Congress Sold Our Internet Freedom For $101M

By: Kaleigh Rogers and Jason Koebler of vice

Wednesday afternoon, 107 Republican members of Congress sent Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai a letter supporting his plan to repeal net neutrality protections ahead of the commission’s Thursday vote.

“The record is exhaustive, every viewpoint is well represented, and the time has come for the Commission to act,” the letter says. The current regulations, of course, are widely popular with the American people, and there have been widespread public protests urging the FCC to keep the protections in place.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology released the letter, and it is signed by 107 lawmakers. Many of their signatures are illegible, and the committee did not release a typed list of the members who signed it. A call to the committee was not immediately returned.

Motherboard staff has attempted to compile a list of names on the letter. The full letter is embedded below. So far, we have been able to read 84 names; if you can read any that we have missed please tweet at us or email us (jason.koebler@vice.com).

We will be updating this list throughout the night. We have also listed the amount of money they have received in donations from the telecom industry since 1989, as compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics and The Verge.

If net neutrality is an issue that is important to you and the name of your representative is on this list, you may want to consider whether they should continue serving you the next time they are up for reelection.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality

By: Cecilia Kang

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences.

The agency scrapped so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone services.

The action reversed the agency’s 2015 decision, during the Obama administration, to better protect Americans as they have migrated to the internet for most communications.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the commission, said the rollback of the rules would eventually help consumers because broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast could offer people a wider variety of service options. Mr. Pai was joined in the 3-to-2 vote by his two fellow Republican commissioners.

“We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” Mr. Pai said in a speech before the vote. “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”

The discarding of net neutrality regulations is the most significant and controversial action by the F.C.C. under Mr. Pai. In his first 11 months as chairman, he has lifted media ownership limits, eased caps on how much broadband providers can charge business customers and cut back on a low-income broadband program that was slated to be expanded to nationwide carriers.

His plan, first outlined early this year, set off a flurry of opposition. Critics of the changes say consumers may have more difficulty finding content online and that start-ups will have to pay to reach consumers. In the last week, there have been hundreds of protests across the country, and many websites have encouraged users to speak up against the repeal. Some groups have said they planned to file a lawsuit challenging the change.

Read More🤮

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Russian Hacker Admits To Meddling Under Putin’s Orders

By: Cristina Maza

A Russian hacker accused of stealing from Russian banks reportedly confessed in court that he hacked the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and stole Hillary Clinton’s emails under the direction of agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

According to Russian news site The Bell, Konstantin Kozlovsky, a Russian citizen working for a hacker group called Lurk, confessed to hacking Clinton’s emails during a hearing about his arrest in August. An audio recording and minutes from the hearing were posted on Kozlovsky’s Facebook page, and their authenticity was reportedly confirmed by The Bell.

In a handwritten letter that also appears in a photo on his Facebook page, Kozlovsky admits to hacking the DNC on the orders of an FSB agent he called “Ilya.”

If confirmed, the hacker’s claims could prove that President Vladimir Putin’s government was behind the hacking of the DNC, despite the Kremlin’s insistence that it was not involved.

U.S. intelligence services have determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and was involved in stealing emails from the DNC. Cybersecurity company CrowdStrike concluded last year that the DNC’s emails had been breached by hackers associated with the FSB and Russian military intelligence.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Putin Views Trumps Tweets As Official statements

By: Reuters

Tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump are viewed in Moscow as his official position and read by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

A prolific user of Twitter before he was elected late last year, Trump has continued to use the social media platform to voice his views on policy and world affairs since moving into the White House.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday it was not his place to comment on Trump’s actions, but added: ”In any case, everything which is published from his authorised Twitter account is perceived by Moscow as his official statement.

“Naturally, it is reported to Putin along with other information about official statements by politicians,” Peskov said, adding that Putin was not a Twitter user himself.

Trump’s activity on Twitter have previously cause controversy. His tweets sparked outrage in Britain last month and a sharp rebuke of Prime Minister Theresa May when he retweeted anti Islam videos from a British far-right group.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Terrorist Attempt In New York

By: The BBC

“Terrorists won’t win,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after a blast at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan during the morning rush hour on Monday.

The suspect, Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, was injured by a “low-tech explosive device” strapped to his body, officials say.

Three other people suffered minor wounds when it blew up in an underpass.

A photo circulating on social media shows a man, said to be Akayed Ullah, lying on the ground with his clothes ripped and lacerations on his upper body.

Mayor De Blasio said he was believed to have acted alone.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “This is New York. The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom.

“We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbour and that makes us an international target.”

The explosion occurred at about 07:30 (12:30 GMT). Andre Rodriguez, 62, told the New York Times: “I was going through the turnstile. It sounded like an explosion, and everybody started running.”

Another eyewitness, Alicja Wlodkowski, told Reuters news agency that she had seen a group of about 60 people running. “A woman fell. And nobody even went to stop and help her because the panic was so scary,” she said.

Nearby subway stations were evacuated, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal temporarily shut.

