links for 2010-10-29

  • There's a new bill being pushed hard in the halls of Congress. It's called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), and it already has the support of dozens of very large and influential mega-corporations. In essence, the bill gives broad new powers to the US Attorney General and Department of Justice to stomp out websites, especially foreign ones, that pose a threat to US copyright holders. Sounds like a great plan, right? Well there's Hertz, and there's not exactly.
  • On one side, WikiLeaks has assembled the brightest and most dedicated hacker-activists in an effort to turn the Internet into a bastion of transparency and information freedom. On the other side, the United States has combined its Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency in an attempt to clamp down on the Internet with censorship and encryption-banning laws. Both parties, however, have fully realized the importance of the Internet and the outcome of their battle will change the face of the world.
  • Between April and June of this year, Facebook reportedly spent more than $6,600 lobbying California state officials to kill the Social Networking Privacy Act. (Which seems like a lot initially, but isn't really that much)
  • When the media report on some wild new privacy-invading tool, it’s tempting to rush out and try it. This week brought reports of two such tools: Firesheep, a WiFi hacking tool, and the Secret SMS Replicator, an Android app for secretly forwarding texts from someone else’s phone.
  • Allegedly leaked email reveals legal eagles swooped on P2P in own nest. A partner from the law firm representing a film industry trade group in its battle against ISP iiNet has sent an email telling staff "not to ever use" BitTorrent on its corporate internet account.
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