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Communications

Illinois Bans Social Network Use By Sex Offenders 587

RobotsDinner writes "Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed into law a bill that bans all registered sex offenders from using social networks. '"Obviously, the Internet has been more and more a mechanism for predators to reach out," said Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), a sponsor of the measure and a governor candidate. "The idea was, if the predator is supposed to be a registered sex offender, they should keep their Internet distance as well as their physical distance."'"
The Internet

EU Publishers Want a Law To Control Online News 168

suraj.sun writes with news that European publishers are also seeking ways to "protect" their content from the big bad intertubes. Their rant, termed the "Hamburg Declaration," asks the government to step in with a legislative fix. "Most of the statements in the relatively short declaration, which will surely take its place among thousands of other European declarations on intellectual property and other matters that have come out over the past few years, hinge on the idea that 'universal access to news' does not equal 'free.' In this respect, the publishers want to maintain the democratic ideal of a 'fourth estate' that provides news to an informed citizenry, while simultaneously restricting access to that news to those who can pay for it directly. What sets this declaration apart from the other Hamburg declarations out there, or from the various Geneva declarations or Berlin declarations, is that this one is intended to give the publishers' favorite solution to the news-stealing problem, the Automated Content Access Protocol, the force of law."
Privacy

UK Gov't May Track All Facebook Traffic 204

Jack Spine writes "The UK government, which is becoming increasingly Orwellian, has said that it is considering snooping on all social networking traffic including Facebook, MySpace, and bebo. This supposedly anti-terrorist measure may be proposed as part of the Intercept Modernisation Programme according to minister Vernon Coaker, and is exactly the sort of deep packet inspection web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned about last week. The measure would get around the inconvenience for the government of not being able to snoop on all UK web traffic."
Patents

Lawmakers Take Another Shot At Patent Reform 154

narramissic writes "Patent reform legislation was introduced yesterday (PDF), which, if it passes, would be the first major overhaul of US patent law in more than 50 years. (It should be noted that the new legislation is very similar to the Patent Reform Act of 2007, which died on the Senate floor last year.) The legislation would bring US patent law in line with global laws, and introduce 'reasonable royalty' provisions, which change the way damages are calculated and would reduce the likelihood of massive payouts for some patent holders. Representatives from Google, HP and Intel were quick to say that the changes would cut down on frivolous patent lawsuits. But the Innovation Alliance, a group representing patent-holders that oppose the legislation, said that it would 'devalue all patents, invite infringement — including from companies in China, India and other countries — and generate more litigation that will further strain the courts.'"
The Internet

New Tool Promises To Passively ldentify BitTorrent Files 265

QuietR10t writes "A new technique has been developed for detecting and tracking illegal content transferred using the BitTorrent file-trading protocol. According to its creators, the approach can monitor networks without interrupting the flow of data and provides investigators with hard evidence of illicit file transfers. 'Our system differs in that it is completely passive, meaning that it does not change any information entering or leaving a network,' says Schrader." I wonder if it can specifically identify legal content, too.

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