Meet The People Behind The Viral 2-Minute Video That Perfectly Captures Street Harassment

Meet The People Behind The Viral 2-Minute Video That Perfectly Captures Street Harassment
Oct 28 2014

With the two-minute video “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman,” which was published on Tuesday, filmmaker Rob Bliss hopes to help other men understand what it’s like to move around in public spaces while being constantly sexualized. 

Bliss’s video follows a young women throughout one day of walking the streets in New York City, recording all of the catcalls — everything from “what’s up beautiful” to “hey baby” to “damn girl” — she encounters along the way. Altogether, more than 100 instances of verbal harassment took place in the span of 10 hours.

“A lot of guys say things like, oh it’s just one thing, or it’s just this one compliment,” Bliss explained in an interview with ThinkProgress. “I really wanted to show people what it felt like to hear this again, and again, and again in just one day — and then think about extrapolating that to a lifetime of experiences.”

Watch it:


GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits

GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits
GCHQ’s secret ‘arrangements’ for accessing bulk material revealed in documents submitted to UK surveillance watchdog
By James Ball
Oct 28 2014

British intelligence services can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant, the government has confirmed for the first time.

GCHQ’s secret “arrangements” for accessing bulk material are revealed in documents submitted to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the UK surveillance watchdog, in response to a joint legal challenge by Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. The legal action was launched in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations published by the Guardian and other news organisations last year.

The government’s submission discloses that the UK can obtain “unselected” – meaning unanalysed, or raw intelligence – information from overseas partners without a warrant if it was “not technically feasible” to obtain the communications under a warrant and if it is “necessary and proportionate” for the intelligence agencies to obtain that information.

The rules essentially permit bulk collection of material, which can include communications of UK citizens, provided the request does not amount to “deliberate circumvention” of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which governs much of the UK’s surveillance activities.

This point – that GCHQ does not regard warrants as necessary in all cases – is explicitly spelled out in the document. “[A] Ripa interception warrant is not as a matter of law required in all cases in which unanalysed intercepted communications might be sought from a foreign government,” it states. The rules also cover communicationsdata sent unsolicited to the UK agencies.

Campaigners say that this contrasts with assurances by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee in July last year that a warrant signed by a minister was in place whenever GCHQ obtained intelligence from the US.

The data can then be stored for up to two years, the same duration as information collected directly by the agency. This can be extended unilaterally if a senior official believes it to be necessary and proportionate for national security purposes.

Privacy International, one of several advocacy groups mounting legal challenges against GCHQ and NSA surveillance, said the revelation should cast further doubts on legal safeguards in the UK.

“We now know that data from any call, internet search, or website you visited over the past two years could be stored in GCHQ’s database and analysed at will, all without a warrant to collect it in the first place,” said deputy director Eric King. “It is outrageous that the government thinks mass surveillance, justified by secret “arrangements” that allow for vast and unrestrained receipt and analysis of foreign intelligence material is lawful.”


FCC reportedly close to reclassifying ISPs as common carriers

FCC reportedly close to reclassifying ISPs as common carriers
“Hybrid” approach wouldn’t prevent all Internet fast lane deals.
By Jon Brodkin
Oct 30 2014

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reportedly close to proposing a “hybrid approach” to network neutrality in which Internet service providers would be partially reclassified as common carriers, letting the commission take a harder stance against Internet fast lane deals.

However, the proposal would not completely outlaw deals in which Web services pay for faster access to consumers.

As reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, the broadband service that ISPs offer to consumers would be maintained as a lightly regulated information service. But the FCC would reclassify the service that ISPs offer at the other end of the network to content providers who deliver data over Internet providers’ pipes. This would be a common carrier service subject to utility-style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.

“People close to the chairman” say that Chairman Tom Wheeler is “close to settling on a hybrid approach,” the Journal wrote, continuing:

The plan now under consideration would separate broadband into two distinct services: a retail one, in which consumers would pay broadband providers for Internet access; and a back-end one, in which broadband providers serve as the conduit for websites to distribute content. The FCC would then classify the back-end service as a common carrier, giving the agency the ability to police any deals between content companies and broadband providers.

The emerging plan reflects proposals submitted by the Mozilla Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, though it departs from both in parts. The main advantage of the hybrid proposal, as opposed to full reclassification, is that it wouldn’t require the FCC to reverse earlier decisions to deregulate broadband providers, which were made in the hopes of encouraging the adoption and deployment of high-speed broadband. The authors of the new proposal believe that not having to justify reversing itself would put the FCC on firmer legal ground.

In May 2014, the Mozilla Foundation proposed a similar approach in a filing with the FCC that Ars reported on at the time.

Later that month, the FCC voted for a plan that would not have reclassified ISPs and did not ban fast lane agreements. But the vote was tentative, allowing the FCC to change its mind after gathering public comments.

