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What a response! Canadians speak out in the thousands to demand an end to secret spying | OpenMedia.ca

What a response! Canadians speak out in the thousands to demand an end to secret spying | OpenMedia.ca | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


What a response! It’s been just over 24 hours since we launched our No Secret Spying campaign, and already over 10,800 citizens have signed up in support, along with a broad range of groups from across Canadian civil society. More people are signing up every minute, and we thank each and every one of you for your support – we know that our voices are strongest when we stand together.


Our No Secret Spying campaign was launched to protest the shocking revelations that an ultra-secretive spy agency called Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), was systematically collecting the private information of innocent citizens, including Canadians, from around the world.


These revelations followed hot on the heels of news that the U.S. National Security Agency had also been spying on the private phone calls and Internet activities of millions of people around the world. The NSA is a partner of CSEC in the ‘Five Eyes’ program (a long-standing intelligence-sharing arrangement between the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K.) and it now looks like CSEC has been working through the NSA and its ‘Five Eyes’ partners to circumvent surveillance laws that prohibit CSEC from spying on Canadian citizens.


OpenMedia.ca, through our No Secret Spying campaign, is calling on the government to make public the details of Canadian intelligence agencies’ online spying and data-mining activities, including those involving foreign states. It’s vital that Canadians get answers about the extent and details of this mass surveillance program in order to have an intelligent and informed debate about issues of surveillance and privacy in Canada.


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The ' End Of Innovation ' Crowd Doesn ' t Get IT | Forbes

The ' End Of Innovation ' Crowd Doesn ' t Get IT | Forbes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Recently, a fierce debate has taken place among prominent economists, with important implications for businesses everywhere. Should they prepare for a future characterized by little innovation or for a future dominated by accelerated innovation?


In one camp are economists such as Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen that tell us that we have reached “a technological plateau.” We are experiencing today the waning of the economic impact of the technological revolutions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The IT revolution, they argue, is different from earlier technological revolutions in its more limited impact on productivity growth and standards of living.


In the other camp are economists such as Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, who recently told the graduating class at Bard College:”…innovation, almost by definition, involves ideas that no one has yet had, which means that forecasts of future technological change can be, and often are, wildly wrong. A safe prediction, I think, is that human innovation and creativity will continue; it is part of our very nature. Another prediction, just as safe, is that people will nevertheless continue to forecast the end of innovation.”


Researchers at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) recently ignored the end-of-innovation camp by issuing a 152-page report titled “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, bus­­iness, and the global economy” where they identify and discuss the “12 technologies that could drive truly massive economic transformations and disruptions in the coming years.” But they also ignored Bernanke’s warning of the perils of technological forecasts, confident in their ability to predict even the specific economic impact: “…applications of the 12 technologies discussed in the report could have a potential economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year in 2025.”


Sorting through 100 new and emerging technologies by assessing their current progress and how broad, massive, and disruptive is their potential economic impact, MGI came up with the disruptive dozen: Mobile Internet, automation of knowledge work, Internet of Things, cloud technology, advanced robotics, autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles, next-generation genomics, energy storage, 3D printing, advanced materials, advanced oil and gas exploration, and renewable energy.


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In Hong Kong, pressure mounts on government to protect Snowden | Wash Post

Political pressure is growing here for the Hong Kong government to protect Edward Snowden, who has said he will remain in the city and allow the people here to “decide his fate.”


Yet Snowden is depending on a place that isn’t in control of even its own destiny.


Hong Kong has a separate legal system from mainland China and an avowed devotion to free speech, but the city ultimately answers to Chinese leaders in Beijing, who may be wary of a confrontation with the U.S. government.


“Even we cannot decide our own fate,” said Jerry Chan, 26, at a rally Saturday near the U.S. Consulate to support Snowden.


Sixteen years after its transfer from British to Chinese rule, Hong Kong remains a massive experiment in whether former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s idea of “one country, two systems” can work. And the surprise arrival of an American bearing information about a secret U.S. surveillance program could test the already uneasy relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong.


The chief executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, made his first public comments Saturday about the case, saying the Hong Kong government would follow existing laws if and when the U.S. government requested help dealing with Snowden.


“When the relevant mechanism is activated, the Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region] Government will handle the case of Mr. Snowden in accordance with the laws and established procedures of Hong Kong,” Leung said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the government will follow up on any incidents related to the privacy or other rights of the institutions or people in Hong Kong being violated.”


