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Government

The Amazon Rainforest Wants Its TLD Back From Amazon.com 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-it-back dept.
terrancem writes "The Seattle-based Amazon.com has applied for its brand to be a generic top-level domain name (.amazon), but South American governments argue this would prevent the use of this internet address for environmental protection, the promotion of indigenous rights and other public interest uses. Along with dozens of other disputed claims to names including ".patagonia" and ".shangrila", the issue cuts to the heart of debates about the purpose and governance of the internet."
Cellphones

Washington AG Slams T-Mobile Over Deceptive 'No-Contract' Ads 371

Posted by timothy
from the what-we-meant-was dept.
zacharye writes "Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday ordered UNcarrier T-Mobile to correct 'deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.' T-Mobile, which recently did away with standard cell phone service contracts and typical smartphone subsidies, is accused of misleading consumers by advertising no-contract wireless plans despite requiring that customers sign an agreement that makes them responsible for the full cost of their handsets should they cancel service prematurely ..."
Music

DMCA Safe Harbor May Not Apply To Old Copyrighted Works 139

Posted by timothy
from the no-escape-clause dept.
tlhIngan writes "On Tuesday, the New York appellate court denied Grooveshark the DMCA safe harbor protection on songs like Johnny B. Goode. What happened was due to an oddity in the law, the DMCA does not apply to state-licensed copyrighted works (those copyrighted before February 15, 1972). What happened was Congress overhauled copyright law to make it a Federal matter, but all works prior to that date still come under common-law and state statutes. The end result is that Grooveshark does not have DMCA safe harbor protection for older works and may be sued for copyright infringement (barring other agreements, e.g., UMG and YouTube), even though they fully comply with the DMCA otherwise, taking down copyrighted materials. Grooveshark is a "music locker" service allowing users to upload music for others to listen to."
United Kingdom

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg 'Kills' Snoopers Charter 47

Posted by timothy
from the just-glancing dept.
judgecorp writes "The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has effectively 'killed' the Communications Data Bill which would have required service providers to share personal communications data with the police. Clegg has withdrawn the support of the Liberal Democrat Party (part of the Coalition in power in the UK) from the so-called 'Snooper's Charter.' The announcement is timed to block the measure from the Queen's Speech on 8 May, which introduces the next programme of planned legislation."
Government

House Judiciary Chairman Plans Comprehensive Review of US Copyright Law 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-second-look dept.
SEWilco writes in with news that U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte plans on conducting "...a comprehensive review of US copyright law over the coming months.""In a speech given in celebration of World Intellectual Property Day at the Library of Congress today, Goodlatte mentioned a few examples of the sorts of problems that he hopes to address in such a review: 'The Internet has enabled copyright owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners. Efforts to digitize our history so that all have access to it face questions about copyright ownership by those who are hard, if not impossible, to locate. There are concerns about statutory license and damage mechanisms. Federal judges are forced to make decisions using laws that are difficult to apply today. Even the Copyright Office itself faces challenges in meeting the growing needs of its customers - the American public.'"
United Kingdom

No Porn From Public WiFi Hotspots In the UK Proposed 390

Posted by samzenpus
from the waiting-for-the-bus dept.
whoever57 writes "Prime Minister David Cameron is proposing that porn should not be available through WiFi hotspots in public areas. Exactly how this will be implemented has not been identified, even to the extent of whether the ISP or the hotspot operator should implement the blocking. From the article: ' The Prime Minister said: “We are promoting good, clean, WiFi in local cafes and elsewhere to make sure that people have confidence in public WiFi systems so that they are not going to see things they shouldn’t.” His intervention comes after a long-running campaign from children’s charities to ensure a blanket ban on unacceptable sites on public WiFi networks.'"
Government

An Open Letter To Google Chairman Eric Schmidt On Drones 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-the-other-hand dept.
savuporo writes "A DC Area Drone User Group has posted an open letter in response to recent comments by Eric Schmidt about banning drones from private use. The closing section reads: 'Personally owned flying robots today have the power to change the balance of power between individuals and large bureaucracies in much the same way the Internet did in the past. And just as the military researchers who developed GPS for guiding munitions could never have imagined their technology would be used in the future to help people conduct health surveys in the world's poorest countries or help people find dates in the world's richest, there is a whole world of socially positive and banal applications for drones that are yet to be discovered. We should embrace this chance that technology provides instead of strangling these opportunities in their infancy. Our hope is that you and the rest of Google's leadership will embrace this pro-technology agenda in the future rather than seeking to stifle it. We would welcome the opportunity to speak further with you about this topic.'"
Television

