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Massive 2013 oil spill in North Dakota still not cleaned up


Massive 2013 oil spill in North Dakota still not cleaned up
Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Three years and three months later, a massive oil spill in North Dakota still isn't fully cleaned up. The company responsible hasn't even set a date for completion.

Though crews have been working around the clock to deal with the Tesoro Corp. pipeline break, which happened in a wheat field in September 2013, less than a third of the 840,000 gallons that spilled has been recovered - or ever will be, North Dakota Health Department environmental scientist Bill Suess said.

A farmer, Steve Jenkins, who'd smelled the crude oil for days, discovered the spill in his northwestern North Dakota field near Tioga - his combines' tires were covered in it.

While the nearest home was a half-mile away and the state said no water sources were contaminated and no wildlife hurt, one of the largest onshore oil spills recorded in the U.S. serves for some as a cautionary example, especially given a recent pipeline break about 150 miles south and ongoing debates over the four-state Dakota Access pipeline.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Dec 18, 2016, 04:43 PM (0 replies)

The FBI Just Got Disturbing New Hacking Powers


At midnight, the U.S. government quietly gained expansive new surveillance abilities after a last-ditch effort to stop changes to the federal code of criminal procedure died on the Senate floor.

Senator Ron Wyden tried three times on Wednesday to stall the rule changes, which let judges give federal agents the authority to hack multiple computers in any jurisdiction at once, including those belonging to innocent malware victims.

“By sitting here and doing nothing, the Senate has given consent to this expansion of government hacking and surveillance,” said Wyden on Wednesday. “Law-abiding Americans are going to ask ‘what were you guys thinking?’ when the FBI starts hacking victims of a botnet hack. Or when a mass hack goes awry and breaks their device, or an entire hospital system and puts lives at risk.”

Under the old version of “Rule 41,” agencies like the FBI needed to apply for a warrant in the right jurisdiction to hack a computer, presenting difficulties when investigating crimes involving suspects who had anonymized their locations or machines in multiple places. Under the new version, a federal judge can approve a single search warrant covering multiple computers even if their owners are innocent or their locations are unknown.

How long will it be before disabling FBI malware on your own computer becomes a crime?
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 1, 2016, 12:33 PM (2 replies)
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