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California Nurses Association - Endorsements for 2016 election

They generally have the best analysis and endorsements.

Government alleges former NSA contractor stole 'astonishing quantity' of classified data over 20 yea

Source: Washington Post

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore on Thursday said they will charge a former National Security Agency contractor with violating the Espionage Act, alleging that he made off with “an astonishing quantity” of classified digital and other data over 20 years in what is thought to be the largest theft of classified government material ever.

In a 12-page memo, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and two other prosecutors laid out a much more far-reaching case against Harold T. Martin III than was previously outlined. They say he took at least 50 terabytes of data and “six full banker’s boxes worth of documents,” with many lying open in his home office or kept on his car’s back seat and in the trunk. Other material was stored in a shed on his property.


He had access to classified data beginning in 1996, when he was with the Navy Reserve, and that access continued through his employment with seven private government contractors.

The government alleged that Martin was able to defeat “myriad, expensive controls placed” on classified information.


In August, a cache of highly sensitive NSA hacking tools mysteriously appeared online. Although investigators have not found conclusive evidence that he was responsible for that, he is the prime suspect, said U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. That is the event that set off the search that turned up Martin, the officials said.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/government-alleges-massive-theft-by-nsa-contractor/2016/10/20/e021c380-96cc-11e6-bb29-bf2701dbe0a3_story.html

This seems to confirm what James Bamford explained in August, that the leaks being blamed on Russia were more likely from "another Snowden":



Commentary: Evidence points to another Snowden at the NSA
Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:23am EDT
By James Bamford


Now, in the latest twist, hacking tools themselves, likely stolen from the National Security Agency, are on the digital auction block. Once again, the usual suspects start with Russia – though there seems little evidence backing up the accusation.


A more logical explanation could also be insider theft. If that’s the case, it’s one more reason to question the usefulness of an agency that secretly collects private information on millions of Americans but can’t keep its most valuable data from being stolen, or as it appears in this case, being used against us.


Rather than the NSA hacking tools being snatched as a result of a sophisticated cyber operation by Russia or some other nation, it seems more likely that an employee stole them.


Snowden’s leaks served a public good. He alerted Americans to illegal eavesdropping on their telephone records and other privacy violations, and Congress changed the law as a result. The DNC leaks exposed corrupt policies within the Democratic Party.

But we now have entered a period many have warned about, when NSA’s cyber weapons could be stolen like loose nukes and used against us. It opens the door to criminal hackers, cyber anarchists and hostile foreign governments that can use the tools to gain access to thousands of computers in order to steal data, plant malware and cause chaos.

It’s one more reason why NSA may prove to be one of Washington’s greatest liabilities rather than assets.

(James Bamford is the author of “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.” He is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine.)

Taking a break from Windows Update


Taking a break from Windows Update
By Michael Horowitz
Computerworld | Oct 9, 2016 9:46 PM PT

Now would be a great time for windows 7 and 8.1 users to run Windows Update. By "now" I mean before Microsoft releases the October 2016 bug fixes on the 11th.

Run it, and run it again, to make sure your computer has all the currently available fixes. Or, maybe, all but the telemetry/spying patch that Microsoft released on October 4th.

I say this because Microsoft is rolling out a new procedure for Windows Update, one that mimics the scheme used by Windows 10, and I don't trust them. Microsoft has shown themselves to be incompetent, both at deciding what to do (think Windows 10 rollout) and in implementing things (think Windows Update taking hours to run on Windows 7).

After installing the currently available bug fixes, I suggest turning off Windows Update.



The Defensive Computing approach is to be wary of any change in procedures. But this change especially scares me because the Windows 10 patch delivery system is already buggy.


Via http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r31028141-Taking-a-break-from-Windows-Update

Britain's Nuclear Cover-Up


Britain’s Nuclear Cover-Up
OCT. 10, 2016


Hinkley ... only makes sense if one considers its connection to Britain’s military projects ...


A painstaking study of obscure British military policy documents, released last month by the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, demonstrates that the government and some of its partners in the defense industry, like Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems, think a robust civilian nuclear industry is essential to revamping Britain’s nuclear submarine program.

For proponents of Trident, civilian nuclear projects are a way of “masking” the high costs of developing a new fleet of nuclear submarines, according to the report. Merging programs like research and development or skills training across civilian and military sectors helps cut back on military spending. It also helps maintain the talent pool for nuclear specialists. And given the long lead times and life spans of most nuclear projects, connections between civilian and military programs give companies more incentives to make the major investments required.


Hiding the true costs of a project like Trident by promoting a questionable and ruinous project like Hinkley Point C distorts the economics of both the defense and the civilian energy sectors. It also skews energy policy itself.

If Britain’s energy policy were solely about energy, rather than also about defense, the nuclear sector would be forced to stand on its own two feet. And the government would have to acknowledge the growing benefits of renewable energy and make hard-nosed comparisons about cost, implementation, environmental benefits and safety.

Britain’s defense policy should not be allowed to undermine the country’s energy policy: That, too, is about national security.

Peter Wynn Kirby is a nuclear and environmental specialist at the University of Oxford.

IAEA chief: Nuclear power plant was disrupted by cyber attack

Source: Reuters

A nuclear power plant became the target of a disruptive cyber attack two to three years ago, and there is a serious threat of militant attacks on such plants, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano also cited a case in which an individual tried to smuggle a small amount of highly enriched uranium about four years ago that could have been used to build a so-called "dirty bomb".


He said he had not previously discussed the cyber attack in public.