Aereo Ruling Could Impact Pandora 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the spread-the-love dept.
itwbennett writes "Aereo's court battles are far from over, to be sure, but the ruling earlier this month that the TV streaming service doesn't violate copyright laws must have the folks at music streaming service Pandora shaking their heads, wondering why they're still paying royalties that currently consume more than half their revenues. The implications of Aereo's business model are far-reaching and may ultimately 'be resolved by Congress, just as it did when cable first came on the scene, by passing legislation to redefine a public performance,' writes broadcast industry attorney David Oxenford."
Privacy

Israel Airport Security Allowed To Read Tourists' Email 438

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-have-a-look dept.
wiredmikey writes "Israeli security officials at Ben Gurion airport are legally allowed to demand access to tourists' email accounts and deny them entry if they refuse, the country's top legal official said on Wednesday. Details of the policy were laid out by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in a written response to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the group said in a statement. 'In a response dated April 24, 2013, the attorney general's office confirmed this practice,' ACRI said, quoting sections of the document which said it was only done in exceptional cases where 'relevant suspicious signs' were evident and only done with the tourist's 'consent'. 'Allowing security agents to take such invasive measures at their own discretion and on the basis of such flimsy "consent" is not befitting of a democracy,' commented Lila Margalit from ACRI."
Cellphones

ZTE Joins Long List of Android Device-Makers Licensing Microsoft Patents 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the invested-in-android's-success dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In its continuing march toward locking up deals with every major Android and Chrome device maker, Microsoft announced on Tuesday a patent-licensing agreement with Chinese manufacturer ZTE. This follows a similar deal last week with the parent company of Foxconn. Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez said, 'Much of the current litigation in the so called 'smartphone patent wars' could be avoided if companies were willing to recognize the value of others’ creations in a way that is fair. At Microsoft, experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street, and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights. This is why we have paid others more than $4 billion over the last decade to secure intellectual property rights for the products we provide our customers.'"
DRM

What's Actually Wrong With DRM In HTML5? 447

Posted by Soulskill
from the same-thing-that's-wrong-with-mayonnaise-on-a-hamburger dept.
kxra writes "The Free Culture Foundation has posted a thorough response to the most common and misinformed defenses of the W3C's Extended Media Extensions (EME) proposal to inject DRM into HTML5. They join the EFF and FSF in a call to send a strong message to the W3C that DRM in HTML5 undermines the W3C's self-stated mission to make the benefits of the Web 'available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.' The FCF counters the three most common myths by unpacking some quotes which explain that 1.) DRM is not about protecting copyright. That is a straw man. DRM is about limiting the functionality of devices and selling features back in the form of services. 2.) DRM in HTML5 doesn't obsolete proprietary, platform-specific browser plug-ins; it encourages them. 3.) the Web doesn't need big media; big media needs the Web." Also: the FSF has announced that a coalition of 27 web freedom organizations have sent a joint letter to the W3C opposing DRM support in HTML5.
Encryption

Federal Magistrate Rules That Fifth Amendment Applies To Encryption Keys 322

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-the-nsa-has-quantum-computers dept.
Virtucon writes "U.S. Magistrate William Callahan Jr. of Wisconsin has ruled in favor of the accused in that he should not have to decrypt his storage device. The U.S. Government had sought to compel Feldman to provide his password to obtain access to the data. Presumably the FBI has had no success in getting the data and had sought to have the judge compel Feldman to provide the decrypted contents of what they had seized. The Judge ruled (PDF): 'This is a close call, but I conclude that Feldman's act of production, which would necessarily require his using a password of some type to decrypt the storage device, would be tantamount to telling the government something it does not already know with "reasonably particularity" — namely, that Feldman has personal access to and control over the encrypted storage devices. Accordingly, in my opinion, Fifth Amendment protection is available to Feldman. Stated another way, ordering Feldman to decrypt the storage devices would be in violation of his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.'" If the government has reasonable suspicion that you have illicit data, they can still compel you to decrypt it.
Australia

