Category: Liberty


Researchers Uncover Government Spy Tool Used To Hack Telecoms And Belgian Cryptographer

 

 

Regin-Architecture

 

 

” It was the spring of 2011 when the European Commission discovered it had been hacked. The intrusion into the EU’s legislative body was sophisticated and widespread and used a zero-day exploit to get in. Once the attackers established a stronghold on the network, they were in for the long haul. They scouted the network architecture for additional victims and covered their tracks well. Eventually, they infected numerous systems belonging to the European Commission and the European Council before being discovered.

  Two years later another big target was hacked. This time it was Belgacom, the partly state-owned Belgian telecom. In this case, too, the attack was sophisticated and complex. According to published news reports and documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the attackers targeted system administrators working for Belgacom and used their credentials to gain access to routers controlling the telecom’s cellular network. Belgacom publicly acknowledged the hack, but has never provided details about the breach.

  Then five months after that announcement, news of another high-profile breach emerged—this one another sophisticated hack targeting prominent Belgian cryptographer Jean-Jacques Quisquater. “

 

 

 

 

 

” Now it appears that security researchers have found the massive digital spy tool used in all three attacks. Dubbed “Regin” by Microsoft, more than a hundred victims have been found to date, but there are likely many others still unknown. That’s because the espionage tool—a malicious platform capable of taking over entire networks and infrastructures—has been around since at least 2008, possibly even earlier, and is built to remain stealth on a system for years.

  The threat has been known since at least 2011, around the time the EU was hacked and some of the attack files made their way to Microsoft, who added detection for the component to its security software. Researchers with Kaspersky Lab only began tracking the threat in 2012, collecting bits and pieces of the massive threat. Symantec began investigating it in 2013 after some of its customers were infected. Putting together information from each, it’s clear the platform is highly complex and modulated and can be customized with a wide range of capabilities depending on the target and the attackers’ needs. Researchers have found 50 payloads so far for stealing files and other data, but have evidence that still more exist.

“ It’s a threat that everyone has detected for some time, but no one has exposed [until now],” says Eric Chien, technical director of Symantec’s Security Technology and Response division.

  The researchers have no doubt that Regin is a nation-state tool and are calling it the most sophisticated espionage machine uncovered to date—more complex even than the massive Flame platform, uncovered by Kaspersky and Symantec in 2012 and crafted by the same team who created Stuxnet. “

 

The whole story may be read at Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Employee Fired After Posting Pictures Of DHS Vehicles Parked In Hotel Parking Lot

 

 

 

 

 

 

” What happens in public isn’t afforded an expectation of privacy — unless you’re the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is all about shutting down people taking photos in, around or of public structures. According to the many piles of useless paperwork compiled by the many useless Fusion Centers, the most effective terrorist weapon is any device that captures still images or video.

  The nation is loaded with phone-wielding terrorists. But thanks to the swift corrective action applied by a former Secret Service agent and the multi-billion dollar agency, guests at the Drury Park Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri, are safe from the terrorist activity of 28-year-old US Navy veteran (and now, former hotel Houseman) Mark Paffrath.

  Mark says that on Thursday after work he snapped 2 photographs and a short video of several dozen Homeland Security vehicles in the parking garage. He then uploaded them to his Facebook page. In his post he writes “why are all the cop cars here…I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson”, he also included the hashtags #Ferguson #NoJusticeNoPeace.

Hooray for the First Amendment! … oh, wait.

  On Friday, shortly after arriving to work at the Drury Plaza Hotel, Mark stated that he was called to the office of Jeff Baker, the General Manager. Upon arriving Mr. Baker advised Mark that he needed to remove the photos and video from Facebook. Mark immediately complied and removed the post. Mark then continued and finished his shift.

  A private company decides to insert itself into a situation where no one — not even the DHS — needed to step in. Having achieved its goal of suppression, one would think the story ends here. But it doesn’t.”

 

TechDirt has the scoop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dutch Say No To PC And Win

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Last Saturday in Gouda, Holland, the police arrested as many as 90 people, the majority of whom were protesting against “Black Pete”, part of a traditional pre-Christmas children’s street party.

  We don’t normally associate a Santa Claus celebration with police arrests, so this requires a little explanation.

  Black Pete (Zwarte Piet in Dutch) is a blackface character in Dutch and Belgian folklore. He is the clownish helper of St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) in delivering presents to children.

