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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 11:47 AM
Number of posts: 15,333

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NSA’s ANT Division Catalog of Exploits for Nearly Every Major Software/Hardware/Firmware


Note: previously discussed here:

Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:22 PM (3 replies)

The Internet Archive (Videogame) Console Living Room

For those of us of a certain age- this is so cool!


The Internet Archive Console Living Room harkens back to the revolution of the change in the hearth of the home, when the fireplace and later television were transformed by gaming consoles into a center of videogame entertainment. Connected via strange adapters and relying on the television's speaker to put out beeps and boops, these games were resplendent with simple graphics and simpler rules.

The home console market is credited with slowly shifting attention from the arcade craze of the early 1980s and causing arcades to shrink in popularity, leaving a small percentage of what once were many.

Through use of the JSMESS emulator system, which allows direct access to these programs in your browser with no additional plugins or settings, these games can be enjoyed again. Simply click on the screenshot or "Emulate This" button for each individual cartridge, and on modern browsers the games will just start to run. As nostalgia, a teaching tool, or just plain fun, you'll find hundreds of the games that started a billion-dollar industry.

These games are best enjoyed in an up to date version of a modern browser. Currently, there is no sound in the games, although that feature will be added soon. Please read carefully regarding key mappings of the games and programs, to use them in your browser.

Off to play Pitfall!
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:24 PM (1 replies)

Ben Franklin, whistleblowing leaker of government secrets


Ben Franklin, whistleblowing leaker of government secrets

Cory Doctorow at 12:00 pm Fri, Dec 27, 2013
Benjamin Franklin was a leaker of government secrets, who circulated intercepted letters from the colonial lieutenant governor of Massachusetts Bay to the British government. The letters detailed a scheme to take away colonists' legally guaranteed freedoms "by degrees" and called for more troops to keep order during the process. After the letters were published, Franklin admitted to leaking them, but refused to give up his source. The crown called it "thievery and dishonor" and he was fired from his postmaster general gig (thankfully, there was no Espionage Act on the books at the time).


The Treason of Benjamin Franklin
April 6, 2012

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A public figure receives a cache of leaked government documents whose contents is so explosive that it will embarrass the government, incite insurgents and encourage them to attack government officials. It could even bring on a war. The person leaking these documents is quickly identified and dealt with by authorities, but more of this later.

Who could I be writing about? Perhaps Bradley Manning, the US army soldier, who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed on restricted material? Or it could be Julian Assange, who published over 250,000 on his website Wikileaks of US diplomatic cables, the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public? And when might I be writing about? Possibly April 5, 2010, when WikiLeaks posted on its site the Iraq video, titled ‘Collateral Murder’. It showed U.S. Army Apache helicopter air strikes in an eastern district of Baghdad in July 2007, which killed two staffers for Reuters and a dozen or more others. This was followed by a flood of classified documents from diplomatic and military sources that has rocked the US Administration, embarrassed it allies and encouraged the enemies of the US. And finally, what about holding those responsible for the leaks to account? Well, Bradley Manning is in a military jail awaiting court-martial proceedings. He faces 22 charges including “aiding the enemy,” which can carry the death sentence. Julian Assange is holed up in England, fighting the Swedish government, who are trying to extradite him so they question him about a sexual assault. At the same time, the US government has convened a Grand Jury, which has met in secret to determine whether the leaks have breached the Espionage Act of 1917. There is every reason to believe that Grand Jury has prepared charges against Assange, and the US government will start extradition proceeding as soon as he arrives in Sweden, where they judge they have a better chance of success than in Great Britain. If convinced, Assange could be executed.

The case I’m referring to has nothing to do with WikiLeaks, Assange or Manning. Called the Hutchinson Letters Affair, it began in December, 1772 when Benjamin Franklin, who was in England at the time, anonymously received a packet of thirteen letters. They were reports by Thomas Hutchinson, the lieutenant governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, to Thomas Whately, a leading member of the British government. In the letters, Hutchinson made some damning comments about colonial rights. Even more provocative, Hutchinson recommended that popular government be taken away from the colonists “by degrees”, and that there should be “abridgement of what are called English liberties”. Specifically, he argued that all colonial government posts should be made independent of the provincial assemblies. Finally, he urged his superiors to send more troops to Boston to keep American rebels under control.

