5 Reasons Why the US Domain Seizures Are Unconstitutional

Last week, Bryan McCarthy, the 32-year-old operator of ChannelSurfing.net, was arrested on charges of criminal copyright infringement. This arrest has once again raised questions about the seizure of domains operated by those that are accused, but not convicted, of copyright infringement related crimes. Critics ranging from bloggers to individual rights advocates to Senators have rightfully questioned the constitutionality of these seizures — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Internet proves to be a lifeline in Japan disaster

The earthquake and resulting tsunami off the coast of Japan has proved yet again how the internet offers an information lifeline to the world in a time of crisis.

The internet was partly designed so US military communications could withstand nuclear attack, and is proving equally resilient in natural disasters and upheavals in global politics — via redwolf.newsvine.com

How The So-Called Guardians Of Free Speech Are Silencing The Messenger

As the United States and Britain look for an excuse to invade another oil-rich Arab country, the hypocrisy is familiar. Colonel Gaddafi is delusional and blood-drenched while the authors of an invasion that killed a million Iraqis, who have kidnapped and tortured in our name, are entirely sane, never blood-drenched and once again the arbiters of stability.

But something has changed. Reality is no longer what the powerful say it is. Of all the spectacular revolts across the world, the most exciting is the insurrection of knowledge sparked by WikiLeaks. This is not a new idea. In 1792, the revolutionary Tom Paine warned his readers in England that their government believed that people must be hoodwinked and held in superstitious ignorance by some bugbear or other. Paine’s The Rights of Man was considered such a threat to elite control that a secret grand jury was ordered to charge him with a dangerous and treasonable conspiracy. Wisely, he sought refuge in France — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Fear Mongering and Delusional Piracy Report Upsets Aussies

A new study commissioned by several entertainment industry outfits made the rounds in the Australian news yesterday. It claims that illicit movie, music and games downloads cost the industry $900 million a year as well as 8,000 jobs and that an increase in broadband adoption could propel the losses to a staggering $5.2 billion in the next five years. However, it looks like the public isn’t buying it, figuratively speaking — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Australian .com.au domain names hit 2 million

When Lloyd Borrett set up a website in the mid-1990s for a local computer company, he had to move overseas to find a suitable domain name – well before it was fashionable to do so.

The restrictions on Australian domain names meant that he could not reserve expert.com.au for Expert, an IT business later acquired by Indian outsourcer Infosys for $31 million. Similar generic names such as florist.com.au or computer.com.au were not for sale.

Basically, any word in the dictionary was excluded, said Mr Borrett, who now works for anti-virus and security company AVG . So I went to Norfolk Island instead and registered expert.nf because they had just opened up a registry there.

The Australian rules were gradually relaxed and the trade in domain names ending in .au has boomed.

Last night, total registrations on Australia’s country-code top-level domain reached 2 million, indicating that Australian businesses, which make up almost 86 per cent of .au domain names, prefer local internet real estate. Almost a quarter of a million .au domains have been sold this financial year — via redwolf.newsvine.com

WordPress: DDoS attacks came from China

The large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that hit the WordPress.com blog publishing platform last week originated from China, according to the founder of the site.

A DDOS attack involves harnessing hundreds or thousands of computers to simultaneously bombard a web site with data so it becomes overwhelmed. The computers in such attacks have typically been infected with malware so they can be used without the consent and awareness of their owners.

The attacks, which brought slowdowns to the WordPress.com site, were severe enough to interfere with the company’s three data centers in Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas. The site has since returned to normal as of Monday — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Religion on rates notice

Councillor Geoff Peterson has warned that he’ll continue his investigation into the rates-exempt status of local religious groups.

Last Tuesday’s Goulburn Mulwaree Council general purpose committee meeting was provided with a report on the requirements to be eligible for rates exempt status after councillors requested clarification on the matter at a meeting in December last year — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Germany identifies a secure way to deal with spam

In theory, stopping spam is easy: just make it uneconomic to send millions of messages by charging for each one sent, or make senders authenticate their identity to stop address spoofing and simplify blocking.

In practice, that would involve building a secure, parallel e-mail infrastructure linking electronic authentication with real-world identities: a daunting task. Yet that’s just what Germany is about to do.

De-mail — a play on the country-code abbreviation for Deutschland (Germany) and the word e-mail — is a government-backed service in which all messages will be encrypted and digitally signed so they cannot be intercepted or modified in transit. Businesses and individuals wanting to send or receive De-mail messages will have to prove their real-world identity and associate that with a new De-mail address from a government-approved service provider. The service will be enabled by a new law that the government expects will be in force by the end of this month. It will allow service providers to charge for sending messages if they wish — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Iditarod Race goes high tech with GPS devices

When the 39th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race starts in Anchorage on Saturday, 62 mushers and their dogs will embark on an annual trek that has evolved far from its shoestring roots.

