1. The tech press is fond of noting that the SEA has used relatively primitive techniques to execute high-profile hacks. Some experienced hackers and security analysts have called their attacks downright amateur, as some of the group’s Twitter takeovers are the result of old phishing attacks. And they’ve also inadvertently left a digital paper trail that may reveal the identities of their highest profile members.
- Is This the Leader of the Syrian Electronic Army? (Updated)| Motherboard
(via new-aesthetic)

    The tech press is fond of noting that the SEA has used relatively primitive techniques to execute high-profile hacks. Some experienced hackers and security analysts have called their attacks downright amateur, as some of the group’s Twitter takeovers are the result of old phishing attacks. And they’ve also inadvertently left a digital paper trail that may reveal the identities of their highest profile members.

    - Is This the Leader of the Syrian Electronic Army? (Updated)| Motherboard

    (via new-aesthetic)

  2. The Sovereign Double-Standard →

    "American foreign policy is full of double standards. But if we observe the hypocrisy of our leaders and statesmen and are scandalized by it—if we look at the Clintons’ personal friendship with Mubarak, John Kerry lunching with the Assads, Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein—then we actually misunderstand what “foreign policy” is and does and is for. A double standard is only a scandal if we aspire to and demand consistency and even-handedness, if we believe that we are governed by and follow a regime of impartial laws and order, applying in its majestic equality to the weak and strong alike. But if American foreign policy is anything, it is not even-handed and impartial, and international law is the least of its concerns. It is selfish, interested, aggressive, petty, and vindictive. It is a state arrogating to itself the right to make arbitrary choices, to make the rules while other countries only follow them. And to prove that distinction—to demonstrate that while the US and its allies can behave according to one standard, other nations can be stripped of that privilege, at will—the US must not only establish “red lines,” and enforce them, but it is the very arbitrary nature of those red lines which allows them to function as signs on the international stage. Lawlessness is how a state proves itself sovereign; submission to law is the sign of the weak.

    - Aaron Bady

  3. NSA and GCHQ: the flawed psychology of government mass surveillance →

    Chris Chambers: Research shows that indiscriminate monitoring fosters distrust, conformity and mediocrity

  4. Four fears for authoritarians →

    "1) Fear of a strong, independent, determined press; 2) Fear that people will learn what they’re doing; 3) Fear that people are hiding things from them; 4) Fear that people can learn too much" - Paul Bernal

  5. Killing the messengers - Gary Webb, Glenn Greenwald, and the Intelligence Community →

    "Dark Alliance", Gary Web’s investigation of the 80’s crack epidemic and its connection to CIA-funded secret wars in Nicuragua, is being made into a movie (the article is largely about Glenn Greenwald): 

  6. How Many Wars Is the US Fighting Today? →

    The US has withdrawn from Iraq and is planning to do likewise from Afghanistan in 2014. This article argues that the US has been fighting at least 5 wars, most of which are unannounced and undeclared, and are fought with air power and robotics technology.

    - Linda J. Bilmes / Michael D. Intriligator, in the journal Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

  7. Stuxnet Likely Constituted Illegal Act of Force, Study Says →

    According to a recent publication from a team of international law practitioners and scholars, who were invited by NATO to create a manual on the law governing cyber warfare, Stuxnet was an act of force; and the use of such force against Iran is likely illegal, as the U.S. was not acting in self-defense at the time the malware was deployed.

  8. Wired: The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It’s a Gadget →

    In the past two decades, the AR-15 has evolved into an open, modular gun platform that’s infinitely hackable and accessorizable. With only a few simple tools and no gunsmithing expertise, an AR-15 can be heavily modified, or even assembled from scratch, from widely available parts to suit the fancy and fantasy of each individual user. In this respect, the AR-15 is the world’s first “maker” gun, and this is why its appeal extends well beyond the military enthusiasts that many anti-gun types presume make up its core demographic.

    - Jon Stokes, for Wired’s Danger Room

  9. FBI is increasing pressure on suspects in Stuxnet inquiry →

    The FBI and prosecutors have interviewed several current and former senior government officials in connection with the disclosures, sometimes confronting them with evidence of contact with journalists, according to people familiar with the probe. Investigators, they said, have conducted extensive analysis of the e-mail accounts and phone records of current and former government officials in a search for links to journalists.

    The Obama administration has prosecuted six officials for disclosing classified information, more than all previous administrations combined. But the Stuxnet investigation is arguably the highest-profile probe yet, and it could implicate senior-level officials. Knowledge of the virus was likely to have been highly compartmentalized and limited to a small set of Americans and Israelis.

    - Peter Finn, for The Washington Post

  10. Greenwald: Pentagon's new massive expansion of 'cyber-security' unit is about everything except defense →

    This significant expansion under the Orwellian rubric of “cyber-security” is thus a perfect microcosm of US military spending generally. It’s all justified under by the claim that the US must defend itself from threats from Bad, Aggressive Actors, when the reality is the exact opposite: the new program is devoted to ensuring that the US remains the primary offensive threat to the rest of the world. It’s the same way the US develops offensive biological weapons under the guise of developing defenses against such weapons (such as the 2001 anthrax that the US government itself says came from a US Army lab). It’s how the US government generally convinces its citizens that it is a peaceful victim of aggression by others when the reality is that the US builds more weapons, sells more arms and bombs more countries than virtually the rest of the world combined.

    -Glenn Greenwald, for The Guardian