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Cellphones

In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License 207

Posted by timothy
from the search-incident-to-arrest dept.
New submitter dubner writes Simply hand the law enforcement officer your mobile phone. That's what you can do in Iowa rather than "digging through clutter in your glove compartment for an insurance card." And soon your driver's license will be available on your phone too, according to a story in the (Des Moines Register). Iowans will soon be able to use a mobile app on their smartphones as their official driver's license issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Some marvelous quotes in TFA: "The new app should be highly secure ... People will use a pin number for verification." And "Branstad (Iowa governor)... noted that even Iowa children are now working on digital development projects." A raft of excuses ("battery's dead") and security problems come to mind; how would you implement such a system?
Censorship

MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin 416

Posted by timothy
from the where-are-the-right-lines dept.
jIyajbe writes MIT is indefinitely removing retired physics faculty member Walter Lewin's online lectures from MIT OpenCourseWare and online MITx courses from edX, the online learning platform co-founded by MIT, following a determination that Dr. Lewin engaged in online sexual harassment in violation of MIT policies. For an example of Lewin's colorful style, see this YouTube video. MIT has also revoked Lewin's title as professor emeritus, after the school determined that he "had sexually harassed at least one student online."
Canada

Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches 104

Posted by timothy
from the eh?-speak-up-sonny dept.
An anonymous reader writes In a surprising decision, a split Supreme Court of Canada ruled this morning that police can search cellphones without a warrant incident to an arrest. The majority established some conditions, but ultimately ruled that it could navigate the privacy balance by establishing some safeguards with the practice. Michael Geist notes that a strongly worded dissent disagreed, emphasizing the privacy implications of access to cellphones and the need for judicial pre-authorization as the best method of addressing the privacy implications. The U.S. Supreme Court's June 2014 decision in Riley addressed similar issues and ruled that a warrant is needed to search a phone.
Government

Army Building an Airport Just For Drones 48

Posted by timothy
from the first-part-of-the-plan dept.
schwit1 writes The Army's ever-growing use of unmanned aerial systems has gotten to the point where two of the most commonly used UAS are getting their own airport. The service's Corps of Engineers at Fort Worth, Texas, has awarded a $33 million contract to SGS to build a 150-acre unmanned aircraft launch and recovery complex at Fort Bliss for Grey Eagle and Shadow UAS. In related news, the FAA has just cleared 4 companies (Trimble Navigation Limited, VDOS Global, Clayco Inc. and Woolpert Inc.) to use drones commercially, for purposes such as site inspection and aerial surveys. (A lot of drones are already in use, of course, but the FAA doesn't like it.)
Transportation

California Sues Uber Over Practices 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the thanks-but-no-thanks dept.
mpicpp writes with news that California is the latest government to file a lawsuit against Uber. "California prosecutors on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Uber over the ridesharing company's background checks and other allegations, adding to the popular startup's worldwide legal woes. San Francisco County District Attorney George Gascon, meanwhile, said Uber competitor Lyft agreed to pay $500,000 and change some of its business practices to settle its own lawsuit. Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey partnered with Gascon in a probe of the nascent ridesharing industry. A third company — Sidecar — is still under investigation and could face a lawsuit of its own if it can't reach an agreement with prosecutors. Uber faces similar legal issues elsewhere as it tries to expand in cities, states and countries around the world. The companies have popular smartphone apps that allow passengers to order rides in privately driven cars instead of taxis."
United States

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the drone-free-zone dept.
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.
Piracy

Australia Pushes Ahead With Website Blocking In Piracy Fight 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the shut-it-down dept.
angry tapir writes As part of its crackdown on unauthorized downloading of copyright material, the Australian government will push ahead with the introduction of a scheme that will allow rights holders to apply for court orders to force ISPs to block websites. (Previously Slashdot noted that the Australian government had raised such a scheme as a possibility).
Cellphones

Court Bans Sale of Xiaomi Smartphones In India 40

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-phone-for-you dept.
hypnosec writes The Delhi High Court has banned Xiaomi and India online retailer Flipkart from selling any handsets that Ericsson claim are violating patents. The court has also asked Xiaomi and its agents to refrain from making, assembling, importing or selling any devices which infringe the patents in question. Xiaomi says: "We haven’t received an official note from the Delhi High Court. However, our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have. India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with India laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably."
DRM

Apple DRM Lawsuit Loses Last Plaintiff, but Judge Rules Against Dismissal 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-begins-the-search dept.
UnknowingFool writes: In the Apple DRM lawsuit, the last plaintiff in the case has been disqualified. However, due to the number of potential consumers affected, the judge has denied Apple's motion to dismiss. The plaintiffs' lawyers will have to find a qualified plaintiff. To recap, the suit lost both plaintiffs in the last week when Apple reported to the judge that their iPods were not eligible (iPods must be purchased between Sept 2006 and May 2009). The first plaintiff withdrew when all her iPods were found to be outside the time period. The second plaintiff produced one iPod that was not eligible but two others that were eligible; however, Apple challenged the two eligible ones as the plaintiff could not prove she purchased them. They were purchased by her ex-husband's law firm. Since one of the suit's main claims was that the price of the iPod was raised due to Apple's actions, it was important to establish that she purchased them.

