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Government

FCC Cracks Down on Robocalls 210

Posted by samzenpus
from the talk-to-the-machine dept.
Cara_Latham writes "If you want to receive annoying robocalls from telemarketers you will have to opt in. Federal Communications Commission rules now require that telemarketers get your consent before dialing your number. Telemarketers will also have to obtain consent even if they had previously 'done business with' the consumer on the receiving end of a call."
Security

JotForm.com Gets Shut Down SOPA-Style 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-was-nice-knowing-you dept.
itwbennett writes "In a post on the company blog, JotForm.com cofounder Aytekin Tank alerts users that 'a US government agency has temporarily suspended' the jotform.com domain. He explains that it is part of an 'ongoing investigation' of content posted to its site by a user. Although which user and what content haven't yet been disclosed, there is speculation about forms used for a phishing attack on a South African bank. JotForm hosts over two million user-generated forms, and uses software to block fraudulent accounts (65,000 so far), so you can see there's plenty of opportunity for mischief."
Earth

US Seismologist Testifies Against Scientists In Quake-Prediction Case 189

Posted by timothy
from the perfect-certainty-isn't-an-option dept.
ananyo writes with this snippet from Nature (for which this earlier Nature article is also background): "'The courthouse in L'Aquila, Italy, yesterday hosted a highly anticipated hearing in the trial of six seismologists and one government official indicted for manslaughter over their reassurances to the public ahead of a deadly earthquake in 2009. .... During the hearing, the former head of the Italian Department of Civil Protection turned from key witness into defendant, and a seismologist from California criticized Italy's top earthquake experts.' Lalliana Mualchin, former chief seismologist for the Department of Transportation in California, criticized the Italian analysis, which he says was based on a poor model. If the court agrees with Mualchin, the defendants could face up to 12 years in jail."
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Dividing Digital Assets In Divorce? 458

Posted by timothy
from the don't-forget-your-malware dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am a long time Slashdotter and currently find myself in the beginning of a divorce process. How have you dealt with dispersing of shared data, accounts and things online in such a situation? Domains, hosting, email, sensitive data backups and social media are just a few examples."
Businesses

Aderall Or Nothing: Anatomy of the Great Amphetamine Drought 611

Posted by timothy
from the subtractitall-oddly-much-less-popular dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "To prevent hoarding of materials and their potential for theft and illicit use, the Drug Enforcement Agency sets quotas for the chemical precursors to drugs like Adderall. The DEA projects the need for amphetamine salts, then produces and distributes the materials to pharmaceutical companies so that they can produce their drugs. But with the number of prescriptions for Adderall jumping 13 percent in the past year, pharmaceutical companies claim that the quotas are no longer sufficient for supplying Americans with their Adderall. The DEA contends that their quotas do, in fact, meet demands, and that any shortages arise from pharmaceutical companies selectively producing only certain, typically name-brand and more expensive versions of ADHD medications."
Censorship

Yet Another European Government Drops ACTA 117

Posted by timothy
from the set-fire-to-the-paper-tiger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The government of Bulgaria, which had already signed ACTA, yesterday reversed itself, and announced that it would not seek ratification of the treaty. This comes after similar moves by Poland, Germany and the Netherlands, and a weekend of massive protests against ACTA across the European continent."
Censorship

Library.nu and Ifile.it Shut Down 336

Posted by timothy
from the no-books-for-you dept.
Ralph Spoilsport writes "A coalition of 17 publishing companies has shut down library.nu and ifile.it, charging them with pirating ebooks. This comes less than a month after megaupload was shut down, and SOPA was stopped. If the busting of cyberlockers continues at this pace and online library sharing dismantled, this under-reported story may well be the tip of a very big iceberg — one quite beyond the P&L sheets of publishers and striking at basic human rights as outlined in the contradictions of the UN Charter. Is this a big deal — a grim coalition of corporate power? Or just mopping up some scurvy old pirates? Or somewhere in between?" Adds new submitter roaryk, "According to the complaint, the sites offered users access to 400,000 e-books and made more than $11 million in revenue in the process. The admins, Fidel Nunez and Irina Ivanova, have been tracked down using their PayPal donation account, which was not anonymous. Despite the claims of the industry the site admins say they were barely able to cover the server costs with the revenue."
Privacy

