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(addictinginfo.org) Either Facebook’s spam filters are completely out of whack or political free speech is being actively censored on the social network.

What’s happening: On Sun. Aug. 14, liberal page administrators and bloggers in my network started spreading the word that they had been blocked from posting ANY content on ANY other wall for 15 days. No prior warning was given.

The offenders are charged with posting links to news/opinion articles – such as this liberal’s guide to Republican talking points – a small number of times to LIKE-MINDED pages with which they regularly interact. (Some reported making posts to as few as 4 other pages before being suspended – for 15 days – with no warning!) I’ve also been alerted that Facebook has revoked some administrator’s posting privileges for sharing links to their liberal Facebook page on the walls of other liberal pages.

The slap:

Facebook indicates these activists have been posting “spam and irrelevant” content. So, Facebook seems to be deciding for community pages what is spam or irrelevant before the actual page administrators are ever able to see – or re-share – the content.

A check of Facebook’s community standards confirms that NONE of the blocked content or pages I’ve heard about have violated ANY of these rules (engaging in hate, violence, phishing, theft, spam for commercial purposes, etc.)

Is it Facebook’s Fault?

This isn’t the first time a Facebook-related free speech restraint has come up on my radar, and that’s why I’m not biding my time before I talk about this. People should know what’s going on so Facebook can isolate and rectify the errors that are causing unfair censorship.

The previous red flag: A few weeks ago, I came across this webpage that catalogues Obama’s accomplishments (with citations). When  I went to share it on my wall  I was blocked from doing so.

The explanation: The link had been reported as “abusive or spammy” content. No one else can post the above blog link to their Facebook wall either – even now as I write. Even though I and others contacted Facebook to appeal that block as a violation of political free speech, Facebook never responded or unblocked the link. Therefore, this list of Obama’s accomplishments seems to be permanently banned from Facebook – and for no good reason. Remember that just because you may not share a favorable view of Obama, that doesn’t mean the content should be censored. People have a right to information!

Read more:
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/08/15/hey-facebook-are-you-really-censoring-political-free-speech-in-america/

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#RefRef : Anonymous testing LOIC replacements – new tool uses server exploits

(thetechherald.com) Anonymous is developing a new DDoS tool. So far, what they have is something that is platform neutral, leveraging JavaScript and vulnerabilities within SQL to create a devastating impact on the targeted website. But will the tool last, and will it make law enforcement’s job harder in the long run?

Previously, Low Orbit Ion Canon (LOIC) was the go to weapon for Anonymous supporters during protests against dictators in North Africa, and Operation: Payback. However, LOIC is also the reason scores of people have been arrested in the last year, so many feel its time is at an end.

The new tool, called #RefRef, is set to be released in September, according to an Anon promoting it on IRC this afternoon. Developed with JavaScript, the tool is said to use the target site’s own processing power against itself.

In the end, the server succumbs to resource exhaustion due to #RefRef’s usage. An attack vector that has existed for some time, resource exhaustion is often skipped over by attackers who favor the brute force of a DDoS attack sourced from bots or tools such as LOIC.

As seen in the image above, the tool uses a simple GUI to operate. Yet, the JavaScript driving the tool is where the unusual power comes from. Testing the code, the Anon who explained its usage reported that a test of 17 seconds led to a 42 minute outage early Friday morning on Pastebin.com, an outage confirmed by Pastebin on Twitter.

“Imagine giving a large beast a simple carrot, [and then] watching the beast choke itself to death,” explained the Anon promoting the tool.

Based on the screenshots presented of the tool, as well as passive comments by its promoter, we asked how it was different from a script that automates a person simply pressing F5 continuously.

We were told that the tool itself exploits server vulnerabilities, and will work as long as the target server supports JavaScript and some type of SQL. Based on the vague comments by the Anon who explained the tool, the vulnerabilities being exploited are somewhere within the SQL side of things.

As it turns out, the attack is launched client side, and will send a separate script in the connection request made to the target server. This request is actually the exploit itself, and once the server renders the code, it will continue to render it until crashing. In essence, the stronger the server, the faster it crashes.

Asked if the vulnerability being exploited could be patched, the Anon responded that it could, but added that administrators would have to “mass-patch” a file that actually affects many services.

So patching is unlikely to stop it because, “most SQL servers are pulling from a master SQL host” and the tool itself targets “one of the most common SQL services, but also one of the most widespread,” the Anon added, but would not get into further details.

