from the this-post-is-a-test-of-your-sense-of-humor dept
And, because people who angrily write comments on this site rarely read to the end of the post, I'll just point out that this is a joke, not anything even remotely serious. Laughter is good.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 22nd 2013 7:53pm
by Michael Ho
Wed, May 22nd 2013 5:00pm
I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.Here are just a few more pithy words for recent graduates. (PS. Congratulations!)
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 22nd 2013 4:32pm
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 22nd 2013 3:26pm
"In America, there's a sense of fairness that's culturally true for all of us," Schmidt said. "The lack of a delete button on the Internet is a significant issue. There is a time when erasure is a right thing."Of course, this makes me wonder, what the hell did Eric Schmidt do as a kid that was so bad?
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 22nd 2013 2:24pm
"What we found was the attackers were actually looking for the accounts that we had lawful wiretap orders on," Aucsmith says. "So if you think about this, this is brilliant counter-intelligence. You have two choices: If you want to find out if your agents, if you will, have been discovered, you can try to break into the FBI to find out that way. Presumably that's difficult. Or you can break into the people that the courts have served paper on and see if you can find it that way. That's essentially what we think they were trolling for, at least in our case."The more openings and the more data that is shared, the more openings and opportunities there are for people who you don't want to see that data to have access to it. That should be a major concern. Just before all of this was revealed, we had written about a new report how such backdoors basically destroy any competent attempt at cybersecurity. Julian Sanchez highlights how those who think this isn't a problem are almost certainly confused about how computer security works.
Defenders of the FBI proposal tend to pooh-pooh security concerns raised about requirisng such backdoors: Our brilliant American programmers, they assert, will find ways to enable wiretapping without creating new vulnerabilities. But if a company like Google, with its massive financial resources and a stable of some of the smartest coders anywhere, can be victimized in this way, how realistic is it to expect thousands of Internet startups to achieve better security?Creating more access to information that should be secret might help law enforcement, at the expense of our civil liberties, but it's also going to help those with nefarious intent quite a bit. And that should be a serious concern.
by Tim Cushing
Wed, May 22nd 2013 1:20pm
A pair of the cell phone recordings of the David Silva beating have been released by attorney Daniel Rodriguez. 23ABC News received the videos first, both of which capture the final moments of Silva's life. Unfortunately for those seeking more clarity as to the actions of the nine responding officers, these videos fail to provide much insight into the officers' actions during the previous 30-40 minutes.
Both videos were shot after the batons had stopped (allegedly) swinging. [The videos won't embed so you'll have to click through to view them.] In the first, Silva is surrounded by several members of law enforcement who are obviously still restraining him. You can hear faint orders to "get down" being yelled by the officers, but the most noticeable sounds come from Silva himself, who spends most of the runtime screaming.
The second video shows the efforts of law enforcement and the responding EMS unit to revive Silva. One of the offscreen voices makes a couple of interesting statements. First, he points out that officers "stood around for five minutes" by Silva's unmoving body before attempting resuscitation. The second, echoed by a female voice, lends some credence to the story put forth by several witnesses: "Now, it's a murder scene."
Also of note, at 5:19 a second cell phone, presumably recording, shows up in frame. This would appear to be the other cell phone that was seized by the Sheriff's Department, the one on which the footage is no longer available.
The witnesses claim that both phones had footage of officers striking and kicking Silva, but with both phones now returned to their owners, none of the footage has survived. Both phones made their way from the deputies who seized the phones to the Kern County Sheriff's Office, which then shared the phones with the Bakersfield PD and the FBI. The FBI has apparently analyzed both phones but has yet to release its findings.
Here's where we stand right now, according to Rodriguez:
Rodriguez told ABC23 that "the more incriminating video was one on the other cellphone." He said that video was shot "while the batons were swinging." Rodriguez added the second phone was returned to his client with no video. If a video was erased from that phone, he said, it could not be recovered because of the type of the device.
David Cohn, the attorney for David Silva's family, has his own concerns:
[Cohn] said his clients are concerned that the videos might be erased or destroyed, either accidentally or on purpose. He has not seen them.Cohn also (obviously) has his concerns about the phone seizures themselves.
"If I'd heard that they'd given them to the FBI, ok," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "But the Bakersfield Police Department, whom they work with on a daily basis? It certainly doesn't have the look of impartiality."
Cohn said the Sheriff's Department went "well beyond a reasonable search" in obtaining the videos, making no effort to ask for copies or voluntary cooperation from the witnesses.Beyond the deputies' abuse of these witnesses' rights, there's another aspect that may have made these seizures illegal, as posited by ExCop-LawStudent.
"They held these people hostage for several hours pending the serving of a search warrant. I've never heard of that before," he said.
