jm + politics   143

Artificial intelligence is ripe for abuse, tech researcher warns: 'a fascist's dream' | Technology | The Guardian
“We should always be suspicious when machine learning systems are described as free from bias if it’s been trained on human-generated data,” Crawford said. “Our biases are built into that training data.”

In the Chinese research it turned out that the faces of criminals were more unusual than those of law-abiding citizens. “People who had dissimilar faces were more likely to be seen as untrustworthy by police and judges. That’s encoding bias,” Crawford said. “This would be a terrifying system for an autocrat to get his hand on.” [...]

With AI this type of discrimination can be masked in a black box of algorithms, as appears to be the case with a company called Faceception, for instance, a firm that promises to profile people’s personalities based on their faces. In its own marketing material, the company suggests that Middle Eastern-looking people with beards are “terrorists”, while white looking women with trendy haircuts are “brand promoters”.
bias  ai  racism  politics  big-data  technology  fascism  crime  algorithms  faceception  discrimination  computer-says-no 
12 days ago by jm
Tim Berners-Lee calls for tighter regulation of online political advertising | Technology | The Guardian
“Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?” Berners-Lee said.
politics  trump  law  elections  polling  advertising  facebook  micro-advertising 
15 days ago by jm
Zeynep Tufekci: "Youtube is a crucial part of the misinfomation ecology"
This is so spot on. I hope Google address this issue --
YouTube is crucial part of the misinformation ecology. Not just a demand issue: its recommender algo is a "go down the rabbit hole" machine.
You watch a Trump rally: you get suggested white supremacist videos, sometimes, auto-playing. Like a gateway drug theory of engagement.
I've seen this work across the political spectrum. YouTube algo has discovered out-flanking and "red-pilling" is.. engaging. So it does.


This thread was in response to this Buzzfeed article on the same topic: https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/youtube-has-become-the-content-engine-of-the-internets-dark
youtube  nazis  alt-right  lies  politics  google  misinformation  recommendations  ai  red-pill 
27 days ago by jm
"what's the inside story on these young fascist nazis"
Excellent explanatory twitter thread explaining where this movement came from (ie chan sites):
"what's the inside story on these young fascist nazis" a lot of them ended up in shock humor/lonely dude forums that nazi recruiters joined.
this isn't a fucking puzzle box, we have all the history right here. dudes ended up on various sites crossing nerdy hobbies & resentment.
a buncha fucking nerds had their various dipshit teenage beefs, many starting with resentment of women, and got radicalized.
"how did they end up nazis?" a bunch of real nazis whispered poison in their ears while becoming their only community, their only "friends".
they also used multiple levels of irony to make bigotry and fascism more acceptable by drowning it in "oh we're just joking"
nazis  fascism  4chan  8chan  extremism  politics 
7 weeks ago by jm
Did the Russians “hack” the election? A look at the established facts | Ars Technica
solid roundup. There's a whole lot of evidence pointing Russia's way, basically
usa  russia  hacking  politics  security  us-politics  trump 
december 2016 by jm
A Yale history professor's 20-point guide to defending democracy under a Trump presidency — Quartz
Good advice -- let's hope it doesn't come to this. Example:

'17. Watch out for the paramilitaries: When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.'
trump  activism  government  politics  us-politics  right-wing  history  hitler  nazis  fascism 
december 2016 by jm
Facebook's Fight Against Fake News Was Undercut by Fear of Conservative Backlash
Well fuck this and fuck Facebook.
One source said high-ranking officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public. [....] “They absolutely have the tools to shut down fake news,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous citing fear of retribution from the company. The source added, “there was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” and that “a lot of product decisions got caught up in that.”
facebook  politics  us-politics  trump  fail  fake-news  hoaxes  news  newsfeed 
november 2016 by jm
Alarmism saved my family from Hitler: Why I won't tell anyone to calm down about Trump
My grandmother’s fear saved the family. My grandfather’s sweet confidence and optimism would have killed them. So when you tell me, a noted soother and calmer of others, that I should tell Muslims and women and people of color that they have nothing to fear from Trump, I think that perhaps you want me to be like my grandfather. And I think that perhaps for once in my life, I am not going to counsel calm and preach perspective and rally the kids for sixteen comforting verses of Kumbaya.
fascism  politics  history  fear  alarmism  nazi-germany 
november 2016 by jm
How One 19-Year-Old Illinois Man Is Distorting National Polling Averages - The New York Times
One "outlier" voter—a 19-year old black Trump supporter—was weighted so heavily that it shifted the whole poll significantly. Stats fail
statistics  nytimes  politics  via:reddit  donald-trump  hilary-clinton  polling  panels  polls 
october 2016 by jm
Batsh!t Britain’s Brexit Border Blues
Good blog post on the insane plan mooted by the UK to push their border controls to the Republic of Ireland's ports
borders  uk  brexit  ireland  politics 
october 2016 by jm
We are witnessing nothing less than a Tory reformation | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
An excellent explanation of what is going on in the UK right now. What a nightmare:
Finally there are the self-styled buccaneers of the free-trade seas. Boris Johnson would probably cast himself as Sir Walter Raleigh – polymath, wordsmith, adventurer. That leaves Liam Fox to play Sir Francis Drake, looking for domestic glory in global circumnavigation but seen from abroad as a pirate.

This is all myth and fantasy, of course. But parties have always been sustained by internal mythologies, and the task of exiting the EU is so complicated and fraught with danger that fantasy becomes a necessary comfort. As one former minister says of the puritan choristers: “They have spent their lives working towards this dream. Of course they don’t want to accept that it’s a nightmare.”

Tory pro-Europeans are in the impossible position of using rational argument against faith. If they counsel compromise on migration or the single market, they are accused of talking Britain down or trying to refight the referendum. They have few reinforcements across the political water. Labour is a shambles. The Lib Dems are puny in parliament. Scotland has its own distinct politics, and in Nicola Sturgeon its own remainian queen with her own independence agenda.

