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Submission + - Wikileaks Cablegate and other illegal data uploaded to the Bitcoin blockchain (reddit.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In addition to the Mt. Gox hack, there may be another important reason for the sudden drop in Bitcoin's value: Illegal data in the blockchain. First brought to the attention of the public via a reddit post someone has uploaded a copy of the Wikileak's cablegate-201012041811.7z, the AMI BIOS private key that was leaked recently, a bunch of GPG encrypted data, and later the text of the Jailbait and 'Hard Candy' sections of the Hidden Wiki, according to a reddit comment. More importantly though, a download and upload tool was inserted first as raw text, in a way that can be easily found in the blockchain data itself with the UNIX strings command, so unlike previous examples of data being uploaded it became public knowledge and snowballed into a real issue with the developers discussing it, with one even proposing a blacklist of 'illegal transactions' should be agreed upon by the community and applied centrally.

Submission + - IRS Can Read Your Email Without Warrant for Tax Info (salon.com)

kodiaktau writes: The ACLU has issued a FOIA request to determine how the IRS is using its warrantless ability to read email. The request is based on the antiquated Electronic Communication Protection Act federal agencies can and do request and read email that is over 180 days old. The IRS response can be found at http://www.aclu.org/national-security/irs-response-warrantless-electronic-communications-foia-request. The IRS asserts that it can and will continue to make warrantless requests to ISPs to track down tax evasion. http://www.irs.gov/irm/part9/irm_09-004-006.html#d0e319.
Bitcoin

Submission + - Bitcoin blockchain forked by backward-compatibility issue (bitcointalk.org)

jhantin writes: The Bitcoin blockchain has forked due to a lurking backward-compatibility issue: versions older than 0.8 do not properly handle blocks larger than about 500k, and Slush's pool mined a 974k block today. The problem is that not all mining operations are on 0.8; blocks are being generated by a mix of several different versions of the daemon, each making its own decision as to which of the two forks is preferable to extend, and older versions refuse to honor or extend from a block of this size.

The consensus on #bitcoin-dev is damage control: miners need to mine on pre-0.8 code so the backward-compatible fork will outgrow and thus dominate the compatibility-breaking one; merchants need to stop accepting transactions until the network re-converges on the backward-compatible fork of the chain; and average users can ignore the warning that they are out of sync and need to upgrade.

Google

Submission + - Oracle to Pay Google $1 Million for Lawyer Fees in Failed Patent Case (arstechnica.com)

eldavojohn writes: You may recall the news that Google would not be paying Oracle for Oracle's intellectual property claims against the search giant. Instead, Google requested $4.03 million for lawyer fees in the case. The judge denied some $2.9 million of those fees and instead settled on $1.13 million as an appropriate number for legal costs. Although this is relative peanuts to the two giants, Groklaw breaks the ruling down into more minute detail for anyone curious on what risks and repercussions are involved with patent trolling.

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