Category: Internet News



PC World

mt gox bitcoin protestTim Hornyak




Hackers attacked the personal blog of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles on Sunday and posted what they claim is a ledger showing a balance of some 950,000 bitcoins based on records they obtained from the defunct exchange for the virtual currency.

They said the sum contradicts Mt. Gox’s claim in a Japanese bankruptcy protection filing Feb. 28 that it had lost about 850,000 bitcoins.

Neither Karpeles nor Mt. Gox officials could immediately be reached to verify the claims.

Karpeles has maintained a low profile since the filing in Tokyo District Court. Mt. Gox, which pulled the plug on its website three days before the court filing, had announced that about 750,000 customer bitcoins it held are missing along with 100,000 of its own bitcoins and $27.3 million in customer deposits.

Karpeles’ blog was titled “Magical Tux in Japan—Geekness brought me to Japan!” Karpeles, who is French, often used the nickname “MagicalTux” when posting on public message or chat forums. His blog went offline on Sunday shortly after it was attacked.

mt. gox ceo blog
A screenshot of Karpeles’ hacked blog. (Click to enlarge; strong language.)

Karpeles did not immediately answer a query sent to his personal email address.

The attackers claim to have obtained database records containing transaction details from Mt. Gox. They wrote they purposely withheld users’ personal data. Mt. Gox had as many as 1 million customers as of December.

The data included a screenshot of what appears to be an internal SQL database administration tool, Karpeles’ CV and a Windows executable called “TibanneBackOffice,” among many others. Mt. Gox is a subsidiary of Tibanne, a company owned by Karpeles.

The release of the data adds to the mysterious circumstances around Mt. Gox, which at one time was the largest exchange for buying and selling bitcoin.

Mt. Gox’s demise has enraged its out-of-pocket customers as efforts continue to derive clues from bitcoin’s public ledger, called the blockchain, that might indicate the fate of its virtual currency holdings.


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S.C.G. News

Posted by S.C.G. February 12, 2014

Rather than grovel and beg for the U.S. government to respect our privacy, these innovators have taken matters into their own hands, and their work may change the playing field completely.

People used to assume that the United States government was held in check by the constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and which demands due process in criminal investigations, but such illusions have evaporated in recent years. It turns out that the NSA considers itself above the law in every respect and feels entitled to spy on anyone anywhere in the world without warrants, and without any real oversight. Understandably these revelations shocked the average citizen who had been conditioned to take the government’s word at face value, and the backlash has been considerable. The recent “Today We Fight Back” campaign to protest the NSA’s surveillance practices shows that public sentiment is in the right place. Whether these kinds of petitions and protests will have any real impact on how the U.S. government operates is questionable (to say the least), however some very smart people have decided not to wait around and find out. Instead they’re focusing on making the NSA’s job impossible. In the process they may fundamentally alter the way the internet operates.


Decentralized Social Media –

Anyone who was paying attention at all over the past several years knows that many of the top social media websites Facebook and Google have cooperated with the NSA’s surveillance program under PRISM, handing over the personal information that they’ve been hoarding over the years. Many of us have grown to despise these companies but continue to use their services due to the fact that no real competitors have presented themselves. Yes there are a few sites oriented towards the anti-government niche but nothing that has the potential of opening up the kind of reach that’s possible on Facebook or Google plus. The underlying problem here is that the server technology to run a site even a fraction of the size of Facebook is highly expensive, and to build and maintain a code base that can handle millions of users requires a full time team of highly skilled programmers. What this means is that anyone who wants to launch a real competitor to these sites would have needed to be well funded and have a sustainable business model. But what if someone came up with a system that removed the need for massive centralized servers? That’s just what is working to accomplish. is a decentralized social media system in development based on bittorrent and Ember.js which completely cuts the server out of the equation and allows users to build social media networks without exposing their personal information to “authorities” or data mining companies.


