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Daily Archives: 04/07/2011

(newscientist.com) It was early May when LulzSec’s profile skyrocketed after a hack on the giant Sony corporation. LulzSec’s name comes from Lulz, a corruption of LOL, often denoting laughter at the victim of a prank. For 50 days until it disbanded, the group’s unique blend of humour, taunting and unapologetic data theft made it notorious. But knowing whether LulzSec was all about the “lulz” or if it owed more to its roots as part of Anonymous, the umbrella group of internet subculture and digital activism, was pure speculation. Until now.

Who is “Sabu”?

I’m a man who believes in human rights and exposing abuse and corruption. I generally care about people and their situations. I’m into politics and I try my best to stay on top of current events.

We’ve seen you cast as everything from the greatest of heroes to the most evil of villains. How would you characterise yourself?

It is hard for me to see myself as either. I am not trying to be a martyr. I’m not some cape-wearing hero, nor am I some supervillain trying to bring down the good guys. I’m just doing what I know how to do, and that is counter abuse.

What was your first experience with “hacktivism”?

I got involved about 11 years ago when the US navy was using Vieques Island in Puerto Rico as a bombing range for exercises. There were lots of protests going on and I got involved in supporting the Puerto Rican government by disrupting communications. This whole situation was the first of its kind for the island and the people didn’t expect things to go that route. Eventually, the US navy left Vieques.

How did you get involved with Anonymous?

When I found out about what happened to Julian Assange, his arrest in the UK and so on, I found it absolutely absurd. So I got involved with Anonymous at that point.

What operation really inspired you and why?

Earlier this year, we got wind of the Tunisians’ plight. Their government was blocking access to any website that reported anti-Tunisian information, including Tunileaks, the Tunisian version of Wikileaks, and any news sites discussing them.

Tunisians came to us telling us about their desire to resist. “Disrupt the government of Tunisia,” they said, and we did. We infiltrated the prime minister’s site and defaced it externally. When Tunisia filtered off its internet from the world, it was the Tunisians who came online using dial-up and literally allowed us to use their connections to tunnel through to re-deface the prime minister’s websites. It was the most impressive thing I’ve seen: a revolution coinciding both physically and online. It was the first time I had proof that what Anonymous was doing was real and it was working.

What would you like to say to people who say that you and other Antisec/Anonymous/LulzSec members are just troublemakers who have caused untold damage and loss to people for no apparent reason?

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20649-exclusive-first-interview-with-key-lulzsec-hacker.html?full=true

 

Belgian programmer, cryptographer, influential advocate of online privacy, PhD candidate at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, Sassaman struggled with depression and has stepped out of life.

Although his name among the general public does not ring a bell, Sassaman was a very respected person in the small, but international world of online privacy and security experts. He worked for Network Associates on the PGP encryption software, was a member of the Shmoo Group, a contributor to the OpenPGP IETF working group, the GNU Privacy Guard project, and frequently appeared at technology conferences like DEF CON. He gave lectures, linked his name with such international conferences as CodeCon (which he co-founded), CCS or SmooCon and was active as a researcher at the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography Group of the KU Leuven.

Sassaman was the project manager for Mixmaster , a “remailer” that can sen e-mail anonymously or under a pseudonym. He also worked on various open source encryption projects, gave his name to the Zimmermann–Sassaman key-signing protocol, and at the age of 21, was an organizer of the protests following the arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov.

Sassaman was married to Meredith L. Patterson , an American security expert, science fiction writer and journalist. She confirmed the bad news on Twitter and Hacker News .

Sources:
http://www.apache.be/goed_gelezen/2011/07/04/len-sassaman-has-passed-away/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Sassaman


(guardian.co.uk) Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Slavoj Žižek and others call on the US, France and Canada to keep out of Haiti’s democratic process in an open letter to the Guardian

Over the next few years, much of Haiti will be rebuilt and much of its economy restructured. In response to last year’s earthquake an unprecedented amount of money has been promised for reconstruction. It’s more important than ever before that Haiti be governed by an administration that reflects the true will and interests of its people, rather than the concerns of foreign governments and corporations.

In 2004, the US, France and Canada, in alliance with members of Haiti’s business community and demobilised soldiers of the Haitian army,overthrew the last Haitian government to enjoy genuine popular support: the party that led this government, Fanmi Lavalas, was elected with around 75% of the vote. This past November, these same powers imposed and funded an illegitimate electoral process in Haiti, one that blocked the participation of Fanmi Lavalas. Only 23% of Haitian voters participated, scarcely a third of the proportion who voted in the last presidential election.

