BitterOak writes: LastPass is a service which claims to securely store all your passwords in one safe place. According to this story, it proved not to be quite as safe as claimed. Apparently they were hacked. Hackers obtained people's e-mail addresses, password reminders, and encrypted versions of their master passwords. With these encrypted passwords, hackers could run brute force attacks to obtain weak passwords very easily. And the reminders may help them to figure out more secure passwords as well.
BitterOak writes: Apparently, the DHS is reading your Tweets and looking at your Facebook wall. This may seem reasonable if they're trying to prevent a terrorist attack, but apparently, they're more interested in whether or not you are criticizing them!
BitterOak writes: An Indiana judge issued a summary judgment affirming that when public schools punish students for their Facebook pics, they may be violating the First Ammendment.
This case concerns two Indiana teenage girls that posted some pics on Facebook that featured some pornographic candies that were taken at a sleepover (not at school). The judge here questioned the constitutionality of the school district's policy that actions by students in or out of school are punishable if they bring "dishonor" to the school.
The school district indicated it would likely appeal the ruling which enjoins them from punishing the students by barring them from extracurricular activities.
BitterOak writes: According to this story, Canadian songwriters are proposing a $10 fee to be added to monthly ISP bills, giving users a license to download music using peer-to-peer file sharing technologies for free, without fear of reprisal. The money collected would be distributed to members of a Canadian association of songwriters (SOCAN). The story doesn't make clear whether the license would apply only to Canadian music, or how musicians in other nations would be compensated otherwise.
BitterOak writes: In another attack on online freedom of speech, Michigan deputy attorney general Andrew Shirvell is facing a disciplinary hearing over a personal blog he created on personal time using personal resources. In the blog (which unfortunately seems now to be invitation only) he is critical of University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong for a variety of peculiar reasons including "promoting a homosexual lifestyle". Although rather childish, his blog is not related in any way to his job with the state, and in fact, he doesn't mention his employer anywhere on his blog. Should civil servants give up their First Amendment rights as a condition of employment?
BitterOak writes: A Calgary man is facing criminal charges of libel for criticizing police. According to the story the RCMP have filed five charges against John Kelly for claiming on his website that Calgary police officers engaged in perjury, corruption, and obstruction of justice. What makes the story unusual is that the charges are criminal and not civil. Even in Canada, which has much less free speech protection than the United States, it is extremely rare for people to be charged criminally with libel. It is almost always matter for civil courts.
BitterOak writes: Four high school students were arrested in Toronto Friday, charged with assaulting police and obstruction, during a protest over the suspension of students for posting derogatory comments about the vice principal on their private Facebook pages. 60 students showed up for the protest, and only four were charged with any wrong doing. This story raises interesting questions. I'm sure no one condones disorderly conduct at a protest, but should public schools have the right to suspend students over online speech? The article doesn't make it clear whether or not the student used school computers to post the comments.