aggregator

Trump Goes To Hospital After Testing Positive For COVID-19

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-10-03 01:23
President Donald Trump has been flown to the hospital less than 24 hours after testing positive for COVID-19. The BBC reports: The White House said the decision to transport him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was taken "out of an abundance of caution." Mr Trump began exhibiting "mild symptoms" of Covid-19 on Thursday. He said early on Friday he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive. The White House said he was feeling "fatigued but in good spirits." Wearing a mask and suit, Mr Trump walked out across the White House lawn on Friday afternoon to his helicopter, Marine One, for the short trip to hospital. He waved and gave a thumbs-up to reporters but said nothing before boarding the aircraft. In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Trump said: "I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I'm going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I'm doing very well. But we're going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it -- thank you."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A Security Flaw In Grindr Let Anyone Easily Hijack User Accounts

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-10-03 00:50
Grindr, one of the world's largest dating and social networking apps for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, has fixed a security vulnerability that allowed anyone to hijack and take control of any user's account using only their email address. TechCrunch reports: Wassime Bouimadaghene, a French security researcher, found the vulnerability and reported the issue to Grindr. When he didn't hear back, Bouimadaghene shared details of the vulnerability with security expert Troy Hunt to help. The vulnerability was fixed a short time later. Bouimadaghene found the vulnerability in how the app handles account password resets. To reset a password, Grindr sends the user an email with a clickable link containing an account password reset token. Once clicked, the user can change their password and is allowed back into their account. But Bouimadaghene found that Grindr's password reset page was leaking password reset tokens to the browser. That meant anyone could trigger the password reset who had knowledge of a user's registered email address, and collect the password reset token from the browser if they knew where to look. The clickable link that Grindr generates for a password reset is formatted the same way, meaning a malicious user could easily craft their own clickable password reset link -- the same link that was sent to the user's inbox -- using the leaked password reset token from the browser. With that crafted link, the malicious user can reset the account owner's password and gain access to their account and the personal data stored within, including account photos, messages, sexual orientation and HIV status and last test date.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trump Tests Positive For COVID-19

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-10-02 15:30
President Trump said on Twitter that he and First Lady Melania tested positive for COVID-19. Slashdot reader halbot42 shares a report from The New York Times, adding: "President Trump? Karma calling on line 1." President Trump said early Friday morning that he and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, throwing the nation's leadership into uncertainty and escalating the crisis posed by a pandemic that has already killed more than 207,000 Americans and devastated the economy. "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter shortly before 1 a.m. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" The president's physician said Mr. Trump was "well" without saying whether he was experiencing symptoms and added that the president would stay isolated in the White House for now. "The president and first lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence," the physician, Sean P. Conley, said in a statement without saying how long that would be. "Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments." Earlier in the day, one of his closest advisers, Hope Hicks, became infected.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Controversial Data Firm Palantir Fetches Market Value of Nearly $22 Billion In Its Debut On the NYSE

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-10-02 02:50
US tech firm Palantir, known for supplying controversial data-sifting software to government agencies, has fetched a market value of nearly $22 billion in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The BBC reports: The firm, which launched in 2003 with backing from right-wing libertarian tech investor Peter Thiel and America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), builds programs that integrate massive data sets and spit out connections and patterns in user-friendly formats. The firm - sometimes described as the "scariest" of America's tech giants - got its start working with US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now supplies software to police departments, other public agencies and corporate clients. It is active in more than 150 countries, including the UK, where it was one of the tech firms the government enlisted this spring to help respond to coronavirus. In the first half of 2020, Palantir revenue rose 49% year-on-year, topping $480 million. And at its direct listing on Wednesday, in which investors sold some of their existing shares to the public, shares opened at $10 each - above the $7.25 reference price -- giving it a value of roughly $22 billion. Mark Cash, equity research analyst at Morningstar, who has estimated the firm's value at $28 billion -- even higher than the valuation reached on Wednesday -- said the firm is well-positioned in a growing industry. "Data integration at this scale for the government is very complex and I think if you tried to stop spending on that and it just goes away, you're going to have some big problems," he said. "We think it's very hard to switch away from once you're in as a customer." Due to the use of its technology by immigration authorities in the U.S., Amnesty International issued a report (PDF) saying the firm was failing its responsibility as a company to protect human rights with inadequate due diligence into who it is working for. "Palantir told Amnesty that it had deliberately declined some work with border authorities in the US due to the concerns," notes the BBC. "But the company has also vigorously defended its government work, maintaining that its clients own and control the data. It says it has a team focused on civil liberties issues, but it is government's job to craft policy, not Silicon Valley's."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Removes Two RSS Feed Readers From China App Store To Please China's Censors

