Fluffeh writes: "The USPTO is considering a rather interesting request straight from lobbyists via congress. That certain "Economically Significant" patents should be kept secret during the process (PDF Warning) of being evaluated and granted. While this does occur at the moment on a very select few patents "due to national security" for things like nuclear energy and the like — this would allow it to go much, much further. "By statute, patent applications are published no earlier than 18 months after the filing date, but it takes an average of about three years for a patent application to be processed. This period of time between publication and patent award provides worldwide access to the information included in those applications. In some circumstances, this information allows competitors to design around U.S. technologies and seize markets before the U.S. inventor is able to raise financing and secure a market.""
Fluffeh writes: "Congressmen are trying to see if they can sneak an absolutely awful "cybersecurity" bill through Congress. It appears that the Rogers-Ruppersberger bill, known as CISPA (for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) or HR 3523 is winning out, with a planned attempt to move it through Congress later this month. Pushing that this isn't a SOPA type act, supporters are highlighting that Microsoft and Facebook are amoung the 100 or so sponsors. However, many, including the CDT are strongly opposed to the bill: "However, the bill goes much further, permitting ISPs to funnel private communications and related information back to the government without adequate privacy protections and controls. The bill does not specify which agencies ISPs could disclose customer data to, but the structure and incentives in the bill raise a very real possibility that the National Security Agency or the DOD’s Cybercommand would be the primary recipient. ""