U.S. researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft   

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WASHINGTON – As the U.S. warned allies around the world that Chinese tech giant Huawei was a security threat, the FBI was making the same point quietly to a Midwestern university.

In an email to the associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, an agent wanted to know if administrators believed Huawei had stolen any intellectual property from the school.

Told no, the agent responded: “I assumed those would be your answers, but I had to ask.”

It was no random query.

The FBI has been reaching out to universities across the country as the U.S. tries to stem what American authorities portray as the wholesale theft of technology and trade secrets by researchers tapped by China. The breadth and intensity of the campaign emerges in emails obtained by The Associated Press through records requests to public universities in 50 states.

Agents have lectured at seminars, briefed administrators in campus meetings and distributed pamphlets with cautionary tales of trade secret theft. In the past two years, they’ve requested emails of two University of Washington researchers, asked Oklahoma State University if it has scientists in specific areas and asked about “possible misuse” of research funds by a University of Colorado Boulder professor, according to the emails.

The emails reveal administrators routinely requesting FBI briefings. But they also show some struggling to balance legitimate national security concerns against their own eagerness to avoid stifling research or tarnishing legitimate scientists. The Justice Department says it appreciates that push-pull and wants only to help separate the relatively few researchers engaged in theft from the majority who are not.

Senior FBI officials told AP they’re not encouraging schools to monitor researchers by nationality but instead to take steps to protect research. They consider the briefings vital since they say universities haven’t historically been as attentive to security as they should be.

“When we go to the universities, what we’re trying to do is highlight the risk to them without discouraging them from welcoming the researchers and students from a country like China,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official.

The threat, officials say, is genuine. A University of Kansas researcher was recently charged with collecting federal grant money while working full-time for a Chinese university, and a Chinese government employee was arrested in a visa fraud scheme allegedly aimed at recruiting U.S. research talent. The Justice Department launched last year an effort called the China Initiative aimed at identifying priority trade secret cases and focusing resources on them.

“Existentially, we look at China as our greatest threat from an intelligence perspective, and they succeeded significantly in the last decade from stealing our best and brightest technology,” said top U.S. counterintelligence official William Evanina.

The most consequential case this year centered not on a university but on Huawei, charged with stealing corporate trade secrets and evading sanctions. The company denies wrongdoing. Several universities including Illinois, which received the FBI email last February, have begun severing ties with Huawei.

But the government’s track record hasn’t been perfect.

Federal prosecutors in 2015 dropped charges against a Temple University professor earlier accused of sending designs for a pocket heater to China. The professor, Xiaoxing Xi, is suing the FBI. “It was totally wrong,” he said, “so I can only speak from my experience that whatever they put out there is not necessarily true.”

Richard Wood, the then-interim provost at the University of New Mexico, conveyed ambivalence in an email to colleagues last year. He wrote that he took seriously the concerns the FBI had identified to him in briefings, but also said “there are real tensions” with the “traditional academic norms regarding the free exchange of scientific knowledge wherever appropriate.”

“I do not think we would be wise to create new ‘policy’ on terrain this complex and fraught with internal trade-offs between legitimate concerns and values without some real dialogue on the matter,” Wood wrote.

FBI officials say they’ve received consistently positive feedback from universities. The emails show administrators at schools including the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Nebraska requesting briefings, training or generally expressing eagerness for cooperation.

Kevin Gamache, chief research security officer for the Texas A&M University system, told the AP that he values his FBI interactions and that it flows in both directions.

“It’s a dialogue that has to be ongoing.”

The vice president for research and economic development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas welcomed the assistance in a city she noted was the “birthplace of atomic testing.

“We have a world-class radiochemistry faculty, our College of Engineering has significant numbers of faculty and students from China, and we have several other issues of concern to me as VPR. In all of these cases, the FBI is always available to help,” the administrator wrote to agents.

More than two dozen universities produced records, including symposium itineraries and a 13-page FBI pamphlet titled “China: The Risk to Academia” that warns that China does “not play by the same rules of academic integrity” as American universities.

Some emails show agents seeking tips or following leads.

“If you have concerns about any faculty or graduate researchers, students, outside vendors … pretty much anything we previously discussed – just reminding you that I am here to help,” one wrote to Iowa State officials in 2017.

In May, an agent sent the University of Washington a records request for two researchers’ emails, seeking references to Chinese-government talent recruitment programs.

Last year, an agent asked Oklahoma State University if it had researchers in encryption research or quantum computing. The University of Colorado received an FBI request about an “internal investigation” into a professor’s “possible misuse” of NIH funds. The school told the AP that it found no misconduct and the professor has resigned.

Though espionage concerns aren’t new, FBI officials report an uptick in targeting of universities and more U.S. government attention too. The FBI says it’s seen some progress from universities, with one official saying schools are more reliably pressing researchers about outside funding sources.

Demers, the Justice Department official, said espionage efforts are “as pervasive, as well-resourced, as ever today.

“It’s a serious problem today on college campuses.”


          

Another Dismal Election   

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Who is it going to be? The pro-corporate, pro-Tar Sands, pro-imperialism, pro-austerity, pro-inequality, pro-etcetera-lots of bad things Liberals?

Or the pro-corporate, pro-Tar Sands, pro-imperialism, pro-austerity, pro-inequality, pro-racist, homophobic, christo-fascist Conservatives?

Or the semi-pro-corporate, pro-Fracking, semi-pro-imperialism, excluded by our electoral system NDP?

Or the pro-corporate, pro-Tar Sands Greens?

Or the racist fuckwads of shit-head Maxime Bernier's Canadian National Socialist Party?

Let's face it; these parties are representative of just how fucked our society is. We're dominated by capitalism, which at its base is an inhuman system. We're a society based upon the theft of Native lands. We're a cultural and economic colony of the USA. (At least English Canada is, culturally.) And, there's a lot of stupid, or ignorant, or both people in this country. Racist, deluded, hypocritical, selfish.

Perhaps all those activists who don't care for electoral politics are right. Perhaps their extra-parliamentary marches, demos, forums, websites, actions, etc., are the way to go. Except for the fact that they've shown themselves to be pretty much useless. Occasionally every party but the Conservatives (and sometimes even the Conservatives) feel obliged to mouth words to make people feel good about them. But does anything ever really change? There are some limits on the depredations of the oligarchy, but will it be enough to stave off the ecological nightmare that is looming over us?

I think we need to articulate a clear, achievable vision for this country. One that speaks to individuals' self-interests while also putting a halt to our more insane, destructive behaviour. And this must be accompanied by a clear plan for how to get there. Everything else is just spinning wheels.



          

Why MacX MediaTrans is the Best iTunes Alternative to Sync iPhone Data?   

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As an iPhone user, you must have definitely encountered various iTunes sync errors while syncing iPhone files such as music, photos, videos, etc. The errors may include data loss, duplication, app crashes, etc. The bulky 4k videos may max out iPhone storage. The HD records and HEIC photos may run into format issues, and other valuable data may be exposed to cyber theft attacks.

MacX

          

It's not as simple as the media tries to portray it   

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Important article at CONSORTIUM NEWS by John Kiriakou.  Here's the opening:



The news is dominated by “the whistleblower,” the CIA officer who reported to the CIA Inspector General (IG) that President Donald Trump may have committed a crime during a conversation with the president of Ukraine.  I’ve been fascinated by the story for a couple of reasons. 
First, as a whistleblower and a former CIA officer, I know what must have been going through the guy’s mind as he was coming to the decision to make a report on the president of the United States.  That is, if he is a real whistleblower. 

