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Bobby Abraham
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Bobby Abraham

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I am so glad I resisted pressure from Intel engineers to let /dev/random rely only on the RDRAND instruction.   To quote from the article below:

"By this year, the Sigint Enabling Project had found ways inside some of the encryption chips that scramble information for businesses and governments, either by working with chipmakers to insert back doors...."

Relying solely on the hardware random number generator which is using an implementation sealed inside a chip which is impossible to audit is a BAD idea.
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The UK government, likely on behalf of the Untied States, has just attempted to intimidate the journalists reporting about NSA spying into silence. Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald's domestic partner, David Miranda, was detained for 9 hour under a terrorism law that allows border officials to detain terrorism suspects for questioning. For the duration of those 9 hours, Miranda was exclusively questioned on the NSA articles Greenwald has written for the Guardian. 97% of people detained in this manner are released in under an hour, and only 1 in 2000 people detainees are detained for more than 6 hours. Miranda was released only after the full 9 hours allowed by the law passed, and not before having all of his electronics equipment seized, including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles. More information here:
David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act Glenn Greenwald: a failed attempt at intimidation
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An editor from the Guardian relates how the UK's NSA counter-part, the GCHQ, came into their offices and literally smashed several of their computers to bits:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-schedule7-danger-reporters
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, has done a complete 180 on his stance on marijuana, based on his latest research for his upcoming CNN documentary "Weed", which airs 8 p.m. ET August 11 on CNN. Here's the start of his article describing the documentary:

"Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called 'Weed.' The title 'Weed' may sound cavalier, but the content is not.
I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.

Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled 'Why I would Vote No on Pot.'

Well, I am here to apologize."

Read the rest at the link below, or check out his documentary this Sunday.
Over the last year, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not.
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So what's the excuse for this?

The NSA Has Inserted Its Code Into Android OS, Or Three Quarters Of All Smartphones
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-09/nsa-has-inserted-its-code-android-os-bugging-three-quarters-all-smartphones
#Google #NSA #Android #Smartphones
Dear Google users— You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CE...
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Time to get the Ubuntu or the Firefox phone :)
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As the Obama Administration petulantly demands that Edward Snowden and the countries he's traveling through "respect the rule of law", I'm reminded of how President Obama:

~ Refused to prosecute George W. Bush for a wire-tapping program that was a federal felony at the time, but continued to ruthlessly prosecute the NSA whistle-blower, Thomas Drake, who exposed the illegal program

~ Refused to prosecute any bankers and Wall St executives for their illegal acts leading to the 2008 market crash, which nearly destroyed the world economy, and intentionally deceived the public into thinking they "didn't really do anything that was illegal".

~ Is knowingly keeping innocent Yemeni citizens in Guantanamo bay, despite Yemen's demands to release them, while subjecting them to painful force-feeding in response to their hunger-strike.

~ Personally intervened to keep a Yemeni Journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, imprisoned in Yemen, because Shaye revealed the U.S. was behind the massacre of 26 innocent women and children in a remote Yemeni village.

In President Obama's America, the "rule of law" only applies when it's politically convenient for him to apply it. Citations in the comments below.
Secretary of State John Kerry says Moscow needs to "respect" U.S. relationship, help U.S. find NSA contractor-turned-fugitive
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Snowden looks like Harry potter
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The NSA Whistle-blower has revealed himself: Edward Snowden. Edward discusses the his motivations behind these leaks in this video-interview

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-interview-video
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Someone has already created a petition on whitehouse.gov urge the President to pre-preemptively pardon Snowden. Wishful thinking given this President is the biggest persecutor of whistle-blowers in the history of the office, , each signature is still meaningful as a show of support. 

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD
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This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic "I have a dream speech". What does Martin Luther King Jr. have to do with the NSA spying scandal that's unfolding these days? MLK, in his time, was considered an adversary by the U.S. government, and was targeted by the government’s domestic spying apparatus. Not because he broke any crimes, but because they wanted to find something embarrassing about him to either blackmail him with, or to discredit him.

This gross abuse of government power was thoroughly investigated in 1975 by the Church Committee which looked into many U.S. spying scandals of that time. The committee's findings lead to the creation of the FISA court, which was created to help stop abuse like this by providing at least some judicial oversight to spying, by requiring the government obtain legal warrants before targeting individuals.

Today, we have members of the FISA court telling the public that they are unable to properly review all the domestic spying that is happening, yet still granting "warrants" that target millions of Americans at a time without probable cause. We also have a President that is aggressively persecuting whistle-blowers, journalists, and activists that are telling uncomfortable truths about our Government, as MLK did in his day.

Below is a blog post by Democracy Now's Amy Goodwin about the domestic spying performed on Martin Luther King Jr.
As the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington nears, let’s not forget the history of agency overreach and abuse of power
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Uncanny Echoes of the NSA Debate From the 1970s: The arguments, lies, and half-truths our government is telling us today are extremely similar to those told in the 1970s when the public was demanding investigations into the domestic spying apparatus that targeted people like Martin Luther King Jr.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/uncanny-echoes-of-the-nsa-debate-from-the-1970s/278889/
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The e-mail service NSA Whistle-blower Edward Snowden used, Lavabit, abruptly shut down its operations, leaving a mysterious warning on its website, telling users not to trust their private data to any company with physical ties with the United States.

