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The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Steps on Attack on Multiple Sclerosis Mom

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA has stepped up its attack on a Queens, New York, mother who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and who never even heard of file sharing, in Elektra v. Schwartz, a Brooklyn federal court case in which a Guardian Ad Litem had been appointed to protect the interests of the defendant. The RIAA is now seeking to go ahead with discovery of defendant's hard drive with a "John Doe" proceeding. This is the same case in which the RIAA had written a letter to the Judge mischaracterizing the contents of a letter it had received from AOL."

Submission + - South Korea Drafts Robot Ethics Laws (

eldavojohn writes: "The nation that aims to have a robot in every home by 2013 has started a project aimed at a law for the ethics of robots. Robots are becoming more mainstream and something must be done to prevent hideous attacks like this video where an observers finger is nearly bitten clean off by a robot run amok. But all joking aside, there is call for this. A robot has already been deployed as a robotic guard at a school in South Korea & they see more applications for mechanized drones such as border patrol, assisting the elderly or even babysitting. We may not be too far from our first Robbie the Killer Robot Court Case."

Submission + - Google Toolbar Always Reports Your URLs to Google

Anonymous writes: The Google Toolbar in Firefox is sending every URL I visit to Google, even though I'm not logged in to my Google account, even though I have a web history turned off for my account, and even though I have Safe Browsing/Enhanced Protection mode turned off (hidden away in Firefox's Tools > Options > Security > "Tell me if the site I'm visiting is suspected of forgery". I can see the URL transmitted to Google with the Live HTTP Headers Firefox plugin.

This is a Privacy and Security issue. The Google privacy policy clearly states in the first bullet that the Toolbar will not transmit URLs to Google unless I explicitly tell it to.

Information we collect

        * The Google Toolbar automatically sends only standard, limited information to Google, which may be retained in Google's server logs. It does not send any information about the web pages you visit ( e.g., the URL), unless you use Toolbar's advanced features or use Safe Browsing in Enhanced Protection mode. You do not need to provide any personal information in order to download and use the Google Toolbar.

I have explicitly turned off all of these features, but it still sends URLs.

Here's an example: if I visit a web site like , and Live HTTP Headers shows (some info masked): avclient-ff&features=Rank&client=navclient-auto-ff &googleip=O;;146&ch=...&q=info:http%3

GET /search?sourceid=navclient-ff&features=Rank&client =navclient-auto-ff&googleip=O;;146&ch =...& HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20070718 Fedora/ 1.fc7 Firefox/ pango-text GoogleToolbarFF 3.0.20070525
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,tex t/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q= 0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: __utma=...

HTTP/1.x 200 OK
Cache-Control: private
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
Server: GWS/2.1
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Encoding: gzip
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 15:32:25 GMT

Clearly, a request was sent to Google with my URL and Google accepted the request, in clear violation of their Privacy Policy. Worse yet, it sends the url in the clear! So if there is any session or security information on the URL, it is there for the world and Google to see.

My Google Toolbar, as much as I used to love it, disappears today.

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