The Tories do not speak for all of England, but in the absence of credible opposition they feel as if they do, and will act accordingly. To those millions who did not vote to leave the EU, the message is clear: you are free to pray for whatever you like. Your antique rites will be tolerated. But do not expect your concerns to be represented in the court of Queen Theresa. Be humble instead. Swallow your doubts and take a pew in the reformed national church of Brexit.
reformation  uk  politics  brexit  eu  puritanism  fanaticism 
october 2016 by jm
Brian Krebs - The Democratization of Censorship
Events of the past week have convinced me that one of the fastest-growing censorship threats on the Internet today comes not from nation-states, but from super-empowered individuals who have been quietly building extremely potent cyber weapons with transnational reach. More than 20 years after Gilmore first coined [his] turn of phrase, his most notable quotable has effectively been inverted — “Censorship can in fact route around the Internet.” The Internet can’t route around censorship when the censorship is all-pervasive and armed with, for all practical purposes, near-infinite reach and capacity.
brian-krebs  censorship  ddos  internet  web  politics  crime  security  iot 
september 2016 by jm
How Internet Trolls Won the 2016 Presidential Election
Because this was a novel iteration of online anti-Semitic culture, to the normie media it was worthy of deeply concerned coverage that likely gave a bunch of anti-Semites, trolls, and anti-Semitic trolls exactly the attention and visibility they craved. All without any of them having to prove they were actually involved, meaningfully, in anti-Semitic politics. That’s just a lot of power to give to a group of anonymous online idiots without at least knowing how many of them are 15-year-old dweebs rather than, you know, actual Nazis. [...]

In the long run, as journalistic coverage of the internet is increasingly done by people with at least a baseline understanding of web culture, that coverage will improve. For now, though, things are grim: It’s hard not to feel like journalists and politicos are effectively being led around on a leash by a group of anonymous online idiots, many of whom don’t really believe in anything.
internet  journalism  politics  4chan  8chan  channers  trolls  nazis  racism  pepe-the-frog  trump 
september 2016 by jm
'If you've got money, you vote in ... if you haven't got money, you vote out' | Politics | The Guardian
The prime minister evidently thought that the whole debate could be cleanly started and finished in a matter of months. His Eton contemporary Boris Johnson – and, really, can you believe that the political story of the last four months has effectively been a catastrophic contest between two people who went to the same exclusive school? – opportunistically embraced the cause of Brexit in much the same spirit. What they had not figured out was that a diffuse, scattershot popular anger had not yet decisively found a powerful enough outlet, but that the staging of a referendum and the cohering of the leave cause would deliver exactly that. Ukip were held back by both the first-past-the-post electoral system, and the polarising qualities of Farage, but the coalition for Brexit effectively neutralised both. And so it came to pass: the cause of leaving the EU, for so long the preserve of cranks and chancers, attracted a share of the popular vote for which any modern political party would give its eye teeth.
brexit  europe  eu  uk  eton  ukip  politics 
june 2016 by jm
There are liars and then there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove
Post-brexit post-mortem from Nicholas Cohen in the grauniad:
The Vote Leave campaign followed the tactics of the sleazy columnist to the letter. First, it came out with the big, bold solution: leave. Then it dismissed all who raised well-founded worries with “the country is sick of experts”. Then, like Johnson the journalist, it lied.
eu  politics  uk  brexit  boris-johnson  michael-gove 
june 2016 by jm
MPs’ private emails are routinely accessed by GCHQ
65% of parliamentary emails are routed via Dublin or the Netherlands, so liable to access via Tempora; NSA's Prism program gives access to all Microsoft Office 365 docs; and MessageLabs, the anti-spam scanning system in use, has a GCHQ backdoor program called Haruspex, allegedly.
snowden  privacy  mps  uk  politics  gchq  nsa  haruspex  messagelabs  symantec  microsoft  parliament 
june 2016 by jm
How Trump’s troll army is cashing in on his campaign
Of the dozens of Trump pages seemingly run by click-farms, just one responded to our request for an interview, though the anonymous operators of the Trumpians fan page declined to provide the name of their company, citing the “volatility of Trump haters.” Trump’s Facebook page is the only one of over 100 the company runs that’s dedicated to an individual politician. “The other [candidates] don’t have any value from a merchandise perspective ,” the operator said by Facebook Messenger.
click-farms  spam  donald-trump  politics  us-politics  facebook  trolls 
may 2016 by jm
Chinese censorship: arbitrary rule changes are a form of powerful intermittent reinforcement
China's Internet censors are capricious and impossible to predict -- but this isn't because China's censors are incompetent, rather, they're tapping into one of the most powerful forms of conditioning, the uncertainty born of intermittent reinforcement. [...] As C Custer writes at Tech in Asia, this caprice is by design: by not specifying a set of hard and fast rules, but rather the constant risk of being taken down for crossing some invisible line, China's censors inspire risk-aversion in people who rely on the net to be heard or earn their livings. It's what Singaporeans call "out of bounds," the unspecified realm of things you mustn't, shouldn't or won't want to enter.
risk  risk-aversion  censorship  control  china  politics  enforcement  crime  self-censorship 
may 2016 by jm
Before the Split
Good post on Dublin City Council's atrociously revisionist 1916-commemoration banner, celebrating
Henry Grattan, Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and John Redmond:
The banner is not showing parliamentary nationalists who might be included in a history of 1916 (Redmond might have been joined by John Dillon and Tom Kettle, for instance), but displaying the parliamentarian tradition in Irish political history. The people chosen all worked for change via political means, whether obtaining an independent Irish parliament from 1782-1801 (Grattan), working for Catholic Emancipation (Grattan and O’Connell), land reform (Parnell), or trying to repeal the Act of Union and obtain Home Rule (O’Connell, Parnell, Redmond). All were MPs in Westminster at some point. None openly espoused physical force. None aimed at establishing an independent Irish Republic. Putting the history of parliamentarianism on a banner labelled 1916 suggests that 1916 was in the parliamentarian tradition. That suggestion is very far from the truth.
parliamentarianism  1916  history  revisionism  dcc  dublin  politics 
march 2016 by jm
Proportional Representation in Ireland: How it Works
Excellent explanation of PR-STV and the Irish voting system. Don't be a Plumper! (via John O'Shea)
plumpers  pr-stv  pr  voting  ireland  politics  via:joshea 
february 2016 by jm
ECB forcing Ireland to pay the bondholders was like a hostage situation | David McWilliams
At the time, many of us citizens thought the State was being craven in the face of the EU but it is now clear that Trichet’s ECB was prepared to let the Irish banks go to the wall, prompting a new bank run in 2010. This is like a hostage situation. The ECB was saying to the Irish government: you managed in September 2008 to prevent a bank run with the guarantee (which should always have been temporary and conditional) but now we are going to threaten you with another bank run – because we are still funding your banks and you must pay all the bondholders and add the cost to the national debt of the country. So the implicit threat was: “We will close the banks, cause a bank run and you will be left to pick up the pieces politically, socially and economically.”
banking  ireland  politics  ecb  eu  bondholders  jean-claude-trichet  economics 
january 2016 by jm
Tim O'Reilly vs Paul Graham: fight!
'In his essay on Income Inequality, Paul Graham credited me for pre-publication feedback. Because he didn’t do much with my comments, I thought I’d publish them here.'

