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Current Affairs Posts - Page 15

US Senator introduces new bill to control the amount of spying power the NSA has

NSA's PRISM system is reading everything you do, say, or whisper by yourself in a lonely corner - but those powers could soon be dealt a little kryptonite if US Senator Patrick Leahy's new bill is enacted upon.

 

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Leahy's new bill has been called the "FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013" that aims to "strengthen privacy protections, accountability and oversight related to domestic surveillance." The bill aims to calm down the PATRIOT Act so that the government is forced to show evidence that a citizen is linked with a foreign group or power before surveillance on the citizen even begins.

 

I doubt we'll see that, and even if we do and it is enacted upon, how would you know if this is the way they do it? They could continue snooping and you would be none the wiser about it - just like most of the world was until Edward Snowden came onto the scene.

The NSA has been intercepting SSL traffic too, no one is safe from their technological grip

NSA's PRISM system is quite the beast indeed, but now it is being revealed that the US security agency have been intercepting SSL traffic too - which is meant to be a secure link - after all, it stands for secure sockets layer.

 

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Obviously not, as the US security agency have been using their PRISM system to gather and store huge quantities (see: all) of SSL encrypted data for later cryptanalysis. Netcraft also reports that this huge volume of data is logged so that if an SSL private key later becomes available, they can be decrypted.

 

There are 'legal' methods of getting these private keys: a court order, social engineering, an attack against the website, or through cryptanalysis. But, it's the NSA - do you really expect them to use legal means to break your encrypted data that they weren't meant to take in the first place? Yeah, I thought so.

Motorola logo gets updated to reflect Google ownership, now comes with 100% more colors

Just over a year ago, Google finalize a deal to buy Motorola's Mobility division, and today we're finally seeing Google officially welcoming Motorola into the family. The Motorola logo was updated this afternoon to reflect a more Google-like appearance and inform the whole world that it is a Google owned company.

 

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The new logo features the original Motorola "M" but it is now surrounded by a circular rainbow of colors similar to the ones used in Google branding. Now that Google has the new logo out-of-the-way, let's hope they can do the same with the crappy phones Motorola has been releasing for years now.

 

I say that because of the news today surrounding the Motorola X Phone. It appears to be nothing more than another rehash of the Atrix, Photon 4G, and Razr Max. Those of us who were loyal to Motorola were really hoping to see something innovative with the new X phone but it appears that will not be the case.

Chinese man sells his kidney for $6,510, had 'video game debts' to settle

A criminal gang was arrested by Shijiazhuang police in Hebei province, China, earlier this month, with the gang being arrested due to them dealing in black market organs.

 

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One of the organs they had dealt with belonged to an 18-year-old Chinese man surnamed Zhang from Gangsu province. He ran into money troubles because of video games, and as you do, you sell a body part. He reached out to an organ dealer to sell his kidney, where he was matched up with one online. The dealer asked Zhang to go to Shijiazhuang and sign a pre-sale agreement.

 

This agreement includes that the sale of his kidney is of his own volition, and that all consequences and issues are his responsibility. Zhang signed it without hesitation and went in for surgery. His kidney was sold for just $6,510 - but considering the going rate of a kidney in China is $47,000 - he must have been quite desperate.

Continue reading 'Chinese man sells his kidney for $6,510, had 'video game debts' to settle' (full post)

Edward Snowden has covered himself well, has encrypted copies of NSA documents that would be sent to people if something were to happen to him

Edward Snowden is all over the news right now, but he has backed himself up well according to some reports. The NSA whistleblower (and pain in the US government's neck) has an encrypted copies of at least "thousands" of NSA documents that he has sent to "several people".

 

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The Guardian report who first published Snowden's leaks, Glenn Greenwald, during an interview with the Daily Beast, said that Snowden "has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published. If anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives."

 

Greenwald has said that he personally has thousands of documents that Snowden leaked from the NSA, where he adds: "I don't know for sure whether [Snowden] has more documents than the ones he has given me. I believe he does. He was clear he did not want to give to journalists things he did not think should be published."