Getsync Decentralized and Encrypted File Sharing – A Dropbox Alternative

With the revelations that data in Apple’s iCloud was available to the NSA as part of PRISM it has become clear that any centralized file sharing service is vulnerable, and any information that you upload to services like dropbox may end up being inspected by government agents. The folks at Bittorrent didn’t like that idea, so they decided to build a viable alternative, one that doesn’t depend on a centralized server at all and encrypts your data to make it difficult if not impossible to open without your permission. The service claims to already have amassed over 2 million users. Interestingly the social media project uses Getsync to manage the social media data on your computer.



Decentralized & Encrypted Communications – Bittorrent Chat

Don’t like the fact that the NSA has been rummaging through your skype chats, emails and other instant messaging services? Well if you were a bit tech savvy you might have opted to set up your own mumble server or IRC channel, but this route will likely never be approachable for the average citizen and the reliance on a centralized server brings security vulnerabilities. However work is currently underway on a protocol that will completely remove the need for a centralized server and cut the NSA out of the loop entirely.


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– Jon Queally, staff writer

Not content to wait for action at the federal level, those opposed to the ongoing mass surveillance of the NSA and other agencies are speaking out and pushing laws at the state level to ensure privacy rights are protected. (Image: about the government’s increasing surveillance powers but unimpressed with the congressional response in Washington so far, state lawmakers from both major political parties are now taking it upon themselves to protect the online and communication privacy of their constituents.

Meanwhile, individuals and privacy groups are planning their own grassroots response to mass surveillance, hoping to repeat past victories by harnessing the power of digital communications to ensure they are adequately protected from government overreach.

As the Associated Press reports Wednesday, efforts are now underway “in at least 14 states are a direct message to the federal government: If you don’t take action to strengthen privacy, we will.”

According to AP:

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have joined in proposing the measures, reflecting the unusual mix of political partnerships that have arisen since the NSA revelations that began in May. Establishment leadership has generally favored the programs, while conservative limited government advocates and liberal privacy supporters have opposed them.

Supporters say the measures are needed because technology has grown to the point that police can digitally track someone’s every move.

Devices such as license plate readers and cellphone trackers “can tell whether you stayed in a motel that specializes in hourly rates, or you stopped at tavern that has nude dancers,” said David Fidanque, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.

“It’s one thing to know you haven’t violated the law, but it’s another thing to know you haven’t had every one of your moves tracked,” he said.

Next week, on February 11, privacy advocates and online freedom groups are mobilizing against NSA and other government surveillance in a day of action they’ve dubbed ‘The Day We Fight Back.’

According to Katitza Rodriguez at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the groups organizing the action, those participating will be demanding “an end to mass surveillance in every country, by every state, regardless of boundaries or politics.”

Galvanized by what they see as 13 Principles of internet and communication freedoms, activists will use the day to call attention to those goals, lobby on their behalf with their representatives, and declare an end to the encroaching, unaccountable, and unregulated surveillance apparatus.

“The Principles spellout just why mass surveillance is a violation of human rights,” explained Rodriguez, and they “give sympathetic lawmakers and judges a list of fixes they could apply to the lawless Internet spooks. On the day we fight back, we want the world to sign onto those principles. We want politicians to pledge to uphold them. We want the world to see we care.”


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freespeechtv freespeechtv

Published on Feb 5, 2014

Thom Hartmann shares how the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee has created its own high speed internet service.

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  • Reding: Member states are stalling on EU data protection reforms (Photo:

Snowden scandal to cost US cloud companies billions

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Dutch court rules in favor of unblocking Pirate Bay as ban ‘ineffective’

Published time: January 28, 2014 17:28
Image from flickr user@campuspartymexico

Image from flickr user@campuspartymexico

People in the Netherlands will soon have access to The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most censored file-sharing websites, as a court in The Hague ruled that Dutch ISPs need to stop blocking the site after the ban proved ineffective against piracy.

