House Passes Watered Down Version of 'USA Freedom Act'

May 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The US House of Representatives passed a watered down version of the USA Freedom Act today, much to the chagrin of privacy advocate groups that pushed hard for its passage because it had real reforms to the NSA's vast surveillance and information gathering programs. This new version of the bill strips a lot of what was good from the bill and continues to let the NSA conduct business (for the most part) as usual. Rights groups and supporters of the original bill are deeply disappointed with what the House passed today.

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California Congressional Candidates Slug it Out Over NSA and CISPA

May 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

East Bay Express has an interesting article on a California Congressional race where votes for the National Security Agency's budget and the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) are taking center stage. Eric Swalwell (pictured, left), the current U.S. Representative of California's 15th District (D), is taking heat from his opponent Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett.

Standard & Poor's Puts Rhode Island on 'Negative Watch' Over 38 Studios Loan Payment Uncertainty

May 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If lawmakers in the state of Rhode Island decide sometime in the future not to pay down the debt associated with the 38 Studios loan, the entire state could end up getting a bad credit rating, which in turn could affect its ability to borrow for important projects.

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Expert Warns RI Lawmakers About Defaulting on 38 Studios Loan

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

An independent analyst who looked at the Rhode Island 38 Studios loan repayment plan said that defaulting on the debt related to the $75 million loan plus other penalties and interest would damage Rhode Island's bond rating to junk status and could harm the state's overall business climate.

The report from Minnesota-based SJ Advisors said that defaulting on the loan would bring increased borrowing costs and harm to the state's reputation, and could lead to a "contagion effect impacting other Rhode Island issuers and even taint the business environment."

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USA Freedom Act Gets Key House Committee Approval

May 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

This week a key House committee approved a package of NSA reforms that would end the spy agency's practice of collecting Americans' phone records. It took lawmakers nearly a year after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the program's existence to do something about it.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 32-0 on Wednesday to rein in the NSA with the USA FREEDOM Act. The bill would place new requirements on the government when it comes to gathering, targeting and searching telephone metadata for intelligence purposes.

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The Ghost of 38 Studios Haunts Some Rhode Island Lawmakers

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

As expected the failed 38 Studios loan deal is a major issue in Rhode Island's election campaigns and primary challenges. Even as the Secretary of State is making headlines this week for launching an investigation into possible lobbying violations by 38 Studios, critics of Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin on Tuesday jumped on the news by pointing out that both politicians dropped the ball during the loan deal approval timeframe.

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EFF Urges Everyone to Support the 'USA Freedom Act'

May 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling on the Internet community to support the USA Freedom Act and oppose other "supposed reform bills." The rights group is calling on the Internet community to strongly oppose reform bills like the FISA Improvements Act, which pretends to fix the problems with the NSA's mass surveillance spying programs but instead gives the agency and the government more power to continue spying (like bills from lawmakers like Representatives Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, and Senator Dianne Feinstein).

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Odd Polling: Tattoos and Gaming Go Together

May 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Here's a bizarre bit of polling reported on by the Wall Street Journal about the correlation between tattoos and video gamers. Apparently those who have a tattoo are also more inclined to be video gamers, though the folks responsible for the polling don't really understand why.

Pollsters also found that "Tattooed Americans" are more likely to be uninsured, live in a Republican congressional district, and voted for President Barack Obama in the past. The polling data also showed that there are far more tattooed people than there were 15 years ago.

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Senators Announce 'Draft' of New Cybersecurity Law

May 1, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) issued a joint statement announcing their new plans to push for a revamped cybersecurity bill. While details on the bill have not be released because it is still in "draft form" at the moment, the bill sounds like it has the same language that CISPA did.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 94

April 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss how Facebook buying Oculus VR could affect the technology's future development, if politicians who commit crimes should suffer stiffer punishments (including the death penalty), and Amazon's foray into the set-top box/ micro-console space with Fire TV. Download Episode 94 now: SuperPAC Episode 94 (1 hour, 2 minutes) 71.2 MB.

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Rhode Island House Oversight Committee Chair Wants to Subpoena Key Figures in 38 Studios Deal

April 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The new chairwoman of the Rhode Island House Oversight Committee said that she wants to issue subpoenas to key figures in the 38 Studios deal including former House Speaker Gordon Fox. Rep. Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) said the committee could also seek to subpoena former House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino, as well as current and former employees of the Economic Development Corp.

