:29

Berlin Asks Top US Spy Agency to Help Investigate Mass Governmental Hack

While Germany seeks assistance from the other side of the Atlantic, the hack is being investigated by a number of domestic agencies, including the Federal Office for Information Security, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

German security agencies have turned to the US National Security Agency (NSA) for help following a massive hack attack which resulted in the personal data of over 100 politicians being stolen and leaked online, the Bild newspaper reported on Friday.

According to the newspaper, the data theft is currently being investigated by the Federal Office for Information Security, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Jan 04 18:32

Protest Gets Cell Tower Near Playground Removed in New York

Congratulations to Tarrytown, New York residents, state and local officials for teaming up to demand the removal of a cell tower installed 3 months ago just feet away from a public housing complex’s playground.

Jan 04 16:51

Insiders! The good news: Windows 10 Sandbox is here for testing. Bad news: Microsoft has already broken it

Sandbox itself allows apps to run in splendid isolation and works well, albeit with some limitations. It's a breeze to set up (for Pro and Enterprise users at least), not requiring fiddling with Hyper-V and VHDs to get working. The thing is both impressively lightweight and able to tidy up after itself. Nothing persists after closure.

But even though it is a step in the right direction, it is a bit clunky – it is, after all, a desktop within a desktop at the moment.

And it doesn't actually work any more.

A cumulative update for Internet Explorer (KB4483214) was unleashed upon Insiders just after the new build dropped and, er, snapped the legs off Christmas's new shiny with the wrapping paper barely off it.

Jan 04 16:42

IBM's Weather Channel being sued by Los Angeles over claims its app deceived users into allowing their location to be tracked so it could sell the data

A new lawsuit filed by the city of Los Angeles alleges the Weather Channel misled millions of users into allowing it to access their personal location data, then profiting off it in the process by selling it to third parties.

City Attorney Michael Feuer said Friday that users of the popular app are misled to think their location data will only be used for personalized forecasts and alerts.

The lawsuit follows a bombshell report last month that said the Weather Channel, GasBuddy and Weather Bug collect extensive data from users without their consent.

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