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Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies

Advocatus Diaboli Re:How surprising (117 comments)

That "land of free" sham was maintained for only as long as the USSR existed. Once it became Russia and a dozen other smaller countries, the "civilized" west just stopped pretending.

yesterday
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Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

Advocatus Diaboli A digital version of the "Doomsday Machine" (194 comments)

Do the morons in NSA seriously believe that the USA is the only country with the technology to build a Digital Doomsday Machine? Has anyone of them watched Dr. Strangelove? Having said that, the level of hubris they are displaying seems about right.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests?

Advocatus Diaboli Have you tried Dreamhost? (148 comments)

I have found dreamhost.com to be particularly level-headed when dealing with DMCA-based bullshit. And yes, my opinion is based on a series of experiences with DMCA-trolls.

about 5 months ago
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Report: Apple To Unveil "Smart Home" System

Advocatus Diaboli What could go wrong? (174 comments)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and dreams of financial gains. Aren't they betting that such a system (or its components) cannot be hacked?

about 5 months ago
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Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

Advocatus Diaboli Re:Warning Shot (148 comments)

Actually, most of their high value missiles use inertial navigation- just like those of every other country. Nobody trusts navigation satellites for anything more important than short and medium range cruise missiles.

about 8 months ago
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Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

Advocatus Diaboli Re:Warning Shot (148 comments)

Wishful thinking. Playing around with Russia in 2014 is very different from doing so with Iraq in 1991. You would have to be insane to do that and believe that they would not respond in kind or worse. More likely to the result of an internal update.

about 8 months ago
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Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

Advocatus Diaboli The real puzzle (382 comments)

Evidently the aircraft had enough power to run the pinging transmitter for over 4 hours after the transponder went dead (or was turned off). This implies that the aircraft also had enough power and structural integrity for at least some of its communication systems to work. But the experienced pilots did not make even one distress call or issue a single distress code. Why not? What prevented them from doing it?

about 8 months ago
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Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

Advocatus Diaboli The plane was pinging hours after it disappeared (382 comments)

A satellite transmitter on the plane was active for about five hours, indicating the plane was operational after its transponder shut down less than an hour after takeoff, said three U.S. government officials. The 777 can cruise at 500 miles (805 kilometers) an hour or more, meaning it may have flown for as far as 2,500 miles beyond its last point of contact if it was intact and had enough fuel. Link (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-13/missing-malaysian-jet-said-to-have-flown-with-beacon-off.html)

about 8 months ago
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Free (Gratis) Version of Windows Could Be a Reality Soon

Advocatus Diaboli Is Win 8.1 that bad? (392 comments)

Given the history of MS trying to squeeze every last cent out of their captive audience, a free version of Win 8.1 (even one bundled with bing') sounds like desperation.

about 9 months ago
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Wikileaks Aiding Snowden - Chinese Social Media Divided - Relations Strained

Advocatus Diaboli Re:hope it was worth it (629 comments)

Women prefer dangerous guys over milquetoast ones.

about a year and a half ago
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Wikileaks Aiding Snowden - Chinese Social Media Divided - Relations Strained

Advocatus Diaboli Anti-Citizen One (629 comments)

I would like to point out that Edward Snowden not only has a physical resemblance to the' Gordon Freeman' character in the Half-Life Game Series, but has effectively become 'Anti-Citizen One'- in real life.

about a year and a half ago
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Scientists Themselves Play Large Role In Bad Reporting

Advocatus Diaboli The system selects for CONmen and Shysters (114 comments)

I remember writing a post about this phenomena about a year ago. The short version of the story is that over the last 30-40 years, universities and research institutes have increasingly recruited "scientist" with strong tendencies towards showmanship, fraud, lying and bullshitting. This change is largely due to changing nature of incentives as well as methods of evaluation and promotion in these institutions. Peer reviewed research and grants are probably the biggest culprit. Here is the link: http://dissention.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/why-all-publicised-breakthroughs-are-lies/

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's Lost Decade

Advocatus Diaboli Corporations ARE the Modern Version of Fiefdoms (407 comments)

