Posts Tagged ‘White House’

4 Ways To Support the Troops this Memorial Day

Published by pratyushkp on May 31st, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image by eddiecoyote via Flickr

Original Post from Mashable, Written by – Zachary Sniderman

While it’s easy to think of Memorial Day as another wonderful Monday in the sun and the unofficial start to summer, it’s important to remember that the day celebrates the many men and women that died while in the military service.

Mentions of the U.S. military stir up mixed emotions and controversy. Democrats, Republicans, pundits and citizens of all stripes have argued about what the role of America’s army should be. But even the most vociferous of critics will respect and honor the soldiers for their dedicated service even in the face of that debate.

In that spirit, we’ve collected some ways that you can show your support for the troops using social media this Memorial Day.

Let us know in the comments how you plan to help, especially if you are honoring someone you know.

Dog Bless You

Dog Bless You, a community created by the founder of in partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans of America (IAVA). The campaign is donating service dogs to returning soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Rather than ask for donations, Dog Bless You is asking for a show of support. Users can upload patriotic photos, videos and comments on their Facebook Page. For every 5,000 “Likes,” Dog Bless You will donate one dog, up to 100 dogs (worth roughly $500,000 in total).

Snag Films

The IAVA also partnered with Snag Films for an online event and fundraiser. Snag Films is donation $1, up to $10,000, for every person who “Likes” or retweets from its dedicated Memorial Day page. The site features videos and documentaries aimed at promoting veteran awareness

A Million Thanks

You can show your support to troops still serving with A Million Thanks. The site helps you draft and mail letters of support to soldiers overseas. There are also options to donate, help grant a wish, help fund the education of a service-person’s child or simply share photos.

Joining Forces

The White House is showing its support through The site offers news and updates, resources like a toolkit on how to help military families, and initiatives to help veterans and military families. You can post original projects, or sign up with Joining Forces where you can volunteer, send a message of thanks, or share a story of support.

  • 4 Ways To Support the Troops this Memorial Day (
  • Get your ‘shanti’ on this Memorial Day (
  • Memorial Day 2011 (
  • Happy Memorial Day 2011 (
  • Memorial Day 2011: Full Coverage (
  • Memorial Day (

President Obama’s cybersecurity plan – Part 1 updates for law enforcement

Published by pratyushkp on May 18th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image via Wikipedia

Last week President Obama announced his proposal for updates to US cyber-crime law. Chester Wisniewski have spent a significant amount of time poring over the legal documents to extract their meaning and provide my comments.

The proposed legislation is quite long and detailed, so I will begin with the changes that will impact law enforcement. These changes relate to what items are criminal and the penalties the courts may impose for breaking the law.

  • The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act would be updated to include organized computer criminals. This law was originally designed to target mafia-like crime syndicates and would now include their electronic equivalents.
  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) would be modified with new restrictions for judges during sentencing. Attacks against critical infrastructure would have a mandatory minimum sentence of three years.
  • Cyberattackers targeting critical infrastructure would not be eligible for probation or concurrent sentencing (unless it is the same crime) or eligible for a reduction of their sentences for multiple counts of the offense.
  • Maximum sentences would be changed from ten years to 20 for attacking US government systems related to defense, energy or foreign relations.
  • Maximum sentences would be changed from one year to three for unauthorized access to records or systems related to financial services, government systems or foreign/interstate communications. They would change from five years to ten if the purpose is private gain or commercial advantage or if the value of the information exceeds $5000.
  • Maximum sentences would be reduced from five years to one for unauthorized access to non-public government computers.
  • Maximum of 20 years for unauthorized access or exceeding authorization to obtain more than $5000 in a year’s time.
  • Maximum of 20 years for someone who “knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer” resulting in more than $5000 in damages, tampering with medical systems, causing physical injury, causing a threat to public health and safety, interfering with systems related to defense, justice or national security, or ten or more computers in a one year period.
  • A maximum of life imprisonment for incidents that result in someone’s death.
  • Maximum of ten years for unauthorized access causing reckless damages.
  • Maximum of one year in prison for unauthorized access causing damages.
  • Maximum of ten years for “knowingly and with intent to defraud [trafficking] in any password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed without authorization.” This provision previously applied only to US government systems.
  • Maximum of ten years for extortion using a threat to attack/expose flaws in security.
  • A long list of changes related to the forfeiture of profits and assets in any way related to the aforementioned criminal activity.

The raising of maximum penalties gives American judges more flexibility and sends a very clear message to cybercriminals. However, the requirement for a three year minimum sentence for attacking critical infrastructure raises questions.

There are many shades of grey when it comes to unauthorized access to sensitive systems and mandatory minimums do not account for the edge cases that a judge can take into account.

The adjustments to the RICO statute are a welcome change and by including organized cybercrime provide new tools for law enforcement to treat electronic crimes just like any other.

