schwit1 writes "The ACLU is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Christine Von Der Haar after she was detained by Customs and Border Patrol at at Indianapolis International Airport during an incident in 2012.
"CBP officers grossly exceeded their jurisdiction. Dr. Von Der Haar’s US citizenship was never questioned; she wasn’t trying to enter, leave, or ship and goods in or out of the country; and she was never accused of any crime. In general, immigration (as distinct from customs) offenses are handled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol, not CBP. We’re curious what basis CBP will claim for its officers’ authority to detain and interrogate Dr. Von Der Haar or obtain her email," asks Papers Please.
Either the DHS is obtaining Americans' emails via their own undeclared (and illegal) snoop program, or they are being aided by the National Security Agency or some other government entity." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 writes "In a David vs. Goliath battle that pitted the Federal Aviation Administration against the operator of a small model airplane, a federal administrative judge has sided with the aircraft's pilot.
The judge has dismissed a proposed $10,000 fine against businessman Raphael Pirker, who used a remotely operated 56-inch foam glider to take aerial video for an advertisement for the University of Virginia Medical Center" Link to Original Source top
schwit1 writes "TU- 95MS: A Soviet Era strategic bomber manufactured in 1987. The restricted shipping destinations ironically include most of the former soviet union, but not North Korea." Link to Original Source top
NSA Chief Pushes Legislation To Stifle The First Amendment
schwit1 writes "Recently, what came out with the justices in the United Kingdom they looked at what happened on Miranda and other things, and they said it's interesting: journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues. They don't know how to weigh the fact of what they're giving out and saying, is it in the nation's interest to divulge this. — General Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA
Although General Alexander states the above with regard to the UK justice system, he clearly agrees with the assessment. Read the passage above again and think about how scary that statement is. It becomes clear that one of the reasons abuses at the NSA are so egregious is because of the attitude of the person in charge. Alexander genuinely thinks that intelligence officials know best, and should not be subject to any sort of accountability. You don't need to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU to see how dangerous this perspective is. To endorse this notion that "journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues," is to effectively make illegal one of the most important free speech rights in any democracy. This sort of attitude represents the antithesis of American values.
Not only does General Alexander see things this way, apparently he is lobbying for Congressional legislation that would solidify this authoritarian view within the law itself. For example, the Guardian reported yesterday that:
General Keith Alexander, who has furiously denounced the Snowden revelations, said at a Tuesday cybersecurity panel that unspecified "headway" on what he termed "media leaks" was forthcoming in the next several weeks, possibly to include "media leaks legislation."The general, who is due to retire in the next several weeks, said that the furore over Snowden's surveillance revelations — which he referred to only as "media leaks" - was complicating his ability to get congressional support for a bill that would permit the NSA and the military Cyber Command he also helms to secretly communicate with private entities like banks about online data intrusions and attacks." Link to Original Source
schwit1 writes "If you're talking tech with Americans, you may want to avoid using any jargon.
A recent study found that many Americans are lost when it comes to tech-related terms, with 11% saying that they thought HTML — a language that is used to create websites — was a sexually transmitted disease.
The study was conducted by Vouchercloud.net, a coupons website, as a way to determine how knowledgeable users are when it comes to tech terms.
"Technology is a huge interest for our user base, and month after month we see thousands of people visiting our site to look for coupons and deals to use when purchasing their favorite tech products," a company spokeswoman said in a statement. "It seems that quite a few of us need to brush up on our tech definitions."" Link to Original Source top
Retired NASA manager sues Discovery channel over Challenger disaster movie
schwit1 writes "A retired NASA manager is suing the Discovery Channel for its false portrayal of him in a movie about the Challenger shuttle accident.
The suit says that in the movie’s crucial scene Lovingood is shown testifying falsely that the odds of a shuttle failure were much higher than other NASA engineers calculated. “The clear statement and depiction was that Lovingood lied about the probability of total failure being 1 in 100,000 when NASA’s own engineers said it was 1 in 200,” the lawsuit says. “This movie scene never took place in real life at any hearing. (Lovingood) was never asked to give any testimony as depicted and he did not give testimony to the question shown in the movie in this made up scene.”
“It makes it look like (NASA leadership) ignored a highly risky situation” in deciding to launch Challenger that day, Lovingood’s attorney Steven Heninger of Birmingham said Friday. Heninger said the movie was the network’s “first attempt at a scripted program and they took shortcuts because they were writing for drama.” The testimony in the movie was not in the investigation commission’s records or Feynman’s book “What Do You Care What Other People Think?,” both of which were sources for the film, the suit claims.
Though NASA management did consistently claim the shuttle was safer than it actually was, to falsely portray this specific individual as the person who said those lies when he did not is slander." Link to Original Source top
Do NDAs trump the law? Florida cops say it does when using their stingray
schwit1 writes "Police in Florida have offered a startling excuse for having used a controversial “stingray” cell phone tracking gadget 200 times without ever telling a judge: the device’s manufacturer made them sign a non-disclosure agreement that they say prevented them from telling the courts.
The shocking revelation, uncovered by the American Civil Liberties Union, came during an appeal over a 2008 sexual battery case in Tallahassee in which the suspect also stole the victim’s cell phone. Using the stingray — which simulates a cell phone tower in order to trick nearby mobile devices into connecting to it and revealing their location — police were able to track him to an apartment." Link to Original Source top
How Facebook Exploits Underage Girls in its Quest for Ad Revenue
schwit1 writes "Sophie Bean, 14, of Sequim, Wash., said she was thought she was “liking” a Facebook ad related to fashion modeling. Instead, it promoted a Facebook page that recruited adult webcam models.
“I just thought it was for modeling, and I’m interested in that, and I thought it would help me out,” Sophie said.
