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Disqus Bug Deanonymizes Commenters

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the anonymous-cowards-unmasked dept.

Bug 151

alphatel writes "The Swedish company Resarchgruppen has discovered a flaw in the Disqus commenting system, enabling them to identify Disqus users by their e-mail addresses. The crack was done in cooperation with the Bonnier Group tabloid Expressen, in order to reveal politicians commenting on Swedish hate speech-sites."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Damn! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45659859)

Damn, so my anonymous.coward@mailinator.com is compromised?

But seriously, who uses a real email address to register anywhere?

Re:Damn! (3, Funny)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 10 months ago | (#45659905)

Exactly.

I do. (4, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 10 months ago | (#45659953)

I've always used my real name when commenting, or (in the case of places like Slashdot) made it easy to find my real name. For decades now. There are a couple posts on Usenet I'm embarrassed about (for example, I got my signs reversed trying to explain the link between electricity, magnetism, and Relativity once) but nothing I would be uncomfortable if a prospective employer saw, or appearing on the front page of the newpaper.

Re:I do. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45659993)

You're not the one who gets to decide what is unacceptable; prospective employers do. If employers see something that is, to you, completely innocuous or just a tad embarrassing, and they find it offensive or unacceptable, it's not really going to matter how minor you believe it is. Using your real name is just stupid.

Re:I do. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660037)

Then maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't want to work for that employer. I have always thought you should be able to stand behind your thoughts and opinions should you chose to share them publicly.

Re:I do. (1)

lwriemen (763666) | about 10 months ago | (#45660083)

I was going to post the same sentiment, without the maybe. Of course, your post lost a little credibility, since you posted as AC. ;-)

Re:I do. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660189)

Of course :) I just haven't bothered trying to recover my slashdot password ever since the email I used for it expired and I am lazy :)

Re: I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45661331)

I am not lazy. I'm schizophrenic.

Re: I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45661537)

Hey, speak for yourself!

Re:I do. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45660233)

When I search for my handle (not this one, this one is ancient and I don't use it anywhere else :P) all I find are things I think I'd want employers to see.

Bug reports and such, discussions about Kerbal Space Program, my photography stuff... all things I would be proud to show off. Yes, I find and report bugs. Yes, when I don't know how to do something, I ask. Yes, I know enough about orbital mechanics to get by. Yes, I can operate a camera and somehow have resisted pointing it at (mine, or otherwise) genitalia.

Re:I do. (4, Funny)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about 10 months ago | (#45660469)

my photography stuff

"Bad news, Sir. Looks like we need to throw the third candidate out."
"Why? He looked the most promising."
"I dug around his Internet postings, and I found something disturbing. He's... he's... a Canon user!"
"*gasp* He got some nerve, apply to for a job at Nikon while owning Canons. Feed him to the hounds immediately."

Re:I do. (4, Informative)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 10 months ago | (#45660273)

I've had death threats and threats to burn down my house from commenters, not on /., before for simple things like saying abortion is a hot button topic. Not even picking a side, just pointing out people get riled up over it. I'd be willing to stand behind anything I post in a public forum, but I have a wife and child and don't want some overly conservative, overly liberal or someone with an extremist view on some other topic showing up at my house with a molotov cocktail while we're asleep or while I'm away on business. I have no delusions that I'm anonymous and know I *could* be tracked down, but I'm not going to just hand out that info. There are too many crazies out there.

I mean heck, CBC posted a story about a baby chair that lets someone stick an iPad in front of an infant and people are flying off the hinge about how that should be considered reckless endangerment and child services should be involved for anyone using that product. Are those really the kind of people you want showing up at your house because they think they know what's better for your child than you do?

I have a friend in animal control who had to deal with a case where a neighbour went into someone else's backyard and killed their puppy by gouging it's eyes out with his bare hands because he thought tethering it to a stake in the yard was cruel.

Re:I do. (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 10 months ago | (#45660387)

Just to drive the point home, from the comment section on the CBC article [www.cbc.ca] :

"Off grid gal
The radiation from these things is unbelievable, parents should not even be holding their kids hands when they're on these things...I even have witnessed mothers breast feeding while they hold their smart phones centimeters from their baby's brains!!! We need to wake up out of our techno-haze stupour and get back out into nature, untethered!!"

