Vote Set for Tonight on Amendments to Defund NSA

July 24, 2013 -

Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash is proving to be a worthy adversary against the Republican establishment and the White House when it comes to national security issues, and he seems to have no problem throwing his enthusiastic support behind causes to stop the NSA's clandestine spying programs, much to the chagrin of hawks on both sides of the aisle.

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Amendment Seeking to Defund the NSA Survives House Rules Committee

July 23, 2013 -

Libertarian-themed political website Reason.com is reporting that the Amash Amendment has survived the House's Rules Committee process. The Rules Committee voted late last night to allow several anti-NSA amendments to the $598.3 billion defense bill to be voted on this week.

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Finland's Citizens Write Their Own Copyright Bill

July 23, 2013 -

Finland has made history as being the first country to present a copyright law to lawmakers that was crafted by citizens. Last year Finland passed a law changing its constitution to allow its citizens to propose legislation if they obtained 50,000 signatures. Fast-forward to 2013 and citizens have managed to get fairer copyright law before legislators in the country because they managed to get the required support from fellow citizens.

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EFF and 50 Organizations Urge Congress to Reform the Patent System

July 17, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 50 organizations have sent a letter to U.S. lawmakers in both houses of Congress urging them to reform the patent system. The appeal urges Congress to deal with "abuses of the legal system by certain patent assertion entities, commonly referred to as patent trolls."

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Report: Congressional Picks for DHS Secretary Include Mass Surveillance Supporters

July 17, 2013 -

According to a report on NextGov, the person replacing outgoing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will likely be someone who has supported National Security Agency digital surveillance programs or legislation such as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Secretary Napolitano announced earlier this month that she would be leaving the DHS in September to lead the University of California.

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RI Lawmakers Create New Government Post to Oversee Economic Development Corp.

July 16, 2013 -

The aftermath of 38 Studios defaulting on a $75 million investment and its subsequent bankruptcy has caused lawmakers to create a new government post. The Rhode Island legislature has passed a bill creating the new position of commerce secretary, a gubernatorial appointee. The bill which was opposed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee passed early Tuesday morning and without the Governor's signature. The bill creates a cabinet-level secretary position that will be in charge of the state's economic development efforts and the duties of the Department of Business Regulation.

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Report: The ESA Spends More on Lobbying than the NRA - On Paper

July 16, 2013 -

In an extensive report on lobbying efforts in Washington, Games Industry International reveals that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spends more on lobbying efforts than the National Rifle Association - on paper, at least. But in reality a good lobbyist knows all the tricks of influence peddling through other spending that doesn't have to be reported because it isn't technically considered lobbying.

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Senate Releases Draft Cybersecurity Bill

July 12, 2013 -

The Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee released a draft bill today that attempts to tackle the thorny issue of cybersecurity. The draft bill is backed by Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and ranking Republican member John Thune (R-S.D.). Its creators claim that the draft is an attempt to create a compromise on the issue of cybersecurity after repeated (and failed) attempts to pass legislation through the Senate last term.

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Rep. Peter DeFazio Puts Patent Trolls on Notice

July 10, 2013 -

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has penned an editorial over at The Hill espousing the benefits of the SHIELD Act which he crafted with the help of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) with input from tech start-ups, consumer groups, and legal professionals from all across the country.

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Report: In Wake of NSA Leaks, Lawmakers Won't Push Cybersecurity Legislation Until Fall

June 28, 2013 -

While lawmakers would like to get back to pushing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and other cyber security proposals, it looks like Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's spying has put the brakes on any legislation moving forward, according to Verge.

Grover Norquist and Lawmakers Hold Rally Against Marketplace Fairness Act

June 21, 2013 -

Earlier in the week while the National Governors Association and proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act were hosting an event to encourage House members to approve the bill already passed the Senate, Republicans from the House and Senate joined Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform to rally against it. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined House Republicans and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday to rally against the bill.

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National Governors Association Promotes Marketplace Fairness Act

June 20, 2013 -

Yesterday governors, legislators, congressional leaders, technology companies and small business owners held a meeting to promote the Senate's recently passed Marketplace Fairness Act legislation, which proponents hope will get the same kind of approval in the House. The bill creates ways for states to collect online sales tax across state lines. Traditional retailers say that these taxes level the playing field because it forces all businesses to collect sales tax, and takes away the tax-free advantage online retailers have had for years.

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Kinect May Run Afoul of Proposed We Are Watching You Act

June 19, 2013 -

The newly designed Kinect for Xbox One may run afoul of a bill called the "We Are Watching You Act," if it becomes law. The law sponsored by Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), requires companies to "explicitly" ask consumers for permission to store their data. The device would also have to inform the user how the data is collected and who will see it after it is collected.

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Google and Yandex Voice Opposition to Russia's 'SOPA'

June 18, 2013 -

Google and Russia's biggest search engine Yandex are voicing their opposition to a new bill that would block sites accused of hosting (in some way) copyrighted material. The new bill, which has already passed Russia's State Duma, is being called Russia's version of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill gives intellectual property holders the ability to sue a web site that they claim is hosting copyrighted materials. The accused site then has 72 hours to remove the offending material (without the option of reviewing the claim).

