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The Costs of Public Corruption
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    The Costs of Public Corruption
    -The Need for the Public to Fight Back
    Posted on: Feb. 03 2016,4:58 pm by alcitizens

    Public corruption takes a heavy toll on our communities. Corruption gives unfair advantages to those willing to break the law: public officials, their relatives and friends, and those who willingly pay bribes to gain public contracts and other government actions. But there are many victims: both those who are shaken down for bribes and kickbacks, and the members of the general public, who pay for corruption through inflated costs and loss of faith in government. With tightening budgets throughout all levels of government, vigorous enforcement is even more important than ever.

    Millions of taxpayer dollars are paid out on contracts and other government benefits steered by public officials to insiders who, in turn, shower financial benefits on those public officials and their associates.

    Corruption can also change the face of a community. Over and over, for several decades, some Chicago aldermen have given away public benefits, like zoning rights and city-owned land, to real estate developers who, in turn, have lined the aldermen's pockets and campaign purses.

    While corruption will never be eliminated from our communities, vigorous investigation and prosecution of corrupt officials can serve to reduce its harmful effects and, most importantly, greatly diminish the culture of acceptance.

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    Your Toaster is a Narc
    4th Amendment - pfft
    Posted on: Feb. 02 2016,5:42 pm by Botto 82

    Encryption May Hurt Surveillance, But Internet Of Things Could Open New Doors

    Updated February 2, 20164:43 PM ET
    Published February 2, 20162:54 PM ET
    FBI Director James Comey is one of the federal officials who has said that the growing use of encryption hurts the ability to track criminals.

    Tech companies and privacy advocates have been in a stalemate with government officials over how encrypted communication affects the ability of federal investigators to monitor terrorists and other criminals. A new study by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society convened experts from all sides to put the issue in context.

    The report concluded that information from some apps and devices like smartphones may be harder for government investigators to intercept because of stronger encryption. But, it said, we are connecting so many more things to the Internet (light bulbs, door locks, watches, toasters) that they could create new surveillance channels.

    According to the report:

    "The increased availability of encryption technologies certainly impedes government surveillance under certain circumstances, and in this sense, the government is losing some surveillance opportunities. However, we concluded that the combination of technological developments and market forces is likely to fill some of these gaps and, more broadly, to ensure that the government will gain new opportunities to gather critical information from surveillance."

    The encryption debate has reheated recently following the attacks in Paris and to some extent San Bernardino, Calif., with CIA and FBI officials warning about their investigation channels "going dark" because of the stronger encryption placed on communications tools like WhatsApp or FaceTime.

    (The distinction is this: With things like emails, Web searches, photos or social network posts, information typically gets encrypted on your phone or laptop and then decrypted and stored on a big corporate data server, where law enforcement officials have the technical and legal ability to get access to the content, for instance, with a subpoena. But with messages that are encrypted end-to-end, data gets encrypted on one device and only gets decrypted when it reaches the recipient's device, making it inaccessible even with a subpoena.)

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch (right) and FBI Director James Comey, seen at a meeting in Washington, D.C., in November,  are among the Obama administration officials meeting Friday with tech industry leaders.

    The agencies have asked for "back doors" into these technologies, though the Obama administration cooled off its push for related legislation late last year over concerns that such security loopholes would also attract hackers and other governments.

    But the Harvard report (which was funded by the Hewlett Foundation) argues that "going dark" is a faulty metaphor for the surveillance of the future, thanks to the raft of new technologies that are and likely will remain unencrypted — all the Web-connected home appliances and consumer electronics that sometimes get dubbed the Internet of Things.

    Some of the ways the data used to be accessed will undoubtedly become unavailable to investigators, says Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard professor who was one of the authors. "But the overall landscape is getting brighter and brighter as there are so many more paths by which to achieve surveillance," he says.

    "If you have data flowing or at rest somewhere and it's held by somebody that can be under the jurisdiction of not just one but multiple governments, those governments at some point or another are going to get around to asking for the data," he says.

    The study team is notable for including technical experts and civil liberties advocates alongside current and former National Security Agency, Defense Department and Justice Department officials. Another chief author was Matthew Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and NSA general counsel.

    Though not all 14 core members had to agree to every word of the report, they had to approve of the thrust of its findings — with the exception of current NSA officials John DeLong and Anne Neuberger, whose jobs prevented them from signing onto the report (and Zittrain says nothing should be inferred about their views).

    The results of the report are a bit ironic: It tries to close one can of worms (the debate over encryption hurting surveillance) but opens another one (the concerns about privacy in the future of Internet-connected everything).

    "When you look at it over the long term," says Zittrain, "with the breadth of ways in which stuff that used to be ephemeral is now becoming digital and stored, the opportunities for surveillance are quite bright, possibly even worryingly so."

    NPR Article

    Some comments:

    "It is a question of the source of your freedom. If the government is the source of your freedom, by all means they should have permission to easily see what you are up to. If freedom exists outside of government, and government is only involved to the extent that they are required to respect that, no way do they get to see what you are up to, just in case."

    "The refrigerator coldly ignored Harold as it completed its report to Weight Watchers central command."  :rofl:

    "My wife was going to download a live wallpaper on the Play Store the other day. The App wanted permissions to access her contacts, camera, microphone, images, and documents... She and I laughed, she clicked no, and proceeded to look for a wallpaper that didn't want permissions to anything. Ever since then, I've wondered how many people clicked yes?"

    (8) comments

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    Albert Lea attractive to businesses
    Posted on: Jan. 28 2016,10:50 am by Memphis

    Nice read in the paper about this. One question I have to ask is... Where are the jobs. Nolander said this is information he already knows. So where all the new companies if we are such a bright area??? Am I missing something?

    (24) comments

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