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Google Takes Heat for Illegal Rx Drug Sales Online
June 19, 2013
Mississippi AG Jim Hood has called on his counterparts in other states to join him in confronting Google for not doing enough to prevent illegal online activities including the sale of prescription drugs by rogue pharmacies. Hood invited Google CEO Larry Page to discuss his concerns but did not receive a response, he said. Consequently, the state had no choice but to issue subpoenas.
From the Inevitable Files: Lawmakers Scrutinize Snowden-China Connections
June 14, 2013
Well, this was bound to happen. U.S. lawmakers said Thursday that the House Intelligence Committee -- the same House Intelligence Committee that trashed Chinese telecommunications companies last year -- will conduct a "thorough scrub" of connections between China and Eric Snowden. Snowden -- a "traitor," according to Committee chairman Mike Rogers, R.-Mich. -- is now believed to be in Hong Kong.
Iceland Won't Grant Snowden Asylum - Until He Gets There
June 12, 2013
As far as Iceland goes, Edward Snowden may be left out in the cold. Snowden, the whistleblower who made international headlines after leaking secrets about the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM program, is believed to currently be in Hong Kong. Given Hong Kong's history of extraditing people to the United States, speculation has turned to where Snowden might go after Hong Kong.
London Police Now Pen Pals With BitTorrent Operators
June 5, 2013
Britain's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has begun sending letters to people it suspects of operating websites that provide access to unauthorized content for "criminal gain." The letters state that law enforcement authorities are working with the government and "industry bodies" and go on to say that operators of copyright-happy sites are in breach of the Serious Crimes Act.
SAP Seeks Autistic Employees
May 23, 2013
German software heavyweight SAP plans to recruit hundreds of people with autism in a quest to staff employees who "think differently." Autism affects people's ability to communicate and interact socially but has the knock-on effect of creating repetitive -- to the point of obsessive -- behavior. This makes autistic people particularly adept at analyzing data and picking up on details.
Amid Threats From Anonymous, Guantanamo WiFi Shut Down
May 22, 2013
Despite cries from the Left, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is still up and running. The same, however, can't be said for Guantanamo's WiFi. The U.S. military turned off wireless Internet service at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base amid threats from the hacker collective Anonymous. Officials have also nixed access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, a spokesperson for the prison said.
Chinese Army Ends 3-Month Hacking Hiatus
May 20, 2013
After a three-month lull, China's People's Liberation Army has resumed hack attacks against United States companies and government agencies. Despite a ballyhooed February report from private security firm Mandiant, and despite public complaints from the Pentagon, Unit 61398, the PLA group made famous by the report, is again back to its hacking ways.
Chinese Authorities Net 11 in Piracy Bust
May 8, 2013
Police in Beijing arrested 11 suspects believed to be involved with a major high-definition downloading ring. The website,, was running what has been called an "unprecedented" operation. It reportedly boasted more than 400,000 registered members and offered under-the-table downloads for nearly 19,000 films and TV series.
Samsung Under the Gun for Alleged Anti-HTC Rumormongering
April 17, 2013
Taiwan authorities have launched a probe into charges that Samsung hired students to post disparaging comments about HTC online. If the false advertising accusations are upheld, Samsung and its local advertising agent could be on the hook for about $835,000. The complaints sprouted earlier this month when Internet users claimed that Samsung had contracted students to write online content attacking HTC and lauding Samsung.
Iran To Launch 'Islamic Google Earth'
April 11, 2013
Iran -- long irked by Google's mapping systems -- said that it will launch its own 3D mapping service, one liberated from the geographical inaccuracies and "Zionist" bent of Google Earth. The system will be an "Islamic Google Earth," according to Mohammad Hassan Nami, Iran's minister for information and communications technology.
Competitors Ask EU to Rein In Google
April 10, 2013
Microsoft and Nokia are part of the coalition of companies that filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators claiming that Google is using its Android mobile operating system to promote its own products and services. Made public Tuesday by lobbying group FairSearch, the action comes as European regulators are reportedly near a settlement with Google over concerns that it has abused its search dominance.
Pirate Bay Proxy Operator's Bank Account Seized
April 4, 2013
The Netherlands has had the damnedest time blocking The Pirate Bay. Taking a cue from the UK, as well as from Belgium and others, the Netherlands ruled last May that Dutch Internet service providers must block The Pirate Bay. Alas, the ruling didn't quite do the trick, as people began offering proxies that afforded users circuitous routes to the piracy hotbed.
Piracy-Flavored Ad Campaign Pushes Buttons
April 4, 2013
The campaign was created to promote the band Ghost Beach. However, the name of the campaign is "Piracy Is Progress," and it asks people to take a stand on the issue of downloading copyrighted music for free. That includes the chance to vote in favor of piracy at the website A major clothing retailer, American Eagle, and the ad agency TWBA/Chiat/Day are behind the campaign.
Bribery Investigation Rumors Haunt ZTE
March 19, 2013
Chinese telecom ZTE may have ended 2012 in the red, but a new report alleges there was enough in the coffers for bribes. ZTE's Mongolia office is being investigated for bribery, according to China's IT Business News. The outlet is also reporting that Mongolian anti-corruption officials have already unearthed proof of bribes doled out for that country's national digital education project.
'Subversive' Site Aims to Be Pirate Bay of 3D Printing
March 13, 2013
Printers aren't typically linked with the word "subversive," but that's the mission of a new site for 3D printer files. Defcad was announced Tuesday at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. It is designed to give 3D printer enthusiasts access to files that allow them to create objects with their printers -- even if those objects are protected by intellectual property laws.
