How I spent the weekend: I flew to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation in a helicopter with actor, writer, filmmaker, and activist John Cusack, friend of Boing Boing and of digital liberty (@johncusack on Twitter). John’s a pal, and one of my fellow board members at FPF. He’d never met most of the FPF-ers or EFF-ers, so we decided to take advantage of the clear California skies and a kind offer from a friend who flies Steve Fossett‘s chopper (which has now been converted into a camera ship for motion pictures), and literally chopper in to hacker-town. We stopped by Noisebridge, too. Chaos ensued.
We flew up in this very special stunt/movie helicopter owned by a friend of Mr. Cusack’s, a man who is a film financier in Hollywood. The craft was previously owned by famed aviator Steve Fossett.
In a major victory in one of EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, the Justice Department conceded yesterday that it will release hundreds of documents, including FISA court opinions, related to the government?s secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the law the NSA has relied upon for years to mass collect the phone records of millions of innocent Americans.
Everything in the technology space seems to be revolving around the camera built into the hardware device. If there?s a social component to it, then it needs to have a camera. Take today?s Samsung Galaxy Gear news where the electronics manufacturer unveiled a smartwatch with a 1.9 megapixel camera on the wriststrap ? traditionally, watches didn?t come with a way to take photographs. Hell, even the Pebble smartwatch, one of the first of its kind, didn?t come equipped with a way to capture images or videos.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the enforcement of the Children?s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which brought new levels of Internet censorship to libraries across the country. CIPA was signed into law in 2000 and found constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2003. The law is supposed to encourage public libraries and schools to filter child pornography and obscene or ?harmful to minors? images from the library?s Internet connection in exchange for continued federal funding. Unfortunately, as Deborah Caldwell-Stone explains in Filtering and the First Amendment, aggressive interpretations of this law have resulted in extensive and unnecessary censorship in libraries, often because libraries go beyond the legal requirements of CIPA when implementing content filters. As a result, students and library patrons across the country are routinely and unnecessarily blocked from accessing constitutionally protected websites.
Analyzing the public traces left by every bitcoin transaction could allow law enforcement to identify many users of a currency often assumed to offer anonymity.
Those within Anonymous subscribe to the various social media accounts of #opINFORM to stay abreast of current events related to some of the organization’s goals. A source within the project says their information reaches between four and five million
The rooms are neither as dusty, nor as bald of sound, as one might imagine the cloisters of the Oxford English Dictionary. There are no books piled in the cracked tile hallways, no atmospheric beams of light angling into the tranquil gloom. No old clunking timepiece marks the infinitude of time.
A group claiming to be an Armenian branch of hacker collectiveAnonymous has leaked 7 GB worth of documents relating to Azerenergy, the leading energy producer in the Eurasian country of Azerbaijan. Financial details, offshore communications, contracts …
There is one secret Edward Snowden spilled that even the most hard-boiled anti-privacy security operative can?t ignore: The National Security Agency is broken. It is broken not just because it somehow let a contractor steal a voluminous portion of its secrets, but because many of those secrets paint a picture of a dysfunctional agency. The NSA not only can?t stop a leaker like Snowden; it?s uncertain that the NSA can do a good chunk of what?s in its job description.
Whatever the NSA has up its top-secret sleeves, the mathematics of cryptography will still be the most secure part of any encryption system.