The Court of The Hague released its verdict that two leading ISPs operating in the country – XS4All and Ziggo – no longer have to block access to file sharing website The Pirate Bay.

“In applying the case law from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the Court of Appeal held that an access provider is not under an obligation to take measures that are disproportional and/or ineffective” according to the legal representative of XS4ALL.

The court’s verdict was based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which includes the “freedom to conduct a business” and “right to property.” Entrepreneurial freedom overrides property rights, the court ruled.

The Pirate Bay was blocked by Ziggo in 2010 after anti-piracy group Stichting Brein, which represents copyright holders in the Netherlands, went to court, citing the file-sharing website’s copyright violations. In 2012, XS4ALL joined Ziggo to appeal the court’s previous ruling. Brein took the case to court again, winning a full trial.

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Google will buy London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMindThe Information reports that the acquisition price was more than $500 million, and that Facebook was also in talks to buy the startup late last year. We’ve emailed Google and DeepMind for comment. The acquisition was originally confirmed by Google to Re/code.

Google’s hiring of DeepMind will help it compete against other major tech companies as they all try to gain business advantages by focusing on deep learning. For example, Facebook recently hired NYU professor Yann LeCunn to lead its new artificial intelligence lab, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is now working on deep learning, and Yahoo recently acquired photo analysis startup LookFlow to lead its new deep learning group.

DeepMind was founded by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a former child prodigy in chess, Skype and Kazaa developer Jaan Tallin, and researcher Shane Legg.

This is the latest move by Google to fill out its roster of artificial intelligence experts and, according to Re/code, the acquisition was reportedly led by Google CEO Larry Page. If all three of DeepMind’s founders work for Google, they will join inventor, entrepreneur, author, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who was hired in 2012 as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing.

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***Presently there are approximately 143 Google mergers and  acquisitions listed.  I  have  only provided  the  most recent 43.  More  can be seen Here on Wikipedia***

~Desert Rose~


List of mergers and acquisitions by Google

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Google’s logo

Google is a computer software and a web search engine company that has been acquiring, on average, more than one company per week since 2010.[1] The table below is an incomplete list of acquisitions, with each acquisition listed being for the respective company in its entirety, unless otherwise specified. The acquisition date listed is the date of the agreement between Google and the acquisition subject. The price of each acquisition is listed in US dollars because Google is headquartered in the United States. If the price of an acquisition is unlisted, then it is undisclosed. If the Google service that is derived from the acquired company is known, then it is also listed here.

Google has acquired over 100 companies, with its largest acquisition being the purchase of Motorola Mobility, a mobile device manufacturing company, for $12.5 billion. Most of the firms acquired by Google are based in the United States, and, in turn, most of these are based in or around the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, Google has divested itself of three [2] business units: Frommers, which was sold back to Arthur Frommer in April 2012;[3] SketchUp, which was sold to Trimble in April 2012;[4] and Google Radio Automation, which was sold to WideOrbit in 2009.[5]

Many Google products originated as services provided by companies that Google has since acquired. For example, Google’s first acquisition was the Usenet company Deja News, and its services became Google Groups. Similarly, Google acquired Dodgeball, a social networking service company, and eventually replaced it with Google Latitude. Other acquisitions include web application company JotSpot, which became Google Sites; Voice over IP company GrandCentral, which became Google Voice; and video hosting service company Next New Networks, which became YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development Group.

Following the acquisition of Israel-based startup Waze in June 2013, Google submitted a “10-Q” filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that revealed that the corporation spent US$1.3 billion on acquisitions during the first half of 2013, with US$966 million of that total going to Waze.[6]

