Kieren McCarthy

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Republicans' net neutrality attack written by… you guessed it, the cable lobby

A "toolkit" provided to House Republicans to defend US comms watchdog the FCC's recent decision to tear up net neutrality rules was written by the cable lobby. In just the latest example of special interests literally dictating what lawmakers say on significant policy issues, the "Draft Member Toolkit" [PDF] stretches to 24 …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017

NSA takes one-two punch to the face

The US National Security Agency has been hit by two legal losses that may put the last part of its controversial spying program on US citizens under threat. In one case, brought by customers of AT&T and run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the NSA was ordered [PDF] to provide relevant evidence that would prove or …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017
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Euro Patent Office staff warns board of internal rule changes

The central staff committee of the European Patent Office has sent a letter to the organization's board warning it of proposed changes that would further undermine their rights. The letter to the board of the EPO's Administrative Council comes one day before its preparatory meeting for the larger council meeting next month. …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017

Google leak-hunting team put under unwelcome spotlight

"If you're considering sharing confidential information to a reporter – or to anyone externally – for the love of all that's Googley, please reconsider! Not only could it cost you your job, but it also betrays the values that makes us a community." So reads an ominous email titled "INTERNAL ONLY. REALLY" sent from the head of …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2017

Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Notorious copyright troll and scammer John Steele of Prenda Law has been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court. The decision is not surprising, given the law firm's long history of legally dubious efforts to extract money from people – something that culminated in Steele pleading guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2017

LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

Password manager LastPass has added a new feature to its software: the ability to store two-factor authentication codes. This is great news. For hackers. Increasingly, people with sense use two-factor auth as a way of ensuring that it is much harder for miscreants to break into their accounts, and to detect if anyone is anyone …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2017

Why Uber threw top engineer Levandowski under self-driving bus

Analysis The lead Uber engineer at the heart of self-driving tech theft accusations made by Waymo against Uber has been told by his bosses to start talking or pick up his pink slips. Earlier this week, the ride-hailing app maker sent Anthony Levandowski a letter [PDF] that told him to hand over any and all copies of the alleged stolen …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2017

After stiffing us with Trump, Weiner 'fesses to underage cock shot rot

Disgraced politician Anthony Weiner has finally realized what the rest of the world has known for some time. "I have a sickness," he confessed while entering a guilty plea for having texted pictures of his penis to a 15-year-old girl, "but I do not have an excuse." The former Congressmen for New York agreed not to appeal a …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2017

Wonky whitelist update blamed for AT&T's nationwide 911 blackout

A wrongly updated whitelist was behind the five-hour nationwide outage of AT&T's emergency 911 service in March, a report by America's phone regulator, the FCC, has revealed. The whitelist of IP numbers plays a critical role in AT&T's backend systems, but was listed as containing only "customer" rather than "infrastructure" …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2017

We're heading back… to the future! Net neutrality rules on chopping block

As expected, on Thursday America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, voted 2-1 to start the process to gut net neutrality rules. Also as expected, it was a fiery affair with protestors outside the building and harsh words inside as the only Democrat on the commission, Mignon Clyburn, slammed her fellow commissioners for trying to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2017

We're calling it now: FCC votes 2-1 to rip up net neutrality on Thurs

Analysis Despite more than a million comments opposing it, tomorrow at around 12:00pm Eastern time, the three FCC commissioners will vote 2-1 to approve a so-called "notice of proposed rulemaking" and start on the rocky path to rescinding net neutrality rules. Just as it was three years ago, it is going to be a long and tortuous …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 May 2017

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

Internet giants Google, Facebook and a wide range of organizations from Pinterest to Kickstarter to Wikimedia have responded furiously to a recent decision by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that could have huge liability implications for online companies. "This has already created tremendous uncertainty in the online …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 May 2017

ZeniMax: Thanks for the $500m, Oculus. How about you, Samsung?

