Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

China Hosts Vast Spy Network, Computer Invasion Force

March 28, 2009

A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.

By JOHN MARKOFF
The New York Times

In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved.

The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 
The leader of these Chinese hackers says there “is always a weakness” on networks that allows cyber break-ins. 

The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

Intelligence analysts say many governments, including those of China, Russia and the United States, and other parties use sophisticated computer programs to covertly gather information.

The newly reported spying operation is by far the largest to come to light in terms of countries affected.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/
03/29/technology/29spy.html

Related:
China boosts military, cyberwarfare capabilities

Chinese Hackers Routinely Attack U.S. Computers

Obama’s public overexposure

March 27, 2009

Like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom, like the tick tick tock of the clock, like the drip drip drip of the raindrops, a voice within me keeps repeating Obama Obama Obama.

With all due apologies to the author, Cole Porter’s lyrics of “Night and Day” make a point lost on the president. No matter where he is, the Oval Office or Jay Leno‘s studio set, addressing Congress or holding up traffic in a motorcade on his way to a PTA meeting, the president is not an ordinary citizen. Like it or not, those days are behind him. The private man and the public man become one in a president. What he does, says, or doesn’t say or doesn’t do, he does before an audience.


The Washington Times

President Obama goes out of his way to seek a celebrity’s attention, and he’s still in his first 100 days. When he makes an offhand jest about his bowling score and the Special Olympics – the sort of tasteless attempt at dark humor that anyone might make within a tight circle of good friends – the whole world hears it and the pundits can’t wait to leap. We should all “lighten up,” but if a president can’t resist going on television to banter with a comedian, he ought to leave the comedy to the comedian, who gets paid for sarcasm and irony.

Lauren Bacall and Harry Truman

It’s a shame that the eye of the camera tempts presidents to try to be the entertainer-in-chief. First lady Michelle Obama might emulate Bess Truman after Harry couldn’t resist playing the piano with Lauren Bacall in fetching repose atop the upright. Mr. Truman, on a night out at the National Press Club, was only doing what any red-blooded man might, but Bess was not amused. She told him it simply wasn’t dignified, that he was definitely not to “play it again, Harry.”

Dignity, of course, isn’t what it used to be; indeed, the concept seems faintly quaint in an era when almost anything goes. As comfortable as the president may look on the CBS show “60 Minutes,” with Mr. Leno, or in a prime-time press conference, he is spending valuable emotional and intellectual capital with the relentless exposure in the modern media. Confident and cool, he is nevertheless beginning to look a lot like a man afflicted with the hubris of show biz.

Since the campaign ended, the stakes have changed. He has yet to learn the lesson learned by Steven Chu, his secretary of energy. Asked what he likes least about his new job, he replied: “The fact that I’m constantly being told that I have to be careful what I say to the press and in public. I can’t speculate out loud anymore. Everything I say is taken with total seriousness.”

Even laughter can be suspect. Steve Croft, the president’s interviewer on “60 Minutes,” suggested Mr. Obama might be “punch drunk” when he chuckled aloud in discussing the crash of the economy. “Gallows humor,” the president later called it. But that doesn’t work for a president, whether hot or cool. Most of us didn’t expect Bill Clinton to feel our pain, and we don’t expect Mr. Obama to laugh at it.

None of this will matter much if, as he suggested it would in his press conference this week, the economic crisis soon eases. He’ll get the credit, and that’s how it should be. But there should be a bright line between behaving as the commander in chief and entertaining as a celebrity in chief.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne
ws/2009/mar/27/obamas-public-
overexposure/

Heard Obama Say “Bipartisan” Lately?

March 26, 2009

There was a time, a long long time ago, and in a land far away, that Barack Obama spoke about “bipartisanship.”

He never really gave it a chance and didn’t seem to get the hang of it though.  But that could be because he wasn’t a senator long enough to get the hang of it and his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is about as bipartisan as Attila the Hun.