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-10-02 01:30
Two RSS reader apps, Reeder and Fiery Feeds, said this week that their iOS apps have been removed in China over content that deemed "illegal" by the local cyber watchdog. TechCrunch reports: Apps get banned in China for all sorts of reasons. Feed readers of RSS, or Real Simple Syndication, are particularly troubling to the authority because they fetch content from third-party websites, allowing users to bypass China's Great Firewall and reach otherwise forbidden information, though users have reported not all RSS apps can circumvent the elaborate censorship system. Those who use RSS readers in China are scarce, as the majority of China's internet users -- 940 million as of late -- receive their dose of news through domestic services, from algorithmic news aggregators such as ByteDance's Toutiao and WeChat's built-in content subscription feature to apps of mainstream local outlets. Major political events and regulatory changes can trigger new waves of app removals, but it's unclear why the two RSS feed readers were pulled this week. Inoreader, a similar service, was banned from Apple's Chinese App Store back in 2017. Feedly is also unavailable through the local App Store. The history of China's crackdown on RSS dates back to 2007 when the authority launched a blanket ban on web-based RSS feed aggregators. The latest incidents could well be part of Apple's business-as-usual in China: cleaning up foreign information services operating outside Beijing's purview, regardless of their reach.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Owners of BitMEX, a Leading Bitcoin Exchange, Face Criminal Charges

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-10-02 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: American authorities brought criminal charges on Thursday against the owners of one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency trading exchanges, BitMEX, accusing them of allowing the Hong Kong-based company to launder money and engage in other illegal transactions. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted the chief executive of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, and three co-owners: Benjamin Delo, Samuel Reed and Gregory Dwyer. Mr. Dwyer was arrested in Massachusetts on Thursday, while the other three men remained at large, authorities said. Prosecutors said BitMEX had taken few steps to limit customers even after being informed that the exchange was being used by hackers to launder stolen money, and by people in countries under sanctions, like Iran. "BitMEX made itself available as a vehicle for money laundering and sanctions violations," the indictment released on Thursday said. BitMEX has handled more than $1.5 billion of trades each day recently, making it one of the five biggest exchanges on most days. BitMEX and Mr. Hayes have been known for pushing the limits in the unregulated cryptocurrency industry. After it was founded in 2014, BitMEX grew popular by allowing traders to buy and sell contracts tied to the value of Bitcoin -- known as derivatives, or futures -- with few of the restrictions and rules that were in place in other exchanges. That allowed investors to take out enormous loans and make risky trades. The relaxed attitude also made it possible for people all over the world to easily move money in and out of BitMEX without the basic identity checks that can prevent money laundering. In August, BitMEX put in place some of those verification checks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sonos Sues Google For Infringing Five More Wireless Audio Patents

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-10-01 20:11
Sonos has filed another patent lawsuit against Google, alleging that the search giant is infringing five wireless audio patents across the entire line of Nest and Chromecast products. From a report: Sonos filed its first patent lawsuits against Google in January in California federal court and with the International Trade Commission; the federal case has been put on hold while the ITC reaches a decision on whether to block Google's allegedly infringing products from market. The new case is filed only in the federal court for the Western District of Texas -- an emerging patent lawsuit hotspot -- and represents a more aggressive approach from Sonos. "We think it's important to show the depth and breadth of Google's copying," says Eddie Lazarus, Sonos' chief legal officer. "We showed them claim charts on 100 patents that we claimed they were infringing, all to no avail." Google, of course, says it will fight back; it has countersued Sonos in the initial case. "Sonos has made misleading statements about our history of working together," says Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda. "Our technology and devices were designed independently. We deny their claims vigorously, and will be defending against them."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Denmark: We Can Slash CO2 By 70% In a Decade And Still Have Welfare

