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Government

President Signs Law Creating Copyright Czar 555

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "President Bush has signed the EIPRA (AKA the PRO-IP Act) and created a cabinet-level post of 'Copyright Czar,' on par with the current 'Drug Czar,' in spite of prior misgivings about the bill. They did at least get rid of provisions that would have had the DOJ take over the RIAA's unpopular litigation campaign. Still, the final legislation (PDF) creates new classes of felony criminal copyright infringement, adds civil forfeiture provisions that incorporate by reference parts of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, and directs the Copyright Czar to lobby foreign governments to adopt stronger IP laws. At this point, our best hope would appear to be to hope that someone sensible like Laurence Lessig or William Patry gets appointed."
Privacy

Submission + - Interview with EFF on their case against AT&T (salon.com)

ntk writes: "Glenn Greenwald from Salon has a long, informative interview with Cindy Cohn, the EFF attorney leading the suit against AT&T over their warrantless wiretapping of their customers. It talks about why the White House is pushing for retroactive immunity against the telco, what the suit has revealed so far, and how little Congressfolk appear to know about how Internet traffic is being monitored."
Democrats

Submission + - Senator Holds Fast Against Telco Immunity (wired.com)

Danny writes: "Looks like the White House hasn't got its wish quite yet. Senator Chris Dodd has announced he'll put a hold on any Senate legislation that includes retroactive immunity for telcos involved in the dragnet warrantless interception of phone and net communications. There's still time to contact your own members of congress to see if they too will oppose amnesty for lawbreaking companies."
Politics

E-Voting Report Finds Problems with Modern Elections 165

JonRob writes "The Open Rights Group has released a report on challenges faced by voting technology. Using the May 2007 Scottish/English elections as a testbed, researchers have collated hundreds of observations into a verdict on voting in the digital age. 'The report provides a comprehensive look at elections that used e-counting or e-voting technologies. As a result of the report's findings ORG cannot express confidence in the results for the areas we observed. This is not a declaration we take lightly but, despite having had accredited observers on location, having interviewed local authorities and having filed Freedom of Information requests, ORG is still not able to verify if votes were counted accurately and as voters intended.' The report is available online in pdf format for download."
Security

Submission + - Microsoft Excel Nearly Elects Wrong Government

ntk writes: "Britain's Open Rights Group sent technically knowledgeable members to act as electoral observers in the UK's first e-voting trials, with disturbing results. Their report mentions, among other foul-ups, that officials forgetting to scroll in Excel almost led to the wrong party winning control of the Scottish parliament. More in their full report here."
Privacy

Submission + - Court Says Email Private (enquirer.com)

carpdeus writes: "The unanimous opinion of a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals upheld U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott's finding last July that prosecutors violated the Constitution when they persuaded a federal magistrate to give them access to Steve Warshak's e-mail accounts at Nuvox Communications and Yahoo!

The argument was that the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure applies to electronic communications. The government had used the Stored Communications Act of 1986 to obtain a sealed order and never let Warshak know that his privacy had been violated.

At the moment, this ruling only applies to emails in the southern half of Ohio covered by the Sixth Circuit."

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