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Decarboxylation: What It Is, & Why You Should Decarb Your Weed

Decarboxylation: What It Is, & Why You Should Decarb Your Weed

decarbing

Have you ever wondered why you need to heat cannabis to feel the psychoactive effects? In order to get high from cannabis, you need to decarboxylate it first. But, what is decarboxylation and why should you decarb your weed? We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting the most out of your herb. 

What is decarboxylation?

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Did you know that raw cannabis is non-psychoactive? The herb only becomes psychoactive when two things happen. First, when the bud dries and ages. Second, when the cannabis is heated. More psychoactive compounds are created by heating the plant than via ageing. In order to release the full potential of marijuana’s psychoactive effects, you must first go through a process called decarboxylation.

 

“Decarboxylation” is a long word for a simple process. To decarboxylate your herb, you just need to heat it. Applying a little heat to dried bud inspires some fascinating chemical reactions in the plant. Namely, you transform compounds called cannabinoid acids into a form that is readily usable by the body.

Cannabinoids are chemicals found in the cannabis plant that bind to cells in the body to produce effects. Sometimes decarboxylation is called “activating” or “decarbing”.

You probably have already heard that the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is what gets you high when you smoke a little flower or eat an edible. But, you won’t find much THC on a live, growing marijuana plant, if any at all. What you find instead is another compound called THCA, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.

THCA is not psychoactive. That’s right, this acid compound won’t get you high. In order to feel the mind-altering effects of cannabis, you need to transform THCA into psychoactive THC. So, you apply a little heat.

Each time you take a lighter to a joint or place your cannabis in the oven, you are acting the part of an amateur chemist. You are converting one compound into another. You’re turning an otherwise non-psychoactive plant into a psychoactive one. To get specific, you are removing a “carboxyl group” from the acid form of THC. Hence the term “De-carboxylation“. Without that carboxyl group, THC is able to freely bind to cell receptors in your brain and body.

Are there benefits to raw cannabis?

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If you want a high, you need to decarb first. However, there are some benefits to leaving your cannabis raw. Keep in mind that “raw” does not mean dried and cured. When you dry and cure your cannabis, a little decarboxylation happens as the herb ages.

Raw, uncured cannabis has a variety of health benefits. Cannabinoid acids are potent anti-inflammatories. The herb is also packed full of vitamins and nutrients found in other healthy greens.

To use the herb raw, you’ll need to use freshly picked buds or fan leaves. You can also store raw cannabis in the refrigerator for a day or two like you would any other leafy green herb. Though, be mindful of mould and wilting. Densely packed cannabis flowers can become mouldy quite quickly when they’re exposed to moisture. You really want to use them as quickly as possible. They also begin to lose potency and denature the longer they sit.

Many medical cannabis patients have success by simply drinking raw cannabis juices or smoothies. You can find more information on raw, dietary cannabis here.

If you’re hoping for some psychoactive edibles, however, it’s best to decarboxylate your cannabis before you begin the cooking process.

Why do I decarb before cooking?

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If you’re cooking with cannabis, it is highly recommended you decarboxylate before you begin making your edible. If you ingest cannabis and want the full psychoactive effect, you need to first decarboxylate before cooking with the herb. Activating your cannabis prior to cooking ensures that THC’s psychoactive potential is not wasted.

If you don’t decarb before cooking, you risk losing potency and are not making the most out of your cannabis.

Do I need to decarb CBD strains?

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The short answer? Yes. CBD is short for cannabidiol, another common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. Just like THC, CBD is found in its acid form in raw cannabis. This raw form (CBDA) has health-promoting properties on its own. But, activating CBD makes it more readily available for the body to use.

To use the proper term, activated CBD is more bioavailable. This means that the compound can be put to use by your body right away. When left in its raw form, your body has to do some extra work to break down the molecule and it may use the acid form in a slightly different way.

