Saturday, May 17, 2014

To understand this...
FCC Advances Plan that Threatens Net Neutrality

(Related) You should read this.. (Very cool graphic, by the way)
5 Freedoms You'll Lose Without Net Neutrality

(Related) He doesn't need to.
Antonin Scalia Totally Gets Net Neutrality


Interesting stunt, but would this make the algorithm liable for its bad recommendations?
Algorithm appointed board director
A venture capital firm has appointed a computer algorithm to its board of directors.
The program - called Vital - will vote on whether to invest in a specific company or not.
The firm it will be working for - Deep Knowledge Ventures - focuses on drugs for age-related diseases.
It said that Vital would make its recommendations by sifting through large amounts of data.


In a global market, it is important to say “We work in your language!” That is far easier than saying, “You need to learn English.” Look next for tools that will translate spoken words, not just written words – much more difficult application.
Google Buys Word Lens Translation App to Enhance Google Translate


Perspective. In todays global market, if your start-up makes you a millionaire, you are a failure? “Billion is the new Million?”
Pinterest valued at $5 billion after latest funding round
Pinterest Inc. raised $200 million in a funding round that gives the San Francisco online-scrapbook startup a $5 billion valuation, up from $3.8 billion seven months ago.
The money came from existing investors, including SV Angel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity Investments, Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital and Valiant Capital Partners. The new round brings the total raised to $764 million, Pinterest said.
The funding for Pinterest, which has yet to start generating significant sales, is part of a spate of fundraisings at multibillion-dollar valuations.
Uber Technologies Inc., the San Francisco car-service startup is seeking to join the $10 billion-plus club.
… Room-sharing service Airbnb Inc. and online storage service Dropbox Inc. were valued at $10 billion after recent fundraising, while Palantir Technologies Inc. sought at least a $9 billion value last year.
By contrast, the median market capitalization for technology companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index is about $16 billion.


I took Economics years and years ago, but one thing I do remember is that artificial minimums or maximums are not a good idea. If you could solve income inequality by legislation, why not go all the way and make the minimum wage $500 per hour ($1,000,000 per year) – then everyone would be rich and no one would have to work! Utopia!
Where could you get $25 minimum wage?
… Labor unions have been campaigning for months to win public backing for a minimum hourly wage of 22 Swiss francs, or nearly $25.
The Swiss government and business leaders have warned that the initiative would destroy jobs, hurt lower skilled employees and make it harder for young people and others to enter the workforce.
"The proposed statutory minimum wage would be the highest in the world, by some margin," the Swiss economics ministry said in a statement. "Consequently, those who would suffer most from the initiative are those it is supposed to benefit."
… Based on a World Bank conversion rate, 22 francs per hour would be equivalent to roughly $17.60 in the United States once the difference in cost of living is taken into account. That would put Switzerland comfortably at the top of the international minimum wage league.
Only Germany would come close to paying similar rates. Europe's biggest economy will introduce a national minimum wage next year for the first time, at 8.50 euros an hour. That's worth about $15 in the U.S.


I suspect my students could learn something by reading this!
5 Ways You’re Using The Web Wrong: Avoid Frustration & Embarrassment
Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve offered a number of etiquette guides for things like BitTorrent, using emails and forums, and even Facebook etiquette. In this general mini-guide, the focus will be more about the issues and problems that Internet newcomers commonly face, and how to avoid or deal with them.
Understanding Advertising
Understanding Fake Websites
Phishing Emails
Downloading Free Apps
Free Software Crapware And Free Trials
Using Social Networks


For my I-Students... (I just list a few)
iOS Apps on Sale for 17 May: Print To Any Printer for Free
KAYAK Pro ($0.99, now free)
travel app, free, for a week.
Recordium Mini ($2.99, now free)
a smart little voice recorder app
PrintCentral for iPhone ($4.99, now free)
print to virtually any wireless printer

Friday, May 16, 2014

When does “Hey, That's a good idea!” translate into “If we don't do this, Class Actions will be a slam dunk?” (Is there a service for the little guys?)
Retailers Share Cyber Attack Data Through New Retail-ISAC
Officially launched on Wednesday by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) is an independent organization that operates the Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Retail-ISAC).
Retailers are also sharing anonymized information with the U.S. government via RILA partnerships with federal agencies such as the DHS, the FBI and the United States Secret Service, RILA said.
According to the Association, R-CISC will also provide training and education and research resources for retailers.


