Month: March 2017

Triple your privacy with a Chromebook and two VPNs

Now that Republicans in Congress have sold us out, everyone is writing about technical ways to prevent your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from watching your on-line activity. The FBI and the British Government complain about bad guys going dark, but now the rest of us have to do so too, if we want any shred of privacy.

The generic, knee-jerk reaction is to use either a VPN or Tor. Both offer encryption that stealths you to your ISP. I wrote about them back in September (A Defensive Computing term paper on privacy: VPNs, Tor and VPN routers) but here I’m taking things a bit further. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog

Kenyan Government Axes Corrupt Copyright Collection Group, Replaces It With New Collection Group That Will Surely Be Less Corrupt

While copyright collection societies the world over tend to be good hosts for the disease of corruption, not all corruption is equal. These collection groups often like to jack up fees when someone points out that they actually have to do their job, to threaten businesses in the most insane ways, and also to, oops, sometimes just totally forget to pay the artists they purport to benefit. Over in Kenya, however, the dominant copyright collection group, MCSK, went for and hit the corruption trifecta by engaging in all of three at the same time. Not a good look for anyone who thinks these collection groups have a role to play for artists.

It got so bad, in fact, that the Kenyan government has decided to pull MCSK’s license to operate.

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya has lost the licence to collect music royalties. MCSK’s boss Maurice Okoth was suspended in March last year over corruption claims though he was later acquitted.

The copyright board revoked MCSK’s license in February after its officials failed to submit their audited financial statements and amounts paid in royalties to their members. Edward Sigei, Kenya Copyright Board executive director, said at the time that MCSK had failed to submit the financial statement despite having been given a grace period of three months to do so.

Yes, even after being acquitted of corruption charges, MCSK still couldn’t even feign trying to be above board with the government by producing documentation detailing how much its artist-helping organization managed to help any artists. For a group with the singular mission of collecting money in order to pay artists royalties, it’s unclear to me how a failure to be able to produce its books on that mission is not deserving of the business death penalty. I also can’t imagine how anyone who had to suffer through MCSK’s corrupt practices could be anything but entirely soured on the concept of collection societies generally.

The Kenyan government, it seems, has a better imagination than I do. It has elected to replace MCSK with another collection society.

This follows the decision by the board of directors of Kenya Copyright Board on Monday to approve the licensing of a new body, Music Publishers Association of Kenya Limited, to collect royalties on behalf of authors, composers and publishers from March 2017 to February 2018, effective immediately.

“The decision was made after the new association satisfied the requirements of Section 46 of the Copyright Act, 2001, and Regulation 15 and 16 of the Copyright Regulations 2004,” read a statement from Kecobo sent to newsrooms.

Look, to be fair, it’s likely that Kenya’s Copyright Board doesn’t have the authority to simply state that no collection societies will be granted a license to operate, but someone in the government does. And, even if it is unwilling to go that far, I would think the government would at least want to hear from artists who had the pleasure of not being paid properly by the previously-licensed collection group. At what point do Kenyan artists, if not the Kenyan government, decide there is a better way to conduct business than making deals with the muck?

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog

Latest WikiLeaks dump exposes CIA methods to mask malware

WikiLeaks may have dealt another blow to the CIA’s hacking operations by releasing files that allegedly show how the agency was masking its malware attacks.

On Friday, the site dumped the source code to the Marble Framework, a set of anti-forensic tools that WikiLeaks claims the CIA used last year.

The files do appear to show “obfuscation techniques” that can hide CIA-developed malicious coding from detection, said Jake Williams, a security researcher at Rendition InfoSec, who has been examining the files.

Every hacker, from the government-sponsored ones to amateurs, will use their own obfuscation techniques when developing malware, he said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog
Amazon Bans Sales of Media Player Boxes That Promote Piracy

Amazon Bans Sales of Media Player Boxes That Promote Piracy

Amazon is taking a tough stance against vendors who sell fully-loaded Kodi boxes and other “pirate” media players through its platform. From a report: The store now explicitly bans media players that “promote” or “suggest” the facilitation of piracy. Sellers who violate this policy, of which there are still a few around, risk having their inventory destroyed. […] While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, millions of people use third-party add-ons to turn it into the ultimate pirate machine. In some cases, the pirate add-ons are put onto the devices by vendors, who sell these “fully-loaded” boxes through their own stores or marketplaces such as Amazon. The ecommerce giant appears to be well aware of the controversy, as it recently published an updated policy clarifying that pirate media players are not permitted on the platform. Merely ‘suggesting’ that devices can be used for infringing purposes is enough to have them delisted.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, piracy
Verizon, AT&T, Comcast Say They Will Not Sell Customer Browsing Histories

Verizon, AT&T, Comcast Say They Will Not Sell Customer Browsing Histories

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T Inc said Friday they would not sell customers’ individual internet browsing information, days after the U.S. Congress approved legislation reversing Obama administration era internet privacy rules. From a report on Reuters: The bill would repeal regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under former President Barack Obama requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites like Alphabet’s Google or Facebook. The easing of restrictions has sparked growing anger on social media sites. “We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history. We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so,” said Gerard Lewis, Comcast’s chief privacy officer. He added Comcast is revising its privacy policy to make more clear that “we do not sell our customers’ individual web browsing information to third parties.” Verizon does not sell personal web browsing histories and has no plans to do so in the future, said spokesman Richard Young.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, communications