FBI to Students: Watch Out! Socialists Are TOTALLY Gay.

In 1971 the Young Socialist Alliance ended its policy of barring gays. The FBI's San Diego office seized on this announcement "to play on people's bigotries to dissuade them from joining a political organization" by creating these fliers, says Jesse Walker of the Hit & Run blog. The FBI also made another flier with women's names and said the organization was "now accepting 'les' membership."

FBI headquarters wholeheartedly approved of the smear campaign: "Bureau feels preparation of leaflets as requested in relet has merit, and you are authorized to duplicate sufficient copies on commercially obtained paper to have posted on various bulletin boards where they might be seen by majority of students at San Diego State College. It is hopeful this action will have desired effect of dissuading would-be new recruits from membership in YSA."

Wisconsin legislators ban university from collaborating with independent investigative journalism center

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a non-profit that gets its funding from private donors, foundations, and news organizations. But it's also operated out of offices on the campus of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and students from the school have had access to paid internships and other perks of the University and the WCIJ working together. Early Wednesday morning, the Wisconsin legislature's Joint Finance Committee put a stop to that nonsense — kicking the WCIJ off campus and prohibiting professors from working with the center.

No explanation has been given. Although, as Inside Higher Ed points out, the co-chair of that committee (and the person who introduced the bill) is State Rep. John Nygren — who was a key figure in a 2011 WCIJ story about how the auto insurance industry was influencing legislation through donations to representatives, including Nygren.

HOWTO survive a DDoS attack

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a comprehensive, multi-lingual guide to keeping sites that are undergoing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks alive.

Denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are increasingly common phenomena, used by a variety of actors—from activists to governments—to temporarily or indefinitely prevent a site from functioning efficiently. Often, the attack saturates the target with server requests designed to flood its bandwidth, leaving the server unable to respond to legitimate traffic.

Though the owners of major sites often have the resources to fend off or even prevent such attacks, smaller sites—such as those belonging to small independent media or human rights organizations—are sometimes permanently disabled due to a lack of resources or knowledge.

This guide aims to assist the owners of such websites by providing advice on choosing an appropriate webhost, as well as a guide to mirroring and backing-up their websites so that the content can be made available elsewhere even if their site is taken down by a DoS or DDoS attack.

Keeping Your Site Alive

IFPI's anti-piracy strategy leaks


A 30-page document containing the master anti-piracy strategy for IFPI (the umbrella group for all the record labels' national associations, like the RIAA and BPI) has leaked. The document, written by IFPI chief anti-piracy officer Mo Ali, has gotten into the hands of TorrentFreak. TorrentFreak's Enigmax summarizes the document in some detail:

Dealing with Internet service providers

In common with cyberlockers, IFPI have a set of rules they’d like to impose on Internet service providers. According to the industry group, ISPs should not provide Internet access to infringing sites, services or even unidentified customers. Furthermore, ISPs are required to “Implement a system of graduated response for infringing P2P users including warnings to an effective deterrent sanction.”

Site Blocking

ISPs are also required by IFPI to block access to infringing sites and services “located outside the local jurisdiction.” The chart below shows where blocking orders have been obtained (prior to April 2012) and how they are carried out.

Surprisingly, despite reports mounting to the contrary, IFPI seems to think that site blocking is an almost perfect solution to counter infringement.

“The effectiveness of such a ‘block’ will depend on the determination of the ISP subscriber and the content/website provider to maintain access to each other and to use circumvention techniques to bypass blocking techniques,” they write.

“There is evidence to suggest that there is limited (between 3% and 5%) adoption of these circumvention techniques although subscribers with more technical knowledge could look to circumvent ISP controls using virtual private networks (VPN) or anonymous proxies.”

Leaked Report Reveals Music Industry’s Global Anti-Piracy Strategy (via /.)

MPAA lobby group plagiarizes anti-PIPA group's email

Public Knowledge, a public interest group fighting SOPA and PIPA, believes that its email to supporters has been plagiarized by its rivals, Creative America, an MPAA-funded astroturf group that lobbies in favor of PIPA. The copyright lobby sent a note to supporters that had a number of similarities (including word-for-word lifts) to a Public Knowledge email sent four days earlier. It's all fair use, of course, but then again, the MPAA claims that fair use isn't a right, and that no one should rely on it, and that anyone who wants to quote someone else should always get permission.

Wisconsin Democratic voters targeted with Koch-funded absentee ballot notices advising them to vote 2 days after the recall election


The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity group has been reportedly distributing fliers in Democrat-leaning Wisconsin districts advising voters to send in their recall absentee ballots "before August 11." The recall election -- in which Democrats are seeking to unseat state Republicans who voted for Governor Scott Walker's attack on unionized labor -- is being held two days earlier, on August 9. AFP has also given $150,000 worth of ad time to Republican candidates facing recall.
A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.

"These are people who are our 1's in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain't AFP members, that's for damn sure," the source said.

One flier was discovered in Hudson, Wisc. where Democrat Shelly Moore is attempting to upend GOP State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf in District 10; the other was found in Kaukauna, where Democrat Nancy Nusbaum is challenging Sen. Robert Cowles in District 2.

AFP Wisconsin ballots have late return date (via Reddit)