Tag Archive: Microsoft


Center For American Progress, Poised To Wield Influence Over 2016, Reveals Its Top Donors

 

 

 

 

” The Center for American Progress, the preeminent liberal think tank in Washington, is poised to exert outsized influence over the 2016 president race and — should Hillary Clinton win it — the policies and agenda of the 45th President of the United States. CAP founder John Podesta is set to run Clinton’s presidential campaign, and current CAP president Neera Tanden is a longtime Clinton confidante and adviser. CAP recently rolled out a major blueprint for combat wage stagnation and inequality that many view as a template for a Clinton economic agenda, and there are surely more major policy statements to come.

  So interest in CAP’s funding sources — and its internal workings in general — is likely to intensify and take on a political cast.

  Today, CAP is revealing its major 2014 donors, after taking some criticism for lack of transparency. The organization provided me two lists of its donors, which you can read right here and right here. The first is for the C (3), the nonpartisan think tank arm; the second is for the more political, issue-advocacy-oriented c (4).

  Perhaps most notably, given CAP’s advocacy for an economically progressive agenda, is that CAP’s top donors include Walmart and Citigroup, each of which have given between $100,000 and $499,000. Other donors to CAP — a leading advocate of health care reform — include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents leading biotech and bio-pharma firms, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, both of which have given up to $49,000.”

 

 

Here is the list of “evil corporations” that are supporting CAP and by extension , Hillary Clinton …

 

 

” $1,000,000 or more

Anonymous (3)
Ford Foundation
The Hutchins Family Foundation
Sandler Foundation
TomKat Charitable Trust

 
$500,000 to $999,999

Anonymous (2)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Joyce Foundation
Not On Our Watch
Open Square Charitable Gift Fund
Embassy of United Arab Emirates
Walton Family Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

 
$100,000 to $499,999

Anonymous (10)
A.L. Mailman Family Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME
American Iron and Steel Institute
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Apple Inc.

The Arcus Foundation
Avatar Alliance Foundation
The Barkley Fund
Blackstone
Blue Moon Fund
Citigroup
The Crimson Lion Lavine Family Foundation
Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
Deloitte Consulting
David desJardins
Blair Effron
Joanne and Paul Egerman
Embrey Family Foundation
Gill Foundation
Google
The Henry Luce Foundation
Irving Harris Foundation
Joan and Irwin Jacobs
Tony James
Embassy of Japan
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Linden Trust for Conservation
Mars Incorporated
Microsoft Corporation
Constance J. Milstein
The Murphy Family Foundation
National Education Association, or NEA
New Venture Fund
New York Community Trust—BDEK Fund
The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Robert W. Roche
The Rockefeller Foundation
Sixteen Thirty Fund
Steve Silberstein
Jay T. Snyder
Stoneman Family Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Walmart 

 

$50,000 to $99,999

Anonymous (3)
Altman Kazickas Foundation
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Fomento Social Banamex
Bank of America
Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Daimler
Mark Gallogly
Goldman Sachs
Sanjay Govil
Agnes Gund
Hagedorn Foundation
Hunt Alternatives
Israel Institute
Johnson Family Foundation
Fred Khosravi
Orin S. Kramer
LaSalle Adams Fund
McGraw Hill Financial
Rebecca and Nathan Milikowsky
National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Nordic Council of Ministers
Palantir
PepsiCo
Steven Rattner and Maureen White
Rockefeller Family Fund
Robert E. Rubin
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, or TECRO
Time Warner Inc.
Henry van Ameringen
Visa Inc.
Waitt Foundation
WhyNot Initiative “

 

    Take note of the foreign donors as well as all the “evil corporate” money gathered by these hypocritical liberals .The list goes on as does the story at the Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windows 10 Preview Has A Keylogger To Watch Your Every Move

 

 

 

” This week Microsoft announced the next version of its Operating system, dubbed WIndows 10, providing Windows 10 Technical Preview release under its “Insider Program” in order to collect feedback from users and help shape the final version of the operating system, but something really went WRONG!