100 August 1, 2011 Dealmap One deal a day service  USA Google Offers [121]
101 August 15, 2011 Motorola Mobility Mobile device manufacturer  USA $12,500,000,000 Android, Google TV, Patent portfolio [122]
102 September 7, 2011 Zave Networks Digital coupons  USA Google Offers [123]
103 September 8, 2011 Zagat Restaurant reviews  USA $151,000,000 Google Places, Google Maps [124][125][126]
104 September 19, 2011 DailyDeal One deal a day service  GER $114,000,000 Google Offers [127]
105 October 11, 2011 SocialGrapple Social media analytics service  CAN Google+ [128]
106 November 10, 2011 Apture Instantaneous search  USA Google Search [129]
107 November 14, 2011 Katango Social circle organization  USA Google+ [130]
108 December 9, 2011 RightsFlow Music rights management  USA YouTube [131]
109 December 13, 2011 Clever Sense Mobile apps  USA Android [132]
110 March 16, 2012 Milk, Inc Social networking service  USA Google+ [133]
111 April 2, 2012 TxVia Online Payment  USA Google Wallet [134]
112 June 4, 2012 Meebo Instant Messaging  USA $100,000,000 Google Hangouts [135]
113 June 5, 2012 Quickoffice Productivity Suite  USA Google Docs [136]
114 July 20, 2012 Sparrow Mobile apps  FRA $25,000,000 Gmail [137][138][139]
115 2012 WIMM Labs Android powered smartwatches  USA Android [140]
116 August 1, 2012 Wildfire Interactive Social media marketing  USA $450,000,000 Google, Google+ [141]
117 September 7, 2012 Security  ESP Google [142][143]
118 September 17, 2012 Nik Software, Inc. Photography  USA Google, Android [144][145][146]
119 October 1, 2012 Viewdle Facial recognition  UKR $45,000,000 Android [147][148]
120 November 28, 2012 Incentive Targeting Inc. Digital coupons  USA Google Offers [149][150]
121 November 30, 2012 BufferBox Package delivery  CAN $17,000,000 Google Shopping, Android [151][152]
122 February 6, 2013 Channel Intelligence Product ecommerce  USA $125,000,000 Google Shopping
123 March 12, 2013 DNNresearch Inc. Deep Neural Networks  CAN Google, Google X [153]
124 March 15, 2013 Talaria Technologies Cloud computing  USA Google Cloud [154]
125 April 12, 2013 Behavio Social Prediction  USA Google Now [155]
126 April 23, 2013 Wavii Natural Language Processing  USA $30,000,000 Google Knowledge Graph [156]
127 May 23, 2013 Makani Power Airborne wind turbines  USA Google X [157]
128 June 11, 2013 Waze GPS navigation software  ISR $966,000,000 Google Maps [6]
129 September 16, 2013 Bump Mobile software  USA Android [158]
130 October 2, 2013 Flutter Gesture recognition technology  USA $40,000,000 Google, Android, Google X [159]
131 October 22, 2013 FlexyCore DroidBooster App for Android  FRA $23,000,000 Android [160]
132 December 2, 2013 Humanoid robots  JPN Google X [161]
133 December 3, 2013 Industrial Perception Computer Vision  USA Google X [161]
134 December 4, 2013 Redwood Robotics Robotic Arms  USA Google X [161]
135 December 5, 2013 Meka Robotics Robots  USA Google X [161]
136 December 6, 2013 Holomni Robotic wheels  USA Google X [161]
137 December 7, 2013 Bot & Dolly Robotic cameras  USA Google X [161]
138 December 8, 2013 Autofuss Ads and Design  USA Google X [161]
139 December 10, 2013 Boston Dynamics Robotics  USA Google X [162][161]
140 January 4, 2014 Bitspin Timely App for Android   CHE Android [163]
141 January 13, 2014 Nest Home automation  USA $3,200,000,000 [164][165]
142 January 15, 2014 Impermium Internet security  USA Google+ [166]
143 January 26, 2014 DeepMind Technologies Artificial Intelligence  UK $400,000,000 [167]


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Google buys British artificial intelligence firm DeepMind

Google has bought UK start-up DeepMind for a rumoured $400 million

Google logo

Photo: AFP

Google is buying London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies, according to reports.