"globecare
No, they should be banned. Not available. This is a children's rights issue. We want healthy, well developed children."

We want healthy, well developed children. (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45661235)

Don't tell US what kind of children we should have! We'll choose whatever the hell we want! Some of us actually love our little mutants.

Re:I do. (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 10 months ago | (#45660897)

I've had death threats and threats to burn down my house from commenters, not on /., before for simple things like saying abortion is a hot button topic. Not even picking a side, just pointing out people get riled up over it. I'd be willing to stand behind anything I post in a public forum, but I have a wife and child and don't want some overly conservative, overly liberal or someone with an extremist view on some other topic showing up at my house with a molotov cocktail while we're asleep or while I'm away on business. I have no delusions that I'm anonymous and know I *could* be tracked down, but I'm not going to just hand out that info. There are too many crazies out there.

I know of someone who got fired from her job over something she posted on a forum. That particular forum was not viewable to the general public, so it's likely that another forum member outed her, or maybe a boss or cow-orker was a member of that forum. After that, she got her id changed to something other than her realname, but I don't think that will help, since several people there know that newname == realname. The horse is out of the barn.

Re:I do. (1)

cusco (717999) | about 10 months ago | (#45661291)

Got threatened with death the other day here on SlashDot by some Libertardian off-grid idiot simply for pointing out some of the benefits of civilization. Not the first time, although that was the most amusing reason.

Re:I do. (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 10 months ago | (#45661449)

And that's exactly why "anonymity" is so important on the web, especially when posting opinions and comments. Someone with time and the right skills *could* track us down, but normally those kind of people are 1) smart and 2) reasonable. It's the moronic overly political hypocritical extremist that take offense to anything spelled with the letters A through Z we need to protect our identities from. If it requires more than pasting a screen name into Google they're already onto screaming at their monitor for something else they've read.

I've read a lot of articles from journalist claiming we should do away with anonymous comment sections because they have to put their names on their articles, my response is normally, "I don't get paid for my comment and my career won't be advanced for anything I say. If anything something I said fifteen years ago could be used against me by someone hell bent on causing me pain and suffering because they have nothing better to do with their time.". I've read articles about people fired because some wacko group traced a picture of a high heal stepping on a cats tail back to someone. The comment sections filled with "Good they deserve to be fired.". No one considers, what if they got the wrong person?

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45661519)

I've had death threats and threats to burn down my house from commenters, not on /., before for simple things like saying abortion is a hot button topic.

Good reason to stay off DU then.

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660091)

Says the person posting AC. Are you afraid that your potential bosses might think you'd be judging them? They hate it when you do that, you know. Your fate is supposed to be in their hands.

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660213)

Not at all. See post just above.

Re:I do. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660099)

Then maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't want to work for that employer.

Fair enough, but sometimes people are desperate for a job.

I have always thought you should be able to stand behind your thoughts and opinions should you chose to share them publicly.

Why? Either the ideas have merit or they don't. The end.

Re:I do. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660217)

Nice sentiment, but here in the real world, people in general, which make up the vast majority of employers, are petty, vindictive assholes. As a general rule, you want to keep your personal life as separate from your professional life as humanly possible, especially in a job market where choice is a luxury few enjoy.

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660297)

I guess it is a good thing then that I don't live in the US anymore.

Re:I do. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#45661043)

Do you seriously think what GP described is a Usian problem?

Re:I do. (2, Insightful)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 10 months ago | (#45660239)

You're not the one who gets to decide what is unacceptable; prospective employers do.

I wouldn't want to work for an employer that would consider anything I've said "unacceptable".

Re: I do. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660331)

Happy to see that you live a privileged life

Re: I do. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 10 months ago | (#45660377)

Happy to see that you live a privileged life

What makes you think I say any old fool thing that pops into my head, like an anonymous coward? I'm also on Facebook, but I'm careful what I post there, too.

Re: I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660625)

Why do you think that the problem is only connected with "fool speak"?

Re: I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45661055)

that is great, citizen, you have internalized the proper response to authoritarians:
keep your head down and STFU... ...but you'll still claim you're 'free', richtig ? ? ?

who was it who said that fascism would come in on little cats paws ? ? ?
the lions are stomping, and loyalists/royalists still refuse to make the connection...

