When a judge makes a good decision, it shouldn't be news. But, in this case, it's very good news indeed. This week New York Magistrate Judge Gary Brown for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York filed a 26-page ruling pointing out that the person listed as an Internet account holder is often not the person using the account.
"It is no more likely that the subscriber to an IP address carried out a particular computer function–here the purported illegal downloading of a single pornographic film–than to say an individual who pays the telephone bill made a specific telephone call," Brown said in his Order & Report & Recommendation, filed May 1.
"An IP address merely identifies the location where a certain activity occurred", Brown noted. A computer in a household is usually shared, which means a child, a boyfriend, or any other visitor, is just as likely to be using the computer. Brown also noted that many households now have a wireless network. If the network is not secured, many people, including neighbors and strangers, can be sharing that IP address without the original account holder's knowledge.
"Considering the weak relationship between an IP address and personal identity, it's likely copyright holders were accusing the wrong people of violating copyright", Brown noted. Mass-BitTorrent lawsuits relying entirely on IP addresses to identify copyright infringers were a "waste of judicial resources," he wrote.
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This breach has already been confirmed by the big processors, and seems to be larger in scope than prior breaches.
A recently discovered flaw in Internet Explorer could allow criminals to collect passwords and banking information. Microsoft is warning Windows users to be aware of the problem, with a manual work-around available, but there is no downloadable software fix available yet. So far, Microsoft says it “has not seen any indications of active exploitation of the vulnerability.”
Where do I begin? Even before (maybe especially before) storage devices were portable, they were still vulnerable to theft, due more to their high resale value than the questionable value of their contents. Today, the market value of even a brand-new desktop computer may not be worth the potential consequences of being caught. But, the lucrative identity theft trade has given rise to an entirely different motive for computer, tablet, and cellphone theft. In this case, the device is simply a means to an end.
But theft and the obvious concern over losing such easily and commonly misplaced devices as thumb drives are far from the only reason to encrypt hard drive data. Today, for instance, international travelers may be subject to the copy and search of their hard drives, as authorized by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement's "Policy Regarding Border Search of Information" (July 16, 2008), which, among other things, allows Customs Agents broad discretion to detain "electronic devices, or copies thereof, for a reasonable period of time to perform a thorough border search." Regardless of your motivation, encrypting mobile data storage should be high on your list of priorities. Like my AmericanExpress card, I never leave home with out it.
Note to attorneys, medical professionals, or anyone with a fiduciary responsibility: Unlike most professionals, you may have a legal, if not ethical, responsibility to protect your clients' data. Even if a standard for "reasonableness" has previously been applied to "locks" and other 20th century security practices, it may not apply to devices removed from a secure space. Check with your respective associations and/or licensing boards for more information. ... CONTINUE READING »
The federal government thinks identity and passwords need to be fixed to keep the internet healthy, but is declining, thankfully, to try to fix it themselves. Instead, they are pushing internet entrepreneurs to build something robust and open.
Read full article at http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/3Uts2JG5xFc/
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"Secret Service paid TJX Hacker $75,000 a Year"
According to Wired, a convicted hacker and credit card thief was paid to work undercover for the U.S. Secret Service. A convicted accomplice told Wired that Albert Gonzalez was paid $75,000 a year in cash as a confidential informant to the U.S. Government.
Though the Secret Service would not comment, a former federal prosecutor told Wired that the payment was not unusual. He compared it to "million-dollar payouts" to informants involved in organized crime investigations. According to Department of Justice guidelines, agents are required to advise confidential informants that payments "may be taxable income that must be reported to appropriate tax authorities".
Albert Gonzalez was arrested in 2008 and accused of running one of the largest identity theft crimes in U.S. history. After his arrest Gonzalez lead instigators to more than $1 million buried behind his parent's home.