EPIC Freedom Awards to Allen, Amash, The Guardian, Snowden

EPIC is honored to recognize these Champions of Freedom who have worked to safeguard privacy, some at great personal risk,” said Marc Rotenberg, EPIC’s President and Executive Director.

EPIC Freedom Awards to Allen, Amash, The Guardian, Snowden
On June 2 the Electronic Privacy Information Center will celebrate 20
years of privacy advocacy with the 2014 EPIC Champions of Freedom
Awards.
Established in 1994, EPIC was created to focus public attention on
emerging privacy issues. EPIC maintains two of the most popular privacy
websites in the world – epic.org and privacy.org – and pursues policy
research, litigation, public education, and advocacy. EPIC’s Advisory
Board includes leading experts in law, technology and public policy.
EPIC established the Champion of Freedom Awards to recognize
individuals and organizations that safeguard the right to privacy with
courage and integrity. Internationally renowned security technologist
Bruce Schneier will host the 2014 EPIC celebration.
EPIC will honor University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Anita L.
Allen for her work as the nation’s leading privacy law scholar. A
longtime EPIC Advisory Board member, Professor Allen has helped shape
the modern understanding of the right to privacy.
EPIC will honor Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) for his campaign to
defund the NSA’s telephone record collection program.
EPIC will recognize The Guardian newspaper for publishing documents
obtained by Edward Snowden that provided the basis for EPIC’s petition
to the US Supreme Court to end the bulk collection of Americans’
telephone records.
Edward Snowden will also receive an award from EPIC for disclosing the
secret court that documented the unlawful surveillance of Americans and
for transforming the debate about privacy protection.
“EPIC is honored to recognize these Champions of Freedom who have
worked to safeguard privacy, some at great personal risk,” said Marc
Rotenberg, EPIC’s President and Executive Director.
Previous recipients of the Champion of Freedom Award include Senators
Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and journalist Martha Mendoza
(2013); Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th
Circuit, and journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin (2012);
Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), former
Miss USA Susie Castillo, and the Wall Street Journal (2011);
Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), former FTC Commissioner Pamela
Jones Harbour, and the Rose Foundation (2010); Senator Ed Markey
(D-MA), director D.J. Caruso, philanthropist Addison Fischer, and
attorney Paul M. Smith (2009); and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (2004).
EPIC has previously presented the Lifetime Achievement award to David
Flaherty (2013), Whitfield Diffie (2012), and Willis Ware (2012).

[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround NetHappenings Newsletter

#Bitcoin Exchange Guarantees Clients Crime-Free Trade in Denmark

The CCEDK Crypto Coins Exchange Denmark ApS, which is due to open this month, is offering its trading platform to people across the globe, promising future clients a crime-free platform on which to trade the virtual currency.
 

Scotusblog loss of Senate press credentials fuels media uproar

It is widely praised for doing what no other news organisation can. But now Scotusblog may lose what hundreds of other publications take for granted: access to the Senate.
Scotusblog, a website dedicated to coverage of the US supreme court, is preparing to mount an appeal Friday morning to a decision last month by the Senate press gallery not to renew its press credentials. The gallery granted Scotusblog credentials in 2013.
The blog’s reporters appear likely to retain access to the supreme court through temporary arrangements. The court has traditionally honored Senate credentials but is currently reviewing its press procedures.
But the prospect that gatekeepers on Capitol Hill would see fit to restrict access to Scotusblog reporters set off a wave of protest, including an open letter from a press advocacy group and expressions of consternation and disbelief from media colleagues.
“It is a travesty that Scotusblog does not have full press accreditation,” said Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN and the New Yorker. “Scotusblog is absolutely essential to any serious student of the supreme court – journalist, litigator, scholar.”
Nina Totenberg, the legal affairs correspondent for NPR, called Scotusblog “essential for a working reporter” and said it was “absolutely” the feeling of colleagues that the blog deserved to be credentialled.

 
NSA reform falters as House passes gutted USA Freedom Act

 The House passed legislation Thursday—ironically called the USA Freedom Act—that continues to allow the National Security Agency the ability to sift through the phone metadata of every phone call made to and from the United States.
The so-called “reform” measure comes a year after the Guardian revealed the snooping program with documents supplied by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Civil rights advocates withdrew their support for the package,H.R.3361, after the Obama administration pressured the Republican leadership to water it down.
“The ban on bulk collection was deliberately watered down to be ambiguous and exploitable,” said Harley Geiger, an attorney with the Center for Democracy & Technology. “We withdrew support for USA Freedom when the bill morphed into a codification of large-scale, untargeted collection of data about Americans with no connection to a crime or terrorism.”

