The Stop Censorship app from CloudFlare shows your visitors that you are against SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), the proposed censorship legislation. [Read more…]
Do you use Gmail or other email cloud service? Then you’d be surprised to learn that according to the law, the government can get your email without a warrant if it’s older than 180 days. David Kravets of Wired’s Threat Level explains:
As the law stands now, the authorities may obtain cloud e-mail without a warrant if it is older than 180 days, thanks to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act adopted in 1986. At that time, e-mail left on a third-party server for six months was considered to be abandoned, and thus enjoyed less privacy protection. However, the law demands warrants for the authorities to seize e-mail from a person’s hard drive.
A coalition of internet service providers and other groups, known as Digital Due Process, has lobbied for an update to the law to treat both cloud- and home-stored e-mail the same, and thus require a probable-cause warrant for access. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on that topic Tuesday.
The companies — including Google, AOL and AT&T — maintain that the law should be changed to reflect that consumers increasingly access their e-mail on servers, instead of downloading it to their hard drives, as a matter of course.
But the Obama administration testified that imposing constitutional safeguards on e-mail stored in the cloud would be an unnecessary burden on the government. Probable-cause warrants would only get in the government’s way.
Also note that in 2008, candidate Obama took the opposite position as now-President Obama.
Connecticut Senator, and chairman of the Homeland Security committee, Joseph Lieberman introduced legislation last week that would grant broad new emergency powers over the Internetto the federal government. The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA) would require broadband providers, search engines, and software companies to comply with emergency orders issued by the Department of Homeland Security under penalty of fine.
In the event of a national emergency, the bill would grant the power to control, and even shut down, large swaths of the Internet to the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC), a new office created within the DHS by the PCNAA. The legislation has garnered support from Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe who proposed similar powers last August, but it’s bound to run into serious opposition from tech lobbyists, privacy groups and those who wish to limit the power of the federal government.
Of course, similar legislation was introduced August of last year and that was shot down so maybe I need to take my tinfoil hat off. Still, the idea of a single point of failure for the entire US Internet infrastructure is frightening. If our cyber security is so poor that we need a kill switch for the Internet then how can we be assured that security around that kill switch would be strong enough to prevent hackers, or an unfriendly government, from accessing and using the kill switch?
Ya… not safe for work but it sums it up for me. As always Tim Minchin provides some awesome social commentary.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday launched a broadband test service to help consumers clock the speed of their Internet.
Located at the site www.broadband.gov, the test is aimed at allowing consumers to compare their actual speeds with the speeds advertised by their providers. The FCC release follows an FCC meeting in September where officials said that actual speeds were estimated to lag by as much as 50 percent during busy hours. “The FCC’s new digital tools will arm users with real-time information about their broadband connection and the agency with useful data about service across the country,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement.
The FCC is also collecting information about where broadband is not available. Consumers can email the FCC at email@example.com or call the FCC.