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  1. The recently imposed travel restrictions by both British and US aviation authorities on the carrying of personal electronic devices while in the cabin of the aircraft have been criticized on safety grounds by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The European agency argues that the ban on allowing passengers to carry any PED(personal electronic device) larger than a smartphone in the cabin, and forcing passengers to carry any larger device in their hold luggage presents a major fire risk. As was widely covered last year with the explosive Galaxy S7 Note, the lithium batteries in many devices do hold the potential to catch fire. So as the agency as well as the European Cockpit Association, which represents over 38000 pilots, argue the piling of all PED's in the hold with no supervision leads to a major risk of in-flight fires. The US/UK ban comes in light of increased risks of terrorist explosive devices now being potentially small enough to be disguised as components within a laptop. That would theoretically be detonated against the cabin wall mid-flight, with catastrophic consequences. The UK and US ban only applies to 8 Middle Eastern and African countries and the respective UK, US agencies argue that they have consulted and considered the potential outcomes and evidence. Along with the European authorities, they have stressed that it is imperative that any PEDs in the hold must certainly be switched off and be packed carefully to avoid accidental activation. Source
  2. Snowden Leaks Reveal NSA Snooped On In-Flight Mobile Calls NSA, GCHQ intercepted signals as they were sent from satellites to ground stations. GCHQ and the NSA have spied on air passengers using in-flight GSM mobile services for years, newly-published documents originally obtained by Edward Snowden reveal. Technology from UK company AeroMobile and SitaOnAir is used by dozens of airlines to provide in-flight connectivity, including by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, and many Arab and Asian companies. Passengers connect to on-board GSM servers, which then communicate with satellites operated by British firm Inmarsat. "The use of GSM in-flight analysis can help identify the travel of a target—not to mention the other mobile devices (and potentially individuals) onboard the same plane with them," says a 2010 NSA newsletter. A presentation, made available by the Intercept, contains details of GCHQ's so-called "Thieving Magpie" programme. GCHQ and the NSA intercepted the signals as they were sent from the satellites to the ground stations that hooked into the terrestrial GSM network. Initially, coverage was restricted to flights in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, but the surveillance programme was expected to go global at the time the presentation was made. GCHQ's Thieving Magpie presentation explains how in-flight mobile works. Ars has asked these three companies to comment on the extent to which they were aware of the spying, and whether they are able to improve security for their users to mitigate its effects, but was yet to receive replies from Inmarsat or AeroMobile at time of publication. A SitaOnAir spokesperson told Ars in an e-mail: The Thieving Magpie presentation explains that it is not necessary for calls to be made, or data to be sent, for surveillance to take place. If the phone is switched on, and registers with the in-flight GSM service, it can be tracked provided the plane is flying high enough that ground stations are out of reach. The data, we're told, was collected in "near real time," thus enabling "surveillance or arrest teams to be put in place in advance" to meet the plane when it lands. Using this system, aircraft can be tracked every two minutes while in flight. If data is sent via the GSM network, GCHQ's presentation says that e-mail addresses, Facebook IDs, and Skype addresses can all be gathered. Online services observed by GCHQ using its airborne surveillance include Twitter, Google Maps, VoIP, and BitTorrent. Meanwhile, Le Monde reported that "GCHQ could even, remotely, interfere with the working of the phone; as a result the user was forced to redial using his or her access codes." No source is given for that information, which presumably is found in other Snowden documents, not yet published. As the French newspaper also points out, judging by the information provided by Snowden, the NSA seemed to have something of a fixation with Air France flights. Apparently that was because "the CIA considered that Air France and Air Mexico flights were potential targets for terrorists." GCHQ shared that focus: the Thieving Magpie presentation uses aircraft bearing Air France livery to illustrate how in-flight GSM services work. Ars asked the UK's spies to comment on the latest revelations, and received the usual boilerplate response from a GCHQ spokesperson: It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. So that's OK, then. Source
  3. Android User Locked Out Of Google After Moving Cities Image Courtesy: Techworm An Android user has been locked out of his Google account apparently because he moved cities, according to a post on Reddit. The explanation offered by Google support staff was that since his address details differed, billing information with Google wasn't current and hence the user's purchases could look fraudulent. The user in question does not know for sure that this is the reason; during his interactions with Google support to find out why he had been locked out, he was told that When asked what he could do, he was initially directed by Google staff to a site where he had to scan his driver's licence and credit card and told that he would have to wait 24 hours to get his account unlocked. But after this time passed, he was told that the account would not be unlocked and Google would not tell him why. He was advised to abandon his old account and start a fresh one. However, this meant he could not use the credit card that he had used on the old account and would have to obtain a new one to continue using Google's services. All his previous purchases would not be transferred to the new account, he was told. An email he sent to Google support resulted in the following reply: Source
  4. 2016 Xmas/Christmas Advent Calendar/Advents Kalender Collection by Me Here I share, My Own List of Active Xmas Advent Kalenders 2016[Almost Complete]: Please make sure that you don't miss any future days in the above Kalender[Calendar] Giveaways and Promotions. I hereby welcome nsaners to update this thread with more advent kalenders.
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