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Gender: Female
Hometown: Southern California
Current location: Orbiting
Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 02:02 PM
Number of posts: 4,299

Journal Archives

Meanwhile...Amid NSA Outrage, Big Tech Companies Plan to Track You Even More Aggressively

“Users did not have much control in the cookie era,” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington. “But the problem is about to get much worse — tracking techniques will become more deeply embedded and a much smaller number of companies will control advertising data.”

Rotenberg says potential NSA use of the next-generation tracking data is all the more reason to move away from behavioral tracking. And he points out that there’s already evidence that ad data could have been used by government spies. NSA documents published by the Guardian earlier this month appear to postulate that cookies set by the pervasive Google-owned ad network DoubleClick could be used to spot internet users who also use the Tor anonymity system.

The NSA Tor attack could only work on people who made mistakes using what is otherwise a strong system. But yesterday, Ad Age reported that Microsoft is developing a system that has intimate tracking at its core, following people as they hop from the web to apps and from PCs to tablets to phones to videogame consoles. By shoving aside cookies for an unspecified new identification technology built into devices at a lower level, Microsoft and its authorized partners would gain detailed tracking ability — though the report also says that the system could lock out non-authorized parties, who are harder to exclude from the data flow in cookie-based tracking.

That may sound like a good thing, but keep in mind that Snowden’s documents indicate that the NSA has previously helped itself to big company data, with authorization or without.


Here come the extremes

Paul Song, executive chairman of the Courage Campaign, an advocacy organization that supported the gun bills, said in a telephone interview that Brown appeared to be trying to defuse a possible campaign issue as he runs for re-election next year. The organization later released a much stronger statement accusing the governor of "cowardly behavior" and saying he "will have blood on his hands."

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said gun owners' rights groups will consider mounting recall campaigns or election-year challenges against Democratic lawmakers who voted for the gun bills. Final votes on the legislation occurred last month, just as two Colorado state lawmakers were recalled for supporting tougher gun laws in that state.

Paredes predicted lawsuits challenging bills that require safe storage of handguns, Skinner's high-capacity magazine bill, and legislation requiring that buyers of rifles and shotguns pass a safety test.

Still, he said, "We were only shot in the heart six times instead of 12 times, and I guess we should be happy with that."

History repeats: United States federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996

On November 14, major portions of the federal government suspended operations.[4] The Clinton administration later released figures detailing the costs of the shutdown, which included payments of approximately $400 million to furloughed federal employees who did not report to work.[6]

The first budget shutdown concluded with Congress enacting a temporary spending bill, but the underlying disagreement between Gingrich and Clinton was not resolved, leading to the second shutdown.

A 2010 Congressional Research Service report summarized other details of the 1995-1996 government shutdowns, indicating the shutdown impacted all sectors of the economy. Health and welfare services for military veterans were curtailed; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped disease surveillance; new clinical research patients were not accepted at the National Institutes of Health; and toxic waste clean-up work at 609 sites was halted. Other impacts included: the closure of 368 National Park sites resulted in the loss of some seven million visitors; 200,000 applications for passports and 20,000 to 30,000 applications for visas by foreigners went unprocessed each day; U.S. tourism and airline industries incurred millions of dollars in losses; more than 20% of federal contracts, representing $3.7 billion in spending, were affected adversely.[7]


Help Put the Message of Marijuana Legalization Before Millions with a NORML Super Bowl Ad

Intuit Quickbooks is currently running a contest, with the grand prize being a professionally produced ad run during the big game this year. The first round of the contest is public voting and we are pleased to say NORML, after just a few short days, has skyrocketed to the #6 most popular submission.

Together, we the people, are ending America's war on pot. With the last election and with the recent announcement from the attorney general in Washington DC, we are beautifully positioned to make sure a responsible, adult American citizen is never again arrested for the use of recreational marijuana.

But this doesn't just happen. Please take a moment of your time to support our campaign to bring the message of legalization to the masses during the most watched TV program of the year.