... 'Mostly, I think you are picking a fight with people who would mostly agree with you, and ignoring the real arguments about what inequality means and why it matters.'
inequality  silicon-valley  tech  paul-graham  tim-oreilly  piketty  politics  economics  wealth  startups  history  work  stock-options 
january 2016 by jm
Excellent post from Matthew Green on the Juniper backdoor
For the past several years, it appears that Juniper NetScreen devices have incorporated a potentially backdoored random number generator, based on the NSA's Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm. At some point in 2012, the NetScreen code was further subverted by some unknown party, so that the very same backdoor could be used to eavesdrop on NetScreen connections. While this alteration was not authorized by Juniper, it's important to note that the attacker made no major code changes to the encryption mechanism -- they only changed parameters. This means that the systems were potentially vulnerable to other parties, even beforehand. Worse, the nature of this vulnerability is particularly insidious and generally messed up.

[....] The end result was a period in which someone -- maybe a foreign government -- was able to decrypt Juniper traffic in the U.S. and around the world. And all because Juniper had already paved the road.

One of the most serious concerns we raise during [anti-law-enforcement-backdoor] meetings is the possibility that encryption backdoors could be subverted. Specifically, that a back door intended for law enforcement could somehow become a backdoor for people who we don't trust to read our messages. Normally when we talk about this, we're concerned about failures in storage of things like escrow keys. What this Juniper vulnerability illustrates is that the danger is much broader and more serious than that. The problem with cryptographic backdoors is not that they're the only way that an attacker can break intro our cryptographic systems. It's merely that they're one of the best. They take care of the hard work, the laying of plumbing and electrical wiring, so attackers can simply walk in and change the drapes.


(via Tony Finch)
via:fanf  crypto  backdoors  politics  juniper  dual-ec-drbg  netscreen  vpn 
december 2015 by jm
The Moral Failure of Computer Scientists - The Atlantic
Phillip Rogaway, a professor of CS at UC Davis, contends that computer scientists should stand up against the construction of surveillance states built using their work:
Waddell: In your paper, you compare the debate over nuclear science in the 1950s to the current debate over cryptography. Nuclear weapons are one of the most obvious threats to humanity today — do you think surveillance presents a similar type of danger?

Rogaway: I do. It’s of a different nature, obviously. The threat is more indirect and more subtle. So with nuclear warfare, there was this visually compelling and frightening risk of going up in a mushroom cloud. And with the transition to a state of total surveillance, what we have is just the slow forfeiture of democracy.
ethics  cryptography  crypto  surveillance  politics  phillip-rogaway  morals  speaking-out  government 
december 2015 by jm
Senior Anglo bondholders revealed in department note
In case you were wondering who Ireland's economy was wiped out for:
Among the major holders were a Dutch pension fund, ABP; another Dutch fund, PGGM; LGPI in Finland, which manages local government pensions; and a Swiss public entities pension. A number of major asset managers were also named, including JP Morgan in London; DeKA and ADIG, two German investment managers; and Robeco from the Netherlands. Big insurance companies, including Munich Re, Llmarinen from Finland and German giant Axa were also named, along with big banks such as BNP, SocGen, ING and Deutsche.
bondholders  anglo  economy  ireland  politics  eu  senior-bondholders 
november 2015 by jm
Net neutrality: EU votes in favour of Internet fast lanes and slow lanes | Ars Technica UK
:(
In the end, sheer political fatigue may have played a major part in undermining net neutrality in the EU. However, the battle is not quite over. As Anne Jellema, CEO of the Web Foundation, which was established by Berners-Lee in 2009, notes in her response to today's EU vote: "The European Parliament is essentially tossing a hot potato to the Body of European Regulators, national regulators and the courts, who will have to decide how these spectacularly unclear rules will be implemented. The onus is now on these groups to heed the call of hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens and prevent a two-speed Internet."
eu  net-neutrality  internet  europe  ep  politics 
october 2015 by jm
In China, Your Credit Score Is Now Affected By Your Political Opinions – And Your Friends’ Political Opinions
China just introduced a universal credit score, where everybody is measured as a number between 350 and 950. But this credit score isn’t just affected by how well you manage credit – it also reflects how well your political opinions are in line with Chinese official opinions, and whether your friends’ are, too.


Measuring using online mass surveillance, naturally. This may be the most dystopian thing I've heard in a while....
via:raycorrigan  dystopia  china  privacy  mass-surveillance  politics  credit  credit-score  loans  opinions 
october 2015 by jm
The Agency - NYTimes.com
Russia's troll farms. Ladies and gentlemen -- the future
future  abuse  trolls  russia  trolling  politics  social-media  twitter  facebook 
june 2015 by jm
Soylent, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Life Hacking - CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
Soylent’s not purchased by the Mark Zuckerbergs or the Larry Pages or the other tech aristocrats [...] Rather, it’s been taken up by white-collar workers and students destined for perpetual toil in the digital mills. Their embrace of life hacking represents the internalisation of management practices by the managed themselves.
life-hacks  soylent  food  politics  taylorism  efficiency  capitalism  work  life 
may 2015 by jm
Family in No poster Says YES to Marriage Equality | Amnesty International
Beyond the politics, the risks of stock photo usage are pretty evident too:
"In 2014, as a young family, we did a photo shoot with a photographer friend to get some nice shots for the family album. No money was exchanged – we got nice photos for free, they got nice images for their portfolio. As part of this agreement, we agreed to let them upload them to a stock photo album. We knew that these were available for purchase and we gave permission. Perhaps, naïvely, we imagined that on the off chance that any was ever selected, it might be for a small magazine or website. To confirm, we have not received any money for the photo – then or now, and nor do we expect any.

