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First Swede Convicted For File-Sharing Now Cleared 278

Caine writes, "A 29-year old Swede, who was the first to be convicted under last year's new file-sharing laws, has been cleared on appeal. The court of appeal did not consider the screen dumps provided by the Antipiracy Bureau enough evidence to be able to convict the man. Since the crime does not carry a high enough punishment under Swedish law to allow for a search of the defendant's house, this means it will be virtually impossible to prove file-sharing crimes in the future."

CCTV Cameras In UK Get Loudspeakers 484

An anonymous reader writes, "Big Brother is another step closer in the UK where the ever ubiquitous CCTV cameras are being fitted with loudspeakers so that camera operators who spot activities deemed 'anti-social' can berate the citizens below. In January 2004 there were more than 4,285,000 CCTV cameras in the UK (roughly 1 for every 4 households). No data about the number of CCTV cameras now in use in the UK is available."

U.S. Secretly Tapping Bank Databases 537

The Washington Post and New York Times are reporting on a Bush administration initiative that has tapped into a vast global database of confidential financial transactions for nearly five years. Relying on a presidential emergency declaration made under the International Emergency Economic Powers, the administration has been surveilling the data from the SWIFT database, which links about 7,800 banks and brokerages and handles billions of transactions a year. From the article:
Together with a hundredfold expansion of the FBI's use of "national security letters" to obtain communications and banking records, the secret NSA and Treasury programs have built unprecedented government databases of private transactions, most of them involving people who prove irrelevant to terrorism investigators.

Library Chief Criticized for Requiring Subpoena 715

sudnshok writes "Hasbrouck Heights (NJ) Library Director Michele Reutty is under fire for refusing to give police library circulation records without a subpoena. Her lawyer explained, 'Reutty did the right thing... At no time did Michele Reutty say to any police officer or anybody else that she would not give the information if it was properly requested.' However, borough labor lawyer Ellen Horn, who also represented the library trustees, said Reutty was 'more interested in protecting' her library than helping the police. 'It was an absolute misjudgment of the seriousness of the matter,' Horn said."

NSA Chose Invasive Phone Analysis Option 307

Encrypted Anonymous Coward writes "The Baltimore Sun reveals the existence of an interesting experimental NSA program codenamed ThinThread from the late 90`s. The program involved link analysis of traffic data, with a twist; The phone numbers from the U.S. would only be analyzed in an encrypted form. This way the analysis would potentially be possible under existing privacy laws, according to the people behind the program. The NSA could gather further unencrypted details if there was evidence of a threat. Political infighting seems to have dropped an interesting and respectful program from the books."

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