If he’s a whistleblower, and not a CIA plant whose task it is to take down the president, then his career is probably over.  Intelligence agencies only pay lip service to whistleblowing. A potential whistleblower is supposed to go through the chain of command as the current whistleblower did.  If an employee has evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public health or public safety, he is supposed to go to the Inspector General.  The IG, then is supposed to go to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).  And when the DNI investigates and finds the complaint credible, he then takes it to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.  That sounds straightforward, but it’s not. 


Check out the whole article.  Grasp that it's not necessarily as simple and straightforward as the media wants to portray it. 

Also read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Few survive THE POLITICIAN."


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, October 2, 2019.  The corruption in the Biden family is a reflection on Joe and in Iraq the security forces attack the protesters.


Starting in the US with the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and starting with the still fading 'front runner' Joe Biden.  War Hawk Joe is the choice of those who would do nothing.  The demands and the needs of people in 2019?  Ignore them, says Joe.  Medicare For All, they don't deserve it.  He's not going to a damn thing.  I would say "except speak a little better than Donald Trump" but Joe can't speak better as we all know.

He certainly can't 'restore ethics' to the White House.  Not with his family.  In recent weeks, a great deal has been rightly made about his niece Caroline Biden.  A few years after she got to walk on assaulting a police officer (if she were African-American, she'd probably been killed in response), Caroline stole over $100,000 by charging -- to a credit card that she had stolen -- purchases at a drug store.  Was the buying drugs?  That's the first question the press should be asking.  As Marcia noted last night, it's doubtful she racked up over $100,000 in charges on toothpaste and tampons.  The second question the press should be asking is what happened to the two men who found Joe's granddaughter's credit card?  When Naomi Biden lost her credit card, two men found it and used it for three purchases.  What sentence did they receive because they charged no where near $100,000.  At least one of those men were African-American.

Most importantly, the press should be asking about the charges.  Caroline was not charged as she should have been.  The press needs to ask why?  Were favors called in?  She was guilty as hell, that's reality.  If a plea deal was made on that case, that needs to be explained.  As it stands, in the state of New York, she should have additional charges the most pertinent being forgery.  There's no way she charged over $100,000 without signing a slip at some point -- a slip with someone else's name since she had stolen the card.  She should have been charged with identity fraud as well.

This was never an issue, for the prosecutors, of can we prove it in court?  The proof was all there, she would have been convicted in court -- and faced a real sentence.  So why did the prosecutors make a deal with her?

People are up in arms over Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, among others, buying their children's way into college.  (As disclosed years ago at THIRD, I know Lori.)  How is Caroline stealing over $100,000 not more appalling?  Don't say, "She's a kid."  No, she wasn't..  She was in her late 20s when that happened, she's over thirty now.

She was allowed to enter a guilty please to two charges.  Why was that allowed?  She'd already assaulted a police officer which, grasp this, is a violent crime.  Who called in favors to get Joe Biden's niece a sweetheart deal that let her admit to fewer charges than she should have been charged with and allowed her to serve no time at all after stealing over $100,000.

Theft and corruption is a pattern with the Biden family.  And, yes, it does reflect on Joe and it should.  Roger Clinton reflected on Bill Clinton, Billy Carter reflected on Jimmy Carter.  In what world do the actions of Caroline Biden, her father James Biden (Joe's brother) and Joe's son Hunter Biden not reflect on Joe?

And let's grasp too that Hunter turns fifty in a few months.  Fifty.  And he's currently got a woman suing him for paternity.  How's Joe going to reassure American families when the reality is that Hunter Biden's not providing for the child that's supposed to be his own?  Even staffers on Joe's campaign have told me it's obvious Hunter's the father of that child.

Family values?  Deadbeat Dad who won't step up to the plate and that's family values?  And Hunter's not a 20-year-old gas pump jockey.  By unethical means, he's earned millions.  And he won't pay child support.

Hunter is unethical and he is the poster boy for "as a Biden" -- remember Joe lying about an incident that didn't happen the way he said it did and swearing that it was true, giving his word "as a Biden."  Hunter's actions (and James and Caroline's actions) say a lot more about what happens "as a Biden."  Patrick Martin (WSWS) notes:

The younger Biden has always been the black sheep of the family, even according to various sympathetic accounts, most of them appearing in publications—The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post—favorable to the Democrats.
The New Yorker piece, at more than 10,000 words by far the longest, published in July, was obviously planted by the Biden campaign for the purpose of venting all the bad news about Hunter Biden as a preemptive measure against anticipated stink bombs from the Trump campaign.
It was prepared through lengthy interviews by reporter Adam Entous with Hunter Biden. And it delivers a lot of bad news about a career devoted apparently to influence-peddling and drug abuse, both on a scale that matches or exceeds that of any dubious relative of any previous president, at least until Donald Trump.
Hunter Biden was hired by MBNA bank in Delaware, fresh out of Yale Law School, and paid a six-figure salary at the age of 26 because his father was a senator from that state and a fervent defender of the bank and credit card industries. MBNA was then the largest US issuer of credit cards.
He then moved to Washington to take a position in the last years of the Clinton administration. Once the Republicans came to power with the George W. Bush administration, in 2001, he became a lobbyist, helping Jesuit Catholic colleges insert earmarks into congressional appropriations bills.
When earmarks became more difficult to obtain, and after losing money in a speculative venture on the eve of the 2007-2008 financial crash, Biden formed a “consulting” group with Christopher Heinz, stepson of Senator John Kerry and an heir to the Heinz fortune, and a Yale friend of Heinz’s, Devon Archer.
Inevitably, after his father’s election as vice president, given a prominent international role in the Obama-Biden administration, Hunter Biden’s consulting firm branched out into global deal-making, focusing on countries where influence-peddling would be most lucrative and actual business credentials least necessary, among others, China and Ukraine.
In China, the younger Biden traveled on Air Force Two in 2013 with his father, who was making an official trip to Beijing. In the course of this, Hunter Biden introduced a Chinese business partner, Jonathan Li, to the vice president. He left China with promises of future investments, although not with the $1.5 billion that Trump now falsely claims. According to Hunter Biden’s attorney, no money has yet flowed from that particular connection.
Another Chinese business prospect gave Hunter Biden a diamond worth either $80,000 (according to his ex-wife’s divorce suit) or $10,000, according to Biden’s response to the suit, but in any case, much beyond the normal range of business gratuities.
But Ukraine is where Hunter Biden has apparently cashed in most extensively, trading on his father’s name and position. In 2013-2014, a right-wing populist movement backed by the CIA and the German government gained the upper hand in an internal power struggle within the Ukraine capitalist class.
The Maidan “revolution” was actually a right-wing coup, spearheaded by outright fascist forces, some of whom marched under Nazi insignias, against the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was aligned with the Russian government of Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine has been a “wild west” for the operations of foreign intelligence services and capitalist oligarchs at least since the so-called Orange Revolution of 2004, the first successful effort by Washington to bring to power a US-backed regime in one of the major countries emerging from the breakup of the Soviet Union.


Joe Biden trots out his dead family members every chance he gets.  He's been married to Jill, for example, for decades.  But he can't stop trying to get sympathy for losing his first wife.  Apparently, he also trots the dead members out constantly becuase the living ones are so damn corrupt.