Swamped Servers Barricade SimCity From Players
March 7, 2013
Virtual city planners faced a crisis this week as a plague of server issues kept SimCity 5 gamers from connecting. This meant that building virtual roads, zoning communities, and all other jobs involved in creating a city in the game couldn't be accomplished. While essentially a single-player game, SimCity 5 requires that players have an Internet connection to play.
China Starts Arm Wrestling Android
March 7, 2013
Android -- and, by extension, Google -- has too much control over China's smartphone industry, according to a white paper from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Android is used by handset manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE, as well as Samsung, which has a solid footprint in China.
EU Fines Microsoft $731M for Flubbing Browser Deal
March 6, 2013
After Denmark announced it was seeking US$1 billion in back taxes from Microsoft, the tech giant was hit with a $731 million fine from the European Union. The fine is for Microsoft's failure to promote a range of Web browsers, not just Internet Explorer.
FBI Wins Skirmish in War on Dotcom
March 5, 2013
Kim Dotcom experienced a legal setback late last week when the New Zealand Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that had required the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to disclose all of its evidence against him. However, his fight to avoid extradition is nowhere near closure.
For Microsoft, There's Something Costly in Denmark
March 5, 2013
Little Denmark is looking for a big check. In one of the biggest tax cases in the history of the Scandinavian country with a population of 5.5 million, the Danish tax authority is seeking $1 billion from Microsoft in back taxes. The case stems from Microsoft's 2002 purchase of Danish software company Navision.
China Returns US Cyberattack Volley
March 1, 2013
What, China was just going to say nothing? On the heels of a report that China's military has for years been engaging in cyberespionage against the U.S., China's Ministry of Defense claimed that a pair of its military websites were attacked more than 100,000 times per month in 2012.
Copyright Alert System: Six Strikes and You're Annoyed
February 27, 2013
The Center for Copyright Information is ready to start implementing the Copyright Alert System, it said Monday. Under the system, content partners, such as music and movie producers, will alert participating ISPs of alleged P2P copyright infringement by their customers. The ISPs will then forward those copyright alerts to the supposed offenders.
China Defense Ministry Blasts Mandiant Hacking Report
February 21, 2013
China's defense ministry staged a news conference Wednesday to deny and decry a report that the People's Liberation Army was engaged in cyberwarfare against U.S. corporations, organizations and government agencies. The denial specifically addressed the bombshell Mandiant hacking study, which declared that the PLA's Unit 61398, located near Shanghai, was one of the world's "most aggressive computer hacking operations."
Europol Cybercops Take Down Ransomware Ring
February 14, 2013
The European police agency, Europol, announced Wednesday that it had dismantled a Russian-led, Spain-based cybercrime organization. The organization reportedly extorted millions of euros across more than 30 countries, mostly in Europe. The group's plan was to convince Internet users to pay fines, supposedly to authorities, for trumped-up infractions.
Facebook Faces Lawsuit Over Like Button
February 12, 2013
Rembrandt Social Media is suing Facebook for its use of the Like button, according to the BBC. Rembrandt claims that Facebook's success is owed, at least in part, to patents belonging to Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer, who died in 2004.
Language Barriers Block BlackBerry From Japan Launch
February 8, 2013
Unable to justify the operating costs, BlackBerry will not launch its newest handsets, the Z10 and Q10, in Japan -- at least not anytime soon. The requirement to modify its operating system to accommodate the language reportedly influenced BlackBerry's plan to bow out of Japan. Another possible factor is that BlackBerry's market share in Japan has dropped from 5 percent to 0.3 percent.
Icelandic Antipiracy Group Shouted Off Facebook
February 7, 2013
n attempted antipiracy campaign came screeching to a halt when, after just four days, the Icelandic Film and Movie organization, SMAIS, took down its Facebook page. SMAIS apparently wanted to spur dialogue with Icelanders, but that backfired when Facebook users -- who were "fans" of the SMAIS page -- began blasting the group in its own comment section.
Google Victorious in 6-Year Aussie Legal Battle
February 6, 2013
A court in Australia has ruled in favor of Google in its lengthy legal fight with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The case, which lasted six years, concerned search results from 2006-07. The Commission claimed that sponsored links published by Google diverted users to rival companies.
Volunteer Pirate Crew Gives Mega Its Own Search Engine
January 31, 2013
A user-created search engine reportedly makes it easy to scour the new, controversial file-sharing site Mega. Unveiled two weeks ago by Kim Dotcom, a German national living in New Zealand and wanted on a slew of charges in the U.S., Mega initially did not have a search function to scour its own content. The new search engine was built by users voluntarily providing links to files.
Chinese Authorities Shoot Down Videogame Rumor
January 30, 2013
This game is over before it even started. China's Ministry of Culture said that it is not considering lifting the nation's ban on videogame consoles. Reports that China might lift its ban on systems like Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation surfaced last week. However, that story appears to be false.
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Does it matter to you if products you purchase are manufactured in another country?
Yes, and I will pay more for a domestically produced product.
Yes, but my shopping decisions won't change anything, so I do what's best for me.
I care, but it's impossible to keep track of where everything is made.
I want the best quality and price, regardless of country of origin.
It depends on the country. Some are OK, some aren't.
It depends on the company. I'll buy from a reputable non-domestic brand.