The proposal Wheeler is considering now “would leave the door open for broadband providers to offer specialized services for, say, videogamers or online video providers, which require a particularly large amount of bandwidth,” the Journal wrote. “The proposal would also allow the commission to explore usage-based pricing at some point, in which consumers are charged based on how much data they use and companies are able to subsidize traffic to their websites or applications.”


These Stasi-style outrages show just how low Britain’s spies will stoop

[Note:  This item comes from friend David Rosenthal.  DLH]

These Stasi-style outrages show just how low Britain’s spies will stoop
Revelations of never-ending surveillance suggest that police and MI5 consider radical views criminal in themselves
By Zoe Williams
Oct 27 2014

‘Did he report every contraction back to the police? What use was that for information purposes? That is a moment so intimate, and I shared it with a ghost.” The first compensation award, of £425,000, has been made to Jacqui, one of the women impregnated in the mid-90s by a police officer pretending to be an activist. She said last year that it felt as though she had been raped by the state: there was discussion at the time about whether or not those two things could ever be comparable, non-consensual sex and consensual sex under false pretences.

The language doesn’t exist to describe this crime, and that consigns us to imperfect analogies: it is an invasion beyond privacy and beyond sex, into a person’s destiny, holding them hostage forever to the love of a child conceived as the byproduct of state reconnoitre. Nothing is too low for an authority that would stoop to this – it could bore into your subconscious, alter your DNA. Its only boundary is the limit of technology.

The impact on Bob Lambert, the police officer, cannot be ignored. His life has been completely denatured by this duplicity. Surveillance, like torture, brutalises the agent as much as it violates the victim. Floating on the surface of these very profound questions is one practical one: did Lambert report every contraction back to the police? Well, no, that bit’s rhetorical – but at some point, it must have been obvious that this woman was not a threat to the state. One day, using average human judgment, of a woman he knew inside out, Lambert must have known that Jacqui was not a terrorist but rather a person of radical views. The thing we will never know is how long after that penny had dropped he continued to spy on her. One year? Three? Five?

When, for that matter, did MI5 realise that Eric Hobsbawm had no intention of defecting to Russia, and was simply agitating for radical left possibilities within UK politics? When did it realise that Christopher Hill was not intending to restart the English civil war, with a mind to recreating a Leveller revolution three centuries later? These two men were academics and communists, and last week it emerged that they were trailed by security services for more than three decades. The extent of this surveillance is still considered too incendiary to be released fully into the public domain, with sections still redacted. The reason, I suspect, is that if we had the full records, it would be plain that no sensible person could have considered either man a threat to the realm, after the initial pass of their activities. Let’s say it would have taken five years to nail this down. That leaves decades of spying unexplained, and inexplicable.

One plausible explanation is that, to the police and the security services, to have radical views at all is to be de facto an enemy of the state. Reasonable grounds to suspect a crime are rendered unnecessary when the entire mindset is considered criminal. It’s sweet of them but unnecessary to be so protective of the centre ground, which is self-policing when it comes to the expression of any interest beyond “what’s best for me?”


Comcast trademarks “True Gig” and plans multi-gigabit Internet service

Comcast trademarks “True Gig” and plans multi-gigabit Internet service
Trademark application also points to “online video-on-demand service.”
By Jon Brodkin
Oct 28 2014

Comcast last week applied for a trademark on the phrase “True Gig” to describe extremely fast Internet service.

The trademark application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (and reported yesterday by The Donohue Report) says that True Gig describes “Internet service provider services; providing high speed access to the Internet, mobile networks, and other electronic communications networks; wireless broadband communication services; provision of telecommunication access to video and audio content via cable, fiber optics, the Internet, mobile networks, and other electronic communications networks.”

Comcast is also using True Gig to describe online video streaming, specifically “provision of non-downloadable films, movies, and television programs via an online video-on-demand service; providing entertainment information via television, cable, telephone, wireless broadband, fiber broadband, and via the Internet.”

Comcast launched a streaming video service called Streampix in 2012, but it was never popular and is being folded into Comcast’s other services. Comcast has said it hasn’t found a “viable business model” for a nationwide streaming service as opposed to one available only in its cable territory.

As for gigabit Internet, Comcast is already halfway there with its “Extreme 505” service, which uses fiber rather than cable to deliver 505Mbps download speeds and 100Mbps upload. Extreme 505 costs $400 a month and requires a three-year contract. It’s available in some markets but not throughout all of Comcast’s territory. Plenty of fiber-to-the-home services offer gigabit speeds (at much lower prices), so that provides one clear path to a gigabit for Comcast.


