It's been more than 24 hours since the enterprising Glenn Greenwald revealed that the National Security Agency has been gathering the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. The idea is to match calls against a larger database of numbers used by suspected jihadists. After turning up relevant calling patterns, the NSA could then uncover the identities of the callers. But the Verizon-NSA story was not a one-off.
The news was followed by another revelation about the NSA on Thursday -- this one disclosing that the agency has been accessing confidential user data held … Read more
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder supports privacy changes that would require the government to seek a warrant based on probable cause to obtain cloud-stored e-mail, and other documents and files stored in the cloud.
"But the more general notion of having a warrant to obtain the content of communications from a service provider is something that we support," Holder added, noting that citizen privacy and the government's ability to access such data is "one of the most important conversations" to be had in this day and age.
He stated that there were "very … Read more
Last month, Sen. Mark Udall and a handful of other privacy-focused politicians persuaded the IRS to promise to cease warrantless searches of Americans' private correspondence.
Now Udall, a Colorado Democrat, is taking aim at the Justice Department, which has claimed the right to conduct warrantless searches of Americans' e-mail, Facebook chats, and other private communications.
"I am extremely concerned that the Justice Department and FBI are justifying warrantless searches of Americans' electronic communications based on a loophole in an outdated law that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled was unconstitutional," Udall said in … Read more
Shortly after the Pentagon announced the Chinese government has been involved in widespread cyberespionage targeting the U.S. government and businesses, a bipartisan group of senators proposed a new law to fight cyber-theft.
The law, dubbed "Deter Cyber Theft Act," was proposed Tuesday by Democrats Carl Levin and Jay Rockefeller and Republicans John McCain and Tom Coburn, according to Reuters. The goal of the legislation is to protect commercial data from foreign hackers and governments.
The U.S. Senate on Monday approved a controversial bill by more than a 2-to-1 margin that would allow states to levy taxes on Internet purchases.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to require online vendors to collect sales and use tax on certain out-of-state purchases, was approved in a bipartisan vote of 69 to 27. The bill, which already has the support of President Obama, will now move on to the House of Representatives.
If approved, the bill would overturn a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that found out-of-state retailers generally don't have to collect taxes unless … Read more
New legislation introduced to Congress on Monday aims to change the patent review process to curb the influx of new patent-related lawsuits.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, presented a new bill that amends 2011's America Invents Act by making permanent a temporary revision that allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review a patent after it has been granted.
The new legislation, called the Patent Quality Improvement Act, would also change language for what types of businesses are covered under current America Invents Act, something Schumer says would better include technology start-ups.
"The … Read more
Craigslist has won the first round in its federal lawsuit against PadMapper and two other companies, which extracted and used real estate listings from the world's most popular classifieds site.
eBay is trying to marshal its users to change federal sales tax legislation pending in the Senate that could usher in the first national Internet sales tax.
eBay CEO John Donahoe began sending e-mails to the online auctioneer's users on Sunday, asking they contact their federal representatives to express their opposition for the Marketplace Fairness Act. The proposed legislation, which the Senate is expected to vote on this week, would allow states to require online vendors to collect sales and use tax on certain out-of-state purchases. Only businesses with less than $1 million in annual U.S. sales would … Read more
The head of the Internal Revenue Service said today the agency would abandon its controversial policy that claimed the right to read taxpayers' e-mail without first obtaining a search warrant.
Steven Miller, the IRS' acting commissioner, said at a U.S. Senate hearing that the no-warrant-required policy would be ditched within 30 days for e-mail, but he did not make the same commitment for other private electronic communications.