We were surprised and upset to see that the photo was being used as part of a campaign with which we do not agree. We completely support same-sex marriage, and we believe that same-sex couples’ should of course be able to adopt, as we believe that they are equally able to provide children with much-needed love and care. To suggest otherwise is offensive to us, and to many others."
ssm  ireland  politics  amnesty  stock-photos  ip  rights  photos  campaigns  ads 
may 2015 by jm
I was a Lampedusa refugee. Here’s my story of fleeing Libya – and surviving
'The boy next to me fell to the floor and for a moment I didn’t know if he had fainted or was dead – then I saw that he was covering his eyes so he didn’t have to see the waves any more. A pregnant woman vomited and started screaming. Below deck, people were shouting that they couldn’t breathe, so the men in charge of the boat went down and started beating them. By the time we saw a rescue helicopter, two days after our boat had left Libya with 250 passengers on board, some people were already dead – flung into the sea by the waves, or suffocated downstairs in the dark.'
lampedusa  migration  asylum  europe  fortress-europe  italy  politics  immigration  libya  refugees 
april 2015 by jm
Exclusive: Chopra says ECB's threats to Ireland were 'outrageous' - Independent.ie
The letters urged the then-government to commit to structural reforms and restructuring of the financial sector.
"That is not their job," Mr Chopra said. "Their mandate is to meet inflation. And if you lecture the ECB as to how they might go about that, they talk about their independence.
"But when it comes to lecturing others about fiscal policy or structural policy, they're not at all hesitant. I'm not surprised that the people in Ireland were very upset about these letters from [Jean-Claude] Trichet."
trichet  banking  ireland  politics  ajai-chopra  ecb  history 
april 2015 by jm
Science is in crisis and scientists have lost confidence in Government policy
Excellent op-ed from Dr David McConnell, fellow emeritus of TCD's Smurfit Institute of Genetics: 'Ireland should once again foster, by competition, a good number of experienced, reputable people, of all ages, who have ideas about solving major scientific questions. These people are an essential part of the foundation of our science-based economy and society. Too many of them are no longer eligible for funding by SFI; too few are being appointed by the universities; and fewer PhDs are being awarded. The writing is on the wall.'
science  politics  biotech  tcd  policy  government 
april 2015 by jm
Why are transhumanists such dicks?
Good discussion from a transhumanist forum (via Boing Boing):
"I’ve been around and interviewed quite a lot of self-identified
transhumanists in the last couple of years, and I’ve noticed many of them
express a fairly stark ideology that is at best libertarian, and at worst
Randian. Very much “I want super bionic limbs and screw the rest of the world”.
They tend to brush aside the ethical, environmental, social and political
ramifications of human augmentation so long as they get to have their toys.
There’s also a common expression that if sections of society are harmed by transhumanist
progress, then it is unfortunate but necessary for the greater good (the greater
good often being bestowed primarily upon those endorsing the transhumanism).

That attitude isn’t prevalent on this forum at all – I think
the site tends to attract more practical body-modders than theoretical transhumanists
– but I wondered if anyone else here had experienced the same attitudes in
their own circles? What do you make of it?"
transhumanism  evolution  body-modding  surgery  philosophy  via:boingboing  libertarianism  society  politics 
march 2015 by jm
Cowen went golfing and officials dithered as country burned in 2008 - Independent.ie
Lest we forget, the sheer bullshitting ineptitude of Fianna Fail as they managed to shamble into destroying Ireland's economy in 2008:
Once that nasty bit of business was done, the Cabinet departed en masse for six weeks on their summer holidays, despite the emerging economic and financial tsunami. Cowen and family famously took up residence in a caravan park in Connemara as opposed to his 'official' residence at the Mannin Bay Hotel nearby.
When pressed by our reporter Niamh Horan as to why he was not at his station, he defensively replied: "I don't understand it. First the media have a go at me because I'm taking a holiday with my family and then they come down to see if I'm having a good time!" he exclaimed.
2008  meltdown  ireland  brian-cowen  connemara  politics  history  fianna-fail 
february 2015 by jm
Debunking The Dangerous “If You Have Nothing To Hide, You Have Nothing To Fear”
A great resource bookmark from Falkvinge.
There are at least four good reasons to reject this argument solidly and uncompromisingly: The rules may change, it’s not you who determine if you’re guilty, laws must be broken for society to progress, and privacy is a basic human need.
nsa  politics  privacy  security  surveillance  gchq  rick-falkvinge  society 
january 2015 by jm
Smash the Engine
Jacobin Magazine on the revolutionary political allegory in "Snowpiercer":

'If Snowpiercer had merely told the tale of an oppressed working class rising up to seize power from an evil overlord, it would already have been an improvement over most of the political messages in mainstream cinema. There are all sorts of nice touches in its portrayal of a declining capitalism that can maintain its ideological legitimacy even when it literally has no more bullets in its guns. But the story Bong tells goes beyond that. It’s about the limitations of a revolution which merely takes over the existing social machinery rather than attempting to transcend it. '
dystopia  revolution  snowpiercer  movies  marxism  sf  politics 
january 2015 by jm
Politwoops
'All deleted tweets from politicians'. Great idea
delete  twitter  politics  politicians  ireland  social-media  news 
january 2015 by jm
East of Palo Alto’s Eden
What if Silicon Valley had emerged from a racially integrated community?

Would the technology industry be different? 

Would we?

And what can the technology industry do now to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?


