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What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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Twitter data shows a world on high alert after a series of terror attacks

Twitter data shows a world on high alert after a series of terror attacks | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
With terrorism on the rise, law enforcement officials across the world are turning to social media to curb messages from terror outfits. Belgian authorities requested information for 75 Twitter accounts in the first six months of this year, a nearly tenfold increase from seven accounts during the same period a year ago. In its latest transparency report released Sept. 21, Twitter says th
Artur Alves's insight:
Terrorism is pushing government data requests to all-time highs, Twitter transparency report reveals.

"With terrorism on the rise, law enforcement officials across the world are turning to social media to curb messages from terror outfits. Belgian authorities requested information for 75 Twitter accounts in the first six months of this year, a nearly tenfold increase from seven accounts during the same period a year ago. In its latest transparency report released Sept. 21, Twitter says the surge in requests came after ISIL’s Brussels attacks in March. Overall, governments around the world sought information for 3% more accounts in the first half of 2016 than the year prior. Officials increasingly want to identify extremists on social media as ISIL uses Twitter and other platforms to recruit new members."
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Edward Snowden Interview: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Edward Snowden Interview: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers - SPIEGEL ONLINE | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
In an interview conducted using encrypted e-mails, whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses the power of the NSA, how it is "in bed together with the Germans" and the vast scope of Internet spying conducted by the United States and Britain.
Artur Alves's insight:

Yet another confirmation.

"Interviewer: Did the NSA help to create Stuxnet? (Stuxnet is the computer worm that was deployed against the Iranian nuclear program.)

Snowden: NSA and Israel co-wrote it."

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Security alert: notes from the frontline of the war in cyberspace

Security alert: notes from the frontline of the war in cyberspace | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The battle for control of cyberspace is turning nasty, with young hackers, pirates and activists facing long prison sentences. Jon Ronson reports from the frontline
Artur Alves's insight:

"After his death, I became aware of lots of other Aaron Swartzes out there – hackers and pirates and activists facing prison for their ideology of internet freedom. It felt like a concerted worldwide prosecutorial effort to subdue a movement. So I began approaching them. I decided to contact only those people facing imminent imprisonment or trial. What in their lives had led them to that moment? How were they dealing with it?"

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Cyber Menace: Digital Spying Burdens German-Chinese Relations - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Cyber Menace: Digital Spying Burdens German-Chinese Relations - SPIEGEL ONLINE | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Companies like defense giant EADS or steelmaker ThyssenKrupp have become the targets of hacker attacks from China.
Artur Alves's insight:

/snip "Very few companies in Europe are as strategically important as the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). It makes the Eurofighter jet, drones, spy satellites, and even the carrier rockets for French nuclear weapons.

 

 

Not surprisingly, the German government reacted with alarm last year when EADS managers reported that their company, which has its German administrative headquarters near Munich, was attacked by hackers. The EADS computer network contains secret design plans, aerodynamic calculations and cost estimates, as well as correspondence with the governments in Paris and Berlin. Gaining access to the documents would be like hitting the jackpot for a competitor or a foreign intelligence agency."

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Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control

Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Glenn Greenwald: The US and allied governments exploit both law and cyber-attacks as a weapon to punish groups that challenge it
Artur Alves's insight:

"The issue here is not whether Anonymous activists can be rightfully prosecuted: acts of civil disobedience, by definition, are violations of the law designed to protest or create a cost for injustices. The issue is how selectively these cyber-attack laws are enforced: massive cyber-attacks aimed at a group critical of US policy (WikiLeaks) were either perpetrated by the US government or retroactively sanctioned by it, while relatively trivial, largely symbolic attacks in defense of the group were punished with the harshest possible application of law enforcement resources and threats of criminal punishment.

That the US government largely succeeded in using extra-legal and extra-judicial means to cripple an adverse journalistic outlet is a truly consequential episode: nobody, regardless of one's views on WikiLeaks, should want any government to have that power. But the manifestly overzealous prosecutions of Anonymous activists, in stark contrast to the (at best) indifference to the attacks on WikiLeaks, makes all of that even worse. In line with itsunprecedented persecution of whistleblowers generally, this is yet another case of the US government exploiting the force of law to entrench its own power and shield its actions from scrutiny."

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Google Transparency Report

Google Transparency Report | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"In this report, we disclose:

Real-time and historical traffic to Google services around the world;
Numbers of removal requests that we receive from copyright owners or governments.
Numbers of user data requests that we receive from government agencies and courts."

