AT&T is reportedly taking a $4 billion charge as a precautionary measure in case its attempted merger with T-Mobile fails to win anti-trust approval. By taking the charge, analysts believe it's a clear sign the telecom has lost confidence in the deal going through, and on top of it all, AT&T is said to have withdrawn its application to the U.S. Department of Justice.
You may recall that the U.S. Department of Justice once used the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to prosecute a woman who created a fake MySpace account and then verbally berated a 13-year-old girl, a girl who committed suicide as a result. The DoJ was successful, at first, because the grown woman's act of creating a fake account ran afoul of MySpace's terms of service. She was convicted, and then later had the ruling overturned. The DoJ is now expected to make a statement saying it should be able to prosecute users who ignore ToS guidelines.
One Russian and six Estonians have been arrested (or have a warrant for their arrest) and charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in a 27-count indictment for allegedly hacking millions of computer systems in more than 100 countries and participating in a "massive" scheme to reroute Web surfers to rogue servers. By doing so, the seven individuals accumulated millions of dollars in fraudulent online ad revenue, the DoJ said.
A Colorado woman accused of a mortgage scam is refusing to disclose her encryption passphrase for a laptop police found in her bedroom during a raid, and the way this plays out could set a precedent for future cases. The Department of Justice asked a federal judge to force the defendant, Ramona Fricosu, to decrypt the laptop, which brings up the question of whether or not such an order would be legal under the Fifth Amendment.
Over the course of the next four weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice will put into effect an initiative to remotely uninstall the Coreflood botnet Trojan from infected Windows PCs. The way it will go down is the DOJ will identify owners of infected rigs and then submit an authorization form to the FBI. It's the latest step in an effort to stomp out the botnet that's managed to seize control of some 2 million PCs.
Google has received federal approval for its purchase of travel software company ITA. Google has faced intense scrutiny over the sale from the government as well as from the competition, like Microsoft Bing and Expedia. But it's not a free-for-all, Google will have to adhere to some fairly strict guidelines.
A federal judge today has granted the Department of Justice access to Twitter accounts related to the whistleblower site WikiLeaks. The DOJ will be able to learn what IP addresses and email addresses are attached to the accounts when they start digging in. The request was part of a grand jury investigate to determine whether WikiLeaks members violated US criminal law by releasing the diplomatic cables last year.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has agreed to cut a check for $16.25 million to settle allegations that it bribed Texas school officials with expensive gifts in exchange for federally funded contracts that pay for Internet connections for schools and libraries, the Associated Press reports.
We're not talking about $100 watches here, but pricey items like Super Bowl tickets and yacht trips. This drew the attention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DoJ), which accused HP of fraud related to the government's E-rate program, an $8 billion-a-year fund that subsidizes Internet access in rural communities via a surcharge on phone bills.
It's all water under the bridge, says HP, which points out that this occurred over five years ago and that the employees responsible have since been canned.
The district avowedly captured 56,000 images as part of its anti-theft efforts. While it has every reason to heave a sigh of relief, it is still not time for full-scale festivities as a case filed by a student's family in February is still pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Department of Justice has Oracle in its sights and is slamming the software maker with a lawsuit accusing the company of committing fraud in conjunction with a government contract worth millions of dollars, CNET reports.
"We take seriously allegations that government contractor has dealt dishonestly with the United States," said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the civil division of the Department of Justice, in a statement. "When contractors misrepresent their business practices to the government, taxpayers suffers."
According the lawsuit, Oracle's government customers, such as the State Department, Energy Department, and even the Justice Department, to name a few, received deals "far inferior" to Oracle's commercial clients. The lawsuit goes on to allege that Oracle misrepresented its true commercial sales practices, thereby defrauding the U.S.