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Lawrence Lessig on Using Coders to Protect Our Privacy | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Lawrence Lessig on Using Coders to Protect Our Privacy | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and founder of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, tells Bill Moyers how our government — given all the ways it can spy on us — should just as determinedly use modern technology to protect our liberties.


“We’ve got to think about the technology as a protector of liberty too. So code is a kind of law…There’s a way to build the technology to give us this liberty back, this privacy back. But it’s not a priority to think about using code to protect,” Lessig tells Bill.


“We have two kinds of specialized knowledge here, lawyers and coders — those people have to be in the same room as they listen to the government and the government says, ‘This is what we need to do to keep America safe.’ Let’s force the government to prove that to both of these lawmakers, the lawyers and the coders.”


Lessig will be Bill’s guest on this weekend’s Moyers & Company.

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NYT op-ed complaining of low Internet subscribership undermines author's credibility | Eldo Telecom

NYT op-ed complaining of low Internet subscribership undermines author's credibility | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
No Country for Slow Broadband - NYTimes.com: The major causes for low subscribership, as extensive survey research shows, are low interest in the Internet and minimal digital literacy. And too many American households lack the money or interest to buy a computer. As a result, more Americans subscribe to cable TV and cellphones than to Internet service. Our broadband subscription rate is 70 percent, but could easily surpass 90 percent if computer ownership and digital literacy were widespread.


So argues Richard Bennett, senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.  There is a big hole in this argument.  Information and communications services are universally verging toward employing Internet Protocol (IP) to deliver them.  People are increasingly viewing video content delivered over the Internet to making voice calls using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). 

In segmenting discrete services and citing just one type of Internet-enabled service (personal computing), one has to question why someone with Bennett's level of knowledge would even make this point, undermining his credibility and suggesting a hidden agenda.

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Expose NSA Domestic Spying Operation, Hold Global Spying Program in Reserve | NationOfChange.org

Expose NSA Domestic Spying Operation, Hold Global Spying Program in Reserve | NationOfChange.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s a pretty sad spectacle watching the US Congress toading up to the National Security Agency. With the exception of a few stalwarts like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and to a lesser extent Ron Wyden (D-OR), most of the talk in the halls of Congress is about how to keep the army of Washington private contractors from accessing too many of the government’s secrets (which need to be protected by government employees!), and about whether to try NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden for treason.


NSA Director James Clapper was able to lie bald-facedly to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week without even a reprimand, much less a contempt citation, claiming that the NSA does not spy on millions of Americans’ telecommunications. That type of behavior by members of the executive branch makes a laughing stock out of Congress, but the members of Congress don’t seem to care.


They know that they are already viewed as corrupt and loathsome toadies by the broad spectrum of Americans who continue to elect them to office, their collective approval rating now having fallen to a record low of 10% (who are those 10%, anyhow, the extended families of the members of Congress, or dead people in Chicago whose names are being forged on polling forms?).


I guess the attitude among Congresspersons must be that they don’t have anything to lose by being accommodating to the march of the national security state. They have hit bottom already.


Poor Snowden, who has put his life on the line in an attempt to try and wake up the somnolent American public to how our free society has been hijacked by a fascist consortium of security agencies and private corporations, has to watch as the broad mass of Americans turn away from the news and switch to the endless stream of police dramas, where the Constitution is viewed as an anachronistic impediment to justice, and the cops are all good guys dedicated to protecting the rest of us.


The frightened and vengeful police state is intent on shutting Snowden down.


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NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it? | Wash post

NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it? | Wash post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Computer programmers believe they know how to build cryptographic systems that are impossible for anyone, even the U.S. government, to crack. So why can the NSA read your e-mail?


Last week, leaks revealed that the Web sites most people use every day are sharing users’ private information with the government. Companies participating in the National Security Agency’s program, code-named PRISM, include Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.


It wasn’t supposed to be this way. During the 1990s, a “cypherpunk” movement predicted that ubiquitous, user-friendly cryptographic software would make it impossible for governments to spy on ordinary users’ private communications.


The government seemed to believe this story, too. “The ability of just about everybody to encrypt their messages is rapidly outrunning our ability to decode them,” a U.S. intelligence official told U.S. News & World Report in 1995. The government classified cryptographic software as a munition, banning its export outside the United States. And it proposed requiring that cryptographic systems have “back doors” for government interception.


