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Submission + - Twitter Releases National Security Letters (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Today, Twitter joined the ranks of Yahoo, Cloudflare and Google by announcing it had received two national security letters, one in 2015 and one in 2016. The NSLs came with gag orders that prevented Twitter from telling the public or the targeted users about the government’s demands. The FBI recently lifted these gag orders, allowing Twitter to acknowledge the NSLs for the first time. In the newly-published NSLs, the FBI asked Twitter to turn over “the name, address, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records” of two users. Twitter associate general counsel Elizabeth Banker said that the company provided a “very limited set of data” in response to the requests, but did not make clear exactly what kind of data Twitter provided. “Twitter remains unsatisfied with restrictions on our right to speak more freely about national security requests we may receive,” Banker wrote in a blog post. “We would like a meaningful opportunity to challenge government restrictions when ‘classification’ prevents speech on issues of public importance.”

Submission + - Trump Wasn't Wrong To Secure @POTUS with a Gmail Account (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: The world is having a collective freak out about the serial (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/technology/donald-trump-phone-social-media-security.html?_r=0) security lapses (https://www.rt.com/usa/375109-trump-administration-private-server-rnc/) of the newly enshrined Trump administration. That includes the revelation, this week, that the Leader of the Free World is using a lowly Google Gmail account to secure @POTUS, the official Twitter account of the U.S.’s Chief Executive. (https://theintercept.com/2017/01/26/donald-trump-is-using-a-private-gmail-account-to-secure-the-most-powerful-twitter-account-in-the-world/)

For a President and Administration as unconventional as Mr. Trump, the news about how The Most Powerful Twitter Account in the World was being secured was just another data point in a raucous and singularly unprofessional first week in office – the online equivalent of trash talking the United States’ second largest trading partner. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/us/politics/mexico-wall-tax-trump.html)

But is having the Chief Executive’s Twitter account secured by a Google Gmail account really a security lapse? Not necessarily, according to security experts. In fact, Gmail may offer superior security to government-run platforms, The Security Ledger argues. (https://securityledger.com/2017/01/trump-securing-potus-with-gmail-is-reasonable-heres-why/)

“Companies like Google and Microsoft have invested billions of dollars in securing their infrastructure,” said John Ackerly, the CEO at the firm Virtru, a secure email provider. “If want your data to be secure, it’s tough to beat Google, Microsoft or Amazon’s cloud,” he said.

Indeed, Gmail offers a wide range back-end and front end security features that make it among the most difficult platforms to compromise – providing users take advantage of those features. Among them: detection of nation-state attacks, protection against account takeovers, strong encryption for all Gmail data both at rest and in transit, and the availability of strong second-factor authentication options such token based authentication and soft second factors like SMS codes and Google Authenticator.

In contrast, the U.S. government has struggled to secure its own IT assets. In fact, a report by GAO in 2015 listed “personal identity verification” (http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/670936.pdf) as a top cyber security challenge for government agencies. By GAO’s accounting, only 41 percent of user accounts at 23 civilian agencies had required these credentials for accessing agency systems.

Comment Re:Low hanging hack... (Score 5, Insightful) 264

After looking at those examples, it seems to me that C programmers can claim something is an "ugly hack" because it was not what they wanted or because someone else's code was messed up. The C code hacks where there because they could not see an elegant solution. Programmers for other languages probably do not even know that the code they are writing is ugly.

Comment MOOCs Reincarnated? (Score 2) 352

There was an idea to do something related not too long ago. Universities and Community Colleges panicked and thought all of their students would leave in the future and move completely online. MOOCs would traditional education.

The reality is that not all people want to learn that way. The Slashdot crowd might be able to be completely successful watching a screen and talking to an in-class "Tech", but most people are not like that. Many people attend community colleges and smaller universities because they can ask questions and get answers in a much smaller and personal setting.

If this idea had true mass potential, it would have happened already and community colleges would already be gone.

Comment First Sale does not apply :) (Score 1) 185

If first sale does not apply than Capitol Records must have sold their copyright. If they sold the copyright, then we can ignore this whole battle because they have no right to sue. Now, the owners can distribute the work as copies instead because they are the copyright holder. I like the direction Google is taking this.

Comment Re:Do you want a university or a trade school? (Score 3, Insightful) 583

Yes, but I believe the argument was basically about the math courses that really have little importance to Computer Science. Calculus is rarely used in computer science. When professors are asked why it is still in the program, a lot of them will respond with something about "maturity" or something else like that. If you need a lot of math for computer science, that is fine, but shouldn't it be the math that is more common to computer scientists?

Comment Re:Ridiculous (Score 1) 177

This ruling is ridiculous. Once a signal is openly broadcast why do the content providers think they can limit how you view the content?

The signal is not really open. If you lived in Japan, you would know that there is a law that allows NHK to collect money if you have a television or other device that can pick up the signal. You are required to pay money, even if you do not watch NHK. The funny part is that the law requires you to pay, but no one can do anything about it (except continue to visit and ask for money) if you do not pay.

I once paid for a Sony LocationFree box and had it hosted at a third party company so that I could watch Japanese television in the USA. What always confused me was that there was no good alternative to using Sony LocationFree, I wanted to have an Internet channel (also ruled illegal), not a box I paid for hosted in Japan somewhere.

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