Technology news website Re/code, which first reported the deal, said the price was $400 million (£242m), which would make it Google’s largest European acquisition so far. Other reports suggest the acquisition price was closer to $500 million.

Google declined to confirm the figure, while privately-held DeepMind was not immediately available for comment.

DeepMind was founded by 37-year-old neuroscientist and former teenage chess prodigy Demis Hassabis, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.

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Baby-faced teen’s malware eyed in Target data breach

This baby-faced teen is a key suspect in developing the software that was used in the massive security breach that hit as many as 110 million Target shoppers last holiday season, according to a shocking new report.

In addition, the malicious software, or malware, has infected the payment systems of six other retailers — a possible sign that a half-dozen other attacks are underway, a California cyber-security firm said in the report.

The firm, IntelCrawler, which has tracked the malware’s architect for months, said on Friday that its main suspect is a 17-year-old with “roots” in St.Petersburg, Russia, who goes by the online nickname “ree4.”

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Mexican couple arrested crossing into the US in connection with Target credit card breach which affected 100million customers

  • McAllen, Texas Police arrested Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, on Sunday
  • The couple were crossing into the U.S. with credit cards believed to contain stolen account information from Target customers
  • An estimated 100million Target customers had their personal information released in a December security breach

By Ashley Collman


Two Mexican nationals were arrested in south Texas yesterday in connection to the December Target credit card breach which compromised the personal bank information of an estimated 100million customers.

McAllen, Texas police arrested 27-year-old Mary Carmen Garcia and 28-year-old Daniel Guardiola Dominguez as they were trying to cross into the U.S. from Reynosa, Mexico. Both are from Monterrey, Mexico.

Police say the couple crossed into the U.S. last weekend with 100 fraudulent cards and spent tens of thousands of dollars and brought an addition 96 cards with them on Sunday.

Arrested: Police arrested 27-year-old Mary Carmen Garcia and 28-year-old Daniel Guardiola Dominguez trying to cross into the U.S. Sunday with credit card information believed to have been acquired in a December security breach of Target
Arrested: Police arrested 27-year-old Mary Carmen Garcia and 28-year-old Daniel Guardiola Dominguez trying to cross into the U.S. Sunday with credit card information believed to have been acquired in a December security breach of Target

Arrested: Police arrested 27-year-old Mary Carmen Garcia (left) and 28-year-old Daniel Guardiola Dominguez (right)  trying to cross into the U.S. Sunday with credit card information believed to have been acquired in a December security breach of Target

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Russian teen misidentified in Target breach, expert says

  • Target Breach-ap.jpg

    The Russian teenager identified as the author behind the software used in the security breach that hit Target Corp. during the crucial holiday season may be incorrect. (AP)

A cyber security firm that fingered a Russian teen for the malware used to steal 70 million Target customers’ credit card numbers appears to be backing off, but not quite backing down.

Last week, California-based IntelCrawler named 17-year-old Sergey Tarasov as the kid behind the massive breach, saying he had “roots” in St. Petersburg and goes by the online nickname “ree4.” Tarasov was subsequently identified in numerous media reports. But in an update to its report released Monday, IntelCrawler said another author crafted the code, though it still accused Tarasov of playing a role in the breach.

“Three days ago, IntelCrawler researchers claimed that they had found out who is the brains behind the malware used in the Target breach,” security expert Brian Krebs told in an email. “A couple of hours ago, IntelCrawler changed their version of the events, publishing data that links another Russian VK profile to the affair, this time Rinat Shabayev.”

IntelCrawler had originally released the name of Sergey Tarasov, which Krebs says was misspelled as Taraspov. While IntelCrawler has revised its initial report, the company still believes Tarasov is connected to the malware.

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– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

In a decision that may “serve as a sorry memorial to the corporate abrogation of free speech,” a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on “net neutrality.”

Image: Free Press Net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all content the same. Internet freedom group Free Press explains that with net neutrality, ISPs “may not discriminate between different kinds of online content and apps. It guarantees a level playing field for all websites and Internet technologies.”

