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Links for 2016-04-22

  • How I Hacked Facebook, and Found Someone’s Backdoor Script

    Great writeup of a practical pen test. Those crappy proprietary appliances that get set up “so the CEO can read his email on the road” etc. are always a weak spot

    (tags: facebook hacking security exploits pen-tests backdoors)

  • Anti-innovation: EU excludes open source from new tech standards

    EC up to its old anti-competitive tricks:

    The European Commission is surprisingly coy about what exactly [‘open’] means in this context. It is only on the penultimate page of the ICT Standardisation Priorities document that we finally read the following key piece of information: “ICT standardisation requires a balanced IPR [intellectual property rights] policy, based on FRAND licensing terms.” It’s no surprise that the Commission was trying to keep that particular detail quiet, because FRAND licensing—the acronym stands for “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory”—is incompatible with open source, which will therefore find itself excluded from much of the EU’s grand new Digital Single Market strategy. That’s hardly a “balanced IPR policy.”

    (tags: open-source open frand eu ec)

  • I am Alex St. John’s Daughter, and He is Wrong About Women in Tech — Medium

    Great, great post from Amilia St. John, responding to the offensive sexist crap spewed by her father, Alex St. John

    (tags: sexism career tech amilia-st-john alex-st-john jobs work feminism)

  • The Rise of Pirate Libraries

    The history of this is fascinating:

    Today’s pirate libraries have their roots in the work of Russian academics to digitize texts in the 1990s. Scholars in that part of the world had long had a thriving practice of passing literature and scientific information underground, in opposition to government censorship—part of the samizdat culture, in which banned documents were copied and passed hand to hand through illicit channels. Those first digital collections were passed freely around, but when their creators started running into problems with copyright, their collections “retreated from the public view,” writes Balázs Bodó, a piracy researcher based at the University of Amsterdam. “The text collections were far too valuable to simply delete,” he writes, and instead migrated to “closed, membership-only FTP servers.” [….] There’s always been osmosis within the academic community of copyrighted materials from people with access to scholar without. “Much of the life of a research academic in Kazakhstan or Iran or Malaysia involves this informal diffusion of materials across the gated walls of the top universities,” he says.

    (tags: pirates pirate-libraries libraries archival history russia ussr samizdat samizdata academia papers)