Research

Ohio Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Messages

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - 16 hours 21 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes Bloomberg: The websites of Ohio Governor John Kasich and other state government agencies were hacked on Sunday with a posting professing love for the jihadist group Islamic State. Ten state websites and two servers were affected, and they've been taken off line for an investigation with law enforcement into how the hackers were able to deface them, said Tom Hoyt, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services... The same pro-Islamic State message, accompanied by music, were also shown on Sunday on the website of Brookhaven, a town on New York's Long Island about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Manhattan, the New York Post reported... Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2018, posted on Facebook that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website had been hacked and said, "Wake up freedom-loving Americans. Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

UN-WHO Global Abortion Policies Project Database – Laws and Policies

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 22:07

“The Global Abortion Policies Project (GAPP) has been designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion by producing a global, open-access repository of current abortion laws, policies, and national standards and guidelines. The purpose of the Project is to increase both the transparency of abortion laws and policies and to foster accountability among governments as they adopt and implement such policies. The Project has been structured to facilitate comparative analyses of countries’ abortion laws and policies by placing them in the context of the WHO guidance on safe abortion. Current laws and policies on abortion can be used as benchmarks to monitor and evaluate national progress in creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment for eliminating unsafe abortion. The Project Database is a collaborative effort by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the World Health Organization.”

Categories: Research

Commentary – Here’s Why You Should Simply Give In to Google

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 21:47

Here’s Why You Should Simply Give In to Google, Gavin Phillips, June 19, 2017: “Google powers internet search for just under two-thirds of U.S. adults. Google produces routers, installs fiber connections, and is working on driverless vehicles. Google’s Android is now the mobile operating system of choice for 86 percent of all smartphone users, and well over 50 percent of the U.S. smartphone market. There aren’t many areas where Google isn’t involved. But search and data remains the primary income source, and long shall it remain. Google has unfettered power over our internet search. Privacy advocates believe Google simply has too much power and too much responsibility for a single corporation to handle. Are those privacy concerns unfounded? Moreover, should we give in to Google for the best user experience? Let’s find out…” […And if you’re truly worried, you can always use a VPN to protect your data along with a Google search alternative – Yes to both!]

Categories: Research

Roadside Cameras Infected with WannaCry Virus Invalidate 8,000 Traffic Tickets

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 21:34
Long-time Slashdot reader nri tipped us off to a developing story in Victoria, Australia. Yahoo News reports: Victoria Police officials announced on Saturday, June 24, they were withdrawing all speed camera infringement notices issued statewide from June 6 after a virus in the cameras turned out to be more widespread than first thought. "That does not mean they [the infringement notices] won't not be re-issued," Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer told reporters, explaining that he wants to be sure the red light and speed cameras were working correctly. Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther told reporters on Friday that 55 cameras had been exposed to the ransomware virus, but they've now determined 280 cameras had been exposed. The cameras are not connected to the internet, but a maintenance worker unwittingly connected a USB stick with the virus on it to the camera system on June 6. Fryer said that about 1643 tickets would be withdrawn -- up from the 590 that police had announced on Friday -- and another five and a half thousand tickets pending in the system would be embargoed. Fryer said he was optimistic the 7500 to 8000 tickets affected could be re-issued, but for now police would not issue new tickets until police had reviewed the cameras to ensure they were functioning properly... The "WannaCry" malware caused the cameras to continually reboot, Fryer said. Fryer said there was no indication the malware had caused inaccurate radar readings, but police were being "over cautious" to maintain public faith in the system. Last week Victoria's Police Minister was "openly furious" with the private camera operator, saying the group hadn't notified the relevant authorities about the infection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

Sideways Dictionary makes tech jargon more accessible

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 21:24

Engadget – ‘Sideways Dictionary’ simplifies tech jargon for the masses The Google/Washington Post venture uses analogies to explain “DDoS,” “cookie” and other terms. If you ever get confused about tech jargon (or want to clear up said confusion), a new tool from Google’s Jigsaw incubator and the Washington Post may help. The “Sideways Dictionary” uses analogies and metaphors to help regular, non-techy people understand terms like “zero-day,” “metadata,” “net neutrality” and other jargon. Users will be able to access analogies online like a regular dictionary or find them in the Post, where they’ll accompany articles that contain “technobabble.”