  In the Netherlands, the Sinterklaas festival lasts for weeks culminating on Saint Nicholas Day, 5 December, and starting with the arrival of St Nicholas in a Dutch city by boat with hundreds of jolly Black Petes, amusing kids and giving them treats.

  It’s great fun and a merry occasion for the Dutch, and considered by both children and adults as the highlight of the year.

  This year it was the medieval city of Gouda that kicked off the festivities on 15 November, with the event broadcast live on Dutch national television.

  Thousands of parents and children gathered in the city’s market square.

  Traditionally the crowds — men, women and kids — as well as the actors portraying the Black Petes coming off the ships, are white people with their faces painted black, frizzy hair, golden earrings, large red lips and gaudy medieval costumes.

  It’s this that has been for some time the subject of acrimonious attacks from self-styled “anti-racism” activists. They claim that Zwarte Piet is a racist stereotype, a throwback to the colonial era in a now diverse, multicultural Holland, a country that must be tolerant of everything except, it seems, its past, culture, traditions, and identity.

  Leftist politicians have called for Black Pete to be abolished.

  The criticisms have polarized the Netherlands. The overwhelming majority of the nation wants Black Pete to carry on as usual, as revealed by a poll showing that more than 90% of the Dutch reject the idea that Zwarte Piet is racist and would not change his appearance.

  Over 2 million people — in a country whose total population is less than 17 million — signed a Facebook petition last year, calling for Black Pete’s appearance to remain the same.

  While the Facebook page “The Dutch ‘Black Pete’ tradition is racism” has a risible number of 198 “Likes”, the Facebook page “Pietitie” in Pete’s support has 2,012,438 “Likes”. It says: “Don’t let the Netherlands’ most beautiful tradition disappear.”

  The latter FB page is Holland’s most popular ever.

  The Dutch say Black Pete is harmless fun, an integral part of their culture that is now under fire from outsiders. As Dutchman Marco put it: “This is how I celebrate, how my grandmother and grandfather and parents celebrated, and I don’t think it’s racist.”

  Holland’s anti-immigration, anti-Islam Freedom Party, led by one of the most popular politicians in Europe, Geert Wilders, has proposed legislation that would enshrine Zwarte Piet’s black colour in law. They want to protect Pete and with him Dutch culture, threatened to be “damaged from on high”.

  Belgium has a similar tradition and faces similar problems.

  Self-described human rights activist Maria Hengeveld, who writes for the Africa is a Country website, claimed: “In general, attacks on Zwarte Piet are widely interpreted as attacks on (white) Dutchness and threats to (white) children’s right to jovially celebrate their ‘cultural heritage'”. She went on to point out that politicians, lawmakers and big businesses “are sensitive to public feeling” on the issue. For example, Albert Heijn, Holland’s largest supermarket chain, went back on its promise to ban Black Pete from its stores after an enormous public uproar.

  Even the country’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who may sense a danger in displeasing his electorate, has backed Black Pete.

  Attempted meddling from the UN was revoked:

  The [Facebook] page, attracting over a million likes in just one day, followed a letter from the UN’s human rights body announcing an investigation and warning the Dutch that the [Black Pete] character is a “racist stereotype”. “

 

 

Read the entire piece from Enza Ferreri at American Thinker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Judge Unseals Hundreds Of Highly Secret Cell Tracking Court Records

 

 

 

 

” A judge in Charlotte, North Carolina, has unsealed a set of 529 court documents in hundreds of criminal cases detailing the use of a stingray, or cell-site simulator, by local police. This move, which took place earlier this week, marks a rare example of a court opening up a vast trove of applications made by police to a judge, who authorized each use of the powerful and potentially invasive device.

  According to the Charlotte Observer, the records seem to suggest that judges likely did not fully understand what they were authorizing. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have taken extraordinary steps to preserve stingray secrecy. As recently as this week, prosecutors in a Baltimore robbery case dropped key evidence that stemmed from stingray use rather than fully disclose how the device was used.

  The newspaper also reported on Friday that the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office, which astonishingly had also never previously seen the applications filed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), will now review them and determine which records also need to be shared with defense attorneys. Criminals could potentially file new claims challenging their convictions on the grounds that not all evidence was disclosed to them at the time.

  Relatively little is known about precisely how stingrays are used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, although more and more documents have surfaced showing how they’ve been purchased and used in limited instances. Last year, Ars reported on leaked documents showing the existence of a body-worn stingray. In 2010, security researcher Kristin Paget famously demonstrated a homemade device built for just $1,500.

