DailyDirt: Will This Problem Ever Go Away?

van TechDirt - di, 04/14/2015 - 02:00
A common complaint for closed source software-as-a-service is that it can just go away almost any minute -- leaving users abandoned without any immediate backup solutions. There might be alternatives to switch to, but the alternatives are not exactly the same, and this is why people complained so much when [GeoCities, Google Reader, FormsCentral, etc.] shut down. Users get accustomed to certain features that may be unique. Some companies are better at handling service shutdowns than others, but in the end, it's still really annoying. After you've finished checking out those links, if you have some spare change (or more) and would like to support Techdirt, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Court Dismisses Prenda's Ridiculous Defamation Lawsuit Against Internet Critics & Guy Whose Signature It Forged

van TechDirt - di, 04/14/2015 - 01:05
Remember Alan Cooper? This was the housekeeper for some cabins owned by John Steele, one of the lawyers behind Prenda Law, who suddenly found his name and (falsified) signature on a number of documents related to Prenda Law's copyright trolling shakedowns. Unhappy with this situation, Cooper sued John Steele and Prenda Law. In response, Prenda Law, Paul Duffy and John Steele all sued back... for defamation. Specifically, they filed three separate lawsuits, all against Alan Cooper, his lawyer Paul Godfread and a bunch of anonymous internet commenters. John Steele quickly dropped his lawsuit (apparently there were some serious procedural problems with it in Florida), but Duffy kept both his personal lawsuit and Prenda's lawsuit going -- despite the fact that the lawsuits were clearly crazy.

There was some back and forth as Duffy tried (and failed) to keep the lawsuits in state court (where crazy lawsuits tend to have a better chance), and last year the lawsuit that was technically filed by "Prenda" resulted in sanctions against Duffy. The lawsuit filed by Duffy himself, facing the same judge (John Darrah) has now been tossed out as well, siding with Cooper/Godfread over their claims that the lawsuit violated Minnesota's anti-SLAPP law. Darrah points out, in his analysis that Duffy appears to have just given up on the case, ignoring multiple requests by the court to present his arguments: Plaintiffs have been given several chances at producing evidence to show that Godfread and Cooper’s statements are not entitled to immunity. The renewed motion to dismiss pursuant to the anti-SLAPP act was filed on October 30, 2014. Plaintiffs were given until December 1, 2014, to respond but did not do so. The ruling date was scheduled for February 17, 2015. On February 12, 2015, Plaintiffs were given until February 19, 2015 to respond but, again, did not do so. Throughout this case and the companion case, 14-cv-4391, Prenda and Duffy have ignored clear court orders and failed to fully brief motions. Plaintiffs have not produced clear and convincing evidence that Godfread and Cooper’s statements are not entitled to immunity. Therefore, Godfread and Cooper’s statements in the Minnesota lawsuit must be found to be immune from suit. That was concerning the statements in Cooper's original lawsuit. How about the online commenters? Duffy doesn't fare well here either. As everyone pointed out at the time the lawsuit was filed, the comments of various anonymous online commenters were clearly statements of opinion, and thus not defamatory: The Internet statements cited in Plaintiffs’ Complaint are opinions that do not contain an objectively verifiable assertion. Therefore, the statements are not libel per se but nonactionable opinions. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Counts I, II, III, and IV is granted without prejudice as to Defendants John Does 1-10. Judge Darrah also rejects the claims of "false light" pointing out that such a claim requires "actual malice" and Duffy didn't even bother to show how any statements involved actual malice. Darrah also rejects the claims of "civil conspiracy" and "tortious interference" noting that Duffy made "threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements." In other words: just because you say it, it doesn't make it so, Duffy.

Consider Duffy's weak attempt into intimidation through defamation lawsuits a failed endeavor.