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-09-30 04:10
Denmark said on Tuesday that it could reach its 2030 climate target of reducing emissions by 70%, one of the world's most ambitious, without compromising its generous welfare benefits. Reuters reports: Last year, parties across the aisle passed a law committing Denmark to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from 1990 levels, or around 20 million tons of CO2 equivalent, within 10 years. In a climate plan published on Tuesday, the government estimated that the annual cost of implementing the shift to greener technologies would rise to 16-24 billion Danish crowns ($2.5-$3.7 billion) by 2030 -- or 0.7%-1.0% of gross domestic product. "Our ambitious climate goals are not without costs, but with a wise approach, the bill can be made smaller and managed so that we can afford both climate and welfare," Climate Minister Dan Joergensen said in a statement. Initiatives launched in the last year will cut around 5 million tons of CO2 equivalent, the government said. It said another 9-16.5 million tons could be cut by using new technologies such as carbon capture storage and 'power-to-X' - converting surplus electricity, usually from renewable sources such as wind, plentiful in Denmark, by using it to produce storable substances or fuels such as hydrogen or methane. The Danish Council on Climate Change, an independent adviser to the government, recommends sharply increasing the current carbon tax to get Denmark to meet its target.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cloudflare's Privacy Crusade Continues With a Challenge To Google Analytics

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-09-29 22:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fortune: Cloudflare is launching a privacy-friendly rival to Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free toolkit that's used by website administrators across the globe to help them track the behavior of the people visiting those sites -- how they find them, what they do there, the devices they're using, and so on. However, the service -- the most popular of its kind -- also helps Google track websites' visitors, so it can better profile them for advertising purposes. This privacy-invasive aspect makes many people squeamish. And that's where Cloudflare would now like to step in. Around its birthday every year, the decade-old company -- which went public last year -- announces a move intended to "give back" to the wider Internet community. These moves are often related to privacy. On Tuesday, it unveiled Cloudflare Web Analytics, a free-to-use toolkit that largely replicates what Google Analytics offers -- minus the invasive tracking, and thus the ability to assess the performance of targeted ads carried on websites. Cloudflare Web Analytics is immediately available to the company's paid customers, but any website owner will be able to use it from some point in the coming months. Cloudflare's scale is crucial here [...] because it takes substantial resources to run a free analytics platform, and Cloudflare already has a giant network that can support the load. Cloudflare Web Analytics isn't the company's only big announcement this week. "On Monday, Cloudflare launched a beta testing program for a cloud technology called Durable Objects," the report adds. "You can read the technical explanation here, but in essence this is a tool that allows developers of online services to make those services comply with the increasing number of data-localization and data-protection laws that limit where users' data is supposed to go." "With Durable Objects, Cloudflare says, it is possible to specify where particular data will reside on Cloudflare's network, so -- for example -- a German user's data does not have to leave Germany. Or, with an eye to other current news, a service such as TikTok could ensure that U.S. users' data never leaves the U.S., without having to create a separate version of its service for that country."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hacker Publishes Info On Las Vegas-Area Students After Demanding Ransom

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-09-29 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: Last month, Las Vegas' largest public school district announced that a hacker compromised some of its files using ransomware and was holding the files hostage while demanding a ransom payment. Now, a hacker has published files containing students' grades and personal information after school district officials refused to pay the ransom. Brett Callow, a threat analyst with cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, told Business Insider that he discovered leaked documents published to an online hacking forum that purported to include records from Nevada's Clark County School District, including students' names, social security numbers, addresses, and some financial information. Callow's findings were first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Monday. "Ransomware attacks happen for one reason, and one reason only: they're profitable," Callow told Business Insider. "The only way way to stop them is to make them unprofitable, and that means organizations must stop paying ransoms."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Police Charity Bought An iPhone Hacking Tool and Gave It To Cops

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-09-29 03:40
The San Diego Police Foundation, an organization that receives donations from corporations, purchased iPhone unlocking technology for the city's police department, according to emails obtained by Motherboard. From the report: The finding comes as activist groups place renewed focus on police foundations, which are privately run charities that raise funds from Wall Street banks and other companies, purchase items, and then give those to their respective police departments. Because of their private nature, they are often less subject to public transparency laws, except for when they officially interact with a department. "The GrayKey was purchased by the Police Foundation and donated to the lab," an official from the San Diego Police Department's Crime Laboratory wrote in a 2018 email to a contracting officer, referring to the iPhone unlocking technology GrayKey. "The EULA I sent you [is] for a software upgrade that will allow us to get into the latest generation of Apple phones. Our original license was a 1 year license agreement paid for by the Police Foundation," the email adds. In a 2019 email, two other officials discussed purchasing the GrayKey for the following year. "This is the phone unlocking technique that the Police Foundation purchased for us (for 15k). Apparently the software 'upgrade' costs the same as the initial purchase each year. :/ They are the only ones that offer a tool that can crack iPhones, so they charge A LOT!," the email reads. Because police foundations act as private entities, they also do not directly fall under public records laws, meaning their expenditure or other activity may be more opaque than that of a police department itself. "Our end goal is to have an intervention on the funneling of private money into police forces and into policing," Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal justice campaigns at Color of Change, told Politico recently. "If the police foundations existed to raise money for the families of fallen police officers, we wouldn't say we need to abolish police foundations. It's the specific type of work that they're doing that we object to."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Healthcare Giant UHS Hit By Ransomware Attack, Sources Say