MacBeth has been a vocal critic of the deal for quite some time and pushed hard to avoid paying back money owed on bonds related to the 38 Studios loan.

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UK Copyright Law Will Allow CD and DVD Ripping This Summer

March 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It will soon be legal to rips CDs, DVDs, and other media in the United Kingdom, according to this TorrentFreak report. The UK government has released a guide informing its citizenry that an upcoming revision of copyright laws in the country which will make it perfectly legal to make backup copies of CD and DVDs for personal use. Those changes will be in effect this summer.

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California State Senator Leland Yee Stripped of Political Power Until Criminal Case Concludes

March 28, 2014 - James Fudge

Lawmakers in Sacramento voted today to suspend three Democratic Senators who are facing criminal charges. By a vote of 28-1, the California Senate passed a resolution to prevent Senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon, and Rod Wright from using the power of their respective offices until criminal proceedings against them are concluded.

Senator Yee was indicted on seven different counts related to corruption, gun running, and taking money for political favors. Shortly after his indictment was unsealed, Yee's attorney announced that he had given up his bid for Secretary of State.

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President Calls for End to NSA's Bulk Phone Metadata Collection... Sort Of

March 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Today President Obama issued a statement announcing plans to push for an adjustment to the National Security Agency's collection of phone metadata, but opponents say his suggestions may not go far enough. The White House offered support for legislation to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection, instead putting the data into the care of phone companies.

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RI Speaker of the House Relinquishing Leadership Role After FBI Raids

March 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While California State Senator Leland Yee (outspoken anti-video game crusader and author of the 2005 California video game law that was inevitability struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010) is getting a lot of press at the moment for being arrested by the FBI for alleged bribery and corruption, he is not the only state senator connected loosely with the video game industry in trouble this week.

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President Obama Plans to Call for an End to NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection

March 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

President Barack Obama is expected to put forward a proposal that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of a huge amount of data on U.S. mobile calls, according to what an unnamed Obama administration official told Politico. The proposal is a familiar one: the NSA would eliminate the database of phone data it stores, instead relying on accessing the data from carriers who would be required to store it for up to 18 months.

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Twenty-Five Tech Companies Urge Sen. Ron Wyden to Oppose TPP

March 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), 25 tech companies urged him to oppose what they consider overly broad international trade policy proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Wyden has been a strong and vocal opponent of previous trade agreements like SOPA and PIPA in the past, so he likely won't need to be prodded into opposing TPP.

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White House Meeting With Tech Companies Today Over Privacy Issues

March 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Top executives from tech companies including Facebook, Google and more are meeting with President Obama today to talk about “issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence,” according to what one White House official tells Politico. The administration declined to provide a list of those attending the meeting.

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Australian Government Proposes Reforms to National Classification Scheme

March 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian government is tweaking its National Classification Scheme, by putting forth new legislation that makes the process of classifying content such as mobile and online games faster and more cost effective. For example, new proposals will make it so that films released in multiple formats (for example, 3D versions) won't have to go through the classification process twice. The legislation will also remove the need for reclassification when minor changes are made to video games such as software updates or bug fixes, or when new but minor content is added.

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Report: Lawmakers Close to Deal on Ending NSA Bulk Data Collection Program

March 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican and Democratic leaders are "close to" agreeing on legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ telephone data, according to what top lawmakers are telling Politico.

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National Governors Association Reiterates Support for the Marketplace Fairness Action in 2014

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

With the House Judiciary Committee set to hold a hearing on "Exploring Alternative Solutions to the Internet Sales Tax Issue" soon, the National Governors Association (NGA) today released a statement reiterated its strong support for the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Edward Snowden Calls Senator Feinstein Hypocritical for Complaining About CIA Spying

March 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a statement to NBC News former NSA contractor (currently in exile in Russia after leaking classified NSA documents about domestic and international spying programs) called Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA.) hypocritical for complaining about the CIA allegedly spying on the Senate while strongly supporting the NSA's spying programs and bills like CISPA.

