mrogers writes "A journalism student in Afghanistan has been sentenced to death by a Sharia court for downloading and sharing a report criticizing the treatment of women in some Islamic countries. The student was accused of blasphemy and tried without representation. According to Reporters Without Borders, sixty people are currently in jail worldwide for criticizing governments online, fifty of them in China, but this may be the first time someone has been sentenced to death for using the internet. Internet censorship is on the rise worldwide, according to The OpenNet Initiative. The Independent newspaper has organized a petition calling for the student's sentence to be overturned."
mrogers writes "According to the Financial Times, the US Director of National Intelligence is preparing to launch A-Space, 'an internal communications tool modelled on the popular social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace.' A-Space will go live in December, alongside spook-centric versions of Wikipedia and del.icio.us, in an attempt to encourage cooperation between the United States' sixteen intelligence agencies.
There's no mention of what the A stands for, though — any suggestions?"
mrogers writes "Many Slashdot readers will have come across files that claimed to be leaked copies of the seventh Harry Potter book — perhaps some even downloaded the genuine bootleg that was made by photographing every page. But the IHT reports that in China, Potter piracy has become a cottage industry.
Titles like "Harry Potter and the Hiking Dragon" are available alongside digital copies of the genuine article, raising the question of where fan fiction ends and counterfeiting begins. Is this a glimpse of what culture would be like without copyright?"
Here, the global Harry Potter publishing phenomenon has mutated into something altogether Chinese: a combination of remarkable imagination and startling industriousness, all placed in the service of counterfeiting, literary fraud and copyright violation.
mrogers writes "The FBI requires a warrant to install spyware on a suspect's computer, according to a new appeals court ruling. An earlier ruling had appeared to grant the FBI permission to install spyware under the weaker provisions applied to pen registers, which record the telephone numbers or IP addresses contacted by a suspect. However, yesterday's amendment made it clear that the pen register provisions only apply to equipment installed at the suspect's ISP.
The FBI recently used spyware to determine the source of a hoax bomb threat, as reported here and here."
mrogers writes "Physorg has an intriguing story suggesting that humans may have evolved as running hunters, long before the invention of the first weapons:
I for one welcome our new hairless, sweaty, mouth-breathing overlords."
Humans ... have several adaptations that help us dump the enormous amounts of heat generated by running. These adaptations include our hairlessness, our ability to sweat, and the fact that we breathe through our mouths when we run, which not only allows us to take bigger breaths, but also helps dump heat.
"We can run in conditions that no other animal can run in," Lieberman said.
mrogers writes "Infowars brings us the following news from the UK, which is fast becoming the front line of the war on privacy:
Perhaps the lip-reading cameras and the shouting cameras will find something to talk about."
mrogers writes "Reporters Without Borders has published its annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index, which ranks countries according to the level of censorship, legal pressure, intimidation and violence experienced by journalists. Finland, Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands top the list; North Korea, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and Cuba are at the bottom, and were among the ten most censored countries according to New York's Committee to Protect Journalists.
The UK occupies an unimpressive 27th place in the Press Freedom Index, and the US is 53rd. The ranking criteria can be found here."