Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by The Wrong Guy, Jun 5, 2013.
FBI director warns new phone encryption could thwart probes | Reuters
U.S. FBI Director James Comey on Thursday made his strongest comments yet about encryption features built into new cell phones by Google Inc (GOOGL.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O), warning they could hurt law enforcement efforts to crack homicide and child exploitation cases.
Speaking before an audience at the Brookings Institution think tank, Comey said the new phones, which limit the ability for the companies themselves to access data stored on the units, have "the potential to create a black hole for law enforcement."
FBI agents are generally able to access information stored on cell phones with a court order related to a specific investigation that forces the company to retrieve the information.
But handset makers have marketed more secure cell phones amid concerns of broad government surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden, and of hackers who might be able to exploit any vulnerabilities in the security of the phones.
In a statement, a Google spokeswoman said the company wanted to provide additional security for its users to protect personal documents but would still work with law enforcement when appropriate.
New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents
By Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept
Agents from New Zealand’s national police force ransacked the home of a prominent independent journalist earlier this month who was collaborating with The Intercept on stories from the NSA archive furnished by Edward Snowden. The stated purpose of the 10-hour police raid was to identify the source for allegations that the reporter, Nicky Hager, recently published in a book that caused a major political firestorm and led to the resignation of a top government minister.
But in seizing all the paper files and electronic devices in Hager’s home, the authorities may have also taken source material concerning other unrelated stories that Hager was pursuing. Recognizing the severity of the threat posed to press freedoms from this raid, the Freedom of the Press Foundation today announced a global campaign to raise funds for Hager’s legal defense.
In reaction to the UN report, the NSA changes its name to the NFG. (No Fucks Given.)
Fuckin' elderly white guys.
We have to show them how to use computers.
Electronic Frontier Foundation Response to FBI Director Comey's Speech on Encryption
The FBI should not be in the business of trying to convince companies to offer less security to their customers. It should be doing just the opposite. But that's what Comey is proposing—undoing a clear legal protection we fought hard for in the 1990s. The law specifically ensures that a company is not required to essentially become an agent of the FBI rather than serving your security and privacy interests. Congress rightly decided that companies (and free and open source projects and anyone else building our tools) should be allowed to provide us with the tools to lock our digital information up just as strongly as we can lock up our physical goods. That's what Comey wants to undo.
Un Fucking Believable!
The FBI should
what a statement
Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches Updated Know Your Rights Guide
If the police come knocking at your door, the constitution offers you some protection. But the constitution is just a piece of paper — if you don’t know how to assert your rights. And even if you do assert your rights…what happens next? That answer may seem complicated, but protecting yourself is simple if you know your rights.
That’s why EFF has launched an updated Know Your Rights Guide that explains your legal rights when law enforcement try to search the data stored on your computer, cell phone or other electronic device.
The guide clarifies when the police can search devices, describes what to do if police do (or don’t) have a warrant, and explains what happens if the police can’t get into a device because of encryption or other security measures.
Profiles October 20, 2014 Issue
The Holder of Secrets
Laura Poitras’s closeup view of Edward Snowden.
By George Packer
From the garden terrace of a sixth-floor walkup on a quiet Berlin street, there was a clear view to the TV Tower, in Alexanderplatz. The tower, completed by the East Germans in 1969, once served as the biggest symbol of a regime that maintained its power by spying relentlessly on its citizens. It’s now a piece of harmless Cold War kitsch—a soaring concrete column with a shiny top resembling a disco ball. On the front door of the apartment somebody had affixed a sticker that mimicked the visual style of the “Hope” campaign poster for Barack Obama, with the words “Ein Bett für Snowden” (“A Bed for Snowden”) next to the face of the world’s most famous fugitive. The sticker was part of a movement advocating that Edward Snowden, who is living in exile in Russia, be given political asylum in Germany. The apartment’s interior had been turned into a film studio, where Laura Poitras—the maker of documentaries who, last year, helped Snowden leak documents exposing the fact that the National Security Agency collects huge amounts of data on United States citizens—was in the final days of a three-year project about surveillance in America.