Sophie wasn’t the only teen connecting with the page, which Facebook statistics show is most popular with users 13 to 17. Clicking on it didn’t pull the teens into nude webcam modeling, but did mean they would receive the page’s updates and could be mentioned in future versions of the ad.
schwit1 writes ""... we reject the State Prosecuting Attorney’s argument that a modern-day cell phone is like a pair of pants or a bag of groceries, for which a person loses all privacy protection once it is checked into a jail property room."
The Fourth Amendment states that “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.” The term “papers and effects” obviously carried a different connotation in the late eighteenth century than it does today. No longer are they stored only in desks, cabinets, satchels, and folders. Our most private information is now frequently stored in electronic devices such as computers, laptops, iPads, and cell phones, or in “the cloud” and accessible by those electronic devices. But the “central concern underlying the Fourth Amendment” has remained the same throughout the centuries; it is “the concern about giving police officers unbridled discretion to rummage at will among a person’s private effects. ” This is a case about rummaging through a citizen’s electronic private effects–a cell phone–without warrant." Link to Original Source top
Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers
schwit1 writes "The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.
Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 writes "Living off the grid is illegal in Cape Coral, Florida, according to a court ruling Thursday.
Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled that the city’s codes allow Robin Speronis to live without utility power but she is still required to hook her home to the city’s water system. Her alternative source of power must be approved by the city, Eskin said.
At the hearing, Eskin noted that city officials have not actually been in Speronis’s home to make that determination.
The International Property Maintenance Code is used in communities throughout the United States and Canada. The code states that properties are unsafe to live in if they do not have electricity and running water. Speronis has electricity and water. She gets running water by collecting rainwater and electricity from solar panels." Link to Original Source top
Your Tax Dollars at Work: TSA confiscating aluminum foil
schwit1 writes "Does this make you feel safer? The TSA is studying how to prevent solar powered bombs being smuggled onto airplanes.
Well, who wudda thunk it? I mean, without the TSA none of us would ever have noticed when a terrorist unpacked a bomb and stuck it up against the window of the plane so it could get sufficient energy to go off." Link to Original Source top
U.S. Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index... Below Romania
schwit1 writes "As one might expect, the economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many other negative repercussions. One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted. Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the USA. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position, just above Haiti and just below Romania." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 writes "Analysts have heard from several usually reliable industry sources that a major company, possibly “Google or Facebook,” could be announcing the launch of a very large constellation of satellites in the near future.
“Very large constellation” is defined as up to 1,600 small satellites. Based on information Parabolic Arc has received, the story seems to be true. Google appears to be pursuing a plan to provide global broadband services that is similar to a failed attempt by a company called Teledesic." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 writes "The federal government doesn’t just want the ability to track down your car; it wants to be able to track down your body as well.
Just as details are emerging about a controversial, nationwide vehicle-surveillance database, WND has learned the federal government is planning an even more invasive spy program using “physiological signatures” to track down individuals." Link to Original Source top
Homeland Security to Activate 'National License Plate Recognition Database'
schwit1 writes "The Department of Homeland Security is set to activate a national license plate tracking system that will be shared with law enforcement, allowing DHS officers to take photos of any license plate using their smartphone and upload it to a database which will include a “hot list” of “target vehicles”.
The details are included in a PDF attachment uploaded yesterday to the Federal Business Opportunities website under a solicitation entitled “National License Plate Recognition Database.”
The system will “track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) and uploaded to share with law enforcement” in order to help locate “criminal aliens and absconders.”" Link to Original Source top
Europe Considers Wholesale Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution
schwit1 writes "Everything that the depositors and citizens of Cyprus had to live through, may be on the verge of going continental. In a nutshell, and in Reuters' own words, "the savings of the European Union's 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says." What is left unsaid is that the "usage" will be on a purely involuntary basis, at the discretion of the "union", and can thus best be described as confiscation." Link to Original Source top
October 2015: The End of the Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards in USA
schwit1 writes "US banks and merchants are shifting to a more secure way of authorizing credit card transactions in which customers will enter a personal identification number (PIN) at checkout instead of signing a receipt.
The US is the last major market in the world using the signature system, which is part of the reason why a disproportionate amount of credit card fraud happens here. The change is especially relevant given the massive fraud perpetrated against customers of Target in the fall. During a Congressional hearing last week, Target CFO John Mulligan said the company is accelerating the $100 million effort to switch to the so-called "chip and pin" system.
The change won't happen all at once. Banks must issue cards with microprocessors and merchants need the right equipment to process the so-called "chip and PIN transactions," which is likely to happen gradually. But Visa, American Express, and MasterCard have announced that banks and merchants that have not adopted the technology for face-to-face transactions by October 2015 will be liable for fraudulent purchases. That's a strong incentive to get up to date. The new system will also prepare merchants and banks to transition to contactless payments in the near future." Link to Original Source top
800,000 year old footprints of a family found on Britain's eastern coast
schwit1 writes "They were a British family on a day out — almost a million years ago.
Archaeologists announced Friday that they have discovered human footprints in England that are between 800,000 and 1 million years old — the most ancient found outside Africa, and the earliest evidence of human life in northern Europe.
schwit1 writes "According to the IG, NASA and HP Enterprise Services have encountered significant problems implementing the $2.5 billion Agency Consolidated End-User Services (ACES) contract, which provides desktops, laptops, computer equipment and end-user services such as help desk and data backup. Those problems include "a failed effort to replace most NASA employees' computers within the first six months and low customer satisfaction," the report states.
The IG report states that NASA lacked the technical and cultural readiness for an agencywide IT delivery model and did not offer clear contract requirements, while HP failed to deliver on multiple promises." Link to Original Source