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Privacy

Twitter Rejects Prosecutors' Subpoena For a User's Data Without Warrant 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-and-what-army dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "In defense of user privacy, Twitter filed a motion (PDF) yesterday in a New York state court asking a judge to block a subpoena that would force the company to turn over the data of one of its users, Malcolm Harris. Harris was arrested in an Occupy Wall Street protest on the Brooklyn Bridge in October for 'disorderly conduct.' The company's lawyers claim that the subpoena violates the fourth amendment and Twitter's terms of service, which says that users' tweets belong to them and thus can't be handed over to law enforcement without their consent."
Censorship

Government Asks When It Can Shut Down Wireless Communications 267

Posted by Soulskill
from the right-after-we-vote-you-all-out-of-office dept.
Fluffeh writes "Around nine months ago, BART Police asked to have wireless communications disabled (PDF) between Trans Bay Tube Portal and the Balboa Park Station. That was because they knew a public protest was to take place there — and the service to the underground communication system was disabled. This affected not only cellphone signals, but also the radio systems of Police, Fire and Ambulance crews (PDF) within the underground. This led to an even larger protest at a BART station and many folks filed complaints along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FCC responded by launching a probe into the incident. The results were a mixed bag of 'To protect citizens!' and 'Only in extreme cases,' not to mention the classic 'Terrorists use wireless communications!' But even if the probe doesn't lead to a full proceeding and formal order, the findings may well be used as a guide for many years to come."
Transportation

TSA's mm-Wave Body Scanner Breaks Diabetic Teen's $10K Insulin Pump 811

Posted by Soulskill
from the terrorists-are-known-to-have-insulin dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "Savannah Barry, a Colorado teenager, was returning home from a conference in Salt Lake City. She is a diabetic and wears an insulin pump to control her insulin levels 24/7. She carries documentation of her condition to assist screeners, who usually give her a pat-down search. This time the screeners listened to her story, read her doctor's letter, and forced her to go through a millimeter-wave body scanner anyway. The insulin pump stopped working correctly, and of course, she was subjected to an invasive manual search. 'My life is pretty much in their hands when I go through a body scan with my insulin pump on,' she says. She wants TSA screeners to have more training. Was this a predictable outcome, considering that no one outside TSA has access to millimeter-wave scanners for testing? Would oversight from the FDA or FCC prevent similar incidents from happening in the future?"
Piracy

The Avengers: Why Pirates Failed To Prevent a Box Office Record 663

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-wouldn't-download-an-angry-green-dude dept.
TheGift73 sends this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "Despite the widespread availability of pirated releases, The Avengers just scored a record-breaking $200 million opening weekend at the box office. While some are baffled to see that piracy failed to crush the movie's profits, it's really not that surprising. Claiming a camcorded copy of a movie seriously impacts box office attendance is the same as arguing that concert bootlegs stop people from seeing artists on stage. ... Of all the people who downloaded a pirate copy of the film about 20% came from the U.S. This means that roughly 100,000 Americans have downloaded a copy online through BitTorrent. Now, IF all these people bought a movie ticket instead then box office revenue would be just 0.5% higher. Not much of an impact, and even less when you consider that these 'pirates' do not all count as a lost sale."
Facebook

Facebook Spammers Make $20M, Get $100K Fine 74

Posted by timothy
from the bad-work-if-you-can-get-it dept.
jfruh writes "Adscend Media, which has been making up to $20M a year from so-called 'likejacking' spam on Facebook, has reached an agreement with the Attorney General of Washington to stop those activities and pay $100,000 in court costs. Among other nefarious techniques, Adscend would overlay Facebook 'like' buttons with provocative photos to spread links to ads from which Adscend would earn referral fees. Adscend also settled out of court with Facebook for an undisclosed amount."
Privacy

Undergrad Project Offers Site Privacy Information At a Glance 61

Posted by timothy
from the go-no-go dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Not everyone can read legalese. Websites ought to have clearer, more transparent, and simpler privacy policies. One important step in this direction is a simple way of summarizing a privacy policy's features, to make it easy to see how a website will use and protect user data. Inspired by Creative Commons and the Mozilla Privacy Icon Project, we (a group of Yale undergrads) have designed a set of icons, as well as simple descriptions, to describe common features of privacy policies. Additionally, we have built a generator to make it easy for websites to add these icons to their own sites. To further encourage awareness, we have reviewed several popular websites' privacy policies, so that users can see for themselves how they fare." True to their word, the examples show some tiny but nicely scannable icons.
Businesses

Nearly 150 Companies Show Interest in the Tech Love Boat 332

Posted by timothy
from the sealand-with-engines dept.
New submitter dandv writes with a story from VentureBeat about another entry in the race to escape national jurisdiction by offshoring work — literally offshoring, that is : "Blueseed is a Silicon Valley company that plans on launching a cruise ship 30 minutes from the coast of California, housing startup entrepreneurs from around the world. These startuppers won't need to bother with U.S. visas, because the ship will be in international waters. They'll have to pay tax to whatever country they're incorporated in, though. So far, 146 startups said they'd like to come to the ship."
Google

