Booting Up: Digg Owner Betaworks Acquires Instapaper

Mr. Parker. (Photo: Flickr/Le Web)

NYC-based non-incubator Betaworks has acquired a majority stake in the article-bookmarking service Instapaper. Creator Marco Arment wrote on his blog that he will slide into an advising role “indefinitely” as Betaworks oversees operations and expands Instapaper’s staff. [PC Mag]

CISPA, the controversial Internet bill, is (probably?) dead. An anonymous source said that “there is no possible plan” to bring it up in the Democratic-controlled Senate because it faces little support from the party. [Daily Dot]

Some big names, like Sean Parker, Steve Ballmer, and Bill Gates, are joining Mark Zuckerberg’s political action committee, We would love to be on those brunch-planning emails. [AllThingsD]

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has joined the board of Jawbone, the hardware maker behind those groovy wireless headsets and speakers. [AllThingsD]

A study of Bitcoin exchanges revealed that 45 percent of them fail, often taking peoples’ money with them. And the exchanges that don’t shutter are more likely to be the target of cyber attacks. [Wired]

Big Brother Is Watching

CISPA, the Cybersecurity Bill That Has Internet Activists Up in Arms, Passes in the House


CISPA, the cyber-privacy bill facing opposition from open Internet advocates, passed the House of Representatives today with a vote of 287 for, 127 against and 18 abstaining. The bill will now move on to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it may face a tougher fight. President Obama has also threatened to veto the bill in its current form.

If passed, CISPA would give the U.S. government the ability to obtain personal user data from Internet companies without a court-ordered warrant.

Big Brother Is Watching

House Passes Resolution to Bring CISPA to the Floor, Jumpstarting Cyber Privacy Debate All Over Again


Amid the media’s Boston Marathon suspect screwup, the D.C. ricin scares, and the Senate’s rejection of gun background checks, one bit of news quietly slipped through: the House of Representatives passed a resolution that will bring CISPA, the cyber security bill that tackles the government’s ability to monitor personal information users give Read More


Booting Up: Netflix Is Finally Going to Ditch Microsoft Silverlight

Bye bye. (Photo: Netflix)

If you were hoping to get rich off of being one of the first to build apps for Google Glass, think again: Google has prohibited developers from using ads or charging for apps. We’re betting Google wants to keep  that potential ad revenue all to itself. [The Verge]

Sources tell Bloomberg Twitter is seeking a deal with Viacom and Comcast that would allow it to host clips (as well as ads alongside those clips) on the site. Can’t you at least verify @Jack’s parents first? [Bloomberg]

Binge-watching shows is about to get a whole lot easier: Netflix is finally ditching Microsoft Silverlight in favor of HTML5 video. [The Verge]

IBM execs are headed to Washington to try to convince politicians to pass CISPA. Paging Alexis Ohanian! [Hillicon Valley]

Cory Booker’s Waywire startup has finally launched in beta. [PandoDaily]

hands off our internet

SOPA and PIPA Hang Over Personal Democracy Forum

Rep. Issa discussing CISPA, which he supports, at the Personal Democracy Forum.

One of Andrew Rasiej’s favorite jokes is that legislators don’t know the difference between a server and a waiter. Mr. Rasiej, chairman of the NY Tech Meetup and founder of Personal Democracy Forum, a summit on tech and politics, moderated on stage at NYU’s Skirball Center. Mr. Rasiej faced off with netizens Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “Why is it that so many members of Congress don’t seem to understand the Internet?” he asked. Read More

SOPA Opera

Hip-Hop Site Dajaz1 Cyber-Waterboarded in Government’s ‘Digital Guantanamo’


Since Wired first covered the saga of  Dajaz1’s November, 2010 seizure for alleged copyright infringement last week the site has responded to the government’s actions in a blog post heavy with quotes from their “super awesome attorney,” Andrew Bridges.  Mr. Bridges states that the owner of the site is grateful the U.S. government finally found there wasn’t probable cause to seek forfeiture of the domain, but exoneration of isn’t enough. Some super awesome rhetoric aimed at R.I.A.A. and government collusion ensues: Read More

Privacy is Dead

Social Networking Online Protection Act Seeks to Ban Asking Job Applicants for Facebook Passwords

This one's good for a lot of things.

So maybe the House passed CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and all our private online data is imperiled, mewling before the greedy claws of the the government, but hey–some in congress apparently think giving your password to your boss is a step too far. To that end, New York representative Eliot Engel and Illinois congresswoman Jan Schakowsky have introduced a bill in the House that would ban employers from seeking your Facebook password! They’ve got that going for them, which is nice.

The inelegantly named Social Networking Protection Act is a response to multiple reports indicating prospective and current employers are demanding full access to employees’ Facebook accounts. Ars Technica has more: Read More

hands off our internet

Okay, Guess It’s Time for Us to Learn What CISPA Is


First SOPA, then ACTA, now CISPA—will the barrage of acronyms attacking the Internet never relent? Even the Obama Administration has condemned a bill that will hit the House of Representatives for debate on Thursday this week: the ominously-named Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or the even ominous-er CISPA. The act is inspiring petitions, press releases and blog posts from the same fearmongering contingent that mobilized the opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act.

“Right now, the US Congress is sneaking in a new law that gives them big brother spy powers over the entire web — and they’re hoping the world won’t notice. We helped stop their Net attack last time, let’s do it again,” reads the petition on the webby activist site The bill is opposed by Obama, Ron Paul, Tim Berners-Lee, online privacy advocate the Electronic Frontier Foundation, security experts and engineers, and other people who have bothered to learn about it. So we still need to know what it is? Read More