Understanding the inflammatory nature of these letters, Franklin circulated the letters to his American friends and colleagues but on the condition that they not be published. Clearly in the public interest, at least from the point-of-view of American revolutionaries, the letters were published, in defiance of Franklin’s request, in the Boston Gazette in June of 1773....


Standing by for the inevitable "But that was different !"...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:18 PM (59 replies)

Ah geez, not this shit again...



It is clear that the NRA has a stranglehold on Washington and true reform will have to come from the states.

In Massachusetts, the solutions are right at our fingertips.

Just as your fingerprint can be used to unlock your iPhone, fingerprint technology can be used to operate firearms.
Doing so would ensure that a firearm could be operated only by its rightful owner or designees.

Unless and until the gun was hacked of course...

Massachusetts should build on our first-in-the-nation consumer protection regulations for firearms sold here.
The state's consumer protection statute allows the attorney general to regulate firearms and further protect the citizens of
the Commonwealth from undue harm. It's time we use the power of this law to protect the health and safety of our citizens...

What if the citizen decides to protect their health and safety by bypassing the
fingerprint lock to ensure the firearm works when they need it to?

...and do what Congress can't - require gun manufacturers to utilize existing personalized gun technology...

That exists only in spy movies

...for all weapons sold in the Commonwealth


Candidate for attorney general

Mr. Tolman, please leave scientific and technological ignorance to Republicans-
got "Strategic Defense Initiative", anyone?

As an aside: I do really like being a resident of the Bay State, but certain types are just a little
too smug about residing here...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:18 PM (119 replies)

Oakland PD's surveillance center's primary purpose is fighting protesters, not crime


An excellent investigative piece in the East Bay Express reviews internal communications and other public records from city staffers and Oakland PD bureaucrats discussing the Domain Awareness Center, a citywide surveillance hub that's currently under construction. Oakland is a city with a decades-long problem with gang violence and street violence, and the DAC -- which will consolidate video feeds blanketing the city and use software to ascribe the probability of guilt to people in the feeds -- is being sold as a solution to this serious problem.

But the internal documents tell another story. Though the City of Oakland's public-facing DAC message is all about crimefighting and anti-terror surveillance, the internal message is very different. City bureaucrats and law enforcement are excited about DAC because it will help them fight protests.

Analysis of the internal documents found almost no mentions of "crime," "rape," "killings" -- but city officials frequently and at length discussed the way the DAC could be used to thwart street protests, future Occupy movements, and trade union activity including strikes.


Other records echo this political mission. In meeting minutes from a January 2012 meeting of the San Francisco Maritime Exchange's Northern California Maritime Area Security Committee, Domingo and Mike O'Brien, director of security for the Port of Oakland, described the DAC system as a tool that would help control labor strikes and community protests that threaten to slow business at the port. Following security reports from the US Border Patrol and the FBI, Domingo told the committee that Oakland law enforcement was "hoping that things would quiet down with the Occupy movement in the new year," according to the official minutes. Domingo thanked the Maritime Exchange for its support of Oakland's port security grant projects, which includes the DAC.

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you..."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 12:15 AM (12 replies)

DHS Interrogates NY Times Reporters At Border, Then Denies Having Any Records About Them

(Note: I include a lengthy excerpt from the court filing, which are public records and not subject
to copyright)


DHS Interrogates NY Times Reporters At Border, Then Denies Having Any Records About Them

from the right,-sure dept

Thought it was just officials at UK airports detaining and interrogating journalists? According to a new lawsuit from two NY Times reporters, they were also pulled aside and interrogated by Homeland Security officials multiple times concerning their own reporting efforts. The two reporters, Mac William Bishop and Christopher Chivers were apparently pulled out for special interrogation at JFK.

Among other things, Plaintiffs seek records used or created by DHS employees in respect to the questioning of Plaintiffs at JFK Airport earlier this year. Plaintiffs were subject to segregated questioning by DHS employees at JFK on May 24, 2013, as they prepared to board an international flight for a work assignment as journalists. Subsequently, on June 6, 2013, Mr. Bishop was subjected to further segregated questioning by DHS employees at JFK as he returned to the United States.

Given this, the two journalists filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on records pertaining to themselves... and got back absolutely nothing. After playing hot potato with the FOIA requests between different DHS agencies, the reporters basically got back messages saying that there were no records on either.

