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Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

‘Spamhaus mafia tactics – main threat to Internet freedom’: CyberBunker explains largest cyber-attack

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2013

Spamhaus is a major censorship organization only pretending to fight spam, a CyberBunker spokesman said in an RT exclusive. Sven Olaf Kamphuis claimed that as a constant bully of Internet service providers Spamhaus has only itself to blame for the attack.

In a Skype interview with RT, Kamphuis denied that CyberBunker was the organization behind the historical attack, pointing the finger at a large collective of internet providers around the globe called Stophaus.com.

Spamhaus has blackmailed a number of internet service providers and carriers into disconnecting clients without court orders or any legal process, Kamphuis says. Basically, he accuses them of claiming people are spammers when they are not.

“They do it on a regular basis,” Kamphuis said. “If people do not comply with their demands they just list the entire internet provider.”

Kamphuis claims they use “mafia tactics” and have a list of internet users that they do not like, which features a lot of users from China and Russia because they allegedly believe that a lot of spammers and criminals in these two countries use the internet to facilitate crime.

Spamhaus first reported massive DDoS attacks on March 20. At one point Spamhaus servers were flooded with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, making it the largest registered attack of this kind in the history of the internet, according to Kaspersky anti-virus giant’s experts.

Image from cyberbunker.com
Image from cyberbunker.com

“The data flow generated by such an attack may affect intermediate network nodes when it passes them, thus impeding operations of normal web services that have no relation to Spamhaus or CyberBunker,”corporate communications manager at Kaspersky, Yuliya Krivosheina, wrote in a statement for RT.“Therefore, such DDoS attack may affect regular users as well, with network slowdown or total unavailability of certain web resources being typical symptoms.” Read the rest of this entry »

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We Need Schools… Not Factories

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 3, 2013

By Sugata Mitra

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Unlocking the power of new technologies for self-guided education is one of the 21st century superhighways that need to be paved. Profound changes to how children access vast information is yielding new forms of peer-to-peer and individual-guided learning. The cloud is already omnipresent and indestructible, democratizing and ever changing; now we need to use it to spark the imaginations and build the mental muscles of children worldwide.

This journey, for me, began back in 1999, when I conducted an experiment called the “hole in the wall.” By installing Internet-equipped computers in poor Indian villages and then watching how children interacted with them, unmediated, I first glimpsed the power of the cloud. Groups of street children learned to use computers and the Internet by themselves, with little or no knowledge of English and never having seen a computer before. Then they started instinctually teaching one another. In the next five years, through many experiments, I learned just how powerful adults can be when they give small groups of children the tools and the agency to guide their own learning and then get out of the way.

The Sole Of A Student

From Plato to Aurobindo, from Vygotsky to Montessori, centuries of educational thinking have vigorously debated a central pedagogical question: How do we spark creativity, curiosity, and wonder in children? But those who philosophized pre-Google were prevented from wondering just how the Internet might influence the contemporary answer to this age-old question. Today, we can and must; a generation that has not known a world without vast global and online connectivity demands it of us.

But first, a bit of history: to keep the world’s military-industrial machine running at the zenith of the British Empire, Victorians assembled an education system to mass-produce workers with identical skills. Plucked from the classroom and plugged instantly into the system, citizens were churned through an educational factory engineered for maximum productivity.

Like most things designed by the Victorians, it was a robust system. It worked. Schools, in a sense, manufactured generations of workers for an industrial age.

But what got us here, won’t get us there. Schools today are the product of an expired age; standardized curricula, outdated pedagogy, and cookie cutter assessments are relics of an earlier time. Schools still operate as if all knowledge is contained in books, and as if the salient points in books must be stored in each human brain — to be used when needed. The political and financial powers controlling schools decide what these salient points are. Schools ensure their storage and retrieval. Students are rewarded for memorization, not imagination or resourcefulness.

We need a pedagogy free from fear and focused on the magic of children’s innate quest for information and understanding.— Sugata Mitra

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Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2012

jason-lee-reuters.n

The most powerful company on the Internet just got a whole lot creepier: a new service from Google merges offline consumer info with online intelligence, allowing advertisers to target users based on what they do at the keyboard and at the mall.

Without much fanfare, Google announced news this week of a new advertising project, Conversions API, that will let businesses build all-encompassing user profiles based off of not just what users search for on the Web, but what they purchase outside of the home.

