Linux fréttir

Inside Russia's Vast Surveillance State

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 17:20
A cache of nearly 160,000 files from Russia's powerful internet regulator provides a rare glimpse inside Vladimir V. Putin's digital crackdown. The New York Times: Four days into the war in Ukraine, Russia's expansive surveillance and censorship apparatus was already hard at work. Roughly 800 miles east of Moscow, authorities in the Republic of Bashkortostan, one of Russia's 85 regions, were busy tabulating the mood of comments in social media messages. They marked down YouTube posts that they said criticized the Russian government. They noted the reaction to a local protest. Then they compiled their findings. One report about the "destabilization of Russian society" pointed to an editorial from a news site deemed "oppositional" to the government that said President Vladimir V. Putin was pursuing his own self-interest by invading Ukraine. A dossier elsewhere on file detailed who owned the site and where they lived. Another Feb. 28 dispatch, titled "Presence of Protest Moods," warned that some had expressed support for demonstrators and "spoke about the need to stop the war." The report was among nearly 160,000 records from the Bashkortostan office of Russia's powerful internet regulator, Roskomnadzor. Together the documents detail the inner workings of a critical facet of Mr. Putin's surveillance and censorship system, which his government uses to find and track opponents, squash dissent and suppress independent information even in the country's furthest reaches. The leak of the agency's documents "is just like a small keyhole look into the actual scale of the censorship and internet surveillance in Russia," said Leonid Volkov, who is named in the records and is the chief of staff for the jailed opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny. "It's much bigger," he said. Roskomnadzor's activities have catapulted Russia, along with authoritarian countries like China and Iran, to the forefront of nations that aggressively use technology as a tool of repression. Since the agency was established in 2008, Mr. Putin has turned it into an essential lever to tighten his grip on power as he has transformed Russia into an even more authoritarian state. The internet regulator is part of a larger tech apparatus that Mr. Putin has built over the years, which also includes a domestic spying system that intercepts phone calls and internet traffic, online disinformation campaigns and the hacking of other nations' government systems. The agency's role in this digital dragnet is more extensive than previously known, according to the records. It has morphed over the years from a sleepy telecom regulator into a full-blown intelligence agency, closely monitoring websites, social media and news outlets, and labeling them as "pro-government," "anti-government" or "apolitical." Roskomnadzor has also worked to unmask and surveil people behind anti-government accounts and provided detailed information on critics' online activities to security agencies, according to the documents. That has supplemented real-world actions, with those surveilled coming under attack for speaking out online. Some have then been arrested by the police and held for months. Others have fled Russia for fear of prosecution. The files reveal a particular obsession with Mr. Navalny and show what happens when the weight of Russia's security state is placed on one target. The system is built to control outbursts like the one this week, when protesters across Russia rallied against a new policy that would press roughly 300,000 people into military service for the war in Ukraine. At least 1,200 people have already been detained for demonstrating. More than 700 gigabytes of records from Roskomnadzor's Bashkortostan branch were made publicly available online in March by DDoSecrets, a group that publishes hacked documents.

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Satellite operators want option to exceed deorbiting rules

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 16:43
The sky is getting crowded, but some think the FCC is moving too fast to clean it up

A group of satellite operators has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its proposed five-year window to remove orbital junk by adding language that would let them request waivers to exceed the limit. …

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Twitter Discloses It Wasn't Logging Users Out of Accounts After Password Resets

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 16:41
Weeks after Twitter's ex-security chief accused the company of cybersecurity mismanagement, Twitter has now informed its users of a bug that didn't close all of a user's active logged-in sessions on Android and iOS after an account's password was reset. From a report: This issue could have implications for those who had reset their password because they believed their Twitter account could be at risk, perhaps because of a lost or stolen device, for instance. Assuming whoever had possession of the device could access its apps, they would have had full access to the impacted user's Twitter account. In a blog post, Twitter explains that it had learned of the bug that had allowed "some" accounts to stay logged in on multiple devices after a user reset their password voluntarily. Typically, when a password reset occurs, the session token that keeps a user logged into the app is also revoked -- but that didn't take place on mobile devices, Twitter says. Web sessions, however, were not impacted and were closed appropriately, it noted.

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GNOME hits 43: Welcome To Guadalajara

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 16:02
Love it or loathe it? Plus: KDE 5.26 here soon, and both desktops still working on mobile support

The third release of GNOME since the big shift of GNOME 40 is coming together – but KDE isn't getting left behind.…

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Coinbase Tested Group To Speculate on Crypto

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 16:01
Coinbase Global has been searching for new ways to make money. One business it flirted with was controversial: using its own money to speculate on cryptocurrencies. WSJ: Last year, Coinbase -- which operates a large cryptocurrency exchange that handles bitcoin and other digital coins -- hired at least four senior Wall Street traders and launched a group to generate profit, in part, by using the company's cash to trade and "stake," or lock up, cryptocurrencies, according to people close to the matter. The activity was described as "proprietary" trading by the people at the company. Earlier this year, the team completed a $100 million transaction that the group viewed as a test trade of the new effort, according to the people. The transaction came after Coinbase executives testified to members of Congress last year that the company didn't buy and sell digital currencies for its own account. The monthslong effort to launch the Coinbase Risk Solutions group underscores how Coinbase, which has seen its shares tumble about 70% over the past year, has entertained more aggressive strategies as it tries to develop new businesses. Coinbase says some at the company examined pursuing proprietary trading but decided against it.

