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The Courts

US DOJ Claims It Did Not Entrap Megaupload 246

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the when-all-you-have-is-a-sledgehammer dept.
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of Justice did not mislead a court and attempt to entrap file storage site Megaupload on copyright infringement charges, the agency said in a new filing in the case. Megaupload's charges that the DOJ conspired to entrap the site on criminal copyright charges are 'baseless,' an official with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia wrote in a court document filed last week. Earlier this month, Megaupload filed court documents saying that in 2010 the DOJ asked the site, through its hosting vendor, to keep infringing files as part of a DOJ investigation, then later charged Megaupload with copyright infringement."
Earth

The World Remains Five Minutes From Midnight 301

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hands-that-threaten-doom dept.
Lasrick writes "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announces whether their Doomsday Clock has been moved with this open letter to President Obama, outlining progress on a number of fronts, but also detailing what still needs to be done to avoid various threats to humanity." From the article: "2012 was a year in which the problems of the world pressed forward, but too many of its citizens stood back. In the U.S. elections the focus was "the economy, stupid," with barely a word about the severe long-term trends that threaten the population's well-being to a far greater extent: climate change, the continuing menace of nuclear oblivion, and the vulnerabilities of the world's energy sources."
Businesses

Instagram Loses Almost Half Its Daily Users In a Month 250

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-we-go-again dept.
redletterdave writes "Instagram scared off a lot of users back in December when it decided to update its original Terms of Service for 2013. But even though the company reneged on its new terms after a week of solid backlash, Instagram users are still fleeing the photo-sharing app in droves. According to new app traffic data, Instagram has lost roughly half of all its active users in the month since proposing to change its original Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. In mid-December, Instagram boasted about 16.3 million daily active users; as of Jan. 14, Instagram only has about 7.6 million daily users." Towards the end of December data showing a 25% drop in Instagram's daily active users came out. While it caused quite a bit of discussion online, it was suggested that the decline was due to the Christmas holiday or an inaccuracy in the data.
Crime

MIT Investigating School's Role In Swartz Suicide 382

Posted by samzenpus
from the rest-in-peace dept.
The untimely death of Aaron Swartz has raised a lot of questions over the weekend. Now MIT is launching an internal investigation to determine what role the school played in his suicide. From the article: "In a statement, MIT President L. Rafael Reif offered his condolences, saying that the school's community was 'extremely saddened by the death of this promising young man who touched the lives of so many. Now is a time for everyone involved to reflect on their actions, and that includes all of us at MIT,' Reif said. 'I have asked professor Hal Abelson to lead a thorough analysis of MIT's involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present. I have asked that this analysis describe the options MIT had and the decisions MIT made, in order to understand and to learn from the actions MIT took. I will share the report with the MIT community when I receive it.'"
Canada

Former Nortel Execs Await Corporate Fraud Ruling 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the day-of-reckoning dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Three former Nortel executives accused of orchestrating a widespread multimillion-dollar fraud will learn their fate in Toronto on Monday, nearly a year after one of the largest criminal trials in Canada's corporate history began. Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Marrocco is set to rule on whether ex-CEO Frank Dunn, ex-CFO Douglas Beatty and ex-controller Michael Gollogly manipulated financial statements at Nortel Networks Corp., between 2002-2003. The men, who each face two counts of fraud, are accused of participating in a book-cooking scheme designed to trigger $12.8 million in bonuses and stocks for themselves at the once powerful Canadian technology giant."
Crime

US Attorney Chided Swartz On Day of Suicide 656

Posted by samzenpus
from the rest-in-peace dept.
theodp writes "The e-mail that Defendant Swartz's supplemental memorandum (pdf) cites as paramount to his fifth motion to suppress [evidence against him] is relevant, but not nearly as important as he tries to make it out to be,' quipped United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz (pdf) in a court filing made on the same day Aaron Swartz committed suicide. In the 1-7-2011 e-mail Ortiz refers to, which was not produced for Swartz until Dec. 14th — almost two years after his 1-6-2011 arrest — a Secret Service agent reported to the Assistant U.S. Attorney that he was 'prepared to take custody anytime' of Swartz's laptop, although no one had yet sought a warrant to search the computer. In Prosecutor as Bully, Larry Lessig laments, 'They [JSTOR] declined to pursue their own action against Aaron, and they asked the government to drop its. MIT, to its great shame, was not as clear, and so the prosecutor had the excuse he needed to continue his war against the "criminal" who we who loved him knew as Aaron.' Swartz's family also had harsh words for MIT and prosecutors: 'Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron.' With MIT President Emeritus Charles M. Vest currently serving as a Trustee of JSTOR parent Ithaka as well as a Trustee of The MIT Corporation, one might have expected MIT to issue a statement similar to the let's-put-this-behind-us one JSTOR made on the Swartz case back in 2011."
Australia