That is because Corporations are the Modern Version of Fiefdoms (http://bit.ly/MSfvml) with a fatal obsession for "Metrics and Productivity" (http://bit.ly/tB6o8I) both which can be easily gamed. Furthermore their supposed focus on shareholder value makes them susceptible to short-termism (http://bit.ly/McEkgs) as the reward system is rather dystopic (http://bit.ly/LYEke4).

more than 2 years ago
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World's Most Powerful x86 Supercomputer Boots Up in Germany

Advocatus Diaboli The Super Computer Race is a Sad Scam (151 comments)

What are these machines being used for anyway? What have we achieved so far? How far has simulation of complex natural systems been helpful in understanding them? Can we make better predictions using faster computers or more refined algorithms? So far, computer simulations have not helped us understand or find dark matter- if something like that even exists. Our ability to predict the weather is still shit, and our climate models require “correction” factors to even approach observed values. Our ability to model protein folding and bio-molecular interactions is still pretty pathetic. This state of affairs has persisted in the face of colossal increases in available computational power. So what is going on? Why haven’t the computer gods delivered? Why would throwing more computational power at a problem solve it if previous attempts to do so have proved futile? http://dissention.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/the-super-computer-race-is-a-sad-scam/

about 2 years ago
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Spooky: How NSA's Surveillance Algorithms See Into Your Life

Advocatus Diaboli Delusions of capability (211 comments)

Their biggest problem is not fixable and is linked to what type of communication ultimately destroys a fraudulent society. Hint: It is the mundane stuff. http://dissention.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/spying-and-surveillance-is-rapidly-becoming-worthless/ and it also does not help that intelligence agencies are run by status hungry human beings. http://dissention.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/universal-organizational-flaws-in-intelligence-agencies-1/

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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New Snowden Docs: GCHQ ties to Telcos gave Spies Global Surveillance Reach

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  6 hours ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "According to a report in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the telecommunications company Cable & Wireless—now a subsidiary of Vodafone—“actively shaped and provided the most data to GCHQ surveillance programs and received millions of pounds in compensation.” The relationship was so extensive that a GCHQ employee was assigned to work full time at Cable & Wireless (referred to by the code name “Gerontic” in NSA documents) to manage cable-tap projects in February of 2009. By July of 2009, Cable & Wireless provided access to 29 out of the 63 cables on the list, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the data capacity available to surveillance programs."
Link to Original Source
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Malware in European Union Attack linked to U.S and British Intelligence Agencies

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  yesterday

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The Regin malware, whose existence was first reported by the security firm Symantec on Sunday, is among the most sophisticated ever discovered by researchers. Symantec compared Regin to Stuxnet, a state-sponsored malware program developed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage computers at an Iranian nuclear facility. Sources familiar with internal investigations at Belgacom and the European Union have confirmed to The Intercept that the Regin malware was found on their systems after they were compromised, linking the spy tool to the secret GCHQ and NSA operations."
Link to Original Source
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British Spies are free to target Lawyers and Journalists

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about three weeks ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications, according to newly released documents. On Thursday, a series of previously classified policies confirmed for the first time that the U.K.’s top surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters (pictured above) has advised its employees: “You may in principle target the communications of lawyers.” The country’s other major security and intelligence agencies—MI5 and MI6—have adopted similar policies, the documents show. The guidelines also appear to permit surveillance of journalists and others deemed to work in “sensitive professions.”"
Link to Original Source
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Secret manuals show the spyware sold to despots and cops worldwide

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about a month ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The manuals describe Hacking Team’s software for government technicians and analysts, showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments to deliver viral installers. With a few clicks of a mouse, even a lightly trained technician can build a software agent that can infect and monitor a device, then upload captured data at unobtrusive times using a stealthy network of proxy servers, all without leaving a trace. That, at least, is what Hacking Team’s manuals claim as the company tries to distinguish its offerings in the global marketplace for government hacking software."
Link to Original Source
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Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also indicate that the agency has used “under cover” operatives to gain access to sensitive data and systems in the global communications industry, and that these secret agents may have even dealt with American firms. The documents describe a range of clandestine field activities that are among the agency’s “core secrets” when it comes to computer network attacks, details of which are apparently shared with only a small number of officials outside the NSA."
Link to Original Source
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US says it can hack into foreign-based servers without warrants