Amazing article -- this is the best thing I've ever read on TechCrunch: the political history of race in Silicon Valley and East Palo Alto.
racism  politics  history  race  silicon-valley  palo-alto  technology  us-politics  via:burritojustice 
january 2015 by jm
Privacy is a key issue for young UK voters
Exactly half [of young UK voters] put online privacy among their main concerns - more than the environment (45%), immigration (43%), tax avoidance (37%) or Britain's future in the EU (34%).
privacy  uk  politics  polls  youth 
december 2014 by jm
Why Ireland must protect privacy of Irish emails and internet usage from surveillance
It’s now over a year since Edward Snowden went public with evidence of mass surveillance and extensive abuses by the NSA, GCHQ and other intelligence agencies. In other countries these revelations prompted parliamentary inquiries, diplomatic representations and legislation. In Ireland the only response was a promise [..] to help extradite Mr Snowden should he land here.
ireland  politics  edward-snowden  extradition  privacy  nsa  gchq  spying  surveillance  tj-mcintyre 
december 2014 by jm
CoreOS is building a container runtime, Rocket
Whoa, trouble at mill in Dockerland!
When Docker was first introduced to us in early 2013, the idea of a “standard container” was striking and immediately attractive: a simple component, a composable unit, that could be used in a variety of systems. The Docker repository included a manifesto of what a standard container should be. This was a rally cry to the industry, and we quickly followed. Brandon Philips, co-founder/CTO of CoreOS, became a top Docker contributor, and now serves on the Docker governance board. CoreOS is one of the most widely used platforms for Docker containers, and ships releases to the community hours after they happen upstream. We thought Docker would become a simple unit that we can all agree on.

Unfortunately, a simple re-usable component is not how things are playing out. Docker now is building tools for launching cloud servers, systems for clustering, and a wide range of functions: building images, running images, uploading, downloading, and eventually even overlay networking, all compiled into one monolithic binary running primarily as root on your server. The standard container manifesto was removed. We should stop talking about Docker containers, and start talking about the Docker Platform. It is not becoming the simple composable building block we had envisioned.
coreos  docker  linux  containers  open-source  politics  rocket 
december 2014 by jm
This Canadian Artist Halted Pipeline Development by Copyrighting His Land as a Work of Art
One of the really important pieces on my land was this white-picket fence. The picket fence is probably 100 yards or less, within 100 yards of where they wanted to build this pipeline. I [plan to] extend it 8 feet every year for the rest of my life and I've been doing that for 25 years. It got me thinking, where does this piece end? Does it end at the actual structure of the fence or the things growing around it, growing through it, that are part of the photography, the documentation of it? I realized at that point that [the fence], and the other sculptures and pieces and incursions and conceptual works, were actually integral to that piece of land and to my practice.

I had not intended for it to be a political piece, it was just a piece, an idea the follow-through of which at some point became poetic, you go, "Wait a minute the fence actually stopped them!" But the fence doesn't actually enclose anything. It's just a straight line. And it's marking something that's actually unmarkable, which is time. And one day it'll be gone, as will I. The land will be changed--but it was just this crazy irony that kicked into play when I was standing there with those oil negotiators.
copyright  art  pipelines  canada  politics  oil  land  conceptual-art  ip 
november 2014 by jm
WWN’S Guide To Abortion In Ireland
"Why are you still reading this? Go to England!"

funny because it's (horribly) true.
abortion  ireland  politics  women  rights  wwn  england  ovaries  rosaries  religion 
august 2014 by jm
Meet Ireland’s first bitcoin politician
Ossian Smyth -- Green Party internet spokesman and representative for communications, energy, and natural resources, with a top wheeze:

“I think it is one of the most transparent ways of receiving donations. No one would know how much money can be donated into a bank account, but with bitcoin anyone can go to the block chain and look at the wallet."

excellent ;)
ossian-smyth  bitcoin  fundraising  greens  politics  ireland  dublin  green-party  internet 
april 2014 by jm
TJ McIntyre on the incredible surveillance of telephone traffic at various Garda stations around the country
The most grave issue is that each recording likely amounted to a serious criminal offence. Under Irish law, the recording of a telephone conversation on a public network without the consent of at least one party to the call amounts to an "interception", a criminal offence carrying a possible term of imprisonment of up to five years. [...] Consequently, unless gardai were notified that their calls might be recorded then a large number of criminal offences are likely to have been committed by and within the Garda Siochana itself.
gubu  surveillance  gardai  ags  tjmcintyre  bugging  tapping  phones  ireland  politics 
march 2014 by jm
FOI is better than tea and biscuits
Good post on the 'FOI costs too much' talking point.
I realise if you’re a councillor, tea and biscuits sounds much more appealing than transparency and being held accountable and actually having to answer to voters, but those things are what you signed up to when you stood for election.
foi  open-data  politics  government  funding 
march 2014 by jm
Hospital records of all NHS patients sold to insurers - Telegraph
The 274-page report describes the NHS Hospital Episode Statistics as a “valuable data source in developing pricing assumptions for 'critical illness’ cover.”
It says that by combining hospital data with socio-economic profiles, experts were able to better calculate the likelihood of conditions, with “amazingly” clear forecasts possible for certain diseases, in particular lung cancer.
Phil Booth, from privacy campaign group medConfidential, said: “The language in the document is extraordinary; this isn’t about patients, this is about exploiting a market. Of course any commercial organisation will focus on making a profit – the question is why is the NHS prepared to hand this data over?”
nhs  privacy  data  insurance  uk  politics  data-protection 
february 2014 by jm
"Hackers" unsubscribed a former Mayor from concerned citizen's emails
"The dog ate my homework, er, I mean, hackers hacked my account."
Former Mayor of Kildare, Cllr. Michael Nolan, has denied a claim he asked a local campaigner to stop e-mailing him. Cllr. Michael Nolan from Newbridge said his site was hacked and wrong e-mails were sent out to a number of people, including Leixlip based campaigner, John Weigel.

Mr. Weigel has been campaigning, along with others, about the danger of electromagnetic radiation to humans and the proximity of communications masts to homes and, in particular schools. He regularly updates local politicians on news items relating to the issue.

Recently, he said that he had received an e-mail from Cllr. Nolan asking to be removed from Mr. Weigel’s e-mail list.