Re:I do. (4, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | about 10 months ago | (#45660515)

I wouldn't want to work for an employer that would consider anything I've said "unacceptable".

If work was something we wanted to do, it wouldn't be work, it would be hobbies. The whole idea of work is that you do something you otherwise wouldn't because people are willing to pay you for it.

Nobody wants to work for a bad employer, but most people want to be without money even less. People work for assholes because they need the money, not because they want to work for assholes.

Maybe I'm an outlier... (2)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 10 months ago | (#45660887)

Nobody wants to work for a bad employer, but most people want to be without money even less.

I'm willing to take the risk, and I was two decades ago, too. So far, it's paid off. I haven't had too much trouble finding places to work with a minimum of BS. I wasn't terrified when Google put Usenet online - but then, I'd always been polite when expressing my thoughts. If someone wants anonymity so they can be the "asshole", I find I have limited sympathy.

Typical confusion of terms. (1)

mha (1305) | about 10 months ago | (#45661081)

You confuse ANY-one and EVERY-one. ANY-one can be rich. ANY-one can do what you did. ANY-one can win the lottery. But if a certain threshold is reached that won't work any more, unless something fundamentally changes in the system (system in a "sciency" meaning), because whatever the current system is it allows only a certain amount of non-standard actions.

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660901)

No, what you describe is a job. It's a common misconception that you need a 'job' to 'work'.

captcha: manifest

Re:I do. (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 10 months ago | (#45660255)

You're not the one who gets to decide what is unacceptable; prospective employers do. If employers see something that is, to you, completely innocuous or just a tad embarrassing, and they find it offensive or unacceptable, it's not really going to matter how minor you believe it is. Using your real name is just stupid.

I keep getting published under my real name for my inflammatory views, but The Nation keeps ignoring me for a position as their libertarian columnist. Is that what you are talking about?

Re:I do. (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 10 months ago | (#45660269)

*published at The Freeman.

Re:I do. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45660261)

Using your real name is just stupid.

You tell 'em, Pike*!
-
-
-
*just substitute "Steve" if you don't get the reference.

a little to offend everbody, actually (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660013)

I'm pretty sure some people will have a problem with your wholesale slaughter in Viet Nam.
Those who don't will surely disapprove of you shamelessly displaying your big blue dong all over the internet.

Re:I do. (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 10 months ago | (#45660079)

Your real name is Dr. Manhattan? That's an awesome name.

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660155)

His cousin is Dr. Strangepork :)

Re:I do. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 10 months ago | (#45660253)

Your real name is Dr. Manhattan? That's an awesome name.

To reiterate: "or (in the case of places like Slashdot) made it easy to find my real name"

Re:I do. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#45661057)

I take it your name is Soren Ceror and you were the 171st Soren Ceror to sign up for a gmail account.

Re:I do. (4, Funny)

guytoronto (956941) | about 10 months ago | (#45660821)

I got my signs reversed trying to explain the link between electricity, magnetism, and Relativity once.

How can you even look at yourself in the mirror? For shame!

Re:I do. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660907)

Then you're an absolute idiot with no understanding of the REAL world around you. If you use your real name to write comments on the internet, it's like writing your personal diary in public - you automatically CENSOR your real thoughts, about things which matter most.

Most employers are beholden to the Jew moneylenders who have taken over our countries (or hadn't you noticed... obviously not), so will dismiss you from your job for daring to mention the TRUTH that jews have taken over, and are destroying, our countries...

You idiot.

Re:I do. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45661099)

Of course, the downside, Ray, is that it makes it easy to claim that someone f*cked Bertha and Monica in the a-hole.

Re:Damn! (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 10 months ago | (#45659985)

Bear in mind, most of the people the world haven't structured their lives to understanding technology. They may like technology, they may be technology groupies, but they probably haven't really contemplated the ramifications of technology or how it can be used differently than their preconceived notions. They probably don't necessarily get that databases can be cross-referenced so easily or that unless they're willing to go through a specific amount of work each and every time they want to obfuscate their identities, it's likely that someone can figure out who they are.

