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Pentagon to Beef Up Cybersecurity Arsenal
January 28, 2013
The Pentagon's cybersecurity force reportedly will increase more than fivefold over the next several years, following the approval of a move requested by the head of the Defense Department's Cyber Command. The expansion is meant to bolster the U.S.' ability to defend critical computer systems, as well as carry out offensive campaigns against adversaries.
Saudi Blogger Won't Face Death on Apostasy Accusation
January 23, 2013
A court in Saudi Arabia reportedly has declined to hear the case of Raif Badawi, a liberal blogger who was accused of apostasy. Apostasy,defined as the abandonment of one's faith, is a particularly grievous charge in Islam. Had it been so inclined, the court that turned down the case could have sentenced Badawi to death. As it stands, Badawi's charge was referred to a lower court.
Dotcom Fights the Law With New Mega Site
January 21, 2013
Kim Dotcom on Sunday opened the doors to the new file-sharing website Mega. The site is making a splash in the file-sharing world with its promise of exceptional privacy and security. That is not the only reason Mega's debut is notable, though: Dotcom is the founder of Megaupload, which was shut down by U.S. authorities following indictments for piracy against Dotcom and others.
Google's Schmidt Pitches Android to Chinese Devs
January 15, 2013
Fresh off his trip to North Korea -- and right behind Apple CEO Tim Cook's trip to China -- Google chairman Eric Schmidt joined a panel discussion at the "Geek Park" conference in Beijing. Schmidt reportedly reminded the developers in attendance that despite Apple's popularity in China -- the iPhone 5 sold more than 2 million units in one weekend -- Android is still the top dog in the Middle Kingdom.
The UK's Tangled Antipiracy Web
January 12, 2013
In the battle against online piracy, industry and government officials tend to cast a wide net in blocking suspected piracy-enabling websites. Sometimes this process results in the removal of sites that have nothing to do with piracy. Last April, the UK ordered Internet service providers to block file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.
US Officials Pin Bank Hack Attack on Iran
January 9, 2013
U.S. government officials and security experts are convinced that a recent cyberattack on American banks was executed by Iran. The U.S. has not yet divulged any evidence to corroborate their accusations, but security experts reportedly say the attack displayed a level of sophistication not possible for an amateur.
France Thwarts ISP's Ad-Blocking Swipe at Google
January 7, 2013
France reportedly has stymied an Internet service provider's attempt to let users block ads. Free, a French telecommunications company with more than 5 million users, had said it would allow its customers to block online advertising. Google, the world leader in online advertising, was mum about Free's move, which "raised alarm among companies" that subsist off of paid advertisements.
Mr. Schmidt Goes to North Korea
January 3, 2013
Don't expect google.nk anytime soon, but hey, it's a start. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, will travel to North Korea for a private, humanitarian mission. The trip, to be led by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, will mark the first time a top exec from Google has gone to North Korea, which is among the world leaders in backwards Internet policies.
USC Report Links Ad Networks to Piracy Sites
January 3, 2013
Kim Dotcom didn't make his millions from the illegal downloads that took place on Megaupload, the now-defunct site he ran. Rather, he mostly made his money from ads that ran on the illegal download site, which highlights a need for ad networks to do a better job policing their stable of publishers.
Thieves Knock Off Apple Store in Paris
January 2, 2013
On New Year's Eve, armed burglars lifted thousands of dollars -- and potentially more than $1 million -- worth of merchandise from an Apple store in central Paris. The hit targeted a flagship Apple store, which carried a full array of products including iPhones, iPads and Macs. Police declined to comment on reports that put the damage at $1.32 million. The thieves were reportedly masked and escaped in a van.
Man Bites Dog: China Fines Apple for Copyright Infringement
December 28, 2012
A Chinese court fined Apple 1 million yuan, or roughly $160,000, because its App Store hosted third-party applications that were peddling pirated e-books. The ruling stems from a suit brought by a group of Chinese authors earlier this year. The group originally was seeking 10 million yuan.
Google in Talks to Resolve Antitrust Issues in Europe
December 18, 2012
While Google is poised to agree to changes in the way it displays search results and skirt an antitrust investigation in the U.S., things are still unresolved with the European Commission. Google is reportedly still negotiating with European Commission antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia.
Brit Music Industry to Haul Pirate Party to Court
December 11, 2012
Britain's music industry body is preparing to take the Pirate Party UK to court for offering access to The Pirate Bay, which has been blocked in the UK. The British Pirate Party has set up a proxy service that allows users to circumvent the UK's ban on The Pirate Bay,
Report: Iran Uses Huawei Gear to Snoop on Citizens
December 6, 2012
Foreign telecommunications companies, including China-based Huawei, have helped Iran collect incredibly detailed data on its citizens' telephone and Internet use, Reuters reported. According to an investigative report, a partner of Huawei offered to sell the Huawei-developed "Lawful Interception Solution" to MobinNet, Iran's first wireless broadband provider.
File-Sharing's Cloudy Future
November 20, 2012
Last month Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who is facing charges in the United States for engaging in digital piracy, announced that he would relocate a new version of his site, Me.ga, outside the United States. The belief was that this would free him from coming under fire by U.S. law enforcement, but Gabon -- which controls the ".ga" domain -- has already suspended it.
Israel Bombarded by Millions of Hack Attempts
November 19, 2012
More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israel's government websites since last week, when it unleashed 20 air strikes and killed Hamas' top military commander, the Israeli government announced Sunday. Israel's finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, said only one hack was successful, although the affected site was reportedly back online after 10 minutes.