The Leader asked Cllr. Nolan why he had done this. But the Fine Gael councillors said that “his e-mail account was hacked and on one particular day a number of mails a were sent from my account pertaining to be from me.”
dog-ate-my-homework  hackers  funny  kildare  newbridge  fine-gael  michael-nolan  email  politics  ireland  excuses 
february 2014 by jm
Latest Snowden leak: GCHQ spying on Wikileaks users
“How could targeting an entire website’s user base be necessary or proportionate?” says Gus Hosein, executive director of the London-based human rights group Privacy International. “These are innocent people who are turned into suspects based on their reading habits. Surely becoming a target of a state’s intelligence and security apparatus should require more than a mere click on a link.” The agency’s covert targeting of WikiLeaks, Hosein adds, call into question the entire legal rationale underpinning the state’s system of surveillance. “We may be tempted to see GCHQ as a rogue agency, ungoverned in its use of unprecedented powers generated by new technologies,” he says. “But GCHQ’s actions are authorized by [government] ministers. The fact that ministers are ordering the monitoring of political interests of Internet users shows a systemic failure in the rule of law."
gchq  wikileaks  snowden  privacy  spying  surveillance  politics 
february 2014 by jm
Survey results of EU teens using the internet
A lot of unsupervised use:
Just under half of children said they access the internet from their own bedroom on a daily basis with 22pc saying they do so several times a day.
surveys  eu  ireland  politics  filtering  internet  social-media  facebook  children  teens  cyber-bullying 
february 2014 by jm
Opinion: How can we get over ‘Pantigate’?
The fact that RTÉ had agreed to pay damages (€80,000 in total, according to reports yesterday) to the ‘injured parties’, only came to light in an email from the [far-right Catholic lobby group Iona Institute] to its members last Tuesday.
Given the ramifications of the decision to make any kind of payment – regardless of the amount – both for the TV licence payer and those who voice contrarian opinions, the lack of coverage in print media as soon as the Iona email came to light marked a low point for print journalism in Ireland. Aside from a lead story on the damages printed in this paper last Wednesday and ongoing debate online, the media has been glacially slow with commentary and even reportage of the affair.
The debacle has untold ramifications for public life in this country. That many liberal commentators may now baulk at the opportunity to speak and write openly and honestly about homophobia is the most obvious issue here. Most worrying of all, however, is the question that with a referendum on the introduction of gay marriage on the horizon, how can we expect the national broadcaster to facilitate even-handed debate on the subject when they’ve already found themselves cowed before reaching the first hurdle?
homophobia  politics  ireland  libel  dissent  lobbying  defamation  law  gay-marriage  iona-institute  journalism  newspapers 
february 2014 by jm
A network of ‘homes’, where children’s happiness was relentlessly destroyed
Stories of this sort will tumble out to the inquiry over the next 18 months, making it plain that the network of “homes” where children’s happiness had relentlessly, deliberately, systematically been destroyed, this archipelago of Catholic evil, had covered the entire island. These things should be kept in mind when next we hear it said that the social ills of today can be explained by reference to loss of faith in the traditional institutions of moral authority. This is the reverse of the truth and an insult to the victims of an unforgiveable sin.
horror  care-homes  politics  catholicism  religion  ireland  derry  church  abuse  children 
january 2014 by jm
Capabilities of Movements and Affordances of Digital Media: Paradoxes of Empowerment | DMLcentral
Paradoxically, it’s possible that the widespread use of digital tools facilitates capabilities in some domains, such as organization, logistics, and publicity, while simultaneously engendering hindrances to [political] movement impacts on other domains, including those related to policy and electoral spheres.
society  politics  activism  tech  internet  gezi-park  tahrir-square  euromaidan  occupy 
january 2014 by jm
Caught with our Pantis down
The views expressed by [the Iona Institute] – especially in relation to gay people – are very much at odds with the liberal secular society that Ireland has become. Indeed, Rory O’Neill suggested that the only time he experiences homophobia is online or at the hands of Iona and Waters.

When they’re done with that, they can ask why Iona is given so much room in the media. In any other country in the world, an organisation as litigious as Iona would never be asked to participate in anything.
homophobia  ireland  john-waters  iona-institute  politics  catholicism  religion  libel  defamation  rte  the-irish-times 
january 2014 by jm
Stupid Simple Things SF Techies Could Do To Stop Being Hated - Anil Dash
I've seen a lot of hand-wringing from techies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley saying "Why are we so hated?" now that there's been a more vocal contingent of people being critical of their lack of civic responsibility. Is it true that corruption and NIMBYism have kept affordable housing from being built? Sure. Is it true that members of the tech industry do contribute tax dollars to the city? Absolutely. But does that mean techies have done enough? Nope.
anil-dash  politics  society  san-francisco  gentrification  helping  tech  community  housing 
january 2014 by jm
Irish quango allegedly buys fake twitter followers
The Consumers Association of Ireland had a sudden jump from 300 to 3000 Twitter followers, mostly from Latin and South America -- with more followers in Brazil than Ireland. They are now blaming "hacking": http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/consumers-body-denies-buying-3000-twitter-fans-29931196.html
consumers  quangos  ireland  politics  twitter  funny  fake-followers  latin-america  south-america  brazil  social-media  tech 
january 2014 by jm
MP Claire Perry tells UK that worrying about filter overblocking is a "load of cock"
the bottom line appears to be "think of the children" -- in other words, any degree of overblocking is acceptable as long as children cannot access porn:

The debate and letter confuse legal, illegal and potentially harmful content, all of which require very different tactics to deal with. Without a greater commitment to evidence and rational debate, poor policy outcomes will be the likely result. There's a pattern, much the same as the Digital Economy Act, or the Snooper's Charter. Start with moral panic; dismiss evidence; legislate; and finally, watch the policy unravel, either delivering unintended harms, even to children in this case, or simply failing altogether.


