Friday, June 27, 2014

What now, Vladimir?
Ukraine crisis: Putin warns Ukraine faces 'serious consequences' after signing EU deal
Russia has warned there could be 'serious consequences' for Ukraine after its President Petro Poroshenko signed up to a trade and economic pact with the European Union, in a deal that has been central to the crisis in the country.
… Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Mr Putin, told Russian news agencies that the Kremlin would respond to the EU-Ukraine accord "as soon as negative consequences arise for the economy". [What does that mean? Bob]
… The European Union signed similar association agreements with two other former Soviet republics, Moldova and Georgia.

Perspective. Roughly one card in seven.
Study: 14 Percent of Debit Cards Exposed by Breaches in 2013
The upsurge is chronicled in the 2014 Debit Issuer Study. The report is now in its ninth edition...
… According to the report, 84 percent of financial institutions reissued all exposed cards in response to Target, compared to only 29 percent that typically reissue all exposed cards as a standard response to breaches.

Unexpected... This one seems to have grabbed their attention. (Ten times more work/cost?)
Chris Sonderby, Facebook Deputy General Counsel, has an update on Facebook’s attempts to fight bulk warrants from the government:
… Since last summer, we’ve been fighting hard against a set of sweeping search warrants issued by a court in New York that demanded we turn over nearly all data from the accounts of 381 people who use our service, including photos, private messages and other information. This unprecedented request is by far the largest we’ve ever received—by a magnitude of more than ten—and we have argued that it was unconstitutional from the start.
Of the 381 people whose accounts were the subject of these warrants, 62 were later charged in a disability fraud case. This means that no charges will be brought against more than 300 people whose data was sought by the government without prior notice to the people affected. The government also obtained gag orders that prohibited us from discussing this case and notifying any of the affected people until now.
We’ve gone to court and repeatedly asserted that these overly broad warrants–which contain no date restrictions and allow the government to keep the seized data indefinitely–violate the privacy rights of the people on Facebook and ignore Fourth Amendment safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures. We fought forcefully against these 381 requests and were told by a lower court that as an online service provider we didn’t even have the legal standing to contest the warrants. We complied only after the appeals court denied our application to stay this ruling, and after the prosecutor filed a motion to find us in criminal contempt.
Last Friday, we filed an appellate brief in support of our continuing efforts to invalidate these sweeping warrants and to force the government to return the data it has seized and retained. Immediately after we filed our appeal, the government moved to unseal the warrants and all court filings, which has allowed us to finally notify the people whose accounts were affected about the warrants and our ongoing legal efforts.
But we feel strongly that there is more work to do, and we will continue our legal fight to retrieve data that has been seized and retained by the government. We recognize that law enforcement needs to investigate potential crimes, but we believe all government data requests must be narrowly tailored, proportionate to the case, and subject to strict judicial oversight. Moreover, we believe search warrants for digital information should be specific and narrow in scope, just like warrants for physical evidence. These restrictions are critical to preventing overreaching legal requests and protecting people’s information.
We will continue to fight on your behalf, and we recognize the importance of this responsibility. We look forward to keeping you updated about our progress.
Under the post, you can see a chronology of developments in the case.
I don’t often say this, but in this case, good for Facebook! [Ditto! Bob]

Is there a review procedure that caught this (if not, why not?) or just a smart defense attorney?
Andrew Duffy reports:
A Superior Court judge has tossed out most of the evidence in a drug trafficking case after ruling that an Ottawa police officer authored a deliberately misleading application for a cellphone wiretap order.
In a decision released Thursday, Justice Robert Beaudoin said the bulk of the evidence obtained against Temorshah Hafizi, 40, must be excluded because of the police transgression, which offended the accused’s privacy rights.
Such orders are rarely made by judges assessing the constitutionality of wiretap warrants.
Read more on Ottawa Citizen.

A huge database that makes it possible for every law enforcement organization to act lke they know you personally (and intimately?)
J.D. Tuccille writes:
The FBI’s facial recognition database, into which it wants to put 52 million of our mugs by the end of 2015, is only part of its larger Next Generation Identification (NGI) program. The NGI program is intended to give the feds a full range of means to identify us according to biometric markers, including facial feature, digitized fingerprints, photographs of tattoos, scans of the irises of human eyes…
It’s a lot of data for tagging people, all going into a centralized system. That has plenty of people worried about misuse, abuse, and the overall nudge this sort of capability gives us toward a total surveillance state.
Yesterday, 32 organizations from across the political spectrum, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and R Street Institute, asked Attorney General Eric Holder to explain just how the United States government plans to use the system it’s building and the data contained therein.
Read more on Reason.

Is this what I'm left with after the Aereo decision?
App Watch: FilmOn Has Much More Than Broadcast TV
… Like Aereo, FilmOn offers over-the-air TV channels through a website and mobile apps. Also similar to Aereo, FilmOn's offerings are affected by Wednesday's Supreme Court decision saying that such a setup is prohibited under U.S. copyright law, at least without paying broadcasters.
While the case was being argued in court, FilmOn founder Alki David told me that broadcast channels represent less than 5 percent of what FilmOn offers, so there's plenty to watch — regardless of the outcome. In anticipation of the court ruling, I spent part of a recent trip assessing that claim using a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone and a Samsung Android phone.
While Aereo's monthly service starts at $8, FilmOn is free. But you have to put up with a short video ad before you start watching. You can watch on Windows and Mac computers, iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 devices and Roku's streaming player. You can watch channels live or record up to 10 hours of shows for free. You can also buy more space to store the shows you record.
… Besides over-the-air channels, FilmOn offers more than 600 on all sorts of topics, including fashion, travel, comedy and news.
Most of the channels are packaged by FilmOn based on programming it owns or licenses. FilmOn also offers some cable TV channels outright — little-known ones such as Pivot, a channel launched last year to target 18 to 34 year olds. It also has TV channels from abroad.
… There's some truth to that, as long as the content is interesting. One problem is that FilmOn seems geared toward a young male audience, so the channels that come up first include College Hotties, Hooters' Calendar Girls and Live Boxing. In fact, David told me the bikini and horror channels are among the most popular on FilmOn.
It takes some patience to find other things to watch. War buffs will appreciate FilmOn's extensive library of documentaries on World War II. Immigrants will appreciate news channels from their home country.

For some of my students...
31 Premium Android Apps Available for Free on Amazon
… The Amazon Appstore is giving away 31 paid Android apps, worth more than $100, for free. The offer will remain valid until tomorrow (28th June) and you can head over to to download the various apps that are available as part of this package.

There are some things technology was not meant to do! Apparently, lots of folks haven't gotten the word.
– is a site that enables you to put your Instagram photos on marshmallows. Costing $26 for a box of 9, this British service transforms your photos into multi-sensory delicacies. How about some selfie marshmallows for your partner? Or perhaps some of your ex to roast over a fire? The possibilities are endless. What would YOU put on your marshmallows?

So that's what my students are doing!

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