In a blog post this week on Google’s DoubleClick Search site, the Silicon Valley giant says that targeting consumers based off online information only allows advertisers to learn so much. “Conversions,” tech-speak for the digital metric made by every action a user makes online, are incomplete until coupled with real life data, Google says.

“We understand that online advertising also fuels offline conversions,” the blog post reads. Thus, Google says, “To capture these lost conversions and bring offline into your online world, we’re announcing the open beta of our Conversions API for uploading offline conversion automatically.”

The blog goes on to explain that in-store transactions, call-tracking and other online activities can be inputted into Google to be combined with other information “to optimize your campaigns based on even more of your businessdata.” Read the rest of this entry »

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THE HIMALAYAN TALK : RAM KUMAR SHRESTHA SHARES HIS VIEWS

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 16, 2012

[Ram Kumar Shrestha, the Global Coordinator of ‘Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement’, founded in 2009 for raising awareness of the Buddha birth place Lumbini and Kapilvastu also, spoke to us tonight from Melborne, Australia. He opines that every Nepalese has a sacred duty to join hands towards the movement he has started for world peace through the Buddha’s teachings and messages. He strongly asserts that the Buddha was born in present day Lumbini of southern Nepal.]

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Assange to RT: Entire nations intercepted online, key turned to totalitarian rule

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 3, 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says all the necessary physical infrastructure for absolute totalitarianism through the internet is ready. He told RT that the question now is whether the turnkey process that already started will go all the way.

RT: So you’ve written this book ‘Cypherpunks. Freedom and the Future of the Internet’ based on one of the programs that you’ve made for RT. In it, you say that the internet can enslave us. I don’t really get that, because the internet it’s a thing, it’s a soulless thing. Who are the actual enslavers behind it?

Julian Assange: The people who control the interception of the internet and, to some degree also, physically control the big data warehouses and the international fiber-optic lines. We all think of the internet as some kind of Platonic Realm where we can throw out ideas and communications and web pages and books and they exist somewhere out there. Actually, they exist on web servers in New York or Nairobi or Beijing, and information comes to us through satellite connections or through fiber-optic cables.

So whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that’s the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned – intercepting entire nations, not individuals.

‘intercepting entire nations, not individuals’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Google takes action to support open Internet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 23, 2012

An upcoming UN-organized conference on global communications aims to hammer out a treaty to safeguard “the free flow of information around the world.” Google is fighting back, saying the treaty threatens the “free and open Internet.”

Representatives from UN member-states will gather in Dubai from December 3 through 14 with the explicit aim of working out a new universal information and communication treaty that would regulate the Internet.

The conference, organized by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) has reignited a fierce debate over who should control the Web.

Google has remained unequivocal in its stance that the closed-door meeting a power grab aimed at ending public control of the Internet and strangling free speech:

“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice,” Google said on its ‘Take Action’ advocacy website.

Google, which has consistently taken a self-regulatory approach to the Internet, called the Dubai conference the“wrong place” to make decisions on the future of the Internet.

The Internet giant argued that the 42 countries set to decide the future of the Net have already moved to censor it, and that the number of regulations is only growing. Read the rest of this entry »

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US could put Assange to death if it gets him – former senior NSA official

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

If America gets its hands on the WikiLeaks founder, they may go as far as execute him, a known National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake told RT, adding that in the US, security has become a state religion.

An expert on electronic eavesdropping, Drake sacrificed his career to blow the whistle on perceived wrongdoings within the NSA. He was charged under the Espionage Act, though the charges were dropped only last year.

He told RT that in America’s ‘soft tyranny’, everyone is subject or suspect in terms of surveillance.

RT: What was the potential harm of the program that you challenged while working with the NSA?

Thomas Drake: There was a very large flagship program called Trailblazer that was designed to catapult the NSA into the twenty first century to deal with the vast amounts of data generated by the digital age. Given the massive fraud and abuse that the NSA had created with the Trailblazer program, as well as the super secret surveillance program, the NSA completely violated the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. In particular, the stature called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was the first commandment at the NSA: you did violate Americans’ privacy without a warning, and if you did – there is a criminal penalty for doing so. And I found this out to my horror and shock, that shortly after 9/11, the NSA entered a secret agreement with the White House in which the NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Stalin was like Facebook’: Viral ad sparks controversy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 3, 2012

Poster inscription reads: "Stalin was like Twitter: he kept it brief." The image is part of a graduate project, commemorating victims of Stalinist repressions. Artwork by Nox-13

Poster inscription reads: “Stalin was like Twitter: he kept it brief.” The image is part of a graduate project, commemorating victims of Stalinist repressions. Artwork by Nox-13

“Stalin was like Facebook: he always wanted you to share information.” That is just one of the controversial posters aimed at showing the Internet generation the horrors of Stalin’s regime. Others compare him to Twitter and YouTube.

