QuoteThe revised version includes new language saying that the federal government's designation of vital Internet or other computer systems "shall not be subject to judicial review." Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include "provider of information technology," and a third authorized the submission of "classified" reports on security vulnerabilities. ...
Lieberman, who recently announced he would not seek re-election in 2012, said last year that enactment of his bill needed to be a top congressional priority. "For all of its 'user-friendly' allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," he said.
Civil libertarians and some industry representatives have repeatedly raised concerns about the various proposals to give the executive branch such broad emergency power. On the other hand, as Lieberman and Collins have highlighted before, some companies, including Microsoft, Verizon, and EMC Corporation, have said positive things about the initial version of the bill.
But last month's rewrite that bans courts from reviewing executive branch decrees has given companies new reason to worry. "Judicial review is our main concern," said Steve DelBianco, director of the NetChoice coalition, which includes eBay, Oracle, Verisign, and Yahoo as members. "A designation of critical information infrastructure brings with it huge obligations for upgrades and compliance."
In some cases, DelBianco said, a company may have a "good-faith disagreement" with the government's ruling and would want to seek court review. "The country we're seeking to protect is a country that respects the right of any individual to have their day in court," he said. "Yet this bill would deny that day in court to the owner of infrastructure."
QuoteA person familiar with the legislative planning said the biometric data would likely be either fingerprints or a scan of the veins in the top of the hand. It would be required of all workers, including teenagers, but would be phased in, with current workers needing to obtain the card only when they next changed jobs, the person said.
The card requirement also would be phased in among employers, beginning with industries that typically rely on illegal-immigrant labor.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn't have a position on the proposal, but it is concerned that employers would find it expensive and complicated to properly check the biometrics.
Mr. Schumer said employers would be able to buy a scanner to check the IDs for as much as $800. Small employers, he said, could take their applicants to a government office to like the Department of Motor Vehicles and have their hands scanned there.
QuoteI don't have any clear information on what the issue is since I'm not in the office, but clearly the extended downtime and lengthy login issues are unacceptable, particularly as I've been told these servers are constantly monitored.
I'll do what I can to get more information on what the issue is here first thing tomorrow and push for a resolution and assurance this won't happen in the future. I realise that's not ideal but there's only so much I can do on a weekend as I'm not directly involved with the server side of this system.
QuoteIn the physical world, I associate the dynamics of a natural ecosystem with two important concepts: first, the presence of some set of biological laws such as natural selection, that second, leads to a balance or equilibrium state so that even when there is a disturbance these natural operations and laws bring the ecosystem back to a equilibrium state (maybe different than before, but an equilibrium).
Applying this concept to the online ecosystem could lead us to accept the idea that the Internet is self-regulating and there is some natural order that will always emerge no matter how the system may be disturbed. From this concept some argue that policymakers should just leave the Internet alone.
In fact, "leaving the Internet alone" has been the nation’s Internet policy since the Internet was first commercialized in the mid-1990s. The primary government imperative then was just to get out of the way to encourage its growth. And the policy set forth in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was: "to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation."
This was the right policy for the United States in the early stages of the Internet, and the right message to send to the rest of the world. But that was then and this is now.
- If users do not trust that their credit card numbers and private information are safe on the Internet, they won’t use it.
- If content providers do not trust that their content will be protected, they will threaten to stop putting it online.
- If large enterprises don’t have confidence that their network will not be breached over the Internet, they will disconnect their network and limit access to business partners and customers.
- If foreign governments do not trust the Internet governance systems, they will threaten to balkanize the Domain Name System which will jeopardize the worldwide reach of the Internet.
- Child protection and Freedom of Expression: As more children go online, how do we ensure proper targeting of law enforcement resources against serious crime while remembering that most important line of defense against harmful content is the well- informed and engaged parent or teacher? Later this year, the Online Safety Technology Working Group, created by Congress and convened by NTIA, will issue a report on the state of the art in child protection strategies online.
- Cybersecurity: How do we meet the security challenge posed by the global Internet which will require increased law enforcement and private sector technology innovation yet respect citizen privacy and protect civil liberties. We’re participating in a Commerce Department cybersecurity initiative that will address these issues, particularly as they relate to improving the preparedness of industry for cyber attacks.
- Copyright protection: How do we protect against illegal piracy of copyrighted works and intellectual property on the Internet while preserving the rights of users to access lawful content? NTIA and our sister agency at the Department of Commerce, the US Patent and Trademark Office, are beginning a comprehensive consultation process that will help the Administration develop a forward-looking set of policies to address online copyright infringement in a balanced, Internet-savvy manner.
- Internet Governance: In our role administering the Federal government’s relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), how do we ensure that ICANN serves the public interest and conducts its activities with the openness and transparency that the global Internet community demands? Last fall, NTIA and ICANN set forth a framework for technical coordination of the naming and numbering system and I am looking forward to soon participating in the first of the administrative reviews to ensure that these commitments are carried out in full.
