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Google News Introduces Fact Check Feature -- Just In Time For the US Election ( 367

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Next Web: Google today introduced a new feature that will tag and help find "fact checking in large news stories." Tagged articles will show up in the new story box on, as well as in the Google News and Weather app for iOS and Android in the US and UK. There's a two-pronged approach to detecting fact checking. First Google looks for actual markup in the site's source code. Then Google looks for pages "that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks." You can learn more about the process here. To be clear, the tags show up in small grey text above the article links -- Google itself isn't passing judgement, nor does it tell you the source article's conclusion in search results. It's merely a sign that says "hey, read me to find out the truth." Still, it's a nice way to make sure readers are at least forming opinions based on fact rather than fiction.

Ken Bone May Have Violated FTC Guidelines With Uber Tweet ( 95

An anonymous reader quotes a report from VICE News: In a lot of ways, unlikely presidential debate star Ken Bone is a marketer's dream. He is undecided on his political leanings (for now), inoffensive, instantly recognizable, and affable on TV and social media. So it makes sense that Uber asked him to send a promotional tweet for this week's launch of Uber's black car uberSELECT service in St. Louis, site of the debate Sunday night that launched him to fame. But there's one problem: Bone may have violated Federal Trade Commission guidelines for advertising on social media by not marking his tweet as an ad or mentioning that Uber paid him for making the tweet. "[The tweet] needs to disclose that he was compensated," said lawyer Rick Kurnit, of Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein + Salz PC. "He and Uber are in violation of FTC guidelines, because Uber is also responsible for what their influencers do." The guidelines that Kurnit is referencing are pretty straightforward, and the FTC offers specific advice for how to craft sponsored posts on Twitter. "The FTC isn't mandating the specific wording of disclosures," an FTC guidelines FAQ states. "However the words 'Sponsored' and 'Promotion' use only 9 characters. 'Paid ad' only uses 7 characters. Starting a tweet with 'Ad:' or '#ad' -- which takes only 3 characters -- would likely be effective." Kurnit added that while the FTC "doesn't like" using simple hashtags for disclosures, he agrees that it might have sufficed. When VICE News initially reached out to Uber asking whether Bone was paid for the tweet, a spokesperson said the company is "providing him with Uber credit for his role in the launch." And although Bone and Uber wouldn't be fined for violating the FTC Act (Section 5 of which prohibits "deceptive advertising"), the guidelines say that "law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations."

4Chan Hackers Claim To Have Remotely Wiped John Podesta's iPhone and iPad ( 269

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Gizmodo: For the past several days, WikiLeaks has been publishing thousands of emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta -- and the leaks are starting to cause some serious damage. Gizmodo reports: "Many of the leaked emails contained contact info, cell phone numbers, and account data, none of which was redacted by Wikileaks before being posted. With this information accessible to anyone with the time and energy to read through it all, users on 4chan's /pol/ (politically incorrect) board were able to gain access to Podesta's Twitter account, tweeting a message in support of Trump. Imageboard posters also stumbled on an email containing Podesta's Apple ID -- and appear to have exploited it. 'iPad/iPhone info and data wiped out,' a post on Endchan claimed, show screenshots of what seems to be the hacker gaining access to Find My iPhone using Podesta's credentials. If Podesta's Apple ID was compromised, it stands to reason that his iCloud account was similarly vulnerable. And sure enough, Redditor's on r/The_Donald claim Podesta's iCloud data was downloaded. A hacker known as CyberZeist also appears to have uncovered the passwords to dozens of senators' email addresses, as well as social security numbers and credit card info for many Democrats including Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and acting Chair of the DNC Donna Brazile. The information was posted to pastebin.