See https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/talktalk-wordpress for a well-written exploration of a case of overblocking and its fallout. Talk Talk, one UK ISP, has filters which incorrectly dealt with IWF data and blocked WordPress.com's admin interface, resulting in all blogs there become unusable for their owners for over a week, with seemingly nobody able to diagnose and fix the problem competently.
filtering  overblocking  uk  politics  think-of-the-children  porn  cam  claire-perry  open-rights-group  false-positives  talk-talk  networking  internet  wordpress 
december 2013 by jm
Same Old Stories From Sean Sherlock
Sherlock’s record is spotty at best when it comes to engagement. Setting aside the 80,680 people who were ignored by the minister, he was hostile and counter productive to debate from the beginning, going so far as to threaten to pull out of a public debate because a campaigner against the ['Irish SOPA'] SI would be in attendance. His habit of blocking people online who publicly ask him tough yet legitimate questions has earned him the nickname “Sherblock”.
sean-sherlock  sherblock  labour  ireland  politics  blocking  filtering  internet  freedom  copyright  emi  music  law  piracy  debate  twitter 
december 2013 by jm
'No basis in law' : Gardai probe Ballyphehane group after raid
Freemen wackiness in Cork.
The house of one member of the group was raided by gardaí last week, but it is not thought that any arrests were made, according to an eyewitness. Gardaí broke down the front door of the house.
The group, which appears to be part of the Freemen of the Land movement, which does not recognise the State, has attempted to hold 'trials' in Ballyphehane Community Centre. It attempted to summon HSE staff, gardaí, social workers, solicitors and others to appear to be tried by a self-selected jury earlier this month.
The group handed out documents purporting to be a summons to HSE staff and garda stations, demanding that named people attend a trial by 'éire court' on Tuesday 5 November at 9am “to stand trial for their acts of terrorism against mothers, their offspring and others in our community”, according to the group's literature.
This week the group has begun posting about UCC, saying the college is “a private for profit corporation, and a business partner of and partly owned by Pfizers and Bank of Ireland”. The group suggest that UCC bases its “authority” on Maritime Law. UCC has yet to respond to the group's allegations.
freemen  crazy  cork  politics  ireland  hse  gardai  ucc  law 
november 2013 by jm
Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland
TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime. We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights. The legislation was gutted in 2003 and it is being gutted again. More generally the number of requests from journalists from all news organisations in Ireland will fall as a result of these amendments, and the resulting efforts to shine a light on the administration of the State will certainly deteriorate. And secrecy will prevail.
ireland  politics  foi  information  secrecy  law 
november 2013 by jm
Bruce Schneier On The Feudal Internet And How To Fight It
This is very well-put.
In its early days, there was a lot of talk about the "natural laws of the Internet" and how it would empower the masses, upend traditional power blocks, and spread freedom throughout the world. The international nature of the Internet made a mockery of national laws. Anonymity was easy. Censorship was impossible. Police were clueless about cybercrime. And bigger changes were inevitable. Digital cash would undermine national sovereignty. Citizen journalism would undermine the media, corporate PR, and political parties. Easy copying would destroy the traditional movie and music industries. Web marketing would allow even the smallest companies to compete against corporate giants. It really would be a new world order.
Unfortunately, as we know, that's not how it worked out. Instead, we have seen the rise of the feudal Internet:
Feudal security consolidates power in the hands of the few. These companies [like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc.] act in their own self-interest. They use their relationship with us to increase their profits, sometimes at our expense. They act arbitrarily. They make mistakes. They're deliberately changing social norms. Medieval feudalism gave the lords vast powers over the landless peasants; we’re seeing the same thing on the Internet.
bruce-schneier  politics  internet  feudal-internet  google  apple  microsoft  facebook  government 
october 2013 by jm
New political ideals ravaged by ... politics
Direct Democracy Ireland, the party linked to Freemen-on-the-land and the Christian Solidarity Party, is having a bit of a bumpy ride with party governance it sounds like
ddi  politics  freemen  csp 
october 2013 by jm
The US fears back-door routes into the net because it's building them too | Technology | The Observer
one of the most obvious inferences from the Snowden revelations published by the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica recently is that the NSA has indeed been up to the business of inserting covert back doors in networking and other computing kit.

The reports say that, in addition to undermining all of the mainstream cryptographic software used to protect online commerce, the NSA has been "collaborating with technology companies in the United States and abroad to build entry points into their products". These reports have, needless to say, been strenuously denied by the companies, such as Cisco, that make this networking kit. Perhaps the NSA omitted to tell DARPA what it was up to? In the meantime, I hear that some governments have decided that their embassies should no longer use electronic communications at all, and are returning to employing couriers who travel the world handcuffed to locked dispatch cases. We're back to the future, again.
politics  backdoors  snowden  snooping  networking  cisco  nsa  gchq 
october 2013 by jm
Whatever Happened to "Due Process" ?
Mark Jeftovic is on fire after receiving yet another "take down this domain or else" mail from the City of London police:
We have an obligation to our customers and we are bound by our Registrar Accreditation Agreements not to make arbitrary changes to our customers settings without a valid FOA (Form of Authorization). To supersede that we need a legal basis. To get a legal basis something has to happen in court. [...]

What gets me about all of this is that the largest, most egregious perpetrators of online criminal activity right now are our own governments, spying on their own citizens, illegally wiretapping our own private communications and nobody cares, nobody will answer for it, it's just an out-of-scope conversation that is expected to blend into the overall background malaise of our ever increasing serfdom. If I can't make various governments and law enforcement agencies get warrants or court orders before they crack my private communications then I can at least require a court order before I takedown my own customer.
city-of-london  police  takedowns  politics  mark-jeftovic  easydns  registrars  dns  via:tjmcintyre 
october 2013 by jm
Schneier on Security: Reforming the NSA
Regardless of how we got here, the NSA can't reform itself. Change cannot come from within; it has to come from above. It's the job of government: of Congress, of the courts, and of the president. These are the people who have the ability to investigate how things became so bad, rein in the rogue agency, and establish new systems of transparency, oversight, and accountability.
Any solution we devise will make the NSA less efficient at its eavesdropping job. That's a trade-off we should be willing to make, just as we accept reduced police efficiency caused by requiring warrants for searches and warning suspects that they have the right to an attorney before answering police questions. We do this because we realize that a too-powerful police force is itself a danger, and we need to balance our need for public safety with our aversion of a police state.
nsa  politics  us-politics  surveillance  snooping  society  government  police  public-safety  police-state 
september 2013 by jm
Inside the mind of NSA chief Gen Keith Alexander | Glenn Greenwald
featuring some mental pics of the "Information Dominance Center", the Star Trek bridge which NSA chief Keith Alexander built with taxpayer money
big-brother  nsa  politics  keith-alexander  star-trek  funny  bizarre 
september 2013 by jm
Necessary and Proportionate -- In Which Civil Society is Caught Between a Cop and a Spy
Modern telecommunications technology implied the development of modern telecommunications surveillance, because it moved the scope of action from the physical world (where intelligence, generally seen as part of the military mission, had acted) to the virtual world—including the scope of those actions that could threaten state power. While the public line may have been, as US Secretary of State Henry Stimson said in 1929, “gentlemen do not open each other’s mail”, you can bet that they always did keep a keen eye on the comings and goings of each other’s shipping traffic.