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Gauss Espionage Malware: 7 Key Facts -- InformationWeek

From targeting Lebanese banking customers to installing a font, security researchers seem to be unearthing as many questions as answers in their teardown of the surveillance malware.
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Scared of Anonymous? NSA chief says you should be

Scared of Anonymous? NSA chief says you should be | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The director of the National Security Agency says the hacktivist group is growing more powerful and could eventually attack our power grid. So beware. Read this blog post by Don Reisinger on The Digital Home.

"Anonymous has made no indication that it plans to attack the power grid. And its hacks, while decried by government officials, are celebrated by others who say the group is acting on the average citizen's behalf."

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Anonymous hackers could be Islamic State's online nemesis

Anonymous hackers could be Islamic State's online nemesis | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Anonymous strives to bring down IS propaganda before it reaches the masses.
Artur Alves's insight:

«

Anonymous has been prosecuted for cyber attacks in many countries under cybercrime laws, as their activities are not seen as legitimate protest. It is worth mentioning the ethical debate around hacktivism, as some see cyber attacks that take down accounts or websites as infringing on others’ freedom of expression, while others argue that hacktivismshould instead create technologies to circumvent censorship, enable digital equality and open access to information.

In striving to tackle networks such as IS, Anonymous takes the position that it is fighting against those who coordinate or commit crimes against humanity (“We will unite humanity” the Anonymous video following the Paris attacks promises viewers). Its ideology therefore seeks to be inclusive and reflect a common humanity, which embraces open, fluid identities that are not restricted to nationality, religion or ethnicity.

«

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Cyber theft: A hard war to wage - FT.com

Washington is angry. Really angry. It is just not sure what to do about it.
Artur Alves's insight:

"Washington is angry. Really angry. It is just not sure what to do about it. US officials have accused Chinese hackers of stealing corporate trade secrets since the mid-2000s but during the past few months the outrage has reached a political tipping point. cyber security has been thrust to the top of the agenda in US-China relations.

The Obama administration, members of Congress and the think-tanks that advise them have cast around for ways to punish hackers from China and elsewhere. Washington is considering a series of unilateral trade and other sanctions against Chinese entities and individuals."

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Internet Evolution - Security Clan Editor's Blog - Feud Explodes Into 'Nuclear' Cyber-Attack

Internet Evolution - Security Clan Editor's Blog - Feud Explodes Into 'Nuclear' Cyber-Attack | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A feud between a spam filtering service and a hosting service has exploded into the largest DDoS attack in history.
Artur Alves's insight:

An unexpected escalation. How many users are noticing the effect of the attacks?

 

"According to BBC News, a feud between a Dutch spam host and a spam filter vendor has spilled over into a series of "immense" DDoS attacks, slowing popular sites like Netflix, as well as threatening more serious damage.

Well, all I can say is, not around here. Netflix, YouTube, and the Internet in general seem to be working just fine. I guess I'm lucky, with The New York Times reporting that "Millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time."

The spat broke out when Spamhaus, a nonprofit spam tracker, added Cyberbunker to one of its blocked lists. Cyberbunker is a web host housed, apparently, in a real bunker -- a former NATO structure. It claims to be "bullet-proof, reliable, untouchable," and it certainly seemed resistant to a recent attempted intrusion by a Dutch SWAT team."

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Just-patched Java, IE bugs used to snare human rights sites

Just-patched Java, IE bugs used to snare human rights sites | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Reporters without Borders is latest site used in "watering hole" campaign.
Artur Alves's insight:

Human-rights sites (in this case Reporters Without Borders) - and any online services that serve as meeting points for activists - have become targets for attacks. The purpose is very clear: to gather information and data on the networks and habits of national and international activists. Classic espionage.

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Meet the Assadosphere, the Online Defenders of Syria's Butcher | Danger Room | Wired.com

Meet the Assadosphere, the Online Defenders of Syria's Butcher | Danger Room | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Meet the Assadosphere, the defenders of Syria's bloodthirsty dictator on the web, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Artur Alves's insight:

"Assad doesn’t have many allies IRL — Iran and Russia are about the only ones remaining. But as the Syrian rebellion stretches into its 20th month, he’s found (and paid for) a whole heap of friends online, who warn of an impending NATO invasion to dominate Syria; secret CIA shipments of weapons to terrorist groups; and, of course, that Assad’s enemies are all really Jews. Welcome to the Assadosphere — on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and the web."

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The internet in pieces

The internet in pieces | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Misha Glenny: Harried by cyberattacks, Iran is making good on a vow to build its own web.
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Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us

Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Although most information on cyberwar's repercussions -- most notably the 1997 Eligible Receiver exercise -- remains classified, suffice it to say that their effect on U.S. forces would be crippling.

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