Senator Wants Nationwide, All-Mail Voting To Counter Election Hacks ( 454

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In the wake of the Obama administration's announcement that the Russian government directed hacks on the Democratic National Committee and other institutions to influence U.S. elections, a senator from Oregon says the nation should conduct its elections like his home state does: all-mail voting. In an e-mail, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, told Ars: "We should not underestimate how dangerous... attacks on election systems could be. If a foreign state were to eliminate registration records for a particular group of Americans immediately before an election, they could very likely disenfranchise those Americans and swing the results of an election. Recent efforts by some states to make it more difficult to vote only serves to increase the danger of such attacks. This is why I have proposed taking Oregon's unique vote-by-mail system nationwide to protect our democratic process against foreign and domestic attacks." The only states to hold all elections entirely by mail are Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than a dozen others have various provisions for mail voting. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a breakdown here on how Americans cast their votes across the union. Wyden co-sponsored the Vote By Mail Act in July, and he did so for reasons at the time that were unconnected to cybersecurity. Instead, the measure was originally proposed to help minorities and others cast ballots. The plan requires the U.S. Postal Service to deliver ballots to all registered voters. Voters could also register to vote when applying for driver's licenses, too. The measure fell on deaf ears this year and didn't even get a committee vote. A Wyden spokesperson said the proposal will have a "better chance" next year if Democrats win a majority of Senate seats.

White House Vows 'Proportional' Response For Russian DNC Hack ( 396

After the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security publicly blamed Russia for stealing and publishing archived emails from the Democratic National Committee on Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today that President Obama will consider a "proportional" response. ABC News reports: "We obviously will ensure that a U.S. response is proportional. It is unlikely that our response would be announced in advanced. It's certainly possible that the president could choose response options that we never announce," Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One. "The president has talked before about the significant capabilities that the U.S. government has to both defend our systems in the United States but also carry out offensive operations in other countries," he added. "There are a range of responses that are available to the president and he will consider a response that's proportional." The Wall Street Journal report mentions several different ways to response to Russia. The U.S. could impose economic sanctions against Moscow, punish Russia diplomatically, opt to allow the Justice Department to simply prosecute the hacks as a criminal case, and/or launch a U.S. cyberattack targeting Russia's election process. Of course, each response has its pros and cons. "They could escalate into a more adversarial conflict between both countries," writes Carol E. Lee for the Wall Street Journal. "But the absence of a response could signal that such behavior will be tolerated in the future."

WikiLeaks Publishes Cryptic UFO Emails Sent To Clinton Campaign From Former Blink 182 Singer ( 205

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The former lead singer of Blink 182, Tom DeLonge, has publicly admitted to his obsession with UFOs -- but that still doesn't explain why he was sending two cryptic messages about alien spacecrafts to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today. The former rockstar's UFO emails became public in the latest Wikleaks dump, published earlier this month. DeLonge, who is best known for his shitty guitar riffs and vocals in songs like "What's My Age Again," emailed Podesta at least twice from his personal account, urging him to meet in person so he could introduce Podesta to high-level officials (presumably with info about UFOs). Here's a small taste of one of the messages: "I would like to bring two very 'important' people out to meet you in DC. I think you will find them very interesting, as they were principal leadership relating to our sensitive topic. Both were in charge of most fragile divisions, as it relates to Classified Science and DOD topics. Other words, these are A-Level officials. Worth our time, and as well the investment to bring all the way out to you. I just need 2 hours from you." In another email, DeLonge said he's been working with someone named General McCasland, and explained some of the General's public comments. The email is rather strange, given that there's no specific request made or really any context at all for the message: "He mentioned he's a 'skeptic,' he's not.... He just has to say that out loud, but he is very, very aware -- as he was in charge of all of the stuff. When Roswell crashed, they shipped it to the laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. General McCasland was in charge of that exact laboratory up to a couple years ago." It's unclear if Podesta ever responded to the messages, but he has shown interest in UFOs in the past. When he stepped down from his role as a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Podesta tweeted, "Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files. #thetruthisstilloutthere cc: @NYTimesDowd." The famous tweet now appears under the name of Obama's new senior advisor Brian Deese.

UK Is Banning Apple Watch From Cabinet Meetings Over Russian Hacking Fears ( 106

Mickeycaskill quotes a report from TechWeekEurope UK: Ministers have been forbidden to wear the Apple Watch during cabinet meetings due to the risk they could be hacked by Russian agents, according to a report. Prime minister Theresa May imposed the new rules following several high-profile hacks that have been blamed on Russia. Several cabinet ministers previously wore the Apple Watch, including former Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Mobile phones have already been banned due to similar concerns. Politically motivated hackers have caused disruption in several recent incidents, including the hack of the Democratic National Committee, which resulted in the release of a large cache of internal emails. One of the paper's sources said: "The Russians are trying to hack everything."

