US Working Overtime Behind The Scenes To Kill UN Plan To Protect Online Privacy From Snooping

Germany NSA Art

(Artists A.Signl, left, and B.Shanti of the artist group Captain Borderline the mural ‘Surveillance of the fittest’ at a wall in Cologne, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. The painting shows an American Bald Eagle with surveillance cameras watching a herd of sheep to draw attention to the spying program of the American National Security Agency. Germany demanded answers to all open questions about U.S. surveillance Thursday following allegations that American intelligence may have targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel s cellphone, and her chief of staff noted that Washington hasn t denied past snooping. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) ( Frank Augstein ))

US Working Overtime Behind The Scenes To Kill UN Plan To Protect Online Privacy From Snooping

I’ve never beena fan of the U.N. but I’ve got to give them credit.

The UN has apparently been considering a proposal pushed by Brazil and Germany, to clarify that basic offline rights to privacy should apply to online information and activities as well. The proposal is targeted at attempts by governments — mainly the US — to ignore privacy issues in spying on people around the globe. Not surprisingly, the US is (quietly) working hard to stop this plan. Colum Lynch at Foreign Policy has the scoop, noting that publicly, the US is pretending to support this in some form: But privately, American diplomats are pushing hard to kill a provision of the Brazilian and German draft which states that “extraterritorial surveillance” and mass interception of communications, personal information, and metadata may constitute a violation of human rights. The United States and its allies, according to diplomats, outside observers, and documents, contend that the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not apply to foreign espionage.

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Snowden effect: Young people now care about privacy

Snowden effect: Young people now care about privacy

Byron Acohido, USA TODAY

Results of a Harris Poll released this morning show four out of five people have changed the privacy settings of their social media accounts, and most have made changes in the last six months.

What’s more, the poll, commissioned by anti-malware vendor ESET, reveals clear evidence that, contrary to what some believe, young people actually do care about the privacy of their online personas.

The ESET poll is that latest proof point of what could, at the end of the day, take hold as a tectonic societal shift: the return of privacy as a social norm. Call it the Edward Snowden effect.

Some 40% of 2,089 survey takers, aged 18 and older, said they had made changes to their privacy settings in the last three months, and 53 percent in the last six months. The poll was taken in late September.

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Pentagon’s Doctored Ledgers Reveal $8.5 Trillion Unaccounted For.

PentagonPentagon’s Doctored Ledgers Reveal $8.5 Trillion Unaccounted For.

UPDATE: Reuters has remove the original web posting for this article.

A new report has revealed the Pentagon to be fundamentally incapable of managing its own books, with money and supplies unaccounted for and doctored ledgers masking billions of dollars of wasted spending.

An investigation by Reuters found that since 1996, the $8.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer money that Congress has allocated towards the US Department of Defense has never been accounted for.

According to those responsible for inserting the numbers into the books at the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), military agencies failed to supply a clear monthly account of the money they spent. In a flurry of activity, DFAS would contact the appropriate personnel in order to record accurate data, but many numbers remained a mystery.

At this point, employees would be ordered to enter fake numbers, or “plugs,” that would match up accordingly with what the Treasury department expected to see.

“A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” said former DFAS employee Linda Woodford to Reuters. “We didn’t have the detail…for a lot of it.”

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Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Mini-Series Event More on


Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Mini-Series Event More on

Burbank, Calif. – Nov 7, 2013—The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a mini-series programming event.