China's Piracy Hotbed Image Is Western Illusion, Says Official
November 12, 2012
Western media's reporting distorts China's image, making it appear less willing to fight copyright piracy than it actually is, China's top intellectual property official said Sunday during the country's Communist Party Congress. China has for years been regarded as a hotbed for intellectual property theft. In April, for instance, the U.S. put China atop its annual list of piracy offenders.
The Cult of Kim Dotcom
November 10, 2012
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been in the news on and off -- mostly on -- since his January arrest in New Zealand. He is fighting extradition to the U.S., where he is wanted on charges ranging from copyright infringement to money laundering. The German-born Dotcom has led a life filled with twists and turns, commercial successes and criminal convictions. His flamboyant ways have earned him some sympathy among his adopted countrymen.
Slippery Statistics Suggest Online Piracy Is on the Wane
November 8, 2012
Sandvine has released a new report on global Internet traffic that points to the growth of online data consumption and implies that the increasing use of legitimate content services such as Netflix may be softening the impact of illegal P2P file-sharing. At face value, that seems difficult to believe. "Online piracy is booming by any measure," said industry analyst Jeff Kagan.
Dotcom Loses Dominion Over Me.ga Domain
November 8, 2012
Kim Dotcom, founder of the now-defunct file-sharing site Megaupload, has long been in hot water with the big, huge United States. Now he's irked the tiny, little nation of Gabon. Gabon has reportedly blocked the Megaupload successor, which Dotcom announced last week, and which is supposed to launch on Jan. 20. The URL that Dotcom had tabbed for his new site, Me.ga, seemed a logical one.
Google Maps Loses Its Way in China
November 6, 2012
Google Maps' mobile app reportedly is losing market share to local competition in China. Statistics from the third quarter show that Google Maps has lost almost half its market share since the second quarter -- from 17.5 percent to 9.5 percent -- and fell to No. 6 from No. 2 among mobile map apps.
Canada Aims to Unmask Rioters When Protests Go Awry
November 5, 2012
The hacker group Anonymous has announced plans for worldwide protests against government surveillance for Monday, Guy Fawkes Day. Canada, however, has a plan of its own. It has imposed a ban on wearing masks during riots -- including, of course, Anonymous' famed Guy Fawkes masks. People will be allowed to wear masks during peaceful demonstrations, however.
Dotcom Suits Up for Another Round in File-Sharing Wars
November 1, 2012
Alleged digital pirate and German Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom on Thursday announced plans for Mega, a service that would replace his shut down file-sharing website Megaupload. The new Mega -- besides dropping a few letters form the name of the service -- will reportedly avoid any dealings with the United States.
Aussie Man, Wrongly Linked to Criminal, Wins Case vs. Google
November 1, 2012
A man in Melbourne, Australia, won a defamation case against Google over the search engine's image results. The plaintiff, Michael Trkulja, reportedly contacted Google in 2009 requesting that the site remove images linking him to former meth kingpin Tony Mokbel. Google used the innocent dissemination defense, arguing that it hadn't published the materials in question and was simply indexing information.
Chinese Company Rips Off iPad Mini and Its Tagline
October 25, 2012
Goophone, a Chinese company best known for cloning Apple products, reportedly will release its iPad mini doppelganger in November. The "GooPad mini," which already appears on posters, will sell for $99, while Apple's iPad mini will cost $329 but won't be sold right away in China. Goophone has even taken the liberty of ripping off Apple's "Every inch an iPad" tagline: "Every inch a GooPad mini."
FOSS' Fight Against China's Free-as-in-Pirated Syndrome
October 23, 2012
The tide of software piracy in China may be ebbing. With the clear support of the Chinese government, several software organizations and computer firms based in Europe and the U.S. are conducting events focusing on growing open source in China. The push toward China's active participation in the open source community signals a maturing of the country's computing infrastructure.
Kinder, Gentler, Perhaps More Annoying Copyright Alert System Coming Soon
October 22, 2012
The Center for Copyright Information and major Internet service providers are preparing to roll out within weeks the Copyright Alert System, designed to cut down on online piracy. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision volunteered to work with the CCI to develop a system of electronic messages to users suspected of illegally downloading digital entertainment content.
Pirate Bay Assumes Ethereal Form to Dodge Raids
October 18, 2012
The Pirate Bay is ditching its servers and heading to the cloud in a move the popular file-sharing website says can help prevent raids by authorities. The site will no longer reside at a single physical location, the company said. It called the move to the cloud "getting rid of our earthly form" and "ascending into the next stage."
White House Lets Huawei Off the Hook
October 18, 2012
A review of security risks posed by Chinese telecommunications companies, ordered by the White House, turned up no evidence that Huawei had spied on behalf of China. The 18-month investigation reportedly concluded that Huawei was risky for other reasons, such as being susceptible to hackers.
Be Not Afraid: Calculate Your Real Risk of a Software Audit
October 6, 2012
The words "software audit" can strike fear into even the most unflappable business executive's heart. Just as the sight of a police cruiser on the freeway compels all but the most foolhardy to slow down immediately, for most organizations the mere possibility of a vendor audit prompts a flurry of anxious activity and more than a few sleepless nights.
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What effect is social media having on the current discussion of sexual misconduct?
It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
It's functioning mostly as an echo chamber.
It's giving everyone a voice.
It's creating much more divisiveness.
It's enabling a cultural re-education.
It's making my news feed so unpleasant I'm staying away.