The company that successfully sued Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus for $500m has now set its sights on another giant: Samsung. ZeniMax Media has filed suit [PDF] in Texas against the company, claiming that its former execs secretly developed mobile VR technology while working at id Software, owned by ZeniMax. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 May 2017

French fling fun-sized fine at Facebook for freakin' following folk

Facebook has been fined the maximum possible amount – €150,000 ($166,000) – by France's data protection watchdog for gathering information on internet users without their permission. The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) cited the social media giant for six violations, including collecting …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 May 2017

Ireland to make revenge porn, cyberstalking criminal acts

The Irish government is planning to make the most unpleasant online acts criminal offences. Under legislation currently being drawn up, cyberstalking and revenge porn will come with jail sentences and criminal records. "Up-skirting" – where people surreptitiously use cameras to record up women's skirts – will also be made a …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 May 2017

Uber red-faced from Waymo legal row judge's repeated slapping

Uber has two weeks to make sure Waymo receives all of its stolen documents back and one month to give a full accounting of all its interactions with the former-Waymo engineer who stole them. That's the upshot of a damning partial injunction [PDF] issued by the judge in the trade secrets case on Monday – a judgment that …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 May 2017
Hippie peace, image via Shutterstock

For now, GNU GPL is an enforceable contract, says US federal judge

A question mark over whether the GNU GPL – the widely used free-software license – is enforceable as a contract may have been resolved by a US federal judge. In a California district court, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley refused [PDF] to accept what has been an uncomfortable legal precedent for the past decade. She ruled that …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2017

Uber may face criminal charges over alleged stolen self-driving tech

Uber may face criminal charges over its alleged theft of trade secrets from Google-owned self-driving car upstart Waymo. In a California district court, Judge William Alsup yesterday denied the ride-hailing app company's request for the case to be heard in arbitration – where the details would remain private – so the case will …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 May 2017

Intel breathes $2bn sigh of relief over patent trial

Intel is breathing two billion dollars lighter Thursday, after a jury in Delaware decided that the chip giant had not infringed on a dynamic logic circuit patent. AVM Technologies, which holds US patent 5,859,547, first sued Intel back in 2010 claiming that the Intel Pentium 4 and Core 2 designs infringed its intellectual …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2017

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles

It's time to let Benjamin Franklin know that there is a third inevitability in life. To death and taxes, we must add advertisements. Despite a backlash against Google in March for adding a movie ad to its Google Home voice-assistant [surely you mean "invite to our partner to be our guest and share its tale"? – ed.], and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2017
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Taiwan government to block Google's public DNS in favor of HiNet's

The Taiwanese government intends to block Google's public DNS service, citing cybersecurity concerns. The question is whether those concerns are the government's or its citizens', with the government pushing its own DNS service – a setup that is typically used to spy on people's internet communications. The announcement comes …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2017

Could US appeals court save us all from 10 years of net neutrality yelling?

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear a critical case on data privacy – one that may reset how Uncle Sam treats phone companies and internet giants, and may even prevent another ten years of fights over net neutrality. If the decision is reversed, it would provide clarity over which federal …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 May 2017

European Patent Office dragged to human rights court – by its own staff

The staff union of the European Patent Office on Tuesday applied to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to force greater accountability on the organization and its president, Benoit Battistelli. The EPO has carried out a years-long campaign of surveillance, intimidation and disciplinary hearings against staff who …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 May 2017

On today's a-gender: Axing net neutrality will harm America's women, say women senators

Almost all female Democrats in the US Senate have come out against the push by FCC chairman Ajit Pai to tear up America's net neutrality regulations, arguing the rules are important for women nationwide. In a letter [PDF] sent to the federal comms regulator, 14 of the 16 female Democratic senators take issue with Pai's …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 May 2017

Months after it ordered a review into allegations of mismanagement, how's that ICANN accountability drive?

Nine months ago – and just weeks before the US government handed it control of the critical parts of the internet – California-based DNS overlord ICANN was hit by just the latest in a decade-long series of scandals. This time, an independent review concluded that the organization's board had not only broken its bylaws but that …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 May 2017

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