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TITLE: Turkey’s Twitter Ban Fails, 969GUEST CO-ANCHOR: Andy Ihnatko

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This is Tech News Today for Friday, March 21, 2014.

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This episode of Tech News Today is brought to you by…
Gazelle, the fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets! Find out what your used Apple and Android devices are worth at gazelle.com.

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Welcome to Tech News Today, I'm Mike Elgan - I'm Jason Howell.

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Tech News Today explores the big stories of the day in conversation with some of the world's best journalists.

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Our guest co-anchor today is Andy Ihnatko, a technology columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and MacWorld, as well as a tech author, blogger, podcaster, squirrel photographer and best of all, a host of TWiT's own MacBreak Weekly!

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Twitter b-day - 2006 Odeohttp://mashable.com/2014/03/21/twitter-8th-birthday-video/http://bridgeurl.com/tnt969/all

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CONVERSATION 1SHOWLINKS

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The Turkish government blocked Twitter yesterday after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the microblogging service, as well as other social media. He’s trying to contain a corruption scandal a few days before an election there. http://goo.gl/0rAjMPhttp://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/03/20/social-media-reacts-to-turkeys-twitter-ban/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/03/21/turkey-bans-twitter-and-twitter-explodes

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304026304579451950514196232

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No Interview

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* Brandwatch and We Are Social report that Turkish tweets last night and this morning are up by 138 percent.

* Turkey's President Abdullah Gul today criticized the blockade…. with a tweet! = "The wholesale shuttering of social media platforms cannot be approved"

* The block seems to be a simple DNS redirect, implemented by Turkey's local ISPs.

* Twitter published a tweet addressed to Turkish users saying they should tweet via SMS text message.

* Turks using Google DNS to circumvent

* Google provides a free DNS service that's open to all

* Graffiti has shown up on walls in Istanbul bearing the Google DNS "8.8.8.8"

* Twitter users have shared images showing the address with the hashtag #DirenTwitter.

* Using VPNs

* YouTube and Facebook remain unblocked

* Users visiting Twitter.com shown statement apparently from Turkey's telecommunications regulator (TIB) cited four court orders

* Hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey

* Nazli Ilicak, a columnist who used to work for the pro-government Sabah newspaper described the move as "a civil coup" in an interview on broadcaster CNN Turk.

* Erdogan was referring to what it called Twitter's failure to implement Turkish court orders seeking the removal of some links

* Links included those to sites with recordings of Erdogan telling his son to make payoffs or bribes

* Erdoğan vehemently denies the authenticity of the recordings, which purportedly reveal him telling his son to dispose of large sums of cash

* Twitter is currently also blocked in China and has faced restrictions in Cuba, Libya and Pakistan

* YouTube was previously banned sporadically in Turkey between 2007 and 2010

* During last year’s Gezi protests, Erdogan called social media “the worst menace to society.”

* More than 45% of Turkey’s 80 million people use the Internet, and around 14% of them use Twitter

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AD 1: Gazellehttp://gazelle.com

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CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

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After admitting to snooping on a blogger’s email, Microsoft announced today a change in its privacy policy. The company had taken advantage of its ownership and control of Hotmail to read a blogger's email messages to find out who leaked Microsoft secrets to said blogger. Allegedly. The incident raises the question of just how common it is for cloud companies to violate the privacy of customers in pursuit of their own internal objectives. http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2014/03/transparency_reports

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No Interview

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* Different from Gmail scanning for ads (doesn’t mean Google also doesn’t do what MS did)

* former Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo arrested Wednesday, facing accusations that he stole trade secrets from MS

* allegedly leaked pre-release updates for Windows RT and a Microsoft-internal Activation Server SDK to a French blogger

* Russian national Kibkalo worked for Microsoft both in Russia and in the company's Lebanon office

* FBI complaint: Angered by poor performance review, retaliated by leaking

* FBI claims in the complaint that the blogger posted screenshots of the unreleased software and attempted to sell Windows Server activation keys on eBay.

* Microsoft's Trustworthy Computer Investigations (TWCI) team investigated the Hotmail account in an attempt to identify the blogger and his source

* they discovered e-mails from Kibkalo

* inconsistent with Microsoft's "Scroogled" campaign

* Microsoft issues statement that it will change policies

* They still reserve the right to snoop on employee’s email

* The company did not apologise

* The initial search occurred in September 2012

* The company’s user agreement reserves the right to carry out such searches, even after the changes Frank announced

* All of the big web companies have detailed privacy policies, but they generally give themselves broad rights to access customer email if they’re protecting their own rights, says Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director at the ACLU.

* None of the companies WIRED contacted — Microsoft, Google, and Facebook — could tell us how often user accounts were searched by internal teams or what processes they have to ensure that these search capabilities are not abused

* Microsoft is also planning to publish a bi-annual transparency report

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CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

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A new piece at Slate.com by investigative journalist Allan Holmes says that “the future of wireless communication may be decided by lobbyists, think tanks, and academics who are paid for their opinions. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/03/at_t_verizon_t_mobile_sprint_and_auctioning_airwaves_the_corporate_giants.single.html

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Allan Holmes
Writer, analyst, Center for Public Integrity

Q: Who are the biggest lobbyists influencing US policy on wireless?

Q: And what are they lobbying for?

Q: You said that they hire ivy league academics. How does this work?

Q: What’s at stake in next year’s big spectrum auction?

Q: Are small companies able to fully partipate in the auction?

Q: Who is behind the group “Mobile Future”?

