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Sep 21, 2015

Anonymous Launches ‘Black October’ Campaign Against United States Banking System

Right on the heels of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s four year anniversary, activist group Anonymous has launched a new campaign which they say outlines an “easy” way for the 99% to demonstrate their strength and overcome the richest 1%.

The statement was released on Anonymous’ website, with a video inviting people to join the peaceful revolution, under the name "Black October." The group calls on "ordinary people" to demonstrate their strength and independence from wealthy banks by simply using cash instead of debit and credit cards.

"US branches of Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Spain’s Banco Santander have failed US Fed stress tests, while America’s largest bank, Bank of America, is put on 'warning,'" the statement reads. "How far can the ordinary people shoulder responsibility of a failed private bank?"

A stress test, officially known as the Comprehensive Capital and Analysis Review, is an annual assessment conducted by the US Federal Reserve of a bank’s ability to “lend to households and businesses even in times of stress.” It was introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

This year’s review found that both Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander would fail to deal with "doomsday" scenarios such as rising unemployment and plummeting house prices, while Bank of America also has "certain weaknesses."
With "Black October," Anonymous asks people to demonstrate their independence from such big banks.

The month-long campaign is outlined in Anonymous’ video and statement, inviting people to take their money out of bank accounts and not to use their debit or credit cards.

"Show the Big Bankers that we don’t need their debit cards, we don’t need their credit cards, we don’t need their loans, and we don’t need them," Anonymous said. "Let’s show them that we are the 99% and we can beat them. It is that easy."

Driven by social and economic inequality, the Occupy movement began on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park in New York’s Wall Street financial district. The movement was inspired by anti-austerity protests in Spain, and saw thousands of activists in hundreds of US cities coming together and calling for policy reforms favoring 99% of Americans over the richest and most powerful 1%.

Source : SputnikNews

Aug 19, 2015

15,000 Chinese Arrested in Cybercrime, Gov't to "Clean Up the Internet"

Amid an increasing crackdown on China’s internet, the country’s officials “react appropriately” in the face of growing cybercrimes harming the government, banks and large companies’ websites.

Chinese police arrested 15,000 people suspected of cybercrime including the sale of personal data, online fraud and hacking, Chinese officials said on Tuesday.
 A total of 7,400 cases believed to be online crimes have been investigated by Chinese law enforcement since July when China’s Ministry of Public Security launched a six month "clean network action" to fight cybercrime in the face of a growing clash of opinions in society, said the Ministry of Public Security.

Those arrested were allegedly accused of hacking the websites of private companies, government agencies and banks while uploading classified content, changing sites’ information and defrauding others.

Chinese authorities have also launched an investigation into inappropriate online language; however this information has not been officially confirmed by the Ministry.

According to professor Xiao Qiang from the UC Berkeley School of Information in California, a crackdown on cybercrime of this scale is something that China has never faced before, Al Jazeera reported.

"The general atmosphere is very tight when it comes to freedom of speech," Xiao said, adding that some alleged hackers could be former “freedom of speech” activists.

The reported arrests prompted public outrage that could have a spiraling effect in the wake of the recent warehouse explosions that killed over 100 people in Tianjin.

Following the mass arrests of alleged hackers, 50 sites believed to “incite panic” while covering the Tianjin blasts apocryphally have been closed or temporarily suspended by the main internet watchdog in the country, Cyberspace Administration of China.
 The government has been repeatedly blamed for its actions led to the port city disaster.

Last month over 200 Chinese activists were detained in a 10-day government crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists amid growing international concerns about Internet security of the recent exposés made by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency subcontractor who made headlines in 2013 when he leaked top secret information about the NSA’s surveillance activities.

Source : SputnikNews

Jul 15, 2015

FBI Cracks Down On Huge Hacker «Darkode» Forum

Darkode was used to trade stolen data and methods for cyberattacks on governments and companies.

One of the largest and most notorious hackers trading forums, Darkode,
has been shut down and dismantled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
 and other law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Justice Department said

According to U.S. attorney David Hickton, who charged 12 people in the
operation, said Darkode is a "a cyber hornet's nest of criminal hackers"
 that "represented one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data
on computers in the United States."   

The European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol, also took part of
the hacker hunt. The agency said it had arrested 28 people in what the
Justice Department called the largest coordinated international law
enforcement effort ever directed at an online cybercriminal forum.   

The operation included the participation of another 20 countries in
Europe and Latin America as well as Israel, Nigeria and Australia.   

Reuters reported that Darkode was used to trade stolen data as well as
hacking and spam tools and services, and methods for cyber attacks on
governments and companies.   

"Darkode was unusual because it was a virtual crossroads for criminal
hackers from a variety of languages, countries and backgrounds," Brian
Krebs, who writes on cybercrime and had infiltrated the forum to study
it, told Reuters.   

"For many years, some of the most accomplished cybercriminals sold their
 wares and services on this forum, including everything from
denial-of-service attacks for hire to malicious software and stolen
identities and credit cards," Krebs added.   

A total of 70 Darkode members and associates worldwide are currently
still being investigated, the department said.     

Residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin,
Louisiana, Slovenia, Spain and Pakistan have been indicted.

Source : Telesur

Jul 7, 2015

United States : Hillary Clinton Implicated in Honduras Coup, Emails Reveal

The U.S. said they were working to restore ousted-president Zelaya, while in fact ensuring the coup government’s grip on power.

A new round of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as U.S. Secretary of
State released last week, reveals her complicity in the 2009 military
coup that toppled Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.   

According to an email exchange in the aftermath of the coup, Clinton
requested the assistance of a prominent PR advisor Lanny Davis as a
back-channel to Roberto Micheletti, the interim president after the
coup. Davis was also an adviser to a group of Honduran businessmen who
had supported Zelaya's ouster .   

The request came a week before Clinton brokered a deal to reinstall
Zelaya through a national unity government. According to the Intercept,
this was an attempt at undermining the democratically elected left-wing
president while not explicitly endorsing the coup.   