At the heart of the case is that Apple's use of DRM harmed customers by raising the price of the iPod and that Apple removed other competitor's music from the iPod — namely RealPlayer's Harmony music files. Apple does not dispute that it removed RealPlayer's files, but contends it was done for security reasons as RealPlayer was able to get the music files onto the iPod by posing as Apple FairPlay files. In testimony, Steve Jobs called RealPlayer's move "a hack" and there was considerable discussion at the time."
Piracy

Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the overstaying-its-welcome dept.
An anonymous reader writes: We are on the second day since The Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish police. While it's still unclear how hard the site was hit, not everyone is mourning its troubles. Peter Sunde, one of the well-known founders of TPB, wrote, "The Pirate Bay has been raided, again. That happened over 8 years ago last time. That time, a lot of people went out to protest and rally in the streets. Today few seem to care. And I'm one of them." He paints a rather crusty picture: "The site was ugly, full of bugs, old code and old designs. It never changed except for one thing – the ads. More and more ads were filling the site, and somehow when it felt unimaginable to make these ads more distasteful, they somehow ended up even worse." Adding to that, the plan had always been to pull the plug after 10 years, so others could take over. However, when that day came last year, the site remained online. The big question that remains right now is whether The Pirate Bay will make another comeback, or if this is indeed the end. Peter seems to believe that the latter may be the case, but that others will fill the gap.
Government

Feds Plan For 35 Agencies To Collect, Share, Use Health Records of Americans 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-a-party-and-everyone's-invited dept.
cold fjord writes: The Weekly Standard reports, "This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which details the efforts of some 35 departments and agencies of the federal government and their roles in the plan to 'advance the collection, sharing, and use of electronic health information to improve health care, individual and community health, and research.' ... Now that HHS has publicly released the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, the agency is seeking the input from the public before implementation. The plan is subject to two-month period of public comment before finalization. The comment period runs through February 6, 2015." Among the many agencies that will be sharing records besides Health and Human Services are: Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Justice and Bureau of Prison, Department of Labor, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Personnel Management, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The Internet

Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the legal-hotspots dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Benny Evangelista reports at the San Francisco Chronicle that a class-action suit has been filed in District Court in San Francisco on behalf of Toyer Grear and daughter Joycelyn Harris, claiming that Comcast is "exploiting them for profit" by using their home router as part of a nationwide network of public hotspots. Comcast is trying to compete with major cell phone carriers by creating a public Xfinity WiFi Hotspot network in 19 of the country's largest cities by activating a second high-speed Internet channel broadcast from newer-model wireless gateway modems that residential customers lease from the company.

Although Comcast has said its subscribers have the right to disable the secondary signal, the suit claims the company turns the service on without permission. It also places "the costs of its national Wi-Fi network onto its customers" and quotes a test conducted by Philadelphia networking technology company Speedify that concluded the secondary Internet channel will eventually push "tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public Wi-Fi network onto consumers." The suit also says "the data and information on a Comcast customer's network is at greater risk" because the hotspot network "allows strangers to connect to the Internet through the same wireless router used by Comcast customers."
United States

Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-off dept.
Microsoft is currently fighting a legal battle with the U.S. government, who wants to search the company's servers in Ireland using a U.S. search warrant. An anonymous reader points out a new court filing from Microsoft that argues the U.S. itself would never stand for such reasoning from other governments. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith writes, If the Government prevails, how can it complain if foreign agents require tech companies to download emails stored in the U.S.? This is a question the Department of Justice hasn’t yet addressed, much less answered. Yet the Golden Rule applies to international relations as well as to other human interaction. In one important sense, the issues at stake are even bigger than this. The Government puts at risk the fundamental privacy rights Americans have valued since the founding of the postal service. This is because it argues that, unlike your letters in the mail, emails you store in the cloud cease to belong exclusively to you. Instead, according to the Government, your emails become the business records of a cloud provider. Because business records have a lower level of legal protection, the Government claims it can use a different and broader legal authority to reach emails stored anywhere in the world.
Piracy

