Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is this a case of needing to “appear” concerned, or were they actually surprised by this?
EPIC – European Commissioner Asks Attorney General to Explain US Spying
“European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has demanded that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder explain the scope of US data collection about EU citizens. “Direct access of US law enforcement to the data of EU citizens on servers of US companies should be excluded unless in clearly defined, exceptional and judicially reviewable situations,” the Commissioner wrote. The Commissioner’s request is similar to that made by other European officials, such as German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who also stated that “all facts must be put on the table.” Recent reports indicate that United States lobbied the European Commission to weaken a comprehensive data protection law now pending in the European Parliament. Earlier this year, EPIC joined a coalition of leading US consumer and civil liberties organizations that expressed concern about the role of US officials in the development of European privacy law. The letter stated that “without exception,” members of the European Parliament reported that the US government was “mounting an unprecedented lobbying campaign to limit the protections that European law would provide.” For more information, see EPIC: EU Data Protection Regulation.”

Looks like the DNI got some good scheduling advice... (Picture the senators yelling, “We don't need no stinking facts!”)
Alexander Bolton reports:
A recent briefing by senior intelligence officials on surveillance programs failed to attract even half of the Senate, showing the lack of enthusiasm in Congress for learning about classified security programs. [WATCH VIDEO]
Many senators elected to leave Washington early Thursday afternoon instead of attending a briefing with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and other officials.
Read more on The Hill.
I don’t know about you, but I’d call that dereliction of duty.

This seems remarkably quick to me.
Ted Ullyot, Facebook General Counsel, writes:
… Since this story [The PRISM alligations Bob] was first reported, we’ve been in discussions with U.S. national security authorities urging them to allow more transparency and flexibility around national security-related orders we are required to comply with. We’re pleased that as a result of our discussions, we can now include in a transparency report all U.S. national security-related requests (including FISA as well as National Security Letters) – which until now no company has been permitted to do. As of today, the government will only authorize us to communicate about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range. This is progress, but we’re continuing to push for even more transparency, so that our users around the world can understand how infrequently we are asked [Infrequent? 9000 requests in 180 days = 50 requests per day. Bob] to provide user data on national security grounds.
For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000. These requests run the gamut – from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat. The total number of Facebook user accounts for which data was requested pursuant to the entirety of those 9-10 thousand requests was between 18,000 and 19,000 accounts.
It’s nice to see Facebook being more transparent, although it would be great to have more of a breakdown as to how many were national security requests.

Stick a copy of this Infographic on your office wall, but first age it a bit and stamp it TOP SECRET NOFORN. When someone asks you can say “That's how we used to do it years ago.”
With the assistance of semipr0 for the graphics, Ashkan Soltani has come up with a description of how PRISM might work. It’s well worth reading.
[From the article:
Specifically, how would this system look if we took all the statements made at face value?

I've been asking that for years!
NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it?

Does this establish a precident that would allow me to lie to the courts without penalty?
The government assures us that it does not maintain a database of incidentally collected information from non-targeted United States persons, and there is no evidence to the contrary.
From United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review No. 08-01 IN RE: DIRECTIVES [redacted text]* August 22, 2008
So what’s the government’s explanation now? That they didn’t lie to the court because the database was intentionally compiled?
Why are there no meaningful consequences for misleading the public, Congress, and apparently, the courts?

Interesting and useful.
Without making a big deal about it, Twitter has silently opened its analytics services to the general public, letting any Twitter user view detailed account statistics for free.
… Using the tool, any user can get a daily graph of follows, unfollows, and mentions, as well as a detailed per-tweet count of favorites, retweets and replies. The service also offers a click count for every link which appears in each tweet. As mentioned above, many of the features don’t work at this time, probably due to higher than expected user volume.

Maine picked HP as its vendor of choice for the state’s 1:1 computer program. But it doesn’t appear as though the schools agree, as the vast majority are going with Apple instead. According to figures released by the state’s DOE, “39,457 students and teachers will get Apple’s iPad tablet with an annual cost of $266 per unit, including networking, and 24,128 will get Apple’s MacBook Air with a cost of $319. Only 5,474 will use the HP ProBook 4440 laptop, equipped with Windows 7
… One of my favorite startups, Desmos, keeps getting better as its free online graphing calculator has added polar axes to its graphing “paper.” All the better for drawing… and, um, other mathematical applications, I’m sure.
Anya Kamenetz’s Edupunks’ Guide has been “mapped” to an Edupunks’ Atlas. (I think it looks more like a Periodic Table of Lifelong Learning resources than an atlas, but maybe that’s just me.)
… One of the projects that came out of the recent National Day of Civic Hacking and thanks to the work of Justin Grimes, who works with the Institute of Museum and Library Services: a map of every library and museum in the US.

It's not “Falsifying,” it's “Enhancing”
… The way the site works is extremely simple: you need not even sign up for the new accounts. The first step involves you selecting the right industry that your resume is going to be targeting. In the second step, you paste the copied text of your resume in a provided text field. The site analyzes the pasted text and shows which keywords are already present in your resume. You are shown all keywords for that particular industry as checkboxes. Keywords with the marked checkboxes are already present in your resume; you can see which keywords are absent from your CV and try incorporating them in it when you draft it another time.

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