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Telco Lobby Sues FCC Over Net Neutrality Rules Yet Again... Just In Case The First Time Didn't Work

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 23:38
A few weeks back, we wrote about USTelecom, a trade association of broadband providers filing a legal challenge to the FCC's net neutrality rules in the DC Circuit. This took some folks by surprise, because the general assumption was that you couldn't file the lawsuit until after the FCC had officially put the rules in the Federal Register, and that hadn't happened yet. However, USTelecom decided to go ahead because part of the new rules fell under a different legal regime, and under that regime, you only have 10 days to file an appeal. So USTelecom decided to file quickly just so they didn't lose out on a procedural issue in missing those 10 days. Today, however, the rules finally went into the Federal Register (and they're set to take effect on June 12), and so USTelecom basically filed the same thing all over again. You can read the new "supplemental" filing [pdf] which is almost word for word the same as the first, except adding the fact that it's doing this just in case it was supposed to really wait for the Federal Register stuff to happen: This Court has encouraged petitioners, in circumstances such as those here where the triggering event for petitioning for review is unclear, to file a supplemental petition for review. Basically, this is the same lawsuit, but USTelecom wants to just cover all of its bases to make sure, dammit, that this appeal to the new rules is filed however possible.

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Baltimore Cops Asked Creators Of 'The Wire' To Keep Cellphone Surveillance Vulnerabilities A Secret

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 22:23

Over the past decade, criminals have apparently gained an insurmountable technology lead over law enforcement. I'm not sure how this is possible, especially considering many criminals don't have access to the same technology cops do, much less access to generous DHS funding, and yet, here we are witnessing police officers (following orders from the FBI) tossing cases and lying to judges in order to "protect" secret tools that aren't all that much of a secret.

We recently covered a Baltimore detective's courtroom admission that a) the Baltimore PD had deployed its Stingray equipment 4,300 times over the past seven years and b) that it had hidden this information from courts and defendants. The argument for this secrecy was that doing otherwise allows criminals to devise ways to beat the system.

No one's looking to expose ongoing investigations, but as far as some law enforcement agencies are concerned, everyone is under continuous investigation by default. And since that's the case, anything that might be construed as giving criminals a head start is subject to a thoroughly ridiculous code of silence that excludes the majority of the justice system.

This cop-specific technopanic is so all-encompassing that it has bled over into the unreality of creative efforts -- like TV shows. (via The Verge) David Simon, creator of "The Wire" and a former Baltimore Sun reporter, said in an email that "the transition from landlines to cellular technology left police investigations vulnerable well over a decade ago."

He noted that there was new technology at the time — such as Nextel phones that mimicked walkie-talkies — that "was actually impervious to any interception by law enforcement during a critical window of time."

"At points, we were asked by law enforcement not to reveal certain vulnerabilities in our plotlines," Simon said. That included communications using Nextel devices. The Wire also featured detectives using a cell signal-capturing device called a "Triggerfish." Any relation to today's Stingrays is likely not coincidental, no matter what the post-credits disclaimer might have stated. The Stingray isn't a secret, but it has been awarded an unprecedented amount of secrecy. Cops lie to judges, defendants and even prosecutors to keep the Stingray out of the public eye. And yet, it seems clear that The Wire's creators knew something about the technology over a decade ago.

But the inherent ridiculousness of asking a fictional television show to withhold dramatic elements just because they may have hewed too closely to reality can't be ignored. Criminals will find vulnerabilities in the system and law enforcement will work hard to close these gaps. But criminals aren't so far ahead as to be unstoppable.

This attempt to censor The Wire isn't much different than the law enforcement secrecy efforts we see being deployed in courts. The motivation behind these efforts is highly suspect. It doesn't seem so much to be aimed at preventing criminals from exploiting vulnerabilities as it is at keeping law enforcement officers from working any harder than they feel they should have to. It's not about keeping bad guys from outmaneuvering cops. It has more to do with preventing public disclosure from resulting in unwanted changes -- like additional scrutiny from magistrate judges or the challenging of submitted evidence. It's about preserving the most efficient law enforcement methods -- generally anything that doesn't require permission from an outside entity or generate a paper trail.

