Tag Archives: internet news

US attorneys go ballistic over Kim Dotcom and Megaupload case

There are a lot of questions surrounding the shutdown of Megaupload and the arrest of its founder Kim Dotcom. Most people believe that the US went after Dotcom to make an example out of him and his website (read about some other possible motivations for the arrest HERE). The whole situation seems pretty questionable and it never seemed like the US gave a concrete reason for the arrest or provided any evidence, and when the home country of Dotcom, New Zealand, refused to extradite him to the US last week due to lack of evidence against him, the US attorneys went ballistic.

As the Justice Department continues to pretend there’s nothing strange at all about its highly questionable tactics in shutting down Megaupload and having its executives arrested, the courts are still struggling with the details. A few weeks back, we noted that a judge in New Zealand rejected the US’s demand that New Zealand merely rubberstamp an extradition order to the US, despite there being numerous questions over the case itself and whether or not extradition is appropriate. As part of that, the judge also ordered the US Attorneys to hand over the evidence they’re using to make the case against Dotcom and his colleagues, such that they can properly respond to the evidence. The US, as you might expect has gone absolutely ballistic about this, insisting that such an effort is impossible

It’s great that a country is finally asking questions and not just letting the US come in, take what they want, and leave without having to deal with laws or reason. Regardless, it should be pretty interesting to see how this case works itself out.

Read more HERE


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Be a decent human for once and become an organ donor…. on Facebook

For the last couple days, Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about an awesome new life-saving feature coming soon to Facebook. So what is it? Well… you can now share with the world on your timeline that you’re an organ donor.

Facebook explains the new feature:

With the addition of “organ donor” to the Life Events section of timeline, you can state your intention to become an organ donor, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor. If you are not officially registered as an organ donor, sign up with the appropriate registry.

To add that you’re an organ donor to your Timeline, you have to follow the following instructions:

-Click Life Event at the top of your timeline
-Select Health & Wellness
-Select Organ Donor
-Select your audience and click Save
-The company says that the feature “is only available in some countries,” providing links to registries in both the US and UK, so it could be limited on launch day and roll out wider as Facebook partners with donation charities and organisations around the world.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Mark Zuckerberg and company had something up its sleeves and would announce it this morning on “Good Morning America”. During the exclusive interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg will show the world a new tool that “has the power to save lives from their new Menlo Park, CA headquarters”.

In the release, Zuckerberg and Sandberg noted:

Facebook’s mission is simple: to make the world more open and connected. But the Facebook community has also shown us that simply through sharing and connecting, the world gets smaller and better. Even one individual can have an outsized impact on the challenges facing another, and on the world. At Facebook, we call that the power of friends.

So that’s cool, and certainly might increase the number of people who are organ donors, but on Zuck’s two day talk show spree, I hate to sound cynical, but I expected more. Some people were thinking it might be some new anti-cyberbullying tool, or an emergency alert system through FB, when this is basically just one more checkbox to check in your profile. It’s cool that they’re doing it, but not quite as groundbreaking as everyone thought.


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The ablogalypse

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SOPA is dead so now we get the CCI

After SOPA went down in flames, it appears that the next step in the never-ending battle against copyright piracy is an institution called the Center for Copyright Information, a group headed by members of the RIAA, MPAA as well as various entertainment companies and ISPs. The CCI will oversee the implementation of more gradual measures for clamping down on copyright violation on the web instead of the sledgehammer approach of SOPA.

The ISPs, major record labels, and Hollywood film studios are expected soon to name the person in charge of the CCI. CNET has learned that one of the leading candidates for the job is Jill Lesser, managing director of lobbying and public policy firm The Glover Park Group. She is also a member of the board at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group that advocates for free speech on the Web.

According to her bio, Lesser has focused on “copyright, consumer protection, and telecommunications policy issues for clients in the media industry.” She could not be immediately be reached for comment. Spokesmen for the MPAA and RIAA declined to comment. Some of CCI’s duties will include educating the public about copyright law and the potential consequences of violations. Administrators will help evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures, the ability of entertainment companies to accurately identify violators and pitching the graduate response program to non-participating ISPs.

Antipiracy experts at the studios and music labels say that the graduated-response program is vital to protecting movies and music. They believe that since ISPs are the gatekeepers of the Internet, they are in best position to thwart illegal file sharing. A graduated-response program is supposed to begin with the ISPs sending a series of letters to customers who are flagged for allegedly downloading pirated songs or films. The letters will endeavor to educate the accused that downloading unauthorized content is illegal. The ISPs will then gradually begin ratcheting up the pressure for those who are alleged to have committed multiple piracy infractions.

When the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America announced the coming program last July, they said they would eventually create a “Center for Copyright Information,” which would focus on educating subscribers on piracy and the legal ways to obtain movies and music online.

Sources in the entertainment industry say that the center will also try to work as a liaison between the ISPs and the entertainment companies. The ISPs have not come to antipiracy easily. They are wary of alienating customers, and a music-industry source said that people on the entertainment side are worried the ISPs don’t have the stomach for a fight on graduated response.


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