Shakespeare said, “The first thing we do, let's automate all the lawyers!”
How Machine Intelligence Will Transform the Role of Lawyers in the Delivery of Legal Service
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 15, 2014
McGinnis, John O. and Pearce, Russell G., The Great Disruption: How Machine Intelligence Will Transform the Role of Lawyers in the Delivery of Legal Services (May 13, 2014). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 14-17; 82 Fordham Law Review 3041 (2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2436937
This Article argues that machines are coming to disrupt the legal profession and that bar regulation cannot stop them. Part I describes the relentless growth of computer power in hardware, software, and data collection capacity. This Part emphasizes that machine intelligence is not a one-time event that lawyers will have to accommodate. Instead, it is an accelerating force that will invade an ever-larger territory and exercise a more firm dominion over this larger area. We then describe five areas in which machine intelligence will provide services or factors of production currently provided by lawyers: discovery, legal search, document generation, brief generation, and prediction of case outcomes. Superstars and specialists in fast changing areas of the law will prosper — and litigators and counselors will continue to profit — but the future of the journeyman lawyer is insecure. Part II discusses how these developments may create unprecedented competitive pressures in many areas of lawyering. This Part further shows that bar regulation will be unable to stop such competition. The legal ethics rules permit, and indeed where necessary for lawyers to provide competent representation, require lawyers to employ machine intelligence. Even though unauthorized practice of law statutes on their face prohibit nonlawyers’ use of machine intelligence to provide legal services to consumers, these laws have failed, and are likely to continue to fail, to limit the delivery of legal services through machine intelligence. As a result, we expect an age of unparalleled innovation in legal services and reject the view of commentators who worry that bar regulations are a significant stumbling block to technological innovation in legal practice. Indeed, in the long run, the role of machine intelligence in providing legal services will speed the erosion of lawyers’ monopoly on delivering legal services and will advantage consumers and society by making legal services more transparent and affordable.”


Just reminding my students that stockholders can get management's attention – even if they can't force the changes they want.
Chipotle Stockholders Overwhelmingly Reject Executive Pay Plan – CMG
… During the Mexican food chain’s annual meeting in Denver, a stunning 77 percent of shareholders voted against ratifying the current executive compensation plan that had awarded more than $300 million to its founder Steve Ells and his co-chief, Montgomery F. Moran, in recent years.
The vote against the company-backed “say-on-pay” proposal, while advisory and non-binding, was the most profound shareholder rejection of any measures this year.
Chipotle is taking the rebuke “very seriously,” according to spokesman Chris Arnold.


It's bad enough that my students can tweet such earth shattering news as, “Spilled coffee on my homework.” Now I have to watch the clean-up live as it happens? Some potential for Privacy violation?
Is Adding Live Video Mobli’s Last Throw Of The Photo App Dice?
Mobli, the social-mobile photo and video-sharing app which competes with Instagram and the like, has a major update out today that adds one, single important new feature: live broadcast streaming. The question is, will this be enough to attract the attention of the millions sharing images on Instagram and, now, WhatsApp?


CNN may have it right.. Business opportunity: Phoney Google Glasses, look cool for only $15!
Google Glass Explorer program finally opens to public
After many months of hype, now anyone can pay $1,500 to be threatened by surly Luddite pub patrons.
Good news! Now that Google Glass has become something of a punch line or a pariah, and word is out that the markup on the cost of building each unit could be as high as 1,000 percent, the beta program to test out the wearable augmented-reality display is finally open to the public.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Serious about Privacy?
Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen writes:
In a decision issued today, the California Second District Court of Appeal has created an additional way for anonymous speakers, and for web operators who host anonymous comments, to protect the right to speak anonymously. Instead of invoking the First Amendment as courts in other states, and indeed other appellate courts in California have done, the Court of Appeal reversed an order compelling the identification of an anonymous speaker because the discovery order violated the state constitutional right of privacy.
Read more on Public Citizen.


Not so serious about Privacy.
Cherri Gregg reports:
A recent ruling from Pennsylvania’s highest court could have a big impact on your privacy rights during a car stop.
Pennsylvania traditionally provided broader privacy protection than the US Constitution. For decades, police in the Commonwealth had to get obtain warrant from a judge before they could do a car search unless time was of the essence or the evidence could be lost or destroyed. But now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 4 to 2 decision in Commonwealth v. Gary changes the rule.
“There’ll be lesser protection of privacy in Pennsylvania,” says Dave Rudovsky, a professor at Penn Law school and a civil rights attorney.
Read more on CBS Philly.


Perhaps we should require that anything connected to the Internet be painted orange or have a flashing light.
An Internet of Things prediction for 2025 -- with caveats
A massive survey by the Pew Research Center about the Internet of Things in 2025 is very optimistic about the future of the technology. But even though the report seemingly tramples on IoT skeptics, its responses are filled with questions, doubts and caveats.
Some 1,600 people in the technology industry, academia, consulting, law and others with expertise on this issue were surveyed, and 83% agreed that the Internet of Things, embedded and wearable computing, will "have widespread and beneficial effects" by 2025. (Report PDF)


Someone thinks Google Glass is useful.
Google Glass given to all medical students at UC Irvine


My students will be elated?
Flappy Bird to return to App Store in August

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Perspective. My Computer Security students will not be surprised. NOTE: Imagine how the volumes will increase as the Internet of Things is fully implemented...
Enterprises Generate 10,000 Security Events Per Day on Average: Report
According to a new report provided by threat protection vendor Damballa, the devices in an average company’s network are generating an average of 10,000 security events per day, with the most active generating roughly 150,000 events per day.
Compiled from analysis of 50% of North American ISP Internet traffic and 33% of mobile traffic, along with large volumes of traffic from global ISPs and enterprise customers, the report found that large, globally dispersed enterprises were averaging 97 active infected devices per day and leaking an aggregate average of more than 10GB of data per day.
Such figures illustrate how daunting it is for security staff to manually trawl through mountains of alerts in order to discover which (if any) constitute a real and present threat,” the Damballa explained in its Q1 2014 State of Infections Report (PDF).
According to a recent jobs study from Burning Glass Technologies, demand for cyber-security professionals remained high in 2013. Burning Glass identified 209,749 national postings for cyber-security jobs in 2013, and determined that the average salary for a cyber-security posting was $93,028, according to the report, which was compiled by reviewing job postings across 32,000 online sites daily.

(Related) (You can download a PDF version free.)
At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 13, 2014
“We depend on information and information technology (IT) to make many of our day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient. Computers play key roles in transportation, health care, banking, and energy. Businesses use IT for payroll and accounting, inventory and sales, and research and development. Modern military forces use weapons that are increasingly coordinated through computer-based networks. Cybersecurity is vital to protecting all of these functions. Cyberspace is vulnerable to a broad spectrum of hackers, criminals, terrorists, and state actors. Working in cyberspace, these malevolent actors can steal money, intellectual property, or classified information; impersonate law-abiding parties for their own purposes; damage important data; or deny the availability of normally accessible services. Cybersecurity issues arise because of three factors taken together – the presence of malevolent actors in cyberspace, societal reliance on IT for many important functions, and the presence of vulnerabilities in IT systems. What steps can policy makers take to protect our government, businesses, and the public from those would take advantage of system vulnerabilities? At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy offers a wealth of information on practical measures, technical and nontechnical challenges, and potential policy responses. According to this report, cybersecurity is a never-ending battle; threats will evolve as adversaries adopt new tools and techniques to compromise security. Cybersecurity is therefore an ongoing process that needs to evolve as new threats are identified. At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy is a call for action to make cybersecurity a public safety priority. For a number of years, the cybersecurity issue has received increasing public attention; however, most policy focus has been on the short-term costs of improving systems. In its explanation of the fundamentals of cybersecurity and the discussion of potential policy responses, this book will be a resource for policy makers, cybersecurity and IT professionals, and anyone who wants to understand threats to cyberspace.”


There are benefits to being a large contributor to Presidential campaigns beyond “civic pride.”
EPIC Obtains Letter Concerning DOJ Non-Investigation of Google Street View
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 13, 2014
“Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, EPIC has obtained the closing letter from the Department of Justice to Google attorneys in the Street View matter. The letter briefly mentions Google’s interception and collection of private Wi-Fi communications across the United States over several years. The disclosure of the activity occurred after a European data protection authority discovered that Google’s “Street View” vehicles also captured private Wi-Fi data. More than 12 countries subsequently investigated Google’s programs, and at least 9 countries found Google guilty of violating their laws. The letter from the DOJ states that US officials were aware that Google’s “equipment collected ‘payload’ data, including contents of e-mail and Internet addresses typed by users,” but the Department “decided not to seek charges” against Google for violating the Wiretap Act. The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a federal court’s decision to allow a class action lawsuit against Google to move forward for wiretap violations stemming from the Street View program. For more information, see EPIC: Investigations of Google Street View and EPIC: Joffe v. Google.”


Don't we model this stuff? Would it have been cheaper to raise the bottom of the tax brackets? (i.e. No tax due if you earn less than “X” – and adjust “X” for inflation.) Probably wouldn't allow the bureaucrats to add thousands of new employees...
IRS paid $13b in bogus credits, inspector says
The Internal Revenue Service paid more than $13 billion in tax credits last year to people who may not have qualified, a government investigator said Tuesday.
The agency’s inspector general issued a report Tuesday saying the improper payments for the Earned Income Tax Credits program were between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion. That’s about a quarter of all EITC payments, which are supposed to go to low-income working families.
… Using IRS statistics, the inspector general’s report provided an estimated range of improper EITC payments from 2003 through 2013. The report says the IRS paid out at least $124.1 billion in improper payments during the period, and perhaps as much as $148.2 billion.


This might help our students...
Learn Everything About Social Media From These 4 Websites & Blogs
Having a Facebook account in the 21st century is almost like having a landline in the 80s. An accepted, ordinary part of everyday life. There’s even a phrase to describe those who have grown up in this wonderful, wired era: digital natives. But even though most people can craft a status update, few actually possess a detailed, intimate knowledge of how social media works.
… Whatever your circumstances, you need to check out these four blogs and websites. They’ll turn you into a better social media user, guaranteed.


For my Computer Forensics students?
– is a free web site intended to provide budding researchers a sample of what can be done with digital photo forensics. Using algorithms, researchers can determine if a picture is real or computer graphics, if it was modified, and even how it was modified. Following the disclosure of these algorithms, many people began recreating them. “Foto Forensics” is one of them.


For my students. If nothing else, this has some potential for gaming...
– lets you leave messages in locations for your friends to discover. When your friends reach the location where you have sent a Drop, they will receive your message, like a virtual sticky note. Set an Upcoming Location to tell your friends where you are headed, so they can leave Drops for you to discover when you arrive. Drop is a whole new way to stay connected.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A tie-in to my “How to Lie with Statistics” lecture. Perfect timing.
Ukraine favors Europe over Russia, new CNN poll finds
… Two out of three (67%) people in Ukraine approve of economic sanctions against Russia, while one out of three (29%) disapproves, the poll by ComRes for CNN found.
Ukrainians tend to see Russian President Vladimir Putin as dangerous and a strong leader, while they consider U.S. President Barack Obama friendly.
More than half (56%) said they felt a stronger sense of loyalty to Europe than to Russia, while 19% said they felt more loyal to Russia and 22% said neither. Three percent said they didn't know.
… The findings, by the London-based agency ComRes for CNN, come from a nationally representative telephone poll of 1,000 Ukrainians conducted by telephone in Russian and Ukrainian from May 7-11. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Things and stuff. Security gets more generic as we “progress.”
The Massive Challenge of Securing the Internet of Things
If the buzz last year was all about software defined networking (SDN), this year’s buzz is about the Internet of Things – everyday devices that are IP-enabled, can communicate over the Internet and can transmit what may be very confidential and important data. In fact, according to data from Cisco, there are now more “things” connected to the Internet than there are people on Earth, and these “things” are not just smartphones and tablets. For example, a Dutch startup, Sparked, is using wireless sensors on cattle so that when one of them is sick or pregnant, it sends a message to the farmer.
Massive number of devices means massive ways to target an organization - Gartner estimates that the number of IP-enabled devices will reach 26 billion while IDC projects 212 billion installed devices by the end of 2020. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s chairwoman, in a conference on the Internet of Things last year, predicted 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.


How specific must the “request” be? “Delete document 806-b” or “Delete stuff related to my bankruptcy?”
Alan Travis and Charles Arthur report the stunning ruling:
A European court has backed the “right to be forgotten” and said Google must delete “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” data from its results when a member of the public requests it.
The test case ruling by the European Union’s court of justice against Google Spain was brought by a Spanish man, Mario Costeja Gonz├ílez, after he failed to secure the deletion of an auction notice of his repossessed home dating from 1998 on the website of a mass circulation newspaper in Catalonia.
Read more on The Guardian.
This is huge.
[From the article:
In technical terms the ruling establishes that a search engine such as Google must be regarded as a "data controller" under the data protection laws in those EU countries where it establishes a branch to promote and sell advertising.

(Related) How would this judge request removal of data?
Cammy Clark reports:
Judge David Audlin was serving as Monroe County’s chief circuit judge in late April when he announced via an open letter to friends and colleagues that he was retiring with four years left in his second six-year term.
The well-respected Audlin, 56, who was elected in 2006 and again in 2012, did not give a reason at the time for his sudden and unexpected departure from his $145,000-per-year judgeship with the 16th Judicial Circuit Court.
On Friday, his last day as a judge, Audlin said his voluntary decision was based on an “inappropriate invasion of my privacy.”
Read more on Miami Herald.


Interesting enough to watch?
From PBS:
How did the government come to spy on millions of Americans? In United States of Secrets, a two-part series airing May 13 and 20, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to reveal the dramatic inside story of the U.S. government’s massive and controversial secret surveillance program—and the lengths they went to trying to keep it hidden from the public.
Part one, from Michael Kirk (League of Denial, Bush’s War), goes inside Washington to piece together the secret political history of “The Program,” which began in the wake of September 11 and continues today—even after the revelations of its existence by Edward Snowden.
Then, in part two, Martin Smith (The Untouchables, To Catch a Trader) explores the secret relationship between Silicon Valley and the National Security Agency: How have the government and tech companies worked together to gather and warehouse your data? Part political thriller and part spy novel, United States of Secrets is FRONTLINE’s definitive history of domestic surveillance in a post-9/11 world.


Stuff you can use.
John E. Dunn reports:
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is burnishing its credentials as a centre of best practice by publishing a hit-list of the top security weaknesses it says are the root cause of many of the data breaches it investigates.
Protecting Personal Data in Online Services: Learning from the Mistakes of Others serves as an outline of the top issues, each of which is accompanied by an analysis with recommendations on remediation. The ICO doesn’t order the security vulnerabilities in terms of their seriousness, but some are so basic the point is that simple failings are often the most accommodating to attackers.
Read more on TechWorld.


Food for thought, lawyer guys. Is he right?
The Importance of Cybersecurity to the Legal Profession and Outsourcing as a Best Practice – Part One
Cybersecurity should be job number one for all attorneys. Why? Because we handle confidential computer data, usually secret information that belongs to our clients, not us. We have an ethical duty to protect this information under Rule 1.6 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
… The threat is now increasing rapidly because there are now criminal gangs of hackers, including the Chinese government, that have targeted this ESI for theft. These bad hackers, knows as crackers, have learned that when they cannot get at a company’s data directly, usually because it is too well defended, or too risky to attack, there is often a back door to this data by way of the company lawyers.


I'm confused. Is AT&T looking for TV subscribers or the Wi-Fi spectrum they own?
AT&T Courts Satellite TV With an Eye on Growth
AT&T is in talks to buy DirecTV for at least $50 billion, and the two sides are actively working toward an announcement, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.
If completed, a deal would give AT&T, the country’s second-largest wireless carrier, control of the country’s largest satellite television provider, further reshaping the rapidly changing telecommunications and television industries.
… AT&T has refocused its attention on the United States market, believing it has an opportunity to expand its footprint in the pay-television business. DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers in the United States.
… But several people in the industry said they believed that the ideal target for AT&T would be not DirecTV but its main competitor, Dish Network. Dish, run by the billionaire Charles W. Ergen, has amassed a trove of spectrum that could be valuable to AT&T as it seeks to build out its wireless network.


For my students. (Infographic)
9 Ways To Be More Productive


Dilbert illustrates “Digital Attention Deficit Disorder”

Monday, May 12, 2014

 
I want one! The school has a 3D printer, all I need is a good picture of my favorite law school professor! (ThatsMyFace will turn a couple of photos into a 3D rendering)
If you are not comfortable with the surveillance cameras, an identity replacement technology that is basically a Surveillance identity prosthetic provides you a new face.
If you find all people around you having the same face like you saw of the agents in Matrix 3, then Leo Selvaggio is the one to thank.
He has designed a rubber mask with the aim to foil surveillance cameras.
… It is basically a 3D printed resin mask which has been made by using a 3D scan (of Selvaggio’s face), and has been formulated by Thatsmyface.com. The mask renders both his skin tone and his features, and provides quite a realistic look. However the eyes which appears from the eye holes in the mask look a bit creepy.


You mean it's possible to get it wrong?
New on LLRX – Unwarranted DNA Sampling: The Legacy of Maryland v. King
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 11, 2014
“Criminal law expert Ken Strutin’s article addresses how DNA forensics is about information, privacy and the presumption of innocence. It has become the determinant for identification, solving cold cases and exonerating the innocent. Strutin describes that at its core, it is an inestimable library of personal data. Due to the increasingly important role of Personally identifiable information (PII), courts and legislatures have been attempting to balance the interests of the individual in protecting their genetic information with the usefulness and necessity of that same data for criminal investigation. Strutin notes clearly that any DNA or forensic database is a composite of intertwined informational and legal values that pose competing and conflicting questions about the analytics (accuracy, reliability and validity) of the data and the lawfulness (constitutionality) of its gathering. His article collects recent notable decisions and scholarship appearing in the aftermath of Maryland v. King.


“Gee, we don't understand. All of the lobbyists for our big contributors told us this was the right thing to do...”
Report: FCC to Revamp Net Neutrality Rules After Backlash
Amidst backlash over his proposed net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will reportedly circulate revised rules that spell out what the agency will and will not accept from broadband providers.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the updated rules specify that the FCC will review any sort of paid prioritization deals to make sure they don't unfairly disadvantage other companies.
The draft, an FCC official told the Journal, will also ask for comment on whether such paid deals should be banned altogether. Or, if the FCC should scrap its plan and seek to reclassify broadband as a telecom service instead of an information service.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It has always been so – think about it.
I have a New York Review of Books blog up today on Congress’s efforts to rein in NSA spying — or at least that part of it that directly targets Americans. It starts with a remarkable admission former director of NSA and CIA Michael Hayden made in a debate I had with him last month at Johns Hopkins, in which he asserted, in response to my argument that metadata is very revealing – “We kill people based on metadata.”
But the focus of the piece is Congress’s effort to rein in NSA metadata collection. To many peoples’ surprise, the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees this week unanimously approved an amended version of the USA Freedom Act, the bill originally introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative James Sensenbrenner. In my blog, I address whether this unprecedented bipartisan agreement should be grounds for suspicion.

(Related) ...and we can find metadata anywhere! (Serve your subpoena/warrant locally, grab data globally.)
I’ve mentioned this ruling on Pogo before, but thought some readers might appreciate this write-up by Bennett B. Borden, Andrea L. D’Ambra and Edward James Beale of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP:
On April 25, 2014 in the Southern District of New York, U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV compelled extensive production of the contents of an unnamed user’s email account stored on a Microsoft server located in Dublin, Ireland.1 Memorandum and Order, In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp., 13 Mag. 2814 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 25, 2014). This startling ruling could have a significant impact on not only the use of free email services like Hotmail and Gmail, but also all cloud-based services like Office 365, Google Apps, and even cloud providers like Amazon. If this ruling stands and is widely adopted, U.S. service providers may be compelled to produce customer’s data regardless of the jurisdiction in which it physically resides.
Read more on Mondaq.


What if the phrase the government translated as “deliver a bomb” really meant “deliver a pizza?”
Hanni Fakhoury writes:
In the 36-year existence of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the government has never disclosed classified FISA materials—the specific applications for surveillance and the factual affidavits that support the surveillance request—to a criminal defendant. That all changed in January 2014 when a federal judge in Chicago ordered the government to turn over surveillance applications and affidavits to the attorneys representing Adel Daoud, a 19 year-old accused of attempting to blow up a bar in Chicago. As the government appeals that decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, we’ve signed onto an amicus brief written by the ACLU and the ACLU of Illinois filed today that explains why Judge Sharon Coleman was right to order disclosure.
Read more on EFF.


Ready, Fire, Aim” This judge gets it!
Julia Love reports:
A Bay Area federal judge refused to let the government search a Google email account Friday and chided the Mountain View company for not living up to its pledge to push back against sweeping requests for user data.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of the Northern District of California denied federal prosecutors’ application for a warrant for the Gmail account, finding the request overbroad and perhaps unconstitutional. The San Jose judge agreed in a six-page order that there was probable cause that the Gmail account contained evidence of theft of government funds. But he found the government had put few limits on its request, not even narrowing down a time frame for the search. “The court is … unpersuaded that the particular seize first, search second proposed here is reasonable in the Fourth Amendment sense of the word,” he wrote.
Read more on The Recorder.
This is the same government request that was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola in D.C., and Grewal noted that it appeared the government was just court-shopping to get a better result. But it was his slap on the wrist to Google that is likely to be somewhat embarrassing for the firm:
While Google has publicly declared that it challenges overbroad warrants, in three-plus years on the bench in the federal courthouse serving its headquarters, the undersigned has yet to see any such motion,” he wrote.
Update: As I kept reading online, I found this great post by Scott Greenfield.


Dilbert illustrates the “Joy” of workplace monitoring.


Must be a British thing. Another deal this non-lawyer is having trouble understanding. You get one of these letters if the ISP “believes” you are pirating content. You have no way to respond and tell them you are gathering evidence of copyright infringement. Where did this database of “known” infringers come from? Clearly not public court records, or they would already have the data.
Deal to combat piracy in UK with 'alerts' is imminent
BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media will send "educational" letters to customers believed to be downloading illegally.
… The bodies had originally suggested the letters should tell repeat infringers about possible punitive measures.
They also wanted access to a database of known illegal downloaders, opening the possibility of further legal action against individuals.
… Steve Kuncewicz, a lawyer specialising in online and internet law, said the agreement had been "watered down beyond all recognition".
… Instead, letters sent to suspected infringers must be "educational" in tone, "promoting an increase in awareness" of legal downloading services.
The rights holders have agreed to pay £750,000 towards each internet service provider (ISP) to set up the system, or 75% of the total costs, whichever is smaller.
… A record of which accounts had received alerts, and how many, will be kept on file by the ISPs for up to a year.
The rights holders will receive a monthly break down of how many alerts have been sent out, but only the ISPs will know the identities of the customers involved.
A cap for the total number of alerts that can be sent out per year has also been set.
Between the four ISPS, no more than 2.5 million alerts can be sent out.
… A maximum of four alerts - by either email or physical letter - can be sent to an individual customer account. Language will "escalate in severity" - but will not contain threats or talk of consequences for the accused users.
After four alerts, no further action will be taken by the ISPs.


What's better than a $100 computer? A cheap way to “recycle” obsolete computers.
Keepod: Can a $7 stick provide billions computer access?
… Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi aim to combat the lack of access to computers by providing what amounts to an operating-system-on-a-stick.
In six weeks, their idea managed to raise more than $40,000 (£23,750) on fundraising site Indiegogo, providing the cash to begin a campaign to offer low-cost computing to the two-thirds of the globe's population that currently has little or no access.
It will allow old, discarded and potentially non-functional PCs to be revived, while allowing each user to have ownership of their own "personal computer" experience - with their chosen desktop layout, programs and data - at a fraction of the cost of providing a unique laptop, tablet or other machine to each person.
… The pair also brought five old laptops with their hard disks removed to the school.
As they gave each child one of the Keepod USB sticks to keep, they explained the second-hand computers would boot up directly from the flash drives.


For my students (with iPads)
– Encyclopedias have always showcased culture and style. Das Referenz strives to build on this heritage. With an eye for detail, Das Referenz puts Wikipedia’s vast amount of knowledge into a sleek package of clear layouts, world-class typography, and playful interactions. Quench your thirst for important facts and for trivia, too. Wikipedia research has never been more efficient.


I find my students do have two or three old phones or computers.
– Turn your smartphone into a portable IP camera. Instantly turn your used smartphone (iPhone or Android phone) into a full-featured video surveillance system with AtHome Video Streamer. Easily connect and watch your home anywhere anytime. With the AtHome Camera app, you can access your security camera from your mobile phone.