Signal Has a Clever New Way to Shield Your Identity – LILY HAY NEWMAN SECURITY 10.29.18 05:16 PM

Hottlittlepotato; Getty Images

A key part of what makes Signal the leading encrypted messaging app is its effort to minimize the amount of data or metadata each message leaves behind. The messages themselves are fully encrypted as they move across Signal’s infrastructure, and the service doesn’t store logs of information like who sends messages to each other, or when. On Monday, the nonprofit that develops Signal announced a new initiative to take those protections even further. Now, it hopes to encrypt even information about which users are messaging each other on the platform.

As much as it values privacy, Signal still needs to see where messages are going so that it can deliver them to the right account. The service has also relied on seeing what account a message came from to help verify that the sender is legit, limit the number of messages an account sends in a period of time to prevent it from spewing spam, and offer other types of anti-abuse checks.

But having access to metadata about the sender and recipient—essentially the address and return address on the outside of letters—offers a lot of information about how people use Signal and with whom they associate. Think of it as the address and return address on the envelope of a physical letter. So Signal’s developers created workarounds that will now allow the app to encrypt not just the contents of messages, but the identity of the sender.

“While the service always needs to know where a message should be delivered, ideally it shouldn’t need to know who the sender is,” Moxie Marlinspike, the creator of Signal, wrote on Monday. “It would be better if the service could handle packages where only the destination is written on the outside, with a blank space where the ‘from’ address used to be.”

Currently, Signal is testing this “sealed sender” feature in its beta release. Since the mechanism removes Signal’s ability to validate senders, the service is adding workarounds that still let users verify who sent incoming messages, and reduce their chance of receiving abusive content. Most importantly, Signal will only allow “sealed sender” messages to go between accounts that have already established trust, particularly by being in each others’ contact lists. If you block someone Signal has made cryptographic tweaks so they will still be barred from messaging you—even if you are in each others’ contacts.

Thanks to the change, if Signal is compromised, an attacker sitting inside the service will only see encrypted messages going to their destinations, and won’t be able to see where they came from. As “sealed sender” rolls out, users will be able to turn on a status icon if they want an indication of when messages have been sent using the scheme.

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California Voters May Force Meat And Egg Producers Across The Country To Go Cage-Free – Lesley McClurg October 29, 20184:45 PM ET

A Berkshire pig at Root Down Farm in Pescadero, Calif. Californians will vote on a proposition in November that would require all pork sold in the state be from pigs raised in more spacious pens.
Lesley McClurg/KQED

California voters will soon decide whether to ban the sale of meat and eggs from farm animals raised in cages. A November ballot measure, Proposition 12, would require more spacious digs for pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens. It applies to animals in California and to those raised elsewhere for products sold in the Golden State.

If you’re experiencing a bit of déjà vu right now, it makes sense.

Back in 2008, voters overwhelmingly passed a strikingly similar animal welfare law. But some farmers argued the measure’s language was too vague to interpret in practical terms.

After the 2008 law took effect, state agriculture officials ruled that farmers could comply with the law without getting rid of their cages as long as they provided more space within the cages.

To end confinement altogether, the Humane Society of the United States sponsored Proposition 12 this year.


The measure is also endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Sierra Club, the California Democratic Party, the United Farm Workers, and the Center for Food Safety. The Yes on 12 campaign has raised $6.1 million as of Sept. 28, while the opponents, Stop the Rotten Egg Initiative, have raised about $566,000. The next financial reporting deadline is Oct. 25.

Dede Boies supports the measure because it aligns with her farming philosophy. She raises chickens, ducks, turkeys and pigs on Root Down Farm, a huge open field in Pescadero, about an hour south of San Francisco.

“The point for me is to raise animals in a way that they were intended to live,” says Boies. “And to basically give them the best life possible.”

For Boies, confining animals in cages reduces them to products.

Proposition 12 requires each farm animal to have a specific amount of floor space beginning in 2020: 43 square feet for a veal calf; 24 square feet for a breeding pig; and 1 square foot for an egg-laying hen. Cage-free conditions will be mandatory for hens by 2022.


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The US will issue over $1.3 trillion in new debt in 2018, the highest amount since the depths of the recession – Bob Bryan

  • The federal government will issue $1.34 trillion in new debt during 2018, according to a new Treasury Department projection.
  • The debt issuance represents a 146% jump from 2017 and the highest amount of new debt issued since 2010.
  • The report comes weeks after the Treasury said the fiscal year 2018 budget deficit hit $779 billion, the largest since 2012.
  • The primary drivers of new debt issuance are the GOP tax law and the bipartisan budget agreement.