The same goes for other cannabinoids as well. Their raw form is the acid from. To make them more bioavailable, you need to decarboxylate. Bioavailability is why you need to decarb your weed.

Temperature and terpenes

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When it comes to decarboxylating, the lower the temperature you use, the longer the decarboxylation process is it’s going to take. However, this is not a bad thing! When using a lower temperature, you to lose fewer terpenes throughout the decarboxylation process.

Have you ever wondered why buds of even the same strain can have different tastes and smells? The answer is hidden in terpenes. Simply put, terpenes are the oils that give cannabis plants and flowers their unique smell such as berry, mint, citrus, and pine. There are many medicinal benefits to terpenes; some will successfully relieve your stress while others will promote focus and awareness.

Terpenes also work in tandem with THC and other cannabinoids to amplify the medical benefits of certain strains. For example, one common terpene is linalool. Linalool is the compound that gives lavender its unique scent. Strains like L.A. Confidential and Lavender tend to have high levels of linalool. Research suggests that this may amplify the sedative effects of THC.

The max temperature for terpene expression is 310 to 400°F (154 – 204.4°C). Anything above that will burn off the terpenes, altering flavor and lessening medical effects.

How to decarb before cooking

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Decarboxylation is a super simple process. Before you throw some cannabis into your pasta sauce or some “herbal seasoning” to your next pizza, make sure you follow these easy steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 240° F. / 115° C.
  2. Break up cannabis flowers and buds into smaller pieces with your hands. We use one ounce, but you can elect to do more or less.
  3. Put the pieces in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Make sure the pan is the correct size so there is not empty space on the pan.
  4. Bake the cannabis for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that it toasts evenly.
  5. When the cannabis is darker in color, a light to medium brown, and has dried out, remove the baking sheet and allow the cannabis to cool. It should be quite crumbly when handled.
  6. In a food processor, pulse the cannabis until it is coarsely ground (you don’t want a superfine powder). Store it in an airtight container and use as needed to make extractions

Watch the video

Fortunately, we’ve created this easy step-by-step video to walk you through the decarboxylation process. It really is not complicated, and taking a little time to properly activate your herb will produce amazing results. Watch the video below to see how it’s done:

 

 

This image of Putin is illegal in Russia, so don’t distribute it. FUCK #PUTIN, and #RUSSIA

Since 2013, Russia has enforced “internet extremism” laws that forbid the dissemination of online content that the government finds offensive. Newly added to that list is an image that depicts Vladimir Putin as, in the words of the Washington Post, “a potentially gay clown.” As such, the above image is now illegal in Russia to share the above photo. It’s not illegal here, though.

This registry of “extremist materials” features the photo at number 4071, and the Post describes it thusly: “a picture of a Putin-like person ’with eyes and lips made up,’ captioned with an implicit anti-gay slur, implying ’the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation.’”

Here it is again, should you need a reminder:

Do not distribute it in Russia.

CNN reports that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the photo: “You know how such things might hurt somebody’s feelings, but the President is quite resistant to such obscenity and learned how to not pay attention.”

That much is obvious, what with the 15-day prison sentence and fine of 3,000 rubles that hits anyone in Russia who would venture to go so far as to even retweet the image.

The image’s origins date back to as early as 2011, though it became common among those who would protest Putin’s 2013 “gay propaganda” law, which aims to protect children from the views of those with “nontraditional sexual relations.” Protests often found those arguing in favor of gay rights to be beaten or arrested.

Of course, there are plenty of other memes out there that might offend people who can’t bear the thought of Putin being associated with “nontraditional sexual relations.” Here’s a few below:

В РФ признали экстремистским плакат с накрашенными Путиным и Медведевым http://gordonua.com/news/worldnews/v-rf-priznali-ekstremistskim-plakat-s-nakrashennymi-putinym-i-medvedevym-181824.html 

Photo published for В РФ признали экстремистским плакат с накрашенными Путиным и Медведевым

В РФ признали экстремистским плакат с накрашенными Путиным и Медведевым

Картинка, на которой были изображены люди, похожие на президента РФ Владимира Путина и премьер-министра Дмитрия…

gordonua.com

View image on Twitter

#Saudi #woman pictured not wearing #hijab faces calls for her to be #killed, Saudi’s are #TOSSERS!

