Daily Archives: July 21, 2015

FBI Director: Government Must Have Access to Your Encrypted Data

The director of the FBI doesn’t want you to use technology to encrypt your personal data. He said that for your safety the feds should have unrestricted access to everything you store in a cloud or a hard drive, write in an e-mail, or send in a text. Security, he says, trumps privacy. Besides, only a criminal has something to hide.

Actually, what FBI Director James Comey told the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee is that in order to stay a step ahead of the b  ad guys, the g-m  en should  have FBI Director: Government Must Have Access to Your Encrypted Data access to any available technology to decode encrypted data. And that the government should be the arbiter of when decryption is necessary or not.

Comey made these statements during testimony he gave as part of a panel of “experts” called to speak at a hearing labelled “Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy.”

Tech specialists warn, however, that giving the FBI such access would necessarily open doors to data that could be exploited by “bad actors.”

Comey isn’t persuaded. “It is clear that governments across the world, including those of our closest allies, recognize the serious public safety risks if criminals can plan and undertake illegal acts without fear of detection,” he told the committee.

Once again, the agents of the autocracy are demanding that Americans sacrifice individual liberty on the altar of “national security.” That’s nowhere made clearer than in the following question posed by Comey: “Are we comfortable with technical design decisions that result in barriers to obtaining evidence of a crime?”

continue http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/congress/item/21269-fbi-director-gov-t-must-have-access-to-your-encrypted-data

Categories: government, internet, technology | Tags: , , ,

Do Encrypted Phones Threaten National Security?

In Washington, D.C., where a growing chorus is demonizing end-to-end encryption that permits people to have conversations that the government can never see, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has aired a particularly extreme anti-privacy position: The Rhode Island Democrat suggested last week that selling well-encrypted smartphones to Americans should be treated like dumping toxic waste in streams. Ben Wittes of The Brookings Institution transcribed the remarks.

They began with a hypothetical kidnapping. “A girl goes missing,” Senator Whitehouse told Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. “A neighbor reports that they saw her being taken into a van out in front of the house. The police are called. They come to the home. The parents are frantic. The girl’s phone is still at home.”

Naturally, everyone wants to search the phone for clues. But it is encrypted. Of course, the phone doesn’t necessarily hold any clues, and the victim is no worse off than every child kidnapped in the thousands of years before smartphones existed. Nevertheless, Senator Whitehouse feels that the phone maker bears some culpability for the girl’s fate, and should perhaps be made to pay up in a civil lawsuit:

It strikes me that one of the balances that we have in these circumstances where a company may wish to privatize value by saying, “Gosh, we’re secure now. We got a really good product. You’re going to love it.” That’s to their benefit. But for the family of the girl that disappeared in the van, that’s a pretty big cost. And when we see corporations privatizing value and socializing cost so that other people have to bear the cost, one of the ways that we get back to that and try to put some balance into it, is through the civil courts, through a liability system.

If you’re a polluter and you’re dumping poisonous waste into the water rather than treating it properly, somebody downstream can bring an action and can get damages for the harm that they sustain, can get an order telling you to knock it off. I’d be interested in whether or not the Department of Justice has done any analysis as to what role the civil-liability system might be playing now to support these companies in drawing the correct balance, or if they’ve immunized themselves from the cost entirely and are enjoying the benefits. I think in terms of our determination as to what, if anything, we should do, knowing where the Department of Justice believes the civil liability system leaves us might be a helpful piece of information. So I don’t know if you’ve undertaken that, but if you have, I’d appreciate it if you’d share that with us, and if you’d consider doing it, I think that might be helpful to us.

continue http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/does-encryption-threaten-national-security/398573/

Categories: Uncategorized

Astronauts Forced To Take Shelter From Space Junk

A small piece of an old Russian weather satellite forced the crew of the International Space Station to take cover in an escape vehicle for a short time Thursday.

Officials at NASA Mission Control in Houston calculated that the fragment of space junk would pass close to the space station at 7:01 a.m. Central time. Based on the small chance of a “possible conjunction with the station,” flight director Ed Van Cise ordered ISS Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko to take shelter in a Soyuz vehicle that is docked at the station.

After the debris passed by safely, the crew was cleared to return to work.

Kelly tweeted his relief: “Happy there was no impact. Great coordination with international ground teams. Excellent training.”

All ISS systems continued to operate normally while the Russian cosmonauts and NASA astronaut were in the Soyuz vehicle.

continue http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-iss-space-station-space-junk-20150716-story.html

Categories: Uncategorized

Hacking Team Touts New Spyware Suite, Calls Leaks Now “obsolete”

On Monday, Hacking Team released a statement saying that while some of its surveillance-related source code was released to the public, the firm still retains an edge. “Important elements of our source code were not compromised in this attack and remain undisclosed and protected,” the release said. “We have already isolated our internal systems so that additional data cannot be exfiltrated outside Hacking Team. A totally new internal infrastructure is being build [sic] at this moment to keep our data safe.”

The release, attributed to CEO David Vincenzetti, noted this wholly new version of the company’s Remote Control System is due in the fall. Vincenzetti also defiantly dismissed the recent breach at this point in time, writing that the leaks are now “obsolete because of universal ability to detect these system elements.”

Details beyond that remained scarce. The letter notes this will be version 10 of Hacking Team’s Remote Control System, calling it “a total replacement for the existing ‘Galileo’ system, not simply an update.” Hacking Team spokesperson Eric Rabe told Ars that Vincenzetti was not available for an interview or any follow-up questions.

continue http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/07/hacking-team-remains-defiant-touts-new-version-of-spyware-suite/

Categories: Uncategorized

An Easy Trick to Keep Mosquitoes from Breeding in Your Rain Barrel

We live in South Louisiana. I am convinced that sometimes it is humid enough here for mosquitoes to breed in the air! Ok, so it may not be that bad, but they definitely don’t need much water to multiply quickly. We use several rain barrels around the yard for refilling the watering systems for the rabbits and chickens as well as watering our fruit trees and vegetable garden. While there are many fancy (and expensive) rain barrels that have mesh on top to keep mosquitoes out (and I’m not convinced that always works), we use mostly old trash cans with open tops to collect and redistribute water. This creates a huge problem for mosquito breeding!

Thankfully we found a simple and inexpensive solution that has worked AMAZING! This will set your bank account back by around 10 cents. That’s right, less than a quarter! Go to your local pet store and buy a goldfish or two and drop them in your rain barrel. The fish will eat all of the mosquito larvae, taking care of the mosquito problem as well as feeding the fish. We have had our fish in the rain barrels for over a year now. We have never fed them, and they have lived through even the coldest temperatures when the rain barrels were completely frozen over! If you want to get even cheaper, you can always catch some minnows and put them in there, just be careful that you don’t scoop them out when you are getting water- they blend in a lot better than goldfish do!

Categories: Uncategorized

Drunk squirrel wreaks havoc in local bar

In Entertainment by Stefan Sirucek / July 16, 2015

A squirrel obtained entry into a private bar in England, where he proceeded to get staggering drunk and smash a bunch of bottles, causing over $400 in damages.

The setting, the Honeybourne Railway Club near Worchestershire, is described as a “private member’s club” which I can only assume is the British version of our Elks lodges – places for older guys to day drink without the supervision of their families while hosting the occasional spaghetti supper.

According to the club’s secretary Sam Boulter, who discovered the scene, the squirrel (who was presumably not a member of the club) left quite the wake of destruction. According to Boulter, via BBC News,  “The floor was covered in beer and glasses and bottles smashed.”

That’s when he saw the culprit.

continue http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/256057/drunk-squirrel-bar/

Categories: Uncategorized

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