In April, German utility RWE increased its security after its Gundremmingen nuclear power plant was found to be infected with computer viruses.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nuclear-cyber-idUSKCN12A1OC

Podesta emails show excerpts of Clinton speeches to Goldman

Source: CBS

Potentially problematic excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches were flagged for her campaign in an email that was sent to chairman John Podesta and other senior staff this past January.

The email was released Friday by Wikileaks, part of a batch of what it says were 2,060 emails hacked from an account belonging to Podesta. The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the emails.

“Team, attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with policy,” a staffer wrote on January 25, 2016.

Harry Walker Agency is the speaker’s bureau that arranged Clinton’s lucrative speech circuit after she left the State Department, which included $3 million dollars from speeches to banks and financial firms -- $675,000 came from three speeches from Goldman Sachs. The 25 flagged excerpts likely point to why Clinton and her campaign have refused to release the transcripts, despite coming under fire from Senator Bernie Sanders during the primary.


Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/podesta-emails-show-excerpts-of-clinton-speeches-to-goldman/

William Perry to educate public on nuclear weapons, threats in new Stanford online course

Source: Stanford University News

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Professor Emeritus William J. Perry has long been educating people about the threat of nuclear disaster. His latest effort is a free online course that includes some of the world’s foremost nuclear experts.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry believes a nuclear disaster is more imminent than it has ever been during the Cold War. He wants more people to take his warning seriously and start discussing ways that society could lessen the threat of nuclear weapons.

Perry, who is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor, Emeritus, at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and at the School of Engineering, was U.S. secretary of defense from February 1994 to January 1997. He said he believes the policies of the United States do not reflect the current danger of nuclear threats because the continued risk of a catastrophe isn’t widely recognized.


His latest effort comes in a form of a new online course, Living at the Nuclear Brink: Yesterday and Today. During the 10-week course, which began Oct. 4, Perry and some of the world’s leading experts in the history, politics and science of nuclear conflict will offer an accessible introduction to the problem and suggestions for how to alleviate the dangers the world faces.


Each week, Perry will present along with distinguished experts in the field. Many of the experts are Stanford faculty members, including political scientist Martha Crenshaw, Soviet experts David Holloway and Siegfried Hecker, political scientist Scott D. Sagan, and George Shultz, a former U.S. Secretary of State and a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Outside experts include Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione, nuclear negotiator James Goodby, former Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Andrei Kokoshin, Joseph Martz of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Philip Taubman, a former New York Times national security reporter and an associate vice president for university affairs at Stanford.


Read more: http://news.stanford.edu/2016/10/07/william-perry-educate-public-nuclear-weapons-threats-online-course/

Humans aren’t the only great apes that can 'read minds'

Source: Science

All great mind reading begins with chocolate. That’s the basis for a classic experiment that tests whether children have something called theory of mind—the ability to attribute desires, intentions, and knowledge to others. When they see someone hide a chocolate bar in a box, then leave the room while a second person sneaks in and hides it elsewhere, they have to guess where the first person will look for the bar. If they guess “in the original box,” they pass the test, and show they understand what’s going on in the first person’s mind—even when it doesn’t match reality.

For years, only humans were thought to have this key cognitive skill of attributing “false belief,” which is believed to underlie deception, empathy, teaching, and perhaps even language. But three species of great apes—chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans—also know when someone holds a false belief, according to a new study published today in Science. The groundbreaking study suggests that this skill likely can be traced back to the last common ancestor of great apes and humans, and may be found in other species.

“Testing the idea that nonhuman can have minds has been the Rubicon that skeptics have again and again said no nonhuman has ever, or will ever, cross,” says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study. “Well, back to the drawing board!”

For nearly 40 years, animal cognition researchers have had mixed results in showing that our close ape relatives—and animals such as monkeys, jays, and crows—understood that their fellows had minds, a talent thought to come in handy in complex societies, where figuring out another’s plans can help animals thrive. Some tests have shown that chimpanzees had some building blocks of theory of mind: They can deceive, recognize others’ motives, and remember who is a good partner on collaborative tasks. They can also tell what another chimp can and cannot see, and they can reason about the movement of objects they themselves can’t directly see. But they—and other primates—had not been shown to hold false belief.


Read more: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/10/humans-aren-t-only-great-apes-can-read-minds

St. Lucie Power Plant shut down because of Hurricane Matthew

Source: Treasure Coast Palm

The Florida Power & Light Co. shut down its St. Lucie County Nuclear Power Plant in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, but no customers are expected to lose power because of it, a company spokesman said.

Federal rules require nuclear plants to be shut down at least one hour before hurricane winds hit the site, spokesman Peter Robbins said. FPL closed the Hutchinson Island plant at 11:15 a.m. and will reopen it after the category 4 storm is over. Its reopening might be delayed if access roads are blocked because rules require an evacuation route for a power plant to remain open, he said.

FPL is using electricity from other plants to serve the 2 million customers who get their power from the St. Lucie plant and, if needed, the company could buy power from other utilities, Robbins said. The company's Turkey Point plant south of Miami remained open because the area isn't getting hurricane winds, he said.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission dispatched additional inspectors to the two nuclear plants as well as a North Carolina plant in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, and announced it would activate its regional incident response center in Atlanta, according to a news release.


The inspectors at the two plants verified that all the preparations have been completed, and the plants' emergency diesel generators are available to be used if the storm affects off-site power supplies.


Read more: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/weather/hurricanes/2016/10/06/st-lucie-power-plant-hurricane-matthew/91698020/

As we saw at Fukushima, even after a nuclear reactor is shut down, it still generates enough decay heat to melt down, and requires electricity to keep the cooling system running.

Power outage prediction map


Brad Panovich Verified account

Interesting to see the power outage modeling for #Matthew. Estimated 8-10 million people could lose power.

3:30 PM - 6 Oct 2016

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