Reliability survey: Infotainment ‘plagues’ new cars

[Note:  This item comes from friend Bob Frankston.  DLH]

Reliability survey: Infotainment ‘plagues’ new cars
By James R. Healey, USA TODAY
Oct 27 2014

USA TODAY’s Chris Woodyard takes a look at the six vehicles that Consumer Reports magazine says are giving their owners the most trouble /Sean Fujiwara

Consumer Reports says infotainment systems appear to be the most troublesome feature in 2014 vehicles.

In fact, it considers them a “growing first-year reliability plague,” referring to models in the first year after introduction or a redesign.

That conclusion is part of the results announced today of the publication’s annual Auto Reliability Survey. The publication solicits replies from readers to a questionnaire about their cars and analyzes the results — this year based on more than a million responses — to predict the reliability of new vehicles by brand and model.

CR said the worst example of the infotainment phenomena in this year’s crop of new models is the In Touch system in the Infiniti Q50 sedan. More than one in five owners said it didn’t work right. That, combined with other reliability issues in the Infiniti QX60 SUV, pulled Infiniti’s overall brand reliability ranking down 14 places to 20th — the biggest drop of any of the 28 brands in the survey this year.

Electronic issues also can be a signal that the vehicle may have other problems, the magazine said.

“Infotainment system problems generally don’t exist in a vacuum,” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports. “A close look at the results suggests that cars with a lot of in-car electronic issues usually have plenty of other troubles, too.”

The survey is widely followed, but reliability isn’t the only way to judge a car, says Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book’s It is “one of many aspects that make up a car’s total ownership experience,” he says. And “it has to be considered among factors like purchase price, resale value, performance and fuel efficiency.

“Measuring reliability is also not a straightforward process,” Brauer says, “because for some it means how many unexpected problems arise while for others it means satisfaction with the cupholders. Car shoppers should keep all of these factors in mind, rather than fixating on a single factor, when considering their next purchase.”

According to CR, first-year models from Infiniti, Jeep, Fiat, Ram, Cadillac, Ford and Honda all have suffered significant rates of complaints due to infotainment bugs and glitches.

Of the 17 problem areas CR asks about in its survey, the category that includes in-car electronics generated more complaints from owners than any other category.


The Shooting of Milton Hall (NSFW)

[Note:  This item comes from friend Ed DeWath.  DLH]

From: Edward DeWath <>
Subject: The Shooting of Milton Hall (NSFW)
Date: October 27, 2014 at 22:39:45 EDT
To: Dewayne Hendricks <>

When police officers in Saginaw, Michigan, killed a mentally ill man in a hail of bullets on July 1, 2012, it prompted a local outcry and a federal investigation.

A video released Monday offers a disturbingly clear look at the shooting. (Police footage starts at 0:56 )


The video, captured by a police car dashboard camera, shows six police officers gunning down Milton Hall, 49, in broad daylight, in a Saginaw parking lot. Hall was armed with a penknife and stood at least several yards from the nearest officer.

Officers fired at him more than 45 times.

45 times? WTF?

EFF: Which Service Providers Side With Users in IP Disputes?

[Note:  This item comes from Dave Farber’s IP List.  DLH]

From: “EFF Press” <>
Date: Oct 27, 2014 4:58 PM
Subject: [E-B] EFF: Which Service Providers Side With Users in IP Disputes?
To: <>

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 27, 2014


Parker Higgins
Director of Copyright Activism
Electronic Frontier Foundation

+1 415 436 9333 x123

Which Service Providers Side With Users in IP Disputes? 

WordPress, NameCheap Receive Five Stars in New EFF 

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) 
today released a new report and scorecard that shows what 
online service providers are doing to protect users from 
baseless copyright and trademark complaints. 

“Who Has Your Back: When Copyright and Trademark Bullies 
Threaten Free Speech” examines how online service providers 
handle copyright and trademark-based takedown requests.  
The report expands upon EFF’s influential “Who Has Your 
Back” annual report covering how online service providers 
protect users’ data from government requests. 

“When a private citizen or corporation wants to silence 
speech on a major online platform, the quickest method is 
often a copyright or trademark complaint,” EFF Director of 
Copyright Activism Parker Higgins said. “EFF has worked for 
many years to help people whose speech is unfairly targeted 
by these sorts of complaints, and we’ve seen how important 
it is that speech platforms have policies that help protect 
lawful users.” 

EFF examined 13 companies and issued stars if they met the 
baseline standards for what a service can do to defend its 
users’ speech against copyright and trademark bullies.  The 
services could receive a maximum of five stars, based on 
criteria including publicly documented procedures for 
responses to DMCA takedown notices and counter-notices, how 
the services handle trademark disputes, and if the company 
issued detailed transparency reports. 

