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The Courts

Red Cross Debates If Virtual Killing Violates International Humanitarian Law 516

Ron2K writes in with a story about a Red Cross committee that is debating if people playing war video games should be subject to the same humanitarian laws as people in a real war. Seriously. "With 62 billion kills in Call of Duty: Black Ops alone, a committee of the Red Cross is debating whether the International Humanitarian Law is applicable to online gamers, and if they are violating it. From the committee's site: 'While the Movement works vigorously to promote international humanitarian law worldwide, there is also an audience of approximately 600 million gamers who may be virtually violating International Humanitarian Law. Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of this law in video games.' While it's questionable if gamers themselves can be prosecuted for not obeying the Geneva convention, the Red Cross committee's actions seem to be aimed more at game developers — as first person shooters become more realistic, do game developers have an obligation to include humanitarian elements?"
EU

EU Debates Installing a Black Box On Your Computer 459

bs0d3 writes "EU MEP Tiziano Motti (Italy), wants everything you do online to be logged and saved, for the sake of the children. Like a black box installed on every computer. He proposes an early warning system of criminal activity, specifically whenever an image of sexually abused children is detected, an alarm, goes to the authorities to be able to see who uploaded it. Tiziano Motti was a politician who just over a year ago managed to get a majority of European Members of Parliament to support the proposal to expand the data storage directive to Google searches. The purpose was to protect children from pedophiles — the same excuse he is using now. His proposal involves a technology called Logbox. And just as with an aircraft's black box, Logbox is installed on computers, laptops, smartphones, and e-readers because yes, all that can be connected to the internet."
Government

Pentagon Aims To Buy Up Book 347

jamie writes "Operation Dark Heart, a book about the adventures and frustrations of an Army officer who served in Afghanistan, has ruffled some feathers at the Pentagon. From the article: 'The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing — 10,000 copies — of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources."
Google

Google Patents Its Home Page 390

theodp writes "A week after new USPTO Director David Kappos pooh-poohed the idea that a lower patent allowance rate equals higher quality, Google was granted a patent on its Home Page. Subject to how the design patent is enforced, Google now owns the idea of having a giant search box in the middle of the page, with two big buttons underneath and several small links nearby. And you doubted Google's commitment to patent reform, didn't you?"
Democrats

Obama Significantly Revises Technology Positions 940

method9455 writes "Barack Obama has edited his official website on many issues, including a huge revision on the technology page. Strangely it seems net neutrality is no longer as important as it was a few months ago, and the swaths of detail have been removed and replaced with fairly vague rhetoric. Many technologists were alarmed with the choice of Joe Biden before, and now it appears their fears might have been well founded." Update: 09/22 18:07 GMT by T : Julian Sanchez of Ars Technica passed on a statement from an Obama campaign representative who points out that the changes in wording highlighted by Versionista aren't the whole story, and that more Obama tech-plan details are now available in a PDF, saying "there is absolutely no substantive change to our policy - folks who want more information can click to get our full plan."
Security

Undocumented Bypass in PGP Whole Disk Encryption 316

A non-mouse Coward writes "PGP Corporation's widely adopted Whole Disk Encryption product apparently has an encryption bypass feature that allows an encrypted drive to be accessed without the boot-up passphrase challenge dialog, leaving data in a vulnerable state if the drive is stolen when the bypass feature is enabled. The feature is also apparently not in the documentation that ships with the PGP product, nor the publicly available documentation on their website, but only mentioned briefly in the customer knowledge base. Jon Callas, CTO and CSO of PGP Corp., responded that this feature was required by unnamed customers and that competing products have similar functionality."

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