Torrenting has a very bad rap. The BitTorrent protocol can be used for good — it was the inspiration for Bitcoin, and the basis for BitTorrent Sync, Bundles and Bleep — but most people associate it with illegal file sharing. That’s in no small part due to the fact that Pirate Bay’s most visible founder is a black hat who can’t keep himself out of jail.
Today, Gottfrid Svartholm was sentenced to three and a half years in a Denmark prison, which is the worst kind of prison according to Hamlet. Mr. Svartholm’s crime this time around has nothing to do with the Pirate Bay, but hacking into an American tech firm called CSC. This new conviction comes briefly on the heels of an acquittal for allegedly hacking into a Swedish bank to siphon off money.
Reddit’s San Francisco headquarters better prepare itself to meet a few unwelcome trolls next month.
The Westboro Baptist Church, the revolting group responsible for protesting soldiers’ funerals and the slogan “God Hates Fags,” plans to protest Reddit HQ at 5:35 p.m. on August 12, the Daily Dot reports.
Two weeks ago, we called your attention to the forthcoming “Day We Fight Back,” an Internet movement designed to fight back against the NSA’s data collection program. Guess what? The day is finally here. Watch out, government.
Today, as planned, dozens of participating websites like Upworthy and Piwik are posting banners on their home pages, encouraging viewers to call up and email their local legislators and complain about the NSA.
In approximately 14 days and twenty hours, according to a somewhat ominous live online countdown, activists from across the Internet will come together in a shared mission to stop the NSA from collecting all our data and stuff.
Today MIT released the results of its investigation–led by MIT professor Hal Abelson–into the university’s actions in the controversial case of Aaron Swartz, evaluating the facts and ultimately denying wrong-doing. The report suggests that the school didn’t target Mr. Swartz, but it didn’t go out of its way to do a damn thing for him, either.
The report, which is almost 200 pages long, outlines what MIT did when and outlines alternate courses. For example, MIT could have gone to greater lengths to provide documents to the defense, weighed in on prosecution publicly as JSTOR did or taken into account what a shoddy law the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is. Perhaps most painfully, as Lawrence Lessig argues, MIT could’ve cast doubt that Mr. Swartz’s access Read More
Digg Reader, which many bloggers would like to kiss on the mouth, is now available as an iPhone app. [TechCrunch]
Three key figures in the technology world were inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame yesterday: storied venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, the late hacktivist Aaron Swartz and open source deity (and foot thing eater) Richard Stallman. [Business Insider]
A young Icelandic man who served as a long-time Wikileaks volunteer was actually a double agent, passing information about Wikileaks onto the FBI in exchange for $5,000. Cheap date. [Wired]
In case you didn’t already transfer your X-rated material over to Tumblr, Google doesn’t want you to make money off of your porny Blogger account. [The Verge]
PayPal has launched an initiative (read: viral marketing scheme) to help tackle payments in space. Makes sense, given how much its cofounder Elon Musk is invested in making it to Mars. [PayPal blog]
New York-based network TV streaming service Aereo is launching in Chicago in September. [Deadline]
Quinn Norton speaks out on what life inside the Aaron Swartz investigation was like. “This will not be the final word on Aaron’s story, nor is it intended to be. Two years later, these are the events as I remember them, and the feelings as I knew them.” [The Atlantic]
Former dotcom millionaire Jennifer Sultan plead guilty to selling prescription drugs and conspiring to sell a firearm in exchange for four years in prison on Friday. Ms. Sultan, who sold her company Live Online during the first boom, burned through her fortune after becoming addicted to prescription pain killers. Let this be a cautionary tale for bubble 2.0. [New York Times]
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz took to Rap Genius this weekend to decode Andrew Mason’s goodbye letter. Swag? [TechCrunch]
If you got an email this weekend from Evernote that it had reset your password, that’s because the company suffered a major security breach. [The Verge]
SpaceX Dragon has successfully docked at the International Space Station, which is great because we don’t really need any more griping from Elon Musk right now. [Ars Technica]
They See Me Trollin'
This week, the startup community mourned the death of Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO who was found dead on Monday. In the days that followed, Mr. Sherman’s friends and colleagues remembered his drive and generosity and sense of humor in a series of blog posts—posts that largely left out the cause of Mr. Sherman’s death, which the Clark County Coroner’s Office determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Since the death of Aaron Swartz, there’s been an outpouring of anger directed at the Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann, the federal prosecutors whose aggressive case against Mr. Swartz is widely believed to have led the Internet pioneer to take his own life.
Hackers have defaced the MIT.edu website in response to the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who was being prosecuted with the cooperation of M.I.T for illegally downloading JSTOR files over the university’s network and uploading them for free use by the public. Mr. Swartz hung himself in his Brooklyn apartment 10 days ago, and a memorial was held for him at Cooper Union in New York on Saturday.