betterunixthanunix writes: The New York City Department of Education has issued rules covering student-teacher interactions on social networking websites. Following numerous inappropriate relationships between students and teachers that began on social networking sites, the rules prohibit teachers from communicating with students using their "personal" accounts, and requires parental consent before students can participate in social networking for educational purposes. The rules also state that teachers have no expectation of privacy online, and that principals and other officials will inspect teachers' profiles. Oddly, the rules do not address communication involving cell phones, which the Department of Education's own investigations have shown to be even more problematic.
betterunixthanunix writes: "Another remailer has been compromised by the FBI, who made a forensic image of the hard disc of a remailer located in Austria. The remailer operator has reissued the remailer keys, but warns that messages previously sent through the remailer could be decrypted. The operator also warns that law enforcement agents had an opportunity to install a back door, and that a complete rebuild of the system will take some time."
betterunixthanunix writes: Almost immediately after MegaUpload was shut down, a large number of people complained that they had used MegaUpload for entirely legal file storing and sharing purposes. Apparently, employees of the US government, including the Depart of Justice, were among those users. Kim Dotcom has stated that he is working with the Department of Justice to restore users' access to their files.
betterunixthanunix writes: Just a day after mass online protests over SOPA and PIPA, the popular firesharing website Megaupload has been shut down by the Department of Justice. Claiming that the site was facilitating widespread copyright infringement and money laundering, the FBI arrested several people involved with the website and shut the website down. The DOJ's press release is available here:
betterunixthanunix writes: Just presented at the rump session of CRYPTO2011: a key recovery attack on the full AES, for all versions (128, 192, 256 bit keys). The attack involves a novel method of cryptanalysis, and results in a key recovery faster than brute force. Luckily, "faster" in this context is still not nearly fast enough to be practical, and AES remains more secure than triple DES (so don't panic just yet).
betterunixthanunix writes: A mortgage-fraud case may have widespread implications for criminals who use cryptography to hide evidence. The US Department of Justice is pushing for the defendant to be forced to decrypt her hard drive, claiming that if they cannot force such decryptions that law enforcement will be unable to gather important evidence. The defendants lawyer and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have made the claim that forcing such a decryption would be a violation of the defendant's fifth amendment right not to self-incriminate. The prosecutor in the case has insisted that the defendant would not be forced to disclose her passphrase, but only to enter the passphrase into a computer to decrypt the drive.
betterunixthanunix writes: The New York Times is reporting that the new FBI operations manual suggests a broad increase in surveillance. Denoted the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, the manual officially lowers the bar of acceptability when it comes to engaging in surveillance activities, including allowing agents to perform such surveillance on people who are not suspected terrorists without opening an inquiry or officially recording their actions. The new manual also relaxes rules on administering lie detector tests, searching through a person's trash, and the use of teams to follow targeted individuals. It should be noted that these guidelines still fall within the general limits put in place by the attorney general.
betterunixthanunix writes: Several online Poker websites are under investigation by the US government, which has once again hijacked domain names to prevent US citizens from accessing the websites. Questions have been raised about the legality of the action as a whole, not just the specific seizure of domain names, since the action was based on state rather than federal laws. Has the tactic of seizing domain names already become established practice in law enforcement, to the point where it is not even questioned?
betterunixthanunix writes: Wikileaks has posted a mysterious "insurance" file, which has no description but is encrypted with AES256. Cryptome has posted some speculation that this file may have been posted in case something happens to the Wikileaks website, in which case the passphrase would be divulged by Wikileaks staff.
betterunixthanunix writes: Another lawsuit has been filed against Limewire, this time by the National Music Publishers Association. They claim that Limewire also damaged them, and seek $150000 per infringement, putting the maximum possible damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Limewire seems to have become the latest music industry punching bag.
betterunixthanunix writes: "The owner claims that Glenn Beck is trying to sidestep the US court system, and that only an "abject imbecile" would assume the website was in any way related to Beck or his trademarks. He also notes that Beck himself has no standing, unless he seriously believes that his audience is composed of morons; even that, though, would not be sufficient for a trademark case."
betterunixthanunix writes: "Several weeks ago, Professor Victor Skormin, a prominent and renown researcher, went to Kazakhstan to give talks at universities there and to facilitate further collaboration between those schools and schools in the USA. He was paid in cash by the Kazakh schools, which he attempted to carry with him as he boarded his flight. Due to an error in directions, he neglected to declare his currency at the right time, and was accused of currency smuggling; he refused to bribe the Kazakh customs agents who were accusing him, and was forced to endure a trial in Kazakhstan. During this time, he was unable to obtain his medications, and began to suffer from the effects of kidney failure, and his health has continued to deteriorate. He was found guilty by the judge in Kazakhstan, despite the prosecution's witnesses neglecting to attend the trial, and was fined the full sum of the money he was carrying. His domestic employer, Binghamton University, has neglected to provide him with any form of assistance, has actively worked against others who attempted to contact the state department, and has tried to silence discussion of the situation among faculty on campus."