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Technology in the News

Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

thehackernews.com

by Mohit Kumar

July 30, 2014

A critical vulnerability in Tor was probably being used to de-anonymize the identity of Tor users, Tor project warned on Wednesday.

115 MALICIOUS ToR RELAYS WERE DE-ANONYMIZING USERS According to a security advisory, Tor Team has found a group of 115 malicious fast non-exit relays (6.4% of whole Tor network), those were actively monitoring the relays on both ends of a Tor circuit in an effort to de-anonymize users. "While we don't know when they started doing the attack, users who operated or accessed hidden services from early February through July 4 should assume they were affected," Tor said.

reason.com

by Scott Shackford

July 30, 2014

The liberty-loving Institute for Justice (IJ) has put together a new one-stop shop for info explaining all the terrible problems with and government abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws for you to share with any friends or family who don't quite get it.

Check out the easy-to-remember endforfeiture.com. Scroll down the site and you'll hit every piece of information you need to illustrate the abuse problems and twisted incentives that come from the government's ability to seize assets from citizens through civil processes without ever having to prove they committed a crime. The site includes IJ's videos and report about "Policing for Profit," as well as details about a handful of specific cases, some of which will be familiar to regular Reason readers. And there will be more cases. "We're going to have a whole string of them coming out in the next year," says IJ Senior Attorney Scott Bullock. He is leading the institute's eight-member "forfeiture initiative team."

blog.sfgate.com

by Vivian Ho

July 30, 2014

The San Jose Police Department has become the first Bay Area law enforcement agency to acquire a drone, department officials confirmed Wednesday, but guidelines for its use have not been developed.

Department officials got the unmanned aircraft in January for just under $7,000 in federal grant money for the purpose of aiding the department bomb squad in assessing threats, police spokesman Officer Albert Morales told The Chronicle. Because the Century NEO 660 V2 hexacopter was purchased with federal grant money, Morales said, the drone will be available to 13 other bomb squads around the Bay Area, including agencies in San Francisco and Oakland. San Jose police have kept this information mostly under wraps, but a records request by Vice's Motherboard and MuckRock made the purchase public - after officials initially denied the claims.

reason.com

by Zenon Evans

July 30, 2014

The Tor Project is a great way for people to cover their tracks on the Internet. Because of this, some in the federal government, specifically the National Security Agency (NSA), really dislikes Tor.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the project actually received over $1.8 million in federal money last year. The Tor Project, which provides free software to users interested in surveillance- and censorship-resistant web activity, recently released its financial statements and reports for 2013, and sources began taking note yesterday. The documents show that the State Department directly granted the organization $256,900 as part of its mission to fund "international programs [that] support democracy, human rights and labor."

baystateexaminer.com

by Andrew

July 29, 2014

Man says he tried to record cops he saw slamming a handcuffed man's head into pavement, but they took his phone.

The Framingham Police Department confirmed last Tuesday that it has opened an internal investigation into an alleged police brutality incident, according to The MetroWest Daily News. Richard Porter said he witnessed police slamming the head of 20-year-old Jonel Reyes into the pavement after the man was already in handcuffs. Porter went inside his home to get his cellphone so he could record the incident, but police confiscated it.

orbitmedia.com

by Andy Crestodina

July 29, 2014

Here are guidelines for length for ten types of content. Most of these are compiled from studies that analyzed the high-performers.

"It depends." What a totally unsatisfying answer. Of course it depends. But there are rules of thumb. There is research. We can analyze what works and draw conclusions. We can create guidelines, especially for things that are measurable. Like length.

tv.naturalnews.com

by EMFSafetyZone

July 29, 2014

This video provides a simple, yet profound lesson. The radio frequency (microwave) radiation being transmitted from your wireless router or modem is extremely toxic and detrimental to your health. Notice how high the measurements are on the RF meter!

Most of us are living and working in this type of RF radiation exposure every single day and night. The fix, or remediation is simple. Plug your modem or router into your computer using an Ethernet cord (hardwire), and "disable" the wireless function on your modem or router. This is very important for the health and safety of all those in your home or office. If you need to use the wireless function, then turn it on for a short time, do your task or watch your movie, then disable it once again. Never leave your wireless internet on all night as it will cause sleep disturbances which lead to even worse health issues. The fix is simple! Use an Ethernet cord and disable the wireless function.

Common Sense with Paul Jacob

by Paul Jacob

July 29, 2014

Sometimes the Internet makes a mistake.

The other day, one of my favorite websites embedded a Fox News video about NSA spying. Fox News entitles their video "Citizens Treated As Suspects." At the site showcasing Fox's story, though, the headline reads: "The NSA Grabs Information from Non-Suspects; Ninety percent of those spied upon are under no suspicion." Can this be right? When you're treated as a suspect, you are a suspect, aren't you? You're being suspected of ... something. At least of being somebody who might be up to something worth snagging in an all-embracing fishing expedition. If you're not guilty, somebody else leaving comparable data traces is, surely.

aclu.org

July 28, 2014

Because freedom can't protect itself Government Spying Undermines Media Freedom and Right to Counsel, ACLU- Human Rights Watch Shows

Large-scale U.S. surveillance is seriously hampering U.S.-based journalists and lawyers in their work, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people's ability to hold their government to account, the groups said. The 120-page report, "With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale U.S. Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy," is based on extensive interviews with dozens of journalists, lawyers, and senior U.S. government officials. It documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented U.S. government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public's right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.

theregister.co.uk

by Neil McAllister

July 25, 2014

An unspecified glitch in a global database used by the US government to issue passports and travel visas has left countless people around the world unable to travel for the last few days, according to State Department officials.

"The Bureau of Consular Affairs has been experiencing technical problems with our passport and visa system," Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, said in a press briefing on Thursday. "The issue is worldwide, not specific to any particular country." The database in question, known as the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), is said to be one of the largest Oracle-based data warehouses in the world. It holds over 100 million records of visa cases and 75 million photographs, and it currently processes around 35,000 new visa cases every day. The system reportedly crashed following scheduled maintenance earlier this week and was out of operation for as much as a few days. Service has since been restored but only in a "limited capacity," and the downtime has resulted in a backlog of visa and passport processing that will take some time to work through.

      
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