  Worse still, local cops have lied to courts (at the direction of the United States Marshals Service) about the use of such technology. Not only can stingrays be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. While they do target specific phones, they also sweep up cell data of innocents nearby who have no idea that such data collection is taking place. “

 

Ars Technica has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee DA Restricts Use Of Civil Forfeiture Laws

 

 

Tennessee Asset Forfeiture Reform

 

 

 

” An agency at the center of NewsChannel 5’s “Policing for Profit” investigation has severely restricted the use of civil forfeiture laws that had been used to seize cash from drivers passing through Tennessee.

  Instead, the new boss of the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force said he wants officers to re-emphasize their primary mission of looking for drugs.

  For more than three years, NewsChannel 5 Investigates has shined the light on laws that let police take cash from drivers without charging them with a crime.

  Critics called it “highway robbery.”

I don’t want the public to believe that we are out there trying to just take money from innocent people,” said District Attorney General Ray Crouch. “That is not what we are going to do. I am not going to be part of that.

  It marks the first time that a Tennessee district attorney has publicly rejected the broad use of the civil forfeiture laws that have drawn national attention. For the past several years, the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference has lobbied lawmakers to preserve that source of money.

” I want the public to know that they do not have to be in fear of the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force seizing their personal property, their cash, their assets,” Crouch toldNewsChannel 5 Investigates. “

 

More at JRN.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Boasts Having Seized $904 Million Through Asset Forfeitures In 2013 Alone

 

 

 

” Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial policy in which the government seizes private property that it believes was either gained through the commission of a crime or used to commit one. However, the items being seized sometimes belong to someone who was never accused of a crime at all or people who later turn out to be completely innocent. Since a civil process is used to seize the items in question, individuals facing the loss of property do so without the benefit of the level of due process that would ordinarily be afforded a criminal defendant.

  The Washington Post notes that, under President Obama, civil asset forfeitures have doubled. Now, as Eric Holder steps aside as US Attorney General, his potential replacement, nominee and US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, recently announced that her office seized over $904 million in asset forfeitures in 2013 alone.

  According to a quote from The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, “As a prosecutor Ms. Lynch has also been aggressive in pursuing civil asset forfeiture, which has become a form of policing for profit. She recently announced that her office had collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal 2013, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.” The editorial calls for senators to ask questions in an effort to clarify Lynch’s views on the controversial policy. “

 

Ben Swann has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutmeg State SWAT Storms Gun Owner’s Home, Seizes Firearms

 

 

 

 

” Connecticut gun owner told Guns and Patriots that his civil rights were stripped from him by an anti-gun judicial branch and a soon-to-be ex-wife who is uncomfortable with him owning guns.

“ High risk SWAT team rolls in and takes all my guns,” said Edward F. Taupier the respondent in a two-year divorce action that has escalated to an all-out war. “It took two armadillo armored vehicles, 75 officers with weapons drawn, and 45 minutes to raid my house.”

  Although he said he posed no risk to the officers, Taupier was thrown to the ground and arrested.

  Taupier, who is a former Wall Street chief officer at Citibank, said he has no prior record of arrests or charges – not even a speeding ticket – yet his home was invaded and his guns stolen based on a false allegation made by a person he does not even know, he said.

  Linda J. Allard, a West Hartford family law attorney, contacted Superior Court Judge Elizabeth L. Bozzuto, the judge assigned in his divorce proceeding, to discuss a private email she never received directly, he said. “I have never met Linda Allard. I didn’t do anything wrong. I sent an email to seven people that did not include Allard.”

  That did not stop the Cromwell police and the judicial marshal, acting outside of a criminal jurisdiction, from having him violently arrested, he said. Allard’s statement to the police, which is missing from evidence, falsely accuses Taupier of threatening Bozzuto in that email, he said. “I never sent any threat to her or anyone.”

  After being bailed out of jail, costing his family a total of three-quarters of a million dollars in bond, Taupier said he is assigned to 27 new bail and bond conditions, wears two ankle bracelets, which includes a GPS tracker, and is not permitted to leave the house except for court appearances. This is all despite the fact that the initial risk warrant was determined to be invalid in criminal court, he said.

“ I am on 24-7 lockdown. All my freedoms have been denied,” he said. “This happens to people in North Korea or in the Russian Gulag.”

