German "NSA-proof" Private Server Raises $1 Million Crowdfunding in 89 Minutes

 

Developers of secure server Protonet asked for some $136,000 on a local crowdfunding website – and were rewarded with $1 million in an hour and a half. The record campaign, one year after Snowden’s NSA leaks, ended with more than $2 million raised.

Hamburg-based startup Protonet, which launched its first private cloud device in July 2013 – a month after the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the scale of US internet surveillance – on Wednesday proved the spying scandal is still in full swing. 

The small team of 23 asked for 100,000 euros in funding ($135,830) to support its products, including a new model of a secure server for small companies, on the German crowdfunding site Seedmatch. While Protonet had already raised twice as much on the same website last year, the developers were amazed at the speed the people responded to their cause. 

In just 89 minutes, the startup raised 750,000 euros (over $1 million), breaking the world crowdfunding speed record registered at Kickstarter. The previous speed record was held by the Veronica Mars movie project, which took just over 4 hours to gather the same amount.

Please read more here.

Wall Street Journal: A Tax on Emails

 

The idea of taxing email is no more popular today than when President Bill Clinton signed the Internet Tax Freedom Act into law. But a dedicated congressional minority now wants to allow states and localities to tax email—unless these governments are given new powers to collect sales taxes on e-commerce.

On Nov. 1—three days before Election Day—the Internet Tax Freedom Act is due to expire. In place since 1998 and renewed three times, it wisely prohibits taxes that discriminate against the Internet. State and local governments can't impose burdens online that don't exist offline. And multiple jurisdictions can't tax the same online transaction—a critical consumer protection in a country with more than 9,600 taxing authorities. The law also bans email taxes and new taxes on Internet access services.

Originally authored by former GOP Rep. Chris Cox and Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), the law has attracted large bipartisan majorities every time it's been up for a vote in either house. That's because the law has allowed the Internet to grow into an engine of interstate and international commerce.

But in a few months customers may begin receiving notices from their Internet providers that new taxes are on the way.  Even though nearly everyone in Congress opposes slapping all of America's heavy traditional telephone taxes on Internet access, a renewal of this successful policy is being held hostage by lobbyists for giant retailers.

They've persuaded Democrats like Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) and even self-styled limited-government advocate Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) that an extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act should be paired with more authority for those 9,600 governments over e-commerce. Unless states and localities are granted new powers to reach outside their borders to force collection of sales taxes on goods purchased online, the plan is to punish all American consumers with new taxes on communication.

Please read more in the Wall Street Journal.

BBC News: "Heartbleed Bug" May Force You to Reset ALL Passwords

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How To Hide Your House From Google Maps

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U.S. to Give Up Control Over the Internet

 

U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.

Please read more here, here and here.

Edward Snowden: NSA Spies Use Facebook to Break Into Millions of Computers

 

by Dustin Volz

National Journal

This just in from the Edward Snowden vault of government secrets: The National Security Agency is breaking into "potentially millions of computers worldwide" and infecting them with malware "implants" as part of an effort that is increasingly relying on automated systems and not human oversight, according to a by First Look Media report published Wednesday.

And the NSA is pretending to be Facebook to get the job done.

Please read more here and here.

February 11th: "The Day We Fight Back" Against Mass Surveillance

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