Swedish Police Raid the Pirate Bay Again 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the guess-that-raid-proof-hosting-will-get-its-test dept.
o_ferguson writes: TorrentFreak is reporting that police in Sweden carried out a raid in Stockholm today, seizing servers, computers, and other equipment. At the same time The Pirate Bay and several other torrent-related sites disappeared offline. Although no official statement has been made, TF sources confirm action against TPB. This is not the first time that this has happened.
United States

CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations 768

Posted by Soulskill
from the suspects-did-not-actually-enjoy-almost-drowning dept.
mrspoonsi sends this news from the BBC: The CIA carried out "brutal" interrogations of terror suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., a U.S. Senate report has said. The summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report said the CIA misled Americans on the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation." The interrogation was poorly managed and unreliable, the report said. President Obama has previously said that in his view the techniques amounted to torture. The Senate committee's report runs to more than 6,000 pages, drawing on huge quantities of evidence, but it remains classified and only a 480-page summary (PDF) is being released. Publication had been delayed amid disagreements in Washington over what should be made public. CIA Director John Brennan has posted a response.
Transportation

Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain 280

Posted by timothy
from the and-wednesday's-not-looking-so-hot-either dept.
An anonymous reader writes with word that a Spanish judge, after complaints from taxi associations that the competition Uber brings to the transportation market is unfair to existing firms' drivers, has ordered the company to cease operations in the country. From the BBC article: In his ruling on the temporary ban, the judge said Uber drivers didn't have official authorisation to drive their cars and was "unfair competition." The move follows a complaint by the Madrid Taxi Association. The Spanish ban comes just a day after Uber was blacklisted in the Indian capital Delhi. Drivers "lack the administrative authorisation to carry out the job, and the activity they carry out constitutes unfair competition," the Spanish court services said in a statement after the ruling. In Thailand, too. And stateside, the government of Portland, Oregon thinks Uber's a big enough threat to justify a sting operation. Business Insider's keeping score.
Advertising

AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads 285

Posted by timothy
from the you-like-this-and-this-and-this dept.
New submitter stephenpeters writes The AdNauseam browser extension claims to click on each ad you have blocked with AdBlock in an attempt to obfuscate your browsing data. Officially launched mid November at the Digital Labour conference in New York, the authors hope this extension will register with advertisers as a protest against their pervasive monitoring of users online activities. It will be interesting to see how automated ad click browser extensions will affect the online ad arms race. Especially as French publishers are currently planning to sue Eyeo GmbH, the publishers of Adblock. This might obfuscate the meaning of the clicks, but what if it just encourages the ad sellers to claim even higher click-through rates as a selling point?
The Almighty Buck

The Rise of the Global Surveillance Profiteers 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the grab-that-cash-with-both-hands-and-make-a-stash dept.
blottsie writes "A new report takes a deep dive into companies like Hacking Team, which have sprouted up in the years since 9/11 sparked a global war on terror and a wired technological revolution. As the U.S. developed the online surveillance tools that, over a decade later, would eventually be revealed to the world by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, savvy businesses across the globe realized there were plenty of countries that might not be able to afford to develop such sophisticated technology in-house but still had money to burn."
The Courts

Microsoft Files a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For Activating Pirated Software 268

Posted by samzenpus
from the official-copy-only dept.
First time accepted submitter Esra Erimez writes Microsoft has filed a complaint at a federal court in Washington accusing person(s) behind an AT&T subscription of activating various pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10. The account was identified by Microsoft's in-house cyberforensics team based on suspicious "activation patterns." Despite being one of the most pirated software vendors in the world, Microsoft doesn't have a long track record of cracking down on individual pirates. From the descriptions used in the complaint it seems likely that the target is not an average user, but someone who sells computers containing pirated software.
United States

FISA Court Extends Section 215 Bulk Surveillance For 90 Days 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-hear-you-with dept.
Trailrunner7 notes that the bulk telephone collection program was just extended another 90 days. "The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has authorized a 90-day extension to the Section 215 bulk telephone collection program used by the National Security Agency, giving the agency through the end of February to run the program in the absence of legislation establishing a new authority.

On Monday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that the administration had applied for a 90-day extension to the existing Section 215 authority, and that the FISC had approved the request, extending the authority through Feb. 27.

'The Administration welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Congress to implement the changes the President has called for. Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the telephony metadata program, the government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, as modified by the changes the President directed in January,' a statement from the Office of the DNI and the Office of the Attorney General said."

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