Poitras was the first person to learn of Snowden’s trove of files, in early 2013, and for months it remained their secret. From the beginning, the language of their correspondence was heightened. Snowden wrote to Poitras, “You asked why I chose you. I didn’t. You chose yourself.” He was referring to films of hers that were critical of the war on terror—in particular, a short piece on an N.S.A. whistle-blower named William Binney. That June, they met in a hotel in Hong Kong, and Poitras made and released a twelve-minute video in which Snowden introduced himself to the world. Since then, he has given numerous interviews, and the journalist Glenn Greenwald, Poitras’s reporting partner on the story, has published a book. But Poitras, guarding her privacy, has said very little while she has finished work on her film. Anticipation kept building, and it was global news when the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced that it would present the première, on October 10th. (A wider release follows, on October 24th.)
[Much more at the link...]
Electronic Frontier Foundation Relaunches Surveillance Self-Defense
We’re thrilled to announce the relaunch of Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD), our guide to defending yourself and your friends from digital surveillance by using encryption tools and developing appropriate privacy and security practices. The site launches today in English, Arabic, and Spanish, with more languages coming soon.
SSD was first launched in 2009, to “educate Americans about the law and technology of communications surveillance…” and to provide information on how to use technology more safely. Not long after, in the midst of the 2009 Iranian uprising, we launched an international version that focused on the concerns of individuals struggling to preserve their right to free expression in authoritarian regimes.
In the time since the Snowden revelations, we’ve learned a lot about the threats faced by individuals and organizations all over the world—threats to privacy, security, and free expression. And there is still plenty that we don’t know. In creating the new SSD, we seek to help users of technology understand for themselves the threats they face and use technology to fight back against them. These resources are intended to inspire better-informed conversations and decision-making about digital security in privacy, resulting in a stronger uptake of best practices, and the spread of vital awareness among our many constituents.
We invite you to take a look at SSD, and to provide us with feedback (we’ve made it easy: there’s a feedback dropdown on every page). Right now, the site is available in just three languages, but we soon plan to expand, with Vietnamese, Russian, Persian, and several other languages in our sights. And if you think we’ve missed something, please let us know. The threats are always changing, so our advice should change to keep up.
Snowden's Motivation: What the Internet Was Like Before It Was Being Watched, and How We Can Get There Again
By Rainey Reitman, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Laura Poitras’ riveting new documentary about mass surveillance gives an intimate look into the motivations that guided Edward Snowden, who sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose mass surveillance by the NSA. CITIZENFOUR, which debuts on Friday, has many scenes that explore the depths of government surveillance gone awry and the high-tension unfolding of Snowden’s rendezvous with journalists in Hong Kong. One of the most powerful scenes in the film comes when Snowden discusses his motivation for the disclosures and points to his fundamental belief in the power and promise of the Internet:
I remember what the Internet was like before it was being watched, and there's never been anything in the history of man that's like it. I mean, you could have children from one part of the world having an equal discussion where you know they were sort of granted the same respect for their ideas and conversation, with experts in a field from another part of the world, on any topic, anywhere, anytime, all the time. And it was free and unrestrained.Snowden’s convictions mirror those of many who have adopted the Internet as a second home, and he speaks to the values that motivate fights over issues like net neutrality and online free speech today.
Exclusive: Shakeup At NSA After BuzzFeed News Reports On Potential Conflict Of Interest
By Aram Roston , Buzzfeed
Top National Security Agency official Teresa Shea is leaving her position after BuzzFeed News reported on her and her husband’s financial interests. The move comes as the NSA faces more questions about the business dealings of its former director Keith Alexander, and potential ethics conflicts. This post has been updated to include a response from the NSA.
All the NSA Will Say About Its Alarmingly Entrepreneurial Top Spy Is That She's Resigning
By Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept
Teresa O’Shea used to be the National Security Agency’s director of signals intelligence, plus the wife of an executive in the business of selling things to agencies like hers, plus the host of a home-based signals intelligence business, plus the owner, via yet another business, of a six-seat airplane and resort-town condo.
