FutureDomain writes: The Weslaco Texas School District is threatening the Monitor, a local newspaper for running a story detailing financial mismanagement by the school district. According to the Monitor, investigations by state authorities and a confidential memo reveal that the school district siphoned off $2 million dollars from the school employee's health insurance fund and used it to build a press box at a high school stadium, violating Texas labor law. The school district has threated to take “any legal action necessary to preserve its rights.” unless the Monitor removes the article.
FutureDomain writes: Stymied last time, US lawmakers are again pushing a bill that would give the President the ability to shut down "critical" portions of the Internet. Unlike last time however, the new bill would prohibit judicial review of the law, which would also prevent challenges to any abuses of it.
FutureDomain writes: The mayor of Bordentown, NJ is attempting to silence the website bordentownmayorreallysucks.com which has been criticizing his performance. The City Commission passed a resolution that would send a letter to the site's host requesting the site be taken down and lets the city appoint a special council to investigate. Mayor James Lynch claims that the site is illegal because an early version of the site, which is no longer available "wrongfully implies" an association with the city and the current site has "very, very derogatory" content.
FutureDomain writes: Is SSL becoming pointless? Researchers are poking holes in the chain of trust for SSL certificates which protect sensitive data.
According to these hypothesized attacks, governments could compel certificate authorities to give them phony certificates that are signed by the CA, which are then used to perform man in the middle attacks.
They point out that Verisign already makes large sums of money by facilitating the disclosure of US consumers' private data to US government law enforcement.
The researchers are developing a Firefox plugin that checks past certificates and warns of anomalies in the issuing country, but not much can help if government starts spying on the secure connections of its own citizens.
FutureDomain writes: A bill which just passed the House Financial Services Committee would require Internet Service Providers to block access to sites hosting financial scams that pose as members of the government-backed Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The bill is broad enough to block not only websites, but email and any other "electronic material". The bill is the Investor Protection Act sponsored by Paul Kanjorski. How long until the US starts censoring the Internet?
FutureDomain writes: "Annoyed at online commenters using police officer's names, the Austin Texas police department has threatened to "sue them for libel or file charges if investigators think a crime was committed". State lawmakers passed a bill that bans "using another person's name to post messages on a social networking site without their permission and with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten". The department also shut down a Twitter site last March that claimed to issue official police bulletins."