The plan failed however as the legal vacuum left by the coup made the
return of Manuel Zelaya impossible. The U.S. State Department continued
to support and recognize what many considered fraudulent elections by
the post-coup government, saying they were “free, fair and transparent.”
According to the Intercept, the U.S. presented a facade in the media
saying they were working to restore the democratically elected Honduran
government, while in fact ensuring the coup government’s grip on power.   

In another email exchange Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon,
who was in Honduras the week prior to the coup to meet with the civilian
 and military groups that later participated in the coup, applauded the
U.S. for “having worked so hard to manage and resolve this crisis.”

Zelaya was inspired by the policies of Hugo Chavez to combat poverty and
 had joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) a year
prior to his ouster.   

In the aftermath of the coup, the homicide rate increased by 50 percent
while political repression and assassinations of political opponents,
farmer organizers and LGBTQI activists heightened dramatically.

Source : Telesur

Jun 26, 2015

United States : Ex-Baltimore Cop Exposes Police Abuses via Twitter

According to the former sergeant, the police force is inundated with an “us vs them” mentality, which encourages cops to be aggressive.

Former Police Sgt. Michael A. Wood Jr. recently took to Twitter to
reveal the numerous abuses and injustices that he witnessed during his
11 years with the Baltimore Police Department.

“So here we go,” tweeted Wood June 24. “I'm going to start Tweeting the
things I've seen & participated in, in policing that is corrupt,
intentional or not.”

The former sergeant then opens a Pandora's box of confessions:

“A detective slapping a completely innocent female in the face for
bumping into him, coming out of a corner chicken store;” “Pissing and
shitting inside suspects homes during raids, on their beds and clothes;”
 “Punting a handcuffed, face down, suspect in the face, after a foot
chase;” “A detective staging a hit & run to cover up crashing a
departmental vehicle.”

Aside from the sheer brutality of some of these actions, Wood noted
other cases of sheer corruption and twisting the law to suit the needs
of local police.

“Jacking up and illegally searching thousands of people with no legal
justification;” “Summonsing officers who weren't there so they could
collect the overtime;” “Having other people write PC statements, who
were never there because they could twist it into legality,” he tweeted –
 with PC referring to 'probable cause documents,' the papers that police
 file to obtain a warrant from a judge.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Woods said these actions can
be explained by the “us vs them” mentality that is ingrained in police
officers during their time of training and “inundated” in the policing

“It’s ingrained in you that this is a war, and if someone isn’t wearing a
 uniform, they’re the enemy,” said Wood.

The former sergeant admitted that he also fell into that culture, which
is why he did not initially come forward to report the incidents. It was
 not until 2011 when he was put on a special drug task force and left to
 monitor certain neighborhoods for hours on end that he realized that
the people he was watching were not the enemy.

“But sitting in the van and watching people just living their lives, I
started to see that these were just people,” he told the Post.  “They
weren’t that different from me. They had to pay rent. See their kids off
 to school.”  

Though the media only caught on to Woods' revelations this week, the
former sergeant says he has been tweeting about police injustices for a
while. In his interview with the Post, Woods said it was the national
discussion that evolved after Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson that
pushed him to get more involved.

After protesters in Ferguson forced Brown's killing to become a high
profile case, dozens of other cases of police overuse of force against
African Americans have surfaced.

Earlier this month, Woods tweeted, “We target 16-24yo b/m (black males)
because they are arrested more, but they are arrested more because we
fucking arrest them more, C the circle?”

Among other high-profile cases of police killings is the recent death of
 Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, who died as a result of a “high energy
 injury” while in police custody. Gray was arrested in the Western
District of the city, which was Woods' first beat in 2003.

According to Woods, the solution to the problem is teaching empathy
among police officers.

“The important thing is to change the mindset, to foster a sense of
empathy, so police officers see themselves as the protectors of these
communities, not as an occupying force that’s at war with them,” he told
 the Washington Post.

In one of his last Tweets Thursday, Woods told his over 10,000 followers
 to stay tuned, “Tomorrow I'm switching to internal corruption and
showing some of the deplorable ways in which police are treated by
command & city.”

Source : Telesur

May 20, 2015

Facebook Blocks Posts from Ukraine Due to Calls for Violence

Many posts coming from Ukraine end up being blocked for violating Facebook guidelines, Mark Zuckerberg told President Petro Poroshenko.

Facebook users in Ukraine calling for violence has led to the social
network to block these posts, the founder Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday.
He also rejected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s request to open
up a Facebook office in the  war-torn country.

The billionaire explained to the U.S.-Western-backed Petro Poroshenko
that he would not set up a Ukrainian outpost for Facebook, because this
only done in countries were there is in fact sales activity. He added
that this could only be possible in the long term.

Regarding the blocking of Facebook posts, Zuckerberg added the majority
of such publications violated Facebook terms because they carried calls
for violence based on racial, ethnic, social or any other intolerance.

Pravda reports that posts carried calls for violence based on racial,
ethnic and social intolerance.

Anton Sergo, founder of the Internet and Law project, said that the move
 was linked to the ongoing clash between Ukraine and Russia.   

“The activity and aggressiveness of the citizens, both Russian and
Ukrainian erupt into the same social network where it is seen,” he told
Pravda. “There may be some political component, related to the
possibility of Russia to slightly influence the Facebook policy here
from one hand. From another hand, it is clear that America is the key
"influencer" as the company is registered and situated there,” he added.

Source : Telesur

May 7, 2015

Europe moves to end geo-blocking online content

While the internet is supposed to be an open-access resource, there is a great deal of content which can only be accessed in certain parts of the world. To comply with licensing rules, broadcasters in particular will often restrict access to their services to specific countries, but in Europe there are plans to bring such geo-blocking to an end.