After the words “I won” and “never let a good crisis go to waste” were uttered, well, it has been “all Obama all the time.”

Just recently its been Obama on Leno, Obama on “60 Minutes,” Obama in a press conference of dubious value, and today, Obama on the Internet which looked like just an opportunity for the president to get away from real work and campaign — which he is very good at and has a tireless yen for….

So, with Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, who needs those other guys?

Well, lets hope there are no further crises in the future because the bipartisanship we have seen so far won’t buy much……

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In the 1970s when I came to Congress as a staffer, my elected boss used to say, “If I’m going to be one of the fathers of this legislation I’d like to be in the room at the time of conception and not just at the birth…”

That’s bipartisanship: in on the ground floor, opinions heard and incorporated, and sleeves rlled up for real work.

A book on how to achieve good legislation through bipartisanship would have to feature how NOT to to go about it the Obama, Pelosi, Reid way….and then use the New York Times, an appearance on Leno, “60 Minutes,” and the Internet to get the word out…. to spin a feeling that bipartisanship was tried and the Republicans rejected the offer….

The president’s “outrach” of bipartisanship is like purchased sex with a working girl; it is sleezy and meaningless.  Maybe he needs some chachki toys or aluminum key chains with little hand painted “Air Force One” or “White House” creations to hand out to Republicans…..  Or maybe a little yellow tractor from Caterpillar on a key chain….Or Abe Lincoln to remind one of two great presidents….

Early on the president hosted a cocktail party at the White House and a Super Bowl party in the name of bipartisanship: now I think the free peanuts for Republicans are off the table….

***********

It seems to us at Peace and Freedom that the president and TheNew York Times don’t know what “bipartisansip” means.

We went to a congressional staff in the early 1970s and learned back then that bipartisanship means:

(1)   At the start of every piece of legislation, both parties meet to discuss, share ideas and formulate, at least conceptually, new law.

(2) That both parties treat the other side with dignity and respect, sharing ideas in order to get the best for the American people.

(3)  Both sides tell the truth and neither tries to seize the high ground and gloat over the other before the media.

In the case of this stimulus, President Obama talked a good game of bipartisanship but he was clueless on how to achieve it.

His Williamsburg, Va., spa speech and his evening press conference in the White House were both partisan speeches….which included ugly distortions and lies.

Nancy Pelosi shut out Republican input at the start of the process to build the stimulus bill and minutes before voting on final passage there were still complaints that the bill had been “hidden” from lawmakers and the American people intentioanlly by the Democratic side.

Mr. Obama’s personal “bipartisan outreach” consisted of:

–“I won.”

–Efforts to give “goodies” to Republicans like a Super Bowl party, rides on Air Force One and a cocktail party at the White House as if they could be bought like children at Christams.

–“Cram this down throats” at the spa in Williamsburg.

–Campaign-style events at Peoria, Fort Myers, and Elkhart…

–Photo op sessions with Republicans in the House and then the Senate.

–Not one “roll up the sleeves” and negotiate session with both parties at the White House. The pseudo president in the movie “Dave” did a better job of this that Mr. Obama…..

–A big lie at Peoria: “Yesterday, Jim [Owens], the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off,” Obama said in Peoria.

But when asked if the stimulus could do that, Owens said, “I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/26/he-asked-for-it-he-got-it/

China Shuts Down YouTube After Video Shows China Police Killing Protester — Google Clueless

March 24, 2009

A video that appears to show police fatally beating a Tibetan protester was a fake concocted by supporters of the Dalai Lama, China said Tuesday — the same day the video-sharing network YouTube said its service had been blocked in China.

AP

The video has been posted on YouTube in recent days.

A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, said he couldn’t comment on the Chinese government‘s reason for the block.

