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Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes with a link to some interesting commentary at Help Net Security from Drone Lab CEO Zain Naboulsi about a security issue of a (so far) unusual kind: detecting drones whose masters are bent on malice. That's relevant after the recent drone flight close enough to the White House to spook the Secret Service, and that wasn't the first -- even if no malice was involved. Drones at their most dangerous in that context are small, quiet, and flying through busy, populated spaces, which makes even detecting them tough, never mind defeating them. From the article, which briefly describes pros and cons of various detection methods: Audio detection does NOT work in urban environments - period. Most microphones only listen well at 25 to 50 feet so, because of the ambient noise in the area, any audio detection method would be rendered useless at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It is also too simple for an operator to change the sound signature of a drone by buying different propellers or making other modifications. It doesn't take much to defeat the many weaknesses of audio detection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How to Upgrade from Fedora 21 to Fedora 22

LXer -

Fedora 22 was released earlier this week, and if you are running Fedora 21, you will probably want to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Fedora. Luckily, there is a tool called FedUp that is easiest way to... Continue Reading →

Murder Accusations Hang Over Silk Road Boss Ulbricht's Sentencing

Slashdot -

Patrick O'Neill writes: Ross Ulbricht has never been tried for murder but tomorrow, when the convicted Silk Road creator is sentenced to prison, murder will be on the mind of the judge. Despite never filing murder for hire charges, New York federal prosecutors have repeatedly pushed for harsh sentencing because of, they told the judge, Ulbricht solicited multiple murders. The judge herself recently referred to Ulbricht's "commission of murders-for-hire" in a letter about the sentencing, painting an even grimmer picture of Ulbricht's sentencing prospects.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

U.N. Special Rapporteur: Governments Must Not “Backdoor” Encryption for Spying

The Intercept -

A landmark United Nations report is “the first attempt to create a legal framework for digital security,” David Kaye, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression, told The Intercept in an interview Thursday.

The landmark document is urging governments not to ban or mandate surveillance “backdoors” in encryption and anonymity tools that are used to protect the privacy of communications.

The 18-page report, published Thursday, was authored by Kaye and comes amid efforts to crack down on encryption technology in the United States, with federal agencies claiming that encryption is hampering their ability to investigate criminals and terrorists.

“It’s about the legal framework that human rights law establishes for freedom of expression,” Kaye said. “Hopefully advocates will make use of it when cases around privacy and freedom of expression get litigated.”

His report says that “discussions of encryption and anonymity have all too often focused only on their potential use for criminal purposes in times of terrorism. But emergency situations do not relieve States of the obligation to ensure respect for international human rights law.”

It recommends that:

States should promote strong encryption and anonymity. National laws should recognize that individuals are free to protect the privacy of their digital communications by using encryption technology and tools that allow anonymity online. Legislation and regulations protecting human rights defenders and journalists should also include provisions enabling access and providing support to use the technologies to secure their communications.

States should not restrict encryption and anonymity, which facilitate and often enable the rights to freedom of opinion and expression. Blanket prohibitions fail to be necessary and proportionate. States should avoid all measures that weaken the security that individuals may enjoy online, such as backdoors, weak encryption standards and key escrows.

Human rights group Access said in a statement that it welcomed the report, calling it a “landmark” piece of work that showed encryption was “fundamental” for exercising freedom of expression. “It’s a sober rebuke of baseless fear-mongering from those who say encryption only helps criminals and terrorists,” said Access’s senior policy counsel Peter Micek.

Encryption works by scrambling communications so that if they are intercepted they cannot be read or listened to, unless the encryption is broken or circumvented. It is routinely used to secure online banking and shopping transactions and increasingly to protect the privacy of instant messages and emails. Tools used to browse the Internet anonymously – such as Tor or Virtual Private Networks – mask your computer’s unique IP address, making it harder for law enforcement, intelligence agencies, advertisers, and Internet service providers to track your online activity.

Since the first surveillance revelations from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, more companies have adopted encryption to secure their customers’ data and communications. Last year, for instance, the messaging app WhatsApp announced that it was implementing strong encryption for its more than 600 million users. Moreover, in the aftermath of the Snowden leaks, more people reportedly started using anonymity tools like Tor to browse the Web.

The boom in encryption has sparked a panicked response from governments and law enforcement agencies. The FBI has attacked companies for beefing-up their useage of encryption because “bad guys” can use it to conceal their nefarious activities. And the U.K. prime minister has appeared to agree, suggesting he would be open to some sort of encryption ban.

But Kaye, the U.N. free expression rapporteur, told The Intercept that he wants to see more encryption, not less. He says he would like to see a transition towards an “encrypted Internet,” with encryption built in to websites, email providers, and other communication providers by default. He says governments should only be allowed to decrypt communications on a “targeted, case-by-case basis” when approved by a court, subject to domestic and international law.

“It’s not about hiding, it’s about exercising the right that you have under human rights law,” said Kaye, who is also the director of the International Justice Clinic at the University of California, Irvine. “If you create an Internet that is encrypted and is secure, you are giving people a default setting of privacy which advances their ability to do research, to exchange information, to do all the things that they are guaranteed under human rights law. That move is critical.”

Kaye says he solicited contributions to his report from all 193 U.N. member states, including from governments in the the Five Eyes surveillance alliance – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Documents from Snowden have previously shown how spy agencies in Five Eyes countries have worked in secret to circumvent and attack widely used encryption and anonymity tools.

About a dozen government representatives sent replies to Kaye, including U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Pamela Hamamoto, who asserted that the United States was committed to firmly supporting “the development and robust adoption of strong encryption.” Other Five Eyes countries did not respond.

Kaye is due to formally present his report to the U.N.’s human rights council (pictured above) on June 17.

Photo: Valentin Flauraud/Keystone/AP

The post U.N. Special Rapporteur: Governments Must Not “Backdoor” Encryption for Spying appeared first on The Intercept.

What’s new in Android M?

Liliputing -

Google’s next version of Android is set to launch in the third quarter of 2015. That’s when Google will release the software to the public and release the source code so that phone and tablet makers can bring the update to their users. But developers and early adopters can try an early version. Google released […]

What’s new in Android M? is a post from: Liliputing

Glowforge is a CNC Laser Cutter, not a 3D Printer (Video)

Slashdot -

Co-Founder and CEO Dan Shapiro says, right at the beginning of the interview, that the Glowforge machine is a CNC laser cutter and engraver, not a 3-D Printer. He says they've "simplified the heck" out of the hardware and software, and are making an easy-to-use, non-costly ($2500 has been bandied about as the unit's likely price) device that can fit on a kitchen table -- or, more likely, a workbench at a maker facility. Although Dan did very well on Kickstarter (and afterwards) with his previous venture, Robot Turtles, this time he seems to have raised his first $9 million in the venture capital market, with participation from several MakerBot executives. Glowforge is not the only CNC laser cutter/etcher device out there (or about to be). In Australia, Darkly Labs appears to have raised $569,397 (AUD) on Kickstarter to bring their LazerBlade to life, and already makes a small laser device called the Emblaser. There are others, too, including Boxzy, which did the Kickstarter thing and will now sell you a device that "rapidly transforms into 3 kinds of machines: CNC Mill, 3D Printer & Laser Engraver while enhancing precision & power with ballscrews." All this, and their top-of-the-line "does everything" machine sells for a mere $3500. Obviously, devices to give makers and prototypers the ability to make ever more complex and accurate shapes are coming to market like crazy. We'll continue to keep an eye on all this activity, including a second video interview with Glowforge's Dan Shapiro tomorrow.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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