Another thing to remember, it's never really been possible to be truly anonymous when saying something in text. In the days when the printing press was the preferred way, one still had to have trusted people to help print and distribute the words. In early electronic days when dialup was king, there were always phone records and one had to have accounts on bulletin boards, and systems like fidonet kept origination records. In the days of Usenet, messages could at least be tracked back to a newsserver of origin, and assuming that records were kept, the ISP information could be found and then the subscriber account could be identified.

Nowadays, unless the person wants to take the special laptop that's only used for this purpose, with a special add-on wifi adapter, go park next to a public wifi hotspot and use that public connection, being sure to store the equipment far enough away from themselves when not using it for plausible deniability, there's really isn't true anonymity. If one wants to truly remain anonymous, one generally has to not say anything. That's the tradeoff, true anonymity comes at the price of nonparticipation.

Re:Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660111)

Me too, my poor random mailinator address I created for my Disqus account. Should I change it? :-(

Re:Damn! (4, Informative)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about 10 months ago | (#45660977)

But seriously, who uses a real email address to register anywhere?

In this case, members of the Swedish racist party "Sverigedemokraterna". They are trying to paint a picture of them selves as "not racist" and "merely anti-imigration", and the party leadership has adopted a policy of excluding anyone who makes racist statements openly. The "avpixlat" site was officially not associated with the party, but it was an open secret that this was where they vented their true opinions anonymously.

Now the hackers have a list hundreds of names linked to incredibly racist quotes that they will presumably publish one at a time in order to do maximum damage to the party before the elections next year.

A simpler approach (2)

xiando (770382) | about 10 months ago | (#45659895)

Expressen could have just disabled Disqus on their own site and they would have full access to IPs and e-mails of users commenting on their hatespeech site.

reprehensible (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 10 months ago | (#45660113)

The original topic poster wrote it like what they did was for a good purpose. While I might like journalists to do investigations of politicians I dislike bursting peoples trust in anonymity.

Re:reprehensible (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#45660771)

Demonstrating to the public in general that there is little or no anonymity is much more important than any political agenda. Why leave things 'up' so that specialists can fish around?

Re:A simpler approach (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660567)

Actually Expressen are not revealing the identifies of politicians who commented on expressen.se, they are revealing the identities of commenters on racist / xenophobic sites friatider.se and avpixlat.info. The articles and comments on these sites are mostly very harsh, distastefully racist, and written anonymously. They have identified very racist commenters as members of the controversial, Swedish far-right, and most would say racist, party Sverigedemokraterna. The SD-party works hard to portray a more polished image, with for example a "zero tolerance policy on racism", which equates to you might be kicked out if you say or do something too obviously racist. SD has it roots in the 90s far-right racist movement in Sweden (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZWsZyShR_s), and one their mottos is "Sweden for the Swedish". The party is definitely mostly racist, but their official political stance is more xenophobic and social conservative, with a few immigrants joining their ranks complaining, for example, that it is the Somali or immigrants who are the "real problem".

Researchgruppen used a Disqus security flaw to find out which e-mail addresses were behind some of these racist commenters, and are now revealing that behind the nicknames were SD-politicians. So.. This is a big win for Expressen, since the Swedish mainstream media and most Swedes are sworn enemies to Sverigedemokraterna.

And on another note.. Congratulations to Flashback, the quite huge, Swedish, non-profit, ultra-liberal and quite lawless discussion forum, which has absolute free speech and therefore has become illegal to run from Sweden (it's now run from abroad). Flashback has through the years succeeded in keeping their users anonymity safe and freedom to speak total, no doubt without attempts form the Swedish state, police and media to the contrary - since flashback has become the main for hub for discussions about controversial subjects like drugs, racism and much more.

Re:A simpler approach (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#45660815)

The articles and comments on these sites are mostly very
  harsh, distastefully racist, and written anonymously.

It might do some good to expose the people making that sort of post. Because, often enough, the 'over the top' anonymous comments on ANY forum are posted by opposition-trolls whose whole point is to make the other side look bad to bystanders who read the forum comments.

When you go to Conservative forums, there are obvious fake troglodyte racist posts made anonymously by people on field trips from Daily Kos, etc. Usually they're easy to spot, because
the Kossites have such a cartoonish view of what the people they disagree with really are. I am sure this kind of opposition trolling happens on all forums of every political persuation; any tool that helps identify and eliminate this is good.

