Tag Archives | Cyberculture

Homeland Security Releases Keyword List Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites

Writes Reuven Cohen on Forbes:
If you are thinking about tweeting about clouds, pork, exercise or even Mexico, think again. Doing so may result in a closer look by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In a story appearing earlier today on the UK’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites when looking for “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.” The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.
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Anonymous Online Speech: Soon To Be Banned In New York?

Government Speech

Illustration: Helodrgt (CC)

WTF Albany? Remember the authors of the Federalist Papers? Victoria Bekiempis writes in the Village Voice:

Legislation is pending in Albany that would make illegal anonymous online commenting, City & State tweeted this morning. Looks like Wired was among the first to report on the measure.

The bill’s backers, according to the mag, want to curtail “mean-spirited and baseless political attacks” and “spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.”

The legislation would make New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”

The measures would also apply to messages on social networks and message boards or “any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages,” Wired points out, and requires that sites offer “a contact number or e-mail address posted for ‘such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.'”…

Read More: Village Voice

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Anonymous Hacks U.S. Department of Justice

AnonAlex Fitzpatrick writes on Mashable:

Anonymous is taking credit for a confirmed breach of security at the U.S. Department of Justice, although the exact contents of the data bounty are not yet known.

“Today we are releasing 1.7 GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now,” reads an Anonymous press release, referring to the Department of Justice. “Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.”

The hacktivist collective has been known to make bold claims, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that Anonymous members did indeed access a server that hosts the Department’s statistical data, including cybersecurity records…

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60,000 Ultra-Orthodox Jews Protest the Evils of the Internet

InternetThe sub-headline is priceless, “15,000 Hasidic women watched speeches at six sites thanks to live-streaming on the Internet.” Via the New York Daily News:

A mass rally for men only drew more than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews to Citi Field Sunday to denounce the Internet and its pervasive impact on family life.

An overflow crowd of another 20,000 bearded men sporting long black coats and big black hats filled nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the unprecedented attack on modern technology.

Unable to enter the Queens stadiums because of the strict separation of the sexes enforced by the organizers, more than 15,000 Hasidic women watched the speeches at six sites across the tristate area — thanks to live-streaming on the Internet.

The rally was organized by a little-known rabbinical group called Ichud Hakehillos L’tohar Hamachane — the Union of Communities for the Purity of the Camp — to spread the word that online activities can lead to porn, child abuse and other acts of immorality…

Read More: Daily News

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Supreme Court Lets Stand Student’s $675,000 Penalty For Downloading 30 Songs

Joel Tenenbaum

Photo: Joel Tenenbaum (CC)

That’s a penalty of $22,500 per song. Reports Mark Memmott on NPR:

the Supreme Court this morning let stand a $675,000 jury verdict against a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded 30 songs nearly a decade ago and then shared them with others on a peer-to-peer network.

The court denied Joel Tenenbaum’s “write of certiorari,” which means his appeal of a lower court’s ruling and the judgment were turned down.

Bloomberg News reminds us that: “The Recording Industry Association of America, acting on behalf of major record labels, sued more than 12,000 people and sent notices to thousands of others it claimed were illegally sharing music … Tenenbaum and a woman from Minnesota took their cases to trial, and both lost.”

Tenenbaum tells his side of the story at his Joel Fights Back website. He says he’s part of an effort to defend “the average Davids against the corporate Goliath.”

Wired says, “the significance of Monday’s action by the Supreme Court … appears to be minimal in the music-sharing context.

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We Need A Media War On All Fronts

Radionette TV SetWhen do you feel like you are over the hill?

When you get letters like this one from Jose Hevia after writing an op-ed featuring an essay from your recent book Blogothon, recounting your experiences as a network TV insider turned independent media outsider. The essay offered a case study of how the nominally non-commercial network, PBS, turned its back on a human rights TV series I co-produced. It is about the challenges progressives face in offering a counter-narrative to parochial mainstream thinking.

My critical correspondent wondered what I was whining about:

Complaining that the old media is getting more and more monopolized is … Who cares about old media? … Nobody is my inner circle under 30 watches old media any more.


Take that, old man. Ha, ha, ha.

I am not sure his view is totally true, what with Comedy Central, movie channels galore and unlimited sports coverage.… Read the rest

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Lucid Dreams Now Available On Demand

RemeeI know one or two people who are able to dream lucidly, often experiencing Out of Body Experiences (OOBEs), more or less whenever they want to. For most of us, though, lucid dreams are something that we can only imagine. A couple of guys from Brooklyn are about to change all that, though, having successfully raised over half a million dollars via the Kickstarter crowd funding platform to create the Remee Mask. Here they explain what it is: And this is the description on their site:
What is Remee? In essence, Remee is a specialized sleep mask. You put it on before you go to bed and with practice and determination, it should help increase the number of lucid dreams you have...
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The Filesharing Religion’s First-Ever Ordained Marriage

The newly-recognized Kopimist religion, based in Sweden, views file sharing as the ultimate purpose of modern life. In striking fashion, the faith united two lovebirds earlier this month:

The first kopimist wedding took place this weekend in Belgrade at the Share conference. A woman from Romania and a man from Italy have engaged in a holy Kopimist act. The missionary leader of the Church of Kopimism, Isak, attended as a witness during the wedding.


We are very happy today. Love is all about sharing. A married couple share everything with each other. Hopefully, they will copy and remix some DNA-cells and create a new human being. That is the spirit of Kopimism. Feel the love and share that information. Copy all of its holiness.

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Anonymous Claims Access to Every Secret Government Database

AnonymousWrites Sam Biddle on Gizmodo:

Anonymous has been meek and quiet since the great Sabu treachery, failing to even threaten much of anything. But in a new interview, one of the group’s last remaining leaders says Anon has a nuclear card up its sleeve.

Christopher “Commander X” Doyon, whose name is public because he’s been busted for hacking a California government website, sat for an interview with the National Post. The exchange circles mostly around Doyon’s exile in Canada, where he’s hoping to dodge the wrath of American feds. But he ends on one particularly ominous and/or laughable note:

Q. What’s next for Anonymous?

A: Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems.

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