politics

BlackPeopleMeet PR agency IAC “parts ways with” Sacco for racist tweet

BlackPeopleMeet PR agency IAC “parts ways with” Sacco for racist tweet

A PR agency that handles CollegeHumor, OkCupid, the Daily Beast, Vimeo and other high-profile web properties has "parted ways with" a corporate communications officer over a tweet deemed offensive by the company and some of the grassroots public. The tweet came from one Justine Sacco's personal account, not a company account. It informed her followers that she was about to fly to Africa, commented on the AIDS epidemic on that continent -- and implied that she thought her being white inoculated her against the deadly disease.

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NSA and GCHQ targeted 1,000 allied individuals: latest Snowden drop

NSA and GCHQ targeted 1,000 allied individuals: latest Snowden drop

The latest installment of the ongoing slow release of the whistleblower Edward Snowden's cache of 1.7 million stolen NSA documents has revealed over 1,000 targets of the NSA's and GCHQ's international spying efforts between 2008 and 2011. The targets include high-ranking officials in allied nations, economic regulatory bodies, humanitarian aid agencies, and -- seemingly as an afterthought -- individuals being watched for hypothesized ties to terrorism. These particular documents were reported Friday by the American newspaper New York Times, Britain's the Guardian and Germany's Der Spiegel.

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Apple/Google Busses stopped by protesters in San Francisco

Apple/Google Busses stopped by protesters in San Francisco

After stopping a Google bus two weeks ago, a group of protesters from what appears to be the same organization has stopped a bus full of Apple employees. This set of employees are (or were) on their way to work on a bus that's part of Apple's free bussing project. This project has busses run throughout the city and pick up employees, using public bus stops to do so - Google and Facebook run similar routes.

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US telecoms sold 1.1 million cell records to law enforcement in 2012

US telecoms sold 1.1 million cell records to law enforcement in 2012

The major US telecoms delivered at minimum 1.1 million cell phone records to law enforcement at all levels of government in 2012. The records include voicemail and text content. The telecoms earned $26 million from the transactions. Many of the fulfilled information requests legally required no warrant, no subpoena, and no probable cause. These and other irresistible revelations come compliments of US Sen. Edward Markey, whose voluminous correspondence with the involved telecoms revealed the information. They include US Cellular, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, MetroPCS, Verizon, AT&T and C Spire Wireless.

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Hackers stole data from five European nations at September G20 Summit

Hackers stole data from five European nations at September G20 Summit

Network security company FireEye has reported a coordinated malware attack on five European foreign ministries. The attack took place last August just prior to the G20 Summit in September. It was achieved by sending the ministries email attachments bearing file names pertaining to the primary topic of the summit: military options in Syria. Once downloaded, the files allowed the hackers to monitor communications and steal data from the host machines. FireEye believes the hackers are from China, but it stopped short of alleging collusion with the Chinese government.

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Huawei CEO to French media: “We have decided to exit the US market”

Huawei CEO to French media: “We have decided to exit the US market”

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has some words for the US government and US tech companies. In light of a push in recent years by some officials and tech execs to shun Huawei and ZTE based on their alleged collusion with the Chinese government to spy on the US, Zhengfei said Huawei is "exiting the US market." However, the statement should be seen as a stern statement of things to come rather than an immediate game plan if international suspicions don't cool off.

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Google seeing more government requests than ever before

Google seeing more government requests than ever before

Google released their latest Transparency Report today. This marks the eighth such report, with the seventh having come back in late-April. That last report brought mention of a record high number of government requests and this time around the report is arriving with a similar description. Details coming from Google point towards how "requests from governments for user information have increased by more than 100 percent." That is, from when Google began sharing these bi-annual reports in 2010.

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GCHQ hacked GRX and OPEC employees via Quantum inserts, Snowden papers show

GCHQ hacked GRX and OPEC employees via Quantum inserts, Snowden papers show

A new analysis of the Snowden papers by German magazine Der Spiegel shows GCHQ--the English counterpart to the US's NSA--served false copies of LinkedIn and Slashdot pages to install malware on a few target individuals' computers. This latest revelation is not a mass spying program, but a server-heavy, speed-dependent initiative to spy on key individuals deemed to be assets by the GCHQ. Targets included employees of GRX providers Comfon, Mach (now owned by Syniverse), and nine members of OPEC, the global oil cartel.

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Twitter hosts political rappartee between White House and opponents

Twitter hosts political rappartee between White House and opponents

The Obama administration has been increasingly using Twitter as a way to shape news stories and public debate, often going so far as to eschew traditional channels like press releases and news conferences in favor of the social microblogging network, Reuters reports. Characterizing the White House's Twitter activity as an "army" waging "wars" with conservatives and other Obama opponents, the report points to the administration's embrace of Twitter as a public debate sphere.

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NSA directorship to go civilian, report asserts

NSA directorship to go civilian, report asserts

The NSA directorship might revert from a military to a civilian post, The Hill has reported. The Pentagon "has already drawn up a list of possible civilian candidates for the next NSA director," the report said, although "no formal decision has been made yet." The NSA directorship would relinquish authority over Cyber Command, and a separate military officer would be appointed to Cyber Command. If the report is correct, the change would represent a planet-shaking change at the NSA, which since 1971 by law has been directed by military officers.

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