WikiLeaks Posts 2,000 More Emails From John Podesta ( 377

WikiLeaks has released an additional 2,000 emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta -- the second leak in four days. The first leak contained thousands of emails from Podesta, including apparent excerpts from Ms Clinton's paid, closed-door speeches to Wall Street executives after leaving her position as Secretary of State. CNN reports: The emails appear to be mostly from 2015, covering a litany of policy and strategy discussions between Clinton staffers on how to handle issues of the day and the press, including the release of the book "Clinton Cash" alleging nefarious activity by the Clinton Foundation. Another email has long-time Clinton aide Doug Band referring to Chelsea Clinton as a "spoiled brat." Doug Band emailed Podesta and longtime Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills about a damning story about his consulting company, Teneo, by lashing out at Chelsea Clinton. "I don't deserve this from her and deserve a tad more respect or at least a direct dialogue for me to explain these things," Band wrote. "She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she's doing because she, as she has said, hasn't found her way and has a lack of focus in her life." The emails also revealed that Clinton wanted to respond more forcefully to "Clinton Cash," the 2015 book that looked to connect Clinton Foundation actions and decisions made by Hillary Clinton's State Department. According to an email from another close aide, Huma Abedin, Clinton wanted to tape a straight-to-camera video responding to the allegations. Clinton campaign responded to the release by slamming the Trump campaign for "cheering on a release today engineered by Vladimir Putin," after Trump adviser Jason Miller tweeted a link to the document page with the phrase "And here...we...go."
United States

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Endorses Gary Johnson For President ( 523

Long-time Slashdot reader SonicSpike writes: Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic, Dilbert, has decided to endorse Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson for President. He writes at his blog: "Clinton supporters have been telling me for a few days that any visible support for Trump makes you a supporter of sex abuse. From a persuasion standpoint, that actually makes sense. If people see it that way, that's the reality you have to deal with. I choose to not be part of that reality so I moved my endorsement to Gary Johnson. I encourage all Clinton supporters to do the same, and for the same reason...

"To be fair, Gary Johnson is a pot head who didn't know what Allepo was. I call that relatable. A President Johnson administration might bring with it some operational risks, and policy risks, but at least he won't slime you by association and turn you into some sort of cheerleader for sex abuse in the way you would if you voted for the Clintons or Trump."

The essay concludes, "You might enjoy my book because you're not sure if I'm really endorsing Gary Johnson or just saying so to protect my brand."

Milo Yiannopoulos Wants To Buy 4Chan, Promises Free Speech Haven ( 369

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes The Hollywood Reporter: Milo Yiannopoulos, an alt-right hero known for his banishment from Twitter, is preparing a bid to acquire his own social media firm: 4chan... The Hollywood Reporter learned that Yiannopoulos, with the help of a wealthy backer, is preparing to approach 4chan owner Hiroyuki Nishimura, a Japanese entrepreneur, with a bid this week. Contacted Saturday, Yiannopoulos confirmed plans for a possible acquisition but did not offer details.

"As a free-speech fundamentalist and a student of Internet culture, I appreciate how fragile and precious the 4chan ecosystem is and how much it gives to the wider Internet -- even if some corners of it, such as /pol/, don't always approve of me very much," Yiannopoulos said... "I spoke to my lawyer this morning about purchasing the business... I intend to approach the current owners in the next few days with an offer."

Yiannopoulos added this his philosophy as an owner "would be very simple: free-speech central, no ifs, no buts."
United States

Sean Parker Contributes $9 Million As States Push To Legalize Marijuana ( 255

Sean Parker has now donated nearly $9 million in his effort to legalize marijuana in California. An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes Billboard: Whether it's founding Napster, guiding Facebook or investing in Spotify, Sean Parker has developed a reputation for pushing change forward, and now he's at the forefront of California's marijuana legalization movement... [A] competing proposal from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform was folded into Parker's, making his the leading ballot measure, by default, for 2016 in a state with the largest medical marijuana market in the country.
The U.S currently has a hodgepodge of legislation, with marijuana entirely legal only in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as in the District of Columbia, and in individual cities in Michigan and Maine. But with five more states now voting on legalization, pro-marijuana campaign ads are being broadcast in Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, California and Arizona. ("You decide who wins -- criminals and cartels, or Arizona schools?") And meanwhile, Slashdot reader schwit1 has identified one voter who's definitely opposing police efforts to hunt down marijuana growers: All that remains of the solitary marijuana plant an 81-year-old grandmother had been growing behind her South Amherst home is a stump and a ragged hole in the ground... Tucked away in a raspberry patch and separated by a fence from any neighbors, the [medicinal] plant was nearly ready for harvest when a military-style helicopter and police descended on Sept. 21...
United States

