Courts

Wed
07
Sep
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Unite Against Government Gag Orders

Several tech giants have backed Microsoft in its attempt to overturn what it calls a gagging order over government data requests. The company says such orders are a double breach of the constitution. The case relates to the Store Communications Act, ... which is related to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In a nutshell, the law allows law enforcement officials to get a court order forcing tech companies to hand over details of customer activity, if it relates to an ongoing investigation. The controversial part is that the government can also ask the court to order the tech company not ... (view more)

Wed
31
Aug
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MegaUpload Piracy Case Hearing to Be Shown Online

A high profile extradition case involving an alleged piracy site will be streamed online. The judge in the Kim Dotcom hearing imposed some restrictions on the streaming, though they are unlikely to make much difference. Dotcom, who changed his legal ... name from Kim Schmitz, was the man behind the controversial file hosting site Megaupload. Prosecutors in the US say he broke the law because the site was widely used for sharing files that breached copyright such as unauthorized movie video files. The heart of the case is what level of responsibility Dotcom bears for the actions of users. He ... (view more)

Thu
04
Aug
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State Sues Comcast over Dodgy 'Service Protection Plan'

Washington state officials are suing Comcast for allegedly misleading customers over a service protection plan. The cable and broadband company is accused of selling a $4.99 a month plan that many customers didn't need, and which fell short of its ... promises. The Comcast "Service Protection Plan" is promoted as covering the costs that would normally apply when a Comcast technician visits a home. The promotion claimed to have covered "all chargeable service calls for 3 ... XFINITY services without additional service fees." Many Repairs Free, Anyhow According to the state ... (view more)

Thu
16
Jun
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Spam King Finally Pays Price

A man once dubbed the "Spam King" has been jailed for two and a half years. However, Sanford Wallace's sentence is for emails which were fraudulent rather than simply unwanted. Wallace first came to infamy by sending unwanted faxes before it became ... illegal. In the late 1990s he became one of the first mass spammers and was sued by several Internet providers, including AOL. He was so open about sending spam, that at one point he even got the attention of lawyers at Hormel Foods (the company which makes Spam - a meat product), in which they claimed Wallace was breaching trademark ... (view more)

Wed
15
Jun
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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules

An appeals court has upheld rules on net neutrality that stop broadband providers blocking or slowing web traffic. The legal battles will likely continue, but this week's verdict is a big blow to those arguing to block the rules. Net neutrality is ... the principle of treating all Internet traffic in the same way with the only exception being illegal content. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tried several times to bring in rules to enforce the principle, with bans on carriers deliberately slowing or blocking some types of traffic (such as streaming video) or taking payments ... (view more)

Thu
19
May
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Judge says FBI can Keep Firefox Bug a Secret

A judge has refused Mozilla's request that the FBI be forced to hand over details of a potential security bug in its Firefox browser. Mozilla argued there was a risk of the bug becoming public, which would then put anyone using its browser(s) at ... risk of an online attack. The request follows a separate criminal case involving a website engaged in indecent content depicting children. The site isn't available through ordinary web browsers such as Firefox, but instead runs through the Tor network. The Tor network works using the world wide web, but data is sent on a different channel (so ... (view more)

Tue
03
May
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Phone Fingerprint Lock Sparks New Legal Dispute

A federal court has ordered a woman to use her finger to unlock her iPhone. It's the latest legal tussle in the ongoing debate pitting security and law enforcement against constitutional rights. The case involved a Los Angeles woman who had been ... arrested for identity theft. The FBI wanted to access the contents of her phone, which was protected by a fingerprint lock. Officials have not publicly revealed exactly why they wanted to access the data, or whether it directly related to the identity theft charges. Court documents show she was the girlfriend of a known member of a major LA ... (view more)

Thu
21
Apr
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Google Accused of Unfair Competition

European officials have formally accused Google of breaching competition rules in the way it handles the Android system. They say the company unfairly used the system to push its search services. The claims come from the European Commission, the ... equivalent of the executive branch of the European Union. It oversees some elements of competition law that apply across 28 countries. The Commission has issued a Statement of Objections, which is formal notification that it is investigating alleged breaches. Google now has 12 weeks to respond to the claims. If found guilty it could face financial ... (view more)

Tue
19
Apr
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Authors Fail in Legal Challenge to Google Books

The Supreme Court has rejected claims by authors that Google Books violates copyright. It ends a legal battle dating back 12 years. The legal issues originally centered on Google Library, in which the company scanned millions of books that were no ... longer being published and made them available in full. Later on Google used the same technology to scan books that are in print and add them to its search database alongside web pages and other forms of information. When users carry out a search that matches content in a scanned book, they can now see the relevant section as part of the search ... (view more)

Thu
10
Mar
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Google Loses Court Case Over Fake Online Reviews

A court has ordered Google to hand over details that could identify the people behind four accounts used for bogus online reviews. One of the accounts had assumed the identity of a dead woman. The reviews were made on the social networking site ... Google+. While the site has arguably struggled to compete with the likes of Facebook, posts there are particularly likely to show up in search results for a relevant term. In this case the reviews were of an Amsterdam daycare center, and would appear next to a map of the center's location before the rest of the "ranked" search results. ... (view more)

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