12/31/2013

NSA can control your iPhone, can activate your mic & camera without you knowing

According to Der Spiegel’s website:

“The NSA’s ANT division develops implants for mobile phones and SIM cards. One of these is a spyware implant called “DROPOUTJEEP” — designed for the first generation of iPhones — which was still in development in 2008, shortly after the iPhone’s launch. This spyware was to make it possible to remotely download or upload files to a mobile phone. It would also, according to the catalog, allow the NSA to divert text messages, browse the user’s address book, intercept voicemails, activate the phone’s microphone and camera at will, determine the current cell site and the user’s current location, “etc.” ANT’s technicians also develop modified mobile phones, for use in special cases that look like normal, standard devices, but transmit various pieces of information to the NSA — that can be swapped undetected with a target’s own mobile phone or passed to informants and agents. In 2008, ANT had models from Eastcom and Samsung on offer, and it has likely developed additional models since.”

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12/24/2013

“Charlie Brown Christmas” Drummer returns after 48 years (Vince Guaraldi Trio)

Jerry Granelli says the music soon came back to him.

December 2013: For the first time in almost 50 years, the legendary jazz drummer behind Charlie Brown’s Christmas special played the music that has moved generations.

Jerry Granelli played drums in the Vince Guaraldi Trio for the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. He didn’t play it again until this weekend.

On Sunday, the Halifax man took to the stage for a reprise. He’s the last surviving member of the trio that created the music.

“I haven’t done it in 48 years. There are so many memories. All my friends who were on it are dead,” he reflected in true Charlie Brown style.

He also played it Saturday as part of the Ottawa Children’s Festival.

Granelli was 24 when he performed the track the first time. He had just landed the gig with Guaraldi, who was riding a major hit. “A lot of people wanted that job, but I got it,” he told the audience at Halifax’s Spatz Theatre.

The trio hadn’t seen the show and it hadn’t been narrated, so they composed and played on their own. “We were just trying to play good music,” he said.

They wrote the soundtrack, but “nobody wanted it.”

Critics said the show was too religious and the jazz music too cutting edge. But 15 million Americans tuned in to the first CBS airing — almost half of all possible viewers. It became an instant classic and has aired every Christmas since.

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12/19/2013

Phony copyright claims exploit holes in U.S. Internet law

Ecuador, having bargained away virtually all its oil production to China in return for low-interest loans to finance President Rafael Correa’s spendthrift populism, is in dire need of a new export. And the president seems to have found one: tyrannical censorship of his critics.

Correa’s increasingly novel inventions for suppressing free speech in his own country are doubtless the subject of much envious chatter whenever Iran, North Korea and the rest of the fellows get together for meetings of Despots R Us. His latest wrinkle: a proposed law that would criminalize wisecracks on Facebook, enforced by placing video cameras in every cybercafe in Ecuador.

But now Correa has gone international. He’s using phony copyright claims to force American companies such as YouTube and Google to remove videos and documents that criticize his government.

Last month, more than 140 videos posted by Chevron abruptly vanished from YouTube, replaced by notices that said they were yanked due to copyright-infringement claims by a Spanish video-distribution company called Filmin.

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11/14/2013

Our Government Has Weaponized the Internet. Here’s How They Did It…

Photo: Andreas H / Flickr

 

The internet backbone — the infrastructure of networks upon which internet traffic travels — went from being a passive infrastructure for communication to an active weapon for attacks.

According to revelations about the QUANTUM program, the NSA can “shoot” (their words) an exploit at any target it desires as his or her traffic passes across the backbone. It appears that the NSA and GCHQ were the first to turn the internet backbone into a weapon; absent Snowdens of their own, other countries may do the same and then say, “It wasn’t us. And even if it was, you started it.”

If the NSA can hack Petrobras, the Russians can justify attacking Exxon/Mobil. If GCHQ can hack Belgacom to enable covert wiretaps, France can do the same to AT&T. If the Canadians target the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Chinese can target the U.S. Department of the Interior. We now live in a world where, if we are lucky, our attackers may be every country our traffic passes through except our own.

Which means the rest of us — and especially any company or individual whose operations are economically or politically significant — are now targets. All cleartext traffic is not just information being sent from sender to receiver, but is a possible attack vector.