Inside Microsoft’s Insider Program you’ll get all the latest Windows preview builds as soon as they’re available. In return, we want to know what you think. You’ll get an easy-to-use app to give us your feedback, which will help guide us along the way.” Microsoft website reads.

  Well, how many of you actually read the “Terms of Service” and “Privacy Policy” documents before downloading the Preview release of Windows 10? I guess none of you, because most computer users have habit of ignoring that lengthy paragraphs and simply click “I Agree” and then “next“, which is not at all a good practise.”
” Do you really know what permissions you have granted to Microsoft by installing Free Windows 10 Technical Preview edition? Of Course, YOU DON’T. Well, guess what, you’ve all but signed away your soul .
 
  If you are unaware of Microsoft’s privacy policy, so now you should pay attention to what the policy says. Microsoft is watching your every move on the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, Thanks to portions of Microsoft’s privacy policy, which indicates that the technology giant is using keylogger to collect and use users’ data in a variety of astounding ways without the user being aware.”
Hacker News has all the details

Microsoft Pays $2.5bn For Minecraft Maker Mojang

 

 

 

 

” Microsoft has bought Mojang, the Swedish firm behind the popular video game Minecraft, for $2.5bn (£1.5bn).

  The title, which has sold over 54 million copies, allows players to build structures with retro Lego-style blocks, as well as explore a large map and battle others.

  The deal was announced by Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

  Mojang, whose three founders will leave the company, assured fans that “everything is going to be OK”.

  Some analysts have speculated the deal is designed to attract more users to Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices.

  The acquisition comes a year after Microsoft bought the Finnish mobile phone firm Nokia.

  Minecraft creator Markus Persson has been critical of Microsoft

  Minecraft is one of the top-selling apps on both Apple’s iOS store and and Android’s Google Play, and has recently been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, further boosting sales. “

 

Continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can Now Send The Middle Finger To All Your Friends

 

 

But we all know this is the only one we are really waiting for...

 

 

 

 

” The emojis are a part of the Unicode 7.0 software update from Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

  Not many photos have been released of the new icons, but they’ll be added to the Emojipedia “as soon as they are available.”

  Some of the new emojis are computer-themed, such as floppy disks, printers, and keyboards. We’ll also be able to go to war with our friends via text, as Emoji is releasing military airplanes, boats, and rockets.”

 

Go to Buzzfeed to see the entire collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Mercatus Center

 

 

 

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   Keep this graph handy for when those bogus claims from the Statists lamenting the power of “big money” pop up .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attackers Use Microsoft Security Hole Against Energy, Defense, Finance Targets

 

Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability actively being exploited in the wild

 

 

” By the time Microsoft warned customers of a nasty security hole in its web browser Saturday, a sophisticated group of attackers were already using the vulnerability against defense and energy companies, according to FireEye, the security company.

  Things went from bad to worse over the weekend. FireEye’s researchers watched as the attackers shared their exploit with a separate attack group, which began using the vulnerability to target companies in the financial services industry, according to Darien Kindlund, the director of threat intelligence at FireEye.

  Even after Microsoft issued its advisory on Saturday, Mr. Kindlund said, “There was a notable increase in proliferation.”

  Soon, the attackers were using the vulnerability for so-called watering hole attacks, in which hackers infect a popular website with malware, then wait for victims to click to the site and infect their computers.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: Encrypt The Web Report: Who’s Doing What

 

EFF Privacy Report

 

” We’ve asked the companies in our Who Has Your Back Program what they are doing to bolster encryption in light of the NSA’s unlawful surveillance of your communications. We’re pleased to see that four five six seven companies—Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sonic.net,SpiderOak, and Twitter—are implementing five out of five of our best practices for encryption. See the infographic.

  By adopting these practices, described below, these service providers have taken a critical step towards protecting their users from warrantless seizure of their information off of fiber-optic cables. By enabling encryption across their networks, service providers can make backdoor surveillance more challenging, requiring the government to go to courts and use legal process. While Lavabit’s travails have shown how difficult that can be for service providers, at least there was the opportunity to fight back in court.