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The US government may hack into servers outside the country without a warrant, the Justice Department said in a new legal filling in the ongoing prosecution of Ross Ulbricht. The government believes that Ulbricht is the operator of the Silk Road illicit drug website. Monday's filing in New York federal court centers on the legal brouhaha of how the government found the Silk Road servers in Iceland. Ulbricht said last week that the government's position—that a leaky CAPTCHA on the site's login led them to the IP address—was "implausible" and that the government (perhaps the National Security Agency) may have unlawfully hacked into the site to discover its whereabouts"
Link to Original Source
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The FBI Just Finished Its Insane New Facial Recognition System

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 2 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""After six years and over one billion dollars in development, the FBI has just announced that its new biometric facial recognition software system is finally complete. Meaning that, starting soon, photos of tens of millions of U.S. citizen's faces will be captured by the national system on a daily basis. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) program will logs all of those faces, and will reference them against its growing database in the event of a crime. It's not just faces, though. Thanks to the shared database dubbed the Interstate Photo System (IPS), everything from tattoos to scars to a person's irises could be enough to secure an ID. What's more, the FBI is estimating that NGI will include as many as 52 million individual faces by next year, collecting identified faces from mug shots and some job applications. So if you apply for any type of job that requires fingerprinting, for instance, those prints (which will now also likely be asked for along with a photo) will be sent off to the government for processing."

Here are two recent and related news items.

Boston police used facial recognition software on thousands of people at a music festival (http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/266552/speedreads-boston-police-used-facial-recognition-software-on-thousands-of-people-at-a-music-festival)

"Attendees of last year's Boston Calling music festival were — without their knowledge — test subjects for the Boston Police Department's new facial recognition software. The IBM program — which also analyzes each individual's build, clothes, and skin color — captured video of thousands of people, 50 hours of which is still intact."

and

General Motors May Be The First To Offer Cars That Detect Distracted Drivers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/general-motors-may-be-the-first-to-offer-cars-that-detect-distracted-drivers/2014/09/02/d00b5bc4-32b9-11e4-9f4d-24103cb8b742_story.html)

"According to CNBC, the technology will come from an Australian firm called Seeing Machines. It will take the form of a series of cameras paired with facial recognition software — kind of like the software that Facebook uses to auto-tag your friends in photos, but in this case, it'll take note of things like the rotation of the driver's head and how often he/she blinks. That will help the system determine whether a driver is looking at the road, at a cell phone, or even nodding off. If the situation proves dire enough, the system could theoretically slow the vehicle and force the driver to pull over — not unlike a certain attention-powered car we've seen before.""

Link to Original Source
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U.S. threatened massive fine to force Yahoo to release data

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 2 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user data that the company believed was unconstitutional, according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the NSA’s controversial PRISM program. The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the National Security Agency extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms."
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Reports on drivers, training by firm fueled law enforcement aggressiveness

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 3 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Operating in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal entities, Black Asphalt members exchanged tens of thousands of reports about American motorists, many of whom had not been charged with any crimes, according to a company official and hundreds of internal documents obtained by The Post. For years, it received no oversight by government, even though its reports contained law enforcement sensitive information about traffic stops and seizures, along with hunches and personal data about drivers, including Social Security numbers and identifying tattoos. Black Asphalt also has served as a social hub for a new brand of highway interdictors, a group that one Desert Snow official has called “a brotherhood.” Among other things, the site hosts an annual competition to honor police who seize the most contraband and cash on the highways. As part of the contest, Desert Snow encouraged state and local patrol officers to post seizure data along with photos of themselves with stacks of currency and drugs. Some of the photos appear in a rousing hard-rock video that the Guthrie, Okla.-based Desert Snow uses to promote its training courses."
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NSA/GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 3 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Since the early days of TCP, port scanning has been used by computer saboteurs to locate vulnerable systems. In a new set of top secret documents seen by Heise, it is revealed that in 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a "standard tool" to be applied against entire nations. Twenty-seven countries are listed as targets of the HACIENDA program in the presentation, which comes with a promotional offer: readers desiring to do reconnaissance against another country need simply send an e-mail."
Link to Original Source
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NSA BIOS Backdoor a.k.a. God Mode Malware Part 1: DEITYBOUNCE

