Apple reverses ban on HKmap.live app tracking Hong Kong protests & police

A bit of good news for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and the app developers trying to help them not get injured or killed by police. Read the rest

Apple bans an app because Hong Kong protesters might use it to avoid the murderous, out of control police

Hkmap Live is a crowdsourced app that uses reports from a Telegram group to track the locations of protesters, police, and traffic, as well as the use of antipersonnel weapons like tear gas, mass arrests of people wearing t-shirts associated with the protest movement, and mass transit closures in proximity to demonstrations (it's a bit like Sukey, the British anti-kettling app). Read the rest

IBM supplied surveillance gear to Davao while Duterte was mayor and cheering on the city's police-linked death-squads

During the long years when Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte (previously) was mayor of Davao (circumventing term limits by periodically allowing his daughter to run for mayor and serving as her vice-mayor) the city was terrorized by death-squads who enjoyed total impunity as they assassinated police suspects and Duterte's political opponents, while Duterte cheered them on (Duterte has boasted about his participation in extrajudicial killings during this period, but has also denied participation in the death squads). Read the rest

Blackwater founder to site mercenary training camps conveniently close to China's Uighur concentration camps

Hereditary millionaire war-criminal and brother of Betsy DeVos Erik Prince (previously) is full of good ideas: after founding the disgraced mercenary company Blackwater (and several subsequent reboots thereof), he proposed that the US could withdraw its military from Afghanistan and instead pay him to occupy the country with a mercenary army that would brutally subjugate its people on America's behalf. Read the rest

Salesforce faces boycott over Border Patrol contract

Evan Greer from Fight for the Future writes, "At this moment in history, it's just not okay for tech companies to support government agencies that are openly violating human rights. But while Salesforce's executives have been speaking out against US immigration policies, the company is maintaining a multimillion dollar contract with US Border Patrol. We just launched DropSalesforce.com, an open letter from tons of organizations threatening to boycott Salesforce (and Heroku) if they don't cancel the contract. We're also crowdfunding BART bus ads to run near Salesforce HQ in San Fransisco during their big yearly conference. Lots of big tech companies have contracts with ICE and Border Patrol. Salesforce could be the first domino to fall." Read the rest

Microsoft CEO: don't worry, we're mostly helping the parts of ICE that don't involve kidnapping children

As Microsoft employees grow increasingly furious that their employer is a key technology provider to ICE, providing, among other things, facial recognition software, the company is responding, conscious of the possibility of a repeat of Google's showdown with its employees over the provision of AI for drone warfare systems. Read the rest

Watch a great interview with Björk and collaborator Jesse Kanda

This promising new series explores artistic collaboration, and the first episode features Björk and collaborator Jesse Kanda. Read the rest

This dump of Iphone-cracking tools shows how keeping software defects secret makes everyone less secure

Last month, a hacker took 900GB of data from Cellebrite, an Israeli cyber-arms dealer that was revealed to be selling surveillance and hacking tools to Russia, the UAE, and Turkey. Read the rest

Tim Cook confirms: tech met with Trump to ask for billions in tax breaks

A leaked memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook to his staff explaining why he met with Donald Trump -- a guy who called Apple traitors for refusing to defeat their own security -- explains the rationale: "tax reform." Read the rest

NYC will cease retaining data that Trump could use for mass deportations

IDNYC is New York City's ID card program, and it has served as a critical means for undocumented migrants to get identity papers that they can use to establish utilities accounts, bank accounts, and so on. The city has announced a change to the program's data-retention policy, vowing to purge information that might be useful in the mass deportations promised by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. Read the rest

Out of 8 companies surveyed, only Twitter would rule out helping Trump build a database of Muslims

Trump's Muslim database promise was extreme, even by Trump's standards; worse news, the US tech industry has built out a surveillance capability that would let him do it. Read the rest

Projecting leaked NSA docs on the side of AT&T's windowless NYC spy-center

Earlier this month, Henrik Moltke helped report the extent to which the massive, windowless, bombproof AT&T tower at 33 Thomas Street was implicated in illegal NSA surveillance of US and international communications, revealing that the tower was almost certainly the site referred to as TITANPOINTE in Snowden docs. Read the rest

Yahoo secretly built a tool to scan all email in realtime for US spies

In 2015, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer ordered the company's engineers to build a tool that scanned Yahoo Mail messages in realtime for "characters" of interest to a US security agency, either the FBI or the NSA. Read the rest

Not just Yemen: Canadian cyberarms dealer Netsweeper also helped censor the net in Bahrain

Netsweeper is a litigious cyberarms dealer that threatened to sue the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab when its researchers outed the company for its work in helping Yemen's despotic regime censor the internet; later, the company dropped its lawsuit. Read the rest