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  1. Trump's Pick for FCC Chairman Is Against Net Neutrality Ajit Pai is known for opposing net neutrality regulations While net neutrality was something that former President Barack wanted to guarantee during his time in the office, providing strong legal protections, things may change drastically under Trump. The rules put in place in previous years in order to protect net neutrality have been opposed time and time again by telecommunications giants such as Comcast and Verizon, who chose to oppose Obama and the FCC every step of the way simply because these rules sought to create a level playing field for all Internet companies. Politico reports that Trump plans to name Ajit Pai as the leader of the FCC. Pai is a known Republican, a member of the FCC since 2012. This wouldn’t be so bad since he knows how to lead the FCC since he has been a member for so many years, but he has been known to oppose many of his colleague's plans and regulations, particularly net neutrality. In fact, just last month he made sure to say just how happy he has been at his job, but how he would have done things differently. Pai said there were many “outdated and unnecessary” regulations that needed to be removed, especially those that are “holding back investment, innovation, and job creation.” While he does not name net neutrality outright in this particular speech, it is quite likely that it will end up on Pai’s hit list since he is not one of its supporters and he is spoken about reforming the laws before. This is quite concerning because huge ISPs such as Comcast could go ahead and block access to certain websites, force customers to pay more to reach those high volume websites they are seeking and so on, which is something they have done in the past. While we would be more than happy to say that these are just speculations of what he would do once he is head of the FCC, things are not just speculations. Pai spent most of his career in public service with the DOJ, but he is also worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the FCC. He has also been involved with the communications industry by occupying a job as a lawyer for Verizon and representing telecommunications clients at another firm. Source
  2. Four in Five Britons Fearful Trump Will Abuse their Data More than three-quarters of Britons believe incoming US President Donald Trump will use his surveillance powers for personal gain, and a similar number want reassurances from the government that data collected by GCHQ will be safeguarded against such misuse. These are the headline findings from a new Privacy International poll of over 1600 Brits on the day Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on earth. With that role comes sweeping surveillance powers – the extent of which was only revealed after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden went public in 2013. There are many now concerned that Trump, an eccentric reality TV star and gregarious property mogul, could abuse such powers for personal gain. That’s what 78% of UK adults polled by Privacy International believe, and 54% said they had no trust that Trump would use surveillance for legitimate purposes. Perhaps more important for those living in the United Kingdom is the extent of the information sharing partnership between the US and the UK. Some 73% of respondents said they wanted the government to explain what safeguards exist to ensure any data swept up by their domestic secret services doesn’t end up being abused by the new US administration. That fear has become even more marked since the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act or 'Snoopers’ Charter', which granted the British authorities unprecedented mass surveillance and hacking powers, as well as forcing ISPs to retain all web records for up to 12 months. Privacy International claimed that although it has privately been presented with documents detailing the info sharing partnership between the two nations, Downing Street has so far refused to make the information public. The rights group and nine others are currently appealing to the European Court of Human Rights to overturn a decision by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) not to release information about the rules governing the US-UK agreement. “UK and the US spies have enjoyed a cosy secret relationship for a long time, sharing sensitive intelligence data with each other, without parliament knowing anything about it, and without any public consent. Slowly, we’re learning more about the staggering scale of this cooperation and a dangerous lack of sufficient oversight,” argued Privacy International research officer, Edin Omanovic. “Today, a new President will take charge of US intelligence agencies – a President whose appetite for surveillance powers and how they’re used put him at odds with British values, security, and its people… Given that our intelligence agencies are giving him unfettered access to massive troves of personal data, including potentially about British people, it is essential that the details behind all this are taken out of the shadows.” Source
  3. Encrypted Email Sign-Ups Instantly Double In Wake of Trump Victory ProtonMail suggests fear of the Donald prompting lockdown "ProtonMail follows the Swiss policy of neutrality. We do not take any position for or against Trump," the Swiss company's CEO stated on Monday, before revealing that new user sign-ups immediately doubled following Trump's election victory. ProtonMail has published figures showing that as soon as the election results rolled in, the public began to seek out privacy-focused services such as its own. CEO Andy Yen said that, in communicating with these new users, the company found people apprehensive about the decisions that President Trump might take and what they would mean considering the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency. "Given Trump's campaign rhetoric against journalists, political enemies, immigrants, and Muslims, there is concern that Trump could use the new tools at his disposal to target certain groups," Yen said. "As the NSA currently