Millions of cars tracked across US in ‘massive’ real-time spying program

American Civil Liberties Union warns scanning of license plates by Drug Enforcement Agency is building a repository of all drivers’ movements.

The Guardian, By Rory Carroll, January 26

Los Angeles – The United States government is tracking the movement of vehicles around the country in a clandestine intelligence-gathering programme that has been condemned as a […]

Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for ‘merely linking to hacked material’

The journalist and former Anonymous member says of prison term and fine in statement: ‘They’re sending me to investigate the prison-industrial complex’.

The Guardian, By Nicky Woolf, January 22

New York – In a rebuke to a legion of online supporters and what the journalist and one-time member of Anonymous called a “dangerous precedent”, Barrett […]

Europe’s answer to France terror ‘attack on free speech’ is greater Internet censorship

After three days of terrorist attacks in the French capital, European leaders are pushing for stronger measures to crack down on online “extremist” content.

ZDNet, By Zack Whittaker, January 12

About half of Europe’s member states are pushing for greater online censorship powers in the wake of the terror attacks in France earlier this […]

France faces 19,000 cyberattacks since terror rampage

AP, By Jamey Keaten & Sylvie Corbet, January 15

Paris – Hackers have targeted about 19,000 French websites since a rampage by Islamic extremists left 20 dead last week, France’s cyberdefense official said Thursday, as the president tried to calm the nation’s inflamed religious tensions.

France is on edge since last week’s attacks, which began […]

FCC Chairman Hints at Re-Regulating Net Under Phone System Rules

ReCode, By Amy Schatz, January 7

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hinted broadly Wednesday that a new net neutrality proposal he plans to release in the next few weeks will rely on re-regulating Internet lines under old rules written for phone networks.

“The issue here is how do we make sure consumers and innovators have open […]

From a Pile of Dirt, Researchers Discover New Antibiotic

A new microfluidic device lets scientists identify a powerful drug from nature.

Technology Review, By Karen Weintraub, January 7

A plastic storage crate filled with backyard dirt might have yielded the most powerful antibiotic discovered in decades.

Employing a novel microfluidic device to grow soil bacteria, researchers in Boston and Bonn, Germany, say they have […]

Congress Passes Bill Giving Police Unlimited Access to Citizens’ Private Communications

“One of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.”

The Free Thought Project, By Jay Syrmopoulos, December 11

Washington, DC – In a sneak attack on the civil liberties of all Americans, the Intelligence […]

By ‘Editing’ Plant Genes, Companies Avoid Regulation

New York Times, By Andrew Pollack, January 1

Its first attempt to develop genetically engineered grass ended disastrously for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The grass escaped into the wild from test plots in Oregon in 2003, dooming the chances that the government would approve the product for commercial use.

Yet Scotts is once again developing […]

Estonia : E-Residency

Interesting news tidbit: Estonia Offers E-Residency.

   This could be the toe-in-the-water, a tentative exploration of what is possible today and might become increasingly useful in the future.

   Think of it as facilitating access to the day-to-day needs of living and doing business, as opposed to the purely government-related matters. After all, 99% of what […]

LEAKED: Secret Negotiations to Let Big Brother Go Global

The ugly ramifications of the Trade in Services Act (TiSA)

Wolf Street, By Don Quijones, December 25

Much has been written, at least in the alternative media, about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), two multilateral trade treaties being negotiated between the representatives of dozens of national governments […]

Natural gas flaring in Eagle Ford Shale already surpasses 2012 levels of waste and pollution

AP, December 21

San Antonio — Gas flaring in the most profitable shale field in the U.S. is on pace to surpass to 2013 levels of waste and pollution in South Texas, according to a newspaper analysis of state records published Sunday.

The Eagle Ford Shale burned off more than 20 billion cubic feet of […]

Risk in Fukushima No. 4 reactor mitigated as last of nuclear fuel removed

The Asahi Shimbun, By Yu Kotsubo & Hiromi Kumai, December 21

Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture – Tokyo Electric Power Co. removed the last four nuclear fuel assemblies that remained in the No. 4 reactor building of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from its storage pool on Dec. 20.

The No. 4 reactor was […]

Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimp to Launch over Maryland

The Intercept, By Dan Froomkin, December 17

In just a few days, the Army will launch the first of two massive blimps over Maryland, the last gasp of an 18-year-long $2.8-billion Army project intended to use giant airships to defend against cruise missiles.

And while the blimps may never stave off a barrage of enemy […]

India Takes First Step to Sending Astronaut to Space

The Wall Street Journal, December 18

It’s been a pretty amazing year for India’s space agency: reaching Mars orbit at first attempt and on a tight budget then clubbing together with the United States for future explorations of the Red planet. On Thursday morning the Indian Space Research Organization wrapped up 2014 with the successful […]

Report: Sony Pictures Is Using Its Own Cyber-Attacks to Keep Leaked Files From Spreading

Slate, By Lily Hay Newman, December 11

Sony Pictures has been dealing with a terrible hack since late November, but the company is taking a stand and counterhacking to keep its leaked files, which include five unreleased movies, from spreading across torrent sites.

Two sources told Recode that Sony is using hundreds of computers in […]

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