Monthly Archives: November 2013

NSA using online activity to discredit and blackmail targets

The US authorities have studied online sexual activity and suggested exposing porn site visits as a way to discredit people who spread radical views, the Huffington Post news site has reported. It published a document, leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, identifying two men said to be vulnerable to accusations of […]

The choice: Black Friday versus “Buy Nothing Day”

Black Friday and it’s massive popularity – the term Black Friday has been used more than 2 million times on Twitter in the past 24 hours – has a dark side. The vast volume of shoppers has led to chaotic scenes and outbreaks of violence. Stampedes and shootings have plagued the day, resulting in four […]

US armed services stole software licenses worth $224m

The US government has agreed to pay $50m (£31m) after it  pirated “thousands” of copies of military software. Apptricity, based in Texas, has provided logistics programs to the army since 2004 and said it had discovered last year the software had been installed on many more machines than had been licensed. The Department of […]

NSA looked to overcome all obstacles to total omniscience

The National Security Agency, intent on maintaining its dominance in intelligence collection, pledged last year to push to expand its surveillance powers, according to a top-secret strategy document. In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.’s signals intelligence operations, which include the agency’s eavesdropping and communications data collection around […]

Web creator warns of overarching surveillance and censorship

Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned that the democratic nature of the net is threatened by a “growing tide of surveillance and censorship”. The warning came as he launched his World Wide Web Foundation’s annual web index report, tracking global censorship. It suggests that 94% of the countries in the index do not […]

Walmart refuses to join Bangladesh fire compensation fund

One year after the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh, many retailers that sold garments produced there or inside the Rana Plaza building that collapsed last spring are refusing to join an effort to compensate the families of the more than 1,200 workers who died in those disasters. The International Labor Organization is working with […]

Duke lacrosse rape victim sent to prison for murder

A black US woman who falsely accused three white Duke University athletes of rape in 2006 has been convicted of stabbing her boyfriend to death. In the state of North Carolina, Crystal Mangum was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Reginald Daye, 46. During the eight-day trial in Durham, North Carolina, Mangum acknowledged […]

50 years ago JFK died for these words

“The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to […]

Google’s social network bot: How they launched the Arab Spring

The search giant Google has patented software which learns how you react on social networks.  The software can mimic your usual responses to updates and messages from friends and relations. The software also analyses continuing interaction and flags messages that demand a more personal response. In a bid to help people cope Google envisions […]

White House censoring photographers press coverage of Obama

Photographers who cover President Obama are protesting the White House’s increasing practice of excluding them from events involving the president and then releasing its own photos or video. On Thursday, the White House Correspondents’ Association and 37 news organizations submitted a letter to the press secretary, Jay Carney, protesting what photographers said amounted to […]

Ikea spying collects data on employees and customers in France

Prosecutors have placed three senior Ikea executives in France under investigation amid allegations that they authorized illegal spying on employees and customers. The allegations first came to light in early 2012, when the French magazine Le Canard Enchaîné published what it said were emails between Ikea France executives and a private security company. According […]

South Africa bans photography of presidential compound

South African newspapers have published images of President Jacob Zuma’s residence, defying a government warning that this would break security laws.  Mr Zuma’s Nkandla residence is at the centre of a row after it emerged that the government had used $20m (£12m) of taxpayers’ money to refurbish it. Cabinet ministers on Thursday said anyone […]

UK complicit in NSA warrantless data collection and storage

The UK allowed the US National Security Agency to keep the mobile phone numbers and email addresses of ordinary Britons from 2007, reports say. UK Channel 4 News and the Guardian said existing rules were modified in 2007 to allow the US to keep information swept up incidentally about Britons not suspected of criminal […]

IT consultant uncovers LG Smart TV data spying

A UK-based IT consultant has detailed how his LG Smart TV was sending data about which channels were being watched and that some of its TVs send details about their owners’ viewing habits back to the manufacturer even if the users have activated a privacy setting. .His investigation also indicated that the TVs uploaded […]

First US drone strike outside Pakistan tribal belt

Missiles have been fired by an American drone struck an Islamic seminary in the northeastern Hangu district on Thursday, the first strike of its kind outside Pakistan’s volatile tribal regions. The attack killed six people and wounded five, according to a senior Pakistani security official. The attack came as Pakistani officials and politicians from […]

US Navy and military contractor caught in overbilling scheme

In June 2011, the Navy awarded  Leonard Glenn Francis, a wealthy Malaysian contractor, $200 million in contracts, giving him control over providing supplies and dockside services for its fleet across the Pacific. Francis is at the center of a widening investigation into an overbilling scheme in which federal prosecutors say he used cash, prostitutes […]

NSA allowed to continue spying on UK citizens

The National Security Agency is authorized to spy on the citizens of America’s closest allies, including Britain, even though those English-speaking countries have long had an official non-spying pact, according to a newly disclosed memorandum. The classified N.S.A. document, which appears to be a draft and is dated January 2005, states that under specific […]

Sandy Hook 911 tapes show cops told to ‘wait’

In the controversial 911 telephone recordings of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre there is the sound of two apparent shots, according to sources who have listened to about nine calls made to Newtown police on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012.  But, the most disconcerting sound between the school and Newtown police may […]

Losing your privacy and your copyright in the clouds

The moment you decide to upload something into this global data warehouse – be it photos of your family or precious documents – you give up many of your rights to ownership. This summer, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak added his voice to the chorus of those alarmed by the implications of the cloud. “I […]

FCC looks to phase out copper wire phone technology

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday that the agency would begin “a diverse set of experiments” next year that would begin to move the nation’s telephone system from its century-old network of circuits, switches and copper wires to one that transmits phone calls in a manner similar to that used for […]