One social media user said: ‘Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs’

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A woman in Saudi Arabia pictured without a hijab is facing calls for her to be killed.

Some social media users reacted with outrage after the emergence of the image taken in capital city Riyadh, with one man demanding: “Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs”.

The photo was allegedly first posted by an account under the name of Malak Al Shehri, which has since been deleted, reports the International Business Times.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

A Saudi woman went out yesterday without an Abaya or a hijab in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and many Saudis are now demanding her execution.

An unnamed student who reposted the image told the website that Ms Al Shehri had announced she was going out to breakfast without either a hijab or abaya; a traditional Saudi body covering.

The student said she started receiving death threats after posting proof in response to followers who had asked to see a photo.

Saudi Arabia executes prince accused of killing man in brawl

“So many people retweeted it and what she did reached extremists, so she got threats,” the student said. “She deleted her tweets but they didn’t stop, so she deleted her account.”

A hashtag which translates into English as “we demand the imprisonment of the rebel Angel Al Shehri” subsequently went viral.

One user wrote “we propose blood”, while another demanded a “harsh punishment for the heinous situation”.

Despite the outrage, many more users in Saudi Arabia came out in support of the woman’s actions.

 

Has the EU Just Outlawed ‘Fully-Loaded’ Kodi Boxes?

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Android devices with modified Kodi software installed continue to prove popular among the pirating masses. However, a ruling from the EU Court this week will make life more difficult for suppliers. That’s the opinion of Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN, who say that sellers will now have to verify if the links contained in such devices are infringing.

kodiWhile millions of people around the globe share files using BitTorrent every day, there are some who prefer to stream their content instead.

These users can easily visit any one of thousands of streaming portals via a desktop web browser but for those looking for complete convenience, set-top boxes offer a perfect solution.

These devices, often Android-based, regularly come with the Kodi media center already installed. However, Kodi provides no illegal content – custom addons do – and it’s their inclusion in the package that provides users with what they want – free (or cost reduced) movies, TV, and sports.

One of the groups trying to crack down on so-called “fully loaded” boxes is Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. The organization has threatened legal action against several local suppliers and has had one case referred to the European Court. However, a decision in a separate case last week could have big implications for “fully loaded” box supply across Europe, BREIN says.

The case, which involved Dutch blog GeenStijl.nl and Playboy, resulted in an important ruling from the European Court of Justice.

The Court found that when “hyperlinks are posted for profit, it may be expected that the person who posted such a link should carry out the checks necessary to ensure that the work concerned is not illegally published.” In other words, posting links to infringing content in a commercial environment amounts to a communication to the public, and is therefore illegal.

For groups like BREIN, the ruling opens up new avenues for anti-piracy action. For sellers of piracy-capable boxes and related IPTV subscriptions across the EU, trouble could lie in wait.

“Copyright protection organization BREIN holds suppliers of IPTV devices responsible for verifying whether their sources for internet TV channels are legal or not. In general, this is not the case,” BREIN said in a statement this week.

“Suppliers advertise that when buying their service you do not have to pay separately for pay-channels for films, TV shows, and sports. Such a compilation costs a fraction of the total sum of subscriptions to the individual channels.”

BREIN says that following the decision of the European Court of Justice last week, commercial suppliers of IPTV boxes are now obliged to verify whether the sources being linked in their devices are authorized by the content providers. If they are not, the seller could be held liable for infringement.

If BREIN’s interpretation of the decision proves correct, sellers of “fully-loaded” Kodi and other IPTV boxes face a minefield of uncertainty.