Described as "a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons" geo-blocking is derided by the European Commission as little more than a money-making venture. The aim is to create what has been dubbed a Digital Single Market, breaking down barriers and simplifying regulation.

The Commission says that the current system serves both businesses and consumers poorly, and suggests that moving to a Digital Single Market will not only help to create jobs, but also boost the European economy by €415 billion per year. In addition to removing obstacles that stand between consumers and services, the Commission wants to create a more level playing field for digital service providers in Europe.

The move could mean that services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix are available throughout Europe with the same content in each country. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market -- wherever they are in Europe".

As part of the Digital Single Market Strategy, a total of sixteen goals for the end of 2016 have been set out. In addition to ending geo-blocking, there's also the promise of easier cross-border e-commerce. Plans to overhaul copyright laws will create a unified European system are likely to be welcomed by consumers, as is a comprehensive review of service providers and how they compete with each other.

Mark Skilton from Warwick Business School said:
The EU’s Digital Single Market initiative aims to redress the balance that has seen US tech giants dominate the online world. The EU’s review of online practices will force companies to define their original service location and bias to help build a level playing field. The Google antitrust case is one such example. The EU is hoping that creating a single digital market will help European companies grow and take on the likes of Facebook, which holds 78 per cent of the social influence market, and Google.

Source : Betanews

Apr 29, 2015

Ukraine's Security Service Takes Down 30,000 Websites to Fight ‘Pro-Russian Propaganda’

Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) was initially aiming to shut down five websites that had been allegedly spreading pro-Russian views about the conflict in Ukraine. Instead, they ended up crushing thousands of other websites, halting business and other activities of the Ukrainian segment of the Internet.

How It All Went Down
In an attempt to block five allegedly anti-Ukrainian websites, the State Security Service cracked down on a local web-hosting company,, also the largest domain registrar in Ukraine. SBU officers seized hosting servers at four data centers in Kyiv on April 7, 2015. Surprisingly, the targeted ‘pro-Russian’ websites resumed work in a few hours, but almost 30,000 Ukrainian websites that had nothing to do with the information war between Ukraine and Russia went down for weeks. Among them were e-commerce, charity, news, and even local government websites.

The problem was hidden in the details. As it turned out, the Ukrainian service provider was not hosting the websites targeted by the SBU. According to Andrew Khvetkevich, CEO, his company previously hosted only one of the five websites, and had blocked it back in January. In a Facebook post, Khvetkevich said that hree other websites used the Ukrainian company only as a registrar, but kept all their files on servers in Russia. Finally, the last targeted website turned out to be a blog, hosted by WordPress.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 8.59.06 AM
This is a list of sites that have been in the court's decision (which allowed to seize servers):;;;;
  1. – Works, since we are only a registrar for them and this domain is not on our servers;
  2. – Does not work, wasn’t using our servers. It was redirected to another site and the domain will work again when you refresh the cache;
  3. – Works, hosting in Russia, we didn’t host their domain on our equipment (we are only a registrar for them);
  4. – This domain we have identified and froze on 17:37:48 +02 January 21, 2015;
  5. – We have nothing to do with this domain. It is supported by WordPress.
Markian Lubkivskyi, senior advisor at the Security Service of Ukraine, said that before seizing the servers, the SBU officially requested to block the targeted websites, but the company did not comply. denied the fact that they received any official requests from SSU. CEO Khvetkevich said they received only a few poorly scanned information requests. Khvetkevich also noted that it is illegal in Ukraine to simply block a website based on a scanned request or warrant, and the proper procedure would require original documents.

While the SBU and have been trying to decide who is to blame for hosting the ‘pro-Russian’ websites, a few hundred websites that are hosted by servers still remain inaccessible. Thousands of websites that were initially incapacitated have been coming back online over the last few weeks, after SBU's Lubkivskyi promised that SBU would be returning copies of data from the seized servers to those who approach the Security Service with a written request. SBU said it would keep the physical servers for the next two months ‘for investigative purposes.’

Internet Users Not Impressed
Needless to say, the online community was not very excited about SBU's actions. Maksym Savanevsky, chief editor of Watcher, a website about Internet business and social media marketing in Ukraine, whose website also went down as a result of the server seizure, wrote in a blog post that SBU's server data return mechanism looked strange and wasn't very helpful.
This is very weird, because it is impossible to get data without a concrete connection to the servers. Without the experts, the SBU will be able to return only files at best, not the databases, but the website doesn’t function without them.
Facebook users also left quite a few angry comments under Lubkivsky’s announcement about providing copies of the data to websites who had suffered from the blanket server seizure. User Ekaterina Glebova wondered who would compensate for the hosting fees she'd paid and where SBU suggested she put the copies of files if her server was in their hands.
Dear Markian Lubkivskyi, where are we supposed to put those obtained copies? We’ve paid for the hosting. Maybe the hosting for all the customers will be on you? Also, why do I have to go now somewhere to obtain my lawfully created website, that I worked on and invested in?
Let’s come to the SSU all together and stand there until we get back our websites and hosting from those who caused us these loses.
Mykola Radchenko echoed Glebova's sentiment and said even schoolchildren could figure out that you don't need to extract the whole server farm to take down a few websites.
What do I need the copy of the website for? What am I going to do with it? I want to use the hosting that I paid for. The provider can’t help me, because you seized the servers. It is all very simple. Will you be reimbursing people or what?
In order to turn off the light in one apartment, you don’t need to destroy the power station! I hope you got the comparison.
Facebook users, especially representatives of Internet businesses, expressed another concern: incidents like this could very well kill the Ukrainian hosting market. If servers can be seized so easily and without due process, hosting providers fear that Ukrainian companies and individuals are likely to shift to services by international hosting companies, forcing the local ones to go out of business.

That fear is not entirely unreasonable: over three weeks, thousands of Ukrainian websites were offline, losing views, clicks and potential business. At the time of publishing, said 91% of hosted accounts that were down as a result of the server seizure are now back online.