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Texas Law Kills Warrantless Searches of Email

June 18, 2013 -

While the rest of the country worries about what the NSA is doing with our data on the Internet, the state of Texas is securing the privacy of its citizens' emails. On Friday Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) signed into law a privacy bill that will guard Texans from warrantless searches by state law enforcement officials. House Bill 2268 in effect requires that state investigators obtain a warrant to access emails no matter how old the communication might be.

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France's Hadopi Law Faces Uncertain Future

June 14, 2013 -

After three years in place and "millions" of threatening letters being sent to alleged illegal file sharers in France, the French three-strikes anti-piracy law Hadopi has finally led to the disconnection of one person from the Internet. The individual, who was not named, faces two weeks without access to certain internet functions like web access and access to P2P software and a 600 euro fine.

The individual was caught sharing a few files online and never responded to earlier warnings.

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86 Civil Liberties Groups and Internet Companies Demand an End to NSA Spying

June 11, 2013 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 85 other civil liberties groups and Internet organizations to U.S. lawmakers that it must put a stop to the National Security Agency and other U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies spying on American citizens. The letter is in response to two stories that leaked information about several NSA information gathering programs that target the internet and mobile phone activities of Americans.

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PPA Applauds Federal Internet Gambling Bill

June 6, 2013 -

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) thinks that the Internet Gambling Regulation Enforcement Act of 2013 is the bee's knees.

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CDC Outlines Plans for Violent Media Research

June 6, 2013 -

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week asked the Institute of Medicine in conjunction with the National Research Council to form a committee that will look at the influence of video games and other media on real-life violence. The IOM is part of the federally funded National Academy of Sciences. It will also focus on gun violence - something it has not been allowed to do since Congress put a stop to such research from being allowed way back in 1993.

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Rhode Island Republicans Call for Investigation Into 38 Studios Deal, Urge a Default on $100 Million Debt

June 6, 2013 -

The leader of Rhode Island's Republican Party is calling for a special investigation into the legislature's involvement in the state's failed investment in former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios. After the studio went bankrupt the state was left holding the bag to the tune of $100 million.

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White House Takes Aim at Patent Trolls

June 4, 2013 -

Patent trolls have one more thing to worry about today as President Obama focuses his attention on curtailing their questionable legal activities with a new plan that includes five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations.

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The FBI Seeks Overbroad Expansion of Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

May 24, 2013 -

A New York Times article from earlier this week about the FBI's attempt to expand the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the subsequent response to it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) should raise alarm bells for anyone that does anything on the Internet.

Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's New Distracted Driving Law

May 24, 2013 -

The Governors Highway Safety Association is heaping praise on lawmakers in Hawaii for passing a very tough law against distracted driving and another law concerning seatbelts. The law prohibits drivers from texting or using hand-held devices while driving.

While there are some loopholes for adults over the age of 18, for youngsters just about all device usage while driving is now illegal including cell phones, video game devices, music devices, and more.

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European Commission Mandates the Inclusion of Intellectual Property Rights Measures in TAFTA

May 24, 2013 -

Back in March La Quadrature du Net (a non-profit association defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet) joined 47 European and International organizations in asking the European Parliament to exclude provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called intellectual property from the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).

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Work on Cybersecurity Legislation Continues, Despite CISPA Stall

May 16, 2013 -

In April the House of Representatives managed to push the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) through the chamber, but shortly thereafter it stalled in the Senate. Leaders there said they weren't planning on taking the issue up, instead planning to focus on a number of separate bills to address issues related to cybersecurity concerns by the government and corporations.

NJ Democrats Push Anti-Game Propaganda Through Senate

May 15, 2013 -

New Jersey Senators Raymond Lesniak and M. Teresa Ruiz - both Democrats - have managed to push a proposal (bill S-2715) through the Senate. The bill commissions the New Jersey Department of Education to create a pamphlet that would provide information for parents about violent media. The proposal was part of Senate Democrats' gun safety plan. According to PolitikerNJ, the proposal has passed the Senate by a vote of 36-0 and is heading to the Assembly.

Study: Majority of Consumers Hate the Marketplace Fairness Act

May 15, 2013 -

If the Marketplace Fairness Act that was enthusiastically passed in the Senate earlier this month were to somehow end up becoming the law of the land (through some sort of divine intervention in the House where it will likely stall for lack of support, in my opinion) then 44 percent would cut back on buying products online. This is according to data from a study sponsored by electronic postage software company Endicia and posted on Mashable.

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Vice President Sees No Legal Hurdles in Enacting Sin Tax on Violent Media

May 13, 2013 -

Vice President Joe Biden thinks that it would be perfectly okay to tax violent video games. During a recent meeting to talk about strategy for enacting the president’s proposed gun legislation, Biden said that an idea floated by Reverend Franklin Graham in late April to tax violent media might be a good idea. Participants in the session told Politico that Mr. Biden said there’s "no restriction on the ability to do that; there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t."

RI Governor Sides With Former Rival on EDC Revamp Plan

May 10, 2013 -

According to WPRI, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) is taking sides in a fight over the future direction of the state’s troubled Economic Development Corporation. The fight is between former campaign rival and Moderate Party Chairman Ken Block and House Speaker Gordon Fox, but the Governor has decided to go against the Speaker and side with Block.

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WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

May 10, 2013 -

Here's something you may not know: Glenn Jacobs, the man who plays the "Big Red Monster" Kane character on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and a co-holder of the WWE World Tag Team Championships, is also the co-founder of the conservative group, The Tennessee Liberty Alliance.

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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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