operates completely out of the public eye with very little legal oversight, all of this could be done in secret." ProtonMail was launched back in May 2014 by scientists who had met at CERN and MIT. In response to the Snowden revelations regarding collusion between the NSA and other email providers such as Google, they created a government-resistant, end-to-end encrypted email service. The service was so popular that it was "forced to institute a waiting list for new accounts after signups exceeded 10,000 per day" within the first three days of opening, the CEO previously told The Register when ProtonMail reopened free registration to all earlier this year. ProtonMail new user signups doubled immediately after Trump's election victory Yen said his service was now "seeing an influx of liberal users" despite its popularity on both sides of the political spectrum. "ProtonMail has also long been popular with the political right, who were truly worried about big government spying, and the Obama administration having access to their communications. Now the tables have turned," Yen noted. "One of the problems with having a technological infrastructure that can be abused for mass surveillance purposes is that governments can and do change, quite regularly in fact. "The only way to protect our freedom is to build technologies, such as end-to-end encryption, which cannot be abused for mass surveillance," Yen added. "Governments can change, but the laws of mathematics upon which encryption is based are much harder to change." Source
  4. In February of this year, Ukraine underwent a revolution as the result of being “mired by years of corruption.” Due to the revolution, an interim government was put into place, and elections are being held in May of this year. In what is perhaps one of the most expensive internet-based political pranks, Ukraine’s Internet Party (UIP) — which claims to be the world’s first internet political party, and has the goal of creating an “electronic government” — has paid around $225,000 to have their own candidate run for president in the upcoming elections. That candidate? Darth Vader. The $225,000 is the fee required to register a candidate to legitimately run in the campaign, and the UIP happily paid it. The party even has a platform: to “digitize” the Ukrainian government, getting rid of the majority of taxes, offering free foreign language and computer classes to its citizens, and bringing in foreign investments to help bolster the country’s economic position. The UIP is known to send Vader and a menagerie of stormtroopers out on political missions throughout Ukraine, so some citizens of the country might not find it too strange that the Sith Lord has thrown his helmet into the presidential ring. In 2012, he managed to snag about 3% of votes of a parliamentary election. Unfortunately for Ukrainians that voted for the potential to one day own a Death Star, the Vader votes were write-ins, which made them invalid under Ukrainian law. When the Sith Lord is questioned about his attempts to make political headway in the country, he often responds that his master is interested in Ukraine because the Force is strong there. In a party statement, Vader said, “I alone can make an empire out of a republic, to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country.” He also requested a parking space for his spaceship. Though the Ukraine Internet Party was registered in 2010, it was abolished by a Ukranian court two years later for not having a regional office. Now, it appears as though Vader is on an actual election ticket. The election is being held on May 25, so stay tuned to see if Ukraine suddenly sports a government full of clones wearing white armor. Source
  5. geeteam

    Nelson Mandela dies at age 95

    South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa's president says. Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison. He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital. In a statement on South African national TV, Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela had "departed" and was at peace. "Our nation has lost its greatest son," Mr Zuma said. He said Mr Mandela would receive a full state funeral, and flags would be flown at half-mast. BBC correspondents say Mr Mandela's body will be moved to a mortuary in Pretoria, and the funeral is likely to take place next Saturday. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world's most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years. He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004. "What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves," Mr Zuma said. "Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell." UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Mr Mandela, saying "a great light has gone out in the world". Earlier, the BBC's Mike Wooldridge, outside Mr Mandela's home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, said there appeared to have been an unusually large family gathering. A number of government vehicles were there during the evening as well, our correspondent says. Since he was released from hospital, the South African presidency repeatedly described Mr Mandela's condition as critical but stable. Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, as a law student. He and other ANC leaders campaigned against apartheid (white-only rule). A look back at the life of Nelson MandelaHe was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, but was released in 1990 as South Africa began to move away from strict racial segregation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994. He stepped down after five years in office. After leaving office, he became South Africa's highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and helping to secure his country's right to host the 2010 football World Cup. He was also involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere. Nelson Mandela was in hospital for nearly three monthsWhat is your reaction to Nelson Mandela's death? Did you meet him? What are your memories of him? You can share your views below. Source
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