Source : GlobalVoices

Apr 18, 2015

Twitter Moves non-US Accounts to Ireland to Dodge NSA, United States Privacy Laws

Twitter has adopted a new privacy policy, which places the accounts of all users not based in the United States under the control of Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland.

The move allows Twitter to cover the accounts of users not based in the U.S. from the scrutiny of the National Security Agency. In the U.S., Twitter must comply with NSA-led court requests for data.

The new policy may also allow Twitter to engage in advertising practices using user information in ways which may not be allowed under U.S. law.
 Ireland is recognized as having some of the most lenient privacy laws in Europe.

All U.S.-based accounts will still be handled by Twitter Inc from San Francisco. In a privacy update post, Twitter delivered the following statement.

“If you live outside the United States, our services are now provided to you by Twitter International Company, our company based in Dublin, Ireland.

Twitter International Company will be responsible for handling your account information under Irish privacy and data protection law, which is based on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive.”

The privacy update goes into affect on May 18, 2015. The change, however, is not new for a social networking company as Facebook has adopted a similar practice.

Source : SputnikNews

Apr 15, 2015

Interview with John McAfee : US Government Planting Malicious Software On Your Phone, So It Can Bypass Encryption and “See What You’re Doing”


Spy Agencies Are Intentionally Destroying Digital Security. Inventor of Antivirus Sofware.

Top computer and internet experts say that NSA spying breaks the functionality of our computers and of the Internet. It reduces functionality and reduces security by – for example – creating backdoors that malicious hackers can get through.

Remember, American and British spy agencies have intentionally weakened security for many decades. And it’s getting worse and worse. For example, they plan to use automated programs to infect millions of computers.

Smart Phones Vulnerable to Spying
We documented in 2013 that smart phones are very vulnerable to spying:
The government is spying on you through your phone … and may even remotely turn on your camera and microphone when your phone is off.
As one example, the NSA has inserted its code into Android’s operating system … buggingthree-quarters of the world’s smartphones. Google – or the NSA – can remotely turn on your phone’s camera and recorder at any time.
Moreover, Google knows just about every WiFi password in the world … and so the NSA does as well, since it spies so widely on Google.
But it’s not just the Android. In reality, the NSA can spy on just about everyone’s smart phone.
Cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requestsfor cell phone locations and other data in 2011. (And – given that your smartphoneroutinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way.) Your iPhone, or other brand of smartphone is spying on virtually everything you do (ProPublica notes: “That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker“). Remember, that might be happening even when your phone is turned off.
The NSA has gathered all of that cellphone location information.
“Encryption Doesn’t Matter In a World Where Anyone Can Plant Software On Your Phone and See What You’re Seeing”

John McAfee invented commercial antivirus software. He may be a controversial and eccentric figure … but the man knows his technology.
Earlier this month, McAfee told security expert Paul Asadoorian that encryption is dead.  Specifically, he said:
  • Every city in the country has 1 to 3 Stingray spy devices … Bigger cities like New York probably have 200 or 300
  • When you buy a Stingray, Harris Corporation makes you sign a contract keeping your Stingray secret (background here and here)
  • Stingray pushes automatic “updates” – really malicious software – onto your phone as soon as you come into range
  • The software – written by the largest software company in the world – allows people to turn on your phone, microphone and camera, and read everything you do and see everything on your screen
  • Encryption doesn’t matter in a world where anyone can plant software on your phone and see what you’re seeing.  Protecting transmission of information from one device to the other doesn’t matter anymore … they can see what you see on your device
  • There are many intrusions other than Stingray.   For example, everyone has a mobile phone or mobile device which has at least 10 apps which have permission to access camera and microphone
  • Bank of America’s online banking app requires you to accept microphones and cameras. McAfee called Bank of America and asked why they require microphones and cameras. They replied that – if you emptied all of the money in your account and said “it wasn’t me”, they could check, and then say:
Well, it certainly looks like you. And it certainly sounds like you.
  • In order to do that, B of A’s app keeps your microphone and camera on for a half hour after you’ve finished your banking
  • In addition, people can call you – and have you call them back – and plant software on your phone when you call them back

Interview with John McAfee 

Apr 11, 2015

Should you pay if you get an illegal download notice for Torrents or Streaming downloads?

Canada's crackdown on illegal downloading is in full swing, with more and more Canadians reporting that they're receiving notices from their internet service providers. The notices say they could be on the hook legally for downloading copyrighted files.

The warnings are part of a new provision under Canada's Copyright Modernization Act, called the "notice and notice" program, which came into effect on January 1st.

Under the provision, copyright holders — such as movie studios — send a notice to ISPs to inform them about alleged infringements. The ISP, in turn, is required by law to forward that notice onto the customer. But the ISP isn't allowed to reveal the identity of the person to the copyright holder without a court order.

Calgary's Darren Mycroft says he received four illegal downloading notices from his internet service provider, Shaw. He says he got four of the notices in his email inbox this week, all on the same day.

"It was a shock to me. I was really confused, because I don't download files illegally. I wasn't worried or scared because I know that I hadn't done anything wrong, I haven't downloaded anything illegally since Napster shut down so it wasn't me," says Mycroft.

Screenshot of CEG TEK's website, a copyright enforcement company. Darren Mycroft says the illegal downloading notice he received from his ISP directed him to this page in order to pay settlements for files he says he did not download. (Darren Mycroft)

Mycroft says the notices he received encouraged him to go to a website to pay at least $450.00 in settlements, to avoid further legal action. But he says he has no plans to pay.

"It is almost a form of extortion in my opinion. Once you follow the link to their site, they're asking for your personal information so the privacy that's being protected by your ISP is no longer there because as soon as you go to that site they can look and actually find out who you are," says Mycroft.

According to Industry Canada, Canadians can be liable for up to $5,000 for downloading a film or other copyrighted material for personal use under the "notice and notice" provision.