The cypherpunks won that battle. By the end of the  Clinton administration, the government conceded that the Internet had made it impossible to control the spread of strong cryptographic software. But more than a decade later, the cypherpunks seem to have lost the war. Software capable of withstanding NSA snooping is widely available, but hardly anyone uses it. Instead, we use Gmail, Skype, Facebook, AOL Instant Messenger and other applications whose data is reportedly accessible through PRISM.


And that’s not a coincidence: Adding strong encryption to the most popular Internet products would make them less useful, less profitable and less fun.


“Security is very rarely free,” says J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan. “There are trade-offs between convenience and usability and security.”


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Senators skip classified briefing on NSA snooping to catch flights home | TheHill.com

Senators skip classified briefing on NSA snooping to catch flights home | TheHill.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

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.


The Senate held its last vote of the week a little after noon on Thursday, and many lawmakers were eager to take advantage of the short day and head back to their home states for Father’s Day weekend.

 
Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide. 


The Hill was not provided the names of who did, and who didn't, attend the briefing.
 
The exodus of colleagues exasperated Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who spent a grueling week answering colleagues’ and media questions about the program.



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Retired Federal Judge: Your Faith In Secret Surveillance Court Is Dramatically Misplaced | ThinkProgress.org

Retired Federal Judge: Your Faith In Secret Surveillance Court Is Dramatically Misplaced | ThinkProgress.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A retired federal judge warned Friday against blind faith in the secret court deciding the scope of U.S. government surveillance. During a panel discussion on constitutional privacy protection in the wake of a leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision that revealed widespread NSA data collection, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner stood up in the audience to counter the statements of conservative law professor Nathan Sales that secret surveillance requests are subject to meaningful judicial review. She cautioned:


"As a former Article III judge, I can tell you that your faith in the FISA Court is dramatically misplaced.


"Two reasons: One … The Fourth Amendment frameworks have been substantially diluted in the ordinary police case. One can only imagine what the dilution is in a national security setting. Two, the people who make it on the FISA court, who are appointed to the FISA court, are not judges like me. Enough said"


Gertner, now a professor at Harvard Law School who teaches criminal law and criminal procedure, was a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer before being confirmed to the federal bench in 1993.


In an interview with ThinkProgress, Gertner explained that the selection process for the secret national security court formed in 1978 is more “anointment” than appointment, with the Chief Justice of the United States — now John G. Roberts — selecting from a pool of already-conservative federal judges those he thinks are most suited to decide national security cases in secret:


"It’s an anointment process. It’s not a selection process. But you know, it’s not boat rockers. So you have a [federal] bench which is way more conservative than before. This is a subset of that. And it’s a subset of that who are operating under privacy, confidentiality, and national security. To suggest that there is meaningful review it seems to me is an illusion."


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Australia: $205,000 broadband funding boost for community legal centre | The Drum

Australia: $205,000 broadband funding boost for community legal centre | The Drum | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre is to receive $205,000 to provide legal assistance services and professional training to regional Victoria through the National Broadband Network.


The Government has pledged $1.413 billion over the next four years to legal assistance services, including $10.3 million for community legal centres.


“Increasing the availability of legal assistance services to residents of regional and remote areas is critical to providing access to justice for all Australians,” Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said.


“Through this program, providers can develop innovative ways of using the NBN to enable residents of regional and remote areas to access legal assistance.”


Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy said the national broadband network was “a game changer and will open up new possibilities in providing better legal services.”


“We are connecting all Australians to the NBN, with no connection cost, because we believe everyone deserves access to fast, reliable, affordable broadband,” he said. 


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MN: MPR write up on MIRC project | Blandin on Broadband

It was great to see Dave Peters’ article on the Blandin Foundation’s MIRC project (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities).


I’m going to cheat and pull out the main parts – and suggestion that you check out the article yourself.


If you’re a regular reader, you’ve read lots of article on MIRC through the last couple of years, but it’s nice to get a perspective with a little distance.


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Senator Wyden, D-OR says intel chief was not forthcoming | Anniston Star

One of the staunchest critics of government surveillance programs said Tuesday that the national intelligence director did not give him a straight answer last March when he asked whether the National Security Agency collects any data on millions of Americans.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called for hearings to discuss two recently revealed NSA programs that collect billions of telephone numbers and Internet usage daily. He was also among a group of senators who introduced legislation Tuesday to force the government to declassify opinions of a secret court that authorizes the surveillance.

But other key members of Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, say the programs were valuable tools in counterterror and that the former NSA contractor who leaked them is a traitor. President Barack Obama has vigorously defended the program, saying Americans must balance privacy and security to protect the country from terrorists.