Clinton Responds To WikiLeaks During Debate, And Blames Russian Hackers ( 689

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes:During Sunday night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, moderators asked a question based on WikiLeaks documents released Friday -- to which both candidates responded. The leaked emails had included excerpts from Hillary's paid speeches to Wall Street in which she reportedly said "You need both a public and a private position on certain issues."

Clinton said she had been describing the 2012 movie Lincoln, and that Lincoln's use of different arguments for different groups of people was "a great display of presidential leadership." Then, citing intelligence reports, she said "Putin and the Russian government are directing the attacks -- the hacking on American accounts to influence our election...for Donald Trump."

Click through for a complete transcript of Clinton's remarks -- and Trump's response.

One U.S. Election-System Vendor Is Using Developers in Serbia ( 83

The Open Source Election Technology Foundation is trying to move U.S. voting machines from "proprietary, vendor-owned systems to ones that are owned 'by the people of the United States.'" But in the meantime, Slashdot reader dcblogs brings this report from ComputerWorld: One major election technology company, Dominion Voting Systems, develops its systems in the U.S. and Canada but also has an office in Belgrade, Serbia. It was recently advertising openings for four senior software developers in Belgrade... Dominion said it takes measures "to ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of the software we create for our products...."

Alan Paller, president and director of research at the Sans Technology Institute...said that "one shouldn't feel complacent about maintaining software development and manufacturing all within the United States because foreign agencies have successfully placed technically competent spies on the payroll of American technology companies." But Suzanne Mello-Stark, a forensic computer scientist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a focus on voting machines, wants software and hardware transparency in voting systems. "The systems are proprietary and we don't know what the code looks like," said Mello-Stark.


WikiLeaks Releases Paid Clinton Speech Excerpts, And Threatens To Expose Google ( 756

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes the Independent: Wikileaks has dumped thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, which includes apparent excerpts from Ms Clinton's paid, closed-door speeches to Wall Street executives after leaving her position as Secretary of State. In the excerpts, flagged in a 25 January email, Ms Clinton apparently suggested that Wall Street insiders were best qualified to regulate the banking industry and also included her apparent admission of the need for money from banking executives for political fundraising...

"Earlier today, the US government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump's candidacy," said Clinton campaign spokesperson Glen Caplin. "We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton."
Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes the Daily Mail's article about what's coming up next: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange promised to release information on subjects including the U.S. election and Google [and] warned that the so called 'October Surprise' will expose Google. Assange did not reveal what type of information would be leaked about the tech giant, but his 2014 book could provide a clue. In it, he wrote: "(Eric) Schmidt's tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of U.S. power structures..."

US Intel Officially Blames the Russian Government For Hacking DNC ( 287

It's official, the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security has blamed Russia for stealing and publishing archived emails from the Democratic National Committee in July. Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the DNC in what was "part one of [their] new Hillary Leaks series." The Verge reports: "The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts," the statement reads. "We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities." The release also mentions recent reports of attempted intrusions into voting systems in 20 different states, but says there is not yet enough evidence to attribute those attacks to the Russian government. Despite the acknowledged threat, the DNI says digital attacks are unlikely to directly alter election results. "It would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion," the statement reads. "This assessment is based on the decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place." "Nevertheless," it continues, "DHS continues to urge state and local election officials to be vigilant."

Indonesia Wants To Criminalize Memes ( 163

While the United States has the First Amendment to justify the spread of memes that may ridicule political figures for example, the Indonesian government doesn't. In fact, it is looking to criminalize internet users for posting memes. The Daily Dot reports via Jakarta Post: Its Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE) punishes any electronic media communication that incites fear or embarrassment under its defamation article. The public has continuously called for the article's removal, but instead Indonesia is introducing more restrictions to freedom of expression. Posting memes, texts, pictures, or videos would be punishable if found to have a defamatory or slanderous tone. According to the Indonesian government, this provision stands to prevent and control cyberbullying. But it can further be used as a political tool against opposition during elections. Since its implementation in 2008, 200 people have been prosecuted according to data from the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network. Among the most notable cases, was the prosecution of Prita Mulyasari in 2009 for complaining about Omni International Hospital services on an online mailing list.

