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Censorship

Florida Congressman Wants Blogging Critic Fined, Jailed 549

vvaduva writes "Florida Rep. Alan Grayson wants to see one of his critics go directly to jail, all over her use of the word 'my' on her blog. In a four-page letter sent to [US Attorney General Eric] Holder, Grayson accuses blogger Angie Langley of lying to federal elections officials and requests that she be fined and imprisoned for five years. Her lie, according to Grayson, is that she claims to be one of his constituents. Langley, Grayson says, is misrepresenting herself by using the term 'my' in the Web site's name."
Government

Time To Discuss Drug Prohibition? 1367

gplus writes "December 5th was the 75th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition in the US. The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed which argues that now may be the time to discuss our war on drugs and the drug prohibition currently in place. The article argues that the harm caused by the banned substance must be balanced against the harms caused by the prohibition. As to why Americans in 1933 finally voted to end prohibition, while we barely even discuss it: 'Most Americans in 1933 could recall a time before prohibition, which tempered their fears. But few Americans now can recall the decades when the illicit drugs of today were sold and consumed legally. If they could, a post-prohibition future might prove less alarming.'"
Software

Wayland, a New X Server For Linux 487

An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix has a new article out on Wayland: A New X Server For Linux. One of Red Hat's engineers has started writing a new X11 server around today's needs and to eliminate the cruft that has been in this critical piece of free software for more than a decade. This new server is called Wayland and it is designed with newer hardware features like kernel mode-setting and a kernel memory manager for graphics. Wayland is also dramatically simpler to target for in development. A compositing manager is embedded into the Wayland server and ensures 'every frame is perfect' according to the project's leader."
The Courts

RIAA Litigation May Be Unconstitutional 281

dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."
The Almighty Buck

Will Amazon Get a Visit From the Tax Man? 334

theodp writes to tell us that according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com has raised a few eyebrows with their strategy to avoid paying sales tax in eight states where they have warehouses or distribution centers. "As an online retailer, Amazon can avoid collecting sales tax in states where it has no presence, at least until Congress changes the law. But in states where a company has actual facilities, such as warehouses, states tax officials can require the company to collect sales tax. Despite operating hundreds of thousands of square feet of distribution facilities in the eight states, Amazon says it doesn't have any presence in them. The company argues that it doesn't operate the plants, its wholly owned subsidiaries do."
Privacy

Senate Hearing On Laptop Seizures At US Border 526

suitablegirl writes "As we have discussed, Customs and Border Patrol is allowed to seize and download data from laptops or electronic devices of Americans returning from abroad. At a Senate hearing tomorrow, privacy advocates and industry groups will urge the lawmakers to take action to protect the data and privacy of Americans not guilty of anything besides wanting to go home."

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