Self-Proclaimed LulzSec Leader Arrested In Australia 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the he-is-spartacus dept.
New submitter AlbanX writes "An IT professional working in Sydney has been arrested for hacking a government website as part of the LulzSec movement. The 24-year-old man, residing in Point Clare, was arrested at his workplace late yesterday. He claimed to be the leader of the hacker movement. 'Police say he was in a "position of trust" within the company and had access to information on government clients. The AFP says its investigation began less than two weeks ago when investigators found a government website had been compromised. The man has been charged with two counts of unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment and one count of unauthorised access to a restricted computer system. He faces a maximum of 12 years in jail.'"
Transportation

FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It 720

Posted by Soulskill
from the TSA-beat-you-to-the-punch dept.
coondoggie writes "The term sequestration has certainly become a four-letter word for many across the country — and now you can count business and regular traveling public among those hating its impact. The Federal Aviation Administration today issued a blunt statement on the impact of sequestration on the nation's air traffic control system, which this week begain furloughing about 10% of air traffic controllers for two days or so per month. It reads as follows: 'As a result of employee furloughs due to sequestration, the FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather-related issues. ... Yesterday more than 1,200 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough.'" U.S. Democrats and Republicans spent the day using the FAA's statement as political fodder rather than working on resolving sequestration.
Privacy

Millennials Willing To Share Personal Data — For a Price 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-also-get-off-your-lawn-for-a-price dept.
jfruh writes "The rap on the under-30 crowd is that they don't care anywhere near as much about online privacy as their elders — but that's not quite true. According to a recent study by USC's Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, millennials are just as concerned about the use of their personal data online as their elders. The difference arises when it comes to why they share that data: older users share with someone they trust, while millennials share when they perceive that there's something in it for them."
Crime

Crowdsourcing Failed In Boston Bombing Aftermath 270

Posted by timothy
from the well-not-entirely dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "With emotions high in the hours and days following the Boston Marathon bombing, hundreds of people took to Reddit's user-generated forums to pick over images from the crime scene. Could a crowd of sharp-eyed citizens uncover evidence of the perpetrators? No, but they could definitely focus attention on the wrong people. 'Though started with noble intentions, some of the activity on reddit fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties,' read an April 22 posting on Reddit's official blog. 'The reddit staff and the millions of people on reddit around the world deeply regret that this happened.'"
Canada

RCMP Says Terror Plot Against Canadian Trains Thwarted 170

Posted by timothy
from the trains-are-big-and-dangerous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two men were arrested in Canada, accused of conspiring to carry out an 'al-Qaeda supported' attack against a VIA passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area. The arrests were products of 'extensive' co-operation between Canadian and US intelligence agencies, who had been investigating the plot since August 2012." From this article, it's not clear whether any actual al-Qaeda support was forthcoming, or whether the accused plotters merely thought there was, by means of an FBI sting operation, as in the 2006 case in Florida.
Privacy

Privacy Groups Attack UK ISPs 'Collusion' With Government Snooping 91

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the must-have-something-to-hide dept.
judgecorp writes "Privacy groups have accused British ISPs of a 'conspiracy of silence' over the impact of the UK government;s proposed Communications Data Bill or 'Snooper's Charter.' The letter accuses the SPs of allowing themselves to be 'co-opted as an arm of the state' — and of not telling their customers what they are up to. Under the bill, ISPs can be ordered to store their users' communications data (the who when and where but not the content of emails etc) for police to search through."
Australia

Former Diplomat Slams Facebook For Inaction On Fake Pages 164

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the get-off-my-lawn dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Former diplomat to Belgium and the European Union Brendan Nelson describes his astonishment at his inability to get any response from Facebook when trying to get a diplomatically damaging fake page taken down. The social network ignored official protestations from the department of foreign affairs and security agencies."
Patents

Motorola Loses ITC Case Against Apple for Proximity Sensor Patents 121

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bogus-patents-for-all dept.
New submitter Rideak writes with this excerpt from CNet about an ITC ruling against Motorola in their case against Apple for violating a few of their proximity sensor patents: "The U.S. International Trade Commission today ended Motorola's case against Apple, which accused the iPhone and Mac maker of patent infringement. In a ruling (PDF), the ITC said that Apple was not violating Motorola's U.S. patent covering proximity sensors, which the commission called 'obvious.' It was the last of six patents Motorola aimed at Apple as part of an October 2010 complaint."

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