“We are looking into it and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible,” spokesman Scott Rubin said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Read the entire report:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
324/ap_on_re_as/as_china_tibet

Here’s part of the New York Times’ report:
“The instant speculation is that YouTube is being blocked because the Tibetan government in exile released a particular video,” said Xiao Qiang, adjunct professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and editor of China Digital Times, a news Web site that chronicles political and economic changes in China.

Mr. Xiao said that the blocking of YouTube fits in with an apparent effort by China to step up its censorship of the Internet in recent months. Mr. Xiao said he was not surprised that YouTube, which also hosts videos about the Tiananmen Square protests, whose 20th anniversary is coming up, and many other subjects that Chinese authorities find objectionable, is being targeted.

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/
25/technology/internet/25youtub
e.html?em

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/24/china-blocks-youtube-will-go
ogle-bend-again/

Related:
 U.S. Ability to Speak Out On Human Rights in China — Tougher Every Day

Inside China’s Fight Against Internet Addiction

China says Internet crackdown to be “long-lasting”

China Extends War on Free Speech Hidden by Fight Against Porn into Cell Phones

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

 Internet Limits on Sex, Porn Used to Mask Limits on Freedom, Human Rights?

 Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?
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“Unafraid” of Internet, China appears to block YouTube

In this Tuesday March 10, 2009, file photo, Tibetan spiritual ... 
In this Tuesday March 10, 2009, file photo, Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, speaks to the media on the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule that sent him into exile, in Dharmsala, India. The South African government said Tuesday, March 24, 2009, that the Dalai Lama is not welcome until after the 2010 football World Cup, for fear tensions over Tibet would overshadow all other issues. Organizers said earlier that a peace conference scheduled in Johannesburg on Friday has been indefinitely postponed because the government had barred attendance by the Tibetan leader, who has clashed with China. Tibet’s government-in-exile said South Africa was acting under pressure from China, but South Africa’s government denied it. South Africa is China’s largest African trading partner.(AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia/file)

U.S. Ability to Speak Out On Human Rights in China — Tougher Every Day

March 24, 2009

China holds more U.S. debt that any other country — and will soon own more based upon the voracious borrowing of the United States.

This makes it increasingly more difficult for the Obama Administration or anyone else to get what they want from China.

When Hillary Clinton’s State Department admonishes China for any kind of human rights wrongdoing; the Chinese just laugh.

So today China said again it had no idea what restrictions were on the Internet inside China.

Yet YouTube seemed to be blocked.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it was “unafraid” of the Internet — despite a mountain of evidence that China controls the internet more than any other nation. 

U.S. companies like “Google” usually go along with anything China says: the fear of losing 1.3 billion customers is a big incentive to obey China….

The fact is, that China fears the Internet very much.  And this year China has between 20 and 40 million unemployed: an economic situation many fear could spark social unrest.  Add to that many anniversaries in China this year, including one for the uprising in Tiananmen in 1989.  So China is controlling the Internet more than ever this year….

And the West can’t do a thing about that….

Tianasquare.jpg
Tiananmen Square in 1989.

See Michelle Malkin
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/24/
china-blocks-youtube-will-google-
bend-again/

Related:
 Inside China’s Fight Against Internet Addiction

China says Internet crackdown to be “long-lasting”

China Extends War on Free Speech Hidden by Fight Against Porn into Cell Phones

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

 Internet Limits on Sex, Porn Used to Mask Limits on Freedom, Human Rights?

 Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?
.
“Unafraid” of Internet, China appears to block YouTube

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg

“Unafraid” of Internet, China appears to block YouTube

March 24, 2009

China is not afraid of the Internet, its Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, even as access to the popular video sharing site YouTube appeared to be blocked.

YouTube has been unavailable for users in China, which filters the Internet for content critical of Communist Party rule, since late on Monday.

“Many people have a false impression that the Chinese government fears the Internet. In fact it is just the opposite,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

Qin said China’s 300 million Internet users and 100 million blogs showed that “China’s internet is open enough, but also needs to be regulated by law in order to prevent the spread of harmful information and for national security.”