Re:A simpler approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660703)

Your post might be a cynical swipe at Expressen being a "hate speech site", but I think you misunderstood the article.

The comments were made on other sites, such as avpixlat.info and friatider.se -- two nests of populist semi-racist (or, according to many: full-on racist) news reporting with comment fields made up of quite extreme posts. From this, hash sums of known email addresses for political figures could be matched to the comments via the Disqus system. Expressen just published the findings.

It is quite clearly a specific attack against a certain right-wing populist party (Sverigedemokraterna) currently represented in the Swedish parliament, gaining some 10% of total voter support in recent polls.

Sorry, no comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45659921)

From me here.

anonymous@coward.com

Disqus is evil (5, Insightful)

johnsie (1158363) | about 10 months ago | (#45659965)

One company being able to build up a collection your comments and opinions across multiple websites.... Thank goodness I only comment on Slahsdot

The methos is not uncalled for. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45659967)

In Europe we have an increasing problem with racism and hate speech, especially on anonymous internet forums. This is one of the few jounalistic method that actually works, so I congratulate Researchgruppen on their success. Most of the haters that were reveiled and confronted this way were politicians from the racist "Sweden Demoncrats" party, but additionally some company execs and other privileged persons were scrutinized.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660049)

Of course, the swedish definition of "hate speech" is any criticism of radical feminism or the failed principles of multiculturalism.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (1)

Henriok (6762) | about 10 months ago | (#45660173)

Hardly. The level of hate speech we're talking about here is executing immigrants, reopening the gas chambers, exiling criminals after revoking their citizenships and passing laws prohibiting inter racial marriage and child births.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#45660893)

Since it's trivial to engage in that sort of 'Hate Speech' anonymously, it's probably cranks and even opposition figures posting that crap to pollute the otherwise reasonable opinions being expressed on said forums. People who oppose free speech can easily pollute a forum with crap they have no belief in whatsoever.

Since when did Advocacy become a crime? I'd rather have people advocating the things you listed right out in plain view, easy to identify, and avoid. Otherwise you end up with the Fever Swamp phenomenon. Granted, they're likely cowards who would never express said views in public.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660089)

Most of the haters that were reveiled and confronted this way were politicians from the racist "Sweden Demoncrats" party, but additionally some company execs and other privileged persons were scrutinized.

I'm not sure it's fair to call the party as a whole "racist". Xenophobic, conservative and populist? Yeah, definitely. With a much more clearly racist background? Yes, no doubt about it.

But clearly racist? I'm not so sure. I also think it's a really bad strategy to scream "RACISM!!!1" every time SD is mentioned or to bend over backwards massaging statistics to "prove" that they are wrong. They may be wrong a lot of the time but not always and when someone who was already on the fence about voting for them sees blatant lies used to discredit them it's likely to drive to to vote for SD rather than against them.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660137)

Agreed. They may hate niggers, but they aren't racist. If they were beaners who hated niggers, then okay, but hatting niggers is just common sense. No race involved.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45660179)

Part of the problem is the fact that Europe has been trying to block free speech on it.
I am not supporting racist or care for their ideals. But blocking out hate speech is more dangerous then trying to stop it.
Why?
Because the hate speech goes underground, where there is no sense of the scope of the problem. So the government doesn't understand how big the problem is and unable to do an appropriate protection of the hated groups.
Secondly there isn't a counter dialog going on to discredit the hate logic. So people get this feed of hate in private and told that it is taboo, so they keep it quite, however there isn't anyone pointing out the flaw in their reasoning. So they can create more people who hate.

Free speech is necessary, however it isn't safe or easy.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660263)

Why?

Because freedom of speech is a fundamental right, and 'safety' is less important than freedom?

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660929)

You make an erroneous assumption that people that have a certain strong view and based on emotions can easily be convinced to sway sides by mere logic and facts. You can't. In fact, they use the "facts" to support their own view and disregard of facts contradicting them. Also, they seek more facts and views supporting what they already believe in. It is called information bias and is nothing new, just seems to have become worse and worse lately.

Re:The methos is not uncalled for. (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#45660997)

In Europe we have an increasing problem with racism and hate speech, especially on anonymous internet forums.