Reuters reports that during oral argument in the lawsuit brought by Verizon Communications Inc,

Verizon’s lawyer said the regulations violated the company’s right to free speech and stripped control of what its networks transmit and how.

Ahead of the ruling Josh Levy of Free Press warned that “If Verizon gets its way, the FCC’s rules protecting Internet users from corporate abuse will disappear.”

Tuesday’s ruling siding with Verizon “is a game-changer,” business and technology site Gigaom reports,

because it upsets the FCC’s current practice of requiring broadband internet providers to act akin to “common carriers.” In plain English, this means that they have had to behave in a similar way to phone companies and not give special preference to one type of call (or traffic) over another, even though the FCC’s authority to regulate the broadband providers was not clear cut.

Net neutrality advocates are calling Tuesday’s ruling “disappointing,” and are warning that big telecommunications companies will be able to turn what was a move towards an open Internet into “something that looks like cable TV.”

The ruling “is poised to end the free, open, and uncensored Internet that we have come to rely on,” former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, special adviser to advocacy group Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Initiative, said in a statement.

Craig Aaron, President and CEO of Free Press, issued a statement saying that “ruling means that Internet users will be pitted against the biggest phone and cable companies—and in the absence of any oversight, these companies can now block and discriminate against their customers’ communications at will.”

“The compromised Open Internet Order struck down today left much to be desired, but it was a step toward maintaining Internet users’ freedom to go where they wanted, when they wanted, and communicate freely online. Now, just as Verizon promised it would in court, the biggest broadband providers will race to turn the open and vibrant Web into something that looks like cable TV. They’ll establish fast lanes for the few giant companies that can afford to pay exorbitant tolls and reserve the slow lanes for everyone else,” Aaron added.

“Without prompt corrective action by the Commission to reclassify broadband, this awful ruling will serve as a sorry memorial to the corporate abrogation of free speech,” Copps added.

The FCC may appeal the ruling.


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Anyone with Google+ account can submit changes to ‘verified’ business listings for approval – but target site owner denies involvement

Redlands B&B hijacked
Mass Google+ hotel listing hijack affected big name hotels and bed and breakfasts a like.

Thousands of hotel listings on Google Maps and Google+ have been hijacked to point to an external commercial site, leading to allegations of an ‘inside job’.

The official Google+ pages of hotels and guest houses across the globe including the US and UK have had details, including the external web address for their pages, changed by an unknown third party. That has effectively “poisoned” search results for those properties, because the Google+ listings are used to populate Google Maps listings and Google search results, as well as other Google services.

The web addresses listed were altered to point to a third-party booking service.

In one example, “the URLs for the hotel’s official website leads to “” rather than the hotel’s actual page here within the domain,” said Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land who discovered the hijacks.

The majority of the verified listings were altered to direct visitors to websites and, both of which then redirect to the third-party booking service, or to hotel pages within the Roomstobook websites.

“We were not involved in the hijackings and we are dealing with the fallout. We reported the redirect issue to Google when we spotted it on 8 January,” Karim Mawani, director of told the Guardian.

“Because of the backlinks [from the Google+ pages through the .info domains to the hotelswhiz site] we have been penalised by Google and our site has been paralysed, so we are victims here,” he said.

Mawani said that he and his company didn’t know what or who carried out the modifications to the Google+ listings.

A search of Google+ listings also showed the domain being used, with over 4,000 listings affected in total.

Anyone can attempt a change

The Guardian has confirmed that anyone with a Google+ account – which can be obtained by registering a Gmail email – can submit a change to any detail of a Google+ Local page, whether verified or not, including the listed website address, phone number, physical address or name of the place. Users can also mark the place as closed, as a duplicate or flag inappropriate reviews or photos.

Google+ Local hijack
Anyone with a Google+ account can submit changes to business and place listings.

However once submitted, the change must be reviewed before being implemented on the listing.

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