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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.
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.
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:
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.
Earlier this week, the internet was set abuzz when Kim Dotcom tweeted that all Megaupload files had been deleted by hosting company Leaseweb. Dotcom called the act "a massive data massacre" and took to Twitter to let the world know that petabytes of their data was gone forever.
Like all arguments, there are two sides to every story and Leaseweb has responded with theirs. Leaseweb says that when the raid took place on Dotcom's home in New Zealand, 60 of the servers directly owned by Megaupload were confiscated by the FIOD and transported to the US. This left 630 dedicated servers rented by Megaupload. These were owned by Leaseweb. Leaseweb says that they took the servers offline, and stored them to preserve data without any request to do so.
TechSpot says that another one of Megaupload's host, Carpathia, is losing nearly $9000 per day due to inactive Megaupload servers. While this figure is most likely a loss of revenue and not indicative of any out of pocket losses, this still affects the bottom line. If Leaseweb is experiencing similar loses that means that they have lost an estimated $4.9 million dollars due to the idle Megaupload servers.
Mozilla launches StopWatching.Us - an online petition to force the Congress to reveal the NSA's spying programs
The recent uncovering of PRISM, the NSA's top secret program used to spy on US citizens via social media and the Internet has caused a major uproar in not only the online community, but the entire country. Now, Mozilla, the developers of the Firefox browser, have taken the fight to Congress in the form of an online petition.
Today Mozilla is launching StopWatching.Us - a campaign sponsored by a broad coalition of organizations from across the political and technical spectrum calling on citizens and organizations from around the world to demand a full accounting of the extent to which our online data, communications and interactions are being monitored.
Whether or not you agree with the NSA's actions, you need to head over to https://optin.stopwatching.us and sign the petition. While the spying may or may not be necessary for national security, we as a country deserve to know who is watching, how we are being watched, and why we are being watched.
This morning Kim Dotcom has taken the Twitter to report that the US government and Leaseweb have deleted the entire collection of Megaupload files that were hosted on Leaseweb servers. This equates to millions of personal files being deleted without warning and without cause.
Kim Dotcom says that petabytes of pictures, backups, personal and business files were all deleted back in February without prior warning to him or his lawyers. "This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet," Dotcom wrote on Twitter.
Dotcom's lawyers have repeatedly asked Leaseweb not to delete the Megaupload servers while court proceedings were pending in the US as that data was essentially evidence in the massive case against Dotcom. His counsel even went as far as asking the DOJ to release some of Megaupload's frozen assets so that they could buy all the servers containing the Megaupload data, unfortunately they refused and now all of Dotcom's evidence is gone.
John McAffee releases instructional video on how to uninstall McAffee antivirus software, probably NSFW
In today's installment of WTF, John McAffee has just released a video that instructs users on the proper way to uninstall McAffee antivirus software from their PCs. In true form McAffee appears just as we all picture him, a sort of Huge Hefner / Jeff Bridges mashup. The only thing missing from the video is a performing troupe of meerkats dancing in the background.
During the video, McAffee takes several jabs at the company he founded many years ago as he reads several fake emails which rant about how crappy the software has become. McAffee has a "lab tech" known as Bartholomew attempt to walk you through the uninstall process while the host spends some quality time with scantily clad women and controlled substances. The video below is highly NSFW due to language, drugs and scantily clad women.
As you saw, the only possible way to uninstall McAffee Antivirus is to pull out a gun and shoot the PC. Of course we here at TweakTown could never condone such
a horrid act of installing McAffee silliness. Do not shoot your PC, do not smoke bath salts, and do not take John McAffee's advice on anything. Take the video only for what it is worth in comical value, and install a reputable antivirus software such as BitDefender.
Head of the NSA defends spying, says they've foiled 50 terrorist plots - but at the price of US citizens' privacy?
During a testimony before a congressional intelligence committee on Tuesday, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA) and over government officials strongly defended the government's not-so-secret surveillance program, noting that the NSA has "been able to connect the dots and prevent another terrorist attack."
Director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, told the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA's gigantic telecommunications surveillance program has helped to stop a "little over 10" plots with a "domestic nexus" and a total of 50 such plots in more than 20 countries over the last couple of years thanks to PRISM. The head of the NSA reiterated that under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the NSA has authority to access all telephony metadata.
This metadata is pretty much everything in regards to the call, the who, when and where of every call across the United States. John Chris Inglis, NSA's deputy director has said that there is a purge of data every five years - you know, because we can prove that and all.
Samsung will hold a launch event dubbed "Premiere" this Thursday to showcase new Galaxy and ATIV devices, and TweakTown will be there to cover it with hands on video as well as a complete Live Blog.
The event will take place at 7PM (1PM US EST) in London with the event lasting roughly two hours.
We are expecting to see Samsung debut a new Galaxy NX camera as well as a few new ATIV Windows based devices appear. We could also see the upcoming Galaxy S4 with LTE Advance, or even a new Galaxy Tab tablet.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sat down with The Guardian for an intimate Q&A session, allowing their readers to do a live online question and answer session over the weekend. We find out why he chose his Hong Kong hideout, stating that he chose China because their government could hold off the US diplomatic pressure.
Snowden denied giving China any information about hacking Chinese research facilities, and laughed off accusations as a smear by the US, with US officials claiming that leaks help terrorists every time something like this happens - because, you know, the US government never funded Al Qaeda (look it up). Snowden wrote:
The US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.
This morning, Apple has released its first official statement on customer privacy in the wake of the PRISM scandal in Washington. Apple was one of the companies named as a willing participant in the NSA's spying program and was one of the first to deny its participation entirely. The statement released by Apple this morning clarifies how and when the Cupertino giant hands over customer information to the US Government.
To get started, Apple released some vague figures on the number of data requests received from US law officials during a 17-month period that ended on May 31, 2013. The company says that during that time frame it received between 4000 and 5000 request for customer data, most of which involved investigating robberies and "other crimes", aiding in the search for missing children or alzheimer's patients, or suicide prevention measures.