Twitter announced stricter API restrictions yesterday, confirming that it wants a “consistent Twitter experience.” Bad news for anyone who uses a 3rd party Twitter client! [BuzzFeed]
Oof…Facebook stock fell below $20 yesterday, following the end of a lockout. [Wall Street Journal]
NYC is second to San Francisco in terms of tech job growth. Aww, silver’s nothing to be ashamed of. There, there. [Crain's]
WikiLeaks denies that the UK government has the authority to storm the Ecuadorian embassy and take Julian Assange. Oh, this is gonna be GOOD. [WikiLeaks]
Nintendo is socially evil, basically. [CNN]
As rumored, Ecuador officially granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange asylum today, according to the BBC. The Ecuadorian foreign ministry claims that its decision was based on the fact that Mr. Assange’s human rights may be violated if he is extradited to Sweden for those “hilarious” sexual assault allegations.
Early this morning, a pro-WikiLeaks op-ed purporting to be penned by former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller cropped up online. It was a stunningly convincing piece of web fraud, its design practically identical to the New York Times‘s own homepage, with every link leading to an actual Times article or section. The only hint that it wasn’t real was the URL: instead of showing as nytimes.com/pages/opinion, it read “opinion-nytimes.com.” It’s a tiny difference, but a monumentally important one.
The article itself, which staunchly defends WikiLeaks and the importance of qualifying it under the First Amendment, is certainly stylistically similar to the real writings of Mr. Keller. Some of the wording is rather clunky, but that seems to lend the piece the impression that its message was so dire that it was written in an emotional hurry. The faux article tries so hard to be convincing that it even borrows wording from an email Mr. Keller wrote recently to GigaOm about WikiLeaks.
It appears that seeking political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London has been a great decision for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been at the embassy, awaiting the processing of his asylum application, for the last three weeks. Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa–a left-wing populist–and his cabinet are quite sympathetic to Mr. Assange’s plight, having offered him residency in Ecuador as far back as 2010.
But perhaps they’re… too sympathetic?
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange really doesn’t want to be extradited to Sweden for allegations of sex offenses, where he may be handed over to U.S. authorities. In a tweet at 2:40 p.m., @WikiLeaks said that the Australian activist “has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.” In a followup tweet they added, “We will have more details on the Ecuadorian situation soon.”
Ecuador’s foreign minister confirmed to USA Today that Mr. Assange is at Ecuador’s U.K. embassy where he is seeking political asylum.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Cryptome, a sort of proto-WikiLeaks website best known for exposing the CIA analyst who found Osama Bin Laden, announced this week that its entire website had been hacked. But, in a surprising response from Cryptome founder John Young—a man suspicious even of tap water—no foul play was suspected. At least no more foul than the usual Internet hijinks.
Reached by phone, Mr. Young explained that the site had been attacked by malware from Blackhole exploit kit 12, the latest iteration of what TechWorld calls an insidious, but “incredibly common automated web compromise system. ” This kind of malware harvests IP addresses of people visiting the site for potential nefarious use later on, said Mr. Young.
Mr. Young discovered the malware when a reader got a virus this morning from downloading one of Cryptome’s files that had been in its directory for a long time. After some examination, his team discovered other files containing the malware script as well. Crytome, which made the breach public (part of the site’s mission to expose such security flaws), is currently in the process of completely restoring all of its 70,000 files and expects to be finished by the end of the day.
Demonstrators down on Wall Street for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ campaign as well as interested parties following the event online were wondering why the hashtag hasn’t broken into Twitter’s trending topics list, which right now feature Radiohead, Doritos and #thechew, a new talk show. Considering there is evidence that Yahoo is blocking emails about the protest with a message about “suspicious activity,” it was suggested that Twitter was also censoring the topic.
Not so, says Twitter’s Carolyn Penner, who pointed us to this blog post, written after people made the same speculation about the #wikileaks tag, which explains that Twitter’s trending topics are based on what’s breaking out rather than what’s popular. “Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously,” it explains.
A group which, smartly preempting the press, is reportedly going by the techie pejorative “Script Kiddies”, hacked into the Fox News Twitter account on independence day and posted a number of disturbing messages about President Obama.
The hacked tweets claimed that President Obama had been murdered, prompting concern from the Secret Service. “BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated. 2 gunshot wounds proved too much. It’s a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP,” began the series.
Fox was locked out of its own account and the disturbing messages remained up for several hours. Eventually some poor, hard working techies had to leave their BBQs and remedy the situation.
In recent months high-profile hacking attacks have become common, to the point where they make an easy and believable scapegoat for a high-profile politician like Anthony Weiner. But, sadly, the incursions are becoming less and less interesting or principled.
The Wall Street Journal introduced a Wikileaks competitor today. But the fine print makes it clear they won’t keep whistle-blowers names confidential if the law comes calling. Read More