Read more: http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/201130/7445/Anonymous-testing-LOIC-replacements-new-tool-uses-server-exploits

(Censored News) Alexander Higgins’ online report about how Facebook helped spy on and arrest fly-in supporters to Palestine this week, could not be posted on Facebook today, as seen in this screen capture.
Facebook is not only helping governments to spy on, and arrest peace activists, but it is censoring a news article on what happened to the fly-in activists supporting Palestine. Activists were halted at airports in Europe this week, and others detained in Tel Aviv on Friday, as they attempted to travel to Palestine. Many remained in an Israeli prison on Sunday.
The ‘Flytilla’ supporters responded after Greece halted the Gaza Freedom Flotilla boats from departing, under pressure from Israel and the United States.
Alexander Higgins reports in his blog:

“… Facebook aided Israel in cracking down on the group of activists from the UK, France and Belgium who planned their event using the popular social networking site.
“According to the report, Facebook allowed government agents to track the activists activities and then create a black-list of people who participated in the planning of the protests.
“The group of black-listed people was then forwarded to airlines with instructions to prevent the activists from boarding air flights to Israel. Over 200 activists were prevented from flying after being added to the airlines terrorism watch list, according the the AP report.”
Aljazeera also reported on how Facebook was used to halt and arrest the Flytilla activists.
“According to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, police and intelligence units followed social networks used by the groups organising the protest,” Aljazeera reported.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/07/201178154823642194.html
In his articles, Higgins also reveals an extensive spy operation, as uncovered in documents by hacktivists AntiSec, Anonymous and Lulzsec.
“A sinister cyber surveillance plot revealed in this rare fascinating look deep into the underground world of the fascist partnership of corporate and government black operations.
“I recently pointed out some of the shocking details of the cyber surveillance spy program unveiled by the Anonymous release of the HBGary Federal emails as discussed by the UK newspaper the Guardian.
“While those details revealed mounds of shocking information, such as top secret military black ops being ran in partnership with the likes of Google, Facebook and ATandT to spy on online activities to gather data for the government to run mass propaganda operations and manipulate the news, the reality is the email dump contains over 70,000 emails and only as the emails are further dug through and analyzed will the full extent of the operations be revealed.”
Read more on Higgins blog about the new spy operations Infraguard and Romas/COIN.
Higgins’ blog also includes the report from Censored News about the off-duty Marines who are hunting migrants on the border at Sasabe, Arizona, with assault weapons, as revealed in the data release in hacked Arizona police files.
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/
WATCH VIDEO: French cops assaulting women protesters in Paris, after Flytilla passengers denied boarding by airlines in France


100_0026 by abunawfal

By Brenda Norrell

Source: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/07/censored-by-facebook-facebook-helped.html

(guardian.co.uk) Protest groups claim Facebook has taken down dozens of pages in a purge of activists’ accounts

Activists are claiming that dozens of politically linked Facebook accounts have been removed or suspended by the company in the last 12 hours.

The list of suspended pages include those for the anti cuts group UK Uncut, and pages that were created by students during last December’s university occupations.

A list posted on the UCL occupation blog site says the Goldsmiths Fights Back, Slade Occupation, Open Brikbeck, and Tower Hamlet Greens pages as no longer functioning.

It is not yet known how many websites have been affected in total or why they are not working. Facebook is currently looking into the issue.

Guy Aitchison, 26, an administrator for one of the non-functioning pages said, “I woke up this morning to find that a lot of the groups we’d been using for anti-cuts activity had disappeared. The timing of it seems suspicious given a general political crackdown because of the royal wedding.”

“It seems that dozens of other groups have also been affected, including some of the local UK Uncut groups.”

Earlier, it was reported that the Metropolitan police had invoked special powers to deter anarchists in central London ahead of the royal wedding.

Police threw a section 60 cordon around the whole of the royal wedding zone on Friday morning to respond to anarchists masking up at a small gathering in Soho Square in central London.

The section 60 order allows police officers to stop and search anyone without discretion. The police also imposed section 60a, which gives them the power to remove masks and balaclavas from anyone within the area.

Scotland Yard said the decision was made after individuals were seen putting on masks in Soho Square where a group of anarchists had gathered.

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from Facebook.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/29/facebook-activist-pages-purged