There is absolutely no way vendors can check every single link contained in the software present in the boxes they sell. Furthermore, those links are often updated automatically, meaning that what is legal on the day they are sold might not be legal when the software updates tomorrow.

But while it’s certainly possible that BREIN’s take on the decision will prove to be correct, actually enforcing the law against hundreds or even thousands of suppliers is likely to prove impossible. Big suppliers are easily targeted though, which may send out a warning.

“BREIN has written letters to suppliers of IPTV subscriptions to warn them that they are required to verify beforehand whether the sources for the IPTV channels they use are legal. If the suppliers are not willing to do so, then BREIN will institute court proceedings,” BREIN says.

However, more often that not “fully loaded” boxes are offered for sale on eBay and Amazon by regular people out to make a few bucks. Taking action against every single one is not realistic.

But even if all infringing boxes were wiped from sale, that wouldn’t stop people selling blank devices. These can be easily setup by the user to stream all of the latest movies, sports and TV shows with a few clicks, rendering a smart supplier immune from liability.

And of course, anyone with VLC Media Player and the ability to Google can find plenty of dedicated IPTV streams available online, without paying anyone a penny.

Phone Call Leaked! All USA People Need to See This! June 2016 New World Order Exposed !

Finally FOX News showing more PROOF and EVIDENCES for MARTIAL LAW and FEMA! Leak!! People of America urgent news!! Public utility! Update to JUNE 2016! Real Scenes! This video is very important! NEW EVIDENCES – NEW PROOF! All American people need to see this! GOV LEAKED! FEMA CAMPS and MARTIAL LAW are coming in 2016!! All Americans need to watch this!! Let’s Share… Share… this video must be shared with max number of people! make your part now, please share it! Because the Government Cover-up! Important: Before JUDGE, watch the whole video. MARTIAL LAW EMINENT APPROACH! MUST SEE!! URGENT VIDEO PUBLIC UTILITY! FEMA CAMPS IS REAL!! OBAMA IS LEAKED!

Phone call leaked! All USA people need to see this! JUNE 2016 NEW WORLD ORDER Exposed! pls share

Medicare Prescriptions Drop After Medical Marijuana Legalized

Big Pharma’s nightmare has come true as Americans are depending less on the pharmaceutical industry and more on medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription medication.

Marijuana is a natural plant that can’t be patented, unlike chemical-made synthetic tablets. Marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain, depression and anxiety. This may be why more are choosing to toke and smoke the herb and less are choosing to swallow pills.

Marijuana is not only a natural, safer alternative, but the prices for pharmaceutical drugs have sky rocketed. Now people are seeking an alternative to “modern medicine” in the form of cannabis.

Research shows states that legalized medical marijuana has caused a sharp decline in the purchasing of prescription meds. Using data on all prescriptions filed by Medicare D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, it was found that the use of prescription drugs was replaced with marijuana for health problems that marijuana could substitute for. For health problems where marijuana could not substitute, like blood-thinners, prescriptions didn’t drop.

“National overall reductions in Medicare program and enrollee spending which covers the cost of prescription medication.

When states implemented medical marijuana laws estimated to be $165.2 million per year in 2013.” – Researchers Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford

The study’s finding’s add more arguments to the debate about whether to legalize marijuana or not for medical purposes. Already 25 states and the nation’s capital have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. That list includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Other States have legalized medical marijuana for limited use including – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Two states –  Florida and Missouri – are expected to vote for medical marijuana legalization in November.

On one hand legalization would save an estimated $470 million in Medicare part D spending if widely available. On the other hand, Big Pharma would lose customers, and as said by George Carlin, they want customers — not cures.

Various drugs have adverse side effects, and some even include suicidal thoughts and death. Not one known death can be attributed to marijuana, and opioid dependency is being decreased by Marijuana.

But could there be benefits to using marijuana? It’s already been revealed that the age old myth that marijuana kills brain cells is indeed false.