  While not every company in our survey has implemented every recommendation, each step taken helps, and we appreciate those who have worked to strengthen their security. We hope that every online service provider adopts these best practices and continues to work to protect their networks and their users.”

 

     Read more at EFF and consider making a donation to help fund their valuable contributions to online freedom and privacy .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Spot All The Hidden Easter Eggs In This 20 Gigapixel Panoramic?

Can You Spot All the Hidden Easter Eggs in This 20 Gigapixel Panoramic?

” Multi-gigapixel panoramas are rad. It’s like peeping at the world through a telescope from the comfort of your own ground-floor living room. But Microsoft has made the concept even more fun with its 20 Gigapixel “ArtZoom,” and has hidden a bunch of stuff for you to find.

  Shot as a series of 2,400 digital photographs of Seattle in October of last year, Microsoft Research’s multi-billion pixel pano features some 100 art and design nerds that call Seattle home. The trick is finding them all.”

Read on at Gizmodo

Let’s Build A More Secure Internet

 

 

 

 

” Can we ever trust the Internet again?

  In the wake of the disclosures about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, considerable attention has been focused on the agency’s collaboration with companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google, which according to leaked documents appear to have programmed “back door” encryption weaknesses into popular consumer products and services like Hotmail, iPhones and Android phones.

  But while such vulnerabilities are worrisome, equally important — and because of their technical nature, far less widely understood — are the weaknesses that the N.S.A. seems to have built into the very infrastructure of the Internet. The agency’s “upstream collection” capabilities, programs with names like Fairview and Blarney, monitor Internet traffic as it passes through the guts of the system: the cables and routers and switches.

  The concern is that even if consumer software companies like Microsoft and telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon stop cooperating with the N.S.A., your online security will remain compromised as long as the agency can still take advantage of weaknesses in the Internet itself.

  Fortunately, there is something we can do: encourage the development of an “open hardware” movement — an extension of the open-source movement that has led to software products like the Mozilla browser and the Linux operating system.

  The open-source movement champions an approach to product development in which there is universal access to a blueprint, as well as universal ability to modify and redistribute the blueprint. Wikipedia is perhaps the best-known example of a product inspired by the movement. Open-source advocates typically emphasize two kinds of freedom that their products afford: they are available free of charge, and they can be used and manipulated free of restrictions.

  But there is a third kind of freedom inherent in open-source systems: the freedom to audit. With open-source software, independent security experts can scrutinize the code for vulnerabilities — whether accidentally or intentionally introduced. The more auditing by the programming masses, the better the security. As the open-source software advocate Eric S. Raymond has put it, “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

 

 

Source: Mercatus.org

 

 

 

 

 

Eight Tech Giants Call For Reform To Surveillance Law

 

” Today, there are full-page advertisements running in the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Roll Call, and The Hill. They all have the same message: big tech companies are calling on Congress to rein in the mass surveillance. You can read the full message on the newly-launched Reform Government Surveillance site.

  This is a victory for users—with the companies taking a giant step forward in supporting their customers’ rights. The five basic principles they announced today include:

  1. Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information
  2. Oversight and Accountability
  3. Transparency About Government Demands
  4. Respecting the Free Flow of Information
  5. Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments

  While these are all valuable, the first one particularly heartened us: “Governments should limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes, and should not undertake bulk data collection of Internet communications.” With these principles, the companies are joining digital citizens worldwide in demanding a stop to the unrestrained, mass surveillance of our digital lives.”

 

 

    It’s about time . Don’t forget that these companies were very quick to roll over and give the government everything that it demanded as far as access to our personal data and while we commend them for their newfound love of privacy one can only wonder if this letter would have ever come about without the revelations from Edward Snowden being made public . For now color us cautiously optimistic regarding these corporations recently acquired respect for the fourth amendment . 

   It is also worth noting that there are no cell phone carriers/providers among the companies clamoring for renewed privacy laws and therein lies a major drawback to the entire effort to re-establish our right to protection from illegal search and seizure .