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Facebook Could Lift Trump's Suspension in January, Nick Clegg Says

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 15:20
Former President Donald Trump could be allowed back on Facebook once a suspension of his account expires in 2023, Nick Clegg of parent company Meta Platforms, said Thursday at an exclusive Semafor Exchange event in Washington, DC. From the report: As the company makes its decision, it will talk to experts, weigh the risk of real world harm and act proportionally, he said. It's the first time Clegg, who, as president of global affairs is charged with deciding whether to lift the limit, has publicly discussed his thinking. Trump was prohibited from posting on several online platforms after the January 2021 riots at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., with Facebook, sister app Instagram, Twitter and Google's YouTube citing his role in inciting the violence. "When you make a decision that affects the public realm, you need to act with great caution," Clegg told Semafor editor-at-large Steve Clemons. "You shouldn't throw your weight about."

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Cambodian authorities crack down on cyber slavery amid international pressure

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 15:15
Lured by fake jobs, victims are isolated abroad and forced to carry out crypto, romance scams and more

Authorities in Sihanoukville, Cambodia announced on Sunday that a raid last week uncovered evidence of forced labor cybercrime syndicates that participated in human trafficking and torture.…

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Facebook Report: Censorship Violated Palestinian Rights

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 14:44
Facebook and Instagram's speech policies harmed fundamental human rights of Palestinian users during a conflagration that saw heavy Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip last May, according to a study commissioned by the social media sites' parent company Meta. From a report: "Meta's actions in May 2021 appear to have had an adverse human rights impact ... on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination, and therefore on the ability of Palestinians to share information and insights about their experiences as they occurred," says the long-awaited report, which was obtained by The Intercept in advance of its publication. Commissioned by Meta last year and conducted by the independent consultancy Business for Social Responsibility, or BSR, the report focuses on the company's censorship practices and allegations of bias during bouts of violence against Palestinian people by Israeli forces last spring. Following protests over the forcible eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police cracked down on protesters in Israel and the West Bank, and launched military airstrikes against Gaza that injured thousands of Palestinians, killing 256, including 66 children, according to the United Nations. Many Palestinians attempting to document and protest the violence using Facebook and Instagram found their posts spontaneously disappeared without recourse, a phenomenon the BSR inquiry attempts to explain. Last month, over a dozen civil society and human rights groups wrote an open letter protesting Meta's delay in releasing the report, which the company had originally pledged to release in the "first quarter" of the year. While BSR credits Meta for taking steps to improve its policies, it further blames "a lack of oversight at Meta that allowed content policy errors with significant consequences to occur."

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Larry Page's flying taxi startup Kittyhawk calls it a day

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 14:30
More proof, if it were needed, that not everything connected to Google is gold

"If anyone can do this, we can," burbles air taxi startup Kittyhawk's homepage, which may now need an update since the company has announced it is to cease operations.…

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Google's New Chromecast Costs $30 - and It Has a Remote

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 14:00
Google announced a new Chromecast with HD streaming support today that costs just $30 and has a remote control with it. From a report: The company is launching the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) -- yes, that's the official name -- in 19 countries including the U.S. This comes two years after Google launched a $49 Chromecast with 4K HDR streaming support and the introduction of a remote. The new Chromecast supports 1080p streaming, and more than 10,000 apps that are on the Google TV platform including Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and Prime video.

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Fake sites fool Zoom users into downloading deadly code

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 13:45
Ah, the human touch

Beware the Zoom site you don't recognize, as a criminal gang is creating multiple fake versions aimed at luring users to download malware that can steal banking data, IP addresses, and other information.…

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DXC Technology linked with private equity takeover talks

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 13:00
The cloud has forever changed infrastructure services landscape – just ask IBM, HPE, CSC and Atos

IT services biz DXC Technology has pulled in consultants to help senior management examine a takeover bid.…

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IT services giant Wipro fires 300 for moonlighting

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 12:24
Labor org points out hypocrisy of chairman with multiple directorships sacking workers for similar

Rishad Premji, executive chairman of Indian IT services giant Wipro, revealed on Wednesday that the company fired 300 employees for moonlighting with its competitors.…

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UK launches competition probe into cloud giants in digital services

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 11:53
All right, what's all this, then? Three of you, are there?