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden has covered himself well, has encrypted copies of NSA documents that would be sent to people if something were to happen to him' (full post)

Sony will put micro ads on the fingernails and uniform of a tennis player at Wimbledon, let the 4K marketing begin!

Sony are going to be pushing their 4K marketing this week at Wimbledon, which lines up with the launch of their Bravia X9 line up of 4K-capable TV's which are hitting UK retailers this week.

 

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The best time to advertise your 4K goodness in the UK would be, well, now, with Wimbledon, wouldn't it? Sony are putting micro ads on the fingernails and uniform of tennis player Anne Keothavong, with 4K owners being able to see this ultra-insane detail. Sony and the BBC are recording some of the event itself in 4K, with an experience zone at the event being shown off in 4K.

Australian government doesn't go through with their data retention plans, Edward Snowden would be proud

The Australian government have decided to not go through with their data retention plan, which would've seen Internet Service Providers (ISPs) retain customer data for up to two years.

 

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The parliamentary committee investigating the data retention proposal and a few other proposed legislative changes to telecommunications and national security legislation yesterday issued their report. This saw the decision on whether to push forward with plans of a mandatory data retention scheme back to the government.

 

Law enforcement agencies have longed for this scheme, but have said that most of this metadata (such as information on when and where the call was made, to who, and for how long) is no longer being kept by telcos for billing purposes. I wonder what they mean by "no longer" being kept - was it kept previously?

Continue reading 'Australian government doesn't go through with their data retention plans, Edward Snowden would be proud' (full post)

Apple co-founder likes Edward Snowden, feels 'a little guilty' about the NSA surveillance

The past two weeks have seen the Internet filled with Edward Snowden, the NSA, Prism, GCHQ and much more - but what does the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, think about it all? Well, he feels "a little guilty."

 

 

Wozniak was a guest on the Piers Morgan show, where he was asked if he feels any responsibility for the technologies he and others in the industry have created, that have given government entities like the NSA the power to snoop on, well, everyone - his answer was:

 

I actually feel a little guilty about that -- but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world. Any thought you had, you could share freely. That ... was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions.

Continue reading 'Apple co-founder likes Edward Snowden, feels 'a little guilty' about the NSA surveillance' (full post)

A petition demanding the US government to pardon Edward Snowden passes 100,000 signatures, forces the White House to respond

There has been a petition demanding that the US government pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, which saw over 100,000 digital 'signatures', forcing the White House to make a formal response. Considering the US government are attempting to charge Snowden with two counts of espionage, it'll be interesting to see what the White House has to say about this.

 

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Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, although there are rumors of him heading to Russia, where he has been accused of "unauthorized communication of national defense information" and "willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person". The petition to pardon the NSA whistleblower was filed under the We Are The People initiative, which lets US citizens start petitions in the nation's interest.

 

Obviously, the US citizens' privacy is right at the top of the nation's interests - and if a petition passes 100,000 signatures, then it forces the White House to assign a staff member to respond to the matter. The petition was filed on June 9, and is asking for a pardon, which will most likely not happen.

Continue reading 'A petition demanding the US government to pardon Edward Snowden passes 100,000 signatures, forces the White House to respond' (full post)

Ex-Rooster Teeth contributor, David Dreger, found dead in West Vancouver

Former Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter contributor, David "Knuckles Dawson" Dreger has been found dead at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. His body was noticed yesterday, according to a post by Dreger's family on the Facebook page that was setup to help find him. David's sister Danielle wrote on the page:

 

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We are thankful that the prayers for discovery made by everyone during this time have been answered. It is with deep sadness that we must let you all know that David's body was discovered on June 20 near Ambleside Park. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers, support and compassion. David was an exceptional, bright, caring and loving young man. We consider ourselves blessed to have had him in our lives, and are comforted knowing that he is now embraced in the arms of our Lord.

 

Dreger, 28, was reported missing in late May after last being seen on May 26 in his hometown of Vancouver. His bike and helmet were found the day after in Stanley Park, and he left his wallet, computer and phone at home, as well as closing his Twitter and Xbox Live accounts. The cause of his death hasn't been released yet.

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