She’s going to have to drop the first arrangement. After controversy in the press about her apparent conflicts of interests, O’Shea is stepping down from the NSA, according to Buzzfeed’s Aram Roston.
Automated Mass Surveillance is Unconstitutional, Electronic Frontier Foundation Explains in Jewel v. NSA
Today EFF filed our latest brief in Jewel v. NSA, our longstanding case on behalf of AT&T customers aimed at ending the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans’ communications. The brief specifically argues that the Fourth Amendment is violated when the government taps into the Internet backbone at places like the AT&T facility on Folsom Street in San Francisco.
As it happens, the filing coincides with the theatrical release of Laura Poitras’ new documentary, Citizenfour. The Jewel complaint was filed in 2008, and there’s a scene early in the film that shows the long road that case has taken. In footage shot in 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears argument in Jewel, and an attorney from the Department of Justice tries to convince a skeptical court that it should simply decide not to decide the case, leaving it to the other branches of government.
But the court did not agree to step aside. EFF prevailed on the issue, and the case continued, albeit very slowly. Now, years later, Poitras’ film underscores just how much the conversation around mass surveillance has changed. Americans are overwhelmingly concerned with government monitoring of their communications, and we hope to (finally) have a constitutional ruling in Jewel soon. (And another in Smith v. Obama, and still another in First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA.)
Even so, the government continues to try to avoid a decision that any of its various means of mass surveillance is unconstitutional. The current procedural context is this: in July, EFF filed a partial motion for summary judgment requesting that the court rely on uncontested evidence that the NSA taps into the Internet backbone and collects and searches ordinary Americans’ communication to rule that the government is violating the Fourth Amendment. The technology at issue, which the government calls “upstream,” is illustrated here.
Under this surveillance, the government makes a full copy of everything that travels through key Internet backbone locations, like AT&T’s peering links. The government says that it then does some rudimentary filtering and searches through the filtered copies, looking for specific “selectors,” like email addresses.
The government filed its opposition to our motion in September. In our reply, we note that the government is effectively trying to sidestep the Fourth Amendment for everything that travels over the Internet. We explain:
WikiLeaks @wikileaks 21m 21 minutes ago
The first big NSA whistleblower, Perry Fellwock, was so far ahead of his time, no-one believed him.
John Young reviews CITIZENFOUR:
We viewed Laura Poitras' Edward Snowden film, CITIZENFOUR, today. The portions when Snowden is shown in full bloom are enthralling, these alone make the film a sorely needed antidote to sickly outpouring of shallow, abysmal coverage of media valorizing its story of Snowden.
Between the gripping opening scenes of Snowden in Hong Kong to the last surprise in Russia, after a year of Snowden's living dangerously, and his correspondents enjoying lucratie celebrity, a huge amount of padding is inserted, composed of recycled media covering itself and therewith duplicating much of what media is making of the story: its vainglorious role.
Why Poitras would waste so much of the film on media self-vaunting is worth pondering. Is it to shift accusation of vulnerable Snowden to privileged and protected journalism? That it decided what to disclose, not him, as he directed. Is the film performing a role in a legal strategy to defend against espionage charges lodged against Snowden, a strategy implied in the film but not disclosed -- political exculpation rather than impossibly legal exoneration, as ACLU's Ben Wizener portends the Espionage Act prohibits.
Is the last scene of Greenwald scribbling messages to Snowden about another source -- Snowden reacting with uncharacteristically profane surprise, a couple of notes shown in full ("Ramstein Air Force Base" in a secret spy role; "1.2 million" targeted), then Greenwald mincing the notes -- more than a Hollywood tease of more to come? Snowden wisely hints this source may be a commonplace counterspy sting of targeted Greenwald -- to no effect.
This last view of Snowden shows a fully mature man, deeply hollow-eyed, no longer excessively smiling, become fiercely independent by sustained solo threat, now suppressing anger, skepticism and suspicion, not the uninhibited 29-year-old first shown as hopeful, wishful, trusting and dependent.