Meghan Sali, campaigns coordinator with internet advocacy organization Open Media, says Canada's copyright laws and the notices Canadians receive are doing exactly what they should: deterring people from downloading illegally.

But still, she advises Canadians not to pay settlement fees when they receive a notice from their ISP. She says the notices may not reflect the legal reality of what an illegal downloader could be required to pay. She says people are asked to pay settlement fees, when there's no proof of a law being broken.

Illegal downloading - settlement website

"There need to be some clear and simple rules put into the Industry Canada's guidelines about what type of information can be included in the notice. If there aren't any rules around what can go into these notices, Canadians are unsure about whether or not this is actually a real threat to them and that is where ultimately the confusion comes in," says Sali.

Sali says other cases can involve so-called "copyright trolls", companies hired by copyright holders to go after illegal downloaders. She says "copyright trolls" bank on fears of further legal action even when there is no proof of guilt.

"Copyright trolls actually don't want you to go to court. They know it's difficult to win and what they'd like you to do is settle outside of court and that's really where this bullying behaviour comes in," says Sali.

Mycroft says the files he is being accused of downloading are pornographic movies. He says he's looked back at the dates in question, and he suspects it may have been a friend he had over to his place that day, but he isn't sure.
Sali says Open Media has heard from many Canadians who've been pursued for files with explicit titles.

"Usually what they [copyright trolls] do is pick titles that are explicit and pornographic because they know they're more likely to get money out of them [subscribers]. They know that these people would be embarrassed if this came to light. Essentially what this amounts to is a shakedown," says Sali.
It's not clear if that happened in Mycroft's case.

Torrent site

Homepage for the website, featuring a banner ad for shipping company DHL. Movie and music piracy thrives online in part because website operators receive advertising dollars from major companies. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

Sali says Canadians shouldn't take the consequences of illegal downloading lightly. She says if you are downloading illegally, you could end up getting sued.

"The reason the government spent so much time crafting this system is to educate Canadians about copyright infringement. And that's what the notices do and they're remarkably effective at this," says Sali.

But Sali says she wants to see guidelines in place so that Canadians can be sure they're receiving accurate information when they receive illegal download notices.

Source : CBC

Apr 10, 2015

Ukraine Blocks 10,000 Websites and Confiscates a Newspaper

As confirmed in an earlier report April 9, 2015, the Security Bureau of Ukraine, on April 7th, had seized and disappeared two Odessa bloggers, who were trying to get an independent investigation, and ultimate prosecution, of the individuals who participated in the 2 May 2014 massacre of regime opponents, and who burned, shot, and clubbed to death perhaps over 200 in the Odessa Trade Unions Building — the event that precipitated the breakaway of Donbass from the rest of the former Ukraine, the country’s civil war. (See  Ukraine “Disappears” Opponents of the Kiev Regime. Abductions of Independent Journalists By Eric Zuesse, April 09, 2015)

And I also reported that April 7th saw the official announcement that,
“The security service of Ukraine … has discontinued operation of a number of Internet sites that were used to perpetrate information campaigns of aggression on the part of the Russian Federation aimed at violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order and territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.”
The follow-up to that story is the news on April 9th, which was reported in the courageous independent Kiev newspaper, Vesti, that “SBU has blocked more than 10,000 websites.” It says that, “Law enforcers seized the servers,” and that one SBU official told the newspaper, “‘We have made the decision of the court and confiscated equipment.’ He promised to return the servers in two months.”

Another news report on April 9th in Vesti tells of seizures of that day’s edition of newspapers by far-right toughs at news stands throughout the city, and the story even shows a video of Right Sector toughs raiding and emptying a Vesti delivery van headed out for distribution. The report also said:
“On Thursday, April 9, machines [coin-operated distribution boxes] that were transporting part of the circulation of the Kiev edition of the newspaper ‘Vesti’ were attacked. The attacks occurred around the metro stations ‘Heroes of Dnepr’ and ’Vasylkivska.’ In both cases, the scenario was the same: the circulation machine was blocked by two cars that emerged containing unidentified men wearing symbols of the ‘Right Sector’ who illegally seized the circulation. In the case near the metro station ‘Vasylkivska,’ a driver was beaten, and the attackers threatened to burn his car.”
Back on 5 July 2014, Vesti had headlined, “Masked men smashed and fired into ‘Vesti’: broke windows, spread tear gas.” A video accompanied that news report, too. The video showed a man outside the newspaper’s office, opening the door, being suddenly attacked by approximately a hundred men who rushed at him from hiding and beat him.

The accompanying news report from a witness said:
“I first heard several shots. Then stones and Molotov cocktails were hurled at windows on the first and second floors. After that, the room filled with tear gas, which quickly spread throughout the office, and it’s still very hard to breathe. One of the guards who tried to stop the thugs was beaten.”
The video shows all of this from the outside of the building.
There are accompanying photos of the ransacked office.

That news report, in turn, linked to an earlier one, on 27 June 2014. That report had said: “Suddenly, four dozen masked strangers came, headed by the controversial deputy of Kyiv City Council, Igor Lutsenko.” These men “began to shout anti-Putin slogans, and then climbed onto the improvised stage” where there was to be presentation of a Constitution Day award. “Finally, radicals tried to throw bricks at our editors, but Maidan volunteers blocked that.”

The head of the Security Bureau of Ukraine, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the man who closed 10,000 online sites on April 7th, was reported, a week earlier, on April 1st, (translation here) saying:
“SBU does not need to invent anything new. It is necessary only to build on the traditions and approaches that were set forth by the Security Service of the OUN-UPA in the 1930-1950 years. They battled against the aggressor [Russia] during the temporary occupation of the territory [Ukraine, which ’temporary’ period was already 350 years], had a patriotic education, military counterintelligence, and relied on the peaceful Ukrainian population, using its unprecedented support.”
This video recounts and shows the history of “OUN-UPA in the 1930-1950 years” and documents that it carried out most of Adolf Hitler’s extermination program in Ukraine during World War II — including 80% of the Babi Yar massacre of Jews, which the Russian poet Yevtushenko memorialized. To the people that the Obama Administration has placed in power in Ukraine, it was a heroic achievement. And yet, far-right Jews are part of it — ideological brothers-under-the-skin, and it also has the support of 98%+ of the U.S. Congress.