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-09-28 23:00
Universal Health Services, one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S., has been hit by a ransomware attack. "Looks like another case of ransomware at over 400 hospital locations," writes Slashdot reader nickwinlund77. "They've had to go back to pen & paper for handling forms." TechCrunch reports: The attack hit UHS systems early on Sunday morning, according to two people with direct knowledge of the incident, locking computers and phone systems at several UHS facilities across the country, including in California and Florida. One of the people said the computer screens changed with text that referenced the "shadow universe," consistent with the Ryuk ransomware. "Everyone was told to turn off all the computers and not to turn them on again," the person said. "We were told it will be days before the computers are up again." It's not immediately known what impact the ransomware attack is having on patient care, or how widespread the issue is. UHS published a statement on Monday, saying its IT network "is currently offline, due to an IT security issue." "We implement extensive IT security protocols and are working diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT operations as quickly as possible. In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods. Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively," the statement said. "No patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied or otherwise compromised," it added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple's Battle With Epic Over Fortnite Could Reach Jury Trial Next July

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-09-28 22:17
Apple and Epic met in a virtual court hearing on Monday to debate whether Fortnite should be allowed to remain in Apple's App Store while the two fight an even bigger battle over whether Apple is violating federal antitrust law. From a report: California Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said didn't issue any update to her previous ruling, which upheld Apple's ban on Fortnite while the antitrust case is ongoing. Instead she said the companies should expect to hear from her in writing. Rogers said that it's likely that the case, which she added was "the frontier of antitrust law," will be heard in July 2021. She recommended a trial by jury in order that the final judgement reached would be more likely stand up to appeal, although said it's up to Apple or Epic to request this. [...] In court on Monday, Rogers seemed less than impressed with the arguments put forward by Epic's legal team. She said that in the gaming industry, of which Epic is a part, it was standard practice for platforms to take 30% commission, as Apple does. She challenged Epic over its decision to circumvent Apple's policy in spite of its explicit contractual relations with the company, saying the company had "lied about it by omission." "You were not forthright," she said. "You were told you couldn't do it, and you did. There's an old saying, a rose by any other name is still a rose [...] There are plenty of people in the public could consider you guys heroes for what you did, but it's still not honest."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Report: U.S. Anti-Trust Regulators Will Accuse Google of Crushing Competition to Maintain Monopoly

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-09-28 01:41
The U.S. government has readied an antitrust lawsuit against Google's search engine, accusing the company of "crushing competition to protect and extend monopoly," according to news reports: The move comes after a 14-month long investigation, where the U.S. Department of Justice probed whether Google distorts search results to favour its own products and shuts off access to competitors, sources told Bloomberg. This is significant as Google enjoys a major 90 percent control of the U.S. online search segment and generates an enviable $100 billion revenue. Rivals have long complained of abuse of power to "snuff out the competition".... Sources told Bloomberg action is expected within the next week or two, after the State attorneys general and Justice Department lawyers complete final preparations for the case this week in Washington. Officials met with Google reps the previous week to discuss accusations of search bias against competitors and providing of Google and other partners as default to users... "It's impossible for small search engine competitors to compete with Google's deep pockets and outbid it for valuable placements like Apple's browser," Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, said in his complaint to the Department of Justice. In a recent statement, a spokesperson for DuckDuckGo said the company is pleased that the DoJ "is going to finally address the elephant in the room: Google's obvious, overwhelming, and anti-competitive dominance in search," adding that "a world without search defaults" would benefit consumers. Google's search engine "decides the fates of thousands of businesses online," notes Bloomberg, "and has funded Google's expansion into email, online video, smartphone software, maps, cloud computing, autonomous vehicles and other forms of digital ads."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon's Data-Request Portal for Police is Visible on the Web