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Anonymous Targeting CloudFlare Seems To Go Against Anonymous' History

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 21:09
We recently had an excellent two-part podcast discussion (Part I, Part II) with professor Gabriella Coleman, all about Anonymous, its "many faces," and how it shifted from just being about the "lulz" into real political activism. Of course, it covered the many contradictions of Anonymous -- including the idea that anyone can just declare themselves a "member" and take on whatever they want, meaning that sometimes Anonymous' actions are self-contradictory. One faction may decide to do one thing, while another faction may disagree with it entirely. And that's all perfectly reasonable under the banner of Anonymous. You can see that in the recent effort by Anonymous to take on ISIS with #OpISIS. Over the past few years, Anonymous certainly got plenty of attention for jumping into some fights in the Middle East, gaining plenty of attention for its attempts to aid protesters in Tunisia, which kicked off the Arab Spring.

Even so, the strategies of #OpISIS are a bit baffling, and certainly seem to go against Anonymous' general stance in other situations. Last week, it put out a list of hosting/infrastructure companies that it claimed were hosting pro-ISIS content, with the aim of demanding such sites take down that content. One of the main targets: CloudFlare, a company that many websites (including Techdirt) use to protect against denial-of-service attacks and to generally improve reliability. CloudFlare has responded by pointing out the obvious: it makes decisions to stop serving websites based on court orders, not mob rule: CloudFlare does not itself host the content of the websites, meaning blocking its service would not actually make the content go away. The service instead protects sites from malicious traffic and cyber threats, meaning without it websites would be more vulnerable to attacks from Anonymous.

"We're the plumbers of the internet," [CloudFlare founder & CEO Matthew] Prince said. "We make the pipes work but it's not right for us to inspect what is or isn't going through the pipes. If companies like ours or ISPs (internet service providers) start censoring there would be an uproar. It would lead us down a path of internet censors and controls akin to a country like China."


CloudFlare has previously faced criticism for protecting websites associated with Anonymous, however Prince asserts that their service is only removed if they're told to do so by a court of law.

"The irony is there is no organisation that we have had more requests to terminate services for than the hacking group Anonymous, including from government officials - which we have not done without following the proper legal process," Prince said.
In other words, careful where you aim that gun, #OpISIS, because it might point back at you as well. It seems even more ironic when you realize that one of the earliest "high profile" campaigns by Anonymous was when it targeted companies like Paypal and Amazon after each made the decision to cut off Wikileaks. Thus, Operation Payback began, targeting those who chose to arbitrarily cut off Wikileaks, without waiting for any sort of official legal process.

So it seems rather bizarre and counterproductive for this particular segment of Anonymous to now be pushing for the same thing: companies to arbitrarily cut off other content, while in the past it has argued that infrastructure providers should not bow down to the opinions of a few without a legal basis. It's fascinating that Anonymous is targeting ISIS, showing just how bizarre this world has become, but doing so by trying to pressure companies into voluntary censorship campaigns seems really counterproductive and completely contrary to the message that Anonymous has presented to the world in the past.

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Daily Deals: Linux Learner Bundle

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 21:06
Whether you're a Linux newbie or are already reading Techdirt right now on a Linux box, you can probably stand to learn more about Linux. Today's Daily Deal is here to help. You can grab the Linux Learner Bundle at 91% off (over $500 in savings). The bundle includes 6 courses from Udemy with over 50 hours of content -- from a quick (5 day) lesson for beginners to more advanced concepts for those looking to set up, run and protect Linux servers. Go through all six of the lessons and get prepared to get Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC). This deal comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and it ends soon.

Note:We earn a portion of all sales from Techdirt Deals. The products featured do not reflect endorsements by our editorial team.