Indian Government To Track Locations of All Cell Phone Users 151

Posted by timothy
from the or-do-you-have-something-to-hide? dept.
asto21 writes with this excerpt from The Indian Express: "As per amendments made to operators' licences, beginning May 31, operators would have to provide the Department of Telecommunications real-time details of users' locations in latitudes and longitudes. Documents obtained by The Indian Express show that details shall initially be provided for mobile numbers specified by the government. Within three years, service providers will have to provide information on locations of all users. The information will have some margin of error at first. But by 2013, at least 60 per cent of the calls in urban areas would have to be accurately tracked when made 100 metres away from the nearest cell tower. By 2014, the government will seek to increase the proportion to 75 per cent in cities and 50 per cent in suburban and rural areas."
The Internet

SEC Decides Telcos Must Give Shareholders a Vote On Net Neutrality 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-for-a-vote dept.
suraj.sun writes with a link about a SEC decision that telecommunications companies must give shareholders an annual vote on wireless net-neutrality resolutions. "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has told AT&T and other telecommunications companies they must include a resolution supporting wireless net-neutrality in annual shareholder votes. In a letter posted on the SEC website, the agency asserted that net neutrality — the idea that Internet service providers must treat traffic equally — has become a significant policy consideration and can no longer be excluded from shareholder ballots. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel must now grant shareholder requests for votes this year on resolutions that would support net neutrality. In view of the sustained public debate over the last several years concerning net neutrality and the Internet and the increasing recognition that the issue raises significant policy considerations, we do not believe that AT&T may omit the proposal from its proxy materials, the SEC said in the Feb. 10 letter."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Launching 'Patent Fail' Campaign 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-patent-for-you dept.
netbuzz writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has long been at the forefront of fighting software patent abuse with its Patent Busting Project, is launching a new initiative called 'Patent Fail: In Defense of Innovation.' EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels tells Network World: 'The project has three components: educating individuals about the problems with the current patent system, providing individuals with resources to deal with patent issues, and then exploring what the system should be in the long-term.'"
Biotech

300k Organic Farmers To Sue Monsanto For Seed Patent Claims 617

Posted by samzenpus
from the corn-is-mine dept.
microphage writes "Monsanto went after hundreds of farmers for infringing on their patented seed after audits revealed that their farms had contained their product — as a result of routine pollination by animals and acts of nature. Unable to afford a proper defense, competing small farms have been bought out by the company in droves. As a result, Monsanto saw their profits increase by the hundreds of millions over the last few years as a result. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto tackled 144 organic farms with lawsuits and investigated roughly 500 plantations annually during that span with a so-called 'seed police.'"
Patents

Apple Seeks Court Permission To Sue Kodak For Patent Infringement 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the picking-through-the-bones dept.
First time accepted submitter yankexpat writes "The patent battles in the mobile communications space have taken another turn, as Apple has asked a court for permission to sue the bankrupt Kodak for patent infringement. From the article: 'Apple Inc. asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Eastman Kodak Co. over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames. Apple said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that it intends to file a complaint against Kodak at the International Trade Commission and a corresponding suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan based on patent-infringement claims. The suit will seek an order blocking Kodak’s infringement, according to the filing.'"
Piracy

Megaupload Co-Founder Allowed Bail 132

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-one-escapes-new-zealand dept.
New submitter masterfpt writes "TorrentFreak is running the following article: 'The co-founder of Megaupload has been freed on bail by a judge in New Zealand. Mathias Ortmann will be the subject of strict conditions including no Internet access. The U.S. will now rely on a United Nations treaty to extradite the Mega team. Separately, it was revealed that the FBI remotely monitored last month's raids and congratulated New Zealand police on their work.'"
Privacy

Female Passengers Say They Were Targeted For TSA Body Scanners 572

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-there's-something-to-abuse-somebody-will-abuse-it dept.
wiedzmin writes "TSA agents in Dallas singled out female passengers to undergo screening in a body scanner, according to complaints filed by several women who said they felt the screeners intentionally targeted them to view their bodies. Allegedly, women with 'cute bodies' were directed through the body scanners up to three times over by female agents, who appeared to be acting on a request from male agents viewing the scans in a separate room. Apparently this was done because the scans were 'blurry,' possibly due to autofocus problems with agents' smartphone cameras." After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.
Australia

Legislation For 18+ Games Hits Australian Parliament 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the australian-for-fun dept.
angry tapir writes "Legislation to pave the way for an R18+ (adults only) classification of video games has just been introduced into the Australian parliament by the minister for home affairs. The state and territories will still have to pass complementary legislation, however. Currently the highest rating for a game in Australia is MA15+, with games that didn't meet the criteria being refused classification, leading to content being gutted prior to release or games just not being released. The legislation marks a victory for a long campaign by gamers (notably lobby group Grow Up Australia). The current legislation, which will take effect on January 1 next year providing it makes it through the lower and upper houses, merely introduces an R18+ classification, falling short of the complete classification overhaul proposed by the Australian Law Reform Commission."

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