Blogging the 2012 Internet Bus Tour

October 9, 2012 -

Zachary Cohn dropped us a note to let us know that he has been on the Reddit sponsored bus tour to promote Internet freedom. The tour, the "Internet Bus Tour 2012," has been traveling between the debate locations to promote and highlight the ultra importance of Internet freedom. With both democrats and republicans providing support for the concept in their party platforms this year, Reddit and other advocates of freedom online want to push the issue to the forefront of the presidential policy debate.

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Fake 'Bad Piggies' Google Chrome App Installs Adware

October 9, 2012 -

According to a Joystiq report citing an independent investigation by security firm Barracuda Networks, over 80,000 Google Chrome users have been affected by fake versions of Rovio's new game Bad Piggies. The fake versions of the game are accessed from the Chrome web store, which apparently installs a plug-in that displays advertisements for popular web sites.

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Report: Seized Megaupload Data to be the Subject of Future U.S. Court Hearing

October 5, 2012 -

After the parties involved in the Megaupload case failed on multiple occasions to negotiate some way to relinquish legitimate and legal data to Megaupload users left in the lurch, a Federal judge has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter. The one caveat is that the parties involved must come up with a format and the judge has not set a definitive date. Still it's forward motion in a situation that has been stalled by trade groups like the MPAA and the U.S. government.

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CleanIT Act Makes SOPA and PIPA Look Tame in Comparison

October 1, 2012 -

A new bill being secretly passed around to certain members of the European Parliament is making headlines today because of its eerie similarities to legislation like SOPA, CISPA and ACTA. The bill is called "CleanIT," and it is currently in the early stages of being refined. But the draft has been leaked to the public, much to the chagrin of its main supporters and it has a lot of horrible provisions.

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Reps. Darrell Issa and Anna Eshoo Stump for the 'Declaration of Internet Freedom'

September 18, 2012 -

In an opinion piece on Politico, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA.) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA.) make the case for open internet policies. They open the opinion piece by noting that both political parties have some language paying homage to the concept of a "free and open Internet" and explain what it all means in terms of what is going on in Washington. You may remember that Congressman Issa was at the forefront of fighting against SOPA when it was in committee.

Report: Blizzard Can Track WOW Users Through In-Game Screenshots

September 11, 2012 -

This story on Slashdot Games reveals that screenshots taken in World of Warcraft have secret watermarks that can be used by Blizzard to track users - particularly when they are engaged in behavior considered to be illegal or that violates World of Warcraft's terms of service.

The story began a few days ago when a World of Warcraft players noticed that there was an odd mark on a screenshot he had taken in-game:

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ArenaNet: Beware of Guild Wars 2 Phishing Schemes

September 10, 2012 -

The Guild Wars 2 Wiki warns Guild Wars 2 users that they need to be on the lookout for phishing schemes pretending to be official emails from ArenaNet asking for personal information.

"Account Security Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and collected through spyware, and are systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts," reads a lengthy post on the Wiki. "To protect yourself, use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you've never used anywhere else!"

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Report: Draft of President's Cybersecurity Executive Order Being Passed Around in D.C.

September 7, 2012 -

The Hill is reporting that, despite the setbacks with cybersecurity legislation in the Senate last month, the White House is continuing to push forward on a "go-it-alone" path to enact some sort of measures that they feel are an imperative to protect critical infrastructure from hackers and other nefarious individuals.

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Report: Republicans Adding 'Internet Freedom' to Party Platform

August 24, 2012 -

Conservative political news site The Daily Caller reports that the Republican Party platform will include a new section on Internet Freedom, to be approved sometime before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida next week.

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Some Useful Amendments Being Proposed to the Cybersecurity Act

August 1, 2012 -

As debate begins and amendments are offered on the Cybersecurity Act Of 2012, the bill may end up going through some fundamental changes that will make it more palatable for those who oppose many of its murkier provisions. So far over 70 amendments have been offered to the bill that aims to protect critical infrastructure in the United States through government oversight.

Democratic Senators Add Gun Control to Cybersecurity Bill

July 28, 2012 -

Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Barbara Boxer (CA), Jack Reed (RI), Bob Menendez (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) submitted an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 which would limit real-world gun rights. The language intends to make ownership or transfer of magazines (and other ammunition-feeding devices capable of holding ten or more bullets) illegal.

Eight Million Gamigo Accounts in The Wild

July 23, 2012 -

According to hacking-alert service PwnedList over eight million users who frequent the online gaming service Gamigo have had their personal data compromised. According to the site, a security breach in March of this year led to the theft of usernames, passwords, and email addresses onto the password-cracking site Inside Pro.

Luckily Gamigo users concerned about their private information floating in the wilds of the Internet can visit the site, sign up for a free account and see if their data has been compromised.

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Twitter Discloses U.S. Government Information Request for First-Half of 2012

July 3, 2012 -

Normally we would ignore what's going on at Twitter (not because we don't care but because the daily machinations of the service have no bearing within these pages), but a change in policy is of particular interest - mainly in how it might relate to current and future cybersecurity bills - like CISPA, PROTECT IT, and the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Like Google, Twitter has decided to disclose how often the U.S. government asks for information on a user or issues a DMCA takedown via what they call a new "transparency tool."

White House Seeks Public Input on Future IP Enforcement Policies

June 26, 2012 -

U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel is seeking public comment on the administration's future policy related to intellectual property law and the enforcement of it in the future. Espinel is smart to avoid using any language that would likely get her thousands of emails filled with disdain and anger such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, etc.

