Law and Order
The National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program received a highly charged constitutional challenge on Wednesday. This first-of-its-kind challenge comes via a motion filed by attorneys for Jamshid Muhtorov, an Uzbek refugee, Colorado resident, and accused terrorist, whose e-mail and possibly other communications were secretly gathered by the US government.
Muhtorov's motion not only sets up a likely court test of the constitutionality of government eavesdropping, but it could also be a signal of many more cases to come.
The U.S. last week brought charges against two Arkansas men for operating an e-mail hacking website, needapassword.com, which offered to obtain passwords to any e-mail account for a fee. The scheme, operated by Mark Anthony Townsend of Cedarville, Ark., and Joshua Alan Tabor of Prairie Grove, affected some 6,000 accounts, according to a Jan. 24 press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Cedarville and Prairie Grove have a combined population of less than 6,000 people. Yet the investigation into the website stretched around the globe.
The alleged architect of the bank-hacking malware SpyEye, which is said to have infected 1.4 million computers, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. The US Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Russian national Aleksandr Andreevich Panin was the primary developer and distributor of SpyEye.
A court in The Hague has ruled that local internet service providers (ISPs) can stop trying to block The Pirate Bay, because blocks are overbearing and do not work.
A ruling from the Dutch court (pdf) sees justice side with two ISPs that have baulked at implementing whackamole blocks and take a different view of the hard line pursued by local copyright cartel enforcer Brein.
Brein approached the courts in 2010 with a request that the ISP Ziggo put a wall around The Pirate Bay. Ziggo resisted the rightsholders' demand and was joined by another ISP called Xs4all.
Some breaking news in the patent world. Samsung, the world’s biggest handset maker, has announced that it has signed a 10-year patent deal with Google, the maker of Android, the world’s biggest mobile operating system, covering all current and future technology patents.
There are a few key reasons why this is an important piece of news: