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Alfredo Lopez's Posts

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 2:19am

    Since adding the feature in April, 2016, the Whatsapp app (or really its parent, Facebook) has paraded its "end to end encryption" as the reason to use it above all other smartphone message applications. It can handle calls, messages, video, files and just about everything any computer can and,...

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 12:28am

     

    If you are one of the approximately 280 million people with Yahoo email accounts, your email was scanned for content and possibly turned over to the U.S. government. Yahoo, on Tuesday, admitted that fact.

    Reuters...

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 4:37pm

     

    We just celebrated "Juneteenth" (the start of the end of slavery in the U.S.) amid tumultuous and sometimes confusing politics and what appears to be an increase in racist mobilization. For internet activists the situation begs the question: what, at this moment in our history, is...

  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 12:47pm

     

    (The following article was co-written by Dr. Jackie Smith -- of the International Network of Scholar Activsts -- and TCBH writer Alfredo Lopez. It is being published here and in other places.)
     

    In October of 2006, Google launched its Apps for Education,...

  • Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 12:58am

     

    In the recent New York primaries, Bernie Sanders experienced some very cold water thrown in his face. Not only did he lose, and soundly, but he was served a major lesson about one of the primary deficiencies in his campaign.

    While the pundits joined his campaign organizers...

  • Sunday, February 21, 2016 - 6:32pm

     

    Truth can be stranger than fiction...or at least more surprising. Apple Computer is the current champion of privacy against U.S. government attempts to expand its spying on us. The company, a frequent NSA and FBI collaborator in the past, finds itself in the strange position of...

  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 7:57pm

     

    Bernie Sanders' stunning success in the campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, highlighted by what is effectively a victory in the Iowa caucuses this past Monday, provokes serious thinking about what a Sanders presidency would look like.

    Were he to take office...

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 6:23pm

    Last week, T-Mobile's CEO John Lagere publicly asked the Electronic Frontier Foundation a straightforward question: "Who the f*** are you anyway, EFF? Why are you stirring up so much trouble and who pays you?"

    The question, delivered in a short podcast by the telephone mogul, was in...

  • Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 6:31pm

    When I was very young, my parents used to tell me why having "lots of toys" wasn't a good idea. "The more you have, the more you want," they would say. I didn't have many toys -- we were poor -- so the idea of possessions feeding greed didn't make much sense to me then.

    But I've learned...

  • Monday, October 26, 2015 - 2:43am

     

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, initialed by the delegations of the 12 participating countries in early October, is one of the most talked-about mysteries of our time. The moment the treaty was announced, there was a tidal wave of commentary and criticism: most of it...

  • Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 3:06am

    As expected, the European Union court has thrown out an agreement, forged in 2000, that allows virtually uninhibited data sharing and transfer between the United States and EU countries and is the legal basis for National Security Agency's on-line surveillance and data capture programs.

    ...

  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 5:19pm

     

    A legal case, virtually unreported in the U.S., could very well unhinge a major component of this country's surveillance system. In any case, it certainly challenges it.

    Yves Bot, he Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (the European Union's litigation arena)...

  • Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 4:02am

    How much noise does the other shoe make when it drops? If the shoe is a law that would complete the development of a police surveillance state in the United States, it's almost silent.

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee quietly sent a bill to the Senate that would require...

  • Monday, July 13, 2015 - 2:11am

     

    The Internet -- always ablaze with controversy -- is a wildfire these days with revelations about more pernicious government spying, deals between governments and corporate "hacker companies", and...

  • Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 1:44am

     

    To get to the point: there is nothing -- nothing at all -- in any recent law or legislative action that will in any way weaken the police state structure our government has put into place for rapid deployment. You are not any more free than you were last week and, no matter what...

  • Monday, April 20, 2015 - 2:13am

     

    A debate, going on in the quasi-private and well-catered halls of government-corporate collusion, has reached the post-smoldering stage. It's now a virtual forest fire in full public view.

    It pits government spies against corporate cannibals and is about the often...

  • Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 1:25am

     

    For many people reading this, there are at least two concepts that will offend.