  One day after the arrest, his contract with Citigroup as a financial officer was terminated. The job that gave him the opportunity to be at home with his children after school, instead of warehoused in day care, was taken away from him too, he said.

  Taupier’s arrest happened just two days after Tanya A. Taupier initiated an ex parte emergency hearing on Aug. 29 in which Bozzuto ordered their two children, aged 9 and 10, be extracted from one elementary school to another elementary school of Mrs. Taupier’s choice, said Taupier.

“ I have had 50-50 percent custody of my children for the past nine years,” he said. “I am an active and engaged parent – I love my kids.” Her extreme action is a result of a disagreement concerning the best schooling and after-school environment for their children, he said. “That’s what led to the false arrest.”

  In court Taupier’s ex-wife  said she wanted the school transfer to be as unobtrusive to the children as possible, but at the same time she requested a police escort, to extract two children in the middle of a school day, he said. “It not only violated the children’s rights, it terrorized them.”

  Mrs. Taupier then filed a full protective order against him, even though there was no family threat, he said. In court, Mrs. Taupier said Taupier’s possession of guns exposes the children to potential, deadly thugs that can hurt them. She makes this claim without any evidence, said Taupier. “In all the 12 years we have lived together there has never been a domestic violence incident.”

  Nonetheless, he said his 50-50 percent custody of the children was unilaterally dissolved by Bozzuto. The new judge assigned, because of the long length of this case, Judge Jorge A. Simon, accepted the ex-wife’s demand to cease weekend visitation and limit any visitation to supervised at a court approved location. “My time with my children now consists of two six-minute phone conversations per week.”

  All this time, the ex-wife failed to tell the court that out of the 13 guns that were in her possession, eight of them were given to him by her deceased father, he said. “Guns are a hobby for me. I purchase and collect guns to upgrade them,” said Taupier. “I’m an electrical engineer – I have mechanical skills.”

  It was the court appointed guardian ad litem, who initiated the gun ban against him without any evidence his hobby was a threat, he said. At the advice of then-counsel, Taupier agreed to temporarily remove the firearms from the home in exchange for time with his children. Time with his children would not be what the GAL proposed and Taupier later retrieved the firearms with the intention of selling his collection to offset legal costs, he said. “I have $50,000 custom made gun work, with enhanced triggers on my own guns.”

  Attorneys’ fees, mediation costs and GAL services that are dragging out the divorce, racked up fees in excess of $30,000, he said. “I have no money, no job, and I’m still not divorced.”

  The Connecticut Bar Association dismissed a grievance complaint filed by Taupier against the GAL, Margaret Bozek, because he said her actions did not seek the best interest of the children. “The GAL was not doing her job,” he said. Bozek recommended a full summer of revoked parental rights for Taupier. “My children want to see me. I want to see my children. How is separating us in their best interest?

  Family court, a court of equity, is using the children to punish Taupier for his political activism against GAL services, said Taupier. In a criminal jurisdiction Taupier is entitled to a Fernando hearing which would give him the right to be presented with his accuser. Family court circumvented criminal law by issuing a criminal order in a civil court arena, he said. “The risk warrant allowed officials to take custody and employ the SWAT teams.” In the criminal court, the risk warrant was deemed invalid, he said.

  For a state known as the “Constitution State” it does not follow the Constitution very well, he said. “There are First, Second, and Fourth Amendment violations – even my right to vote has been taken away.”

  Taupier believes his case is not an isolated one, he said.

  The entire family court system is embedded with players in a scam designed to soak money from good parents in order to fund a system that is completely broken. “I come from a big Irish, Catholic family. Family is everything to us,” said Taupier. “My family has been destroyed by family court.” “

 

Thanks to Human Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justice Department Defends US Marshals’ Airborne Cell Tower Spoofers; Refuses To Acknowledge Program Exists

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Justice Department has been summoned to say a few words in defense of the US Marshals’ Cessna-mounted cell tower spoofers. And while it tried to leave a lot unsaid, it actually said quite a bit.

  The Justice Department, without formally acknowledging the existence of the program, defended the legality of the operation by the U.S. Marshals Service, saying the agency doesn’t maintain a database of everyday Americans’ cellphones.