[More at the link...]
jeremy scahill @jeremyscahill 12m 12 minutes ago
Extensive interview with Edward Snowden by @KatrinaNation:
Citizenfour is on general release from October 31, plus a few special screenings before that.
Find your nearest one here:
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald · 16h 16 hours ago
Variety on CITIZENFOUR opening weekend: "a massive number for a documentary."
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald · 15h 15 hours ago
Obama ally Harvey Weinstein, who had called Snowden a "traitor", said CITIZENFOUR "changed my opinion of him"
Feds identify suspected 'second leaker' for Snowden reporters | Yahoo News
The FBI has identified an employee of a federal contracting firm suspected of being the so-called "second leaker" who turned over sensitive documents about the U.S. government's terrorist watch list to a journalist closely associated with ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case.
The FBI recently executed a search of the suspect's home, and federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia have opened up a criminal investigation into the matter, the sources said.
But the case has also generated concerns among some within the U.S. intelligence community that top Justice Department officials — stung by criticism that they have been overzealous in pursuing leak cases — may now be more reluctant to bring criminal charges involving unauthorized disclosures to the news media, the sources said. One source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said there was concern "there is no longer an appetite at Justice for these cases."
Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the Justice Department, declined to comment on the investigation into the watch-list leak, citing department rules involving pending cases.
As for the department's overall commitment to pursue leak cases, he added: "We're certainly going to follow the evidence wherever it leads us and take appropriate action."
Another source familiar with the case said: "Investigators are continuing to pursue it, but are not ready to charge yet."
The case in question involves an Aug. 5 story published by The Intercept, an investigative website co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who first published sensitive NSA documents obtained from Snowden.
Headlined "Barack Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers," the story cited a classified government document showing that nearly half the people on the U.S. government's master terrorist screening database had "no recognized terrorist affiliation."
The story, co-authored by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux, was accompanied by a document "obtained from a source in the intelligence community" providing details about the watch-listing system that were dated as late as August 2013, months after Snowden fled to Hong Kong and revealed himself as the leaker of thousands of top secret documents from the NSA.
This prompted immediate speculation that there was a "second leaker" inside the U.S. intelligence community providing material to Greenwald and his associates.
That point is highlighted in the last scene of the new documentary about Snowden released this weekend, called "Citizenfour," directed by filmmaker Laura Poitras, a co-founder with Greenwald and Scahill of The Intercept.
Greenwald tells a visibly excited Snowden about a new source inside the U.S. intelligence community who is leaking documents. Greenwald then scribbles notes to Snowden about some of the details, including one briefly seen about the U.S. drone program and another containing a reference to the number of Americans on the watch list.
"The person is incredibly bold," Snowden says. Replies Greenwald: "It was motivated by what you did."
Here are three new articles from The Intercept:
The FBI Was So Hapless Hunting a Teen Kid, It Had To Pretend To Be from a Newspaper
By Andrew Jerell Jones
The U.S. Government Is Suddenly Way, Way More Interested In Tracking Snail Mail
By Murtaza Hussain
Ed Snowden Taught Me To Smuggle Secrets Past Incredible Danger. Now I Teach You.
By Micah Lee
Brazil Builds Internet Cable To Portugal To Avoid NSA Surveillance
Privacy Tools: The Best Encrypted Messaging Programs | ProPublica
A new ranking of popular encrypted messaging programs finds the ones that are most effective at protecting users’ privacy.
Edward Snowden Film By Oliver Stone Acquired By Open Road | Deadline
Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the untitled Oliver Stone-directed film that will star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden, the American who fled to Russia seeking asylum after making public more classified documents than anyone since Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. I’m told that Stone and producing partner Moritz Borman will make this deal as soon as today, partly because of the job that Open Road head Tom Ortenberg did in championing the release of the Stone-directed George W. Bush film W while he was at Lionsgate.
Meet Edward Snowden’s new friend: Rick the dog | RT News
US whistleblower Edward Snowden has not only been reunited with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, but has also got a new furry friend to make Russia a cozier place, a new photo reveals.