 

” But notably absent from the coalition are telecom companies, like Verizon and AT&T. These companies have long been considered the weak link when it comes to government access request. AT&T just announced that it would not respond to shareholder requests to be transparent about its relationship with the NSA.”

 

Just sayin’ …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Xbox Kinect Listening To Your Skype Calls?

 

Related :

Microsoft Won’t Comment On If Skype Can Eavesdrop On Calls

 

” Slate.com tried to get Microsoft PR person for Skype, Chaim Haas, to comment on if they now have the ability to listen on Skype chats. Haas reportedly would not give a direct comment, saying only that Skype “co-operates with law enforcement agencies as much as is legally and technically possible.” “

 

More food for thought :

Microsoft And Skype Set To Allow Backdoor Eavesdropping

It’s Terrifying And Sickening That Microsoft Can Now Listen In On All My Skype Calls

Is Microsoft Eavesdropping Through Skype For The Feds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xbox One Vs. PS4: Microsoft Sells One Million Units In First 24 Hours, But Which System Will Prevail On Black Friday?

 

 

 

” Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) says it sold more than 1 million Xbox One gaming systems in the first 24 hours on Friday. The console hit shelves in 13 countries that day and was priced at $499 in the U.S.

 The Redmond, Wash.-based company stated Sunday that the new console went on sale in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, the UK, the U.S. and Australia. The corporation was forced to eliminate eight countries from its original sales list due to quality and production conflicts.

 One week earlier, the Sony PS4 sold more than 1 million units on Nov. 15. The next-gen console launched at $399 in North America and is still currently sold out at places like GameStop and Wal-Mart.”

 

 

    Anyone have any opinions to offer ? My son who has been an Xbox fan forever has opted to switch to PS4 . I don’t know the significance of this as all he can articulate to his uncool dad is that PS4 is better . Anyone have more to offer than ” it’s better” ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 NSA Collecting E-Mail And IM Contacts Globally

 

 

 

 

” The National Security Agency has been collecting contacts from people’s personal e-mail address books and instant messaging accounts in an effort to detect relationships that might be crucial to government security, the Washington Post is reporting.

The agency is collecting the data from overseas points and many of the contacts belong to Americans, the Post reports.

The Post bases its report on word from senior intelligence officials and top secret documents, including a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden..

The majority of the contacts harvested come from Yahoo and Hotmail accounts, but others also come from Facebook, Google and unspecified other providers, the Post reports. The contacts amount to a sizeable portion of the world’s e-mail and instant messaging accounts, according to the news organization.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Electric, Google And Microsoft Are Three Of The Nine S&P 500 Companies That Currently Have More Cash-On-Hand Than The U.S. Government

 

Poorhouse: The U.S. government currently has less money than nine S&P 500 companies

 

 

 

” It was just a few short years ago when the United States government was forced to bailout the auto industry, and now the tables have turned – the United States government currently has less cash on hand than at least one automaker, as well as eight other Standard & Poor’s 500 companies.

As politicians in Washington D.C. continue their seemingly endless debate on whether to raise the country’s debt ceiling (the amount of debt lawmakers authorize the Treasury to enter into), the U.S. is running out of money to pay the bills it’s already incurred.

At the moment, the Treasury has only $32 billion in its operating accounts. In contrast, General Electric currently has nearly three times that amount of accessible cash – currently, GE has more than $88 billion in cash-on-hand.

According to a graph created by QZ.com, GE tops the list of companies with more moulah than the U.S. government. Also on that list is Microsoft with $77 billion, Google with nearly $55 billion and Cisco with $50 billion.

Ford also made the list with $36 billion (Ford is one of the few domestic automakers that did not accept bailout money).

General Motors – which received nearly $50 billion in bailout cash from the U.S. government starting in 2008 – now trails the federal government in cash-on-hand by a mere $3 billion (GM currently has $27 billion in its coffers).”

    There should be no surprise that GE is flush with cash given that they pay next to no taxes . The best news is that Ford , which took no bailout money from the taxpayers is doing so well . GM on the other hand , still owes the taxpayers a bundle and that doesn’t take into account the value of the lost investments of bond holders screwed by Obama to placate his union cronies during the bankruptcy . 

