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President Bush Signs Genetic Nondiscrimination Act 527

artemis67 writes "This past week, President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which would prevent health insurers and employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their genetic information. GINA is the first and only federal legislation that will provide protections against discrimination based on an individual's genetic information in health insurance coverage and employment settings.'"

Finnish Appeals Court Rules Breaking CSS Illegal 165

Thomas Nybergh writes "Due to an appeal court decision from a couple of days back, breaking the not-very-effective CSS copy protection used on most commercial DVD-Video discs is now a criminal act in Finland (robo translated). The verdict is contrary to what a district court thought of the same case last year when two local electronic rights activists were declared not guilty after having framed themselves by spreading information on how to break CSS. Back then, it was to the activists' benefit has CSS been badly broken and inneffective ever since DeCSS came out."

Submission + - Sears Web "Community" is a Spyware Install (

Panaqqa writes: "After several weeks of security alerts from CA and denials by Sears, spyware security researcher Ben Edelman has joined the chorus accusing Sears of surreptitiously installing Comscore tracking software on the PCs of people who join the Sears "community". Kmart (owned by Sears) is apparently involved also. After installation, the software sends details of all online activities — including secure sites such as banking — directly to Comscore, despite the Sears website's assertion that it does not share collected data with anyone. Various technology blogs are likening this breach of online privacy to the recent Facebook Beacon fiasco."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA attacks Fair use (

cyberfunk2 writes: It seems the RIAA has finally decided to drink their own koolaid. It seems the aforementioned entity is attacking the what most people believe to be holy ground in a case against Jeffrey Howell. The Washington Post reports In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer. For his part, RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said in a statement that the industry "will continue to bring lawsuits" against those who "ignore years of warnings,". "It's not our first choice, but it's a necessary part of the equation. There are consequences for breaking the law." Fair use anyone ?

Submission + - AT&T's U-Verse Not So Popular In Lakewood, Ohi (

dlayphoto writes: "After being approved by Lakewood's City Hall, AT&T quickly went to work building their U-Verse network, code named Project Lightspeed. What AT&T didn't say, though, was that they would be installing over 50 of them throughout the city, which is noted for being the most densely-populated city between New York and Chicago.

After AT&T recently received a statewide approval to provide video service to the entire state, this can only get worse.

Several members of the Lakewood Observer Observation Deck have been following installations of the VRAD boxes and their hideousness, complete with photos."


Submission + - Representative Presses Google on Data Mining (

eldavojohn writes: "Asking for 'virtually every aspect' about how Google and DoubleClick do business, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R., Texas) sent a letter to Google on Wednesday on privacy concerns demanding a response no later than December 18th. Mr. Barton claims that he had reached an agreement for his staff to visit the Mountainview based company and decide what length of time would be appropriate for holding data. But in the letter he stated "Since then, all efforts to reach a mutually agreeable time have been rebuffed, and it begins to seem that no date for a visit is sufficiently convenient to Google. Your warm initial invitation followed by Google's chilly response to a proposed visit by Committee counsels is disconcerting." Is Google morally correct to give the government the cold shoulder? Is the government overstepping its bounds in demanding this be decided and published? Will we have to sign a contractual agreement the next time we use a search engine? I guess we'll find out 'round December 18th."

Submission + - Montclair State Uni. in NJ Mandates GPS CellPhones (

Tech.Luver writes: "College students at Montclair State University are all talking about a new requirement that will require students to have a cell phone. Montclair is one of the first schools in the U.S. to use GPS tracking devices, which along with other security technology are increasingly being adopted on campuses in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre last spring. Students can use the timer, or, in an emergency, activate the GPS technology to instantly alert police. The cost: $420 a year for a base plan which is bundled into the tuition bill. It includes just 50 peak voice minutes a month, but unlimited text messaging to any carrier, unlimited campus-based data usage, and student activated emergency GPS tracking. "What it does is allow students to have an extra pair or group of people watching over them when they're going from one location to another," Montclair Police Department Chief Paul Cell said. The positive impact is already being felt across campus. ( )"

Submission + - Linux Users Can't Sell On eBay ( 2

bobintetley writes: Many Linux/Firefox users are reporting problems uploading images to eBay. Having tested this myself, it is indeed completely broken. Why eBay would break standard HTTP uploads by using IE specific javascript to "check the file exists" boggles the mind. This problem has been reported to eBay since late October, but so far with no resolution. eBay have since stated that only IE is supported. I guess when you have no real competition you can pull stunts like this.

Submission + - Software Piracy Fight Makes Enemies ( 1

Ron Paul Dennis Kucinich writes: "A BSA raid on musical-instrument maker Ernie Ball Inc. cost the company $90,000 in a settlement. Soon after, Microsoft sent other businesses in his region a flyer offering discounts on software licenses, along with a reminder not to wind up like Ernie Ball. Enraged, CEO Sterling Ball vowed never to use Microsoft software again, even if "we have to buy 10,000 abacuses." He shifted to open-source software, which lacks such legal entanglements because its underlying code is freely distributed."