I believe it was Elizabeth Edwards, in the fall of 2007, who suggested to the press that if Hillary couldn't even handle her family how was she up to the job of president?  At best, Joe has just looked the other way as unethical deals have been made by his family members who used access to him to rake in millions.  At worst?  Joe may have been an active participant.

He's stated he never spoke to Hunter about the Ukraine deal.  Hunter told THE NEW YORKER that they had one conversation.  But let's again note this Tweet about a photo that was unearthed this week.



BREAKING: After Joe Biden claimed that he never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings with him, A photo surfaced, from 2014, showing the former VP and his son golfing with a board member of the Ukrainian company that paid Hunter Biden $50k a month. This. Is. Corruption.
 
 


Senator Bernie Sanders is also seeking the party's presidential nomination.


Bernie Sanders IS the front runner in every real life measure... 🔥donations 🔥donors 🔥volunteers 🔥number of visits to webpage 🔥mentions & followers on social media Funny how the media give him so much less coverage & act like he is a loser. Can’t wait for real life voters.
 
 




BernieSanders: RT tylerevansokay: We know BernieSanders will fight for the working class as president — because he always has.
0:47
 
 



Yesterday's snapshot noted the protest that were just starting to take place in Baghdad (and elsewhere in Iraq).  Last night, Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) noted:

Protests across Iraq have left at least 10 dead and 286 wounded. The injured included 40 security personnel. The fatalities occurred in Baghdad and Nasariya. At least 11 people were arrested in Basra. The Iraqi government blamed “groups of riot inciters” for the violence.
At least 1,000 people gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where much of the violence took place; the trigger may have been an attempt to enter the Green Zone. This is largest gathering since Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi took power last year. Security personnel at some point had turned to live ammunition to disperse the crowds. Demonstrations were also reported in Basra, Dhi Qar, Diwaniya, Karbala, Najaf, Nasariya and Wasit. Use of live ammo to clear protesters was also reported in Nasariya, where a fatality occurred.
Among the complaints are lack of  basic services, rampant corruption, and unequal treatment within the Iraqi Army. Many of the protesters are unemployable college graduates. Riots during the summer of 2018 turned deadly as well. Today, however, the recent removal Iraq’s counterterrorism chief, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi from his post was an added motive to demonstrate; many marchers carried his photo with them.

When it comes to protests, I always have to question Margaret's wording.  The headline, for example, "protest turn violent."  Really?  Now Margaret can rightly question me back (that I'm too sympathetic to protesters) but the protests didn't turn violent, the security response was violent.  For me, her voice is always too passive when Iraqi security attacks the Iraqi people.

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These Foreclosure "Victims" Deserve No Sympathy   

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But a closer look at ACORN's sob stories shows that the prototypical foreclosure "victims" don't deserve an ounce of sympathy -- or a cent of our money.

Earlier this week, ACORN activists broke into a foreclosed home in Baltimore. With a mob cheering and camera crew taping, Baltimore ACORN leader Louis Beverly busted a padlock and jimmied the door open at 315 South Ellwood Ave. The home once belonged to restaurant worker Donna Hanks, who assailed her evil bank for raising her mortgage by $300 and leaving her on the street. "This is our house now," Beverly declared with Hanks by his side at the break-in.

What ACORN didn't tell you: Hanks' house was sold in June 2008 for $192,000. She bought the two-story home in the summer of 2001 for $87,000. At some point during the next five years, she refinanced the original home loan for $270,000. Where did all that money go? (Hint: Think house-sized ATM.)

The property initially went into foreclosure proceedings in the spring of 2006. Hanks soon filed for bankruptcy and agreed to a Chapter 13 plan to pay back her bank and other creditors. In September 2006, the bankruptcy court ordered Hanks' employer to deduct $340/month from her salary to pay down the debt. Hanks did not comply with the legally binding plan. In December 2007, the loan servicer issued a notice of default on nearly $7,000 past due.

While she was reneging on her mortgage IOUs, she somehow managed to collect rent on her basement (for which she was taken to court) and rack up a criminal record on charges of theft and second-degree assault. The house was sold seven months ago after two years of court-negotiated attempts to allow Hanks to dig herself out of her debt hole.

Beverly, who claims to be a foreclosure victim himself, was charged with burglary for the break-in and released. He is literally a housing thug -- having been separately charged with second-degree assault and property destruction earlier this year; battery, assault, handgun possession and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure in 1992; and slapped with a peace order issued against him in 2006.

The Washington Post spotlighted Beverly's and Hanks' activism without following up on their criminal records and financial negligence. The paper also shilled for ubiquitous ACORN foreclosure "victim" Veronica Peterson of Columbia, Md., recycling uncritically her accusation that she had been tricked into buying a $545,000 home by a broker who inflated her income and misrepresented her assets. "These loans were weapons of mass destruction," the single mom of three and home day care provider who couldn't keep up with her mortgage bills told the Post reporter. "They destroyed our credit, our lives, and they blew up in our face."

But a look at court and real estate records exposed the truth. Edward Ericson Jr., a reporter for the independent Baltimore City Paper, discovered that the "victim" -- who took out a full mortgage with no down payment on a house she couldn't afford -- looks more like a predatory borrower. And amazingly, Peterson lived in the home more than year without paying rent or mortgage.

"The online court and land records show that Peterson closed on the house on Nov. 3, 2006, with two loans from Washington Mutual. The main mortgage, for $436,000, had a starting interest rate of 8.5 percent, adjusting in December. ... The second loan, often called a 'piggyback,' totaled $109,000 with an interest rate of 11.25 percent. ... Those two payments together would have totaled $3,386.17 per month. That's before property taxes, upkeep, utilities, etc. Peterson would have to earn at least $50,000 per year just to make her house payments."

The foreclosure was filed in July 2007. "The balance on the main note then was $435,735.86," Ericson reported, plus unpaid interest and late fees -- suggesting she made at most one payment on the house. "Had she made all of her payments, Peterson would have spent about $64,335 so far. Had she rented a similar place, she would have been charged around $2,500 per month -- a total of $47,500 -- since January 2007. Instead, she apparently paid nothing."

Who are the real suckers? Who are the true victims? If only the reporters swallowing their stories were half as diligent about background checks of ACORN thugs as they were with Joe the Plumber.


          

ACORN and Obama: Together Again   

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Trumpets ACORN: "On Feb. 19, ACORN members will launch a new tactic in fighting foreclosures: civil disobedience. Participants in the ACORN Home Savers campaign nationwide will simply refuse to move out of foreclosed homes, or in some cases, will move back in. ACORN homesteaders intend to squat in their homes until a comprehensive, federal solution for people facing foreclosure is put in place."

ACORN's foot soldiers, funded with your tax dollars, will scream, pound their fists, chain themselves to buildings, padlock the doors and engage in illegal behavior until they get what they want. It's a recipe for anarchy. Threatens Baltimore ACORN's Louis Beverly, who calls himself a "Foreclosure Fighter":

"After you've used all your legal options, your last resort is civil disobedience. We're talking about families who have been in their homes 20 or 30 years. People who are assets in the community, who look out for the elderly, who have community associations, and these are the people being kicked out of the community."

We can all sympathize with good folks who can't pay their bills. But as I've said repeatedly in my criticism of the mortgage entitlement mentality embraced by both parties in Washington, home ownership is not a civil right -- and neither is home retention. Artificially propping up the housing market will only result in more of the same costly borrow-spend-panic-repeat cycles that got us into this mess in the first place. Failing corporations need to fail. So do failing home borrowers. This is borrowing from frugal renter Peter to pay profligate Paul's home loan.

