Big Brother Is Watching

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

(Photo: EFF.org)

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.

Internet Democracy

White House Removes Petition for State Pokemon Because Seriously, This Is Getting Old

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This morning a petition on the White House’s official petition portal, We the People, began circulating across the web that asked the government to consider assigning each state a Pokemon character to represent it. It received under 1,000 signatures, but delighted swaths of “’90s ubernerds” nostalgic for a time when trading Pokemon cards on the playground was the most emotionally-fraught adventure of the day.

But a few hours after news of the petition broke, the White House yanked it from We the People, claiming that it violated the site’s Terms of Participation. We have to assume recognizing a state Pokemon is not exactly high up on the administration’s lengthy list of priorities. Read More

Planet Google

FTC More Serious Than Ever About Federal Action Against Google

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The FTC has been examining Google’s business practices for a while and tonight the New York Times reports that the commission has prepared a memo recommending the United States file suit against the company for allegedly massaging search results to favor Google products, among other things.

It’s not a done deal that the government and Google will end up arguing the case in court, but a memo currently being prepared by the FTC is a big step in that direction: Read More

SOPA Opera

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

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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 Dajaz1.com isn’t enough. Some super awesome rhetoric aimed at R.I.A.A. and government collusion ensues: Read More

SOPA Opera

SOPA Hearing Turns Into Congressional Catfight Over Snarky Tweet

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It’s embarrassing enough to watch politicians who don’t know a server from a waiter debating the SOPA legislation that the architects of the internet say will make the web less effective and less safe. But yesterday the members of the Judiciary Committee decided to spend a good portion of the time they set aside to discuss these news laws insulting each other on Twitter and arguing over inane parliamentary procedures. Read More