Categories: Research

WH Historical Assoc. Leverages Amazon Web Services to Expand Digitization of Historical Assets

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 21:16

News release: “The White House Historical Association [a private, non-profit organization founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy]…announced [on June 21, 2017] a new innovative and strategic use of Amazon Web Services (AWS), expanding the Association’s digital archive and making educational materials more accessible to the public through the power of the AWS Cloud.  The White House Historical Association is leveraging the AWS Cloud to expand the digitization of White House artifacts and assets in the . The Library holds thousands of images of the White House covering its entire history, including exterior views, images of rooms and furnishings, and photos of events including inaugurations and holiday celebrations. In support of the Association’s educational mission, each image is accompanied by carefully documented historical information provided free to the public in an easy-to-use format. Using AWS will allow significant expansion of the Library through infrastructure development, advanced cloud computing technology, and other AWS Partner Network (APN) services…”

Categories: Research

The Stanford Open Policing Project

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 20:14

The Stanford Open Policing Project – “On a typical day in the United States, police officers make more than 50,000 traffic stops. Our team is gathering, analyzing, and releasing records from millions of traffic stops by law enforcement agencies across the country. Our goal is to help researchers, journalists, and policymakers investigate and improve interactions between police and the public.”

Categories: Research

Free tool allows users to locate and analyze curated public datasets from around the world

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 20:08

Caroline Scott’s article – “Data released by official agencies and government bodies provides transparency and insight, and can often highlight trends or anomalies that are in the public interest. However, some of these datasets are often difficult to access, while in other instances it is not clear whether they even exist, making it harder for journalists to find stories and collect information to provide the bigger picture. Enigma Public, a free tool built by data management and intelligence company Enigma, launched yesterday (20 June) with the aim of helping users find the data they need and learn how to improve their use of information. The 100,000 datasets from over 100 countries bring together information from international organisations and federal governments, and local and state governments in the USA, spanning subjects like building permits and fire inspection data, to things such as the contents of shipping containers, and financial contributions to political campaigns. Users get a description of the datasets, along with key use cases and related information

“We wanted to provide an interface that enabled that information to be searched, discovered, and related,” said Marc DaCosta, Enigma’s chairman and co-founder. “All the data in Engima Public will be updated regularly, from online and offline sources, and is really a work in progress to grow and keep adding to it.”

The site can be used in two main ways: to search for a specific topic, company or person and see the datasets related, or to browse through the collection and see what stands out to you individually. There are curated collections of datasets to help journalists, such as energy, health and sanctions, or they can simply work through the categorised public collections of data to find what they are looking for, and bookmark the sets they want to come back to later. Datasets can be filtered by keyword to help reporters find what they are looking for within the bulk of information, and they can be exported to save to a user’s computer…”

Categories: Research

Great Barrier Reef valued at $56B by Deloitte economists

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 19:56

Great Barrier Reef Foundation – “A new Deloitte Access Economics report has calculated the total asset value of the Great Barrier Reef to be $56 billion, assessing the World Heritage site’s economic, social and iconic brand value together in one study for the first time. In the report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from National Australia Bank and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Deloitte Access Economics analysed the Reef’s:

  • Economic, social, and iconic value;
  • Contribution to the economy through industry value added and employment;
  • Brand value to Australia and the international community; and
  • Significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Director Steve Sargent said: “Like the Great Barrier Reef itself, the numbers revealed in the report are big and highlight just how significant the Reef’s contribution to Australia’s economy is:

  • $56 billion value as an economic, social, and iconic natural asset;
  •  $6.4 billion economic value added to the Australian economy in 2015-16;
  •  $3.9 billion in economic value added to Queensland’s economy in 2015-16;
  • $2.9 billion economic value added to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) region in 2015-16; and
  • 64,000 jobs nationally linked to the Reef, including 33,000 in Queensland.”

“At $29 billion, tourism is the biggest contributor to the Reef’s $56 billion value, followed by $23.8 billion from indirect or non-use value, i.e. those who haven’t yet visited the Reef but value knowing it exists, and its value to recreational users ($3.2 billion) makes up the balance,” Mr Sargent said. “As the largest living structure on Earth and one of the world’s most complex and diverse natural ecosystems, the Great Barrier Reef is justifiably considered priceless and irreplaceable.”