The head of the Security Bureau of Ukraine lied about the ‘temporary’ inclusion of Ukraine as part of Russia, and also about how ‘peaceful’ was the reign of Ukraine’s and Germany’s nazis over Ukraine during 1940-1944. But at least he was honest that he is returning to those “traditions and approaches.”

Barack Obama reigned over the entire process and installed these people into power over Ukraine. He has almost 100% congressional support for that within both the Republican and Democratic Parties, even though over two-thirds of Americans who have an opinion on the matter are opposed to his policy. America’s Establishment wants him to pursue this policy more aggressively. And the West’s newsmedia blame Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
 Here is a video of Ukraine’s troops shelling the Donbass village of Slavyansk and joking that they’ll turn it into a “crematorium.”

 As I reported earlier, the founder of Right Sector, Dmitriy Yarosh, was the leader of the thugs who perpetrated the May 2nd massacre, and who also carried out the February 2014 coup that brought these people to power in Ukraine. Starting on April 20th (Hitler’s birthday), his men will be receiving military training and weapons from U.S. troops, whom Obama is sending in to help them and other executioners with their program of exterminating the residents in Donbass — the region that rejects the coup-imposed government. 

So, Yarosh helps Obama not only by terrorizing the few remaining independent news media in Ukraine, but also by installing Obama’s regime there, and now, increasingly, by fighting his war there. Yarosh is already the most powerful person in Ukraine, and yet his power is still increasing there. He’s a man to watch. He wants Putin dead, so Putin is probably watching him carefully. Obama meanwhile, is watching Putin’s ‘aggression.’

Source : GlobalResearch

Apr 8, 2015

#OpISIS : Anonymous Posts List of ISIL Websites and the US, UK Firms That Host Them

The hacktivist collective Anonymous has published a list of websites used by the self-proclaimed Islamic State for propaganda and recruitment along with the companies - many based in the US and Europe - hosting them, in an effort to push for their removal.

This is the latest in a string of recent actions dubbed #OpISIS, in which the hackers — in particular an Anonymous faction known as GhostSec — have taken aim at the online resources of the internet-savvy Islamic State propagandists.

The hackers note that US-based Cloudflare is the "by far worst offender" on the list, which also includes Yahoo!, Google and GoDaddy. OVH, the largest web hosting service in Europe, and LeaseWeb also make an appearance on the list.

On the site where the list was posted, GhostSec explained the action:

"It is our sincerest hope that the media use this as a tool to show the world that the Islamic State is everywhere in some shape or form and that companies are unaware of their customers content or they turn a blind eye for easy profit and choose to accept bloodmoney."

To date, as part of their cyber campaign against IS, Anonymous claims to have attacked more than 200 websites, and "destroyed" 85 of them.

This release follows the release in March of 9,200 twitter handles associated with the Islamist militant group in which another group CtrlSec also participated, and an April 5 release of 4,300 more.

Anonymous in Web
Involved in the March release was anti-terror cyber-activist @XRSone, who also released a database — developed by a different anonymous individual — of over 25,000 accounts he claimed were connected to IS supporters.

"It's tracking 25,000 accounts on its own," XRSone told IBTimes UK. "There is so much information within it I had to reach out to have someone who can read Arabic verify accounts for me. This is probably as big as it gets and it proves if one person can do it, the government or Twitter certainly can."

Actions such as these do have their critics, however, with some questioning how many innocent accounts are getting swept up in the cyber-dragnets at a rate inappropriate for a public listing.
After the March release of Twitter accounts, US Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) released a joint statement with four other congressmen, urging the social media giant to increase its efforts to identify accounts being used for terrorist propaganda.

"Twitter is far behind other social media companies in combating this threat," Poe said. "Twitter needs to do more. It’s time to put a stop to this cyber jihad.

Anonymous, along with hacking groups GhostSec and Ctrlsec, released the names of 9,200 twitter accounts linked to Islamic State terrorists.
However, IS accounts are proving difficult to eradicate. The group creates multiple swarm accounts, all promoting each other. By the time Twitter suspends one account, three more may have sprung up in its place, and IS’ Twitter network continues to thrive.

Last month, the IS threatened the life of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, in retaliation for certain steps the company has managed to take to stifle accounts related to the group.

"We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back," read a post on a website used by the terrorist group. "But when our lions come and take your breath, you will never come back to life."

Source : SputnikNews

United States and Saudi Arabia Target Internet Access in Yemen

When any illegal war of aggression is taking place, it is essential to cut-off all communication routes to the rest of the world. 

In past wars of aggression, the US has first targeted TV stations and radio communications bases, but in the 21st century, targeting internet access is essential in order to keep real information from circulating between the target nation and the outside world, but also between citizens attempting to coordinate inside the target nation.

Aden is the access point for one of only two submarine fiber optic cables which connect Yemen to the rest of the world. That cable connects Yemen to the US AFRICOM-controlled client state of Djibouti across the Gulf of Aden in east Africa, home of one of the Pentagon’s largest off-shore military bases. It has gone dark for the last three days and counting. This would indicate direct interference or sabotage.

More details on this from The Switch

Network stability in Yemen over the past week (Dyn)

Yemen is in turmoil: The Arab state is now at the heart of a regional conflict pitting a long-standing rebellion against an enfeebled Saudi-backed government.

The factions are now battling over the southern coastal city of Aden, which the country’s president was forced to abandon last week. And the country’s Internet connectivity is one of the victims of the fighting. Aden is the access point for one of only two submarine cables that connects Yemen to the global Internet — and researchers noted two major disruptions where that cable, which connects Yemen to Djibouti, appears to have gone dark in the last two days.