Wyden, however, complained that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, during a Senate Intelligence hearing in March about threats the U.S. faces from around the world, was less than forthcoming.

"The American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives," Wyden said in a statement.

Wyden said he wanted to know the scope of the top secret surveillance programs, and privately asked NSA Director Keith Alexander for clarity. When he did not get a satisfactory answer, Wyden said he alerted Clapper's office a day early that he would ask the same question at the public hearing.


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Why Edward Snowden Doesn't Matter in the NSA Debate | TheTyee.ca

Why Edward Snowden Doesn't Matter in the NSA Debate | TheTyee.ca | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Imagine the modern responses to some historic revelations about the nature of reality:


Nicolaus Copernicus: Polish guy without even a BA says earth revolves around the sun.


Isaac Newton: Government bureaucrat and alchemy crank offers three "laws" about action and reaction.


Charles Darwin: Over-privileged Brit hypochondriac says we're descended from monkeys.


Albert Einstein: Unknown Jewish patent clerk who needs a haircut says everything is "relative."


Niels Bohr: Mumbling Danish egghead says subatomic world has "quantum weirdness."


Anyone responding like that to news from scientific titans would clearly be, at the very least, half a bubble off plumb. Yet this is precisely the way our modern political discourse operates whenever someone is so rash as to report with some accuracy on the present political state of affairs.


It's nothing new; the Romans, who inherited a long tradition of rhetoric from the Greeks, called it the argumentum ad hominem, the argument against the man rather than what he says.


In North America, the triumph of the ad hominem argument was complete during the two administrations of George W. Bush -- which would have been only one if not for the ad hominem "swiftboating" of Democratic candidate John Kerry.


Similarly, Stephen Harper is routinely attacked with ad hominem smears. But he and his government set the example -- for example, with attack ads against Stéphane Dion and Justin Trudeau.


Ad hominem has effectively reduced any issue to a tribal dispute between good guys and bad guys. Whatever good guys do is by definition good. Whatever bad guys do is evil; even if they help old ladies across the street, it's only to advance their nefarious plans.


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NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants | CNET News

NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.


Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."


If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.


Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.


Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.


The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."


There are serious "constitutional problems" with this approach, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated warrantless wiretapping cases. "It epitomizes the problem of secret laws."


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WI: Healthy sprinkling of greed can reap economic growth | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WI: Healthy sprinkling of greed can reap economic growth | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the world of economic development, the grass always seems greener someplace else.


Some people in Milwaukee think Madison is roaring ahead because of its head start in the tech-based economy — but the view from Madison is that Wisconsin's capital city isn't growing as fast as Austin, Lincoln, Des Moines or other U.S. techie hubs.


Some say Ohio is the model for stimulating a tech-based economy — still others proclaim Michigan ... or Utah ... or Maryland. It all depends on what patch of grass you're standing, it would seem.


No matter where you live, however, everyone points to California's Silicon Valley as a shining star of economic growth ... except for some of the business people who live and work there. They cite the region's high cost of living, the never-ending musical chair game for talent, state regulations and other factors contributing to a mini-exodus from the Valley.


Four Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors with Wisconsin ties returned to the state this month for the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference. Their message: Don't try to be Silicon Valley, but don't ignore what made it successful, either.


"Business isn't about staying busy; it's about making money," said Sanjeev Chitre, one of four University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering alumni who spoke at the conference. All are members of the Badger Entrepreneurship Forum, a San Francisco group that helps California start-ups with Wisconsin ties.


Chitre said Wisconsin needs to be infused with a healthy dose of "greed," meaning it should be more culturally acceptable here to pursue creation of personal wealth. That, he said, is ultimately the best way to spur even more economic growth. In California's Silicon Valley, "greed is good" and it's a powerful motivator.


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IL: News About The Southside Broadband Network | Chicago Digital Access Alliance

IL: News About The Southside Broadband Network | Chicago Digital Access Alliance | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Change is coming to Chicago's South Side communities of Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Kenwood, Oakland, Hyde Park, Washington Park, Woodlawn, Grand Crossing And South Shore.

Gigabit-speed internet connectivity from the fiber-optic wireless network now being built for deployment in late summer 2013 will spark business growth and innovation, new product development, and an influx of new residents and housing development on a scale never before seen on the South Side. Broadband speed changes the game for new businesses building 21st century enterprises and programs impacting health and human services, education, safety and commerce-community development.

