The Carpathia hosting company has already sunk over half a million bucks into keeping the user data stored on Megaupload's 25,000 servers, and that tally's rising by another $9k a day. Now, the company's looking to offset that cost by either: (A) selling 25 petabytes of data back to Megaupload; (B) get the court to help foot the maintenance bill; or (C) receive court protection from civil claims if it has to wipe the data to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately for Megaupload users on the up-and-up, the government and MPAA are blowing a raspberry at all three options.
Let's face it, MegaUpload was just as much of a popular pirate hangout as The Pirate Bay (TPB), which isn't to say there weren't some upstanding netizens using the service for legitimate purposes, but we all know what really on went over there. Does that mean non-infringing users should suffer for the wrongs of the bunch who ruined MegaUpload for the few? Maybe (better research into where you store your files could have prevented potentially losing them when the feds beat down the virtual door), maybe not (they weren't doing anything illegal, after all), but regardless. there's at least one organization that has their back: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Back in 2010, the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement that exempted jailbreaking, rooting, and otherwise unlocking mobile devices from DMCA anti-circumvention laws. For all intents and purposes, this made these activities completely legal, and stopped Apple from making all those threats against the jailbreak community. In 2012, that exemption is set to expire unless it is renewed, and the EFF wants to make sure that it is.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is urging the U.S. Copyright Office to renew and expand exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that were granted last year in response to EFF's requests to protect certain modding rights. Specifically, EFF played a critical role in making it legal to "jailbreak" smartphones, and the organization wants the DMCA to grant the same freedom for electronic tablets and videogame consoles.
Even as all other Android tablets seem hopelessly incapable of holding a candle to the Apple iPad, Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire can already be seen glaring rather invitingly (or ominously if you’re Apple) in the distance. Its initial dazzle is perhaps largely due to its highly affordable price and cloud-accelerated Silk browser. While its hard to look beyond its unbelievably low price, certain folks are much more interested in the latter.
What do you expect to come up when you search for a term in Google or Bing? Page after page of relevant results, right? Wrong, buster – at least if you're a customer of an ISP that engages in search query redirection. Late last night, a report surfaced that reveals that several ISPs, with the help of a company called PaxFire, have secretly been hijacking your traffic when you search for a certain major keywords. Why? Revenue, of course. Is your ISP on the list?
The U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency has been the Dirty Harry of the World Wide Web the past year or so, shooting its virtual guns and taking down websites playing host to copyrighted materials. Fire first and silly legal questions be damned! Now, the gung-ho nature of "Operation in Our Sites" (see what they did there?) could be coming back to haunt ICE. Puerto 80, the owner of Spanish sports site Rojadirecta.com, has petitioned the courts for the return of its seized website – and it has the EFF in its corner.
Imagine you got a letter that said you had to take down your blog or Facebook page, or spend thousands lawyering up. That sensation running down your spine? It has a name in the legal world. It’s called a chilling effect. A legal threat doesn’t have to go to court to be effective. Most would-be defendants don’t want the hassle and expense of going to court, and so capitulate to threats, even invalid ones.
Everyone from Congressional heavyweights to Joe Internet on the street is concerned about privacy these days. So it's a fitting time for the EFF to release their updated Privacy Score Card. This handy document tells you which companies are looking after your online privacy, and which aren’t. You might be surprised by the standings.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced today that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in their favor, meaning that Federal authorities cannot access emails without first obtaining a warrant. The court ruled that such action was in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. The decision strikes down a 1986 law that had been interpreted to allow warrantless access to emails.
The case centered on Steven Warshak, who was the owner of Premium Nutraceuticals, a mail order company that sold the "male enhancement" supplement Enzyte. He was convicted of fraud based partially on seized emails, but he won't be getting out of jail free. The Appeals Court sent his case back to a lower court for a new sentence. The 1986 law, the Stored Communications Act, held that police were permitted to obtain emails older than 180 days without a warrant. All that was required was a special subpoena, which did not require probable cause.
The EFF filed a amicus brief with the court seeking to have the law struck down. Now that this action has been successful, authorities will need to show probably cause, and obtain a warrant before accessing emails. It is unclear if the Justice Department will pursue the case further.