Categories: Research

Australian Officials Want Encryption Laws To Fight 'Terrorist Messaging'

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 19:34
An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica: Two top Australian government officials said Sunday that they will push for "thwarting the encryption of terrorist messaging" during an upcoming meeting next week of the so-called "Five Eyes" group of English-speaking nations that routinely share intelligence... According to a statement released by Attorney General George Brandis, and Peter Dutton, the country's top immigration official, Australia will press for new laws, pressure private companies, and urge for a new international data sharing agreement amongst the quintet of countries... "Within a short number of years, effectively, 100 per cent of communications are going to use encryption," Brandis told Australian newspaper The Age recently. "This problem is going to degrade if not destroy our capacity to gather and act upon intelligence unless it's addressed"... Many experts say, however, that any method that would allow the government access even during certain situations would weaken overall security for everyone. America's former American director of national intelligence recently urged Silicon Valley to "apply that same creativity, innovation to figuring out a way that both the interests of privacy as well as security can be guaranteed." Though he also added, "I don't know what the answer is. I'm not an IT geek, but I just don't think we're in a very good place right now."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

Supreme Court Establishes A First Amendment Framework For Social Media

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:55

Benton Foundation – Andrew Jay Schwartzman, June 21, 2017: “On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States used an unlikely vehicle to expand the scope of First Amendment protection for Internet users. In Peckingham v. North Carolina, speaking for five members of the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy started with the general principle that the Court has always recognized the “fundamental principle of the First Amendment … that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection, speak and listen once more.” Then, using soaring language that will surely be widely quoted in future cases, he said While in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views, today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace–the “vast democratic forums of the Internet” in general, and social media in particular. (citation omitted) The case arose as a challenge to a North Carolina statute that prohibits registered sex offenders from accessing social media sites. In 2002, Lester Peckingham, who was 21 years years-old at the time, pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a 13 year-old girl. He received a suspended jail sentence and completed a term of probation. Eight years later, Peckingham was convicted of violating the social media statute after a police officer saw Peckingham’s Facebook post joyfully announcing dismissal of a speeding ticket Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they dismissed the ticket before court even started? No fine, no court cost, no nothing spent. . . . . . Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS! The Court unanimously found North Carolina’s law to be unconstitutional. This is the second important Supreme Court opinion addressing the role of the Internet in American life. The first, Reno v. ACLU, was issued in 1997, during the Internet’s dial-up era. Its depiction of the Internet as a medium deserving the same high degree of First Amendment protection as traditional print media played an essential role in the legal framework for the Internet’s evolution over the last two decades.”

Categories: Research

ABA – Cloud Ethics Opinions Around the U.S.

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:50

ABA Law Practice Division – “Cloud Ethics Opinions – There’s a compelling business case for cloud computing, but can lawyers use it ethically? We’ve compiled these comparison charts to help you make the right decision for your practice.

Broadly defined, cloud computing (or “Software as a Service”) refers to a category of software that’s delivered over the Internet via a Web browser (like Internet Explorer) rather than installed directly onto the user’s computer.  The cloud offers certain advantages in terms of minimal upfront costs, flexibility and mobility, and ease of use.   Because cloud computing  places data–including client data–on remote servers outside of the lawyer’s direct control, it has given rise to some concerns regarding its acceptability under applicable ethics rules.

Learn more about cloud computing in our brief overview…”

Categories: Research

Paper – The Unforeseen Costs of Extraordinary Experience

beSpacific - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:42

It may be that the focus on creating and fulfilling a “bucket list” of experiences meant to make your life more meaningful has another significant facet:  “People seek extraordinary experiences—from drinking rare wines and taking exotic vacations to jumping from airplanes and shaking hands with celebrities. But are such experiences worth having? We found that participants thoroughly enjoyed having experiences that were superior to those had by their peers, but that having had such experiences spoiled their subsequent social interactions and ultimately left them feeling worse than they would have felt if they had had an ordinary experience instead. Participants were able to predict the benefits of having an extraordinary experience but were unable to predict the costs. These studies suggest that people may pay a surprising price for the experiences they covet most.” Many our most extraordinary experiences are not planned but rather occur if we are aware and open to both giving to, sharing with and appreciating one another and the natural world.

Categories: Research

Anthem To Pay $115 Million In The Largest Data Breach Settlement Ever

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:34
An anonymous reader quotes CNET: Anthem, the largest health insurance company in the U.S., has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over a 2015 data breach for a record $115 million, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. The settlement still has to be approved by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who is scheduled to hear the case on August 17 in San Jose, California. And Anthem, which didn't immediately respond to a request for confirmation and comment, isn't admitting any admitting any wrongdoing, according to a statement it made to CyberScoop acknowledging the settlement. But if approved, it would be the largest data breach settlement in history, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers, who announced the agreement Friday. The funds would be used to provide victims of the data breach at least two years of credit monitoring and to reimburse customers for breach-related expenses. The settlement would also guarantee a certain level of funding for "information security to implement or maintain numerous specific changes to its data security systems, including encryption of certain information and archiving sensitive data with strict access controls," the plaintiff attorneys said. The breach compromised data for 80 million people, including their social security numbers, birthdays, street addresses (and email addresses) as well as income data. The $115 million settlement averages out to $1.43 for every person who was affected.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

