The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'pakistan'
More WikiLeaks fallout:
- The presence of leaked memos has created opportunities for propaganda; several Pakistani newspapers have run stories quoting alleged memoes describing India as genocidal maniacs, praising the Pakistani military. A search of the Wikileaks database by the Graun's staff has not yielded any matching memoes.
- Australian online activist group GetUp are collecting signatures and donations for ads in the New York Times and Washington Post in defence of Julian Assange.
- Assange could face extradition to the US, most probably under the 1917 Espionage Act. Whether he'd be likely to be convicted under this act, is a matter for some debate, but according to this article, recent precedents suggest that he would be found guilty, as would the editors of the New York Times, anyone mirroring copies of WikiLeaks, and perhaps anyone running a web proxy which inadvertently cached the data. (This is in an open court, mind you; in a closed military tribunal, all bets are off.)
- Meanwhile, the Russian government has called for Assange to be given the Nobel Peace Prize; somewhat of a change from its usual policy regarding troublesome journalists, it must be said. Still, if I were him, I'd probably run a Geiger counter over the medal first, just to be safe.
- In today's leaks: it looks like oil company Shell owns the Nigerian government, lock, stock and barrel.
It has emerged that organised crime gangs modified hundreds of credit/debit card terminals at the Chinese factory they were made at, installing a GSM module and SIM card, which was then used to send stolen credit card data to a number in Pakistan, and also receive instructions on what to target. The terminals, which were distributed across Europe, remained undetected for a long time, stealing only small numbers of details, only arousing suspicion when a security guard noticed mobile phone interference near the checkout area.
The corrupted devices are an extra three to four ounces heavier because of the additional parts they contain, and the simplest way to identify them has been to weigh them. A MasterCard International investigator said: "As recently as a month ago, there were several teams of people roaming around Europe putting the machines on scales and weighing them. It sounds kind of old school, but the only other way would be to tear them apart."
The illicit transactions took place at least two months after the information had been stolen, making it difficult for investigators to work out what had happened.
But after six months of fruitless investigation, investigators spotted an attempt at a similar fraud on a card which had only been used in one location in Britain. The chip and pin machine from the particular store was passed to MasterCard's international fraud lab in Manchester for inspection.There has been no announcement of anybody having been arrested, and the criminals got away with a tidy profit, so one can probably chalk this down as a success for the criminals, and a serious failure of security (for one, the chip-and-pin protocols governing communication between the chip on the card, the reader and the network seems to be too weak by far if they allow a card to be cloned; shouldn't the system be using some form of challenge-response security rather than handing all the information over in one go)?
In Pakistan, kite flying is an extreme sport, in which people get killed:
But adults and children love to indulge in kite duels, and that is where the danger lies. For duels, the kites are flown on a thin wire or on a thick string coated with glass or chemicals, to better attack opponent's kites. Stray kites can and do drag their strings unpredictably, tangling around a human neck or limb and cutting it.
The furor over kite flying gained momentum last month when a 3-year-old girl was killed by a kite string. On Feb. 19, she was riding in front on a motorbike with her father, mother and two sisters. The bike sped into the path of a coarsened kite string, which must have dipped low with the winds.
For opponents, the wisdom is unquestionable. "People are dying and we are celebrating!" said Khawaja Izhar, 75, the chairman of Anti-Kite Flying Democratic Front.
The most popular toy in Pakistan these days: the Osama Bin Laden action figure, which comes with military jeep and bodyguards.
"As you know, Osama is very popular in the whole world," said Imran, a young boy eyeing up the goods on offer at a Karachi toy store. "The same thing is happening in Pakistan.
Bin Laden, it seems, has become a sort of Islamic Che Guevara in that part of the world. I wonder how long until overpriced OBL-themed fashion accessories (sewn by child labour in the third world) show up in the ritzy boutiques of the West.
When a boy in rural Pakistan was seen walking with a girl of a higher social status, violating age-old conventions, the tribal council decided to punish him and his family by ordering the gang-rape of his sister.
This is the sort of thing that argues that, not only is the belief in the superiority of Western liberal-humanist values consistent with progressive thought (rather than the shameful manifestation of racism that many naïve ivory-tower leftists would say it is), it is perhaps an essential part of it. Human progress won't come from respecting barbaric ideas of "family honour" as equally valid, in the name of diversity and cultural relativism. (via Reenhead)