    One is surveillance, about which we've written often on this site. The other is the Barbie doll: the ubiquitous toy that has for decades molded girls' (and boys’) concept of "the perfect female"...

  • Monday, March 2, 2015 - 2:17am

     

    When Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma was arrested last week, charged with organizing and leading a coup, the U.S. State Department's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: "The allegations made by the Venezuelan government that the United States is involved in coup plotting and destabilization...

  • Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 2:21am

     

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed Wednesday new FCC rules that would protect and preserve the Internet's Net Neutrality.

    The proposals, coming after years of debate...

  • Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 3:28am

     

    For the past three months, I and other leaders of the organization May First/People Link have been under a federal subpoena to provide information we don't have. During that time, we have also been forbidden by a federal court "gag order" to tell anyone about that subpoena,...

  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 4:08am

     

    The week before last, our President made a pronouncement on Net Neutrality that pleasantly surprised activists and won him favorable coverage in the newspapers: both rare outcomes these days.

    In both timing and content...

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 3:25am

    A couple of weeks ago, the mere mortals who lead the voracious giants of technology -- Google and Apple -- announced that they were striking a blow for protection against NSA spying by making "encryption" the default on Google cell phone software (which is used on most cell phones) and THEY...

  • Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 3:14am

     

    One sensationally reported incident this week exposes a dual threat: your data isn't safe on a corporate-controlled "cloud" and spying software made for police and government agencies makes it completely accessible.

    The...

  • Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 3:17am

     

    Are you a Time-Warner Internet customer? Have you ever experienced an outage? Have you called the company for a reimbursement? Most people would probably answer "no" to that last question. In fact, most company customers don't realize that these companies aren't required to...

  • Friday, August 8, 2014 - 2:04am

     

    The recent news that Russian hackers have the usernames and passwords for over a billion users as well as a half billion email accounts wraps up a week of Internet craziness.

    Last week, Google revealed that it had turned into police a Google user who had included child...

  • Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 1:38am

    How does the news on the Internet make you feel?

    What sounds like a frivolous question, the kind you might be asked in a bar after a few drinks, is actually a profound and powerful one. If the Internet's content can affect your feelings, the manipulation of that content can exert powerful...

  • Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 2:28am

    As bad as things get for our movement in this country, we are not yet feeling the full throttle of repression and, if one needs a reminder of that and perhaps a profile of what's in store for us if we don't organize now, the situation facing Internet activists in the Middle East provides it....

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 3:23am

     

    It just wasn't a very good week for phones or for freedom.

    Last week's obscene joke of a bill coughed up by a Congress [1] wheezing with immobilizing congestion morphed an already compromised law about data collection into a green light to spy on everyone.
    The bill...

  • Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 3:52am

     

    As the FCC hurtles towards what seems like an approval this coming Thursday of new proposed rules that would, effectively, allow establishment of a second high-speed, higher-cost Internet, we've caught a glimpse of an interesting and infrequently noted split in the circles of...

  • Monday, April 28, 2014 - 4:32am

     

    When a federal court trashed its "net neutrality" compromise policy in January, the Federal Communications Commission assured us that the Internet we knew and depended on was safe. Most activists didn't believe federal officials and this past week the FCC demonstrated how...

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 3:22am

    Some are calling it a "worst nightmare". There have been dire predictions that it represents the end of the Internet or that there is, in fact, no real Internet security or that Free and Open Source Software is dangerous to use.

    One thing is sure. The week-old saga of the...

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 7:18pm

     

    For two years, starting in 2010, the United States Agency for International Development ran a social networking service -- similar to Twitter -- for the Cuban people. Its long-term objective was to forment popular revolt against the government and de-stabilize the country.

    ...

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 4:07pm

     

    "Connectivity," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview last year, "is a human right."

    If it surprises you that one of the kings of the corporate Internet would repeat...

  • Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 1:53am

     

    Federal prosecutors last week dropped several of the most significant charges facing Internet activist and journalist Barrett Brown -- charges that could have drawn a jail sentence of 105 years.