The White House doesn’t see it that way. “The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected when these authorities are employed,” the White House said.

The measure passed 303 to 121 in the House. The administration urged the Senate to follow suit. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, suggested that the legislation faces a tougher sell in the Senate.

“I was disappointed that the legislation passed today does not include some of the meaningful reforms contained in the original USA Freedom Act,” he said. “I will continue to push for these important reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA Freedom Act next month.”

 
So-called reform measure still grants NSA broad access to phone metadata.
By David Kravets May 22 2014

The House passed legislation Thursday—ironically called the USA Freedom Act—that continues to allow the National Security Agency the ability to sift through the phone metadata of every phone call made to and from the United States.

The so-called “reform” measure comes a year after the Guardian revealed the snooping program with documents supplied by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Civil rights advocates withdrew their support for the package,H.R.3361, after the Obama administration pressured the Republican leadership to water it down.

“The ban on bulk collection was deliberately watered down to be ambiguous and exploitable,” said Harley Geiger, an attorney with the Center for Democracy & Technology. “We withdrew support for USA Freedom when the bill morphed into a codification of large-scale, untargeted collection of data about Americans with no connection to a crime or terrorism.”

The White House doesn’t see it that way. “The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected when these authorities are employed,” the White House said.

The measure passed 303 to 121 in the House. The administration urged the Senate to follow suit. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, suggested that the legislation faces a tougher sell in the Senate.

“I was disappointed that the legislation passed today does not include some of the meaningful reforms contained in the original USA Freedom Act,” he said. “I will continue to push for these important reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA Freedom Act next month.”

Under the legislation passed Thursday, instead of the NSA collecting and housing the metadata from every phone call made to and from the United States, that data will remain in the hands of the telecoms. Previously, there were no laws barring the NSA from searching the data carte blanche, although the agency promised it would only do so if it had a “reasonable, articulable suspicion” against a terrorism target.

The USA Freedom Act, however, demands that the NSA get approval for a search from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before demanding that the telecoms hand over metadata. However, no “probable-cause” Fourth Amendment standard is required to access the database.

“The result is a bill that will actually not end bulk collection, regrettably,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California who voted against the bill. [snip]

 
The Educational CyberPlayGround recommends reading Tom. He always has excellent observations.

Must READ Dressing Too Colorfully – Conversations Among Women In Tech
Tom Foremski – May 21, 2014

Foremski’s Take   I’ve worked in very male dominated workplaces and also in ones where it changed from very male to having more female bosses and it became a much better place, more cooperative and collegial.   It’s important to start startups off on the right track because culture is very difficult to change further along. Sometimes people are unaware that their behavior is making women co-workers uncomfortable and it’s hard for new staff members to speak up, or stand up for themselves.   I’ve noticed that there is a tipping point when there is a change in the group culture to a more egalitarian and gender respectful environment. It might be just 30% women or even less, but you can feel the change.  And when there are enough women around it makes it easier to stand up and not feel they are a lone female voice and self-consciously self-censoring themselves to avoid office stereotypes.  I’m confident Silicon Valley startups will have far more female co-founders and team members within the next two years simply because it makes very good business sense. Why compete with one hand tied behind your back? Companies with large gender and ethnic diversity are more successful. Original ideas come from original experiences.   Don’t lean in..stand up! [snip]
 

John F. McMullen: My 110th Column for the *Westchester Guardian *
in the “*Creative Disruption*” series, *Complexity*  page 8

In a recent Salon column, “*The blockbuster era must die: How the Internet can save us from the cultural crisis it caused”  Andrew Leonard describes *Astra Taylor’s new book,* “*The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture In The Digital Age*” as “*something of great and lasting value.*”

I agree completely but my focus here is not to dwell on Leonard’s reason for his acclaim. Leonard is concerned with the content of Taylor’s arguments in the book about the failure of the Internet to live up to its promise, writing “*The People’s Platform,” may be the most potent critique of Internet hype and Silicon Valley triumphalism delivered to date. By dint of her eloquent prose, thorough research and, perhaps most of all, willingness to seek nuance in the “relentlessly binary” showdown between techno-optimists and techno-skeptics, Taylor has produced something of great and lasting value. Her logic is relentless.* “ [snip]

 
China responds to NSA tampering with network gear vetting process
China will ban import of “unsafe” tech to counter NSA and slap US companies.
By Sean Gallagher 5/22/14
Frenemies of the State

The US government used security concerns to essentially drive Chinese companies out of the American networking marketplace. Now China is doing the same thing, as the Chinese government is planning to require all products sold in the country to pass a “cyber security vetting process,” the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported.

