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 […]

War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda

Counterpunch, By John Pilger, December 5

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas […]

Crew Capsule Set to Launch to Apollo-Era Distances for First Time in 42 Years

The Orion spacecraft could eventually take astronauts to an asteroid or Mars.

Scientific American, By Clara Moskowitz, December 3

Cape Canaveral, FL – NASA’s Kennedy Space Center here has been relatively quiet since the space shuttles retired three years ago. But now the site is bustling with media, top NASA officials are traveling to Florida, […]

Music publishers finally pull the trigger, sue an ISP over piracy

Lawsuit says Cox blew off copyright notices from two Rightscorp clients.

Ars Technica, By Joe Mullin, November 28

BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music have sued Cox Communications for copyright infringement, arguing that the Internet service provider doesn’t do enough to punish those who download music illegally.

Both BMG and Round Hill are clients […]

Senate fails to pass NSA reform bill

IDG News Service, By Grant Gross, November 18

The U.S. Senate has voted against a bill that would rein in the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone records within the country, possibly killing any NSA reforms until next year.

Supporters of the USA Freedom Act, in a Senate vote late Tuesday, failed to get […]

Government planes mimic cellphone towers to collect user data – report

US Marshals Service reportedly fitting aircraft with ‘dirtboxes’ that interrogate phones on ground for identity and location

The Guardian, By Spencer Ackerman, Dominic Rushe & Paul Lewis, November 13

New York – The US justice department is reportedly using electronic equipment on aircraft to simulate cellphone towers so it can collect phone location and identifying […]

Obama: Treat broadband—including mobile—as a utility

President wants bans on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

Ars Technica, By Jon Brodkin, November 10

President Obama today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify broadband service as a utility and to impose rules that prevent Internet service providers from blocking and throttling traffic or prioritizing Web services in exchange for payment. Obama […]

Berlin’s digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA

With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks.

The Guardian, By Carole Cadwalladr, November 9

It’s the not knowing that’s the hardest thing, […]

U.S., European authorities strike against Internet’s black markets

Washington Post, By Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima, November 7

U.S. and European law enforcement agencies Friday announced the largest strike ever against the Internet’s thriving black markets, shutting down more than 400 sites and arresting 17 people for allegedly selling drugs, weapons and illegal services to anonymous buyers worldwide.

The sweep of the crackdown […]

Senate and AP demand disclosure of all cases where FBI posed as media

RT, October 31

Evidence that the FBI hacked a teenage suspect’s computer by sending spyware disguised as a link to a news report has prompted a prominent politician and the Associated Press to both ask the attorney general for an explanation.

Documents unearthed this week revealed that the FBI compromised the computer of a 15-year-old […]

F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality

New York Times, By Edward Wyatt, October 31

Washington — The chairman and staff of the Federal Communications Commission are moving toward a proposal that for the first time would give the agency regulatory authority over how Internet traffic flows between content providers and the companies that provide Internet service to consumers, according to people […]

Brands Are Scanning Your Selfies And Party Photos To Look For Their Logos

Consumerist, By Laura Northrup, October 10

Let’s say that you’re a brand, like Nabisco or the North Face, and you want to see what people are saying about you online. You could do a text search of Facebook and Twitter, but that’s soooo 2009, and you can’t guarantee that people will always label the photos […]

Crypto wars redux: why the FBI’s desire to unlock your private life must be resisted

In 1995, the US government tried – and failed – to categorise encryption as a weapon. Today, the same lines are being drawn and the same tactics repeated as the FBI wants to do the same. Here’s why they are wrong, and why they must fail again.

The Guardian, By Cory Doctorow, October 9

Eric […]

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