The addition of this statement:

“knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer”

appears to directly address today’s malware threat. Facing up to 20 years for what many consider to be mischief sets the record straight. Producing and spreading malware is a serious crime, and under this proposal, if you participate you could face serious penalties.


  • White House Wants Mandatory 3-Year Sentence for Critical Infrastructure Hackers (
  • White House Cybersecurity Plan: What You Need To Know (
  • White House Releases Cybersecurity Plans (
  • Obama gov wants 3 yrs porridge for infrastructure hackers (
  • Obama Administration Unveils Strategy For International Cybersecurity (
  • Obama Pushes Cybersecurity Plan (
  • U.S. unveils global cyberspace strategy (
  • US outlines global plan for cyberspace (
  • US outlines global plan for cyberspace (
  • Obama calls for 3 year prison sentence for critical infrastructure hackers (

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead Facebook Page Goes Viral

Published by pratyushkp on May 2nd, 2011 - in Social
A still of 2004 Osama bin Laden video

Image via Wikipedia

Within about two hours of reports first surfacing (and since confirmed by the President) that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, a Facebook Page titled “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD” has already accumulated more than 150,000 “likes.”

The page appears to be adding thousands of likes by the minute with users also sharing hundreds of comments and links to stories about the news.

Interestingly, the page itself appears to have been setup well prior to tonight as a way to advocate the theory that Bin Laden had actually died long ago.

The page description reads in part: “Osama Bin Laden has not been found and will never be found because he died a long time ago. This may be news to you because it wasn’t in the news. His death is critical to the CIA because they want you to believe in this so called ‘War on terror’ which has made the world a more dangerous place. If Osama Bin Laden was alive, he would’ve been found – just like Saddam Hussein.”

Nonetheless, the page is now serving as a real-time discussion board for the historic news.


  • White House: Osama Bin Laden is Dead (
  • News Of Osama Bin Laden’s Death Spreads Like Wildfire On Twitter (
  • Primetime interrupted: Osama bin Laden dead (
  • Bin Laden Killed (
  • OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! President OBAMA to tell the WORLD about the details within minutes… (
  • President Obama To Announce That Osama Bin Laden Dead – They have the Body (
  • Report: Osama bin Laden Is Dead; U.S. Has The Body (
  • 911 Mastermind Bin Laden Dead (
  • Obama To Announce That Bin Laden is Dead (
  • Is Osama Bin Laden Dead? (

Facebook Expands Safety & Security Tools

Published by pratyushkp on April 21st, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Just a day after security firm Sophos sent Facebook an open letteraddressing privacy issues, Facebook has introduced a suite of new safety features.

While the social network did not satisfy the letter’s requests to make privacy the default, create a vetting process for app developers and turn on HTTPS automatically, it did come through on the promises it made in an announcement at President Obama’s White House Conference on Bullying Prevention last month. Here’s what’s new:

  • Two Factor Authentication: This is a new feature that will be turned off by default. If you turn it on, Facebook will ask you to enter a code anytime you log in from a new device.
  • Improved HTTPS: Facebook added HTTPS support in January, which makes it harder for someone on a public WiFi network to hijack your data. Now if you start using a non-HTTPS application while in HTTPS mode, Facebook will automatically switch you back to HTTPS mode when you’re finished.
  • Expanded Social Reporting Tool: Facebook’s new social reporting tool brings community members into the mix when dealing with bullying or other violations of Facebook’s terms of service. The features allows users to send a private message to the person who posted the offensive content or — if they want to report the content to Facebook — to include trusted authority figures as contacts in the report. Previously, the feature was only included for photos and wall posts. Now it is available on profiles, pages and groups as well.
  • Family Safety Center redesign: Facebook’s safety center got a makeover that highlights the site’s safety philosophy, community, and tools and resources like account settings. As in the previous versions, resources for Parents, Teachers, Teens and Law Enforcement are also highlighted. Facebook wrote on its official blog that it also plans to add a free, downloadable guide for teachers who want to use social media in the classroom. Considering that most schools block Facebook on their computers, we’re curious to see what the guide suggests.

Source :-

  • Facebook Expands Safety & Security Tools (
  • Facebook improves safety, security tools; experts not impressed (
  • Facebook – two-factor authentication (
  • Facebook Adds Two Factor Authentication for Login and Redesigns Family Safety Center (
  • Facebook Announces New Safety Features (
  • Facebook Strengthens Security, Safety Tools (
  • Facebook Launches New Safety and Security Tools (
  • Facebook Rolls Out New Safety and Security Features (
  • Facebook Rolls Out Two-Factor Authentication (
  • Facebook Safety and Security Tools and Resources Launched (
  • Facebook Adds (Optional) Two-Factor Authentication (
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