QuoteThe bad news for Robertson is the judge allowed EMI, one of the four largest recording companies, to continue to pursue the copyright claims against MP3tunes, court documents show. The case, filed last November in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, was brought by 14 record companies and music publishers affiliated with EMI. MP3tunes enables users to store music in the so-called cloud. The company's 150,000 customers upload their music into "lockers." They can then access the tunes from nearly any Web-enabled device. EMI argues that MP3tunes doesn't have authorization to exploit the company's music this way. A representative from EMI couldn't be reached for comment late Wednesday evening.
QuoteGoogle's new web browser Chrome is fast, shiny, and requires users to sign their very lives over to Google before they can use it. Today's Internet outrage du jour has been Chrome's EULA, which appears to give Google a nonexclusive right to display and distribute every bit of content transmitted through the browser. Now, Google tells Ars that it's a mistake, the EULA will be corrected, and the correction will be retroactive.
As noted by an attorney at Tap the Hive and various and sundry other sites, the Chrome EULA reads like a lot of Google's other EULAs. It requires users to "give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."
Quote"Building on our strong commitment to online safety, the cable industry wants to help combat child pornography and exploitation," said Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO, NCTA. “By signing the NCMEC MOU, cable Internet service providers are reaffirming their strong commitment to online safety and Internet literacy for all American families." "We are deeply grateful for this industry-wide attack on child pornography," said Ernie Allen, President & CEO, NCMEC. "It is not possible to arrest and prosecute every offender. We must be creative and build new public-private partnerships to address this insidious problem more effectively. Today's announcement represents a bold step forward."
QuoteAccording to the RIAA, evidence presented in the case showed that he received payment from the leader of the group in return for this work. "For the first time ever, a criminal online music piracy case went to trial, and the jury rendered a swift and unanimous verdict," said Brad Buckles, executive vice president of the RIAA's anti-piracy division. "The crimes committed here -- as well as the harm to the music community -- are severe, and so are the consequences.
QuoteThe NBC spokeswoman said the network had no intention of blocking the show but declined to specify how the error was made. Flags that have been issued accidentally aren't uncommon, some industry insiders say. While acknowledging that it "fully adheres to flags used by broadcasters," Microsoft said that it was working with content owners to reduce the number of false flags. "The success of the entire distribution chain is dependent on all involved maintaining the necessary checks and quality control so that coding is correctly applied," a Microsoft spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to News.com. Meanwhile, the larger issue for some is that Microsoft and possibly other hardware and software makers will honor broadcast flags. "Customers need to know who Microsoft is listening to and how that affects their equipment," said Danny O'Brien, a staffer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for Internet users.
QuoteThe software company was responding to questions about why some users of Windows Vista Media Center were prevented from recording NBC Universal TV shows, American Gladiator and Medium on Monday night. The "rules," in which the spokeswoman is apparently referring to are those proposed by the FCC, which would require software and hardware makers to honor "broadcast flags." The flags are code that broadcasters can insert into the data stream of TV shows that typically require restrictions on the recording of the shows. What she didn't say is that the "rules" aren't rules at all. The courts struck down the FCC's proposal in 2005, saying the regulator lacked the authority to tell electronics makers how to interpret the signals they receive. Since then, Microsoft and other manufacturers have retained the option of whether to honor the flags.
QuoteThe 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate's approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature. Late Saturday, Bush said, "The Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, has assured me that this bill gives him what he needs to continue to protect the country, and therefore I will sign this legislation as soon as it gets to my desk." The administration said the measure is needed to speed the National Security Agency's ability to intercept phone calls, e-mails and other communications involving foreign nationals "reasonably believed to be outside the United States." Civil liberties groups and many Democrats said it goes too far, possibly enabling the government to wiretap U.S. residents communicating with overseas parties without adequate oversight from courts or Congress.
Quote"Ask.com became the first major search engine to promise users it won't store data on their queries, giving the privacy conscious the option of conducting research on the Internet in relative anonymity. The move comes amid increasing concerns about the release of search information through leaks or subpoenas. In some cases, the search terms a person uses can reveal plenty about medical conditions, marital troubles or kinky interests."
QuoteCopyright groups may not be able to demand that telecom companies hand over the names and addresses of people suspected of swapping music illegally online, a senior legal adviser to the EU's highest court said. Advocate General Juliane Kokott, advising the European Court of Justice, said Wednesday that EU law directs governments to resist the disclosure of personal data on Internet traffic in civil cases - unlike criminal cases, where compliance would be required.