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RI State Attorney Rebuffs Senator's Request for Documents in 38 Studios Case

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

At the end of February we reported that Rhode Island State Senator James C. Sheehan planned to seek access to depositions and documents related to the state's court case against Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.

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RI Lawmakers Want 38 Studios Lawsuit Depositions and Exhibits

February 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rhode Island State Senator James C. Sheehan released a statement announcing that, as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Oversight, he has formally requested that the committee be provided with copies of all documents (depositions and exhibits) relating to the civil lawsuit against 38 Studios.

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Mobile Phone Unlocking Bill Gets Unwanted Last-Minute Change

February 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

What was supposed to be a bill that would allow consumers to jailbreak their mobile phones has been poisoned and watered down by lawmakers.

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Congresswoman Eshoo: New Net Neutrality Rules Would Put Consumers Back in the Driver's Seat

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking on NBC's "Press:Here" show over the weekend, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said that it's a good thing that the Federal Communications Commission has decided to tackle the thorny task of tweaking the Open Internet Order (commonly referred to as "net neutrality") because it will empower consumers.

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Kongregate CEO Takes on Diminished Role at Company to Focus on Political Action Committee

February 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kongregate CEO and co-founder Jim Greer will step down to focus on a political career of sorts, the executive announced via a blog post on Kongregate.com. Kongregate co-founder and current COO Emily Greer will be taking over as CEO of the casual and indie games website owned by games retailer GameStop.

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RI House Approves 38 Studios Settlement Bill

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Rhode Island House has approved a bill that will make it easier for the state to settle its lawsuit with Curt Schilling, other executives from 38 Studios, and others involved in the deal that could end up costing the state upwards of $100 - $110 million in the long-term. The RI Senate approved its own version of the bill earlier this month. With both houses of the State Assembly passing the bill, there's no doubt that Governor Lincoln Chafee will sign it into law the minute it crosses his desk (his administration pushed the legislature to pass the bill as quickly as possible).

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ECA Action Alert: Tell Congress to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

February 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued an action alert urging members and the internet-community-at-large to contact their elected officials in Washington D.C. and urge them to support two stop-gap measures that would restore net neutrality rules until a more permanent solution can be worked out by lawmakers. You can check out the appeal from the ECA below:

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Researcher Chris Ferguson Offers Olive Branch to Mass. State Sen. William Brownsberger Concerning Video Game Research Bill

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In an excellent editorial concerning video games and the moral panic that ensued after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012, Christopher Ferguson Ph.D. (and an associate professor and chair of the department of psychology at Stetson University) said that he would be willing to work with Massachusetts state Sen. William Brownsberger, the sponsor of Senate Bill 168.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
PHX Corphttp://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/801575-sony-refuses-offer-refund-playstation-game-fraudulently-purchased-hacker Sony Refuses to Offer Refund for PlayStation Game Fraudulently Purchased by Hacker12/18/2014 - 1:43pm
NeenekoMakes sense to me, and sounds kinda cool. One cool thing about Minecraft is the meta game, you can implement other game types within its mechanics. There are servers out there with plots, an episodic single player one sound kinda cool12/18/2014 - 11:07am
MaskedPixelantehttps://mojang.com/announcing-minecraft-story-mode/ Umm... what?12/18/2014 - 10:24am
NeenekoThat would make sense. Theaters probably can not afford the liability worry or a drop in ticket sales from worried people. Sony on the other hand can take a massive writeoff, and might even be able to bypass distribution contracts for greater profit.12/18/2014 - 10:03am
ConsterNeeneko: I thought they cancelled it because the major cinema franchises were too scared of terrorist attacks to show the film?12/18/2014 - 9:55am
Neeneko@Wonderkarp - there is still a lot of debate regarding if the movie was a motive or not. Unnamed officials say yes, the timeline says no.12/18/2014 - 9:10am
NeenekoSomething does not smell right though, Sony is no stranger to being hacked, so why cancel this film? For that matter, they are still not giving in to hacker's original demands as far as I know.12/18/2014 - 9:06am
PHX Corp@prh99 Not to mention the Dangerous Precedent that sony's hacking scandal just set http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/sony-hackers-precedent/12/18/2014 - 8:25am
 

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