Jury Rules Google Violated Java Copyright, Google Moves For Mistrial 475

Posted by Soulskill
from the opening-a-big-can-of-worms dept.
eldavojohn writes "Details are thin, but the long-covered Oracle v. Google trial has at least partially been decided in favor of Oracle. The jury says Google violated copyrights with Android when it used Java APIs to design the system. Google moved for a mistrial after hearing the incomplete decision. The patent infringement accusations have yet to be ruled upon."
Australia

Aussie Politician Threatens To Contact Employers of Satirical Article "Likers" 195

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-not-to-do dept.
Chuq writes "Tasmanian Liberal candidate for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, was the subject of a satirical article by NewExaminer on Facebook. Nikolic didn't like it, which is understandable. However he then went to considerable lengths to identify the people who liked the article, find out their employers (via their Facebook profiles) and 'name and shame' them on a follow-up post on his own page. Andrew Nikolic has a history of poorly handling conflicting views on his Facebook page, resulting in creation of another page, 'Andrew Nikolic blocked me.'"
Music

What Various Studies Really Reveal About File-Sharing 285

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-media dept.
Dangerous_Minds writes "Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has an interesting look at file-sharing. It all started with a review of a Phoenix study that was used to promote SOPA. Wilson says that the study was long on wild claims and short on fact. While most writers would simply criticize the study and move on, Wilson took it a step further and looked in to what file-sharing studies have really been saying throughout the years. What he found was an impressive 19 of 20 studies not getting any coverage. He launched a large series detailing what these studies have to say on file-sharing. The first study suggests that file-sharing litigation was a failure. The second study said that p2p has no effect on music sales. The third study found that the RIAA suppresses innovation. The fourth study says that the MPAA has simply been trying to preserve its oligopoly. The fifth study says that even when one uses the methodology of one download means one lost sale, the losses amount to less than $2 per album. The studies, so far, are being posted on a daily basis and are certainly worth the read."
Piracy

Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the patches-for-all dept.
bs0d3 writes "For the third consecutive regional election, The German Pirate Party has breached the five-percent mark needed to enter the state parliament, winning 8.2 percent of the vote in state of Schleswig-Holstein. From the article: 'The big winners on the night were the Pirates, an upstart party that has shaken up the staid world of German politics with a campaign based on more transparency in the political process and internet freedom.'"
Piracy

Unblocking The Pirate Bay the Hard Way Is Fun 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-way-around dept.
TheGift73 writes in with a link for those of you who like to do things the hard way. "Now that The Pirate Bay is being blocked by ISPs in the UK, millions of people have a new interest in accessing the site, even if they didn't before. The reasons for this are simple. Not only do people hate being told what they can and can't do, people – especially geeks – love solving problems and puzzles. Unlocking The Pirate Bay with a straightforward proxy is just too boring, so just for fun let's go the hard way round."
Censorship

Facebook Says It's Filtering Comments For Spam, Not Censoring Them 155

Posted by timothy
from the you're-not-worthy-you're-not-worthy dept.
bhagwad writes "Apparently Robert Scoble tried to post a long comment on Facebook only to have a message pop up saying 'This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can't be posted. To avoid having your comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.' If true, this is huge. For one the self-moderating system of comments has always been the rule so far. And with countries like India rooting for the pre-screening of content and comments, is Facebook thinking of caving into these demands?" Facebook says there's a more innocuous explanation: namely, that the comment triggered a spam filter.
Crime

How Romanian Fortune Tellers Used Google To Fleece Victims 140

Posted by timothy
from the hey-dad-take-this-as-a-free-lesson dept.
Hentes writes "The internet has made many things easier, but unfortunately this also includes crime: it seems that nowadays not even people wanting to know their future are safe from fraud. Two fortune tellers are being investigated, after the Romanian police uncovered that they have utilized some extraordinary help in their clairvoyant acts. The pair used information collected from internet search and social networks to gain the trust of their customers, claiming that they could see their personal data through their crystal ball. In some cases, they also used high-tech surveillance techniques such as hidden cameras and phone tapping. But they didn't stop at merely spying on their victims: their most bizarre case involved a scuba diver dressed as a monster." Nice to know that internet-based fraud isn't limited to motivational speakers with real-estate seminars and other get-rich-quick flim-flam.
Australia

US-Australia Agreements Create Opportunities for Privacy Violation, Extradition 127

Posted by timothy
from the come-on-don't-you-like-opportunities? dept.
TheGift73 writes with a link to (and this excerpt from the beginning of) a brief description at TorrentFreak of recently signed agreements between the U.S. and Australia: "Figures.... File-sharing was firmly on the agenda when the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security touched down in the Australian capital last week. The four new agreements – promptly signed before Secretary Janet Napolitano flew back out of Canberra – were less about sharing season two of Game of Thrones and more about sharing the private, government held information of Australian citizens with U.S. authorities."

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