Master Moose sends this quote from Stuff.co.nz: "Kim Dotcom claims the United States criminal case against him is collapsing but he is offering to go there without extradition provided federal authorities unfreeze his millions of dollars. In a now hallmark style, he made the offer on Twitter. 'Hey DOJ, we will go to the US,' he tweeted, 'No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.' In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Dotcom says the department knows it does not have a case. 'If they are forced to provide discovery, then there will be no extradition. That's why they don't want to provide discovery. If they had a case, they would not need to hide what they have.'"
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Rambo Tribble writes "The Economist is reporting on two research teams, one at Harvard and another at the University of Hong Kong, who have developed software to detect what posts to Chinese social media get censored. 'The team has built up a database comprising more than 11m posts that were made on 1,382 Chinese internet forums. Perhaps their most surprising result is that posts critical of the government are not rigorously censored. On the other hand, posts that have the purpose of getting people to assemble, potentially in protest, are swept from the internet within a matter of hours.' Chinese censors may soon have to deal with an unprecedented transparency of their actions."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In one of the myriad BitTorrent downloading cases against individuals, one plaintiff's law firm thought they'd be clever and insert a 'negligence' claim, saying that the defendant was negligent in failing to supervise his roommate's use of his WiFi access. Defendant moved to dismiss the negligence claim on the ground that it was preempted by the Copyright Act, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF) agreeing with him. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan agreed, and dismissed the complaint, holding that the 'negligence' claim was preempted by the Copyright Act."
bricko sends this disappointing but not unexpected news from Techdirt: "While it didn't get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.'s 'IP attaches.' If you're unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are 'diplomats' (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood's personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for 'aggressive support for enforcement action' throughout the world. ... In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the U.S. government. It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA... but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal."
coondoggie writes "While there are legal measures in place to stop most robocalls, the use of the annoying automated calling process seems to be on the rise. The Federal Trade Commission, which defined the rules that outlawed most robocalls in 2009 has taken notice and this October 18th will convene a robocall summit to examine the issues surrounding what even it called the growing robocall problem." A true robocall summit would be a great way to field candidates for the Loebner Prize! But since these will be humans (regulators, etc), I hope, but doubt, they can somehow do something to stop the constant fraudulent robocalls I get from credit-card scammers. In the meantime, it's good to keep a whistle handy.
An anonymous reader writes "President Obama has issued a new executive order: 'Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.' EPIC reports: 'The Executive Order grants new powers to the Department of Homeland Security, including the ability to collect certain public communications information. Under the Executive Order the White House has also granted the Department the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications.' A few key excerpts from the exec order: 'The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) [National Security/Emergency Preparedness] communications policies, programs, and capabilities. ... Sec. 5.2. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall: (a) oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment of NS/EP communications, including: communications that support Continuity of Government; Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal emergency preparedness and response communications; non-military executive branch communications systems; critical infrastructure protection networks; and non-military communications networks, particularly with respect to prioritization and restoration; .... (e) satisfy priority communications requirements through the use of commercial, Government, and privately owned communications resources, when appropriate."
AlistairCharlton writes with this snippet: "Victims of the DNS Changer malware think they have better things to do than check their internet security, and as a digital society we're dealing with malware in completely the wrong way. These are the thoughts of Paul Vixie who worked with the FBI in intercepting servers used by a gang of Estonian hackers who made millions of dollars from redirecting internet users away from the websites they requested, directing them to advertisements instead." The linked article also offers an interesting description of how the FBI's quiet takeover of a botnet came to be.
theodp writes "Back in 2006, a post on Jeff Han's multi-touch screen technology — a real TED crowd-pleaser — gave Slashdot readers a taste of the iPhone and iPad future. Han spun off his NYU Research into a company called Perceptive Pixel which, among other things, gave the world CNN's Amazing Magic Wall. On Monday, Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft is acquiring Perceptive Pixel, which not only means you'll be able to run Windows 8 on an 82-inch touchscreen, but that the Apple v,. Motorola Mobility lawsuit is about to get more interesting!"
New submitter xSander writes "Is anyone really surprised by this? ACTA may have been rejected by the European Parliment, but it is far from dead yet. Apparently, the EU is trying to revive ACTA through the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA)." The article contains a handy side-by-side comparison of the CETA clauses that are nearly identical to ones found in ACTA.
New submitter haruchai writes "The Reiser kids, now aged 12 and 11, have had a lawsuit filed against the former Linux developer, inventor of ReiserFS and convicted murderer of the mother of his children, to the tune of $15 million. It's believed he may have hidden assets and a judgment is sought so a search for these can be conducted." A judge denied requests that the kids testify or return to the U.S. for their own well-being.
decora writes "If you visit Russian Wikipedia today you will be forgiven for thinking the entire site has crashed. It is not a crash, but a protest of the Russian State Duma's Bill 89417-6 According to Ria Novosti, the bill is 'proposing a unified digital blacklist of all websites containing pornography, drug ads and promoting suicide or extremist ideas.' Russian Wikipedia's main page has been replaced with a redacted logo and a protest text, part of which says 'The Wikipedia community protests against censorship, dangerous to free knowledge, open to all mankind. We ask you to support us in opposing this bill.' (translation by Google Translate)"
zacharye writes "U.K. Judge Colin Birss has ruled that Samsung can continue selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the region because the Android tablet is 'not as cool' as the iPad and therefore is unlikely to be confused with Apple's slate. Samsung's Galaxy line of tablets 'do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,' Judge Birss said. 'They are not as cool.'"
Stirling Newberry writes "The New York Times reports: 'In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a daunting 1.3 million demands for subscriber data last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.' One stinging statistic: AT&T responds to an average of 700 requests per day, and turns down only 18 per week. Sprint gets 500,000 requests per year. While many requests are backed by court orders, most are not. Some include 'dumps' of tower data, which captures everyone near by at a certain time."
bs0d3 writes "In regards to the new 'voluntary' graduated response deal (where no one really knows how ISPs will track and accuse customers of copyright infringement), according to CNN, it may be the ISP directly spying on their customers. 'But now that they're free from individual blame, there's also the strong possibility that the ISPs will be doing the data monitoring directly. That's a much bigger deal. So instead of reaching out to the Internet to track down illegally flowing bits of their movies, the studios will sit back while ISP's "sniff" the packets of data coming to and from their customers' computers.' This could be a problem for people who use U.S.-based internet services. If the U.S. wants to be an internet savvy country, they still need the competition in the marketplace that's always been missing, and a digital bill of rights that isn't a sneaky anti-piracy measure."
Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Fractenberg and Jeff Mays write that the NYPD has created a 'wanted' poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them 'professional agitators' who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address. The flyer featuring side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye and Christina Gonzalez and the couple's home address was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house and warns officers to be on guard against them. The couple has filmed officers stopping and frisking and arresting young people of color in Harlem and around New York City, which they post on Gonzalez's YouTube account. They said their actions are legal. 'There have been times when it's gotten combative. There have been times when they [police officers] have videoed Christina,' says Swaye. 'But if we were breaking the law they would have arrested us.' Swaye was part of a group of advocates including Cornel West who were detained at the 28th Precinct in Harlem in October for protesting the stop-and-frisk policy which Mayor Bloomberg strongly defends. "