Which is appropriately countered with more speech.

You were never anonymous (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 10 months ago | (#45660011)

The NSA maintains a log of your comments posted on disqus, facebook, twitter, slashdot, reddit, google+, etc. Do you know why Barack Obama changed his mind about the NSA after he was elected? Do you know why Diane Feinstein doesn't care what they do? Do you know why FISA judges rubberstamp everything they do?

The NSA has files on all of them. Coincidence?

Re:You were never anonymous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660123)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting applications for environmental education projects under the agency’s Environmental Education Grant Program. The program works to engage communities across the country through a wide variety of educational projects that have a lasting impact on people’s health by facilitating environmental stewardship.. Projects in the past have engaged students in stream monitoring, created sustainable mentoring communities, and provided professional development to teachers on subjects including science, technology, engineering and math.
Eligible organizations include local education agencies, colleges or universities, state education or environmental agencies, tribal education agencies, 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations, and noncommercial educational broadcasting entities working in education.
This competitive grants program will total $2.77 million. Each of the ten EPA regional offices will award two or three grants and one or two grants will be awarded from EPA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Each award will be an estimated $75,000 to $200,000. EPA expects to award between 22 and 32 grants nationwide.
For more information about the program and how to apply: http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants [epa.gov]

Re:You were never anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660153)

conspiracy theory. The 60k people listening to phone calls and reading your emails/tweets whatever are supposed to stop atrocities. When the huge net they cast actually catches a bad fish, nobody will ever know. Local police make an arrest from an anonymous tip. Fortunately, those of us in the US rarely see the violent nonsense like what happens in Cairo. I wonder if the spooks are preventing it, or if we are just better people that understand how pointless it is to burn our own neighborhoods and shoot our neighbors.

Re:You were never anonymous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660325)

The 60k people

You're only counting the NSA, which is just one of the 16 organizations inside the US Intelligence Community [wikipedia.org] .

You're only counting NSA employees, while private contractors like Snowden make up a large part of their workforce.

Don't get me wrong, I think GP is tinfoil-hatter too, but if you think only 60,000 people are capable of listening to your phone calls then you're terribly naive, considering 854,000 [washingtonpost.com] Americans hold top-secret clearance and that's just one country in the whole-wide world.

This is why I want Rob Ford for President (1)

swb (14022) | about 10 months ago | (#45660227)

All of the conventional politicians are stuck trying to push a phony image in lockstep with Ameircan puritansim -- churchgoing, once-a-month missionary position and nothing more than a weak cup of coffee on a Saturday morning.

Since the lifestyles they actually lead involve mistresses, hookers, cocaine, whisky by the barrel, and all manner of shady business deals and votes-for-cash schemes, they are of course vulnerable to all kinds of blackmail by those who can collect the dossiers.

Rob Ford doesn't care. He's willing to admit he gets really fucked up and will try pretty much anything, including hittin' dat pipe 'till da rock is all gone.

We need more Rob Fords who just don't give a shit and aren't slaves to the petty morality of American culture.

Re:This is why I want Rob Ford for President (1)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about 10 months ago | (#45660379)

We need more Rob Fords who just don't give a shit and aren't slaves to the petty morality of American culture.

Well, duh. He's just a slave to the petty morality of Canadian culture.

Re:This is why I want Rob Ford for President (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660811)

You couldn't be more wrong if you think Rob Ford is invulnerable to blackmail. You are obviously not Canadian and you obviously haven't been following the Rob Ford saga closely, but based on police wiretaps, Ford was blackmailed by the people who made the crack video and he supposedly tried to pay them off with $5000 and a car. They laughed it off and demanded $150,000. He ending up sending his driver to get the video using death threats. A lot of this activity was captured in police wiretaps which have recently been released to the public.

Also, he's not willing to admit anything. He denied smoking crack (and the existence of the video) for months until the chief of police revealed that the cops had a copy of the video in their possession. His standard modus operandi whenever he's accused of anything is to deny and lie for as long as he can, blame everything on a left-wing media conspiracy that's out to get him, then offer a vague, half-hearted apology when he's backed into a corner.

Rob Ford is just as bad or worse than the average hypocritical politician.