The leading contenders are professionals, working year-round to prepare for the race and financed by corporate sponsors. There is a significant monetary reward at the end — $50,400 (31,023.02 pounds) and a new truck for the winner, and smaller cash prizes for all the finishers.

Mushers are equipped with the most high-tech outdoors equipment available, including custom-made sleds with adjustable runners for varying snow conditions and, starting this year, global-positioning-satellite (GPS) devices to check on their progress — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Lord West urges e-mail snooping crackdown

Ministers must do more to stop internet service providers (ISPs) snooping on private e-mails without consent, an ex-cyber security minister has said. Some ISPs have trialled software that intercepts and scans e-mails to target ads.

They are meant to ask permission first – but former Labour minister Lord West says it is too easy to flout the rules — via dungbeetlemania.newsvine.com

Justices Rule for Protesters at Military Funerals

The First Amendment protects hateful protests at military funerals, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in an 8-1 decision.

Speech is powerful, Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr wrote for the majority. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain.

But under the First Amendment, he went on, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. Instead, the national commitment to free speech, he said, requires protection of even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Suncorp Bank error reveals student’s eBay fraud

A Brisbane schoolboy’s elaborate frauds were only discovered when $2 million accidentally lobbed into one of his fake bank accounts, a court has been told.

Philip Heggie, 19, pleaded guilty to more than 100 charges in the Brisbane District Court on Tuesday.

From December 2008 to December 2009, the then Year 12 student at St Laurence’s College used 119 Suncorp bank accounts in different names to defraud users of the auction website eBay — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Over 40,000 Does Dismissed In Copyright Troll Cases

These have been some eventful weeks in the world of copyright trolling. Thousands of unnamed John Does in P2P file sharing lawsuits filed in California, Washington DC, Texas, and West Virginia have been severed, effectively dismissing over 40,000 defendants. The plaintiffs in these cases must now re-file against almost all of the Does individually rather than suing them en mass — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Report e-mail scams, National Fraud Authority urges

Millions of Britons who receive scam letters and e-mails are now being urged to forward them on just the once – to the National Fraud Authority.

The agency has launched a new operation to track down the fraudsters behind the multi-million pound industry in scam mail, but needs public input.

It wants people to forward e-mails to email@actionfraud.org.uk for analysis — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Mobile carriers warn spectrum curbs will hurt next-gen services

Australian consumers may not get the best deal out of next-generation mobile broadband services because of problems with spectrum allocations.

Carriers are quietly campaigning for larger blocks of 1800MHz spectrum in order to make the most of new generation mobile broadband technology known as long term evolution — via redwolf.newsvine.com

A ‘House’ actress’s chilling pro-choice ad

We see a woman clad in Mad Men-era finery, slowly walking from the camera down a long hallway. A voice familiar to fans of House narrates. Only decades ago, women suffered through horrifying back alley abortions, or they used dangerous methods when they had no other recourse. So when the Republican Party launched an all-out assault on women’s health, pushing bills to limit women’s access to vital services, we had to ask, she continues, as the image cuts between the woman opening a closet containing a single wire hanger and the distressed face of actress Lisa Edelstein: Why is the GOP trying to send women back to the back alley? — via supergerbil424.newsvine.com

WikiLeaks row intensifies as US makes ‘privacy’ move against Twitter

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, praised the role of social networks such as Twitter in promoting freedom – at the same time as the US government was in court seeking to invade the privacy of Twitter users.

Lawyers for civil rights organisations appeared before a judge in Alexandria, Virginia, battling against a US government order to disclose the details of private Twitter accounts in the WikiLeaks row, including that of the Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, below.

The move against Twitter has turned into a constitutional clash over the protection of individual rights to privacy in the digital age — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Buy a Tube Station

For those of you in London, today was your last opportunity to stop by the old Shoreditch Tube Station for a scheduled viewing: the whole thing is up for sale, listed at £180,000 — via BLDGBLOG

Former FBI Agent Turned ACLU Attorney: Feds Routinely Spy on Citizens

The most disturbing thing we’ve uncovered is the scope of domestic intelligence activities taking place today. Domestic spying is now being done by a host of federal agencies (FBI, DOD, DHS, DNI) as well as state and local law enforcement and even private companies. Too often this spying targets political activity and religious practices. We’ve documented intelligence activities targeting or obstructing First Amendment-protected activity in 33 states and DC — via redwolf.newsvine.com