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Over the past week or so, Venezuela has spiralled into chaos. Protests over the country's poor economy and food security have forced the government to not only shut down Twitter and TV in the country, but now the Internet has been completely cut off.
Authorities shut down Internet access to a major city and its surrounding area, with state-run ISP, CANTV, which controls most of the country's Internet, cutting off the web to San Cristóbal, the capital city of the state of Tachira and one of the centers of the protests. During the week, the Venezuelan government restricted TV networks throughout the state, blocked parts of Twitter, Facebook, news sites, and more.
The riots have led to multiple deaths, with Bill Woodcock, an Internet traffic expert, talking with the Washington Post, who said that the country has "a pretty tight control over the Internet compared to other countries. Not as tight as Cuba, but probably tighter than anybody else".
Many regard Steve Jobs as one of the biggest visionary of our generation, and given his turn-around of Apple, and the success of the iPhone, iPod and iPad lines they may be true. Today the Washington Post outed the stamp commemorative postage stamp that will honor Jobs.. Additional honorees will be Elvis Presley and James Brown, both who have had stamps in the past.
In what should be a Today I Learned post on Reddit, the stamps are approved by a "Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee which is comprised of of a maximum of 15 members whose backgrounds reflect a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise. All share an interest in the stamp program and the needs of the mailing public. An excerpt about the committee duties has been posted below.
The primary goal of the committee is to select a good balance of subjects appealing to a broad audience for recommendation to the Postmaster General. These subjects will be contemporary, timely, relevant, interesting and educational. In addition to the Postal Service's extensive line of mail-use stamps, approximately 25 new subjects for commemorative stamps are recommended each year. Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, including stamp collectors.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden can't catch a break, where the former NSA contractor has asked Russian law enforcement for security. The reasoning behind this is there have reportedly been threats made by US officials over Snowden's life.
After threats to Snowden were made last week, Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said: "We are concerned with the situation around Edward. We see the statements made by some US officials containing potential and implicit threats and openly calling for causing him bodily harm".
BuzzFeed posted an article, using words from a US intelligence officer who provided a full explanation of a possible Snowden capture, where he said: "We would end it very quickly... Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it's a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower".
Despite being called one of the worst games in NFL history, Super Bowl XLVIII will go down in the history books as one of the most watched live-stream events in the history of the internet. This past Sunday night, an average of 528,000 people joined the stream per minute, a gain of more than 20,000 viewers over last years Super Bowl.
Fox Sport's says that Super Bowl XLVIII now holds the record for the most viewed live streaming sporting event ever, and that it also saw more viewers tuning in for longer than previous live streams. On average, live stream viewers watched the stream about 25-percent longer than any previous Super Bowl. Additionally, Fox Sports says that its Sports Go app hit the number one spot for downloaded apps on iPad and iPhones during the Super Bowl. For those interested, the most viewers tuned in to the live stream around the third quarter when 1.1 million viewers watched the game simultaneously on their devices.
Your Wi-Fi password is like your pin number on your ATM card, you just don't display it everywhere, or give it out to anyone - unless you're CBS, and you accidentally air the Wi-Fi SSID and password to the Super Bowl Security Center.
CBS ran a story on the Super Bowl security, where in the screen grab above, you can clearly see the SSID and password. People have most likely tried this, but it would've been changed very quickly afterwards.
Under the direction of the Prime Minister of Britain, the GCHQ oversaw the destruction of computers owned by The Guardian on which files from Edward Snowden were kept. The Guardian today released a video of the event that took place back on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Despite the fact that the files exist elsewhere in the world, the GCHQ forced several Guardian editors to take dremels and other power tools to their computers.
To see the full video, you'll have to head over to The Guardian's website as they they don't allow their videos to be embedded. However, above and below, you can see some screen grabs from the video that detail the destruction done to the computers.
We were mostly alone when we posted a few stories from Edward Snowden's world-first interview with German TV outlet NDR, but that video was removed from YouTube a couple of hours ago.
Attempting to access the video results in the following message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by ARD". That's ok though, because some sites have a full transcript of it. It doesn't take away from the fact that the video was removed, and then more so, it was cut down from the reported 6 hours, to just 30 minutes long. You can read the transcript of Snowden's startling video interview, here.
Edward Snowden has been nominated by two Norwegian politicians for the 2014 Nobel peace prize. Baard Vegar Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen, politicians with the Socialist Left party, said the public debate and policy changes in the wake of Snowden's NSA revelations had "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order".
The five-member panel will not confirm who has been nominated, but nominators include members of national parliaments and governments, university professors and previous laureates, must enter their submissions by February 1.
Do you use e-mail? If so, the NSA probably has your entire digital life tracked, and saved somewhere on its servers. During the 30-minute video of Edward Snowden and German TV station NDR, Snowden admitted:
Every time you pick up the phone, dial a number, write an email, make a purchase, travel on the bus carrying a cell phone, swipe a card somewhere, you leave a trace and the government has decided that it's a good idea to collect it all, everything, even if you've never been suspected of any crime. Traditionally the government would identify a suspect, they would go to a judge, they would say we suspect he's committed this crime, they would get a warrant and then they would be able to use the totality of their powers in pursuit of the investigation. Nowadays what we see is they want to apply the totality of their powers in advance - prior to an investigation.
Snowden's revelations are far reaching, especially as he has admitted that every e-mail, purchase, and move you do is tracked. It seems the government just has a large net where it collects any and all information, whether it needs it or not - as it could come in handy in the future.
The 30-minute interview with NDR and Snowden is hot right now, which leads to the question - does the Internet need to be rebuilt, so that it better serves the people and their privacy?
Snowden brings up XKeyscore, which is capable of just about anything. The NSA can use this program to access you personally, or any of their targets, and track you across the Internet, and the world.
How the NSA utilizes XKeyscore is by building what Snowden calls a "fingerprint" of you. This fingerprint will lead them to any network activity you create, unique to you, and the NSA can find you anywhere - no matter what hoops you jump through to hide from them. This can include spoofing your IP, and all sorts of Internet magic.
Snowden scares us all by saying "I can track your username on a website on a form somewhere, I can track your real name, I can track associations with your friends and I can build what's called a fingerprint which is network activity unique to you which means anywhere you go in the world anywhere you try to sort of hide your online presence hide your identity, the NSA can find you".