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[News] Free Software Further Justified for Use by US Government

  • Subject: [News] Free Software Further Justified for Use by US Government
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 03:41:34 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

Why Open Source is Needed to Combat Climate Change

,----[ Quote ]
| The new U.S. Administration has 
| demonstrated an immediate commitment to 
| investing in green energy technologies and 
| developing the new regulatory frameworks 
| required to address the crisis of climate 
| change. We have a unique historical 
| opportunity to incorporate these open 
| elements into the policy framework, but we 
| must seize this opportunity now if we are 
| to achieve the pace of innovation and 
| adoption required to avert the climate 
| change crisis. Government spending 
| commitments and economic incentives of well 
| over $100 billion for green technologies 
| provide the necessary commercial leverage 
| to drive an open innovation model, much as 
| the U.S. Department of Defense's spending 
| on computer equipment in the 70s enabled it 
| to drive the adoption of the Internet 
| Protocol that led to the modern Internet. 
| This leverage needs to be exercised now 
| while contracts and governance for these 
| large taxpayer investments are still being 
| put in place and while policy frameworks 
| for regulation and market mechanisms are 
| being detailed.


Obama enforces trade embargo against open source

,----[ Quote ]
| The Obama Administration has forced 
| Sourceforge to deny service to its anti-
| terrorism sanction list.


Sound off: What is open government?

,----[ Quote ]
| Open Source for Americaâs Guidelines for 
| Open Government Plans will help inform the 
| different agencies about what policies and 
| practices should be included in their 
| mandated Open Government Plans. OSFA has 
| opened this discussion on its website and 
| plans to finalize its set of guidelines the 
| second week of February, thus providing the 
| agencies with sufficient time to take them 
| into account before the April 7th deadline. 
| Later in the year, the organization will 
| issue a report card about the agencies, 
| using these Guidelines as part of the 
| process of the grading system.



FBI, Telecoms Teamed to Breach Wiretap Laws

,----[ Quote ]
| But in a surprise buried at the end of the
| 289-page report, the inspector general also
| reveals that the Obama administration issued
| a secret rule almost two weeks ago saying it
| was legal for the FBI to have skirted
| federal privacy protections.
| [...]
| The telecom employees were supposed to be
| responding to National Security Letters,
| which are essentially FBI-issued subpoenas.
| But those Patriot Act powers say the target
| must be part of an open investigation and
| that a supervisor has to approve it. While
| they require some paperwork, FBI agents have
| been issuing about 40,000 such NSLs a year.
| But an AT&T employee provided the unit with
| a way around some of those requirements. The
| employee introduced them to so-called
| 'exigent letters.' Those letters, first used
| immediately following 9/11, asked for
| information by saying that the request was
| an emergency and that prosecutors were
| preparing a grand jury subpoena. The letter
| falsely promised that the subpoena, which
| gives the telecoms legal immunity, would be
| delivered later, the report said.
| What's more, the report noted that the cozy
| relationship between the bureau and the
| telecoms made it hard to differentiate
| between the FBI and the nation's phone
| companies.
| "The FBI's use of exigent letters became so
| casual, routine and unsupervised that
| employees of all three communication service
| providers told us that they -- the company
| employees-- sometimes generated the exigent
| letters for CAU personnel to sign and
| return," the inspector general reported.
| In fact, one AT&T employee even created a
| short cut on his desktop to a form letter
| that he could print out for a requesting FBI
| agent to sign.
| Even that became too much. Agents would
| request "sneak peeks," where they'd ask if
| it was worth their time to file a request on
| a given phone number, the inspector general
| noted. The telecom agents complied. Soon it
| graduated to numbers on Post-it notes, in e-
| mails or just oral requests.


EFF Plans Appeal of Jewel v. NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Case

,----[ Quote ]
| A federal judge has dismissed Jewel v. NSA,
| a case from the Electronic Frontier
| Foundation (EFF) on behalf of AT&T customers
| challenging the National Security Agency's
| mass surveillance of millions of ordinary
| Americans' phone calls and emails.
| "We're deeply disappointed in the judge's
| ruling," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.
| "This ruling robs innocent telecom customers
| of their privacy rights without due process
| of law. Setting limits on Executive power is
| one of the most important elements of
| America's system of government, and judicial
| oversight is a critical part of that."


Former FBI agent slams defence tactics in McKinnon case

,----[ Quote ]
| Ed Gibson, who moved from his role as the FBIâs
| assistant legal to work as Microsoftâs chief
| security advisor in the UK back in 2005, said
| that if the self-confessed hacker had accepted
| voluntary extradition when he offered it back
| in 2003 then he would have âbeen out of jail
| four years agoâ instead of facing extradition
| now.
| [...]
| Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mum, gave us a robust
| reaction to Gibson's comments. "Ed Gibson is
| the same man that said to Gary's legal team
| that they'd prosecute Gary to max and state
| wanted to see him fry."

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