Guccifer 2.0 Dumps a Bunch of Clinton Foundation Donor Data ( 404

The hacker Guccifer 2.0 today released a large database of information reportedly stolen from the Clinton Foundation. The dump, Engadget reports, includes names, addresses, and emails of both individuals and corporate donors as well as their contribution amounts. From the report: This, of course, isn't the first time Guccifer or his friends at Wikileaks and the Kremlin have attempted to subvert the US political process during this election cycle. Just last month Guccifer released Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine's personal cell phone number. What's more, nearly half of the country's state voter registration systems have recently come under cyberattack, according to the DHS, though the FBI has not yet determined if those breaches originated in Russia. There are also a number of unanswered questions regarding Republican nominee, Donald Trump's, connection to these attacks. Four House Democrats recently demanded that the FBI investigate the nominee after he "jokingly" suggested that Russia find and release the 33,000 emails reportedly missing from Hillary Clinton's private email server.

FBI Agreed To Destroy Laptops of Clinton Aides With Immunity Deal, Sources Say ( 500

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes a report from Fox News: Immunity deals for two top Hillary Clinton aides included a side arrangement obliging the FBI to destroy their laptops after reviewing the devices, House Judiciary Committee sources told Fox News on Monday. Sources said the arrangement with former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson also limited the search to no later than Jan. 31, 2015. This meant investigators could not review documents for the period after the email server became public -- in turn preventing the bureau from discovering if there was any evidence of obstruction of justice, sources said. The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee fired off a letter Monday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking why the DOJ and FBI agreed to the restrictive terms, including that the FBI would destroy the laptops after finishing the search. The immunity deals for Mills and Samuelson, made as part of the FBI's probe into Clinton's use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state, apparently included a series of "side agreements" that were negotiated by Samuelson and Mills' attorney Beth Wilkinson. The side deals were agreed to on June 10, less than a month before FBI Director James Comey announced that the agency would recommend no charges be brought against Clinton or her staff. Judiciary Committee aids told that the destruction of the laptops is particularly troubling as it means that the computers could not be used as evidence in future legal proceedings, should new information or circumstances arise.

WikiLeaks' Big Tuesday Announcement Will Now Take Place Via Video ( 380

Long-time Slashdot reader SonicSpike writes that media outlets including Fox News were reporting WikiLeaks cancelled a big announcement scheduled for Tuesday and expected to reveal damaging information about Hillary Clinton. But they were all citing a tweet from NBC as their source. "Due to security concerns at the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange's balcony announcement on Tues has been cancelled," tweeted NBC producer Jesse Rodriguez -- which was apparently taken to mean the announcement had been cancelled altogether.

But six hours ago, citing WikiLeaks, that same producer reported that Assange "will appear via video link" at a Tuesday press conference in Berlin marking the 10th anniversary of WikiLeaks. While it's possible this "appearance" will be different than the originally scheduled "announcement," it also seems very possible that the NBC producer's tweets were just misunderstood.

Online Journalists Launch An Onslaught Against Donald Trump ( 843

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Online journalists at Buzzfeed are publicizing two controversial videos featuring Donald Trump. First the site "filed court motions seeking the release" of Trump's under-oath testimony in a June trial, in which the real estate mogul "says he planned his caustic remarks on immigration delivered during the launch of his presidential bid," bragging that they'd "led to my nomination in a major party in the country." And Buzzfeed is also publicizing a video clip from the 2000 softcore porn movie Playboy Video Centerfold: Bernaola Twins, in which Trump makes a cameo appearance. Playboy has even said that years earlier Trump actually pressured his second wife to pose for Playboy. ("Trump himself was on the phone negotiating the fee," remembered a top Playboy editor. "He wanted her to do the nude layout. She didn't.")

But his biggest problem may be the mainstream media. According to the New York Times, Trump "declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years..."

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