Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
wiredmikey writes "In December of 2009, after months of waiting, the Obama Administration named Howard Schmidt as the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. After more than forty years in the IT community, the nation's first cyber czar will retire at the end of the month. Schmidt, after just over two years of government service, said he would retire in order to spend more time with his family and to entertain teaching opportunities in the cyber field. Schmidt was at the reins when the White House introduced its international strategy for cyberspace, and also helped create the controversial National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, an initiative that would allow people to obtain a single credential as a one-time password (on a token or mobile device) to do business on the Internet. Schmidt will be replaced by Michael Daniel, currently the head of the White House budget office's intelligence branch."
An anonymous reader writes "More than 1,000 UK government staff have been caught snooping on citizen data — including criminal records, social security, and medical records. From the article: 'The U.K. government is haemorrhaging data — private and confidential citizen data — from medical records to social security details, and even criminal records, according to figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests. Just shy of 1,000 civil servants working at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), were disciplined for accessing personal social security records. The Department for Health (DoH), which operates the U.K.’s National Health Service and more importantly all U.K. medical records, saw more than 150 breaches occur over a 13-month period.'"
Fluffeh writes "In recent times, it seems many Police Departments believe that recording them doing their work is an act of war with police officers, destroying the tapes, phones or cameras while arresting the folks doing it. But in a surprising twist, the U.S. Justice Department has sent letter (PDF) to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department — who have been quite heavy handed in enforcing their 'Don't record me bro!' mantra. The letter contains an awful lot of lawyer babble and lists many court cases and the like, although some sections are surprisingly clear: 'Policies should prohibit officers from destroying recording devices or cameras and deleting recordings or photographs under any circumstances. In addition to violating the First Amendment, police officers violate the core requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process clause when they irrevocably deprived individuals of their recordings without first providing notice and an opportunity to object.' There is a lot more and it certainly seems like a firm foothold in the right direction."
eldavojohn writes "Vermont is the first state to ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a process that was to revolutionize the United States' position into a major producer of natural gas. New York currently has a moratorium on fracking but it is not yet a statewide ban. Video of the signing indicates the concern over drinking water as the motivation for Vermont's measures (PDF draft of legislation). Slashdot has frequently encountered news debating the safety of such practices."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Joel Tenenbaum has filed a reply brief in support of his petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, trying to get the Court to take on the thorny issue of copyright statutory damages in the age of mp3 files and micropayments."
An anonymous reader writes "In the midst of Congressional races around the country, one stands out to techies. Thomas Massie, an MIT whiz kid who pioneered touch-based interfaces and founded SensAble Technologies in the 1990s, is the favorite to win the Republican nomination in his Kentucky district next week. SensAble was recently sold on the cheap, but in a new exclusive, Massie explains why he left the haptics firm years ago to lead a simpler life of farming, family, and guns — lots of guns. Along the way he built a solar-powered, off-the-grid house and became a local hero of the Tea Party. Now Massie is leading the charge to get more engineers into politics, and if he wins, he could be a force to be reckoned with in Washington, DC."
An anonymous reader writes "After being the victim of a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack by an unknown party, The Pirate Bay has returned. An Anonymous traitor who goes by the name AnonNyre has claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack that kept the site offline for days."
An anonymous reader writes "Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has a status update for Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin: Stop attempting to dodge your taxes by renouncing your U.S. citizenship or never come to back to the U.S. again." See this earlier story on Saverin's plan to make the leap out of the U.S. tax system.
strawberryshakes writes "The death knell for IE6 was sounded a couple of years ago, but seems like some people just can't let go. Many UK government departments are still using IE6, which is so old — 11 years old to be exact — it can't cope with social media — which the government is trying to get its staff to use more to engage with citizens."
First time accepted submitter Arker writes "A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction late Wednesday to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism. The Obama administration had argued, inter alia, that the plaintiffs, including whistleblower and transparency advocate Daniel Ellsberg and Icelandic Member of Parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir lacked standing, but Judge Katherine Forrest didnt buy it. Given recent statements from the administration, it seems safe to say this will be the start of a long court battle."
An anonymous reader writes "The use of CCTV cameras for physical surveillance of all kinds of environments has become so pervasive that most of us don't give the devices a second thought anymore. But, those individuals and organizations who actually use and control them should be aware that most of them come with default settings that make them vulnerable to outside attacks. According to Gotham Digital Science researcher Justin Cacak, standalone CCTV video surveillance systems by MicroDigital, HIVISION, CTRing, and many other rebranded devices are not only shipped with remote access enabled by default, but also with preconfigured default accounts and passwords that are banal and easy to guess."
Qedward writes "The Metropolitan Police has rolled out a mobile device data extraction system to allow officers to extract data 'within minutes' from suspects' phones while they are in custody. 'Ostensibly, the system has been deployed to target phones that are suspected of having actually been used in criminal activity, although data privacy campaigners may focus on potentially wider use.'"
First time accepted submitter cvenky writes "The Indian Government is proposing to create an intergovernmental body 'to develop internet policies, oversee all internet standards bodies and policy organizations, negotiate internet-related treaties and sit in judgment when internet-related disputes come up.' This committee will be funded and staffed by the UN and will report to the UN General Assembly which effectively means the control of the internet passes on to World Governments directly."
itwbennett writes "Geek advocate Wil Wheaton has written a blog post on the (legal) usefulness of BitTorrent, saying that the speed of his recent download of Ubuntu 12.04 should serve as a reminder that BitTorrent fills an important niche. Wheaton compares blocking BitTorrent to closing freeways because bank robbers could get away."
First time accepted submitter Maow writes "Despite a recent story claiming that Canada's Bill C-30, covering internet surveillance, has died a 'lonely' death, the minister responsible claims otherwise. 'Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is denying reports that the Harper government intends to quietly shelve its controversial online surveillance bill, C-30.' Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning, Toews insisted the legislation was moving ahead. He has previously stated this is the bill that you either support, 'or you stand with the child pornographers.'"