The photo, taken this fall in Russia, shows a happy-looking Snowden giving a hearty hug to a timid dog of uncertain breed. The NSA ex-contractor’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, showed the photo to Rossiya 24 TV channel, and said the dog is called Rick.
Exclusive: Top NSA Surveillance Official Is A Multimillionaire
NSA bureaucrat Teresa Shea and her intelligence-contractor husband are worth at least $3 million, records show. She ran controversial surveillance programs for years, and recused herself last year from decisions about her husband’s employer.
Senate’s NSA Reform Bill Heads For Uncertain Vote | TechCrunch
There is a cloture vote scheduled in the 2:30 PST Senate bloc. It will require 60 votes to pass. It isn’t clear if that many votes exist. I haven’t spoken to a single person today who was confident about what will happen, but the math looks tough.
If the Senate’s bill fails to advance, that’s it for this Congress on NSA reform. And, given that Senator McConnell is signaling that this bill — which doesn’t go far enough in the eyes of some – goes too far, I’d posit that the chance of reform in the next Congress isn’t high.
Key Democrats Rally Behind NSA Reform Bill | National Journal
Defenders and critics of government spying are coming around to support the USA Freedom Act. But some Republicans want to wait until they’re in power.
McConnell Pushes Republicans to Silence Senate Debate on NSA Reform Bill | National Journal
The Republican leader said the measure would help ISIS kill Americans.
The USA Freedom Act: What's to Come and What You Need to Know | Electronic Frontier Foundation
The USA Freedom Act does not renew the entirety of the Patriot Act, which consisted of over 100 sections changing numerous electronic surveillance laws. The USA Freedom Act does extend three provisions of the Patriot Act: the "lone wolf" provision, the "roving wire tap" provision, and a reformed Section 215.
Critical NSA Reform Bill Fails in the Senate | WIRED
Electronic Frontier Foundation Statement on the Senate Failing to Advance the USA Freedom Act
We are disappointed that the Senate has failed to advance the USA Freedom Act, a good start for bipartisan surveillance reform that should have passed the Senate.
The Senate still has the remainder of the current legislative session to pass the USA Freedom Act. We continue to urge the Senate to do so and only support amendments that will make it stronger. We strongly oppose any amendment that would water down the strong privacy, special advocate, and transparency provisions of the bill.
We also urge the Senate to remember that the USA Freedom Act is a first step in comprehensive surveillance reform. Future reform must include significant changes to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, to the operations of Executive Order 12333, and to the broken classification system that the executive branch counts on to hide unconstitutional surveillance from the public.
I wonder if EFF remember that the origins of our current problems came from the Church committee 'reforms' in the mid '70s.
IOW, the current situation is the result of what we were told were the answers to reform the problem of government overreach in the '70s. All it really did was drive it deeper underground and make it far more insidious.
More laws written by the people who were breaking the law in the first place is not a viable solution.
IOW, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
DOJ Says iPhone Encryption Will Kill a Child, Which, C'mon Man
By Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo
Here we go again. Just a few days after a former FBI agent argued that the new iOS 8 encryption would cause somebody to die, a Department of Justice boss upped the ante. At a meeting on October 1, Deputy Attorney General James Cole told a room full off Apple executives that iPhone encryption would cause a child to die. A child!
This is a pretty bonkers thing for anyone to say. It is a very bonkers thing for the second-ranking official at the Department of Justice to say. And according to The Wall Street Journal, the Apple executives who were the victims of Cole's sensational take on privacy and technology felt that way too:
The meeting last month ended in a standoff. Apple executives thought the dead-child scenario was inflammatory. They told the government officials law enforcement could obtain the same kind of information elsewhere, including from operators of telecommunications networks and from backup computers and other phones, according to the people who attended.
Because of course it can. In fact, the former FBI agent who made similarly inflammatory remarks in a Washington Post column a few weeks ago had to walk it back. The newspaper issued a correction to the opinion piece and removed the paragraph claiming that iOS encryption could lead to death. This was a sensible thing to do. While it's certainly possible that a bad thing could happen as a result of better encryption on phones, anything is possible. Bad things happen for all kinds of reasons.