Submission + - Gamefly sold my e-mail address!

An anonymous reader writes: I own a few domains for my own vanity and amusement. When signing up for any service online, I use the format [unique-servicename]@[mydomain]. Even slashdot doesn't get a hold of my 'home' address. This is great for filtering, redirection, etc. It's also a great tool to see who has been selling my e-mail address.

During a bored moment, I was perusing through my junk mail to see which addresses spammers were using. Lo and behold, a great number (about 33%, actually) of the spam I found was sent to gamefly@[mydomain]. According to their privacy policy, they may from time to time share my information with game related third-party vendors. However, at no point did they say, "you will receive ads for viagra and porn sites." Since most people utilizing the service are probably still in high school, is it appropriate for them to be receiving such material? Someone, please! Think of the children!

Has anyone had any experience similar to this? What are the legal (if not moral) implications of such a practice?

Submission + - PHProxy shut down under suspicious circumstances (

Jonathan Cross writes: "The PHProxy project was abruptly discontinued with only a robotic renunciation note from Abdullah Arif (the project's maintainer). The script is widely used to circumvent corporate / government censorship. Iranian Authorities may be involved.

As of September 7th 2007, I, Abdullah Arif (eugee, ultimategamer00, uG, et cetera), completely renounce and disavow the PHProxy (poxy) project and all past and future works and derivatives based on the PHProxy script. I will no longer continue development nor support for this script. I relinquish all rights and disclaim all responsibilities associated. This decision is final. Thanks to everyone for their support.


Submission + - Skype encryption stumps German police

An anonymous reader writes: WIESBADEN, Germany (Reuters) — German police are unable to decipher the encryption used in the Internet telephone software Skype to monitor calls by suspected criminals and terrorists, Germany's top police officer said on Thursday. Skype allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet from their computer to other Skype users free of charge. Law enforcement agencies and intelligence services have used wiretaps since the telephone was invented, but implementing them is much more complex in the modern telecommunications market where the providers are often foreign companies. "The encryption with Skype telephone software ... creates grave difficulties for us," Joerg Ziercke, president of Germany's Federal Police Office (BKA) told reporters at an annual gathering of security and law enforcement officials. "We can't decipher it. That's why we're talking about source telecommunication surveillance — that is, getting to the source before encryption or after it's been decrypted." Experts say Skype and other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling software are difficult to intercept because they work by breaking up voice data into small packets and switching them along thousands of router paths instead of a constant circuit between two parties, as with a traditional call. Ziercke said they were not asking Skype to divulge its encryption keys or leave "back doors open" for German and other country's law enforcement authorities. "There are no discussions with Skype. I don't think that would help," he said, adding that he did not want to harm the competitiveness of any company. "I don't think that any provider would go for that." Ziercke said there was a vital need for German law enforcement agencies to have the ability to conduct on-line searches of computer hard drives of suspected terrorists using "Trojan horse" spyware. These searches are especially important in cases where the suspects are aware that their Internet traffic and phone calls may be monitored and choose to store sensitive information directly on their hard drives without emailing it. Spyware computer searches are illegal in Germany, where people are sensitive about police surveillance due to the history of the Nazis' Gestapo secret police and the former East German Stasi. Ziercke said worries were overblown and that on-line searches would need to be conducted only on rare occasions. "We currently have 230 proceedings related to suspected Islamists," Ziercke said. "I can imagine that in two or three of those we would like to do this."

Submission + - Retailers Grow A Brain. Say DRM Hurts Sales (

mrneutron2003 writes: "The lack of common sense as well as a basic understanding of economic theory has plagued the debate over anti piracy measures for as long as we can remember. Though it is quite clear in the United States the content delivery business is still rife with idiocy, it's a blessing to see a considerable turnaround in attitude by Great Britain's Entertainment Retailers Association . The ERA is a UK trade organisation formed specifically to act as a forum for the retail and wholesale sectors of the music, video, DVD and Multimedia products industry.

In an interview with the Financial Times (registration required) Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA said when asked about Digital Rights Management technologies that they are "stifling growth and working against the consumer interest."

Holy cow! An industry lobbyist, and she's smart! When asked about the state of DRM laden legal downloads in the UK, she added, "Sadly, that amounts to an average of less than one 79p per download per head of population per year."

Her warnings come as retailers of digital and non-digital content eye the Christmas selling season nervously. With album sales down 12 million units year on year, and new figures showing the average Briton has bought less than 3 digital audio tracks in the last three years, it's no wonder that there's a sense of urgency behind her open request to the music industry to drop piracy protections that clearly do not work and serve only to punish legitimate consumers. Next time I'm in Great Britain Kim, you've got dinner on me!"

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