  Because America’s criminal element is forever only moments away from permanently escaping the grasp of law enforcement, the DOJ has refused to confirm or deny the existence of technology everyone already knows exists — IMSI catchers and single-engine aircraft. The DOJ’s caginess is commendable. I’m sorry, I mean ridiculous. Here’s the same official further protecting and defending The Program That Dare Not Confirm Its Existence, using statements that indicate the program exposed by the Wall Street Journal not only exists, but functions pretty much as described.

  A Justice Department official on Friday refused to confirm or deny the existence of such a program, because doing so would allow criminals to better evade law enforcement. But the official said it would be “utterly false’’ to conflate the law-enforcement program with the collection of bulk telephone records by the National Security Agency, a controversial program already being challenged in the courts and by some members of Congress.

  No one’s conflating the feds’ airborne ‘Stingray’ with the NSA’s ongoing bulk phone records collections. All people have done is note that surveillance technology of this sort has the ability to collect (and store) millions of unrelated phone records in a very short period of time. “

 

Read the rest at Techdirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under Obama, U.S. Personal Freedom Ranking Slips Below France

 

 

 

” Americans’ assessments of their personal freedom have significantly declined under President Obama, according to a new study from the Legatum Institute in London, and the United States now ranks below 20 other countries on this measure.

  The research shows that citizens of countries including France, Uruguay, and Costa Rica now feel that they enjoy more personal freedom than Americans.

  As the Washington Examiner reported this morning, representatives of the Legatum Institute are in the U.S. this week to promote the sixth edition of their Prosperity Index. The index aims to measure aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements don’t include, such as entrepreneurship and opportunity, education, and social capital.

“ This is not a good report for Obama,” Legatum Institute spokeswoman Cristina Odone told theWashington Examiner.

  In the 2010 report (which relied on data gathered in 2009), the U.S. was ranked ninth in personal freedom, but that ranking has since fallen to 21st, with several countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom passing the U.S. “

 

Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Democratic Party Has Become So Useless It’s Making Young Liberals Look Longingly At Rand Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Democrats have become so frustratingly useless to young people that it’s inspiring Salon writers to say semi-nice things about libertarians. Yes, my friends, perhaps the partisan apocalypse really is nigh.

 In a piece at Salon today, Tim Donovan explores how millennial-voter turnout in the recent midterm elections was low, and that didn’t bode well for Democrats. He scoffs at the idea that the dismal showing had much to do with voter identification laws or other logistical barriers. Rather, Donovan suggests (as I, too, did recently) that Democratic candidates have done a crap job of focusing on issues that actually matter to young voters: 

  For those of us who follow “millennial issues,” this generation’s low turnout hardly came as a surprise. Last April, the Harvard Institute of Politics found something surprising while talking with young voters: considerably more young Republicans expected to vote than Democrats. Armed with this troubling data, Democratic candidates had months to adapt their messaging and court our votes. What happened? Universally, Democratic candidates didn’t bother to address the (very real, very serious) problems that are on the minds of many millennials: the racist and costly drug war, ballooning student loan debt, long-term unemployment, flat wages at shitty retail and restaurant jobs, and an imperiled climate. Democratic strategists seemed to assume that running as the Not-Republican Party would carry them to victory among young voters.

  I don’t know that the issues Donovan mentions are necessarily those that excite millennials the most, nor that it’s true Democratic candidates didn’t focus on wages or climate policy this election season. But he’s certainly right that they focused much more on scaremongering about Republicans than actually setting themselves apart from them in substantive ways. Donovan continues: 

  Personally, I’d vote for Rand Paul for president faster than you can say “libertarian wacko” if I thought he would actually end the drug war, slash corporate welfare and plow the savings into student loan debt relief or a robust infrastructure bill. If someone like myself—a pajama-festooned, latte-sipping, liberal hipster who writes for Salon, fer chrissake–is willing to ignore party preference in favor of actual legislative gains, I can only assume that less ideologically committed millennials are even more willing to vote Republican for the right candidate or platform. “

 

 

    As we’ve expressed before , Barack Obama is the greatest libertarian recruitment tool to come along in decades . With crushing debt and regulations grinding the citizenry and it’s economic motor to a halt , Obama is the perfect man at the perfect time to effect a sea-change in the political nature of generations to come . It is difficult for one to imagine a more fitting personification of “The State” than president Obama .