Australian Spy Agency Seeks Permission To Hack Third-Party Computers 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-are-doing-it-wrong dept.
New submitter LordLucless writes "ASIO, Australia's spy agency, is pushing for the ability to lawfully hijack peoples' computers — even if they are not under suspicion of any crime. They seek the ability to gain access to a third party's computer in order to facilitate gaining access to the real target — essentially using any person's personal computer as a proxy for their hacking attempts. The current legislation prohibits any action by ASIO that, among other things, interferes with a person's legitimate use of their computer. Conceivably, over-turning this restriction would give ASIO the ability to build their own bot-net of compromised machines. Perhaps inevitably, they say these changes are required to help them catch terrorists."
Open Source

Norway Tax Auditors Want To Open Source Cash Registers To Combat Fraud 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the open-source-the-cashiers-while-you're-at-it dept.
Qedward writes "The Norwegian Ministry of Finance seems to be taking a bit of stick at the moment. It wants all the existing cash registers in the country thrown out and replaced with new ones. Not surprisingly, this massive upgrade is not popular. But it is apparently being pushed through in an attempt to prevent cash registers' figures being massaged downwards in use so as to reduce tax. The Norwegian association of tax auditors said: 'The source code must be opened.' 'Without source code it is not possible to determine whether or "hidden" functionality exists or not. Just knowing that the tax authorities have access to the source code of the application, will reduce the effort to implement hidden functionality in the software.'"
Government

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-find-your-lack-of-faith-disturbing dept.
New submitter fractalVisionz writes "The White House has officially responded to the petition to secure resources and funding to begin Death Star construction by 2016, as previously discussed on Slashdot. With costs estimated over $850,000,000,000,000,000 (that's $850 quadrillion), and a firm policy stating 'The Administration does not support blowing up planets,' the U.S. government will obviously decline. However, that is not to say we don't already have a Death Star of our own, floating approximately 120 miles above the earth's surface. The response ends with a call to those interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields of study: 'If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.'"
Botnet

Alleged ZeuS Botmaster Arrested For Stealing $100M From US Banks 76

Posted by timothy
from the stumbling-block-on-the-career-path dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "A 24-year-old Algerian man remains in a Thai jail awaiting extradition to the United States, where he is suspected of masterminding more than $100 million in global bank heists using the ZeuS and SpyEye Trojans. Malaysian authorities believe they've apprehended the hacker Hamza Bendelladj, who they say has been jetsetting around the world using millions of dollars stolen online from various banks. He was arrested at a Bangkok airport en route from Malaysia to Egypt. The hacker had developed a considerable reputation as a major operator of ZeuS-powered botnets and bragged about his exploits"
Piracy

New Zealand Three-Strikes Law To Be Tested 77

Posted by timothy
from the hanged-by-the-neck-until-cranky dept.
Dangerous_Minds writes "Next month, tribunals will begin for the first people receiving their third strikes in the New Zealand 'Three Strikes Law.' In all, 11 people will have their cases heard, including one who said that her connection was used without her knowledge. Freezenet notes that there has been a long history of controversy for the law from the Internet blackout protests of 2008 to the cablegate leak which revealed that the law was financed and pushed by the United States."
Piracy

How Verizon's 'Six Strikes' Plan Works 505

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-is-not-how-strikes-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With the 'six-strikes' anti-piracy plan set to begin in the U.S. soon, TorrentFreak has gotten its hands on a document showing how Verizon in particular will be dealing with copyright-infringing users. For your first and second strike, Verizon will email you and leave you a voicemail informing you that your account is involved in copyright infringement. For your third and fourth strikes, the ISP will automatically redirect your browser to a page that requires you to acknowledge receiving the alerts. They'll also play a video about the dangers of infringement. For your fifth and sixth strikes, they give you three options: massively throttle your connection for a few days, wait two weeks and then throttle your connection, or file an appeal with an arbitration service for $35. TorrentFreak points out that the MPAA and RIAA can obtain the connection information of repeat infringers, with which they can then take legal action."
China

All New Homes In China Must Have Fiber Optic Internet Connections 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-fiber-in-every-garage dept.
redletterdave writes "Only a small number of U.S. cities can boast fiber optic connections, but in China, it's either fiber or bust. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has now ordered all newly built residences to install fiber optic connections in any city or county 'where a public fiber optic telecom network is available.' The new standards will take effect starting on April 1, 2013, and residents will be able to choose their own ISP with equal connections to services. The Chinese government reportedly hopes to have 40 million families connected to fiber networks by 2015."
Transportation

