That's the portion of the Patriot Act that lets police share information with spy agencies if it's said to be related to terrorism, foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and so on. It's controversial because it tears down part of the wall that has, in recent decades, legally separated the FBI from the CIA, NSA, DIA, and their even more clandestine counterparts. If Congress does nothing, section 203 will expire in December 2005. … Read more
Jake Appelbaum is on a geek tour of Iraq.
First the 22-year old native of San Francisco found a driver to take him from the border city of Diyarbakir, Turkey to Iraq last week. Then he drove to the Iraqi city of Arbil under cover of darkness.
Appelbaum is amusing himself by taking plenty of touristy photos with his Canon 20D, dodging insurgents, and figuring out how Iraqis get Internet access. On Monday he posted a link to his LiveJournal site where he described how an Iraqi engineer in Sulimaniya, Iraq set up an Internet link via satellite.
"You … Read more
The French government has ruled that the software industry may monitor copyright violations on the Internet.
On Tuesday, the French data protection agency (CNIL) said that software firms can employ an automated system to detect intellectual property violations on peer-to-peer networks. This is, of course, commonplace in the U.S. and has led to a number of lawsuits.
The People's Republic of Berkeley, Calif., will be the host city of the Bridging the Divide 2005: Technology, Innovation and Learning in Developing Economies conference April 21-23. A co-production of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Microsoft nemesis the University of California, the conference will cover "technology essentials for economic development," "healthcare technology in the developing world," and "technology for communications and commerce," among other less technological subjects.
Congress returned on Wednesday to the topic of what new laws, if any, are necessary to respond to security breaches.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, FBI, Secret Service, ChoicePoint, LexisNexis, and Acxiom were scheduled to testify.
This week saw a flurry of legislation anounced as a response to a recent string of high-profile data thefts and other mishaps. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to require disclosure of breaches, while another Democrat-backed bill casts a far wider net. (I've placed the text of the second online.)
Look for a federalism theme to bubble … Read more
Arianna Huffington--biographer, rightist-turned-leftist, and former candidate for governor of California (but who wasn't?)--is planning to pull the stars from the skies and deposit them in a giant liberal celebrity-ridden blog.
That's what the New York Observer reports, anyway. The Huffington Report's lineup includes the likes of Warren Beatty, Sen. Jon Corzine, David Geffen, Viacom co-COO and co-President Tom Freston, Barry Diller, Tina Brown and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Observer positions Huffington's new venture as Hollywood liberals' answer to Matt Drudge. Drudge's response: "I look forward to the Warren Beatty News Network."
Connecticut smokers who shop online are in for an unwelcome surprise.
Generally states aren't that aggressive about collecting state sales and use taxes, which is why you can buy items through mail order and not have to worry, as a practical matter, about the state taxocrats sniffing around.
But as I wrote about in a column, cigarettes are an exception.
A number of public policy groups on Monday released studies that both praised and scorned the economic viability of municipally funded broadband networks.
It's a hot-button issue that has prompted many states to introduce legislation against these projects, while sparking heated responses from cities looking to build their own wireless or fiber broadband networks.
The New Millennium Research Council released two studies penned by the free-market-leaning group Progress and Freedom Foundation raising "serious questions about the need for and viability" of the recent business plan for the city of Philadelphia to build its own wireless broadband network.… Read more
Soon Internet users will be able to enjoy the dubious benefits of two more top-level domains: .jobs and .travel.
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said Friday that it has formally approved the pair of suffixes.
ICANN is still debating -- they're not very speedy -- .asia, .mail, .tel (two groups want it), and .xxx.
A solar sail functions like a regular sailboat sail. But instead of wind, the solar sail is bombarded by photons, particles of light from the Sun. The sail is also extremely thin, between 40 to 100 times thinner than a sheet of paper. Ideally, these sails will allow satellites or space stations to move and perform maneuvers without using conventional rockets, which consume lots of fuel, quickly run out of said fuel, and … Read more