Doctors Without Borders released an internal report today that claims a U.S. warplane shot at people who were trying to escape the international medical aid group's hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, after the building was bombed by American forces.
Our man in the White House, Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, alerts us to the Administration's celebration of Back To The Future Day that includes:
* The release of President Obama's updated Strategy for American Innovation
* Tom's post on the White House blog about the power of imagination, titled "Science Fiction to Science Fact"
* A series of online conversations with scientists and innovators about the future! Read the rest
The Intercept's Dan Froomkin played turd-in-the-punchbowl at outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder's victory lap party at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reception on Wednesday, asking why Holder had declined to put one single banker in jail for the monumental frauds that collapsed the world's economy in 2007-9. Read the rest
Doctors Without Borders received an apology from President Barack Obama today for the deadly U.S. bombing of its hospital in northern Afghanistan.
The international medical aid organization released a statement today:
"We reiterate our ask that the U.S. government consent to an independent investigation led by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to establish what happened in Kunduz, how it happened, and why it happened," said Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of the group, also known as Doctors Without Borders.
The aid group, also known also as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF, said the proposed commission would gather evidence from the United States, NATO and Afghanistan. After that, the charity would decide whether to seek criminal charges for loss of life and damage.
“If we let this go, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries at war,” MSF International President Joanne Liu told reporters in Geneva. But she noted there was no commitment yet on official cooperation with an independent investigation.
The U.S. air attack Saturday killed 22 patients and medical staffers, including three children, in the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz, which had been overrun by Taliban militants. Thirty-seven people were injured, including 19 staff members, the charity said.
The Intercept just published an amazing article by Jim Bamford yesterday talking about how the NSA exploited a backdoor in Vodafone to spy on Greek politicians and journalists during the 2004 Olympics.
In a meticulous investigation, Bamford reports at the Intercept that the NSA was behind the notorious, legendary “Athens Affair”. After the 2004 Olympics, the Greek government discovered that an unknown attacker had hacked into Vodafone’s “lawful intercept” system, the phone company’s method of wiretapping voice calls. The attacker spied on phone calls of the president and other Greek politicians and journalists before the hack was found out.
Freedom of the Press Foundation director Trevor Timm wrote for the Guardian about why this is exactly why encryption backdoors are so dangerous.
What are encryption backdoors? For non-techie readers, basically these are ways the government can unencrypt your "locked" communications if they decide they want to see your private material for any secret reason.
And in related news, rumor has it the White House is nearing a decision on whether to embrace the right to encryption for American citizens, or join the FBI in calling for backdoors.
Dozens of civil liberties groups, including Freedom of the Press Foundation, launched this site and petition today that feeds into the White House petition system: savecrypto.org.
If you care about this issue, right now is the time to take action. Read the rest
“President Barack Obama meets 4-year-old Malik Hall during departure photos with Malik's uncle, Maurice Owens, center, in the Oval Office, Sept 4, 2015.” Read the rest
President Obama posted two Spotify summer playlists, one for day and another for night. Some nice soul and jazz cuts on there from Coltrane, The Temptations, Al Green Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Miles. Also, the Stones, Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. I clicked right past the Beyonce and Justin Timberlake tracks though.
Read the rest
Marc Maron and President Obama had a relaxed and fascinating one-hour conversation in Maron's Pasadena, California garage, where Maron produces his popular WTF Podcast. Obama used the "N" word (in talking about racism), gave his thoughts on voters' expectations for rapid Hope and Change, discussed his interest in improving police-community relations, and much more.
I learned more about how Obama thinks in this interview than any TV interview I've listened to.
Vanity Fair ran an article about how Maron prepared for the interview, and the security precautions undertaken by the Secret Service.
“A few days before the interview, the Secret Service started coming up, looking around the house, seeing what the perimeter was, figuring out how they can secure the house. They set up the isolated phone lines that are necessary for the president to have wherever he is. . . . They had to figure out how to do it in my garage, where [to place] the Secret Service. They had to have an archivist here recording it. They tried to put a sniper on the garage but it was too noisy. So they had to go on my neighbor’s house. They wanted everything out of the garage that was going to be in the path of the president—the boxes of books and piles of stuff that I had in here. They wanted anything that could be dangerous in the garage taken out.”
Read the rest
Maron did not even have to worry about providing coffee.
It wasn't until readers showed outrage that a Pennsylvania newspaper realized its wrongdoing. Read the rest
He'll serve under the brilliant Megan Smith, the CTO. Read the rest
Who says bipartisanship is dead? Read the rest
In what looks to many in the information security community like a bizarre face-saving gesture with little basis in reality, the Obama administration today announced new sanctions on 10 senior North Korean officials and several organizations.