 

Reason has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Is Why

 

 

 

 

 

” The editor of Breitbart Unmasked, a site that I enjoy immensely and find informative, recently told me that supporting Rand Paul disqualifies a person from being labeled a progressive. My rebuttal was that he might be right. However, I also mentioned that Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia agreed with my latest Congress Blog piece. In the article, I explain why Rand Paul is correct in questioning the legality of President Obama’s troop deployments. Sadly, people at UC Berkeley are more interested in protesting Bill Maher than condemning a conflict George McGovern stated weakens our country in the same manner as Vietnam. Hundreds of airstrikes, over 3,000 soldiers deployed, and a request for $5.6 billion is a war, folks.

  Had President Mitt Romney just doubled our military presence in the Middle East and launched airstrikes that even the Kurds and the Free Syrian Army have criticized, the reaction would have been entirely different from liberals throughout the country. We once again have over 3,000 American boots on the ground in Iraq (without a peep from the anti-war left), only months after a VA crisis that caused veterans to die as they waited for health care, and about the same time as the publication of this book by an American general. To make matters worse, Congress is too cowardly to even debate the issue, despite calls for a discussion by Rand Paul. In the meantime, our values as a nation have succumb to fear mongering and paranoia.

  Since 9/11, we’ve had to endure ideologues like Sean Hannity, a man who vehemently defends enhanced interrogation, yet is too chicken (insert the next word) to get waterboarded himself; even after promising on television that he would do so for charity. To prove that waterboaring is indeed torture, Christopher Hitchens actually did get waterboarded, yet the thought of nearly drowning apparently terrifies Fox’s tough, football throwing host. Even petitions calling for Hannity to back up the bravado, or the fact that such interrogation methods endanger U.S. soldiers and besmirch our value system, haven’t been enough to alter the conservative view of this un-American tool of statecraft. Alas, only Selsun Blue and unicorn tears, not water being poured onto his smug face wrapped in cloth and gasping for oxygen, will ever grace the Fred Flinstone-like visage of Sean Hannity. “

 

Read the rest at Huffington Post 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Net Neutrality

 

 

 

     We’ve run this video before but now that the FCC’s attempt to regulate the internet have been brought back to the public’s attention we thought that Mr Oliver’s take on the cronyism and statism that is represented by the Obama administration’s plans to make the internet a “public utility” deserve further prominence . 

 

 

 

 

” First Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, compared net neutrality to “Obamacare for the Internet,” and now outspoken businessman Mark Cuban has tweeted that President Barack Obama’s proposed policy is something “straight out of Ayn Rand.”

  Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and numerous entertainment outlets, tweeted a series of comments about net neutrality on November 13. (Tweets are below.) The tweets centered on comparing net neutrality to the extreme overreaches of government authority depicted by pro-capitalist author and philosopher Ayn Rand in such novels as “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”

  In one of his tweets, Cuban wrote, “If Ayn Rand were an up and coming author today, she wouldn’t write about steel or railroads, it would be net neutrality.” “

 

NewsBusters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans’ Cellphones Targeted In Secret Spy Program

 

 

 

” The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of cellphones through fake communications towers deployed on airplanes, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

  The U.S. Marshals Service program, which became fully functional around 2007, operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population, according to people familiar with the program.

  Planes are equipped with devices–some known as “dirtboxes” to law-enforcement officials because of the initials of the Boeing Co. BA, +0.26%  unit that produces them–which mimic cell towers of large telecommunications firms and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.”

 

Market Watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Californians May Carry Concealed Guns After Ruling

 

 

 

” A ruling with the potential to expand the number of Californians permitted to carry hidden, loaded guns in public to almost 2 million won’t be reheard by an appeals court as the state’s attorney general requested.

  A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Wednesday to deny a bid by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a gun control organization and two police lobbying groups to challenge the court’s February ruling that any responsible, law-abiding citizen is entitled under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment to possess a concealed firearm in public for self- defense. Harris may appeal the decision. Her spokesman, David Beltran, said the office is reviewing it.

  The panel ruled in February that San Diego County’s process for determining who qualifies for a permit to carry a concealed weapon violates the right to bear arms. California’s concealed- carry laws are among the most stringent in the U.S.

  The case was brought by freelance videographer Edward Peruta, who sued after his application to carry a concealed Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol as he traveled through high-crime neighborhoods was denied by the sheriff in San Diego County.

  Experts have said that allowing the February ruling to stand may increase the number of people with concealed guns to as much as 5 percent of the general population in California. That would equal 1.9 million of the most populous U.S. state’s 38 million residents.