The Woodlawn Broadband Expansion Partnership L3C created the vision and made the case for South Side broadband expansion. The development of the larger broadband expansion neighborhood footprint grew out of the initial organizing and development work of the WBEP L3C. The South Side Broadband Expansion Collaborative NFP (SSBEC) connects all nine (9) Southside communities to education about broadband opportunities, use cases, business and job creation and strategic planning initiatives to engage residents, businesses, not-for-profits, public, educational and anchor institutions in the nine communities to the developments and benefits the network deployment promises.

This is our first newsletter, which will be published every month. In this issue: the Creative Technology Training Center (CT2C) is opening in Woodlawn; Gigabit Squared, lead corporation developing the broadband network, hires a general manager for the Chicago network; the CT2C launches two crowdfunding campaigns to generate resources for the Center; and MacArthur is reviewing a STEM Robotics Funding application for Woodlawn and we need your vote!


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World Bank forum weighs pros, cons of virtual currencies | CoinDesk

World Bank forum weighs pros, cons of virtual currencies | CoinDesk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A roundtable discussion at the World Bank on Friday brought together a small group of officials for a closed-to-the-public, “frank discussion” about virtual currencies.


“Virtual Currencies: The Legal and Regulatory Challenges,” was organized by the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development and was held at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC.


“A stocktaking roundtable will discuss legal and regulatory challenges associated to this new phenomenon. Virtual currencies are among the myriads of options for receiving payments and paying online. For example,  Bit-Coin (sic) – one of the better known virtual currencies – has been in news recently because of the wild fluctuations in its ‘value’ and also significant venture capital investment in entities associated with it. How are policy makers, regulators and overseers approaching this? What are the threats and opportunities associated with this new payment”


Although no transcripts or recordings of the proceedings were made available, downloadable PDFs of the participants’ presentations were featured on the forum’s website.


Iddo de Jong, senior expert in the market integration division of the European Central Bank (ECB), led off the roundtable with an overview of virtual currencies. In his presentation, he noted that the ECB — Europe’s equivalent of the US Federal Reserve — began paying attention to “virtual currency schemes” in 2011 after “increased press coverage and following outside requests (public, press, public authorities).”


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The NSA Leaks and the Pentagon Papers: What's the Difference Between Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg? | The Atlantic

The NSA Leaks and the Pentagon Papers: What's the Difference Between Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg? | The Atlantic | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Edward Snowden has so raised the hackles of members of Congress and political commentators, it's worth taking a minute to try to understand why. It can't just be his leaks -- no similar reaction greeted revelations by Thomas Drake and William Binney, two recent NSA whistle-blowers who also sought to publicize post-9/11 intelligence overreach.


Snowden told South China Morning Post reporter Lana Lam, "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American." But there are many sorts of Americans, and not all of them like each other.


Something about Snowden has set many people off -- and the sources of the irritation with him are worth spelling out as a way of trying to understand the political moment, and how it differs in particular from the environment that greeted the man to whom he's most been compared, Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg.


This is not a comprehensive list, but one intended to elucidate some of what's at issue.


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Drinking the Big Data Kool-Aid | News & Notes, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com

Drinking the Big Data Kool-Aid | News & Notes, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the terms that has gotten a lot of play in the media’s NSA surveillance program coverage is “big data.” It’s a relatively new term for data sets that are so large they become hard to process and analyze. The data encompassed by the term is the digital trail of every keystroke we make: in emails, cellphone calls, credit card purchases, Google searches, tweets, Facebook status updates, etc. The list goes on, and on.


In Big Data, A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, And Think, published earlier this year, authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier try to explain just how much data there is in big data. They write that “in 2013 the amount of stored information in the world is estimated to be around 1,200 exabytes, of which less than 2 percent is non-digital.”


What exactly is an exabyte, you might ask? They continue:


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Google's Balloon-based Internet Dream: Loon or Loony? | GigaOM Tech News

Google's Balloon-based Internet Dream: Loon or Loony? | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I can’t even remember how many times in the past I have chuckled at the idea of blimp/balloon-based internet. I guess it was because those ideas were promoted by companies that sounded a bit film-flamy or in sometimes, just nuts.


Of course, now we might have to take this whole balloon-based broadband thing seriously — Google is putting a lot of money, time and effort behind it. In a blog post, the company announced Project Loon:


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Cost to Store All US Phonecalls Made in a Year in Cloud Storage so it could be Datamined | Internet Archive Blogs

Because of recent news reports, I wanted to cross check the cost feasibility of the NSA’s recording all of the US phonecalls and processing them.