QuoteThe MPAA does recognize that progress on DRM needs to be made soon, or impatient consumers will increasingly turn to unauthorized sources for content. "We're working on this right now, trying to find ways to make it interoperable," he said, but added that pricing and business models for such a system are "way beyond my pay grade." Dean Garfield, VP of Legal Affairs for the MPAA, told me that he has confidence in the market to sort all of these issues out. "You have to give some thought to how young the digital distribution market is," he said. "I suspect that the issues confounding people today won't be the issues challenging the industry six months from now."
QuoteDuring the past decade, the government has spent 500 million pounds ($1 billion) on spy cameras and now has one for every 14 citizens, according to a September report prepared for Information Commissioner Richard Thomas by the Surveillance Studies Network, a panel of U.K. academics. Who's In Charge? At a single road junction in the London borough of Hammersmith, there are 29 cameras run by police, government, private companies and transport agencies. Police officers are even trying out video cameras mounted on their heads. "We've got to stand back and see where technology is taking us,'' said Thomas, whose job is to protect people's privacy. "Humans must dictate our future, not machines.''
QuoteIn August 2005, the Illinois State Legislature enacted the Sexually Explicit Video Game Law ("SEVGL"), which criminalized the sale of "sexually explicit" video games to minors, and required purveyors of such games to conspicuously label any sexually explicit game with a four square inch label reading "18", and provide relevant signage within the stores where games are sold. The Entertainment Software Association, among others, filed suit against the State of Illinois the day after the SEVGL was enacted, claiming that the law violated the First Amendment. The district court permanently enjoined enforcement of the law, and the State of Illinois sought review. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court's holding that the statue was not narrowly tailored.
QuoteVista's DRM technologies fall into several distinct categories, all of which are either completely new to the operating system or represent a significant change from the technology found in previous versions of Windows. The Intel-developed Trusted Platform Module (TPM) makes DRM harder to circumvent by extending it beyond the operating system and into the PC's hardware components. TPM is used with Vista's BitLocker full-drive encryption technology to protect a PC's data against security breaches. A TPM microchip embedded on the PC's motherboard stores unique system identifiers along with the BitLocker decryption keys. If a system is tampered with -- for example, if the hard drive is removed and placed in a different machine -- TPM detects the tampering and prevents the drive from being unencrypted.
QuoteBut while Torvalds has been enshrined as the Linux movement's creator, a lesser-known programmer--infamously more obstinate and far more eccentric than Torvalds--wields a startling amount of control as this revolution's resident enforcer. Richard M. Stallman is a 53-year-old anticorporate crusader who has argued for 20 years that most software should be free of charge. He and a band of anarchist acolytes long have waged war on the commercial software industry, dubbing tech giants "evil" and "enemies of freedom" because they rake in sales and enforce patents and copyrights--when he argues they should be giving it all away.
QuoteYouTube's actions in response to a subpoena it received in May show that it has been keeping tabs on users who post copyrighted material to its site -- and in one case shared the name of a user with lawyers from a Hollywood film studio. On May 24, lawyers for Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures convinced a federal judge in San Francisco to issue a subpoena requiring YouTube to turn over details about a user who uploaded dialog from the movie studio's "Twin Towers," according to a copy of the document.
QuoteThe Senate also could vote on a similar bill before Congress recesses at the end of the week. Leaders concede that differences between the versions are so significant they cannot reconcile them into a final bill that can be delivered to Bush before the Nov. 7 congressional elections. For its part, the White House announced it strongly supported passage of the House version but wasn't satisfied with it, adding that the administration "looks forward to working with Congress to strengthen the bill as it moves through the legislative process."
QuoteSome telecom providers appear to have bolstered their security earlier this year after pretexting became the subject of congressional hearings and private lawsuits unrelated to HP's current woes. AT&T said last week that in a memo to its call centers it put in place additional verification requirements, though the company would not detail those measures. Cingular said it no longer permitted its representatives to divulge records of phone calls over the phone to customers. The HP investigators who placed pretext calls used remarkable ingenuity in extracting information from the telecommunications companies--this technique of getting people to divulge confidential information is broadly known as "social engineering."
Quote"DRM is a technical device, but it's being used in an all-embracing sense. It can't be circumvented for disabled access or preservation, and the technology doesn't expire (as traditional copyright does). In effect, it's overriding exceptions to copyright law," Brindley said. The British Library hopes to protect statutory exceptions and fair dealing, which enable libraries to make and preserve copies of content, and make them available for research purposes and for disabled people.
QuoteThe EPLA is "anchronistic", and is even disliked by some large companies such as Nokia and GlaxoSmithKline, according to Austrian Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger. Others said the measure would effectively take the software patent issue out of the reach of the EU's democratic controls. "We are all for improvements to the European patent system, but we must continue the search for solutions within the framework of the EU," said Maria Berger, the PES' spokeswoman for legal affairs, and former French prime minister Michel Rocard, in a statement.
QuoteAttorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday that Congress should require Internet service providers to preserve customer records, asserting that prosecutors need them to fight child pornography. Testifying to a Senate panel, Gonzales acknowledged the concerns of some company executives who say legislation might be overly intrusive and encroach on customers' privacy rights. But he said the growing threat of child pornography over the Internet was too great.
QuoteThe technology, which can also be used for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs, will allow movie studios to remotely track individual discs as they travel from factories to retail shelves to consumers' homes. Home DVD players will eventually be able to check on the chip embedded in a disc, and refuse to play discs which are copied or played in the 'wrong' geographical region, the companies behind the technology expect. "This technology holds the potential to protect the intellectual property of music companies, film studios, gaming and software developers worldwide," said Gordon Yeh, chief executive of Ritek Corporation.
Quote* Redefines surveillance so that only programs that catch the substance of a communication need oversight. Any government surveillance that captures, analyzes and stores patterns of communications such as phone records, or e-mail and website addresses, is no longer considered surveillance.
* Expands the section of law that allows the attorney general to authorize spying on foreign embassies, so long as there's no "substantial likelihood" that an American's communication would be captured.
* Repeals the provision of federal law that allows the government unfettered wiretapping and physical searches without warrants or notification for 15 days after a declaration of war. The lack of any congressional restraint on the president's wartime powers arguably puts the president at the height, rather than the ebb, of his powers in any time of war, even an undeclared one.
* Repeals the provision of federal law that limits the government's wartime powers to conduct warrantless wiretapping and physical searches to a period of 15 days after a declaration of war.
* Repeals the provision of federal law that puts a time limit on the government's wartime powers to conduct warrantless wiretapping and physical searches against Americans. Under current law, the president has that power for only 15 days following a declaration of war.
* Allows the attorney general, or anyone he or she designates, to authorize widespread domestic spying, such as monitoring all instant-messaging systems in the country, so long as the government promises to delete anything not terrorism-related.
* Moves all court challenges to the NSA surveillance program to a secretive court in Washington, D.C., comprised of judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Only government lawyers would be allowed in the courtroom.
* Allows the government to get warrants for surveillance programs as a whole, instead of having to describe to a judge the particular persons to be monitored and the methods to be used.
QuoteThis is an important case. While it may appear to many as just one woman defending herself against several large corporate copyright plaintiffs, as the court is undoubtedly aware, this lawsuit is but one battle in the broader war the RIAA is waging against unauthorized internet copying. As a result of this war, the RIAA has wrought havoc on the lives of many innocent Americans who, like Deborah Foster, have been wrongfully prosecuted for illegal acts they did not commit for over a year despite their clear innocence and persistent denials. Using questionable methods and suspect evidence, the RIAA has targeted thousands of ordinary people around the country, including grandmothers, grandfathers, single mothers, and teenagers. In its broad dragnet of litigation, the RIAA has knowingly entangled the innocent along with the guilty, dragging them through an expensive and emotionally draining process of trying to clear their names. In deciding whether or not to grant defendant Deborah Foster's Motion For Attorneys Fees, the court should consider the broader context of the RIAA lawsuit campaign - especially the positive effect that a fee award would have on encouraging the RIAA to be more diligent in conducting its pre-suit investigations, more prompt in dismissing suits when a defendant asserts substantial claims of innocence or mistaken identity, and more responsible in asserting its legal theories. Moreover, a fee award would encourage innocent accused infringers to stand up and fight back against bogus RIAA claims, deter the RIAA from continuing to prosecute meritless suits that harass defendants it knows or reasonably should know are innocent, and further the purposes of the Copyright Act by reaffirming the appropriate limits of a copyright owner's exclusive rights.
QuoteFrance's main opposition party, the Parti Socialiste, has promised that, should it be elected in 2007, it will revise the law, after consulting with artists, consumers, businesses and Internet service providers. "The law is unworkable, and its problems are growing," said Anne Hidalgo, the party's national secretary for culture and the media.
QuoteThe discussion went on for almost two hours and didn't often stray from concerns about fair and personal use, privacy and rights protection for digital content. The criticism of Sony and its industry was fierce, considering the audience consisted of computer graphics industry professionals, who themselves benefit from the protections of copyright laws. There was one source of consumer irritation, however, that Singer did not even try to defend. "Why, when I buy a DVD, am I forced to watch commercials?" an audience member asked. "I know. I agree. I'm with you there," Singer said, laughing.
Quote"America's children will be better protected from every parent's worst nightmare--sexual predators--thanks to passage" of the legislation, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a statement on Tuesday. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, in a statement issued after the House approved the bill by voice vote, said: "We've all seen the disturbing headlines about sex offenders and crimes against children. These crimes cannot persist. Protecting our children from Internet predators and child exploitation enterprises are just as high a priority as securing our border from terrorists."