Now that's the kind of theft that should be the subject of civil disobedience.

Instead, ACORN offices, funded with your tax dollars, are training teams of "Home Savers" -- described as "people ready and willing to mobilize on short notice to defend the homesteaders against attempts to evict them." Ready, willing and able to mobilize on short notice because they are either unemployed or employed full time as ACORN shakedown artists.

Guess who's encouraging them to defy the law. Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who told them: "Stay in your homes. If the American people, anybody out there is being foreclosed, don't leave." The housing bullies will be assisted by left-wing propaganda documentarians at the Brave New Foundation, headed up by Hollywood lib Robert Greenwald, who will disseminate sob stories to crank up pressure while Obama pushes his housing entitlement plan.

ACORN is targeting the following cities: Tucson, Ariz.; Oakland, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Contra Costa County, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Baltimore, Md.; New York, N.Y.; Houston, Texas; San Mateo County, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Wilmington, Del.; Broward County, Fla.; Boston, Mass.; Flint, Mich.; Detroit, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Raleigh, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Albany, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Dallas, Texas.

ACORN has waited three decades for this moment in the sun. And as Obama promised ACORN members at a forum in December 2007, "We're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We're gonna be having meetings all across the country ... so that you have input into the agenda." The moment is nigh. Prepare for lawlessness.


          

BitLocker™ - The dirty details   

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Originally posted on: http://brustblog.net/archive/2006/07/04/84045.aspx

One of the new security features coming in Windows Vista and Longhorn is the new BitLocker™ Drive Encryption technology. BitLocker™ is designed to help prevent information loss, whether it is by theft or accidental. Information loss is costly to business on several levels, and the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that intellectual property theft cost enterprises $250 billion in 2004.

BitLocker™ Drive Encryption gives you improved data protection on your notebooks, desktops, and servers by providing a transparent user experience that requires little to no interaction on a protected system. BitLocker also prevents the use of another operating system or hacking tool to break file and system protections by preventing the offline viewing of user data and OS files through enhanced data protection and boot validation using TPM v1.2.

For those of you who may not know, TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module. So what's that? TPM is a piece of hardware that is part of the motherboard that:

  • Performs cryptographic functions
    • RSA, SHA-1, RNG
    • Meets encryption export requirements
  • Can create, store, and manage keys
    • Provides a unique Endorsement Key (EK)
    • Provides a unique Storage Root Key (SRK)
  • Performs digital signature operations
  • Holds platform measurements (hashes)
  • Anchors a chain of trust for keys and credentials
  • Protects itself against attacks

So now that you know what a TPM is, why should you use one? A TPM is a hardware implementation of a Root-of-Trust, which can be certified to be tamper resistant. When combined with software, it can protect root secrets better than software alone. A TPM can ensure that keys and secrets are only available for use when the environment is appropriate.

The important thing to know about BitLocker is that it will only encrypt the Windows partition. You also won't be able to dual-boot another operating system on the same partition, different partitions are fine. Any attempts to modify the protected Windows partition will render it unbootable.

To completely protect all of the data on the computer, you will need to use a combination of BitLocker on the Windows partition and Encrypted File System (EFS) on the other partitions. When properly configured, EFS is computationally infeasible to crack.

Even with all of the new security that is provided by BitLocker, it can't stop everything. Some of the areas that BitLocker is helpless to defend against are:

  • Hardware debuggers
  • Online attacks—BitLocker is concerned only with the system’s startup process
  • Post logon attacks
  • Sabotage by administrators
  • Poor security maintenance
  • BIOS reflashing
    • Protection against this can be enabled if you wish

Additional Resources


          

PoS malware infections impacted four restaurant chains in the U.S.   

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Four restaurant chains in the U.S. disclosed payment card theft via PoS malware that took place over the summer. Four restaurant chains in the United States disclosed security breaches that impacted their payment systems over the summers, crooks used PoS malware to steal payment card data of the customers. The restaurant chains are McAlister’s Deli, […]

The post PoS malware infections impacted four restaurant chains in the U.S. appeared first on Security Affairs.


          

Otis the pug is stolen. Otis the pug is found. A homeless man refuses the $15K reward. And then things get weird.   

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Otis the pug is stolen. Otis the pug is found. A homeless man refuses the $15K reward. And then things get weird.

Video footage points to inside job in theft of Otis the pug, a dog with 25K Instagram followers Steve — we’ll call him Steve — sits on the new, two-ton, intentionally uncomfortable stone bench at the 16th Street BART Plaza meant to frustrate homeless sleepers. He takes a drag off his cigarette. The whole world […]

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List of Top 10 Websites for Online Privacy Protection: Be Anonymous   

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The Internet can be a dangerous place these days. Malicious software apps (“malware”), viruses, and phishing scams are growing in number and sophistication. Data breaches and identity theft are becoming commonplace. Even among “reputable” sites, there are ever-multiplying ways that your personal data is being tracked, collected, and stored. The use of your personal data […]

The post List of Top 10 Websites for Online Privacy Protection: Be Anonymous appeared first on .


          

Gerücht: Bully 2 war längere Zeit in Entwicklung, baute aber keine Eigendynamik auf und "verpuffte"   

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Bully 2 (Canis Canem Edit 2) war längere Zeit bei Rockstar Games in Entwicklung, konnte aber trotz Open-World-Prototyp keine Dynamik aufbauen und verpuffte letztendlich, berichtet VGC auf Basis von zwei Insiderquellen. Rockstar Games wollte den Bericht nicht kommentieren.

Demnach haben Rockstar-Mitbegründer Dan Houser und eine Handvoll seiner "vertrauenswürdigsten Entwickler" im Jahr 2008 ein Skript für Bully geschrieben, das die ersten Szenen und einen Überblick über den Rest der Geschichte enthielt. Hauptcharakter war wieder Jimmy (wie im ersten Teil). Auch viele bekannte Charaktere sollten wieder auftauchen. Die Geschichte sollte im Haus des Stiefvaters von Jimmy am Ende eines Schuljahres beginnen, was die letzten Bully-2-Gerüchte des YouTubers SWEGTA untermauert (wir berichteten). Eine zweite Quelle fügte hinzu, dass das Team nie entschieden hätte, wohin die Geschichte mit Jimmy letztendlich führen soll.

Die Konzeptphase von Bully 2 begann irgendwann zwischen der Veröffentlichung von Red Dead Redemption im Mai 2010 und Ende 2013. Ein Team bei Rockstar New England verbrachte zwischen einem Jahr und 18 Monaten damit, das Konzept aufzubauen. Es entstand sogar eine spielbare Version, die als "sehr kleines Stück" des Spiels beschrieben wurde, komplett mit vereinfachtem Open-World-Spielgeschehen. Zum Einsatz kam die Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), die gleichen Engine, die auch für Grand Theft Auto 4 und 5, Max Payne 3 und beide Red-Dead-Redemption-Teile verwendet wird.

Trotz des Fortschritts baute Bully 2 keine Eigendynamik auf und "verpuffte", sagte die Quelle. Im Anschluss daran wurde das Team auf andere Projekte verteilt. "Es existierte. Es war spielbar. Es war bloß eine Schande, dass es nie vom Boden abheben konnte", so wird eine Quelle zitiert. Viele Entwickler, die während des Zeitraums bei Rockstar New England gearbeitet hatten, erwähnen in ihren Lebensläufen übrigens ein "unangekündigtes Spiel".