In recent weeks, the US and its proxies have brazenly interfered in the interpretation of this election’s first round of results. The flawed November vote was not only inconclusive and unrepresentative, its outcome was also unlawful. If the second round of these elections goes ahead as planned on 20 March, it is now sure to result in the unconstitutional selection of a president with closer ties to the powers that sponsored and manipulated them than to the people meant to participate in them.

At the same time, the powers that dominate Haiti have facilitated the return of the former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier while discouraging the return of the twice-elected president (and Fanmi Lavalas leader) Jean-Bertrand Aristide. These powers, with their allies in the Haitian business community, have made it clear that they seek to delay Aristide’s return until after 20 March. They will only allow Aristide to return after a suitably pliant new government has been installed, to preside over the imminent reconstruction process.

We the undersigned call on the Haitian government to make the security arrangements that will enable Aristide’s immediate return, and we call on the international community to support rather than undermine these efforts. We call on the Haitian government to cancel the second-round vote scheduled for 20 March and to organise a new round of elections, without exclusions or interference, to take place as soon as possible.

Signed: Read More

(alternet.orgHugo Chávez has long considered Noam Chomsky one of his best friends in the west. He has basked in the renowned scholar’s praise for Venezuela‘s socialist revolution and echoed his denunciations of US imperialism.

Venezuela’s president, who hasrevealed that he has had surgery in Cuba to remove a cancerous tumour, turned one of Chomsky’s books into an overnight bestseller after brandishing it during a UN speech. He hosted Chomsky in Caracas with smiles and pomp. Earlier this year Chávez even suggested Washington make Chomsky the US ambassador to Venezuela.

The president may be about to have second thoughts about that, because his favourite intellectual has now turned his guns on Chávez.

Speaking to the Observer last week, Chomsky has accused the socialist leader of amassing too much power and of making an “assault” on Venezuela’s democracy.

“Concentration of executive power, unless it’s very temporary and for specific circumstances, such as fighting world war two, is an assault on democracy. You can debate whether [Venezuela’s] circumstances require it: internal circumstances and the external threat of attack, that’s a legitimate debate. But my own judgment in that debate is that it does not.”

Chomsky, a linguistics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spoke on the eve of publishing an open letter (see below) that accuses Venezuela’s authorities of “cruelty” in the case of a jailed judge.

The self-described libertarian socialist says the plight of María Lourdes Afiuni is a “glaring exception” in a time of worldwide cries for freedom. He urges Chávez to release her in “a gesture of clemency” for the sake of justice and human rights.

Chomsky reveals he has lobbied Venezuela’s government behind the scenes since late last year after being approached by the Carr centre for human rights policy at Harvard University. Afiuni earned Chávez’s ire in December 2009 by freeing Eligio Cedeño, a prominent banker facing corruption charges. Cedeño promptly fled the country.

In a televised broadcast the president, who had taken a close interest in the case, called the judge a criminal and demanded she be jailed for 30 years. “That judge has to pay for what she has done.”

Afiuni, 47, a single mother with cancer, spent just over a year in jail, where she was assaulted by other prisoners. In January, authorities softened her confinement to house arrest pending trial for corruption, which she denies.

“Judge Afiuni has suffered enough,” states Chomsky’s letter. “She has been subject to acts of violence and humiliations to undermine her human dignity. I am convinced that she must be set free.”

Amnesty International and the European parliament, among others, have condemned the judge’s treatment but the intervention of a scholar considered a friend of the Bolivarian revolution, which is named after the hero of Venezuelan independence, Simón Bolívar, is likely to sting even more.

Speaking from his home in Boston, Chomsky said Chávez, who has been in power for 12 years, appeared to have intimidated the judicial system. “I’m sceptical that [Afiuni] could receive a fair trial. It’s striking that, as far as I understand, other judges have not come out in support of her … that suggests an atmosphere of intimidation.”

He also faulted Chávez for adopting enabling powers to circumvent the national assembly. “Anywhere in Latin America there is a potential threat of the pathology of caudillismo [authoritarianism] and it has to be guarded against. Whether it’s over too far in that direction in Venezuela I’m not sure, but I think perhaps it is. A trend has developed towards the centralisation of power in the executive which I don’t think is a healthy development.”

Read more:
http://www.alternet.org/world/151498/noam_chomsky_denounces_hugo_chã¡vez_for