Jiang Jun, a spokesman for the State Internet Information Office, told Xinhua that the move was to counter large-scale spying, saying that the networks of Chinese government agencies, universities, businesses and telecommunications providers have “suffered extensive invasion and wiretapping,” the news service reported.

The measure is intended to prevent technology providers from “taking advantage of their products to illegally control, disrupt, or shut down their clients’ systems, or to gather, store, process, or use their client’s information,” according to a statement from the agency. IT products that do not pass the government’s vetting process will be banned in China.

The move is a direct response to both reports of NSA spying on Chinese networks and the US government’s recent charging of five People’s Liberation Army soldiers with the hacking of US businesses. “For a long time, governments and enterprises of a few countries have gathered sensitive information on a large scale,” Jiang said,” taking advantage of their monopoly in the market and technological edge. They not only seriously undermine the interests of their clients but also threaten cyber security of other countries.”

 
China shocks Microsoft with Windows 8 ban

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — China has banned the use of Windows 8 on all government computers, according to a notice published Tuesday on the website of the Central Government Procurement center. The notice didn’t specify the reasons for the move. Microsoft’s China unit responded on Tuesday evening that they were “very surprised” by the move, according to various reports by Chinese media. “We would continue to provide Windows 7 to our government clients, while working with government agencies to evaluate our Windows 8 products.” The move coincided with China’s condemnation of U.S. charges against members of its military for alleged cyber attacks.

House Guts USA Freedom Act, Every Civil Liberties Organization Pulls Their Support

As Feared: House Guts USA Freedom Act, Every Civil Liberties Organization Pulls Their Support from the tragic dept As we feared would happen, the House, under pressure from the White House, has completely watered down the USA FREEDOM Act. After a long (and, we’ve heard, contentious) battle among the different players, the bill that’s moving to the floor tomorrow is even less useful than the already weakened version that passed out of both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Following the revelation of the new version of the bill late Tuesday, basically every civil liberties organization pulled their support for the bill.

Surveillance Facebook App Knows What You’re Hearing, Watching

The modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived. The American Surveillance State owes the public an explanation. The public needs to decide if these policies are right or wrong.
The feature is optional and can be switched on and off. Even if users decide not to share what they’re hearing or watching, Facebook will hold onto the data in anonymous form.

Origin of the The Philadelphia Cheese Steak and Hoagie The Philly Cheese Steak

The Hoagie
European settlers purchased Hog Island from the Lenape Indians in 1680. The settlers gradually developed the island by building log and earthwork dikes to minimize storm damage and convert the marshes into good grazing meadows. Hog Island supposedly got its name from the pigs which local residents left to roam free, as no fencing was needed.

Center for Pelvic Medicine Offers Solutions That Can Help with Chronic Irritation ‘Down There’

Summer Weather and Bikini Season Can Mean Chronic Irritation … ‘Down There’;
Academic Urology’s Center for Pelvic Medicine Offers Solutions That Can Help

A recent study revealed that nearly 14 million American women have experienced vulvar pain at some point in their lives. Women from 18-88+ are often unable to enjoy healthy everyday activities like exercise and intimacy due to burning, stinging, irritation, chafing or sharp pain. To combat this common problem, scientific researchers from the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland worked with leading experts in feminine care to develop Neogyn Feminine Soothing Cream, which contains a naturally pH balanced blend of proteins and emollients to help soothe and calm the vulva or the external area of the genitals.
“Chronic vulvar pain can be debilitating, both physically and emotionally,” says Dr. Susan Kellogg-Spadt, Professor of OBGYN at Drexel University; Director of Female Sexual Medicine at The Center for Pelvic Medicine in Bryn Mawr, Pa. “Normal, everyday events can really be irritating—things like waxing and shaving pubic hair, bicycle riding, wet bathing suits, vigorous exercise and physical intimacy with a partner. Certain women may be more prone to vulvar discomfort than others, like those in menopause, after childbirth, those who have had cancer treatment, and women who take certain medications, including: contraceptives, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and antihistamines, yeast infection creams, scented, flavored or warming lubricants.
Neogyn Feminine Soothing Cream is not a lubricant or a moisturizer; rather, it’s a non-medicated skincare product that heals the sensitive genital tissue and has been shown to significantly reduce genital burning, itching and irritation in clinical studies. It’s also been proven to reduce daily discomfort, pain and redness associated with painful intercourse.
“Women don’t need to ‘learn to live’ with vulvar discomfort. Activities like exercise and physical intimacy certainly should not chronically hurt. When a woman overcomes soreness, dryness, and genital burning, the quality of her life is restored and she can look forward to pleasurable activities again. Neogyn can be life changing,” adds Kellogg-Spadt.