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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Privacy

Federal Judge Approves Warrantless, Covert Video Surveillance 420

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-surprise-the-youtube-generation dept.
Penurious Penguin writes "Your curtilage may be your castle, but 'open fields' are open game for law-enforcement and surveillance technology. Whether 'No Trespassing' signs are present or not, your private property is public for the law, with or without a warrant. What the police cannot do, their cameras can — without warrant or court oversight. An article at CNET recounts a case involving the DEA, a federal judge, and two defendants (since charged) who were subjected to video surveillance on private property without a warrant. Presumably, the 4th Amendment suffers an obscure form of agoraphobia further elucidated in the article."
Microsoft

Surfcast Sues Microsoft Over Tile Patent 255

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the smells-like-windows-1.0 dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news of a company suing Microsoft for infringing upon a patent for tiles with live content. From the article: "SurfCast, in a complaint filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in Maine, said Microsoft infringes one of its four patents — No. 6,724,403 — by 'making, using, selling, and offering to sell devices and software products' covered by SurfCast's patent. That includes mobile devices using the Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems as well as PCs using Windows 8/RT."
Privacy

California AG Gives App Developers 30 Days To Post Privacy Notice 108

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-gpl-compatible dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a crackdown on mobile application developers and companies that haven't posted privacy policies, at least where users can easily find them. The attorney general is giving recipients 30 days 'to conspicuously post a privacy policy within their app that informs users of what personally identifiable information about them is being collected and what will be done with that private information,' according to a prepared statement. A sample letter defines the issue at hand. 'An operator of a mobile application ("app") that uses the Internet to collect PII is an "online service" within the meaning of CalOPPA. An app's commercial operator must therefore conspicuously post its privacy policy in a means that is reasonably accessible to the consumer. Having a Web site with the applicable privacy policy conspicuously posted may be adequate, but only if a link to that Web site is "reasonably accessible" to the user within the app.'"
Privacy

Supreme Court Hearing Case On Drug-Sniffing Dog "Fishing Expeditions" 451

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the smells-like-hippies dept.
sgunhouse writes "Wired is running an article on a Supreme Court challenge (well, actually two of them) to the use of drug-sniffing dogs. The first case discussed involved Florida police using a drug-sniffing dog as a basis for searching a suspected drug dealer's home. The court in Florida excluded the evidence obtained from the search, saying a warrant should be required for that sort of use of a dog. Personally, I agree — police have no right to parade a dog around on private property on a 'fishing expedition', same as they need a warrant to use a thermal imaging device to search for grow houses. I have no use for recreational drugs, but they had better have a warrant if they want to bring a dog onto my property."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF And Others Push For Open Wifi APs Everywhere 253

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the feels-so-dirty dept.
netbuzz writes "Forging ahead with an initiative that proved controversial when introduced last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and nine other groups today are advancing the Open Wireless Movement to encourage ubiquitous sharing of Internet access. 'We envision a world where sharing one's Internet connection is the norm,' said EFF Activist Adi Kamdar, in a press release. 'A world of open wireless would encourage privacy, promote innovation, and benefit the public good, giving us network access whenever we need it. And everyone — users, businesses, developers, and Internet service providers — can get involved to help make it happen.'"
Government

Irked By Cyberspying, Georgia Outs Russia-based Hacker 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the turnabout-is-fair-play dept.
coondoggie writes "In one of the photos, the dark-haired, bearded hacker is peering into his computer's screen, perhaps puzzled at what's happening. Minutes later, he cuts his computer's connection, realizing he has been discovered. In an unprecedented move, the country of Georgia — irritated by persistent cyber-spying attacks — has published two photos of a Russia-based hacker who, the Georgians allege, waged a persistent, months-long campaign that stole confidential information from Georgian government ministries, parliament, banks and NGOs."
Ubuntu

EFF Wants Ubuntu To Disable Online Search By Default 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-works-vs.-just-works-correctly dept.
sfcrazy writes "Ubuntu 12.10 met with some controversy before and after its launch about the inclusion of Amazon product listings alongside local search results. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has raised concerns around data leaks and Amazon Ads. The EFF has asked Canonical to update Ubuntu so it disables 'Include online search results' by default. 'Users should be able to install Ubuntu and immediately start using it without having to worry about leaking search queries or sending potentially private information to third party companies. Since many users might find this feature useful, consider displaying a dialog the first time a user logs in that asks if they would like to opt-in.'"
Google

France Applies Tax Pressure To Google For Republishing News Snippets 350

Posted by timothy
from the department-of-rent-seeking dept.
Qedward writes "France may introduce a law to make Google pay to republish news snippets if it doesn't strike a deal with French news publishers before the end of the year, the office of French President François Hollande said. French publishers want to share in the revenue that Google earns from advertising displayed alongside their news snippets in search results. Readers are often satisfied by reading the headline and summary published by Google News, and don't feel the need to click through to the news site, the publishers say. In this way, Google profits and the content creators don't. The publishers want to be able to charge Google to compensate them for ad revenue losses."
Canada

NewsCorp/NDS Sets Up Operation To Expose Canadian Pirates; What Could Go Wrong? 95