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-09-27 22:34
"Anyone can access portions of a web portal used by law enforcement to request customer data from Amazon," reports TechCrunch, "even though the portal is supposed to require a verified email address and password..." Only time sensitive emergency requests can be submitted without an account, but this requires the user to "declare and acknowledge" that they are an authorized law enforcement officer before they can submit a request. The portal does not display customer data or allow access to existing law enforcement requests. But parts of the website still load without needing to log in, including its dashboard and the "standard" request form used by law enforcement to request customer data... Assuming this was a bug, we sent Amazon several emails prior to publication but did not hear back... Motherboard reported a similar issue earlier this month that allowed anyone with an email address to access law enforcement portals set up by Facebook and WhatsApp.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Singapore Becomes First Country To Use Facial Verification For a National ID Service

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-09-27 20:34
"Singapore will be the first country in the world to use facial verification in its national identity scheme," reports the BBC: The biometric check will give Singaporeans secure access to both private and government services. The government's technology agency says it will be "fundamental" to the country's digital economy. It has been trialled with a bank and is now being rolled out nationwide. It not only identifies a person but ensures they are genuinely present. "You have to make sure that the person is genuinely present when they authenticate, that you're not looking at a photograph or a video or a replayed recording or a deepfake," said Andrew Bud, founder and chief executive of iProov, the UK company that is providing the technology... "Face recognition has all sorts of social implications. Face verification is extremely benign," said Mr Bud. Privacy advocates, however, contend that consent is a low threshold when dealing with sensitive biometric data. "Consent does not work when there is an imbalance of power between controllers and data subjects, such as the one observed in citizen-state relationships," said Ioannis Kouvakas, legal officer with London-based Privacy International.... GovTech Singapore thinks the technology will be good for businesses, because they can use it without having to build the infrastructure themselves. Additionally, Kwok Quek Sin, senior director of national digital identity at GovTech Singapore, said it is better for privacy because companies won't need to collect any biometric data. In fact, they would only see a score indicating how close the scan is to the image the government has on file. In 1993 William Gibson called Singapore "Disneyland with the death penalty... a relentlessly G-rated experience, micromanaged by a state that has the look and feel of a very large corporation. If IBM had ever bothered to actually possess a physical country, that country might have had a lot in common with Singapore."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

America's IRS Wants Cryptocurrency Exchanges Declared on Tax Forms

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-09-27 19:34
America's dreaded tax-collecting agency is sending "a strong warning to millions of crypto holders who aren't complying with the law that they must file required forms," reports the Wall Street Journal. The front page of this year's tax forms — just below "Name" and "Address" — will ask filers to declare whether they've received or exchanged any virtual currencies. The Journal calls it "setting a trap for cryptocurrency tax cheats." "This placement is unprecedented and will make it easier for the IRS to win cases against taxpayers who check 'No' when they should check 'Yes, '" says Ed Zollars, a CPA with Kaplan Financial Education who updates tax professionals on legal developments... The change to the crypto question and other recent actions show the IRS is taking cryptocurrencies seriously as a threat to the tax system, whether the noncompliance is by enthusiasts who owe little or by sophisticated international criminals. In two recent nontax criminal cases — one involving theft by North Korea and the other involving the sale of child pornography by a Dutch national — the IRS has provided key assistance because of its growing expertise in cryptocurrencies.... For their part, many crypto users are angry with the IRS's guidance, which treats bitcoin, ether and their kin as property rather than currency. So if a crypto holder uses it to buy something or exchanges one cryptocurrency for another, there's usually a capital gain or loss to report on the tax return. "Buying a sandwich with cryptocurrency shouldn't be a taxable event," says Sean Cover, a New York City cryptocurrency holder who works in finance for a nonprofit group. He says that in 2017 he had more than 500 transactions on several platforms, and it took him 10 hours to prepare his crypto tax forms even though he paid for special software. Like some members of Congress, Mr. Cover supports a $200 threshold before crypto transactions would need to be reported. The IRS says it's up to Congress to change the law.... Meanwhile, the IRS is forging ahead with other crypto compliance measures. Earlier this month, it offered rewards up to $625,000 to code-breakers who can crack so-called privacy coins like Monero that attract illicit activity because they claim to be untraceable... The IRS is also sending a new round of letters to crypto holders who may not have complied with the tax rules, expanding on last year's mailing of about 10,000 letters. Tax specialists say the recipients are often customers of Coinbase, which was ordered by a federal court to turn over information on some accounts to the IRS.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Thailand Launches Its First Legal Action Against Facebook and Twitter

