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The Courts

Submission + - Indian businessman charged for joke on his network

myvirtualid writes: "Indian businessman Anil Ambani has apparently been charged under Indian laws against insulting a religion or faith because a joke has been circulating on his (66% stake) mobile network, Reliance Communications.

According to the BBC article, a "local Sikh leader had filed a complaint against Mr Ambani after his mobile telephone network allegedly circulated a joke about Sikhs".

There is no indication that Ambani played any role in creating, editing, reading, writing, forwarding, emailing, texting, smsing, or otherwise contributing to the spread of the alleged joke."
Social Networks

Secret Mailing List Rocks Wikipedia 531

privatemusings writes "Wikipedians are up in arms at the revelations that respected administrators have been discussing blocking and banning editors on a secret mailing list. The tensions have spilled over throughout the 'encyclopedia anyone can edit' and news agencies are sniffing around. The Register has this fantastic writeup — read it here first." The article says that some Wikipedians believe Jimbo Wales has lost face by supporting the in-crowd of administrators and rebuking the whistle blower who leaked the existence of the secret mailing list.
Social Networks

Submission + - Wiki-ructions

shojokid writes: Some Wikipedians will know there has been a minor tremor at their fave project. On 18 November Administrator Durova placed an indefinite ban on user !! (a highly regarded contributor) for no obvious reason stating: "Due to the nature of this investigation, our normal open discussion isn't really feasible. Please take to arbitration if you disagree with this decision." In the ensuing onwiki discussion, Durova's posting to a hitherto top-secret Wikia mailing list, explaining her reasoning and evidence for the ban, was published around 18:00 UTC on 22 November by user Giano. Occurrences of this message are being expunged from Wikipedia by a process called "oversight" with the sanction of the Arbitration Committee, Wikipedia's highest court of appeal. In latest developments, in fraught attempts to draw a line under the issues involved, Giano is being asked what should be done. Meanwhile, over at Citizendium, Dr Sanger is taking longer than expected to make a decision on Citizendium's license. But he explains that it shouldn't be too long in coming.
Censorship

Submission + - Collaboration suspended on Wikipedia article (wikipedia.org) 2

gkhan1 writes: A note on the talk page of the Wikipedia article Views of Lyndon LaRouche states that regular Wikipedia policies of collaboration and consensus has been suspended and the page is now protected. While page protection is common on Wikipedia, usually while articles are recieving heavy loads of vandalism, this case is unique in that the admin responsible of the protection has stated that it is supposed to last indefinitely and that all future editing on the article should go through an administrator first.

Is this acknowledgement that the collaborative and open Wikipedia-method does not work, and that a closed editorial-system is needed for some subjects? What implications does this have for the future of Wikipedia?

Censorship

Submission + - Govt. attacks paper; demands 4 years of reader IPs (phoenixnewtimes.com) 1

iroll writes: The founders of the Phoenix New Times have been arrested for exposing a "secret" grand jury subpoena targetting their newspaper. From the New Times article:

The subpoena demands: "Any and all documents containing a compilation of aggregate information about the Phoenix New Times Web site created or prepared from January 1, 2004 to the present, including but not limited to :
A) which pages visitors access or visit on the Phoenix New Times website;
B) the total number of visitors to the Phoenix New Times website;
C) information obtained from 'cookies,' including, but not limited to, authentication, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users (site preferences, contents of electronic shopping carts, etc.);
D) the Internet Protocol address of anyone that accesses the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
E) the domain name of anyone that has accessed the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
F) the website a user visited prior to coming to the Phoenix New Times website;
G) the date and time of a visit by a user to the Phoenix New Times website;
H) the type of browser used by each visitor (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, etc.) to the Phoenix New Times website; and I) the type of operating system used by each visitor to the Phoenix New Times website."

This story has been picked up by other media outlets around the country, including the NY Times

The Courts

Submission + - AZ prosecutor, sheriff go after local newspaper

Nothanksidontwanttogotojail writes: According to the Phoenix New Times, CNN, and elsewhere, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has been targeting the New Times for information relating to their readership, both online and in print:

"In a breathtaking abuse of the United States Constitution, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and their increasingly unhinged cat's paw, special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik, used the grand jury to subpoena "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present" . . . More alarming still, Arpaio, Thomas, and Wilenchik subpoenaed detailed information on anyone who has looked at the New Times Web site since 2004."

Since the publication of the story, New Times founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested early this morning, then subsequently released.

The arrest of Lacey and Larkin are apparently part of a continuing attempt by law enforcement in Maricopa County to stamp out any dissent in their heavy-handed approach to law enforcement. Thomas, who it is believed has never tried an adult felony case by himself, is rumored to have aspirations to higher office (Governor?), used a populist anti-immigration policy to gain his current position as top prosecutor in the county, and has recently failed at trying to get the associate presiding judge to recuse himself from all criminal cases. Thomas and Wilenchik are currently being investigated by the Arizona State bar for misconduct.
Windows

Submission + - Norton AntiVirus flags Pegasus Mail as a trojan

dtobias writes: "In an update on May 17, Norton AntiVirus from Symantec began detecting the executable file for the current version of Pegasus Mail for Windows as the "Trjan.Dropper" trojan horse and deleting it. Attempts to reinstall Pegasus fail as long as Norton is active. There is no definitive word yet about why they have done this and whether and when they will fix it. Much discussion is in the Pegasus community forum. It appears that attempts to resolve the issue through Symantec tech support resulted in the typical clueless support-droid reactions."
Patents

Submission + - New Crime; "Attempted Copyright Infringement&#

qazwart writes: According to a story in News.com, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pushing changes in the copyright law that would make it a crime to attempt to infringe a copyright. These changes are in the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007.

Currently, federal law makes not-for-profit copyright infringement a felony. Under this new proposal, it would now be a crime if you merely attempt to infringe on a copyright. Also under the new proposal:

  • Life sentence for using pirated software: Anyone who uses pirated software that recklessly causes or attempts to cause death can be imprisoned for life. A government example was a hospital that uses software it didn't pay for.
  • More Wiretaps: Wiretaps can be authorized for Americans who are attempting to infringe on copyrights
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture: Computer equipment "intended to be used in any manner" for committing a crime under this statute (including attempting to infringe on a copyright) may be seized via a civil asset forfeiture. That is, your computer equipment can be confiscated before you are charged with a crime, and can be sold by the government for additional revenue.
  • Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America: This would happen when "unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported. No other copyright holder would have this privilege.
According to the article:

A representative of the Motion Picture Association of America told us: "We appreciate the department's commitment to intellectual-property protection and look forward to working with both the department and Congress as the process moves ahead.

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