FBI seizes WeLeakInfo, a website that sold access to breached data

Found on ZD Net on Friday, 17 January 2020
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The website provided access to people's cleartext passwords, allowing hackers to purchase a subscription on the site and gain access to billions of user credentials.

The website was dirt cheap, which made it highly accessible even to low-skilled hackers with liddle funds. For as little as $2 per day, hackers could perform unlimited searches for a user's data on the site.

Currently, there are at least three other websites that operate similar to LeakedSource and WeLeakInfo -- selling access to hacked data, including cleartext passwords. They are Dehashed, Snusbase, and Leak-Lookup. All three are still up, at the time of writing.

As long as big leaks happen, sites such as these will exist. To reduce leaks, companies must get into really big financial troubles for messing up; but as seen with Equifax, this does not seem to happen at all.

F.B.I. Asks Apple to Help Unlock Two iPhones

Found on New York Times on Saturday, 11 January 2020
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Apple regularly complies with court orders to turn over information it has on its servers, such as iCloud data, but it has long argued that it does not have access to material stored only on a locked, encrypted iPhone.

And Attorney General William P. Barr has recently turned up his criticism of encryption. He said last month that finding a way for law enforcement to gain access to encrypted technology was one of the Justice Department’s “highest priorities.”

Encryption is either secure, or broken. There is nothing between along the lines of "but only we need access".

FBI Arrests Former Bank Employee Charged With Stealing Cash From Bank Vault

Found on Department of Justice on Sunday, 15 December 2019
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Henderson, 29, of Charlotte, is charged with financial institution fraud and related charges, for stealing more than $88,000 in cash from the vault of the bank where he was employed, and then committing a separate loan fraud in connection with the purchase of a luxury automobile.

The indictment also alleges that throughout July and August 2019, Henderson used a social media account to post several pictures of him holding large stacks of cash.

Looks like sometimes social media can be a good thing.

Universal Music Claims Copyright Over Newly Public Domain 'Yes! We Have No Bananas'

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 14 November 2019
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One of the signature works of the public domain class of 1923 was the song Yes! We Have No Bananas by composers Irving Cohn and Frank Silver. As of January 1st, anyone was free to make use of that song.

Glenn Fleishman had posted a video of the song to YouTube in celebration of it entering the public domain earlier this year.

However, that video has now been "claimed" by Universal Music and various subsidiaries, meaning that they could "monetize" it or force it offline, despite them literally having no rights to speak of.

An ownership claim for a public domain work is so weak that even Youtube should have refused it.

Google Play Removes Perfect Player After “Bogus” Copyright Complaint

Found on Torrentfreak on Friday, 25 October 2019
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This week Google removed the popular IPTV software Perfect Player from its Play Store following a hard-to-fathom copyright complaint. A major pay TV provider claimed it was possible to stream pirate content in the app so it must be illegal. However, the app ships with no links to content whatsoever, so anything infringing must've been added at a later stage.

Perfect Player contains no playlists when supplied directly from Google Play, it’s content-neutral.

With the help of a lawyer, the developer is now filing a DMCA counter-notice with Google Play which will require the pay-TV company to either double down or back off. Unless Google chooses to restore Perfect Player in the meantime, of course.

They should also take down browsers, because they can access illegal websites.

Pointing a finger gun lands 12-year-old Johnson County student in handcuffs

Found on Kansas City Star on Wednesday, 16 October 2019
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A 12-year-old Overland Park girl formed a gun with her fingers, pointed at four of her Westridge Middle School classmates one at a time, and then turned the pretend weapon toward herself.

In 2015, a Colorado first-grader was suspended from school after forming his fingers into the shape of a gun, pointing toward a classmate and saying, “You’re dead.”

A year earlier, in Columbus, Ohio, a 10-year-old boy was suspended for three days for pretending his finger was a gun.

Let's not forget other massive threads, like pastry guns. This kind of zero-tolerance is so ridiculous that those in charge should get their heads checked.

EU court: Facebook can be forced to remove content worldwide

Found on AP News on Saturday, 05 October 2019
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Ruling in the case of an Austrian politician who objected to what she regarded as a libelous news story, the European court said Internet companies can be forced to take action worldwide to remove objectionable material when ordered to do so by a court in an EU country.

“The ruling essentially allows one country or region to decide what Internet users around the world can say and what information they can access,” said CCIA Europe senior manager Victoria de Posson.

Great news. Now China, North Korea, Russia, Iran and all other nations worldwide can demand that content they do not like has to be taken down globally too, because in the end, everybody on the world is equal, so has equal rights. Right?

YouTube CEO: Politicians can break our content rules

Found on Politico on Sunday, 29 September 2019
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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said today that content by politicians would stay up on the video-sharing website even if it violates the company's standards, echoing a position staked out by Facebook this week.

Wojcicki's remarks came a day after Facebook's global affairs chief Nick Clegg told the same conference in Washington that political leaders would be allowed to break the social network's content rules. Earlier this year, Twitter announced it would label and demote, but not remove, content from politicians that violates its standards.

All are equal, but some are above the laws. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter just proved that they do not care about equality.

EU Copyright Directive's Link Tax Won't Lead To Google Paying Publishers

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 28 September 2019
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Not only was the following story totally predictable, but many of us directly warned the EU of what would happen if they instituted a "link" or "snippet" tax as part of the EU Copyright Directive.

Google has told publishers in France that in order to respect the new Copyright Directive link tax, it is removing all snippets unless the publishers opt-in via the tools mentioned above, to voluntarily choose to add back the snippets.

What's incredible is that these same politicians will now whine and complain and lie, saying that Google is evading the tax when it's actually complying with the law as written -- and complying in the same way they complied with similar laws in the past.

At least this time, Google did the right thing and leaves politicians like red-faced, foot-stomping little kids. All this was fully predictable because it happened before.

Men arrested for breaking into Dallas County Courthouse after judicial branch hires them

Found on Des Moines Register on Sunday, 15 September 2019
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Authorities later found out the state court administration did, in fact, hire the men to attempt "unauthorized access" to court records "through various means" in order to check for potential security vulnerabilities of Iowa's electronic court records.

But, the state court administration "did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include the forced entry into a building," a Wednesday news release from the Iowa Judicial Branch read.

The fine print of the conract should offer a few more details; but if they were really hired, they should be let off the hook.