90 Cities Install A Covert Technology That Listens For Gunshots

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 13:34
An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider: In more than 90 cities across the US, including New York, microphones placed strategically around high-crime areas pick up the sounds of gunfire and alert police to the shooting's location via dots on a city map... ShotSpotter also sends alerts to apps on cops' phones. "We've gone to the dot and found the casings 11 feet from where the dot was, according to the GPS coordinates," Capt. David Salazar of the Milwaukee Police Dept. told Business Insider. "So it's incredibly helpful. We've saved a lot of people's lives." When three microphones pick up a gunshot, ShotSpotter figures out where the sound comes from. Human analysts in the Newark, California, headquarters confirm the noise came from a gun (not a firecracker or some other source). The police can then locate the gunshot on a map and investigate the scene. The whole process happens "much faster" than dialing 911, Salazar said, though he wouldn't disclose the exact time. The company's CEO argues their technology deters crime by demonstrating to bad neighborhoods that police will respond quickly to gunshots. (Although last year Forbes discovered that in 30% to 70% of cases, "police found no evidence of a gunshot when they arrived.") And in a neighborhood where ShotSpotter is installed, one 60-year-old man is already complaining, "I don't like Big Brother being in all my business."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

This week at the court

SCOTUS Blog - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:09
The court will release its order list from the June 22 conference on Monday. The court will also release its final opinions of the October Term 2016 on Monday.

The post This week at the court appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Categories: Research

How A Contractor Exploited A Vulnerability In The FCC Website

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 09:24
RendonWI writes: A Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database, and changed the ownership of more than 40 towers from multiple carriers and tower owners into his company's name during the past five months without the rightful owners being notified by the agency, according to FCC documents and sources knowledgeable of the illegal transfers. Sprint, AT&T and key tower companies were targeted in the wide-ranging thefts... Changing ASR ownership is an easy process by applying online for an FCC Registration Number (FRN) which is instantly granted whether the factual or inaccurate information is provided. Then, once logged in, an FRN holder can submit a form stating that they are the new owner of any or multiple structures in the database. As soon as it is submitted, the change is immediately reflected in the ASR.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

Does US Have Right To Data On Overseas Servers? We're About To Find Out

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 03:10
Long-time Slashdot reader quotes Ars Technica: The Justice Department on Friday petitioned the US Supreme Court to step into an international legal thicket, one that asks whether US search warrants extend to data stored on foreign servers. The US government says it has the legal right, with a valid court warrant, to reach into the world's servers with the assistance of the tech sector, no matter where the data is stored. The request for Supreme Court intervention concerns a 4-year-old legal battle between Microsoft and the US government over data stored on Dublin, Ireland servers. The US government has a valid warrant for the e-mail as part of a drug investigation. Microsoft balked at the warrant, and convinced a federal appeals court that US law does not apply to foreign data. According to the article, the U.S. government told the court that national security was at risk.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Germany Cracks Down On Illegal Speech On Social Media.

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 21:02
ArmoredDragon writes: German police have raided 36 homes of people accused of using illegal speech on Facebook and Twitter. Much of it was aimed at political speech. According to the article, "Most of the raids concerned politically motivated right-wing incitement, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, whose officers conducted home searches and interrogations. But the raids also targeted two people accused of left-wing extremist content, as well as one person accused of making threats or harassment based on someone's sexual orientation." This comes just as a new law is being debated that can fine social media platforms $53 million for not removing 70% of illegal speech (including political, defamatory, and hateful speech) within 24 hours of it being posted, which Facebook argues will make it obligatory for them to delete posts and ban users for speech that isn't clearly illegal.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

State Legislators Want Surveillance Cameras To Catch Uninsured Drivers

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:54
An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica: A Rhode Island legislative committee has approved a bill that would greatly expand the surveillance state through the deployment of license plate readers. For the first time in the US, these devices would be attached along Rhode Island highways and roads for the stated purpose of catching uninsured motorists from any state... The legislation spells out that the contractor for the project would get 50 percent of the fines paid by uninsured motorists ensnared under the program. The state and the contractor would each earn an estimated $15 million annually. Fines are as high as $120. Many police departments nationwide are using surveillance cameras tacked onto traffic poles and police vehicles to catch traffic violators and criminal suspects. The proceeds from traffic fines usually are divvied up with contractors. But according to the Rhode Island lawmaker sponsoring this legislation, it's time to put surveillance cameras to a new purpose -- fining uninsured motorists.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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