Q: Don’t the vested interests here -- the mobile carriers and others -- really know how best to serve their customers? Why shouldn’t they influence policy?

Q: You wrote that companies give cash to think tanks, associations, and universities, and employing public relations firms. Is this money counted when totals for lobbying are published?

Allan Holmes
Writer, analyst, Center for Public Integrity @ATHolmes

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* Verizon, T-Mobile, Mobile Future (funded by AT&T and Verizon)

* Lobbies: want wireless companies to bid without restrictions on as many frequencies as they want.

* “The four biggest carriers together spent $37.3 million in 2013

* trying to influence lawmakers and the FCC

* policy issues ranging from taxes to cybersecurity as well as spectrum (auction is more than a year away.”

* Thurber said. “Lobbying isn’t just what the federal registered lobbyists do. It’s an orchestration of a variety of techniques and influence.”

* From the story: “The 600 megahertz band is the kind of airwaves that wireless companies want and need. It travels farther than frequencies above 1,000 megahertz, can penetrate buildings, navigate hilly terrain, and more easily go through vegetation, all of which makes it less likely to lose a connection compared with those traveling on higher bands. It’s also cheaper to operate because it requires fewer towers.”

* As of August 2012, Verizon and AT&T together owned 74 percent of the low-band airwaves

* Sprint controlled 12 percent, and T-Mobile owned just 0.2 percent

* Most of T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s frequencies are in the higher bands

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publicintegrity.org @ATHolmes

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CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

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The newest revelation from the Edward Snowden trove of documents, reported on The Intercept, says that the NSA targeted private email, Facebook account information and other personal data about system administrators around the world to make it easier to break into the networks they control. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/20/inside-nsa-secret-efforts-hunt-hack-system-administrators/

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No Interview

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* One of the documents is called “I hunt sys admins.”

* effort to break into foreign network routers to breaking into foreign phone and Internet companies

* The document makes clear that the admins are not suspected of any criminal activity

* The NSA wanted passwords, network maps, customer lists, business correspondence and “pictures of cats in funny poses with amusing captions”

* The first step, according to the posts, is to collect IP addresses linked to a sys admin

* NSA can then run an IP address through the vast amount of signals intelligence data, or SIGINT, that it collects every day, trying to match the IP address to personal accounts.

* You can “dumpster-dive for alternate selectors in the big SIGINT trash can” the author suggests. Or “pull out your wicked Google-fu”

* Once sys admin’s personal accounts are identified, NSA can apply QUANTUM hacking techniques (the fake Facebook malware thing).

* Report = “Just pull those selectors, queue them up for QUANTUM, and proceed with the pwnage”

* Discussed building a “master list” of sys admins across the world

* “Our ability to pull bits out of random places of the Internet, bring them back to the mother-base to evaluate and build intelligence off of is just plain awesome!” the author writes. “One of the coolest things about it is how much data we have at our fingertips.”

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CONVERSATION 6SHOWLINKS

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President Obama has once again summoned top tech executives to the White House. The focus of the meeting today once again is “issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence” -- in other words, the NSA’s exploitation of Silicon Valley to engage in mass surveillance. The invitation list hasn’t been announced, but reports say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be there -- Zuck recently called Obama to complain about a revelation that the NSA was spreading malware with fake Facebook servers -- and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is expected to be there, too. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reportedly declined, saying the invitation didn't give her enough notice. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/barach-obama-tech-ceos-nsa-104881.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/business/fallout-from-snowden-hurting-bottom-line-of-tech-companies.html

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No Interview

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* Will likely float a trial balloon on a future announcement about steps to increase intelligence oversight.

* New York Times story by Claire Cain Miller says NSA snooping is costing tech companies big time:

- Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil.

- IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.

- Tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance program.

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E-MAILSHOWLINKS

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FOLLOW-UP

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It sounds like a story from The Onion, but, no, it’s real: Mt Gox claims that it found 200 thousand bitcoins worth around $116 million in an old virtual wallet thought to be empty. The revelation happened after some noticed the bitcoins moving through the crypto-currency exchange. We reported in previous episodes about the ongoing saga of Mt Gox bitcoin, a leading bitcoin exchange that collapsed after the company claimed that all the bitcoins had been stolen by hackers. It has since filed for bankruptcy. Our advice: Keep checking those old wallets. Maybe the rest will turn up. Also: Try looking under the virtual cushions of the virtual sofa.

* Head = 28-year-old Frenchman Mark Karpeles
http://time.com/33270/bitcoin-mt-gox-wallet/

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IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

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Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale is reportedly in talks to play Steve Jobs for David Fincher’s upcoming biopic, written by Aaron Sorkin. A Cult of Mac reader even whipped up a Photoshop showing what Bale would look like as Steve Jobs. Andy: He’s an insanely great actor, but can he pull off playing Steve Jobs? http://www.cultofmac.com/271014/proves-christian-bale-really-look-like-steve-jobs/

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THANK GUEST CO-ANCHOR

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* * * FIN * * *

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Turkey blocks Twitter, but the block fails!

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Microsoft reads a blogger’s Hotmail email to catch a leaker.

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And we take a look at how wireless carriers buy influence in Washington!

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Coming up this week: MacWorld! (officially called MacWorld slash iWorld). The show happens March 27th through the 29th in San Francisco. Ad Tech also happens this week and also in San Francisco. Watch for our special MacWorld show coverage. Also join me on Tech News Today all week with guest co-anchors Donna Tam, Stephan Shankland, Elise Hu and Jessica Lessin! Back to you, Leo!

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