Posts Tagged ‘United States’
The US government has agreed to pay $50 million after it was said to have pirated “thousands” of copies of military software.
Apptricity, based in Texas, has provided logistics programs to the army since 2004…The company said it had discovered last year the software had been installed on many more machines than had been licensed.
The Department of Justice has not commented on the settlement.
The Dallas Morning News reported a DoJ spokeswoman had confirmed the agreement, but would not give more details.
Apptricity’s software allows the military to track the movements of soldiers as well as key supplies…
According to court documents filed in 2012, the deal with the military meant up to 500 named users could access the software.
Apptricity later estimated that 9,000 users were accessing the program, in addition to the 500 that had been paid for.
The unauthorised copying only came to light after a US Army official mentioned “thousands” of devices running the software during a presentation on technology.
Apptricity called for $224 million to be paid to cover costs…The settlement of $50 million falls some way short – but in a statement the company said Apptricity would spend the sum on expanding the company…
In recent years, the US government has stepped up efforts to combat piracy, announcing a wide-ranging strategy for clamping down in 2010.
“Piracy is theft, clean and simple,” remarked vice-president Joe Biden at the time.
Don’t you love it when the crooks don’t read the script. Like – if you’re an officer it somehow ain’t theft. The same holds true for the folks under your command.
The rest of us poor SOB’s not only get to pay retail – we pay the salaries of the brass hats who boosted the software.
British and U.S. intelligence officials say they are worried about a “doomsday” cache of highly classified, heavily encrypted material they believe former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has stored on a data cloud.
The cache contains documents generated by the NSA and other agencies and includes names of U.S. and allied intelligence personnel, seven current and former U.S. officials and other sources briefed on the matter said.
The data is protected with sophisticated encryption, and multiple passwords are needed to open it, said two of the sources, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
The passwords are in the possession of at least three different people and are valid for only a brief time window each day, they said. The identities of persons who might have the passwords are unknown…
One source described the cache of still unpublished material as Snowden’s “insurance policy” against arrest or physical harm.
U.S. officials and other sources said only a small proportion of the classified material Snowden downloaded during stints as a contract systems administrator for NSA has been made public. Some Obama Administration officials have said privately that Snowden downloaded enough material to fuel two more years of news stories.
“The worst is yet to come,” said one former U.S. official who follows the investigation closely.
Lots more in the article if you need to be updated on this part of the Snowden affair.
I have to laugh over the inevitably-unnamed American officials who qualify “truth” as the same as the “worst”.
William Burns, Wendy Sherman, Jake Sullivan – negotiators in secret
The United States and Iran secretly engaged in a series of high-level, face-to-face talks over the past year, in a high-stakes diplomatic gamble by the Obama administration that paved the way for the historic deal sealed early Sunday in Geneva aimed at slowing Tehran’s nuclear program, The Associated Press has learned.
The discussions were kept hidden even from America’s closest friends, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago, and that may explain how the nuclear accord appeared to come together so quickly after years of stalemate and fierce hostility between Iran and the West.
But the secrecy of the talks may also explain some of the tensions between the U.S. and France, which earlier this month balked at a proposed deal, and with Israel, which is furious about the agreement and has angrily denounced the diplomatic outreach to Tehran.
President Barack Obama personally authorized the talks as part of his effort – promised in his first inaugural address – to reach out to a country the State Department designates as the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism.
The talks were held in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman and elsewhere with only a tight circle of people in the know, the AP learned. Since March, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Jake Sullivan, Vice President Joe Biden’s top foreign policy adviser, have met at least five times with Iranian officials.
The last four clandestine meetings, held since Iran’s reform-minded President Hassan Rouhani was inaugurated in August, produced much of the agreement later formally hammered out in negotiations in Geneva among the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran…
The AP was tipped to the first U.S.-Iranian meeting in March shortly after it occurred, but the White House and State Department disputed elements of the account and the AP could not confirm the meeting. The AP learned of further indications of secret diplomacy in the fall and pressed the White House and other officials further. As the Geneva talks appeared to be reaching their conclusion, senior administration officials confirmed to the AP the details of the extensive outreach.
The Geneva deal provides Iran with about $7 billion in relief from international sanctions in exchange for Iranian curbs on uranium enrichment and other nuclear activity. All parties pledged to work toward a final accord next year that would remove remaining suspicions in the West that Tehran is trying to assemble an atomic weapons arsenal.
Iran insists its nuclear interest is only in peaceful energy production and medical research.