The Privacy Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000aa(a) (hereafter PPA), states:In support of this argument, the author cites the infamous case brought against the US by Steve Jackson Games, which had several work products seized by US Secret Service agents via a warrant, despite not being a suspect in the investigation at hand. The end result was $50,000 in damages plus attorney's fees being awarded to the game maker for these illegal seizures.
Notwithstanding any other law, it shall be unlawful for a government officer or employee, in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense, to search for or seize any work product materials possessed by a person reasonably believed to have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast, or other similar form of public communication….
This law provides that if a person takes a video of police action and intends to disseminate it to the public, the police can only obtain the video by subpoena, not by a search warrant. In this case neither of the individuals who had their property seized were suspects in the crime being investigated, the death of David Silva at the hands of Kern County Sheriff’s deputies, nor were they being arrested.
The sheriff’s office was aware of the video because the individual that taped the beating called 911.
Further, that individual informed the 911 personnel that she intended to disseminate the video to the public (at 0:46 of the call), saying “I’m sending it to the news.” At this point, the Sheriff’s office was on notice that this was “work product” protected by the Privacy Protection Act, and should have been obtained by subpoena, not by a search warrant. Indeed, the law specifically provides that a warrant can only be used after a subpoena has failed to obtain the material.
"I have seen the video," Youngblood said last week. "I cannot speculate whether they acted appropriately or not just by looking at the video."The passive voice in this context is bordering on reprehensible. There's a person controlling the baton and that person presumably should have the training to ensure proper "placement" of the weapon. The two deputies seen on the surveillance tape seem to be controlling their batons very well, using both hands to swing and connect with Silva. Nine officers swinging batons at one man are going to run out of "appropriate" real estate on a human body very quickly.
The sheriff, however, acknowledged that there is a great deal of public concern about the incident and subsequent investigation. "It is not just troubling to the public, it is not just troubling to news media, it is troubling to me," he said. In an interview with The Times, he said the credibility of the department is at stake.
"Baton strikes were used, but what I don't know is how many and where they were on the body and if they caused significant injury that caused death," he said.
Youngblood said the baton is a less lethal weapon, and because of that its use doesn’t usually lead to deputies being placed on leave. But he said the head is not an appropriate place for a baton strike.
"Sometimes in the heat of battle, the baton doesn't go where you want it to go.... If someone has 20 baton strikes to the head, OK, that is easy for us. But when there is a fight or scuffle and a baton strike goes where it should not ... then you have to evaluate,” he said.
It is common to place law enforcement officers on paid leave during investigations of arrest-related deaths, but the Californian reported the deputies involved remain on duty.Youngblood's deputies who allegedly beat a man to death are still on patrol. One hopes that they won't find themselves in any situations in which a baton strike might be used, or go where the deputies "don't want it to go."
by Tim Cushing
Wed, May 22nd 2013 12:17pm
AT&T isn't going to let something like "net neutrality" slow it down from shaking every spare cent out of its customer base. (Source: I'm a customer. Also: see these.) Beginning last year with its blocking of Apple's Facetime app (exempting customers who were paying for higher service tiers) and continuing on through its recent lockout of Google Hangouts, AT&T has skirted neutrality by using one term: pre-loaded.
In its mind, as long as an app is "pre-loaded" by phone manufacturers (and competing options are available), AT&T can block app functionality if it feels it's somehow leaving money on the table. Of course, this irritates many of its customers and brings with it an uncomfortable amount of heat as the word travels around the web.
AT&T has now issued another statement to critics of its Hangout-blocking, one which sends the clear message that the company will gladly welcome streaming video apps with open arms (even pre-loaded apps), just as soon as it's able to simultaneously welcome a fat stream of income.
AT&T has issued a second, follow up statement that doesn't make a whole lot more sense than the first one did, and again tries to place the blame at the feet of OS and device makers. AT&T does, however, promise that they'll stop blocking video chat apps from running over their network by the end of this year:AT&T's buying time while trying to appear to be working towards a "solution" for all of its customers. The longer it can hold out, the more likely the chance that someone upgrades or switches devices, thus pulling them off their grandfathered unlimited data plans and onto tiered/metered plans that earn AT&T a bit more money.
"For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.
Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end.
Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the Internet, such as Skype."
In other words this isn't really technical (AT&T's LTE network is currently ranked the fastest available in the States), it's a way to bully unlimited users on to costlier plans. It's also a network neutrality violation, regardless of AT&T's choice of language.Now, there's nothing wrong with a business attempting to earn more money. But the key word here is "earn." AT&T's just trying to grab more income while offering nothing in return but a bunch of laughable statements -- both in regards to the current issues, as well as the non-stop "congestion" posturing it uses to justify limited, expensive data plans. It's obviously most interested in tying users to high-margin "services." The least it could do is drop the obviously ridiculous statements and tell its customers they can have what they want just as soon as it gets what it wants.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 22nd 2013 11:14am
The unprotected TerraCom and YourTel records came to light through the simplest of tools: a reporter’s Google search of TerraCom.Of course, rather than be thankful to the reporters for letting them know about a huge security lapse, or be apologetic for revealing all sorts of key data on their customers, they decided to sue.