  If the ruling is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, it could put the scope of the right to bear arms back in front of the high court justices, six years after they struck down a District of Columbia law that banned handguns in the home.

  The San Francisco appeals court’s ruling is squarely at odds with those by appeals courts in New York, Philadelphia and Richmond, Virginia, that have upheld discretionary permitting. By deepening a split among regional appeals courts, a ruling in favor of Peruta increases the likelihood that the high court will take up the issue to resolve the difference of opinion. “

 

Read more

HT/Instapundit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Must Have Apps For Freedom Lovers

 

 

aclu police tape

 

 

 

 

” The best thing about technology is that it has granted us access of information in our hand held devices. Your smart phone has more computing power than the Apollo spacecraft.  Instead of downloading wallpapers and different applications it is time for your phone to be updated with something more powerful.”

 

 

” 4: Tinfoil for Facebook
 Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.danvelazco.fbwrapper&hl=en

 
tinfoil for facebook

This free software available on Google Play store for those of us who oppose governments and spying agencies and know that Facebook is one of those platforms where information is easily available and can be taken even if we set up our Facebook with a tight security.

  This is when Daniel Velazco developed Tinfoil, the application runs Facebook’s mobile site in a sort of an incognito type environment, keeping the cookies and tracking applications out thus limiting Facebook to track you. “

 

Read the rest at AnonHQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guns And Pot: Which States Are Friendly To Both?

 

 

 

 

” A Reddit user recently posted a graphic called “The Venn Diagram of Cultural Politics,” showing which states allow at least some citizens to use marijuana, which states recognize gay marriages, and which do both. The chart got us wondering: Which places embrace the personal freedoms beloved by the left and the right? Where can you buy both a vibrator and a Big Gulp? Where can a gay couple not just marry but avoid a high sin tax on the cigarettes they smoke after sex? Where can you carry a gun while passing a joint?

  The image below tackles that last question. If you include states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only, there are now 24 states that permit pot. There are 42 states where an adult non-felon’s right to carry a concealed gun is either unrestricted or subject only to permissive “shall issue” laws. Sixteen states fall into both categories.

  If you narrow the question, though—limiting yourself to places that allow marijuana even without a prescription and concealed carry even without a permit—the intersection shrinks to contain just one state. The Guns and Dope Party has found its regional base.”

 

Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Committee Demands Answers On Truthy Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track “misinformation” on Twitter.

  The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors “suspicious memes,” “false and misleading ideas,” and “hate speech,” with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.

  The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project’s lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.

  Menczer has also said that Truthy monitored tweets using #p2 (Progressive 2.0), but did not discuss any examples of getting liberal accounts suspended in his book.

“ The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments,” wrote Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to NSF Director France Cordova. 

“ While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of ‘false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda’ communicated by conservative groups,” he said.”

 

    Latecomers can find out more on the “Truthy Project” here and read more about the Congressional investigation here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Caught Up With Him To Find Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Wondering how libertarians view the world? The Daily Signal caught up with John Stossel, host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network, to hear how the political perspective applies to controversial issues such as Ebola, the economy and drug legalization.

“ Legalization is not about moral implication,” he said while speaking on the issue of drug legalization. “We argue that the drugs are bad … but the laws against them creating the black market are far worse.” “

 

Thanks to The Daily Signal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Fire The Media

 

 

 

 

 

” Today, twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Empire, the Left still runs the Western media. Such a monopoly guarantees massive corruption, uniform indoctrination, constant media lies, and toxic politics. It shuts the voters out of power. The result is near-suicidal policies, like Europe’s importation of forty million Muslims. 

  The European Union is a monolith that enforces self-sabotaging policies on nations like the UK, precisely the way Obama wants to impose a centralized bureaucratic diktat in this country. Obama is an open Eurosocialist of the Third World (Leninist) variety.

  A single U.S. election victory is therefore only one small step toward reversing the new totalitarians. We can’t proclaim victory and walk away. The crumbling of the Soviet Union around 1990 gave us the illusion of victory, while the Left burrowed deeper and deeper into the vital organs of our society.

  Today the Left still has a stranglehold on our mainstream media and education, Karl Marx’s “Organs of Propaganda.” Marx was a third-rate philosopher and economist, but he was a first-rate agitator. Conquering the Organs of Propaganda really works. If conservatives do not regain control of American culture this election will only be a temporary rest in a headlong decline. 

