Security News and Issues

Each day owning a computer and maintaining it online becomes more of a challenge. Security is a major concern to computer users. SaferPC brings you Security News and Issues of interest to security conscious PC users.

 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Canadian Army partners with U.S. Troops in deployment exercise
by Reg Clayton
March 19, 2015

Motorists traveling along Highway 17 are advised that a series of short convoys transporting military vehicles and equipment are scheduled to pass through Kenora in the coming days and weeks.

Exercise Maple Caravan involves Canadian and U.S. troops in moving the equipment from Valcartier, QC for training exercises in Wainwright, AB. This exercise will include approximately 325 personnel from the Canadian Army, the U.S. Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.

The Next Phase of Genetic Engineering: A Flood of New Crops Evading Environmental Regulation
by Doug Gurian-Sherman
January 27, 2015

Why isn't the USDA regulating new GMO crops for environmental harm?

You may have heard of the new genetically engineered Simplot potato. It was made with a new GE technology called RNAi (RNA interference), a technology for which many important gaps remain in our understanding. One good example is Scotts, the lawn product company, which wrote to the USDA several years ago asking whether it needed to regulate a Roundup-resistant GE Kentucky bluegrass. Scotts claimed that because it did not involve plant pests in developing the grass, it should be absolved from regulation-and USDA agreed. In the early days of genetic engineering, the large majority of GE crops used plant pest genes or processes. But that is no longer the case. The large majority of potentially useful, and possibly harmful, genes-whether from other plants, microbes, or animals-no longer come from pests. And many kinds of harm that GE crops may cause, like resistant weeds or the loss of monarch butterflies, are not captured by USDA's current definition of "plant pest" harm.

Secret 'BADASS' Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones
January 26, 2015

British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies.

The document, included in a trove of Snowden material released by Der Spiegel on January 17, outlines a secret program run by the intelligence agencies called BADASS. The German newsweekly did not write about the BADASS document, attaching it to a broader article on cyberwarfare. According to The Intercept's analysis of the document, intelligence agents applied BADASS software filters to streams of intercepted internet traffic, plucking from that traffic unencrypted uploads from smartphones to servers run by advertising and analytics companies.

BREAKING: Court Rules It's Unconstitutional to Ban Former Mental Patients From Gun Ownership
by Dan Cannon
December 20, 2014

A federal appeals court seems to have ruled that people who have been committed to mental institutions in the past, even involuntarily, can still own firearms.

The three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that a federal ban on gun ownership for those who have been committed to a mental institution violated the Second Amendment rights of 73-year-old Clifford Charles Tyler.

CA's AG is 'shocked' her lawyers want to keep nonviolent offenders in prison for cheap labor Read more at
by Maria Santos
November 18, 2014

Despite prisons so overcrowded that the state faces a Supreme Court order to reduce its prison population, lawyers for California's attorney general want to keep nonviolent offenders behind bars. Their reasoning? They need more cheap labor.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that lawyers for Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris "had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool." But Harris now claims she's "shocked" by the LA Times report, telling BuzzFeed news, "I was very troubled by what I read. I just need to find out what did we actually say in court."

Why Is California Fighting the Release of Non-Violent Inmates? Cheap Labor.
by Scott Shackford
November 18, 2014

California has had a prison overcrowding problem for years and has been ordered, repeatedly, to reduce the problem, so bad it has been determined to be cruel and unusual punishment.

California hasn't done a particularly good job at meeting goals (maybe the recent passage of Proposition 47 might help). Federal judges have ordered them to expand the parole program to let more folks out and determined that the state had not implemented an order from all the way back in February.

Merry Christmas: UN Declares Arms Trade Treaty to Go Into Effect Dec. 24
by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
November 9, 2014

On its official website, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (yes, that's really a thing and yes, it is housed right here in the United States) announced that the UN's Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) "will enter into force on 24 December 2014."

Merry Christmas! It is ironical that on the day before the world's 2.18 billion Christians commemorate the coming of Jesus Christ to the Earth, the United Nations will officially put into motion a plan to deny them of a right given to them by the very God whose birth they celebrate.

Crisis governance covers collapsing currency
Personal Liberty Alerts
November 2, 2014

The world is bound up in a paper money/credit explosion that can only end badly. What it really means is impoverishment for millions of people, most of whom are totally oblivious to the roaring undercurrent.

There is little wisdom in announcing an economic crash after the fact. Yet some people get upset that I continue with ongoing warnings of a coming financial "pandemic." Seeing the probabilities before they happen is the only prediction that is worthwhile. Afterwards is merely reporting the obvious.

GMO salmon's future in question after producer fined over violations
November 1, 2014

Panama fined a US biotechnology company's local facility that "repeatedly violated" the nation's permitting and regulatory laws as it worked to develop the world's first genetically-modified salmon. The 2012 infractions were first made public on Tuesday.

AquaBounty Technologies, a company licensed by the US government to foster what could be the world's first genetically-modified (GM) meat, is carrying out GM-salmon research in Panama. Neither Panama nor the US has given clearance to sell GM salmon, but, if regulators approve its application, AquaBounty may become the first to sell GM meat in the US. "AquaBounty is really out front on this - the current case will set an important precedent," Dana Perls, a food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth, told Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency. "From what we know, there are about 35 other genetically modified species in the development pipelines in other companies. So depending on what happens in this case, we'll likely either see a flow of other permits or this will demonstrate that there isn't room on the market for GM meat or seafood."

US Sen. Paul: Ebola "incredibly" contagious
by Kathleen Ronayne
October 21, 2014

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told a group of college students Wednesday the deadly virus Ebola can spread from a person who has the disease to someone standing three feet away and said the White House should be honest about that.

Paul, a doctor and potential GOP presidential contender, made his comments during a stop at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire Wednesday. In his remarks, he called Ebola "incredibly contagious" and suggested it could spread at a cocktail party attended by someone who is symptomatic, according to CNN video footage.


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