Police can still gain access to that data. It's just much harder than it used to be. Encryption improves privacy, and that's a good thing. It also improves security. So while it might make law enforcement's jobs tougher at times, it's important to stand up for Constitutional rights at times like this. Sensationalism never made anybody feel safer.
James O’Shea @irishcentral November 29,2014 03:05 AM
Snowden reveals British tapping US/Ireland communications
The main cable link between Ireland and America has been tapped by British intelligence, a new raft of papers released by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.
The new documents, published in a German newspaper, reveal that a number of underwater cables that connect Ireland to the word are all being tapped into by British intelligence.
It means that all internet communications as well as phone calls are potentially intercepted by British intelligence.
The main cable connecting the US and Ireland is called Hibernia and stretches from Dublin to South Kerry across the Atlantic to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Another leg of the same cable stretches from Dublin to Holyhead in Wales.
A document released by Snowden details those cables which the British Government Communication Headquarters, based in Cheltenham in England, has either gained or sought access to.
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is a British intelligence and security organization responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the British government and armed forces under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) alongside the Security Service (MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Defence Intelligence (DI).
The document notes that the British intelligence operatives are dissatisfied with their access to the Irish cables and wants it improved.
The Snowden documents outline a number of underwater cables – the lines that connect Ireland to the outside world that are being tapped.
"... across the Atlantic to Halifax Nova Scotia." How about that? CSIS will probably become peeved with this news.
Amazon’s frightening CIA partnership: Capitalism, corporations and our massive new surveillance state
By Charles Davis, Salon
Hundreds of millions flow to Amazon from the national security state. It's a kind of partnership we shouldn't allow.
I love the graphic!
Further to the above report, Cryptome has posted a link to a site that carefully analyzes the recently released Snowden documents.
INCENSER, or how NSA and GCHQ are tapping internet cables
November 29, 2014 - (Last edited: December 1, 2014)
Recently disclosed documents show that the NSA's fourth-largest cable tapping program, codenamed INCENSER, pulls its data from just one single source: a submarine fiber optic cable linking Asia with Europe.
Until now, it was only known that INCENSER was a sub-program of WINDSTOP and that it collected some 14 billion pieces of internet data a month. The latest revelations now say that these data were collected with the help of the British company Cable & Wireless (codenamed GERONTIC, now part of Vodafone) at a location in Cornwall in the UK, codenamed NIGELLA.
For the first time, this gives us a view on the whole interception chain, from the parent program all the way down to the physical interception facility. Here we will piece together what is known about these different stages and programs from recent and earlier publications.
The cables tapped at NIGELLA by GERONTIC under the INCENSER and WINDSTOP programs(links) ----> - NIGELLA - GERONTIC - INCENSER - WINDSTOP -The entire article goes into minute detail about this NSA/GCHQ cable-tapping operation and the comment thread is open.
Gabriella Coleman @BiellaColeman 3m 3 minutes ago
Excellent news. Citizen Four by Laura Poitras and @knappB @internetsownboy shortlisted for the Oscars!
The MPAA Says Teens Can't See a Film About Edward Snowden. This Theater Is Going to Let Them in Anyway.
By Inae Oh, Mother Jones
"Citizenfour," a documentary about Edward Snowden, was given an R rating by members of the Motion Picture Association of America. Their rationale for doing so was apparently due to the occasional swearing that takes place in the hotel room where Snowden, director Laura Poitras, and journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill conduct their conversation.
For all teenagers who think they can handle a bit of naughty cuss words and are interested in learning more about shocking global surveillance practices carried out by their government, head over to the IFC theater in New York City, where they're overriding the MPAA's suggested rating. Their rationale? "Not only do we feel the film is suitable for teens, we feel it is essential viewing for anyone who may vote in the next election."
Good thing that I got MetroPCS, but such a shame, Verizon has such good reception, oh well.
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