The UK is to scrutinize the role of Amazon, Microsoft and Google in the country's £15 billion ($16.97 billion) cloud services market, with comms regulator Ofcom warning it will take action if competition concerns are identified.…

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You've heard of the cost-of-living crisis, now get ready for the cost-of-working crisis

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 10:28
As employers herd staff back to the office with few perks, workers are concerned about what it'll cost them

We all must have experienced the deepening cost-of-living crisis first hand by now. But according to new research, there is a cost-of-working crisis too as employers insist staff return to the office.…

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T-Mobile 5G Is Linking Wildfire-Detecting AI Cameras To Put Out Fires Faster

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 10:00
T-Mobile has partnered with the startup Pano AI to spot wildfires before they get out of control. CNET reports: The startup Pano AI uses a series of cameras that survey the wilderness and AI algorithms that watch for telltale smoke -- an indicator of small blazes that could grow into raging wildfires. That footage is sent to the startup's headquarters for human confirmation, and if a fire is burning, evidence is sent to clients who could be affected. While Pano AI had been sending evidence photos over 4G LTE networks at slow rates of around 20 to 30 6-megapixel images per minute, its new partnership with T-Mobile has it using the carrier's 5G network to send video at 30 frames per second, which is around 90 times more data. Ultimately, getting evidence to Pano AI's clients, which include utility companies, much quicker on 5G means a faster response from firefighters and potentially squashing big fires before they get dangerous. Pano AI works with a number of utilities, governments, fire authorities, forestry companies and private landlords who in turn work with local emergency responders. Its newest client and the first with a system using T-Mobile's 5G network is Portland General Electric (PGE), a utility supplying gas and electricity to 16 million customers around Portland, Oregon. Pano AI has 20 cameras set up in the forests surrounding the city that give 10-mile panoramic views, which include powerlines. This lets PGE know if fires are headed toward its infrastructure. T-Mobile recruited Pano AI to be part of its Innovation Lab alongside other companies harnessing 5G to improve their services, such as Mixhalo, which is using the carrier's 5G network to pipe in concert audio directly to audience members' phones. But Pano AI's partnership goes deeper, as it's mounting its cameras on T-Mobile's cell towers, saving months of time and paperwork needed to request and install its equipment on other signal towers or similar vantage points.

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Bank of England seeks partner to support Oracle Cloud implementation

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 09:26
After venturing into HCM, UK's central bank embarks on finance and procurement journey with Big Red

The UK's central bank is on the hunt for a service partner as it plans to expand its finance, procurement, and recruitment applications into the Oracle Cloud.…

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Another UK tech company bought out: Schneider Electric grabs rest of Aveva

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 08:30
French industrial conglomerate pays $10.75b, but already owned lion's share of industrial software specialist

Analysis Yet another major UK technology business is to pass into foreign ownership with Schneider Electric's £9.48 billion (c $10.75 billion) deal to acquire all the outstanding shares in Aveva.…

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The years were worth the wait. JWST gives us an amazing view of Neptune's rings

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-22 07:28
But uh-oh, friction faults already starting on distant probe

Pic The James Webb Space Telescope has snapped the clearest picture of Neptune, capturing its dust rings and seven moons, in more than 30 years.…

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James Webb Telescope Captures Clearest View of Neptune's Rings In Decades

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-22 07:00
According to NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope has captured the clearest view of Neptune's rings in more than 30 years. From the report: Most striking in Webb's new image is the crisp view of the planet's rings -- some of which have not been detected since NASA's Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to observe Neptune during its flyby in 1989. In addition to several bright, narrow rings, the Webb image clearly shows Neptune's fainter dust bands. "It has been three decades since we last saw these faint, dusty rings, and this is the first time we've seen them in the infrared," notes Heidi Hammel, a Neptune system expert and interdisciplinary scientist for Webb. Webb's extremely stable and precise image quality permits these very faint rings to be detected so close to Neptune. Webb's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) images objects in the near-infrared range from 0.6 to 5 microns, so Neptune does not appear blue to Webb. In fact, the methane gas so strongly absorbs red and infrared light that the planet is quite dark at these near-infrared wavelengths, except where high-altitude clouds are present. Such methane-ice clouds are prominent as bright streaks and spots, which reflect sunlight before it is absorbed by methane gas. Images from other observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory, have recorded these rapidly evolving cloud features over the years. More subtly, a thin line of brightness circling the planet's equator could be a visual signature of global atmospheric circulation that powers Neptune's winds and storms. The atmosphere descends and warms at the equator, and thus glows at infrared wavelengths more than the surrounding, cooler gases. Neptune's 164-year orbit means its northern pole, at the top of this image, is just out of view for astronomers, but the Webb images hint at an intriguing brightness in that area. A previously-known vortex at the southern pole is evident in Webb's view, but for the first time Webb has revealed a continuous band of high-latitude clouds surrounding it. Webb also captured seven of Neptune's 14 known moons. Dominating this Webb portrait of Neptune is a very bright point of light sporting the signature diffraction spikes seen in many of Webb's images, but this is not a star. Rather, this is Neptune's large and unusual moon, Triton.

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