The posters, which were created for the Victims of Illegal Political Repressions Organization, use contemporary social platforms to illustrate to younger generations how much they have, and translate the awful reality of Soviet political repressions into a language they understand and can relate to.

The posters draw parallels between popular social networks and typical repressions of Stalinist times, and all provide historical details on this very dark period in Soviet history.

The Facebook poster describes how thousands of people regularly snitched on their neighbors, friends and relatives, filing reports with the NKVD or Secret Police. In the two years of the worst oppressions, from 1937 to 1938, the NKVD was flooded with so many reports, they physically couldn’t handle them.

A similar poster comparing the Soviet dictator to YouTube plays on the Russian words for “upload” and “send”, saying that Stalin let people get picked up and sent off. During the period of the Great Purge, known as Yezhovshchina in Russia (after the head of the Secret Police, Nikolay Yezhov), millions were sent off to labor camps and left to rot in Siberia. Their families were evaluated, and if deemed ‘capable of anti-Soviet actions’, they too were packed off to the camps, travelling for months in freight trains, like cattle.

The project started as a graduation work for communications studies student Ilya Tekhlikidi, who chose the Victims of Illegal Political Repressions Organization because of his own family history. His great-grandfather was executed by firing squad in 1937, and his great-grandmother and her children survived three labor camps. Read the rest of this entry »

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Assange rejects police request to surrender

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 29, 2012

ALSO O

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that he rejects the British police’s request to hand himself in and will remain in the Ecuadorean embassy and continue his appeal for asylum on grounds of political persecution.

Earlier on Thursday, police issued an order for Assange to appear at a police station to begin the extradition process.

The letter from the Metropolitan Police sent to the Ecuadorian Embassy said it “requires him to attend a police station at a date and time of our choosing. This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.” Read the rest of this entry »

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EU tells Google to fix search or face antitrust probe

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 4, 2012

EU tells Google to fix search or face antitrust probe

EU tells Google to fix search or face antitrust probe

The EU’s antitrust chief has set a July 2 deadline for Google to offer changes in its search engine and advertising algorithms or face investigation into alleged favoritism. The search giant is accused of abusing its market dominance.

Google is currently used for about 90 per cent of all internet searches in Europe. The EU is concerned that the company may be tinkering with search results to put its own services ahead of competitors and bans rivals from advertising at Google-controlled web pages, thus violating the semi-monopoly, Joaquin Almunia, the head of competition policy said in a letter.

Almunia indicated, that he expects Google to follow the request without the issue being taken to court. If the situation develops otherwise, a high profile battle not unlike Brussels’ antitrust war against Microsoft last decade may follow. In the worst-case scenario Google may face multimillion-euro fines. Read the rest of this entry »

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Social downer: Anonymous crash Facebook, lock out thousands

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

Screenshot of Twitter user @YourAnonOps

Screenshot of Twitter user @YourAnonOps

An attack orchestrated by the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous forced Facebook offline, with many of its 900 million users unable to log onto the social network for hours.

Anonymous took to Twitter, using their @YourAnonNews handle to say “looks like good old Facebook is having packet problems,” and sprinkled it with some no-nonsense hashtags like #FuckFacebook and #FuckYourIPO.

They followed with “RIP Facebook a new sound of tango down bitches”, which resulted in “RIP Facebook” trending on Twitter both in the United States and worldwide.

Facebook admitted they experienced problems in a statement.

“Earlier today, some users briefly experienced issues loading the site. The issues have since been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience,” the company’s announcement said.

Facebook did not deny Anonymous’ claims that they were behind the network problems.

Anonymous usually times its attacks for Fridays, but has previously focused mainly on law enforcement-alphabet agencies like the FBI, CIA and DHS. This is the first time the hacktivist group has targeted the world’s most popular social network.