Re:This is why I want Rob Ford for President (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660877)

"Rob Ford doesn't care. He's willing to admit " ....
Yeah, after having been recorded smoking crack, he doesn't care admitting he has smoked crack, such an example of honesty.
What kind of crack are you smoking ?

Re:You were never anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660283)

At last I am not trying to apply for work at NSA.
Actually, they would already offer people they want a job even without applying as they already have the CV, social connection, bank/credit card history, tax/criminal/DMV records and knows everything there is to know about you more than the average employers.

Re:You were never anonymous (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#45660919)

Do you know why Barack Obama changed his mind about the NSA after he was elected? Do you know why Diane Feinstein doesn't care what they do?

Oh, come on now. Apply Occams Razor.

Diane Feinstein is just totally out of touch stupid.

Barack Obama is a serial narcissist.

Both surround themselves with yes-people who will support anything they believe.

There's no need to weave a grand conspiracy to explain them.

its worth noting, but not in america (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#45660151)

Foxnews.com uses Disqus, although im not certain the merit of pin-pointing racists, xenophobes and homophobes in america. people like Rick Santorum and Steve King can and do go around bashing gays and muslims respectively with little social repercussion. Pamela Geller basically makes a career out of muslim bashing. Alaskas Don Young refers to south american and central american immigrants exclusively as wetbacks in his commentary on radio stations, and a sizeable number of our southern politicians have been card-carrying members of the KKK.

yet freedom of speech gets a good stretch here in america when its true definition was essentially political. In america, the first amendment guarantees your vocal objection to the agricultural policy of tom vilchek cannot result in riot police kicking in your door at 4 in the morning and beating you with riot batons in the street for your dissenting opinion. the freedom of religion granted us the right to organize against the government at a social level, as to deject the church in its occupation as a station of the government was in england considered nearly treasonous.

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660199)

Admit it, you just wanted to use a bunch of slurs in your post. We've seen this behavior from you in the past.

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660299)

Those "slurs" have the benefit of being facts.

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660219)

yet freedom of speech gets a good stretch here in america when its true definition was essentially political.

There is no "true definition" of freedom of speech. If your government can harass you because it doesn't like something you said--no matter how 'trivial' the type of speech is--then you're suffering under a tyrannical government. As soon as you let the government oppress those who say things you don't like because you deem a certain type of speech to be unworthy of protection, you no longer live in a free country.

The US is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, after all. In a place that's supposed to be free, freedom of speech applies to more than just political speech.

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 10 months ago | (#45660705)

What about when the "government" can "harass you" because it "doesn't like" that you "said" to a hitman that you want him to kill your wife and you promise money if he does it. TYRANNY!

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 10 months ago | (#45660741)

There is no "true definition" of freedom of speech.

If you would've paid attention in middle school, you would know that it's pretty well defined in the United States Constitution [wikipedia.org] .

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 10 months ago | (#45660673)

yet freedom of speech gets a good stretch here in america when its true definition was essentially political

Looks like you're enjoying that freedom, too, so not sure why the complaining.

not certain the merit of pin-pointing racists, xenophobes and homophobes in america

Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. If you really think that you are better, first act that way.

Re: its worth noting, but not in america (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660699)

Stephen King bashing Muslims? What planet are you from?

Re:its worth noting, but not in america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45661177)

In america, the first amendment guarantees your vocal objection to the agricultural policy of tom vilchek cannot result in riot police kicking in your door at 4 in the morning and beating you with riot batons in the street for your dissenting opinion.

No, it does not. It stops them from prosecuting you over your opinion, but it certainly does not stop anyone from making up another reason to kick in your door at 4 am.

Peopel Actaully Use That Shit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660191)

Every time I read some inflammatory piece of click bait that riles me up enough to post a response and the Discuss login pops up, I make a mental note not to return to that site and I close the tab.

Discus is bad for site owners, it gives an external entity control over their sites comments and therefore content.Discus is bad for users because it feeds tracking data about the user to an untrustworthy entity that does not need to be connected to the site.

Anybody that uses that shit deserves what they get. Maybe Slashdot should eliminate Anonymous Coward and throw up a Discus login. That would certainly end the First Post trolls.

Blocked at firewall ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45660195)

Disqus has been blocked at my firewall for some time.