But Yemen isn’t alone. When conflict strikes, Internet access is often an early casualty — cutting off communications for civilians when they need it the most.

“When there’s some sort of conflict, communications ends up being damaged or in some cases intentionally disconnected,” said Doug Madory, who watches global online routing data from his perch in New Hampshire as the director of Internet analysis for  Dyn. The effects can be particularly harmful in the developing world, where infrastructure is less robust than in other nations.

Such is the case with Yemen, whose Internet infrastructure is controlled by one state-run provider and relies on a handful of access points to just two submarine fiber cables. Internet stability in Yemen started to get rocky on Monday, Madory said. But the apparent outages of the Djibouti cable, starting Wednesday as fighting intensified in Aden, caused more significant disruptions. “It’s safe to say that national Internet connectivity during that time was degraded,” he said.

The cause of the outages remain unclear, although their limited time frame — the first one lasted roughly an hour and half — suggests they were likely related to power blackouts or fixable equipment failures rather than an attack aimed at cutting off Internet access, Madory said.

But in other recent conflicts, Internet infrastructure seems to have been purposely targeted. The Egyptian government reportedly shut down Internet access in the midst of the Arab Spring, drawing outcry from the U.S. government and others. And the entire country of Sudan suffered an extended outage during rioting in the capital city of Khartoum in 2013.

Syria, which has been embroiled in a years-long civil war, has also suffered nation-wide and localized Internet outages — although the sources of those outages have been the subject of debate.

It’s often difficult to determine the culprit when communications infrastructure is attacked. And in some cases, anti-government groups have also forced outages. In one 2013 incident, the BBCreported that demonstrators in Libya stormed a state-owned Internet provider and forced it to switch off service. In Yemen, local reports suggested Internet cables were targeted by tribal groups during disputes with the government in years past.

The Internet has become a powerful tool for journalists documenting conflicts and civilians eager to get information about the facts on the ground. But when it goes dark, either due to deliberate attacks or the failure of insufficient infrastructure, those who depend on it are often left without recourse — sometimes for hours, sometimes for days.
“All the facts in the world available in real time won’t make a whit of difference if people don’t have access,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted during remarks to an online freedom conference last year. “And for millions of people today, that is the reality of the challenge that they face.”

Source : GlobalResearch

Kiev Bans Websites for 'Anti-Ukrainian’ Propaganda

Ukraine’s security services shut down on Wednesday several websites allegedly engaged in “acts of information aggression aimed at undermining the Ukrainian constitution”, a senior national security service official said.
“The Ukrainian Security Service…banned a number of Internet websites which were engaged in acts of information aggression on the part of the Russian Federation and undermined the constitution and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Markian Lubkivskyi wrote on his Facebook account.
 The banned websites were registered with and functioned with technical support from NIC.UA and Service Online affiliated Ukrainian societies.

Acting on a court order, USS operatives confiscated the servers used by the banned websites.

Source : SputnikNews

Apr 7, 2015

Israeli sites targeted by annual Anonymous '#OpIsrael' cyber attacks

Hackers fail to bring down government websites, but successfully target sites belonging to musicians, organization for excellence in education and association of urologists.

Dozens of websites were brought down over night by pro-Palestinian hackers, as Anonymous engaged in its now annual attack on the Israeli internet. Major government websites were targeted but were not brought down, including the sites for the Knesset, Education Ministry and the government portal.

Most hacking attempts come in the form of a denial of service attack, in which a website is inundated with requests for access, to the point that the site's servers cannot cope and the site either functions extremely slowly or collapses altogether.

Despite the largely failed attempt to bring down government websites, numerous private sites were brought down Tuesday, with many displaying the phrase "Hacked by Anonghost". Among those hacked were the official sites for singers Shalom Hanoch and Ivri Lider, popular band Hadag Nachash, the Israeli Center for Excellence through Education, the Israeli Urological Association and others.

In addition, hackers claimed to have also accessed a number of email accounts, and published the list of compromised sites and emails. They also claimed to have hacked the website of the court system, but that was working normally by Tuesday morning.

The annual attack on Israeli websites, or "#OpIsrael", is carried out by those identifying as Anonghost or Anonymous. The stated goal is to repay various groups and bodies in Israel for the country's treatment of the Palestinians, by causing inconvenience and discomfort for Israeli citizens, which it says Israel does to the Palestinians.
"As we did many times, we will take down your servers, government websites, Israeli military websites, and Israeli institutions," said a video message released recently, warning of the impending attacks.
"We will erase you from cyberspace in our Electronic Holocaust."

Most hacking attempts come in the form of a denial of service attack, in which a website is inundated with requests for access, to the point that the site's servers cannot cope and the site either functions extremely slowly or collapses altogether.
Every few months or so, hackers threaten to launch cyber attacks on Israeli sites. In many cases, hackers fail to carry out the attack, or cause minimal and temporary damage. In some cases, lists of Israeli user names and passwords for email and social media sites are distributed online, in order to scare Israeli internet users, but often they are old passwords. On April 7 last year, there was a small-scale cyber attack on Israel, but with no significant victims.

Source : ynetnews

Apr 4, 2015

#Op_israel : Anonymous vows to wreak 'electronic holocaust' on Israel for 'crimes in the Palestinian territories'

Anonymous has vowed to wreak an “electronic holocaust” on Israel next week to “erase” the country from cyberspace. The 'hacktivist' group has targeted government and military websites numerous times in the last three years

A video by the hacking group entitled “Anonymous Message To Israel” threatens to take down servers and websites belonging to the government, military and banks in #Op_israel on 7 April.

It shows a suited man wearing a V for Vendetta style Guy Fawkes mask as an electronic voiceover delivers a speech to “foolish Zionist entities”.

“We are coming back to punish you again, for your crimes in the Palestinian territories,” it says, in English with Arabic subtitles.

