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Government

Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police 473

Even in a country and a world where copyright can be claimed as an excuse to prevent you from taking a photo of a giant sculpture in a public, tax-paid park, and openly recording visiting police on your own property can be construed as illegal wiretapping, it sometimes seems like the overreach of officialdom against people taking photos or shooting video knows no bounds. It's a special concern now that seemingly everyone over the age of 10 is carrying a camera that can take decent stills and HD video. It's refreshing, therefore, to read that a Federal Appeals Court has found unconstitutional the arrest of a Massachusetts lawyer who used his phone to video-record an arrest on the Boston Common. (Here's the ruling itself, as a PDF.) From the linked article, provided by reader schwit1: "In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the wiretapping statute under which Glik was arrested and the seizure of his phone violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights."
The Internet

FCC Chief Says Comcast Violated Internet Rules 174

Several readers sent in word that the FCC chairman, Kevin Martin, is calling for sanctions and enforcement actions against Comcast for resetting BitTorrent traffic. "Mr. Martin will circulate an order recommending enforcement action against the company on Friday among his fellow commissioners, who will vote on the measure at an open meeting on Aug. 1... Martin, a Republican, will likely get support from the two Democrats on the commission, who are both proponents of the network neutrality concept. Those three votes would be enough for a majority on the five-member commission."
Censorship

Bill Would Bar US Companies From Net Censorship 309

Meredith writes "A bill that would penalize companies for assisting repressive regimes in censoring the Internet may finally be headed to a vote. The Global Online Freedom Act 'would not only prevent companies like Yahoo from giving up the goods to totalitarian regimes, but would also prohibit US-based Internet companies from blocking online content from US government or government-financed web sites in other countries.' Unfortunately, there's also a giant loophole: the president would be allowed to waive the provisions of the Act for national security purposes."
Spam

High Earning Spammers Face Tougher Sentences 157

netbuzz writes "More big-time spammers may find themselves doing longer stretches behind bars if a federal judge's first-of-its-kind sentencing decision in a Denver case becomes widely applied. In a sense, these spammers would be hoisted on their own profits, as language in CAN-SPAM allows the use of their profits instead of the difficult-to-measure financial damage they cause in establishing a prison sentence. The Denver spammer earned $250,000 — and a 20% longer prison stint — using this approach."

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