FAA To Investigate 787 Dreamliner 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-if-you-like-really-exciting-airplane-rides dept.
Dupple sends word from the BBC that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will be conducting a safety review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after a number of incidents have called the aircraft's hardiness into question. "An electrical fire, a brake problem, a fuel spill and cracks in the cockpit's windshield have affected Dreamliner flights in the past week. ... The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of the most advanced aeroplanes ever created. Much of it is made from very strong, light carbon-fibre composite material. However, a spate of technical issues has hurt its image. On Friday, two new problems were found, adding to Boeing's woes." A spokesman for Boeing said they were "absolutely confident in the reliability and performance of the 787," and were cooperating fully with the FAA's investigation. The 787 went into service in 2011, and 50 have been delivered to various airlines since then, with hundreds more on order. Qatar Airways has received five of them, and it has criticized Boeing for manufacturing faults.
Australia

Game Receives First R18+ "Adults Only" Classification In Australia 87

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-how-you-play dept.
angry tapir writes "Australia's Classification Board today announced the first video game to receive the new R18+ classification which came into effect at the start of 2013, indicating the title is to be sold only to adults. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, developed by Team Ninja, is published by Nintendo for the company's new Wii U console. The R18+ classification was created after a long campaign by gamers and game publishers. Previously games had a maximum rating of MA, and titles that didn't meet the criteria had to be reworked or not released in Australia."
Google

2012 Patent Rankings: IBM On Top, Google Spikes 41

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-google-hates-patents dept.
bednarz writes "It's official: IBM has dominated the U.S. patent race for two decades. IBM earned 6,478 utility patents last year, topping the list of patent winners for the 20th year in a row, according to data published today from IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. Samsung was the second most prolific patent winner, with 5,081 patents received in 2012, followed by Canon (3,174), Sony (3,032), Panasonic (2,769), Microsoft (2,613), Toshiba (2,447), Hon Hai Precision Industry (2,013), GE (1,652), and LG Electronics (1,624). Earning its first appearance among the top 50, Google increased its 2012 patent count by 170% to 1,151 patents and landed at 21 in IFI's rankings, up from 65 in 2011. Google narrowly beat Apple, which earned 1,136 patents (an increase of 68%) and landed at 22 in the rankings."
Piracy

Early Pirate Bay Server Immortalized In Museum 40

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the next-stop-smithsonian dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "One of the first servers used by notorious torrent tracker The Pirate Bay has ended up at the Computer Museum in Linköping. A picture of the exhibit sent to TorrentFreak shows the server in its original tower casing. The hardware will headline an exhibit on 50 years of file sharing. As the exhibit notes, The Pirate Bay is one of the focal points for the file-sharing phenomenon, used to share both copyrighted works (such as music and movies) and free-for-all material (open-source Linux distributions and the like). The sharing of the former has created a worldwide cat-and-mouse game, with governments doing their best to block file-sharing sites, capture their servers, and prosecute their operators. 'In less than ten years The Pirate Bay has become a contemporary historical phenomenon, due to its distinguished position in the file-sharing debate,' according to the museum exhibit. 'The discussions that have sprung from this simple computer server concerns serious subjects as freedom of speech, global democracy and of course the sole existence of copyright.'"
Crime

Java Zero-Day Vulnerability Rolled Into Exploit Packs 193

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-can't-win dept.
tsu doh nimh writes "The miscreants who maintain Blackhole and Nuclear Pack — competing crimeware products that are made to be stitched into hacked sites and use browser flaws to foist malware — say they've added a brand new exploit that attacks a previously unknown and currently unpatched security hole in Java. The curator of Blackhole, a miscreant who uses the nickname 'Paunch,' announced yesterday on several Underweb forums that the Java zero-day was a 'New Year's Gift,' to customers who use his exploit kit. The exploit has since been verified to work on all Java 7 versions by AlienVault Labs. The news comes days after it was revealed that Paunch was reserving his best exploits for a more closely-held exploit pack called Cool Exploit Kit, a license for which costs $10,000 per month."
Privacy

Nokia Admits Decrypting User Data Claiming It Isn't Looking 264

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we-won't-peek dept.
judgecorp writes "Nokia has admitted that it routinely decrypts user's HTTPS traffic, but says it is only doing it so it can compress it to improve speed. That doesn't convince security researcher Gaurang Pandya, who accuses the company of spying on customers." From the article, Nokia says: "'Importantly, the proxy servers do not store the content of web pages visited by our users or any information they enter into them. When temporary decryption of HTTPS connections is required on our proxy servers, to transform and deliver users' content, it is done in a secure manner. ... Nokia has implemented appropriate organisational and technical measures to prevent access to private information. Claims that we would access complete unencrypted information are inaccurate.'"
China

US Gives $120M For Lab To Tackle Rare Earth Shortages 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-rare-more-common dept.
coondoggie writes "With China once again playing games with the rare earth materials it largely holds sway over, the U.S. Department of Energy today said it would set up a research and development hub that will bring together all manner of experts to help address the situation. The DOE awarded $120 million to Ames Laboratory to set up an Energy Innovation Hub that will develop solutions to the domestic shortages of rare earth metals and other materials critical for U.S. energy security, the DOE stated."

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