H.R. 4411: The Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act is a bill aimed at making online gambling illegal by blocking any US funds to foreign servers from American banks and credit cards. It passed the House on Saturday and sent British gambling stocks tumbling. I was kind of surprised at the swift passing of this bill, given that online poker is a pretty serious business, but one poker site says they'll be in the clear as poker is a game of skill and not just chance (good luck with that). Oh, and this is just one cog in the 10 tooth wheel of The American Values Agenda, the republican attempt to push socially conservative issues in time for the election.
DNA: frightening government privacy invasion tool of tomorrow or beautiful source of personal art today?
Domains by Proxy is a fairly popular service run by GoDaddy that aims to protect your personal info from whois requests. The domains by proxy homepage has links to law enforcement and civil subpoena policies, making it sound like you actually have to do something deemed illegal by a judge or officer to get outed. One blogger found out something as simple as a letter from a local lawyer was enough to reveal all his personal details in a whois request, without ever being notified beforehand. Might be worth reading up on EFF's guide to anon blogging if you ever start a whistleblower site.
LokiTorrent was a popular spot to get movies and they even put up a fight against the recent crackdown, raising thousands in a legal defense fund. Today, it seems the MPAA won, forcing the owner to shut down. That's understandable and I'm not surprised, but they've gone a bit further than I expected, turning the site into a big scary ad against filesharing and warning that you're next. Even worse, the old owner is turning the logs over to the MPAA, for them to go after folks.
Supreme Court wisely rules that you can't legislate morality and that privacy between consenting adults is a-ok as the Texas sodomy law (that applies to homosexuals only) is struck down. Ruling invalidates other remaining sodomy laws on the books. Dancing in the streets ensues. And as usual, Scalia gets to add his wisecracks in the dissent. [via SCOTUSblog]
This is some scary stuff. Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant? If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP.
The Washington State Anti-Spam law found unconstitutional because the person named in the suit was in Oregon, and the law can't be enforced across state boundries. Damn. As if your location means anything on the internet. What a lame ruling.
There have been minor scuffles over the past year at UCLA that balloon into 'riots,' which then get covered in the local news. I work at UCLA and I can tell you that the local/UC police have overreacted before. This past June, students got together to drink champagne by one of the big fountains. It's an tradition going back at least 15 years, but for some reason last year, there were about 20 police in riot gear standing near the fountain at night, and at least one officer stationed there 24hrs. a day for the entire finals week. A couple students were arrested for protesting the police presence, but everyone else there was just plain perplexed as to why they showed up in the first place. Yesterday's event at UCLA looks to be the same thing again. Local residents complaining about an old tradition, in which the police overreact. The sad thing is this is happening everywhere.