Ob Rockstar Games weiterhin Pläne für Bully 2 hat, ist aktuell unklar.

          

Cybersecurity: Virtual Crime-Fighting, Real-World Rewards   

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January 27, 2017 This academic year, Piedmont Technical College launched a new cybersecurity program to fill a growing need for this skillset in information and computer technology professions.

This academic year, Piedmont Technical College launched a new cybersecurity program to fill a growing need for this skill set in information and computer technology professions.

“We do a lot of research to stay on the cutting edge,” said Lesley Price, information technology department head. “The new cybersecurity program came out of those efforts. Anyone can look at the news headlines to see the growing need for these skills.”

Students in PTC’s computer technology program can now choose a concentration in cybersecurity. With this new concentration, those students can begin building a foundation for entry-level positions in this emerging field.

The concentration will provide students with the concepts and skills of cybersecurity, including security of systems and infrastructure in business and industry. Students will learn how to protect networks and defend information systems from attack. Students who complete the program will also be prepared to test for a professional certification in the field—Certified Ethical Hacker.

“As an IT professional at any company, you have to know the loopholes,” said Price. “You have to know the backdoors that exist within your company’s technology infrastructure. Our program will show students how to discover and address these vulnerabilities.”

The need for professionals with this skill set is very real. Fraud and identity theft are among the crimes identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as serious issues, and trained experts are needed to track down perpetrators and prevent illegal activities.

Because of the growth in cybercrime, the field of cybersecurity is still evolving right along with technology, generating jobs at a much faster pace than the national average. For instance, employment opportunities for Information Security Analysts are expected to grow by 18 percent over the next decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Because technology spans all industries, being skilled in computer data analysis opens up dozens of career doors beyond the government-related fields you might associate with cybersecurity. The specialized training required for these positions leads to jobs that are not only in demand but high-paying. In fact, the average pay for security analysts in South Carolina is $71,600 according to BLS.

“We have high expectations for our students,” said Price. “We want to graduate the best students, with the right skills to meet the needs of employers in our region. This emphasis on security will help students develop a skill set that would benefit many businesses throughout our state.”

Contact Lesley Price at (864) 941-8746 or visit www.ptc.edu/cyber to learn more.

Abbeville County Edgefield County Greenwood County Laurens County McCormick County Newberry County Program Focus PTC Programs Saluda County Student and Alumni Profiles No
          

Porch pirate theft ring targets Katy-area neighborhood   

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USPS temporarily suspended package delivery service in Seven Meadows subdivision, but they are starting to be delivered again.
        

          

INVESTIGATIONS   

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Do you know who is that person you are talking to? Do you know if you have been a victim of identity theft? Are you aware of possible civil or criminal offenses linked to your background by mistake in the database? WE HAVE THE MOST SOPHISTICATED AND UPDATED SOURCES TO ASSIST YOU IN UNCOVERING ANYTHING RELATED TO THE INDENTITY AND BACKGROUND OF THE PERSON YOU ARE CONNECTING WITH AS WELL AS ANYTHING RELATED TO YOUR IDENTITY SUCH AS POTENTIAL IDENTITY THEFT OR ERRONEOUS INFORMATION IN THE DATABASE... $35.00
          

INVESTIGATIONS   

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Do you know who is that person you are talking to? Do you know if you have been a victim of identity theft? Are you aware of possible civil or criminal offenses linked to your background by mistake in the database? WE HAVE THE MOST SOPHISTICATED AND UPDATED SOURCES TO ASSIST YOU IN UNCOVERING ANYTHING RELATED TO THE INDENTITY AND BACKGROUND OF THE PERSON YOU ARE CONNECTING WITH AS WELL AS ANYTHING RELATED TO YOUR IDENTITY SUCH AS POTENTIAL IDENTITY THEFT OR ERRONEOUS INFORMATION IN THE DATABASE... $35.00
          

WCDO NEWS MONDAY 10-7-19   

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State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a statement regarding criminal charges filed against former Delhi village clerk Michelle Barnes for theft of public funds. Dinapoli said that the charges resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Comptroller’s office and State … Continue reading
          

Good stuff   

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OK, a well written item over at Washington Times. Rise in picnic-basket theft in Maryland prompts first bear hunting in 50 years.
          

Найден способ пройти Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas менее, чем за полчаса   

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#Новости_GTA_San_Andreas #GTA #Новости Новая эра скоростных прохождений GTA SA! Разбираем что, зачем, и как нужно делать.
          

Grand Theft Auto: SAMP скачать 1.08 build 69 на Android   

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Сражайтесь с другими игроками в огромном открытом мире GTA
          

Alpacas 'spooked' as hut stolen in Burghfield raid   

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Alpacas Winnie, Apollo, Conway and Hermes are said to be "spooked" by the theft of their hut.
          

Comment on Identity Theft Prevention by Chad Warner    

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This is worthwhile advice. I use https://annualcreditreport.com to check my credit report 3 times a year; once each with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. I'm surprised how many people still send SSNs and credit card info by email. Email isn't secure; think of it like a postcard that can be read by anyone who can touch it. If you need to transmit sensitive data, use a secure channel.
          

   

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Stop this foolish war on meat! Eating it could help save the planet

Last night, I ate a steak. Very good it was too. A plump, exquisitely marbled slab of sirloin, beautifully seasoned and cooked blushing pink. It had come from Martin Player, a proper Cardiff butcher, who takes his meat, as well as the animal’s welfare, very seriously indeed. Just like any other decent butcher.

Grass-fed, fully traceable and properly hung, it was a paean to not just fine flavour, but first- class farming practice too. Sensible, sustainable agriculture, where the welfare of the animal is every bit as important as its impact upon the environment.

Yet this magnificent piece of beef is no longer mere dinner. Instead it has become a pawn in the gathering war on meat: a hysterical, ill-informed, one-size-fits-all assault that demonises farmers, butchers and consumers alike. A weapon, if you like, of grass destruction.

Take the decision made by the University of Cambridge catering service to remove beef and lamb from its menus to cut food-related carbon emissions. The head of the service, Nick White, claimed this was because ‘sustainability is extremely important to our students and staff’ and scientists have claimed beef and lamb produce most farm greenhouse gasses.

A few weeks back, beef was also banned from the cafeteria of Goldsmiths College in London for the same reason, to ‘drastically’ cut its carbon footprint.

But the concerns are not only environmental. I have little time for witless attacks on vegans or vegetarians but there is undoubtedly a creeping spread of anti-meat militancy. This week it emerged the vice-chairman of the RSPCA – a vegan and co-founder of Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement – was forced to step down after calling on animal rights protesters to shut down Smithfield meat market in London.

Jane Tredgett, 52, was in charge of training activists in ‘non-violent direct action’, while the group has compared its efforts to the struggles faced by Martin Luther King and the Suffragettes. Seriously.

Each week seems to bring a new threat or outrage, with meat-eaters being turned into social pariahs. Michael Mansfield, QC, a man who should know better, last week suggested that eating meat should be made illegal, with offenders thrown into jail. And he’s not alone in his extreme (and publicity-seeking) views.

Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, declared that meat-eaters should be treated like smokers and be made to sit outside restaurants. Because meat is ‘bad for the planet and our health’.