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 3 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "This article is the first part of a series on NSA BIOS backdoor internals. Before we begin, I’d like to point out why these malwares are classified as “god mode.” First, most of the malware uses an internal (NSA) codename in the realms of “gods,” such as DEITYBOUNCE, GODSURGE, etc. Second, these malwares have capabilities similar to “god mode” cheats in video games, which make the player using it close to being invincible. This is the case with this type of malware because it is very hard to detect and remove, even with the most sophisticated anti-malware tools, during its possible deployment timeframe."
Link to Original Source
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NSA Tried To Delete Court Transcript In Lawsuit Over Deleting Evidence

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency secretly tried to delete part of a public court transcript after believing one of its lawyers may have accidentally revealed classified information in a court case over alleged illegal surveillance. Following a recent hearing in the ongoing Jewel v. NSA case, in which the Electronic Frontier Foundation is challenging NSA’s ability to surveil foreign citizen’s U.S.-based email and social media accounts, the government informed U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White it believed one of its attorneys mistakenly revealed classified information. The government then requested that the select portion of the hearing’s public transcript be secretly deleted without alerting the public to the alteration. According to the EFF, the open courtroom case — which has been steadily picking up media coverage following NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s bulk surveillance revelations — was “widely covered by the press” and “even on the local TV news on two stations.”"
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Leaked docs show spyware used to snoop on US computers

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Software created by the controversial UK-based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appear to be located in the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain, according to a leaked trove of documents analyzed by ProPublica. It's not clear whether the surveillance was conducted by governments or private entities. Customer e-mail addresses in the collection appeared to belong to a German surveillance company, an independent consultant in Dubai, the Bosnian and Hungarian Intelligence services, a Dutch law enforcement officer, and the Qatari government."
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The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users with Malware with Drive-by Downloads

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "For the last two years, the FBI has been quietly experimenting with drive-by hacks as a solution to one of law enforcement’s knottiest Internet problems: how to identify and prosecute users of criminal websites hiding behind the powerful Tor anonymity system. The approach has borne fruit—over a dozen alleged users of Tor-based child porn sites are now headed for trial as a result. But it’s also engendering controversy, with charges that the Justice Department has glossed over the bulk-hacking technique when describing it to judges, while concealing its use from defendants."
Link to Original Source
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Barack Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Nearly half of the people on the U.S. government’s widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group, according to classified government documents obtained by The Intercept. Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments—more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined."
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The NSA's New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters. The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents."
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The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. ...The heart of the document revolves around the rules for placing individuals on a watchlist. “All executive departments and agencies,” the document says, are responsible for collecting and sharing information on terrorist suspects with the National Counterterrorism Center. It sets a low standard—”reasonable suspicion“—for placing names on the watchlists, and offers a multitude of vague, confusing, or contradictory instructions for gauging it. In the chapter on “Minimum Substantive Derogatory Criteria”—even the title is hard to digest—the key sentence on reasonable suspicion offers little clarity..."
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Photoshopping of adult porn nets man 10-year child-porn conviction

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "A federal appeals court upheld Thursday the child pornography conviction and accompanying 10-year prison term handed to a Nebraska man who superimposed the image of an underaged girl's face onto a picture of two adults having sex. The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected (PDF) claims from 28-year-old Jeffrey Anderson that his actions were protected by the First Amendment. Anderson sent the doctored image to his 11-year-old half-sister via Facebook, resulting in the charge of distributing child pornography. Anderson had superimposed the half sister's face onto the photo, the court said."
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Obama administration says the world's servers are ours

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""Global governments, the tech sector, and scholars are closely following a legal flap in which the US Justice Department claims that Microsoft must hand over e-mail stored in Dublin, Ireland. In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas. It's a position Microsoft and companies like Apple say is wrong, arguing that the enforcement of US law stops at the border. A magistrate judge has already sided with the government's position, ruling in April that "the basic principle that an entity lawfully obligated to produce information must do so regardless of the location of that information." Microsoft appealed to a federal judge, and the case is set to be heard on July 31.""
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Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet

Advocatus Diaboli Advocatus Diaboli writes  |  about 4 months ago

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call. The tools were created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG’s use of “fake victim blog posts,” “false flag operations,” “honey traps” and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users."
Link to Original Source

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