The People’s Record News Update: This week in cyber-activism
February 27, 2013
Bahrain bans ‘Anonymous’ Guy Fawkes mask
The Guy Fawkes mask – which has come to represent a universal symbol of protest – has been banned in Bahrain. The move is the latest in a series of measures implemented by the Gulf state to quell a two-year pro-democracy uprising.
A ban on orders of the mask – which was popularized by the 2005 Hollywood adaption of the comic book ‘V for Vendetta’ – has been ordered by the Gulf kingdom’s Industry and Commerce Minister, Hassan Fakhro.
DOJ ‘admits’ to targeting Aaron Swartz over his activism
Aaron Swartz’s past activism and ‘Guerilla Open Access Manifesto’ played a part in his prosecution, sources told US media. Prosecutors pursued him even though he had not yet leaked anything, as his manifesto ‘proved his alleged malicious intent’ in downloading documents on a massive scale says Justice Department representatives.
“Some congressional staffers left the briefing with the impression that prosecutors needed to convict Swartz of a felony that would put him in jail for a short sentence in order to justify bringing the charges in the first place,” Huffington Post reported, citing two aides with knowledge of the briefing.
Swartz’s actions were criminalized by the government just because he was an “effective advocate of policies contrary to their views,” human rights lawyer Scott Horton told Mashable.
“Apparently, the DOJ thought it was a reason to throw the book at Swartz, even if he hadn’t actually made any such works available,” Masnick wrote.
The digital library itself has earlier stated it received confirmation from Swartz “that the content was not and would not be used, copied, transferred, or distributed.”
Amid wide public concern over Swartz’s case, the White House issued a directive expanding access to publicly funded scientific research. Last week’s directive was hailed by Open Access supporters as a major victory in a fight in which Swartz took an active part.
US Internet providers start spy program to stop file-sharing
Starting this week, Internet Service Providers will start throttling connection speeds for customers alleged to be pirating copyright-protected materials.
Months after a controversial “six-strike” program was slated to be rolled out by the biggest ISPs in the United States, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) confirmed on Monday that the initiative has gone live.
Google accused of privacy violations yet again
Google is in hot water once again after application developers have discovered that the Silicon Valley giant is sharing its users’ personal information without obtaining their consent.
Non-profit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has sent a letter to the United States Federal Trade Commission that implores for the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to intervene in the latest goof-up courtesy of Google.
The FBI is inside Anonymous: Hacker Sabu has sentencing delayed again for helping the feds
The former LulzSec hacker that turned in his colleagues to the FBI will forego sentencing for another six months while he continues to assist the government in catching supposed computer criminals.
Hector Xavier Monsegur, the man behind the hacker alias “Sabu,” was absent from federal court on Friday despite previously being scheduled to appear for sentencing that morning in regards to the 12 criminal charges he pleaded guilty to in mid-2011.
On Monday, the leaking website Cryptome published a copy [.pdf] of a request from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York’s in which the court is asked to adjourn Monsegur’s sentencing date until August 23, 2013 “in light of the defendant’s ongoing cooperation with the Government.”
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