Automattic’s and NameCheap were the only two 
companies to receive five out of five stars.  However, two 
other companies were recognized for going the extra mile: 
Etsy, for providing educational guides, and Twitter, for 
publishing regular and thorough transparency reports.  
Overall, 10 companies did not publish adequate transparency 
reports, highlighting an information black hole for 
consumers.  Additionally, four companies missed a star for 
their counter-notice practices–a critical procedure for 
restoring content that may have been taken down without 

“Major online platforms are essential to online expression, 
so their policy decisions can have a huge impact on public 
discourse,” EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne 
McSherry said. “As users choose which platforms will host 
their updates, writing, images, and videos, they ought to 
know which of these services have publicly committed to 
treating their speech fairly and even helping them fight 
back against bullies that would try to take it down.” 

For the report:

For the shareable infographic:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading 
organization protecting civil liberties in the digital 
world. Founded in 1990, we defend free speech online, fight 
illegal surveillance, promote the rights of digital 
innovators, and work to ensure that the rights and freedoms 
we enjoy are enhanced, rather than eroded, as our use of 
technology grows. EFF is a member-supported organization. 
Find out more at

Apple responds to the Rite Aid, CVS debacle in a very ‘Apple’ way

Apple responds to the Rite Aid, CVS debacle in a very ‘Apple’ way
By Mike Wehner
Oct 27 2014

Apple is a company of actions, not words. Even when Tim Cook takes the stage to talk about how great his company is, it’s always about the here and now, not empty promises about the future. Apple’s official response regarding the refusal of Rite Aid and CVS to support Apple Pay — the company’s newly launched NFC payment system — is deliciously “Apple” in that very same way. Provided to Business Insider, the statement reads:

The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.

In case you’re having some trouble reading between the lines, let me translate that for you:

Dear Rite Aid/CVS,

People are already in love with Apple Pay and it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it. CurrentC is a disaster — no, seriously, it has a 1-star rating with over 1,200 reviews — and the only ones you’re hurting by refusing to support our payment system is your own customers. Oh, and Walgreens already accepts Apple Pay, so you can either fall in line or make a nice little shanty over there on the wrong side of tech history.

Love, Apple

ACLU Calls Schools’ Policy to Search Devices and ‘Approve’ Kids’ Web Posts Unconstitutional

ACLU Calls Schools’ Policy to Search Devices and ‘Approve’ Kids’ Web Posts Unconstitutional
Oct 27 2014

A school board in Tennessee is being accused of violating the constitutional rights of students over a policy that allows school officials to search any electronic devices students bring to campus and to monitor and control what students post on social media sites.

The broadly written policy also allows schools to monitor any communications sent through or stored on school networks, which would essentially allow the school to read the content of stored and transmitted email. 

The policy (.pdf) is intended to “protect students and adults from obscene information,” “restrict access to materials that are harmful to minors” and help secure the school’s network from malware.

But parts of the policy are so broadly written, they constitute clear violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They say the policy oversteps the school’s authority and exhibits “a fundamental misunderstanding of the constitutional rights” of students.

Disciplinary actions for failing to follow the rules are also problematic, the groups say. Under the policy, failure to comply can result in “loss of network privileges, confiscation of computer equipment, suspension … and/or criminal prosecution.”

The Tennessee policy would allow authorities to seize and search a device for no compelling reason.

The groups note that denying students access to school computers and networks that are needed for their education essentially denies them the right to an equivalent education that other students obtain. Requiring students to sign an agreement essentially waiving their constitutional rights is also not permissible.

The two groups sent a letter (.pdf) today to the Williamson County Board of Education after parent Daniel Pomerantz complained that he was forced to agree to the policy. He initially refused to sign the policy at the start of the school semester, but relented after the school prohibited his 5-year-old daughter from using the computers at Nolensville Elementary School without the agreement.

“The first time they were using the computers [in her classroom], they told her she had to go sit aside and do something else and she started to cry and complain,” Pomerantz told WIRED. “It was not a pleasant experience as a family. They told her it was all because of me, that [because] I wouldn’t do this was why she couldn’t learn on computers with all the other students.”

There are 41 schools in the Williamson school district, and the policy affects all 35,000 students. 

The policy contains a number of points that on their face seem designed to protect the privacy and safety of students. For example, students must provide consent before their photo, name or work can be posted on a school web site or in a school publication. Students are also required to report any “electronically transmitted attacks” made by others.

But the sections pertaining to the school’s Bring Your Own Technology policy and other parts go too far, the civil liberties groups say. Students in grades three through twelve are allowed to bring their own electronic devices to school—smartphones, laptops, tablet computers, and eReaders—as long as they’re used for educational instruction purposes and the students use only the school’s Wi-Fi network to access the internet with the devices. Students in classes below the third grade are not allowed to bring computers, but are provided computers in class and still need to have their parents sign the agreement.