Millionaires and paupers in the Penang Exco

» FULL DETAILS: Who owns what: the Penang Exco asset list

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Law Choo Kiang went from owning only a Perodua Myvi to becoming an asset millionaire with a house in Bandar Cassia and 609,000 shares in 12 companies, according to the public declaration of assets by Penang state executive councillors on Thursday.

Among other startling disclosures, Prof P Ramasamy changed his Proton Perdana for a Mercedes-Benz 230E making him the only one on the list with his own Mercedes-Benz.

Abdul Malik Kassim owns nothing (he lives in his wife’s house, he said) but bought a second car, Honda CRV, to add to his Proton Tiara. Law Heng Kiang bought a Honda Civic car, his only other asset being joint-ownership of an Island Glades flat.

Phee Boon Poh, the rich man in the Exco, bought a flat in Bagan Ajan and a RM349,000 plot of bungalow land in Batu Kawan, to add to his property holdings which include a house and land in New Zealand. He increased his fixed-deposit holdings by RM150,000 but his substantial investments remain unchanged: 1.2mil units of shares, 2mil units of unit trusts, and a holding in a family business. He also changed cars, from a Nissan Serena to a Toyota Alphard.
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Who owns what: the Penang Exco asset list


KL hacker goes snooping at spies’ convention

A KL hacker was called into action when paranoia ruled at a convention of real-life cyberspies at the KL Hilton earlier this month. The air was thick with intrigue (and snooping) — and a London-based human rights activist found he couldn’t send email because his encryption wouldn’t work.

Off to Central Market he went, to seek help from KL activists, who arranged for a hacker to check it out.

The activist wasn’t the only one feeling paranoid. The people at the convention were specialists in tapping, cracking and hacking: law enforcement agents, Internet security officials, and companies selling equipement to break into the airwaves.

“I’m concerned about my calls or Internet being monitored, because that’s what they sell,” says Meling Mudin, 35, a Kuala Lumpur-based security consultant. “When I make phone calls, I step out of the hotel, I don’t use my computer and I also don’t use the wireless services provided.”

Bloomberg reporter Vernon Silver was at the convention, prowling the lobbies and restaurants for his story.
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Age editor: identity of whistleblower at risk

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By Paul Ramadge, editor of The Age
While we are cooperating with police, we have expressed our grave concerns over the risk that our sources for the report may be identified. We protect our sources at all costs. It is a code that cuts to the heart of everything we do as journalists. It is about trust. It is about ethics. If the sources for this report are identified through the police searches, even inadvertently, it will be a dark day for journalism.

The Age discovered, via a whistleblower, that the ALP [Australian Labor Party] was collecting and storing personal information about members of the public, unbeknown to those individuals, and we reported, carefully and precisely, what those files contained without breaching any person’s privacy. The files included personal health and financial information – the sensitivity of which we respected.

The Age rejects any suggestion that its journalists have breached the law.

We also reject any assertion that The Age obtained or sought to obtain information on individuals that could be used at a later date. The Age sought simply to verify the claims from our sources about the extent and nature of private information held by the ALP and accessed by campaign workers and others. No one on the database was identified without their consent.

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Age gets injunction to stop police seizing computers

» Video at Herald-Sun

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The Age in Melbourne has obtained an injunction to stop police seizing equipment, believed to include computers, reports the Herald-Sun newspaper owned by rival publishers News Ltd. Police confirmed the injunction was to “stop the removal of equipment”.

Police spent the morning behind closed doors with Mr Ramadge and The Age’s IT staff before searching the desks of reporters Nick McKenzie and Royce Millar.

The police raid comes a month after the News Ltd-owned Sunday Herald-Sun reported that state police had launched a criminal investigation into the alleged hacking. In April, the paper had reported that the Australian Labor Party had sought legal advice after its IT systems were allegedly accessed during last year’s state election via computers housed within The Age.