On September 27, 2013, ICE denied the Bishop Request. ICE reported in a "final response" that the unit had conducted a search and found no responsive documents.

On October 28, 2013, Mr. Bishop appealed ICE's denial. In his appeal letter, Mr. Bishop said it was "inconceivable that DHS has no records pertaining to [him]" as someone who is "a frequent international traveler." He pointed out that on June 6, 2013 he had answered questions for DHS employees in a private room at JFK, and those answers were recorded on a computer.

On November 18, 2013, ICE denied Mr. Bishop's administrative appeal, finding that the agency had done an adequate search.

As for the TSA, that unit of DHS informed Mr. Bishop by letter on July 31, 2013 that his "request was too broad in scope." TSA required more information before processing the request.

On August 9, 2013, Mr. Bishop, through counsel, responded by letter. He restated the initial request and asserted that no legal authority supports the proposition that TSA could simply refuse to do the search.

More than two months later, on October 23, 2013, TSA told Mr. Bishop's counsel that it could not find the August 9, 2013 letter. Counsel subsequently provided a new copy of the letter and additional information about the June 6, 2013 questioning at JFK. There has been no further response from TSA.

Remember how Eric Holder insisted that the feds weren't going to keep intimidating journalists? Yeah, right.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 07:29 PM (0 replies)

WaPo: How gun control is losing, badly (in charts)


This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Newtown, Conn.’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty children, six staff members, shooter Adam Lanza and his mother all died that day. The killings reinvigorated both sides of the gun-control debate, but gun rights advocates maintained the edge they’ve had for years.

An impressive (roughly) 1,500 state gun bills have been introduced in the year since the Newtown massacre and, of those, 109 are now law, according to The New York Times. Seventy of the enacted laws loosen gun restrictions, while just 39 tighten them. And, though largely symbolic, some 136 bills nullifying federal gun regulations were sponsored in 40 states. In Colorado, two pro-gun control lawmakers were booted from office in historic recalls and a third stepped down in anticipation of a similar fight.

The nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, which promotes government openness and transparency, reviewed lobbying, spending and policies at the state and federal level over the years and, along nearly every metric, rights advocates have trounced opponents...

...Gun rights candidates and causes raised $29.4 million in direct contributions to candidates, parties, and PACs at the federal and state level. Gun control causes raised just $1.9 million, according to Sunlight-provided data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money In State Politics. In seven states—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming—no contributions whatsoever were made in support of gun control.

I think there are several other reasons besides money:

1. The public is a lot less accepting of security theater

Sandy Hook happened in a state that had already banned "assault weapons" to "protect the public"
The fact that such a law didn't work, along with other useless "beer keg" laws like magazine size limits


have not gone unnoticed.

2. Too many gun controllers went the culture war route after Sandy Hook

There were more than a few posters here at DU that called all gun owners child killers.
In other words, they went Teabagger on gun owners. Gun owners noticed, and decided there was
no percentage in trying to placate people like this.

3. The self-nomonated chief spokesperson for gun control is a richer, better-educated
version of Richard Daley who is as morally challenged as Ted Nugent and Wayne Lapierre

Nugent and Lapierre are awful human beings, but at least they haven't boasted about having
their own army that is wont to harrass and surveil brown people and Muslims.

I doubt Bloomie will have any qualms whatsoever about elbowing Gabby Giffords' new PAC
out of the limelight:


Gabrielle Giffords sets up gun control PAC


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 05:16 PM (3 replies)

Cheap 3D printer works with steel


Cheap 3D printer works with steel
Next: a printed gun that's dangerous and affordable

By Richard Chirgwin, 9th December 2013

The one thing that made 3D printed guns tolerable to the non-gun-owning community was that they were made of plastic, because metal 3D printers were costly. Now, a bunch of scientists from Michigan Tech are showing off a cheap 3D printer that fabricates in metal.

Metal 3D printing isn't new, but it's been expensive until now. The open-source Michigan project, here, offers a bill of materials costing just under $US1,200 to build the 3D printer, controlled by a Linux computer.

The printer, described in detail here, produces steel components, and while its creators describe it as “a work in progress”, they've already successfully produced simple shapes like sprockets.

Steel is melted for printing using a low-cost gas-metal arc welder under the control of a simple open source micro-controller, and models can be created in Blender or OpenSCAD, or anything else that can output an STL file.