The federal government will issue more than $1.3 trillion in debt in 2018, according to a new estimate released by the Treasury Department on Monday, the highest total debt issuance since the depths of the Great Recession:

  • Total net marketable securities issued in the fourth quarter will be a projected $425 billion, according to the Treasury report.
  • That will bring total debt issued in 2018 to $1.34 trillion, the highest since $1.59 trillion was issued in 2010.
  • 2018 debt issuance also jumped 146% from 2017, when just $546 billion was issued.

The numbers come after the Treasury announced in early October that the budget deficit for fiscal year 2018 (which ran from October 2017 through September) hit $779 billion, a 17% jump from the previous fiscal year and the highest level since 2012.

The deficit is expected to come in just shy of $1 trillion for fiscal year 2019 and will eclipse the $1 trillion mark in the following four years, according to official Trump administration estimates.

The ballooning debt load is primarily the result of newly passed legislation including the GOP tax reform law and the bipartisan budget deal.

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Not All Female Candidates Are Running Because of Trump | She’s Running – VICE News Published on Oct 29, 2018

Whether they’re greeting constituents at a train station, going to a tattoo parlor, or milking cows at a county fair, our candidates are working hard to win over voters. Democrat Deidre DeJear would become the first African-American elected to statewide office in Iowa if she wins her race for secretary of state. Republican Pearl Kim, a former special victims prosecutor and sexual assault survivor, is running for a U.S. House seat left open by a # MeToo scandal. Democrat Anna Eskamani, a former Planned Parenthood employee, wants to become the first Iranian-American in the Florida state House. And at 21 years old, Republican Morgan Zegers is gunning to join the New York State Assembly as its youngest member. In a year when more women are running than ever, each of our candidates has her own unique reasons for running for office. Watch Part 1 of our documentary series to learn more.

Macy Gray Shows The Performance Perks Of Fireball Shots (HBO) – VICE News Published on Oct 28, 2018

A lot has changed since Macy Gray won her first Grammy. But some things never will. She is still obsessed with goldfish, and strongly believes they are the superior snack. Before every show, she still makes her crew take fireball shots, so they can be on the “same level.” And she is still chipping at her gambling debt from frequent visits to Las Vegas. The ugly side of being famous doesn’t really reveal itself until it’s too late. And after going through it herself she’s got some wisdom on how other artists figure out how to play the game. After over 20 years in the business, she wants young artists to know that “Your out is always that you’re young. You’re new at the whole fame and being a artist professionally. There’s a real craft to fame and how to handle it and how to keep it.” Macy Gray’s latest album Ruby is out now on Artistry Music

The conspiracy theory that led to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, explained – Dara Lind Oct 29, 2018, 3:20pm EDT

Xenophobic panic over the migrant caravan found a target: Jews who helped resettle refugees.

Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Before he opened fire in a mass shooting that killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, witnesses say the gunman shouted, “All Jews must die.”

But the particular moment he (allegedly) chose for his massacre, and the place he chose to do it, show that what radicalized the assailant to the point of violence was a specific manifestation of anti-Semitism: blaming Jews in America for bringing in an invasion of nonwhite immigrants who would slaughter the white race.

His last post on the pro-hate-speech social-media site Gab, posted minutes before the synagogue massacre, spells it out — with a reference to HIAS, the Jewish nonprofit that resettles refugees in the United States:

HIAS likes to bring invaders that kill our people.

I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.

Screw your optics, I’m going in.

The obsession that appears to have tipped the gunman over the edge was a conspiracy theory insinuating that the migrant caravan currently making its way through southern Mexico, and which President Donald Trump and conservative media have treated as an existential threat to the United States, is a Jewish plot.

His response was an attack that was both anti-Semitic — an attack on Jews and Jewish values — and characteristic of Trump-era xenophobia, which is generally expressed toward Muslims and Latinos.

Some Trump officials have all but admitted that the president has seized on the caravan to motivate Republicans to turn out in the midterms. Whether or not that’s true, it’s clear that the administration had no ability (and little apparent interest) to control just how that panic took shape. (Adam Serwer of the Atlantic has a must-read essay on what specific responsibility Trump and those in his administration may bear for the delusions that pushed the assailant to murder Jews.)

Trump’s version of the caravan panic didn’t blame the Jews, but it’s not surprising, given longstanding anti-Semitic tropes, that the gunman ended up doing just that.

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