These estimates show only $27M in capital cost, and $2M in electricity and take less than 5,000 square feet of space to store and process all US phonecalls made in a year.   The NSA seems to be spending $1.7 billion on a 100k square foot datacenter that could easily handle this and much much more.    Therefore, money and technology would not hold back such a project– it would be held back if someone did not have the opportunity or will.


Another study concluded about 4x my data estimates others have suggested the data could be compressed 10:1, and the power bill would be lower in Utah.   A Google Doc version of the spreadsheet and a cut and past version:


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Think Inside the Box | Wall Street Journal

Think Inside the Box | Wall Street Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When most CEOs hear the word "innovation," they roll their eyes. It conjures up images of employees wasting hours, even days, sitting in beanbag chairs, tossing Frisbees and regurgitating ideas they had already considered. "Brainstorming" has become a byword for tedium and frustration.


Over the past decade, we have asked senior executives, on every continent and in every major industry, two key questions about innovation. The first: "On a scale of one to 10, how important is innovation to the success of your firm?" The second: "On a scale of one to 10, how satisfied are you with the level of innovation in your firm?"


Not surprisingly, they rate the importance of innovation very high: usually a nine or 10. None disputes that innovation is the No. 1 source of growth. Without fail, however, most senior executives give a low rating—below five—to their level of satisfaction with innovation.


How could business leaders rate innovation as so important yet feel so dissatisfied with their own organizations' performance? Because what they really want to know is how: How do you actually generate novel ideas and do so consistently, on demand?


The traditional view of creativity is that it is unstructured and doesn't follow rules or patterns. Would-be innovators are told to "think outside the box," "start with a problem and then brainstorm ideas for a solution," "go wild making analogies to things that have nothing to do with your product or service."


We advocate a radically different approach: thinking inside the proverbial box, not outside of it. People are at their most creative when they focus on the internal aspects of a situation or problem—and when they constrain their options rather than broaden them.


By defining and then closing the boundaries of a particular creative challenge, most of us can be more consistently creative—and certainly more productive than we are when playing word-association games in front of flip charts or talking about grand abstractions at a company retreat.


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Senator Biden Teaches President Obama A Lesson About NSA Spying From The Past | Techdirt.com

Senator Biden Teaches President Obama A Lesson About NSA Spying From The Past | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The folks over at the EFF have put together a nice "debate" video, showing a clip of then-Senator Joe Biden angrily denouncing warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, spliced with President Obama defending the latest NSA surveillance leaks to show a "debate" between the two. I think Biden wins, hands down:


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Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother | Techdirt.com

Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

So far, we've seen lots of Congressional Representatives falling over each other to attack Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald over the NSA surveillance efforts.


A few have raised concerns, but if you want to see an elected official say what's on many of our minds, listen to Rep. Alan Grayson's speech about the NSA scooping up all phone records.


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New Zealand: Google launches Internet-beaming balloons | TimesLeaderOnline.com

Wrinkled and skinny at first, the translucent, jellyfish-shaped balloons that Google released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand's South Island hardened into shiny pumpkins as they rose into the blue winter skies above Lake Tekapo, passing the first big test of a lofty goal to get the entire planet online.


It was the culmination of 18 months' work on what Google calls Project Loon, in recognition of how whacky the idea may sound. Developed in the secretive X lab that came up with a driverless car and web-surfing eyeglasses, the flimsy helium-filled inflatables beam the Internet down to earth as they sail past on the wind.


Still in their experimental stage, the balloons were the first of thousands that Google's leaders eventually hope to launch 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the stratosphere in order to bridge the gaping digital divide between the world's 4.8 billion unwired people and their 2.2 billion plugged-in counterparts.


If successful, the technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of laying fiber cable, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.


"It's a huge moonshot. A really big goal to go after," said project leader Mike Cassidy. "The power of the Internet is probably one of the most transformative technologies of our time."


The first person to get Google Balloon Internet access this week was Charles Nimmo, a farmer and entrepreneur in the small town of Leeston. He found the experience a little bemusing after he was one of 50 locals who signed up to be a tester for a project that was so secret, no one would explain to them what was happening. Technicians came to the volunteers' homes and attached to the outside walls bright red receivers the size of basketballs and resembling giant Google map pins.


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