Described here:


Details here:


I wouldn't trust a barrel made by this method, but it looks like it could print a workable receiver
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Dec 10, 2013, 12:18 AM (6 replies)

Hammond supporters publish alleged list of foreign targets that FBI had him hack


Hammond supporters publish alleged list of foreign targets that FBI had him hack
List includes gov't sites from Turkey, Iran, Brazil, Slovenia, and more.

by Cyrus Farivar - Nov 15 2013, 3:04pm EST

During the sentencing hearing of convicted hacker Jeremy Hammond on Friday, the young Chicagoan began to read from his prepared statement, saying that he had been directed to hack various foreign government websites by Anonymous leader turned FBI informant Sabu.

In court, Hammond said that “these intrusions, all of which were suggested by Sabu while cooperating with the FBI, affected thousands of domain names and consisted largely of foreign government websites, including those of Turkey, Iran—” before the judge cut him off and said that the list of targets was to be redacted.

However, shortly after the hearing concluded, Jacob Appelbaum, a well-known American computer security researcher currently living in Berlin, began tweeting what he claimed was the unredacted list of targets, based on a Pastebin post. Appelbaum later linked to that version of Hammond’s statement, which was not redacted.

Said list can be found at:


Text from a previously unpublished statement which seems to clarify above redactions:

“Sabu also supplied lists of targets that were vulnerable to “zero day exploits” used to break into systems, including a powerful remote root vulnerability effecting the popular Plesk software. At his request, these websites were broken into, their emails and databases were uploaded to Sabu’s FBI server, and the password information and the location of root backdoors were supplied. These intrusions took place in January/February of 2012 and affected over 2000 domains, including numerous foreign government websites in Brazil, Turkey, Syria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Iran, Slovenia, Greece, Pakistan, and others. A few of the compromised websites that I recollect include the official website of the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of the Military Police of Brazil, the Official Website of the Crown Prince of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, the Iranian Academic Center for Education and Cultural Research, the Polish Embassy in the UK, and the Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.

Sabu also infiltrated a group of hackers that had access to hundreds of Syrian systems including government institutions, banks, and ISPs. He logged several relevant IRC channels persistently asking for live access to mail systems and bank transfer details. The FBI took advantage of hackers who wanted to help support the Syrian people against the Assad regime, who instead unwittingly provided the U.S. government access to Syrian systems, undoubtedly supplying useful intelligence to the military and their buildup for war.

All of this happened under the control and supervision of the FBI and can be easily confirmed by chat logs the government provided to us pursuant to the government’s discovery obligations in the case against me. However, the full extent of the FBI’s abuses remains hidden. Because I pled guilty, I do not have access to many documents that might have been provided to me in advance of trial, such as Sabu’s communications with the FBI. In addition, the majority of the documents provided to me are under a “protective order” which insulates this material from public scrutiny. As government transparency is an issue at the heart of my case, I ask that this evidence be made public. I believe the documents will show that the government’s actions go way beyond catching hackers and stopping computer crimes.”

Very clever of the Feds- hack other countries without any messy links to *.gov or *.mil

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Nov 16, 2013, 05:49 PM (2 replies)

That would be Stary Kiejkuty:



Poland peels back layers on secret CIA prison for suspected terrorists

By Roy Gutman

McClatchy Newspapers August 13, 2012

STARE KIEJKUTY, Poland — On an idyllic lake surrounded by woods and a double row of mesh-and-razor-wire fences about 100 miles north of Warsaw, there stands a secluded villa that the CIA once used to interrogate – and allegedly torture – top al Qaida suspects.

On the grounds of the Polish intelligence-training academy and nicknamed “Markus Wolf” for the former East German spy chief, it’s the focal point for a top-secret probe that Polish prosecutors have launched into how their government tolerated rampant violations of international and Polish law.

If former officials are brought to trial, or if the stacks of classified files in the prosecutors’ offices are made public, the result will be revelations about an American anti-terrorism operation whose details U.S. officials are fighting to keep secret.

Already the prosecutor has charged Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, Poland’s former interior minister and intelligence chief, with unlawful detention and corporal punishment for allowing the CIA to operate at Stare Kiejkuty from December 2002 to September 2003.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 10:16 PM (0 replies)
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