Tag Archives: intelligence

Kim Dotcom on TPP: ‘Hollywood trying to control web, totally censor it’

Hollywood hasn’t woken up to the changing world, refusing to evolve their business model into something that works better with the internet, Kim Dotcom, internet entrepreneur and businessman, told Max Keiser.

In the latest episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Kim Dotcom discussed copyright issues, crypto currencies, Edward Snowden’s revelations and the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP].

‘I’m not against copyright, I’m against copyright extremism. I think people who create something, they have a right to make money but it shouldn’t override innovation, it shouldn’t override things that make society function better,’ Kim Dotcom said, speaking about the ongoing Megaupload court battle. He added: “What Hollywood is trying to do is basically to turn the internet into a totally censored and controlled network to their liking, and that’s what I’m fighting against.”

According to statistics, uploads to Torrent web-sites were up 50 percent in 2013, and despite all efforts by the MPAA, people are still going to Torrent sites and it’s still transforming the industry. Kim Dotcom considers that MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd is “putting his hand into a giant river and is trying to stop it but this is never going to happen and it’s never going to work.”

“They [Hollywood] are spending a lot of energy, time and money on fighting something that they can’t defeat. The only way they can defeat it is by adapting to the new reality by changing their business model to something that works and functions better with the internet: worldwide release of content on the same day, fair pricing, the content needs to work on any device. There are so many things that Hollywood can do to improve its business model to be more compatible with the internet, but they haven’t really woken up to this yet,” Dotcom told Max Keiser.

Kim Dotcom said that “even if Hollywood wanted today to create a website where we just go and find any movie and stream it from any country, they couldn’t do it because they have created a model that has made it impossible.”

The reason for this is “a fundraising model that Hollywood has,” according to Dotcom. “It basically has a network of thousands of license partners around the world. So whenever they shoot a new movie, they send the script around to all these licensing partners around the world and pitch that movie to them, telling who is the director and who are the actors, and then they are raising the majority of the money that it cost them to produce that movie from foreign licensing partners,” he explained at RT’s Keiser Report.

“So their risk to invest in movies is very minimal and it’s basically a license to print money. But the tradeoff is that these foreign license holders then own the license, and you can’t anymore say ‘we are doing a global release of this content,’ because the license holders have their own interests: they want to put it out when they want, they want a movie premier, they want to have the rights for this market and control it,” Kim Dotcom said.

Snowden’s revelations led to American corporations losing billions of dollars because of the overreach by the NSA. Commenting on that, Dotcom said that it means bad news for the US economy as a whole.

“This is a really dangerous development for the US economy, because everyone is waking up to all these American tech products being ‘backdoored’ and web-services being ‘trojanized’. And this is something that is going to lead to more and more countries, governments and large corporations moving away from services that they have to deem untrustworthy. The effect that this is going to have over the next decade on the US economy is going to be significant,” he told Max Keiser.

On the other hand, Kim Dotcom believes, “there is a huge opportunity for other countries, especially smaller countries, to not enter into the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), but do their own thing and establish laws that are pro-innovation, pro-technology that protect the internet, that give operators safe harbors. So there is a huge opportunity here to cut off a massive slice of internet economy from the US government.”

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist


NSA building a ‘quantum computer’ capable of breaking all forms of encryption

The National Security Agency is reportedly building a ‘quantum computer’ capable of breaking encryption used to protect the most vital records around the world.

The US spy agency is seeking an advanced-speed, “cryptologically useful quantum computer” that can bypass encryption that currently shields global banking, business, medical and government records.

The quantum computer is part of a $79.7 million research project called “Penetrating Hard Targets,” according to documents supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reported by The Washington Post. Much of the program is hosted in a College Park, Maryland laboratory under classified contracts.

Past Snowden-fueled revelations have shown the NSA has worked to deliberately weaken common encryption standards.

Yet the NSA’s own technology capable of shattering all forms of public key encryption – including that which protects state secrets – is no closer to success than any other attempts in the scientific community, according to the leaked documents.

“The application of quantum technologies to encryption algorithms threatens to dramatically impact the US government’s ability to both protect its communications and eavesdrop on the communications of foreign governments,” according to one Snowden-leaked document.

The NSA appears to consider its efforts running at the same pace as competitors sponsored by the European Union and the Swiss government, with incremental progress yet little hope of much of a breakthrough.