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Senate Intelligence Committee Finally Decides That Maybe It Should Figure Out What The Intelligence Community Is Up To

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 19:45
Both houses of Congress set up their respective "Select Committees on Intelligence" in the mid-1970s as basically permanent extensions of the Church and Pike Committees that dug into widespread abuses of the US intelligence community in the preceding decades. The idea was that by creating permanent oversight committees, it would prevent the kinds of abuses that were commonly done by the FBI, NSA and CIA. And yet, as we've noted many times, the intelligence committees don't seem to function as an oversight committee these days. Rather, they seem to be the committee designed to whitewash any abuses and to help the intelligence communities give a false veneer of legitimacy to their widespread abuses.

Just to put an exclamation point on the lack of real oversight, the Associated Press is now reporting that, in the wake of the Snowden revelations, then Senate Intelligence Committee boss (now "ranking member"), Dianne Feinstein, asked the committee to create a "secret encyclopedia" of all the various intelligence programs, because members and staffers apparently hadn't been keeping track: Trying to get a handle on hundreds of sensitive, closely held surveillance programs, a Senate committee is compiling a secret encyclopedia of American intelligence collection. It’s part of an effort to improve congressional oversight of the government’s sprawling global spying effort.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein launched the review in October 2013, after a leak by former National Security Agency systems administrator Edward Snowden disclosed that the NSA had been eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. Four months earlier, Snowden had revealed the existence of other programs that vacuumed up Americans’ and foreigners’ phone call records and electronic communications.

“We’re trying right now to look at every intelligence program,” Feinstein told the Associated Press. “There are hundreds of programs we have found ... sprinkled all over. Many people in the departments don’t even know (they) are going on.”
Later in the article, Feinstein admits that the committee had not been "satisfactorily informed" about certain surveillance programs.

In other words, the committee clearly hasn't been doing much "oversight." Part of the problem is that so much of the work done by the intelligence community actually falls under executive order 12333. That's the executive order issued by Reagan under which most of the key intelligence programs fall -- and which Congress technically has no oversight mandate.

If the program started back in 2013, why is it only coming out now? Well, because with the changing of the guard in the latest Congress, Senator Richard Burr took over the Senate Intelligence Committee leadership, and he's even more of an intelligence community defender than Feinstein ever was. In the past, he's even argued that there should be no public hearings by the committee, and he's basically fought against any effort for transparency, and always sides with the intelligence community. Given that, many expected him to just kill off Feinstein's attempt at cataloging these programs -- but apparently Burr and Feinstein worked out "a deal" to continue -- but it appears that the "deal" also involves ending this effort by September, and no longer using two staffers from the executive branch who were familiar with these programs: Feinstein, a California Democrat, initially wasn’t sure that Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who took her place as chairman of the panel when Republicans took control of the Senate in January, would agree to continue the review. But Burr and Feinstein recently reached an agreement to do so, said Senate aides. They were not authorized to discuss the inner committee workings publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Two executive branch officials who had been detailed to the committee are returning to the executive branch and will not be replaced, the aides said, so the effort will be entirely the work of congressional staff. The project will end in September, the aides said.
Of course, for the past few years, Feinstein had insisted that the Committee was fully informed -- and only now it's coming out that she admits they weren't really. Except, now the committee is controlled by someone who is even more in the bag for the intelligence community than she was. Does anyone honestly think that the intelligence committees will now suddenly start doing a better job keeping the rest of Congress informed about what the intelligence community is up to?

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Cash-strapped Greece remains top defence spender

van EU Observer - ma, 04/13/2015 - 19:24
Cash-strapped Greece remains one the biggest spenders on military defence in the EU, relative to its GDP.

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

White House Floats Idea Of Crypto Backdoor... If The Key Is Broken Into Multiple Pieces

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 18:29
It's no secret that some in the law enforcement and intelligence communities are hell bent on stopping encryption from being widely deployed to protect your data. They've made it 100% clear that they want backdoors into any encryption scheme. But when actual security folks press government officials on how they're going to do this without undermining people's own security and privacy, we get a lot of bureaucratic gobbledygook in response. Either that or magical fairy thinking about golden keys that basically any security expert will tell you are impossible without weakening security.

