Australian government's worst-ever state-secrets leak: accidentally selling filing cabinets full of classified docs in a surplus store

Australian national broadcaster ABC has gotten hold of a massive trove of state secrets that were inadvertently sold off in a pair of cheap, locked filing cabinets purchased from a Canberra junk-shop that specialises in government surplus furniture. Read the rest

Trump administration is contemplating nationalizing the 5g infrastructure, but Ajit Pai is staunchly opposed

A leaked White House Powerpoint deck published by Axios reveals that some elements in the Trump administration are trying to sell a plan for the US government to build the nation's "5g" wireless infrastructure, hardened against Chinese surveillance and attacks, and then lease access to the private telcoms sector; the network architecture could then be reproduced and given to US allies to help them defend themselves against Chinese attacks. Read the rest

New York Times profiles a sleazy Twitter follower-farm, the sleazy serial liar who made millions on it, and the celebs, politicians, sports figures and "influencers" who paid him

Devumi is a sleazy Twitter-bot farm founded by German Calas, a serial liar who buys wholesale Twitter bots from even scummier bottom-feeders than him, and pays a series of low-waged patsies to direct them to follow people who want to seem more popular and influential than their actual Twitter follower-count suggests. Read the rest

Thanks to "consent" buried deep in sales agreements, car manufacturers are tracking tens of millions of US cars

Millions of new cars sold in the US and Europe are "connected," having some mechanism for exchanging data with their manufacturers after the cars are sold; these cars stream or batch-upload location data and other telemetry to their manufacturers, who argue that they are allowed to do virtually anything they want with this data, thanks to the "explicit consent" of the car owners -- who signed a lengthy contract at purchase time that contained a vague and misleading clause deep in its fine-print. Read the rest

The guy in charge of protecting American spies who blow the whistle on corruption just got frog-marched out of his office and suspended

America's spy agencies have always talked a good game about the "official channels" available to spies who discover wrongdoing, insisting that the procedures to investigate their claims and protect them from retaliation mean that no spy should ever have to go to the press. Read the rest

Reality Winner profile is a beautiful portrait of a brilliant, principled patriot who messed up

Reality Winner is the NSA whistleblower who is accused of leaking US intelligence community documents confirming Russian interference in the 2016 elections to the Intercept and who has been a cross between a punchline (her improbable name, her ill-chosen words on recorded prison conversations with her mother) and a cipher. Read the rest

For more than half a century, the sugar industry has used Big Tobacco tactics to suppress sugar/cancer link and to confuse the science

UCSF researchers have published an important paper in PLOS Biology that draws on internal documents from the US sugar industry lobby that shows that the industry deliberately suppressed research on the link between sucrose and bladder cancer and heart disease, and then deliberately sowed misinformation about the health effects of sugar, using tactics straight out of the tobacco industry's cancer-denial playbook. Read the rest

Pentagon mass surveillance slurped up the world's social media traffic; then they dumped it on a publicly accessible Amazon cloud server

The Upguard Cyber Risk Team has found three Department of Defense mass-storage "buckets" on Amazon that are world-viewable, containing 1.8 billion of social media posts that the DoD scraped from social media over 8 years as part of its global surveillance program. Read the rest

Vault 8: Wikileaks publishes sourcecode from last spring's CIA Vault 7 cyberweapons leak

In March, Wikileaks published the Vault 7 leaks, a cache of CIA cyberweapons created under the doctrine of "NOBUS" ("No One But Us"), in which security agencies suppress the publication of bugs in widely used software, choosing instead to develop attack-tools that exploit these bugs, on the assumption that no one else will ever discover those bugs and use them to attack the people they're charged with defending. Read the rest

Quackspeak ascendant: China's subject-changing astroturfers rule the Chinese internet

The "50-cent army" is an insanely prolific cadre of government workers whose extra duty is to post hundreds of millions of messages to social media, flooding all available channels with feel-good messages about the accomplishments of Chinese sports teams and the high standard of living in China. Read the rest

Limn 8: a social science journal issue devoted to hacking

Gabriella Coleman is the hacker anthropologist whose work on the free software movement, Anonymous and the Arab Spring, the politicization of hacking, and the true role of alt-right dank memes in the 2016 elections are critical reading for the 21st century. Read the rest

For sale: any Australian's full health record for a mere $22

A hacker who appears to have ongoing, continuous access to Australia's electronic health care records is selling access to any full record for 0.0089 bitcoin, or about USD22. Read the rest

Leaked Facebook docs: weird censorship standards that protect "white men but not black children"

Facebook is not responsible for bad speech by its users -- section 230 of the US Telecommunications Act says that libel and other forms of prohibited speech are the responsibility of users, not those who provide forums for users to communicate in -- but it takes voluntary steps to try to keep its service from being a hostile environment for its users, paying 4,500 moderators to delete material the company deems unacceptable. Read the rest

David Cameron and Prince William condemned in leaked FIFA bribery and corruption report

FIFA is the scandal-haunted governing body for world soccer/football; their internal report on corruption has leaked and it reveals a widespread culture of bribery and other corrupt practices. Read the rest

Sen. Mark Warner: Russia attacks on U.S. elections were way worse than NSA leaks and Intercept article suggest

What we already know is bad. But it's worse than we know.

Senator Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says Russia's attacks on our election systems were more broad in scope, and targeted more states, than what the leaked NSA documents published yesterday by The Intercept indicate.

Read the rest

Leaked NSA docs: Russian military hacked US voting software company, spearphished 122 election officials

An anonymously leaked Top Secret NSA report on Russian state hackers interfering with the US elections has been published by The Intercept, which had the documents independently analyzed by a who's-who of America's leading security experts. Read the rest

Leaks: Mercenaries targeted Standing Rock water protectors with anti-terrorist tactics

Tigerswan, a secretive private mercenary company, was hired by Energy Transfer Partners to run campaigns against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in five states, including states in which they were not licensed to operate -- the measures they deployed were developed as counterterrorism tactics. Read the rest

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