In this exclusive Democracy Now! interview (video & transcript) the owner of Lavabit Ladar Levison and his attorney Jesse Binnall talk discuss the situation as much as they can. From the interview:

JESSE BINNALL: "Ladar is in a situation where he has to watch every word he says when he’s talking to the press, for fear of being imprisoned. And we can’t even talk about what the legal requirements are that make it so he has to watch his words. But the simple fact is, I’m really here with him only because there are some very fine lines that he can’t cross, for fear of being dragged away in handcuffs. And that’s pretty much the exact fears that led the founders to give us the First Amendment in the first place. So it’s high stakes."
Lavabit, an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, has abruptly shut down. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information. In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we are joined by Lavabit owner Ladar Levison and his lawyer, Jesse Binnall. "Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it. I would like to, believe me," Le...
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Glenn Greenwald on the issue:

"What is particularly creepy about the Lavabit self-shutdown is that the company is gagged by law even from discussing the legal challenges it has mounted and the court proceeding it has engaged. In other words, the American owner of the company believes his Constitutional rights and those of his customers are being violated by the US Government, but he is not allowed to talk about it. Just as is true for people who receive National Security Letters under the Patriot Act, Lavabit has been told that they would face serious criminal sanctions if they publicly discuss what is being done to their company. Thus we get hostage-message-sounding missives like this:


'I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what's going on - the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.'


Does that sound like a message coming from a citizen of a healthy and free country? Secret courts issuing secret rulings invariably in favor of the US government that those most affected are barred by law from discussing? Is there anyone incapable at this point of seeing what the United States has become?"

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/09/lavabit-shutdown-snowden-silicon-valley
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Last week, two bi-partisan coalitions in the House of Representatives fought over a vote that would end the NSA's indiscriminate collection of cell phone meta-data of innocent U.S. civilians. (The amendment itself still allowed for the collection of metadata for anyone that was the target of an investigation). President Obama allied himself with the likes of Michelle Bachman, John Boehner, and Peter King to forcefully denounce this abuse-ending amendment. The amendment barely lost in Congress (205 to 217), but as this New York Times article points out, the momentum is growing against these illegal programs.
The movement to significantly rein in surveillance by the National Security Agency began on the political fringes but has built up support from Republican and Democratic leaders.
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Best Daily Show Quote Ever: "You know Mr. President, when Michele Bachmann is on your side, you may want to look at the side that you are on... She is the canary in the crazy mine. I myself wear a bracelet every day that says 'What wouldn't Michele Bachmann do?' "

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-july-29-2013/all-about-eavesdropping
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It's pretty amazing to see some people "gloating" over Zimmerman being acquitted. The jury's verdict could effectively be "we're pretty sure Zimmerman's lying, he likely started the confrontation, might not have had to use deadly force, and may be getting away for taking the life of a completely innocent teenager. But because we have to presume him innocent, and there's reasonable doubt of his guilt, we have to rule 'not guilty'" This is what these folks are celebrating.
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I say botched, because there's no reason she should have went for 2nd degree murder in Zimmerman's case. Had the prosecution simply argued for manslaughter, the case wouldn't have hinged on irrelevant facts like who was on top at any given moment of the fight, where Martin was when he was shot, and who's voice was calling for help before the gunshot, etc.

If the prosecution had simply went for manslaughter, they could have argued that his actions leading up to the fight amounted were grossly negligent, and caused the deadly situation, and none of the above questions would have made a difference. The law shouldn't allow people to get away with using deadly force in a fight they instigated.

In both cases, justice isn't served because of State Prosecutor Angela Corey's habit of charging people for more severe crimes than the evidence supports.
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As we celebrate our independence day, the people of Egypt are currently waging their own revolution from autocracy. Yesterday's coup d'état removing the Muslim Brotherhood from power should resonate with us because, as it was with the American revolutionaries, democracy isn't enough. The defining characteristic of our nation was the ability to keep the powers of our government in check and to be able to hold our leaders accountable for wrong-doing. That's the type of government the Egyptian people are pushing for. Remember that the beginning of the end for ousted President Mohamed Morsi was his attempt last year to put his actions beyond the oversight of the Egyptian judiciary. See this LA times article from last year:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/08/world/la-fg-egypt-morsi-20121208
CAIRO - In a political reversal to calm weeks of unrest, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi early Sunday rescinded much of last month’s decree that expanded his powers and exposed a...
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Here's the second:
Novelist Ahdaf Soueif: By Ignoring Egypt’s Majority, Morsi Begat the Uprising Against His Rule
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/3/novelist_ahdaf_soueif_by_ignoring_egypts
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"Dirty Wars" is finally coming out in select theaters! Check out the trailer below!

The film investigates the actions of the Joint Special Operations Command, known for the Osama Bin Laden killing, and also looks into the covert, civilian massacring wars that have not only been kept from the public's knowledge, but also kept out of the reach of Congressional oversight.
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FYI: The trailer makes this feel like an action movie, but it's very much a documentary. He goes to extremely dangerous parts of the world, like Taliban controlled Afghanistan, and talks to informants who are hiding their identities, but there's not a single on-screen gun-fight or anything like that 
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