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Submission + - U.S. plans to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances (

concealment writes: "The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates."


Submission + - Cubans evade censorship by exchanging computer memory sticks (

concealment writes: "But Sanchez said underground blogs, digital portals and illicit e-magazines proliferate, passed around on removable computer drives known as memory sticks.. The small computer memories, also known as flash drives or thumb drives, are dropped into friendly hands on buses and along street corners, offering a surprising number of Cubans access to information.

“Information circulates hand to hand through this wonderful gadget known as the memory stick,” Sanchez said, “and it is difficult for the government to intercept them. I can’t imagine that they can put a police officer on every corner to see who has a flash drive and who doesn’t.”

Read more here:"


Submission + - Amazon's Merchandising of Its Search Results Doesn't Violate Trademark Law (

concealment writes: "Many of us have had the experience of going to Amazon to buy one thing but checking out with a huge shopping cart of items that we didn’t initially seek—or even know were available. Amazon’s merchandising often benefits Amazon’s customers, but trademark owners who lose sales to their competition due to it aren’t as thrilled. Fortunately for Amazon, a California federal court recently upheld Amazon’s merchandising practices in its internal search results."

Submission + - Illinois state senator pushes anti-anonymity bill (

concealment writes: "The bill, called the Internet Posting Removal Act, is sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein. It states that a “web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.”

The bill, which does not ask for or clarify requirements from entities requesting the comment removal, would take effect 90 days after becoming law."


Submission + - FBI Files Unlock History Behind Clandestine Cellphone Tracking Tool (

concealment writes: "Stingrays, as I’ve reported here before, are portable surveillance gadgets that can trick phones within a specific area into hopping onto a fake network. The feds call them “cell-site simulators” or “digital analyzers,” and they are sometimes also described as “IMSI catchers.” The FBI says it uses them to target criminals and help track the movements of suspects in real time, not to intercept communications. But because Stingrays by design collaterally gather data from innocent bystanders’ phones and can interrupt phone users’ service, critics say they may violate a federal communications law.

A fresh trove of FBI files on cell tracking, some marked “secret,” was published this week by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They shed light on how, far from being a “new” tool used by the authorities to track down targets, Stingray-style technology has been in the hands of the feds since about 1995 (at least). During that time, local and state law enforcement agencies have also been able to borrow the spy equipment in “exceptional circumstances,” thanks to an order approved by former FBI Director Louis Freeh."


Submission + - Is The Line Between 'Hacker' And 'Criminal' Really That Fuzzy? (

concealment writes: don't think there's a "line" — fuzzy, shifting or not — between "hacker" and "criminal." The two things are different. Can you be a criminal hacker? Sure. But the problem is that many non-techie folks seem to assume that any kind of hacking must be criminal. And that's the problem. It's not that some imaginary line is moving around, but that some people don't seem to understand that hacking itself is not criminal, and that there are plenty of good reasons to hack — including to expose security holes.

Submission + - Report warns that censorship will not stop terrorism (

concealment writes: "The report evaluates the challenge of curbing online radicalization from the perspective of supply and demand. It concludes that efforts to shut down websites that could serve as incubators for would-be terrorists--going after the supply--will ultimately be self-defeating, and that "filtering of Internet content is impractical in a free and open society."

"Approaches aimed at restricting freedom of speech and removing content from the Internet are not only the least desirable strategies, they are also the least effective," writes Peter Neumann, founding director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London and the author of the report.

Note to /. editors: I have editorialized the title to reflect actual interesting content, not the somewhat sensationalistic and generic original title."


Submission + - Richard O'Dwyer strikes US deal to avoid extradition (

concealment writes: "Richard O'Dwyer, the university student who created a website which linked to programmes and films online for free, has reached an agreement to avoid extradition to the US over copyright infringement allegations, the high court has been told.

The 24-year-old Sheffield Hallam undergraduate has signed a draft "deferred prosecution" agreement in the past two days which requires him to travel to the US and pay a small sum of compensation but will mean he will not face a trial or criminal record, the court was told."


Submission + - Red light cameras raise crash risk, cost ( 1

concealment writes: "A pilot program for red-light cameras in New Jersey appears to be changing drivers’ behavior, state officials said Monday, noting an overall decline in traffic citations and right-angle crashes.

The Department of Transportation also said, however, that rear-end crashes have risen by 20 percent and total crashes are up by 0.9 percent at intersections where cameras have operated for at least a year."


Submission + - Federal officials take down 132 websites in 'Cyber Monday' crackdown (

concealment writes: "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and European officials seized 132 websites on Monday for allegedly selling counterfeit merchandise in a coordinated crackdown timed to coincide with the holiday shopping season.

It is the third straight year that the government has seized websites on "Cyber Monday" — the marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving, when many online retailers offer steep discounts and promotions."


Submission + - Will Google Go the Way of Microsoft? Ask the FTC (

concealment writes: "The biggest threat to Google isn't Apple, Microsoft or Amazon — it's the U.S. government. Within the next several months, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission may sue Google for antitrust violations. If it does, Google will most likely end up like Microsoft after the government filed suit against it in the 1990s — distracted and unable to plan for the future.

The biggest potential antitrust issue is whether Google unfairly manipulates its search results to point at its own services rather than competitors'. So, for example, the suit might charge that Google manipulates search results to direct consumers to Google Places rather than Yelp or to Google Shopping rather than Pricegrabber or Shopzilla. Another potential issue is whether Google's AdWords marketplace discriminates against ads from services that compete with Google's services."


Submission + - Hardware vendors sue Dutch government over copyright levies (

concealment writes: "Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying.

"The companies now hold the State liable for all damages caused by the levies," the hardware vendors said in a joint news release on Wednesday. Trade association FIAR Consumer Electronics, which has as members companies such as Samsung, Sharp, Sony and LG, is also a party to the litigation. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the District Court of The Hague."


Submission + - Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook posts (

concealment writes: "As India's financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were "due to fear, not due to respect." A friend of hers hit the "like" button.

For that, both women were arrested.

Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday."


Submission + - Senate bill rewrite lets Feds read your e-mail without warrants ( 1

concealment writes: "A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge."


Submission + - Jail Looms for Man Who Revealed AT&T Leaked iPad User E-Mails (

concealment writes: "AT&T screwed up in 2010, serving up the e-mail addresses of over 110,000 of its iPad 3G customers online for anyone to find. But today Andrew Auernheimer, an online activist who pointed out AT&T’s blunder to Gawker Media, which went on to publicize the breach of private information, is the one in federal court this week.

Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) worry that should that charge succeed it will become easy to criminalize many online activities, including work by well-intentioned activists looking for leaks of private information or other online security holes. Weev’s case hasn’t received much attention so far, but should he be found guilty this week it will likely become well known, fast."

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.