“The geographic scope has narrowed from a global effort to a discrete focus on the European Union and Switzerland,” one NSA document says.

The NSA did not respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.

The documents indicate that the NSA runs some of the research in large, protected rooms designed to shield electromagnetic energy from entering or leaving and “to keep delicate quantum computing experiments running,” as one description goes.

The basic principle in quantum computing is “quantum superposition,” or the idea that an object simultaneously exists in all states. A classic computer uses binary bits, or zeroes and ones. A quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits, that are simultaneously zero and one.

While a classic computer must do one calculation at a time, a quantum computer can achieve a correct answer much faster and efficiently through parallel processing, with no need to run those calculations.

A difficulty in quantum computing is that the particles that make up such computers must be carefully isolated from external environments.

“Quantum computers are extremely delicate, so if you don’t protect them from their environment, then the computation will be useless,” said Daniel Lidar, a professor of electrical engineering and the director of the Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology at the University of Southern California.

A quantum computer would break the strongest encryption tools, including RSA, which scrambles communications enough to render them unreadable to anyone outside of the intended recipient, without using a shared password. RSA security is based on the extreme difficulty in finding two large prime numbers. In 2009, classical methods took almost two years and hundreds of computers to discover primes in a 768-bit number. Breaking the 1,024-bit encryption, standard for online transactions, would take 1,000 times longer, scientists estimated.

Quantum computers could home in on 1024-bit encryption much faster. And though such capabilities have a variety of uses, including the development of artificial intelligence, the NSA claims to fear the national security implications of not attaining the technology first.

A decade ago, experts estimated a large quantum computer was 10 to 100 years away. Five years ago, Seth Lloyd, professor of quantum mechanical engineering at MIT, said such a computer was 10 years away.

“I don’t think we’re likely to have the type of quantum computer the NSA wants within at least five years, in the absence of a significant breakthrough maybe much longer,” Lloyd recently told the Post.

Some companies claim to have already built small quantum computers. D-Wave Systems says it has produced them since 2009. The company sold a US$10 million version to Google, NASA and the Universities Space Research Association, according to reports. Though this technology is still far from cracking, for example, RSA encryption.

Experts say a top difficulty in building a quantum computer is achieving an adequate number of qubits, which is tough given the computers’ fragile state.

The NSA expected to have basic architecture in place by September, or as it was described in the leaked documents, a “dynamical decoupling and complete quantum control on two semiconductor qubits.”

“That’s a great step, but it’s a pretty small step on the road to building a large-scale quantum computer,” Lloyd said.

This step “will enable initial scaling towards large systems in related and follow-on efforts,” according to the National Intelligence Program’s “black budget” details on the “Penetrating Hard Targets” project.

Another program on the NIP budget is known as “Owning the Net,” which uses quantum research to target encryptions like RSA, the leaks show.

“The irony of quantum computing is that if you can imagine someone building a quantum computer that can break encryption a few decades into the future, then you need to be worried right now,” Lidar told The Washington Post.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

‘Stop spying on people!’: Syrian Electronic Army hacks Skype

yrian computer hacker conglomerate, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), has kicked off the New Year with a number of cyber-attacks, compromising Skype’s Twitter, Facebook accounts, and its official blog.

Social media accounts belonging to Skype, Microsoft’s voice-over-IP service, were hacked around 19:30 GMT. SEA posted on Skype’s Twitter account a rogue message saying “Stop spying on people! via Syrian Electronic Army.” The hacker group also urged people not to use Microsoft accounts because the company is “selling the data to the governments.”

A similar message was posted on Skype’s Facebook page, but was quickly deleted, according to TheNextWeb. The link to it, which the SEA posted on its Twitter account, leads to a removed page.

Attacks were also generated on Skype’s official blog with posts calling on the US to stop its global spying activity.

SEA continued to attack Microsoft via its twitter account posting, “You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your accounts/emails using these details.”

Since SEA’s inception in 2011, the organization has denied any association with the Syrian government. They claim to be self-motivated patriotic supporters of the government, but are not acting on its behalf.

In 2013, SEA claimed responsibility for hacking a number of Western media outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Thomson Reuters. Arguably, their biggest success was the penetration of the Associated Press twitter account that posted President Barack Obama had been injured in a White House attack.

Skype has now fully regained control and deleted the false tweets from the compromised social media channels. Its blog is being automatically redirected to Skype’s homepage.

