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What Fake French News Looks Like (to a British Consulting Company)

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emptywheel
A study on fake news in France that has gotten a lot of attention is as valuable for its assumptions as it is for its interesting conclusions.

The Upstream "About" Problem Probably Pertains to SCTs, not MCTs

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emptywheel
The problem with upstream collection probably pertains to entirely domestic SCTs, which are domestic Internet communications that transit internationally. If that's right, shutting down upstream about searches won't provide much more protection for Americans.

NSA Had Found "Many" Improper Queries on Upstream US Person Data at Least by 2013

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emptywheel
NSA has shut down upstream about searches because analysts were improperly querying bundled messages in ways that violated the rules. But already by 2013, DOJ and ODNI had identified "many" problems with analysts querying upstream data for US person information.

NSA to Stop Upstream "About" Searches

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emptywheel
The NSA will stop upstream "about" searches.
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Facebook Claims Just .1% of Election Related Sharing Was Information Operations

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emptywheel
Facebook claims that less than .1% of Facebook election related activity consisted of malicious amplifiers of fake stories. That could be a self-serving narrowly drawn number. Or it could be a testament to the power of Facebook's network effect.
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2017 NFL Draft Trash Talk

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bmaz
Come for the NFL Draft, stay for the awesome Ramones music
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Turns Out Alaskans Won't Get to See Russian Hacker Pyotr Levashov from Their Windows

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emptywheel
Several weeks ago, DOJ got good press when it rolled out the relatively uncontroversial first known use of a Rule 41 hacking warrant against Russian botnet operator Pyotr Levashov. But it has since become clear there are weird jurisdictional issues with the warrant. DOJ obtained the warrant in Alaska when they're prosecuting Levashov in Connecticut.

The Virgin Birth of the Most Inflammatory Trump Dossier Claims

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emptywheel
Earlier this month, Christoper Steele submitted his defense in Alexsej Gubarev's lawsuit against him in the UK. It includes many details that should raise serious questions about the most inflammatory claims in Steele's dossier.
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The Productivity Problem

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Ed Walker
What if real productivity growth is actually even lower than reported?
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Daddy Fate

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Quinn Norton
I'm really excited to announce that Quinn Norton, whom many of you may know from her great reporting at Wired, is starting to write again after a too-long hiatus. Even better, she'll be sharing her work here, after she releases it to her Patreon…
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NSA's Spying on Le Pen Is Probably Working Better than GRU's Spying on Macron

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emptywheel
There's a great deal of coverage on GRU's attempted (though reportedly unsuccessful) attack on Emmanuel Macron. Particularly given Trump's preference for Marine Le Pen in the French elections, we need to be a lot more mindful of NSA's ability to hack democratic candidates.
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How to Spy on Carter Page

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emptywheel
Using the reported FISA order on Carter Page provides a helpful way to understand the nuances of the new FISA report.
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Thoughts on the NYT Comey Blockbuster

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emptywheel
As the NYT lays out, Jim Comey deserves all the criticism he has gotten for affecting the election last year. But he's not the only one whose behavior stinks.
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The WikiLeaks Deterrent Theory, AKA the Arbitrary Official Secrets Act

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emptywheel
Viewed as a means to deter Julian Assange, a prosecution is a pipe dream. But viewed as a means to establish the selective prosecution of disfavored publishers, it would amount to a soft -- and very arbitrary -- official secrets act.
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Three Things: Oracle's 299, Flashback, Longreads and 4/20

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Rayne
Software company Oracle issued its biggest patch ever; Shadow Brokers spawned a flashback; lots to read on 4/20. And Chaffetz! What the heck?!

Annual FISC Report Suggests the Court Did Not Approve ANY Section 702 Certificate in 2016

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emptywheel
The FISC annual report today appears to state that the FISC did not approve any 702 certificates in 2016, which would mean the government presumably worked on extensions from November 6 until the turn of the year.
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The Think Tank Story Actually Suggests the Think Tank Wasn't That Important

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emptywheel
Reuters has a story suggesting a think tank provided the rationale in June for an operation that was already three months old by then. A better reading, at least given the public facts, is that the think tank wasn't that important.

I Con the Record's "Generally" Useful Section 702 Q&A

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emptywheel
ODNI released a "generally" good document, in that, it's good except in its egregious use of the word "generally" to hide one of the most important details.
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The Doxing of Equation Group Hackers Raises Questions about the Legal Role of Nation-State Hackers

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emptywheel
Along with exposing a bunch of NSA tools and a record of the NSA's attack on SWIFT, Shadow Brokers exposed the identities of a number of NSA's own hackers. That has important repercussions for the norms and laws surrounding state-sponsored hacking.