The myth was due to experiments where scientist took chimpanzees, strapped them with a gas mask and pumped them full of smoke. The study forgot to take into account that they didn’t allow the chimpanzees to breathe. Which holding your breathe for too long can kill brain cells on it’s own, by not breathing and taking in no oxygen and just smoke this would definitely kill brain cells — but marijuana isn’t to blame.

In fact, according to researchers Marijuana might do the opposite and grow brain cells. Marijuana compounds may also protect the brain from developing the Alzheimer’s disease according to researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego. THC and other chemical compounds found in Marijuana remove amyloid beta proteins from the brain — which are toxins found in Alzheimer’s patients. The THC compounds also reduced cellular inflammation. What other health benefits lie ahead for cannabis users? Only time and more medical research will tell. But to reap its benefits we need to legalize marijuana as it’s still considered a schedule 1 drug by the federal government.

Horrifying moment a taxi driver is surrounded by riot cops and beaten with truncheons

Horrifying moment a taxi driver is surrounded by riot cops and beaten with truncheons on the floor… during a protest about police brutality in Zimbabwe

  • Violent clashes between Zimbabwean police and protesters resulted in 30 arrests as a riot broke out in Harare
  • Demonstrators forced to lie down in dusty roads and battered by truncheons as police use tear gas and dogs
  • Protest over a number of issues including economic hardship, police brutality and Robert Mugabe’s government
  • A journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks before taking their uniforms to wear them
  • Many rioters were young men who make a living from by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses
  • The majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says

Violent clashes between Zimbabwean police and protesters resulted in 30 arrests as a riot broke out over economic hardship, police brutality and Robert Mugabe’s government.

Demonstrators were forced to lie down in the dusty roads as machine gun-wielding officers fired warning shots and rounded up civilians in Harare.

One taxi driver can be seen getting a savage beating from six riot cops, another man has his head stood on by an officer carrying a machine gun and bloodied protesters are pictured running from the mayhem.

As well as a number of economical and political issues affecting workers, the protest was ironically about police brutality in the country.

Savage:Taxi driver surrounded by six riot cops who kick him and beat him with truncheons as another demonstrator escapes the fracas

Savage:Taxi driver surrounded by six riot cops who kick him and beat him with truncheons as another demonstrator escapes the fracas

Down in the dirt: Four police officers in riot gear carrying guns as they force protesters to the ground in Harare

Down in the dirt: Four police officers in riot gear carrying guns as they force protesters to the ground in Harare

Blood on the streets: One protester is helped away from the riots while a child (far right) watches on in horror having been caught up in the action on the way to school 

Blood on the streets: One protester is helped away from the riots while a child (far right) watches on in horror having been caught up in the action on the way to school

Police fire tear gas and water cannons at protesters

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Smoking barrel: A Zimbabwean police officer fires a warning shot as the riot gathers pace in the capital

Smoking barrel: A Zimbabwean police officer fires a warning shot as the riot gathers pace in the capital

Brutal: A protester has his face shoved into the dirt by a machine gun-wielding police officers boot as one of his colleagues goes after another civilian with a truncheon

Brutal: A protester has his face shoved into the dirt by a machine gun-wielding police officers boot as one of his colleagues goes after another civilian with a truncheon

Police in Zimbabwe’s capital have fired tear gas, water cannons and warning shots during riots by minibus drivers and others protesting alleged police harassment.

The violence in Harare, in which 30 people were arrested, came amid a surge in protests in recent weeks because of increasing economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by the government of President Robert Mugabe.

An Associated Press journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks, then take their uniforms and helmets and wear them.

The protesters blocked roads leading into the centre of the city on Monday, forcing many people to walk up to six miles (10km) to get to work.