What next? Could meat become illegal, butchers forced to deal black pudding and chipolatas in back alleys and pub loos? Custodial sentences for eating chops? Life for a leg of lamb? Should we be eating meat at all?

The arguments against meat are so widespread, it’s no wonder they seem overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that we must drastically cut our meat consumption to save the planet. We must shift towards ‘healthy and sustainable’ diets ‘based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds’. The EAT-Lancet Commission, set up to look at how the world’s growing population can eat healthy, sustainable food, goes further still. Over three years, 37 scientists came up with the ultimate ‘plant-focused’ diet ‘for planetary health’. They argue this diet, which contains virtually no meat, would ‘transform’ the planet’s future. Under it we’re ‘allowed’ no more than one serving of red meat, a couple of servings of fish and an egg or two. Per week.

It’s an argument that meat is bad, plants are good. But not everything is quite so black and white. Far from it.

Many of the militants’ reasons for ditching meat are, in fact, completely misleading. Because properly farmed meat is not only entirely sustainable, but good for the environment and economy too. We should be celebrating good farming practice, not condemning it. There’s no doubt that there are some completely legitimate concerns about food production. Not all chickens, for example, are raised equally. On the one hand, you have an old-fashioned free-range chicken, allowed to scratch and peck outside. Slow growing, traditional breeds, bred for flavour. On the other, the wretched intensively farmed bird, which is crammed into vast, stinking sheds, with no more space than an A4 sheet of paper. Profit, not welfare, is its producer’s only concern.

The same goes for intensively farmed pigs, raised in cruelly confined squalor. We should be saving our ire and ammunition to rail against this factory farming. The long-term cost of intensively farmed meat is ruinously expensive, both for our health and for the environment. It follows, then, that the best quality meat will always be more expensive than the cheap, imported stuff. British farming standards are among the highest in the world, yet another reason to buy British meat.

And it’s important to recognise that, despite all the hand-wringing about carbon emissions, livestock production can actually be good for the environment.

Grassland absorbs carbon dioxide, reducing the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere. Two-thirds of the UK is still made up of grassland, and it is essential it remains that way to preserve the carbon in the soil. At the moment, traditional grass-fed cattle and sheep, kept at a low density, are helping to maintain that status quo. But if we reduce the demand for these animals in the food chain, then this delicate balance is bound to change.

We’re also reminded frequently about all the methane produced by cows and other ruminants. So doesn’t that damage the environment? There’s an immense difference between the emissions of the grain-fed cattle in American super lots and sustainably farmed, grass-fed British cattle. Patrick Holden, CEO of The Sustainable Food Trust, explains: ‘The methane emissions from those ruminants are offset by the carbon gain in the soil.’

He also points out that, to be useful for agriculture, arable land must go through a ‘fertility building phase’ lasting three or four years which involves it – by necessity – being grazed with animals such as cows and sheep. Lose those animals, the message is, and we lose that ability to keep our farmland versatile and healthy.

Also – and more controversially – does that mean you should eat MORE beef to save the planet?

‘Yes!’ comes the emphatic response from Holden. ‘Traditional grass-fed beef and lamb can help maintain the soil carbon bank.’

For years, I’ve believed the mantra of eat less meat, but eat better. It’s certainly a good starting point. There have already been huge changes to our diets in the past 100 years. At the start of the 20th Century, Holden points out, 80 per cent of our dietary fats came from animal sources, and only 20 per cent from plants. Today, it’s the other way around.

The surprising – and often overlooked – fact is this: the production of many of those plant fats can be just as environmentally unsound as those vast US intensive farming lots. According to Frédéric Leroy, a professor in food science and biotechnology at the VUB university in Brussels, a shift from animal products to ‘plant-based’ scenarios could make things worse.

They may have vast implications that will generate their own sets of serious concerns, including limiting the land’s ability to grow more than one crop, depleting top soil, using more fertilisers, the potential for nutritional deficiencies and the disturbance of ecosystems,’ Prof Leroy argues.

As far as methane emissions are concerned, he continues, they are real but need to be put in perspective. ‘If a Westerner goes vegetarian or vegan, this leads to only about a two to six per cent drop in their carbon footprint, which is far from being the best thing one can do for the planet.’

There are other, far more effective, ways to reduce carbon emissions – by reducing our reliance on air travel, for example.

Farmer and butcher Peter Hannan agrees. ‘Compared to our appetite for air travel alone, my beef farming pales into insignificance.’

What about the rest of us, then; the responsible meat lovers, caught in the scientific and moral crossfire? Is it really necessary for vegan activists to spray fake blood around McDonald’s? Or harangue and bully butchers and farmers – even Waitrose – in real life and on social media?

Of course not. Whatever happened to decency, common sense, and the ability to listen to both sides of a debate? It is possible to eat meat and have the utmost respect for vegans and vegetarians too. In fact, a couple of meat-free days a week is eminently sensible. So buy British, and the best you can afford. Trust in your butcher. And experiment with more unusual cuts too. Eat good meat and save the planet. Now THAT really is a radical idea.

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California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft

This is typical Leftist refusal to look ahead

A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it. They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery. These plots are known as “mass grab and dash” thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway. Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down. Who could possibly have predicted this? (CBS Sacramento)

After searching police reports and arrest records, CBS13 found that while the rate of these grab and dash crimes is on the rise, the rate of arrest is down. We turned to law enforcement and the retail industry for answers. Both blame a California law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”

“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson, Vacaville PD.

He explained these crimes have evolved into more than just shoplifting. It’s organized retail theft and he says it’s happening across the state. Cities like Vacaville, with outlets and shopping centers located near major freeways, tend to be a target for these organized retail crime rings.

Nobody is seriously contesting the numbers. The local and state police organizations blame prop 47. FBI crime data supports the contention. Retail sales organizations have tracked this trend and agree.

This is a trend that’s been building in a number of blue states and now it seems that the petty crime chickens are coming home to roost. The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective. If you crack down on even smaller crimes, you lower crime rates overall.

Sadly, liberal elected officials paint a picture of racism and inequity behind effective law enforcement initiatives. The people committing these thefts frequently end up being young black and Hispanic robbers because they are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This leads to laws like prop 47 hoping to keep more of them out of the “school to prison pipeline.”

But when you make it easier and less risky to steal larger amounts of goods, people will steal more merchandise. Did it really take a rocket scientist to figure this out? California basically incentivized crime and potential criminals answered the call. And since many of them were only getting the equivalent of a parking ticket for stealing 900 dollars worth of goods, police frequently didn’t expend much energy trying to catch them.

The ball’s in your court, California. Do you plan on doing something about this? Or will you essentially just legalize theft and tell the retailers that they’re on their own?

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Once Again, Progressive Anti-Christian Bigotry Carries a Steep Legal Cost

Masterpiece Cakeshop continues to pay religious-liberty dividends.
Last summer, in the days after the Supreme Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop on the narrow grounds that Colorado had violated Jack Phillips’s religious-liberty rights by specifically disparaging his religious beliefs, a bit of a skirmish broke out among conservative lawyers. How important was the ruling? Did it have any lasting precedential effect?

For those who don’t recall, the Supreme Court ruled for Phillips in large part because a commissioner of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission called Phillips’s claim that he enjoyed a religious-freedom right not to be forced to design a custom cake for a gay wedding a “despicable piece of rhetoric.” The commissioner also denigrated religious-liberty arguments as being used to justify slavery and the Holocaust.

