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Researcher Discovers Intentional Security Back Door For Apple iPhones And iPads

By: Wednesday July 23, 2014 5:42 am

Apple has been under increasing scrutiny regarding its civil liberties record after security researcher Jacob Applebaum showed evidence gathered from an NSA whistleblower that a program called DROPOUT JEEP existed to gain access to a user’s iPhone. Applebaum postulated that developing this system would have been nearly impossible without Apple’s involvement. For its part, Apple denied it was involved.

But now security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has presented a paper claiming that up to 600 million Apple iPhones and iPads have a security back door that can be accessed to retrieve data from the devices. Apple claims what Zdziarski discovered does “not compromise user privacy and security.”

Zdziarski claims different:

“There is no way to disable these mechanisms,” Zdziarski writes on his personal blog. “This makes it much harder to believe that Apple is actually telling the truth here.”…The backdoors reportedly cover a range of hidden tools and protocols that activate with “paired” computers — machines connected to an iPhone or iPad via USB that the user has granted security access to.

Apple says that this allows individuals and businesses to manage their devices, but Zdziarski has pointed out that the system offers unecrypted access to users’ online log-ins, contacts and web history and could be compromised by anyone with access to the same Wi-Fi network.

The user of these products, before now at least, were completely unaware that their personal data was being leaked like this when they used Apple products. Millions of Apple product users may have been compromised if whomever has access used the back door and who knows where the data went then.

Zdziarski has speculated “some of these services may have been used by the NSA to collect data” while others claim Apple created them to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which requires tech companies to have back doors available for law enforcement.

Spy different.

The Roundup for July 22nd, 2014

By: Tuesday July 22, 2014 4:32 pm

How are you doing today?

International Politics

Overall

- Journalist Alex Kane explains four ways the U.S. is a part of Israel’s crimes in Gaza

- After the UN recommended a ceasefire to stop the violence in Gaza, Israel rejected it; Ban Ki-Moon, UN chief, still called for fighting to stop

- U.S. intelligence asserts pro-Russian rebels mistook MH17 as a plane of Kiev government and the blame lies with Russia

- Journalist Tariq Ali explains the Israeli lobby in Western countries, the resistance in certain places and how the situation in Gaza is playing out

Middle East

- The assault on Gaza by Israel is occurring without major international pressure against it and Israel is not held accountable for its crimes

- Rania Khalek: “Israel’s Iron Dome doesn’t cover Bedouins

- Journalists Nalan al-Sarraj and Yousef al-Helou explain to The Real News how Palestinians are coping so far as Israel’s invasion continues; Palestinians writers, for instance, cope by writing

- Meanwhile, Hamas offered a truce that no one in Western media bothered reporting

- Dave Zirin: “Four Little Boys and the Price of Play in Gaza

- Some towns in Israel had businesses close down to protest the actions of Israel in Gaza

- Hospitals in Gaza also face the issue of electricity outages as bombs have affected the electrical infrastructure

- In Baghdad, Iraq, a suicide car bomber killed 21 people, on their way to a Shia shrine, and injured 13

Asia and Oceania

- In China, a city was closed off after a man died of the bubonic plague and others were quarantined

Europe

- Turkey evacuated 51 people from the Gaza Strip, which include some Turkish citizens

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Latin America is looking towards other countries such as China or Russia to become stable, which the Global North certainly is not in favor of

Surveillance Planet

- Both the U.S. and Germany will be holding talks about policies regarding spying after recent scandals involving U.S. agents

- A federal judge ruled Google to face a lawsuit where it gave away user data to advertisers without consent

Financial Matters

- It has been four years since the Dodd-Frank reform bill was passed and it still has not been fully implemented

- Part one of three with Faizel Ismail, a former South Africa official, on the history of the Doha Round and its consequences

Politics US

Washington USA

- With major telecommunication companies behind them, the Republicans are cutting any hope for net neutrality

- While the media circus around Hillary Clinton continues, Vice President Joe Biden is shaping himself as a liberal alternative; A hawkish Democrat promoting himself over another? What are the odds?

- The U.S. is confiscating passports of Yemeni-American citizens, which the latter call a violation of their rights

Anytown USA

- Children under 12 are the fastest growing group of migrants/refugees coming into the U.S.

- It is a small victory as Detroit, Mich., stopped its water shutoffs for 15 days

- A new report uncovered an alarming rise in the number of far-right groups throughout the U.S.

- After Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal criticized MSNBC, along with other corporate media structures, for its pro-Israel coverage, she was dropped as a contributor to the network. FDL Book Salon will host journalist Michael Arria on Sunday, July 27, about the reactionary antics of MSNBC.

- Marissa Alexander was denied a chance to argue her case involved Stand Your Ground and still could get 60 years in prison

We Don’t Need No Education

- Administrators in colleges and universities are seeing their income rise while their colleges suffer from debt, low-paid adjuncts or more

- Louisiana parents in favor of Common Core sue Republican Governor Bobby Jindal for interfering with it through executive orders

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- “Natural food” in food stores is nothing but another part of major corporation’s goal for profits

- To decrease the HIV rate throughout the world, researchers at the International AIDS Conference recommended decriminalizing sex work

- Meanwhile, it seems a drug can pull the HIV virus out of hiding inside the body

The Second Sex

- Whenever women gain victories in expanding their reproductive rights, anti-abortion activists become more rabid

- A report by UNICEF found 700 million women around the world married before the age of 18; Insane

- 75 percent of staff for major pictures are male

- Good news as the Obama administration will be funding a study to learn more about female genital mutilation

Planet Earth

- “The steroid era of climate change.” That is what one NOAA scientist called living conditions around the world

- Are you a fan of hockey? Bad news as the NHL released a report worried about the damaging effects of climate change on the sport.