The violence in Harare, in which 30 people were arrested, came amid a surge in protests in recent weeks because of increasing economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by the government of President Robert Mugabe

The violence in Harare, in which 30 people were arrested, came amid a surge in protests in recent weeks because of increasing economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by the government of President Robert Mugabe

Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in Harare's eastern suburbs

Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in Harare’s eastern suburbs

Rioters threw stones at police and vehicles, and some children on their way to school were caught up in the chaos.

Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in Harare’s eastern suburbs.

Many rioters were young men who cannot find regular employment and make a living from drivers by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.

Some police were seen firing live ammunition into the air to ward off the crowds. They also brought in police dogs.

The drivers’ grievances stem from anger over numerous roadblocks that police sometimes set up in city streets, which drivers allege are to demand bribes.

Police said they had reduced the number of roadblocks after complaints from parliamentarians, tourism operators and others.

Many rioters were young men who cannot find regular employment and make a living from drivers by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.

Many rioters were young men who cannot find regular employment and make a living from drivers by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.

An Associated Press journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks, then take their uniforms and helmets and wear them. A demonstrator, not involved in the attack, can be seen carrying two sticks

An Associated Press journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks, then take their uniforms and helmets and wear them. A demonstrator, not involved in the attack, can be seen carrying two sticks

Burning issue: Mugabe, 92, has ruled the southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980, scoffing at frequent allegations of human rights violations

Burning issue: Mugabe, 92, has ruled the southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980, scoffing at frequent allegations of human rights violations

Thirty people were arrested for inciting the protests, police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said.

“We have information and intelligence on the identities of some criminal elements who are behind the social unrest,” Ms Charamba said at a news conference.

Such acts of defiance and clashes with the police are rare in Zimbabwe, although the government deployed the army against 1998 riots over soaring food prices.

Mugabe, 92, has ruled the southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980, scoffing at frequent allegations of human rights violations.

Frustrations over rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, compounded by dissatisfaction over alleged government corruption and incompetence, have resulted in near-daily protests in recent weeks.

On Friday, protesters burned a warehouse at Beitbridge, a busy border post between Zimbabwe and South Africa, over a Zimbabwean decision to ban a wide range of imports.

Seventeen people appeared in court on Sunday over the Beitbridge protests and were charged with public violence.

Separately, state hospital doctors and other government workers said they will strike over the government’s failure to pay their June salaries on time.

Down and out: Frustrations over rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, compounded by dissatisfaction over alleged government corruption and incompetence, have resulted in near-daily protests in recent week

Down and out: Frustrations over rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, compounded by dissatisfaction over alleged government corruption and incompetence, have resulted in near-daily protests in recent week

Hands up: A protester is surrounded by three riot police officers as he cowers against a wall

Hands up: A protester is surrounded by three riot police officers as he cowers against a wall

Nowhere to go: The drivers' grievances stem from anger over numerous roadblocks that police sometimes set up in city streets, which drivers allege are to demand bribes

Nowhere to go: The drivers’ grievances stem from anger over numerous roadblocks that police sometimes set up in city streets, which drivers allege are to demand bribes

Grounded: Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been pleading with Western countries to unlock financing for Zimbabwe in the form of loans that were halted close to two decades ago

Grounded: Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been pleading with Western countries to unlock financing for Zimbabwe in the form of loans that were halted close to two decades ago

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been pleading with Western countries to unlock financing for Zimbabwe in the form of loans that were halted close to two decades ago.

The financing dried up due to failure to repay debts as well as international sanctions imposed because of concerns over democratic rights.

Some recent political protests have been notable for their brazenness.

Police said they are looking for Lumumba William Matumanje, a former ruling party activist who used an obscenity to denigrate Mugabe while launching his own political party last week.

People have often been sent to jail for such conduct in Zimbabwe.

Last month, video footage showed an anti-government protester shouting in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Harare and haranguing police until they move in and drag him away.

The video shows a protest by activists angry at Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s alleged 18-month stay in a 400 US dollars (£300) a night hotel suite in the capital.

Activist Sten Zvorwadza was charged with threats to commit malicious damage to property and was freed on 200 US dollars (£150) bail.

The majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says.

Rock bottom: The majority of Zimbabwe's citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says

Rock bottom: The majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says

Video: Zimbabwe police brutality exposed

In yet another horrific video that shows the brutality of Zimbabwean police, a woman is battered by a group of police officers while one of the cops – a senior officer – holds her child.

 

In the video- which has gone viral on social media – about a dozen truncheon-wielding officers stationed with a couple of service trucks are seen beating up unarmed civilians.

The video was captured from a police truck, apparently by another officer.

It is not clear where the video was captured as the country recently had several incidences of police confronting civilians and brutalising them during the various protests that took place.

 

NO COPYRIGHT TROLLS, YOUR EVIDENCE ISN’T FLAWLESS

OPINION

If you get a letter through the post accusing you of Internet piracy, you must be guilty. That’s the message from most copyright trolls and infuriatingly, even some ‘neutral’ lawyers commenting on these cases. But while it might seem daunting, putting up a fight is not only the right thing to do, but can also cause claimants to back off.

xmastrollEarlier this month TF broke the news that Sky Broadband in the UK were sending letters out to some of their customers, warning them they’re about to be accused of downloading and sharing movies without permission.

When they arrive the threats will come from Golden Eye International (GEIL), the company behind the ‘Ben Dover’ porn brand that has already targeted hundreds of people with allegations of Internet piracy.

“It’s likely that Golden Eye International will contact you directly and may ask you to pay them compensation,” the ISP warned.

In fact, GEIL will definitely ask for money, largely based on their insistence that the evidence they hold is absolutely irrefutable. It’s the same tune they’ve been singing for years now, without ever venturing to back up their claims in court. Sadly, other legal professionals are happy to sing along with them.

“Don’t do anything illegal and you won’t get a letter,” intellectual property specialist Iain Connor told The Guardian last week.

“Golden Eye will only have gotten details of people that they can prove downloaded content and so whether the ‘invoice’ demand is reasonable will depend on how much they downloaded that infringed copyright material.”

Quite aside from the fact that none of these cases are about downloading copyrighted material (they’re about uploading), one has to presume that Connor isn’t personally familiar with details of these cases otherwise he would’ve declared that interest. Secondly, he is absolutely wrong.

Companies like GEIL sometimes get it wrong, the anti-piracy trackers they use get things wrong, and ISPs get things wrong too. An IP address is NOT a person but innocent parties have to go to huge lengths to prove that. IT worker Harri Salminen did just that and this week finally managed to publicly clear his family’s name.

It started two years ago when his wife – the Internet account payer – was accused by an anti-piracy outfit (unconnected to GEIL) of pirating on a massive scale.

“They claimed that thousands of music tracks had been illegally distributed from our Internet connection,” Salminen told local media.

“The letter came addressed to my wife and she became very anxious, since she didn’t understand what this was all about. According to the letter, the matter was going to the court and we were advised to make contact to agree on compensation.”

Sound familiar? Read on.

The Salminen family has two children so took time to ensure they hadn’t uploaded anything illegally. Harri Salminen, who works in the IT industry, established that they had not, so began to conduct his own investigation. Faced with similar “irrefutable” IP address-based evidence to that presented in all of these ‘troll’ cases, what could’ve possibly gone wrong?

Attached to the letter of claim was a page from Salminen’s ISP which detailed the name of his wife, the IP address from where the piracy took place, and a date of infringement. This kind of attachment is common in such cases and allows trolls to imply that their evidence is somehow endorsed by their target’s ISP.

Then Salminen struck gold. On the day that the alleged infringement took place the IT worker was operating from home while logged into his company’s computer systems. Knowing that his company keeps logs of the IP addresses accessing the system, Salminen knew he could prove which IP address he’d been using on the day.

“I looked into my employer’s system logs for IP-addresses over several weeks and I was able to show that our home connection’s IP address at the time of the alleged act was quite different from the IP address mentioned in the letter,” he explained.