While all agreed that it would have been preferable had the court simply ruled that creative professionals could not be required to produce art that conflicted with their sincerely held beliefs, the question was whether Justice Anthony Kennedy’s strong condemnation of anti-religious bigotry would resonate beyond the specific facts of the case. For example, what would happen if, in a different case, state officials called faithful Christians who seek to protect the religious freedom of Catholic adoption agencies “hate-mongers”?

In the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, it turns out that such rhetoric has cost the state a crucial court ruling, granted a Catholic adoption agency a vital victory, and demonstrated — once again — that anti-religious bigotry can (and should) carry substantial legal costs.

The case is called Buck v. Gordon. My friends at Becket represent St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a former foster child, and the adoptive parents of five special-needs kids. The facts are relatively complicated, but here’s the short version: St. Vincent upholds Catholic teaching by referring same-sex and unmarried families who seek foster and adoption recommendations and endorsements to agencies that have no objection to providing those services. There is no evidence that St. Vincent has prevented any legally qualified family from adopting or fostering a child. In fact, same-sex couples “certified through different agencies” have been able to adopt children in St. Vincent’s care.

NOW WATCH: 'Trump's Chinese Tariffs Means It'll Cost Americans $1,000 More a Year Just to Live'

In 2015 the state of Michigan passed a statute specifically designed to protect the religious liberty of private, religious adoption agencies. In 2018, however, Dana Nessel, a Democratic attorney general, took office. During her campaign, she declared that she would not defend the 2015 law in court, stating that its “only purpose” was “discriminatory animus.” She also described proponents of the law as “hate-mongers,” and the court noted that she believed proponents of the law “disliked gay people more than they cared about the constitution.”

Then, in 2019, the attorney general reached a legal settlement in pending litigation with the ACLU that essentially gutted the Michigan law, implementing a definitive requirement that religious agencies provide recommendations and endorsement to same-sex couples and banning referrals. The plaintiffs sued, seeking to enjoin the relevant terms of the settlement, and yesterday Judge Robert Jonker (a Bush appointee) granted their motion for a preliminary injunction.

His reasoning was simple. There was ample evidence from the record that the state of Michigan reversed its policy protecting religious freedom because it was motivated by hostility to the plaintiffs’ faith. Because Michigan’s targeted St. Vincent’s faith, its 2019 settlement agreement couldn’t be truly considered a “neutral” law of “general applicability” that would grant the state a high degree of deference in enforcement.

Instead, the state’s targeting led to strict scrutiny. Here’s Judge Jonker:

Defendant Nessel made St. Vincent’s belief and practice a campaign issue by calling it hate. She made the 2015 statute a campaign issue by contending that the only purpose of the statute is discriminatory animus. After Defendant Nessel took office, the State pivoted 180 degrees. . . . The State also threatened to terminate its contracts with St. Vincent. The Summary Statement’s conclusion – that if an agency accepts even one MDHHS child referral for case management or adoption services, the agency forfeits completely the right to refer new parental applicants to other agencies based on its sincerely held religious beliefs – is at odds with the language of the contracts, with the 2015 law, and with established State practice. Moreover, it actually undermines the State’s stated goals of preventing discriminatory conduct and maximizing available placements for children.

The last point is key. As stated above, there was no evidence that St. Vincent prevented any qualified couple from adopting. In fact, if the state forced St. Vincent’s to choose between upholding the teachings of its faith or maintaining its contractual relationship with the state, then it risked shrinking the available foster or adoption options in the state of Michigan. The state demonstrated that it was more interested in taking punitive action against people of faith than it was in maintaining broader access to foster and adoption services for its most vulnerable citizens.

The judge rightly called the state’s actions a “targeted attack on a sincerely held religious belief.” Once again, Masterpiece Cakeshop pays religious-liberty dividends. Once again, a court declares — in no uncertain terms — that in the conflict between private faith and public bigotry, religious liberty will prevail.

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Australia: Do sharks have a right to eat us?

That seems to be the Queensland Labor government's position

FOR almost 60 years, the State Government's shark control program has been making Queensland beaches safer. The program has been one of very few public policies to have endured for such a time while remaining blessedly free from the foibles of partisan politics.

The reason for this has been simple. Who would dare argue with the results? From 1915 to 1962 there were 36 recorded cases of shark attacks in Queensland. These resulted in 19 deaths. But since the dragnet of baited drumlines was introduced in 1962, there's been only one fatal shark attack at a protected Queensland beach.

Little wonder the program has been gradually expanded. However, the program finally found a naysayer in the shape of fringe environmental group, the Humane Society. And inexplicably, the Federal Court has agreed with the group's view that the drumlines do little to protect swimmers.

How the court came to such a view simply beggars belief. Surely, they only had to look at the statistics of recent attacks in northern NSW where there are no permanent drumlines to realise how effective the Queensland program is? What was required here was a bipartisan approach and a plan to ensure swimmers were protected

The court's decision was clearly out of step with public sentiment and requires the politicians who've supported the program to fix it. Given the long history of bipartisan support, not to mention the implications for. Queensland's tourism industry, you'd like to think it would be a relatively quick fix.

However, what has ensued instead has been an unedifying display of pointless political point scoring that has done nothing but advertise to the world that some of the Sunshine State's most famous northern beaches are less safe now than they were a few weeks ago.

Much of the controversy has centred around the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' decision to remove 160 drumlines from within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The court's decision only related to the marine park zone and that's why the department only removed drumlines in this area.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has been particularly vocal. She's accused the Palaszczuk Government of choosing "public alarm over personal safety" by removing the drumlines when the court only said caught sharks should not be killed.

"Queensland should reinstate the existing drum lines, while increasing surveillance and exploring modern complementary technologies such as drones, smart drum lines and tags," she said.

There's ample reason for Ley to be sceptical about the Palaszczuk Government's motives in ordering the removal of the drumlines within hours of the court ruling. After all, the administration isn't exactly known for doing anything at pace.

And the States handling of last year's Cid Harbour shark attacks —when it first said drumlines were the answer but then recanted and claimed all it could do was erect signs instead — hardly inspired confidence.

However, what on Earth is Ley suggesting when she says the State Government should just drop the drumlines back in and increase surveillance? Is she saying to hell with what the court has ordered? Or does Ley reckon fisheries officers should just harden up and start arming themselves with a decent set of pliers so they can simply release the sharks?

It might be news to the minister but these officers are dealing with marine life a bit bigger than the cod they catch in the Murray River in her electorate. In fact, cutting a cranky 4m tiger shark loose from a hook is nearly as dangerous as getting between Ley and a bargain Gold Coast apartment buy, something she's somewhat famed for.

Yet, while Ley is happily ordering fisheries officers back into the water, the Morrison Government hasn't come up with a timeline for a legislative fix to what the court has ordered.

The LNP Opposition might be right when they say SMART drumlines, where sharks are caught and released,should be considered as temporary solution. However, it would take time to train officers and whether that's worthwhile depends primarily on how long it's going to take their federal colleagues to come up with a legislative answer.

Dropping in new drumlines at 17 locations just outside the marine park was a prudent move by the State but that still leaves 27 beaches no longer with protection.

However, what wasn't needed was State Fisheries Minister Mark Furner's ham-fisted suggestion that Ley would be blamed if there was an attack.

While the politicians squabble, the reputation of Queensland beaches is taking a further battering, the last thing the tourism industry needs after those terrible Cid Harbour attacks.