The voting process is simple. Click the link below and you will be taken to NORML's entry. Click "Vote for Us" and you're done (no login, no Facebook connect). Then share with your family and friends via your social media pages. Don't forget that you can vote once a day. Together we can make marijuana legalization a topic of conversation at every game watching party across the country!

If you vote, we will win.

Click here to vote

The NORML Team
via email

Legislation to Restrict Use of E-Cigarettes and Smokeless Vaporizers Withdrawn

Sponsors have withdrawn legislation that would have banned the use of e-cigarettes and similar smokeless vaporizers in areas where tobacco smoking is banned (SB 648 - Sen. Corbett). The measure will receive no further action during this legislative session. It remains possible for a revised version of this legislation to be introduced next year.


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Rarely Seen Maps From San Francisco’s Quirkiest Hidden Library

San Francisco, 1980

During the Cold War, both the U.S. and Soviet Union actively mapped the world, covering allies and foes alike. Rick says this map appears to be adapted from U.S. government topographic maps, such as those made by the USGS. But it was out of date even in 1980. Bay Area residents will note that Interstate 280 has some patchy spots about halfway up the peninsula, and there's no sign of BART, which began operation in 1972. Then again, it's hard enough to get your bike on BART, let alone launch an invasion.


Assembly Considering Legislation to Restrict Use of E-Cigarettes and Smokeless Vaporizer

CAL Legislative Alert - Oppose Bill To Ban Vaporizers In Non-Smoking Areas (SB 648)

A bill that would ban smokeless e-cigarettes and vaporizers in non-smoking areas will be heard by the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee on Aug. 14th (SB 648-Corbett). Scientific studies have shown that vaporizers provide valuable "harm reduction" benefits to medical marijuana patients and eliminate second-hand smoking hazards. SB 648 would make it impossible for patients to vaporize in most public or private rental spaces, conference rooms, restaurants, hotels, etc., and would encourage local governments and landlords to include vaporizers in anti-smoking rules covering private apartments and multi-unit dwellings. Tell the legislature that restricting vaporizers is harmful to consumer health.

via email
California NORML
2261 Market St. #278A, San Francisco CA 94114

NSA Blowback: German Minister Floats US Company Ban

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger on Monday called for new EU rules on data protection and a ban on American companies that violate them.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also raised corporate accountability in July, when he suggested requiring European firms to report any data they hand over to foreign countries. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who is running for reelection in September as part of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, did not further specify which kinds of penalties she would like American companies to face, though it seems unlikely that Europe would completely ban companies like Google, which dominate the online search market, or Facebook from doing business. Both of those companies were implicated in the documents leaked by former intelligence worker Edward Snowden
It is the latest development in a German election season that has come to be dominated by online privacy issues. Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced widespread criticism from the opposition for her handling of the NSA scandal and Peer Steinbrück, the Chancellor candidate of the opposition SPD party, recently told German television channel ZDF that Merkel should demand written assurances from the Americans they will respect German laws and interests and not engage in industrial espionage.

In another interview with Die Welt, former German High Court Justice Hans-Jürgen Papier defended the current government in its handling of the privacy debate. The state has a "basic responsibility to protect its citizens from the attacks of foreign powers," he said, but it "can only be responsible for doing things that it has the legal power, and is able, to do." It is increasingly easy, he said, for countries to impinge on the freedoms of the citizens of other countries, and those who are spied on have little recourse to defend themselves. In response, Papier called for a new global agreement on data protection.


Snowden's Wake: German Firms Scramble to Boost Data Protection



World from Berlin: 'Snowden Had No Other Choice'

The Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, the largest newspaper in the populous Ruhr region of North Rhine-Westphalia, writes:

"Snowden is out of the intermediate world of the Moscow airport and has now entered Russia. Russia of all places, a country that is anything but a flawless democracy. A country in which a former intelligence agent rules the country with an iron fist. But to blame the whistleblower for all this would either be malicious or naïve. Snowden had no other choice."

"Go back to the States? The fate of WikiLeaks informant Bradley Manning shows what happens to people there who uncover government misconduct. Not a single country that could claim to be democratically flawless offered Snowden asylum."

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