The attack added insult to Facebook’s IPO injuries, with share prices falling 22 per cent since going public two weeks ago. Mark Zuckerberg’s company, along with the banks that led the float, is also the subject of two shareholder lawsuits. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plan X: Pentagon’s blueprint for full-fledged cyberwar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2012

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

The wheels of the war machine are ever turning inside the Pentagon, but the Defense Department’s latest endeavor won’t involve fighter jets and armored tanks. The DoD is putting aside billions to enhance its cyberwar capabilities.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is turning towards the private sector and America’s next generation of computer wiz-kids to recruit forces for its next war. A report released Thursday by the Washington Post reveals that DARPA is looking to invest $1.54 billion during the next five years to up its online abilities, with $110 million going directly to a program dubbed Plan X, but unlike before it won’t be budgeted necessarily for thwarting acts of cyberterrorism. Instead the Pentagon is itching to ensure that America can carry out an offensive cyberwar on other nations rather than just readying the US to defend itself against a similar assault from abroad.

Experts say that, if the Pentagon’s plans come to fruition, it will put America at the forefront in terms of cyberwar capabilities. And although it might be a success in the eyes of Congress and corporations with a vested interest in protecting America’s cyber infrastructure, the powers that the Pentagon wants could be bigger than anyone can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Flame’ Virus explained: How it works and who’s behind it

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 30, 2012

‘Flame’ Virus: How it works and who’s behind it

                                                                                      ‘Flame’ Virus: How it works and who’s behind it

Flame may be the most powerful computer virus in history, and a nation-state is most likely to blame for unleashing it on the World Wide Web.Kaspersky’s chief malware expert Vitaly Kamlyuk shared with RT the ins and outs of Stuxnet on steroids.

Iran appears to be the primary target of the data-snatching virus that has swept through the Middle East, though other countries have also been affected.The sheer complexity of the virus and its targets has led Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab to believe a state is behind the attack.

Kaspersky first spotted the virus in 2010, though it may have been wrecking havoc on computer systems for many years.Vitaly Kamlyuk told RT how his company discovered it, just what makes Flame so significant, features of the virus that could point towards its creator, and why we all lose out in this intensifying cyber-war.

RT: So, how did you spot the malware, was it a planned investigation, or did it come by surprise?

Vitaly Kamlyuk: It was by surprise. We were initially searching for a [different form of] malware. We were aware of the malware that had spread throughout the Middle East, attacked hundreds of computers and wiped their hard drives, making the systems unbootable after that. It was actually after an inquiry from the International Telecommunications Union, which is a part of the United Nations, who actually asked us to start conducting research. When we started looking for this mysterious malware in the Middle East, we discovered this suspicious application that turned out to be even more interesting than the initial target of our search. Read the rest of this entry »

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FBI secretly creates Internet police

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 26, 2012

Photo from news.21.by

                                                                                                        Photo from news.21.by

The FBI was rather public with its recent demands for backdoor access to websites and Internet services across the board, but as the agency awaits those secret surveillance powers, they’re working on their own end to have those e-spy capabilities.

Not much has been revealed about one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s newest projects, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, and the FBI will probably try to keep it that way. Despite attempting to keep the DCAC largely under wraps, an investigation spearheaded by Cnet’s Declan McCullagh is quickly collecting details about the agency’s latest endeavor.

Governmental agencies have been searching seemingly without end for ways to pry into the personal communications of computer users in America. Congressional approval and cooperation from Internet companies could be an eternity away, of course, but the FBI might be able to bypass that entirely by taking the matter into their own hands. At the Quantico, Virginia headquarters of the DCAC, federal workers are believed to be already hard at work on projects that will put FBI spies into the Internet, snooping on unsuspecting American’s Skype calls, instant messages and everything else carried out with a mouse and keyboard. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anonymous: ‘We have access to every classified database in the US’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 15, 2012

AFP Photo/Joel Saget

                                                                                                                   AFP Photo/Joel Saget

Businesses have suggested it. The government has all but confirmed it. And according to one alleged member, they both might very well be right. A hacker tied to Anonymous says the loose-knit collective may be the most powerful organization on Earth.

“The entire world right now is run by information,” Chris Doyon tells Postmedia News from an undisclosed location in Canada. “Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s”

“It’s the geeks and computer hackers of the world,” says Doyon.

In a world where the most critical of information isn’t locked up in vaults but instead encoded in easily obtainable binary, Doyon says that crackers like those in Anonymous are in possession of some of the most powerful knowledge known to man.

Doyon, who is reported to be in his late 40s, was charged last year for partaking in a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the website for the county of Santa Cruz, California. Since February, however, he has resided in Canada after using what he says is the new “underground railroad” to escape persecution for alleged computer crimes in the States.

Authorities say that, under the handle of Commander X, Doyon acted as a ringleader of sorts of the Anonymous collective, an operation described by its own participants as one that lacks leadership altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

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