The real reason that surveillance in the context of state intelligence was limited until recently was because it was too expensive, and it was too expensive for everyone. The Westphalian compromise demands equality of agency as tied to territory. As soon as one side gains a significant advantage, the structure of sovereignty itself is threatened at a conceptual level — hence Oppenheimer as the death of any hope of international rule of law. Once surveillance became cheap enough, all states were (and will increasingly be) forced to attempt it at scale, as a reaction to this pernicious efficiency. The US may be ahead of the game now, but Moore’s law and productization will work their magic here.
government  telecoms  snooping  gchq  nsa  surveillance  law  politics  intelligence  spying  internet 
september 2013 by jm
Schneier on Security: Excess Automobile Deaths as a Result of 9/11
The inconvenience of extra passenger screening and added costs at airports after 9/11 cause many short-haul passengers to drive to their destination instead, and, since airline travel is far safer than car travel, this has led to an increase of 500 U.S. traffic fatalities per year. Using DHS-mandated value of statistical life at $6.5 million, this equates to a loss of $3.2 billion per year, or $32 billion over the period 2002 to 2011 (Blalock et al. 2007).
risk  security  death  9-11  politics  screening  dhs  air-travel  driving  road-safety 
september 2013 by jm
Perhaps I'm out of step and Britons just don't think privacy is important | Henry Porter | Comment is free | The Observer
The debate has been stifled in Britain more successfully than anywhere else in the free world and, astonishingly, this has been with the compliance of a media and public that regard their attachment to liberty to be a matter of genetic inheritance. So maybe it is best for me to accept that the BBC, together with most of the newspapers, has moved with society, leaving me behind with a few old privacy-loving codgers, wondering about the cause of this shift in attitudes. Is it simply the fear of terror and paedophiles? Are we so overwhelmed by the power of the surveillance agencies that we feel we can't do anything? Or is it that we have forgotten how precious and rare truly free societies are in history?
privacy  uk  politics  snooping  spies  gchq  society  nsa  henry-porter 
september 2013 by jm
Schneier on Security: The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet
The new Snowden revelations are explosive. Basically, the NSA is able to decrypt most of the Internet. They're doing it primarily by cheating, not by mathematics.
It's joint reporting between the Guardian, the New York Times, and ProPublica.
I have been working with Glenn Greenwald on the Snowden documents, and I have seen a lot of them. These are my two essays on today's revelations.
Remember this: The math is good, but math has no agency. Code has agency, and the code has been subverted.
encryption  communication  government  nsa  security  bruce-schneier  crypto  politics  snooping  gchq  guardian  journalism 
september 2013 by jm
GCHQ tapping at least 14 EU fiber-optic cables
Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) had already revealed in late June that the British had access to the cable TAT-14, which connects Germany with the USA, UK, Denmark, France and the Netherlands. In addition to TAT-14, the other cables that GCHQ has access to include Atlantic Crossing 1, Circe North, Circe South, Flag Atlantic-1, Flag Europa-Asia, SeaMeWe-3 and SeaMeWe-4, Solas, UK France 3, UK Netherlands-14, Ulysses, Yellow and the Pan European Crossing.
sz  germany  cables  fiber-optic  tapping  snooping  tat-14  eu  politics  gchq 
august 2013 by jm
The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet - Bruce Schneier
You, an executive in one of those companies, can fight. You'll probably lose, but you need to take the stand. And you might win. It's time we called the government's actions what it really is: commandeering. Commandeering is a practice we're used to in wartime, where commercial ships are taken for military use, or production lines are converted to military production. But now it's happening in peacetime. Vast swaths of the Internet are being commandeered to support this surveillance state.

If this is happening to your company, do what you can to isolate the actions. Do you have employees with security clearances who can't tell you what they're doing? Cut off all automatic lines of communication with them, and make sure that only specific, required, authorized acts are being taken on behalf of government. Only then can you look your customers and the public in the face and say that you don't know what is going on -- that your company has been commandeered.
nsa  america  politics  privacy  data-protection  data-retention  law  google  microsoft  security  bruce-schneier 
august 2013 by jm
The 1940s origins of Whataboutery
The exchange is indicative of a rhetorical strategy known as 'whataboutism', which occurs when officials implicated in wrongdoing whip out a counter-example of a similar abuse from the accusing country, with the goal of undermining the legitimacy of the criticism itself. (In Latin, this rhetorical defense is called tu quoque, or "you, too.")
history  language  whataboutism  whataboutery  politics  1940s  russia  ussr 
august 2013 by jm
ISPAI Responds to Porn Filtering Debacle
Quite a strong statement:
The issue of access to age-inappropriate content is not a new matter and it is important not to have “knee-jerk” reactions which don’t solve the perceived problem and have major implications for the public’s right to access information in general. Notably the European Commission, as stated by vice-president Nellie Kroes [jm: sic], has come out strongly against blocking of the Internet, seeing it as an important platform for freedom of speech and she intends to “guarantee access without restriction.”  We in Ireland would do well to consider carefully the impact that any rash adoption or attempted copying of UK measures might have here in the light of current and future EU legislation and policy.
ispai  filtering  overblocking  david-cameron  porn  internet  ireland  politics  blocking  web  uk 
july 2013 by jm
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