    The dropped charges, essentially "fraud" and "theft", involved Brown's...

  • Monday, February 24, 2014 - 4:35am

     

    It might seem like a game of Monopoly played by real monopolies and, with a tired groan, one might be tempted to dismiss it as part of an ugly but irreversible trend. But the merger of cable-...

  • Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 4:55am

    The week before last, the District of Columbia Federal Appeals Court handed down an unsurprising decision that, if applied aggressively, would destroy the Internet as we know it. It concerns the term most of us have heard, but many don't understand: Net Neutrality.

    Net Neutrality is the...

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 1:58am

    This past week, the Federal government threw a one-two punch that will effectively destroy the Internet as we know it. Demonstrating, once again, his talent for obfuscation and misdirection, President Obama made a speech about reforming the NSA and controlling surveillance that actually...

  • Friday, January 10, 2014 - 4:43am

     

    On this website, we've speculated that one outcome of the flood of NSA-centered revelations has been to desensitize U.S. citizens and diminish outrage at what is actually revealed. We are becoming conditioned to the horror story that is the National Security Administration.

    ...
  • Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 5:03am

    As the people of this country, and much of the world, observe the year-end holidays, we can look back on 2013 as the year when any illusion of genuine democracy was dashed by the remarkable revelations about the police-state surveillance that watches us. Last week, we saw a deeply disturbing...

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 4:54am

     

    The web designers will tell you: when it comes to websites, good design can't mask bad ideas.

    I've been thinking about that for the last six weeks as I've confronted, with waning trust morphing into enraged frustration, the remarkably complicated corridors of The Patient...

  • Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 4:51am

     

    This past Friday, Internet activist Jeremy Hammond stood in a federal courtroom and told Judge Loretta A. Preska why he released a trove of emails and other information uncovering the possibly illegal and certainly immoral collaboration of a major surveillance corporation called...

  • Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 3:05am

    The technology of MUSCULAR, a program jointly carried on by the NSA and its British counterpart, isn't hard to explain. Essentially, technologists at the spy agency have figured out a way to intercept data being exchanged among servers that store everything you do on Google and Yahoo.

  • Monday, October 7, 2013 - 2:54am

     

    Recently, Richard Stallman published an article in Wired about Free and Open Source Software and its alternative, "Proprietary Software". As he has for 30 years now, he...

  • Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 12:53am

     

    Last week, Verizon, the telephone giant, went to court to accuse the Federal Communications Commission of "overstepping its authority" and reverse the authority's over-step. It's a legal wrangle that, bottled and distributed, would be a safe substitute for sleeping pills.

    ...

  • Friday, September 13, 2013 - 2:09am

     

    You're probably not familiar with Barrett Brown.

    As news coverage of surveillance, internet intrusion and the government's intense battle against privacy and privileged communications seeps into the public consciousness, Julian Assange, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and...

  • Friday, September 6, 2013 - 3:20pm

    The revelations this week by whistle-blower Edward Snowden (through documents provided to the Guardian,...

  • Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 2:50am

     

    While certainly not over-shadowing the Obama Administration's military threats against Syria, the cyber attack that brought the mighty New York Times to its knees last week is a major...

  • Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 2:44pm

    All is abuzz and atwitter (literally) with news of the firing Friday by America On Line's boss Tim Armstrong of half of the staff of its local news project, Patch. The firing comes on the heels of Armstrong's humiliating dismissal of one of AOL's top executives during an August 9 phone call to...

  • Friday, August 9, 2013 - 2:52am

     

    The term "collateral damage" is most frequently applied to the "non-targeted" death and destruction brought by bombs and guns. But it seems that our government, the master of collateral damage, is now doing it in "non-violent" ways. Take the recent situation at Lavabit.

    The...

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 1:38am

     

    The Bradley Manning verdict may seem a victory of sorts for the defense -- it's certainly being treated that way in the mainstream media -- but the decision handed down Tuesday by Court Marshal Judge Colonel Denise Lind is actually a devastating blow not only to Manning, who was...

  • Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 12:56am

     

    The tumble of revelations and developments involving the Internet has produced a pastiche of truths that, when examined closely, show links between what might usually be considered separate news stories.

    This week we encounter a stunning ruling by the judge in the Bradley...

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 1:45pm

     

    To gauge the real impact of a historic development like "the Snowden revelations", it's sometimes useful to examine how wide it's being felt. An illustration: Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Samsung cellphone app. I've a feeling some may not know what I'm talking about because,...

  • Monday, July 1, 2013 - 6:54pm

     

    In one of the most innovative uses of the bizarre rules of international travel, whistle-blower Edward Snowden sits in an airport transit lounge outside the customs barrier that is Russian enough to not invade but not Russian enough to claim the Russians are hiding him. He has now...

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 7:27pm

     

    If Edward Snowden's goal in blowing his whistle was to spark a public debate about privacy and surveillance, he has marvelously succeeded.

    Everybody's talking about Snowden, his revelations and their significance. The talk, predictably, is contentious and divided. But...

  • Friday, June 7, 2013 - 2:27pm

     

    This past Thursday (June 6), The Guardian (the British newspaper) and the Washington Post simultaneously reported that the National Security Agency has been collecting staggering amounts of user data and files from seven of the world's most powerful technology companies.

    ...

  • Monday, June 3, 2013 - 3:36pm

     

    It's the nature of the shallow, consumer-driven, dream-drunken culture our society tries to impose on us that we popularly adopt terms without knowing what they mean and, more often than not, they don't mean much of anything.

    Such is the case with "the Cloud".

    ...

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 1:50pm

    Toward the end of Roman Polanski's masterpiece "Chinatown" an exchange takes place between "hero" Jake Gittes and the super-rich Noah Cross when Gittes finally realizes that Cross has seized control of Los Angeles' water supply.

    "I just wanna know what you're worth," Gittes explains. "...

  • Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 12:07am

    "Paranoia," said Woody Allen, "is knowing all the facts." By that measure, we're becoming more and more "paranoid" every day.

    This week, we learned that the Obama Justice Department...

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 6:58pm

    This Summer, a team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has undertaken a remarkable project: to recreate the first web site and the computer on which it was first seen.

    It's a kind of birthday celebration. Twenty years ago, software developers at the University of...

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 6:47pm

     

    One thing is clear amidst the shower of confusion and contradiction that bathes the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing: the legal and technological structure of a police state is in place and can be quickly activated. As if on cue, while the hunt for the bombers was ongoing...

  • Monday, April 15, 2013 - 4:09pm

     

    If it wasn't clear up to now, it was made crystal clear last week. The co-defendent in the Bradley Manning trial is the Internet itself.

    In one of the case's most disturbing pre-trial hearings, Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled last week that prosecutors can offer as evidence...

  • Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 1:14am

     

    Last week the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom fired a warning shot at Google and it appears they're reloading...

  • Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 2:44am
  • Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 6:15pm

     

    Sometimes a story breaks that touches so many issues that one is left with mouth agape. The recent news involving technology "evangelist" Adria Richards is one such story and it's burning across all kinds of media and cutting an intense divide within the techie community. It's...

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 3:27am

    Last week, a top U.S. government intelligence official named James Clapper warned Congress that the threat of somebody using the Internet to attack the United...

  • Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 2:08pm

     

    The recent order by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, forbidding Yahoo employees from doing their Yahoo work at home, might seem justified. After all, companies tell their employees what to do and Mayer might have good reasons for this edict. But the memo and its fallout raise serious and...

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:36pm

     

    If it wasn't so harmful, it would be funny: a marketing battle between the two technology giants Microsoft and Google over who lacks integrity and is exploitative. It's been going on for a while and with every thrust and block the thing becomes more grotesque and more revealing...

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 9:49am

    In the madness of our media-fed consciousness, the greatest threat to an informative news story is time. Given enough time, and the dysfunctional and disinformative way the mainstream media cover news, even the most important and revealing story quickly dies out.

    That is, unless we who...



by Dr. Radut