So what caused Salminen’s household to be wrongly identified? Well, showing how things can go wrong at any point, it appears that there was some kind of screw-up between the anti-piracy company and Salminen’s ISP.

Instead of identifying the people who had the IP address at the time of the actual offense, the ISP looked up the people using the address when the inquiry came in.

“The person under employment of the ISP inputs a date, time, and IP-address to the system based on a court order,” anti-piracy group TTVK now explains.

“And of course, when a human is doing something, there is always a possibility for an error. But even one error is too much.”

Saliminen says that it was only his expertise in IT that saved him from having to battle it out in court, even though his family was entirely innocent. Sadly, those about to be accused by Golden Eye probably won’t have access to similar resources.

“We have only written to those account holders for whom we have evidence of copyright infringement,” Golden Eye’s Julian Becker said confidently last week.

Trouble is, Golden Eye only has an IP address and the name of the account holder. They have no evidence that person is the actual infringer, even presuming there hasn’t been a screw-up like the one detailed above.

“We have written to account holders accusing them of copyright infringement, even though it’s entirely possible they personally did nothing wrong and shouldn’t have to pay us a penny,” is perhaps what he should’ve said.

But that’s not only way too frank but a sure-fire way of punching a huge hole in GEIL’s bottom line. And for a troll like GEIL, that would be a disaster.

ROUTING ‘FEATURE’ CAN EXPOSE VPN USERS’ REAL IP-ADDRESSES

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A VPN is generally touted as an ideal tool to remain anonymous online, but this is more easily said than done. This week ProstoVPN revealed a widespread issue that can in many cases expose the true IP-addresses of users, unless proper action is taken.

ip-addressA few weeks ago we covered a security flaw which allowed attackers to uncover the real IP-addresses of VPN users, if their providers allow forwarding on their network.

The news was picked up widely as it affected millions of users. However, it is just one of the many possible exploits VPN users are facing.

This week another issue was highlighted by ProstoVPN. This “vulnerability” affects both users with a direct connection and those with routers that have UPnP port forwarding enabled.

The issue boils down to a rather basic network routing feature where UDP listening software (e.g. torrent clients) respond to packets that are sent to the user’s ISP IP-address, through the VPN interface.

This means that a potential attacker can link a VPN IP-address to a user’s ISP IP-address.

The problem

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The issue can affect users on all operating systems and is not always easy to fix on the user end. VPN providers with custom software can address it, but with the standard OpenVPN software users have to take action themselves.

While the scope of the issue is large, as many users and providers have yet to address the issue, it requires quite a bit of effort to carry out an attack. It basically requires the attacker to send UDP packets to the entire Internet.

In addition, there’s the possibility of false positives which means that it’s harder to pinpoint the exact ISP IP-address. With this in mind, it seems unlikely that monitoring companies will attempt to expose every BitTorrent user with a VPN.

ProstoVPN informs TorrentFreak that they alerted 11 providers, and two confirmed that they have fixed the issue with a software update.

“Information about this ‘feature’ was sent to 11 VPN providers and only five of them replied: Private Internet Access and Perfect Privacy have released updated software which blocks incoming connections.”

Not all providers were equally responsive and one suggested that the issue should be addressed by the users. There is some truth to that, but the same provider does protect its users against similar problems on the user-side, such as DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks.

While there’s no need for outright panic, it is a good development that these type of problems are being highlighted. It prompts VPN providers to take action and users to remain vigilant.

That said, it also shows that 100% anonymity is pretty much impossible.

More details on the routing “feature” and its consequences are available inProstoVPN’s article and in the statements published by Perfect Privacy and Private Internet Access.

Update: TorGuard informs TF that they were one of the notified VPN providers and that they’ve addressed the issue.

Update: CyberGhost tells TF that their Windows and Mac app are not affected by this issue. The issue was fixed two years ago.

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