After more than 90 legally questionable domain seizures for the non-crime of criminal contributory copyright infringement, the Department of Justice is facing its first suit from Puerto 80, the Spanish owners of Rojadirecta. The complaint tells the disturbing story of trying to discuss the seizure with the government and being ignored for months. Only after filing suit did the DOJ start returning phone calls, but even then the government's compromise was the illogical and impossible request that Rojadirecta's users never post a link to U.S. content. The New York Department of Homeland Security needs to take some Internet classes at their local community college.
Q, everyone's favorite gadget-smith, never got the respect he deserved. The job carried some great perks, sure – getting his hands on all that cutting-edge tech must have been awesome, and Q stayed immaculately dressed – but in the end, it was always James Bond who got the glory and the tricked out Aston Martins. Q and his friends might end up with the last laugh, though. The British government is warning that it's losing computer whizzes left and right as the allure of big paydays and fast cars are sucking geeky government agents into the private sector.
If you thought one LulzSec was one too many, get ready for your worst nightmare. A new Brazilian faction of the now infamous hacker group has begun its own attacks on government sites in Brazil. "Our Brazilian unit is making progress. Well done @LulzSecBrazil, brothers!" LulzSec proper tweeted.
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.
Anybody who thinks that Anonymous is just a bunch of harmless script kiddies playing around on their mom's computer hasn't been following the news recently. The US recently said it would put a hurting on hackers that threatened the nation, and earlier this week, NATO published a special report on cybersecurity. A big chunk of it was spent describing the threat of everyone's favorite hacker collective. The longer Anonymous continues its hijinks, the more likely they'd be "infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted," the report warned. Anonymous' response showed its characteristic sense of style.
Bitcoin is a new digital currency traded over p2p connections that is essentially untraceable and not connected to any bank. This has made it a favorite of the tech-literate crowd, but two US Senators are looking to crack down on Bitcoin after reports that it is being used to buy illegal drugs online.
Google earlier this week said hundreds of Gmail accounts were compromised by hackers in China, including accounts belonging to U.S. government officials and military personnel. This was followed up by a report in the Washington Post claiming one of the affected Gmail accounts belonged to a Cabinet-level official. Despite the reports, it might not be as bad as it initially sounded.
With the first e-G8 meeting this week, we suspected that Internet issues would come up at the real G8 conference attended by world leaders. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is known for his desire to “tame” the web, which he sees as a threat to content owners. Imagine our surprise when a memo leaked to the Financial Times indicated wide support of the principals of freedom that made the Internet the force for good it has thus far been.
One of the four FCC commissioners that approved the Comcast-NBC deal has announced that she will be leaving the FCC at the end of her term in June. You'll never guess where she's going to work. Yep, Comcast. Meredith Attwell Baker will be Comcast's new SVP of government affairs.