The Age has stoutly defended its actions and said its source, a whistleblower, had revealed that the Labor Party was collecting personal information about the public without their knowledge. The Age revealed in November last year that the database was being accessed by campaign workers.
» Herald-Sun report

Computer tech law: like a giant Trojan worm

by uppercaise

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» New law puts noose around computer techies

The federal government’s draft new law on computing is such an amorphous blob, trying to cover all the bases, that attacks have come from all sides, the latest critic being a politician formerly an IT entrepreneur who sees the law as another weapon against free speech. » MalaysiaKini.

That is not a far-fetched conclusion when the draft Computing Professionals Bill is viewed in terms of its impact on society and the potential for further political control over national life.

Of more workday relevance to the industry are the criticisms of the law for trying to create a closed computing industry; for attempting to keep tabs on everyone with a database of people in the trade; for trying to stifle innovation; for creating regulation by government rather than through industry self-regulation; and potentially for another means of creating avenues for bumiputera-ism to thrive.

Lawyers say it is bad law for being too loosely worded and ambiguous, too broad in scope, legislating for a danger that may not yet exist, and placing too much power in the hands of politicians. » Analysis at Loyar Burok.

The draft law is all that and more. Its broad scope allows its effects to ooze all over the computing trade like a giant malevolent runaway amoeba. Or for a computing analogy, a giant Trojan worm.

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Spy Files mirror: torrent link at Pirate Bay

Mirror of WikiLeaks’ Spy Files at Pirate Bay

A mirror of all of the documents called The Spy Files released by Wikileaks on December 1, 2011 at

In the event that Wikileaks comes under fire as a result of this release, the documents will remain available.

SHA1 hashes of all of the files are in SHA1SUM.

» TORRENT direct link

Fw: FWD: FW: Was that email really from your friend?

FW: Fw: FWD: Do you really know who sent it?

WikiLeaks has opened The Spy Files: a warehouse full of catalogues, price lists, manuals, brochures, presentations and other stuff about the equipment that the spooks use against the rest of the world — and sometimes sell to bad guys in their good books.

Should that matter to you? It might. Do you get FW: Fw: FWD: messages in your email? About politics, or religion, or sex, or jokes? Do you blog, Tweet, or share messages or articles in Internet forums, or on Facebook, through your mobile phone, or by SMS or by forwarding emails. Continue reading

The new arms trade: dirty buggers who spy on all of us

The Lima arms love-in over, watch out for other dirty buggers

People are morally outraged by the traditional arms trade, but they don’t realize that the sale of software and equipment that allows oppressive regimes to monitor the movements, communications and Internet activity of entire populations is just as dangerous. [Sophisticated technology] is facilitating detention, torture and execution and potentially smothering the flames of another Arab Spring.
Privacy International,
a London-based group that seeks to limit government surveillance

WikiLeaks: All 994 Kuala Lumpur cables (unredacted) now online

This map from Der Spiegel shows the activity of US cable transmissions around the world. It shows the scale and spread of US diplomatic power, and is a rough indicator of which countries are its main concerns.

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There are 994 cables from the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur in the full WikiLeaks database that have now been released to the public. Of these

  • 462 are unclassified cables, some marked “for official use only”
  • 438 are classified as confidential; and
  • 94 are classified as secret, some marked not for foreign distribution

(All the cables are unredacted files — personal details have not been removed. Please handle with care.)

The “secret” cables mostly concern security matters (nuclear non-proliferation, arms exports), higher-level regional and international matters, assessments of Malaysian politics, and visits by senior US political officials and military officers.

Nine “secret” cables are assessments of the political fortunes of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib Tun Razak and Anwar Ibrahim.

Where to read the cables

» All the KL cables (Radek Mrkva’s Cable Viewer)

» 2,487 cables from KL or referring to KL

» CableGate Search: 251,287 cables found.

» Cablegate at WikiLeaks 251,287 cables released.

» Cabledrum search 143,912 cables indexed.

The full cable database download

Just in case you still want it, below is the Torrent download link, for the full 368 megabyte file at WikiLeaks, compressed with 7zip. (It downloads in 20 minutes on a Unifi line.)
Uncompressed, the full archives expands to 60 gigabytes. You have been warned.
Cryptome has a file that expands to only 1.7Gb.

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