Posted by timothy
from the boarding-eh dept.
Presto Vivace writes "Murdoch's Pirates is a business book that reads like a thriller. The chapter excerpted in the Sydney Morning Herald explains how Operation Duck, an effort to discover the identify Canadian pay TV pirates, went horribly wrong. 'By October 25 Oliver had been in Toronto four days and had programmed a swag of pirate cards, using a program he had ripped off another pirate hack. And he had been paid a lot of money. That evening, he met with two piracy dealers in a car and programmed a few cards for them with his portable programmer box, to demonstrate that it worked. The following night Oliver received a call from a friend in London, a partner in his old piracy ring, who was sleeping with a woman who worked for Federal Express. 'He told me, these guys [from the previous night] sent a parcel to Larry Rissler,' Oliver recalls. Rissler was a former FBI agent who headed the Office of Signal Integrity—the operational security division—of DirecTV, and he had been hunting Oliver for some time. One of the dealers Oliver had met was a Rissler informant and he had despatched a re-programmed smartcard by FedEx to his boss. The parcel would be with Rissler early the next morning—if it wasn't already there.' The story reads like some perverse blend of James Bond and the Pink Panther. It is just amazing."
Censorship

Telling the Truth In Today's China 157

Posted by timothy
from the shame-about-the-government dept.
eldavojohn writes "Inside the land of the Great Firewall censorship is rampant although rarely transparent. Foreign Policy has a lengthy but eyeopening recounting of what it's like being an editor for the only officially sanctioned English business publication inside the most populated country on Earth. Eveline Chao of the magazine 'China International Business' writes in her piece 'Me and My Censor' about her censor named Snow, the three taboo T's (Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen), a bizarre government aversion to flags and how she was 'offered red envelopes stuffed with cash at press junkets, sometimes discovered footprints on the toilet seats at work, and had to explain to the Chinese assistants more than once that they could not turn in articles copied word for word from existing pieces they found online.' Anecdotes abound in this piece including the story of a photojournalist who 'once ran a picture he'd taken in Taiwan alongside an article, but had failed to notice a small Taiwanese flag in the background. As a result, the entire staff of his newspaper had been immediately fired and the office shut down.' " (Read more, below.)
Security

FBI Says They're Now Working 24/7 To Investigate Hackers and Network Attacks 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-late-than-never dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is finally stepping up its game when it comes to hackers. Maybe it was Anonymous that did it or maybe it was statements from the US Secretary of Defense two weeks ago, but either way, the FBI is now hunting hackers 24/7." I'm happy that the FBI no longer has an investigation schedule when it comes to online crime, but I have to think that I'm not the only one who assumed they were doing this before.
Piracy

RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert's Lobbying History To "Six-Strikes" Partners 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the home-team-experts dept.
concealment writes "A month before the controversial 'six strikes' anti-piracy plan goes live in the U.S., the responsible Center of Copyright Information (CCI) is dealing with a small crisis. As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the 'impartial and independent' technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group. In a response to the controversy, CCI is now considering whether it should hire another expert to evaluate the anti-piracy monitoring technology."
Government

Showdown Set On Bid To Give UN Control of Internet 316

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-the-wheel dept.
wiredmikey writes "When delegates gather in Dubai in December for an obscure UN agency meeting, the mother of all cyber diplomatic battles is expected, with an intense debate over proposals to rewrite global telecom rules to effectively give the United Nations control over the Internet. Russia, China and other countries back a move to place the Internet under the authority of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN agency that sets technical standards for global phone calls. While US officials have said placing the Internet under UN control would undermine the freewheeling nature of cyberspace, some have said there is a perception that the US owns and manages the Internet. The head of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure, claims his agency has 'the depth of experience that comes from being the world's longest established intergovernmental organization.' But Harold Feld of the US-based non-government group Public Knowledge said any new rules could have devastating consequences. Some are concerned over a proposal by European telecom operators seeking to shift the cost of communication from the receiving party to the sender. This could mean huge costs for US Internet giants like Facebook and Google."
Privacy

Journalist Arrested In Greece For Publishing List of Possible Tax-Evaders 344

Posted by samzenpus
from the naughty-list dept.
kyriacos writes "The Greek government is charging journalist Kostas Vaxevanis with violation of the data privacy law for publishing a list of about 2,000 Greeks who hold accounts with the HSBC bank in Switzerland. While more and more austerity measures are being taken against the people of Greece, there is still no investigation of tax evasion for the people on this list by the government. The list has been in the possession of the Greek government since 2010."
Canada

US and Canada Launch Joint Cybersecurity Plan 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the when-our-powers-combine dept.
wiredmikey writes "Canada and the United States announced Friday they were launching a joint cybsersecurity plan that aims to better protect critical digital infrastructure and improve the response to cyber incidents. Under the action plan, the US Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety Canada will cooperate to protect vital cyber systems and respond to and recover from any cyber disruptions, by improving collaboration on managing cyber incidents between their respective cyber security operation centers, enhancing information sharing and engagement with the private sector and pursuing US-Canadian collaboration to promote cyber security awareness to the public."

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