Items tagged with law

When Google's Android OS began overtaking every other mobile OS in terms of marketshare, it seemed obvious that at some point, the company would be catching a bit of flak for it. In fact, it seemed inevitable that the EU would have something to say about it, as it's traditionally been strict amount companies that dominate a particular segment of the tech market. Look no further than Microsoft with Windows; the company now has to produce a special edition of the OS in order to appease the EU. Well, the EU does in fact have a beef with Google's dominance, especially where Android is concerned. Last... Read more...
Over the past couple of years, law enforcement at large has ramped up its efforts to try to gain access to communication mediums, which can include being able to browse unlocked smartphones. As it stands today, most jurisdictions do not give a member of law enforcement the ability to gain access to a smartphone without a warrant, and because a PIN code is personal information, it cannot simply be asked of someone to provide it. That hasn't halted efforts to get rid of such roadblocks, though. Even if it requires brute force, agencies like the FBI want in, especially in high stakes, high profile... Read more...
We have been hearing so much about the FBI's pressure on Apple in its encryption fight in recent weeks that it might be easy to forget that it's only just begun in recent weeks. But what a few weeks it's been! In the middle of February, a federal judge ordered Apple to break encryption on an iPhone that belonged to a terrorist part of the San Bernardino attack in December, and Apple wasted no time in defending its stance on things. In gist, CEO Tim Cook and the rest of Apple want to continue giving their customers a phone they can trust, and the government is working hard to cripple that.... Read more...
It's not often that people feel compelled to side with Google on the topic of privacy, but the company's newest CEO, Sundar Pinchai, gives us a great reason to. As Brandon covered in great detail yesterday, Apple has been ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym to provide the FBI access to an iPhone 5c that was used by the terrorists in December's San Bernardino shootings - but, there are a couple of problems with that. Apple insists that the backdoor the U.S. government wants doesn't exist, and CEO Tim Cook rages against the idea that his company should build one for any of its products. If... Read more...
We can’t say that we didn’t see this one coming — an encryption showdown between Apple and the federal government. Apple has been adamant about batting down court orders to decrypt data on iPhones in order to assist criminal investigations, in an effort to generally protect user privacy. In turn, the FBI and other agencies have repeatedly criticized Apple for its stonewalling. Last week, FBI Director James Comey lamented the fact that his elite team of hackers still hadn’t been able to access the data on the smartphone belonging to the San Bernardino gunman that killed 14 people in early December.... Read more...
If you own or have owned a 3TB hard drive from Seagate, the law firm behind a suit against the company wants to hear from you. At the case page, it's mentioned that three Seagate models are involved here, including the standard desktop version (called Barracuda), the Backup Plus external version, or any other that includes the model number "ST3000DM001." The suit alleges that these 3TB Seagate drives have a failure rate that's far worse than what's advertised. "Consumers report them failing as an unprecedented rate - sometimes even days after their first use," the law firm writes. Making matters... Read more...
A hot topic brought up often in the search for America's next president is the security and privacy of the country's citizens. Unfortunately, such matters rarely find themselves in the hands of politicians who truly understand what they're talking about, and we saw just such an example again Saturday night, during the Democratic presidential debate. During the debate, Hillary Clinton tried to put viewers at ease with the assurance that she has no desire to force companies to engineer back doors in their software that the government could access. "I would not want to go to that point." In her next... Read more...
Should retail employees be compensated for the time spent waiting for their bags to be searched after work? No, says San Francisco District Judge William Alsup, who made the pronouncement on Saturday. In 2013, a lawsuit was filed against Apple for not compensating those who've been forced to spend extra time after their shift waiting to go through security. This requirement is done for obvious reason: Apple's stores are loaded to the brim with high-dollar items that could be shoved into a bookbag without adding much bulk to it. While it'd seem like the massive amount of security cameras that line... Read more...
The fight between the Department of Justice and mobile OS creators continues, and as it stands right now, things are not looking so great on the vendor side. Over the past few years, and the past year especially, both Apple and Google have been battled against for allowing users of their respective OSes to encrypt their data, and in effect make it impossible for law enforcement to rummage through. Fortunately, both companies have been battling against this on behalf of consumers; rather than back down, both companies have actually strengthened the security, namely by making encryption default in... Read more...
Proving once again that some lawmakers are still living in the stone age, the UK government has just reintroduced a law that deems ripping CDs and DVDs illegal. Want to toss that new album onto your MP3 player? Convert that DVD movie for viewing on the plane? No, and no. Don't even think about it. What's most ridiculous about this law is that it was remedied last fall, with "Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014". That made it instantly legal for such personal ripping to occur, but as that has been effectively overturned, we're back at square one... Read more...
Lawmakers in New Zealand have officially made it illegal to harass others and engage in hate speech through digital means. Otherwise known as cyberbullying, offenders who run afoul of the law face stiff penalties -- up to two years imprisonment or a fine up to $50,000 for an individual, or up to $200,000 for a "body corporate," which is a legal entity like a business, government agency, and so forth. It's called the Harmful Digital Communications Bill and it's intended to "deter, prevent, and mitigate harm caused by individuals by digital communications, and provide victims of harmful... Read more...
There have been many stories to come out of the US over the past couple of years that have related to law enforcement requests of personal passwords, and now, it looks like Canada wants to get in on the action. This past week, traveler Alain Philippon was returning to the Great White North from the Dominican Republic, and upon his arrival, customs officers demanded that he give his smartphone's PIN code so that they could fish around. He refused, and now he faces a fine of $1,000 to $25,000 and one year in jail. Philippon states that he didn't give up his PIN because it's personal information,... Read more...
There's no arguing the fact that bullying is something that should be combated, but is that enough to go against the Fifth Amendment and require someone to hand over their password as part of an investigation? That's the reality Illinois schools could soon face, as their government has decided that if asked, a student must hand over access to their social media accounts -- in effect, requiring them to cough up their password. A requirement like this isn't new, and in fact it's been put into use many times before. Most often, cities or governments will end up banning the practice. Our passwords... Read more...
Hot on the heels of president Obama's insinuation that the government should never have an issue accessing a person's data comes an even scarier prospect -- being the victim of a search warrant just because you take steps to enhance your privacy.As it happens, that could become the reality, if the FBI gets its way. While it's no secret that government agencies spy on us as if we're all guilty of destabilizing national security, the Fourth Amendment has a number of protections in place that can prevent us from prosecution. So, the FBI has decided to go after a specific rule to help get rid of that... Read more...
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