Amnesty will stage global protests over Google's spying, censoring Chinese search engine plan

For years, a secret Google team planned a Chinese search-engine that would censor search results and spy on users for the Chinese state authorities; when the existence of this plan was leaked, thousands of googlers objected to the plan, senior staff quit (then others followed), and things have only gotten worse since, with the company being outed for lying about the project when they claimed it was just a pilot program and nowhere near launch. Read the rest

Leaks reveal the health care industry's playbook for smearing and spinning Medicare for All out of existence by 2020

The Intercept has published slides from Partnership for America’s Health Care Future -- a lobbying group representing the for-profit health-care sector -- detailing the organization's plan to kill Medicare for All. Read the rest

Forensics company advises cops not to look at seized Iphones, to avoid facial-recognition lockouts

A leaked police-training presentation from digital forensics company Elcomsoft (a company that made history due to its early run-in with the DMCA) advises officers not to look at Iphones seized from suspects in order to avoid tripping the phones' facial recognition systems -- if Iphones sense too many unlock attempts with faces other than those registered as trusted, they fall back to requiring additional unlock measures like passcodes or fingerprints. Read the rest

Leak shows Google lied when it claimed it wasn't near launching its censored Chinese search tool

When Google employees discovered last August to their horror that the company had been secretly working on a censored search engine ("Project Dragonfly) for use in China, the company assured them that this was only an early-stage prototype and nowhere near launching. Read the rest

Leaked video reveals Amazon's union-busting playbook

As the tide of public opinion turns against monopolism, Amazon has become the poster child for irredeemable, late-stage capitalism; the company's ham-fisted attempts to burnish its reputation have not stemmed the tide. Read the rest

UK Tories created a secret anti-Corbyn Twitter army, which promptly attacked Theresa May

Messages leaked to Buzzfeed reveal the bizarre story of the "Tory First Battalion," a secret Twitter group formed to capitalise on the smear that the Labour party was anti-Semitic by coordinating and amplifying anti-Corbyn messages. Read the rest

Leaked documents reveal Google's plan to create a censored search engine for the Chinese market

Project Dragonfly is a secret Google plan to create an Android-based search tool (early versions were called "Maotai" and "Longfei") for use in China (where Google is currently blocked), in collaboration with the Chinese government, where search results related to human rights, democracy, protest, religion and other "sensitive" topics will be censored. Read the rest

Quiet Skies: Air Marshals are following thousands of random Americans through airports and on planes, for no articulatable purpose

Federal Air Marshals are furious that they have been tasked to follow thousands of Americans who are not on any watch-list and not suspected of any crime; they shadow these people (who are selected for surveillance on the basis of flimsy criteria like once having visited Turkey) and send minute-by-minute updates to the TSA, noting whether their targets are sleeping, using more than one phone, waiting until the last minute to board their planes, observing boarding areas from a distance, and other innocuous behaviors. Read the rest

Nonprofit will coordinate 30 global investigative journalists to report leaked stories of big data abuse

The Signals Network is a nonprofit that supports independent investigative journalism; they're financially supporting a consortium of five international media groups Die Zeit (Germany), Mediapart (France), The Daily Telegraph (UK), The Intercept (US) and WikiTtribune (Global) as they investigate misuse of "big data." Read the rest

Mining the Panama Papers and other leaks to reveal the hidden looting of West Africa by its corrupt elite

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists teamed up with the Norbert Zongo Cell for Investigative Journalism (Cenozo) to delve deep into 27.5 million files from the Offshore Leaks, Swiss Leaks, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers to investigate how the super-rich in 15 West African countries have looted their countries' wealth and then smuggled it offshore through a network of tax-havens, even as their countries starve. Read the rest

Joshua Schulte named as suspect in 'Vault 7' leak of CIA tools to Wikileaks, but charged instead over child porn

Federal investigators believe a man who once worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is responsible for last year's massive leak of Top Secret CIA hacking tools, court documents reveal. Read the rest

Leaked docs reveal Koch/Walton/DeVos's anti-teacher talking points

The "State Policy Network" is a coalition of 66 far-right organizations who've been given $80M by a small number of billionaires, including the Walton family (heirs to the Walmart fortune), the Koch Brothers, and Betsy DeVos; they're terrified of the teachers' uprising, in which wildcat strikes have raced across America because teachers whose unions were neutralized have been put on starvation wages in underfunded facilities. Without any union bosses to keep them in check, the teachers have demanded the world -- and they're getting it. Read the rest

The idea behind Cambridge Analytica's Facebook data-harvesting app came from a Palantir employee, with support from Eric Schmidt's daughter

Palantir is the surveillance company founded by authoritarian "libertarian" Peter Thiel; their business-development employee Alfredas Chmieliauskas was part of a cohort of Palantir employees who worked closely -- if informally -- with Cambridge Analytica as they hatched their plan to harvest 50,000,000 Facebook profiles with a deceptive "personality quiz" app. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica became a US powerhouse thanks Mercer's laundered money and a judas goat named John Bolton

After interviewing Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie and other CA sources and reviewing leaked documents, the Washington Post has pieced together the story of how the dirty-tricking electioneers worked their way Republican political circles, as billionaire founder Robert Mercer opened doors for them with other notorious GOP billionaire backers, with an able assist from newly minted national security adviser John Bolton, a notorious war-criminal with close ties to terrorist groups like MEK. Read the rest

White House Chief of Staff in a rage after leak reveals that Trump congratulated Putin against Cabinet advice

After Vladimir Putin stole another Russian election, Trump placed an official call to the Kremlin; his national security advisors' briefing notes for the call included the all-caps instruction "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" -- naturally, Trump congratulated Putin. Read the rest

The first-ever independent audit of whistleblower retaliation in US spy agencies was looking bad for the agencies, so it was shut down

For six months, the Intelligence Community Inspector General office investigated the cases of 190 whistleblowers who went through US spy agency channels to report corruption, waste, fraud, abuse and criminality, discovering that the overwhelming majority had faced some combination of indefinite delays and retaliation (being fired, facing paycuts and demotions, being passed over for promotions, etc) -- only one of the 190 whistleblowers had their case upheld, and that took 742 days. Read the rest

Apple iOS source code leaked to Github

Apple's been having a rough go of it this year. As if the uproar surrounding their throttling of iPhones in the name of power efficiency and damning reviews of their HomePod smart speaker weren't enough, the tech giant is now having to deal with the fact that a vital piece of their intellectual property has made it into the wild.

According to Motherboard, the code that underpins Apple's iOS operating system was posted to GitHub, leaving it exposed to jailbreakers and hackers to take a look at and, in a worse case scenario, exploit. While exploiting the code, known as iBoot, isn't a straight forward affair as a number of files in the code posted are missing, what's there could be enough for a knowledgeable programmer to probe for vulnerabilities. This is a big deal: iOS used to be easy for hackers and jailbreakers to meddle with, but recent versions of the operating system's security, combined with Apple's advances in chip design, have proven almost impossible to crack.

What this could mean for iPhone and iPad security is anyone's guess. The code has been removed from GitHub via a DMCA takedown order. But that doesn't mean it's gone: once something's been released into the wilds of the web, it's nearly impossible to wipe it out.

Image courtesy of Apple Read the rest

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