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White House Unveils Plans For "Trusted Identities In Cyberspace" 202

Presto Vivace writes with news that the Obama administration's cyber-security coordinater, Howard Schmidt, yesterday unveiled a national plan for "trusted" online identities. Schmidt wrote, "The NSTIC, which is in response to one of the near term action items in the President’s Cyberspace Policy Review, calls for the creation of an online environment, or an Identity Ecosystem as we refer to it in the strategy, where individuals and organizations can complete online transactions with confidence, trusting the identities of each other and the identities of the infrastructure that the transaction runs on. For example, no longer should individuals have to remember an ever-expanding and potentially insecure list of usernames and passwords to login into various online services. Through the strategy we seek to enable a future where individuals can voluntarily choose to obtain a secure, interoperable, and privacy-enhancing credential (e.g., a smart identity card, a digital certificate on their cell phone, etc.) from a variety of service providers — both public and private — to authenticate themselves online for different types of transactions (e.g., online banking, accessing electronic health records, sending email, etc.)." You can read the full draft of the plan (PDF), and the White House is seeking public comments on it as well.
The Almighty Buck

Lord Lucas Says Record Companies "Blackmail" Users 236

Kijori writes "Lord Lucas, a member of the UK House of Lords, has accused record companies of blackmailing internet users by accusing people of copyright infringement who have no way to defend themselves. 'You can get away with asking for £500 or £1,000 and be paid on most occasions without any effort having to be made to really establish guilt. It is straightforward legal blackmail.' The issue is that there is no way for people to prove their innocence, since the record company's data is held to be conclusive proof, and home networking equipment does not log who is downloading what. Hopefully, at the very least, the fact that parliament has realised this fact will mean that copyright laws will get a little more sane."
The Courts

Student Suing Amazon For Book Deletions 646

Stupified writes "High school student Justin Gawronski is suing Amazon for deleting his Kindle copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four (complaint, PDF), because doing so destroyed the annotations he'd created to the text for class. The complaint states: 'The notes are still accessible on the Kindle 2 device in a file separate from the deleted book, but are of no value. For example, a note such as "remember this paragraph for your thesis" is useless if it does not actually reference a specific paragraph.' The suit, which is seeking class action status, asks that Amazon be legally blocked from improperly accessing users' Kindles in the future and punitive damages for those affected by the deletion. Nothing in Amazon's EULA or US copyright law gives them permission to delete books off your Kindle, so this sounds like a plausible suit."

Brazil Demands Repatriation of UK Hazardous Waste 110

Peace Corps Online writes "BBC reports that Brazilian authorities are demanding the return of more than 1,400 tons of hazardous British waste found in about 90 shipping containers on three Brazilian docks. The waste, which includes syringes, condoms, and bags of blood, has been identified as being of UK origin from the names of British supermarkets and newspapers among the rubbish. Reports in the UK media say the waste was sent from Felixstowe in eastern England to the port of Santos, near Sao Paulo, and two other ports in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The British government has launched an investigation into how and why the waste was sent to Brazil and the British Embassy in Brazil has said in a statement that it was investigating and would 'not hesitate to act' if it was found that a UK company had violated the Basel Convention on the movement of hazardous waste. Meanwhile Brazil is demanding the immediate return of the rubbish to the UK. 'We will ask for the repatriation of this garbage,' says Roberto Messias, head of the Brazilian environment agency. 'Clearly, Brazil is not a big rubbish dump of the world.'" Two UK companies named by Brazil as suspected exporters of the waste are owned by a Brazilian, based in the UK, who says that anything that was in the containers other than the expected recyclable plastic is a problem to take up with his suppliers.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.