Tag Archives: internet

Tonight on AxXiom For Liberty Live! Taking Lessons From ‘Anonymous’

Anon germanyKaye Beach

Dec. 7, 2012

Update Dec. 14, 2012 Miss the show-here’s the podcast!  12-07-12 AxXiom for Liberty

AxXiom For Liberty Live!  6-8 PM Central

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Calling All Activists!

Howard and I have a very interesting show lined up for you tonight!

When you think about Anonymous, some of their more daring exploits are probably the first thing that comes to mind.  Hacking, Denial of Service attacks and such but that is not the totality of the internet culture that is known as Anonymous and it is the lesser known efforts and successes that Howard and I are going to be focusing on tonight.

We are speaking to ‘Anonymous’ or rather one particular Anon, Damian DeWitt, who has been deeply involved in one project with Anonymous for about five years.   Get ready for your paradigm to be busted because I’ll bet that no matter what preconceived notion you might have about Anonymous, Mr. Dewitt is going to blow it out of the water tonight!

As you know, we have been reporting on the problems at Narconon Arrowhead, a Scientology based drug rehabilitation center located in Canadian, OK for a few years now. The recent spate of deaths that have occurred at the center has placed Narconon Arrowhead in headlines all over the country.  Our research and efforts to help expose the center’s questionable practices and deception in recruiting ‘students’ into Narconon naturally intersected with a portion of Anonymous known as Project Chanology. “Project Chanology is a large-scale plan to dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form“ 

If you are involved in activism of any sort, you don’t want to miss this show!

I am certain that there is something valuable to be learned for all of us from an examination of the activism of Anonymous.  They are an extremely diverse group and far from this being a stumbling block, as it almost always is with more traditional forms of activism, Anonymous allows for the diversity to become one of its greatest strengths.  Where we constantly struggle with egos, agendas, and waste time scrapping over who gets credit, the format used by Anonymous to collaborate is such that these problems are swept aside or at least greatly minimized. Cultivating good leadership and establishing hierarchy often eats away at our time and energy.  It slows us down and frustrates us because we realize that our world is moving very fast and we are always playing catch up.   Personally, I can remember the few and blessed experiences I have had working on efforts where we did manage to rise above these stumbling blocks but as you know, that is the exception not the rule.  But why?  Every activist I know recognizes the need to work together where we can.  We want to leave our egos at the door but more often than not, we are our own worst enemies.  The truth is that we are simply human and we have always been and will always be (in this world at least) saddled with our human nature.

Watching Project Chanology do their thing has been fascinating to me.  I have watched collaborative research and problem solving unfold in real time drawing on the diversity of talents and skills possessed by its range of participants. Let me say that when it works, it works beautifully.

So, what is it that they do, or not do, that makes the effort successful?  You see left and right, Christian and Atheist, and every other dichotomy you can imagine, working (virtually) side-by-side on common goals. This alone is a remarkable feat.   Yet, Anonymous will not compromise on freedom of speech or expression.  How does this not devolve into fractures, flame wars and pettiness?  For one thing, with that devotion to freedom of speech naturally comes a thick skin.

Participation is absolutely voluntary and it is the merit of participants’ ideas, not their prestige that drives an effort.   Chaos and purpose may seem mutually exclusive.   Project Chanology proves it is not.  How is this so?  This is the evolution of activism and tonight we will ferret out the lessons that can be learned from the phenomenon that is Anonymous for anyone, anywhere who is trying to make a difference.  Oh, and let’s not forget the lulz while we are at it!

More about Anonymous

Your questions or comments are always welcome!

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FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites – now

Posted May 5, 2012

CNET article published May 4, 2012

CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.

read more

Germany to roll out ID cards with embedded RFID

Germany to roll out ID cards with embedded RFID

The production of the RFID chips, an integral element of the new generation of German identity cards, has started after the government gave a 10 year contract to the chipmaker NXP in the Netherlands. Citizens will receive the mandatory new ID cards from the first of November.

The new ID card will contain all personal data on the security chip that can be accessed over a wireless connection. (Emphasis mine)

The new card allows German authorities to identify people with speed and accuracy, the government said. These authorities include the police, customs and tax authorities and of course the local registration and passport granting authorities.

German companies like Infineon and the Dutch NXP, which operates a large scale development and manufacturing base in Hamburg, Germany are global leaders in making RFID security chips. The new electronic ID card, which will gradually replace the old mandatory German ID cards, is one of the largest scale roll-outs of RFID cards with extended official and identification functionality.

The card will also have extended functionality, including the ability to enable citizens to identify themselves in the internet by using the ID card with a reading device at home. After registering an online account bonded to the ID card, are able to do secure online shopping, downloading music and most importantly interact with government authorities online, for example.

Biometric passports in a number of countries are equipped with RFID chips, containing a digital picture and fingerprints, and have been around for nearly 5 years after the United States required such passports for any person entering the country.

There are some concerns that the use of RFID chips will pose a security or privacy risk, however.

Early versions of the electronic passports, using RFID chips with a protocol called “basic access control” (BAC), where successfully hacked by university researchers and security experts.

http://www.ibtimes.com/art/services/print.php?articleid=44536

When Risks Outweigh Benefit

When risk outweighs benefit:

Found at Pub Med Centra; EMBO Report;

Dual-use research needs a scientifically sound risk–benefit analysis and legally binding biosecurity measures

Jan van Aken1
1Jan van Aken is a former member of the Hamburg Centre for Biological Arms Control at Hamburg University, Germany (www.biological-arms-control.org). Email: van.aken@t-online.de
In October 2005, a team of US scientists, headed by Jeffery Taubenberger from the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Rockville, MD, USA), published the full sequence of the highly virulent strain of influenza virus that caused the Spanish influenza pandemic in the winter of 1918–1919 and killed up to 50 million people worldwide (Taubenberger et al, 2005). Further work based on the sequence led to the synthesis of an influenza strain containing all eight gene segments from the 1918 pandemic virus, which showed a high virulence and mortality rate when tested in mice (Tumpey et al, 2005). Both the sequencing and the reconstruction of the Spanish influenza virus are paradigmatic proof that recent developments in genetics, genomics and other areas of the biomedical sciences might create new possibilities for biological warfare. The resurrected 1918 virus has been described as “perhaps the most effective bioweapons agent now known” (von Bubnoff, 2005), and, given the availability of its full genome sequence on the Internet, its reconstruction by rogue scientists is now a real possibility.
Not surprisingly, the publication of the Spanish influenza research triggered a controversial debate within, but not exclusive to, the scientific community, as arms-control experts questioned whether it was wise to publish a detailed account of its genome and recipe for resurrection. This debate, although necessary, has some essential shortcomings as it focuses solely on the question of whether to publish such work, and lacks a systematic approach to a general risk–benefit analysis in biomedical research. In addition, the case of the Spanish influenza publications and their relatively superficial assessment by a biosecurity advisory board in the USA exemplifies the fact that we need internationally harmonized and legally binding rules for conducting dual-use research, in order to prevent the misuse of biological knowledge.
Until now, the discussion on dual-use research has focused mainly on whether results should be published. In 2003, a group of scientific journal editors and authors published a joint statement on scientific publication and security; among other things, they suggested that potentially harmful publications should be modified or not published at all (Atlas et al, 2003). Since then, some journals have implemented an additional review tier to assess selected manuscripts for questions of biosecurity. So far, no submitted manuscript is publicly known to have been rejected for security reasons, although the publication of one paper about modelling a terrorist attack on the food supply (Wein & Liu, 2005) was delayed after intervention by the US government (Alberts, 2005).
Not surprisingly, the publication of the Spanish influenza research triggered a controversial debate within, but not exclusive to, the scientific community, as arms-control experts questioned whether it was wise to publish a detailed account of its genome and recipe for resurrection. This debate, although necessary, has some essential shortcomings as it focuses solely on the question of whether to publish such work, and lacks a systematic approach to a general risk–benefit analysis in biomedical research. In addition, the case of the Spanish influenza publications and their relatively superficial assessment by a biosecurity advisory board in the USA exemplifies the fact that we need internationally harmonized and legally binding rules for conducting dual-use research, in order to prevent the misuse of biological knowledge.
Until now, the discussion on dual-use research has focused mainly on whether results should be published. In 2003, a group of scientific journal editors and authors published a joint statement on scientific publication and security; among other things, they suggested that potentially harmful publications should be modified or not published at all (Atlas et al, 2003). Since then, some journals have implemented an additional review tier to assess selected manuscripts for questions of biosecurity. So far, no submitted manuscript is publicly known to have been rejected for security reasons, although the publication of one paper about modelling a terrorist attack on the food supply (Wein & Liu, 2005) was delayed after intervention by the US government (Alberts, 2005).
Read More

