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Submission + - Interview with the UK Pirate Party leader (pirateparty.org.uk)

VJ42 writes: With the 2010 UK general election fast approaching, The Pirate party of the United Kingdom will be fielding elections for the first time. With the Digital economy bill and ACTA being hot topics for UK geeks, the Pirate party looks to pick up votes. Their leader Andrew Robinson has agreed to answer your questions. Normal Interview rules apply.
Biotech

Scientists Learn To Fabricate DNA Evidence 256

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that it is possible to fabricate blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor, and even to construct a sample of DNA to match someone's profile without obtaining any tissue from that person — if you have access to their DNA profile in a database. This undermines the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases. 'You can just engineer a crime scene,' said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper. 'Any biology undergraduate could perform this.' The scientists fabricated DNA samples in two ways. One requires a real, if tiny, DNA sample, perhaps from a strand of hair or a drinking cup. They amplified the tiny sample into a large quantity of DNA using a standard technique called whole genome amplification. The other technique relies on DNA profiles, stored in law enforcement databases as a series of numbers and letters corresponding to variations at 13 spots in a person's genome. The scientists cloned tiny DNA snippets representing the common variants at each spot, creating a library of such snippets. To prepare a phony DNA sample matching any profile, they just mixed the proper snippets together. Tania Simoncelli, science adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union, says the findings were worrisome. 'DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints,' says Simoncelli. 'We're creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology.'"
Privacy

Pirate Bay's Anonymity Service Enters Beta Testing 137

schliz writes "Developers of The Pirate Bay have launched their new Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to some 180,000 pre-registered beta testers. An e-mail to beta testers read. 'IPREDator does not store any personal details about its clients. IPREDator does not store any traffic habits you might have. IPREDator is the key to a free internet in the renaissance of censorship!' The new service was launched to protect file sharers in response to the Swedish Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) that went into effect in April."
Data Storage

New York Times Wipes Journalist's Online Corpus 94

thefickler writes "Reading about Peter Wayner and his problems with book piracy reminded me of another writer, Thomas Crampton, who has the opposite problem — a lot of his work has been wiped from the Internet. Thomas Crampton has worked for the New York Times (NYT) and the International Herald Tribune (IHT) for about a decade, but when the websites of the two newspapers were merged two months ago, a lot of Crampton's work disappeared into the ether. Links to the old stories are simply hitting generic pages. Crampton wrote a letter to Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of the NYT, pleading for his work to be put back online. The hilarious part: according to one analysis, the NYT is throwing away at least $100,000 for every month that the links remain broken."
Social Networks

Twitter Considered Harmful To Swine-Flu Panic 383

judgecorp writes "Twitter is being criticized for spreading panic about swine flu. This is not just knee-jerk Luddism 2.0: it's argued that Twitter's structure encourages ill-informed repetition, with little room for context, while older Web media use their power for good — for instance Google's Flu Trends page (which we discussed last winter), and the introduction of a Google swine flu map." On a related note, reader NewtonsLaw suggests that it might be a good idea, epidemiologically speaking, to catch the flu now vs. later.
The Courts

Swedish ISP Deletes Customer ID Info 177

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A Swedish internet service provider, Bahnhof, has begun deleting customer identification information in order to prevent it from being used as evidence against its customers under Sweden's new legislation against copyright infringement via peer-to-peer file sharing. According to this report on 'The Local,' it is entirely legal for it to do so. The company's CEO, Jon Karlung, is identified as 'a vociferous opponent of the measures that came into force on April 1st,' and is quoted saying that he is determined to protect the company's clients, and that 'It's about the freedom to choose, and the law makes it possible to retain details. We're not acting in breach of IPRED; we're following the law and choosing to destroy the details.'"

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