“All we see is continuous aggression, bombing, killing and kidnapping of the Palestinian people, as in the last war against Gaza in 2014.”

The voice claims Anonymous will not stand by as foreign countries remain “silent” and will respond to “heinous crimes against humanity”.

Showing footage from the Gaza conflict last summer, which the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) labelled Operation Protective Edge, the voiceover continued:

“We'll erase (Israel) from cyber space as we have every year - 7 April 2015 will be an electronic holocaust.”

Anonymous calls young Palestinians the “symbol of freedom, resistance, and hope”, telling them to “never give in” and vowing support.

“As promised in previous attacks, we will continue to electronically attack until the people of Palestine are free,” the simulated voice says.

“As shown in previous attacks, we will continue to invade and attack your devices, websites and personal data.”

It accuses the Israeli government of “endless” human right violations, illegal settlements, the killing of civilians and contraventions of international law.

  Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday of an ‘Iran-Lausanne-Yemen’ axis (AFP/Getty Images)  

Anonymous accused Benjamin Netanyahu of violating international law
“This is why elite cyber-squadrons, from around the world, will decide to unite in solidarity, with the Palestinian people, against Israel, as one entity to disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace,” it finishes. “We'll show you on 7 April 2015 what the electronic holocaust means.”

Anonymous has launched cyber attacks on Israel in the past, starting in 2012 during the Gaza conflict codenamed Operation Pillar of Defence by the IDF, and most recently last year.

This is the third year an attack will happen on 7 April, which comes just over a week before Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, known as Yom HaShoah.
Benjamin T Decker, a senior intelligence analyst at Tel Aviv-based risk consultancy The Levantine Group, told Newsweek that Israeli authorities do not consider Anonymous a serious threat after four years of "posturing".  

Anonymous cited 'illegal' settlements as one of the reasons for its action
“As the years have progressed we have seen that, despite their increasing sophistication in hacking techniques, we have seen less damage against Israeli cyber-infrastructures, largely due to Israel's pioneering of most cyber-warfare tactics, both offensive and defensive,” he said.

But there have been differing claims about the attacks’ impact. According to Anonymous, #Op_Israel in 2013 caused $3 billion (£2 billion) worth of damage to Israel and targeted more than 100,000 websites, 40,000 Facebook pages, 5,000 Twitter accounts and 30,000 Israeli bank accounts, Haaretz reported.

The government insisted there was no major disruption, although attacks blocked websites and resulted in officials’ personal data and contact details being posted online.

Other hacks have targeted websites belonging to Mossad, the IDF, Bank of Jerusalem and Foreign Ministry, making them unavailable.
Source : Independant

Apr 2, 2015

Facebook tracking of online activity breaches Europe Union law, report says

Facebook can track your online activity even if you don't have a Facebook account, and that may breach European privacy laws, according to a report by two Belgian universities.

According to the report, first reported by the Guardian, Facebook uses cookies to track people's online activity without their consent – even if they have logged out of Facebook, deactivated their account, or specifically opted out of online advertising in Europe.
'Facebook is subject to and complies with EU data protection law.'– Facebook statement
The report was ordered by the Belgian Privacy Commission, with research conducted at the University of Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, after the commission determined that Facebook's privacy policies, which were updated in January, violated European customer privacy laws.

It says that Facebook's revised data use policy has enabled the social media giant "to create a vast advertising network which uses data from inside and outside Facebook to target both users and non-users of Facebook."

Tracking cookies

Facebook can track users who have an account, says the report, with multiple cookies that identify them. Even non-users are tracked, with a cookie called "datr," which has an expiration date of two years.

The tracking cookie can be placed on a user's computer when he or she visits a website that includes a Facebook plug-in, not just itself, regardless of whether you clicked "like" or "share" on the social media toolbar.

"This means that Facebook tracks its users across websites even if they do not make use of social plug-ins, and even if they are not logged in," and that "tracking is not limited to Facebook users," says the report.

A Belgian report says that Facebook places tracking cookies on users' computers in a multitude of situations, sometimes without consent. (Canadian Press)

Services in Europe, Canada and the United States offer the ability to remove websites' ability to track your computer's online activity for advertising purposes – also called "online behavioural advertising." However, according to the report, opting out of this practice in Europe through the European Digital Advertising Alliance doesn't stop Facebook from tracking you with the aforementioned cookies. What's more, non-Facebook users who opt out with this practice actually enable cookie tracking if they were not previously being tracked.

When the same test was applied to the opt-out functions provided by the Digital Advertising Alliance in Canada (DAAC) and the U.S., it was found that no long-term cookies were deployed, but could not determine why the North American cases were treated differently from Europe's.

Wally Hill, chairman of the DAAC, told CBC News he was unaware of the Belgian study, but said Facebook is a member in good standing with the advertising opt-out program.

"To date, there has been no indication, as far as I know, that there's any serious issue with Facebook, or indeed any of our other program participants," he said.

The DAAC deals specifically with tracking cookies and other methods of online behavioural advertising. The Belgian study noted that the "datr" cookie "is used for security, among other purposes," though the other purposes are not made entirely clear by Facebook.

Report 'inaccurate,' Facebook says

A Facebook spokesperson told the Guardian that the Belgian report "contains factual inaccuracies," though did not offer specifics, adding that its authors did not contact Facebook, "nor sought to clarify any assumptions upon which their report is based."​

"Facebook is subject to and complies with EU data protection law," the company said in a statement on its website on Thursday. "We're confident we are operating within the law and the EU Data Protection Directive, but even moreso we believe we offer people best-in-class transparency and tools to control their experience and the advertising they see."

Regarding the latter, the report claimed the exact opposite, saying that users have little control over what information Facebook can track and what it can't, burying the options in obscure menus and technical, or overly vague, language.

"Users are even more disempowered because they are unaware about how exactly their data is used for advertising purposes," the report says.

Source : CBC

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