Apple Knocks Coca-Cola Off Its 13 Year Reign As World’s Most Valuable Brand

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 9.42.17 PM

 

 

 

 

” The New York Times reports that Apple has knocked off Coca-Cola (Sugar water!) to become the ‘World’s Most Valuable Brand’ according to the annual Interbrand Best Global Brands Report.

Apple’s arrival in the top spot was perhaps “a matter of time,” Jez Frampton, global chief executive at Interbrand, said in a recent interview. Apple was No. 2 last year, climbing from No. 8 in the 2011 report. “What is it they say, ‘Long live the king’?” Mr. Frampton asked. “This year, the king is Apple.”

The 2013 report begins: “Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Interbrand has a new No. 1 — Apple.” The report estimates the value of the Apple brand at $98.3 billion, up 28 percent from the 2012 report.

Apple’s rivals Google and Samsung also moved up in the list with Mountain View also hopping over Coca-Cola to #2  at a $93.3B (up 34%) valuation while Samsung entered the top 10 with a new brand strategy called the Brand Ideal, which includes “a greater focus on social purpose”. Microsoft, who just lost a CEO, was flat.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: US Tech Companies Lose Business Following PRISM Revelations

 

A protestor wearing a Guy Fawkes mask demonstrates against the PRISM program on June 29, 2013 in Hannover, Germany

 

” Tech companies alleged to be partnering with the U.S. government in a mass Internet surveillance program are losing business, AFP reports.

“The Cloud Security Alliance said 10 percent of its non-US members have cancelled a contract with a US-based cloud provider, and 56 percent said they were less likely to use an American company,” said the publication.

The survey was conducted online between June 25 and July 9.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Asks Intelligence Court To Let It Release Data

 

 

” Google Inc. (GOOG) urged the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to publish the aggregate numbers and scope of national security requests it receives from the U.S. government.

The filing with the secret court, which issues warrants for collecting foreign intelligence inside the U.S., is the latest effort by Google to ease restrictions on disclosing the information the government has asked for under the surveillance program code-named Prism.

“We have long pushed for transparency so users can better understand the extent to which governments request their data — and Google was the first company to release numbers for National Security Letters,” Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman for Google in Washington, said in an e-mail. To promote greater transparency, the company is seeking “to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” she said.”

 

Google is late to the party .

 

” Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), yesterday became the latest technology company to give details of government data collection, following disclosures by Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp., all of whom have revealed thousands of warrants for data from government entities.

Yahoo!, the largest U.S. Web portal, said it got as many as 13,000 requests for information from U.S. law enforcement agencies in the six months ending in May, with the most common types related to fraud, homicides and criminal investigations, Yahoo said in a posting on Tumblr. The Sunnyvale, California-based company said it can’t lawfully break out FISA requests, and it urged the U.S. government to reconsider its stance on the issue.”

 

 

 

 

 

Spying On Americans Before 9/11: NSA Built Back Door In All Windows Software By 1999

 

 

” In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software.

Digging a little further, we found a 1999 article by leading European computer publication Heise which noted that the NSA had already built a backdoor into all Windows software:

A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into Windows. The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA “help information”trapdoor into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.

The first discovery of the new NSA access system was made two years ago by British researcher Dr Nicko van Someren [an expert in computer security]. But it was only a few weeks ago when a second researcher rediscovered the access system. With it, he found the evidence linking it to NSA.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data From Nine U.S. Internet Companies In Broad Secret Program

 

 

 

 

” The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

London’s Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA.

According to documents obtained by The Guardian, PRISM would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required in Britain to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside of the country.”

 

 

Despite the spate of corporate denials it would appear that they are all willing participants … shame .

 

 

In exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies such as Yahoo and AOL are obliged to accept a “directive” from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel a reluctant company “to comply.”

In practice, there is room for a company to maneuver, delay or resist. When a clandestine intelligence program meets a highly regulated industry, said a lawyer with experience in bridging the gaps, neither side wants to risk a public fight. The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.