The diplomatic gamble with Iran, if the interim agreement holds up and leads to a final pact preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, could avert years of threats of U.S. or Israeli military intervention. It could also prove a turning point in decades of hostility between Washington and Tehran – and become a crowning foreign policy achievement of Obama’s presidency.
First off, RTFA for the details. The AP has done a professional job outlining the chronology of this comparatively recent – and successful – effort.
The rest of the world will keep the whole history of relations between Iran and the United States in mind even though the average American hasn’t a clue. A condition perpetuated by what passes for news in our media-as-entertainment only, history in our schools.
It starts with the United States, the CIA and Iranian royalists combining to crush the first democratically-elected government in Iran back in 1953. No one in Iran, no one in the Middle East forgets how American greed for oil trumped democracy with violence. No one in the world seriously believes the United States has abandoned the imperial premises that brought about that coup.
The possibility of the detente that started during the Clinton years continuing – were abruptly halted, intentionally or otherwise – by George W. Bush announcing to the world how he demanded the Iranian people vote in elections in 2005. Only an old-fashioned fool in the mold of Colonel Blimp would expect a nation to bow their heads and say, “Yes, boss” to such arrogance. And, so, the Iranian nation ended up with a fool in charge to match the clown in the White House.
We are fortunate that one of the few promises kept by Barack Obama since his election was the one made about negotiating with Iran. No less arrogant than George W, as dedicated as ever to the premises that keep a right-wing government in power in Israel, nevertheless, through the good graces of the Sultan of Oman – communications were continued and expanded until this important first step moved forward yesterday evening.
The usual shitheads are upset. From Lindsay Graham in South Carolina to Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, from Tea Party trollops to Chuck Shumer, the senator from Tel Aviv – right-wingers and liberals alike in their dedication to imperial greed from the United States and our client state in Israel are pissed off.
That is as it should be. Another sign of positive accomplishment.
The US has been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone since 2002, according to a report in Der Spiegel magazine…The German publication claims to have seen secret documents from the National Security Agency which show Mrs Merkel’s number on a list dating from 2002 – before she became chancellor.
Her number was still on a surveillance list in 2013…
The nature of the monitoring of Mrs Merkel’s mobile phone is not clear from the files, Der Spiegel says.
For example, it is possible that the chancellor’s conversations were recorded, or that her contacts were simply assessed.
Germany is sending its top intelligence chiefs to Washington in the coming week to “push forward” an investigation into the spying allegations, which have caused outrage in Germany…
A close ally of Mrs Merkel told the BBC that she was personally very hurt by the idea of being spied on by American friends.
The chancellor is said to be shocked that Washington may have engaged in the sort of spying that she had to deal with while growing up in Communist East Germany…
A unit called Special Collection Services, based in the US embassy in Pariser Platz in Berlin, was responsible for monitoring communications in the German capital’s government quarter…
Similar units were based in around 80 locations worldwide, according to the documents seen by Der Spiegel, 19 of them in European cities.
With friends like this, Angela Merkel doesn’t really need enemies, now, does she?
Just for shits and giggles – think about the public relations types, the soothers, smoothers and spin doctors who front for the array of professional politicians infesting what could be a simple federal bureaucracy functioning on behalf of the people of this nation. They’re trying to come up with new excuses every week for the previous week’s lies – because all the crud Ed Snowden walked away with gets another release from one or another of the few newspapers with the courage to print the truth, every week.
Consider that if George W was bugging Merkel’s phone, he certainly agreed to do the same to Gerhard Schröder, then chancellor, and Joschka Fischer, leader of the Green Party. Although it’s always fun to note that American conservatives never seem to trust anyone to be conservative enough – especially them furriners.
And another lie is revealed. And another.
Iceland is the most advanced country in the world in gender equality, the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report said Friday.
The report ranks 136 countries on their abilities to close the gender gap in four key areas — economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, and educational attainment.
Iceland was ranked No. 1 for the fifth year in a row, with Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Philippines coming in second through fifth, respectively, the report said…
Germany was the highest-ranked G20 country at 14th, falling by one place from 2012. Britain stayed the same at 18th, Canada moved up a spot to 20th and the United States fell a spot to 23rd. Russia ranked 61st, China 69th and India 101st. The lowest ranking countries were Chad at 134th, Pakistan at 135th and Yemen at 136th.
You can download the whole report over here.
There were a couple of surprises. You’d think with the emphasis placed on gender-equality awareness by the Obama White House, the US might have progressed a little bit. Sadly, no.
