The screen shot above is of the U.S. Sentencing Commission website after it was hijacked by the hacker-activist group Anonymous, early Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.
Hacktivists calling themselves “Anonymous” struck again, this time in retribution for the suicide death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, creator of Reddit and RSS. In a new campaign called “Operation Last Resort”, Anonymous attacked the U.S. Sentencing Commission website and left a message that with Swartz’ death, a “line had been crossed.” The ussc.gov website is an independent agency of the judicial branch.
The hackers claimed to have infiltrated other government computer systems and copied secret information about Supreme Court justices that they threaten to publicize. Major news operations including WND reported it. The Drudge Report ran the story as its lead.
An excerpt of the message left by Anonymous:
Citizens of the world,
Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern. We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the “discretion” of prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain.
We have been watching, and waiting.
Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed. Two weeks ago today, Aaron Swartz was killed. Killed because he faced an impossible choice. Killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win – a twisted and distorted perversion of justice – a game where the only winning move was not to play.
Is Big Brother Googling you?
Is Google a search engine, or is it a data collector with larger objectives? The Blaze reported that government law enforcement agencies “presented Google with a staggering 21,389 requests for information on 33,634 of its users during the last six months of 2012. The number of requests was up 17 percent from a year earlier.”
Google complied with those requests88 percent of the time.
Facebook censoring conservatives
Word is out among many social networking users that Facebook has been shutting down some conservative sites saying the sites don’t follow the Facebook standards.
A new social community has been established for conservatives fed up with Facebook hassles. Though it has been in existence for several months, TeaPartyCommunity.com will be officially launched to the national press on Feb. 2.
A notice at the site reads: “Patriots; On February 2, 2013 the Tea Party Community will be announcing our website nationally.”
The social networking site currently has 44,580 members.
Speaking of Facebook, have you heard about its newest feature called “Graph Search”? According to this description,“It’s a live search bar that allows users to find what their friends have liked or recommended, as well as photos of friends. While this can be done manually, graph search makes it exponentially easier.”
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said graph search will be rolled out in beta in a slow roll-out to gauge interest and to see how people use the feature.
Browser history of a different sort
Twenty years ago, the first web browser with images and a back and forth button made its debut. Remember Mosaic? It was Jan. 23, 1993. Programmer Marc Andreessen, a student at the time, released Mosaic, which is credited with making the Internet accessible to the general public. It is still the model for today’s browsers. Prior to Mosaic, images and text were displayed separately in their own window. There was no “back” button.
Mosaic is still available from Archive.org, or from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where Andreessen led the software development team.
Still using Java?
Big Sis at Homeland Security warned against using Java, saying a software flaw made our computers vulnerable to hackers. Java maker Oracle says not to worry, the fix is in. Meanwhile, here are some suggestions from a commenter about how to make your personal computer more secure:
- Never put sensitive information right out in the open.
- Bury personal files several folders deep in an oddly named folder.
- Do not label folders obvious names like “Banking” or “Passwords.”
- Do not use passwords that consist of your first-born or your dog or your street address.
- What you can do is at least use something in reverse while substituting a number for a letter (as in 7 where an L might be etc).
- You can “hide” folders and password protect them.
- Backup these folders periodically and store them offsite in case of a fire, burglary or hard-drive crash.
Bits & Bytes
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How to make a baby by photographer Patrice Laroche.