Homeland Security to hire up to 1K cyber experts Associated Press
The Obama administration has given a green light to the Homeland Security Department to be more competitive and choosey as it hires up to 1,000 new cyber experts over the next three years, the first major personnel move to fulfill its vow to bolster security of the nation’s computer networks. The announcement follows a wave of cyber attacks on federal agencies, including a July assault that knocked government Web sites off the Internet and earlier intrusions into the country’s electrical grid.
Since when does a legal entity have “privacy” rights? Privacy Law Blog
Since the Third Circuit said so, in its September 22, 2009 decision in AT&T v. Federal Communications Commission (No. 084024). Most privacy practitioners would not consider a legal entity to have privacy rights. Rather, a legal entity may have trade secrets or contractual confidentiality protections. However, in its novel holding, the Third Circuit found that a corporation (AT&T) was protected by an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that applies to ‘unwarranted invasions of personal privacy.’ Specifically, FOIA exempts ‘records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy…’(emphasis added). This exemption, combined with FOIA`s definition of ‘person’ to include legal entities, enabled AT&T to successfully argue that a corporation has a right to privacy. (After all, the court said, ‘it would be very odd indeed for an adjectival form of a defined term not to refer back to that defined term.’) As a result, AT&T`s competitors have not been able to obtain information about an FCC investigation of AT&T regarding AT&T`s alleged overcharging of some of its customers.
China strengthens Great Firewall ahead of anniversary The Register
The Chinese government has used its unrivalled net censorship apparatus to attack parts of the Tor network ahead of the 60th anniversary of communist rule, according to activists. The Tor Project Inc, the non-profit that oversees development of the network, said China’s Great Firewall began blocking IP addresses on Friday. The news follows an update last week to blocking technology used by ISPs, known as “Blue Shield”. “We knew this day would come,” the Tor Project said. Tor – originally developed for the US Navy – is used by many Chinese dissidents to conceal their identity and protect their privacy. It allows them to access banned material such as websites about Tibet, the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the recent Uigur uprising.
Filtering works, Enex trial shows Australian IT
Results of a federal government trial show that live ISP-level content filtering does not have a negative impact on network performance and can work in a real-time environment. However, a highly anticipated report based on the pilot is still weeks away and the federal Opposition says the government can not be trusted to deliver on the $43 billion national broadband network when the goalpost keeps shifting for a mere $300,000 filtering trial. “The trial shows that filtering does work and that the gear stops identified IP addresses without major degradation to network speed,” sources close to the trial said. “We can stop individual URLs, IP addresses, but we can’t stop peer-to-peer nor virtual private network-type traffic.” Unwired, Optus, Primus, Highway 1, Nelson Bay Online, Netforce, OMNIconnect, TECH 2U and Webshield participated in the trial, conducted by Enex TestLab. The tests involved thousands of internet users, mostly on an opt-in basis. Australia’s largest ISP, Telstra BigPond, chose not to participate. Trials concluded last month and Enex has submitted the test results to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Enex declined to comment on the results, citing a confidentiality agreement with the department.
High court approves injunction via Twitter The Guardian
In a ruling on Thursday, a judge in London said that an anonymous Twitter user accused of impersonating a right-wing blogger should cease their activities and reveal their identity to the court. Without any other way of contacting the individual in question, however, the judge agreed that the best way to serve the injunction was through a message on the popular web service. The case involves an account set up to impersonate Donal Blaney, a solicitor and Conservative blogger based in Kent. Since it was set up on September 17, the fake account has used his photograph and the name of his blog, Blaney’s Blarney, alongside a series of messages purporting to be written by him. Blaney, whose clients include a number of prominent Conservatives as well as the controversial Westminster gossip blogger Paul Staines – more widely known by the pseudonym Guido Fawkes – said that the content was “mildly objectionable” but believes that it is politically motivated. Matthew Richardson, the barrister who obtained the injunction, said in a statement that it was important to find ways to get anonymous online bullies to be responsible for their actions. “People have to learn that they can no longer hide behind the cloak of anonymity the Internet provides and break the law with impunity,” he said.
Jack Thompson Sues Facebook Over Video-Game Backlash PC Magazine
A disbarred Florida lawyer who has been vocal in his opposition to violent video games sued Facebook this week over comments on the social networking site that he considers to be a threat to his personal safety. Facebook said it would contest the suit in court. Jack Thompson said that Facebook groups calling for users to smack him in the face for $50 or to hit him with an Atari game system have caused him great harm and distress, and he is seeking $40 million in damages from the social networking site. Thompson made headlines in 2005 after he appeared on “60 Minutes” and called video game series “Grand Theft Auto” a “murder stimulator.” Thompson was being interviewed about Devin Moore, who murdered three men and later referenced video games in his confession. “But for the video-game training, he would not have done what he did,” Thompson said of Moore at the time.
Facebook shuts down malicious fake profiles CNet
Facebook on Thursday fended off an attack in which multiple identical profiles were created to spread malware. Antivirus provider AVG Technologies said users of its LinkScanner service detected numerous profiles that were identical except with different names and each included a link to what was represented as a home video but which instead displayed a fake antivirus alert when clicked. The scams are designed to trick people into paying for software they don’t need, to get credit card information from victims for identity fraud purposes, and often to install spyware on the computer. “Clearly, the Data Snatchers have found a way to automate the creation of Facebook accounts, which means they’ve found a way to bypass the Facebook Captcha,” Roger Thompson, chief of research at AVG, wrote in a blog post. Successfully translating a Captcha, a hard-to-read image of letters supposed to ensure that a human is involved, is required for a new account.
House Committee Pushing P2P File Sharing Bill Multichannel
The House Energy & Commerce Committee passed two bills Wednesday dealing with protecting personal information online, including one that would establish new guidelines for some P2P file sharing. While cable and other network operators and others have caught flak from the FCC and the Hill for their management of P2P file-sharing programs, the Informed P2P User Act (HR 1319), which was reported out of committee Wednesday, puts its own restrictions on the technology. The bill requires that users of file-sharing programs are given “conspicuous notice” and required to opt in before the file sharing program is installed. It also requires those who market or distribute the programs to make it “reasonably simple” to block or remove the programs. But it also says it is not meant to discourage the legitimate uses of file-sharing technology. The bill as passed narrowed the definition of peer-to-peer services subject to the restrictions to those where sharing of personal data–financial or health records–was implicated. It specifically exempts e-mail, instant messaging, real time audio and video and real-time voice applications, its co-sponsor, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) said at the hearing marking up the bills.
Texting While Driving Banned for Federal Staff New York Times
Federal employees will not be allowed to text while driving, according to an executive order signed Wednesday night by President Obama. The order covers federal employees when they are using government-provided cars or cellphones and when they are using their own phones and cars to conduct government business. Separately, the federal government plans to ban text messaging by bus drivers and truckers who travel across state lines, and may also preclude them from using cellphones while driving, except in emergencies.
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