Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Strange as it may seem, this is part of “We listen to everything.”
I can almost hear Bob Dylan singing, “Everybody must get surveilled.” Well, not really, but you know what I mean.
The US National Security Agency spied on emails, phone calls and text messages of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, a Brazilian news programme has reported.
The report by Globo’s news programme Fantastico was based on documents that Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Read more on RTÉ.

For my Ethical Hackers: Told ya!
How the US Could Cyber Attack Syria, Too
Over the weekend, President Obama announced that he would seek Congressional approval for a strike on Syria, and immediately began a "lobbying blitz" to bolster public and political support for intervention. But Obama needs no such approval from Congress for a cyber strike. [Why do they think that is so? Bob] And according to both Foreign Policy magazine and The Washington Free Beacon, some form of cyber attack on Syria will accompany a missile strike, if it isn’t happening already.
The relatively new US Cyber Command will be testing out new cyberwar capabilities, military sources told the Free Beacon, with Syrian targets including the “electronic command and control systems used by the Syrian military forces, air defense computers, and other military communications networks.”

I think I'm seeing a general trend to view poor security as negligence. Interesting.
It seems it isn’t all over for a lawsuit by nine financial institutions against Heartland Payment Systems following a mammoth breach disclosed in January 2009. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal of negligence claims and remanded. Here’s part of the opinion, issued yesterday:
Turning to the case sub judice, we hold the economic loss doctrine under New Jersey law does not preclude the Issuer Banks’ negligence claim against Heartland at the motion to dismiss stage. First, the Issuer Banks constitute an “identifiable class” as contemplated by People Express. 495 A.2d at 116. Heartland had reason to foresee the Issuer Banks would be the entities to suffer economic losses were Heartland negligent. See id. The identities, nature, and number of the victims are easily foreseeable, as the Issuer Banks are the very entities to which Heartland sends payment card information. See id. Furthermore, Heartland would not be exposed to “boundless liability,” but rather to the reasonable amount of loss from a limited number of entities. Id. Accordingly, even absent physical harm, Heartland may owe the Issuer Banks a duty of care and may be liable for their purely economic losses. See id.; Carter Lincoln-Mercury, Inc., Leasing Div. v. EMAR Grp., Inc., 638 A.2d 1288, 1294 (N.J. 1994) (holding economic loss doctrine no bar to tort claim regardless of physical harm “if the plaintiff was a member of an identifiable class that the defendant should have reasonably foreseen was likely to be injured by the defendant’s conduct” (citing People Express, 495 A.2d at 116)).
Second, viewing the pleadings in the light most favorable to the Issuer Banks, in the absence of a tort remedy, the Issuer Banks would be left with no remedy for Heartland’s alleged negligence, defying “notions of fairness, common sense and morality.”
The court declined Heartland’s urging to uphold the district court’s dismissal on any one of four grounds, sending the case back to the district court to consider:
Heartland asserts that even if it owes the Issuer Banks a duty of care under People Express and the economic loss doctrine does not bar the Issuer Banks’ negligence claim at this stage of the litigation, we should affirm the district court on any of four grounds: (1) the Issuer Banks are bound by the allegation in their complaint that Heartland has contracts with Visa and MasterCard, so they should be limited to the contractual remedies available through the Visa and MasterCard networks; (2) Texas law, not New Jersey law, is controlling; (3) the Issuer Banks fail to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a); and (4) some of the Issuer Banks are collaterally estopped from pursuing this negligence claim because the district court’s disposition of their separate claim against the Acquirer Banks involved the same issue. Though “[w]e are free to uphold the district court’s judgment on any basis that is supported by the record,” Zuspann v. Brown, 60 F.3d 1156, 1160 (5th Cir. 1995), we decline to decide these complex issues as they are better addressed by the district court in the first instance. See U.S. ex rel. Branch Consultants v. Allstate Ins. Co., 560 F.3d 371, 381 (5th Cir. 2009) (remanding so district court can consider issues in first instance) (citing Breaux v. Dilsaver, 254 F.3d 533, 538 (5th Cir. 2001) (“Although this court may decide a case on any ground that was presented to the trial court, we are not required to do so.”)).
You can access the full opinion here (pdf, 10 pp.).

The latest episode. It may further complicate extradition if he is elected.
Kim Dotcom exits Mega post to follow other pursuits
Kim Dotcom is resigning from data storage provider Mega in order to focus on his extradition case and political aspirations.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the flamboyant director of Mega resigned August 29 and was replaced by Hong Kong-based Bonnie Lam the same day, according to Companies Office filings.
… Earlier this month, Dotcom told his Twitter following that he planned to follow political aspirations and launch a political party in New Zealand. The 39-year-old plans to contest in next year's elections, campaigning to improve the country's IT infrastructure and push for "fair Internet pricing and no more data caps."
… Federal agencies seized and shut down the file-sharing service at the beginning of 2012, which caused outrage after leaving millions of users stranded without access to their files, some of which were legitimately stored on the service.
Kumar says that the Mega service currently accounts for over 4 million users, a few thousand of whom are paid customers.
… Mega is built around security and fully encrypted file sharing rather than storing and sharing IP infringing material, Kumar said. To this end, the "privacy company" is developing secure e-mail services to run on its entirely non-U.S.-based server network in order to replace Lavabit, a secure email service which has recently closed down.
The Mega founder is currently battling a case brought forward by US authorities to extradite him. DotCom may have to wait until next year for the hearing, which will decide whether Dotcom will be extradited to the United States, where he is wanted on charges of copyright infringement and money laundering through the Megaupload service.
The original hearing date was scheduled for last August, but complications and confusion around legal arguments have continually delayed the case.
The high-profile case resulted in an overhaul of New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). The agency was found to have unlawfully spied on Dotcom's activities as he had been granted residency. Recently, New Zealand police said that they will not charge anyone in the agency for illegally spying, because there was "a lack of criminal intent."

Now all I need to do is convince the wife.
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For all my students
Get Paragon Drive Copy 12 Compact (PC) for free
… as with any storage upgrade, half the challenge lies in moving everything from old drive to new. Not many drives come with the software to aid in such a move.
Thankfully, there are third-party options, and for a very limited time, you can snag one gratis: Today only, BitsDuJour is offering Paragon Drive Copy 12 Compact (PC) for free. It normally sells for $29.95.
Update (9/4/13): Looks like the deal has been extended for a second day to accommodate users who weren't able to connect yesterday.

Also for all my students
The 70 Best Apps For Teachers And Students

We just purchased a pair of these for our students. Perhaps we should join this group?
… – So you bought an awesome 3D printer, but it’s sitting idly most of the time? Put it to good use by sharing it with those around you and make some extra cash along the way. 3d Hubs is an online community of 835 3D printers which are available if you want to print something. Just upload your design, choose a 3D printer, then go to collect your product.

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