Not surprisingly, the law enforcement and intelligence communities are not giving up yet. The latest is that the White House appears to be floating a proposal to setup a backdoor to encryption that requires multi-party keys. That is, rather than just having a single key that can decrypt the content, it would require multiple parties with "pieces" of the "key" to come together to unlock it: Recently, the head of the National Security Agency provided a rare hint of what some U.S. officials think might be a technical solution. Why not, said Adm. Michael S. Rogers, require technology companies to create a digital key that could open any smartphone or other locked device to obtain text messages or photos, but divide the key into pieces so that no one person or agency alone could decide to use it?

“I don’t want a back door,” said Rogers, the director of the nation’s top electronic spy agency during a speech at Princeton University, using a tech industry term for covert measures to bypass device security. “I want a front door. And I want the front door to have multiple locks. Big locks.”
Of course, this proposal is nothing new. As Declan McCullagh points out, during the first "Crypto Wars" of the 1990s, the NSA proposed the same sort of thing with two parties holding parts of the escrow key. It was a dumb idea then and it's a dumb idea now.

The idea being floated here is that by setting up such a system, it's less open to abuse by government/law enforcement/intelligence communities. And maybe that's true. It makes it marginally less likely to be abused by the government. But it can still be abused quite a bit. It's not like we haven't seen multiple government agencies team up to do nefarious things in the past, or even federal officials and private companies. Hell, just look at the recent discussions about the DEA's phone records surveillance program, where the DEA later teamed up with the NSA. And, also, that program required the more or less voluntary cooperation of telcos. So the idea that the requirement of multiple parties somehow lessens the risk seems like a stretch.

But, even if it actually did reduce the risk of direct abuse, it doesn't get anywhere near the real problem with this approach. If you're building in a back door, you're building in a vulnerability that others will eventually be able to exploit. You are flat out weakening the system -- whether or not you split up the key. You're still exposing the data to those with nefarious intent by weakening the overall system.

Thankfully, at least some in the government seem to recognize this: “The basic question is, is it possible to design a completely secure system” to hold a master key available to the U.S. government but not adversaries, said Donna Dodson, chief cybersecurity advisor at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technologies. “There’s no way to do this where you don’t have unintentional vulnerabilities.” So, now the questions is if the White House will actually listen to the cybersecurity experts at NIST -- or the people who want to undermine cybersecurity at the NSA and the FBI?

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One Year Ago, FBI Insisted That 'Terrorist' Guy It Arrested Last Week Was No Threat At All

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 16:58
Last week, we wrote about the FBI arresting John Booker, who was involved in yet another of the FBI's own plots. At the beginning of our post (and the criminal complaint) against Booker, we noted how a year ago Booker had tried to join the army, and had then been denied after posting stuff to his Facebook page about how he was going to "wage jihad" and planned to die. It was noted that the FBI visited him at that time, and we found it odd that if he was such a threat, why wasn't he arrested then. Instead, it appears that months later, the FBI got together and concocted a ridiculous plot for Booker to join, in which the FBI itself did all the planning.

What he hadn't realized was that when the incident happened last year with Booker and his Facebook page, there was actually news coverage about it, with the FBI actually saying that they had investigated and Booker was no threat at all: The alert, which was sourced to “an FBI agent,” stated it was distributed to “inform and protect officers who may encounter this individual or others exhibiting the same aspirations.”

Four days later, on Tuesday, the FBI downplayed the "routine" alert, saying it was not actively searching for Booker. The agency said it did not believe he posed an "imminent threat," despite the original alert's invocation of the Fort Hood shooting, where an Army psychologist killed 13 and wounded more than 30 on a Texas military base in 2009.

“We have interviewed this individual,” an FBI spokesman said. “There is not a manhunt and there never was one. There is no imminent threat to public safety, nor should the public be concerned that this threat exists from an individual at large."
The reporter who wrote that above now works at the Intercept and has revealed more details, including the FBI's Situational Information Report after it had interviewed Booker a year ago. It notes that not only had Booker checked himself into a mental health facility a month earlier, but also that he basically had no way of carrying out any threat: BOOKER does not have access to a vehicle or other form of transportation at this time, nor is there evidence he possess firearms. It appears that Booker only became a real threat... once two FBI informants showed up and created the plot for him.

