jm + politics   159

Theresa May's Blue Monday -- Fintan O’Toole
Having backed down, May was then peremptorily informed that she was not even allowed to back down. She left her lunch with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to take a phone call from the DUP’s Arlene Foster, who told her that the deal she had just made was unacceptable. May then had to go back in and tell Juncker that she could not agree to what she had just agreed to. It is a scarcely credible position for a once great state to find itself in: its leader does not even have the power to conduct a dignified retreat.
eu  ireland  brexit  uk  theresa-may  dup  politics  ec  fintan-otoole 
6 days ago by jm
Tansplaining
/tanˈspleɪn/ - verb informal - (of a British journalist or political type) explaining Irish history and politics to an Irish person, in a manner regarded as condescending, patronizing, and often incorrect.
politics  lols  funny  tansplaining  black-and-tans  history  uk  brexit  dictionary  neologisms 
14 days ago by jm
UK government planning to require age verification for access to porn
This thread has pointed out the unintentional side effect which I hadn't considered: this database of user auth info and their porn habits will be an incredibly valuable target for foreign governments and hackers, and a single foreign porn company owns the AV service they are potentially planning to use for it.

"if they can't find a way to de-link identities from usage, this is a monumental national security risk and it's beyond insane they're even considering it. "Sorry Prime Minister, Russia now knows what porn every MP, civil servant and clearance holder watches and when, and we don't know how much of it they've given to Wikileaks. In retrospect, having the world's most obvious SIGINT target built in PHP and hosted in the Cayman Islands by an uncleared foreign 25 year old working for a porn company probably wasn't the best idea".'
age  verification  porn  uk  politics  censorship  security  national-security  wikileaks  russia 
14 days ago by jm
IBM urged to avoid working on 'extreme vetting' of U.S. immigrants
ICE wants to use machine learning technology and social media monitoring to determine whether an individual is a “positively contributing member of society,” according to documents published on federal contracting websites. More than 50 civil society groups and more than 50 technical experts sent separate letters on Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security saying the vetting program as described was “tailor-made for discrimination” and contending artificial intelligence was unable to provide the information ICE desired.
civil-rights  politics  usa  trump  ice  ibm  civil-liberties  immigration  discrimination  racism  social-media 
21 days ago by jm
One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end – Mike Monteiro
Twitter, which was conceived and built by a room of privileged white boys (some of them my friends!), never considered the possibility that they were building a bomb. To this day, Jack Dorsey doesn’t realize the size of the bomb he’s sitting on. Or if he does, he believes it’s metaphorical. It’s not. He is utterly unprepared for the burden he’s found himself responsible for.
The power of Oppenheimer-wide destruction is in the hands of entitled men-children, cuddled runts, who aim not to enhance human communication, but to build themselves a digital substitute for physical contact with members of the species who were unlike them. And it should scare you.
politics  twitter  mike-monteiro  history  silicon-valley  trump 
8 weeks ago by jm
Kremlin info-ops measured to have a total reach of 340 million with dark, divisive ads
when the virality and resharing is measured, it's far higher than previously estimated, according to this Washington Post article
virality  news  fake-news  facebook  politics  russia 
9 weeks ago by jm
This Future Looks Familiar: Watching Blade Runner in 2017
I told a lot of people that I was going to watch Blade Runner for the first time, because I know that people have opinions about Blade Runner. All of them gave me a few watery opinions to keep in mind going in—nothing that would spoil me, but things that would help me understand what they assured me would be a Very Strange Film.
None of them told me the right things, though.
culture  movies  film  blade-runner  politics  slavery  replicants 
9 weeks ago by jm
Normietivity: A Review of Angela Nagle's Kill all Normies
Due to a persistent vagueness in targets and refusal to respond to the best arguments presented by those she loosely groups together, Nagle does not provide the thoroughgoing and immanent treatment of the left which would be required to achieve the profound intervention she clearly intended. Nor does she grapple with the difficult implications figures like Greer (with her transphobic campaign against a vulnerable colleague) and Milo (with his direct advocacy for the nativist and carceral state) present for free speech absolutists. And indeed, the blurring their specifically shared transphobia causes for distinguishing between left and right wing social analysis.

In genre terms, Nagle’s writing is best described as travel writing for internet culture. Kill All Normies provides a string of curios and oddities (from neo-nazi cults, to inscrutably gendered teenagers) to an audience expected to find them unfamiliar, and titillating. Nagle attempts to cast herself as an aloof and wry explorer, but at various points her commitments become all too clear. Nagle implicitly casts her reader as the eponymous normies, overlooking those of us who live through lives with transgenders, in the wake of colonialism, despite invisible disabilities (including depression), and all the rest.