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-09-27 17:34
Reuters reports: Thailand launched legal action on Thursday against tech giants Facebook and Twitter for ignoring requests to take down content, in its first such move against major internet firms... "Unless the companies send their representatives to negotiate, police can bring criminal cases against them," the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Puttipong Punnakanta, told reporters. "But if they do, and acknowledge the wrongdoing, we can settle on fines...." The complaints were against the U.S. parent companies and not their Thai subsidiaries, Puttipong said. Cybercrime police at a news conference said they would need to look at existing laws to determine whether they had jurisdiction to take up cases against firms based outside of Thailand. Emilie Pradichit, executive director of Manushya Foundation, a digital freedom advocate, said the complaints were "a tactic to scare these companies...." Thailand has a tough lese majeste law prohibiting insulting the monarchy and a Computer Crime Act that outlaws information that is false or affects national security has also been used to prosecute criticism of the royal family.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Silicon Valley Tech Workers Angered By Proposal to Make Some Mandatory Telecommuting Permanent

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-09-27 12:34
"The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional government agency in the San Francisco Bay Area, voted Wednesday to move forward with a proposal to require people at large, office-based companies to work from home three days a week as a way to slash greenhouse gas emissions from car commutes," reports NBC News: It's a radical suggestion that likely would have been a non-starter before Covid-19 shuttered many offices in March, but now that corporate employees have gotten a taste of not commuting, transportation planners think the idea has wider appeal. "There is an opportunity to do things that could not have been done in the past," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a member of the transportation commission who supports the proposal. She said she felt "very strongly" that a telecommuting mandate ought to be a part of the region's future... Some of the nation's largest companies are headquartered in the Bay Area, including not only tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel and Netflix, but Chevron, Levi Strauss and Wells Fargo... The idea of a mandate was a surprise to residents, many of whom first learned of the idea this week from social media and then flooded an online meeting of the transportation agency Wednesday to try, unsuccessfully, to talk commissioners out of the idea. "We do not want to continue this as a lifestyle," Steven Buss, a Google software engineer who lives in San Francisco, told the commission. "We are all sacrificing now to reduce the spread of the virus, but no one is enjoying working from home," he said. "It's probably fine if you own a big house out in the suburbs and you're nearing retirement, but for young workers like me who live in crowded conditions, working from home is terrible." Many callers pointed out that the situation exacerbates inequality because only some types of work can be done from home. Others worried about the ripple effects on lunch spots, transit agencies and other businesses and organizations that rely on revenue from office workers. Still other residents said that if car emissions are the problem, the commission should focus on cars, not all commutes... Dustin Moskovitz, a cofounder of Facebook who usually keeps a low public profile, mocked the idea as an indictment of the Bay Area's general failure to plan for growth. "We tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas," Moskovitz, now CEO of software company Asana, tweeted Tuesday. The mandate would apply to "large, office-based employers" and require them to have at least 60 percent of their employees telecommute on any given workday. They could meet the requirement through flexible schedules, compressed work weeks or other alternatives.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Imprisoned 'Anonymous' Hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld Files His First Appeal

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-09-26 18:34
In early 2019, Martin Gottesfeld of Anonymous was sentenced under America's "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" to 10 years in federal prison for his alleged role in the 2014 DDoS attacks on healthcare and treatment facilities around Boston. (Gottesfeld was sentenced by the same judge who oversaw the Aaron Swartz case.) Gottesfeld has just filed his first appeal, and Slashdot reader Danngggg shares this new interview with Gottesfeld's attorney Brandon Sample. The upshot? Brandon Sample: If the court agrees with our arguments, for example, on the Speedy Trial Act, then that would result in dismissal of the indictment against him. And so, he would have no conviction at that point. There's a variety of different outcomes that could potentially flow from the arguments that have been raised in the appeal. If he wins, say for example, the argument that his lawyer should have been allowed off the case, well, then that would undo the conviction as well, and he would be entitled to another trial. If the indictment is dismissed, then the government is going to have to make a decision about whether or not this is really a case that they want to prosecute all over again... Daily Wire: Do you see this being successful, a strong case? Brandon Sample: The appeal? I think we have a really good chance. I do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.