UK Plans to Monitor All Internet Contacts

Plan to monitor all internet use
By Dominic Casciani
BBC News home affairs reporter

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8020039.stm?ad=1

Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.

The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.

The Tories said the Home Office had “buckled under Conservative pressure” in deciding against a giant database.

Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database.
” Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers and paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime “
Jacqui Smith Home Secretary
But she also said that “doing nothing” in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.

The Home Office will instead ask communications companies – from internet service providers to mobile phone networks – to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism.

Ministers say they estimate the project will cost £2bn to set up, which includes some compensation to the communications industry for the work it may be asked to do.

“Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers, paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime,” Ms Smith said.

“Advances in communications mean that there are ever more sophisticated ways to communicate and we need to ensure that we keep up with the technology being used by those who seek to do us harm.

“It is essential that the police and other crime fighting agencies have the tools they need to do their job, However to be clear, there are absolutely no plans for a single central store.”

‘Contact not content’

Communication service providers (CSPs) will be asked to record internet contacts between people, but not the content, similar to the existing arrangements to log telephone contacts.
REASONS TO CHANGE WHAT CAN BE KEPT

•More communication via computers rather than phones
•Companies won’t always keep all data all the time
•Anonymity online masks criminal identities
•More online services provided from abroad
•Data held in many locations and difficult to find Source: Home Office consultation
But, recognising that the internet has changed the way people talk, the CSPs will also be asked to record some third party data or information partly based overseas, such as visits to an online chatroom and social network sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Security services could then seek to examine this data along with information which links it to specific devices, such as a mobile phone, home computer or other device, as part of investigations into criminal suspects.

The plan expands a voluntary arrangement under which CSPs allow security services to access some data which they already hold.

The security services already deploy advanced techniques to monitor telephone conversations or intercept other communications, but this is not used in criminal trials.

Ms Smith said that while the new system could record a visit to a social network, it would not record personal and private information such as photos or messages posted to a page.

“What we are talking about is who is at one end [of a communication] and who is at the other – and how they are communicating,” she said.

HAVE YOUR SAY This is a waste of time and money on an unprecedented scale Sean, Manchester

Existing legal safeguards under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act would continue to apply. Requests to see the data would require top level authorisation within a public body such as a police force. The Home Office is running a separate consultation on limiting the number of public authorities that can access sensitive information or carry out covert surveillance.

‘Orwellian’

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: “I am pleased that the Government has climbed down from the Big Brother plan for a centralised database of all our emails and phone calls.

“However, any legislation that requires individual communications providers to keep data on who called whom and when will need strong safeguards on access.

“It is simply not that easy to separate the bare details of a call from its content. What if a leading business person is ringing Alcoholics Anonymous, or a politician’s partner is arranging to hire a porn video?

“There has to be a careful balance between investigative powers and the right to privacy.”
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: “The big problem is that the government has built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter terrorism and serious crime. Too many parts of Government have too many powers to snoop on innocent people and that’s really got to change.

“It is good that the home secretary appears to have listened to Conservative warnings about big brother databases. Now that she has finally admitted that the public don’t want their details held by the State in one place, perhaps she will look at other areas in which the Government is trying to do precisely that.”

Guy Herbert of campaign group NO2ID said: “Just a week after the home secretary announced a public consultation on some trivial trimming of local authority surveillance, we have this: a proposal for powers more intrusive than any police state in history.

“Ministers are making a distinction between content and communications data into sound-bite of the year. But it is spurious.

“Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so – all without a warrant.”

The consultation runs until 20 July 2009.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8020039.stm

Published: 2009/04/27 13:50:15 GMT

© BBC MMIX

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