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photos by Lara Shipley

Can Computers Eavesdrop?

September 19th, 2008 · No Comments

What I thought would be a quick writeup of a press conference announcing a new wiretap suit ballooned into a rather lengthy analysis of the surprisingly tricky quesition of when a communication is “intercepted” or “acquired” by a government device. Check it out at Ars. The rest of the writing I’ve been doing there this month below the fold.

Alleged 1st-person tale of Palin e-mail hack comes and goes

More details are emerging as to how Gov. Palin’s personal Yahoo e-mail account was hacked, although there’s some room for skepticism as to the veracity of the claims.

Ex-chiefs have earful for candidates, sharp words for FCC

Former FCC chairmen Michael Powell and William Kennard served up frank advice on broadcast and telecom policy for the presidential candidates. And Powell, now a top McCain tech advisor, had some harsh words for his own agency, suggesting its indecency regulation is unconstitutional and characterizing its merger regulation as “extortion.”

Hack of Palin e-mail makes case for sticking with .gov account

Gov. Sarah Palin’s Yahoo e-mail account was hacked earlier this week, and information from the compromised account was released on the Internet, adding security worries to transparency concerns about the use of unofficial accounts for government business.

Palin comes under fire for using Yahoo e-mail for state biz

Sarah Palin often used a Yahoo e-mail account for official state business. Hockey mom charm, or an attempt to avoid transparency?

Wiretap suits press on in the wake of FISA amendments

For the first time since Congress voted to approve retroactive immunity, the NSA surveillance lawsuit targeting telecoms was back before a federal judge Friday.

Pew study: cloud computing popular, privacy worries linger

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has unveiled a new study tracking the adoption of “cloud computing” applications.

Committee amends, approves “enormous gift” to Big Content

The Senate Judicial Committee has approved with some modifications the troublesome Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008. As it stands, the bill would still deputize the Justice Department to bring civil suits on behalf of Big Content—and then pass any monetary awards won as a result.

Court: warrant needed to turn cell phone into homing beacon

It just got a bit harder for law enforcement agencies to turn your cell phone into a personal tracking device: a federal court yesterday slapped down the Justice Department’s appeal of a February ruling that required investigators to seek a probable cause warrant before acquiring historical records of a cell phone users physical movements.

Copyright bill blasted as “enormous gift” to Big Content

Senators returning to work appear to have copyright on the brain: A broad intellectual property enforcement bill introduced in July is slated for markup by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, and another aimed at cracking down on piracy overseas was brought up Wednesday.

DOJ girds loins for possible challenge to Yahoo/Google deal

With the hire of veteran antitrust litigator Sandy Litvack, the Justice Department is signaling that it may seek to block a proposed search-advertising deal between industry titans Google and Yahoo.

The revolution will be streamed: RNC arrests rooted in YouTube

The revolution will not be televised. It will be on YouTube—and the cops and the anarchists will both be watching.

Big Sister is watching: EDVIGE and the angry French

France’s defense minister joins a chorus of critics opposed to a massive new database of people and groups “likely to breach public order.”

Florida’s latest e-voting crisis likely due to human error

In Florida’s latest electoral snafu, a shortfall of nearly 3,500 ballots may be attributable to, um, human error.

Report: Gonzales mishandled classified wiretap docs

Alberto Gonzales repeatedly violated—and in some cases was not even aware of—rules governing handling and storage of highly classified documents, according to a report released by the Office of the Inspector General today.

ACLU back in court over National Security Letters

Can ISPs that receive National Security Letters legally be prevented from talking about them? In oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week, ACLU attorneys urged a three-judge panel to uphold a lower court ruling invalidating NSL gag orders.

Tags: Privacy and Surveillance · Self Promotion · Tech and Tech Policy