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Surveillons les surveillants à l'Assemblée !

van La Quadrature du Net - ma, 04/13/2015 - 16:05

Paris, le 13 avril 2015 — Aujourd'hui commence à l'Assemblée l'examen du projet de loi « renseignement », imposant la surveillance de masse de tous les citoyens et organisant son impunité. Tout en contactant leurs élus pour leur exposer les conséquences désastreuses de cette loi, les citoyens sont invités à suivre les débats et agir afin que les responsabilités politiques de chacun soient clairement exposées.

La loi surveillance poussée par M.Valls et portée par le zélé rapporteur Jean-Jacques Urvoas porte gravement atteinte aux libertés, en instaurant la surveillance de masse au coeur du réseau, en forçant la participation des intermédiaires techniques, et sans aucune limite à l'international. La loi organise en outre l'impunité totale, hors de tout contrôle d'un juge judiciaire indépendant, de ces pratiques incompatibles avec la démocratie. Malgré cette opinion partagée par Jean-Marie Delarue, le président de la CNCIS, des poids-lourds industriels, la CNIL, les syndicats de magistrats, de nombreuses associations de défense des libertés, la loi risque d'être adoptée au pas de charge, dans le cadre d'une procédure d'urgence.

Aujourd'hui même Nils Muižnieks, commissaire aux droits de l’homme du ­Conseil de l’Europe, Michel Forst rapporteur spécial des Nations unies sur la situation des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme et Ben Emmerson,rapporteur spécial des Nations unies sur les droits de l’homme et la lutte contre le terrorisme, se sont publiquement inquiétés du dangers de ce projet de loi pour les libertés publiques.

L'examen du projet de loi au Parlement se déroule du 13 au 16 avril. Il est crucial que les citoyens puissent suivre et participer à ces débats pour faire peser sur les parlementaires le poids de leurs responsabilités et les alerter sur les dangers de cette loi pour l'État de droit et la démocratie.

Les citoyens sont donc invités à suivre les débats parlementaires soit en assistant aux séances à l'Assemblée nationale, en suivant sur le flux vidéo de l'Assemblée, mais également en continuant à contacter leurs députés par mail et téléphone.

« Si ce projet de loi est adopté, la surveillance généralisée va devenir un instrument du pouvoir exécutif, et conduira inévitablement à des abus. Il est de notre devoir de citoyen de surveiller ceux qui veulent instaurer la surveillance de masse hors de tout contrôle, et de leur faire porter le poids politique de leurs actes. » déclare Adrienne Charmet, coordinatrice des campagnes de La Quadrature du Net.

En plus du PiPhone permettant d'appeler gratuitement les élus, La Quadrature du Net met à disposition une analyse détaillée du texte issu de la Commission des Lois et une page wiki regroupant les informations pratiques nécessaire au suivi des débats.

Categorieën: Technieuws

Teen Changes Wallpaper On Teacher's Computer; Gets Charged With A Felony By Sheriff's Office

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 14:56
Change a teacher's desktop wallpaper? That's a felony. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has charged Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School, with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, a felony. Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday that Green logged onto the school's network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher's computer to one showing two men kissing. Seemingly everyone at every level of government wants to talk about cybersecurity. Most of what's discussed is delivered in the breathless cadence of a lifetime paranoiac. (Won't someone think of the poor multimillion-dollar studios?!!?) This school is one level of government. So is the sheriff's office. Both felt the 14-year-old's actions were severe enough to warrant felony charges. Why? Because somebody hacked something. If you can even call it "hacking…" Green had previously received a three-day suspension for accessing the system inappropriately. Other students also got in trouble at the time, he said. It was a well-known trick, Green said, because the password was easy to remember: a teacher's last name. He said he discovered it by watching the teacher type it in. The teen changed a computer's wallpaper and was able to do so because the most basic of security precautions weren't taken. Multiple students took advantage of this lax security to access computers with webcams so they could chat "face-to-face" while utilizing the school's network.