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Netflix Settles Class Action, Changes Policies on Saving Customer Rental Histories

May 30, 2012 -

Netflix has settled a class action lawsuit related to violating the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). The VPAA holds that video rental companies cannot share the rental habits of its customers. U.S. District Court papers filed Friday reveal that Netflix has settled the class-action lawsuit filed against it in 2011. Netflix agreed not to hold onto data showing which movies its former customers rented for as long as it has in the past.

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Reddit Founder and Fight for the Future Create the 'Internet Defense League'

May 25, 2012 -

Update: It would be a disservice to our readers if we failed to mention Fight for the Future's recent calamity with user information. You can read about it here.

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Advocacy Groups Launch ‘Privacy is Awesome’ to Fight CISPA and SECURE IT Act

May 25, 2012 -

Advocacy groups Fight for the Future, Democrats.com, The Liberty Coalition, and the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), have banded together to create a new website called Privacy Is Awesome, to fight against CISPA and the Senate version of the bill, SECURE IT Act. The site is designed to teach netizens how to defeat the bills in five easy steps:

FTC Hires Colorado University Law Professor as Privacy Advisor

May 22, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has hired Colorado University Law Professor Paul Ohm to advise the agency of Internet privacy rights and issues. Ohm will take a leave of absence this summer from Colorado University and will begin working at the FTC's Office of Policy Planning as a senior adviser on consumer protection and privacy issues beginning August 27.

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New Service Rates Facebook Apps' Privacy and Tracking Policies

April 23, 2012 -

A new service by research firm PrivacyChoice rates the privacy and tracking policies of various Facebook apps. The service, launched this weekend with ratings on over 200 Facebook productivity, sharing and game apps. The top score an app can get is a 100.

That score can be diminished by an app doing certain things to its user like failing to respect a user's deletion request, sharing data with a large amount of partners, storing consumer data for long periods of time, and more.

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Switching Sides: Former MPAA Heavyweight Paul Brigner

April 19, 2012 -

Cory Doctorow, who you may know best as the gentleman behind the wonderful Boing Boing web site, has a brand new column in The Guardian examining why a former defender of SOPA would suddenly decide to switch sides.

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ECA Action Alert: CISPA

April 17, 2012 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued a call to action concerning the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. We've talked about CISPA here, and while it's not quite as overreaching as SOPA, PIPA, or ACTA, the bill is so vague in its language that it could prove to be dangerous if interpreted the wrong way by individuals and groups that don't give two shakes about privacy, Internet freedom and free speech.

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Lawmakers Promise Revisions to CISPA

April 11, 2012 -

According to a SiliconValley.com report, the U.S. House of Representatives will take up a revised version of the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) at the end of April. The revisions to the bill should address concerns about privacy, according to its sponsors, but details on what has been changed in the language are unknown at this time.

PSA: F-Secure Releases Removal Tool for Flashback Trojan

April 11, 2012 -

VantureBeat reports that antivirus firm F-Secure has released a free automated removal tool for the Flashback Trojan that has infected so many Mac OS X systems. The removal tool, available here, is in a zip file. Once you download and unzip it, follow the instructions to find the virus on your system.

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FTC, California AG's Office Address Children's Safety at Digital Kids Conference

March 20, 2012 -

Representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and California's Attorney General's office will address mobile app safety for children at the Digital Kids Conference on Wednesday, April 25 from 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. (Room 1, Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA). Federal Trade Commission Staff Attorney Kenneth H. Abbe and Travis LeBlanc, Special Assistant Attorney General for Technology for the State of California will deliver their remarks on the topic as part of conference's Digital Kids Safety Track.

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RYG: SecuROM DRM Integrated into Origin, Traces Found in Mass Effect 3

March 8, 2012 -

This morning Reclaim Your Game tweeted that EA and BioWare continue to use the SecuROM DRM scheme for its games. The latest to use it is Mass Effect 3, but it appears to be integrated tightly into EA's Origin client. EA has insisted in the past that it is not using SecuROM in its software releases on PC.

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Public Knowledge Launches The Internet Blueprint

February 28, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Public Knowledge has launched a new web site called The Internet Blueprint. The goal of this new hub is to develop bills that will strengthen internet laws and ultimately make the internet a better place. The site is the group's response to lawmakers in Washington who asked Public Knowledge for input on how to improve the Internet.

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Federal Appeals Court Says Decryption Court Orders are a Violation of the Fifth Amendment

February 24, 2012 -

A federal appeals court has concluded that a Florida man who refused to decrypt several electronic devices and was subsequently imprisoned, had his civil rights violated. This is the first time an appeals courts has ruled in favor of protections for encrypted devices and software. The court ruled in The United States v. Doe that the man's Fifth Amendment Rights were violated.

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Former Congresswoman and Lobbyist Joins Google

February 23, 2012 -

Former Republican congresswoman and lobbyist Susan Molinari has been named the head of Google’s Washington office, according to an exclusive report by Politico. The new job will put the former member of Congress of the front lines of privacy policy fights and laws legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The search engine giant is facing closer government scrutiny over its privacy policies and business practices.

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Craigslist's SOPA-PIPA Fight, Dig at Monster Cable

January 17, 2012 -

Craigslist has added a section to its About Page dedicated to fighting against the Stop Online Piracy Action and Protect IP Act worth taking a look at. The page offers an exhaustive list of resources and points out efforts from the ECA, EFF, OpenCongress, and more. It also features its opposition prominently on its front page. The page also includes a rant which calls out Monster Cable as just one example of why it opposes both SOPA and PIPA:

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Riot Games Comes Out Against SOPA and PIPA

January 11, 2012 -

League of Legends developer Riot Games let us know that they, have officially announced their opposition to controversial legislation under consideration in Congress: the U.S. House of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The company's CEO, Brandon Beck, took to the official forums for the game (which has 11-million-players, for the record) to say that these two bills in their present form are unacceptable:

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Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
 

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