A team of web designers recently released an astonishingly innovative app for streaming movies online. The program, Popcorn Time, worked a bit like Netflix, except it had one unusual, killer feature. It was full of movies you’d want to watch.
When you loaded Popcorn Time, you were presented with a menu of recent Hollywood releases: “American Hustle,” “Gravity,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “12 Years A Slave” and hundreds of other acclaimed films were all right there, available for instant streaming at the click of a button.
If Popcorn Time sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was. The app was illegal — a well-designed, easy-to-use interface for the movie-pirating services that have long ruled the Internet’s underbelly. Shortly after the app went public, its creators faced a barrage of legal notices, and they pulled it down.
But like Napster in the late 1990s, Popcorn Time offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we’ve all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren’t good enough." Link to Original Source top
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that Mt. Gox, the most prominent Bitcoin exchange, 'appeared to be on the verge of collapse late Monday, raising questions about the future of a volatile marketplace.'
'On Monday night, a number of leading Bitcoin companies jointly announced that Mt. Gox, the largest exchange for most of Bitcoin’s existence, was planning to file for bankruptcy after months of technological problems and what appeared to have been a major theft. A document circulating widely in the Bitcoin world said the company had lost 744,000 Bitcoins in a theft that had gone unnoticed for years. That would be about 6 percent of the 12.4 million Bitcoins in circulation.'
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that '[t]he list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.
'A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers, and is of particular interest because lawyers in the United States with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance.
'The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.'" Link to Original Source top
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, 'Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country’s most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to “scrape” the National Security Agency’s networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials.
Using “web crawler” software designed to search, index and back up a website, Mr. Snowden “scraped data out of our systems” while he went about his day job, according to a senior intelligence official. “We do not believe this was an individual sitting at a machine and downloading this much material in sequence,” the official said. The process, he added, was “quite automated.”
The findings are striking because the N.S.A.’s mission includes protecting the nation’s most sensitive military and intelligence computer systems from cyber attacks, especially the sophisticated attacks that emanate from Russia and China. Mr. Snowden’s “insider attack,” by contrast, was hardly sophisticated and should have been easily detected, investigators found.'" Link to Original Source top
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that a "Colorado resident charged with terrorism-related offenses challenged the constitutionality on Wednesday of a 2008 law allowing the National Security Agency to conduct a sweeping program of surveillance without warrants on American soil. The challenge — the first of its kind — could lead to a Supreme Court test of the program.
"At the same time, a Federal District Court judge in Illinois ordered the government to show a defense lawyer classified materials related to the national security surveillance of his client. No defense lawyer has apparently ever been allowed to see such materials since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was enacted in 1978.
"Together, the two actions are significant developments in efforts to obtain more judicial review of the legality of surveillance conducted on domestic soil for national security purposes amid continuing fallout from leaks about N.S.A. wiretapping by Edward J. Snowden, a former agency contractor."" Link to Original Source top
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, "Russia plans to extend its offer of asylum to Edward J. Snowden beyond August, a Russian lawmaker said Friday at the World Economic Forum.... The lawmaker, Aleksei K. Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of Parliament, hinted during a panel discussion that the extension of temporary refugee status for Mr. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, might be indefinite. “He will not be sent out of Russia,” Mr. Pushkov said. “It will be up to Snowden.”" Link to Original Source top
Russia Issues Travel Warning to Its Citizens About United States and Extradition
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times reports that the Russian government is warning its citizens to not travel to countries that have an extradition treaty with the United States, noting that "detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent." The article reports the Russian foreign ministry as saying,"Experience shows that the judicial proceedings against those who were in fact kidnapped and taken to the U.S. are of a biased character, based on shaky evidence, and clearly tilted toward conviction."" Link to Original Source top
mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, "In a significant victory for law enforcement, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said that government authorities could extract historical location data directly from telecommunications carriers without a search warrant. The closely watched case, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is the first ruling that squarely addresses the constitutionality of warrantless searches of historical location data stored by cellphone service providers. Ruling 2 to 1, the court said a warrantless search was 'not per se unconstitutional' because location data was 'clearly a business record' and therefore not protected by the Fourth Amendment.'" The article pointed out that this went squarely against a New Jersey Supreme Court opinion rendered earlier this month but noted that the state court's ruling was based upon the text of the state's constitution, not that of the federal constitution." Link to Original Source