The records include 44,000 application or certification forms and 127,000 supporting documents or “proof” files, such as scans or photos of food-stamp cards, driver’s licenses, tax records, U.S. and foreign passports, pay stubs and parole letters. Taken together, the records expose residents of at least 26 states.
The application records, drawn from 18 of those states and generally dated from last September through November, list potential customers’ names, signatures, birth dates, home addresses and partial or full Social Security numbers. The proof files, from last September through April, include residents of at least eight remaining states.
However, Vcare and the two telecom companies assert that the reporters "hacked" their way into the data using "automated" methods to access the data. And what was this malicious hacking tool that penetrated the security of Vcare's servers? In a letter sent to Scripps News by Jonathan D. Lee, counsel for both of the cell carriers, Lee said that Vcare's research had shown that the reporters were "using the 'Wget' program to search for and download the Companies' confidential data." GNU Wget is a free and open source tool used for batch downloads over HTTP and FTP. Lee claimed Vcare's investigation found the files were bulk-downloaded via two Scripps IP addresses.I'm not sure how anyone could claim that the mere use of Wget constitutes a form of hacking, even under the extremely loose interpretations of the CFAA. However, as mentioned, the story does have similarities to the weev case -- except this time we're talking about reporters for a well known news service, rather than someone with a reputation as an internet troll. Hopefully, if the telcos do decide to actually file a lawsuit, it gets laughed out of court.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 22nd 2013 10:07am
Dear Mr. Brown: We are offended by the fact that you are promoting your tool, as a way to quickly replicate copyright-protected content owned by The New York Times Company. It also seems strange to me that you would defend your right to boast about how quickly you were able to commit copyright infringement:Again, this is completely bogus on many levels. The tool is not "an infringement tool," it's a creative tool for creating this type of thing. Anyone with any even rudimentary knowledge of design and development know that it's fairly standard for people to create tools based on creating things that others have created in the past. In fact, lots of websites copy elements and style from other websites. Even the NY Times tends to be a fairly derivative site design-wise. Second: being "offended" is no legal basis for making a threat. Brown was not boasting about "committing copyright infringement," but about using a tool to be able to do a similar design. It had nothing to do with infringement, and everything to do with making the design process easier.
The NYT spent hundreds of hours hand-coding “Snow Fall” We made a replica in an hour.
If you wouldn’t mind using another publication to advertise your infringement tool, we’d appreciate it.
by Tim Cushing
Wed, May 22nd 2013 9:12am
Seven teenage students in North Carolina were arrested on Thursday and charged with a misdemeanor for throwing water balloons during a school prank. A parent was also arrested during the incident.You've got to respect the uniform -- even if that uniform is a 50/50 polyester/ugly blend. If other students, teachers and administration staff get hit, that's a
The seven boys, all between the ages of 16 and 17, threw balloons filled with tap water as an end-of-year prank at Enloe High School in Raleigh. The balloons were rumored to be filled with “other substances,” but Wake County Public School System spokeswoman Renee McCoy said “all indications” were that only water was used.
Six of the teens were charged with disorderly conduct. The seventh was charged with assault and battery for hitting a school security officer with a balloon.
Kevin Hines said saw Raleigh police officers acting aggressively towards a student they were arresting when he drove up to the school.Swell. An unarmed parent who's concerned that someone (NOT A COP) might get hurt is handcuffed, threatened with a taser and charged for "causing trouble," which apparently goes on the books as "second degree trespassing."
"Being lifted up by the neck and taken down hard," Hines said.
Hines said he tried to intervene was but was told he didn't know the whole story. Hines complied and said he wished to speak to the principal.
"You're just trying to cause trouble. Get out," Hines said an officer told him.
Hines said he then attempted to talk to a lieutenant but was approached by two officers and threatening with a TASER. Hines said he told the officers that wasn't necessary.
"They arrested me on grounds of trespassing," Hines said. "So, they put cuffs on me and carried me away."
The mother of an Enloe High School student has filed a complaint with the Raleigh Police Department after an officer threw her son to the ground Thursday as police responded to a water balloon battle at the school.Call me naive, but I never thought I'd ever read a sentence this incongruous in my life: "...as police responded to a water balloon battle..." Tase me. Tase me now, lord. At least it wasn't a water pistol fight. Martial law would have been declared and the National Guard called in.
Renee McCoy, a representative of Wake County Public Schools, said they rely on the training of the Raleigh Police Department in these situations. "We leave those decisions up to Raleigh PD," McCoy said.Punt.
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