This is both a shame and a missed opportunity, because the deadly violence the Alt-Right has proven itself capable of is in urgent need of evaluation, but so too are the very real dysfunctions which afflict the left (both online and IRL). After this book patient, discerning, explanatory, and immanent readings of internet culture remain sorely needed. The best that can be said for Kill All Normies is, as the old meme goes, “An attempt was made.”
angela-nagle  normies  books  reading  transphobia  germaine-greer  milo  alt-right  politics  internet  4chan 
11 weeks ago by jm
Dark forces, Brexit and Irexit
The EU have made it clear, as they have to, that there will be no frictionless borders between the union and the UK. Brexit will be dislocative.  As smaller irish companies start to go to the wall post Brexit expect the calls for “something to be done” to start to include Irexit [an Irish exit from the EU a la Brexit]. But this way madness lies. [...]

we export more in education services than in beverages ; we exportthree times or more manufactured goods than food; we export six times more in chemicals and related; value added by industry or by distribution and transport is more than 10 times that of agriculture. Seeking Irexit on the basis that it would be good for agribusiness is seeking to amputate a hand for a broken finger.
agribusiness  ireland  irexit  brexit  economics  eu  politics 
august 2017 by jm
Ireland's staggering hypocrisy on climate change | Environment | The Guardian
The national climate policy is a greenwash – the country is certain to miss its 2020 emissions target and still handing out drilling licences
guardian  green  greenwashing  ireland  politics  energy  future  climate-change  nmp  oil  fossil-fuels 
july 2017 by jm
Mounir Mahjoub​i​, the 'geek' who saved Macron's campaign: 'We knew we were going to be attacked' | World news | The Guardian
What a great story.

As a child, he was into maths and geometry, the middle child with one sister 10 years older and another 10 years younger. “I heard about this incredible new thing called the internet,” he says, adding how, aged 12, he saw an advert for the Paris science museum where you could try the internet for free. “There were 15 computers and you queued to have an hour free if you bought an entry ticket. I bought an annual pass to the museum and every Saturday and Sunday I’d travel from one side of Paris to the other to get on the internet and see what it was about. I’d go on Yahoo, chat with people on the other side of the world. I didn’t speak great English then so it wasn’t brilliant chat ...”


(via Niall Murphy)
france  mounir-mahjoubi  internet  computers  society  macron  politics  security 
june 2017 by jm
Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election
RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE [GRU] executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.
politics  russia  nsa  leaks  us-politics  cyberattacks  gru  hacking  elections  spear-phishing  phishing  e-voting 
june 2017 by jm
Fireside Chat with Vint Cerf & Marc Andreessen (Google Cloud Next '17) - YouTube
In which Vint Cerf calls for regulatory oversight of software engineering. "It's a serious issue now"
vint-cerf  gcp  regulation  oversight  politics  law  reliability  systems 
may 2017 by jm
Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance

We built the commercial internet by mastering techniques of persuasion and surveillance that we’ve extended to billions of people, including essentially the entire population of the Western democracies. But admitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face. After all, we're good people. We like freedom. How could we have built tools that subvert it?

As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

I contend that there are structural reasons to worry about the role of the tech industry in American political life, and that we have only a brief window of time in which to fix this.
advertising  facebook  google  internet  politics  surveillance  democracy  maciej-ceglowski  talks  morality  machine-learning 
april 2017 by jm
May's Brexit plan is falling apart and the press are talking about Easter eggs
Now the prime minister has embroiled herself in a negotiation in which we are at a disadvantage in terms of time and negotiating capacity. There will of course be no admission from Brexit MPs about this. They fixate on the one prediction economists got wrong - the surprising resilience of consumer spending - while ignoring everything their side was wrong about, like the fall in sterling, the announcement of a second Scottish independence referendum, the threat of a sudden hard border in Ireland or the crisis over Gibraltar.

This is not point scoring. Unless there is a sober assessment of what is going right and wrong on both sides there can be no realistic negotiating posture. We are condemned to keep making the same mistakes again and again and working ourselves into ever-more disadvantageous positions.
eu  politics  brexit  uk  fail  theresa-may 
april 2017 by jm
How Do We Defeat Online Trolls? - The Atlantic
Another challenge is that no matter what solutions people devise to fight trolls, the trolls will fight back. Even among those who are optimistic that the trolls can be beaten back, and that civic discourse will prevail online, there are myriad unknowns ahead.

“Online discourse is new, relative to the history of communication,” said Ryan Sweeney, the director of analytics at Ignite Social Media, in his response to the survey. “Technological evolution has surpassed the evolution of civil discourse. We’ll catch up eventually. I hope. We are in a defining time.”
trolls  trolling  discourse  online  politics 
march 2017 by jm
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 
march 2017 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 
march 2017 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 
february 2017 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 
february 2017 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
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