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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

AURORAGOLD: How the NSA Gets Inside Every Cellphone Network in the World

The Intercept has discovered an ambitious NSA operation called AURORAGOLD—which aims to tap every cellphone network in the world.

The finding, discovered amongst an archive of material supplied by Edward Snowden, reveals that the NSA intercepted thousands of emails sent between companies in a bid to identify security weaknesses in cellphone technology.

Further documents reveal that the NSA has been working with that information to covertly introduce new flaws into communication systems, precisely so that they can be tapped in the future. The obvious concern there is that purposefully introducing backdoors not only allows the NSA to snoop on whoever it chooses, but also makes those same people vulnerable to attacks by criminal hackers, too. Karsten Nohl, a security researcher, hammers that point home to The Intercept:

"Even if you love the NSA and you say you have nothing to hide, you should be against a policy that introduces security vulnerabilities, because once NSA introduces a weakness, a vulnerability, it's not only the NSA that can exploit it."

The GSM Association—based in the UK but working with the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, and Cisco—is named in the report as one of the more high-profile victims of the email surveillance. But the result of the work are wide-reaching, and one map, shown below, reveals to what degree the NSA has its tentacles in the mobile networks of international territories. Clearly, it has reach in virtually every country in the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and France—who would presumably count themselves as allies.



Philippines moves to calm panic-buying as typhoon bears down

Source: Reuters

Panic-buying of food broke out in the central Philippines on Thursday and schools and government offices were shut, as provinces yet to recover from last year's devastating super-typhoon Haiyan braced for another category 5 storm.

The government said it was considering declaring a state of national calamity to freeze prices of basic goods and President Benigno Aquino ordered the trade department to send more food supplies to provinces at risk from typhoon Hagupit.

"We want to bring in a lot more supplies to cut down on panic buying," Aquino said at a meeting of his disaster command at the main military base in Manila shown on live television.

The move followed reports of stores shutting days ahead of the typhoon in order to raise prices of goods later.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/04/us-philippines-typhoon-idUSKCN0JI09Y20141204

Vatican finds hundreds of millions of euros 'tucked away'

The Vatican's economy minister has said hundreds of millions of euros were found "tucked away" in accounts of various Holy See departments without having appeared in the city-state's balance sheets.

In an article for Britain's Catholic Herald Magazine to be published on Friday, Australian Cardinal George Pell wrote that the discovery meant overall Vatican finances were in better shape than previously believed.

"In fact, we have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed, because some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet," he wrote.

"It is important to point out that the Vatican is not broke ... the Holy See is paying its way, while possessing substantial assets and investments," Pell said, according to an advance text made available on Thursday.



Unarmed black man killed by white Phoenix officer

Source: USA Today

PHOENIX — The facts surrounding Rumain Brisbon's death — the ones that could be agreed upon as of Wednesday evening — follow a narrative familiar to a nation still reeling from the racially charged police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and elsewhere.

In Phoenix on Tuesday evening, a white police officer who was feeling threatened used lethal force on an unarmed black man. The incident left the officer unharmed and Brisbon, 34, dead with two bullet wounds in his torso at a north Phoenix apartment complex.

Phoenix police quickly released a detailed account of the killing for the media on Wednesday morning in what officials said was an effort to promote transparency, especially in light of the unrest that has played out in Ferguson and New York City following the deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of White officers. But portions of that account have already been challenged by some witnesses and community activists who say that the officer's use of force was excessive and that Brisbon's death was unwarranted.

Shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, officers were in the area of Interstate 17 and Greenway Road for a burglary investigation when a resident of an apartment complex told them that men inside a black Cadillac SUV were engaged in a drug deal, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/04/phoenix-police-unarmed-man-killed-by-officer/19878931/

Thursday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest





Thursday Toon Roundup 2: Idiot Party

Thursday Toon Roundup 1: Body on Camera

Da Nang, Vietnam, is TripAdvisor's top emerging destination for 2014

Da Nang, Vietnam, and Wildwood, N.J., lead the pack of TripAdvisor's more than 50 "destinations on the rise" in 2014.

The website's Traveler's Choice Awards in this category reflect "unheralded destinations across the globe that are receiving rave reviews from travelers worldwide," chief marketing officer Barbara Messing said in a statement released Tuesday.


Georgia town bans mosque in controversial vote

By Patrick Howell O'Neill on December 03, 2014

A small Georgia city has voted to ban an Islamic group from renting a retail space and opening a temporary mosque in the city even after the landlord agreed to the deal.

The City Council of Kennesaw, a city of about 30,000 people in north Georgia, ultimately voted down the Muslim group’s request 4-1.

The issue has engendered a lot of tension in the town and from critics outside of it. To give you a small idea of the intensity of the attitudes at play, here’s the video’s description from the man who recorded this week’s City Council vote: “The scumbag lawyer for the terrorist org. says he will sue... good luck with that.”

Attorney Doug Dillard called the decision unconstitutional and “a blatant attack on first amendment rights." He says the group will continue to fight and is strongly considering a federal lawsuit against the city.



Sometimes we talk about offensive GOP crap. Well, HERE is a real doozy of a GOP Crap Toon

Hits all the lows
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