Issue # 457 (8)
A federal appeals court has turned down a Freedom of Information Act request to disclose National Security Agency records about the 2010 cyberattack on Google users in China. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which focuses on privacy and civil liberties, sought communications between Google and the NSA, which conducts worldwide electronic surveillance and protects the U.S. government from such spying. But the NSA refused to confirm or deny whether it had any relationship with Google. The NSA argued that doing so could make U.S. government information systems vulnerable to attack.
Public banned from reading details of Chinese cyber-attack on Google users
A federal district court judge sided with the NSA last year, and on Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ruling. In 2010, Google complained about major attacks on its website by Chinese hackers and suggested the Chinese government may have instigated them. The Chinese government denied any involvement. Soon after, there were news reports that Google was teaming up with the NSA to analyze the attack and help
prevent future ones. The privacy center's FOIA request drew a 'Glomar' response, in which an agency refuses to confirm or deny the existence of records. The term refers to a case in the 1970s, when the CIA refused to confirm or deny the existence of the Glomar Explorer, a ship disguised as an ocean mining vessel that the CIA used to salvage a sunken Soviet submarine. Courts have consistently upheld Glomar responses. 'In reviewing an agency's Glomar response, this court exercises caution when the information requested' involves national security, Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in the unanimous appeals court panel's ruling. 'NSA need not make a specific showing of potential harm to national security in order to justify withholding information' under
DESIGNS UNVEILED FOR IMPRESSIVE NEW CROSS HASHTAG TOWERS IN SOUTH KOREA
Maybe the architect is hoping to start a trend
The hashtag - or # - has become the most recognisable symbol of social networking since the explosion of popular website Twitter. Used for tagging a topical word or phrase, it has spread across a host of mediums including Facebook, text messages and emails. Now its stellar growth has prompted architects to embark on an ambitious project - building a skyscraper shaped like a hashtag in South Korea.Th
e impressive structure will be formed of two towers with two bridges connecting them, giving the building its distinctive shape. It will include 600 apartments, a library and a gallery, while the top of the towers will be covered in gardens for residents. The gravity-defying Cross # Towers will stand in Seoul, South Korea, as a gateway to the new Yongsan business district. The unique idea for the building was proposed by Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Hashtags have become the symbol of youth and new technology, after being developed for use in real-time internet chat, to distinguish a message for an individual from a message for a larger group. They were then appropriated for microblogging sites such as Twitter, used for grouping conversational 'trends' and fast becoming simply another communication tool. The Cross # Towers have plenty of competition when it comes to unusually shaped buildings, however.
one of the law's exemptions because Congress has already, in enacting the FOIA statute, decided that disclosure of NSA activities is potentially harmful. Brown said the question was whether acknowledging the existence or nonexistence of the requested material would reveal an NSA activity. The privacy center argued that some of the records it sought - unsolicited communications from Google to NSA - are not covered by exemptions cited by the NSA. 'The existence of a relationship or communications between the NSA and any private company certainly constitutes an "activity" of the agency' subject to exemption, Brown wrote. 'Whether the relationship - or any communications pertaining to the relationship - were initiated by Google or NSA is irrelevant to our analysis.'
15 May to 21 May 2012 Miss Universe contestant who
was born male poses alongside other beauty queens
As pageant gets underway
The transsexual beauty queen who made international headlines after being disqualified and subsequently permitted to compete for the title of Miss Universe Canada had her moment on stage yesterday as the pageant got underway.
Talackova was all smiles as she posed for photos at a Toronto hotel with 61 other contestants vying for the crown. The 23- year-old was clad in a white bikini and name sash as she waved to cameras one week before a winner will be announced. Ms Talackova, who had
sexual reassignment surgery at the age of 19, sparked a heated gender debate in March after she was thrown out of the competition. She had already reached the finals of the Miss Vancouver pageant before officials stepped in and banned her from the competition for being born male after it was claimed she lied on her application about her natural-born gender. The only requirement stated on the Miss Universe Canada website is that
to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. The application form makes no mention of rules regarding sexual reassignment surgery. LGBT activists claimed the organisation was being discriminatory, and more than 20,000 people signed a virtual petition on Change.org
demanding that she be re- instated.Her case was taken on by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred who is famous for representing clients including a string of Tiger Woods' ex-lovers and Nicole Brown Simpson's family during the O.J. Simpson trial. Soon after the Trump Organization changed its policy, saying that pageant rules had 'been modernized to ensure this type of issue does not occur again'. She told 'This was all very much worth it, more than I could have ever imagined. What happened was a negative that has turned into a complete positive.' The 6'1" blonde says that she has her family's full support, and 14 relatives will be flying to Vancouver to see her compete later on in the week.
Schoolboy becomes qualified pilot AFTER BUILDING FLIGHT SIMULATOR IN HIS BEDROOM
He is not yet old enough to vote, but already Tom Hall can safely land an aeroplane at New York's JFK Airport in a lightning storm. And when he feels like taking to the skies, Scotland's youngest qualified pilot just pops into his parents' spare bedroom and takes the controls of his own flight simulator. The 17-year- old's success in earning his wings was helped by the self- built £5,500 virtual cockpit, complete with instrument panels and a so-called 'butt-kicker' special effect. The Perth High School pupil's efforts paid off when he qualified for a private pilot's licence (PPL) last month, becoming the youngest Scot ever to do so. Speaking at his home in Perth yesterday, Tom said: 'I usually spend about three hours a week in the simulator, but about five hours a week when flying tests are coming up.
I do it after school. 'It's really realistic. My friends always beg me to get a shot on it, it's much
he worked towards his PPL, he came up with the idea of building his simulator.
better than an Xbox.' Recalling how he first got bitten by the aviation bug, he said: 'My parents bought me a trial lesson at Tayside Aviation for my tenth birthday. I really enjoyed it and decided then that I wanted to become a pilot. 'When I turned 14, I could officially start to log my hours towards my licence and this was when I really began to take it seriously. I tried to have a flying lesson every month.' As
consists of a hand-crafted MDF cockpit containing a projector and authentic controls hooked up to a PC running a flight simulation program. The controls were specially imported from Switzerland, while a 'butt kicker' in the pilot's chair enhanced the 'flight' experience. This rumbles the seat whenever Tom performs manoeuvres or makes a landing. Though the teenager had a little help from his father Geoffrey, 47, he mostly built the simulator himself over an eight- month period. Tom completed it six months ago using funds raised by selling off his prized collection of model planes, and by writing reviews of flight simulator programs for a number of websites.
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