Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation

Feds Target "Mongols" Biker Club's Intellectual Property 393

couchslug writes in with a Reuters account of a Federal raid on a California-based motorcycle club, the Mongols, on charges "ranging from murder and robbery to extortion, money laundering, gun trafficking and drug dealing." The interesting twist is that the authorities are asking the courts to seize the IP of the biker club — specifically, their trademarked name "Mongols." "Federal agents and police in seven states arrested more than 60 members of the Mongols motorcycle gang on Tuesday in a sweep that also targeted for the first time an outlaw group's 'intellectual property,' prosecutors said. The arrests cap a three-year undercover investigation in which US agents posed as gang members and their girlfriends to infiltrate the group, even submitting to polygraph tests administered by the bikers ... [T]he name 'Mongols,' which appears on the gang's arm patch insignia, was trademarked by the group. The indictment seeks a court order outlawing further use of the name, which would allow any police officer 'who sees a Mongol wearing this patch ... to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back' ..."
Communications

Sex Offender E-Mail Registry Signed Into Law 459

As noted in Wired yesterday, tragedy in chaos writes, "Senator and Presidential-hopeful John McCain has managed to get a new bill signed into law, in the hope of ridding online social networks of the sexual predation of children. The 'Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008,' as it is called, calls for a database to be made in which all registered sexual offenders must also register their e-mail addresses so that MySpace, Facebook, etc. can run current and hopeful users through it, and eliminate access to the offenders. Though a noble goal, this is not very well thought out in methodology. They are asking known criminals to be honest, and are expecting them not to utilize any of the free and readily available e-mail services that exist so as to circumvent the system. There is also a potential for the crafty sex offender to possibly cause false positives by just registering an address that does not belong to them, thereby drawing in innocent bystanders."
Government

US Senate Passes PRO-IP Act 212

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Senate has passed the PRO-IP Act. While they stripped out the provision to have the DoJ act as copyright cops, it still contains increased penalties for infringement, civil forfeiture provisions, and creates an 'IP czar' to coordinate enforcement. Even though the civil forfeiture provisions are ostensibly intended for use against commercial piracy outfits, history indicates that they will probably get used against individuals at some point. Worse, because they left out the only part of the bill that Bush threatened to veto, it is expected to pass. It is going back to the House where they're expected to pass it on Saturday, after which the President will probably sign it. So, if you want to contact your representative, hurry." An anonymous reader notes that DefectiveByDesign.Org is mobilizing to fight this legislation. The Senate vote was unanimous. We've been following the progress of this bill for quite some time.
Democrats

Linux Not Supported For Democratic Convention Video 794

bucketoftruth writes "If you browse to the Democratic Convention website and attempt to check out any of their upcoming streams, you bump into the following limitation: 'We're sorry, but the Democratic Convention video web site isn't compatible with your operating system and/or browser. Please try again on a computer with the following Compatible operating systems: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, or a Mac with Tiger (OS 10.4) or Leopard (OS 10.5). Compatible browsers: Internet Explorer (version 6 or later), Firefox (version 2), or, if you are on a Mac, Safari (version 3.1) also works.'"
Transportation

TSA To Allow Laptops In Approved Bags 571

mnovotny writes "TIME is reporting that TSA will be allowing laptops in approved bags through security checkpoints. 'The new rules, announced Tuesday and set to take effect Aug. 16, are intended to help streamline the X-ray inspection lines. To qualify as "checkpoint friendly," a bag must have a designated laptop-only section that unfolds to lie flat on the X-ray machine belt and contains no metal snaps, zippers or buckles and no pockets.'" Don't you feel safer? I wish an independent 3rd-party group could get together and see what they could get through security without being arrested for the experiment. So little of what the TSA is doing is any more than illusion.
Communications

Time Warner Cable Tries Metering Internet Use 589

As rumored a couple of months back, Time Warner is starting a trial of metered Internet access. "On Thursday, new Time Warner Cable Internet subscribers in Beaumont, Texas, will have monthly allowances for the amount of data they upload and download. Those who go over will be charged $1 per gigabyte... [T]iers will range from $29.95 a month for... 768 kilobits per second and a 5-gigabyte monthly cap to $54.90 per month for... 15 megabits per second and a 40-gigabyte cap. Those prices cover the Internet portion of subscription bundles that include video or phone services. Both downloads and uploads will count toward the monthly cap."
Encryption

Finnish Appeals Court Rules Breaking CSS Illegal 165

Thomas Nybergh writes "Due to an appeal court decision from a couple of days back, breaking the not-very-effective CSS copy protection used on most commercial DVD-Video discs is now a criminal act in Finland (robo translated). The verdict is contrary to what a district court thought of the same case last year when two local electronic rights activists were declared not guilty after having framed themselves by spreading information on how to break CSS. Back then, it was to the activists' benefit has CSS been badly broken and inneffective ever since DeCSS came out."
Handhelds

Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones 474

Ant writes in with news that an amusement park in the UK is trying out a ban on smartphones and PDAs, with the intent to enable families actually to have fun together. The press release says that from May 25 to June 1, adults found using a PDA will be asked to drop it off at a "PDA Drop Off Zone" — no word on what happens if they refuse. But both the Sun and BoingBoing, which picked up their brief story, strike a more ominous note with the claim that "special wardens" will confiscate the devices. If the experiment is deemed a success the park may make the ban permanent.
The Internet

Senators OK $1 Billion for Online Child Porn Fight 529

A bill that could allocate more than $1 billion over the next eight years to combat those who trade in child pornography has been unanimously approved by a Senate panel. "The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to send an amended version of the Combating Child Exploitation Act, chiefly sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), to the full slate of politicians for a vote. [...] An amendment adopted Thursday also adds new sections to the original bill that would rewrite existing child pornography laws. One section is designed to make it clear that live Webcam broadcasts of child abuse are illegal, which the bill's authors argue is an "open question." Another change is aimed at closing another perceived loophole, prohibiting digital alteration of an innocent image of a child so that sexually explicit activity is instead depicted."
Handhelds

A Copyright Cop In Every Zune 454

Mike writes "As if the Zune wasn't already crippled and unpopular enough, now comes a story indicating that Microsoft may build a 'Copyright Cop' into every Zune. A future update of the software for Microsoft's portable media player will likely include a 'feature' that will block unauthorized copies of copyrighted videos from being played on it. The president of digital distribution for NBC, J. B. Perrette, said the plan is to create 'filtering technology that allows for playback of legitimately purchased content versus non-legitimately purchased content.' Of course there's no way to tell legitimate content that you create from 'non-legitimate' content, so this looks like just another nail in the coffin of the Zune." Update: 05/08 20:50 GMT by T : From Microsoft employee Cesar Menendez comes this categorical denial of any such filtering mechanism.
United States

Bush Cyber Initiative Aims To Monitor, Restrict Access To Federal Network 120

dstates writes "Details of George Bush's Cyber Initiative are beginning to trickle out. The Cyber Initiative was created in January to secure government against electronic attacks. Newsweek says that over the next seven years, Bush's Cyber Initiative will spend as much as $30 billion to create a new monitoring system for all federal networks, a combined project of the DHS, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The U.S. government has launched a classified operation called Byzantine Foothold to detect, track, and disarm intrusions on the government's most critical networks. ComputerWorld reports that all data traffic flowing through agency networks will be checked, and that it will be inspected at a deeper level than the current system is capable of. BusinessWeek, meanwhile, reports that one requirement is to reduce the number of internet access points in the Federal Government from the thousands now in use to only 100 sites by June 2008. How this will impact public information resources such as the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine or even the US Congress remains to be seen."
Wireless Networking

City-Provided Wi-Fi Rejected Over "Health Concerns" 360

exphose writes "A small, hippie-friendly town in northern California, Sebastopol, had made an agreement with Sonic.net to provide free Wi-Fi across the downtown area. However, not everyone in town was pleased with the arrangement. According to Sebastopol Mayor Craig Litwin, citizens had voiced concerns that 'create enough suspicion that there may be a health hazard' and so they canceled their contract with Sonic.net. Some more details are at the blog of Sonic.net's CEO."
The Courts

FBI Posts Fake Hyperlinks To Trap Downloaders of Illegal Porn 767

mytrip brings us a story from news.com about an FBI operation in which agents posted hyperlinks which advertised child pornography, recorded the IP addresses of people who clicked the links, and then tracked them down and raided their homes. The article contains a fairly detailed description of how the operation progressed, and it raises questions about the legality and reliability of getting people to click "unlawful" hyperlinks. Quoting: "With the logs revealing those allegedly incriminating IP addresses in hand, the FBI sent administrative subpoenas to the relevant Internet service provider to learn the identity of the person whose name was on the account--and then obtained search warrants for dawn raids. The search warrants authorized FBI agents to seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, and credit card statements. While it might seem that merely clicking on a link wouldn't be enough to justify a search warrant, courts have ruled otherwise. On March 6, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada agreed with a magistrate judge that the hyperlink-sting operation constituted sufficient probable cause to justify giving the FBI its search warrant."
Data Storage

State Agency to Destroy Unauthorized USB Drives 179

Lucas123 writes "The State of Washington's Division of Child support has forced hundreds of workers to turn in personal USB flash drives and has instead begun issuing corporate-style USB drives. The goal is to centrally monitor, configure and prevent unauthorized access to storage devices. So far about 150 common drives have been issued. The agency eventually plans to destroy all existing thumb drives collected as part of the security policy change."

Slashdot Top Deals

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

Working...