He said he did not know about YouTube being blocked.

Access to YouTube had been spotty earlier in March, the one-year anniversary of widespread protests by Tibetans against Chinese rule.

An Internet crackdown that began in January has closed hundreds of Chinese sites, including a popular blog hosting site and several sites popular with Tibetans.

It has been described by analysts as another step in the Party’s battle to stifle dissent in a year of sensitive anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of the government’s bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

–Reuters

Dodd Caper, House Vote on 90% Tax, Highlights Founders Hopes; Modern Reality

March 21, 2009

When the House voted last week and passed a 90% tax on those rascals who got bonuses after the federal government bailed out their companies, many thoughts went through my mind.

The furor over $165 million in bonuses American International Group Inc. paid some of its employees while receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout money has tarnished Senator Christopher Dodd, certainly.  It seems he was caught in a lie, first saying he added a measure to protect the taxpayer by removing the bonuses, and then saying he protected the bonuses but under pressure from others.

And people in his state are making noise that he should be removed: which I’d be doing if I lived there.

But people forget and Dodd has done a lot for many voters in his state which may decide to retain him in the future.

Unfortunately, a Republican member of the House, Rob Simmons, may have already decided to take on Dodd in the election due to the AIG snafu….

For Dodd, too bad he wasn’t just elected last November…then his reelection would be six years away….

Dodger Dodd Dogged By AIG
From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03
/21/aig.dodd/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Dodd’s Stock Way Down Even Before AIG
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
321/ap_on_re_us/aig_outrage_dodd_3

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ... 
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. listens to witness testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2009, during the committee’s hearing on bank regulation and supervision.(AP photo/Harry Hamburg)

And although my consitituional law and American history lessons are a little vague, here is what we might discuss about the House action on the 90% tax…..

John Marshall believed that the greatest danger to a strong Union would be the state legislatures, which were too likely to be swayed by the people’s fleeting and irrational passions.

I love that notion of fleeting and irrational passions.

This is one of the reasons the Founders wanted a strong federal government and also one of the reasons that Senators serve 6 year terms while House members serve two year terms. 
.
It was understood that members of the House would stand closer to their people, through reelection, at all times.

Thus, members of the House are more subject to the fleeting and irrational passions of their people.Of course, the Founders had no idea how much our modern media including the Internet, You Tube, cable TV, et al could fuel and fan those fleeting and irrational passions…..

 

This explains why the Senate slowed down action on the House’s 90% tax measure in their chambers….

Wkipedia says this about the Senate, which is subject to debate but worth thinking about: “The Senate is a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives because the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House.”

On the 90% tax itself, I am reminded of these quotes:

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” said Daniel Webster, in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland.

John Marshall said this just a bit differently: “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied.”

It should also be noted why many commentators have said that the tax, used as a punishment, is illegal.
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Punishment by tax is unconstitutional becaue that is the kind of trickery pulled to punish our Founders the colonists: by the King of England.

There could be a legal challenge to this bill: telling us again that rushed legislation is often bad legislation….Like the stimulus….

The Senate has to decide next week what it thinks of this 90% tax…..so just taking a ‘time out” over the weekend may be the only modern relief from the fleeting and irrational passions.

Related:

See Michelle Malkin:
Calls For Dodd in Conn.
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/21/liveblogging-the-lexington-k
y-tea-party/

Experts Say Courts Would Uphold Congress on 90% Tax
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=20601087&sid=aC_hgTeumc70&ref
er=worldwide

US newspapers need to reinvent themselves … fast

March 17, 2009

US newspapers are in a state “perilously close to free fall” and time is running short for them to find a business model and reinvent themselves, according to a study released on Monday.

by Chris Lefkow
AFP
.

The Pew Research Center?s Project for Excellence in Journalism said its 2009 report on the State of the News Media was the “bleakest” it has issued since it began doing the annual studies six years ago.

