OverTheGeicoE writes "Over a month after Sen. Rand Paul announced his desire to pull the plug on TSA, he has finally released his legislation that he tweets will 'abolish the #TSA & establish a passengers "Bill of Rights."' Although the tweet sounds radical, the press release describing his proposed legislation is much less so. 'Abolition' really means privatization; one of Paul's proposals would simply force all screenings to be conducted by private screeners. The proposed changes in the 'passenger Bill of Rights' appear to involve slight modifications to existing screening methods at best. Many of his 'rights' are already guaranteed under current law, like the right to opt-out of body scanning. Others can only vaguely be described as rights, like 'expansion of canine screening.' Here's to the new boss..."
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Sparrowvsrevolution writes "In the wake of confirmation that the U.S. government was involved in the creation of Stuxnet and likely Flame, a look over job listings on defense contractor sites shows just how explicitly the Pentagon and the firms that service it are recruiting offense-oriented hackers. Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, and Booz Allen have all posted job ads that require skills like 'exploit development,' have titles like 'Windows Attack Developer,' or asks them to 'plan, execute, and assess an Offensive Cyberspace Operation.'"
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian government is expected to pass copyright reform next week. The bill's anti-circumvention rules are a mirror image of the DMCA, leading many to conclude that the government simply caved to U.S. led lobbying pressure. Now Michael Geist provides the evidence — a secret series of unreported meetings between MPAA head Christopher Dodd and Canada's foreign minister, heritage minister, and a senior industry official, just weeks after the bill was introduced and days before SOPA landed in the U.S."
Barence writes "U.S. government officials could be working under cover at Microsoft to help the country's cyber-espionage programme, according to one leading security expert. According to Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, the claim is a logical conclusion to a series of recent discoveries and disclosures linking the U.S. government to 2010's Stuxnet attack on Iran and ties between Stuxnet and the recent Flame attack. 'It's plausible that if there is an operation under way and being run by a U.S. intelligence agency it would make perfect sense for them to plant moles inside Microsoft to assist in pulling it off, just as they would in any other undercover operation,' he said. 'It's not certain, but it would be common sense to expect they would do that.'"
beaverdownunder writes "In an effort to combat fraudulent claims lodged within its Centrelink welfare-payment agency, the Australian Government has asked auction-site eBay to name all Aussies who sold more than $20,000 worth of goods in the last year. Should someone be found to have been doing such a high-volume of business on eBay while claiming Centrelink benefits but not declaring that income, they could potentially face prosecution. However, the president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, says this action is a gross invasion of privacy. 'What we say should happen is that if police have probable cause for investigating someone, they go to a magistrate, they get a warrant and they access that person's eBay records that way,' he said."
An anonymous reader writes "The Ethiopian government has passed legislation criminalizing the use of VoIP services like Skype and Google Talk. Anyone using these services within the country now faces up to 15 years in prison. 'Ethiopian authorities argue that they imposed these bans because of "national security concerns" and to protect the state's telecommunications monopoly. The country only has one ISP, the state-owned Ethio Telecom, and has been filtering its citizen's Internet access for quite some time now to suppress opposition blogs and other news outlets. ... Reporters Without Borders also reports that Ethio Telecom installed a system to block access to the Tor network, which allows users to surf the Web anonymously. The organization notes that the ISP must be using relatively sophisticated Deep Packet Inspection to filter out this traffic.'"
FeatherBoa writes "A Manitoba man who was one of the first entrepreneurs in the cross-border online pharmacy industry has been arrested in Florida and is facing charges related to the sale of foreign and counterfeit medicines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration claimed many of the drugs promoted as Canadian actually came from other countries. An FDA spokesperson commented, 'Many of these websites are operating outside of the United States. However, the internet's broad reach allows these websites to reach U.S. consumers.'"
JamieKitson writes "British primary school (elementary to those of you in the U.S.) pupil Martha/'Veg' has been taking photographs of her school dinners and writing about them at her blog Never Seconds since April. The blog has become popular, and Martha decided to do something with the popularity: namely, raising money for an international school dinners charity. Unfortunately, the local council, Argyll and Bute, having apparently not heard of the Streisand effect, didn't like the publicity that her blog was generating and have shut her down. They said the blog made the catering staff fear for their jobs. There is a happy ending though: donations have gone through the roof and she has already passed her target."
SmartAboutThings writes "The United Kingdom online monitoring law just got published, showcasing some disturbing facts. The paper is 123 pages long and is actually a draft of the Communications Data Bill. You might not be so happy to find out that from now, every single thing you do online will be recorded and stored by the good old Internet Service providers (ISP). What do we mean by online activity? Well, everything."
isoloisti writes "Three UK economists got access to national data on bank robberies. The conclusion is that robbing banks pays, but not very much. Average take is about $19k per person per robbery. But, there's a 20% chance of being caught per raid. To make an average income, a robber needs to do two jobs per year, and has greater than 50% chance to be in the slammer after 2 years."
Last week, you asked questions of Vermont Senate candidate Jeremy Hansen, running on an unusual platform: Hansen pledges to take advantage of modern communications if elected, and (with exceptions he outlines in his answers) vote based on the opinion of his district's voters on a per-issue basis. Read below Hansen's answers about such a system could work; he addresses concerns about security, practicality, morality, and more. "Before I start with the answers," he writes in introduction, "I want to clear a few things up. I am running as an independent for a Vermont Senate seat, not the U.S. Senate, so questions about classified and similar material do not (for the most part) apply. Also, for everyone's reference, there are 44,000 registered voters in Vermont's Washington County Senate district. Many of the concerns about managing input from very large populations are not as applicable here." Read on for more.
Barence writes "PC Pro's Davey Winder has written a first-hand account of how he overhauled his PC workstation to cope with a sudden deterioration of his eyesight. Winder contracted wet macular degeneration, a progressive disease that strikes very quickly, and turns items in the field of vision into a grey smudge. He explains how he continued his work as a journalist by changing his word processor, swapping his desktop monitor for a touchscreen, and by replacing his keyboard with an Accuratus Monster keyboard (or Big Freaky Yellow Keyboard, as he's renamed it). He also explains why he had to swap his favourite Chrome browser for Internet Explorer, and how a £3.99 iPhone app saved him from spending hundreds of pounds on a dedicated hardware reader."
Richard_at_work writes "After losing his appeal to the UK Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago, Assange's lawyer was given leave to seek a reopening of the case on particular grounds — the UK Supreme Court has now rejected those grounds and upheld its earlier ruling that Assange should be extradited, which could happen in the next few days."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA doesn't really like free mp3 files floating around but here's one you can access legally — the audio file of the June 12, 2012 oral argument of the RIAA's appeal in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset. At issue in this case are (a) the RIAA's 'making available' theory and (b) the constitutionality of large statutory damages awards for download of an mp3 song file. The lower court rejected the making available theory, and reduced the jury's verdict to what the judge considered the maximum possible award of $2250 per file. I'm predicting the Court will affirm. After listening to the oral argument, what do you think?"
holy_calamity writes "Technology Review has an in depth profile of the team at Facebook tasked with figuring out what can be learned from all our data. The Data Science Team mine that information trove both in the name of scientific research into the patterns of human behavior and to advance Facebook's understanding of its users. Facebook's ad business gets the most public attention, but the company's data mining technology may have a greater effect on its destiny — and users lives."