The school got all bent out of shape because some of the computers accessed contained encrypted test questions. It turned the student over to law enforcement because it deemed his "breach" of its system too "serious" to be handled by just a 10-day suspension. It had him arrested because of things he could have done, rather than the thing he actually did. One of the computers Green, 14, accessed also had encrypted 2014 FCAT questions stored on it, though the sheriff and Pasco County School District officials said Green did not view or tamper with those files. And yet, Sheriff Chris Nocco is still looking to prosecute a 14-year-old for attempting to annoy one of his teachers. Here's the student's description of what he did. "So I logged out of that computer [because that computer didn't have a webcam] and logged into a different one and I logged into a teacher's computer who I didn't like and tried putting inappropriate pictures onto his computer to annoy him," Green said. Here's Sheriff Nocco's statement: "Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done," Nocco said. Well... you do know what "he might have done," Sheriff Nocco. And yet, your response to this situation is to hand out felony charges to a teen for something he might have done? Is that the way law enforcement is really supposed to work? [The FBI has issued the following statement: "That's the way it works for us. Almost exclusively."]

He told you exactly what he did and why he did it. Your own investigative efforts confirmed he never accessed the oh-so-untouchable FCAT questions. Incredibly, Sheriff Nocco wants to not only punish this student for something he might have done, but any other teens who might do stuff. The sheriff said Green's case should be a warning to other students: "If information comes back to us and we get evidence (that other kids have done it), they're going to face the same consequences," Nocco said. Sheriff Nocco: I will arrest and charge teens with felonies for annoying educators and/or exposing their inability to make even the most minimal effort to keep their computers secure. If I lived in this county, I'd be very concerned that law enforcement officials are keen on the idea of arresting and prosecuting teens for stuff they didn't do (access test questions) or things they might have done (TBD as needed for maximum damage to teens' futures).

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[Sponsored] Global innovation for efficiency and quality in oil production

van EU Observer - ma, 04/13/2015 - 13:05
'Efficiency first' is the motto of the new Energy Union, but what forms will this new efficiency take and what measures will have to be taken to achieve this increased efficiency?

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

Latest Russian Censorship Move: Banning Internet Memes Using Photos Of Celebrities

van TechDirt - ma, 04/13/2015 - 12:56

For a while now, Techdirt has been tracking the continuing efforts of the Russian government to rein in the Internet, at the cost of squeezing much of the life out of it. As an article on Global Voices reports, this has now reached ridiculous levels: Russian censors have determined that one of the most popular forms of Internet meme is illegal. According to Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin's media watchdog, it's now against the law to use celebrities' photographs in a meme, "when the image has nothing to do with the celebrity's personality." Roskomnadzor's statement is the result of a decision by a court in Moscow, which decided that a particular photo meme violated the privacy of Russian singer Valeri Syutkin -- the Global Voices post has the fascinating details. Although no new law is involved, Roskomnadzor's power is such that it is able to make these kinds of rule changes -- and enforce them. Along with a ban on the use of celebrities' photographs in what are termed "image macros", the new ruling also forbids the creation of parody accounts or sites (original in Russian.) The key problem with the image macro part is the following: Roskomnadzor's vague new policy threatens to do more than crack down on potentially defamatory juxtaposition, however. By saying it is illegal to add celebrities' images to memes that "have nothing to do with the celebrity's personality," the Kremlin could be opening the door to banning a whole genre of absurdist online humor. Even if the policy is not rigorously enforced, it could have a chilling effect on the Russian online space, already under pressure because of previous censorship moves. And that's probably precisely what the authorities are seeking to achieve here. After all, when it comes to Russian celebrities' photographs with witty captions, what name springs to mind?

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

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