The report examined newspapers, online media, network, cable and local television news as well as news magazines, radio and the ethnic press.

As the study was released, Hearst Corp., publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, announced it was ending the print edition of the money-losing 146-year-old newspaper on Tuesday and going online only.

The Pew report found that US weekly news magazines and daily newspapers are particularly troubled. “The newspaper industry exited a harrowing 2008 and entered 2009 in something perilously close to free fall,” its authors said.

Nevertheless, they said, “we still do not subscribe to the theory that the death of the industry is imminent,” noting that the industry overall “in 2008 remained profitable.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/200903
16/lf_afp/usmedianewspaperstelevisi
onindustryinternetpew_20090316204552

Pelosi Moves To Save Dying Newspapers: In Her Liberal Home; “Damn The Free Market, Full Speed Ahead”

March 17, 2009

Does this seem like intrusion in the free market to you?

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, worried about the fate of The Chronicle and other financially struggling newspapers, urged the Justice Department Monday to consider giving Bay Area papers more leeway to merge or consolidate business operations to stay afloat.

San Francisco Chronicle
.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, released by Pelosi’s office late Monday, the San Francisco Democrat asked the department to weigh the public benefit of saving The Chronicle and other papers from closure against the agency’s antitrust mission to guard against anti-competitive behavior.

“We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the news gathering and analysis that the American people expect,” Pelosi wrote.

The speaker said the issue of newspapers’ survival and antitrust law will be the subject of a hearing soon before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, chaired by Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.

Pelosi’s spokesman, Brendan Daly, said the speaker was moved by the recent announcement by the Hearst Corp., the parent company of The Chronicle, that it would be forced to sell or close the paper if it could not achieve major cost-savings quickly. Hearst has said the paper lost $50 million last year and that this year’s losses will probably be worse.

Read the rest:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl
e.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/16/MNIA16GCBO.DTL

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Former Rocky Mountain News staffers plan to start an online newspaper if they can get 50,000 paying subscribers by April 23.

That date would have been the News’ 150th anniversary.

The E.W. Scripps Co. shut down the News last month, citing mounting losses.

The founders of InDenverTimes.com say the site will go live on May 4 if they meet the subscription goal.

Read the rest:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.p
hp?id=D96V9VV80&show_article=1

Hearst Corp., publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, announced it was ending the print edition of the money-losing 146-year-old newspaper on Tuesday and going online only.

The Christian Science Monitor is also going online only…

Related:
US newspapers need to reinvent themselves … fast

YouTube cuts off music videos to UK

March 9, 2009

YouTube, said it will block all music videos to British users after it was unable to reach a rights deal with the main songwriters’ collection society.

The world’s largest video sharing site said PRS for Music, a British collection society that collects royalties on behalf of nearly 50,000 composers, was asking it to pay “many, many times” more than the previous licensing agreement that has expired.
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By Yinka Adegoke
Reuters

“The costs are simply prohibitive for us — under PRS’s proposed terms, we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback,” the company said in a blog on Monday.

Read the rest:
http://eideard.wordpress.com/2009/03
/09/youtube-cuts-off-music-videos-to-uk/


The move is the latest sign of the tension between YouTube and the music industry and also indicates the video site’s resolve to keep operating costs under control as it strives to generate meaningful profits for Google.

 

YouTube said PRS was also unclear about which songs are included in the renewed license.

 

“We’ve been talking to them for a long time and we’re still talking to them,” said Patrick Walker, YouTube director of video partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

 

Walker described it as a “painful decision.”

 

But PRS disputed YouTube’s version of events and said it was caught by surprise by the announcement in the middle of ongoing negotiations.

 

“We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google’s drastic action,” said PRS for Music Chief Executive Steve Porter.

Reuters:
http://www.reuters.com/article/techn
ologyNews/idUSTRE5286GM20090309
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