Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
10:39AM GMT 02 Mar 2015
A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.
Air Force Space Command confirmed to SpaceNews.com that the “catastrophic event” came after “a sudden spike in temperature” was detected, followed by “an unrecoverable loss of attitude control”.
The satellite was an ageing component of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program which the US military began developing the in the 1960s to help plan reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
The lost satellite was the 13th to be launched as part of DMSP, designated DMSP-F13, and had been in Earth orbit since 1995.
Like all DMSP satellites it orbited the earth at an altitude of around 500 miles in a “sun-synchronous orbit” – meaning that they flew in a path taking in the north and south poles.
On each path around the earth, which took roughly 101 minutes, they would see a slightly different part of the planet. This would give each satellite a complete view of the entire planet’s surface twice a day.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on Wednesday re-introduced a bill that would expose the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy discussions and decisions to a congressional audit.
The Fed fears that a full GAO audit would reveal too much detail of monetary policy decisions made by the Federal Open Market Committee. Fed officials have said such exposure would complicate their public communications, hurt their credibility and stoke financial market volatility. The central bank also fears that efforts to impinge on its independence would hurt U.S. monetary policy.
15 January 2015
The UK and US are to carry out "war game" cyber attacks on each other as part of a new joint defence against online criminals.
The first exercise, a staged attack on the financial sector, will take place later this year, Downing Street said.
The "unprecedented" arrangement between the two countries was announced as Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with US President Barack Obama.
Agents will also co-operate in "cyber cells" on both sides of the Atlantic.
Downing Street said this was the first "cyber cell" the UK had established with another country.
The measures come in the wake of recent cyber attacks on Sony Pictures and US Central Command.
In the NSA’s own words, EO 12333 is "the primary source of the NSA’s foreign intelligence-gathering authority."
Surveillance conducted under EO 12333 is implemented almost entirely by the executive branch, without review by Congress or the courts. EO 12333 lacks even the plainly inadequate legislative and judicial checks on the two more well-known surveillance authorities — Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act.
- Legal Fact Sheet: Executive Order 12333; dated 19 June 2013
- Full Story w Links to Documents: New NSA Documents Shine More Light into Black Box of Executive Order 12333 | American Civil Liberties Union
Automated Mass Surveillance is Unconstitutional, EFF Explains in Jewel v. NSA | Electronic Frontier Foundation
October 24, 2014
Today EFF filed our latest brief in Jewel v. NSA, our longstanding case on behalf of AT&T customers aimed at ending the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans’ communications. The brief specifically argues that the Fourth Amendment is violated when the government taps into the Internet backbone at places like the AT&T facility on Folsom Street in San Francisco.
Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,
and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,
and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized
A legal scholar says he and colleagues have developed an algorithm that can predict, with 70 percent accuracy, whether the US Supreme Court will uphold or reverse the lower-court decision before it.
"Using only data available prior to the date of decision, our model correctly identifies 69.7 percent of the Court’s overall affirm and reverse decisions and correctly forecasts 70.9% of the votes of individual justices across 7,700 cases and more than 68,000 justice votes," Josh Blackman, a South Texas College of Law scholar, wrote on his blog Tuesday.
"Our model generates many randomized decision trees that try to predict the outcome of the cases, with different variables receiving different weights. This is known as the “extremely randomized trees” method," he said. "Then, the model compares the predictions of the trees to what actually happened, and learns what works, and what doesn’t. This process is repeated… many, many times, to calculate the weights that should be afforded to different variables. In the end, the model creates a general model to predict all cases across all courts."