From the start, what was required here was a bipartisan approach and a plan to ensure swimmers were protected by drumlines again as soon as practical. Instead what happened was the political sharks began circling as soon as they saw an opportunity for a cheap feed.

"Courier Mail" 27 Sept. 2019

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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How to Stay Safe Against DNS-Based Attacks   

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The Domain Name System (DNS) plays an essential role in resolving IP addresses and hostnames. For organizations, it ensures that users reach the proper sites, servers, and applications. While it's a fundamental base for a functioning Web, the problem is that this system can easily be abused.

Attackers often prey on the DNS's weaknesses to point would-be site visitors to specially crafted malicious pages instead of the ones they wish to land on. For that reason, companies need to adopt specific countermeasures if they wish to ensure the safety of their site frequenters.

While larger enterprises have begun protecting their DNS infrastructure by gathering relevant threat intelligence, enforcing security policies, and automating redundant tasks, and so on, smaller ones have yet to follow.

To look closer at these points, this post tackles the growth of DNS-based attacks over time and how organizations can protect relevant stakeholders against them with actionable recommendations.

DNS-Based Attacks: Volume Increases Annually

What are we really up against? A 2019 DNS threat report shows an increase in the number of DNS attacks as well as the damage they caused in the past year. Here are a few of the relevant statistics presented:

  • More than 80% of the organizations surveyed said they suffered from a DNS attack.
  • The costs incurred due to these breaches rose by 49%; with an average cost per attack above US$1M.
  • The most targeted sector was financial services; the media and telecommunications sector, meanwhile, was most affected by brand damage; government agencies, on the other hand, suffered most from the theft of sensitive data.

Organizations victims of DNS-based attacks often only take a reactive stand to incidents. As part of this, companies may need to shut down affected processes and applications.

Of course, slowing down or even stopping operations isn't a solution. Instead, the surveyed organizations cited the following approaches to deal with DNS-based threats:

  • 64% use DNS analytics solutions to identify compromised devices.
  • 35% work with both internal threat intelligence and internal analytics on DNS traffic.
  • 53% consider machine learning (ML) useful to pinpoint malicious domains.

Counteracting DNS-Based Attacks

A proactive approach to DNS security is a must-have. Ideally, operations need to implement zero-trust initiatives — monitor internal and external traffic, label all activity that is untrustworthy by default in real-time, etc. Additionally, some helpful immediate actions organizations can take to prevent DNS attacks include:

  • Gather and analyze internal threat intelligence: The primary goal of this task is to safeguard an organization's data and services. Apps and platforms designed to perform real-time DNS analysis can help detect and prevent a wide variety of attack attempts. Reverse MX and reverse NS APIs can be integrated into these systems to uncover domains that are associated with certain threat actors or groups.
  • Configure their DNS infrastructure to adhere to security requirements: Companies can combine DNS security with IP address management (IPAM) to automate security policy management. Apart from that, both systems can ensure that all policies are regularly updated, follow a uniform format, and are easy to audit.
  • Enable DNS traffic visibility across the entire network to accelerate security operations center (SOC) remediation: Using third-party data feeds and APIs as additional threat intelligence sources allow for real-time behavioral threat detection that bolsters the capabilities of security information and event management (SIEM) software and unified threat management (UTM) appliances.

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The increase in DNS attack volume and sophistication has shed more light on the importance of fortifying organizations' DNS infrastructure. Without securing the DNS system, which we have written extensively in this primer, no amount of security solution or policy implementation can effectively defend networks against related threats.


          

At just $99, this is the best deal we’ve ever seen on a Ring Video Doorbell 2 bundle   

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Holy cow, we just stumbled upon the best deal we've ever seen on a Ring Video Doorbell 2. Heck, this might be the best deal we've ever seen on any Ring doorbell! Hurry over to Amazon and you'll find a bundle with the Certified Refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2 + Certified Refurbished Ring Chime available for just $99. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 normally costs $200 and the Chime is another $30, so this deal is absolutely nuts! There are a few other deals on Ring Doorbells available today as well, and you'll find them all listed below.

Certified Refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2 + Certified Refurbished Ring Chime

  • A Certified Refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Certified Refurbished Ring Chime are refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new and come with the same limited warranty as a new device.
  • This bundle includes Certified Refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Certified Refurbished Ring Chime.
  • Connect your Ring doorbell with Alexa then enable announcements to be alerted when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. Talk to visitors through compatible Echo devices by saying “Alexa, talk to the front door”.
  • Lets you check-in on your property at anytime with Live View on-demand video.
  • Ring Video Doorbell 2 includes Lifetime Theft Protection: If your Doorbell gets stolen, we’ll replace it for free.
  • Plug Ring Chime into any standard power outlet, and get instant alerts anywhere in your home.
  • Plug Ring Chime and play: Plug it in, connect it to your Wi-Fi network and link it to your Ring devices. It’s that easy.

Certified Refurbished Ring Video Doorbell Pro

  • A Certified Refurbished Video Doorbell Pro is refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new
  • Works with Alexa to illuminate and send announcements to Echo devices when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected, allowing you to hear and speak to visitors with two-way talk.
  • Lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet and PC.
  • Sends alerts as soon as motion is detected or when visitors press the Doorbell.
  • Requires hardwired installation to existing doorbell wires. Compatible with ios, android, mac and windows 10 devices.
  • Monitors your home in 1080HD video with infrared night vision.
  • Lets you check-in on your property at anytime with Live View on-demand video. Connectivity - 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. Wi-Fi Speeds - Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2Mbps is recommended for optimal performance.
  • Includes Lifetime Theft Protection: If your Doorbell gets stolen, we’ll replace it for free

Ring Video Doorbell 2 with Free Echo Show 5

  • This bundle contains Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Echo Show 5.
  • Connect your Ring doorbell with Alexa then enable announcements to be alerted when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. Talk to visitors through compatible Echo devices by saying “Alexa, talk to the front door”.
  • Lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet, and PC.
  • Sends alerts as soon as motion is detected or when visitors press the Doorbell.
  • Powered by the rechargeable battery pack or connects to doorbell wires for a constant charge.
  • Lets you check-in on your property at anytime with Live View on-demand video.
  • Includes Lifetime Theft Protection: If your Doorbell gets stolen, we’ll replace it for free.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro with Free Echo Show 5

  • This bundle includes Echo Show 5 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro
  • Connect your Ring doorbell with Alexa then enable announcements to be alerted when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. Talk to visitors through compatible Echo devices by saying “Alexa, talk to the front door”.
  • Lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet, and PC
  • Sends alerts as soon as motion is detected or when visitors press the Doorbell
  • Requires hardwired installation to existing doorbell wires. Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10 devices
  • Monitors your home in 1080HD video with infrared night vision
  • Lets you check-in on your property at anytime with Live View on-demand video. Connectivity - 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. Wi-Fi Speeds - Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2Mbps is recommended for optimal performance
  • Includes Lifetime Theft Protection: If your Doorbell gets stolen, we’ll replace it for free

          

Homeless man caught breaking into a vehicle in Victorville   

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Police arrested a 28-year old transient, identified as Victor Hugo Gonzales, for vehicle theft and possession of burglary tools. It happened on October 3, 2019, at about 9:15 pm in the 15400 block of La Paz Drive in Victorville. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Mara Rodriguez said the owner of the vehicle spotted the …

The post Homeless man caught breaking into a vehicle in Victorville appeared first on Victor Valley News Group | VVNG.com.


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