  Conservatives take pride in individualism, as they should. Even during the Obama years, the growth of medical travel, genomic medicine and electronic health monitoring allow us to take advantage of free medical markets outside of Obama’s reach. “

 

Read the whole thing from James Lewis at American Thinker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bullet That Could Make 3-D Printed Guns Practical Deadly Weapons

 

 

 

 

 

 

” As 3-D printed guns have evolved over the past 18 months from a science-fictional experiment into a subculture, they’ve faced a fundamental limitation: Cheap plastic isn’t the best material to contain an explosive blast. Now an amateur gunsmith has instead found a way to transfer that stress to a component that’s actually made of metal—the ammunition.

  Michael Crumling, a 25-year-old machinist from York, Pennsylvania, has developed a round designed specifically to be fired from 3-D printed guns. His ammunition uses a thicker steel shell with a lead bullet inserted an inch inside, deep enough that the shell can contain the explosion of the round’s gunpowder instead of transferring that force to the plastic body or barrel of the gun. Crumling says that allows a home-printed firearm made from even the cheapest materials to be fired again and again without cracking or deformation. And while his design isn’t easily replicated because the rounds must be individually machined for now, it may represent another step towards durable, practical, printed guns—even semi-automatic ones.

“ It’s a really simple concept: It’s kind of a barrel integrated into the shell, so to speak,” says Crumling. “Basically it removes all the stresses and pressures from the 3-D printed parts. You should be able to fire an unlimited number of shots through the gun without replacing any parts other than the shell.”

  Last week, for instance, Crumling shot 19 rounds from a 3-D printed gun of his own design created on an ultra-cheap $400 Printrbot printer using PLA plastic. (He concedes his gun isn’t completely 3-D printed; it uses some metal screws and a AR-15 trigger and firing hammer that he bought online for a total of $30. But he argues none of those parts affected the gun’s firing durability.) Though the gun misfired a few times, it didn’t suffer from any noticeable internal damage after all of those explosions. Here’s a time lapse video that shows 18 of those shots.”

 

Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Britain Poised To Muzzle ‘Extremist’ Speech

 

 

 

 

” In Britain, if you have extreme views on anything from Western democracy to women’s role in public life, you might soon require a license from the government before you can speak in public. Seriously.

  Nearly 350 years after us Brits abolished the licensing of the press, whereby every publisher had to get the blessing of the government before he could press and promote his ideas, a new system of licensing is being proposed. And it’s one which, incredibly, is even more tyrannical than yesteryear’s press licensing since it would extend to individuals, too, potentially forbidding ordinary citizens from opening their gobs in public without officialdom’s say-so.

  It’s the brainchild of Theresa May, the Home Secretary in David Cameron’s government. May wants to introduceextremism disruption orders, which, yes, are as terrifyingly authoritarian as they sound.”

 

Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Did Healey Get 22% In R.I. Governor’s Race With Just $36?

 

 

 

 

” In 2010, Frank T. Caprio ran as the endorsed Democratic candidate for governor. He outspent his opponents, pouring $2.6 million into the race. And he finished third with 23 percent of the vote, taking three cities and towns: Johnston, North Providence and Central Falls.

  On Tuesday, Robert J. Healey Jr. ran as the Moderate Party’s last-minute substitute candidate. He spent $36.29 (including two stamps), while his opponents spent millions. And he finished third with 22 percent of the vote, taking two towns: Warren and Bristol.

  So what in the name of the Cool Moose is going on here? I mean, Healey ran for governor three times before this year, but the best he ever did was 9 percent in 1994. So what catapulted him into the Caprio-sphere this year? “

 

Providence Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rap Sheets, Watchlists And Spy Networks Now Available With Single Click

 

 

 

” Law enforcement officials nationwide now have the ability to search multiple sensitive databases, including spy agency intranets and homeland security suspicious activity reporting – with a single login. 

  The breakthrough in interconnectivity is expected to close information gaps that, among other things, have contributed to the rise in homegrown terrorism and school shootings. 

” Let’s say you have a lone-wolf incident or an active-shooter incident, where you need to be able to securely share information in a timely way. With a single sign-on capability, there is no wrong door,” Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the Information Sharing Environment at the Office of Director of National Intelligence, said during an interview. “If you have an account, you can get to the virtual command center that the fusion center may be using – in a very direct way.” “

 

Read it all at NextGov.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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