 

The money quote …

 

As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans,” Udall said.

 

 

 

Related:

Google CEO Larry Page On PRISM: ‘What The…?’

Apple: ‘We Have Never Heard Of PRISM’

Dissecting Big Tech’s Denial of Involvement in NSA’s PRISM …

Google and Facebook Double Down on Prism Denials

PRISM’s NSA fallout: Apple, Google, Facebook issue denials …

Evolution Of The PRISM Denials: This May Be Why They Seem …

Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Paltalk, AOL issue …

Liberal England: PRISM: Should we believe the internet companies …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

 

Government Spying: 1st Verizon, Now The Internet

 

 

Internet_Spying

 

” Washington Post reports U.S. government able to tap the servers of nine Internet companies.”

 

 

Here is the Washington Post article: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

 

An Excerpt :

 

” The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

If document requiring company to submit phone records for millions of Americans is authentic, it would be the broadest surveillance order known to date

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

Editor’s Note : This story first appeared a year ago but we missed it . However , in light of recent revelations regarding what seems to be normal procedure for various agencies of the federal government we thought it would be of interest to our readers .

 

 

Dept. of Homeland Security Forced To Release List Of Keywords Used To Monitor Social Networking Sites

 

 

 

 

” In a story appearing earlier today on the U.K’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor various social networking sites. The list provides a glimpse into what DHS describes as “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.”

The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.”

 

 

” (Update 1: Reading through the Desktop Binder, I discovered the DHS Twitter account is @dhsnocmmc1 and DHS appears to be using tweetdeck to monitor the various keywords. See Page 38 – Also interesting to note they seem to be using a Mac Mini as a server, and no password vaults. All Passwords appear to be shared in a plain text word document.)

(Update 2: On page 37, DHS instructs analysts to accept invalid SSL certificates forever without verification. Although invalid SSL warnings often appear in benign situations, they can also signal a man-in-the-middle attack.Not a good practice for the security conscience. Thanks to @obra on twitter for the tip.)”

 

 

    Here are some of the keywords DHS is monitoring . Go here to see the whole list and read the DHS Desktop Binder.

 

 

 List1

 

 

Read up on how your government is reading your stuff 

                You can read the original article at the DailyMail.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Companies Help Protect Your Data From The Government (An Important Infographic)

 

 

 

eff cc cc

 

” The folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation do such good work. Everyone who cares about freedom in the online world should send them a check (or some bitcoin.)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Some Ways To Get It Back

 

” In our continuing quest to fix and finesse some of Windows 8′s frolicsome foibles, we turn at last to the Start menu — that beloved button that has staked out the bottom left corner of your desktop for almost 20 years, only to be ignominiously removed from Windows 8 and replaced by the desktop-hating Metro Start screen.

Despite Microsoft’s best efforts to ensure that the Start button and menu remain dead, a bunch of third-party replacements have emerged. Really, it just goes to show how devoted the Desktop Windows userbase is: Microsoft completely stripped out the underlying Start menu code to quash potential Luddite revolutionaries, and yet just weeks after the release of Windows 8 there are dozens of Start menu and Start button replacements. ”

Windows 8: Classic Shell Start menu replacement

 

Classic Shell

Classic Shell is free, open-source donationware that gives you the option of a classic (Windows 98ish), Windows XP, or Vista/7 Start menu. At its most basic, it puts a Start button back on your taskbar — but as always with third-party utilities, it has a ton of other features and settings that you can tweak to your heart’s content (in Classic Shell’s case, there’s probably too many tweakable settings). There is apparently an option for Classic Shell to boot straight to Desktop, but I couldn’t find it.

One strong point of Classic Shell is that it successfully rebinds your Start key, so that the Start menu pops up instead of the new Metro Start screen. Hitting the Start key from Metro pops up Classic Shell, too. Other Start menu replacements don’t usually cope quite so well.

Take care while installing Classic Shell, though: It’s not just a Start menu replacement, and if you’re not careful you will end up installing Classic IE and Classic Explorer, too.

Download Classic Shell (free)