Domain seizure just got even more scary.

I remember, once upon a time, when it was said by many that the Internet transcended mere political boundries. A user in the United States could chat with another user in France, read breaking news in Japan, and swap code with hackers in Iceland. Those were the times when it cost beaucoup to register your own domain; Network Solutions was the only game in town and you paid through the sinuses to own smartcards.com or energy-efficient-lanters.org. That began to change around 1999 or 2000 and now anybody with a couple of bucks to spare can register a domain …

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The people said "No more!" and the TSA said "Shut your pie holes!"

First, I'd like to give special thanks to I/Oerror who's been keeping a hawk's eye on this. I found a couple of the articles for this post on his Twitter feed during my daily news crawl. I wish I had the time to dedicate to scanning feeds constantly for stuff like this.

I haven't been posting about this for two reasons: first, because hearing that stuff like this is going on within the United States of America to decent people who haven't done anything upsets me greatly. There is simply no reason to mistreat people like this, all it …

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US Legal System puts the kibosh on warrantless seizure of laptops at the border.

For a couple of years now the US Department of Homeland Security has reserved the right to confiscate the laptop computers of US citizens for forensic analysis upon re-entry to the country after traveling abroad. It didn't matter if you were on one of their watchlists (and who isn't these days?), it didn't matter if you'd mouthed off to a security guard, it didn't matter whether or not they had probable cause, they could do it and possibly never return it to you depending on when the got around to going through it and how they felt that morning. It's …

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Dr. Peter Watts was arrested and beaten at the US/Canadian border last Tuesday.

Note: additions are being made after the cut and edits are stricken.

If you're not familiar with the work of Dr. Peter Watts, you really should be. His degrees in marine ecophysiology aside, he is also a sci-fi author of some talent and is best known for releasing his novels under a Creative Commons license in addition to having them published through Tor, among them Starfish and the mind-bending transhumanist novel Blindsight, which will certainly make you reconsider what you think about how you think. His work is well known by the science fiction fandom for taking hard SF in …

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Is No Such Agency now the Network Security Agency?

Earlier this month, George W. Bush authorized a classified government directive that authorizes the National Security Agency to monitor the data networks of other US government agencies as well as monitoring the communications traffic of American citizens and foreign countries. The specifics can't be released due to the security classification but it is known that the US government is very concerned about its information security posture (no jokes, please) and their first remediation step involves understanding what's going on inside their networks. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is charged with coordinating efforts to track down the sources …

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Homeland Security discovers SCADA vulnerabilities.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) protocols are protocols that connect computers to various pieces of machinery, such as automatic valves in water treatment plants, lathes and drills in automated machine shops, and other semi-autonomous hardware in such a way that it acts the way big plants do in the movies. The idea is that you can remotely control various functions of the equipment so that you don't need an engineer on site all the time, they can run things remotely from a computer terminal. There's just one problem: Most SCADA protocols weren't meant to run across the public Net …

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Security theatre this isn't. More like the security Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Without the callbacks from the captive audience because those on stage might decide to shoot you.

A couple of days ago Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing flew into Los Angeles International Airport and was caught up with a large number of her fellow passengers in what could best be described as a game of anti-terrorism freeze tag run by the Department of Homeland Security. It went down a little something like this: Jardin and other travelers walking through a hallway after leaving the plane (probably the covered gantry that leads from the boarding platform into the airport terminal (the so-called …

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Happy "Oh, gods, I have to go back to work?!" day, everyone.

Wait a minute... ex-president Gerald Ford died?!

Lyssa pointed me at an article that brought up something that never occurred to me - how libraries manage the limited amount of space they have for all of their materials. This is to say, they keep track of how often each book is checked out (much easier to do since card catalogues and patron records went digital in the mid 1990's) and if it isn't touched for longer than a certain time, they either throw the books out (dumpster diving at the local library is how I got most of my books when …

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Archive: 20070109

Here's an article just in from the "In other news, fire is hot and water is wet" department: A study shows that studies funded by companies tend to frame the products of those companies in a better light. A three step study of 111 dietetic studies of soda milk, and water was performed in such a way that the groups of researchers were ignorant of the conclusions of the others (the protocol is outlined in the article, it's pretty neat) to determine if the findings of the studies would be helpful or harmful to the bottom line of the organisation …

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