- Renewable energy constitutes half of the new energy capacity in the U.S.

- The “pause” in global warming is really a natural variation in the temperature; So climate change still is real and will ruin us if nothing is done

Mixed Bag

- “Marvel Reimagines Green Goblin As Left-Handed

- Calling soldiers as “heroes” dehumanizes them. It ignores what they faced and will continue to face.

- In Los Angeles, Calif., tree planted in the name of George Harrison, a member of the Beatles, was killed by beetles

Break Time

- Same Old Song and Dance [Aerosmith]


Wall Street Journal Runs Op-Ed Claiming All Palestinians Are Worthy Of Death

By: Tuesday July 22, 2014 9:37 am

While it is no secret that American mainstream media coverage is heavily biased in favor of Israel, rarely does the establishment media side with those advocating the genocide of the Palestinians. And yet, the Wall Street Journal decided to run an op-ed written by Thane Rosenbaum which claims all those in Gaza have lost their status as civilians because Hamas was elected. That the over 560 Palestinians in Gaza that have died so far had it coming.

Rosenbuam is a professor of law at New York University and has written a book celebrating vengeance as virtuous. So it is not particularly surprising that he would find no fault in Israel striking targets in Gaza, but openly lusting for Palestinian blood is beyond the point where even the most hardline Zionists are willing to go.

Rosenbaum writes:

On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

It also calls your parenting skills into serious question. In the U.S. if a parent is found to have locked his or her child in a parked car on a summer day with the windows closed, a social worker takes the children away from the demonstrably unfit parent. In Gaza, parents who place their children in the direct line of fire are rewarded with an interview on MSNBC where they can call Israel a genocidal murderer.

There’s a lot of sadistic madness to unpack in there. First MSNBC is far from an unfriendly outlet for Israel, in fact, quite the opposite. But more to the point, Rosenbaum actually made the same argument Osama Bin Laden made when justifying the 9/11 attacks. That the American people, by electing leaders who oppressed Muslims such as the Palestinians, could be counted as the guilty and therefore were worthy of death as punishment for the unjust actions of the government they chose. Hence, attacks like 9/11 that killed civilians were justifiable because those Americans killed had, as Rosenbaum says, forfeited their right to be called civilians.

If all are guilty then none can be spared. Rosenbaum and Bin Laden present an argument for total war and genocide. The only difference is Rosenbaum got the benefit of the Wall Street Journal to serve as a platform for his grotesque views.

Rick Perry Sends Texas National Guard Troops To Border

By: Tuesday July 22, 2014 7:50 am

Texas Governor Rick Perry, now sporting glasses perhaps to overcome questions concerning low intelligence, announced he will be sending 1000 Texas National Guard soldiers to help secure Texas’ border with Mexico as part of “Operation Strong Safety.” The move comes after 50,000 children arrived at the border from Central American countries seeking asylum from the [...]

UN Says Iran Completed Process Of Eliminating Enriched Uranium

By: Tuesday July 22, 2014 5:24 am

Only a few short months ago the permanent war crowd were calling for air strikes on Iran, today the UN nuclear agency says that Iran has made all of the enriched uranium that could be used to make nuclear weapons into more harmless forms. That’s right, feel free to exhale and relax from the resolution [...]

The Roundup for July 21st, 2014

By: Monday July 21, 2014 4:47 pm

It’s the start of a brand new week, folks! International Politics Overall – Lawyer Michael Ratner discusses with The Real News about the poor decisions of Sweden in the case of Julian Assange – Pro-Russian separatists agree to give the black boxes from the downed MH17 flight to the Malaysian government – Vice President Joe Biden stated he once told [...]

Memo Reveals Rahm Emanuel Advised President Clinton To Achieve ‘Record Deportations’

By: Monday July 21, 2014 9:59 am

On November 20th, 1996, Rahm Emanuel had an idea. Amidst the joy of the re-election of his friend and mentor, President Bill Clinton, Emanuel saw an opportunity for the president to help the Democratic Party maintain a perceived “parity” with the GOP on crime – record deportations. The revelation is contained in recently released documents from [...]

Video Of NYPD Killing Unarmed Man With Chokehold Leads To Suspensions

By: Monday July 21, 2014 7:40 am

Stop, frisk, and strangle? Eric Garner, a 43 old New Yorker, was choked to death on video by officers with the New York Police Department. Garner was killed when one of the officers used a chokehold in the process of arresting him – the chokehold is an illegal maneuver and the police officer who performed [...]

The Weekend Roundup for July 19-20th, 2014

By: Sunday July 20, 2014 3:30 pm

Hello everyone. Hope your weekend went well! International Politics Overall – Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson tells The Real News that he blames all the parties involved with the Malaysian plane disaster in Ukraine and wishes for calm – Secretary of State John Kerry: The evidence at the crash site of MH17 “points a clear finger [...]

The Roundup for July 18th, 2014

By: Friday July 18, 2014 4:18 pm

Hey folks, enjoy your Friday. International Politics Overall – As President Obama states pro-Russian separatists were behind the attack on the Malaysian plane, Vladimir Putin stated the two sides in Ukraine should come to a ceasefire – Pro-Russian rebels, meanwhile, are covering up evidence allegedly used to shoot down the plane – In addition, President [...]

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