Not because of this, but because I was seeing it on so damned many sites it's not funny. Which means I didn't trust it to be anything good for me.

There's so much shit on the internet these days that if you're not using cookie/script/beacon blockers you're just handing over your information to a company for profit.

I believe every hacker on the planet should be working to release the private details of every company executive (and their families) involved in this stuff. If our personal information is a commodity, then don't act like yours is any different. Assholes.

Much like Zuckerfuck fiercely protects his privacy while undermining ours, you don't get to choose that your privacy is more important than mine.

Re:Blocked at firewall ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660333)

Fuck me you're sexy when you're angry.

Re:Blocked at firewall ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45660473)

Fuck me you're sexy when you're angry.

I'm like Bruce Banner in the Avengers ... My secret is that I'm always angry. ;-)

Re:Blocked at firewall ... (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 10 months ago | (#45660441)

Great comment. I've made it myself a couple of times here and elsewhere. I may just start a site like that myself. Something like metoodata.org.

No confirmation email required! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660201)

Because there is no requirement to click on a link in an activation email when signing up, anyone can register anyones email and start commenting if they want to frame someone.

Good Thing... (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 10 months ago | (#45660241)

... I have a separate e-mail account for commenting on the internet.

Not exactely identifying the email addy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660307)

What they get is the MD5 of the hash, and THEN only if they have an emaila ddress to compare to they can do it. But that second step is not as easy, as , say having the email address in plain text. Although disquss should probably have salted anything privacy relevant frankly, it isn't as bad as a cursory reading of the summary make you think.

What is 'hate' speech? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660623)

LOL. Oh, you mean anything the JEWS, who are in power, don't want you to hear. Like the fact that the JEWS are in power over you, stuff like that...

'Hate' speech indeed. Isn't that the same as 'thought crime'? Didn't Orwell warn us about this?

Don't you just hate Left wingers?

Re:What is 'hate' speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660943)

Open your eyes man, the jews may seem in power, but that is only a clever decoy, the real power is in the hands of santa claus and his aliens from roswel. Though the illuminati and the macons are trying hard to regain the power from them (they lost it in 9/11 when all their upper staff got killed).

Since the NSA has infected everything else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45660693)

Why wouldn't they have captured Disqus?
It seems like a logic attack vector...

Wait till they disentabgle bitcoin (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#45660735)

Bitcoins are not anonymous. Not only that every miner is actually maintaining and validating the whole chain of transactions. They go back to the starting block itself. Every transaction ever done in bitcoin is recorded. All of it can be traced back to the cyber-identity of the people who dealt with it. No matter how hard you try, the cyber identity and the real identity will eventually be linked. Especially because people use similar handles in bulletin boards, forum discussion etc and all it takes is one careless slip, and they will be linked.

At some point all those who ordered illegal substances, or services using bit coin will be found. With their secure digital signatures confirming they did the ordering. It will be fun when that happens.

Disqus is awful awful awful (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 10 months ago | (#45660835)

Lots of sites I frequent use it and it's a *terrible* UI model for browsing and commenting on forums. It's slow, has a clunky UI, lacks features, and even WORSE they scrub comments religiously if you even remotely criticize the parent site or any of its prinicipals. I'm assuming Disqus is presenting hosts with a ridiculously cheap package for anyone to think it's a good idea.

Unless it's another Total Information Awareness tool and they don't *care* about how usable it is...

How it was done: (5, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#45660883)

Disqus site had md5 hashes of users' email addresses. Some flaw in the site leaked the hashes and made them public. They probably thought nobody could reverse the hash. But they did not "salt" the email ids. So simple dictionary attack, of hashing millions of known email ids, produced matches. Now they can link email ids to disqus user ids.

Morals of the story:

don't leak hashes.

Salt the data before hashing

Don't trust any website to value your anonymity over their profits.

No (1)

fredan (54788) | about 10 months ago | (#45661121)

they did get the MD5 hashes from Disqus, from their api.

to know which e-mail address it belongs to, Expressen.se did generate MD5 hashes of all their e-mail addresses that they have in their (e-mail) system.

now they know which hash belongs to which e-mail address and can then continues the search for who his/she is what that specific MD5 hash.

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