First time accepted submitter core_tripper writes "Students at the University of Twente have stolen thirty laptops from various members of the university's staff. They were not prosecuted for this, so they could just get on with their studies. Indeed, these students even received ECTS credits for these thefts. UT researcher Trajce Dimkov asked the students to steal the machines as part of a scientific experiment. Stealing these laptops turned out to be a pretty simple matter."
First time accepted submitter beerdragoon writes "In order to protest the government's new Internet snooping legislation, some Canadians have started a somewhat unorthodox protest. Vic Toews, the minister responsible for tabling the legislation, has had his twitter account bombarded with tweets regarding the boring, banal aspects of regular Canadians' lives. The idea is that since Toews wants to know everything about your personal life, we should oblige him and #TellVicEverything."
An anonymous reader writes "There is a bill pending in the Kentucky State Senate that would eliminate almost all Public Service Commission oversight over local phone companies. Written by AT&T lobbyists, SB135 is being pushed by the phone companies as a 'modernization' of rules. It would keep the PSC from investigating phone service on its own and eliminate rules concerning price discrimination, price increases, required published rates, and performance objectives. It also will prevent any state agency from imposing net neutrality, and will enable phone companies to use the fact that there are cell phones to refuse to run a land line. The text of the bill is available online."
arnodf writes "According to EU Observer, 'The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has struck the latest blow in the debate over internet policing, ruling on Thursday (16 February) that online social network sites cannot be forced to construct measures to prevent users from downloading songs illegally. The court, which is the highest judicial authority in the EU, stated that installing general filters would infringe on the freedom to conduct business and on data privacy. ... The case was brought before the ECJ by Sabam, the Belgian national music royalty collecting society, against social network site Netlog. In 2009, Sabam went to the Belgian Court of First Instance to demand that Netlog take action to prevent site-users from illegally downloading songs from its portfolio. It also insisted that Netlog pay a €1,000 fine for every day of delaying in compliance. Netlog legal submission argued that granting Sabam's injunction would be imposing a general obligation to monitor on Netlog, which is prohibited by the e-commerce directive.' In related news, Sabam is going to be prosecuted (Google translation of Dutch original) for 'forging accounts, abuse of trust, bribery, money laundering and forgery,' which took place from the early 90's till 2007"
i_want_you_to_throw_ writes "The legal woes will soon be over for Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs Group computer programmer who had been convicted of stealing part of the Wall Street bank's high-frequency trading code. A federal appeals court overturned his conviction and recommended acquittal. We previously discussed this story when he was sentenced to 97 months in prison. It will be interesting to see their reasoning (an opinion is to be released) as well as what this may mean for other programmers developing high frequency trading code."
D___Breath writes "The lawsuit SCO started years ago against IBM (but really against Linux) is back on again. SCO first filed this clue-challenged lawsuit in March 2003. SCO claimed Linux was contaminated with code IBM stole from UNIX and that it was impossible to remove the infringement. Therefore, said SCO, all Linux users owe SCO a license fee of $1399 per cpu — but since SCO are such great guys, for a limited time, you can pay only $699 per CPU for your dirty, infringing copy of Linux. Of course, Novell claimed and later proved in court that SCO doesn't even own the copyrights on UNIX that it is suing over. IBM claims there is no infringing code in Linux. SCO never provided evidence of the massive infringement it claimed existed. The court ordered SCO three times to produce its evidence, twice extending the deadline, until it set a 'final' deadline of Dec 22, 2005 — which came and went — with SCO producing nothing but a lot of hand waving. In the meantime, SCO filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2007 because it was being beaten up in court so badly with the court going against SCO."
DJRumpy points out an article (based on a possibly paywalled WSJ report) describing how Google and other ad networks wrote code that would bypass the privacy settings of Apple's Safari web browser. 'The default settings of Safari block cookies "from third parties and advertisers," a setting that is supposed to only allow sites that the user is directly interacting with to save a cookie (client side data that remote web servers can later access in subsequent visits). ... The report notes that "Google added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google. Safari would then let Google install a cookie on the phone or computer.' Google says this mischaracterizes what the code does, claiming it simply enables 'features for signed-in Google users on Safari who had opted to see personalized ads and other content — such as the ability to “+1” things that interest them.' Google adds that the data transferred between Safari and Google's servers was anonymized. John Battelle writes that the WSJ's story is sensationalist, but that it raises good questions about the practices of ad networks as well as Apple's efforts to stymie industry-standard practices.
superglaze writes "Following its takedown earlier this week of the music blog RnBXclusive, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has claimed that "a number of site users have deleted their download histories" in response. Given that the site didn't host copyright-infringing files itself, how do they know? We've asked, but SOCA refuses to discuss its methods. A security expert has pointed out that, if they were hacking using Trojans, the police would themselves have been breaking the law. Added fun fact: SOCA readily admits that the scare message it showed visitors to the taken-down site was written 'with input from industry.'"
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."