Brazil says it will develop its own in-house email system to strengthen privacy and avoid spying it blames on the United States…The country will ditch Microsoft Outlook and develop its own new, custom platform, CNET reported Monday.
Appropriate payback for Microsoft’s cooperation with NSA slimeballs.
The move comes following revelations that communications between Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her key aides have been monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency.
Rousseff condemned NSA’s spying as a breach of international law in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last month and canceled a planned visit to Washington in protest.
“I have mandated the deployment of a secure email system throughout the federal government,” Rousseff tweeted Sunday, calling it “the first step to expand privacy and inviolability of official messages.”
The new system will run on a cloud platform maintained by Brazil’s Federal Data Processing Service.
The Brazilian government is also reportedly considering laying a new underwater fiber optic cable directly to Europe to avoid routing the country’s Internet connections through the United States.
The turds in the NSA have sparked terrific experimentation in secure systems and apps around the world. Thanks to Ed Snowden and his confirmation of the illicit spying on ordinary citizens by the thugs in Congress and the White House.
The reaction from nations fighting for their independence and sovereignty is another political response to the arrogance of the United States. Our nation’s policies are an embarrassment to any American who believes in freedom and democracy.
American adults lag the world in literacy, math and computer skills – just not quite as bad as our kids
Policymakers and politicians who wring their hands about the mediocre performance of U.S. students on international math and reading tests have another worry: The nation’s grown-ups aren’t doing much better.
A first-ever comparison of adults in the United States and those in other democracies found that Americans were below average when it comes to skills needed to compete in the global economy.
The survey…measured the literacy, math and computer skills of about 5,000 U.S. adults between ages 16 and 65, and compared them with similar samples of adults from 21 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Americans are “decidedly weaker in numeracy and problem-solving skills than in literacy, and average U.S. scores for all three are below the international average and far behind the scores of top performers like Japan or Finland,” said Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, the data collection arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
Photograph from The Innocence Project, 2008
Herman Wallace’s world for much of the last 41 years had been a solitary prison cell, 6 feet by 9 feet, when he left a Louisiana prison on Tuesday, freed by a federal judge who ruled that his original indictment in the killing of a prison guard had been unconstitutional.
On Friday morning, Mr. Wallace died of cancer in New Orleans. He was 71.
He had been one of the “Angola 3,” convicts whose solitary confinement at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, an 18,000-acre prison farm on the site of a former plantation, became a rallying point for advocates fighting abusive prison conditions around the world.
Mr. Wallace was serving a prison sentence for armed robbery when the correctional officer, Brent Miller, was stabbed to death in a riot at Angola in April 1972. Mr. Wallace and two other men were indicted in the killing. Two of the three — Albert Woodfox and Mr. Wallace — were convicted in January 1974.
They were placed in solitary confinement, joining another prisoner there, Robert King, who had been convicted of a different crime, and for decades to follow they were locked up for as much as 23 hours a day. Amnesty International published a report on them in 2011, and they were the subject of a documentary film, “In the Land of the Free,” directed by Vadim Jean…
Congress and the White House keep Huawei out of the USA – so, now, they’re adding 5,500 jobs in Europe
Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei plans to create 5,500 jobs in Europe within five years as the company expands its services in the region, state-owned newspaper China Daily said on Saturday.
Huawei, the world’s second largest maker of telecoms communication equipment, is to offer information technology solutions to European businesses, Patrick Zhang, president of marketing and solutions at Huawei Enterprise Business Group, told the newspaper…
Zhang said Europe offered more growth potential than the United States, where a congressional report last year found the company posed a security threat and essentially blocked it from the market.
“Our expansion progress in Europe is different from that in the U.S., where we have encountered access difficulties due to some groundless reasons given by the American side,” Zhang said.
Huawei representatives said last week that the company expected to have its revenues expand by 10 percent annually over the next five years, thanks largely to consumer devices and enterprise services.
Isn’t there something your grandma said about cutting off your nose to spite your face?
Europeans have had beefs with Huawei in the past over prices – the usual excuse when you’re not competitive. However, their corporations and governments have no problems using Huawei communications systems, products – aiding Huawei on their path towards number 1 in that market in the world.
Uncle Sugar and the Cold Warriors in Congress and the White House think they will somehow protect investments in out-of-date and uncompetitive designs from American companies by blocking foreign competition. And the United States may as well drop the fear of eavesdropping ploy about foreign governments. There’s one area where we definitely lead the world.