Here’s how it works.

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11/02/2013

Meet the “Dark Mail Alliance” Planning to Keep the NSA Out of Your Inbox

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Edward Snowden inspired the “Dark Mail Alliance.”
Photo by AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

 

Email might be on the verge of a radical makeover. And the NSA is not going to like it.

On Wednesday, two American companies with a track record of offering encrypted private communications are set to join forces in an unprecedented bid to counter dragnet Internet spying. Some of the world’s top cryptographers are behind the secure communications provider Silent Circle, and they’ve teamed up with the founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by Edward Snowden, which recently shut down in a bid to resist surveillance. They’re calling it the “Dark Mail Alliance.” For months, the team has been quietly working on rebuilding email as we know it—and they claim to have had a breakthrough.

The newly developed technology has been designed to look just like ordinary email, with an interface that includes all the usual folders—inbox, sent mail, and drafts. But where it differs is that it will automatically deploy peer-to-peer encryption, so that users of the Dark Mail technology will be able to communicate securely. The encryption, based on a Silent Circle instant messaging protocol called SCIMP, will apply to both content and metadata of the message and attachments. And the secret keys generated to encrypt the communications will be ephemeral, meaning they are deleted after each exchange of messages.

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10/07/2013

“Things Can Change Overnight” (WTC Video Compiled by Glenn Herman)

I used elements from two videos available on YouTube in order to make this one. I find the juxtaposition of the very early 80s soundtrack with the footage to capture my remembrances of the downtown NYC scene back in the day as well as acting as a conduit to the future state of the WTC property. My respects to all the people who made the original, as well as the new, WTC a reality.

The source material for the original WTC was uploaded by Kay1988SN here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6_JLGXoaBY

The source for the new WTC complex as executed by the Silverstein Property Company was uploaded by anapszerelmese and can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJyLiSJix6g

The song “Things Can Change Overnight” was composed by Sparks and sung by Adele Bertei for the “Bad Manners” film soundtrack (1984). This song has NEVER been commercially available in any form.

I hope this video finds you in a “future” state of mind – even a 1980s “future” state of mind!

Glenn Herman, October 2013

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10/06/2013

IBM now employs more workers in India than US (As I Predicted Over 10 Years Ago)

IBM now employs more workers in India than US

IBM Corporate Headquarters in Armonk, NY

Photo: Getty Images

 

The sun is rising in India for America’s outsourced jobs.

But it’s a bad sign for New York’s dwindling middle-class workforce, say labor analysts.

New York’s labor markets are in convulsions as American employers ship more well-paid jobs to lower-cost countries like Mexico, the Philippines, China and India — where IBM, culling 747 jobs from the Empire State, has achieved landmark status. It now employs more workers in India than in the US, according to a leaked IBM document reviewed by The Post. The average IBM pay in India is $17,000, compared with $100,000 for a senior IT specialist in the US.

Big Blue’s eradication of these New York jobs in the Hudson Valley — part of a brutal package of 3,300 IBM cuts in North America — is the latest sign by US employers of growing their bottom line by replacing higher-cost labor with cheaper workers abroad, labor analysts say.

Those fears were raised again this week. Pharmaceutical giant Merck of Whitehouse Station, NJ, announced it would cut its worldwide 81,000 head count by 20 percent, with 16,000 jobs already earmarked.

The US has seen a net loss of 5.7 million manufacturing jobs since 1998, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The gaping trade deficit with China alone “displaced” 2.7 million US workers between 2001 and 2011, the EPI’s Robert Scott says.

New York state lost some 100,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five years. And the recovery of all the local jobs lost during the Great Recession is masked by thousands of new, lower-paid jobs with reduced benefits.

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10/05/2013

Introduction to PM: What’s So Great About Project Management? (Video)

OK, so you’ve heard of project management. But what’s so great about it? Greg Balestrero (Strategic Advisor on Corporate Consciousness, Leadership & Sustainability, IIL) shares some of project management’s key concepts, how it’s used, and why it should matter to you.

Contact learning@iil.com to find out how this video can be customized for your organization. This is an IIL Media Production. http://www.iil.com

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