It is the biggest and busiest bus terminal in the world, serving more than 65 million people a year.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Former Facebook Exec Accuses it’s Platform Of Destroying Social Fabrics

By: James Vincent of The Verge

Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media.

Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

He went on to describe an incident in India where hoax messages about kidnappings shared on WhatsApp led to the lynching of seven innocent people. “That’s what we’re dealing with,” said Palihapitiya. “And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.” He says he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.” He later adds, though, that he believes the company “overwhelmingly does good in the world.”

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

State of Emergency Declared In California Firestorms

Thousands of families have been impacted and displaced in the disastrous California Firestorms.  Mayor Garcetti (Local), then Governor Brown (State), and now President Trump (National) have all officially declared the State of Emergency for the California Wildfires disaster.  Assistance to help families up to the Federal level will be made available with these official declarations.  Information about how to apply for disaster assistance and emergency resources is available on the FEMA Disaster Assistance Website.

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Boeing Challenges SpaceX To Mars

By: Eric Berger of ArsTechnica

It was about a year ago that Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg first began saying his company would beat SpaceX to Mars. “I’m convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket,” he said during a Boeing-sponsored tech summit in Chicago in October 2016.

On Thursday, Muilenburg repeated that claim on CNBC. Moreover, he added this tidbit about the Space Launch System rocket—for which Boeing is the prime contractor of the core stage—”We’re going to take a first test flight in 2019 and we’re going to do a slingshot mission around the Moon.”

Unlike last year, Muilenburg drew a response from SpaceX this time. The company’s founder, Elon Musk, offered a pithy response on Twitter: “Do it.”

The truth is that Boeing’s rocket isn’t going anywhere particularly fast. Although Muilenburg says it will launch in 2019, NASA has all but admitted that will not happen. The rocket’s maiden launch has already slipped from late 2017 into “no earlier than”

December 2019. However, NASA officials have said a 2019 launch is a “best case” scenario, and a slip to June 2020 is more likely.

Et tu, commercial crew?

Boeing also isn’t going to land a rocket on Mars without near total funding from NASA, which has already paid more than $10 billion for development of the SLS and has no actual funding to implement a humans-to-Mars exploration plan. SpaceX will also need some government funding if it is to develop its “Big Falcon Rocket” to reach Mars, but Musk has laid out plans for commercial applications of his launch system that could offset some of its cost. (The SLS rocket has no known customers aside from NASA).

What is particularly puzzling to us is why Boeing and SpaceX are arguing about Mars. These two companies, who compete directly for NASA and other government contracts, are in a far more immediate and real race to reach the launch pad in the commercial crew competition. NASA has had to rely on Russia to get its astronauts to the International Space Station since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011. Both Boeing and SpaceX are building capsules that will launch crews from Florida.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Trump Camp Caught In Crossroads Of Receiving Wikileaks Documents

By: Manu Raju Jeremy Herb

Candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents, according to an email provided to congressional investigators.

The September 4 email was sent during the final stretch of the 2016 presidential race — on the same day that Trump Jr. first tweeted about WikiLeaks and Clinton.

“WIKILEAKS: Hillary Clinton Sent THOUSANDS of Classified Cables Marked “(C)” for Confidential,” he tweeted, sharing a story from the Gateway Pundit, a conservative, pro-Trump website.

The email came two months after the hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee were made public and one month before WikiLeaks began leaking the contents of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails. It arrived less than three weeks before WikiLeaks itself messaged Trump Jr. and began an exchange of direct messages on Twitter.

Trump Jr. told investigators he had no recollection of the September email.

Congressional investigators are trying to ascertain whether the individual who sent the September email is legitimate and whether it shows additional efforts by WikiLeaks to connect with Trump’s son and others on the Trump campaign.

The email also indicated that the Trump campaign could access records from former Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose hacked emails were made public by a Russian front group 10 days later.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Although Bankrupt, Toys “R” Us To Pay Execs $16m Bonuses

By: Chris Isidore of CNN

Toys “R” Us has won approval to pay $16 million in bonuses to 17 top executives if the company hits financial targets during the holiday shopping season.

The bankruptcy court trustee Judy Robbins, a Justice department attorney who represents the interest of creditors, had argued that the proposed bonuses were excessive and were little more than retention bonuses meant to keep the executives from jumping ship due to uncertainty about the company’s future.

While companies in bankruptcy are allowed to issue incentive bonuses, retention bonuses are not permitted.

“It defies logic and wisdom, not to mention the Bankruptcy Code, that a bankrupt company would now propose further multi-million dollar bonuses for the senior leadership of a company that began the year with employee layoffs and concludes it in the midst of the holiday season in bankruptcy,” she argued in her filing. “Apparently, this Christmas, Toys “R” Us intends to deliver not only ‘children their biggest smiles of the year’ but the insiders, too.”

In its filings in favor of the bonusues, the company had argued the payments were necessary to get executives to perform at a high level during its bankruptcy.

“It is the [company’s] employees – and more particularly the senior management team – that must execute at this critical juncture and provide the foundation for a successful turnaround,” it said in a filing.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Ascending Consciousness

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger