Add the Sandia National Laboratories, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, to the list of opponents of a controversial Hollywood-backed copyright bill.
Leonard Napolitano, Sandia's director of computer sciences and information systems, warned in a letter that the legislation is "unlikely to be effective" and will "negatively impact U.S. and global cybersecurity and Internet functionality."
Napolitano sent a letter in response to a request for a critique of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who represents the heart of Silicon Valley. Lofgren is leading opposition … Read more
Rep. Dan Lungren, who heads the Homeland Security subcommitteee on cybersecurity, said his panel has been working on ways to tighten the security of the Internet's domain names through a set of security improvements called DNSSEC.
An "unintended consequence" of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, would be to "undercut the real effort that would practically help us secure the Internet" through DNSSEC, Lungren said during a hearing this morning. &… Read more
The first House of Representatives hearing devoted to a controversial online copyright bill began in an unusual way: with politicians defending themselves from charges that the proposal goes too far.
It's "beyond troubling to hear hyperbolic charges that this bill will open the floodgates to government censorship," Rep. Mel Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, said during a House Judiciary committee hearing this morning.
Claiming that the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, will transform the United States into "a repressive regime belittles the circumstances under which true victims of tyrannical governments actually live," said Watt, … Read more
The head of the influential U.S. Copyright Office plans to offer an unqualified endorsement tomorrow of a controversial Hollywood-backed copyright bill.
Maria Pallante will tell a congressional committee that the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is "essential" to thwarting online piracy.
A copy of Pallante's testimony obtained by CNET describes SOPA as "the next step in ensuring that our law keeps pace with infringers." (Part of her job is to provide advice to Congress on copyright law.)
"It is my view that if Congress does not continue to provide serious responses to … Read more
Foes of a controversial copyright measure have gained some high-profile allies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, and other Web companies have joined the ranks of the bill's opponents.
They sent a letter (PDF) last night to key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, saying the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, "pose[s] a serious risk to our industry's continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation's cybersecurity."
The protest was designed to raise objections in advance of a hearing before the full House Judiciary committee … Read more
The U.S. Department of Justice is defending computer hacking laws that make it a crime to use a fake name on Facebook or lie about your weight in an online dating profile at a site like Match.com.
In a statement obtained by CNET that's scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, the Justice Department argues that it must be able to prosecute violations of Web sites' often-ignored, always-unintelligible "terms of service" policies.
The law must allow "prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider," Richard … Read more
If you're worried about the street address of your home Wi-Fi hotspot being public, Google has a solution.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company late today announced a way for the owners of Wi-Fi networks to be removed from Google's crowdsourced geolocation database, which it reworked this summer after CNET drew attention to privacy concerns.
It's simple: all you need to do is append "_nomap" to the name of the Wi-Fi network. So "theharrisons" becomes "theharrisons_nomap".
"As we explored different approaches for opting-out access points from the Google Location Server, … Read more
After a Santa Clara University undergraduate tweeted that he had unexpectedly been questioned by FBI agents, the school itself acknowledged that it has asked the feds to investigate how an intruder electronically altered a few dozen grades.
Mark Loiseau, 25, a senior electrical engineering student, received an unpleasant surprise this morning: three FBI agents showed up at his off-campus apartment wanting to have a friendly chat with him.
FBI agent Jeffrey Miller and his colleagues had complete dossiers on him and his friends, Loiseau told CNET this afternoon. "They had all my grades. They had pictures of me." … Read more
Three U.S. senators are asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to investigate recent reports that Internet-monitoring gear made by two California-based companies has found its way to Syria.
In a letter (PDF) made public today, the senators ask Clinton to investigate reports that devices made by NetApp and Blue Coat Systems were sold to Syria in a possible violation of U.S. law. The companies are both publicly traded and located in Sunnyvale, Calif., about an hour's drive south of San Francisco.
"We are deeply concerned about the reported sale of Internet monitoring and censorship technology to … Read more