“We recently became aware of a targeted cyber-attack that led to access to Skype’s social media properties, but these credentials were quickly reset. No user information was compromised,” a Skype spokesman responded to TheNextWeb query.

Skype also tweeted that no accounts of its other users had been compromised.

The latest attacks by the SEA follow Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA eavesdrop outreach, including Microsoft.

In November Microsoft and its Skype division were cleared of data protection violations relating to the NSA scandal by the Luxembourg data protection regulator, CNPD.

The probe into Microsoft’s collaboration on data sharing with the NSA found that the transfer of some data to affiliate companies in the US appears “to take place lawfully” under a so-called Safe Harbor agreement.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

NSA hacked over 50,000 computer networks worldwide – report

The US National Security Agency hacked more than 50,000 computer networks worldwide installing malware designated for surveillance operations, Dutch newspaper NRC reports citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

The latest round of revelations comes from a document dating from 2012 that shows the extent of the NSA’s worldwide surveillance network.

Published by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, it points out more than 50,000 locations, where the NSA used ‘Computer Network Exploitation’ (CNE) and implanted malicious software into the networks.

According to the NSA website CNE “includes enabling actions and intelligence collection via computer networks that exploit data gathered from target or enemy information systems or networks.”

Once the computer has been infected, the ‘implants’ act as digital ‘sleeper cells’ that can be remotely turned on or off with a single push of a button, the Dutch paper reported. The malware can remain active for years without being detected, the newspaper added. The malicious operations reportedly were carried out in many countries including China, Russia, Venezuela and Brazil.

The hacking is conducted by the Tailored Access Operations (TAO), a special unit within the NSA tasked with gaining access to foreign computer systems.

According to the Dutch media, one of the examples of the CNE operation is the reported attack against Belgian telecom company Belgacom that was discovered in September 2013. The attack was previously reported to have been carried out by British intelligence agency GCHQ that worked in cooperation with its American counterpart.

GCHQ injected malware in the Belgacom network to tap their customers’ telephone and data traffic. The agency implemented a technique known as Quantum Insert, placing Belgacom’s servers in strategic spots where they could intercept and redirect target traffic to a fake LinkedIn professional social network’s website.

Public sources show that TAO employs more than a thousand hackers. The task force has been active since at least 1998, according to Washington Post.

Documents acquired by the NRC newspaper also reveal that NSA spied on the Netherlands from 1946 to 1968. However the report does not indicate the specific intentions.

Dutch interior affairs minister Ronald Plasterk has recently confirmed that the NSA monitors mail and phone traffic in the Netherlands and exchanges data with Dutch security organization AIVD.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Fox Business host: Maybe ‘something about the female brain’ makes women bad tech CEOs

Fox Business host: Maybe ‘something about the female brain’ makes women bad tech CEOs (via Raw Story )

Fox Business host Stuart Varney on Monday addressed the lack of women executives in the technology industry by suggesting that there was “something about the female brain” that deterred companies from hiring them. Early last month, filings for Twitter’s

 plan to publicly offer shares showed that the company was dominated by male executives.

“Should tech companies feel obligated to put women on the board or to make women top executives just to be politically correct,” Varney asked the Tea Party News Network’s Scottie Hughes on Monday.

“No business should ever be obligated to bring on a woman,” Hughes insisted. “They should want to, but you’re not seeing this in Silicon Valley for some reason.”

 “But why is that?” Varney wondered. “It’s a very difficult question to ask because it’s politically incorrect. Is there something about the female brain that is a deterrent for getting on board with tech? Is there?”
More from the Raw Story
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Senate committee approves funding for NSA, witch-hunt on leakers

Congress has taken the first step towards expanding the abilities of the United States intelligence community by advancing a draft bill that will ensure the government’s spy budget stays intact into next year.

A Senate commitee approved the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act during a closed door session on Tuesday, a bill that if signed into law will allow the US National Security Agency and other departments to keep receiving funding amid an international scandal that has caused calls for reform and even abolishment of the NSA both in the US and abroad in recent months.

Notwithstanding the backlash brought on by an array of secret NSA documents disclosed to the media by contractor-turned-leaked Edward Snowden since June, the Senate Intelligence Committee passed the draft bill by a 13-2 vote. Next, the full chamber will weigh in on the matter before it is reconciled with a sister act by way of the House of Representatives and sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

More from Russia Today

Posted by The NON-Conformist