How the internet was broken

The Register has published a thorough article on how the NSA has subverted the security of the Internet in the name of national security.

The damage created to IT security is deliberate, sustained and protected even inside the agencies’ compartmented planning cells by arcane contrivances of language. Breaking the safety and value of crypto systems, in sigint speak, is “enabling”. Deliberately sabotaging security, in the inverted Orwellian world of the sigint agencies is said to be “improving security”.

The only European countries apparently not signed up to help break the internet are Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monaco, and Ireland. And Iceland.

Link (The Register)

Update on faithInHumanity–;

This is an update for this post

I won’t say I told you so, but…you know what, screw it, I told you so. I told you the horror story out of Waukesha, Wisconsin, where two girls attacked a friend, nearly killing her, invoking the name of Slender Man, the creation of one user on internet site Creepypasta, would result in yet another moral panic iteration. Truth be told, it wasn’t a difficult prediction to make and I certainly wasn’t going out on a limb. This kind of thing is sadly as predictable as the weather in San Diego, but not nearly as pleasant. Already the focus is being cast exactly where it shouldn’t, even by police officials.

“This should be a wake-up call for all parents,” Russell P. Jack, Waukesha’s police chief, said in a statement Monday. “Parents are strongly encouraged to restrict and monitor their children’s Internet usage.”

Link (Techdirt)

Creator Of Flappy Bird Clone Claims His Duplication Is Covered By Trademark

(…) it takes a special kind of person to copy someone else’s game entirely and then try to prevent future cloning via a bit of peremptory legalese.

Samuel David couldn’t even be bothered to use his own screenshot on the game’s iTunes page.

You know, if you’re just going to clone someone else’s game, at least have the self-awareness to realize that trying to “protect” your “work” (especially with bogus claims) going forward just makes you look like an idiot, and a hugely disingenuous one at that.

Link (Techdirt)


Everyone Go Crazy: Prepare To Blame The Internet For Murder-Inducing Ghost Stories

Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. One of the girls told a detective they were trying to become “proxies” of Slender Man, a mythological demon-like character they learned about on, a website about horror stories and legends. They planned to run away to the demon’s forest mansion after the slaying, the complaint said.

Link (Techdirt)

“Of course” video games are to blame

The link, Pollard explains, is that these kids played Call of Duty and also killed themselves. Therefore, according to Pollard, there is reason to believe one is causal. According to a source of mine, a Mr. Lo Gic, this kind of thinking indicates the coroner may have some wires crossed in his head. Otherwise, he’d have to explain why four suicides of children that played a game that has sold over a 100 million copies is anything we should be noting at all. Those children may all have drank orange juice, as well, because that’s what kids do

Link (Techdirt)

You might be a terrorist

… according to the statistics.

You may recall the Feds’ contending with straight faces in 2004 that if “a little old lady in Switzerland gave money to a charity for an Afghan orphanage, and the money was passed to al Qaeda,” she met the definition of “enemy combatant.” Five years later, a federal Fusion Center decreed that “if you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or [Ron Paul], if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.”

Link (Techdirt)

Europe just banished free speech on the internet

(…) an absolutely insane ruling that came out of the European Court of Human Rights last fall, in the case of Delfi AS v. Estonia, which basically said that any website that allows comments can be liable for those comments. In fact, it found that even when sites took down comments (automatically!) following complaints, they can still be liable, because they should have blocked those comments from going up in the first place. Bizarrely, the court basically says the site should have known that the article in question might lead to negative reactions, and therefor should have blocked comments:

Link (Techdirt)

The US doesn’t do economic spying…

… but not because it doesn’t want to

Former CIA Director And Defense Secretary Says CIA Tried, But Failed, To Do Economic Espionage

But despite his attempt to work with, in his words, five or six commerce secretaries, “I never could get one of them interested in being the facilitator of getting that kind of CIA information to American companies. So this is something we don’t do.”

Link (Techdirt)

Do you want a government dicatorship?

… because this is how you get a government dictatorship

“The question is who decides [what to publish]. It seems clear, at least to me, that the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets, and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences. In a democracy (which, pace Greenwald, we still are), that decision must ultimately be made by the government.”

Link (Techdirt)